31 March 2017

8-year doctor’s appointment

We had Avery’s annual doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. I was curious to see how she’s grown over the past year. Here are her latest stats:

Weight – 46.8 pounds, an increase of almost 5.5 pounds since last year (between 10th and 25th percentile)
Height – 46.25 inches, an increase of 1.75 inches since last year (between 3rd and 5th percentile)

Nurse Janie commented that Avery is 46 squared – 46 pounds and 46 inches! While Avery is small, she continues to grow appropriately according to the growth chart. And that’s all that matters!

Dr. Roscoe said we need to continue discussing scenarios with her. She needs to know how she would handle emergencies, stranger danger, and other common situations where she might find herself.


30 March 2017

27 March 2017

2017 brackets: Elite Eight update

Don't you love watching underdogs win? I sure do! This was a thrilling Elite Eight round. Shirley has pretty much secured the trophy this year (her first victory since we instituted the sparkling gold trophy!). Avery was actually very close to winning this year. If Florida had held on, Avery would have been fighting for the trophy with Grandma.

Here are the latest rankings (in order of ESPN points standing):

Shirley
0-4 in Elite Eight
43-17 overall

Chris
0-4 in Elite Eight
44-16 overall

Karen
1-3 in Elite Eight
38-22 overall

Teresa
0-4 in Elite Eight
38-22 overall

Jon
0-4 in Elite Eight
38-22 overall

Connie
0-4 in Elite Eight
35-25 overall

Avery
0-4 in Elite Eight
33-27 overall

Damon
0-4 in Elite Eight
17-43 overall


25 March 2017

2017 brackets: Sweet Sixteen update

I'd venture to say this was the most exciting Sweet Sixteen round in several years. So many close games. And brackets are busted all over the place, thanks to losses by Villanova and Arizona.

Here are the latest rankings (in order of ESPN points standing):

Shirley
5-3 in Sweet Sixteen
43-13 overall

Chris
3-5 in Sweet Sixteen
44-12 overall

Teresa
4-4 in Sweet Sixteen
38-18 overall

Karen
3-5 in Sweet Sixteen
37-19 overall

Jon
3-5 in Sweet Sixteen
38-18 overall

Connie
3-5 in Sweet Sixteen
35-21 overall

Avery
3-5 in Sweet Sixteen
33-23 overall

Damon
0-8 in Sweet Sixteen
17-39 overall


23 March 2017

21 March 2017

BSF 2016-2017: John 18:1-27

Jesus led His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. He chose to go to the place where He knew Judas would find Him. Judas brought a detachment of soldiers (up to 600 men), officials, and chief priests with him to arrest Jesus.

Jesus asked the soldiers who they were looking for. When they responded, “Jesus of Nazareth,” Jesus responded, “I AM.” He was proclaiming His position as God. The soldiers fell down at Jesus’ glory.

After the soldiers picked themselves up, Jesus again asked who they were looking for. Again, He said, “I AM.” Jesus commanded that the soldiers let His disciples go. He was trying to protect His disciples.

Peter drew a sword and cut off a servant’s ear. Jesus rebuked Peter and told him to put away his sword. Peter was demonstrating his rebellion against the will of God. Jesus healed the servant’s ear.

The soldiers arrested Jesus, bound Him, and took Him to Annas. Annas was the former high priest.

Jesus was in full control of this situation, and He was in full surrender to God’s will. Jesus accepted His Father’s will and submitted to it. Jesus did not fight against God’s will. He knew God was in control. And He knew there was no other way for us to be with God unless Jesus died on the cross.

Annas led the Jewish trial against Jesus. It was an illegal trial for many reasons, including because it was held at night, Annas asked self-incriminating questions of Jesus, and Annas should not have led the trial.

