Saturday, February 28, 2009

Enjoying our littlest blessing -- 6 months old

Ya gotta love 'em
Ya gotta clean 'em
Ya gotta pick the weeds that grow in between 'em
They're the best kind of toes
They taste like Cheerios
Those are the toes that I like!

He's doing important baby things!
He's doing important baby things!

He's doing
he's doing
he's chewing
he's chewing
important baby things

He's saying
he's saying
he's playing
he's playing


He's all excited 'bout something
but he don't know what that something is

He's all excited 'bout something
but he don't know what that something is

Maybe he's going to go to the store
Maybe he's going to play on the floor
Maybe he'll tell a story that will bore you
But he don't know what that something is!!!!

He's just a baby
but he don't know why
He's just a baby
Please don't make him cry
He's just a baby and he's got that look in his eye
He's just a baby
but he don't know why

He's just a baby and he's got that look in his eye
he's just a baby and he don't know why!!!!!

Thanks to Sarah for the sweet photos!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bible copying and the spring conference!

We have really appreciated the MINISTRY of Steve and Teri Maxwell over the years. They have been offering true discipleship to thousands of Christian parents, and have been an encouragement to us countless times. They offer monthly articles in your email box for mothers and fathers, Dads' and Moms' Corners.

Just found this really neat one by Teri on the subject of Bible copying! It is actually part of a series where she shares many helpful ideas their family has discovered in the area of Bible memorizing and copying and applying. There is a list of available articles on their site here.

We have signed up share some things the Lord is teaching us at the spring homeschool conference here in Wisconsin. We have been so blessed in the past at many conferences, but the anticipation occasionally leaves us feeling kind of overwhelmed.

Dave and Debbie -
Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot!

As surely as there are ways we can bolster our family through homeschooling, there are ways we can undermine it as well. Dave and Debbie, homeschooling parents for 16 years, will share what they have learned and observed. They will also share things they are trying to put into practice and things they are trying to snuff out!

Dave - Seek Ye First Homeschooling.

The goal of this presentation is making God's Word not only the foundation of our children's education, but the focus. We will look at some of the ways we can keep God's kingdom and his righteousness at the forefront of our children's education.

Dave - College Considerations for Christians

Is college the best way to prepare our children to serve the least, the last and the lost? How should our goals as Christians affect our decision for college? Can the way in which God chose to turn humble fishermen into the leaders of his church be applied to our children's preparation for life?

Debbie - Don't Quit!

For mothers. Does the Lord intend there to be more to homeschooling than homeschooling? We will discuss God's promises to us as a basis for encouraging ourselves and others in our calling as homeschooling moms.

Debbie - Ways with Words

Debbie will share how her family has developed a somewhat language-artsy lifestyle, enabling the children to learn, use and even minister through writing. This is kind of a show and tell format, covering what the Kleins have used for pre-readers and up.

Dave - Avoiding "Angry Monkey Syndrome"

What do a bunch of high-strung monkeys, and homeschooling have in common? Dave Klein will explain how a piece of programming lore offers a valuable lesson for us as Christian homeschoolers. We'll be reminded as homeschoolers, parents and Christians to look beyond the scope and sequence charts of the educational experts and examine why we do what we do. Dads are encouraged to attend.

Debbie - Reforming "Feminist" Homeschool Moms.

For moms. For many Christian parents, homeschooling is simply a return to God's intention for raising children. However, the tendency for mom-dominance in homeschooling is powerful and undermines a return to biblical roles in marriage. "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." Pr. 14:1

and our children will be working on these for children's sessions...

Mt. St. Helens: A Big Bang for Creation Part 1 and 2

The eruptions of Mt. St Helens in
Washington state have given rock-solid proof that geological formations such as rock layers, canyons and petrified forests do not take millions of years to form. With amazing before and after photos, you will see with your own eyes a mini-laboratory studying the potential effects of a much greater catastrophe: the worldwide flood of Noah. (We are greatly indebted to the ministry of our dear friends, Lloyd and Doris Anderson, of the Mount St Helens
7Wonders Creation Museum / Bookstore.)

Singing in Spanish.

These original, C
hristian songs will help children with memorizing vocabulary and verb tenses.

How to build a missionary!

Looking at the lives of people God greatly used in the past, we will see some of the building blocks God used to make them so useful.

So, we will spend the next couple of months doing a lot of preparing for this and some other exciting projects!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

As if

We had a realtor showing this afternoon, so we decided it would be a good time to do some photos of the house while it was all cleaned up.

Then, we thought it would be fun to take some photos of the rooms without all the extra furniture in them. That is, removing the "island table" from the kitchen (as it is a eat-in kitchen, but the table makes that hard to visualize). And removing the tables from the living room (which we use for the everything room). So we were hoping to quell some of the "15 people live here" look.

Here is what you see when you enter our kitchen.

Here are the cute corner shelves (lacking a bit of trim, which is in production as we type) and the hall to The Yucky Bathroom. TYB will be its own feature when we get around to it.

The big black fridge is where the stove was located when we first moved in.

The painting on top of the fridge (photo below) is by Dave's mom. It looks just like the land we drove through on our trips to southern Mexico. The hat next to it was purchased by a street vendor in Reynosa while we waited to cross the Rio Grande back into Texas. It is Dave's hat, and its such a great hat that I hung it up higher so it would stop being used for dress up. You can also see the chips leftover from last night!

