Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Happy (Very Belated) 11th Birthday

My middle daughter – asked me if I was going to do my usual special blog post that I do for their birthdays – I said sure, well we were also on vacation AKA running away for her birthday. Now that we’re home I have time to sit and write her special 11th birthday post, although admittedly it is VERY late – her birthday is September 29th.

She was a bald, beautiful baby!

Here she is with her Great-Grandpa.

All three of them – she had a bit of a crying spell before the photo session.

She could and still does manage to fall asleep in weird places and positions.

Helping to churn butter at a living history event.

Her first day of school when we were using FIAR and studying Madeline.

She and her older sister at Praise Him in the Park in September 2014 – she loves to dance and praise the Lord.

She and her brother receiving their religious awards through American Heritage Girls from our Pastor (it was completed at another church but our Pastor gave them their medal). This was on 2-22-15.

She is my funny girl, she loves to tell jokes no matter how horrible they really are and we all laugh – this is a trait she got from her dad. Right now I have a drum set sitting in my computer room that we have no idea where to put it because she begins drum lessons tomorrow, I agreed to this if I could find someone we could afford (thankfully the Lord put a woman who is blessing us with a weekly 45 minute lesson in her home) and if she continued with piano as well. The house is about to get louder. She is turning into lovely young lady who gave her testimony and was baptized this spring in our church – her desire is to serve the Lord through missions and dance and one day be a wife and mom to many. I love my middle daughter.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


Happy 9th Birthday to my Son

My son’s first happy meal – he was so funny!

This day nine years ago I was at the hospital early with my husband and our two girls, waiting for the pitocin to kick and walking the halls. My little man entered the world several hours later and captured my heart. Much like daughters do to their dads, this little man won me over – my worries over what to do with a boy gone. I had a son. You can read the birth story.

My son grocery shopping at a near by children’s science museum.

I cannot believe he’s 9! It’s been a rough few months – he is the one who found Don but thankfully he didn’t realize at first, he just thought dad was still asleep but had had an accident. It’s hard to be a mom who doesn’t know what it will be like to be a teen boy in a few years and all that comes along with it.  I know that the Lord will be with us, just as He got me through the potty training and getting used to having a son He’ll get me through being a widowed mom of a boy.

Yes, those are his shorts on his head. He still makes me laugh with his silly antics.

He laughs at farts and tells gross jokes – he reminds me of my husband in that way not to mention he looks like him too. He’s a yellow belt in karate and tests again on the 30th for his next belt, I think it’s an orange with white stripe. The dojo he’s been at now for about 4 years has become like an extended family. He took a boys hip hop class last year and really enjoyed it too, unfortunately it’s been discontinued.

With his umbrella he painted in a College for Kids summer class back in 2012.

As soon as his eyes open in the morning he is ready to go, go, go – while he still has a temper (comes by it honestly) he is also the sweetest little boy. If I’m feeling sick he makes me get well cards and draws me pictures. He still likes to watch Ben 10, even though it’s no longer ‘popular’. He enjoys going to Sunday School and Junior Church. He is doing better with reading and I can see him conquering it very soon! Some days are hard, as being a mom can be, but in the end when we’re snuggled on the couch or in the bed reading a book it’s so worth it. Happy 9th Birthday to my little guy, to my son.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Armstrong Air and Space Museum part duex

We first visited the Armstrong Air and Space Museum back in 2011 – that time my husband was with us, so it was one of those hard firsts. My husband really enjoyed this museum, especially the end with the Star Trek figures at the end. My mom went with us this time and overall it was a good time.

My mom, seeing if she’d make it as an astronaut.


Then there is me – don’t I look thrilled?


And my son – always making some kind of weird face!

And the middle daughter (oldest refused and I pick my battles).

The ultimate reason we went to the Air and Space museum was because the oldest was working on completing her Living and Working in Space, American Heritage Girl badge and one of the requirements was to make a glove box.  I prefer other methods of learning other than making a very confusing glove box (the handbook is not written for girls or their families who homeschool and travel a lot) and I knew this museum had one.

Trying out the glove box.

Inside a lunar module simulator. My husband’s favorite part.


After we finished, we headed outside, if you look at the post from our first visit you’ll find a similar picture as to the one below.  I thought it was neat to see how the children have grown!

All three.

