Thursday, December 10, 2009

All Dressed Up

Today I took the three biggest kids to see the Nutcracker at the Barclay Theater in Irvine. It was a performance adapted for kids (narrated and only 1 hour long) but it definitely impressed all of us.

Since the kids were all dressed up, we took a few kids photos- potentially for Christmas cards, but in case I don't get that far at least you can see the photos here (as well as some of the ones that didn't quite make the cut).

It's much easier taking photos of the kids now that they are older, but as you can see Peter couldn't quite make it to the end.

Great Nana Drabick sent Natalie some money for her birthday so I took her shopping for a Christmas dress. It was the first time that she got to go shopping to try on dresses and narrow her choices down. In the end she chose the one that came with a matching dress for her doll.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sprinkles in California

Okay, it wasn't much rain in Irvine (unlike San Diego or the snow in the mountains) but it was enough for Natalie to get out her new umbrella and boots and dance around outside. She was in paradise!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Carson Likes to Read

One of Carson's chores is the take out/bring in the trash cans, but as usual, the book he was reading was just too good to put down. I only caught the last few moments but I watched him reading while moving all 3 cans.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

This the first year that we've participated in Operation Christmas Child where we pack shoe boxes with gifts for needy children around the world. I took the kids shopping at Target where they each picked out the gifts for a child their age. They were especially excited when we ran into another family from the church doing the same thing. They drew pictures, wrote a letter and put photos in the box as well. We will also be praying the children who will receive the gifts. After the boxes are delivered we will get an email telling us where the box went. What a fun way to encourage them to give this season- especially as they are easily consumed by the toy catalogs and adding wishes to their wishpot list.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Star Wars Dress Up

A recent Star Wars theme birthday party. Peter is supposed to be R2D2 in case you can't tell!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Natalie!

Natalie was in princess glory for her birthday on Sunday Nov 15th. Her big requests were a robe, umbrella, and rain boots. And she hit the jackpot as you can see below.
She also received the labor of Gram's love- a beautiful pink and purple quilt with cats, ballerinas, and flowers. She loves it and likes to snuggle with it on her own comfy chair. Thanks Gram- it's awesome!!
She is a sweet little girl who speaks very quickly with lots of trills. She loves to color and loves anything beautiful. She gives kisses (and apologized to me this weekend that she wouldn't be giving me too many for awhile until her chapped lips heal). She loves school and has a very sensitive heart. Daddy is her favorite and she is quick to go to him when she needs comfort. For something special, we decided to go camping at O'Neill Regional park in Mission Viejo (only 20 mins away). The kids and I went tent camping with Gram and Gramps this summer, but we hadn't taken our tent out since before Peter was born. The kids are finally at great ages for it, so we thought we'd find out how one night away would work.

The kids loved it! The fire and marshmallows (or shmarsyellows as Henry says) were named as their favorite part. It was a chilly night, but everyone slept well and no one complained (except during the hike that they felt was too long). We got a great campsite under some climbing trees next to a dry river bed where the kids could play. One by one they each fell out of the tree (we still have one boy limping and making me wonder if we should see the doctor), one singed his long blond hair and the other his sweatshirt. If we stayed a whole week, I'm sure we'd end up in the ER. It was a lot of dirt and a bit of danger, but definitely worth it. Although one night may be all we can handle, we look forward to trying again soon. The kids are already planning the next birthday camping trip- hoping to get site #57 again.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tomatoes for Breakfast

After Henry finished his breakfast burrito this morning he said he was still hungry so I told him to eat something out of the fruit basket. I suggested a banana or orange, but he insisted that he wanted a whole tomato (since I do keep them in the fruit basket). Natalie had to have one too. They seemed to enjoy them even though they were the Costco variety and not the yummy ones from Gram's garden.

And yes, that is Henry wearing his 'fuzzy bear' shirt at 7:30 in the morning. He was trying it on to get ready for a Star Wars dress up party tomorrow where he will be an ewok.

Friday, October 30, 2009

More Turbo Media

I just thought I'd let you know there are a few other ways to see some pictures of the kids and get updates on us- especially now that Eric has an iphone. Eric is on twitter so you can see some kid photos from his view there (which is also the same as what he posts on facebook).

We also have a youtube channel. You can find it by searching for user egturbo1. This is where we put videos to share with others- some that only a grandma could love- but if you have the patience there is something cute in many of them.

