Today was pretty busy. After church we had potluck, and after that there was a baptism. Then we came home for a bit. At 6:00pm the kids and I headed over to the Racquet Club in Concord. Our church had rented the place tonight. We spent most of our time there swimming, and that was pretty fun. Beth seemed to enjoy that the most. Then the boys played volleyball for a while. We left at 8:45 and we’re home now. And I am very tired.

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So far everything has gone as per the plan. I did ask one of the people here if she would pick the boys up from the lodging this morning, and she said she would if I got her directions to the place. Hmmm – the only directions I had were on the GPS, and I didn’t want to hand that over because I didn’t think I could get back here today without it. So I dropped it.

I got up at 4:15am and was on the road by 4:30. I arrived to pick up the boys at 7:30, and they told me that Elaine was coming. She is a reliable enough person that she took it upon herself to find directions. I could have slept an extra hour.

Oh well!

The baptism went off as planned yesterday too, and Va and I enjoyed the company party. BUt now the training sessions are about to start again, so… later!

Today was the big day. Baptism represents death, burial, and resurrection:

Death

Death

Burial

Burial

Resurrection

Resurrection

Beth just after baptism

Beth just after baptism


Beth was baptized! Yay! Now she’s telling David he should be (and I agree, but that’s his decision, not mine).

After church we had a family portrait taken in the church’s backyard:

Family Portrait

Family Portrait

The pastor came over this evening and talked with us (mostly Beth) for about an hour. She has a green light for her baptism on August 1, yay!

It has rained most of the day. Normally, that doesn’t stop me from going outside, but today, I guess maybe it did. Well, actually there were other things that kept me indoors today. I worked through lunch so I could come home early and help get the house straightened for our visit. And then when I got home, I helped straighten. So no ventures out, and no photos today.

I’ve been going through the photos I took over the past couple of days though. There is some sort of lobelia we have growing in our yard, and there’s more of it down at Sandogardy. It’s difficult to photograph because it’s tall and narrow, so the camera doesn’t seem to “see” it, and focusses on something behind it. I could do a manual focus I guess, but I’m not very good at that. Sometimes I’ll put my hand in the scene so it can focus on that, then move it out of the way for the photo. I get mixed results with that approach. Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll make a concerted effort to take a picture of that lobelia so I can send it off to Mr Smarty Plants and get an id. I think it might be Lobelia spicata, but I’m not sure. I’d post a pic tonight, but… none of them are any good!

The other thing I noticed while going through my photos was that I had a bullfrog in the catchement pond last week. There were three frogs in there all at once, and two of them were green frogs. Since that’s what we always have in there, I assumed all three were, but one was definitely a bullfrog. I retagged the photo. Here he is:

Bullfrog (Rana catesebiana)

Bullfrog (Rana catesebiana)


Looks like a male to me. Otherwise, I guess we’d hafta call it a cowfrog? (Sorry!)

Beth has been working towards baptism since sometime in January. Today, we have a date for the event: August 1. Our pastor will be coming to our house Tuesday evening to discuss this, and Beth could not be more excited. We’re all pretty happy for her!

After church today Beth, David, and I took Penny down to Sandogardy Pond. It had been nearly a month since we had been there, and I noted six new blooms had opened:

Swamp Candles (Lysimachia terrestris)

Swamp Candles (Lysimachia terrestris)


Grass-leaved Arrowhead (Sagittaria graminea)

Grass-leaved Arrowhead (Sagittaria graminea)


Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)


Dwarf St Johnswort (Hypericum mutilum)

Dwarf St Johnswort (Hypericum mutilum)


Pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum)

Pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum)


Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna)

Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna)

Penny spent a little time in the pond, but that’s OK, because the water there is fairly clean (I wouldn’t drink it though). On the way back from the pond though, she found a huge mudhole and plopped down in it and panted contentedly. She was a mess! Here feet were completely black. When we got to the house I hosed her down, and she didn’t much care for that. However, I would rather suffer her objections than those of my lovely bride had I let the dog in the house like that!

Lots to write about today, but it’s 1:25am as I start, so I don’t know how much I can cover. I’ll give it a shot though.

I left work early today so I could meet with Beth and the Pastor. Beth has asked to be baptized, so we’re trying to get her ready for that. For us, baptism means that a person is publicly declaring that they are a follower of Jesus. The act itself symbolizes death (to self and sin), burial, and resurrection. Anyhow, that meeting went well. I’m not sure when she’ll be baptized, but it could be as early as June.

During the meeting, Va watched the school kids until their parents came to pick them up. Camille (the teacher) had a doctor’s appointment (she’s due to have a baby this month). Then Va took one of the students to her grandmother’s house. (She does that every day).

After our meeting, I hung a backdrop in one of the Sabbath school rooms. I also loaded all the tools I had left at the church for cardboard boat building purposes into my car. Lots of tools, but mostly clamps. Also the plywood forms on which I had built my wooden canoe ten years ago (doesn’t seem like that long!) Then I drove home with Beth. She spent most of the drive singing the Twelve Days of Christmas and quizzing me on what my true love gave me on day 11. I don’t know!

