Monday, May 30, 2011

More Ira Pictures

Remember the film crew that came to town to film the movie Ira Finkelstein's Christmas ?  Sue Cocoran, the director, asked a friend to document the whole film making process by taking pictures.  Not to long ago, the photographer put all of her pictures on cd for anyone who wanted to purchase them.  I bought the disk that held all the pictures of the extras who participated in the film.  My kids made it to some and I thought I would share them with you.

Bonnie and her friend, Emily, were excited to get to pose with Connor (Spike) and Jenna (Jessica).  Connor and Jenna are great teens and very talented.  I never got to see Connor without his makeup on, but I did find his studio picture and he is quite a handsome young man.  The girls all liked him because of his British accent.  Connor and Elijah, the main actor, are both homeschooled.  I had a lot of fun talking to their mothers.

I can't wait for the movie to come out this fall.  They are trying to have it out by Thanksgiving.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


 A friend from church is sharing her garden plot with me this summer.  Yesterday the kids and I went to Wenatchee to purchase our garden plants.  We got 20 tomato plants, 4 zucchinis, 4 cucumbers, 4 green peppers, 4 red peppers, 4 jalapeno peppers, and seeds for corn and green beans.  Today we went to plant our garden.  We managed to put in our seeds but were told to hold off in putting in our plants.  Last night the temperature dipped down to 31 degrees and there was a frost on the ground.  I had been watching the mountains around because they say when the snow is off Wedge mountain it is time to plant.  I found out today I had been looking at the wrong mountain.   Oops!  Wedge mountain is still covered in snow.

Since I can't plant my tomato plants, Bryce and I transplanted our tomato plants into bigger pots and we are going to put them inside the breakfast nook every night to protect them.  Hopefully in two weeks we can put them in the garden.

I am a little nervous about maintaining a garden that is not at my house.  I figure I will need to make sure to schedule to go out everyday to water, weed, and maintain it.  It won't be very convenient but the end result will be worth it. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Yesterday, I did a very hard thing. I paid another mortgage payment not knowing if we will have any money this summer.  It was a big step of faith for me to let that check go out in the mail.   It is funny how when we surrender everything over to God that He shows us how faithful He is.  A few hours later my husband called up to inform me that he finally checked on our pay schedule at the school where he teaches.  You see, we didn't know how the school paid...whether it was on a nine month schedule, ten month, or if they paid year round.  I assumed we would only get paid for the ten months that he was teaching and would be without income over the summer.  I saved up money to cover us during the summer months but these unexpected mortgage payments were using up all of that reserve.  My wonderful husband gladly announced that he would be getting paid all summer long.  Our financial problems were solved.  I felt God  telling me that I only needed to trust Him.  Once again He showed me that He is my Jehovah-Jireh.

Another praise is that our house is being shown to potential buyers tomorrow.  In fact, there are two showings scheduled.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Today the kids and I spent the day cleaning. 
The four of us washed walls, vacuumed and steam cleaned carpets and wiped down everything we saw.  I was so proud of the kids and how well they worked together.  Especially proud of Bonnie who had no problem visiting with our friend who is suffering from Alzheimers when she finished with her cleaning.  We are not done with all of the cleaning but the end is in sight.  We will head back over to our friends house again tomorrow morning to finish up.  School will be put off until the afternoon.

I am so thankful for this small job that we have been given to do.  The kids are excited about the fact that they can earn so money themselves.

Weight Loss
Today at the gym I was asked how much weight I have lost.  Can you believe after two months I haven't lost anything!!  I am obviously doing something wrong.  I do feel toned and more fit but I would love to lose a few ( a lot) of pounds and some inches.  I feel that I really need to work on my diet and change up my exercise routine.  My workout partner came up with some new exercises for us to use tomorrow.  We will see what works.  I really need to sit down with my brother's website,, and write down a week's worth of his menus.  He has lost over thirty pounds by changing his eating habits.
I don't know.  I am feeling really frustrated right now.

