Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's the little things...

ohhh it's the little things! 
My dear friend and thrifting buddy Maria texted me the other evening and said she was at Goodwill and there were Close to my Heart stamping sets! My sis Natasha sold Close to my Heart for several years and there stuff is so cute! (not to mention Natasha had the best ideas) So fun! Before that it was D.O.T.S. (Dozens of Terrific Stamps!) And my friend Shelli sold them! Ohhhh I was so excited! 


Hazel found a hippo at Goodwill that night and couldn't wait to get home and paint it. 
Friday night it was just Hazel, Oren and myself. Merit, Willem and Vance went to Wenatchee to support Merit's basketball team, the Thunder! Merit hurt his knee Thursday and was not able to play in the tournament. It was a bummer but I was proud of those guys for heading to Wenatchee and cheering the Thunder on for a couple of their games. I am hoping Merit's knee heals well. 
Hazel, Oren and I shared a salad from Michael's Bistro. We went and picked it up at about 6 o'clock. Hazel in her "Frozen" pajamas and Oren in comfy clothes. My friend Shannon and family met us in the parking lot for a hug and little hello. She is the kind of friend where if you are having a bad day, she helps get you through the rest of it. We pray for each other often. No prayer request is too big or too small or too silly. I love this and I love her.

Willem, Hazel and I oven shopping. Hazel was tired of it, Willem was goofy over it and 
I am simply excited about getting a new oven! Although I haven't decided on which one.

Sticky buns! YUM~!!

Our little cabin

Late start Monday, sticky buns and family!

Katie A. texted me a recipe for a yummy crock pot soup! 
I loved it.

I have a cold. blah
I am not supposed to get colds! I use essential oils. ;-)
So, a hot tea from Mc Donalds, a little agave nectar and two drops of lemon essential oil tastes so good~! 
The essential oils don't always keep us totally healthy, but we have been healthier since using them and they relieve the symptoms. I am a believer! 

The graphics fairy... I think that where I got this free printable! And now it will be stationary for me to write a letter to my Grandma Alma! 

Life feels heavy sometimes. But I am thankful for the little things and for the joy that every day holds! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

January Days...


this sensory tote was a hit one cold January day! 

I am not getting my big camera out much anymore, but am always snapping pictures with my iphone! 
So, here is our January so far, via my iphone pics

Hazel kept saying "hide more things!" "hide different things!" 


Oren loves a golf cart ride! Even on a cold day!

Willem is a good driver, a responsible driver. Sometimes I hop off and walk up the hill. 
A little exercise for me and some bonding time for these brothers.


We are SO excited about the Seahawks!!! Vance has been a huge fan his whole life. 
Merit was born on a Monday night. The SEAHAWKS were playing Monday night football! 
My labor was SOMETHING else and my husband and doctor were distracted by the football game! 
Go Hawks! 






celebrating Willem turning NINE at El Rodeo! 

Sparkling cider and UNO! 





I LOVE the pretending, the giggles and the fun that happens here! Thank you God for these sweet babies!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Willem is NINE!

Willem is an awesome kid. He has a big heart. He has an adventurous spirit. He is such 
a sweet blessing. Today he is NINE! I can hardly believe it. 
I thank God for this sweet boy! We love him so much!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILLEM!!! 











one of my all time favorites
THIS is so Will!




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Toddler fun, pumpkin pancakes, afternoons at home, the occasional nap...

Hazel and Kit! 
I love their pretending! Kit has been fun, Hazel also loves playing Barbies!


this guy! 
He makes me laugh and smile. His expressions are adorable. He gives lots of hugs and kisses. Every now and then he is in a bad mood, like this morning and then my day sort of changes. But when I take time to sit with him or read to him or we go outside and find Nellie, he cheers up. He loves sitting with Hazel and playing with Hazel too. They enjoy watching Curious George together. 

Helping with the dishwasher, eating blueberries


These afternoons I find myself very tired. We have had quite a few cloudy, cold days. I love to hunker down. I have even had some time to read lately. But I do wish I could be more productive. Today Hazel and I made pumpkin pancakes when she got home from pre-school, then we did a little painting and played Barbies. After that I got to that point of -- should I brew another pot of coffee? Or take a 30 minute nap? I took the nap.

Both big boys are in basketball. I love this winter sport! Makes our evenings busy though! 

The kids are doing great in school. I am so thankful for this! 

We got a short visit with Uncle Matt! He got here at 9 last night and left at 8:30 this morning. It was fun to see him though! 

