Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blessed Sunday

I am blessed to have 4 of the best friends ever. We laugh together and cry together and have more fun than a bunch of 30 and 40 somethings should. I count each one of them as such a blessing in my life.

Kim. Kim makes me laugh. She knows everything there is to know about what's going on at church. She is amazing because of what she's lived through and the way she's grown through it all. She knows what she wore the first day of kindergarten and probably still has the outfit in a box somewhere. She loves Donny Osmond, which I totally don't get, but love her for it anyway.

Marci. Marci is one of my favorite storytellers. She has a story for everything which I love. She is also our encyclopedia for all things nature. She can tell us what flowers and trees we are taking pictures of and would be our tracker if we ever got lost in the woods. She is also the queen of birthday celebrations and started a great tradition of doing something other than dinner and a movie on our special days. And she has the best tea parties.

Katrina. Katrina is amazingly sweet and strong. She is smart and funny and kind. She knows all about books and movies and history and politics. She starts the conversations that make us all feel a little smarter. She recommends the best books and can tell us all about them including the story, setting, and characters--and who we would each be if we were Jane Austin characters. She sometimes uses big words that I don't understand. She is one of my favorite people.

Kathy. Kathy makes me happy. I love her phone calls and emails because they always hold something unexpected and entertaining. We have been friends for a long time and have shared many, many laughs and several quarts of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. We have gone through school years, pregnancies, babies, and book fairs together. We know that things are always more fun if we do them together. She is fiercely loyal and can always be counted on to be there for me. She is a true friend.

I am truly blessed to not only know these amazing women, but to call them friends...and sisters.

I love you, girls.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 things I will do today...

1. Take a shower. Always a good start.
2. Change diapers. This one's a given.
3. Feed children. Also guaranteed.
4. Go to a work day at school to clean up the playground and pull weeds. One of the perks of working at a private school. You get to be a part of everything.
5. Chase Julianna all over the playground. She is a mover, I tell ya.
6. Go to the fair. We are taking the kids to motocross which the boys love.
7. Go look at the quilts with Jules while the boys watch more motorcycles.
8. Eat junk food. Isn't that part of the fair experience?
9. Take pictures. I love taking pictures at the fair. There is so much to see and it will especially be fun this year with Julianna being old enough to enjoy it.
10. Laugh. How can I not? Think about who I spend my days with!

Also, today Julianna is 1 year, 2 months, 3 weeks, and 4 days old.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Toro! Toro!

Adam and I were driving home the other day when we passed a tattoo parlor. He read the sign and asked me if that was where they did real tattoos or just rub on ones like he has had before. I told him that they did real tattoos. Now, we have had the conversation before where I told the boys how they do tattoos. They both agreed that they did not ever want a tattoo because of the whole needle thing. So I was surprised when a few minutes later, Adam said, "Mom, maybe I want to be a tattoo artist when I grow up." "Really," I said, "Will you give me my tattoos for free*." "Sure," he answered. "You know," I said, "Most tattoo artists have lots of tattoos of their own." I thought that would put an end to the conversation and send him right back onto the entomologist path. But much to my surprise, he said, "Well, I could get a snake on one arm...and a tarantula on the other arm............and a BULL on my CHEST!" I laughed so hard that I almost had to pull off the road! Oh, that kid cracks me up!

*In case you're wondering, I do not have any tattoos. But if I could get them for free, you never know.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I was called in to school today to meet with the administrator. And I got all nervous. Which is really weird because he's a really good friend and I can talk to him about pretty much anything. And I even already knew what he was going to say--that I will have a combined classroom this year. Kindergarten with a few 4 year olds thrown in for good measure. I was ready, so when he told me that that's what needed to be done, I smiled and told him that I would do whatever he needed. Now, what I thought Wednesday night during Bible class when I read his mind without him knowing it, was, "NOOOOO!" But I've decided to be a non-complainer. At least at school. You want me to have a combined class. Okay. You want me to have 14 students when I only have room for 12. Okay. You want me to teach them to play the accordion. Bring it on. I'll do it. I might not like it. But I'll do it. And not complain.

