Friday, July 31, 2009

Special Guest!

After the downer first 3 days of this week, the last 2 days have been much improved! We spent yesterday whirlwind cleaning the house (how did it get so dirty when we were hardly home the previous 3 days?!) and shopping at Sams (almost $400 worth of groceries). This was all so that we could be ready for our special visitor--my Aunt Claire, otherwise known as Pilotmom! She broke her wrist quite badly in a bicycle "accident" (ha, ha, Aunt Claire!) a few weeks ago, while on vacation in Arizona. She had surgery on July 14, and she can't work for 3 weeks. What better way to recuperate than flying out to see her favorite (and only, LOL) niece and the grand-nieces and -nephews, if those are even words. She has also recently reconnected with her first best friend, from way back when they were 3-7 years old, and this friend happens to live out here not too far from us! So Wednesday they will have lunch and spend the day together! How fun!

The other big thing is that this morning Bob drove up to White Sulphur Springs to pick up Nathan and Luke from Camp Caleb! It poured down rain this morning, but Bob did still get some video of Luke on the zipline. The boys had a wonderful time as usual. Nathan said the guys in his group all got along really, really well, so that was good to hear. Also, his big new experience this year was rapelling, which he thought was tremendous fun. I haven't heard as much about Luke's time, although he also raved about how much fun it was, and how he couldn't believe it was already over with. Time really sped by in PA this week, while it crawled here at home, LOL. Both boys came in quite damp and smelly, I must say. Nathan jammed his thumb playing ultimate frisbee, so it's sore and swollen. He also was immediately struck with terrible allergies as soon as he got back in VA, so his eyes are all itchy, red, and watery, poor guy. I'm hoping for a really restful night's sleep for both of them. They are fried!

Aunt Claire was actually a surprise guest for Nathan and Luke. As they were leaving, she was looking at tickets, but she hadn't bought them, so we weren't sure she was coming. I am pretty positive I mentioned the possibility of her coming to them, but they were both so focused on packing for Camp Caleb that neither of them paid a bit of attention or even remember me ever mentioning it, LOL. So when I was talking to Nathan on the phone while he was driving back, I said how I couldn't wait to see him, and I added that Aunt Claire couldn't wait either. There was a long pause on the phone. " . . . Aunt Claire?" was the puzzled response. "She's right here in the kitchen!" I told him. "Our kitchen?" he asked. LOL! So that was quite a shock for them, but it gave them something to look forward to! She leaves next Thursday, so we're looking forward to a fun week! We aren't planning any trips to the zoo, however . . .

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Longest Three Days

Let me just preface this post by saying that I am extremely tired, and even a bit grumpy. Hopefully I'll feel better about the value of these last 3 days after I and all the kids are more rested.

The Classical Conversations parent practicum is over. Whew! We really straggled out of there, LOL. Yesterday after lunch, Anna really, REALLY didn't want to go back to her class. I forced her into it though, because I had my training to go to in the afternoon, and I didn't see how I would be able to get anything out of it with her being so tired and crabby, and with me having absolutely nothing with which to amuse her. So she went, and she even fell asleep eventually, but then she had an accident, something that hasn't happened in months and months. I only had a spare pair of undies in her little bag, figuring at most, she'd dribble a little and just need a new pair, but certainly not a whole new outfit. The girls in charge put Anna in a dress-up apron that they tied and sort of wrapped around her, but it was tramatic for her. She said all last night and this morning that she did NOT want to go to her class again, so I packed her little backpack with books, crayons, and snacks, and she jsut stayed with me all day today. That worked much better, and she was good as gold the whole time, although she kept saying she was ready to go home. Me too, Anna. Me too.

When I dropped Jonathan off at his class this morning, his teacher surprised me by saying that he had been melting down in the afternoons. He had not mentioned a word about this to me, and in fact, when I asked him how things were going, he was always very enthusiastic about his class and all they were doing. I told the teacher that, and she was very relieved. She said she thought it was just fatigue, because he would be fine, then just lay his head down and start crying. They would take him out in the hall for a little while and settle him down, and then he would be fine again. There was no trigger or anything. Well, of course he was fatigued! Six hours a day of geography and drawing is really tiring for a 6 year old!

