Monday, June 1, 2009

Month in Review -- May

Warning: Long post!

The month of May started out with a bang!  (No, we did not finish "school"...) For the past three years we have organized an area homeschoolers' music and fine arts recital. Since not all of the kids are musical we have added scripture and poetry recitation to the program.  In an effort to feature only God-honoring music the program is limited to classical and sacred pieces. This year we had seventeen child participants, up from eight the first year!  Hooray!  Maybe we'll have to find a bigger facility to host  our big event next year!   

Here's Emily confidently reciting A Child's Prayer.  She also played Nothing But the Blood on her harmonica, and she did a super job! 

Elisabeth met a younger girl who was also going to play the violin.  Positive peer pressure kept her from backing out when her turn came, as she did in previous years.  (Love that positive peer pressure!)  Elisabeth chose to play Lightly Row and Come Thou Fount.  I was so proud of her.

In addition to a nice arrangement of All Hail the Power on the piano, Amy played a Telemann flute duet with a friend.  Alison's violin solo piece was Gigue, from Sonata in d minor, by Veracini.  She and a friend played all three movements of Bach's Concerto for Two Violins, having abbreviated the first and third movements in an effort not to keep the audience up all night.   Amy and Alison teamed up for a duet, Saviour Like a Shepherd Lead Us, and they both had a part in a group ensemble for Air on a G String, by JS Bach. 

The grand finale included everyone who knew the words or the tune to Send the Light.  It was lots of fun. (I know, I know, the kids do it because their parents make them, but my own even admitted it wasn't so bad after all, lol!)  In this photo, Alison is out of sight at the piano.

The next big event on our calendar was a tour of our local police department.  The whole thing was very interesting, but I was most impressed by three things: the organizational skills involved in the storage of evidence (these are the guys to call if you need your house organized), the special forces teams, and the forensics laboratory.  Look at all that algebra on the walls!  And you thought you'd never need to know this stuff.  The kids were more excited about playing with the sirens, sitting in the back of the police car, and seeing honest-to-goodness bad guys handcuffed and taken off to jail.  Too bad we aren't in Maricopa County, where the tent jail is.


Oh my, I can't leave this out.  Elisabeth bought herself a digital camera.  I don't need to take photos anymore -- I have two resident photographers!

In preparation for our our trip to Joplin, Missouri for family camp with our old church, Amy and I sewed a couple of dresses for Emily.  I pinned, she sewed.  It's great to have a partner at the sewing machine!  (Now why didn't I get a photo of her sewing?  It would have been much more interesting.)

At long last we packed up for camp.  I was certain we would never find room in our  little van for all the stuff we would need to take.  Besides needing jackets, church clothes and shoes for just one day, plus the iron, plus six sleeping bags and our own towels, you should see the list of stuff they recommend to bring to camp: broom, cleaning supplies, rugs, curtains, lol, yes!  I'm serious!  Well, we skipped all that stuff, except for a couple of throw rugs which we didn't need after all, because we were unexpectedly blessed with deluxe accommodations that included carpet. Alison and Amy handled all the music on Sunday at our old church, and included in their dad's plans for the special music was a couple of violin/flute duets.  Where, you ask, did we ever find room for a violin?  If we had had to bring it, it would have ridden on Alison's lap for 2600 miles.  But we were blessed to have Mr. Simon McHugh, of the fine McHugh Violin Shop in Wichita, loan us one for the weekend.  Here is the pile of stuff we traveled with:

That doesn't look too bad, does it?  Actually there is a large laundry basket hiding under the pillows, and a suitcase, too, and a few sleeping bags.  For a one or two night stay, each girl packs her own bag.  But  on longer trips I pack the girls' clothes in the laundry basket, rather than in a suitcase.  It's much easier to find things in there, since clothes are visible through the sides of the basket.  We wear the same clothes two days in a row as we travel, only bringing into our motel room a bag with pj's and clean underwear, plus our necessary bathroom stuff.  That saves us from unpacking the entire contents of the van each time we stop for the night. 

