Thursday, April 30, 2009

Finally... the camping trip!!

Click here to see day 1 and (now) HERE to see day 2 of our camping trip a few weekends ago.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Baseball games...

are so much more fun when Jeff and Tyre are there!! You can actually see Steven in this picture as well. He's on the far right in the baseball uniform. Dan had a meeting from 4pm - 8pm... so the rest of us (minus Fred) headed over to Steven's baseball game for a few hours. They lost... but played an awesome game!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It was...

the battery! We love our mechanic! Less than an hour after our car was towed in... it was fixed!!!

Never a good sign...

We're hoping it's just the battery...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Prom 2009

Here are 3 reasons why I'm so far behind on my blogging!! Don't they look awesome!? More from Prom will be coming soon as well...

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's done!!

Just about 6 1/2 years ago, we moved to St. Louis, MO for Dan to start his Master of Divinity at Covenant Theological Seminary. 2 1/2 years into it he decided to switch gears and head back to the education field. He ended up starting a Master of Arts in Teaching at Missouri Baptist University in the Fall of 2005. After what feels like a very long 4 years... we are happy to say that as of 11pm last night... he is officially done!! The professor of his very last class actually e-mailed him around midnight to let him know that his final paper was "very professional" and that he had given him the highest score possible! Can I just tell you some of the places Dan has worked on that paper:

1. On his school trip to Alabama on a bus full of 8th grade boys.
2. Here at home... in the middle of a lot of high school boy energy.
3. He worked on it on our camping trip this past weekend (yes... we were camping on Dan's final 2 days to get work turned in... and yes it rained almost the entire time... I'll explain that later) in the middle of nowhere.
4. And he worked on it during the 2 hour car ride home from our camping trip in the middle of pouring rain, with three high schoolers listening to music and a 2 year old that did not one time stop talking!!

Here he is working on it yesterday in our cabin... using his phone as a modem since we did not have internet.

Way to go, Dan!! You are amazing and we are so proud of you!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


We woke up Sunday to POURING rain. The rain did not stop until after we were home that evening in St. Louis. Thankfully... it let up enough for us to still enjoy our time outside. I think it also helped everyone sleep a little better...

including this one... who woke up an hour after everyone else!!

Anyone who knows me knows I am not the cook in our family. I've gotten a lot better these last few years and actually enjoy it now. That being said... I might still need some lessons when it comes to camp cooking. Dan was working on his paper... so the poor guys were left with me to make them breakfast.

They were pretty nice about it though... I promise... the top of that cinnamon roll looked normal.

These last pictures are some of my favorite from the weekend. Rocks and things they pulled out of their pockets after several hours of hiking, hanging out around the campfire, and enjoying the rain. I'm trying not to think about how close graduation is... they will be gone so soon. I am so thankful that they will have these memories to look back on as they remember high school and their time at Joe's Place...

Saturday, April 18, 2009


For MONTHS (actually... years - we first talked about it during our houseparent interview) we have talked about taking the guys camping. A few of the guys were always excited about the idea... but there were others that weren't sure. The semesters always seem to go by in a blur... so when we realized in January that this was the last time we could do it (with these 3)... we all sat down and put this weekend on the calendar. I think I was a little surprised by how excited they all were about the trip. We ended up not being able to leave until Saturday morning because of sporting events... but we we still got out there by lunch time.

It was raining when we left St. Louis... and pouring almost our entire drive to Mark Twain State Park. Thankfully when we booked our stay months ago... Dan was thinking ahead and reserved cabins just in case it was raining.

I could not believe how much we ended up taking with us... but Dan reminded me that you always take the same amount of stuff... whether you are going for two weeks or two days.

Here's the view from our two cabins...

Steven broke out the whiffleball and bat as soon as we got there...

Anytime we are near water... you'll always know where to find Dan.

Jeff, Steven and Fred before their trip down to the water.

We brought two of these inflatable things not thinking anyone would want to get in the water. We were wrong! Steven thought it would be fun to float across to an island in the middle of the lake.

The water was freezing... so Fred decided to stay back. This is one of my new favorite pictures... because this is SOOO Jeff and Steven... arguing about who's going to jump in first. I think I'm going to frame it!

