Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Darn blogspot

For some reason, Blogger would not let me load more than those 5 pics, and now it won't let me add pics at all using the blogger tool. (Anyone able to solve this mystery for me?) So, I had to start a new post and use photobucket. Sorry these are in two posts, but here are some more birthday party pictures:

All the kids on the front steps as the first clue is read:

Lauren and Bella working studiously on their craft:

Can you tell these two became fast friends?

Here's the great thing about moving to David's hometown: five boys (all first or second cousins) aged 4 and 5 - here are four of them:

David and his mom:

The kids all hung their loot bags on the fence while they dug for the treasure - thought it made a cute picture:

Pictures from Jack's birthday party in PA

I decided I'll do pics from one PA trip event each time I post. Today's pictures are from the kids' cousin Jack's birthday party. Last year we happened to be there for Isabella's party (Jack's little sister), and this year our trip just happened to fall during Jack's! The kids had such a great time with the pirate theme. Jack's parents, Jason and Mary Esther, hid clues all over their backyard with little rhymes pointing the kids to the next clue. The kids had so much fun racing from clue to clue carrying their loot bags that they had decorated right before the hunt. The hunt culminated with the kids' taking turns digging for the treasure that Jason had buried in the garden and marked with rocks in the shape of a J for Jack. (They each had lots of turns digging as it was really quite buried!) When they finally reached the treasure (which was a treasure bax wrapped in a black trash bag to protect it, making it look a lot like a dead body buried in the back yard, lol), it contained tons of goodies: beaded necklaces galore, candy, games, gold coins, etc. Here are a few pics from the party in no particular order:

Isabella enjoying her ice cream cone:

Searching for the next clue:

Still searching:

Digging up the treasure:

Lauren wearing some of her loot:

(Those beads by the way were a lifesaver during the 8+ hours we ended up spending in the Dulles airport on Tues and Wed. We had over 20 of them, and Ethan and Lauren played with them for HOURS. David agreed it was okay for Ethan to wear them since he was being a pirate.) :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We're back!!

Okay, so technically we've been back for almost a week, but I am still trying to catch up with the world.

We spent almost a week in Pennsylvania exploring job options for David. Basically, he had an interview in Harrisburg that could not have gone better. Then we went to his hometown in northern PA (I'll leave out the name, but I affectionately think of it as "Not the end of the world, but you can see it from there, PA - no offense, family and friends who live there.) While we were there, David met with two different people about possibly going into practice with them, and both of those meetings went great. So, now that God has made it clear to us that it's time for us to head North, we're hoping he'll start closing a door or two to make it easier for us to decide which job to take. (If any of his prospective employers happens to read this, I am of course hoping that you will not actually close the door!)

It's amazing how much my perspective on the whole situation has changed in the past 21 months. That's how long it's been since we went for that fateful visit to David's hometown, and God blew us all away by giving me peace about moving there. (For those of you who haven't heard this long tale, I couldn't even say the word "Pennsylvania" without hyperventilating for the 6 years we were married prior to that fateful trip.) I still am not chomping at the bit to go because I hate to think of all I will miss . . . my family, our church, my kids going to the same Christian school I went to, stores, restaurants, civilization . . . but I really and truly have peace about it and feel like this is what we are supposed to do now. So, we are working furiously to get our house ready to put on the market, and at the rate we're going we should have a "For Sale" sign up by at least 2013. Actually, we're aiming for next weekend, but if you looked at our walls, you'd say we're clearly delusional. Unless, of course, royal blue permanent marker on a subtle beige background is the look you're going for . . . then, have I got just the house for you.

I'm going to post just a couple of pics tonight and perhaps more in small doses over the next few days. There are so many that I'm afraid you'll never come back if I post them all at once. That, and I'm tired.

Here's Lauren and her Granddad, to whom she was attached at the hip most of the trip:

The kids LOVED Grandmom and Granddad's garden:

Lauren at the Susquahanna River looking cute (I guess if I'm going to move there, I should probably learn to spell the name of that river, but I'm faaaaar too tired to look it up tonight!)

Ethan happy to be at Grandma's house:

Joshua and his Granddad:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

And, now for something completely different

A canadian woman has had her kids taken away because she twice drew a swastika on her daughter's arm. Check out this article.

I truly am as offended by the swastika as anyone and am appalled that any parent would teach such so-called "values" to her children, but to take her kids away?!?! To those who like to bemoan America's loss of personal freedoms, this makes me glad not to live in Canada. (No offense, Shannon and Christina, if you happen to be reading - I was just floored by this article!)

In the interest of fairness, I was also floored by this article about a decision by an American judge not to allow drilling for oil and gas in an area of lower Michigan:

Property ownership /interest issues aside, where do these people suggest that we drill? We are stopped at every turn from offshore drilling, and now China is drilling off the coast of Cuba. Who would you rather have drilling (because with the state of today's oil market, *someone* is going to drill), us with our state-of-the-art technology or China with their outdated technology that is bound to do much more environmental harm than our own processes would?

And, seriously, the drilling in Michigan is going to harm this warbler bird? Here's my question (posed to me by one of my brothers, and I agree with him completely): how does one reconcile an unquestionable belief in evolution and rabid environmentalism at the same time? Does it make any sense to believe that thousands, perhaps millions, of species have literally come and gone from the face of the earth, leaving only those who could adapt and survive, yet somehow those species who happen to exist today are indispensable and to be protected and preserved (by another species, mind you) at any and all costs? I can't quite wrap my mind around that. Anyone? (This question is also implied by what I think is one of the best bumper stickers I've seen: "I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian!") And, no, I am not an evolutionist, but I do have a sense of humor.

