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Aug. 14th     Sep. 6th     Sep. 28th     Oct. 3rd    Oct. 12th     Oct. 25th
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Welcome to our blog!

This weblog is our online journal. It contains updates about the Foede Family. A link to our website can be found below, and has further information about the kids, our travels, and more pictures.

7th Heaven

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tonight is the Halloween carnival and trunk-or-treat at church. The kids are very excited. This year Zach is an old lady monster with a baby on 'her' back (an example can be seen at the Family Fun magazine website) Gabby is a cowgirl, Ethan is a mad scientist, Alisabeth is a bunny, and Dylan is, what else, a little devil. This will probably mark the last time Zach dresses up...soon it will be that awkward age between being a kid and getting to go to teen dances dressed up again.

Gabby got to make a cute gingerbread house with her friends from church, and Mark was inspired to make one as well. Both turned out really cute!

We are done with our Primary program, and all the kids did an excellent job. Our family song went well, and Gabby's song in Spanish sounded so pretty. Next year even Alisa gets to be involved, though picturing her trying to work up the nerve to speak into a microphone boggles the mind.

We've finished raking the leaves and digging up the garden. I *guess* the snow can start flying anytime now. Speaking of flying, Mark's Mom is on her way home from Italy and we can't wait to hear about the trip and see the pictures.

Dylan has a little cold again, but seems to be handling it fine. It doesn't seem to be spreading to anyone else in the family so far, and we'll cross our fingers. It has given him some excema on his cheeks, but that doesn't seem to bother him as much as it does me. Hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!
9:53 am pdt


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Brrr, is it cold! As you can see, like much of Minnesota, Glencoe had its share of snow today. When I first looked out the window yesterday and saw it snowing, the girls had two very different reactions. Gabby said "What? Awww...not snow!" (Apparently walking outside after swimming lessons when it's cold is not fun.) But Alisa said "Yes...I love snow!" Dylan likes to stand on the porch and just watch it fall. I like snow, but wish it would be around from Thanksgiving until Valentines Day and then be done. Anyone know of an area of the country that is like that?

Gabby recently had 'the talk' (regarding the 'birds and the bees'.) She took it very well, and we managed to make it both scientifical and spiritual. The next day I asked Zach if she said anything to him, and he said "She said it is a memory that will haunt her forever." (Yeah, right!)She actually comes up with these funny quips quite often. Yesterday, while watching the Live! With Regis and Kelly travel trivia question a lady from Salt Lake City was on, who got to pick a number which corresponded with audience members who were assigned numbers and then both win a prize. I told the kids that people usually pick numbers for how long they've been married, or their age. I said "I'd pick 26, because I was married on the 26th." The lady then picked 22, and Gabby said "She's from Salt Lake City? I bet she picked the number of kids she has!" I could not stop laughing, which is funny, if not exactly accurate, I am sure!

The kids began their art classes for the year. They are studying the early American History period. They will meet bi-monthly until May. Today they came home with an Indian Talking Feather, which the Indian's used around campfires to give one person the right to talk. Sounds like they had a lot of fun.

Tomorrow Zach and Mark are going on the final scout campout of the year. This one will get Zach to First Class. He also has a couple of merit badges in the works, Cooking and Family Life, both Eagle required. This weekend is the kid's Primay Program at church, where they show what they've learned all year with a presentation during the main meeting. I'll be glad it's over! Our family (minus Mark, Dylan, and Alisa) is singing a song at the beginning, each of us taking a solo part and then singing together. Ethan will be glad THAT'S over.
2:39 pm pdt


Tuesday, October 3, 2006

We had a wonderful time on our little vacation. Valley Fair was extrememly busy, as the usual Boston Scientific employees (and their families) were invited, and also the Guidant employees and their families were invited. Mark had to wait in line for over 30 minutes for Power Tower, which is normally a very quick line. The only ride I had the patience for was the Hydroblaster, which got me soaking wait, but no lines! I did wait in line for 30 minutes for a corn dog for Alisabeth, only to find out there would be a 10 minute wait for them. Panda Express' line was even longer, but we had to use our 'Valley Fair Bucks' on something.

It turns out that Alisabeth doesn't really like to swim, and she doesn't really like to go on rides. We should have left her at grandma's house where she would have had more fun. Dylan had a blast though. Gabby managed to go on Steel Venom. The Mall of America was pretty fun, though the drive their was an adventure. We had no idea 494 had a detour, so we got off at a different exit and mangaged to find the mall via side streets. We came home to a street and yard full of beautiful falling leaves. I love this time of year.

Zach's band teacher came to talk to me today. He wants to move Zach up to 7th grade band because he is too far ahead of the other students. Gabby starts Girl Scouts tomorrow. Other than that, nothing else is new.
2:22 pm pdt


Thursday, September 28, 2006

We Survived
So this past week has not been fun at the Foede house. We all (with the exception of Mark) were hit pretty hard with colds that lasted about 10 days. Just as we were getting over that hurdle, we got hit with some type of virus. Gabby was first, and then Alisa, and then Zach, and finally Jen. It seems that Mark, Ethan, and Dylan were able to dodge this bullet. The virus manifested itself in various ways that we won't go into here. Let's just say that some had it one way, some had it another, and some had it all. Yummy!

