Monday, January 25, 2016

Dreaming of warmer days, our weekend, Hazel's classroom

Merit had a basketball tournament in Wenatchee this weekend. They worked hard. No wins, four losses. The kids love staying at the hotel. Willem enjoys Merit's buddies as much as Merit does and they laugh, swim, play hide and seek - they are growing so fast! They were just nine and we were traveling with them for baseball, just getting to know these families. Merit gives it his all, always and we are so proud of him.

Very little sleep both nights away for me. I do wish I could sleep better away from home! So this makes for a tired Monday.

Hazel did GREAT at the games, lots of little friends to play with! I am so grateful for this! Willem has fun! Oren did pretty well but by the third game was asking to go outside. 30 some degrees and wet doesn't make for great outdoor play but he gets tired of the gym.

Hazel's classroom is SO inviting. Creative play tied in with tons of learning! I love it! In the fall they had a pumpkin patch in the corner of their classroom! Paper stuffed pumpkins on a vine. They weighed them, there was a cash regisiter... Then December it was a gift wrapping station! They wrote Christmas cards and ordered wrapping paper and bows and wrapped gifts! This month it is an igloo. An igloo made from empty milk jugs and toy penguins slide down the "ice" - February they will have a Post Office in their classroom. Hazel's teacher asked me to be on the look out for envelopes, blue button up shirts for those little kinder postal workers! and mail bags and hats. Well, Oren and I hit the Calico Cat thrift store today. They DONATED a big bag of envelopes and two darling shirts! Made my day! And tomorrow I am fabric painting two canvas "mail bags" - I will paint US MAIL on them. It is fun for Oren and I to be able to help her classroom a bit from home and through thrifting. We love it.

I'll admit, I was dreaming of spring and summer a bit today... but I do love winter! I am not ready for spring YET, but will be soon!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

When I get out of my sweats... Life as a momma of four

I went to WalMart in my "work clothes" yesterday. Willem, Hazel and I ran in to get a few grocery items and a cake for Will. I had subbed in third grade (oh man I loved it!!)  I was feeling good wondering when the last time was that I was in WalMart in something other than sweats or yoga pants. ( I will have you know I do NOT do the pajama pants, but I would fit right in.) I am walking across the store wearing a cute scarf, feeling professional and I see a mom pushing a heavy, huge cart, holding her baby. Oh. This has been me many times over the past 13 years. I smile at her. I tell her that I have had many years of doing just what she is doing. I feel nostalgic. And then I realize it was about 4 days ago that Oren was on my hip and I was pushing a heavy cart of groceries. Ha!! I think I was just thankful to not be doing it AT THAT MOMENT and I wanted to encourage the sweet mama.

We headed to the check out line with a Seahawks cake. An old man asked me if it was on sale. ;-)
Then he told us he was a Patriots fan and from New England. He asked Willem and Hazel their names and he told Hazel she was beautiful. Positive social interactions can take place at WalMart.

I am feeling crafty! It doesn't take long before I can hold off from making a mess. I have been working SO hard at order. But my brain fights it. And then when many surfaces are cleared and items are in their place, I want to get a bunch of crafting stuff out or bake a pie!

In all this trying to find order, I lost my camera battery, some of the kids homework and thought I lost the book Merit had just finished reading and was needing to start a report on. But, the book was found.

We had dinner at El Rodeo last night! A great place to celebrate Willem's birthday! He wore the sombrero and they sang to him! Very fun. I love going out with this gang. Oren is getting easier at restaurants.

Today is good. Maria and three of her cuties stopped by. I had eggs and veggies for lunch. I am back in my yoga pants. Oren keeps angling for more of Willem's birthday cake. :-) Oren had a great day with Shannon yesterday and now likes to be hanging with mama. I might get a work out in and a chapter of the current book I am reading.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Happy Birthday Willem!

Posting the night before, because I sub tomorrow - 3rd grade! At Willem and Hazel's school!

Tomorrow on the 20th, Willem will be TEN! double digits!

I love your spirit! 
You are smart! You are creative! You make friends easily and you are kind. 

We love you so much! 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Evening

This photo was taken at Stan and Adie's. I thought it was so cute. Love Adie's creativity there.

