August 29, 2010

The Bible Bee!

Finally, the last post in this series! If I don't type it now, it may never happen! And as an aside, if you'd like to see pictures of our day, you can go here. the close of the last post, we were on Cedarville University's beautiful campus. The opening assembly began with a couple of worship songs to focus our hearts and minds on Christ. Then the kids were separated according to age group. The primary kids were seated in order, and the roll was called. Then, two by two, they were taken to the oral examination rooms. Ted went with Tobin, who was called first. I decided to stay and try to go with Charis, given my fears that she would dissolve into tears if she made mistakes during her turn. Praise the Lord, she and Arden were called together! So I was able to walk over with both of them and even got to see both of them do their oral rounds.

Charis was first. Arden waited in the hall, and Ted and the little ones joined him. (Tobin was taken to the Family Fun area after he finished--they were not to come in contact with other contestants prior to everyone finishing.) Charis did very well during her round. She stumbled a little on the third verse, which was an easy verse, and I was concerned that it would throw her, but she pressed on. We weren't allowed to have anything with us in the room, so I had to go by what I knew myself in trying to figure out whether she had missed any words, as the judges were not revealing any information. I did catch that she quoted John 8:56-58 when she was given Luke 1:17 and winced as I sat behind her, wishing she would catch the mistake herself. She didn't until she was given John 8:56-58 as the very next passage! At least she quoted it perfectly both times! She did pass on a couple, and she inserted an additional phrase in Ephesians 4:32, which again made me wince, but overall, she did very well from what I could tell, and she seemed pleased with herself, too.

Arden was next, and it just blessed my socks off to listen to my 6-year-old quoting so many passages of Scripture! There were some longer passages that he was given, but he honestly told them, "I know Ephesians 4:1-3, but not Ephesians 4:1-6!" and "I know Philippians 2:1-7, but not Philippians 2:1-11!" However, when he had gone through all the passages (Timothy track contestants didn't even have 30 passages total, so there were some repeats) and there was time left, they had him quote what he knew at least. I was so proud of him!

Ted said Tobin had done very well on the verses he actually quoted--if he had any hesitations about the passage, he immediately said "PASS!!" That kid better do the National Track next year! He is one sharp cookie!

So then we were in the field house (family fun area) with games and bounce houses set up for awhile. Then the kids were taken to their written testing areas, and Ted and I hung out with Kenna and Lucan, who ran around in glee at such a large area to explore. We enjoyed some grown-up talk time, which was a pleasant bonus. Unfortunately, the written test time went loooooong. I guess they had to wait for a room to clear out that was being used for one of the older groups. Anyway, the written test was one hour start to finish. When they FINALLY got back to the family fun area, we herded everyone to the university cafeteria (which is MUCH nicer than it was when I was a student there, LOL) for a madhouse lunch.

Then it was back to the recital hall where we began the day for the final rounds. Thankfully they began with the primary group! Lucan was getting VERY sleepy by this point but was in no way ready to try to nap, so he was in full wiggle-mode, trying to keep himself awake. We were back and forth with him from our seats to the back of the room, taking turns holding him and trying to keep him quiet.

Anyway, they called up all of the Primary National Track contestants on stage. Then they started with 5th place, calling out the names of those who had scored the highest number of points. When Charis wasn't called for 5th place, I honestly thought she was done. Ted and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and figured, hey, we're proud of her no matter what! The names kept coming, and Charis cheered on her fellow competitors. When the last seat, first place, was the only empty one left, the spokesman said, "Now our first place winner is a real sweetheart." My heart jumped! He had told me, when I picked Charis up after the written test, that our daughter was a real "sweetheart." Could it be? Could our sweet little Charis be the one? Sure enough! "Charis Jacobson," he announced, and my gasp must have been audible enough to hear all over the auditorium! I burst into tears, and Charis laughed with joy on stage.

