Horn Happenings

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Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Over!

Folks, it's over. The Philadelphia Phillies are the World Series Champions! First time since 1980. Lots of celebration in the Horn House!

~John

Tonight

Tonight is the night. Three games victorious. One game not. One game with a rain suspension. And tonight, the second half of that suspended game is to be played. For one team it means the first time in 25 years to win the World Series. For the other, it gives them a chance to go back home, and play another game. Who will win? Go Phills!!!!

~John

Monday, October 27, 2008

Toy Soldiers



A couple days ago I purchased a number of toy knights, and I've been enjoying playing with them. I was thinking about toy knights, and toy soldiers, and thought I'd share my thoughts with you.

Over the ages, countless boys have played with toy soldiers. There have been hundreds of types of figures of all different materials, from handpainted metal, to cheap factory made plastic. What is it about a toy soldier that appeals to a boy? Well, as a boy myself, I might have some insights.
First, it is appealing because it gives you control over the men. You can move them where you want. You can make them look like you want.

Second, they appeal to the war-like nature which is present in all boys. It is more prevalent in some, but it's there in all. There is an urge to fight, to participate in battle, and most of all, (of course) to win.

So what are the benefits of playing with toy soldiers? You can learn a lot about warfare by using toy figures. You can see why a flanking move is successful, how useful artillery can be, and how long-range weapons compare to short-range weapons. You can also learn how problematic communication can become on a hectic battlefield.

Another benefit is that it enables us to reenact the battles of the past. While reading a dry textbook might be boring, who wouldn't want to go explore how army A successfully manouvered around army B, by acting it out with army men?

Anyway, that's what I think about toy soldiers. What do you think?

~John

Sunday, October 26, 2008

World Series - Game 4



Tonight is game four of the World Series, and the Fightin' Phils are 3-1 after tonight's win. Last night was a nail-biting game, which finally ended with a win for the Phillies. Tonight was another great game. The picture is of the Phillies pitcher, Joe Blanton, who usually can't hit a lick, but tonight put a run on the board witha solo home-run. Final score, 10-2. We're looking forward with great anticipation to tomorrow night. If the Phils can win, they've clinched the World Series. If not, they go back to Tampa Bay (they're playing in Philadelphia) to try and finish up. Go Phils!

~John

Zambya

Today after church meeting we heard from a man who has been visiting our church. Recently he has become involved with an orphanage in Zambya, Africa. He showed a small video, and then a Power Point presentation. It was very interesting learning about the country, and the efforts of ministries. I found out that there are 1.2 million children left parentless by the AIDS virus. A ministry by the name of All Kids Can Learn Zambya has started an orphanage compound named Village of Hope. Village of Hope is building small cottages that can house 8-10 orphans and a live-in housemother.

It was a very interesting, and very touching presentation, and it made me remember just how good of a life we have in America, and how easy we forget the sufferings of Christians in other countries. By the way, here's a fact to give you a perspective. The average income in Zambya is $395.00 a year. To learn more about Zambya and the Village of Hope, you can visit the two following sites. A blog, or the ministry website.

~John

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Work Around the House



Today's work project was painting the picket fence which encircles our side porch. It's gone several years without a freshening, so it was in dire need. What with chipping paint, rusty nails, and what not, it wasn't looking it's best. So after a couple hours of hard work (mostly shaded by trees) we completed the front side of the slats. I love painting. It is such a good feeling to see discolored, stained slats of wood become beautiful and fresh-looking. It's a satisfied feeling. Anyway, that's what we've been doing. Hopefully we can finish the other side on our next Saturday work day.

~John

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Well...

Ahem. Let's just say, it was an interesting game. As you might guess, the Phillies did not come away victorious. However, there's still five games left. Go Phillies!

~John

World Series - Game 2



Right now we're watching the second game of the World Series, in which the Phillies, (our home team) are 1-0. Unfortunately, they're losing against the Tampa Rays four to zero. As you can imagine, there's a lot of excitement in the Horn household right now. We'll keep you posted on what happens.

