Thursday, April 29, 2010

Owl Update

As I was walking home from church tonight, I heard some odd animal sounds coming from the trees in the field next to my house. I also thought I saw a bird swooping in and out of the trees. With all of the bird activity at our house this week, I grabbed a flashlight and went to check it out.

As I scanned the trees with my flashlight, I found 3 baby owls and the swooping bird I saw was the mother bird bringing them food. The sound I heard was the baby owls crying out for momma to bring them food!

I didn't think my camera would pick up the owls in the dark, but as you can see from these pictures, it did (click on the pictures to see a larger version). These are the three baby owls...Momma Owl wouldn't stay long enough for me to get her picture.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brooke Visits The ER

Tonight Amanda wanted to ride bikes...something she and I do together. Brooke said she wanted to join us, so we got out the third bike and went for a ride. We made a few laps around the church parking lot and then headed out to the neighborhood.

The third bike we have is more a youth-size bike and the seat is not so comfortable, so I offered to let Brooke ride my bike once we were headed home. Brooke was trying out bike riding (first time in 20 years!) to see if she could ride without it hurting her back. She was considering making bicycle riding a new family activity. That was all before "the incident". Brooke was aiming for the sidewalk, took a turn too fast and then...well, not sure what happened next, but all I saw was her fall off the bike and onto Kelly Elliott. Thankfully there were no cars in the near lane at the time or this could have been a much more serious post.

Amanda and I rode up to see if she was OK. She said she could not get up and that her arm really hurt. I helped her up, rode home, got a vehicle and came back to pick up Brooke, Amanda and the other two bikes. We stopped at a nurse friend's house on the way and decided it would be a good idea to get an x-ray. Brooke was hurting but fairly calm. Amanda, on the other hand was crying and very worried about her mother.

They know us well at Medical Center of Arlington. Brooke was the last one but has now made it complete...everybody in our house has visited the MCA emergency room. Despite the pain, an x-ray showed no broken bones, no chips and nothing that needed casting, so thank you, Jesus, for that. They gave Brooke a sling and medication for pain. The arm has been hurting since we got home, but she's sleeping now and we're thankful nothing is broken and thankful for no traffic on Kelly Elliott at that time. Not exactly the best way to spend a Tuesday night, but we're thankful to be home with no broken bones.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Picnic and Stuff

We had a church picnic after service today. Beautiful weather and God's food (hamburgers) was served!

Had to take a picture of Ed's grilling hat. I don't know if that's what he calls it, but I've never seen him wear it any other time.

Brooke and I came home from the picnic and took a nap. Amanda, on the other hand, partied with Polly and friends.

Green Thumb Saturday

On Saturday, Brooke decided she and Amanda would start a "garden". We don't have a good spot in the back yard, so the Hurt garden will be potted. Here is Amanda's pot.

We have it all...pots, seeds, watering bucket, hand spade, potting soil, fertilizer and plants. OK, I'm sure that's not all, but pretty much if it was in the plant aisle, Brooke picked up at least one.

Brooke working on the Topsy Turvy strawberries.

Despite my total lack of green thumb and lack of desire to have one, I got pulled in to help. Brooke is stuffing the Topsy Turvy with strawberry plants.

Hopefully our next picture here will have STRAWBERRIES in it!

Teaching Fridays

I enjoy teaching computers on Fridays at ECIA, Arlington (the charter school Amanda attends). This is one of my second grade students. We were drawing on the board the path taken by a digital camera taking the picture to viewing it on our school network.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Baby Owl Finds His Way Home

Last night a baby owl showed up in our back yard. It was obvious he had "flown the coop" a bit early and could not fly. Both parents watched as he hopped around, and by the time we went to bed, I did not have much confidence he would make it through the night (we have cats, foxes and other predators around here).

At 9am today, I looked out the window and was surprised to see the baby owl in our back yard. He was flapping around and seemed scared. Both parents were in the trees still watching him. I tried looking up some sort of bird or owl rescue to ask what to do to help the little guy because it seemed obvious he was going to get eaten...but I couldn't find anything online.

We went back out to check on him and he managed to start climbing a tree. He grabbed the tree with his claws, flapped his wings and literally walked up the tree. I ran back in to get the video camera again and as I was videoing the owl in the tree, I saw something else move. I zoomed in and saw another baby owl peeking out a hole in the tree. Our little guy found his way home!

