Saturday, April 30, 2011

I did it!

 spring fling button

I did it!  When I first thought about taking M3’s 30 day challenge, I wasn’t sure I could do it.  Our lives are just not that interesting!   But I decided to jump in with both feet, and I’m glad I did.   It was fun, but more than that it was a challenge accomplished.  Some days (and some seasons of life) that alone is worth celebrating.  :)

I took some deep breaths and posted personal things that left me potentially vulnerable (living—life on life; reading it again, for the first time; hmmm…; Who am I?) and several that explored the realities of homeschooling a special needs child (apraxia…again; 3 steps forward; not a typical Friday).  There have been glimpses into life with 6 children, and into life as the parent of 3 college students.  It’s been fun.  I don’t know that it will continue like this every month, but I intend to make an effort to post more regularly.  We’ll see.  May starts off with a bang this week, and I won’t even be around to post every day.  Such is life.

May.  New adventures.  College students returning home for the summer.  The end of a successful homeschooling year of Kindergarten.  Hopefully the beginning of spring in Seattle (finally!!).  All sorts of opportunities.  I can’t wait to see what it brings!  Check back and join us.  We’re looking forward to having you come along. 

Friday, April 29, 2011


I think I like this.  Then again, I tend to think too much.  :)


not a typical Friday


It’s amazing what a few minutes of sunshine can do.  The boys are so happy to be able to be outside in their sandpile, working on their ‘volcano.’  They LOVE digging in the dirt…

It’s been an interesting day….  Our big guys have all attended a small Christian school in the area, and this morning an email came across my desk.  “Please pray for the high school choir director and his family,”  it said.  “His 26 year old son died unexpectedly last night, and they are grieving hard.”   I can’t even begin to imagine the pain.  Shortly after that, I learned that one of the young Army men injured last night in Afghanistan in an IED incident is a young man from our church.  I’ve known Spencer’s aunts and his grandmother for nearly 20 years, I’ve worked with his mom for the last few years on Tuesday mornings, and he and his sister are the ages of some of my children.   More heartache, and then some relief.  Spencer is doing well—spent time in the hospital being observed but will be released back to active duty soon—but I don’t know if a mom or a grandma ever fully recovers from that.  I know what my heart did on hearing the news and recognizing that it could have been MY son injured in that kind of circumstance.  I am grateful to Spencer and the other young men and women who serve our country so faithfully.  I have a new level of appreciation for their sacrifices, and for their families.   And I am grateful(?) for a career-ending knee injury for my own son, who reluctantly left the Marine Corps last fall, even as I recognize the “adventurer” streak in him and know that he has given serious consideration to re-enlisting.   

After watching the (beautiful!) royal wedding this morning, I had an IEP reevaluation meeting for Logan.  Bright and early we went down the road to school, the boys carrying their Leapsters in one hand and cold cereal in a baggie in the other.  It’s hard to find someone to watch small children at 8 in the morning!  The reevaluation went well, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Logan has qualified for more services.   He' will continue with his speech and language therapy, but we’ll be adding occupational therapy to work on his fine motor and visual discrimination skills.  The good news in all this?  We get to write a new IEP, which means that we can finally address his need for assistive technology!  Logan NEEDS an FM system, and we’ve been working on getting one for him for many months.  Now we’ll be able to write it into his IEP and, theoretically at least, should have one for him to use soon.  While we finished the necessary paperwork to schedule the IEP meeting, I had a chance to visit with the OT.  She’s new to the school and very young.  She had lots of questions about the boys, and we had a great conversation about adoption and homeschooling.  I think she was surprised by the things I knew about Logan and the things I have learned in the last 3 years about his hearing loss, his apraxia, and his abilities and disabilities.  She was clearly blown away by the things we’d done at home to address his fine motor issues (most of them ‘normal’ for homeschooling families, things like tactile learning for letters, copying and tracing letters and shapes, and practice, practice, practice).  I look forward to working with her and am excited to see that God has given Logan another advocate in the school system to help us meet his needs.  Makes me wonder, though, why it is I continue to doubt.  God gave us this child, and has promised to provide what we need.  So why does it surprise me when He does what He promises??