So, this whole business has made me start to think about school starting in...I'll not say how many days for fear of causing any teachers out there to hyperventilate. But it's soon and so I've started to think. About curriculum. And discipline. And my classroom. And scheduling. But mostly about students. My students. The little ones who will walk into my classroom on September 8th with wide eyes and open minds. The ones who will soak up my words like sponges. The ones who will challenge me and teach me more than I teach them. The ones whose parents love them as much as I love my own children.

And that line of thought is where today's revelation came from. The revelation that I need to treat these kids, love these kids, the way their parents would want them to be treated and loved. The way I want others to treat and love my own children. So this year I will spend more time on my students and less time worrying about all the other stuff. I only get a few short months to plant seeds that will not be planted by anyone else. A few short months to make a difference.

Okay, now that I've said all that, I'm going out to play. It's still summer you know.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 things I've never done...

1. Had a manicure. My sister probably thinks this is just crazy. And I could actually use one right now after a morning spent pickling beets. My nails are pink and not the good kind of pink.
2. Had a pedicure. My toenails are tiny, so is there any point?
3. Colored my hair. 37 years of natural color.
4. Pierced anything. Not even my ears.
5. Kissed anyone but my husband. Everyone together now...awwww.
6. Been to another country. Canada doesn't count when you live this close to the border.
7. Been snow skiing. I don't like to be cold and I don't like to fall.
8. Been water skiing. I can't swim well enough to enjoy it.
9. Been fired from a job. And I hope I never do.
10. Tasted pickled beets. But I guess after all my morning's work I should at least taste them. Maybe.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Two For Tuesday

Two sweet, funny, adorable boys.

Two blue eyes and two tiny hands.

Three gifts from above.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blessed Sunday

This morning I taught Julianna's Bible class. I have been doing this every Sunday since June (as well as last December, January, and February). In the last three months, she has gotten two new teeth, grown an inch, and learned several new words. And although I see those things every day with her, on Sunday mornings I get to spend an hour with her that's different from the rest of our hours spent together. In class, we talk about God's creation. We sing all kinds of silly songs. We play with little plastic animals. We flip through the pages of mini Bibles and sing the B-I-B-L-E. She hugs Winkie the bear and laughs. She plays with Lily and they eat each others Cheerios (which she won't touch at home). And I love every minute of it. The difference between the baby who sat at the table in December and the toddler who sat there today is amazing. And wonderful. And a good reminder to cherish every single day. Because tomorrow, she'll be getting ready to turn 10 and start 4th grade.

I am blessed to be able to watch her grow and know, more clearly than ever, to take it all in and treasure each moment in my heart.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 jobs I would like to have for a week (*or longer).

1. Marine biologist. When I was 13, we went to Sea World and I fell in love with all things fishy. I totally wanted to be a marine biologist until I remembered that 1. I hate getting my face wet and 2. I can't swim. But if I didn't mind getting my face wet and could swim, I would like to study God's ocean creatures.

2. Professional singer. I love to sing and do often. And sometimes it sounds pretty good. So for just a week, I'd like to go on tour and be able to sing for adoring fans across the country. And then I'd want them to forget about me. I don't want to be famous.

3. Dancer. Dancers are amazing athletes and their art can be so beautiful. I think it would be really fun to be able to dance on stage with absolutely no inhibitions. And after the week was over, I'd definitely want to keep the dancer body.

4. Academy Award seat filler. You know how they hire people to sit in the empty seats when someone goes to the bathroom or is on stage during the Oscars. Well, I think that would be a great job. First you're sitting by Meryl Streep. Then Brad Pitt (take as long as you want, Angelina). Then Stephen Spielberg. Cool. Very cool. (And I know it doesn't last a week, but still.)

