Archive for June, 2011

Cool Summer

Posted in animals, family fun on June 27th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

The kids are growing by leaps and bounds before my eyes, and it’s unbelievable because I’m used to seeing them most of the day, every day – and I can still see the changes.  They are growing up literally before my eyes!

So far this summer, the kids and I have carried a normal daily schedule that finds our time divided between fun activities and miscellaneous appointments (like Bible study class, violin lessons, doctor’s and dental appointments, etc).  I think we’ve done a good job of making the days fun, and we’ve also had some great family weekends since school has let out.  Father’s Day weekend saw us heading out to the African Wildlife Safari Park in Port Clinton Ohio.  We love that place, but it’s almost 2 hours away so we hadn’t made it out there in a few years.  But there was a Groupon a few months ago, and we got a great price on admission, so Hubby planned a trip there.  Can’t go to Port Clinton Ohio and not stop at Cheesehaven – 88 types of cheese, meats, sauces… yummy stuff.  They have free samples so you can try before you buy.  Should you find yourself in this little Lake Erie town (which is near the more well known tourist attraction: roller-coaster filled Cedar Point), stop by Cheesehaven and get a fresh corned beef sandwich – YUM!!

The Safari Park is great –  you drive around the animals’ huge enclosure, and herds of all types of different animals approach your car looking for food!  There are alpacas, llamas, white-tailed deer, elk, elands, bison, reindeer (I never found this one in the guidebook, but it looked like a reindeer to me!), even giraffes and zebras at the end (while you can still feed them, the giraffes and zebras are behind a fence whereas the other animals are not).  It’s so cool to feed all these guys!  Some are dainty, skittish eaters (the smaller deer), while the huge animals like the bison will fill your car with this hot, half-digested hay breath.  It’s delightfully disgusting, and only animal lovers should attempt to stomach this!  Here is the best video I could record while getting accosted by a thousand-pound bison (the kids were frustrating us adults since they would freak out and drop the carrot before the bison could grab it – we felt bad for the hungry fella!)

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And what is the poor thing in the picture below?  A llama, I think?  He had a funny lip, which coupled with his flat ear gave him a whimsical look – he was a favorite to feed.

And next is a video of the giraffe  – sorry for the shakiness, but he was too tall to get in one shot!  You can see his curly toungue  that came out and helped him grab his carrot.  The car in front of us had the right idea  – they were feeding the giraffe out of their sunroof – it was a sight to see and I should have taken video!

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The Safari Park also has pig races, an animal show, a small walk-thru zoo, and pony and camel  rides for the kids.  It was a SUPER day, followed by a special day to celebrate Dads after 🙂

Highlights From A Beth Moore Bible Study

Posted in church on June 20th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

One of the activities that’s been keeping me so busy lately is the Beth Moore Bible study I’m attending on Mondays, called Jesus The One and Only.  It’s great; I’m learning a lot, getting to know other women from my church, and it gets me and the kids out of the house for a few hours every Monday morning.  The kids can blow off some steam while I go through the workbook with my small group and watch the dvd.  A fun class, but there is a side effect of all the learning: homework.  Our workbook is divided into weekly sessions, and there are 5 days of homework for every week’s lesson.  Each day has about 4-5 pages of homework that involves creative thinking and looking up passages in the Bible, contemplating them, comparing them, and answering thought-provoking questions.  Time-wise, it’s intense, especially for this pregnant mother of 4.  This is the 3rd week of class, and so far I’ve been able to get all my homework finished on time and am really enjoying it.  I struggled a bit at first with the stress of trying to find those extra hour 5 days a week that I was sure I didn’t have, but I’m managing and reaping the rewards.  Before I begin today’s homework, I thought I’d share some things that I’ve highlighted in my workbook.

Before I do that, however, I will recap in a nutshell what the study itself is all about: Jesus.  We began our discussions talking about Mary, and Beth Moore is really great at delving more deeply into things and encouraging the student to give more thought.  We talked about what Mary might have been like as a young Jewish woman (Mary was probably around 13 or 14 when  she was told she was about to carry the Lord’s child  – did you know she was that young?  I didn’t!), and we talked about her pregnancy (of particular interest to me right now), her thoughts and feelings, her journey to see her cousin Elizabeth, and then we moved on to talking about Jesus himself.  We talked about him as a baby, a child, and about how he was led into the desert, all while relating it to our own lives.  Some of Beth Moore’s statements that stuck out to me in the workbook are:

God seems to love little more than stunning the humble with His awesome intervention.

