Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Let the competition begin

Yesterday, Bonnie drove us across eastern Washington to compete in the Distinguished Young Women competition (You might know it as the Junior Miss Pageant).  All the competitors met up at the Beasley Coliseum on the campus of Washington State University in Pullman.  There are fifteen young ladies competing for the title of DYW of Washington State. The winner will then represent Washington in the national competition next June in Mobile, Alabama. 
All the girls are staying with various host families in Pullman.  Bonnie was paired up with Allison from Moses Lake and Savannah from Colton.  They are staying with a sweet retired couple who have gone all-out preparing their home and making sure all three girls feel welcome and comfortable during their five day stay. 
Today Bonnie's day started with everyone reporting back to the coliseum at 7:30am.  There they will spend a total of 10 hours practicing their opening number and fitness routines.  They also have business lunches scheduled every day, as well as a time of interviews, talent practice, and more.  From 7:30am to 10pm every day, Bonnie's day is scheduled. 
The Final Competition will be on Saturday at 7pm.  It is at the Final Competition that Bonnie will sing, I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables, perform her fitness routine, and walk on stage in her sequined cocktail dress showing grace and poise during the Self-Expression segment.  At the end of the evening scholarship awards will be given out and an overall winner will be announced. 
Bonnie and I will stay overnight in Pullman and have breakfast with the Leavenworth Distinguished Young Woman's board before heading home on Sunday. 
We are not allowed to communicate with Bonnie during this week except with letters and gifts of encouragement.  If you want to send her a note or gift you can write to her at:
Bonnie James
960 SW Meyer Drive
Pullman, WA  99163

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fruit season

It is fruit season again in Washington. That means for me time to drag out the dehydrator. So far I have managed to dry cherries and apricots. Now my counter is full of apples. Unfortunately this week is full of activities so I probably won't get to them until next week.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rants, Raves, and Whatever Else

Let's just get the rant out of the in a few minutes I will need to leave work to rush my daughter off to work.  I am so frustrated with my daughter's manager!  There... that's it!  Why?  You may ask.  For never once looking at her availability form.  You see, the pool has this nice form that you are to fill out letting the managers know your availability so they know who to schedule to work and who not to.  Time and time again Bonnie has been scheduled to work on days she is not available.  This morning being one of them.  She was originally scheduled to work from 8am to noon today when she is NOT available because she is Driver's Ed classes.  She gets out of class at 10am but left the 10 to 12 slot open for driving practice with the instructor.  Last Saturday she was scheduled to work the whole day when she had written on the form she was not available because she was to be in Olympia for their parade. 

At first, Bonnie figured that she would just get a sub and everything would be okay.  She has learned that getting a sub is not that easy.  Finally, on Friday of last week she had to confront her manager on whether or not he had looked at the availability sheet and found out he has NEVER looked at it!!!!! NEVER!!!! 


So here we are today.  She informed her manager that she could not make it in at 8am but would be in as soon as her class was over.  That means, she is gonna try to get out of class early, I have to leave work, and we have to rush there all because someone is not doing there job. 

Rant over....

Raves....I am making money$$$$ ...I don't know if that is a rave or not, but so far I have been able to sell items for my brother-in-law's Sports Liquidation store on Ebay.  It is not a whole lot of money yet, but I am working out all of the kinks and supposedly this winter I should be doing a lot of business selling skis, boots, snowboards, etc.  It is fun to hear the cha-ching alarm go off on my ipad informing me I just made money.  lol....I might even start putting my own stuff out there like all of my leftover homeschool supplies.

Whatever else...Not much else.  The fires here in Washington have been big news.  Unfortunately, the news broadcasters keep leading people to believe that Leavenworth is on fire and closed to travelers.  NOT true!  Our house guest told us that her hometown newspaper in Olympia stated that Leavenworth was on fire.  We are not!  Yes, there is a fire in the Tumwater Canyon  and Yes, a section of Hwy 2 is closed but you can get in and out of town and the fire is not threatening to us.  We don't even have smoke and ash anymore.  So feel free to visit.  In fact, it is raining today. A nice gentle rain.  The fires in our area should be out soon.

Times up...gotta go get the girl....

