Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jon's CollegePlus! video essay

Hey guys!

I have made this video for the CollegePlus! essay contest.
(if you don't know what CollegePlus! is, watch the video!)

The subject is explaining how CollegePlus! offers
the flexibility to have real-life experience in your field
of choice, all while earning your degree.
(if you want to find out more, watch the video)

Part of this essay contest is getting the most views by
the end of Sunday, March 6th.
(watch the video!)

The other part is a re-enrollment scholarship,
 which is awarded by a panel of judges.
(still, watch the video!)

So, support the local business, (excuse me, blog author!)
and watch this video - pass it around, post it on your blog or Facebook wall,
(button below) and we'll see how far it gets!

Thanks for watching!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grace's letter to the editor

Grace had a letter to the editor published today

On Feb. 23, in the year 1945, the American flag was raised on Iwo Jima. My great-uncle Bill Rose fought on the island while still in his teens, so the battle holds special significance for me.

During the strategic battle of Iwo Jima, 6,822 American soldiers died and 19,217 were wounded. The Americans who landed on Iwo might not have fully known the seemingly insurmountable odds they were facing, but they truly understood the greater cause for which they were fighting. The world of future generations - the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the soldiers - depended on their actions.

Here are some of the amazing characteristics of the battle of Iwo Jima:

* Iwo Jima was the first place an invader's flag ever flew over Japanese home territory.

* One hundred thousand men were fighting on a tiny island one-third the size of Manhattan. For 36 days, Iwo Jima was one of the most populated 7.5 square miles on earth.

* Every Marine, everywhere on the island, was always within the range of Japanese guns.

* Historians described U.S. forces' attack against the Japanese defense as "throwing human flesh against reinforced concrete."

* There were no front lines. The Marines were above ground and the Japanese were below them underground. The Marines rarely saw a living Japanese soldier. The Japanese could see the Marines perfectly.

* The battle was ultimately won by the inch-by-inch tenacity of each soldier.

We must never forget the sacrifice and dedication of those who make our country great. May God bless America and may He bless the families of those who paid the ultimate price for our country.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our little excursion....

Yesterday I brought Grace and Melody with me to Lansing for the day.
They had several assignments to do for Ambassador League.

After lunch, Mr. Wingrove took a picture of us outside the Boji tower.

Also, since it was such a nice day outside, and had just snowed,
I took a couple pictures of the Capitol Building - here is the best one:

We had a great time together and got much accomplished!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

George Washington's 279th Birthday

Everything's easy after it's done;
Every battle's a "cinch" that's won;
Every problem is clear that's solved--
The earth was round when it revolved!
But Washington stood amid grave doubt
With enemy forces camped about;
He could not know how he would fare
Till after he'd crossed the Delaware.

Though the river was full of ice
He did not think about it twice,
But started across in the dead of night,
The enemy waiting to open the fight.
Likely feeling pretty blue,
Being human, same as you,
But he was brave amid despair,
And Washington crossed the Delaware!

So when you're with trouble beset,
And your spirits are soaking wet,
When all the sky with clouds is black,
Don't lie down upon your back
And look at them. Just do the thing;
Though you are choked, still try to sing.
If times are dark, believe them fair,
And you will cross the Delaware!

Joseph Morris

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Moon...

The moon was amazing on Friday and Saturday nights!

Here is a neat picture I was able to capture - 
I thought it turned out quite well!

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
Psalm 19:1

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A neat opportunity.....

Here I am in Lansing with fellow Student Statesmanship Institute
alum Jonathan Williams, a tax policy expert who now works for
the American Legislative Exchange Council in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Williams travels around the United States sharing
insights into fiscal policies for policymakers.

Mr. Williams and I

I had the great privilege to sit down with Mr. Williams over coffee to talk 
about different political issues and common interests. 
It was a very unique opportunity to be able
to pick the brains of a successful person working in the policy world!

