Thursday, September 30, 2010

Padilla Bay

Last week Thursday, on his birthday, Ed got to accompany Bethany on her class field trip to Padilla Bay, which is about an hour south and east of here. It’s an estuary and a great place for a field trip. They didn’t have fabulous weather, but it didn’t pour down rain on them either, though they did have a fabulous time exploring on the beach and looking at phytoplankton under the microscope. That was Bethany’s favorite part – she loves looking at tiny junk under the microscope.

DSCI1052 DSCI1046 DSCI1039 Her class on the beach

DSCI1030 Collections from the beach

DSCI1029DSCI1026Bethany and her partner

DSCI1022Bethany beginning to collect

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


So I was going through pictures and realized there’s a couple of random ones I wanted to share, but that didn’t necessarily all need separate blog posts (although separate blog posts would get me to post #500 more quickly, which will be nice for all my readers, but more on that later…), so this is just a random post with random, unrelated pictures.

Was that a run-on sentence? Probably. When I was in high school, our writing teacher used to make us fill out S.O.S. sheets for every paper we wrote. S,O.S. stands for Sentence Opening Sheets. (And yes, he called them “S.O.S. Sheets”  which makes them Sentence Opening Sheets Sheets). On these sheets we had to write the first 5 words of every sentence, the subject, the verb, and count how many words were in the sentence. If there were more than 17 words we had to double-check that sentence to see if it was an RO (Run-On Sentence). If I count the words in the first sentence of this post…well, I got to 40 and quit…I guess by S.O.S. sheet standards, it’s an RO. Oh well. This is a blog.

Where was I?

Oh yes, random unrelated pictures…along with random thoughts (apparently) that bubble over from my brain, through my fingers, and onto the keyboard…

_MG_8487 Happy Birthday, Ed! Since we couldn’t go out for dinner ON his birthday (life was in the way), I bought him yummy donuts from Rocket Donuts (downtown Bellingham) for his birthday and stuck the swizzle stick in it instead of candles while we sang Happy Birthday. Everyone loved the special donuts.

_MG_8494 Elise and her bestest friend in the whole wide world, “reading” and singing together.

_MG_8506 Fall flowers. Gorgeous. One of these days I’m gonna grow my own dahlias, but in the meantime, I will just enjoy the ones my friends grow and give me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Did you know that “antiquing” is a word? This is from Webster’s:


–verb (used without object): to shop for or collect antiques:

I don’t think I knew it was a word. But this past week, I finally got to go “antiquing” with my friend Tam again. We went in Santa Cruz in March, and have been wanting to go to the Bellingham shops, but with her complicated pregnancy and subsequent birth of a child, and my schedule…well…it only took 6 months.

_MG_8465 I didn’t buy anything big, but was pretty excited about the little things I did find. The magazine is from 1957 and the girls think it is “so cool”, so I guess I did well there. The little Photoguide is a nice reference book that Tam found, but was nice enough to let me buy to put on display with my cameras. It’s pretty interesting. Back in the day, you really had to know your stuff if you were a photographer! The swizzle stick that looks like an Arby’s sign (from far away it does!) is really two people sitting at a table and it says “Ed’s” underneath. Tam also found that and for 25 cents I had to have it to stick in Ed’s birthday donut that night! The bag of stamps there will supposedly get used in scrapbooking someday, if I get inspired, as will the chocolate milk bottle cap thing. The girls love chocolate milk, so if I ever take a picture of them drinking it, well, that bottle cap’ll get used! The LIVE and LAUGH blocks are really fun – they’re old game pieces and I just think they’re cute. I don’t know if I’ll use them in scrapbooking or not. I ended up setting them on display in my scrapbooking cabinet, and I like them there. The b and backwards 6 are old, uh, whatchacallit letters from when they had to typeset letters for newspapers. And of course, the b is actually a d, but since it’s just “on display” I wanted it to look like a b. The 6, of course, is backwards, but you know it’s a 6, right? Right?

I’m a novice antiquer (is that a word?) but it’s a ton of fun to look at old stuff and think of new ways to use it. Tam wrote even more about our day out on her blog, here, and has more pictures, so feel free to continue to read about our great day out!

Friday, September 24, 2010


There are two friends of mine who are as addicted to scrapbooking as I am, maybe even more. They might also be as addicted to coffee and chatting as I am. We are all of the opinion that there are few things in life better than a cup of coffee shared with friends, especially when that cup of coffee lasts all day long and includes pouring over photos, laughter, pretty paper, fun pens, more laughter, and tape runners that work well. We are going on our third year of crafting together and our hope is that these days continue long past when we have baby pictures and even past graduation pictures, maybe even past grandchildren pictures. I think that qualifies us as addicted.


