Monday, February 27, 2012

School photos

We have a great photographer that works in our school office and she posts pictures online for parents to purchase. I finally checked out the site and had a great time because there were pictures of my kids from events that I could not be at! Enjoy!


A couple from Bethany’s 6th grade musical



Sarah and a group of 8th graders who collected the food that the elementary students brought to chapel the week of Thanksgiving for the Hope Office


Elise and her BFF

candle dipping-4815-1640086975-O

Becca’s class dipped candles during Colonial/Pioneer Days!


Another Christmas program picture


Sarah painting a self-portrait in art class

Sunday, February 26, 2012

SHE’S got spirit!

My camera & lenses aren’t the best for indoor action shots, but it’s fun sometimes to really “see” the action and Becca’s spirit when she plays basketball. It’s over for the season, but she liked it and plans to play again. My basketball-fan brother would say she’s “evolved” in the world of sports since she likes it more than her first sport, soccer. It was fun to watch her play and improve and have fun and dance around with her friends in between plays.




We’ll have a little sports respite for the month of March and then April brings track for Sarah and tee-ball for Elise!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Photography Challenge

So I came across a photography challenge on Pinterest – a list of topics, one per week for the year, to photograph. I realize the year is 1/6 over, but I’ve been wanting to do more with my photography, but have been uninspired. Maybe it’s because of being busy and being sick, but I really do want to take more photos! I don’t expect to actually accomplish this challenge 100% for the rest of the year – I know better than that. I do hope that occasionally it will inspire me to take some pictures that I would otherwise not have taken. That’s a good goal.

Anyway, this week’s topic is “Spirit”, but I liked the topic from the first week of the year better – “Newness”. Besides, some friends asked me to take photos of their new baby, so it works.



How’s that for some newness?

Next week’s topic is vegetables. Seriously? In February? Hm. I think I might work on the second week of January’s topic instead – Cold. Much more fitting…

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Somebody is SIX!!

Today my oldest nephew on my side of the family turns SIX! The joy and life he brings to our family makes me smile every time I think of him. He is so smart, kind, loving, and fun and I am proud to be his aunt. We had so much fun with him and his family this past summer and can’t wait to be with them all again at Christmas time this year.

Happy Birthday, Josh! We love you & miss you tons!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It was a happy {{heart}} day!

A lot of people don’t like Valentine’s Day – who says retail stores should dictate when a person shows love, anyhow? I rather like Valentine’s Day, however. It all started back when I was a former teacher/young stay-home mom with two young daughters and had lots of close friends who were also former teachers/young stay-home moms with young children. We started having Valentine parties and everyone would dress in red & pink & white and they would exchange Valentines (which the moms made, for the most part, fulfilling our desire to do classroom-type crafts) and we would eat and chat while the kids played. So Valentine’s Day holds a special place in my heart.

This year was a good Valentine’s Day, though we didn’t have any parties with friends. The girls (except for Sarah) made iPhone Valentines out of candy heart boxes for their classmates (& I made them for my Kindergarteners, too!) Sorry, no picture!

I made some love cookies for the loves of my life:


We gave primroses to teachers:


The kids all wore red & pink to school, as evidenced here by Becca’s 2nd grade class:

Becca's class - valentine's day 2012

We had our traditional chocolate fondue after dinner:



Ed, very thoughtfully, gave me a Woods card:


By the way, did you know that Logos Bible Software won the Biggest Fan contest that Woods Coffee had this past week as part of their anniversary celebration? You can view part of their entry here. And no, Ed didn’t go down and sing. He’s not young or hip enough, as you can tell from the video. Winking smileCongrats, Logos! The Woods Coffee is also giving away a free iPad every Thursday and a trip to Hawaii at the end of the month, which I am planning on winning.

Recently I saw, either on a blog or on Pinterest, a piece of wall décor that I wanted to make for Ed for Valentine’s Day. I searched high and low for what I needed, but ended up having to order one of the pieces at Hobby Lobby online in order to complete the project. In the process, I found out that Hobby Lobby is opening in Everett at the end of this month! Woo-hoo! Me and my friend Dee are going to go with all our girlies over mid-winter break, (well, not Katie, because she’s not old enough to appreciate a massive home décor/craft store yet).

Anyway, the first piece arrived from HL and it was broken!! I called, and HL, being the amazing company that it is, immediately offered to send me a new one, rush shipping, no charge. I crossed my fingers that it would arrive in time for me to complete the project, and it did, just barely. I literally finished hanging the piece 5 minutes before Ed got home from work on Valentine’s Day!

Wanna see it?


I absolutely love how it turned out. I originally intended for the frame to be horizontal and not vertical, and I thought the frame I bought would be big enough, but it wasn’t quite, and there wasn’t time to look for another one (I bought that one on the day before Valentine’s at Value Village!) I am so happy it worked vertically and I was able to have it ready in time for Valentine’s Day and the best part is that Ed noticed it right away and I think he likes it!

