Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

View in the Van

Our recent road trip involved four long days in the van. Snapping pictures with the digital camera proved to be an entertaining way to pass some of the time.

Matthew shared some of his Crayola Model Magic with the other kids.



Duck by Michelle

Plate by Sophie

Sophie and Logan used a water-filled pen to color pre-painted pictures (Rose Art Aqua Pix). When they lost the pen, I had them use a wet wipe. Logan also colored with Color Wonder markers and paper.


Playing with a reed...


Next time: When Logan got a little stir-crazy...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Recital on Steroids

Last week our family drove to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend our church denomination's international conference.

Earlier in the summer, I had asked the children if they would be interested in performing at the conference, and they said yes. I submitted audition videos for each, and they were scheduled to perform in the "Entertainment Night".

About a month before the conference, Evan sliced his left pointer finger rather severely. I thought he was making a sandwich in the kitchen, but no, he had decided to cut a large jicama and the knife slipped. (I now agree with Logan's opinion of jicama recorded in the sidebar.) After an E.R. trip and stitches, Evan practiced piano with only his right hand during twelve days until he could get the stitches out. Thankfully, his shortest piano piece was requested which he knew quite well and could quickly get up to speed.

When we arrived at the conference and I saw the size of the crowd in the auditorium (1,600 people), I wondered if we had made a good decision.

Picture by Drew Gordon
However, the children remained unflinching in their desire to perform and when the time came, they played well.

As a child, I remember sitting at a piano, ready to play in a small recital, but losing my nerve to play and walking away. How humiliating!

Sophie did have a hiccup in her playing at the beginning of her piece, but she looked over at her brothers and continued on beautifully! I'm glad that she had the experience of not letting a mistake affect her nerves and the rest of the performance.

I fought with my camera to record the kids' playing in the low lighting and unfortunately did not catch the very beginning of Sophie's piece, but here is the video:

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Ten other "acts" performed in the program, including this wonderful bagpipe player:

Photo by Drew Gordon

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rest Stop Recreation

Picture by Evan

Picture by Evan

Picture by Evan

My Favorite Shot!
Picture by Evan


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday






Please visit this Picasa album to view the adventures of Tyranny the Tyrannosaurus who was left behind by my nephews, Seb and Oren, but found his way home with a little help from some friends. (Click on slideshow to view.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Swim Lessons

Earlier this summer, I spent some time searching online for what might be the best option for swimming lessons in the area for my children. We have done swimming lessons many times at the rec center in the past with minimal swimming skills to show for it. I think that my kids' short torso and long leg body type make swimming more challenging for them than what is typical.

In investigating other options for lessons beyond rec center lessons, I came up against the problems of high prices and schedules that wouldn't match up with our summer travel plans. I felt at a loss as to what to do, but I prayed about it.

As I read my cousin Kristin's Facebook profile, I noticed that she wrote down swimming as one of her interests. I asked her if she would be interested in teaching my kids to swim, but she instead recommended her friend, Juliana, a woman new to our church who is a certified lifeguard. When I asked Juliana about the lesson idea, she immediately expressed interest and told me that we could have the lessons at her apartment complex pool!

The children have now had several swim lessons with Juliana and have made much progress. They tell me that she is the best teacher that they have had. I appreciate that she has a well-thought out plan, praises what they are doing well as she teaches, and comes up with fun activities to incorporate the skills that they are learning. I am thankful to God for sending us to Juliana in answer to prayer! We have enjoyed spending time with her and getting to know her.





My low-body-fat children need frequent warm-up breaks!



While the pool looks cool and inviting to me, I spend most of my time at or in the hot tub during the lessons, supervising the children who need to warm up and watching Logan, who prefers the "hot pool" to the "cold pool."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yours and "Mines"

I guess, according to toddler logic, if "yours" has an "s" on the end, so should "mine". Logan turns two years old next week, and he has been saying (or shrieking) "mines" a lot more about things.

On the way home from an evening soccer practice this week, James and the kids stopped in a store to buy some cleats for Evan (who now has bigger feet than me and is wearing Men's size 8). Upon arriving home, the kids had to tell me about Logan's antics. He picked up the "foot measuring thing" and rocked it in his arms. James told him to put it down, and Logan bent over it and started asking it, "Are you tired, man?"

The pitter patter of little feet...

toddling over to the window...

to talk to his reflection!

Yesterday, Logan talked on the phone with James. He looked around, thinking of things to say. His eyes fell on Sophie, and he told his daddy, "Sophie is a monster." Sophie, of course, started giggling as only she can, and Logan informed James, "Sophie is being naughty."

An oft-repeated phrase in Logan's repertoire is "What happened?!" He asks us that question whenever we do or say things that he just doesn't understand. For instance, this morning I dropped a plate on the floor and he asked, "What happened?!" until I explained in words that I had dropped a plate.

Recently, Evan cut his finger badly, and while we were getting ready to go to the ER for stitches, Logan gave Evan hugs, kisses, pats on the head, and toys to comfort him. He asked him, "Do you need a kiss? Do you need some Tylenol?"

This afternoon, I took Logan to a pediatric orthotist who adjusted Logan's shoe inserts. Logan played with a wall maze, pushing red balls (which he called "red fireworks") around the paths, and pushing and twisting buttons and knobs. He told me several times, "This is a computer loading!"

Logan seemingly eats very little, but eats more when he is distracted. We often let him play with cars or draw at the table, because more food actually ends up in his mouth.


This evening, after Sophie had eaten, she fed Logan bites while she drew for him on a white board. Logan calls our van "the blue van", but since Sophie had a green marker, he ordered her, "Draw a green 'blue van'!"

More fun Logan-speak can be found in the sidebar!

Gluten-Free White Chili

I am re-posting my white chili recipe, because I have changed it some since going gluten-free and to participate in The Nourishing Gourmet's food carnival. I usually double the following for future meals.


1 # ground turkey (I have substituted leftover chicken at times.)
1 c. chopped onion
2 T. minced garlic

Mix in Stockpot:

Browned meat
2/3 c. quinoa
2 16 oz. cans Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 2 T. ground cumin
1 T. minced canned jalapenos or 1 4 oz. can diced green chili peppers
1 tsp. marjoram
6 c. chicken broth

Bring the chili to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Those who can eat dairy in our family top their serving with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, but the chili tastes good without cheese. I serve the chili with a green salad. This makes an easy, fast and delicious meal!