Saturday, June 27, 2009

Exciting Evening

Last evening was a memorable one. It was the day of the Wright-Patterson AFB Tattoo, which has become sort of a mini-airshow, with flybys, as well as stuff o nthe ground, a concert by the AF band, and a country concert by Aaron Tippin. We didn't feel like braving the heat and crowds to actually go, especially since we could get a good view of the flybys from Mom and Dad's front porch. While we were watching the planes, Bob and the boys were trying to fly some kites, and having a grand time of it. While this was all happening, a car pulled into the neighbors' driveway. A man took a toddler inside, and he came back out and sat in the car. Next thing you knnow, an ambulance with sirens blaring has raced down the street and stopped in front of the house! Men with a stretcher leap out and go to the car. A very pregnant lady, who is obviously in very active labor gets out and onto the stretcher, moaning as she goes. (This is very scary for Anna, who starts crying. Obviously she needs to watch some of my birthing videos!) They put her into the ambulance as a fire department pickup truck drove up. He parked in the driveway and also went into the ambulance, which made no move to drive off anywhere. The neighbor lady was out talking with the interested crowd that had gathered. It was her sister, and she had been planning to go to the hospital when the contractions were 5 minutes apart, except all of a sudden they were right on top of each other, and there was no time! They had to drop off their son, so they met the ambulance there at the sister's house. After about 5 minutes, the truck driver got out and said, "It's a girl!" We all cheered and clapped. How exciting! Another neighbor said, "The miracle of life never gets old!", and she is so right!

After all this excitement, we went in to celebrate the birth by eating ice cream! Cheers! LOL Anna was no longer scared, and kept talking about how they were going with their new baby to the hospital. In fact, she's mentioned them today as well, LOL. And after it got dark, we watched a lovely fireworks show that was also part of the Tattoo over at the Air Force Museum. What a memorable evening!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fun Times in Ohio

We've been having a great time here! We had a good drive on Tuesday, with beautiful weather. We stopped at a park in a small town on the MD/WV border for a picnic lunch. They had a really nice playground, so the kids enjoyed running around there. We finished listened to My Side of the Mountain on CD, one of our favorite books, so that made the drive go quickly. We've read that book before, but I didn't think the little boys would remember it at all, so it was a good choice. Good books never get old!

Wednesday was an all-day day of fun. We started out over at Amy's house. The boys played baseball and ran around in the water on that very hot day. After lunch, Bob volunteered to take the girls home to nap, and I stayed behind to visit with Amy, while the boys kept on playing. Bob and the girls came back a little after 5:00, and we headed to a different house for dinner!

We went over to Fred and Marie's house, which is on 6 acres out in the country. Marie and I both went to Cedarville and graduated in '95, and we both were married in college to Air Force husbands! Bob and Fred actually worked in the same building while we were finishing up college. Now they are stationed back at Wright-Pat again. They also have 7 kids and homeschool, so we have lots in common. It was so fun to get together and catch up while our kdis all played! Their oldest is a boy who is in between Nathan and Luke, and then they have 5 girls. They also have a baby boy, who was born back in October. You can imagine that Anna was in heaven with all these girls around! She's been getting her emotions mixed up lately, so as we were leaving, she told the girls, "I love you! I'm so mad!" LOL. Nathan, Luke, and Samuel played some soccer, but Nathan was fairly unenthusiastic about everything, which is really out of character for him. As we were leaving, I realized that it was most likely the day spent in the presence of cats, along with him having to take benedryl over at Amy's. That'll take the edge off! Anyway, it was a lovely evening, and we were very envious of their beautiful house, garden, and most of all, acres of land right by the bike path!

Yesterday we took it easy. Bob took the boys bowling at Wright-Pat. The bowling alley has an "eat and exercise" deal where you get shoe rental, 2 games, and $3.50 for the snack bar for $6.00. Of course, the exercise is bowling, and the food is typical snack bar fare, albeit with fancy bowling names, so I'm not sure this is a healthy option for lunchtime exercising, LOL. The boys had a ball, though, and they are back there again today. I headed down to the teacher store in Centerville yesterday afternoon to pick up some stuff for the Egypt unit I'll be teaching at our co-op this year.

