CAN'T WAIT TO READ IT!
Lisa Samson is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite authors. Not only are her books a bit sassy, but they also are a more than a bit "different". They always touch my soul and sometimes, as in the case of QUAKER SUMMER, they rock my world.
Lisa and her husband Will have written their first book together and its due out soon. JUSTICE IN THE BURBS is part fiction and part non-fiction. But as I've found out from reading Lisa's books, even her fiction is very true to life. A large part of that stems from the fact that Lisa is not only a very down-to-earth gal, but that she and Will are living out what they are writing about. These books aren't written from some secluded, sterile writer's haven, they are written with the real world knocking on their door every single day as they strive to live out a life of being Jesus to those that most of our society strives to avoid.
PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY MAGAZINE has just given JUSTICE IN THE BURBS an excellent review. I just had to share it:
Justice in the Burbs: Being the Hands of Jesus Wherever You Live Will and Lisa Samson. Baker Books, $14.99 paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-8010-6809-6
Award-winning Christian novelist Lisa Samson (Songbird; Quaker Summer) and her husband, sociology doctoral student Will Samson, intertwine fiction and nonfiction in this challenging and inspiring book about justice. Lisa Samson's novella features the Marshalls, a suburban family with all the accouterments: Matt climbs the corporate ladder, Christine cares for their three children, and both are busy with numerous church leadership positions. One day, however, Matt and Christine visit an inner-city mission, and their ideas about how they should be living gradually, but dramatically, change. The nonfiction portion of the book examines the issues these characters (and most of the book's readership) face. The Samsons talk about why God cares what we eat, where we live, how much electricity we use, and to whom we minister. Astonishingly, the authors manage to do this without hitting a sanctimonious note. On the contrary, they repeatedly highlight the heartbreak and complexity of what they refer to as "thinking and living in keeping with God's heartbeat of justice," and frequently acknowledge their own struggles and failures. The Samsons include short meditations at the end of each chapter written by a variety of Christian authors, as well as a series of helpful discussion questions at the end.
You can pre-order a copy of JUSTICE IN THE BURBS here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801068096/willsamsoncom-20
You can download a copy of the introduction and first chapter here:
Thursday, May 31, 2007
CAN'T WAIT TO READ IT!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
My "WANNA READ IT" List
I love books. I love fat books and skinny books. I love rich classics and sassy modern ones. I love books that make me laugh, cry, think, dream, learn, grow, and sometimes with really good books I find myself responding in all these ways.
I truly am what would be called a bookaholic. My library card is usually maxed out...as are the other SIX cards my family has. And on top of the scads of library books I have checked out, I've got scores that I own that are precariously piled around our house just begging me to read them.
But despite their pleas and my promises that I WILL read them someday, I still dream of new books. As I said, I'm an addict and as an addict, I am irrational in my obsession about books.
Here are just a few of the titles that I hope I'll one day be able to grasp in my greedy fingers:
APPLES OF GOLD---Lisa Samson
TIGER LILLIE---Lisa Samson
JUSTICE IN THE BURBS---And yet another by Lisa Samson :)
VELVET ELVIS---Rob Bell
THE LINNET'S TALE---Dale C. Willard
THEODORA'S BABY---Penny Culliford
THE SPA GIRLS series---Kristen Billerbeck
The SAVANNAH series---Denise Hildreth
DIARY OF A PROVINCIAL LADY---E.M. Delafield
ONE PAIR OF HANDS---Monica Dickens
A PAGAN'S NIGHTMARE---Ray Blackston
THE SEMI-ATTACHED COUPLE & THE SEMI-DETACHED HOUSE---Emily Eden
A newly discovered novel by JANE AUSTEN...doesn't hurt to dream, does it?
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Our Memorial Day Weekend
I had great hopes that we would be able to really make our Memorial Day more meaningful this year and though we did do some things, I hope to honor it more next year.
Here's what we did end up doing over the last couple of days---
On Sunday, our pastor showed a power point presentation in honor of our troops and then recognized all the members of our church who have served in the military. I was so proud of my former paratrooper and green beret husband as he stood to be honored. The rest of the day was a good, lazy, family-day which was a nice change from the work intensive one of the day before (we discovered a leak in our shower and had to do a BUNCH of clearing out so Super Hubby could take apart a wall!).
On Monday, I made a big pancake meal complete with yellow star pancakes in honor of Memorial Day. Super Dad and I talked with the kids about the meaning behind the stars and reminded them of what Memorial Day was all about. We spent special time in our family prayers remembering those who have lost loved ones and praying for those who are serving now and their families left behind. I especially prayed for my FIAR Bracelet Babe pal Paige, her children, and her husband Matt who is deployed in Iraq. Later that day, the older children journaled about Memorial Day and its meaning to them and I pulled out my old Baptist hymnal and played a handful of patriotic songs. Super Hubby was plum wore out from working on the leaking shower all day. Not a very glorious way for this former soldier to spend his day off from work, but at least we can be grateful that he has a good job that gives him holidays and that we live in a country where he can earn enough money to provide for his family...do what it takes to fix a leaky shower.
