Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Wednesday, April 27

Outside my window...  

Dogwood in bloom :D

Hearing...  a little breeze rustling the evergreens (not enough leaves in the dogwoods to catch the breeze yet!)

Pondering...  how we take feeling well for granted, until we don't.  I'll spare you the details of last night.  I think I ate something that didn't agree with me.  Ugh.

Praying...  seems like in spring we all want to slack off, and there's so much work to do!  Kerry has jobs coming out his ears (and we're THANKFUL for that, but he's got to keep all the clients happy!), the boys are all busy with school, and I have a full-time job keeping everyone moving the right direction ;D  Praying for diligence for all of us.

And for my dad's knee :o(

And for my friend, Jane, whose mom is failing.

Thankful...  for all that work I mentioned above :D  Gunnar is excited he got a new (regular) babysitting job watching a one-year-old a few hours a week.  Tate is doing great in his college class and maintaining his regular responsibilities.  Wyatt met with his advisor and he is still on track for graduating in December.  If anything goes sideways, it will just mean delay, but we're hopeful he can stay on top of things!

Wearing...  my extra-comfy I-wasn't-feeling-well clothes (i.e. old ratty sweats).  May have to take it up a notch before I take Tate to class ;D

Creating...  new covers for some cheap journals I found at Walmart.

Going...  over to the tech college with Tate this afternoon.

Reading...  Proverbs.

Looking forward to...  summer break - six more weeks!

In the kitchen...  hmmm, we're all going to be home tonight :D  Still not excited to think much about food after last night's "adventures"... 

In the learning rooms...  Gunnar is working through that deer-in-the-headlight reaction he seems to always get when he has to write something... something he has to think about.  Arrrrgh.  We'll get through this.

Around the house...  good thing I left the blue "decor" and blue lights up after the last baby shower!  We could call it lazy, but I prefer "fortuitous" since I'll be hosting another baby-boy shower next week!

The Mother Load...  ugh.  Can't even go there right now.  Just get through today.  I'll feel better tomorrow.  And look!  A pretty picture to distract me!  We almost killed this double lilac when we upgraded the driveway, but it's coming back :D

A favorite quote and devotional thought for the day...

O God, the protector of all who trust in You,
without whom nothing is strong,
nothing is holy:
Increase and multiply upon us Your mercy,
that, with You as our ruler and guide,
we may so pass through things temporal,
that we lose not the things eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who lives and reigns
with You and the Holy Spirit,
One God,
for ever and ever.

One of my favorite things...  bright colors!

A few plans for the rest of the week...  take Tate to his class, keep pressing on through the last weeks of the school year, finish this journal project (close, but more to do), clean our bathroom (yuck!), and - I hope - sit in the sun :D

A peek into my world...

Monday, April 18, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, April 18, 2016.

Outside my window...  seems like it was winter just last week, but today...

I couldn't believe it!  And in case you're wondering, NO, I did NOT take the photo while driving.  I drove, and Gunnar took the picture :D

Hearing...  Kerry mowing the lawn.  It looks great, and I love the smell of fresh-cut grass :D

Pondering...  the juggling act that is life with three teenage young men.

Praying...  for our friends, the Choates, in the Solomon Islands; the Randalls, in Myanmar; for my three young men;, and for us - the parents!

Thankful...  I'm sure Gunnar is thankful he got through his first ever recital.  And he did wonderfully :D  His teacher is very friendly and low-key, and the recital reflected her informal persona :D

And I always enjoy looking at her artwork while Gunnar plays!

He played Vivaldi's Spring, and three Irish pieces - a waltz called Seamus O'Brien, and a couple of jigs, The Frost is All Over, and Out on the Ocean.

He's got his game-face on :D

Wearing...  shorts and a tank-top... in April!

Going...  to do some sewing for Tate - new rank patches from his recent promotion.

Looking forward to...  more sunny days!

In the kitchen...  I've had chicken in the crock-pot all day and I think we'll have chicken-taco salad when Kerry's done mowing.

In the learning rooms...  quiet now, late afternoon.  Gunnar is reading some of our favorite books this week, by Richard Peck, A Long Way from Chicago, and A Year Down Yonder.

Around the house...  lots of wonderful-smelling lilacs!

The Mother Load...  good gracious, today I:
* homeschooled Gunnar
* met Tate at the school and met (briefly) with three people, dealing with some testing opt-out paperwork, getting Tate's Running Start paperwork signed, and registering Gunnar - whew!
* drove Tate to his tech school class
* got gas (ack! the light was on!)
* got groceries
* visited with my older neighbors, that I've been avoiding while I get over a nasty cold
* did 6 or 7 loads of laundry, the last one still drying on the line
* repaired two shirts and a pair of shorts (because Tate climbed over a barbed wire fence in one of his two nice pairs, suitable for wearing to work - arrrrgh!)
* and more.  There's always more.

