Thursday, June 26, 2008

Amish Country

After we picked Sarah up from camp, we visited Amish Country. It really is beautiful. We picked Sarah up in Millersburg, OH and drove up to Berlin and then over to Walnut Creek to eat lunch at Der Dutchman. Walnut Creek has this huge Amish Flea Market that we didn't know about until we were leaving. Had I known, we probably would have went there first. We had a great time walking through Berlin and looking at the shops. My favorite shop was the Bulk foods store and the Christian discount book store. Kate loves to read, so we got her several books for her birthday at the book store. John really enjoyed the Berlin Chile Traders. They had a two tasting tables and I even found some beans that I have been looking for for 2 years. They are called Anasazi beans and they are very hard to find. They taste so good! My dad brought me some when we lived in New Mexico and I have looked for them in several little shops. The kids enjoyed seeing the Amish people making baskets and selling them. Some of the ladies brought their baked goods to town to sell. They even had fried pies. (That picture is for John's family. Family joke) On the way home, we drove through this small town that had this street sign that we had to get a picture of. "Tom Dick & Harry Alley" If you don't know what an alley is, it is a super skinny road that may or may not take you to a cross street. We actually went down "Tom Dick & Harry Alley" to get a better picture. It had all these little driveways off of it to these little homes. We had to turn around in someones driveway and all the little girls in the "alley" were watchin' us. They were probably thinkin', "those people from Texas must be lost". If you have never been to Amish country, It is worth the trip.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Skyview Ranch

Sarah just got back from camp on Saturday. She went to Skyview Ranch for a week. I wanted her to tell you a little about it...

I loved it! They had lots of farm animals. The bunnies were really cute. The day before we went home, they had a rodeo. That was really fun. At the rodeo, they had a port-a-potty that had a tire for a seat. I thought that was really weird. I even used it. My favorite part was the lake and the horseback riding. I got to go horseback riding twice. The first horse I rode was Gordon and the second one was Turk and he was huge. Turk was brown with a big splotch of white on his rear. My counselor said it looked like a big bag of flour was dropped on his behind. The lake was really fun. They had like a big trampoline in the water and an iceberg you could climb up and slide down on, but we didn't get to go on that. When I was over by the trampoline, seaweed was catching on my feet and it felt all weird. We got to ride in paddle boats and that was really fun. Twelve girls were in my cabin. I was in Frontier Gals and it used to be a chicken coop. If I could go back, I would. I had a great time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Update on the Job Hunt

I bet you're expecting to hear where we are going. Not yet. We have learned so much during this time. This is by far the most difficult thing we have ever had to go through. God has strengthened us as a family and is refining us as we go through this fire. We are still in base housing and have been allowed to pay a lower civilian rent. We have been able to allow our kids to finish school. We have grown closer to God as we rely on Him to direct our path in this time of searching. We daily pray that He will provide a job that will meet the needs of our large family and that no matter where we go, that He will continue to use us to serve Him.

None of these things are for sure, but we'll share them anyway.
1. John has 2 possibilities with SAIC in Colorado Springs. They are both contingent on winning a contract. SAIC is just waiting to hear from the Air Force who has won the contract. If they win either contract, John has a job.
2. John has applied for a position with Pantex in Amarillo, TX. He interviewed a couple of weeks ago and they told him they would probably make a decision in a couple of weeks. He spoke to them on Monday and they still had not made a decision and didn't know when that was going to happen.
3. John interviewed here locally and they were thinking they would decide this week.
4. John has applied to multiple jobs with Raytheon in the Dallas area and would love to hear something from them, but have heard they can take a while. We still have time.
5. John got a call yesterday from the City of Austin about a job that he applied for in February and they are going to push his resume forward.
6. John applied to a couple of jobs at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs and got an email that they have sent his resume to the next level for review.

Please pray for us as we make some huge decisions in the next few weeks.

Lazy Summer Days

Our new toy

Hayden hasn't mastered the one eye look yet.

Rachel's turn

Getting crafty outside

Painting with friends

Sarah builds a house

Hayden just loves the dinosaur

Kate loves all the games

We have been busy filling our days with lots of play time. Hayden and Rachel are most often playing with our neighbors or in the pool. Kate and Sarah are busy having sleepovers and taking advantage of the time we have here with their friends. We had some new neighbors move in and they were getting rid of some things and asked if we'd like a bunch of board games and a telescope. As you can see, we gladly took them. I think the kids opened every game they gave us that day and John put the telescope together as soon as we got it. They have had so much fun just playing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

New Friends

My last PWOC meeting was last week and Hayden happened to be there because John helped me set up a slide show. There was a little girl there with her mom and she and Hayden sat on the window sill and played her LeapFrog. I was so glad that I had my camera. I thought it was so cute to see them sitting there as if no one could see them behind that little curtain.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Big Boy Bike Ride

John took Hayden on a "real" bike ride this week. I say "real" because until last month, Hayden had a 12" bike with the training wheels off. There is no way he could go very far on that. He would have to do double to triple the rotations to get the same distance as us. We got him a bigger bike last month and he was so excited. He has been begging John to take him for a ride on the bike trail by our house. This week, John took him. They rode 5.5 miles! Hayden was so excited when he got home. He can't wait to go again, but we've had some rain here off and on this week. Maybe next week...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Summer Reading Program and More Free Stuff

We signed up for the Summer Reading Program at our local library and they had the big kick off yesterday. I took Hayden and Rachel to hear the stories, make a craft and check out a few new books. They heard stories about flies and then made their own bug. Someone at the library made these cute little bug bookmarks and gave them to the kids. They also had homemade bug and flower cookies. It was about 90 degrees yesterday, so spending the morning in the library was a nice cool place to be. We will be there every Friday at 11am. You know I am always looking for a deal, so I thought I'd share some of the other FREE things I found to do over the summer. The first one is the Free Family Film Festival at our local Regal theater. Check out a theater near you to see what is showing for FREE! Also, another Free movie deal is the Bookworm Wednesdays at National Amusements theaters. Kate and Sarah were much more interested in seeing a movie as a reward for reading than going to the library's summer reading program. It looks like we may be seeing a lot of movies this summer. Something else we found for FREE are milkshakes at Chick-fil-a. Every Monday in June, our local Beavercreek Chick-fil-a is giving away a FREE milkshake to every customer from 2-4pm. There is no purchase necessary. (I don't know if they do it everywhere.) If I find anything else, I'll be sure to share it with ya! If you know of something for FREE, let me know in the comments.

Rachel's Last day of school

May 29 was the last day of school for our kids. We got a phone call from Rachel's school on Saturday before her last week to tell us that school was cancelled for the last 2 days. We learned later that they were upgrading some cables and drilled into a main line and melted the electrical boxes in the school. There were computers sparking and teachers putting out fires... We did get a call to come pick up their things, so I snapped a picture of the giant mess they had in front of the school. This was hard for Rachel because she didn't get to say goodbye to her friends. We did have the backyard picnic the next day with several of the kids in the neighborhood that go to her school, so that helped. What a way to end Second grade!

Behind Rachel's Lens

Poor Lily...

Our new runway model

Who knows why she took this? Oh, the head is missing...

And the Photographer herself- Rachel

Rachel has been asking me if she can borrow my camera here lately. I let her use my point and shoot digital. I figure I can erase pictures and she probably can't hurt it. I uploaded the photos yesterday and these are a sample of what I saw. She and Emma dressed Lily up and took pictures. There were about 20 pictures of Lily in that outfit. You know what they say, "you have to take 50 pictures to get 1 really good one". Well, Rachel must have learned that already.