Sunday, September 22, 2013

Little House on the Prairie

we've been listening to lots of books on tape. mostly in the car- on the way to church, Park Pals, Ranger Kids, trips, errands, the whole 1 mile to the farmer's market, ... Little House is definitely one of my favorites. besides just a great story, I/ we've learned so much reading and listening to Little House. I'm going to be a little sad when we get to the end of the series. But we could always start over and I didn't know about all the books about Laura's ancestors and descendants. We just finished By the Shores of Silver Lake so Laura's definitely not a little girl anymore. It's been great hearing her grow.
Some things I've learned (or relearned or thought about or just thought was neat)

-Contentment with little- they didn't have much stuff, much food, many friends, ... but they really appreciated everything they had. Whether it was potatoes (again), a little fat to cook with, Pa playing the fiddle, a homemade checker game, ... they were really thankful.

-Adapted quickly to loss- I don't know that I would have done so well with grasshoppers eating every living thing, or being thrown off their land, or ... They seemed to really get the verses from Job that said that God gives and He takes away.

-Sourdough bread. My Mom made this growing up and I've thought about making it. Now after reading more about the health benefits and hearing Laura tell how to make starter, I'm all set to start (right after we get back from OBX!)

-Biblical submission- I think that Ma and Pa are a wonderful example of Biblical submission. Ma says her peace and then tells Pa to do what he thinks is best. Pa seems confident in his leadership and decisions.

-Enjoying hard work- they really had to work hard for everything they got but seemed to find joy in it.

-Focused on family- they enjoyed the times that they spent with other people and other families. But what they truly cherished was their time together. No, they weren't perfect, once Mary and Laura even argued about what spices to season their food with, but they enjoyed their time together.

I started this post a while ago but I never finished it. Tonight I found it searching for booklists.
We do love Little House. We listened to Caddie Woodlawn last week- loved it too! I'm loving reading and hearing all these great books!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Go Army!

A few months ago, James called me very excited that Morgan State University was going to play USMA in football at West Point. He really wanted to take his cadets and our family. He was able to get that approved for his cadets. I was glad for him until the night before I trip when I realized that a lot of the day at West Point would be me and five kids- the drive, the parking, the hills, the hills, ... I was a little worried but instead of dwelling on my worries i listened to part of Manna church's series on blessings and curses.  I spoke blessings over our trip and am so thankful that we had a terrific trip. Everything turned out super- the drive, the kids, parking, shuttles, game, linking up with James, ... 
I am so thankful to God for such a super trip!

James left Thursday night with his cadets. The kids and I left Friday morning and made great time. We got to West Point by 1130 and went to the tennis center. Coach Peck was out of town but gave us a parking pass and more good stuff! We were watching some of the guys practice when the assistant coach walked in with a recruit. She explained to the parents how involved Coach is with the girls on the team and said that very weekend he was in Texas attending the wedding of a player who graduated last year. So I introduced myself as Coach's first team captain from way back when and he'd been in my wedding 17 years ago. 
 Next we headed to the Visitor Center. The kids loved seeing the cadet room set up and more about cadet life and then we went to the Museum. I really didn't remember the museum but it was really neat. The kids especially loved the tanks and other big guns in the basement.

 We drove around West Point some to see the sights- such a beautiful post! We got to see the new Prep School. The only thing I would have done differently about our trip was go to the PX first for shirts since their prices were by far the best. But like I told C a few days ago, if that's the worst thing that happened to do, you're doing pretty good!
 We parked back at the tennis center and enjoyed the shuttle ride back down to the plain. The kids loved seeing (and climbing) the cannons. I loved the view- Trophy Point is one of the prettiest places I've seen. (Garden of the Gods and Sherwood Gardens two of my other favorites.) But I think the kids were most excited to see was their Daddy teaching a class down by Trophy Point. They kept wanting to go wave to Daddy.

 James finished his class in time for the parade. And we all got to see the parachute team jump in. The kids were so excited! To see parachutists jump onto the plain is pretty amazing! My other "regret" was we didn't get to go on the library roof because it closed early that day. I guess we'll have to make another trip. After the parade, we went to a cookout. A super nice family invited all the Morgan State cadets over for a cookout. Then we rode the shuttle up to the football game. We got to see the parachute team jump in again!
 The kids (especially the boys) loved the game.
 C was so excited about football he didn't want to go see the Army Mule mascot.
 And how cool to hear the cannons lots since Army won 28-12.
 Top if off with a half-time fireworks show! A super day! We went to the hotel after half time- tired but blessed! And how fun to wake up to a nice Homewood Suites breakfast. We finished up our super weekend with a trip to Sandy Hook, CT to see Jena, Earl, and the girls.
 we even came home with goodies- clothes, toys, and squash!
So thankful for such a terrific weekend! And besides the fun for our family, the trip to USMA for James' cadets was such a great opportunity. The cadets got something out of the weekend plus now they've begun an ongoing relationship between the cadets and the two schools! So proud of James!