What do you expect from a family with a photographer wife! The Pollock’s have had quite an adventuresome year. Too many things have happened to simply express them in words. Our words are growing more and more insufficient to tell the tale that Jesus Christ is writing on our lives. The pictures capture only what is happening on the outside, while many more good things are happening on the inside, in the hidden parts of our hearts known only to God and those whom we share life with on a daily and weekly basis. We hope you enjoy this brief tour through the external happenings of our life:
Take a look at this picture.. now think of my wife. Yep! These guys are crazy, but we love them, every last one of them.
The boys of course are growing, enjoying things like:
Building a snowman
Working with Papa in the shop.
Doing crafts with Grandma
“Helping” mommy in the kitchen (that machine was not supposed to be opened!)
Preparing to take on the evil of the world.
Learning to build.
And of course be read to. This is Lisa Passero surrounded by our boys and her family – pictured here: Araya, Johanna, Caleb, Steven – Araya and Caleb were adopted from Liberia this last year)
All sorts of things are growing around here.. especially teeth!
To start the year off, Mimi, Papa, Scott and Julie came for a visit!
Isaac turned 6 in January (now he’s almost 7)
Simon turned one!
And Amy started homeschooling this year.. I don’t think it’s had any effect upon her and the children!? What do you think?
Homeschooling has been great and takes on many forms.
This year Isaac got his first real mountain bike.
Micah started saving for college.
And Isaac is now tuning into quite a reader.
February took us on a trip to the wild north of New Hampshire to visit Grampy and Ellin
Simon was crowned King
We saw a dog sled race
And Grampy snapped our picture.
The kids enjoyed the enormous amount of snow that falls in the White Mountains
March brought the first trip to Europe for the year. Daddy went to England to attend a conference with the company that purchased his business.
This trip didn’t afford much time for site seeing, but I got to see a bit of the English countryside.
With four boys, winter is always a long event.. everyone is eager to get out in the spring. Here are the boys getting the mud sprayed off of them (Oh! how many times did we do this). The funny part is that this was supposed to be a punishment (getting sprayed off with the hose) and they ended up loving it!!
This year we bought a used canoe. Here we are taking it on its maiden voyage.
Finally summer came and it was sprinkler time!!! This is Ava Wender showing lots of enthusiasm in our sprinkler.
Caleb in goggles
Finally got the bathroom remodeled with a bigger sink.
Micah started potty training
And Simon was making tracks
In the Summer Grandma and Jim came for a visit.
And of course summer means everyone’s favorite: Ice Cream!
Isaac is taking on more and more responsibility. This year he started mowing (with a little help getting the mower started from Daddy)
And in July, Grampy, Todd and Emily came for a visit and we went to Toronto to the CN Tower and Red Sox / Blue Jays game.
Here’s a view of the field from the tower. Sox lost! 🙁
Summer means great times gathering at the Mumau’s farm to meet with the church. Here are a lot of us just hanging out on the porch.
Isaac likes to go fishing in their pond.
Here’s Amy’s bike that she pulled out of the trash. Some scrubbing, some new wheels and a seat and she was ready to go!
Micah took us on a ride through the Erie Canal where we learned its history.
Headed into the Locks
And we got new neighbors.. the Doolittles. Here we are with them at a Redwings game.
September took us to a vacation home on Cape Cod to visit with Grandma, Jim, Todd, Emily, Emily’s parents, Uncle Dave, Aunt Mary and Aunt Barbara. It was good to see those we hadn’t seen in so long and enjoy the seashore with the family.
We toured the lighthouses
But the boys didn’t always get it.
Here’s their crazy Aunty Em! 🙂
Isaac and Caleb took the canoe for a spin all by themselves. (Daddy was close by in case of an emergency)
Lots of family love playing mini golf!
And walks on the beach
And the occasional family photo
Part of the homeschooling lesson was to have an archaeological dig. Here are the boy’s excavating our garden bed.
A walk with the family in Highland Park
Here’s a real steam powered saw mill. Not OHSA approved 🙂
Many of you know that work with my company took us to Europe for 5 weeks this past fall. The boys and Amy were stationed in England while I traveled to Germany and France. It was an amazing trip, the rest of pictures try to summarize just a bit of what we experienced there.
This trip was the first time on an airplane for all the boys. They were very excited about it and enjoyed the flight. They loved the in-flight consoles on the back of the seat. Isaac got a little air sick before we landed in London, and we almost missed our flight in the morning… other than that it went off without a hitch :) Note.. when traveling with 4 children, arrive earlier at the airport than usual 🙂
Soon we were in the air and flying over the same place where we were staying a couple of weeks earlier (look, it’s Cape Cod)
Our new home for 5 weeks.
The local town of Newbury was filled with all sort of interesting history and architecture.
Packet boats for rent that can be used on England’s extensive canal network.
This is a canal bridge that swings to one side.
One of the best parts of where we lived in Newbury is that we had to walk everywhere. Shopping was just a 5 minute walk a way. Even better was the ruined castle called Donnington Castle that I think we visited a grand total of 5 times. It was just a mile walk up the road and offered a great place to visit in the evening.
Walking the walls at Donnington Castle
Horses were friendly and along the way to Donnington Castle
Traveling in England we got used to taking the train. It was our primary means of transportation and it took us all over the country.
Thankfully, when it came to sight seeing we had an excellent navigator.
Big Ben and Parliament
Chasing the pigeons was probably the boys favorite thing that day.
Of course Simon had to get in on the action!
I’m just thankful that I didn’t have to fish them out of the fountain.
London pedestrian bridge over the Thames River
The London Eye
Day 2 in London took us to the Tower of London.
We found this guy crawling around inside.
