Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Another First, for the Fifth

How does it feel to always be the last to do a first? Not as much build up and excitement from the family, perhaps? Parents who seem a little scatterbrained until the last minute when they tell you how important it is to do your best and that this is "your first ___!"? Help and attention divided between 5 instead of 1, or 2, or 4?

My prayer, dear number five, is that you can remember that this first in your life was a great milestone and big accomplishment. You worked hard to learn new things, and followed your book's instructions with earnestness not seen around here in a while. You were gracious when the hope of a new bike turned into time with Daddy fixing up what you already had.

When the big day came, you donned your gear and wheeled in your bike even though no one else in the building looked like you or had to bring something so different. You spoke clearly when signing in and didn't glance back once when it was your turn to be judged. And even though you told us later that you forgot what the exact job of the back brakes were ("sorry, Dad!"), you answered the judge's questions and did a great job! You even won an "A" ribbon and State Fair Representative! In your first 4-H judging ever. Great job, number five.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Shoes, TV's and Puzzles...Oh My! (and more shoes)

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.

That's a verse - SO true - that runs through my brain as we sort every year. And sort. We got a lot of donations (thank you!!) earlier this year, and for some reason we just felt this might be an "off" year. And so began the running Heather-brain commentary: "You should be more specific in your donation requests"..."Everything's fine"...."Is this even worth it?"..."What does worth it mean? Why do you have to try and control everything?".

What does the Lord do with all that? He takes the body of Christ, our obedience to putting one foot in front of the other, good and bad weather, and prime barn-sale real estate and raises nearly $3000 to send to His work in Liberia, one 25-piece children's puzzle at a time.

 We all know that crunch time is here when Pam and her girls show up to fill all those empty table places, rearrange with fresh eyes, and price thousands of items. So thankful for them!

 Every time I look at a picture, I think of 10 other ways of setting things out. But when I'm doing it, I think - yes, this is right. It's a disease.

Umm...The Year of the Shoes is an understatement. I finally got the last tub out on the last day of the sale. I think we sold about 2/3 of all that we had, but that may be optimistic-hindsight-thinking. I also tried a new clothing arrangement for pants and shorts, but I'm not sold (ha!).

Not as many bikes as usual, but our outside items (not all pictured) went quickly!

Marriage Enrichment Counseling True Life Example from Barn Sale '13: the frosted shower curtain television. There's a lesson every year, folks. Will share our informative talk "How to Avoid Complete Marriage Meltdown" for the small-ish fee of feeding our children.

 Wish I could've remembered to take pics of all those who donated and helped! The Murphy's were new initiates to the Barn Sale this year, and fit right in. The Bayers and Allison Smith also came for the first time. Thanks to ALL!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Full Circle

Just think: last year, no Suburban, no boat. Looking for a welder, got a great deal on a boat (and trailer!). Sold the van, bought the Suburban. You never know what next year will look like. 

Eric had to make the "maiden voyage" at one of the lakes he frequented growing up - Elk Creek Lake in Washington County, IN. It's an absolutely beautiful area and one of our favorite places to hike and relax. 

Boys out first. Captain Ahab and his crew? I must note here that when we were leaving, Eric was checking to make sure we had everything and couldn't find some items. Levi said, "Oh, everything was kind of a mess so I organized it all into the boat compartments." Ha! His mother's son. 


The girls enjoyed their time waiting, finding lots of tadpoles and other interesting creatures. Science class on Saturday, baby. 

Girls' turn! Eric said the fish may have been scared off by the continual "sonic booms" in the boat as Leah shifted and turned. Unfortunately, no fish supper for us, but a great afternoon and a fun new experience. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

California Dreamin'

Eric and I were able to take a nearly-free trip to Ventura, CA in early April because of a business tour he attended. Woot! As is only proper after a trip, I am giving a report: Three Things I Learned About California

1) There are hills and mountains, and then there is the Pacific Ocean. There is waaaay less in between than I thought. At some points there is no in between.

2) Television meteorologists in mid-southern CA have to work really hard to come up with new ways to make 4-5 degree temperature variations sound interesting and important.

3) Even if your flight gets rerouted and delayed twice, and you end up getting to your beach-front hotel 12 hours later than originally scheduled, bone-tired and dehydrated, you are still in a beach-front hotel at 65 degrees in early April.


View from our hotel

Our hotel

View from the pier in Ventura

 Looking back into Ventura from end of pier

My walk around downtown - beautiful

 Santa Barbara

Dutch town of Solvang in the mountains/wine country

Friday, February 15, 2013

Points for trying

The assignment: write an emotional appeal about something; play on your readers' emotions

Levi's result:

Today is a special day - a famous day, a day that should be spent in relaxation. It's Valentine's Day! Yes, all the kids toiling away at and in school need some time off. So, please, support the Kid's Abuse Cause today!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wit like the Sahara

Overheard at the lunch table:

Levi: So who's going outside to the trampoline with me? Jesse and Leah?

Leah: It's too cold. I'm going to exercise in here and just take this vitamin (by her plate).

Levi: C'mon, you need fresh air and Vitamin D.

Leah: No, I'm staying in. I said I was going to take this vitamin.

Delaney (barely looking up from her food, an askew glance at the vitamin): You think that holds any sunshine, puddin' pop?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let's Review

Top Threes, Please...

...in movies:
* People Like Us
* Machine Gun Preacher
* War Horse

...in books:
* Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand (seriously, everyone must.read.this)
* Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking (I need to re-read this every year)
* not a fan, Kyle Idleman (did not expect to like this one)

...in things accomplished:
* new lights in the kitchen! Ding, dong, the too-dark-always-burning-out hanging lamps are dead!
* We grew enough tomatoes successfully that we were able to get tired of canning tomatoes. And we got strawberry plants in the ground that still appear to be alive.
* Wrote non-press release articles for $$ for the first time in many years. Felt good!
(I should put the bedroom re-do project on here, but because I am technical and "that way", I'm not. Because it's not quite done :)

...in homeschooling:
* Big transition - Levi taking some classes through/at the local school district. Lost some control of our time, gained new experiences.
* Either Delaney has a natural bent for understanding fractions, or I got better at teaching (must be the former). Either way, it wasn't the dramatic gloom-and-doom that long division and all previous math had portended. Whew.
* Finding Phonetic Zoo for spelling. Thank you Andrew Pudewa. Thank you.

...in the unexpected:
* Suburban stolen out of the barn in February, but Eric didn't get fired that day. One to remember.
* 60s on the twins birthday, hanging out laundry in February, gardeners and farmers planting in March. Crazy weather.
* We have a dog. She has not been hit on this road. She appears to like us.

...in God-things (aren't all?):
* Eric baptizing Sara
* deep-thinking friends who can see beyond the routine into the heart of things in the midst of soccer games, kid-running and dirty dishes
* the barn sale and all that goes with it - He never ceases to amaze us

...in music:
* Psalm 46, Jenny & Tyler
* Washed by the Water, NEEDTOBREATHE
* Rice and Beans, The Welcome Wagon