Friday, December 23, 2016

Mele Kalikimaka


It's been quite a week.
But waking up to this was a pleasant surprise!
And it has not stopped snowing yet - almost nine hours and still snowing.

So this is what happened...
Tate went in to the dentist for a follow-up on Monday and everything was fine.
That night he started running a fever.

He didn't feel very good on Tuesday either, but he perked up in the afternoon, because IBUPROFEN.
I know he really really wanted to go to the CAP Christmas party.
He had concocted the best gift ever for the Secret Santa exchange,
and wanted to be there to deliver it and watch the other boy open it - success :D

By Wednesday we were at the doctor,
fearing he might have MONO.  Ugh.
So you can understand why we were both glad that he actually has....
an ear infection.
Hello antibiotics :D

Then on Thursday Tate was feeling better enough to do this...

Can't tell?  Look closer...

Yep.  We've got another licensed driver in the house!
Way to go, Tate!

I was so excited for him,
I told him he could drive himself to work the next day!
But then again...

We don't send new drivers out on snowy roads.

The other recent big event is that Wyatt...

successfully passed all his classes at WCC and GRADUATED!

We're so proud of him!

And if you're asking,
"What's next?"

Good question.
He's not sure yet.

But back to my tale of woe,
because you're hanging on my every word...

As soon as Tate got the antibiotic and started perking up,
Wyatt and Gunnar got sick.

Yesterday they were both feverish and weak,
and did nothing but lay around the house and take sips of water all day.
Today they're improving, but not back to normal.
(Oh, I crack myself up. Normal?)


I spent last night calling all the neighbors and canceling our Christmas party for tonight.
The boys may be improving,
but I don't want a virus to be our Christmas gift to the whole neighborhood.

We're thoughtful like that.

I was going to make another batch of cookies today,
but as it stands... with no crowd of people coming over tonight...
we've got our work cut out for us to eat all the treats we have!

I think the boys are up to the challenge ;D

Forgot to post this the other day...
the morning of the solstice Gunnar and I went for a walk.

If it had to be the shortest, darkest day of the year,
at least it was clear.
We loved the soft, misty colors before sunrise.

So today,
we'll cozy in at home,
watch the snow fall,
and try to get everyone WELL.

If you're my real-life friends...
between wisdom teeth (Tate), graduation (Wyatt), colonoscopy (Kerry),
snow days (Gunnar), and viruses,
So don't feel personally snubbed.

May your days be merry and bright :D

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Early morning, frosty and cold.

My early bird - Tate - gets up before me and turns on all the pretty lights,
so I come downstairs to this...

Even the kitchen has cheery lights...

Back through the living room...

... the sky brightens and reflects off the snow...

until finally, about 8:30, the sun rises over the hills.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Whew.  It's been quite a week already.

Tate is recovering from having his wisdom teeth out.  He's doing great.  He's a rock star.  If he looks all chipmunk-cheeks today, I'll get a picture.

Gunnar is back to school today after two days off because of snow.  Ridiculous really.  It's not deep, but the roads have been icy.

Wyatt spent yesterday escorting Kerry to and from his colonoscopy.  I won't try to be funny about that.  Dave Barry did it so much better, HERE.

But, I can't believe I forgot to mention!  Our chapel posts Advent Devotions every year, written by people from the chapel.  If you're interested, here's a link HERE.

Tim Challies just posted some wonderful thoughts on Christmas HERE.

And, just to give you a giggle and maybe whet your appetite for the chapel devotions, I'll share mine with you.

He Came To Live Among Us
John 1:14

As Christians, we encourage each other to put the brakes on the runaway train of stress, rushing, and commercialism that threaten to consume Christmas.  We long to step out of the hustle and bustle of activity, to slow down and savor the season of advent.  To focus on Jesus.

And yes.  Yes.  That is right and that is good.

I imagine what that might look like… a family with clean and tidy children doing whimsical and artistic things.  Having a gentle and holy Christmas.  Sitting quietly in candlelight, probably with the children in matching pajamas, watching snow falling gently outside the windows, singing Christmas carols.  Sharing their homemade gifts with each other.  And eating… I don’t know… organic fruit.

While at my house – especially when the boys were younger - anticipation and adrenaline were high, voices were loud and excited, gifts came from the store in boxes that said “Lego” or “Nerf”, Christmas photos sometimes required “persuasion”, and hands, faces and floors were usually… sticky.

Yes, it took three of them to keep Gunnar in the photo.  But SNOW!

Not exactly the tender and hallowed image I’d conjured up.

And you know what?  The first Christmas wasn’t exactly a pinterest-worthy photo-shoot either.  Mary was hugely pregnant.  They had the worst vacation EVER (probably 90 miles on a donkey, and no reservation at the Holiday Inn waiting at the other end).  She delivered her baby in a dark, cold, smelly barn.  And then, in all the mess, unexpected guests!

And the Word became flesh
and made His dwelling
among us.

God became man.  Jesus - the perfect blend of the spiritual and the physical – came to us.  Jesus, in very nature God, made Himself nothing… He became one of us.  He came to live among us.  The Message puts it this way, “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality.”

Can you feel the relief?  He understands.  He’s one of us.

So at Christmas we celebrate the spiritual AND the material.  At our house, we sing O Come All Ye Faithful and we giggle at Alvin and the Chipmunks’ rendition of Christmas Don’t Be Late.  We make a nativity scene out of Legos, with Mary and Joseph and the angel guarding them played by Star Wars characters.  Bob the Builder and his heavy equipment come to visit the stable.  We decorate our tree.  And our house.  And the porch.  And the yard.  And we make ridiculous amounts of cookies and candy.  We blend the spiritual and the physical.

Mmmmm, decorate? Eat. Decorate? Eat...

 And we wish you all a joyful, loud, worshipful, merry, sticky-hands-on Christmas.

Jedi Angel guards the manger

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Outside my window...

Kerry getting ready to leave - Wyatt is taking him to a doctor appointment.
It's a medical week here at the Grasshopper house.

yesterday Tate had his wisdom teeth out - poor Tate!  All four of them!
He had the first appointment of the morning, and we were expecting a little snow overnight.
When I woke up to this little dusting, I thought HURRAY! NO BIG DEAL!

But then it started snowing in earnest, and sticking to the freezing/wet roads...

... and it was a bit of a rodeo just getting TO the dentist!

So glad Kerry was available to drive us, as I am NOT a confident snow driver!
Kerry went out during the surgery and got Tate's pain meds,
while I sat in the waiting room, knitting,
and looking out the window at Narnia ;D

* Tate seems to be doing fine, but we're praying for his recovery :D
* Kerry is off to have a colonoscopy (oh joy!) and I'm thankful that Wyatt is driving him,
so I can stay home and keep an eye on Tate.
* Wyatt has an orthodontist appointment this afternoon,
and he JUST MIGHT be FINALLY getting his braces off.
I'll believe it when I see it!
* Wyatt has also finished his quarter at WCC and we are waiting and praying for grades to be posted, praying that he GRADUATED.
(He had some sort of Group Communication class, and half of his group dropped out mid-quarter, and he got tossed into another group midstream, and - according to Wyatt - the teacher doesn't give much feedback... so we wait...)

* Tate's surgery went well and he doesn't seem in much pain,
* we got there and back again safely!
* Gunnar is home (school canceled yesterday and again today) and busily working on his homeschool work, which means...
* I don't have to leave the house today - a rare treat :D

Christmas :D
Been wrapping presents, making lists, checking them twice...
doing a little more online shopping (hallelujah!)
and want to do some baking, but don't want to torment Tate,
who is on a liquid/mush diet for a little longer.

Looking forward to...
if weather allows,
a family gathering this Saturday (my dad's side)
here at our house.
They're a fun group :D

In the kitchen...
Yogurt, mashed potatoes, soup, ice cream, scrambled eggs, etc.
All for my Tater.

Around the house...
I was so happy to get home yesterday.
Once we were off the road, I could really enjoy the snow!

Noticing that...
it really isn't that deep,
but it sure was coming down thick!

Something to remember for later...
Tate, you owe me one!
I could've had some fabulous photos of you, from the dentist,
post-surgery, but I didn't!

The Mother Load...
the first thing on the list is to make a list ;D
I have a bit more shopping to do,
and prep for the party this Saturday.

A favorite quote for today...

One of my favorite things...
an unexpected snow day!

A Bible verse...

A few plans for the rest of the week...
getting slimmer as events get canceled due to icy roads!

A peek into my world...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I'm So Excited!

I've mentioned a time or twenty that I have friends doing translation work in the Solomon Islands,
specifically on a little island in the Russell Islands,
called Marulaon.

Recently investors visited their village and posted this video.

I think I can pick out their house!

I know, it's easy to me to see the video and soak in all the incredible beauty of the area,
and imagine it to be a tropical paradise.  And it is, but...
that doesn't make it an easy place to live.
While they good relationships and much-loved friends in the village,
the conditions are primitive and for Westerners like us...
well, my friends don't complain, but life is difficult and challenging.

Take four minutes, and get yourself an eyeful of Marulaon Village :D

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Outside my window...  clear and cold.

Made for a beautiful morning!

Hearing...  a very quiet house.
When the boybarians were younger, that would be cause for concern.

Pondering...  the forecast...

We'll see what actually happens.

Praying...  for Wyatt and Tate to finish strong - end of the quarter,
for Kerry to work efficiently,
for friends who are healing...

Thankful...  for lunch out with my mom today :D

Wearing...  long jeans, white turtle-neck, winter sweater (black and red, with snowflakes).

