Monday, July 29, 2013

Traitor in the Shipyard review

Andrew, my littlest brother, got me this book with his reading club form. (Can you say AWWW?) This is probably one of the best AG mysteries. It keeps you guessing until the very end.
  • The American Girl: Caroline Abbot, from Sackets Harbor, New York.
  • The plot: It's 1812, and Caroline's father's shipyard is frantically building ships to keep up with the British. When Papa's old friend arrives penniless, it's the least the the Abbots can do to give him a job. After all, he helped Papa escape from a British prison! Life is beginning to look up for Caroline. She even has time for sewing lessons at Miss Lucy's. But when things go missing around the shipyard, sails are slashed, and fires are started, Caroline soon realizes there's a British spy afoot- and it's someone who knows the shipyard well. Is it one of Abbott's trusted workers, whom she has known all her life, or could it be Papa's dear friend? It's up to Caroline to discover what's really going on.
  • What I especially liked: Just when all the evidence pointed to a character you were SO sure was the spy, new clues and hidden pasts would come to light.  I loved that the plot wasn't easily guessable or boring. I also always enjoy the 'looking back' section, which told all about real-life spies in the War of 1812.
This was a very enjoyable and interesting  read, although I finished it quite quickly. It would be perfect for  ages 9-12, and was packed with facts about the war of 1812, which is an often overlooked part of our country's history.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

VBS teen leader

This week, I was privileged to be able to help lead VBS at our church. I was the 4th grade teen leader. I had so much fun helping the kids with crafts, learning hand motions to silly songs, and encouraging them in their spiritual walk. Ms. L, who was in charge of VBS, explained to us teen leaders that it's important to set a spiritual foundation at a young age, so that when the kids are older and that foundation is shaken, it will not fall. I really agree with that. A lot of kids attend our church, but their parents don't often come. Each child that came to VBS was an opportunity to reach a whole family for God.
 This year's VBS theme was Colossal Coaster World, so we turned the church into a mini amusement park. There was a roller coaster made out of folding chairs and pool noodles in the sanctuary, posters advertising rides in the craft area (which was called the Scissors n' Stuff Emporium) and maps of the apostle Paul's journey in the Bible Study area. Paul's life was like a roller coaster, with its many ups and downs. All our memory verses came from 2 Timothy, and the kids learned what was happening in Paul's life as he wrote it. I had a great time getting to know all the kids. I have fond memories of my VBS teen leaders from when I was younger, so it's really neat to be in that position now. Well, that's my little spill. I have been helping Daddy and my little brothers with the fence all afternoon, and it was HOT. However, we have had more rain than usual for this part of Texas in July, so I'm very grateful for that. Hope you had a great day as well!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Volunteering @ The Air Show

   Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake is an air show in our community. It consists of WW2 bombers that fly as low as 500 feet above your head to parachuters performing with the flag to the tune of 
"The Star Spangled Banner". The show ends with fireworks dropped from the bomb bay of a plane over the lake. It's an very inspiring show. A few days ago,I had an unique opportunity to help there. My 4-H group and I managed a booth at the show, selling t-shirts to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and Fisher House.  The most amazing thing happened while we were selling the shirts. A young woman and her mother buying shirts started to cry when we explained what the money was for. They said they were staying at Fisher House, a place for wounded soldier's families to stay while the soldier is in the hospital. The young woman's dad was  wounded and in the hospital, and Fisher House had provided them free tickets to the air show. Wow. This really made it personal - here was someone we were selling the shirts for. My group and I were inspired to sell even more shirts. We raised $400+! I enjoyed getting to help our soldiers and see the air show, and I hope I can help again next year.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Youth Trip

I'm back! I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! Well, in approximately 3 days I am embarking on an adventure... canoeing! My church youth group is all going on a five day mission trip/ vacation.
The first day, we will be canoeing for 3 1/2 miles. The second day... maybe more. I have never been canoeing. And... I am a little scared. Because everyone keeps telling me horror stories of tipping over in a canoe or having a snake drop down on them from a tree. But hey, I 'm pretty sure I can do it. (Hopefully.) And, I 'm starting to get pretty pumped about it. We're going to help another church with VBS, paint several houses, and help with whatever our host churches need. That will be stuff like childcare, painting, building, picking up trash ,and general cleaning. It should be really fun, and a great bonding experience for our youth group.
If I survive canoeing.
I'll let you know in eight days.

We aren't allowed to have ANY kind of media on the trip- Kindles, Ipad, phones, etc- so I probably won't be blogging within the next 8 days, packing and meeting and leaving and all.
This trip will be a good opportunity to help other churches even smaller than ours(If that's possible.)I'm excited about helping lead a VBS, and painting sounds like fun, too.
 I'm really looking forward to it.
Even the canoe part.