Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What the rest of us did

Remember in my last blog post how I said I had no idea what the rest of us did during midwinter break? Well, it's a good thing I took pictures with my phone and went to check my camera roll or I would never have remembered that that was when we did this:

I painted the little girls' room a light gray!! During the process, Sarah's unused room looked like this:

We brought almost everything from the little girls' room into her room to sort and organize. 

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the pretty finished room. Next time it's "clean" I will have to take one. You'll just have to trust me that it's much better than before. 

We also explored a new park on a Bellingham trip...

The zip line is pretty cool. 

We took a family bike ride to a local field that used to be a daffodil farm. Now locals like to head down there in the early spring to pick some free daffodils. 

We also had a little flood in the laundry room...

This was during the cleaning up process. We think something jammed the door seal because it leaked out the door but I haven't had it happen again. That part is good. The part that is bad is that while we moved the washer back into place, we did this: 

Yep. That's the flooring. Ripped. So while we wait until we magically have enough money to put tile in the laundry room, the linoleum is "fixed" with duct tape. Duct tape is pretty great stuff. Yep. Looking forward to the day I get to pick out & install tile in my laundry room...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Midwinter Break

During state tournament midwinter break, Sarah visited Calvin and the rest of us…well…I have no idea.


I brought Sarah to the airport.



The girls made a mess with Oobleck from my Kindergarten…




Bethany brought home the apron she sewed in Home Ec…although they call it Independent Living now. I’m not sure that one must know how to sew in order to live independently, however. I think they should teach things like money management and how to fill out a rental agreement and getting your own insurance.

And that’s it for us. Sarah had a lot more fun…


Visiting her great-grandma who is 92,


Taking selfies with her cousins, (I know there is one of my nephew somewhere…I just haven’t found it yet.)


Visiting her BFF Marissa,


Ice-skating with college students,


Walking on a frozen Lake Michigan,


Visiting campus, talking to Cross Country coaches and flirting with athletes, spending time with her aunt & uncle, and traveling all by herself across the country with a 4-hour-layover in Chicago are just some of the many highlights of her trip to MI to visit Calvin. Calvin is one of her top-two college choices at the moment. GO KNIGHTS!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Corban Road Trip

The last weekend of February I took Sarah & her friend Amanda on a road trip to visit Corban University in Salem, OR. We had an awful lot of fun, and Corban is a great place, but both girls decided that it wasn’t the college for them.


Yes, I had to chauffeur them, but I think they had more fun that way.


Corban’s chapel – one of its newer buildings.


This building used to be a hospital and it is now the library…which makes it kind of a weird library. There are hallways with small rooms full of books in parts of it.


I believe this is one of the dorms – possibly the one the girls stayed in? Anyway, the picture gives a little insight as to the hill that Corban is built into. You really can’t see much of the campus when you are on the lower end – you just see the next building up, but not whatever is beyond that.


This is the fieldhouse. It’s really small. And they have no track! Finding that out pretty much sealed the deal for Sarah. We all felt it was a great college, but the things the girls were focusing on (sports & English) were not as strong as some other schools they are interested in.


It was a very friendly place, though! They have these flat screens all over campus with a looping slideshow of announcements, etc., so it was fun to see the girls’ names every now & then.

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A reward for a day on campus completed! We were fortunate that Ed’s cousin lives about 30 minutes from campus, and freely opened their home to us. I spent the first night there while the girls stayed in the dorms and it was SO WONDERFUL to see them. I should have taken a picture. Sad smile They had to leave the first morning for their daughter’s state basketball game, but they were gracious and allowed us to spend the night there again once our tour at Corban was complete. We got back to their house around 6:00 p.m. (too late for driving the 6+ hours home), baked a pizza and watched a movie and hung out with their pets before heading to bed early for our drive home the next day. It was so much nicer than a hotel would have been and definitely saved us lots of money! Thank you, Brenda & family!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A mish-mash of events

The end of February flew by and it’s only by looking back over my iPhone photos that I have any idea what happened…


Suites & Sweets! This was the third annual orchestra fundraiser, which involves lovely music and lovely desserts. I was in charge of table decorations this year, and I had some lovely helpers. Our theme was vintage romance. It was sure pretty at night! I made luminaries out of old sheet music for battery-operated tea light candles.



