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Archive for April, 2012

50th Wedding Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

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This past weekend my American Heritage Girls Trailblazers joined my sons’ Boy Scout troop for a fun day trip.  I am so thankful that their scout master thinks to include my girls because it gives them a chance to interact with other kids and do things they otherwise may not get to do.

If this trip had a theme, I guess it was planes and trains, but, believe me, it was a pretty loose theme. Actually, the scout master said his real goal was to help the kids to understand that there are neat things to see and do in the little towns that are scattered throughout this part of the Prairie.

Our first stop was in Wakeeney, Kansas, where we saw a retired Navy F-14 Tomcat Fighter jet that is on display in a local park.  Its engine has been removed, but it still gave the kids the chance to get up close to a neat military plane.  From there, we went to the Kansas Veteran’s Cemetery, which was a very good experience.  The building had a saying on it that said, “No one is ever buried alone, all are buried with honor.”

A highlight of our time in Wakeeney was going to a working pharmacy soda fountain.  The kids enjoyed ordering their special drinks, and were impressed with the real glasses filled with delicious Green Rivers and Vanilla Cream Sodas. There is another soda fountain in a nearby town that my kids all want to visit sometime soon!

After we were finished in Wakeeney, we went to Ellis, Kansas, where we toured a railroad museum and the boyhood home of Walter Chrysler.  We were all impressed with both places and were surprised how much stuff was in these museums.  Unfortunately, it was raining during most of our time in Ellis, so we weren’t able to do some things like ride the little train that is part of the train museum.

There is a pizza place in Ellis that offers a pizza challenge that our group just HAD to take!  🙂  If a group can completely finish their mega-challenge pizza that is the same as 3.75 larges, they can have their picture added to their “Wall of Fame.”  Needless to say, this was not a very difficult challenge for a group of hungry scouts and American Heritage Girls!  We wiped that thing out in no time, and added another large pizza!

After devouring the pizza, our group exercised off the gluttony by hiking the entire length of a Kansas highway.  Now, this may sound impressive, but this was Kansas Highway 247, which is the shortest state highway in Kansas.  It is a whole 649 feet long!  LOL!  So, I guess our hike wasn’t that impressive, but we did add some extra distance to at least make it interesting!

After our hike, the kids played some frisbee golf and we took a brief visit to a cemetery where there are some pretty old gravestones.  We found one that was interesting in particular for “Praying John,” who was known to get on his knees to pray every time he heard a train go by.  We were originally going to stay to hear the evening chimes that sound in this cemetery, but we decided to cut our visit short because of a tornado watch that was issued in the area.

So, this was a very good trip.  The kids had a great time, and they learned a little bit too.  Here is a picture that I took in the train museum that I especially liked:

Old Desk

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Praise God, He LIVES!

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All of the members of the Prairie Family have been big fans of Jenny Cote’s books about Max and Liz. I have written about these wonderful stories several times on this blog.  This series of books is about a dog named Max, a cat named Liz, and several of their animal friends who are immortal and travel throughout history as they serve the Maker.  The first book, The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud, introduce the characters of the series as they accompany Noah on the Ark.  The second book, The Dreamer, the Schemer, and the Robeis set in Egypt during the time of Joseph.  The third book is entitled The Prophet, the Shepherd, and the Star and traces the prophecies foretelling the birth of Jesus Christ and how they were fulfilled.  Each of these books has been just wonderful and has brought new appreciation and insights into the various biblical events that they portray.

Jenny Cote has been working on the latest book in the series that is entitled The Roman, the Twelve, and the King.  She just finished writing the manuscript that tells the story of Jesus’ ministry.  She considers this particular book to have been her most “difficult and intense” story to write yet because she really sought to portray her Savior and His Mission accurately, clearly, and personally. My kids have been praying for her as she wrote this book, so we were very delighted to be chosen to be advance readers for this newest Epic Order of the Seven book!

So, what are advanced readers?  Well, in the next few weeks, we should be receiving a pre-publication copy of the manuscript for this book.  It is not completely edited and won’t have the fancy graphics that the final copy will have.  Advanced copies are given to readers to receive feedback and comments that will be printed in the final publication.  So, we are very honored and excited to be part of this process!  We will need to finish reading the book by June 1, and because the book has 781 pages, we will be very busy reading once we receive the copy.

These books make great family read-alouds, and that is how we have enjoyed them.  Jenny writes in such a way as to really bring the animals to life.  The animals are from a variety of countries and have unique accents written into the text–that makes it so much fun to read to the kids!  I really encourage families to have read-aloud time, even for their bigger kids.  We started reading with the kids when they were really little and have just continued through the years. By the time we adopted Kara at the age of three, we were already reading “big kid” chapter books as a family, but she just stepped right in there and has never turned back!  🙂  Each night we read a chapter or two before bed (but it will need to be more than that for this new book!), and it gives us a chance to be together, relax, and enjoy each other without all of the electronic noise that we usually have.  We have read a variety of things from classics, to biographies, to great fiction–Christian and secular.  We have read all of the Max and Liz books several times and see new things to enjoy each time we read them.  Our family reading time is truly one of our favorite times of day, and I suppose that even after the kids are gone, Dan and I will still be reading out loud to each other!  🙂

The final book of The Roman, the Twelve, and the King is scheduled to be released in September 2012.  I am sure that we will be placing a preorder for it even though we will have read the advanced reader version because it will join our collection of loved read-alouds.  When we have finished reading it, I will post a full review on this blog.

We can’t wait to start the latest journey with Max, Liz, Kate, Al, Nigel, Gillamon, and the new mystery friend, otherwise known as the Epic Order of the Seven!

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