Monday, October 27, 2008

Nathaniel's fieldtrip to YorkTown Center

Today I got to company Nathaniel's class on their field trip to Yorktown Center (which is normally not a far drive..until you are driving there on a school bus filled with two second grade classes) It was Mine and Nathaniel's 1st time to visit the farm, where you get to experience the life of a Colonial family. I truly believe that if you are a parent of children who "whines" and "cries" and "pouts" and become upset when you ask them to take out the trash or put there laundry away...or any chore in general...allow them to experience Colonial Life! We got to see how their houses were small and mattresses on the floor for children, kitchens were not in the house but behind, they used open fire on the floor to cook, they raise chickens and turkeys and grew crops for food, they had to grind corn to make flour and milk cows to get milk and a don't have time to explain how they get thread to make things! It was very cool though...we got to pick green beans, help get the dirt ready for planting crops, grind corn and make cornbread pancakes( we had to grate sugar from cane and cinnamon from sticks) and we got to pick cotton from the bush...did you know when you pick cotton it has seeds in the middle of it that has to picked and then resown to produce new cotton bushes??? I know we experienced so much more..but it has passed my mind at this moment... Man...the things we take for granted today with microwaves, cars, food already in our markets, clothes beautifully hung in the malls...and we still manage to find something to complain about!

YorkTown center

Pearl's Pumpkin Patch - Gabe's Field Trip

Lessons form the Pumkin Patch

Friday was Gabriel's class field trip to the pumpkin patch. God bless the teacher and 2 aides that take 6 autistic kids out on field trips! They amaze me! I was blessed to be able to come along on the field trip and then spend the day in his classroom. God has answered prayers for Gabriel and his school...he goes to the Autism Center in Newport News (worth the 45 minute drive) and they have adapted a education system that works just for him..his own individual plan! So before they loaded up in the bus Ms. Carol explains to the kids that they are going to the pumpkin patch...she has been preparing them all week...and she gives each of them 5 one dollar bills to purchase their own pumpkin ( again God Bless the women who trust these children to put money in their pockets and not loose it or eat it) So they get to the pumpkin patch and again Ms. Carol explains to the kids they are to pick out only 1 pumpkin and can only spend $5.00...they all are excited besides Gabriel who is a bit nervous and just stands there...each of the kids picks the biggest pumpkin they can find for $5.00...except for Gabriel who I hand him a cute small pumpkin, that i think would be easy for him to carry ( always a mom) and through the entire pumpkin patch he keeps setting it back down and we keep picking it up and telling him.. HE WANTS TO BUY A PUMPKIN :) (Praise the Lord that it was a small pumpkin patch) so they all have their pumpkin..most they can't barely carry... cutest thing I have seen! So no wit is time to have them go to the cashier and each personally pay for their pumpkins....did I mention that it was a public pumpkin patch..not closed down for our special trip??? So recap...6 special needs kids all in line to individually pay for their own pumpkins...and 2 other people in line behind them to purchase you know how long it takes for them to put down their pumpkins and then dig into their pockets for their money and then count out their money to purchase a pumpkin??? And their are 6 to do this??? I say this because I want you to know that their are people who are gifted form God ( i believe only God can do this) with patience, self- control, humility, kindness, and love for these children that they don't care who is waiting behind them??? They don't rush the kids and say never mind...let me help you....they don't say... Oh just give it to me to do! They aren't rushed by the snickering behind...or the eyes watching...they give each child as long as it takes to pick out the most perfect pumpkin in all the patch and then to take it to the cashier and pay for it them selves..Oh I forgot and they don't allow them to just grab the money out of their pockets and hand it to the cashier...they have them count it out one dollar at a time and hand each dollar to her until they have given enough to purchase their pumpkin.....The 6th kids pays and we are done! No! Ms. Carol is like I am and like to capture every moment and special thing on not only has she been snapping pictures throughout the is now time to pose each kid with their pumpkins and teacher and 2 aides in a perfect background place for a class photo! Now it is time to load the pumpkins int he van...simple enough...but you have not gone to the pumpkin patch with 6 autistic will they ever know whose is after several reassuring pep talks from Ms. Carol they all release their pumpkins to be put into the back of the van and load up! Now back at the school they carry their pumpkins into the school wearing the biggest proud smiles i have seen in a long time and as they walk past the office everyone makes a big deal about their successful outing and the great job biggest the best pumpkins they have ever seen...they all sit and Ms. Carol plug her camera into the projector and the kids watch their outing and they write out their experiences... she has made a whole story board out of pictures for Gabriel to Velcro to a bulletin board to put in order what he did first next and last and then a happy card and a lousy card so he can express if it was a happy experience or a lousy experience ( this is because he doesn't have great communication to retell all that happened) I was blown away...and a bit convicted that I stand way to in the way of Gabriel being a independent person and learning and growing and I too often try to do it for him because I am too embarrassed and not brave enough to face the looks and comments from the rest of the world! I was truly humbled through this trip to the pumpkin patch! On Halloween Day they will carve their pumpkins at school and bob for apples and make caramel apples! Once a again I ask you to pray for these amazing teachers and aides who have the patience and love to do this with grace and joy!