And of course Faith and Grace were so tired because neither of them were having long enough naps either. I had a hard time concentrating on my tutor training in the afternoons because I knew they were all melting down, ready to go home. It was very stressful! And getting through the evenings were just as bad! Now Grace has a huge canker sore on the side of her tongue, which I know is caused by stress and lack of sleep.

The thing about it is that the morning sessions were absolutely unneccessary. Learning about the classical model is great, and I'm all for more people educating their children that way, since I feel it is a good, rigorous method, but nothing that was said could not also be found by reading a book or checking a few internet sites. In fact, if the speaker would have just handed out a copy of her notes to everyone, we would have saved 9 hours of our lives. Which would have kept all of us, especially our kids, a whole lot fresher for the afternoon, which was where the essential tutor training took place. I wish they would do the tutor training in the morning, while the intro stuff was going on, and then people who wanted to ditch the afternoon and put their kids down for naps could do that. The tutor training was very useful and helpful.

I find it amusing that a group of homeschooling moms thought it was neccessary to require other homeschooling moms to come to a 3 day long seminar that is 7 hours long each day, where they could put their little kids in what is essentially day care, and their slightly older kids in what is essentially school. I wonder if those in charge even noticed how the hallways were filled with moms trying to soothe toddlers this whole afternoon? Did they wonder why? And if those moms were actually getting anything out of the afternoon? The kicker is that if you tutor, you have to go to these practicums every. single. year. And it doesn't sound like they change the morning intro stuff either from year to year. Argh! It's a good thing I'm already sold on the Classical Conversations idea, because if I was totally brand new to the concept and just going to the practicum, I think I would bail!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tiring Day

Today was the first day of a 3-day parent practicum for Classical Conversations, a co-op we're going to be a part of next year. I am excited about the co-op, but I was not looking forward to this practicum--it goes from 9-4 for 3 days and is almost an hour away. That's rough on little pumpkins! And indeed the kids are all totally exhausted. So am I! I'm not used to just sitting in a chair for hours on end anymore. It's like being back in college or something!

The morning session is just a general overview of the classical model for education. Now we homeschool classically, so I am very familiar with this model. The majority of people there had been to a CC practicum before, so it certainly wasn't new to them either, and I can imagine they were all bored! The speaker was nice and engaging, abeit a bit flighty. She sort jumped off on rabbit trails and kept shuffling through her notes for some obscure example. Still, it is always inspirational to remember why I chose to homeschool classically.

After our lunch break, I went to "tutor training", since I'm going to be a tutor next year. I'll be tutoring basically the 8-9 year olds, although I'm putting Luke in there too, since I would other wise not have anyone of mine in there, and that helped balance the numbers. Since we have not participated in CC before, and our campus is a brand new branch this year, I was really looking forward to figuring out exactly what I will be doing. I was so frustrated when the leader started out with the same stuff as the morning: "When I say 'grammar stage', what are some words you think of?" Argh! Thankfully we moved past that by the first hour, and on to more pertinent and practical things. I definitely am learning a lot and am feeling more comfortable with everything that I'll be doing. I'll have to post more on that later. I'm too tired to synthesize it all now!

The best part of the day was running into people. I saw 2 ladies from our co-op up here, and I saw a friend, Joelyn, who we were stationed with way back in Colorado! We still exchange Christmas letters and are Facebook friends, and I knew they were living down in the Woodbridge area, so it wasn't as totally shocking as it could have been. But we haven't actually seen each other since we left Colorado back in January 01! It was fun to catch up with her and see her kids, who have all grown a lot or been born since then, LOL.

Tonight we're all going to bed early so we can make the long trek again tomorrow.

