Monday, October 31, 2005

Aren't They Cute!

Here's one of our grown-up kittens (I know that makes her a cat but we have a strange identification method.) and Wallace, my brother's puppy. Wallace is growing like a weed and has begun to endear himself to the family. He wasn't popular at first, especially when he was using the kittens as chew toys. But he's settling in now and finding other things to chew. Like the seat of a folding chair someone left on the deck. Then Grandma brought him over a sack full of chew toys that her dog had outgrown. Order has been restored.

Now, about our identification method. Many of our cats never really get names. They may be officially named at some point but I can never remember what they are and the kids are changing them too often so they are referred to as the older-orange-girl-kitten, orange-and-white-boy-kitten, etc. It's getting to be somewhat of a hassle though, so I may round the kids up and get some real names established. However, when the kids come up with a name for a cat like 'Smoochie Poochie' and it actually sticks, it makes me think I'd be better off with the color and gender identification method.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Favorite pets

This was one of SmokeyBear's favorite critter-finds this year. This snake was his daily companion. He even bought a small mouse at the pet store in order to offer the snake something to eat. We were very entertained to see the snake and the mouse be friendly with each other. The mouse actually made its bed in the middle of the coiled up snake and they slept together. I think they worked out a plan together, for in the morning great holes were chewed in the cage and both had escaped. Since then he has found several smaller snakes but none near the size of this one. While the smaller snakes make lovely live ornamental bracelets, they are not as impressive as his long lost friend. SmokeyBear is fortunate his mother does not have a snake phobia.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Narration on Henry the Eighth

From chapter 64 of An Island Story, which you can read here. Remember narration, as Charlotte Mason advocated, is the practice of telling back what one remembers after a single reading. This is 9yo Tigger's composition as dictated to me without any help or prompting. Try this: read the chapter only once, close the book and write out what you remember. You may be surprised and how difficult narrating is! ****************************************************
Henry the Eighth

He had a wife called Catherine and he got tired of her and she fell at his feet saying, "Please don't send me away. I don't want to go somewhere else." He still sent her away. Then he married Anne Boelyn. He told the Church to not look upon the Pope any more. He was the head of the Church and the State. All of the people that still looked upon the Pope, he put them in jail and then cut off their heads. And anyone who looked upon Martin Luther, he cut off their heads and burned them. Then he soon got tired of Anne Boelyn and he put her in prison and cut off her head.

So he married Jane and he loved her a lot. And she died and he didn't marry anybody else for two years. Then he saw a picture of Catherine and he thought she was very beautiful. So he sent for her and when he saw her, she wasn't pretty. She was very ugly and clumsy. He gave her large sums of money to go away and she did. She wanted to keep her head on her shoulders. Before he married her this guy told him to marry her and he cut off his head.

Then he married a fifth lady. Then he found out she was very evil but he was eviler but he didn't realize that. So he put her in jail and cut off her head and put a bunch of her friends in jail and cut off their heads. Then he married the sixth lady and her name was Catherine. She wanted to keep her head on her shoulders and Henry the Eighth almost cut off her head because she didn't quite agree with him. Catherine liked being called Queen of England.

The country soon rebelled against him. So England got a lot of men together.

And then he took all of the Bibles and put them each one in every church and tied them up.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Upcoming Performances of HISTORY: My Deliverer

For all of our friends and family who might like to attend the performance of HISTORY: My Deliverer, which is the life of Christ in dance and drama. Featuring contemporary Christian music and live singers. The following are the dates of upcoming shows which PearlKeeper and BLOCHhead will be performing in:

  • November 10 11am and 7pm
  • November 11 & 12 7pm
  • November 13 2:30pm
If anyone would like to come to town for the show, I'm sure we can find room for you to stay with us, extended family or church members.

This has been an extremely powerful performance! Many people have been pleasantly surprised at how well done and professional it is. Several parts have received standing ovations. We would love for you to come!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Travel Journal

September 5th, 2005
Here we are in Washington, DC after a long trip from Tennessee yesterday! We arrived late last night at a nice family campground right outside the city where we plan on staying for the week. Today, we went to Mount Vernon, the home of our first president, George Washington. It was a beautiful place set on a rolling hilltop overlooking the Potomac River. We sat for awhile on that hill in front of the house looking out at the river and I could just imagine George Washington doing the same over 200 years ago. He'd be experiencing the same things I was: the cool breeze, the view, the contentment in knowing that he lived in a beautiful, free nation.

Then this evening we drove to Annapolis Harbor, where we saw the U.S. Naval Academy and hundreds of boats!! We could feel the Labor Day holiday in he air as we moored around the docks along with many young people out celebrating their day free from work. It was a lovely evening and dusk was gathering as we climbed into a tour boat to take an evening tour. Beneath us, the water was shimmering and reflecting the multi-colored sky. People from the other boats waved as we passed by and though we could hardly see them anymore, we waved back. I guess the peacefulness of the evening made us sleepy because me and my seven brothers and sisters were all fast asleep when we pulled back into our campsite.

September 6, 2005
Today we took a trip via the subway into downtown Washington DC. We walked out of the station, still dazzled by the thrill of our first subway ride, and looked around us at our nation's capital. We had never realized before how very beautiful the sight was. Each intricately structured building and historic monument provided a pattern so perfect that it made me wish I could soar up like a bird to look down and take it all in at once.

After lunch, we went into the National Gallery of Art. Taking our time, we walked through each exhibit slowly. There were couches dispersed through multiple rooms and on some there were students lounging with notebooks studying paintings that apprarently had fancied them. My mom, sisters, and I walked through quietly studying each painting closely and marveling at the pure talent these artists possessed. With each painting, I longed to become like these artists and touch hearts with beautiful pictures for the world to understand and admire.

