Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry CHRISTmas from Small Wonders

Wishing you all a Very Merry CHRISTmas.
Angel Ruby
Thank you all for your interest in our family and especially for your love and encouragement.
We have friends coming over today to share in Christmas baking, then off to Church for a candlelight service.
Tomorrow, we will be headed up to Mount Baker Ski Area with 4 other families to enjoy the sledding, then back to our house for feasting and friendship. Keeping it simple and purposed.
May your Christmas be filled with love and joy and peace.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Glass Mountain

Ian's Finished Ornament
 One of my Cub Scout moms generously donated a gift certificate to Glass Mountain, a local glass blowing studio. I jumped at the opportunity. Glass Blowing is something I have wanted to try for years!
 A lot goes into the making of a glass Christmas Ornament
 4 of my Bear Scouts were able to attend. Each boy got to make his own Christmas Ornament. They got to choose the colors, the style (swirl, solid, speckled, etc.,) and got to heat the glass and blow the glass. Mr Ed, the artist, was extremely patient with the boys and very careful, but not crazy paranoid (like I might be inclined to be).
Ian Absolutely Loved Glass Blowing
Have you ever tried to explain something to a group of 8 year old boys? I can tell you it is by God's great mercy that I am able to keep their attention for more than 3.8 minutes. Mr. Ed kept them eagerly awaiting every word that was spoken. He was very clear, entertaining, informative, and interesting!
Paul refines his ornament in the Glory Hole
 I don't know if it's because I am a child of the 80's, or maybe just juvenile in my humor, every time Mr. Ed referred to the Glory Hole I had to stifle a laugh. The Glory Hole (laugh) was where the glass was heated up and kept soft and pliable. They had to keep heating the glass, then shaping it, heating it, adding color, heating it, shaping it, heating it, blowing... You get the idea. This wasn't a quick process.
I love the Joy on his face
Glass Mountain offers classes to make your own ornament for $35. While I don't even spend $35 on anything if I can help it, this would totally (80's again) be worth it. The entire studio is a feast for your eyes. Beautiful beads, ornaments, flowers, vases everywhere. We were mesmerized by the beautiful unique pieces everywhere! However, I  cringe thinking of his poor wife paying the utility bills!
4 of my Bear Scouts with the master glass blower, Mr. Ed
I think I persuaded Sean to take a couples class and design something to make together.
Erik T, blowing his ornament
I am a tiny bit jealous that Ian got to try it before I did, however, I do have a new favorite ornament! I love that he can look at the ornament every year and remember this experience. I love that his ornament looks like a marble and has his current favorite colors.
I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity to create fun memories with my youngest son.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Speaking My Language

