Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ocean City, NJ

I am not a huge fan of the beach, but since we have had kids, it is the easiest vacation to take. My children LOVE the beach - but they also don't burn nearly as easy as I do! This week we had friends who were vacationing there and had invited us down for the day. So yesterday we took a day off from our crazy schedules and went to the beach! It was great. For the first time ever we could just sit and watch our kids! Daniel is a sand monster and is quite content to play in the sand for hours on end. Matt and Sarah are getting big enough to go into the ocean by themselves while we keep (along with the lifeguards!) a watchful eye on them. It was a great day! The only thing I regret is being brain dead and forgetting to put sunscreen on my right foot - I got the left one okay - but the right one is burnt to a crisp. It hurts! I am hoping with the help of a ton of aloe vera gel that it will heal quickly!

Here are some pictures of our day! I forgot my nice camera and had to make due with our old one that we leave in the car in case we forget a good one! At least I had a camera!
Daniel with his Lissa! She has watched him since he was little!

Matt playing in the sand with his friend, Morgan.

Daniel making his yearly sand angel! It is almost the first thing he ever does since he was about 2!

Sarah and Daniel playing with the sand. They get along really well - she is his buddy!My little sand monster! He is always covered with sand from head to toe!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Who will marry me?

I am sitting in my bedroom waiting for my most adorable four year old to fall asleep. We have a door that connects our rooms so he knows I am in here. Every now and then he comes up with a zinger of a question. Tonight's question was "Who will marry me?" Why is he thinking of marriage at four? I have no idea. I never know what is going on inside this kid's head! He is very unique! I decided to let him continue and see where it would lead.

Daniel: Who will marry me when I get older?
Me: You're only four - you have a lot of time to worry about that?
Daniel: Will Eliza marry me? (One of our coworkers daughters - she's 12!)
Me: I don't think so?
Daniel: Do you think Lili will marry me? (Another coworkers daughter - she's 3 months!)
Andy jumps in: Would you like us to arrange something?
Daniel: Yes! I would like to marry Lili. But don't make me while I'm still little - when I'm big!
Andy: I will have to talk to her parents.
Daniel: Okay - I like Mister Carisa! (Have no idea why he calls her that when he calls all other women he knows Miss!)
Me: I am laughing on the floor! Why is he so concerned about this?
Daniel: Is Lili promised?
Me: What do you mean?
Daniel: Is she promised to me?
Me: We'll pray about it!

He is so funny! Why he is thinking about marriage at the age of four I'll never know. But he is. We didn't even go to a wedding or talk about marriage today! It reminds me of how important it is to pray for their future spouses. If I could arrange a marriage between Lili and Daniel I would do it in a heartbeat. She is a sweet girl already and I love her family. But since that isn't really done here in the states, I will pray daily for my kids future spouses!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Ever since I have lived in Philly I have always considered myself extremely blessed as far as finances go. We have never gone without anything to eat. We have always had the money to pay for things that we've needed - and even extra to pay for some fun things. I actually consider us to pretty rich compared to others that live in our same neighborhood - even though we qualify for the WIC program and LiHeap. I look around our neighborhood and see kids without proper clothing (especially in the winter), families that need food, and people that can't pay their bills. Many are struggling just to keep it all together.

Today we were shocked by a gift from a family that we know (it was supposed to be a surprise/ anonymous gift but we happened to catch them in the act). It was a significant amount of money. They wanted to help us put our house back together. I know this family doesn't have a lot. I know this family deals with health issues that strain them at times. And yet they sacrificially gave us (people who have never had to deal with what they have dealt with) a gift that could help them out a bunch. I haven't the foggiest idea of what to do. Do we take the money and thank them or do we give it back and say we really appreciate the offer, but we think you need it more? I don't want to take away the blessings that God will bestow upon them for giving so sacrificially - but neither do I want to put a financial strain on this dear family. I am humbled.

