Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Break

When I outlined with the kids the projects I wanted to complete over spring break, Ben quickly dubbed our time off as "Spring-Break-My-Back."  After looking over my ambitious to-do list, I put off a couple of projects and added in a few more fun activities.  The result was a jam-packed week; however, it felt really good to work hard and play hard.  We are winding down today, finishing up with a few little projects, and tomorrow we will enjoy one final day of our break with nothing on our agenda. 

Here are a few pics from our week....

Along with doing our taxes, the biggest project on my list was cleaning out the garage.  Cleaning out the garage served two purposes.  First, I was sick of tripping over stuff and digging things out of piles.  Second, I now know exactly what tools we have and where they are.  For instance, I now know that we have no less than fifteen paint rollers.  That information would have come in handy when I needed them to paint the rental this January.   I wouldn't have purchased more. They were stored with the garden stuff.  Who woulda thunk it?!? 

I had to laugh, though, when I headed to the garage to put the new shelves together.  All the kids took bets as to how long until I swore.  Happy to say I didn't :)  Fortunately, the racks don't require using a drill or any fancy tools.  Just a rubber mallet.  That's right up my alley!  I'm quite pleased with the results.  Even the kids are impressed :)

My dear friend, Carla, had a birthday on Wednesday.  We spent the day with her and her girls at Ceramic Cafe and then came home for dinner and cupcakes.  The kids put lots of love (and even more sprinkles) into making those cupcakes!  

Carla had been kind enough to invite us to California Pizza Kitchen the previous Saturday.  She had a certificate that allowed the kids to tour the kitchen and then play chef for the morning.  They had a blast!  The pizza was good, too!  Thanks, Carla, for sharing the experience with us!

The pizza creations going into the huge oven.

Yesterday, Lil and I took the kids for a hike up Multnomah Falls.  As you can see it was Oregon weather at its finest.  The kids were troopers, though, and made it without whining.  We were soaked and frozen by the time we were through, but it was well worth it.  Marc and I used to love to hike the falls.  The kids have never done any of them.  They loved it and can't wait to go again...when it's sunny. 

We were also blessed to spend several evenings with friends and family having dinner.  Thanks Ken and Donna, Ruth and Steve, Tom and Jo Ann, for the great visits.  We had a lot of fun having dinner with all of you!

Hope you all had a great spring break! 
With love and gratitude....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sad Day

Please pray for the kids.  The new horse that we brought home a couple of weeks ago was disabled with a sudden neurological disorder.  Perhaps not so sudden -- it appeared to have been in the making for quite awhile; however, he only started showing symptoms yesterday.  By today his legs would not support him and he fell down in the barn.  I had to call the vet and put the boys' new horse down.  They are taking it quite hard.  I am so sad for all of them.  I had hoped this would be a fun experience for them, but it has ended a bit tragically.  I know the kids will be fine.   God will work this into a blessing somehow.  Unfortunately, today we get to taste a bit more grief.

We were grateful for the short amount of time we had with Jackson.  He was a lot of fun and it was a delight to see the kids hustling out to the barn in the morning and evening to do their chores.  They learned a lot about horse ownership in three short weeks.  It was a short and sweet time.

Again, we would be most grateful for your prayers. 
With love and gratitude...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Claymation Creation!

Adam and Ben competed at their school talent show on Thursday.  They were elated to win second place with their claymation movie.  For their first venture, it was quite cute.  They learned a lot -- and so did I.  I am not technically savvy and was scrambling to help the boys out!  Again, my brother saved the day by helping us do the sound and helping me with some of the programs we needed to use.    He also did the voice-over of God, but he says you can just call him Paul.  The boys loved this project and can't wait to get started on their next.  They said that what they learned most was that they were able to do a big, technical project without their dad.  They didn't think that would ever be possible.  Marc would have loved watching them create this.  He would be so proud!   I see my boys becoming more like their dad every single day.  It makes me smile.

So after 1200 pictures and countless hours, they have a three minute movie! 
Cinematography at its finest! Enjoy!

Hope you all have a great week!
With love and gratitude....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Patti Shines!

Hi praying friends!  I told you about my friends, Patti and Rocky, a couple of weeks ago.  She was diagnosed with lung cancer and has started treatment.  At the time I didn't want to share their names or reveal too much without their permission.  Today she posted on her blog for the first time.  I would invite you to go HERE to read about Patti and her fight with cancer.  I think as you read through her story you will find she has a lot in common with Marc.  Sure, they have stupid cancer in common, but I think you will find the greater commonality is their faith.  That spirit of hope and joy cannot be denied -- it is a remarkable thing to watch in those that love Christ.  Patti's faith and strength shine through in her writing.   I know in my heart that God has her and her family in the palm of his hand.  He's got it all under control.  I look forward to visiting Patti's blog site frequently.  I can't wait to see how God meets her needs!  Please join me in praying for her. 

With love and gratitude...

Monday, March 7, 2011


sin-gle (sing'l) 1. adj. one and one only.

I have recently realized the full meaning of being a widow.    The word widow in itself garners sympathy and concern...a certain amount of understanding and compassion.  While being a widow implies that I have lost my husband, it doesn't convey the harder reality of my life.  Along with being a widow, I have suddenly come to the full realization that I am a single mom.   Single parent.  Single.  One and one only.

Coming to this realization has not brought any bitterness.  It just struck me this week that my plate is rather full.  The reason I'm so tired is probably not from a lack of organization or lack of ability.  The reason I am overwhelmed is probably due to the fact that there is so much to do. Life is relentless right now.  There is always something to do, only one me, and 24 short hours to get it done in.   Again, I don't want to convey resentment.  I am not resentful of this new life.  I am not bitter; however, having had a bit of time to reflect, I realize that I can't do it all.  Well, I can't do it all at once.  Something has to give. 

So this week I have decided I may just have to say "no" more often.  I may have to learn not to feel guilty when I pace myself and decline an invitation or an opportunity.  My hope is that others will understand, too.  If  I'm not able to participate as I always have, please understand.  It's not that I don't want to do all the things I have always been able to do, it's that I can't.  I have come to understand that life has changed.  There is one of me.  One and one only.  I praise God daily that I'm able to the job of two.  It just takes me longer.  But, in order to do those two jobs well, I have to give some things up and be careful about my time and resources.

Well, that was my revelation for this week.  Some of you are probably wondering why it's taken me this long to figure out the obvious.  To be honest -- this has been the first strech of time I have had to sit and think about anything.  Makes me wonder what else I have yet to figure out.....

On another are some pics from this week.  We continue to have many reasons to smile!

We had fun building a fife with some of our classmates.  This was a huge project, but it was fun watching the kids work so enthusiastically together.

Last Monday brought heaps of very wet snow.  Looked beautiful from the front porch, but....

the downed branches were not so pretty.  This was really heavy snow and it took out a lot of our trees.  Many thanks to my brother, Paul, for helping me operate the chainsaw and picking up all the brush. 

Meet Nellie.  Julia finally has a horse to call her own.  Happy girl!

Meet Jackson.  The boys, likewise, now have a horse
 (and all the chores that go with it) to call their very own. 

Have a great week!
With love and gratitude...