September 7, 2005
We went back downtown today to just stroll around and see the monuments up close. We went first to the Washington Monument. Even when we saw it far off, it was breathtaking but that was nothing compared to standing right next to it. If you had good balance you could look up and watch I seeming to sway back and forth while the clouds about it would circle 'round and form a sort of crown on its pointed top. We picnicked in the shadow of the monument and then made our way down the long winding sidewalk to the Lincoln Memorial. There we rested and read the inscriptions on the walls with the face of Abraham Lincoln looking sternly down at us. Turning around and walking back down the steps we could see the reflecting pool with the Washington Monument reflected right in the center of the water. Ducks were swimming in the pool and people were standing along the pathway resting or taking in the sights around them. The scene provided a one-point perspective of the pool, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol Building forming one line and getting smaller as they went.

September 8, 2005
Leaving at 9:00 A.M. we took a long trip to Williamsburg, Virginia today. It was a four hour drive to the Colonial town but the boring trip was forgotten as we began to walk around. We strolled at our own pace and walked in and out of small shops that had been built to function just as they would have in the Colonial era. Around us, people were dressed as if they had just walked out of the 1600s. One woman as even carrying a baby boy dressed in a white blouse and britches. The shop we stayed in longest was the apothecary shop where they displayed medicines and remedies from the 1600s. When we walked in, we saw endless rows of old bottles and jars lining the shelves. There was a soapy, sweet smell in the air and a smiling lady in a mobcap behind the counter. She was there to prescribe some sort of medicine or herb for whatever ailed you, in Colonial days, that is. But today, she was there to answer all our questions about sickness in the 17th century. We walked in and out of many places including the shoemaker, gunsmith, milliner, silversmith, and blacksmith. Every shop had its own special smell and feel. By the time we were ready to go back, each was convinced that he was born in the wrong time period and longing for the olden days again.

September 9, 2005
Our last day was spent at the beautiful Baltimore Harbor. We arrived around 2:00 P.M., parked, and began to walk. The first thing that struck us was that, like Annapolis, there were hundreds of sailboats and yachts in the water and tied to the docks. On one huge yacht, a family lounged on lawn chairs drinking lemonade and waving back to people who called hello. We walked in a half-circle around a small inlet area passing by tall skyscrapers and crowds of people. Once, we passed a man who was playing the guitar, a drum set and a harmonica all at once. Small kids jumped up and down to the beat of the music around him while grown-ups dropped money in his bucket. Continuing on after watching for a while, we also passed a few anchored old ships and even an old submarine that could be explored with tickets. But we were hungry for dinner by this point so we circled back to find a place to eat. The rest of the evening was spent at the Rusty Scupper eating delicious seafood and enjoying the incredible view of Baltimore Harbor from our table.

A Copycat of Olive Garden's Hot Artichoke & Spinach Dip

This recipe is SO good! Many people think it is better than Olive Garden's. I have used it many a time to bribe friends and family. We like it with tortilla chips. Be prepared: it never lasts long!

Add hot wings (I just follow the recipe on the RedHot sauce bottle) and you have a feast of flavors fit for any football or evening get-together!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Welcome Sarah Faith!

Our new little niece/cousin was born at 8:35 October 10, 2005. She weighs 7 lbs. 3 oz. and is almost 20 inches long.

After a night of mild labor, things started picking up around 6am. After an hour in the hot tub everything began moving quickly. My sister did an amazing job! And our beloved friend and midwife did a stupendous job; what would we do without her?

She made her debut into the world on Grandpa's favorite leather LazyBoy chair (which was protected of course)! She knows how to arrive in style!

So far, she has been the most peaceful , content baby and is already sucking her fingers. Her sister and brothers couldn't be more pleased!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Life Out of Death

About two weeks ago, I received word that my grandmother was probably dying. My sister, my oldest daughter and I left within a hour of the news and drove all night to Michigan to try to see her one last time. She was a phenomenal woman and I plan to write a post just about her soon. But something very exciting came out of the trip and I know she would have preferred for his news to take precedence over her own story.

Even though we didn't make it in time to see Grandma, we had a wonderful opportunity to see one of my younger brothers, Judah. He asked to come home with us for a visit, feeling that he had a real need in his life and feeling that coming home with us would set him on the path to filling that need. The ten hour trip home never seemed so fast! We talked the whole way, laughing at family stories and also serious conversations about life with God and the Body of Christ. We did take one break from talking to play a Jeremy Camp CD for him and he couldn't hold back the tears any longer.

It just so happened that our church was in the middle of our Feast of Tabernacles celebration which means we were camping out and having meetings every night. This is always a very special time of year for us but this year Judah being with us made it extra special. The first night home Judah asked for prayer and surrounded by many caring people, he was moved to tears of repentance. The second night he announced he wanted to rededicate his life to God and the third night he asked to be baptized in the creek on our church property!

Since then he's made a trip to his home state to tie up loose ends and now he is living with us and planning on starting a new business with my brother-in-law. He is teaching AdventureQueen how to play the guitar and they are having special times talking and worshipping together.

There is so much to this story but I want to share about the meaning of his name. I have always been told Judah means praise. I wanted to research a little further so I consulted my Strong's Concordance and here's what I found:

  • (Judah) Yehuwdah comes from a primary root Yadah which means literally to use (ie. hold out) the hand; especially to revere or worship with extended hands
I was amazed because I had already loaded these pictures onto this post before I looked this up!

I am so thrilled to have been a part of all of this and so thankful to have my brother with us!!!!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A Good Quote Does The Heart Good

" is the proof of God, and forgiveness is the proof of love."

From Levi's Will by W. Dale Cramer