Monday, January 31, 2011

Happiness In January Is…


Little tulip shoots


Tight leaf buds on my lilac


Even bigger daffodil shoots


Tulips I bought for myself as a consolation gift since I’m not going anyplace warm in the near future


And the new pot I bought at the thrift store just because it made me smile

Sunday, January 30, 2011


If you recall, I am quite domestic. Much more domestic than my mother. I even actually enjoy almost all the domestic things I do.

There is, however, one area of domesticity in which I am found highly lacking: sewing. I cannot stitch in a straight line to save my life. I cannot cut fabric into two equal squares, and if I ever had two equal fabric squares, and tried to sew them to make a pillow, it would come out all wonky in the end. Just trust me in this. I have tried.

I inherited the inability to sew. I know this because, though my mother did sew clothes at one time in her life, her claim – to – fame in sewing is having sewn the curtains that hung her in house for years. The catch is that my great-grandma helped her. A lot. And may I just also point out that the clothes my mother once sewed are not any of the clothes that she continues to save in each of the four bedroom closets in her house that date back to 1978?

My mother-in-law was a great seamstress, but it never rubbed off on me. I was given her wonderful sewing machine, but I usually break it when I use it, (or that’s my excuse, anyway). Then my friend’s mom comes for a visit from South Dakota and borrows it to do all my friend’s sewing and it works perfectly for her. My sister-in-law can also sew. But I share no genetic heritage with any of those people and that is also my excuse.

Last week two of my favorite GEMS Counselors in the entire world taught their 7th and 8th graders how to sew! I was at first very concerned about Sarah’s ability in this field, since I knew I had deposited no sewing genes into her body. First she had to cut fabric and iron it; two things she has never done in her life.



The first stitch she made had to be completely torn out because the fold she had ironed unfolded (demonstrating both an inability to sew as well as underexposure on how to use an iron). I apologized to those GEMS counselors, but explained that she comes by this lack of ability quite honestly.

Well. Then….

After she re-ironed her fabric and sat down to sew again – wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles - the child can sew! I was informed that she did beautifully and must have inherited some sewing genes from her father’s mother!

And I am very glad to hear that. Maybe now she’ll do all the ironing and sewing around the house…

Great work, Sarah & Counselors!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

What we’ve been up to

It’s been kind of an interesting week or so. After Baby Ada was born, I had a scrapbooking day with some friends (which was actually a scrapbooking day -  no surprises – but at which I was very uninspired) and then on that Saturday Elise went to a birthday party in the afternoon and Ed & I had a little date night out to the Flatiron Building for the Woods Coffee shop opening and big-wig open house. It was PACKED, but the music was good, the company was good, and the food and drinks were FREE (and also great)!! Then we completed our oh-so-original date night with a trip to Lowe’s. On the way home we got to talking about how we really needed a get away, and we should look at going to Hawaii sooner than 2014, which was our current plan. It didn’t help that it had been pouring down rain for about 72 hours and it was cold and flooding and even I, who loves the rain, was ready for some sunshine. My California-boy-husband was definitely sick of the gray & wet drudgery that has been our weather. That night we got excited as we started looking at flights and they turned out to be very reasonable! We thought maybe we could really do it this spring!

Well, after more investigating into lodging and what there is to do on Oahu, which is the island to which the flights were cheap, and after looking at what will need to be spent for the big family vacation we have planned for this summer, we decided our money was better spent on that or should just stay put in the bank. I was bummed, but we agreed to look for a short weekend get-away closer to home so that we could reconnect. We don’t like the way life is flying past us and we feel like we’re missing out on each other’s lives by focusing so much on the kids, school, and church! So, we’ve got a getaway all planned for a few weeks from now and are VERY MUCH looking forward to 24 hours away to do nothing together.

Then this past Monday the kids were off from school because of MLK Jr. day, so we goofed around at home together and slept in and all that. I had a GEMS Counselor meeting, which was kind of a bummer since I found out that at least 2 of my counselors are not returning. Definitely am making that recruitment problem a matter of prayer already. That’s the most difficult part of my “job” as Club Coordinator – recruiting counselors. But never has God failed to provide, and even in the years that are more “difficult”, the women He brings bless the girls and I am thankful.

Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty average and on Thursday I got to serve hot lunch in Bethany’s classroom. I love fifth graders. As they walked in from recess, I overheard a girl say to Bethany, “Is that your Mom, Bethany? She’s pretty!” So sweet! Sarah had exams all week since Thursday was the end of the semester – her first exams! She seems to have done well, scoring a 100% on her science exam. Hopefully we’ll get more grades this week. On Friday the girls were off again for a teacher work day (to grade exams and write report cards) and so after I got an oil change in the van in the morning, we headed to Bellingham for a few errands – both necessary ones and fun ones. We spent the evening just tooling around the house and getting a few things done so that on Saturday we could PLAY!

