Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Glorious Weather = Little Time For Blogging!

What a gorgeous week we had last week! The sun shone, the temperatures were up, and we were outdoors gardening, mowing and generally soaking up the warmth! I may actually have finally thawed out!

Saturday the 19th was a momentous day for our family. Isaac had his Blue and Gold Banquet with Scouts where his whole den moved up to be a Webelo II Patrol- the Flaming Phoenix Patrol to be precise. The Banquet was fun, with a catered BBQ dinner and an interactive Drum performance by a local group.

I had to leave the Banquet early because Erin's school play began before the Scouts were finished, and she was in it! Since several kids dropped out a couple of weeks before the play, Erin's homeroom teacher volunteered her to be one of the replacements. She played the make-up artist for a school play, and did very well. Her lines were delivered clearly with projection to reach the whole audience, and her manner onstage was very comfortable- not a trace of anxiety. That's our confident girl!

Because it was the Middle School play and not the High School play, only the family members of the cast and crew were in the audience. But we were pleasantly surprised to see our neighbor walk in with a bevy of Erin's friends! Michelle brought her daughter Erin, her niece Linaia, and our other neighbor, Daisy. They brought a "bouquet" of lollypops and Kate brought flowers, so we had a big reception waiting for our star when the play was finished!

Meanwhile, the sun has returned after a day and a half of rain. The rain is quite welcome since we did a lot of planting and transplanting this weekend and our little plants need water. The daffodils are almost finished blooming, the dogwoods and azaleas are blooming at last, and the sweet little pansies are beginning a long season of delighting us with their blooms! We're just having a blooming good time up on our hill! Photos of the dazzling display will follow in another post!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Rocket's Red Glare

This week has held lots of fun for our Webelo, Isaac! From launching homemade rockets at a local park on Tuesday to a day-long trip to Baltimore on Saturday, we've seen and done a bunch! Tuesday was our final meeting for the year, and we ended with a bang; meeting in Wyomissing park to set off the rockets that each scout had made at home. Engines were handed out and put in the rockets once we arrived at the launch site- for safety reasons, I'm sure.

The trip to Baltimore for Fort McHenry- where Frances Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner- and the Aquarium was a blast. Erin joined Isaac and me with the rest of the Scouts for the day. She ended up accompanying Katie Sanford and Grace Smith around the sights as the boys were more interested in their friends than their little sisters. I've not included captions in the slideshow below- too tired and not enough time, but enjoy these snaps from our day.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Must Share

A friend sent me the link to this precious video, and I must share it. In fact, yesterday morning after reciting the Lord's Prayer as a congregation, Erin and Isaac both gave me "remember that?!" looks. Too cute!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Work and Play

Thursday was a cold and blustery day, in which one of my girls was running around outside and another was in a warm and toasty kitchen. Erin had a track meet after school and Bekah was at JR's Pizza for her first day at work!

Erin's second track meet was as cold as her first, but not as successful. Her long jump followed immediately after she ran the 4 x 100 relay, and she did not jump as far as she had in the first meet or in practices.

In the relay, Erin is the second leg, so she watches for the first runner to hit a certain mark before taking off in front of her, holding out her hand to receive the baton. Go Erin!

Now the long jump. Before the meet began, the girls were practicing their run-ups, marking where they would each begin running. They have to hit the "ramp" with their jumping leg, so they carefully measure, with one another's help, how many paces they take and where to start based on that. Then they fly!

Nice landing!

I did get a video of her jumping! Though the goosebumps on her extremely underclad body don't show, you can tell by the sound of the wind and the way her coach is bundled up- right down to gloves- how very cold it was! Yikes!

While Erin was running and jumping in the freezing cold, Bekah was learning the ropes at the pizza place. JR's is where we have been ordering our pizzas on "pizza nights" at our home, and is rather close, considering we are so remote. Just a small place with no eat-in room, they are strictly delivery and pick-up, so it's all kitchen work and no serving involved. Bekah enjoyed her first day immensely. She has been hoping and begging for a job since she turned 15, and we're glad that she has found such a nice situation. Unlike Kate's first job in a pizza place, her boss and coworkers seem rather nice!

