Sunday, September 30, 2012


You may recall that Noah had some mousse in his hair for school pictures on Friday. He still had it in his hair while we were running errands on Saturday. Lily took advantage of it to spike him up a little bit. You can see the results below.

Channeling his inner Morrisey

One cool dude

He has decided that he kind of likes this, so Amanda is going to get a cheap bottle of gel and give his hair a little body when appropriate. It's kind of neat to see how Noah is starting to have more of an opinion about how he looks. He is not particularly vain or anything, but he definitely is starting to get some ideas.

Friday, September 28, 2012

School Photos

Today is a big day at Northwoods. It's time for everyone to get their individual photos. We probably won't buy any because we have our own photographer who does a great job. However, there are people who might buy the annual yearbook (yes, a yearbook for elementary school), and we want the kids to look good for them.

Today is PE day for Noah and he first dressed appropriately for that. He had on a sleeveless top and was ready for action. Amanda sent him back upstairs and asked Lily to pick out something good for him. She chose one of his great aloha shirts. Then Amanda took it up a notch by putting a little mousse in his hair. You can see the results below.

Looking Slick

Hopefully they will do the photos for kindergarten early in the day. Fortunately, unlike his dad Noah does not play with his hair much.

Latchkey Kids

The kids showed a bit of independence yesterday. Amanda had plans to go kayaking on the Neuse with friends and knew that she would be back late. She arranged with a friend for Lily and Noah to go to her house. She told Lily and Noah this, but they forgot. They took the bus home (normally they get picked up) and then came home.

You can imagine Amanda's shock and horror when they were not where they were supposed to be. Fortunately, we had the back door open and they were home having a snack. While we certainly would not make a practice of doing this (at least not for 3 years until it is legal), it is good to know that our children can survive in a pinch. That is, as long as they can reach the pretzels in the pantry and the cheese spread in the fridge.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Star Student

I got held after class when I picked up Lily from ballet tonight. I was a bit nervous because I couldn't imagine what it could be about. It turned out that her teacher wanted to tell me about how well she is doing. It seems that it is really starting to "click" for her.

Lily is in a class with some girls who are 11, and it has stretched her like we hoped it would. Apparently, she is doing the little things well like pointing her toes the right way. Miss April said that she is 'like a flower in a field." High praise indeed.

We are rating certainly proud of her since she has worked hard over the years. I don't think we need to reserve our tickets at the Carolina Ballet right now, but this is still great to hear.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Reader

I took this video on Sunday afternoon after we came home from church. This is the introduction to Genesis in a study bible intended for children age 5-9. As far as I know, he never saw this page before. Please forgive my poor camerawork when I leaned in to help him find his place. Although it's hard to understand him, I think that this is pretty impressive for a five year-old who has only been in kindergarten for a couple of weeks. Of course, I'm a little biased too.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

(Some Scary) Stuff

We have had a little bit of a scare the past few days, though we didn't know why. Noah has been throwing up and we didn't get it. We're used to Lily throwing up for various reasons (though she hasn't pulled that trick in a very long time), but this was weird for Noah. We thought it was because he was gagging while coughing. It turns out that we think it may have been linked to this. The good news is that he has been fine today, though his appetite is still not 100%. Nevertheless, I don't think we need to take him to the pediatrician.

We tried a new church today. I knew that it would stretch the kids because they were with me for the whole service (I prefer the term "gathering.") It was just me because Amanda is in Pennsylvania for a funeral this weekend. Lily was sort of dreading sitting through a sermon. I really knew she was in a bad way when she wouldn't join in singing "Mighty to Save," which is one of her (our) favorites. I gave her the bulletin to take notes on the sermon and she really got into it. In fact, she was gushing about how much she enjoyed it by the end. Noah didn't enjoy it nearly as much, as you might imagine. My plan is to get each of them special notebooks that they only use on Sunday mornings. I think that will help. Also, I sweetened the pot this week by offering an extra 30 minutes of electronics if they behave. We won't do that every week, but it was a good start.

After that we went to Sam's Club. We had lunch, which was interrupted by Noah's need to use the facilities. Lily took him while I hung out. After that he had a better appetite, but not what he normally has for a hot dog. At the end of our shopping he wanted to look at the Wii games, as he usually does. He did that and Lily and I started looking around too. Apparently he lost track of us because when I went to get him he was gone. I then heard them paging me over the PA and I found him standing there crying. He was very glad to see me. I think we've done well with that being our first really lost child at a store in 9 years of parenting. I don't remember ever getting paged for Lily and certainly never for Noah before. I don't think he was too traumatized by it though.

We came home and I got some Crock-Pot dinner going while they changed clothes. We took Oreo for a walk on the Black Creek Greenway, which was a nice time on a beautiful day. After that we took him to PetSmart to get his flea control medicine. I am writing this at the end of the 90 minute electronics-a-thon. It's almost time for dinner anyway.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Take a Hike

After all the tumult of the past few weeks we wanted to do something fun together as a family. The weather was very nice yesterday, so we took advantage of it with a walk at Umstead State Park. There is a creek with some big rocks where the kids like to play. Amanda had bought picnic supplies at Trader Joe's and baked some homemade bread for the occasion. We packed up and headed over, though the kids' attitudes were a bit lacking during our preparation.

