Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Me again

Hazel had Jadyn over today and those girls running, their giggles, their baking and frosting and story telling had me SMILING. They are not in the same class this year, but that doesn't stop their friendship from continuing to GROW! 

I love jeans that fit but I also really love eggnog. I like hot apple cider with vodka too (thank you Shannon) and I am a huge fan of frosted sugar cookies.

This boy. I am so thankful for him.

 Their friendship is very cool.
My explorer.
Brenda, please show Matt this picture! Because he will love it. No, he wasn't picking up after his dog. He was on an army guy hunt! 

Tuesday Happenings

I lack the ability to prioritize today. 
But, we have a dinner plan. Everybody is healthy and homework is getting done... 
Merit feels a bit over loaded. He plays in Entiat tomorrow, Moses Lake Friday night and Wenatchee Sat. and then trying to fit in homework, practice and a bit of downtime gets tricky.  Willem's last game of school ball is tomorrow. He has had a good season!
Hazel is having a friend over after school. I think they will bake! :-)
Oren is such a sweet kid and a funny kid. He loves it when his siblings are home! He enjoys coloring, practicing letters, drawing, hiking, and hanging out with Vance in the shop. His favorite show is still Curious George, Paw Patrol is a close second.
I bought Vance a little birthday gift today! He is a December baby, the 13th.
My Grandma Alma had back surgery last week. Prayers for a continued, great recovery are welcomed. 

My Aunt Jill emailed me an album of old pics. Some of them from 1971, some of them from earlier. I scrolled and scrolled through those pictures yesterday. Many of them were of my mom and her siblings. My mom was the oldest, then Mark, Laurie, Jill and Jeremy. There are several pictures of my grandparents house on Stremler Drive. Wow, the memories of that house!
I was one of those really lucky kids who felt such safety and comfort in my Grandma Dorothy's house on Sunrise Road and my Grandma Alma and Grandpa Ken's home on Stremler Drive. MANY memories made in both homes! Memories made with amazing people. Seeing details in the photographs of my grandparents home and yard brought me back. 
There were some pictures of my grandfather in Korea, he fought in the Korean War. Also some pictures of my great grandma, Grandma Alma's mom.

I have a way to view how many people read my blog. Often, I don't think to check it but sometimes it is fun to. My last entry was read by 35.  I don't know who the readers are, only about a handful of them. But, what has been really neat for me is when I go to Lynden sometimes I run into someone who tells me they enjoy our family blog. Writing feels somewhat therapeutic so this outlet is good and sharing pictures is what I love most. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

The JOY of Giving!

Merit, Willem and Hazel Jane all have a canned food drive going on at their schools. The food collected will go to our local food bank. At Willem's school there are prizes for the homeroom classes that bring in the most food. Helping the hungry, teaching children giving, prizes, Christmas spirit! I love this.
Willem's AVID class has "adopted" a family through NEW HOPE, a mom and three small children. Willem and I had so much fun shopping for this family yesterday! When you adopt a family through NEW HOPE, you learn their ages, interests, sizes and what is on their wish list. It makes shopping fairly easy and very fun. If you are interested, call NEW HOPE. 

If you are interested for buying for one or two children, pulling a card off of a Giving Tree is a great way to go.

Another thing we love to do in December is bring quarters to the laundromat. What a great month to bless people with a little laundry money. I am going to give a few bags of quarters to Merit this week. He drives now. I want him to be blessed by this fun giving opportunity.

When my dear friend Liz watches Oren while I teach, sometimes she has a sweet boy named Owen there too. Owen is four and Oren and Owen quickly became great playmates when they met, earlier this school year. Liz called me Friday and said that Owen had a little gift for Oren. They came over that morning and Owen, with such excitement, handed my Oren and beautifully wrapped gift. I have never met Owen's parents. This gesture was very kind. Oren was delighted. This was so unexpected and fun! The little army guys and motorcycles have been played with like crazy since Owen blessed Oren with them that day. 

Oren and I mailed two packages today. The Post Office was busy, slush in the parking lot, people searching for a parking place, kind folks holding doors open for others. Oren is so much better at running errands with me than he was a year ago. Very few melt downs, more help from him and great conversation. It will be hard to send this munchkin to kinder. But being a substitute teacher allows me to see my kids at school - Hazel always helps me look over lesson plans and prepare when we arrive in the morning, often I get to have lunch with her too which is very special.

On Friday, I will make soap with 40 kindergartners! This is the fourth year I have done this. The teachers purchase a soap base, honey, oatmeal or goats milk. The children choose their mold and their scent (essential oil), they add a little oatmeal or lemon zest if they would like. These are parent Christmas gifts. The kindergarten classrooms smell AMAZING on the days when we do this!! And the kinder kids are so excited to make a gift for a parent, guardian or special someone.

