Thursday, August 6, 2009

Father and Son bonding..... On Rollercoasters!

This past Monday I took my eldest son Gage to six flags for some one on one time. We had a blast. He loved the rides and we had a good time together. I borrowed my sister in-laws camera to capture the moments.... and I got one photo of Gage.... Oh well. It's the memories that count.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Christian Law Association/ Homeschool Legal Advantage

I know that I haven't been the best at keeping up on my blog lately... I can make an excuse if you want one. Tonight though I just wanted to share a link to something I think many may be interested in. I'm sure many of you have heard of the Christian Law Association started by Bro. David Gibbs. They now have an off shoot specifically for Homeschool defense. My pastor shared this with us and we are going to look further into it.

"HLA is an outreach of the Christian Law Association (CLA). We are an organization of experienced attorneys who are only a phone call away. Our attorneys provide your family with legal representation and practical advice regarding home education and compliance with homeschool laws. The CLA has served families since 1969 with resources and information. We have successfully defended over 8,000 educational freedom related cases. CLA has assembled a dedicated team of educators, experienced homeschool parents, attorneys and homeschool graduates to form a division specifically charged with protecting the rights of homeschoolers."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Kickapoo Park Lincoln Illinois

Here are some random pictures of the kids after a sunday picnic between services.

Bear trying to find the perfect skipping stone.

Rissy walked clear to the tall grass on the other side of the field. Her curiosity is fearless, or she's sure her daddy can rescue her if anything does happen.

Posted by Picasa

Four Wheeler Fun

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hannibal Missouri

Overlook view of Hannibal Missouri, we went camping this weekend and had a great time. Here are some Pics
Posted by Picasa

Gage and Chester

This is a really good picture, I know that I have a lot of pics posted. I'm trying to get as many pics of our trip to Hannibal up as I can, and I'm gonna try using picasa for it.
Posted by Picasa

Riverview Park

The kids taking a break from walking the trails
Posted by Picasa

Gage, Chloe, Hunter, and Clarissa

The kids looking out at the Mississippi river
Posted by Picasa

Chloe in Hannibal Missouri

Chloe posing on a rock at the base of Hannibals Light house.
Posted by Picasa

The city of Hannibal from Lovers Leap
Posted by Picasa

View off of Lovers Leap

A view off of Lovers Leap in Hannibal.
Posted by Picasa

Lovers Leap

These two needed to hear my pastor's messages on the dangers of dating....
Posted by Picasa

Java Jive the first coffee shop west of the mississippi

My wife and I are huge fans of coffee, we like to try coffee shops everywhere we go. You may have read our post on that really good shop in Davenport. This lil' shop is in Hannibal Missouri just yards from the Mississippi river in Hannibal's historic district. We stopped there this morning for a cup of coffee... well latte, before we started our day of site seeing.

This was a very comfortable sitting, lounge like atmosphere.

The owner of this shop is from Springfield Illinois.... and a guy I spoke with at the counter comes here often to sell antiques.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Long time no post

I have more time now than ever and am posting less than ever. Thankfully I am a master of excuses and can justify just about anything. Ok here it goes. My laptop was down for about a week and a half, charger died. Then this week I got a new charger and now the battery wont charge, My dad showed up and is visiting for a couple of weeks.

The weather is starting to make up it's mind that it wants to be warm. So we're doing more out doors stuff as a family. We were wanting to go camping in Missouri this weekend but the rain stopped that. My wife and I are now officially hooked on an online farming game called Farm Town.

Here's some pics.
Me and Grandpa went in on some outdoor fun for the kids, a go-cart and a mini dirt bike.... look closely and you can see that the "new" go cart is being pulled with a rope... good investment.
Gage Chloe Hunter and I planting the first apple trees of our wannabe orchard. Lord willing one day we'll have the land for a real one with room for some animals.
Rissy enjoying something fruity!
Jamie today, we went bowling at a Christian Center in Peoria, we were the only ones there. It was great!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm this April's fool

