Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
It has been quite a while since I have been able to blog as I have been incredibly busy preparing for and going through my first semester of college. I thought I would share a little bit about what that has been like for me:
My first semester in college has been a dream-come-true! I am a double major in Worship Music Ministries and Liberal Arts and it has been amazing to be able to focus on areas that I really love. I have just finished taking twenty units which has been intense but incredibly worth it. This first semester I mostly took general education classes and a few of the basic classes required for my major and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Continue Reading "Mack Family Update: First Semester Completed!" »
Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
No, not that kind of pit. Amy and I are very excited to be a part of the Grace Baptist Church Praise Orchestra
! Ever since we were little, I've wanted to be a part of this special ministry. I remember always rushing up to the musicians after the service to ask and learn about their instruments and I especially remember one Easter when I told Don Valentine, the percussionist, that one day, I was going to join the orchestra.
My opportunity came in my freshman year of high school. Because we are enrolled in the A Beka Academy program
, we were able to take many courses through DVD. When I learned that there was a DVD course to teach me how to play any stringed instrument, I was really excited and, after discussing it with Lisa Hernacki, the church orchestra director, Amy and I decided to learn the viola.
At last, our DVDs arrived and as we started studying under the Jaffé Strings Program
, screeches filled the house as our family and neighbors had to put up with - not one - but two beginning string players. I am so grateful that they did support me, and that they never made negative remarks. It didn't take too long, however, for us to begin experimenting with our instruments. We were so excited when we were able to sound out Pirates of the Caribbean (the original song from the ride) on our instruments as well as several other songs!
As we finished up the second year of our study under the strings program, we began preparing to audition for the Grace Baptist Church Orchestra. The first violinist in the orchestra, Patti Graham, was such a big help and encouragement, and she helped us go through an intense three month "viola boot camp" to help us get ready for our auditions. At the end of August, Amy and I auditioned for Mrs. Hernacki and were accepted into the orchestra!
It 's been a wonderful experience to be a part of this incredible group of people. It has been such a big blessing to me as I start to pursue music more seriously, and, although we still hear the regular viola jokes (what violist doesn't?), all of the musicians are so positive and encouraging! I am grateful for the privilege to be a part of this special family.
Sunday, September 5th, 2010
Eighteen years ago this very day, two precious jewels were added to my life. The twins were born! After 14 hours of labor, and finally deciding you were just too tangled up to come out on your own (trying to get out first, Wendy?), a C-section was performed, and two beautiful little ladies came into the world.
Amy and Wendy, I'll never forget the moment you made me a mom - a role I have and always will cherish. I don't deserve to have such wonderful daughters like you two, but I'm thrilled that I do! I've loved every moment of it - pushing you around downtown Burbank in your twin stroller, sitting on the couch at the condo reading to you, and all of the "bonding" moments in Pine Mountain. You have become incredible godly women, and I am proud of both of you! Happy Birthday my precious ones!
Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
On August 2, my 6th grade curriculum arrived. I am so excited! I LOVE learning! I took inventory, making sure everything we ordered had arrived, and then I sorted my books by subject. I cannot wait until next Monday, so I can start school. My favorite subjects are health and history. I'm very proud to announce that last semester, my sister, Emily, made the honor roll. My goal for this school year is to get straight A's!
Saturday, July 31st, 2010
For a scholarship, I wrote an essay about the effects of the current recession on the family. I really enjoyed writing it and thought I'd share it.
While initially, one would expect the current recession to have an adverse effect on the average family, I have found that my family has grown more creative, closer in our relationships, and wiser in our decisions as a result.
I've heard of studies that claim that television and video games “reduce” creativity and I believe that there may be some truth to that. Several years ago, in order to better manage what we consumed, my parents made the decision to get rid of our cable television. We still had videos to watch, but the television was on far less frequently than when we had cable. Suddenly, my sisters and I found ourselves with abundant time on our hands. We all read more and began to discover interests or talents that we otherwise might not have known we possessed. Although I did not enjoy the home economics course I took in high school, I realized that once I had the freedom to experiment, I loved cooking and baking. I also learned how to knit and have enjoyed making sweaters and scarves for family and friends. We encouraged friends to get rid of their cable subscription and they, too, have found themselves being more creative.
