Friday, January 30, 2009


Please lift up little John Riefer in your prayers this afternoon. He was taken to the ER early this morning, with a high fever and croupy cough - I believe Ashley said the doctors diagnosed him with RSV, a respiratory virus. Because of his high fever, though, it's quite a bit more serious than just the ordinary cold (he had a seizure earlier today). Right now, they are trying not to let his fever go down too much, for fear that it may spike up too quickly again. They are waiting for an intensive care room to open up so he can be moved in there. The family had a busy weekend planned, so ask that God would be with them in all their comings and goings, and ride arrangments, etc.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I just realized that I hadn't been out of the house from Sunday at around 10:30 am till today (Wednesday) at around 3:30 pm. Wow. That is 78 hours . . . if I counted right. That is a long time. No wonder I am feeling so strange!!

I did manage to go out cross-country skiing at 3:30 today . . . but wow.

I am l-a-m-e!

Abby, you win. Hands down. ;)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's This Coming from the Sky?

Snow, real snow!
And I'm sick and can't go outside to enjoy it.
Weird how life works out.
Enjoy your days off, snow play, and hot cocoa everyone!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Week - a Celebration of Life!

I've decided that rather than refer to my week as "busy," I will simply say that I am living life to it's very fullest, and maximizing every spare moment. :) This week was actually quite fun as far as I'm concerned! (Be warned - the following paragraphs are quite lengthy, and more for my sake of having a record of things . . . you aren't under any obligation to read it. :)

Monday, I volunteered to drive Abby, Zeke, Sarah, and Rachel up to Sullivan for their band practice. I also did grocery shopping for Mum while there - and I hadn't realized how long it's been since I've gone grocery shopping! Mum gave me a very detailed and extensive list, which made things a lot easier, but it was still somewhat challenging. Pushing the carts was a good workout though . . . I think I bought enough groceries for several weeks. After I finished that, I stopped at McDonald's, bought a coffee, and sat and read. It was very relaxing. Then as soon as we got home, Zeke had a basketball game and I made dinner. The evening was spent babysitting at home, since Mum had a Board of Education meeting at church.

Tuesday, I babysat at First Christian Church in the morning then had my first class directly following. I'm really excited about this class (it's Comp II), and enjoyed our first dat, even though Ms. Kolb mostly just went over the syllabus. After that I came home and worked on dinner stuff, then picked up Isaac from the Centre. He and I spent the rest of the afternoon baking - both bread and several kinds of cookies. After dinner, Abby and I went to her basketball practice. When we got home, I spent the next hour or so folding my 5 loads of laundry. :)

Wednesday was a day of great fun! Mum dropped me off at the Quakkelaars' house in the morning, and I got to hang out with them most of the day - we cleaned the basement, and I did Kindergarten with Zeko, made lunch, and helped Mrs. Q with some grocery shopping. What a family! It's not often you can go to someone's house to work, and come away feeling like they were the ones who blessed you! It is always such an encouragment to spend time with other families who are walking in and living out God's truths. Thanks Mrs. Q for having me over! The rest of the day was rather uneventful, so I caught up on some cleaning around the house.
The Q Kids - Maggie, Gabe, Eva and Alex, Zeko, Malachi

Thursday, Abby and I babysat for MOPS in the morning, and then I had class following that. In the afternoon, I did some more cleaning and think I even sneaked in a nap. We have been having car trouble, so Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday all included car-pooling efforts at random times. :) That evening after dinner, I went to CCF and to the basketball game afterwards. Funny story: because of our car trouble, I wasn't sure if I'd have a car to drive to CCF. Turns out I did, but as I got ready to go, the key wasn't where I had left it! Our second key was gone with Dad, so we began searching for it. I asked Isaac if he had played with it, and he said no. Then I asked Libeth, and she nodded - only to lead me into the living room and ask to watch a movie. So after looking about 15 minutes, I came back and asked Isaac again if he was sure he hadn't seen the key that afternoon, or touched it. He says, "Oh, well I saw Libeth playing with it out on the deck." Sigh - needless to say, I was a little frustrated, but mostly thought it funny. I got to CCF about 20 minutes late, but (because they did music at the end) I didn't miss Mark playing the bass. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Timon, an old friend who is back in Rolla this semester.