In assignment news, the guy called right after Bob got home, and it looks like Suffolk is out, which is actually disappointing to me, as it turns out. I was getting used to the idea of moving down there! I believe they will be offering us Toronto, which is just not as attractive. Bob will need a level 2 French certification, which he doesn't have right now, so he would have to go to language school for a few months as well. We're still talking it through however. I find it interesting that the first time Bob got info about our possible assignment was also at the end of a day where I felt totally worn out and unable to even think about anything--the day my wallet got stolen at the zoo. Coincidence? Must not be!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ouch, that hits close to home!

My daily Elisabeth Elliot devotional was certainly timely--and very applicable! Here is what she had to say:

A Devious Repentance

Recently I committed a sin of what seemed to me unpardonable thoughtlessness. For days I wanted to kick myself around the block. What is the matter with me? I thought. How could I have acted so? "Fret not thyself because of evildoers" came to mind. In this case the evildoer was myself, and I was fretting. My fretting, I discovered, was a subtle kind of pride. "I'm really not that sort of person," I was saying. I did not want to be thought of as that sort of person. I was very sorry for what I had done, not primarily because I had failed someone I loved, but because my reputation would be smudged. When my reputation becomes my chief concern, my repentance has a hollow ring. No wonder Satan is called the deceiver. He has a thousand tricks, and we fall for them.

Lord, I confess my sin of thoughtlessness and my sin of pride. I pray for a more loving and a purer heart, for Jesus' sake.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big Night For Faith!

Faith has been waking up in the middle of the night the past few nights. Finally it occurred to me that hey, maybe I should start her on solids! She is almost 6 months, and I like to start before 6 months, just so I can tell the doctor I've started at the 6 month well-baby appointment. I'm all about avoiding any extra grief. So I decided tonight would be the night. She looked so small in the high chair!
Luke was on hand, so he got to give the ceremonial first bite, as well as a bunch more bites. As it turned out, she really liked rice cereal!

Here she looks a bit taken back by the new taste, but she ended up eating all that I had made for her. She wasn't too messy either. Sometimes babies end up extruding so much by pushing it out with their tongues, and she didn't do that at all. So Faith is well on her way to eating real food.
In other Faith-related news, she is really inching around quite well on the floor now, by pulling herself by her arms. She will get up on all fours and rock a bit, but she falls rather than goes forward. By pulling herself, she can pretty much get to whatever she wants. I've told the boys we have to be really careful and make sure the door to the basement is closed, and that we don't put her too close to the top of the stairs on the top floor either! I don't think crawling is too far behind!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Assignment Update

We have some big decisions to make coming up, as far as what we are going to do next. The assignment detailer gave Bob 3 choices to think about last Wednesday, but since that was the day my wallet got stolen, I didn't have the emotional energy to really think too hard about any of them! The 3 choices were : an IG job at Eglin AFB, FL, an IG job at Langley AFB, VA, and a joint job at the Canadian Command and Staff College in Toronto.

After all the drama of the weekend, we finally did get around to really discussing those options, and we ruled out the 2 IG jobs. Those would involve tons and tons of travel, and that just doesn't seem like the best thing for the family right now. So that left the job up in Toronto, which was a big unknown. I put out a question on the Well Trained Mind board, and some kind ladies gave very reassuring answers as to life in Canada, especially in Toronto, and it does sound like a lovely city. But would that be better than staying here? It doesn't really set Bob up for a job after he retires.

Then the detailer said yesterday that he also had a position in the USJFCOM compound, which is down not too far from Norfolk. That job is a lot more up Bob's alley, as far as what he has done in that past and would probably do in the future. We looked at some rentals online, and they seem nicer and bigger than the ones close to Langley, which all seemed very old and small. So that is an option for us. The trick is that the job in Toronto is a "must fill", while the job down in JFCOM is a level lower, so the guy might not be able to load that job for us.

Whichever job we get officially assigned, we will have to decide if that is better than staying here. And there are some very compelling reasons to stay! We have very, very close friends here, we have a WONDERFUL church, we love our homeschool group, as well as all the extracurricular opportunities for homeschoolers here, and it is not too far from either set of parents. It is closer to Bob's parents, and that is very important to us, as they are getting older and can't travel.

