Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spinny Chair

Sarah’s been wanting a spinny chair for her desk in her room for a long time, but neither of us have been willing to pay the price of a new one. We’ve been on the hunt for something used that we can spruce up a bit. We finally found it!


Thrift store, heavy-duty metal spinny chair in pea green, $9. PERFECT!


We bought fabric on clearance at JoAnn’s (paid $3.54 for one yard) and I walked Sarah through step-by-step…first I had to teach her how to iron. Since I don’t iron but about once a year, this isn’t something she’s just picked up on naturally. Thankfully, ironing a large piece of fabric flat is a pretty easy job.


Next we cut off a hunk of fabric and started staple-gunning the seat cushion in a re-upholstery-type fashion.



Then we had to figure out the top.

taking apart the back

Found some screws that were holding the two pieces together, so we unscrewed them and found…

two pieces of back

Orange leather!! Also a “People’s State Bank” sticker, so this must have been a bank chair in a previous life.

We covered both pieces of the top in the same fashion as the bottom seat cushion and………



…a super-cute-like-new-spinny-chair for $12.54 + tax! Way cuter than anything new in that price range, not to mention that I got to teach the girl a few crafty tricks!

Monday, June 25, 2012

And now she is six…

Even though the other 3 girls and I left for GEMS Camp on her actual birthday, Elise was not forgotten. She had an evening birthday dinner with her grandparents, birthday donuts, a fun weekend with her daddy, AND a birthday party with a few friends from school. Super. Fun.


birthday donut



I had just a little bit of fun decorating…again.


It was a cupcake party, so we decorated cupcakes!






I LOVE the expressions as they anticipate the pinata opening!!



Saturday, June 23, 2012


What can I say about GEMS Camp? Two years of planning (mostly in the last four months, though) and praying and emailing and prepping…for 3 days with 130 girls & women from around WA at Lake Retreat in Ravensdale, WA…and it was amazing. God blessed it. In so many, many ways.

But mostly, the blessings came in the smiles of little GEMS girls. If you’ve ever been to “summer camp”, you know what I mean. And the proof is in the pictures: GEMS Camp 2012 Slideshow. Enjoy!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Camera phone dump

In an effort to quickly tell a few stories, I’m uploading a fair number of iPhone pictures to the blog today…

Walk for Life

Back in May, Bethany & Sarah participated in the county Walk for Life fundraiser to raise money for the local pregnancy clinic that helps moms choose LIFE. Bethany’s friend in the black sweatshirt is adopted and this is a cause that she works hard for every year. It was a great honor to participate with her. They all ran a 5K this year!

Memorial Day Show

While Ed & the older girls were gone to Texas, we spent a fair bit of time with our neighbors. The little girls put on shows. What you see on their faces are little Q-tips taped to their cheeks. Why? Cordless mics, of course!

Texas gift

My gift from Texas – branding sticks with my favorite number and letter!


One head after another…and one uncooperative one as well…which I didn’t even notice until afterwards.

birthday donut

birthday morning donut!

first berries

Berry season has begun…mmmmmmm

fathers day pic

For those of you not on Facebook, this was our little Father’s Day greeting for Ed – Sarah cut it out and while we had to wait ALL WEEK to get sunshine for the shadow, it was sure a fun surprise!

All for now…GEMS Camp, Elise’s birthday, DIY projects, etc…all coming up soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

End of School

Lots of activities surround the end of the school year…and many opportunities for photos. Here’s just a sampling of what life was like the last week of school:


Becca’s class recited the Shema at the last chapel of the year. The Shema is the Hebrew prayer from Deuteronomy that is recited by Jews every morning and every evening. Becca learned how to say it in Hebrew with her whole class and it was awesome to hear!

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Ask Becca to recite it for you sometime…we’ll see if she remembers. In the meantime, here’s the video:

Becca’s class saying the Shema


Becca’s class also had an annual kickball game against one of the third grade classes. It ended in a tie, but that tradition, if it’s going to continue without so much stress, pressure, and angst…needs a ref!


It was raining, of course…but the kids & teachers were tough! Us parents all just stood under the big trees.


Getting kicking tips from the principal.


Becca’s class also had a luau as their Reading Party – for having accomplished all the reading goals the entire year!


last day of 8th grade

The morning of Sarah’s last day of 8th grade.


Elise’s last day of Kindergarten! First grade, here she comes!!


S&E at coffee

Sarah, Elise, & I were done with school a day before everyone else, so we went out for coffee & hot chocolate to celebrate!

B & Mrs. Van

Saying goodbye to another one of the best teachers ever…Bethany grew, learned, and matured so much under her amazing leadership and care. Thanks, Mrs. Van!

B & Miss K

The last day of school brought lots of tears to this second grade classroom. Miss K is well-loved and it was hard to say good-bye. Good thing she’ll be around next year so Becca and her friends can go visit!

It was a great school year and we are looking forward to an awesome summer. By the time mid-August rolls around, I’m sure we’ll be ready for school again, though!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The beginning of a 12-year-stretch

A couple weeks ago, Sarah completed her 8th grade school year, thus making her a “freshman.” This event marks the beginning of 12 consecutive years in which our house will be home to at least one high school girl. Again, I’m breathing in and then out. Very. Intentionally. But honestly, we’re totally excited about the ride ahead and watching how this all unfolds in God’s plan!

We celebrated Sarah’s accomplishment with family & friends on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago. It was super fun and I had a great time planning the food and decorations.


LOTS of blue & white


even blue & white candies!!





Before the party started, we gave Sarah her gift from us…


She’s peeked and figured out what it is…


I think she’s excited!



Oh yes! It’s her own phone!! Funny thing is, I don’t think she’s used it to make a phone call yet – only to play games. She has no internet, no texting, and limited calling to start. As she gets older and earns it, she may eventually get texting.



All the “kids” at the party – we’ve known these people so long the girls call them cousins. It was so great to reunite – just missed a few of the other families that used to join us for events and have since moved across the country.



The 8th grade celebration at school is no longer a formal graduation ceremony with too much make-up, strapless dresses, uncomfortable ties, and shoes the girls can’t walk in. It is a celebration and it was awesome. The whole class participates in some activities together after school and then has dinner together as a class. At 6:30, the families arrive, lawn chairs and potluck desserts in hand, and the celebration really begins. Everyone sits in family circles in the gym, eats dessert, watches a slide show of pictures of all the kids, and then each student receives a certificate and the homeroom teacher reads a favorite memory that student wrote about earlier in the year. The evening closes with a time of family prayer and more socializing. I loved it.


Sarah and some of her buds before the celebration began



Sarah serving us dessert





Sarah and one of her favorite teachers. He is one of the best teachers we have ever had the privilege of having in one of our daughter’s lives. I can’t say enough good stuff about him and am so thankful to him for the influence he’s had on Sarah and look forward to Bethany being in his classes for the next two years.


Hey, look at us! We remembered to take a family picture, goofy as it may be…



And Sarah with her grandparents, who served as faith mentors for her this past year and who are also amazing influences in the girls’ lives.

Hard to believe we’re in this stage of life, but like I said, we’re ready! Bring it.