We now return to our originally scheduled mindless posts about my kids. ;)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Uh-oh, you're in for it now

I have succesfully figured out this video linking thing, so I apologize in advance. It's been awhile since the PA grandparents have seen any videos of their only grandchildren. Too bad their son didn't marry someone who could manage to mail them a dvd every once in a while, sheesh! So, here are a few videos:

This one is from our beach trip in May - Josh and Lesey the first time they realized they could "swim" in the ocean. Before this, they were just jumping and splashing. Granted, they a had to revert to dog-paddling, but hey, the waves were pretty decent.

This one starts out fuzzy and odd for some reason (can't imagine why considering the mad skills of the camera-operator), but then it's Ethan lying (laying?) in the surf. He was a bit timid about getting out into the water - this trip was in May, and he mastered swimming in a pool toward the end of June. He's super cute, though. :)

And, lastly, here's Lauren jumping in the holes the boys dug. Since she could not have been less interested in the water, this is the best I could get.

Lauren's tribute to American Idol

This is my first attempt to post a video. It's from about a month ago. Lauren was playing around with my guitar, so I decided to get the video camera out. About a minute or so into it, she randomly began singing about David Cook! Yes, we watch American Idol and are not ashamed to admit it. (Btw, please ignore the disasterous bedroom in which she is being filmed. If I could somehow edit out the mess that was in the boys' room that day, I would. *Head hung in shame*)

Thankful Friday

Why, you may ask, would I have a picture of a cell phone on my Thankful Friday list? Because it has been missing for three days! Now, I'm a reasonable and rational person, and I am fully aware of the fact that I got along just fine for multiple decades without a cell phone. Indeed, those who came before me got along just fine without phones of any sort for centuries. Nevertheless, I need my cell phone. And, I am BEYOND thankful that I found it. Where? Under my bed. Before today, I thought the last time I remembered seeing it was when I was talking to my dear friend Alison in my car on Tuesday. Today, however, I had a sudden and euphoric revelation, a vision you might say, of my delightful daughter sitting on my bed playing with the camera feature on my phone the other day. (And, no, she did not have permission to do this, but when has that ever stopped her?) Remembering this, I began pulling off sheets and blankets and finally, on my hands and knees, I found it . . . the holy grail. Okay, not quite, but it sure does feel like it.

Lauren got her first haircut this week. Yes, she has hair. Not rich, full, flowing locks like some girls her age have, but hair. The boys were getting haircuts and she kept asking if it was her turn yet. I asked the girl who cuts theirs whether she thought trimming it from time to time might help it thicken up. Sensing the opportunity to lighten me of 5 more dollars, she of course, said, "absolutely!" So, Lauren got her haircut. I have no picture of it, nor did I save a lock of the hair that was cut. Being the remarkably un-sentimental person that I am, it did not even occur to do this with either of the boys, so I figure I won't rub salt in the wound of having a thoughtless mom by suddenly becoming thoughtful and sentimental over Lauren's milestones. I'm smart and thoughtful that way . . . and maybe they'll spend ever so slightly less on therapy in years to come.

Other things I'm thankful for today:
  • Finding inexpensive tickets for our trip to PA next week so all of us will get to go.
  • That David has several job options possibly opening doors for us to move to PA soon. Am I thankful for that? Not exactly, but I am thankful that, against all odds, God has given me peace about it, and it is nice not to be a walking ball of anxiety and fear.
  • A hymn we sung in church last week, "O, God Beyond All Praising," which has a stanza that says this: "And, whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill, we'll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still." That really spoke to me this week.
  • The chocolate trinity milkshakes the kids and I made this afternoon . . . mmm, mmm.
  • Lauren's face after eating a chocolate milkshake

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Our first lost tooth!

Check out this guy:

I put the boys to bed around 8:30 tonight, and around 9:15 Josh came into my room and said, "Mommy, it feels like something's wrong with my tooth." I looked, and it was twisted around backward and hanging almost upside down. I showed him in the mirror, and he was giddy with excitement. I tried pulling it but could barely even get to his bottom teeth because he couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of his tooth coming out. Finally, daddy came along and got it out in one swift yank. No blood, no tears . . . a perfect first baby tooth extraction. After calling Aunt Nae, Gaga, and Granddad (sorry, you weren't home, Grandma) and running around the house like he'd won a million dollar lottery, he finally went back to bed. He said he may not be able to sleep because he's too excited about the tooth fairy. I said, "Well, if she comes and you're awake, she may have to leave because she only buys lost teeth from children who are asleep." He said, "Mommy, you're the tooth fairy, and you can just pretend I'm asleep." Smart kid.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The race is on

I love the Olympics. I decided to let the boys stay up and watch a little bit of the track & field and swimming trials tonight. I told Josh that the 1500 meter was about to start and that the men would run around the track 4 times. He said, "Like this?" and ran a lap around our living room. I said that no, he would have to run around our living room about 100 times to be a mile. So, of course, being Joshua, he HAD to become what he was watching, so from the moment the starting gun went off, he started running laps around the living room and continued to run the entire 3 minutes and 49 seconds that the race lasted. (Can you believe people can run that quickly?) He said, "Did I win? Do I get to go to the Olympics?!" and when I told him yes, he ran his victory lap:

On our way home from mom's house tonight, we found this little guy on the railroad track. We pointed him out, but the kids couldn't see him from their seats. To their great surprise and delight, I got out and picked him up and brought him to the van for them to see. To their even greater shock and delight, I put him in an empty laundry basket I had in the van so we could bring him home. (Well, I put him in it so we could bring him home; the laundry basket wasn't in the van so we could bring him home - sometimes I have trouble correctly placing my modifiers. And, sometimes I'm anal about noting it - mea culpa.)

And, having nothing to do with anything else, but just because she's too cute for words, here's Lauren before church this morning: