Friday, May 29, 2015

In Which I Amaze and Astound You With The Awesome Excitement That Is My Life /sarcasm

In case you're wondering what season it is (spring? summer? hunting? road construction?), apparently here in western Washington it's the Season of Dead Opossums.  I think I saw six on my way to Bible study on Tuesday.  SIX.  And yes, I understand the origins of the phrase "playing possum", but I'll spare you the gory details of why I'm pretty sure these ones were indeed quite dead.  Yuck.

Gunnar and I are starting a little project.  We're painting a house.  But it's a little house - a doll house my grandpa made for my mom and aunt, so we're talking about a (*ahem*) seventy year old doll house.  The plan is to "freshen it up" (that's what my grandma would have said) and give it to Naomi for her birthday.  We picked up some craft paint today.

And while we were out, I bought a chunk of navy blue fabric for a quilt I'm starting, and new blades for my rotary cutter, and GOOD GRIEF those things are expensive!  But hurray for coupons because that saved me thirty-five bucks, and that's what counts, right?  So no excuses, now I have everything I need for this quilt...

Finishing school will help, right?  Because I always think I'll get just a ton of stuff done in the summer.  Because of all the free time.  And where does that go?  Hmmm.  My free time today went to
running errands
doing laundry
hanging it on the line
practicing the art of sitting with my neighbors
and taking a break to sit in my medicinal Vitamin D chair.

But with summer approaching, I'm feeling a bit of stress about the boys and jobs... JOBS.  Tate is champing at the bit and ready to work, but Wyatt... well, the funny thing about Wyatt is that he accidentally applied for a job yesterday.  Which may be the only way it was actually going to happen (grrrr...) but I nagged encouraged him to reactivate his UPS profile and see what's going on there, and before he knew what happened, he'd submitted an application.  (Praying for this one!)

Meanwhile, Gunnar's birthday is fast approaching and I have been awarded Best Mom in the World status by getting him his birthday present early - a new (to him), full-size violin.  He's been using a 3/4 model, that was definitely a beginner instrument.  And while he's still a beginner, he's practicing faithfully and making good progress, so it was definitely time to upgrade.  He's over the moon.  But guess what happens when you move up to a bigger size violin?  The finger positions are different.  Oh boy... he's having to listen very carefully to get his fingers in the right place so he can play in tune - whew! It's a process...

And now the weekend approaches.  Maybe I'll have the boys dig out the BBQ from the back of the shed :D  In the meantime, I feel like making a cake.  Why?  I don't know.  I just do.  Wyatt is off on a field trip with his Oceanography class tomorrow, and Tate and Gunnar are going to be "victims" for another Emergency Response class "final exam"... oh, the fun just never stops. ;D

Monday, May 25, 2015

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, May 25, 2015

Outside my window...  rain falling gently through the dogwood leaves.  Hope it dries up, as today is Festival of Flags, a Memorial Day event the boys/CAP help with.

Hearing...  a very quiet house!  Tate is home.  He had quite a fever yesterday and didn't feel well so he couldn't go today, but he's "lying low" - getting lots of rest and (I hope) getting over whatever was ailing him.

Pondering...  Well.  Now we know what happens when Tate absent-mindedly
tries to heat a Pop-Tart in the microwave...
with the foil wrapper.
 It only took four seconds for the fireworks to start.
Yep, four seconds.

Also, it occurs to me to wonder if Kerry and the other boys remembered to take any rain-gear with them.  It's not cold, but drizzly.  Or their orange safety-vests.
Probably not.
Wyatt and Tate, helping my parents do some clearing.
Yes, they're standing on the top of a (little) cliff.

Praying...  for Tate to get over whatever 'bug' is bugging him,
for a friend from church recovering from cancer surgery,
and for a strong finish to the school year.

Thankful...  Faye was in church yesterday!
While she may not be 100% yet, her body is healing beautifully.
While we're thankful for doctors and hospitals and modern medicine,
we give thanks to God who alone can heal.
And thanks to many of you who also prayed for her :D

Faye - home on the farm

Also thankful for a productive (calm!) weekend at home.

And thankful that Tate got a space on the Zodiac trip this year,
coming up in a couple weeks!

Creating...  well, order from chaos, one of my favorite things!
I "fixed" a pair of Wyatt's jeans,
hemmed new curtains for the family room (so fancy... ha ha!),
finished a project for a friend,
shifted my dresser and closet around so the warm-weather clothes are more accessible,
(I know, this is thrilling stuff, right?!)
caught up the ironing,
caught up the laundry (although that never lasts),
moved the living room furniture around (access to fix broken window),
cleared off my desk (mostly),
and put fresh sheets on our bed :D

Going...  to stay home today :D

Out on the Olympic Peninsula, my parents saw this...

Reading...  Kevin deYoung's The Good News We Almost Forgot..

Looking forward to...  an imaginary time when I am caught up on everything.
When will that be?

In the kitchen...  if I can keep the momentum going,
I'll make some home-made soup and bread for dinner.

In the learning rooms...  of course we're taking a holiday today.
Tate has finished two of his three homeschool subjects - he finished his Logic course months ago,
and just wrapped up Biology last week.  Well done, Tate!

Gunnar is doing a great job too, but got "set back" a bit -
we took a few sick days,
and then had some fun visits from this smiley girl

so Gunnar has another 3-4 weeks to go.

Around the house...  fixing the window will be a huge mess,
so I'm trying to put away as much as possible.
Less out to get dirty means less to clean later ;D

The Mother Load...
flowers to pot
cards to make
birthday presents to prepare
(looking into a full-size violin for Mr. G)
more sewing to do
paperwork for insurance to follow-up on
and the usual round of cooking/washing/cleaning.

Noticing that...  both Tate and Gunnar are at a point in their music lessons
where they're still beginners,
but they can play music we recognize - so fun!
I can hear Tate picking out Aloha Oe,
and Gunnar is learning The Blue Danube Waltz.

A favorite quote for today...

Does it make sense to pray for guidance abut the future
if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today?
How many momentous events in Scripture
depended on one person's seemingly small act of obedience!
Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and,
depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.
 - Elisabeth Elliot

One of my favorite things...  FINISHING things!

A few plans for the rest of the week...
remember that tomorrow is TUESDAY when it will feel like MONDAY,
get Gunnar to his violin lesson (don't forget!)
he'll babysit Sammy
the boys will go to CAP
and I will go to Bible study.

If we can just remember that tomorrow is Tuesday,
the rest of the week should fall into place.

Wish me luck ;D

A peek into my world...
as we come into the free time of summer,
maybe I'll figure out what I really want to do with these.

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