Next year, I hope that we can actually visit a cemetery and pay homage to those who are passed on but while living gave a large part of their lives in serving their country and in serving us...a family they never even knew but were willing to die for nonetheless.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
For years, our family has been blessed by the Five in a Row curriculum. Its a creative and relaxed way of educating that gets kids (and their parents) excited about becoming lifetime learners.
The FIAR publishers are now offering unit lessons as digital downloads. So even if its the last minute and you've just now decided you want to do something related to Memorial Day with your kids, as long as you've got access to a printer, you're set! The FIAR Fold-and-Learn products are a great way for kids to not only learn, but then have a personalized record of their educational endeavor.
For more information on the MEMORIAL DAY FOLD-AND-LEARN and other digital downloads available from the great folks at FIAR, visit this website:
And for other Memorial Day ideas you can visit the FIAR holiday forum:
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Here are some ways that you and your family can make Memorial Day a true day for remembering those who have sacrificed so much to keep our country free:
- Research the history of Memorial Day. If you're a homeschool family, center some special lessons around this day and its meaning. If you're not a homeschool family, you can still do special learning activities together to ensure that your child knows the true meaning of this important occasion.
- Visit a cemetery and place flowers, flags, or other mementos on graves of veterans who have passed on for their eternal reward.
- Send ecards or homemade cards to veterans, active duty military personnel, widows of veterans, & families of deployed soldiers expressing your gratitude for their sacrifices.
- Play patriotic music.
- Visit a nursing home and sing patriotic songs and/or give the residents small flags or hand-drawn patriotic pictures. Especially try to give special honor to any residents who are veterans or loved ones of deceased soldiers.
- Pray for the families who have lost loved ones due to military service.
- Visit a military war monument. Explain to your children why the monuments are important and give them a brief history lesson associated with the monument.
- Proudly fly your flags and display other Americana.
- Wear red, white, and blue!
- Visit a VA hospital or veteran's home and deliver permissible goodies...homemade treats, hand-drawn cards and pictures, small flags, patriotic balloons. See if your family or a group can perform patriotic songs for the patients.
- Have an impromptu parade down your street with the neighborhood kids' trikes, bikes, wagons, and scooters decorated with small flags and red, white, and blue streamers. A child can even lead the parade while carrying an American flag.
- Read books to your children that feature patriotic messages or stories related to America and its diligence in the fight for freedom.
- At you Memorial Day cookouts, set aside a special time to pray for today's military personnel, families who are still mourning the loss of loved ones due to wars, and for our leaders to have wisdom as they make hard decisions in a difficult time. Allow for some of the children to read or recite patriotic poems or parts of famous speeches. Play patriotic music in the background.
- Watch patriotic movies, online videos (such as at YouTube), and special TV programs.
- Decorate your car with a patriotic theme...even get the washable paint and write messages of support and appreciation on your car windows. Not only is this fun, but its a HUGE blessing to all those military families who will see your vehicle.
- Journal about what freedom means to you and why you're grateful for the sacrifices made by our military. Even young children can dictate their thoughts to you to write down.
- Include a time in your worship service to recognize veterans and the sacrifices made by so many. Have a special time of prayer for our nation and its troops.
Here's hoping that these ideas will not only help your family to make this weekend more meaningful, but as a result,will minister to those who are serving bravely...and those who are bravely going on in life without the presence of a loved one...a loved one who paid the ultimate price.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Aaaahhh-h-hh...the joys of childhood. While Super Hubby, the older kids, and I worked worked liked crazy to clean out the mudroom upon discovering a plumbing leak, the 3 littlest ones enjoyed plenty of fun on this Memorial Weekend Saturday. The trio spent copious amounts of time in the sandbox...probably energized by the icecream sandwiches fed to them by their dear old dad. :)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
THANKS FOR MY MOM
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
And that's the news from Graceland....where we sure aren't perfect, but we sure are loved.
Monday, May 21, 2007
"What do you believe when you say, 'I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?' That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, and who still upholds and rules them by His eternal counsel and providence, is my God and Father. I trust Him so much that I do not doubt that He will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and will also turn to my good whatever adversity He sends me in this sad world. He is able to do this because He is almighty God and desires to do this because He is a faithful Father."
Heidelberg Catechism, # 26
Gracedagain is compiled by Tom Wood, Church Multiplication Ministries, a non-profit, whose mission is starting, strengthening, multiplying grace-centered churches through consults and coaching church planting pastors, leaders and emerging leaders. Sign up on the web:
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Latest from Maggi's husband---
May 18, 2007 at 11:59 AM CDT
Joshua 1.9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Maggi & I want to again thank everyone who has been praying and thinking about us during this journey. Please keep the prayers coming.
On Wednesday after Maggi's first surgery, it was determined that her lower legs (mid shin area down) were not able to be saved due to no blood flow occurring in this area. Because of the increased chance of developing new infections and additional complications, Maggi & I, God & our Doctors made the decision for a below the knee amputation of both of her legs.
On Thursday we successfully accomplished this difficult procedure and I am happy to say that today she is doing pretty well and we're hopeful that this is the first step towards recovery and eventually getting Maggi back home with her family.
