Saturday, September 29, 2012

366 Days

I year ago today I got back after 222 days away from home and 193 in that country that starts with Af- and ends with -ghanistan.  My amazing wife and children met me at the airport and I've been fortunate to not have too many trips away in the last year.  Since that homecoming Caleb escaped the womb and we've had so much fun doing far too much to recount in one blog post (in fact it has taken 256 blog posts to document the last year).  Joia did a practice Tri today and then we did some family geocaching before she left for a baby shower.  While she and Caleb were gone the older kids and I hit up four more  local geocaches and then went for a swim in the pool (much warmer now than it was 364 days ago) thanks to the solar cover and a super hot summer.

At this point there are only 615 days left in my active duty service commitment (we might stay in a little bit longer than that for logistical reasons) but crazy to think we already need to start thinking and praying about life after the Air Force.  Thank you to everyone who supported Joia while I was gone and the support we have gotten since.  Please continue to pray for the tens of thousands who are still away from their families today.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


We'd been wanting to do this for a while, and Philip discovered online that there are a TON of geocaches in our area. Yesterday we went out and found our first ones!

Philip showing Keenan how to follow the GPS compass

Getting close...

Almost there...

We found it!

Fairly well disguised

This is one that the kids can take something out and replace it with something of their own.

Philip adding us to the log book

Putting everything back in

Number two...

This one took some serious looking!

Moriah has spotted it!

This was part one, with GPS coordinates to the second one...

This search would prove to be in vain...
After about 20 mosquito bites (for me) and some sand spurs in Moriah's shoes, she and I decided to wait this one out in the van.

...these two caught my attention on the way, though...

Philip and Keenan found one more (at a different location) after this and... we were hooked!   A new family activity is born for us!

Philip and I went out for a date last night and looked for one.   We got close, but it got dark before we were actually able to locate the cache.  We'll go back some other time. =)

It's not about what you're doing, it's who you're with =)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our Eighth Anniversary!

I cannot believe it has been eight years, but what a great eight years it has been... =)   On our date the other night, we were talking about our favorite memories from our eight years.   We are SO blessed to have three beautiful children, many travels, and countless unforgettable experiences from these years together!

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow....

I love you, Philip!

Monday, September 24, 2012

There's Not Much I Like More...

...than taking pictures of our family!

This first one was actually taken by Devin the other night...

Headed out for an anniversary date a few days early

I talked Philip into heading on base to the pretty picnic area that the kids and I went to yesterday so we could get some new family pictures (as well as some for our anniversary tomorrow).    He is Not a fan of pictures, but knows how happy it makes me, so he agreed. =)

Our three precious kids

Love this one!

Just about a perfect family shot =)

The boys

The girls

I Love this park!  (It's where we'll be having Caleb's birthday party)

Smiley dudes

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Snaps from School

Here are a few pictures I took at our weekly Classical Conversations schooling event...

Keenan's class did their review time outside this week.  The teacher had them practicing the Latin Singular and Plural 1st Declension Noun Endings while doing hopscotch. =)

Keenan's turn (I love his shadow here!)

Landed it!

Science experiment time (they were learning how pollution in the water never goes away)

Each week, the kids have to do an oral presentation of some sort for their classmates.  This week they also did them outside...
Keenan's classmate, Trinity, doing a presentation on pollution

Keenan did his presentation on his bean plant that he grew from the pinto bean we used in the science experiment in the first week!  (Here he is taking questions, doesn't he look thrilled?)  =)

Jacob did a cute presentation on his favorite verse, Genesis 1:1

Art time (learning about abstract art)

Every Wednesday morning from 8:45 to 11:45 is a JAM packed three hours of information and review,  and I always come away a little overwhelmed.  But, after four weeks, I finally feel like we're getting into a good homeschooling groove at home and Keenan is doing excellent! =)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Random September Fun


Pumpkins were the plan, but Caleb isn't quite old enough, so he got the ole' "paint in a ziplock bag" to play with...

What is This??

Moriah hard at work

Figuring it out!

The kids asked me to draw on their pumpkins and then they painted them in

Being ever so careful

Two cute faces

Proud artist

All done!
(Yes, it's early in the season, there will likely be many more pumpkins decorated in various ways in our house over the next couple of months)

Skits looking all sleepy and cute in the sun

Moriah and I with our scarves I made out of t shirts
Tutorial here

Yesterday we met up with a few military homeschool families at the park on base.  It was fun!

Eden and Moriah looking adorable

I think this may have been Caleb's firs time in a swing - and he Loved it!

The three year old beside him is also named Caleb!

Swinging Sweetie


It was so cute, how he sat with his feet in the swing

They wanted to have their picture taken on this rock on the way out of the park =)