Friday, May 22, 2015

A Big Dipper Quilt for an Alaskan Mom

That baby shower I mentioned?

It was kind of a long time coming...
and then there was hardly any warning at all!

And that probably makes no sense to you, right?

We have a fun, friendly, young-ish couple at the chapel who were hoping to start a family.
And things don't always happen the way you think they will.
When I started hoping with and praying for my friend Katlyn,
I made this quilt for her.

Two years ago.

They began walking through the process of adopting,
with hopes rising and falling.
Until they got a phone call that their son had been born,
and were they ready to come get him?

And we wanted to celebrate and rejoice with them!

My friend Katlyn is a little bit like me,
in that she's not a frilly girly-girl.
(No offense intended to those of you who are,
but some of us aren't.)

So we threw her an Alaska-themed shower.

With citronella candles, and blue jeans, and plaid, and ear-flap hats.

And salmon, and venison, and other goodies.

And deer antlers, and fishing floats, and Dall sheep horns, and gifts on a toboggan.

And I think she liked it :D

 We had a great time - until 10:30pm!

I love our chapel family - it was a perfect time to rejoice with those who rejoice :D

Thursday, May 21, 2015

How Is It Only Thursday?

 ... when yesterday felt like a whole week!

You have days like that?  Yah, I bet you do.

We've had a little guest again ;D

FYI - that's just a shadow on her cheek, not a bruise.

Since the weather has been great, she's been outside a lot - for walks in the woods, and at least twice to the park.  Uncle Kerry even let her go wading in the coooooold water. 

Tate, stop saying it's a potato when it's obviously a car.
A CAR, I tell you.

Gunnar's little buddy Sammy (the one he babysits each Tuesday) brought his Beyblades and let Naomi try them.  Those two are so cute together, but how did I not get a photo together?

Trying to figure out how to put the beyblade together and make it spin.

But I digress.  The day that felt like a week...

Yesterday I had to take Tate for a (routine) visit to Seattle Children's,
for a CI mapping.  He gets out of school at 10:40 and the appointment was at 1,
so that should give us plenty of time to get down there on time
and even grab a bite of lunch somewhere.  Right?

And since Naomi lives down near Seattle,
we could just drop her off on our way,
so Uncle Dave doesn't have to drive up to get her.

Which is totally reasonable.
Except that I didn't realize Tate's school had an assembly,
so he didn't get out until 11.

Which made for a very quick drop-off at Naomi's house,
and a late arrival at Children's, sans lunch.
(Not so bad for me, but kind of hard on a teen-age boy!)

And our wonderful, delightful audiologist
(whom we adore)
was training a student.
Which meant that an appointment that usually would take
about an hour and a half,
took about two and a half.

Which means...

We stopped at 4:30 for "lunch" and a phone call home,
pleading with Kerry and the other boys to help with the prep for...

a baby shower.
At my house.
At 7pm.

And let me tell you I am so thankful for those guys getting things tidied up
and getting food going, because Tate and I rolled in the driveway at about quarter to six.
And the shower was lots of fun,
and some of the guests were here until 10:30pm.

Which makes me really thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling
(and sleeping in when you need to!)

And in case you're wondering,
the appointment/mapping was all great and fine.
He is doing FABULOUSLY.
Unless we have concerns, we don't need to return for
Has there ever been a time we haven't had appointments in Seattle
multiples times a year???

So I've stayed home today.
Blissfully :D
Catching up on school with Gunnar.
Helping Tate review for a Biology test.
Processing three loads of laundry.

And watching the "show" to the east.

On a fall day, I might look out to the east and see something like this...

But on a late spring or early summer afternoon, this is more typical.

Thunderclouds build up over the Cascades.

We can't see the mountains because of the foothills.
(That does make sense!)

But there's no doubt where they are.

The air has that heavy feel to it.
Maybe some thunder and lightning later?
Or maybe it's all too far away.

Have you had a day that felt like a whole week?
Tell me about it :D

Monday, May 18, 2015

For No Apparent Reason

While the girl is napping...

I'm not saying this might represent anyone living in this house, necessarily...

Oh my, the joys of living among the Prius owners...

