Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our 3 Blessings


Katy with big girl teeth, VJ with baby teeth, and Noah with no front teeth. The boys matching shirts and Katy's German dress are all from Nana.

Mimi's 60th Birthday!



Such a young looking 60! Maybe the grand kids help keep her young! And, I had to include a picture of Papa and the kids on the couch.

Homeschooling



Katy is in 4th grade this year and is doing: Saxon 6/5Math, English 4(grammar and writing), Spelling, Typing, and American History ( We are doing one semester of heavy history and then next semester will be heavy science). Outside the home she has guitar(2nd year), ballet(4th year), and Bible Study Fellowship classes weekly. She practices/does lessons during our homeschool schedule for the outside subjects. Katy also has other interests such as knitting and cooking that we fit into the day. She is also an avid reader and is currently devouring the Boxcar Children Mystery series.

Noah is in 2nd grade and is doing: Saxon 2 Math, Phonics(Explode the Code series and daily reading), Spelling, Handwriting, and American History. His weekly outside classes include Bible Study Fellowship and Karate(his 3rd year). He is presently a Gold Striped Belt! His present interests include: US Presidents(don't even get him started~he has them memorized in order and knows lots of interesting facts on most of them), the upcoming elections(he was a bit disappointed to realize he can't run for president), and shooting hoops in the driveway. :-)

We are also chronically watching history and science type videos from the library. There are series on: the human body, weather, famous Americans, states and capitals, Great Explorers, different countries, scientists, animals in different biomes, Native American Indians, and the list goes on...

Anyways, that's a little peak into our schooling. I love my students!

Noah's Prince Caspian Narnia Party



Saturday, August 23, 2008

Preschool for VJ



This was VJ's first week at preschool. He picked out a new "Cars" backpack to bring his essentials. :-) He is looking through the gate to the playground area, then inside he is demonstrating his water fountain skills! The close up is after preschool when he is tired.
VJ enjoys his school time and Noah, Katy, and I enjoy uninterrupted school time at home.

Basketball 101



The kids just got a basketball hoop last week. Every evening Raf is giving them lessons and VJ runs around in circles with excitement.

Noah is Eight!!!




These pics are from August 22, 2008, Noah's eighth birthday. We aren't having his party until Monday the 25th, so we spent his birthday morning at the Botanical Gardens. The kids wore their swimmers and enjoyed the "water rocks". If you look closely at Noah you can see he recently lost his two front teeth! I think each pic shows a little bit of their individual personalities!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Aunt Nargis (nicknamed Buchu) from India


Raf's Aunt Buchu from India visited us! She has really enjoyed Katy, Noah and VJ!

VJ's Birthday!


VJ celebrated his second birthday! The frogs were on the cake - yum yum!

Raf's cousin Santu and his wife Shruti, from India

Raf's cousin Veronika and her guy Tim, from Switzerland


Katy with her newlywed dance teacher, Melody

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Too busy to blog!

Wow! We haven't blogged in over 2 months! What have we been doing?

April and the first half of May we were busy with finishing our homeschooling. We wanted to finish well, before our family started arriving! We also had Katy's dance recital and guitar recital and Noah was practicing to test for his next belt in karate which he passed.

May 19th, Santu and Shruti arrived (Raf's cousin and wife from India) and they stayed until June 6th. We learned to cook Indian vegetarian meals while they were here : curry chickpeas, curry cauliflower, dal, basmati rice, curried egg, a spinach paneer, spicy zucchini and tomatoes, etc... I can't begin to tell you how much cilantro, cumin, cayenne, coriander, red onion, garlic, and ginger, were used on a daily basis! :-) When we weren't cooking or shopping we enjoyed some outings to the Space and Rocket Center, a weekend in Atlanta, the Aquarium in Chattanooga, the Botanical Gardens, etc...In between we played cards, drank tea, played Yahtzee, talked, learned more about Indian culture, etc.