Continue Reading "Recession: A Blessing in Disguise?" »
Thursday, July 29th, 2010
These last few weeks have been rather busy for us. Amy and I are hoping to audition for our church's orchestra and have spent many hours practicing. We are also starting a bell choir at the Pine Mountain Club church, and have been going through materials in preparation for that. Amy also designed another fantastic clay box
which I will be sharing soon.
Both Emily and Kelly received some fashion kits and dress models for their birthdays and they have been going to town creating new fashion designs. Emily had so much fun wrapping the fabric around the small doll and twisting it to make new fashions that she decided to pull out a sheet and wrap the fabric around Kelly to create life sized fashions. Continue Reading "Fashion, Clay, Books, and more..." »
About a year and a half ago, I had really wanted to take up whittling as a hobby. I had always loved looking at beautiful woodwork and wood carvings and I wanted to learn to make my own creations. My parents, however, were opposed to this new hobby because they were afraid that it was too dangerous using the knives and that accidents might happen.
Much to my disappointment, they would not allow me to try whittling.
My mother knew that I wanted to try something new and decided to try to get me into the world of Scupley clay. I was not impressed, but she insisted I give it a try. Continue Reading "A Clay World" »
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
Monday, May 24, marked the completion of 12 years of hard work and service for Amy and Wendy. That day they were each presented with the Awana Citation Award. For young people involved in Awana, earning the Citation Award is the ultimate achievement. The Citation is their reward for thousands of hours attending group meetings, working with children, getting involved in their communities, completing 10 years of biblically grounded curriculum and learning more than 700 Bible verses.
The awards ceremony was held at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita. Wendy was the first of three students to speak. She shared what the various stages of Awana meant to her spiritual growth and development. Amy delighted all by playing the piano before and during the ceremony, including two of her own compositions. Continue Reading "Amy and Wendy Earn the Awana Citation Award!" »
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
Not to be outdone by her little sister, Kelly, on May 17, our Emily completed her Awana year. Emily finished her book, and a plaque for her accomplishments. She, too, went above and beyond and did the extra credit and earned a certificate and pin for her efforts.
Emily had a blast this year making a DVD of the year's accomplishments (including her participation on the Bible quizzing team, and the game team). The video was presented at the awards ceremony, and the audience enjoyed it tremendously. She's already thinking ahead to making a video for next year.
Way to go Em!
On May 10, 2010, Kelly completed her 5th grade Awana year. She not only earned her third book award, but she went above and beyond the call of duty and did all of the extra credit projects - including reciting 4 questions, 32 answers, and 32 verses in one sitting - by memory!!
Job well done, Kelly! We are proud of you!
Sunday, November 30th, 2003
Our LEGO robotics team has been chosen to participate in
the Legoland competition in December, so we are having lots of meetings
getting prepared for that event. After a brief break this summer,
Eric returned to school to continue studies towards his degree. Kelly
and Emily sang in church this month and did a beautiful job.
It has been a challenging month, at least as far as transportation goes.
We had to sell both vans, due to expensive repairs needed, and we
are down to one car. We are hoping to squeeze a few more years out of our
faithful 11 year old Ford Explorer it before we have to replace it. We
are seeking God's plan for all of this, and pray that He has something
wonderful in store for us.
Eric spent a great deal of time this month updating our
various websites. His friend, Tanny, gave a great deal of his time
to help Eric get started.
Friday, October 31st, 2003
Our homeschool drama group got into full swing this month.
This year, all of the children will be angels in Heaven preparing for the
birth of Jesus.