Now, the long grass in the backyard is calling.  I’m going to get out the lawnmower and take care of it!  Sunshine…freshly mowed yard…one could almost think it was spring.  Almost.  A few degrees warmer and I might even buy it.  While I’m out there, I get to see the peach tree in bloom…DSC_0005

Such a pretty sight!  Makes me smile…and eagerly anticipate some peaches this year!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

oh my word

Is there anything worse in the world than being 6 years old and having your brother and your friend refuse to do exactly as you order?   Perhaps being 6, having your brother refuse to do exactly as you order, and not feeling well???  My best guess is that one of mine thinks that second combination is pretty close to the end of the world.    I’m currently of the opinion that there is one thing worse: being the parent of the whiny, bossy, disappointed, ill child.  <sigh>

Calgon, take me away!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27

Sitting at Starbucks tonight having tea with a friend, I was having a hard time believing that it is really the 27th of April.  How many times in SEATTLE does snow fall on April 27???   Yes, I was watching snow fall.  I can’t believe it.  I’m tired of being cold and wet!!

25 years ago today, a very young man asked an even younger girl to marry him.  She said yes, and they started planning a wedding.  Just over 4 months later, they said their “I do” and began a new life together.  Now he’s old and she’s not quite as young, and while they don’t specifically celebrate the date of their engagement, it is a day of celebration in their home.

You see, on April 27, 1989, the third anniversary of their engagement, a baby boy was born to them.  Weighing in at over 9 pounds, he was everything they dreamed of.  That baby boy grew and grew (and GREW!) to become a wonderful young man.  Brent, we are so proud of you!!   We wish you a very happy birthday, and a year filled with unexpected blessings.  May it be a much happier year than the past one.  :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

3 steps forward…

…2 steps (4 steps?  9 steps?  17 steps?) back.

It’s been one of those days.  Generally, I enjoy homeschooling.  I love seeing the boys learn.  I love watching the light come on,spring fling button seeing them ‘get it.’  And for the most part, it’s been that way all year.  Sure, we’ve had some bumpy patches and some places where  I wondered what on earth I was doing.  Mostly, though, it’s been steady (albeit slow, for one) progress.  I’ve been pleased.  This morning, though, I was ready to throw in the towel.  We have been working on phonemes (the basic  speech sounds that, when combined, form words) and phonemic awareness.  Logan’s done incredibly well—better than I expected; exceptionally well considering both his hearing loss and his limited (3 year) exposure to English.  Most students, when they learn to read, have had somewhere between 5 and 6 years of exposure to English.   We’ve spent the last 25 or so weeks working on letter sounds in the initial position.  He can almost always identify the sound, and typically can match the sound to the letter symbol.  The letter name?  Not there yet, but since we’re not shooting to win the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee any time soon, I don’t really care.

Today, we introduced recognizing the letter sound in the final position.  Uh….yeah.  Dream on, Mom.  It was SO FAR beyond anything he could wrap his mind around I felt like we were back in August again.  It was so discouraging!  For both of us, since he knew he wasn’t getting it.  After trying for a LONG time, we put the lesson aside and agreed to come back to it later.  Or tomorrow.  And I spent the next 15 minutes with my head in my hands, wondering why on earth I thought I could do this.  Wondering HOW to help him understand.  Wondering if we would ever master this and be able to move on to the next step.  And I spent time being very grateful that I am home and can homeschool, since seeing him struggle again this morning reminded me clearly once again that he is NOT a candidate for a classroom.  He wouldn’t make it.  He simply wouldn’t.  When I remember that 80% of children with hearing loss graduate from high school functionally illiterate, it motivates me.  It motivates me to stick with it—he will NOT be part of that statistic.  I can do better than the local school system.  Or at least it’s awful hard to do worse.  It motivates me to rethink how to teach him—failure is not an option.  It inspires me to get creative, to think outside the box.

The gap between the boys continues to grow.  It is difficult for Logan, and yet he is still motivated to keep up with Ryan.  They are both inspired to keep going, so we keep plugging away.  4 more weeks this year, then they move into a modified summer session.  We’ve gained too much ground with Logan to take a full summer break.  His learning style won’t thrive with that.  We will conquer this issue and move forward.

