Thursday, April 29, 2010

WA State Scholastic Chess Championship

Isaac qualified at our Centralia tournament to attend the "State" Chess Tournament in Tacoma last weekend. I don't think either of us was prepared for the immenseness of the tournament. We got there early (we left Centralia early because they were working on I-5 and had all but one lane closed). We found our team table (where the team hung out between rounds) and then went upstairs to find the room he would be playing in.

The different colors were for the different grades, 1st through 6th. He played all the way in the back left corner as a 6th grader. The Kindergartners played downstairs in a different room. I'm not sure how many kids were there but the board lables started at 100 and he was playing up around 1069 and there were still 3 more tables. When all the kids and their parents were entering the room at the beginning of the rounds it was deafening in there.

Isaac played 5 rounds. The first round was pre-set and then you played the rest of the rounds based on how you did on the previous round. He lost his first 4 rounds and won his 5th round when his opponent didn't show up. He got a medal for participating.

The Centralia Tournament did not adequately prepare him for the level of competition. We talked about how the kids he was playing probably had been playing and competing for a lot more years than he had (this was only his 2nd year in Chess club). We talked about how playing with kids who were a lot better than he was could be a learning experience and teach him more than playing at kids his own level who he could beat. We also agreed that next year we would make it a priority for him to compete in a couple more big tournaments in Seattle or Vancouver as well as the Centralia and Onalaska tournaments. I'll also be watching for opportunities for him to play and learn. He has a good attitude about the whole thing and looks forward to continuing with his chess- that makes him a winner to me!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Story that needs a name

1388 A.E. Faster than light travel is now a reality,but even more dangers arise. Pirates have captured several ships and taken their crews hostage. The military have insufficient funds to make armed escorts so freighter captains armed their own ships. There is rumor of a mining planet in the Horsehead nebula so they sent the mining freighter Argo, captained by Joesph William. He and his crew found a Earth class planet that's rich in brilithium, a very rare and valuable metal. But someone has gotten there first.   

Please comment if you want more and I need a name for it.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Awesome God

Nathan's Battalion left the relative safety of the base for convoy duty this week. Rush went kayaking on the Sound in rain squalls, high waves, and winds of 20 mph. I know that my children are not mine- they are God's but He's already taken 2 and Job lost all 6 of his in one fell swoop. Maybe I'm in denial, maybe I'm not dealing but I have to ignore the dangers and trust God to take care of them and to take me through what life brings. He is an Awesome God- with wisdom, power, and love our God is awesome.

Rush used to sing it, "Our God is an awsome God, with whiz, dumb power, and love, our God is an awesome God."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rush- 5 Places I Want to Visit

1) I'd like to go to Disneyland because it looks and sounds like fun.

2) I'd like to go to LEGO Land, California because I like LEGO's.

3) I'd like to go to Paris, France because I'd like to see the Eiffel Tower.

4) I'd like to go to Peru because Cousin Julie says that its a cool place.

5) I'd like to go to China because I'd like to walk the Great Wall of China.

Arin- 5 Places I Want to Visit

1) Australia to go to the Australia Zoo.

2) Disneyland because when Rush went there as a baby he cried for 3 days.

3) Egypt to climb a pyramid.

4) Guam because Nathan was born there.

5) Hawaii to learn to surf and to get a tan.

Isaac's 5 Places I Want to Visit

Tumon Bay from Two Lovers Leap, 1989

1) I want to visit Guam because I've heard so much about it, it's a beautiful tropical island located in the east Pacific, it is part of the Northern Marianas Islands chain.While my Dad was in the Navy he was stationed on Guam; he was an Aviation Electronics Technician there.

2Disneyland in California

3) Euro Disney in France

4) Disney World in Florida

5) Tokyo Disney in Japan

I want to visit all of the Disney Parks, it would be a nice achievement.

Jonah and Tovah's 5 Places to Visit

I asked each of the kids what 5 places they'd like to visit and why. I think I'm seeing a theme, do you?

  1. Disneyland
  2. Australia Zoo to see koalas
  3. Disneyworld
  4. San Diego Zoo to see koalas
  5. Euro Disney
  1. San Diego Zoo
  2. Euro Disney
  3. Texas to see museums
  4. Canada
  5. Disneyworld
Tovah couldn't explain where in Canada she wanted to go and why and she just wanted to go to Texas to see the museums.

