Monday, June 30, 2008

Photobucket We're "Done"!

We did it. The youngers and I wrapped up Tapestry of Grace (linked in sidebar) by the end of June! We left the hands on for the past 10 weeks to do over the summer. We didn't read all the great lit books on Greece and Rome that we'd planned....but those books will be the basis of our summer reading program.

I need to wrap up Jamin's portfolio in the next week or two.


©2008 D.R.G.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Photobucket Sundays....

The day began with a disappointment for Jared. His flight with CAP was cancelled due to storms.
This young man didn't let a storm or a skunk interfere with his planned early a.m. run. Now THAT'S dedication. ::snort::

Mike and Josiah went out in search of a local church this a.m. Josiah will be trying to find a church to call "home" here in town. This makes sense. Nostalgia at knowing this was one of the last times I'd have him sitting in our family pew caused me to click this. ::snort:: They LOVE ME! I was in the cry room - no one even knows I took the photo....and he will be back for things like Christmas and such I'm sure.....when the girls will be home too. Yippee!!

The rest of us planned Josiah's favorite meal while they were at church. I made Chicken Divan, Salad, steamed beans, and a big platter of cantaloupe. We enjoyed being together at the table. We KNOW Josiah will be back around the table again...but it was sweet to take a moment and realize that this is probably the last family meal he will join us for as a DEPENDENT!

Mike went up to the base. He needed to spend more time studying for another ACSC test. We've really not seen him much at all in the past 3 weeks. He takes another test in the a.m. Prayers are welcome. This test will be 4 of 6.....and they did grant him an extension. His goal is to finish it by the end of July. I pray.

Josiah and Jamin caught a movie.

The rest of kids enjoyed the pool.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I paid bills. I also took more photos out of magnetic albums. I'm getting sick of looking at them. I think its time to do a few digital layouts. ::snort::
We headed to chapel. Jamin drove and is getting quite good at handling the van. HE didn't back into any utility trucks. ::snort::
I got to talk with BreAnne and Krista! Have any of you had 11 yo's fly alone? The girls would like Arielle to fly out and drive back to CO with them.
Sunday means ice cream.
I have been thinking and praying a lot about all the changes coming to Josiah in the next week. I wanted to buy him something to commemorate the symbolize the changes.
I found the perfect gift. I got him a selection of socks and underwear...that will never need to be marked with tally marks, or rescued from his brother's laundry pile. ::snort::
Mike and the three older young men went to play basketball at a local school. The youngers played Settlers of Catan and are now in bed. Laughter is coming from the young men's room. Mike is working away on some more studies.
I'm going to call it a day. I believe.


©2008 D.R.G.
Photobucket Krista's Package

Krista sent us a package from Trinidad. We have been watching all week for a time when ALL of us would be home to open it. That happened tonight after chapel.

Zander said he hoped it had what he wanted most in the world. Oh -oh. I said, "What are you hoping for Zander?" He replied, "A picture of Krista." Ah. Krista will be sending me some photos of her trip post haste. LOL

Jared claims first listening rights to the audio recording of GA Henty's "Cat of Bubastes".
This little man now has a place of honor on the entertainment center. Krista sent us a nice long letter telling us the significance of each thing.
We got some Trindiadian Oreos called Recreos....and some Caribean flavoring that I'll have to play with...and tar from the tar and sea shells...and a key rack.

Best of all was knowing that she thought of us while she was overseas. Thank you Ko-Ko - we love you!


©2008 D.R.G.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Photobucket Zander Update - Jared Kudos

I didn't mean to leave you all hanging. Thanks for the private emails. I wasn't sure I could post on it on SHS until Monday. LOL

Zander is fine. He settled down. He had was totally FREAKED out, I think because of his sensory issues. He was sure it was stuck in various body parts...but is fine today. We shall see what happens when he passes the game piece.....dino bingo markers....

Jared is cadet of the month for the second month in a row! He was surprised. He's currently working on Msgt stuff for CAP. He hopes to go flying tomorrow but we're having a thunder storm tonight. We shall see.


©2008 D.R.G.
Photobucket A Tale of Two Brothers (or Five)

Mowing the lawn is a right of passage in our home. I'm not sure how it became that way. It may have been a sneaky way for Mike to get free yard work done? ::snort:: I believe Josiah was 10 - 12 when he first began to mow. Jamin was probably the same. Jared INSISTS he was mowing before we moved from San Antonio, "when they'd let me". He was 8 when we moved. That seems young to me....but I think the key words are "when they'd let me" and he was closely supervised.