In the meantime, if you see me wandering aimlessly, send me back.  It means I’ve taken an unauthorized leave.  Of something.  Just not my senses—they left a long time ago.  :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Who am I?

She* wasn’t depressed. Not in the clinical “you have a brain chemical imbalance and need medication” sense anyway. Discouraged? Yep. Disillusioned? Certainly. Dissatisfied? Disheartened? Discontent? Yes. Yes. Yes. Her family was growing up. Her children were all in school full time. Her husband had a great job that more than adequately met their needs, and they had agreed early on that she would be the ‘at home’ parent, volunteering in classrooms and managing the household, even when the children weren’t home full time. No, that wasn’t really the problem. It was her. She was struggling with an identity crisis…of sorts. “Who am I? Really? Underneath all this?” she often wondered.
Her roles—wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend—were clear. Or were they? Under all those titles, who was this person wearing these hats? She really wasn’t sure. She had married young and had her babies young. She didn’t have a career to fall back on. Honestly, she doesn’t even really want one. Most of the time. She had never lived anywhere but with her parents or with her husband. She didn’t know what it was to be on her own, and at the moment it sounded completely heavenly. She even fantasized about running away. No one to cook for…except herself. No one to clean up after. No one clinging to her or crying at the bathroom door. There was a whole world out there to explore…and she was ‘stuck’ here with people who didn’t appreciate her. Or so it felt.
The more she thought about it, the worse things seemed. Her husband didn’t see HER anymore. She couldn’t remember the last time he had said she looked beautiful. He didn’t seem to notice the time she put into keeping the house clean and tidy, or cooking appealing meals. He only saw the messes, and felt free to call them out any time. (Only when she was older and wiser did she realize that perhaps he only saw the messes because she was so competent and so good at what she normally did that the mess was glaring.) Her children loved her, yes, but they only ‘needed’ her for rides to practices, hot food, and clean laundry. Was this all there was to life?
What about the dreams she had when she was a girl? What was it she wanted to do and be? And now, did she really like what she had done and become? Could she make changes and alter her course, or was it too late? Did she really want to? Or was it too hard, too frightening, too ‘out of character’ for her to even think about? What would people think? How would it affect her family? After pondering those questions for days (or weeks…or months…or even years), she decides to do:::nothing. “I’m just having a bad day. Tomorrow will be better.” she tells herself. And for a while it is. Maybe.
The thing is—if the root cause is not addressed, the problem is not resolved. For her, gutting it out meant that nothing changed. Nothing got worse, for sure, but things didn’t necessarily get better. Sure, she got better at ‘living with’ her issues, but they weren’t resolved. Even knowing who she is in Christ, knowing that He loves her, and understanding her value in His kingdom didn’t make things better. It helped, but the underlying issues still remain. And surprisingly few people are willing to truly hear her, to be open enough, transparent enough, to help her. Trying to explain it to her husband was hard…he just couldn’t understand what she was saying. Years later, the issues she thought were gone pop up again, and this time it’s harder to cope. Harder to ‘gut it out,’ to want to stay with the status quo, and much, much harder to talk about. After all, life is just that much better, from all appearances. The kids are great people, mostly grown and starting to be on their own. Her husband is successful, and their marriage seems to be great. Yet she still struggles with her own identity crisis. Every day, she wonders, “What is the answer to this? Who am I? Who do I WANT to be?” And she feels like the questions still have no answers…
*’She’ is not a single person; ‘she’ is a composite of women I have met and talked to over the years. Young moms, gals my age, older women—many of them have shared pieces of this story. Often shared in desperation, they feel totally alone. I am honest with them: I understand. I get it...most of it. I’ve been there...or some of those places. I only wish I had answers. For all of us.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Emotional maturity:  the point at which you realize that most of your life is beyond your control.

If that’s the definition, then I guess I’m there.  Fortunately, although my life is beyond my control, it is NEVER beyond God’s control.  Since He has a much better view of the big picture, I’m totally okay with that.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I”m having trouble adjusting to such a late Easter.  The end ofspring fling button April is birthday time at our house—Jim, Brent, and Hailey in a 15 day stretch—and somehow, adding Easter to this mix feels wrong.  In the rush that is our perpetual birthday week, it can feel lost in the shuffle.