Maggi & I discussed this difficult "direction" that God required for Maggi to take and although Maggi said she isn't always in agreement with God regarding the directions that he lays out for her, that it isn't her position to question his judegement and direction, and thus because this new direction was coming from God, that she was comfortable and willing to move forward with HIS plans.
When I left her in ICU this morning (they are moving her back to a "normal" Burn Center room this afternoon), she was experiencing a little bit of pain, but all of her main vitals were looking good.
Numerous blessings include:
- Her kidneys appear to be getting a lot better (she may not need anymore dialysis)
- Her mind is as sharp as a tack
- Her arms, and fingers are free of infection and getting stronger
- Her liver is looking fine
- She has no evidence of hearing or vision loss
- Her heart and lungs are strong (like they always have been during this journey)
- Her smile is more & more precious each new day I see her
- Her attitude is one of hope
- Her faith in God is a testament to me (and everyone who knows her)
Moving forward here are some "tentative" next steps, etc. we've been told:
- Once her health and strength improves (and clear of all infections) she'll be moved to a "rehab" floor (probably still at KU Hospital), where she will then start inpatient "rehab" (Doctor thinks in about 2-3 weeks as things continue to improve)
- Unknown is the length of stay she will have in "rehab" while at the hospital (knowing my wife I would bet in the 45-60 day range...)
- Once home, she will then continue "rehab" for a period of time
- Starting from yesterday's surgery, Doctor says approximately 4-6 months until she can be properly fitted for prosthetics (she is really looking forward to this)
So, our journey continues and everyone's comments, prayers and encouragments continue to provide Maggi & I strenth and "peace" during this time. Don't forget that hug today, or tomorrow, or the next day to that someone special of yours! ;)
Thursday, May 17, 2007
My teenager has dared me to post this video. It IS a Christian rock video...but oh so very strange. Though to be honest, after watching it a few times, you start laughing and might even find yourself slightly addicted to this screwball spoof of the 80's. OH MY!
This 40 something mom of 7 actually finds herself singing the chorus while cooking. SCARY.
I asked my daughter "If I post this, will I be the coolest mom you know?"
She answered, "no, but you'll be the funniest".
She also said that my 11 year old daughter B's best friend Candace would LOVE me because she L-O-V-E-S this video.
I really hesitated to post this. It is VERY wierd. These people are very peculiar. And to be honest, I figured I would offend about half the people who visit my blog.
My daughter, in all teenage wisdom said, "Mom, don't tell me you are still worried about what people think about you?!?"
So okay...I guess since I DO find this video to be funny in a very bizarre and slightly insane way, and my daughter REALLY wants me to post it, and I REALLY am a little to old to let what others might think keep me from posting something so goofy, I guess I'll go ahead and post this.
Can you tell I'm rather unsure about this decision?
Can you tell I'm still a big ole people pleaser and want EVERYONE to like me.
Can you tell that I a goober?
Yep, I am all of those things. But at least, for tonight, I'm also pretty "fun" in my daughter's eyes. And I guess that makes it all worth while....maybe?
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The Mary Engelbreit website offers free desktop backgrounds for pcs. I've just downloaded the special Mother's Day one featuring a mother, her baby, and the phrase "Count Your Blessings". Too cute!
Also available from ME are free screensavers, coloring pages to print off, recipes, e-cards, and craft ideas.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Another homeschool mom shared at the Five in a Row boards, that as a child, she had told her mom the ten things that she wanted to do when she grew up. Her mom kept the list all those growing up years and had it to read at the daughter's wedding. It was a sweet AND funny moment. Her story inspired me to record what my children at this point in their lives hope to achieve one day. It will be interesting to see which of these dreams will become a reality in the story God is writing with their lives.
13 Year Old A wants to:
- Be a writer, journalist, popstar...or Queen of the Universe!
- Live in Colorado.
- Get married and hopes its to someone she already knows.
- Travel around the world and definitely visit New Zealand
- Only have 2 children, twins, a boy and a girl.
- Make a forever best friend who will never betray her...she hopes to achieve THIS one this year.
- Grow to be 5'10'' tall.
- Live to see THE HOBBIT come out as a movie directed by Peter Jackson and also THE CHILDREN OF HURIN and THE LAY OF LUTHIEN AND BEREN.
- Act in 3 new STAR WARS movie. She wants her character to marry Jason Solo, Han and Leia's oldest son.
- Own a Corvette StingRay.
- Learn to speak Gaelic and Hebrew
(Yes, I know she didn't limit it to 10, but what's a mom to do?)
11 Year Old wants to:
- Get married.
- Own and run a boarding school.
- Live in England.
- Learn to roller skate backwards.
- Go New York Fashion Institute.
- Learn to double dutch.
- Travel to Scotland and take a photograph of the Loch Ness Monster proving its existence.
- Learn to speak Gaelic, Chinese, and French.
- Have 7 children, 3 boys and 4 girls (hmmm...that sounds familiar).
- Meet Corbin Bleu and Johnny Depp.
- Get closer to God.
- Change the world!
(I know, she didn't stick to 10 either, but since big sister got to have 11 items....)
