Sunday, May 30, 2010

Love Notes

Grandma came to visit for a few days! It was WONDERFUL! I always enjoy our visits and I really appreciate how helpful she is. The children all love when we have company for circle time and they begged Grandma to join us. She was reluctant at first but couldn't help but join in on our Hymn Study. It was especially fun for us to hear what her favorite Hymns were, and so special that we had already studied the Hymns that she named.

Grandma really stepped up and watched all the children plus one more so Sean and I could have a Date~gasp~ really, we went out to dinner and for a drive and a little shopping (not for anything that we had to buy either, just to look).
We had an especially busy week and it was so amazing to have another person who cares about the children here to help at a moments notice!

Ian is a little lover, he also comes up with some very creative attire. I love the boots with shorts! I think Grandma went home with out 9 1/2 pounds of art work the children made for her.

I love this picture it is of Grandma (with the white hair) sitting on the couch and Ian giving her a flower. Doesn't he just melt your heart?

Friday, May 28, 2010


It's Official! We finally have honey~One whole Quart!!
It is early in the season so we hope for a sticky delicious harvest.
Does anyone want to guess how many hives we have, and how long we have waited for honey? If you are correct I will send you a sweet little reward.

Just to give you a little hint, we lost some hives this winter and Sean's father, Ivan, brought us an extra queen he had. We artificially swarmed one of our strong hives in hopes of another colony.

Both of these men really like their bees! Ivan drove 3 1/2 hours to bring us our new queen, stayed for a couple hours then drove 3 1/2 hours home! That is commitment.
The picture of Taylor above happened recently when Sean got a call to come catch a swarm, I was putting the children to bed so I could not go help. Taylor went and they both ended up getting stung pretty bad. Fortunately, Taylor only got stung once but it was right on her eyelid/eyebrow area (the one area she did not have covered). Sean did not fair as well, he was wearing his Chacos and got 5 stings on one foot.
I know it does not sound very compassionate, but the swollen appendages really make me laugh. They look fake, without any wrinkles or prints. Every time I look at it I laugh, Sean doesn't like that.
Taylor has been quite the trooper and still enjoys helping with the bees. It is a sweet reward made all the sweeter by the work we have invested into it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Taylor and I enjoyed a rare treat of time together~just us! It did involve moving mountains to make it happen but it was worth the effort!
Taylor, Kimberly, and me

First, I had to get life jackets and lunch together for the boys, then I had to make sure the little girls had all their needs and drop them off with Tami! Thank you so very much for keeping them!
Taylor and I did some shopping, she has grown about 4 1/2" since January and therefore has almost nothing that fits. It is not easy trying to find modest clothes for a tall thin 12 year old.
We were able to find 2 pairs of pants and 3 shirts, not bad if I do say so myself.

Sarah Mae with her Daddy waiting patiently to give Kimberly her Rose

We stopped for a quick trip in to Goodwill then for dinner and off to the highlight of our day~ Kimberly's Dance Recital. Kimberly has been working hard all year on her dance for this evening. We have seen small glimpses of what is involved however, seeing the whole dance complete with costume, music, lighting and all that goes into it was definitely worth the effort!

Kimberly and Chris

The title of the recital was 'Everybody' and they did an amazing job of covering everybody. There were the cute little 3 year old ballerinas, Kimberly's Hip Hop class, Pointe Ballet, An Indian interpretative dance, Rap, Something like Thriller (not too sure what to call that), They had a Jazz group and Tap!

Kimberly, Sarah, Geaba

The talent these young dancers showed was amazing and there were even some adult classes that made me wish for more coordination and flexibility!

