Thursday, November 20, 2008

Woe to the Zeglens by Sarah

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have suddenly realized what a dismal prospect it is going to be this year. It has taken my slow brain a couple of months to realize that this year one vital member of the Zeglen family will not be joining the rest of us for Thanksgiving. For the first time in 22 years (almost 23) Stephen Zeglen will not be here for Thanksgiving. I don’t know how we will manage without him this year. It will not be nearly as exciting and enjoyable with Stephens’s absence. We will miss him greatly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Eric Liddell Rocks by Sarah

I recently finished reading a great biography on Eric Liddell: Pure Gold. Of all the biographies I have read on him this one surpasses them all. Through the inspirational movie “Chariots of Fire” many people know a little bit about the famous Scottish runner who ran for the gold medal in the 1924 Olympic Games. The movie only provides a small glimpse of the man Eric Liddell really was. In Pure Gold you get to discover the real Eric Liddell, the man who gave up his athletic career to go where God was calling him. I love how this book does not totally focus on Eric’s athletic achievements but rather his mission in China. In all that he did with his life, Eric Liddell strived to honor God with everything he did.

This was one of the best biographies I have read on anyone. I highly recommend it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Birthday Surprise by Mary

Dad's 29th birthday was November 1st and, for his birthday gift, the 3 oldest girls planned a surprise. The Saturday after Dad's birthday, Mom sent him out to drop Peter off at Lego League and then go to the nearby Wal-Mart. About 1:00 p.m. Dad started shopping, and we planned to surprise him at Wal-Mart around 1:30 p.m. After we arrived at Wal-Mart, Mom called Dad and asked where he was on his shopping list (so that we could find him in the store and kidnap him). We found Dad in the electronics section facing away from us. We snuck up behind him and tapped him on the back. He turned around and he saw 3 girls holding homemade FBI identifications. We asked him to come with us and, after loading mulch into the car, we told him to get on the interstate going toward home. On the way to our destination, Susie played "High School Musical" music in the car. We directed Dad to the Rave movie theater and he dropped me off to purchase our tickets. He was convinced that we were seeing HSM3, but we told him that
we weren't. After we took some pictures in front of the Madagascar 2 posters, we covered his eyes and took him into the movie room. While we were waiting for our feature presentation, Sarah and I bought Raisenets (Dad's favorite candy) at the concession stand. Dad was right about what movie we went to see - High School Musical 3 Senior Year. After the movie, we went over to DQ and got some dinner and blizzards. After we had stuffed ourselves with ice cream, we went to Wal-Mart again to buy the HSM3 soundtrack :-).
The End...until next year

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fireproof Review by Susie

Fireproof: A Must See Movie

Sunday evening, October 26th, we went to see Fireproof at the Rave Theater. It was EXCELLENT!!! We can't recommend it more highly. "Wait," you might be thinking, "Why is this a 'Must See' movie? How can it be that good? Wasn't it a low-budget Christian movie" Even though it was a low-budget Christian movie, it had an exceptional message that was communicated very well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Book Reviews by Sarah

As the official book reviewer for the Zeglen blog, I’m going to start off with a new favorite author whose books I recently started reading.

In the past few weeks I have gotten Mom hooked on reading Randy Alcorn’s books. Currently we are reading his Ollie Chandler series: Deadline, Dominion, and Deception. Each book has great character development along with ideas about what heaven and hell will be like. In Deadline we meet three men who are in a car accident. One ends up in heaven, the other in hell, and the third wondering why he is alive and what happens after you die. Dominion begins with a senseless murder plunging the main character into a desperate hunt to find answers to this violence and to his own struggles with race and faith. I especially love how each of Randy Alcorn’s books pictures what heaven might be like.

NOTE: I have not read the final book: Deception. I gave it to Mom as her birthday gift and am eagerly waiting to read it.

Randy Alcorn also has two other exceptional fiction books: Lord Foulgrin’s Letters and The Ishbane Conspiracy. Both of these books are like modern day Screwtape Letters. In Lord Foulgrin’s Letters there is a demon writing to another demon telling him how to win a certain man and his family to the demons’ side. Interwoven in the letters there is the story of a man struggling to find answers to what he is supposed to do with his life. The Ishbane Conspiracy is about four teenagers who are being attacked by demons. Both books are incredibly well done.
Randy Alcorn is also well known for his non-fiction books. Currently we are reading through The Treasure Principle in family devotions. The theme of The Treasure Principle is, “You can’t take it with you – but you can send it on ahead.”