Kathy is running the sound board again. Our church opened it's new
worship center this month. Amy and Wendy were onstage singing with their
choir a couple of weeks after its opening. Their choir kicked off the "Operation
Christmas Child" ministry, which our family has been excited about
supporting. Eric's grandparents, Skip and Nelly Stelter, celebrated their
50th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful evening with them sharing
memories and hugs. The girls presented them with gifts of song -
they performed songs that were popular the year they were married. After
literally saving our pennies, we were able to purchase our Disneyland annual
passes. What a grand time we had going to the Park. It is truly one of
our favorite places to be. Our daughters amazed and delighted us
with their Awana awards this month. Both Kelly and Emily earned the
top awards for their age group. Wendy and Amy, indeed, met their
challenge and earned the Timothy Award a year early. They memorized
over 360 Bible verses to accomplish this. We were on fire watch this month.
With our travels to and from the city, we saw many of the Los Angeles
area fires from a distance. The smoke and ash was everywhere. God protected
our area, and soon the rains and snow came. Eric and Kathy celebrated their
14th wedding anniversary. The girls made us a wonderful family breakfast
Tuesday, September 30th, 2003
Wendy and Amy started off the month by turning 11. They
had some friends over, and Kathy took them to the theater to see "Spy
Kids 3-D", and then brought them home for a slumber party. The
girls also finished their Awana books, as well as a difficult extra credit
section, where they had to recite all of the verses in their book in one
sitting. They became highly motivated and decided to try and finish
another book by the end of October to earn the Awana Timothy Award. Emily,
Amy and Wendy began piano lessons, and love playing. We hope finances
allow these lessons to continue. Back in February, Amy and Wendy
built their version of the Legoland Amusement Park out of legos. They
decided they wanted to enter their display in the Kern County Fair. Well,
they did, and won a blue ribbon for their efforts! Our church choirs
and JAM Bible clubs resumed this month. Kathy is assisting in the
1st grade choir and teaching the 4 year old JAM class. In August,
Kathy was given the go-ahead to design the curriculum for the four year
old class. She loves writing curriculum, and this was a dream come
true for her, as she has always wanted to do more with writing church activities
for children. Our Lego Robotic Team once again started meeting.
Sunday, August 31st, 2003
The month of August started off with the girls attending
Vacation Bible School at the local church. Eric and Kathy volunteered
to coordinate the Friday night potluck and show. We had the entire
event set up and ready to go in about 20 minutes in the town's outdoor
gazebo area. Well...about an hour before the event, the rains came
down and the floods came up. We rushed to the church/gazebo and moved
as many chairs indoors as possible, drying them off as we went along. Although
we wore rain ponchos, our clothes were soaked up to our knees! The
folks turned out, and everybody worked together to make the evening a success.
Kathy, and her sister, Cindy, went on their first "Sisters'
Trip". Would you believe they went to see the Osmonds get their
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Of course you would. They
also attended a three day fan club event called "OsFest". For
lots of stories about wacky Osmond fans, just ask them to tell you about
some of the people they met there. Amy and Wendy's braces came off
this month, now they just wear a retainer for the next year. Eric
and two of his friends decided to work together and take turns helping
each other with big projects. They have now spent many Saturdays
putting siding up on one man's barn, and working on the irrigation and
planter boxes in our front yard. By spring Kathy should have flowers!
Eric runs an on-line forum called Our Piazza. One of the members,
whom Eric really admires, was going to be visiting Southern California
from Pennsylvania. We made a trip to Newport Beach to meet her, and
then took the girls to the amusement park at Balboa Island.
Thursday, July 31st, 2003
We spent the morning of the 4th of July fishing at the local
catch and release pond in Pine Mountain. Kelly turned four this year,
and Emily turned six. We celebrated their birthdays with family in
Modesto. After the party, Grandma, Aunt Cindy and Uncle Bob watched
our girls while Eric and Kathy attended the CHEA homeschooling conference.
Grandma then came home with us and we joined Eric on his week-long
business trip to Ojai. Kathy, Doris, and the girls visited Ojai,
Santa Barbara and Solvang. the girls got in lots of swimming time
at the hotel. Eric turned 40 this month! Since we were in Ojai,
the family surprised him with a party in the hotel room. The entire
family was able to attend another special class at church called "Walk
Through the Bible."
