Monday, November 30, 2009

Welcome to Our World

"Tears are falling, hearts are breaking;
How we need to hear from God.
You've been promised, we've been waiting,
Welcome holy Child,
Welcome holy Child."
These lines are from one of the most beautiful Christmas songs I've ever heard. It's called "Welcome to Our World", and it's by Chris Rice. As we move through the Advent season, I pray that we all are filled with awe and wonder as we're reminded of what we celebrate during this time. This world is a place full of broken hearts, broken lives, and people who desperately need a Savior. Left to our own sinful nature, our default action is to self-destruct. We grow attached to our bitterness and anger and eventually become afraid to live without it. We try to fill a hole that can only be filled by the love of Christ with any number of things, people, places, etc. The result is a complete "lostness" that wounds us and others. It was into this world that our Lord chose, even desired, to come. He loved us so much- though not because of anything we had done- that He brilliantly crafted the most intricate and selfless rescue operation of all time. This plan would involve the King of Kings being born in an outbuilding, the Creator of the universe living as a carpenter, and the Author of Life being tortured, mocked, and murdered by the beings He breathed into existence. The miracle of Advent is that all of this vast plan that started before the birth of time, was made for.... you. And for me. The heart of a King who loved and cherished His subjects gave us "A Babe, wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger". This is the heart of Advent. This is Christmas.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

"O come, o come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel.
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee
O Israel."

Hey everybody. How's it going? For those of you who read yesterday's post, you may have noticed something at the end talking about Advent. I am sure that some of the readers here have heard of Advent before; and may even celebrate it. For those of you who have never heard of Advent, or don't really know what it is, allow me to explain. It started in the year 381 A.D. Back then, it was a three-week time of fasting and prayer before a holiday celebrating the revelation of Jesus to the Wise Men from the east. Around the year 600, Gregory the first refined the time to its present form. Advent starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas [today] and it is not so much a time of fasting now as it is a time of prayer and worship all leading toward the celebration of Jesus's birth. There are many different Advent traditions, but one continuous thread that you usually find is the lighting of candles as a way of counting down to Christmas. Mom and Dad have done "Advent time" with us for as far back as my memory can reach. In our family, we have a time each night of the Advent season [until Christmas day], to read a devotion [there's a enormously wonderful series of books for Advent by a man named Arnold Ytreeide], and sing Christ-centered Christmas carols. At the beginning of each devotion time, we light the next candle on our Advent log. It's a log about 5 feet in length with holes drilled along the top to hold a candle for each night of Advent. On the first night we light a candle on far end of one side, and the next night the far candle on the other side. We keep switching back and forth lighting one more each night as we make our way to the center of the log.[When we light the next candle, we also re-light all of the ones we've been through.] The very center candle is lit on Christmas morning. It is usually a special color to signify Christ's birth. So every night by the light of the candles we have gotten to so far, Mom reads the next chapter of the devotion story, and we sing Christmas songs of worship. Over the years, we have treasured this time more and more. While it might seem to be "just another thing to do during the busy Christmas season", for us it has become a huge blessing to be reminded every night of our Savior's love for us and His masterful and wonderful plan that gave us a Baby in a manger. It is my hope to be able to share with you some of the joy and excitement we have during this season of Advent. I think I'll try to get at least some sort of post off every day, though we'll have to see if I make it every time. By the way, the word "Advent" basically means "coming" or, "the coming of". So when we celebrate Advent, we're really celebrating the Advent [coming of, or birth of], Jesus. Okay, now that I have done my best to explain what Advent is, I will proceed with this series of posts.

"The people who walked in the darkness have seen a great light.
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined." (Is. 9:2)
"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful,
Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace." (Is.9:6)
In church this morning, we talked about how Christmas started long before a lowly stable in Bethlehem. The prophet Isaiah spoke about this Coming hundreds of years before the shepherds met the angels. The fact is, the birth of Jesus is the "on switch" of God's masterful and daring rescue plan that He had in place since the beginning of time. Bethlehem was in our Lord's heart even as the first bite was taken out of the forbidden fruit back in the Garden of Eden. Even as His words created space and life, the lives of a certain young girl and her Baby were ever in the mind of our God. The groundwork for the manger included 12 tribes, 10 commandments, the giving of the Law, faithfulness, treason, Divine Love, sinful hatred, righteous kings, wicked tyrants, and the other parts of the saga of the One True King and His love and heart for His people despite their constant rejection. The cries of prophets and the screams of raging hearts, the chants of Baal worshipers, and the songs of a repentant nation, were heard in Israel long before the crying of a newborn broke the stillness of a starry Bethlehem night. It is my prayer that during this Advent season, we will realize more and more the love of our Father as we remember and think about His coming into our world.
"Rejoice! Rejoice!
Shall come to Thee
O Israel."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving, Birthday, Bonus package!