This whole experience has truly caused me to pause and think about how I spend our money. I have been trying for this past month not to buy anything frivolous. I also spoke to Andy about a goal I have for August. Summer is the worst time for me and cooking. I hate cooking. I CAN"T STAND COOKING! It seems pointless to me that I spend all this time cooking and it gets eaten in like 20 minutes! I am not an imaginative cook and I don't cook exciting meals. I don't really know how to cook except for a few things some of my friends have taught me. Now if you want great cooking you need to eat at the Hinson's. Frank is an incredible cook and uses spices and everything! I wouldn't even know what spices to use! So when it is hot or our schedule is crazy I resort to fast food or pizza. I know - it's terrible. But I really hate cooking. So my goal for August is to not buy any fast food for the entire month. I am going to make up a menu for the entire month so I have what I need on hand to cook and know exactly what we will be eating each day. It is going to be hard. Friday is usually pizza night and pizza here is pretty cheap. We can get a large pie for $6. (I know you can make it cheaper - but my pizza's always taste terrible!) But instead of doing it every Friday we are going to only do it twice. Please pray for me. I REALLY hate cooking. I REALLY hate planning meals and I REALLY hate going to the grocery store! Ask the Lord to work in my heart in this area and give me a desire to do this for my family. I am hoping the money we save from doing this experiment can be used to bless another family like we have been blessed today.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Camp Sankanac

Camp Sankanac is a place that is near and dear to my heart. It was the place that was an incredible retreat for one week to me each summer from the time I was 7! It is the place where I met my Lord and Savior and met great friends that carried me through the year to the next summer. When I was old enough I worked there as a counselor. I even went as a counselor for one week the summer after I got married! I love it there! I would move there in a heart beat. We have even thought about trying to get positions there - Andy would be a great maintenance man - I would love office work!

Today I had the incredible privilege of taking MY daughter to Camp Sankanac! I can't believe it! Another generation enjoying camp. What an incredible testimony it is to the camp that generation after generation gets to enjoy this God loving camp! It is my prayer that she has as great a time as I did!

She is in the Cayuga cabin - one I wasn't in as a camper, but was a counselor for that cabin. It is a light week at camp, so there are only five girls in the cabin. She has two counselor - Little Blue and Gelati (they have nicknames - their real names are Stephanie and Dani). The theme this week is Medieval Games. She will be a princess this week! After she passed her swimming test - with flying colors! - they have carnival games in which she could earn beads to create an initial bracelet. It was a great idea to keep the kids busy and help get them involved in an activity. By the time we left she was excited and ready to be part of the cabin of girls. Please pray that she would have a great week. Please pray that she would learn a lot about God's love for her and that she is indeed a Princess of the King of Kings. Please pray that she would make friends and that she would relax and be herself. Please pray she would not get homesick! I am so excited that she is sharing a part of my life that I loved so much - it is my prayer that she would love it just as much!

Matt will be doing Basketball camp at Philadelphia Biblical University this week. He hates going away from home overnight, but he thinks he can endure a 6 hour day camp. I think it will be a good activity for him - he loves basketball and needs to put his energy somewhere!

Please pray for Daniel! He will be quite lonely in the coming days! He relies heavily on his brother and sister as playmates! I am thinking I will be starting some preschool activities with him. It will keep us both busy and hopefully get him into a bit of a routine before I start homeschooling the other two in two week!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday Daniel!

I can't believe he's four! And he is officially potty trained! That in itself is a miracle! I really didn't think it would happen by the time he turned four - but something clicked with him this week and he is now completely out of diapers during the day! I still put one on at night, but he is starting to stay dryer. I imagine the nighttime training will come along soon.

Friday was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a. If you dress up like a cow, you get a free combo meal! All five of us went for dinner and only paid 28 cents (Matt wanted cheese on his sandwich)! It was a lot of fun! Afterwards we went to IKEA, right next door, so that Daniel could play in their Play area since he is officially potty trained - but they were closed! He was so disappointed! It is something he has wanted to do for so long! We will definitely have to go back so he can enjoy it as a reward for accomplishing his potty training!