Justin, Geaba, Kimberly, Chris, Sarah

The recital was long but very entertaining! It ended at 9:30PM! then we headed over to Kimberly's house for appetizers and dessert. It was fun to hang out and visit with them. We got on the road to head home at 11:45. Taylor kept turning down the music and up the heat, I kept turning up the music and down the heat. She said, "I can't go to sleep with the music up." I replied, "I can't stay awake with the music down!"
Taylor decided it was more important for me to stay awake than for her to sleep so she gave up trying and talked to me the whole way home! We were finally in bed by 1:30AM.
Super Job Kimberly, Thank you so much for including us in your celebration!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yesterday I turned 39! 39 seems like a big number. I am not afraid of getting older it just seems to be happening so fast! I really enjoy spending time with friends and family. I decided that I need to not have giant expectations and plan what I wanted. My day was perfect! At first I thought we should do school but quickly changed my mind. The weather was beautiful and my children are old enough to help get ready to do things. We hooked up a Trail a Long bike I bought for Ruby and put Liberty in the bike seat and headed out. What I did not know was that you actually have to know how to balance and it was really difficult for Taylor to balance both her and Ruby, we ended up trading bikes (I like mine way better). We only went a mile and a half from home when we had to turn around because Ruby needs more practice.
The highlight of my day was everyone coming over for a BBQ! We even had people come who happened to stop by at the perfect time! The more the merrier. Really, I just wanted people to come but I was blessed with amazing gifts as well. I got my own set of colored pencils from Taylor, a Popsicle stick picture frame and picture from Ian, a Goodwill gift card "from one addict to another" (Syndi), Plus she also got me a super wonderful my favorite cup from Starbucks and a gift card there as well! My friend Shelly got us this really cool game to play at dinner time to direct the conversation.
Our conversation at dinner tonight was rhyming, "I can rhyme with corn: horn, thorn, torn, porn, worn, .... I can rhyme with stick: pick, nick, hick, prick, lick, wick..... I can rhyme with .... I just kept getting worse! But I digress I am thankful for a way to direct our conversations.
Shelly also gave me a coupon for babysitting for all the children and right when I opened it Erik fell backwards in his chair and the chair legs barely missed Libby who was sitting right in front of him. Shelly did not even skip a beat and said, "yep, that one too!" I can't wait to cash in on that one! I got some wonderful cards that really do mean the world to me and most of them contained cash! I had to laugh that Jess and my mom both said to make sure to use it on myself! and to treat myself to a pedicure (they both know how very much that makes me smile, and the anticipation is as much fun(almost) as the actual pedicure. I am going to use the money my mother in law gave me for a new pair of shoes! I love shoes I really need some slip on shoes with good arch support and comfort, any suggestions?
Tami has an amazing way of making things happen and she miraculously acquired and delivered an elliptical after mine broke!
Ruby was adamant that everyone sing to me and she would not let up until that happened, it was priceless to see her face light up. I am not sure but I think she might have enjoyed it more than me, well that and the brownies and ice cream!
I am really grateful for my life and my friends. I can't wait to see what the next 39 bring, and the 39 after that.....
Dear Lord,
I pray that you will use me to be a blessing to others. That you will use me to build others up, to encourage them, to be a light for your glory. I pray that you will continue to mold me and change me into a reflection of your grace. Please provide me with your wisdom, discernment and joy! I pray that others will know your love through the way I treat them. Thank you Jesus for revealing yourself to me, for forgiving all of my shortcomings and for your patience.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Little Bit

I appreciate that even if my mom has only a few hours she will make the 1 1/2 hour drive North to our house to spend time with us.
She gave Ruby a WHOLE roll of toilet paper and told her to unroll it. What?! Ruby tentatively started unrolling then she really got into it!

It was too hard for Aaron to resist, so he had to help. (All the laundry in the background IS clean and folded! That is an accomplishment in and of itself).

They grated some soap, added water and something else, and the toilet paper. It made something like play dough but smelled very clean! Erik is such a tactile person he really loved it! Ruby loved the idea but not the messy hands so she directed Erik what to do with it and enjoyed watching.
God is really working on me in the area of contentment. I may be a slow learner but I am learning that I cannot control others or their actions and responses but I can control my attitude and my response. I certainly cannot control myself without God's help, especially in this season of little ones and long days but He promises that He will not give me more than I can handle.
1 Corinthians 10:23-24;31-33
All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good but the good of his neighbor.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
Confession here, I am a very selfish person, I would love to go get a pedicure, read a book, sit on the beach, have lunch with friends, shop by myself. None of those things are bad but they are not useful for building others up, they are of no eternal value. The above verse is telling me (along with lots of other verses) that it really is not all about me! I am trying to weigh things in light of what is best for Glorifying God and leading others to know the peace and joy that can only come through a personal relationship with Him.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I am grateful for children who love each other, who all want to help Liberty or Ruby. I am grateful for my husband who gets up early every day to go to work and provide for our family. On this rainy Tuesday I am grateful for all the sunny days we have had and the opportunity to dig in the dirt and enjoy creation. I am also grateful for the rain today that allows us to stay inside and enjoy our home.

