And, by special request, “some dudes in turquoise.”

Yesterday, I received a text from our friend “Alex” that said:
“You guys mentioned in your ‘orange’ post that I like orange, yellow and turquoise, and that’s definitely true. I’m not sure why, but bright colors just make me happy. Since you’ve already done orange and yellow posts, how about some dudes in turquoise?”
So… the eleventh in our series of “colors” posts is turquoise. Thanks for the suggestion, Alex. You’re right – bright colors make us happy, too!

Hey, guys. It’s Ben. We’re still “self-quarantined” here at Table Rock and honestly, I’ve never been happier. All the kids – and a bunch of the gang are here and while we sometimes miss our “real homes” we love living at the lake. We’re hoping and praying Scott, Denise, Cal, Alex and Raef will be joining us next Sunday. Some things I want to mention:
1. A special thought about our friend “ray.” He commented on our “brown” post, saying: “As an afterthought, your splendid isolation at the Lake might well produce some sort of “Decamerone” situation…When I was 13 and wanted to read it (because of interest in the pest, mind you!) I was denied access at the public library because it was considered “unfit” for minors…Long, long time ago!” That got me thinking about my own experience with reading “Decamerone.” I was 22 at the time and it was assigned reading in a “World literature” class I was taking. It’s an amazing book – and very timely right now. I admit I struggled some with it at age 22 and can’t imagine what reading it would have been like when I was 13. Thank you, Ray!
2. In addition to our base curriculum, I have a huge amount of latitude in teaching the kids down here. Last week, we got a do-it-yourself kit and built a drone. It was a challenging project and the kids loved it. Of course, after it was built, the kids wanted to fly it. Carol had told us she’d made chocolate chip cookies for us – so the kids took turns flying the drone over to Jim and Carol’s place. Each time the drone arrived over there, Carol would put two cookies in the carrier and the “pilot” would fly it back to our school. Tra and Dub are experienced drone operators so they helped the others with their maiden flights. When we were finished, we had cookies and milk to celebrate. YUM. Experiences like this are the reason I became a teacher.
3. Finally, I want to mention a really cool web tool I think some of you would like. It’s and it’s free. Using it, you can set up on-line meetings with friends, family or whomever. It’s free, and using it, you can “meet” with a bunch of people at the same time. Everyone who is at the “meeting” can see and hear everyone else and it’s a whole lot like sitting around and talking in person. All the Northland gang are using it now and it lets those separated by the coronavirus problem feel like we’re together. Fred, if you haven’t tried it, you should – for “meetings” with your son and his new wife.
That’s it for now. We’re thinking about you guys and praying you’re safe and well. We’ll get through this! xoxo Ben

Dude. What can “brown” do for you?

The tenth in our series of “colors” posts features a bunch of horny dudes who give us a new appreciation for what we might normally think of as “plain old brown.” None of our CCC mentioned brown as a favorite color, but if you ask us, it’s dark and rich – like a great cup of coffee. . Oh, and babe, you’ll want to look closely before you identify the “Jingle plant” of the day 🙂

We have good news about some new Table Rock residents. Scott, Denise, Cal, Alex and Raef have all moved into cabins over at the fishing lodge where Chad and Raef normally stay when they’re here at the Lake. They’re now in the 5th day of their self-imposed 14-day quarantine. They’re practicing “social distancing” and taking their temps twice each day. So far, so good… and if all continues to go well, they’ll join the rest of us on April 5th. We haven’t told the kids about it because we know how disappointed they’d be should anyone start showing symptoms. We’re quietly planning a big “Palm Sunday” party. In the mean-time, they’ll all continue to “Skype” with the kids daily.
We hope you’ll keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days!

Obviously, some real men do wear pink!

The 9th in our “colors” series brings us a bunch of dudes who apparently feel their masculinity isn’t jeopardized by putting on (or taking off) pink clothing items. At this point, we don’t know whether we’re nearing the end of our “colors” series – or just getting started 🙂

Dub, Tra and Austin have been wanting to go fishing ever since we’ve been at Table Rock. We didn’t do it last week because we didn’t feel comfortable out on the lake with the 3 adults to 6 kids ratio. But since Keon and Rick are here now, we decided to go out in search of crappie yesterday afternoon. We took the pontoon boat and, of course, Chad knew exactly where to go. It was great fun and we caught 17 fish – which made 34 nice filets – some of which we had for dinner tonight. It was Chance and Matty’s first time to try fishing and they did pretty well… despite spending a lot of time being “hung up” in the underwater brush piles. Bella was a real trooper – and is kind of…sort of getting over her aversion to “cutting off the poor fishes heads.”
This “social distancing” thing ain’t all bad… not when you’re spending the time hanging out at the lake with your best friends and six amazing little people!