Wednesday, June 29, 2016


There is a woman, a Moses Lake resident, who I have seen off and on for years walking Broadway Extended. I believe she lives in a travel trailer. Her purse is dirty, her clothing is dirty. Often she is walking a dog. I have always been aware of this woman, feeling sort of sad for her.

Oren and I were in the check out line at the Grocery Store the other day and this woman was in front of us. She had some cuts on her head, her hair was wild. Her cloth purse was very dirty. She was pleasant and when she spoke, I noticed she was very well spoken. Oren was begging for the candy baby bottle at the check out. The one with the sugar powder. (Why oh why do they put the candy and chips right at the check out stand??) The woman kindly said "I want to buy that candy for that child." I told her no that she certainly did not need to! But she did. And in a very kind voice she said "My mother taught me to be generous and to do nice things for others."

I feel like this is an example of my last two months. The most "unlikely" blessings, the most interesting interactions. Challenges that bring me near tears and then moments like this when I think the world is a good place.

My three older kids thought this story was remarkable. They know of this woman and feel sad for her when they see her.

Yesterday we saw her walking. She was changing directions, walking here and there. Willem read her shirt. It said BLESSED.

I wonder if she knows how much she has blessed us?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Willem Vance

Willem, I sure loved watching you play this past weekend! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

a little Wednesday update

This week so far has been busy and good. 
Vacation Bible School is in full swing and it is such a blessing! We are loving it. 
I get to work with Maria Bong doing crafts with pre-K kids! It is very fun. Maria and I work well together. Hazel and Willem are each in their own class with their grade. I love what they are learning. And Merit and Oren are hanging out together. 
We are raising money for our missionaries, serving in Africa, to have school desks, teacher desks and solar panels. The kids are excited about this! 

Last Saturday in Ellensburg it was cold, windy, rainy! I had Willem, Hazel and Oren. Hazel begged to go to the car, Oren explored every mud puddle he could! The fields were a mess but the games were not delayed. Our tough, hard working 10 U boys played through it all and it was something! It was my least favorite of baseball days, but still some good memories were made. I left to get a caramel latte and an umbrella between games. And then baseball Sunday in E'burg was gorgeous. These boys played hard, they did great. There were several grandfathers at the games on Father's Day, this warmed my heart.

Merit and Vance spent the weekend in Tri Cities. Some good baseball was happening there too.

 The kids got creative in order to stay warm.

And since then, our weather has been nice and we are enjoying it! 

Willem netted a butterfly the other day and we observed it for about 20 minutes before letting it go. It was beautiful.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Friendships, sweet delights

It is funny how a little time with dear girlfriends can encourage and renew.

My mom didn't schedule many things with friends, away from her husband and kids. She did, however, have moms to sit with at ball games. She had friends she enjoyed visiting with at church and also lots of family in town. I so appreciate my friends through church, through sports...  and I love the time with them, I crave it, I need it. Even a 3 minute conversation with a mom at school feels good. Or a good phone catch up! (Lissa, Katie A., Shannon...)

I think there is danger in comparison. Some moms get mini breaks, some get long breaks. Some may need a vacation to renew and rejuvinate, some a coffee date. Some husbands encourage it, some don't. Sometimes the ages and stages of our kids make it more difficult, but it is a treat when we get it.  And we need to remember to thank God for the dear women in our life!

Maybe my favorite thing about girl time is that it helps me realize I am normal. And God speaks through these woman telling me "I am enough."

My Tuesday afternoon with Marilyn and Marie was sweet girl time. And this weekend at the ball fields I bet I get more good fun conversation with moms, wives, friends...

I LOVE to watch my kids develop friendships too!

Our summer break is rolling! I am loving it!

 sweet Emily! We love this girl!

Nathaniel and Oren sure had fun digging for and playing with earth worms! 
Oren didn't love sharing his mom that morning, but he, too, saw all the delights friendship brings! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer break is here in 4 hours! ;-)!!

Summer break is here! And the school shoes are worn out! Time for new! 

My favorite summer memories are usually the simple ones. The ones when we get creative and just enjoy being together -- floating the creek! Wipe out in the front yard, time with friends at the water park, baseball, watching these kids make memories with their siblings... Can't wait! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday night

Gosh, today I am just a little bit behind on everything. Well, a whole lot behind on some things. Got nearly a ninety minute walk/stroller ride in which was great. Usually I don't push it for more than 30 minutes. Oren, however, had the patience for it today. And I appreciated a long walk.
a highlight of the weekend, watching Hayden Meek hit a TRIPLE! 

Claunch did a great job pitching.

I love watching Main and Aguilar catch, Stuart too.

oh this sweet girl

Merit Henry! and he was safe!

Stan, Adie and Sandy came and supported the Dirt Brothers and the 10 U team!

Hazel, Oren and the Stuart's darling pup!!

Willem - I love his hustle.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


I walked past a large stain in the carpet for the 100th time. Telling myself I have to spray something on that. I know I can get it out, but when will there be time?

I start to weed my garden but remember I need to call my child's teacher back about something. I need to make two dentist appts and I need to talk to Vance about reserving a camping spot for an upcoming ball tournament. I leave the half weeded garden and start addressing the other things.

But I hear the dryer buzzer go off and I look at the clock and see I need to leave in five minutes to get Merit from practice, but Oren is still napping...


Sometimes I feel like there just is not enough of it.

But you know what, these really are the best of times. 

I spent most of today at Longview. Oh my lands, those kids! I love kids! The funny things they say, their love for life. So many were so excited about the field day activities! Yesterday I joined Hazel's class for a picnic that they had earned for being in control at the carpet. But there was a little boy in Hazel's class who kept not wanting to participate. He would walk away, look away, didn't want to be a part of the group. My heart hurts for him. Something seems to be going on. And I hug him and I imagine he wonders - who is this weird lady hugging me - and I pray for him. I watch Hazel's teacher meet the needs of 22 busy, energetic, lively kindergarteners. Not only does this woman have eyes in the back of her head, she has compassion and a love for learning and she is AMAZING!

I head over to Willem's fourth grade class. The kids seem big. They seem so independent. The teacher and I made rootbeer floats for them because their outdoor field day was cancelled due to thunder and lightning. These kids make eye contact and they thank us. And Will's teacher helps them with their manners. And I am so thankful for my children's teachers.

 I get home and I get to soak up four kids. I get to watch their activities, help with homework, put out fires, read books, brush teeth...
Vance and I really are enjoying this, most days!

  • today I am thankful for my family! 
  • for my friends! 
  • our sweet egg laying Chickens
  • our dog Nellie
  • TIME
  • my children's teachers
  • laughter
  • our garden
  • prayer
  • God's plan

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The heat is here, fun in the sun

Shannon and Jaron

Good friends are such a sweet gift! 

Oren taking my picture with his spy cam.
His imagination is sooo fun!

The heat is here! About 100 degrees today!

 Our lavendar is blooming and I LOVE it! Harvested it some today.

Beckham and Willem at Merit's game!

Kari, Vance, Amy