Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tiny Car Pulling Big Trailer

My Garden Owners

Here are the proud owners of our garden on Crouch Road. I think my side of the garden has a few more weeds than theirs, but they live there and have a few more minutes to keep up with it. My tiller will be back from the shop shortly!!

John and Dorothy Graves

Picking Strawberries

Kenton and Vincent picking strawberries with Donna Johnston. Julie made 2 strawberry pies after everyone ate their share. They were absolutely delicious. Thanks Donna!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Mentor/Observor

I met with Doug Parks my Mentor/Observer for my Masters of Education through Indiana Wesleyan University. We met at 6:00 this A.M. at my parents house. I arrived at 5:30 to set up my laptop extra monitor printers etc. I took my Wi-Fi system so we could have wireless Internet. We worked for about 3 hours and did our best to keep me up to date with my Portfolio. Thanks to Doug and my Parents for being accommodating to my busy schedule. I am counting down the days. I have 6 months till December 31, 2008 when I will be done with the program. I have two elective courses to take sometime between now and 2009 spring graduation.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Free Fun

I paused from my studies to find where the boys were. They were having a blast. Kenton was fishing with just a string and a bobber. He actually caught a fish. Enjoy the videos.

Make sure your volume is turned down or you will get blasted out with the camera man's obnoxiously loud laugh.

Praise the Lord & Pass the Ammunition

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer
1 minute ago.

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.

The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington's requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns.

In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a separate dissent in which he said, "In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."

Joining Scalia were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. The other dissenters were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter.

Gun rights supporters hailed the decision. "I consider this the opening salvo in a step-by-step process of providing relief for law-abiding Americans everywhere that have been deprived of this freedom," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA will file lawsuits in San Francisco, Chicago and several of its suburbs challenging handgun restrictions there based on Thursday's outcome.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a leading gun control advocate in Congress, criticized the ruling. "I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it," she said.

The capital's gun law was among the nation's strictest.

Dick Anthony Heller, 66, an armed security guard, sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection in the same Capitol Hill neighborhood as the court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Heller's favor and struck down Washington's handgun ban, saying the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to own guns and that a total prohibition on handguns is not compatible with that right.

The issue caused a split within the Bush administration. Vice President Dick Cheney supported the appeals court ruling, but others in the administration feared it could lead to the undoing of other gun regulations, including a federal law restricting sales of machine guns. Other laws keep felons from buying guns and provide for an instant background check.

Scalia said nothing in Thursday's ruling should "cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."

In a concluding paragraph to the his 64-page opinion, Scalia said the justices in the majority "are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country" and believe the Constitution "leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns."

The law adopted by Washington's city council in 1976 bars residents from owning handguns unless they had one before the law took effect. Shotguns and rifles may be kept in homes, if they are registered, kept unloaded and either disassembled or equipped with trigger locks.

Opponents of the law have said it prevents residents from defending themselves. The Washington government says no one would be prosecuted for a gun law violation in cases of self-defense.

The last Supreme Court ruling on the topic came in 1939 in U.S. v. Miller, which involved a sawed-off shotgun. Constitutional scholars disagree over what that case means but agree it did not squarely answer the question of individual versus collective rights.

Forty-four state constitutions contain some form of gun rights, which are not affected by the court's consideration of Washington's restrictions.

The case is District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290.

When is a Door not a Door?

When it is ajar! Why did I not think of this very punny statement when I posted on this post.

Speed Limiters

Now this will slow you down!

Hat tip to KC Newcome.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

WWII Bomber Pilot speaks at Gratz EWC

Listen to an Air Force Major as he speaks on Memorial Day to the Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Gratz. He is 87 years old and lived through Pearl Harbor and the European front. You can be very thankful for your freedoms that you have because of men like these.

What is Your Spiritual Gift?

Take the test here and post what your God given gift is.
My top two were Administration and Servant.

Byron Jr.

Enough said. He is planning new tricks.
I am hoping he does not do everything that I did...

The Old Swimmin' Hole

The boys love to fish and swim in this wonderful part of he east branch of Conneaut Creek. I have heard stories about kids swimming in the deep hole that go back over a hundred years. The gentleman that I purchased my pull behind trailer from, reminisced swimming in the 40's in the old Keepville Swimmin' Hole. They say it is about 15'+ deep. It is formed by a waterfall that comes out from under a railroad bridge. The railroad bridge was put in somewhere around the late 1800's when the Railroad used the canal for a railroad bed.
Trying to Kayak with a tube and a branch.

They reported the water was "DEEP and COLD!!!"