Some days it just seems like everywhere I turn I'm surrounded by goodness. I'm not talking about anything that will be made into a Hallmark movie or featured on Oprah Winfrey...just everyday helpfulness and kindness.
Today was one of those days and these people were a part of it:
Cara and Alice at the R. Library. They not only checked our bajillion items out with a smile, but then took the time to chat about books and share a bit of their heart as they discussed ones that had been extra special in their lives.
The owner of the local consignment store. She let me take shoes out to try on my toddler so I didn't even have to get her out of her carseat. If only Wal-Mart could be so trusting!
The cashier at the Kroger grocery store. She was friendly, competent, helpful, and gave free balloons to all my children...even let me take one to a Mommy pal.
Homeschool mom Tina C. Her compliment about me looking pretty today made me feel pretty.
Internet friends. Sweet, thoughtful, and encouraging emails, posts, e-photos, comments, and other blog's postings that do so much to refresh my spirit and keep me connected to the lives of people all around the world.
Candace, one of my 11 year old daughter's best friends. She spent the afternoon with us and as always, was just such a joy to have around. She was a willing help with the wee ones and even pitched in when it came time to shuck the corn for supper.
My 7 older children. They all were so obedient today and did so much to help the household run smoothly...from changing diapers to setting the table plus SO many other things. They were a true blessing to this mom of many today.
My 2 youngest children. Though they made messes and definitely required more work than anyone else in the family, their sweet smiles and loving snuggles sprinkled precious goodness throughout my day.
GOD. Its through Him that all this goodness flows....and so many other truly good things...more than I can even begin to number.
There are days when its harder to see the goodness...when family members are diagnosed with cancer, a preborn baby is lost, a community is ravaged by a hurricane, a ministry relationship is painfully brought to an end. Some days its so easy to only see the bad and it feels like nothing good can ever again be.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. Psalm 23:6
ALL THE DAYS? That's what it says in God's Holy scriptures. Not some of the days, nor even MOST of the days, but ALL of the days. Even when I can't see it, even when I can't feel it, even when I don't BELIEVE it! God is still God and He's still good.
I praise God that when I'm in that dark place, the place so dark I can't see Him with my unbelieving, unfaithful eyes, HE is faithful and keeps pouring out His goodness til I can see the truth once again.
And I praise Him for these light-filled days. I praise Him for these days that are not stormy.
I praise Him for these days when the light of of goodness is so apparent and for at least a little while, can just bask in the goodness of Him...and that goodness that is reflected in the people around me...the people He created and made in His image.
As I was looking for a reference for the scripture I cited in the post above, I came across this lenten reading. It spoke to me and helped me sort through some of what I was feeling tonight. May you be blessed as well:http://www.moytura.com/lent/5thMonday.htm
Monday, May 14, 2007
Rarely is a day totally awful or completely great. There seems to always be this mixture, sometimes strangely so, of the good and the bad. And I don't think I'm the only one that can be weeping over something tragic and find myself 10 or 15 minutes later laughing (sometimes guiltily) about something absurdly comical. Today this was brought to mind...
To everything there is a season under Heaven. Ecclesiastes 3
A time to be born...the children are so excited about the four litters of kittens we have on our farm.
A time to plant... we've finished putting in our garden today.
A time to kill...all those troublesome weeds that spring up so quickly.
A time to weep...when I read a post by author Lisa Samson on the Five in a Row boards that 38% of the population in my beloved Swaziland has HIV.
A time to mourn...we've just learned that a dear relative is fighting cancer.
A time to embrace... I held my sweet toddler close today and revelled in how much I love her.
A time to build...my sons built a robot rabbit out of D's K'nex set
A time to laugh...Toddler M found my animal voices during read aloud at lunchtime to be very amusing.
A time to search...for the ladybug LG put on our largest tomato plant to eat the aphids.
A time to be silent...the phones are turned off and the older ones are working on lessons so the little ones AND Mommy can get get naps this afternoon.
A time to speak...in this case, through the internet, to my mommy pals scattered across the world---sending them emails and posts filled with news, encouragement, smiles, and affection.
A time to love...trying to be especially gentle with one child who had an emotionally rough weekend
A time to hate...hating the diseases that are ruining so many lives, stealing so many parents away from their children, destroying the innocence of the young.
A time for war...remembering our soldiers overseas and especially my FIAR friend Paige's husband Matt
A time for peace...praying that God will make His presence known to those living in darkness and turmoil; that His healing will come to broken bodies and broken hearts; that ALL would turn to Him and His amazing grace so they can experience the PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING.
I'm thanking my Father right now that He is with me during all the seasons of life.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
What a special weekend this has been for me. Yesterday was filled to overflowing with fun and was completed by a steak dinner cooked mostly by my darling husband in honor of Mother's Day.
This morning, 3 of the children started my day with breakfast in bed. B, D, and P served me sausage biscuits, strawberries, Krispy Kreme crullers, and milk all accompanied by a lovely bouquet of wildflowers. B gave me a beautiful, old fashioned card with a sleeping girl on the front along with 2 hand-written coupons. David gave me a fun Snoopy card.