June 2nd, Buchu Pisi(aunt), arrived from Calcutta! The next few days were a flurry as we had Santu and Shruti here, Buchu here, Nana came up from B'ham, Mimi and Papa came for an evening , and we all celebrated VJ's second birthday!

By the second week in June, Buchu was our only guest, but it was VBS week at church. Katy and Noah loved it, but it makes for tiring days. Then, that Saturday, Katy's sweet dance instructor (for the past 4 years) got married. The wedding was fairytale like. Beautiful. Nana visited for a few days this week also.

The third week in June we enjoyed some sweet slow paced days with Buchu and then Nana brought Tim and Veronica(family from Germany) up to visit a few days. They were a lovely couple and we really wish we had a few days more with them. Raf and Noah took them to the Space and Rocket Center while Buchu Pisi, Katy, Nana, and I all prepared shrimp curry, basmati rice, cucumber raita, and Katy's lovely chocolate, chocolate chip cookies! VJ was napping so he'd have plenty of energy for mischief making in the evening. The next day we all took a trip to Cathedral Cavern then Tim and Veronica and Nana left. The next day, June 20th, Buchu left for California for 2 weeks. She returns July 3rd and goes back to India the 15th.

So, this 4th week of June, much to the delight of the kids, we were able to go to the pool on two different days. Katy and Noah also had friends over, and got to visit friends.

VJ had his check-up. We only had to spend two hours in the waiting room full of sick kids for the doctor to tell us VJ is a healthy 2yo! :-) He is 24#10oz, and 34" tall. He has 62 words and is starting to put two words together(like "let's go"). He is running and climbing like a monkey. Those few months of physical therapy in the fall did the trick. His mischief level is a little high! AH, a two year old. It takes all of us to keep him out of mischief some days. But, he is so precious, so loving, so willing to warm up to whoever is visiting.

Ok, that's the update! We are blessed. Pictures coming soon...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Botanical Gardens



Last Thursday, while VJ was in preschool, I took Katy and Noah to the Botanical Gardens. Nana had bought us a membership and I wanted to enjoy it once without having to worry about VJ running off or falling in a pond! We had a wonderful time. The "100 year old dogwood tree" was in full bloom. Can you see K&N under its blooms? They also have a new dinosaur exhibit which is life size. The dino's are throughout the gardens. Some are quite large and obvious, and other smaller ones were discovered when looking at the plants. The butterfly house doesn't have butterflies yet(not warm enough), but we saw at least a dozen turtles in the pond at the butterfly house. Tulips were in bloom in every color imaginable. We'll be visiting frequently this year to see what's in bloom. The kids also wore their Heely's so they could skate around the pathway's.

Camouflage Cuties


Katy, VJ and Noah all dressed up in camouflage! Note the feminine color of Katy's outfit. VJ is living proof that nothing runs like a Deere!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring, A New Fence, and VJ!




Spring has finally sprung here in Alabama! To take advantage of the season and the warmer weather, we had a new wooden fence put up. This keeps VJ from running into the street and localizes the mischief he creates! He loves the tire swing and playing with Katy and Noah on the playset.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Learning to use a spoon.





We got rid of VJ's highchair and he now sits in his booster seat right up at the table with the rest of us. We've also started having him use a spoon to feed himself! He took to it right away. Here he is enjoying some of our family favorites: lentil stew, spaghetti, and salmon and rice with raw carrots. Can you tell which is which?

Puss in Boots Play


Joelle, a dear friend of Katy's, played Dwarf Number Six in the play Puss in Boots put on by the Children's Fantasy Playhouse. Nana was also up for the weekend and we all enjoyed the play!

Early Works American History Museum





Mom took the kids to the museum where Noah enjoyed sweeping out the country store, Katy churned some butter, and VJ protected Katy and the wagon from wild Indians!

Katy and Noah Spaced Out!!


Dad took Katy and Noah to the Space and Rocket Center on President's Day. They were able to see the new Saturn V exhibit. It was very impressive.