Friday was . . . chaotic. I had a babysitting job from 8 am - noon. Then upon arrival home, the Q kids came over and hung out during Zeke's literature/reading class. That was awesome, once again - Maggie and Eva were both spectacular assistants in the kitchen, helping me make 7 loaves of bread! They also gave me a hand in cleaning my room, mostly by keeping me company. :) Another car-pooling trip, and then practices for Abby, Zeke, and the Varsity guys. (Zeke had a game that was canceled.) Abby and I also went and caught the Landmark Christian School volleyball games, and the first quarter of the basketball game. Our friends Clara McCluskey and Joshua Riefer are on those teams, and it was neat to see them play - they both did a great job! (The Riefers' Blog, which may have photos from the evening) We got home from Abby's practice and said "hey it's only 9:30 and Friday night - let's do something!" That something ended up being watching an "All Creatures Great and Small" tv show, then doing my Pilates for an hour. . . .and laughing at Dad, who attempted to do it with me.

Saturday was again a whole lot of fun! I took Mum, Abby, and Zeke to the theatre in the morning for their rehearsal - they are in "Pirates of Penzance" put on by our dear friends the Nisbetts and their group Fine Linen Drama. At the theatre, I picked up

Margaret Hamacher,
Ian Hamacher, Andrew Hamacher (not pictured),
and Anna, Nathanael, and Glory Nisbett!
We all came back to our house, and the kids played in the basement all morning long while I cleaned the whole upstairs! You'd think that 6 extra kids would add work, but they actually helped me complete my work by entertaining each other! The crazy kids decided that they wanted to jump on the trampoline after lunch, so I brushed the snow off, and Libeth, Glory, and I watched the other 6 jump - it looked like great fun, but I wasn't quite up to the cold! Then hot chocolate, cookies, and more play until I took them back to the theatre at 3. I wish our camera had been working, because there were some great photo opportunities missed that morning.
:( I'm sure you can imagine what fun we had though! Dad christened the morning "Becky's Bouncing Babysitting." Dad had picked up Abby for basketball games in Lebanon mid-way through the morning. . . it was a tournament, and our JH girls team ended up winning 3rd! Abby and Dad went to the English Country Line Dance in Salem upon arrival home, and I went to the theater and saw "Mall Cop" with my 4 dates - Zach and JP Winzer, Colin, and Mark. :) After the movie finished, we stood outside - in the cold - for about 15 minutes before we decided to come back to our place and have hot chocolate and cookies (you know, there isn't a lot of difference betwen highschool/college guys and little kids - they like being outside in the cold, and are always made happy by chocolate anything and cookies. lol). We hung out until everyone had to go home, and then Mum, Dad, and I spent the next hour talking about our schedule for this coming week.

We had church this morning, and I came home early with a bad headache - probably just a result of a long week and not a lot of sleep. :) My favorite part of this week was that I got to spend so much time with kids, both those in our family, and others. They are such fun, especially those we know within the home schooling community. Thanks to all the parents who let me hang out with their kids, and thanks to all you kids who are such a joy to be with! You have blessed me more than you can know.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Oh Isaac . . .

As I was coming upstairs a moment ago, I ran into Isaac - he was trying to lug a huge, antique suitcase of ours down the stairs. I stopped him, and asked where he was headed. He solemnly responded, "I'm going to war."

My room has now been turned into a library. He just informed me that he is "one of those bad guys who don't follow the rules in the library" and then gave me $200 in fake bills as his "payment to go to war. So that, in case I die, my parents have money to buy a cradle."


The super special, uber unique, SO good, awesome and amazing, incredibly energetic, wacky, crazy fun, somewhat infamous . . .
Arkansawr Girls!