Tower Bridge, outside the Tower of London (this is not London Bridge)
Inside the British Museum
Lots of exhibits to reinforce what Amy is studying with the kids (Ancient civilizations)
And of course we didn’t always follow the rules.
Everything wasn’t always smiles and laughter.. sometimes people just got tired and that was enough.
After a couple of days in London we were headed off to the country side. Driving in England.. yup on the wrong side of the road. Apart from one incident where I looked in the wrong direction, the Lord gave us a lot of grace while driving and we enjoyed our time in the car.
Our tour of the English countryside started in Brighton
This is a pleasure palace in Brighton where the royalty used to vacation.
The boys enjoying the rides.
The best part of this day was a walk on the Southdowns way. It took us through pastures and to some spectacular landscape.
A view of the “Seven Sisters” These cliffs are made from chalk and it is absolutely everywhere. The boys wanted to take it all home to draw on the sidewalk.
Writing our name in chalk
By the time we got to the top I think we wish that we could fly down!
The boys of course had to take some time to throw some rocks into the ocean.
Micah’s feet got tired a lot 🙂
Day 2 on the country side took us to the ever famous hanging stones – Stone Henge means “hanging stones”.
And to some beautiful English country side.
Amy really liked the sheep.
And the very narrow roads!
Day 3 on the country side took us to Bath and Cheddar Gorge.
Side note to those of you traveling in Europe on Sundays. If you go looking for a bathroom you might find it as follows:
The street musicians were excellent.
This was warm water that was flowing into the ancient roman bath.
You don’t see many of these in England. It was so unusual we had to take a picture.
Cheddar Gorge – lots of rock climbing activity and the home of cheddar cheese.
The cheese was stored in the caves at the base of the gorge.
Gates like these were everywhere and let the people through but kept the animals (like Micah) penned in.
Of course there was always time for hanging around.
A trip to Portsmouth
The highlight was the fully restored HMS Victory which was Lord Nelson’s flag ship in the Battle of Trafalgar.
Micah was quite smitten with the fact that Lord Nelson was shot. You can ask him about it.
Spinnaker tower in Portsmouth offered a view of the harbor.
Sleepy looking Simon.. the day is getting long.
Too long for some.
While Daddy was traveling Rachel Mumau came to stay with Amy and the boys. They went to lots of playgrounds.
And around to some shops in the country side.
The Lord gave us a great connection with a house church while we were visiting in England. The first week we went to meet with them they were meeting a five minutes walk from where we were staying!
Amy and Rachel stumbled upon a local children’s Bible program as well while we were there.
And they hung around on the playground.. did I mention that already.
Amy got to visit Windsor castle with Rachel and the boys.
But Simon spent most of the time on the phone (just kidding, this is an audio tour)
Rachel had her birthday when she was with us.
While the kids and Amy enjoyed England I traveled in Germany and to Paris.
My hotel in Germany was right outside the old German town of Steinheim
While Rachel was visiting, she helped usher the family to Paris for a weekend visit.
Taking in some French cuisine.
Playgrounds abounded in Paris, this one is right outside of Notre Dame.
Simon was fascinated.
Seine River and the infamous Concierge where prisoners were held before being executed during the reign of terror (French Revolution)
Walking on water is easy when you control the camera angles.
Yes, he would have jumped right in if I let him.
For the most part this place was for the birds.
Lunch time in a park in Paris.
And on to the Eiffel tower.
Simon was a hit wherever we went. He loved to make friends.
Caleb loved to climb.
Simon making more friends in the park by the Eiffel tower.
Is it me, or are the kids starting to look more intelligent.
The Eiffel tower at night was an amazing site.
And the bread.. so good!
Street side cafes everywhere.
And subway mechanisms that try to eat you for lunch.
Day 2 in Paris included a trip to Versailles
And of course.. Micah’s feet got tired again.
Pony rides at Versailles
After coming home from Paris we were on the final stretch. I spent a couple days in the Netherlands for the EECI 2009 conference.
Windmill in Leiden, Netherlands
Right before we left we had chance to visit Oxford. This is Christ Church College.
The museums here were amazing.
And perfect for kids
There was plenty to touch.. and the best part: is was OK.
With Micah.. there’s always time for a granola bar.
Coming home was a welcome change. After 5 weeks away form our home, our church and our friends, we were quite ready to come home and reconnect. The trip was a lot of work. Some people might say we were crazy to take four kids under 7 and a pregnant wife to Europe for 5 weeks, but we thoroughly enjoyed it – difficulties and all. Speaking of pregnant wife.. did you know we’re having boy number 5!
Coming home also meant settling in to some Brithdays. Caleb turned 5.
And Mimi and Papa couldn’t wait to see us again, so they came for a visit.
This year Chris has started to read the classics. Initially he started to get prepped for homeschooling, but he found that he has enjoyed it immensely. This year he read: Tale of Two Cities, The Three Musketeers, My Bondage and My Freedom, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Hard Times, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Moon is Down, The Scarlet Letter, Of Mice and Men, Brave New World, 1984, Animal Farm, Kidnapped, Frankenstein, The Grapes of Wrath, Fahrenheit 451, Around the World in Eighty Days, Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Moby Dick (ok.. he only read 3/4 of Moby Dick) and now he is in the middle of The Jungle (not exactly reading to promote Christmas cheer)
Micah turned 3 this year.. he wanted snow and he got it. It snowed the very morning of his birthday. He even got some snowmen on his cake.
The end of the year is nearly hear. The boys are playing and enjoying their time indoors and out.
And just generally hanging around.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures, we certainly enjoyed making them. We are thankful to the Lord for all that he has done this year and hope that you will join us in giving thanks to God for the best gift of all: Jesus. Without him, everything that you see above is worthless and without meaning. But with Him, our hearts can overflow with thanksgiving.
The happiest of Christmases to all of you,
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