Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2010

2010 has been a whirlwind and I can't believe it is over!  Pictured at top is our four children and their cousin, Aiden, in Abbie's lap (Rachel & Scott's).  In the middle you can see the very best present we got in 2010 . . . Sam.  He is now 8 months old and such a joy!  The bottom picture is of Micah and I on our 12th anniversary . . . we went to Cafe Borrone (where we had our first date!)  Abbie turns 9 in a week.  She loves reading, playing with friends, sewing, writing stories, and playing outside.  Andrew is 6 1/2 and he enjoys Legos, jokes, riddles, and playing with words.  Luke is 3 and he can be found building with his brother, playing active games, laughing, and making us laugh too!  Sam is 8 months and is just delighted to be a part of such a boisterous family.  Micah continues to work as a BMW tech and I home educate and work as an educator part time for a charter school.  Blessings to you and yours and we are thankful to have you in our lives!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Merry Christmas 2009 and Happy New Year!

I want to share with you some moments from our daily lives from 2009 and what better way than with pictures! We are incredibly blessed to live by my family and Micah's. Both grandmas have taken an active roll in homeschooling and have taught the children various skills including piano and sewing.

Here are Andrew (the spider) and Abbie (the bluebird) and friends. They just performed a variety of songs and dances at a senior center and later at a nursing home. They love the stage and hamming it up. They continue to homeschool, which gives us a lot of flexibility with our schedule. This group of children are some of the children we meet with at least on a weekly basis for play time, exploring in nature, and work on group performances. We have been blessed to have a talented mother who has been willing to create and direct these performances.

Micah and I have become Uncle and Aunt! Welcome, Aiden, to Micah's sister Rachel and her husband Scott. The children love having a cousin.

House for sale! It's hard to believe that after ten years we might be selling our house but we will see . . . we started a project a few years back trying to develop a small piece of land here in Redwood City . . . at this point we have no idea what's next but we are hoping to get a building permit soon and to move forward with that. In the meantime, if the house sells we plan to rent locally.

Siblings ~ our children spend a lot of time together and practice makes, well . . . let's just say that MOST of the time they are each others best friends. We are adding to our family! We expect baby Samuel Clarence to make his debut in early May. It's exciting times.

Abbie is in the second grade and loves American Girl books/dolls, time with friends, art, and any opportunity to perform. Her favorite book genre is historical fiction.

Andrew is in kindergarten and he loves to build with various materials, listen to nonfiction books, PLAY, solve various challenging math problems, and participate in philosophical discussions.

Luke is 2 years old and he loves to play outside, tell knock knock jokes, TALK, be the leader, and keep up with the big kids. His favorite book currently is "The Carrot Seed".

Micah continues his work as an automotive technician at the BMW dealership. In addition to this he has been going to school part time. He just finished a grueling semester of math. When he is not working, Micah enjoys spending time with family and friends and recreational time at the shooting range. The boys got Nerf guns for Christmas and so when he can't get to the range, our house becomes the range.

I continue to work for a public charter school as an Educational Specialist. Abbie and Andrew are enrolled there (all of the students at the school are learning in small group environments aka: home). It has been a tremendous blessing as I have a flexible schedule, get to develop professionally, and often I receive many ideas at my meetings with families that I get to implement myself. The biggest challenge in my life is finding time for every hat I wear in my life as wife, mother, household manager, and educator.

We wish YOU, our friends and family a wonderful 2010.