Todd started working on fixing his Blazer today.  He is tearing an engine out of another Blazer that was conveniently wrecked in the canyon last weekend.  I don't know how long this process is going to take.  Todd really doesn't have any spare time but he is trying to squeak out an hour or two in the afternoons to work on it.  My van is still in pieces and, well, who knows when we will get it back together.  I think the Blazer has taken first priority.

NC House
Our house in NC had a showing today.  Keep praying that we get a buyer.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ok... so get this.  I lasted posted how I was struggling with how God was going to provide for us this summer with a no renter, a house that needs to be sold, and two broken vehicles.  Well, within minutes of telling my mom that I need a job this summer, a friend stopped by to pick up her grandson and asked if I would be his childcare provider and she would pay me.  Less than twelve hours later my neighbor walked by and asked if I would watch her daughter as well with pay.  Few hours after that, some friends that I have helped move earlier this week asked if they could pay me to clean their house.

Now all of this won't take care of everything but for me it is reassurance that God is going to provide for our needs.  There is a lot of hard work ahead with extra kids around and a house to clean and get ready for renters but I am willing to put in the work to help out our family. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stepping INTO the Box

Last weekend I attended a ladies retreat at Camas Meadows Bible Camp.  The theme was "Stepping OUT of the Box."  It was about how at various points in our lives we find ourselves facing situations that are out of our control or out of our comfort zone.  During those times we "wrestle" with God.  We go into our "closet" or "box" and voice our questions, concerns, and/or doubts to God.  The speaker was a pastor's wife from Eugene, Oregon named Mary Cross.  She shared about her own box moments as a pastor's wife which really hit home to me.

Right now we are going through some moments that sent me INTO my box yesterday.  I guess you could start with a month ago when we realized our renter was not going to pay rent and we were going to have to dip into our summer reserve to cover the mortage that month.  Last week we loaned out Todd's car to some friends and got a report back that the car was making lots of noises and they were scared to drive it.  After coming home from the retreat I was informed that the engine is gone and needs to be replaced.  (My children cheerfully informed me in this bleak moment that someone had a wreck in the canyon and totalled their car but their engine is a perfect match for ours. Bad for them, good for us.)
Now for yesterday.  It started off with me finally getting the bill for the well back at our NC home - the one that our renter said was no good but the techinician said was fine.  Well, his assessment that our well is in working order took almost all of our security deposit that we were expecting back.  But that was just the start of me finally climbing into the box.  Up to this point I have been ok.  I have been at peace that God is in control, but my knees were starting to get a little shaky.  The final blow was yesterday when the kids and I took the van into Wenatchee.  Bonnie's glasses were in and we went to pick them up.  I figured while we were in town I would get the oil changed on the van.  Todd usually does these things for me, but he has not had any time so I thought this would help him out.  The techinician at the quick oil change was quite alarmed at the status of my rig.  He saw right off the bat that something was leaking and once he opened up the hood saw that I had no fluids in my vehicle.  How I have been able to drive is by God's grace.  He advised me not to drive any further.  He changed my oil and replaced my filters, put fluids in my vehicle (but they kept running back out - not  a good sign) and then asked if I knew who Job was in the Bible.  Ha ha.  I came up with a plan and decided to park the van at the mall which was around the corner and ride the Link bus home to Leavenworth (25 miles away).

Throughout all of this the kids did great.  The loved the adventure of riding the buses around town and back home.  By the end of it I was able to stay composed and not totally lose it.  I am "out of the box" and on my knees trusting in God.  His peace still surrounds me and for that I am thankful.

Last night, Todd and Dan towed our van home.  Eventually he will get it fixed.  Thank goodness for Tim's old truck and fortunately we can walk to everything we need.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I don't know of anyone who likes to move.  Oh, there are some aspects about it that are cool, but the actual process of packing and unpacking can be overwhelming.

The kids and I have been helping some friends move over the past two days.  They are actually only moving next door.   In fact, you can walk out the back door of one house and twelve later enter the back door of the other house.  The reason they are moving is to have more room for their daughter and son-in-law to move in with them.

