Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Things They Say

Calvin gave us two great laughs tonight:

1. He walked into the kitchen saying, "May I have an ice cream cone-dot-com?" (You know your child was born in the Digital Age when...)

2. Calvin kept talking this evening about being a "pork chop." Okay, whatever, we thought. Then he mentioned something about Bee Movie. Then it hit: when he said he wanted to be a "pork chop," he meant he wanted to be a "Pollen Jock."

Three-year-olds = Free entertainment.

My Cute Boys

Blowing on a "wishing puff" ~

Brothers ~

Getting rid of the "sugar bugs" ~

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

We spent Friday at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, a 3,000 acre National Historic Landmark near Lexington, Kentucky ~

The main museum is in the Centre Family Dwelling ~

This building served as the home for up to eighty Shakers. Members lived as brothers and sisters on opposite sides of the building. They came to be called "Shakers" because of their charismatic trembling or shaking in worship services.

A broom-making demonstration ~

Product testing ~

We had been to the Shaker Village once before in the fall. This visit, we spent time at the village farm ~

This chocolate brown kid named Cocoa took a liking to my boys and followed them around for awhile. The kids roamed freely outside their pen ~

A "Pleasant" day!

Gramma made an impact

Kim's mom made quite an impact on Calvin. As we were preparing to take her to the airport Calvin asked, "Gramma, can I go on the airplane to Minnesota with you?" When we dropped her off at the airport and were driving back home, Calvin said, "Daddy, you lied to me, you said I could go to Minnesota with Gramma!" (I did not say that)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Full Week

My mother has been here for the past five days visiting us. She returned to Minnesota this morning. We had a great time with her! The boys loved having Grandma Maggie here. When they woke each morning, they barely greeted me but went right to find Grandma. The weather could not have been better, so we spent much of the week outdoors, playing with the kids, exploring, and enjoying the spring foliage ~

One of our outings was to the Farmington Historic Plantation ~

We got a glimpse of plantation life in the 1830's on our self-guided tour. Mostly, though, we enjoyed seeing the grounds and gardens ~

I plan to post more pictures tomorrow from our week with Grandma Maggie!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Flowers

Lately, I have been taking in the delightful sights and smells of my neighborhood in full bloom.

This type of flowering tree is common around the neighborhood--a type of Magnolia, perhaps?

These are the blossoms on the tree outside our kitchen window ~

A flowering shrub on our neighbor's fence ~

The daffodils at the Zoo's Etscorn Garden ~

Flowers from my sweetheart on our anniversary, the sweetest flowers of them all ~

These are branches of an Eastern Redbud tree, very common in this area ~

I am not trying to rub it in, dear Minnesota friends. You will have your spring soon enough! And isn't it extra sweet after the long winter months?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Calvin's great idea

After lunch yesterday, Calvin said, "Dad, do you think you might like a treat?" I said, yes that would be nice. He then suggested, "Maybe we could all have some ice cream!" Great idea Calvin, here are a couple of pictures of the boys eating ice cream.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Before Ken and I even had children, our friends Bob and Heidi gave us these great CD's called Seeds of Faith and Seeds of Courage. We really enjoyed listening to them, even though they were intended for children!

Now that we have two little ones, we enjoy the music that much more. The music is fun, and the lyrics are word-for-word from the New International Version of the Bible.

It's a great scripture memorization tool, as the warning on the CD jacket states:

"WARNING:This package contains songs that may result in the listener unintentionally MEMORIZING SCRIPTURE. Furthermore, those who learn these words may find themselves inexplicably recalling and/or applying them to real-life situations, as the Holy Spirit leads. USE WITH CAUTION"

Click here for some audio clips from Seeds of Faith.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cities and Knights

Any Cities and Knights fans out there? Cities and Knights is a board game, a more complex version of Settlers of Catan. We played Thursday night with our good friends Scott and Marcie ~

We were all equally matched, and all four of us came close to winning. The game got tense toward the end and I had to remind myself to breathe...

And then I won it all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Great quote concerning the Sermon on the Mount

Our pastor is preaching a series on the Sermon on the Mount. I have taught through this passage and still feel that I have little understanding of the significance of our Lord's teaching in this setting. I came across a great quote from J. Gresham Machen in Christianity and Liberalism. He reminds me of the clear and simple truth of this great teaching.

"Men say that it [the Sermon on the Mount] contains no theology; in reality it contains theology of the most stupendous kind. In particular, it contains the loftiest possible presentation of Jesus' own Person. That presentation appears in the strange note of authority which pervades the whole discourse; it appears in the recurrent words, "But I say unto you." Jesus plainly puts His own words on an equality with what He certainly regarded as the divine words of Scripture; He claimed the right to legislate for the Kingdom of God."

J Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, page 36

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kentucky State Capitol

We took a family trip today to Frankfort, the capitol of Kentucky.

We toured an historic candy factory, Rebecca Ruth Candy Company. Can you guess their signature candy? (This is Kentucky, remember) That's right, folks, the Bourbon Ball ~

Don't you love this picture of the pastor next to the bourbon ball sign?