Everyone else cleared the stage, and it was time for the "Verse off." (I don't know what the official name is for it, but that's the only name I can think to call it!) Charis went first and said her verse perfectly, as did several others. But the 5th place chair on the other side of the stage was filled when the first contestant made a mistake. Several rounds later, Charis and a boy named Kyle were the only ones left. Back and forth they went--either they would both quote their passages perfectly, or they would both make a mistake in the same round, so it went on for a few rounds. Finally Charis quoted Matthew 15:1-9, only missing ONE word in all 9 verses. However, perfection is the goal for this final round, so she took a seat in the 2nd place chair again.

Kyle's passage was Deuteronomy 10:17-22. He immediately burst into song, singing the version that came with the original Bible Bee CD. He was adorable and did a good job, apparently not missing any words, because all of a sudden everyone was cheering for the winner. Charis was enthusiastically clapping as well.

But I have to confess. I was at the back of the room, holding a squirmy Lucan, and all I could think of was...didn't the rules say that the kids weren't allowed to sing the verses?! We had just gone through the FAQs from the web site the night before, and that had stuck in my brain. I quietly asked one of the area hosts about that rule, and she went on stage to check. The coordinator told me that they had talked to the primary students in the morning and told them that for this local contest, it was all right if they burst into song. When I heard that, I said that was fine, and really, singing a passage would not have helped Charis, as she preferred to learn her verses without the song accompanying it. Who was I to steal someone else's joy? Kyle did a fantastic job, and Charis admittedly had had to pass a number of times on passages she had been given. I felt the ruling was fair, and as the announcement had been clear, there was to be no questioning the judges' decisions.

So we rejoiced with Charis--her standing as far as the National Bible Bee went was still first place, based on the scores from the day, and she got a 2nd place trophy for the local competition to boot. All that after a night of trauma thinking she wouldn't remember anything! Our hearts were full of joy.

Moments later, when the Timothy track awards were being called out, we heard Arden's name for 3rd place! And then Tobin's name for 2nd place! Lo and behold, both our boys were standing on stage holding trophies themselves! My cup was running over! Joy flooded over me, a pure, sweet gift from the Lord. HIS grace was sufficient for our family. HIS strength was perfect. HIS blessing was on us and ALL who participated, for we treasure His Word, and it will NOT return void. HE overcame our weaknesses, our failings, our shortcomings, our "if onlys."

I was absolutely overcome with praise and thanksgiving--not that my kids were all holding trophies, though there is a parent's pride and joy in that. No, it was so much deeper than that! I can hardly now even find words to express how thankful I am that GOD made it so clear that HE is the one who is carrying on this work in the hearts of my children...and in my heart and my husband's heart. It wasn't MOM. It wasn't DAD. It wasn't a perfect plan, a perfect schedule, a perfect bonfire time. It was GOD, and God alone. His Holy Spirit has been at work in our family this summer, and the fruit will be borne for years to come. All praise and glory to His name!

The excitement of the day didn't end there. Though we chose to leave early due to frantic little ones who were rapidly approaching the manic stage, we left with singing hearts full of thanksgiving. Cell phones were whipped out, and the children got to share the good news with grandmas living in other states. Little did we know we would have to call them back!

Shortly after we got home, we received a phone call from one of the judges. Apparently there was much discussion amongst the judges after all was said and done. The bottom line was, Kyle had sung his song, and the rules had stated there was to be no singing. Furthermore, their hearts all sank when they had to tell Charis that she was not fully correct--only missing one word--on her loooong Scripture passage, which was the longest anyone had been given in the primary track! So they agreed that they would award dual first-place winners! The kind judge who spoke with me was one who had graded Charis on her preliminaries as well as had been part of the judging panel at the end. She came by our house today to give Charis the first place trophy AND the monetary difference between the 2nd place and 1st place positions.

(Yes--all the kids received money as part of their award packets! We had no idea! God is so incredibly good. What makes my heart sing even more is seeing how excited they are at being able to use the tithe from their winnings to sponsor a verse of Scripture to be translated into a language that needs God's Word!)

So, that's the story of our day at the Bible Bee! We will wait a few days for the posting of the scores, and by September 1 we should know whether Charis scored high enough to attend the National Competition in November. We'll keep you posted!

