If there were a magical way that you could see my face as I am writing this, you would see a very frustrated face. The emoticon above comes close (although I am not quite to the skeletal stage yet)!
Anyway, I must have spent 30 - 45 minutes the other day trying to find a way for John Allen's shooting pictures to show up. I thought they were finally posted. Well, I am at the library and just checked the website, and the pictures aren't working! If you click on any one of them, you only get the first picture in the album. I am so sorry for those of you who have clicked on the links and gotten nothing. I am going to try and figure it out when I get home tonight, but in the meantime, if you want to see JA's pictures, click on any one of the links that I now have and you will come to the first picture in the album. Click on the album, and the three pictures are numbers 75, 345, and 520.
Sorry again. I will try to get it corrected as soon as possible.
The Family that Shoots Together... Topic: The Kids
You've heard the saying "The family that prays together stays together". Well, what about "The family that shoots together..." - boots together?, hoots together?, roots together? Oh well, nothing seems to fit but, yes, someone other than John Allen is now shooting. Joshua has taken up the sport as well.
With everything going on with Joshua, I haven't talked much about John Allen so here goes. When John Allen was 15 months old, he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare childhood eye cancer. Thanks be to God all was taken care of by enucleating (removing) his left eye. I say thanks, because as of 40 years ago, many of these children died. I also say thanks, because John Allen didn't have to endure chemotherapy, radiation, or anything like that. He has had to go through many, many Drs. visits, MRI's, and he is now on his third artificial eye. God worked many miracles during this time that I will someday post in another entry, but, because he is blind in his left eye, he has had problems playing many sports. Basketball and baseball were a mess. He has done better with soccer and flag football but his big sport has been shooting.
When John Allen was 9 years old, we started going to the "Bend of the River" shooting facility so he could shoot competitive BB guns. Now, mind you, these BB gun teams aren't just backyard Daisy BB gun groups. The guns they use cost over $100 and the competitions are serious business. The next step after BB guns is air rifles. Air rifle shooting is an Olympic sport and you can earn college scholarships for shooting.
Every Saturday morning we go to this quaint, wooden (almost log cabinish) building (pictured above) with big porches outside and a fireplace with rocking chairs inside. But, although it may be quaint looking, shooting practice is all business. You walk in and are immediately greeted by Mary Jane. Mary Jane is a retired school librarian and the official test prep person. Part of all BB gun competitions is the test. The kids take a true or false test on gun safety, competition rules, and parts of the gun. Out of the 500 points that a competitor can get during a competition, this is an easy 100 points, and our kids are expected to get a 100. Mary Jane is a no nonsense person but has a big heart. She is good at drilling those kids in many different ways so that they know (or at least should know) the rules forwards and backwards.
When your relay (shooting group) is called, you get ready to shoot. Getting up to the shooting line is an experience in itself. You have to make sure you have your targets ready, your goggles on, and your gun and sling in hand. When you finally get to the line, you have your own shooting coach. The shooting coaches are experienced parents or volunteers who know how to shoot, and help the child with his shooting position, breath control, aim, and follow through, and then spot, with binoculars, where the BB hit. You alternate between Mary Jane and shooting until you have shot all four positions - prone (on your belly), sitting, kneeling and standing. Everything is under the watchful eye of Megan, the official coach, and Charlie, the "Bend of the River" owner.
This year there are about 25 kids on the team. All kids go to the pre-state and state match but only the top 7 (five regular and two alternates) are chosen to go to the international match in Bowling Green, KY at Western Kentucky University. Last year, John Allen was chosen for the international team as an alternate. It was a real experience. Even if you are an alternate, you get to shoot. John Allen got to see some fantastic shooting, and he met his pre-match goal to have a combined score of over 400 out of a 500 possible score. The official photographer of the match has all of his pictures posted on shutterfly. John Allen is shown in the team picture (third from left), taking the test (he's in the front row - second from right), and shooting the kneeling position. The international team was really young last year, most of them had never been to the international competition, and the team didn't place. The 2007 group was great - they placed 10th but, unfortunately, you have to skip a year before you can go back if you are not an alternate. John Allen is eligible this year, again, since he was only an alternate last year, but there is some stiff competition again this year, so we will have to see.