Ok, so I haven't been updating this thing very often. I had an excuse for the past few months, I was working overtime almost every night at work. Well it's spring time and I'm done with OT until it gets really hot out so now I must get back to this.
I'll start with an update on my chickens. I've been selling our eggs just as fast as my girls will lay em'. On a good day I'll get 18 out of them. I ordered fifteen more and am hoping to buy 30 more before the year is out, just have to find a place to put them. I picked up a tip from another blog about increasing the size of my chickens eggs. The secret... Peanuts. I guess it's the extra protein. I buy a five pound bag of crushed peanuts from a feed store I go to and use it as a "treat". I throw a handful or two in every night and my customers have already noticed a difference.
Now to the part about me being the fool this April first. I've been sick for the past couple days with the flu or something, so I've been in a funk. Well this morning I started out the door 15 minutes later than I should have and in a hurry. To make things worse the I get stuck behind 3 cars, of which the lead car can't decide whether to drive 60 or 45 so tries them out over and over again. The car in front of me leap frogs around the two and makes it safety, godspeed friend, I on the other hand didn't want to pass two cars at once and didn't want to leapfrog when the lead driver was so erratic. So for the next ten miles I waited patiently, accepting that I was just going to have wait for the interstate. Well that didn't happen. The lead car decided she wanted to turn... like right now, so she slams on her brakes and that makes the guy in front of me slam on his and swerve to the right, half way on the shoulder and half way in the lane. Oncoming traffic kept me from moving left and the car in front of me kept me from moving right, so I slammed on my brakes and hoped for the best... I didn't get the worst at least. I was in my "first" accident today. I've been in plenty before but I was never the driver. I lost two dozen eggs and cracked the grill on my minivan.
There's more, so I get to work (late) to find out that there has been a sewer back up on half the first floor. I had to shampoo the carpets, which is no big deal but first.... The sewer in the kitchen backs up sending hundreds of gallons of greasy, smelly, and chunky water ( not toilet water) all over the kitchen and dining room. Did I mention that I'm sick. I think all the maintenance men are taking next April 1st off...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Romantic Getaway of Two ..... Plus one

So this past weekend was my wife's birthday on the 13th, valentines day on the 14th, and our anniversary on the 15th.... and I didn't do a thing for her! I barely even said happy birthday or happy anniversary. Usually I get her a collectible thingy (willow tree) or flowers or something, and we usually at least do dinner somewhere. I didn't get her a thing. We couldn't really afford much this year anyway, we have to wait a few more weeks before we can even file tax returns, and we have doctor bills to pay. So she wasn't expecting much.

I did have a lil' extra money on this check from some overtime. So I asked her mom to watch the kids yesterday through today and I snuck her off. It was neat she didn't even know what was going on really. She thought I was taking her out for a date, we made it to the Library, where I pulled up a map on my laptop and asked her where she wanted to go. I had four or five spots picked out all within 3 hours or so from the house. She picked the Quad Cities. We'd never been there before. The city you might know there is Davenport Iowa, the others are Rock Island, Moline and Bettendorf. We stayed in Rock Island right off the river. Our hotel had a great view of the Centennial Bridge crossing over into Iowa. There was a really nice little coffee shop right across from the hotel called Theo's Java Club that we went to this morning. Cool thing was that all the postings in the shop were... conservative! Like the bulletin board had news clippings that talked good about America and bad about socialism. I was pleasantly shocked.
There was quite a bit of sites to see but I took the advise from a friend and just planned on one or two things. My wife and I both love to just drive around and look at new places, as in places we've never been. We just drove around the city for at least 2 hours, taking pictures along the way. The kinda big thing we did that took up about 3 hours was the Putnam Museum and Imax theater in Davenport. For twenty bucks even we got to watch a 3D show on a screen that was over 70feet high by 100 feet wide. It was Deep Sea 3D or something like that. Worth the money and I plan on taking my kids to see it but be sure to debrief your kids if you do. The show is laced with subtle liberal propaganda and some very blunt liberal propaganda. Lets put it this way, Al Gore would give this movie one thumb up for effort. It was neat though, 3D done right. After the show we walked around the museum, there was maybe 30 people in the whole place counting staff.
I love this picture, there were lots of animal displays like this through out the museum.

This one I'm not quite sure how to take.. I want to know how they booked the Apostle James to speak at their church!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A brother lost....

I wish I had time to post this sooner. A friend of mine did a post on this as well. (Click Here)
As you may know I work for a drug and alcohol rehab center. I am thankful for the opportunity it provides to witness and counsel with young men in need. Since I've been there I've made friends with several of the clients, some because of our common bond through Christ and some because of the burden Christ laid on my heart for their salvation. The very first person I came to call friend was a young man by the name of Jacob. He was 19 years old when I met him. A friend of mine was able to lead him to Christ while Jacob was in treatment. I talked with Jacob daily while at work, fellowshiped and decscipled the best I could. He had to go two rounds with treatment before getting a good start on a successful life. I saw him a few times at church after he left. But due to company policy restricting communication with ex-clients I couldn't have any other contact with him, (couldn't have him over for supper, or hire him for work). I would have to wait two years after a client completes treatment before I could have a friendship with them. Jacob did wonderful though, he became president of a recovery home and finished a trade school. He got HVAC certified.... (While he was in treatment I convinced him that it would be a wise move. I even showed him how to work on small air conditioners) This past sunday my wife asked me if the two years was up. I had made plans of hiring him for AC jobs. It wasn't. Tuesday I went back to work and late into my second shift a coworker out of the blue says "hey do you remember Jacob?" I lit up and started to talk about how much I liked the kid. The man got sober and told me that he had died just last friday... I believe that he was saved, so I rejoice that he has recieved that inheritance, but mourn the fellowship lost and the short life that has his. He was 22 when he went home. He had more than 2 years clean and sober, then when a moment came when no one around him could help him satan tempted him with quick relief. He overdosed. March would have been his two years out of treatment...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Prayer request

