Swim Meet

This warm sunny day found half of our family INSIDE. Tragic, really. Joshua and Rachel had a swim meet this afternoon. Was it at the local outdoor pool? No! The lake? No! There we were in our bathing suits. Okay, we weren’t in our bathing suits (surely it’s not swim suit weather YET) but the kids were. Still, there was water, splashing, lounge chairs (I brought my own) and nary a bottle of sunscreen in sight.

To Swim or Not to Swim
You have to ask yourself, what I’m not sure, but something.


Okay, surely I jest.

David is armed!
David managed to get outside for most of the day.

We had a wonderful afternoon! The children and I set off for points south/west, leaving Tim at home to run errands and work on the car. We picked up Joshua’s team mate and enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine, windows rolled down and music blaring.

Rachel my swimming girl!

You go, girl!
Rachel is a very determined swimmer. She rocks!

Along the way we met up with some friends and dropped off David, Daniel and Sarah. They had a glorious time playing all afternoon with dear friends who moved out into the country several years ago. Thank you, Jennifer, for letting the kids descend upon your home and disrupt your relaxing Saturday.

First stop into town … Starbucks! Whew, nothing like a morning without coffee to whet the appetite for some caffeine. We found the YMCA without any problems. Hooray for GPS technology! I’ll have to work much harder to get lost. Of course, I’m talented that way.

daniel and adam
Daniel and Adam had knives, bows/arrows, and the makings of a fun day.

I managed to secure a front-row spot on the pool deck. Rachel and Joshua each swam in four events. They did great! I’m so proud of them. They are cheerful participants, respectful kids, supportive teammates, and good sports (whether they win or lose). I prayed hard during each of their events that they would swim with strength and endurance.

Joshua goes for it

Swim fast, big guy!

Does the boy ever breathe??
Joshua challenged himself in this meet. Great job, Joshua!!

What a privilege it is to be a mom of these 5 blessings!

On the way home we stopped back through Starbucks.

“Hey, this is just like deja vu,” the barista said to me, “except it’s later in the day.”
“Um, yeah, I’m faithful customer,” I mumbled. Just hand me the coffee, sir, I’ve got a long drive home.

Smiling - swim meet is over!

Ah, we’re smiling easy, now that the meet is over.

More sunshine and mountain views on the way home, this time minus the extra swimmer (parents picked him up), but with the addition of Sarah’s 6 year old buddy (for an unexpected overnight). Everyone was hungry and tired. Signs of a full day?


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Last night I loaded the latest pictures onto the computer; 457 of them, taken between the 13th and the 26th of May. Ah, I think I finally have enough fresh shots in my collection to do some blogging. I have quite a bit of catching up to do.

Mother’s Day
New bread recipes
And so on…

But first, let’s look at some highlights from AWANA.

Sparks Gentlemen

Joshua and Timothy were awesome leaders for the 1st and 2nd graders.

Our busy activities are winding down. Homeschool co-op finished several weeks ago. Whew! My Thursday nights are unbelievably stress-free without the teacher prep scramble for co-op. The kids miss seeing their friends every week as do I, but it’s delightful to have a break from the responsibilities and extra work.

Way to go!!

AWANA also ended this month. Last night Tim, Daniel and Joshua went to a “Thank You” dinner for the leaders. Joshua helped all year with the Sparkies and Daniel worked in the games. They have beautiful servant hearts. It’s a joy to see them develop their gifts and minister to others. I’m proud of them!!

Honoring Dan

Daniel was given the Sacred Whistle for his role as Game Assistant.

David and Sarah had a great year in AWANA. They both worked diligently to memorize their verses and complete their books. I’m impressed with their ability to learn God’s Word and hide it in their hearts. I pray that it will be a blessing to them their entire lives.

sarah and the girls

Sarah LOVES Caedie and Jaalah.

One of the sweetest things in parenting is to watch the children develop close friendships with each other (as siblings) and with other families. We have been extraordinarily blessed over the years to have wonderful friends. I do not take it lightly, for granted, or without a significant measure of THANKS as I think of the amazing people God has brought into our lives.

brother and sister

Eli and Emma are some of our bestest friends.


Alex and David ruled the Yellow Team!

I am so grateful for our church and all the faithful servants who give of their time, energy and devotion to the youngest members of the congregation.

More to follow soon (I hope).

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Where Has the Sunshine Gone?

Seriously, I’m wondering if we’ll have gray clouds for the whole month week. The younger kids and I went to the Space Needle yesterday. It rained the entire drive to Seattle, but then the sun burst forth while we were on the observatory deck of the Space Needle. There is something so delicious about standing in the sunshine! By the time we returned home it was gray and cloudy again. At least we’re consistent.

birthday gift

An awesome birthday gift from Daniel’s favorite cousin.

No, I didn’t take any pictures. Sigh. Completely forgot my camera. I did remember coffee and snacks for the kids, so you can obviously see where my priorities lie these days. Ha!

ice cream pie

An ice cream pie creation by Tim and Daniel for the birthday party.

I think I need some fresh inspiration in my photography. Any ideas? Perhaps a class. I wonder if I could fit that into our crazy schedule. Oh, did I mention that Daniel has recently joined Rachel and Joshua in being a member of the YMCA swim team? Lots of swimming going on in our family. Never a dull moment!

Despite our clouds and cool weather, the garden has begun. We’ll have tomatoes and lettuce this summer!!

the garden begins...


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The Golden Goggles

Last Saturday was a big day for our two oldest swimmers, as they celebrated the end of the swim season and their first year as Swim Team members. The local YMCA offers swimming classes, and (for those who take it a bit more seriously) a swim team, separated into A, B and C sub-teams. Joshua started in November, as a ‘B’ team swimmer, and Rachel followed in December, qualifying for ‘C’ team.

Rachel's Medal
Rachel found swim team to be very challenging at first, but has overcome, and now enjoys it.

The Swim Team Sleepover was held at the Y, and included a meal, an award ceremony, and many games and activities. Kathy and the older two stayed until midnight, while the younger three and I made our exit after the ceremony (and the meal).

Receiving an Award
Joshua nearly had to go down on one knee to receive his medal. He towers over the landscape, these days.

Joshua and Rachel were both honored with medals for participation, and Joshua was given the ‘Golden Goggles Award’ for being the ‘Best Male All-Round Swimmer’. As the coach commented, Joshua’s discipline, commitment and willingness to give 100% at practices, distinguished him among the others and he was singled out for the coveted Golden Goggle award.

The Golden Goggles
As it turned out, the ‘gold’ was spray paint, but this award is none-the-less cherished.

I was very proud of him, and of the significant effort he has invested into the team, with three weeknight practices each week, and additional swimming time on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Joshua and Rachel have both worked hard to improve their swimming skills and physical fitness, and they are an inspiration to their parents in the areas of discipline and ‘stick-to-it-iveness’.

Earlier that same day, Joshua played the role of Duke Orsino in an adaptation of Twelfth Night, performed by a group of players from our homeschool co-op. As he rattled off line after line of Shakespearean verse, I couldn’t help wonder to myself: “Where did this versatile man-child come from?”

Honored Boy
I remember when this boy was a pipsqueak. Now he gathers honor by the bushel.

Kathy and I shake our heads a lot, watching our children surpass us in a variety of ways. “I didn’t teach them that,” I’ll confide to Kathy. “Me neither,” she’ll agree. But for all their discipline and accomplishments, I think the thing that makes me proudest is that each of my children, to one extent or another, has given their heart to Jesus and is working hard to be a worthy and devoted disciple.

As the apostle John said in his third letter: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. ”

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