Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Year End Remembrances in photos

Ruby and her friend Ava playing while the older kids take an art class.

Ellen, Rubyk, Emma, Emily, Max, & Stephen on a visit to the Civil War Museum in Harrisburg

Road trip

TOG Group outside the Johnstown Flood Museum

Dad to the rescue!!

Bobby & Stephen in their Penguin gear at Kara's wedding

Grace & Steve, this wedding stuff comes too early!

Angelo, Dom, Andrew Family Fun Night Wiffle Ball

Ellen and her Meritorious Award from AWANA



Ashley, Ellen, & Bethany on the way to Worldview Academy Week

Laura at the summer Bible Study

Moms with thinking caps on planning for TOG Co-op

Nate & Tyler at Stephen's birthday party

Isaiah's 1st birthday party

Amy & Zeb

The Groom and his groomsmen

Marina, Anna, Emma, Angelina, Lydia, Eli at the wedding

Kara saying goodbye to Stephen

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ruby's Rambilngs

Dearest Ruby, what can one say she truly is a precious jewel.  She always has a smile on her face and can help you bring one to yours.  She is now 5 years old and loves to do schoolwork.  Her reading has improved a lot this year and she often asks her Dad if she can read the Bible with him.  She tries her best to sound out all the words without getting discouraged.  Her math skills are unbelievable to me, so glad at least a few children of mine like math, it always seems to be a battleground subject if you don't like it.

Ruby has had a year of firsts, she learned to ride a two wheeler, tie her shoes (she just did this the other night during devotions, we had been working on it from time to time, but suddenly it clicked), and she learned from the dentist a week ago that her bottom teeth are wiggly so now she's waiting to lose that first tooth.

Ruby with her usual group of buddies Mal, Ruby, Stephen, & Nate

The oldest and youngest all prepared for the big day

At the Creation Musuem

Doing school like the big kids/model of the earth's layers

Painting at Kara's house

As you can see Ruby does pretty much whatever everyone else is doing, age segregation is not in her vocabulary for the most part.  She is close buddies with cousin Nate next door, they are usually paired up
in the yard playing together, while Stephen & Mal are together.  He is like a second big brother to her, always looking after her and just being kind, it's very sweet to witness.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stephen's Section

My attempt at a football cake! it's triangular!!
My attempt at a helmet cake

Stephen turned 8 in July just two days before we headed out for our trip to Tennessee.  This year I thought it was appropriate to have a boys birthday party (plus Ruby).  So we had a football theme and played games related to football!  This was quite different for me, as I'm used to doing pink princess parties! but I think it went well.

Stephen does so enjoy sports, both playing and watching.  Hockey seems to be a mainstay so rollerblading is an everyday occurence when the ground is dry, unfortunately in August this resulted in a broken arm.
This is smile is the result of realizing he wouldn't be able to write when school started!
Stephen is in 3rd grade and seems to enjoy school, his favorite subject is math.  His favorite book so far this year was ,"When We Were Very Young" by A.A. Milne which is a collection of poems about Winnie the Pooh.  He enjoyed our year end game of  "Jeopardy" which was filled with questions based on our history studies and science. It was a riot when we were studying the Jazz Period a few mos. back, Stephen listened to the samples of music we played and decided he really liked Louis Armstrong, so now when we hear him in the store or on the radio he gets this big smile on his face, it's very cute.

Here Miss Barb is teaching Stephen how to dive while on vacation in TN

Here beside Ruby as Ring Bearer in the wedding

This was taken after the Resurrection Day Service at Pleasantview Baptist Church in MD

Stephen and Ruby are very close, they still share a room, although it has been offered for Ruby to move across the hall with Emma, at this point she's staying put and he's not complaining, which is nice to see, I'm not sure that this will last too much longer.

Here's Stephen in his Charlie Chaplin getup for a film festival we had with Tapestry of Grace Co-op  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

on to Emma!

One of Emma's Oil Paintings

Emma's rendition of the Titanic

Oil Pastels, a copy of "The Scream"

Emma was a junior bridesmaid in the wedding

As you can see Emma still loves art.  So this year when Ellen quit taking piano lessons and no one else in the house was interested in continuing with music, we figured it was time to let Emma begin some Art lessons.  The top oil painting was done at the Norwin Art League under the direction of Pat Vaughn the same teacher that taught me when I was 11 years old.  Pat says she has quite a few children of previous students these days.   Emma also took some fun childrens classes there this summer in acrylic painting.  She had previously done some classes with Young Rembrandts and the teacher mentioned that if she was ever interested in further teaching she'd be available.  So this fall we started having her over to our home twice a mos. and then once or twice a mos. we meet with her on Tues. afternoons with a few others.  She's done oil pastels, sketching, and sculpey clay.  Stephen has joined in on a few occasions as well.

