Thursday, October 09, 2008

Photobucket Delicious Secrets

Have you ever had a secret that was so delicious you simply savored it for a bit of time? I have and I did. I'm now ready to share. I want this entry to be "just right" and so I've pondered what to say. Life has been crazy and I've not had time to THINK.....but perfect or not....I'm ready to share our delicious secret. (Is this making you hungry for chocolate cheesecake yet?) If you skip this post, at least go read Mike's Chapel funnies at the end of the post.

Observant blog readers may have wondered WHY in the midst of photos of Pike's Peak, children, Rocky Mountains, castles and such I included THIS photo:


Wellllll.....this is one of my favorite vacation photos. Though this is a close second...


Wait - I'm in danger of going down vacation memory lane. ::snort:: A couple of years ago we met a young man while at a denominational conference. David phoned Mike in August.....and yes, Mike had a checklist. David specifically talked with Mike about our daughter, BreAnne. No, I am not going to share details - yet. Yes, Mike was a bit tough on poor David...but then Mike takes his role as Papa Bear very seriously...and his daughters are precious treasures.

David and BreAnne talked in September and they are now officially in a relationship - courting. We are pleased. David sent us a list of their boundaries. This prompted me to decide to create a "courtship boundary animated graphic" before I blogged about the relationship. I can picture it. A photo of you mouse over the photo various sayings would pop up: "Yes", "not a chance", "her Brothers are boarding a plane", "Papa Bear is knocking on your door".....BUT I researched and found that it would take a lot of TIME and I may have it ready by the time I annouce that Stacia (3) is courting. BreAnne has called and talked with his mother and requested her blessing on their relationship. They have an accountability couple which they meet with weekly. They have the blessing of the leadership at Master's Commission and YES...they have our blessing as well.


Bre & David on a Ferris Wheel in WA

This is a sweet season. I can remember years and years ago when we first began to rethink the "dating scene". As parents, we took quite a few hits. Many thought we were STRANGE; MANY STILL think we are strange. Many thought we were unrealistic. We NEVER told the girls they couldn't date - we simply presented a different vision for relationships. Our young adults take quite a few hits from peers during their "teen" years. Bre, as the first, blazed the way. I remember the talks we had and the questions and concerns she voiced...HOW would she MEET a like-minded young man who wanted to court her when we were in the MILITARY (not a hot-bed for courtship ideals)? The comment thrown at our young adults most often is, "What, you think God is just going to BRING boy/girl to you?" He seems to be capable of doing just that.

We ask for your prayers for David and BreAnne as they explore this relationship. In a hilarious side note - Mike has to be the only man who can ask for prayers for a daughter in courtship one Sunday at chapel and the next announce that his youngest daughter is potty trained and we are diaper free for the first time in 23 years. (Hmmmm.....Bre's going to kill me for inserting the vision diapers into her courtship post ::snort:: ::chortle::).


David & BreAnne - Careful observation of this photo leads one to notice that he has placed his arm around her shoulder.....making me wonder if it is time to create that animated graphic afterall. Nah, I'm going to send her my burqa.
So....that's all the exciting secrets from our home this evening.

©2008 D.R.G.
Photobucket Oy VEY!

I opened my browser to search for a photo of a frazzled mom - this week BEGS for such a graphic....then I of Rick's recent Copy & Share if You Dare doodles. Ah, now I can blog with the knowledge that I'll have a link (above) and a graphic...a respectable entry indeed.

The truth of the matter is that I've been OFF all week. Stark-Raving, chew-my-nails, stressed-out, insanely "off".

I haven't a clue WHY. I have consistently thought it was one day, when it was another. I MISSED important things I wanted to attend - like Heather and Jesse's baptism. I've shown up where I was NOT suppposed to be. I've just been off. Not nearly as "off" as this little lady however.


My to do list is ever-expanding and shrinking. It's like a GIANT AMOEBA! And I know my amoebas. I HAVE gotten a lot done this week. There are the normal things: speech, PWOC Bible studies, SHS, school, piano lessons.... I also accomplished some "abnormal" things: Jamin's portfolio is mailed, I solved our childcare problems for an upcoming conference, I paid bills, I coordinated our group's United food order, I contemplated getting all sorts of regional loose ends tied up for PWOC, and just today I rearranged the furniture a bit. WHY? Because that is what one does if one is me and in a state of high energy mood swings. ::snort::

Today at piano lessons Zander and Lois cracked me up. Lois attends PWOC; that makes her one of "my ladies", she also homeschools and used to play with the Air Force Band. I am so greatful that she is giving Arielle, Nolan and Zander lessons. No one thought Zander was going to take lessons. Zander is 6. Zander has all his "alphabet" issues. Zander fixated (obsessed really) on the fact that he was going to take lessons. Lois was willing. I tell her each week that I'm not sure they'll make it 30 min, that I'm o.k. if we have to do songs over etc. The thing is Zander won't let ME help him learn piano. He doesn't read. He doesn't know the alphabet. He hardly ever sits still and he's decided to learn to play the piano. We are three weeks into this and I gave up this week with his practicing. He has his OWN way of doing things. I won't attempt to explain. He is taking GREAT JOY in playing the piano and once in a while it sounds like you would expect a lesson from Bastien Primer to sound. Each week he sits down and PLAYS the songs for Lois. Today, however, there was a new piece. It was circled. She said, "I didn't circle that, Zander. Who circled it?" He told her he did. He wanted to play it. He played it!!!! He wondered why there were no dots (repeats) on this one.....she asked who helped him learn the song. He told her, "I did it my own way". And he did. ::snort:: But it was right! So.....he'll let Mike show him a few things, but he's decided that *I* cannot possibly help with piano lessons.

