Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beach at the lake!

Another photo post. The last Friday before seminary started we went out to the beach by the lake! It's very funny to go to the beach with fresh water. On the day it was very hot and so a nice cooling off in the lake was very welcome! We 'gate crashed' another seminary student's family outing :) and the all kids had a ball! 

Albert, Zara and friends
Can you see the end of the lake? 
I only seem to have photo's of Zara
the other girls must be having too much fun!
Grace and Zara
Zara with her lifejacket for which I'm VERY
 grateful as she can't swim yet!
Zara and a friend eating the BEST popcorn
that I've ever tasted! Chicago mix -
both caramel and cheese flavour in the same bag! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Albert's Weekly update 29/10/2012

Albert doing a devotion at the girls
homeschool co-op. 

It's 2 degrees outside at the moment. We are warm inside, but the heaters are on. We keep telling people that this is what our winter is like, and they just smile at us and tell us to wait until the real winter begins.

I am keeping an eye on Hurricane Sandy, but it is nowhere near where we are, and apart from some cool temperatures and high winds, we are going to be fine.

I am enjoying reading recess this long weekend. Reading recess means a break from classes on Thursday, Friday, and Monday. I have been getting some work done. I have pretty much finished a textual criticism assignment, as well as a sermon outline that are due next week. It's nice to have some things done in advance.

The textual criticism assignment asked the question: Is John 7:53-8:11, also known as the Adultery Pericope, a part of the Original gospel of John. I was fascinated to find that it is not. I'll post my paper on the web, once I have finished it, for those interested.

My sermon outline is on Hebrews 12:1-3. I've enjoyed working through that passage, and will again post it on the web for those interested once it is all finished off.

On Thursday I took the day off. We went to the girls homeschooling group in the morning, where I got to see what the girls got up to. It was a fun morning, and the girls love having me there.

In the afternoon we went to Cabelas. This is a huge outdoor shop. They sell everything outdoors, including any gun that you want. I am not kidding, they were all there hanging on the walls, and some even out on racks where you could pick them up and look at them. No bolts or ammunition, but it was a real eye opener. Talking to some of the people here, it is very easy to purchase a fire arm, and in some places no license is necessary.

But the most impressive thing about Cabellas was their taxidermy displays. Hanneke promises that there are some pictures to follow. We saw Bears, Deer, Mountain lions, foxes, and Mooses (I know - but it sounds good!), just to name a few. We must have spent at least 3 hours, just having a browse. We all had a great time.

This week following I have a Hebrew Quiz, and a Greek Mid Term exam. I am working hard on the Greek, and pretty much have the prep done for my Hebrew.

In terms of papers to before the end of the Semester (Dec 7th with exam week to follow) I still have a full Sermon to do, as well as a 15 page paper for Apologetics on Jehovah's Witnesses. That should be an interesting one, I'll keep you posted.

Have a great week,


Monday, October 22, 2012

Pool Fun!

Over the Summer months we visited a few friends with pools which was a huge blessing as it was VERY hot! This pool was quite deep and I was grateful to have found a lifejacket for Zara at the thrift store which meant that she could have fun also without me holding her all the time. 

Michaela and friend having fun with the ball. 
Showing Kate how to use the water gun
Look at all the pool toys!
Zara entertaining our friend with a elephant on a board. 
It's a pretty big pool!
Grace and Zara
Water guns
"Lumpy" having a ride
Slip and slide!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Albert Weekly Update 19/10/2012

As I write this it is a Saturday morning I am sitting in the Lansing Public Library. Hanneke has commandeered my office space so that she can do some ironing for the neighbors, and watch a movie on the computer at the same time. It's a lovely public library that is two minutes' walk from home, free Wi-Fi, and very quiet. I'm sure that I will spend some time here in the winter, when it will also be nice and warm here.

This week I have sat a Patristic Church History Mid Term Exam. I am slowly getting better at calming the nerves for my exams. It seems silly to be nervous, and it is silly, but the butterflies are getting better each time. I was pretty well prepared, and was able to make a pretty good attempt at all the questions. The final verdict will of course come from my Professor!

