Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vacation! Ocean City, NJ

After our whirlwind trip to Massachusetts we drove home, for all of twenty minutes to gather the bikes and beach stuff, and headed on to Ocean City, NJ.  We left MA at 3:15 pm and arrived in OC, NJ at 10:30pm!  We usually have our week at the beach the Saturday following Labor Day – which would have been last week – but with the wedding we decided to make it for the following week.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as if the weather is going to cooperate.  After arriving on Saturday, we went to bed and awoke to a rainy Sunday.  We basically hung around the house – slept, played games, and talked with my parents and sister who were here.  They came down early on Saturday to get the keys and open the house for us.  Lisa, who has been battling breast cancer (and won! and is now in remission!) was excited to stick her feet in the sand. Lisa - toesShe LOVES the beach and hasn’t been able to get to the beach all season with all her treatments.  They left around 3 pm and we headed to the grocery store to get supplies for the week and then pizza for dinner!

Monday we awoke to beautiful blue skies – but WINDY!!!  We went out for a morning bike ride – 5 miles!  We came home, ate an early lunch and headed to the beach.  It was chilly and windy – but the sun was shining and we figured it may be the only decent day of the week.  Beach DrewDrew LOVED the beach – we were there for three hours and he played non-stop in the sand.  I could actually sit in my chair and just watch him as he played so nicely!  Beach M&SBeach D&SBeach DBeach Drew 2The older three also played really well – building sand castles and motes and having battles between cities!  Drew soon became tired and brought him home to take a nap.  He was so tired he started to fall asleep in the tub while I was bathing him!  He was totally asleep while I dressed him! Beach Drew sleep We then headed to the boardwalk after supper.  We just walked the boards as the rides weren’t open – much to Daniel’s disappointment!  It doesn’t look like they’ll be open until Friday.

Andy’s parents came down Monday evening and are staying until Wednesday afternoon.  It was a cloudy morning – but we headed to the beach to walk along the shore and then on the boards.  Beach G&ABeach DanielBeach MattBeach SarahBeach P&GBeach Drew 3It started to rain after a couple of hours so we headed back for lunch.  Around 4 pm the sun decided to make an appearance!  Andy took the three older kids and his parents to play shuffleboard while I stayed back while Drew napped.  It was a pretty relaxing day.  It looks like it may be raining for the rest of the week – so we’ll have to see what things we can come up with to keep the kids happy – I am really hoping the weatherman is wrong and we can play in the sand again!  I guess we’ll see!

Jared and Sarah

Jared and Sarah 1

This past weekend we made a whirlwind trip to Massachusetts (Friday-Saturday!) where I was able to witness the wedding of Jared and Sarah.  Jared is the son of my heart.  I have known him since birth – but didn’t really get to start knowing him until he was 5 years old.  He was a wild child!  And I loved every minute of it!  He and his older sister Joy were our “practice” children.  We would take them everywhere – museums, the zoo, swimming, the Olympic Ice Skating try outs.  We loved them as our own (and still do).  In fact our daughter has the middle name “Joy” because we wanted to name her after the daughter of our heart!  We watched them grow up into wonderful adults.  I have prayed so much for Jared during his “tough” growing up years.  He was a tough kid!  There were many tears and prayers lifted on his behalf.  And God answered each one!  He is an amazing young man of God.  He gives me hope for my own “tough” kid! 

Jared and Sarah 2

While praying for Jared I have also prayed for Sarah – only I didn’t know her name or who she was at the time.  I knew it would take a special woman of God to love Jared.  I prayed God would prepare her heart to love and accept Jared for who he was.  I prayed she would love God with all her heart and live for Him alone.  God has given the perfect woman to Jared – she is his perfect match.  I am so blessed to have witnessed such an amazing work of God.  While I did shed tears at this wedding – they were tears of joy and of the amazing work God does when you allow Him to be the conductor of your life!  I will continue to pray for these two young people for the rest of my life!  I am so blessed!

Monday, September 5, 2011

School Days

When Daniel was little and we were homeschooling I struggled with what to do with him.  But he was an extremely complacent child who was content to do a lot of different things – play with puzzles, look at books, play with anything.  Of course, when he was two we were in the middle of dealing with bed bugs so he didn’t get to “do” that much.  We were tired and he just went with the flow.

Now that we have Drew – and I’m homeschooling a 9th, 7th, and a 1st grader – I now struggle with what to do with him.  He is NOT the complacent child Daniel was – he is much more adventurous – and loves danger.  He climbs everything, reaches for everything, and runs everywhere.  Thanks to a wonderful website, 1+1+1=1, I have found some great ideas to keep Drew occupied so I can get something done with one of the other kids.  Here are some pictures of Drew doing his “school'”!

He LOVES putting things into containers.  Here he is putting little pompoms into a pitcher and pouring them into a container.029030032Here he is playing with Lauri Toys Smart Shapes and Stacker Pegs.  He LOVES this!  He shocked me with being able to actually put the pegs in the little holes the first time he ever played with it.  033040He claps for himself each time he sticks a peg into a hole!  He cracks me up!034Someone gave us a gift to use towards a computer for school.  Well, after discussing it we decided to put it towards an iPad 2.  There are so many incredible apps to use for education.  You can find a list on the same 1+1+1=1 website of some recommended apps.  Drew LOVES several of them!043044048He gets so tickled when he does something that gets a positive response!  050

He still keeps me hopping and the kids are learning to work with a toddler around – but hopefully our routine will be settling soon and we can all get our work done!