This morning, Anna, Grandma, and I went to Great Clips to get Anna's hair cut by a professional. It has grown in really wonky, and I needed someone who knew what they were doing to kind of just even everything out. It looks cute, although not all that much different from the front. Now maybe I'll be able to keep up with it. The sides need to grow out more before it can all be even. Anna did really well.

On Sunday afternoon we're heading down to KY to visit another family for a few nights. Fred and Marie's family were just a warm-up because this family has 9 kids and are expecting #10! I've know Carri for years, ever since we both worked on staff at White Sulphur Springs in the summers when I was in high school. I am so excited to see her again and meet her family! We're going to stay at their house, which is a converted milking parlor, for 2 nights. The boys are going to sleep in a tent, which Nathan and Luke at least are VERY excited about! Then when we come back we'll stay with Amy and Jason for 2 nights before heading back home and leaving Nathan and Luke here with my parents for an extra 10 days or so. They're going to take part in a camp on flight principles at the Air Force Museum during the mornings. I hope it's fun!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Sunday morning we went to church with Sandra and Phil, and then we ate lunch at their house. They were heading off to eat with Phil's parents, who live nearby, before Phil jetted back off to London, where he has business. We went back to downtown Philadelphia, this time to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeaology and Anthropology . What a fascinating place! I had found this place on the internet, and since we'll be studying the Ancients again in history this year, and I will be teaching a unit on ancient Egypt for our homeschool co-op, I thought it would fit right in for us.
We started out in the "Lower Egypt Gallery". Here they had all these pillars, door frames, and other parts of a palace that a man from the museum had excavated back in the early 1900's. This sphinx had guarded the palace. Apparently, after the pharoah's death (no one you would recognize, most likely, and I'm too lazy to search for it right now), the palace burned down. It was buried in ash and mud, which preserved it until the archaeologist discovered it. The body of the sphinx was under the mud, but the head was exposed to the wind and sands for thousands of years, and it wore away his face.

After Lower Egypt, we moved through the galleries dealing with Greece, Rome, and Canaan and Ancient Isreal. Here Caleb is in front of a Roman mosaic. I always like seeing things with Latin on them, to see if I can recognize any words!
Next we moved through an amazing rotunda, which was totally huge. The whole building was so old and fascinating, and this rotunda was a beautiful part of it! It housed artifacts from China, including a bunch of Buddhas, but also this really cool crystal ball.

Next we moved on to the Upper Egypt Gallery, which had a lot of mummies exhibited. The mummies in the display case were the "youngest" mummies on display, from around 1000 B.C. There were others that were much older. One of the mummies had been removed from his bandages so you could actually see what was left of him. It was definitely a "him" too, since they preserve all those parts too. The boys were quite amazed by that. Ewww.
There were also a lot of other sarcophagi and huge statues displayed, including this one of another pharoah. He's wearing the white bowling ball hat of the Upper Egpyt kingdom. I'm sure you all remember that Lower Egyptian pharoahs wore a red bowling ball crown, and eventually the 2 kingdoms merged together.
By this point, Anna and Grace were rapidly approaching total meltdown, so we called it a day. This was truly a fascinating museum, with lots of neat things to see. Bob and most of the kids headed off to get the van, and I nursed again while Grace, Faith and I waited for them to come. We started to drive back home the same way we came, down I-95, which is certianly the shortest way, distance-wise. As we crept along hitting speeds of 20 mph, Bob asked if there wasn't any other way we could possibly get back home. We headed north again, and then out west on Rt. 30 through Lancaster and York. What a beautiful drive! We passed Amish farms and even a buggy, and lots of very old houses. Even though it was a lot farther, we made it home in only 5 hours, and we were actually moving the whole way! So we had such a fun time, and we are very grateful to Phil and Sandra for their amazing hospitality! Now we need to go back because there were things we still haven't seen, like the Mint, which is only open on weekdays.
But for now, we're off to Ohio tomorrow (well, today actually, as I see it is after midnight), where we are hoping to spend some time with a few families that I haven't seen since college, as well as family! Blogging will probably be light for awhile because we'll be too busy having fun!

Whirlwind Philadelphia Trip

We got back last night from a quick weekend trip up to Philadelphia. I don't have much time, since we are leaving tomorrow to drive to Ohio, but I wanted to give a quick report. We drove up Frday afternoon. We left here at 2:30 and arrived there at 8:30--6 hours for about 180 miles of driving! Crazy east coast traffic!

