Our Calendar

Friday, October 31, 2008


We started our art classes back again this week. We enjoyed drawing and painting some of the beautiful fall leaves we collected from the yard. Nathanael, Kayla Ymker, Anna, and Abby Ymker are all busy at work.

John, Joy, Josiah, Anna, and Kayla Ymker all creating.

Colleen is always terrific to bring a craft for the little people. On such a lovely afternoon, Libby and Kelly finished their weaths quickly, while Glory lingered over her craft. Ginger is really into crafting as well.

Putting on the finishing touches.
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Actually, Abby's isn't finished yet, but I wanted a picture before she left.
I'm missing a picture of Kayla's lovely maple leaf.



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Thursday, October 30, 2008


"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In His great mercy He has given us new birth
into a living hope

through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade
-- kept in heaven for you."
I Peter 1:3

". . and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also
-- not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.

It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand
-- with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him."
I Peter 3:21, 22

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting men's sins against them.
And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation."
II Corinthians 5:17-19
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Adam, John, and I were priveleged to get to attend this year's judging of the Federal Duck Stamp in Bloomington, Minnesota. Joshua Spies won first place this year with his beautiful depiction of a Long-Tail Drake and Decoy. He is pictured here with his lovely wife Heather and baby Sam.

Paul Schmidt of the Fish and Wildlife Service awarding first place to Joshua Spies. Adam has been following Joshua's career since he met him five years ago at a week long workshop with Terry Issac at Beartooth School of Art, run by Paco and Toni Young, in Montana. We were thrilled to see him finally win.

Jim Hautman, three time winner of the Federal Duck Stamp, is awarded second place for his stunning depiction of two Canada Geese. I think Jim has the record for Duck Stamp Second places, as well as for Firsts.

Dale Hall, director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service presents Joe Hautman, last year's winner, with a plate of stamps.
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It is always so fascinating to watch the judging of the Duck Stamp contest, which is the only Federal Mandated Art Contest in the country. There is specific legislation governing how the contest is run. Above is our good friend Tim Taylor's painting being judged. We expect him to win soon !
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Better pictures of the winning entries:
Joshua Spies' Long Tails
First Place

Jim Hautman's Canada Geese
Second Place

Gerald Mobley's Shovelers
Third Place

Personal favorites:
Bob Hautman's Long Tail
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Scot Storm's Long Tails

Tim Taylor's Long Tails,
we really loved the Long Tail entries.
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Friday, October 24, 2008


We had intended to take the younger kids camping all summer, but with working on the addition, and a myriad of other conflicts, it just wasn't happening, and there weren't any more free weekends. So, we decided to camp in the middle of the week.

Keith (along with Adam and Joel) commuted to M S & T from our campsite at Meremac Springs Park, while we enjoyed hiking and fishing in the lovely fall weather.

Our evenings included the traditional campfire, with S'mores and singing.

And a special appearance by the full moon to complete the perfect setting.
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Follow the Leader . . .

. . . Left Face.

Glory would shout "Hip-Hip-Hooray ! !" as she showered Anna with leaves.

"For since the creation ofthe world,
God's invisible qualities
--His eternal power and divine nature--
have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made."
Romans 1:20
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Wednesday morning was spectacular !!

This was one of those days when I am so glad we have the flexibility to savor the Miracle of Creation. I can't think of a more important curriculum goal.

Nikki had as much fun as we did.

Wheee !
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Thursday, October 23, 2008


Last Monday, we went to St. Louis to pick up John and Josiah from the airport. We spent a lovely afternoon at the wonderful, FREE, St. Louis Zoo. It is a great zoo, and we were excited to get to see the penguins, sea lions, and bears all get fed. St. Louis has so many great Free attractions: the Zoo, the Science Museum, Purina Farms, Grant's Farm, etc.

The grizzly bears were SOO fantastically awe inspiring. They were in beautiful form, as their coats were really full and glossy. It is strange to be filled with a strong desire to pet them, at the same time being more convinced than ever that they could quickly ruin our relationship in a fatal manner.
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