Sunday, June 25, 2017

...Small Wonder

Wonder Woman, the Battle of Trenton, double hockey sticks, Studio Ghibli Fest, and a great morning at KidPak as you can see above... fun day today.  Updates coming soon!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Slimy Science

This afternoon, we engaged in a slimy sort of science.  Really.  We made slime.  We mixed borax with glue and a few other things to make glow-in-the-dark slime, a glow-in the dark bouncy ball, and some silly putty as well.  The glow-in-the-dark stuff turned out pretty fun.  Madison used some pipe cleaners to make a little glow-in-the-dark spider, which turned out pretty neat:

Afterwards, we were ready about polymers, monomers, cross-links and more.  It was a fun little diversion.  Currently, Madison is sitting there with her polymers on the couch as we sit and watch "Guardians of the Galaxy" again.  It's part of our Marvel marathon, and this is the next one to go.  It's actually the first time we've seen it since we've seen the second one in theaters, so it's been interesting seeing again with a little more background.

We slept in today, once again making up for the general lack of sleep we've had lately, and upon waking up, Daddy had some work to do in order to set up for tomorrow's service at KidPak.  This involves a costume and a few other things, so we went to the office to set things up as much as we could.

It rained later on, still part of that ongoing leftovers from the tropical storm.  The Forward Conference ended today, wrapping up a huge week, and a pretty massive month at the church.  Lots of hard work and setting up all this time, and now here we are at the gateway to a month that calms down things a bit around here, at least for thirty days or so.  Vacations are taken, and there aren't really any big conferences or weeks that involve lots of set-up.  It's a time to spend more time with our families, with lots of staff vacations - including our own pretty soon.  Yep, we're looking forward to that one!

Friday, June 23, 2017


Art Camp ended today for week one at least, and as is the custom, all the parents arrived at 2:00 pm to take a tour and see for themselves the various works of art on display.  Madison had her creations lined up, and in one case hanging up.  As always, there's one piece that stands out that she's done, and Daddy wants to frame it and hang it on his office wall!

She did several pieces, of course.  There were some paintings, some sculpting, and stained glass effort as well.  She did her sea turtle idea for that - it's currently hanging up over the table by a window.  

Daddy was at at work again, finally finishing the 47-page book for "Superflix."  Forward is going on as well, and things are busy at the church as you could expect.  Josh and his sister Amy spent the night at our house, rather than drive all the way back to some place north of Clarksville.  Madison was excited to have Amy here - it was like a sleepover!

We got a new game today, or at least a newer version of a game Daddy played a while back.  It's called "Katamari," and it's a distinctly Japanese game.

The fun of this game is its simplicity.  You roll a ball and try to roll over things that are smaller than you.  That's pretty much it.  Of course, when you roll over something smaller than you, it gets stuck to your ball, and you become bigger.  And this in turn allows you to roll over bigger objects.  To begin with, you're about the size of a thumbtack.  You can see above how big you get.  Madison and Daddy were playing this late into the night - it's a lot of fun!  Except... the king in this... can be a little mean...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Playing Koi

So Cindy showed up tonight, but this was not any one person.  It was a tropical storm with arms that stretched out across Louisiana, Alabama, and as far as Georgia tonight.  These bands of storms lashed out at us, and we know from previous gulf impacts that although the most significant damage is usually where the storm makes landfall, there's still a lot of danger for the rest of us.  Take for example when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana a few years ago.  That storm system spawned a tornado that hit downtown Helen, destroying the amusement park that Daddy had worked a few years at.  The Ferris wheel was twisted as if it were made of pipe cleaners.

So tonight there were tornado warnings - not tornado watches.  A warning means there is in fact a tornado.  And there were warnings all over the place in North Georgia.  There was a slight unease over the evening, but we knew we'd be okay through it all.

For one, the Forward Conference started tonight.  Our church's big event was taking place in Gwinnett County, with all kinds of outdoor activities - and none of them really affected.  One county over, there was an actual tornado spinning northward.  Many of the participants in the conference probably had no idea!

Madison had art camp again today, and her pottery camp continued as well.  This afternoon, she brought home a few sculptures she made out of clay - they were koi fish.  She made two of them, her own little "Pisces."  They turned out well!  So now on the kitchen island, we have a door, two large koi fish, and a small castle as well.  Madison remembered the larger castle she made last year, and wanted to use her remaining clay to make a third smaller castle.  No problem!

So Forward started off well, and the church here in Gainesville was largely empty.  Daddy spent much of his time working on the booklet, somewhat of a race against time.  The book is turning out well, and he's almost done.  Just a few pages to go, and then proofing and so forth.  It'll be a great new series!

And then we hit August, with what will perhaps be an older series.  We're possibly doing something related to cars, or back to LEGO blocks, or even video game characters.  Stay tuned for that one!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pottery Class

Madison's first pottery class of the summer was today, and she had so much fun.  She made a small "fairy door."  Or in her mind, it's more of a "squirrel door," considering that she's been so in the Squirrel Girl adventures lately.  Regardless, it turned out really well.  It just needs to dry over the next week, and then she can paint it with the paints that her teacher sent home with her.  All the kids get paint to take home with them afterwards, and they'll get some more tomorrow for the next class, with whatever it is that they are making.