We drove to the house of my friends from college, Sandra and Phil. They live in this beautiful house, the stone part of which was built in the early 1700s. A builder completely restored it and added on a large kitchne, family room, and master bedroom suite. It was so lovely!

Saturday we drove into downtown Philadelphia after breakfast. We started out at the Betsy Ross house, where Betsy Ross herself told us that we were one of the few families she had seen that had an average amount of children for the time! She also pointed out that we looked like a troop of Redcoats, since I had done the matching red shirts again. Whoops!

We then walked over to a large Quaker meeting house, which had a little exhibit on William Penn that was interesting, not to mention free. I am all for that!

Then we headed over to the Independence Hall Visitors Center, and on to the Liberty Bell. It rained off and on the whole day, often quite steadily, which was a good thing because it really kept away the crowds. I would MUCH rather deal with rain than crowds. The downside is that we all looked a bit damp and bedraggled the whole day.

At the Liberty Bell we met up with Bob's sister Rose and her 2 girls. They had come down from northeastern PA to visit for the day. Here we all are in front of Independence Hall. They had tickets for an earlier tour, so we ate lunch while they did that, and then we met up again at the site of Ben Franklin's house.

It was so great to have someone like Phil around, who was very knowledgeable about downtown Philadelphia, since he grew up in Philly. This was a great boon at lunch time, especially. We had brought a cooler for a picnic lunch, but with all the rain, where could we eat? He suggested a food court place, the Bouse or something, where you can also take food in. This sounded great, so we walked over there. It was really crowded and I was wondering where we would ever find tables all together. Then he said we would go downstairs, where they had cafeteria-style tables. There was plenty of room there! This is where students on field trips would come to eat their lunches. Inside information--it makes life much easier!
After lunch and Ben Franklin's museum, we walked back over to Independence Hall for our tour. This was at 3:45, and the girls were getting pretty tired by then. We had a good tour guide, who was full of interesting tidbits and had an engaging manner, but the girls were quite restless. After that was done, we walked over to Christ Church (which was a good deal farther away than I had thought!), and I nursed there one last time before we headed back to Sandra's. There we cooked out and had a delicious dinner before we got the kids in bed. The girls were so tired! They went down even before our dessert--"water ice", which is a Philadelphia specialty. It's sort of like a slushie, but not totally. I had lemon, and it was very tasty and refreshing!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Two Virtues

Faith is definitely rolling over from back to tummy now! She has become much faster at it, so no more laying her on the couch, a bed, etc. without really watching! She also finally moved into her own room (Grace's old room) last Wednesday night, because I finally got around to switching crib bedding, moving clothes, and so on. Grace and Anna, who are now sharing a room, definitely talk and giggle for awhile each night before they go off to sleep, but so do the boys. Faith has done just fine in her new room, and it's nice to be able to go into our closet anytime we want to, especially for Bob in the mornings!
Grace is all big eyes and smiles in this picture, but we haven't actually seen too many smiles the past few days from her. That's because she has the most gigantic canker sore on her tongue, on the top towards the back, and it is an ugly, angry thing. It obviously really hurts, especially when she eats or tries to suck on her pacifier. I feel for her, since I get them too, even in weird soft tissue places like the tongue, but I don't think I or anyone else has started getting them quite so young. My usual solution of swishing my mouth with equal parts of liquid benedryl and milk of magnesia for 30 seconds won't really work with a 2 year old, who is just learning not to swallow toothpaste! So I'm just praying the sore will go away quickly, before Grace decides it's just too much of a pain to eat and stops it altogether. We definitely don't want her to slip back under 20 pounds again. Why does this sort of thing happen to my skinniest one?!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nathan's Big Present

We don't usually get the kids big gifts for their birthdays. This year, however, we got Nathan a big gift, one that Bob and I researched for quite awhile. We ordered it over Memorial Day because the Digital Kitchen Store was having a big sale on this particular item, so this big box had been sitting in our dining room for a few weeks, and Nathan was dying of curiosity. We will be in Ohio on his actual birthday, so we let him open the present Friday before dinner.

What could be in this big box????? We kept telling Nathan is was something he would never ocme up with himself, but something we thought he'd really enjoy, and that the family would all appreciate.

