Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Imminent Teenager

CrazyMom and I are about to enter a new stage in life - parenting a teen. It is hard for us to believe that Miss Bookworm will be thirteen before the year is out. With life swirling around us there just never seems to be enough time to sit down with Miss Bookworm and talk about the next stage of life.

Well, one thing CrazyMom and I know about ourselves is that if it is on the calendar, it gets done. This led us to put an overnight getaway for just CrazyMom and Miss Bookworm on the calendar. They went on their trip a few days ago and had a grand time. It was a great for them to be able to spend some time having fun together as well as to think through the teenage years. They came back excited about the trip causing every other kid in our home to now look forward to turning thirteen so they can go on a trip with just mom or just dad.

Here are a few photos of them hiking together (anybody know what kind of bird that feather is from?) and the place they stayed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Celebrating 15 Years

The other night CrazyMom and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. We shunned the traditional 15 year gift of crystal opting instead for a night out on the town. Emulating our courting days, I lined up several different activities for the evening including a movie, dinner, and viewing an exhibit of Pulitzer Prize photographs. Putt putt was also on the docket, but the evening was getting late for us. This was our 15th anniversary after all, not our 5th.

The Pulitzer Prize exhibit was powerful in the way that it testified to the depravity of man. I found myself feeling grateful to these photographers for forcing me to remember and deal with events of our past, but at the same time I am not recommending the exhibit as a part of your wedding anniversary celebration.

After dinner we strolled around a bit enjoying what was a gorgeous evening. Here is one of those arm length self portraits as we are relaxing outdoors.

Our heavenly father is one who likes us to remember – from the communion table today to the twelve stones carried from the center of the Jordan River long ago (Joshua 4) – it is important to keep in mind the ways in which God has been faithful to us. In the same way, CrazyMom and I love to play “I remember when . . .” on our anniversary where we each take turns completing the sentence by recalling some time we have shared together in the past. It is always fun to be reminded of things about which we have not thought for a long time.

With seven kids underfoot, we don’t get out alone very much. However, we are on the verge of a new era. Soon we will be able to duck out for dinner leaving Miss Bookworm as the commander-in-chief of the rest of the munchkins. What a sweet day that will be.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Readoption in the US

Anna is now our child all over again. We made a court appearance today where a US court agreed that indeed Anna was our child. Yeah!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Family Tradition

For the last eight years our family has gone to a family camp with other families we know. You may recall last year when F.G. and K.D. got to go for the very first time and the traumatic event that happened on the way home. This year Anna got to go along for the first time. There were seven families (44 adults/children) who went making it one of the largest gatherings in the last several years.

At some point in the future I may write of the significance of this event for our family, but for now, here are a few photos from the last week. Photos in some way both represent and misrepresent the truth. These photos misrepresent the truth because I had to scour all of the photos I had to find ones where our kids were not pictured with other kids. They also seem to convey that the fun of the trip was all in the activities we did, but this is not true. Sure the activities were fun, but the real joy of the trip came from being able to be refreshed by so many kindred spirits.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Scare

by Miss Bookworm
July 4, 2008

(Editor's Note: This is a piece of writing that Miss Bookworm wrote about when she was at a week long camp a few weeks back.)

It was about 10 or 11 o’clock at night. Our cabin was hanging out at the Pop Shop, having a good time, when our counselor called us over. Our normally cheerful and joking counselor was now grave, and she was holding a note in her hand. She said that she had received it after supper. It said to go down to the front of the dining hall. She also told us that it said “NO TALKING” in all caps. That kinda scared me. As we walked down the beaten trail around the lake to the dining hall, the dark night and looming trees set my unsure mood. When we got to the dining hall, we sat down on the porch over the lake. As we were sitting down, someone whispered in my ear that we weren’t in trouble at all, but I didn’t believe her. Why would she know and no one else? I might have believed it slightly at first, but as time wore on, I was more and more certain that it wasn’t true. My counselor told us to sit quietly until someone came. Then she told us that she thought Chuck was going to handle this, but he was busy, so Hannah, the nurse, was going to instead. I was now thoroughly freaked out. Chuck was one of the camp leaders. If he was supposed to talk to us, something really must be wrong.

