Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recital time!

Here we are once again at the end-of-the-year-recital time! Despite feeling not quite ready, the girls did great! I tried to record it all, but unfortunately my NEW phone has LESS memory than my OLD phone (figure that one out!) and so it quit near the end of Sarah’s piece. Sorry, dear one! Click on the names to see them play!

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Bethany

Becca

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A list of piles

I have a lot of piles in the house right now:

1. Receipts for GEMS Camp to be entered and/or reimbursed

2. Stuff to take to GEMS Camp

3. Stuff for Sarah’s graduation party on Sunday

4. Stuff for Elise’s birthday party

5. Stuff for Teacher Gifts

6. Stuff for Father’s Day

7. Stuff to mail

8. Stuff I borrowed to return to people

9. Many piles of travel laundry to do and/or fold and/or put away

10. Stuff to put into the girls’ binders for posterity

11. Piles of pictures to edit

12. Piles of lists to go through and re-write

13. Piles of purchases to be put into certain places around the house

Does your house ever look like that? Some of these things I can take care of immediately, and I will. Some just have to wait until the appointed day & time. I’m sure there are more...better get back at it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What a day!

Yesterday was quite a day…it was the last full day of Ed & Sarah & Bethany being gone. They arrive late tonight into Seattle! Hooray! The day started out pretty well – Becca slept until 8:20 (& therefore so did I!) and Elise slept until 9:15! I cannot remember the last time that happened. Of course, they were so exhausted when they went to bed Sunday night (because I wore them out that day and because Becca had a giant sliver that took much coaxing, icing, screaming, and crying to remove right before bed), so I wasn’t surprised they slept in…just surprised that they slept that late. Also, Elise woke up during the night with growing pains and so I gave her ibuprofen, which probably helped her sleep so long. At any rate, we were off to a pretty good start.

They watched a movie, I got stuff organized and did dishes and laundry and I even got to talk to both my brothers and wish my nephew a happy birthday over Skype! And then I started cutting fabric and the downward spiral began.

I had bought 8 yards of fuzzy fabric for the GEMS Camp craft on Friday when I was in Seattle. I have never bought fuzzy fabric before, so I was not aware that when one cuts fuzzy fabric, fuzzies go everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I was covered in fuzzies, as was my countertop and my floor. Ugh.

Fuzzy fabric is also very slippery. Because of that, I now have a broken toe. I know, it makes no sense…but truly, that’s what happened. I was trying to adjust the fabric and the large plastic cutting ruler I borrowed slipped and went zooming off the counter and landed on edge on my big toe. I went down like lightning, in intense pain, screaming, and rolling around in the fuzzies. My poor children. They should never have had to see something like that.

Becca brought me ice in a baggie. I continued to cry in agony. She, being the “oldest offspring” for the weekend, gallantly got out the vacuum and vacuumed up all the little fuzzies and then proceeded to make lunch for her & Elise. By the time they finished with lunch, I had regained composure. I ate some lunch (figured nourishment would aid in healing my toe) and then proceeded to move my fabric-cutting-mess to the floor. I figured I probably couldn’t do anymore damage on the floor.

By the time I had cut 8 yards of fabric into 120 square foot sections, there was fabric dust and fuzzies everywhere. In my nose, in my eyes, I was covered from head to toe. Piles of fuzzies lay at the base of the cutting mat and I noticed that they had blown all about my house.

You know how the cottonwood puffs are blowing around outside right now? That’s what it looked like inside my house.

I got out the vacuum and thankfully the big pieces vacuumed up really well…except that now my vacuum canister looks as though I vacuumed an entire cottonwood tree with it. I used a lint roller (several sheets worth) on my clothes, the couch, the chair cushions, etc. to get the lint-y pieces up. Oh my lands. If I had known this about this fabric, I would have found another craft for GEMS camp. But the $80 is spent and we will do the craft. 110 little girls will cut two flip flop shapes out of their square of fabric. And then my camp leadership team & I will vacuum the entire chapel. Twice.

