Sunday, June 28, 2009

An update

Update on our life…Ed’s tooth is still causing great pain. He’s hoping to see a dentist tomorrow. It’s pretty swollen now too, so that can’t be a good sign.

Sarah is home from camp! Hooray! I think she had a great time and she didn’t get wet and cold or have any bug bites for me to soothe. She handled everything fine. My baby is growing up. I love hearing her stories and listening to how excited she is about it all. I’m sure more stories will emerge as more time goes by.

The garage sale went great. We had superb weather and made plenty of money and sold a lot. We were thrilled… Then my mom & dad together took all the girls berry picking after picking up Sarah from camp. The berries weren't great because of the rain we had last week, and Ed wasn't feeling too good because of the pain meds for his tooth, but all in all, it was a pretty good day!

And now for pictures! Ed managed to back up all my pictures on his new hard drive, so he could delete some off my laptop, so I could finally get pictures off my camera. It’s your lucky day! Here are the PotD for this entire week:

Monday, June 22


Boo to Sam! This mask is scarier than yours!

Tuesday, June 23


Sarah outside her cabin at Camp Shiloh. I really didn’t have much trouble leaving her there that day, but I sure did worry about her at night time. Like I said though, it was needless worry, as usual.

Wednesday, June 24


Raindrops on my newly blooming shrub roses.

Thursday, June 25


Elise at swimming lessons! Good kicking!

Friday, June 26


Just a little sneak peak at a gift I’ve been working on.

Saturday, June 27


One of my class assignments

Sunday, June 28


Another assignment

And that was our week!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A few more...

random thoughts, that is...

*no new pictures yet. I'm out of memory on my laptop.
*my great husband bought an external hard drive or something like that so he can save my pictures until I'm ready to use them.
*once he unloads my laptop, I can upload my pictures and post some cool stuff.
*unfortunately, he's got such a bad toothache, I'm afraid it may be a few more days.
*he woke up with the toothache during the night, thinking he must have been grinding his teeth.
*it got progressively worse during the day, so he called his dentist, thinking he probably needs to finally have those wisdom teeth extracted.
*got an appointment for July 15, but a consultation with an oral surgeon for July 2.
*both of those seem too far away now, as nothing, not even four ibuprofen and some excedrin, even come close to touching the pain
*and ice makes it worse
*so he'll be calling again tomorrow and we'll see what happens then
*so if you don't mind, say a prayer for his pain and whatever he'll have to go through in the next few days
*cause I don't really have time for him to be incapacitated ;)

*I'm suffering from bad mom syndrome...didn't send a raincoat with Sarah to camp...and it's been raining for two days...didn't send bug spray with Sarah to camp...and killed a mosquito in my bedroom...I cannot wait for that child to come home on Saturday so that I can put cortisone on her bug bites, warm her in a blanket, and hug her forever. I miss her a lot.

*swimming lessons are going great...Elise is proud to just accomplish "stay by your teacher" and "listen to your teacher". She needs no introduction to the water - she's fearless as some of you may recall. But she's having a blast. Becca is proud to be the only one in her class to jump in like a "big girl." Translation: from a standing position, into the water, with no help whatsoever. Bethany thinks the survival float is hard. From her description, it sounds hard. I thought it was the new politically correct term for dead man's float. But it sure sounds a lot more complicated than floating on your back was when I was a kid. But I guess that's a good's supposed to be how to survive after all. But she is proud to be the best back stroker in her class.

*garage sale coming up this weekend...hoping for no rain...not only for the sake of the garage sale but for the sake of the berries. It's time to have some more strawberries in this house and to get some frozen for our future smoothies and other yummy treats. My lovely mother takes the girls berry picking and then I freeze the berries they pick. It's a great arrangement if you ask me. I think she agrees...but she doesn't want to take them in the rain...I can't blame her...I don't want to take them in the sun or the rain.

*all done

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Random Thoughts

*I need to post a few pictures. Maybe later...
*Brought Sarah to camp yesterday. I'm praying minute by minute for her...and for me. I can't wait to get her home again on Saturday. But I know this will be a great experience for her.
*Swimming lessons started last night for the younger 3. Bethany has a male teacher and two boys in her class. She's not thrilled with that arrangement, but did OK. Becca has only one other little girl in her class with a female teacher. She told me the other girl was cute and they could even talk to each other. Elise succeeded in her quest to follow my continuous reminders to "stay by your teacher."
*I had my first photography class at the community college last night - very enjoyable!!! I have homework, so I imagine you blog-readers will get to see my homework photos occasionally over the next five weeks.
*Getting ready for a garage sale this weekend. Can't wait to have all this junk out of here.
*Summer is filling up fast. Will life ever slow down?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father’s Day!