Although finances have been rough, we set a side a bank to
collect loose change, birthday money, etc., so that we could eventually
buy annual passes to Disneyland. In an attempt to make some money
for this bank, Kathy and the girls did a thorough house/attic/garage cleaning,
and came up with a great many items to get rid of. We set up a booth
at the annual Pine Mountain garage sale. Amy and Wendy were a big
hit with their lemonade stand on the hot (very hot) day. When the
folks learned that the girls were trying to earn money to go to Disneyland,
they were very generous with their lemonade purchases. Eric and the
girls gave Kathy a home organ for her birthday. Emily has especially
become quite good at playing the "Veggie Tales" theme. We
combined a business trip with a trip to the Richard Nixon Presidential
Library. What a fascinating experience. Even Emily and Kelly
were excited about being there. Business temporarily picked up for
Eric this month. Living so far from our church makes attending special
events difficult. Eric and Kathy were delighted to be able to go
to a class called "Contagious Christians." Eric attended
a HERO robot meeting, and made some progress getting his robot's arm repaired.
We took a hike to the local waterfall with our friends the Gilardone
and Steele families.
Eric's Aunt Royce retired after almost three decades of teaching.
We went to a lovely tribute party for her, and were able to meet
many of her friends and co-workers. Our JAM (Jesus and Me) Bible
club ended this month, giving Kathy and the girls an extra evening at home
through the summer months. Kathy taught the 4 year old class this
year. Emily blew all of us us away this month by finishing her Awana
book long before the October deadline. She went on to finish two
extra credit books.
Wednesday, April 30th, 2003
A good portion of April was filled with church choir rehearsals;
with all four girls singing in choirs, that is a lot of rehearsals! This
year Kathy is helping with Kelly and Emily's choir. At the end of
the month was our big choir concert. Amy and Wendy did a fabulous
job, and several members of Eric's family came to support them. We
attended the Family Film Festival in Valencia, where family friend Jeanie
Mullen's film "Jumping for Joy" was being presented. It
was a fabulous movie for all ages, and if you get a chance to see it -
Amy, Wendy and Emily were able to attend
a fabulous fairy tale story time at the Valencia Library this month. Kathy
was very impressed with the crafts the girls brought home. The Awana
club began at the local church, and Kathy is once again leading the Cubbie
class (ages 3-4). Kathy was able to attend a scrapbooking class and
make a little more progress on her never-ending quest to get the family
pictures organized. All four girls participated in a homeschool science
fair. Kelly presented the growth of butterflies, Emily talked about
what absorbs water, Wendy learned what conducts electricity, and Amy took
apart a computer and described each piece. As finances got rough,
we determined that Eric needed to drop out of school for awhile. Our
prayers are that he can continue on his educational path and get his degree
Friday, January 31st, 2003
The year 2003 began so peacefully for us.
We had just experienced one of the best Christmases we have ever
had. We didn't rush anywhere, and had a quiet celebration at home.
While the Christmas music played and we enjoyed spending the day
together, God even gave us a white Christmas! For the first time
since we have been married, I had the year's accounting done by December
31. You cannot even imagine what a relief that was. January
was a very busy business month for Eric. He was able to take a week
long astronomy class at The Master's College. The instructor was
so very kind to allow Amy and Wendy to join the class during lab time.
Their first college course! Of course, they don't get college
credit, but they did pass the final exam!
Thursday, October 31st, 2002
This month we celebrated our 13th wedding
anniversary. Eric's aunt and uncle took care of the girls for us
and we headed off to Disneyland - ALONE - for the weekend! It was
fun to take in both parks at a leisurely pace. (OK, so the photo is not
current. That's us, the day after our engagement)
Eric passed Kathy's Disneyland test...
The girls performed at church with their respective choirs this month.
Each week, I assist Emily's kindergarten choir, and Kelly tags along.
She has been so well behaved, that she was invited to perform with
the choir! We were so proud of her, as she did just as well as children
two years older than her!
Daddy's l'il pumpkins
LEGO League continued and we are still enjoying the friendships that resulted
from this activity.
Monday, September 30th, 2002
This month, Amy and Wendy made public
their decisions to live their lives for the Lord.