The plan had originally been to also do some shopping yesterday. By the time I was done with the fabric and vacuuming, I still could not bend my toe, nor could I walk on it. It throbbed. I sat with more ice, took ibuprofen, and put my foot up for a while.

Finally I called the girls in for dinner and drove them to Applebee’s, where I ate half of a tasteless burger, about 4 cold and not-crispy fries (because that’s all they gave me) and drowned my sorrows in an iced tea. We ran a few errands, but as a public service announcement to my blog readers I will tell you this: shopping with a broken toe really …um…well, it’s not fun. I did, however, find the turquoise paint I have been searching for, which I think was probably the highlight of the day.

And no, there are no pictures to share. Because I did not take pictures. If I had, there would be fuzzy pieces of lint inside my camera and then I would really not be happy. Perhaps as my toe begins to turn even more shades of purple, blue, and black I will take a picture of that.

One good thing: Today Ed & the big girls come home! I am so excited. I don’t know what my problem is, but whenever my family is not “complete”, I have a hard time accomplishing things that need to be done and I eat A LOT of junk food. I hope I can change those habits before Sarah goes off to college in four short years, because if I don’t…well, it's not going to be pretty.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Squeezable

Are those not the most squeezable little dimply cheeks you’ve ever seen?

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Happy birthday, Carter! You are so much fun to watch grow up and we can’t wait to give you a real-live-squeeze later this summer! We love you lots!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Step eight

Remember step eight of my dress-to-skirt tutorial? Wear to an interview.

At the beginning of this month I interviewed for a different position at school…a real teaching job, part-time, with my own set of students. I really, really, really wanted the job at first. I am so loving being at school and back in the classroom and I thought my own classroom (& the monetary rewards) sounded great. In the last week or so, feeling as overwhelmed as I am with everything going on in life I had thought, “It will be OK if I don’t get the job.” So we decided that whatever job God opened up for me was the one He wanted me to have. I didn’t get the real teaching job. And thankfully, God has given me peace and contentment with that…there’s even a tad bit of relief since I am still feeling overwhelmed, though I do know that feeling is temporary and will disappear after June 10 when GEMS Camp is over. I still don’t know how much of my current job will be available to me, but I am hoping to have at least as much as I have now, if not 1 or 2 more mornings per week. And working another year in the same place will be fun, and easier…though the extra money would have been nice for our plan to move into town. Maybe God doesn’t have that in His plan for us right now. I desperately hope and pray that isn’t true, but if it is, please pray with me that God will give us all contentment with His plan. But with the house thing, as well as with the job thing, we will just walk through whatever door God opens in obedience. Nothing else generally works out very well, anyway.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Middle School track is over…for this girl, anyway.

The last two track meets have been outrageously exciting! Last week when I showed up for the league qualifying meet, Sarah was a little nervous because every girl who had ever beat her in a XC or track meet was there! We had not seen a couple of them all year at the meets, but they showed up to run in the qualifying meet so that they could run in the championship meet for their school. The top four would qualifying for the championship meet and there were 4 girls there who had better times than her. There were two qualifying meets happening in the county, but all 4 of the girls who had better PR’s than her happened to be at her meet. What luck. We said, just run with everything you’ve got, girl! And boy, did she!

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Getting ready to run the 800m

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About to place THIRD in the 800m with a PR of 2:40!

She also placed third in the 1600m and PR’ed with a time of 5:58! It had been her goal to break a six minute mile this year, and she did it! What a thrilling day that was!

Yesterday was the championship meet and it was absolutely a super day. She again placed third in her races and PR’ed again in the 1600m with a time of 5:55!

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I love that I caught this jumping warm up!

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Standing on the podium to get the ribbons!

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After we got home from the meet, Sarah told me that while she was running the 800m and was just barely ahead of the girl who ended up in 5th place, she heard that girl’s coach yell “This is your last meet as a middle schooler!” and she thought, “Wow! This is MY last race as a middle schooler!” and that’s when she pulled ahead of that girl! She took the other girl’s coach’s advice as her own and made a memory. I’m so proud of her!

And now we’re on to high school meets. And probably more middle school meets…Sarah’s made an impression on her sisters and they are all planning to follow in her running footsteps. And that makes this momma even more proud and excited.