New this year was a photo booth for the orchestra kids to take pictures at. No, these are not orchestra kids. These are my tagalongs.


They insisted I take several pictures of them.


Actually, it was me doing the insisting. I had to make sure the photo booth area looked OK through the lens of an iPhone camera.


As Ed says, this is Bethany and her posse. Translation: all Bethany’s friends from orchestra.



The posse plus the orchestra teacher. We love Mrs. Smit!


One of the antique/consignment stores in town had this bench outside for sale. I fell in LOVE immediately and brought her home. The cute model just happened to be along for the ride. I plan to sand down and stain the wood slats a dark espresso and paint the blue curly-cues some other color…maybe white, or red, or black.


I took these two sweet girls to pick up their first job applications. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as though the place is hiring as we haven’t gotten any calls yet.


Becca had to create a musical instrument for school.


It turned out really cute! You hit the washers with the end of a large bolt and they vibrate over the hole and the sound is amplified with the funnel.


This box of crayons is in the classroom where I work. Everytime I get it out it just makes me soooooo happy. One day I just had to take a picture of it. I’m weird, I know. But loving fresh new crayons sorted by color is one of the things that makes me a good Kindergarten aide.

All right, coming up next will be college visit #2, Corban University in Salem, OR!

Monday, April 6, 2015

All-state/Whitworth Trip

Over Valentine’s Day weekend we found ourselves divided…Ed, Sarah, Becca, & I headed east to Spokane and Bethany & Elise stayed behind in Lynden to go to school and partake in regular life. Becca had auditioned and been chosen for the all-state youth choir and we decided that since her practice & concert were in Spokane, the very city where Whitworth University is located, Sarah should join us and we should have a Whitworth tour. We left on Thursday afternoon and had a great drive 6 hours east.


Traveling with just four of us was pretty strange, but there was lots more room for our stuff!

On Friday we toured Whitworth…and somehow managed to not take too many pictures of the actual campus. So I borrowed one from their website.


That’s the HUB – their student union building. We had a great visit at Whitworth – good admissions talk, awesome meeting with the XC/track coach, great tour, fun class, lots of good information. Sarah spent the afternoon/evening/night with a XC/track runner and everything just went really well. Whitworth is now one of the top possible colleges on her list.

Becca was a trooper during the college visit as the tag-along, but she was richly rewarded.


Oh! I did take this picture on campus of their funny sculpture…


Calvin has “the cheese”

so Ed dubbed the sculpture at Whitworth “Squeezy Cheese.” I don’t know why, but that made me laugh. A lot.


Friday night I drove an hour west to meet up with my sweet friend who lives near there for dinner. So, so, so good for the soul.


The next morning we dropped Becca off for her rehearsals,


got some coffee (though I must admit…we think Dutch Bros. is a big hype…not nearly as good as it was ‘supposed’ to be), picked Sarah up from campus, and then headed to Riverfront Park.






Big strong Ed holding up the bridge.










We spotted a wedding happening on the far side of the river!


Unbeknownst to us at the time, we were very close to where Becca’s performance was to be that evening, and where all the music teachers were having workshops during the day. While we were at this park, this group of guys in suits came along, singing their school fight song, and climbed up the wagon and all slid down again. It was pretty funny. It wasn’t until we were at the concert and talking to our music teachers that we figured out they were part of the music teacher workshops…and I didn’t even clue in about the close proximity until after the concert when we walked to the van and walked right by the wagon!


After the park, we had to get our headlight fixed in the van, and when we picked it up again, the mechanic had left a rose on the windshield, because it was Valentine’s Day!


It was a wonderful concert and Becca really had a great time singing and meeting new girls!




Some of the kids from our middle school who also attended All-state.


It’s not at all hard to believe that these are the creative kids…

The concert wasn’t over until after 7:00, which is too late to drive 6 hours back home, over the mountain pass, so we got some dinner and the girls swam in the pool and we drove home the next morning. It was a great trip!