The blog has been conspicuously quiet lately. Usually that means that I am busy living life. Sometimes it means I an just trying to stay afloat. Occasionally it means I am really struggling. I would have to say that the past couple of months have been a combination of all three.
A Small Smattering of Treasures I received at The Gift of Time
In the busyness of life, my friend Kelly, treated me to a day. A day! I mean a whole day to take care of things I needed to take care of. I used this time to catch up with long time friends, work on some unfinished projects, organize my thoughts and make lists and plans for the next few months.
Kelly provided a fabulous lunch, treats (even a special treat just for me Take 5 candy bar) an entire box of delicious desserts for me to bring home to my husband, biscotti, gingerbread pancake mix, notes of encouragement, and so much more.
I think it was perfect timing to regroup and  prioritize what is important for our family. The next few weeks will be full of change for our school and our family to hopefully help things run more smoothly. I am already seeing some huge benefits from implementing a schedule change and dietary restrictions for several of the children.
My whole family is in love with Pioneer Woman
If you could question the amazingness of Kelly after the Gift of Time, she surprised me with "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" cookbook. Inside the front cover she wrote, "Just Because". Wow.
When I grow up, I want to think like she does, with such selfless love to her family and others. She remembers things about people (like my love of Take 5), she really listens, and gives from the bottom of her heart.
My entire family has a love affair with The Pioneer Woman. My oldest son wants to be adopted by her, my middle son wants to marry her, my youngest son wants us to take a family vacation to her house.My husband will smile and say, "Wow!" when I not so casually mention that I am serving a Pioneer Woman meal.  I actually like Ian's idea best because it doesn't take any of my boys away from me! I love her too! I love that her recipes are simple to follow, use ingredients I already have in my cupboard, and taste amazing! For an entire month all we ate were recipes from The Pioneer Woman.
I am blessed beyond measure.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Jake, Mr. Jason, Aaron, Erik
 Jake called and invited Aaron and Erik to come play Airsoft at Grampy's Farm! I was shocked when Aaron hesitated about going. After I discovered it was because he did not want to spend any of his money on more airsoft pellets, I understood a bit better.
I knew he loved playing, and loved Jake even more. It was really hard for this mama heart to see her son pass up on something I knew he would enjoy and would build his confidence. Spending time with men of integrity is valuable.
The Warriors waiting for more soldiers to arrive! 
Aaron came inside and was thrilled with a whole bag full of pellets! He spent about an hour picking up pellets from outside from where he had spilled them earlier this summer. Necessity is the mother of invention. He got even more when we drained the pool and the water made the ground soft!
They got to play for a couple of hours and loved every second of it. Mr. Jason and Mr. Marty were really wishing that Sean had come so they could have beat the boys! Mr. Marty had some sizeable welts, the boys put on quite a display. Most importantly, they had a fabulous time! Thanks Jake for the great idea and for making it happen! I heard a great quote the other day, that totally applies here, "It is better to build a boy than mend a man." I am being intentional in building my boys. What are you doing to build your boys?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

We started school a couple of weeks ago. We started slow. I knew that I just had not had time to plan, organize or prepare, but I felt some urgency in what I am hoping to accomplish this year. 

We have enjoyed some beautiful beach days, hikes with friends, and trips to the park. It was even warm enough for an excursion to the dairy for ice cream.
Olive Toddy
 Literally, as I was speaking the words, "Sometimes it is just so hard, but you can't give up. You just have to keep going..." Erik came running in the house telling me that water was pouring out of the light fixture in the garage ceiling.
I knew that our bathroom was above the garage so I darted upstairs to see if I could determine the problem.
Rogue Dryer
 The problem was that our toilet became a geyser! It was spraying toilet water onto the ceiling, walls, and counter, plus it was overflowing at the same time and running in the utility closet behind the water heater.
Thankfully, Erik knew where the water shutoff was and how to turn it off. That ebbed the flow of water while I began by cleaning up the deluge upstairs. I called the landlord to see if he could determine the cause. Then we moved to the basement and cleaned up the boxes and other items that were covered in nasty water that traveled from the upstairs to the garage and down in the basement!
Do Not Use
Meanwhile, my dryer, which previously worked perfectly decided it didn't want to turn on anymore. Remember that I just had a flood and used every.single.towel in my house to clean it up.  AND Sean decided to clean the sink trap and as he was screwing the pipe back on it snapped! Mind you it couldn't just snap, OH NO, it snapped between the sub floor and the basement ~ In between the floors of the house!
I was in the process of cleaning out the garage when I decided to treat myself to a Toddy. I poured the last of my half and half, added the coconut syrup then grabbed my 'Toddy" out of the fridge and dumped it in, only to discover that I grabbed the olives instead! Tragically I had to dump the whole thing out, Olive Toddy just doesn't appeal to my taste buds.
I ended up cleaning up my entire garage and even moved one of our freezers. I am quite pleased with the new organization. All the bikes orderly, helmets, scooters, and beach stuff all have their own storage container and place!
Not quite how I had anticipated my day, but extremely happy with the results! It was even nice enough to hang my laundry on the line. It really wasn't a horrible no good very bad day although it would have been easy to get caught up in all the mishaps and think that way. I chose to focus on how clean everything was and be thankful that I already had dinner in my working Crockpot. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Puff-Puff The (not so) Proud Rooster