Saturday we slept in, did a few odd jobs here and there, and then headed off to Lynden to pick up our friends, the Hiemstra’s, and cross the border into Canada for an afternoon of fun at one of their awesome community center pools! (Oh, wait, they spell it centre up there in Canuck-land). Less than $10 Canadian gets my family into an awesome pool for the entire day! There’s a great waterslide, fountains, two hot tubs, diving boards, a kiddie slide & kiddie pool, and all sorts of fun floating apparatus’. Once we headed out of the pool in the late afternoon we couldn’t decide where to go for dinner. We decided to let the Hiemstra’s decide, and since I know they think a lot like me, I was confident they would choose wisely. Which they did. We didn’t stop until we had just crossed the border into the states, where a local dairy which serves their homemade amazing ice cream for really cheap. What a wonderful appetizer!! A pizza dinner followed at the Hiemstra’s house, along with a few games, before we headed home for a good night’s sleep before Sunday. It’s amazing how a few hours of swimming can wear a person out!

Today’s been your standard Sunday, with a bit of extra pleasure tucked in. The girls got to play outside with the neighbors (because it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t cold!) and when they had a snack together they prayed together before they ate it and it was just an incredibly sweet story to hear. Tomorrow begins a FULL week of school and activities and hustle and bustle. Perhaps I’ll take a few pictures. I did take a few pictures this past Monday, of a project I started, but it’s not quite done yet, so I don’t have the “after” pictures. Maybe sometime this week…

How have you been?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby Ada

Last week Thursday our friends had their first baby! Ed carpools with the baby’s dad and I walk and hang out with the baby’s mom. We are so excited to welcome Baby Ada Sydney to the world!



I had a little fun with editing on these pictures and I can’t wait to see her momma’s photos of her and to take more pictures of her myself. Her grandparents get to meet her tomorrow, so it’ll be a week or so before I have the chance, I think.

Snow Day, 2011!

Last week there was a HUGE storm predicted for our area. We were supposed to get about 8 inches of snow on Tuesday night, followed by more snow for the next 3 or 4 days. Oh, we were excited! A couple of snow days! Sleeping in, hot cocoa, and all that free time because all scheduled activities get cancelled!

Well, the day before it was supposed to hit, the weathermen kind of down-graded the forecast. Yeah, we could get about 5 inches on Tuesday night, but by Wednesday morning it would be raining. We went to bed Tuesday night watching the snow fall, but convinced it would be gone by morning and we’d have school.

Of course on Tuesday at school, all the teachers and students were excited about the possibility of a snow day. Teachers handed out extra homework, told the kids to play in the snow and that they would see them on Thursday. I think everyone in the county was so convinced we would have a snow day, that the administrators of all the schools just decided to call it, no matter what.

We woke up on Wednesday morning to about 4 inches of wet snow and slushy roads and a SNOW DAY! Woo-hoo! We were pretty excited. Unfortunately the roads were not actually bad enough for Ed to stay home, but we made the most of our free day. I made the girls go outside at about 9:30 because I knew that snow would not last!


Sarah rolling the bottom part of the snowman…



Cute boot kick there, girlie!


Becca & Elise and a neighbor girl (in the middle) making angels.



Rolling the snowman’s middle


Rolling the snowman’s head



Building a fort, of course…



We must have had a little freezing rain because a number of my plants had a thing layer of ice that was starting to melt, and we had icicles, too. So, since there was freezing rain, I don’t think it was an unnecessary snow day. Freezing rain is dangerous. It really is!

Eventually the neighbors came over and they continued to play in the snow until it started really raining and they all got wet. Then it was hot cocoa with marshmallows, mac & cheese for lunch, and more playtime with friends until we went to Lynden for music lessons. The roads were better that afternoon than they had been in over a week when we had just a bit of snow & ice, which didn’t thaw in many places on our route to Lynden. Needless to say, we didn’t get another snow day and I have my doubts that we will. It’s been warm, raining, and flooding ever since. When I was in high school we once had a few days off due to flooding – and I think that happened here a couple years ago as well. No one could get anywhere because of all the road closures. It won’t surprise me if that happens at some point this year because it’s looking like it’s going to continue being a very WET winter!

Monday, January 17, 2011


to the tune of "Row, Row, Row your Boat"

Wash, dry, sort, and fold
Every single day
It is my least favorite chore
I need to go away

(hint, hint, DH!)

Edited to say: DH = dear husband

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Surprise #3

For quite some time, my friend Amy & I have been scheming to kidnap our friend Dee on her 40th birthday and treat her to “Dee Day!” It turned out that the day we planned for the kidnapping was the day Dee’s sweet hubby took a day off work to take her snowshoeing. Thankfully, I discussed our plans with her hubby, we discovered the conflict, and we discreetly made new plans.