Going...  staying home, I hope!

Looking forward to...  holiday activities -
parties we're hosting,
the church Christmas program (always fun! remember this?),
Christmas tea in the treehouse!

In the kitchen...  baked potatoes, I think.

In the learning rooms...  Gunnar worked independently while I was out to lunch,
Tate is winding down the quarter,
and Wyatt is at school - long day today.

Around the house...  I finally got the tree decorated today!
I've included a few little peeks...

Noticing that...  the sun has been down for 20 minutes,
and the middle school bus just went by, dropping off kids.
Welcome to December.

The Mother Load...  only one thing immediate:
Before tomorrow's mail goes.

The boys would add:

A favorite quote for today...
When I do stuff,
stuff gets done.
 Because I need the reminder...

One of my favorite things...  no two ornaments on our tree are the same :D

A Bible verse...

A peek into my world...
always keepin' it classy...

Monday, November 28, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, November 28, 2016

Outside my window...
baby, it's cold outside!

my friend, the furnace ;D

the lovely Thanksgiving we had.
As the kids get older the holidays are a bit more mellow and less frenetic.
There are some things I miss about the little years,
(getting clucky, anyone?)
there are things... I don't.
All the H-Y-P-E-R, for one.
Though with five very animated cousins enjoying each other's company,
it wasn't exactly a quiet day ;D
(Blame the kids, right?)

I was lazy relaxed and didn't even get out my real camera,
and barely snapped any pics with my phone.
Love these cousins.
With birds in their hair.
Wearing them in your hair?
Well, suit yourself.

Tate can stick his to the side of his head ;D

And then there was the aftermath of Thanksgiving...
the turkey-nap.

When he realized I was photographing him...
he gave me The Foot.

maybe I should stop praying for work for Kerry,
because at the moment he's swamped!
A good "problem" to have!
(Not so swamped he can't do the work, btw,
but happily busy.)

And this is a busy week at the Grasshopper house...
* all the boys are back to school,while 
* Kerry is preparing for the fabulous oom-pah-pah glory that is Tuba Christmas
(you won't want to miss it! Saturday at 11am, Ferry Terminal, if you're local),
* and I have two Messiah performances, Friday and Saturday.
* we continue to pray for our friend Gerald's recovery from his amputation
* and for a safe trip home (from hunting in Colorado) for my dad.

* good times as a family
* a restful break from school
* Tate's Naida processors are still under warranty
(expensive replacement parts are on the way!)
* my sweet neighbors joined us for Thanksgiving, and in this case,
their (age-related) hearing loss is probably a boon,
as they sat on the couch and let the happy-crazy swirl around them ;D
* also, we'll forgive my dad for missing Thanksgiving,
since this happened...

(if you don't eat meat, just scroll on by)

We look forward to his always-generous sharing of the bounty!
(That's an elk, if you weren't sure.)

many many layers.
Did I mention it's cold?

the minions brought all the Christmas stuff in from the garage,
but we'll wait a little longer to get the tree.

to my last Messiah rehearsal tonight.
Love it.
Then I love when it's done.

Looking forward to...
the boys' CAP "Dining Out" is this week.
It's pretty awesome.
They're quite particular about "the grog",
a non-alcoholic punch that is served from a toilet.

There are things I am at a loss to explain.
That is one of them.

Also, let the record show that I will be
dressing up for three days in one week.
This probably sets some kind of record I had no intention of achieving.

In the kitchen...
one more day of eating leftovers (yum!)
and then if there's enough left,
turkey pot pies.
Mmmmmmmmmm :D

In the learning rooms...
Gunnar is absorbed in the complex world of the cell in his unit on Cytology,
and reading about medieval times - the feudal system, princes, and popes.

Around the house...
I'm in the mood for Christmas,
but just a few more peaks at fall
with all its warm coziness :D

Noticing that...
27 days until Christmas!

Something to remember for later...
It's not gas.
It's electric.
The circuit was not intended to support that.
Ask me how I know.

Everything's fine.
The potatoes didn't have the crispy edges we all like.
Hardly a tragedy, but you know...

The Mother Load...
starts and ends with Christmas shopping :D

A favorite quote for today...
Now it is a strange thing,
but things that are good to have
and days that are good to spend
are soon told about,
and not much to listen to...
JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit

Something fun to share...
I get out some favorite photos,
looking forward to Christmas.

Maybe 2003?  Maybe 2004?

And my dad (on the right) and my uncle Mick, mid '40s I suppose!
They look so stoic.
Mick even looks a bit sad!

One of my favorite things...
this ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS elf Tate made in the first grade.
The ears... the fingers...
the teeny-tiny legs...
the whole elf package...

A Bible verse...
Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides You,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.
Isaiah 64:4

It's the waiting, though...
that's the hard part.

A peek into my world...
snow on Wickersham :D