Saturday, October 29, 2011

From Planking to Tebowing

Tebowing: (vb) to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Macchiato -- posted by Sarah Grace

This is one of our cats, Macchiato. He got his name from the swirl on his side. In Italian, Macchiato means "marked"... I didn't know this when I named him, the swirl just reminded me of the caramel macchiatos I order at Starbucks.

According to Wikipedia on caffè macchiato: The reason this coffee drink got its name was that the baristas needed to show the serving waiters the difference between an espresso and an espresso with a tiny bit of milk in it; the latter was 'marked'.

So his name is even more perfect than I thought!

Except Billy calls him HypnoCat.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tebow Time -- posted by Momma

We never bothered to reconnect our local stations after we disconnected our satellite TV, so when Will, Sarah Grace, and I wanted to see Tim Tebow start for the Broncos on Sunday, we decided to go to Carolina Ale House.

Here's the play that caused me to scream in the ale house:

Unfortunately, we had to leave before we could see the last amen win he managed to pull off (which was probably a blessing in disguise after my initial public outburst). As you can imagine, it was good for us Gator fans to see him in action again.

Today was the first I'd seen this Jimmy Kimmel interview:

The Super Bowl ad that was such a big whopping controversy:

And the rest of the story with Timmy's folks:

Mostly For Billy -- posted by SM (Mom)

Since we live in the country and don't really have much light pollution, I've always made it a point to keep up with night sky-watching events like meteor showers or when certain planets are more visible or unusually aligned, etc. Most events happen in cold weather so we bundle up under a mountain of blankets and quilts with coffee and hot cocoa and count the "shooting stars" in the same way we play cow poker or the ABC game on road trips. Sometimes displays happen in the summer and we spread out on blankets with mosquito repellent, and doze and giggle dreamily while we gaze.

For the sake of having a secular so-called "education," we learn what the world's scholars teach about astronomy, but far more interesting (and, well, true) is what the Bible says about the cosmos. I've always loved these times with the children, even when I've wondered how much time I had before frostbite might set in!

I'll admit we must be somewhat spoiled, as over the last few years the older children's interest has waned and they have opted to skip viewing certain events since they've seen it so many times before... until, lo and behold, Billy Boy came on the scene. You see, all the heavy population and the lights of London and surrounding areas prevent our Mr. Billy from seeing these events. In fact, the poor bloke has only seen one shooting star! Count 'em... one.

So, needless to say, we can't wait to schedule all-nighters and camping trips during peak events for the city boy.

We missed the auroras in the video above (I don't think they were visible this far south although they could be seen as far south as Arkansas), but it would be fun to show up for something like that!

Also, Click Here For 2011 Slideshow.

*Shout Out*

Billy, I'm thrilled you have your nose in the Word of God like never before. However, I hope while you're at Rudge Farm this weekend you'll take a moment to peek up and maybe catch "Shooting Star" Numero Dos. You may also want to check out in Genesis how God created the light on Day One, but didn't bother to create the sun until Day Four! He even created the Earth with grass and herb yielding seed, and the tree yielding fruit on the third day and still no sun!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Corrie Ten Boom Testimony -- posted by Mom

I remember when I saw the full Pat Robertson interview with Corrie Ten Boom back in the '70s. (I love how she kind of rebukes him and reminds us that we shouldn't be too surprised by the miracles of God!) It was her testimony about how her father read the word of God to their family every day, and also how they gathered around the supper table to talk and pray, that inspired me to do the same with my future family... AND I WASN'T EVEN BORN AGAIN YET.

Years ago I read her book, The Hiding Place, to The Big Four. It details the true story of her militant heroics in the anti-Nazi underground, and subsequent arrest and imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp.

Anyway, I'm planning to read it to the little boys, and when I found her testimony on YouTube, I had to share it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SC State Fair -- posted by Richard

John, George, Dad and I went to the fair. It all started off that the Big Four and Jamie Lee, and Caleb, and Lee went to the fair. The day they went, we were reading Farmer Boy out loud. Then, we got a phone call, and the next thing you know, we were going to the fair, too! Mr. Cantey gave Dad free tickets! We went the next day and we didn't waste money on the gambling, but we road the rides and it was the most fun!

We went on a ride where you go upside-down. It was the most fun and scary, but George seemed to like it because he was laughing the whole ride. Then we road on a sleigh ride called The Polar Express. There was a bad thing about it. On the big picture in front, the boys had on ski clothes, and the girls were forced to wear bikinis! They must have been freezing!

