Monday, December 06, 2004

Sophism

Yesterday, Uncle Rich was dressed to the hilt in western wear. He put on his cowboy hat as Sophie walked by. She scrunched up her face and said, "You are so handsome, I can hardly stand to see you!" Uncle Rich laughed and said that he hadn't heard anyone say something like that in a long time!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Junior Toastmasters

On Tuesday, fifteen children and six moms gathered in our living room for a "Junior Toastmasters" get-together. The kids took turns climbing up our stairs to the landing and either reciting a selection from memory or reading aloud to the audience. Every child participated. A three year old girl even joyfully climbed up and when her mom asked her, "Who made you?" chimed in, "GOD!" and climbed back down. Two kids told made-up jokes. Some kids recited verses. One young girl read a short essay that she wrote herself. Other selections included a reading from Luke, a poem by Shel Silverstein, a section from a book about animals, and a dramatic reading of a picture book.

Evan read a short part from the book My Side of the Mountain. Reading it aloud has whet his appetite to read it yet again. He actually read that book clear through in first grade and has listened to it twice on tape!

Matthew read the poem "The Animal Store": "If I had a hundred dollars to spend, or maybe a little more..." (From the Golden Book of Poetry that I had as a child.)

Sophie recited Genesis 1:1-6 which we are learning as a part of our church memory program. She enjoyed playing with four other little girls and wanted to call them as soon as they left.

Each family brought a sack lunch and we ate together as well.

The boys formed two teams and staged mock battles in the basement. Some of the boys dressed up in disguises.

We got connected with this group of children starting with our congregation's VBS. I met a family with three boys the same age as our kids. We have had some "play dates" with them. We were invited to a birthday party for one of their boys recently and met many of the kids from their church. The idea of the recitation was proposed and we decided to hold it at our house. We also invited a boy from our homeschool swim class and his mom to attend.

We are looking forward to the Christmas "Manners" Tea that one of the moms is planning on hosting December 20th.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Swim Fun

The kids just started the third session of their homeschool swim class. Sometimes I swim laps during their lesson and then play with Sophie while the boys play with their friend Caleb. The boys love to build rafts out of floating mats and paddle around.

Caleb.jpg

swim friends.jpg

Melissa and Sophie swimming.jpg

Sophie noodle.jpg

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Curtains Away!

Last night when James said goodnight to Sophie, she asked him to say the nursery rhyme "Little Miss Muffet." He obliged and as he was leaving, Sophie stuck the fabric of her bed tent in her mouth and said, "Look Daddy, I'm eating my curtains away too!" (curds and whey)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Alcohol!

Yesterday, I took the kids to the doctor for Matthew and Sophie's 7 and 5 year well-child check-ups. Sophie had to get her 5 year old booster shots -- three of them. The nurse had a plastic disc with little plastic points all over it and a cut-out area for the needle. She put the disc on Sophie's arm and the points distracted Sophie from the needle poke. I've never seen that before! It worked! The booster stung, because the medication itself stings, but Sophie was brave and didn't cry at all. She was enjoying the nice nurse and later told me that she didn't want the nurse to know what she looks like when she cries.

During the vaccination process, the nurse explained to Sophie that she would wipe her arm with an alcohol wipe. Sophie exclaimed in a shocked voice, "ALCOHOL!!" ...At the recent birthday party the kids attended, some kids were chanting some little rhyme about "...baby's drinking alcohol!" I told our kids to stop repeating it and had to explain why it wouldn't be good or funny for a baby to drink alcohol. This incident might explain, however, why Sophie calls egg nog "eggohol" and her reaction to the nurse's statement. I laughed!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Recent Birthday Party/ Game Day

The kids were recently invited to a costume/birthday party/ game day attended by 17 kids total. Here they are dressed up and ready to go:

going to costume party.jpg

The birthday boy:

Andrew and cake.jpg


Little party girls:

three party girls.jpg

Sophie and Brianna.jpg

Six warriors:


six warriors.jpg

Playing "Duck, Duck, Goose":

duck duck goose.jpg


duck duck goose 2.jpg


Playing "Set":

game day.jpg

The kids also enjoyed whacking a pinata!

