Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Your tax dollars at work

Smart Trips. It’s smart to sign up for those. But you can’t, unless you carpool to work. Or take the bus. Or something like that. But as you know, Ed is smart. And he carpools. So he signed up for Smart Trips. And now we get free stuff sometimes.

Like $10 to spend at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market:






Okay, so we didn’t get all that for $10, but those are all the treasures we came home with.

And more free stuff:





And that, my friends, are your tax dollars at work.

Oh, and of course since we were downtown, we had to get some Mallard ice cream for the birthday boy!



And the little girls got to pick out fabric for their book slings that I optimistically hope to sew for them on Friday.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My girls and my guy

Um, dear? I said, “Make a silly face!”





Monday, September 26, 2011

XC #2

This past Thursday was Sarah’s 2nd meet. It was a MUGGY and warm afternoon, and it had rained HARD all night and in the morning, so the course was slippery. Sarah came in 5th (though scored as 4th due to one runner not qualifying because her team doesn’t have enough runners) and ran a 10:30. She started out too fast, and didn’t have much left by the end. She’s learning a lot about pacing! The coaches are working hard on training her and getting her ready for high school and she’s learning. So, even though she felt crummy and the humid air caused most of the runners to wheeze, and the course was really slippery, she had a pretty good race! Last year she ran that course at the first race of the season and ran an 11:21, so that’s a lot of improvement!



The coach giving last minute instructions to the girls before the race.



On her way into the chute at the end of the race.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

And one more…

A few more photos to share from the photo shoot last week. I love taking pictures of my friends’ kids. They’re just so incredibly cute! Hopefully I’ll get to take pictures of a few more families and my own kids before the fall photo shoots are finished.






Saturday, September 24, 2011

Another Photo Shoot

Only this time it was mostly for school picture purposes.





And other than this little girl, who didn’t really want to smile for us, but ended up looking like an angelic little doll, the photo shoot went great! The teenager is gorgeous and my future son-in-law is smiling because I told him Becca said she would still be his girlfriend, only it has to be a secret. Therefore, I’m posting it on my blog. LOL!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Eddie!


He must have been about  2 1/2 here. From what I hear, he was reading Tolkien by this age. I don’t know about that, but he sure was a cutie!

Happy Birthday, Edward! You are my hero, my Knight, and my BFF. We are so thankful for you and all you do for us!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Run, Sarah, Run!

So the Cross Country season has officially begun and we LoVe IT!! Sarah really has enjoyed participating in XC and in track and is so excited to continue! This past summer she went to the fair with some friends. One of her friend’s dad’s was working at the Republican booth and so they all stopped by there to say hi and check it out. Sarah ended up buying a $1 button (which she turned into a magnet for her locker). Know what it says?

LOL! So, that’s our new motto. Run, Sarah, RUN!

Yesterday was the first meet of the season and it was a blast! My favorite part of a XC meet is watching the kids cheer each other on. It’s a completely positive and encouraging environment…100%! I even saw one team (not ours) go back and finish the race with the very last place runner. And all the kids who were in the area as they headed towards the finish line joined in and all the parents cheered. Does my heart good.

Anyway, my Sarah…she took THIRD place (although we have heard that the 2nd place runner was disqualified, so she may have actually scored 2nd for her team)! She had her PR of 10:07! The girl ahead of her ran a 9:44, so her new goal is to catch that girl. The first place runner ran an 8:52 (GULP!) so she’s pretty much in a league all her own. She has a personal trainer and runs nationally, so I think she’s pretty safe in that top spot.


But there’s my girl. I’m so proud of her and who she is becoming as she grows up. God has big plans for her and I think XC is just one of the things He is using to shape and mold her for working in His Kingdom! Plus, it’s pretty fun to watch her do so well. Smile

Fun Family Fotos!

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of taking family photos for some friends from church. I really love taking pictures for people…I believe everyone deserves nice photos of their family and not everyone can afford photographer prices. Not that I’m about to take pictures for just anyone…but I love doing it as a favor for family & friends. It brings me joy to give this gift to people I love.




Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall Workshop

As most of you know, I am the Area Coordinator for GEMS serving counselors in WA state. I work together with a Leadership Trainer, my friend Tami C., and one of the things we do is lead a workshop for counselors in the fall to train them for that particular GEMS season. We had our workshop on Sept. 10 down in Olympia at the CRC church there. It was a good day in some ways and a tough day in other ways…

Last year, we had 57 women between two workshops. This year, we had only 38 between 3. We actually ended up canceling one. Why is that? We struggled. It was harder to have an upbeat, exciting, and inspiring workshop atmosphere with only 20 women at a time.

And we had technical issues, which is why there are so few pictures this year…we managed, but it did not run as smoothly as we had imagined it would go. Once we had things sorted out, the workshop went well and all the women were very gracious and understanding about our limitations due to technical issues…however, it’s just not a great way to make a good impression.

But, it was a good day. We served the women we love to serve who are serving the girls in their club and teaching them to love Jesus. And God brought the women to workshop that He knew needed to be there. And the women were blessed. And we were blessed. So it was a good day.



We’re already praying and planning for next year…

Friday, September 16, 2011

Home Improvements

Over Labor Day weekend we headed to Lowe’s for some home improvement necessities. My favorite purchase?


Every spring I always say that I need more tulips. I’m so excited to have these come up next April…provided I get them in the ground sometime before the winter.

We also bought a new pair of electric trimmers so hopefully I can get all my out-of-control bushes looking neat again. I’m pretty excited about learning how to use that!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

As promised…

A couple weeks ago, I was sharing with some friends about my new menu planning strategy. I was told I must blog it. So now I am blogging it.

When we decided I would indeed go back to the classroom (even in a small way) this year, I decided that it would be vital to our family’s well-being for me to be extremely organized in my meal planning. I have a bad habit of cooking new recipes all the time…I like to…and I don’t want our food to be boring because the dinnertime meal is really a reflection upon my performance as a wife and mother. “They say” it’s not, but it is, and you all know it.

So, I had to try to find a way to blend my meal planning need and my desire to cook a variety of things. This is what I came up with:

Meatless Monday: either “breakfast for dinner” or “soup as the star” (as in, meat is not the main dish. Get it?)

Taco Tuesday: fairly self explanatory, although we don’t always have tacos. It’s been a variety of Mexican dishes…this gives me a chance to try new recipes while having a FOCUS to the recipe search.

Wet Noodle Wednesday: as in spaghetti. Or something similar. Wednesdays I don’t work, but I have Bible Study in the morning and I am with the girls picking them up from school and taking them to and from lessons and practice from 2:45 – 6:15. That puts a bit of a damper on my ability to make dinner, so it has to be something easy Ed can throw together. Ed can make spaghetti.

Thankful Thursday: dinners for which I am thankful. That means, crockpot meals, or pre-made freezer meals, or Costco’s Frozen Garlic Chicken in a bag. Don’t knock it. Everybody eats it and there’s even vegetables in there.

Fantastic Friday: I don’t work on Fridays, and we don’t have to eat as quickly on Fridays because there’s not the pressure of getting all the homework and all the practicing done in one night on Fridays. So, I make something that maybe takes a little more work or thought. Or we get pizza. Smile

Simple Saturday: grilled ham & cheese, panini’s, baked potatoes…you get the idea. Little prep, big rewards - since we usually fill our Saturdays with chores.

Sorted Sunday: this is for the evening meal only…leftovers. After church we are blessed with cooking a large meal only once a month and rotating with family members for most other Sundays.

We’ve been on this meal plan for over a month now and so far, I LOVE IT! And Ed comes home every Tuesday soooo excited for something spicy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life as we know it

My life is so blessed. And my life is hard. And my life is so amazing. And my life is so overwhelming.

How is it possible to go through that many emotions about my life in just a single day? Who am I kidding? Sometimes I go through that many emotions about my life in an HOUR!

But life. is. good.

