Friday, February 24, 2017

Chicken rearing, cooking for 6, snail mail and ...

I still love being a crazy chicken lady.

I am thankful.

I received the nicest card in the mail today from my sister in law Mindy, along with three verses. She expressed sympathy regarding my Uncle Will's passing and wrote such a nice letter. We have been pen pals over the past three years and it has been good to keep in touch.

Our school bond passed! Thank you Moses Lake!!

Today Merit and I watched several of his buddies wrestle. I started crying once and almost threw up. What an intense sport!! Man, I was impressed - and slightly alarmed. 

Vance likes hanging out in the shop in the evenings and adding special touches to his new fishing boat. Merit and Willem are beginning to eat me out of house and home. If I give them permission to dish up before Vance has come in, sometimes I need to remind them to save a little dinner for their dad. I've got to make more. These kids are growing! I can't keep enough apples, string cheese or granola bars in the house. I love our kitchen, but sometimes dream of more kitchen storage.

We are going on a little adventure! Pictures to come. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday night

I got to teach 1st grade today. If you know a kinder or first grade teacher, bring them an energy drink, or 4. Maybe a latte, a gift cert for a massage or the best children's book you have ever read. Shaping, re-directing, encouraging and TEACHING a classroom full of these little people is so fun, funny, wonderful and tiring. 

I heard the cutest stories and one sad story. Hazel begged to be my helper. She and I got Subway for lunch. Liz and Shannon watched Oren, Liz for the morning, Shannon for the afternoon. Oh, I love knowing he is in good hands!!

The kids learn at different rates, in different ways, their brains working, absorbing... it was a good day.

I am so stuffed up. So a foggy, stuffy head and 22 first graders sort of kicked my butt. This week has already kicked my butt! 

We can see tiny bits of grass around the edges of our yard. The snow is melting. This has been a very long winter. And I know it is not over yet.

Praying often for my Uncle Will's family as his funeral service is tomorrow. Praying for grace, for strength, for comfort only God can give.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Looking at scripture and typing them on something beautiful has been encouraging and inspiring to me. We got some very sad news Friday evening. My Uncle Will died in an accident Friday afternoon. The feeling of things as we know it or life as we know it came to a sudden stop again. And we consider hourly all those hurting and processing and grieving. There is comfort in knowing that Will was a good man. He was a great husband, dad, and grandpa. Not to mention a great brother, brother in law, uncle, friend...
Extra prayers being said for our Aunt Joan and family on these February winter days.

Friday, February 17, 2017


This phase of motherhood is mostly dreamy. In fact, two weeks ago I was happily surprised that I could sip a cup of coffee or tea while sitting down. And I could take a bath or shower without anyone hollering "Mom!" I gave up on most phone conversations quite some time ago, but those are easing back into my world too.

And then, this week happened. I was taking a bath and a remote control dump truck came into the bathroom. A giggling operator was in the hallway. It then drove away but the door was left open. Oren requested I get out of the bath and turn on Paw Patrol for him.

Willem and Hazel argue over who will bake or cook with me. And they seem to have decided it can't possibly be BOTH of them.

I am sometimes a broken record "did you brush your teeth?" "Have you read your twenty minutes?" "Can you please hang your coat and back pack up?" "Whose cereal bowl is that? Could you please put it in the sink."

Then Oren had a big fat fit at the Senior Center Thrift Store. Hollering, yelling. An older Russian woman offered him a candy and the senior working the register offered him a sucker. Yes, because most certainly we should award this behavior. He got a spanking in the parking lot.

Wednesday was another "snow day" - that makes ten.Not counting several late starts. Never in my life have I rubber stamped so many cards, have we played so many board games and gone sledding so much. Two sleds ended up broken this winter, over use. I am yet to buy myself snow boots. I was sure with each snow, ice, freezing rain storm that this would be the last.

I pray a lot.
I also laugh a lot. To which Oren sometimes responds "Don't fun of me." I am so not making fun of him. But I am laughing at him more than with him because he is hilarious and I am officially an "old mom". His shenanigans don't phase me.