(Starting at top left and going clockwise. . .)
Hannah Sue and Hannah B.
H. Sue, Sara without an H, Abbie, Natalie
Sara and Hannah B.
Natalie and Abbie
Allison and Roger, H. Sue, Hannah B., Julie, Sara, Natalie, Abbie

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Friday, January 16, 2009

For Joel. . .

So while we are on the topic of randomness . . . When Renee was over at our house yesterday, and we were inspecting each other's toes, she said, "Oh, I have something to show you!" She started rolling up her jeans, and showed me some pretty wicked awesome bruises on her knees. I was, naturally, quite horrified . . .until I remembered how they came about.

Last Friday, at the CHESS skating party, several of us started a game of tag as we were skating around. I was not "it" and so was peacefully minding my own business, skating in circles, when I see Renee flying across the rink - she went across right in front of me and cannon-balled into Joel Nisbett. He was standing next to the wall, and before I knew it, he was hitting the wall, and both of them were on the ground. I can imagine that his bruises are at least comparable to hers. I'm not really sure what got into her. . .I mean, she was "it", so I guess that is some excuse. :) And I'm pretty sure she succeeded in her goal of transferring the title of "it" to him. . . And she definitely succeeded in providing entertainment to everyone who observed it.

So here's to Joel - proof that her craziness did not occur without consequences. lol.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Of Fingers and Toes . . .

Okay, so randomness once again pops up in our lives . . . strange how that happens so often among home schooling families. :) Sunday night, our family enjoyed an evening of pie-eating and games with the Nisbetts. During a game of "Switch if. . . ", we discovered which of us have a second toe that is longer than our first toe. We then launched off into a discussion about how some people have longer ring fingers than pointer fingers, etc, etc. . . . a discussion which was continued this morning with the Pettijohn kids. Fingers and toes are such fun, aren't they?

So the question of the day:
Is your second toe longer than your big toe?
And is your ring finger, or pointer finger longer?

Josiah said he thought that which finger was longer indicated one's aptitude for different subjects. . . I think he said that if your pointer finger is longer, you are more inclined towards English related things, and if your ring finger is longer, Math and such is your tendency. The theory held up Sunday night - I think that all the Nisbett boys had a longer ring finger, and I had a longer pointer finger. ;) Go figure. . .

Oh, and for the record, my answers are: shorter second toe, and longer pointer finger.

Can't wait to hear what your answer ! (. . . actually, I can because this is just stupid and pointless. lol.)


Toes, Toes, Toes!

Whose toes are these? Can you guess? (The possibilities are Renee, Becky, Zeke, Isaac, Alex, and Julie)
2. & 3.




Toes are fun

Fingers of my Very Own

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh, the Weary Winter

Needless to say, I was quite burned out after my last string of posts. :) When I told Mum that I had finished posting all the Christmas photos, she said, "I haven't even seen our Christmas photos yet!" But I thought it might be time to run a bit of an update on my life, and since the weather outside is so dreary and cold, I figured now was as good a time as any. I also wanted to post the words to the hymn our family is currently learning. Update first I suppose. . .

The week and a half since we've been back from Illinois have flown by somehow. Because I had 5 weeks of break between semesters, I thought that these days were going to be terribly boring, and that I ought to find some useful occupation which would use my time nicely. However, quite the opposite has been true. I have found that the hours fill up faster than I can write things into my calendar! Which is mostly good, but can be exhausting!

This week my focus has started to zero in on next fall - making sure all my college applications are completed, eliminating colleges from my list, checking out different scholarship options, pushing Mum to help me get the FAFSA thing-y filled out, talking to admissions counselors . . . and ultimately, hopefully deciding what school I will be attending in the fall! It's both exciting and terribly scary.

