Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Death of Family Values....

....that's what we dressed up as for a costume party in our neighborhood last weekend.
Do we look like the Cleavers or what??
You've gotta love John's big hair.
My dress plus John's tie = $6 from Goodwill
The problem is, this was like pouring salt in a wound for our children. We informed them a few weeks ago that we would not be participating in Halloween this year. We explained that with Jake's diabetes it just wasn't fair because he couldn't eat all that candy and it was only a temptation being in our house. Also, I'm very tired of spending bazillions of dollars on stupid Halloween costumes that last one night. (Thanks Dave)
So instead we will have a family night.... get out of our neighborhood (which is inundated with trick-or-treaters), spend the $50 that I ususally spend on candy (for the bazillion trick-or-treaters) on a nice meal out and doing something fun as a family.
Sadie, being 8, has had the hardest time with this. It's a good thing that I've acquired the Jewish guilt thing and told her that having a brother that was alive was better than Halloween candy... poor Sadie. Lilly is also being quite immature about the whole thing but is a little more understanding. Sam doesn't know what he's missing, although he did get to make his first jack-o-lantern tonight. Jake is as happy as can be that he won't be left out on Halloween.... his joy comes from the fact that his sisters will be as miserable as he is.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Income Tax.

Are there any economists out there listening?

I often wonder what the downside to eliminating the Income Tax and replacing it with a Federal sales tax. The way I see it (with my simple mind) is that whomever buys more, pays more.

The rich buy more, so they pay more in tax

The poor buy less, so they pay less in tax.

I look forward to being made to look stupid. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

See below

Okay, here is a picture (if I can make it work) of our tree-house (see post below.)

Camping Weekend

I've been trying to get on blogger forever but for some unbeknownst reason, everything in our account is in Chinese. I've been randomly click and cannot figure out how to get it back to English. There must be some cookie or something in here from when Tony was here but it's been fine for so long and then all of a sudden... everything is written in Chinese characters. Yes, we did learn some conversational Chinese for our trip to China and for Sam, John did learn how to read a few characters, but this is just crazy..... Do you think they guys from google who read all of our email see that we've written about China and naturally think that we're Chinese? A conspiracy? Ha. Oh well. If anyone reading this can read Chinese and call tell me how to look at the blogger dashboard in English it would be very much appreciated!

Okay, back to the topic at hand. A few weeknds ago (yes, I am behind as usual) we went on a faulous family camping weekend. We went to Cherokee Cove which is nestled in the mountains between North Carolina and Tennessee. The leaves were so beautiful and colorful! The camp is bordered on three sides by state forest and was truly awe-inspiring!

About the camp... it is a Christian family camp, conference center, and retreat center. They have cabins as well as tent platforms and "tree houses"---which is what we camped in. There was a little lighted path off of the main thoroughfare that wound back into the woods to our "tree house". We pitched our tent up there and had plenty of room for 6 person's-worth of stuff. (It is virtually impossible to pack light with 6 people!) It was so neat being back in the woods all the while staying warm and dry off of the ground.

The food.... oh the food! It was absolutely fabulous! We're not talking beanies and weenies folks... The owner of the camp, a wonderful servant of Christ, is a chef. His wife, also a beautiful example of servanthood, is a licensed dietician. They are into healthy and organic and anything crunchy..... right up my alley!! We had fresh organic greens and veggies, exquisite home salsas and sauces, home-made breads, the freshest and healthiest ingredients, and some very healthy and yummy smoothies! Last but not least, there were also s'mores to be made!

They had activities for us during the day: hiking, crafts for the kids, a marriage seminar, scavenger hunt, nature walks. At night there was singing around the campfire, games, s'mores, and awesome fellowship.

Did I mention that we went for FREE? Yes, the folks at Cherokee Cove have such a heart for families that they offer a FREE family camping weekend on the first weekend of every month from May through October. How do they afford this? Throughout the year they host numerous retreats and conferences, concerts, etc. They do nutritional cooking classes for teens and adults, youth retreats, women's spa retreats (that's what I'm talkin about!), Father-son and Mother-daughter weekends, and Marriage retreats. They also receive donations from individuals who have been so blessed by and want to help give back to their ministry.

Cherokee Cove camp is not advertised so they rely on word of mouth to get the word out about the camp. I can highly recommend it for church functions, retreats, and personal get-aways. These are genuine people who love Jesus and love families and have a passion to minister to them. Please check out their website and plan a trip!! I cannot say enough awesome things about it.

One other cool thing was that the Scott family from Sparkle City met us there. It was great to see them and enjoy God's beauty and with them in sweet fellowship. Hey, let's all go together in the spring!! Wouldn't that be fun?!?!? We (us and the Scotts) are definitely all going back again... to camp and to serve. We can't wait!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My King

I first saw this video a year ago and I have not yet tired of it. If you rather not spend 7 minuted watching it, I have pasted the words for you to peruse.


My King was born King. The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King.
He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King.
He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King.
He’s the King of righteousness.
He’s the King of the ages.
He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of glory.
He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords.
Now that’s my King. Well I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don’t try to mislead me. Do you know my King?
David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament show His handiwork. My King is the only one whom there are no means of measure can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shore of supplies.
No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.
Well, well, He’s enduringly strong.
He’s entirely sincere.
He’s eternally steadfast.
He’s immortally graceful.
He’s imperially powerful.
He’s impartially merciful.
That’s my King.

