Friday, May 3, 2013

Activity Update 2

The last activity update got a little long.  I'll try to do better this time.  Here is what we have been doing.

  • Is incredibly busy and I'm not sure how he gets it all done.  One week in April he left a track meet early (and left me in charge--yikes!) to give a talk on "Personal Evangelism" after the FRC fellowship meal, preached at Mel Trotter that Sat, preached the following Sunday morning, led youth group that afternoon, and participated in a pre-marital counseling session after church that evening.  Whew!
  • Does a great job of coaching a track team, putting together track line-ups, and communicating to track parents 
  • Is somehow finding time to fit in reading, writing book reports and papers, going to class, and preparing/giving presentations for class.  He is gearing up for finals which are next week.  Hard to believe three years are already done!
  • Will continue his internship at the FRC this summer (consistory meetings, visitation, speaking at FRC Family Camp, etc) and start his internship at the church in Kalamazoo (preaching, teaching adult Sunday school, consistory meetings, visitation).  He will also be helping Dr. Murray out in his "spare" time.   

  • Had the last MWI meetings of the school year.  One of the last meetings was a panel of former and current pastor's kids who answered questions and gave advice regarding living in the "manse" as children.  Dr. VanDoodewaard spoke on a former pastor's wife, Katie Luther, at the last scheduled meeting of the year.  
  • Nothing else new, really.  I found that I have put more miles on the van taking the kids to all their activities, appts, etc.  Sometimes I feel like I am in a video game, driving in a virtual world, and scoring points for all the pot holes I miss.  I found this picture on the Internet and doctored it slightly for Michigan: 

  • Oh, I also made this in my down time in the evenings.  Now I need to find a cute little boy to wear it!

  • Is doing well in school and will be inducted into NHS on Monday night.   Caleb did find out this semester that he is not a huge Economics fanLike his mom, he prefers the life sciences.  
  • Is working very hard in track and running mostly 800s, but Coach Dad also threw in a 1600 in which he did very well, taking 20-some seconds off his best mile time from last year.  I'll put together a whole track post in the future with pictures and reflections of the season, etc.
    I only wished I had gotten a picture with his head cocked a little more--then he looks just like his Uncle Dave!
  • Has had a few quartet gigs and is still practicing hard for GRYS auditions as he is hoping to make the big symphony.  He has his last GRYS Classical Orchestra concert this coming Sunday afternoon.  Today he and Nicolas both performed with their schools (Caleb--Northpointe and Nicolas--Homeschool Orchestra) at the State Orchestra Festival.  He did play his violin solo and quartet at State a few weeks ago and received Division I ratings.  I wasn't able to go because of work, but Russ said he sounded great.
  • Was invited to the junior/senior dinner tonight by a junior girl on the track team.  She is a sweet girl and was so cute when she requested Russ' permission to ask Caleb.  
Caleb and Taylor

  • Enjoys practicing his cello and also received a Division I rating at the Middle School solo/ensemble festival.  He is also practicing hard, especially on his scales, for his audition in a couple weeks for the GRYS.  He does not, however, enjoy practicing his piano and we have discussed just stopping lessons and concentrating on the cello.  By playing at the State Orchestra Festival this morning, he just fulfilled his last commitment with the Homeschool Orchestra.
    Last time in the homeschool concert  uniform.
  • Is glad to be back on the soccer field.  It has finally dried up enough that they have finally had a couple practices and even a game.  He has a pathetic team, but a fairly knowledgeable coach that takes him aside and gives him a little extra soccer coaching.
  • Loves to shadow his dad at track practice and meets.  
  • Still enjoys putzing in the kitchen.  Since I have been quite busy this semester (all year really) I found that I rarely bake.  When the kids do want home baked goodies, Nicolas is the go-to guy for sugar cookies

  • Has grown out of all clothes from last summer.  I, thankfully, bought a few things ahead of time at the end of the season last year so she is not naked in this 80 degree weather.  We did some thrifting this week as well as Old Navy Stuff n' Save on a few clearance items.  Now for shoes...  
  • Often needs to be redirected  from a mystery book to get her school work or other chores done.  She loves Nancy Drew and American Girl mysteries. 
  • Is always busy with some craft project.  This week it is cutting out paper dolls and working on a scrapbook (I finally remembered to get pictures made for them at Meijer!)
  • Along with the other kids is practicing piano songs for a recital in May.  The kids are actually missing the piano recital in June but their teacher set up a time for them to play for nursing home residents.  The only catch is that the recital needs to be 45 minutes long, so the boys will also play their string instruments and Lydia will also play a hymn on the violin.  
I made a coffee cake and put some of the batter in two Easy Bake Oven pans for the girls to bake for an American Girl tea party.  They had been asking for quite awhile to do this and enjoyed it so much.  I am only sorry it took me so long to  get the ball rolling. 

  • Stays busy with crafts with her sister and best friend, Anna.  Both girls have enjoyed the crafts at Boys and Girls club this year.  They just had the last regular season meeting last week and will have a banquet for moms and grandmas in a few weeks.  They have been going through the "Keeper's at Home" curriculum and will have an apron-themed banquet.  We wish Grandma lived closer and we could treat her to a night out:(
  •  Goes on walks with Zoe and her mom
  •  Rediscovered the jump rope along with the muscles needed to make it work.  
  • Is our little bird watcher.  She had been so busy watching the little finches making a nest on our porch.  She gave us updates from her school table when an egg fell out of the nest, when she thought the eggs hatched (she was right) and called me to look when the little ones first stuck their heads out of the nest for the parents to feed.  She was absolutely heartbroken when some animal must have gotten into the nest one night and destroyed it and all its precious contents.  


  • Is enamored with Pandora and his music playlist.  The rest of the kids are so sick of the Lion King sound track especially, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," which Seth recently informed me is his favorite song right now.  He also likes the Narnia and Lord of the Rings soundtracks and can usually tell me right when they come on which song goes to which movie.  He also has many of the words memorized to several of the songs from Les Miserables.  The kids are also tired of hearing him sing, "I Dreamed a Dream."
  • Told me the Bach Festival that I took the kids too "was much better than I thought it would be."  I was happy to hear that because one of my reasons for getting tickets and taking time to go to Calvin College one morning was because I knew he enjoyed music so much.   It was a music concert especially for kids  put on by the GR symphony.  They were able to hear some of Grand Rapids finest musicians including voice, strings, piano, organ, and percussion.  It was well done and even humorous.  
  • Has been nicknamed "The Professor" by a senior level student at BSF and the name has kind of stuck.   We occasionally tease him with that name when he is acting a little smart.
Is losing his two top teeth!
  • Is loved by the kids on the track team.  There was one practice when I wished I had my camera as Seth attempted to run 400s with Caleb.  He took off with Caleb's group but was soon way behind, although he didn't give up until about the 300 mark.    He later caught up with Caleb during a rest time and it was so precious to watch them walk down the track hand in hand.  Our "bookends" sometimes do really look like twins. 
I think that is about what our spring looked like.  I'm not sure this is any shorter than the last one, but I tried.

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