Wow! 6 days since I last posted. Sorry chaps and chappesses, but I've been quite on the busy side with preparations-friends-and-family type stuff. Okay, Matthew was not the last blogger ever to post about Thanksgiving. However, because at least 2 blogs are already featuring our own Thanksgiving, I will not do another replay. I will only say that we had a very blessed time with our family and we finished up by looking toward the celebration of our Savior's birth. The next morning [yesterday morning], Dad and the girls and I went black Friday shopping. I had never really done that crazy crowd thing before, and as it turns out, there it was not anywhere near as crazy as it might have been.[must be the economy or something]. I couldn't find anything I wanted in the mall [or at least anything I wanted bad enough to pay that much for it :), so we finished up there and went to Music and Arts to see if they had any sales over there. I walked in with a very innocent unassuming manner, and came out with a new Fender Squire sky-blue electric guitar with a new amp and free gig bag. [No I wasn't hustled, I've been looking at pawn shops, ads, etc, for about 2 years for an electric guitar to expand my guitar playing horizons. Also, my sisters will testify that I'm not going to turn into one of those "electric guitar rocker types" if you know what I mean.] Anyway, the Lord allowed me to get an incredible deal on this thing and I'm really blessed to have it :) By the way, the whole reason we were out doing all that shopping and stuff, was that yesterday was my 19th Birthday!!! Thus, we went over to a bowling alley where we went and bowled and shot pool for a few hours [with a capital "T" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for poooool :) I did okay at bowling and a little better at pool. I was really fun. That evening, we had calzones for dinner and cake, ice cream, and presents. Some friends [of our whole family ;) gave me a book on how Hollywood influences our culture, and one about the Spanish Inquisition. Mom and Dad got me the new Casting Crowns c.d., a Christmas music guitar book, and a new volleyball. Grandma June got me a new bed-spread setup. Leah got me the Glory in the Highest c.d., Anna got me a Chick-fil-a gift card [can I use it 7 times a day?] Benjy got me a jar of my favorite mince meat pie filling [to eat not as a pie, but with a spoon. Yum!] Abby got me a bunch of gourmet hot chocolate mixes, and Rachel and Sarah's present is that they're going to buy the 3 of us tickets to the Chris Tomlin Glory in the Highest concert!!! Thank you every single person who has helped me celebrate my birthday! [and no, I haven't forgotten about Matthew's pool stick he gave me, and Aaron's gift card]. Thanks to you guys too! Okay, if you've made it this far, I have one more thing to tell you. Tomorrow is the first day of Advent time. It is my fondest desire to do a blog post for each day of the Advent season. If you have never heard of Advent, I'll do my best to fill you in with a kick-off post tomorrow. If you and your family already celebrate this time, enjoy, and have a blessed season of looking toward our Lord and Savior's birthday! Thanks everybody and see you all later!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Good evening to all you bloggers! How's everybody doing? I'm doing pretty well, though mentally kind of tired. Mom and Dad are out w/my uncle and Aunt for her birthday, and we're watching everyone around here. We had church today at our house, and it was announced that we'll continue to use our house for the winter months for church. As the Lord has been growing us, it's getting harder to fit all of our church family into one place. That's kind of a good problem to have :) Alrighty, let's see here. Oh! Thanks to Miss Shaina and the Butler family for signing on as followers. Hope you enjoy it! Well, I was pretty busy this past week with storm clean-up and the Wilson's turkeys. They had a really great day of turkey business yesterday from what I hear. I'm also trying to work on stuff for my graduation. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving [and my day-after birthday:), and the start of the holiday season! Hey, I want to thank everyone once again for the fun with all of the question and answer stuff. You all had some really great questions [as well as some really weird ones ;), and I hope the answers were satisfactory. [As far as slavery goes Oliver, I don't think there's any one verse in the Bible that says, "Thou shalt not own slaves", but I think if we look a little deeper, we see our Lord's heart on this issue. I believe that slavery is not of the Lord. Jesus Himself came to this earth to free us from the ultimate level of slavery- the bondage of sin. I can't see how it would rationally follow to feel free to enslave a fellow sinner that Jesus was willing to die for. I'm not talking about criminal justice or anything like that, but the buying and selling of human beings as a matter of course. That's pretty much my world-view on this issue]. Okay, moving right along. I want to let you guys know that I have some [what I think are] pretty cool ideas for blog posts coming up pretty soon. I'm not at liberty to tell you all of what they're about because then they wouldn't be "fresh, new, and exciting!" =) hee hee. Well hey, I'm going to sign off here because Benjamin and I are going to do some nighttime wood chopping outside. [as in we're not going to do it inside ;) I hope that you all have a good evening and I hopefully you shall hear from me in not-to-long-of-a-time! p.s. How's everybody enjoying the fall? I love this time of year and it's looking really beautiful around here!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Answers for the Questions Act III