Baseball Cards

Jonah and Tovah have asked me to make baseball cards of them. I did them for Tovah's soccer team this fall and they're really easy in StoryBook Creator so I figured it was no big deal. I wanted them to be a little more realistic so I asked Jonah to bring me his baseball card collection so I could see what a "real" card looked like. I was horrified! They used the most unflattering pictures of the players they could find. One poor pitcher was caught just before his arm came forward to release the ball- his face is screwed up, his eyes are bulgy and crossed, his tongues hanging out, he looks like he was just removed from a car with the Jaws of Life. I didn't know the human body could be twisted like that and still survive. His mother must be horrified. The other action shots are better- players jumping into the air to catch a ball or sliding into base, they probably have horrible looks on their faces too but the camera doesn't zoom in so closely as it does on the pitchers.

I guess what I learned is that the picture isn't as important as the card is. Having a card makes you "official" regardless of what it looks like. So I spent my time making word art for "Adna" and a pirate icon png file. I should go and download the pictures from Tovah's first game.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout

This came to mind as I watched the 11 o'clock news the other night. I wonder how long it will take Seattle to get it together and take the garbage out (and not charge their residents extra for a "convenience" fee to pick up their trash).

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout

Would not take the garbage out!
She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans,
Candy the yams and spice the hams,
And though her daddy would scream and shout,
She simply would not take the garbage out.
And so it piled up to the ceilings:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas, rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the window and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans and tangerines,
Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . .
The garbage rolled on down the hall,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . .
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Globs of gooey bubble gum,
Cellophane from green baloney,
Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold french fried and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.
At last the garbage reached so high
That it finally touched the sky.
And all the neighbors moved away,
And none of her friends would come to play.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said,
"OK, I'll take the garbage out!"
But then, of course, it was too late. . .
The garbage reached across the state,
From New York to the Golden Gate.
And there, in the garbage she did hate,
Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
That I cannot now relate
Because the hour is much too late.
But children, remember Sarah Stout
And always take the garbage out!

~Shel Silverstein, 1974

I remember reading this in 1st or 2nd grade. But my favorite stories were about the family with the 100 acre farm.

Monday, April 19, 2010

5 Places I Want to Visit

I joined a group on Facebook called "The All About Me Weekly Challenge." The first challenge is to tell about 5 places you'd like to visit and why. I've been a lot of places, some of them I'd like to see again, some of them I'd rather never go again. I have a pretty healthy distaste for road trips with my children as I still remember criss-crossing the country as a child with everything we owned in an Austin American. Those weren't sight-seeing trips but we did see a lot of the country. It always rains on the Arizona- New Mexico border also on the New Mexico- Texas border. At least it does for me. But this post is on places I want to see, not places I've been too (that will be a later and much longer post)

1) Athens, Greece
When I was in 2nd grade my teacher had just returned from visiting family in Greece. I wanted to go see the water and the sunshine and the olives (we were living in San Diego at the time so I'm not sure what appealed to me there???) As I got older I'd like to see the Greece I learned about in history and in books. And the Greece Paul visited. I'd like to climb the Parthenon and visit all the little islands but snorkling is not on my list of things to do there

2) Australia
What's not to want to see in Australia? The Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock... I want to see where Babe lived and The Snowy River and 42 Wallaby Lane, Sydney...

3) Route 66- All of it! (Just don't tell the kids because that long of a road trip would be the death of someone.)

4) England
I've been to Scotland but I'd like to visit Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Lakes District, Lands End, Penzance, Bath, London, the list goes on and on of places I'd like to see with my own eyes and not just through the words of my favorite authors.

5) Israel
I want to walk the path into Jerusalem and pick up one of the stones that would have cried out if the crowd had stayed silent that Sunday morning 2000 years ago.
" I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:40

What 5 places do you want to visit?

