Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Special Gift...

I left home one day shortly before Christmas to go run errands... I barely was a mile away when the girls called me. There was crying in the background. Not-there's something terrible wrong- crying... more-uh-oh, we're in trouble now- crying.

I have a very small (3) collection of Christmas snow globes. I haven't actively tried to collect them, but the few I have are very special to me.

The first snow globe is a Peanut's snow globe I got from Larry and Sally Blanc. They are Godparents to my girls. Sally was one of my first friends when I moved to Pendleton. We only worked together for a year or so, but the trauma of that job (ok, it wasn't really that bad) bonded us tight. She and her family are very special to us and I think of them every year I take it out.

The second snow globe I got from my mom. It is shiny, elegant, and grand. The music box base is silver. Inside is a vintage looking glass Santa. I put it in the center of my Santa display.

My third snow globe I got at a Christmas exchange. It has a wooden base and holds a Nativity scene. It clearly was the least expensive of the bunch... but it held an important place on my Nativity table for Christmas.

You can imagine that the snow globes are very enticing to little girls. I don't hover around my decorations telling them to keep their hands off ~ but they have been reminded numerous times that many of them are fragile.

On this day... Jesus, Mary & Joseph came crashing down onto the hard wood floor. Shattered. There are conflicting alibi's regarding the location of each child at the time of the accident. I did a lot of 'self talk' on the way home. I knew from the crying on the phone that they already felt bad... I figured my remaining two snow globes would lead safe lives. The consequences of a dropped snow globe would be etched in their minds for a long time.

Imagine my delight when I unwrapped this globe for Christmas. Girls, I love you and we all must remember that 'things' can always be replaced.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Random Christmas Photos

Eager anticipation!

Round one of opening presents was in Klamath Falls at my families house.
Nice hair Marc.

The girls and I got lots of paper so we can start creating fun things on my Cricut*
*My get up at 3:30 am the day after Thanksgiving best buy!

Mom opening her water bottle.
(Note to mom: There were other photos worse that this one)
(Remember when you told me not look at pictures of myself until
5 years later...
and then I would love them all because I would look younger?)

Dad loves his Girls Scout chocolates...
Gotta love when the store bag is pretty enough to be the gift bag too...

Uncle Jason always spoils the girls ~ translation ~
He sends me a generous check and I pick out wonderful
goodies for my girls. He feels a little out of touch with what
their interests might be.

We got him a really cool OSU sweatshirt.
Same as last year.
I'm kinda out of touch with what to get him too.
Maybe I should just send a check?
Naw, I think I am safe with OSU gear.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What she looks like...

This is one of Taryn's many looks when she steals my camera and takes self portraits.

This is what Grace looks like when she is sick. Poor thing got the pukes the morning we needed to drive to Klamath Falls. (Best trip ever for mom and dad. A puny sick little girl = a quiet little girl.)

This is what Reagan looks like when she is singing her first (and probably last) solo at her Christmas concert.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Christmas Card

Taryn - 12.5

Grace 9.5


(She turns 8 on Jan. 23rd)

Let's see... about 20 people actually received their Christmas card from us this year. It looked like this...

Wait... no it wasn't this one - the one I copied had all girls looking good. This must be the one where I used Photo Shop to copy Taryn's head from this photo onto this photo:

Yep...this is the picture I used...except with Taryn's head from the first photo. WHAT WAS SHE THINKING? -She usually is so good when we take pictures. -There were about 5 other shots that looked just like this one and I never noticed. -She felt really, really, really bad when I freaked out. -She apologized a lot. -I could have felt equally bad and just sent out the cards without editing. -We would have laughed later. -It would have made her sad.

Now all this was really just a distraction... I did do Christmas cards. I will send them out. I didn't write a letter. So now when you get a card it will be just to let you know that you are 'worth' a Forever Stamp to me. You've already seen the picture, there is no letter...and nope I haven't and won't hand write any special sentiments to you either. And if you don't get one, maybe I don't have your address or maybe I just got lazy... but just so you know... you are still worth a Forever Stamp to me.

None the less... Here's hoping you had a very Merry Christmas and that the New Year will be blessed with Goodness!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Phil 4:4-7

Today, maybe because I had read of a single mother who is raising 4 children on her own, three of which are autistic; maybe, I had a moment today because it is Christmas. For what ever reason, the second reading today spoke to me. It could be that this verse spoke to me so clearly because right now life is really great. It isn't picture perfect, but it is pretty amazing. So I really wanted to write this down for those days when things are not all in order. I am getting much better at letting go of things that I can not control. This verse needs to be my verse. I need to let it speak to me when my imagination of 'what-if's' gets the best of me. I hope to be able to live this verse, through the good times and through times of struggle.

Phil 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Rejoice in kindness, without fear and anxiety.