As for her art camp, it was fun too.  She was working on her creation from a few days prior, as it has now dried.  I think she was painting her cat face, and using all kinds of wild colors with it.  We'll see how it turns out!  While she was painting, she noticed her teacher had all kinds of music in the background, including tunes from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" soundtrack.  Most notably, there was theme song to "The Kraken."  She remembered this one specifically enough to request that we listen to it again in the car.  If you know anything about this tune, it's kind of funny that Madison would make this request.  Also, it's funny that her art teacher has this playing while kids are painting colorful cat faces and so on.  No judgment here though:  we're big pirates fans, as you can tell just from reading any of this.

Tonight, Madison got to go to KidPak again!  It's summer, and therefore there's no school to get up extra early for.  This morning, we had the alarm set for 7:30 am, and that's sleeping in!

Our theme was "Quicksilver" tonight, as we were talking about Elijah and being quick to choose, quick to obey, and quick to believe.  Daddy thought it would be fun to have a game show where kids did a quiz bowl sort of thing, seeing who could be the quickest to ring a bell, and answer a question the fastest.

The kids really got into it.  We had small groups, and in third grade, it was boys versus girls.  Girls won, but it was really, really close.  Of course, Madison is not in Daddy's class anymore.  Sniff, sniff. But she had a really good time tonight.  We got home pretty late though, and only had enough time to read a small entry from Squirrel Girl, and yes, the devotional too.  It was a great, full day today!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Jazz Portrait

Daddy stopped by the portrait studio to pick up Madison's jazz picture, and it turned out great.  She looks really good here, and of course she loves that outfit.  We can't wait to get this one framed, and then we'll add it to the others.

This is somewhat of a tradition for us - we drop Madison off at art camp, and drive a block down the street to pick up the dance portrait from the spring recital.  Madison's art class today was fun for her - she was working on stained glass artwork, or at least something set to resemble a stained glass window.  The way she described what she was doing, Mommy knew right away what she was doing. It'll be fun to see that one on Friday when we get to see all the artwork accumulated over the course of the week.  

Today, Madison was at work with Daddy for a bit:

You can see her in the Quinlan t-shirt.  She's been wearing one of those every day this week, as art can get messy!  She was helping everyone out a bit today, as Daddy has been writing, writing, writing a new booklet for the new series "Superflix."  Almost there.  The gimmick to this one is that the devotional and sermon booklet are combined.  We do a message about a movie like "Sky High," and then for the next six days after that, there are nightly devotional entries related to that particular movie.  Multiply that times four, and then a bonus message.  With movies like "Big Hero 6" and "The Incredibles," it's easy to find messages with all the characters in that movie.  It's also easy for "Sky High," believe it or not.  And frankly, it's a little more enjoyable for Daddy, as he's writing devotional entries for characters like Zach and Magenta.  

Anyway, folks are getting ready for the Forward Conference, and there's a possible tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico that hopefully won't mess with things.  We did quite a bit today, including piano practice and also some speech practice.  And then it was time for a movie:  the next movie in the series was "Captain America:  Winter Soldier."  We got the popcorn ready and enjoyed a nice, long Marvel flick tonight.  Madison enjoyed it, although Daddy was flinching a few times at how many rounds of ammunition were being fired throughout.  Still, most of the characters made it through, right?  She knows Bucky has a bit to go in order to be redeemed, and Falcon was pretty awesome in this movie.  And yes, she loves Natasha Romanoff.  

We went to bed later tonight, still going on our superheroes devotional, and still going on the Squirrel Girl book.  It appears as if there is a nemesis about to show up.  But we all know what happens to anyone who faces Squirrel Girl...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Back to Quinlan

Today we were back to the Quinlan Art Center for another week of Art Camp for Madison.  As is our usual custom, the parents show up at 9:00 am with the children to hear the rules for the camp, along with pick-up details.  We sort of have these all in our heads by this point, having done this camp a few times by now.  Madison was very excited to go this time around - we reminded her about how hesitant she was initially to leave us that very first year we tried this out.  Now she's out the door, no problem!

As usual, Daddy designed another car tag for her and was waiting for her at 2:00 pm.  She was doing things with plaster today, so her hands were somewhat messy coming home.  But she loved it.  She's having a great time already.  This will go on for two weeks, along with some pottery classes coming up as well.  Lots of fun.

We were looking around the gallery this morning before the meeting, and got a chance to see some of the local artists' works.  You can see above the traditional Ferris Bueller pose, as Madison and Mommy look at some of the paintings on the wall.

While Madison was in camp, we were shopping a lot.  We had a few stops to make, including one to pick up "The LEGO Batman Movie."  Yes, that's the next and final movie on our Superflix series message list.  We sat down to watch it together tonight - and Daddy wrote this message for it as well.

