Saturday, March 31, 2007

Thank You

Dear Family & Friends:

You can not imagine how your kind words, deeds, and gifts have touched our hearts. Your generosity is overwhelming and we will never forget the kindness extended to our family during this terrible time. Words can not express our gratitude as we realize how truly blessed we are to know people like you who have opened their hearts to us.

We are getting settled in our new house, and our lives are beginning to have a bit of order.

Our lives have changed so dramatically these past 3 weeks. Bright and early on the morning on March 10th we were spreading mulch and preparing our flower beds for Springtime. Then that very evening we had a fire and lost our home and all of our possessions. Now it has been just 3 weeks since the fire and already we are getting truly settled into our new home. We have been blessed beyond measure with clothing, books, furniture, and household goods, along with other donations. People have been so generous and so loving in our time of difficulty ... it is just too awesome for words to describe !!

Thank you very much for everything. We are truly blessed by knowing you. God is so good !!

With Much Love,
The Beck Family
Photo Above: This is a photo of our new house which is located on a working Dairy Farm. And Bella, our Great Pyrenees is standing in the foreground. Pretty place, isn't it ?? Hard to believe it is 140+ years old !! (Yes, one hundred forty years atleast). We were told it was used as a hospital during the Civil War ... and we are anxious to dig in the library and the courthouse to find out more about it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Beck's Bounty House Fire

On Saturday March 10 at 530pm EST we had a housefire that began in our basement garage. In less than 10 minutes, the fire was coming out of both attic vents. Needless to say, the house and all contents are a total loss. The good news of it all is that DadToCherubs and all 6 Cherubs are unhurt and are fine, but a bit shaken. The bad news is that we did not have renters insurance so our belongings are not covered.

Today we are going to move the clothing and some other donations into our new house, which is owned by some friends and is seated on a VERY old working Dairy Farm. That should be a fun adventure once we get settled and our stress level drops. The house itself has quite a colorful history, but we will save that for another day.

Our family & friends have been truly invaluable and we would have been lost in this crisis without them !! Our families have called to encourage us and to help keep our "chin's up". And our incredicble friends have sheltered us these first few days, they have helped us with children, gathered donations, handled meals, scrubbed and cleaned the new house .... words cannot express the blessings that they have been to us these past few days. And the generosity of total strangers just amazing to me .... people are at heart very loving and kind.

And God is so good .... the timing, the order of unfolding events, the aftermath .... He is absolutely awesome !!

Needless to say, it might be a bit of time before we are up and going smoothly again, or blogging very often. We will do our best though.

Update: April 7, 2007: I have been meaning to post this for some time, but kept forgetting. WE KNOW THE CAUSE OF OUR HOUSEFIRE. There was a fire investigator that came to the scence just a day or so after the fire, and she found the cause. We bought a new chest freezer approximately 1 year before the fire. And when it was delievered and put into place by the applicance company, apparently the power cord was stuck under the back "foot" of the freezer. Over the course of a year, every time the freezer motor cut on and off, the coating on the cord was gradually worn through. And so finally the coating was completely worn through, and the freezer cord caught fire ... and being in the garage and in a corner (with 12" between the freezer and walls on all sides), in mere seconds the fire went up the cord to the wall, then up through the inside of the walls to the main floor, and then continuing through the inside of the walls it traveled up into the attic. We are very blessed to have gotten out safely as the fire happened SO fast !! God's timing still continues to truly amaze us .... just miracle after miracle, assembled moment by moment by the hand of God. God is sooooo good !!

And in the mean while, PLEASE check the cords on your appliances to be sure they are not "stuck" under "feet" or rubbing against some surface ... or that the coating is not compromised.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Soccer Is Here Again

Soccer season officially started this week; practices began last Monday.

Cherub 3 and Cherub 4 are playing for Coach E this year on a U-10 Boys Team.

Cherub 5 is playing on a U-8 Girls Team. DadToCherubs and I are coaching her team this season.

And our whole family is also coaching / volunteering with the VIP Program.