In recent years Josiah has moved on to things such as: fixing the grain mill, fixing lawn mowers, changing oil, repairing tires, plumbing....Jared has taken over our yard and window work.

I was suprised Friday morning to see Josiah outside mowing the yard.


Jared rushed out, "That's MY job!"


Josiah replied, "I've got it."

And I realized what he was doing. He was mowing the yard one last time as a dependent in our home. We let him. It was one of those "ahhhh" Mommy moments. I'm proud of the man he's become; and sad to have him grow up all at the same time.

The mowing told me that he is also working through what it means to move out. We're proud of you Josiah. When are you have having Dad and I over for dinner? ::snort::


©2008 D.R.G.
Photobucket Scrapping

Mike made my entire WEEK this morning when we were talking. I showed him the layouts I'd printed at Scrappin Unique. I expected some comment about the frippery or the fact that I could fit more photos on each page.

I preemptively told him that I realized I need to throw a boatload of photos away. I told him I'm trying to find the least expensive way to print layouts. He closed the album and said, "Every penny spent now will pay off in mememories in about 10 years." Ah. I love that man! I guess he isn't worrying about the money it takes to transfer the photos from the computer to albums.

I spent yesterday afternoon taking photos out of magnetic albums. I decided that I would take all the photos from the 1980's and put them in my Creative Memory organizer. That way I can find all the spare ones floating around and corral them. THEN I'll scrap the 1980's. I'll do the same with the 90's and then 2002 - 2005. 2005 - present are all on the computer and I'll digiscrap them rather than print them out and then scrap them. These photos are in pretty bad shape after decades in the albums. It's time. They curl up and storing them for a time like this is helping them to flatten out. I'm also collecting the photos of Mike's "pre-college" days and saving them all to make a G family album. I've begun to find photos Grams gave me of my uncle, Mom as a child etc...and am saving them to make an album of my anscestors too.

I counted all my coversets and pages to see what I need to make the big change to TRUE 12 x 12. I was surprised that I have enough pages to fill each coverset. I'm good. I guess when I use these 4 albums up the rest will be 12 x 12's.

As I pulled photos out of albums and reminiscenced I suddenly recalled someone (Cindy I think?) saying she didn't mind different styles in her albums as they showed the different stages of her scrapping. Well.....I didn't KNOW about scrapbooking as a hobby until the mid 1990's. SO.....maybe I should keep right on with my naked albums until I hit the super fancy albums of 1995 - 2001. It would certainly be cheaper than covering each page with colored paper. I can then do modest albums for 2001 until I hit the photos that have those little walmart discs...Mike says to digiscrap those. We are all enjoying having photos off the computer.

I also shopped online for 12 x 12 paper. I found that the Fuji Crystal Archive paper (used by Costco) comes in a 36" x 100ft roll. I am seriously thinking of this. I could get a roll that would make 300 pages...for pennies on the page...but it's a huge outlay at the start. Melissa is checking to see if her printer can handle a roll that size. ::snort:: Meanwhile I did find some paper that looks to be very close to the Epson Premier Art Matte Scrapbook Photo Paper that she uses in the store for .60 a sheet instead of 2.00 a sheet on ebay. I'm deciding if I should take a chance. There are 50 pages in a pack. That's a lot of pages if I hate it...and not near enough if I love it. ::snort:: She'll charge me $1.48 for ink and overhead if I use my own paper. That would bring the price to $2.08 a print....down from $3.49 a print. Surely for that big of a savings I'll like the paper I found online. If anyone knows where to buy 12 x 12 photo paper that you've used and liked do leave a note in the comment section.

I wasn't sure I liked the matte paper that Scrappin Unique used at first...but now that it's in an album I really do like it.

Yes, this is how I spent the majority of my day. BUT it feels GOOD to be making progress on the albums and we are enjoying seeing these old photos of Bre learning to crawl. I teared up today when I saw the very first pictures of Bre meeting Krista....we had such dreams for them as sisters - and they've come true. Parenting is sweet.


©2008 D.R.G.
Photobucket Solitude!
One of the "benefits" of the little having swimmer's ear is that Arielle was able to enjoy a couple of long, solitude swims.