Gabby and Ethan have begun their swimming lessons for the fall. I am very impressed with their performance. At the beginning of the last level Gabby cried, worried that she wouldn't be able to do the skills. She learned them (that's why they call them lessons!) and then started out with the same fear for level 3. I reminded her that she had the same fear last time, and she'd do fine. Well, she hopped in and started back crawling and front crawling like I'd never seen before. The next week both she and Ethan are jumping off the diving board and swimming to the sides on their own. Gabby's form is just beautiful in the water, though she needs to learn to relax a bit. Ethan still doggy paddles, but I was very proud of him. Swimming lessons turned into science as we discussed water displacement and why frantic strokes contain less momentum then slow, sure strokes. Zach also did well on his private lessons. Diving (off a board and to the bottom for rings) still eludes him, but his strokes definitely improved.

Mom and Dad Foede are taking the boys this weekend while Mark and I enjoy the Mall of America and his annual work party at Valley Fair. This is my first vacation in 2 years, and even though it's only 2 nights, and 3 kids (one still nursing, one who wants to go to Valley Fair, and one who'd rather swim at the pool) decided they wanted to come along, it should be relaxing for me, and hold me over until the cruise in January. And hey, since I lost 10 pounds with the virus, why not take advantage? (*rolling eyes*)

Homeschooling is going quite well so far. We are really enjoying our studies of the middle ages, and Zach seems to love his new science program. He is also finding Algebra to be more fun than he though.  Alisabeth wanted to learn to read so badly, that we began her lessons from the book 'Teach your child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons"  She is on lesson 13, and is doing great.  Dylan, as always, is a bundle of energy. He can pretty much imitate any word and is beginning to use them frequently on his own.  He also says "Here you go" and "Gross" (This one coming from his frequent nose wiping during the cold period!) He loves to play with blocks and color and crash things together.
4:06 pm pdt


Wednesday, September 6, 2006

A Few Updates
Hi everyone, we hope this update finds you well.

Tonight Zach had his Boy Scout Court of Honor. He was awarded the Tenderfoot and Second Class ranks, along with 10 merit badges. 5 he earned at camp, and 5 at home. He is currently working on 2 merit badges, and will be adding 2 Eagle required badges as well. The 2 Eagle required he had set as his goal for the next board of review. We are proud of him. I missed him and Mark dearly while they were at scout camp, and next year we plan on attending family camp while Zach is with his patrol. As an 11 year old, he needed his Dad with him, and I didn't want to camp alone with the 4 kids, but next year a scout leader will suffice. He is on track to earn his Eagle by his 14th or 15th birthday, well ahead of the time when most boys lose interest in scouting because of '2 chemicals...gasoline and perfume' (as succinctly put by a previous Eagle scout in our patrol, now serving a mission in Las Vegas.)

The kids all did well in their swimming lessons, each passing their levels. They are signed up again this fall to get as comfortable in the water as they can before our cruise in 4 months. They didn't offer level 4 for Zach because most of the teachers are college students, but we have him in private lessons which is working out nice for him. He has good technique, but needs to learn his breathing better. He takes his breath as he is supposed to, but forgets to blow out the breath under water and so he starts gasping for air when he shouldn't need to. He also has a problem swimming under the water, and tends to look like a bobber in the water, which is unusual. Usually the skinny kids sink to the bottom, and he does the opposite. We are confident he'll get it!

We are waiting on one grammar book for Zach before we begin school. Everything else is ready and waiting. We have the schedules set up, but we aren't in a hurry. We schooled until the beginning of August, so we don't mind the break for now. Alisabeth is very excited about learning her letters and numbers and reading. Zach is excited about the new Science program we are doing, Apologia, which goes through Advanced Physics. He is in Algebra this year, and I am excited to re-learn everything with him. We will be continuing our study of French and Latin, and history will be the Middle Ages this year, after finishing Ancient times last year. Zach will again be in band, and they are all signed up for an art class throughout the year as well.

I got my hair cut about a week ago (September 1st). The initial cut in the pony tail was 14" and was donated to Locks for Love. Another 5-6 inches was cut off and then it was highlighted. It is a short, flippy, razored cut that I am having a lot of fun with. Mark likes it too!

Dylan is doing great. He is settling down a little bit, but still climbing on things he shouldn't, escaping locked doors, and just too cute for words. He is talking very well, likes to eat and blow bubbles from a straw into someone's drink, and sits in his car seat and whistles.

Gabby and Ethan are also doing very well. They were scared of swimming lessons at the beginning, but learned quickly and are more excited for this go-around. Both the kids joined Zach outdoors in the tent for much of August trying to pass off the 20 nights of 'camping' for a merit badge. Next time I'll tell the story of freaking Gabby out. For now I should sign off!
9:11 pm pdt



Monday, August 14, 2006

Up and Running
I've decided that adding to the website was getting to be too much trouble. It is much easier to update family information in a blog format, rather than trying to figure out the html codes and etc. Eventually I'll have to learn how to update the 'favorite links', 'about me', 'recommended books' and add a homeschooling section. For now, the only updates to speak of are that Zach and Mark are at boy scout camp for the week and I already miss them. The kids also finished swimming lessons last week, each one progressing to the next level. (But anyone want to borrow Zach and teach him how to dive?) We went on a camp out with our church and had a great time. The weather was perfect, and we came home exhausted from all the activity. I have all my schooling purchases done with the exception of science and grammar for Zachary.
5:06 pm pdt


7th Heaven Blog: Updates for those not so close to home!