Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Last night - First night

Last night was the last Preteens of the winter/spring season. All season we have averaged about 40 kids - a pretty good number for two ages (11 and 12's). Andy did a great job with the lesson and got the kids excited about the study of David coming this summer. I am always impressed with how much these "unchurched" kids remember from week to week. Family week is next week and then we are "shut down" until the first Tuesday in June. We need this time to regroup and get new leaders in place for the PBU leaders we lose. Please pray that we will have enough leaders this summer to handle all the activities we would like to offer.

Last night was also Matt's first night as a preteen! All of Matt's friends turned 11 as of last Sunday. He was the only one left upstairs since his birthday isn't until June. His dad had grace on him and allowed him to enter preteens one week early! With the close down he would have started preteens when we started up again in June, so Andy didn't think it terrible that he be there. It was WEIRD!! I am so not ready for this preteen thing! It's hard to believe that he is that old already! I just don't picture him as one of our "preteens"! Now the whole church crew - Eleanna, Morgan, Eliza, Josh, and Matt are in preteens. Please pray that they would be a good influence on the other preteens and that they would "walk the walk". It is an awesome responsibility they carry, but I believe they all have the ability, with God's help, to do it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fun in the sun!

Each year we choose to get a membership to one of the many places located in and around Philadelphia. One of the benefits of living in the city is the incredible facilities they have for learning. We have had memberships to the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia Zoo, Please Touch Museum, Camden Children's Garden, and Adventure Aquarium. Of all the memberships I think we have enjoyed the Aquarium one the most! Unfortunately, it is the most expensive of all the memberships. The only reason we were able to get this one was because friends of Andy's parents gave us a gift certificate to enjoy the aquarium for a day. We chose to apply that towards the price of a membership. But, sadly, that membership runs out on Wednesday. So we have been going to the aquarium to enjoy our last few days. We were able to go on Friday afternoon, though it was much more crowded than what we were used to. We have discovered that the aquarium is basically empty Monday - Thursday afternoons. One of the new exhibits they have opened is feeding the birds. Matt really enjoyed it. Sarah was apprehensive! She ended up letting Andy feed the birds.It has been fun to just load up the van and go explore and see or touch the fish any afternoon we pleased. We plan to go tomorrow to use our4-D movie tickets. We are planning to see "Planet Earth". We'll see how it is.

After the aquarium we headed over to the Camden Children's Garden to let the kids run around. They love running through the different paths. Daniel likes to hide - which can be a bit nerve racking because he doesn't answer you when you call for him. He is really good at hide and seek. In history we read the poem "O Captain, My Captain!" by Walt Whitman. In the garden they have a statue of him. So the kids decided to pose with him. Friday evening, demolition began on the dining room. Poor Andy hardly slept the entire weekend. It is much easier to tear out a room without Daniel running around and our children sleep through anything! He tore out the ceiling Friday night.
Then the window wall Saturday night.

The only thing that has to be torn out now is the paneling that is on the wall attached to the kitchen. The full wall, opposite the window wall, will just have to be sanded down as the previous owners textured the wall with some sort of stucco. I have hated that stucco since we have moved in. The dust just hangs on it and it is impossible to get it all off. Now it will be sanded down smooth and look beautiful! I am excited that this project is underway. After this room the only rooms left to be renovated are the living room, downstairs bathroom, and our bedroom (which will probably never get done!). All the other rooms have been gutted and redone. I believe the next project scheduled for this summer is the upstairs hallway - it is starting to fall apart - no thanks to kids that like to pick, namely Daniel. It has been an eyesore for quite awhile. It's just a matter of finding the time - maybe August. Pray for Andy as May has turned into a very busy month and he will be anxious to get this project completed before the hectic summer ministries begin.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

So Big!

Not much to write about - only nine more days of school. We are just plugging through with Matthew. Sarah has been incredible - getting her work done quickly and with a good attitude - most of the time! Daniel has been getting more and more interested in "doing school". He is really funny. Everyday he asks if he has finished his school work. We do simple things like colors and counting things, but his favorite thing to do is to be read to. I am amazed at how big he is getting! It's hard to believe he will be three this summer. Today he insisted on getting his picture taken with PopPop's Columbia hat. He loves this hat - but it is Sarah's and she is not willing to let it go! There could be a small war over this hat! Doesn't he look cute and so big!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lovely Lancaster, PA

One of my favorite places on earth, besides the Schultz farm, is Lancaster, PA. I love the quiet, the beautiful scenery, and the great food! Shoe-fly pie is the best! My mom invited Matt, Sarah, and I to spend a night in a hotel along with my sister and nephew. We had a lot of fun. We started out by getting up REALLY early on Saturday to be at my sister's house by 7:00 a.m. We first stopped by Shady Maple Smorgasbord for breakfast! I LOVE this place - they make omelette's to order! The kids loved it as they could choose whatever they wanted to eat - I did make sure they got some fruit in them! We then headed off to shop. Our first stop was Kitchen Kettle Village where I purchased Andy and his mom some Red Pepper Jam. They love the stuff - I don't understand why - but they do. I think I got enough to keep them supplied throughout the summer!