Warning: This post might seem graphic to some. I think it is too, but I really did leave out the super gross and bloody photos.
Clayton had a few helpers catching Puff-Puff. The sounds from the coop were hilarious! 
 Sean and our landlord, Mr. L, have both had several encounters with Puff-Puff our Proud Rooster. I guess we know now where the term Cocky comes from, He was a proud Cock.
The important term there being: was.
This photo cracks me up, not so much for me beheading my first rooster,
but for Ruby's hand over her heart, and Erik's mouth wide open. 
 I sold our hens a few weeks ago. I was tired of feeding them for not enough eggs (which I later discovered a cache of eggs in the bushes) I digress, since the hens have been gone Puff-Puff has been alone, except when he tries to bother our pullets. He was rather outspoken and frankly, with then hens gone he had no job.
 I often tell the children you don't work, you don't eat. Puff-Puff wasn't working so he got what was coming to him! (Please read the tongue in cheek, and know that is not what would happen to my children).
Just for the experience we let him run around with his head cut off and watched his last few attempts at crowing. There was some morbid laughing. It was kinda gross, kinda educational.
I did not have control of the camera so there were some rather disgusting photos,
especially of the rooster's feet in various 'situations'
 I was surprised at how heavy he was. I was also surprised how difficult it was to chop his head completely off. I did 3/4 of the decapitation, and Aaron finished the job for me.
I canned applesauce last night, blackberry jam this morning, then kept the pot hot
and butchered a rooster this afternoon, not bad.
After putting him in hot water and removing the feathers, we took him outside and gutted him. I cut him  from sternum to stem. I did gag a bit when we cleaned the neck and removed the bowels. Seriously, felt like the smell was still on my hands long after I was done. Erik commented that our anatomy this afternoon was much more fun and interesting than our anatomy this morning. Real life.
The children saved as many neck feathers as possible.
 Ian decided to dress up his Dollar Tree cowboy hat. 
We, I mean I, had to finish plucking the rooster with tweezers, then put him in a pot to simmer for a few hours. I got 3 quarts of broth, and some pretty good looking meat for dinner! The skin was tough, leathery and looked like a teenage boy with bad acne.
Erik was disappointed that we had already done science, because this,"Totally, could have counted!"
Ian claimed the rooster feet. He wilted when I told him they were not coming in the house.
I said, "You know those aren't coming in the house, Right!?"
He replied, "I do now."
 He had hoped to put them in his treasure chest. I don't know, maybe they would smell good?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Feeling The Love

We have always had the desire to move to the country, have a farm with animals and productive work for the children. It is a wonderful experience. In my dreams we all worked side by side, laughed, cried, got dirty,  toiled and played together.
I wonder if picking beans is dangerous? They are all wearing helmets. 
Dreams are often not reality. However when they are there is great satisfaction. We pulled the children off their bikes and into the garden to harvest the beans. I love bush beans however, we could get more bounty from the pole beans. We should have harvested sooner and more often. I am giving myself some grace in that we ate from the garden most of the summer (ignore all the lettuce to the right that has gone to seed), and although some of the food wasn't used we definitely got our $1.99 worth from the packet of seeds. I can't wait till all those tomatoes turn red! Salsa and Red Sauce are among the top to process.
In between picking, they found corn to eat fresh from the stalk. 
We picked the bushes clean then Sean ripped them out to feed to the cows, and chickens.
I tend to get into things over my head but I am willing to try. I admit I was nervous about pressure canning the beans by myself. Sean and the boys were going to a Scout camp overnight. I could think of a lot of things that could go wrong. I knew that it need to be done.
Me, Ruby, Granddad, Taylor (taken by Ian(8))
Thankfully, Sean didn't entirely trust me either. So he called his dad and asked him to come help me. My father in law drove 3 hours and was here by the time the girls, Ian and I were done eating breakfast.
Mama's helper Miss Ruby
He brought his pressure canner and set up a second station in the garage. The girls, Ian and I snapped beans and filled jars. Ivan ran the pressure canners. It was super efficient and wonderful to have my Father In Law all to myself (well I had to share with Taylor, Ian, Ruby and Liberty).
I talked his ear off and cherished the time we had together.
Taylor worked on making 4 Manicotti dinners, 1 for Saturday night, and 3 for the freezer. She also made us an apple crisp for dessert.
32 Quarts of Green Beans! Aren't they beautiful? 
Over the last couple of years, Taylor has matured so much and become both capable and competent. I was able to get so much done because she was there to help with the littles both joyfully and willingly.

