Monday, August 31, 2009

The First Day of School

6:00 a.m. my alarm went off. I got up, not knowing why on earth the alarm was going off. I concentrated for a minute. Oh yes! The first day of school! I showered, dressed, got Ed up, did my hair, and finally pulled up the blinds…


If that doesn’t look like the perfect first day of school morning, then I don’t know what does. A chilly foggy morning that broke through to a sunny and warm afternoon – that’s fall here in Western Washington. I. Love. It.

Anyway, got the girls up, dressed, fed, and then it was picture time!!

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I love the first day of school…new clothes, new shoes, new backpacks and lunch boxes, new pencils and pens and crayons and markers and erasers…and I get to do it for FOUR girls! It doesn’t get any better than that.

As I walked into the school this morning, (both girls still let me into their classrooms with them to take pictures – hooray!) the smell of the crayons and backpacks and the thrill of excitement in the air brought me back. The only thing missing was the smell of chalk, since they all have whiteboards now. But that’s OK. I hate chalk dust.

The girls were excited and nervous, as they should be, and I am so thankful to have those healthy girls to send to that wonderful school. More on that tomorrow….

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Every girl deserves a foot soak every now and then

It was Friday night. We had nothing going on. Dinner was done. Dishes were done. House was picked up. We asked the girls, what do you want to do? Sarah said, “I want to soak my feet. They are so rough from not wearing shoes all summer.” I thought, what a great idea!

I got out some foot scrub and lotion and a basin of hot water while the girls all climbed into the bathtub to wash their feet. There was no way I was going to do foot soaks with them with their dirty and disgusting feet. I try so hard to keep shoes on their feet in the summer. But they’re kids. And it’s summer. And for some reason, kids like to be barefoot in the summer. I hate it. I hate dirty feet. So, they had to wash and scrub their feet before they put their feet in my basin of hot water.

Everybody had a turn soaking their feet and loved it! They thought the foot scrub I rubbed into their feet was tickly and laughed hysterically. They all kept saying “It feels sooooo good” when they put their feet into the warm and yummy-smelling water. They loved how soft their feet felt after I did the big foot file on their heels. Of course, they really already had soft feet, they just don’t know how much less soft their feet will get over the years…

It was fun. Perhaps it will be a new tradition of some sort. I’d like that. One more reason to thank God for my girls…they like foot soaks.





When did my hair turn brown?

Happy Birthday, Erik!

We just want to wish Erik/Grandpa Freeman a very happy birthday today! We’re so proud of you and all the work you do to benefit the veterans in this country who have given so much for humankind. You have also given much and we think it’s awesome!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Elias & Dad!!!

My nephew Elias is one year old today. I cannot believe a whole year has passed since we welcomed him to the family. We just spent a week with him in Oregon and he is so much fun. Happy and smart and smiley. I hope you have a great birthday with your Grandpa & Grandma K., Elias! We love you and miss you tons!


Today is also my dad’s 61st birthday! Yep, Elias was born on my dad’s 60th birthday last year, in case you don’t remember that. You can read about it here. My dad certainly doesn’t act like he’s 61 – working hard, taking care of the house, kayaking, hiking, being the tickle monster, doing all sorts of weird odd jobs I ask him to help me with, babysitting, flying kites, playing whiffle ball….and on and on. We are so fortunate & blessed to live near him (& mom, of course) so that they can be part of our daily lives and part of the lives of our kids. We all love you, Dad and hope you have a very happy birthday!5x7 M&D

Also, coming up on Sunday is my parents’ actual 40th anniversary. They’re celebrating with just the two of them this weekend…with kayaking, I am sure…and our part in the celebration is over…the week in Oregon, the book, the picture in the paper, etc. Happy Anniversary and God bless you, M&D!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Birch Bay with the Boon's

Last week we had the pleasure of staying at a condo in Birch Bay with our friend's, the Boon's. We have known them since 1996, and even though they moved to Eastern Washington in 1999, and then back to Mount Vernon in 2006 (after we moved away), we have remained close friends. When they invited us to join them on their little get-away, we jumped at the chance!

Click here to view a web album of our 48 hours together!