It was a big blessing to see dear old friends in Kansas and Missouri, not to mention green prairies, flowers, trees, and some rain...   My husband preached all the services on Sunday, including a good message titled, "What Will You Do With Your Sins?" On Monday we took off for camp in Missouri.  This was the perfect time for us to play the Cow Game.  Rules:  Players on each side of the car count the cows on their side of the road.  If you pass a cemetery on your side of the road, all your cows die. The team with the most cows at the end of the trip wins. Because we didn't know ahead of time where all the cemeteries were on this particular stretch of road, it was a lot more interesting than during the first part of the trip. Coming into Wichita from the west there are cemeteries on both sides of the highway, so your cows are as good as dead before you even leave Arizona. Variations on this game include counting yellow cars, Peterbilts, or sheep (but "sheep" never die).   We played 'em all.  And, of course, there's this to do:

Other activities to keep the kiddos, even the young ones, busy on the road included easy Sudoku, books, mazes, sewing plastic canvas, coloring books, and, one of my favorites, MP3 players!  We have collected hundreds of audio files from Homeschool Radio Shows, and while we don't often listen to them any other time,  being on the road is a great opportunity to hear these great programs.  They're even educational. Split earphone jacks (available at Radio Shack) make it possible for all the kids to listen, while Mom and Dad have private conversation or simply enjoy the peace and quiet. 

So, okay, we finally got to camp.  The time before camp went like this: Tick........  Tick........  Tick........   Tick......   But as soon as we got to Joplin time passed like this, ticktickticktickticktick!  We had a great week of preaching, fellowship, food (lots of food), singing, swimming, boating, learning, playing softball and volleyball, making friends, slapping mosquitoes, and climbing hills.  The weather was gorgeous, not at all the sauna that I expected.  It even rained!  Praise the Lord!  We desert people were freezing, but it was wonderful.

The camp facility is an old hotel/resort, and in the days of prohibition it was a hang-out for the likes of Al Capone.  Do you see the door in the side of the hill in the photo on the right?  That is the entrance to a cave where the bad guys hid from the feds during raids. The place has quite a story.

Dad and the girls canoeing.

Amy sings at talent time with her little friends.

Our pastor and his wife, celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.

Alison and her new friends learn some new music.

The Ed Fort family has an international ministry in Chicago.  Sokvary, the mom, in the pink jacket, was an adolescent survivor of the killing fields of the 70's in Cambodia/Vietnam.  She has a horrifying, amazing and wonderful testimony of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ and of God's working in her life. You can read it here.

Emily and Zeanne, friends forever.

Elisabeth patiently enduring twelve hours of sitting still.

As we were homebound and whizzing through Amarillo, we spied this travel center.   It is officially called the "Jesus is Lord Travel Center", and surprise, there were no customers.   Figuring a witness that bold deserved our business, we got off at the next off-ramp and turned around to get some gas.  They had just opened a week ago, and I do wonder how long they will be able to stay open.  It was delightful to see the good ol' KJV out there for the whole world to see.   I love this sign on the upper right.  I need that one by my back door for a reminder to myself!   Several miles down the road we saw a semi pulled over by the highway patrol, one that belonged to this outfit. I wonder if he had "Be sure your sin will find you out," on his rear bumper, hee hee!

For those of you who keep weather stats, May had 27 days above 100°F.  Gotta love it!    It was a fun and very busy month.  We're all looking forward to a quiet June.  Maybe next month I'll be able to report we are done with school....



  1. Hi Sally,

    What a fun and interesting month you all had. Great to see photos from your recital night! I love the girls jumpers and also the dresses you and Amy did.

    Love the tent jail!

    HOW did you get all that stuff in the van??? I guess you should have included a vacuum for your cabin. The camp grounds are BEAUTIFUL!!! It looks like a lot of fun - I suppose you couldn't go caving there, hey?

    How fun to see/hear the girls sing in the car - that was a special treat!!!

    Love the Jesus is Lord Travel Center - makes me want to go down there and get a tank full. :)

    Thanks for sharing your month with us!!!

  2. You did have a power-packed month of May--no wonder we haven't seen as much of you! The recital looks awesome, and I'm sure it was fun for all. I smiled about your new sewing buddy--my oldest is now hitting the machine heavily, too, when she's not in school or dancing, that is. It is fun to see your children take genuine interest in something you enjoy, too, isn't it?

    God bless.

  3. So glad you had a great month! This post was enjoyable to read. I didn't realize that the Lindblooms were your pastor and pastor's wife. Great people.

  4. Hello Sally! I actually thought I left you a comment right after you posted this. I did in my mind, anyway! I so enjoy your month in a glance posts. Those dresses are great! We, too, do not have technology to keep us company when we take long trips, except books on tape from the library. I refuse to get a portable DVD player or DS. They eat brain cells. I am glad your trip was a good one.


  5. you sure had a busy month. You know how to pack for a trip. How did you ever get all that in the van. Looks like you guys had a great time at camp. Glad to have you home.


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