Ruby, Granddad, and Liberty (in her 27th complete outfit change of the day)
Ivan finally sat down for dinner. As soon has he was no longer vertical the girls moved in for a spot on his lap. They begged him to spend the night. I thanked him profusely and he said he kinda liked it! He also brought us several pints of tuna that he canned. Seriously the best tuna I have ever tasted.
There is some amazing satisfaction going to bed completely exhausted from a long day of productive work. I felt quite content in my farm kitchen, skirt, denim apron, cows mooing in the background, kids riding on the tractor, eating apples straight from the tree, chickens clucking, the gift of time and service from my father in law. Sometimes dreams do come true.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Table Top Mountain

Beautiful picturesque port a potties in the background~
We spent the weekend with some wonderful friends, ate way too much, slept too little, and exercised not enough.
Sean and I wanted to hike, so despite the child that didn't feel good and another with a poor attitude we decided to head up to Table Top Mountain at Mt. Baker.
Erik and Mama
The very first part of the hike we had to cross some snow. Which, necessitated Liberty removing her Keens to get the snow out of the sandal. Pretty quickly I put her in the Ergo and carried her up the quite steep climb with loose rocks. Sean and I switched about 1/2 way up, I was happy to share the load!
Erik and Aaron
Ever since Liberty was born, I have had an irrational fear of heights. I know it is irrational and I know that fear is not from God. I especially have a problem with cliffs and falling. What I failed to remember was that we had to first drive up steep mountain roads, with no shoulder or railing. Then hike to a beautiful vista with a sheer drop off.
Aaron and Erik on the ascent to Table Top in the background
I actually did great until we go to the top and ALL the rest of my family wanted to stand on the very edge. What doesn't make sense to me is why someone would purposefully do something that causes someone else so much stress.
They all know how much I am afraid,  yet they all wanted to do it anyway.
We got some amazing pictures, and enjoyed a great picnic lunch. We felt the chill in the air that fall is quickly approaching. That is, until I had a breakdown. I started crying and we had to leave. The hike down was not fun. Ian had to stay behind Sean and in front of me. He has no discernment about what is safe and what is foolish.
Typically, I avoid airing my dirty laundry here. However, the difference between childish and foolish behavior can be a difficult problem to discern. The Bible is pretty clear when it says in Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 10:17 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.

I try to give my children reasons behind my instruction. Not random, arbitrary rules, rather rules that have meaning and consequences. On this particular hike Ian ran with heedless abandon down the trail. Both Sean and I warned him to slow down and pay attention. This was a circumstance where his life was in danger.
Rare photo with Sean and I 
It was a very good reminder that our children are under our protection and although I have expectations of my children I still need to anticipate that they will need corrected and trained in the way they should go. My attitude toward correcting them makes all the difference.
View looking down into the valley from Tabletop.
When I expect to get out of bed at 6:14 A.M. and someone wakes up sick at 5:30 I can be extremely irritated on missing out of those precious 44 minutes of sleep. However, if I know someone is sick and expect to get up several times at night it is a completely different response from me. Instead of frustration or irritation they get compassion and gentleness.
Back: Taylor, Sean, Carolynn, Aaron
Front: Ruby, Liberty, Ian, Erik
Mostly this is a reminder to me to remember that my job is to lead my children and train them in the way they should go. I need to expect them to need correction, expect them to fall short and extend to them the grace and mercy that my Lord and Savior gives me.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Welcome Audrey Isabella

