Sep 27, 2006

Today was a great day...Makaela biked all by herself today! She has been practicing all summer, but has been a tad cautious. However, today at the church parking lot she took off on Sofia Van Shaik's bike. It was such a sweet moment. She is so proud of her newfound freedom.

Today was also our last play date with the Van Shaik family. Samantha has claimed Chrsitian as her "best friend" for several years now. She is taking their move fairly hard. We have been praying that God will send another special friend her way. For their farewell concert, she is going to play her violin and read a letter she has written to him about all of the things she will miss doing together.

Yesterday we had a special outing at a local elementary school. A friend of ours teaches first grade and invited the girls to come and see her classroom. Samantha brought her violin and spoke to the class about it and then played a couple of pieces. The kids loved it and had lot of questions for her (many of which Makaela answered as she is also starting violin) . :) The neatest part was when the teacher asked Samantha to play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," as she supposed that would be a tune the kids would recognize. Well, Samanatha said she wasn't sure she knew that one well enough by ear, so she asked if she could play "Jesus Loves Me" instead. The teacher agreed, and half of the kids hummed along while she played! :) It was precious. I didn't have my digital camera that day, but I'll post pictures of it when my friend sends them our way. (Her classroom is gorgeous). God bless!

Sep 22, 2006

This is our math coach, Dr. Susan. She is delightful and quite witty. I have really appreciated her assistance and the encouragment she offers to the children.

The girls posing for a smile during the school day. Notice the pencil aptly placed behind Sam's right ear. :)

Sep 17, 2006

Home Schooling...

All is well on the homefront. We are deep into our studies from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The girls mental muscles are recieving an amazing workout. It is exciting for me to see the new little "lights" that switch on in their minds everyday.

I have some teacher's assistance (puppets) that join our classes on a daily basis. There is "puppy" who comes to the couch for reading time, "Dr. Susan" is our math coach, and "Miss Kitty" usually shows up around language class.

Samantha has also started her strings ensemble with 6 other string players. She's doing very well and is always so energetic after ensemble pratice. She thrives on the harmonies of good music and the sweet attention from the older girls. She and I are currently playing The Clock, by Chopin together and I can't help but smile inbetween notes.

Our favorite adventure from last week was pear and plum picking. We picked over a bushel of pears and about 12 pounds of plums. Delicious!!! We have dried several pounds of the pears, and may can the rest. The local raccoons have also enjoyed our stash of fruit, and graciously leave their seeds on the porch. (We are saving our seeds for a little orchard we will grow on our new property).

Some favorite quotes for this week:

Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything. Eugene Delacroix

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans. Aim high in hope and work. Remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die. Daniel H. Burnham

There's no abiding success without commitment. Anthony Robbins

To know someone here or there with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distances or thoughts expressed -- That can make life a garden. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake somebody. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard

From the errors of others a wise man corrects his own. Publilius Syrus

Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity. Og Mandino

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can. John Wesley

Nothing is more beautiful than the love that has weathered the storms of life. The love of the young for the young, that is the beginning of life. But the love of the old for the old, that is the beginning of things longer. Jerome K. Jerom

P.S. I tried to post pictures of the girls at school, but something on Blogger's site is down...I'll try to post them as time allows...God bless!

Sep 5, 2006

First day of school! Samantha is in second grade and Makaela is now in Kindergarten! :) It was a very busy and a very special day.

Minnesota State Fair! Yeah!!! It rained all day, but it was so much fun anyway. We can't wait till next year!

Down on Grandpa's Farm...

Dower Beach, Staples, MN

Up in the trees...

Here we are visiting the spectacular tree house with Grandma and Grandpa Foerderer. The tree house is an actual lived in home and there is a lovely hot tub on the deck overlooking the trees to boot. The girls loved the swing the best! : )
Samantha and Maci with their precious tree frogs. :)

Sep 4, 2006

Clitherall Lake, Clitherall, MN

This was the girl's and my first fishing experience ever! We all caught a couple of fish. Makaela and I were not interested in holding our catch, but brave Samantha was so proud to!

Thanks for the fun Mark!

Sep 1, 2006

Fun at my sister in law Beth's parent's cabin with the Foerderer Clan!

We took the girls to the little country church in French Lake, Mn where Andrew and I were married. It was an amazing day that none of us will ever forget. :)

4, 5, 6, & 7--These sweet kids are so proud to be close in age! We had a wonderful day at Lake Marion with our friends Misty, Anna, and Nathan!

We stopped at Mom's Place (my grandma's old restaurant) in South Haven, MN and ordered some great junk food. It's a traditonal greasy spoon in the middle of the sticks. The waitress was very obliging and made the girls a veggie sandwhich. It was fun to reminisce.


Enjoying good food at the Good Earth.
Samantha enjoying Grandma Bette's scooter.

While making a sandcastle with a moat, Makaela and I dug up a baby snapping turtle. Samantha found one also and here she is proudly holding the newborns.

While visiting my mom and Grandma we went out for breakfast at French Meadow bakery in Minneapolis. The food was fabulous--lots of vegan selections--delicious! Thank you Grandma for the treat. While waiting for our food, this friendly little sparrow graced our table. With help from my mom I caught the sweet bird and we released him outside.

Como Zoo fun! :) Neni spoiled the girls with treats galore. They had a rainbow snow cone and a cherry freezie. We finished our day at Como with a ride on the infamous Como Zoo tea cups.

Our first day in Minnesota we spent at Como Zoo in St. Paul. It was a gorgeous day. The highlight for us was riding Cafesjians' Carousel. The carousel orginally resided at the MN state fair. My grandma rode it when she was a little girl, my mother rode it when she was a little girl, I rode it, and now my girls have ridden on it. I was fighting back tears the entire ride and overwhelmed with the blessings of my precious little family.

I love this picture. I took it the week before we left for our Minnesota trip. It's a Sabbath evening and Samantha and William are doing what they love best. :)