A classic in our family was last December when Natalie was trying on the flower girl dress she was going to wear in the Gannon wedding. I just happened upon her dancing in our bathroom and took this video. It's funny to look back and see how much she has grown since then!

For something more 'produced', you can watch Peter's First Drive- he was waiting until he was 3 years old so he could drive the little cars at Legoland. He must have rode those cars 10 times that day (gratefully it was slow at the park). Carson and Henry helped Eric put the music and effects on this one.

That's about the time that Carson got interested in making movies (with the encouragement of new friends here in the OC)- so you will find a number of his creations. Probably the easiest to watch is Man vs Ghost but he also has some lego stop action and some shaky camera clips showing our PA vacation. Carson has many more on the camera that he is waiting for me to give him computer time to finish editing and upload to youtube- so you can watch for these to come (if you have the stamina).

Probably the one that keeps us laughing the most is Who Ate This?. It's very subtle so you have to listen closely to get the humor- but I'll give you a hint- watch the carrot. But who can't smile at those swim goggles and the reality of what my lunch time looks like everyday?

Hope you enjoy! We'll generally just post videos to youtube without mention here, but I'll try to put a note on the blog if we come up with something we think everyone would appreciate.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Greek Mythology and the One True God

This year in our history classes we are studying Ancient Greece and Rome using Veritas Press curriculum. I don't think I ever studied Greek Mythology and so my first read through a book like d'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths brought shock at how absurd the stories could be! Of course the kids love them. Especially the stories of swallowing rocks and fighting against outlandish monsters!

Carson's personal favorite is Ares (the god of war). They often color pictures while I read aloud to them so he asked if he could print some of Ares, then decided to photocopy them to make a whole army. So all four of the kids were coloring while I read then recreated a war with the papers and duplo blocks.

I've included a partial list of some of our favorite books on the sidebar, but one surprise we found was a book called Olympia: Warrior Athletes of Ancient Greece by Dyan Blacklock and David Kennett.

The illustrations are incredible- very intricate modern drawings with a cartoon feel but so much emotion in every picture. There are lots of warriors and fighting in the book- so it may not be for all kids, but my boys were enthralled. The book tells the story of how the King of Elis began the Olympics in the 8th century BC and describes what occurred on each day of the festival.

One of the drawings shows the temple of Zeus and all the crowds gathering around to make sacrifices and worship the gods. Henry (who is quite the deep thinker and loves to ask questions) asked, "Mom, are these people still there?" Then in a very somber tone he added, "That must have made God so sad to see all those people worshiping idols".

It stopped me and brought tears to my eyes- how true he was! This was real history, these were real people, and the one true God was watching. He has always been watching and is still watching today, and much of what he sees is idolatry.

In our bible studies we are still in Exodus, so we've been emphasizing the fact that God chose Abraham and promised to make him a great nation. But here was a time to point Henry forward to the fact that after Jesus came, he sent missionaries like Paul to preach to the Greeks. Jesus died to save the very nation that came up with such an elaborate system of gods. And he came to save sinners like me from every nation of the world!

So for my big kids, our study of Greek mythology has helped to distinguish between the true God and the greek gods. Unfortunately we may be confusing poor little Pete (3yo). At this point he seems to be mixing it all together, but that's true about a lot of things in his world these days.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Homeschool at the Turbo House

School has been the major thing keeping me busy these days. This year we are filing a 'PSA'- private school affidavit (rather than schooling through a charter school like we have done the last three years). One benefit is that I can schedule our curriculum so that all of the kids are studying similar topics. So for example, we've been doing a unit on horses where the kids are each reading age appropriate horse literature, learning about equestrian science, and drawing horses. We are also studying history (Ancient Greece & Rome-that's a Trojan horse below) and bible (OT- Joseph right now) together.

Another benefit is being able to challenge and work with each kid right where they are at. Natalie and Henry are each learning to read at about the same level so they do all their phonics and math together. But Henry loves listening to higher level literature (and asking lots of questions!) so he's in on all of Carson's read alouds. Natalie is adamant about learning cursive now (not sure why she's so eager- probably because it's 'prettier'). Carson loves to read- he's been reading through Maguerite Henry's horse novels much faster than I expected so I keep adding more on. He's not crazy about math but is doing very well at it. Last week he had to memorize a poem and did a great job! In general, preparing the curriculum has been more work for me, but it also helps me to own the process and to truly feel like I'm teaching the kids. It's awesome to see progress and to learn with them.