Friday, July 18, 2014


I love this picture!   I am so glad Todd got to go on this mission trip.  It has had a huge impact on him.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

More fire photos

It is hard to capture the awesomeness of the sky as the fire was raging through the canyons last night.  I could not get enough of the eerie beauty of it all.  Looking north towards Plain the sky was orange/brown/black as the fire roared through the heavy timber. From the south the sky was crystal clear and bright blue.  It was amazing.  Ash was raining down us and still is this morning. 
The setting sun filtered through the smoke. 
On top of Ski Hill.  The wind was carrying the smoke towards Peshastin. 
Standing on our street (Burke) looking up Ski Hill. 
Downtown Leavenworth.  Smoke plume rising over the east side of Tumwater Mountain as the fire was moving towards Spromberg Canyon, River Road and Ponderosa Estates in Plain.  The First Baptist Church has been made into a Red Cross center. 
The sun this morning. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Smokey Leavenworth

It is fire season.  Smoke is filling the valley as a fire rages 10 miles up the highway.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Impact....

We got home somewhere between 1:30 and 2am this morning from the airport.  Todd talked the whole way home and after we got home til about three in the morning.  I was surprised when I got up this morning to find Brian downstairs watching cartoons.  He had already fixed himself breakfast and was "eager" for the day.  He wanted to know if and when he could head off to camp at Camas Meadows.  He wasn't too happy when I said that I didn't think it was wise for him to go today or even tomorrow.  A half hour later he was sound asleep in the chair.  sigh.....

I left both Todd and Brian sleeping and came into the church office.  There really isn't anything to do here.  The bulletin is up to speed for next Sunday and church bills are paid, so I am catching up on facebook and blogging. I will probably head downstairs and begin setting up for a memorial service that is scheduled for Friday. 

As Todd and Brian process the events of these past few weeks, I am praying for Spiritual guidance for Todd as he has many things he wants to implement in our church and improve on in his pastorate. I am also praying for my teenage son to let the Holy Spirit work in his life.  To submit to God's authority and let Him be in charge.  Right now, he is still fighting for control.  I guess that is typical of a 14/15 year old young man, but I am eager to see the day when he totally surrounds to his God and Savior.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Camas Meadows Bible Camp
Junior High
Todd and Brian should be in Chicago at this very moment....I can't wait to see them.
Todd and I were able to have our first real conversation yesterday over Skype when he was waiting in the Korean airport.  I can tell that he has been deeply impacted by this mission trip.  Don't worry, Mom, he is not wanting to go over seas to be a full-time missionary.  Although he would like to go back in two years when GMI has another short-term mission trip. He, however,  has been reassured that his place is here in Leavenworth as a pastor.
Later today, Bryce and I will take off and head over the mountain to pick Todd and Brian up. 
Todd said he has over 700 pictures on his phone, so I expect I will be sharing a lot more with you over the next week.  Until then, here is a final  picture of the EXITE team with the Filipino pastors and local volunteers.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Bryce is at Bible camp this week, one of his favorite places.  This year, however, he is at junior high camp which is quite a different experience than junior camp (grades 4-6). Campers are experiencing puberty and the pecking order is in effect. 

Bonnie drove me up to camp last night for family night where we got to see Bryce, eat an awesome BBQ put on by their wonderful cook "Sweet Tea," and be entertained by all the cabins who put together skits that either summarized their week of camp or shared spiritual truths that they had learned from the week.

This week's speaker, "Zucchini", focused on technology and how it shapes our physical and spiritual lives.  Based on the campers skits I think the topic was very relevant to our kids today and really challenging as well. 

 In the meadow....
Mail Call

Bryce and his cabin doing their skit. 
Their leader, "Howitzer" was pretending to be the camp activities leader, "Sparks".  Their skit focused on the activities of the week.  It was funny, but I have a feeling that this was a tough, rambunctious, trouble-making group, at least that is what their skit implied.  Bryce seemed a bit disappointed in his cabin.  I am glad that in two weeks he will be going to camp again, but this time he will be going to the North West Grace Youth Camp in Auburn which is made up of all the youth from our sister churches in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. 

Bonnie and I arrived at the camp a little early so we decided to hike up to Inspiration Point to see if we could see the fire in Chelan/Entiat.  You can see the fire cloud in the distance.  The smoke is drifting its way over to Cashmere and Wenatchee.  We have only experienced a little bit of haze and smoke here in Leavenworth.

It is beautiful up at Camas.  I know Bonnie would love to spend her summers up there, but since they can't afford to pay their staff it is just not doable.  Bonnie is volunteering as a life guard at Camas on Wednesdays when they take their campers to Lake Chelan. That allows her to have some interaction with the camp.  Of course, with all of the fires in the Lake Chelan area I wonder how long they will be able to head over there.  Hwy 97a has been closed down and a new fire in Chelan popped up yesterday.  Not good.

