July 30, 2005

A Little History...

After graduating from Geneva College, I taught at Philadelphia Montgomery Christian Adademy for two years. The first year, I taught middle school Bible; the second year, middle school geography and history.

I recently heard from a former student, Aneesh, about what he is doing in his life now. He wrote: " I am currently a third year medical student at George Washington university in Washington DC. Just as in junior high, I would like to specialize in eyes and use my gifts to serve on God on the mission field, in India, where I have visited several times." I am thankful that the Lord sustained Aneesh's kingdom vision over the years and that Aneesh is developing his talents and skills to continue to serve God by serving those in need!

Here is a picture of Aneesh back in 1991 or '92 (pictures taken by a fellow teacher and given to me in an album when I left Philmont):
Aneesh is on the right.

Bible Class: Aneesh is in the front row.
Aneesh's 7th grade class.
A recent picture of Aneesh in India.

At the end of my second year of teaching, James and I were engaged and I was moving away from Philly. The middle school teachers and kids threw me a going away party where they put on a few skits...
When a class needed to quiet down, I would lower my voice and apparently open my eyes wide. Here is an interpretive skit of my teaching technique.
The class put on a skit of what my wedding would be like. If I'm remembering correctly, the "groom" forgot to say "I do." The funny thing is that in our real wedding ceremony, the preacher only said part of the phrasing, which confused James, and there was a long pause before he said, "I do." It was a light-hearted moment.

Posted by melissa at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2005

Playing Catch Up: March, May, June

In March, Sophie and I flew to Pittsburgh to attend the funeral of my dear Great Uncle Willard. We will all miss him...

Great Grandpa and Sophie
Sophie with her Great Grandmas
Grandpa Bruce and Silly Sophie
Freeze Frame
Sophie with Seb's Dad aka Brian
Andy and Susan
Sophie with Lindsay and Alida (Andy and Susan's daughters)
Sebastien dancing in Sophie's Shoes.
Seb tied to a chair, playing in the sink

In May, we celebrated Evan's 9th Birthday!

His shirt tells his birth date.
We gave him some historical fiction to read.
Enjoying his gift of architectural blocks
Caleb came over to play.

In June, we drove to Pittsburgh for a family reunion. The only person missing was Loey's husband Craig. I'm surprised that I didn't take any photos of the whole group. I didn't even take any pictures of my mom and dad!

Baby James ( 2 yrs. old) was quite the character this year. If anyone looked at him or talked to him, he rolled his eyes. He only warmed up to me when I helped him operate the cd player. He was obsessed with changing tunes. Since Loey was getting a little tired of shooing him away from the stereo, I told him that he could ask me to help him when he wanted to operate the equipment. He quickly caught on to pushing the right buttons and holding the discs correctly. After selecting a song, he'd veg out on the couch with his blanket to listen. Upon arriving home from the reunion, Loey bought him his own personal player which he continues to be absorbed with operating. He has even learned how to count to get to the song that he wants!! Maybe he'll be a disc jockey when he grows up... Okay, okay, he'll probably be up to loftier occupations!

Noah, now three, looked up to Evan. Evan was good about involving all the kids in imaginative activities. They had a "fort" or "clubhouse" down the hill amongst a circle of bushes. They also had a "spaceship" around the air conditioner. Whenever Noah lost track of Evan, he came running into the house, questioning everyone as to his whereabouts. One time he found him in the shower and asked, "Hi Evan! What are you doing?!"

Grandpa Bruce and our boys did a little woodworking and built some stilts with which they tottered around the drive.

Grandpa B. also set up a pool on the deck which the kids splashed around in most every day.

...I just realized, we don't call my dad "Big Daddy" anymore! I wonder why?!

We also enjoyed spending time with the Great Grands both at my mom and dad's house and at the Home.

