Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's Been a Long Time

I'm sorry that it has been so long. One of the reasons is a recurrence of my back problems and the inability to sit for very long. This caused a week or so of having to lay down a lot. I will try to catch up on some of the happenings in one little blog.

Back at the beginning of November Rachel ran in the Cross Country State Meet in Lexington, KY. It was a great day, beautiful weather but unfortunately we only took videos that are too large to upload. Rachel did really well and came 70th out of 350 girls. Her tally at the end of the season is one trophy and 4 medals.

Following this we visited Frankfort with some friends. Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky so we went to the capitol building and had a picnic. Even though it was closed Mark managed to get us a short tour.(Picture above)
Fall was beautiful although a lot of leaves were lost early in Hurricane Ike. We had some unusually warm weather in the fall which was very nice.
Fall is also the time for Thanksgiving. I will blog about that later.
It is now winter and we have already had a couple of falls of snow but nothing that stays on the ground. We are hoping for our first white Christmas since being here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

All Blacks Night

Last Saturday night we had fun decorating the house for an All Blacks night. Mum and Dad had sent us the last Australian/New Zealand game on DVD so we had the priveledge of watching it in our own home. We invited about 20 friends over and had a great night.
The gathering begins.

Mark was excited all week about watching the game.
A bit of rugby was played before the DVD started.
Even Spurgeon the cat dressed up.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Marshmellow Wars

Several months ago on one of their afternoons together the boys made these marshmallow guns. They actually work really well and we have had a lot of fun with them. Marshmallows are very cheap here. you can get a big bag of little ones for $1. Yesterday they decided to try using them in a war with Star Wars figures. It was a bit of a laugh.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Boat Trip

On Sunday afternoon we were taken out on the river by friends Bill and Carol Russ. They have a lovely boat and it was a beautiful day for it, still nice and warm. Joel was the only one keen enough to have a swim but we all enjoyed ourselves.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Farmal

Last Friday night we all had to dress up for a Fall Festival put on by Dorothy Sayers Classical School where the girls go. It was a really neat night of games and fun. Anna-Marie and I even had a go at line dancing but if I put that video on she will not be very happy about it.
Matthew enjoying himself.

Anna-Marie experimenting with the camera

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cliffty Falls

It is fall break for Mark this week so we worked the girls hard over the weekend so that we could have Monday off. We travelled over to Indiana to a place called Cliffty Falls. The falls were basically dried up as this area is in desperate need for rain but it was still a pretty place to do some hiking. Now that autumn is here the weather is beautiful and we wanted to enjoy it. The semester so far has been pretty busy, especially for Mark, so it was nice to have a day together.

This photo was taken not long after we had all tried to walk through a man made cave. It was pretty rocky in the bottom of it with a little water running through it so we were picking our way through it when the children all screamed, "Did you hear that, it was a hiss, SNAKE!!!!!"
Mark and I hadn't heard anything (apparently because we are adults and have lost hearing of certain pitches??) but they all started panicking and heading back towards the entrance. I decided that if Joel, who really wants to be brave like a real man, was scared, then I was scared too and we all got out of there. Later on the walk we came to the other entrance and Mark, Joel and Rachel decided to conquer fear and go back in. They found the answer to the mystery of hiss. It was bats. They flew around them and as the passed, hissed at them. Better than snakes but I'm still glad that I stayed out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hurricane Ike

On Sunday, 13th September, Hurricane Ike hit Louisville. Ike had already travelled many miles over land and we only experienced one aspect of its fury, wind. This was bad enough for Louisville which has an incredible amount of lovely old trees throughout the city. Nearly 300,000 homes were left without power. Tress were down on nearly every street. Signposts were blown over, power lines were laying on the streets and traffic lights were out. School was cancelled as people dealt with defrosting freezers and nothing to cook on.

Homes were last on this list to receive power. The Ryder's Cup was due to begin the next day in Louisville so all the hotels and hospitals etc had to be dealt with first.

Our wonderful neighbours shared their grill with us and their gas stove top. We were also blessed to still have our gas hot water and we were able to eat at the seminary. We were without power for 7 days and lost a lot of food, but with hot water and food at the seminary we were fine. The nights just seemed a little long.

These are photos of our street on the day of the hurricane.

This is a house just a block away from us.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cross Country

This is Rachel finishing. Sorry this post is all back to front. You may want to turn the sound down, there is a lot of yelling.

Rachel has been able to join the Dorothy Sayers Cross Country team. They train twice a week after school and run a meet every week, mainly on Saturdays. This was Rachel's first race. It is all a little serious here. There were 35 schools at this meet with the police helping with parking etc and each school had their own tent! Rachel finished 64th out of 251 middle school girls which includes 11-13 year olds. She did the 3km race in 12 mins 47 seconds. We thought she did really well.

This is the start.