All of Randy Alcorn’s books are thought provoking and inspiring. I highly recommend reading them.

The newly appointed book reviewer by "The Committee"

The Zeglens have decided that the blog would benefit from a book reviewer. After some consideration and thought, the committee has nominated Sarah Zeglen to be the official book reviewer for the Zeglen Blog. The committee has found Sarah fully certified for the job as she has read many books in her lifetime. Her job as book reviewer will be to write reviews for our readers on a variety of books that she has read. We hope that you will benefit from these reviews.

The Committee

Surprises by Sarah

My 16th birthday was the birthday of surprises for me. It was quite fun.

The first surprise was a surprise birthday party while we were camping with our friends the Ruffs. I was sent out on a long walk with Taylor. When we returned everyone else was stuffed into the Ruffs’ little camper singing "Happy Birthday." They all had part of a sign that read “Happy 16th Birthday, Sarah.” I loved celebrating my birthday with such fun friends. It was very special.
The second surprise came the day after my birthday. While I was out shopping with Grandma everyone at home was busy preparing a WHITE birthday dinner for me. The meal consisted of chicken fettuccine, white rice, potatoes, and breadsticks. For dessert they prepared a Krispy Kreme doughnut cake. It was my dream birthday meal.

The final surprise came the next morning. Three of the girls had orthodontist appointments in Atlanta. The plan was to have all of the girls go down and make it a girl date by hitting the clothing outlets in Calhoun. After the appointment I thought we were proceeding to the outlets. Instead I was pleasantly surprised when we stopped at a tea room in Atlanta. This was the same tea room Mom took me to last year for my 15th birthday. It was very fun going back.

That ended the surprises for my 16th Birthday. I will have to be on the lookout for next year.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

High School Musical by Mary

Recently, the three oldest girls and Dad went to see High School Musical at the Chattanooga Theatre Center. We went mainly to see two of our friends who were acting in it. The show was very fun and we got discount tickets from our friends. Here is a picture of us with Cara (left) and Jamie (right)


Camping with buds by Mary

Since I never write posts without pictures, here are some pics from when we went camping with the Ruffs -

We had a great time, especially with Sarah's surprise, coke bottle experiments and other fun stuff. I am sure you will hear many other stories from other Zeglen bloggers, but I would like to tell you about a couple things that I found quite memorable. The first night we were there, Sarah and Taylor had some fun with the flashlights. What kind of fun? Well, how does swallowing and throwing up light sound? I have videos from this trick, but I cannot figure out how to load videos on here. Very sad, I know. Another fun event is when we went to the overlook at the park and took a gazillion pictures! Over all in this entire trip, I took approx. 1000 pictures!!!! I know that sounds a bit ridiculous. Taylor and I are both making slideshows with pictures from the trip, and I may (if I figure out how) post my slideshow on the blog!!

Mentos by Susie

On Saturday, while we were camping with the Ruffs, Taylor suggested the brilliant plan of blowing up a 2-liter of Diet Coke with a package of Mentos. Everyone thought it was a great plan, and when we went to Wal-Mart later we bought Diet Coke and looked all over for Mentos. They had Mentos gum, but that wouldn't work, so we high-tailed it over to a gas station and found Mentos there. Upon our return to the campsite, we put the Diet Coke in place and got ready to do our wonderful experiment. However, when we put the Mentos in, the bottle didn't blow up like we thought it would. None of us had ever done it before, so we didn't know exactly what to expect. Instead of "blowing up", it just spewed all the Diet Coke straight in the air in a foamy fountain form. After some debate, we decided that the reason it didn't really "blow up" was because we hadn't screwed the lid on all the way. So we went down to the camp store and bought two (expensive) 20 oz. bottles of Diet Coke. We still had enough Mentos to "blow up" both of them. Back at the campsite we tried it again, this time screwing the lid on all the way. We watched the foam build up, but it didn't blow up. Then we had to unscrew the lid, and it did it again. We tried one more time with the last Diet Coke bottle with similar results. Then the dads stepped in and said they could do it better. Uncle Theron put the last 2 Mentos in a Diet Pepsi bottle. (Since it wasn't Diet Coke, everyone doubted it would work.) However, it spewed the Diet Pepsi out just fine. It was really fun, and we ended up wishing Stephen and Kevin had been there to help us make more (somewhat destructive) experiments. We're looking forward to a potato gun next year. ;-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The 145th Chickamauga National Reenactment by Sarah

