Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Her First Parody

After dinner Lily and Noah were getting treats from their buckets. Their buckets hold all the candy accumulated from Easter, Halloween, and birthday parties. Noah went for a bag of fruit chews and called them "fruit gummies." Lily immediately chimed in by singing, "Fruit gummies...yummy yummy."

She was obviously thinking of this when she did it. Lily has always been good at making associations, but this is a new thing for her. I have to say that this is one of my prouder moments as a dad. She's ready to join in the cheesiness. What great family fun!

Monday, September 26, 2011

History Lesson

Today we got a rare treat in that Lily spoke at length about something she learned at school. She read a book about Blackbeard the pirate and we learned all about him. She knew about his ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge and how he hid in an inlet somewhere in the Outer Banks. When he saw a ship laden with cargo he would strike.

Apparently his undoing was from a man named Maynard (perhaps this is who the road near our house is named after?). Maynard very cleverly hid his crew below deck and lured Blackbeard in. Lily also knew that it took three balls to fell Blackbeard. I didn't know that.

She got all of this from a book she read. I find this very encouraging. She is a voracious reader, like her mom. But I have been wondering about how much she's getting out of her reading. It turns out that she is getting plenty.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Little Crusader

Lily's friend Katie came over to play today. Katie and her sister both go to school at St. Michael the Archangel. Their parents are members of that parish. It's a solid Catholic family.

I'm not sure how it came up, but while they were playing in the basement Lily said, "Jesus had brothers and sisters." Katie was very surprised and asked, "He did?" Since I was there I tried to diffuse the situation. I explained that Katie's family believes that Mary never had any other children, but that we think the Bible says that He did. I didn't go into great detail, but I think I described both sides fairly.

Although I have pretty firm beliefs about this I didn't think it was time to tack 95 theses on our neighbor's door. I'm glad that Lily is thinking about this though? How could she have known that this was such a hot-button issue?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Not Camping

We had planned on camping this weekend to celebrate Lily's birthday. We thought that yesterday was going to be a teacher's workday, so I was going to take yesterday off. Noah doesn't have school on Friday. It all seemed perfect.

We had to change our plans. It turns out that Lily had school yesterday. It also turns out that we have had terrible camping weather. Since Thursday it has been so humid you could practically cut the air with a knife. I took a little walk up our street at around 6:30 this morning and the fog made the street lights shining through the trees look quite eerie. Everything is warm and damp. It has not been very hot, but it has been rainy and muggy.

We have made the best of it though. I took Lily out for her free Red Robin burger on Thursday and we went shopping to spend some of her gift cards. Then last night Brenna came over to spend the night. They actually got quiet when they were supposed to, which is a huge win for us. Once everyone gets up we're going to have some pancakes. Hopefully today will be a relatively quiet one where we can relax.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Here is the video of us coming into Lily's bedroom with scones and tea:

Here is Lily with a couple of her gifts:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lily's Birthday

It's hard to believe, but the Peanut turned 8 today. Her day started with freshly-made scones in her bedroom. She opened her gifts from us and was very happy. We got her an art book, a faux Ken doll, a messenger bag, and an iPod Mini. We thought that she would be most excited about the iPod, but the thing she liked best was the Ken doll. I guess she needed more boys when she played with her Barbie dolls.

She had a good day at school which ended with she and her friend Grace taking a ride with Amanda and Noah to the Jump Zone. As we feared, she is outgrowing the jump places. I picked up a Papa Murphy's pizza on the way home and we enjoyed that with her friend Grace. The meal ended with an amazing chocolate cake.As I write this she and Grace are listening to Amanda tell a story and Noah is in the bath.

Lily also got various gift cards as well as some cash for shopping. We are going to make use of those on Friday evening with a special daddy-daughter date. We originally planned on going camping, but the weather forecast is not good. We'll make the best of it instead and go camping later. One of the great things about living in North Carolina is that you can go camping well into November as long as you bundle up a little bit.

Overall, Lily seemed to have a great day. Amanda pulled another one off.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Shine On

Noah had an accident at the bus stop today. He was running around like he normally does, but this time he fell face-first on the sidewalk. He had band-aids on his knee and face when I came home.

Tonight is bath night and we took them off. His wounds were just abrasions, so he didn't really need the band-aids anymore. Amanda wanted me to leave them on and once I took them off I saw why. Noah has a good shiner going next to his left eye.

