...a blog for the friends and family of dan, jen, worthy, william, calvin & christian

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hunterhaus - Beech Mountain, NC

Our dear friends and teammates, the Hunters, graciously let us use their family home in Beech Mountain, North Carolina for a vacation. They told us, "it is our favorite place in the world". (These are our teammates in Vienna, so after that statement my expectations were pretty high...) True to their sales-pitch, it was spectacular. The vacation was filled with wonderful memories and highlights. Here are a few...
Relaxing on the hammock with my 3 cuddly boys

Campfires - including s'mores, banana tacos and just the smell of it all

The ropes course nearby at the Rec Center... we particularly were intrigued by the "taco" swing as we called it. I'm not even sure if this is what we were suppose to do, but our kids (mainly Calvin) LOVED it

Hiking on some beautiful trails
some fishing time too

And to add the cherry on top, we were joined by Dan's brother's family and his parents for a few days. It was amazing to see the kids play together and just enjoy sweet, treasured fellowship with our family.

We did a fun hike together and the kids deviated from the path into the creek for a good portion of the hike - it was hilarious to see them explore!

They all had such fun together!

We are SO grateful!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dear Friends

During August we took a bit of a marathon travel adventure. Here was the logistics:

Akron, Ohio to Winston-Salem, North Carolina
7 hour trip
Stayed the night with Dan's brother, sister-in-law and family then left the next afternoon to drive through the night to... Lake Wales, Florida
11 hour trip
We stayed with Dan's parents for 4 days and enjoyed Tractor Rides, orange grove picking, mosquito swarms. Unfortunately, we don't have any picture of this. Our camera got lost (or maybe stolen...) on the next stage of our journey Lecanto, Florida
2.5 hours
This is the place we called home for 5 years. Not just the place where our mail went, but the place we love and the community we still feel deeply grafted to. We stayed for a week with our dear friends the De Beers. They have 3 wonderful kiddos of similar ages and it was a treat to do life with them. A testament to their grace and generosity... after a week of us living with them, they asked if we would stay with them the next time we visited as well. Now THAT'S love and grace!
Dan was able to help lead worship at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church (our previous home church). It was a joy to be able for him to minister after we've felt SO ministered to by them.

While there, we got to see many friends. There was (honestly) not enough time to see everyone we wanted to see. It was a beautiful reminder to me that in the Kingdom we'll have enough time. We felt love poured out on us and our kids. Just overflowing. How blessed we are.
One night our old small group got together for an evening of fellowship. It was wonderful to see all the kids swimming and playing together like no time had passed at all.
After Lecanto, we went back up to

...Winston-Salem, North Carolina
11 hour trip
Now this time we got to spend 4-5 days with Dan's brother and sister-in-law. Dan was able to lead worship at his brother's church, Redeemer Presbyterian. It's so funny because we've come to have some treasured relationships from this church. Do you remember our American friends that lived in Vienna for a semester while we were there? Well, they're from Redeemer. So we got to spend some lovely time with them and a student in their program that we came to adore as well.
The Giles are on the left

These are all our kiddos. You can probably pick out the Beilman's and by default the other three are the Giles' kiddos :)

And this was one of the Wake Forrest Students - Tiffany.
What a treasure to see her!

We also got to have some wonderful cousin/niece/nephew time. We're so blessed to have Wonderful Family! Our kids get along GREAT and it was such a joy to see them play so well together.
William adored playing with "Little Charlotte" (as he calls her)

...Beech Mountain, North Carolina
2.5 hour trip (1 week)
This needs to be it's own post I think. So I'll pick this one up later :) This was VACATION!

...Akron, Ohio
8 hour trip
Ahh - at our temporary Farmhouse home... 3 1/2 weeks later. Home is an illusive word.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Move over Wiggles...

We have 2 favorite kids CD's now. One is Slugs & Bugs by Andrew Peterson & Randall Goodgame (of which this video comes from). These songs are adored by our kids and we love to pass on that joy.

The other is a recent acquisition, Seeds of Courage (Vol 1) by the Seeds. (Thank you Rachel!) Dan will regularly break these out on the guitar and we'll have a living room mash-up. This is a video of the song. We mainly listen to the CD in the car, but there are some more great videos on youtube of some of their other songs.

Happy 7th Birthday Worthy!

Last week, Worthy turned 7. We happened to be in Citrus County, Florida, so we offered him a Chuck E. Cheese party with a few of his dearly missed friends. It probably wasn't our first choice of how to have a Birthday party, but it worked out GREAT. The boys had a fun time and I didn't have to cook, clean or entertain.
Right before we left - hyped up on games, buzzing noises, pizza, lemonade, cake and ice cream - all the things that I will freely give out as a grandparent.

Cleveland Botanical Garden

A month back, while we were still in Ohio, we took a quick trip to the Cleveland Botanical Garden on the trusted recommendation from my cousin and his wife. Generally, I'm not too into botanical things. Honestly. However, this was wonderful. Apart from being beautiful, it was super kid-friendly. One of our favorite parts was the Glasshouse filled with butterflies and beautiful flowers. This is William checking out the the telescope.

They also had some neat small animals and bugs. Here the kids are examining some roaches...
(curious minds... I've learned my lesson and did not freak out when I saw them...)

Worthy decided these were his two favorite flowers in the whole place. So we took pictures of these.
A lovely day. Highly recommended to anyone that doesn't enjoy nature.

Evil Eyes

Calvin doing his Evil Eyes.
I was surprised to get this shot, because he always ends up with a huge smile - he just can't help it.
Thanks Leslie Ring for teaching him :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Geek-Pride Flag Flier

I was listening to NPR on Friday about this clip/interview. There are some interviews that just need to be seen. This was one of them. So cool. An Homage to our amazing Creator.

Here's the website for more info:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Camp Hemlock photo diary

Worthy and I spent Wednesday through Saturday the week before last at Hemlock Wilderness Brigade Camp. My brother and his son have been able to go every summer for the last 4 years, and I had lamented that I wouldn’t be able to take Worthy when he came of age because we would be in Europe. But seeing as we were unexpectedly in the States, I took Worthy to the camp at which I had spent parts of seven summers growing up, including the entirety of three summers as junior staff. It had been 19 years since I was last there!

And it felt like it. How best to describe our 72 hours there? Through two conversations:

“So how are you liking camp?” I asked another father.

“It’s great. We’re having a lot of fun. It’s also…” he paused to search for the right word.

“Grueling?” I suggested.

“Yes, that’s the word.”

The second conversation is more of a monologue given to us just before meal-time by the one who oversees Father/Son week:

“A lot of dads ask me why we don’t have more free-time. The truth is, you get lots of free-time. From 10pm to 7am every day.”

Worthy did all of the activities with two other boys, one of whom is the son of an old friend of mine from Annapolis, Daniel Buckingham (on left):

And in 72 hours we did riflery, ...

...hiking, ...

... the low ropes course, ...

... crafts, ...

...slingshot, ...

...archery, ...

...lots of pool time, ...

...tomahawk (axe) throwing, ...

...ride in a M35 2 1/2 ton cargo truck:

...and model rocketry.

I did not get pictures of meal-time (with all the same rituals as 20 years ago), nightly campfire (with many of the same songs and skits), flag-raising and flag-lowering ceremonies, and the 100 degree heat on Thursday and the 108 degree heat on Friday. That is not a typo.

The degree to which I was exhausted is the same degree to which I had fun. This will be a memory with my son I will treasure for the rest of my life!