“This is the main difference between the Gospel and philosophy. Although the philosophers speak on the subject of morals splendidly and with praiseworthy ability, yet all the embellishment which shines forth in their precepts is nothing more than a beautiful superstructure without a foundation, for by omitting principles, they propound a mutilated doctrine, like a body without a head.” Paul [in Romans 12:1-2] lays down the principle from which all the parts of holiness flow.” John Calvin

Doggy Mornings at the Park

South San Jose

The new dog is always rushed by a pack of dogs. The first time this happened to Tessa, she ran out the park  and hid between cars on an adjacent street. We left the park that day and went straight home. 

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Now Tessa has no problem meeting the dogs and is often prodding them to play with her by nipping at their neck and teasing. Sometimes this results in some fun chasing and wrestling, but there are times when it results in a grumpy growl and a snappy warning.

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At times there are 10 to 12 dogs sniffing, wrestling, playfully biting at each other, chasing balls, begging for treats, lapping up water. And of course, there's the usual pooping and peeing. But the concerned citizen need not be alarmed, these owners look out for each other and let the owner know when their dog is pooping.

It's fun to watch the happy dogs. Here's Levi, who always remembers that I have a hip bag of treats. He's such a good beggar. 

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The dogs often love to play rough and the snapshots capture what may seem to be a horrific scene. They look terrifying one moment and then sit patiently next to each other for a treat the next.

Believe me, there were no animals injured this day.

Many of the owners from this group come back to the park later to play ultimate frisbee. It's neat to see how pets can bring people out of their homes to meet each other and enjoy the neighborhood.

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First Day of Homeschool

2nd and 4th Grades

The end of summer came quick. I think my busy work schedule has made the summer hard to grasp. The days flew by and then though I was adequately notified by Jenn, I still felt unprepared for summer to end and school to start. I wish we did some more fun stuff before it ended. Perhaps I will be more prepared for next summer by preparing during the winter. 

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Matthew is now in 4th grade and Claire is in 2nd grade.

They are making the challenging transition from a loose summer schedule to a tight school schedule. I'm not sure who is more challenged, Jenn trying to chorale them towards towards the start of another school day, or the kids trying to remember and focus on what they need to do to be ready. Most mornings I'm going to the gym, taking the dog out for a run, and getting myself ready for work. So I'm more or less an observer to their morning routing. 

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Around the evening meals I've made it a habit to ask the kids to recall something they learned that day. They struggle at times, but I've made it clear that if they can't recall what they learned from the day, then they will not be going out to play and will stay inside to review the material until they can explain it. The first time I set this guideline, suddenly Claire was able to recall a flood of information! It's always nice to see how rules can sometimes make things happen in a good way.

Matthew and Claire’s Baptisms

At Grace Presbyterian Church

Matthew and Claire were baptized on October 13th, 2013. There were 10 or more other baptisms that same day of our Congolese brothers and sisters. Thoses videos will be available privately. Many were added to membership that day and Pierry gave a wonderful testimony. I will post more on that later. 

For now, here's a video that has a brief intro from pastor Bob on baptism, followed by the baptisms of Matthew and Claire.

 

Spider Showdown

We recently caught two large spiders and fed one to the other. It took a while to get them to even see each other. One was in the black widow family and the other was meditteranean spider that is new to the area. 

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The larger overpowered the smaller this time. 

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We didn't wait to see if the black widowish spider managed to inject poisonous venom. 

I grabbed a rock and smashed it before it could escape.

Oktoberfest at the Becks

Our German Neighbors

Spending the evening at the Becks was a special treat. The Becks are our German neighbors who celebrated Oktoberfest on September 28th, 2013. There were lots of familiar faces from the neighborhood and swim team, and then there were some people that we had the priviledge of meeting that night.

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Of course, Claire did not resist going to this adultish party. Her good friend Fancisca is nearly always there to help her find creative and fun ways to by silly.

And what boy can resist a treehouse? Can you find him in this photo?

As night fell, the lights around us brought a warm glow, as well as the home made Schnapps from Bernanrd's mother in Germany. 

By this time Matthew had so much fun eating sweets that he had ejected some and went home. But I stayed to enjoy more yummy sweets.

It's special things like this that make our neighborhood a wonderful place ot live. Thank you Becks!

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