One of the moms who attended the party has ideas for two other group activities. She wants to host a tea at her house in December when she will bring out her fine china and teach the kids about manners. (As I have reminded Evan lately, "If you don't mind your manners, someone else will.") She also had the idea of a "Junior Toastmasters" get-together where the kids will recite a verse or poem or read a selection aloud for each other. I volunteered to host that activity on November 30th.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Sophisms

This morning, I listened to Sophie singing "stream of conscience" style in the bathtub. When she trilled, "I really love Christmas, because that is when I get some presents," she apparently heard me snort with laughter, because she immediately edited her refrain to include, "but I'm happy with what I have right now."

This evening, she tried to sing Psalm 46A, the version in our Psalm book set to the tune of "America the Beautiful" (which by the way, is VERY distracting to me--not her singing-- but the problem that the tune automatically brings the original words into my head!) She told me that at first she thought that the line, "And, therefore, tho' the earth remove we will not be afraid" was "...we will not be his friends." Silly gi'l.

The kids bundled up tonight and watched the lunar eclipse progress for awhile from the front porch. They even got some rakes out and raked up a pile of leaves on our front lawn while they were waiting to see the moon turn reddish. I really need to get a bench to sit on out front. I stayed inside where it was warm and made a grocery list. (James wasn't home yet.) Later we looked at the moon from our front bedroom window.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Sophie Is Five!

We had a birthday party for Sophie on Saturday. Sophie called it a "Flying Pony Party." Including our kids, ten kids were present.

Our talented friend, Michelle, made the CUTEST pink pony cake for Sophie:

Pink Pony Cake.jpg


Michelle and Sophie.jpg


When the kids arrived, they colored posterboard pony heads that I had drawn and cut out ahead of time. Two other moms and I, armed with glue guns, glued googly eyes on the ponies if the kids wanted, glued on each kid's choice of crinkle paper mane, and attached a stick to make homemade hobby horses.

Coloring Kids.jpg



Birthday Princess.jpg

After finishing their ponies, the kids had a "pony parade" around our house. Actually, it turned into more of a wild mustang roundup for a time, but I got the kids calmed down long enough to take this picture:

Birthday Riders.jpg

Ride em CowEv.jpg


We consumed the cake. The kids played "Horse, Horse, Pony." To conclude the party, I gave out some small gifts to each child.

James' mom, John, Angi, Conner and Josi stayed awhile longer.

Jongicon.jpg

Aunt Angi and Josi.jpg


Jophie and Sosie.jpg

Nerf Dart "Misfire":

Nerf Darts.jpg

The Cavy Castle

Here are some pictures of the guinea pig cage that James and I made:

Cavy Cage.jpg


Cavy Castle.jpg


Friday, October 08, 2004

Cursive First Works

The kids have been practicing cursive every school day since Aug. 16th and here is an example of the results for Sophie from her Spelling Log:

Sophie spelling log A.jpg


No Kidding! I said each word to Sophie and broke down the sounds for her. She repeated each sound while writing the word HERSELF. She read her words after writing them.

Matthew has learned cursive too and the boys got a big kick out of the fact that I mistook Matthew's spelling log to be Evan's, because I couldn't tell their handwriting apart. His writing is very neat now.

Monday, October 04, 2004

An Injury, a Wild Trip, and a Must-See Movie

Well, Evan is our second child to get stitches. Last night another child threw a Rubbermaid lid which hit Evan in the eyebrow. Evan came crying up the stairs with blood streaming down his face. We took him to an after hours clinic where he got four stitches. He was very brave about it and didn't cry, even though it hurt.

This year we have been doing some homeschool co-oping with some friends from church. The mom teaches the kids science on Tues. and Thurs. and I teach English for the middle school daughter. On Saturday, we did a field trip to the zoo together. Since it was a free day, it was very crowded. At one point, we went inside a feline exhibit. I looked through the glass wall at the lions. The male lion caught sight of a group of kids beside me and got hot and bothered. He fixed his eyes on them, charged them and slammed into the glass, shaking it, in his attempt to attack. After a few moments, it apparently realized that its efforts were thwarted and headed back towards its resting place, turning its head and snarling in our direction on the way. I tried to get my kids' attention to see all this, but they had left the building right before the incident occurred and did not see it. I Peter 5:8 certainly came to my mind in light of the experience.