At church, LG colored me a cute Mother's Day picture and the older kids gave me a beautiful pink rose compliments of our church. Also, a fellow homeschool mom and member of our cell group, Sarah Macoy, gave me a darling present. The sweet poem and packaging were just as wonderful as the gift itself...a nice tea candle in a very hip holder. I feel especially blessed that this mom of SIX took the time to do something so sweet for me and her other mom friends. What a woman!
At home afterwards, A and B fixed lunch with a little help from me. ;) Then it was time for that treasured tradition...Sunday afternoon naps!
After nap time, we headed back up to church for a special youth service in honor of the moms. Each teenager gave their mom a pretty little bag of Hershey's Kisses and we enjoyed a reception featuring cake, chips, nuts, and sherbet punch.
Upon arriving home, we watered the garden, D helped me cook the pizzas, I popped our weekly ration of PoPcOrN, and then while the munchkins were eating, I called MY mom to wish her a "Happy Mother's Day"! Super Hubby and I also talked for a while. He's such a good guy!
After our Sunday supper of pizza while watching a movie (this time, some vintage Little Rascals), P put on a Mother's Day puppet show for me featuring Yoda, Curious George, "Puppy", and other stuffed animal friends.
And once all the little ones were in bed, B and I watched a sappy, sad movie while A escaped the drama via the Internet. ;)
Earlier in the week, Five in a Row Friend (and fellow Bracelet Babe) Paige, had sent me a care package with a cute card and some nice bath stuff.
I sit here feeling totally blessed by all the expressions of love I've received...from my husband, children, extended family, friends, and church family. I pray that I will be worthy of their love and respect. I pray that every day I will be the kind of mother and friend they need me to be.
So to all of you who helped make this such a special occasion, thank you so very much.
And to all you other mothers out there....HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! May your children rise up and call you blessed.
THROUGH THE EYES OF T
T has a way of saying things that are uniquely T. I've come to think of them not as truisms, but as T'isms. Today he made me smile with this one:
"I wish I was a tiny baby kitten so everyone would pet me."
What a cutie he is....when he's not being high maintenance, that is! ;)
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Too often, we let busy schedules, pc time, videos, and computer games keep us from enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Not this Saturday! Today was filled with good, old fashioned, country fun. Our neighbor Lily and her friend Whitney came over and joined us for a day spent splashing in the creek, catching a toad, planting seeds, playing with kittens, jumping rope, climbing in the treehouse, riding the zipline, swinging and sliding on the swingset, riding bikes and scooters, hopping on the pogo stick, playing in a bucketful of water, laughing with each other, loving on each other, and just enjoying a slower pace of living.
Friday, May 11, 2007
No, I didn't win the sweepstakes. No one from HOME EXTREME MAKEOVER showed up to surprise me with a fancy, HUGE house designed for a family of nine. And the house didn't miraculously clean itself from top to bottom while I was gone today.
But it was STILL a Friday to be glad about. It was a day spent loving my husband and children, chatting with other homeschool parents at the park, eating yummy food (especially the homemade Asian stir fry!), checking out tons of great stuff at the library, finding some hip shoes at the consignment store way cheap (see pic), laughing with my kids' friends as I gave them a ride home, helping my husband teach our kids how to double dutch, and spending the evening sharing our hearts and home with our pastor and associate pastor (and his two wonderful boys).
So often in life, we only chronicle the BIG events...the awards won, the special ceremonies, the births, the deaths. But it really is all those ordinary days that fill up the calendar that make up the real stuff of living. Those simple things of life...watching a baby sleep, singing a silly song to a toddler, holding hands with a loved one, praying before a meal...might not merit a page in a scrapbook or be chronicled on videotape, but they all add up to a life truly blessed and full to overflowing with God's amazing grace.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
After viewing the unknown creature featured in the last blog posting, the kids did related homeschool lessons. The older kids drew pictures of the sea creature while writing about it...what is already known and what they THINK might be found out about the creature.
10 year old D believes that the animal is like an electric eel and he thinks that if it bites you it will kill you.
13 year old A thinks that the "rip" or "hole" was probably caused by a sharp rock. She does not think that its electrical. She thinks that it probably eats plankton/algae and has a long life span.
11 year old B speculates that it can stretch up to 15 or maybe 20 feet long. She thinks that its probably a docile, vegetarian because it did not look like it could move very fast. She surmises that it lives a long time and lays eggs. B says that she would name it "tangle serpent" because "having such a long body, it tangles itself up quite frequently".
5 year old LG's drawing of the serpent features the creature leaving his cave dwelling at the bottom lefthand corner. Above the long, dark serpent is its multitude of babies (the dark oblong objects). The round objects in the background are rocks. LG and her friend Laura Lee are on the deck of the boat while brother P and his friend Jacob are in the cabin.
This is P and some of his friends in a submarine floating above the firebreathing sea serpent.
The world is never boring when seen through the eyes of such creative childen! :)
If your kids ever complain that there is nothing new left to discover in this world, then show them this video. An underwater videographer for National Geographic and The Discovery Channel, Jay Garbose, has filmed a 7 to 10 feet long mystery creature that even Smithsonian scientists are unable to identify. Wonders never cease!
