Category: Family News

2007 Memorial Day Pig Roast

Big PigThis is the official invitation for the fifth annual Memorial Day Pig Roast at the home of Tom and Sarah Albrecht on May 28, 2007.

After going back and forth for a while, we decided to forgo doing an entire pig this year. We’ve found that our parties end up having a lot of kids who don’t really care for the barbecued pork, and a meal entirely made up of pork barbecue ends up with a lot of leftovers. So, while we will still be doing barbecued pork, we’re going to mix it up a bit with other forms of meat, including Italian pulled pork, hot dogs, sausages, and maybe some brisket and smoked turkey.

We plan on starting off around noon, and going into the evening. We’ll be serving food throughout the day, so come when you can, and don’t feel obliged to stay longer than you’re able. Please RSVP to us (phone call, email, whatever) so we can get an approximate head count and let us know if you’re interesting in helping supply food.

See you then!

New Email Address

Bad news. I got an email the other day from what used to by my Internet Service Provider, and is now simply my email service provider, Speakeasy. They were announcing that they were acquired by Best Buy. I hate Best Buy.

Therefore, I’m doing what I should have done earlier. I’ve decided to take my email fate into my own hands, and handle my own email hosting. Effective immediately, my new email address is talbrech@glamdring.org. My old Speakeasy address should work for a while, and I’ll be checking it occasionally as I make the transition, but please update your address books accordingly.

Family Trip to Japan

HokusaiLooks like my last trip to Japan is going to be a big one. I took a job offer on a different program, so I won’t be working the international programs for much longer. Our big upgrade that’s been going on for the last few months is reaching its climax with a three week upgrade that starts this weekend.

Since it doesn’t look like we’ll be relocating any time soon, I’ve decided to use my airline miles to purchase tickets for the whole family to come out. Instead of staying in a hotel, I got a lease on a pretty big (for Tōkyō standards) two bedroom apartment at the Oakwood Residence Akasaka, which is right across the street from where some of my coworkers are staying, and right down the street from the rest of them.

It’s been a pretty hectic week getting ready, and trying to figure out what we need for a three week trip to Japan. I’m finding that my last few years of travel has only partly prepared me for this sort of adventure. I’m interesting to find out whether the attraction that I have to the country is based on leaving my kids behind when I go. Hopefully, the country will be just as exciting with my family as it is without them.

Please keep us in your prayers, as this trip has potential for great excitement and learning, but also for anger and frustration. Our photo album for the trip has been created, and can be found at http://www.glamdring.org/gallery/f/japan2007. There’s nothing in it yet, but keep watching our blog for updates.

Cheeseburger Champion

cheeburgerMy dearest Tabitha has reached another milestone in her life. It’s been a tradition, on the nights before I travel, that we take the family out to dinner. I asked the kids what they wanted, and all of them wanted to go get cheeseburgers.

In Frazier, PA, there is a Cheeburger, Cheeburger restaurant. As you walk in the door, they have a corkboard with pictures of adults who have eaten a one-pound burger, and kids who have eaten a half-pound burger. Tabitha had tried about a year ago to eat the half-pounder to get on the wall, but she gave up before she was finished. This time, though, she was determined.

I don’t know if she’ll ever win a competitive eating competition, because she doesn’t eat quickly. She just doesn’t stop. She would patiently take a few bites of her hamburger, then reach for her root beer and take a few sips. The rest of the kids lost interest in the food after a while, but Tabitha just kept slowly eating. At home, she’s the last person to leave the table, asking for seconds and thirds. In this case, we had all finished eating, and we started to watch Tabitha reach the end.

As she was eating her last bites, she realized that she was going to finish the burger, and started to ham it up a bit. She held up the last bite for me, Sarah, and the rest of the restaurant to see, before she put it mouth and smiled.

The waitress was amazed, and one of the other workers at the restaurant brought out a large hamburger-shaped pillow and a digital camera. He announced Tabitha’s achievement to the entire restaurant, including her age, and took her pictures. A few minutes later, he came out with two hard copies, both of which Tabitha wrote her name on. One pictures ended up on the wall, and the other we brought home with us.

Sonya Thomas… you’d better watch your back.

Milestones

micah.jpgDespite the illness over here (this past week, THE FIVE had chest colds, four of them along with ear infections), there have been some cool milestones:

  • Thomas pulled out his first baby tooth (got it on video!)
  • Aiden learned to put together jigsaw puzzles (thanks to Aunt Lynn!) and is very talented in this area
  • Micah learned to touch his tongue to his nose and can do it on demand (and has attained Hero Status)
  • Leah, in defiance of gravity, rolled over this morning! There IS hope!

And Tab? She’s going on 40. She completely orchestrated the bringing in-and-putting-away of groceries last night – every item exactly where it needed to go. I was very impressed. I was talking to Grandma Becky at the time, and we were getting a kick outta Tab saying, “Hurry up, BOYS! That goes in the pantry!” She has also been volunteering to help change the babies. And, she’s been making me work out with her: “This is so relaxing, isn’t it mom? We should do this every day.” Really. Who could ask for anything more?

What did YOU have for dinner last night?

11879Every now and then, Tom arranges a date night with a surprise destination. Last night’s date almost didn’t happen – Tom got stuck in traffic and we’d miss the beginning of the dinner if he had to come home first to get me. Tom called and said, “Can you get a ride to dinner and I can meet you there?”

And I said, “Um, the destination was a surprise – I have no idea where we are having dinner.”

He laughed. “In Downingtown. It’s at the Victory.” Sweet. Just ten minutes away. His mom, who already had four of our children, picked me up and dropped me off at the Victory with Leah.

The food and beer combinations were out of this world.