Jeff ended up jumping in first... but got right back out because it was so cold.

Here there are... again deciding who is going first.

Steven floated out first. Here he is trying to avoid the flying rocks...

I couldn't believe it... but they actually made it to the other side!!! I took this with my long lens from the cabins up the hill. It was pretty far. They hung out on the island for a bit and then started to make the trip back...

with sticks as oars!! Not sure how well that worked... but they made it back.

Thankfully we had a few dry hours that evening. We were able to eat dinner outside and make smores. There's something about camping that is just so relaxing and fun!! I love that we were able to have this special time with these 3.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A little behind...

We have had a crazy busy week. The end of the school year with 3 seniors makes for a lot of appointments and events. On top of that (and meetings for various things almost every day)... Dan is currently (he took the day off) writing his 2nd to last paper for his Master of Science in Education!!! The graduation ceremony (that he did not take part in) was last night. Instead he was giving a short presentation at our School Board meeting on an initiative he's designed to eliminate the achievement gap among his reading students. It was encouraging to Dan because ALL of his students have had significant gains in their reading for the first half of the school year. All that to say... I promise to do a lot of blog updating soon.

I'll leave you with a picture of Dan last night. This should give you a small window into our exhaustion right now. We were both sitting at our computers trying to get a few things done... and this was the outcome... pretty cool... huh?!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My twin sister is getting married!! Congratulations, Erica and Nate! We are very excited for the wedding... and also for an excuse to go home this summer!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009

We are glad it snowed today....

and this is why...

After 3 months of waiting we were sure the guys would never be able to wear their Christmas gifts. But thankfully we live in St. Louis where the weather is as unpredictable as... well... weather. An awesome young professionals group here in St. Louis donated money for the jackets at Christmas. We ordered them as soon as everyone was back from Winter Break. The store (who will remain nameless) assured us that it would only take 6-8 weeks to get the jackets back. Well... 3 months later, with less than 2 months left in their senior year, the jackets FINALLY arrived... on a random day in April where it was actually snowing. How awesome is that!!! And... Fred's jacket was just in time for his only home track meet of the year. So... I personally will be hoping for some more cold weeks this semester.

One more thing... will you check out Dan's jacket. Exactly the same... how great is that!!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Crossing Guard

Our School District has a new Crossing Guard... and it's Fred!!! So... be sure to honk and wave hi if you're driving by White Castle in our neighborhood before school.

I also wanted to let our St. Louis friends know that Fred will be running in his ONLY home track meet of the year on Tuesday at 4pm. He would be thrilled beyond words to have his own cheering section!!

And... just in case you were afraid you wouldn't know how to spot Fred at his new job... here he is.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Room with a View

Well... I wouldn't really call it much of a view... but Carter would disagree. He loves the view out his 2nd floor bedroom window... especially at night when his room is dark, and he can see the lights of passing planes, cars and trucks. Every now and then I will even find his blinds open when I go to check on him before I go to bed. I love that he has this tiny spot that is all his own amidst the (sometimes) craziness and noise in our house. Because of that... I tried to be really thoughtful as we transitioned to more of a "big boy" room. Some of the things I have been collecting for more than a year... so it's really fun to see it all put together. Here are some (ok... a lot) of pictures of the finished product....

He hasn't actually seen the truck pillow yet (it's going in his Easter basket) but I just couldn't resist putting it on his bed.

I LOVE this painting. Carter did it at Huntleigh's 3rd birthday party at the beginning of November. The dresser was his changing table. It's from our favorite antique shop.

The globe is the first of a collection we started for him. The wooden car and fire truck a few of a collection my dad found for him in Northern CA. I also love the name train from my Aunt in WA.

I left the car mobile above his rocking chair.

Here's a better look at his duvet cover. I saw it in a magazine and then realized it was from Ikea.

I also found these old license plates at our favorite antique shop. I thought it would be fun way to carry on the transportation theme. I have IL and MO so far... so if anyone has some plates from other states that they don't want... I would be happy to take them.

His favorite reading spot. My good friend Julie found these book ends a while back. They fit in perfectly!

For old time's sake... here's a picture of his first room.