Friday, May 30, 2008

Benjamin in the paper

When we opened the Hometown News last night, there was Benjamin's picture. It's really cute - go to this website to see all the pictures they took of Benjamin and Alexander.

Number 21 is the one that made it in the paper. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chorus Concert

Tuesday night was Alexander's chorus concert. The theme this spring was "Disney." We sang fun Disney songs like "Mickey Mouse Club," "Heigh ho!" and "Winnie the Pooh." These pictures were taken at the evening concert, when it was performed for the parents. Jonathan sat at his usual place, right next to mom at the piano.

Alexander had a solo in "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." You can see he got a little nervous, but did a great job singing! He didn't like the lyrics, though: "But better use it carefully or it could change your life. One night I said it to me girl and now me girl's me wife." How embarassing to a second grader. It sure was cute, though.

His good friend Lynnlee led the pledge before the show started.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New camera!

The pictures you see on yesterday and today's entries were taken with our new camera. Since we're about to leave for Europe, we thought we should have a camera that takes good pictures indoors and outdoors. We bought a Kodak, just like our other one, but with more features. This first pictures shows the panoramic feature. Cool, huh? I took this picture to show our back porch. We cleaned the gutters on it, and discovered hundreds and hundreds of....

...tadpoles! So, since we're a family of 3 boys, what did we do? We caught them, of course. And just to be extra nice, we caught some extras to take into school. Won't their teachers be thrilled???

We took these next pictures at Elke's house. Chris tried a panoramic shot of her cool car. This last picture of Alexander is taken with a 10x zoom! In the picture of Elke's car, you can see our van, which is where he was when Chris took the picture.

We also bought 3 - 2 gig memory cards. They each hold about 400 pictures or so. It will take us forever to sort through our pictures when we return, but that's part of the fun of traveling, isn't it???

Monday, May 26, 2008

Our next project...

Now that we are done with the fence, we'll have to either fix or replace our rotting shed. As you can see, our termite service covers only our house, not our shed!

Don't Fence Me In!!!

It was a beautiful Memorial Day, with temperatures in the upper 70's (rare for this time of year). I went out for a 7 mile run, and when I returned, I found Chris and the boys working in the backyard, cleaning out the shed and washing the awning. As I helped them finish up, I looked over at our pathetic fence and said, "We really should take down that fence." Immediately I saw this look of sheer joy on Benjamin's face. He was thinking only one thing: DESTRUCTION!! As you can see from this picture, our fence is rotting. We've had it since we moved in 8 years ago, so it's done well for us. We originally had it put in to keep our young toddlers contained. Now that they are all school age, we don't need the boundries. So, with two eager boys (Jonathan wanted nothing to do with work), we decided to tackle this project.

We got out the tools and began taking it down, piece by piece. We had to be very careful to get all of the nails out - some of them were so rusted they looked like they had been in there for 100 years!

Chris was quite a sport - working, despite his sprained wrist. The boys were troopers, working for 3 hours and helping us haul all of the boards out to the street. They fought over the sledgehammer, but in general were very helpful.

I felt kind of bad, because we're taking away the anole's habitat. They love hanging out on the fence.

Our final pile was pretty large.
We're hoping they'll haul it away with the trash on Thursday. We were amazed to see how much the wood had rotted underground. Florida weather is fierce to anything wood.

The last thing we had to do was pull up the stakes. As you can see, it was a rather deep hole. The holes are still there. We'll have to fill them in later to avoid any sprained ankles. Here's a final picture WITHOUT any fence. The boys are now free to run, for better or for worse.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lost and Found

We've heard the group "Lost and Found" a few times at youth gatherings and concerts. They wrote "The Lutheran Song," a tribute to famous Lutherans.

This link has different pictures and the words written out:


Monday, May 12, 2008

Talent night

The other night, Jonathan and Alexander started to spontaneously sing, so I quickly grabbed the camera and captured this on film. Aren't they cute?

Not to be outdone, Benjamin picked up his recorder and played some songs he learned in school. Beginning in third grade, they learn recorder in music class. He's learned these three songs, but still has a hard time reading music.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Gram and Pop-Pop

On Wednesday, Mom and Dad flew back to Pennsylvania. They were here for two weeks, which included Jonathan's birthday and the dance recital. I also worked a few of the days they were here, and it was helpful to have others to help get the kids ready and get Jonathan to/from school. They left at a good time - our temperatures have shot up into the high 80's after hovering in the upper 70's and low 80's while they were here.