One new thing we are doing this year is 'memory period'. We begin our morning all together singing songs (with some funky hand motions I come up with) that help us memorize information. We've been working on the Westminster shorter catechism, bible verses, and skip counting.

And what does Peter do? He has a seat at the school table with us and works on his dry erase work books- mostly just coloring (i mean scribbling) until he wanders off to play with his duplos. He is generally cooperative (although he does know what 'zip it' means since he is the most talkative person around the house). He loves when Carson reads to him and also gets to do starfall on the computer for part of the morning- one of his favorite times of the day.

For anyone who cares, here's the curriculum we're using:

Math: Saxon1 and Saxon5/4
Phonics: Veritas Phonics Museum
Grammar: Easy Grammar 3/4; Primary Language Lessons
History: Veritas Ancient Greece and Rome
Bible: Veritas Genesis to Judges
Science: unit studies (horses right now, will do plants)
Spelling: Spelling Power

And i still need to come up with a name for our school by the time paperwork is due in October... any suggestions out there?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Swimming at the Pool

Irvine is famous for its swimming program and pools. We don't have any aspiring Olympians yet, but each of the kids has been improving as we go to the community pool at least three times a week. Carson can do flips underwater and touch the 8 ft bottom. Henry made huge leaps of progress when we got him a snorkel- finally got the hang of swimming with his face in the water. (And notice his missing teeth just growing back in.)Now that Natalie has recovered from a series of ear infections, she's been eager to put her head under water and been jumping off the side of the pool. And Peter will also put his face in, as long as you aren't the one telling him to do it. There is also a 1.5ft baby pool where Peter loves to play 'fishing' with his big sibs.

It's nothing compared to the kids in the local classes where 3yos have to swim the butterfly 50 yds before they can sign up for the class (!), but I'm happy with the improvement- and it's alot of fun. Our weather still isn't feeling fall like at all- so hopefully we still have many days at the pool to come.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Family Photos

Here are the results of our family photo shoot in Laguna Beach. Pretty handsome bunch if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Peter!

Peter turned 3 years old yesterday. It's been a bit of a family joke that for the last 3 months if you ask him "Peter, when is your birthday?"; he answers "August 18th". We trained him to parrot the correct answer to people after the response he gave back in June was "Wednesday".

While were in PA, Peter was able to ride a tricycle for the first time and loved it. However, once we got back we needed to move Natalie up to a bigger bike so Eric painted Natalie's old pink and purple bike an appropriate silver for Peter. He got it today and rode with training wheels for the first time. He is a pro! What a change in life for the Turbedsky family to have everyone on bicycles!! Irvine is an awesome place for bikes (lots of trails and flat!) so Eric and I plan to buy some for ourselves soon.

Peter is a ham and a non-stop talker right now. He generally repeats and embellishes whatever his siblings say at the dinner table. It's tempting to tune him out since he never stops- and he's usually asking questions about how and why and what. He's very outgoing and loves meeting all the new folks here in OC. He still loves his naps (and milk), and now reading stories tops his list too.

Happy Birthday Peter! You are such a source of joy in our lives! We are grateful to God for how he has made you and protected you these last three years. We are loving every minute of watching you grow!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Moving Week

What a week it has been! After spending a few quiet days at the Detrich's house in San Diego, we made it to Irvine on Monday where we stayed at the Fisher's house. Thanks to all the folks who offered us such pleasant hospitality over the last few months!! It has been a treat to get to know our friends and family better and we truly know the love of the Lord better because of you!

On Tuesday we saw the house after the cleaning service had been through- which definitely made a dramatic difference (four college guys lived here previously). The kids enjoyed playing with John & Margie at the Fishers- as well as their dog Cooper- as least after we could convince Peter that the dog was not going to eat him.

Wednesday was a whirlwind day as it turned into a photoshoot so we could get some family pictures for Sovereign Grace Ministries website. (We don't have any family photos that include Peter- who is almost 3!). After haircuts (thanks Joey!) and shopping trips for clean shirts, we drove to Laguna Beach to meet Antonio our photographer. The kids did great as we chose this to be a proper time for bribes (ice cream for smiles and no tears). You'll be seeing some of those photos soon.

