Friday, October 29, 2010

State Fair (Fun Friday)

This was from last week- though we had a fun day today as well.  I forgot my camera today though, so I'll have to see if I can upload photos from my camera (and hope that they are decent).

Last week we went to the State Fair.  I think this was one of my favorite years yet.  It's a fun outing and Roger took the day off from work to go with us.  It was a gorgeous day and we had a blast with lots of our friends there as well!

We visited the garden area, looked through the crafts and then headed out to get some food.  My favorite is the roasted corn.  What I really need to do one year is just chronicle what Christopher eats during the day!  I think it would be fascinating.  He eats a LOT!  This year he tried the Krispy Kreme Burger.  He ate most of it before I got over to get a picture.  It's a hamburger and the "bun" is actually 2 Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  He said it was pretty good. 

We visited the "Field of Dreams".  I really like this exhibit as it is a great hands-on one- especially for the younger children!  They gather all sorts of fruits and vegetables in their baskets.

When the have finished, they turn in the baskets for some "money".  The money is  exchanged for a bag with some goodies in it including a real apple.  Eliana really enjoyed this one!

We rode a few rides - not many.  Our family favorite remains bumper cars!  (It's much easier to take pictures on this ride than on many of the others too!)

This was Daniel's first time driving.

There are always so many interesting things to see at the fair!  Including the "world's largest gummy bear" and other gummy things.  (These were for sale.)

We visited a number of exhibits and found foods to try. 

Yes, she liked it!

There was a little bit of time to relax (or wait). 

The kids really enjoyed collecting stickers - even some of the olders ones.

Eliana rode a ride at the end of the evening and we learned that for next year we need to let her go on more of them - and earlier in the day!  She loved it!  She it was over she even exclaimed "more ride". 

After a LONG day out, we headed home.  I'm thankful we had this time for making memories.  It was such a fun day with people getting along and having fun.  There was just one twinge of sadness for me during the day.  I couldn't help but wonder if Christopher would be joining us again next year.  I hope so.  This year is bittersweet is a lot of ways.   I'm trying hard to focus on the sweet as I have much to be thankful for.   I'm thankful for a fun day with my family and friends!  Looking forward to many more!



PS.  Tomorrow (Saturday) we head out for the JDRF walk!  We are very excited!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We've begun a new activity - with some reluctance on the part of some of us.  We are in a new church and one of the activities sponsored by this church is Awana.  It's a club that meets once a week.  The kids learn Bible verses, play games and hear a Bible story.

One of my dear friends had been involved with this for years at a different church so I knew it was a great program.  I thought it was worth us giving it a try.  I took our 3 boys.  Daniel is a "Spark" (K-2nd grade) and Isaiah and Joshua are both in T&T (3rd-6th - Truth and  Training). I told them that I just wanted them to give it a good try.  I wasn't sure if this would work for our family.  There are a variety of needs - learning, sensory and medical - and I wanted to be sure this was going to be a positive experience for all of us.

Daniel has never been in any type of group activity like this.  He does field trips and co-ops, but family is always involved in those and they are multi-aged.  Sunday School has been a struggle for much of his life, though thankfully he is doing really well in his new (and very small) class.  He is really doing well in a lot of areas and for that I'm really thankful!

The leaders have been fine with me staying in the class with Daniel.  I'm so glad that this hasn't been an issue as I know it would not have worked for him at all if it had been.  He was a little unsure of things at first, but it didn't take long before he LOVED it!!!

The boys each worked through a small booklet memorizing verses.  When these were complete, they received a book and either a vest or shirt.  Daniel was the first to get his and he told me that "it is the coolest vest ever".  When we practice his verses at home - he wears his vest.  He counts down the days until he can go to Awana.  On Sunday, he counts down the hours. 

I'm not sure I can explain what this does to my heart.  To see him playing games and interacting with the others kids has my eyes brimming with tears at times.  I see him growing in confidence too.  This has been a huge step for him and to see him having so much success is exciting!  Sensory Processing Disorder can be a confining thing in so many ways and to see him making so much progress over the last few years is a real blessing!

My other boys have not been as excited about the program as Daniel, but both are doing pretty well.  It's harder on one of them though.  Thankfully he has really great teachers who have been so open to hearing about some of his struggles and helping him to work through things.  (I sometimes wonder if they think I'm an overprotective and paranoid mom.  LOL)  So many of his struggles though have come to the forefront in this group.  I am hoping and praying that this will be a blessing for him too in the long run.

I know that hiding God's word in their hearts is a great thing.  Its been great for me to learn the verses along with them!  I hope that one day it will be something that Eliana might be able to join in too - though I'm just not sure.  For now, I'm grateful for this program and for the experiences we are having.  (I'd love prayer for my little boy that sometimes still has a hard time.)

Here they are in the club attire.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

NC History Museum

This past week-end we had fun at the State Fair and also at Christopher's football game.  I'll post on that soon, but its going to be a little harder to post on the latter so I'm saving it for another day.  His senior year.  So many things going and and it's the first time I'm experiencing so many "lasts".  He is keenly aware of it too.  If you know me, you know my heart on this.

So instead, I'll share on one of our field trips this month.  We visited the NC History Museum in Raleigh with our FIAR group.  We went to see the special exhibit on George Washington.

It was very well done and I encourage you to visit if you are local.  We watched a short film on how they made the life-like models.  Very interesting!

The interactive exhibits were enjoyed by the children (and adults).

I appreciate that there are things to see at all heights.  :-)  These are surveying tools from the time of G. Washington!  Amazing!

