Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October Newsletter

(We've been writing this monthly e-mail newsletter for family and friends for years. We plan to post each issue on this blog. This issue is not arranged in our usual age order because the three entries about our recent campout are grouped here at the beginning.)

From Laura, 8 … On Thursday, October 11, we went camping! We went to Inks Lake State Park. We were surprised because none of the usual campers came. Instead, three families from church planned to come. But one family was not able to come. We didn’t have a lot of trouble with bugs, but there were a lot of stickers. On Friday we went to Enchanted Rock. It was pretty steep. It was not as hard as I thought it would be to get down. On Saturday we went on about a two-mile hike. Whew! I got a little bit tired! On Friday and Saturday nights we roasted marshmallows. It was fun to try to get them very big. I liked the campout.

From Anna, 17 … One highlight of our camping trip this month was our visit to Enchanted Rock. There aren’t that many places in Texas where you can actually climb up something, so it was fun to go on a hike where there was some climbing and a nice view from the top. Enchanted Rock is just a big hunk of granite. It was pretty steep in places, but the top was fairly flat. In the low places on top where water gathers, grasses and bushes were growing. There was also an old dead tree, which was the only thing up there bigger than a small bush. From the top we could see all the way around the rock.

From Gerald … Even though we didn’t have any of our “regulars” camping with us this time, we had a great time with two other families from our church. It was really good to get to know them better. Climbing up Enchanted Rock reminded me of growing up in the Colorado mountains.

We had perfect weather. That was a good thing since we had forgotten our tent poles and needed to do a makeshift job of stringing the tent up between some trees. I have said in the past that any tent will keep you warm and dry if it does not rain or get cold at night. Our tent would not have kept us dry if it had rained that weekend, but it at least gave us a degree of privacy and kept our stuff from blowing around in the breeze.

From Seth, 14 … Lately, we have been having cool weather here in Houston. Fall has finally come! The temperatures are around 50 in the morning and 75 in the afternoon. It’s really nice to be able to wear sweaters outside, have the screen doors open, and to just feel cold!

From John, 23 … On Oct. 17, I drove to New Orleans for a building conference. I had only covered about sixty miles, however, when my radiator blew up. Well, I didn’t know that it had blown up; I just pulled over with steam billowing out from under the hood. After the engine had cooled a bit, I drove another mile down the road to a gas station, where I refilled the radiator with water, only to have it dribble out all over my feet. I could see a Ford dealership just down the road, so I walked down to ask if there was any chance they could replace my radiator that afternoon. They could, so I drove the truck over. Now it happened that there was an accident on the freeway a few miles west of where I was. In fact, it was quite a serious accident, and it had both west-bound lanes closed for over three hours. I was told that my new radiator was on the other side of that traffic jam, and that if it didn’t clear up, my truck would not be ready until tomorrow. My prospects changed, though, when someone realized that there was a back way he could take. He went, got the radiator, fixed the truck, and I was on my way. I was six hours behind schedule, but I was back on the road. The moral of the story is this: if you’re going to break down in a Ford truck, do it in front of a Ford dealership.

From Becca, 11 … On Oct. 20 we went pecan picking. It really wasn’t “picking” because we were gathering them from the ground, not plucking them from trees. Before we went I thought there would be multitudes and multitudes just lying on the ground like leaves fallen from trees. When we got there I didn’t see any at first, so I was afraid we wouldn’t go home with any at all. What we got was somewhere in the middle. It’s a lot of work to shell them, but when we’re done we’re going to make pecan pralines!

From Katie, 25 … (Katie is actually in Israel in the middle of a two-week study tour. She’ll be home Nov. 5. She called Oct. 27, while we were away from the house, and left this message for us on our answering machine.) “… I’m having a great trip and everything’s going fine. We spent the first part in and around Jerusalem and today we came up to the Sea of Galilee area and I got to go wading in the Mediterranean Sea … and up on an aqueduct so it’s been a really great time. I’ve learned so much and had so much fun. I’ll have a lot to tell you all. I’m really enjoying the rest of the group; everyone’s very nice. The professor is really great. He’s an excellent teacher and a lot of fun, too. It’s going really well. Everyone in the group has been healthy for the most part, a few people a little bit sick off and on, but not too much. So no problems and I’m just having a great time.”