I'm also facing the reality that it is time to make a decision about my major. Because I've spent this year collecting general education credits, I really need to decide so that I can get going on more specific courses next fall. This decision will also affect where I go to school . . . it's so much to think about! And it's one of those situations in which there don't seem to be any "bad" or "wrong" choices - I can see how God would use me in each scenario! Which is awesome, but also makes it harder to decide. :)

I start classes again at East Central College on Tuesday. I might be taking only one class this semester, for various reasons. . . but I am looking forward to getting back into the school setting and being challenged again. We've also started with rehearsals for "Pirates of Penzance" - I am the props manager, and I am SO EXCITED! Basketball season continues to be a constant part of life, as well as several new clubs, groups, etc. that our family members are joining.

To wrap up, I would ask for your prayers. Have you ever been at a place in life when you feel really guilty asking for prayer? You look around at the pain and suffering those around you and in the world are going through, and you think, "How selfish of me to ask for any prayers for myself!" Well that's where I am right now - because as much as I might stress, face big decisions, and have bad days, my life on a whole is so . . . good. But, God asks us to come before Him with everything, big and small. So if you are in need of sending up a small prayer, I'd ask that you pray for my peace of mind - and God would grant me the strength to trust Him with all this future stuff. :) If you want to tackle something a little bigger, please, please pray for the Pettijohn family. I'll post more about that tomorrow. . .

Love you all! May God go with you this week!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Trust and Obey

When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his Word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
but is blest if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we'll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey.

Text: John H. Sammis, 1846-1919
Music: Daniel B. Towner, 1850-1919

"Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God."
Isaiah 50:10

"Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun."
Psalm 37: 4-6

Friday, January 9, 2009

RHAA Home Games - 2009

Once again, the call goes out to the home schooling community to come and support your favorite sports team for the rest of their season. :) Our next game isn't until Friday the 16th - see you there! (This is only a list of the games played in Rolla, not those we travel to. Click on the calendar links to find more about times and locations of the below games, as well information about those away games!)

RHAA Home Game Schedule
Gold Team
Jan. 16th - Home Game vs. Camdenton Christian School
Jan. 17th - Home Game vs. Fulton Saints
Feb. 5th - Home Game vs. S.I.R.
Feb. 10th - Home Game vs. Lebanon Rockets
Feb. 14th - Home Game vs. St. Louis Patriettes
Feb. 20th - Home Game vs. SWMO Eagles

Blue Team
Jan. 27th - Home Game vs. Houston Wellspring
Feb. 5th - Home Game vs. S.I.R.
Feb. 14th - Home Game vs. St. Louis Patriettes

BOYS - Junior High Calendar
Jan. 12th - Home Game vs. Rolla Dawgs
Jan. 19th - Home Game vs. S.I.R.
(JV Game) Jan. 23rd - Home Game vs. Mt. Grove
Feb. 10th - Home Games vs. Lebanon
Feb. 14th - Home Games vs. St. Louis
Feb. 20th - Home Games vs. SWMO Eagles

BOYS - Varsity Calendar
Jan. 16th - Home Game vs. Camdenton Christian School
Jan. 17th - Home Game vs. Fulton Saints
Jan. 27th - Home Game vs. Houston Wellspring
Feb. 10th - Home Game vs. Lebanon Rockets
Feb. 14th - Home Game vs. St. Louis Blue Knights
Feb. 20th - Home Game vs. SWMO Eagles

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Take a deep, deep breath!

You caught me. . . I am procrastinating! To be perfectly honest, most of my longest and best blog posts come from complete and total procrastination. I think it's because of something my Mum always has warned us against - Disobeying is still disobeying, even if the other thing you are doing is a good thing. ;) But as I am 17 and master of my own destiny (or at least pretty much free to decide how to spend my time), I'm not disobeying. Just procrastinating.

