Thursday, June 18, 2009

Report on the HEAV Homeschool Convention and Hannah's 15th Birthday Party

"But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”"
Matthew 19:14
I don't think I ever posted on how the Homeschool Convention went, so here's a quick idea of what went on.
Thursday morning we went to my great-great-Aunt's funeral, ate a lunch, and then Hannah and I went to the Greater Richmond Convention Center with my Aunt and Uncle. After around 10-15 minutes of trying to find a cheap parking spot we found one for $5 and hiked to the convention. Once inside the gigantic building Hannah and I went one way (up the escalator!!! :-D) and my Aunt and Uncle the other. Hannah and I went to a training session for the children's program, conducted by CCI. Everything went well and after the session was over we went and visited the Exhibit Hall. After reading books and "browsing" through different people's stuff we went home with Mama and Alexis who came and picked us up since our Uncle and Aunt had already left. Grandpa and Grandma came down to watch the younger children for us. They did a great job too! Grandma fixed us home-cooked meals Thursday and Saturday and, as they always are, they were absolutely delicious!!!
Friday and Saturday morning Daddy drove Hannah and I early in the morning to the convention center and we hopped out and ran to our room where we had staff devotions. We were ready for children by 7:30 AM. Hannah was an assistant leader for Team H (I think) and her leader was Mr. Mishael. I (Kimber) was a "runner" whose job was to "run" in my section and take children to the bathroom, get crafts, etc. - pretty much just help out wherever I could. Children are so precious, just read Matthew 18 and 19 and you'll see how precious they are in the sight of Jesus, too. I could seriously go on forever but I don't have time, so I'll just end my story with this: Hannah and I had a wonderful time working with the children and, if the Lord leads, I hope to do it again next year.
Daddy, Mama, and Alexis: I think we all had a great time doing what we did. One of the favorite speakers for Daddy and Mama was Mr. Voddie Baucham and Alexis' was Mr. Steve Demme. It was Alexis' first-time-ever at the homeschool convention and she enjoyed it, though I know she wanted to stay longer (I did too!).
So, the end result was that everyone came away from the convention feeling refreshed and renewed!
Hannah's birthday is June 21st, 1994, but we decided to celebrate it earlier this year because of family situations. Her party was set for Tuesday night (the 16th) and our family members were given only a 2-day notice (invitation) to come and celebrate her birthday. Everyone but a few people showed up!
Our cousins, Kaitlyn and Sarah, from Rocky Mount, VA had come down (school's out!) for a visit and they spent the night Monday. They helped make dinner and dessert, too!

Mexican was for dinner.
Mexican is definitely one of our family favorites though a few members would prefer something else!

Gracie my 5-year-old cousin.
Eden loves playing with Gracie and Claire (7 year old cousin); they're best friends!


Hannah in line for food for her B-day dinner.

The "middle table."
Left to right: our cousin Collin, Seth, Caleb, and our cousin Claire

I call it the "middle table" because there were 4 tables. There was the "adult table," the "older cousin (teen & pre-teen) table," the "middle-aged cousin table," and the "younger cousins table."

Dinner was excellent as always!

After clean-up (Erika, my cousin, was a huge help - washing, drying, wiping, etc.) we went and played outside a bit.

Hannah rocking our youngest cousin to sleep.

"Present time!" was soon called and we all headed inside.

Hannah reading a card.

Hannah received lots of assorted presents but one of the presents was pickles and Brunswick (Sp?) stew - two of her VERY favorite foods! :)

Singing happy birthday.
As you can see from the picture we normally try to out-sing each other and with over 20 people present it normally is pretty loud! :)

Blowing out the candles.

The cake!
This is what the cake consisted of:
2 boxed funfetti cakes
2 gallons of vanilla ice cream
1 can of funfetti frosting
1 package of Golden Oreos
It was really, REALLY good!!
Kaitlyn and Sarah helped me make it. First we baked the cakes (in two big roaster pans! :-D), waited for them to cool, then I spread out 1 gallon of thawing vanilla ice cream, with my clean hands, on one of the cakes, sprinkled the crushed Oreos on top, and then stuck that cake mixture in the freezer. Waited for the cake-ice cream-cookie-mixture to get solid and then put the other softened gallon ice cream on top of the cookies with Kaitlyn, and stuck it back in the deep freeze. When Na-naw got here she moved the top of the cake over from one of the roasting pans to on top of the stacked mixture. Then we (my cousins, Na-naw, and I) spread out the icing and sprinkled sprinkles on top and then stuck it back in the freezer! YUM!!!!
The only bad part about making the cake was the ice-cream spreading. It would literally freeze your hands. Why not use a spoon or something? you're probably asking. Well, hands are so much easier to use than anything else. I did get freezer burn on one of the digits on my middle finger and a little bit on my pointer finger but I'm okay! :-D You probably think I'm crazy but the cake tasted good! :) Anything for the family.
After everyone had left and stuff was cleaned up, we went to bed. My cousins, Erika, Allie, Claire, Gracie, Collin, Kaitlyn and Sarah spent the night. Of course we (the older girls) didn't fall asleep until near midnight.

This is the picture of the "crew" (missing me) at the breakfast table Wednesday morning.
Daddy and Mama made one of the best breakfasts' for all of us. Daddy made omelets, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, hot dogs, and Mama made banana bread and biscuits. Dad said he cooked over 3 dozen eggs for the crew.
Wednesday we videotaped each other acting in plays, walked to our neighboring horse farm and enjoyed each others company!
All of our cousins were gone by the time we returned from church Wednesday. :(

My cousin Erika.

My cousin, Collin.
I hope Hannah had a blessed birthday. I also hope that she knows that without her our family would never be complete and that she's a wonderful sister, daughter, and friend. We love you, Hannah!
(Right now, Hannah's with Na-naw for her birthday shopping)

I just have to post this super, exciting, wonderful news!!!!!
That may not sound one bit exciting for you but it is for us. The voles have been eating tons of our plants and after hours of hard work and prayer we were finally rewarded with two dead ones! Yesterday, as Caleb was checking the mouse traps he found one, yelled to Mama, and seriously all of us came running from different points in the yard to see it. It (Mr. Vole) was actually pretty cute though a bit...squished. Anyways, Caleb found another this morning. Our prayers have been answered - thank you, Jesus.
(I probably sound really crazy but, seriously, after all the hard work we put into planting, watering, tending, de-bugging, caring, etc. after our garden plants, it is extremely frustrating to find out that your plants are being eaten by something you can't see. Sometimes you can't wait to see a dead one after hours of work trying to catch, or kill, one. We don't enjoy - a.k.a take delight - in killing them but it's something we've got to do. Our gardens feed us for most of the year and we're not going to sit around and let a little critter eat them from underneath of us. I hope that makes sense. :)
All for Jesus,