On These Pages Are The Stories Of Our Family We Go Together ! Welcome To The World As Viewed Through Our Eyes
Lynette .......... Caedmon .......... Libby .......... Tom

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!


"For the love of Christ controls us..." 2 Corinthians 5:14

Thanking Jesus for His presence in our lives and 
daily seeking to treasure Him in all we do.

Tom, Lynette, Caedmon and Libby
Christmas 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Tom and I have been attempting to master turkey for the entire 7 years of our married life.  I think we had some early success when we celebrated with our friends/neighbors in Dallas, but since the kids were born, we've had several quiet Thanksgivings with mediocre food which took all day to prepare and was appreciated only by the cooks.

However, this year, was one for the history books.  We were able to host Tom's sister, Mary, as well one of Tom's coworkers and her family.  That alone made this year special.  We also had much more success with the turkey (although, we won't say "mastered" yet).  And, we added a new favorite side dish, Chinese Sticky Rice.  We had much to be thankful for this year and it was a blessing to be able to give thanks with friends and family.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Seashells, Ocean Waves and Swimming Pools

AKA...Family Vacation!  In mid-October, we packed up our beach gear (i.e., bathing suits and a change of clothes...remember, we're a family of light packers!) and hopped a plane to Florida.  We spent a glorious week on Sanibel Island.  Our lazy days included lots of wave jumping, sandcastle building, seashell collecting and swimming.  Tom's mom joined us for a good portion of the trip, which was a huge blessing!  Tom and I were even able to sneak in a few dates throughout the week.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Costumed Fun

We opted out of a traditional Halloween night of trick or treating this year, but we still got our fair share of treats and costumes.  We enjoyed a night out at a church festival that was bigger and better than anything we could have imagined - complete with games, candy, pony rides and bounce houses galore.  

We also enjoyed Boo! at the Zoo at Fort Worth Zoo.  They changed the hours this year so we were able to spend an entire day at the zoo and enjoy the festivities as well.

On Halloween, we carved a pumpkin and enjoyed trying on costumes at home.  With all of our other candy-related events, this worked out just fine.

Fall in the 'Burgh

In early October, we hopped a flight to Pennsylvania to visit family and friends. I guess we never truly made it into the 'Burgh, but it's always easier to say Pittsburgh because really, who knows where Cecil is?! We enjoyed the fall weather, lots of time with the fam and even seeing a few friends. Here are some highlights:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scrapbooking, Homeschooling, Babysitting, and Dragons

Is that a random enough title for you? For my frequent readers, you are probably wishing I had stayed on my posting hiatus rather than return with a doozie like that!! But really, as random as it may be, this is a blogworthy post...and it does somehow all connect, I promise.

Back in August, my friend Erin arranged for her and me to go on a scrapbooking retreat. We had both completed scrapbooks for our firstborns and were lamenting the fact that the secondborns were now 2 years old with no scrapbook to their names. Thus, we spent a fantastic weekend away at a quaint little scrapbook retreat, where besides scrapbooking (digitally!) we enjoyed good food, sleeping in and lots of talk time. Aaaah, bliss! (We had so much fun that we're heading back for another weekend in December.)

Besides returning refreshed and rejuvenated - and to a husband who appreciated me so much more after spending almost 48 hours with the kids - I received a few more blessings that weekend. One was some homeschool encouragement, which should probably be relegated to another blog post. The other was a babysitter! Tom and I had not used babysitters besides our family or close friends since the kids were born. However, we were feeling like the kids were old enough that we should find someone. I, also, had committed to a 6 month workout regimen which required 3 days a week with a personal trainer. We knew that the only way that would work was to have someone stay with the kids at least once a week. When we were talking this all through, I had told Tom that our ideal would be a home-schooled high schooler who could come one morning a week. Of course, I knew of no one who fit that bill. However, the scrapbooking retreat was organized by the mom of a home-schooled high schooler, who had come along for the weekend. She also just happened to live in our same town and was looking for babysitting work! Isn't God, good? It gets even better...Sarah is a fantastic babysitter!! My kids adore her and miss her terribly when they don't get to see her one week (or for several as the case has been recently).

