Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

Yesterday was Jeremy's birthday!
Happy birthday to our "biggest" brother! :-)
May the Lord continue to bless and prosper you and your family!
We love you!

(Picture credit: Wendy Hill)
As an aside, last Saturday was the 4th Annual Milky Way Invitational Softball game and Jeremy was awarded the MVP trophy! I guess age isn't slowing him down any! (This photo is from the post-game fun.)

Monday, August 10, 2009


I know, this is rather late to be posting about the first few weeks of July, but I'll feel better moving along if I just at least mention some of what we did last month - aside from sending Jonathan off and enjoying comfortable living weather!

During the very last days of June, we had a brief visit from some friends who were en route to Boston, MA! It was so wonderful to have them join us for the evening and overnight... even if it was a rather short visit! First thing in the morning, on June 29, we waved them off, and then ran inside to finish our packing and - after spending quite a bit of time puzzle piecing all the equipment, luggage, and people into the vehicle - we pulled out of the driveway ourselves and headed east to Boston.

Yes, that is a stroller just behind Josiah's head. And it was wedged in enough that it didn't budge the entire trip. Actually, most of us were wedged in well enough that we could hardly budge the entire trip... Josh, Abbey and Bella flew out and we took some of their luggage - as well as Josh's AV equipment.

The drive went well, but it soon became apparent that we'd need to drive through the night. Due to rain, and weariness, we pulled into a rest area in the wee morning hours and slept. As the sun rose we noticed a familiar looking vehicle sitting parked across from us. Different routes, different stops, different agendas along the way, but same parking lot. It was in fact, the very friends that we had said good bye to the day before! And, no, we hadn't talked with them at all during our travels. We got out, stretched and chatted for awhile, as we all woke up, and then headed out - to meet up again in Boston.

As soon as we arrived in Boston, we headed to the bus station where Mom boarded a bus headed 2 hours north to Maine where she visited with her sisters for a couple of days. Definitely a bit of family resemblance there, eh?

Back at our hotel in Boston, Josh and family arrived from the airport about the same time we pulled up to unload. Bella was excited to get out, and very soon discovered the art of crawling!

This is our only picture of the hotel we stayed at in Boston. We were there for the Reformation 500 celebration hosted by Vision Forum Ministries. Josh had been hired to set up and run the AV systems and also record all the sessions and mini-tours that were held that week. Between working for Josh, watching Bella, and making sure everyone ate, we were all kept busy during the week!

On Saturday, July 4, the event drew to an end, and in the evening we headed out to watch the Boston Firework Display. It was impressive, and as we stood fairly close to the barge they were launched from, we were able to feel - not just hear/see - every explosion. Very fun! Most of the pictures from the week are on Josh and Abbey's camera. So in the event that I remember to borrow it from them and find a picture absolutely worth sharing, I'll post some of those.

The trip was very significant in Bella's life. Not only did she figure out crawling, she also tasted her first real food. I mentioned that J&A flew out to Boston? Well, they drove home in the van with us. So as entertainment for Bella (and the rest of us), Abbey opened up some baby food for the first time...

She was a pro from the start. Chewed up that first bite and swallowed it like she'd been doing it for months. Didn't even need the bib. Such a brilliant child! Oh, and I should add that she absolutely loved it, too. Must have some of that Italian blood in her as she seems to agree with the sentiment that food is the best fix for any problem.


Within a week of arriving home from Boston, Josh, Abbey, Bella, Jessica, Joseph and Josiah were on the road again. This time headed west all the way to Phoenix, Arizona. They were gone from July 13- July 21. They left the camera at home and used Josh and Abbey's camera. They did take pictures, but don't have them here to share. The trip was long, but went well. It was hot (117 in the shade), but dry. Traffic was scarce, except when a traffic accident closed the entire highway... and we were only about 20 minutes from our final destination after 3 days of traveling! Traversing that route always reminds us of how absolutely lovely Illinois is. Good to be home again!


While they were gone, the remaining part of the family (Dad, Mom, Jonathan, Joanna) welcomed the Adams family for about a week. Sadly, that meant that those of us who were in Arizona completely missed their visit! However, the reports are that all enjoyed the visit entirely. Our family was refreshed and encouraged by their fellowship, and is grateful for their ministry! Thanks for stopping by!

Okay, one last picture before we wrap up this segment of July. Sara made a lovely fruit pizza to welcome us home with after the Arizona trip. So here is a picture of Josiah and I - just back from 3 days of traveling, with the three blondies and the pizza they delivered! The pizza was good, but the kids are even better!

BTW - the picture at the very top of this post is these same three blondies - during an overnight at Grandma's house a couple of weeks ago. Their Daddy and Mommy had to go on an emergency shopping trip to replace a refrigerator that suddenly quit working.

And now, we are hereby declared caught up and moving forward. August is here!

Saturday, August 01, 2009


The coldest July on record (for our area) was back in 1967, when the average temperature for the month was 76 degrees.

Our average temperature in July 2009 was 69 degrees. I think we need to start thinking about seriously pursuing global warming.