Saturday, June 28, 2008

Good news!

First, Mom wanted me to give you a little 'evaluation scale'. So the next time you ask "How's your mom?" Then you'll know exactly what we mean.

Here it is:
- "GOOD DAY" - any day I'm still alive
- "VERY GOOD DAY" - any day when there are no new problems.
- "EXCELLENT DAY" - any day in which we make progress.

Now...the good new:

Well, today was a excellent day! Today Mom got to add another length to her daily walks. She takes two walks everyday. She is gradually getting stronger, although she hasn't been getting enough sleep. So, one thing you can pray for her about, is that she will have a good night of rest every night!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Answer to Guessing game

Sorry, but I don't remember when I said I would put the answer for the guessing game. The guessing about how many green beans were picked (the first day, we've picked many more since then), how long the longest was, and who picked the longest.

I think I'm a little late on posting the answers...

...So here it goes:

Scroll down...

Scroll down...

Scroll down...

Really here it is:

Q #1: How many green beans were picked? A #1: a whopping total of 39!
Q #2: How long was the longest? A #2: (drum roll, please!) 6 inches long!
And Q #3: Who picked the longest? just happened to be...yours truly! (sorry Jaden, purely chance!) :)

Well, I'd better get to bed.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Beautiful Creation

Yesterday morning, I was processing several fresh papaya that we had purchased. As I was slicing them I noticed that they have a star pattern similar to the inside of an apple. Amazed, I decided to take a couple of pictures.
The star reminds me of a shell from the ocean, even the texture & coloration is shell-like.
Each time I learn something new about a creation of God's I remember how amazingly complex even the tinest thing is that He created. "...the works of Your hands. Psalm 8:3b


Here we all are, laughing about something funny~

Sunday morning Joel called from the Church, I was cleaning up the kitchen after the quick breakfast everyone ate before departing for services.

This is kind of how the conversation went: "Guess who's here?", "I don't know." I made a couple of guesses, all wrong, then Joel said, "no, somebody
better [than my previous guesses]," pause "Mr. Amos?" "Yes!" "Oh wow!"

Needless to say I was excited to hear that news! He came over after lunch and staid until that evening. We had a wonderful visit, but as always... too short! We used to say when he lived next door, that we still couldn't "get enough of him." It was really wonderful to see/visit with you again Mr. A~

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


We are very happy to be featuring a story written by our Grams. We are so happy that she won Grand Prize for this short story! Here is a little back ground on Arrora.
This week’s excitement is a writer’s conference in Marshall, TX. I submitted a story and an essay. At lunch Saturday they gave the awards. “Third place for the essay….. second …. First.” Then the story. “Third…, second…., first.” That’s okay. The process taught me a lot.
Then the speaker said. “We have one other award. Our Grand Prize winner is “Arroa” by Anna Russell.” I cried in front of 175 people.