Friday, May 18, 2012

More sewing…what has come over me?

Once upon a time, I bought a dress online. I thought it was cute. I put it on. I didn’t think it was so cute. I wasn’t sure. I hung it back up. Several times I looked at it and thought it was cute and so I put it on. Then when I had it on I didn’t think it was cute anymore. This went on for a few months. I decided I just probably would never wear it so I should return it. Except that I had bought it online three months ago…probably not worth the money to ship it back. I figured I’d just bring it to the consignment store.

The thing was, I thought it was cute on the hanger…mostly I guess I liked the fabric. Then I saw something on Pinterest about a gal who made a skirt out of a dress. Hm…I wondered…was it possible? Could I do such a thing?

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That’s the before picture.

And, thanks to my friends and their sage stitching suggestions, THIS is the after picture:

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See? WAY cuter as a skirt! Woo-hoo!

And now for my practically-professional-tutorial on how to transform a dress into a skirt.

Step one: Be sure to choose a dress that has elastic already near the waistline. Very useful. Otherwise you’re going to have to thread elastic through a waistband yourself.

Step two: Fold the top part of the dress into the bottom part of the dress and kind of eye-ball where you want the waist to actually be by holding it up to yourself.

Step three: Using some kind of a zig-zag stitch (so that your elastic is still stretchy), stitch all the way around a couple of times.

Step four: Try it on.

Step five: If you like it, cut off the extra top part of the dress that is now inside your skirt. All done!

Step six: If you don’t like it, or if you did it upside-down and backwards the first time, like some other un-named blogger, rip the seams out and try it a different way. Repeat Steps four and five and six as needed.

Step seven: I actually ended up tucking the shirt in after taking the picture and then putting the belt around my waist at the top of the skirt. It was less bunchy that way.

Step eight: Wear to an interview.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Track Season

Somehow track season is almost over and this is the first time I’m blogging about it. Not surprising, considering I don’t have many pictures of track meets. I’m not sure why this is…but it might have something to do with the fact that generally when The Runner is running, I am yelling and cheering and clapping and watching the timer on my phone and screaming her lap times out as she runs by. I only remember to take pictures when she’s on the far side of the track and those generally aren’t very good…because she’s on the far side of the track. At any rate, she’s having a great season thus far and has beat her PR in every event (except the 4x200 relay) at least once.

This first picture is from the meet at the public high school in town and we don’t know who this girl is, but she ended up beating Sarah, just barely. It was GREAT for Sarah to have some competition to push her along. We’re looking forward to meeting up with her again this Tuesday at the League Qualifying Meet.

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This next picture was in the 800 at a meet at our school and she’s leading the group of 3 from LC. She loves running with these girls and with the team and it’s great to watch the friendships grow and to watch the kids cheer each other on. The last couple of meets have been really exciting, with lots of close races, and listening to the crowd and the students cheer is just so much fun!

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We’ve got the League Qualifying Meet this Tuesday and the the League Meet next week Tuesday and then track is done for the season. Top six in each event from the qualifying meet move on to league. Should be FUN!

Update: I didn’t get this posted before the qualifying meet yesterday. It was a great meet! Beautiful sunshine, but not too hot for running. Sarah was quite nervous at first, because there were 4 girls there who had beat her in the past either at Cross Country meets or at a track meet…and only the top 4 in the 800m go on to the league championship, but the top 6 qualify in the 1600m.

She ended up having an AWESOME day on the track – coming in THIRD in the 800m with a PR of 2:39 and THIRD in the 1600m with a PR of 5:58! Her goal for the year was to break a six minute mile, and boy, she could. not. stop. smiling after she saw that time! The best part was that the other girl from our school who also runs the mile placed sixth and also gets to compete in the championship meet! When Sarah found that out she went running over to her friend, they hugged and cheered together for their accomplishments. It was awesome.

