Thursday, December 18, 2014

This Dude

 This handsome dude marked nine years today.  Nine years--unbelievable.  I can start to remember a lot of things about my life at nine years old.  I formed some of my most important friendships at that age.  I learned important concepts.  Set foundations for the rest of my life.  Scary!  Now my boy is there.  If I stop to think about helping him form friendships and setting foundations it's terrifying.  But then, learning to get up every few hours to feed and diaper him was just as terrifying nine years ago.  He has been patient with us.  I'm so thankful that he's ours.
 He is the best big brother anyone could hope for.  His little sisters and brother know it too.  They really look up to him.  And he takes such good care of them. 
 Ezra is excelling at third grade academics and holds the bar high for himself--a little too much pressure sometimes--he forgets that perfection is not required.
Sports are his love.  Right now we are enjoying watching him in the middle of his basketball season.  It's fun to see him grow as an athlete.  Ezra, may you always let your light shine brightly.  Jesus loves you.  And so do Mommy and Daddy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Face of Forty!

 Tadd turned 40 today!  Wahoo!  We tried to make his day a little brighter by filling it with 40 notes/messages/gifts/surprises.  First of all, the kids came up with a list of "40 Reasons we Love our Dad".  Then we attached each of those reasons to a treat or a note of some sort and then hid them all over for him to find.  It was really fun for us to do.  Hopefully it was fun for him too.  I think he enjoyed it.  I loved seeing all the reasons the kids came up with.  They really notice the big and little things that make their Dad so special.
 I had full intentions of making him a cake--but life happened (and Henry climbed fully INTO the fire place twice--in addition to a lot of other mischief) and I found myself running to the grocery store bakery while he was at b-ball practice with Ezra.  I do plan on having some sort of a birthday shin dig for him in the near future and I WILL make some sort of cake for him then....unless life happens again. 
 His Mom and Dad arrived a few hours before dinner and that was a fun present.  We all get to enjoy having Grandpa and Grandma here with us for a while.
 And now we have a 40 year old roaming around these parts.  I hope to tap into some of his wisdom of the ages.  After all that excitement he took his tired self up to bed and was asleep by 9:15.  Happy Birthday Tadd!  We are very thankful the Lord put you on this Earth 40 years ago. 
Because their list was so sweet--I must share it : ) 

Forty Reasons we Love our Dad!

  1. He's funny
  2. His kisses
  3. He's tricky
  4. He's loving
  5. He fixes lights
  6. He builds us things
  7. He is trust worthy
  8. He goes to work every day
  9. He earns money for us
  10. He is the best dad
  11. His smile
  12. His hair
  13. He is creative
  14. All the painting he does in our house
  15. He is pretty
  16. He cares for us
  17. He coaches my teams
  18. Bike riding with us
  19. He is handsome
  20. He reads the Bible with us
  21. He prays for us
  22. He is saved
  23. He does fun things with us
  24. He takes me on Daddy Dates
  25. He takes me fishing
  26. He takes me out for hot chocolate
  27. He takes me to moto cross
  28. He is honest
  29. He is a good driver
  30. He is kind
  31. He gives to others
  32. He teaches us how to draw
  33. He plays kick ball with us
  34. He shoots hoops with us
  35. He helps me shoot better
  36. He orders pizza for us sometimes
  37. He takes us to Sunday School and meeting
  38. He prays with us at bed time
  39. He helps us with homework
  40. He is our dad

Monday, October 27, 2014

This World Is Not My Home

When fear comes creeping in.....
When sadness looms larger than life...
When the questions threaten....
When we can't make sense out of an event...
It is good to remember that

"This world is not my home
I'm just a-passing through
My treasures are laid up
Somewhere beyond the blue."


When a school just 20 miles up the way from you has a shooting event....
When two young girls are shot down in the prime of life...
When you get a call from your own school district and the goose bumps rise fast on your skin...
It is pertinent to remember that 



"The angels beckon me
From heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home
In this world anymore."


When you have to talk to your little ones about hard topics...
When one of your own tells terrible tales of what happened at his own school...
When you can't think of the words for innocent minds to understand about evil....
It is imperative to remember


"Oh Lord, you know
I have no friend like you
If heaven's not my home
Then Lord what will I do."


When you wonder how much longer we can be left down here...
When you long for Home...
When you need Him...
It is joyous to remember that 


"The angels beckon me
From heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home
In this world anymore."


