Thursday, November 8, 2018

For the Love of Reptiles

Thank you Longview PTA for bringing the reptile man to Longview, 7th year in a row - I believe,
We sure had one happy girl!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

More than just a bandaid, Halloween memories, mood boosters...

More than Just a Bandaid

A month ago we were at the Farmer's Market and Oren fell on our way to get in line for Sno Cones. His knee was bleeding a bit and it was worrying him. Usually if my kids can't see blood they think they are fine. Blood = tears.

A woman behind us quietly said "I think I have a band-aid in my purse." She pulled one out and gave it to me. Oren's tears were gone as we carefully applied the bandaid. Hazel expressed how NICE that was. Hazel notices these things and cares. This is a huge blessing to me.

Last year I was without a dryer for probably 4 weeks. Our trips to the laundromat were frequent and memorable. I hated going and spending many quarters. I liked it that the kids helped me. I realized how many people do not have a washer or dryer. Moms coming in with three, four, five kids washing their clothing for the week. I was encouraged to take these moms and dad's a bag of quarters -Vance brought me a hundred dollars in quarters last winter and over the next few months I just dropped off a bag or two here and there at local laundromats in town. Huge mood booster. It blessed my socks off. I take kids with me whenever I can. I sometimes leave a little pile of children's books too with a FREE sign next to them.
This is on my to do list for November and December.

Trick or treating was fun. Willem went as a granny. He looked terrific! This kid is so funny! He was a bit self conscious in the daylight - once the sun went down he had more get up and go! Hazel was a darling scarecrow. She has a had a great week! She got third place in a fun reading competition they had in her classroom. (Ms. Rosenow encourages reading in very fun ways!) She received a trophy and a fantastic bucket of goodies. She also got to attend a party! I joined her class for pumpkin carving and pumpkin math on Tuesday. Then yesterday, she wore her costume to school and they had a fun Halloween party in the afternoon. Oren is soaking it all up! Having fun. We thrifted several costumes for him! He decided to go as Spider Man.

One of my favorite moments of last night was when a boy ran to Merit and gave him a huge hug.
This neat kid had a smile that could light up a room. He has some special needs. He knows Merit from school and quickly introduced Merit to his mom. He said "Mom, this is Merit! The guy I talk about all the time! He is #2 on the football team." His smile and Merit's smile made my night.

Merit is playing varsity tonight! In Sunnyside. We are wishing him luck from home.

Speech and Debate allows young people from all walks to express themselves in a safe environment. For some of them, I believe it is learning the skills to be a better speaker, presenter with a  good teacher and positive classroom environment. For others it is sharing dark truths, hard roads and a desire to be heard. Merit shared with me the content of some of the speeches last night as I was crawling into bed. Kids share real stuff. Some of it is heart breaking.

I laughed because Merit's last speech was on Mariner's post season. Seriously, this kid and sports. He has had a mind for this since he was 4. It all starting with Nascar.
He admitted that his class is tired of hearing him speak about sports.
I encouraged him to broaden his horizons and step out of his comfort zone.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

 This time of year is SO fun!! The kids love it!! This pumpkin patch is just over a mile from our home! We loved visiting it on Saturday. Each kid chose a pumpkin. We met up with the Wests there - it was a great day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

As I get close -- football

 I get close, closer maybe at the JV games compared to the varsity games. When I do get close, I see the sweat, I hear the struggles, I hear the encouragement. I hear the hits too. Our guys are tough, and they are working very hard physically. I walked away near tears last night. The game resulted in a loss. The game was not, however, a loss. There was a lot of hard work, hustle and heart that went into it. If you are a parent of a player reading this, we have some good kids. And this game is teaching them more than we realize. I see it as I get close. 

I respect these guys a lot. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Happy Monday!

Five things I love about this picture:

The Chickens
The sunset
The walkie talkie in Hazel's hand because she had been running around with her little brother "the police officer" communicating about missions and rescues

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Coffee and creamer.

A tall mound of laundry.

Merit was going to drive to school for the first time today (licensed driver as of yesterday!) But he has a headlight out -- so, tomorrow it is.

A glass of water, yet I keep reaching for the coffee.

Willem works hard in school and is doing great things -- he has his last football game of the season tomorrow.

Hazel's got a new girl in her class.

Hazel has a boy in her class - she is in the same class with him for the 3rd year.... his mom is fighting cancer. She is in a lot of pain and her cancer has spread. Prayers for this dear woman. She is so concerned... what would her eight year old do without his mom.

Oren has his "Let's Pretend" party at school tomorrow and is very excited! He LOVES looking at costumes at Goodwill and he enjoys dressing up at home.

My chickens are molting.
They are so different without their rooster friend.
The neighbor dog got a hold of him.
Makes me mad and sad, but Vance feels he was getting awfully loud and "cocky" - so we are back to just hens, who free range less because of the neighbor dog.

I found a vintage, gorgeous chair thrifting yesterday... pictures to come. Should go perfectly in the cabin.