Friday, June 13, 2014

God's Provision

"Friends are God's way of taking really good care of us."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Science Olypiad Competition 2014

We have really enjoyed doing Science Olympiad this year.  We joined in at the end of the season, because they needed help.  Patience and I (Grace) were assigned three events each for the regional competition. 

Patience: Astronomy, Geologic Mapping, and Scrambler
Grace: Bungee drop, Elastic Launched Glider, and Compound Machines

We did pretty well for coming in that late. Since Patience and I (Grace) had a couple building events, We needed to ask our partners if the device has been built or not.
Patience's building event was Scrambler.  The goal was to make a "car" go a certain distance with out breaking the egg in the front of the "car" by hitting a board at the end of the runway. Before Patience joined her partner, John, had already made the car but didn't have a device to make the car go forward.  There are a lot of rules for the propulsion mechanism. After a lot of thinking about the it, Patience and Dad woke up really early one morning and made most of it.  They had to wake up early because the competition was in 3-4 days and there really wasn't very much time!

Grace's events were all building events. The Bungee drop is where you take a type of elastic material and attach a metal ring to the end.  The goal was to attach a weight (50-300 grams) to this elastic cord and try to get it as close to the ground as possible with out touching it.  Her partner, Tommy, had the elastic cord already made so her role was to be a second brain at the competition.

The Elastic Launched Glider event is when you launch a glider with a rubber band and tried to keep it in the air the longest amount of time in comparison to the other teams. You can use commercially sold kits or even make your own design.  We also had to make a flight log. Because of not having very much time, we used a commercial kit.  A middle school science Olympian from our team put it together for us.  The only thing was that he told us not to fly it before the competition because it would probably break and then we wouldn't have a plane anymore. Caleb was her partner.  So they used an already broken plane to put together our flight log and flew the other one at the competition. 

The Compound Machine event was a part written and part building event.  The goal was to make a device that can measure the weight of an unknown object by the use of a known weight and two levers connected: class one and class two. Then the written test had questions about static equilibrium mainly.  Her partner was Matthew.  At that time is was about four days before the competition and the device wasn't made.  So two days before the competition we got together and built one. 

For Patience's two written events, since there wasn't much time, mainly she just showed up for the event with a few hours of studying in. 

Then it was competition day!  We left our house around 5:00 a.m. to get to the University of Maryland for the Regional competition!!  We had a pretty smooth day going and leaving our events. Then came the Award Ceremony.  Praise to the Lord we got pretty good scores, especially for coming in so late!
Bungee Drop:7th
Compound Machines: 1st
Elastic Launched Glider: 6th
Geologic Mapping:10th
Scrambler: 1st
The overall team score was 7th place. This is the second year the high school division has competed against the other Maryland high school teams. We were doing pretty well!

After Regionals we had the opportunity to go on to state level.  Now we could actually study for our events!  Patience and Grace picked up another event from the other teammates to help out.  Grace picked up Circuit Lab and Patience picked up Technical problem solving.  Patience made Astronomy first priority and Technical Problem solving second; she did tidbits of other as well.  Grace let Compound Machines and Circuit Lab take up most of her time and then threw Elastic Launched Glider in there, also doing tidbits of bungee drop.
We were definitely more prepared in our building events and written events at states.  Caleb and I(Grace) made some gliders and flew them at a gym. Mother was also very enthusiastic about making gliders and made about 15-20 for us before the competition! So in total before states, we had made about 30-35 gliders!!
I also got together with Tommy and helped calibrate the bungee drop.  Patience got together with John and they tried to make sure the Scrambler met written rules and to be just as, if not more, effective at its job. 

And to make our story more complex.  Two weeks before the competition, our coach realized that the high school team had a trial event (hydrogeology) that no one was covering for. So he asked Tali if she would help out.  She said yes, but of course she need a partner to help her out. So they looked for people that could sit in with her at test and found that Luke, Caleb, and Grace were available in that time slot.  Luke agreed to do it.  But then a day before the competition, guess what happened!!!  Luke could not do it any more and they needed someone else!! So I (Grace) decided to help out.  Before the competition Tali probably studied about 5 half days, and Grace studied for four hours.
Then it was finally time for the State Competition!!!!!!!!!!!  This time the whole family came.
Again we went to all of our events and every thing went pretty normal.  Tali and Grace had a nice conversation with their proctor afterwards too.
The proctor came up to Tali and Grace after we were done with the test and asked if we were a part of a certain group, that we do not remember, we said, "What is that"
He said, "Never mind, I was a Catholic and now I am a Unitarian."
Grace asked, "What do Unitarians believe?"
He said that it was a person that believes in Islam, Budism, Christian, Catholism, basicly everything.
Grace asked, "So what do you believe after all that input?" He said how he does these certain things and hopes that they are enough to get to heaven with.
Then Grace asked, "So what about heaven and hell?" He replied that he had been wondering about them.  After that, we went into a conversation about beliefs, the Bible, prophesies, and more.  Eventually, Grace had encouraged him to read the book of Daniel and Tali had handed him a track on how science proves the Bible to be true. 
After this conversation with the proctor, Tali and Grace were overjoyed. Since this was the last event of the day we went to our home room and joined our team in singing "To God Be the Glory".  Then the team excitedly went on to the Award ceremony!!!! 
Astronomy: 12th (Patience loved every bit of time she got to study astronomy. Astronomy had such a broad range that it is hard to learn it all in one month!! Even though it was a hard test she is looking forward to learning more about it!)
Bungee drop: 3rd
Compound Machines: 1st
Circuit lab: 8th
Elastic Launched Glider: 2nd
Geologic Mapping:10th
Hydrogeology: 6th (after about a week of studying this was pretty good! We were only 10.83 points behind 1st place. And first if we were in the small school league.)
Technical problem solving: 8th
Scrambler: 1st
Overall team score:5th place!!!!!!!
The overall team score was amazing.  We are still baffled at it.  The our team's middle school division got 1st Overall and are going on to nationals. Our division (high school) ranked 5th place. May God be Praised. 
Patience's and John's Scrambler in impound