“The LEGO Batman Movie"

     LEGO Batman works alone.  He says this himself time and again, always quick to shine the spotlight on himself, or at least the Bat Signal.  Everyone loves him – he’s blushing super hard under the mask.  
      Yet despite having friends who want to help, Batman prefers to do everything by himself.  Why?  Listen to him explain it to Joker:  “I don’t need you.  I don’t need anyone.  You mean nothing to me.  No one does.”
     Ouch!  It sounds like Batman needs to look at the man in the mirror.  His friend Barbara Gordon tells him, “You can’t be a hero if you only think of yourself.”  And she’s right – he’s full of pride.
     In our Bibles, Proverbs 16:18  tells us that pride will lead to a fall, and in “The LEGO Batman Movie,” we see that happen to Batman pretty quickly.
     Fortunately, we also see him learn quickly.  As he looks around at his friends Alfred, Robin, and Batgirl, he sees how much more they can do when they do it together.  Yes, other people have value.  And yes, each of us have skills, talents and ideas that others may not.  That’s why it was such a bad idea for Batman to try and work alone.  He wasn’t meant to.
     But neither are you.  You see, everyone else has good ideas too.  Just know that God Himself has made you to join with others to form a super team of heroes.  He’s the Ultimate Master Builder who has designed each of us to pull together to build something great enough to save the day.

“We’re just one big happy fraternity of people that did an awesome job together.” – LEGO Batman

“If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.  Hoooo.” – LEGO Batman

“If you are proud, you will be destroyed.  If you are proud, you will fall.” Proverbs 16:18 NIRV

“He makes fun of proud people who make fun of others.  But he gives grace to those who are humble and treated badly.” Proverbs 3:34 NIRV

If anyone pays attention to what they’re taught, they will succeed.  Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord.” Proverbs 16:20 NIRV

“God’s grace has been given to me. So here is what I say to every one of you. Don’t think of yourself more highly than you should. Be reasonable when you think about yourself. Keep in mind the faith God has given to each of you.  Each of us has one body with many parts. And the parts do not all have the same purpose.  So also we are many persons. But in Christ we are one body. And each part of the body belongs to all the other parts.  We all have gifts. They differ according to the grace God has given to each of us. Do you have the gift of prophecy? Then use it according to the faith you have.  If your gift is serving, then serve. If it is teaching, then teach.  Is it encouraging others? Then encourage them. Is it giving to others? Then give freely. Is it being a leader? Then work hard at it. Is it showing mercy? Then do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:3-8 NIRV

“We will no longer be babies in the faith. We won’t be like ships tossed around by the waves. We won’t be blown here and there by every new teaching. We won’t be blown around by cleverness and tricks. Certain people use them to hide their evil plans.  Instead, we will speak the truth in love. So we will grow up in every way to become the body of Christ. Christ is the head of the body.  He makes the whole body grow and build itself up in love. Under the control of Christ, each part of the body does its work. It supports the other parts. In that way, the body is joined and held together.
Ephesians 4:14-16 NIRV

“So, are you ready to follow Batman and maybe learn a few life lessons along the way?” – LEGO Batman

  1. Your greatest enemy is __________.  Joker sums it up to Batman, “Your greatest enemy …is you.”  Look at the man in the mirror:  are you full of pride?  Barbara Gordon says what we all need to hear:  “You can’t be a hero if you only think of yourself.”  And as Batman soon discovers, pride goes before a fall.
    “If you are proud, you will be destroyed.  If you are proud, you will fall.” Proverbs 16:18 NIRV
    a.  Joker         b. Superman             c. Pride

  2. Don’t go outside the ________.  Batman is warned not to go outside the law, and yet because he only thinks of himself, he does it anyway.  Of course, this leads to all kinds of trouble.  The law is the law, and there’s a reason rules are put in place.  God’s commandments are set up for a reason – to protect us from all kinds of trouble.
    If anyone pays attention to what they’re taught, they will succeed.  Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord.” Proverbs 16:20 NIRV
    a.  law             b. flip             c. lobster thermidor

  3. You can’t work _________.   Everyone else has good ideas too.  God Himself has made you to join with others to form a super team of heroes.  He’s the Ultimate Master Builder who has designed each of us to fit together to build something great enough to save the day.
    He makes the whole body grow and build itself up in love. Under the control of Christ, each part of the body does its work. It supports the other parts. In that way, the body is joined and held together.” Ephesians 4:16 NIRV
a.  hard                       b. alone           c. together

It's a funny movie.  We caught a lot the second time seeing it, things we hadn't noticed before.  It'll be a good service at KidPak for sure, as everyone loves LEGO Batman...

It was a good day today, another full one.  We dropped by Nana and Ye-Ye's house to pass along a Father's Day gift and spend a little while catching up.  The last few weeks have been obviously pretty busy.  Another place we went to after Art Camp was the library.  Madison picked up a few books that were being held for us, along with some other books and soundtracks.

It was raining a little today, although it seems to be raining more elsewhere for some reason.  We'll get rain eventually - it'll all even out.  Tonight after the movie, we went to bed early.  Daddy read from the devotional, and after that a few chapters from Squirrel Girl.  We're enjoying the book quite a bit.  And soon... we'll be enjoying sleep quite a bit!