Last weeked, we saw the movie "To End All Wars" on DVD. The movie potently portrayed the power of God's word to give hope and transform lives in the midst of a bleak situation caused by sinful man. Don't watch this movie if you can't stomach violence or some harsh language (but no taking of God's name in vain), but if you can, realize that it is a true storyand it is not glorifying evil. You can read more about this film at "R" for "Redemptive" or at To End All Culture Wars BUT the latter article really might reveal too many details if you intend to see the movie. I'm glad that I didn't read that article right before seeing the movie. If you do see this movie, let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

All the Pretty Little Horses

Here is a picture that Sophie drew yesterday and had me label:

Man from S R by Soph.jpg

Yesterday, Matthew took all of his weekly spelling words which he had written on cards and put the cards in order to make sentences. I told him to write sentences about a cowboy and his horse and asked questions as he put down cards so that he would add spelling words as adjectives. Finally, he wrote the sentences down neatly. He is using manuscript for now until we have practiced all of the letters in cursive (we haven't finished). Here are his spelling sentences:

Matthew Spelling Sentences.jpg

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Miscellaneous

Two days ago, Sophie learned how to get her bike started herself. She rode around our cul-de-sac for an hour. It was so cute to see her riding full tilt, legs pumping like pistons, a content smile on her lips. We went for a long walk with the kids riding their bikes yesterday evening before supper. One of the neighbors commented: "She looks too little to be riding a bike."

I let the boys play "War" with playing cards to review addition math facts this week. Evan was getting competitive, exclaiming: "I'm gonna win! I'm gonna win!"

I remarked "Wouldn't it be funny if Matthew won all of the cards?"

As the game progressed, Matthew indeed won hand after hand. In the end, he had won all the cards! What are the odds?!

I told Evan that he had "asked for it", because of his gloating. He too was good-naturedly happy that it had happened that way.

The Barbie Dream House behind us (the house painted to look like a Pepto Bismol bottle) is getting painted gray. Woo Hoooooo!!!!!

We visited the new Broomfield Thrift Store this week and found some gems in the book section: Sense and Sensibility, My Side of the Mountain, The Moffats, Treasures in the Snow, a Sugar Creek Gang book, and a book of 49 kids' experiments with electricity and magnetism.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Fit to Print

We've read several books about Johannes Gutenberg in the past couple of weeks. Yesterday, the boys and I did potato printing. We used our letter shaped cookie cutters and pressed them into potatoes. I cut off the potato around the letters with a knife. ( I had to trace "S" and "L" backwards, b/c they couldn't be flipped and so that they would print the right direction.) The boys had fun printing posters that said "I LOVE BOOKS" with a heart shape. Sophie was playing with two little girls we were babysitting. When the girls went home, the kids finished up the project and Sophie made her own poster by painting the back side of our shape cookie cutters and printing them on paper.

The boys are finishing the book Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes. I finished it myself yesterday. I like this opportunity to read excellent kid books again and read ones that I never read as a child. We bought this Newberry Award winning book at a garage sale.

Matthew decided after the boys' recital a few weeks ago that he wants to play piano now instead of violin. I've agreed that it is a good idea, because piano is a little easier and he is in a stage where he doesn't concentrate easily. I'd like for him to pick up the violin again at some point, though.

Matthew also seems to be over his fear of "torpedoes" in swimming and even puts his face in the water. Swimming lessons are done for now (the teachers have school), but I have the kids signed up for a "homeschool swim class" in Sept. that will last for 5 weeks.

Sophie's New Skill

Sophie (4 1/2 years old) has just learned how to ride a bike by herself sans training wheels! She is using Matthew's bike to learn, because we need to buy her a bigger bike.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Odyssey Atlasphere

James and I decided to buy an Oddysey Atlasphere off of eBay. It is a computerized globe with a pen that you can touch on the globe and learn facts about the world. It also has games where you can play with more than one player, competing to find places on the globe. It is a hit with the kids. Matthew even twirls our "regular" globe around during Evan's turn and finds the places that the voice tells Evan to find. It is a hit with the big kids too... James and I had fun playing against each other the other night after the kids were in bed. He he.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Sample of Evan's Work

Evan wrote a narration today about some of what we read about Martin Luther. I was pleased that he did it with minimal complaining. In fact, he seemed happy with it when he was done and read it back to me:



Martin Luther narration Ev.jpg

"...church door to say that the church was wrong."(on back side of paper)

P.S. I sat with him to help him with spelling.

