Friday, December 16, 2011

Soon to turn "Sweet Sixteen"!

Nick and Joshua Hill with Amy
 What can we say about Amy?  three words come to my mind, funny faces, food and friends! well I should add in a fourth and that would be facebook!  Amy is turning sixteen on Jan. 15th, 2012 so if you drive the roads in Westmoreland County you may want to remain alert!  just kidding!  Steve and I laugh at the thought that we still have three more kiddos to teach to drive after Amy!  you all know how stressful that can be, well for me anyhow.

Hannah and Amy at the Lake

Amy is in the tenth grade this year and is doing well with her required subjects.  She keeps busy with babysitting, gardening for a friend of the family, and cleaning for two families.  When she is able she also likes to go to work with her Dad and do whatever it is he is doing, she'll probably do some of that over the next few weeks.  She was able to take two separate trips up to Kara's this year, one where she caught a ride with a friend of the family and one with Ellen.  Her other big event for the year was going for the first time to Worldview Academy at Grove City College for one week.  Ellen, Amy and two other friends traveled together and Amy was a bit apprehensive, but that quickly faded.  She made a lot of friends that she keeps in touch with almost daily and can't wait for that week to come this summer.  Emma could go along but she felt she just wanted to wait one more year before going and Ellen is now done, so it's a good thing she dispelled any fears she had about going.

Amy going down the church slip n slide 

Ellen's photography subject, Amy!

Amy enjoys reading and reads very quickly! she's always working on one book with another waiting on the desk in her room to start.  She is teaching herself to play guitar and her latest pastime is making crazy videos for her friends and posting them on facebook.  She has enjoyed a few trips with friends to the ice skating rink and bowling alley and is cooking up some kind of fancy dinner night with her friends for her birthday.  I'm sure it will be fun whatever it is!  Our prayer for Amy is that she would continue to grow in her faith and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and when we get those little glimpses into His work in her life it's so exciting! May He continue to lead and guide her.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the almost 13 year old corner

Emma will be turning 13 at the end of February, another teenage girl to add to the ranks! our next to last one at that.   Not much new in Emma's life, she still loves art, reading, and listening to audiobooks.  She's growing quickly and that's not new either.  This summer I think we bought jeans one week and the next she had outgrown them.  She's almost caught up to Amy height wise which means she'll  pass me by.

Emma at her 12th birthday

Emma this fall

You can see how much from the two pictures above Emma has changed in her looks in the past 11 mos. she's growing into a lovely young woman.  Her favorite subject is History right now, because it's interesting in learning about other countries, religions, and cultures, followed by Grammar at a close second which she says is easy!

This summer Emma spent a night with a group from our church at Deep Creek participating in Adventure Advance.  Which was an overnight camp-out in a tent on the church grounds and sort of a scavenger hunt linked by a series of physical tests.  She had a great time and is looking forward to when they do this again. She says she enjoyed the Family VBS week, especially the Carnival Night at the end.

Here's Emma with Micayla Friend in her tent at Adventure Camp
In 2012 she looks forward to going back to Deep Creek to swim in the lake and see her friends at Pleasant View Baptist Church. She also hopes to take some more oil painting classes with the Norwin Art League come January.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The little man of the house

I'm sure Stephen wouldn't love the fact that I've referred to him as little, but that is exactly what he is to me.  My little man, so much like his Daddy.  Today we walked down to Aldi's to pick up a few groceries for baking Chirstmas cookies and he graciously carried a waffle maker we had to return down and two full bags of groceries back, I laughed and told him who needs weights, when he can carry groceries 1/2 a mile.  As I mentioned in Ruby's post Stephen learned to waterski this year, he wanted to do it over our week long stay at the lake when no one else is around, he's kind of shy that way.  Here's a photo to see his accomplishment:

Stephen likes just about anything physical to do or that involves an electronic device, thankfully right now he'll always choose the physical activity over the electronic stuff.  He loves to play hockey, football, and baseball with his cousins and at times his sisters at the house. On evenings when the Pens or Steelers are playing he can usually be found over at Grandpa's enjoying the game with him.

Here's a photo from Stephen's 9th birthday back in July, pictured with his Ripstick.  He was introduced to the ripstick in June at a farewell party for our friends the Emslie's and so he asked for one for his birthday.  Meme and Grandpa obliged and it was not very long after that, that he could be found riding up and down the driveway with cousins Mal & Nate.  The faster the better it seems!

Here's a photo from our week at the lake, practicing some target shooting with Dad, Ruby, and Emma.