Books We've Loved in 2009

We have had the privilege to read many books this year that have contributed to our character, health, and enjoyment.  We'd love to share a few with you.
Kirsten's Picks:
"The Parthenon Code: Mankind's History in Marble" by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr.
A provocative look at Greek art and the story that it tells.  Is Greek myth really all myth or is it history?  Did the Greeks record events that happened prior to the great flood in their art?  Simply fascinating -- I would recommend this book to adults as well as high school students.
"Eternity in their Hearts" by Don Richardson 
This book was fascinating in a similar way and I would also recommend this book as high school reading, for adults, and also for those interested in mission work.  It provides "startling evidence of belief in the One True God in hundreds of cultures throughout the world".
  "Already Gone" by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer with Todd Hillard 
A look at the American church and research on why two-thirds of young people will leave it.  Not an easy book to read, but I would recommend it to any parent who has an interest in helping their children develop an authentic faith.
  "Sheet Music" by Dr. Kevin Leman 
Leman discusses intimacy in marriage in his personal and candid style.  I have also really enjoyed his birth order book.
  "Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats" by Sally Fallon. 
This is more than a cookbook but a science text as well.
  "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
What does the Bible say about Heaven?  Alcorn digs it out in his logical way.  I found this to be an interesting and encouraging read. 
Abbie's (age 7) Picks (in her words):
American Girl Books
These books teach young girls to learn from the heart.   
The Boxcar Children Series
The kids solve mysteries and its fun to know how to solve them.
In Grandma's Attic Series
Stories from long ago -- I like how life was really different then.    
If You Lived in Colonial Times
I would recommend the whole "If You Lived . . ." series because I like how it teaches you how you would live if you lived then.  
Other Books that Have Contributed to the Character Development of Our Children:
"The Child's Story Bible" by Catherine Vos and "The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes" by Kenneth Taylor
Both are accurate and have very realistic pictures.  We have found that picture Bibles with flowery language or whimsical pictures are very confusing to our children.  We have had to be very careful that any childrens' Bibles we have portray the Bible as a history book and not a collection of fables. 
"Heaven for Kids" by Randy Alcorn 
 What the Bible says about Heaven, written for children.
Favorite Picture Book Authors from 2009:
Lois Lenski
Robert McCloskey
Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
Beatrix Potter
Rosemary Wells

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Luke is 2!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas 2008! Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. It has been a busy and happy year for all of us. Some highlights from this year:
• Abbie played softball for the first time this year. What fun that was! If you have never seen 4-6 year olds play softball, it is really cute. One of them hits the ball and then ALL of the outfielders run for it. Her team had great coaches who were really positive and worked on one thing at a time with them.
• Andrew decided to do preschool at home this year. It has been a joy to watch him develop his own friendships this year with the group of children we routinely see and to see him take the initiative to learn many letters, sounds, numbers and more.
• Luke has transitioned from baby to boy! He communicates fairly effectively through words, grunts, and gestures and reminds us to slow down and enjoy the small things in life.
• After spending a year at home following Luke's birth, I have a new job this school year! I work as an educational specialist for a public charter Parent Choice school. The families I work with are all doing home-based instruction and one of my students is Abbie! It is truly wonderful to live in a place where there are so many options for education and I love the work that I do.
• Micah continues to fix BMWs at a BMW dealership. He is also working part time with his dad and he enjoys that a lot.
• We celebrate our 10th anniversary in a couple more days.

We thank God for family, friends, and health and wish you a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Abbie Our Girl

Abbie has had a busy and happy year. She loves expressing herself on stage, by creating art, singing in the choir, and in her new ballet class. Also she loves to read and to listen to books! She is in first grade now, and does her schooling mostly at home. She continues to make new friendships and bring joy to her family.

Andrew the Superhero

It has been so much fun to watch Andrew grow this year! He wore his superhero cape 365 days this year -- and sometimes combined it with various pirate attire. Andrew truly saved the day with his intelligent humor, thoughtfulness, and insight. He gave me permission to share with you some thoughts on/to God:

July 6, 2008
I don’t think God teases us because he’s friendly. And he’s big and we’re not. But he doesn’t say, “I’m big and you’re not nah nah nah nah nah.”

November 16, 2008 Andrew’s Prayer at Bedtime:
Dear God, I pray for mommy that she wouldn’t be scared or frightened. And I pray for daddy that he would be good enough and that his heart would be freshened. And I pray for mommy that the food would be tasty. In Jesus’ name, amen.