By Anna L. Russell

My head hardly left the pillow when I felt a relentless urge to hurl. I wadded the blanket against my mouth and caught the contents of my stomach in its folds.
No, no, no. This can’t be happening to me. But when I raised my head again a wave of nausea made lying down heaven. I dozed.
“Hey, sleepy head,” Mom called from the doorway.
I dared not raise my head so I just mumbled. After she went down the hall I struggled to my feet, swallowing the impulse to up-chuck. I had to get ready for school.
In a few minutes Mom walked into the room and saw my pale face. “Are you…” She hesitated, gulped and tried again.
“Are you…” Mom's right hand clutched at her stomach while with her left hand she covered her mouth. “Oh, ohhh, awgh!” Her moan came to my ears.
“Arroa, are you….” I dropped my eyes as she closed the door.
The next moment Mom’s hands were thumping my back.
Her fists pounded my shoulders as she cried, “How could you? How COULD you? How?”
Tears silently rolled down my cheeks. Fifteen and pregnant. Me. How could I….
Mom finally stopped hitting me and sank to the bed. “How far along?”“I’ve missed three periods.”
Mom moaned and wrapped her arms around herself, rocking back and forth. But then fury filled her. Again she snapped to her feet and pulled me in front of her, eyes blazing. “Don’t tell your father, do you hear? Don’t tell your father.” I nodded. She hurried from the room.
Dad found out a few days later.
“Arrora!” His harsh tone had a terrifying quality. He pulled his belt off still calling. “Arrora!” He pushed a chair aside and toppled the table that separated me from him.
Mom stepped between us. “No.” She shoved me hard and I stumbled into my room. I shut the door and put my back against it. I heard Dad’s belt. Whap! Whap-whap! Leather smacking against Mom. She only whimpered.
Later when all the lights were out and darkness enveloped me, Mom crept to my bedside. “You are not leave this room, hear?” I could smell fear in her words. “I will bring you meals. You will help me in the house after your father goes to work, but you are not to be seen by him – he has disowned you.” She walked to the door. “Do you understand me?”
Before the door closed she said, “You have disgraced our name. You have brought shame to our family. There is no excuse for you. Just stay out of our way. Stay hidden.”
Suddenly I was in a small cave, my room. I could not talk with, Frank, the baby’s father, or any of my friends. Oh, I wanted to leave town! I wanted to run as far away as possible. But wherever I went the life inside me would be there. Frank could just act like he never knew me. He was the one who ran away.
The routine was the same each day. Sweep, dust, and wash dishes.
Mondays I pushed the clothes up and down on the scrub board. Mom hung the clothes on the outside line because she didn’t want anyone to see me.
Tuesdays I sat up the ironing board next to the cook stove. The iron was hot and heavy. My shoulders hurt by the time Papa’s shirts and pants were pressed. I had to be done before he got home.
Wednesdays I baked: bread, cakes, cookies. Mom made the pies. No one ever said “thank you.” In fact Mom spoke only to give me the barest instruction.
Thursdays all the floors had to be scrubbed. A bucket of hot sudsy water, a scrub brush, and a wooden floor were my companions. I’d pretend I was talking with one of my girlfriends as the floor took on a lighter brown color.
Fridays all the rooms had to be sparkling: I used vinegar water and newspapers to clean the windows. All table tops and the mantle had to be free of dust. Every rug had to be carried to the clothes line – Mom did that.
Always I crept to the kitchen after 7:30 a.m. when Papa was clean out of sight. Always I was back in my room before 4 p.m. I longed for sunshine. I desperately wanted to see my friends. Would they go to the cinema for the Saturday Matinee? All the while my belly grew bigger and bigger.
I thought there wasn’t a spot of my room I hadn’t touched or memorized, but in the closet I found an old Bible tucked in the bottom of a box. It had been my grandmother’s. My mother’s mother.
I pulled my legs Indian style as I sat on the bed near the window. Slowly I fanned the pages and noticed some handwriting on a certain page. John 8:4 was underlined: They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Grandma’s scrawl said, “Me. Only they didn’t bring me to the leaders. They beat me, hoping I would lose my baby.”
I had never been told about Grandma. Was she pregnant with who? Mom? How old was Grandma? How was she treated? Did Grandma love my mother? It took me several minutes to connect the lines and the anger.
Then I read how Jesus knelt and wrote in the sand. After the accusers left, he spoke to the woman caught in sin. “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
I clutched the Bible to my swollen breasts. Could it be? I started with verse one of chapter eight and read through verse 11. Again and again.
Right then I knelt. “Lord, I have sinned.” Sobs took my breath but I continued my prayer.
“Forgive me for the shame Papa and Mom has to endure because of me.” Hot tears burned my cheeks. “Forgive me for the wrong I did with my body and how I went against what Papa and Mom wanted.” Over and over I repeated the words.
Gently, like a soft breeze, words filled my mind. “Arroa, I do not condemn you.”
Wonderment seeped throughout my body. My mind lost its gray haze. Out loud, so I could hear the precious words, I said, “I am not condemned.” I must be forgiven – I am forgiven!