And tomorrow looks about the same!

Noticing that...  oh, the days are getting longer :D

Something to remember for later...  it's fun to have a little peeky-hole from up in the bedroom to down in the kitchen!  At our friends' house :D

A favorite quote for today...  while she encourages us to seek out all that God has revealed in his Word, Nancy Leigh DeMoss reminds (her readers)...

God does not owe us an explanation for anything.

One of my favorite things...  the smell and look of a freshly mown lawn :D

A few plans for the rest of the week...  the usual round of homeschool, public school, tech school, and community college; plus two boys with jobs, Civil Air Patrol, a violin lesson, and taking advantage of the warm weather to do lots and lots of laundry!  It's a glamorous life.  Aren't you madly jealous?

A peek into my world...  on Sunday we had lunch at our friends' house...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Baby Showers

Between chapel moms and a neighbor-friend, we've had a run of babies lately!
When I had some free time over Christmas vacation
I broke out the sewing machine and got busy.
I still have one I can't share yet (soon, I hope!)
but I gave this one at a shower last night, so here ya go :D

I could've called it April Showers,
but little Nate was born in March, so how about

Baby Showers?

That IS what it's called, in fact, where I spotted it on the Moda "Bake Shop" page,
by LeAnne Ballard.

Well, if you know the Pacific Northwest in the spring like I do,
you'll know why I chose this!

Of course, I changed it up a little.
I like flannel on the back of a baby quilt - so snuggly and soft :D

And I really wanted to use a piece of batik that looked kind of like it had drops of color on it already.

The water drops gave me fits.
Applique is not my strong suit!
But it sure looks interesting from the back!

And though it may look black in the photo,
the binding is a navy blue,
to hold all that blue together :D

We had a lot of fun last night,
celebrating Cheryl and adorable Nate the Great,
but I took no photos!

Take my word for it,
he's a cutie :D

Monday, April 11, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, April 11, 2016

Outside my window...  spring clouds.  How do they look different than winter clouds??? They just do.  We've had some gorgeous days over spring break, and now it looks like we're settling in for a few days of rain.  Oh well, that might make it easier to get our focus back on school work!

Hearing...  the dryer tumbling... too cool to line-dry today :o(

Pondering...  making a master schedule that has all the boys' school schedules, but how?  Maybe I need to use overlays of tracing paper or something!  (I know, deep thoughts, people!)

Praying...  for all of us to work diligently at our jobs/studies.  We're coming down the homestretch of this school year, and it's do tempting (at least for me!) to slack off.

Thankful...  Kerry has a ton of work right now - woo-hoo!  And we have found a new home for one of our bunnies.  I really didn't want to put him on craigslist, so I am delighted that friends from church would like a new pet :D  

Makes it a lot easier to let go of him.  And the boys are being really good sports about it.  We really think this bunny would like more attention than he's getting here, with the boys getting older and busier.

Wearing...  layers again, with the cooler weather.

Out for a walk with Gunnar... this house always seems surprised to see us ;D

Creating...  plans!  I'm going to cook a turkey today, and I'm hosting a baby shower tomorrow.  Those things are unrelated, but both need my attention-to-detail :D

Going...  to make lunch shortly, and then Gunnar and I will go with Tate over to the Tech College.  The way the city bus schedule and his class time doesn't line up, means that sending him via public transport would take about five hours.  For one class.  That just doesn't compute, so Gunnar and I are taking some schoolwork along and going to hang out in the library.  We can get some school work done while Tate is in class :D

Reading...  Don't Follow Your Heart: God's Ways Are Not Your Ways, by Jon Bloom.  Loving this book.  Today's reading dealt with God's providence in the hard parts of our lives.  He wrote,

The God who governs the visible and invisible worlds
knows what He is doing in your life.


Looking forward to...  Gunnar's first recital on Saturday!

In the kitchen...  cooking a turkey for dinner, but not a full-on Turkey Dinner.  (Yes to potatoes and gravy, but no stuffing.  Maybe sweet potatoes if I have time!)

In the learning room...  Gunnar doing his language work.  Tate is probably working on Economics.  What with three classes at the high school, one at the college, and two at home, I've given him a lot of freedom to arrange his schedule however works for him.  Of course, he has to keep on track with his public school work, but he may be able to work ahead in his college class and finish it early.  The homeschool subjects can be postponed if he wants.

Around the house...  the minions weren't quite as available this spring break as they have been in the past!  Still, they helped with some chores - putting all the window screens and screen door back on, yardwork/mowing, and we did some cleaning and moved the living room furniture.  Do you do that?  I like to change things around every so often.  I get a fresh "new" room without spending a penny ;D

And the boys did a lot of this...