I love Easter.  It’s one of my very favorite days.  Even better than Christmas!  :)  It’s not so much that we DO anything special at Easter (because we generally don’t) but more the opportunity to reflect on new life.  Flowers are blooming.  Trees are budding.  Birds are back, chirping in the (very!) early morning.  Frogs are back in the ponds, singing their songs in the evening.   The sun shines, and even feels warm!  After a long, cold, rainy winter, the change is refreshing.  With everything so new and alive, it’s hard to not see God.  His handiwork is EVERYWHERE in the spring.  And with the glorious reminders of His creativity and power come opportunities to reflect on His sacrifice that allows us to become new creatures.  That’s why I love Easter.  It’s a time of new growth, of change, of rebirth.

This year, Easter comes with a bonus—another birthday.  My nephew Nicholas turns 9 tomorrow.  Last April we learned that his Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) had returned.  Again.  This time, it returned after a bone marrow transplant.  The odds were definitely against him.  The survival rate for a second transplant sounded grim.  There weren’t many (any?) other options, and Nick had a second transplant last fall.  Now 7 months post-transplant, he looks and feels healthy.  He’s back in school and doing well.  He’s amazed his doctors.  As we celebrated his birthday with a family dinner tonight, I took a moment and thanked God for the miracle amongst us this afternoon—Nick.  It was another reminder of the preciousness of new life, the blessing of second chances. 

Tomorrow, the sunshine we enjoyed today will likely be gone.  It will be missed!  We’re off to church in the morning.  Then we’ll have an Easter Egg hunt and dinner with my parents.  Not the fanciest, most exciting way to spend the day, but probably the best way.  Enjoyable, peaceful, and filled with family, with plenty of opportunity to reflect on the best gift of all—Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

~Jesus Paid it All by Elvina M. Hall, 1865

Friday, April 22, 2011


DSC_0079 DSC_0002 DSC_0013 DSC_0029 DSC_0045 DSC_0047 DSC_0048 DSC_0053 DSC_0056 DSC_0060 DSC_0066 DSC_0075 DSC_0065 DSC_0009 DSC_0044 DSC_0050 DSC_0062

And probably my favorite.  I’d call it “Dare to be different”


Celebration time

It’s a RED LETTER day!!

Ryan, who weighed only 37 pounds last month when he had his tonsils removed, lost 2 pounds after his tonsillectomy.  At just over 6, he was a whopping 35 pounds on March 18.  :( 

This morning, though, 30+ days post surgery, Ryan got on the scale.  He now weighs 39 pounds!!   He is SO excited…only 1 more pound ‘til he’s ‘weight appropriate’ for a booster seat instead of a full sized (baby) car seat.   That’s important when you are almost to 1st grade.

Some things are meant to be celebrated.  We’re off on an adventure this morning…pictures later today.  :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

all in a day’s work

I snuck in some time to sew today!  Made 3 burp rags and a blanket…still have a small blanket square left to finish.  My house is a mess but I’m quite content.  :)




Now I’d better go clean up my mess..

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

how’s that fair?

Yesterday Jim got older.  And I discovered that I must be getting  senile.  At least temporarily…

It started when I got out of bed.  I’d spent part of the night feeling like I’d been hit with the stomach flu, so I definitely wasn’t at my best to start the day.  I tried to make his coffee and his lunch (like I do every day) but it didn’t go well.  I forgot to close the coffee maker, so the coffee didn’t drip into the pot.  I didn’t close the thermos correctly, and I spilled raisins all over the floor.  After I was done and the messes were cleaned up, I woke Tori and told her I didn't feel well, that I was heading back to bed.  Great, right?  Yeah.  Not so much.  I was almost immediately joined by two little boys who wanted to ‘snuggle.’  Normally I don’t mind—actually, normally it doesn’t happen because I’ve already showered before they get up!—but yesterday their squabbling and wiggling started to make me crazy.  Once we finally started the day, it went downhill very fast.  I

