Archive for August, 2008

Progress Report

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

This is a picture of Laura with Diederick and Carly.

I had a good conversation with our daughter Laura this evening.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that Laura, Darren and their two children are traveling cross-country, towing their earthly possessions behind them, from Vermont to Washington State.

They are with Darren’s folks now, in Jamestown, North Dakota, having traveled over 1,600 miles so far. That’s the good news, but the bad news is that there are about 1,400 miles yet to go. While they are visiting in North Dakota, Darren is planning on putting new shock absorbers on his diesel truck, and trying to lighten the load by leaving his motorcycle and some other heavy items at his folks’ place. The mountains that are yet to be crossed are steeper than the ones crossed thus far, and evidently even the milder slopes were very trying on the truck and the conscientious driver. Lightening the load sounds like a VERY good idea.

I can’t wait to read Laura’s account of the journey. One thing she told me is that they have been measuring time by hundreds of miles. One of Darren’s co-workers gave them a very thoughtful grab bag gift full of little toys for Diederick, who is two years old. They are to give Diederick one toy every two hundred miles, to help break the monotony of travel. He is really enjoying those toys, but her point to me was that those hundreds of miles seemed to pass so quickly, relatively speaking. Before she knew it, the little guy was swimming in toys.

That’s about all I have to say about that. We’re very much looking forward to seeing them, after their rest and visit in North Dakota. Happy trails to you, Darren and Laura!

Happy Birthday, Lydia!

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Today our household is abuzz with preparations for dear Lydia’s birthday. 🙂

Here’s what has happened so far:

  • I took Lydia and Rebecca to soccer practice this morning. On the basis of this practice, the coach and assistant coach will select the JV and Varsity teams. I hope the girls both make varsity, as they hope . . .
  • I went shopping for a few more birthday favors and treats, including party hats. Let’s hope we get some great photos of the event, which I can post for your viewing pleasure. 🙂
  • Sweet Kayla just arrived to help make the day more festive, heavy present bag in hand.
  • Two girlfriends from the neighborhood (and the soccer team) came shortly after Kayla. They are currently watching Rebecca and Lydia finish up their Saturday chores.
  • Debra and Seth have been doing their part to clean up the house prior to festivities this evening.

We are still awaiting Rick’s return from the business trip to Vernon, BC. I have heard a rumor that Philip and Michael are also coming this evening, as well as Sarah and Justin. I think this will be the perfect crowd to wish Lydia a very happy 15th birthday!

Now, I must do my part. I need to bake Cowboy Coffee Cake (with extra icing). For her birthday dinner, Lydia has requested Spaghetti, Caesar salad, and garlic bread; I can start on that later. I just had to get this quick post in, though, because I’ve been so busy that I even missed out on Haiku Friday and haven’t done a One Single Impression post either. 🙁

Thirteen Things I’ve Been Doing When Not Blogging

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

For you dedicated readers who have been coming to my blog and wondering why I have missed doing a post here and there, I have a confession to make: I am trying to be more productive in the real world. I enjoy writing so much, I could just sit down and write a blog post first thing every day. But, work aside, it is definitely time for a Thursday Thirteen
post. This week I present you with

Thirteen Things I Have Been Doing When I Haven’t Been Blogging:

  • From 9am until 1:30pm each day I am at the Middle School, working as a para educator (teacher’s helper or instructional assistant). I have the privilege and joy of helping students, without the tremendous responsibilities borne by teachers.
  • I should back up a bit. I’m up at 5:30am each morning to make the coffee and make sure our four students get out the door with all they need for the day.
  • During this “before work” time I unload and load the dishwasher, start the laundry, sometimes start dinner preparation (like this morning when I started brining two chickens which we enjoyed as roast chicken this evening), read my Bible, check my email, get ready for work and get out the door in the nick of time!
  • When I get home, I prepare a little lunch for my work-at-home husband and myself (usually a scrumptious salad).
  • Of course, I check my email and read some blogs while I eat lunch.
  • I am doing more reading. I am working my way through a list of favorite books posted by Celtic Librarian. I just finished Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. It was such an enjoyable read! Celtic Librarian says this is a book she enjoys re-reading, and I agree. It is a mystery, historical fiction, and a smidgen of romance, too.
  • Even when I don’t “have time” to blog, I somehow always have time to go on Facebook to see what all my friends are up to, to play a form of Scrabble, and to do such things as send virtual flowers, coffee, toys, birthday cakes – just about anything you can imagine – to said friends. I enjoy changing my status, too. 😛
  • I generally take our old doggie for a walk.
  • We have a time of reading the Bible, singing a psalm (God’s songbook, bound right in the Bible!), and prayer, as a family, after dinner.
  • Sometimes we rent a movie to watch together. The girls and I rewatched a favorite last night: Bride and Prejudice, which is a Bollywood version of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. This is in lieu of watching TV, which we don’t have.
  • I have been serving dinner earlier, since Rebecca and Lydia come home starved from soccer practice, and Seth from football practice. To boot, I’ve been serving nicer dinners, which takes a bit more preparation time. Yum! It’s totally worth it.
  • I have been going to bed earlier (surprise, surprise). No more blogging right before midnight. I do feel better and more rested.
  • I have been taking our little Suzuki car to the mechanic, and sitting and reading while the maintenance work is done. OK; that’s 13. Now I’ll post, and see what some of you have to say.

Ten on Tuesday – The School Post

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

The writing prompt this week for Ten on Tuesday
is: List ten things you didn’t like about school. At first I thought I would just opt out of the game this week, because I was one of those kids who loved school. I was totally in my element when surrounded by books, school sports, and marching band. I also sincerely believe I was privileged to be the student of some of the most outstanding teachers who ever lived, with only a couple exceptions. I’ll play along, though, and hope that sometime we get to list ten things that we loved about school.