I took the video camera to school today to show my students and we used it as an opportunity to learn a little about video editing. The second grade class named the owl Chubbykins, and so we put his name in the video. My wonderful junior high class, while making their own owl video, started playing around with my video camera and taped over the original video (which made me OH SO HAPPY when I found out tonight). Anyway, the only video footage this is left is what we did in the second grade class today, so the name Chubbykins is forever tied with the owl video. (Yes, I realize I could edit the video, but this copy is already degraded from the original and if I edit and re-render, the quality will be very poor).

So here is Chubbykin's story on video.

More Animals

I had to go by the church to get something this evening, so I headed out the back door. As I approached the gate, I saw the owl sitting on the fence (we've seen it around before). I could not believe how close it let me get to it on the way out.

When I came back from the church, I looked on the fence and noticed the owl was gone. I looked up and saw it on the power line above me. As I approached the gate, I saw another owl on the ground. That's when I figured out that the one on the ground was a baby owl and perhaps that is why it let me get so close earlier.

Because Amanda is an animal lover, I went inside and told her to put on her shoes. I told her about the owl and said, "Let's see how close it will let us get". The owl was just on the other side of the chain link maybe a foot from the fence. We walked within a couple feet of the fence and it just looked at us.

With an opportunity like this, we ran back in the house and grabbed the camera. This time, we walked right up to the fence and the owl still did not move. I put the camera near the ground between the links of the fence and got this picture. I cropped it to make the owl easier to see, but as you can tell from the detail in the picture (click on it to make it larger), I was able to get within two feet of the little guy.

Amanda and I watched for another 20 minutes while both parents watched the baby, swooped down to where he was and "called" to him. The baby could hop and flap his wings, but it did not appear he could fly. We wanted to "help" but did not know to put the baby owl, plus, we figured the parents had a bit more experience than we did. So we said good night, left the parents to do their "owl thing" and said a short prayer for the little guy at bed time.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Survivor - TEXAS Style!

Texas is planning to produce its own version of the reality-show "Survivor."

The eight teams of contestants will all start in Dallas, then drive to Waco, Austin, San Antonio, then over to Houston and down to Brownsville. They'll proceed up to Del Rio, El Paso, Midland, Odessa, Lubbock, and Amarillo. From there they head to Abilene, Fort Worth and finally drive back to Dallas.

Each team will be driving a pink Volvo with different bumper stickers that read:

1. Vote Democrat
2. Honk If You Love Same-Sex Marriage
3. Boycott Beef
4. I Love the Dixie Chicks
5. Obama 2012
6. George Strait Sucks
7. Hillary For President
8. I'm Here to Confiscate Your Guns

The first team to make it back to Dallas alive wins.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Great Bible Reading Plan

When I was in college, I discovered a Bible reading plan that would get me through the Bible in a year, and I gave it a try. I made it through that first year (despite my normal, busy college schedule), and I developed a habit. Each year, since then, I've followed a Through-The-Bible-In-A-Year plan. No, I have not completed it every single year, but all that reading has definitely instilled a hunger for God's Word in my heart.

At the end of last year, I was preparing to start through the Bible-In-A-Year when I ran across this Bible reading plan suggested by my friend Roy on his Facebook page. The plan is Professor Grand Horner's Bible reading system. You can read all about from this PDF file, but here's my "short" description.

Professor Horner divided the Bible up into 10 lists. To follow the plan, you read one chapter from each list every day (10 chapters a day). Because of the way the system is set up, you will never again read the same 10 chapters together in one day. The idea is to fill your mind/heart with the Word of God and to let the Scripture interpret itself. For instance, you may read a chapter in the book of Isaiah and then in your chapter from Matthew, you read where Jesus quoted and/or fulfilled that Scripture.

I was intrigued by the idea and so I took Professor Horner's challenge...I tried the plan for a month and I was hooked! Although I have missed a day here and there, this past weekend I read my 1,000th Bible chapter this year! I am so excited!! After several years of Bible-In-A-Year plans, I sometimes found myself reading just to complete the Bible in a year, but since beginning this plan, I just WANT to sit down and read God's Word.

There is nothing magical about this Bible reading plan over any other. And I am not bragging on myself. I am just thankful for a tool that has stoked my love for God's Word and is stuffing me FULL of His Word.

If you are a regular Bible reader, I encourage you to check out this plan. If it sounds like too much for you, that's fine...I just encourage you to find a plan and follow it. A Bible reading plan will help you be purposeful in your reading of God's Word, it can help keep you regular in your reading and it will give you a healthy, balanced diet of His Word.