~John

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Changing Color?

Well, Autumn is back. At least, that's what the calendar says. Weather in San Antonio just isn't quite fall-like. But hey, it was only 85 degrees yesterday. Compared to 95, that's not too bad. With the evenings getting shorter, and the nights getting longer, I'm thinking about the piles of red, golden, and brown leaves that used to grace our lawn back in New Jersey.


There's just something about that beautiful bit of color, that makes a day go so much better. It makes you feel cozy, and reminds you of warm apple cider. Although we don't get much (or any) color here, there are some advantages. For example, a longer season for outdoor activities. The volleyball nets are coming down back in NJ, but here, well, let's play! Another benefit is that raking is a non-existent activity in our yard.

Of course, I get to mow instead. :) We actually still have some tomatoes on the plants out in our little garden. What's your weather like? Are you putting on sweaters, or are you getting ready for another game of volleyball? Drop us a comment, and let us know!

~John

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Vision Forum Catalog!


Well, folks, the new Vision Forum catalog has arrived, and is hitting mailboxes at this very moment! And there are a lot of new products. New books, audio products, and videos. And especially toys! There are tons of new toys. From communicator watches, to secret spy glasses, to Sergeant York Rifles. The toy I'm most excited about, though, is Vision Forum's new Amphibious Tank.

It travels on land and water, has a powerful remote control, and shoots
air soft pellets! Now do you know why it sounds like fun? In fact, the tank has won the 2008 Vision Forum Staff Award. I can't wait to get one for myself. Just think of the toy soldier battles you could have with a tank that can move on carpet, grass, and just about any other surface.

I can remember experiences of getting little cheap tanks at the Dollar Store. Not only did they not look very good, or shoot anything, but I can remember getting so annoyed because they wouldn't move on any kind of rug or carpet! Not very helpful when you're trying to sneak up on an enemy army. Plus the Amphibious Tank has four cup holders, and makes a perfect caddy for a cup of lemonade across the pool.

This year the video department has produced a bunch of fun little commercial/demos for some of the toys. They're a lot of fun to watch! Some of the new products with video demonstration are the Morse Code Communication Kit, the Thomas Edison Light Bulb Kit, the Amphibious Tank, and the Classic Knights Collection. (I think I'm going to have some fun this year). Why don't you check them out at VisonForum.com

~John

Monday, October 20, 2008

Free downloads every day on Behemoth.com!



~John

Friday, October 17, 2008

Does the World Know Where You Stand?




In San Antonio, one spends an inordinate amount of time behind the wheel traveling around this geographically-sprawling city. Whether driving to church, work, the grocery store, music lessons or running other various errands around town (or should I say, region?) countless hours are spent every week traversing the streets of this city and its environs.

While out driving over the past several months, I’ve noted the numerous bumper stickers and yard signs cropping up all over the city expressing the ideologies and political leanings of its inhabitants. McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden signs and slogans vie for attention along the busy highways and quiet, tree-lined neighborhood streets. Both signs cause me to cringe.

Recently, while traversing a particularly sign-filled street, I remembered that our own country yard was bereft of any sign communicating our political beliefs. With my father’s blessing and a quick trip to Baldwin08.com that situation is currently being corrected. Our sign is on its way.

I know it’s not much – posting a sign in our yard supporting a man for President that most people have never heard of before - but perhaps it will open up dialogue with neighbors, or simply serve to remind other fellow drivers that one does not have to vote for a Marxist this November.

Chuck Baldwin is a man who believes in the Constitution, who loves the Constitution, and who would uphold the Constitution if elected. And that, my friends, is more than I can say for either of the other two candidates.

This November 4th, I alongside of my father, will cast a vote for Chuck Baldwin for President. We would encourage others to think through the election issues whether they be Biblical or Constitutional, and join us in voting for a principled candidate. Either way, the world, and our neighbors, shall know where we stand.
~Cara

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Compelling Video

We saw this clip on YouTube, and were so glad to find someone in the Congress who felt like we do. Congressman McCrotter hit the nail dead on when he said that we are giving up our liberty for comfort. And that comfort won't last for long. This is such a compelling video that I wanted to put it up for you to view. A+ for the Congrssman!