In the meantime, I hope and pray that reading about our experience may encourage you and your family to participate in the Bible Bee next year. We've already decided we're signing up--whether or not we compete! The study materials are just too rich of a resource NOT to use. We know we'll be moving with the military again next summer, so we're not sure if we can manage everything, but you can bet the Bible Bee will be a summer staple for our family for years to come. Hiding God's Word in our hearts--the best trophy of all!

Preparing for the Bible Bee

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

In my previous post, I explained how the Bible Bee is set up. In this post I will detail our adventures leading up to the event itself. If you are not familiar with the Bible Bee, I encourage you to check out their web site or read my previous post first so this will make more sense!

Our Bible Bee summer began with great intentions, a good schedule, and much excitement. I planned to memorize every verse card right along with the kids--let me say now that did NOT happen! But the first few weeks of summer, we were clipping along merrily. Charis needed to learn 20-21 verses every week in order to stay on track to learn all 250, and she and the boys (who needed to learn about 9 a week) were doing well keeping up. We reviewed frequently, were faithful in our daily quiet times, and felt we were on track.

Then we went to Wisconsin to visit my parents for a week.

A few weeks later, when we were finally catching up, Charis and Tobin left for camp for a week.

After that, it was kind of a free-for-all in some ways. We continued doing the quiet times, but as I got busy with life, Tobin ended up doing a lot of quiet times on his own while I herded Arden along. I neglected to practice verse cards with the kids the way we used to, and more days than not they heard me lament, "You REALLY need to be learning verses!" or "Please get your verse cards and study for a little while!" Charis's shoulders would slump, because she knew how far behind she had gotten, and she would get the "bad-attitude" look on her face that I dreaded. Meanwhile, the boys would merrily go on their way, not seeming at all fazed by the number of verse cards they hadn't even touched yet.

It could have gotten dreadfully discouraging. But then, without fail, I would get an upbeat email from the local Bible Bee headquarters, encouraging us to not become weary in doing good. We WOULD reap a harvest if we would not give up! The folks at the Bible Bee headquarters kept their mission in mind and helped us remember as well--it was NOT about the contest! We were studying the Word of God so we could LEARN it, SPEAK it, and LIVE it! So what if we weren't doing Greek word studies as a family?! Who cared if there were questions left unanswered in our notebooks?! So we didn't have every verse card memorized. Was that reason to slump our shoulders and throw up our hands in despair? NO!

So went the roller coaster of emotions throughout the summer.

YES! We're excited! We can do this! This is incredible and is bringing our family together!

NO! We're behind! We'll never catch up! We might as well quit now! And our boys will NEVER sit quietly through a Family Bonfire time!

YES! New verses learned! Spiritually sensitive questions and discussion! We're making progress!

NO! No one has done their quiet time today, and we've forgotten all the verses we learned yesterday!

You get the idea. As a type A, homeschooling mom, I had a mental picture of how our Bible Bee summer would "look," and the reality was not matching that picture! I struggled with guilt off and on, one moment realizing that there was only so much I could do and knowing that my kids had to take responsibility for learning at some point, and the next moment thinking that if I ONLY were doing X, Y, or Z, we would be SO much better off. If ONLY we were taking time to do practice oral rounds with the kids. If ONLY we could get our act together and do the Greek word studies as a family. If ONLY we had read the rules for the contest at the beginning of the summer instead of halfway through. If only...if only...if only.

Guilt is so overrated.

In a nutshell, our summer efforts went something like this: We did GREAT weeks 1, 2, and 3. We played catch-up weeks 4, 5, and 6. And we simply did the very best we could, working around life and little ones, weeks 7-12.

And so we came to Friday evening, August 27, our last Family Bonfire before the Bible Bee itself. We thought it would be fun to do a practice oral round after reviewing the rules with the kids so they could have a chance to get a feel for what
the next day would bring. The boys had fun and enjoyed the experience. Charis...burst into tears, began sobbing uncontrollably, and couldn't breathe for about a half hour afterward, proclaiming that she was NEVER going to remember her verses.