Cousins at the Childrens' Museum
Ana and Sophie playing with Clay
Jen and Seb
Loey and Baby James...He wasn't rolling his eyes!
Making Paper
Sophie Painting
Seb Painting
Cousins at the Zoo
Click here to see Seb's big boy haircut!

On the way home, we stopped at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore...

Indiana Dunes Nat.l Lakeshore
James demonstrating how to skip a rock.
Matthew trying to skip a rock.
Imagine the Chariots of Fire theme music...
Toasted Toes

Posted by melissa at 05:28 PM

Visit to New Cabin

July 24, 2005 - Uncle Alan and Aunt Gerry invited us to their new cabin for the afternoon and evening.

24July05 front of cabin.jpg

24July05 cabin driveway.jpg

24July05 cabin living room.jpg

24July05 cabin living room from above.jpg

24July05 miniature saddle.jpg
The saddle is for a miniature horse. Over a period of around two years, the cabin will settle, and the posts will meet the crossbeams.

24July05 cousins teepee fort.jpg
The cousins had a ball building this fort together.

July 25, 2005 -

25July05 Evan mowing.jpg
Evan has been helping his dad out with a reel mower.

25July05 kids front porch.jpg
We now have a garden bench on our front porch. Okay, we need to take out the dead bush.

Posted by melissa at 01:52 PM

July 4 Pictures

04July05 kids at museum nature science.jpg
Our kids with Natasha, Chloe and Tory at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

04July05 kids w bear.jpg

04July05 Kids w twins.jpg

04July05 Kids Old Firetruck.jpg

04July05 Evan petting zoo.jpg

04July05 Sophie riding pony.jpg

Posted by melissa at 01:25 PM

July 25, 2005

Goodbye Ouray

This is the fourth and final journal entry about our Ouray Vacation. Please scroll down to the July 19th entry to begin. My mom informed me that I have received comments, but something is not working, because I can't find them. Hopefully that will get fixed soon.

On Friday, July 22nd, we said "Goodbye" to Ouray. We drove to Ridgway State Park and ate lunch beside the lake. We drove a more scenic route on the way home: Highway 550 to State Highway 92 to Highway 133 (where we stopped at Hays Creek Falls near Redstone and saw the beautiful red cliffs of the area) to Highway 82 (through Aspen; Independence Pass) to U.S. 24 going through Leadville to State Highway 91 (past a valley where mining towns once stood, but have been covered over) to I-70.

Ouray trip 05 Hays Creek Falls.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Gnarled roots beside Hays Creek Falls.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Chair Mtn.jpg
Sophie insisted that we stop and take a picture of Chair Mtn.

Ouray trip 05 Aspen along Independence Pass.jpg
Aspen along Independence Pass

Ouray trip 05 Independence Pass.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Old Schoolhouse Leadville, CO.jpg
Old Schoolhouse Leadville, CO

Ouray trip 05 deer by roadside.jpg

Ouray trip 05 sunset.jpg

The kids entertained themselves in the van by making sculptures out of Crayola Modeling Magic clay. That clay is great stuff, because it isn't very sticky and doesn't get everywhere. It dries to a styrofoam-like texture.

The overwhelming favorite road-trip tape for our family is Paul Simon's Graceland, especially the song "You can call me Al".

It is pleasant that our kids are old enough now, that we can enjoy a vacation like this!

Posted by melissa at 11:23 AM

July 21, 2005

Ouray Vacay: Million Dollar Highway

Since I have a cold which worsened today, we chose more low key activity.

We went back to the glassworks shop and watched the glassblower make a couple of glass ornaments. He said that his furnace is 2500 degrees farenheit!

We drove the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton. At every turn appeared a new mountain vista . The position of the sun at the time we were driving cast shadows on the peaks, saving us some film, but the views were beautiful nonetheless.