One person who is after one of the coveted international team spots is John Allen's own brother, Joshua. Joshua has been tagging along to practices since John Allen began but was never able to shoot because of his age. Well, this year he turned eight so he begged to shoot. I talked to Megan last year about his problems and she said to bring him in and she would work with him. So, last Saturday, the three of us loaded into the car and went to the first practice of the season. The first practice is always an all day practice where, most of the time, you are sitting and learning gun safety. Joshua was pretty attentive for the fist hour and a half, but after that it was a challenge to keep his interest. He was a trooper and kept up the best he could until, FINALLY, it was time to shoot. The first practice you only shoot prone, and Megan personally worked with him. He did great! She said that he had a natural talent but had to be refocused a time or two. Today he did equally as well, but I needed to help him with all of his test practice. Last week, they said that we could wait to see if Joshua would work out before we paid his $50 fee. Well, this week we paid so he is committed to trying it for at least this season. I don't think that he will give John Allen a scare yet, but it's a start!
Shooting has been an excellent experience for John Allen, and so far it seems to be good for Joshua. It has turned out to be a family sport. Last year, we bought John Allen his own competition gun, so we practice regularly at home. If you are interested in shooting, contact either Daisy Outdoor Products or The NRA (National Rifle Association) Happy shooting!
I know! I know! It has been 10 days since the new year started, and again I have allowed too many days to go by without a new entry. I fact, so much has been going on lately (including a computer virus), that I haven't thought much about my blog until today. I decided to check to see if anyone had checked my blog, and found that 13 of you checked it out just yesterday! Now you know that not many people read this blog, but I feel like I need to get "on the stick" and post some new things for those who do read it.
You all know that my main focus is to promote family values. I try to search the web to find ideas that will help fathers (including me...correction...especially me!) be the Christian heads of the family that they should be. One idea that I found was supposed to be done right around the beginning of the year, but we aren't too far away from that, so I thought I would still pass it on to you. I intend to sit down this next week and prayerfully go through it, so I'll let you know what happens. It's fairly long, but I think it is worth the read. I'll post part of it here and then give you the link to finish reading it if you are interested. It is from Doug Phillips', Vision Forum, blog.
Three of the Most Important Things You Can Do As You Begin 2009
Life moves fast. If we don?t take the time to chronicle the providences of God, we forget them. If we don?t take the time to say thank you to those who have invested in our lives, we actually cultivate a spirit of ingratitude in our own hearts. If we don?t stop and make sure that we have a spirit of forgiveness toward others, we grow bitter, we lose the capacity to move victoriously into the future, and our prayers are hindered.
Here is a little practice that I was taught and would like to share with you. As you start a new year, I would encourage you to do the following things.
I. Outline and Chronicle the Many Providences of God
Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (Hab. 2:2)
First, using simple bullet points, outline the key events for every week of every month of the year. Take the time to do the research which will help jog your memory and allow you to make an accurate record. I find that reviewing bills, blogs, journals, newspaper headlines, letters, and even organizing my photographs chronologically are enormously helpful tools. Those individuals who were faithful to journal or keep a diary will have little problem reconstructing key events. Give yourself a good week to reconstruct your own outline of the year. Also, by making this a family project, you will not only build your list with greater speed and precision, but (in the hands of a loving patriarch) the very act of chronicling the providences of God in your life is a blessed tool for family discipleship.
Every family will have a different set of priorities directing what they should record. In addition to recording the key events and providences of the year chronologically, I try to take the time with my family to record some of the following information on separate bullet lists:
Where did I/we travel?
What were the titles and key texts of sermons I preached?
What books/articles did I write?
What significant household projects did we accomplish in 2008?
What were the most important meetings of the year?
What special friendships were made this year?
Which children lost teeth, and how many?
Who grew in physical stature, and how much did they grow?
Who learned to read this year?
What diet and physical exercise regimen did I maintain to honor ?my temple??
What books did I read? Did we read as a family? Did my children read?
What Scriptures did my family memorize?
What loved ones died this year?
What were the great personal/ministry/national tragedies and losses of the year?
What were the great personal/ministry/national blessings of the year?
What were my most significant failures for the year 2008?
What unresolved conflicts am I bringing into 2008?
What significant spiritual and practical victories did I experience?
In what tangible ways did I communicate gratitude to those who have blessed me and invested in my life?
What are the top ten themes of 2008 for my family?
