Monday, March 28, 2011

Impromptu Eats

Saturday we had a showing at our house. They wanted to view the house sometime between 5 and 6.
That left me with the dilemma of cleaning the house getting out of here by 4:30 just to be safe, and feeding my family.

We miraculously got the house clean and the yard spruced up a bit and headed to the beach for a BBQ dinner. We had hamburgers and chips.

Mostly, we enjoyed the drift wood, tide pools, sea life and the beauty of God's creation.

Taylor and Ruby put the snails in small families ranging in size from a mama and papa and baby to families of 17 or more.

Liberty was a hungry girl, she had to help Papa cook and be assured of the very first hamburger. She ate the entire thing all by herself and wanted more!

The boys and I made it about a half mile down the beach without touching any rocks. We jumped from log to log! They also showed me a trap that they set on a Giant piece of driftwood. Unfortunately, the trap was sprung and all the rocks came tumbling down on my bare toes!

We were treated to a beautiful sunset and only a few drizzles.

Ian and Ruby always have some game of house or Star Wars going on and Liberty is not one to be left out (even though it looks like she is).

We arrived home well after dark with children tired from all the fresh air. We were able to enjoy the clean quiet house with children sleeping soundly.
We heard from the realtor that the people loved the house and want to come back for a second look this week! Please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Never Too Young

Liberty was born old. She is the first to say, "Me Too!" She wants to put Tabasco on anything that anyone else is.
Regularly Liberty raises her hand to answer a question (we home school, this isn't necessary.)
Honestly I don't think she knows she is only 2.
(check out the cute new piggy tails)

After dinner, without being asked she began to clear the table.  She had to ask someone to open the dishwasher for her.

She put all the bowls in the correct place, went back for spoons and put them in correctly. She has never been taught this. She learns most of what she does by watching her siblings.

Liberty even remembered to push in the trays before she closed the dishwasher. 

I have learned that the earlier you teach them to work and include them with what you are doing the less resistance you get from requiring work later. Liberty and Ruby are two of my best helpers in the kitchen. Yes, it does take longer and is messier but the reward is worth it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Locks of LOVE

Taylor has donated her hair twice before. This is the first time she has done it in honor of someone special.
Sean's little sister Nicole was recently diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and Taylor wanted to pay Tribute to her and her upcoming battle against cancer.
Taylor and her new 'do' with Geaba
Monday Nicole goes in for surgery. Please keep her in your prayers. Especially pray for my precious nephew Noah as his mom won't be her usual self for awhile. I petition you to pray for complete healing, little if any side effects, peace for the family free from any of the anxious thoughts they might be tempted to entertain. Most importantly for God's provision to be evident through her recovery.

Taylor said it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders as soon as her hair was cut.  She also commented how for her it was a choice and she still has a lot of hair left but for those dealing with Cancer it is not a choice and they don't have any hair left. I admire her sensitivity, and her generosity.
Often, I try to remember that we have no idea what things people are experiencing or dealing with in their lives. I remind myself to offer someone a little extra grace, a smile, or an encouraging word.
Try to be that person this week in honor of Nicole.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Erik recently purchased this amazing remote control boat from his friend Ben.
He has been begging for weeks for me to take him to the beach so he can use his boat. He begs his siblings to leave their bath water in the tub so he can use his boat.
I told him if it got to 70 degrees I would take him to the beach. Alas, when we were invited to a birthday party at a pool I let him bring the coveted boat and finally drive it somewhere larger than our bathtub.

Have you ever read those crazy warning labels? Most of the time they are ridiculously obvious. Things like do not touch the hot fire, or warning: small marbles may be a choking hazard.  The boat has one that said be aware of rotating propeller. Do Not Touch.  It does not however say to keep away from your sister's waist length hair.
He 'accidently' drove the boat too close to Taylor and proceeded in winding up a good chunk of her hair until it was about 6" long. It took me a good 30 minutes to unwind her hair. It took all of my self control not to destroy the boat in the process. When I got most of the hair out I just ripped the rest. We added the Caution: Do not drive near hair.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm Home

