Don’t Knock It ’Til You Try It!

Sunday, January 30th, 2011
These are the pieces of the first sweater that I knit before I sewed it togetherHave you ever thought about what you might be missing out on by not trying new things?  A few years ago, my mother signed me up for a knitting camp at our community's clubhouse.  I wasn't really enthusiastic about this as I thought that knitting was just something that old people do and that I would never like or wear anything that I had made.  I was quickly proven wrong and by the end of that camp I was knitting scarves, towels, and dishcloths with whatever yarn I could get my hands on.  I was hooked!  

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Ben-Hur Book Review

Monday, January 24th, 2011
When I say the name Ben-Hur, what do you think of?  Probably the thrilling chariot race where young Judah Ben-Hur amazed the world.  Or maybe it was the story of Judah's life and his quest for revenge?  

For a school assignment, I recently had the opportunity to read Lew Wallace's unabridged book Ben-Hur and I thought I would share a quick review of it.  I had been well acquainted with the Charleston Heston movie of this classic story and had assumed that the book would be similar.  I was surprised at how different the two really were.
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Emily’s Pirate of the Caribbean Quiz

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner Commandeer a shipRecently, we showed Emily Pirates of the Caribbean for the first time.  She really enjoyed it and is constantly quoting lines from the movie.  She decided to create a Pirates of the Caribbean quiz and have me put it on the blog:

Pirates of the Caribbean Quiz

1.        Who was Jack’s murderous first mate?
a.        David Barbossa
b.        Nathaniel Barbossa
c.        Hector Barbossa
d.        Mark Barbossa

2.        What did young Elizabeth see in the water before seeing Will?
a.        a flying fish
b.        an umbrella
c.        a hat
d.        a sea bass

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How to get Wisdom

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
For a writing assignment, I had to write an extended definition about a topic.  I chose to write about Wisdom.

King Solomon and the Bee“How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!  And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.”  (Proverbs 16:16)  Wisdom is something that can be very hard to define because it encompasses a number of different qualities – each working together to strengthen the others.  In today’s society, the word “wisdom” is often used interchangeably with the word “knowledge” – but this is a gross misuse of the word!  Although knowledge is a small part of wisdom, wisdom is not the collection of facts and figures to be foolishly spouted off to anyone who will be made to listen.  A wise person will share his knowledge at appropriate times so as not to humiliate or embarrass, and for the sole purpose of helping others – not to draw attention to himself.  This knowledge is used to give him the ability to make good decisions or to be discerning.  Francis Bacon said that “A prudent question is one-half of wisdom”.  A wise person is always ready to learn from others no matter how young or old for he realizes that he does not always have the right answers.  

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Monday, January 17th, 2011
Amy leading music for the JAM JellybeansI absolutely LOVE working with children and I also love music.  So what could be better than combining these two things in one wonderful ministry?

For the past two years now, I have been able to serve as the Music Director for the four and five year old JAM Jellybean Class - a Bible club for the younger children.  Every week I prepare fun Bible songs for them to sing and then lead them in "song time" for twenty minutes.  We sing anything from the Hippopotamus song, to the B-I-B-L-E and enjoy singing about God's love for us.

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Book Cover of A Tale of Two CitiesFor school, I had to write a critical book review of  Charles Dickens' classic A Tale of Two Cities. I thought that I would share that review on the blog.

ATTENTION: Review contains a spoiler

It is easy to understand why Charles Dickens is listed among the great authors when one reads his classic A Tale of Two Cities.  This exciting novel is the story of a family during the French Revolution and their struggles to survive.  Dickens quickly captures and maintains the reader’s attention throughout the entire book, then masterfully shapes his emotions so that he experiences the same curiosity, nervousness, horror, and awe as the main characters.

        Dickens begins his novel with a puzzling enigma to catch the reader’s attention.  This opening statement has become one of the most famous lines in literature:  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”  How can it be the best of times and the worst of times?  And what times?  These questions puzzle the reader as he next reads about a man who was buried for almost eighteen years then  “recalled to life”, about the curious actions of his caretakers, the Defarges, and about the love of a daughter who, having never met her father before, willingly takes him in and cares for him.  In just a few short pages, the author has peaked the reader’s curiosity and is ready to help him experience the unrest of the age.

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From Competing to Judging

Saturday, January 15th, 2011
Amy and Wendy pose after judging an FLL Robotics TournamentFor nearly six years, I've had the wonderful opportunity to be on a robotics team and compete in the First Lego League Robotics Competition.  Our team, the Lego Mountaineers, was a home school team and competed in many different tournaments in California.  Through the program, we learned and developed skills in writing, research, teamwork, engineering, programming, mechanical design, and presentation.

When we became too old to compete, Wendy, Mom, and I agreed to volunteer judge one of the local competitions.  For the past four years, we have thoroughly enjoyed helping run these tournaments and seeing a side of the competitions we had never seen before and we have loved judging the different aspects of the competitions:  research presentation, robot design, robot performance, and teamwork.

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