  • gave the boys breakfast, but forgot to hand them spoons for their cereal
  • tried to complete our school day, but had trouble focusing
  • went grocery and birthday shopping (needed to be done!) and forgot several key things like carrots and asparagus (for the birthday dinner!), gum for the girl who asked so nicely, and checking the price on something Jim had asked about.  More than once.  I DID remember the birthday presents though.
  • tried to make the birthday dessert and had to start over because I couldn’t follow directions
  • finished the dishes after dinner but forgot to turn on the very full dishwasher

That’s just a start to my senile day!  Fortunately, today is much improved already.  I feel about 1000% better and am looking forward to a delightful day.  The things I missed yesterday in my temporary senility are not critical and can be taken care of today.  And I am eagerly anticipating a nice evening out, combining some things I need to do with time for myself, doing some things I want to do.  Perfect!

spring fling button

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I was texting last night with one of my girls.  She had wanted to spring fling buttonknow if I’d heard some news she found interesting.  I had, and we chatted a bit about what had happened and the consequences of actions.  Then I threw out a comment that didn’t seem like ‘typical’ me, but apparently it didn’t surprise her at all.  Her reply?  “How did I know you were going to say something like that?  :)  I love you!” 

“Hmmm…”  I replied.  “I’m your mom.  I am the ultimate in predictability.   Or boring.  Or something like that. :\”

Her response to that stopped me in my tracks:

“It’s okay.  You’re not boring.  And there is not one single problem with having family members know you so well.  :)  In fact, I hear it’s encouraged…”

Wise truth from an 18 year old.  She finished our conversation with a very sweet “I love you mommy!  Sleep well.  :)”   She went on about her night, and I sat in my chair, thinking about what she’d said.  Yes, it’s good to be predictable.  It’s great that she knows me well enough to know what my response would be.  But is it so wonderful that I’m THAT predictable?  I’m not sure.   Gonna have to think on that one a bit….

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday :(

spring fling button Feeling a bit unsettled and discontent today.  I’m not even really sure why…or what would make things better.  It would probably help to be able to put it into words, but since I’m not sure exactly what’s bugging me, putting it into words clearly isn’t going to happen.

So…what WILL happen today?  Laundry, for sure.  At least 3 loads.  Speech therapy.  School for the dynamic duo.  School for my high school friend.  Dinner, for company tonight.  Birthday shopping for Jim, since tomorrow is his day. 

At the moment, that’s about all that is clear.  Guess I should get started…

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bronc-ver? Beav-os??

When you live in a house with an Oregon State University Beaver alum (Daddy), a Boise State University Bronco (Brent), a University of Washington Husky (Hailey), and a Washington State University Cougar (Emily), choosing a school to support can get a bit tricky.  Logan’s figured out a way around the problem—stick with the guys.  He’s got the male side of the house covered.  Oregon State University colors are orange and black.  Boise State University colors are orange and blue.   His new shoes?  Yep.  Check them out:


Pretty cool, huh?  I’m just not sure shoes that are purple, gold, crimson, and grey would be very attractive.  Good thing he’s not interested in choosing shoes in the colors of the girls’ schools, I guess. 


Computer viruses are no fun.  We picked one up on Thursday afternoon…fortunately, we managed to clean the computer and restore it to health.  But because it was out of commission until today, I couldn’t post yesterday.  :(

Friday, April 15, 2011

baskets, bike rides, and bubble wrap

The rain continues here, although it has slowed to a constant drizzle, thankfully.  I think.  At some level, rain is rain.  :(

The day started out with a bit of a tussle.  Friday is laundry day, and the dynamic duo decided they needed to sit in the laundry basket.  After a few cross words, one went upstairs and brought down the second basket…and voila!  instant happiness.  See?


Then, to burn off some of the excess energy from being cooped up for far too long, we loaded the bikes into the car and headed for the trail near the house.  The boys had a ball, and I learned some things.  One is that when you only weigh 35 pounds, trying to walk a bike with training wheels down a big hill is not as easy as it sounds.  The bike WILL get away from you…very quickly.  And one of the boys learned two new things today:  1) that using your brand new shoes as brakes will make Momma VERY unhappy, and 2) how to use the brakes on the bike.  I wasn’t aware of the fact that he didn’t know!  They had fun anyway…




The trail runs through some fairly large wetlands, and the boys had their first experience with skunk cabbage.  It’s in full bloom, and you DEFINITELY notice it.  :)  Good thing it’s interesting to look at…


When we got home there was a package on the front porch.  Not particularly exciting for the boys, but they sure got jazzed about the bubble wrap!  Three sheets…one for each of us.  Perfect to pop while waiting for lunch.


