Friday, March 24, 2017

February 2017

February, I can't even remember you. Okay so. . . .Valentines Day? I think we went the weekend before to the Spaghetti Factory and we had a pretty good time. I remember the kids being a little unruly in moments but for the most part quirky and actually FUN to hang out with. They have thought and opinions and carry on a conversation. You know it only took like ten years of raising them but I can feel us turning a corner to that sweet spot of joyful family interaction before the teen years ruin it all. Hee hee. The kids are still doing Karate and swimming. Blake has piano. Trinity has choir, girlscouts, and therapy. Isaac has four hours of therapy a week still. I honestly don't remember much particulars about the month. Jeremy and I made it to the Star Trek exhibit before it closed. It wasn't nearly as cool as the star wars one. Fun to see some costumes I guess and the models of the Enterprise were neat but let me tell you costumes from the eighties were pretty basic! Apparently I need to work harder at this blog thing because simply not remembering a month of happenings is pretty not cool. Oh yeah! I went to the Fuller Conference on Worship and Arts. INTERESTING stuff. Long story short it was thought provoking but not about the topic they had. It simply fired me up for what was laid on my heart last year: to incorporate more of the arts into our church body experience. Of course the night it ended I sat in bed with an idea for Lent blooming in my mind and I HAD to take action. I met with Michelle and Lucas from church and we hammered out a plan. While not exactly my original vision it enabled Michelle to begin a prayer wall she has greatly been desiring to get up and running so I feel like it really worked out well for all. Lent has become one of my most favorite seasons as it really prepares my heart for Resurrection Sunday. 

 receiving their white belt stripe from sensei Diane

 the art installation at Cascadia worship and arts conference
 "I am locutus of Borg"

 always nice when no one shows up and your kid gets a private lesson

 only one of the best books ever for speaking to me as an artist

 Cascadia again. I really liked tis guys art.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Dec. pt. 2 AND January. My how time flies!

So part two of December. It was a blur. I made it through the Christmas Eve services and really enjoyed the fruits of our efforts. It was the first year I've participated in them as I usually travel. Then (since we are crazy) I got back home at 6:30 in the evening and Jeremy had the car completely loaded up, dogs, kids, presents and all. We arrived at my moms in the wee hours of the morning. That turned out to be okay because in the meantime my brother and his family had gotten the stomach bug from the in-laws. So we actually pushed back Christmas like three days. It was sort of fun to put Christmas music on two days after Christmas with the holiday anticipation still intact and everyone elses' celebrations were done. We got to see my Aunt's new place and visit with the kids. Blake and Trinity really enjoyed hanging out with Meaghan and Vince. I'm super happy about them being closer to us!
I really took no pictures. I just made an effort to be present this year. I suppose I might regret that at some point when there is NO pictures of my kids Christmas 2016 but it felt really nice. We stayed through the new year riding snowmobiles, enjoying game night, and hitting some of our favorite places. We even got to catch up with three out of four of Jeremy's old college friends who happened to be having a game night themselves while we were in Spokane one evening. Good to see you Jodi, SAra, and Shanna! Then it was an easy drive home where who the heck knows what we did the first few weeks of January! Ha Ha, well I know we started school back in on the 10th. Second Semester of EEL tutoring has been going really well. I've been enjoying group dynamics and not feeling like it's too much. There was one week though that I definitely was getting a little lost. Fortunately there is grace for that. Talked to some people at the public school about the parent partnership program and it sounds really amazing. I'm still a little up in the air about what will work the best for us at Trinity reaches high school age. I'm glad I will get at least one year of challenge starting this fall to see if I feel it's a great fit or not. That would still give to time to get her in two years of the Parent Partnership thing if that seems a better choice. My grandma miller turned 91! I called her but I hate that both my grandmas are in Arizona on their own. They don't complain but seriously, they are both over 90 and I just worry about what will happen if their health declines which of course it's going to at some point.
So in January, Blake quit parkour and all three took up Karate. It's been super good for Isaac. He is asked to be still when listening and to follow instructions. He is using memory work to remember the kata's he is learning. It's just been a great fit for his focus issues. I feel Blake will benefit from their strict rules on respect and excellence in behavior and academics. The tricky thing is the class blake and trin are in are technically to stop at age 11. Trinity is already 12 but they let me fudge so I could have them all together, plus she really functions in some ways more at an 11 year old level anyway. But in July (as I'm thinking ahead because it's cheaper to sign up for like seven months) she will be thirteen. They then throw the kids in with adults and lessons are at 7:00. That is not going to work for me so I'm frustrated. I'd love to talk to them about having a homeschool class earlier like at three that would encompass like 4-12 grade. I think they would get a ton of kids. It's not ideal for me to have back to back hours (isaac, then the big kids) but it would be better than a lesson at four then not until seven. Not sure what to do for it. I can't think of any other major changes in January. There has been improvement for sure in Trinity's anxiety with a combination of medication and supplements that a naturopath has recommended. It's been very encouraging to see her more engaged in every aspect of life, girlscouts and choir are no longer the worst part of her day. So thankful for this improvement. We've had to throw down some new rules, restricting her phone time as she has not been faithful with our demands. Also there are new family rules on the wall as the children had a night where they simply could NOT be kind to each other. We called a family time-put and talked about what might help this situation because it was simply not going to work for us that they treat each other that way. There has been some improvement. Blake has well has had some new expectations put on his behavior. For a while I will admit I was letting things slide. I just had a lot on my plate and I didn't have the time or inclination to follow through on consistent discipline but lucky me it totally had a snowball effect and his entitled attitude had to be checked. So I've been working hard on it. I think I see some light at the end of the bad behavior tunnel. Next up I would love to get more hardcore about his and Isaac's diet. I think Isaac would follow his brother and actually like quite a few things. Blake may not like them but he still has to try them. Sigh. A mother's work is never done. Trinity even recorded a song and officially auditioned for America's Got Talent! (a bucket list thing for her)  And here we are in the first week of February. Eep!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dec. Part 1