No exams next week, and we have the 25th to the 29th off for Reading Recess. This is a chance to catch up on readings, as well as work on assignments and sermons and the like. I have promised the family a Day Out during that time. We are not sure what we are doing yet, but we will keep you posted! I am very much looking forward to a couple of days of catching my breath, and catching back up on a few things that have fallen behind with all the demands for my scholarly attention.

I have two more mid-term exams, Greek after reading recess, as well as New Testament Introduction on November the 13h. They are a wee way away, so I have plenty of time to prepare, as well as getting cracking on a number of assignments that I have.

For New Testament Introduction I have a 3-4 assignment due in a couple of weeks that will look at the question of whether or not John 7:53-8:11 was an authentic part of the original text of the Gospel of John. I will post some of the material on the Blog as I work through it, but it may not be interesting reading for all of you!

I have an Apologetics Paper due on the 7th December. This is a twelve to fifteen page minimum paper on "Encountering Unbelief". I am looking at doing mine on Jehovah's Witnesses, subject to confirmation with my Professor, Rev Strange. I thought that it would be something that would be quite relevant to back home in NZ, given the number of encounters that many of us have with them, many times!

Dr. Venema and a tour party are headed over to New Zealand next week. If you get a chance to go and hear him speak it will be well worth your while. Please say a special hello to them for us, and show them some of our great Kiwi Hospitality.

Finally, you may wish to check out the link below. It is a copy of the Mid America Messenger. You may or may not recognize some of the people on the front cover!

Have a blessed week,


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Random September Pics

Here are some more random pictures that don't fit in a blog post by themselves!

Perfectionist Zara, colour coded her lego!
I see two, no hang on, three reading!
Mashed Potato out of a box? (again this was donated!)
It didn't actually taste too bad!
Zara disappeared one morning, only to be fast asleep in her bed?????
M & G's Alarm clock that they found at the thrift store
 is very cool, it projects the time on the ceiling!
Squirrel aka Nutty! 
Squirrels are EVERYWHERE, and apparently to the human residents are quite a nuisance but to us 'newbie's' we think they are pretty exciting! Sorry about the photo quality, they move so fast that I least we got one to stay still long enough! (Albert is wondering whether they taste nice in order to serve them for thanksgiving/Christmas dinner! haha)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bullet Point Update 12/10/12

Oh dear, the Earl Grey is running out (blue packet)
 I will have to start drinking breakfast blend instead (brown packet)
This makes me happy at US$0.29 a pound.
(remember my wedding for those that were there?)
Here is another bullet point update from me, it's been a while, I'll tell you why in a minute. I've got some photo posts in the making I won't give them to you all at once but rather spread them out over a couple of weeks.

A couple of housekeeping things. If you like to subscribe to the blog via e-mail ie every time I post a new blog it will be e-mailed to your account. You can do this by putting in your e-mail in the "Received the blog via e-mail" box on the right hand side of the blog. Also if you are not familiar with links here is what it means. If a word in my blog is in red writing, you can click on that word and it will take you to another internet link related to that word. 