I hugged the Bible and danced around the room. When I looked in the box again I found Grandma’s hymnal. I can read music; I’ll sing.
Every day I read pages about Jesus and his love and forgiveness. I sang hymns until the veil over my heart was free of guilt and shame. I decided to become selfless before my parents, to be content, to be joyful -- with Jesus help.
One day I felt pain across my stomach. I found Mom in the kitchen. “Mom.” I bent over clutching my stomach. “Ooooo!” I reached for a chair. In a few minutes Mom put me to bed and ran for the midwife.
Through the blur caused by the pain I saw a black woman beside mother. Then I felt a terrible squeeze inside my body and heard a “slurp” sound.
“Oh, looky,” the midwife cooed. “Here, clean her up.” She handed Mom the baby. “Now, Missy, one more push.”
Mom and Papa were reluctant to express pleasure with my baby. Papa didn’t want me in his sight yet. Mama bathed my baby and dressed her. Only after I asked did she show me how to do it.
One day as I changed Sarah, I looked at Mom. “Do you know about Grandma’s Bible?” Mom’s head jerked up. “You know, her King James Bible?” Mom stared at me.
“She was pregnant?” I paused. “Grandma?” I pinned the cloth diaper and pulled the flannel gown down over Sarah’s legs. “Did you know they beat Grandma?”
Mom sank onto a chair. “I … I knew my mother didn’t hold me often. She didn’t talk to me much, ever. I only heard rumors, like maybe someone had beat her. She hung her head and sobbed. “And I did the same, got pregnant at 16, just like her.” She glanced at me and whispered, “Just like you.” Mom sighed.
I put Sarah in Mom’s arms and disappeared into my bedroom. I pulled the Bible from under my pillow and found John 8 before returning to the kitchen.
“Mom, can I read this to you?” I knelt beside her. “Grandma liked this passage.” My eyes were shiny with moisture when finished the eleven verses,. “Did you hear that, Mom? Jesus didn’t condemn the woman caught in adultery. Jesus didn’t condemn Grandma. He doesn’t condemn me.” I clasped Mom’s hands. “I’m forgiven.” I emphasized by repeating. “I am forgiven.” I waited.
Mom smoothed the page and gently removed the Bible from my hands. “Not condemned.” She hugged the Bible to her breast and turned her eyes toward the ceiling. A new awareness gleamed in her eyes.
“Arroa, is that why you are so different? I’ve noticed something different.” Without waiting for my answer and with a deliberate beat she spoke, “I’m forgiven. For-GIV-en.”
We leaned over Sarah and hugged. Two women forgiven by Christ.

© Anna L. Russell
Anna L. Russell’s articles have appeared in various tabloids, local magazines, and newspapers. She has won two awards in the past year. As the mother of five and grandmother of 18, she writes to them about ancestors as well as spins off of their experiences. In her writing Anna also raises the awareness of Restless Legs Syndrome and the “cheapest medicine,” water aerobics and swimming. Each summer she teaches water safety to 100 or more people.
Because of Christ, I am, Anna L. Russell (903) -566-2192
"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127: 3, 5

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

America... too religious?

This week the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released an in depth study of America's religious preference and how religious our country's people actually are.

So, according to the survey conducted by the Pew Forum...

"Most Americans agree with the statement that many religions – not just their own – can lead to eternal life. Among those who are affiliated with a religious tradition, seven-in-ten say many religions can lead to eternal life. This view is shared by a majority of adherents in nearly all religious traditions, including more than half of members of evangelical Protestant churches (57%). Only among Mormons (57%) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (80%) do majorities say that their own religion is the one true faith leading to eternal life."

The Pew Forum went on to say...

"Most Americans also have a non-dogmatic approach when it comes to interpreting the tenets of their own religion. For instance, more than two-thirds of adults affiliated with a religious tradition agree that there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their faith, a pattern that occurs in nearly all traditions. The exceptions are Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, 54% and 77% of whom, respectively, say there is only one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion."

It appears that our view of the Bible, is not much better...

"A similar pattern is evident in views of the Bible. Nearly two-thirds of the public (63%) takes the view that their faith’s sacred texts are the word of God. But those who believe Scripture represents the word of God are roughly evenly divided between those who say it should be interpreted literally, word for word (33%), and those who say it should not be taken literally (27%). And more than a quarter of adults – including two-thirds of Buddhists (67%) and about half of Jews (53%) – say their faith’s sacred texts are written by men and are not the word of God. "

I would encourage you to read & pass along the study in its entirety.

For Christ & Culture!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Answer to Mystery ~ (3 days late!!)

Okay... now for the answer to the mystery, now that it's June 23rd, 3 days late! Sorry about that, I just totally forgot about it until yesterday.