When the Erie Canal, crossing New York state from Albany to Lake Erie, had been in operation some ten or twelve years, the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal was shipping from Philadelphia to Pittburgh on a southern Pennsylvania route. Suffering from severe "canal fever," the citizens, entrepreneurs and visionary businessmen in northwestern Pennsylvania began to agitate for their own canal. They wanted a canal that would connect the Erie Canal with the Pennsylvania Main Line, Lake Erie, and the Ohio River, thus extending the infrastructure to support the surge of people moving westward and bringing new prosperity to northwestern Pennsylvania by providing a safe and reliable means of moving commercial goods between major eastern and western cities. Around 1838, the building of the Erie Extension Canal was commenced at the old town of Beaver on the Ohio River; it was completed for shipping to the Port of Erie in 1844. Winding through five northwestern Pennsylvania counties, it connected the Ohio River with Lake Erie.
In Mercer County, on the "Big Bend" of the river south of Greenville, lived the pioneering German families who farmed along the waterway, served the needs of the canal and its travelers, and defined the culture and traditions of the region. Irish laborers, assigned 15-mile stretches of canal work, had dug the 130-mile length of the canal. They lived in shantytowns, receiving meager wages and their daily "tot of whiskey." In 1873, the destruction of an aqueduct across Elk Creek Gorge near Girard Pennsylvania which had allowed canal boats to cross the deep river gorge spelled the end of the Erie Extension Canal. Some believed that railroad designers had deliberately caused its destruction. Railroads were becoming the preferred transportation of the period; the canal beds provided the perfect basis for the railroad bed.
This canal and its culture is memorialized in the Erie Canal Extension Museum in Greenville, which evolved from plans made in 1988 to mark the sesquicentennial of the incorporation of the town. The museum documents the complete history of the Erie Extension Canal. A full-sized 40-foot canal boat replica, a model grist mill, and other period artifacts are featured. A miniature working model of a lock educates visitors about the workings of the canal and its civil engineering. The complete masonry remains of Erie Extension Lock number 10 are preserved in a public park with picnic grounds and fishing facilities. It would make a neat field trip to visit this museum.

Supreme Court Gun Ban Ruling Expected Tomorrow

The U.S. Supreme Court today did not release its long-awaited ruling on whether the District's handgun ban violates the Second Amendment. That means the potentially landmark decision will almost certainly come tomorrow morning when the court is planning to issue the last of its rulings for the term. The case, District of Columbia v. Heller, which was argued nearly four months ago, could settle the decades-old debate over whether the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to own firearms.

The start of our new restrooms...

The rooms are ready for walls to be built and new entrance doors installed. It will be a great improvement to our church. The renovation will give us handicap accessible restrooms and a large vestibule. The second part of this phase wil give us a large platform. I am actually tearing out Pergo flooring, not installing it. Where I am is going to be the restrooms.

Tom Rodgers looking cool.

Bill Smith cleaning up our mess.

Alternative Source of Power

I was able to cut a generator out of a motor home several years ago. It had been sitting in my barn buried under many other things needing attention as well. I finished cutting the frame work off of the base and bolted it to the chassis of an old lawnmower. It is an Onan two cylinder motor and I have no clue how many kw it produces. It does have a 30 amp breaker, so it at least put sout that much. I took a gas tank out of another old mower and hooked the fuel line up and wired my tractor battery to it and "Voila" it fired right up. Now I need to give the oil in the reservor changed and a new oil, air, and fuel filters. Now when old man winter, storm, or car wreck knocks out the main power, we will still be able to keep warm.

The kids were pretty impressed.

Keeping Keepville Klean

Kenton doing his daily yard duty.

Making sure that no cow pies end on the bottom of their shoes (or toes).

The Henry and Houdini never need tied they just hang out with Sir Loin. Where he goes they go, where he eats they eat, where he sleeps they sleep and where he chews his cud...they do the same.

Looking for that Pot of Gold

I have proof that there is gold in my house (Er..trailer). If you stop by and it is a is not because my wife went on strike, but rather because we are looking for that pot of gold. :)

If Your Head is Stupid...

.....your body has to suffer for it. At least that is what my Dad always told me. Well maybe even just your head itself. I think the saying goes if other people are stupid you may have to suffer as well, but we won't go there right now.

I have this habit of never turning the lights on when going through the church if it is dark out. I know how many steps through the vestibule, turn right and so many steps to a door and I always stick my hand out. If I don't feel the door I walk on in the room. If I touch the door my hand slides down and I open it and walk through the next dark room and unlock my office door step in then turn on my office lights. I have done this a thousand times. This time was different. Someone left the door hand told me the door was open as I continued into the room the pain and jolt to my head told me otherwise. The door had been left open about a foot. I learned a valuable life lesson. If the door is not there move hand around and make sure it is not just "ajar".

Another Day, Another Fish..

...actually they hold the record for the most fish caught by kids aged 3, 4, 6, and 8. They don't sit around playing video games. They are out exploring the woods, swimming in the crick, jumping on the trampoline, building cabins in the woods, fishing, target practicing with slingshots, guns, and bow & arrows, riding bikes, mowers, tractors, dirt bikes, go carts. (If it has a motor on it the like it even better.) I love my kids and I am glad that they don't lead a boring life....well that is until today. I was informed they were bored. HUH!?!?!?!? Kenton decided he wanted to set up a rodeo complete with Sir loin as the Broncin Bull (as he calls it.)
This is fish #3,647 caught for the 389th time.
When will that fish ever learn?

Bathroom Renovations Officially Started

Tom Rodgers, faithful to the church as always, starts the process of getting the rooms ready for the new construction.

Cows Make Great Pets

Mom making friends with Sir Loin.
Mom making friends with Sir Loin.