So I have this huge duffel bag, an over-stuffed cloth Aldi bag, and several "carry-ons" to unpack, and one very scattered and messy room to tidy up, and three very late Christmas gifts to finish. But instead of doing those things, I spent my evening, 1.) playing Blurt with Zeke and Abby, 2.) taking a bubble bath, 3.) making myself a scrumptious cup of tea, 4.) unpacking our family camera, 5.) unpacking my iPod and setting it on my radio docking station thingy, with the shuffle on the genre "soundtracks" (Mark McKenzie heaven!), and 6.) crawling in bed with my laptop and cup of tea, downloading 171 photos from our trip, and getting ready to edit and post the ones that I want you to see! If all that isn't procrastination in its highest form, I don't know what is.

I will take a deep breath (as the title of this post suggests) and begin the saga of "The Hall Family Christmas vacation 2008" (right after I find my computer charger in this messy room of mine. . . oh, I think it's in one of the unpacked bags. lol). Before you start reading, I suggest you take a deep breath too. . .

You faithful (and probably fellow) procrastinator,

*Well, I have finished my posting. You can start right below this one, and work your way down - I put them in backwards order, so that by starting with "St. Paul - Monday and Tuesday" you will be in chronological order. Enjoy the photos! This only took about 3 hours, but I am exhausted. In the words of Dr. Suess ". . . and now my story is all told." Merry Christmas everyone.

St. Paul - Monday and Tuesday

Here begins the great Hall Family Christmas Vacation, 2008!

We left Rolla Monday night, after basketball practices, and drove through the night. On a weekend trip to Denver a few summers ago, we discovered that we can create a sort of bed in the back of our 12 passenger van - by taking the back seat out, packing all the bags under a large (custom-cut) sheet of plywood, and placing a futon on the plywood, a quite comfortable resting place is made. Isaac and Libeth slept in their carseats (how do kids do that?) and the rest of us rotated on the bed. Dad drove most of the 10 hours - the weather was a bit yucky, and the roads sort of icy.

We pulled in at Grandma's house at 8:30 am. Naturally, communication had gotten somewhat mixed up, and she wasn't expecting us for 12 more hours! Still, we managed to adjust and make it one more day of fun! We helped her with the cleaning and decorating she had been planning to do, and had an extra day of snow play with the cousins! We also got in quite a few naps, to prepare us for a busy, bustling week of fun.

Zeke, trimming the tree

Isaac (this picture is crooked because I have a nervous hand under his rear end as he balances on the step stool)

Abby - she stuck with it, and did the bulk of the work. Good job luv!

Our "supervisor"

Zeke, braving the cold for some snow-play.
Grandma calls this style "Minnesota Chic" - the way she tells it, if all your snow clothes coordinate, well, "You ain't from around here, now that's for sure."

Grandma, explaining the rules to "Fox and Geese"

Nap time all around!

Cousin Alex

Our Happy Birthday Jesus cake, iced and decorated by Mr. Enthusiastic there

The rest of the week was filled with fun and games, activities and lots and lots of food. But one of my favorite parts was the music. Abby had brought along her trumpet, and our extra coronet. Upon arrival, we found that Grandpa had three trumpets of his own, one baritone, and an alto saxaphone! Well, let me tell you, we had quite the band going then! Grandpa led the group, harmonizing away on his trumpet - Mum took the melody, magically remember the fingering and notes, and playing entirely by ear (she hasn't played for years and years - I am 17, and I have never heard her play) - Grandma ocassionally accompanied on the piano, when she wasn't working away in the kitchen - Abby did an outstanding job playing by ear, taking the melody line and making some real music - Andy would pop in every now and then with a trumpet (which he has never played before in his life - hey, it added character to the mix) - Zeke . . . oh I guess he didn't have his drum, so he didn't join in - and Dad was truly the jack-of-all-trades, alternating between piano, trumpet, and baritone (he had never played the baritone before, but picked it up quite handsomly) - Isaac, Elizabeth, and I all listened with admiration and awe (except Elizabeth, who held her hands over her ears most of the time). It was amazing - I wish you could have been there! Throughout the week this chorus of heavenly sounds accompanied much of our activities. I felt proud to be a part of such a family!

