Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spring Goodness

Baseball is in session!!! Every day! Dedicated boys! 
Picture of Merit soon...

The yellow she is facing is a HUGE beautiful willow tree!!

Life is good on Crab Creek.

Our chickens, especially this white one (Toasted Marshmallow) - got really spooked a couple of days ago. Two neighbor dogs were in our yard going after them. Willem shouted at the dogs and they ran away. But, not one egg today. A stressed chicken has a hard time laying eggs. Poor girls.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Not so much a festive mom

I think I can appreciate the different "types of moms" more today than ever before. 

I did Easter baskets for my kids! About once every three years I do this.  I am not the best "festive mom" - My sister in law Katie is an awesome "festive" mom. 

On St. Patrick's Day Hazel didn't wear any green and she may have been pinched all day. 

I DO NOT like throwing birthday parties but I love celebrating my kids. I can't "theme" anything. Although if my kids wanted a "chicken party" I could quite possibly have the right stuff. 

The Easter baskets were fun and so was the hunt for eggs but when I came inside after lots of fun outdoors Hazel asked me if she could PLEASE peel potatoes with me. She brought her little stool up to the sink, washed all the potatoes, I peeled them and she gathered all the peelings and threw them away. All the while chatting and inquiring about baking something later. The gift of time means so much.

So, potatoes boiling and Willem asks me to please go outside and watch him fly his helicopter, but Oren has a dirty diaper, I want to text Kelly and I just heard the dryer buzzer go off... that gift of time gets tricky. But if I am intentional about it, I can give it.

Some days I am good at this. Some days not so good.

When Merit was little I stressed more. Now with four I enjoy the ride. Lissa is the person who taught me how to do this. My sis in law Cary too.

I will be with friends and their children and see the different talents and gifts and am always learning and appreciating! Hazel didn't know as much as I thought she did about the true meaning of Easter. So I had a teaching opportunity yesterday. And I thought of our friends Jason and Shannon and how I think they are very good about helping their kids with the TRUE meaning. Also, their son does Bible Quizzing. What a great way to learn the Bible and have friendly competition! 

Through Longview, I have met INCREDIBLE volunteer moms!!! As Oren gets a little older I want to get better at this. Our PTA rocks!

 I learn from Maria all the time. Katie A. too... I should not even begin listing names because it would take me so long to list them all. 

I love the baseball moms. And how they enrich my life.

I love navigating motherhood with my sisters. We remain close at heart in spite of the distance.

There is not one way to do anything. And that is such a blessing because we all do things so differently.

And you know, if we stop feeling inadequate or envious, we can just learn and grow. And appreciate. And once we have an "I can learn" attitude, good things happen.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

upgrading from the dog leash, thanking God for his GOODNESS

The promise and hope of EASTER! 
He is risen! 
He is risen indeed!

To know we have that hope is such a blessing. 

We sure enjoyed these kids today too!! 
Time together.

We got a couple pieces of good news today and that felt good for the heart.

 She helps him. He calls for her. He begs her to play with him after she has spent hours playing with him.He asks me to pick her up from school 5 - 10 times a day. He LOVED carrying around that Easter basket, but refused to put even one egg in it. Oren, his OWN little person. Never a dull moment!

She has been jump roping with a dog leash for 3 months. 
She got a jump rope in her Easter basket and that is what she did all afternoon!!! 
Down hills, on uneven ground, forward, backward. She tells me her favorite hobbies are coloring and jump roping. But I know playing play dough is right up there too!

Last night was SO fun. We celebrated Bonnie Guitar's birthday in Soap Lake! She is 93 years old! A talented musician. It was fun to look her up yesterday too and listen to some of her older songs. I first heard her play maybe 23 years ago.
Dancing and laughing and being together last night was great! We had a fun evening with Ryan, Carly, Vic and Kris. 

Thanking God for his goodness.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

As I reflect...

I love this old newspaper clipping. Jayleen Tjoelker gave it to me several years ago. October 16, 1969. My mom, freshman princess there on the right if you are looking at the picture.

I'll admit, I have wrestled with God a bit this March. 
I usually do pretty well with the TRUST factor. 
I don't understand His plan, but I trust it. 
That has not changed but the whispering WHY sort of surfaced more this week than it has in a long time.

My bridal shower at my Aunt Jill Davis' - I loved that evening!! 

Grandma Jule, me, Grandma Dorothy, Grandma Alma, my mom and Adie 
on one picture!! I think I need to frame this one. 