My husband is such a great dad – he’s the yes-man. Whenever they ask, “Dad, will you read me a book?” or “Dad, will you throw me up in the air?” or “Dad can I climb up you?” or “Dad, will you do a puzzle with me?” he always says yes. Just today, I asked him to help fry the corn tortillas he wanted for his Father’s Day dinner.


Would you look at that? He even said yes to the Pooh Bear apron (the only apron in the house that would fit him) so that he didn’t get oil splatters on his nice shirt. Wow. What a guy! But it was worth it for these:


Yummy! We really enjoyed our dinner of fried corn tortillas with all the taco toppings that Ed chose, so thanks, dear! You may have just converted me from flour tortillas…at least occasionally. And honestly, Ed is a great Dad and we all love him.


That’s my dad, me, and my girls. My dad is also great and a great grandpa. See the fence & arbor behind him? He built that for me. He does anything for me. That’s cause I’m his only girl. I love that. ;) And plus I live close to him and he’s never been able to say no to me. Just ask my brothers. But, seriously, if they lived close, he’d build them an arbor too. I’m sure of that, cause he flew across the country to install windows for my brothers. He’s pretty handy. And fun to have around. Anyway, here's a tribute to him, written by Sarah:

G is for Great helper for school projects

R is for Really likes the Calvin Alma Mater

A is for Absence of hair (Okay, Sarah didn’t write that one. My baby brother did.)

N is for Naughty but nice

D is for Dad of my Mom

P is for Papa John’s Friday night dinner

A is for A Lumberyard man

:) Love it! Thanks for everything, Dad!

Happy Father's Day also to Erik! We love you and miss you! When are you coming to visit again?

And of course Happy Father's Day across the globe to Jim! Thanks for keeping us updated with your photos, too! We all send our love.

Last Wednesday I had the privilege of taking this sweet baby’s one-year-old portraits:


She was not exceptionally smiley, and didn’t want to stand, but she didn’t cry and I got some very cute shots. It was so fun!

Thursday Elise decided to comb her own hair:


Nice. Now you really look like a boy.

All this past week Bethany’s been going to soccer camp. Here she is with her good friend on their last day:


Saturday I finally found Elise’s webkinz sign-in info, so the girls were “helping” her:


In case you don’t know, Webkinz are little stuffed animals you can buy (most very cute) that come with an online code so you can play games online with your pet. You can feed it and take it on a carousel and play the “Wheel of Wow”. Don’t ask me what that is. I have no idea. But the girls think it’s the greatest. Whatever floats your boat.

That’s all, folks.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Three going on Thirteen

Ever since Elise turned three, she’s been acting mostly as a typical 3 year old would…doing puzzles, drawing, harassing her sisters, you know…typical. Sometimes she also regresses and acts like she’s one…baby talk, can’t do anything by herself, harassing her sisters, you know…typical. And then – every once in a while – she acts like she’s thirteen and harasses her mother. Case in point:

Pulling out of the parking space this evening, ready to head home, Elise yells at me from her seat (she’s quite a backseat driver, actually, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog) “Mommy! Drive home now!” And when I didn’t respond to her the very split second after sound stopped coming out of her mouth, she yelled again, “MOMMY! DRIVE HOME NOW!”

I said, calmly, “Elise, it is not nice to talk to mommy like that. You may not yell at mommy. Now, what do you need to say to mommy?” I was of course thinking that she would say “I’m sorry, Mommy”, which she is very good at. Do you know what that child said? With just a wee bit of thirteen-year-old-attitude?

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Ball.”

What? Did she just call me Mrs. Ball? My three year old?

“No, Elise, you need to say, ‘I’m sorry, Mommy.’”

“Oooooh. I’m sorry, Mommy.”

