Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Galveston Museums

Our first stop in Galveston was an offshore drilling museum. The museum was built inside a drilling platform that had been retired. It was interesting to learn how it works, especially since our father works in the oil industry.

That's a chain link!

Laura demonstrates how much fun she thinks it would be to work in an offshore-drilling office.

Taking it all in at the Bishop's Palace. This is a Victorian-era mansion that is very ornate. Our tour guides were creepy, but the house was fascinating.

Metal work on the porch.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Always Bring Binoculars

Our grandparents were visiting us this past weekend, and we spent Saturday doing site-seeing in Galveston. As it turned out, one of the most memorable events of the day didn't have anything to do with the attractions we visited.

We came back to our van at midday and were all standing in the parking lot getting water and throwing our stuff in the van when we noticed a suspicious sight in a nearby building. A young man was peering out of an upper-story window with binoculars. We weren't sure if he was observing the harbor or if we were being mistaken for someone famous, but we decided to wave at him. A bit of advice here: unless you're in the CIA, if you catch someone spying on you with binoculars, it's better to let him know that you know that he's spying.

He waved back, and this would have been a very dull story except that Becca had a flash of inspiration to get our binoculars out and return the gesture. A good offense is the best defense, right? We all thought it was hilarious, and so did the window man apparently because he gave a thumbs up. Our father said, "I wonder if he knows semaphore?"

After a few more moments of spying on each other and waving, the window man motioned for Becca to wait, then soon appeared with a sign saying in big letters, "Hello."

See, fun can be found anywhere, and it's not that hard to make friends!

This reminds me of a similar game we think is great. Our van is big, and there are a lot of us, plus our windows are not tinted, so it's common for people to stare at us when we're out, especially at stoplights. We've found that the best thing to do when that happens is to wave. Sometimes the people wave back, but usually they get embarrassed and look away quickly. In either case, we're amused. Maybe we should get clown masks to slip on when we catch people staring at us.

Okay, we confess. Yes it's true: we're easily entertained...and we gave up on being inconspicuous a long time ago.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Woodpecker

During the past few days we have been able to observe this downy woodpecker making his home. It's been absolutely fantastic to watch!

The white circle shows where on the tree the woodpecker's hole is. We observe it from the window.
This picture shows the wood bits that the woodpecker throws from his hole after working on it.
Here is Becca watching it, or rather here is Becca watching me take pictures, from the same window where we watch the woodpecker.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Your Chance to Speak Out!!

On February 28, the California Appellate Court declared that homeschooling, except by a parent who is a certified teacher, is illegal in California.

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association is spearheading an effort to get this ruling depublished by the California State Supreme Court. Depublishing would allow the decision to stand for the one family involved in the case, but would cancel the broad declaration affecting every homeschooler in the state. As part of their efforts, they are collecting names for a petition. Sign the petition and learn more at

This is an attack on the rights of parents all over the country to choose and direct their children's education. Let your voice be heard!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Biblical Authority

The following is a quote from Thomas R. Schreiner's article "Head Coverings, Prophecies, and the Trinity," a discussion of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 found in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The quote deals with verse 3: "Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God."

"...Paul is saying that Christ is the authority over every man, man is the authority over woman, and God is the authority over Christ. Since Paul appeals to the relation between members of the Trinity, it is clear that he does not view the relations described here as merely cultural, or the result of the fall.

"C. Kroeger objects that to make God the head over Christ is to fall into the christological heresy of making Christ subordinate to God. But this would only be a heresy if one asserted that there was an ontological difference (a difference in nature or being) between Father and Son. The point is not that the Son is essentially inferior to the Father. Rather, the Son willingly submits Himself to the Father's authority. The difference between the members of the Trinity is a functional one, not an essential one.

"...Paul did not see such subjection of the Son to the Father as heretical because the Son was not essentially inferior to the Father. Instead, He will subject Himself voluntarily to the Father's authority. The Son has a different function or role from the Father, not an inferior being or essence.

"This point is often missed by evangelical feminists. They conclude that a difference in function necessarily involves a difference in essence; i.e., if men are in authority over women, then women must be inferior. The relationship between Christ and the Father shows us that this reasoning is flawed. One can possess a different function and still be equal in essence and worth. Women are equal to men in essence and in being; there is no ontological distinction, and yet they have a different function or role in church and home. Such differences do not logically imply inequality or inferiority, just as Christ's subjection to the Father does not imply His inferiority."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Happy Birthday, Seth!

On February 29th we had Seth's birthday dinner. He requested to have sparkler candles on his cake. Lighting them.
He found them very interesting.
If you look closely you can see the ashes on the cake from the candles.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Weather: A Powerful Thing

I went to the rodeo last night, and the show was great, but the weather was miserable. It was 40 degrees, with strong winds. Weather that cold is frigid anytime in Houston, but in March, it makes us think the next ice age has arrived.

Nearly everyone I saw outside was racing from a vehicle to a building as quickly as possible. The carnival was completely deserted, and the people trying to sell cold drinks and ice cream were thoroughly out of luck.

At one stand, the vendors had apparently given up and decided to convert their business from food and drink sales to entertainment. As the huddled masses went shivering by, the vendors were yelling at the top of their lungs, "ICE COLD LEMONADE!!"

It was ridiculously funny, considering that everyone had hat pulled low, and coat buttoned up to the chin, and was lining up for hot chocolate.

At least those guys had fun, even if they didn't make any money.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

One of Last Night's Activities

With four cars at our house, we do a lot of shuffling around in the driveway. Last night, John went to move his truck so that Katie could get out, but his battery was dead. We went to help him push it out of the way so Katie could leave.
Then we used the van to jump start it.
Here we go!!
It didn't hold the charge, so we had to jump it again this morning so John could take it to get the battery checked. It turns out that there was some sort of loose connection, but nothing seriously wrong.