©2008 D.R.G.

Photobucket YA- HOO!!!!

It's HOT here.....How hot is it? Hotter than it needs to be. ::snort::

I took Arielle and Stacia with me to Walmart. The littles are dying to swim and I thought if I bought swimmer's ear drops and ear plugs we could give it a try. We also bought ICE.

As we were getting into the van, Stacia surprised us by shreiking in an alarming Texan drawl....

"YaHOOO - my HONKUS is hot!"

*Bohonkus is Hank the Cowdogs slang for backside....Stacia has shortened it further.


©2008 D.R.G.
Photobucket Doulous: Approval & Servanthood*

“…each is tested by the praise accorded him.” Proverb 27:21b

I read this verse earlier in the week and it caused me to pause. We all know that trials are a testing of our faith. I’d never focused on this little phrase in Proverbs. Praise can also be a test. How will I handle it? What do I do with it? Do I horde it as my due or hand it all back to Him?

Fast on the heals of this revelation came the verse below from a study I’m working on through the summer.

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

I did the prescribed study, dutifully answered the questions and then went on to do some additional word studies. It’s been a good week trysting with my Lord. Let me share.

Am I seeking to gain favor (win over, yield) of men or God? What do my actions show? What causes me the most anxiety in my day to day life? I don’t want to be a big JERK, but neither do I wan to be overly concerned about what men think of me. I need to seek approval, favor, and assurance from God.

Am I striving to please men? Am I intentionally, deliberately, continually seeking to be acceptable and accommodating to men?

If I am, then I am not a bondservant of Christ. I’ve committed to being a bondservant of Christ. Our society has lost track of what it means to be a servant in daily life. A bondservant is in a permanent relationship with the master. A bondservant is totally consumed by and with the will of another. He has no rights outside of the master’s will. He has no possessions of his own.

It was a CHOICE to be a bondservant. After serving a household for 6 years as a slave, a servant would decide of his OWN FREE WILL if he wished to remain a slave to his master. There were three reasons a person chose to become the bondservant of another. He loved the master, he loved the master’s household and he fared well with the master. (Deut. 15:12 – 18). At this point the person would be branded/marked to signify the permanent relationship with the master. As a side note, there were three classes of people marked in the New Testament times: slaves, soldiers, servants of temples. As Christians we are called to be all three (I Cor 3:16-17, I Cor 7:21-23, Matt 10:24 – 25, I cor 3:21-4:7, I Cor 6:19-20, Gal 1:10). THAT little tidbit is a nice study all on it’s own.

A bondservant was marked by having his ear pierced. Paul says his beatings and stonings marked him as a bondservant (Gal 6:17). My life should also be marked – by transformation. I am called to join Christ in suffering…..I am marked as HIS by that suffering for HIS SAKE (again not because of general jerkiness on my part).

I, of my own free will, made a choice to be a bondservant of Christ. I did this because I loved Christ, I loved Christ’s household, and I recognized that I fared well with Christ as my master. This means I have no rights or possessions outside of what the Master lovingly assigns to me. I am marked as His. This is a permanent relationship.

My intentional relationship with “men” reflects the truth of that commitment in my daily life. What am I doing with men? Am I seeking their approval, seeking to please them and serve them? If I am then I am not wholeheartedly seeking the will of my Master. We become immediate slaves to things or persons from whom we seek approval.

Others will praise me as I walk righteously and faithfully with my God (Prov 27:2). That praise becomes a test (Prov 27:21). My response to the praise of men will reflect my heart. Whose approval matters most to me? How do I react to the praise when it comes my way? Will I remain humble in times of praising or will I become falsely inflated and self-important?

Above all I seek the favor of God. I seek to please Him. I want to be a worthy bondservant of my Lord Jesus Christ. My prayer is that He helps me to seek Him, please Him and serve Him more and better.

Word studies follow: Tools used Strong’s, Vines NT Dictionary, Spiros Zodhiates NT Dictionary and old notes from a Precept Study on the book of Philippians.

The KJV uses the word “persuade” instead of “favor”. The word is peitho - #3982. It means to bring over to kind feelings, to conciliate; to win over, gain favor, make a friend of, to agree, assure, assent, and yield

“Please” - The word is Arseko #700. This words means to fit, to gratify, to accommodate oneself to, to be acceptable. The verb TENSE (present imperative) tells us that this act is intentional, deliberate and continuous conduct.