The 145th Chickamauga National Reenactment took place near Chattanooga this weekend. The reenactment did not actually take place at the Chickamauga Battlefield. Instead it was held in Walker County on an 849 acre piece of historical land. The reenactment did not officially open to the public until Friday morning. I had the opportunity of being a volunteer for the dance exhibition for the two school days: Wednesday and Thursday. Being a volunteer meant I was in full Civil War period clothing. The volunteers' jobs were to take kids from the audience and demonstrate authentic period dances. We had about 15 minutes to teach school kids how to dance a Virginia Reel or a Pat-A-Cake Polka. It was quite an experience.
On Friday when the reenactment was opened to the public Vice President Dick Cheney came and spoke. The Vice President's Great Grandfather, Samuel Fletcher Cheney, fought in the battle of Chickamauga. Samuel Cheney was a Union lieutenant with the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry throughout the Civil War. During the Battle of Chickamauga Lt. Samuel Cheney was an aide to Third Brigade Commander Col. William Sirwell.
It was a small national reenactment, but still very exciting. I had a great time being there.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Boston by Susie

On Sunday, September 7th, Dad flew out to Boston for a business trip. He was scheduled to arrive back home a few hours before small group was supposed to start on Tuesday, September 9th. Before he left, some of the children had an urge to remind him that his plane is always delayed when leaving Boston. And of course, the one time we really needed him to be home on time, his plane was delayed and then he missed his connecting flight. He didn’t get home until around 9:30 p.m. None of his wonderful children even thought about saying “I told you so.” ;-)

Events by Susie

Events, events, events!!! Saturday morning, after staying up late Friday night, Peter had a football game and then Lego League. Mom went out looking for a wrap to wear with her dress for a symphony performance she and Dad were planning to attend that evening. She ended up traipsing all over town and, in the end, she just bought a dress on clearance and a wrap to go with it! Then we went to a wedding way out past where we used to live - about 45 minutes away. Once we got there, the wedding was delayed for another 45 minutes, plus it was in a big field with the sun beating down on us, and absolutely no shade! After the wedding, we didn’t have time to go to the reception, because Mom and Dad had to get to the symphony. They didn’t get back from that until about 10:30, and we didn’t get to bed until 11:00. So, come Sunday, we were completely exhausted. We got to bed early Sunday night, which was really good. However, we’re still recovering.

Jukebox Junction Friday night by Susie

Last Friday night Grandma took us to the Jukebox Junction Theater. The first half was “Rock and Roll Revue” and it was pretty fun. In the first half, there were a LOT of love songs, and what they do is they come out into the audience to sing to you. Peter sat on the end of our row and, handsome boy that he is, he was a favorite. After two ladies came over and sang to him, he leaned over and remarked to Dad and me, with complete innocence, “The ladies love me.” Dad and I cracked up. It was so hilarious and ultimately cute. It was then passed down the row so that everyone heard it.

The second half was “Choo Choo Cha Boogie.” We didn’t think the second half would be very good … and it wasn’t. Some of us didn’t want to stay up that late, so we took two cars and planned on Mom taking some of us home after the first show. During the intermission, Mom was getting ready to leave, but Grandma stopped her and wouldn’t really let her leave. Since we were doing this as a favor for Grandma, Mom stayed. Ugh!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

for those of you who wanted to see it....

For those of you who wanted to see Sarah after she gained "a million pounds", here it is:

We had a photo shoot of her before she went on a diet so you all could see her in her new appearance.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Congressional Award by Sarah

Last Saturday was one of the best days in the week. It started off by the entire family going running. Afterward we decided to go out for breakfast at Chick-fil-A and then hit the stores so that mom could get some stuff done. We had a great morning. It was tax free weekend so we found some great sales. In the late afternoon we went to see Iron Man in the dollar theater. The best part of the day came when I arrived home. Waiting on the table for me was the Bronze Certificate for the Congressional Award. The Bronze Certificate is the first of 6 awards, given when you have set and completed goals in four different areas. The four different areas are: personal development, voluntary service, physical fitness, and exploration or expedition. For each level you set new goals and put in a certain amount of hours. For the physical fitness goal I trained to run a 5k in less than 29 minutes. On April 19th at the Chickamauga Chase I successfully reached my goal with a time of 28:20. For the voluntary service goal I have been volunteering at the Ooltewah Collegedale library. At the library I mostly shelve, scan, and clean books. For the personal development I got to do one of my lifelong dreams: I finally got to take a quilting class to learn how to quilt. During the 5 week course I learned how to do 5 different basic blocks that I got to put together to form a mini quilt or wall hanging. For the expedition Susie, Mary, and I went to the Chickamauga Battlefield for a day of hiking. It was a very eventful day filled with getting lost, figuring out the very complicated map, needing the restroom, walking, and having fun being together. That summarizes the first level of the Bronze Certificate. I am now very motivated to continue working hard for the next level. It was a great Saturday.