Besides art Emma has become addicted to a series of books called "Warriors" that her best friend Emily introduced her to. These are books about cats and are very long, yet she devours them as soon as Emily brings them over. 

Emma is in 6th grade this year and is doing very well.  She likes hands on learning and has enjoyed all the movies we have been viewing on WWI and WWII this year.  So if we can find a project to go with whatever we are studying Emma will be much happier! Although for some reason Emma is intrigued with ancient history and this summer re-read most all of our books on Egypt, so she is happy that next fall we get to go through that time period again.  Also in March a local CMA Church will be hosting a "Visit Egypt" program, so she is counting the days to that, we attended their program on Rome and we all enjoyed it immensely (Steve & I included).

I think Emma likes the cold better than the heat, she seems to want to be outside more in the winter than the summer? go figure, she doesn't get this from me!  She'll be turning 12 in February.

I asked her what her favorite thing was about our trip to Tennessee this past summer and she said, "Probably the 2 seminars at the "Defending the Faith Conference", one on evolution and one by Bill Jack called Counterfit Reality" and "Oh yes, Dollywood and all the coasters there!"

When asked what she was looking forward to in 2011 she said summer and being able to go to Deep Creek and going water skiing! She was able to get up and stay up this past year, so I'm glad to hear she still wants to do that, she kind of tapered off at the end of the year and was content to watch others.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Aimer, Kate, Amy Kate, or just Amy....

Wiffle ball

Tube Tug a game everyone can really get into! 

Spike that ball Amy!
Amy is nearly 15, as her birthday is coming up rapidly on Jan. 15th, she is in 9th grade this year.  I guess I'd describe Amy as a social butterfly and this is one of the main reasons we organized our Summer Family Fellowship Time, we all benefited greatly but know that Amy especially enjoyed these times.She would help organize game ideas and plans for the night twice a mos. May through August.  Have no idea where she gets this social side to her personality? go figure...LOL

What else can I say about Amy, well I'm not sure that's why I asked her to write her own post like Ellen did but she said, "Nah, that's ok."  So what else can I tell you, she loves to spend time at Deep Creek and go canoeing with Ellen and Zeb. She likes to talk on facebook, a lot! (social network, what else would you expect from a social butterfly). 

It's been exciting to see her grow in her faith this year and begin to apply it.  One night during a very in depth discussion where there was a lot of burden for someone on her heart I came to find her crying, just as I was in the other room.  She then freely shared with her Dad and I scriptures that came to mind when thinking about the situation and Steve stopped and said, "Mom, I think our little girl is growing up!".  It was a very exciting moment for us. 

While school is seen as a necessary evil for the most part, there are aspects she has enjoyed this year.  Unfortunately they are not science and foreign language.  But she did enjoy an economics discussion at our co-op and could often be heard discussing the material with her Dad after dinner. 

She also discovered she likes to bake chocolate chip cookies and can eat just about all she bakes as long as she has a few friends to share them with, which she's been able to do at a few sleepovers the past few months. 

Amy does hope to join Ellen at Worldview Academy in July, but currently is a long way from saving up for that event, she's pretty much given up you could say, but I haven't. 

She has done some babysitting this year which she seems to really enjoy.  On her very first job she was watching 5 kiddos and wouldn't you know someone got hurt in the first 30 min. but she handled it very well and nothing was seriously wrong, but it was an experience she won't forget from her first real outside job.  I know she enjoys these children and their family as she went along roller skating with them on a Sat. afternoon, she came back having a hard time moving her arm for a few days following as her partner was much shorter, this was so cute! 

Well that all said she is looking forward to turning 15 and has already informed me she has different thoughts of a party for her 16th than her two older sisters, so she is planning ahead. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ellen Marie Update

Hello! This is Ellen typing. Mom asked me to write my own post this year. So here I am.
I am 17 years old. And this year has been the best year of my life.
Not only did I graduate high school, but I also just completed my first semester as a full time student at Westmoreland County Community College with a 4.0 GPA!

Now I will go back to the beginning of the year. I attended WEC again for my senior year of high school. And I must say, the class of 2010 rocks! I started tutoring some of my friends, which was a fantastic experience. Mostly in math and science.