Mommy guilt was at an all-time high. I had known from the beginning of the summer that, being just like her mom, Charis had set her sights on going all the way to Nationals. There was just no way she was going to be able to compete with all the "stuff" we didn't do. If only I had pushed her just a little more! If only I had reminded her of her goals and had taken the time to work with her just a few minutes every day, or even a half hour once a week!

We sent the boys to bed for a blissful night of sleep (yeah, right--they were awake past the time Ted and I went to bed). I made some hot tea for Charis and myself, and we went through her verse cards with a highlighter, checking to see that she knew the first few words to get her on her way, then marking words that were troublesome for her. Towards the end of the stack there were more and more cards that she miserably confessed she just didn't know. We decided she would just have to say "pass" on those and do the best she could on the rest. We prayed together (again) and tucked her in bed, only slightly more confident than she had been during our practice oral round.

The next morning we ate a good breakfast together as a family, laughing at the silly antics of Kenna and Lucan. Spirits were high as we drove to Cedarville University and talked again about how we were proud of ALL the kids for all the hard work they had done. With final reminders about how we only wanted to see the kids do their best and not worry about anything else, we pulled into the parking lot, loaded up our gear for the little ones (stroller, back pack, diaper bag), and made our way to the registration tables.

The time of preparation was over--the Bible Bee was beginning!

The Bible Bee Explained

Before I launch into a detailed description of our time at the Bible Bee yesterday, I thought I'd take a few moments to explain just what IS the Bible Bee and how we came to be involved with this opportunity. The official web site is here, and I encourage you to check it out and plan to join us next year!

Here is the mission statement as given on the web site:
"The mission of The Shelby Kennedy Foundation is to help families strengthen their personal relationship with the Lord and dynamically impact the world as ambassadors for Jesus Christ. The National Bible Bee seeks to encourage parents as they disciple their children through in-depth study of the Word of God, Scripture memorization, and prayer."

We learned about the program initially through the ads in WORLD magazine (which I also encourage you to check out--news from a Christian perspective! Love it!). I was intrigued and wanted to know more about it, so when I saw a booth at the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention, I made sure we stopped by. After hearing more about the Bible Bee, Ted and I were very excited about making it a part of our family plan for the summer.

We registered in May and eagerly looked forward to receiving our materials in June, at which time we would learn which book of the Bible we would be studying. When the box arrived, it nearly rivaled our Sonlight Box Days! It contained, for each participating child, the following:

* A Bible in the version of our choice (NIV, but families could choose from five)
* A "Sword Study" notebook, with 12 weeks of study materials (5 days each week)
* A Bible Bee t-shirt and pin, and
* A box of verse cards.

Also included were:

* Two parent study notebooks
* A Sword Drill game for the computer, and
* The official rulebook.

From the web site:
"Bible Bee 'Sword Study' materials draw a family into God’s Word together through age appropriate studies and Parent Guidebooks that encourage sharing and praying as a family each week. Every contestant has an inductive study guide which takes him or her through a stimulating daily investigation of the Word. The Parent Guidebook provides activities, discussion questions, and other thought-provoking suggestions for Scripture-based family interactions. The format for a weekly "Family Bonfire" of the passages covered helps the parent(s) lead a lively and interesting conversation around God’s Word."

We had 12 weeks to study the book of COLOSSIANS, using the study materials provided. The daily studies included overview readings of the whole book, writing a verse or two each day, word studies, cross references, application questions, and ACTS prayer times, which taught and guided the kids through their own prayer time using the acrostic that stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. There was a memory verse checklist, a prayer journal, and plenty of notes pages. To say it was thorough would be a complete understatement! The materials were incredible! I'll take the time here to confess that I did modify the materials for the boys, since I usually worked with them while Charis chose to have her own study time alone. We skipped a lot of the activities that I felt they just were not going to sit through. Mostly, I had them write the passage for the day, answer the application questions, and do the ACTS prayer time. Then, I also helped with some of the in-depth activities, like cross referencing and "interrogating" each verse, but we did these things orally rather than taking notes.

