Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Sad Farewell...

Nineteen years ago Mom and Dad acquired a trailer to park on our half acre property. It became their "California home". For years they would come in Spring and Fall for at least a month each season. While they were here, it was like having them as next door neighbors. They could cook their own meals and keep their own schedule and stay clear of a chaotic, homeschooling household of eight people! Mom and Dad could come in and join us for a cup of coffee or a meal and the kids could run out for a visit in the trailer where Grandma always had special treats and Grandpa was waiting to do crossword puzzles or read the comics! Mom and Dad's investment in that trailer did so much more than save on hotel bills... it built relationships and years of lasting memories!

Besides being a vacation home for Mom and Dad, that trailer housed many other guests... family and friends, a foreign exchange teacher, homeschool convention vendors, speech tournament families and more. Our last guest was a stranger; a world traveler I brought home from the Airporter, someone needing a bed for the night. That trailer has been a blessing to many... and now it is making it's way to a new home. In it's place we hope to build a rental unit to provide some additional income for our retirement years.

Today is a sad day... not because I am attached to an aging trailer nor for the loss of memories, for they will not leave with the trailer. Today is a sad day because it is an acknowledgement of things I don't want to think about... the fact that Mom and Dad's days of traveling to California are over... the fact that most of my children are grown and gone and no longer running in the backyard... and the reality that Bob and I are talking about retirement income. Time is always pushing forward and we cannot hang on to a single minute. We can only hope to live each moment well, knowing that it has become a part of the people that we are and the relationships that endure.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Our High School Graduate...

How can it be that this little guy grew up to be a man in just a few blinks of the eye? I'm sure that from his perspective, it has taken forever... but as every parent knows, it seems to happen overnight!

This weekend Lucas will officially "graduate", meaning that he has completed the requirements of his parents as well as the state of California to be awarded a high school diploma. As a homeschooling family we like to think of education as an environment and a lifestyle... so in that sense graduation is just the end of one chapter and the beginning of another!

When Lucas was a little guy he was quite outgoing and uninhibited; today he is generally a more quiet and reserved guy, but he definitely has a quirky sense of humor and a flair for the dramatic as anyone who has seen him perform one of his interpretive speeches knows!

The highlights of his high school years have been speech club and ballroom dancing. Through these activities he has gained many lifelong skills as well as some great friends.

Some interesting (and perhaps not so well known) information about Lucas:

He likes country music and vintage cars.
He loves pizza and he eats peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches.
He is a great carpet bowler and bowls with a "senior's group" whenever he visits his grandparents.
He can be found practicing his dance routines out on our sport court after dark.
He owns more formal wear than all the other men in our family put together!

Lucas we love you and consider you a great blessing to our family. We look forward to seeing how the future adventures of your life unfold as you use your God-given talents to serve Him!

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 

Here are some more of the great senior photos that Becky took for us...
And here is the great group of students that he is graduating with...

 Congratulations Lucas!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Our Menagerie...

Currently the animals outnumber the humans in our household!

Naomi has enjoyed her two guinea pigs, Sweet Pea and Sapphire, for almost 3 years now. She is a very devoted "mommy" to her piggies - giving them lots of love and attention. In fact she has trained Sapphire to raise a small flag on a flagpole. It is very cute! I will try to upload a video soon and post it.

Recently she adopted 2 more guinea pigs into her "piggy" household. These are two sisters about 1 1/2 years old. Their owner needed to find a new home for them. On the left is Butterscotch and on the right is Oreo. Those are the names they came with and Naomi thought they were cute and well suited! The guinea pigs are still getting used to each other and have had a few "squabbles"!
Below is a picture of all four of them together... on our kitchen floor! (when did I agree to have guinea pigs loose in the house?)
On top of doubling our guinea pig population, we are puppy-sitting for Angela and Crandon who are on vacation. "Hank" is a very adorable puppy that they adopted from the local animal shelter. He was one of nine pups that lost their mother at a very young age. He is currently about 11 weeks old. They believe him to be a mix of Lab and Catahoula Leopard dog; he has some spotting on his back and rump, which you can't see in the photo. He is super sweet... but having a puppy is a little like having a baby again... night time whining and mopping up of puddles! Actually he is doing very well and Naomi has done 90% of the work, so I can't complain.
Stay tuned... I haven't forgotten about the "graduation post".