Assorted August Accolades

I’m still playing catch-up on my PotD and blogging, but I’m getting closer to current. Perhaps when I’m current I’ll be able to be more creative!

August 13: current favorite drink: chocolate milk with a spoon


August 16: Beautiful and yummy Farmer’s Market Tomatoes that made an amazing salsa_MG_2184

August 17: I failed. I have no PotD for August 17. :(

August 19: We headed out on a 3-day vacation with these good friendsBoon1 edited 8x10

August 20: A stop at the “C” Shop was in order after our photo shoot at the beach. Gotta love Bubble Gum Ice Cream with no bubble gum pieces!!!


August 21: At Semiahmoo


August 22: It must be here somewhere…

August 23: Cutie pie in nursery on Sunday morning. I know you can’t tell from this picture, but she really does love me. I had nursery duty and left for a minute to get a bulletin and she actually cried when I left! She doesn’t even do that for her mom very much, so I know she loves me. She just doesn’t like my camera.


Web Album of bay vacation coming soon!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bethany’s continued birthday celebrations

We celebrated Bethany’s birthday with the family in Oregon. Her actual birthday was on August 11 and she had her friend party that afternoon! My friend Melissa watched the other girls so that it could just be me, Bethany, and her 3 friends. One came a bit late, but we had an awesome time!


Her party was a “craft party”. Don’t ask me how to make a “craft cake” – I do not know. I made a “scrapbook cake” for Sarah’s birthday once, but Bethany didn’t want the scrapbook cake. So, I decided on cupcakes, with pretty sprinkles, displayed on china plates on my tiered stand, which of course I was thrilled to actually get to use for a second time! I got some clip art off my computer of craft things, like glue and markers and scissors and stuff and printed them out, mounted them on pretty paper and tucked into the little toothpick holder things you see on the cupcakes there. It turned out really cute!!!


While we were waiting for the guests to arrive, a hummingbird was enjoying its afternoon drink in our front yard.


Bethany and two of her friends working on their craft. They painted a clipboard, adhered a “friends” vinyl and some fabric flowers, and then mounted a picture of the four friends at the end of the party. They turned out seriously cute. For some reason I do not have a picture. I’ll have to take one of Bethany’s to post.


Eating cupcakes and drinking Italian Sodas. Yum!


The four friends.


Being models


E on the slip & slide


K getting up from the slip & slide


Oh yeah!


Don’t ask me. I have no idea how I got that picture. I remember taking it…but I don’t know how I got all that cool stuff in there. Funny thing is, I don’t think any of those are Bethany’s legs.


C on slip & slide


Bethany chose to go to Milt’s for her family birthday dinner. Here she is opening her gifts. This is a little notebook from Ed & I that says “totally awesome girl stuff) on the front, which she thinks is hilarious because Ed always says “totally awesome”. That’s why she’s got that silly smile.


Yum. I love Milt’s. Good choice, Bethany!


Showing off Milt’s brand new dessert pizza – like apple pie, only better. Deeeee-lish!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

God is cool

Elise has taken to being afraid of the dark and of going to sleep. She wants to stay awake all night, or at the very least have Mommy & Daddy stay awake all night. She can't really explain why, she just says that she doesn't like to go to sleep. So last night I was trying to comfort her and explain that she would be fine and I was telling her that Mommy & Dadd would be close by and that even when we go to sleep, Jesus will be with her and will be watching her sleep. She seemed a little stunned by this news and questioned how he could see her through the house. I just told her that Jesus could and she eventually calmed down and went to sleep.

This morning there was no mention of the being afraid or anything until later on when I was getting Elise dressed for church. She suddenly looked at me and said, "God must be so cool if He can see me through the house. He must be so cool."

He is, Elise, He is.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Skipping around

I know I already blogged August 14 & 15 – our anniversary weekend. I’m going to skip ahead to August 18. Yes, I know I haven’t done August 13, 16, or 17. I just knew you would give me a hard time about that. I’ll get back to those. They were just regular days. But August 18 was our day at the fair!