~John

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Christian Filmmakers Academy


Last year I went to the Christian Filmmaker’s Academy, a project put on by the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (SAICFF). Because one of my interests is filmmaking, I enjoyed the academy a ton. I learned a lot from many different aspects of filmmaking. That’s one great thing about the Academy, it covers so many different approaches of film. And believe me, there’s a lot!



Some of the things I learned about last year were sound design, lighting, 3D modeling, new cameras, and different techniques. Mr. Phillips, Mr. Botkin, and his son, Isaac Botkin, gave a tremendous symposium on Walt Disney, the man. Walt Disney was probably the most influential man in filmmaking of all time. He developed new technology, and always pushed the bar of excellence a little higher each film. Another amazing part was a lecture given by David Rasmussen, a high-altitude camera-man, who shared his experiences climbing and filming Mount Everest! Also discussed was the theology associated with filmmaking, and why, how, and when we should make Christian films.



I really enjoyed it last year, and I hope to go again this year, to learn even more. If you are interested in filmmaking, why don’t you come? This year, January 5-7, the 2009 Christian Filmmakers Academy will be held. There’s a lot of new exciting stuff, including in-depth analysis of the two new movies, Fireproof and Expelled. To learn more about the upcoming Academy, go here, or visit the website at independentchristianfilms.com. I think it’ll be a great experience!




~John

Monday, October 13, 2008

Morning Glories and Picket Fences



Morning Glories and picket fences. Don't you think they go together?



~DL

Friday, October 10, 2008

California Travels


Tim, Uncle Steve, Dad and John at Torrey Pines State Park


As John mentioned in a few previous posts, our family recently traveled to the sunny State of California. Visiting Dad's brother who lives in the hills surrounding San Diego was the main impetus for this family vacation. We reveled in the quiet, relaxing pace of the week, carefully balancing sight-seeing expeditions with long hours of reading, talking, swimming, ping-pong matches and rousing games of Pinochle.

Spending time with my uncle, visiting the beautiful San Diego area and swimming with my family in the Pacific Ocean made the straight-through 19-hour drive from San Antonio worth every minute. Let me warn you though, if you ever contemplate this drive across our southwestern states, be prepared to see a lot of one color: brown. It's everywhere you want to see. : ) Oh, and for those who are firmly convinced of imminent overpopulation, perhaps a nice, long drive through West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona would help quell your fears. This Jersey girl has never felt so completely alone before on a road trip. Uh, just how many miles is it to the next gas station?


Following our delightful week in San Diego my family started the trek home, kindly allowing me to spend an additional week in California visiting a dear friend near Los Angeles. As she did during my last visit 3 years ago, Lydia one again gave me the grand California tour. In addition to visiting several places of interest, I was greatly blessed by the conversation and fellowship offered by Lydia and her family. Whether baking apple pies together, hiking in the nearby hills, or dialoguing late into the night, every moment was a sweet reminder of blessed Christian friendship.


After 2 weeks in California, the Lord allowed me to return home refreshed, invigorated, grateful for time with family and friends, amazed at the beauty of His Creation, and yes, even sporting a California tan. : )


~Cara



A friendly reminder at an Arizona rest stop



Tim, Uncle Steve and Cara viewing the Pacific at La Jolla Cove



Lydia enjoying The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Announcing!!!!

Announcing!!!! A new Christian Online Download Store launched today!



Behemoth.com, released today by the Vison Forum, is the biggest step in Christian online media in a long time. And if you sign up right now, you'll get a free $5.00 credit. Check it out! Go here to learn more.

~John

Can You Guess?