As a treat for Daniel's b-day we went to Rita's. Daniel loves water ice! He asks if we can go almost everyday! When we came home we sang happy birthday while he blew out the matches on the cupcakes! We call them ghetto candles - I ran out and forgot to pick some up - he didn't seem to mind! He is such a great little guy! God has really blessed us with his presence and he really lights up our lives with his laughter and humor! Thank you, God, for Daniel! Happy birthday, sweet boy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Who would think that this cute face could be so incredibly stubborn! We have been trying to potty train Daniel for several months now - and he has been extremely stubborn about the entire situation! He will be four in just 6 days and I believe it is high time he used the toilet for his business. Matt and Sarah were not nearly this difficult. I believe that Daniel understands perfectly what we are telling him - he is just refusing to do it.

Until yesterday. Yesterday was a breakthrough! We went to my mom's house so that Matt could mow their lawn. I told Daniel to use the bathroom (he is in underwear during the day), but he refused and not long after had an "accident". I have to say I was a bit upset. I treated his act as an act of defiance. As a result he was not allowed to participate with the family for a few special things. He was not pleased! But it finally seemed to make an impact because I saw a clue that he had to go "#2" and I stuck him on the potty - kicking and screaming! You could really hear him half way down the block! But not five minutes later he managed to go and was quite pleased with himself. Again, today I noticed one of his clues and again put him on the potty kicking and screaming and even faster than yesterday he managed to go again! Again, he was pleased with himself. So we may be on an upturn! Please pray that he would continue to go on the potty and behave like the 4 year old he will be soon! Pray for us as we continue to work with him in this area of his life!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Birthday Party!

The Birthday Crew!

Yesterday, July4th, we celebrated the kids' birthdays with a family party. Matt and Sarah's birthdays are in June and Daniel and my nephew Sam birthdays are in July. So we usually have one party so that we aren't getting together every week as they are all within four weeks of each other!

The kids had a great time and it was nice to see everyone. Here are a few pictures!

Matt still doesn't mind matching his little brother! I think that's great!

Daniel can't wait to dig into the ice cream cake! Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! Our favorite!

Friday, July 3, 2009

New Toy!

For many years I have wanted a camera that would take beautiful pictures. I have tried several different point and shoot cameras but was never really satisfied. My friend Carisa, who is an absolute genius in taking photos, has encouraged me to save my pennies and purchase an SLR digital camera - that's what she uses to take her gorgeous photos. Between the community yard sale held at Milford Park Bible Camp and the things I sold at the SEARCH Conference I was able to save up those pennies and purchase my camera. I was going to use the money to purchase a few things for the house, but Andy said we would likely never have this much money saved up at one time and that I should go ahead and purchase the camera. He is also excited to be able to get some decent ministry shots.
I started to play around with the camera tonight and this is what I have come up with so far.
I have a lot to learn, like editing and how to actually take beautiful pictures, but I am excited to be able to learn something new. I hope to become as good as my friend Carisa, but I doubt I will ever have the eye that she does. It will be fun trying though!
Do you like Daniel's shiner in the first photo? He got that a few days ago while he was playing up at church. Walked right into a table! He is so like his sister - she was ALWAYS bruising her eyes because she was bumping into things. It is also amazing that he is smiling in these photos. You would never know he has been running a fever of 102-103 all day today. I am hoping he is healed by tomorrow as we are having a family birthday party for all three kids and my nephew tomorrow. Please pray he gets better quickly!

Look What I Won!!!

All over the blogosphere (I think I spelled that right!) there are so many incredible sites that help moms with their tots. I really wish a lot of them had been around when Matt and Sarah were small - the things I could have done with them - I am incredibly uncreative and can always use all the help I can get in teaching my kids. One of the neatest sites is the Totally Tots blog that my friend Carisa puts together - she is one of the most talented and creative people I know! On her site I often follow links to other informative and creative sites. Some of those sites have give-a-ways to promote traffic. I recently entered one on the Delightful Learning blog. And I won!!!! I couldn't believe it! The very first one I entered and I won! I won two DVD's for Daniel, "A is for Adam" and "D is for Dinosaur". I am anxious to get them and view them - especially the dinosaur one. I can't thank both Delightful Learning and Totally Tots for the opportunity to win! Go on over and visit their sites if you get the chance!