Thursday, June 30, 2016

Flying Dreams

When this boy was little he used to dream of being a train engineer. He lived and breathed trains. Not just Thomas the Tank Engine, but real trains too. He could identify and name any train you asked him about. Then, when he was around eight or nine, his passion switched to planes. 

He loves all kinds of planes, but his favorites are WWII planes. Quiz him the next time you see him in public. He's hard to stump.

While we were living further north, he also became relatively active in an RC plane club. It was mostly made up of older gentlemen and they were all fantastic as encouraging his love of planes. In fact, he went to one meeting and one man gifted him a plane!

He just turned 15 a few months ago and had asked for this plane. He bought it "not ready to fly" which meant you couldn't take it out of the box, charge the battery, and just go. You needed to make sure your remote and the plane's receiver could talk. His didn't. After a few weeks of frustration, buying some other parts, and finally doing some troubleshooting, he had it in the air. 

This was his second flight of the day. He's having a great time with it. A great time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. It's officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why?

I'm going with June. Yes, summer is only half of the month, but I don't like heat so it's still cool enough that I find it comfortable - typically. We've had very hot Junes as well. 

2. Can you swim? How did you learn? June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?

Not well. I only took lessons one summer while at Girl Scout camp and it took most of the first week for me just to put my head underwater. I have a slight fear of the water dating back to an incident when I was a child. I do enjoy the water, but I am not a good swimmer at all. It's the biggest reason I made sure my kids took lessons. 

I own one pair of sunglasses that fit over my regular eyeglasses, a pair that clips to the front of my eyeglasses, and one pair of regular sunglasses I can wear if I have my contacts in. 

3. What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others?

Myself: procrastination  Others: Selfishness

4. Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled The Road Not Taken. What's a road (literal or figurative) you've always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you?

I have wanderlust. I would absolutely love to travel more. Perhaps in the future when my kids are grown and gone. My hubby and I took a week long trip to Canada almost three years ago now for our 20th anniversary. I enjoyed every minute of it. I'd love to see more countries (only been to Canada and England) and more of the US (never been further south than DC or further west than PA/NY). 

5. Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what's your favorite flavor?

Nay. I loved them as a kid, but I haven't eaten one as an adult in forever. Favorite flavors were "red" and orange. 

6. Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what's involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what's Brexit) Is this news you'll follow or is it something you think won't impact your life in any way shape or form?

I'd say about a 6-7 - I know enough that I realize the impact it has on the world. I know it will impact everyone but I'm honestly unsure of the extent. I know it was very big news though. 

7. Share a favorite song on your summer play list.

Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop the Feeling - working on learning a routine so I can use it in my Zumba classes. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This crew (including my middle son - front row right #33) left on Sunday for a mission trip to upstate New York. They went on a work mission and are helping area residents fix up their homes. Minor carpentry and painting. I was able to talk with him today. His group plus two others are working on a home that is getting a deck rebuilt, a wheelchair ramp built, and the entire exterior of the house repainted. He was very excited about what they have been doing. 

The mission had over 400 kids coming from across the US to work on various houses throughout the area. They are broken into teams and you may or may not have someone from your home youth group in your team. He has no one he knew beforehand but assured me he has made "lots of new friends." I don't doubt it. This child has never, from the time he was very small, ever met a stranger. 

He was most excited because the home they are working on (he's on the crew doing the painting) overlooks a military airbase. He wants to be a commercial pilot one day and adores planes so this really is a highlight of the trip for him. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. If you could sit beside and/or jump in any lake in the whole wide world today, which lake would you choose and why? I prefer the ocean, but I guess I'd have to say Moosehead Lake. It's the one lake I spend any time near - little though that really is.

2. What's your favorite 'fruity' drink? I don't drink a lot of fruity drinks. Fruity drinks = carbs. Carbs = insulin. I try not to drink my carbs. 

