Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ice skating

Our summer pond for rafting has now turned into a winter wonderland of ice! The pond finally reached the required thickness for skating after the past several days of single digit temps! This morning during recess the kids got down our large box of ice skates and then after school we dug through the box to find each child's correct size. We have an amazing amount of skates in various sizes...we love garage sale and Salvation Army skates!! The only problem we are having so far in finding skates is getting a pair that fits an African's flat foot! They just don't seem to make any that are comfortable for Ann Marie's feet. She tried some hockey skates today, but they didn't last long...I guess we will just keep looking.

The kids all enjoy ice skating so much and are all getting quite good at it. It is great to
have a pond just through the woods that they can skate on to their hearts content! I grew up just 1/4 mile down the road and we also had a pond to skate on. I always dreamed of someday being a figure skater...never quite reached my dream, but sure had lots of fun spending many hours on the ice. I still love to lace up my white figure skates and wow the kids with a twirl or two around the ice. Amazing after all these years that it only takes a couple times around the ice to be comfortable on my skates once again.

We are looking forward to many days spent on the ice this winter...making wonderful family memories!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Adams birthday!

Our little boy is 6! And he's not so little anymore! Adams had a fun birthday celebrating with family and friends. He is so excited about his new bow & arrow set, horses and knights, and wild animals fun box! Sounds like we got a "wild boy" on our hands!!

Catching Up!

Wow, I sure do have some catching up to do! Can't believe it has been almost a month since I wrote on here last...where did the time go?! We have been busy, that I do know! So I will attempt to give a run-down of the last month without writing a book!

Right at the beginning of October we were surprised with our first snowfall! We were all hoping that since we had such a cold summer that maybe we would be blessed with a warm fall
and a slow start to winter...but alas no such luck! We even got snow that stuck around for a day or two. We don't have any snow today, but it has sure been cold. The temps haven't gotten above freezing for the last several days. Ethan regularly checks the depth of the ice on our pond...he can hardly wait for the ice to be thick enough to go ice skating! With the first snowfall out comes the boxes of hats and gloves, winter boots and snow pants, and winter coats. Takes us quite awhile to find what fits this year and make a list of the things we will need. Looking through the boxes is like looking for treasures!

Ethan's birthday was October 2 and he turned 13...oh my, can't believe he is a teenager! He was most excited about the fact that now he only has one more year until he can get his driver's permit...yikes! Ethan and Tyler got to celebrate their birthdays with their friends Brandon and Jordan last month by having a camp out. It was a cold night, but they had fun building a fire and watching the sparks dance in the dark. (In the Alaskan summers we don't get to enjoy the camp fire in the dark!) In the morning they cooked their own breakfast outside despite the cold. What a bunch of true Alaskan boys!

Last week Steve and I had the privilege of attending a workshop at ECHO in Fort Meyers, Florida. The workshop was about community development in both health and agriculture for use in overseas missions. It was an incredibly full week of classes each day from 8-5 with fellowship and homework each evening with our class of 12. The other participants are also headed out to the mission field around the world. It was a great week of connecting with other people who are also pursuing God's call on their lives to take the Gospel to unreached people of the world. We learned so much from our teacher, Dr. Daniel Fountain who was a missionary in the Congo for over 30 years. God has taught him so much and he has an amazing wealth of information that needs to be taught to every missionary. We came away from our week challenged and encouraged! This is our class with Dr. Fountain...
Another wonderful aspect of this trip was that we got to be in Florida and enjoy the warm sun! We did spend the majority of our days inside in the classroom, but it sure was glorious to step outside in the morning to walk to class in the morning warmth. We spent several hours each afternoon walking around the ECHO farm and learning about different agriculture ideas for both rural and urban areas. We learned so much and can't wait to get the opportunity to use what we learned!

After our week of classes we spent Saturday just relaxing and driving back up to Orlando for our flight home on Sunday. We stopped along the way and hiked around a national park and just enjoyed the sunshine. One evening we did get to go to the beach with our classmates. We had a fun picnic dinner on the beach and enjoyed watching the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean.

The kids had a good week at home with Steve's mom staying caught up on school. Doesn't sound like they ran her too ragged! No, actually we heard lots of good reports of how much fun they were having, and all I've heard since we got home is, "...but that's the way Oma did it!" We arrived home on Monday and dove right back into school and work...phew what alot of work!