Peter and another disciple were in the courtyard and witnessed Jesus being transported from Annas to Caiaphas. In the courtyard, a servant girl asked Peter if he was a disciple of Jesus. Peter said he wasn’t. More people in the courtyard asked Peter if he was a disciple of Jesus. Peter said he wasn’t. A relative of the servant whose ear Peter had cut off told Peter that he saw him with Jesus. For the third time, Peter denied knowing Jesus. Then the rooster crowed, reminding Peter of Jesus’ prediction earlier that night.

At the same time that Jesus willingly faced God’s plan, Peter was fearful and denied knowing Jesus. When we are focused on fear, we are led astray from Jesus.

Things to Think About
  • Jesus was not a victim of circumstance; He was a victor.
  • Jesus willingly let Himself be arrested and willingly subjected Himself to unfair trials, leading to an unjust crucifixion.
  • Do you deliberately choose to accept and submit to God’s will, even when it involves suffering, pain, and loss?

This Week’s Memory Verse
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11 NIV


20 March 2017

2017 brackets: Second Round update

Wow! What a Second Round that was! There were some tight games and great upsets. Chris and my dad are looking pretty good with more than 40 winners guessed correctly. The girls in the family are in the middle, even Avery! And poor Damon is pulling up the rear.

Here are the latest rankings (in order of ESPN points standing):

Chris
13-3 in Second Round
41-7 overall

Shirley
12-4 in Second Round
38-10 overall

Karen
10-6 in Second Round
34-14 overall

Jon
9-7 in Second Round
35-13 overall

Teresa
10-6 in Second Round
34-14 overall

Connie
10-6 in Second Round
32-16 overall

Avery
9-7 in Second Round
30-18 overall

Damon
3-13 in Second Round
17-31 overall


18 March 2017

2017 brackets: First Round update

Honestly, I haven't gotten into the tournament so much this year. I've barely watched any games, so Chris has kept me apprised of the scores and standings. The first round went pretty well for everyone. It's a pretty tight race right now...well, except for Damon who lost his champion already!

Here is our first update of the tournament (rankings are in order of ESPN points standing):

Chris
28-4 in First Round

Shirley
26-6 in First Round

Jon
26-6 in First Round

Teresa
24-8 in First Round

Karen
24-8 in First Round

Connie
22-10 in First Round

Avery
21-11 in First Round

Damon

14-18 in First Round


16 March 2017

15 March 2017

2017 brackets: Our picks

The tournament begins tomorrow! So tonight we completed our brackets.

Since this was Damon's first time to join the friendly family tournament, we captured the momentous occasion on two videos.




Damon's First Round picks




video
Damon's Final Four picks




video
And Avery couldn't be left out of the fun. Here are her Final Four picks.

For the full picture, here are our four brackets:




Chris




Teresa




Avery




Damon

Good luck to everyone!


14 March 2017

BSF 2016-2017: John 17

In this week’s passage, Jesus prayed aloud to God. He had a conversation with His Father, out loud, and invited His disciples to enter God’s throneroom. Jesus prayed for Himself, for His disciples, and for all believers.

Jesus’ prayer for Himself was that He would glorify His Father and that His Father would glorify Him. What does it mean to glorify God? To give Him honor and respect, to reveal who God is to other people. Christ brought the Father glory by completing the work God gave Him to do. This work was to make God known on earth.

Jesus gave eternal life to everyone the Father had given to Him. Jesus considers believers to be gifts from God.

Jesus knew He belonged to God, and He lived accordingly. He brought glory to God with everything He said and did. We should do the same. We should live as Jesus’ treasured possessions.

Jesus’ prayer for His disciples was that they would be protected and sanctified. Jesus was going back to the Father, but the disciples were staying on earth. Jesus asked God to protect the disciples by His name, by His nature. Jesus asked God to protect the disciples from Satan. Jesus asked God to sanctify the disciples, to set them apart for God’s holy use.

