Category Archives: Daily Life

Silly Kids and Scooters

Today the sun was out and the temperature was warm (relatively speaking). The younger children and I went to BSF in the morning while the older kids went to PE. It’s a busy household. David thanked me profusely for taking him to BSF and not making him go to PE. Hmmm. Not sure what that means since he has complained about BSF in past. I think all the activity at the Y is wearing him out. I decided he was getting enough swimming time in on the other days of the week and he could have the day off. I did, however, take Sarah to her gymnastics class (slipping out of BSF early). David was thrilled to have some free time to play in the gymnastics room. There was only one class meeting at that time and there was plenty of space for him to run around and enjoy the different equipment.

david and sarah

We have been waiting for a break in the cold, snowy weather to present Sarah with a scooter. Rachel, Daniel and David all received scooters for Christmas (and adore them) and so Tim was tickled to find one on clearance that was just Sarah’s size. It has been hidden away in the garage until the sun deigned to make it’s appearance again. Today was that day!!

sarah's scooter

scooter 1

The other scooters came assembled but this one required a little bit of work. Joshua, of course, took that job over immediately.


what could it be?

What is in the box???

He did beautifully until it came to one point – getting a safety cap on the end of the axle. He tried and tried. I tried and tried. Daniel tried. We were all a little frustrated.

joshua and the wheel
david and the wheel

Finally Daniel set out for some masking tape (“maybe we can tape the thing on and then pound it with the hammer”) and I went to consult Tim. The next few minutes were a blur. Somehow I missed the big breakthrough (should have been there to capture it on film) but Tim figured out some way to get the rascally piece on.

sarah smiles

sarah waits

Sarah waits patiently for her big brother to finish putting together her scooter. She knows he will be successful!

almost ready

Sarah gleefully set off to try out her scooter. She was rather unsure on her feet at first but finally got it working. The children played outside for a nice long time.

sarah ready to ride

While the rest of the group was at AWANA this evening, Rachel went out for hot cocoa with Miss Bobbi from church. Bobbi has served in ROCK (5th and 6th graders) for several years but is currently on hiatus. A few months ago I approached her about spending some time one-on-one with Rachel and, to my delight, she accepted. I am so pleased that Rachel will have another godly woman in her life.

rachel and bobbi

After hot cocoa, the girls returned home and we introduced Bobbi to Sleeping Queens and Heximoes. When the rest of the family returned, David and Sarah rushed in to see “who is this Miss Bobbi.” David, in his inimitable style, immediately said, “She looks way younger than I thought she was.” Lol!! We all laughed and laughed. I have to wonder just who he thought she was and how “old” he suspected her to be. Bobbi came to our Christmas party in December but there were many people there and I don’t think David particularly noticed her. He certainly does bring laughter into our family.

I have some adorable pictures of David and Sarah on the stairs but they are so interesting I have to save them for another blog. They will be perfect for a tale of some sort.


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Project 365 – Day 21 (Weekend Re-cap)

This has been a busy, people-filled weekend. After co-op on Friday, we brought home one of Joshua’s friend. The boys were having a birthday party sleep-over but the birthday boy himself had gymnastics until evening time. We had dinner, played some games, and then sent the boys off to their party. The house always seems empty when one of the children are missing – changes the dynamics all around.

I slept in LATE on Saturday morning. It was lovely! Tim got up with the children and let me stay in bed. Such luxury!! He and the little boys went to the park to try out Daniel’s remote control helicopter. I don’t think they got any pictures – I’m still trying to recover from the shock. In the afternoon I took Daniel and David with me to pick up Joshua. We met another friend at the birthday party house and traded Daniel and David for two sisters. Not content to bring home just two girls, I decided to invite the two older sisters of the birthday boy. They eagerly accepted and ran off to pack. Poor Joshua, he was the only boy in the house with six girls! He was quite outnumbered.


rachel workinghannahbethanysarah and abby

I wish I had recorded Rachel’s giggling. I’ve never heard her giggling quite that much in a weekend. It was very contagious. The girls were kind and let Sarah join them in their play. I am so pleased with the friends the children are making – bright, fun, polite, cheerful, interesting, all around lovely kids.