The one thing that makes moving particularly attractive right now is that there is a program in place for military people who bought homes before I think 2006 in areas that were really inflated, like D.C. If you get orders and PCS at least 50 miles away from your previous duty station, then the government will pay 95% of the difference between what you paid for your house, and what you can sell it for. That is substantial, since our house has probably lost at least $200,000 since we bought it in 2004. I guess before we accepted any assignment, I would want Bob to absolutely make sure the dates are correct and everything, because if we were somehow not eligible, then it would be a no-brainer. We wouldn't move.

If we do move, Bob would have to stay active duty for 2 more years before he could retire. One thing that makes the VA Beach job better than the Toronto one is the possibility that Bob could start work down there, maybe as late as January, and we could stay here and finish out TNT and Classical Conversations while trying to sell the house. Then we could all move down there in April. That would not work in Toronto, as Bob would most likely have a report date in October, and we couldn't really commute back and forth to there over weekends! I'm not sure what we would do if we had to move that early--we definitely couldn't do Classical Conversations.

Please be praying for wisdom and discernment for us. It would be wonderful to be totally out of debt, but it would also be a huge hassle to get the house ready to sell. Also, Luke in particular has no interest in moving (hmm, wonder who he is most like as a child?!). So there are lots of things to weigh, and we want to be where the Lord wants us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Company Town

So I mentioned that we had a good time up in PA with Bob's family last weekend. We went up for the annual family reunion. We couldn't go last year, so we wanted to make sure we went this year. Also, this was the first opportunity for Bob's parents to meet Faith!

When Melinda and I were talking about when she could come out, this past week was literally the only time that worked, with her schedule, our schedule, when the good fares were, and with her pregnancy. I told her we had already committed to this reunion, and she and Emily were good sports and came along for the ride! Everyone at the reunion was very welcoming, even wanting her to be in the picture!

During the afternon, I was trying to get Faith to go off to sleep, and I asked Melinda if she and Emily would want to go on a walk with Faith and me, as I thought Faith would fall asleep in the stroller. The reunion was again held at a relative's house who lives in the actual small town where Bob's parents grew up and met. I thought it would be fun to walk around and see the town, so I asked Bob where various relatives had lived. He couldn't exactly remember, so he asked his parents. Well, they actually wanted to go with us, so Melinda and I got the first class personal tour of the town, and it was so interesting!

As it turns out, the town, which used to be called "Crow's Nest", was actually a company town, built by the mining company for its miners. As we walked around, Frank and Ann pointed out pretty much every house and told us who used to live in each of them. These houses are not big at all--most of them were duplexes, with 2 bedrooms upstairs, 2 rooms on the main floor, and a basement. People raised huge families in them though! Ann's oldest sister lived in one and raised 10 kids, and Ann's parents lived in one and raised 14!! Wow! I was so impressed! I asked where they all slept, and Ann said they slept sideways on a bed, fitting as many as possible in there.

As we walked around, Ann and Frank looked eagerly in each car that passed, and they knew a lot of the people who drove by! They were children or grandchildren of people they had known growing up. It was funny--Frank commented on how dead and quiet the town was, but I had just been thinking the opposite! Everyone seemed so friendly, waving as they drove by! But Frank meant that people used to just sit on their porches and drop by and visit, and we didn't see much of that. But the town as a whole seemed a lot more friendlier and accessible than the cookie-cutter suburbs developed nowdays, where absolutely no one is out and about, and the garage door goes down as soon as one pulls inside!

Frank and Ann grew up across the street from each other, and a bit catty-corner. Frank said that when Ann would come out every evening to hang laundry on the line behind her house, he would toss a pebble over at her to get her attention. As he was saying this, he tossed a little rock that he had picked up. It was so cute! They reminisced about all the big trees that used to be on the street that they would lay under and look up at the clouds. There weren't very many of the big trees, especially down by their houses. I guess they eventually blew over in storms or something. Poplars, I think they said. Ann said that she fell in love with Frank when she was 12 years old, and she would have married him then. He went off to the war a few years later, where he got injured on a boat. When he came back, she married him anyway, even though he had changed, because she couldn't imagine being with anyone else. After hearing about all their history together, I could better understand that.