-An interesting note:
Just this week Jonathan Williams was featured in a front-page article of 
USA Today concerning the legislative situation in Wisconsin. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lots of good memories...

Our visit with the Palazzolos...

We really enjoyed having some time to relax and have time
together to play, work, eat, study the Bible, pray, and sing.

Benjamin and Anna

Playing "predicaments and remedies"

The little girls love having another older sister....

The ladies having their customary tea party...

Everything looks so good!

All the kids

Our two families!

We had a great time fellowshipping with the Palazzolo family,
and can't wait until the next time we can visit with them!

"Two are better than one; because they 
have a good reward for their labour. 
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: 
but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; 
for he hath not another to help him up."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun and Fellowship

Packing 21 people into the house has been a fun
and exciting task! Especially when it is the Palazzolos!

5 girls on a couch!

Two J's: Julia and Joshua


Since the Palazzolos don't get to go skating much, 
we spent a lot of time on the ice.

Adelina and Mary

"Get that puck!"


"Go, people, Go!"

Teamwork or friendly rivalry?

"He's breaking in, he shoots!!!......"

The boys had their customary jamboree......

Look for the next post tomorrow.......

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Our dear friends the Palazzolo family came up
and surprised us last week!

They came during an orchestra practice at our house, so
when we came out to the garage to play ping-pong,
there they were!

*speechless for a minute*
"Ok, I'll admit, that was a total surprise!"

*Grace held this pose for about 60 seconds!*

Then the media interviews started.....

"Did you have any suspicions?
Really? You didn't?!"

Sweet fellowship

Lots of catching up to do!

What a crowd!

"How about 84 English Muffin Pizzas!"

(By the way, thanks to Jon and Olivia for these great pictures!)

More to come in later posts.....

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Today Grandpa was gluing Mary's shoe,
and it struck me kinda funny!

Looks like a porcupine to me!

- Posted by Jon using BlogPress from his iPod touch

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa's 50th Wedding Anniversary

Today we celebrated Grandma and Grandpa Birchard's 50th
wedding anniversary as a family.

We went out to eat for dinner

The happy couple!

Here are a few family group pics:

We are very thankful for Grandma and Grandpa, and hope 
God will bless them with many more years together!

"Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their fathers."
Proverbs 17:6

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

While in Grand Rapids for the fundraising breakfast,
Mr. Wingrove very kindly took me and several other guys 
over to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

-The group-

In the museum's replica of the President's cabinet room. 

President Ford's Oval Office

I had a wonderful time at the Ford museum, and highly recommend
paying a visit anytime you happen to be in Grand Rapids! 

Breakfast in Grand Rapids....

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to Grand Rapids
and hear two former presidential press secretaries speak 
at a fundraising breakfast for the
Michigan Political Leadership Program.

My favorite speaker was Dana Perino,
former press secretary to President George W. Bush.

Mrs. Perino giving an interview to WGVU

Dana Perino and I

I had a great time helping out a great cause
and hearing two excellent speakers in the process!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A surprise visit....

Our dear friends, the Palazzolos, surprised
us (the kids, that is), by coming up for
a visit!

We had a wonderful time of fellowship
with them, and enjoyed doing many
enjoyable activities together, as
will be evidenced by the next couple
of blog posts!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guess Who? Challenge ANSWERED -- February 2011

Just to recap...

The Guess Who? Challenge will run once a month, and will be
a post of an old picture of...well, give your best shot at it!
Leave a comment with your guess of who is in the picture, and the answer
will be revealed a week after the original post.

ANSWER: This is picture is of ME (Grace),
taken probably in 1996, when I was 3.

Sorry I was late in getting this up...
we have special friends visiting and are
really enjoying our time with them!
More to come about that...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Skating with the Bambricks....

Yesterday we had the Bambrick family over 
for a time of skating and fellowship!

We had  great time together!

A group shot

Joseph and Chad's birthdays are both early in February!

We had a wonderful time of fellowship, 
and are very thankful for Christian friends!