3. I read a list here of thirteen things to do right now to simplify your life. They were-

clean as you go, re-evaluate your relationships (cut toxic ties), unsubscribe (too many blogs and websites), de-clutter, write down your daily goals, reply to emails right away, forget multitasking, create a morning routine, re-evaluate your commitments (which hobbies and responsibilities are most important to you), say no, clean up your computer, and plan your day ahead 

Which of the tasks listed do you currently find most helpful in keeping life simple? I find writing down a daily to do list helps me to stay on task well. 

Which item on the list should you adopt in order to simplify your life this month? I'm currently working on decluttering. We have a huge dumpster sitting in our backyard right now for this sole purpose. 

4. What did you do the summer after you graduated from high school? Gosh! What did I do? It's been so long. I honestly have no idea. I probably went to visit my aunt in Massachusetts for a bit. I think I had a job then so maybe not. Obviously it wasn't life changing or all that interesting because I simply can't remember.

5. Are you a fan of podcasts? If so what's a favorite? I want to be a fan, but I never seem to get around to listening to any. 

6. Do you think today's fathers have it harder, easier, or just different than fathers in the past? Just different. I think fathers have a hard job period. 

7. Tell us one way you're like your father? Or not at all like your father if that's easier? Some may find this untrue, but I have a temper like my father. It's taken me many years to get that under control. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. It's been pretty cold here in Maine this year. It's mid-June and I'm still wearing jeans more than shorts. Odd weather. This weekend I'm heading to the beach - cold or not! I love the ocean. Even just a walk along the shore will be well worth the time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

False Alarm

I woke up early on Saturday to head to the gym. My youngest was looking taller - he tends to do that daily. A quick check had me believing he had finally surpassed me. I asked another kiddo to take photographic proof. Nope! Almost there but not quite. Although, it is definitely not going to be much longer before I am officially the shortest person in my house. I'm not all that sad about it actually.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

{Review} Living Hope DVD

Living Hope is a documentary that looks at the impact a mission is having on an entire community in South Africa. The focus of this mission began when Pastor John Thomas was in South Africa working at a church there during the early 1990s. This was when the AIDS/HIV epidemic was really striking a blow to the people in Africa. He realized he needed to not just lead people to the living hope found in Jesus, but to be the hands and fee of Christ and help the people find that hope to continue to live in dire circumstances.

The mission has four specific focuses. Living Care is their healthcare ministry. They used to run a hospice where people affected by AIDS came to die. Now, thanks to huge strides in medicine, they have turned it in to a clinic where people come to be treated and given hope for a better life.

Living Grace is their ministry that focuses on homelessness and drug addiction. The documentary tells the story of Leonie Rustin who is a single mom and now a nursing assistant at Living Care. She was once addicted to drugs and left her son (born during the time she was addicted) to be raised by her sister. She is now clean and sober and helping others overcome their addictions and find hope in Jesus Christ.

Living Right is their education and support ministry that helps those living with HIV/AIDS. There are support groups that meet to help support those battling this disease. In every program they run, they also feed the participants from children who receive just a simple sandwich and a piece of fruit (often their only food of the day) to those in the AIDS program. The adults are fed plus given a meal to take home as it's important for them to take their meds with food.

The last ministry is Living Way which is all about economic empowerment, finding jobs to help people support themselves. We met Joey Lankford, a businessman and father of four who moved his family from Tennessee to South Africa after God spoke into his life, who works for this ministry. He realized he needed to change the focus off himself, as he put it, and on to others. He helps equip men and women with jobs. During the DVD they were building grow tunnels and planting cucumbers and tomatoes - thousands of them! The plan was to not only support the immediate families but to also sell the excess to local grocery stores.

This was a very powerful film narrated by Joel Smallbone of for King & Country. The lives that are being impacted are not only the ones in the South African community being served, but those who go to help, those who live there full-time, and those who watch the film. I highly recommend this documentary.

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