We would continue to tell Dee we would scrapbook on Friday, but then after John surprised her with his day off and snowshoeing, he would tell her that we were all planning to scrapbook on Monday. But Monday was actually destined to be “Dee Day!”

I wish I had a picture of Dee when she realized that we were not, in fact, scrapbooking. I picked up Amy and we arrived at Dee’s a little earlier than our normal scrapbook time. She wasn’t home! We figured she must have run to the store for something. As we were backing out of her driveway, sure enough, here she came. Oh yeah, she said she was just getting bread at the store and I should just unload my stuff. She hadn’t yet seen Amy sitting in the passenger seat of my van! Amy & I got out of the van and started walking towards Dee as she got out of her car. When she saw us both, together, and a bit more dressed up than we usually are for scrapbooking, she just started to laugh, dropped her purse on the ground, and said, “We’re not scrapbooking today!” Oh, we laughed!

Dee went to change her clothes, we dressed Katie and helped Dee get stuff together, dropped Katie off at Aunt Sally’s (who so generously agreed to keep Katie for the day) and off we went!

First stop was breakfast at Homestead. We had never been there before, but it was great! Then we had Dee guess what might be next on the agenda and her only hint was, “I hope you shaved your legs!”

OOOOOOHHH! Dee looked horrified at that, but we assured her it would be A-OK. We arrived at 11:00 at a local salon for our pedicures. Now, I, for one, have never, in my life, had a pedicure, so this was a treat for me as well! We each had a comfy chair and a stylist working on our feet, and oh boy, were we pampered!


We got foot soaks, scrubs, massages, hot towel wraps, coffee, and cookies! The best part was the paraffin wax treatment, which I have had a few times (back in my days in MOPS in our previous town), but which Dee has never had! Hot, hot, wax, sticking to our now-soft feet, then wrapped in plastic and towels. Absolutely pleasurable.

Here’s Amy getting hers dipped:



Those are my happy feet after the paraffin wax dip.

Then we got to pick our polish colors!


Very flirty, don’t you think?

Those little foam flip flops are what they gave us to wear after our pedicures. We couldn’t put our socks and shoes on, oh no, not even because it was 20 degrees and blowing outside. We wouldn’t want to smush the polish.

So we wore the foam flip flops to browse around the Best Gift Shop in Western Washington.

And then one of mine broke. So I was sliding my foot around the store. Because if I lifted my foot up the bottom of my flip flop would flop down in a way that flip flops are not supposed to flop.

So, the kind store employee found me a stapler and I stapled the flip flops back together. That lasted until I got back to the van. And then the stapled part ripped.

I ended up wearing Dee’s slip on shoes without socks to our next event. Never mind that her feet are about 8 sizes smaller than mine, (seriously, who know she had such small feet?!?!)! I just stuck my feet in them and shuffled around to the next event, which was…

LUNCH at a local Mexican place with almost all of the gals from our small group at church! It was so fun to watch Dee watch everyone walk in and join us for lunch and we had a great time!

I got up to take a group picture and took about 7 of them. Not a single one turned out. At least, not well enough for me to post them here. Surely one of my friends would never speak to me again depending on which one I chose. Everyone had their eyes closed in at least one picture. There were other photogenic issues as well. You’d think we were all a bunch of tween girls. We could enter those pictures in a bad picture contest for sure. And we’d win.

So, then another Amy got up to take a picture with me in it and fortunately, one of those was sort of usable.


So, sorry other Amy, but there isn’t a picture with you in it that I dare to post!!

Thanks for turning 40, Dee!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snohomish Adventures!

This past Saturday my friend Tamara & I headed down south to Snohomish. It’s a town with antique shops and bars. (That’s so that the husbands have something to do while their wives go antiquing).

But we were smarter. And we have awesome husbands. We left them home with the children all day! This was a trip we’ve been trying to make happen since about…oh…about March of 2010 when we first met and went antiquing in San Jose during our husbands’ Bible Tech Conference. But then Tamara had pregnancy complications, which joyfully ended with the birth of a healthy & beautiful baby girl, and I had GEMS camp and GEMS workshops, and Faithgirlz, and cross-country meets and basketball games, and Tam has 3 children - 3 and under. ‘Nuf said.

Anyway, we had a ton of fun, despite having to drive through some hail in order to get there! Our first stop was “Annie’s on First” which is kind of a gift shop, consignment shop, and antique shop all rolled in to one. So much cute stuff. We found a whole shelf of jars with old Scrabble tiles and other such cuteness and spent quite a while on the floor digging through them to find just the right letters. For organizing and crafting freaks like us, it was pure joy.