We got him a food dehydrator! And not just any food dehydrator . . . we got the Nesco FD-1018 Gardenmaster, complete with 8 trays, 8 mesh sheets for drying small things like herbs, and 8 fruit roll sheets. We figured if we were going to use the electricity to dry stuff, we might as well be able to dry a whole lot of stuff at one time! This dehydrator has a variable temperature setting, so you can be sure your beef jerky is drying at a hot enough temp, but your herbs are drying at a low enough temp. Also, it has some fancy air-flow thing so that the stuff takes hours, as opposed to days, to dry. It also came with a big book on how to dry foods, as well as the little basic intruction manual. Nathan was THRILLED! He really, truly was. He immediately started going through the bok and marking recipes and things he'd like to try. First off was jerky, which he absolutely loves to snack on, but which is very expensive in stores, and is filled with nitrates to boot. After Bible study, we got out an old flank steak from the freezer, and he made up a teriyaki marinade while I sliced the meat. We marinated it overnight, and then he put all the strips on the trays (it took up 3 trays) at 10:30 in the morning. We dryed the jerky at the highest setting (160 degrees) for the first 4 hours, as the book said to do, and then we moved the temperature down to 135 degrees for the remaining time we could make some apple/pear fruit leather at the same time. Nathan did the peeling/coring of the fruit, with some help from his brothers, and he pureed everything all by himself. Three apples and 3 pears gave us 3 trays' worth of puree. Here is the finished beef jerky! It was done around 5:00, so it took about 6 1/2 hours. It was SOO delicious! Even Luke, who doesn't like jerky, really loved this. We all gobbled it down. By last night, there were only a few lone pieces left, all of which are gone today. I was wishing we had this thing before my gestational diabetes--this jerky would have been the perfect thing to take along for snacks when I needed my protein! Here is the finished fruit leather. It was quite tasty as well. Everyone except Caleb loved it. Caleb was disappointed because it didn't taste like "real" fruit-roll-ups, which of course are filled with sugar, LOL. He'll get over it.

We are actually making an unplanned trip to the commissary tomorrow afternoon to get more beef and fruit for more dehydrating adventures. We did a ton of research, and I must say that this machine is living up to the good reviews it got on Amazon. It is incredibly easy to use, it's quiet, and we can fit a lot of stuff on at one time. Best of all, we got it for a great price because of the Memorial Day sake! I hope we get lots and lots of good use out of this thing for many years!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Celebrating Jonathan and Nathan!

We celebrated Jonathan's 6th birthday, and Nathan's 12th birthday tonight after Bible study. I made a carrier cake--bonus points to those who know which carrier is CVN-68.
I had planned to do more details, like radar antennae and these little shelves that stick out for the guns, but I just ran out of oomph and inspiration. So that's why the "island' (everyone knows that's what that big tower is called, right?) looks bare and lonesome.

Here is a close-up of some of our squadron of aircraft. We made them with this marshmallow fondant recipe that Amy P. sent me. It was surprisingly yummy! Luke even said that he liked it better than frosting! I wouldn't go that far, but it was tasty. It was fun to work with, too. I made the fondant on Wednesday evening, and Thursday night I started making the airplanes, along with Nathan and Luke, who stayed up to watch. We had a bit of a scare, as when I added the black food gel which turns regular buttercream a lovely shade of gray instead turned the fondant a definite shade of light purple! Ack! Fortunately I had only used half of the fondant, so I started again and only added a tiny bit of gel. It was still a bit purple-y, but not as bad, and it did dry gray.
I made F/A-18s, an E/A-6, an E-2, and Nathan made one F-14. As you can see, everyone got in on the action and tried their hands at making airplanes. Like edible play-doh!

*CVN-68 is the USS Nimitz, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, so the others after it are called "Nimitz class carriers". Bob was on the Nimitz for a retirement ceremony when he was the aide to the admiral who was DCINC of USSPACECOM, back in our Colorado days. He also got to fly out to the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) with the admiral.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

4 Month Old Faith

Faith turned 4 months old on June 8, which also happened to be my Mom's birthday! We had Faith's well-baby appointment yesterday, and she is up to 12 pounds, 10 ounces. The doctor said that was something like between the 40th and 50th percentile, and I had to laugh. At her 2 month well-baby, that doctor (different one) said she wouldn't be surprised if Faith was in the 75th percentile for weight at 4 months! Looks like I was right . . . The tech measured her at 25 3/4 inches, but the doctor totally laughed at that and said they were measuring everyone wrong that day. That would put Faith over the 100th percentile for height, and well, that's simply not how we grow them, LOL. She is definitely no tall giant of a baby.