I am not sure why I continue to be amazed by God's provision and faithfulness. Audrey was not due until August 9, but she is a third baby, only a year behind her closest sibling and her mama was showing signs that she would probably deliver early. 
My family had an All Church Camp-Out planned for the first weekend in August and I was pretty sure that the baby would make her entrance as well. 
This would not have created any type of problem except that I had zip, zero, zilch in the way of cell reception at Silver Lake Campground. It is not acceptable for a Doula to be out of contact with her client and totally not fair to the children to cancel the trip for something that might or might not happen. So I prayed. I prayed for an answer to the quandary I found myself in and God once again proved Himself faithful.
Audrey Isabella and Me
I decided to go ahead and go to the campground and check in with my client throughout the day then return home in the evening, so that I would be available by phone. This also allowed me to care for our animals and, even better, get a wonderfully refreshing shower.
It was a lot of extra miles on the car but was the best solution. I didn't mind having the house to myself, sleeping in a nice bed, and using a flush toilet.
We were in contact throughout the day on Friday and Saturday (I had to ask for help using the pay phone, did you know it costs .50 to make a local call!?) Sean checked in via cell when he was out on a bike ride and they were able to leave a message for me at the ranger station if needed.
Saturday was one of the hottest days of the year so far and when I got up Sunday morning the animals did not look good. In fact, I was pretty sure the rabbit Taylor was planning on taking to the fair had heat stroke and was not far from death. I made a frantic phone call to Taylor's rabbit supervisor and performed bunny First Aid. It consisted of giving the bunny fresh veggies, lettuce, and carrots w/tops and a frozen water bottle. That and another prayer of protection. It would be devastating to have worked so hard then have your animal die a week before the fair.
I was not feeling great about leaving phone service so I again prayed that God would make it blatantly obvious weather I should go back to the campground or stay put. I specifically prayed that I would know by 8:30, when I planned to leave. At 8:30 exactly my client called and told me that her water had broke and that her contractions had not started yet. She said she would let me know when she was ready for me.
I knew that was exactly what I was looking for and said a prayer of Thanksgiving. I wasn't sure how long I had so I enjoyed the time at home alone (this was the first time ever!) I read the Sunday paper, drank some coffee, made an amazing omelet. I was starting to get antsy when I got a call from my client's husband. He was on his way to the store and thought I should call. I called at 10:15 and her mom answered the phone. She said, "We think you should come, NOW!"
I arrived at their house at 10:35 and found them trying to fill the birth tub and her on a birth ball having some very intense contractions. I moved into place giving her some massage. We prayed together and I attempted to connect the hose to fill the tub but was very much needed for other things. She was fighting her contractions and I talked her into working with her body, trusting herself, and remaining calm. It was apparent things were happening much faster than she expected and we made a few phone calls to her husband to hurry home. She got off the birth ball and leaned back into me. I was holding her shoulders and she looked at me with a small tear coming down her cheek. She said, "I really wanted a water birth." It broke my heart. I wished I could fill the tub faster, and make her husband home sooner. I encouraged her to work with her body and trust God.
I was against a dresser with a very sharp corner digging into my arm and fully supporting her. I was not in a position to catch and yet I knew she needed me right where I was. She said she felt like pushing and then the midwife walked in, set her bag down and assessed the situation. Mama gave a small push and the baby crowned. After the second push Audrey was born at 11:19! She was a small baby only 19" long and 5 lbs. 12 oz. Such a sweet little peanut. Daddy got home at 11:23 and cut the cord and gave mama and baby love, support and kisses.
This was my first home birth to attend and it was amazing! I loved watching the mom trust herself and get into the position she liked the best. I loved that big brothers were right there to welcome their new baby sister and grandma was supportive, encouraging and available.
After all the weights, measures, charting, nursing, photos, cleanup, laundry, and prayers, mama and baby settled down for a nap and dad was ready to celebrate! We had pizza, coffee, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, veggies, and so much more I might have gained what the baby weighed! We talked and prayed more and had a birthday party.
I am once again humbled by God's very clear answer to my prayers. A reminder that He does care, He cares about timing, and about bringing delight to His children. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where Did Summer Go?