I also bought some fun & old music flash cards there. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to use them, but I was thrilled when my first grader got all the cards right!

Another small antique store and then a HUGE one – two floors and the length of the town block almost! We spent 3 hours in there digging and enjoying flashbacks to our childhood. It is a little bit disturbing to find toys dated 1992 in an antique store. I was in college in 1992!


$30 for a Holly Hobbie lunch box? Sheesh. I’ll settle for the picture, thanks.

We ate a late lunch at Fred’s Alehouse, which was amazingly yummy and surprising not too full of Seahawks fans (who were in the middle of their win that got them to the playoffs this year!) A few more antique stores and then the town shut down. Unfortunately most of the stores are only open from 11-5, so we didn’t even get to shop in half of the town, plus there’s a huge 5 story antique mall on a different street that we’d love to go back to sometime.

A cute little shop downtown that IS open past 5 is called “Bite Me Cupcakes.” Oh YUM! I had a chocolate cupcake with this peanut butter frosting that was so tasty that it makes my mouth water just thinking about it!


And the shop also featured “Sprinkle Shots”, which Tam thought was super fun!


We had such a fun day and even got to quickly stop at the Goodwill nearby for a little thrift-shopping before heading home. We went through a little snow, but made it home before any more fell, and even got to see the children before bed. I didn’t take very many pictures of my purchases…some are gifts and some need some work before they get featured, so stay tuned! It was a grand weekend adventure!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Surprise #1 & #2

So. My friend Dee turned 40. And since 40 is the new 30, it just wasn’t right to give her the “over the hill” treatment for her birthday. (Plus, we’re secretly hoping she’ll be nice to us when we turn 40…)

This past Friday was supposed to be our scrapbooking day. BUT, her husband took the day off (as a surprise) and took her snowshoeing up in the mountains while I took care of Katie. That was the first surprise, and she really was surprised! They had a great time snowshoeing and I’m sure she’ll write all about it on her blog. When she and her hubby arrived home that evening, there was another surprise!

She did not, under any circumstances, want a surprise party. But her hubby gave her one anyway. And we happily participated and helped to plan it! Unfortunately, she figured out the surprise on the way home from snowshoeing, which I’m sure she’ll also write about on her blog.

We had fun at the surprise party even though it wasn’t a surprise, and were honored to be invited!








Happy New Year!

Man, am I behind in posting blogs and pictures! I better get caught up because somebody I know is waiting for birthday celebration pictures!

On New Year’s Day we took down Christmas and Ed put up Bethany’s new wood violin hanger that she got for Christmas:


It works very well!


We also had an amazing first sunset of 2011.


The tree in the middle unfortunately is going to be coming down soon. Our neighbors over at Farmhouse Flowers are pretty sad about that, as are we!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dee!

My friend Dee is having a birthday. It’s kind of a big one. It’s obvious she has crossed over to other side of the hill, don’t you think?


I hope you have a good day, Dee! I’m sorry it snowed on your birthday. It’ll melt soon.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Family Photo Shoot

My friend and neighbor, Toni, graciously shot a few photos for us so that we wouldn’t have to use the timer feature when we’re trying to get all those children to cooperate. We’re so thrilled to have a nice photo of all of us! Thanks, Toni!


And a few more, though we didn’t have time for as many as I would have wanted…but I am pretty happy with the ones we have!





Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas 2010

When the day finally arrives that my entire family (all 6 of us, plus my parents, plus my two brothers, their wives, and their little boys) is under one roof, we commit ourselves to enjoying every moment. Sometimes we go do stuff, sometimes we play games, sometimes we just chat or tease each other. But we definitely eat lots of food and we take lots of pictures. Bedtime hugs take forever because pretty much everybody hugs everybody else every night, and the dishwasher runs about 4 times a day. There’s music and tickling and hide & seek and worship and prayer and bribery and threats and laughter and annoyances and basketball and Catan (or Carcassonne) and chocolate and coffee and dinosaurs and books and everything else that goes along with one big happy family.

I’ve finally narrowed down and edited my photos and put them onto the web album, along with some pictures from my little bro’s camera. Hopefully my parents and my big bro have some on their cameras as well. Enjoy!

Christmas 2010

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Please vote!

I’d love it if you’d vote for my photo at I Heart Faces. If you click on this link VOTE NOW and scroll down #682 and click on the star under that babe’s sweet face!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Okay, so, this may be totally lame, but I heard about a photo contest on I Heart Faces and thought, “Why not? I’ll post one.”

So, after going through some photos, I had about 8 and Ed helped me narrow it down. This is the one that jumped out at us as being photo-contest-worthy:



Does she look like a Destroyer to you? Nah…

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mike!


We hope you have a great day with your family, Mike. Happy Birthday from all of us!