Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mission In "Our Own Backyard"

We have been doing mission work for almost 15 years, right here where we live. We haven't stopped doing that while we have been on this journey of growth and adventure in new things. In fact, our heart for our ministry here grows each week as we meet with the families that are a part of our apartment church. 

John teaches the youth and English speaking adults that come to our church. Eugenio and Deyanira lead the Spanish speaking adults in Bible study. Ed teaches the elementary aged kids (I used to take half of them until the preschoolers outnumbered them by triple). I teach the preschoolers and some of the early elementary kids because of their English levels. Some do not speak English well yet so they join me in a simplified lesson. In the winter we are inside and I work with the kids in a room with blocks and other toys. We don't have air or heat in the apartment so we stay out of the wind in the winter.

With the preschoolers it is a time to build some relationships, more so than the older kids, because of the language barrier. I have to break through the barrier with love and a smile. I talk to them in English and Spanish (what little I know) and they even teach me some Spanish. My group has built up a great deal these past few months that I have been teaching the younger children. A lot of times those kids will just go where ever or back and forth between their moms who are doing Bible study inside. One of the things I try to do is get them involved so their parents can focus on their lesson and learn more about Jesus.  

There are times during the year where we have a meal at the apartments. Everyone brings food and sometimes we have a cookout. Our last one was wonderful, the food was delicious! (It always is but this was over the top!) We just hang out with the families and get to know them better. We play games with their children and that lets them know how much we care about them. We do a lot with the families throughout the year, like school supplies, Fall Festival, Thanksgiving meals delivered on Thanksgiving morning, the Christmas Store, an Easter celebration, youth and children's summer camps, and gym nights. There are so many opportunities to work with these families and show Christ's love to them with a simple smile. If you want to be a part of something big right here in your own back yard, contact Mission Arlington and they will put you on the right path.


Monday, September 26, 2011

My "Professional Haircutting at home" Adventures

In May when I went to the Home School Book Fair in Arlington, I found a booth that wasn't there the year before. A home school mom of 8 who is also a professional hairdresser. She put this video together to teach how to do a professional precision haircut. It has 8 basic haircuts for men, women and children. The video is called Professional Haircutting at home: A Complete In-Home Course on Haircutting

I had all the supplies gathered up to do it, even professional sheers but I waited. I had many excuses but the real reason I didn't try it was fear of messing up. Finally, John said, "when are you going to cut my hair? I need a haircut." I wanted to start on Jennifer because her haircut is the easiest. So last weekend I cut Jennifer's hair. It turned out alright. I just cut about two inches off. She has a "all one length" haircut. Then next was my husband. I watched the two men's videos and then set out to do his hair. The neat thing is I have the TV on and I am watching the video as I cut and pause it when I need to. It took awhile to do his hair but the instructor took her time, too. I didn't take pictures of his before and after but it turned out pretty good, for a first time. And he didn't make fun of me or get mad at me, so it couldn't be THAT bad. 

I didn't use a round brush to curl her hair under when I dried it so some went up and some went down. In another week I will do a small trim to make sure I get the ends better. They are just a little off, I think. With practice I think I can get it right. That is the idea, anyway. Jennifer wants to know when she can do mine!

Jonathan is NOT going to let me do his hair because there isn't a video of HIS haircut, he says. He is right. There isn't. So for now, he will still get his hair done by our good friend, Cathy.

That was the big project for the weekend AND our latest attempt at saving money wherever we are able to cut corners (no pun intended) and do it ourselves. 

Until next time...Blessings to you!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Homeschool Day And A Movie

Did you know that Friday, September 23rd was Homeschool Day? I didn't either until earlier that week. We found Homeschool Movie Club and then found them on fb. So what is Homeschool Day, you ask? Homeschool Day is a designated day where homeschooling families and groups from around the country gather at their local movie theater to support family friendly films. This is the first one and the movie for the day was Dolphin Tale

Dolphin Tale is about a special dolphin named Winter that was rescued when she was very young. She had to have the end of her tail removed because it was damaged when she got caught in a crab trap. The true story of Winter is amazing. And they did a great job on the movie. 

Friday's are our soccer day with AAHE, one of our homeschool groups. We had a great time playing and then went straight to the theater so we wouldn't be late.  

We have downloaded the study guide provided by Homeschool Movie Club and are working through some of it with HomeBase Homeschool Friends, our other homeschool group. We will be doing those "lessons" on three Thursdays instead of five even though there are five lessons. We meet every other Thursday. We will do something else during the month of November. 

That's our progress report for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Riding Horses With My Girls

Saturday afternoon I went to Hearts Desire with my girls to ride horses. Hearts Desire is a ministry for women who love to ride horses. They teach you how to do it in a safe environment and it is so encouraging, and FREE! That is a great part for someone who doesn't have much money but really wants to ride. 

She was a little nervous at first but got on the horse anyway. It didn't take long for her to be alright and hold the reigns all by herself. She rode for a long time on a horse called Batman. Then on her second ride she rode a horse named Jesse. 

This was the second time Samantha was on a horse. She came out here last month. She has hopes of working with horses at some point. Shirley told me she is a real natural with the horses and did great at everything she told her to do. That doesn't surprise me, she is such an animal person. 

Jennifer seemed very natural, too. The second horse she rode was a bit more temperamental but Shirley said she did really well at making Jesse mind. I am just so proud of both of them. I got on a horse, too. His name was Cowboy. I hadn't ridden since Samantha was about 3 or 4 months old. I am looking forward to getting back into riding. They couldn't take a picture of me on the horse because I was on the only camera shy horse they had. We will have other chances to take a group picture.