George Washington accomplished so many different things - and many of them at a young age.  We have much to learn from this great man.

We learned that he worked very hard most of his life to take good care of his teeth.  Despite all of his hard work, he had many dental problems to deal with.  This is an actual set of his teeth!  (Kind of gross and cool at the same time, huh?)

More images from the museum.

A model of the grounds of Mount Vernon.  Did I mention that I'm really ready for a visit?!  We were hoping to visit in the Fall, but are putting it off until the Spring.  If you have any hints or tips on how best to visit or places to stay, please share!

There was a gift shop at the end of the exhibit with lots of neat items - many at very reasonable prices.  In the lobby area they created a hands-on activity area for the kids to explore.  They could pretend to be soldiers.

Carring water.


They also had some colonial toys and various games.  Some people just have fun where ever they go.

A rare photo of me with my children.  Doesn't happen too often since I'm usually behind the camera.  Not the greatest photo - but I'll take what I can get.  I love being with all of my children!

A replica of the Liberty Bell right outside the museum.  Fun to see as we end of study of Betsy Ross.  This whole trip was a perfect go-along with Betsy Ross.  I love it when things tie together like this.

After the museum, we headed to the park for a picnic and to play.  It was a gorgeous day.  I love fall!  It is definitely my favorite time of the year!

I didn't take many pictures, but love this one as you can see the delight on Eliana's face as she swings with her brothers.

It was a day to remember - not because it was extraordinary, but because we spent time learning, laughing and having fun with our family and friends.  Life is made of sweet moments like this.  I'm thankful to have them!



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Club - Unshaken

We met for our 3rd book club this year.  We are meeting once per month.  So far, this is working well for our group.  It's a fun and not too heavy commitment for all of us.  This month, the book we read was Unshaken.  This is a book from the Lineage of Grace series which chronicles the lives of women from Christ's lineage.  This book was about Ruth.  It is a fictional acount based on the story from the Bible.  I've read one other book in this series which was on Mary which is also a great book. 

We spent time discussing the book at the beginning of our meeting.  Each girl is taking a turn being the hostess and coming up with the questions to ask.  My hope and prayer is that each young lady will grow more comfortable in expressing her opinions and that each would find this a place where they are comfortable being themselves. 


After talking, we enjoyed wonderful foods!  Pesto and pita bread (my favorite!), apple pies, cookies, nuts, raisin bread and grapes.  A delightful spread!

Thank you friends for hosting a fun-filled evening.  I look forward to these times.  Reminds me that I need to go look for the next book!  If you are considering a book club, I highly recommend it!  This has been a great addition to our calendar!



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lady Stars Volleyball

No posts in a few days because we have been busy with volleyball!  We travelled to Winston Salem for the NCHE State Championship games!  Girls volleyball and boys soccer were both being played over the week-end.  For our family, it was a girl's week-end.  Rebecca and I went up with friends on Thur night.  We had some free time in the hotel which was a great time for playing games with friends.

We were up early the next morning for breakfast and then headed out for games.  The JV and Middle School teams were playing in 2 different locations so we were able to be at most of the other teams games.  On the first day of play, it was double elimination within our division.  We had 5 teams in the East Division. 

The girls had time to warm up and hear from their coaches. 

They played the first game and won!  The second game was against their toughest rival.  They were the number one seed - and we were the number two seed.  We weren't expected to win and had not been able to beat them in the regular season. 

It was such an exciting game!!!  Each team won a set so it came down the the third set.  The Lady Stars played so hard and in the end ... they WON!!!  I don't think I can convey the joy on the parts of the team, coaches and families.  It was by far the most exciting game yet of the season!  Can you see it in their faces?  Oh, they won 26-24!

Since we played both of our games early, we were able to travel to the other site and cheer for the Middle School team.  It was also a thrilling match won by the same score as the previous JV game!  So, both teams advanced to the next day of play as the number one seed.  They are also both East Division Champions!  Way to go Lady Stars!

To celebrate, we went to have a team meal together at the Wake Forest cafeteria.  (We were playing on their campus.)  It was an all you can eat feast!  Due to it being Fall Break, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  We enjoyed the food and also the social time.

The final day of games, we were all at the same location.  Unfortunately, both of our games were at the same time!  This time we were facing teams from the West Division.  These were teams we had not played against. 

The JV won their game in two sets and went to cheer for the Middle School team.  The MS girls played so well, but weren't able to hold off their opponents in the third set.  They played so well and we are proud of them!  (I"m sorry I have no pictures!)

We had a few hours to wait until the final game.

We headed back to the hotel to check out, pack and eat lunch.  Then it was time for the Championship game.  We were not expected to be here.  We are so proud of the girls and all of their hard work.  Unfortunately, they were not able to win the last game.  They did receive a trophy for second place!

Way to go Lady Stars!!!  Great job!!!

We celebrated a wonderful season tonight with a dessert and appetizer banquet.  Some of us arrived early to decorate the room to be fun and festive.

Lots of wonderful foods - and some in team spirit!

The girls dressed up for this event.  Aren't they beautiful!

The Middle School team.

The JV team.

All of the Lady Stars!

Each girl was presented an award.  The coaches shared about each player and what she had contributed to the team.  Rebecca earned the Most Improved Award.  She was the only girl on her team with no volleyball experience.   I'm proud of you Rebecca!

Now the season is over.  We will gain back many hours in our week, but will miss seeing our friends on the team.  We are looking forward to the clinics that will be coming in the winter - and also looking forward again to next season!