Thursday, March 27, 2014

Movie Night

Last night we had our ANNUAL DRIVE-IN MOVIE night at AWANA. 
All the kids are encouraged to make cars out of cardboard boxes and  bring them to club.  We then project a movie on the wall, fire up the popcorn machine, and enjoy a night at the movies.    It is a lot of fun, but at the same time it is a night I fret over.  I told Todd that I don't look forward to these special events because there are so many ways it can go wrong.  For instance, last year the movie was shorter than I realized so I ended up having 30 minutes to kill.(To my defense, the movie cover said it was an hour long.  I have learned that an hour INCLUDES all of the special features with the movie.) Thankfully, our music leader stepped in and led the kids in song. I also gave a message to end the night.  This year, our movie went too long.  Yes, I do know how to figure out time issues, but for some reason, my calculator in my head wasn't registering.  I blame it on old age.  So, we didn't finish our movie last night.  I told the kids we would finish it at our next club night.  ugh!  See what I mean.  Too many things can go wrong. 
Despite it all, the kids had a blast.  The church smells of popcorn, kernels still liter the floor here and there, the machine has yet to be returned, but I survived.  We all survived.  365 days until we do it again.  May the Lord return before then! lol

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


While our friends and family in the northeast and midwest are still under a blanket of snow from this year's hard winter, we are experiencing the full effects of spring here.  Warm weather, an occasional rain shower, even the threat of thunderstorms are in the forecast.  I am so ready for spring break.  Unfortunately, we don't really get one this year. None of our spring breaks line up which is quite a bummer.  Bonnie is on break from the college this week.  She finished her quarter exams last week earning an A in Pre-Cal, an A in PE (duh!), and a B in study skills (for some reason the teacher didn't like Bonnie's research paper even though she met all the requirements. go figure.)  The high school doesn't start their spring break until next week when Bonnie starts her third quarter classes.  So she is always in class somewhere this spring.  Brian (and consequently Bryce) has his spring break the following week which cannot come soon enough.  I can't complain to much because I will be getting a break next week while everyone is still in school.  I will be flying to Indiana to celebrate my mom's birthday which will give me five days off.

Right now, we are plugging along in school.  Brian is editing his research paper on Theodore Roosevelt which is due at the end of the month.
He is also reading through Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  I don't know about you, but we read that as seniors in high school not freshmen.  Brian's reading list this year has been Lord of the Flies, The Autobiography of Fredrick Douglas, and now Romeo and Juliet.   He has the Diary of Anne Frank still to read for later this semester.  I have to say his reading list is more extensive than what Bonnie had to read as a sophomore at the high school.

Bryce is still working on reading the Magic Tree House series and together we are reading the story of Clara Barton.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Home Alone

Todd is in Grand Rapids, Michigan this week to attend our affiliation's Leadership Conference.  I am hoping he comes back refreshed and ready to tackle this next year.  While he is away, I told him I was going to rearrange his office at the church.  Right now, there are books everywhere and I am moving bookcases around.  It is a real mess, but I should have it under control by tomorrow. 

You don't realize how much you depend upon your spouse until they are away.  I felt his absence a lot today, especially as my one-lovely child chose to see how far they could push me.  I hate that.  I really do.  I really wanted to just take said child and lock him/her up til his/her dad got home, but that won't do.  Fortunately, I held my own and prayed and everything has ended well.  The thorn in this child's side is a research paper.  The paper has been written, notes taken, sources cited, but now the rough draft needs to be redone.  Never fun.  The objective tonight was to rewrite the introduction.  A hook needed to be used to capture the readers attention so we managed to come up with a good one.  At least I think it is good.    Now that the introduction has been redone and all plagiarism removed, we will move on to the rest of the paper tomorrow.  I will be glad when this paper is completed. 