5. Missionary. I think very highly of those Christians who sacrifice so much to spread the gospel all over the world. What a blessing they are to God's kingdom. And how rewarding their job must be.

6. *Professional Photographer. Another beautiful art form. What a great job to travel the world taking pictures of tons of interesting subjects. (Bonus: 10 things I'd want to photograph--Irish highlands, old European castles, Hawaiian volcanoes, Appalachian culture, African wildlife, rainforest flora, the pyramids, sunsets around the world, butterflies, and tropical beaches.)

7. *Book editor. Getting paid to read all day? What could be better?

8. Talk show host. I'm really not much of a talker, but I've always thought it would be interesting to interview people from all walks of life. Kind of like Barbara Walters except without the tell all book...or anything to tell all about.

9. *Discovery/Travel Channel show host. These people get paid to travel/blow stuff up/go fishing/look for Bigfoot/eat. How do you get a job like that?

10. *Baby namer. I am good at naming babies and I love to do it. I would get paid by expectant parents to choose their child's name for them. I would need a few weeks notice (because it's well known that it takes me awhile) and I would have to know about the parents. But I would guarantee the results. (If you're expecting or expect to be expecting, let me know. I work cheap.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Play Ball!!

Otto, the Spokanasaurus.

Last night we went to a Spokane Indians baseball game. We love going to the games and usually go a few times a year. We hadn't gone yet this year and had just been talking about it when some friends from church called and offered to take our family with them. (Thanks, Ivan and Sally!) The senior group from church was going and had a few extra seats. Our family was thrilled and readily accepted. So the five of us and my nephew, Aidan, were off to the game yesterday evening. The boys all had their mitts ready for foul balls and were in a hurry to be one of the first 1000 fans so that they could get a set of Indians baseball cards. Adam kept asking if we were going to be there in time to get the cards. I assured him that we would. He said that it would be bad if we were #999. I told him it would be worse to be #1001. He agreed.

We got there in time to watch the team warm up and the boys were able to take their cards down to the field to get a few signed. They thought that was great and were very polite. I was also impressed by the players. They were kind and patient with all the kids as they flipped through their cards trying to find the right one. It was all very exciting.

We had great seats on the first base line three rows from the field. We were sitting with the seniors (all of whom we love), and they were all so good to the kids. They helped Julianna up and down the steps by our seats and shared their peanuts and popcorn with us. We all rooted on the home team and cheered loudly when there was a home run. Josh even got a foul ball when it rolled near our seats and one of the players tossed it to him. And he was able to have three players sign it after the game when the boys got to go out on the field and run the bases. It was a great time with really great people.

On the field after running the bases.

Josh getting his ball signed.

We were thinking on the way home that our family has been to 5 (maybe 6) games and that Arrty and I have been to a few before the kids were born. And we all agreed that this was the best time yet.

So thanks to the seniors for letting us "youngsters" crash your outing. And thank you, thank you, thank you again to Ivan and Sally for the tickets!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Letter To Mom and Dad #1

Dear Mom and Dad,

I'm sorry about all those Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights when I asked you if Marla or Angie or Val or Brenda could spend the night. I'm sorry that I asked on the spur of the moment without making plans ahead of time every single week. I'm sorry that I didn't listen all those times you told me not to ask with my friend standing right there. I'm sorry that I said, "Her mom said it was okay if you say it's okay." I'm sorry that I put you on the spot and asked you to give up your Sunday afternoon nap and instead listen to giggling girls all day.

I'm sorry. Because now I know just how you felt. Josh has started doing the same exact thing to me. And Sunday, as I said, "We need to make plans," I smiled and thought of you.


