Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Not a Date Valentine's Day Dinner Extravaganza"

I guess at some point, teenagers outgrow making cute boxes and exchanging cheap Valentines. They then move on to bigger and better things. That would be the case with the Valentine event Haley and Bekah attended at our church. I enjoyed being able to help other moms prepare their meal; chips and salsa, chicken, potatoes, mixed vegetables, and fruit salad. As always, there were plenty of sweets: jelly beans, mini cheesecakes, petit fours, cookies, and heart shaped lollipops. As they arrived dressed in their best, the young gentlemen seated and waited on the beautiful young ladies. Following dinner, they were encouraged by our youth pastor Rene and his wife Julie to remain pure for their future mate. The night candidly ended with a good hour of karaoke. Bekah is pictured with her friends Cassidy, Amanda, and Lydia. Haley is pictured with Sarah, Katie, Sophie, and Hannah.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hunter's 10th Birthday

If it's not one thing at the time of Hunter's birthday, it's another. Last year we planned a party at Gattiland only to have several friends that couldn't come because it snowed that night. The friends that did come took 3+ hours to get home. This year we were so excited to see that it was going to be warm the week of his birthday, much like the day he was born. (It was 73 degrees that day in Nashville and snowed the next). His party was a wash as you can read in the previous post, but we thought we'd make some frosted cookies to take to his friends at choir, the ones he was wanting to come to his party earlier. So tonight we get to church and shortly after the power went out there. Men were outside grabbing pieces of siding as they flew off the side of the church. Needless to say, we were going home. A couple of staff kids were there and took a cookie. Mrs. Carolyn sang happy birthday to him. We thought we'd be doing cake, ice cream, and presents to candle light, but the power came back on while we were coming home. He has enjoyed his Legos and Nerf gun. Next year? Well, going to Disney like we did two years ago sounds like a great option.

Growing Up

I guess no matter how old you are, it's always fun for someone to receive a special gift. However, when it comes to kids birthday parties, things begin to get out of hand. You know how it goes, you forget about the party until the last minute, then run to a discount store to buy a junky toy that ends up at Goodwill next month or a gift card that gets dwindled on chewing gum and candy. As Hunter neared his 10th birthday, he began to see things a little different. Roger and Lisa have been special friends of our family since we came to 9th and O. They came about the same time we did. Lisa was involved in the summer children's programs and they both were involved in AWANA. Roger was one of Hunter's leaders and had a special impact on him. Hunter meshed the thoughts of his birthday with all the things he already has (and things I DON'T want to move). He then decided to ask for money from his friends that came to his party and give that money to support Roger and Lisa as they leave for the mission field. We had to work quick however. Their last day at 9th and O was February 8, 3 days before his birthday. Tim had battle assembly and there was just no time for a party. Power was still out and altered church services, so he wasn't able to invite all the friends he wanted. He did have a few come over one afternoon and have an awesome time just "being boys." At a special going away lunch on Sunday, Hunter gave the money that was given to Roger and Lisa. On the way home he talked about how happy he was about what he did. These gifts will not end up at Goodwill or the trash. They will be multiplied as Roger and Lisa have great ambition to share the love of Jesus with all of Winnipeg. This is just one little sign of how our little boy is putting away selfish desires and growing up. He's finding how happy he is putting others first at the same time.

CEC Science Fair

Because of the ice storm, the science fair was postponed a week. Personally, I wasn't too happy about that. You'll figure out why as you read on. Bekah was quick to jump on the project. She had it all planned out well before Christmas. She wanted to see if giving fancy mice sugar would cause weight gain. So reluctantly we made the trip to Petsmart to get four fancy mice, a home for them, food, and bedding. Are you grossed out yet? This lovely project came to $68. She separated them into two cages and gave the one group plain mice food and the other group mice food and Apple Jacks. We weighed them each week as we cleaned out the crate. After a month we learned that they did not gain any weight. Before you rush out to stock up on sugary cereal, know that there were probably some flaws in this experiment. All in all though, it was fun for her. Haley went a lot easier on the pocketbook as she chose to find out if using a pole would affect your center of balance. We had some good friends offer to be subjects of testing their balance with a 2 ft. pole, an 8 ft. pole, and nothing at all. As you know in the case of tight ropers, the pole helps. They both quickly pulled out my Cricut Expression to use for their boards. Need I say, they made a lot more while they were at it. We arrived in just enough time to get their projects set up, then went home for dinner. When we returned later that night, we found Bekah's project with a 1st place blue ribbon. Her teacher commented that she couldn't find anywhere to take off points. This is proof that your experiment does NOT have to prove your hypothesis to be a good project. Haley excelled as well with a good solid A. She forgot to mention how her project may be better if done over. We are very proud of both girls for their hard work and perseverance as well as all the CEC students who presented excellent projects. As for the mice - well, keeping them an extra week was not my idea of fun - they have now returned to the environment God intended for them.

Hitting the Slopes

For a long time I've been wanting to take the kids skiing. As school was out the week before and we were caught up on homework, we finally got that chance. Mr. Morris, a friend from church, gathered a home school group so that we could get a good rate. Getting everyone in boots and skis was somewhat of a chore, but we finally made it to the top of the hill. Haley and Bekah took off with their friends and Mr. Morris who quickly taught them the basics. We took too long getting our equipment so Hunter, Holly, and I missed the first ski lesson. We headed down the hill anyway, hoping to have some fun. Well, that was a laugh of its own. I didn't take into consideration how much I would be pulling them up and often fell over myself trying to help them. It didn't take long for me to put my skis up to help them along. It seems they spent more time on their bottoms than enjoying their day. Within the first hour they were begging to go home saying what a horrible time they were having. I knew they needed the ski lesson, but it wasn't until 1:30 and that was the time we were scheduled for lunch. We managed to eat lunch early and make it to the lesson. They learned so much during that time. Afterward, we were over on the main hill and riding the chair lift. Holly even did it by herself when she got slightly ahead of me. When it was time to go, they didn't want to leave. Hopefully we can go back one more time before the season's over.

Pack Pinewood Derby

For boys in Cub Scouts, January means nothing else but the pinewood derby. This was Hunter's 3rd year to compete. In the Webelo I division, he narrowly beat Sam to be the division champion and earn the right to go on to the district derby. Then he competed with the other boys in the pack. Webelo II Warren raced against Hunter and according to the sensor at the bottom of the track, they tied 3 times. However, officials at the finish line showed that Warren was ever so slightly ahead. Congratulations to Warren for being the pack champion. All the boys did a great job and had a marvelous time.

January Winter Storm

This year our first good snow came in January. Actually, it wasn't a good snow as it was laden with ice - yuk! In Louisville alone, close to 85,000 people lost power as trees and power lines were down all over the city. Trees that didn't snap were bent over as they were bowing down to their Maker. As the sun came back out, it looked like a city of glass. The weather made for beautiful pictures - something out of a Narnia scene. However, pictures can't begin to tell the devastation or the beauty of the storm. We're still hoping for a "play" snow before winter is over. We'll then be quickly ready to move on to spring.