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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ice Skating Lessons

One of the benefits of being a part of our homeschool charter school is that it provides funding for learning activities. This semester the kids enrolled in ice skating lessons. They had their 2nd lesson today.  For Josiah, it was his first lesson. Here are some snapshots of their time on the ice.  Some of the pix are slightly out of focus, or have glare because I'm shooting through the plexiglass that surrounds the rink for hockey games.

It's hard enough to get everyone to line up for a picture, let alone when they have skates on...

Ok..whew...that was hard work...but they got themselves all aligned.  It's hard to believe they are all around 2 years apart.  The growth spurts do amazing things.

This is Josiah's first attempt at letting go of the wall to which he had clung so dearly. You can't see her,  but the teacher is out on the ice motioning him to come to her. (When he saw this picture later in the day he said "Oh yeah, that's when it was hard before I knew how to skate.")

He let go and started skating...whoo hoo!

He did so well, they moved him up to the next level of class. I'm so glad he inherited his coordination from his Dad and not from me!

Grace is a go getter...she wore lots of extra layers today to she wouldn't have to worry about falling. However after class she decided they didn't help. She declared, "You're going to fall, and it's going to hurt!"
It's not easy to learn a new sport...but they are all working hard.  And we have a whole new appreciation for the Winter Olympians!

Birthday Slumber Party

Grace celebrated her 11th birthday with a slumber party this year.  Hence, the bed cake.  I tried my hand at fondant for the first time.  I know, you're squinting at the picture saying, "I don't see any fondant on that cake."  Well that's because...there isn't any on there...Let it suffice to say I need a little more practice making fondant before attempting to put in on cakes. :)  This is a miracle cake because I really thought the whole thing was going to end up in the trash. I'm just thankful it stayed together in one piece until the candles were blown out.  Throughout the day I was continuing to patch the San Andreas Fault that kept reappearing in the center of it.

Despite the cake difficulties we had a wonderful day. Joshua (with assistance from Josiah) built a wooden couch as a surprise for his sister's playhouse. Someone gave the great playhouse to the kids and Grace had been trying to create furniture from cardboard boxes, and they just weren't sturdy enough. So Josh used some spare plywood and built one awesome couch for her. She was ecstatic with her new furnishings. (He borrowed a comforter until we can make some cushions..and Josiah donated the pillow off his bed to make it cozy.)

Then the friends arrrived...and we ate the cake that was still standing (ahhh...sigh of relief)...

After cake and ice cream, Grace opened her presents. Thanks everyone!!

The adults took off, and the girls from her church dance team stayed for the sleepover, which turned out to be quite an oxymoron because while they did come over...there wasn't too much sleeping going on. :)  They played with dolls...

...made personal pizzas...

...sang Karaoke...

...had snacks and watched a movie...

...painted nails...

...and I made them donuts the next morning!

(They really did sleep between the nail painting and the donuts, I just don't have pictures of it!)

I'm so proud of Grace, and we enjoyed having her wonderful friends over sooo much. 

Happy Birthday! We love you!!
(Now I'm off to take my nap!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Baptisms at PowerHouse

This Sunday we were thrilled to have two ladies get baptized. During the church service they shared what God was doing in their lives and at the end of the service we all went outside to witness their public declaration of the change God has brought in their hearts.  It was especially joyful to me because they are active in our Women's Bible Study and it has been such a privilege to watch them grow in their relationship with Christ.  We were also blessed to have Larry and Carol Vaughan (C&MA missionaries to Indonesia) with us, and Larry joined in praying over the ladies after their baptism.

Happy Valentine's Day

We had a great Valentine's Weekend.  Todd and I got to go out for dinner in Long Beach (mmm...shrimp), and then on Monday we had our traditional Valentine's Family Supper.  We always pass around the votive candle and everyone takes a turn saying something they love about the person who has the candle.  Lots of love...lots of laughs!  Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


We love to spend time outdoors...we love to be together as a family...we love trying new things... and this past week we got to do it all!! We headed to the mountains to enjoy the snow! We weren't sure what all that would entail...but we were ready for adventure. We drove up to Big Bear when they had gotten more snow in one week than they usually do all season.  Gotta love El Nino.  Some of the cars still had 3 feet of snow on top of them...and the storm happened over a week ago. 

We found a wonderful spot in the forest by the nature center and the kids had a blast playing...

Then my hubby found 2 saucer sleds that had been left by previous adventurers.

We thanked God for giving us our daily bread sleds, and that's when the real fun began...we hiked back into the woods to find a hill.  Our youngest was the first to try sledding and he was quite amazed at how fast one's body can hurl down a slope when it's on a slick piece of plastic. He's now known as Braveheart, for although his first trip down the hill was quite traumatic, he got back up and tried it again...and again... and again.  In fact he would still be sledding at Big Bear if we would have been willing to leave him there! 

He was quickly joined  by his siblings.

Lest anyone worry that our educational ventures were cast aside for too much fun, let us share some of the great knowledge we have acquired....

#1 No matter how hard you try to steer a circle forward, you will end up going backward.

#2 Trees look much different close up than they do from a distance.

#3 Lighter bodies tend to go much faster and further down slopes, thus the youngest member of our family holds the record for the longest ride.

#4 Snow is cold...and it melts on warm bodies.

#5 Sledding is one of the best PE activities ever!

On the ride down the mountain Braveheart declared, "I think this has been our best family day ever!" Alright then, I'd have to agree.