Hey there! It's time for the final act of "The Great Question Adventure". I've had alot of fun [and some groaning] as I've been answering all of your queries, and I'd like to thank each and every asker for asking! Alright, here's the moment I know you all have been waiting for! :)

Q: Are you bringing your guitar to the barn dance?

A: I did, but I never pulled it out.

Q: Should I [Matthew] bring a drum?

A: You did, but sadly, we didn't use it either.

Q: You like that little rhyme?

A: It was fine, but if that's all I get for my graduation you won't be! ;)

Q: When you are listening to music, do you find yourself singing and dancing along to it?

A: Ooo. Man. Ya' had to go and ask that didn't you. Honestly, I always find myself singing and dancing along to it. Just ask my sisters, they'll tell you. But hey, I almost figured out how to do that boot dance thing from "Bella" :)

Q: What is your view on our current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Should we be there fighting terrorism or pull out?

A: Okay, this is a complicated issue that goes back all the way to Jacob and Esau. Seeing as I don't have time to address all of ancient history, I will talk about this issue in relation to terrorism. We need to be concerned about our nation's security and take steps to protect our country from terrorism on the inside as well as from the outside. Radical Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan do pose a serious threat to our safety as well as the safety of other nations. In that respect, I believe that we should deal with that issue [including war when necessary]. The government systems over there are historically weak and vulnerable to mob rule; thus, I can see that it might prove necessary to move our forces in to provide direction, discipline, man-power, etc. While we should stay away from "taking over their government", we do have proven and helpful advice on how to have a successful nation. I think, though, that our primary concern over there should be about the threat of terrorism as it gets outside of "in-country" terms. [Not to say at all though, that we shouldn't have a great concern that causes us to take action for the liberties and safety of all individuals. God has designed and made each of his human beings with "certain inalienable rights". All I mean is that having a great amount of our national defence energy constantly involved with sorting out "little" issues that could be solved by a nation's own government wouldn't be the wisest choice]. Back to the point however. I think that what we're in right now [starting all the way back at Desert Storm and 911] does warrant military action on our part. I'm not going to nit-pick each and every little decision throughout the whole process, or lay out exactly what I think the master strategy should be [because I haven't thought it through that much]. I do, however, believe that we have at least some responsibility to "finish what we started". If we made the move to become pretty involved over there, it is not a very honorable thing as a nation to "get sick of it and leave". We should be cautious as to how "linked up" we get with any government, but we need to protect ourselves and not be wishy-washy about finishing what we know to be right and just. I don't have all of my thoughts completely shined up, but I think this is a rough idea.

Q: Have you ever picked 200 grubs out of puddles?

A: No. I have picked grubs out of other things though.

Q: When are ya gonna answer thees here questions?

A: Right about now.

Q: Have you read any good books lately?

A: Definitely. I love to read, and do a good bit of it. In the non-fiction category, I've loved reading a book by John Eldridge called, "Epic". In the fiction category, I really liked "The Scarlet Pimpernel". I'd never read it before, but did so on recommendation by my sister and her friends.

Q: Whats your favorite type of clothes to wear(casual, formal, etc.)?

A: It depends of course on the occasion; but I love to be "all dressed up". Almost as much as I love "a pair of jeans that fit just right".

