Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Preschool at Gramma's House

In the Garden
Zibby told me today that there are, "very many fairies that live here."
I think this may be one of them.
Nap time.
I was so happy to find AbbySue's old muck boots...just in time for Zibby in Oregon.
Dress-Up with her new glubs.
We made these out of our Roth's paper bag.
Noodling a neck-a-less.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


My loving husband took the kids all day so that I could be alone. Being alone is a big treat for me. I have always savored solitude. These past weeks have been anything but solitary. My incredibly hospitable parents have opened up their home to us until we can move into the "Old House". Papa & Grandma's house is the coziest place on earth...but it's a very good thing that we all love one another. Imagine...4 adults, 3 kids, and 3 pets all living under a 1200 sq. ft. roof. It's cozy all right! We are making memories together that will always be treasured, but every once in a while a solitary soul like mine needs some room to breath again. So, today I ran over these familiar hills. Walked Lottie up to the Abbey. And meandered through one of my favorite stores in the world...Hi-School Pharmacy. I also visited the Valley View Cemetery and found that beautiful piece of earth over looking Evans Valley where Jon Hopkins rests just next to Jaxen & Chloe Bielemeier. I found some vibrant orange poppies and some Queens Anne's lace and placed the flowers on their graves. Then I cried. I cried because of all the grace I see in these three deaths and how these lives still live on. We will be moving into Jon's house in less than a month. He was our friend. He always hoped that we would be the family to buy his home when the time came, he even walked us though it almost 8 years ago. And, when the time came we did buy the old place, but, his precious wife, Cathy Hopkins, now needed a new home. Jaxen & Chloe gave her theirs. Just down the road from Papa & Gramma's live Jordan & Krystina Bielemeier with two of their four children, Jaxen & Chloe moved to heaven before they even opened their eyes to this world. Their mommy and daddy needed to move on, and in His perfect timing, Cathy was able to buy their home. So, in that mysterious way of the Lord, we all found a place to rest. And we are all so deeply connected and even comforted because of it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful Day

So all the kids made pomanders, but the boys turned out a little different than the girls. When we asked Micah what theirs were they replied, "Land mines of course!" leave it to the boys right.
Time with Mamo.
Real men wear aprons.
Writing out their "Thankful Leaves".
The Thankful Tree.
Mamo's Garden Gate (the sign reads: Patsy's Garden).
Lily & Zibby
As you can see, the girls turned out much different than the boys.
Kaeleigh told us that she is going to surprise her friend by hanging one in her says, "Hi!" so cute.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Paper Hats

It's one of those things parents love. A Thanksgiving Feast school production. The tables were set, the parents brought pies and the fixings, and the kids reinacted that first time, as Pilgrims and Indians. Aaron and I smiled at our big kids. They have only been at their new school for a week and had memorized lines for the program. They looked happy. Ben, already a head taller than the rest of his third grade class balancing a tall black construction paper hat, and sweet AbbySue with her white paper bonnet tied with yarn under her chin. There were pomegranate seeds, jerky, cornbread, turkey, sweet potatoes, and my last minute contribution of Costco apple pie. I found their costumes last night at Goodwill. So, hats off to the Kookies for jumping right in.

Snow Here

The snow here usually falls just above Silverton. A few minutes drive up the hill and you are there...Christmas Tree farms, wide open fields, and sweeping views of the valley below all dusted in white.

I like driving to the snow much better than living in it.

First Dance

Kaeleigh loved this dress...but not the price.
AbbySue all dolled up at Claire's....we ended up with the scarf.

Last Saturday my beautiful niece, Kaeleigh, Auntie Angel, AbbySue, and I took a trip up to Washington Square. Kaeleigh invited us to go shopping. We were on a find the perfect dress for her first dance. Yes, a McNary High School! She is a freshman and it's Snowball time. This is the dance when the girl invites the boy. She asked Grant Eckelman. Yep, our fire juggling, roof jumping, camping buddy...who is now a sophomore! The whole thing is just mind boggoling. How did these kids get this big? Well, it turned out to be a perfect day together. Kaeleigh found her dress (very Taylor Swift she says), and very ladylike. Her goal was to spend $25 on a dress so she could save the rest to get a new pair of TOMS shoes to match...and darned if that girl did it. I have to say that our AbbySue was soaking it all in. I'm so thankful we arrived back home just in time for the first dance!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Peace Found

Peace found on the door front of Papa & Gramma's house,
Peace found on the couch,
Peace found at bedtime,
Peace found on dishtowels,
Peace found on another first day at Silverton Christian School,
And peace found on the front of the fridge.