What plant do you think this is?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

La Jolla Cove


Another place we visited was La Jolla Cove, a beautiful place on the shore line. It was quite crowded, which reduced some of the fun, but it was still neat to see. There were lots of gulls on the rocks watching the crowd. After spending some time there, we went to a spot where we could go on the beach. It was actually rather cold, much colder than we were expecting. Becuase of this, only some of us went into the water. One fun thing was that they allowed bonfires on the beach, so we had brought some wood with us, and had a blaze. It was great to be next to a warm fire, looking out over the Pacific Ocean! Below are a few pictures.

~John
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Fire on the beach.
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Waves at the La Jolla beach.
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A colony of gulls taking it easy on the rocks.
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At La Jolla Cove
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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Vice-presidential Debates

On Thursday the highly anticipated Vice-presidential debate took place, between Senator Joe Biden, and Governor Sarah Palin. I thought it was interesting to understand a little bit better what they believe in. It was not only interesting, though, it was scary. To think that one of the men they each represent will become the next President of the United States is disheartening. However, putting aside their qualifications, that’s not the only thing I saw. They both were falling over each other in saying how they will help the government get involved even more in all sorts of things.

We have become such a country, that we expect that the government should be involved in every aspect of our life. One example is when Sarah Palin explained how much she wanted the government involved in helping special needs children. Helping special needs children is great. If you want to give a sacrificial gift to an organization for special needs children, that’s wonderful. But it’s not wonderful for the government to take your money, and give it to the same place. One is called freewill, and the other government spending through taxation.

I think there’s one thing that we, as a country, have lost sight of. We have elections every two years for senators. They give campaigns, promises, and try to make themselves likeable. Then we elect them, and they go to Washington. The minute they get there, they think that all accountability is gone. They do whatever they want, pursue their own agendas, and don’t even consider what their constituents want them to do. The sad thing is that most people don’t care, and the same politicians get re-elected again.

That’s one reason why people have been surprised at the response of the common people to controversial bills. Two come to mind. The first one is the highly discussed immigration bill, trying to allow special “z-visas” to illegal aliens. The second is the Bailout Bill just passed in the senate, and now going to the house. (Unfortunately, senators didn’t listen to those who they supposedly “represent”, and they passed it anyway). I want you to understand, that my family is not the standard-bearer. We probably haven’t contacted our representatives nearly as much as we could, or should have. But I think we can all work on getting some accountability back into Washington.

~John

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bailout Bill

Some very interesting things are going on in the financial world right now. With the stock market falling drastically, the government has decided that they need to step in and solve everyone’s problems. Enter the Bailout Bill, which just passed in the senate, and will soon be voted on in the house. $750 billion dollars to buy up bad loans from the banking industry. At first that might sound good. But does it? First let’s look at it Biblically, and then practically. Biblically, whose job is it to fix the problem? The Bible teaches that we are responsible for our actions. If we give out bad loans, then it’s up to us to take care of it. The main jurisdiction of the government is defense of the country, not giving everybody money. Not to mention the fact, that guess where this money is coming from? Taxpayer’s pockets. Of course, if you want to give your money to the banks who are struggling, you’re more than welcome. But that’s up to you, not the government to tell you. I’d love to hear from you if you agree, or if you think differently. Just drop us a comment. If you think that it’s not up to the government, then a great way to tell them that would be to contact your representative, and tell them that you don’t want the Bailout Bill passed.

~John

Coronado Island


One place we went to on the California trip was Coronado Island. To get there we had to take a short ferry ride from San Diego. It was such a beautiful island! We walked around the island for several hours just looking at the different architecture designs of homes, and at the beautiful views of the ocean. We were surprised at the number of homes for sale. (If you've got a couple extra million it would be a great place for a summer house). There were all kinds of different types of houses: Victorian, North-Eastern, Southwestern, or Tropical would be just a few. It's definitely a tourist island, but thankfully we were there in the off-season, so there weren't many other people on the streets. Below are some pictures. ~John
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Walking around.
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No town is complete without a thrift store!
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Beautiful view of the ocean.
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