Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cute Things Spotted Around the House This Week!

Baby birds in their nest!
 Baby bunnies in their burrow!
 Black bear roaming on our hill!
(Not the actual bear that we spotted! 
Unfortunately, we did not have our camera with us at that moment!)
Benny Bear . . . with cowboy hat, holster and gun, lasso, and "sword" by his side . . .
catching a little mid-day siesta on the kitchen floor! ;-)  

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Quads . . . Graduating? Really? What are They Going to Do Now?

Everyone knows it's graduation season! 
 But not many folks know we have
four graduating from high school in our home.

Because our approach to education, graduation and college is a bit different than most, we thought we might try to answer some questions that we know have been on the minds of some of our friends and family. 

Written by Daddy Bowes

Purpose:  The purpose of this post is to very briefly describe our family philosophy on education, graduation and college to family & friends who are genuinely interested . . . and maybe even a bit concerned.  This philosophy is grounded in our understanding of our role as Christian parents to train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; but I’m not including specific Bible references to save space.  We really do care about what our dear family and friends think, but we’re not trying to convert you if you disagree.  We know we’re ultimately responsible to God for how we train the kids He entrusted to us; and we take His instructions, admonitions and warnings seriously (Matthew 18:5-6).  We believe He loves us, wants the best for us and our kids, and that His best is found by obeying & trusting Him.

Education In General:  As Christian parents we believe the ultimate goal is to bring glory to God in everything we do, including how we educate the kids He gives us.  To us, this translates to providing them a distinctly Christ-centered education . . . with the Bible as the core curriculum.  We believe education is at its best when it provides the resources, encouragement and discipline necessary for our kids to discover God’s plan for their lives, and equip them to fulfill that plan.  We believe God entrusts specific children to specific parents for specific reasons.  We also believe God made boys and girls equal in value, but different in roles and natural aspirations . . . and thus different in educational needs.  Because the above ideas conflict with popular education, home education was the clear choice for us.  The priority of our home discipleship was not academics, but we do believe academic achievement can help prepare kids to glorify God.  We believe it is critically important in today’s world to be able to read, write, speak and “calculate” with excellence, so this is our academic goal.  We also believe introducing our kids to “real life” early in their lives is important; so we have resourced & encouraged them in entrepreneurial undertakings . . . in which they have thrived.

Graduation:  Since our philosophy does not follow the “scope & sequence” approach of institutionalized education—but aims to develop a lifelong love for learning—graduation is not especially relevant.  However, because so much is made of graduation in our society, and we don’t see it hindering our kids in any way, we decided it best to “do as the Romans”.  We call our home education program Bowes Academy, graduate the kids when we believe they are ready for a significant step towards adulthood, and issue a diploma to reflect this.  We prepare transcripts to show what they have studied/mastered along the way.  For our boys, we require a good score on the SAT test to keep options open for college.  For our girls, if we or they thought college was likely in their future, we would also require a good score on the SAT.

College:  Our belief in God’s different design for men & women is most evident in our views regarding college.

Men . . . by God’s design are the primary providers, protectors, and leaders of their families.  We believe God wants us to prepare our boys to be fatherly, masculine providers & leaders even if they never marry nor have children.  We believe this makes it possible (but not certain) that they will need additional education at some point.  Thus we require a good SAT score to graduate and will help with additional education as God leads.

Women . . . by God’s design are the primary helpmeets and managers of their families.  We believe God wants us to prepare our girls to be motherly, feminine helpmeets even if they never marry nor have children.  We believe this makes it unlikely that college will be necessary.  Remarkably, though the most likely occupation for Christian women is still wife/mother/home manager, many are shocked or disappointed if they hear that this is the aspiration of a young lady.  We believe the role of wife/mother/home manager was designed by God as the most important, fulfilling, and God-honoring calling of Christian womanhood (Titus 2) . . . and we’re thrilled that our daughters aspire to this calling!  After graduation, we will help further prepare them for this through ministry to their family, church & community -and- continuing experience in business.  We believe both of these will prepare them for managing a home, supporting a husband’s provision, or providing for themselves while honoring God’s beautiful design for Christian womanhood.

Our dear Pastor Dean was on to the fact that Kyle, Caroline, Valerie and Victoria
 are quietly "graduating."
So he briefly recognized them at the end of the church service yesterday,
and blessed them with prayer and some special books.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

6 Years in the Making . . .

 . . . . and then out-of-the-blue, Valerie got a HUGE surprise/blessing this week!!
Yesterday morning, she got a call from sweet Carolyn,
our precious friend (who happens to work at Centralia Orthodontics :-).
They had a cancellation pop-up (which she said hardly ever happens!)
 And so, Carolyn wondered if Valerie would be interested
in coming in a month early (THAT SAME DAY!) to get her braces off!!!   
We could hear Valerie squealing in delight,
as she thought about it for a moment
jumped at the chance!!!  
Carolyn, is the most precious of friends!!
We are soooo grateful that God used being a patient at the orthodontist office,
to plant the seeds of our special friendship years ago!!!  
Top braces put on!
August 2008
 Valerie had a need for braces because there wasn't enough room in her mouth for all of her adult teeth to drop down.  She had one impacted tooth that eventually had to be exposed by an oral surgeon in order for it be pulled down.  She also had to have seven baby teeth pulled in the beginning, and  had an expander installed for awhile to try to widen the top area.  So, she's been through a lot to try to make room for all her teeth in her small mouth! : -)   
August 18, 2008
Night before braces were put on almost 6 yrs. ago!
June 18, 2014
Braces off!