PRM Banquet

OK So every time I get an email or call form family or Friends in California they always ask... "So what have you and the Hallmans being doing? Have you guys been having fun?" And so I have to burst there bubbles and their thoughts that we moved to Virginia to hang out and have fun with Tom and Jeanne! I say...we haven't done meetings, church services, church bulletins, organizing the Children's Ministry Rooms, VBS, Outreaches in the community! SO for all of you who are disappointed to hear that it isn't a big Party in Virginia! After 7 months of being here...John and I and Tom and Jeanne( along with our friend the Peds!) finally got to get dressed up and hang out! :) We were invited to Peninsula Rescue Mission Banquet was lots of fun...I had not heard of the PRM ministry before and was blessed to see how they transform and change the minds of so many men who have fallen prey to the world...and now are making "Eternal Decisions" and seeking to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord! So after the dinner was over...we decided to seize the evening and hang out more so we hit the local restaurant and had some nachos!!! It was so nice! You know we stay so busy with church things and being the "Rev" and Ms Jeanne and John and Ms. Heidi ...that it was nice to be "just" friends and hang out!

PRM Banquet

Things that make you go HMMM...

Sometimes you just stumble upon something that just hits you as funny and makes you go Hmmm...! This to me was funny...It was Saturday and I was doing my usual cleaning and so I turned on Spiderman to keep Gabriel's attention for a minute so i could switch laundry...when I came back up and around the corner..I could only see Gabe and the back of his beanie watching television...I though it was funny because he wasn't wearing one when I went down the stairs...and so when I came around to take a picture of him( I know only funny to the one who is his mom) I noticed that he was wearing it covering one eye! It just made me laugh! I love this picture because..if you look at it good...he is looking right at me! I don't see that very often :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Destinee's 1st Junior High Dance

Friday night was an exciting night! Destinee went to her first Junior High School Dance. "WHAT"....where does the time go? Seems like just yesterday she was sitting in front of TV rockin' out to Barney! Anyways...She looked adorable...and she had a great time..she met some friends there and they ate pizza and danced, played dance dance revolution... :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Making Milk ;)

I don't know about you all...but it seems to me like groceries are becoming so expensive...maybe I am just becoming old and thrifty...maybe I am turning into John's favorite phrase "Cheapest of Cheap!" Anyways, because we have Gabriel on a special diet that really helps him with his behaviors and with a lot of the Autism side effects...we do not give him dairy products...but with John not working full time right now...$5 for half a gallon of rice milk just doesn't fit into the budget.
So what did we ever do with out computers and Internet?? I got online and found a recipe to make rice milk at home....I am now convinced we are truly being ripped off at the supermarket!!! It was so simple and took no effort at all and very few ingredients... 1 cup dry white rice, 4 cups of water and sugar and vanilla if you wish to sweeten it a bit!
It actually turned out :) I was so excited!!!
Destinee and I vowed NEVER to buy Rice Milk in a grocery store again!! hahahahaha
Praise the Lord...Gabriel didn't noticed it was home-made...he drank it up!!!
I think I will start scouting out yard sells for a bread machine....another way for the grocery stores to rip you off!!! Especially when you are buying gluten free/ milk free bread! :)