Hat tip to Jon Earls. Great clip. It is not our good deeds or works that will save us. It is only through Christ. What "Amazing Grace" that saved a sinner like me.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Camp Pics

Julie visiting with her family.

The cousins in line waiting for lunch.

Randy Brown preaching on the greek word "Orge". The kids loved him. I will post some more pics at a later date. Julia posted a few on her blog as well.

Bring the animals....

Noah's ark is ready.

Working Replica of Noah's Ark Opens In SCHAGEN, Netherlands

The massive central door in the side of Noah's Ark was thrown open Saturday for the first crowd of curious Pilgrims and townsfolk to behold the wonder

Of course, it's only a replica of the biblical Ark, built by Dutch

Creationist Johan Huibers as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible

The ark is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That's two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house.

Life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras,bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold.

A contractor by trade, Huibers built the ark of cedar and pine -Biblical Scholars debate exactly what the wood used by Noah would have been.

Huibers did the work mostly with his own hands, using modern tools and with occasional help from his son Roy. Construction began in May 2005.

On the uncovered top deck - not quite ready in time for the opening - will come a petting zoo, with baby lambs and chickens, and goats, and one camel.

Visitors on the first day were stunned.

"It's past comprehension, " said Mary Louise Starosciak, who happened to be bicycling by with her husband while on vacation when they saw The ark looming over the local landscape

"I knew the story of Noah, but I had no idea the boat would have been so big."

There is enough space near the keel for a 50-seat film theater where kids can watch a video that tells the story of Noah and his ark.

Huibers said he hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands, where church going has fallen dramatically in the past 50 years.

Click here to see pictures of the inside..........

Those Crazy Canadians

Just great! I am heading to Canada next week and I will have to share the road with those crazy Canadian truck drivers. I will have to ask JB to say an extra prayer for me. He is probably desensitized to this kind of thing. This is what we are allowing free access to our country? What else will they do? What if a home had been in the way? What if.......? According to the person who originally wrote about this, the Canadian driver had only been in the U.S. a few months. He had missed his turn by Billings MT. And figured he could go over the hill and continue on the road. Apparently he didn't know there were rail tracks on top of the grade which doesn't matter, he'd be stuck anyhow..... The truck owner figures the driver had to hit the angle at over 55 miles an hour in order to make the top. If you look close at some of the pictures, you will see that it is only when the trailer pinched the rear tires of the truck that the truck stopped......

Back from Camp

I will post about it later. You can read Julie's blog to get a real quick update.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Making Decisions by Hearing God

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways" (Isaiah 55:8-9).

God speaks to his children in many varied ways. God has said that his ways are not our ways. If left to our reasoning, we will fail to fully walk in the full counsel of God, which leads to poor decisions.

Thus, our goal is to avoid being deceived and to develop a listening ear that hears the voice of God with confidence. Our goal is to have such intimacy with God that we can walk in the full blessing of our decisions and to be assured they are not based on our own reasoning alone. This does not mean that we do not use the intellectual and logical skills that He has equipped us with.

A.W. Tozer said that "The man or woman who is wholly and joyously surrendered to Christ can't make a wrong choice - any choice will be the right one." J. Oswald Sanders explains his method of receiving guidance from God for decisions; "I try to gather all the information and all the facts that are involved in a decision, and then weigh them up and pray over them in the Lord's presence, and trust the Holy Spirit to sway my mind in the direction of God's will. And God generally guides by presenting reasons to my mind for acting in a certain way."

The Apostle Paul said, "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:13). God has equipped us with everything we need to make good decisions. Hearing His voice is the first step toward making right choices in life.

Do you have a decision to make? Submit that decision to the Lord, ask God for clarity. Ask Him to make the desires of your heart the same desires that He has for you in this matter. Await His perfect timing on the matter. Then you can be assured of making the right decisions.
-OS Hillman

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Emily's Graduation Party

Greg let me get into his race car. I do not think that they are made for fat people. I crammed all 275 lbs down into the "seat". I needed an extra 6"on either side for comfort. Not to mention the steering wheel would have ended up making a groove into my gut by the end of a race.

Sliding into a very small space.

Sitting and enjoying the gutsy roar and feel of a 505 c.i. racing motor running on 100% alcohol.

Of course they had to follow suit.

They definitely had the easy part - getting in and out.

Greg was faithful to give the kid's entertainment in the canoe.

Heath Visit

Thank the Lord for like minded friends. We enjoyed our visit down to the Harrisburg area at the Heaths. They will be moving to Florida and we wanted to visit them before they departed. The kids enjoyed themselves and I was able to add some more roofing experince to my resume. Ron Coleman is up on the top roof and provided some work to help pay for our gas down that way. Thanks Ron! They boys were earning a couple dollars helping us out. I think I would make a great Penn DOT worker. I have the leaning on the shovel act figured out.

Visit with the Tim Calhoun Family

John Wayne himself.

Vince riding Rebel.

Kenton giving Alyssa a ride.

Kendra learning the ropes of riding.

Laura letting Champ grab a bite to eat.

Thank you for a nice visit.