Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bellewood Acres

Generally in the fall we take a little jaunt over to one of the local pumpkin patches. This year we visited Bellewood Acres again, for two reasons. A. Bethany had recently run a cross country race there and wanted to show her dad the course and how it went. And 2. We had “dealsaver” money to spend there. (For those of you who do not understand the “A. and 2.” reference, it’s from the Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt show from years ago called Mad About You that Ed & I watched together while we were dating and first married. On the show, Paul & Jamie had their first child, a daughter, shortly after we had our first child, a daughter, obviously, and we still reference that show frequently!)

We had some tasty food (although I was disappointed that they had sold out of their cider donuts for the day by the time we got there), looked around the shop, and the girls went squelch squerch in the muddy patch to pick out their pumpkins. (In case you’re wondering about THAT reference, it’s from the children’s book, Going on a Bear Hunt).

Sarah took the camera for the day.





Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cross Country

In the fall, much of the Ball Family life revolves around Cross Country. With both Sarah & Bethany running, there are practices to drive to & from, meets to attend, strategies to plan, and social gatherings at which to…gather.

Sarah has had an amazing year of running. The friendships are stronger than ever, and with the unfortunate injury of the only Senior girl and #1 runner, Sarah has emerged as the leader of the girls’ team. In fact, she even WON a recent meet at Lake Padden! She loves running and competing, but she loves the friends she has made even more and we love all those kids and their parents right along with her. What a support group they all are to each other and from what I hear, they are leaders in the classroom as well. We are so blessed that Sarah can be a part of this team and pass on those blessings to others as well. Their coach is awesome. He works them hard when needed, but he has a heart of gold and would give you the shirt off his back. In fact, one time when 4 of the girls were icing their sore calves and other injuries on a cool day, he showed up with heavy jackets from his work truck and draped them over the girls’ shoulders to help keep them warm. We love Coach. Three meets remain…the Conference Championships (which is an exciting and large meet with tons of schools…and mostly schools that are MUCH larger than ours), the Tri-Districts (this is the qualifying meet for the state XC meet and takes place in Tacoma…this is considered to be the most important meet of the year. It is also HUGE, but it is only schools the same size as ours), and the state meet in Pasco on November 9, (participation in this meet depends on whether or not Sarah qualifies as either an individual, or as part of the team, or both). To God be the glory for all of this!

Bethany also ran this year, for the middle school team, and she did an amazing job. She was a true leader and example to all the new rookie 7th grade runners. Over and over again I heard from parents of those 7th grade girls runners what a blessing Bethany had been to their daughter and how much they appreciated Bethany leading the team in the way she did. I could not be more proud of that girl! And again, To God be the glory!







These epic muddy legs are from the Mt. Baker Invite at Silver Lake – one of our favorite meets. It was SO wet this year! These legs also made it into the online gallery on the Bellingham Herald!! Remember how I said how awesome Sarah’s coach is? He brought his propane fire pit to this meet and put it in one of the pop-up tents the team and parents were using throughout the day. That, my friends, is pure genius.




Cross Country friends!




The girls team on a social outing to Stoney Ridge. Love them!


But these two? Amazing. Inspirational. Love. Them. So. Much.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Daily Life


We spend a lot of time just trudging through the life of a family with four kids in school. And then in the in-between time we do things like sort through boxes in the garage and find things like my precious soft dolls from my childhood. The girls have loved playing with them!


We had just a few dahlias this year in the new house, but I am hoping to grow even more in the future. I love dahlias!



Sometimes we get to play outside with neighbors.


Bethany decided to reproduce a picture of me as a child…


Here’s me:



We go to football games and hang out with friends and work in the concession stand to raise money for Sarah’s spring break choir tour trip.


Ed had a birthday and brought home Thai food from the new local place. It was THE BEST! And everyone loved it and I didn’t have to cook. Great night!


The school jog-a-thon was a few weeks ago and while it was pretty WET, the kids all had smiles and ran well.


I didn’t get a picture of Bethany running, but aren’t she & her friends cute?


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Vintage Love

I’m just a little bit in love with vintage stuff lately. In my book, stuff has to be older than me in order to be vintage. It’s just odd going to antique stores and seeing toys I played with as a child for sale. Hmph. But either way, vintage shopping is like a little treasure hunt every time.

I’ve been wanting a vintage cart for my kitchen ever since I bought a vintage step-stool/chair. I didn’t get the cart that was “with it” at the time because I didn’t have a place for it. Wouldn’t you know, a day later I figured out that if I took down the curtains the former owners left (that I didn’t really like) I would have room for the cart! I went back to the antique store and of course it was gone. So I kept searching. I saw plenty for MORE than I wanted to pay, but I knew eventually my patience would wear off. Finally it did! I found this beauty on Craigslist:


I thought it was going to be white. It turned out to be ivory. No matter.


A few coats of red spray paint later and…



Many thanks to my personal shopper for finding the turquoise sorter on the top shelf and shipping it to me. The basket on the bottom was a bargain find at Tuesday Morning. My B & 6 are from previous craft & shopping adventures and my dad claims the 6 is from the IGA store he worked at while in high school. It probably is. I bought it at an antique store here in town. LOVE!

Not only is this cart beautiful, it is also useful! It keeps my kitchen counter clear by beautifully corralling all the paper and junk that comes home from school every. single. day.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Artist Point

On Labor Day weekend we finally had the opportunity to go up to Artist Point near Mt. Baker. Our other opportunities this past summer had been squelched by rain and last summer Artist Point didn’t even open because there was too much snow to clear the road. I LOVE going to Artist Point and we ended up with an absolutely beautiful day up there. We took my parents along and we all enjoyed the day and God’s creation immensely.


Sarah enjoyed experimenting with my camera on our hikes.


I enjoyed not hiking the entire time with a heavy camera around my neck…mostly I just whipped out my phone for quick little shots like this one: “Take our picture on the snow, mommy!”


It was cloudy at first, but still gorgeous and as the day went on, the skies cleared quite a bit.





They have conquered the mountain!


Different rock…they tried to freak me out that they were falling off as I came around the corner.



We also stopped at the Fire & Ice trails. We love this bridge & these trails – very Middle Earth.


Wow – 3 goofy pictures of my family all in one day. We must have been having LOTS of fun!





We walked further down into the valley on this trail than we have before. Got to the snowfield and the “ice caves.”





On our way down, Mt. Shuksan was incredibly beautiful. I’m thinking this picture just might be enlargement worthy. It was glorious. It’s one of my most favorite spots to visit over and over again. It’s just not possible to soak in all the majesty that God left in this place when He carved out that mountain with the glaciers.