Merry Christmas to my friends & family ~ near and far!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Karo Syrup Paintings...

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

I printed pictures of bricks off the internet and then laminated them.
I can use them again & again & again....

We painted the candle holders for our mantel with corn syrup and food coloring on foil.
They look just like stained glass.

For gift exchange the kids will each bring in 23 small items (stickers, bookmarks, etc) and then the elves will fill our stockings. If a student forgets, it is no big deal, none of the kids will take the time to count items. I will also get a supply of small items that I can add to the mix.

This little light of mine...
I'm gonna let it shine...
This little light of mine...
I'm gonna let it shine...
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
All the time!

Monday, November 30, 2009

New do...

I'm not a blonde right now. I've gone dark before, but never this dark. My first graders are going to flip tomorrow. Mark my words, some sweet little kid will give me a nice compliment, but I bet at least 5, no 8, kids will freak out and tell me they liked my hair the 'old' way. And by that, I hope they mean they liked it better blonde and not GRAY. There was a lot of gray to cover up. When I got called Grandma (twice in two weeks by different kids) I knew it was time to spice it up a bit.

Also, I'm not a big fan of self-portraits. They seem to be even worse when you are a nearly 40 year old trying to hide your braces. Sheesh, is it April yet?

Sunday, November 29, 2009


The following images may spoil a surprise if you
  • have recently adopted a baby boy from China
  • are expecting a baby boy this spring
  • currently are a teacher to one of my children
  • are a fabulous assistant in my room

This is what I have been up to in my sewing room for the past 8 days! The five table runners have been a work in progress for 2 years. My apologies to the teachers of my children last year. I hope you liked the Starbucks cards, I love quilting and doing projects... but they sometimes take me longer (a lot longer) than I intend.

I actually have one more I made... but I liked it so much I am keeping it for myself. It is vintage red-white-blue for 4th of July.

Both quilts are a new pattern called 'I Spy with a Twist'.
It is my favorite type of pattern - one that looks more difficult than it actually is.

I am trying to decide what projects I will tackle over Christmas Break. I will need to help the girls get started on 4H projects soon... so my projects may be put on hold again.

The Apprentice

Marc always has some project or other that he is working on around our house. His handyman skills are very impressive. Between his job working for a contractor in high school, his dad, neighbors and friends, he has learned and tackled electrical wiring, plumbing, decks, siding, roofing, dry wall, and a fire pit. His current project is installing a sprinkler system. But this time he hasn't had to tackle the project himself.

Even thought the weather has been chilly at times, Taryn has been her dad's apprentice, his side-kick, his runner. She has learned about different tools, she knows the names of at least 4 different shovels (who knew there were so many?), and she hasn't quit. She told me last night that she thinks maybe for 4H this year that she should make herself a tool belt. She is a chip off the old - I mean ole block. She had to have gotten the fix-it gene from her dad. That is NOT my style. I am much more of an 'inside-where-it-is-dry-and-warm' girl. I love a fun project, but it needs to involve the words, cute-pretty-creative-etc. or I'm not really interested.

I am going to be really excited this summer when the lawn will be watered before I even wake up. But for now, I have delighted in watching the two of them, the master and the apprentice, working together, side-by-side.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Feasting this Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we feasted on:

Bacon wrapped turkey
Mashed potatoes
Homemade butter
Green beans
Chocolate Pie
Pumpkin Pie

But what I am most thankful for on this Thanksgiving:

  • A loving husband that is willing and able to make our house a home. His handyman skills are too numerous to count. He also manages to keep his sanity living in this estrogen rich environment. His laid back nature helps him not to lose his mind with all the mood swings and chaos that a wife and three daughters can create.

  • Three loving daughters that each have their own unique personalities. Where one has weakness the others have strengths. When they are not busy tormenting each other, they design playhouses, produce plays, protect and help each other. Though each of them is unique they are all loving and compassionate towards others. I hope that this goodness of heart will guide them as they grow their own wings and wander about in their lives.

  • I am thankful for a job that allows me to help children learn both classroom skills as well as life skills. I work in a school where we strive to give all students fairness, equality, courage and a safe haven to learn. Teaching lets me have a career and lots of time to be a wife and mother. My job provides me with a comfortable salary, wonderful benefits and the opportunity to help contribute to my community.

  • I am thankful to live somewhere that is small enough that many friends feel like family. We can get across town in 6 minutes unless there is a train. You can count on seeing people you know no matter where you are in town. The gas station attendants, the coffee barista and grocery checkers know you by name.

  • I am thankful for my health. I am thankful that I can make mistakes and my friends and family forgive me, give me a second chance and let it go. I am thankful for my friends - all of them - some I see and talk to daily - some I've never met in real life - some I haven't seen in 25+ years - and all are ready and able to lend a hand, or an ear, when I come calling. I would be lost without the mosaic of friends in my life.