When I was growing up, we had a babysitter named Lisa, who came every Friday night so my parents could go to their bowling league. Lisa would play "Little House on the Prairie" with us and traipse around the house in our wagon train as "Ma" - EVERY WEEK, WITHOUT COMPLAINING! We LOVED her! I don't think I was such an accommodating babysitter. Oh, I wasn't a sit on the couch and do nothing babysitter, but I do have distinct memories of dreading the hours of playing "Aladdin" with one of my charges. I just don't think I was very enthusiastic about playing Jafar. Sarah, on the other hand, is my kids' Lisa. She makes crafts, plays pirates, does art and really gets dirty and has fun with them. I am so very thankful for her!

So, now for the dragons...Last month, Sarah and her mom, Stacey, invited me to a Book Tea. I've been missing my book club dreadfully, so I was excxited for a literary outing. Besides being an amazingly clever and fun evening, I was also introduced to a great author. The purpose of the tea was to introduce their friends to a Young Adult Literature author named Bryan Davis and his book entitled Starlighter. Now I love to read but my time for picking up a novel is sparse these days. However, I powered through this book in a weekend. Bryan Davis writes fantasy and this particular book was about dragons, prophecy, slaves, warriors. An adventure that was entertaining to me, as an adult, even though it is geared toward teenagers. I highly recommend it if you like fantasy or if know of a teenager who does. It's not Christian per se but the author is a Christian and the book is clean and safe for young minds. I'm sure it will be one of Caedmon's favorites when he is old enough to read it. You can read more about it on the Masters & Slayers website   or purchase your copy of Starlighter or one of his other books, which I've heard are all fabulous here.  I truly do think these books deserve a recommendation, but I'm also helping out our fabulous babysitter by sharing this with you. She is in a Masters & Slayers contest and I know she really wants to get out the word about Bryan Davis and support his talented writing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

In the Great Outdoors

The Chang family went camping!  Tom had vacation time at the beginning of August.  We didn't have any plans and despite our reputation for wanderlust, we have had lots of "staycations" this year.  We decided to venture out for a long weekend and try our hand at family camping.  The August temperatures were hovering over 100 degrees, but Tom was able to secure an air-conditioned cabin at Martin Creek Lake State Park.  We did rent a tent from REI but it was only pitched once - in our living room.  It was just too hot to even think about erecting and crawling into a tent.

After making several grocery shopping trips, writing a long list of supplies, packing up coolers and suitcases,  and loading the car, we headed east on our adventure.  We left after lunch, so the kids slept most of the way there.  Once we arrived and unloaded, Tom cooked dinner on the charcoal grill - bison hot dogs!  Meanwhile, the kids and I went exploring and enjoyed a quick hike in the woods as well as a few minutes of play on the playground.  We tried to enjoy our dinner outside, but the heat and even more so, the flies drove us inside.

Our little cabin had just 3 rooms - the living/dining area, a galley kitchen and a bedroom with two double beds.  The kids were excited to share a double bed but that excitement translated into no sleep.  We struggled to get them to settle down but it was after 10 before each child drifted off and Libby actually ended up in our bed with us.

We awoke the next morning, had breakfast, and set out on our first family hiking experience.  There was just one wooded trail in the park, which was a little over a mile long.  We started off well.  The kids did a pretty good job, except for the fact that Tom had to carry Libby a good amount.  We all enjoyed the hike, except for the few minutes toward the end, when we couldn't find the trailhead and thought we may be lost in the woods.

After hiking, Tom prepared to cook lunch in the fire pit.  We taught the kids to roast marshmallows.  They didn't enjoy eating more than a few, but Caedmon roasted a whole bag of them.  They also enjoyed just playing in the dirt and exploring nature.  We dined on chicken legs and bratwurst.

 It was so hot that after nap time we spent the rest of the day indoors.  Unfortunately, one of our coolers did not stay cold so we lost a lot of our food and ended up having pancakes for dinner.  The kids, once again, struggled to settle down and go to sleep.  Caedmon tried but Libby kept distracting him.  At one point, Caedmon even prayed about that, "Dear Jesus, please help Libby to stop distracting me so we can both go to sleep!."  The kids did make it all night in the same bed, which was a blessing to Tom and I.  However, because of the heat, spoiled food and sleeping challenge, we opted to end our camping adventure a day early.  So, after a short morning hike, we packed up and headed home to the comfort of our own beds.

We all had a great time and can't wait to do it again...in cooler weather, of course!
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