Good Morning! It is fabulous to be back.
Enjoying some good books in the laundry shade
Apparently, things have been quite busy here at Small Wonders, thus no blogging. Since I last posted, We had a Church Campout, 2 Births, 2 Date Nights, A Whole Week of the Fair, Grandparent visits, Swimming, Birthday Parties, and some major family changes.
Liberty loves to copy her older sisters. She is usually toting a book around, and reads at any opportunity. 
 Watch for posts on all of those items, coming soon. I guess I don't blame you for not believing me. I will try to earn that trust back!
In an effort to try to save money I started hanging our laundry on the line. That is, when we had sun. We really did have some nice days here in the Beautiful Pacific Northwest. They were just spread out a day or two at a time then concentrated all into 5 days at once. It seemed to really make a difference on our energy bill. But the biggest difference was that one of my children decided not to wash or dry his hands. I discovered it was because he didn't like the feel of the stiff towels and therefore just decided to skip the whole hand washing procedure. I can't say I blame him, I dug to the bottom of the linen closet for the towels that were soft and fluffy. I decided that we would dry the whites and hang the rest. It was a great solution for all. I love the smell of the clothes after they are dried in the sun. I love that I fold them right as I am taking them down, and I have to take them down to make room for more to dry. No more piles of needing to be folded clothes. I don't love having to touch each individual  item so many times. I love catching each stain and eliminating it before it's permanent. I don't love being gone and getting home after dark when the dew has settled on the laundry so you have to wait for the next day for it to dry again. I also don't love that my daughter, trying to be helpful, hung out a whole load of intimates; not something the neighbors need to see or know. I love love love how fast the clothes dried when they were on the line.
Ruby has taken off in her reading abilities and is even working on trying to teach Liberty. 
It has been a bittersweet summer for me, realizing that my children are growing up(we have no babies in the house). My goal is to raise independent, responsible children who love Jesus, have integrity, joy, and perseverance. I am seeing fruits of my effort of teaching and training and couldn't be more proud of who they are becoming.
I have also confronted my own selfish desires, laziness, and anger. I was able to reevaluate  activities that distract me from my goals and come to the realization that most of the things that rob me of joy are my own fault.  My expectations and lack of training are among the top few. I have been praying and seeking God's direction for our family. I am trying to simplify and be more intentional. Blessings on your day, and your intentions.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blue Cow

Generally, I am a pretty good sport. I mean really, washing a cow every single day. I understand that this is a big job and I am willing to do what it takes to help my children succeed. I have Googled how to get a cow white countless times. This time, we opted to try liquid bluing. Did you know that is where the term Blue Hair came from for old women? This is the product they use to turn their hair white. If it is left on too long, the hair turns blue. Alas, 10 minutes is too long for a cow. Not only are my hands blue, but Jewel's legs are too. Never fear, we have to clip her again on Friday and we will wash her 4 more times before that so we should have a black and white cow by fair time. Maybe next time we will opt for a brown cow.
It really should be OK.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fair Preparations

