Monday, July 19, 2010


This summer, my little girl is working as a landscaper.  She works at our church and at this time of year it is camp time!  I have to say that I am very proud of her.  This is hard and HOT work.  Especially in July and especially in pants.  She loves though.  She is getting to help landscape the new performing arts center that our church is building though its cultural foundation.  She is also getting to work with the campers as they come through for their shift on campus improvement.

I don't have any picture right now of the new auditorium, but plan to take some soon.  For now, here are a few pictures courtesy of Stephen Coats and Jessie Hester.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"whY"MCA Baseball

This year we have put Elijah in YMCA summer baseball.  Now we are wondering why we did.  Two summers ago he played in their t-ball league.  What a joke of a league!  It is definitely a victim of the child physiologist mentality that children should not be made to feel bad about themselves.  That they should be told what a wonderful job they are doing, no matter how bad it may be, and that everyone is a winner.  Just a few examples are: no one ever got "out", every one batted in every inning and the last batter always got a home run, because everyone scored.  Now part of this is because they say that kids don't really care if they win or not, they just want to have fun.  Baloney!  These people have never sat in a dugout of 5 year-olds wanting to know if they are winning.

Anyway, we figured by the time they were playing baseball, that the rules would have changed.  They do, but not much.  Each batter gets to swing at as many pitches as he wants.  If he misses the ball and it would have been called a ball, then there is no strike.  They only get strikes if the ump actually calls the pitch a strike, then they get 4 of them (in case you don't know, it's 3 in real baseball), no one walks.  They also cannot run if the baseman is overthrown.  They do at least call outs for those who hit into an out or are thrown out.

What are we teaching our children by allowing this to take place?  That you deserve third, fourth, fifth, or higher numbers of chances when you don't do something right the first time.  That everyone is just as good as the next person when it comes to things such as physical talents.  That someone who doesn't work as hard at something deserves praise as much as someone who spends hours of time practising to improve themselves.

They will also have to unlearn all these things about the game.  It has been said by a really great man, that it is much harder to unlearn a falsehood than it is to learn the truth in the first place.  Old habits die hard, and there will be a lot of death that has to take place before these boys can move on to a serious league.  What would Ruth or DiMaggio be thinking?

Well, enough of my little rant.  My little guy is playing ball.  He'll never be a superstar, but we encourage him to practice like he's going to be one.  We teach him that sometimes someone is really good and that's why they are getting to play where they are.  We tell him that hard work will improve his chances of getting where he wants to be, whether that's MLB or a fireman or carpenter.  We encourage an Eccl 9:10 outlook!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Just the floor and the door

The tree house is finished!  Well, all but the floor and the door, as the title implies.  The floor has been painted to seal it and we will put down some outdoor carpet, but that has to wait on the door.  We special ordered one from Lowe's.  Why would we special order a door for a tree house.  Well, first of all, it is an odd-sized door.  "Wait", you say, "doesn't Jeff make doors for a living?"  Yes indeed, he does.  But the time effort and expense to make one, justified the expense of buying one specially made.  The expense was nominally more, just a few dollars, the time saved on having to make it and get it just right is worth $$$ to all of us.  Not to mention our sanity.

This tree house would be any little boys dream.  It has a front porch so it resembles a fort and house.  There is a trap door with steps that lead up to it on the tree trunk.  You can also climb a rope to get up to it.  There is a gate to go through at the rope and it closes down when you are on the deck.  There is another climbing rope under the house and a tire swing.  We actually had the rope and swing in the tree already, they all just moved around to be more convenient for play.  There is a bucket on a rope and pulley so you can bring thins up or lower them down.  (I tried to get Elijah to take me up but no, he wouldn't even try.  I think he stopped just short of telling me I was too fat.  Good for him.)  And as every red-blooded American boy should have, there is an American flag flying from it as well!


We also reworked the play area under the house.  It had been wood mulch and castle blocks.  Now it is rubber mulch and landscape timbers.  It looks much better with the tree house. 

He is making his list of friends to come over and play.  I think I will be busy for the rest of the summer!

This is what he said he wanted to do most in his tree house!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Fourth!

We had a great 4th of July this year. It started off rainy and looked like it might rain all day. My parents had come out from Elk City for the day. We had plans to go to watch the Oklahoma Redhawks play ball (what could be more American than baseball on the 4th?) and watch Oklahoma City's fireworks display after. It rained until right before the game was to start. When we arrived, the tarp was still over the infield. After about half an hour, they removed it and began to prep the field. They moved the start time back to 8:30, it was originally 7:05. After about another 45 minutes it was announced that the game was postponed until later in the week. We stayed for the fireworks, which would start for another hour and fifteen minutes. We just had some beer and hot dogs to wile away the time. It was still a great time! The 4th is my favorite holiday to spend with my family and reflect on what made this country great.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Boy's Dream House

The 4th of July, what better day to build a tree house!  Early this morning, Jeff and Elijah headed into town.  They stopped at Elijah's favorite breakfast place, IHOP, and had a big breakfast.  You need one if you are going to be building a tree house.  After that, they headed over to Lowe's for supplies. They worked hard until about 3:45 this afternoon. Then the unthinkable, rain on the 4th.  Not in Oklahoma, is that even possible?  Well, the rumble of thunder tells me that it is.  So for the moment, construction has halted, but not before the main floor and the porch/deck were completed! 

For the rest of the day we will just wait around for the rain to stop and then go to the Redhawks game this evening.  Following the game is OKC official 4th fireworks display.  My parents are in town to go with us so we should have a great family 4th!  Stay safe and have a great day!

Friday, July 2, 2010

They're up to Something

Well, I know what it is, but the fact that Jeff asked me to take pictures is, in and of itself, weird.  So here are some pictures of the tree.

Why is it that the weeds they pick for us are better than a dozen roses any day?