Then Thursday was the big move day!! I took the kids on a Target run for water and cleaning supplies then headed to the house. Some of the ladies from the church joined me in the morning to clean the kitchen cabinets. Yeah for 409! We successfully removed some of the black sticky stuff off the doors and put shelf paper in the cabinets. Eric and some guys from church pulled all the trash out of the back yard then removed the blinds and extra cable wire from inside the house (looks like the place must have been wired up for 4 different satellite dishes so there was cable all over!)

The packrats (storage containers) were delivered in the afternoon and our moving help arrived at 7pm. Talk about a crowd!! Probably 50 people were here to unload- the whole Irvine church plus a few diehards who drove up from San Diego! Thanks guys!! The packrats were emptied to their proper rooms by 8:15p so folks offered to unpack my kitchen, set up beds, reassemble our picnic table etc. By 9:30 we gathered to pray in the living room and thank God for his wonderful grace! What kind generous friends He has given us! What provision of housing and stuff! How good He is!

On Friday we continued unpacking. The kids enjoyed finding their toys- but probably had more fun playing in the empty packing boxes. Their highlight was the promised trip to the community pool on our street in the afternoon. It's a fairly small pool for our neighborhood- just perfect and quiet enough for me to manage them. Henry is just beginning to swim on his own and Peter is getting more adventurous so I expect we'll be there often. Only problem we ran into was when I wrapped Peter up in a towel and he tripped and landed thud on his face so we ran home with a serious bloody nose and lip (glad we did the photos already!).

On Saturday we walked (and scootered) to Deerfield community park for a church picnic before the evening service. After good food, fellowship and playing hard, we went to church where Steve Shank preached and officially installed Eric as the senior pastor of the Sovereign Grace Church of Orange County. We really are a church!! How exciting to see all the work everyone has put into this church for the last 2 1/2 years! How humbling for our family to be called to join what God has been doing in Orange County! What joy to see Eric placed in this role and to consider all that God has done to prepare him! We are excited for this new season and trusting God to provide all that Eric and I need (which will be a lot!). Here's an inaugural photo of the church!

And today we are heading to Pasadena to spend some time with Steve Shank and the pastors from the Pasadena church who began the OC church extension. Monday we look forward to a bit of rest (and some unpacking of course). You can pray for us this coming week as Eric prepares to preach next Sat and I get the house together enough to host the church for hospitality after the service. What a week it has been (and now I realize I forgot to mention the trips to urgent care for Natalie's weird fever & rash earlier this week- she's better now)! Here she is falling asleep after moving day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

We have a rental in Irvine!

There it is! We chose a rental home in Irvine: 19 Deer Spring, Irvine CA 92604. Don't stop by yet though (even though we have a guest room for you)! We don't expect to move in until August 10th. Eric and I searched the rental listings by computer while in PA and made our top ten list. We put an application in for this house but had to wait almost 10 days to get confirmation that we were approved. Eric flew out to CA last week so he was able to walk through it. It was four bedrooms and space in the master bedroom for Eric's office. We are really excited about the neighborhood (Deerfield). There is a community pool and park on our street plus biking trails that can get us all over the county (even to the beach!). There are also restaurants and coffee shops in walking distance. The church currently meets about 2 miles from our house.

This summer has been a once in a lifetime treat! We've continued to enjoy new things here in PA (camping at Gifford Pinchot park, a balloon festival in NJ, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia) while Eric flew back to CA to start work and get our house plans finalized. (I'll try to put up more photos once we are reunited with Eric- and his laptop).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NYC Getaway

Eric and I took a little vacation in a vacation with a night in New York City (with no kids!- thanks Gram & Gramps). We took the bus from Allentown to Times Square then walked the city.We did lots of the usual tourists stops which we had never seen. We took a tour of the NY public library (which was helpful since the standard question is 'where are the books?'). We ate our lunch on the steps near the big lions.We stayed the night at a hotel near Battery Park and the site of the WTC, had dinner at a small local pub with lots of 9/11 memorabilia. In the morning we took a walking tour of historic NY and Wall Street.And Eric found a nice pipe shop on Wall St- but no purchases.We walked on the Brooklyn Bridge and took the subway to Central Park.We were very impressed (and lost) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wow! What a collection! I wish the kids could have seen the ancient artifacts- especially after studying Egypt last year.
We ended the day back in Times Square for a great Italian dinner in the theater district and a late night bus ride home. Very refreshing and great time to be away with Eric.