Just in case you needed a little giggle in your day.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

It's a Sunday Momologue

Sunday, fun day.
For some of us, anyway.

Little Faye was in and out of the hospital today because while her recovery from E Coli is progressing well (if slowly) she now has pneumonia.  Fortunately they were able to give her antibiotics and send her back home, but we're still praying for her.  For healing.  And for her parents.  May there be sleep for all tonight, amen?

Meanwhile, I keep getting emails from the Pacific Northwest Ballet, because I bought Nutcracker tickets last year.  News flash:  I love the Sendak Nutcracker they did, but I won't be buying any more ballet tickets any time soon, because $$$.  Whew.  It was gorgeous, though.

My two favorite parts are when the tree goes from normal-big...

to amazingly ginormous...

and the dance of the snow fairies in the moonlight...
they "really" make it snow!

And I know all this has nothing to do with anything right now,
except that I was thinking about it because they're changing it.

For years the (Seattle) Pacific Northwest Ballet has done it with the same choreography, and all the costumes/sets designed by Maurice Sendak, and now that's done.  It will all be different.

Moving on...

We're gearing up to have Naomi again for a few days, while her mom recovers.
Gunnar and I are pretty flexible about his homeschool work.  He gets some of it done while she's here, and makes up the rest when she goes home.  No big deal.

To further complicate things (because why should life be simple?),
Tate has an appointment at Children's this week - just a routine CI check-up and mapping,
and I'm hosting a baby shower - fun!

Today was the last day of Sunday school for this year (school year)
at the chapel.  Woo-hoo!
Since we were doing the story of Esther today, I made a treat for my kids,
Chocolate Hamantashen, using my friend Joanna's recipe.
I don't know if it was the sunny weather or the sugar buzz
(I only gave them each ONE COOKIE!)
but they ricocheted out of there like they'd been shot from a cannon.

And just for fun, I snapped this photo of Gunnar as he was recuperating from bronchitis.
He wanted multiple pillows to elevate his head to alleviate the congestion,
but then his blanket didn't reach as far up as he wanted
so he got a spare and wrapped it around his head like
Little Red Ridinghood or something.

And that's it for now.  Between Naomi, and homeschooling, and a trip to Children's, and hosting a shower, I'll be a bit busy this week!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Grasshopper Days


Grasshopper Days

For today, Wednesday, May 13, 2015  

Outside my window...  thick clouds, a cool breeze, and a darkening sky - it's evening.

Hearing...  some kind of little bird - maybe a chickadee or a junco, otherwise a very quiet house.

Pondering...  it seems even quieter, because Naomi just went home.  She's been with us since Sunday - Mother's Day - and will probably be back for a few days next week while my SIL recovers from surgery.  The boys aren't exactly quiet and sedate, but it's just different having a two-almost-three-in-June little girl around.  (That's what she told everyone who asked her age.)

* a friend from church had surgery Monday and will likely be having more later this week to remove some cancer - praying all goes well,
* Kerry and I need to decide what we're going to do about this:

the problem with the window is not new, but must be dealt with this summer (ugh), and 
* for the boys as we look to the end of the school year (still a ways to go).

* our sweet little friend from church is home from the hospital much sooner than we dared to hope!  Thank you for praying for little Faye :D  She's not 100% yet, but her kidneys are "waking up" - hallelujah!  
* Of course, we're thankful for a good time with Naomi. 
* And with Mother's Day this week, I'm thankful for my wonderful mom :D  Here's the card I made her.  The pic is from an ooooold magazine, but it looks like photos I've seen of her as a teen :D

* And speaking of Mother's Day... my boys came through ;D  Kerry and the boys took note of my less-than-subtle hint ;D

My mom brought me the roses.  And the boys also made me a card...

Remember the Christmas card (created by Tate)?

He followed it up with this wonderful creation...

The box says "Dominoes" ;D  Priceless!

Going...  to bed early tonight.  My niece is a sweetie, but it's a lot more relaxing to parent my own kids.

Reading...  just finished the sequel to The Friday Night Knitting Club, called Knit Two.  Just a light, fun read.  And my neighbor just passed on another novel I haven't started yet called Family Tree.

