Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Halloween

Hello Family and Happy Halloween!

As I said in my original entry at the bottom of this page, the Bough Family now has it's own blog. For the sake of not repeating myself, I think this will be a great way to keep the family informed of our activities and it is really easy to do versus putting together a dotphoto album with picture labels. You will still get the dotphoto invitations which will contain ALL of our pictures and you can read through the blog and view our favorites.

The blog is organized with the most recent entry first so you will be reading in reverse chronological order. Have fun - WE SURE ARE!!

These pictures were taken over the last week and show everything that we have done in preparing for our big Halloween night. The first night was reserved for pumpkin carving. Tom and I fully prepared the kitchen to get slimmed since our kids, especially Rhea, love to make a mess. Much to our surprise, neither kids was interested in sticking their hand in the pumpkin. Tom, once again, was stuck with the dirty work since I strategically took on the photographer role. I did give them the opportunity to help me sort the seeds from the safety of a bowl the following day, and they showed minimal interest. Rhea sorted a few and Stephen didn't want to get his hands messy. Like everything else, Rhea decided to give a seed the taste test and looked at me as though she did something naughty. Much to both kid's surprise, I told them that it was OK. I don't think they would have attempted such an adventurous task if I would have told them to do it on the outset. I meant to look up on the Internet if raw pumpkin seed would case any ill harm, but the activity was too short-lived.

Everyone had their own pumpkin and told Daddy their desired expression to be carved. Stephen wanted a sad face and watch very intently during the carving process. As you can see, he was very proud of the finished product. He was determine to carry it outside all by himself, but quickly gave up. Maybe next year.

Rhea was very interested in the Sharpie Tom used to draw the faces on the pumpkins. We luckily convinced her that is was best for her to use a washable marker. You might see a black mark across the bridge of her nose and several marks on her arms. I have found out that washable marker ARE washable, but only over a period of time. Oh well, I at least already took their fall portraits without any scrapes, bruises, or black marker. I just looked at the picture again, and I guess this was taken before her marker bath.

We then took the pumpkins to find a home on the front porch. Tom had ordered a bail of hay when he ordered our mulch this year. It was originally meant for the dog pen, but I convinced him that it would be fun to lay it on our front side walk leading up to the door. He saw how excited I was about the idea knowing that he was going to be the one to pick it all up to take it to the backyard the day after Halloween. I am glad he loves me as much as he does :-) Stephen and I had fun throwing hay at one another and looked pretty shocked when I threw the first pile at him. He had a great time after I told him that it was OK to throw it back. Rhea wasn't really into the hay fight just thought is was weird and a bit uncivilized. I think our suburban neighbors probably think the same thing.

Trick-or-treating was a BLAST. Tom was able to come home by 4:30pm and the kids were ready to go. Stephen woke up from his nap around 4pm eager to get dressed in his fireman outfit. I had put together a Diego outfit for him out of odds and ends, but he insisted on being a fireman again this year. You will see that he had black shoes on in the first pictures, but changed into his white ones. He told me that he wanted to wear fireman boots and I convinced him that his black shoes would suit the role. He quickly took them off when we came back into the house after taking pictures when I realized that they didn't even come close to fitting his foot. I wasn't sure what to expect out of Rhea. The Pooh costume lives in the dress-up box and she has put it on many times only to quickly take it off. She really likes it, but never wants it on for too long. After I made sure Stephen was fully dressed and photographed, I went into Rhea's room with costume in hand. She immediately said "oooooo", like she knew what was going to happen. I gave her a break down on what was going to happen next- pictures, of course. She responded with her sweetest "ok". So far, so good. I then took her into the bathroom for her nose job. She thought it was really weird at first, but changed her tune once I told her that I was giving her a Pooh nose. She repeatedly said "help" meaning that she wanted to help color on her nose. You can't tell in the picture, but she actually has a sable colored nose instead of a black nose. I figured that no one would be able to tell the difference once it was dark. We then made it down the stairs and out the door with the costume still attached to her body. As you can see, she was very excited and showed no signs of distress. Tom came home during Rhea's photo shoot and after convincing Stephen that firemen where tennis shoes (the ones that actually fit), we were soon on our way down Lansdale Street. Since the mean age on our street is between 4 and 6, many people just leave a bucket of candy on the front door step. Stephen was a pro this year as he ran through everyones yard/landscaping while showing his sister "the ropes". He would even bring candy back to her if she was moving too slow or wanted a break in the stroller. It didn't take her too long to figure out what we were doing, but had the delima of getting more candy or eating what was in her bucket. More people were home as we went around the corner to Providence and I think the kids enjoyed knocking on doors. Stephen made a friend along the way and the two boys enjoy uprooting flower beds together as they ran to each door. I pretty much ran after Stephen while Tom carried Rhea since she didn't want to be in the stroller too long for fear of missing out on something. She insisted on walking most of the time no matter how tired her little legs were. I was about one driveway away from Stephen when I saw he and his friend stop cold in their tracks. They were on their way up to someones porch and almost stepped on a skeleton that was laid on the sidewalk. Once they realized that it wasn't moving, they kept going. I am not sure what they were thinking, but it was pretty funny. We looped back around to Hillsboro when we decided to start letting the kids know that it was time to start heading home. There was little resistance since they were very tired and knew that they would not only be rewarded with candy, but pizza and soda would also be waiting for them. The evening could not have gone any better with the exception of the usual night time sugar high meltdowns. I hope your Halloween was as wonderful as ours!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tom's Baptism