From Judith … The process of thinning out is ongoing around here -- and a bit complicated. After finally confirming that none of the eight of us wants an item, it goes to the box of accumulating items headed for the thrift store. When it’s enough to warrant hauling, out it goes.

Well, we made a change in this routine recently. We thought it would be nice to see if anyone at our church would want any of our castoffs. In short, we now have a weekly sharing table set up at church that our family oversees. The system also incorporates handling the lost-and-found.

Here is how it works: There are four colors of stickers. Each week’s new items get that week’s color. The items with the color from four weeks prior are then taken to a thrift shop. This same sticker system is used for the lost-and-found. After four weeks the lost-and-found item would be placed on the sharing table.

We have three posters above the sharing table which read:
1) “Leave what you don’t need, take what you can use!”
2) Acts 4:32c: “… but all things were common property to them.”
3) Acts 4:35b: “… they would be distributed to each as any had need.”

In the three weeks we have had the tables set up, we have seen and heard sweet blessings resulting!

Announcement … Earlier this month we launched a family blog called “We the Pedersens.” Among other items, our offspring have posted several campout pictures on it and a hilarious video produced by our youngest four. Also we will post our family newsletter on it each month. Here is where to find the blog:


Our Love, Gerald, Judith, Katie, John, Anna, Seth, Becca, and Laura

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Campout According to Anna, Part Two

A nook we found on one of our hikes.
Standing on a rock, with the sun shining down.

Playing cards.
Starting the evening's campfire.
Look at all those sparks!
Roasting marshmallows.
Becca having fun with shadows, with the aid of a pair of goggles.

We hiked up Enchanted Rock one day. It wasn't a very long hike, but parts of it were pretty steep. We could see for a really long way in all directions from the top. This old withered tree was on top of the rock, right in the middle. It was the only plant bigger than a small bush up there.

Down we go!
Seth had a run-in with some cactus, so we had to stop and do some surgery on the way down.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Campout According to Anna, Part 1

We do seem to be a rather trigger-happy family. We are also concerned with getting just the right angle.

These are a few of my favorite shots.

Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Camping Trip, by Laura

From Thursday the 11th till Sunday the 14th we went camping! It was a camping trip full of fun, nice scenery, and hikes. It went OK despite forgeting our tent poles. Here are some pictures I took. Better be careful!

It took about four hours to get there. Some of us got a little tired.

Some nice scenery.

This was Devil's Water Hole.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Camping Trip

We got back yesterday from a camping trip at Inks Lake State Park. We had a great time with perfect weather, great friends, and fun activities. For my part, I wound up with a burned arm from the lantern, and a bunch of big red welts from some insect, but I had a good time anyway.

This is what happens when you forget your tent poles!! We were very glad it didn't rain!

We also went over to Enchanted Rock one day and climbed to the top.

Our family is very fond of hero poses, in case you didn't notice.

We're also very fond of taking pictures, so I bet you'll see some more up here soon! (hint, hint, siblings)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Good-bye, Bookworm!

We have decided to combine our individual blogs into one family blog, so this is my last post here. Be sure to check it out!

Thankful For My Clever Father

I've had computer trouble lately. Several apparently random functions weren't working properly, but the worst was Internet Explorer. It seemed to be completely dead, and nothing I could think of to try helped a bit. I finally took my laptop down to a computer repair shop, where they said the only way to fix Internet Explorer is to re-install windows.

Well, I thought before I went to all that trouble maybe I'd just take this opportunity to upgrade to a new computer. I was on the verge of doing some serious laptop shopping when my father said maybe I could try installing a different web browser. He figured that if the problem was just with Internet Explorer, a different browser might just work. Guess what? It did work!!

Hello, my name is Katie. I'm a brand-new Firefox user.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Who Says Washing Dishes Isn't Fun?

These pictures are from our Romania Day.


No, not me, just my writings. We are starting a new family blog, and we'll all be posting over there. Be sure to come visit!

We the Pedersens

I'm Moving!

This will be my last post on this blog. Our family is consolidating our individual blogging to one location. Please stop by for commentary, family news, jokes, insights, etc.


...is serious business.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Romania Day

My family has an annual tradition of "visiting" another country for a day. This year it was Romania. The kids studied the country beforehand, and pretty much everybody helped put everything together. We had costumes:



and food:

What fun!