I just got back from a refreshing, encouraging, fabulously fun weekend with friends. It was the opportunity to spend coveted time with long time friends in my 'core' and make some new genuine friendships that I can't wait to see where they will lead.
This was my third time at an Above Rubies retreat. The biggest encouragement to me was walking away with the renewed knowlege that I am doing a great work! What I do on a day to day basis investing in the lives of my children has eternal value. Some days are really hard, some are full of discouragement and some I feel like the luckiest woman alive! I know that the hard days are days that God is using to mold and shape me. Usually they are hard because of my own selfish desires or expectations.
I confess, one of my absolute favorite parts of the retreat is being with people who share a similar vision. People who I can count on, people who love me despite my inadequacies. It was so fun to really talk, have a complete conversation and encourage one another and pray for each other and laugh toghere. 
 It was great to come home and wrap my children in my arms and kiss them and tuck them in bed. I am so thankful that my husband embraced the time with our boys camping and that my mom so eagerly steps in to care for and love our daughters. Thank you both so much!
My prayer for all of us who were at the retreat this weekend:
Lord, I know that you are faithful. I know you provided this time to renew us, to encourage us and to strengthen our walk with you. I pray that you will allow us a week of peace in our homes. A start to our week that is filled with glimpses of your faithfulness and your provision. Please sustain us and help us cling to you Father. Amen 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Cut Above

I am surprised that I passed First Grade. My cutting skills are lacking. If it were not for my paper trimmer I don't think I ever would have gotten into scrap booking.
In the name of saving money we have been cutting the boys' hair for quite some time. However, Sean has been extremely busy and does not cut it as often as I like. I decided that it was time to take matters into my own hands and learn to cut their hair. I watched some You Tube videos and then attempted to give them something other than buzz cuts.
Ian really isn't mad this is his attempt at an angry face, pretty scary.
The first time I did their hair it looked pretty good. This time however, I had to have Sean clean up my blunders. Erik's hair is Short! Ian's looks fair except for the places you can see the scissor marks. Aaron's looks fantastic! Aaron's looks especially good because Sean did most of it.
Since my skills lie in other areas I decided to teach Taylor how to cut hair. It is more like the blind leading the blind but pretty soon I think we will have some good economical haircuts on some handsome young men.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Capitol Tour

It is always fun to spend time with special friends. They have been incredibly busy with Jason's schedule, taking time to spend a few days together was a huge treat!
Justice, Honor and Liberty

Paisley is about the happiest baby around. She is so content and lights up when anyone looks at her, which is all the time!

Jess called the Capitol to find out about getting a tour, she was told that they usually schedule the tours a year in advance! Since we are friends and family of our State Representative and homeschooling families in the district we were able to get our own private guided tour.

In the Rotunda is this beautiful chandelier, a VW Beetle fits inside the chandelier! The names of all the counties are in their proper location around the ceiling. We found Whatcom County on the North West corner!

We visited on National Guard day and had the amazing opportunity to hear the band play "My Country Tis Of Thee" I had goose bumps it was very powerful. The Rotunda is made almost entirely of Marble (the marble is split in half and identical on both sides of the room) and the acoustics are something even I appreciated.
In the center of the Rotunda on the floor is the official Washington State Seal.

Ian got to sit behind the desk of Representative Overstreet.
We had the privilege of going on the floor of the House of Representatives. I paid attention to what my children were wearing, clean nice shirts and pants with no holes unfortunately I did not make them take off their coats! There is a strict dress code on the Floor about wearing suits and ties. Even our Tour Guide had not been on the floor with out much thought and planning.
The official photographer came and took our picture with the Seal of Washington. He even asked the Speaker of the House to move out of our picture! I was wearing a sweater (that I could not take off) and carrying Liberty and Justice and was wet from walking through the rain and sweaty, not really feeling my best.

The curtains have real gold thread in them!

The highlight for the boys was holding the guns the National Guard had on display.

Aaron had to help Ian hold this gun, I think it weighed more than Ian! The men we spoke with were Snipers! It was pretty interesting and fascinating to hear about their experiences and why they decided to serve our Country.
We began our day at the Capitol with Ruby puking in the car and me puking while I was cleaning up her mess. Later in the Visitor shop I walked by a display that Libby grabbed hold of and pulled the whole thing down. Then Ian purchased a Native American coloring book with his own money only to find out later that the book was not appropriate for a boy!
Real adventures bring history and learning alive! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Get Out!

I really can't believe another month has flown by. We went for a small hike and beach combing excursion almost a month ago.
Before all our cold weather hit we had a rare sunny day with not much planned, except an impromptu field trip.

Not surprising we had the beach to ourselves and saw some major erosion right after it occurred.

Ruby is very happy to bring her babies along where ever we go.

Erik must find something to take dominion over. This just happened to be a tree hanging over the frigid waters of the Puget Sound.

February in the Northwest, I guess we take our Vitamin D however we can get it!

Top to Bottom: Erik, Ian, Aaron, Taylor, Ben, Everett, Isobel, Ruby, Liberty

One of the many reasons we choose to home school is so that we have the choice of who are children will be influenced by.
Proverbs 13:20 says He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: Bad Company Corrupts Good character.
We firmly believe that we should be a witness to others about our faith it is with the direct supervision of us as their parents so that we can help them to "be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
I feel so incredibly blessed that I have found 'wise' people to surround myself and my children with.