Goodbye Pool, Hello School!


Annie's Poolside Teaparty

Our summer vacation this year was taken in bits and pieces, as we joined a local pool for the summer months instead of going away for a week. As you can see by these pictures, we had a great time. The girls went from aquaphobia (according to Wikipedia: the abnormal and persistent fear of water) in early June, to their fish-like state in these pictures. Sophie, especially, has taken to swimming like, forgive me, a duck to water. Annie, while not yet swimming has loved the freedom of running around, painting the cement with water and paintbrushes, and pouring us "tea" with her various pitchers. I began counting how many times she would say "Mommy, watch" in a given afternoon at the pool...I gave up somewhere after 25!

Fearless Sophie

Though we wouldn't have traded the relaxation and refreshment our pool days have brought to our summer, we are welcoming back the routine of school, and the cooler weather of the fall still to come. The anticipation has been building. For a few weeks new and returning teachers have been trickling into town and along with them old friends and classmates have returned from their "stateside" summers. It has been fun to watch and experience this building excitement and then to go with Sophie to school today and see her soaking it all in. She loves to learn and is looking forward to this new year of first grade (sorry Canadians, grade one!). Her class will have about 14 students, both first and second grades. Pictured are some of the girls in her class with Sophie as they relished their first day back together. Though it is hard to see our "baby" growing up, it is really a beautiful thing to see her growing, as her name means, in wisdom and grace (Prov. 4:7-9).

First Day of School Reunion (Sophie in Stripes)

As for the younger members of our crew, Annie is still trying to process why she can't go to school and be in Sophie's class (like the big "ghouls"...girls). She is our social butterfly, and while she tries to make do with only Benjamin, it doesn't quite satisfy her extroverted needs. Though she is a good talker and he a good listener (since he can't speak!), it still falls a bit short. Like her big sister before her, she is happy to supplement "friends" from her imagination to help meet some of her social needs. (Pictured Right: Annie, Baby Dear, and the invisible Hannah on the far right) any given day we have Bible characters, Cinderella, Laura Ingalls, and Molly the American Girl sitting down to tea...with Larry and Bob thrown in for good measure!

Annie, Baby Dear, and the Invisible Hannah (right)

It is difficult for us grown-ups, as these little individuals are invisible, to keep this in mind. I think we squish and squash them on numerous occasions. Not too long ago, John had the two girls sitting in time out around our kitchen table as he discussed whatever transgression they had participated in....They solemnly listened to him, and he felt their silence was evidence of their repentant spirits. However, when he was finished and had paused to ask Annie if she had anything to say, she replied (deadpan), "Da, you're sittin' on my friends." Imaginative, yes. Repentant, not always. Needless to say, all of these shenanigans bring no end of entertainment and joy to Benjamin.

Who needs cartoons and Baby Einstein when you have big sisters like these?

What took us so long?


After three years of cross-cultural living, we finally decided to start a family journal of sorts. Many of you may already receive our work letters, and we are grateful to be connected in that way. But since we all have work lives and family lives (you would think that is a no brainer, but not always in our type of work), we decided to start a strictly FAMILY site (that is, not limited to only our families, but rather only about our family!). So now there will be a place for you to catch up on pics (for our family of picture junkies...I confess to the addiction) and funny stories (for those of you who have "complained" our work letters aren't funny enough!).

Part of the delay has been, How to start? I began by reading a bunch of other blogs (mistake) and found myself a bit intimidated by all the bells and whistles that can be added. I fiddled with it, tweeked it, and then sat down to write...fingers frozen on the keyboard or writing latin-like gibberish in an attempt simply to fill space. Then my one niece (MM) sent me my other niece's (A) blogsite (you know you are old when people whose births you remember and who you babysat know more about technology than you...). Nothing fancy about her blog, no slide shows, links, ads, or weather reports, but there in the midst of all the ramblings, like a diamond in the midst of cubic zirconia shone her sparkling, beautiful, one-of-a-kind personality and it made me miss her and feel more connected with her at the same time. When it all comes down to it, that is what we hope this site does for you...makes you love us and miss us as much as we love and miss you.

So welcome and come often, just take us as we are...a bit random, a bit self-absorbed (as any family with little kids are...they are the cutest kids ever, after all!), and just everyday folks, much like many of you, who just happen to be walking their walk on the otherside of the world. Let the randomness begin:

Sophie's recent venture into the retail world (thanks to a large recycled box from our latest replacement: a new water heater tank) produced this amazing title (right) The Everything Store: A Great Place. I think there is a future in that title. Barbie's sold for about 10 cents, books for a little bit more...funny thing was, when you left you ended up leaving your purchased goods (unique method of restocking the shelves) but you didn't get your money back. I am not sure whether her future is in advertising or business, but either way she is off to a great start.

I am sure with next week's beginning of school, we will have a picture or two to add. Thanks for stopping by! Beth