Q: How far away from home have you been in your life?

A: Probably either California or Oregon. [I think Oregon as it's up higher than California.]

Q: How many fingers am I holding up?

A: No more than 10. :)

Q: What was the prettiest sight you ever saw?

A: In the outdoors at least, it would probably be Bash-bish falls or the surrounding area in the Berkshires.

Q: If you were the president, what would be the first thing you would change about the USA?

A: I think that I'd encourage people to be alot bolder about using and developing a Biblical world-view to filter decisions that they might make [in personal life, as well as public and civic arenas].

Q: Are you scared of the dark?

A: Not the dark itself. But I have been scared of things in the dark [or that could be in the dark:)

Q: Are you gonna cry at your graduation?

A: We'll see.

Thanks for all of your reading and asking. I will look forward to more posting! Before I sign off, this is the official thank-you to Miss Leanna and Miss Elizabeth for becoming followers of this blog! :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Answers for the Questions Act II

Hey there! It's Sunday evening and Mom and Dad are out with my sister Anna [it's her birthday], while us older kids watch the house. We have had a great [and very busy] weekend. We went to a birthday party on Friday night, we had an early birthday party for Anna on Saturday morning, and after that we went to the highly-anticipated Alexanders' Barn Dance! That was so much fun guys, thanks for having us all out there :) It was very, very, well done and well planned. We left there at about 9:00 pm and made the 2-hour trip back to our to our place. Of course we had to wind down [and have a midnight snack:), so we probably didn't get to sleep til 1 or something. This morning we hosted church at our house, where the pastor from a church in Romania that we support, came with his son and spoke to us all about their work in Romania, their church, their government, etc. He has come several times before, and really makes a huge effort to visit us each time he comes to America. By the way, every time he comes, he's driving all the way from Chicago! He drives all the way to our part of VA just to speak for a relatively short amount of time, and head back! All that to say, I have just gotten a chance to sit back down to the computer and work on answering some more of these questions. So without further ado, here's some more answers:

Q: What's your favorite kind of car?

A: Hmm. Let's see. My dream car would have the ruggedness of a Hummer, the power of a BMW, the comfort of the Plaza, the sleekness and shape of a Chrysler 300, Dodge Avenger/Charger, Mustang combo, and the price of............. a candy bar. Or a '87 Subaru GL

Q: When you eat M&Ms do you sort them and if so which colors do you eat first?

A: Sometimes I sort my M&Ms [or at least pick out which color to eat first], and when I do, I'd probably eat the greens and blues first.

Q: Which is better the Redskins or the Cowboys?

A: I have to say I don't really follow football much, so I don't have much of a reason to say one or the other. But maybe I'll go with the Cowboys because my brother has a Cowboys helmet. Or maybe I'll go with the Redskins because they're closest to me. Probably whichever one is the underdog but still has a hope :)

Q: What do you think is the hardest language to learn?

A: Probably Gaelic or some other dead language. [Though I've never tried of course].

Q: What is the Immaculate Conception?

A: That's what they've called God's allowing Mary to become pregnant with Jesus.

Q: What is the Immaculate Reception?

A: I had fun with this one. a: How Joseph took the news, b: When the Redskins or Cowboys actually catch a hail-Mary pass.

Q: How many sodas do you drink a day?

A: You all must think that I only drink soda or something. I usually drink one 22 or 32oz cup of soda on an average work day.

Q: What is your favorite character in Monsters Inc.?

A: I like Sully, Mike, and of course, Boo. [also Roz and the CDA] [and occasionally Randall :)

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Oh, that's way too subjective for one answer:) Depending on what I've had recently, it could change. But here's something at least: I have to have protein [mostly meat] or I'll get to feeling all headachey and jittery and stuff. I love meat.

Q: What is your favorite ice cream?

A: Probably cookie dough or cookies and cream.

Q: What would scare you the most, finding a snake on your pillow, getting locked in a dinosaur museum all night or milking all of our cows by yourself?

A: Hmm. Not the museum [I'd just go to office or something][ wait, it would be really scary if it was like "Night at the Museum"]. Milking all of your cows by myself would mostly confuse me.[ Though it should terrify you]. So probably finding my mortal enemy, the snake, on my pillow.

Q: What is your least favorite chore?