Last Friday midday as I was loading my kids' dirty clothing into the washing machine, my cell phone started to ring.  I answered it and immediately heard a voice from our school district "With great sadness we...".  Let me tell you that the fear came quick and hard.  "Which school????  Our school????  Please Lord,  not our school."  The message quickly let us know that it was not any of the schools in our district, but one to our immediate north.  A quick look at the internet and I could see all the sad details.  Who did this?  Another bullied child?  Someone without friends whose heart has been growing more bitter by the day?  A group of kids dressed in all  black?  Nope,  nope and nope.  A popular boy.  On the football team.  Recently voted "freshman prince" to the homecoming court.  How does this happen, we wonder?  The answer is simple, really.  Human nature.  Sin.  It could be any of us.  We are all a part of it.  Understanding it?   Not so simple.  Explaining it to our children?  Not simple.  How do we keep our children from being part of it?  We don't.  We can't.  We cannot make them do or not do anything.  But we can pray.  And we must pray.  We must.  For those already hurt and for those who may be hurt some day in the future.  And we can joyfully remember that this world is not our home.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Beach Day!


 Every summer I hear friends talking about heading to one of the beaches of Lake Washington.  I've never stopped to think "WE should go to a beach on Lake Washington.  It's close.  There is sand.  There is water.  It would be fun."  This year I finally got whacked over the head with the idea to go to the beach.  Guess what?  Lake Washington is warm and wonderful.  Especially during an amazingly warm summer like we just had.  There are several beaches to choose from and they are all pretty kid friendly.  The one closest to us has a lot of sand.  The one a little farther away has a deeper swimming area (this is a big deal to Nora who is part fish).  They both have roped off swimming areas and life guards.  They both have docks to jump off of (if you pass the swim test) and play structures on the beach for the kids to play on.  I can't believe it has taken me so long to get to either of these beaches.  I feel that I have wasted a lot of time! 
 One evening when it was upper 90s outside and lower 90s inside we headed out to have a picnic dinner on the grass and then spent as much time in the water as we could.  It felt heavenly.  The kids were just recovering from round one of hand-foot-mouth disease at this time and were so happy to be leaving the house.




 The sunset that evening was beyond what words or pictures can describe.  After it came out the bottom of those clouds it looked like blood.  The wild fires on the east side of the state always make for beautiful sunsets over here. 
The week before school started back up we met a bunch of friends for a beach day.

 Henry sat in his chair getting a tan and texting friends.
 We have some seriously cute friends.
 Seriously!

 May they always be this sweet and pure!
 This particular day Ezra was very sad because he had stitches on his knee and was not allowed to go swimming.  He thought he would be bored and sad all day as he watched his friends frolic in the water.  Turns out they didn't want to swim as much as they wanted to be sand engineers.  Four hours after we arrived he still had not complained of boredom a single time.
From now on--I plan to be spending some serious time at these beaches in the summer.  Next year will probably rain for all of June, July and August--but that's okay--I think Nora would still get in the water and swim.  She really is part fish.

Monday, October 6, 2014

 On the first day of summer vacation the kids and I made a list of all the things they wanted to do over the 2 1/2 months they had off.  Visiting the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma was high on the list.  Visiting Grandpa and Grandma Tractor in Gig Harbor was also high on the list.  The kids were able to earn enough money to pay for a trip to the zoo from their bake sale--yeah!  We especially had fun in the aquarium exhibits.  There were divers in the shark tank, which was kind of cool to watch. 
 The pot belly sea horses were fun to look at.



 It was a blue Friday--still a pre-season game, though.  And a Mariner's game that night as well--back when we still thought the play offs might be a possibility.  Sigh.
 I think it's pretty easy to tell that they are brothers.
 At the end of our time at the zoo the kids realized they still had a little bake sale money left over--so we bought some delicious ice cream to cool down with.  Nora had an appropriate shirt for our little treat.


 We spent a lot of time watching the giant walrus under water.  I was trying to get a picture of the kids with the walrus coming up behind them, but he kept teasing me and veering off to the side of where the kids were whenever I had my camera ready.
 He's the large blob there on the left.
 Back home the kids remembered why we call him "Grandpa Tractor". Henry became a riding lawn mower addict right off the bat.  As soon as the mower was turned off and parked he would go over, climb on it and start rocking back and forth to try to make it go. 

 Daddy came to Gig Harbor to join us for the weekend.

 Ole Flower Face.
 Ezra got a quick driving lesson...
 and then took over on his own.  So sad, wasn't it just yesterday that he was taking his first ride with Grandpa on the mower and making up the name "Grandpa Tractor"????

 We're all scared of the day when she becomes a driver!

 Aunt Lynne and her family came over for part of the weekend.  It was fun to see them all.  Her daughter Erin came and brought her dogs as well, much to the delight of our kids.




 "Planking is easy, Mom!  I don't know what everyone is complaining about"  says the boy with incorrect form : ) 
We were glad that we could fit in these fun activities from our list of thing we wanted to do over the summer!