I am grateful for the freedom to worship, to teach my children, and for our health.

I am grateful for all the ways that I have been abundantly blessed, and for the gentle reminder to focus on that which is good.
2 Timothy 1:12-14
I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

School With Friends

Ruby and Samuel had fun making cupcakes for us. Notice Ruby's cupcake dress, it is pretty much a requirement that when she wears this dress she must make cupcakes. Samuel said to his mommy,"Maybe Ruby will have cookies for us."
I did one better, cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles.

Ellie was very interested in Aaron's spelling. It was fun to have friends over for circle time and school. We had a fabulous lunch and Tammy was even successful at getting Erik to do his reading lesson. He told me that she does it better than me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How long does it take you to go to Costco?

I wanted to get a head start on my day. I was completely out of butter (we had even used the stuff in the container that we keep in the cupboard for toast) I had no coffee (tragic). We HAD to go to Costco. I decided to go early so we would be back in time for naps. This is how my day actually panned out.
Get Gas
Stop by Tami's house to drop off some stuff
Tami tells me she has extra tickets to the Mount Baker Theater, could we please come?
Sure! We move all my cold Costco items to her fridge/freezer
Walk to the bus
Take City bus to Theater
Erik was in heaven watching the juggling, I gagged a bit when the guy put ping pong balls in his mouth to juggle, cool but gross,
Take bus back to Tami's
Walk to the Hardware store to get a part for my broken/bent drawer slide (they have every slide in stock EXCEPT for the one I needed)
Retail therapy at Goodwill
Walk back to Tami's
Arrange for a friend to bring Aaron's scout stuff to him for tonight's meeting
Load all my items back in my van
Go to Jessica's to drop her Costco items off
Finally pull in the driveway at 6:30pm
I still had to unload the groceries and put stuff away, start a load of laundry, feed the children, clean up from dinner, read a chapter from our current read aloud "The Wind in the Willows"
Put said children to bed!
$439 and 8 1/2 hours later.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Whole Lotta Love ~ And Hot Glue

Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's in my world. In my every day life, in the lives of the blogs I faithfully read, and the mother's who have touched my life even in some small way. I was so excited that Mikaela made the effort to come and see her mom today. She blessed me by being here and by bringing me some beautiful flowers and an iced latte.
I know there are so many women who long to have children and this day is even more difficult for them, there are women who have lost children, women whose children have left. Lord, I pray for all the women who long to fulfill your command to be fruitful and multiply. I pray that you will fill them with your love and peace.

My children have been working hard all week on special projects for me! Taylor used a full 4 sticks of glue in the hot glue gun to make this cardboard and shell decoration. She also made a a beautiful card, and several other crafts as well.
I am a better mother when I realize that it is my privilege and duty to raise my children in the fear of the Lord. I have never been more humble, more broken, more full of sadness and joy than when I am before my Savior on behalf of my children. Lord God, I pray that each one of my precious children will come to know you personally and delight in your love for them. I earnestly ask you to take hold of their hearts, draw them into your loving arms and make yourself undeniable in their lives. Teach and train me to be a living example of your grace and mercy. Strengthen me and give me the wisdom to be the kind of mother that is honoring to her husband, encouraging to her children and compassionate on the less fortunate.

For Mother's Day I got Popsicle stick people, flowers, coffee, watercolor cards, and scratch art. I even got 2 new houses for mother's day! What did you get?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cinco De Mayo

Really I don't need an excuse to have friends over for lunch and games, it always makes the day a little more fun! We decided to celebrate Cinco De Mayo with Syndi and Ben. All of us thought that Cinco De Mayo was a celebration of Mexican Independence Day, but we learned that it is really a celebration of when Mexico defeated France and kicked them out of Mexico. I really have felt like I could sleep all week and my energy level is nearing empty. That said, our schooling this week has been the bare necessities and with a lot of coffee for me and not a lot of enthusiasm. I already regularly have tortillas, refried beans, sour cream, chips, salsa and of course, Tabasco. So naturally our celebration had to begin with lunch and included a discussion of why we celebrate and how other people celebrate Cinco De Mayo.
Mikaela came over earlier in the day and helped a bit with the little one's during circle time and individual work time so we were able to get what we had to done quickly. That left the whole afternoon free. Mikaela took Erik shopping so we were one child short.