“Bondservant” – The word is doulous - #1401. This speaks of one in a permanent relation of servitude to another. This person’s will is consumed with the will of another!

*Weekly devotional posted to SHS this a.m.


©2008 D.R.G.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Photobucket FRIDAY

Produce c0-op

I backed the van into a utility truck....discovered the NEW van had bondo in the back panel...hmmm.....will have to get an estimate on that.

Working on photo albums. Did 2 more pages of Africa years and 2 more childhool pages and 2 more highschool graduation pages and inserted them into albums.

I'm sorting photos from magnetic albums before starting new ones...and trying to figure out which style I'm going to use on these photos.

Zander swallowed a game piece. He's FREAKING out and I think a lot of it has to do with his sensory issues. I called the doc and know what to watch for.

Mike is "off" but "studying" all day. We'll all be SO glad when he's done with ACSC.....really, really glad. ::snort::

Jamin and Josiah both got called in to work. So much for family night...we have "Ladies Man" - Jerry Lewis movie from netflix. We'll watch that....and watch Zander. ::snort::


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Photobucket Thursday - I'm CAUGHT Up!!!

Cy bought "church chairs" for his apartment. He's rescuing an antique table from me that I rescued from friends when they moved from here to attend Seminary. It has no chairs.

After looking all over town - he found two. Evidently the "church look" bothered him. He went to walmart bought vinyl, green fabric and silver spray paint. He fixed them. The plan is to keep his eyes open for two more church chairs that he can make match.


Since he exhibits this sort of ingenuity I'm sure he'll figure out how to cook nutritious meals in time. ::snort::


Photobucket Wednesday

I spent the day nursing sick children, blogging, schooling, and nurturing.

Nothing comforts like a blanket castle.

Can you find the girls in here?

And when Mom is busy with others Stacia goes exploring....Evidently she's not taken to our heart our "makeup at 13" policy.


Photobucket Sunday Night - Travel Gifts

Mike always brings back little tokens from him travels for the family. Not to be out done - I spent a good portion of our Saturday trip in Fredericksburg looking for things to bring back for Mike and the children.

It wasn't until Sunday night (after the Contemporary service) that we were ALL home at one time to pass out Saturday's gifts.

First - for Mike

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Can you tell what it is? Those who know Mike will love this. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
It's a bottle of original recipe Dr. Pepper. I bought two so we could enjoy together. To date, we've not had a moment alone to enjoy our loot. LOL
I also got Mike these - we have a running sock joke between the older boys and Mike.
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I got the four younger ones these. Mike said I'll regret it. I will say that I've been awakened each morn with lovely flute music performed by Zander.
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These quickly showed up in strange spots...
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I still have to remind the two boys NOT to put the flutes on their fingers! Why? ::snort::

The older boys were given an assortment of Fredericksburg Fudge...which is a huge treat around here as I've not figured out how to make good fudge with honey or agave nectar.
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Photobucket Roman Studies

We are completely enjoying our last unit of the year - Ancient Rome. Wow. The Bible has come alive as we study various Emperorers and cities and then find them in the Bible. Different aspects of the Bible "pop" as we understand the Ancient Culture....things like the purpose of walls or the Greek "sling shot" divisions in war. Interesting stuff. We found the link in Ancient Rome, one of our TOG books (link in sidebar). We've enjoyed several of the books in this series over the years.

Today the youngers and I viewed this slide show of Pompeii from a Christian perspective...and now....No offense to you dear Dorothy, but the children have decided we need our next assignment to be to Italy.

Seriously, we believe that God moves us to the locations that will be BEST for HIS KINGDOM work, our FAMILY, and those FAMILIES and TROOPS with which we will come in contact. It's easy to begin to think the assignment officer's wield this power, but ultimately we KNOW the divine assignment officer. We are praying our next assignment will be the above things and is above all HIS WILL but hopefully will be either 1. Closer to the Girls and our Parents, 2. Overseas (not real picky - we'd like Europe), 3. New part of America we've not been (East of TX/MT lot of area there) or 4. back to Alaska. According to the plan we have one more year here in TX.....and we should begin to hear rumors of where our next home will be in the winter of 09. LOL We've begun praying in earnest now.