Baskets, bike rides, and bubble wrap?  Beats blue Friday hands down!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Imagine for a mspring fling buttonoment that you KNOW what you want to do, but you simply cannot coordinate your muscles to do it.   It feels like they aren’t communicating with your brain.  You can clearly SEE how something is supposed to be done, but when it’s your turn, your fingers don’t grasp things the right way and your wrists seem to bend the wrong direction and your elbows get in the way…all because the your ability to coordinate complex motor activities is compromised.  Somehow.  No one can explain exactly how, but you know that it is.  Maybe putting socks on your hands and braces on your wrists would start to approximate the difficulty coordinating things.  Now try and learn to tie your shoes. 

But wait!  Remember that in addition to the apraxia, you have a hearing loss.  And an auditory processing issue, which means that somewhere between your ears and your brain, the words you CAN hear get lost in translation.  NOW try to learn to tie your shoes.

He tries hard.  He really does.  But the deck is SO stacked against him.  And I don’t have the foggiest idea how to help.  We’ve tried all sorts of options, but nothing seems to work well.  Because he has vestibular (inner ear, affecting balance) issues, the OT and the PT thinks he needs vestibular therapy.  Because he has apraxia, the vestibular therapist recommends OT/PT.  Because of his hearing loss and his auditory processing issues, being able to hear and comprehend directions would go a long ways toward learning new motor skills.  We’re just not there.  Some days I feel like we’re not ever going to get there.  I’m getting better at thinking outside the box, but this box is bigger than any I’ve encountered before.  I’m stumped.  And frustrated.  (And too old for this!!)

When you add another cold grey soggy day to the mix, it starts to feel a bit overwhelming.  I had some fun plans for tomorrow, a nice change of pace, that we’ll likely skip because of this infernal rain.  It can get old fast.  I’m ready for a break.  I’m ready for SPRING.  It’s supposed to be here.  But since it doesn’t appear to be anywhere in sight, I guess I”ll have to find something else for my restlessness.  A project with a short term end product (unlike homeschooling!) might be just the ticket.  Time to start a new quilt?  Maybe…

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

(almost) wordless Wednesday

A breakfast favorite here:


Cream of wheat—with a few chocolate chips, a little vanilla ice cream, and a scattering of sprinkles.  Definitely a hit with the little guys.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

now we are 6

The joys of being 6 include another lost tooth…IMAG0022

…and lunch with a very special friend.  Who willingly shares her DS.  What more could 6 year olds want??  IMAG0023

Sorry it’s so blurry.  :(

reading it again, for the first time

Recently I gave  a copy of Mere Christianity by CS Lewis to a friend.  I’ve read it before, and it seemed like an appropriate choice givenmere christianity our recent conversations.  It’s been a LONG time since I’ve read the whole thing, and I felt very much like I needed to reread it so that I could have an intelligent (okay…semi-intelligent!) conversation about it if there were questions.  There have been multiple copies here—it’s required summer reading for our kids before their senior year in high school—so I knew we had it.  I owned a copy when we got married, and I think Jim did too.    But I couldn’t find a copy anywhere!  It seems that some of my crew had taken theirs with them to college, and other copies have been loaned out to friends.  Fortunately, buying a book can be as simple as clicking a link and having it downloaded to my Kindle.  Presto!  A copy to read, when and where I want it.  I spent a chunk of my free time at women's retreat reading it, and finished it the next week (Jim and Victoria were both gone; it was just the boys and me at home so I could read as much as I wanted after 8pm). 

