Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mini-Sandy

Whenever we get together with old friends, especially those who have known Sandy before she had the boys and girl, most everyone seems to have the same reaction once they see Emery. "She's a mini-Sandy!"
Emery has been begging to get bangs cut so she can look just like mom. Well, $10 Tuesday haircuts came around, and guess who got bangs? Emery is super happy about it.
Here's a recent before picture for comparison.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

District Spelling Bee

Yesterday, Matt and Emery went to the district spelling bee.
Since they both finished first in their grade, they made it to the next round.
They were a tad nervous before it started. Here's Matt with his classmate Alexia.
And here's Emery with her classmate Emily.
Mom watched Emery compete against about 13 other 1st graders. It looks like a pretty intimidating setting! I watched Matt compete against 17 other 2nd graders. Mom had the camera so this is where the pictures of Matt end!
They both did absolutely great. Matt finished in 5th place. He had some TOUGH competition. He went through 13 rounds before he got out on "gingerly." But the 1st place winner had to go through 32 rounds!  My little diva Emery got 3rd and earned a nice ribbon. She got out on "conduct."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Let 'er rip!

Matt got some Beyblades for his birthday. If you don't know what Beyblades are, you are obviously older than 8. Matt has always been the only one of our kids who has really been into different toys that are marketed for him. Andrew had some interest but it usually didn't last long for him. Emery is interested in a few things, but not too many. Marketing really works on him.
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He and Emery had a Beyblade battle.
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Emery couldn't get the hang of it though.
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But the 3rd time was the charm. It is so cute to watch those 2 play.

Monday, February 4, 2013

#2 - Outliers




Book #2 for the year was Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. It was a fascinating sociological read about "men and women who, for one reason or another, are so accomplished and so extraordinary and so outside of ordinary experience that they are as puzzling to the rest of us as a cold day in August."
Gladwell proceeded to show how sociological phenomena play a huge part in determining the success of people. For example, the success of hockey players in Canada are not simply a result of how athletic or how hard a person works. But their birth month plays a pivotal role in their development also. Because the older boys, even by just 6-9 months, who compete against each other are at a distinct advantage in their younger years which then domino into distinct advantages in their older years.

In study after study, national culture, the era in which a person lived, a person's parents generation, and many other examples all play pivotal roles in determining the success of an individual beyond simply their individual hard work and dedication.

What I found fascinating was that as a non-Christian, Gladwell though highly interesting, misses the eternal point - the sovereign and all good God of the universe actively interacts in every person's situation by His providence. Acts 17:28 says, "In Him we live and move and have our being." He planned our days before we were born - Psalm 139:16. "A man's steps are ordered by the Lord" Proverbs 20:24. And ultimately God is the one who determines our success or failure - "For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another" Psalm 75:6-7. Everything we have comes from God as a gift - "What have you that you did not receive? If then you receive it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?" 1 Corinthians 4:7.

So while Gladwell is correct in that all of those extraneous factors play a part in every person's life. Ultimately it is God's providence which utilizes every single detail of life that we can analyze and far more that we are ignorant of, to accomplish His perfect plans for each of us. What an amazing God we worship!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Gymnastics

Emery has been going to gymnastics for a couple of months now and still loves it. She just had her gymnastics showcase where she did routines on the floor, beam and bars.
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Emery likes the gallop, gallop cartwheel!
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Here she is on the beam.
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And here is her favorite - the bars.