Monday, February 27, 2012


Who would have known that a set of chalks that came in a stamping basket that we bought at an auction could evoke so many memories and feelings of thanksgiving.
A dear lady, Jeanette, who has a little stamping store in her home out in Mae Valley (Jeanette's Studio)  donated a basket of stamping goodies for a cancer fundraiser auction. I bid on the basket only able to see some of what was in it. We found out the basket was ours and I was very excited to receive it. In it to my surprise, was a palette of chalks.
I had never used that type of chalk before.
But it brought back a sweet memory. When Vance and I were first living in Moses Lake I had a rubber stamping party. It was the kind when the demonstrator comes and shares the products and people can buy things. Well, my mom, Lesha and Natasha drove from Lynden to Moses Lake that weekend to be a part of the stamping party and for a fun weekend visit. I LOVED it when the visited. I knew few people here then and their company was so welcomed!! Anyway, we three girls have been stampers for years but my mom never really had an interest. At that party, she told Natasha and Lesha they could pick out something from the catalogue to share. They chose a chalk palette. This is a special memory to me for many reasons. Our mom didn't have a lot of extra money to spend on things like this, so that was a sweet gift. Also, she was supporting me in having this little party and she wanted to get something fun for Natasha and Lesha to use and share. I remember a couple of weeks later when I opened the box of items that everyone had purchased through the party and how the chalks were so special, I was excited to get them to my sisters.
Those first years of living in Moses Lake I was so blessed each time family came to visit. I was the first child to leave our family home, being the oldest of five and I felt like it was hard being away. Each time they made the trek to Moses Lake I was SO excited. We did really funny things like make funny home videos, played Guesstures like crazy, laughed a lot and played invented games like Pong Ping in the front yard.
My siblings and my dad's visits were so different after our mom died. They were a part of healing and comfort. We wanted them to be easy and carefree, but they weren't - at least not for a while. I think death robs us of an innocence we sometimes wish we could take back. It shows us that really tragic things can happen with no notice and that life can turn upside down in a second. It teaches us to love and pursue joy when there are great amounts of sadness. It CAN teach us that. I believe God wants us to continue to have grateful hearts, pursue joy and to love even in the midst of sadness.
A palette of chalks reminds me of carefree silly times with my mom and siblings. Chalks remind me of my mom's generousity and my sisters' creativity.
I love to be silly with my kids. I love to imagine with them and play made up games with them. I love to watch their relationships with eachother. I love to pray for my children. My mom taught me these things.
And now, I love to share this new palette of chalks with my kids. A little palette of thanksgiving.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Those little things...



Merit and Kendal

Right before sunset, the sky has been gorgeous.
A couple of nights a week we are at soccer practice at that time.
It is so fun to soak up the beauty.
And Willem and Hazel love exploring!

Today I was doing a little raking and spreading Preen. Is it too early for Preen? Anyway, I saw this little johnny jump up had popped up. It made me smile to see a little sign of spring. There were also tons of geese flying overhead. I really love being out in the country. I remember when we lived in Boardman, OR. I remember the February when Merit was 4 months old and I would bring him outside, we would lay on a blanket and read books while daffodils were blooming around us. Our time in Boardman was relaxed and even boring at times, but so good too. Spring came just a little earlier there, which was always welcomed. One thing I loved about that time was that I noticed lots of little blessings. I wasn't too busy to see early signs of spring or to lay out on the lawn on a blanket with Merit. I remember LOVING the sound of Vance's truck getting home! And I remember being so excited when I heard my brother Matt's big dodge pull in for his weekend visit. Times were simpler than - not better, but more simple for sure.
I think it is so important to have down time. To soak up God's blessings, to have time where our kids can just enjoy home and being outside. Communication seems better when we aren't running everywhere. This afternoon has been a time where Willem, Hazel and I have been able to be observant enough to see lots of beauty in nature and in eachother. I hope for lots more days like this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

The kids are sooo excited about today.
I made lots of heart shaped sugar cookies for Will's class party and brownies for Merits.
Merit got dressed up for his "Good Manners Lunch and Valentine Party."
Oh! This is fun!
Hazel gets to go on a Valentine's Date with her dad today over lunch while I volunteer in Willem's class!