So that is it.  I’m working on updating the blog from some of the stuff we’ve been doing – it’s hard to write anymore as finding the time needed is not what it used to be as I’ve become much more busy.  If you’re still reading my blog I appreciate you hanging around and waiting for content, if my reviews aren’t your thing, again thank you.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Some days I meet myself coming and going…..Part 1?

I’m saying this is part 1, because, well things have been BUSY around here.  As a widowed parent there is so much more that I have to do on my own and that makes things harder and busier than they used to be.  As it says I feel like I meet myself coming and going – run in the house for a moment and run back out for the next activity.

I’m not complaining mind you – I don’t mind being busy and staying busy keeps the grief from hitting too hard on any one day – if I let myself stop for a day I may never get back up, or at least that is what it feels like.  I’m still not used to this whole gig and it’s tiring – physically, emotionally and if I let it, spiritually as well.

I’m also behind in blogging – I need to blog and show you all what we did on our vacation in February but I’ve decided to skip that for now and write about some other things that have been going on.  I paid off the funeral in it’s entirety so I don’t have to deal with the funeral home again.  I paid off the cemetery marker as well, and hopefully soon I’ll have the rough sketch of what it’ll look like and after I approve it, it will be cut and then installed.  It is both a good feeling but also once that marker is installed I know that is it – it is final – not that Don hasn’t been gone but it’s one more fact of life that sort of brings it even closer to home.

I also began making my arrangements.  I’ve picked my vault.  I’ve picked my casket.  Yes, at 36 years old I’ve picked my casket and my vault.  WOW!  I cannot stress enough – don’t wait.  If you have children, do your pre-planning now and start paying on it.  That way, when the Lord calls you home, they won’t be like me and having to scramble to get arrangements made quick enough so there can still be a service or so that you can be buried where you want and how you want.  Since I’ve paid off the marker all that is left for that is for the cemetery to order my date of passing panel.

Of course in all this, real life still happens.  Dance class, karate, Cub scouts, American Heritage girls, tournaments, recitals, 4-H, and on and on….

On a good and lighter note – both my son and middle daughter received their religious awards on 2/22/15 at our church. It was great to see the culmination of their hard work pay off in learning about our Faith and our Lord.  I gave a bit more about that in my Random Updates post.

Both of them up front with our Pastor.

My son telling the Pastor that he doesn’t remember what he learned. That was embarrassing!

Then there was the Blue and Gold Banquet on 2/28/15.  Don would have been very proud of our son.  He achieved his Bear rank and will be a Webelos next school year.  They do a cake auction and each boy is asked to bake a cake with their dad, or in my son’s case, his sister and I and it’s auctioned off to raise money for the Troop.

Here is what a $300 funfetti cake looks like. The winning bidder even let him take it home.

On the auction block.

Up close – he was nervous being up there on his own with the auctioneer.

He and I are in the middle – the moms got to hand the boys their rank badge.

Here is he is with his war paint – each color signifies something – but at this time I cannot remember what they are.

Okay, so I think that is for now, there is much more to come such as our trip to W.Va., D.C., some American Heritage Girls stuff as well as some really awesome field trips we’ve taken.  I also have some reviews to get up so those will be coming as well.  If you’re led please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


Visit with a friend – fun times

My oldest has been writing to a pen pal for about 4 years now (I think it’s 4 years, I’m sure she’ll correct me if I’m wrong) and she’s been saving to go down to Georgia to visit her and her family but it hasn’t worked out to save as much as she needed so in October her pen pal’s mom emailed me and told me they were coming up to Ohio!  There were some very excited children to say the least.  We had many ideas that we could do with them while they were here.  One thing they wanted to do was to go to the children’s science museum – we no longer have a pass to it but another friend who knew of our plight gave me 3 free admission passes which enabled two of my children and myself to get in free and then my other child received 1/2 off with our other museum pass.  Thank you dear Friend!  My son quickly became friends with M’s brother as well.  Unfortunately, my middle child, felt a bit left out – I’m finding out that most middle children feel this way.

All of the children at the entrance of the children’s museum.

All but one playing at the water table.

Goofing off in the traveling exhibit.

Up close of my middle one – I have no idea what she is doing with her eyes.

My normally, VERY serious oldest messing around and letting me take the rare picture of her doing so.  Reminds me of an old Sherlock.

I thought this was poignant – H and M have been friends through some big events in their lives and they’ve become even stronger friends having meant in real life.