Right now my throat is dry and scratchy from breathing dust and my body aches from carting furniture and boxes back and forth.  Everything is almost moved over so now it is down to cleaning the other house to make it ready for renters.

On the school front, we are just about done.  Today we finished history, Bryce finished math which means he is done with everything.  We will spend his school day practicing ready and I downloaded a bunch of 4th grade Jump Start games for him to play.  Brian is done with language and is on the home stretch for math.  Bonnie is still working through math and language. Both kids decided that they are going to finish reading their Apologia Science book.  All the kids are working on a writing project, but the end is near!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Need Wheels

During our lunch break yesterday, the boys and I went on a walk to post up posters to advertise the middle school play.  I really like walking around town, but this was not going to be a casual stroll.  Brian took off on his bike and Bryce on his scrooter.  By nature I am a fast walker but I really had to book it to keep up with them. Once we got the posters put up we strolled over to the Townley's house to see if they needed any help painting.  The boys and I ended up moving some things around and prepping the dining room for Annie and Colton to paint.  Then it was time to head back home and finish our school work. 

After school work was done, Brian and Bryce's friend, Isaac, came over.  Once again the boys and I headed into town.  All three boys were on wheels - Brian on a bike, Bryce on a scooter, and Isaac on a rip stick (fancy skateboard, if you don't know what that is.).  Once again I was pushing to keep up with all three.  We went all the way downtown so that we could visit Mr. Lak at his ice cream store and get a ice cream cone, then off to Enchantment Park to play.  I really wish I had one of those body bodies to measure how far we walked and how many calories I burned.   All I know is that I was done for the day.  I whipped up an easy dinner then up to my room to finish out the laundry and clean up.

I don't know if I will be going on any power walks today.  I still need to get out to the Warnocks to garden and paint.  Maybe I can today.  But next time I head to Wenatchee I need to look at getting me some wheels!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Bonnie has been complaining that she can't read the words posted on the back wall of our church sanctuary.  This is a problem since she is on the worship team and needs to be able to read them when she is singing on stage.  I finally set up an appointment and took Bonnie to visit an optometrist.  Sure enough she has difficulty seeing things afar and needs glasses.  We got everything picked out and she should get them in a few weeks.

Other than that we are fighting chest colds here.  Todd, Bryce and now Bonnie are all coming down with it.  Todd has it the worst and he is in Forks camping out with all the middle schoolers from his school.  I haven't been able to contact him so I don't know how he is doing.  I do know he left here yesterday morning with a fever and chills....not good.  Bryce is suffering through his cold and now Bonnie is coming down with it.  Again not good because this weekend is Bonnie's play, "Dr. Dolittle."  I am pumping her with medicine and she is eating lots of Top Ramen to help her throat and cold.

Today, my plans are to get through all of our schoolwork and then head over to Pat and Jim's to finish painting on our church sign.  I also need to pick up seeds and start planting my garden.  Pat has given me a portion of her garden.  Right now I can plant onions, carrots, radishes, and lettuce.  It is a start.  The rest will get planted first of June. the way, while at Costco guess what I saw?  A gal wearing a shirt that says CollegePlus.  Is that a sign or what?  Two things need to happen to enroll Bonnie with CollegePlus 1) sell the house (2) get a summer job.  Bonnie is young enough that we don't have to rush into it this year.  But by next year I want to be able to get her started.

Here is hoping for a good day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

College Plus

Have you heard about College Plus?

I heard about it years ago but forgot about it til recently.  With Bonnie going into high school next year, my thoughts have been turning to what I should do about her education.  Transcripts, SATs, and such have been haunting me and how I should approach them. 

CollegePlus is a program that allows students to work on their college degree at the same time as their high school diploma.  You might be familiar with programs such as Running Start where public school students can attend the local community college while in high school.  CollegePlus is similar except you don't need to attend the local community college.  You can work on your degree from home.

