Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Georgia Aquarium

On our way back from Ft. Benning, we stopped in Atlanta for a couple of nights and stayed with one of my cousins who lives there with her family. It was wonderful to see them, and we thoroughly enjoyed their hospitality.

While we were there, we took a trip to the Georgia Aquarium, which was amazing. Elijah was particularly excited because he is absolutely crazy about sea life and especially sharks. I think I enjoyed watching him almost as much as I enjoyed the exhibits!

Here is Elijah, all ready to see the aquarium with his shark sunglasses, shark T-shirt and shark backpack, filled with every book he owns about sharks (just in case he needs to do a little research while he's there, I guess!)

Looking up in the Ocean Voyager exhibit- a large clear tunnel surrounded by water. It feels like you're waling along the ocean floor. Very neat.

Shark and ray touch tank. It was harder to touch them than you might think, but he managed to brush a small hammerhead.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Uchee Creek

When we were at Ft. Benning, we stayed at the nicest resort area on the backside of the base. It is called Uchee Creek, and it is part of the Army MRW (morale, recreation & welfare, I think) program. We had a lake cabin with two bedrooms downstairs and a loft with two sets of bunkbeds, a full kitchen and living room area with cable TV, a huge deck with a swing, and a gorgeous view of the Chatahoochee River. I could have lived there!

The view from our deck. I could look at this every morning.

There were only two downsides. First, we were so busy doing things with Michael that we really didn't have time to enjoy it. Secondly, there was this sign just before the driveway to our cabin...

Excuse me? Alligators?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

From my valentine...

Peach roses are my favorite.
I am married to the most wonderful man.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ft. Benning, Georgia

In January, our family traveled to Ft. Benning, Georgia for Michael's graduation from basic training. Our first day there, we watched what is called the "Turning Blue" ceremony, which is when a soldier officially becomes part of the infantry.

Michael's blue infantry cord came from my brother, Ethan. I didn't know this before, but it is a tradition that if a soldier has a family member who is also an infantryman, then they can pass down their cord. Ethan is a captain stationed at Ft. Drum, New York, and he mailed his cord to Michael. I know it meant a lot to Michael.

Doesn't he look handsome?

The next day was graduation. Before the soldiers marched out, there was a neat demonstration with tanks, colored gas, and gunfire. It was loud and impressive (although Eleanor will tell you she was terrified).

Here are the kids freezing their tails off on the metal bleachers before graduation.
It was so cold!

Then the soldiers from three different companies marched out onto the field. It was a very nice ceremony. We were all so proud of Michael and how hard he as worked.

That's him, on the far right, second row from the rear.

Michael with the rest of our kids after graduation.

He's at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky now, and will probably be deploying to Iraq within a couple of weeks. We knew when he enlisted back in September that there was no question that he would be going. Still, as I looked at him with the friends he made in his platoon, I was struck by the fact that these are just kids. Eighteen years old and off to war. I know he is in God's hands, as are we all, but it is hard not to worry. Pray, pray, pray.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This alone was worth the price of admission...

A few weeks ago, our homeschool group went on a field trip to the Indianapolis Children's Museum. We'd been there a few years ago, but they have a new exhibit that was absolutely amazing.

"Fireworks of Glass": a four story tower of blown glass by artist Dale Chihuly. It is built on a glass floor, and what you see from underneath the tower is almost more impressive.

The entire floor/ceiling is layered with hundreds and hundreds of pieces of blown glass in an array of colors and shapes. With the lighting behind the glass, the effect is breathtaking. I could have stayed there all day looking at it. Very, very cool.

I took many more pictures than these, but you get the idea. If you get the chance, you should go.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

my new blog!

I've been posting regularly/sporadically at for about two years now, but a lot of people I know are using this site and find it very easy. I like easy because I am seriously technologically challenged. So far, so good.

the new baby in house...

OK, it isn't quite the blessed event that it sounds like, but we're still excited. After months of looking for a new piano, we are the proud owners of a baby grand!

It is rather old, is quite out of tune, and the bench needs refinished badly, but we are still thrilled. When we asked out piano tuner to take a look at it before we bought it, he said if we could get this piano at the price the owners were asking for it, we should buy it and buy it now. We really hadn't thought seriously about a grand, because of the size and price, but this was such a deal.

Our other piano is an old upright, and the better our daughters learn to play, the worse it sounds. :) Katie is giving lessons now, and really needed a better instrument to teach and practice on. This is an answer to prayer. And I think it makes the living room look classy, at least when there aren't matchbox cars underneath it.

The upside/downside (depending on your perspective) is that the piano sits where our entertainment center used to be. Providentially, our television went kaput just days after we went to look at this piano for the first time. I took it as a sign from the Lord that we were to do without TV and get the big piano. My husband was not quite so enthusiastic, but agreed that music was a better investment for our family's time and money right now, so out went the entertainment center and in came the piano. My hubby is such a good man who loves his family so much!

We do have a smaller TV/DVD combo that we use for the funeral home downstairs and can bring up to watch family movies, so it isn't all that bad. I thought the younger kids might protest a little more, but they love the new piano. In fact, the "grandness" of it seems to have inspired them to practice more...although it isn't even tuned yet.