Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I love being able to celebrate my children on their birthdays. Ruby is such a joy in our life. She adds zest to any situation. Mikaela came out early to begin the festivities with Ruby. We decided on an ultra cool lunch of Crazy Bread and ice cream!
We had a fabulous day playing with family and friends complete with a BBQ, gifts, cake, more ice cream, and best wishes.

It is hard to remember what life was like before Ruby. She is the first girl after 6 years of boys! She is a princess to the core, but don't let that fool you because she is the first up a tree, she can knock your socks off in a scooter race, and she will correctly name the different types of guns or cars!

Ruby has a contagious passion for life!

Sarah and Geaba

Ellianna Grace

When Sammy (in the green sweatshirt) saw Ruby's cake he exclaimed, "It's PERFECT!" It melted my heart.

Peter B.

Ruby and Isobele friends since before they were born.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Summer!

Yesterday was officially the first day of summer. Usually I would have a party and some games and crafts.
Considering the fact that I have been sick with a fever, achy body, head ache and just want to sleep we did nothing except go the the chiropractor and the naturalopath.
God provided our entertainment. We have been doing a mini unit study on Painted Lady Butterflies and they emerged from their cocoons yesterday. It was spectacular to watch them emerge, and unwrinkle their wings then finally to fly around the chrysalis. We have also had the privilege to watch our bees draw and amazing amount of comb in just 3 days.

Sean built a Warre Top Bar Hive as an experiment to emulate Bees in the wild. The bees begin their colon in the top of a tree, or wall cavity, or whatever then they build down.
Currently, most beekeepers use a Langstrof hive where the bees begin at the bottom then work their way up. We have 3 Langstrof hives but the Warre is phenomenal to see what the bees are actually doing. Sean put in 2 shutters so that we can remove them and watch through Plexiglas to see the bees progress.
In these photos you can see the white honeycomb that they are building and if you enlarge the photo you can see some of the worker bees inside each cell.

In just 3 days they built the comb all the way to the bottom of the first box! There is no honey stored in there yet, but there is a lot of pollen being brought in.
I suppose I do not always have to plan some extravagant celebration we can just look around and enjoy God's creation.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To Have And To Hold

Sean proposed on January 11, 1996, we graduated in June and he moved to Seattle for a job. I stayed put in Bellingham, I had a good job, Mikaela was in school, and I had a very affordable house to live in.

It was tough to have a long distance relationship but it required us to work on our communication skills. We continued writing letters and phone calls. Once, I was going to surprise him and drive down to see him but I ended up getting sick and he showed up and surprised me! We were really glad that we did not both make the 6 hour round trip drive just to miss each other somewhere along the I-5 corridor. After lots of pre-marriage counseling and natural family planning classes, we were married on February 8, 1997. I remember being really nervous and I kept thinking of all the statistic that 80% of second marriages end in divorce and knowing that I did not want to do THAT again.
Something that I really admired in Sean was that when he said he was going to do something he did it. He was a man of integrity and very diligent in his work.

This photo was taken before the ceremony and the photographer wanted one of us kissing but Sean refused and said that our first kiss would truly be after we said our vows. It was only a few hours away and even with all the pressure he held fast to his commitment.
After Sean said his vows to me, he got down on one knee and said vows to Mikaela as well. He promised to love her like his own, to provide and protect her and train her in the ways of God. He promised to provide her with a Godly example of what a husband should be.
There was not a dry eye in the crowd, and I had to follow after him.
We were so honored that the couple that did our pre-marriage counseling, baptized Sean and led me to a true relationship with Christ flew back from Hawaii to perform our marriage ceremony.

Sean said, "We are not having a wedding, we are having a marriage."
At the end of the evening when we were getting ready to leave the whole hillside in back of the country club caught on fire! There was a leak in the Natural Gas Pipeline. We both thought it was an indication of the adventure that lay ahead! What an adventure it has been.

When I found this photo I thought it was our first kiss, but I noticed that I do not have on my veil, so it must be of us kissing during the reception. You will not see us kissing much in public, if at all, because Sean is a stickler on P.D.A. I do like to kiss though!

After the reception, we headed out to spend the night in Canada before our early morning flight to Cancun, Mexico. It was the first time we were alone (except for carpooling) and we enjoyed every minute together.
I remember in my vows, I promised to honor respect and submit to Sean. This seems like it would be an easy vow to fulfill. Remember, I am a strong willed stubborn woman. I had been a single parent supporting myself for over 6 years (the first child support check I ever received was the day before our wedding).
Eph 5: 22-24 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Eph 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
1 Peter 3:5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,
These verses are helping me to remember my role as his helpmeet.
My purpose is to glorify God, and I can do that primarily by choosing to love my husband. Some days, weeks, and months that is an easier thing to do than other seasons. Choosing to love him is an honor to God and is the vow I made to him on our wedding day.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Monday night was Crossover for our Scouts. Erik was very excited that Mikaela came to watch this anticipated event!
Aaron crossed from Webelos 1 to Webelos 2!