Ouray trip 05 Million Dollar Highway tunnel.jpg

Ouray trip 05 family beside red mtn creek.jpg

Ouray trip 05 flowers along red mtn creek.jpg

We stopped in Silverton for lunch. At the cafe, Sophie complained of a headache, then I noticed her lips were white and she said she was feeling sick. I immediately scooped her up in my arms and trotted out of the restaurant to the van. She threw up. We went back to the cafe and sat outside on a garden bench. James brought me my sandwich which I ate while giving her time to recuperate. When her lips returned to their normal hue, I let her finish my sandwich.

A Durango & Silverton train pulled into town and we got to see the steam engine back up the train. We will have to ride that train someday, Lord willing!

Ouray trip 05 D and S train Silverton.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Engine 481.jpg

Ouray trip 05 D and S train backing up.jpg

Ouray trip 05 A L jeep Silverton.jpg

We bought some mint chocolate fudge at a candy shop. Yum yum! Mighty rich. We took the kids to a playground which had actual teeter-totters!!! Apparently the school in Silverton is willing to take more risks than the rest of America. Our kids had heard of see-saws from us, but had never played on one! We left when it started raining. The first rain we've had all week!

Ouray trip 05 see saw Silverton.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Silverton see saw.jpg

Wouldn't you know it, we took the wrong branch of the road on the way out of town and ended up driving past Silverton for a ways instead of back to Ouray. We did get to see some more interesting peaks.

Ouray trip 05 red slopes outside of Silverton.jpg

This afternoon, James took the kids to the playground, and after supper, he took them to the hot springs pool from 6:30-9:00 pm. My cold knocked me out in the condo.

Delurking is Delovely.jpg

Posted by melissa at 04:30 PM

July 20, 2005

Ouray Vacay Diary: A Tale of Two Falls

This morning, we had to move from a two-bedroom condo to a one-bedroom. The one-bedroom is much nicer and bigger with the exception of one less bedroom. We're glad we moved. The kids will sleep on the floor in sleeping bags. That is still an adventure to them. Out the kitchen windows, we can see Mt. Abrams !

Ouray trip 05 old mine bldg near Idarado mine.jpg
How do you like the condo?

Ouray trip 05 view of Mt Abrams behind condo.jpg
View of Mt. Abrams behind condo

Ouray trip 05 view behind condo.jpg
Another view behind our condo which we could see from the kitchen window.

Late morning, we drove over to the Box Canyon Falls Park. One can never grow tired of experiencing the Box Canyon Falls ! At the head of the trail, greedy little chipmunks ate seed fallen on the ground from the birdfeeders hanging above. One little munk stuffed his already bulging cheeks while tiny birds pelted him with seed as they fed. The path delved into the canyon where the falls exploded through the rock. Mist wafted though the air as the falls thundered down to the pool and stream running out of the canyon . We also climbed a higher path to a bridge over the canyon above the falls, providing a birds-eye view, not only of the canyon and creek, but of the city of Ouray at the base of the Ampitheatre.

Ouray trip 05 Chippie.jpg
Cheeky Chippie

Ouray trip 05 bridge over Box Canyon.jpg
I zoomed in to snap this picture

Ouray trip 05 reaching for six.jpg
Sophie is almost six years old!

Ouray trip 05 Evans perch.jpg

Back at the entrance station for the park, we once again noted a plaque which quoted Psalm 93:4 - "Mightier than the thunders of many waters. Mightier than the waves of the sea. The Lord on high is mighty!" It also read: "God is always greater than all of our troubles." It is interesting that it is posted on a city building and we are impressed that it is still there!

Ouray trip 05 Box Canyon plaque.jpg

[ An aside: We have some friends who recently spent a week vacationing in Estes Park. When they arrived home, they discovered that their refrigerator ice maker malfunctioned and flooded the lower story of their home. Everything was destroyed: walls, floors, furniture and books. The mom was comforted by God's grace that her box of school books for the year was on the second floor and not destroyed. Though they have to live at a relative's house until Christmas, probably, while the house is completely remodeled, at least she can keep up with homeschooling her daughters. Praise God!
We all depend on water for our daily lives, but it also can be a force of destruction. During our trip, we were also praying for a friend who was in the path of the hurricane which hit Mexico. She weathered the storm safely. Praise God that He is mightier than the thunders of many waters. Jesus is ruler over the wind and the waves. He is always greater than all of our troubles! Jesus is also the source of Living Water (John 4:10-14) Let us depend on Him to sustain us.]