Actually, I think I'll make you wait a little longer. Here is one more clue:

6. During her convalescence, Julia has been extra-sensitive to noise.

Now, think about it for a minute, and see if you can figure it out!

Scroll down for answer...

Scroll down...

Scroll down...

Keep scrolling...!

Scroll down...

...Here it is: (No more waiting, right?!) :)

Scroll down... :)

Answer: The ribs on the corduroy have a baffle-effect, and as hoped, the fabric hung on the door serves to absorb the noise funneled down the two halls. Works quite nicely.

By the way, for a slight fee, Phoebe & Johanna will be happy to come help set you up to follow this home d├ęcor trend. You supply the skirt & we’ll provide the gross-grain ribbon & labor. Please specify ribbon color: jewel-tone, blue, raspberry, cardinal red or lady pink. (Grins! Julia)

Here is a picture to help you to understand a little better:


Friday, June 20, 2008

Pictures from Dad's Birthday~

We celebrated Dad's birthday on Wednesday at breakfast that way Joel could take part. The pictures are very much like Dad, he's always getting us to laugh, making goofy faces and being funny! We love you Daddy! God bless you with many more years of life!
~Your grateful children

Father's Day Pictures

So... Last Sunday afternoon Dad's parents came up from Dallas, and visited with us for a couple of hours. It was fantastic to be with them after such a long absance of visiting on our part.
We took a few pictures, but forgot to take one of all of us with Grandpa & Grandma.

They ended up eating dessert with us (ice-cream & apple crisp).

Dad reads the cards he received & opens his presents.

It was a wonderful visit, though too short. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A trip to Cabella's

[Please forgive the disintegrated sentences and words in this post; our computer is messing up on us.] Have you ever heard of the outfitter's heaven called Cabella's? Well, it is a store, yes, but it is also almost a museum. The one here is the Dallas/Fort Worth area is located about 45 miles Southwest of here, so we don't go to it very often. As a matter of fact, only Joel, Jaden, and myself (Caleb) have been to it. Nevertheless, at ours you will see a "mountain" inside of the building covered with dozens of stuffed animals like mountain goats, mountain lions, black bears, brown bears, polar bears, musk oxen, moose, deer, antelope, etc.

In each wing of the store, there is a different outdoor theme. On one side is the American backwoods, on another the African dessert plains, on the other a beaver dam pond. Pretty neat stuff! Like I have said to some folks before, Cabella's is an experience!

Near the firearms sales section of the store there is what Cabella's calls the "Gun Library," which is filled with lots of expensive guns. I took a shot of one of these.

Here are some pictures of Joel's and my last visit to Cabella's about 3 weeks ago.

Tis' one expensive piece - $16,199.00! Most likely, if one were to buy this gun, they wouldn't want to shoot it!!

The elephant in the African Plains exhibit - the real deal!

The lions guarding there Musk Ox against...

...The hyenas!

This is what I call the "Dessert Crag exhibit" on one side of the "Synthetic mountain"

The "American Backwoods" side of the "Synthetic Mountain"

The beaver dam on the fishing side of the mountain

Front side of the Mountain

The Arctic side of the mountain

Enjoy the pictures!

Christians and Politics

Hello All,

I just wanted to post an article (used with permission) written by Mr. Kevin George. Mr. George ran for U.S. Congress Texas District 4 this past year. Although he did not win in the primaries, his campaign as The Constitutional Republican Candidate did very well considering the fact that this was his first attempt at running for public office. Of course, he and I would both recognize that is was the LORD's Hand at work in all of this.

Mr. George wrote this article to give to attendees at the Texas State Convention of the Republican Party held in Houston this past week. Mr. George, along with many other like-minded individuals attended as a Delegate from his Senate District.

