Tag Archives: Spencer

The best big brother ever is turning seventeen today!

I love you, Spencer!  Thank you so much for everything you help me (and all of your family) with, not least of which is keeping this blog up and running.  You’re awesome!

Happy birthday!

“P” is for “Princess”

Little sister has been working on learning the English alphabet this school year, and she is doing wonderful!  Our whole kitchen is now surrounded by letters, taped to the walls.  We have a set of letters we’re using, but we’ve made our own with a few of them, and when we got to P is for pig, we decided P is for princess would be more meaningful.

Mom and I found this cutie while searching for princesses, and she was so pretty I decided to post her:

Princess

But there was one problem with using her for our alphabet: she’s blond.  And blue-eyed.

I have nothing wrong with blond hair and blue eyes (and a good thing, huh? 🙂 ), but Mama wasn’t sure it was a good idea for our purpose, as it makes Lucy a little sad when princesses look like me, not her.

So we e-mailed it to Spencer (our tech-support), and (because Spencer’s magic) he turned it into this:

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Isn’t she beautiful?  I love her new coffee-colored hair, her brown eyes, and that peppermint-candy washi tape!

Our house has gained many more princess in the year and six months (ish) that Lu has been home, and I now I can’t imagine how I ever got on without them! 🙂

Happy Saturday!

??? {Mystery Quote#20} ???

It’s our twentieth “Mystery Quote”!  Can you believe it?

And, today is September 22nd–Bilbo and Frodo’s shared birthday, for those of you who haven’t read The Lord of the Rings so many times that you remember all the dates.  Some people at our house are crazy enough to celebrate fantastical characters birthdays, and wore their Middle Earth shirts today. 🙂

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Anyway, “Mystery Quote”:

Last week’s quote was from Lazy Tinka by Kate Seredy.

Spencer correctly guessed the book and author, and Ellen. . . sort of did. 🙂

I realized right before I sat down to write this that I was actually going to need a book in order to post quotes, so I grabbed this one that I read recently:

“It’s not much of a world, is it?  Is it worth trying to bring [her] back into it?”  [She] stood still in the road.  “Yes!” she cried, and [he] was astounded to see that tears had sprung into her eyes. . . “If only I could make you see, somehow that it is!  All this” she exclaimed, the sweep of her arm including the deepening blue of the sky, the shining lake in the distance, the snow-covered mountains far to the north.  “So much!  You must look at it all. . . not just the unhappy things.”

Hint: No, it's not from The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit.  I wanted to use one of those, but decided it would be too easy! :)

Happy guessing!

Dream jobs. . .

A friend gave us these little cards recently.  They have questions on them, and we’ve been reading one question a day at dinner, and then all answering it!  (When we remember!)

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“What is your dream job?”

Some of these I saw coming, some of them I didn’t!

Becca: An ESL teacher. Oh, she already is. Mission accomplished! :)
Spencer: A computer programmer, a chemist, a pastor, or a statesman.
Me: An author! :)
Lucy: A bridal shop owner.
Michael: An "ice cream cooker".

Priceless!

Sorry it took me this long. . .

Zoo pictures!

Consulting a map to find out where we could board the train.
Consulting a map to find out where we could board the train.

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The Jungle:

This was Lu's first time in the Jungle. I think she enjoyed it!
This was Lu’s first time in the Jungle. I think she enjoyed it!
She thinks monkeys are "so cute!"
She thinks monkeys are “so cute!”
I never noticed before how incredible the way they move is! I tried to get a video of one swinging, but then it just sat there. Uncooperative monkey!
I never noticed before how incredible the way they move is! I tried to get a video of one swinging, but then it just sat there. Uncooperative monkey!
Our girl is so brave! I was terrified of this bridge when I was little.
Our girl is so brave. I was terrified of this bridge when I was little!
I'm not very happy about with pictures I got of the tapers. They swim too fast to take pictures of!
I’m not very happy about with pictures I got of the tapers. They swim too fast to take pictures of!

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M & L loved the (artificial) vines that had 'grown' across the walkway.
M & L loved the (artificial) vines that had “grown” across the walkway.
This one was made into a swing.
This one was made into a swing.
So. fun.
So. fun.