  • Sonlight - I'm very impressed by Sonlight so far. The instructor guides are VERY helpful, I basically don't do any planning at all, it is all done for me. One thing that is a bit more work is that I'm teaching two different levels with their own bible, history, science etc. I have talked to other mums and most of them teach all those subjects the same and adapt them to the different ages. I have opted so far to stick to the 'letter' to the curriculum as I'm still in the infancy of homeschooling. For Maths Michaela and Grace are using Teaching Textbooks which is very nice as they do that they selves without just about no input from me. For their bible memory verses each level comes with it's own music CD! It is so 'catchy' that before I've been going to sleep all I can hear in my head is "Oh Lord our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth" Ps8. A great way to learn the bible!
    There is a LOT of reading that is required in the curriculum (hence all the books!) but that has not been a negative, instead it has 'fed' my readaholics so far! There are more photo's etc to come - be patient!
  • Parenting - Well homeschooling is the easy bit, parenting the hardest! I haven't found it easy to balance schoolwork with parenting, washing, ironing, cooking/baking and grocery shopping ie the general household chores! I'm sure with time it will get better and we might have to have a catch-up occasionally. 
  • Time - Well that's a fascinating subject isn't it! Frankly there isn't much of it. This is NOT a complaint but a fact and we are blocking time out for the important things, family time, couple time and some exercise time!
  • Swimming - Kate and Zara are continuing to do very well. They are being taught quite a different method to what I'm used to. I would be happy to teach them myself but the question lies, where? I have found no cheap public pools (if there are, tell me!)
  • Masters Swimming - My swimming is improving every week, I'm up to about 2800 yards (2.5km) a session with about 3 sessions a week. Getting up at 4.30am is not easy but again if I don't make time to have some exercise when would you fit it in?
  • Weather - It is cooling. This kind of scares me as it has already dropped to below 0 during the night and it is only the beginning of October, what more is there to come? The house is very warm and we have only put the heater on to test it! Apart from that Albert has been reliving his student days by studying in his sleeping bag during early morning starts at the office! (Secretly I think he has been enjoying this experience!)
  • Snow clothing! - We are looking forward to snow and as we discovered in Wanganui that it is not much fun being in the snow if you are not prepared for it. So yesterday we went off to the local Salvation Army thrift store. (It is huge!) and managed to find just about everything we needed! We bought snowpants for just about everyone, snowboats for everyone and some gloves! We will still need to buy some more gloves and a pair of snow pants for Albert. We had already bought snowjackets in the heat of summer when the same store had 50% of their snowjackets!
  • Outings - We have been on a few which I will share more on with my photo posts. Here is a teaser: School Fair, The beach on the lake, A friends backyard pool. 
  • Lou Priol.o - We went to hear him last week Friday and Saturday night. We were challenged and encouraged to hear/listen to him. He spoke about his book "Teach Them Diligently". A book well worth buying. We might buy another copy here as our copy is in the container at home. His book is about applying scriptures to your children (heart) something we definitely don't do enough off. (Does anyone?) 
  • MARS Community - We continue to be blessed by the seminary community, from the interactions and encouragement with other seminary families to Seminary Wives meetings and having our First year student get togethers! Continue to keep the seminary in your prayers also! 
  • Couponing - I'm continuing to learn in this department and have managed to get a lot of things VERY cheap including many toiletries, especially razors. We also get the neighbours coupons form the paper, very helpful to have double coupons!
  • Freebies - I also subscribe to several websites that offer trail/samples of their products and so the girls and I during a homeschool break eagerly check my google reader to see what is 'free' today! These freebies go very fast and so you need to be on the ball! So far I've managed to 'score' samples of shampoo/conditioner (very handy to take to the pool!), chocolate drinks, coffee drinks, dishwashing tablets, washing powder etc. 
  • Work - I'm still doing ironing for the neighbour which is a huge blessings. Also the neighbours are going away for two weeks so I'll be their dogsitter! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Albert's Weekly Update 12/10/2012

Head down bottom up this week. I have had my first mid-term exam, and this went pretty well, I think.
We were given the pool of questions before hand, which made preparation a lot easier.

Next week it is Ancient Church History. I am working hard on preparing for that one. It's all a steep learning curve!

I should say with regard to preparation for exams, is that you need to figure out how much time you can dedicate to a particular subject. It would be nice to just drop everything else, but there are still books to be read, readings to be done, and assignments on the go.

I don't want you to think that I am not enjoying myself! It is busy, but I am enjoying the material that we are studying, and relishing the challenge.

Yesterday afternoon I took the afternoon off after the exam, and we spent some time together with the family. It was nice to take some time out.

Today it's back to the grindstone!

This morning we started the day with breakfast at Seminary. Some of the Seniors cooked some Hash Browns, Pancakes and Sausages. It was a great way to start the day.

I pray that you would have a great weekend, and have the opportunity to spend some time in worship on Sunday. We keep all of you back home in our prayers!