My other scrap-addicted friend joined us for this particular day and we’re so thankful she was there, and not just because she could take our picture. Hopefully she’ll be able to join us again sometime!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, DH!

I recently posted a gushy post about Ed on our anniversary, so I thought I should do something different than write about all the wonderful things about Ed…but consider yourself warned…this may be a tear-jerker…

To my mother-in-law, Jean:

Thank you for my husband. Thank you for giving birth to him, for loving him, and cuddling him as a baby. Thank you for raising him to love the Lord, to take care of his family, and to take pride in his work. Thank you for encouraging his strengths and for not letting him sink into his weaknesses. Thank you for making him stronger than he thought he could be. Thank you for providing strong role models for him through yourself, your church, and your family. Thank you for giving him to me.

We think of Ed’s mom often, and miss her lots. We are grateful for the time we had and jealous of the time we missed. We are thankful she is no longer in pain and that we will see her again one day in Glory. But I am most grateful on this day for her gift of her son to me.

_MG_8456 _MG_8458 _MG_8459 _MG_8460 _MG_8461 _MG_8462 

Happy Birthday, Love. You are a gift.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First XC Meet

What an exciting day and what a proud mama I am today! It was such a thrill to see my daughter, wearing a Lyncs uniform, with a smile on her face, compete on a school team. I couldn’t be prouder of her for trying something out and giving 100%!

_MG_8403 There’s the team before the race. She was just jumping up and down with excitement. It was the cutest thing!

_MG_8441 All the Lyncs are on the far right. Next to them are the girls from Assumption. We kept thinking the Assumption girls were also LC girls. Their uniforms have the same design as the LC uniforms used to have when my brothers ran and my mom and I kept cheering for Assumption accidentally.

_MG_8442First time we saw her come through the woods. She looked good and she kept smiling at us. I thought she might actually wave. She’s such a sweetie. I have to tell her to focus on the running…

_MG_8446 Nearing the finish line. She’s right with the #1 runner from her school.

_MG_8453 Almost to the end…she was about a half step behind her teammate by the time they crossed the finish line and they were near the front finishers. We don’t know her time yet, but I’ll be sure to post it when we do!

Way to go, Sarah! I am so proud of you!

Monday, September 20, 2010

GEMS 2010 Kick-off!

Last week Monday night was our kick-off for our new GEMS year! One of my counselors graciously offered their fire pit and yard for a hot dog roast and s’more night! We had a ton of fun and it was a great start to our year. You can check out these pictures and see exactly the reasons (some of them anyway…it got dark and I don’t have a picture of every single GEM) that GEMS exists and why I am so passionate about this ministry.


I’ve been wanting to blog about the spiders. NOT because I like them. Because I despise them. And because they are so HUGE this year. And so NUMEROUS! But I just couldn’t get myself to take pictures of them. Gives me the heebie jeebies.

However, luckily, my friend Dee is also having trouble with spiders. I guess that’s not lucky for her, just lucky for me and for you, my blog readers. You see, Dee was brave enough to take pictures of the spiders, (although my spiders have bodies about as big as marbles, so they are much nastier), and she blogged about her spiders. So, now you can read her blog Be Nice To Spiders and know that everything she says is also true for me. Thanks, Dee!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Most excellent

Today’s unauthorized guest post is by Ed, the blessed husband of the primary author of this blog.

Aside from being an outstanding blogger, Julie is a most excellent wife, mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, nurse, cook, shopper, banker, hiker, GEMS head counselor, GEMS area coordinator, gardener, sports fan, photographer, musician, painter, organizer, leader, believer, and friend. Can I get an “amen”?

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.

Pictures from FWS – Sunnyside

You can see a sampling of what we did at FWS last weekend here!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

We started off our Labor Day weekend with a big sleepover! Both Sarah & Bethany had a friend overnight. There was lots of giggling. We roasted hot dogs and made s’mores over our portable fire pit and the girls watched Ella Enchanted and they haven’t stopped talking about it since! After waffles for breakfast, there was lots of Wii, running around, and more giggling.

_MG_8169 _MG_8173 _MG_8175 _MG_8177 

Ed left all us girls very early on that Saturday morning for a hike up to the Nooksack Cirque with a couple guys from work, as well as a few others he met that day. Ed didn’t take a camera, but Todd has lots of great pictures on Melissa’s blog, which I’m sure they’re happy for you to enjoy!

On Labor Day we had intended to go up to Artist’s Point, but alas, Labor Day felt more like Reformation Day, weather-wise. Dark, gray, rainy, and cold. After a fun breakfast with my girlfriends from church, Ed & I debated our afternoon options. We could go to the zoo in the rain, which wouldn’t be much fun, plus we’d have to deal with all that border traffic. We could go swimming, but that also involved border traffic. We could go to a matinee, but there weren’t any movies showing we thought were appropriate for all our girls. We could go bowling, but we didn’t really want to.