Abby and Dad

St. Paul - Christmas Eve Day

Christmas Eve was our big day of celebration! Because the cousins would be there all day long, and weren't able to join us the next morning, we had our big meal, sleding expedition, and gift/stocking opening time all today instead.

The day started off with a yummy breakfast, compliments of Grandma. After finishing the last of the decorations and hanging the stockings, we all bundled up and Dad and Uncle Peter took the oldest 9 grandkids sleding. All us kids, ages 19 (almost) thru 6, all had a great time, and I think that the dads did too. Enjoy wading through all the sledding photos for the next 10 minutes!

Get ready, get set. . . . and, he's off!

Andy, majestically pulling off the classic "Pom-pom hat"

Andy and Josh protect the basketball pole from wayward sledd-ers.

The three "Pete Halls" - Joshua, Noah, and Caleb
Zeke, styling one of Grandma's hats. I am proud to call you my brother.
Isaac, ready to go!

Caleb, modeling the oh-so-fashionable Fed-Ex coveralls.

Zeke. . .I don't believe that is the best way to come down.

(And yes, he did slide half-way down the hill like that.)
The sledd-er almost ran into the camera-woman.

Caleb flies!

Dad even got in the action - he held the "longest sled ride" record for a while too!
Isaac, trudging up the hill once again.

Athleticism runs in the veins of all the Hall males.

This is my cousin Noah. Somehow, he, Josh, Caleb, and Andy
all managed to "surf" down the hill on sleds! Not even snowboards
(which I imagine would be hard enough), but old, red sleds! How's
that for talent?

It was cold. I sat in the car some. . . okay, a lot.
Abby declared me "Lame." I accept the title,
but will edit it a bit: "Lame -- but warm!"
The grand finale was the "Train" - pretty much, the dads set it up so that all of the kids (with the exception of yours truly, who was in charge of videoing and taking pictures) would go down at once. They held onto each other's ankles, and I tell you - watching them fishtail when they got to the bottom was hilarious for us up top (but probably not so fun for those at the end of the train!).

Friday, January 2, 2009

St. Paul - Christmas Eve

After we returned from the sleding expedition, it was time to get dressed for church. Then we set out - and walked. To church. Nearly a mile. In the cold. It made memories. 'Nuf said.

The service was very nice, and even nicer was the jog home, but the nicest of all was the hot chocolate (and tea for those of us who think chocolate is quite bleck-y) awaiting us as we arrived home.
Zeke and Noah

And of course, snacks to go along with our drinks.Then, it was time for stockings! We started with the youngest and worked our way up, Zeke and Mariah being the official stocking handing-outers. Grandma then read us a cowboy version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Listening closely

After that, everyone was sent out to play with their stocking stuffers while us "womenfolk" finished preparing the feast! And a feast it was - Grandma sure knows how to cook. Yummy!
Elizabeth was found in the basement, hiding behind the radiator, eating chocolate that was in her stocking.)

Then, time for presents! We started once again with the youngest, and worked our way up.

Libeth got a backpack, with a tent and sleeping bag inside . . .. . . as well as coordinating hat, mittens, and sunglasses.

One of Isaac's gifts was a towel, complete with reindeers antlers and everything. Lucky.

Zeke got the best gift of all - deodorant!
Abby quickly busied herself looking through one of her three new books - all about horses. Grandma sure knows her grandkids!
I was given some assistance in the placement of my gift - a beautiful red bow. I believe Libeth spent about five minutes getting it centered on my forehead.
Andy is no where to be seen. I suspect he has gone to put on his new pajamas, and take a nap with his new comforter. Mum had the camera, and you know how that is. Not one picture of her all week long.
Dad was quite pleased with his gift - a towel to match Isaac's!
Mum was more pleased with his real gift - a nice outfit for work.

And last but not least, Grandma. She got the best gift of all - old cereal box bags, wiped clean and ripped open (it makes great wax paper!).