Shalom & Salem both mean Peace. But, I'm beginning to think that the definition of Silverton might be Peace too. It seems to be found around every corner lately. Reading books together on a sunbathed couch, bedtime all tucked up in sleeping bags, running in the misty air, grocery store chats with old friends, dinner with family all around us. Maybe it's a new found gratitude that makes everything feel so beautiful. But, gratitude that brings Peace comes now because we clung to it blindly in the valley. If we had let it go there we would not have it here. We would not see it so clearly now because gratitude everyday bursts into Peace tomorrow. I'm glad it's tomorrow.

Friday, November 11, 2011

New England

"Don't cry because it's because it happened." ~Dr. Suess

Which is weird to me because I cried when I got here....I cried for months. And then these people...these harsh as your winter people....they got to me. They creeped up on me like your spring. And before I realized what was happening, they felt as warm as one of your perfect summer days out at the cape. And now I hate to go....I hate to just fly away like your autumn leaves. It feels like surrender. And I pray for my new friends. I know they don't need us, but they need Him. The truth is, He will stay here, like my tulips. Those bulbs of faith will make their way up through once frozen ground. He will see to it.

And I will try to smile.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

here we go again...

Life in boxes...

Last day of school for the big kids....why is it so hard to get them all looking at the camera?
Zibby....yep, little stinker. They played all evening in the moonlight....the sunshine seems to be working against is these days.

Gratefulness fills me up today. Peace is like some kind of gravity holding me down lately. If you've been praying for us....thank you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beauty Secret

"I think that the prettiest people are the ones who don't think about how pretty they are. When I get ready in the morning, I look in the mirror, I fix whatever I can...then I don't think about what I look like for the rest of the day." ~Abigail, age 10

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

and on that note...

The Flash, very happy with some hot cocoa.

Thumb Wars...the kookies favorite waiting game.
Zibby, making a shadow of herself look like Batman...entertainment all morning.

Last Sunday Daddy smoked a Run, Bike, Run duathalon. We were so proud...he came through second in his age group and first in the "Clydesdale" division...(...go ahead and giggle, we did too.) Anyway, someone is is very mighty around here lately.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mile 26.2

It's beyond the exhaustive mile 20.

You hear the crowds cheering.

You realize that you are almost there.

Your doubts become the earth beneath your feet,

And you run,


Because in your nothing left,

Hope Prevails.

In that single mile moment, you understand why you would do it all over again,

with all the pain and struggle,

you would trudge through all of this again for that

Finish Line feeling;

The searing pain of bearing down and pushing life from life,

The day that brings new love between two hearts once torn apart,

The hellos that bring goodbyes too soon and memories that transform your point of view,

All of these hard things,

becoming the best things....

that's Mile 26.2

(pictured above: Daddy running the last mile with AbbySue)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Before AbbySue was born we had a conversation.

It was about Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, & Halloween.

The only one that we concluded was not real was The Easter Bunny....(because that's just ridiculous right?)

Childhood in our home, we decided, would be magical.

And I have to say...I wouldn't trade the past decade of "Make-Believe" for anything.

Watching them Wonder is one of the best parts of being a parent...

It makes it real again for us too.

(above: Mama & Papo with Bob the Builder & Tigger)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

No school=field trips with mommy

Yankee Candle Company Factory, South Deerfield, Mass.
Wax hand moulds...our favorite part!

Zibby's big sister decided to put a "tan-too" (what Z calls tattoos) on her little sisters face, which went perfectly with Zibby's new grey tooth (acquired while candle pin bowling).

Santa's Workshop
Ben~ "Mom, I think this place is really a bit magical."
Letters to Santa..."Dear Santa, just wanted to let you know...we are moving. Our new address is 515 W. Main Street Silverton, Oregon."


It "snowed" inside!
Miniature Villages

Beeswax Candles
The Great Pumpkin!

Yesterday I decided to take the kids out to the Yankee Candle Company Factory. It took us almost two hours to get there, but it was well worth the trip. This place is like Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory meets Toyland. Throw in a little New England charm and you have on unforgettable day. It feels like that's been happening to us a lot lately...I mean..Good Memories. Sometimes I just feel overwhelmed with gratitude. I'm thankful for the gift of motherhood. I'm thankful that He has graciously given me time with these three souls, everyday, watching them wonder, and smile, and love, and laugh, and even drive me crazy. I don't believe in perfect moms or kids. But, I sure do believe in a Perfect God.