Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Country Living

 oh my lands. these chicks.
Boys and dirt!

What restraint. 
This bird dog is gentle with these chicks.

I have been reminded this week how precious life is and how delicate relationships can be.
There are lots of people going through hard things.
I am so thankful for prayerful friends and I am glad to be able to pray for friends.

These days are sweet with active, fun kids who have great hearts! Darling chicks! A good, loyal dog.  We had a good weekend of baseball in Yakima.Vance and I are sure soaking up these blessings.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

My mom

I sure miss this smile. 
I miss her laughter and her kindness. 
So many of us miss countless things about her. 
It was really fun to plan my wedding with my mom. This picture was taken at Vance and my wedding reception at his grandpa's.  I worked summer school that summer to make some 
extra money for expenses. And then the last part of July and most of August I had time off from work and  I soaked up time with my family - lots of time with my mom - and then had time to enjoy our wedding, reception and honeymoon. 
When our mom passed away, both of my sisters were planning their weddings. 
I wish she could have been there. My heart hurt then and still hurts for my sisters that she couldn't be there.
One of the letters my mom wrote me when I was living in Moses Lake! 

When I was 19, my mom, Lesha, Natasha and I went to Laughlin, Nevada. Oh my lands! 
That trip was so fun!!! I loved it! It was the only trip we did - just us girls - The above picture was taken at a restaurant in Laughlin. 

Many days I just miss the little things.
I miss funny conversations. I miss her flowers on her front porch. We talked on the phone everyday. I miss that. She enjoyed her children very much. Her family! Her influence, investment and kindness shaped us. She had Jesus in her heart! She shared her faith with us and she was a prayerful mother. When she passed away, her church home and family was Wiser Lake Chapel. She had some terrific friends there! And loved the pastor and his wife very much. 

I know I will see her again. I am so grateful SHE was my mom.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chicks, crafting, curiousity

Bonsai trimming and baby chicks!

I sort of feel like that chick is saying, "okay,  you got your photos now get on your treadmill" ;)

The curiousity.
The wonder.
This is precious to me.
And a little amazing. Nellie is a bird dog you know, a great pheasant hunter. ohhhh
We are showing her how much we love these chicks. So far so good. I do love how curious Nellie and Oren are so far and gentle.

And Hazel is such a mama

stringing balloons with dear, kind friends
This evening up in our loft last week was so fun! 
Liquid starch, flour, slippery balloons and laughter! And we were productive! 

These ladies are dear to me! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Marilyn's beauty... our new chicks!

We have had a great weekend. Friday night we were HOME, just home and it felt so good. I made potato soup in the crock pot. We watched some March Madness. It was good. GO GONZAGA!
Yesterday Vance left here at noon for his cousin Travis' wedding in Seattle.
Merit had baseball practice in the afternoon. I visited my dear friend Marilyn while he was at practice. I picked her brain on raising chickens and we talked about raising boys. Between the two of us there are 7! and also sweet Hazel Jane. Her yard was so beautiful! Spring blossoms and blooms! It was wonderful! And the conversation so good for the soul.

Marilyn's son Elliot built their coop. We peaked in to see if there were fresh eggs. There were ten! So fun! 


Her greenhouse... her daffodils

I left Marilyn's feeling refreshed! Soon after we grabbed Merit from baseball and me and the four kids went to the farm store and started buying supplies for our brooder.
We got everything set up. Found a good place in our loft, for now and then today we went and adopted five darling baby chicks.

Their cuteness. It overwhelms me! 
Be ready for lots of chick pictures! They quickly realized their "mama" loves the camera... and them! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

If you aren't interested in raising chickens, you may want to skip this post :)

Baby chicks at the farm store
Hens running around
Fresh Eggs
Gathering eggs
I have raising chickens on the brain! 

And I want this one! 
Ha, just kidding, I am perfectly happy with starting small. 
But wow, there are a lot of cool set ups out there! 

I love this!

This is somewhat simple but really cute. 
And you know maybe we will start with just a couple, few chickens.
I still have to talk my husband into this... but a girl can dream right??