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Whirlwind Catch-up...

It's been more than 2 months since my last post and I won't even attempt to make excuses! Suffice it to say that sometimes the journey gets so busy that there is little time to record it!

Perhaps my readers have given up... but I will attempt to hit on a few of the many activities that have taken place in the past few months.

Naomi and I spent a day at the Children's Museum with these two little guys while their Mom and Dad were getting the family moved.

Miss M. hosted a lovely Valentine's Tea that Naomi and I were invited to. She was quite the little hostess and had helped prepare all the food and made the decorations and set a lovely table!
February's costume dance at Nordquist was a "Disco Night". Here are my two dancers in costume.

I had the fun of taking my daughter and my granddaughter on a great field trip to the Shulz Museum.
A short trip to Canada in March included a one day reunion with my long time high school friend and maid of honor, whom I had not seen in more than 30 years! We spent 6 hours together, which hardly did justice to 30 years, but it was a great blessing to catch up and see how God had been faithful in each of our lives!
We had a family brunch on the Resurrection Weekend and tried hard to get a photo of all the grandkids. Seven kids age 5 and under... this was one of the better shots!
My 3 handsome sons... taken at the same brunch! (They were more cooperative to photograph!)
Late March we attended a 3 day speech tournament in Modesto. Here Lucas and Naomi are on their way to compete the first morning.
Bob and his brother. We enjoyed an overnight visit last month from Bob's brother and sister-in-law; it had been too long since our last visit!
Lucas is coming up on his high school graduation and has been busy with lots of "graduate activities". He will participate in a graduation ceremony with 8 other home educated graduates, all fellow speech classmates. They are a great bunch of kids! Here they are being goofy together...
... and here they are in their caps and gowns!
Another recent outing was two days in San Francisco for Lucas to take some aptitude tests. It was a great experience and we all enjoyed the outing in the city. These are a couple photos of the many unique and unusual skyscrapers in the financial district.
This was a heated bench in an outdoor shopping center. I had a hard time getting Naomi and Bob off of it!
There were many beautiful planted flower pots in the Embarcadero Center.
On our way out of San Francisco we stopped at the Northern Vista Point to enjoy the beautiful views.
Jordan and Becky recently spent a fun day with Lucas taking some senior photos in several locations and in a few different outfits. Becky did an amazing job! I will do a blog post soon (maybe!) featuring some of the great pictures she took!

Well, that was a hit and miss blog post... but it makes me feel better and now I can attempt to stay a little more current! =)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fused Glass...

A few weekends ago, Naomi and I enjoyed a Saturday morning fused-glass workshop. There is a studio not far from us and I had been intriqued by the interesting projects you can make with fused glass. It is a process of adding cut glass pieces onto a glass base. It then goes into a kiln which melds the glass all together. It can then be fired again and slumped into a functional shape like a bowl or plate. Naomi and I both chose to make display plates. The class we took focused on cutting glass into triangular pieces and then assembling a mosaic style design. We chose to do a class, but the studio is such that you can just go in and work on a project with available help from the staff.

When my oldest kids were younger it seems I made time for a lot more arts and crafts and creative endeavors... and every once in a while I feel a bit guilty about the younger ones missing out on some of that... so this was a fun opportunity!

Naomi chose to create a likeness of our former dog, Dixie, and I created a more random, abstract floral design. Below are the plates before going into the kiln...
... and here are the finished projects back at home!
Hopefully we will make time for some more creativity soon!