After a day at the science museum we left and came back to our city, H’s friend came home with us as she was going to go in and watch B and H take their mandatory ballet class for Illuminate.  After dance class we drove to a mall about 1/2 hour away.  This was quite a huge feat for me as I HATE (did I mention hate?) driving in the dark, even wearing my glasses doesn’t help so I was quite nervous as it was dark, highway driving and their family was following me.  We ate a dinner at the food court and then we all walked around – I was quite tired by the time we got home.

The next day we found out they were leaving a day early so we hurried to think of something we could do before they left, we met them at a park and as it was so wet and dewy I suggested we head to the local rock garden.  My GPS got us all turned around, it sits back in a rather unsavory neighborhood and one doesn’t want to get lost there, luckily H’s friend google mapped it for us and we were on our way.  I’ve posted about the rock garden here and here.

The girls.

All three girls.

Inside of the Nativity scene

My son tossing leaves – which after I encouraged him I realized it wasn’t so smart as they were wet! He enjoyed it.

Saying “see you later” because we will get to GA in the future and I’ll be dragging my daughter to all the GWTW sites 😀

It was a great but all together too short a visit.  Of course I know the girls would have been fine if they could have stayed forever.  My oldest is still saving to make it down to their turf one of these days, but since she’s saving for both Project Dance Detroit and her trip to GA it’s slow going.  We were so happy to meet this family who has blessed us with a wonderful friendship between our daughters and in other ways as well.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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A visit to Africa……at the zoo

Ah…..I cannot believe that I forgot to share about our trip to Africa the zoo back in October!  We had to go before the 1st of November as the Africa exhibit closes down during the winter months, because well the animals just aren’t used to our cold climate up here!  Yes, it’s been quite unseasonably cold – winter weather in the fall.  Anyway, so I want to share with you as I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve posted quite a few book reviews the last couple of days and that is because I feel like I’m behind in everything!  Being gone almost every evening will make one feel like they are chasing their tail and getting nothing done.

The day we went started out cool but ended up warming up enough that we could shed our jackets but still not get overheated like we do in the summer.  Of course the first stop was the Africa exhibit and that is really the only area I got any pictures so here goes…..

My middle and youngest posing on the lion statues – in direct sunlight no less.

My son talked my mom, his Grandma, into paying for him to ride a camel so here he is. Quite happy.

Another camel shot.

The lion’s lazing around on the cool morning, there were some giraffes and some other African animals in the distance but they were too far away to get a good picture.

One of the beautiful cheetahs.

There is an ardvark down there – it was actually quite cute.

As I said we did some other things like the carousel and the dinosaur boat ride which proved quite exciting.  We eventually left a little after lunch and stopped at Culver’s which has delicious sandwiches.  Then we went home as we were expecting my oldest daughter’s friend to come in from out of state so they could finally meet face-to-face, but more about that next time!

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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American Heritage Girls and Field Trips

Our American Heritage Girls Troop has been meeting and hard at work since September and I’ve taken over the Pi/Pas (Pioneer/Patriot) so we’ve been working on trying to knock out some Stars and Stripes requirements, two of the girls have got a good start but my oldest just crossed over so she’s catching up.  We’ve finally completed Emergency Prepardeness and while it’s an AHG girl badge my friend and I turned some things into field trips.  One of the first things was to visit and find out what is required to be a professional rescuer (for lack of better wording as I don’t have the hand book out right now).

In the living area – where they can relax between calls – the red light on my head is the alarm to wake them up in case they are sleeping.

Inside the squad – that’s my little guy peeking around for a camera moment.

Climbing the training tower steps.

My son preparing to spray the hose. I was kindly offered the chance but having spent much time doing it in the Navy, I declined.

After that was done the only thing left to do was to get the girls certified in adult/child/infant First Aid/CPR/AED – this was more trouble that I had thought.  I also aimed to get my 10 year old certified along with the Pi/Pa girls – the first person didn’t think the girls could do it or “comprehend” the information.  So after talking with our Troop leader and the other mom we found someone else.  I’m happy to report that all four girls did comprehend all the information given and passed all the testing, including being able to give 30 chest compressions in under a minute!  I also went ahead and retrained so I’m now up to date as well.  We had our training over two days going from 9a.m. till about 12:30 to 1p.m.  The Pi/Pa girls have completed their Emergency Preparedness and in my opinion this completes the health and safety requirement that we are supposed to teach.