  • I didn’t like the method employed to teach American history when I was a child. The lessons seemed so shallow and repetitive. It seemed to me that year after year I would hear about the same few events over and over and over, ad nauseam: Columbus, the Pilgrim fathers, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, a little bit about the Revolutionary War, and a little bit about the Civil War. Did any of you have a different, more positive experience?
  • I cared too much about getting straight A’s, so wasn’t brave enough to persevere in taking classes in which I was interested if there was a possibility I wouldn’t earn an A. For example, I had difficulty memorizing musical scales, so didn’t continue taking band in high school, though I enjoyed it so much.
  • There was not as much of a focus on preparing students for adult responsibility and life skills as there is today. At least, that was my perception. I felt at a loss to make a good decision about what to do after high school. I did go to an expensive liberal arts college for a while, but dropped out after one semester, guilty that so much money was being spent on behalf of a girl who had no idea what she really wanted to study.

Well, there you have the extent of my list: Three things I didn’t like about school. I’ll come check out the list of other participants, and see what you have to say!

Five projects on which I am currently working

Monday, August 25th, 2008

The prompt this week for Give Me Five Monday
is: What are five projects I am working on right now?

  1. Today was my first day back to school for orientation. I will be working with two sixth grade math classes, and one eighth grade language arts class. My project, as a para educator, will be getting to know the students, and learning how best to help these particular students with the questions and challenges they may have.
  2. My girls and I are preparing the basement suite for company. This very special company is our married daughter, her husband, and our two dear, darling grandchildren. We are the first stop on their relocation from Vermont to the Pacific Northwest! Happy days!
  3. I am taking stock of my repertoire of quick and easy, yet delicious dinners. I plan to utilize our crock pot quite a bit in the upcoming school year. What with working part time, and going to my young’ns sport competitions, time for cooking is often in short supply during the school year.
  4. I need to take my 83 year old mother out to purchase comfortable shoes. This is a monumental project. It took one year to find acceptable socks. On the bright side, this will be like a treasure hunt.
  5. We want to put on a really nice barbeque for our daughter Sarah and her fiancé Justin prior to their marriage. This will be fun.

How about you? If you would like to participate in Give Me Five Monday,
just post your five projects “to do” on your blog, then sign Mr. Linky back at Becca’s Buzz


Company’s Comin’!

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

If you’ve been stopping by my blog for a while, you know that our married daughter. Laura, and her husband and children live clear across the country from us in Vermont. Tomorrow, they begin a long road trip to the Pacific Northwest. I am so looking forward to seeing them. I have borrowed the following family portrait from Laura’s blog (Thanks, Laura!), so you can have a look at them:

Now here, for your entertainment, is a photo of our crew taken probably in 1989:

In the back row are my mom, me and Rick holding Kayla. In the front row are Philip, Laura, Michael, and Sarah, standing by our 1964 Ford Falcon station wagon, which has three on the tree, as opposed to four on the floor. 🙂 We are standing in front of our current home, so newly built that it was not yet sided, nor had any concrete been laid for the carport or walkways.

Shopped ’til I dropped

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Sorry – not much of a blog post today. Rebecca, Lydia and I spent most of today shopping at Seattle Premium Outlets. With the girls’ able assistance, I chose an outfit to wear to the upcoming wedding in our family. Thank you, girls!

We also found a dress for Rebecca to wear to the wedding, and some Converse tennies for Lydia for school. We found a Starbuck’s Coffee hangout there as well. Very nice.

(This image is from Snapshots of Joy.)

I know this doesn’t have anything to do with shopping, but I like it, and it decorates this post. And now: Good night!

Autumn ‘Ku, Please Play Too

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

The cooling rains come

Thirsty crops rejoice; grass greens:

Fall will soon be here!

Clinging to tree limbs,

Clusters of small, green apples

Wait for Fall’s first frost.

Fall’s arrival here

Is quietly heralded

By soft morning fog.

New pens and pencils,

New backpacks, new jeans and tops:

School begins next week!

These haiku poems are my contribution this week for Haiku Friday. It would be wonderful if YOU would participate, too! Just write your poem (or poem series) and sign Mr. Linky over at A Mommy Story.

As you can tell from the haiku above, the poem does not rhyme. Line one has 5 syllables, line two has 7 syllables, and line three has 5 syllables. Please play along!

Thirteen Ways We Enjoy Apples

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

This week I’m doing a last-minute Thursday 13
post on thirteen ways we enjoy APPLES:

  • Fresh off the tree, after the first frost of autumn. Fujis are my favorite variety.
  • Sliced, with cheese or peanut butter.
  • Diced, cooked in oatmeal.
  • As an ingredient in muffins.
  • Fresh apple cake.
  • Applesauce, especially homemade and chunky (yum!)
  • Applesauce cake.
  • Apple dumplings.
  • Apple crisp.
  • Apple pie.
  • Caramel apples (very rarely)
  • Baked apples.
  • Waldorf salad.

Who’s Bored?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

It is not living,

This habit of being bored,

This jaded ennui.

Laziness, ingratitude

Have settled deep in that heart.


I truly hate the complaint, “I’m bored!” There is so much to learn about this wide world in which we live; there are so many books to read; so many skills to gain; so many places to go; so many people to meet. That’s what I have to say about that: Banish such a stupid thought!


This tanka is a response to the prompts given today at Three Word Wednesday:

  • Bored
  • Habit
  • Settle

Please play along, if you’re so inclined. Feel free to simply use these three words in a blog post, a short story, or a poem.