If you want to read a little bit more about Mr. George visit his website:

- Joel


Dare to Choose Liberty!
Dear RPT Convention attendee,
You may have heard that there are many new people involved in the Republican
Party, and that they want to “take over.” Who are these people, and what do they want?
The majority of those who want to “take over” are those who passionately believe in liberty and limited government. Our current government has become an organized, corrupt system, and so has much of the party leadership. Our
government, and the party leadership, do not respect the law, starting with the
Constitution. The Constitution guarantees to the people and the States their Godgiven rights, and denies all non-delegated powers to the federal government.
But for decades the government, as well as both political parties, have
trampled on, rebelled against, and deliberately refused to abide by the
Constitution. It is time to change this rebellion! This is why many believe
that to continue with the same direction in the political party will only make
things worse, and the leadership must be changed.
The current state Party Rules have worked very well for conservative grassroots
activists. But the RPT has repeatedly refused to abide by those rules! The rules
are being ignored so the corrupt leadership can maintain its corrupt control.
This is why they prefer to meet in closed committees, and disregard other rules. If you endorse the leadership, you are being an accessory to their crimes against the people who are fighting the lies, hypocrisy, and corruption within the party.
I am so saddened that many Christians who claim to believe in God, our Creator, do not truly trust Him. Instead, they trust in men, military, and organizations.
There is a proper place for these, but their trust has gone way too far. Our motto is, “In God we trust.” But for most people it has become “In government we
trust.” Our frequent “God bless America” statements must be disgusting to Him who has been rejected.
Why not just trust God again? This would mean liberty! Liberty means limited
government, restrained to the bare minimums necessary to maintain justice and national defense. Let the people be free. I realize that, as in the ancient nation of Israel, when people cease to trust God in their hearts (even though they say they do with their lips) they always request that a king or a strong government be erected to provide security and order. But this strong government eventually becomes organized corruption, overpowers the people, and destroys the nation.
When people reject God (as our nation has done), it is still preferable to have
disorganized corruption rather than organized corruption. Consider what you are doing at the convention. Many Christians are letting their fear of Islam and a degenerate culture overpower their trust in God. This is reflected in their attempt to force control through legal channels, and they end up losing respect and integrity. The world sees through the hypocrisy, leading to a further hardening of their distrust toward all things deemed religious.
May I remind you that even though Islam has killed millions, organized, corrupt governments have killed hundreds of millions. In my day-to-day living I fear what the anti-God, corrupt State will do to me, my children, and my country, far more than I fear what Islam will do to us. If Christians don’t repent of their distrust of God and their love for big-government ideas of “security,” God will soon turn us all over into the hands of our new master (a total police state), and we will be severely punished for our unbelief.
I became engaged in the political process because I see that our problems are
spiritual at their root, and a bigger, all-intrusive and all-controlling government
is anti-God in its philosophy, actions, and goals. While it may look inviting to use the government to force our God-given biblical values, there comes a point
beyond which it backfires and the controls we set up for good end up being used
against us. In the end, it is better to trust in God and not force our values beyond what our pagan society can handle.
America used to be a Christian nation in many respects. But it is now a pagan
nation, and cannot be cured or rescued through the political process. We
Christians need to remain aggressively involved, but not kid ourselves by
thinking that we are justified when we break the law or use legal force to impose our views. This always backfires and ends up with a deeper disrespect and
outright hatred toward all things and people who represent God, and this is what we are experiencing more and more.
So, please consider what you are doing at the Texas RPT convention. Vote for
liberty, and a renewed trust in God. Reject corruption, (yes, even “Christian” corruption), and reject the ideas of big government that are being increasingly used to bind us into a darkened, pagan system of total State control.
May God grant us liberty from government tyranny, so we may trust and praise
Him, not the State.
For God, family, and country,
Kevin George

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is Daddy's 4- birthday! Yes, we'll be nice and withhold his real age from our readers.

Happy Birthday to you!!! Happy Birthday to you!!! Happy Birthday dear Daddy!!! Happy Birthday to you!!!

May God continue to lead you & guide you, and may He bless you with many more years of service for Jesus' sake.

We love you Daddy/David!

Julia, Joel, Abby, Caleb, Phoebe, Johanna & Jaden

Monday, June 16, 2008

Singing With the Servens

Today, Abby, Phoebe, Johanna, and myself, enjoyed a good hour of practising four-part harmony with the Serven's CD All Glory Laud and Honor as our "teacher." Abby was singing soprano, Johanna the alto, Phoebe singing tenor, and I was the bass. We had a good time! Thank you, Servens, (Genevan Foundation) for the great teaching instrument that you have produced! We certainly enjoy it!