"I Look Cool"

It is really cute...Gabriel often gets stuck on a certain phrase...right now it is "I look cool" which he says every time you get him dressed or after a bath...this day he really did look COOL! :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Test Me

Test Me, Lord, and give me strength to meet each test
unflinching, unafraid;
not striving nervously to do my best,
not self-assured, or careless
as is jest,
but with your aid.
Purge me, Lord, and give me grace to
bear the heat
of cleansing flame;
not bitter at my lowly lot, but mete
to bear my share of suffering
and keep sweet,
in Jesus' name.
Ruth Bell Graham

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nathaniel cooks :)

You know those times that your kids do something and all you want to do is laugh but they are crying and you really need to console them? Well this was the time. Nathaniel attempted to make Cup of Noodles last night...needless to say he forgot to take the plastic off and add water.
So the next thing you know our whole kitchen was filled with this terrible smoke and awful smell ( it still smells today) and Junior runs and turns the microwave off and after we all grab towels and fan the smoke detector so it doesn't go off and wake up Gabriel, and we open all the windows and wait for all the smoke to leave the microwave...this is what was left of his soup! Hahahahahahaahhahahhahaa :) Maybe next time he should ask for help?

Destinee meets Brit Nicole

Pastor Tom and I took some of the youth kids out to see Brit Nicole perform. It was so pretty it was out at this State Park and we put our lawn chairs inthe grass thatover looked this lake... Destinee loves Brit Nicole and so this was lots of fun for her...they got to sit and stand right up front row. After the concert they got to get her autograph and take photo with her. Brit Nicole is the one down in front wearing all black giving the peace sign. Destinee is standing right behind her next to Alex wearing the pink sweater. Brit Nicole did an awesome job..she gave a great performance and really ministered to the young girls!
Here is Brit Nicole signing Detinee's Poster :)
Destinee and the youth girls dancing as Brit performed...Check out all their smiles :)

Pucker up & Blow!

So our new funny thing to tell Junior now is "Pucker up and Blow" then we all just laugh! Junior is on the band at his Middle School. He tried out and he will play the clarinet. He is so excited. Trying to figure out how it all goes together and get the reed in right but he is having lots of fun with it...starting to learn some notes. Pretty soon we will really have a full band! By the way don't you really want to come and stay longer Oma????

Little Dummer who could!

Spencer has made the school band! He will be playing the percussion and bells. He is so excited. This morning he got up and loaded it all up in his carrying case and looked so cute, but man that thing is big and heavy, even with wheels :)

As you cans ee he is very intent in learning and being a good percussion player. John and him will have lots of fun!

Apple Day 4 Nathaniel

I was able to go into Nathaniel's class on Friday morning for a few hours to help his Teacher, Mrs. Nilson, with some apple experiments. The kids had a blast. They made apple glasses, they were the cutest things ever, and then they all got to choose an apple and observe them and compare them with the other kids at their tables, and then we put the apples on a scale and they had to see how many little plastic teddy bears would it take to equal the weight of their apple, then they took apples and put them on this really cool little gadget and it spinned all the skin of the apples and so they would measure how long the peel was when it finally broke, and then we made apple pancakes. It was a fun day with apples.

Apple Day 4 Nathaniel

So funny :)

Thanks Alicia! I had so much fun on this JibJab website...I haven't laughed in so long! Hope you guys enjoy these as much as I did! Smile today and be Happy..that is my prayer for you today! Make sure to click on the buttton marked older posts to see the funny and cute videos.

Gabriel's Big Debate

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Boys are Movin!

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Destinee's Dream Comes True!

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