Hmmm....we ate at Burger King tonight. You KNOW you've been too busy when the manager opens the door for your family, welcomes you to dinner, has the cups set out for you BEFORE YOU ORDER, and someone says, "here they are" when you walk in....and THEY have the fries dropped and can tell you what you will order. ::snort::

When we get home from camping I'm getting my life back into some semblance of normalcy.....and I'll pretend September didn't exist. ::snort::

©2008 D.R.G.

Photobucket Lapbooks!

We have tried to do these before with limited success. We are currently making a lapbook on Knights and another on the Voting Process and the younger boys are enjoying them. I think the key is that Jared and Arielle are not participating with us this year. ::snort::

Here are some photos of our ongoing project on knights!

We made these little booklets about various weapons.
We're making a "book log" and the pocket has new vocabulary words written on shields.
This book shows where Knights lived and where We live.
This has been a fun week for us as we've been able to spend our time on hands on science and lapbooks. We really COULD do this more often instead of all the "reading stuff".....
The hang up on the last lapbook we made is that the "folders" were to be a bit more elaborate and I could NOT figure them out. The booklets remained in a basket. NOW I have a local friend whose children showed me the lapbooks they made (Hey, Lois) and I think if I get stuck she can show me how to make the silly folders "expand". LOL

©2008 D.R.G.
For Young Men Only: A Guy's Guide to the Alien Gender - Jeff Feldhahn & Eric Rice with Shaunti Feldhahn
Blog Tour & Giveaway!
I have two copies of this book to giveaway. If you'd like a copy, please leave a comment. Be sure that I can contact you from the info. Please note that in the future I will hold a book for one week after a winner is announced. If you do not send me your address within a week, we will pick another winner.
Winners will be picked on Tuesday.
You can see more reviews and order a copy of it here and here.

Publisher's Summary:
The best-selling ONLY series returns with a one-of-a-kind guide for teen guys on how to figure out girls

Drawing on a fresh national survey of 600 teen girls, as well as hundreds of personal interviews, For Young Men Only reveals the real truth about what teenage girls think, what they want, and how average teen guys can build healthy friendships with high quality girls. Full of surprising revelations and practical advice, For Young Men Only delivers help straight from the girls themselves in a fun, easy-to-read, easy-to-talk about format.

Warm, witty, and honest, authors Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice tell plenty of personal stories and draw on solid biblical principles to guide young guys through the often daunting world of the opposite sex. Their goal is to help teen guys build self-confidence and understanding, and show them how to pursue a relationship with a girl while giving her the respect and protection she deserves.
My Take: Hmmm...I did find the authors warm and witty. I did find this to be an easy read. The book does have some information that could be useful to young men. The book did have encouraging and surprising results from the survey of teen girls.
I need to say up front that our family does not buy into the whole "guy/girl dating" thing as it's practiced in our society. I think the practice of giving your heart away, knowing that there is no future in the relationship as most 15 yo's will not marry, simply sets us up to jump in and out of relationships. We can also end up with scars and baggage that we end up carrying into future relationships. I know, I know.....but that's our family's view. We have not told our children they cannot date...but they have all chosen (to this point) to wait to enter into relationships. I believe that God desires not only physical purity but emotional purity for singles....and so I found this book to be jarring because the premise is that normal teens will spend much time thinking about the opposite gender. I simply don't know that a young teen NEEDS to be spending quite so much time trying to figure out what girls want or don't want...and I think how they treat women, how they form their views of what women think and want, should come from the Bible and not from a survey of "600 teen girls" - who to be honest - don't always KNOW WHAT THEY WANT to begin with. ::snort:: I did NOT find anything that I would say was "anti-Scriptural" but the advice given to young men IS based on the survey and the support for the advice given IS quotes from young teen girls.
One other thing that I didn't appreciate in this book is the fact that we are told "girls want" or "girls think" or "when a girl does this..." These sorts of books where an author tells you "women think", "men mean"; I, personally, find to be counter-productive. I remember a couples home group we were leading. We were using a popular marriage book. Finally, one man got brave enough to say, "I feel like the authors are beating up men. I also don't believe that the authors can speak for ALL men." He had a point. Now....I realize that speaking for all men/women IS the premise of these books. I did, however, find myself thinking, "No, not all girls are going to think that way." LOL
I DID like the writing style of the authors. I DO think that a young man will not go wrong applying the wisdom in this book. If you have a young man who is dating, this would be a recommended book for him. If you have a young man who is of the age to seriously be thinking of finding a wife - I would recommend this book. If you are a single mom and want a bridge to discuss some of these issues, I would recommend this book. A lot of it seemed to me to be the sort of advice that a father would give a son.

Author Bio:
Jeff Feldhahn is an attorney and the owner of the tech company, World2One. With his wife, Shaunti, he wrote the best selling FOR MEN ONLY.

Eric Rice is the owner/director/producer of 44 Films. Eric lives in Atlanta area with his wife, Lisa, and their four teenage children.

Shaunti Feldhahn is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, public speaker, and best-selling author whose books include FOR WOMEN ONLY, FOR YOUNG WOMEN ONLY (with Lisa Rice) and FOR PARENTS ONLY.

©2008 D.R.G.