This is the great spice rack. I decided to add some curtains. It was a window; why hide it?

The shelves in the foreground are Zak's design. We are replacing the shelves and painting them to match the woodwork.

The microwave hood was a bear to install, but the boys did great.

Here we are moving into the living room. This picture window is framed by cabinets and shelves Zak built a while back. The window seat has storage. Its really nice.

You can see Zak's built-in shelves here. This is the same direction as the spice shelf wall. Nice big room, huh?

This window is to the right of the big picture window. Click on the photo to see the new hole we made in the wall while moving the furniture to take this photo!

The volcano poster is the wall opposite the picture window.

Same wall, but towards the kitchen.

Here's the secret to our great photos! Every space that was not visible in the photos was packed like this with stuff!

Dipping the paintbrush on both ends

After our sledding escapades, Dave and I woke early to drop him off for an early flight to St. Louis for 3 days. The idea of painting was already bouncing around in our heads, as our surprise project at home while he was gone. First, we brainstormed.

Then we began our moving, cleaning and masking.

Sammy helps empty the "pantry" Zak built. All the cans, bottles, spices, tubs, etc. temporarily ended up in...

...the little boys' "laboratory".

The pantry was Zak's first attempt at cabinetry when we moved here. Though it was first intended as a disposable prototype, we got a vision to mount it to the wall (covering a recess left by a window to the covered porch), add a toe-kick, re-do the shelves, add face frame, and paint it.

Ben worked on patching up some unsightly holes in the wall. He did a wonderful job!

Solomon did a great job masking this French door which leads from the kitchen to the front porch.

The first painting step was the ceiling! It really needed it! It is a high ceiling, so we started with that. Hannah took advantage of the location of the fridge.

Once again, we had to adapt to doing life with 15 people with most of the main floor inoperable. Here we are having our evening Bible time after our first day of ceiling painting, in the boys' room...where we also had dinner!

Surprising Daddy is nothing but fun!

Of course, once you let one of your children get on top of the fridge, soon they ALL want to do it.

This is day two. Day one, we were still all in the house; day two, I took a handful to visit some friends and get a year's supply of VENISON! Yum!

Sarah really held the project together, and did a great job on the perimeter near the ceiling. There was no parental painting on this project.

Susanna really wanted to stay and help paint, as Noah did. They were good helpers.

After priming the walls, the painting began. Boy, did it need paint! The walls really had that "lived in" look.

Not sure when to stop, we also did the attic stairs to Daddy's home office.

The condensation on the windows was leaking onto the freshly painted trim, so they set up a fan to help keep it dry.

Whenever the heater kicked on, the baseboard vents forced air under our plastic sheeting, creating an interesting effect.

I stashed some ice cream sandwitches in the bus for a surprise. Since it has been REALLY cold, the bus makes a good freezer.

The second window recess had been partly covered with a bulletin board. I asked Zak to build in a spice cabinet, with trim to match the French door.

This was all done in pine, which was pretty inexpensive. It really turned out nice (photos later).

Joshie thought everyone did a great job! We are cleaning up today for a house showing, and we'll post pictures later.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Our favorite physicist!

We had a great time in Oshkosh last Sunday! Russel Humphreys, a PhD physicist, and humble christian brother, gave several talks to encourage believers and challenge evolutionists. He is the author of Starlight and Time, in which he attempts to explain how distant starlight (millions of light years away) can be seen in a young (around six thousand years) universe.

Before he gets into his talk, he asks everyone to hold up their textbooks of cosmology: the Bible!

We were very appreciative of his stance that you don't have to be a PhD to understand what God tells us in the Bible, and even if you are, science clearly upholds what the Bible teaches.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Dad Race

Our friends, J and Heidi, invited us and the Baxters over for food and sledding. We said yes and just trusted that they knew what they were doing.

The Schaefers are blessed with a big beautiful house that is definitely open to friends and family! One of the first things that the Klein kids noticed was the Schaefers' verse a day white board.

Even though the day was unusually warm and beautiful, everyone was content to hang out and visit, sing and pray, for quite awhile.

Lauren and I got to catch up a bit.... the Schaefers' place is kind of a half-way point for our families. We are thankful the Baxters have had a lot less sickness this year! We're always blessed by Mark's musical gifts. He and Lauren enjoy writing praise songs.

Heidi is expecting her first daughter! This will make Schaefer team a team of six! We so enjoy their sweet family and are encouraged by the path, as parents, that the Lord is taking them on.

All manner of chili was consumed. The food, by J, was superb! Our Sammy with Emmaus Schaefer.

Most of the crowd walked over to the fearful slope, but a small second party drove over in our bus.

Our Ben and Jaron Baxter are mature enough to not be embarrassed by wearing the same snow pants.

Here are some of the girls going down.

Just as twilight was fading out for the day, a call for the Dad Race rang out. The shouts of agreement were so loud, nobody realized I was the one who said it.

The men selected their chariots, and the videographer descended to the foot of the, uh, mountain to catch the event for posterity.

Who won the Dad Race?
Who is the fastest dad?
The viewer may decide for himself.

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And here are the champions afterwards...no hard feelings!

(Thanks to Mark B for the photo!)