A: Well, because I work in the business every day, I don't have many scheduled inside chores. But I think my least favorite chore-related thing is when a chore that sounds [and should be] simple, goes wrong or messes up, or the tool breaks or gets lost, etc. That really irritates me.

Q: Have you ever thrown food under the table that you were supposed to eat, but didn't like?

A: I don't think so. I'd tend toward feeling guilty for not liking it and start thinking I should make myself eat more. [At least when I was little. And believe me, that's no better or easier a problem to have].

Q: What is your favorite school subject?

A: I love science from a Biblical world-view. I also love history. I tend to do pretty well with math, and I love the math when it "clicks" in my head. When I can teach it back to you, that's when I love it. I don't always love what it takes to get there though.

Q: What is your view on Christian rock vs. hymns?

A: Okay, this can tend to be a touchy subject, but I'm going to try to shoot straight. First, I need to know what you mean be "Christian Rock". Some people consider Casting Crowns, Third Day, and Steven Curtis Chapman, to be rock. I get that. [it is rock and roll beats, etc.] I've also known people who define rock only as screamo, yelling, type music. I do not endorse that kind of music. I think though, that you are talking about the first type of rock. [like something on K-love]. I will proceed using that definition. I don't think that there needs to be Christian rock VS hymns. [As if they're in some kind of boxing match]. I have many hymns that are close to my heart as well as many "Christian rock" songs that are close to my heart. I feel in no way called to have a "hymns only" mindset. When I evaluate music, the very first thing I pay attention to are the words. I try to understand the "heart" of the song. That the words speak the Lord's truth is a very key factor. If you think about it, some of the worldliest [is that a word:) songs are slow ballads filled with immorality. I believe that hymns are treasures from God that have been passed down to us by God's people, and I believe that God is still moving in his people [including contemporary Christian artists], to write new songs for us to treasure that minister to our hearts. And also, are really great music! :) I hope this kind of answers your question :)

Q: What is your least favorite food?

A: This should be shorter. I do not like watermelon or butter. [I mean, I like butter in stuff, but not like buttering my bread].

Q: Do you believe in the right to secede from the Union?

A: Well the barn dance is over, so you can't lock me up =) As I mentioned the other day on here, I am not very polished up at all on secession rights. I believe that all of our rights should be protected, and should never be "given" to us by our leaders. Our rights are given to us by God. As far as a right to secede goes, I'd have to look in the books and see what's there. The "rights" issue aside though, I see a whole lot more wisdom in unity than division. Just as a house divided cannot stand, a nation divided isn't much better. [I mean, not some socialist, brain-washed, everyone's forced to believe the same thing idea, but just that I believe that God planted this nation here for His plans, and He has great ones]. Let us be active as citizens who bear His name. Representatives of our state, and more than that; representatives of our Lord!

Q: Do you believe that the federal government has the right to invade a group of former states, brutally kill its citizens, burn down many of its citys, and justify it all on a small group of slaves that were treated like family by their masters?

A: Wow. That's kind of a loaded pair of dice there. If I boil down your question, I get something like this, "Do you believe that the federal government has the right to make war on former states because they owned slaves?". Well, that would tend to suggest that the North's only "excuse" for the Civil War was slaves. If that's the only one, it doesn't line up with what I've heard. In fact, seeing as you seem to tend more toward "unNorth", I would think that you might have a few more "excuses" to tell us about. At any rate, I thought the issue was that for whatever reason [I don't really know if it was good or bad], the U.S. gov. didn't recognize the South's secession. I don't know the particulars very well, but did the South meet the criteria [if there are any] for secession? So, if to the gov., the southern states weren't "former" states [because they'd never left], it wasn't making war on a separate nation, but squelching a group of rebels. I'm not saying I agree with everything there, because I haven't done as much research as you probably have. I was just laying out what I thought the Northern reasoning was. If the situation was truly as you described it, I could see your point. Hopefully, I'll have a better answer for you sometime. :)

Alright, that's it for now. I'll be back soon with Act III :) Thanks for reading and have a great night!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Answers for the Questions Act I

Whew! What do you all think of this storm?! It's been pretty fierce out there for the past couple of days. Man alive, you all do me quite an honor to ply me with such a varied, tricky, insightful, funny, smart, and sometimes politically loaded array of questions! I thank you all for asking away. Well, to start off I'll keep with my tradition of thanking the new followers....... [drum roll] Thank You Miss Anna for signing up to our growing [though slower than my wonderful sisters] blog! It's my wish that all of the readers enjoy these postings and have as much fun as I do! And now for our answers, right after the break [intro into Coke commercial] =) Ha.Ha. Okay, I have been mulling these little fellers over in my lil' ol' head and I'll give you at least some of the answers. So here goes nothing:

Q: If you had the choice of playing volleyball or playing guitar w/ friends who also played, which would it be?