I have to say that while there were some rough spots today, we also had some bright spots to rejoice in.  The first BIG news is that the lump that was removed from Todd's back is benign, just like the doctor thought it would be.  No cancer.  sigh of relief.   The second BIG news is that we now have water on our property.  Tumwater Drilling came out on Wednesday and dug our well.  They only had to go 35 feet and it was pumping out 40 - 50 gallons of water per minutes.  Our well in NC pumped out 5 gallons per minute.  Once Todd gets back he will install the pump and set up our well house.  He is going to put a spigot near the garden and another one outside the shed that he built last fall.  Yeah!  Water!!!  The snow is just about gone which means in another month we can start prepping the garden.  The whole well has cost us half of what we thought it would be so we are very excited.

One day down alone.  I will survive.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

We Found the Shoes

Success!  Believe it or not we found the shoes to match the dress!
 The pictures aren't the best, but you get an idea for the dress and shoes.  We found both at J C Penney.  The shoes were a perfect match.

 We played around with Bonnie's hair while she was getting all dressed up.   We need to find a style that she can do herself.  Her advisers told her to wear her hair up.  This is one style we are thinking about.
 For Bonnie's talent, she needed another dress.  She wanted a long evening dress, and we found this one on ebay.  It is supposed to arrive in two weeks giving us one week to spare in case something goes horribly wrong.  Since her shoes won't show we figure she can wear the shoes we bought today with it. 
Three more weeks.  Three more practices.  Time is flying by.

Another Week in Review

It has been a busy, odd week.  This week in March always is.  This is the week when all of the pastors and youth pastors from all of our sister churches in Washington, Idaho and Oregon come to Leavenworth for their pastor's retreat.  They all meet up in Plain and stay at Natapoc Lodging which used to be owned and managed by our friends, Dirk and Karen Andersen.
Our ladies ministry group is in charge of the food.  Since Todd and I moved back Karen had me work with her in the food prep.  She planned the meals and I helped her in the kitchen.  She generally left on Monday night leaving Tuesday morning for me to prepare the breakfast on my own and then clean up and pack up everything.  Karen has moved and so I did it by myself this year. It is natural for me to be at the retreat since my husband is in attendance but it is a little awkward to have another woman there from our church helping me so I turned down all request to join me for the weekend.  I want Todd to speak freely at the retreat and feel he might feel reserved if there are listening ears in the room, if you know what I mean.   The ladies in our church did help with making cookies and some of the food purchasing, but this year with other pastor wives in attendance I knew I would have available help whenever I needed it.

The Lord must have known that Todd and I needed a little break from life, in that the President of the pastor's group failed to notify me that the retreat would start three hours later than normal.  Since we have participated in this group, they always arrived at noon and Karen always had a pot of soup on the stove ready for them to eat.  So I made arrangements to be in the cabin by 11 am so that I could have the soup on and ready for the men when they arrived at noon.  By 1 pm Todd and I realized something wasn't right and after checking emails, saw that an email went out Sunday afternoon notifying the group that the meeting would start at 3 pm.  So....Todd and I enjoyed a delicious bowl of chili, turned off the stove and sat back to relax for a few hours.  Well, not exactly relax.  I was too keyed up.  Stressed that the food would come out good.  (I dreamed about the food, preparing it, cooking it, timing everything....yeah....I was a bit exhausted.)   Stressed that I would miss something.  Just stressed. And to be honest I was a bit "put out" that I wasn't informed about the lunch.  Oh...well...the pastor's paid for a lunch they didn't eat and now I have a meal ready for our Awana Leaders Dinner.

The retreat totally throws me off for the week.  Bryce did his best to keep the house in order while we were away. When we arrived at home on Tuesday it was time to finish cleaning up and put away everything from the retreat and just debrief.

It is funny how a minor disruption in your schedule can effect your whole week.  I struggled to get back on track.  It didn't help that on Wednesday Todd had a speaking engagement at the Christian school which meant I had to take Bonnie to school.  That put me a half hour behind schedule at church.  I then had to pick Bonnie up at school (another hour and a half gone)  so that she could make her speaking engagement for  DYW.  By the time that was over I had to make sure the boys were still on track with their school work, then off to AWANA.

