Friday, June 29, 2012

Fife & Drum-CHEF Conference 2012

I apologize for the very unsteady footage and for all of the obnoxious cuts. I was shopping in the curriculum fair and was carrying around bags of books when I happened to hear the drum begin to play and filmed them all of the way up to the grand ballroom.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Would You Wear a Kilt?–Video

Couldn’t believe how long it’s taken me to finish this video, but it’s finally done!  I’m looking forward to posting more videos from the conference including a video from the Scottish Ball.

The KIlt: Is it just a skirt or is it the garb of Scottish manliness?  While this video may help to prove that kilts are manly, it really goes beyond just a deeply pleated garment made of heavy tartan. It's about honoring the spiritual heritage we've received from the strong faith of the Scotch-Irish and the sacrifices made by the Scottish Covenanters.
Features bagpipes and closing comments by Matthew Thomas.  This video was filmed during the 2012 Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Missouri's Conference where I asked over 40 boys, "Would you wear a kilt?"

Thursday, June 21, 2012


IMG_0371  This morning I heard something hit the screen door of our front porch and found a robin lying on the floor.  It was gasping for air and it looked like maybe bones it had broken and the bird was in pain, so I was relieved to see it die just a couple of minutes later.

  When I occasionally have to watch an animal die or I attend a funeral I see it as a reminder that the Creation is cursed and death entered the world because of the sins of mankind.  Even my least favorite movies are those where a dog or a horse is the hero and end up dying.  I definitely wasn’t raised a farm boy Smile

  However, what’s even more important to remember is that all men will die because:

12 “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—…”

and then Romans 5 continues to talk about the God’s law – which the speakers at the CHEF Conference were addressing just a couple of days ago - and tells us how the Second Adam came and lived a perfect and righteous life:

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

CHEF 2012

  We just arrived home from attending the 2012 Covenant Keepers Conference by the Christian Home Educator’s Fellowship of Missouri.  There were 7 nationally-known speakers and hundreds of families from all over the country.   The messages looked back at the heritage we have from the covenants forged in the past, but cast the vision for our families in the difficult years ahead.

  In many ways I think this was a landmark event in many different ways-including the fact that we probably had the highest concentration of men in kilts than anywhere else in the Midwest!


   It was an enormous blessing to go to this conference and sit under the instruction of men who are so passionate for the Kingdom of God and who sacrifice their blood, sweat, and tears for the homeschooling community.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father’s Day/Wedding Anniversary


  Today would’ve been my parent’s 23rd Wedding Anniversary and tomorrow will be Father’s day, so I thought this would be a good time to take some time and remember the times my Dad and I did have together before he died August ‘10.

IMG_0839  Even if my parent’s marriage wasn’t ideal it was an enormous blessing that divorce was never an option.  This really hits home when I look all around and see marriages falling apart and children being caught in the cross fire…it’s amazing that half of kids will be placed in this situation.


IMG_6085I can also see how through the years God brought men into my and my brothers’ lives and I’m very thankful to the men through the years who have taken time out of their day to be with three young men/boys.

It was hard not to live with a paternal influence in the house, but my Mother was very deliberate about letting us be boys, promoting our interest in masculine activities and teaching us how to shake a man’s hand.


Just very thankful for how God has worked through others in my life and He certainly is “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows…”  -Psalm 68:5

Airsoft Photos



Black (Rat) Snake





Noah: What a Handy Man to Have Around…



  In the past couple of weeks Noah has been tackling a few lingering electrical problems around the house.


    Last month an entire circuit stopped working, but Noah found the problem was at one of the outlets and fixed it.  He also fixed two can lights downstairs that’d stopped working, replaced a light with wires that had a short and this morning he discovered a problem with the socket on our lamp post.

  Next week he’s planning on rewiring a light in a three way hookup that’s stopped working.



My First Turkey

   I was looking through last year’s photos and remembered a landmark event I forgot to post on the blog namely the first time I got a turkey:


WAIT, that’s not it!  Look down there:


















Calm Before the Storm

IMG_3032IMG_3016  For months we’ve been greatly anticipating the upcoming CHEF Conference-as we do every year.  However, this year we know a lot of families that are either coming to the conference for the first time or will be staying at the hotel that’s attached to the convention center.  It’s great to see families that may live some distance away and it’s always fun to learn together.


IMG_1937  We’ve been hustling around this week to prepare for the conference.  We’ll be bringing a bunch of extra food, a few card games (I’ll challenge anyone to a game of Dutch Blitz if they think they’re up for it Smile ) and we’re even going to bring our Keurig coffee machine if anyone would like to try one of the many flavors of coffee.  However, this week has been such a whirlwind that it makes me think, “If this really is the calm before the storm…what will the storm be like?”


  CHEF-MO recently released exciting news about next year’s conference, so I’m already excited about 2013’s conference!

Martial Arts Class

martial arts-edit

Opening the class in prayer

  Had a great time at martial arts class this morning with our “Sensei” Uncle Jeremy and our cousins.  I also got the news that Benjamin and I will be eligible next week to take the test to get our Orange belts.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Camping at Cuivre River


A few weeks ago we packed up the van, loaded the canoe, and headed for a quick one-night camping trip at Cuivre River State Park in Troy, MO.  It was great to get away from the house for a little while and experience the “great outdoors.”  As you can see in the picture, we had the van loaded down with the essentials of summer fun…namely a cooler full of bottled water Smile.


  After finding our camping spot and unpacking our stuff we headed to the lake:


(I think Benjamin thought he looked impressive standing in the canoe.)



Lydia was one happy camper

   When we got back to our tent we found that the raccoons had gotten in our food and run off with our dinner!


While we had smores…


….Kate made some fried cinnamon apples.

   While we were making food around the campfire you could hear the raccoons in the woods and when we’d search the woods with our flashlights you’d see a few yellow beady eyes peering back at you from a few yards away.

  Before going to bed we made sure to put all of the food and trash inside of the van, but the raccoons still to the camp site and brush by the tent.  They were obviously very used to human campers and were bold enough to get within a few feet of us.  A couple of them got unto the rack on the back of our van (see first picture in post) and tried getting into the water bottles.  They kept us up for a few hours, but we eventually fell asleep. By the way…I do have some of this on video-it was very dark out, so the video look about as smooth as a security camera, but I may post it sometime.

The next morning, after breakfast, we hiked a trail along Cuivre River that took us to Frenchman’s Bluff.


  Most of us walked the trail


Benjamin, inspecting one of the many cedar trees that would grow right on the side of the bluff…


…and showing Mom a fossil he found.

One of the bluffs:




Cuivre River down below

We went swimming and canoeing one more time and explored the lake’s dam before we packed up and headed home:



Hmm…may work well for a new blog banner…



Packing up: