Friday, August 29, 2008

Before We Head HERE.....

I will leave you all with an update! I should be finishing the packing, but I decided to go ahead and update the blog since I've neglected it so badly in the last couple weeks!
We are heading to Topsail Island, NC sometime this evening and driving through the night. It should be about a 12 hour I'm anxious to get it behind us. We have rented a house just one block from the beach and will be staying for exactly a week. I'm SO looking forward to spending some time together as a family!

Now back to the past....I have been busy with babysitting. I was babysitting full time until school started, but now it's just after school care and piano lessons.. But still....that's enough for me! (No...I don't babysit Caroline....she just comes over so Lauren won't feel so out-numbered!LOL!)

We started back to school two weeks ago. I must confess, this year I didn't feel a lot of excitement. It was more a gritting of the teeth and will power! The kids were pretty excited about it though. As the days have gone by, it has gotten easier and I'm beginning to enjoy it again. I do love teaching....especially when it's your own kids. I love to see them learn!! We are pretty busy with our outside activities as well. Lauren and Michael are each in Music Class with the Academy, Lauren has piano lessons, Michael will be starting piano soon, and I will be starting Caleb in a library Storytime when we get home.
This week alone, we have had a lot of "lessons in Nature" Lauren put it. Earlier in the week, Lauren found LOTS of snails...22 to be exact....and the kids played endlessly with them. I almost pitied the poor things. They got everything from water dumped on them, to rides on the swings out back.

They are so cute, aren't they!

Last night, my neighbor Martha, came over and invited the kids to watch some puppies being born. What an offer.....we couldn't resist another "lesson in Nature"! The mother dog had already had three, and after MUCH patient waiting, #4 made it's appearance! They were SO cute!

Look how tiny they were in comparison to Caleb's hand!

Well, I better run. Until next time, I will enjoy the sun and sand for you all! LOL!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Meeting Kallie Renee'

Yesterday afternoon I went up the hill to Christ Hospital and met a very precious little bundle.....Kallie Renee'. And she is every bit as charming as she looks! I managed to interupt her afternoon snack, but she was very gracious and didn't seem to mind! She was awake the whole time I was there looking at me with very bright eyes. In fact she looked at me so much and seemed so comfortable with me as I was talking to Jenn, I DID wonder if she possibly could have gotten familiar with my voice from all the times she's overheard me chatting with her Momma! Who knows!
I was terribly charmed by her winsome personality!
Congratulations to a great friend, Jenn, and her husband Paul!!! and of course big sister Katrin!
You can read more about her here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Last week's fun....

Last week was a VERY busy one, but also VERY Fun! Our church, Kenwood Bible Methodist,had their VBS. The theme was "Galilee By the Sea" and was directed by Charlotte Frederick, the queen of VBS! (well, that's my opinion anyway!) We started each night in the sanctuary where they acted out a small Bible story skit and sang.
The kids were divided into "tribes" and I liked the way they put kids of different ages in the tribes together. Lauren was in the tribe of Judah and Michael was in the tribe of Reuben. After meeting in the sanctuary, the tribes headed outdoors to their own blanket for learning time as a tribe. This was when they went over memory verses etc. They also got water from the well, in the center of the Marketplace.
Our church yard was set up like the "Marketplace". All the workers were dressed in Bible times costumes. The kids could get water from the well, fruit from the market, (figs, olives, grapes, etc)or do a craft. They could choose a different craft each night. There was a shop where you could make sandals, a carpenters shop where they made a wooden Menorah, the toy shop where they made wooden boats, and also a stone carving shop. (where you could engrave your name and tribal name in stone....I mean a bar of Ivory soap!) There was also the Seaside playground where they played games as a team. The kids also visited the "synagogue" every night where they learned from Rabbi Jon as he read the scroll and explained things like leprosy, the Passover and much more. They also had a "bakery" where the kids were chosen to help make fresh brad each night. My kids were bouncing up and down with excitement every single day and would ask repeatedly WHEN was it time for Vacation Bible School???!!!
I had a lot of fun helping with different aspects. The first two nights, I stayed with Michael and Caleb's tribe and helped the tribe leader Mary. Two nights I worked int he sandal making shop. And Friday night, I worked at the stone carving shop. As you can imagine, it takes a LOT of volunteers and people working together to make everything happen. As each worker and helper was recognized on Sunday morning, I couldn't help but be proud to be part of a church that works so well together. I know I had So much fun helping and as I worked, it was obvious that others were having a good time as well. My kids learned so much and were sad when the week was over.