~Caleb Nathan

Summer Reading List~

Summer Reading List
As you can tell from the below lists, we love to read! Please note that some books are mentioned multiple times, which must mean their good… right?! We hope that you enjoy these reading lists and that they make your summer more meaningful… I mean reading-full! Of course, we pray that this summer you will continue to read/study the Holy Scriptures of God, and find direction, wisdom and maturity each day. Please note that I have not provided links for all of the below mentioned books. Feel free to do a web search for more information.

Joel’s List: Ages 15 – Adult

The Lie: Evolution – Ken Ham
The Revolution: A Manifesto – Ron Paul
Ancient Rome & How it Affects you Today – Richard J. Maybury
Honest Money – Gary North
The New Answers Book – Ken Ham general editor

Abby’s List: Ages 15 – Adult
1776 – David McCullough
Johnny Tramain – Esther Forbes
The Curate’s Awakening – George MacDonald
The Story of Liberty – Charles C. Coffin (*Warning* this book contains graphic imagery, not recommended for younger readers)
So Much More – Anna Sofia Botkin & Elizabeth Botkin
Evolution Exposed – Roger Patterson
A Journey through the life of William Wilberforce – Kevin Belmonte 122p
Aunt Jane’s Hero – Elizabeth Prentiss
Lives of the Signers – B.J. Lossing
John Newton: Out of the Depths – John Newton’s Autobiography
The Puritans – Edited by Perry Miller & Thomas J. Johnson
The Gospel in Hymns – Albert E. Bailey

Caleb’s List: Ages 15 – Adult
Birkenhead Drill – Douglas Phillips
Thoughts for Young Me – J.C. Ryle
The Lie: Evolution – Ken Ham
The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom
Beric the Briton – G.A. Henty
Wulf the Saxon – G.A. Henty
Tortured for Christ – Richard Wumrbrand
Jeff McLean: His Courtship – Mr. & Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry
Tiger & Tom - J.E. White

Phoebe’s List: Ages 12 +
Jim Elliot – Susan Martins Miller
Twig the Collie – Craig Massey
They Gave us Wings: The Wright Brothers – Charles Ludwig
Ten P’s in a Pod – Arnold Pent III
Adam of the Road – Elizabeth Janet Grey
The Farm Mystery Series – Mr. & Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry
Our Homestead Story Pt. 1 & 2 – Mr. & Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry

Johanna’s List: Ages 8 +
The Farm Mystery Series (8 books) – Mr. & Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry
Keep the Lights Burning Abbie – Peter & Connie Roop
Jessica’s First Prayer – Hesba Stretton
Jessica’s Mother – Hesba Stretton
Waiting for Her Isaac – Mr. & Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry
The Courtship Series – Mr. & Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry
The Wild horses of Sweetbriar – Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
The Garden Wall – Jennie Bishop
The Princess & The Kiss – Jennie Bishop
The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom
My Country ‘Tis of Thee: Samuel Francis Smith – Marguerite E. Fitch
With Lee in Virginia – G.A. Henty
Ten P’s in a Pod – Arnold Pent III
Twig the Collie – Craig Massey
Diary of an Early American Boy – Eric Sloane
Bless the LORD – Johannah Bluedorn Stanford

Jaden’s List: Ages 2 +
Busy Beavers – Lydia Dabcovich
Blueberries for Sal – Robert McCloskey
The Story about Ping – Marjorie Flack
It’s Designed (board book) – Ken Ham & Buddy Davis
Bless the LORD – Johannah Bluedorn Stanford
Life in the Great Ice Age – Michael & Beverly Oard

Summer: What to do Part I

Well, for many of us, Summer has begun. School's out, and so the big questions are "What can I do this summer that will be fun, and will keep me / my kids occupied?"

Here are some different and varied activities you might consider:

  • Local libraries usually have a summer reading program, this would be great for all children of reading age! Even if you decide not to participate in a reading program, you can still visit the library. Our local library has a wonderful kids section... and its air conditioned!

  • Visit local museums. So many times we overlook our local museums and attractions that are nearby, and with gas prices through the roof, you will probably be surprised how many neat museums are close. Go spend an afternoon, pack a lunch and enjoy seeing something right in your own city that you may have overlooked before.

  • Parks are so fun for little children. Thankfully, we live near 2. I find that the best time, and the coolest temperature wise to go is in the late afternoon or early evening (4pm onward). There will be more people, but its allot cooler once the sun's gone down.

