Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Soaking up the now, remembering the then

Last night I told Merit I would read to him. A couple of times a week I read to Willem and I read to the littles, but I don't read to Merit very often. He sat on my bed and handed me the chapter book he is currently reading. Jesus Calling (for children) was also in my room so first we read from that. The devotions for yesterday and today were really good and the scripture was great. Merit said the words were good for him to hear, relating to what he is feeling right now.  We talked about the devotions and then Merit just started talking, about life in general. He spoke about pressures he feels. He told me he was thinking about the big MSP test coming up while he was on the baseball field last night... He told me about how important it is to him to get good grades, do well on tests, perform well in sports. It hit me that often I would crawl up on my mom's bed and would tell her all about my day. I remember this in high school especially. She would be so tired and her eyes would look heavy and I would talk and talk. I remember getting home from basketball games after cheering and it would be late and I would go into her room if she wasn't downstairs. I would just talk about life and she was the best listener. The rest of the house was quiet, with everyone sleeping.

Last night, my eyes began to get heavy and Merit talked and talked. He said "Mom, are you falling asleep? We haven't even read my book." I was quickly taken back to these memories of me with my mom. And how fitting, today is her birthday. She would be 59.
I sort of want to argue with God today, because He could have given her so many more years here. I will choose to trust His plan, even when I don't understand it.

And I am so very thankful for these children God gave me. They teach me daily about what is important. I am so, so blessed. I think I love being a mom as much as my mom did. :) 

The day before me and Vance's wedding! 
Picking flowers
Aunt Meredith, Aunt Barb, Aunt Janis, my mom, my cousin Megan, my Aunt Joan, my Aunt Jill

My mom and me
I see a bit of my little Oren here.

I am terrible at scanning pictures.  But here is my mom, my dad, me and Lesha

My cousin Jill, Aunt Janis, my mom, Megan, Aunt Joan and Aunt Meredith
A crafting day! 
I remember this day was fun. We had a tea party and crafted. Aunt Meredith hosted.Great company, good conversation...
As I was thrifting this morning I was thinking of how my mom loved the thrift stores too. My mom, my sisters and I sort of have fun with re-purposing and we are big bargain shoppers. :) 

So thankful for the memories.
And so thankful that my sweet Merit talked my ear off as I was heavy eyed last night. 
The highlight of my week.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Better Attitude, Good Friends, Enjoying these Kids

Thanking God for a better attitude this week! This week is as busy as last, but I am facing it with joy. Choosing Joy. I have to keep at it. I am really thankful this week for encouraging friends, also for my sisters. Visits with Maria and Caryn this week were so fun... and needed! A long visit with my friend Shelli while we watched our sons play baseball (opposing teams :) was great! And today I got phone time with Katie Allred! Love these girls! 

Willem Vance

For three and half years we have watched Merit play baseball. His team spirit, his drive and his competitive nature has made it so, so fun. Not to mention he has some skills.

Now we have Willem playing! His first game was Monday. His fielding and hitting were pretty impressive. I could spend many, many hours at the ball parks. And I do! :) The friends we have made and the team spirit we are a part of feels good. Merit has lots of hours of baseball under his belt, he has an intensity on the field that makes me proud.He had one of his best games Tuesday night.

And now to see Willem out there!! He was quite focused and he played well. 

Ohh and here are just a few of the really cute fans.
Oren, Kendal and Hazel

Hazel sometimes looks like my mom to me. But she has my eyes, my dad's eyes... 
These two, Kendal and Hazel are a couple of sweet, adorable girls.

Monday, April 21, 2014


Saturday afternoon Vance, Merit and Willem headed out to Vance's dads for some fun. They brought their motorcylces and were excited about riding around and visiting with Grandpa Vic. Hazel and I had sort of a girls night after Oren went to bed. We ate Taco Time and watched Frozen together. It was so nice. Watching that movie with her was very sweet.