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Not a very uplifting title for my Sunday post is it? Today's sermon was on anger and one of the points that stood out for me was that anger is a symptom of a deeper rooted issue such as fear, frustration, selfishness, fatigue, bitterness, or whatever. I know that I react in anger towards those I love when I am faced with a situation that is fearful or I am frustrated or I am selfishly not getting my way. Not very lovely or admirable is it?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whater is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Phillipians 4:8

Man's anger, apart from God, does not bring about righteousness and leads us to sin. Anger itself is not the sin but it becomes sin when we improperly act upon it.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20

"In your anger, do not sin." Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

So my prayer for this week is to identify why I'm angry and go to the root cause not the petty issue that triggered it.

From the Inside Out

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

My heart and my soul, I give You control
Consume me from the inside out, Lord
Let justice and praise, become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise
From the inside out, o my soul cries out to you

Monday, April 12, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

We had our very first baseball tournament this weekend in Mossyrock, a benefit tournament for Remington Stanley, a local boy with Septic Hip who is undergoing treatment at Seattle Children's. Jonah had a great time, his team had 2 wins and 2 losses. Jonah doesn't hit a lot of balls and usually gets walked to First but once he's on base he steals like crazy. He got a couple runs for his team and twice he was stranded on Third when the inning was over after his team scored 5 runs. Tonight is their first regular game if the rain holds off (we've had monsoon-like rains the past 2 weeks)

In lieu of a hymn this week I looked for a link to Nat King Cole's The First Baseball Game. I couldn't find a copy of the song but I did find this poem.

My sermon today, said Reverend Jones,

is baseball and whence it came.
Now, if you take the Good Book and you take a good look,
you will find the first Baseball Game.
read the rest here

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Care Packages for Nathan

The US Postal Service has free shipping boxes, postage is extra. The Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box costs $14.50 to mail regardless of the weight- I found this out after I paid $8 to mail a $3 tub of Gatorade powder to Iraq (but the Marine I sent it to was totally worth it!)




Chap Stick
Super Glue
Baby Wipes
Toilet Paper
Shampoo/Body Soap
Shave Cream
Ziploc bags- heavy duty freezer bags are best
hot sauce- duct tape the bottle and double wrap in ziploc bags
Bug Spray: Cutters/Deep Woods OFF/ etc.
CLP cleaning oil (Otis Brand)
Gun cleaning patches
Any favorite snack: Clif Bars, Beef Jerky, Chips, etc.

Pork products of any kind

At this point he doesn't need calling cards- he just has to wait his turn to use the satellite phone

Send letters and pictures even if you have contact with email. I read online that it takes about 2 weeks for packages to get to Kandahar. You can also send magazine subscriptions or coffee clubs, etc. Just make sure they mail to an APO address.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

On Easter I miss the Traditional or Classical service. Don't get me wrong- I like contempory worship music (maybe not quite so loud) but I miss the hymns from when I was a kid. When my folks were in SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics- part of Wycliffe Bible Translators) on Sunday nights they often had hymn sings and we must have sang mostly Easter songs because those are the ones I know almost all the verses as well as the choruses. (I bet you can't read this post without singing these songs and going away humming)

Alas! and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovreign die?
Would He devote that sacred hear For such a worm as I?
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!


On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.


Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure, save from wrath and make me pure.


I serve a risen Saviour, He's in the world today;
I know that He is living, whatever men may say:
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him He's always near.
He lives, He lives
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.


Low in the grave He lay- Jesus, my Saviour!
Waiting the coming day- Jesus, my Lord!
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign;
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

And to show our completely heathen side we came home today to eat candy, lots of candy (there is tons more where this came from but we have to pace ourselves...)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good-Bye Nathan

Sunday Nathan was leaving for Afghanistan, we took him and Cheyney to breakfast at IHOP so we could say good-bye, so he could eat his last bacon & sausage, so Ryan could go home and get some sleep, and so he and Cheyney could go up to the base and say their good-byes without a bunch of younger siblings in the way. The place was packed- why weren't all those people in church?

Ryan and I are the only ones who ate breakfast- everyone else had lunch, go figure we were at a pancake place!?! Nathan and Rush had the bacon burger so Nathan did get his bacon.

Wednesday night he called from Afghanistan. He is doing okay, having a rough time with the malaria pills but that was to be expected as he had a hard time with them when he went to Brazil in '02. We got his address and are getting a package ready to mail next week. I'm going to try and create a gadget on the sidebar that lists what can and can't be sent to him and what he's asking for. Email us if you want his address.