A few days later, Wendy and Amy turned 10. We were pretty celebrated
out by this time, between "Bibleman" and the baptism, so we had
a quiet day at home.
Amy & Wendy make a call on the "Batphone"
Eric had business to do in Rancho Palos Verdes, so Kathy and the girls
dropped him off at his client and went on a field trip to the Long
timing was perfect, as we were studying the ocean in science. We
picked Eric up after his work day was finished, and surprised the girls
with another "hop" to Disneyland
This month, Kathy, Wendy and Amy began building their models of two California
missions. Wendy chose San Luis Rey, and Amy chose Mission Santa Barbara.
They turned out beautifully.
Jr. Robotics team
month. We have had two other families involved, each with two girls.
All six girls are home educated. The fathers and one mother
have been mentoring the girls. They are given the challenge of building
robots using LEGO's and motors. Using computers, they program the
robots to complete certain challenges. In addition, Eric has been
teaching the girls about science and technology, and helping them to prepare
for the presentations to be delivered before a panel of judges. It
has been a big time commitment, but the children are learning a lot and
developing good friendships, while gaining practical experience in the
areas of math, science, computer skills, and presentation skills.
At the end of the month we took a homeschool field trip to the Kern
to see the exhibits.
While we were there, we cheered our friends, the Steele Family, as they
showed their sheep. We learned a great deal, and were able to explore
a different aspect of the fair than we had ever seen before. We were
pretty tired, so we headed home right after that event, went to bed, and
Emily had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.
Eric and Jenny, his Manager of Client Services, were interviewed by the
Los Angeles Times for an article on Virtual
Saturday, August 31st, 2002
Kathy, Emily and Kelly drove to Modesto
to spend a few days and to bring Amy and Wendy home. While there,
Grandma treated all of us to a day at Bonfante
It is a beautiful amusement park set among more flowers and trees
than you can imagine.
When we returned home from Modesto, Wendy and Amy participated in a week-long
tennis day camp here in Pine Mountain. Lots of fun for Mom to sit
and watch 10 children who have never played tennis before!
Amy and Wendy's ensemble performed in a concert at church this month. They
sure enjoy singing!
Amy & Wendy sing again at church
Eric's been busy this month. He made a trip to Ojai
to work with some of his favorite
. Kathy and the
girls were able to join Eric for a few days and stay at the hotel. In between
traveling back and forth to church for ensemble practice, Kathy and the
girls enjoyed the hotel's swimming pool, and visited four missions for
our California history unit study. While Eric served his clients,
the girls and Kathy took day trips to Lompoc
, and Ventura
to see the various missions. We were amazed at the diversity at each
Studying California history
at the Santa Barbara Mission
Wednesday, July 31st, 2002
Kelly turned 3 this month; we had a small
"Bob the Builder" themed party. A week later, Emily turned
5 and we celebrated with a "Clifford" themed party. In
between those two events, we added another member to our extended family;
Eric's sister, Roxanne, had a baby boy named "Jake." The
first boy of that generation! Amy & Wendy were able to attend the bris
of their cousin.
Amy & Wendy carry cousin Jake at his Bris
Eric continued his studies at The Master's College, and is keeping up his
Amy and Wendy were thrilled to have the opportunity to attend horsemanship
day camp here in Pine Mountain. They learned how to groom and saddle
the horse, as well as some basic riding techniques.
All four of the girls attended Vacation Bible School in Pine Mountain.
This was the first time Kathy wasn't involved with the children,
and had mornings to herself! She spent the time swimming laps at
Eric and Kathy joined Wendy and Amy in a baptism class at our church in
Santa Clarita. Amy and Wendy had previously made a profession of
faith and we felt that the girls were now ready to take this next step,
of outward demonstration of an inward conversion.
Grandma & Company on a field trip
Amy and Wendy rode the train with Grandma (Kathy's mom) back to Modesto
to be spoiled for a week. Aunt Cindy and Uncle Bob got in on the
spoiling, and they had at least one major trip or activity planned for
June was busy with ensemble practices, homeschool and life
in general. I was able to participate in a mommy-and-me swim class
with Kelly and Emily. Eric was busy with work and with his studies.