Cutie-Patooties

Ana and Baby James, my niece and nephew:


Cutie-Patooties.jpg

Friday, August 20, 2004

School Starts

We began school this week. I haven't added every subject in, yet but we did: Bible, Math, Handwriting, Reading, History, Science and, of course, music practice and swimming lessons.

I began a program called Cursive First with the kids. Admittedly, it isn't cursive FIRST for Evan and Matthew. Evan learned cursive last year and Matthew started last year with manuscript, but Evan can benefit from more practice and Matthew will transition into cursive. It is cursive first for Sophie. She has such good small motor coordination that she can handle it. I'm hoping to work on handwriting solely with the kids, as far as Language Arts goes, for the next two or three weeks and then move on into spelling, and grammar and composition for Evan as well.

Actually we began with just numeral formation this week which isn't exactly cursive, but see how well Sophie even can write...


Sophie writing Aug 20, 04.jpg

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Icee Time

NEWSFLASH! All three kids earned "ICEES" today for doing all that their teachers told them to do at swimming lessons!

Last night, James and I asked his mom to babysit Evan and Sophie, and we took Matthew to the rec center. We had him do torpedoes to Jms off of the side, over-and-over. At first he fussed and refused, but I nudged him off the side and he had to float/splash/paddle to Jms. After a little nudging, he started doing it on his own. When we left, he thanked us for taking him (I think it made him feel special) and said that he'd do the torpedoes for his teacher. He did it! He admitted that he was still a little afraid, but I pointed out that he was brave, because being brave means doing what you need to do in spite of being afraid. I also consoled him that it would get less scary the more he did it.

If you prayed for him: Thanks!

Sophie enjoyed her "Squishy" as she called her drink!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Latest...And Pictures

Matthew is a geography buff. He requested that we decorate the boys' room with maps. That was easy to accomplish! I have a slew of maps from my National Geographic subscription in the 90's. The boys and I took down the bunk beds yesterday for a change. Evan chose a political world map to hang above his bed and Matthew chose a political map of the United States. Matthew asked me this morning if we could switch the maps after he has memorized the states and capitols (his idea). We are going to hang more maps around the room as well. Matthew told me that he spent some time this morning when he woke up looking at his map.

Please pray that Matthew will be able to be brave in spite of his fear and learn how to swim. At swimming lessons, he puts up a mental block and decides that when his teacher moves a certain distance away, that it is too far and too risky for him to try to "torpedo" and swim a little to her. I even offered him a slurpy at 7-Eleven if he would just try and say "I think I can" instead of "I can't", but even a SLURPY is not incentive enough. James and I are going to take just him over to the rec center tonight, hopefully, and have him try swimming to James while I stand right beside him (but I won't touch him. If he needs help; I'll let Jms do the helping to reinforce to Matthew that his teacher would be able to help him in that similar situation if he has problems.) ...Sophie says that at her next lesson she'll bob and put her face in the water without fussing for a Slurpy. We'll see!

We thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Martha and Jennifer and Randy and family on their way home from a visit to the mountains. The kids got along famously. After they left, I noticed Sophie sitting very subdued on the couch. I asked her if she was okay and she replied that she missed Tori and wished that they lived here.

I wonder if Martha will be able to resist the urge to go out and buy a guinea pig after meeting ours? Hmmmm...

Anyway, here are some pictures that we just got developed...

Home on the Range.jpg


This is our former house in Hays. The picture isn't that great, but it is painted a nice beige color and the shutters and front door are a wine color. Very nice. The garage door is a new white one with windows and the fence is painted white now.

The kids playing at a water pump at a rest area on our recent trip

Coolclearwater.jpg



Thirsty.jpg


On a recent hike:


Btwn a rock and a hard place.jpg



Copeland Falls.jpg



Evan Explores.jpg


Classic Sophie:

mischevious giggle.jpg



Whose eating gilbert grape.jpg

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Ladybug Paddle

Yesterday, I leaned my head out a back window to check on the kids playing in the backyard. They were finding ladybugs in the "garden" area amongst the weeds. When they caught sight of me, they excitedly told me, "Mommy, we are teaching a ladybug how to swim!"

I replied, "Ladybugs can't swim."

They answered, "This one is! It's on it's back and it's moving its legs!"

