Sunday, August 31, 2014

Last weekend... A sweet haven

Last weekend the boys worked together, Vance, Merit and Will - they built a really cool shelter. They gathered branches, found wood stakes, estimated, planned...
And somehow it became much more than a shelter.
It was the perfect haven to spend an afternoon and evening as we prepared to say goodbye to summer break.

Ritz, Nellie, soft green grass, Sweet Oren

She is SUCH a good dog.

Hazel and Oren visiting, Nellie protecting them

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August... sweet summer days

I didn't plant any sunflower seeds this year, but I have probably 25 or 30 popping up from last years seeds.
They are one of my favorite flowers! So bright and cheery!!

The first half of our summer involved lots of camping and baseball! The second half of our summer has flown!
We have hit the waterpark a few times. We loved the FAIR! Vance, Merit and Willem went to the Demolition Derby and had a ball. We went to the rodeo. We have enjoyed days spent in our yard. The other day I took the kids to town and we just soaked up the beauty of the lake. Sometimes after grocery shopping, a doctor or dentist apppointment or some type of errand we stop for rootbeer floats, frozen yogurt or icecream cones... these are some of the things I love about summer!! Two weeks ago I would have BEGGED for summer and the schedule of summer to stay... but this week there has been some fighting and Merit has said he's a little bored a couple of times. Maybe it is time for that school schedule to start up again. Merit, Willem and Hazel will be in 3 different schools! Three different schedules. Hazel seems ready for pre-school. I am excited for her, I just know it is going to mean more running around for Oren and me - but we will make it work. For now, I will soak up these last 5 days of summer break!

Oren sweetness

Merit Henry

Willem is very good at checkers. If you are interested in playing him, I think he'd take you on. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Merit and Little O

Little Bro and Big Bro at the Fair
Great memories made!
I love to watch the relationships among siblings.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Making memories

Making memories wtih cousins is special and fun. Last Thursday was a great day for playing in Moses Lake. The gang got together at Gramma Kris'.

Emily, Isabel and Willem


Hazel and Lucy


Golf Cart FUN! 

Phil, my brother, had about a twelve hour chunk in Moses Lake. He was passing through for work.
He joined us at Kris' for pizza and visiting.

Hazel, Lucy, Nate and sidewalk chalk

A full load, Vance was driving.

Cousins... Taylor was the only one missing

Kelcy, Vance, Carly and Cary

Lots of laughs and fun...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gardening baby, 4 great kids, "the positives"

Gardening Baby
(whose daddy pointed out he needs a haircut)
This little boy loves dirt. He loves beans out of the garden. He loves being outside, when it is not too hot. He has warmed up to our dog Nellie. She used to be such a threat to him. If he dropped his Gerber Puffs, his Ritz cracker or his shredded turkey, she was so quick to eat it up. They are gaining a mutual respect for eachother.

I can't believe how cute he is, but yes, I am his mother.

And this guy is pretty cute too. Also kind and helpful.

Zucchini and wheat germ pancakes are a breakfast everyone likes. So, yesterday morning and this morning we made lots and lots of pancakes. They make a good afternoon snack too. Remember when Hazel CHOPPED her bangs?? Well, they finally look normal. I think that was four months ago.
Merit likes to pull odd faces. He keeps us entertained.
When I look at the above picture I think "maybe I'll homeschool"... I wonder if I could do it.  My friend Marie is going to homeschool this fall. My friend Marilyn has homeschooled for years. They are brave, creative women! :)
Merit and Will are pretty social guys, however. And they enjoy being part of a "team." Also, when Merit was a third grader, his teacher got him so excited about reading through reading competitions. His competitive nature caused WANT to read. It is hard to find a book he dives into, but competitions have made him a more skilled reader. It was a great year of growth for him. Both of the big boys are competitive. I saw this this morning in our 95 degree game of Dodgeball. Willem and I against Merit and Hazel, OPJ was napping.

Our trip to Lynden and Silver Lake was quick. We weren't even there 48 hours but we packed a lot of fun in. We are still recovering. Oren hardly napped over three days and I never sleep well away from home.

As some of you know, Natasha needed to deliver in WA because there are no cardiologists in Kodiak. She could have delivered in Anchorage, but an extended stay there would have been expensive and she didn't have childcare there. She flew to WA late June with Lane and Estelle and Reese joined her about two weeks later. That flight, from Kodiak to Anchorage, Anchorage to Seattle and Seattle to Bellingham sounded so long. 8 months pregnant, compression hose, a three year old and her helpful Lane... it was a day I am sure. She arrived at the Bellingham airport, tired and ready to be "home." I have teared up several times wishing our mom could have been there to greet her. I have struggled with the not having our mom and not having her for our kids grandma so much this summer. My dad was there though. And that in itself is another story, but it is so great he was there.

In Lynden and Silver Lake, it was so good to see family! The kids got some quality cousin time. Hazel, Oren and I spent the night at Lesha's last Saturday night while the big boys and Vance stayed at Vance's moms. Lesha told me how girlfriends of hers are planning a trip to Seattle for a Seahawks game and how she has been invited to a couple of other no kids outings. Her friends moms can scoop up there grandkids... Lesha has to work a lot harder at finding childcare between her husband's work schedule, her sisters living out of town and her mom gone. She is lonesome sometime too. And I can relate, very thankful for the connections and friendships I have though. I just really could see in Lesha her missing our mom. I am keenly aware of things like that this summer and oh my soul struggles at times.

So, I move onto trying to find the positives, because there are a lot.  I will list 9 positives and 1 negative.

1)Our kids have had a healthy, fun summer! 
2)Merit went to a basketball camp at Gonzaga. Three of my friends shared with me what a fun, nice boy he is. They were kind enough to drive the kids to the camp in Spokane! Those friends (Shelli, Jaime and Katie) have no idea how much happiness that brought me.
3)My kids are helping each other. 
4)Ingrid Faith arrived healthy and adorable and my sis Natasha had a natural delivery - just what the doctors ordered.
5)My friend Shannon gets really long random texts from me about things I want her to pray about. She doesn't judge me. She just prays and she doesn't seem annoyed with my randomness. We pray for each other.
6) An evening of wine and appetizers last week with FANTASTIC women at Marilyn's was a summer highlight.
7)Vance and I will be married SIXTEEN YEARS on Friday! We have been on one date since Oren has been born, I see another one in our future.
8)A sweet dream of Hazel's came true on Saturday. She got to ride a horse! Watching her was really, really wonderful.
9) God's plan is good.

and 1 negative... hey the nine positives got me out of my funk so I will refrain from sharing a negative. 

Time to grab a popsicle and check on the kids. Over the next couple of days we will get some time with Vance's family, including Cary, Nate and girls who are here from Alaska. More memories to be made. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ingrid Faith, Summer Days...

Our new niece, Ingrid Faith! 

The kids and I spent the night with Natasha and family up at Silver Lake Friday night. It was so peaceful there. Man, we loved our visit. Ingrid is so darling.

Summer fun! 

Kendal and Hazel

Garden FUN! 

We have put zucchini in brownies, spaghetti, blueberry muffins and pancakes. And of course we have made zucchini bread.

Merit and Hazel



Vance helped with the pig at the Kylie and Taylor's wedding reception. 

Hazel, getting kitty time with one of the Raymond's cats. 

Kylie and Taylor's wedding day...
Her are Hazel and Sophia.