We then headed to Rockvale Outlets where we purchased shoes for all the kids. Poor Daniel has been in shoes that have been just fitting. I got him a pair of light up shoes - he was so thrilled! His little face just beamed with satisfaction! The kid has BIG FEET! He is now wearing a 9 1/2 toddler size. I hope he starts growing into his feet soon! After a full day of shopping we went to the hotel where the kids were able to enjoy the pool. They had a blast! We then went and got dinner and brought it back to the hotel where mom treated us to an in-room movie: The Waterhorse. It was a good movie - lots of funny parts! It really is amazing what they can do with the computer today.

After a good sleep we ate breakfast and the kids were able to enjoy the pool for a little while before checking out. We had been shopped out from the day before so we headed home early. I was glad as I had much school to plan and much laundry to do - but the best part was seeing my sweet baby who Daddy had worn out completely! I had to wake him at 4:30 p.m. He refused to open his eyes for 20 minutes! He was so funny.

It's good to go away - so that you can appreciate home. I am glad to be home.

We have only 13 days of school work. Pray that they would go smoothly and that we would finish our year well.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tough Lesson

For the past several weeks we have been having difficulty with Matt completing his school work in a timely fashion. He is just dragging his feet. We have been warning him that with that type of behavior consequences follow sooner or later. Along the way small consequences have come - no tv, no trips to Target, no trip to the church playground, etc. None have seemed to have had an effect. Well, tonight a stiff consequence came. A friend from church called this evening saying she had two extra tickets to see a Phantoms game - they were center ice! Unfortunately, Matt had fallen behind on his school work. He spent FOUR hours on Spelling today - it should have taken him at most ONE hour. So, we had to decline the tickets. He had just been saying a few days ago how much he would like to go to a hockey game - but tickets are expensive. This would have been a perfect event to take him to, but we held strong - as much as we wanted him to go - and let the chips fall. He was devastated. Please pray that he will take this consequence to heart and evaluate his behavior. Please pray that he will make the choice to do what is right - not just do what he wants. We are praying that he will remember this in the future and that it will effect his heart and be a turning point for him.

Monday, April 14, 2008


three more Monday's and I am done with full days of homeschooling! Sarah was thrilled today as we finished her Saxon 3 math program - all 140 lessons. Her thing is not math and each lesson was almost torcher. But I have to say her math skills have improved dramatically this year. I was always anti-Saxon. Saxon doesn't cluster ideas into chapters. Each lesson is different, but what I have found I like is that there is CONSTANT review - something Sarah needed desperately. Without that constant review, I don't believe she would have done as well as she has this year. I can't wait to get her achievement test results to see how much she has improved. Now that she is done with her curriculum, we will be concentrating on memorizing her math fact. I want her to know them down pat by the beginning of August.

This past weekend was busy, but a lot of fun. We started Friday by trying our hand at making homemade pizza - I hated it! I so love our local pizza parlor's pizza. Until I find a dough/ sauce/ cheese blend that I like, it's going to be hard giving up that pizza parlor pizza! But for the sake of the budget, I will keep trying. Sarah enjoyed helping to make the dough and Daniel helped by putting the cheese - everywhere! Daniel seemed to enjoy the pizza as he ate two pieces!

Saturday we got up and started cleaning and catching up on any of the chores that got neglected throughout the week. We then got packed up and left after Daniel's nap to go to Andy's parents. When we arrived the weather was beautiful and the kids were able to run around - until tragedy struck and Sarah fell and cut her hand. You would have thought she severed the limb the way she screamed! To my relief it was just a small cut which I wrestled her to get cleaned up - she sure is a strong wiry thing!

Sunday came fast. I decided to attend Andy's parent's church, Bethany E.C. Church, for Sunday school as Andy was asked at the last minute to speak at a Sunday school at Hereford Mennonite. It was so good to be there again! I didn't realize how much I missed it! I enjoyed seeing people I haven't seen in a while. It was good! Daniel even loved his Sunday school class. Andy's Aunt Louise teaches his age and my friend Kelly was the helper. When I came to pick him up they told me they were discussing Jesus' ascension. When Aunt Louise asked where Jesus was going he said, "Fishing!" Kelly and Aunt Louise got a kick out of that! After Sunday school I gathered the kids and ran over to Hereford Mennonite - 5 minutes down the road. Andy did a great job! He always does! It was a good time of fellowship with the people there. After church Andy's parents took us to lunch a great buffet - SO GOOD! Shortly thereafter, we had to head home - much to the disappointment of us all! Now that nicer weather is on the horizon we will be attempting to getup there more often.