I asked Stephen what he's looking forward most to in 2012, he said he'd like to learn how to wakeboard, kneeboard, and do some target shooting with a BB Gun.  Yep, he's all boy and we are so blessed to have him in our lives.  Dad has taken to reminding him lately when he's fighting with his sisters of piddly stuff that he needs to learn the Four P's of Godly manhood, how to be a Prophet, Priest, Provider and Protector.  Protector means helping your sister buckle up in the car instead of complaining she should now how to do that already!  lots of learning to be done these early years, by God's grace will we only make progress in these areas, may He equip us to the task at hand.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ruby, Rubykins, Roobers or Roo as we call her

Ruby turned six years old back in June, here she is with her Fancy Nancy Baby Doll, if you haven't read any of the Fancy Nancy books you are missing out, check one out at the library and find a child to read one to! As you can see above Ruby has a delightful smile and the charming personality to go along with it.  She loves to do pretty much what everyone else is doing, such as waterskiing.  Stephen decided he wanted to learn to ski this summer which Ruby echoed that she thought she'd like learn also. We weren't sure she'd be able to have the strength to get up and get going, but as you can see in the next photo determination won out. This is actually a photo of her second time up with the beginner skis (the bar is holding them together) she actually got up earlier in the summer without the bar.  Hopefully she'll always keep and apply this kind of determination with her schooling.  She does very well with her subjects and loves to read. One of her favorite times of the week is when we make a trip to the library.  Art is also another favorite of her studies, unfortunately for Stephen, she is usually reminding me that we need to do art, a subject he does not share her enthusiasm for.

We are so blessed to have Ruby in our lives and pray she grows into a virtuous woman. 
 Prov. 31:10 A virtuous woman who can find? her worth is far above rubies. 

Ruby enjoying some time playing in the sand Herrington Manor State Park, MD

Stay tuned for more updates, up next Stephen...

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like the end of the year!

     Well as we have now reached December 2nd, I figured I better get started on a family update for the year.  I'll try and blog every few days about someone in the family and share some photos of the past year.  I have to tell you that every year it gets harder and harder for me to separate out what happened in what year, the lines just seem to blur together.  Can it really be going on a second year of marriage for Kara & Derrick? yes in just 4 1/2 short months they will reach their second wedding anniversary, that does not even seem possible, but Steve and I will reach our 25th year that same month! When I think of that it's almost unfathomable, 25 years, how is that even possible???? well seeing that Kara turned 22 this year I guess it is???

Mt. Nebo Hiking Trail, MD
Joseph being taken off to prison
      Many great family memories were made in 2011, Spring was especially busy and exciting.  We attended a week long program that our friends the Watt's had invited us to at their church on Egypt, this is like having a VBS program in the spring, which is a great idea!! we all enjoy it and are looking forward to 2012, here's a photo of "Jospeh" who the children would get to meet and talk with each evening to learn about his life.

Table all set to celebrate the Passover
     March also brought the arrival next door (to Steve's brother Paul and wife Dawn's family) twin girls.  The Lord blessed them with  Abigail and Rebekah who were born on Dawn's birthday and welcomed home by their five brothers and one sister! We also finished up our time with our home church by celebrating Passover together, Kara & Derrick were able to join us for this, we extended the table out and were able to squeeze all 24 of us around it.

    Late summer till early fall weekends were spent at Deep Creek,  were we were blessed to relax and worship with our church family there.  We spent a week there during their Family VBS program which was great fun and learning and then ended with the church picnic.  Here are a few photos from that event.
Miss Debbie  paints Ruby's face 

Baptism is held annually at the church picnic

The famous mile long slip and slide, what fun!

    As always summer flew by and we were soon into fall and time to return to school, we are in Year 1 of Tapestry of Grace, Ancient History this year.  We are getting together with three other families to do some co-op learning including personal finance and art every other week.   

Emma building a model of a molecule

Emma with her plate of food from "Eat through the plagues"

We made balsa wood combs to represent bone combs from ancient times

     Now we are looking forward to finishing up school for the year and taking Christmas vacation.  Kara & Derrick are coming in this year for Christmas on Wednesday, so we are anxiously counting down the days till they arrive and we get to spend those days together.  We did see Kara for 5 days before Thanksgiving, but Derrick had to work, so we'll be glad to all be together for the celebration of Christ's birth.  

     Stay tuned for more updates on each person from our family, this was just the overview!! There is so much to share and some of our favorite photos as well.