Friday, August 31, 2018

First Day of School

Before the first day of school, there is the day you find out your teacher and classmates.  Such an exciting day!  The girls haven’t really been picky, just curious who they will have.  This year, Madison has Mrs. Shetler, and Ellie has Mrs. Wenger.

Also before the first day of school, there is Open House where you actually get to meet your teacher and see your room.  They are always very excited about this day.  I got a picture of Madison inside, but I had to capture Ellie outside.

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Then, there is the actual first day of school.

Madison (left – last year, first day; right – this year, first day)

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Ellie (left – last year, first day; right – this year, first day)

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Both girls (left – last year, first day; right – this year, first day)

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We are off to a great start.  I hope the rest of the year goes well for these two. 

Before School, There Will Be Fun

So, a couple of things happened before school started this year. 

First, Grandma Yoh has started a tradition of taking the girls shopping for their first day of school outfits.  Sometimes they end up coming home with more clothes.  But they always come home having had a lot of fun.  Grandma spoils them and indulges them just as grandmas are supposed to do.  And they love being with her – crafting at her house, shopping at the store, or even helping sort office supplies at CAMO.  These are one of the bonus buys from this year’s shopping trip – pjs to match their dolls!

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Second, I try to let the girls pick one or two things they would like to do before school started.  Madison really wanted to go antique shopping.  They both wanted a treat/cupcake from Faithful Little Cupcake.  I took them on Monday, the week before school started.  Sad news for all of us, all the antique stores AND Faithful Little Cupcake were closed on Mondays! Ugh.  Disappointment all around.  We regrouped, checked their hours, and went back on Thursday.  Madison had fun; I enjoyed the first two shops; and Ellie sacrificed a morning for the team.  We all enjoyed the treat that followed – Madison got raspberry lemon cupcake; Ellie chose a cookie dough cupcake; and I had (boring, old) wedding cake cupcake. 

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Third, they moved back into a sharred room.  Last summer, we moved their furniture and painted walls to give them each the space they wanted.  This summer, they imagined how cool it would be to share a room and have a special doll corner in a play room.  So, reluctantly, I agreed.  It felt like an overwhelming task to tackle right before school started. (My room at school wasn’t even all put together yet!)  While Jeremy was out of town, we started the process.  I called in Sandy to help move some furniture.  The girls worked hard to move everything out of one room and into the other.  Then, two nights later, they put in more time to actually organize it.  It looks great.  They seem to enjoying sharing a room.  And the playroom has actually been used to play instead of just being a big toybox.  We’ll see what they want next summer…

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Finally, I always have teacher work days before school starts.  Which means, the girls have to snjoy their last few days with someone else.  One of those days, they split their time between Grandma Yoh and Marianne, David, and Erin’s house.  They had a blast.  Grandma helped them stitch some stuffed bears together in the morning.  Marianne worked with them to make homemade playdoh.  Then, they hung out, road in the UTV with David and Erin to see the monarchs, bluebirds, and corn patches.  The second teacher day, Diane came over to play.  She usually has some adventure or craft for them.  This time they could spend $2 at MCC on treasures.  And they got to go to a new park in Wooster and to Acres of Fun to play.  Both days created such great memories for them.

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I am so thankful for all the people that invest their time, love and energy into our kids!

Church Happenings

It was a busy month at church for us – in a very social way.  We had church pictorial pictures to take.  We rarely take a family picture.  It is something I think we should do more often, but we don’t take the time (or the money) to get a professional picture taken. While this is more posed than I may like, it is good to have.  The girls were so excited to get dressed up for their picture.  I snapped one of them before we left.

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The next day, we headed to the annual Salem outing to see the Akron RubberDucks play some baseball.  It is a good time.  This year, we had 36 people!  And the weather was absolutely perfect.  Usually, we try to get to an Indians game as a family, too, but that hasn’t happened this year.  So, for now, we will just call this enough. 

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The following weekend, our Sunday school class got together.  We are going to try to get together once a quarter to hang out, get to know each other, and build relationships.  This is our second time, and I think we all had a great time.  There are a lot of kids, and they all played so well together.  We adults could sit and watch and catch up.  Plus the weather cooperated for us!

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Finally, the church has started playing ultimate frisbee football every Sunday night.  It has been a long time since I played – my college years, I think.  I loved playing then.  I love playing now.  I was much more agile then.  I am at least still moving now.  It is a great way to get a run in, bond with people ages 9-40ish, and brush up my frisbee skills. 

I am so glad for all the opportunities that we have had outside of church to be together.  I think the more we encourage each other just through sharing life, the stronger the body of Christ is.  So, bring on the fun!

Nature Follow-up

I posted the picture of our caterpillar growing and eating.  It was a chrysalis for awhile, and we just missed it emerging.  But we came home and saw a beautiful butterfly in the container.  We let it go shortly after, surprised at how tentative it was to take off in flight. 

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Also, in case you didn’t notice, the full moon was pretty magnificent this past week.  I usually noticed it in the morning on my way to work.  Madison even noticed how bright it was one night when she woke up at 2am to go to the bathroom!  While this slightly fuzzy shot is of the moon on the way to work one morning.  The other one is one my uncle David took in Kansas, which is pretty cool how states away, another person is noticing the awesomeness of God’s creation!