We heard all sorts of stories about all these former residents. I asked where they did their shopping, and Ann said at the company store, which we had passed when we drove in. Ahh, that made a lot of sense. She even remembered her tab number--151. When we turned the last corner to go back to Cousin Mark's house, Frank said this was where all the bosses lived. The houses were indeed a bit larger, or they at least weren't duplexes. Interesting.

So we had a fascinating tour of a different era, one where you knew all your neighbors. I'm sure that was not all sweetness and light, and that there were problems associated with that, but it just is so different than it is now that it was fascinating. I mean, I think we live in a very friendly neighborhood and have good relations with our neighbors, but we are only really close to maybe 3-4 families, and we have nodding acquaintances with several more. Our neighborhood is smaller than their town, but we definitely don't even know the faces of all of our neighbors, much less their names!

And they certainly don't build company towns anymore. My aunt and uncle in northern California lived in a company town called Hilt for awhile a long time ago. It was built by I think Sunkist, for its fruit packaging workers. When the company closed the facility, they just shut the town down. No one was allowed to buy the houses they had been living in, and the town just disappeared off the map! How dumb. I remember my cousins (who were in elementary school at the time, I believe) telling about how they wrote letters to company complaining about it, but the company basically just said they were dumb kids and didn't know anything, LOL. Anyways, I was glad that the mining company didn't do that with this town, so that all this family history could be preserved.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Humbling Week

We are back at home now, after spending some good time this weekend with Bob's family. I will write more about that later, but first I have something of a more personal note to share. This really has been a very humbling week, starting off with the stolen wallet on Wednesday. We have reanalyzed the day at the zoo many times, and we think have a good feel for when the wallet got stolen (while we were distracted under a mister and Faith was in the frontpack). Ultimately the blame falls on me, because I should have left my wallet in the car, or at least been paying more attention to the stroller. I am so thankful that the Lord was gracious and allowed just the wallet to be stolen, as opposed to a child or something. But it has been hard for me to deal with, knowing I was so careless.

I was made aware of something even worse on Saturday, however. People have been hurt by careless and thoughtless words that I wrote on this very blog several years ago. I have already written letters of apology, but of course damage from words can't be covered over just like that. This was a huge blow to me, and I am still reeling from it.

So this week, I feel like I have been held up to a mirror, and I don't like what I have seen of myself. I am thankful that my sins are forgiven through Christ, and at times like this, all I can do is rest in His unmerited grace to me.

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22-23

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A New Person

Well, actually I'm not a new person today, but I can officially prove that I am still a person. I possess a new ID card, a new driver's license is coming in the mail in 7-10 days, and we have a new checking accounts. Those 3 things took the whole entire day to do, and we were so very thankful to have Melinda here, who volunteered to watch the kids. I don't think she knew how long it would take! Actually, she did a wonderful job, and she even told me that she was surprised that it was easier to watch 8 kids than just 1, because they all go off and do stuff together. That is what I tell people, but no one ever believes me! But it was still a long day for Melinda, and definitely not what she signed up for when she and Emily came out here for a vacation, LOL.

Bob and I also celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary tonight (the real date is tomorrow, July 17, but we have Bible study). This was the ONLY thing that Melinda originally volunteered to babysit for! Bob had made reservations at a restaurant called Clyde's, which we had heard really good things about from other people. It was so delicious, and it had such a nice atmosphere! They had a "price fixe" menu, so we got a salad, entree, and dessert for $25 each. I had salmon, which was quite yummy (I am turning into a salmon fan--who knew?!), and Bob had a steak, which had such a tender, buttery texture. Delicious! He had a mixed berry shortcake, and I had chocolate Haagen-Daz ice cream for dessert. I was glad I wasn't on the gestational diabetes diet and having to walk all that off afterwards, LOL.