Yesterday was a very special day for our family. I will let Tom tell you more.........

I was having breakfast with one of the pastors from church, a few days before the baptism service. We were talking about all the amazing things God was doing in my life, how my faith, understanding of Scripture, marriage, parenting and career were being transformed. I was also expressing regret for being so slow to learn some of these lessons, and how I wished I could just release all my old patterns of foolish thinking and step into the blessings that God has placed right in front of me. To my surprise, Tim (my pastor) asked me if I wanted to get baptized this Sunday. A dozen Scriptures rushed into my head, about how Christ promised that we could die to the old ways of living and thinking, and rise to newness of life in him through baptism. I thought of all the times I had listened to pastors describe getting baptized as an adult, and how that always seemed like a nice thing for someone else. In what must have only been a few moments, but what seemed like echoes of eternity for me, I realized that I really did want, and even need, that moment of surrender. I don't think it was a coincidence that this breakfast took place only a few days before our monthly baptism service, and of course I "yes". Actually, I said something like, "no, I don't WANT to, but I need to". Actually, making this choice was a very important moment for me.I was baptized as a very young man, and although I knew what the symbol meant at the time when I chose it, this was much different. After spending so much time away from God in my twenties, I needed this ceremony to remind myself of how completely covered in His Grace I truly am. Since finding my way back to God 6 years ago, with a lot of help from Erica, it has been a slow climb to understanding His grace, acceptance, and unending, unconditional love.Erica encouraged me to try to explain to Stephen what was going to happen, and suggested I use the story of John the Baptist to do so. As I sat with him in his little bed thumbing through his children's Bible to find the story, I was deeply moved by the stories of Jesus healing with just a word. I remembered the Catholic prayer, "Lord, only say the word, and I will be healed". I remember praying that, "Yeah, God. That's what I need....just say the word, and heal up the broken-ness, heal up the anger and fear, heal up the things that keep me separate from you and separate from my family". We did find the story of John the Baptist, and Stephen really seemed to understand that I was getting baptized, just like Jesus. He understood that getting baptized meant that I was friends with Jesus, and I think that helped me understand it more, too.It was a pleasure to ask Robert Campbell, our small group leader, to baptize me. He and his wife Paulette have been good friends to Erica and I. I wanted Erica there, and she suggested we bring Stephen. I couldn't think of a better example to set for him. He was more interested in swimming in the water than anything else, but someday he will understand the spiritual significance of what happened.For me, I've been born again, raised to new life in Christ. My challenge is to stay connected to the Truth in prayer and through the Word enough to remember that all things are made new. Keep me in your prayers!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

October Messes

If there is one thing that we know how to do, it's making a huge mess. This month has been full of messes inspired by painting, noodle and rice art, apple pie, pumpkin sugar cookies, pumpkin painting and making pizza.