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The Zoo is the BEST place for pictures!!!
The Zoo is the BEST place for pictures!!!
reflection
reflection

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Little sister was quite impressed by the "rainbow birds" :)
Little sister was quite impressed by the “rainbow birds” 🙂
Only I would go out of my way to get a picture of a bat. Why not tell you guys? I love bats. They're cute. #WhatIsMyDealWithCallingThingsCute
Only I would go out of my way to get a picture of a bat.  I love bats. They’re cute. #WhatIsMyDealWithCallingThingsCute

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I think this was a capybara (I know them from "Capyboppy" by Bill Peet).
I think this was a capybara (I know them from “Capyboppy” by Bill Peet).

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The hippos are usually far away and hard to see, but this time they were swimming around and coming quite close to the glass.
The hippos are usually far away and hard to see, but this time they were swimming around and coming quite close to the glass.
The crocodile also is usually not very social, but he was right up in our faces on Tuesday!
The crocodile also is usually not very social, but he was right up in our faces on Tuesday!

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Miscellaneous:

Riding the train! We got round-trip tickets, and Dad drove over to the Zoo (unexpectedly) and joined us for the ride back. In case you were wondering, yes, Dad is the KING of spontaneity. :)
Riding the train! We got round-trip tickets, and Dad drove over to the Zoo (unexpectedly) and joined us for the ride back. In case you were wondering, yes, Dad is the KING of spontaneity. 🙂
Our zoo is building an African exhibit, and the restaurant was already open. They serve African food, and Dad bought a couple of these. Don't ask what they are--they tasted like potato chips.
Our zoo is building an African exhibit, and the restaurant was already open. They serve African food, and Dad bought a couple of these. Don’t ask what they are–but they tasted like potato chips.
We ate our African potatoes here with the lunch we had packed. Lucy loved the butterfly bench.
We ate our African potatoes here with the lunch we had packed. Lucy loved the butterfly bench. And the three-year-old is waving a skewer from the potato-chip-things. Totally safe. 🙂

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The Butterfly House:

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A little blue bird that Spencer spotted in the Butterfly House.
A little blue bird that Spencer spotted in the Butterfly House.

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One sleepy boy on the ride home.
One sleepy boy on the ride home.

 

 

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.  He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses.  Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.  For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.  -Psalm 33:6-9

More Randomness

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We made a bonfire a few days ago, and cooked hot dogs on it.

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It was sooo fun

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I think it is the first fire we’ve made after Lu came home.  She’s kind-of afraid of fire and she was definitely cautious around it, but she did good–and I think she had fun. 🙂

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My family. . .

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Minus Michael, who was too busy to stay at the table.

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Turns out fires are fun to take pictures of!

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Happy Monday!

??? {Mystery Quote #8} ???

“Mystery Quote” time again! 🙂

Last week’s quote came from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Wow.  I finally managed to ‘stump’ you guys (to quote Leah 🙂 ).  Though that part of the book doesn’t have a lot to do with the problems being faced in the rest of the books and was left out of the movies, and isn’t as popular.  Also, like I said, the second character only comes in in that chapter, so that probably threw some people off.  Anyway, our next quote:

But when tomorrow came, the children had more than bread and milk, as you will soon see.

Hmm. . . this might be a hard one too.  I know it’s a popular book though!  Happy guessing!

 

P.S.  Click here to read Spencer’s Memorial Day post.  Just sayin’, it’s really good!

P.P.S.  You should totally watch this!  “Jesus Loves Me” in Chinese, with a little cartoon to go with it.  It’s so cute!  There’s also English, Spanish, and Russian versions by the same people you could look for.

Swimming

We got to take Lucy swimming for the first while we were in Guangzhou, and she loved it!  We wanted to take her again (plus the rest of us love swimming too, including little brother), so we started going swimming on Sunday afternoons.  I thought I would post some pictures.  (Just F.Y.I. these pictures are from three different days; hence the people pictured in more than one swimsuit! 🙂  None of them are from today, but some of them are pretty recent.)

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The lighting is really bad in there from where I was sitting because there is a window right behind the pool, but this one turned out pretty bright.

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I love these silhouettes!

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These pictures turned out sooo well. . . because I got up and walked around the pool to be closer to the swimmers.  Good pictures are hard work sometimes. 🙂

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^Isn’t this sweet?^

Happy Sunday!

 

 

Module 8 Story #4

Spencer was gone during the day on the week days this week at a debate tournament, and he and Dad brought me home a T-shirt.