Kate and I each had one job with the serving this week, just to recover from last week's insanity. Daytime opportunities are starting now, so hopefully there won't be many late nights. Since we choose where and when to go it's rather nice, so this next week Kate will have one daytime shift and I've signed up for three.

And one last shot here of our sweet Milo, may we all rest this cozily!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Not an April Fool's Joke

So last night Kate bursts into our room breathless and excited, yelling, "Mom! Guess what!" I lurched awake, looked at the clock, determined that it was still April 1st, and informed her that if this was an April Fool's joke I'd wring her neck,... in Christian love, of course.

Flash back many years to my fifth grade year, when I spent much time in the library... The book I checked out most often- 11 times that year, as a matter of fact, was The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge. A dear story, written for children, of an orphaned girl, her Governess, and the new life she finds awaiting her with distant relatives on a country estate somewhere in England. Long out of print, I was unable to find a copy of my own, so my name was written in the book, along with my Grandmother's phone number, should the library ever discard it.

Years later, while I was in High School, they called and offered me the book for the sum of $1- sold!

I have since shared the precious volume with my daughters and purchased several other copies from rare book dealers found through online searches. Someday my girls will grow up and leave the nest, and while I want them each to take a copy with them, I want to retain one myself as well.

Last night while tooling around the internet, Kate discovered that they are making the book into a movie, starring Ioan Gruffudd, (yes, that's how it's spelled) in one of the title roles. You may have seen him as William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace. Tim Curry will be the "bad guy"; he is a genius as an antagonist! While seeing this onscreen may prove disappointing, The release of my favorite book as a movie may well result in the reprinting of it, and therefore a new ease in acquiring copies.

Upon this discovery, Kate was moved to run to me with the news, time of night being irrelevant. I therefore did not wring her neck.

That was a close one!

Into the Recent Past

Now that the dust from the last busy weeks seems to be settling, I'll post some photos of some of our doings. The biggest event I missed was Easter. Not that I missed it, but it was quiet and surrounded by our chaos.

Last year we had a "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" gathering, with my Dad driving up from Texas, Mom coming by train and Nathaniel flying in from Iraq. What an event! The meals! The activities! The photo opportunities! This year was quite at the other end of the spectrum with our little selves hunkering down, relieved that Jim hadn't been admitted to the hospital on Good Friday, (Haitian bug relapse). As for the meal, no planning whatsoever into our little ham and potatoes, since Jim was still on broth anyway.

Yet, the sun shone, brunch at church, Jim was able to eat- some- and the glorious truth of our Risen Savior brought us a reprieve from the madness. Surrounded by our church family singing hymns of praise and thanksgiving for Christ's victory over the grave was so wonderful. He is Risen!

Then, after a quiet afternoon meal at home, our neighbors, the Bleachers, invited us down for the kids to hunt eggs in the yard and to visit. These folks have been such a blessing to have "next door". The back of their property abuts the bottom of ours, and our Erins have become fast friends. A path was excavated between our places last year- more work on that to come- and Keith and Jim have worked on a number of outdoor projects together. Just to sit and visit with them was so nice.

Fast-forward to last Saturday, Erin's first track meet. The opening meet of the season is a huge event involving 12 schools. Erin ran the hurdle relay, the 4 by 100 relay and did the long jump. Please forgive me if I'm not phrasing this properly for the jocks, (okay, athletes) who may be reading this, but it's new territory for me. It was a blisteringly cold day- sun shining, but very windy and in the 30's. Our little Erin came in First Place for the girl's flyweight long jump, 10' 1/2", her 4 by 100 relay team came in second and for the hurdles they were fifth! She is beside herself and we are jaw-droppingly proud. Wow.

That's all for now. I have to finish the March PRC book, The Godly Man's Picture, since it is, in fact, April. My reading time has been severely curtailed by this whole "employment thing"- golly.