Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

We felt bad leaving out photos in this years Christmas cards, so hopefully some friends and family make it over here for a quick catch up. We keep this blog to record our days together, so please feel free to stop by anytime and catch up. We love getting comments : ).

This past year has been a fun one. Having a 3 and 5 year old is never boring. Emma started dance in February and fell in love instantly. She is taking a combo class and learning tap and ballet. She had her first recital in July and took to being on stage like a fish to water. In fact, we have yet to get her off the stage. She also performed at our local fair during the summer and really enjoyed that too. She is quite the thinker and talker. She really is a 13 year old stuck in a 3 year old body. The things she comes up with just boggle us sometimes. She has a true love for the Lord, and it is precious to witness. She has so much faith at 3, not yet tainted by the world. I'm learning so much from her.

Zachary has been a light in our life since the day he was born. Every day with him is a true gift. He is the most thoughtful 5 year old boy I've ever known (yes, I'm bias... but really). I started homeschooling him last spring. I found an awesome curriculum that made me courageous enough to make me believe I could teach him. You can look back in our blogs for some fun school days. We have started out very slowly, but are starting to pick up the pace. Of course, we could not leave Emma out, she's been doing a preschool curriculum. Zachary started racing BMX (bicycle motorcross) in October. We have a great track near our house and he is over there a couple times a week for practice and races. He is really enjoying it... so much so that Dan has joined him. He races with the "old men", the cruiser class. I am hoping it turns out to be a fun activity for the two of them for many years to come. Emma and I sure enjoy rooting them on.

Dan is still working out in San Jacinto welding and fabricating for Saddleback Valley Iron. He has recently changed his schedule to working four 10 hour days and taking Friday through Sunday off. We LOVE it!! It is so nice to have him home. He still enjoys getting out in the ocean and put aside the long board for a change and got a short board this year. We are still praying that the Lord will see us closer to the sea one day.

I am still blessed to be working from home. It's been a very busy year, praise God, the economy has not effected my work yet. Between teaching, working, being mama, and wife... I am pretty busy. I did take up knitting this summer and still love scrapbooking (my paper therapy!!). The kids and I joined a MOP's (Mother's of Preschoolers) group this year, and it has been so nice to get out with other mommies.

As a family we have done a lot of camping this year in our toy hauler. Most toy haulers haul motorcycles and dune buggies... ours hauls surfboards and bicycles for now. Zachary still has his quad. Now that the weather has cooled down we hope to use it more. Hopefully 2009 sees more sand/dirt. We took quite a few trips to the beach last summer, Doheny, San Clemente, Bolsa Chica and we have enjoyed using Dick and Mari's membership at Silent Valley in Idyllwild.

Well, there's much more in our past blogs. We would like to wish everyone a blessed Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

In His Grip,
The Noack Family

Zach and Emma, sporting beautiful sweaters by Nana - December 2008

Camping Halloween at the BMX Track (Track or Treat)

"Team Noack" on the track

Zachary, tearing it up... fully padded.

Can't wait to get her training wheels off!

The Noack Family, Oak Glen Apple Picking - October 2008

Family Games

I've got to know, what honest mom or dad out there can say that they have the patience it takes to get through a whole game of Shoots and Ladders? I mean really, don't you just cringe when you get the shoot and you think the game is just never going to end. Or, how about Candyland, and the only thing holding you back from the end of the game is your three year old that just wants a "pink" card. Or worse... the Memory game. Why doesn't a five year old understand that if you pick up the same cards every turn, you will never get a match!!

Well, welcome to our new family favorite... Jenga. It's a game that's been in our closet since before we had kids. I just figured the kids would use them as blocks, but it's really been a fun game for our family. Now, to be honest, I thought it would be a short game since once the tower topples over, the game is done. Wouldn't you know that my dear lovely children have some kind of supernatural gift with gravity and can dance and yell around that tower, and unlike Jericho, the walls don't come down. Honestly, look at this last tower we made:

And look at how calm and tranquil we are when we play it:

(Yes, that's Dan in the background just as amazed as I was that that tower does not go down)

Got to love Family game night!!

School Continues

We are picking up the pace this year in school. I'm starting to feel the groove. Both of the kids are still enjoying homeschooling and ask to do it everyday. Unfortunately many days sneak by without any formal school getting done... but I'm learning too.

Our last unit in Kindergarten was N-n-n-nest. We learned all about animal homes and how God takes care of us. The kids and I learned how awesome it is that a bird can make it's own nest. They both have made several nests, in hopes that a bird would move in. I think they have figured out that the birds are thankful to find material for their own nests from the ones the kids make.

In preschool we have been concentrating on the letter "B" and learning the story of Noah and the "B"oat. We've had some fun finger plays and acted out Noah filling up the ark. One day we discussed what things float and what things sink. We did an experiment to find out for ourselves. We went to our "lab" (the bathroom, that day) and filled up the sink. Then we found objects around the house and yard to experiment with. We sorted the objects into "float" and "sink" bowl. Man, I love this school stuff. The conversations that come up are so fun. I can't imagine sending these two off to school at this age and missing out on all that fun.

Last week we also learned how to make "friendship tea". We plan on making it our Christmas gift for the kids Sunday school and dance teachers, as well as for some family. Here's how to make it:

Friendship Tea
1/2 cup instant ice tea powder
1 cup instant lemonade powder
1 cup Tang
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix together, package and give out. To serve, put 1 - 2 teaspoons into a mug of hot water and stir. Don't use too much, or a sugar high will result!!

The kids loved the smell of the cloves which reminded me of studding oranges with whole cloves when I was young, so we did that too. Boy the house smelled great that day... and for many days after.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Where Have I Been??

One may think that I have dropped off the end of the earth, but that's not the case. The last time I blogged was October 22nd, my birthday. On October 23rd we found out I was pregnant. Yeah, wow. We had just started trying, and lets just say we hit a home run right out of the box. Well, we had three days of silly smiles on our faces. We had fun telling our families the great news and sharing the news with our kids. But... three days later I started cramping and spotting. I was able to get in to see a doctor, and after a couple days of blood test I was told I had miscarried. It was quite a shock. I have had two very "textbook" pregnancies. My doctor said that my hcg level (which is the hormone detected in pregnancy) was not rising quick enough. Well, to make a VERY long story shorter, I continued having blood tests done for several weeks only to find that my hcg levels continued to rise, but at a very slow rate. I had hope that this pregnancy may still be viable. I found an excellent website about misdiagnosed miscarriages and found lots of support there from women who had been and were going through similar situations. Just last week my hcg level has started to go down. I'm sure this is not a viable pregnancy now, and the healing can begin.

These last several weeks have been such a physical and emotional roller coaster. Most days have been okay, but I did have my share of very difficult days. If nothing else comes from this season in my life, I have certainly gained more faith in my Lord. I know He is the Great Creator and the Master of the Universe. If He can orchestrate the Heavens, well then He can certainly take care of me.

The following is the chorus to a song called Bring the Rain, by Mercy Me. This song got me through some very tough days.

Give me joy, give me peace, give the chance to be free, give me anything that brings You glory. And I know there'll be days when this life brings me pain, but if that's what it takes to praise you, Jesus bring the rain.

Yes, the rain did come, but as I sit here in my office with my two miracles napping in their rooms, I see a beautiful day outside with plenty of sunshine.