Both Benjamin and Alexander enjoy playing APBA baseball with Pop-Pop, and Gram worked with Alexander to complete the daily Soduku puzzle. Yesterday when I brought Jonathan home from school, he walked up to the front door, slumped a little, and said, "Gram and Pop-Pop are gone, aren't they?" He's now looking forward to our trip to Pennsylvania in July, as I'm sure they are, too.

McCain -vs- Bush

A few days ago I emailed this to a few people - it's a fun online quiz to see if you can tell the difference between George W. Bush and John McCain. I'm obviously pro-Obama, but no matter what, this quiz is scary. If you haven't already, check it out - it'll take only 2 minutes. Afterwards, there's a McCain -vs- Carrot round, too.

The Misfortune at Sweetwater's Graveyard, chapter 5

In honor of the school's "young author's conference" last night, I am posting the final chapter of Benjamin's story. I hope all of you have enjoyed it!

copyright by Benjamin 2008

Chapter 5
The Graveyard Again

11:00 PM
Ben and Kellie walked all over town looking for the pumpkin man. They finally found him in the alley. He was asleep. Kellie went into the street and waved Sonya over. Sonya and Kellie crept quietly up behind Ben. Sonya told them” When I get into the alley you need to run back to the graveyard. When you see me coming, hide!” Kellie and Ben silently left the alley. Sonya crept up behind the man and tapped his head. The pumpkin man jolted awake and jumped up. Ben and Kellie did not see anymore of this, as they were running to the graveyard.

Ben and Kellie were hiding in the bushes surrounding the graveyard. Sonya was tearing down the sidewalk, followed closely by the pumpkin man. She ran to the iron fence and wrenched open the gate. She raced toward the pumpkin man’s grave. He ran after her, reaching for her.

Sonya jumped onto the spot where the pumpkin man needed to stand. He almost bowled her over, but she dodged him at the last minute. His feet touched the ground, at that moment the church bell began to ring. It tolled twelve times. The ground began to shake. The pumpkin man’s form began to disappear. Clouds swirled around him and, once again the moon turned red. He let out a horrible scream and then he was gone. In his spot sat the huge pumpkin that had won the fair.

Sonya breathed a sigh of relief as Ben and Kellie jumped from the bushes, amazed. “We did it!” they exclaimed together.

Ben and Kellie picked up their pumpkin together. Kellie said “I am never coming in here again!” At the same time Ben said “Maybe we should think about putting this pumpkin in a very safe place!”

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!

A little belatedly, I need to wish Jonathan a happy birthday. His birthday was a week ago, and he turned five!!!!! He thinks it is time to go to Kindergarten, and was disappointed to learn that he has to wait until August.

On Saturday, we had a "kids" party. Jonathan invited 5 of his friends, since of course he is five. I had all sorts of games planned, but it turns out they just wanted to play with cars and trucks. So we let them play outside for awhile before we served up the "motorcycle cake." Jonathan picked out his cake and it was probably the easiest one I have ever decorated.

On his actual birthday, we had a dinner with the grandparents and Mr. Larson, this time with Shoo Fly cupcakes for dessert. Then he opened yet more vehicles, which was all he wanted for his birthday. He ended up with new cars, trucks, airplanes, motorcycles, Speed Racers, transformers, and Cars cars. He is still in heaven, trying to decide which vehicle to play with each day.

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

5 K morning

This morning four of us (not Jonathan) ran a 5K at the LPGA complex in Daytona Beach. Chris ran a 26:08, which was very close to his personal best. Benjamin ran a 30:33, which was also very close to his personal best. I ran with Alexander, and we finished in 31:56, which is his personal best by over 2 minutes! He was excited to find out he placed third in his age group (right behind Ryan and Christian, friends of his and Benjamin) and won this award! For the second race in a row, Benjamin finished fourth in his age group, which was a bit frustrating for him. We all had a good time, though, and to top it off, Alexander, our lucky one, won a $50 gift certificate to the local running shoe store. We're all going to fight over who uses it, that's for sure!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tap video

As promised, here is the video of Benjamin's tap dance. He's closer to the front in this one, so he's easier to see. Enjoy.