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Tonight, we took time to go to Cowboy Church at a horse ranch near us.  Ellie really wanted to go… until it was time to go… but we decided to go anyway.  We just sat on the lawn and waited for the music to start.  Madison said that it was so nice to just sit and relax in nature and observe sweat bees and the world.  And it was.  You don’t realize how much you are entertained – even when you are outside – until you aren’t.  It was good.  The music that followed was really good too.  The message was a reminder to “Keep the main thing the main thing.”  But really, I was reminded that we need to stop, relax, and just be sometimes.  And sometimes that means just noticing things around us – the full moon, pesky sweat bees, the breeze, and so much more.  So, those are my words of encouragement as the craziness of life picks up this fall with school and sports and fall parties and fair and life – just be and rest in the world God has given us.

Fun Night

Grandma Yoh invited us to join us for a fun night sponsored by her credit union.  It was at Putt N Stuff near us.  We got free use of all their activities for 2 hours, plus coupons for food and tokens to play the games.  It was really a blast.  The best part for the girls is they found friends from church to hang out with – Nora and Grace!

We started out with things we knew – pizza, indoor playground, and games. 

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We moved to things we hadn’t tried before – go karts…. a vision of Madison actually driving a car flashed through my head.  She started out the first round fairly cautious, but started flying around the track by the end.  Ellie let me drive; I think she was scared she would get stuck on the track and not be able to figure out what to do.  Fine with me.  We raced around trying to catch Madison.

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Then, we went to Bumper boats.  This time Ellie took charge of her own boat.  She and Madison shot water at other with abandon and navigated the water pretty well. 

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It was a blast.  Grandma had fun watching, and we are really glad we could join her.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Sleepover Time

The past few summers my parents have had the grandkids come over in small groups for a sleepover.  The big girls – three of them, probably the easiest group at this point.  The boys – four of them, full of energy, probably the most exhausting group at this point (but maybe the most fun??).  The little girls – three of them, nonstop talkers all of them, probably just tire your ears out and not your body.  Those are my guesses about the groups, but you’ll have to ask my parents if they would agree.

The girls had a blast

shopping for MCC school kits at the dollar store

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watched a movie, played office, coloring party,

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swimming

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and eating ice cream.

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Sounds like a perfect sleepover if you ask me!  Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa, for the love and energy you put into your grandkids!

Serving and Supporting

August is not only back to school month, it is also MCC Relief Sale, Kidron Fireman’s Chicken BBQ, and another Machinery Sale month.  Two of three have happened so far. 

We always enjoy the Relief Sale.  It is a time where people come together to eat food, buy books or plants, explore organizations, bid on quilts and wood items, and many other things.  One thing that has been a staple at the sale for a long time are Laotian egg rolls.  This year, they were on the brink of extinction!  The couple who had been coordinating the efforts to make them needed a break.  The MCC committee decided to take the effort on so that it didn’t fall by the wayside.  (I don’t know who really oversaw the process in the end, but I am thankful for their time.)  This is a week long service project that requires a lot of man power.  The girls and I joined Sandy (and others) at Kidron Mennonite for day one: cutting vegetables.  We stayed for about 1-1/2 hours cutting celery and then food processing the cabbage.  The girls were able to help with that part.  The next day, there were people who cooked the vegetables; we did not.  The third day, we did head to the fairgrounds to help roll the egg rolls.  What a great experience!  They were rolling 4,500 egg rolls!!!  We learned the process, honed our skills, and produced about 200 during our shift.  Ellie was our full-time filler and egg glue dispenser.  Madison and I rolled.  I highly recommend that if you are able next year and in the area, you come out and join the fun.  We definitely could use the help!

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The sale itself was Friday and Saturday.  We, of course, had some of “our” egg rolls, hot dog, pulled pork, veggie burger, noodles, ice cream, pie, and smoothies!  There were great deals on used books, some inflatables, a train ride, and a concert by John Schmid.  Next year, I may try to get involved in the volleyball tournament or the 5K.  We’ll see how motivated I am!  The girls and I went back Saturday for a short time, but it was a bit hotter, and we had already seen a lot of it. 

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Tuesday was the fire department’s chicken bbq.  The girls were very excited about the kiddie tractor pull and the horse rides.  We made sure to get there in time to sign up and grab food first.  Ellie placed 1st in the 5-6 age group with two full pulls (that’s pedaling with the full 77lbs behind her!) 

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Madison did not place in her age group, but pedaled hard and had a lot of fun.

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They headed to ride the horses next.  My pictures are not as good as in the past, but they didn’t stop their fun!  This year, Ellie took a ride in the wagon with Grandma.

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It is nice as they get older because they are more independent – running out to find friends, climbing on horses by themselves and pulling the chicken off the bone. 

Coming up next weekend is the machinery sale.  By working this food trailer, we help the SYF at our church earn money for future mission trips.  Plus, it’s more fun than people think… if you are only working a shift.