Monday, July 28, 2008

Nashville Trip

July 19 two of our former students and now close friends, Keith and Sarah, got married, thus giving us a great excuse to fly back to Nashville! It was one of the most beautiful and meaningful weddings I've ever been involved in. What a great time we had helping and visiting with friends. My only regret is that I didn't take more pictures! Really, I'm very sad about it because who knows when we'll be back in Nashville. But, what I am thankful for is all the great memories we made during the week we were there. We definitely made the most of our time! We saw as many people and got as little sleep as possible I think!

And, we received an answer to prayer. Prior to our trip Hannah's homesickness increasingly got worse. Daily, she'd say things like, "I don't like this house. I want my old house.", etc. Well, since we still own our house in Nashville we decided to take her in and let her say goodbye to it. Her first response was "It really is empty". Our visit there went very well and she now says that she likes both her old and her new houses. And we haven't had a bout of homesickness yet since being back in Seattle. Maybe this was the reason we had not sold our house. So, now that that's done, let's get on with it!

Here are some of the few pictures I did take........

Alanna, Cagney (maid of honor), Sarah (bride), me, Esther & Janet (Mother of the bride) arriving at the rehearsal.

Hannah had such a good time playing with her old buddies, Ethan and Naomi. The two girls were so cute together at the wedding. They were spotted dancing together by the punch table. So cute!

What a great couple!

Who's that handsome man in a tux?!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Another "Reader"

Hannah is known for her love of books. One of her favorite things to do is sit with a pile of books and go through them, one by one, either remembering the real story of the book or making one up on her own to go with the pictures. Well, Kaitlyn seems to be following in her footsteps. Except Brown Bear, Brown Bear just won't cut it anymore......

Baby Art

It's happened. Hannah has gotten to the stage where she is becoming quite inventive when it comes to reaching things she shouldn't. She moves chairs, tips toy boxes over and climbs up, etc. Thankfully, the things she has gotten into have not been harmful. For instance, I keep her craft box up high in the play room closet so I can monitor the use of scissors, markers, glue, etc. Well yesterday I check on the girls who were playing in the playroom to find Kaitlyn walking around with markers in her hands and a colorful face. And Hannah is just laughing. Luckily, the markers they got into were dry erase and they wiped off easily. Sorry I don't have a picture of this one. I was too busy scolding Hannah and cleaning Kaitlyn!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hannah's Birthday Interview

I stole this idea from a couple of different friends I've seen do something similar with their kids. Last year we interviewed Hannah on her birthday and did it again this year. I'm going to keep track of the interviews so we can see how she changes from year to year. We videoed the interview too and it was pretty entertaining. At one point I had to stop b/c she was flashing us and the camera. I thought you might enjoy seeing what she said:

1. How old are you today? 4

2. How does it feel being 4? big

3. Where do you live? Seattle

4. What is your favorite color? pink & purple

5. What are your favorite things to do? ride my brand new bike; play with Kaitlyn - I love Kaitlyn; listen to music; jump on my bed; read books

6. What is your favorite food? broccoli (She does like broccoli, but I was surprised this made it on her favorites above ice cream and other such foods....) and rice and beans (this is probably due to the fact that she's been exposed to lots of mexican food starting from the time she was in my womb!)

7. Who do you like to play with? Naomi, Ethan, Veronica, Abby (all Nashville friends) and Rylie and Madison (Seattle friends)

8. What is your favorite song? Yankee Doodle (And so it has been - I'm ready for her to start singing a different favorite song all through the day!)

9. What do you like to do with your family? play at the playground; play music

10. What places do you like to go? Chuck E. Cheese, "Old" McDonald's, Red Robin

11. What has been the best thing about turning 4 so far? having a Princess cake

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Baseball & Fireworks!

We've started July with a bang - literally! This past Wed. we got to go to a Mariner's game, compliments of the Puget Sound Baptist Association Church Planter's Network. It was great just to go see some baseball - the Mariner's won! And also to meet some other church planters here in the North West as well as catch up with friends we had met during our training week.

Hannah was very excited her new friend Addie was there!

Chuck and Angila were able to join us.

We had a great 4th of July! Some of the families in our subdivision, called Highland Court, came together to organize a block party, which was held at the Highland Court playground. Several of us brought our grills and everyone brought food pot-luck style. It was so good for us because we were able to meet more of our neighbors and discovered that there are a few other families with smaller children here. In fact, there are 2 little girls around Hannah's age. No one yet for Kaitlyn to play with, but there are many more homes yet to be filled here. Since the party we've already had a couple of kids over to play and have arranged a play date at another home for tomorrow. Not to mention everyone we meet up with at the playground and as Hannah is enjoying her new bike!

The kids had fun with some fireworks early in the evening. Hannah really liked throwing the snaps. Dale even helped Kaitlyn throw down a few. There was a really cool firework that dropped a ton of little parachutes that the kids all ran after. Then around 9:30, we had a big fireworks display. On a side note, we have discovered that everyone REALLY gets into the fireworks here around 4th of July. It started over a week before the 4th. We'd hear fireworks off and on throughout the day and night, increasing in intensity up until the 4th. The fireworks that went off in our neighborhood and those surrounding us were just as good as any professional show I've seen. And it sounded like a war zone up through midnight! It was crazy! But that's just how it is around here apparently. Then July 5th - nothing.

Here are some of the pics from our block party...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Another Day on the Town

Last Friday we took Dale's mom sightseeing in downtown Seattle. There is so much to do here we filled our day with completely different things than when we took my parents downtown a week prior. Let me forewarn you, I went a little crazy with the pictures in this post. There are many!

First we took a Duck Tour. It was quite interesting and fun. This is a Duck out of water.....

and this is a duck in the water... It was a 90 minute tour of downtown Seattle and one of Seattle's bodies of water. It was a great way to see Seattle and learn about its history and uniqueness.

Hannah had a blast on this. Our tour captain, who was dressed as a pirate and called himself "Captain Stew Pendous" (yeah, a little cheesy) made it interesting and especially fun for the kids.

This is a picture of Lake Union with the Cascade Mountain Range behind it taken from the tallest over-water bridge in North America. By the way, in case you don't already know you can double-click on any photo and it will zoom in.

One of the biggest yachts docked in Seattle. Our captain told us that there are 5 of these docked in Seattle, one of which belongs to Bill Gates. We cruised around awhile looking for The Northwestern. For those of you who are Deadliest Catch fans, like Dale, you know what I'm talking about. Our tour captain was a crab fisherman at one point and knows the brothers who own The Northwestern, and said it was docked somewhere in Seattle for repairs. We never did find it, to Dale's disappointment.

After our tour we went to the Space Needle.

Mt. Rainier and the Seattle skyline

The Olympic Mountain Range across the Sound.

After leaving the Space Needle we decided to take a ferry over to Bainbridge Island. It was about a 30 minute ride. We ate dinner on the Island and then returned.

Kaitlyn grabbed her snack and plopped down right on the deck to eat.

Hannah had a blast taking pictures with her new camera (b-day gift from Grandma). She can take real pictures with it and actually did a pretty good job. I'll have to download a few later.

Here are a couple taken from the ferry at sunset. Can you believe it was about 9:30 p.m. when these were taken?!