Heart's Desire had a fellowship after the riding time. We brought food to share and had a great time getting to know each other. What a wonderful ministry. I am so excited that we found it and get to be a part of it.

Until next time...Blessings to you!

Friday, September 16, 2011

AAHE Soccer

This year Jenni decided she wanted to play soccer. This is the first year she has wanted to play sports. So of course, I said "Sure!" JC has played in years past and loves it. This year our group has gotten a bit smaller. I don't know if it is because we are all so busy or if people have just joined other groups that are doing more. I like our group because it isn't a bunch of extra money to do things. 


I am a kind of "coach" for the younger group of kids, ages 9-12. So both of my kids are in my group. We have about 10 kids in that group but not all of them were there on Friday. We had fun doing some drills and then playing a scrimmage. 

JC did great, like he always does. Jenni did great, too. She was quick to run for the ball and even got very close to scoring goals. I was very proud of all the kids. They got right in there and got to know each other and worked together as teams. 

The kids are all eager to play and I know we will have a great soccer season even if we don't have a lot of kids on each team. It's about having fun and making friends. And that is what they are doing. I do wish we had a larger group simply so that we could make even more friends. God is in control of that and will bring more families to us in time.

That's our progress report for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Homeschool Group Birthday

We meet with our smaller homeschool group every other Thursday at the church gym. This week we met the day before Jennifer's birthday. We stopped at the store and got a cookie cake and shared it with her friends.

Some days we have a larger group and some days we have a smaller group. But we always have fun! It is open to any homeschool family in the area so if you are looking for one that doesn't cost money and has great fellowship and a time for the kids to play together twice a month, let us know. We would love to have you!

That's our progress report for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

AAHE Group Meeting September

Last month our homeschool group met for an ice cream social to kick off the new school year. We met at the same place but in the evening. We do that every year in August. It is a chance for new families to visit and join if they are ready. We meet each month on the second Friday of the month. 

On September 9th we had our first monthly meeting and get together. It is a great time to talk about what events are coming up during our monthly meetings, to discuss field trips ideas, and sign up for sports and other events.

This year something that was new for us is JC being in the youth. He went off with the older kids and played games and talked about jr high and high school things while Jenni and I stayed in the other group. This month we did a neat workshop from the Arlington Public Library. Fatima read the book "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" out loud to the kids and then they made lapbooks according to their age group. She did a wonderful job of reading with such expression that the kids and adults were captivated by the story.

They had a great time cutting out the different parts for the book. They all had to do with weather or food. I think these two girls had more fun being silly and laughing together than they did actually making the book but that is alright with me. They made the books and had a good time doing it. The moms all helped the younger kids with the cutting and keeping the mess cleaned up.

We didn't have time to take pictures of the finished product there because we were cleaning up the fellowship hall (some of you from our old church will recognize this room) and heading to CiCi's Pizza for lunch. We had a great time of fellowship with our friends there. It is wonderful to have a group that you can share things with and learn from.

If you are looking for a group to join, this one is great! We have been members since 1997. It has changed over the years along with the families that are a part of it but it has always been a great source of encouragement and fun for our family.

That's our progress report for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Saturday" Projects On A Monday

So this isn’t Saturday but it feels sort of like one. On “project Saturdays” we get things done. Since this was a three day weekend, even for my husband, it took us a couple of days to get to those projects. On our actual Saturday we went to the movies and saw The Green Lantern. On Sunday we went to church starting at 8 in the morning and finished up at the apartments at around 12:30. We spent both afternoons just watching movies at home and resting.

Monday morning dawned and it was time to get things done. The weather was beautiful and cool. John got up early and mowed the lawn while I had a cup of coffee and got ready to take on the huge task of cleaning my room. Jennifer put my sheets in the washer then we started working on the piles of stuff that had gotten built up in my room and dusting. Once he was done mowing and taking a shower, John helped move the king size mattress and we searched under the bed for my ring. John found it towards the middle of the bed. Who knows how it fell that far under. I suppose when I was trying to get it with the back-scratcher it pushed it further under. I am just glad we were able to find it. It was a good way to get everything put away and clean. I love a clean room.

After cleaning the entire room and putting clean sheets on the bed it was time to move on to the next “project”. I got my kitchen back in working order with all the dishes done and put away. Then got John to help me hang a light over my new sewing desk, aka the old computer desk. Someone donated a children’s sewing machine that didn’t sell at our garage sale so I am going to use it to teach Jennifer how to sew. (Once she knows how, I will put it in the next sale and pray someone buys it.) We have a few quilting projects to do and I am going to let her help me with those. Plus some other minor projects sewing up some “wounded” stuffed animals and pillows. The two printer paper boxes and the basket under the desk are filled with fabric. I also have the fabric for several quilts in another container. 

I am going to attempt to get the quilts done in record time by sewing in the evenings after everyone goes to bed and in the afternoons on some days. Jennifer and I are going to have to work on our scrapbooking, too. We have much to get done in a short time. The reason these things need to get done quickly is not only that they have been sitting here waiting for years for me to do them, but also because we aren’t sure of the timing that we will move to East Africa. It looks like it will be soon, but only God knows for sure. The sooner we get this stuff done, the better it will be for everyone. 

Until next time...Blessings to you!