As for my kids, here are their varying reactions---
3 year old T: "It looks like throw up."
5 year old L: "It looks like a gummy worm or a sea monster. Its also like on DIEGO [DORA THE EXPLORER's cousin for those of you not in the kiddie show know]."
8 year old P: "Its gross and wierd. I want it as a pet. Can I have it as a pet, Mommy, please?"
10 year old D: "Maybe it looks like an eel of some sort."
13 year old A: "Eww, Eww, E-W-W-W-W! Its horrific! It makes me sick!!!"
Out of all the Graceland minors, 11 year old B was the most fascinated. While watching the video, she reacted with: "I wonder if it is like an eel and will electrocute or if it is poisonous? I wonder what it eats? I wonder what he [the man who discovered it] will name it and if he will capture it?"
For more details, follow this link http://www.wptv.com/mostpopular/story.aspx?content_id=bd9ec522-d66c-4732-ae92-17d925d27cd6 .
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water......
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
13 year old A's favorite things:
- The rock band HAWK NELSON
- Books (especially fantasy)
- PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
- LORD OF THE RINGS (movies and books)
- Spending time with church friends
- Weekends with Cousin Emily
- Chick-fil-A's lemonade
- The color BLACK (especially to wear)
- Christian rock concerts
- Praying and spending time with God
- Playing the guitar and piano
- Getting unexpected phone calls from special people
- Roadtrips, especially with friends
- Meeting famous people
- STAR WARS
- Computer time
- Clean Avril Lavigne songs
- The Jonas Brothers band
- The Pop/Rock band Relient K
- Recording artist Krystal Meyers
- Colorado and the mountains
- Singing and discovering people around me who can sing
- Driving FAST with the windows down and the music BLARING!
- Icecream (especially sherberts)
- Sonic Reeses Blast!!!
- Riding my horse
- Blueberry bagels
- Writing songs and stories
- Stuffed crust pizza
- HANGMAN'S CURSE
- When Seth plays "I will dance, I will sing"
- CHRONICLES OF NARNIA
11 year old B's favorite things:
- Writing stories
- Peter Pan
- Writing poems
- Annoying my sisters
- The color green
- Making Meezes
- Swimming at the creek
- Scouring the internet for "originality"
- Playing softball
- Nancy Rue's LILY and SOPHIE books
- Stealing boys' hats
- Beatrix Potter
- Lemony Snicket books and movie
- Watching acrobats
- Driving 4-wheelers
- Riding her bike without using her hands
- Watching people double-dutch
- PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
- ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING (the movie)
- Talking to Miss Robin
- Spiders and their webs
- Playing softball
- The Mellow Mushroom
- Chinese buffets
- Sonic strawberry lime-ade
- Cherry cobbler
- Going on trips
- The mountains
- Eclectic decorating
- Working on her blog
- Playing the piano
- Spelling bees
- Competition in EVERYTHING
- Keira Knightley
- Corbin Bleu
- JUMP IN
- The Keira Knightly PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
- Audrey Hepburn (and WAR AND PEACE starring her)
- NOT doing math!!!!!!!
- Roller skating
- Ice skating
- Sk8tr Boi by Avril Lavigne
- Jane Austen
- Learning new languages
- Spending time with Mallory, Candace, Caitlin, and Lily
- Watching ballets
- THE BORROWERS
- Art museums
- The Mississippi Natural Science Museum
- Exploring the woods around our home
- Picking blackberries
- Card games
- Decorating her dollhouse
- Looking at the stars
- "Being ME"
10 year old D's favorite things:
- Playing with his best friend Caleb
- Game Boy Advance SP
- Reading books
- STAR WARS
- Playing Star Wars with his brother P
- LORD OF THE RINGS (action figures, books, & movies)
- Recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman
- Mellow Mushroom pizza
- Playing the game of LIFE
- Sanibel Island
- Busch Gardens, Tampa
- Colorado Springs, CO
- The Jackson Zoo
- Playing with his cousins Christian, Hunter, & Cullen
- The color BLUE
- 2nd fave color is RED
- Going to homeschool group
- Sonic Drive In
- Hot Wheels Acceleracers
- Hot Wheels World Race
- Zoo Tycoon pc game
- Asteroids pc game
- Lego's Star Wars I & II Game Boy Advance
- Mario Brothers games
- OVER THE HEDGE
- THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (movie, books, and Game Boy)
- Cub scouts
- Ice cream (chocolate with M&M's)
- Ice cream sandwich "cake"
- Cookie cake
- Upward basketball
- King David in the Bible
- Pet goldfish---Anakin, Padme, and Obi Wan
8 year old P's favorite things:
- Brother D's Game Boy Advance
- STAR WARS
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Ice cream sandwich "cake"
- The color GREEN
- The color RED
- CASTING CROWNS (especially the song IF WE ARE THE BODY)
- Chinese buffets
- Playing with Jacob and Wyatt
- Visiting his Hattiesbrug cousins
- Hot Wheels Accleracers and World Race
- Hannah Montana
- THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK AND CODY
- Snacks at church
- LITTLE RASCALS
- Mighty Mouse
- Chocolate Sprite
- Playing in the sandbox
- Riding his bike
- Attacking Mason and Nathaniel
- GO, DIEGO, GO
- Golden Bellied Mangabey at the zoo (the "mooning" monkey)
- WONDER PETS
- Zoo Tycoon pc game
- Spy Kids
- Uno card game
- Riding the carousel at the zoo
- Go Fish
- ALEX RYDER, the movie
- Action figures
- Shopping at Target
- Underwater Aquaraiders
- Mazzio's Pizza
- Brother D's fish
- CALVIN AND HOBBES
- BABY BLUES
- Playing in the tree house
- The Ag Museum
- Tin Tin graphic novels
- The new CHARLOTTE'S WEB
- OVER THE HEDGE (he IS Hammie!)
5 year old L's favorite things:
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Zac Efron
- High School Musical
- Playing Queen and Princess
- Lip gloss
- Dress up pretend
- Playing with Desiree, Laura Lee, Grace, and Baby Selah
- Strawberry Shortcake shoes
- Hello Kitty house shoes
- Holly Hobbie
- WONDER PETS
- Doll "daughters"
- Peter Pan
- BLUE'S CLUES (especially Steve)
- Cheese Grits
- THE LAZY FLAMINGO restaurant (on Sanibel Island)
- The Shell Museum (also on Sanibel Island)
- Kids' Church
- Playing in the sandbox
- All C O L O R S except for GREEN
- Zoo Tycoon pc game
- Strawberry ice cream
- Going to the beach
- Busch Gardens in Tampa
3 year old T's favorite things:
- VeggieTale's Larry Boy
- Dora the Explorer
- BLUE'S CLUES
- The Mississippi Natural Science Museum
- Big Dog stuffed animal
- Flag blanket
- Boo the dog
- Sebastian the cat
- Mom and Dad
- His sister A
- Hannah Montana
- Sanibel Island
- Busch Gardens in Tampa
- The Bynums, Lewis, and Macoy families
- High School Musical (he wants to be Troy when he grows up)
- His stuffed Kee-Kat
- WONDER PETS
- Diego (Dora's cousin)
- Disney's CARS (and his CARS shoes)
- Playing rough (especially with A's guy friends)
- Ice Water
- Going on walks with Mommy and Daddy
- "Big Kiss, Little Kiss, Big Hug, Little Hug"
Toddler M the Hobbit's favorite things:
- Mommy and Daddy
- Her big brothers and sisters
- All natural Lays white cheddar Cheetos
- Dora the Explorer
- Blue's Clues
- Hannah Montana (especially her music and REALLY especially BEST OF BOTH WORLDS)
- Her pink cuddly bear
- Mac & Cheese
- PB&J sandwiches
- Tex Mex fried rice
- Playing outside
- Boo our dog
- Gummy vitamins
- Cereal bars
- Drawing on anything and everything!
- The "Happy Birthday" song
- Going on stroller rides
- Cheese rice
- The "buzzy bee" tickle game
- Lilly, our 11 year old next door neighbor
- Playing in the sandbox
- Running around the church
- Being cute
- Shoes ;) (what a girlie girl!)
Super Dad's favorite things:
- Teaching (especially things related to God)
- The Bible (NIV favorite edition)
- Reading a good book
- Learning new things
- THE HOBBIT
- Rock climbing
- THE COMPLEAT GENTLEMAN by Brad Milner
- Muppet movies (especially MUPPETS FROM SPACE!)
- REFLECTIONS FOR RAGAMUFFINS by Brennan Manning
- Pizza (preferably Domino's or Mellow Mushroom though there are fond memories of Shakey's Pizza for the growing up years)
- Rachael Ray's recipe for beer brats with sauerkraut and apples
- Lord of the Rings movies
- The film A Bridge Too Far
- Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- FINAL OPTION
- Fried catfish
- Fancy cheese (during the wintertime)
- Clint Eastwood westerns (especially the early ones like A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY)
- French fries
- Good salad with fried chicken or steak and chunky blue cheese dressing (during the summertime)
- The Passion
- Amazing Grace, the movie
- DOMINION by Randy Alcorn
- The film DEEP IMPACT
- Rock Bridge Canyon in Alabama
- A pretty stream to canoe and swim in
- The Grand Canyon
- THIS PRESENT DARKNESS and PIERCING THE DARKNESS by Frank Peretti
- Movies by M. Night Shaylaman (especially SIGNS and LADY IN THE WATER)
- HOW THE IRISH SAVED WESTERN CIVILIZATION, DESIRE OF THE EVERLASTING HILLS, and THE GIFTS OF THE JEWS by Thomas Cahill
- Richard Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell
- Secret Recipe MacLellan fruitcake
- Sightseeing in Washington, DC
- Hiking in the mountains (ANY mountains)
- Sanibel Island
- Dates with his wife
- A clean house
- Sonic Cherry Limeade
- Onion rings
- GOOD sweet tea
- The South
- Coming home after business trips
- PORK sausage
- hash browns
- Eggs Benedict
- Clive Cussler books except his early ones)
- The original STAR WARS trilogy
- The Ten Commandment movie starring Charlton Heston
- BLACK, RED, and WHITE (a trilogy) by Ted Dekker
- Scripture verse: "They said to Him, what shall we do, that we may work the works of God? Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." and "All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." John 6:28,29, and 37
To be continued....
