Sunday, August 27, 2017


How is it nearly the end of August!? Time flies so quickly.
These Calico Critters are a favorite toy around here!

Summer evenings are so sweet.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Therapy, in the form of thrifting

I picked Merit up from football practice the other morning and told him we just had one stop to make. I am sure he was hoping Dutch Brothers or Safeway (where he could grab a power bar or sandwich). "Senior Center Thrift Store" I say with a smile. And he follows me in. The store smells a bit like an old ladies house, a library and yesterday's lunch.
When I see something at the thrift store that reminds me of my mom I get a warm and fuzzy feeling!! Old dishes, a mug she used to have, a wall hanging, a fabric print,  a Christmas decoration, Good Housekeeping from 1995...and sometimes I cry.
Old men and woman who I run into there have told me to enjoy my children because they grow fast. They have given me a smile on a down day, they have watched my children play in the toy section. Several years ago, Willem and I were at the Senior Center Thrift Store and there was a band playing in the area where the seniors play games and eat lunch. Willem hurried out onto the wood floor, almost as if he were going to break out and dance and heads turned and seniors smiled. A two year old, white haired boy running out onto the floor was a bit of joy and sweet energy!
My mom never bought a lot of "extras" -- if she wanted to go shopping it was the clearance rack (clothes) or something fun at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. She didn't shop for much else. She was not a big reader, but occasionally had a Bible Study she loved and liked magazines. Her Bible and Bible study workbook were her current reads when she passed away.
I found this book on "friendship" recently at the Senior Center, copyright 1974. I remembered my mom's  friend Lois giving her a cute little book on friendship. I paged through that book yesterday and was loving some of the quotes I read. And I thought of my mom.
When I started getting serious about thrifting (at about 19 years of age) my mom loved hearing about my bargains!
Something strange happens with TIME when I go to the Senior Center. I go back a little and can grab memories from several decades. If I see a dish pattern my mom, aunt or grandma had or a mug my mom used to drink out of I can sort of re-visit.
I have found a large bag of dominoes for my favorite kinder teacher! Fabric for Maria or Tasha and open shelf kitchen things for Shannon. I have bought children's book for teachers and for my children. I bought an old sturdy chair for Vance's new office. The people working the counter are always kind to me.
Therapy in the form of a thrift store. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 19! Brandon and Kelcy's wedding!

 Hazel and Kendal loved being FLOWER girls!!

These two share such a special love. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Phillips! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Summer moments, memories, fun

What could those girls be contemplating?? And I love that Natasha is knitting a Christmas stocking!
We laugh at the things we do when we are together. We are often preparing food for the kids and cleaning it up. We love to thrift, which we got a chance to do. We used to rubber stamp or make soaps but with 7 kids under foot it can be tricky. Oren and Ingrid fight and they play. We let them work it out most of the time. Some discussions about whose turn it is and sharing. ha ha, the good stuff. We And then I brought home a sweet, tiny, fragile kitten and we spent a lot of time bottle feeding her - Little Miss Muffet.-----------

Last week Hazel got to ride the Garcia's horse. 
Oh my lands, a summer dream come true.
Horse back riding is usually something she gets to do at the big company picnic in Lynden. 
We did not attend this year and Hazel told me what she missed most were the horses. I called my sweet friend Lisa, we set up a time to ride and Hazel enjoyed riding Boots!
The next day, Tasha, Reese, Lane, Estelle and Ingrid came to visit! Estelle and Hazel had a ball! They were together 24/7. Natasha and I took just those two girls out to eat Saturday night! It was so fun! Natasha and I had sushi and the girls had steak! 
Hazel and Estelle got to giggling like crazy. Sweet memories made. 

My friend Marianne and her husband Alan are in the process of adopting a boy from China. The excitement of this and the unknowns of this have been on my heart! I love their leap of faith and their TRUST.
Marianne is having a huge yard sale fundraiser this weekend. It has been fun to go through the kids' clothes (well, necessary more than fun) and gather some things for her sale. It will help them as they continue to raise money for their adoption and their travel to China. If you are in Moses Lake this weekend, her sale is Sat. and I bet it is a big one! 

I have read a bit more this summer than several previous. I finished Reconstructing Amelia. Oh, a well written book but hard to read because it was sad and disturbing. It kept my attention though. I started Lady Moses last night. I last read this book 20 years ago! It was a required read for a college English course. I want to see what I think of it now that I am married, have kids, am twenty years older... Then I hope to read Cherish. Kristen "my CA girl" sent it to me! 

