Archive for the ‘Thursday Thirteen’ Category

Thursday 13 – 13 Anniversary Trip photos

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

To celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary, Rick and I took a quick trip to La Conner, Washington. Rick had done some house building there, in his carpentry days, and assured me that it was just the sort of place I would enjoy. He was right. La Conner reminded me quite a bit of Inverness, California, one of our favorite places to visit, in that it was artsy-craftsy, and near the ocean.

This week’s Thursday 13 is Thirteen Anniversary Trip photos.

We stayed in a lovely small hotel, The Heron Inn. Here is a shot of one of the stained glass windows that graces the front of that building.

We toasted one another while at The Heron Inn:

Here are a few street shots from La Conner:

Right behind the shops you see the waterway:

While looking through the shops, we came across some interesting and unique items, such as these bells at The Courtyard Gallery. The bells were fabricated out of old gas canisters, and had mellow and lovely tones when rung.

We saw this bear sculpture at the Courtyard Gallery, also.

We found a gift for a certain 2-year old grandson at Bears ‘n Friends.

If we carefully save our pennies, we might be able to afford one of these beautiful hand-crafted rocking chairs in about ten years. We found lots to admire at The Wood Merchant.

Rick nicely brought along the laptop so I could check my mail and play Scrabulous. 🙂

Thursday 13 – Thoughts on a Visit

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

This is the last day of our son-in-law’s (and grandson’s) visit with us. Tonight they catch a flight back to Vermont. It has been a busy, special time, for which I am oh-so-thankful. For today’s Thursday 13, I’m choosing to list thirteen things about this visit:

  • Yesterday we had a very scary time of Diederick running a temperature of 102 degrees. The poor little guy was so uncomfortable. We called home to Laura, who called his pediatrician, who said a temp can be a sign not only of sickness, but of such things also as stress or the little one fighting off an impending asthma attack. We remain mystified as to the underlying cause of the fever, but this morning Deeder is chattering away, cool again, eating and drinking normally, so I’m happy about that.
  • Deeder has become fast friends with our dog Lassie. He is comfortable with her, loves stroking her fur, and enjoys putting her paws in his lap while sitting beside her. Here are some photos of the little guy in action.
  • Diederick would like to be friends with our cats, who wisely steer clear of him. The other day he grabbed Bonny Boy’s tail (tightly). Thankfully, the cat was able to make a quick escape, and didn’t try to scratch the little boy.
  • As a comfort when he was feeling poorly, Diederick requested to view pictures of cows on Google Images. He especially enjoyed a picture of a baby wearing a cow outfit. If you’re interested (I am.), the outfit is available here.
  • Diederick is also enamored with trucks. He has had the pleasure of watching various tractors drive by on our road. Life would be better for him if a parade of heavy equipment would proceed up our hill.
  • Darren had a lot of fun taking Diederick to Edaleen Dairy in Lynden, WA where Deeder admired the cows from a safe distance. Darren worked on his uncle’s farm in North Dakota at one time, so he also has quite a high opinion of that dairy animal.
  • Darren investigated the job market during this visit. We would be exceeding pleased, of course, if it is feasible for Darren, Laura and children to move closer to us.
  • Diederick became comfortable with his uncles and aunts. He is especially amused with Seth, who gives him Sethosaurus rides.
  • I read somewhere that a sense of humor is a sign of intelligence, so I am of the opinion that Deeder is an intelligent little guy. He’s not quite two years old, and finds many things, especially slap-stick situations, to be intensely amusing.
  • My daughter Laura is a much braver, flexible-minded person than I am. I would not have consented to be separated for one week from any of the children when they were two years old.
  • I have learned that Diederick is of a resilient personality. Though he spent a good deal of time looking for his mommy (Very sad; please do not cry when you read this, Laura.), he was still able to eat and drink and be amused with people and pets here. Thankfully, he gets to travel home to his mommy tonight.
  • I spent a lot less time on the computer with an active two-year old in the house.
  • I found that I still love holding and comforting a child. I also still display the annoying Momma Bear trait of growling at anyone who says, “Ah, there’s nothing wrong with that child!” Though I am of a gramma age, I still have a ways to go as far as maturity is concerned, I’m afraid.

Thursday 13 – Things I Want to do Over Summer Break

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

13 things I want to do over summer break:

  • Get caught up on paperwork right away.
  • Do some household organizing, decluttering and cleaning with the children’s help.
  • Plan some healthful, easy menus to use in the upcoming school year. I want to take advantage of my crock pot more than I did this year.
  • Schedule sports physicals for the children.
  • Take the cats to the vet for shots/deworming.
  • Go somewhere special (but still local) for our wedding anniversary.
  • Have friends over for backyard barbeques.
  • Work in the yard.
  • Visit with our son-in-law and grandson (and hopefully our daughter and new granddaughter at some point, also).
  • Read a Love and Logic book.
  • Help summer school students at the middle school.
  • Do some food preparation for high school soccer camp.
  • Go for lots of walks.