Dolls House

On Wednesday night, Albert and I were sitting on the couch talking about trusting God (and our lack of this trust) about his Exam on Thursday morning. While we were talking, we heard a knock on the door. It was our neighbour, dropping off a (free) doll house! We thanked him and asked him where it had come from.  "Oh" he said, "it was in my family's basement and they were going to take it to the local doctors surgery". "I told them 'no, no' I know a good home for the doll house"! WOW

I'm offically speechless. As I posted on my FB "God Provided Again! Not sure why that surprised me!"

Doll House
Kate with the house
It even came with accessories!
The Bedroom
The Lounge
Bathroom and kitchen and ?
Lots of Polly Pockets came with it as well!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Albert's Weekly Update 7/10

It's been another busy week. The temperatures continue to get colder. This morning when I woke up it was 30 degrees. In Fahrenheit. That's -1 in Celsius. It was a little chilly in the office! I will have to organize a heater I think.

One of the challenges I am finding at the moment is balancing all the work. There is lots to do, and there is a real art to knowing what needs to be done when. I am getting better and planning and prioritizing the work, but I haven't got it right yet.

After some good starts in Hebrew and Greek my grades have slipped a little. It's not for lack of working hard, I am just finding things a little tough in the language department at the moment. I am sure it will improve, but it is just a little disheartening putting in the hard work, and not quite getting the results. "Build vocab daily" is the encouragement of Rev van der Hart, my Hebrew teacher, and I am going to be more on top of regular vocab building this week. I am told the best way is to do little chunks often, and I have been guilty of trying to do too much at once.

Greek this week is a review week, with no new vocab, so hopefully I will be able to spend some time consolidating my weak areas.

It is also the season of Mid Terms. I have a 2 hour exam on Thursday for Theological Foundations: Prolegomena. Here is a sampling of some of the questions on my study guide. Feel free to skip these, but I thought that some of you might be interested.

Short Answer:

  1. Explain how and why "Dogmatics is a Scientific Discipline.
  2. Explain the usefulness of dogmatics as a distinct theological discipline.
  3. Define briefly and succinctly : dogma; dogmatics; theology, systematic theology, prolegomena, principium essendi, principium cognoscendi.

Medium Answer:

  1. Explain the emergence of "modern theology" and its distinguishing characteristics, including the influence of Christian Wolff and Immanuel Kant and Albrecht Ritschl.
  2. What are the various "contexts" for pursuing the task of dogmatic/systematic theology? That is, discuss the role and limitation of Scripture/ the Bible, Tradition/ confessions, and personal faith and experience in doing the work of dogmatics.

Long Answer:

  1. Should apologetics be regarded as a fifth theological discipline which provides the foundation for the rest of the theological enterprise? More specifically, what is the role of apologetics for theology according to B.B. Warfield in contrast to the view of Abraham Kuyper?
  2. How can theology as a discipline get underway? That is, what is its method/ access according to classic Reformed theology. Using Muller and J. Wollebius, present the classic Reformed conception of the theological enterprise, including archetypal and ectypal theology.

I would appreciate your continued prayers as I continue to work at my studies. They make a difference, and it is appreciated.

I would like to finish off today by saying a special thank you to those who are supporting us financially. Without your help we could not be here. It is a privilege to be here, and your contribution is helping further the work of His kingdom. Your support helps spur me on when things are tough!

Have a blessed week,


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

History Lesson in Photos

On one of our last afternoons before seminary started we went the Community Veterans Memorial. Very fascinating (Mama you'll enjoy it!) if you like history! Here is our walk in photos.

Zara posing
Along the walk was a timeline engraved in bricks ranging from about 1800's until now. 

Notice the timeline?

Girls took turns posing for all the scultures
I remember that, we went on holiday to Berlin not long after that. 
Michaela, I wonder how old she is?
Who doesn't remember this vividly?
Grace, I wonder how old she is?
Kate with her year
Zara and her year
Girls posing in front of the fountain
Can you recognise the flags?
PS Albert drives past this everyday to seminary.