  • Picnics are great fun! Pack sandwich's and chips, or fruits and veggies. We have even had a picnic in our front yard! The neighbors may look at you, but we still had a great time! If you have a nice patio in your back yard, spread a blanket and have fun!

  • Books. Reading is a favorite at the Kautt house. We love books. All of our bookshelves are bursting. I will be posting a "summer reading list" in another post, so be on the look-out for that.

For those of you who plan on traveling this summer:

General admissions is:
Adult (13-59 yrs): $19.95
Senior (60 yrs & up): $14.95
Children (5-12 yrs): $9.95
Children (under 5 yrs): Free
Planetarium with admission: $7
Petting Zoo: $2.00 (children under 2 are free)

Two-day Pass (available for purchase Sunday–Thursday):
Adult: $29.95
Senior: $22.95
Children: $14.95
(Prices do not include tax.)

More to come.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Patriarchy:: Father's Day 2008

"Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth
the LORD, That delighteth greatly in his
commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon the earth:
the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth
and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness
endureth for ever. Unto the upright there ariesth light
in the darkness: He is gracious, and full of
compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth
favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with
discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the
righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He
shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed,
trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he
shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his
enemies. He had dispersed, he hath given to the poor;
His righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be
exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be
grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away:
The desire of the wicked shall perish."
Psalm 112
Only A Dad~
Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper or pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rice nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.
Edgar Guest

We love you Dad, and may the Lord bless you and give you many more Father's Days!!!
Joel, Abby, Caleb, Phoebe, Johanna & Jaden

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ron Paul closes his campaign for the WH

It is with great sadness, and yet much anticipation of what is to come, that we write this post.

Friday night in Houston Dr. Ron Paul announced that his bid for the White House is over.

But, that doesn't mean that his campaign for Freedom, Liberty & the Constitution is.

By far the most enduring under dog, Dr. Paul has proved to the nation, that the Constitutional message he presented since launching his Presidential revolution in February 2007 is not only popular, it is needed.

Although his is officially not running for the presidency, he is running to awaken Americans who are in desperate need of the truth.

Please join Dr. Paul as he continues to challenge the status quo and what they think is "right."

The Bloggers at Texas Skies

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summary of clues

Here is a summary of the clues I've given so far:

1. Yes, it is a brown corduroy skirt, in perfect condition. However, it is a little too small for Abby, the smallest waist of the females. We’re glad that we didn’t pass it along, for it proved quite useful; just what we needed.

2. While we don’t follow the latest fashion trends, we do try to keep the house orderly & attractive. Abby has quite an eye for putting things together in a pleasing manner. This is not her work & probably makes her cringe. IT certainly makes Julia cringe. No. This is definitely not for the aesthetics. Strictly functional.

3. The corduroy was chosen because of its texture. Smoother fabric wouldn’t suit the purpose.

4. The door is at the juncture of two halls, which adjoin busy room.

5. Acoustics.

Also, there is one particular guesser (is that even a word?!) (whose name will not be stated at this time), whose is getting very, very close. To look at the guesses made by this particular guesser, please look at the comments on this post. Also, please keep looking for any more guesses or new clues! Again, to see any new guesses, please look at the comments.

Just a gentle reminder:

We love your guesses! :)

Have fun!


Monday, June 9, 2008

H.R.2415 - "Affordable Gas Price Act"

With gas prices skyrocketing, please take a few minutes and urge your congress man / or woman to be a c0-sponsor of this helpful bill in the House.

Support H.R. 2415 -- A Free Market Solution for "Gas Gone Wild"

  • House bill H.R. 2415, short-titled the "Affordable Gas Price Act," introduced by Rep. Ron Paul on May 21, 2007, purportedly would reduce the price of gasoline by:
  • Allowing for offshore drilling in areas previously forbidden.
    Eliminating Federal obstacles to constructing refineries and providing incentives for investment in refineries.
  • Suspending Federal fuel taxes when gasoline prices reach a benchmark amount.
  • Promoting free trade with oil producing countries that outdated policies have prevented.

H.R. 2415 is a compilation of proposals for a free market approach to dealing with America's gasoline crisis. The bill deserves cosponsorship support so that it will receive committee action.

