Families Again
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Sunday, 25 April 2010
Over the River and Throught the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Family


Have you ever noticed that a lot of great memories always originate from visits to the grandparents. They did with me. Of course, how could they not, when you lived with one of your grandparents for ten years of your life. When I was in second grade, we moved into to the home where my mother grew up to help take care of my aging grandfather. We lived there for ten years, and boy do I have stories to tell of planting gardens, taking care of animals, bringing in hay, etc. etc., but those are stories for another post.

My paternal grandparents were also an adventure. All of my cousins on my mom's side were older than I was, but I had two cousins, both girls, that were my age on my dad's side. We always met up at Grandpa Tinkel's house on Orchard Street in Wabash, Indiana. Grandpa always wanted people to know that Wabash was the first electrically lighted city in the United States. He was proud of that fact, along with the fact that he was born on Groundhog Day. Yes, Grandpa was quite a colorful character. He was a retired school teacher and a retired minister and did he have stories to tell. And, others had stories to tell about him as well! I loved the house on Orchard Street. It was a neat place, but, those are stories for another day as well. The tale that I want to weave today is of our visit this weekend with the Grandma's.

We always say we are visiting the "Grandma's" because both Sarah's mom and grandmother are widowed, so, Mom moved in with Granny some years ago to help her out. We always have a blast at the Grandma's house. It has a huge yard to play in and a big basement that the kids can play in and explore. We even brought Jojo this time to play with Sarah's sister's dog who was also here for a visit. Unfortunately, Phebe and Jojo didn't hit it off to well but they tolerated each other. That should have tipped me off that it was going to be one of those weekends.

Despite Jacob's surgery on Thursday, we decided to come on Friday because we knew that bad weather was going to hit on Saturday. We thought that the storms wouldn't arrive until later on so we set out to visit Sarah's brother and then entertain the kids at the bowling alley. Sure enough, no sooner had we left Uncle Franklin's house that we heard thunder. A quick stop at the grocery store and then, to Joshua the bowler's dismay, we came straight back to the house. Joshua was only consoled by the fact that we promised to try again Sunday afternoon if we could. We tried not to frighten the boys, but shared with them that some thunder storms were coming and we wanted to be home.

And came they did. Actually they weren't too bad right where we were, but all around us were thunder storm warnings and tornado warnings until 3 am in the morning. I'm always the designated storm watcher, so I was up the whole time making sure that we were ready to head to the basement if need be. Thankfully that didn't happen but a stormy night is always an adventurous one. 

Today began as a fairly good day. I stayed home from church sense Jacob had had a bad night. By noon, however, everyone was set to go bowling, and sense Jacob had been medicated and felt much better, he would not hear of us leaving him home. So, off we all went to the bowling alley leaving a disgruntled Phebe and Jojo staring at us as we drove down the lane. After bowling, out to eat, then to a park to let the kids run off some energy and on home. Phebe met us in the driveway, but no Jojo.

After we checked to make sure Granny hadn't left him in the house, we began to search and holler for him. Soon, the neighbors came out and said that they saw him run down the railroad tracks that parallel the road about an hour before. I jumped in the car and went on a chase. "Surely he couldn't have gone that far" I thought, but in the pit of my stomach I knew that he could be lost forever. With my windows down and me yelling, I drove down every road into every housing development along the tracks. No Jojo. Finally I saw a man on a mower and asked him if he had seen a little black dog run by. My first lead! He had seen him...two or three hours before that. Two or three hours! The neighbors were a little off! Jojo could be anywhere. Seeing the panic on my face, he said that I might check the animal shelter across the road just a little ways further down from his house.

The gate was shut, but a girl was coming out of on of the buildings. When she saw me she walked my way. After a quick prayer, I asked if anyone had turned in a little black miniature pincher an hour or two before. I said that we had been visiting my in-laws and he had run away. I told her his name was Jojo. I waited, and to my relief she said that someone had dropped him off earlier that afternoon and went into the building to fetch him out. I nervously waited. Could she have been mistaken? Could it be another dog that was picked up and dropped off? A few minutes later I had my answer. Out she came with our Jojo. Immediately upon seeing me, he ran to the gate wagging his little stubby tail and barking excitedly. She said I owed her nothing, she was just glad that Jojo's owner had found him. He was almost two miles away from Granny's house when he was found!

I excitedly called Sarah and told her the news. The boys, who had been in tears but were now joyous, met us at the end of the drive. After watering the very thirsty and tired Jojo, we took him in for the day to rest. Granny doesn't like dog's in the house, but this was an exception. Even she seemed to be happy that Jojo was home. He is asleep on the bed beside me even as I type. All I could think of was the Disney movie about the two dogs and a cat who had gone in search of their master. Jojo, the faithful puppy, had gone in search of us.