Here is the link if you are interested in it.  I am certainly considering this program.  For students who are 14 they have a CollegePrep course that gets your student ready for the college course work.  A group in Wenatchee is offering a CollegePrep class next fall.  Lord willing this is something we can sign up for. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Praying for Leavenworth

I have just completed  my sixth week at the gym.  I am to the point that I am getting to know everyone's name and they are getting to know me.  Having that personal connection helps to motivate me every morning to climb out of bed and go up the hill to exercise.

It is really important to me to not only get in shape, but also to reach out to other people in our town to witness.  There is one gal at the gym that God has given me a heart for.  During the past couple of weeks I have been able to hear her life story.  I can rejoice that she has developed a personal relationship with God as she has traveled the road of drug addiction and sobriety.  She has been sober for the past several years but is still dealing with the reprecussions of having been a crack head.

Today as I was leaving the gym she asked for my workout partner ( Amber - who is a Christian, friend, and former drug addict). and myself to pray for her and her son.  What a blessing it was to be able to stand outside the gym and share God with someone.  The three of us stood out and prayed this morning, lifting up this precious lady and her family.

I am so excited to be doing ministry.  I am so excited to be given opportunities to pray and counsel others in the Lord.  Even more, I am excited to be able to share this with my children and continue to equip them to have a relationship with God.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

That's One Way of Doing It

My eleven year old likes to do math in his head.  Ok, let's be honest, he likes to do anything and everything in his head to avoid writing.  I have been working with him to write out each step of his math problems so that I can see his thought process and how he arrived at his answer.  But I have been dealing with a little opposition.

Today, Brian found a way to satisfy us both.  He discovered that he could write out and solve his math problems on his Nintendo DSi.  Mind you, it is not a calculator (those are forbiddden).  He is just typing in all the steps on his Nintendo.  He does the math on a separate sheet of paper, and then transfers the information to his DSi. 

I have to hand it to him.  I am quite impressed, actually.  So I guess this is our new way of "writing" down our math.  It works!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The guilt of having not posted anything lately is overwhelming but the reality is I don't have much to post...or do I?

What has happened in the past week and a half?  Now that I think about it, lots.

A week ago, my family was hit with a series of tornados.  If you have been on the internet or watched the news you would have heard about the storms in the southeast.   My brother lives in Alabama and my parents live in Chattanooga, TN.  Both areas were hit hard.  Whole communities that were the homes to my friends and classmates have been wiped out.  Communities such as Ringgold, Georgia,  and Apison, Tennessee to name two are just down the road from my parents.  After each wave of storms came through I talked to my parents to check in on them.  After the second wave, they had lost power and the third wave of storms/tornadoes brought baseball size hail.  Fortunately, they didn't suffer any loss other than their power and few dented gutters. Needless to say I spent most of last week watching the Weather Channel or on the internet reading the Chattanooga Times Free Press and watching the Chattanooga news channels to keep up to date on what is happening there.

Other than that no much is going on.  We are still working on school.  Everyone can see the end of the line and it is inspiring them to finish up their workbooks.  I have given them one new project to work on - a research paper.  I figure instead of each of them working on a research paper at different times of the year that we would all work on them together.  Brian has picked for his topic- Leavenworth.  Yesterday we went to the library and he got a couple of books on Leavenworth so we will begin the process of researching today.  For Bryce, we decided to start with a How to... paper.  He is going to start with how to make a smoothie.  lol

The saga concerning our house in North Carolina continues.  Our renter was to be out by Friday but wasn't.  She was delayed and to be honest I don't believe her excuse.  Regardless we can't list our house on the MLS system until the house is vacated.  Argghhh!!!  Todd is ready to fly to NC and help her leave, but she said she would be out by today.  I told my real estate agent to go ahead and put a sign up in the yard and I am expecting the paper work to show up today.  I am really praying that by the weekend we will have it in the system and the calls will start coming in.

Ringgold, Ga Tornado Aftermath Pictures