Jesus noted that the disciples were in the world but not of the world. To be in the world is to be present in the world. To not be of the world is not to follow the world’s system in regard to belief, behavior, and standards. Believers are present in the world but don’t have the same beliefs, behaviors, and standards of the unbelieving world. God called us to live in the world but to be so different than the world that people would be drawn to God through our words and actions.

Jesus prayed that all believers would be unified – one message, one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God. We should be unified on the essential truths of the Christian faith.

Things to Think About
  • Jesus’ prayer for Himself was that He would glorify His Father and that His Father would glorify Him.
  • Do you desire to bring God glory? Do you ask God to glorify Himself through you?
  • Jesus’ prayer for His disciples was that they would be protected and sanctified.
  • Jesus’ prayer for all believers was that they would be unified.
  • Is prayer your first resort or your last resort?

This Week’s Memory Verse
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3 NIV


13 March 2017

Here we go!

I’m sure you know that we’re quickly approaching the National Chris Clark Holiday. This special four-day holiday commemorates the start of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. How do you plan to celebrate? Chris will be doing it with pizza, wings, and hours upon hours of basketball games on TV.

Once again, we’re hosting a family bracket challenge. This will be Damon’s first year to complete a bracket. I can’t wait to see what he does with that! This year’s bracket is a tough one, so I’m not sure that I’ll be able to retain the trophy.

Will you join us in our bracket challenge? Complete your bracket online and join our “C2 Family Group” in the ESPN Tournament Challenge. As always, we’ll keep you updated on our results throughout the tournament. May the best basketball fan win!


10 March 2017

Smile for family pictures!

Whenever Casey and family are visiting, we always take some “formal” family pictures. It’s fun to look back at these photos and see how quickly the family has grown and changed! Luckily, all of the kids were in good moods and were happy to cooperate for some fantastic pictures.




Front: Caden, Mike, Damon, Connie, Avery
Back: Shin-ya, Casey, Elvie, Chris, Teresa








09 March 2017

07 March 2017

BSF 2016-2017: John 16:5-33

Jesus warned His disciples that they would experience grief and trouble in this world. But He promised them that their grief would turn to joy and that they could live victoriously because Jesus has overcome the world.

The disciples were grieved at the thought of Jesus’ leaving them. Jesus told them it was better that He go away. That way He could sent the Holy Spirit to live with them and all believers.

On earth, Jesus was limited to being in one place at one time. But the Holy Spirit is omnipresent – he can be everywhere at one time.

Jesus explained who the Holy Spirit is and what He does.

  • He leads and guides believers to the truth of God.
  • He lives inside of all believers.
  • He teaches and reminds us about the truth of Scripture.
  • He proves the world wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment.
  • He convicts believers’ hearts when we sin against God.
  • He glorifies Jesus.
  • He gives gifts to each believer.

Jesus reminded the disciples that He was leaving them, but they would see Him again in a little while. The disciples questioned what this meant. Jesus did not ignore or rebuke their grief and sorrow. Instead He acknowledged their sorrow and put everything into a big picture perspective.

He warned them that what was to come (His arrest and death) would be a trying time for them. But He promised to see them again, both after His resurrection and eternally in heaven. Jesus told the disciples they would weep and mourn as the world rejoices at Jesus’ death. But their sorrow would turn to joy when Jesus arises from the dead.

Jesus reminded the disciples that they can pray directly to God the Father. He said that they will receive anything they ask in Jesus’ name. This means praying and asking for things in God’s will, according to God’s Word, and for God’s glory. The Holy Spirit enables us to pray in this way.

The disciples confessed their belief in Him. Then Jesus told them they will be scattered. Jesus promised that we will have trouble in this world, but He also promised that we can have peace in Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Things to Think About
  • We are living in a world filled with troubled times. But God is always faithful to us.
  • We live our lives to the glory of God by relying on the Holy Spirit’s help.
  • Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you, to help you, to guide you into God’s truth?
  • Jesus provides everything believers need to live a victorious life in this troubled world.

This Week’s Memory Verse
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13 NIV


02 March 2017