Thank you, Lord, for helping us to find Jojo. You care even about the little things, Lord. Thank you also, Lord, that, just like Jojo, you loved us enough to search for us. Only, you didn't just search for us, you died on the cross to take our punishment. Thank you for giving us faithful Jojo, but thank you even more for faithfully loving us enough to provide a way that we can get to Heaven. Amen 




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Posted by tink38570 at 11:41 PM CDT
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Saturday, 24 April 2010
I Hate Bad Weather!
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: General

Let me repeat...

I hate bad weather!

More on this later! Not to worry, we are all fine and no problems...but have I mentioned...I hate bad weather!


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Posted by tink38570 at 10:19 PM CDT
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Friday, 23 April 2010
Men's Monday Meme - Who me? Get old? Not me!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Men's Monday Meme

If you have been reading my blog at all, you know that I am a member of TOS Homeschool Crew, a group of homeschool bloggers that reviews homeschool products on our blogs. We have our own forum where we can chat with one another, ask questions, give prayer requests, etc. One of the topics recently has been about old age. Some of the ladies (I'm the only male Smile) have been talking about getting old. Since I am one of the oldest ones in the group, I was very interested in there discussion. Finally, I decided to respond. Here is my response:
Me? Falling apart? Never! ~ Oops. My bifocals just fell off. There we go...back to the message at hand.

Now come on ladies! I am almost the oldest one here and there is nothing wrong with me at all. ~ Hold on a minute..."What's that Sarah? My hearing aid is buzzing again? Sorry."

I mean, come on, I'll never grow old. ~ Just a second while I switch positions...my back is killing me.

I'm glad that we are going to have new bodies in Heaven. Some folks sure need them...not me, though, you don't know how many people compliment me on my good... ~ Oh, I'm getting tired of this phone ringing all day long...or maybe it's that blasted ringing in my head...I never can tell the difference...hold on a minute..."Hello?" *Pause* "No I was not the person who sent my picture in to the rat poison company!" *Pause* "No you may not use it in your experimental study on nonpoisonous ways to kill rodents! Goodbye!" 

I'm telling you. The nerve of some people. ~ Now, where was I? I forgot. Sarah says I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached.  ~ Oh yeah. Old age. Like I said. I'll never grow old.

Gotta go ladies. I'll talk to you later. Time to take my supplements and meds.

iTm ...I mean Tim... Blasted fingers. Don't know why they aren't typing like they used to?!

Despite my funny response, the whole conversation got me to thinking about how I really feel about getting old. I mean, I'm almost 50 years old, and, believe it or not, the AARP has been sending me mail asking me to join. I got one just today. A trial membership card that they wanted me to activate. I wanted to yell at the letter..."I'm only 49! Don't you have to be 55 or 60 before you can become a member of the AARP?" I'm not really sure how I feel about it. Which leads me to my new Men's Monday Meme question.

How do you feel about getting old? Do you relish it? Hate the thought? Are you somewhat scared? Give me your thoughts.

Here are the rules:

  1. This is a man's meme, so the answers must be the answers from a man. Either the man can answer on his blog, or a wife can interview her husband for her blog. However, if the wife puts it on her blog, she must stay true to what her husband said.
  2. You are encouraged to put one of the Men's Monday Meme buttons found to the left on your blog. Just copy the code below the button of your choice. The more folks who link, the more readers you may have to visit your blog.
  3. You may answer the question any time during the week up through next Monday. After you answer the question, add the address to your post to the Mr.Linky below. If you could, please only add the direct link to the post to make it easier for readers to find the entry.
  4. My answer along with a new question will be posted next Monday. The new Mr. Linky will be added at midnight Monday night.

And here's the new Mr. Linky:



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Posted by tink38570 at 10:10 PM CDT
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Thursday, 22 April 2010
Thursday's Child - First Letter From Feyber
Mood:  happy
Topic: Compassion International

Today has been an emotion filled day. Our youngest son, four year old Jacob, had his tonsils and adenoids taken out. I'm telling you...even after having a child diagnosed with cancer (our oldest, 13 year old John Allen, had retinosblastoma as a baby. He's doing fine now with an artificial eye.) and have a child on the autism spectrum (our middle child, 9 year old Joshua, has asperger's syndrome) I still get nervous when one of my children have to undergo any type of surgery. He made it through, of course, with flying colors but it was still nerve racking for me this morning. 

When we got home, however, a pleasant surprise was waiting for us in the mailbox that really brightened our day. Our first letter from Feyber, our Compassion child from Columbia! He is 13, just seven days younger than John Allen. His first letter was so neat and special. It was different than the first letter that we got from Marcelo. I guess the different Compassion countries do things differently. Feyber's had a little questionnaire and a short letter. It also had a drawing at the top. Here is what the letter said:

He lives with his mother - Luz Nelly and three sisters - Kimberly, Lesly and Sandy.

His best friends are - Paula-12, David-14, Patricia-11, Sandra-14, and Juan-13

Favorites: Hobby-riding his bicycle, food-pasta, subject-computing (IT),  animal-dog, and color-green.

