Saturday, August 30, 2008

Creative Creatures

Here are some fun creations that the girls made for our last activity of the Summer homeschool semester. Becca made "chairs" and a ball for her people and their dog. Christy made beds, pillows, and food for her animals. I really don't know what the other things are, and it's too late to ask them, since they are in bed. I guess I should get into bed also. It's almost 11:30!

End of Summer Homeschool

Most of you know that we homeschool our kids. We have been teaching them since birth, and we feel that it is one of the most important tasks that God has called us to do. We are "in school" year-round, but the Summer semester is a little bit easier than the Fall and Winter semesters. This Summer, we kept up on Reading, Writing, and Math skills. We learned some fun facts in Social Studies and Science, with hands-on activities to make it more fun. We read some great Charlotte Mason-style books that were absolutely captivating! It has been fun, but now we must take a little "break" from all that "hard work". We start back up in September with a full schedule, and I am excited to dig in and learn some more with my children!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And....he's off!

Sam has been mobile for a couple of months now, but has just recently started to do the "traditional" crawl. He is pretty quick, especially if we set up a toy he really wants across the room. In this video he is going for the train. We realized that this was the ticket to really get him moving!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lake Marion

We took the family to Lake Marion yesterday, since Eric only had to work half a day. The Weatherbug predicted 85 degrees and sunny, but it wasn't as warm as we hoped it would be. However, we had a lot of fun playing on the beach. Sam decided it was too cool and breezy to get wet, so he spent most of his time at the playground.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Serious Sand Play

Becca was enthralled with the sand, and spent most of the afternoon making (and destroying!) wells, sand castles, and mountains. It still amazes me how her imagination gets her so deep into her own little world. You should hear the stories she tells!

Chilly Fun

Eric and the kids had fun in the water, but Christy kept complaining that she was cold. You can see her "chilled" smile in this picture. I guess it was a bit cool...only 78 degrees. If we had only went an hour earlier it would have been 82 degrees. The temperature really dropped once the clouds rolled in.

Swingin' Sam

Sam loved the swing on the beach at the lake! He grinned and jabbered for almost 30 minutes while I took pictures! I tried to get a video of him swinging, but I haven't yet mastered the video part of our camera. Eric is the one who takes the cool videos...not me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday Fun!

Every August, Eric's company hosts a picnic at our local amusement park, Valleyfair! The weather was much better this year than the last couple of years, so we really enjoyed ourselves! The rides were fun, but the best part was just spending time together and enjoying each other.

Cooling Off

Becca enjoyed a "Super-slushy" that we thought would be refreshing on a warm Summer day. After her sugar high kicked in, she was good for many more miles of walking the park!

Krazy Koi

We saw some colorful fish in a pond at Valleyfair, and decided to take a closer look. We discovered that they were actually koi, and they were huge! I guess it was feeding time, because they kept swimming up to this little platform. We took some video footage of them showing off.

Super Frog Hopper

Christy and Becca love the little "Frog Hopper" ride. This time, however, Becca asked to ride the "Super" Frog Hopper. You can see it in the background of this picture we took. It is called the "Power Tower" and drops a whopping 250 feet! We would have taken her...but the line was just too long. Sorry Becca, maybe next time! ;-)

Getting Wet

Here is a neat video clip of the girls getting soaked as they wait by the Log Ride.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Family Piano

We finally did it! We bought a digital piano, and we love it! It plays just like a traditional piano, but has extra features like the ability to change to different instruments (strings, brass, etc.), a built-in metronome, and a button to record what you play. Christy is currently taking piano lessons, and we plan to start Becca when she is about seven years old. I know that some people think that piano is mostly for girls, but we plan on having Sam take lessons some day also. Christy is enjoying her lessons, and so far her favorite songs to play are "Yankee Doodle" and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy".

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Three Smiles

Do any of you realize how difficult it is to get three kids to look at the camera and smile all at the same time? Well, I can tell you, it's not easy! This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, and I haven't been brave enough since then to try to set them all up again. We are getting portraits made at the end of the Summer, and I am starting to pray NOW that it goes well. Everyone say "CHEESE"!


I feel bad that I didn't really take any pictures of Sam at the Fair. So, here are some cute pictures of him that I took when we got home. I'm not very good at setting my camera up to take the best pictures, so he is a little bit washed-out in one of them. But, aren't those the brightest blue eyes you have ever seen? And what about them chunker-chunker legs?!!! ;-)

Pony Ride

The Girls got to ride some ponies at the Fair. They thought it was great until Christy ended up having an allergic reaction from petting the horse and then rubbing her eye. I feel so sorry for her and her animal allergies. She really loves animals, but can't be around them without developing a reaction. So, the only pets we have allowed the girls to care for are a couple of Beta fish. They are pretty neat!

More Dakota County Fair

I haven't quite figured out yet how to include multiple images with separate captions in one post. I have so many pictures to share, but I want to write a little bit about each one. Maybe I'll have to give Julie a call tomorrow to get some blog tutoring! ;-)
Here are some pictures of what we saw at the Village. The first picture is of the girls learning how to use an old-fashioned water pump at the fire station. The second one is of an old Presbyterian church, and the third one is of Eric and the girls in front of the Library. The Library was one of my favorite places to explore!

Dakota County Fair

We had so much fun at the Dakota County Fair this weekend! The best part was getting to see the Dakota Heritage Village, a replica of a small town in the late 1800's! The buildings were fun to explore, and the people "living" in the Village gave us some interesting information about that time period. Here is a picture of the girls as we started out.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

In the Beginning...

Hello, and welcome to my Blog! After much debating, I have decided to become a "Blogger". I'll have to admit, this has not been an easy transition. After years of depending upon email to send pictures and updates on the family, I am now facing the fact that there is a better way! I have to acknowledge that I would have never even thought about doing this if it weren't for the guidance and inspiration of my sister-in-law, Julie Crafton. Thanks Julie! :-)

I'm not much of a computer person. I usually stick to just email and surfing the Web. This is my first attempt at publishing something on the World Wide Web, and it is a little bit intimidating. So, there are a few things that I would like to share with everyone. The first thing is that, I write the same way that I speak, so my grammar may not be perfect. I like to have expression when I write, and it may not follow the standard rules of written English. However, I will do my best to write my Blogs in a way that can be understood by everyone. Also, I can't promise to post every day of the week. Things can get pretty crazy around here. You will see what I mean when I post about one of my crazy days. I'm sure there's one just around the corner!

Some of you may wonder why I decided to entitle my Blog "All My Children". Well, I ran into some of my church friends the other day, and they asked me how my four children were doing. I started to correct them by saying that I have only three children so far, but they just started laughing! They said that they consider my husband to be my fourth "child"! Yes, he can be quite child-like sometimes! So, since these Blogs will be about my children and my fourth child, the title seems to fit well! ;-)

I have so much to share! I have archives of pictures and stories that I would love to write, but it would take too much time to go too far back. So, I'm going to start with some pretty current events, photographs and video clips. I am really excited about being able to include video in my Blogs! Our camera takes good video with sound, but we haven't really been able to share with anyone, since the average clip is over 50 megabytes! That is a little too much for email to handle.

Let's start out with a bang! I have the cutest short video clip of our baby Samuel (now 7 months old) eating his first bowl of whole-grain oatmeal and bananas MIXED together! As you can tell from his facial expressions, he seems to think that this isn't the greatest taste in the world. But, he is such a trooper! He keeps on eating, and finishes the whole bowl. I can tell you, there hasn't been a food yet that he has totally rejected.