At lunch in the condo, another little chipmunk peeked in the window at me while I ate. After lunch our terrible trio pulled a newly developed moth out of its cocoon. I told them that it wouldn't be able to fly, but Evan retorted: "It's just a moth, Mom!"

In town, we watched a glassblower making a hummingbird feeder. I read a sign in his shop which said that some of his glass ornaments are on display at the Smithsonian Institute.

Ouray trip 05 Sam Rushing and a fiery furnace.jpg
Sam Rushing and his fiery furnace. I wonder if he enjoys the work more in the winter?

Ouray trip 05 Sam Rushing fashioning glass.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Rushing coloring glass ornament.jpg
Rushing coloring his glass ornament

We hiked a trail to Cascade Falls (click on pictures on left side of linked page). The area held many attractions for the kids. They played inside two shallow caves and a fort made of branches and sticks, climbed on the cliffs, splashed barefoot in the shallow stream and rock pools below the falls, and collected several rock specimens. Their clothes, socks, and shoes got covered with red dust and dirt. (Matthew is a rather peaceful fellow, but his face looks as if he decorated it with war paint.)

Ouray trip 05 in front of Cascade Falls.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Cascade Falls.jpg

Ouray trip 05 beside Cascade Falls.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Kids at cave entrance.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Sophie in cave.jpg
And to the Bear in its lair, Sophie "Sue" said, "I don't care!"

Ouray trip 05 Matthew gazing at Cascade Falls.jpg

Ouray trip 05 stream slime.jpg
Inside joke: "Hey Dad! Is it safe to eat? Is it good for you? Does it have lots of vitamin C?"

Ouray trip 05 Sophie wading.jpg

James and the kids are now at the playground by the hot springs pool (which has been completely drained for cleaning) while I take a break in the condo.

Before supper, the boys taught Sophie how to play checkers! During supper, we watched fiesty hummingbirds and darting swallows outside the kitchen window.

Keep scrolling down! : )

Posted by melissa at 01:57 PM

July 19, 2005

Ouray Vacay Diary

The pictures that you see on this site are my own. If you click on the underlined words, it will take you to other sites where you can view other peoples' pictures of the same things that we saw. Some of my pictures just aren't as good. For instance, the linked pictures of the Box Canyon Falls in the next entry are so much better that I didn't even post my own.

Saturday night, James and I had the van packed and mostly ready to go for our trip to Ouray, CO . We left Sunday afternoon, around 2 pm, and took I-70 to Grand Junction, then turned off at Clifton, taking Highway 141 to Highway 50 through Montrose and on to Ouray. We approached Ouray providentially at sunset to view a picture perfect scene. Indigo and cream-colored clouds sailed across the turquoise sky above the brilliant peaks of the San Juan mountain range . We arrived at our condo around 9 p.m.

On Monday morning, we drove about a mile south of Ouray (but above it) into the Ampitheatre and the Baby Bathtubs trailhead . The trail was so named, because the igneous rock had been eroded by water, leaving small smooth sinkholes or baby bathtubs . That trail connected to the Portland trail which we followed most of the way. Evan and I took off at a faster pace, resting every once-in-a-while to wait for the rest of the family. Evan entertained himself by signaling (whistling) to James, Matthew and Sophie behind us. We hiked for about two hours.

Ouray trip 05 ready to hike.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Baby Bathtubs.jpg

Ouray trip 05 along Baby Bathtubs trail.jpg

Ouray trip 05 mountain scene.jpg
I think this is a view along the Portland trail.