Erik crossed from Wolf Scout to Bear Scout. He got to the far side of the bridge and swung off!

Ian was so excited to cross into Tiger Scouts. He has been talking about when he would finally be old enough ever since Aaron started scouts. That is a long time for a little guy.

Ian did not waste any time getting across the bridge and getting his new Tiger gear.

I know this is not a flattering picture of Sean but I had to include it! We have this standing joke that it really doesn't matter what he is doing the children somehow accidentally kick him, you know...
It happens at home, getting out of the van, brushing their teeth, swinging, bike riding, all the time, every day.

Sean did the honors of putting the boys new uniforms on them. I am not sure where Aaron went but we caught these two before they headed off to get some delicious watermelon and play at the park.

I am excited to see what next year holds for my boys as they continue to grow and learn new skills. To explore and make new friends.

If I could tie all Erik's learning to scouting we could accomplish anything!
Happy Scouting

Flag Day

Yesterday was Flag Day. June 14, 1776 was the day that the Stars and Stripes were officially adopted. People began celebrating Flag day in 1885 as a result of different school teachers celebrating with their classes. Flag day was endorsed in Philadelphia by the Sons of the Revolution, in New York by the State Board of Education and later by President Wilson.

Inspired by three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day. The TEA Party organized a rally where every overpass on I-5, from Canada to Mexico had supporters waving the United States Flag. We were a little bit late which turned out to be a fabulous thing because we were able to drive under a lot of the overpasses and honk and wave at the flag wavers.
We chose to go to a pedestrian overpass that was completely enclosed by chain link fence. Chosen for my peace of mind. Erik and Liberty did not like the big trucks driving under us or the honking. I admit it made me a little uneasy to watch those big semi trucks driving under where I was standing and they felt so close it seemed like you could reach out and touch them!
Getting involved in these activities has been educational for both me and the children. We have talked to some interesting people and it has lead to great discussion about the different ways that people react to what we are doing.
For more information about the history of Flag Day go to: a website dedicated to the flag of the United States of America.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Completing Him

As part of the Completing Him Challenge I am going to tell you about our early relationship days.
My husband and I met during the summer between our Junior and Senior year at college. We both worked at Sudden Valley in the Maintenance Department. I started working there a few weeks before he did and as first impressions go I thought he was pretty uptight and not very friendly.
He turned out to be a really fun person to work with and talk to, he was extremely patient and when he discovered that I really did not know what I was doing he never told on me, just helped me out when ever possible.
I discovered that he lived a couple of blocks from Mikaela's day care so in the interest of saving money on gas we carpooled. I was in no way looking for a relationship, I was interested in working, being a mom, and very involved with my Bible Study group. Besides, Sean was involved in a serious relationship with a very nice girl.
We used to stop on our way home from work and play on a rope swing that dropped into Lake Whatcom. It was so cool and refreshing after a long hard sweaty day of work.
Summer ended and we each went back to school and our daily routine. At some point during that year Sean joined our Bible Study and we had fun and did a lot of group activities. I was still oblivious and not interested. School ended and we both started up at work again. He told me that he broke up with his fiance because he knew he could not be with some one when she was not the most important person in his life. He told me that he really liked me, admired me, and respected me. He told me that I was exactly the kind of person he had prayed for, me? I was divorced, a single mom, I had baggage! How could I be the kind of person he was looking for?
I was not interested in getting burned, I had been hurt too deeply. We still did not date, we did not spend time all alone. We spent most of our time with our Bible Study group. We wrote each other notes and left them for each other to find, we used to play a game where we would say it was the perfect day for... It was a great for figuring out what was important to each other and where our priorities were.
Our whole Bible study group went to the Lynden Fair but we all drove separate. Sean and I rode together with Mikaela. On the way home Mikaela fell asleep and it was quiet, it really felt like we belonged together.
Sean ended up leaving to compete Nationally for Crew. He was gone. I was sad. One day he showed up, told me he knew he should not continue down the path he was pursuing but rather pursue Christ, then me. I was hooked!