All of our cars broke down at least once this year, prompting several AAA
tows and trips to our mechanic in Burbank. We are very fortunate to have
a good friend in Ron Cook at the Lube Center, and he always gets us back
on the road safely.
Tuesday, April 30th, 2002
April brought several events at church
and Kathy spent much of her time on the road driving back and forth to
rehearsals. (She has learned how to sleep and drive at the same time) Emily
sang with her choir one weekend, while Amy and Wendy's choir put on their
big spring musical. Amy and Wendy were asked to open the show with a little
dialogue. The girl's choir was a family event as Eric helped the
director with the boys section. The girls have really enjoyed singing at
Amy, Wendy, and Emily sing at church
Eric and the Frazier Mountain High School Robotics Team attended their
competition at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. It was an exciting event,
and the team learned a great deal their first time out.
This month, Eric began to pursue a goal he has had on his list for many
years, and that was to return to college. He has felt God leading
him in this direction, and with the reduction in business this year, he
felt that he should use the time to pursue this opportunity even though
it would mean big sacrifices at home. As we began to explore and pray about
this goal, several doors were opened to allow Eric to begin his studies
at The Master's College, which is about 70 miles away, in Santa Clarita.
He is currently working towards a degree in Organizational Management.
While this will not significantly change his present consulting practice;
however, the degree will position him for some teaching opportunities that
he has wanted to explore. We ask for your prayers that he can continue
to pursue this endeavor.
Eric took a fall down our stairs and broke
a bone in his ankle. It took a couple of weeks for us, or the doctor
to figure out it was broken, but once it was diagnosed, and treated properly,
it healed rather quickly.
Amy & Wendy have again been part of their church choir this year, and
were honored to be chosen for a small ensemble that would perform in addition
to their choir. They have been blessed with a loving and talented
The Mack sisters get ready to go to AWANA
The AWANA Bible Club began at the local church in Pine Mountain Club. Kathy
and Eric volunteered this year to be leaders of the "Cubbies"
(children ages 3-4). Kelly and Emily were in our class, and we averaged
about 15 little ones each week.
Grandma came down from Modesto to celebrate Easter with us. She made the
girls beautiful Easter dresses which the girls love to wear.
Grandma a few of her grandchildren
Thursday, February 28th, 2002
This month, I began a group known as "The
Girls' Club" which included our four girls as well as others from
our homeschool group. We did some cooking projects and crafts, and
we averaged about 14 girls every other week.
Eric had been longing for an opportunity to get plugged into a strong men's
group, and this month a local men's Bible study began. He has been
quite blessed by the fellowship.
For the first time since we have been married, we got our income taxes
done early! The weight of the world came off my shoulders! A big
Thank-you to Paul
for their help.
Monday, January 28th, 2002
Our new year began with a visit from
Eric's Aunt Royce and Uncle Bill. We had fun visiting and building
a miniature hot air balloon, which we tried launching from our back deck,
using hair dryers for heat. It rose a couple of feet, but we ended
up laughing more than making any scientific progress.
A few days later, the freezing weather burst several pipes in our home;
fortunately a neighbor came to our rescue and the damage was greatly reduced.
At the same time, we found out that our septic system had been improperly
designed and that our main underground pipe had collapsed. The repairs
required that a 7' deep trench be dug (by hand) to replace the pipe. Several
thousand dollars later, the repairs were completed. Eric now knows more
about plumbing than he ever wanted to.
Eric continued his outreach to kids to inspire them to explore science
and technology. This year, he volunteered to be one of the mentors
for the Frazier Mountain High School Robotics Team. He was one of
the mentors that helped teach the students to build and program a robot
to compete against other schools' robots. This was fun for Amy and
Wendy as they were often able to attend the meetings with their father.
This wasn't the type of competition you see on television, where the intent
is to damage the other robots. Each team is challenged to score as
many points as they are able, while doing several activities. You
can see some more of Eric's robotics activities at ICA
Friday, November 30th, 2001
November was the big month for getting
caught up on accounting and the house organization. It was a busy one with
lots of work and little sleep, but well worth the efforts. Emily and her
choir sang at church, and Amy and Wendy not only sang in their choir, but
were asked to do some speaking parts that went along with the song. Amy
was “Jesus” and Wendy was “Peter.” We put beards and robes on them,
and they did a beautiful job. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration
with several members of Eric’s family.
