Saturday, October 8, 2016

September 2016

Wow, September...somehow it's already over...

My goofy Kinders...and they are pretty goofy...but I am falling in love with them even as I am working really hard to figure out the best ways to teach each one of them...

I have a ton of great friends, and most of them very cheerfully help me when I whine about something. On this particular day I was whining about tearing out and collating and folding and stapling all the pre-decodable books from my Kindergarten curriculum and Niki volunteered herself for the afternoon to help me...and then her stapler broke while she was doing this good deed! She tried to fix it, but I am pretty sure we threw it in the garbage. Sorry, Niki!!

Sarah had her first meet as a Knight! She ran well and placed in the top 15 overall, which earns you a t-shirt and a spot in that picture below...

My brother and his family were there to watch, so that was so fun for her and for me to know that she had her own cheering section. It was the first time they had gotten to see her run, so I think they liked it, too. ;)

I decorated for fall over Labor Day weekend because I knew if I didn't do it might not ever get done. I dusted at the same time and ended up putting out much less in decorations than I normally do...I think the thought of dusting stuff sounded really awful!

Bethany had a big meet at Sehome on a sunny Saturday and we had a great time watching her and all her teammates run. Bethany isn't fast, but she is determined. I'm so very proud of her.

Becca's been running cross country, too! Her team is doing awesome and she is improving a little bit every time, too! She LOVES the time she spends with those girls and I LOVE that cross country gets to continue to be a blessing in our lives.

Becca moved into Sarah's room (just for when Sarah is not home) and so Elise made the extra bed in her room into a couch, which now holds her reading chair and Sarah's gigantic stuffed bear named Mitch.

Elise & the neighbor girls found a painted rock in the trail by our house...apparently some kids decided to paint rocks and hide them around town. If you find one, you're supposed to post it with the #lyndenrocks and then rehide it and give clues. They had fun figuring out the mystery of the rock and finding a new place to hide it on the trail.

Got this fun bubble blower on clearance for a couple bucks...worked great for about a day. I am sad because it came highly recommended as a quality toy!! 

We had our GEMS kick-off! The theme this year is "Love Overflows" and all the suggestions for games and decorations are for "splash parties" and that type of know...overflow?? So my awesome counselors came up with great snack ideas and a fun cupcake craft for the girls for our open house beach party!

And then there was my favorite weekend of September...the one where Sarah and her team came to Seattle to run in a big meet! What a blessing and a gift it was for us to spend Friday night having dinner with her and her team, Saturday watching them all run and hanging out (& watching some LC kids run, too!), and Saturday night at the Mariners' game with all of them and Sunday morning worshiping with them. It was perfect timing in our longing to see each other (for her AND for us) and so very, very, good for this mama's heart.

Watching her run again and do what she loves so very much was like salve for my heart.

It was a pretty wet day for a race, but the two days before were beautiful and sunny and the team was able to see the mountains, climb some awesome hikes, and Sarah and the other WA runners got to show-off their state!

Sweet reunions with sweet friends.

Some of Sarah's teammates from high school ran the high school races as well and Sarah stuck around to watch them and help them with the chips on their shoes and moral support and all those things that Sarah is so very good at.

And then they had to say goodbye again. 

Thankfully, we got a little more time...

Our worship time with the team at Pastor Geoff Van Dragt's house was wonderful. Geoff is a chaplain at UW, and a former Calvin Knight All-American runner! The team sang and shared and we got to see some of the coaches' love and dedication to their runners. I am so very thankful for that time.

Oh, these loves of mine...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Back to real life...

As soon as we got home from our #epicroadtrip, we unloaded, started laundry, and made plans for the weekend and the following week. We arrived home on a Friday evening and "Meet the Teacher" day was on Monday, followed by the first day of school on Tuesday...followed by MY first day of school on Wednesday (because Kinders don't come on the first day and also because I only teach MWF).

So, on Saturday, I spent MOST of the day at school, finishing up some things that weren't able to be done before I left (like putting away curriculum and other things that were ordered) and finishing up putting children's names EVERYWHERE. Thankfully, I had my sweet friend Tamara from AZ stop by and help me for a little while before she kidnapped me and made me have a little fun. ;)

We finished putting up my welcome bulletin board, which she had helped me with via text before she came. She's always good for creative input!

I was also blessed to be one of the people she told in person that she is pregnant with baby #4! We are super excited for this amazing blessing in their life! And I know we have photos of us from that day...but I can't find them. :( Tam, send them to me!! 

Then came that first day of school...

We were all pretty excited to start school again! Junior, 7th, and 5th! Just. Stop. Growing.

In 5th grade I still get pictures with the teacher...and since she's my baby, I'm assuming I'm going to get to keep right on taking pictures with the teacher until she graduates from college.

Bethany drove herself to school for the first time and while it wasn't as weird as the first time Sarah drove herself to was still weird and worrisome...

Elise had to fill out this personal survey on the first day...I love that part where she says "The person I like best is 'my sister, Sarah'". As it should be one week after saying good-bye...

I also like where she wrote that next summer she hopes to see the Ball cousins. We hope so, too! Maybe even in Arizona, her favorite place to be. ;) 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

#epicroadtrip Coming Home

We took 4 days of driving to get home...we didn't leave on the first day until around 11:30 since we had to bring Sarah to cross country camp that morning. We went as far as Minneapolis that night, and were treated to an amazingly red sky as we came into the city.

Our hotel that night was a LaQuinta, and it was very inexpensive, but it was in a suburb of Minneapolis and let's just say, as the girls did, it was sketchy. We weren't there very long - probably our shortest hotel stay of the entire trip.

The next day we drove to the small town of Glendive, Montana. On the way through North Dakota, we encountered a rest area that happened to be inside of Theodore Roosevelt National Park! It was a beautiful overlook, and had it not been so cold and windy, we might have ventured on a little hike out from that location.

We stayed in a cute Comfort Inn in Glendive, had dinner at a 50's diner, the girls swam, and it was probably one of our favorite hotels the entire trip! We tried to go to the Albertson's in that small town, but they had no no fresh that had to wait until the next small Montana town the following morning.
When we got home and back to school, I found out that our school secretary had actually grown up in Glendive, Montana! She was tickled that we had stayed there because she said no one has ever heard of Glendive when she says that's where she is from. I highly recommend it if you need a place to stay in Eastern Montana along I-94.

We left Glendive, Montana that morning and arrived in Missoula, Montana that evening...#bigsky #bigstate. We treated the girls to a night at "C'mon Inn", which is a western-themed hotel chain in Montana. Since we just had the little girls with us, we thought it would be fun for them to have something special. We had a lot of fun there and we have decided we really like the state of Montana!

Dinner at Cracker Barrel, which wasn't all it's cracked up to be. ;)

We arrived home the next day before dinner, 

with that many more miles on our new van. Thankful for safety in so many miles and different experiences, tired of driving and of good-byes, sad that these moments had actually come and gone, and ready to be home and to start our #newnormal.