A: Hmm. If it was volleyball with all of our regular crowd, I might pick that [first at least] because it would include alot more of the people and be really fun! [Not to slight the great fun we have guitar playing:)

Q: Do you like to go to big concerts [like at Scope] or smaller scale concerts [colonial heights church (Tim Hawkins)]

A: I would have to say that for a music concert I'd tend toward the Chrysler Hall, Scope, big area type venue. [Although some guys it's just more fun to see in a smaller setting i.e. Michael Card.]

Q: Who would you have fought for if you lived during the war between the States, and why?

A: Okay, this is one of those politically charged ones. I know that in VA home school circles it seems to be a trend to stick with Dixie Land [and more than that I am known as "The Gentleman From Virginia"], but I'm going to try to give you my true feelings/beliefs on the issue. [I know that sounds like a, how did you put it, "Stompin' right Yankee" Oliver :) Here's the deal. I must confess that I'm not as studied up on the Civil War as much as I'd like to be [hats off to all of you C. war historian types], but as far as who I'd fight for, I'd have to put my locational allegiances aside and chose the side that I believed the Lord wanted me on. That said, I'm not in love with all of the aspects of the South or the North. I absolutely agree that slavery is wrong and needed to be eradicated from our nation [no matter how much like family they were supposedly treated]. However, I also believe in States' sovereignty and protecting their rights in our constitution. I am rusty as I previously admitted and I'm not very up to date on secession rights. [though others seem to think Texas and VA only have them now]. Anyways, I am definitely against a hasty or rash secession no matter what the rights are. I think that our country is safest and has had God's blessing as the United States of America. I would be against secession for petty or short-sighted reasons. [I don't, however, know the particular reasons for each state's desire to secede. I'd appreciate enlightenment:) I do believe though, that there were godly men on either side of the Mason-Dixon and I would have to put much prayer and more thought into official "signing up". One last thing to this long answer: I would not at all make my decision with just the typical "it was about slaves, slavery is wrong, go North, North, North" mindset. I believe there were errors on both sides that are very worth considering.

Q: What's your fav. Christmas arrangement of a song?

A: Ahh. A lighter answer. I love Christmas music and many different Christ. songs, so I'll have to pick just one and give my favorite arrangement. I'll go with Steven Curtis Chapman's version of "Carol of the Bells". It's always a beautiful song and his version is extremely well done with alot of guitar!

Q: What is your favorite style to play on your guitar?

A: It really depends on my mood and sometimes how tired I am. [I hope I don't sound like the moody artist type. Just think of David and the psalms:) If I'm fresh, and not groggily tired, I will often chose a very upbeat song with complicated strum patterns or ornamentation. If I'm at the end of my day [or in a rainy day like these], I might tend towards working on "Carol of the Bells" or "Mary Did You Know" with some really nice finger picking.

Q: Have you ever owned a pair of penny-loafers?

A: Several times when I was younger. [complete of course, with brand-new, shiny, pennies :)

Q: Do you like nuts?

A: I am nuts. Seriously though, I love salted peanuts. You can have those unsalted excuse-for-a-peanut things. As far as other nuts go, it's not that I hate any kind of nut, but I don't typically choose them. [for the record, as far as nuts inside of treats and things- don't even make me go there. If they were supposed to have nuts in them, they would have been born with 'em.

Alright, I'm kind of sleepy so I'll get finish these up later. By the way, feel free to ask any more Qs that you care to. We're still open :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Any Questions?

