Thursday, September 22, 2011

Joni at Cedarville

The girls and I have been using these wonderful books in our Bible time each morning.  Each lesson features the history of a particular hymn and a devotional about it by Joni Eareckson Tada.

When I heard that she was going to be at my alma mater to speak in chapel, we decided to take a morning off from our regular schooling and drive down there. It was wonderful to be back on campus.

Joni's message was so good.  I just re-read her biography this week.  She is just amazing, but of course all the glory goes to God's work in her life.

There weren't too too many people waiting to talk to her after, so we just went up to tell her how much we like the hymn book and what a blessing her ministry is. Maybe we took a little picture.

My parents always really talked up college to us girls growing up. We all knew we wanted to go and that going was a huge privilege. They especially thought highly of Christian liberal arts college.  So I am trying to do the same with my girls.

 I hope they will want to go some day. Can't you just see them taking off together in an old Camry and coming home for weekend trips to see me!  I always tell them they have to call me every night from college and PD always tells them that they most certainly do not!

We walked around a bit and ate lunch in the cafeteria.  PK1 was such a big girl, getting her own tray and going back for lots of self serve ice cream. (I thought it was too soon to discuss the "freshman 15.") The cafeteria is called "Chucks" because the guy who runs it is named Chuck.  And even though it is in a different building now, I did see Chuck!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer Leftovers

The girls learned to ride their bikes this summer. PK2 learned very quickly.  She was motivated, fearless and confident.  A few weeks later, after a great deal of fussing and protesting... PK1 learned too.  When she finally got it she said, "HOW am I doing this?" PD and I breathed a huge sigh of relief to have two girls on two wheels. We even ventured out to the bike paths a few times by the end of the summer.

We actually had a few days over 100 here.  Pretty rare for Ohio.

Towards the very end of August, we realized we hadn't been to our favorite Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream even once all summer! Since it was raining, we decided to go to the North Market Jeni's.  We each tried two flavors.  Some of us even branched out and tried something new.

I promise they were happier about the ice cream than they were about this picture.

PD got a new car this summer!  He finally got rid of his 1992 Camry and bought a 2006!

One weekend we had surprise house guests! Gram and Cincinnati cousin (and his parents) stayed with us because there was no AC at Gram's house.  It was lots of fun to hang out, stay cool and enjoy family time. The cousins played and played:

We took the summer off from our nursing home ministry, but when we got back there was a special cowboy theme day.  These were the four cutest cowboys.

A couple  years ago we started grilling out almost every Saturday and Sunday. PD comes home too late to eat together during the week, but we have weekend grilling down to a science.  We always have meat (pork loin, pork chops, chicken, steak or salmon) garden veggies (grilled or a big salad) and either potatoes cooked in foil with onion, rice or bread.  You can come up with lots of options with those. These pictures are actually from last year, but you get the point: 

We also like to have this:

And we even started grilling peaches with our pork.  Here is the recipe and it is amazing.  Pork and Peaches

Last grill out this year though, PD was caught in a complete downpour.  He was really soaked even with the umbrella.

One night after a late party for PD's work, Gram and Papa had mercy on me and kept the girls over night.  They have only stayed over at Gram's a couple of times, but every time they come home with bad bed head, MacDonald's breakfast on their face and very very happy! Thank you for the "sleep night over" Gram!

I will close out with a few fun pictures from the pool.  The last weekend it was open was cold and I felt cheated of our "last swim".  I can't believe another summer is gone. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011


PD is the one who usually takes the girls on hikes.  Sometimes I join in and sometimes I don't. This was a beautiful Sunday afternoon so I went along.

The wildlife must have heard I was coming because they really pulled out all the stops for me. We went on this trail because we had heard that people have been spotting minks here occasionally.  We had our hopes set pretty low.  First we spotted this giant wasp nest. Maybe 18 inches across.

Then we found this HUGE fungus:

Best of all was this GIGANTIC OWL.  It was very Harry Potteresque.  Truthfully, I freaked out a bit when PD pointed it out and it flew from one tree to another. It was bigger and closer than it looks in the picture because we didn't take a picture until after I screamed and it flew higher.

I was the one that first saw these two deer.  One was a young buck. The picture isn't that great because they camouflaged so well with the trees, but they are only a few yards away from us.

I told the kids that if I hadn't been there, I would not have believed that they saw all those things! The girls did great and PK2 only had to be carried just a little bit at the end.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We Went Up in the Arch

After years of driving right by the arch on our way to and from my home town, we decided the girls were old enough to appreciate seeing it this year.

So we rode up in that crazy thing that looks like you got into an egg.  I had to pretend that I wasn't freaking out.  I hate enclosed spaces and I am not crazy about heights or national monuments that may or may not be something targeted by terrorists.  I am a real danger junky basically.  They said it would take 4 minutes to go up and 3.45 to get down. hmmmm...gravity?
But the day was clear and the view was great! The girls weren't scared and they did really enjoy it.  One little girl was crying because her dad was trying to make her look out the window.
Then we walked around a museum they had where a talking statue of Lewis and Clarke told you stories and lessons.  They were funny because they were life sized, but not quite.  We studied Lewis and Clark last year and their story is even more amazing than I had remembered as a child.   A really good documentary about it was Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West  from National Geographic.  It was one of the first things I ever watched on our big HD tv and it is also visually stunning.  Highly recommend.

We even had lunch on a river boat right next to the arch.
I like this picture a lot, even though you can't see the arch.