Knowing how busy parents are, the writers gave us guides that provided a very quick overview of what our kids would be learning that day. Usually the studies for us were no more than two pages--one page with the daily/weekly passage written out for us (how much easier can it get?!), a place to write the verse(s) our kids would be writing that day, questions that mirrored the questions they would be asked, and then one page for a focused time of prayer journaling. I have to confess that I did not complete my whole study, but I did try to keep up with it most of the summer. The days I did do the study, I was also doing my regular quiet time materials, so I appreciated that the Bible Bee studies were easy enough (I thought) to incorporate into my day. Unfortunately, Ted didn't really do any of his--which is understandable, since he does leave for work super early!

A special part of our learning process was our weekly "Bonfire Time." The quick guides in the parent study notebook allowed us an easy time of getting everyone together to talk about the passage we had studied in-depth over the previous week. This allowed Ted to keep up with what we were discussing and made for some wonderful times of bonding. We always closed in prayer, going in a circle and praying a part of the ACTS prayer one at a time. Then we enjoyed microwave s'mores (since it was, after all, a "bonfire" time!). (You can put a large marshmallow on top of a graham cracker and zap for 10 seconds, and it will be perfectly gooey! We used chocolate frosting to smear on the other cracker, and presto, you have a s'more!)

Last, but not least, was the Scripture memorization portion. From the web site:
"The Bible Bee format is similar to a spelling bee, in that contestants are rewarded for their knowledge and memorization skills. However, in a spelling bee, contestants learn words without substance; the Bible Bee contestants learn the living, eternal Word of God! Jesus promises His followers the Holy Spirit, Who will, “…remind you of everything I have said to you.” This implies that we are intimately familiar with what He has said (all of Scripture!). The Bible Bee Competition is designed to recognize diligence in Scripture memorization at all levels, in warm, old-fashioned, family reunion-style gatherings. Your Local Bee Host will provide a Kickoff gathering in June, and one meeting per month in June, July and August as an opportunity for all of your families to review, trial quiz, and play memory games together."

I should note here that while we did attend the kickoff in June, we did not attend any other gatherings, sadly. We probably should have been more on top of things to check the online calendar, but we didn't. However, it would have been a good opportunity for the kids to keep in touch with others who were working hard throughout the summer as well.

There are 3 different age groups:
* Primary, ages 7 - 10
* Junior, ages 11 - 14
* Senior, ages 15 - 18

Additionally, you could choose to have children participate in various ways:
* National Track contestants would be eligible to compete on the national level, depending on their scores the day of the Bee.
* Timothy Track contestants would only participate in local events.
* Supporting Siblings got to wear a t-shirt. :-) (Presumably they were participating in family activities at home, but they did not compete in the Bee.)

While we initially signed Charis and Tobin up for the National Track, Tobin ended up switching part way through the summer and did the Timothy Track with Arden. Here are the differences in what they were expected to learn:

* They ALL did the same Sword Study and were expected to have a good, working knowledge of the book of Colossians.
* Charis had to learn 250 Bible verses; the boys had to learn 100.
* For the written test portion of the day, Charis's test had 200 questions; the boys' test had 100.

So, the Bible Bee event itself had three main parts:
1. The preliminary oral round, during which contestants would individually go before two judges (family members were allowed to watch, sitting behind the contestants) and say up to 30 passages of Scripture in 10 minutes. Each contestant would have the same passages in the same order, but obviously we had no idea going into it which passages would be picked. Contestants could earn up to 10 points per passage, with a point lost for EACH word that was incorrect, added, switched, etc.

2. The written test, which lasted one hour and covered material from the Sword Study (75%) as well as questions about the memory passages (25%). It was multiple choice, done on a scan-tron form.

3. The final oral round. The top 5 scores resulted in those contestants having the opportunity to compete on stage for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies. This round was similar to a spelling bee--when someone did not quote the passage correctly, he/she was eliminated.

I'm trying to resist the urge to add lots more commentary--I'll save that for a separate post. Hopefully this gives you a good idea of what all this has entailed!