I have several appointments to make this month and just lots of things on my to do list... hoping for a BURST of energy! :) 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

You miss 100 % of the shots you don't take. - Wayne Gretsky

Conflicted.
In my last post I said I LOVE JANUARY! I do. But there are memories of January that are difficult, sad, tough. Five years ago Case William passed away, on January 12th, 2010.
This month - this year -has had other hardships. A cousin of mine just got out of detox. He has shared some of his journey publicly. This last week had to be tough. I pray he can stay healthy.
Now looking back; Case's funeral was in Lynden. Making an effort to comfort my sister Natasha, my brother in law Reese and my nephew Lane was challenging. But you know, I read that last sentence and dislike it so much. I can't make this about me.
Four people are so on my heart today. Natasha, Reese, Lane and Mindy.
My sister in law Mindy came to my nephew Case's funeral. She walked in with the book Jesus Calling. It wasn't wrapped, but she had tied a ribbon around it. When it comes to compassion, Mindy has been a beautifully empathetic person. We spent about 7 or 8 days in Lynden that January. I think I saw Mindy every day.
Now I have to go back further. When my mom died, Mindy was so empathetic, kind and loving. Vance's entire family was. His sister Cary flew from Bethel, Alaska with her two darling girls to come and love and support us. I was a whirlwind of emotions then. Today I am humbled by their compassion.
Mindy walked into the church the day of Case's funeral with Jesus Calling, the pastor approached her and commented on what a good read that is. Natasha told me a few months later that she received many books after Case's passing. Some really helpful books, but her favorite in those first months was Jesus Calling.
I am embarrassed to say I have probably told six people this story, but never Mindy.
Mindy gave me a book when my mom passed away, A Grace Disguised. This book was an important step in my healing process. She also gave me a white fabric box, a comfort box, with three angels in it. The angels represent me and my two sisters. Hazel loves that little box of angels. When I see it I smile and my eyes fill with tears.
These days are challenging. They are joyful and overwhelming. Hazel and Oren are such little people of JOY! Oren pushing his truck around, saying ba bye, blowing kisses, hugging me, reaching out to his daddy when he gets home...
Hazel is a dear. And her imagination, oh how I love it!
And Merit and Willem are at great ages. Working so hard in school, working hard at basketball, laughing together...
Balancing joy and pain is difficult.

A few days ago, Lesha asked me to meet her in Seattle for her appointment which was yesterday. She thought it might be fun if we could spend the night in the Seattle area. She had a heart appointment and was going alone. I couldn't meet her because Vance was helping his sister Mindy yesterday. What Vance was doing needed to be done, but I was sad not to meet Lesha. Conflicted.

She called me after the appointment. I prayed for good news. I could not handle bad news. But I need to remember, this isn't about me. Her echo looked good. The doctors were easy to converse with. Her blood pressure is really low, but possibly with a medication adjustment that can be better. She asked about Mindy.

Mindy is getting some help right now. I love that girl and pray she can get well.

Natasha and Reese are remembering their sweet baby Case. Today, Ingrid is one day older than Case was when he died. Please pray for their hearts, their joy, their well being.

I feel very full of emotion and you know, I am not the one in the thick of it. A few people I deeply love are in the thick of it.

I certainly hope blogging about this is not insensitive or rude. I do hope people will pray.

Some quotes that are helping me this week:
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretsky

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. - Chinese Proverb

If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money. -Abigail Van Buren

2 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind. "


Natasha, Kelly, Shannon - your prayers and communication this week are huge blessings. Those times of feeling irritable, alone, worried didn't take hold because of prayerful people like you! God is so big. I am so glad I know Him!

Here's to a new year of "taking more shots" and stepping out of those boundaries of comfort. Here's to a year of praying with my kids and expressing love. Here's to a year of praying for the "impossible."

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Simple beauty, daily life

sweet boy! 

one of Oren's new interests, this horse full of memories!
I was 9 months pregnant with Merit Henry when Vance's Grandpa Henry died. This horse
was given to us by the family. It was ridden by many boys and girls at Grandpa Henry's! Our children have enjoyed it very much.


Merit and me! 


 Adding an American girl to our house has been really fun! Kit has a neat story and watching Hazel play with her has been special.


Loving life, the cabin and SNOW!
Being with this girl is inspiring. So many things are beautiful. She is showing me "simple beauties" in our every day lives.She radiates kindness.

Okay, so before I can blog again, I need to write 5 letters. Handwritten letters are such a treasure. Who doesn't love going out to their mailbox and getting a letter??
I need to bake with Hazel. She has been requesting this all day! 
Clean my kitchen sink. 
Take our Christmas tree down. :(
Blogging is a treat~ I love reading others and enjoy updating my own. So I will make it reward after accomplishing some things I need to accomplish. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

January is HERE!

Happy New Year! 
January, 2015 - Time is flying. I LOVE January! We get to celebrate our January baby,Willem. We got a bit of snow and could likely get more! 

This makes for EXCITED children! Especially Willem and Hazel!! 

Our Christmas was very nice. We spent it in Lynden. Our break was relaxing and fun. 








It was a bit tough to send the kids back to school today. We had a REALLY good Christmas break. Our days in Lynden were fun. Our kids did very little fighting and lots of playing well together (this makes for such a good Christmas break for my heart!) Good conversations, laughter... Vance built a lot of cozy fires. It was so nice. Merit had a basketball tournament this past weekend, which was fun. He hustles and plays hard and his team has a lot of HEART!