When Hannah came, she sat down and said something very bad had happened. She said that someone had gotten seriously injured at swimming time, and that someone in our cabin had hurt her, but the person didn’t know who it was. It was incredibly serious and they were going to write a report about it. She pulled out an important-looking notebook as she said this. Hannah said that whoever did this should come forward - “you know who you are.” I raced frantically through my memory for what we did at swimming time. Surely I hadn’t hurt anyone seriously!! Then Hannah said “Well, if no one will come forward, we could just go inside and have a pizza party.” At first I was sure she was kidding. Then I realized it was no joke; I had been fooled. I was extremely relieved that we weren’t in trouble. The girl who had told me we weren’t in trouble had been right!! Her mom had sent in money for a pizza party for the whole cabin. I was so glad as we stepped into the light of the dining room to feast. We had a great time that night and we got very hyper as our emotions swung from worry and stress to the excitement of having a pizza party. I promise you, they’ll give you gray hair at that camp.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy 4th of July

The weather was iffy on the 4th so we did not make plans to go to a community event. In the end, the weather cleared leaving behind one gorgeous evening. We built a fire in the back yard and hung out as a family. It was the stuff wonderful evenings are made of.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Here are a few random happenings in our home:

Tidbit 1: When I walked into the bathroom with Anna to help her brush her teeth, I flipped on the light. “No!,” she said as she reached up to turn it back off. I assumed she wanted to turn the light on herself and was going to flip it off and then back on again.

She flipped the light off, walked out of the bathroom, turned around and got herself set for another grand entry. Then she waltzed into the bathroom and flipped on the light. I had clearly ruined the experience so fully the first time that she had to redo the whole scene.

Tidbit 2: A child, who wished not to be named, came to me and said, “I am bored.” I offered a few suggestions of things he/she could do, but none of them seemed to intrigue the child. Then an idea came.

“Hey, Dad! Is there anything I can do that I have to ask to do?”

“Well, what do you want to do that you have to ask to do?”

“I don’t know. I can’t think of what they all are. Can you tell me?”

That was very humorous to me. Our kids can do a whole host of things in our home without asking, but there are a few things that they need permission to do – playing a video game, playing in the rain, working in the workshop, watching a movie, etc. Even though this child could not at the moment think of what those things were, he/she knew the activity would be better than anything I had just suggested because permission was needed to do it.

Tidbit 3: We did something new for our family this year and we designed a family t-shirt. The minimum order was 12 and we only have nine in our family, so we had to order three extra shirts. We made the extra shirts on the larger side of things to accommodate for the future growth of our kids.

Now Miss Bookworm is an extreme “Type A” firstborn child and on the way back from ordering the t-shirts she had an endless supply of questions trying to wrap her mind around the 10 year plan for these shirts.

“What happens when a shirt gets ruined? Do I get a larger shirt and we hand the others down?” “When will we all wear the shirts?” “Why are there three adult small shirts? Will those be for us girls when we get bigger?”

In the end I tried to put her mind at ease. “Listen. We just ordered shirts as something fun for this summer. Let’s enjoy the shirts now and worry about the future when we get there.”

I don’t think it was satisfying.

Tidbit 4: Our cat Patches often picks up and carries things around the house. She is quite proud of herself when she does and will meow until she receives due recognition. The other night, CrazyMom left a full-sized pair of scissors at the top of the stairs and forgot to bring them down when she came. A few minutes later, Patches showed up with the scissors and dropped them by where we were sitting. We were quite impressed.

Tidbit 5: Our schedules have been crazy for awhile and last night after the kids were in bed CrazyMom and I snuggled in on the couch, held hands, and watched . . . a homeschool training video from the “Excellence in Writing” curriculum. Ah, the romantic life of a big homeschooling family.