Yesterday morning, Oren and I had a morning together. He was up bright and early and Hazel slept in. Oren ate raspberries in his high chair while I sang Jesus Paid It All to him. He was so sweet, listening and singing along. It was a really special way to start Easter morning.

Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain 
He washed it white as snow

And then late morning we headed out to Grandpa Vic's.

Cousins, friends, Kendal and Hazel

Hazel, on the Easter Egg Hunt

Oren and Aunt Katie

Easter Egg Hunt

Kelcy's sugar cookies. They looked beautiful and tasted delicious!

I have four photo shoots this week. We have lots of baseball and Hazel and I want to play down at the cabin... should be a fun week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Break 2014

Spring Break 2014 has come and gone. 
Merit and Willem had a well NEEDED break from school! 
The weather was beautiful. The break started off great. 
Hazel and Oren (princess and Super Man) loved having the big kids home.
My highlight of the week were the bike rides I took with the big boys.

We did lots and lots of yard clean up.

Friday morning we headed to Seattle.
At our hotel before the game

Hazel and Ema at the Mariners Game

Matt and Merit

a bunch of our gang

Saturday mid day we spent some time at the Aquarium.
Reise, Hazel and Morgan are pictured above
Hazel LOVES Morgan. 
She told me she was excited for the baseball game (Seattle trip) because Morgan, Ema and Uncle Matt would be there.

I have a tough time leaving home. Oren sleeps so good in his crib and loves his crib.
Road trips and mini vacations are refreshing, but can be stressful. Sometimes I feel like I am playing catch up for days once we get home. We have had bumps in the road lately and this house is a disaster. 
Oren and Hazel are occupied... I better get to work. 
My to do list is really long this week. 

I love these longer days and all of this SUNSHINE! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Birthday Goodness

My birthday was fun! Yesterday morning I was unloading the dishwasher when Willem said "You shouldn't be doing that! It is your birthday." He then took over... I knew at that point the day was off to a good start! 
The weather was GORGEOUS! :)
We had lunch with Phil (he was passing through town for work). We ate outside at Taco Del Mar. Had a yummy lunch and some good laughs and then he was back on the road. 
We just hung out here yesterday evening. It was so nice. The kids were really excited about the cake that Hazel picked out for me! :) 

Oren had to watch us eat our cake. 

He is the healthiest eating 10 month old we have ever had in this house. We threw some green beans on his tray and he was good to go. I am kidding. He got a Gerber cookie, so he did have a treat. 

Merit being dramatic. 
Love these kids.
Willem loves fire. Can you see it in his eyes? 

My girl! 

Me, very excited on my 29th birthday ;)

pure sweetness


It was a great day.
So many messages from friends, cards and gifts in the mail, love from my family! 

The weather was so warm and nice... Hazel spent the afternoon and evening topless and why not... she is four, we live in the country and she is pretty excited about soaking up this warm spring weather! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Making choices and living them out, enjoying TIME

My heart is heavy for my sister Lesha and her husband Rob today. Rob's dad is very sick. It is all very sudden. Lesha and Rob have already had a challenging 2014. Lesha got her ICD earlier this year, but the first time around it was not a success. She had to have two surgeries over a 24 hour period. There was uncertainty and concern and lots and lots of praying. She is doing a lot better now. I imagine that having this device is a big adjustment. And there are medications too. My sisters are so brave for just moving forward. Doing what they need to do for their health and then being moms, wives, sisters,aunts, daughters, friends... and finding JOY in life.

Now Rob and Lesha are at Rob's dad's side processing the fact that his cancer has really spread. They are making decisions regarding his health. They are trying to be a comfort and happiness for him right now. Their kids are on spring break but can't be with them at this moment. I am reminded often that life is short and that we really have to enjoy the time we have.

I want to be kind and giving, forgiving and I want to show grace.
Life can be so busy, a little frustrating, disappointing at times, demanding but there is so much good too. And if we focus on "the good" we kind of share that good.

Oren is really great about sharing the good stuff! 

Spring Break is JUST around the corner.
I will be happy to have all four of these kids at home.