Taking a break on a tree God seemed to design for it

Once the five of us got going we had a good time. Oreo seems to really enjoy hiking, so that's a plus for the little guy. His only problem is that he gets a little tentative on the small bridges that have gaps between the planks. Who can blame him for that?

The hike went well, except that the kids got some blisters. Noah had new Crocs and they irritated his ankles. Lily had old Crocs that were a little too small. Nevertheless, they had a great time playing in the creek. The only negative for me was having to carry Noah back up the hill on my shoulders. When we got back to the van he had the nerve to complain that his butt was sore. As for me, my neck is still feeling it a little bit.

But, despite all the complaining and the blisters, I have no regrets over taking that walk. We really try to take advantage of the nice weather we get in the spring and fall here. We hope that these little walks in the woods will become fond memories for the kids.

The Big News

I had made an allusion to some "big news" in a previous post and have already received an email inquiring about it. I'm afraid that in this case "big" does not necessarily mean "good." The news is that we need to leave the church that we helped to start. I didn't want to publish a blog post before our church family heard the news.

There are a few reasons for this. One is that I don't think I should ever have been ordained as an elder when I was. I think that I have been growing in my role as an elder, but I also think that we did it too soon. We were in a rush and it was a mistake.

Another is that I disagree with our remaining elder (Jerry had disqualified himself a week ago) on some things that will cause too much friction. I don't think he is going to move on them and I am not willing to give in on them anymore. I ignored these differences for too long.

The biggest is that through a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications it would be very difficult for Amanda to sit under Rob's leadership going forward. There is forgiveness, but it takes time to rebuild trust. We don't have that kind of time while serving together.

We hate the fact that this may mean the end of Sovereign Christ Church. We love the people there and don't want to see them hurt. However, I think it is better to do this now than after we add another 10 families. We plan on going to First Baptist Church Durham after this. I think we need to just attend and participate at a church for a little while to recharge our batteries.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Soccer Night

We had a wonderful confluence of events last night. NC State's men's soccer team started the season 6-0 and was ranked 14 in the nation. They were hosting top-ranked Maryland last night. When I found out that admission is $5 for adults and free for anyone 17 or under, I had to take the kids.

State started off strong by scoring at the 4:37 mark, but then Maryland woke up. We got to see penalty kicks on both sides, which was fun. In the end, the local eleven fell 3-2. They put up a valiant effort, but were clearly outmatched by a superior team.

For the most part, we had a great time. I took the kids to Sweet Frog beforehand, which is always popular. We arrived in time to see the players finish their warmups, which Noah enjoyed. The kids made a lot of trips to the drinking fountain during the game, but other than that they seemed interested in what was happening. And, to top it all off, we didn't get a ticket where we parked. I didn't think we would, but I do get a little nervous parking on college campuses.

I would take them to more games, but they are often on school nights. The next thing Lily wants to see is a Cary High football game. I'm still going to push soccer though. That's the sport I want Noah interested in playing.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Open House

It's been a very hectic two weeks for us with some big news, but that will have to wait for another post. In the meantime, I want to update you on the open house I attended tonight at Lily's and Noah's school.

We started with a PTA meeting. The only real positive I can say from this is that I got to see what their new principal looks like. She's definitely not as dynamic as Dr. Chisnall. But then again, she's not from New Zealand and doesn't start by saying, "G'Day parents and caregivers!" in a thick Kiwi accent.

My first session was with Lily's teacher Ms Dupree. I have a feeling that Lily will learn much from her. Ms. Dupree seems to be something of a neatnick, which is just fine with me. Lily could use more of that in her life. For example, she has various teams in her classroom for the chores that come up. Since the school can only afford vacuuming once per week, Ms Dupree has a team called "bits and pieces" which picks up all the whatnot from the floor and throws it out. I can imagine why this is necessary. I am excited for the things Lily should learn this year and I hope that the annual field trip to Wilmington works out because I want to go. She said that last year there were 14 parents who came on the trip with 23 students.

I went to Noah's teacher for the second session. He has Ms Snoots, who is the same teacher Lily had. Ms Snoots spoke well of Noah. I asked her about his reading since he's been able to read independently for over a year now. She said that he has already read all of the end of year books. She semi-jokingly said that she wants to send him over to first grade to have him read to the students there. I asked if he causes any trouble when he finishes his work early and she assured me that he does not. That is good news considering I spent a good bit of my elementary school at a desk isolated from the other children. In fact, if I recall correctly, my first-grade teacher threatened to cut out my tongue.

It sounds like the kids are fitting in well and doing fine. They are good students, which is what we want to hear. It sounds as if they are blessings to their teachers, which is even more important.