Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mark's Baptism

Mark turned 8 today. It was a WONDERFUL day for our family.

Both sets of grandparents came from St. Louis. Aunt Laurel flew in from Salt Lake City. And Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Glen drove down from northern Virginia with their kids.

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Mark has developed a strong faith in our Savior over the past 8 years. He's learned about repentance when he disobeys his parents or is mean to one of his siblings. He's prepared himself well. Today he was immersion. And that says a lot about his faith. Because Mark has never gone under water before...even in the bathtub. It terrifies him. I don't know if that will change now. But he was brave and did very well today. Our oldest son was baptized.

After he was baptized, Mark was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now he has the privilege of having the Holy Ghost as a constant companion. He's a good boy. And now he has a little more help to make this life successful.

It feels a little surreal that our oldest is now 8 years old.
Happy Birthday, Mark!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Virginia Beach Excursion

We had a BLAST! It was honestly one of the best day trips our family has enjoyed. We drove to Virginia Beach in the morning:

Anya was determined to hold onto Mark's hand:

And Luke was content as long as he couldn't see the ocean!

After a couple hours at the beach, we headed to a nearby mall for some lunch. We strategically chose this mall because it had a two-story carousel. Even mom and dad were in awe at its size!

Then we headed a few miles up the coast to Fort Story. The first lighthouse in our nation to be funded by the federal government under our newly established Constitution was built in 1791. Although no longer functioning, it still stands. The kids were too short to make the climb to the top.

On our way back home, we stopped at the Naval Museum in Newport News, VA. I thought it would be a quick 30 minute stop. By the time we got back to the van, almost 2 hours had gone by. The kids were fascinated. The retired battleship USS was awesome! And now I'm in the mood to play battleship again.

Look at the size of these guns! They could fire a 2,700 pound projectile (equivalent to a Volkswagon Beetle) up to 23 nautical miles away. (Do you see those little specks between two of the gun barrels? -That's my family!)

We explored all over the upper deck...climbing up and down wherever we could.

It was a great day! And we were all exhausted by the time we got home. We planned just enough to know what we could do based on the kids' moods yet remained flexible during the day so it wasn't stressful.

Not only was it was very in geography, aquatics, marine biology, history, oceanic navigation, and patriotism. What more could you ask for?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday drive home

I got to drive with the family on the way home today. It was a welcomed sight. It worked out so I could carpool with someone this morning to my meetings and I didn't have any responsibilities right after I enjoyed a pleasant ride home. And this is what I learned and heard:

James: It's impossible to frown when you're eating a Frosty. (No...we didn't stop at Wendy's on the way home. We just happened to be driving past one when he said it.)

Mark and Anya: Mark had his baptismal interview with the Bishop today. So we talked about it on our way home. Part of the conversation revolved around Mark explaining to the Bishop that he was up past 11pm reading his new cub scout manual after Mom and Dad fell asleep last night. We asked what the Bishop's response was and Mark told us that he was "amused."

I was thinking, "I'm amused that Mark used that word and he probably doesn't know what it means." But Anya said it out loud.

Anya - Do you know what amused means?
Mark - Don't go there!
Anya - Oh, I'm going there.
Mark - silence
Anya - What? Are you afraaaaaaaaid?!?

It was very cute. And Karen and I looked at each other and knew it was blog worthy. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

House Cleaning

Wouldn't it be great if this post was titled House Cleaning to share some deep and poignant insight?

It's not.

It's actually about house cleaning.

I have spent the last 6 days cleaning my house, top to bottom, (really bottom to top since I started on the main level) and inside out (again, really just the inside, outside is kind of David's turf (please pardon the pun (and the alliteration))).

Mark and Anya served as my mostly willing slave labor and did a great deal of work on the wall washing, as well as smaller move and put back types of jobs. James, umm not so much. Peter tried, but often got distracted by things like windows and toys. Luke did his best to make it hard and interesting to clean with him around, but we managed to work around him.

I must say that I am extremely grateful that I have managed to complete another deep cleaning and I am even more grateful that I don't have to do it again for 6 months.

Let's see, highlights from cleaning include:

Anya warning Mark not to wash too close to the electricial thingys.

Cleaning chapstick and a bandaid off of James' wall. Then retrieving yet another oddity from the freezer, this time the vitamins. Why he has an obsession with putting odd things in the freezer I will never know.

Finding Anya joyously "washing" the dishes by rinsing them. (I am terrible about rinsing dishes, so she must have gotten that gene from her dad who hates that I am terrible about rinsing dishes) I haven't gotten around to teaching the kids how to actually clean up and load the dishwasher, so I was very impressed that she took this task upon herself.

After long exhausting days of cleaning finding Mark still awake at 11:30 pm with a flashlight and Trumpet of the Swan propped up on his knees. Anya finished it and "made" him read it. :)

Living with the door/shoe police. Peter may not speak English, but he is quite adept at making his point and takes his unofficial duties very seriously. He decided that he was in charge of being sure that everyone removes their shoes when we come home and that all doors within a 20 foot range of Luke are closed and secure.

Ahh, children. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. I guess the only thing left is to love 'em.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Grandparents Day

Mark turns 8 this month...which means, in our church, he will be baptized. We are VERY excited. This afternoon in Primary, someone asked the kids what was happening in 3 weeks. Several kids raised their hands, but Anya was the most energetic. When she was called on to answer the question, she let everyone know that it was Mark's birthday in a few weeks (not the answer the teacher was looking for). I think she's excited, too. We love you, Mark!

The kids called their grandparents earlier to wish them a happy grandparents day. Both sets will be coming out at the end of September to be a part of Mark's special day. And our kids are really excited to see everyone. Luke has one cute little tooth and moves around the house now quicker than mom and dad can keep up. Good thing we have 4 other helpers! He's been crawling less than two weeks (late bloomer at 11 months) and he's already learned to climb the stairs...YIKES! Here's a quick sample of just how cute it is to have a little baby boy...Happy Grandparent's Day!