BTW....all that pool drama I talked about yesterday.  Bonnie went over to the pool yesterday before heading up to camp.  Her name was not on the schedule so I don't know what was going on yesterday.  I don't think the manager has called at all to clarify with Bonnie, but Bonnie has done nothing wrong so I don't know what all that gossip was about her missing rotations, etc., There was no truth in it. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Work Time Drama

Bonnie is pretty busy this summer.  Driver's Ed in the mornings, then life guarding at the Leavenworth City Pool, the Cashmere City Pool and at Camas Meadows Bible Camp.  Teaching her how to organize her schedule and keep track of it all has been the life lesson for this summer.  She had a few bumps in the road with the Leavenworth schedule since the manager doesn't post the schedule until the day before you work and only puts it on a piece of paper for everyone to see.  (The Cashmere manager puts his schedule on a word doc.  and emails it to everyone a few days ahead of time which I LOVE!!!)   At the beginning of the summer Bonnie made it known to the managers that she was unavailable to work on Wednesdays since she is volunteering at Camas Meadows Bible Camp, but one failed to make note of that and scheduled Bonnie to work resulting in Bonnie getting reprimanded for not showing up to work.  Then another week Bonnie didn't read the schedule properly so she missed another rotation.  Now she is diligent about reading the schedule thoroughly several times through, in fact, this week she took a picture of the schedule so that she could have it with her.  Wouldn't you know,  she got a call yesterday telling her she needed to report to work.  However, Bonnie wasn't at home because it was her Wednesday to work at camp.  Bonnie did submit all the paper work required for time off which stated that she was unavailable for Wednesdays, but we are noticing that the managers are not paying any attention to those papers.  Anyway, Bonnie began to freak out that this might get her fired from the pool.  She put out a call to the pool manager last night and as always, was sent to voice mail.  As of yet, she has not heard back from the manager. wasn't the manager who called looking for her but another staff member.  Bonnie was told over the phone that she missed a Tuesday shift and Wednesday shift,  which is not true.  I saw the picture of the schedule and Bonnie was not on any shift except for the one she worked. 

All of that to say, there was quite a bit of drama last night.  I spent quite a bit of time coaching Bonnie on how to approach her not to "throw any one under the 'bus'," to be respectful and Christ honoring in this situation.  Believe me, I want to get involved, but feel that if Bonnie wants to take on an "adult" job she has to handle these situations on her own.  I will be on the sidelines coaching, but I won't be helicoptering.  

So, Bonnie has the day off today...she was scheduled to work in Cashmere, but they had to close the pool today for maintenance reasons, i.e. someone pooped in the pool.  This will give her the opportunity to go to the Leavenworth pool and try to figure out what happened. 

I don't like all of this drama, but I guess this is how we learn best.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

This Mini-Vacation is Getting Busy

Well...I never made it to the river yesterday.  Bonnie got called in to work at the Cashmere pool so it was a mad rush from Drivers Ed to Cashmere.  She had to eat in the car, but she made it.  A friend in Cashmere wanted me to pick her apricots so since I was already there I went over to her house and picked them.  Or I should say, her husband picked them, because her apricot tree was very tall.  The ladders wouldn't reach all the limbs.  In fact, you literally had to climb up into the tree to get them.  Most of the apricots weren't ready, but I still came home with two grocery sacks full.  My cherries finished drying this morning so I will spend today slicing up the apricots and throwing them in the dehydrator.  All of the dried fruit goes into my granola, at least all of it that we don't eat. 

After I got home from picking the apricots, I realized I could make it to the water aerobics class at the pool, so I ended up over there.  Boy, the water was warm.  It felt nice, but with temps in the upper 90s I would have liked cooler water.  This whole week we are expecting temps in the 100s.  Time to get those tubes blown up, I feel a float in my future.  Water aerobics, back to Cashmere to pick up Bonnie, home to eat, off to the property to get the sprinklers running, then back home to move furniture and steam clean carpets.  By 10 pm, I was wrapping things up in the living room, cleaning bathrooms (all my chore people are gone, time I clean up things) and calling it a night. 

Today's agenda is apricots, clean kitchen, laundry, and find some rest time. I will probably spend my evening in the garden.  The weeds are taking over again.  So much for a relaxing vacation.... but you know what, the best part of my week is that most of the time I am operating on my own schedule, not someone elses so it is somewhat of a break.
Brian and his Exite team being silly.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Today's News

Bryce is off at summer camp so it is just Bonnie and I at home...oh...and Sarah, our summer guest.  Bonnie and I got up early again today to go for a drive.  She drove me to the gas station and filled up the tank, then I had her drive down Hwy 2 west through the Tumwater Canyon.  The Tumwater follows the Wenatchee River so it is twisty and curvy at 50 to 60 mph.  She did really well.  Only once did I grab the seat I was on and prayed.  Lol....I think our next driving excursion is going to focus on parallel parking, etc.  I might have to get out the cones and use the church parking lot for that one.  Or we might just head downtown in the early morning again when the parking spots are empty and practice.  I am not a good parallel parker and rarely ever parallel park, but I know it is a skill she has to have.  She is driving again with the instructor today.  She complained that he only let the her drive at 10 mph through the city streets.  