I wanted to share an email that I just wrote to all of our supporters who are on our email list. Many of you all have expressed an interest in our ministry after reading my blog, so I decided to post it to you as well. Thank you all for your support since I started the Families Again blog. I have really enjoyed writing it and look forward to writing more and getting to know more of you in 2009. Until then, please have a very happy New Year. God bless all of you. Tim
Dear Family and Friends,
I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas, and the rest of your holidays will be very blessed. God has richly blessed the Tinkel household this holiday season. Although the year has been a difficult one, the blessings that God has given us far outweigh the problems. Some of the greatest blessings that God has given are the faithful friends and family that have prayed, encouraged and supported us throughout this past year. There is no year, good or bad, that we could survive without you all. We thank God for you and pray for you all continuously.
Although you may not consider yourselves as such, you are a valuable part of the our team at Good News Mission. This past year we have strived to keep you better informed as to what is happening in our ministry. Sarah has tried to send our more frequent prayer letters, and I have begun my blog and begun to post our newsletters online. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to keep you better informed.
This year our goal is to endeavor to serve you all better. You all have done so much for us, that we would like to do something for you. For those of you who live close by, please call us if there is anything that we can do for you. Be it physical help or prayer, we will do all that we can to assist you. For those of you who live far away from us, we could, at least, come along side of you in prayer. Please call, write, or email and let us know how we can help you.
As the new year approaches, please continue to be in prayer for our ministry here in Livingston. As Sarah has written in her newsletters, God has richly blessed Good News Mission. Our Sunday meal and Bible study has grown tremendously and our new ladies cooking class and kids Bible club have been well received. Our special events have also been very popular, and have allowed us to serve and get to know some individuals and families that don't usually attend our other mission functions.
We have many more plans for this coming year. As well as continuing the ministries that we already have, we hope to add afternoon tutoring for the kids and a craft class for Sarah's ladies. This summer, we are planning a community garden for folks who live in the neighborhood and perhaps expanding our summer ministry to the children of the area. These things, along with the our commitment to homeschooling and our children's Drs. visits, therapies, etc. add for very busy days and weeks. Please pray that we will schedule our time and use our time wisely.
One praise that we have is our finances. God has always abundantly supplied for all of our needs and this past year has continued to do so. Although our support has fluctuated we have ended the year with a plus in that area. One small prayer request in this area though. BCM has required that our support level be at $2000 a month before the end of 2009. Although God has richly blessed, we are not at that level yet. If you would like to know more about how to support us financially, or if you would like us to speak at your church, please let us know. Even a pledge of $5.00 a month would help. If you feel that you could give us an end of the year gift, it is not too late. Just send it to the BCM address below. Please make out the check to BCM and then attach a note saying it is for Tim and Sarah Tinkel, account number 642.
Thank you again for all that you do for us, and please let us know what we can do for you. We will be praying that God blesses you greatly in this coming year. We hope that you have a blessed rest of 2008 and an even greater 2009.
Families Again Freebies Topic: FamiliesAgain Freebies
Being homeschoolers, we are members of several online homeschool groups and receive many homeschool newsletters. One of the newsletters sends out a weekly email called "Freebie Fridays". I look forward to it every week, because it really does have some valuable online freebies for homeschoolers. Some of them I have passed on to you in the past.
I don't know if I want to commit to doing it weekly, but I do like the idea of passing on some freebies to you from time to time that promote family values. Since I'm not sure how often it will be, I'm calling my posts "Families Again Freebies". It may be every week, it may be a couple of times a week, or I may skip a week or so, but I hope to be fairly regular in passing on free websites and ideas that will help you in your journey of raising kids.
In one of my early posts I talked about Behemoth.com. I lamented that they had daily free downloads but required a credit card to set up an account. Since that post, we switched banks and now have a check card that I was able to use to register. I love it! They have historical talks, talks on family values, educational downloads etc. ... all from a Christian worldview. I look forward every day to see what the next thing is that I can download. I have listened to many of them, and have not been disappointed yet.
Another website that I have gone to a lot recently is DLTK crafts. Most of the crafts that were used for our Advent nights came from this site and I have even used some of their crafts for my Bible clubs. Everything is free and there is a ton of crafts that you can use for family craft nights. DTLK crafts is a family based site, so you shouldn't find anything too objectionable, but I did find one craft that involved Pokemon, so you do need to be careful.
Let me know what you think of these, and if you know of any good freebies that you think will meet this sites goal of strengthening the Christian family, please let me know and I may put it in a future FamiliesAgain Freebies post.