Wow!  To read it without all my notes in the hard copy I own was interesting.  It was like reading for the first time.  Only now I”m much older (!) and more mature (I hope) than I was the first time I read it.  I didn’t even particularly care for parts of it the first time through.  Or the second time through.  This time?  Not so much.  So many things made much more sense than they ever have before.  I found myself quite enjoying the read, taking lots of notes and asking many questions.  I’ve spent lots of time thinking some of his points through.  A portion of my drive to Pullman and back (11 1/2 hours round trip this time…UGH!) was mulling over some significant questions I had.  Now I think I’m ready for that (semi) intelligent conversation.   Maybe.  Someone I know called Mere Christianity a ‘cerebral’ book, and I agree.  That’s why it seemed like such a good fit for my friend.  Me?  Definitely not so cerebral.  This time through, though, much of what I read struck a chord with me, probably in part because it put into words what I can’t adequately explain.  Logically, no less…certainly not my strength.  :)

spring fling button
So, my friend, thank you.  Your questions challenged me to do some  things I needed to do.   Challenged me to deepen my thinking.  Challenged me to put together rational, logical arguments.  Challenged me to truly understand the logic of the ‘why’ behind my faith.  As a bonus, I have had some great conversations with Hailey and Emily, both of whom have loved Mere Christianity.  It was fun to talk with them and learn what they loved, to share my favorite parts.  We have all grown from it.  I would love to hear your thoughts on it.  Lunch?  Name the time and the place.  I’ll be there.  :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Moms weekend

I clearly live spring fling buttona sheltered life.  I have this little box in my mind that defines what a mom looks like when they have college kids, and it doesn’t include acting like a college kid yourself!  I had heard about the goings-on at Moms Weekend, but I found some of it hard to believe.  Yeah.  Not so much any more.  Not when you’ve seen it with your own eyes.

Now, I’ll be the very first to admit I’m not much of a drinker.  An occasional glass of wine…heavy on the OCCASIONAL.  I don’t do red wine at all (a migraine trigger for me) and I’m just not a huge fan of most white wines.  Watching the group of 9 moms and dads (yes, there were dads at moms weekend) at dinner Friday night finish off 2 bottles of wine, 2 pitchers of beer, 4 martinis, 6 individual glasses of wine, and 2 individual beers was interesting.  Knowing that most of them were going from dinner directly to the sorority/fraternity exchanges to the ‘wine and poker’ nights and then driving to hotels was fascinating.  Seeing moms so drunk their daughters were holding them up, and knowing of at least one college freshman who had to drive her mother to the hotel after the wine and poker?  I don’t understand.  Is that REALLY fun?  Do college students really enjoy seeing Mom smashed?   Is that what is now considered quality bonding time with your child?  If so, I’ll pass.

The pictures I saw were interesting too.  Moms making passes at college boys.  Moms and daughters pole dancing together.  One that looked like a lively game of strip poker.  Again…this is fun to share with your child?  I just don’t understand.

Then there was the other extreme…the moms who still couldn’t wrap their minds around the fact that their little darling has truly been gone from home since August, making their own decisions and living to tell about it.  I heard lots of moms deriding their children's choices.  Everything from choice of date to clothing and food were fair game.  Let’s not even talk about what Moms were saying about choices of majors!  Emily is a freshman.  She had an idea going in to school what she wanted to major in, but has since discovered that it’s not a good fit for her.  She’s made a huge change.  I’m delighted for her.  It is, after all, HER life.  SHE needs to like what she’s studying.  SHE needs to be happy with the choice.  It’s not about me.  It’s not about what makes me happy.  Again, I just don’t understand.

I am Emily’s mom.  I will always be Emily’s mom.  Our relationship is changing these days.  I am less and less ‘coach’ in her world and more and more ‘friend.’  But even then, I am still Mom.   Maybe the problem is me—to me there are just some things you don’t need to share with your mom.  I have an awesome mom.  I love her dearly.  But she’s not my best friend, and I don’t treat her like she is.  I adore spending time with her.  I respect her wisdom and her advice.  But she is also Jim’s mother in law.  She’s the grandma of my crew.  There are things I would tell my best friend that Mom doesn’t need to know.  They could affect her relationship with the others in my house, and that’s not right.  (No, Mom…there’s nothing you need to worry about!)  There’s a balance…

Relationships with adult children are complex.  That’s a given.  But when moms start acting like college kids at a party, it seems that it would make an already complex relationship even more complicated.  Why do that?  Why not enjoy time together with your child, learning about them?  If you’ve laid a solid foundation during their childhood, you really should be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors!  College is about spreading your wings, not having them clipped by parents.  Sadly, the way some moms acted this weekend, some of THEM need their wings clipped.

