Friday, January 31, 2014

USS Alabama

 Peter's brother and his sweet family live across the bay from Mobile, Alabama.  They are a homeschooling family also and wanted to take us to see the World War II battleship that is in the harbor there.  I just love doing "field trips" like this, so I was excited.  The weather was fantastic too.  Not to mention that we just love being together with this family.  The children are very attached to their cousins and I have the best sister-in-law ever.  :)

 Ben, inside of a gun turret.
 This is inside the first level above the deck.  You can't imagine how many layers it goes down below deck.  We didn't even get to see it all, it just goes on and on.
 Here is a model of the whole ship, USS Alabama.

 Some people did the climbing to see the several stories above the deck.

 Just look at how big these chains are at the front of the boat.
 And the size of these guns!

 Girls, with their cousin, Emma.
 Calvin and his cousin, Ethan, are a similar age.
Several of these pictures were taken by my sister-in-law.  I'm so glad that they thought to take us to see the ship.  It was a very kid-friendly outing and enjoyed by all.

Road Trip: Bristol, Virginia to Mobile, Alabama

 On Monday we left Bristol, Virginia and spent the day driving down to Mobile, Alabama.  It rained all day, which was just fine while we were all dry in the van enjoying the space and comfort.
 We packed snacks and food enough to eat along the way.  Bronwyn is enjoying her string cheese.
 Peter looked up a park for us to stop at for lunch.  It was raining lightly, but there was a pavilion with a picnic table under it where we put together some peanut butter sandwiches and enjoyed some ducks and geese that waddled over to see us from the nearby river.  We soon realized that there was actually a large waterfall in the park and decided to go see it before we continued our drive.
It was amazing!  It was Noccalula Falls in Noccalula Falls, Alabama.  Such a beautiful and refreshing stop that the Lord planned for us!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Taste of Virginia Countryside

 We took a January journey this year.  Our first stop was in Virginia, in the Bristol area.  We wanted to attend worship at another CRE church in our presbytery and we chose St. Peter in Bristol.  We were invited to lodge with the minister of the Bristol Parish and then we were invited to eat lunch and spend the afternoon with a family from the Mendota Parish.  The pictures in this post I took on Sunday afternoon when we took the children and went for a walk along a river near the home of our hosts.  Beautiful country setting.
 Samuel immediately found a softshell turtle and brought it over to show everyone.

 You'd never have known that it was January, the weather was so beautiful.

 Making friends is so easy when you're little.

A very refreshing time.  Truly, it was a gift from God.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Christmas Day 2013

Christmas morning love. 
My eldest is catching up with his father.  They're practically the same height.
Grammy with her boys.  :)
Cecily with stocking loot.
Elijah enjoys helping to hand out gifts.
Watching Grammy open a gift.
I got a beautiful sweater from my sister!  What a sweet surprise. 
And some new baking pans from my beloved.
My sweater.  :)
A new game for the Richard Scarry lover.
A gift just right for Dad.  Nice shirt!
Matching pink scooters for the girls.
And somebody is pretty happy with his new bike.  Ben is also holding his new sword in the background.
Peter liked everything he got, the books, the Dewalt drill and some new jeans.  But he was pleasantly surprised by the gift of a Bob Dylan CD from my sister.  He loves having some new music to enjoy.
Our littlest family member got a baby doll.
Samuel and Benjamin worked together to make the gift that Will is showing off here.  The sheath is made from some scraps of leather that Samuel sewed together.  The knife is made from a piece of a deer's antler for the handle and the blade they attached was from a broken pocket knife.  It actually turned out really cool and Will was absolutely thrilled.  I'll have to take some better pictures of it and post them.
Peter and my Dad took the kids down to the park so that they could try out their new gifts on the pavement there.
Calvin just needs a helmet.
I think Razor scooters are great.  Ben and Cal used to having matching red ones and they lasted forever with constant use. 
Elijah is just enjoying that wonderful time with his Papa!
Gifts are great, being together is better.  This Christmas was even better because of the gift of parents and grandparents.  Being apart really makes you grateful to be together.