One thing we discussed a lot was our future. We're trying to decide if we should take an assignment (either Eglin, Langley, or Toronto), or retire. None of the jobs are that great, so we're kicking it all around. No firm decisions have been made. We'll keep you posted . . .

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


We are having a great visit with Melinda and Emily! We picked them up with no problems yesterday afternoon at Baltimore. It was right at rush hour, so we decided to drive on into Baltimore, to the Inner Harbor, and walk around there for a little while. It was a beautiful day, sunny, but not too hot, so it was a nice time!

Today we headed to the National Zoo. It was a hotter day, but Melinda is coming from super-hot Texas, so she wasn't too impressed, LOL. We saw animals, we sweated, and my wallet got stolen out of the diaper bag in the bottom of the double stroller. So as you can imagine, that is what left the most lasting impression, rather than the animals. We called to cancel credit cards right away (thankfully we had all of Bob's there so we knew which ones to call), and we found out they were already using mine, so it didn't take them long. Sigh. Tomorrow we will have to try to get new ID cards for Nathan, Luke, and me, as well as a new driver's license. It was such an amazingly incredible hassle last time I tried to get a VA driver's license that I am not sure how that is going to go. Not a good feeling, realizing your wallet is gone.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Our Daily Bread

Wow, I haven't posted since Monday. That must be because we have been busy doing exciting thing! Or not, LOL. Actually, our week without Nathan and Luke has been quite mundane, filled with trips to Sams and Wegmans, as well as trying to get the basement clean for next week's visit by my sister-in-law and niece. The thrills! I did throw away a TON of old school papers and workbooks, since no one has ever come by looking for proof that Caleb did indeed finish all of Saxon 1, or Nathan did a complete year of Easy Grammer in 4th grade, LOL.

Caleb and Jonathan enjoyed this time of being the biggest brothers. All of a sudden, THEY were the ones the neighborhood boys came to the door asking for! They also got to go play with the sons of our pastor yesterday afternoon.

One new thing we've been trying this week has been baking bread. I've been interested in doing this for quite awhile, but it just hasn't happened. It's hard to find bread with no milk in it for Caleb, and with Melinda coming, who is allergic to soy, this makes it even more challenging to find good bread. I figured it would be so much easier to make our own. We tried a non-whole wheat recipe first, and that turned out pretty well. Then we got vital wheat gluten from Wegmans, and we tried whole wheat bread the next day. It turned out well! It's not Caleb's favorite, but I think he just likes the really fluffy texture of store-bought bread. Our bread really wasn't too dense though. It was good.

The idea is that Luke will become our bread baker, since Nathan is our jerky/dried fruit man. One reason we have never made our own bread is that I really don't need another thing on my list to do. But I bought this MOMYS cookbook from Carri when we were visiting, and one lady who submitted a bread recipe (for her KitchenAid even!) mentioned that her 8 year old son baked all the bread for their family. Hmmm. Luke is 10 . . . We only have a KitchenAid 6-qt. mixer, so we can only make 2 loaves at a time, but that should be enough to get us started. If it looks like we're going to keep at it, then we will buy a Bosch or an Electrolux so we don't have to bake every other day. We're going to need a stronger mixer at some point anyhow. The KitchenAid struggles with the amount of mashed potatoes we do and other things like thick cookie doughs!

One more thing of interest--Bob got an email at the end of the day on Friday saying he needed to call this guy to talk about his assignment. He'll call next week, so I'm guessing we'll know more then about what things are looking like future-wise for us. Be praying!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Keeping It Real, Keeping Us Humble

So Nathan and Luke are having, by all accounts, a marvelous time with Grandma and Grandpa. They went to an underground railroad museum, which sounded fascinating, and an Indian village. They went to the local tea party on July 3rd and watched fireworks there. They had an entire large pizza to themselves (ham and pineapple, of course), and they ate the whole thing. They went out to eat at Applebees and got to order whatever they wanted off the menu. Good times indeed.