I have 4 daughters, who, despite hating variables in algebra, despite getting stressed about getting things done, despite changing outfits 3 times every morning (clearly simply an exercise in exasperating her mother) and despite whining incessantly about wanting to have a playdate with Dee, LOVE school, get along well, and are a blessing to my life.

I have 18 incredibly adorable Kindergarten students, only 5 of whom are girls. They have ALL stolen my heart and so far I look forward to seeing them and the other teachers I work with.

I was blessed to serve & train 21 counselors from the state of WA last weekend at our annual GEMS Fall Workshop. We were disappointed in our numbers and a bit frazzled by some technical difficulties, but God showed up and God will bless these women and the girls they serve in their GEMS all over the state.

I was excited. and humbled. and thrilled beyond belief tonight when we had THIRTY EIGHT girls show up for our GEMS kick-off! That is more than ever before and we had an awesome time. We have an incredible set of counselors and I love them all.

I have been blessed with LOTS of awesome friends who are being very long-suffering with me and this life of mine.

And my house is literally a train wreck. I have no idea what we’re having for dinner tomorrow (except that it’ll be Mexican, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post and I promise it’s coming!), my shopping list is non-existent, we’re out of things like hand soap (which never happens to me), and my clean laundry pile has been sitting in a heap (not even folded) for so long that I’ve worn everything in it and it’s time to do my laundry again.

I’m beginning to think that maybe this new, one-day-or-moment-at-a-time life is going to stick around for good…and one minute I’m secretly glad about that and the next minute I’m pretty sure it’ll kill me.

And then there’s Ed. Patient. Willing. Supportive. Dish washer. Without whom this new one-day-or-moment-at-a-time life would surely kill me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My baby

She’s a Kindergartener now! She’s been waiting SOOOOO long for this day – when she could go to school almost as much as her sisters and be a big school kid. And now she has arrived!


She doesn’t look ready or excited or anything, does she?



And at school with one of her good friends:


Elise goes to school M, Th, and every other Tuesday. I know, it’s a crazy schedule, but it’s the only way to go half time and full days both…the teacher has another class that goes W, F, and every other Tuesday, so she has a full-time schedule between her two classes. The Kindergarten class that I work in is an all-day, every-day class, but I just work M, T, & Th mornings, so Elise & I have pretty much the same schedule except for every other Tuesday morning, when she’ll get to play at a friend’s house. So far it’s working out really well and we both love Kindergarten!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to Teaching + Being Sick = Bad Blogger

So, the girls started school a week ago. So did I. Few days later? I got sick. Big surprise. Because of me getting back into the classroom and getting sick, I have not yet posted “First Day of School” pictures. And that makes me a bad blogger. Sigh. You may just have to get used to this, folks…

Anyway, the first day of school arrived with much anticipation and excitement! All the girls except Elise started on Tuesday, so her pictures are yet to come…


Sweet second grader



So-cool sixth grader



Gulp! An 8th grader!




One must actually line up to get a picture in front of the sign on the first day of school. But it’s worth it.


Second grade teacher, Miss K!

She’s got a personality like Becca’s, so I’m sure they’ll get along swimmingly. PLUS, she has my reading loft from when I had my own classroom, so we think it’s pretty cool that Becca gets to use it.


If I had thought of it while I was still editing that photo, I would have put a little thought bubble over their heads that said, “Seriously, Mom! You’re really gonna make us stand in front of the middle school to take our picture?!” They should just be thankful I didn’t make them pose with their teacher and that I only took one picture and that I was fast. But yes. I’m gonna make you stand in front of the middle school. Because I’m pretty sure I’m never gonna get away with taking your picture in front of the high school. Until the day you graduate. Then you’ll beg me to take a picture in front of the high school.

And I might.

If I can see through the tears.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Kayaking on Silver Lake

Last week Sunday, for my dad’s birthday, we headed up to Silver Lake for a little kayaking. I already posted one picture here.
Here’s a few more:
That’s my mom, retrieving Elise’s flip flop from the water. Don’t ask…