We ended up deciding to have a movie marathon afternoon at home. The girls & I baked cookies while Ed went to borrow some movies we didn’t own from our friends. It was quite a process deciding which two movies we were going to watch. Ed actually printed up little pictures of each movie cover and the girls voted by handing Ed whichever movie they wanted to see. The movie Ed received the most of won. So, we first watched Ice Age, followed by a little break for some fresh air, since it quit raining for a while, followed by Aladdin, followed by a dinner of baked potato chowder with yummy rolls. And I took no pictures. We were seriously lazy. We wore sweats all day and It. Was. Great.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just Because…

This is a post Just Because.

Just because it’s been a while since I’ve posted any pictures…

And just because I had a frustrating day today…

And just because these girlies look so sweet…



Sunday, September 12, 2010


I’ve been rather absent on my blog lately. That’s because I’ve been rather busy. This past week was spent making final preparations for the first GEMS Counselor workshop, which was held in Eastern Washington. It was a really busy week, since I had never led a workshop before. I spent a lot of time praying. AND I spent a lot of time practicing with Power Point, the new projector, and my laptop. AND I spent a lot of time practicing the workshops I was helping to lead with my amazing partner.

So on Friday morning I headed out. My first stop was Canada. Incredibly, our supplies we had ordered hadn’t been shipped in time, and while there was hope that the overnight delivery would arrive in time for the workshop, I thought we should have a plan B. I have a friend in Canada who had some extras of some very important supplies so I headed up there to borrow those from her. Then I loaded up my van and hit the road.

The “Change Oil” light appeared in my van, so I was a bit concerned the whole way (since I was driving a LONG ways, over the mountain pass!) but God provided and the oil gauge showed everything was OK. I stopped quickly at an outlet mall to make a return, but also found some much needed nice winter gloves for my dumb fingers that turn white and go numb in the cold weather. I got a bit tired while driving over the mountains, so called a friend and chatted for an hour, which woke me up and added some fun to the trip. I made it to the church for set-up with about 5 minutes to spare and was so thankful for safe travels! The first thing we did was go searching for our “overnighted” box of supplies and it was there! Yee haw! Not everything we needed was in the box, but it was a major improvement over what we had before!

Tami & I spent the evening setting up, It was a pretty late night, as this is the first workshop like this that we have done, and the facility was pretty tough to work with, but we were happy with the results. (Pictures will come later this week, I hope!)

I slept a few hours, which is more than I expected, so I was happy. In the morning we put up the balloons and signs and set up all the tech stuff. Thankfully, everything worked and I had no technical difficulties!

The workshop went great overall. Of course we thought of things that we should have said later, or ways we could have said things differently, or whatever, but the counselors seemed to enjoy themselves and seemed really grateful for the training and information they received! We had been praying that they would go away feeling equipped by God to teach their GEMS girls this year and I think they did!

On my way home when I was feeling tired, I called my brothers’ families and got to talk to one brother, one sister-in-law, and one nephew. :) I was home before 9:00, which was awesome.

Overall, God provided in so many ways, it’s impossible to even describe them all. I could only touch on the big ones here. Thanks to all of my friends and family who knew about my big weekend and prayed for us. I am sure God answered those prayers in ways we will never even know. We have to repeat the workshop on this side of the mountains this coming Saturday. I’m nervous in a different way about that one – there are A LOT of people I know at that workshop, including my fellow GEMS Counselors from  our church and fellow GEMS Counselors from our former church and fellow GEMS Counselors that I have just known for a very long time! The plan is to just keep praying and practicing and take the same relaxed approach to training these women that we had yesterday and lead them through the things that God wants to teach their girls through them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

First Day of First Grade

There’s a Veggie Tales song (by Chris Rice, I think) that goes:

“Now Billy Joe McGuffrey was a really clumsy kid
On the first day of first grade, I'll tell you what he did
He tripped over a pencil box, flew up in the air
Landed on a kangaroo who pulled out all his hair
He needed

First aid in the first grade
First aid in the first grade
First aid in the first grade
You could buy a zoo with all the doctor bills he paid”

Well, thankfully Becca didn’t land on a kangaroo on the first day of first grade, but it wasn’t a good day because she was home sick! Whoever heard of being sick on the first day of school? I think it’s the first time in history that’s ever happened.

I finally took her to the doctor on the SECOND day of first grade and it turned out she had strep throat! And Elise, too! Plus, Elise had Scarlet Fever.


Yep. Apparently it’s the same bacteria as causes strep. Just usually Moms are less negligent than I was and bring their children in and get them on antibiotics and so strep doesn’t turn into Scarlet Fever. Not me, man. I just think my kids should tough it out and I hate bringing them to the doctor just to hear the doctor say, “It’s a virus and they just have to get over it.” So, I waited. And Becca missed the first two days of first grade and Elise missed the first day of preschool. Sorry.