So first, I must say that God has been so good in this season. I purchased the Advent book from She Reads Truth and it's been a beautiful way to have the Word before me at this time of year. They have broken the advent weeks into Christ's role as prophet, priest, and king; ending with a weeks reading of the birth of Christ from the book of Luke. I CAN NOT believe its three days from Christmas and I know that last week of December at my parents goes so fast so basically it's like three days from the new year. I met with my fellow tutor to get some help in planning math games for the next semester so it felt good to be pro-active and not feel like I would be coming back to quite such intensive tutor planning. I thought I'd better get the first half of December up because I know my phone won't have room for all those Christmas pictures unless I delete everything. So here is everything. Also I would just like to say I'm so pleased that the Duryees will be heading to language school. We have supported their endeavors to be on the field in Spain for several years now and I'm so happy for them to be taking their next step. I am excited to play for the first time at our church's Christmas Eve services. We are usually traveling. The preschoolers are being taught Go tell it on the Mountain to perform and Isaac asked on the way home what the mountain did wrong. I realized he thought the song said "Go, tell on the mountain". =)  Just last Sunday we gathered with the cousins and aunts at Grandma Trudy's. Isaac kept saying, "This present says 'to Trudy'. . .they forgot to put grandma". I had to explain that she's not grandma to everyone! lol. We always love seeing the kids and I couldn't believe how big they were at the dinner table. Not a baby to be seen, just a bunch of big kids! Yikes. All my pictures of the cousins are on Jeremy's phone which means they will never end up on here because I'm way too lazy to get them off of it. 
 yum warm laundry
 Christmas Dinner at Daniel's broiler this was through the frosted window with the garlands and lights on their outside deck
 using all metallic papers this year
 PRESENTS. This will be only the second time that we have opened our family presents just the five of us. We are a little crazy about getting together with family for that stuff. We plan to leave Christmas eve after the last service and drive over to mom and dads arriving in the middle of the night for Christmas later that day.
 I sort of had to have these massively chunky garlands. 
 Isaac wanted orange but we had this rather bright pink so we ended up with a vintage hot orange.

We were happy this past Tuesday to continue our sugar cookie tradition with the Royals. Lindsey wasn't happy with her dough and I should have added more vanilla because my frosting just tasted like powdered sugar. Thankful for good friends.

We had six inches of snow the second Friday in December which is almost unheard of around here. It was like a blizzard all day with crazy blowing snow. I thought we might have to cancel our family Christmas with Jeremy's Dad, stepmom, and family, but he came home early and it was mostly raining elsewhere so it was just me in the snowglobe lol! The kids LOVED it and were outside most of the day. These pictures were when it was a little clearer and a brief stop of the snow but it was still windy. 
 cute doggies in coats
 nicely drawn sleigh blake
 not bad writing for a lefty

This was our homeschool group putting together care packages for homeless. Trinity said she couldn't wait to do it again next year so I said maybe we would put together some in the summer as well. 

our poor dogs. lol
 So proud of Trinity for making it through all of her Christmas concerts. Not easy with anxiety. 

 oh yeah, here is what it looked like most of that Friday. . . 
 ready for Granda's snowmobiles
 Trinity has been busy with her stress ball experimenting

 this one has glass beads in it that you can see when she squishes it through

this one had orange netting instead of green and is filled with glitter glue stuff so you can see the sparkle in the up-close pictures.
Have a blessed Christmas everyone.