27 September 2007


If you want to tape the season premier of one of your favorite shows, it's best to check to see if there are any small plastic toys inside the VCR before trying to insert the tape.

Oh, and in case you are wondering... Yes, we live in the 20th century and still use a VCR. No need to make fun of us. Peter has already been ruthlessly teased in the past week about this same topic among his young and trendy volleyball friends. Yes, there are more significant bits of information I could share with you, but I don't have the energy to say anything significant after canning 2 bushels of applesauce today. No, I won't give you a jar of my applesauce because 2 bushels doesn't actually make as much as you think, and our kids are so excited about the applesauce that they actually did a dance.

18 September 2007

Willow Valley adventures

The wedding this weekend was at Willow Valley Resort in Lancaster County, and we were blessed with the gift of a weekend there. We're still recovering from all the fun, but it was a great chance to get away and find out what vacationing with kids is really like. (3 days is definitely plenty.) Highlights of the weekend (other than the wedding, of course) included a visit from the Grosh ladies, lots of time in the pool with the cousins, a ride on the 100 year old Strasburg railroad, a horse drawn wagon ride to the farm, and Garty's first French kiss... from a cow. (The cow is the one that leaned in for the kiss, but Garty was happy to reciprocate. Mommy couldn't kiss his cute little face for a full 24 hours.) Pictures are now available for those with nothing better to do.

17 September 2007

wedding update

We're back and settling in from our weekend adventures. We had a wonderful time. The wedding was beautiful, and all 7 kids walked down the aisle (much to our surprise, since Garty screamed nearly every time we practiced). Our kids had a great time playing with their cousins during the wedding reception and throughout the weekend. Below are a few favorite pictures, but we uploaded a bunch of the wedding photos to our web album for those who want to see lots of photos of our kids and their adorable cousins. We'll post again tomorrow with more details about our adventures.

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13 September 2007

absolute craziness

This is going to be a super quick post. Last week and this week have been insane with one thing after another. School. Joshua's ear problems. Patience turning 4. The usual frustrations of life, bills, and kids. Leaving shortly for a long weekend away centering around Mom Bowersox's wedding. When we get back, we'll have lots of pictures from the past 2 weeks to share, so check back Mon or Tues. By the way, our kids are (theoretically) walking the aisle along with their 4 little cousins, and Peter is performing the ceremony. That leaves me to convince the kids to cooperate. If you think of us between now and tomorrow at noon, we'd appreciate your prayers for all of us, especially Mom and Bob as they start a new life.

06 September 2007

what happened to our son?

After the second bad day at school, we were prepared for a week or two of misery. We decided that until things settle down, we would all take Joshua to school in the morning for consistency. We made it to the door without trouble as in the past and looked inside for the faithful guidance counselor. To our surprise, Joshua hugged us both goodbye and bounced into the building next to Isaiah, one of his classmates. As we picked our jaws up off the ground and turned to leave, the guidance counselor came out of the building, flagged us down, and (with shock in her voice) asked, "What did you do last night????" We then had a great chat with her because she has a foster son who is Liberian.

It amazed me how much more energy I had today compared to the first two days of school. (It's gone now because my mom picked up 100 ears of corn for me at the farm this morning, and together we filled the freezer for the upcoming winter.) It felt so good to know that Joshua really looked forward to school today.

After school our kids were playing on the playground, and Joshua's teacher came over to talk with me. She said that not only did Joshua enter the classroom with a smile, but he played with the other kids on the playground today. In her words, the previous two days were "parallel play" where he played near the other kids but not with them. Thanks to all who are praying for our little boy. Please don't quit! Monday could be like day 1 all over again.

05 September 2007

second day same as the first

We're beat, so we'll save ourselves the energy of telling you what happened today. Just envision yesterday's story except the wailing and kicking started at a different entrance to the school. The bruised and battered guidance counselor appeared again and carried him off. As before, he settled down when they got to the classroom. The difference today was that Mommy was able to walk away and go home without fighting tears all day and second-guessing our decision to start school this fall because we both knew he'd have fun. This afternoon and evening he kept telling us things about how they raise their hands with 2 fingers in the air when they have to use the bathroom or about how they signal for everyone to be quiet. He's clearly enjoying himself, although he did mention several times that school is "a long time." Please keep praying for Joshua as you think of him over these next days and weeks. We're thinking of starting a pool where everyone can bet on how many days he'll keep this routine going. (Of course, we'll skim a percentage of the money off the top before paying out to the winner to compensate for our pain and suffering.)

04 September 2007

first day of school

The short story is that Joshua freaked out this morning but ended up having a great day at school. The long story, for those who like details, is that Joshua woke excited and ready to go. We took pictures and walked to school without difficulty. When he entered the auditorium and saw so many kids, he looked like he was going to melt down. I sat with him while the principal talked, and he calmed down. We talked for the 200th time about how much fun he was going to have. I explained that when the teachers called them to go to their classes, all the mommies and daddies would say goodbye. He actually got in line with his teacher and walked out of the cafeteria. We were thrilled! Then he stopped in the doorway, and it turned bad. He had a full meltdown with his Liberian wail. The guidance counselor carried him down the hall kicking and screaming, literally. We left concerned that we might get a call from a bruised woman asking us to come back. It was a long, stress-filled day for Mommy, but at 3:25 we learned that Joshua had settled down almost immediately after they reached the classroom and had a great day. He was super affectionate this afternoon and evening but seemed totally normal other than that. He did mention a couple times how he had cried this morning. At one point he said he would cry again tomorrow and later claimed that he didn't want to go. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Here are a few pictures from the day.

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03 September 2007

it's time

At 9:10am tomorrow Joshua starts kindergarten! It's hard to believe it's time. Mommy has been running around getting his last few school supplies ready and worrying about whether he'll have enough food to eat (a somewhat reasonable fear since his lunch bag wasn't sized for his Liberian appetite). In the morning all 5 of us will walk to school together. If you read this during his first day, we'd appreciate your prayers for a smooth transition. We'll update you tomorrow night on how things go!