Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Blessed Nativity!

That's Orthodox speak for Merry Christmas!! We've been at home with our family enjoying a very laid back holiday. We spent the end of last week with my parents and my brother who was visiting from Florida with his girlfriend, Michelle. They graciously helped me make 30 graham cracker houses and wrap 30 gifts for my kindergartners. We celebrated Christmas with them on Friday. Saturday we spent the day at home, then Sunday and Monday we spent with the Greene's. It has been relaxing to not be running around, although I really miss seeing my family in Michigan for Christmas. Our gift highlights this year were XM satellite radio for Brian, cashmere for Michelle, and the kids had a pretty big year. Elijah got a digital camera and guitar. Mary got her own harmonicas and 2 princess dresses. They also got sleeping bags from my parents and we have already used them every day. What fun! I only have a few pictures because I left my digital camera at my in-laws house, so we took most of our Christmas morning pics. with our 35 millimeter camera.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Since I sent out our blog address in our Christmas Letter

I thought maybe I should update it this month! We have been busy enjoying the Christmas hustle bustle and the quiet reflections as well. Mary and Elijah are so fun this year. They, like all kids, are excited about getting presents, but they are so aware of the fact that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday. I have to say, I know it isn't a popular idea, but I think it helps that Christmas at our house is not about Santa. Elijah has really matured this year. Last year it was really hard for him to understand when the other kids at daycare kept telling him about Santa and his parents kept insisting that Santa is pretend "and don't say anything to the other kids!" This year he has been able to enjoy things like Rudolph for what it is--pretend and keep his yapper shut about it to the other kids.

As this week comes to a close I will be so glad for a break from teaching. I have always loved being a teacher and many years have felt like, "Sure I'll take the break, but I don't really NEED it." This year--I need it. I will be so happy to hang out in my pjs and watch movies. We will be traveling to Cleveland, OH to see Brian's family over New Years', Brian and Dallas are recording their album (due in April), but other than that we are doin' a whole lot of nothin'!!!
Ooh, that reminds me. We haven't watched Charlie Brown Christmas yet this year.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanksgiving Pictures

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with the LaCombe and McKee clans. We got to play with cousins and the highlight was making gingerbread houses.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A visit to the farm

Last weekend we went on our 3rd annual fall visit to the Krantz farm near Logansport. The Krantz's are some wonderful friends from church who invite people to enjoy the splendor of midwest fall at their home. There are a group of college students who go with us every year. We always look forward to this trip. Elijah and Mary were so excited to feed the chickens and ride on the wagon. We went hiking, cooked our food over the fire and listened to campfire music from the SmallTown Heroes (aka Brian, Dallas, and Bethany)--check out their new myspace account www.myspace.com/thesmalltownheroes.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Soccer is done!

Here was Elijah's last soccer game. He loved being the goalie, but this particular day there was a lot of action in the sky that was much more exciting than the game! After the game was over we went over to the YMCA to get his trophy. After the game we had lunch with Gramma and Papa and he carried it with him into the restaurant to show them (and everyone else who happened to be dining at Culver's!).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Fall Tradition

It was a beautiful fall day (although pretty chilly) and my grandparents came to visit. SO, what better thing to do than go to a Pumpkin Patch? I am taking my kindergarteners this coming week, so I thought we'd go check it out. The one we went to was in Benton County and it was just perfect for us. It was not anything really professional, it was at somebody's house, but it was cool enough to keep us busy for 2 hours and (super bonus) not that crowded. They had a petting zoo in their barn with a calf, piglet, llama, donkey, sheep, goats and ducks. They had a big bounce (who doesn't love that?) and a barrel train. Do you know what that is? I didn't. Its a bunch of old barrels that have been cut on their sides and given a seat, steering wheel and two wheels to ride on. They are painted different colors and pulled by a little tractor to seem like a train! I got to ride it too. Of course the highlight was riding in the big wagon out to the pumpkin patch and picking our own pumpkins.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The power of time