Woe to the Zeglens by Sarah

Alas for the Zeglens! The Garrisons have made it official: they will not be spending Thanksgiving with the Zeglen family. Yes, they are breaking a 12 year tradition. We are deeply disappointed. Yet we knew this was coming when Susan decided to go off, get married and have a baby. Can you imagine the nerve of her doing such a thing? Unfortunately, I can imagine it and thought it was coming sooner or later. As Thanksgiving approaches, the Zeglens will have to think of some new and fun things to do without the beloved G’s. The wheels in our little noggins are turning and some people have proposed having an early Thanksgiving with the G’s. Sadly, that still leaves us with an empty Thanksgiving Day. Also Thanksgiving will be even more dismal and empty as Steve will not be able to make it *sob*. Thankfully, we will still have Kevin *sigh of relief*. We will have to brainstorm for some new and exciting things.

Fall Camping Trip with the Ruffs by Mary

During fall break we are going on a camping trip with the Ruffs! Yay! We went with them last year and had so much fun! We will be staying at Monte Sano Park in Huntsville, Alabama. Here are some pics that we took from last year's trip:

Wednesday Night by Mary

Wednesday night we went to Coolidge Park and Clumpies with the Weichmanns. Here are some pictures I took while we were there:

We invited them to go out with us so Mom and Dad could discuss small group stuff. All the kids loved playing with Christian and Eden, and Mom and Dad had a fun talk with Fred and Christina. For those of you who do not know the Weichmanns, I will tell you about them. First, they are an amazing family we know from church. They also live in our neighborhood and we babysit their adorable kids (Christian, 2) (Eden, almost 1) on Tuesday nights so that Fred and Christina can go to Meg and John Day's small group.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A day in Knoxville by Susie

On Saturday, August 30th we all took a little road trip up to Knoxville to visit Kevin. It was tons of fun. First, we went to the Knoxville Museum of Art. That was enjoyable, although they had too many paintings/sculptures of nude people. Then we went out to eat at Calhoun’s, a barbecue place on the River. It had a really pretty view. After that we went to see the Indiana Jones movie, which, alas, was a horrible waste of two hours of our lives (we should have seen it coming). But, it was something that we wanted to do, and we got to be with Kevin, so it was okay. Then we drove home, ate a little dinner, and watched Numb3rs.

"The rain, rain, rain came down, down, down".... by Mary

Recently in Chattanooga, it has been raining like crazy, and our flat rubber roofs don’t like that. So yesterday when I was getting pencils from the bar (right under the stairs to the boys’ room) I felt a water drop fall on my arm. I looked up and saw many drops falling and there was a puddle on the floor and plastic storage drawers. I got Mom and we pulled down the stairs to find out part of the ceiling had fallen down and water was leaking in from outside. We set up buckets and towels under the leak (which was a hole where the ceiling tiles had fallen down) and Susie and Mom (I took pictures) went on the roof and found over a half a foot of water on the roof above the boys room! We have this problem a lot after it rains where the scuppers (gutter drains pretty much) get clogged and then water builds up (since the roof is flat). So Susie and Mom cleaned out the scuppers and the water drained fine, although we still have a ceiling with a BIG hole in it!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sprint Triathlon by Susie

The triathlon went great!!! Peter and Kathy had tons of fun! It was fun just watching them, too. Kathy was the cutest little runner ever. She was the youngest participant in the whole triathlon! They did really well, especially for being so young. They came in 17th out of 22 relays! Peter ended up doing the swimming, and Kathy ran with Sarah running alongside her to pace her. The Sutherlands were there cheering for her along with Mary, Mom, and me. Grayson and Grant Sutherland each did the whole triathlon on their own, and they also did really well. Everyone had a great time and we can’t wait till next year!

Triathlon training by Susie

On Sunday, August 3rd, Daddy took Kathy, Peter, and me (Susie) to the Chickamauga Dam to swim in the open water to help Kathy prepare for the triathlon on Sunday, August 10. Peter went just for fun (although, we were going to meet the Sutherlands, so I think that’s why he wanted to go), and I went to help show people where to swim, how far to go, etc. (I went out last year with a friend). We swam approx. 200 yards out, and then back. Kathy was all set to do the swimming in the triathlon with Graham Sutherland doing the biking and Peter running. However, Kathy got tired on the swim and got out a little bit early, while Peter completed the swim with a grin on his face. He then declared in the car on the way home that he wanted to do the swimming, and then Kathy decided (with some slight persuasion) ;-) that she wanted to run. Not quite sure how that’s going to work out….. We’ll post about it later.