It’s funny…The Runner doesn’t really have much of a competitive spirit, but she works hard. And when she starts running and challenges herself, she thrives on competition. She’s begun to put the discipline of running into practice in her own life – thinking about what’s ahead and running the race of life with perseverance. I just love watching this girl become a young woman who wants to serve and bring glory to her God.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother’s Day

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

A beautiful day

A couple weeks ago we found ourselves with a beautiful Sunday afternoon and not much going on, plus we still had Sarah’s birthday to “celebrate!” We headed off to Boulevard Park for a walk on the boardwalk and a stop at Mallard’s ice cream downtown. It was a great day!

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We always have to do a little rock climbing when we get near the water.

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It was so funny to watch this…Becca wanted to see the crabs under the rocks, but didn’t want to take the chance that they might touch her as she flipped the rocks over. Ed had to flip over the rocks for her and she hid behind his leg for protection. Too cute, and of course, from my drama queen.

Funny story: as we walked down Railroad Avenue after eating ice cream at Mallard’s, Ed picked up Bethany and threw her over his shoulders, just to be a funny dad. She giggled and screamed happily until he put her down. I was a few paces behind and just after he put her down, a male, pushing a stroller and walking with what was presumably his wife, passed us going the opposite direction and said, to the female with him, “I sure hope that guy was that girl’s dad or uncle or something. Did you see what he did?” I could hardly keep from laughing as I walked by him. I sure hope that guy is still a fun dad like that to his little girl when she’s 11!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Proud of my students!

All four of the girls have had great teachers this year – teachers who have challenged them and facilitated really great projects. This was evident last week as we attended the spring Open House at school and were able to see all the many displays put on by all the classes.

It was Creative Arts Week and the theme in the elementary building was “Around the World.” Each grade level had a different country to study and the teachers and students absolutely outdid themselves with learning and teaching and creating and ingenuity! One of the highlights of the week in our elementary building was our trip around the world…each student had a passport and got it stamped every time another country was visited. All the students visited all the countries and even got to sample some food from that country on their trip!

Kindergarten had Australia and the classroom where I work was transformed into a rainforest, complete with the overhead canopy across the entire room, while outside in the halls you could take a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. First grade visited Mexico while the second graders learned about many Native American tribes, specifically the Navajo. Third grade explored Scotland while the 4th graders experienced Indonesia. The best part is the fact that all this teaching and decorating and project-creating was done with the knowledge that Our world belongs to God. Every bit He created, every bit He controls, every bit He loves…especially His people around the world on every continent, in every country, and in every small village. And at the end, after we learn, we say To God be the glory.

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This is the rainforest canopy inside the classroom where I work. Totally awesome!

 

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A bagpiper came to entertain…it was such a blast! For a while he played in the hallway and all the classes came out and stood in the hallway (we didn’t know he was coming -  was a surprise from the 3rd grade teachers) to watch and listen and clap. Then the principal came out and started doing a Scottish jig and then all the kids started as well!

 

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That’s Elise with her Aboriginal Artwork created on sandpaper.

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And Becca with the Hopi Village she created with several classmates.

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Working on the village with friend Charley

 

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Grandparents’ Day also happens during Creative Arts Week and Becca’s teacher had pictures available of all the grandparents who visited her classroom! Thanks, Miss K!

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In the middle school, most of the week is focused on setting up all “the projects”. Middle school is full of projects. From the 5th grade inventions and musical instruments, to the 6th grade science experiments, to the 8th grade class trip project displays, there is always lots to look at in the middle school gym. I was particularly proud of my two favorite middle-schoolers, though.

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That’s Bethany with her Science Experiment display that was the catalyst for a lot of scientific learning along the way, with all its struggles, challenges, and triumphs. She did a great job –especially in her writing and analysis of the experiment.

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And that’s Sarah with the report about the mosaics on the Stanford Cathedral she put together with two classmates. She was the official photographer and writer for the display – using two of the gifts God has given her.

It was a great week and it’s been a great year, too! This weekend we’re putting together some pretty fun “Teacher Appreciation” gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week…if you know a great teacher, be sure to say Thank you to them this week!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It’s my mom’s birthday!

Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope I’m as young as you when I’m your age!

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Thanks for everything you do for all of us all the time!