Fortunately, not all the moms were like this.  I did connect with a couple of neat gals.  And I saw Hailey’s best friend and her mom.  They were having the same kind of fun Emily and I were having.  :)   After this weekend, I’ll take my sheltered life and my own definition of ‘mom with college aged kid(s).  It’s definitely better than the alternatives I witnessed this weekend!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

home again

Warning!  Grumble ahead…

I am back from Moms Weekend with my girl.  THAT was fun.  Mostly.  The time with her was awesome…it was some of the rest of it I could do without.  I wish I could say I am glad to be home.  Frankly, I’m not.  I’d rather be gone a few more days.  I was thoroughly enjoying myself, and don’t enjoy the ‘throw Mom under the bus’ approach that comes on my return:  “Mom!  Watch this.”  “Momma.  I need __________.”  “Hey Mom, what’s for dinner?  I’m starving!”  “Mom, I got marker all over my shirt and my pants.  Can you get it out?”  None of it is bad or even hard, but to be hit with 150 requests as soon as I walk in the door, all of them from people who need things RIGHT NOW makes me want to run screaming for the hills.  Especially since Dad, who was here all weekend, is perfectly capable of handling things.  :\

See?  Told you I was grumbly.  I’m going to find a good book and go read.  Tomorrow WILL be better.    But there won’t be any pictures from my trip.  I didn’t take a single one.  Em and I took a lovely drive, but instead of taking pictures we talked.  And just enjoyed the scenery.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


What a great day!  Em and I have covered the campus, taken a drive through some beautiful country, talked and talked and talked and talked, and overall had a wonderful time.  I've been blessed with a great place to stay (thanks Noel!) and a wonderful time with my daughter.

We went to the Moms Weekend Craft Fair today.  Oh my goodness!  I didn't intend to spend money.  I certainly didn't intend to spend quite as much as I did, but what a find!  Can't wait to take it home and see how it looks--Em and I have it all planned out.  Jim's going to need to get his 'project' my kitchen! :)  Here's a glimpse of my purchase:

It needs to be cropped--it's sitting on a blue Mexican blanket--but working with my cell phone doesn't work for that...

Tonight is the Colbie Caillat concert on campus.  Looking forward to it.  Enjoyed a CD my girls made for me on the way over and can honestly say that I'm looking forward to a delightful evening.

Lots of time to think on the way brain was working overtime.  I even had to go pick up a notebook so I could write down some of my thoughts.  It will be interesting to see what comes out on the way home.  Now, if only I could figure out how to drive and write at the same time...

Friday, April 8, 2011

finally Friday!

Laundry?  Done...
House?  Clean...(at least reasonably!)
Menu?  Planned...
Dinners?  Cooked and in the fridge...
Camera?  Charged and ready...
Bag?  Packed!

I'm outta here.  :)  Headed east to spend Moms Weekend with my very favorite college freshman.  Hopefully there will be sunshine.  I know there will be fun.

And, as always, pictures of one of the most beautiful parts of this state when I get back.  Can't wait to see what spring looks like over there.  Enjoy your weekend.  I'm sure I will!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

a VERY brief sun break





The sun was not out for long yesterday, and it definitely was NOT warm, but we got ourselves out of the house for a bit.  A bike ride to the park, some time on the playground, and a long ride back home—all of it does wonders for kids (and moms!) who have been house-bound far too long.  Good thing, too, since late yesterday afternoon we had thunder, lightening, hail, and SNOW.  Yep…snow.  In Seattle.  In April.  Go figure.

Back to the rain today.  :(  But today’s adventure should be tons of fun.  We are going to have lunch with Logan’s first speech therapist!  Tina was a big part of Logan’s life for nearly 2 years.  He adores her and misses her terribly as his SLP.  But Tina has a baby and a new job.   For fun, we’re meeting with her and her darling daughter today for lunch because I want her to see how far Logan has come, and to thank her for her part in his life.   Food, friends, and grateful hearts.  What else is there?