Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waterfall near our house

Elsie Dinsmore

This is a very cool story!

A year ago, Caitlin ran a 5K race. She solicited donations and ended up winning a low rider bike since she was the highest donating youth. The bike was not something she was going to ever use, so we told her she could sell it on and use the money to buy the $100 Elsie Dinsmore doll that she has been drooling over for a LONG time. Months and Months passed and that bike just would not sell.

Finally, we got an email from Chad Rizzuto, the missionary in Mexico. He let us know that Karla, Caitlin's pen pal in the Copper Canyon, needed a computer for school but didn't have all the money for it. Caitlin decided to raise money from her friends and family to help out. Also, she agreed that she should relist her bike and use the money towards the computer. I wasn't too hopeful since I'd tried to sell the bike for months with no success. Would you believe that I had a buyer for that bike within 24 hours?!!!!! Of course, you would! That's just how God is! LOL!

So, Karla got her computer, and Cait was left with the joy of doing something sacrificially for someone else. Still, I knew her desire was for this Elsie doll, but we wanted her to earn the money on her own. We don't give an allowance, so any money earned is above and beyond her regular work. $100 is a lot for her to earn when our jobs pay $.50 to $1.00! Amazingly, we were able to find a new doll for $20 cheaper on Ebay! And she was able to earn, was gifted, and sold her gerbils for just the amount she needed! She has really appreciated this doll so much more with all the effort that went into getting her. She sees the doll as a blessing from God!

Pioneer Girl Camp

This past school year Wendy Bynion and I lead the Explorers group at Pioneer Clubs. It was a year full of fun and stretching and growing for me. I really love the girls and my heart soared when I could see the growth in their walk with the Lord. There were difficult moments and some tears shed (we have a lot of estrogen flowing in that room!) but God used each opportunity as a way of reshaping my heart to resemble Him more. Even though I'm not doing Explorers this year (our family is taking a year off), I know that I have wonderful relationships with a core group of girls that are really becoming passionate for Christ. It is so exciting to see! I continually pray that He would draw them closer and closer to Him.

Here are some silly pictures of Camp'09.

Small Group Half Day of Prayer

In small groups we have been doing the Navigators' 2:7 Discipleship series. We finished book 2 this spring and as part of the lesson it has you spend a half day of prayer. Brent and I had done this 2 years before when we went through the class the first time and I LOVED it. I am so glad I had the opportunity to do it again!
Everyone met at our house at 8:30am and spread out through the yard and house for several hours worth of individual prayer time. Wow. I cannot tell you the life-changing event that that this has been both times now. The only problem is that it is too short!

It is amazing how God continually revealed Himself during the hours. I enjoyed so much the devoted time to praise and thank and basically just revel in all His glorious attributes. Then, the most life changing part is during confession time. I am so grateful that He is teaching me to hate sin like He hates sin. I am too often blind to it in my own heart, though.

During this extended period of time it is nice to actually have the time to let Him put thought after thought into my mind. It is all His mercy! He wants sweet fellowship with me so he reminds me of the things that cause there to be a barrier to that fellowship! Oh, how the praise starts spontaneously flowing all over again, then!

Unfortunately, my time of intercessory prayer was cut short because I took too long on the other aspects, but intercessory prayer is what I do most of in my daily time. I was so thirsty for undivided attention to praise and confession that I know that's what He wanted most of all.

After we all met back at the house we went to lunch at Tidewater Grill in Havre de Grace where we shared the ways God met us during our individual times of prayer.

God is good. I need to do this more often!

Botany and Chicken Pox

In looking ahead to a busy and rigorous workload this upcoming school year, I decided to try to get our entire science curriculum completed during the summer. We haven't been successful (it's mid September and we still have to finish 1 chapter!), but we got the bulk of it finished.

The topic was an in-depth study of Botany using Apologia Elementary Exploring Creation Through Botany by Jeannie Fulbright. We've used 3 other of her books and have absolutely loved them. They are a full year of one field of science that allow you to really delve deep into the topic and know much more than you would if you jumped from subject to subject for each chapter as in a textbook.

Here are a few pictures of our Flower Disection. As you can tell, there are also a lot of spots all over the kids faces. That's because everyone got Chicken Pox in April! Melanie's family had the Pox, so we had a Pox party in hopes that our kids would get them naturally since we'd opted out of the vaccine. It worked! Cait and Grant had them the worst but they were all troopers and it wasn't nearly as horrible as I remember it when I had them at age 13! Benadryl also eased the itchies- thank goodness!

Trautman Family Trip

For Dad T's 60th birthday the whole Trautman clan congregated in a HUGE house in Virginia Beach. We had a wonderful time. The weather was beautiful and the kids even got in the water even though I think it was too cold!