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Thirteen Things I Enjoy About my Job

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

This week for Thursday Thirteen I would like to tell you Thirteen Things I enjoy about my job (I am a paraeducator in a middle school.):

  • I have the privilege of working with some very creative, competent, dedicated teachers.
  • I enjoy working with this age of student (6th grade through 8th grade). It’s not exactly early intervention, which I understand is the most effective, but still there’s hope of benefiting the students.
  • Each day is different!
  • It is heart-warming to observe young people engage with a problem and really think about it.
  • The job is challenging. I need to be a detective of sorts, trying to figure out, with the guidance of the classroom teachers and the Special Ed teacher, the best way to help our young people succeed.
  • I do lots of walking from one end of the building to the other. Exercise is a lovely benefit.
  • I have two children attending the school, so feel more involved with their school careers since I’m there as well.
  • With this job comes the benefit of health insurance, something my husband and I have never had before.
  • I work part-time, so there’s still time for family duties and fun.
  • I don’t work summers (although I do hope to help with summer school this year.).
  • I receive an educational discount at Barnes and Noble because I work in the field of education.
  • Working keeps me from spending even more time on the internet than I do now.
  • Now that my family is growing up, working at the school is broadening my horizons. There is less for me to do at home now, so I needed this challenge.

13 Ways I Show My Family I Love Them

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

1Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;

verse 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

verse 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

verse 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

This Thursday 13
I’ve chosen to list 13 ways I show my family I love them:

  • So, I thought of the most important thing last, after completing my rough draft of the list, but I’ll put it first now for you: Attitude is EVERYTHING! Day by day, I keep an eye on my attitude. For example, if I’m irritable with my family, I am not loving them. If I’m resentful, I am not loving them. I go to God for His grace to be patient and kind with my family, to truly LOVE them.
  • Cook a special meal (or even any meal at all when the schedule is extra busy!).
  • Take one or two children out for a special coffee.
  • Bake a special dessert, just because.
  • Play card or board games with them.
  • Listen to my husband and children when they want to talk.
  • Go with them to games at the Middle School, the High School, and for our local minor league basketball team.
  • Be available to answer questions during homework time.
  • Facilitate get-togethers with their friends (Think: sleepovers!)
  • Take them to the movies, or out shopping.
  • Plan fun birthday celebrations!
  • Be especially comforting and helpful when they’re not feeling well.
  • Recommend books to one another; read the books; talk about the books (ditto on music, restaurants, interesting web sites, etc.)

Thirteen Things I did after work on Wednesday

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

  • Read and responded to my email; read and commented on some blog posts
  • Went to the bank, picked Lyd up from her soccer game, and did a little grocery shopping
  • Played Scrabulous for quite a while on Facebook (TWICE!), and tended my Lil Green Patch, too (virtual gardening). Why is that so relaxing?
  • DIDN’T go for a walk. My excuses: It’s too rainy, and I’m still sick. Achoo!
  • Emptied and refilled the dishwasher
  • Warmed up a delicious chowder I prepared yesterday for our dinner tonight
  • Talked with our oldest son on the phone. He went to pay for a used Dacor convection oven for us. Rick found it for sale on Craig’s List, close to where our son lives. We’ll need to pick it up soon, so I can bake homemade bread again; we really miss it.
  • Washed three loads of laundry, and did some folding
  • Chatted online with our daughter who lives clear across the country
  • Drank coffee; ate an ice cream cone
  • Did a short blog post, asking for stylin’ advice
  • Wrote an email to the high school counselor about one daughter’s schedule for next year
  • Enjoyed a time of Bible reading and prayer this evening with the family

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Thirteen ways to foster creativity in your children

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

This has been an extra busy week in my real world, AND I have been trying to do the responsible thing and get more sleep. These are my excuses for posting a bit less than usual. If you are interested in my unsubstantiated opinions, I forthwith present you with this week’s THURSDAY THIRTEEN,

Thirteen ways to foster creativity in your children:

  • First of all, make sure that your children’s basic needs for body and soul are consistently well-met. This lays a foundation of security and health. This will require a lot of love, self-discipline and self-sacrifice on your part.
  • Expose your children to real life people, places and things. Go to the park, to the zoo, to the concerts, to church, to stores, to the library, and to as many other places as you can think of. Prepare your children ahead of time for what they will see and what behavior will be expected of them.
  • Involve your children in the real work of the home, so that they may learn real skills and discover what valuable, competent people they are. Children (at an appropriate age, with instruction) can do animal chores, bake bread, clean bathrooms, mow lawns, wash vehicles, paint rooms, organize seasonal clothing, etc. DON’T DO FOR YOUR CHILDREN WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR THEMSELVES! Do you want them to learn that they are helpless and needy, or that they are strong and competent?
  • READ, READ, READ to your children! And, let them see you enjoying reading, too. Read a variety of literary genres to them, and non-fiction, too. Other times and places will come alive to them. Wise and good men and women from ages past (and the present) can become your children’s friends through good books.
  • Pay attention to your children, and particularly try to notice their aptitudes, talents and special interests. Nurture these talents, with appropriate lessons, supplies, field trips, mentors, etc. In schooling language, this is called Interest Based Education. This is the type of homeschooling that I tried to do. What’s good for one child’s development may not be the right fit for another child, as you most likely realize.
  • Provide a rich learning environment in your home. This would include: books, art supplies, Legos or similar 3-D building toys, clothing for dress-up, a safe outdoor play area with sand box, a dirt heap, trees to climb, places to bike and skate, room to run and dance.
  • Make sure your children have unstructured time every day to play and dream. How can they be creative if you are deciding what they will do every minute of every day?
  • Provide opportunities for your children to interact lovingly with people of as many ages and ethnicities as possible. Emphasize the duty we have to love and serve others. Let them know that they are no better and no worse than anyone else because of being black, white, brown, or any other shade or nationality. Let them think of ways to love and serve.
  • Limit TV viewing time. I would like to say, do without TV altogether, but there are valuable programs you can enjoy together, I know. I have read that the type of stimulation provided by TV does not foster neurological development in young children, nor does it develop their creativity. You can research this yourself, if you so desire. Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. has quite a bit to say on this subject in her book Your Child’s Growing Mind. This would include computer time as well.
  • Just because you are a busy momma, don’t stop altogether doing the creative things for which you have a passion. Please, continue dancing, playing musical instruments, writing, and painting, or working to further a cause for which you are passionate.
  • Make sure your children have strong basic skills in reading and math. Can a child be creative with math when he doesn’t know the language or rules of mathematics? Can a child appreciate the worlds hidden within books when he cannot read with ease?
  • Converse with your children about everyday events, newspaper articles, and books you are reading, and truly try to listen to them when they converse with you.
  • Play games with your children. Following the rules, planning one’s strategy, interacting with one another during the game, and keeping score foster emotional and mental growth and creativity.

There you have my list, compiled by an opinionated momma who homeschooled for many years. I am very pleased with my kind, creative, competent children. I didn’t say PERFECT, mind you. But, I enjoyed all the time spent with my children. Those were some of the best years of my life, and I am passionate about helping children to develop their particular talents.

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

This Thursday Thirteen I offer you Thirteen places I shop (or want to shop) online:

Thursday Thirteen Photobucket Meme

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

(Thanks to Hootin’ Anni for the Thursday 13 header.)

I found this meme over at my friend Storyteller’s Small Reflections. Thank you, Storyteller, for the fun idea!

Here is how you play:

  • Go to
  • Type your answer to the question in the SEARCH box.
  • Choose a graphic from the first page that comes up.
  • Insert the picture into your blog.

1. What is your current relationship status? Married

2. What is your current mood? Tired

3. What is your favorite band/singer? Eva Cassidy

4. What is your favorite movie? Pride and Prejudice

5. Where do you live? Pacific Northwest

6. Where do you work? School

7. What do you look like?

(This is what happens when you search for images of yourself on photobucket that don’t exist. :P)

8. What do you drive?

9. What is your favorite TV show? Don’t watch TV

10. Describe yourself: Loving

11. What are you doing today? Some 6th graders and I played this game. Fun!

12. What did you do last night? Sleep 😛

13. What is your name?

Thursday Thirteen – 13 kinds of pets we have had

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Thirteen Pets We Have Had (or still have):

  • Dogs (Currently, just our old doggie Lassie. Our girls are hoping for a new puppy. This is a test to see if Daddy reads this blog.)
  • Cats (The neighborhood cats who run away from home, or never had a home, come here to be fed, loved, and fixed.)
  • Cockatiel (The most lovable, personable bird I ever met.)
  • Parakeets (Never really got a friendly one.)
  • Finches (Messy!)
  • Goldfish (My husband’s outdoor goldfish receive royal treatment.)
  • Gerbils (Many. At one time. Interesting! Update: Our daughter who cared for the gerbils will tell you how many we had.)
  • Hamsters (My favorite was named Precioso. We kept his habitat in our bedroom, and I grew to enjoy the noise of his squeaky wheel at night. Very tame and friendly critter.)
  • Guinea Pigs (Habitats require DAILY cleaning. Very stinky little critters.)
  • Rabbits (We are partial to lop-eared bunnies.)
  • Ducks (Indian Running Ducks are fun; have you ever seen them?)
  • Chickens (The prettiest chickens, in my opinion, are the Auracana breed. The plumage can be a variety of colors, and they lay blue eggs.)
  • Toggenburg goats (Just two of them, a momma named Nanny – of course – and her kid.)