The doctor didn't give me too hard of a time about putting her to sleep on her tummy. I guess they have to say something, even though most babies sleep so much better on their tummies, where they don't startle themselves awake. And now Faith is pretty close to being able to roll from back to tummy, so then she'll be able to get herself over to her own tummy and choose her own sleeping position! Right now, she can turn from tummy to back, and when she does this, she fusses around for awhile until someone come and turns her back over to her tummy. Then she goes off to sleep.

The doctor also told me that they are now recommending babies stay rear-facing until 2 years old. Can you believe that?! I mean, it's really probably safer to never put your child in a car at all, so when are they just going to start recommending that? And frankly, with the super-nanny democrats in office, it's probably just a matter of time until they pass that as a law--"Don't drive with children in the vehicle." Good grief.

So Faith is a healthy, happy baby. I tried to get her to smile today for a picture, but she was having none of it. She had shots yesterday, so she wasn't as cooperative. But in general, she still rarely fusses, and she absolutely adores all her big brothers and sisters, who adore her in return. What a life!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Fun at Busch Gardens!

Yesterday we had such a wonderful time at Busch Gardens! It was so great; I think we will be spoiled any other time we go to any amusement park! The weather was absolutely perfect. It was just as Michele said in the comments on my last post--it was much, much cooler and very cloudy all day. It kept looking like rain was imminent, but the Lord held off the rain until we had left the park and were eating dinner! The gloomy clouds kept a lot of people home, so the park was not crowded at all. In fact, several times we had our own personal family ride, and everyone could ride every ride pretty much as many times as they wanted too, sometimes without even having to get off and get on again. Nathan, Ann, and Wally rode the Loch Ness Monster roller coaster for half an hour without getting off! The cooler weather meant that everyone was so much more comfortable. Faith rode in the stroller a lot, but I also carried her in the front pack quite a bit, which she loved. I would not have been able to do that in the broiling heat and humidity that we often have in June! We all wore red shirts, which made it very easy to keep track of everyone. Wally is tall and wore a red baseball hat as well, which also helped!

We got there around 11:00, and we started in this new area for kids, the Sesame Street Forest of Fun. Anna was in a very crabby mood, made crabbier by the fact that she couldn't ride the kiddie roller coaster. She was also very alarmed by the presense of all these Sesame Street characters, in fuzzy costumes, strolling around and talking to the little kids. She has not gotten over all her phobias, LOL. Fortunately the characters all went off to some other place when it was time to walk past them. Then the little ones all rode this cute this boat ride, where they floated around this little circuit. Anna was grumpy here too.

Next was this Elmo Spire thing, where they blast off and bounce down. All the kids rode this, even Grace, who looked very tiny in her seat. Although she is smiling in this picture, she was not a fan, and they had to stop the ride to let her off. Anna was on the other side, and she was not enjoying it either, but she just grimaced and looked terrified, instead of crying loudly, a la Grace, so she didn't get off. Anna did get off in the middle of the next ride, although again, it wasn't her that stopped the ride. She and I took a potty break at that point, and we talked about the day so far:
Me: Why are you being so grumpy?
Anna: Well, I just really didn't want to go on that ride, and so I was grumpy. (said with lots of drama)
Me: Well, what about that boat ride? Wasn't that fun?
Anna: No . . . I was just mad on that ride. (said with lots of emphasis)
Me: I think you need to change your attitude . . . (little drama queen)
We moved on to the Italy part of the park. Here I realized how brilliantly Busch Gardens is set up--there are kiddie rides scattered all throughout the park! Nathan and Wally went off to ride adult rides, while everyone else rode this flying kiddie ride, which is supposed to look like an invention of Da Vinci's. They rode this several times, even Grace, and finally Anna decided it might be fun after all. So she rode with Aunt Ann and had a good time, which put her in a better mood for the rest of the day's rides.