Tim and Joshua worked outside on our broken down fence. Hooray! They fixed two sides and now there is just one piece that is still broken. The windstorm of several weeks ago did quite the number on our fence.

last piece left not standing

At some point in the afternoon we got a call from some old friends who were in the area. What a treat! They were able to come by and join us for dinner. Thankfully I had started a big batch of bread and already had a menu all planned for supper. We talked up a storm and enjoyed a delicious dinner. Since the children outnumbered the grownups and the dining room table was covered with my Christmas decorations (still piled high, I hate to admit), we let them have the kitchen table and the adults ate in the living room. We had a wonderful visit with Tom and Casey. Thanks for coming!!

tom and casey

I think the girls slept some Saturday night but I can’t be certain. Tim woke them up in the morning singing (at the top of his lungs) Oklahoma. Oh what a beautiful morning, indeed. Ha! There was much flurry of getting dressed, eating breakfast, packing clothes, etc. Finally Tim headed out with Joshua and the older girls. Sarah and I came along after them in the other car.

Tim taught our Sunday School class on 1 Corinthians 6. We had so much discussion and lively conversation that we only made it through half the passage. It was a good study with lots of interesting input from the group.

After church we met up with Jennifer and returned two girls in exchange for Daniel and David. Good to have everyone home again. Tim and Joshua went to Gig Harbor to pick up the recliner – the match to our “new” sofa. Tim is already referring to it as “his chair.” It’s beautiful and so comfortable – I can see the entire family is going to fight over it. Hopefully it won’t get too ugly.

daniel and rachel chair

Tim took this picture of Rachel and Daniel sitting on the recliner INSIDE the van. See, it’s already in hot demand and they haven’t even taken it out of the car!

Tim and Joshua carried it inside where David and Sarah quickly took up residence. I’m afraid the Orange Chair is going to feel somehow replaced.

joshua carries chair

david and sarah chair

In the afternoon Tim’s parents came by to return some things and pick up their cell phone. We had a lovely short visit with them. It’s always so nice to connect with family. The kids grabbed quick hugs and talked up a storm.

Our Bible study met at the church this evening. In order to use the church facilities we have to hire two babysitters who have gone through a Risk Prevention training. It took quite a bit of work finding sitters – but was worth the effort (and cash) in the end. We normally let the children play among themselves (the older ones help with the little ones) but it’s quite LOUD!! It was so nice being able to listen and concentrate on the speaker this evening and know that the children were being well cared for in the other room.

We went through the second session of Love and Respect. It is a fascinating study. I am enjoying it and will blog some of my thoughts later presuming I don’t forget it all. Lol! Our entire group was there this evening (except for the two husbands who are serving in the military overseas and four of the children who were home catching up on school work) which meant we had 12 adults and 18 children present. A big group!!

In an attempt to put into practice some of the things I’m learning in our marriage class, I made it a priority to give Tim a haircut this evening before bed (he’s been asking for one since Friday). Just as we were settling in for the night, we received a desperate call from a friend who had 4 (maybe 5) plates of leftover dessert that she desperately needed out of the house — too tempting. I did my duty as a friend and went over to offer solace, comfort, and doggie bags. Yum.

Tom, we have that lemon meringue pie now. Can you come back??

On the way home from Bible study Daniel started listing all the busy activities we have in the week ahead of us. I was already tired from a very full Sunday and totally exhausted by the time he was done talking. Ha! Thankfully a good night’s sleep will help tremendously.


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The Kingdom of Light

I wrote this a few weeks ago … for some reason, I’m just not willing to go back and remove all the time-sensitive wording. I guess I’ll just publish it with a postscript at the end.

Yesterday was the first day of camp at Wilderness Northwest. We drove out to the Olympic Peninsula on Sunday afternoon and settled into our faithful “Duckabush House” with two carloads of stuff. Sometimes I think that we take more luggage on a one-week vacation than many families have in their permanent dwellings. Of course it didn’t help that we stopped off at Costco and WalMart in preparation for the week of camp lunches and evening meals for the hordesfolk.

We celebrated Kathy’s and Sarah’s birthdays on Saturday, and again on Monday, since several gifts from various family members had not yet been opened. It is always fun to buy things for those two girls … they are so very appreciative.


I really love that house in the Duckabush … it is a shame that we don’t go out there very often. It brought back some lovely memories to see the house filled again with friends and family … I think we had twenty-seven people in the house on Monday night, either for a lasagna meal or for the ensuing game night, at one point or another.


I wish I could have stayed for all the fun … having to work in Seattle today, I left the valley a little after 8 pm last night and headed back to Lakewood. As I turned south onto Route 101, the sun was still pouring itself over Mount Jupiter’s shoulder, filling the space between the ridges with a shimmering golden light that was almost liquid, and blazing in reflected glory on the river. It made me think of the words referring to the “kingdom of light” in Colossians:

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:10-14

I think we are very quick to treat darkness and light as metaphors for good and evil, yet we forget sometimes that God’s kingdom is very literally a kingdom of light, wherein He Himself will provide the illumination throughout the kingdom. Toward the end of a recent vacation in Michigan, in which we spent many long, sunny days on the beach, my mother-in-law quipped, “I can see why people in ancient times worshipped the sun.” If our sun is merely a shadow of the glory of God, I think we’ll spend a lot of time in heaven just sitting around in breathless wonder.

It has truly been a golden summer so far. Coming on the heels of a glorious Fathers’ Day, we spent almost two weeks vacationing in Michigan with Kathy’s parents, returning home barely in time to rush off to Day Camp at Wilderness Northwest with game nights and cousins galore. In early August the older three kids will go to camp at Miracle Lake Ranch and later in the summer we’ll travel to Fort Clark, in Texas, for yet another week of vacation. Not wanting to leave any time idle, Kathy has scheduled several of the kids for various YMCA sports camps (baseball, soccer, gymnastics) throughout the Summer as well. And then there is the trip to Texas with Kathy’s folks that we have planned at the end of August. I expect we’ll be anxious to see the Fall arrive if only out of exhaustion from all this fun.


When I think about my childhood and the many happy memories I have of summertime, it warms my heart to think that my children will also have the opportunity to remember many joyful summer days. Although we continue to homeschool through the summer, we take frequent breaks for vacation, and so I think that the kids can enjoy some significant freedom, without boredom setting in. They seem to enjoy the Homeschool Co-op and the Homeschool PE program at the local Y so much that my children actually look forward to the school year beginning again in earnest (both of those programs take a recess in the Summer).

Now my train is rolling in to the station in Seattle, and I must work for the next several days before I can slip back out to the Olympic Peninsula for the last day of camp. I guess it isn’t too unreasonable that someone should work, for at least part of the summer.

Postscript: It is now a month since Wilderness Northwest Day Camp, and the Summer continues to fly past. Now that we have closed on our house, we have crossed over from renting to owning* our current abode. Kathy has acquired some ‘Ooops’ paint from Home Depot and Lowe’s, and has big plans for painting some of the out-of-the-way areas (like the pantry and the mud room) as we embark on a ‘journey of discovery’ in decorating this house. I’m on the hook to build some much-needed utility shelves in the garage, and we have quite a bit of work to do around the outside of the house (landscaping, etc.). There are numerous small repairs that need to be made as well as several intimidating projects (like re-tiling the master bathroom). I keep telling myself, “Just one thing at a time.” This is, of course, good advice for life as well as home repair … as Jesus said in Matthew 6:34:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Each day seems to require just one thing from me: that I step out in faith to love and serve God. Well, that and getting out of bed when that cursed alarm clock goes off at 5:48 am.

*For some very small values of ‘owning’.

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