Sunday, February 14, 2010

january highlights!

We started out the month with a ski trip to Holiday Valley, New York with my brother Mark and his wife Laura and Carl's sister Kristen and her husband Dan. It was a lot of fun!

We had a "breakfast for dinner" date night in January complete with oatmeal cookie pancakes and mimosas.

Carl really classed up the date night with his water bottle filled with syrup :)

Another highlight from January was our little friend Asher's visit. He even brought his mom and dad, Emily and Drew ,with him! ;)

Here's Asher! Isn't he the cutest!

January was a great month! Lots of fun times and great pictures. Can't wait to see what pictures we get from February's adventures!

new years resolution-take more pictures!

My husband and I like to make picture calendars each year with pics of fun things we did the year before. After making this years and realizing I only had pictures from 3 things we did in 2008 I decided it was time to make a new years resolution. My resolution for 2010 is to take pictures of at least one fun thing we do each month. Hopefully our 2011 calendar will be much easier to make!

My friend Amy suggested I post my pictures from each month on my blog as well. So my next post will be January's fun pictures! We'll see how this goes! I'm excited to take more pictures of what we do each month and share them with you all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

reading camp cleveland

This summer my husband and I traveled to South Africa to volunteer at Reading Camp. Reading Camp is for 3rd and 4th graders who are struggling with reading and come from low-income families. There were 18 kids at camp from the township of Grahamstown, South Africa. I taught reading comprehension and my husband was a camp counsellor for 3 boys. We also did a lot of fun things like.....

Hike through the bush with South Africa's Crocodile Hunter, Basil!

Go on a game drive and see giraffes, zebras, ostriches, baboons, and more!

You are probably wondering why I titled this Reading Camp Cleveland when its all about South Africa. Well, Reading Camp has been on our hearts for a long time, even before we went to South Africa. I had the opportunity the summer before to experience Reading Camp in Kentucky where I also volunteered as a reading comprehension teacher. I fell in love with the ministry that week and South Africa sold Carl on it as well! Reading Camp is a wonderful opportunity for children, at no cost to their parents, to gain confidence in their reading and to experience all the fun and adventures of overnight camp. It is an opportunity the children wouldn't otherwise have because their families can't afford expensive reading tutors and overnight camps.

So, why Reading Camp Cleveland? After Carl and I returned from South Africa we met with the Minister for Christian Formation at our church and told her we want to direct a Reading Camp in Cleveland! Our church has been talking about starting one for a little over a year but no one had stepped up to lead the process. After South Africa, Carl and I felt called to be the leaders.

So here we are! Reading Camp Cleveland is scheduled for June 20-26, 2010. It will be an overnight camp for 3rd and 4th graders from Cleveland. We have a camp scheduled and schools on board to send kids. The planning is just beginning though and there is still so much to do! Fundraising, volunteer recruitment, camper recruitment, planning of camp activities..... We can't wait though! We love Reading Camp!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Are what make life wonderful! I know corny but totally true!

I had lunch today with my friend Laura! :) Laura and I have been friends since 5th grade band when we sat in the flute section with our friend Erin. Caitlin, our other best girlfriend had to be different and play clarinet. Now, Laura and I work in Cleveland and have so much to share on both a professional and non-professional level. Erin is in Boston and Caitlin in New York (coming back to Cleveland this summer!). With people moving far from where they grew up to pursue careers its rare to be so close to friends still.

I consider myself extremely blessed when it comes to friends. I have friends, like Laura, who I have know for 15+ years and friends who I just met in the last few years. They are all wonderful, supportive, and interesting people! Some even bail my husband and I out when we plan a party and then have no water! Amy and Tim hosted our Super Bowl party for us on Sunday when we thought we would be without water all day!

I am richly blessed. Not everyone gets to grab lunch with one of their best friends since grade school!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

working on it...

I haven't forgotten you blogger world. I have been working on a post about Reading Camp but it is taking me awhile! More to come on that.

In the meantime a little update on life here. I will officially be changing my title and position at work to Development and Family Services Coordinator. This means I will be coordinating all of the services that fall under the Family Services Department (momsfirst, short-term assistance for families, parenting education for teen parents...). I am excited about the new position and about working with the other staff in the family services department to improve our services for families!

A longer post is coming... stay tuned ;)