Michael in the carpenters shop making a Menorah.

Lauren just coming from the Fisherman's shop, where she made a cute fishnet craft.

Waiting in line at snack time....

At the fisherman's shop ready to make a craft......

At the market getting fresh fruit.....

The tribe of Reuben having blanket time.....

Lauren and the tribe of Judah....

Singing in the sanctuary

Caleb LOVED doing all the motions. Here Lauren is helping him....

One of the skits.....

Michael helping make fresh bread.....

Caleb working at the Sandal shop....

Caleb knows the motions....

Want to see more VBS pictures? click here.
A highlight of our week, was having Bro. Trouten over for breakfast. He was in this area for a little while, so we were privileged to have him come visit us. We got to know the Troutens a few years back when they lived here at campus. Our kids grew to love them VERY quickly and they have been some of our favorite people ever since. It's hard to see him without his "dear Alice". She has Alzheimer's and is in an Assisted Living Facility. I just LOVE the way he speaks about her and it's so sweet to see how lovingly he helps care for her and how he misses her so. It was truly a blessing to have him in our home and to hear him preach at our church on Sunday.

Thursday morning, I took my group of kids to Sawyer Point. I've been babysitting the Kelly boys full time, so we've been out and about just a bit more than usual. It's nice to go places and let the kids play....then my house doesn't get as dirty! LOL! We discovered this park a couple weeks ago and it quickly became a favorite. I can't believe I've lived in Cincinnati HOW long and didn't know about this park??? The play area there is HUGE, but I think the favorite place is the volleyball courts where the kids can play in the sand. We take lots of sand toys and plenty of Koolaid and just camp out for the morning. I even get to read a book.... sometimes!

Alex K. and his sand castles

Lauren getting buried in sand...

Michael and all his castles....

Lauren and her village....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lauren Turns 8!

Lauren turned 8 years old on the 25th! She was SO excited and had been counting down the days for almost a month. I, on the other hand, could only think repeatedly about how my first baby is already halfway to 16!!!! depressing! Anyway, we tried to make it a super-fun day.
She opened her gifts when Chris came home for lunch. Her favorite was a complete set of the "Liberty Letters". For any other Moms of 8 year olds out there, I highly recommend these books...they are SO interesting. They are somewhat like American Girl books, but they are Christian as well....just lovely! (published by Zonderkids)
After Chris got home, we gave her the big gift....a new bike! She was SO thrilled!

We spent the evening in West Chester. First, we stopped by to play minigolf. It was really fun...but it's amazing how long it can take a family of 5 to get through the course. It seemed like we were there a LONG time and Chris informed me we had just passed halfway! And he wasn't even playing. He made it his job to follow Caleb and help him get through the course. It was really fun and yes, we managed to hit a few balls in the stream running through the course!!

My little "Tiger" :)

A neat little car we saw parked by Cicis.

We had supper at Cici's pizza....Lauren's choice. And then headed home for cake. I didn't spend a lot of time on this cake since her party was still yet to come.

Thursday, we had Lauren's party. I invited the girls to dress up since it was to be a tea party. I even managed to stay up till almost 2 AM making dress up clothes so Lauren would have something new to wear. In about 2 hours, I had made 4 skirts and a blouse and a shawl....none of which I had a pattern for. You talk about FUN!!!!I felt like I had every bit as much fun as the girls. I, of course, got to serve the tea (I mean fruit punch)and pretended to be "Miss Manderly" I thought later it would have been really fun for the girls if I would have had the time to make a dress like Miss Manderly's as well. They drank out ot the little glass cups that came with the punch bowl. They talked and was so cute. Instead of cake, I purchased decorated cookies and brownies from the BonBonerie in O'Bryanville. Their decorated cookies are truly a work of art.

Her guests were: Caroline, Karissa, Brittany and Letha.

After having tea, we played some games. I turned on some fun music and they had a dance. ( I learned in Elem. Music Ed., it's called "creative movement") We ended the party by decorating flipflops for the girls to take home. I can't believe I forgot to take pictures of that.

Here's a close-up of the cookies. I got the two lions for the boys of course. Since it was a "girls only" party, I had Katrin come watch the boys for the afternoon and they had a wonderful water balloon fight. But they still got the cookies and punch