V.J. and his little friend Benjamin


V.J. has his little friend Benjamin. Benjamin likes to come play with him, every other week on Tuesday. Mommy and Benjamin's mom chit chat while VJ and Benjamin play.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Katy, Nana, and dolly


Brothers in blue jeans


Karate Kid

This was taken February 11th, right after Noah passes his yellow belt karate test! This is a serious picture but he was all smiles in the car on the way home. Congratulations Noah!!

Happy Boy


This is how VJ looks most days when he is having fun. It's often hard to catch it on camera though! He happens to be watching a light on the camera while Daddy is taking pictures.
VJ is almost 21 months, and needless to say, has plenty of teeth!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Roller Skating!





Katy had her guitar recital/rollerskating party last Monday night. Katy played The First Noel beautifully, and Raf video taped it, but he thinks it's to long to post... Anyways, this was to be the Christmas recital(obviously) but a little late due to scheduling problems. I think it was an awesome idea to have it at a skating rink! Katy and Noah had a blast skating while I chased VJ around on the sidelines. The photo of VJ in the stroller was only so I could feed him some pizza. The rest of the time he was running around. You might be able to tell where he bumped his head last week, and on the day of the skate he bumped his lip at home. He didn't get any bumps at the skating rink but he does have pizza and chocolate chip cookie crumbs on his face!
All the kids slept well that night! And, don't tell VJ, but next year he won't be going to the recital/skate. I'm leaving him with a sitter so I can skate.

Katy and Mr. Dan (Guitar Teacher)


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Recent Cute One Liners from Katy and Noah

Here are some recent precious sayings from our dear Katy and Noah:

"Time flies when you're in your own imagination!" - Katy

"What is sin? Sin is a lack of confederacy to or transgression of the law of God." - Katy
(This is one of the questions in the Westminster Catechism, which is a summary of what the Bible teaches. The correct answer to the above question is, "Sin is a lack of conformity to or transgression of the law of God.")

"I am brown for the promised land." - Noah
(This is his understanding of a song entitled, "I am bound for the promised land.")

"I understand what he's saying but I can't get the hang of it." - Noah
(Noah here is talking about one of our church pastor's sermons!)

Aren't kids precious?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Christmas and New Year



Here are the kids with a few of their gifties. Katy is wearing the "Laura Ingalls" style nightgown and nightcap with a matching outfit for her doll. Noah is wearing his new "Daniel Boone/Davey Crockett" outfit and I believe that is his new cap gun he is holding in his hand. VJ is riding his new pony that Nana bought him. Nana is behind him and Chris is sitting in the green chair. VJ really loves this pony. He pets it, pats it, loves on it, and rides it all through out the day.
We had a very busy holiday season. Early in December Nana visited and took us all to see The Nutcracker Ballet. Christmas day she spent with us and also took us to see the Galaxy of Lights at the Botanical Garden that night. Mimi and Papa joined us for Christmas and Tyrone and Stephanie came for Christmas and stayed with us until today. They are headed to join the African Mercy for an outreach in Liberia, West Africa. We had a wonderful time with Tyrone and Stephanie! We drank lots of coffee, ate lots of good food(cooked by Tyrone), played lots of games, watched lots of movies, and talked and laughed into the wee hours of the morning. They also watched the kids so Raf and I could go on a date. We ate at Macoroni Grill with a gift card we had received, watched a movie(National Treasure 2), and went to Barnes and Noble to browse. When we got home, the kids were all sleeping soundly in their beds. Ahhh...sweet.
Our main thoughts, at Christmas, though, are towards Christ! We are so thankful that He was obedient in God's plan, to be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, and die on the cross to pay for our sins. He rose again and provided peace between us and God. We celebrated Advent throughout December and on Christmas the kids decorated a "Happy Birthday Jesus" cake that Mimi made. We are thankful for the greatest gift that we have in our relationship with Jesus Christ!