George and I had corn dogs and chocolate dipped ice cream. The ice cream was soft on the inside with a hard shell. That was the greatest thing about it because it couldn't fall off.

When we were on the cable car, we could see the roofs of the buildings and it felt like we were going to fall off.

Then we were in teacups on steroids. They went super fast! We all got to sit together, and that was the most fun. While we were rolling, I got to see a machine spider. We went on it next. When we were on it, John thought it was going to be stupid, but it was so fast that I couldn't believe I didn't throw up. It stops at the very top and then goes faster and faster and faster on the way down. After being there all day and night, and since it was getting cold, we decided to get Mom some cotton candy and a candy apple, and we got Sarah a burger. Then we hopped in the car and drove away.

We also got to ride an elephant, and so did Will, Sarah Grace, and Spencer! Lee and Jamie Lee took pictures. Spencer held out his arms and pronounced himself, "Prince Ali Baba!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn with Billy -- posted by John

We just enjoyed another week with Billy. We got to hang out with his parents too, but they stayed in Charleston (which recently came in at number 3 of the world's best cities, by the way). We took them to a real Southern BBQ restaurant called Shealy's, and they took us to one of their favorite restaurants in Charleston called Poogan's Porch. That was one of Ma's favorite restaurants as well. I ordered the shrimp and grits (It's pictured first on the link.). It was extra spicy to me. It had spicy sausage and they added spices, so with every bite that had sausage, I had a sip of my water. Nevertheless, it was excellent... and I know shrimp and grits.

We all had dessert as well because the Lanes are generous that way, and I think Mr. Lane likes "pudding lists" which is what they call dessert menus in England. They let us little kids have coffee with our dessert because we wanted to do an all-nighter to stay up and play with Billy, but we fell asleep despite the caffeine. Oh well, the coffee tasted so good anyway.

Mr. and Mrs. Lane are so generous to take all of us out to such a nice restaurant and let us have dessert too! It was such a great outing for us since we couldn't go to restaurants while Dad was unemployed for so long. Even so, we don't usually go to such nice restaurants unless it is for the lunch menu.

I know Mr. and Mrs. Lane are givers because I hear of how often they take people out to dinner in England, and they love bringing us gifts! They brought a huge suitcase full of gifts this time too with interesting candies and cookies and cheese biscuits and personalized key chains and various items. It was so exciting as they were passing out all the gift bags and packages.

We didn't busy ourselves too much this visit because we noticed it makes the visit go by too fast. The big event (besides Poogan's Porch) was a trip to the mountains to go hiking to different waterfalls. Unfortunately, Will, George, and Richard slipped on the rocks and fell into the water at the first stop. Fortunately for Will, the only dry place on his pants was the pocket containing his phone. Surprisingly, it didn't spoil the trip. If it had been cold, we would have had to find a laundry or a clothing store. They weren't miserable because after we saw the waterfalls, I gave Richard a pair of my camouflage pants in the van, and George just slipped off his pants and wrapped up in a blanket. No one complained.

After it happened, Billy and Sarah were walking toward the waterfall when a man said, "Be careful, those kids over there almost got themselves killed!" He was talking about us!

Dad was a little disappointed because he thought there would be narrow hiking trails to each waterfall but there were dirt roads that went all the way up to the trails that lead to the waterfalls. Mom joked that she was glad the roads were wide enough for an ambulance when she got winded climbing a steep incline. Mom's a real trooper, though. She loves to go camping and she was planning a camping trip while we were hiking in that area because the trails are accessible to horses. That would be so much fun! As long as Mom has a coffee maker and an inflatable bed, she'll go anywhere.

Also, they were filming a movie at the waterfalls called The Healer. It's a creepy movie, I think, but we enjoyed watching them film.

Before the day was over, we went to Sliding Rock

and the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the views. We saw some awesome views but soon a cloud covered the mountain and we could only see a foot in front of the van. It was 98% exciting and 2% scary... or maybe it was 98% scary and 2% exciting. To add to the adrenaline rush, before we got all the way down the mountain, our brakes went out. Dad was riding the brakes while we were navigating those hairpin turns when we were in the cloud, and the repairman said we wore the brakes all the way down to the blue part beyond the brake pad!

We were disappointed we didn't see a bear in the wild since Billy has never seen one, but I guess we have to save something for later.

He did see Last of the Mohicans with us before the trip so he could get in the mood, and we played the soundtrack as we wound our way through the mountains with the fall foliage. It was another awesome, unforgettable time with Billy, and of course we're looking forward to when we're all together again.