Onto other Valentine’s Day news:

In Junior High, during Valentine’s week, the boys wear paper hearts around their neck one day and the girls the next. If you’re wearing a heart, you’re not supposed to talk to a member of the opposite sex the entire day. If you do, you have to surrender your heart to them.

Guess what? My girl came home with her heart and gave it to her daddy. LoVe.


What I really love is that she also has written on her heart, “God holds my heart”, “I {{heart}} my Savior” and “TLMMTJ”, which stands for “Tom Likes Muffins More Than Johnny.”  Um, yeah. I have no idea about that one.

It turned out to be a very happy {{heart}} day for Five Girls and their Guy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

B.E.A.R. week (Be Excited About Reading)

a.k.a. no TV/computer/DS/iPad/iPhone week.

The most dreaded week of the year.

And it all culminates with the most dreaded day of the year for moms.

Book Character Dress-Up Day.

Here’s the goal: spend the week reading (or doing one of the other 101 things on the “list” the administration sends home) INSTEAD of doing anything electronic. Unless it’s the mom or dad who have to do work on the computer. Or an older brother/sister who have to do homework on the computer or watch the news for an assignment. Every single day the parents must turn in a little teeny tiny slip of paper with their signature that states that their child had no screen time the day before. At the end of the week, every child who turned into a slip of paper every day receives an award…which in the past has been ice cream, so that’s what my kids were all expecting…and then it wasn’t ice cream this year…so everyone was sorely disappointed…and really, the parents should get the reward for remembering to sign the teeny tiny slip of paper and send it back to school every day…I think I will have a bowl of ice cream now…

Anyway, after spending the entire week (the last week of January/first week of Feb.) focusing on reading, both during school and at home, all the K-4 students and staff are invited to dress up like a character from their favorite book and then there’s a big parade where every class walks past every other class. It’s really quite cute…especially when teachers and students really get into it. But it’s pretty much a pain for moms. I shopped ALL. OVER. for orange tiger striped pants so that Becca could be Judy Moody. Amazingly, I found GREEN tiger striped pants. Close enough. We borrowed tutus, bought feather boas, drew on t-shirts, practiced hair-dos and ended up with a beautiful Gigi, God’s Little Princess:



and Judy Moody:



Judy Moody with a little “Becca” thrown in, of course…


They have fun with their friends at school…


Here’s one of my co-workers, dressed as a mountain climber, with her daughter who visited the classroom that day, dressed as Tim Tebow.


I didn’t actually work on the day of the Book Character Parade, so wearing Bethany’s Thing 3 shirt from Halloween was good enough for me. Ha ha! Here’s me with my Kindergarten class & co-workers:


All in all, it was a fun week…and I’m really glad it’s over for another year.

Friday, February 10, 2012

sweet claire’s book

Blessings upon blessings – that’s what I think when I think about yet another healthy baby born in our extended family. I now have 3 nephews and 1 niece on my side of the family and 3 nieces and 1 nephew on Ed’s side of the family! It’s just the coolest. Once again, I set to work on a baby album for the new baby. The idea is that the book is small and ready to have pictures added as the first year of baby’s life goes by. I absolutely love making them and seeing my SIL’s and nieces and nephews look at them and enjoy the baby pictures later on. I finished Claire’s book quite quickly because, thanks to Pinterest, I had a plan! Once the initial layout was created, it came together wonderfully. I was so happy with how it turned out – I sure hope Claire and her family likes it, too!


found the album on clearance at Michaels’ – so sweet!



used my computer to create cards and tags for the book…



a special place to record the story of her birth day…which probably needs a few more lines, considering what an exciting birth day she had!



places in the book to feature her big brother…



and here’s the main plan…the feature around which the book was designed…tags to record month-by-month stats…



each month has a double-page spread, each different, but tied together by the stats cards and the color palette


Another baby project happily & lovingly completed!

Monday, February 6, 2012

My OLDER brother

It sure is a good thing that my older brother has a newborn baby in his house. Otherwise I’d have to give him a hard time about turning 40 today. But anyone with a newborn baby in the house is guaranteed to be somewhat young at heart, no matter what their age. Besides, if I give him a bad time, he’s bound to give me a bad time in several years when I turn 29. For certain.

So, for now, happy birthday, older brother! Enjoy your day and give that family of yours plenty of hugs and kisses from all the Ball’s. And tell them to give them back to you, too! We miss you all lots!

DJ Family Pic

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Basketball 101

Becca has been playing basketball at the local YMCA this winter. This is her first time playing basketball and she seems to like it. I asked her if she liked basketball or soccer better and she said “Basketball.” I asked her why and she said, “Basketball is with your hands and soccer is with your feet. I’m better with my hands.” Makes perfect sense.






I think that might be why she likes basketball…