In February, Kara, Derrick and I went to the Mellon Arena to see Casting Crowns, Kutless, and Caleb in concert. It was so much fun, and also the first concert I've been to.

I had an MRI earlier on this year, and was declared to have perfect ventricles. :) And in October, I reached the 2 year mark of being hydrocephalus free! Thanks God!

In April, I was a bridesmaid in Kara's wedding. It was so fun being in her bridal party being able to celebrate her big day with her. Although, I stepped on my dress going up the stairs and then proceeded to get my heel caught in the crack in the stage, it was a blast. And I made the blooper video.

Which you can see here:

In May, I had a traumatic experience when I wrecked and totaled my car. But God has gotten me through it.

When I graduated in June, I took my final piano lesson from Mr. Jalosky. He is a fantastic teacher and I wish I could have continued longer, but my schedule thought otherwise. I love playing the piano and I always enjoy finding new sheet music online to play. My favorites are by Casting Crowns and Switchfoot. Who also happen to be my favorite bands.

My graduation party was awesome. Thanks to all of you who came out to support me!

I attended Worldview Academy for the second time this summer. It was so awesome! I had so much fun with my small group and learned so much! My favorite lecture was called "How to Study the Wise Man's Book" or how to study the Bible. It was such a fantastic and needed lecture.  I learned to much from Worldview this year, that sometimes I think my head is going to explode. Haha. Oh, and I got to spend that week with Ashley and Bethany. Two of my awesome friends. And here is my small group.

Then we went to Tennessee!! It was awesome! I got to ride in a zorb ball 3 times! Here's a picture of me rolling down the hill.
And me and Amy stayed in the same room. So we did some weird things.

After Kara got married, I spent the summer working for Eichelberger & Sons, Heating & Air Conditioning as Secretary. (which was her position) And on the weekends, my favorite place to be was at Deep Creek. It was so nice to not have to think about school anymore, and I could just relax and enjoy summer. And that is exactly what I did.

I bought a car in August...with my own money. It's had some problems like stalling...and neither the air conditioning or the heat works, but it gets me where I need to go. The stalling was fixed though, thank God! Now I just have to suffer through the cold going to and from school. This is going to be a freezing winter...and a life changing experience.

I also bought a kayak this summer...but I didn't receive it until October, so I didn't get to try it out yet.

I started community college in August in the Mulitmedia and Photography Associates Degree Program. I was nervous about going of to school by myself. I knew a few of my friends were going there, but I actually have only seen one of them this whole semester. God blessed me that first day of school. I sat beside a girl who I found out was homeschooled the whole way through, just like me. And she was a Christian. Her name is Sarah and we have become great friends. I also found out that there was another homeschooler right after I had met Sarah. Her name is Rebecca. And then I met Courtney. She wasn't homeschooled, but she caught my eye the second day of school. We've all become best friends and I'm going to miss them very much over break.
This is Rebecca and Courtney
 And this is Sarah
Yeah we have a lot of fun. :)

Throughout my senior year, I was taking online classes at WCCC. And I got involved with one of the clubs there called the ReachOut Christian Club. They had some get together's that I went to, and some fundraisers that I was a part of. The president of the club, Jordan, was about to resign from his presidential position in the ReachOut Club to be the president of the Student Government (which I must say he does a fantastic job at!). And needless to say, the ReachOut Club needed a president. I was elected at the beginning of this fall semester to be President of the club, and it has been an awesome experience. My vice president Hannah and I came up with the idea to have a prayer meeting every thursday at school. And we started that the first week of October. We've had such a great response to it this semester with about 6-9 people showing up to pray every week. I've met a lot of people through these prayer meetings who will be my friends forever. God has been so good to me.

One thing every club has to do each semester is a service project. And this semester the ReachOut club participated in Operation Christmas Child. Which is where you collect shoeboxes and fill them with toys and hygiene items to send to children around the world. We were able to collect enough money to send off 15 boxes! It was an awesome project and we are hoping to do it again next year.

Needless to say, the ReachOut Club has taken up a lot of my time, but I absolutely love it! And during Christmas break, I am leading a Bible study on saturdays. So if anyone is interested please contact me! :) I'd love to have you join me/us.

Since I am a photography major, I needed to get a DSLR camera. And I got my baby (Canon 50D) about 2 months ago. You can see some of my pictures at:
And if you ever have any photographic needs, let me know. I'm happy to take pictures, or teach you how to use your camera.

So that's been most of my year! I hope you enjoyed reading about me!