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Archive for April, 2011

This morning the kids and I were watching some of our old verse videos. It was really neat seeing how much the kids have grown and changed! Sometimes when we’re right in the middle of the daily grind, it’s easy to miss just how precious and cute the kids are. This video is of Kara saying some verses when she was in 4-year-old kindergarten. What a cutie she was–and still is!! ūüôā

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HPIM0729a

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For several years I have posted videos of the kids saying their memory verses for A Beka Academy. ¬†This has given them incentive to learn them well, and they enjoy doing it. ¬†I have not, however, revealed what really happens when we make these videos—-until today! ūüôā ¬†Today I was making a verse video with Brock, and here is how it really went down:

Take One:

Take Two:

Take 3 (The best one yet…)

Take 4 (He finally gets it!)


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A Humorous Observation

Like I said in my previous post, John and I have been sorting through pictures for his family heritage project.  In the process, I noticed something that I had not ever recognized before, and I want to see if anyone agrees with me!  When I saw a picture of my Grandad Jain as a younger man, I realized that he reminded me a little of my husband Dan!  When I pulled up a recent picture of Dan, I again was struck by the similarity.   What do you think????

Similarities????

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My Grandparents


This week I have been helping John with a school project that includes a scrapbook of state, local, and family history.  I had asked my Mom for some pictures that we could use for this assignment, and, boy, have these pictures brought back wonderful memories!

I was blessed to live in the same town with both sets of my grandparents. ¬†It’s a rare thing indeed to have that heritage, and I am thankful for it. ¬†I was especially close to my mother’s parents, pictured in this photo from 1977. ¬†They were hard-working, devoted people who knew what it meant to sacrifice. They passed on their faith to their children and grandchildren, and now that legacy is continuing in their great-grandchildren. Their godly lives influenced the whole community, and everyone that remembers them is quick to remind us of what wonderful people they were.

They are my models.  It is my prayer that their love, faith, and devotion will continue to be passed on through my life. That would be the greatest honor and reward that I could ever receive.

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The girls have finished making their hats using loom knitting. ¬†They were making this as part of the American Heritage Girls Textile Arts merit badge. ¬†This really is a good project for girls–very easy to have success! ¬†There are many things that can be made using the looms, and both of the girls are already talking about making more things.

Grandma helped Cosette make a pom-pom for the top of her hat. ¬†It doesn’t show up in this picture very well, but it really does look cute. ¬†Kara made her hat for a toddler in our church, so it was too small for her to model herself.

The girls did learn one neat thing about loom knitting: it’s great for conversation starters! ¬†The girls have been taking their knitting with them when we need to wait (like at the dentist office or at my orchestra rehearsals). People are always curious about what they are doing and want to see what they are making. ¬†My mom has experienced the same thing when she has taken her knitting as a time-filler. ¬†So, a side benefit of this project is new friends! ¬†ūüôā

We’re getting pretty close to finishing up the Bible Basics, Sign Language, and Textile Arts merit badges. ¬†We just have a few more requirements to complete, and then we’ll be ready to start new subjects. ¬†Who knows where we’ll head next–the girls always surprise me with what they want to tackle!

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Recently John read High Calling by Evelyn Husband for a school book report.  He really enjoyed this book and gained a real appreciation for the space program through it.  He wrote this summary:

High Calling: the Courageous Life and Faith of Space Shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband by Evelyn Husband and Donna Vanlier recounts the life story of Rick Husband, the commander of STS-107, the mission on which the Columbia¬†was destroyed. This book points out how Rick Husband, the author’s spouse, had great faith leading up to and during the mission. ¬†Even after the shuttle fell apart, Rick Husband’s legacy of trusting in God affected his wife and children, helping them recover after the incident and reach out to others who have had disasters in their lives. ¬†The author of this book was convincing, using knowledge to which only she had access to build a convincing case for God’s hand in both life and death. ¬†Teaching us to trust God fully as did Rick during his life, this book is one no one, whether currently enduring a tragedy or not, should miss.

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9 Years Ago–April 20, 2002

April 20, 2002

Happy Birthday, Luke!

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Robot Wars

Robot Wars is a five-volume series written by Sigmund Brouwer. ¬†Each of the books actually contains two complete books, so there are 10 stories in the series. ¬†We just finished reading the first book, Death Trap, in our family’s read-aloud time. ¬†I was a little skeptical about this–it really didn’t sound like “my kind” of book, but my kids had been reading the series, and they all thought that I would like it.

I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. ¬†The title is a little misleading. The story does involve a robot, but there really isn’t a war, at least in this first book. It’s kind of hard to explain the plot of this book without giving too much away, but I will give it my best shot!

This story is about a boy who lives on Mars in an experimental colony that is doing research about making the planet more appropriate for humans. ¬†This boy has–how do I say this–a “unique” way of contributing to this research and gets into many adventures along the way. ¬†In the first story of this book, the colony races against the clock to avoid running out of oxygen. ¬†The second story involves some unique life-forms that are encountered on Mars. ¬†(I know that this sounds like an alien-type story, but our family does not approve of aliens and actually considers them to be demonic, so I can assure you that this book does not contradict our beliefs). ¬†I would consider this book to be a high-tech, space mystery more than a book of battles.

This author is a Christian writer and is married to the Christian singer Cindy Morgan.  This book definitely has Christian themes as the main character searches for the meaning and purpose of life.  It also raises some great questions about moral issues that lead our family into some interesting discussions.  One such discussion focused on the ethics of genetic experimentation in the plant and animal realms and ultimately into the human realm as well.  (yeah, kind of deep for a bedtime story!)

There are many things about this book that I like. ¬†For one thing, the main character, Tyce Sanders, is just a neat kid. ¬†There are parts of the book that are just simply hilarious. ¬†Judging from the book’s cover, I thought it would be a very serious book, and in ways it is, but in other ways it is funny and light. ¬†Tyce has a very innocent crush on a girl that moves to Mars, and the interaction between those two kids had my kids literally laughing out loud on several occasions.

So, overall I give this book a thumbs-up as a family read-aloud.  I wish I could say more about it, but it really is hard to tell very much about it without giving away too much.  It is very clean and enjoyable, and ultimately there was nothing in the stories that contradicted our Christian worldview.  If your tweens and teens enjoy a fast-action mystery, this one is a good choice.

By the way, my kids enjoyed this whole series so much, that I have found them playing “Robot Wars” on several occasions. ¬†I’m glad I have read the first one–at least I understand what they are talking about! ¬†Luke drew a neat picture to go along with the book, so I will scan it and add it to this entry.

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