Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Vacation Bible School

One of the joys of officership is having Vacation Bible School. Yes, I did say joys! Sure it provides for long days in the van, preparing meals, cleaning up more than usual, but the joy is seeing young children get their foot in the door of a church and meet Christ for the fist time.

Last year, after arriving in Norwich, we decided to not do a VBS program. There were only 3 kids coming to the corps, and we thought we should adjust our own family and get acquainted with the community.

Well, after a few months, we started a Supper Club, and the three kids soon turned into 25. Not a bad turnaround in 3 months!

We decided to do a Vacation Bible School the week of August 21st. The materials were ordered, the banner was hung on the corps building, and on the 21st, the kids came. Would you know that in the first couple of days, I was making three trips in the van? I was starting to have memories of Sanford! Trust me though, I will not buy a bus here in Norwich!

Throughout the week, we averaged 35 kids each day. Many of these kids are new to the Army and I anticipate that we will be seeing them come to Supper Club and perhaps to Sunday's School in the next few weeks.

God is Good...all the time!

Friday, August 11, 2006


For the past year or so, I have contemplated purchasing a Tivo device for our family. I have heard nothing but great things about them, and after trying to set an old VCR to record with no remote, I decided to research Tivo more intensely. The Tivo company basically began the DVR or digital recording concept. The Tivo is basically a computer for your tv. You can record programs, pause and stop live tv as you are watching it. It is truly unique!

Tracy called me from Best Buy a week or so ago, and I had her look around to see how much a Tivo cost. I was expecting a few hundred dollars, so I was thinking "family Christmas Gift." She told me she couldn't find them anywhere in the store, so I jumped on the internet really quick and went to http://www.tivo.com and decided to see what I could come up with. As soon as the page loaded I saw a banner ad that said the Tivo box was free with a one year service contract. I clicked on the ad thinking that the service had to be paid in full for the year. Imagine my surprise when I saw that all that I needed was $12.95 to acquire my new Tivo box!

I set everything up and soon I had an email confirmation that the Tivo was on the way. These devices are amazing! It came via UPS today, and I set it up immediately. Following a half hour setup, we were up and running with our new family toy.

This evening, I got into an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation on Spike TV. It was an episode that I don't believe I have ever seen. It featured Famke Jannsen as a guest star, and I think she is just great! As the show was wrapping up, so was my dinner on the grill. It was great to be able to "rewind" the show and watch the last few minutes several minutes after it "ended." As I type this, I am Tivoing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for Jay, and it iis set to record Battlestar Galactica at 2:00 am tomorrow morning.

Don't you just love technology!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Apache for a Dollar???

One of the things Elaine, the kids and I like to do is occasionally go camping. My idea for camping has never been in a tent but in a trailer of some sort. Just last month, we had a very enjoyable 3 night stay at a campground just a few minutes from our house. In fact, it is probably about a mile away, but with the river crossing it was 4 miles. It was so close, that I would return home a few times a day to put Jasmine out.

Our neighbor called us the other night and told us that we could have their Apache Pop Up camper for a dollar. After a League of Mercy...oops I mean...Community Care Ministries that Elaine was responsible for, we went down and took a look at it.

It is not in the best of shape. Unlike the solid state Apache's ours is canvas, and the canvas has seen much better days! The lifting system doesn't work, we manually lifted the roof by ourselves. After sustaing a wasp sting on my lip, we got the camper fully extended. It does need work, but our other neighbor said he would love to help me out. We exchanged a dollar, and Elaine went to get the Chevy to tow it to our driveway.

As soon as I got home, I googled Apache pop ups and found out there are many sites on the internet for parts as well as owners forums. There is a wealth of information available, so it shouldn't be too hard, or too costly to get this restored to near its orginal glory.

It should be fun! I am looking forward to restoring this antique.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Connri Music Camp 2006

Sorry, I have been away so long. I have kind of had writer's block. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Elaine and Samantha went to Camp Connri for Music Camp. Elaine is fairly musical, much more so than I am, and Samantha went as a camper/staff brat. More of that to follow!

Elaine taught Timbrels, played in the Band, sang in Chorus, and taught Sign Language. All of her presentations were great. Samantha majored in Sacred Dance, and took "learn a horn" for her elective. For the festival, when her elective group played, she sat up nice when her instructor, Mike Wood raised his baton. After that, she sat back in her chair, and swang her legs as she played, "little robin red breast." As a parent I was very impressed how well she did at the age of 6. We are talking about giving her lessons.

Her heart however is in Sacred Dance. For the past couple of years, Samantha has enjoyed dancing, and I am starting to believe she has a gift. Major Janet Munn (a specialist in sacred dance) has noticed in the past how well she does for her age, and encouraged us to get her involved in dance. She moves so graceful, and likes to listen to music, and make her own dance moves. She did as well as the older kids in her Sacred dance group.

As far as camper/staff brat story...here goes. Samantha was registered as a camper, did things with her cabin, but in the evening slept in mom's room in the lodge. I can't say I blame her. I would prefer an air conditioned room in a heat wave over a musty wooden cabin!

Tonight Samantha goes to her first cheerleading practice. Jay however is looking forward to joining a Karate Dojo, and beginning Karate. If you see me in a knee brace, you will know why!