My mom's garden! picking flowers the day before my wedding

Jean Heeringa's garden. She was so sweet and welcomed my mom and I to pick from her garden for bouquets!! My Zylstra aunts all came and picked too! Barb, Janis, Meredith, Joan and Jill! Megan too. 
It was really a fun day. Beautiful weather, gorgeous flowers and good memories. We did not have a wedding fund. What was so great was Vance and I bought everything we could! Stan and Adie and Vic and Kris helped us. My mom and dad too. Many of the flowers were from Jean's garden and my mom's garden! And then my Aunt Barb worked her magic with all of them. She purchased some yellow roses and additional flowers too. I worked summer school in Royal City the summer of my wedding so I couldn't get over to Lynden to plan till about two weeks before our wedding. But the money I made at summer school went towards expenses. And those few weeks of that summer in Lynden were such a blessing.

My mom and Megan

John and Grandpa Ken! 
Our rehearsal dinner was at Stan and Adie's it was wonderful! 

My grandpa Ken was also called to heaven on March 25th

My mom and dad the day of Vance and my wedding

As I reflect, I feel very thankful. 
As I reflect, I feel like I could have maybe written this story better. ?? 
But when I really stop and remember God's role in all of this, I know that He is in control and also I know this is the way it should be. And the really wonderful thing is, He loves me even through the "whys" and the "what ifs"

Friday, March 25, 2016

Today is a day of balancing normal every day stuff, but also being somber and reflective that today is good Friday. Today is also the anniversary of my mom's death. 

How in the heck am I so lucky to have so many good friends? It all started with Lissa. We are STILL super close and I have this circle of additional women who are AMAZING. A couple checking in with me today, supportive and kind.

Merit, Willem and I did a really fun 5 k last Saturday! I think we will do another in April! 

Willem has baseball five nights a week. Merit, 4 nights a week. And soon the out of town tournaments will start! 

Hazel is SO easy right now. This girl. She is wise, smart, silly and she looks out for this family. She is feeling under the weather right now, but she is so sweet about it.

Vance, Oren and I enjoyed lunch out today. Then Oren and I thrifted.

I have thought of my mom ALL DAY. March 25th is the date she was called to heaven, my dear Grandpa Ken too! Those two were loved by SO many!!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

I am still learning from my mom

I think what I love most about growing older is that I have the wisdom of my years so far, but I am still learning. The learning doesn't stop. And this, is such a gift.

This past year, once again, has been a year of learning.

I let myself reflect a lot in March. I look through old pictures of my mom, memories surface, things I haven't maybe thought of in five or ten years! It feels crazy and good. And is sometimes really hard. She passed away on March 25th. I think it is interesting that my heart and brain sort of lets me remember and feel the loss more in March than the other months.

Merit made Dirt Brothers, a traveling baseball team. Willem tried out for Prep League yesterday and is trying out again right now. Vance and I are very grateful that we can offer this opportunity to our kids. This means expense, travel and a whole lot of time. My brother Matt was on a traveling team for a while. It was not a great fit for our family. My parents had five children and my dad worked long hours. My dad had a lot of expectations of our mom and our mom was busy. Travel ball wasn't something our family could really do.

Our mom's time, interest and love were more than sufficient.

When I graduated from high school, not a penny was saved for me to go to college. Through financial aid and student loans I got my teaching degree. I worked all through college. For the last two years of college I worked full time and went to school at night and on Saturdays. It was so hard and it was so wonderful! My mom could not help me financially but oh man, she supported me every step of the way. This whole hearted support, although not through money, is something I have been more grateful for in my 40th year of life than ever before.

And in my 40th year, I have never been so thankful for my teaching degree. I LOVE subbing. I so enjoy being at Willem and Hazel's school!

This March I am so thankful for what I have had to work for.

And today, it is important to us for our kids to learn responsibility etc. Merit and Willem have become great babysitters! They babysit often. If I am running Merit to sports or the orthodontist or to an activity and Vance is still working, Willem watches the little ones. If I am taking Willem to an appt. or activity, Merit watches the little ones. And they watch Hazel and Oren so Vance and I can go out on the occasional date too!

So, these kids are getting to play sports, we camp, they have been on incredible fishing trips! But we teach them how to work too and how to contribute to our household running more smoothly. I pray God will help us to continue to do this.

I learned how to be a mom from my mom. 
I am grateful.

oh P.S. Willem made the team!!

Our busy summer of baseball just became a busy spring/summer of baseball. I wish I could call my mom and tell her.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Flashback Friday! Sharing friends and things I love!

Awesome ladies!


 I love this girl! She gets me. Time and time again.

Crafting with friends = therapy

Constant Support
Prayer Warriors

Oh I love these ladies!!

Matt and B
I'll take a warm summer night and a cold beer


Thea - we love this family! And this is a sweet memory of a birthday party some time ago!
My sweet, sweet blue eyed girl