Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Visit with the Ericksons

One of my good friends from high school came with her family to see us. :) This is Annie and her family who are missionaries in Peru and had only been back in the states on furlough for a few days when they drove up to spend a couple of days with us on their way across the U.S.

Annie and I only lived a couple of hours apart when we had our first two kids. They used to play together when they were very small. None of them remember, but here they are, reunited after about 8 years.

This is little Oliver with Calvin.

Miss Cecily thinks having 4 extra kids around night and day is pretty great.

Benjamin and Kelly.


The second night they were with us, we headed out to Chestnut Ridge park to swim and fish and grill hot dogs. Maybe you can guess what happened? It rained...oops...I mean poured as soon as we got there. The park ranger said that an extensive storm was headed directly for the park. We looked at our friends and they said, "Yipee!! We LOVE the rain! Let's stay!" Honestly, their kids were thrilled. I think it might be a bit of a cultural difference between here and Peru. :) The Joneses don't mind the rain, but you rarely meet someone who's *thrilled* with it. So, we stayed. Some of the boys did fish a little bit. We found a picnic shelter to have as a dry base. The little girls got a little cold.

Dads holding daughters.

The men even rigged up a shelter for the grill and they *grilled* hot dogs, no kidding, when it was pouring, NOT drizzling.
Then we came home and roasted the marshmallows over the charcoals in our grill under the covered porch.

Though this looks toasty, it wasn't a particularly toasty evening. :) But very adventurous and cheerfully adjusting to God's plan.
We were grateful for the time with them. We don't know how many years it will be before we will see them again. It was so fun and interesting to hear about their life and ministry in Peru. My kids loved asking their kids questions because they have such a different life, speaking Spanish and living in such a different place and culture.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blueberry Picking

There's nothing like picking fresh produce grown by yourself or somewhere locally.It's always worth it so we always try to fit it in.

This is McConnell Berry Farm.

It's great that everyone can help and participate as well.

Well, almost everyone. This one didn't mind watching from a special, high perch instead.

Working together and showing her how.

"Look how many I got, Mama!"

Showing off berries.

So much fun and now we have 6 big ziploc bags full of them in the freezer. They will make many meals better between now and next year!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Heidelberg Catechism, Question #1

I told my mom about a year or so ago that I would post the first question to the Heidelberg Catechism on my blog. Our family has memorized it and it is such a wonderfully encouraging reminder to repeat out loud each day.

Often at breakfast Peter asks us:

Q: 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

And we respond:

A: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

Every day I need reminded of these things. I'm thankful for catechisms that concisely state what I believe and make it easy for me to repeat back to myself the doctrine that is life to me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

4th of July

Wasn't it strange having the 4th on a Lord's Day? It was odd to combine the two. After morning services and afternoon naps, we headed out to the Oldlands' house for hamburgers and fireworks.The kids all got their own can of pop. That was a big treat. Here they are toasting their A&W's.

Yummy, 4th of July grilled hamburger!

Getting out the sparklers.

An underexposed, no-flash picture.

The kids watching the firecrackers being set off.

Jocelyn and I watching from the back with the littlest ones.

Ha! I just noticed that this picture is entirely upside-down. :)

Clapping for the fireworks show.

After a while, a few of us decided to watch from a safer distance. :)
So, the pictures aren't the greatest. But that's what we did. We always enjoy going out to be with the Oldlands and enjoy their property with them.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Peter Turns 33

Birthday breakfast: Molasses-Glazed Pecan Scones and homemade applesauce from the freezer.

Peter directed Sunday services, as usual. Next, home for rest and naps and then off to Cooper's Rock to celebrate.

Spice Rub for the pork chops before grilling.

Pleased and amused by the big box full of his favorite cereal sent to him by my mom and dad.

Apple Crisp and ice cream for dessert. It was a simple and fast celebration. But he means the world to us and we're so happy to enter into this new year of his life with him. Love you, Peter.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Last Few Weeks

Highlights: 4th of July firecrackers with the Oldlands, moved the boys into their new room, visited the local pool for some swimming, blueberry picking and then a visit from an old high-school friend with her family who are missionaries in Peru. Our families haven't been together in about 8 years.

It's been a very nice vacation time, getting to do things other than school. We've made good progress on deep-cleaning and sorting too. Never as much as I'd like, but overall a good bit has been accomplished.

I'll be posting pictures of nearly all of the above things I mentioned.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chestnut Ridge Park

The boys and I left after lunch, once the girls had laid down for their naps. The lake at Chestnut Ridge Park is great because there is a swimming area with a sandy beach to play in as well as catch and release fishing around the rest of the lake. Everyone swam for a while.

And dug.

Samuel left to fish on his own. He helped some other folks get fish off their hooks and they gave him some worms in return.

Will and I visited to see how the fish were biting, then headed back to the swim area with Cal and Ben.

When the girls got up, Peter brought them out to meet us.

A happy surprise for them!

Picnic dinner.

Yeah for summer holiday!

A little more swimming.

Showing me some rocks he found. He's clearly getting cold now.

I headed home with all the kids except Sam and Will. Peter kept them and took them over to the other little lake at Chestnut Ridge. It's just for fishing and Sam was hoping to have better luck as he never actually caught anything during the afternoon. I was so delighted and thanked the Lord when he brought home this picture to show me his big catch. This is the biggest fish he's ever reeled in. He's such a dedicated fisherman. He's patient and loves the process. The last several years have been very barren along the lines of actual catches though. We're still trying to figure out the lakes and fish around here and learn what to use for bait, etc. I was so glad his perseverance paid off for him.