Our first art project of the year was intended to be floor painting, but quickly turned into body painting. After the paints dried, we decorated our masterpieces with noodles and rice; most of it actually ended up on the project.
Stephen's project began as a very controlled and organized work of art. He chose his own colors and was very neatly tending to his work. He enjoyed using both the brush and the mini-roller to create the desired effect. Rhea, on the other hand........................
.....has a different idea of "art". Her art project began by smearing all of the colors together that were given to her; unlike Stephen's very organized color palette. Some of that paint actually made it to the paper before she realized that there was a brush sitting there. She then proceeded to paint her hand with the brush while occasionally experimenting with painting the paper.
As you can guess, our morning ended with both kids needing a bath before nap time. Rhea is still small enough to fit in the bathroom sink. I wish I had pictures, but that would have been difficult.
The kids LOVE to cook! As you can see, the favorite ingredient of the month was flour. Just for the record, I did not put flour in their hair. They were 100% responsible for doing that to each other.


This was Mommy's first apple pie and it came out amazing if I do say so. I used the recipe out of the children's book "How to Make Apple Pie and See the World". It was a really cute book and I decided to try the recipe for fun. We used Blushing Golden apples that we picked ourselves along with a crust from scratch that the kids "made". I should say that Stephen did most of the work since Rhea was restricted to only flour. I did make the mistake of giving her the entire container of flour, but it was Tom's turn to clean the kitchen that night. I only give her 1/3 cup at a time now after this activity.


You can't tell by the end results, but both kids did the exact same activity. Stephen did a great job icing his cookies and really enjoyed making faces with the candy. Rhea figured out that the icing was butter based and would melt if you held it in your hand long enough. Note: always clean up icing BEFORE it dries. It was my turn to clean the kitchen this night.


OK, so how exactly did this happen. We made our own dough without the bread maker. I am not sure why I decided to do it that way, but we did. I am sure I had some educational reason. Anyway, you are supposed to let the dough sit for 30 minutes before rolling. It seemed like the kids had lost interest, so I set the dough in the kitchen and thought we would play out back for awhile. For some reason, Stephen was not interested in going outside, but Rhea came out while I sat on the glider to enjoy some fresh air. Remember that Stephen is still inside. I guess Rhea was wondering why he didn't come out and went in to check on him. Meanwhile, Mommy managed to daydream off somewhere, unaware of what the kids were doing. The last picture is what I walked in on when I went to see why they were being so quiet.

Pumpkin Paintings

Painting is always a big hit! In addition to the pumpkin that we carved, we also had several small pumpkins. I thought they would be done with this activity in a maximum of 10 minutes, but they spent an entire hour painting two pumpkins each. As always, there was body painting in the end and a beautifully painted floor

Rhea's Birthday

We just had an amazing weekend celebrating Rhea's birthday. Who says that your birthday can only be one day? Tom took the day off on Friday just to spend it with his little girl. Stephen and I went shopping last week and he couldn't wait to make the preparations for the big day. Rhea and Daddy went outside for the morning to shovel mulch, while Stephen and I decorated the dinning room in a sea of Nemo. Rhea worked very hard with her Daddy until she climbed into her stroller and asked for a snack and her favortie movie, Nemo. Meanwhile, after two hours of helping with decorations and wrapping presents, Stephen decided to go play with Daddy.

Stephen talked about Rhea's birthday all month, so he was very excited by the time he woke up Saturday morning. The only problem was that Stephen and Rhea don't have the same "style" of unwrapping packages. We spent the WHOLE morning watching Rhea unwrap her presents one by one since she was very careful to inspect each gift. If it would have been up to Stephen, all of the presents would have been opened in the first few minutes.

Beside loving Nemo, Rhea also loves her baby dolls. I had not planned on giving her our vintage doll furniture for another year, but she was letting me know that she was ready. Tom and Stephen sanded and stained my old doll cradle while I sewed new bedding to match the set that I made for her big girl bed. Tom and I then had a romantic night sanding, refinishing, and reapolstering the doll high chair that belonged to my sister, Carla. Both pieces turned out amazing! Rhea also recieved two doll strollers. I had intended on having two so we could have one upstairs and one downstairs. As it turns out, Stephen adopted one of the strollers for Mickey and both kids play "stroller derby" through the house.

Both kids were worn out by noon, but not too tired to make a birthday cake. Rhea held the mixer for the first time, and then continued to make her usual flour mess. The kids slept for about four hours after their busy morning, only to wake up ready to ice the cake they made. Stephen requested a blue piece and then an orange piece of cake. I guess he thought they would taste different, while Rhea didn't care much and just wanted more. I think everyone had a great time since they requested cake for breakfast Sunday morning. The best part of the day was remembering the birth of our little girl. It has been an incredible two years with her, and we thank God every day for bringing her into our lives.