I got home and quickly cruised the yard looking for new blooms so I could log them for April. Didn’t find any new ones though. Then Va, Beth, and I hopped in the car again and went back to the school. It was Parent’s Night. Each kid recited a poem (Beth’s was longest – maybe). They also did a skit and read some of their work. Then we had cookies and milk and went home. IT was a lovely evening.

When we got home I put Beth to bed, then unloaded the trunk of my car. Then I started loading it again to get ready for the Camporee tomorrow. I did a gob of work on my laptop organizing people. I was figuring out who would ride in what car, who would man the breakfast crew, lunch crew, and supper crew, etc. I also assigned what I call “issuance numbers” to everyone who will be coming along.

All our camp dishes are numbered (each full set gets its own number). A persons issuance number determines which set he (or she) gets for the whole weekend. That way if we find plate #14 on the table and still dirty, we know whose chops to bust. This year we also numbered the camp chairs so that if someone leaves their chair out in the rain, THEY get the wet seat the next day.

As I was working all this stuff out, David was struggling with his laundry. It wasn’t getting dry. At all. Great. The drum was tumbling, but there was no heat. I checked the breaker thinking that maybe one of the 110V feeds could have gone out (motor might still run, but heat would be halved?). No go. So I called Dad for advice, which he gave me.

I tore into the dryer and found that the thermal cut-off is most likely the culprit. OK – it’s almost certainly the culprit. All this changes my plans for tomorrow. I WAS going to clean out the PF trailer and buy all our groceries for the camping trip right after I dropped Beth off. But now I will be making a run to Sears to get a thermal cut-off. Then I’ll install it, and THEN I’ll buy groceries. The trailer will just have to stay dirty.

One of the items that needs to dry is David’s Pathfinder uniform. Maybe Jonathan’s too, but if so, that’s in the washer waiting for David’s clothes to dry.

After that the plan is to have the kids load their stuff into the trailer at 2:00pm, and depart at 3:00. I have one kid who can’t leave until 4:00, so I have arranged for our chronically late staff member to drive the late train. That way we stand a much better chance of getting out on time.

I still need to put my roof rack onto my car so we can transport the cardboard canoe to Maine. And it’s supposed to rain. I thought I was pretty confident in our boat until I found myself worrying about rain wrecking it! Oh noes! If it’s going to get destroyed by water, it had BETTER be in the lake during the competition. Therefore, I will not chance the rain. That boat is getting wrapped in a tarp and taped up!

OK – it’s 1:46 am now. I need to get to bed. Watch this space Sunday for the results of the cardboard competition.

I took off work early today. I’m leading a group of Pathfinders on a backpacking trip tomorrow after church, and I needed a few supplies. My sons will be joining us, and the forecast is for rain. So I bought them each a rain suit. I also bought a little food for either the trip or for the pantry at home: Spanish rice, instant mashed potatoes, etc. I let the boys pick out what they wanted to eat on the trip, then I picked something out for myself. I repackaged mine into ziplock bags (food packaging is designed to catch the eye at the grocery store, not fit nicely in a backpack). I also bought some pancake mix – the kind that comes in a jug (just add water, shake, and pour). I still have a spatula in my backpack, and I also packed BUTTER this time (unlike when Beth and I went in August).

I’m also planning to take Penny, so I packed some dog food in my pack as well. The boys will be sharing a tent, and I’ll see if I can get Penny to come into mine to keep ME warm(er).

We’re going to hike three miles from the parking lot to a tent site, setup camp, cook some dinner, spend the night, cook some breakfast (pancakes!) and then depending on the weather, either take a hike or head back home.

So after I bought the rain suits and food, I went on home. I helped clean the house, ate some supper, and then took Beth and David to the Amazing Adventure evangelism series. At the end, Brian handed out some commitment cards and pencils. Beth checked all three boxes: I want to give my life to Jesus, I want to be baptized, and I want to talk to the pastor about being baptized. Then she filled in her name, address, and phone number. I think she’s still a little too young to be baptized, but my mind could possibly be changed. Jonathan was nine years old when he was baptized,and Beth will be seven in a little more than two months. David still hasn’t been baptized, and I haven’t asked him if he checked any boxes on his card.

I missed the beginning of the program tonight though, because I was busy changing over the Cradle Roll Sabbath School room (Cradle Roll is for the 0-3 year-old crowd). Yes, I set them up for the Christmas program. Usually, we do a different program each quarter, but we always start the fourth quarter a month late. Early October is just too early for Christmas! Sean helped me take down the backdrop and haul out the moose (we have a life-sized model of a moose!) Last quarter’s program was about the forest, so the moose made a decent prop. Once the moose was out, I set up the manger and put up the Christmas backdrop.

Va and I painted that backdrop a couple of years ago. It depicts shepherds watching their flocks by night under the stars. I installed a string of white Christmas lights on it by cutting tiny holes in the canvas, poking the bulbs through, and then duct taping the cord down securely to the back of the canvas. I tested it, and all the lights still work. Hooray!