Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's a new year

With summer winding down, we are gearing up for the boys to be in 5th and 7th grades this year. YIKES! Where oh where did the time go? It seems just yesterday that my 2 little men were even littler men. I'm a little sad about how fast time has gone, but at the same time, every stage is so exciting!

Football for Benjamin is well under way. He has some great kids and some great coaches this year, so he is pretty excited about this season. Brian is coaching again, and is so far liking the coach and his ideas. 7th grade is going to be a great year for Benjamin.

Christian is finishing up his summer work sheets, and is actually doing them w/o constant reminders! He rocked his MCA scores this year, and I am so so proud of him. Hopefully because of such great scores he'll start 5th grade on a better note than past years. I pray that this is the boost he needs to go into a school year with confidence that he hasn't had before. If any child deserves a's this one!

My schedule at work has been so flexible... and nearly non existant this summer. I have been blessed with ALOT of time off! Thank goodness for a boss who respects a working mother. In addition to being given a ridiculous amount of time off this summer, I have also been given a new schedule. One that includes every Friday off. What? Every Friday? Yep. Best part is that I didn't even ask for was offered to me. Awesome! 3 day weekends, and a solid day that I can dedicate to Lincoln, not only to volunteer, but to sub if they need me! Seriously, this job just can't get any better!

I really have been blessed with a husband and sons whom I love, friends that I adore, a job that contours our family perfectly, and a community of people who support me unconditionally. Praise God for all His blessings.

I'm looking forward to our Bible study at church to start back up...along with Confirmation for Benjamin, my final year as PPT president, my first fall with a regularily scheduled job, and free time to do my thing, as well as an entire day to dedicate to one of my favorite places! This is going to be a fantastic year for sure!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Taking it in

You know what's awesome? When you're cruising along, in hyper drive, and something makes you stop to take it all in.

When that something is 7 wonderful, intelligent, talented, supportive, and creative women that you feel dumb lucky to be in a sisterhood with. When you're sitting around an outdoor table on a patio surrounded by a beautifully manicured lawn with lush greenery, and flowers bursting with color. Soothing jazzy music plays in the background while the summer sun dips into the horizon. Conversation is being held by 2s and 3s, while dishes of mouthwatering famous 'last dishes' are being passed at the same time that wine and cocktails are being poured and taste tested. Plentiful laughter and gossip, groans of delight over the latest bite, all while the water fountain gurgles in the background. The 5-yes FIVE- sumptuous desserts get passed around and the moans of utter perfection are in surround sound again. The fire gets lit, and the sweaters get wrapped tighter, the blankets adorn laps, and the outdoor swinging benches are set into motion as we settle in around the crackling fire.

I took many moments today to look at each of the women at the table so that I could take in a scene that has been broadcast on the big screen more times than I can count. Today, I lived it.

April, thank you for hosting tonight. The music was perfection, your backyard is stunning, and your home is cozy. I am afraid for my child--not really, but kinda....Thank you.
Cate, thank you for bringing wisdom and guidance to our group. You keep us up to speed, and your knowledge is priceless. Your beauty shines, and your laughter is contagious.
Allison, thank you for knowing what I am going to say before I do. Thank you for being the person to finish my sentences, and for letting me finish yours. Lefse-nuff said.
Juli, thank you for your subtlety. I love to sit back and take it in with you. One of these days, we'll know what they're talking about. You make me laugh, and I can't get enough of your friendship.
Elizabeth, your wealth of knowledge in things that no one should know is impressive and admirable. You are the only person I know that knows about raccoons, apple seeds AND everything leafy. Your natural beauty shines in all ways possible.
Cherie, you're right, we need Tshirts--can't get enough of you. I want to find windfall apples plum pooky just for you. Your innocence and sincerity are my favorite qualities in you, and I am grateful to be your friend.
Andi, being a part of your life is a privilege. I am humbled by your ability to articulate your thoughts, and am grateful that you felt at ease enough to share yourself to us so openly. Your grandmother is proud of who you are.