Sec. 9 of H.R. 2415 calls for the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve to produce a report on the relationship between the increase in our fiat money supply and the rise in the price of oil. Such a report would be vital in assessing the federal government's responsibility for rising prices.

Inflationary Federal Reserve policy encourages speculation that drives oil prices higher than a tightening supply alone.
Ask your congressman to cosponsor H.R. 2415 and help get this bill out of committee and to the House floor for a vote.

To take action on H.R. 2415 and the following bill click here:

Defend It!

One more clue

Here is one more simple clue I thought I'd add on to the others:

5. Acoustics.

This may help you more than you think!


Saturday, June 7, 2008

More clues for the Mystery

Here are the clues I've already given:...

1. Yes, it is a brown corduroy skirt, in perfect condition. However, it is a little too small for Abby, the smallest waist of the females. We’re glad that we didn’t pass it along, for it proved quite useful; just what we needed.

2. While we don’t follow the latest fashion trends, we do try to keep the house orderly & attractive. Abby has quite an eye for putting things together in a pleasing manner. This is not her work & probably makes her cringe. IT certainly makes Julia cringe. No. This is definitely not for the aesthetics. Strictly functional.

3. The corduroy was chosen because of its texture. Smoother fabric wouldn’t suit the purpose.

...and here's one more:

4. The door is at the juncture of two halls, which adjoin busy rooms.

Also... is a picture to help you out even more:

Now, this may be one of the most helpful clues so far!


Friday, June 6, 2008

Sunday afternoon at the Park

Phoebe, Jaden & Johanna ready to play~

Last Sunday afternoon, I took Phoebe, Jo & Jaden up to the big park near our house. Being in the upper 90s, with little to no shade made it less desirable, but for the water attraction. We like to go up to the park on hot summer days, to wade in the shallow waters that run around the perimeter of the park.

This time, Phoebe & I were going to play a little baseball. It was quite hot, but thankfully sunglasses help! Being a blonde, I am especially sensitive to the sun.

Jaden got into the action! He hit the ball to Phoebe & I using my Tennis racket. Sadly, our camera was in need of a "charge" so I didn't get any pictures of the little guy in action. He did have fun though. :)

Johanna is fascinated with fossils. In 2006, while exploring the "stream" we discovered much to our delight, that the white rock was chalk full of fossils. Mostly marine & invertebrates, but still this was an exciting discovery. Each time it rains, more of the rock is exposed, or washed away, bringing to light more fossils.

Johanna getting her feet wet. Thankfully, Crocs are very water friendly. They even float, and so I snapped this picture of Jo's & mine as they glided away...

After getting hot and sweaty, we took some time to swing and play on the jungle jam... always a big hit with the kids.

We always have such a blast at the park. They also have a nice bike path, and we zooming our bikes around the loop, seeing how many miles we can do before collapsing in exhaustion.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Mystery!!!

Another Mystery
By Julia Kautt (June 2008)

Clearly, Julia has had too much time on her hands. What is that contraption she thought up on her bedroom door?

Is it the seedling of a new home decorating trend? Did she run out of closet space & hangers? Was she looking for a way to use up more of the bolts & bolts of colorful wide gross-grain ribbon her mother gave her 10 years ago? (That stuff must have babies! We can’t seem to use it all up.) And just who did she convince to rig the thing anyway? Can you figure out its purpose?
Here are some clues:

1. Yes, it is a brown corduroy skirt, in perfect condition. However, it is a little too small for Abby, the smallest waist of the females. We’re glad that we didn’t pass it along, for it proved quite useful; just what we needed.

2. While we don’t follow the latest fashion trends, we do try to keep the house orderly & attractive. Abby has quite an eye for putting things together in a pleasing manner. This is not her work & probably makes her cringe. It certainly makes Julia cringe. No. This is definitely not for the aesthetics. Strictly functional.

3. The corduroy was chosen because of its texture. Smoother fabric wouldn’t suit the purpose.
Blogger's note: More clues to come (sometime in the next week, hopefully!) :)

Random pictures from... lately 1.

The 3 Goofs!! Aren't we glad that God gave them a strange sense of humor!? These three are constantly "cracking us up", and making us laugh! We love you Phoebe, Johanna & Jaden bug!