We still had not had an official date. We wanted to stay pure and we knew that would be difficult if we let the opportunity present itself. After graduation Sean moved to Seattle and I stayed in Bellingham. We had a lot of letter writing and phone calls. In January Sean took me on a date, and he proposed! Our first real date and a proposal all in one.
I will continue the story later, if I try now, I will never get the post done. What is your dating story? and What can you do to show your husband that he still matters as much as when your relationship began?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Women Living Well

You may notice this new button on my sidebar.
You can click on it to link to the Woman Living Well Blog and the Completing Him Challenge.
I have never done this before so bear with me as I learn along the way. This challenge looked really good to me, like something that brings my focus on my wonderful husband instead of always on the children, home school, house, etc., anything that takes the focus away.
During the next few months look for some postings about how well I am doing on this challenge~ Wish me luck and I appreciate your prayers!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Just In Case

Just in case you did not know what goes in the bathroom garbage can, Ian labeled it for us. We have this really cool chalkboard pen that I purchased when I got a wild hair and painted one whole wall of the kitchen with magnetic chalkboard (I don't recommend that). Ian decided to use it on the bathroom garbage.

And anything that is not cups or tissue can fall under the garbage category. I asked him how he knew how to spell those words and he told me he looked on the boxes that he knew contained those words. Not bad for a 6 year old and pretty useful to teach the rest of the children how to spell and how to find what they want to spell without using the mama dictionary.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Never Too Young

We believe that a child is never too young to learn responsibility. Really at 17 months a baby can learn to make her bed, pick up her toys and help set the table. That may sound like a lot to expect from one so young. I believe that if the children are not directed and doing something productive they will get in trouble and find something to destroy.
I love how Liberty put both of her blankets and her frog, "Prince Charming", over the crib rail.

I am still amazed by how much she understands. The other day I told the children it was time to come to the living room for circle time. Liberty came running with her finger in the air, blowing on it and waving it in a circle. I asked if she wanted to sing This Little Light Of Mine and she emphatically shook her head yes! Today I noticed that Ian forgot to put cups on the table and I commented to him that there were no cups. Before Ian could take a step Liberty was in the kitchen stacking all the cups and bringing them to the table.
It is so much more work now teach and train them but the benefits and responsibility are worth the effort.
Proverbs 4:10
Hear, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many.
I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness
When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, yo will not stumble.
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
Lord God, Please give me wisdom that I may impart it to my children. Help me be an example to help them guard their steps and walk in the paths of righteousness. Amen

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Family That Draws Together

We do a lot of reading. The children love read alouds and I have found that it is easier to do the 'olders' work with them if the 'youngers' are involved as well. We are almost finished with our Marine Biology study. We have loved this this year and really enjoyed all the hands on learning.
We had technical reading planned and I knew the children were all too squirrly to sit and listen. I decided to dig out the How to Draw Sea Creatures book to keep them busy but also able to listen. Notice Ian is blessing me with another of his art projects, it says IanToMamaILoveYou I also love his stick man riding a horse above, not sure what this has to do with Marine Biology.

Erik drew a shark with a fusiform shape, he also drew the little round shaped fish that will soon be lunch for the shark. His little fish was not the compressed shape or the depressed shape that we were learning about, however, I was thrilled that Erik participated in the drawing as he often gets frustrated that his drawings do not look like the ones in the books.

Aaron used one of the books that contains grids and tells you what to draw in each square. I must confess that even though Aaron's turned out perfect and I followed the same directions, mine looks nothing like the book. I guess I am a bit like Erik in that regard that I really want my projects to be perfect as well.

All the children were satisfied with their drawings and they were placed in our Marine Biology Notebooks along with our other observations and drawings. The art was a perfect balance of bringing together what we learned while keeping busy and learning more.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

And The Winner Is....

Congratulations to Kelly! I admit that I did not do a random drawing for the winner of our first taste of Honey~anyone willing to do that kind of research deserves the reward! Thanks Tami and Steph for your comments as well, I love comments!
It has been 2 years and 5 weeks since we brought home our first package of bees. Officially we are in our 3rd season Beekeeping. However we only have 3 hives right now and hoping and praying for some more! I am thankful that we are down to 2 hives on our property, it is a bit intimidating. We placed our other hive in our friends' orchard.
Kelly, look for your honey to arrive soon!

Bocce Ball?

We love playing Bocce Ball, I never knew it could be an indoor sport. Someone accidentally spilled water on our new tablecloth and noticed that the water beaded up instead of soaking in. I was so excited! We have one tablecloth that fits our table, it is 52" X 52" almost impossible to find.
I was at a random little store that I never go to to buy yet another broom, somehow my brooms keep breaking mid handle.. anyway I decided to look at the tablecloths and I found a 90" round, it barely fits but the bonus was that it was 'stain proof' It is not as easy to wipe as my oilcloth, it does protect the table and does not have to be washed every meal.

The boys were delighted that they could blow the water droplets and make them roll across the table. They invented their own game of Bocce Ball, it is a bit more difficult because you have to remember which water ball is yours.
One can even blow several of the droplets together to make one large ball.

It is really fun to race the water and to see whose is the fastest.
I am amazed at the number of 'spills' we have had since we got the new tablecloth though, milk, orange juice and coffee all work. Mama says that the only legal medium for the game is water.