For some reason, I have about 57 pictures of a cow giving birth, but only a couple of my kids. I guess I figure I see them every day…

  1. Sarah and the art work she entered at the fair
  2. Friend Holly singing on stage in Kids Zone at the fair
  3. View of ferris wheel from the grandstand with my new zoom lens! No cropping!
  4. View of Mount Baker from the grandstand – again, no cropping!
  5. Oops. I don’t have a number 5.
  6. A lasso-twirling, horse-riding, quick-snapping trickster in the horse show at the grandstand
  7. Self-explanatory
  8. Holly thinking, “Mrs. Ball, why is that gigantic lens pointed at me again?”
  9. Sarah & Holly at the horse show
  10. Cow beginning to give birth. I made it tiny so it doesn’t gross anyone (coughedcoughballcough) out. That’s the bag of amniotic fluid beginning to emerge there.
  11. And the final picture. I decided to spare you all the stuff in between. You’re welcome.
  12. All the kiddos in the 4-H horse barn. That place was great. All the kids worked so hard to keep it neat and clean and to decorate and all that. Great job!
  13. Trying to pet a giant Clydesdale
  14. One of a gazillion pictures of dahlias. That’s an awesome display in there.

Sarah didn’t win a ribbon for her art at the fair, but we think it turned out beautiful and wins the grand prize. What truly wins the grand prize is Sarah’s character. Our friends were voting for her for the “viewer’s choice” award and Sarah said to them, “You know you’re supposed to vote for your favorite artwork, not your favorite person.”

Holly sang beautifully in the fair, as she usually does. It’s a privilege to hear her sing.

The cow giving birth thing was pretty cool. We walked into the dairy barn and I noticed a crowd of people gathering over on the other side. That’s always a sign that something big is going on. We headed over there and the cow was in the beginnings of labor. I had never in my life seen such a thing and the girls were all for staying to watch. After a while, the farmer came and pulled the calf because people, including us, were getting impatient. Thanks, Jon. Elise’s favorite part of the fair was “watching the baby cow get out of its mommy’s tummy.” Apparently she had it all figured out. Bethany loved it and asked a zillion questions. Sarah got a little squeamish about it at the end – she has her father’s genes.

And of course the final event of our day at the fair is chronicled here, at a blog whose name should now be changed to Dee’s Tattoo Parlor. Thank you, Dee. I loved my tattoo. It didn’t last but a few days, though.

A few photos of the day

August 9


We had music playing and they were supposed to be cleaning up. Instead they were dancing. Each to a different beat, I think.

August 10


My laptop screen is dead again. The warranty expired on August 4. Ugh. Genius Ed took the girls’ monitor and hooked it up to my laptop so I can do all my regular stuff. Too bad for the girls, though…since it’s hard to use their computer without a monitor. We’re waiting to hear back from American Express about their extra warranty and what they want us to do.

August 11


A picture of the birthday girl at her party. More about this to come in a future blog…but she had a great day.

August 12


Ta-Da! Woo-hoo! Yippee! School supplies are organized!

Not so sure about going back to school, yet, though…it starts on August 31 for S&B, September 2 for R, and September 4 for E. Gotta get in the mood soon here…

A little bit of catch-up

The last day of our Oregon Coast vacation was bittersweet. We had a wonderful morning playing in the house and a great last breakfast. Then we all had to pack up, load up, clean up, and head on down the steep driveway for the last time. We loved every minute of that trip, so thanks to Mom & Dad for funding it, for my siblings and families who came from far away, and to everyone for making it such an enjoyable week.



While waiting for the van to be loaded, Sarah & Bethany decided to climb the trees outside the house. Their mother was not too happy about this because they managed to get sap all over themselves about 5 minutes before I wanted them in the van to drive off. Ugh. Sap does not come off easily. So the girls were pretty sticky for the ride home…

Here’s the last few pictures: Oregon Coast Vacation Day Eight

Seriously behind schedule

I am so seriously behind on this blog. That’s what happens when I try to have a photo every day, plus make web albums of vacation, go on more vacations, keep things up around the house, do laundry, etc., etc., etc.,

Anyway, I believe I am up to August 7, which was our last full day of our Oregon Coast Vacation. The web album is ready for viewing and the PotD is:


all the cousins, clean and ready for our last night of sleeping in the Oregon House.