Sunday, December 02, 2007

Its a wonderful life!

This weekend, Joe performed in a local production for radio of 'Its a Wonderful Life'. Joe played the parts of Harry Bailey (as a boy) and George Bailey's son Tommy Bailey. The production was recorded and will be broadcast on Christmas on WFIN.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

This year we remember with gratitude our Savior Jesus Christ. We are excited once again to enter the season where we celebrate His birth and His life. We are grateful for our family and friends, and the love they bring into our lives. We are grateful for our great country, for its founding fathers, and for the liberty we still enjoy because of their inspired wisdom. We are grateful for what God has entrusted into our hands, and we pray that He will bless our efforts to raise up those things in the right ways.

We also pray for the world Olive supply, that it will remain stable despite the demand of the growing Mars population.

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are looking forward to seeing you at Christmas.

Chris and LaTrisha

Chris and LaTrisha got married on 12 October 2007. Here's a photo of the family at the wedding (right), and of the Mars brothers (left).

Akron Marathon

My brothers Dave and Dan ran the Akron Marathon this year. I took these photos from my 'cheering station' on the top of 'heartrate hill', which I believe was the highest elevation on the course.

A Mother's work is never done

Linda making arrangements on the phone, and cleaning up almost as fast as Lydi can make a mess.

Alpaca Joe

Our neighbor has a bunch of Alpacas. One of them looks just like Joe - Polaris. Can you see the resemblance?

Lydi was here...

Here is Lydi cheering for Anna during an LB football game. Anna was on the field playing flute with the Eagles' 7th grade band. Lydi loves our 'quiet room' where we keep all the crayons and coloring supplies. You can usually tell when she has had unauthorized access.

Lunar Eclipse

Joe took this series of images from our driveway in the early morning of 28 August. We had a total lunar eclipse. It lasted about an hour. I pasted the images together after the fact.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

We're OK!

Thanks everyone for your prayers, and for checking in on us. It has been a crazy week. Findlay flooded - worst since 1913 - here's a slideshow taken by a friend of a friend of a friend. The region is very flat, so when the river swells beyond its banks, the water goes everywhere. Here's a plot that shows the river height as a function of time. Thankfully, our home stayed dry.

Sweet Corn!

One of the best things about Ohio is the Sweet Corn. This year's has been especially sweet because of dry conditions earlier in the year. We put up about 40 qts, with help from the kids and one of Anna's friends, Katie. By the time we were done, the kids were getting really good at getting the corn off of the cob. Katie managed to get all of the corn off of one of her cobs in just 5 long slices!

Family Reunion

On 12 Aug, the Mars clan converged at Malabar Farm in Mansfield to enjoy a few hours together. Check out all of the suburbans! It was a perfect day - sunny, warm, clear skies - in a beautiful place, with lots of siblings and cousins and grandparents. The kids checked out the horses and goats and sheep, and played cornhole and sack races. The sibs traded memories from when we were little. The food was great... Heaven.

When in Rome...

The first week of August the cub scouts did day camp. Theme: Roman Empire. Ere'sHay oeJay ithway ishay argettay omfray uhthey eebeebay ungay angeray. He got to 'kiss the chicken' on the climbing tower.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Washington DC Vacation

The Marsians have visited the leaders of this country. That right - we took our summer vacation this year to Washington DC. Here's everyone preparing for the outbound trip...

It has been many years since our last trip to DC (Dan and Les' wedding, I think?!). We tried to carry on the ancient Breezewood tradition of making art with our leftovers at the Bonanza / Steak & Buffet, but alas, we discovered that the restaurant has folded.

Upon arriving for our first night, and checking in, and swimming in the pool, and a walk around the National Mall, the first item of real business was to buy the new Harry Potter book, which was just going on sale. We found a Barnes and Noble in DC, and went there at midnight to do the deed. We were number 274 in line, and we made it back to the hotel by about 1:30 am.

The air and space museum was our first museum visit, and we liked it enough that we went back twice. We also checked out the museum of natural history, the museum of african art, and the library of congress. Wow! Kids loved them, and they were all free! (not counting gift shop). The Library of Congress tour was fascinating. We saw a Gutenberg bible, and a hand-lettered bible from the same time and place. Here are kids with the Viking Mars lander, and a steel tire used on the lunar lander...

We visited many of the great monuments that teach us about the great moments and people and ideas of our nation - the washington monument, the WWII memorial, the Lincoln memorial, to name a few. We were amazed at how big a place it is.

Here is Dad and Lydi with President Lincoln. He is my hero, and I was truly awed to "stand in his presence", and to read his inspired words (the Gettysburg address, and Lincoln's 2nd inaugural speech), which are carved into the walls of the memorial. Lincoln was our greatest president. The trip to DC would have been worth it if this memorial was the only thing we had seen.

Here's Joe in front of the White House.

Here's everyone in Chinatown. We rode the metro and checked out some of the sights outside the immediate vicinity of the Capitol - Chinatown, the national zoo. We ate Mongolian Barbeque. Yum.

Other than the hotel pool, the kids' favorite spot was the fountain in the sculpture garden in front of the National Archives. The spray from the jets is very cool in hot weather, and you can dip your feet in the water. Don't wade though, because there is always a guard on duty.
We also dropped in on our congressman, Jim Jordan. He was travelling in Iraq, but his aides let us sit in his chair!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Lydi's Birthday

Lydi just turned two this past week. She had over some friends, to share a pinata and cake.