Does it get much better than this?
A boy in his barn boots, shorts, no shirt leading his cow around the farm. I think I'm in love.
 As I reflect how much my life has changed in the past 12 months I am amazed. I never knew how much I didn't know.
 We recently joined Country Partners 4H Club and entered a slew of projects in the fair. The biggest project being Erik's Dairy Calf, Jewel. I feel like some of this is an exercise in futility. Did you know that a Holstein has to be white on the white spots? Not, yellow or a bit dirty, but actually white! We have tried bluing, bleaching and just plain old scrubbing. She still has dirty knees. Kinda reminds me of that childhood chant...Never Mind. Good thing I have showed restraint and not taught my children that one.
Just to add to our learning curve Jewel got ringworm. We are now bathing her every day with special medication, then we curry brush the ringworm spots and paint on some used crankshaft oil.
We have 5 of the children registered for the fair. Everything from, Lego creations,  to wooden models, cookies, cakes, pies, cow, rabbits, meat rabbits, charcoal drawings, sewing projects, stitchery, watercolors, horticulture, childcare, and 4H in Action.
We have 6 hours of barn duty daily, dig outs at 4:45 A.M! Potluck dinners, showing, and auctions. Right now I think that ignorance is bliss, I really don't know what I am in for  2 weeks from now. My prayer is that we will have a fabulous learning experience and that our attitudes and actions will glorify God.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tour de Whatcom

In an effort to save some money on gas, Sean started riding his bike to work. I guess he got hooked because he started riding on weekends as well. He also found some friends who all liked to ride together.
Sean, on his single speed fixed gear
He read about the Tour de Whatcom and decided that it was something he wanted to do. The weekend before the race he went out in the pouring down rain and rode 50 miles! Prior to that he hadn't ridden more than 20. When he came home his legs were shaking and he could hardly walk, but he still wanted to ride.
We were late coming to the Deming rest stop  to cheer for Sean, he came in 1/2 hour ahead of schedule! 
It felt really weird to not be there cheering for him throughout his race but it took 5 hours and covered 105 miles, not something that was workable with the children.
We did make it to one of the pit stops and cheered him on. He called us when he was about 15 minutes away, so we hopped in the van, and rode to a spot down the road so we could yell. Unfortunately he was already past and we had to drive to the rest area to see him.
Papa and his cheering squad
 We cheered for him as he continued on his journey and decided to drive the other way so we could see him riding. That was not a good choice as Sean had already left and we had to try to catch him. which meant that we had to pass a lot of other riders on a 2 lane highway with no shoulders and lots of big trucks. It scared me and I was in our BRV (Big Red Van).
Just a little sunburn from the ride
Sean finished the105 mile ride in 5 hours, then rode from Fairhaven to Bellingham as a cool down. That guy is a nut! Anything he puts his mind to he excels at. Not only did he ride that far but he did it on on fixed gear single speed bike, much more challenging than your average bike. He went home, showered, ate and joined us at a birthday party, then ate some more. How's that for putting in a full day?

Congrats on your accomplishment honey! We are so proud of you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Not nearly enough time with my firstborn
Mikaela came up from Southern California last weekend. It was way too short of a visit. Time with her went by way too quickly.
I don't just mean the weekend, I mean her time in our home, her time under our influence and time to teach, build her up and encourage her.
She did my hair and I did hers
There is so much more I wish I had done with her. I wish I stopped what I was doing and really listened. I wish I had prayed more specifically for a Godly man in her life. I wish I had taken the time to sit and watch movies with her. I wish I had passed on my passion for desiring God. I wish that I had allowed her to make mistakes and suffer the consequences.
I am so thankful that she still wants to come home, and that this is home! I am thankful for our long conversations on the phone. I am thankful that she still asks for help and advice, even though she doesn't always take my advice. I am thankful that she asked me to curl her hair while she was home. I am thankful that she made cookies for the family and painted the little girls nails. I am thankful for her relationship with Taylor and that she took the time to do Taylor's hair and had fun doing it!
Taylor and I on our way to The Sound Of Music 
Although, there is so much more I wish I had done with Mikeala I am so thankful for every moment I get with her. I am being more intentional with the time and activities I am participating in with my younger children. Stay tuned for some of ideas and convictions.