One of the games they boys play is called World of Warships.  And this was the April Fools theme... sea battles, staged in a GIANT bath tub!  (The toys would be the size of islands.  You can't even see the "enemy ships' in that view.)

The Mother Load...  diminished, but never gone!  My immediate concerns are today's cooking, and prepping for tomorrow's baby shower :D

Noticing that...  the boybarians are growing.  We set a new family record at Costco last week...

I know.  It's crazy.  And I still needed to go to the regular grocery store for a few more things.

Something fun to share...  friends from church hosted the youth group for a cookout and Capture the Flag over the weekend.  Fun time!  We have such a nice group of kids at the chapel :D

A favorite quote for today...  I was reading some Elisabeth Elliot, and she was writing about our attitude toward work.  She said...
The principal cause of boredom is the hatred of work...  As we make an offing of our work, we find the truth of a principle Jesus taught: fulfillment is not a goal to achieve, but always the by-product of sacrifice.

One of my favorite things...  speculoos cookie butter.  Mmmmm!

A devotional thought...  I love the juxtaposition of two verses from Exodus.  The Israelites sing to the Lord after their deliverance through the Red Sea.  Notice how these verses begin...

Exodus 15:9    The enemy boasted...                              
Exodus 15:10  But you blew with your breath...

He's got this.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  working for a smooth transition back into our school routine!
All the usual... school/college/homeschool, CAP, violin lesson, work.
And the extra... baby shower, violin recital :D

Which reminds me... did I mention that Tate promoted at Civil Air Patrol?
Congratulations, Cadet First Lieutenant :D

A peek into my world...  a few quick phone pics from the youth group event :D

A few of the friendly kids :D

Our hosts - kneeling by the fire, and in the print shirt behind him :D

More smiling faces :D

Tate is cooking a sugar-cinnamon croissant


Across the fire, see the light?
That's a "flag" for the game,
under a milk-crate footrest :D

Saturday, April 9, 2016

This Election Year Is Driving Me Crazy

And you'll notice I don't post about politics.

But this... THIS.

I know voting is ALWAYS the lesser of the evils.
But I'm having trouble wanting to vote for ANYONE.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

It's Spring Break... Sort Of

Through all the years we've been homeschooling, we pretty much track with the public school's vacation schedule... when it suits us.  Now that we're using public school again, we're kind of locked in.  Except that the community college and the tech college don't line up.

I suppose it doesn't matter.  We're not going anywhere.  But I miss having all my minions here to help me with big spring break cleaning projects!  (And yes, I'd like some cheese with that whine ;D)

Wyatt's not around to help (still house-sitting), so Tate, Gunnar and I are doing what we can.  And Tate's class (at the tech school) starts today!  Kind of excited :D  Still, they've helped:

* move furniture
* vacuum and dust (always easier when you're moving things)
* cleaned the family room
* put all the window screens back on
* re-hung the screen door
* emptied all the garbages and recycling
* cleaned up their bedroom
* cleaned three bathrooms (yippee!)
* mowed the yard

And there's probably more.  There good kids :D  And my job?  My project of the week?  Organizing MY stuff...

I have a little work to do ;D

In other news, it was Big Big Night at Civil Air Patrol yesterday.  We had a wonderful, large group of new cadets complete their basic training and be welcomed into the squadron.

Taking the cadet oath

And Tate earned a promotion to Cadet First Lieutenant - woo-hoo!

It's a tradition to let parents help put on their new insignia.  The shoulder epaulettes are a lot easier to manage than the pins!

Well done, Tate!  Sorry we caught you blinking.

And, yes.  I got my hair cut.  From this:

To what you see above.  So just humor me and say "silver and gold" instead of "going gray" :D  What I mostly say is LOW MAINTENANCE.

Now I'm off to do my tidying, because...

When you do stuff,
stuff gets done.

Yah.  I'm a deep thinker.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Yay, Spring!

I know, I know.

It's a photo of my laundry.

(How mundane can I get?)

But laundry on the line, in the sunshine... makes me happy :D

Monday, March 28, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, March 28, 2016

Chocolate doughnut with sprinkles - happy, much?

Outside my window..  sunshine!

Naomi and Wyatt - she was so happy to see him!

Hearing...  a blessedly quiet house.
We had Naomi (my 3yo niece) with us for the last few days, and it was wonderful.
We love it when she comes, and then we love it when she goes ;D
Gunnar and I are having the afternoon OFF.
* happy sigh*

So I'm including a ton of pics of her so my bro and SIL can see what she was up to :D

She was very excited about her Happy Meal toy -
a little mirror (no actual makeup) -
and was inspecting the "owie" on her lip.

