Friday, April 30, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010

This is an overview of our trip to the East coast this summer. The photos are labeled, so if you click on them you can see where we were. I didn't include all the photos of family and friends that we visited, but we saw a ton of them. It was a wonderful trip that I'd love to do again some time. The part I wouldn't do again is stopping to find a copy center that could fax paperwork back and forth to our realtor to make an offer on a house. That, and locking our keys in the van outside the St. Louis Children's Museum. The COSI museum in Ohio was so good that Daniel would like to make a return trip just to be able to spend more time there with the kids. And the best part is that we can count the trip towards our homeschool days requirement for the year. We all learned a lot on this trip!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

House Hunters

Since deciding to sell our house we've been looking for a new home for over a month now. There have been at least three or four that we really liked so far, but the first three didn't work out. We were supposed to close on the final one at the end of May, but now it's looking like that won't happen either.

It's been a very emotional process, falling in love with a house, and then having to deal with disappointment. I know it's been tough on the kids. Daniel keeps reminding us all that God has a perfect plan for us, so why would we want something that's not in His plan? But I can see that he's troubled by it all, too. When I woke him up to tell him the other night that the buyer for our house was unable to get approved for a loan, he came out an hour and a half later saying he might as well get up because he couldn't sleep due to thinking about it.

No matter how stressed I get about the whole house situation and having to keep our home spotless for potential buyers (which means the kids are bored stiff since we packed up most of their toys), I know that Daniel has a much more stressful position. He's the one that will be ultimately responsible for all of the financial aspect of taking out an almost quarter of a million dollar loan. But Daniel points out that providing for our family is not completely on his shoulders, because we have a faithful God who knows our needs and wants and will not forsake us. So even if we end up in a grass hut in Arizona (where at least they keep their borders secure) we'll still be okay.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Flying Fish Art

The boys were learning about fish for science so we made a fun art project that I did when I was a kid. We colored and cut out double sided fish, and then stapled them shut and stuffed them full of small pieces of wadded up paper. Finally, we hung them from the lights in the kitchen. It was fun walking under them for about a week. We had to take them down though when we decided to sell our house. Somehow, we didn't think that potential buyers would see the beauty in fish hanging from the ceiling.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Imagine * Play * Create

Gloria is getting more into art every year. This year her play dough creations have become more creative and detailed. It also seems like you can find her on any given day practicing techniques from a new drawing book she's picked up. We've had to veto certain "how to draw" books from the library, though, because they were geared more toward teens and adults who want to draw scantily clad elves, pixies, and female warriors.

I've noticed that even her chalk drawings are becoming more elaborate. It's fun to see and I hope she sticks with it. We keep encouraging her to consider all the different opportunities there are to use art in a career. Of course, she's only eight, so who knows where this interest will lead?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter 2010

This year we had our largest Easter egg hunt ever. And we had to buy more Easter dresses than ever before. I even managed to find one for me to wear, although I didn't let Daniel take a picture of me in it. So he still doesn't have proof that I've worn a dress this year. We dyed around 40 eggs and hid candy and money filled eggs all over our front yard. Our neighbor, Marge, even came over to watch. It was one of the most fun Easters we've had in a long time.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter Pinata

Some friends of ours from church, Trista and Uriah, decided to have an Easter pinata party at the park near their home. They invited our kids and Daniel managed to get them there before it was over. Now, I don't normally think "pinata" when I think about Easter, but the kids loved this. They all came home happy and high on sugar. I think there was a bible message in every goodie bag that the kids went home with, so this was a kind of Easter outreach idea. It was a neat idea.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Nailed to the Cross

Our church has an interesting Good Friday tradition. We have an evening service where we line up and each person takes a piece of paper, writes their name on it, and nails it to a giant wooden cross. It symbolizes that our sins are the reason why Jesus had to sacrifice Himself in our place. It's a very moving experience. This year we let the older kids participate. I'm not sure that the three younger ones understood it fully, but they asked a lot of questions on the way home in the van, so I know they were definitely touched by it.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Selling Our House

We decided in April to sell our house so we can upgrade to something much bigger. We packed up everything we could live without for a couple of months and rented a storage unit. Anything that didn't fit in there we stuffed in the garage. Then we called in a painter to normalize the colors of our kitchen and living room and to fix the bathroom and laundry room which hadn't been repainted since the last flood. We also repainted all our doors white to make them look fresh and new and cover up the crayon marks. I think all our efforts paid off since we got a contract on the house within about a week, although that has since fallen through. The appraiser said our house was worth $165,000 which is nice since we bought it for $140,000 and that included putting on a new roof. Here's a before and after of our kitchen.