Seasons of intense temptation are not indications of God’s displeasure.

God emphasized that the road to redemption would be costly and confrontational.

Luke was the only Gentile God inspired to write a Gospel.

God allows circumstances to exist in our lives that drive us to dependency on Him.

God is far too faithful to let anyone make it through life without confronting seasons of utter helplessness.

The good news Christ may want to preach to you today is that you don’t have to subsist.  You  were meant to thrive.

I’m quite sure if my healing process had been painless, I would have relapsed.

Many people sincerely love God, but I don’t think anyone stands to appreciate the unfailing love of God like the believer finally set free from failure.

I WAS Gonna Blog More This Summer, But…

Posted in blogging, church on June 6th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am enjoying some of the freedom that the summer affords me: no youth group on Wednesday nights, no teaching Sunday school, no having to drop the kids off or pick them up at school – well, the kids will be out of school in 2 days, so I haven’t had a taste of that yet, but I’m looking forward to trying for my afternoon nap without time constraints – if only Terrible-Two-Dude will stop yelling my name during these nap attempts.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all of these activities, but there is something liberating about not being tied down to them for an entire summer.  As much as I absolutely loved teaching 1st graders on Sunday mornings, it was really great last Sunday to not have to get up at 8am and get 4 crabby kids ready for what amounted to a double church service for them  – one while Mom and Dad teach and one while Mom and Dad go to worship.  Our family rolled out of bed by 10, got ready, and left the house around 10:40, getting to church in time to relax with friends before the service with plenty of time to spare.  I enjoyed Wednesday nights with my 6th grade girls, but there was a lot of emotionally exhausting drama there at the end, and I so needed a break.  Besides, it’s nice to have Wednesdays free.  But wait, I don’t have Wednesdays free!  Hubby and I signed up to organize and facilitate a class at church called Changing Hearts, Changing Lives – a personal ministry class that utilizes a DVD series by Paul Tripp and small group discussion to lead Christians to be able to effectively counsel others in a God-loving and caring way.  We’ve had two weeks of this class so far, and it’s going great!  So I can’t really say that I miss my free Wednesday nights.  I  never got a taste of a free Wednesday night anyway; what’s that like?

I also signed up for a women’s Bible study series (Beth Moore for those of you that know her work) that meets on Monday mornings.  I hesitated with this one because it meets ALL summer – beginning today before school is out and going right through to August after the kids go back to school.  But there is child care there, so if my 4 kids haven’t killed each other by the time Mondays roll around, this will get us out of the house once a week.  Also, my oldest daughter gets to help with the child care with other ‘big kids’ her age,  so that will be good for her too.  I enjoyed my first class today, but I have to note the intensity of this class – 5 nights of homework per week!  Pre-Christian Taylhis 1.0  would have panicked and said ‘I don’t have time for this!!’, but Taylhis 2.0 feels pretty good about it.  I’m excited to immerse myself more fully in God’s word, and the structure of the class will have me getting to know better other women at my church.  I can find time for my homework; after all, isn’t more butt-time for the pregnant lady just what the doctor ordered?  I’m not sure about that, but it’s definitely on MY want-list because these days my feet (legs, thighs, etc) are killing me, and I have a lot more growing to do!!  Problem is, I’m going to spend that butt-time in front of my Bible and my class workbook rather than my blog, so there goes my plan of blogging more…  oh well, who said blogging more was a good plan for me anyway?

Evil Animals

Posted in animals on June 2nd, 2011 and tagged , , , ,

Every once in awhile, time.com has interesting countdown-style articles.  The other day, this one caught my eye:

Top 10 Evil Animals

Beyond the expected varieties of insects, you’ll be surprised to learn which mammals are featured (I know I was shocked by a few of the species the authors felt worthy of being on the evil animal list), and it’s interesting to read about the characteristics of all the creatures included in this article.  I was going to include a shortened version of the list so you didn’t have to flip through the slide show, but some are so entertaining that I’m going to let you flip through for yourself – click the link above.