May your day be filled with the JOY of Christmas.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Basketball, Christmas Trees, December Moments

I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I have been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. 
-Michael Jordan

We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action. -Dr. Henry Link

 Pictures from LAST Sunday! A really good day and we brought home two great trees, one for the loft, one for the house.

 I love this tree farm! Hall - A -Day

Merit's playing in Yakima tonight! I hope they do great! 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

December Happenings

Here it is, the month where when I start to do something I imagine all of the other things that I maybe should be doing that might be more important than what I am currently doing. Eek. My worst months for this are December and August. 
 Two "activities" where I can escape this "feeling" are exercising and teaching.
Sometimes exercise means a long hike out here on rocky paths, deer trails and along Crab Creek.

And when I get to do it alone or with my favorite peeps, it is a bit of therapy.

Lots of prayer needs to happen in December. There is so much goodness, but lots to keep track of too and many activities, events, programs, shopping, planning, spending...

Monday, November 19, 2018

A gorgeous November, my dad visits

Our November has been gorgeous and these Crab Creek hikes are so good for us.
Vance and I take them almost daily. 

Yesterday having my dad join us was good. 

 Our power was out for a couple of hours yesterday so the kids enjoyed a couple of board games by candlelight.

Hoping for more gorgeous November days! My chickens are happy too.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Conference Week

It is conference week this week for our school district. I am watching these parents walk into parent/teacher conferences. It could be good news, it could be hard news, it could be the same ol' news. Things like Skyward help us stay connected. I don't feel like we are ever really in the dark unless we choose to be in the dark. These teachers work hard. They care about our kids and in my experiences they provide better than adequate opportunities for learning. I could be listing names, but I would be here all day and that is a good thing.

A teacher who I respect greatly told me she should keep a box of tissues handy during or after conferences because all children have a story, but many of them may cause one to reach for a tissue.

I also realize that there are parents strongly acting as advocates for their children; maybe because of a learning disability or the possibility of one,  neuro diversity maybe, ADD/ADHD... These parents could be advocating for a mis-understood child. Teachers advocate for students too. I see a lot of people working hard and I wish I could do more.

My hope is that there is a whole lot of GRACE, understanding and working together on all ends.

I have made some dumb mistakes lately as a mom. My friends make me feel like I am not alone in this, maybe because I am not alone in this or maybe just because they are being nice. :-)  I just keep doing my best and pray "Oh Lord, guide me."

A dear friend sends me a pic last night of Merit shaking football coaches hands. She asks "are you coming?!" oh darn, where? Where am I supposed to be? It was the JV, Varsity football banquet. I could have missed an email. I learned later that Merit did not mention it because 1) he knows we are running a lot 2) he did not think he would even be able to attend because of basketball practice/tryouts. The cool thing was, they let the football guys leave basketball early to attend the banquet. 

Merit came home with a big smile, inquired about Willem's first game of the basketball season which is actually happening right now :-) and he tucked Oren and Hazel in as they laughed and giggled. 

Willem looked so sharp this morning. Dress shirt, dress pants and a tie - that is how they dress on game day. He looked a bit older to me as he walked out the door. 

Some days we might ask ourselves
"why is this so hard?" 
other days - brighter days -  we might think "Could it get any better than this?" 
 Some days we may feel tired and weary,
other days motivated and energetic.
And sometimes we feel all of these things within the same day, which I believe is the beauty and the challenge of motherhood.

I am so thankful for God's grace.

A cold November update...

It is cold and beautiful... sun shining. 
I am getting ready to price some very cute Christmas things that will be at the Favored Farmhouse. That store has so much farmhouse charm. I am inspired each time I walk in. 
This evening I really want to be home with Vance, Hazel and Oren. But I would love to be at Willem's first basketball game of the season in Wenatchee! (GO WARRIORS!)
Merit is in his last day of try outs for basketball... 

 Pictures I have been meaning to post and  am finally getting around to it...
 Granny's outfit took some convincing. She even let me give her some rouge! 

 There is a house in the Montlake area that goes ALL OUT for Trick or Treaters! Their displays are not scary, just fun and so festive! It has become a tradition to go to this house each year! We just love it!!

 This cabin has been the sweetest retreat for ten years!

These two and their support for one another is so awesome. I am thankful.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

For the Love of Reptiles

Thank you Longview PTA for bringing the reptile man to Longview, 7th year in a row - I believe,
We sure had one happy girl!

Sunday, November 4, 2018