Dorothy Sayers Classical School

Most of you have probably already heard that the girls have started at school this semester. It is a classical school that they will attend two days a week and continue to homeschool on the other three. The school takes care of all their curriculum in the two days so on their three days at home we work hard on all the work set for them. The first day at home we worked from 8:30 till about 5pm but I think it may get a little easier as we find our way. The school meets in a church building and has about 200 students. They both take Math, Writing/Literature/Logic, Science, Latin, Geography, History and Choir. We are thankful to God for this opportunity; I think it will be a good challenge for us all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kentucky State Fair

Yesterday we went to the Kentucky State Fair. We went last year but I think we enjoyed it even more this year. There is just so much to do and to look at. Mark started classes today so it was nice to have a day together before we all get really busy.
This is Mark and I as Mr and Mrs Abraham Lincoln.

The kids enjoyed this obstacle course.

Of course we had to go and hear this guy, an Elvis impersonator. He is asking Joel a question here. Joel won a free Pepsi t-shirt because with every ones help he answered correctly. The questions was, "Am I wearing blue suede shoes?" and of course he was!
The pig right at the top of this post and the three photos below are photos of entries into the iced cake competition. They were very impressive. Some of them were so detailed.
This was my favourite.
The kids thought this cake was pretty cool.

These guys were really good. They were called the Kenya Safari Acrobats. Before them we had watched a pretty good Magic Show.
Having a snack, waiting for the concert to start.
In the evenings they put on free concerts. The reason we went on this particular day was because the concert was the "Newsboys". Our good friend Nigel introduced us to them several years ago and we have grown to really like them. It was a really good concert, a great way to end our day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


We finally finished catching up on school last Friday and then left on Saturday for a youth camp in Arkansas. We spent a week in a little town there called Paragould. Mark preached Sunday morning and Sunday night at two different churches and then him and the girls were involved in a camp for the rest of the week. They had a great time and the boys and I had a relaxing time in Paragould. We met some wonderful people, it really was a good week. I was not good with photos and took none, but Rachel took a few so here they are.

Rachel with a new friend, James, from the week at camp.

This photo is borrowed but we had one of these on our front lawn. It is an armadillo. The kids all ran out to have a good look at it.

A banana spider. There were several of these around where we stayed. Apparently they are harmless but they are very large spiders!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Matthew Swimming?

Matthew has taken a long time to enjoy swimming. Only 6 months ago we would have to bribe him to get in the pool and he would cling to us when he did. Recently the children have been going swimming quite often now that we are within walking distance from the seminary. When Mark goes to work as a lifeguard they can go over without me which is great. Matthew came home the other day and announced that he could 'swim' now but only with the help of flippers, a life jacket and a flutter board! At least he's not crying so I'm very proud of him. Here's a video of him enjoying himself and some photos of him all decked out in his essential swimming gear.

Horse Show

Anna-Marie has been spending a lot of time volunteering at the stables this summer. She was able to attend a camp for a week with other girls her age and then worked at a camp with girls aged between 5 and 10. She then worked at a Saturday morning show which she also took part in. This is a video of one of her classes that she was in. She is number 252, wearing dark blue trousers and a light grey shirt and is riding the light brown horse. She placed 2nd.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Visit Ends

Well Mum and Dad left over a week ago and I am finally getting around to my last update of their visit. We have been able to speak to them several times while they travel around Canada since we can easily call them from the States. They are having a fantastic time. They have seen an incredible amount of wildlife, including black bears crossing the road several times. They have had beautiful weather and have talked a lot about how beautiful the country is. Here are a few last photos of our last days together. It was so nice having them here and being able to show them around.

One of the last things that we did was popped into Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is run. It is a very famous race (even the Queen attended last year) and Churchill Downs is right here in Louisville. There happened to be races on so we went in to have a look. It was quite an experience. People were pretty excited about the race so it was a good atmosphere. We must go again sometime.

Matthew makes us all laugh with his enthusiasm for flash cars. When we travelled to Washington D.C you would often hear him in the back spotting a limo or a hummer or a convertible going the other way. When we were in D.C he was in his element. We would be looking at the White House or some amazing monument and Matthew would be heard saying, "Hummer". This is Matthew and Mum posing for a quick photo in front of Matthew's favourite vehicle, a stretch hummer.
The day before they left we had a quiet day giving them time to pack and rest, but we did walk down to this beautiful home built in 1855, Whitehall. It was well worth going through.
Mum standing outside seminary.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Salato Wildlife Center

I had heard about this wildlife center so we drove out there for the day. It was a really neat place. They have all the different wildlife which once roamed free in Kentucky and in some cases still do. They had bald eagles, whitetail deer, elk, bison, bobcats, a prairie and a dragonfly marsh as well as a lot of fish. It was all free and the children were even able to fish the lakes for free. They even give you the poles so all you need is some live bait. It was a lot of fun. This is a black bear. Some still roam free around Kentucky. I hope we never meet one in the wild.

Anna-Marie's artistic photo of a dragonfly.

My big catch of the day.

Joel with a small catfish with Marc who worked at the center. Marc came along and showed us what we were meant to be doing and helped us catch some fish. He was a very patient man.