Happy Birthday Uncle Sam

Independence day was great! We had a cookout with our friends Ron and Emily. Among other things, we brought watermellon to the feast, custom carved to celebrate our country's birthday. Uncle Sam was a joint effort between Dad, Joe, and Amaya. Lady Liberty was made by Amaya and Joe. The gash above Sam's right eye was Elydia's work. She just about poked his eye out!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


We just got back from our spring break visit to Paul and Lydia in Tennessee. Photos are below: That's Linda sewing buttons with Lydia, and Elydia playing with Buster, the 3-week-old goatly lamb. And Anna E. in her greenhouse. And the whole family the night before we left.

There was a cold snap while we were down. Although it was much warmer than in Ohio, it was still quite chilly. In fact, it briefly snowed there! Its a critical time for Paul's crops, and we spent evenings covering everything, and loading greenhouse fireplaces with fuel. During the day, the boys went logging with Paul. We felled a number of white oaks, hauled the trunks out of the woods by horse, then watched the truck load the trunks and haul them to the mill. We had long, deep conversations about family, the gospel, culture, technology, life.
We visited all the neighbors that Paul visited. I was amazed at how many people he has contact with every day, and enjoyed chatting with them. Because Paul doesn't have a phone, he relies on an elderly neighbor for long-distance communications, and he gets his news from everyone he meets. The weather is an important topic here.
The ladies stayed at home and made some delicious meals. The girls made soap. One night Linda did tacos and Mexican Hot Chocolate for everyone. We had Berry punch, a treat made by preserving blackberries in sugar water. All of the kids got to take a turn riding Duke (the horse).
On our way home, we stopped for an hour or two in Scottsville, Kentucky, where there was a Plain (this term encompasses the Amish, Mennonites, and other related groups) auction that Ida, Emanuel, Emery, and Anna attended. The auction was attended by several thousand Plain folks (and their friends and admirers). Joe liked the auctioneers especially. We thought they only did that funny jingle-talkity-talk in movies, movies, movies, hey! Will liked the Chili and hotdog. Linda liked the shovel she bought. Elydia liked the chickens.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pinewood Derby and Joe's Play

Here are the boys from our Pack, on Pinewood Derby Night. Joe is not pictured - he was at play practice. His friend Devan raced the car he built, and took 2nd place.

Joe will be appearing in a play put on by Findlay's Youth Theatre - Aesop's (oh so slightly) Updated Fables. It runs on the following dates:

Fri, 27 April, 7 pm
Sat, 28 April , 7 pm
Sun, 29 April , 2 pm

Monday, March 26, 2007

Flaming Disaster

This is the heating element from our oven. It suffered a catastrophic failure when we were baking chicken nuggets. Anna noticed that the oven was on fire. Dad looked in to find the element arcing and melting. Dad tried to shut off the oven, but it kept arcing. Mom shut off power to the whole house and saved the day.

Sloppy Joes for Lydi

Here's Elydia showing off her lunch. Everyday she likes to show off new ways of being independent. Today, she wanted to go outside. She didn't have anything on except a diaper, and I said "oh you can't go out without pants on..." I was trying to buy a minute, intending to get her dressed as soon as I finished putting away some things. When I got back, I found her sitting on the laundry room floor trying to put on some pants. So, yes, she is picking up the language just fine.

Happy Birthday Joe!

Joe turned 10 this weekend. This is a photo of Joe at the BGSU planetarium. That's the star projector in the background. Joe and 5 buddies watched a show about Pluto and its new designation as a TNO. That "Trans-Neptunian Object" for you land-lubbers.

Joe just earned his Bear badge in cubs, finished up the Upward Basketball season, and is staying busy practicing for his part as the butcher in our local Youth Theatre's production of Aesop's (oh so slightly updated) Fables.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Anna, Joe, and Amaya are all in Upward basketball again this year. Here's Anna playing.
Her team is named Mercury, and has an abundance of players with similar names: Anna (2), Annie, and Hannah. Poor coach. They have lots of height on their team, and they won yesterday's game.

Lego Creation

Amaya shows off a statue of Elydia that she and Joseph built together. Check out the hands with 3D fingers!

2007 Cornbread Champ

Last weekend our ward had its chili-cookoff, complete with cornbread competition. Joseph entered his cornbread, and won 1st place! Joe uses Jiffy mix. He has perfected his own cooking process.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Our holidays were full of joy and family and -yes- some stress. Photos above: Linda looking at the "Guess Who?" game that Erik and Lo made for us. The photos are of us and the kids, but with 'special' photoshop treatments: beards, mustaches, bald heads, etc. My '93 civic died - blown headgasket - at 225K miles. I decided it wasn't worth fixing, and bought an '04 civic. The last photo is of the kids on New Year's Eve. We spent the evening at home making cookies. We actually were awake this year when the ball fell. Then we went outside and threw snap dragons at each other. At in Akron, the whole Mars Clan was together for the first time in awhile. We launched a big rocket, and lost it. We did not end up going to TN to visit Paul, much to our dissappointment. The extra time and budget stresses from the civic surprise kind of ruined that plan.