Questions for his sponsor: 1) Do you have any children? 2) What are your jobs?

Bible verse to his sponsor: Psalm 138:3 - On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. (NASB) (If that doesn't really get to ya!)

Message for my sponsor: Hello, I am Feyber Pena. I live with my mother and my sisters in Bogata. I am in 7th grade and I feel very happy being part of your lives. I thank God and you for giving me the happiness of being at Compassion program. I know that God brought you to my path to bless my life. I hope you are very well and don't forget to write me. Blessings, Feyber Pena, your friend.

I know that I have said this over and over again, but sponsoring a child with Compassion International is a fantastic experience. If you would like more information on Compassion International, just click on any one of the hi-lighted links above or leave me a message with questions and I will be happy to respond.



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Posted by tink38570 at 10:20 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Alphabet Beats - I've Got a Secret...Oops...I've Already Used that One!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


I guess you've already heard about me being an educational therapist in the past. I worked with children who had learning problems. One of the many techniques that we used was called "Rhythmic Writing". Rhythmic Writing uses a series of rhythmic strokes to form cursive letters. The technique is used for so much more than learning how to write, but good cursive handwriting is a nice bi-product.

When I first saw Alphabet Beats from The TV Teacher, I was very intrigued because it looked very similar to Rhythmic Writing but for printing instead of cursive. When I finally got Alphabet Beats, I found that it was so much more! It not only teaches you how to write better, it also teaches you letter sounds and social skills. All in a very entertaining way! Take a look at this sample video for the letter p.

That's just a fraction of what you see when you watch the real video for each lesson. Isn't Ms. Marnie hilarious? You can see why Joshua likes watching so much. Let me describe how we work through each lesson. 

  1. The first thing that we do is watch the video for a specific letter together. During that video we will trace the letter on the screen or in the air along with Ms. Marnie.
  2. Then I give Joshua a slate with some chalk, a pencil with a good eraser and a copy of the paper that you see Ms. Marnie using. You can find a link to download and copy the paper on the Alphabet Beat website. 
  3. I then let Joshua go at it himself. I have already taught him the proper posture and way to hold the pencil, but I do check on him periodically. We use my laptop to watch the video, and he knows how to stop it if he needs to. He loves it!
  4. After he is through with each step, he will show me the slate or show me the paper and I will help him to make any corrections that are needed.

This is what I do for Joshua. Now, keep in mind that Joshua already knows how to basically make all of his letters but has a very difficult time remembering how to make them, and just plain old making them. With a child that is just learning how to write, you may have to stay in the same room with him the entire time.

I really like Alphabet Beats because it teaches your child how to make each letter in a very rhythmic way. Your brain likes rhythm. It helps you to learn. Remember how kids learn their letters? By singing the alphabet song. Do you recall how your child learned the days of the week or months of the year? By using poems or songs. All have rhythm and rhythm helps you to learn. I have read many studies on how beneficial learning is.

Another plus for me is that it is very visual and repetitive. You see the letter and draw the letter in many different ways - tracing it in the air or on top of a picture of the letter, using a piece of chalk on a chalk board, and using pencil and paper. If you have a child that is just learning his letters, but may not be ready to begin printing, you can just have them trace the letters with his finger as he watches the video. Or perhaps you have a child that has small motor problems. Have him trace the letters on the chalk board (small slates are easy to find and fairly inexpensive) before progressing to the pencil and paper.

That brings me to another reason I really like Alphabet Beats. It is a short five minute lesson on a CD. Believe me, the five minutes goes by quickly because it is so entertaining, but if it is too much for your child, watch it in two or three parts. If your child doesn't quite "get it" the first time, he can watch it over and over again or even repeat the lesson for several days. Is your child a quick learner? Do two or more letters in one sitting.


The program is very flexible and easy. You can use it as your regular curriculum or as a supplement to another curriculum. You can use it if your child goes to public/private school and just needs more help in his writing. They are very inexpensive as well. You can buy either the Lower Case DVD or the Upper Case DVD separately for just $35 or as a set for $64.99. If you would rather have workbook pages instead of the downloads, they are available as companions for either DVD at $4.49 for the Beginning Writer's Workbook or $4.99 for the Advanced Writer's Workbook. They also sell a DVD entitled "Strokes, Shapes and Scenes" that helps with pre-writing skills ($24.95 DVD, $4.99 Workbook). Several package deals are also available. To check out this fantastic program just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Some of the TOS Homeschool Crew reviewed the Upper-case letter CD and some reviewed the Lower-case CD. To find out what the other Crew members had to say, click here. Happy Home Educating!    

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of The TV Teacher's Alphabet Beats Lower Case Letters DVD in order to try out and review on my blog.



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Posted by tink38570 at 11:53 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 April 2010 11:55 PM CDT
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