I informed them that they were actually teaching the ladybug how to drown. They moved on to teaching ladybugs how to swing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Our New Cavy Cage

Yesterday, James and I started and finished a project I've been wanting to do for a while: We built a 2' x 7' guinea pig cage. It is guinea pig heaven! Here is a link to the page where I got the idea and instructions: Cavy Cages If you scroll down a bit, you can see a short slide show of different cages. The one we built is like the one shown after the picture of the cage with the cat sitting on top.I took the kids in the van to a sign company and bought a 4' x 8' sheet of blue "coroplast" (corrugated plastic). I slid it into the van through the back hatch and over the kids' heads. Since we had to go to music lessons from there, they rode in a "tent" for awhile. Their hair was quite static-y upon arrival!

After supper, we visited Target and bought "Organize-Its" which are wire grids that can be connected together to form cubes. After the kids were in bed, James and I connected the grids into a 2' x 7' frame (approximately), then scored and cut the coroplast to form a box to fit inside the frame, taping the outside corner seams. We took the wooden hutch part off of the "old" cage and fastened it inside the new one. The cage is sitting on top of Jms' old kitchen table which we have in the basement near a window. The table is 6' long with the leaves in it. We can move the cage easily enough if we need to use the table and James might make a different stand for the cage out of sawhorses and plywood.

We will clean out the cage with a dustpan, finishing by spraying it with water and vinegar and wiping it dry. (In case you were wondering ; ) It will actually be easy to clean out, because there is no top to the cage. (Don't worry, the sides are high enough that they can't climb out.)

Last night the piggies were already running around more than usual. It is nice to watch them without caging over the top.

Weekly Sophism

This past weekend, we went for a drive and hike in the mountains with our friend, Michelle. We had granola bars in the van which Michelle dispensed as needed. The bars were called "Trail Mix." Sophie asked, "Michelle, can I have some 'Treadmill'?"

Excuse Me, Your Bias Is Showing

On the homeschooling discussion board which I frequent, someone posted the following article on homeschooling: Correcting Misconceptions About Homeschooling

While I appreciate the article's point that homeschoolers are a diverse group, the author's tone and that of some of the people he interviewed annoyed me. Some of the people initially were opposed to homeschooling, because they thought that it was solely the domain of religious conservatives. They had this snotty, intolerant attitude that they didn't like the homeschooling movement, because it might produce more people who don't agree with them. Ho-nes-tly. And then once, they (and the author) realized that liberals homeschool too, then homeschooling became a worthwhile movement in their eyes and not something to attack. In my opinion, everyone should have the right to the freedom of thought that homeschooling provides. (I'm not saying that everyone should homeschool!) I roll my eyes when I read homeschooling articles when people feel like they have to justify that the reason they are homeschooling has nothing to do with faith or religion. Though I do have to admit, that I have downplayed that factor in the reasons why I homeschool when faced with a potentially hostile questioner: to my shame. Nobody wants to be labelled as a religious radical, though all of life is based on faith, admitted or not!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A Surprising Fourth

As we left my parents' city on our recent trip, we stopped to buy a few snack items at the grocery store. I opted to sit with Matthew and Sophie in the car, thinking four items wouldn't take very long to buy. James and Evan disappeared into the store and were gone for A VERY LONG TIME. I began to think that the store hid the four items that we wanted on purpose! When they returned, I discovered that James had purchased about TEN items, and I felt impatient to hit the road.

Proverbs says "Many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." I was thinking that our plans were behind schedule, but the Lord had a surprise for us. That night, we ended up driving past St. Louis at 10 pm, just in time to see the firework display near the arch!!! The fireworks were shot off from a barge in the middle of the river. We drove west on I - 70, then east, then west, then east...and then west again so that we saw the whole display.

Good thing that James did not stick to the list!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Summer Activities

Quote of the Week by Sophie (so far): "The Golden Gate Bridge should be golden!"

This morning, the kids and I all had dental appointments and the kids had their pictures taken for the "Cavity Free" bulletin board. Whoo hoo!

