Friday, July 30, 2010

Disturbing Thoughts (I Just Can't Ignore)

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”
~Mother Teresa

Father, we have sinned in word, and deed, and thought,
Through ignorance, through weakness, through deliberate fault.
We've sinned against our neighbor and against You, Lord,
Yet we are truly sorry, and we turn to You once more.

Father of the nations, You who bless the poor,
We're servants of the endless want and drive for more.
We've made our greed a virtue, while the children starve.
Come change our joy to sorrow, till our lives reflect Your heart.
~Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend, Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music

Monday, July 26, 2010

First Day of Horse Camp

"...I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound."
~Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Chimæra," A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys, 1852

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Tonight we tried a bug scavenger hunt. We found a lot of creepy crawlers and flitting fliers by just walking once around the block and by exploring our own yard! However, documenting finds with a camera is not an easy task. The following pictures reveal only a small percentage of our discoveries.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It would be so easy...

I could post a few pictures like these...

...and say what a beautiful night it was at the beach. And you would look and think, "My what a beautiful family. Don't they make having four children look so easy!"
I wouldn't have to mention how I dropped my cell phone in the river while going out to meet my children who were ignoring my calls (as in "What?," then turn around and continue doing previous activity without actually connecting with the calling mother). Or how one of the kids had to pee three times in a span of 30 minutes, necessitating everyone's not-so-happy participation in the potty process. Or how another child seems to have an automatic whine gear that is shifted into whenever it is time to transition away from a fun event. Or . . .
It's true...You can't believe every happy picture you see on a blog! (Just keeping it real.)
Maybe tonight was payback for me suggesting this project this afternoon:

Yes, you see four kids, four toothbrushes, and some scummy bathroom tile grout.
(By the way, I think I saved my phone, I'm pretty sure my kids have been reminded how I mean business when I say something, and the bathroom floor does look much better! So maybe today wasn't so bad after all.)

We love VBS crafts!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Adventures of Boys

My superheroes:

These two came up with a bird-trapping scheme the other day. Apparently, this was a common activity in Ethiopia. I'm not sure Andrew remembers the techniques exactly...

The set-up:
The technology:

The long and unsuccessful wait:

The dinosaur tamers:
This week we celebrated Andrew's eigth birthday. We have chosen to celebrate it on the anniversary of the day that we met the boys: July 13th. As we continue to discover all the remarkable characteristics of this special boy, we remain in awe of him: his determination, his sense of humor, his ambition, his desire to please, his compassion, his observation skills, his insight into things beyond his years. Okay, sometimes he also drives us crazy!!! But we cannot imagine our family life without this tremendous gift!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Photos

Finally, after a week of being pretty cooped up inside, we hit the bike trail by the river this morning! This, of course, demanded some time up close to the water. As always, the day was full of what I now refer to as "Andrew's Antics." Enjoy the pics.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Good Reasons to Be a Bad Blogger

8) Sitting in front of a computer is not the most effective way to cope with the heat of this week

7) Abby's 5-day (previously) unexplained high fever, demanding extra hugs/attention/snuggles and limiting family out-of-home adventures

6) Toucans, lizards, and butterflies have invaded my least the VBS craft variety (in preparation for next week's adventures at the church)

5) Something like 7 doctor/dentist visits in the last week or so

4) Soccer games (Can't say enough how fun Andrew is to watch though!!)

3) Pulling double-duty on coursework (as courses overlap for a couple weeks during the summer semester) so that I can complete my MA this summer (I finished a research paper on the ethnic identity development processes of internationally adopted children this week...maybe I'll post some highlights sometime...)

2) Library books (Has anyone else read "Where Willy Went" to your kids? I think we've read it 5 times in the last 2 days.)

1) Summer Vacation

Yeah, things have been rather, well, not enjoying-time-on-the-computer-friendly lately. However, I'm making an effort here! For your enjoyment, I am pasting our family's current list of "Bored" activities. You know, for those times when summer vacation just is not providing quite enough direct stimulation and some fresh ideas are needed. In those times, we pull out our "Bored Box" for inspiration. Feel free to steal any of the ideas below or to pass along your own ideas via the comment link below!

Make up a song
Make your own book
Go on a listening walk
Make cookies
Have a picnic with your stuffed animals
Clean out your desk or dresser
Wash the van
Watch a movie
Write a letter to a friend
Send a note to a relative
Take a bath
Do funny things with your hair
Go fishing with a clothespin pole
Color a picture with your toes
Draw a picture with your teeth
Play dress-up
Dance naked
Make a “thankful” list
Cut out your own picture puzzle
Play dough
Under-table banner making
Go on a litter hunt
Weigh household objects
Measuring tape scavenger hunt
Play musical FREEZE
Shoot tin cans with water guns
Play bubbles outside
Play HOT/COLD hiding game
Make paper airplanes
Make an animal habitat
Turn your clothes backward
Undo a yarn scramble
Make sock beanbags and play
"Paint" the house with a pail of water
Make a tape road for cars
Play board games (Our favorites include Zingo, Racko, Topple, Charades, Hi Ho Cherry-O, Finders Keepers, Mind Your Manners, Granny’s House, Uno, Candy Land, and Fishing)
Use the WobbleBoard
Play pirates
Play cowboys
Play super-heroes
Scrub bathrooms/walls/floors
Make a nose collage
Write all 26 letters backwards
Play the missing object tray game
Do mazes
Make a paper plate animal mask
Carve a soap sculpture
Make a leaf creation
Test sink/float in the sink
Play store
Play restaurant
Play instruments
Clean your room
Play bowling
Go sock ice skating in the LR
Learn a new joke
Build the tallest block tower
Make chalk drawings on tile
Vacuum the steps
Invent a circus act
Practice your headstands
Play baseball
Play street hockey
Do at least three puzzles
Do word searches/hidden pictures
Collect bugs
Sweep the driveway
Sweep the porches
Vacuum the van
Clean windows
Wash your bike
Build a sandcastle
Play flashlight tag
Play hide-and-seek
Look at photo albums
Play hopscotch
Make a map of the neighborhood
Bake a cake
Paint your face
Memorize a poem
Try Q-tip golf
Toss marshmallow in a muffin tin
Make pattern jewelry
Have an ice cube melting race
Draw a picture with no looking
Collect rocks
Hug your hard-working mom


Friday, July 2, 2010

Our Happy Canada Day

Lots of firsts...lots of fun...