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday. Alright, here's the deal. I'm starting one of those Question and Answer posts. I will be happy to answer any questions that you are inclined to pose. It is my hope that this does not come off as "more of the same". Although there have been many QA discussions recently, there has not been, to my knowledge, one done from a boy's point of view. All that to say, this might be fun to pay attention to. I will also put this out there- I am not going to do one of those "if I don't get any questions I'll be a failure" type comments. I would love to get some questions and provide some answers; but if you just don't have any I won't scratch you off my list :) I think that I'll let this run until Monday or Tuesday, though if I have a good number of questions I might start my answering much sooner. Well, I guess that's it. Start your asking and have a good day!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What I've Been Meaning To Say

Hello Everybody! You may [or may not] have noticed that I haven't posted since election night. I guess that's because I've been pretty busy since election night. Wednesday was work [as were Thursday and most of Fri.] On Friday afternoon I got to spend the night at my grandparents in V.B. I don't get to spend very much time with them now that I'm a "country boy", so it was really fun to see them and talk and get kind of spoiled. The reason for all of this was that they were going to take me shopping on Sat. for my birthday/graduation present! What we were shopping for was kept secret from me until Fri. night when they told me that they wanted to go to J.C. Penny and let me pick out a suit coat. [my first "grown up" one :) This morning we got up to a biscuit breakfast and they took me shopping for not only a coat, but a shirt, a tie, and two pairs of dress pants! =) [If any of my friends see me in this stuff, they might not recognize me. It's alot nicer than jeans and a t-shirt]. We had a great time and I'm so thankful for Grandaddy and Grandmomma. Anyways, all of that is just the reason why I haven't posted for a few days. Let's get down to what this post is really about. Thankfully, I've had alot of [what I think] are great post ideas recently, but this one is the idea I briefly referred to at the end of the election night post. I want to just take a minute and fill everybody in on some of what the Lord has been doing in my life this year in relation to the election process and Biblical worldview in relation to politics and patriotism. By the way, the picture is of Mr. [Now Attorney General Elect] Ken Cuccinelli. He's a homeschool dad, a senator, and a guy who I've been supporting for quite a while. O.K. back to the point at hand. During the first part of the year, I started going to the Generation Joshua club that the Tates had started. God had been really putting on my heart and interesting me in politics and our role as Christians and His ambassadors to our nation. Sometime in March or April probably, Mr. Larry [who's been a great advisor/teacher/coach/bus driver:) in this area] told me that a guy named Ken Cuccinelli was coming to Suffolk to speak as he was running for Attorney General. I talked with Mom and Dad, and was able to make it over to hear him talk. I really liked what I heard and came home telling everyone about it. Somewhere along the way, the Tates also told me about the need for delegates to the Republican State Convention where the GOP would nominate their candidates. Dad and Mom and I talked and prayed about it, and felt that it was something we should do. So in May I believe, Dad and I trooped up to the Richmond Convention Center with several friends [including the Tates and the head of FQ Farm, Mr. Scott Wilson]. That was so much fun! It also was a huge opportunity for me. God had been showing me that instead of complaining on election day about terrible choices for candidates and just voting for the guy with the "R" beside his name; we need to be involved much earlier in the process. This primary was just such an occasion. We heard all of the candidates speak and witnessed an overwhelming roar of applause when the "underdog", this Ken Cuccinelli guy, walked out onto the stage to accept his party's nomination. [One thing about that was that he was definitely not the favorite to win that nomination. I believe that one of the reasons he did though, was the presence of the many conservative families that came out to voice their beliefs and convictions. It was great!] After the Convention, I spent the summer doing different things with our GenJ club including, fundraisers, hosting a Restore the Founders' Vision lecture, visiting Congressman Randy Forbes to talk about the Parental Rights Amendment, going to D.C. to meet with other leaders about the same thing, working on two videos that won prizes in the PRA video contest, and then phone-banking for the election and working as a poll-watcher. God has blessed me with many opportunities this year to be involved in our community and nation and the process that we use to elect our leaders. I've had so much fun, learned alot more than that, and was so thankful to see the payoff last Tuesday with a sweep of what I believe to be some pretty good leaders! I feel so privileged to have been placed in a country like ours, and would encourage us all as Christians and Ambassadors to learn about and be involved in our nation's government! Thanks for reading, and I hope to post again soon! Have a great night!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Voting Day