Pondering...  one more week of school, and then spring break.
Sort of.
Wyatt is on break this week (from the community college),
but he's house-sitting for Kerry's bro and SIL, so not around much.
Tate gets next week off from the high school,
but he'll be starting his class at the Tech College that week.
Gunnar and I will take that week as our spring break.


Reading stories with Tate.

Praying...  to make good use of my time.  Seems like there's so much to do!  And right now, my body and brain are a wee bit tired.  Blame it on the 3yo ;D 

We dyed Easter eggs.
And there had to be LOTS OF PINK.

Thankful...  we had a wonderful Easter weekend,
though it was a smaller family group than usual.
I'm so very thankful for my family.
And thankful that Tate and Gunnar are getting over their colds. 
Still a bit of coughing, but not like before.

Gunnar is her very special buddy.

Wearing...  like anyone cares!  Sweats :D

Very proud of her Easter eggs.
Don't you love that face that preschoolers make
when you ask them to smile?!

Creating...  getting things back in order, after an unusual weekend.

Naomi's eggs.

Going...  kind of getting the itch to do some quilting again.
Spring break projects?

And... my eggs.

Reading...  I got a bit bogged down in The Silmarillion.  It may be one of those books that I need to make a list of the main characters and their relationships.  But then I say to myself,
This is a fictional history behind a fictional series of stories.
How much do I really care?

These are Gunnar's favorites, with the hemlock impressions.

Learning...  from Gunnar's (school) reading.
Tuberculosis infects probably one third of the world's population.
I had no idea.

A walk in the park.

Looking forward to...  Spring Break :D

The creek is running high - normal for spring.

In the kitchen...  chicken for dinner.
Have not thought further ahead!

I want to go back and take this photo again,
focused on the bridge,
or the water...
not the twig in the foreground.

In the learning room...  which was temporarily Naomi's bedroom...
need to organize what we need to finish before break,
and then Crank It Out!

Love this photo, even though Gunnar isn't smiling.
He really was having a good time :D

Around the house...  

We've picked up most of the "Naomi debris" - like the many forts she and Gunnar made!

The Mother Load...
um, yah, about that.
I'll be making my Spring Break Blitz list soon.

Naomi found a fort,
and NO she's not doing what you might think she's doing ;D

Noticing that...  the house sure feels different with Wyatt gone.

Naomi, ready for church,
holding the picture she colored for Pastor Bert.

Something to remember for later...
Naomi has a thing for Pastor Bert.
She's intrigued by him.
It's like being near a celebrity.

Now, to be fair,
one really shouldn't photograph people while they're eating.
It just isn't nice!

But I couldn't pass up this moment at our Easter Brunch.
Pastor Bert gave her his undivided attention and she was loving it.
So, Pastor Bert, forgive me for taking your picture when you were eating, okay?!
And thank you for your tender friendship with your little admirer :D


Something fun to share...  
while she was waiting for the Easter egg hunt, Naomi talked Aunty Tami and Tate into going up into the treehouse with her,
and look what they found!

Little Brown Bat

Sorry it's blurry - too dark to focus properly.

And just today Doug Hibbard shared a link with me about treating White-Nose Syndrome in bats, here.  We had learned about the problem on a cave tour in Arkansas last year, here.

We were happy to teach Naomi that bats are our friends.  Little Brown Bats can eat 600-100 mosquitoes every hour.  We're happy to see them swooping around on summer evenings!

Up in the treehouse Grandpa made.

A favorite quote for today...

He is risen!
He is risen indeed!

The beginning of the much-anticipated Easter egg hunt.
And let me just point out that this is the PNW,
where you hunt Easter eggs in your rain boots ;D

One of my favorite things...
I love when Naomi comes to visit,
and then I love when she goes home ;D

A Bible verse...

He is not here,
He is risen,
just as He said...
Matthew 28:6

She ran right past Tate SEVERAL TIMES before she noticed the egg...

... right between his feet!

There's a good reason she's blurry... always in motion!

A few plans for the rest of the week...
complete our pre-break homeschool work,
Gunnar's violin lesson,
dentist appointments for Tate and Gunnar,
and I think Kerry and a couple of the boys are
going to the Seattle Museum of Flight on Saturday.

Some of Naomi's eggs had candy,
some had notes.
Grandpa is reading one,
telling her where to look for a present.

Found it!

A peek into my world...

Not five minutes after our Easter egg hunt, the clouds broke open...

... rain, hail, and the temp dropped about ten degrees.

Perfect timing, or what?
We nailed it ;D

And this is today, waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to come and take her home.

Maybe she's part cat ;D

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!