We played in the Hot Springs Pool from 3-5pm. We all enjoyed the warm water and the kids especially liked the mushroom-shaped sprinklers at two different places in the water. Matthew impressed us with how long he could float on his back. The pool admission cost more than when I visited Ouray as a kid!

As we left the pool, we stopped at an adjoining pond which contained goldfish, turtles, and koi (ornamental carp) which looked like sumo wrestling goldfish. Two were gold and some were black and white.

For supper, we ate spinach enchilada casserole which I made ahead with a few other meals. (I'm glad that I cooked ahead, because it is making this vacation more relaxing.) For dessert, we walked around the corner to an ice cream shop to eat ice cream cones.

Ouray trip 05 Dishes James style.jpg
It's not the way I'd do dishes, but it gets the job done.

Ouray trip 05 Sophie reading My Fathers Dragon in condo.jpg
Sophie relaxing with a good book in the condo. She has turned into a reading machine lately.

Today (July 19) a Colorado West jeep picked us up for a jeep tour beginning at 8 am. Four other people were with us in the open-topped jeep aside from the driver. We signed up for the Yankee Boy Basin tour . When we signed up, we asked if we could go up to Governor's Basin like James and I did two years ago. We were told to ask the driver. The driver said that we'd go up there until the snow on the road stopped us. Later, we saw him checking the tires and repeatedly trying to call on his cell phone. He had to change his plans, because five bolts were missing on a front tire. We did at least get to do the Yankee Boy basin tour (this link has three pages of pictures taken on the same tour we've done two different times; click on the succesive pgs. linked at the bottom of the site). We thoroughly enjoyed bumping along under the clear royal blue sky, viewing the majestic mountains, steep cliffs , cascading waterfalls, and the hillsides blanketed with a rainbow carpet of wildflowers . We hiked around at a few stops, taking pictures and climbing boulders. We all saw the jagged mountain ridge named "Sophie's Teeth"! Sophie joked that they had toothpaste on them (snow). The driver complemented our kids on their good behavior several times, which we are always glad to hear. He couldn't have been soliciting a tip!!!

Ouray trip 05 mine bldg.jpg

Ouray trip 03 Stone Mtn.jpg
Picture of Stone Mountain taken on our jeep tour in 2003. My 2003 picture turned out better than the 2005 picture of the same mountain.

Ouray trip 03 twin falls.jpg
Twin Falls 2003 picture

Ouray trip 05 twin falls.jpg
Twin Falls 2005 picture

Ouray trip 05 tour jeep Yankee Boy Basin.jpg

Ouray trip 05 tip the driver.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Evan and the tent worms.jpg
Evan fascinated with wriggling tent caterpillars of some sort

Ouray trip 05 Matthew by the flowers.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Melissa was here.jpg
Just a picture to show that I was there too! I took the rest of the pictures. The pictures with wildflowers do not come close to doing justice to the riot of vivid colors that we saw. The camera makes it look like a mass of green foliage.

Ouray trip 05 Indian paintbrush Yankee Boy Basin.jpg
This is the best picture I took of wildflowers. They are Indian paintbrush. We saw orange, red, and pink varieties.

Ouray trip 03 Governors Basin.jpg
Picture taken at Governor's Basin in 2003. We were celebrating our 10th anniversary.

Sophie's Teeth picture taken from Governor's Basin 2003

After lunch, I had some altitude sickness symptoms. I decided that I'd feel better if I got moving a little to distract me from how I felt. We mosied around the town, looking in some of the shops. The kids enjoyed raking their fingers through a polished rock bin, listening to the stones click against each other, and each picking out one to buy. In the Ouray Gallery, an artist explained the processes she used to make and fire her special style of pottery which had a gleaming metalic sheen. She had fired her pottery in an outdoor kiln which reached a temperature of 1800 degrees! In a different shop, we watched a man pouring sand art in a bottle.

Posted by melissa at 01:39 PM