August 17, 2010

10 on Tuesday

I really need to sit and do some focused blog entries soon, but there are a lot of little things, so here we are again with another 10 on Tuesday...

1. The kids had their eye exams this morning after a year and a half. Charis is now sporting a trial pair of contacts (my baby's growing up!), and Arden has a pair of reading glasses on order. Tobin is getting new frames and lenses that will hopefully hold up. Both he and Charis are supposed to take their glasses/lenses OFF for up-close reading and activities, while Arden is supposed to wear his for the same purpose in order to try to prevent him from needing regular glasses in the near future. Despite desperate pleas otherwise, Kenna is NOT getting glasses. (Nor did she have her eyes examined, I might add!)

2. We've always used whole-wheat pasta for our cooking at home, with the exception of boxed mac-n-cheese for quick lunches now and then. Recently, however, I've become convinced (convicted?) that we need to be more proactive in making sure we are keeping processed foods OUT of our bodies, or at least to an extreme minimum. So, today we had homemade mac-n-cheese, which the kids like just as much if not better. (I ate some myself, and that would NOT have happened if we had made it from a box. Ick.)

3. The problem with #2 is that I have not yet located whole wheat elbow macaroni. I know it's out there--I used to buy it at Walmart in Las Vegas, for cryin' out loud. But the commissary and Walmart here neither one carry it. I'll have to check Kroger's and possibly Trader Joe's, which is quite a haul from our house, but one I will be making regularly in the future.

4. Lucan is now saying...syllables. We're eagerly waiting for him to become more verbal, but so far his word repertoire consists of "Hi!" (with MUCH inflection, as if a grown-up is talking baby talk, which is probably why he says it that way--everyone around him says "Hi-iii" when they see him!), "ya" (yeah), "bubba," "ma," "na/da" or something like that for no. The accompanying shove with his "no" syllable does wonders for interpretation.

5. Ted had an exciting weekend--he attended a Project 86 concert Friday night and took Arden to a Broncos game in Cincinnati Sunday night. Arden was thrilled to go! Tobin was thrilled to stay home and finally watch the first Spiderman movie, LOL. Charis thought the movie was "OK." :-)

6. School is beginning to start up around here. Our city schools start a week from today. Frankly, I'll be glad when everyone else's kids go to school, LOL! Our boys are hardly home these days! But seriously, I can understand why many moms can't WAIT to send their kids to school. Two and a half months without a routine definitely tends to make the kids go crazy. Though I had great intentions for keeping us on a summer-school type of schedule, doing math, Bible bee activities, reading, etc., we've been flying by the seat of our pants the last few weeks, and it's showing!

7. Due to #6, a MOTH schedule is coming soon to a refrigerator near us. (Managers of Their Homes,for the uninitiated.)

8. I can't remember if I already posted this...Ted and I have signed up to run a 5K in September to support some missionaries from our church. My time should be GREAT if, like this morning, I get the urge to use the restroom 1/2 mile into the run.

9. It's less than 2 weeks until the local Bible Bee competition. We're way behind, but we're pressing on.

10. I have a new planner! My brain is happy. :-)

August 14, 2010

More Cuteness

Kenna just seems to be saying so many cute things these days! This morning, while politely asking for a second helping of cereal, she explained, "I need to put lots of food in my tummy so I can grow up!"

August 13, 2010

Happiness is...

Kenna helped me make cookies this morning. As I was scooping dough onto the trays, she happily stood on the stool beside me licking her beater. She looked up at me with dabs of dough on her nose and cheeks and proclaimed, "God is happy that you're making cookies!"

The way I see it, she's right! I was spending precious time with a three-year-old who is growing up all too fast, doing something that brought joy to her little heart. My heart was full of delight in my role as a wife, mother, and homemaker (that's not always the case, I confess...), and at that moment, I know God was smiling on the scene in my kitchen.

How can YOU make God happy today?!

August 12, 2010

Kid Funnies

Have to type these out before I forget...