Patience and Luke in the Astronomy Test

Grace and John in the Circuit Lab test

Grace and Matthew in the Compound Machine test with their compound machine.

Grace and Caleb launching gliders at the competition.
Patience and John's scrambler stopped before the egg met the barrier! Their breaks worked!
Grace and Tommy

Team pictures! These have the high school and middle school teams together.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014


...our families' new business website! We sell salves, heating pads, and candles mainly. Everything is homemade and natural. Please visit us at

Our Aunts Surgery

No, we are not trying to set a family surgery pattern. It just happened that way. :)
Our Aunt scheduled a surgery at the beginning of January for a bunion on her foot.  So the three girls went over to help out afterwards.  Once we got all situated in her house, the phone rang.  It was her doctor saying that something wasn't working in the hospital and they would have to turn off the electricity in the hospital. As you can imagine, the surgery was canceled.
Since we were already situated at our Aunt's house we decided to stay the night! While we were there she took us shopping to some of her favorite stores and ice skating. Over all, we had a fun time getting to know her more. What a better way to get to know an aunt than to spend an extended amount of time with her? We've thoroughly enjoyed it.
We took a walk with Abby (the chocolate lab) to the lake.  It was very cold. 

We enjoyed being with Abby too. You wouldn't believe how excited she is when we walk in the door. She is such a sweet pup!

Like the star? We saw it at a mall we shopped at. We thought it was unique.

We also did some school work. Since our aunt is a chemist, we were sure to bring chemistry books along!
What a blessing it is to have time with our Aunt.  The surgery was rescheduled to the 17th of January and she is now recovering well!

New Year's Eve Party

Posted by: Grace
A New Year is here!!  What a joy!!  This year we hosted a New Year's Eve Party.  At the party we had snacks, worship, fellowship, and a Talent Show. 

Each year we aim to make a Jesus Cake.  It is a Pistachio and Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  This year Patience decorated it. It was very tasty.    

Patience also made some yummy peppermint bark.  We made a gingerbread Christmas tree and house too (see them in the background?). 

Some good friends of ours brought this delicious desert.  It is like a Reese's and deliciously scrumptious! To our greatest dismay, when we first tasted the recipe, they claimed it to be "secret", and that it was for a while...until we shared  favorite recipe with them. Fair trade, huh? We thought so!

Fellowship time was wonderful too.

The talent show was very fun.  We had people sharing songs, jokes, skits and more!  We had a contest and judged by the funniest and most professional performance. 
A couple we know skillfully performed a skit/song. It was all impromptu, which made it funnier, because they forgot their lines. :p  So Mr.Wilkes jumped in near the middle with the words on his iphone and did a little cowboy jig, which broke the awkwardness of not knowing their lines into hilarious laughter. 
I forgot to take pictures of the talent show. :( Oppsies...
Then we worshiped until midnight. When the clock struch twelve, we played on any instrument we could get our hands on as loud as we possibly could. From trombones to harps and from pot pan lids to whistles. Despite the all the noise, it was literally a "blast"!

Christmas Celebrations

  This year we had Christmas at two different locations.  One at our Grandparents house on one side of the family and at our house with the other side of our family.  It was a busy day, but we enjoyed it. 
During the Christmas season we didn't stop playing music.  We had concerts and played at a nursing homes time to time. 
I (Grace) sent this embroidery work to my "twin" in Australia. It took a long time to get there.  We were wondering if it was lost or something.  We were relieved when she e-mailed to say that she got it.  (If you are wondering about my "twin" you can visit a previous blog about ATI in 2013.) 

Over the Christmas season we processed some deer.  Mr. Wilkes helped us process some of that. :)

Here's some of the packed deer on the table.  Looks delicious, eh?

We went to watch Handel's Messiah at the Strathmore hall for my birthday, then later in the month went to the Kennedy Center sing along.  We enjoyed them both for different reasons, but having the music in front of us at the Kennedy Center was unbeatable!


Tabor's Surgery

Posted by: Patience
Tabor had a surgery a few weeks ago. Bad stomach pains sent him to the ER which sent him to the hospital who gave him the surgery which left him appendix-less. Can you guess what went wrong? Yep, my very own little brother had appendicitis and now he is missing that organ called an apendix. We won't post any pictures about this story. :)
You should have been around when he was gone. The house was sooo empty. Every time I passed by something that meant something to him, I would remember how much I loved him. Tali cried twice, and the whole family spent their extra moments remembering how special his place in our home is to us.
Glad you're back buddy! We missed you!!