Surviving Our First Bible Quizzing Season

After 9 months, countless hours of study time, 9 state and regional tournaments, and finally JBQ Nationals, the Junior Bible Quiz (beginner division) season is over.

My Bella Samantha, who only just turned 8, accomplished more this year than many thought she could.  Did she win a lot of individual trophies – no.  Did that disappoint her – yes.

But she’s taking away so much more than a few pieces of hardware from this season:

First,  she memorized 191 verses, 13 chapters of Psalms.  How many kid, let alone adults, can say that?

Probably the most important thing that came out of it all: in February, she was filled with the Spirit of God, and in March Baptized in His Name!

I could stop listing right now, and that would be enough for me.

This year, she made new friends.  To many, she may seem outgoing, but she’s really quite shy.  It was nice to see her making friends at the National competition, knowing they’d probably compete against each other.  And when it was done, they hugged and said “See you next year”.

I watched her confidence grow this year.  Not to say that she still didn’t get shaken and made mistakes, but she’s learning to just move past it.

We watcher her handle loss like a champ.  Whether a horrible landslide defeat or a tight match, she made me so proud to watch her walk away with a smile and be thankful for the questions she did answer, or learn from the ones she got wrong.

We saw her become a much better student, understanding concepts quicker than before.  Even testing into a 5th grade level in one area of study, while she’s only in the 2nd grade.

I’m so thankful for the coaches, Gary, Rachel and Naomi, for teaching and encouraging her.  To her teammates Ashlyn and LJ, the Junior Team Jadon and Caelyn and all the families: it’s been a great season, and we were all truly blessed.

Only 3 months until next season starts, she already wants to get started studying.  I told her to enjoy the rest of her summer!  Next season Emmalee will be on her team, and new challenges will be faced.  Emma is even more shy than Samantha, but boy is she a little spitfire…

Team Toledo Juniors and Beginners

 

Team Toledo Beginners, 13th Place JBQ Nationals

Go Cart Fun for the team and families

The Season is OVER!  Time to Celebrate!

 

Game Night Traditions

I love board games.

 

Call me a dork if you want, but I love board games.

 

I’d rather play a game and talk, then just sit and talk. Because if the conversations become dry, they can be revived by the game.

 

So why then am I the only one that ever wants to play games?  THEY’RE FUN!!!!

 

OK so here are a few of my favorite games:

 

Phase 10 has been a favorite for many years!  It’s an easy game to learn, and it’s can drive people crazy.    My husband works a crazy schedule, and I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like.  So we started playing 1 hand a night.  So far – he’s won every hand.  Jerk.  Our goal is to not only complete the game’s set 10 phases, but the additional 10 phases that we found online.

I Love The 80’s is a game I bought last year.  I’ve played it a few times, and it’s definitely easier to play with people who lived, even partially, in the 80’s.  Playing with someone born in 1991 isn’t as much fun….

Apples To Apples can be a lot of fun, with the right people.  I’ve played it where everyone is taking it WAY TO SERIOUSLY and you want to stop after one round.  But if you are a silly group, the game can get quite interesting…

Smart A$$.  It’s a very simple game to play, but boy, the arguments that break out are hilarious!

 Telestrations is a game that we’ve recently discovered.  Again, it kinda depends on the people you’re playing with. But it’s a lot of fun, and can you can hear some very interesting explanations and back stories…

I never really got into Pente, when it was just Steve and I.  But when our kids became old enough to play with us, it became fun.

Ahh Risk…  I have a love/hate relationship with this game.  I’ve been playing it with Steve for 12 years… and well, apparently I don’t play it right.  Yet I always win…

Feb 9, 2012

Growing up in the 80’s, and in the New Millennium

I am living in the same neighborhood that I grew up in.  It’s looks the same as it did when we moved here from Massachusetts when I was 5.  My kids will go to the same schools that I did. They may even have some of the same teachers (super weird, right).  

Right now, my son is watching The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. on Netflix.  OMG it’s funny, yet kinda bad!  But he is loving it.  HeMan and SheRa – wow, those also are not as good as I remember.  I’ll sit and watch Transformers (the original, not the new one) Hello Kitty Furry Tail Theatre, Rainbow Brite with my kids.  They’ve seen the newer cartoons, but for some reason prefer the stuff that Steve and I watched. 

Steve and I have been joking about all the stories our parents would tell us.  “When we were kids, our TV’s were black and white, and only had 3 channels”  “We listened to 8 tracks and Vinyl Records.”  “We had roller skates” “We didn’t have computers”.

When I was a kid, we grew up with 2 TV’s, with cable.  Today, we have 2 TV’s, no cable, but we have Apple TV and Netflix.

We had cassettes and CD’s.  Now, we have a few CD’s, but mostly we download from Amazon or iTunes.

We had roller blades.   My kids want those stupid wheely shoes.

 

We had 1 family computer.  In my house we have 2 desk tops, 3 lap tops and an iPad.  Oh yea, and our phones.

When I played video games, I used a super Nintendo and gameboys.  My kids have games downloaded on the iPod Touch and the Wii.  

I’m thankful for the technology that we have.  I’m thankful for the improvements that have been made.  

But hey, there are just parts of our growing up what we think that they should know: game cartridges, disc-man, cassettes in cars; you know, the important stuff

 

He will never know what an Atari is…

 

Feb 2, 2012

Strong Enough To Break

 

 

 

Have you ever had a moment when EVERYTHING starts to make sense, and scare the tar out of you at the same time?  That moment when the planets align and you feel peace, but the peace you feel ends up being pure nostalgia?

 

I went to a concert alone a few weeks ago.  I didn’t know anyone there, but I think it was better that way.  I’d been to the venue before, but it had been 8 years.   I really enjoyed the almost 2 hour drive there, I really needed some alone time to think things through.

 

I got a great spot, 6 feet from the stage.  I hate those people who just push and shove their way up to the front – really, we’re adults – act like it.  Besides, it’s better to be a few feet back so you can see everyone and everything. 

 

And then the music takes over.  I really needed an outlet, and honestly I haven’t had one for a while.  I don’t do clubs or bars – it’s not me and it never will be.  But a concert, when there is true passion behind the music, and the music is good, that is my refuge.  

 

I worked at a radio station for a few years in and just out of college.  We had a concert almost every month.  That’s probably why my daughter is so musically charged, she was surrounded by it in the womb.

 

But this night, hearing songs that I listen to frequently live and in my face, something clicked.  And then I hear it – ‘Strong Enough To Break’.  And everything made sense.  

 

I’ve ALWAYS been beat up, knocked down, abused, humiliated, taken advantage of.  I’ve let it happen since childhood – heck I let it happen that night by letting people push in in front of me.  I recognize that I do this, but I don’t know how to not.  It’s something that I’d just accepted.  But hearing that song that night… it hit me.  Over 20 years of mental abuse, some of it my own.  I’m broken and have been knocked down, and I let it happen.  But I always got back up; that’s got to count for something, right?

 

I’m human, I’ll make mistakes.  I’m trying to grow, but walking down unfamiliar paths.  I feel like I’m doing it all alone, even though there are so many people around me… I’m letting go of those who maybe haven’t given me the support that I need.  

 

Have you taken a look at yourself lately?  Because I am right now, and I don’t know who I see right now.  

 

So thank you to Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson for giving me a great night; helping me let go of all the stress in my life, if only for a few hours.  You’re music has always brought me great joys, and I’m thankful you do what you do.

 

Oct 13, 2011