Once we  got back home, we had an leisurely morning before she headed off to class and I headed off to church.  One of our elders has taken on the task of painting the outside of our church building.  Not an easy thing to do.  Another lady from our congregation has volunteered to help with masking and painting trim.  I joined them yesterday to help.  I got the job of climbing the scaffolding to reach the windows that are two stories up and masking them off so that we don't get paint on them.  Our elder is using a paint sprayer which is making the job go a lot smoother, but there is a lot of work just masking everything off.  Tomorrow he paints the back side of the church and then the really hard part is getting the roof peeks that we can't reach with ladder or scaffolding.  Someone, ahem... Todd, will have to harness himself to the roof and paint while standing on our hot, slick, metal roof.  Temps here have been in the mid 90s so we are all pretty hot and sweaty.  I think today I am going to spend the heat of the day tubing down the river if my daughter will go with me.  If not, I might just head to the river and soak in the ice-cold water. last bit of news.   I started selling sports gear on Ebay for my brother-in-law who works for a sports liquidation center.  This morning I sold my first item.  Yeah!!! I made about $20 on the transaction. Not bad....He said this winter when they start to sell skis and winter sports gear I should make quite a bit of money.  I hope kids are getting older and more expensive, plus one day I would like to build a house so the extra money is definitely needed.  Plus this is a job I can do at home so it won't take me away from my family.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Drivers Ed.

Bonnie starts her second week of drivers ed today  and her first day of driving with the instructor. To start the day off we got up at 5am and she drove me to Wenatchee and back.  Of course we had to stop off at Starbucks in Wenatchee.  She did very well.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Update on Excite

Everyone is asking what I have heard from Todd concerning their mission trip.  Actually, I haven't heard anything.  WiFi is really sketchy over there so it seems that only emails are few and far between.  Today, however, while on fb I saw a post on the trip and I was able to connect with a mom who has three kids on the trip.  She led me to a couple of other people who are able to get out info and now I have a few pictures of Todd and Brian to share.  Believe it or not, after connecting with these moms I got an email from Todd checking in and telling me he and Brian are fine.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Kinderfest 2014

Every year we offer the kids a Hat Craft so that they can make a festive 4th of July hat to wear around town.  
Ronald McDonald always shows up to join the fun.  We never invite him, but he comes anyways.
Face Painting is the MOST POPULAR tent of them all.  Kids line up and wait forever to get their face painted. Those ladies never put down their brushes for four hours.
Bryce manning the Fishing Booth

This was our fourth year to participate in Kinderfest and I would have to say it was our best year yet.  A lot of that is due to the Chambers event coordinator, Lacey.  She was absolutely awesome with her attention to detail and organization.  Another contributing factor to making this the best Kinderfest was Aaron.  Aaron had homemade carnival games that he allowed us to borrow for the day.  He showed up early to set them up and came right on time to take them down. This year we also invited Young Life to help us man the booths.  As a thank you, our church and the Nazarene church who receive a financial gift from the chamber for organizing this agreed to share the money with Young Life to help send their kids to camp. 
All in all it was a great day, tiring, exhausting, but GREAT day!  I wish I had one of those fitness trackers.  I would be curious to see what my calorie burn was.  I was going up and down the street all day checking on our volunteers making sure they had water and food.  Then there were the emergency runs to the stores to pick up supplies because we couldn't find our star stickers - which meant a walk to the pharmacy to buy all of theirs, then a search for more balloons since we went through all 250 balloons in the first two hours - for that one I had to power walk down to the grocery store, buy all that they had (144) and power walk back to start blowing them all up.  I then had to walk down to the candy store to pick up more taffy when we ran out.  With all of that exercise I don't feel too bad about  having a McDonald's Quarter Pounder for dinner because I was too tuckered to fix anything at home.  sigh...
With Kinderfest over, I feel like I can start to enjoy my summer.  Next week Bryce goes off to camp, Bonnie will be starting her second week of Driver's Ed and working at the pool so I anticipate a week to do all the projects I want to do with no time restraints. own mini vacation!