Thursday, June 29, 2006

God's Provision

It is interesting how God provides things we don't know we need, even when we don't ask. I like looking for "God things" in everyday life. Those gifts and miracles that we sometimes chalk up to the kindness of a stranger, or of a friend and occasionally forget the spirit that prompted it. I had a "God thing" show up at my door yesterday. It started when I borrowed a "Hooked on Phonics - Kindergarten" set from the library. I already own a book on how to teach children to read but this looked fun so I thought we could check it out. It turns out that Abigail LOVES this program. The little books, the sticker chart, all of it. Eventually though we had to return it to the library and go back to using our other book, which is very good but has no bells and whistles. I was annoyed that it taught the vowel sounds in a different order than a set of beginning readers recommended called "Bob Books". I went to an online message board for homeschoolers at to ask if anyone had suggestions for little books that would work. I included our story of how Abbie liked HOP but we had to return it - so sad. A woman in New Jersey read my message and offered to send me the entire hop set. Not just kindergarten but levels 2-5 as well, and all free of charge. Needless to say we were thrilled. I didn't ask to many questions and I figured it must be the older version of HOP. In between this online conversation and Yesterday Adriel and I decided for sure to keep Abigail home next year instead of sending her to the local public school. Then this box shows up on my door step. It doesn't just contain the new version of HOP, levels 2-5 are still in shrink wrap. What a confirmation that we are right where God wants us with our kids education! Curriculum I didn't know I would need and could never have gotten on my own shows up on the door step. What a great God we have!

Abigail is now 3/4 finished with the Kindergarten HOP program and 2/3 of the way through her Kindergarten math book. She has only had the math book for two weeks now. I am very proud of her enthusiasm, although I sometimes have to refuse to work with her. I occasionally have to make a meal, fold laundry, or take care of the baby; much to Abigail's annoyance.

Back to School Night

This past weekend we had all of the grandparents over for a homeschool open house of sorts. We decorated the walls with their art projects and made some snacks for our visitors. Abigail read a few Bob Books while David did a little presentation about a short story he wrote and recited a funny poem called "The Goops". Everyone had a good time and the kids were thrilled to be able to show off what they have been learning.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Adventures in Sewing

This entry actually has very little to do with sewing. The story just starts out that way.
Sunday night my Friend Sarah and her boys came over for dinner as usual. After putting the kids to bed Sarah was working on a sewing project while I organized a cupboard. On the last stitch of the project Sarah somehow sewed her thumb. After releasing some screws and unfortunately having to cut a chunk of material out of the pillowcase she was making, Sarah was free of the machine. Some people might have freaked out, but Sarah is level headed, and she was a little in shock. She was very calm considering there was a needle all the way through her finger, still connected to the sewing matching foot and some material. We called in back up in the form of our dear friend Rebekah. The mother of 5, nothing phases her. It was decided that sitting in the ER all night was not the best idea so we set to work on our own makeshift operating area. Even though there was a slim chance of her passing out Sarah sat on the floor. I found Hydrogen peroxide, Rubbing alcohol and gauze. Rebekah went to the toolbox for an adjustable wrench and some pliers. After sterilizing the equipment and soaking Sarah's thumb in alcohol we were ready. I held her nail in place with the wrench and in a flash Rebekah used the pliers to remove the sewing needle. More soaking in alcohol and peroxide, some gauze and we were done. We ended up having tea and some great girl time. Monday morning Sarah went in for a tetanus shot. She will heal up just fine but it will take a while for her nail to grow out. God was watching us that night. The needle didn't go through the bone and we were together. It is true what scripture says "two are better than one. If one stumbles his brother can help him to rise." Life is never dull here at the Henderson house!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Anna's Married!

My sister Anna and Johnny had a beautiful wedding today. The special moment for me was when I got to dance with my little sister and tell her that I love her.

Anna & Dad

Amazing Chapel Setting

Beautiful Couple

Anna's Getting Married...

This morning I was hanging out at my sister's apartment as she began to get ready for the wedding. Here's the shot of all us Henderson kids.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I'm down in Tulsa, Oklahoma for my sister's wedding. Anna and Johnny are getting married tomorrow in a beautiful chapel at a campground not to far away from the city. Today was the rehearsal and dinner. It's been good being with my family and it's neat to see Anna getting married to such a great man.