Maybe we could start small... something like this? 

ohhh and my hunt for old bright pyrex continues! 
Oren sure has put in a lot of miles traveling in his stroller through thrift stores

And this is just some sort of cheery! LOVE!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Enjoying March Days!

Hazel loves to swing! Oren loves wagon rides. We do a lot of both.

Hazel loves army guy hunts down at the cabin. Being outside, gathering them in her little pan...I hide about 20 army guys, she searches for them. She likes me to do hot and cold. The other day she was wiped out after her hunt and took a break on this bench for about 15 minutes! :) 

We are always hiking and exploring. It feels good.

Oren is watching Curious George right now. He likes Curious George, he is beginning to like Bob the Builder and there is a 13 minute clip of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day that he loves! He LOVES playing outside! He asks us "outside?" or "ba bye?" often and he brings us his shoes or our shoes or both. It is almost dark out, about 7:30 p.m. and Merit is shooting hoops (something he does every evening) and Hazel and Willem are playing "farm" with the neighbor kids. The imagination and creativity that goes into this game is cool and inspiring! I love calling the kids in. Their dirty little hands and big smiles. Bedtime comes easily because all that outdoor play seems to wipe them out. 

I have been doing a lot of baking lately! Chocolate chip cookies, cream cheese cupcakes (black bottom cupcakes)  blueberry orange muffins and also blueberry pancakes. I am getting a lot of steps in each day. Walking has been so good for me, but my jeans don't fit much better. It's the baking I tell ya.

Last night was a sweet blessing when a bunch of friends filled our loft and we worked on Easter decor for MLAC. Laughing, talking, crafting... I am thanking God for these women tonight! Pictures to come.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Welcome SPRING!

What a fun run yesterday!! A 5k at Blue Heron! I loved it. 
Willem, Merit and I participated in this -- Grandma Kris and Sandy too! And lots of other Longview Elementary supporters.

Merit and Willem did so well! Each placed third in their division.

yummy smoothies from The Smoothery! 

We got home and Willem, Hazel, Nellie and I did a hike and a golf cart ride. We had some pretty cool moments of soaking up the beauty of spring. 
I remember when baby calves were born on my parents property in the spring and how my mom just loved those baby calves, that new life. There they would be standing in the field, wobbly legs, drinking from their mothers. Fresh new life. The blossoms of spring were something else she always appreciated.  The spring she passed away, she told my sister Lesha she was excited to make some pillows for her bench on the front porch. March is a strange month for a death, because there is new life all around us. After my mom's passing, baby chicks, baby calves, spring blossoms, daffodils, tulips didn't seem as joyful to me as the springs before my mom's passing. These were really wonderful things to share with my mom. The last time I saw her, we bought tulips together. And then a couple of years later, my grandpa Ken passed away on the anniversary of my mom's death.  And I didn't have my mom any more or my dear Grandpa. March was the month of a very heavy loss and also a month of new life. This March, something has changed in me. More joy, less pain. And oh my goodness this is welcomed! 

Yesterday, after the run, we cuddled these chicks! 
Came home and tried to talk Vance into some. ;-)
When I met Vance I don't think he knew the depths of baby love I have! People and animals! Heck, I don't think I knew.

So I made this decision that spring could be about new life. On March 25th, my mom left this world for new life with Jesus. I miss her like crazy. I want my siblings to have her here. I want my children to have her here. She would love being a grandma. My dad misses her so. So does her mom! Her siblings too, many family members, many friends... but we have each other and we have a lot of good memories. I just decided to embrace and love the blessings of SPRING! Especially this spring.
But, life throws us curve balls. Hazel has been more challenging this week than she has been in months. She is a pretty easy going girl! But the last couple of days she is testing her authority.
 I got a difficult phone call last night, so that started to squelch some of my joy.
But you know, when it is all said and done, if we choose joy, it is there. Some days we just have to work harder at that choice and pray to God that he will show it to us.
Blog posts like this sometimes take me an hour or more. I don't want anything to be wrong with my thoughts. But this time around I am less concerned about that too. It is from the heart and it is honest. I welcome March and spring! And know I will see abundant blessings!