"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart . . . "
Proverbs 15:30
It was definitely a good reason to celebrate!!!
We took Carolyn and Valerie out to dinner at our favorite Chinese food restaurant!

Carolyn, thanks so much for making that awesome phone call yesterday,
for celebrating with us today,
and for being the sweetest, kindest most thoughtful, caring, faithful, joyful, thankful, fun-loving,
 Godly, praying friend anyone could ever have!!!
You are such a blessing to all of us!
We love you sooooo much!!!   
Sparkling cider as a de-banding day gift from the orthodontist's office!!
"Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights . . . "
James 1:17a

Monday, June 16, 2014

2014 Father's Day Camping Weekend ~ Part II

Saturday was an extra special day, as we got to spend some time with Richie and Lydia who were also vacationing nearby, celebrating their 2nd wedding anniversary!  Woo hoo!! 
Lots of reasons to celebrate and eat chocolate cupcakes!!!
Happy Father's Day, Lydia's Birthday, and Richie and Lydia's 2nd anniversary!! ;-)
Saturday morning, we drove across the Astoria bridge back into WA to meet Richie and Lydia at the North Head Lighthouse State Park.  
 It was such a pretty day!
 Looking at the beautiful view while we waited our turn to go up into the lighthouse.
 The few who were able to go up into the lighthouse
 (couldn't go if you were wearing flip-flops, if you were under 7 yrs. old, or a dog ;-)
on the original, spiral staircase.
I copied this information from the WA State Park site
for those of you that might like a bit of the history of the lighthouse:

"On May 16, 1898, the North Head Lighthouse was put into service as the primary navigation aid at the mouth of the Columbia River. The Cape Disappointment lighthouse had served this function since October 15, 1856; however, ships continued to run aground at the "Graveyard of the Pacific." Due to the sheer number of shipwrecks, it was determined a second lighthouse was needed on the northwestern spur of Cape Disappointment, commonly referred to as North Head.
Present Day
Today, the North Head Lighthouse still stands as a sentinel overlooking this treacherous body of water, the confluence between the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean. The North Head Lighthouse is still an active aid to navigation, although the lighthouse keepers who once tended the flame have been replaced by an automated beacon. The lighthouse offers sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, Long Beach Peninsula, Columbia River Bar, and the northern Oregon Coast."
The little bro getting a lift by the BIG bro on the walk back.
 Back at the campground,
we did all of the fun things there are to do there, all over again!
In the evening, most of the family
enjoyed playing volleyball for about 3 hours!!!  
(Our campsite was overlooking this area,
so it was convenient for Brielle and Mommy to watch right from the camper!)
 And the awesome playground right next to the volleyball court kept Ben and Joe happily busy!
All packed up and ready to head out!  
 Then, on to one of Daddy's favorite things to do . . .
 We made it out to the tide pools right at the lowest tide!
We have never seen soooo many starfish!!


 After our time at the beach, the kids treated Daddy to his favorite seafood lunch at Mo's!!!
 And we just had to go for our annual family surrey ride and photo!
 Ben and Brielle were the official wavers.
 Awww . . .
What a great time we had, celebrating our awesome Daddy!!!! 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

2014 Father's Day Camping Trip ~ Part I

Have blueberry bars, will travel!
 Daddy loves going on trips with the kids!
So naturally, his favorite thing to do for Father's Day weekend,
is to pack up the camper and the family,
and head for the KOA in Warrenton, OR.
This has become somewhat of an annual Father's Day weekend tradition, 
as it is a great place for all ages of kids . . .even if it's raining!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
First things first . . . .
the menfolk getting our campsite ready . . .
 in just a wee bit of rain and wind.  ;-)
Hold on tight, Timmy!

 Have no fear, the giant is here.  ;-)
Five little monkeys . . . .
taking cover in the camper.
They have a nice indoor swimming pool that came in
real handy when it rained most of the first day.
 BIG brothers are so awesome!

Benjamin is just now deciding that the pool might be fun!
 There is also a couple indoor recreation centers.
Another great benefit of being a quadruplet . . .
you always have four people to play doubles in ping-pong!

Daddy coaching Valerie on her first try at playing billiards!
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Timmy and Benjamin sporting the latest in camping fashion!  ;-)

 Another great thing about this KOA campground is that they offer FREE pancakes every morning!
(Well, that might be changing after our family enjoys
their all-you-can eat pancakes for a few mornings! ;-)
 The pancakes were HUGE!
 After our big breakfast, we played this fun game . . .
 Pretty proud Mommy to get two of the strings on the top row (barely)!
 and many others in the other recreation center.
 Caroline was a very happy camper when she saw that there was even a piano to play!
We discovered that Victoria has some natural basketball skills!
"Benny Bear" with a bear!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
They also have this awesome bounce pillow . . .

and a nice sand volleyball court.
The family is getting LOTS of practice!
We also enjoyed watching the big ships travel down the Columbia River
just before entering the Pacific Ocean!  
This one is carrying lots and lots of logs!!
Then, a little bit of exploring!
Back at the campground for a campfire . . .  
 and smores!
 And after playing hard, everyone crashed!
Lots more pictures from Day 3 today,
 and I'm sure many more tomorrow . . . .
in Part II!
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