Yesterday evening, our whole family went over to the rec center and went "swimming". We've taken the kids to three sessions of group swimming lessons and so far have seen no appearance of swimming. James and I are going to start trying to teach them some on our own. Evan, though, panics even in water that he can stand up in. If we try to hold him while he floats on his back, he gets a death grip on us and will not relax. I played with Sophie a lot in the water last night and got her to bob under water, holding her breath and to float on her back while I hold her lightly. She doesn't like it when I quit holding on, though, and collapses in the middle when my hand moves away. The kids love to play in a pool, but we are so ready for them to learn how to swim themselves. I have called about private swimming lessons and am waiting for the teachers to call back. The lady I spoke to said that I'll probably see a huge jump in what they can do even in the first lesson. We will probably invest in some private lessons at least until they can do the basics.

Last week our church had Vacation Bible School with the theme: "He Spoke in Parables: the Stories Jesus Told." Since I am the chairman of our Christian Education Committee, I also was the VBS director by default. We put together our own program instead of buying preplanned materials. Each night, a different storyteller came in and told a different parable. It was fun to see each person's unique ideas in presenting the story. James was Mr. Shepherd and dressed up in a bathrobe over his clothes and sandals and headgear and a staff. He hid a sheep puppet in the room ahead of time and had the kids hunt until they found it and then cheer. With the sheep puppet on his arm, he told the story of "Baby Baa" : The parable of the lost sheep. He also displayed pictures that he drew on large newsprint. The kids loved it. One little girl exclaimed: "Isn't that a bathrobe?!" James quipped, "It's my shepherd robe. I got it at Shepler's (a western wear store)."

Our theme psalm was the first two verses of 49A sung to the tune of 113A. Our song leader made up hand motions to go with it and by the end of the week, everyone had it memorized. Many of the kids also memorized all four verses of our memory program (and received prizes): Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, and 10:9.

Sophie just had me stop typing this, because she wanted to sing 49A with me. Matthew keeps saying that he wishes that VBS lasted a whole month.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Breckenridge

Okay! I'd better start updating my blog! Maybe I should start with our Breckenridge vacation at the end of May...

A very gracious family in my dad's congregation gave him a week's stay at their condo in Breckenridge as a graduation present. (He finished his doctorate last year.) My dad invited my family to stay there too. We all thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Here are two pictures:

Near Breckenridge.jpg



Ice Bear.jpg


Do you see the bear in the last picture? The snow drift had melted so that it looked like a bear. Evan is growling at it.

Our Trip to Grandma's 90th Celebration

The end of June, we drove almost 1500 miles (one way) to attend my grandmother's 90th birthday celebration. I actually prefer driving to flying. I like seeing the country and spending time with family in the car.

Here is a list of activities that kept us occupied in the car:

  • Listening to books on tape or CD (We had a signal splitter so that we could plug in three sets of headphones for the kids)
  • Listening to music
  • Portable Lego lap table
  • Wikki sticks (colored wax covered strings which can be bent into different shapes without mess)
  • Portable Lite Brite
  • Clipboards with storage space for art supplies
  • Activity books
  • magnetic drawing board
  • bag of little dolls
  • blank maps to track states that we drove through and to mark the states we saw listed on license plates
  • singing
  • Playing "20 Questions" and "I Spy"
  • Quizzing math facts ( The kid that answered could eat a small piece of candy. Sophie could eat one whenever Matthew answered. She did answer one problem correctly on her own: 1,000,523 x 0 = 0 !!)
  • James enjoyed pointing out road kill and the boys enjoyed pointing out cell phone towers
  • Wildlife watching: redwing blackbirds, a mouse, an opossum, meadowlarks, egrets, deer, blue herons, pelicans, and hawks

Here are pictures of family:

Ray Hemphills.jpg
This is my dear Grandma whose 90th birthday we celebrated, along with Grandpa, my dad, Aunt Beth, and Uncle Alan


Bruce Hemphills.jpg
Not pictured: Baby James (taking a nap) and Jackie's husband, Luke (could not get time off work)


Grandkids.jpg
The little cousins (except Baby James)


Bri and Seb.jpg

This is Brian, Jen's husband, with their son, Sebastian



Girls Talking.jpg
Ana and Sophie


girls on a swing.jpg



Grandpa and kids on swing.jpg



Matt and Baby Jms.jpg
Here is Baby James, swinging with Matthew!


Who Me.jpg
Who Me? ("No No Noah")


Matthew sandwich.jpg
Matthew with his two Great Grandmas

The best part of our trip was that we had many quality visits with family and friends. Many people came to Grandma's party to honor her.