My daughter and her friend demonstrating how to check the scene, check the person and yelling for help, AED and first aid kit.

My other daughter practicing first aid on their other friend.

So an aside and mainly because no pictures are allowed inside the house, we took a field trip to the Pennsylvania House Museum.  It’s been renovated and is now run by the Lagonda Chapter of the DAR (I hope to join one day) – it was many things over the course of the years but it’s heyday was during the National Road as people moved west to Ohio and further (it’s weird to think of Ohio as the ‘west’).  Two of our three tour guides were homeschool graduates themselves and also members of the DAR, they were very knowledgeable about the house, which was great.

My three in front of part of the house – it’s HUGE.

Okay, well that is it for now.  I have some more reading to do to bring you more quality book reviews (I’ll also be having a DVD review and giveaway soon) but I’ll have some more posts like when my daughter’s pen pal’s family visited us from Georgia and our trip to the Zoo.  Thank you for visiting and remember I love comments and will try to respond to each one!

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Autumn Fun

I realized I missed sharing some pictures and I wanted to share some from a Boy Scout event and also Trick or Treat.  I know some of my readers may not do either, and that is fine, however we do and that is all there is to say on the matter for now.  Our American Heritage Girls had a harvest party with some games and the girls and a couple siblings came along and dressed up and participated as well.  No pictures though, sorry.  Next year the Pioneer/Patriot girls will be in charge of planning things.

My son joined Cub Scouts in September, we were trying to hold out for Trail Life, but seeing as we waited years for American Heritage Girls to come close enough to us we decided to go ahead, bite the bullet and join Cub Scouts.  Our son has even began his God and Me classes which when done, he will receive a special award that he can wear on his uniform – it takes 5 weeks to earn, an hour a week in a class with some other children and then time at home.  My middle daughter has began her God and Family class as well and is a 6 week class and my oldest will be doing her God and Church work with my husband and I at home and hers takes 6 months.

On November 18 my husband and I took the children to the Boy Scouts Spook-O-Ree which had a few games, archery, “haunted trail”, and sling shots.  It wasn’t what we thought, and honestly I would like to have $3 of my $6 back because I don’t think it was worth the extra $3 plus more for extra tickets, but I would have gladly paid $3 for the patch each child received.  I digress – the children had fun even though it was cold and started raining and we couldn’t do the hay/wagon ride because the trailer broke.  I remember the years my brothers did this and comparing the two makes me long for the old Spook-O-Rees.

My son with his eye protection on getting shown how to do the sling shots. At first he had it turned the wrong way and he had to walk around with a red mark under his eye

Aiming his sling shot loaded with dog kibble at his carved pumpkin.

He built and designed his own scare crow. The girls really didn’t participate in much so no pictures of them, sorry.

The following weekend was Trick-or-Treat for our area, thankfully it’s not actually done on “halloween” my oldest decided to stay home and pass out candy as we’ve never been able to do that as our old neighborhood never had children so it was a treat to be able to pass out this year.  My mom and I took the other two around – we were out only for about 30 minutes and they were done.

A modern “Little Red”, Cleopatra and a Champion City Kings ball player. All from items grabbed from thrift stores or already on hand!

Also of mention was their joint birthday party – they’d all already had their birthdays for the year and we promised them last year they could have a joint party but with the oldest surgery, hubby’s health issues, and then moving it didn’t happen.  So the children had a birthday party on October 24th and each were allowed to have 1 friend stay the night.  It went much better than I had anticipated and all the children had fun – with some Doctor Who inspired games and cake and then the sleep over began with several Doctor Who episodes.

Our Police Box/T.A.R.D.I.S Doctor Who cake made by a wonderful friend. White cake for hubby and egg free for me!

If you are looking for a wonderful lady who makes great cakes, cookies, cupcakes, candies and other goodies then please check out Marianne’s Kitchen.  I cannot tell you how great her treats are and her icing is delicious – she beats out another bakery here anytime!

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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To everything there is a season……..

This is my season to be very busy – I’m not complaining mind you, I don’t mind being busy, beats sitting around and listening to the children fight or eating out of pure boredom – but I do have days where I’d just like to sit at home, stay in my PJs, ignore the phone and just veg out.  I wrote about our trip to the American Girl store on October 6th the following week we took a field trip a television station (no pictures, unfortunately).  My daughter, who is 10, had to visit a television station for one of her Let’s Talk badge requirements for American Heritage Girls and what better way than to turn it into a field trip for several homeschool families.