I am so incredibly blessed to be in the company of these women, and so grateful that no matter what happens in our lives, we still have each other. My life would not be the same w/o the 7 of you. Thank you so much for tonight. It really was incredible in all ways.

Tonight was amazing.

I'm taking it in.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

After a long break from posting pictures...I bring you many!

As you may know, we just returned from our trip to San Francisco, and it was absolutely perfect! We loved everything about our trip, we were able to explore not only the big city and Fisherman's Wharf, but we were even able to get out into the mountains of Northern CA and do some exploring there. It was an amazing vacation for every one of us!

Before we flew out of MN, we stopped for some lunch and while we were eating, we realized that we didn't have our camera. So that was one of the impromptu purchases that we made when we made it to the Wharf. Unfortunately, because of this unexpected purchase, neither of us knew anything about the our photos did not turn out the way we had envisioned. However, we did find some beautiful shots of the buildings and scenery that I just can't wait to get blown up and framed! Good eye B!

W/o further ado...I bring you San Francisco!! In no particular order.

The first picture is from Muir Woods. What a beautiful, serene and humbling place to visit. Not only were the trees stunning in their height and in their size, but Christian also made an observation that resonated with each of us for the rest of the day. Toward the beginning of our visit, he mentioned that the brook that was gurgling through the woods reminded him of Papa's woods. I thought it was sweet that he was thinking of Papa, and it made me reflect on the last walk I took with my dad through his woods before he passed away. Shortly after Christian made the comment, we came across a mama deer and her 2 fawns. It took my breath away as we stood and watched this mama and her babies no more than 15 ft away--eating and paying no attention to us whatsoever. It is no secret that my dad's favorite thing to do was sit on his back patio and watch his deer. They were there the day we spread his ashes, and they were there with us in Muir Woods. In fact, they were still in their places when our family finally walked away. Thank you Dad for being with us that day. We love you.

This is one of the walls of Alcatraz. This was the wall that lead out to the recreation yard. The tour is fantastic with individual audio devices that you listen to as you walk through the prison. The narrators are both inmates and guards, who describe what it was like to be in Alcatraz...all the way down to the last day. Again, humbling.

Here is one of the jellyfish hanging out next to our boat while we were waiting to leave Alcatraz island. The boys got a kick out of the swimming around the boat. On the way back to the mainland, we had dolphins jumping along side us...very cool!

Hanging out on the Pier, waiting for our tour. The boys taught B and I a hand game that we all spent plenty of time playing when we had down time! Good stuff!


Glass Beach. We found some wonderful pieces of glass, played with the crabs, splashed around in the water and hiked around on the cliffs...amazing! Well worth the crazy drive!

My little tree huggers!

On our way back from the Alcatraz tour we were stopped by this magician on the pier who showed us some cool tricks! One of our favorite things about the Wharf is all of the side entertainers. We saw this magician, musicians--of all genres, acrobats, artists, was so very cool! It added a whole new element to strolling along shopping and taking in the views! Such a difference they all made!

We JUMP FOR JOY for San Francisco!!

One of our favorite flowers from the Golden Gate Park.

Our trip also included a day at the Exploratorium, Ripley's Believe it or Not, Chinatown, the Japanese Tea Gardens, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, a trip to Sacramento, drive and ice cream in Napa Valley, Wax Museum, Ghiradelli Square, LOTS of walking...and so much more!

My sister stayed in our house with our pets while we were gone, so the peace of mind that was provided by having her here really made a difference for me!

We've got lots going on....I'll share more soon!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stay tuned...

So much has been going on in our house! Wow! Mission trips, camps, vacations, trips to see doctors! Not to mentioned summer activities, back to school lists, math and reading packets in addition to tests, and marriage and parenting and life!


I'm proud to say my head is fully above water and I am almost ready to tell you all about it! In fact...this evening I will be bound to my chair with my leg up--literally-- doctors orders! So I'll be able to fill you all in on the goings on...stay tuned!