P.S. Thanks for saying "yes" so often. :)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Blessed Sunday

There was a time, not so long ago, when I could barely get out of bed to take care of my family. My body was failing me. My brain was failing me. My heart was failing me. I would somehow drag myself up and get on with the day. It was accomplished by sheer force. I would get up and out the door, if I had to, and count the minutes until I was back home and could lay down exhausted from what should have been a normal day. If it was Saturday, I'd get up and feed the boys, and then lay on the couch until I had to get up to feed them again. It was on a day like this that I realized that I needed help. I realized that I was no longer in control of my mind. If I had been, I would not have been living the way I was--completely unable to be the kind of wife and mother that I have always tried to be. It was also that day that I started to get better simply by acknowledging the situation and seeking help. For some reason I thought of those days this morning as my sweet daughter called for me over the baby monitor and I smiled, knowing I was ready to start the day.

So today, I am blessed that I am physically and emotionally able to get out of bed looking forward to a day of taking care of my family the way I'm supposed to.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Me too

Watching Jason Mraz on the Today show.

Saw a woman wearing a tee shirt that says,

I used to be 21.

Love it.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 words I would like for people to use to describe me...

1. gentle
2. loving
3. compassionate
4. funny
5. smart
6. dedicated
7. passionate
8. faithful
9. organized
10. joyful

Monday, August 03, 2009


I made $44.75 at the yard sale this weekend. That's around $1 an hour since I spent hours and hours finding, pricing, setting up, selling, cleaning up, and transporting. And again I will say, please, please don't let me have another yard sale. It's just not worth it. (Kathy and Ada, that goes double for you since you not only let me, but brought your stuff, too.)

The boys made $17 each which made them happy. It was fun to watch them sell lemonade. (By the way, everyone should always buy lemonade from kids.) Spending time and working with them made it almost worth it.

I found a yellow post-it this morning which said,
"We're the boys"
25, 25, 25
The sun changed his mind
I know that these were all things said by the boys when they were little that I intended to write stories about but never did. Now I don't remember the stories.

Wait, I do remember the "we're the boys" one. Adam said to Josh in the car, "He's 'dad' (pointing at Arrty), she's 'mom' (pointing to me), and we're 'the boys'." I've always called them "the boys" I guess.

I did, in fact, take 50 things out of each room in the house. And could probably take another 50 if the other members of my family weren't watching.

The girls and I went to Summer Theater Friday and saw "Dames At Sea." I loved that it was so corny and funny and used every Broadway cliche. And Ellen Travolta was great. We had dinner at Red Lobster and I had Maui Luau Salmon and Shrimp. It was good, but the salmon wasn't as good as dad's.

I have to go put Julianna down for her second nap. And I haven't even had my first one yet.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Blessed Sunday

The preacher has been doing a series of lessons on Heaven on Sunday mornings. I have really enjoyed them because he has given a lot of insight about what Heaven is like according to scripture. I have always had this idea of Heaven being a place where you can do whatever makes you happy. If you love sitting on the top of a mountain looking out over a crystal clear lake, there will be mountains and lakes. If you love fishing, there will be boats and poles and catches better than you can imagine. If you love chatting, there will be plenty of interesting people to converse with. I love history and movies, so I have always believed that there will be this big screen on which I can watch time from the beginning. I can watch the world being created. I can watch Noah see the rainbow for the first time. I can watch Jonah get spit on the beach by a whale. I can watch Mary get a visit from an angel and deliver her son in a barn. I can watch the Sermon on the Mount and look at the face of the Savior as he taught about his father. After all, I will have all eternity to watch home movies of the last few thousand years. Now of course, I don't know what Heaven and eternity is really going to be like. I don't even know that I will care about any of the things I care about on earth. (Except the people. I will care about the people, and hope you're all there with me.) But it doesn't really matter if there are mountains or lakes or boats or fish or Heavenly movie theaters with no calorie popcorn. What really matters is that God will be there. And Jesus will be there. And I can look into their faces and say "thank you." That's it. For the first few thousand years I will just say "thank you." Then I will ask just why they created the platypus.

So today, I am counting as a blessing Heaven. The place. The idea. The reality. And the hope that I have every day of spending all of eternity there.