A fun activity the kids participated in today was an origami class held at the Richmond Library. I have confessed before that I do not enjoy teaching Art - but do for Sarah's sake - who loves Art. Well, someone else taught Art this week! I was so excited and so were the kids as this was an activity that they have wanted to learn for a while. I'll have to post a picture or two of their creations tomorrow.

Only three more MONDAY'S!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

He's Caught Up!

Yes, after about two weeks of being behind, Matt caught up on all his class work! I can't tell you what a relief this is as we are planning to head up to Andy's parents this weekend. Andy is speaking at Hereford Mennonite Church this Sunday. I was really dreading being the strict disciplinarian away from home. Since he has been behind he has been unable to do anything. I guess that is what finally wore him out! He got tired of hearing "No, because your work isn't finished."

As a result of his getting his work accomplished we went up to the church playground for about an hour. Andy has to be at Teen Club by 6:00 p.m., so we went along and hung out at the playground. It is really fun to watch the three kids interact together! Daniel is a tough little guy - wanting to do EVERYTHING that his big brother and sister do. Tonight, Matt and Sarah were playing on the little merry-go-round. Daniel thought this looked like fun, so asked to go on. Matt and Sarah gladly let him and spun around with him. When he walked off the merry-go-round he was so dizzy! It was really funny! He was laughing and saying "Whoa!" I tried to take pictures with the phone on my camera, but I can't figure out how to get them off the camera. Oh well! I'll have to get better at taking my camera with me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

News Flash!!!

Tonight, as I was getting Daniel ready for his bath, he went over to the toilet, lifted the seat, stood on the stool and went to the bathroom! I was TOTALLY flabbergasted!!!! He is so funny! He was tickled pink that he did it! Of course, he was rewarded with three Swedish fish (his absolute favorite candy!). I was planning on waiting for the potty training to begin in May, after we were done with school. But I guess he is ready to start now. I am so ready for him to be done with the diapers. I guess he is too!

The Green-T Tour

I have been working on a special activity for the past few months that came together last night. Matt's favorite music group is Hawk Nelson. Shortly after Christmas I caught wind that they would be in the area, Calvary Church of Souderton. I also happen to know the pastor that was in charge of setting up the concert, Billy, who is married to my one of my college roommates. We e-mailed back and forth and I was able to secure tickets for Matt and I as well as Eliza and Laurie. Also, through the wonderful work of Billy (THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH! YOU ARE GREAT!), we were able to attend the pre-concert show. Only those with green t-shirts (it's the Green-T Tour) were allowed to this special event! To say that Matt and Eliza were excited is an understatement! Matt and Eliza in front of the tour bus!

Laurie opted to stay out in the seating area while I went into the concert to sit with the kids. We were eight rows center from the stage! Great seats! It was VERY LOUD!!! My ears are still ringing! Jason Dunn of Hawk Nelson

I have to say that I was very pleased with the whole thing. I have had questions about exactly where Jason Dunn (the lead singer) stood with his faith and he answered all my questions last night. He gave a great testimony and an encouraging talk to all the kids that were present. I am even pleased with their new CD that came out last Tuesday - A Friend Like That. I like to read the "Jason thanks..." section of the CD and he gives a clear thank-you to Christ, as well as a thank you to Michael W. Smith (my favorite artist!). If he likes Michael, he can't be that bad, right?!?!?

After the concert we waited in line to meet the band members and have them autograph some posters. Matt was so flustered! He did manage to get a hi out and a thank-you! It was very cute! (Don't tell him I said that!) When we got home, around 10:30 p.m., he was so emotional! Almost in tears! He has wanted to go to a concert for so long and had mixed emotions about the whole event. It was somewhat different than what he expected, but very exciting. I am glad we were able to give him this experience and that I was the one to be able to spend sometime with him in this way. I had a great time and confess that I still love concerts - even though they are very loud! I would have preferred to sit farther back, but I sat closer for the kids! I am looking forward to when they are older and we can maybe go out to Creation. Matt and Sarah would LOVE that! And my rocking baby would go insane!!! One funny story from last night is that the lead guitarists name is Daniel!!! When we met him at the end of the night we told him about Daniel and how he loves to rock to "Bring 'em Out". The two artists we told thought that was great and to bring him in for an audition! Maybe we have a rock star on our hands!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

All I can say.....

is I am glad there are only 31 days of school left, though Matt will probably be working on material throughout the summer as he has fallen WAY behind this week. He has been difficult to say the least. We are standing strong and are being tough on him. He has gone with Andy up to church for the last two days. So far he has no mp3 player, no cd player, no tv, no morning walks, no DS and no new Hawk Nelson cd that he just purchased (though he has nothing to listen to it on anyway!). You would think that having all this stuff taken away would make a dent in his attitude towards school and his parents, only it really hasn't. I know God has wonderful things in-store for this kid - I just pray He opens his eyes and ears soon so we can all enjoy life! Please pray we make wise decisions with raising him.