Naomi really loves the little Monster shirt I got her.

Looking forward to...  a quiet day tomorrow!  (See a theme, here?!)

In the kitchen...  we're still finishing up yummy leftovers from Mother's Day (BBQ pulled pork sandwiches), but I made baked potatoes and some teriyaki chicken for dinner tonight.  Easy to throw together with my brother joining us.

In the learning rooms...  Gunnar and I have taken the days off, with Naomi here, so we need to re-group and make a plan tomorrow.  If she's coming back again next week, we need to strategize about what he can get done and when.   We've been practicing something with her, though...

Naomi likes the dry-erase board

Around the house...  lots of children's books, stuffed animals, and a toy microphone.  Naomi likes to sing.

The Mother Load...  I have a growing list, but I'm not even going to look at it until tomorrow.  Nothing urgent, but lots to do.

Somebody loves Gunnar... and her monster jammies.

Noticing that...  Gunnar's eyes are nearly level with mine.  How is this possible?

Something to remember for later...  the way these two love each other :D

One of my favorite things...  the quiet sound of the rain.

A Bible verse...  
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; 
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

The day Gunnar realized he could pick out his violin pieces on the piano.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  Tate has a week off from piano lessons (teacher has other plans), and Gunnar and I have some catching up to do.  Time to get organized...

A peek into my day...

She's giving Gunnar love pats.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Brain Dump

Is it Friday yet?  No?
Because it feels like Friday.

But wait.  

1.  First, let me give you Tuesday.
See this view out the boys' window?

Look closer.

Why yes.  Yes, in fact, that IS fresh snow.

Welcome to the month of May, in the Pacific Northwest.

2.  In better news, Gunnar does NOT have whooping cough.  He has bronchitis.  Which means he's still kind of miserable but not nearly as contagious, and likely to improve more quickly.
Especially if he keeps this up:

That's right.  Nothing wrong with a good nap ;D

3.  In even better news, Faye peed.  Yes, we're talking about urination.  With most of my readers being parents, well, not much is taboo.  Certainly not bodily functions.  This doesn't mean Yay-hurray-she's-all-better-now, but it is a good sign.  And we'll take good news wherever we find it, even in a wet diaper.  You go, girl.

4.  I'm hosting Mother's Day.  And you'll be pleased to know that I have several large pieces of meat ready to cook down for the pulled pork sandwiches.  Because around here we're grazing at the top of the food chain, and dainty little crustless cucumber sandwiches aren't where it's at.  (Who eats that?)

5.  I'm starting to feel guilty.  The yard and flower beds are springing to life around me, and they're crying out to be weeded.  Maybe tomorrow.  Of course, my beloved dogwoods don't need any help.

Just a few days ago...

And today...

6.  This time of year, I feel like my office is sitting on a cloud.  With views like these out the windows, you can see why!

And on the other side of the house...

7.  One last thing...  honey?  Just in case you're wondering?  You know, with Mother's Day approaching...

hint, hint :D

And a Happy Mother's Day to you all :D

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Outside my window...  the sky is full of dark, heavy, rain-filled clouds, and the rain is filling all the "cups" of my dogwood blossoms and turning them upside down.  Our beautiful spring weather is gone for awhile, but that's okay.  It's a perfect day to snuggle inside with my sick kiddo and sip hot tea and cocoa.

Hearing...  rain splattering on the windows and dripping onto the roof and driveway, and Gunnar coughing.  Guess which sound I like better.

Pondering...  my dogwood trees.  I absolutely love them this time of year.  Even the pink one.  And I'm not a pink girl AT ALL.  But (I tell myself) it's kind of a coral pink, which is better than pinky-pink.  And really?  What I always tell my boys, I now hear them saying back to me...  Tate told me he likes the pink tree, because, "Pink is pretty where God put it, in nature."  Yup.

So you're getting treated to several pics of my trees (taken on recent sunny days) because they're filling my view right now :D

Praying...  still praying for little Faye - down at Seattle Children's fighting E. Coli.  Yesterday was her birthday, and our pastor and his wife drove down to visit and encourage.