He’s God’s Son.
He’s the sinner’s saviour.
He’s the centrepiece of civilization.
He stands alone in Himself.
He’s honest.
He’s unique.
He’s unparalleled.
He’s unprecedented.
He’s supreme.
He’s pre-eminent.
Well, He’s the grandest idea in literature.
He’s the highest personality in philosophy.
He’s the supreme problem in high criticism.
He’s the fundamental doctrine of proved theology.
He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion.
That’s my King.

He’s the miracle of the age.
He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him.
Well, He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously.
He supplies strength for the weak.
He’s available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He’s strong God and He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharged debtors.
He delivers the captives.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek.
Do you know Him?
Well, my King is a King of knowledge.
He’s the wellspring of wisdom.
He’s the doorway of deliverance.
He’s the pathway of peace.
He’s the roadway of righteousness.
He’s the highway of holiness.
He’s the gateway of glory.
He’s the master of the mighty.
He’s the captain of the conquerors.
He’s the head of the heroes.
He’s the leader of the legislatures.
He’s the overseer of the overcomers.
He’s the governor of governors.
He’s the prince of princes.
He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords.
That’s my King. Yeah. Yeah. That’s my King. My King, yeah.
His office is manifold.
His promise is sure.
His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His Word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Well. I wish I could describe Him to you, but He’s indescribable. He’s indescribable. Yes.
He’s incomprehensible.
He’s invincible.
He’s irresistible.

I’m coming to tell you, the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explaining Him. You can’t get Him out of your mind.
You can’t get Him off of your hands.
You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.
Well, Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him.
Pilot couldn’t find any fault in Him.
The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree.
Herod couldn’t kill Him.
Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
That’s my King. Yeah.
He always has been and He always will be. I’m talking about He had no predecessor and He’ll have no successor. There’s nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him.
You can’t impeach Him and He’s not going to resign. That’s my King! That’s my King!
“Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory”.
Well, all the power belongs to my King.
We’re around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but it’s God’s power.”Thine is the power”. Yeah. “And the glory”. We try to get prestige and honour and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. “Thine is the Kingdom” and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? And ever and ever and ever and ever. And when you get through with all of the “evers,” then, Amen.

—Dr. S. M. Lockridge

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Life in the Carpool Lane

Life in the carpool lane sure has been crazy!! I guess the thing I miss the most about homeschooling are the lazy of days of being in our pajamas and cuddling on the couch reading great books together. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying having three out of four kids going off to school too. It's just different.

Here is what I mean: On Wednesday I left the house at 8:45am. I dropped Sam off at pre-school at 9am. I picked up Daniel (he's hanging out and homeschooling with us on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the morning hours that Sam is in school and his mom is working as the preschool director). The boys and I headed to the church office. I made copies, cut, folded, and prepared for Sunday... with Moni's help of course!). At 11:30 I left the church office and stopped at Sonic for fast food....and all of you that know me know that I hate stopping for fast food...yuck! Jake, Daniel, and I picked up Sam from pre-school and headed over to the consignment sale to drop off some stuff and help Stephanie get stuff on the racks. We ate our fast food there. Daniel stayed with his mom.

Sam, Jake, and I drove 20 or so minutes to Jake's guitar lesson, only after stopping off for a quick errand. After Jake's guitar lesson (where Sam won't sit still and "has to use the potty" every time) we drove to get the girls at school. We sat in the carpool line for 30 or so minutes. Now we are headed for home!!!

By around 4pm we finally pull in the driveway. I realize that I forgot to run the dishwasher and the beds are still not made ( I don't want John to think I sat around and ate bon bons all day). I run around picking up, making beds, moving the laundry from washer to dryer, etc.

Now it's homework time. Sadie finishes hers in an hour or so, amidst antics and such. Lilly is....... well, Lilly. She has locked herself in the bathroom again. Hmmm. This unnerves me daily but I guess it's the only place she can get some peace and quiet and I can't tell her to do stuff.... kinda like John in his X-box cave (Halo 3...uugh). After Lilly emerges from her hide-away I beg, plead, and threathen her into getting all of her homework and studying done.

In the meantime I need to get dinner going because Jake thinks he actually might die of hunger. Thankfully, I got up early this morning and put chili in my crock pot so I've only got to set out the toppings, bake the corn bread, and serve the drinks. Jake has to set the table to get his mind off his hunger pangs. He whines the whole time, but gets the job done.

John gets home around 6:30. We eat dinner. At least one out of four kids doesn't want to eat dinner on any particular night so we have that battle. I win. heheheheh. I am bound and determined.

After dinner, Lilly is still doing homework. I quiz her and we study. I do lots of threatening, ranting, raving, etc. I put yet another load of laundry from the washer to dryer. Now there's clean laundry dumped on my bed. I have one to two loads of laundry per day.

8:00pm.... begging, threatening,etc. for kids to take showers. Still folding laundry. Lilly is still studying. Everyone wants dessert. Okay... snacks for everyone who has already bathed or showered. Lilly does not fall into this category, but she is now getting answers right when I quiz her!!! Yahoo!!!! Good times!!!!

9:00pm. Three out of four kids in bed. Lilly is finally learned and showered. Now she needs her bedtime snack.

9:30pm.. still folding laundry. Piles are stacked outside of my bedroom. Kids (at least two out of four) can put their own laundry away. Yes, I still baby Sadie. I hang up the clothes in her closet since she can't reach that well (errrr...truthfully she can do it just fine, but I pick my battles... she's the baby girl).

10pm... fall into bed and wait for the alarm to ring at 6am..... to do it all over again!!!!

Guess what???? I wouldn't trade it or my family for the world~~~~~