He cried a little bit when I washed his hair, but quickly recovered when he resumed play with the duckies. He's a tough little Pook. I even got him to growl while crying. That's what we do when we're being tough.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Starting and Finishing

We had our first church service yesterday as the new plant. It was hardly as smooth as you would find in an established church, but we did OK. We were most concerned about the children's ministry, but we got some help with that. I'd say that right now this is our biggest hurdle to overcome. We'll get there.

We had a lovely picnic after the service at a local park. One of our members coordinated the catering of some fried chicken, BBQ, and appropriate sides. We also had a cake with the church logo on it, which was nice. It was a little chilly when we started, but the weather did warm up and everyone seemed to have a good time. It was a good way to commemorate our first ever gathering as an assembly.

After we got home I took a little nap and Noah finished his reading lessons with Amanda. To celebrate that achievement we went to Sam's and got him a Wii game that he really wanted. The bad news is that he can't play by himself very well, so we do it in partnership. There actually is something for him to do and he is pretty helpful. The problem for me is that it reminds me that I am getting older. I played it with him for about 30 minutes and I feel pretty funky from all the spinning and flying. But now I'm committed to playing through it with him.

I always wanted to have a child with whom I could play video games. Lily is more or less disinterested in them. Noah really likes them. At least I won't be too tempted to keep pressing on as I will be glad to quit.

A Small Milestone

A great thing happened this morning/last night, depending on how you view 4:30 AM. I was contemplating getting out of bed and starting my day when I heard one of the kids' doors open. I figured it was probably Lily, but I didn't want to stir lest we get into a conversation and wake up Amanda. Then I noticed that the light in the bathroom came on and I heard the distinctive sound of Noah, not Lily using the bathroom. The light went off and on a few times, which I'm not sure was due to playing with it or concern for making too much light.

It was very cute to see him go back to his room, close the door, and lay back down. Anyone who has been through potty training should be able to appreciate this story. It was not very long ago that this would have involved screaming, me leaping out of bed, and Noah being very disoriented as we hope for him not to spray down the walls.

This is one of those little things in life that you've got to take a moment to enjoy. The Pook is turning into a big boy!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Sorry for the long outage to the blog. It was not intentional and I don't plan on giving up. However, I've been trying to get to work earlier in the morning so I can come home earlier in the afternoon. This has cut into my normal blogging time. I'm going to look for ways to work the blog into the daily routine.

One of the reasons I haven't written is that there has not been too much of note lately. Noah is enjoying his return to preschool. Amanda likes having her Monday through Thursday mornings free. She is still exchanging babysitting with a friend on Friday mornings too.

Today Noah completed day 99 of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons. He will get some kind of reward when he finishes it tomorrow. He is doing really well with it. We were at Sam's a week ago and he asked me what "gift cards" means when he saw the display selling gift cards.

Lily is enjoying third grade. She has a little trouble with the boy who sits next to her. It seems that Christian Cooper has a crush on her. I saw him at the open house this past Wednesday and his mom told me that he has a crush on her. I told her that we knew, but that Lily didn't believe it. Lily is not impressed with this kid. So far, Lily does not have much use for boys who struggle with keeping the rules. That's just fine with us though.

Tomorrow is the first meeting for our church plant. This is where I should invite you to join us if you're in the area, but frankly we're not quite ready yet. We could use a few more weeks to iron out the bugs. But by mid-October we should be in pretty good shape.

That's the high level of what is going on with the Chamberlains as of late. I will try to write more consistently.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Anyone who has read this blog or met him knows that Noah is a gaming freak. I suppose he comes by that naturally. He loves to play the Wii and any game on the iPod Touch (or iTod Poch, if you will). If he can, he really enjoys games on an iPad. He likes the Nintendo DS and will play Angry Birds on a laptop for as long as you let him.

Lily is not so fanatical. She will play video games, but can take them or leave them. That's fine, of course. She is turning into a voracious reader, which is certainly preferable. She still likes watching videos of course.

Lately, however, she is turning into a big fan of Monopoly, Jr. She got it last year for either her birthday or for Christmas. She has started dragging Noah into the games. Fortunately, there is no skill involved in playing it. She loves being the banker and is actually pretty good at it. She will probably be ready for the real thing one of these days.

We had a family game night on Monday where we all played Monopoly, Jr. Lily ended up being the tycoon. Amanda and I figured that was fine since she cared the most. Frankly, I didn't mind being the one who went out either. But even though it is not much of a game it was some good time together as a family. We're thinking that Mondays may be family game nights. We'll see how it goes.