Hey everybody! This will be pretty quick. Basically I want to give you the quick run-down on how my/our election day went. Earlier this week I was talking to Ms. Gina about how I wished I could have made it to the Student Action Team that GenJ was doing in V.B. [It just wasn't working with our schedule]. Anyway, she told me that Rick Morris, the guy who's basically the head of the Republican party in IOW, was telling her about a need for poll-watchers in our county on voting day. I thought poll-watching was something about holding the rule book and inspecting the way the process was being run. It might be usually [ I don't know], but what this was was that they gave me a BlackBerry device that had a complete list of the registered voters in the precinct. As a voter walked up to the sign-in table and gave their name, I started typing in the first few letters of their last name. The BlackBerry would narrow down the list more and more as I typed more and more letters. Then I would find the person on the list and press the "space" key to mark them as having voted. That info got sent to a database in Richmond where the could custom-tailor the phone-banking lists to call only those who had not voted yet. So last night I went to a quick training session on what to do and how to use the device [I'm not one of those kids who already knows how to use every piece of technology because they already own it], with Matthew. I had to convince them several times that no, he wasn't voter age; and that he wasn't going to be there tomorrow. [ Sometimes political people have the, " You're another body that can move, breathe, and do such and such!? Here! Have a BlackBerry!" :) Anyways the trickiest part of the whole thing was probably getting up at 5:15 this morning after going to bed between probably 11:00 and 11:30 last night. I made it however, and I'm eagerly awaiting the results! I also took my sisters over to the Thompson's for a girls chorus thing. No, I didn't sing Mr. Matthew and Daniel T. I did math on the screen porch while they sang. [and sounded really good might I add :) Okay, we're setting up for our stolen-from- the-Alexanders homemade victory party so I'd better go. I will post sometime with more info about the election [and hopefully celebrating a victory :), as well as with probably a little thing about what this whole election cycle has done in my life and what I've done in it's life. Alright, have a great evening!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Double Birthdays

Ahhh. It's another rainy, perfectly fallish day. I am staying home today to do school [right after I blog ;) We have had quite a busy weekend with Morgan's graduation [which, I believe, has been thoroughly covered by the various presses out there. I will only say that it was a great time and I hope she enjoyed it! :) On Sun. we had church at our house [Aaron brought an old friend of mine and a new friend of his, Dyland Adams]. That was alot of fun. Mr. John led worship and Dad and I spoke for the teaching time. It was raining for the greater part of the day [and wet for the rest]. What with the inside time and all, I noticed a very singular fact. On the rainiest, most wet days, when they must stay inside, the small children are drawn like nails to a magnet toward the harmonicas, dress-up, swords, sticks, and other things that make the general volume on the loudish side ;) [Has anyone ever witnessed the first practice of "The Children's Harmonica Choir"? You can usually get back to normal once you've finished proper counseling therapy. Anyway, we still had a really good time yesterday, and people could go outside eventually. Now, my title here suggests something of a festive nature does it not? I shall elaborate. Today, November the second of the year two-thousand and nine, is the 44th birthday of my bestest Mom! [I think that my teacher has a birthday somewhere around this time of year too]. I am very pleased to make this announcement and wish Mom a very happy birthday! But wait, the fun isn't over yet. Not only is it Mom's birthday, but it's also the 3rd birthday of Princess Grace Lorraine! She and Mom are both to be honored on this special occasion. I am extremely thankful for the both of them, and I hope that they feel very special and loved [because they are]. So that's the reason for the title. Oh! Here's a thing that should interest you if you have any little bit of adventurous, explorerish, fun-loving, mess-making, spirit in you. Yesterday my brother Benjamin and his entourage of young boys dug a tunnel straight through our big dirt pile in the front field! They spent the whole afternoon mining away. I overheard Benjy telling Will Wilson [he had to call him last night and let him know the final outcome of the expedition as the Wilsons left a little bit earlier than some :), that, "We started digging on either side of the pile, and when we heard the metal clink [of the shovels] we knew that we were through!" :) I'll also say that consistent with their nature, several of the moms had several of the dads "check out that tunnel to make sure that it doesn't collapse on them". [It's really not a long tunnel; when an average sized boy lays full length in it, he almost sticks out of one end or the other]. I have always wanted a good tunnel since I was those boys' ages. Whenever I started any major excavation back at the townhouse though, I was known to bring some not-too-pleased neighbors knocking at the door :) Oh, well, I was almost as excited as the boys to see their work :) So that's the end of that tale. I guess I'd better get going so that I can design my graduation invitation and get some math done. See ya later!