  Thursday, Todd went in to see the doctor to have a lump removed from his back.  I try not to think of it too much.  I have pictures, but they are a little graphic.  The doctor believes, and we hope, that  it is just a benign, fatty tumor.  Hopefully, the tests will confirm that.  Time will tell.   So Todd is stitched up and sore for the moment.

The weekend is finally here so we can try to find some normalcy.  Bonnie and I have to find shoes and another dress for her competition which means a trip to Wenatchee.  Brian is working on his research paper.  Bryce has decided to memorize all of his remaining AWANA verses so that he can win the Timothy Award. And Todd is umpiring his first baseball game of the season.

Yep,  it has been a busy week.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I was on a mission today filling out paperwork for Todd's and Brian's mission trip.  Brian filled out his application form by himself, but today while digging through the church files I unearthed the passport forms.  I have to confess that I love to fill out forms.  I don't know why, but I do.  I was going to make Brian fill out this form as well, but when Todd told me to fill out his form I just automatically filled in  Brian's...  sigh.... I have an addiction. ...

Brian's forms were easy.  I know his birth parents and such. ha ha ...Todd's forms are another story.  We know nothing.  Supposedly when he was adopted, his adoptive parent's name were put on his birth certificate.  Does that sound right?  I don't think it does, but that is what he told me.  Regardless, we don't know where his adoptive parents were born.  We also know that his birth name was changed when he was adopted and one of the questions on the form is did you ever go by another name.  uuhhhh.....yeah....but we don't know what it is.  Todd put out a call to his ex-adoptive dad to see if he could shine some light on the missing info. We are not sure if he will give us a call back.  I even put a call out to the boys ranch where Todd was sent to live when he was 13.  They don't think they have anything.  That was a LONG time ago, but they are going to look into it.  Our goal is that by the end of the week we will have all the forms taken care of.  We will see.

Monday, March 3, 2014

It's a Go!

Well, Todd called the missions coordinator at Grace Ministries International and they said there is still room for Brian to join their mission team.  In fact, they have openings for six more team members if we wanted to recruit anyone else. Todd confessed that he would also like to go.  He approached the church board to see what their thoughts were on the matter since it means he would miss 3 Sundays this summer.  They all gave their approval.  That means, it is time to start finalizing the paper work, apply for passports, and start fundraising.  Todd and Brian are going to the Philippines.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Exciting Developments

I am pretty excited about a few things that are in the hopper.

First, I got a call from our local Distinguished Young Women's group.  They were just checking in to make sure that Bonnie is one-hundred percent committed to following through with the program.  She is.  She had her first training session.  They scrutinized her speech, evaluated her talent, and checked-out her outfits.  Everything went well.  The DYW rep informed me that she was very impressed with Bonnie's stage presence, loved her speech, gave a few pointers on how to make it better and suggested she change her talent from dramatic reading to singing.  I have been hesitant about Bonnie singing for the competition because she has no training in that area, but after asking her to sing last week the director, who has been trained vocally, said that Bonnie should sing.  She was on pitch the entire time and has a good voice.  So...she is singing.  Time for mom to start really biting her nails.  I was also informed that the other gal who was going to participate with Bonnie backed out.  Bonnie is the only girl now that our local group is coaching.  She will do everything alone, which means more attention will be placed on her.  Lastly, the local DYW group is trying hard to get state scholarship money for her.  That is GREAT news for Bonnie.

The second thing that has gotten me excited is that we are trying to work it out for Brian to go on a mission trip.  Imagine my surprise, when Todd asked  Brian if he would be interested in going on a mission trip and Brian said yes.  Not only did he say yes, but he can't stop talking about it.  If it works out, and I say IF with a capital I F because we missed the sign up deadline, but if it works out for him to go, he will be flying across the country to join up with a mission team of people he doesn't know and then head across the world to a foreign country to minister to a group of people who speak a different language.  Brian is my introverted kid who hates going out into the unknown, so for him to not only agree to do this but be so excited about it that he can't stop talking about it is a whole other ball game.  I will let you know if it works out.

So.... on this snowy Sunday I sit back and feel so blessed as I watch my children grow up.