Monday, August 14, 2017


 This little girl!! Full of it, darling and oh so beautiful!!

Cousin fun is pretty special.

Tasha, Reese and fam spent the weekend here.
It is pretty fun having them in WA now!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Creek LIFE

 We have never enjoyed the creek as much as we have this summer!
Crab Creek adventures unfold each day.

Monday, August 7, 2017


August is a month of juggling.
It is my most difficult month of the year. It is a month for deep breaths and sanity checks. 
With that being said, today was good. 
I purchased a "cube storage unit" -- I have no idea what it is really called but for $20 I picked up a pretty heavy duty "box storage cubby". Look at me, I continue to invent new names for this. I always think I need more storage. The reality; I need less stuff. 
Anyway, Bill and Katherine are fantastic and if I can get ten minutes visiting with Katherine on any day I am blessed and refreshed. This morning I planned to go pick it up at their home, several miles from here, before getting Merit from weight training. As Vance was leaving the house at 9:45 he told Merit he was taking the truck. Merit said "oh but I thought mom was taking the truck." --- I messaged Katherine, Bill measured the unit for me, I knew that with a little luck it would fit in the back of my car.
Good news is, it did. 
I then get home and start weeding through piles and baskets and totes in my craft room.
And I find myself sort of in another world. 
I see a picture of me, my mom, my Aunt Meredith and my Aunt Joan at Birch Bay.
Quickly, I was missing my mom, missing time with my mom, missing Birch Bay, missing family...
Then I see a picture of me and my mom in my Grandma Dorothy's Sunrise Road house and a little piece of me so badly wants to walk through that house again. 
I remind myself the garbage man could be coming at any time! And if I have broken things, things that are not useful or trash I need to get them out to the dumpster. Hazel asks me to watch an Easy Bake Oven video. Oren asks me for oatmeal. I realized we don't have a plan for lunch. But I wanted two hours to tackle the craft room. 
I did. It was interrupted. They were all good interruptions. I threw away some stuff. I gathered two bags of stuff for Goodwill and took a short walk down memory lane. I toured -in my mind- Grandma Dorothy's Sunrise Road house, Grandma Alma's Stremler Drive house, Birch Bay with my mom and a couple of aunts, Merit's baby pictures... 
The kids and I then all hopped in the car and headed to DQ for a late lunch and a scenic drive!
We laughed and conversed. 
In 3 weeks I will have a high schooler, a middle schooler, an elementary girl and a preschool 4 year old! I hope August can slow down a bit. We still haven't gotten to Lynden this summer. I had hoped the kids and I would enter crafts, legos or pictures in the FAIR here, I haven't seen my Grandma Alma in quite a while.
But I know we will fit in some good stuff. Maybe not all of the stuff, but good outings, visits and conversations for sure.

The back to school flyers and sales aren't my thing. And school supply shopping has to wait till after the first day of school because I refuse to think about it before then.
The smoke has not cleared which makes my brain foggy. I did order two movies on Amazon that the kids will LOVE! 
If your day is jumbled or foggy or stressful or sad, tomorrow is new. And I believe there is joy to be found.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

oh summer

 Marilyn has this enchanting, inviting space! Her greenhouse is so fabulous.
 Hazel and I attended a beautiful baby shower for Carly! Kelcy and Penny did a great job hosting.

 My sweet, talented niece Lucy MADE this for Carly's baby.

 This guy. He is having a great summer. Pretending with Hazel would be one of his highlights I am guessing.
Capes, princess dresses, playing, pretending, sibling love...

We went to the lake yesterday and met up with three kids who have lots of TIME each day. Parents working, they get their chores done by 12:30 and they are usually allowed to walk wherever and find something to fill their day. It was fun for Merit and Willem to swim and jump off the bridge with them. One of the friends, "J", said the day before he had been at the lake from 12:30 till sunset. He and his sister packed a sandwich and an apple. They asked us to meet them again next week. Great kids, finding fun in their summer "travels."

For many, summer isn't vacations and eating out and ice cream stops. It is sometimes a bit boring or lonely.
 God is placing some of these kids in our path and that is a blessing.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Heritage Park

 Heritage Park in Calgary was quite impressive! We enjoyed a train ride, a boat ride and we toured a beautiful museum. We had lunch at a very neat restaurant.

 I kept thinking of my friend Tami when soaking up the beauty of this vintage trailer.

Vance was eyeing this old stove. We would love to have something like this for the shop.

Our last full day in a Calgary!