Today Brian and I were out on a Sunday afternoon motorcycle ride with some new friends from church who were "leading" the ride. We ended up riding around the north end of the county in the Battle Ground-Delphi area where we used to ride all the time, but not so much anymore. I was moved so much by the flood of memories of all the places we've been and things we've done together in our 10 years together. We drove down the road where we test drove our first car--the one we drove all night to Myrtle Beach for the summer just weeks after we bought it. It was a beautiful fall day a few years ago that we took a Sunday ride down those windy back roads just weeks after I gave birth. It's an amazing thing to share your life with your best friend. There really aren't words to describe those feelings.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sick Days

I got the dreaded call the other day. I had to go pick Mary up from daycare because she was sick. Her eyes were draining pus and the skin all around her eyes was so red it looked like someone punched her in the face. I took her to the doctor yesterday and come to find out, all the systems on her face were infected. She had drainage coming out of her ears, nose, and eyes. Three antibiotics later plus albuterol treatments for her lungs and 24 hours later she is like a new girl! Today I stayed home with just her and we had the best time. She was still too sick to go to the sitter, but she was well enough to play here at the house. We played dollhouse, trains, read books, I even got to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and took her for a stroller walk. By late afternoon after her nap, I decided we should go to the grocery store before we went to get Elijah. She was an absolute angel. I hate to say that I like sick days, but I really do appreciate the focused time I get with one of my children at a time when they are so needy.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Family Time

So, its been a while since I've had the energy to even surf the web let alone plug in my camera and write something witty or entertaining. Our new life keeps us so busy! There have been several positive aspects of my working full time. In fact I know that God is using this situation for good in our lives. 1. Brian is taking on more responsibility with the house and kids 2. Elijah is learning some good social skills at his daycare with lots of kids 3. we are more intentional about our time together as a family when we are together. These are some pictures of what we've been doing.

We've become a real outdoorsy family recently. The last two weekends we've strapped our bikes to the back of our minivan and gone riding at Prophetstown State Park. Elijah is getting pretty speedy on his Harley Davidson bike. We're thinking about buying this thing that attaches his bike to an adult bike to create a tandem so that we can try going a bit farther. He does good for a 4 year old, but we'd like to try a bigger adventure.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Buzz Lightyear Birthday Bash

The birthday party was a success! Between family and friends we had almost 30 people in our house. Elijah had a really fun time!! Some of his presents were: a Woody to go with Buzz, a remote control Buzz Lightyear car, new soccer equipment,a Buzz Lightyear spaceship, an easel, and Superman sheets, books, clothes, dinosaurs, and a power tool.

Friday, August 25, 2006

life in the fast lane

So, I finished my first full week of school. I can't decide if I am tired, exhilirated, or both. My class is amazing! I love these kids already. I can't remember a year feeling like I connected as well with so many of the kids and their families. On the flip side, there is always a lot of stress surrounding the first week of school. Almost half of our teaching staff is new this year, we are adding more sections of kindergarten next week and its been my job as the new "queen of kindergarten" to run around insane trying to make sure everyone is acclamating, finish testing the 40 kids whose parents decided not to bring them to kindergarten screening the week before school, and now figure out which kids are going to get moved from AM to PM. Two weeks ago I wasn't even out of my jammies by 9 am and then it was straight to swim suit. Now I am super "career mom," seeing my kids between 5-8 pm. I think I am shifting gears pretty quickly!

Stay tuned for scenes from Elijah's Buzz Lightyear Birthday Bash. Coming this Sunday.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A few more vaction pics...

A few more vacation pics thanks to Bob-O. This is the gang (minus my mom and dad) on our last day.

Here's the loot from the fishing trip. Over 100 lbs. of Lake Michigan salmon and trout. Brian and Everette cooked it for us on our last night. Yum!!

This was a night we went out to the state park to watch the sunset. We were actually a few minutes too late, but we got to see a pretty moon rising instead.

Here we are sailing on my parents' boat, FLYER.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Well, here goes...

It's our first web log! I am finally getting in the game and posting updates to our family and friends. My first attempt will be to add a few vacation pictures. We had a wonderful week at Lake Michigan with our family. We stayed in a house next door to the marina where my parents' sailboat is docked. We went sailing, fishing, swimming, and had an amazing visit!