After dinner, the Victory staff came out and sang to us and Santa gave each guest a large bottle of Golden Monkey.

Bill Covaleski, who is the Brewmaster and President of Victory, ate with the guests and he presented me with a sample of Scarlet Fire Rauchbier. Bill wondered what I thought of the taste. I liked it. It reminded me of Smoked Gouda cheese.

Here is the menu:

FAMILY STYLE HOLIDAY BEER DINNER
- TOUR OF THE WORLD -

DATE: December 19, 2006
TIME: 6PM
LOCATION: Victory Brewing Co. – 420 Acorn Lane, Downingtown, PA

First Course
Scandinavian meatballs in a white sauce with fresh parsley
Prima Pils

Second Course
Black mole with smoked turkey and pascilla chilis
Victory Festbier

Third Course
Lammkrone – Crown Rack of Lamb with ginger pear stuffing
Hop Devil IPA

Fourth Course
Cornish Game hens with cranberry relish, walnut dressing, sweet potatoes and green beans
Storm King Stout

Fifth Course
Old Horizontal Holiday Cake
Old Horizontal Barley Wine

Happy Birth Day Leah!

IMG_2881.jpgI’m sure most of you know already, but since I’ve been lax keeping the website up-to-date, here’s my “We had a baby!” post. Leah Grace Albrecht was born on Wednesday, September 20, at 2:35am. She was 7lb 13oz, and mother and baby are doing well.

We also got the pictures online for everyone to appreciate. Thanks to the friends and family for the support and meals.

The Eye of a Five-year-old

img_1310I took the day off of work and took the family to the zoo yesterday. As I was getting my camera stuff together, I remembered that we still had our old A300 digital camera. So, for fun, I put new batteries in the camera, cleared out the little 32mb memory card, and gave Thomas a quick lesson on how to use it. It’s not the best camera in the world, but for his purposes, it worked out well.

I was very suprised at some of the pictures he took. While the skill in even holding the camera level is obviously lacking, his eye for composition is definately there. I turned and saw him eyeing this picture for a while, and it came out really well. It’s also interesting to see what he finds worthy of a picture.

Anyway, take a flip through the photo album I put together for him, and see if you agree that I have a budding photographer on my hands.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…


We are working on homeschooling. This is our first “official” year. Thomas is five and Tabitha is four. Although formal education isn’t required for their ages, they both seem to be ready to learn.

Our curriculum consists of :

  • Reading a chapter from the Bible each day (this always proves to be interesting – yesterday’s chapter was on the rape of Dinah.. after reading the chapter through, I explained in the review that Dinah didn’t want to get married, but Shechem stole her and made her marry him and that made her and her dad and her brothers very angry…)
  • Saxon Math 2 (plus math helps like flashcards and speed drills)
  • Handwriting
  • Kids reading aloud – usually library books (I try to get books in sets of themes, fiction and non-fiction… a recent theme set on nutrition, for example, also included Gregory the Terrible Eater and Bernstein Bears’ “Junk Food”)
  • We use daddy’s travel to as an excuse to look up places where he has visited or plans to visit

Also, the kids were in swimming lessons earlier this year and we may put them in swimming or another sport when things settle down a bit (heh… like after baby #5 gets here.)

Thomas and Tabitha are reading pretty well. Tabitha likes to write a little more than Thomas does. Lately, she has been getting a pencil and paper to respond to my questions instead of saying the answer aloud. She sounds words out phonetically. Here’s an example of a chat she had with Tom (and yes, she is typing this by herself):

Continue reading

Two Quotes

Yesterday

The children were playing and I asked them to stop and pick up a few toys before going on to the next thing.

Tabitha: “Mom, we’re still playing.”

Me: “Pause play.”

Tab: “Mom, that’s not a sentence.”

Today

Thomas is teaching Tabitha to play Battleship while the little guys take a nap.

As you can see, he’s needs a little work on learning the rules (like one guess per turn)… and strategy.
Thomas: “Like if you say, J3,4,5,6 – then I would die and have to put my ship on the coffee table.”

Tabitha: “J3,4,5,6!”

Thomas: “Aw! You killed my ship.” (Puts red pegs in the ship and sets ship on the coffee table.)

Memorial Day Pig Roast 2006

Big PigOnce again, it’s time for the (fourth) annual pig roast, and you all are invited to attend the party at the home of Tom and Sarah Albrecht.

We plan on starting off around noon, and going into the evening. The pig should be done around 4pm, but we’ll be serving food throughout the party. Please RSVP to us (phone call, email, whatever) so we can get an approximate head count and let us know if you’re interesting in helping supply food.

See you then!

Baby Announcement

I’d never imagine that I would congratulate Tom while he was in an airport terminal, but such was the case today. His flight was cancelled and he ended up in Minnesota. He was online, and I was able to tell him that…

Baby # 5 is due (unofficially) October 2nd.

If it’s not a girl, Tab’s going to be pretty upset. I may have to send it back if it’s a “him”.

Thomas kept asking me when I would be taking a nap today (I have been taking naps since I’ve been tired) so that he can play video games while I’m sleeping ;-) I got one of the cool new digital display tests that actually says “Pregnant” if it’s positive (would highly recommend – took two other tests, and the results weren’t clear). So I said to Thomas, “Hey, I found out why mommy has been so tired.” He’s like “Are you sick?” And I said, “No, but this little thing will tell you why.” So he read it. “PR-eg-NAH-nt?” “What is PREGNANT” Yesterday I had taught him and Tab how to use a dictionary. “What do we do when we don’t know what a word means?” “We look it up in the dictionary?” “Yep.” So we looked it up. He read it. “Having a child.” He yells to Tabitha, “Hey Tab! The dictionary says that mom is having a child!”