The following week on Monday we had another field trip (one I didn’t have to plan) to a ministry called Bearing Precious Seeds.  I wish they were closer as it’s a great ministry, and are supported from donations from churches allowing them to print Bibles to send overseas.  You can find them on Facebook and Twitter as well.

One of the machines that prints and uses HUGE rolls of paper. My son was excited to see all the paper.

Another large machine that printed on huge sheets of paper.

Burmese Bibles.

If I remember correctly these were the Russian ones.

The original printing press – this was in a closet in a church and was where it all began – the story is on their website. I can’t imagine printing so many Bibles in different languages on this old style press in a closet!

A fellow mom kindly took a family picture – hubby doesn’t get much time to go on field trips with us so it is a valued picture. I’m glad he went as it was a long drive.

We had another ‘field trip’ that same week as well to a fire station, this time for a friend’s and I daughters who are Pi/Pas in AHG.  I’ll write about that another day.  As I said it’s been busy – that same week we also began piano lessons for our 10 and 8 year old daughter and son.  That is of course on top of the dance, martial arts, cub scouts, AHG and school!  WHEW!

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Belated Birthday Celebration

My middle daughter turned 10 last month, I can’t believe I only have one more child in single digits!  Seems crazy.  Anyway, my mom had to wait till the following week to celebrate with us so on October 6th she, the girls and I went to the American Girl store that opened last year.  I let our son spend some time with some friends of ours for our girls day out.  Oh, how I’ve always wanted an American Girl doll.  I never got one but my girls have 7 between them and two bitty babies.  I know there is much controversy surrounding AG but for us they are well made dolls and Grandma gives them as gifts – if you don’t agree that is fine.

After arriving our first stop was to get some hair fixed and some earrings done – so the girls had to pick the doll they wanted to have done.  The oldest chose to have Kaya’s hair brushed out and re-done in the original style, as she’s a historical doll.  We also found out why Kaya is not smiling like the rest of the dolls.  AG actually researched the Nez Perce tribe who agreed to let AG use their likeness and their dress as long as they agreed to make sure the doll isn’t smiling – smiling in their tribe is a sign of aggression.  This was a cool fact for me, as I’m a history buff but also neat for the oldest since she’s had Kaya for awhile, I tried to convince her to get her a new original outfit as the one she came in has fallen apart due to play and being in storage.

My mom is in the back and then the girls. Kaya is getting brushed and braided and Marie Grace is getting a new do as well. Since the store wasn’t busy they also did a brush out and put a ribbon in the oldest daughter’s other doll for no charge.

Isn’t this the coolest thing? It’s a doll hanger which is in the bathroom – you put the doll’s underarms over those hook things and she hangs there. No putting your $100 doll on the floor!

The birthday girl received an Isabelle doll – which is the Girl of the Year – and she’s also a dancer so of course both girls gravitate to her.  Unfortunately, none of their clothing fits my girls, which my oldest wants to remedy and actually wrote a letter asking AG to please make larger sizes.

Middle child posing with an Isabelle stand up and her Marie Grace doll.

My daughter had brought Kit’s purse for her other doll that had a small pen in it and she realized at some point she had dropped it.  We looked around on the floor and couldn’t find it so I told her I’d check at the desk – she didn’t think it would actually turn up or that anyone would notice it – but when I asked the clerk was like “we just found it and put it in the back, let me get it!” so this itty-bitty little pen was found and we were so happy.  After two hours in the store it was time for lunch……at the Cheesecake Factory.

The girls with two of their dolls – Kaya opted to stay in the car.

My mom and I ordered the Hibachi Steak – this was delicious and I really enjoyed the wasabi mashed potatoes (I need to find a cheat recipe for the whole meal), the oldest ordered a personal pepperoni pizza and salad while the birthday girl ordered macaroni and cheese – she was thrilled that they offered her more grated cheese.  My mom allowed us to order cheesecake – the three of them enjoyed a piece each and we ordered one to take home to my son – however I was excluded because they all had eggs in them.  Overall though it was a great lunch even if I didn’t get to eat any of the famous cheese cake.

The dolls are ready to eat!

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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