Life is good. And my favorite activity aside from being with my family is substitute teaching, where I can redirect 25 or 30 children. I love to read to them! All gathered together at the carpet. I can (try to) manage large groups of children and encourage them to do their work, stay on task, keep their hands to themselves and walk (not run) in the breeze way.

Children are our future and they are my favorite people to spend these days with.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Heart and Hustle

When they are on opposing teams (Frontier, Merit - Chief Mo, Carter) I hate it. 
They play hard, hustle and work well together. 
I've loved this tourney because I love this team. Heart and hustle.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thursday, February 9

These were taken last week on a day that I was soaking up the sun 
that we have not seen much of!
More snow now.

The roads are icy. 
The snow fell all day yesterday. 
Big boys are playing video games. 
Hazel is getting ready to play Star Fall, a fun computer game. Oren is running around, happy to have the kids home, playing trucks and being silly. 

I hope to take lots of kid pics today! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Kids at Play

 At play... Calico Critters are the cutest little toys. We are having a lot of fun with them.

 Oren loves trucks and trains

 We are supposed to get more snow today.
I never, typically, get my fill of winter. I believe that this year I have.

The kids have had a lot of fun playing in it! I love our hills out back, makes for good sledding fun!
And after the winter we have had, those first spring blooms will feel oh so sweet.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Give. Listen. Give thanks. And then, start all over again.

I met an elementary aged girl this week. She had a spirit, spunk and smile that inspired me. 
I gave a spelling pre-test. She told me she had studied a lot the night before! She asked me if I would be correcting the tests before the end of the day. She couldn't wait to see if she was a "star speller"! I did correct them, and she was a star speller! After more visiting I learned this girl is homeless. She stays in a shelter at night. School is safe and warm. There is breakfast and lunch. She is read to on a cozy carpet. She has a caring, terrific teacher. This girl is a sponge, wanting to learn. Stories like these change my perspective. 
They humble me. I am reminded to be a good listener, to be thankful and to give when I can.

When I see homeless adults, and there are many in Moses Lake, standing on street corners when it is 15 degrees- my heart hurts. 

Grandma Kris bought important supplies that any homeless person may need and created "giving bags" with a few of the grandkids. In the bags are warm socks, a hat, gloves, water, tissues, gum, a toothbrush and toothpaste, cheese and crackers... My kids have loved giving these bags out this January. It makes them feel like they can help, if even just a bit. Last night Merit handed one to a man (it was very cold last night) and the guy could not have been more appreciative. We drove away, in awe of how he made our day... And I said to Merit let's turn around and see if wants a burger or a coffee too. We pulled up to him again. He said he would love a burger. We hit McDonalds drive thru and I asked Merit if he would also like a burger. He said "no, give mine to him!" Two burgers and an order of fries later and five thank yous from a man with no home, we were humbled, smiling, feeling like maybe we made just a bit of a difference. I love the giving hearts these kids have! I am so thankful! 

I am baker! I think it is time to share some baked goods.

Moses Lake is doing a good job trying to address this need in our community. Sack lunches are put together every Tuesday evening. Youth Dynamics partners up with Serve Moses Lake to make this happen. The warming station, in the old Boys and Girls Club, is a warm place for many to sleep at night. If you live in Moses Lake and have blankets, sheets, warm clothes (gently used), shoes or kitchen items that you would like to donate,  Serve Moses Lake will take them and hand these items out as needed.

 Oren and I went thrifting this morning! The Valentine fabric might be fun to wrap handmade soaps in. We found a Strawberry Shortcake rag doll for a gal who we love who is collecting rag dolls. Other finds included a Little House on the Prairie BIG BOOK and stationary.

I love my egg gathering apron.
And I am standing on Vance's grandmother's rug. 
I am surrounded with keepsakes, hand made gifts and sweet blessings.

 This boy!
 Got my card making supplies out today for an hour and "went to town" -- so fun!