Archive for August, 2009

Our children have started school for another year. Katie and Desire’ started school on Monday.  They are officially in High School.  Ana, Alia and J.J. started Wednesday.  Here are pictures of Alia’s and J.J.’s first day.  Can you believe it?  J.J. is in Kindergarten.  Alia is in the fourth grade and Ana is in the seventh grade.

John

J.J. and Alia are ready for their first day of school. J.J. and his kindergarten teacher. J.J.'s first day at kindergarten Alia in her fourth grade class room. Alia at her locker.

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Our project for the summer, has been building a new retaining wall in our back yard.  It has been a long hard process, with quite a few weeks of no work because of other activities, and hot weather.  We are, however, making progress.  Here are some pictures of our blood, sweat, and tears.

John

Katie filling the wheelbarrow with dirt. Backfilling the first tier of the wall Ana leveling the backfill. Part of the first tier. Desire' hauling cement retaining wall blocks. Ana dumping a load of fill dirt.

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I did my first computer animation. I decided I would like to try animating part of the Mandelbrot Fractal.

Our computers run on Ubuntu Linux; and I used the following software to do my little project:

  • I used “Fraqtive” to display the fractal screens.  I recorded each screen shot seperately using the screenshot utility that comes with Ubuntu.
  • I then animated the screen shots using ImageMagick’s “animate” tool
  • I recored the animation with “gtk-recordMyDesktop”
  • I then assembled the video using “OpenShot” video editor.

Here is the small video animation of a tiny portion of the Mandlebrot Fractal.

John

embedded by Embedded Video

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We made our second annual trek to Downpour Festival in Great Falls, MT  on Saturday, August 15.  Katie, Desire’, and Ana went with our church‘s youth group on Friday.  The weather was very very cold and very rainy; but the presence of God was very very warm, and the title “Downpour Fest” was quite appropriate in both the physical and spiritual realms.

On Friday, the youth say KJ52, Sanctus Real, and Decyfer Down.  On Saturday, we were blessed with Among the Thirsty, Lincoln Brewster, Plumb, Brock Gill, and Casting Crowns.  WOW!

Here are some blurry pictures.

Downpour Festival 2009 Downpour Festival 2009 Very Rainy and Very Cold Downpour Festival 2009 Wonderful Worship and Downpour Festival 2009 We kept warm by snuggling up under blankets at the Downpour Festival 2009 Downpour Festival 2009 Downpour Festival 2009 God's presence was awesome at Downpour Festival 2009 Worship at Downpour Festival 2009 Saturday evening ended with a spectacular fireworks display.

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Alia was born with congenital cataracts. She had the lenses in her eyes removed when she was a few weeks old.  Ever since then, she had to wear very thick glasses to compensate for her eyes having no lenses of their own.  We tried contacts for a short while, but they proved to be too difficult.

We have been waiting years for her to get big enough to have surgery so artificial lenes could be implanted in her eyes.  That time has finally come.  On Tuesday, Aug. 11, Alia had a new lens implanted into her left eye, and a week later, she had her right eye done.  When she is all healed up, she will still have to have glasses, but now they will be ordinary ones like yours and mine.

We praise the Lord for the wisdom He has given our scientists and doctors to be able to do this.  Even a few years ago, children born with this problem grew up nearly blind.

On our way home after eye surgery on Alia's left eye Alia sporting sunglasses to protect her "new" eye. At night, Alia wears protection over her left eye. With both eyes done, Alia wears protective shields over her eyes at night.

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Ana and her yummy pies!

Ana and her yummy pies!

Ana has really taken to baken lately.  She made us a wonderful cherry cheesecake pie and a delicious appricot cheesecake pie.  They were both VERY good.  A few days later she made us some yummy muffins and brownies. OHHH!

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Click to see our Photo Gallery

Click to see our Photo Gallery

I’ve gotten behind in updating our Photo Gallery.  This evening, I spent some time in doing just that.  Click HERE to see photos for the events from the last several months in the McDougalls’ Home.  Enjoy.

John

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Life Brings Tears, Smiles, and Memories…
The Tears Dry, The Smiles Fade, But The Memories Last Forever.

Desire’ had a friend, Aleah,  from California visit for a week. They wanted to design a tee shirt and make a couple for themselves to remember each other by.  After rounding up all of the supplies, here are their creations.  Click a picture to see it larger.

Desire, Aleah, and their new shirts. Desire, Aleah, and their new shirts. Desire, Aleah, and their new shirts.

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