In the background Bethany just can’t hold it in any longer. She’s in hysteric-giggle-mode. If you know her, you know what this is like. The rest of us in the van can’t hold it together any more either, so now Elise thinks that calling Mommy Mrs. Ball is funny. Great.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So much for the pictures

Look what happened to dear sweet Elise today


Actually, it doesn’t look as bad as it did when it happened. See the goose egg on her forehead above her right eye? She did that at the park today. My 3-year-old seems to think she can do everything her big sisters can do and tried to leap from the platform up to the monkey bars and grab the monkey bars with her hands in order to hang from the bars. Well, of course, she couldn’t hold herself when she did grab the monkey bars, so she fell to the ground and smacked her forehead on the nearby upright post. That bump on her head was twice as deep as it is in this picture and a dark purple and that happened almost immediately. I had my steel water bottle with ice water with me, so I put that against it right away, but within about 2 minutes she was fine and wanting to try her stunt again! I’m telling you, this child has determination. (I like that better than saying she’s stubborn...though I may have to concede that she’s hard-headed ;) ).

Anyway, I thought maybe I’d have to take her to the doctor, but my friend Amy said her kids had bumps like that before and they were fine, so we’re going with that. And she has been fine all evening…animated, in fact. However, I was planning to take Elise’s 3-year-old pictures tomorrow. Maybe not…

In other news


I finished one of the projects on my list! I used to have collages of the girls at age two-months on this wall, but then I needed those frames in the living room instead because they match the new “theme” I’m doing in there, so then I had to figure out something new to do with the girls’ baby pictures. I had Elise & Becca’s both on my computer because we had digital for both of those. For Sarah’s & Bethany’s, I took a picture of one of the pictures on their collages and cropped them and blew them up to 8x10 and then made them all a “chocolate black & white” and then had them printed at Costco. Elise’s is still a little dark, but I’ve already printed hers a few times (long story, no need to go into that here) and so I’m living with it for now. Anyhow, I mod-podged the photos onto 8x10 artist canvas (which was 40% off when I bought it!) and viola! A new display of sweet baby faces. (That’s Monday’s PotD).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One more

Here's one more link for the rest of the photos from our relative visit. I promise - all done now!

Seattle Day One & Two

I haven't gotten all the pictures from our relative visit organized yet, but I did manage to get the pictures from Day One of Seattle organized and onto a web album. I did not edit any of these pictures, except for a little bit of cropping. Click here to view the pictures.

Update: Here are the photos from Day Two of Seattle.

Photos of the Day:
The SoCal Ball Family on Tuesday, June 9.

Jacq & Connor walking at the beach on Wednesday, June 10

Sarah at the aquarium on Thursday, June 11

Eric took this picture with my camera of all the kids in the giant birds' nest in the play area on Friday, June 12.

Sarah picked a bunch of berries from her strawberry patch on Saturday (June 13) and then I picked even more! SOOOOO yummy!

Sarah left early this morning (June 14) for her trip to California with my mom. She's going to my brother's basketball camp that he runs at his school and we are excited. It was pretty tough to send her out the door and she was a bit nervous, but she's there safely now and seems pretty excited about everything! I'm going to miss her a lot, especially since she comes home next Sunday afternoon and then leaves again on Tuesday afternoon for Camp Shiloh for 5 days!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cousin Fun

We've been having an amazing time with the SoCal B. family. On Tuesday we went through town, had breakfast at the bakery. and played at the park. In the afternoon the kids took naps and played outside in the pool.. We had talked about going up to a lake in the mountains, but by the time we had lunch and naps and all that it had gotten too late, plus the other kids were having tons of fun outside. We watched a movie after dinner and just basically relaxed and hung out.

On Wednesday we packed a picnic lunch and after stopped by Ed's work we headed to the beach during low tide. We had our picnic and walked through the tidepools and muck and sea weed and found some cool stuff. We didn't see as many sea creatures as we did the day Bethany & I went on her school field trip, but we had a really good time. We made Italian Sodas when we got home (a first for the SoCal B. family) and the kids played and played and played!

Click here to see just a few group pictures...

Tomorrow and Friday we're on our little mini-vacation, so I'll hopefully post on Saturday and then also get up a web album of more pictures.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cousin fun and candle-blowing

Ed’s brother and family have arrived! Apparently all the kids think Uncle Eric is a climbing wall…or that he’s just waiting to be pounded on…or that he’s just so hilarious to tackle…


And Elise knew just what to do with her cake & candles…she started before we even finished singing!