Sunday, September 30th, 2001
Wendy and Amy turned nine in September.
Our family celebrated the event at Chuck E. Cheese. Emily, Amy and Wendy
all joined our homeschool group’s drama class, and Wendy and Amy joined
the group’s public speaking class.
Friday, August 31st, 2001
We had a blast in this month at the Ventura
County Fair at Seaside
. The summer in Pine Mountain
was so hot, it was a delight to head to the coast where it was about
30 degrees cooler. We stayed much later than we had planned and took turns
riding lots of carnival rides. The giant Ferris wheel that overlooked the
ocean was our favorite. Amy and Wendy took swimming lessons in PMC in the
middle of August.
Just when we thought the schedule could
not get any busier, July hit. Kathy’s mom and sister watched Kelly and
Emily while Kathy took Amy and Wendy to church camp. We fell in love with
the sport of archery, and Wendy and Amy learned the thrill of riding a
“zip” line. We celebrated Kelly’s second birthday, and Emily’s fourth
birthday in Modesto. We returned to PMC so that Emily, Amy and Wendy could
attend VBS at our local church. Wendy and Amy participated in the AWANA
(Bible club) pinewood derby race. Amy received a 2nd place trophy for speed,
while Wendy received a 1st place trophy for design, and a 3rd place trophy
Saturday, June 30th, 2001
The pace really picked up in June. Our
friends, Steve & Janet Hedke, participated in the History Channel’s
this year, which coincided
with our church’s Vacation Bible School program. As many of you know,
we live 70 miles from our church, so it is often difficult to attend events.
The Hedke’s generously lent us their house for the week, which allowed
all four of the girls and Kathy to participate in the VBS program. Wendy
got reading glasses – which excited her to no end to once again look like
Amy! Kathy turned 40, and her mom and sister, Cindy, surprised her with
a birthday party at a restaurant in Modesto. They even hired a barbershop
quartet to serenade our group. The greatest moment was when our four girls
sang “Amazing Grace” with the quartet. After leaving Modesto, we drove
through Yosemite (Kathy’s first time) to Bishop to visit Eric’s great
aunt and uncle, Bud & Ruth Schwartzkopf.
April was an incredibly busy month for
us. It started out with Amy getting glasses. Emily, Wendy and Amy began
swimming lessons this month. The biggest event for our family was the church
musical. Emily sang with her choir. Eric acted in the skit as a fisherman,
and even had a small solo. Amy and Wendy sang with their choir and sang
some solos on one of the songs. We felt their accomplishments were pretty
amazing, especially since they performed before about 800 people. Kathy
somehow got through the event while trying to recover from strep throat.
It was an odd month for our cars. Eric experienced a blow-out, lost his
brakes, and had a trailer fall off our car. Fortunately, God was with him
through all of these events, and no one was hurt.
Saturday, March 31st, 2001
Eric and I enjoyed a weekend alone in March
and attended a homeschool
in Santa Clara.
We also took a side trip a few miles up the road to the new west coast
. What an incredible facility.
We look forward to taking Amy and Wendy sometime in the next couple of
years for the parent/child weekends they offer. Also in March, Emily was
given the honor of joining the 4/5 year old choir at our church, even though
she was only 3. We were so proud of her accomplishment.
Wednesday, February 28th, 2001
The latest addition to the inventions around
the house is a band organ that Eric is building. We often hear melodious
strains coming up the stairs from Eric's workshop. (And through the floors,
and shaking the house!) We have been able to share it at church and homeschool
Monday, January 1st, 2001
This past January brought more snow than
we had ever seen in Pine Mountain. It seemed as if it would never end.
Amy, Wendy and Emily began taking Spanish classes through our homeschool
group. Even little Kelly is picking up a pretty good Spanish vocabulary
as she hears us practice.