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#IFeelLoved #I’mATShirtPerson #ILoveMyGuys #ICouldGoOnForeverAndEver #AndEver

Anyway–

I think it’s about time to post another part of my story.  We’re on Part 4.  There are going to be six parts in all.

This is the first half of the Creationist side of the story that was introduced in this part.  My side of the story.  I’m excited about this part.

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Uncle Zade stayed home alone while we went to church. I was actually glad, because I didn’t really want to ask Mr. Pirrip about science in front of him. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, and I didn’t want it to turn into a debate—even though I might have learned more that way.

Even at 9:30 in the morning it was hot. I leaned my forehead against the warm glass of the car window and watched the office-buildings race by. I was kind-of nervous. Not to mention that I felt torn in two. I squirmed all through the service without listening—though I didn’t usually pay very close attention.

When the service got over the three of us went in search of Mr. Robert Pirrip. After chatting with him for a while, my Dad said, “Caroline has a question for you.”

Continue reading Module 8 Story #4

April Book Reviews: Begin

Philip and Erin Ulrich published The Growly Books one by one in 2013.  Mama heard about them when they published the first book, Begin; which she bought for me to try out.

It was the first time she had given me a book she did not know a lot about and asked me to tell her if it was any good, and I was a little nervous.

It proved to be a very good book though.  It was written for children ages 8 to 12; but I read at least one, maybe both, of the other two books in the series after I turned 13, and still really enjoyed them.  There are talking animals, but they are not handled in a very childish way.

Actually, I liked the way Mr. and Mrs. Ulrich handled the talking animals interacting with humans and other kinds of animals better than any other talking-animal-book I have read.  Every kind of animal had a language.  Two animals of different kinds could communicate only if one or both had learned the other’s language.  There was a people-language, a bear-language, a bee-language, etc.

As soon as they set out this morning, Growly knew this was where they were coming.  It was the perfect place for a day like today.  It was the perfect place for the beginning of an Adventure. (3)

Begin is about a bear cub named Growly.  He starts out on a well-planned “Adventure” in the wilderness, at the end of which he will be no longer called a cub, but a Young Bear; only to find himself on a much greater adventure, called out into unknown territory, with no promise he can find a way back home.

There were occasions though when Growly saw her from a distance, looking out the library window toward The Precipice.  At those times she had a far off look on her face, and he saw her wiping her eyes.  When she noticed him at last though, her smile would return. . . (23)

The bears of the city of Haven live on the edge of The Precipice, and no one knows what is beyond it.  Growly’s grandfather had a dear friend named C.J. who was blown over The Precipice in his glider during a storm.  No one has seen him sense.

At the beginning of his Adventure, Growly encounters the only creature that the bears know has been with C.J. beneath the clouds at the edge of The Precipice–a bird.  Growly cannot understand its language, but the bright, little animal gets it across that C.J. is in great danger.

Driven by the love of his friends and family for this bear he has never met, Growly follows the bird in his own glider over The Precipice into the unknown. . . only to loose his only guide and have to continue his search in this strange new world all alone.

Growly’s determination and dedication was sobering.  He makes great sacrifices for someone he has never even met.

He didn’t say anything for quite a while, but the look in his eyes made Growly feel so happy and loved that he couldn’t stop grinning. (3)

Growly does not have any siblings, but his relationship with his parents was wonderful.  Strained relationships in families are common in stories, but they bother me.  There are also several other characters that do have siblings, and their relationships are great!

There was a bit of romance–okay, kind-of a lot, which surprised me considering it was a kid’s book about animals that wear clothes; but it was all well-handled.

“I. . . I thought there were two guests,” he stammered.  “Well hello to you too!” Merridy replied, pretending to be offended.  “Who else were you hoping might be here?” . . . Growly felt himself blushing, and he knew Merridy could see it, too.  (It’s very difficult to see when a bear blushes, but other bear’s have a way of sensing it.) (24)

Over all I really enjoyed this book, and I could not wait to read the second one (the ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger)!  Over all there are three books, and the others are called Widewater (2) and  Morning (3).  I might do reviews on them too.

“It seems you did something wonderful on your way into the village, Young Bear.  There is quite a bit of confusion as to what it was that you did, but everyone seems to agree that it was indeed wonderful. (201)

Now all the rest of you brace yourselves for Ellen to gush about these books. 🙂  Any of the rest of you read them?

 

 

P.S. You can read the last post Spencer did about his TeenPact homework here