Last night I had a date with my true love. No it wasn't our anniversary. It wasn't my birthday. It wasn't to celebrate anything in particular...just a chance to spend some time alone together...and that enough is reason to celebrate!
After fixing the offspring a super kid-friendly meal of mac & cheese, we were off to the Alltel store to upgrade to new phones---flip phones--- and a new plan! WHOO-HOO! As a surprise for our 2 oldest daughters we got a third line and now they have a phone to share and aren't, in their words, the "only kids who don't have a cellphone".
Then we went for supper at one of my favorite eateries, McAlister's Deli. As we munched on their HUGE chili nachos (his) and their new open face chicken cordon bleu sandwich (mine) we did the social "DON'T" of playing with our cellphones. Yep, these 2 middle aged fogies were having a kick figuring out ringtones, graphics, etc. Don't worry...it wasn't crowded and so we weren't TOO very rude. ;)
Afterwards, we just enjoyed doing a little shopping at Wal-Mart where we got a few chuckles over Mother's Day cards.
WARNING: Chris, if you're reading this, your Mother's Day cards were chosen with the most sentimental emotions imaginable...REALLY!
Okay...so here comes the really mushy part...even cellphone upgrading, figuring out new cellphones, and Wal-Marting is great when its shared with the one I love. And I do love my man!
Monday, May 07, 2007
"Many Christians believe that if you tell people that they are totally free and that God will forgive them no matter what, then they will feel free to sin and the Church will lose what little holiness it has. However the truth is that you love God because He first loved you. Once you understand just how much he loves you, your desire then is to please Him. Freedom produces obedience. Obedience never produces freedom." Steve Brown, Born Free
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Mary and her bestest forever friend Brenda.
Then later this afternoon, nearly 30 of us came together to love on Mary L., a dear homeschool friend who is expecting her first baby girl. What a time of sweet fellowship we had as we celebrated with her this upcoming event plus had fun chit-chatting and eating some yummy treats. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such a crowd of dear, dear women...and lovely daughters, too!
Now I'm home and its time for our weekly tradition of pizza and movies.
Hope your week is filled to overflowing with the reality of God's great love for you.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Well, I'm plum wore out...but its a good kind of tired that's a result of a fun, full life. Yesterday was the weekly homeschool group meeting at the park and, of course, the typical errands to run plus shopping for Mother's Day gifts for the grandmothers. I managed to score 3 out of 4 in that gift-buying game. Then I helped get Super Dad and the 2 oldest boys off for another weekend of cub scout camping. They are due home any minute now but I've heard via cell phone that they've been busy having a good time.
Since hubby and the boys were gone last night, after we big girls put the wee ones to bed, we watched THE QUEEN and ate PoPcOrN. It was an excellent movie and as we had been warned about one section, I kept my finger near the mute button. Other than that it was clean and not only highly interesting, but taught all three of us a great deal.
Today A had a church outing at some one's fish pond. The teens and adults fished, goofed off, and had a hamburger cookout. Poor A was the ONLY one not to catch a fish!
While the big boys were doing the camping thing and A was off with the youth group, I took the rest of the kids for a bday party at the zoo. One of our homeschool friend's little girl is turning 3 so we all celebrated the day with her as we roamed the zoo, played on the playground, ate cake, opened presents, and rode the train around the park.
Then it was off to buy the one last gift as we waited to pick up A. She's been craving muffalettas so we stopped by the IGA on the way home to pick up some missing ingredients then it was an early supper. Though we were already very tired, B really wanted to get our garden started so we got out there after supper and put in the seedligs we had bought at Wal-Mart yesterday. We planted 2 types of tomatoes (a regular kind and some grape ones), zucchini squash, yellow squash, and Japanese eggplants. Once the ground dries up just a wee bit, we'll plan some seeds.
We gave the 3 little, sweaty, dirty kidlets a big bubble bath then put them to bed before 7:00! I love it when they still can't tell time! LOL!
Then I shooed off my big girls to watch a movie so I could get cleaned up, change into comfy pjs, veg at the pc for a while, and I'll soon crawl into bed with the two books I'm reading right now, THE AMAZING MAURICE AND HIS EDUCATED RODENTS by Terry Pratchett (a pre-read for 11 year old B) and the latest NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY book by Alexander McCall Smith, THE GOOD HUSBAND OF ZEBRA DRIVE.
Tomorrow we'll have church and we're teaching children's church plus I'm helping give a baby shower for a dear friend. Mary is the mother of 4 boys and is now expecting her first baby girl.
So, I'd best be getting this weary old self off the pc. I need to rest up for the living that's still to come! Night!!!
Baby M peers at the giraffes as the bday girl gets a lift from her grandmother.
Baby M, Bday Girl C, and C's "little" brother G fascinated by the flamingo. It sure doesn't look like OUR duck!
5 year old L intently watches the flamingo as it proudly strolls past.