The boys choosing candy out of the "non-alcoholic case" (Thank goodness for that) ~

A famous jockey (Calvin something-or-other) ~

The state capitol building ~

The grounds have enormous tulip beds, which are a week or so away from blooming. We'll need to go back again!

Also on the capitol grounds are the biggest hanging planters I've ever seen, though they've yet to be planted this season. It made me think, what flowers would I plant in these?

The Executive Mansion (Ken is not the Governor of Kentucky...FYI: neither is Teddy Dean.) ~

My new favorite flowering tree, the Jane Magnolia ~

This floral clock is supposed to be quite a sight when it is planted with annuals. Again, something to go back and see later in the season ~

We also learned some state history along the way at the gravesite of Daniel Boone.

Thanks to my sweet husband for planning this family trip!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Picnic At The Park

A beautiful day and a family picnic at the park ~

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Friday, April 4, 2008

Family Robot

A robot moved in with us yesterday! The robot is sweet and kind, though often falls over and cannot get up without assistance. I asked our new robot if it will be making breakfast for the family. It replied, "No." So I guess it's not a cooking robot. Oh well.

(The robot told me its inspiration for robotics came from an episode of Curious George.)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

God's Big Picture

On Tuesday, I wrote about the Read and Learn Bible. It's good for exposing children to many Bible stories and characters, but it doesn't tie all those stories together into one cohesive story.

We have also been reading another children's Bible lately called The Big Picture Story Bible, by David Helm. This is a fabulous children's (or adult's!) introduction to biblical theology. It's what Ken calls a "Thematic Bible"--It's a retelling of the Bible in such a way as to emphasize central themes. You cannot read this Bible without catching these two messages:

1. God is the ruler over all, and
2. Jesus is the Forever King.

The Big Picture Story Bible highlights God in every narrative. Instead of looking at the people of the Bible, their characteristics, virtues and vices, it looks at God. It answers questions such as, "What is God doing in this story?" "Why?" and "What is God's plan?" It tells the story of how God has acted through history.

Throughout its pages, this beautifully illustrated book traces God's hand through creation, the fall of man, God's promise of a coming King who will crush sin and death, and the ultimate fulfillment of God's promises in Jesus Christ.

My favorite part of this book is pages 400-411. Jesus has been raised from the dead and is teaching the disciples how all of Scripture points to him. It says, "In [God's holy book] were many word pictures that proved he must die to pay the penalty for sin." The illustrations on these pages are mini drawings from previous stories...A ram being sacrificed on an altar in place of Isaac...the Israelites painting blood over their doors at the first Passover in Egypt...the articles of the temple...the temple destroyed and rebuilt. All these are word pictures that point to Jesus!

The book is engaging for preschool children (Calvin said last night, "Let's read the whole thing tonight!"), and I would guess children through elementary school would enjoy it as well.

By the way, if this sounds familiar to readers of Graeme Goldsworthy (one of Ken's favorite theologians), it should. The acknowledgments at the front of the book say, "We are indebted to Graeme Goldsworthy, who first helped us grasp the Bible along the lines of 'God's people in God's place under God's rule.'"

What a great way to introduce children to the Kingdom of God, to his plan and his rule!

Another theologically rich children's Bible is The Jesus Storybook Bible. See our blog entry here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Caribou Smile

My dear friend Pat came through. Thank you Pat for the Sumatra Caribou Coffee, I am enjoying it in the mornings as I parse verbs and participles for Greek. Kimberly loved the truffles as well, thank you for thinking of her.

The Bee Movie

Last evening Kimberly, the boys and I watched The Bee Movie. It is the animated movie that Jerry Seinfeld helped write. He is the main character, Barry. Renee Zellwiger, Chris Rock and Matthew Broderick supply the other voices of the main characters.

I would recommend this movie. Calvin loved it and Kimberly and I laughed out loud at numerous points. If you liked Seinfeld you will like this movie. I only remember one line that was not pleasing to God or a parents ears.

I would be interested to hear of other children's movies that are clean and enjoyable for both children and parents.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Read and Learn Bible

At Christmas time, Calvin received a new Bible from Ken's Aunt Gloria. It is the Read and Learn Bible from the American Bible Society. We have enjoyed reading it with Calvin and have read it once in its entirety, as well as read some of his favorite stories many times over.
This Bible contains "102 of the best-loved stories in the Bible," paraphrased using the Contemporary English Version and the King James Version.
Interestingly, the introduction to the book says it is for children ages 5-8. This guideline might be for childen reading it themselves. But as we've found with our sweet 3-year-old, it can be read to children much younger!
The Read and Learn Bible includes many stories that our other children's Bibles don't. For example, it spends 73 pages on Genesis, including the creation account and detail on all the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph). Calvin really likes the story of Jacob and Esau. I'm not sure why- maybe because it is about brothers and forgiveness, two things he's familiar with. But we've read it many times.
Some other elements of this Bible include geographical and historical notes, and parent pages explaining how you might talk about the stories with your children.