I received a call from my wife today at about noon, she said she felt like her sides were cramping. By one o'clock she couldn't hardly walk because of the pain. I rushed home (I do mean rush.... If I was a catholic I'd have to go to confession...), picked her up and rushed back to the hospital. Jamie called her midwife at first because she thought it had something to do with her nursing, and the new lil' one ( uterus cramps). The midwife, along with a few other people thought it was her Appendix. I haven't seen her in so much pain... ever. Remember she just had her fifth baby. It was constant and severe and lasted four hours before she got any relief. We got to the ER and had to wait 45 min to get back to the Doc. They ran some test, did a CAT scan, gave her an IV. Kidney stones. She had them once before, about 6 years ago. This time around was a lot worse. Poor girl. She still hasn't passed them and is in horrible pain still. Please pray........
I think she kinda wishes it was her appendix, so they could just take it out and get it over with.

Monday, January 26, 2009

How to make bunk beds.

Ok here we go, I'll try to explain how I did it but keep in mind I kinda just shot from the hip when I built these.
First you need a mental picture or physical picture of what you want. In my case I just Googled bunk beds and looked around at how other people did it. I just wanted an idea of what it should have. After I was done I sat down and stick figure drew out a design that I liked. Added ruff measurements and then went shopping.

For ours I knew a couple of things. First that we wanted to have 12" under the bottom bunk for storage and maybe a trundle bed later. Second that the measurements of the beds were about 37" by 74".
From there I worked out some measurements for the bunk.
All lumber was purchased in 8' lengths

38x75 inside measurements for the matress boxes. You'll need 6 2x6's for this. The cuts will be 4 41" pieces and 4 75" pieces.
70" for four corner posts. These are 2x 4's
8 mattress supports at 38" lengths, I used 2x4's.

6 roll out guards. Obviously we don't want the lil' ones rolling off the top bunk, so I used 2x4's for guard rails, I seen some use other things but I just kept it simple. For the top bunk you'll want to have a roll guard on either side and a roll guard at the head of the bed. The side guards are 75" lengths and the head guard is 41". For the bottom bunk you will want one for the head one on the side facing the wall and one at the foot of the bed ( that one doubles as a rung for the ladder). Again the side rail is 75" and the head and foot rails are 41"------ This equals 5 2x4's. The cuts will be 3 75" cuts, three 41" cuts.
You will be left over with one large piece that we'll use for a second rung in the ladder up the bed. Also a 41" cut.

You will definitely need 16 carriage bolts along with 16 washers and nuts. I used 5/16 bolts, at 3.5" lengths.

In total I believe I purchase 13 2x4's and 6 2x6's along with 16 bolts, my total was around 46 bucks at Lowes. Build time by myself about and hour, with help from the kids... maybe three hours. But worth it.

Step one:
Cut Lumber to lengths desired. I already gave you my measurements but do what ever you want with yours, if you a 12" clearance from the floor like I did keep in mind that the child's mattress will keep them about 16 to 18 inches off the ground, that kinda hurts if they roll out. Plus if you have ceiling fans the top bunk will set a little closer to the ceiling and you may want to watch where you put the bed.

Step two:
Assemble the mattress boxes. I did this first because it seemed to make since, plus this is my project. You want to have your two by sixes laid out with the 41" lengths on the outside and the 75's on the inside. I used nails this time but screws work better. I used 3.5" wood screws and pre drilled the holes the first time. I also counter sunk and used wooden studs to fill the holes. (not needed) 2 screws per corner is fine.
Sorry, I didn't have any good pics of the assembling of the beds. Obviously this is supposed to be a diagram looking straight down at the 2x6's, with the 1.75" side showing.

Step Three:
Attach the mattress boxes to the four corners. Use Screws at first to hold them in place while you drill out the holes for the carriage bolts. I put the 2x4's on the long side of the boxes but I believe that it would work fine on the ends of the bed too. ( also give more room for a trundle bed later). My first box went 12" up the corner posts, this is easy, measure 12" up on all four posts and that's where the bottom of the 1st bunk should go. I put the second bunk at 34" above the top of the first bunk, or 51.5" from the bottom of the corner posts. Mark the posts. Lay boxes on their side and position first two posts at the corners of the boxes. Attach with single screw to hold it steady and then drill out holes for carrage bolts, you need two for each corner of each box. Attach bolts tightly and then flip and repeat.

Step 4: Safety rails and ladder.
This is self explanatory. Add safety rail around the top and bottom bunk like I described above and an extra one at the foot for a ladder rung. Finish with the mattress supports. I used four screws per support.