I remarked that it felt like we were missing 4 children. Not 2 seconds later Taylor came up to me and said, "It feels like 3 kids are missing!"

After the Pinata was broken the children all dove for the spoils and Aaron graciously put some of his treasures aside for Erik when he got home.
Ian said he had thousands of pieces of candy! Thankfully, Syndi only put in a small amount of candy, along with yo-yo's, necklaces, peanuts, and pencils.

We enjoyed a relaxed game of Bocce Ball and a walk/scooter/stroller/bike/Rollerblade ride around the neighborhood.
The children took a small detour to check out the new dirt hills down the road and hunt for snakes. Thankfully they couldn't find any snakes, I think it is because they did not have Erik to look.

We spent the rest of the afternoon reading and somehow I was still not able to get the children to bed early.....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chuckwagon Dinner

One disadvantage of doing life with friends that have blogs and are quicker bloggers is that I feel like I am copying. Syndi did a great post on our end of the year history celebration "Chuckwagon Dinner". We were planning and looking forward to our Celebration all year! The children are always excited about an opportunity to dress up. I love that Aaron is wearing my dad's old welding jacket!

The children in our Young Historians group each gave a presentation about something that they learned during history class. In between each presentation they sang a song that they had learned during the year. The CD player decided to quit working and the children had to sing A Capella, they did an amazing job! One of my favorites was the energy and enthusiasm with which Jake sang, "Oh My Darling Clementine"! I knew Jake loved this song because I have been the happy recipient of him serenading me before. I told his mom to watch that boy because it melts a girls' heart to be sung to.

I have lots of photos of Ben and even of Tim but hardly any of Syndi. I convinced her that I needed a family photo, it was definitely worth the effort.

Jake, Ben, Aaron, Savannah, and Taylor

I knew that I was going to be busy and distracted during the evening so I put Sean in charge of taking the photos. I asked him to take a picture of the table decorations and this is what I got. Just in case you cannot tell the children made these really cute wagons out of paper bags and Popsicle sticks, there were Lego trees, horses, corn husk dolls, woven wheat wreaths and tin can lanterns all made by the children.

We had an amazing dinner with everything from scratch, biscuits, sweet potato pie, homemade mozzarella cheese, pulled pork, pulled beef, corned bread (I even ground the corn meal and the flour), Delicious baked beans and Caesar Salad (OK I pulled that from a bag).

And for dessert we had Dandelion Cookies ~ Absolutely Amazing! Rhubarb Crisp that was to die for good and ice cream! Just in case you don't think it could get any better, Tim discovered how wonderful the homemade root beer was with the world's best ice cream! I don't think you can tell how much I enjoyed the food. You really should have been there, trust me.

Each child brought displays to show the projects that they worked on through the year. This really is satisfaction for me. I love having concrete things to look at that show we really did do something productive.
It was so much fun to have friends and family come and support our children. Next time I will need to make sure I get photos of our guests, my mom, AKA Geaba came to show her support and my Godmother, AKA Grandma Jojo (Joan) made the trek north. We really appreciated them making the effort and taking the time to show their enthusiasm for all the children are doing! It was a fun and fabulous evening and one of the best ways to end another year of learning. Thank you to Syndi and all her hard work teaching and training our children. Check out the link to her blog above for some great pictures and another perspective on the evening (plus the recipe for the dandelion cookies.)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What God Is Teaching Me

I am constantly learning, I love to learn. Some lessons are more painful than others.

I know that there is no possible way to teach my children all that they need to know in the few short years that I have their presence in my home. I know that I need to teach them to love learning and how to learn and discern what they are learning. I recently started a new way of reading my Bible. It seems so simple but works well for me. I read a chapter then I pick a verse or verses that stand out to me and copy them in my journal. Next I write why the verse is important or meaningful to me.

Here are some good ones that pertain to my life right now:

  • Luke 18:7-8 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them, Speedily.

I love this verse because it assures me that my prayers that are prayed in earnest will be answered.

  • Galatians 6:9 Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

  • 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

  • Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

  • Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

These verses are especially meaningful to me this week as I become renewed in my determination to faithfully cry out to God each day for the salvation of each and everyone of my children, and as I am renewed in my conviction to disciple my children.