Yes, that is a Candyland Cake. It was super fun to make. I got it from Taste of Home and since this was such a special birthday, being able to celebrate with cousins, I let Elise choose that one. Usually I say no to stuff like that. It was so fun to say YES! It is a chocolate cake with a tad bit of white frosting tinted green just so, with Starburst for the colored squares, heart candies, candy canes (not easy to find in June – thanks Amy for saving yours!) Dum Dum suckers, marshmallows, Ju Ju Bees, gum drops, ice cream cones, frosting, rock candy, peanut butter cups, and lots of sprinkles. Seriously. I think that is the most fun I have ever had decorating a cake.

Hopefully I’ll eventually make a web album of the entire cousin visit, but for now I’ll just be posting little tidbits here and there.

Happy Birthday, Elise!

My baby is THREE today! I cannot believe that it was 3 years ago today that she entered our lives and changed things forever (just like all her sisters did before her). We became a family of 5 girls & a guy at that point and we love it.

 DSC06242 chocolate b&w-1

Elise, we love you! You are NOT a typical “baby of the family” in any way. You are determined, independent, full of life, hilarious, loving, and far too grown-up for your age. You just have to do whatever your sisters are doing and all by yourself. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for your life!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

This is the end of the innocence

Our baby days are over. Today, for the first time, Elise will go to "big church" and then to Children's Church. No more nursery. How do *you* think it'll go?

Update: Elise did quite well in church. She was so proud to sit there like her sisters. We were even complimented on her behavior by the people sitting behind us, who seemed to be watching her more than the pastor. Then we went to Children's Church. I am the teacher for the month of June. It was so sweet - Elise called me "teacher". Here she is showing off her first Children's Church paper. "Thank you, Jesus, for my hands."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summertime….and the livin is easy

This is what awaited me this morning when I got out of bed at the very late time of 7:50 a.m.


Yesterday was the last day of school, which meant that the sleeping in has begun. Apparently I forgot to tell the children. But at least they were quiet watching TV and let me sleep!

I promised the M/W morning preschool class I would give this picture to Teacher Leslie:

IMG_4518 They made a chain the entire length of the preschool! What was so cool was that they all participated and did it together. Then when playtime was over I made them disconnect it all because those are the rules. You have to disconnect the chains. They mostly helped me.

Tuesday night I repainted the bathroom. A real color. It’s called “Warm Scones" and it’s very yummy. It’s actually lighter than I thought it would be, which is amazing, because paint always comes out darker than you think. Except for now. But anyway, it’s neutral and not too dark for the small bathroom with no natural light. Of course, it looks kind of the same as it did before I started, unless you stand in the bathroom and look at the wall with the door where you can see the hallway wall too and then you can see that it’s two different colors. Maybe someday I’ll put a second coat on and it’ll be a tad darker, but for now, for the company coming, it’s all done.

IMG_4714 The whole bathroom was designed around this print that I received from an artist named Rosie Harris. She’s local and does the “Really Wooly” line for Dayspring. She did a brunch at our Coffee Break at Christmas with her “gallery walk”. She paints the life of Christ as if He were living in the here and now. In–cred-i-ble. Really. This print is called “The Jacket” and you can’t see it here, but written on the teen girl’s jacket are all the things she is in Christ, like I am holy and I am forgiven and stuff. I was so touched by it and thought – man, that is what I want my girls to grow up seeing and believing every day when they look at themselves in the mirror. That was the whole point of re-doing their bathroom.

I am loving my peonies! Check out the size of this bloom:


In case you can’t tell, it’s as big as my hand.

IMG_4654 Oooh! Look photography friends! I got dapply light bubbles! Yay for me! I even did it on purpose! I had to practically lay on the ground in the dirt to get the right angle, but I did it. I put to practice something I learned from Melissa and I did it!


Have I mentioned I love peonies?

Thursday was the last day of school!!!! Here is Sarah with her teachers:



And Bethany with Miss B:


And Becca with her teacher, my mom. We gave her a little book full of pictures of Becca’s two years at preschool. They had fun looking at it together.


Speaking of my mom, she bought me a present! To thank  me for teaching for her while she went to my brother’s for the Carter’s birth. She really did not have to, but I am so glad she did!

IMG_4692 How did she know I love purses? Thanks, Mom!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Learning about Rhyme

I taught the preschoolers about rhyming words yesterday. They’re a smart class, so they were really catching on and having fun thinking of words that rhyme. Someone said, “nap!” so I asked them to think of words that rhyme with nap. Another little child said “lap!” and I said, “Yes!”


My dear sweet daughter.

Shouts out, “crap!”