Friday, February 10, 2012


Last weekend the weather was beautiful.
Merit, Willem and Hazel ran off a bunch of energy outside.
Willem and Vance found these cool pieces of ice.

I had my camera in hand and just sort of followed the kids around.
Willem spotted some geese so I got a shot of him watching them fly.

I love hearing about Willem's days at school.
He loves his teacher!
In fact, a couple of weeks ago he told me he likes his teacher and me the same amount.
I wasn't sure what to think of that. ;)

I am crazy about this girls' personality.
Oh my gosh she is soo different from my boys.
She likes to diaper her baby and swaddle her up.
She likes to look like a princess.
She loves wearing skirts.
She likes to grocery shop. She loves the thrift stores.
Her favorite television shows are Curious George and Sesame Street. JUST in the
past couple of months has she wanted to sit down for a while and watch a show.
She is very polite. She always says thank you, she is quick to ask someone if they are
okay... I love her heart.

I feel like we don't get to see enough of Merit!
The school day is long and many days he has sports after school.
I miss him.
He is having a GREAT year at school. His teacher is fantastic and fun!
I'll post pictures of my favorite nine year old soon.
I am excited to get time as a family this weekend!
It's Friday... Hooray!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the morning with an incredible group of women. Women who love deeply, guide me in my faith and are supportive and fun. What a great way to start the morning.

Hazel has been playing so independently lately. I love this side of Miss Hazel Jane. I also love to watch how she and Willem pretend and play!

Merit has started soccer now. So we have just over a month where soccer and basketball overlap. Hazel and Willem LOVE to run around and explore at Merit's practices. I have recently asked Willem again "Are there any sports you want to play?" The answer is no, but he sure loves socializing, exploring and playing at Merit's practices. This is pretty cool for me. It means less running around and everyone is happy. In a couple of years, I hope he finds a sport that he would like to play. I do have a feeling that Willem would be more into Awana, Boy Scouts or art lessons... I love how each of these kids is so different. I have never loved being a mom more than I do today. It keeps getting better.

I bought some primroses at Safeway yesterday.
I love having flowers on the table.

I have spent a little time getting crafty.

My recent favorite at Starbucks... a hot tea!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I have become a pinterest junkie. Oh my goodness, the decorating ideas, the art, the recipes, the photography... it is so very inspiring.
This afternoon I spent a good chunk of time browsing pinterest and decided to save a few images for my blog.

Love this.

My next trip to Bargain Town I think I will be hunting for an old shutter.

This picture is a favorite of mine! Those boots, the apron, the chickens... love.

I would love to have this garden shed here! So cute! And the red/orange
door is so inviting.

This may just be my motto for 2012.

Beautiful, whimsical, fun

Have you entered the wonderful world of pinterest?

Friday, February 3, 2012


Life is good and busy and full. Vance and I got to get away to Seattle for an overnighter Tuesday night. Oh I love my husband and really enjoy a glass of wine and dinner out without kids every now and then. I do not like to be away from the kids for long... an overnighter is just about perfect and reconnecting with my husband is pretty great too.

Yesterday was a busy day. Hazel needed me a lot. I felt like I couldn't get organized. I was thinking of how nice Vance and my get away was. One of my favorite things to do is take a LONG, hot bath or a long shower when we get away... I have time to deep condition my hair, I have time to lounge in a robe. At home, my baths or showers are short and when I do take a bath Hazel usually jumps in with me. Not a lot of time lounging in a robe for me here at home. :)

The boys brought their report cards home Monday. We are so happy and thankful that they are doing so well and working so hard. We are proud of their accomplishments! I was beaming while reading those report cards.

These kids are very fun. I am entertained on a regular basis. :)  I hadn't blogged for a while and just thought I would share the goings on in the Jansen family.

I am just now blogging a few pictures from last weekend. The Wemp boys were here. There was lots of nerf gun play and imaginative fun. We also went to the arcade on Saturday afternoon. I got a few pics on my iphone.

The kids love the arcade.

Can't believe it is Friday already! Yay! The weekend is almost here.