The first game of the season in March 17th. Please pray for a safe and fun season for everyone this Spring.

American Goldfinch

Our birdfeeders need to be filled every few days now, as we are nearly overrun with "visitors" of the feathered kind. Little blue birds, robins, blue jay's, sparrows, and many others. But one particular bird we seem to have A LOT of lately is the American Goldfinch. At some points in the day, there can be 6-8 Goldfinch's on our feeder, and several others fluttering around and sitting on close-by branches .... waiting their turn at the feeder I suppose.
So, since we have begun our Zoology study (Flying Creatures) we also did a Nature Journal page in our notebooks on the American Goldfinch. The children are still wanting "instructions" for notebook pages, but they are getting a bit more creative each time and they are beginning to do more "research" on their own.
Photo 1 - Taken from inside our kitchen door, several Goldfinch's on our feeder. They seem to like the Nyger seed best. Photo is a bit fuzzy - had to take it THROUGH the glass so as not to startle the birds away.
Photo 2 - Specimen picture of American Goldfinch

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Today's Bible Study

Tuesday, March 6, 2007, 2nd Week of Lent
1st Reading: Is 1:10, 16-20
Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sat on the seat of Moses. So you shall do and observe all they say, but do not do as they do, for they do not do what they say. They tie up heavy burdens and load them on the shoulders of the people, but they do not even raise a finger to move them. They do everything in order to be seen by people; so they wear very wide bands of the Law around their foreheads, and robes with large tassels. They enjoy the first place at feasts and reserved seats in the synagogues, and being greeted in the marketplace and being called ‘Master’ by the people.“But you, do not let yourselves be called Master because you have only one Master, and all of you are brothers and sisters. Neither should you call anyone on earth Father, because you have only one Father, he who is in heaven. Nor should you be called leader, because Christ is the only leader for you. Let the greatest among you be the servant of all. For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great.”

We do not like to think of ourselves as Sodom or Gomorrah—a people known for their wickedness, sexual promiscuity, greed, and insulting behaviors before God. But that is what and who we are. And Isaiah calls us back: cease doing evil, learn to do good. And again it is doing justice for the wronged, the orphan, the widow, the poor. If only we would obey and not continue to resist and refuse. We must choose: the sword that destroys us as our deeds come back to us or setting things right with the Lord. Jesus uses the example of the leaders—to do what they say, but not what they do. Their words are bold but their deeds few (sadly our own leaders in our communities and church would most probably be taken to task and spoken about in the same way today). We are to open our eyes and see that our leaders bind up heavy loads and lay them on others’ shoulders but don’t lift a finger to help. Instead of following in their footsteps we are to be servants and humbly make sure that those who are burdened receive our help.

For our Bible time, we read these daily readings (today's above) and discuss them. And we are also reading KING OF THE GOLDEN CITY (By Mary Loyola) and working in the study guide. And finally we are working through packets given to us by a dear friend called JOURNEY OF FAITH FOR CHILDREN (By Francine O'Connor). We are really enjoying these studies and have been enjoying our Bible Time together first thing every morning.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Another Birthday

Cherub 3 turned 10yo on Thursday, March 1. He is growing up so fast.
Always quick with a smile or a joke; our family comedian. He is also a voracious reader, and is always into a good book. And it seems that he is quite artistic and very creative - maybe that's inherited ?!?!?

For his birthday we went out to dinner. Steak & Shake was his choice. And as a gift he received a gift bag chock full of good quality Art Supplies: sketchbooks, sketching pencils, watercolor pencils, colored pencils, charcoals, and books of instruction for both sketching and water-color pencil technique. He was thrilled and has been using them in his free time.

Cherub 3 was a baby - just started really crawling well - when we moved from Maryland to SE Tennessee. He had been born in March, and we moved South the following October. WOW !! Also we have been corresponding with a gentleman named Ken in Washington (state) via email since I was pregnant with Cherub 3 .... we got our first computer and were new subscribers to AOL in January of 1996, just 3 monthes before Cherub 3 was born.

Time sure flies when you are having fun !!