 This has been a winter of coloring! Snow, ice and fog mean more cozy fires, more baking and more coloring!

Win or lose, this bunch, we are HAWKS fans!! 
We sure enjoyed a day at Bryan and Katie's today! Cheering on the Seahawks and visiting! 
I am glad tomorrow is Monday. I need a Monday, especially one with the kids home. 
My to do list is long, but I have helpers.
Later this week we will celebrate Willem's 10th BIRTHDAY! And I get to sub in 3rd grade!!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

January Days

Wild Will
Crazy about snow and sledding!
A big Seahawks fan!
Our January baby

January days

Vance has kind of a green thumb. He has a nice Bonsai collection and he has kept some of my "summer herbs" alive. It is so much fun to have fresh herbs right now...

There is a goat farm for sale not far from here. 
Oh my mind goes to dreaming...
Goat farming, more chickens, raising spinach! 
As crazy and wild as these dreams are, I think Vance likes them. 
This farm is set up for milking goats. A goat milking parlor. 
The setting is really pretty. 

made some ugly sweater cookies for the kids for an after school snack

I saw a sweet group of women today. Refreshing, good for the soul!
Amy R. and I exercised two nights this week during Reise and Merit's basketball practice, felt good.

Hazel wishes there was more time for baking and coloring. She is busy at school.

Oren has been fun, talking more and learning more.

Hazel's class is making an igloo out of empty milk jugs! I need to get into her classroom one of these days with my camera. -- It is such a cool project! I have been picking up empty milk jugs at Starbucks and dropping them off to her class. The childrens' excitement is so fun! The igloo is so cool!

My kids have some remarkable teachers! Merit's teachers do a fantastic job. Willem's teacher is so good at what she does! Hazel's teacher is nurturing and wonderful.

Thank you for praying for Natasha and Reese and family. God hears our prayers. 

Okay, back to my sweet 2 1/2 year old, Oren Paul.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Press forward, but also remember to pray

On January 12th, six years ago, this family was shaken with the loss of sweet Case William. 
He was layed to rest on January 20th, in Lynden. His parents grace was amazing to me. 
We begged God for comfort and I think I may have begged Him for understanding. I have not ever understood, but I continue to trust God. 
A few years ago I took family pictures on Christmas Day of Natasha and Reese's darling family! 
Lane and Estelle kept leaving a spot between them. I would say "scoot in" "sit close" but when I viewed the photo on my camera, I immediately felt like Lane was leaving a spot for his little brother and Estelle a spot for her big brother. And then I wondered what this family would be like if Case was still here.

I remember calling Kristen D. and telling her about the photos and how often there was a space left for Case. It made me smile and it made me cry. And there are countless things that happen each week that make me smile and they make me cry.

I have some of the best girlfriends in the world and I love my family so very much but I think I have moments and feelings that make it hard to understand me. And then I think of Natasha and Reese and how very hard some days must be. When they move to a new place, they have such a story. A lengthy, sad, deep story. But they have so much beauty too. They are examples of love. They are examples of people who press forward in spite of the most difficult circumstances.

but you know what, it is not just getting through it and getting by - they have JOY too.



And we keep praying and keep hoping. I try to ENCOURAGE. I am certainly encouraged by Natasha's love and GRACE.

Because of life's unknowns. I soak up these kids because I know tomorrow is not promised.

Merit still makes this silly expression!

Wild Will
Sweet Haze

Bonus baby Oren Paul

The need for prayer never stops. It is never that all prayers have been said. Today I am thankful for Natasha, Reese, Lane, Case, Estelle and Ingrid. Tasha is a mom to four just like I am but one of her children is with our mom in heaven. The trials and burdens of this world are heavy. I do know a few things; I know not to sweat the small stuff. I know our mom doesn't have to experience the heartache and pain of this world and I know that it is important to support others through hard times.

And one can be joyful, grateful and hurting all at the same time.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

with a thankful heart...

I'm gonna get you

He is missing Merit, Willem and Hazel! All that time with them over Christmas break was great!
But we are having fun and he keeps me entertained.

Yay! Seeds for next year... or chicken treats! 

healthy, beautiful chickens
And their personalities! They keep us smiling!

With a thankful heart.