Thursday, November 30th, 2000
In November, Eric's health problems again peaked as he was
taken to the hospital by ambulance with severe heart palpitations. Fortunately,
he did not have a heart attack, but a reaction to the various medications
the doctors were giving him. We now believe we have found the right
doctors to help him, and hope for continued progress and good health. Your
prayers in this area are greatly appreciated.
Tuesday, October 31st, 2000
The girls' AWANA club ended this month. They all were able
to participate in the club's pinewood derby race. Emily designed a "Scooby
Doo" car, Wendy designed a "lightning" sports car, and Amy
made a replica of "Scrappy" - a car owned by friends Steve and
The Hedke's car finished first in their division of the Great
sponsored by the History Channel. We
enjoyed cheering them on via the internet. Eric was in charge of
manning their web page each day to update their many friends and supporters.
The Hedke's also provided a postcard from every city they stopped in from
Boston to Sacramento - Wendy loved getting those cards for her collection!
We joined a local homeschool group this year
and again, Eric and Hero made a presentation. Eric's love and interest
for robotics is growing.
Saturday, September 30th, 2000
Would you believe that Wendy and Amy turned 8 in September?
We celebrated their birthday at their swim school in Santa Clarita.
We followed that up with another trip to Disneyland. The weather
was far too hot for us, but the two highlights of the trip were when Eric,
Amy and Wendy were chosen to march in the 45th anniversary parade (Eric
looked quite adorable in his tutu), and when the girls got to perform with
on Main Street USA.
We went to three county fairs over the summer (Stanislaus, Ventura, and
Kern). Wendy and Amy were fascinated at each fair by the exhibit
that showed various things that people collect. Amy decided to collect
stamps, and Wendy decided to collect post cards. Both girls raid
our mail every day to see if they can add some interesting new treasure
to their collections.
Emily officially began preschool in September and is already doing some
kindergarten work. She loves sitting at the table with her sisters
and doing her school work. She really excels at phonics, and like
her big sisters, loves going to the library when we go to the city.
Thursday, August 31st, 2000
In August, Kathy and the girls took a much needed trip to
Modesto. Kathy's mom always takes such good care of everyone, that
it is an incredibly relaxing time. The highlight of the trip was
taking Amy and Wendy out late at night to go play miniature golf and ride
bumper boats. We came home dripping wet, and thoroughly exhilarated.
Emily celebrated her third birthday in July with a Blue's
Clues themed party. She is spending the rest of the year telling
all of us why she deserves three of everything because she is three years
old (candy, cookies, etc.). Again, our hearts rejoiced as Wendy dedicated
her life to God at the local VBS she attended. Kelly celebrated her
first birthday this month, and perfected her walking skills. Hero,
the robot, also made an appearance at the local VBS with "mad scientist"
June began as a rough month as our company completed a sales
tax audit. This is a routine audit done every 3 years, or so, but
the pressure to have everything ready was incredible. The audit went
flawlessly, and for the first time in 10 years, we felt the accounting
was truly up to date. Our greatest praise this month was when Amy
dedicated her life to the Lord at our church's Vacation Bible School
program. Eric thrilled his oldest daughters by bringing our robot,
Hero, to the girls' VBS class for a demonstration.
Wendy, Amy and Emily all began the AWANA program at the local
PMC church in April. They began diligently memorizing Bible verses
to earn many awards. In the latter part of the month, Amy and Wendy's
children's choir participated in the Spring musical. Each girl also
had speaking parts.
Kelly really began to grow up in March. She began using
a toy walker to get around the house, began waving, and said, "DaDa."
Do we sound like proud parents?? In March we also took a family
trip to Disneyland, where Emily promptly fell in love with "It's a
Small World." All we heard for the next many months was how
she wanted to go back on that ride.
Tuesday, February 29th, 2000
February marked a major milestone in Kelly's life as she
began crawling and pulling herself up to furniture
Monday, January 31st, 2000
Eric was a guest
on the radio show "Working
." As the title of the show
suggests, Eric was able to share with the hosts, Paul and Sarah Edwards,
and listeners the value he has found working out of our house.