Photos: Top - the chapel, Middle - The reception hall, Bottom - Anna and Johnny in the middle during the rehearsal dinner, my mom on the right, and Johnny's parents on the left.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Why do we pick the most complex devices?

There's something about the way we are wired, we want the gadget with the most features: Features = Perceived Value. But satisfaction with our gadgets is often the opposite: Simplicity = Satisfaction. These two laws are in conflict and we, as consumers, are directly to blame.

A human expirement was done recently that is very telling. The first group was asked to look at the marketing for a variety of audio/video players. Individuals in this group were asked to evaluate the number of features each device had and also evaluate how easy they felt each would be to use. The results were clear, the individuals determined that the devices with the most features were most likely going to be harder to use.

But the striking point is this: Hands down, everyone in the group said that they personally would want the device with the most features - even though they knew it would probably be harder to use.

A second group was given the actual devices to use over time. Can you guess what happened? Those who had the simpler devices were much more satisfied with their device.

So why do we think we will be happier with the most "feature rich" devices, even though the opposite is true?

Can we have both features and easy interface? Why do we keep filling our lives up with more clutter, even though we know contentment comes from being satisfied with the simple.

Here's an article with more information about the study that was done Oh, that kind of better

Good interface design? It's all about getting rid of the clutter.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Grub Camp - Part II

My Junior High youth pastor Brian Eberly made a post about Grub Camp on his blog, check it out at the link above. Last week he gave a little more history on the tradition as well.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Grub Camp

This weekend I spent an Friday afernoon through Saturday afternoon with a group of guys that for the most part I haven't seen in 15 years. We were all in Junior High and High School when last together, Brian Eberly and Gregg Wygle were our youth leaders at the time. These were very memorable years and we seemed to snap right back into "Grub Camp" mode this weekend. It was a blast.

Crawdads, garbage eggs, mystery meat, campfire chats and more... It was great to hear everyone's stories, the journey of life that has taken us from those early days to who we are now. To come back together again, full circle, was an amazing experience.

Here are some pictures of the time together. To view or download a higher quality sequence click here.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Miriam's Safari

Grandpa and Grandma went on Safari when they were in Africa. They brought some surprises back to the kids and Miriam's elephant quickly became her favorite toy.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cutting Teeth

Wow, it's been awhile since I've been able to open up our blog and make a post. But, finally, I find myself with the laptop outside a cafe with some time to make a post.

Cutting Teeth - Miriam suddenly became very emotional yesterday, crying at every chance, not sleeping her normal schedule, and she seemed a little feverish. Chrissie finally reached in her mouth and discovered a nice sharp lump coming through - so we have a teether at only 4 months old. She fell asleep in mom's arms last night with a cold rag between her gums. And to make things all the better she has been practicing her most pitiful cry lately.

Road Trip - My friend Jeremy and I took our second annual road trip around Oregon over the holiday weekend. 900 Miles over 4 days brought us an incredible variety. Bend - Christmas Valley - Crater Lake - Florence. From snowfall to rain and finally to beautiful 80 degree sunny weather we had a great time. Next year we'll look at hitting the NE part of Oregon. It truly is an amazing state - every day we were amazed at how much the scenery changed as we drove through.

Spring Cleaning - OK, a little late, but both Christina and I have been making great strides in getting the house decluttered. Life has been so busy this last few years that things have piled up, especially in the garage where I delivered two van loads of stuff to the dump, most of this was old business records, files and reference books that were no longer needed. Now we are able to park the van back in the garage and my workbenches are actually usable again.

Testing - David went in for his evaluation exams last weekend. He wasn't nervous and he felt like he did a great job. Go David!

Birthdays - Abigail and David have fond memories of their birthdays the last few years where we have come up with themes and did the games and decorations around those themes. So now Abigail is in heated anticipation of her next birthday and is trying to sell us on the perfect birthday theme, we're still a few months out on that one so there's time to perfect. David though is coming up on 9 very shortly, just a few weeks away.

Back to Junior High - This weekend I head up to Indian Henry for a "Grub Camp Alumni" camping trip. During Junior High and High School the guys from our youth group would have a weekend getaway at Indian Henry. Now, 15 years later we're going to do it again. Should be fun.

Wedding - The weekend after next I head over to Tulsa, OK for my sisters wedding.

Weekends at home - July maybe?

- Adriel