How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. 10 I have tried hard to find you—don’t let me wander from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 12 I praise you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. 13 I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. 14 I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. 15 I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. 16 I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. (Psalm 119:9-16, NLT)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Lazy Saturday

Almost looks picture perfect! When I got up this morning, the dogs were the only ones who got up with me. I loaded the dogs in the car and ran to Kroger to get the waffle mix, milk and orange juice. Brooke already had the strawberries and powdered sugar to complete this pretty picture (and yummy breakfast!)

No, I was NOT sewing, but I was helping Amanda thread her sewing machine. After several "issues" we finally got it fixed.

12 of 12 - April 2010

12 of 12 Basic Idea - 12 pictures from your life on the 12th of every month. This month, the 12th was on a Monday.

#1 - 7:49 AM - Boo and Sully's cousins came to visit over the weekend. Mom and Dad's dogs, Harley, Ralph and Buster spent their last morning with us on Monday.

#2 - 8:01 AM - Monday morning's lunch napkin poem.

#3 - 8:21 AM - Monday morning routine, counting the offering.

#4 -8:59 AM - We've made Barbara an honorary member of the office family. She stops in frequently to fax.

#5 - 10:08 AM - Diagram for ordering replacement parts for the hedge trimmer.

#6 - 10:08 AM - Diagram for ordering replacement parts for the hedge trimmer.

#7 - 11:27 AM - Marinell made a grocery run for the food pantry and needed some help carrying in the groceries

#8 - 11:55 AM - Had lunch with my friend Chris

#9 - 1:38 PM - Checked on the turtles when I stopped by the house. Here was Little George saying "what's up"?

#10 - 2:54 PM - Brooke on her way to pick up Amanda from school and to drop off a handout for PAC (Parent Advisory Council)

#11 - 8:09 PM - April 15 was rapidly approaching so I went by George's place and helped him file his taxes online.

#12 - 8:10 PM - George fixed a dinner of waffles, ham and eggs. Waffles were made from scratch and he still hasn't given me the recipe.

12 of 12 - March 2010

12 of 12 Basic Idea - 12 pictures from your life on the 12th of every month. This month, the 12th was on a Friday.

#1 - 9:08 AM - Uploading the day's lesson to the classroom blog.

#2 - 11:24 PM - 2nd grade Technology Application class

#3 - 11:24 AM - Teaching 2nd grade

#4 - 11:42 AM - 2nd grade computer class

#5 - 2:53 PM - 3rd-4th grade traced their hands on a piece of paper. I took a picture to be used in a Power Point game later.

#6 - 2:53 PM - After I took a picture of the students hands, they used the tracing to label which keys each finger pressed on the computer keyboard Home Row.

#7 - 5:29 PM - Mommy was gone for the evening so it was Daddy/Daughter date night! Here we are at Red Robin, Amanda having her favorite spaghetti and me, my favorite burger.

#8 - 6:39 PM - Amanda and I took the motorcycle out for a couple evenng errands.

#9 - 6:58 PM - Here is Amanda in front of Academy. We went there to get a fishing pole for her to use on Spring Break.

#10 - 8:21 PM - We ended Daddy/Daughter date night at Marble Slab. Amanda got so cold she was shivering and we had to turn the heat on in the car.

#11 - 9:05 PM - Amanda assembling her fishing pole for Spring Break

#12 - 9:33 PM - Sully and I doing our 10 List Bible reading for the night. He likes to sit in my lap while I read the Bible.

12 of 12 - February 2010

12 of 12 Basic Idea - 12 pictures from your life on the 12th of every month. This month, the 12th was on a Friday.

#1 - 9:31 AM - School cancelled. Up to 12 inches of snow in the DFW area! We had 9 inches at the Hurt house.

#2 - 9:39 PM - True beauty (yes, the snow is pretty, too)

#3 - 10:15 AM - The weight of the snow on the tree in our front yard was eventually too much for it. The lowest branch here broke off.

#4 - 10:14 AM - Brooke, the artist.

#5 - 10:30 AM - The doggies after playing in the snow for a shore while. They got even more of these mini-snowballs in their coats later.

#6 - 10:38 AM - Drying off Sully after pulling the mini-snowballs out of his coat.

#7 - 10:57 AM - Family brunch after playing in the snow.

#8 - 3:16 PM - Using the sister's-in-law recipe for snow ice cream. Snow, Eagle Brand and vanilla. YUM!

#9 - 6:56 PM - We moved our usual Saturday night hamburger night to Friday. Yup, we "grill" in the living room and watch a movie when it's too cold to grill outside.

#10 - 9:31 PM - 21st Winter Olympics opening ceremony

#11 - 9:03 PM - Sully and I doing our 10 Lists reading for the day

#12 - 9:51 PM - Amanda built her fort and slept in it for the night.