I was tucking Tobin in bed a few nights ago, and he was squeezing me like crazy. He said, "I could hug you forever. I could hug you and Dad forever. And eat bacon." Guess all that hugging WOULD make you kind of hungry!


Kenna went digging in the basement and found a bag of 4T clothes that Charis used to wear. Most of it looks like winter clothing, but there was also a swimsuit (that I remember absolutely SAGGING on our skinny little Charis). Kenna was delighted--the suit she has now is actually a bit small, and she has a permanent wedgie every time she wears it. So we were both happy to see a better suited (ha!) option. In a burst of sweet generosity, Kenna told me, "Lucan can have my old one!" Um, yeah. Nice thought, but I think we'll buy him swim trunks when he needs them...

August 10, 2010

10 on Tuesday

1. Arden probably will have his two front teeth by Christmas, but at the rate he's going, the Tooth Fairy will be too broke to do much more than stuff his stocking!

2. We have a wean-er! Lucan seems to be officially finished nursing. He was my longest nurser, going 16 months (8 months on one side only, though, LOL). The last few times we tried, he either A) covered me back up (!!!hope that lasts past the teen years, ha!!!) or B) pushed me away or C) bit me. So. We're done.

3. We had a tent up in our backyard over the weekend. The weather turned nice for a change--about 20 degrees cooler with far less humidity. Charis and Tobin slept in the tent Friday night. Arden was sick with a fever that day so didn't join them. All went well, and we are looking forward to a "real" camping trip someday!

4. It's raining. Pretty hard. Wonder if it will result in some cooler weather?!

5. Tomorrow the older kids are supposed to go to the water beach park. Wonder if the rain will stop before then?!

6. Today was Room Cleaning Day. For the moment, anyway, all three of the kids' bedrooms are spic-n-span. We even dusted dresser tops that had been covered with stuff for...a very long time.

7. I need a new planner. Mine ends after August. I suppose I need to get to an office store and start September calendar is already filling up, and I'm running out of places to make notes about activities.

8. Holy cow. Is it really almost September?!

9. Our Sonlight order is on its way after a bit of a detour. Somehow they sent it to our Ohio street address in Las Vegas. The poor FedEx man was very confused when he called our Ohio phone number to locate an address in Las Vegas that didn't exist. I have no idea how this happened, since I obviously had to verify all the information when I placed the order, plus input billing information! Good thing we weren't planning to start school this week!

10. I made a very yummy side dish a couple of nights ago: Baked Pumpkin. It was like dessert! For my non-Facebook friends, here is the recipe.

1 baked pumpkin (I cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp, and bake at 375 degrees, face down on a cookie sheet. Add some water to the tray and cover the pumpkin with foil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or so.)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar--in original recipe. I used 1/2 cup of organic sugar and about 1/4 cup of honey.

Mix together and bake in a casserole dish for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

August 09, 2010

Update on the Hair

So, my neighbor Sidra brought over her supplies and gave Kenna a pixie-style haircut to disguise the damage she did to her own hair. To see the before and after pictures, go here! It looks very cute, but it will take some getting used to!

August 07, 2010

Hair Trauma

Tonight is haircut night at our house: the boys are all getting buzzed. Tobin begged us to let him get a mohawk, and I finally said, "Hey, why not? Try it, and if we don't like it, we can shave it off." Ted figured it's Tobin's hair, so why not?

Ten minutes later, Tobin comes in the house, proudly sporting his new 'do. Unfortunately, after a look in the mirror, he decided he did NOT want a mohawk after all. And he would NOT let us take a picture of it! He got very angry and defensive when we tried! So, back outside he went to get his head buzzed. He's nearly bald now! But at least he's happy that he has been de-mohawked!

Meanwhile, during all of this drama, Kenna was helping herself to the barber kit. And yes, we now, for the first time, have a story to tell of one of our children cutting her own hair. Sigh. It's not flattering. No pictures will be posted at this time!

Ted was determined to get a picture of one of his offspring with a mohawk, so he gave one to an unsuspecting Lucan, took a picture, and then shaved his head to match Tobin's. So, here's a shot!