Monday, October 31, 2016

Fall So Far (or Fall THUS Far, if you prefer)

We're at about the mid-point of fall and it's time
I shared some of our adventures with the grandkids.

Brianna is playing basketball for the Fire in the
Upward Church League.

Hunter is playing for the Dragons in his first
organized team sport.  Did I say organized?

They practice sometimes while they're at our house.
They also get to practice counting by twos.

There's more to life than basketball.  How's this for cheap thrills?

Then there's always the 3:00 freight train.

Evan is back to building his dream castle and manning it
with bold knights of old.

Claire uses a few of Evan's left-over pieces, but she's more
interested in her characters than the building.

Note her army of deadly snakes!

Evan adds a pair of watchful guardian eagles.

Looks like both fortresses are secure.

Nice going, Claire!

Now that Evan has lost his first tooth, all four grandchildren
have had that experience.  Many more on the way.

We spent an afternoon back at the old property and Bri
brushed up on some gymnastics she hadn't done for a while.

We soon headed down to the stream and waterfalls,
where the kids hadn't been for months.

While we were at the stream, we heard approaching voices.
Suddenly, Claire and Evan appeared.  Oh, what fun!

We were all happy to see that our unusual fungus from last
year had reappeared and even multiplied.

Here we are at the new footbridge across our frog habitat.

I may not be putting miles on this '73 Mercury these days, but that's
not to say it's not getting any wear and tear.  Evan's the driver,
while the others climb-- at a safe speed, no doubt.

It seems this would make for some distracted driving,
but Evan is very focused.

Next we were off to our trapeze swing that crosses a ditch.
Everyone got in many, many turns.

Off to the treehouse, where everybody found something to do.

Besides cooking and climbing, there was our outdoor "Little Library."

The same week, we all headed up to Morrow Mountain State Park
for a picnic lunch and a nice, long hike.  The kids were enthralled
with their natural "finds."

It was nice to have Jennifer and Amanda along--
especially since my camera wasn't charged.

Back around home, we attended one of Evan's Saturday morning
 soccer sessions.  Here he's sneaking up on the ball for a back kick.

Evan's age group practices drills together, then divides up for
a short scrimmage game each week.  He is a prolific scorer
and has a real knack for both offense and defense.

You can see the killer instinct in his eyes.

Six Cubes is our new favorite game.  Of course it came from a
yard sale, and that was many years ago.  It may be for ages 10
and up, but that didn't prevent Bri and Hunter from trying it with us.

You roll six dice at a time, then remove any dice that score
winning combinations.  You can continue or quit.  But if you
roll and score no points, you lose all points from that turn.

Her very first time playing, Bri scored a "straight" on a single roll.
This is worth 1,500 points.  If you've played Yahtzee, you'll
appreciate what the odds against this are.  Even a straight with
five dice is a rarity.

Here's the unique game board, with a few special spaces leading
up to 10,000 points.  You could easily create your own board and
use six ordinary dice to play this game without buying it.

Not satisfied with her "straight," Bri soon rolled the elusive
SIX OF A KIND!  The 6,000 points put her WAY over the
top to win the game.  To put it in perspective, the six dice are
one degree past Yahtzee's "five of a kind," plus this has to be
achieved in ONE roll.  Amazing!

I'm happy to say that Judy and I can top that 
Six of a Kind.
We have Four of a Kind Grandchildren that are
totally unsurpassed.
What are the odds of that?!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Our Boys and Girls of Late Summer

In case you haven't noticed, it's waning.
Summer, that is.  Our grandkids have been back in 
school since the first week of August, but that hasn't
dampened enthusiasm in our weekly get-togethers.

Bri and Hunter love to play a board game called 
Pound Puppies.  I devised an outdoor version that we
really enjoy now.  One player is the dogcatcher, the
other attempts to rescue the pets.

This game has already evolved in the two weeks
we've been playing it, and next week it will have
a different layout.  Plus, because of annoying ants,
I've placed a tarp underneath the 25 stones.

Hot Wheels racing is a great indoor event for hot 
weather.  All four of the kids have tried their hand
at race track design, daring loops and leaps, and
general mayhem on four wheels.

The longer the track, the better.

At the old house we used this piece of vinyl siding as
a "side-by-side" racetrack.  They really zoom on this
sturdy dragstrip.

It is our accepted practice to leave each car exactly
where it comes to a halt.  More collisions that way.

Grandma makes sure the kids replenish their energy
with a snack that is heavy on fruit and light on other sweets.
You'll hear no complaints from these eager eaters.
Grandma Judy likes to tease that they're going
through growth spurts, but it's a fact!

Hunter is now a reader and wanted to share this book
with me because of my name.

Here is Hunter reading the last couple of pages.
Judy asked him how he figured out the word "odd"
and we got a detailed explanation.

Claire and Bri arrange our mini-pets to be the 
on-lookers for more Hot Wheels races.

Then the girls add to the drama by forming a human
bridge for the cars to race under.

If these cars only had motors!
But Evan demonstrates what pure gravity can do.

I'll be posting one last Hot Wheels video on
 Facebook for you enthusiasts out there. 
 As much as anything, it shows Hunter's 
legendary perseverance, as he follows a track 
 he constructed that traverses three rooms.

Of course, there's always endless variety in our
activities.  Hunter and Grandma try out a new
Bible version of Old Maid.
The "Old Man" is Methuselah, Noah's grandfather.

It's usually Claire and Evan who pull out the horses
and build farms, but this time it was Bri and Hunter
Heigh-o, Silver!

Happily, there's still a little of summer remaining, even
if school has begun.  And even more happily, if there's 
anything we like better than summer fun, it's FALL FUN!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Praying for Moore Schools

I was recently privileged to participate in a prayer event
directed at building up and supporting every school in 
Moore County.  Christians gathered at every campus on
a Sunday afternoon to pray for every aspect of the coming
school year.  The prayer guide below states the mission
of Praying Moore Schools.  Note their website, which I
encourage you to visit.

Did you realize we have this many schools in our
community? They sought to be inclusive of public schools,
Christian schools, and other private schools.  I would like
to add the numerous home schools to our prayer list.

I was impressed with the thoughtful manner
in which prayer needs were suggested, including items
 that adults, teens, and younger children might pray for.

As someone who has been a student, a parent,
and a teacher, I can vouch for the fact that prayer
is needed not only at the beginning of the school
year, but on a daily basis.  It is a myth that God is
not in our schools.  In fact, most teachers I know are
professing Christians.  It is also not widely known 
that our county has a written policy mandating a 
moment of silence in every classroom each morning.
While prayer cannot be dictated as the purpose,
parents should provide guidance to their children
in the use of that time, also bearing in mind that
children are in no way restricted from private prayer
during the school day.

I have no doubt that the efforts to educate, grow, 
and nurture thousands of children will prosper if
we all commit to undergirding them with prayer.