Mother's birthday

Yesterday we celebrated Mom’s birthday; here are some pictures I took:

Singing to the Enchanted soundtrack

Tea themed desserts

Mini chocolate chip scones with clotted cream

mini chocolate molten lava cakes with turtle tracks ice cream

I baked Mom’s desserts Sunday afternoon and banished her from the kitchen so that she didn’t know what I was baking. I didn’t tell her because I wanted it to be a surprise and because the kitchen was a huge wreck since I was trying to bake two things at once! Kathy helped by picking the flowers from our yard (for decorations on the serving plates) and did some of the dishes and, of course, taste-tested. Susie helped by taste-testing, prep and cleanup. Later in the afternoon, Mom and Dad left to go buy groceries at Wal-Mart and we stayed home to do our own different projects. About 30 minutes after they left, Sarah walked in the kitchen and screamed, “AAHHHH we didn’t decorate for Mom! We are such losers (I am not sure why losers is the word she picked, but that is what she said)!” Then she started frantically bossing people around and decorating. We decorated and cleaned the den and dining room and put on “Celebration” as background music in the office. When Mom and Dad finally came home, we hid behind the sofa in the den and when she walked in the door we all jumped up and shouted, “SURPRISE!!!” (even though there wasn’t much of a surprise besides us saying ‘surprise’).

Picking blueberries with Sarah

Today we went blueberry picking and it was a blast. It wasn’t very hot and the blueberries were just waiting to be picked. We brought home a gallon of very delicious berries. Unfortunately they won’t last long in the Zeglen household.

A Typical Day for Sarah

Today was a very eventful day. First of all a bat fell down the chimney and hit Peter in the head. Then Kathy started screaming and wouldn’t stop. Mary made a very interesting meal that blew up in the oven. Yes, there was shrapnel, if you can call pie crust shrapnel. Susie wouldn’t stop saying the alphabet. She drove us crazy singing the alphabet song. I decided to go into a corner and eat rice all day and gain a million pounds. Mom was at an exposition during all of this and Dad was at a deacons meeting.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Family Beach Trip by Mary

Here are some pictures from our family vacation in June in Destin, Florida. We had a wonderful time filled with jellyfish, ice cream, poker, Wal-Mart, Panera, swimming Olympic trials, wine glasses, sunburn, snorkeling, mini golf, etc. We stayed in a townhouse (#10) that was located two parking lots away from the beach and the pool was just across our yard! I am working on a picture slideshow from the trip and one of these days I may post it.

Sarah's swim summer

Sadly summer swimming has come to an end for this year. Last week was the renowned City Meet. Everyone from the Zeglen household did a superb job. Unfortunately some of us were a little bit worn out from the plague that had hit the Zeglen house a week before the great City Meet. Despite the awful sickness several Zeglens still made it to the consolations or finals. Everyone did a great job at the dual meets this summer, many of us getting our name in the paper for high points. One sad bit of news is that this was the last year that there will be a Zeglen swimmer in each age group.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kathy’s swim summer

Hi, this is Kathy! Well, I’m going to tell you about my summer so far. I will start with swim season: it was fun. I mostly got first in everything I did. I lost 4 races: 2 times in backstroke and 1 time in butterfly and 1 time in free style. I never swam breast stroke. City meet was also fun. Susie got the high point award for our team, and Sarah got runner up. That’s the end of swim season.

Summer Sickness by Kathy

The summer sickness. Well, this story starts with Peter. He was the first person in our family to get it. He got all better in one or two weeks. Now Sarah’s sickness was almost the same story and she also got better soon after she got it. Then I got the sickness and the first words out of my mouth were, “I like plain Gatorade, not Rain.” I got better in a week and that is my summer so far!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First Post

As our family members grow and move out onto their own, we wanted to continue to stay close as a family by sharing the daily events of our lives in this blog.

If you’re reading this post, then – congratulations (!?) - we consider you part of our extended family! You, along with our immediate family, are a part of our history and we look forward to a future together with you.

But this blog is dedicated to our beloved Stephen and Kevin, the dear sons and brothers we miss so much!

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-20)