Meanwhile, we are soldiering on without them back at the ranch. And it turns out we have really come to depend on them! Yesterday after church we went out to eat with another family at Boston Market. Ed and Angela are good friends of the McC's, and they have 5 boys ranging in age from 13 down to about 5. They are such a nice family, and they've only started attending our church within the last month or so. We pulled a bunch of table together, and our kids sat at one end, the 4 adults sat in the middle, and their boys sat at the other end. Oh, and I should mention that our kids were really tired because we stayed at the L's house until 11:00 watching fireworks the night before. Anyhow, we were thoroughly enjoying our conversation when a lady approached our table.

"Excuse me, but the baby is licking the floor, and I thought you'd want to know."

What?!! Why yes, there was Grace, down on the floor licking it. Ack! I think she had dropped an apple, which she ate off the floor, and then she just wanted to finish cleaning up all that good sticky juice. Blech. How mortifying! Obviously we were not paying one tiny bit of attention to her! She was embarrassed by all the commotion, so she cried, but eventually we got her calmed down. Red-faced, we continued our conversation. A little while later, I glance over at Grace again. She is standing between 2 chairs, with one leg on each chair, and as I look over, I see her tumble down to the floor as the chairs slide away. Whoops! She cried long and loudly, and the lady looked over at us again. I'm sure she was wondering why we couldn't keep our children under control, and was glad we didn't have any MORE kids!! LOL!

Now see, this is the sort of thing that really doesn't happen much to us. Our kids usually just sit in their chairs at restaurants, and we don't have any problems. I have realized that Bob and I have gotten lazy though. If Nathan and Luke had been there, then that would have been 2 more pairs of eyes to watch over everyone, and I am sure Luke would have noticed that Grace was on the floor. And when she was standing in her chair, trying to reach something, Nathan would have been right there to get it for her. We have a week left to get ourselves back into the alert state we were back when we just had 5. And then Nathan and Luke will be home, and we'll all be so happy and relieved!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy Birthday, America!!
We made it home safely from Ohio, and I think we are all happy to be sleeping in our own beds again! It was certainly different to drive back without Nathan and Luke, and it made the trip in the big van much trickier, since there weren't the big boys who could easily help the girls! Now I am enjoying the novelty of having leftovers when I cook dinner. It's refreshing!
We usually go into D.C. to watch the fireworks, but this year, we're taking it easy. We're heading over to the L's house to watch them on TV in air-conditioned comfort. I'm bringing caramel popcorn to munch on. Should be fun!
Having just visited Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, this year I feel more connected to those important events of the past. On Rush Limbaugh's site there is an excellent address written by his father on the men who signed the Declaration, and the price they all paid. Our independence has not come cheaply, and hopefully we will not give it away easily.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

On the Farm in KY

We left Sunday afternoon to drive down to Kentucky to visit friends. Carri and I were on staff several summers together at White Sulphur Springs, the OCF family retreat center back when we were young and energetic, LOL. It's so hard to believe that was 20 years ago! Anyhow, Carri's husband was a Marine helicopter piliot, and now he's out and flies EMS helicopters. Carri is expecting their 10th child in September, and they live on about 4 acres, surrounded by beautiful fields and woods--every child's dream! The kids had a marvelous time there. There was a trampoline, a tree fort, and swings. They have a horse, a cow, a goat, and lots of chickens. The kids especially liked feeding scraps to the chickens and watching them pick at them. They all walked down to the river with the dads for a little adventure and came back hot and sweaty. Carri's girls were so great with my little girls, especially since theyhave 4 dogs and my girls were scared of them--her girls carried them all over the place! I really enjoyed my time talking with Carri. Since we both are homeschooling large families, we had plenty in common to talk about! We ate tons of great food, like Air Force dessert, a old standby from WSS days. The boys wanted to know why we didn't have this dessert all the time!

I won't be able to post any pictures until we get home, but if you want a look at our time there, check out Carri's blog, Home of the Peterson Clan. She posted a few pictures!

We are here at Amy's house now, but we'll leave to drive back home tomorrow. This has been such a fun vacation!