The five of us spent this week at home, together. There were no travel plans to see extended family. The rest and relaxation was well appreciated. Our busy life is not going to change. We will again load up and travel over the river and through the woods to visit our families. But this 2009 Thanksgiving was just us and it was just perfect.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Simple Minds... Simple Joys?

I decided to start collecting old spools of thread.

They fit perfectly on the ledge around my sewing room.

I can spend hours trimming up the loose threads.

I can organize them by color.

If I get bored I can play in my button box.

Simple minds only need simple joy?


Or is the truth hiding?

I only get joy out of the simple tasks because I am procrastinating
the bigger messes that are not so simple to clean up.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Yep, I am officially considering myself a blog cheater. Out there right now there is some Blogger challenge where people are posting yeah, right.... not going to be happening here.

I am barely able to manage these cheater posts where I put random, unrelated pictures together and call them a post. I am going to plead it is better than nothing, but not by much. Here goes:

Marc and I got to go to the Stanford - OSU game in October...we won and it didn't rain... it doesn't get any better than that!

I also did a Martha Stewart pumpkin... power drill & Christmas lights!I loved that I just had to plug it in and the wind wouldn't blow it out.

Reagan and her friend M. at dance recital. Their group is called 'Free Ride'. She does toe-touches in her routine. I made a mistake about 5 years ago and tried to see if I could still do my toe-touch jump from my HS Cheer days. I could, but I will NEVER attempt that again.

I was sorry.
Very sorry.

Our puppies, Griz & Basil are both almost one. Griz is a Dec. puppy and Basil is February. They got their first 'haircuts'. It cost as much as it costs me to get my hair done. The groomer recommended they get cut every 8 weeks. Let me just say... if I don't pay to get my own
hair done every 8 weeks there is no way they will get theirs done.

This is/was/will be our yard. The white picket fence is down, the grass is gone. Marc will need to level, then trench, then install the sprinkler system. We are going to seed this time and not do sod. We have a 'connection' ~ the local golf grounds supervisor who will coach us through the process.

We both have different ideas about what type of fence to put in. We have settled on 'tall' as being our only agreed upon criteria so far. I am thinking the fence is a ways off, so I'm not too worried about it yet.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Addition...

We volunteered to host a potluck at our house for the Knights of Columbus and others in the church who volunteered at the booths during Round Up. Wouldn't you know it, we had our first really good fall rainstorm that day!

Marc had just finished transporting our new playhouse to the concrete pad he put down this summer. The house is a hand-me-down. Ashley, the past owner, is a sophomore in college now. Her dad built it for her...which totally got Marc off the hook. He has been promising a playhouse for a few years. The girls are looking forward to spring coming so they can paint and redecorate the inside.

The house was a welcomed shelter for about 15 little kids that day.

The adults & big kids all ate on tables in the garage. (Marc worked wonders in the garage to make space to feed all the people. An added a perk for me, there in now space for me to actually park my car.)

Eventually the rain slowed down and everyone could warm up and dry off by Marc's fire.

Everyone enjoyed the fellowship, despite the damp weather!

What have I done...

We haven't even gotten rid of our last lamb...and we added a steer to the mix. My dad had a calf that got separated from his mother when they shipped the cattle from California back home. When they discovered him they began bottle feeding him. If anyone out there has ever bottle fed a baby calf it is fun for about 2 weeks...and then it becomes a chore, just like anything else. My dad quickly began negotiating with us to take on this calf. After a promise of feed and hay to be included we signed on for Buckwheat the Charolais-Angus cross. He thinks he is human. Taryn is hoping to be able to get him to gain enough weight to be able to show and sell him at the Union Livestock Show next June.

This is Taryn showing Donald at the Pendleton Livestock Show

She got Reserve Champion for the Juniors. Her best show yet.

There were HUGE tears when she walked him onto the sale truck.

She thinks it is going to be easier to sell a steer. Should I burst her bubble or let her live in a make-believe world for the next 9 months?

The Best Lunch Ever...

A little guy in my first grade classroom was headed out to recess with his lunch in hand. Quickly about 20 other classmates told on him... I mean reminded him that his lunch was supposed to go in the lunch bucket.

I met him at the door and told him I would put his sack into the lunch bucket and he could pick it up in the cafeteria.

I don't know what made me peek into his lunch, but I did, and I could not believe my eyes!

His ENTIRE lunch consisted of one Diet Coke and 18 large marshmallows. Go figure.

Being the "mean" teacher I am, I told him he would need to purchase a hot lunch and that I would put his "snack" into his backpack for an after school snack.

A Round Up of Pink

Thursday was Tough Enough to Wear Pink day at the Pendleton Round Up. It seems like a perfect day to take my girls. This year we met up with other girls and enjoyed the entire rodeo...and all the junk food that comes with it.