Here you can see her even braving the teacups! Grace went on this too. She looked so tiny, and I could never even get a very good picture of her! Grace enjoyed all the other rides as well. Caleb and Jonathan switched back and forth, riding whatever adult rides they were allowed to, as well as all the kiddie rides. Jonathan agreed that Busch Gardens was even funner that Chuck E. Cheese's, which was where he had wanted to go for his birthday! He is eager to go back when he is tall enough to ride all the big rides, especially the roller coasters. He is quite the little thrill-seeker, as it turns out.
This was the first time that Nathan has had the opportunity to ride big roller coasters, and he obviously inherited his enjoyment of them from his father. The only one he didn't ride was the Griffon, which has this straight-down drop, before which the car comes to a complete stop, so they are just hovering there, looking straight down. Blech. Not my cup of tea. Luke is in my camp. He didn't ride any big roller coasters either, although he did enjoy almost all the other adult rides. He likes going around in circles, which I also find much more tolerable than going up and down. I must say that I only rode kiddie rides, and then only when my presence was required. I'm not that big into rides. I have given birth naturally 7 times, with no pain relief medication whatsoever, and I no longer feel any need to prove myself by riding around in little metal buckets, LOL. Now I enjoy watching my kids have fun while I keep watch over the stroller. Hey, someone's got to do it . . .
The park closed at 6:00, so we made our way back to the van, having done all that we wanted to do several times or more! We went out to eat at this Italian restaurant in Williamsburg with Ann and Wally before driving back. We were amazed that they ever discovered this place, tucked way back into a strip mall, but it sure had delicious pizza! It was the perfect end to a perfect day. We got back late last night (almost 11:00), but it was worth it! I called off school for today, and everyone slept in. Now we're trying to get cleaned up for Bible study here tonight. Back to normal!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!

Jonathan is 6 years old today! He is having a big week. As you can obviously tell, he is riding his bike without training wheels now. Bob took them off actually a week or two ago, so he is like a pro now! He also has a very, very loose tooth--his first! I am hoping that comes out sooner rather than later because he is not known as my stoic one, and the discomfort of eating with a wiggly tooth, plus random bits of blood in his mouth, are not his favorite things. It is very close to coming out, and in fact, he has had several offers of assistance from various older siblings, but he has not taken them up, LOL.

This has been, and will continue to be, a week of special things. Sunday afternoon the McCs took their canoe out for the first time this year, and they asked Bob and the boys to go with them. They all had such a blast out there on the river! They reported getting lots of questioning looks at their big group of boys (8 boys, 2 dads). I'm sure everyone assumed they were a boy scout tropp or something! The girls and I went over to their house at dinnertime to help Christine, who made dinner for all of us when the menfolk returned. Then the boys played street hockey for awhile while we visited. So fun!

Today we didn't do school, but instead went over to the church for a playgroup in the morning. It's every first Tuesday, and it's for all women, not just moms with young children, which I really like. So today a newly married woman came as well and visited. She's a nurse, so she was off today, and we all enjoyed getting to know her better. The kids ran around outside and played on the swingset, and then we had a picnic lunch, so that was fun.

Tomorrow night we're going to drive down to Richmond after Bob gets home from work, and we all get home from Bethesda where Caleb has a doctor appointment at the horrible time of 3:20. I'm hoping we get home by 6:00! After we grab a quick bite to eat, we'll leave for the house of Bob's sister Ann and her husband Wally. We are going to go to Busch Garden Williamsburg with them on Thursday (although the weather is looking like it will be cooler and possibly rainy! No!). Busch Gardens has that specail deal where active duty military members can get in free for one day, along with 3 dependents, so we are going to take them up on that! Who knows how much longer Bob will be active duty?! Ann is getting 3 kids tickets at her parks and rec department, so for all 9 of us to get in, it will cost us $105! That's a lot of money, but not anywhere as much as it could be, considering the regular admission price is $59.99 for an adult, and we have 3 adults--wait, I think Luke is one now too--Ack!--and 3 paying kids, who normally cost $49.99 a person! Ann and Wally have season's tickets, so they really know their way around. Hopefully it will be a really fun day for everyone, and not too crowded. We're going before all the schools let out.

So you can see that Jonathan is not lacking special things with which to celebrate his birthday! We're having his birthday dinner tonight (he requested tacos), but I'm not making his cake until next Friday's Bible study. I'm making another joint cake for Jonathan and Nathan (yes!), which is going to be a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, with airplanes out of fondant, if I can make it work. Amy P. sent me a recipe for fondant using marshmallows that she said tasted a lot better than store-bought fondant, so I'm going to give that a go. I can't stand fondant, so I'm thinking anything has to be better, and Amy is an excellent cook!