Also praying for my own family's health - it's the Coughing Chorus around here, but nothing as serious as our little friend.  We're also praying for another friend from church who recently had surgery related to cancer - praying for full recovery.  And for TWO sets of friends adjusting to being new parents!  (No, not the royals ;D)

Thankful...  for access to good medical care, that Kerry has work, for the explosion of life that is spring, and for our homey home to stay HOME in today.

Creating...  I have a small quilting project to work on for a friend - finishing a quilt her daughter started.  Good thing she's not in a hurry, what with the sickness in the house, but I haven't forgotten it, Rebecca!

Going...  to stay HOME today.  I may have mentioned that ;D  Which is kind of funny, because I stayed home yesterday, but Tuesday is usually a (good) hectic day with homeschooling, Gunnar's violin lesson, picking up pizza, Gunnar's babysitting job, and CAP, but we've cleared the deck today and canceled our activities.  Wyatt and Tate can go to CAP, but Gunnar is staying home.

Here's the deal - we think he has pertussis, aka Whooping Cough.  Which is so unfair, because he's vaccinated!  Well, no vaccine works 100%, and it IS actually helping him in that he could be much sicker than he is.  But still, he's sick.  The doctor gently explained that because we have so many anti-vaxxers around here, we're losing the "herd immunity".  Cases of whooping cough are increasing as more people refuse the vaccine, so Gunnar - who probably wouldn't have been exposed to it otherwise - is being sickened even though he is vaccinated.  Maddening.

Reading...  Kevin DeYoung's The Good News We Almost Forgot, an explanation (and a celebration) of the Heidelberg Catechism.  I did NOT grow up with a catechism - that was a "Catholic thing", right?  Not so fast.  Not equal to God's Word, but a helpful way of looking at it through questions and answers.

Looking forward to...  everyone in the house being healthy!

In the kitchen...  it feels like a soup day, but the boys are lobbying for pizza (cheap-cheap-cheap on Tuesday!), so maybe pizza for lunch and soup for dinner :D

In the learning rooms...  in spite of feeling crummy, Gunnar is persevering through his school work. ("Gee, honey, I know you feel rotten, but finishing your math won't make you feel any more rotten, so you might as well get it done."  "Okay, Mom."  "And I'll make you cocoa."  "Okay!")

Around the house...  tissues, books, more tissues, more books... you can tell what we've been doing ;D

The Mother Load... 
* pay bills
* clean our bathroom
* fold two loads of laundry
* tidy office (make room for project...)
* quilting project for my friend
* do something about the kitchen floor (needs to be stripped/waxed professionally - $$$)
* meet with Wyatt and advisor about his classes for next year
* remind Gunnar to practice his violin

Noticing that...  I'm making progress in reading through the books stacked in my windowsill - hurray!

Something to remember for later...  Gunnar, in spite of not feeling well himself, is very concerned with little Faye.  He's decided that as soon as Faye is home and well, we will be having the family over for a meal.  He's even already decided on a menu (as long as it includes home-made bread, and brownies with vanilla ice cream for dessert).  Sounds good to me :D

A favorite quote for today... 
  Very often (nearly always, I'm afraid) when I come to church
my feelings are uppermost in my mind.
This is natural.
We are human, we are "selves," and it takes no effort at all to feel.
But worship is not a feeling.
Worship is not an experience.
Worship is an act, and this takes discipline.
We are to worship "in spirit and in truth."
Never mind about the feelings.
We are to worship in spite of them.
Finding myself scattered in all directions and in need of corralling like so many skittish calves,
I kneel before the service begins and ask to be delivered
from a vague preoccupation with myself and my own concerns,
and to be turned, during this short hour, to God.
 Elisabeth Elliot

One of my favorite things...  the sun coming out in its brightness after a dark, cloudy morning.

A Bible verse...  Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  homeschool-homeschool-homeschool :D, CAP tonight for some of the boys, Tate's piano lesson Thursday, Tate is going on a field-trip to Seattle on Friday to explore careers related to boats, then BACK to Seattle Friday evening for a speaker/social event for Deaf/Hoh teens (whew!), and maybe a youth group activity on Saturday.

A peek into my world...  same tree in soft morning light, and then bright afternoon sunshine.