Anyway, the older girls had a great first week at school and the younger girls, too, once they finally got there!

_MG_8098 Look at what a beautiful young lady my 7th grader is turning into!

_MG_8086 And look at her huge feet! ;) Actually, she didn’t end up wearing those shoes to school because they were a tad too big. Whew!

_MG_8120 Can you believe this child is in 5th grade? Wow.

_MG_8081 We love these shoes. These are the shoes I found (in Canada!) for Suessical this summer. They’re like a women’s size 6, but they’re only a little bit too big when she ties them up tight.

Sorry that this next picture is a little blurry. I was trying to be fast to capture this moment without her noticing me.



_MG_8121 This is the thing that “Junior High” has brought into our lives. Chatting on the phone with friends and giggling. Oh, and apparently lip gloss. Which, if I had seen on her face before we got to church, would have been washed off.

_MG_8123 A close up of the chatting. At this point she’s saying to her friend, with severe embarrassment in her voice, “I think my mom is taking my picture while I’m talking on the phone.” As though that’s weird or something. Just wait until you try to talk to a boy on the phone, girl!

_MG_8141 Ah! Finally we’re going to First Grade!

_MG_8125 Those are just the cutest little first grade shoes I have ever seen!

_MG_8150 And Elise was off to her first day of preschool, too.

I don’t have pictures of her shoes. I don’t know why. I’m thinking either she wouldn’t sit still or I forgot. I think she wouldn’t sit still.


Saturday, September 4, 2010


Last weekend, one of my dreams came true. Courtesy of Logos, we attended a Mariners’ game in one of those fancy-schmancy suites.

And, to quote a well-known Mariners’ announcer, “My, Oh My!”

That suite was, well, sweet!

The first thing we see, after parking in the garage, and entering through a private entrance, and being handed a t-shirt and given directions to our suite by the official suite greeter, was this:

_MG_7967 I know, it’s just sushi and where’s the chocolate? But, Ed was happy.

Then we saw these things:

_MG_7971 A full buffet of food…extremely yummy potato salad, (Does anyone have the recipe that the Mariner’s Suite Kitchen uses for potato salad? Seriously. Delish.), hot dog bar, hamburger bar, pulled pork, Ceasar salad, chips & dip, a fridge full of pop, and lemon wedges for the ice water…and the chocolate did come later, but my camera battery was dead and I have no pictures of that. I was too busy eating the chocolate to bother anyway. Gigantic cookies (about 4 kinds) and double-fudge brownies, and the biggest cupcakes you have ever seen in your life with various frostings and toppings. The best one (and yes, I sampled most of them) was the white cupcake (I know, I know, this is totally unorthodox, just wait for it)…

with the chocolate frosting…

and chocolate sprinkles (there it is). We took some of those cupcakes home. And I even shared them. Saved me from having to bake for those first-day-of-school lunches! :)

Oh, and there was a Mariners game happening while we were there! I got all distracted thinking about those cupcakes…

Well, the Mariners’ lost, but in their defense, they were playing (& I quote my brother here) “the best team in baseball since the All-Star Break”). NOT TO MENTION the fact that I was not sitting in my usual place. So, they lost. But I don’t really want to go back to level 300, section 46, row 112. I get a little dizzy up there.

The suite was perfect.

_MG_7978 Room to move around

_MG_7992 A great view of the stadium

_MG_8005 A great place to watch Ichiro not get his 500th infield hit

_MG_8037 I’ve never been this close to the announcers before. Bonus points if you can find Dave Niehaus.

_MG_8058 We watched Fister pitch a very good game. We only lost 1-0. No run support.

_MG_8065 Up in the hallways around the suites are frames and wall-hangings commemorating Mariner highlights in the years since Safeco Field was built. Ed & I really enjoyed walking through the hallway and looking at the pictures and reading old newspaper headlines and remembering.

_MG_8020 I love having a husband who is such a great Mariners’ fan that he put on the ugly free Ichiro t-shirt as soon as we got there. Oh wait, I think he put it on in case he spilled sushi, actually. But even though Ed is a fair-weather fan, we still have a lot of fun when we go to games together.

This game was even better because there were friends there!

IMG_0306 _MG_8008 _MG_8015 And there were more, but like I said before, my camera battery died. I don’t have pictures of everyone else, unfortunately.

It was an awesome day at the ballpark, complete with a bit of outlet mall shopping and some adventures on the road as well!

My friends Melissa and Tamara also blogged about the ballgame, if you’re interested. Melissa has some awesome pictures, including pictures of the cupcakes! Tamara got more people pictures, including the generous and giving boss and his wife who hosted the event!