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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Flowers for the Soloist

I accidentally took one of my all time favorite pictures last week. We don't have a camera aside from our phones since ours was stolen when Dawn was on a trip a couple years ago. But every once in awhile I snap a great moment on my phone.

Admittedly, I have to say most of the time I am a smidge too early or a tad too late and miss it. But, this picture is dear to me. As dear as the hearts in these two young ladies. As different as can be but sister bonds are strong...womb-mate bonds seem to be even stronger.

I posted about show choir choreography camp yesterday. It was a busy week. Dawn and Ryan came home every night sore and exhausted. They learned the bulk of their routine for the upcoming show choir year.

On Tuesday there were auditions. Dawn was chosen to sing the ballad solo and she was so surprised and thrilled. She will do great and I am proud of her. Ryan got a back up solo and he is a dance captain. That boy...he has the moves!

Stacey and I had to make a trip to Walmart on Tuesday night and as we walked in she pointed to the flowers and said "Mom! I have to get flowers for Dawn!" She picked out the prettiest purpliest flowers they had and when we got home, she presented them to her sister. And then...this. This sister-love picture. I am so thankful!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Choreography Camp

Last week was choreography camp. The first event of the summer that marks the beginning of the end. This week is pretty quiet but then it starts up again with drum line camp and then marching band camp and then...well, it will be August and school will be starting again. This summer has flown by, but enough of that...it is still July and we are going to enjoy every day of summer that is left!

Back to camp...I get to help serve food and hang out with some other cool show choir moms during the week. The kids worked hard and boy, whoever says show choir isn't a sport has no idea what they are talking about. There was a lot of sweat and a lot of aches and pains as the week progressed.

But, that said I LOVE THIS YEAR'S SHOW!!! It is going to be great! There is still a lot of work, but the initial learning is now in their brains and their muscles and as school starts, Monday nights will be busy working on perfecting it all.

Here we have Ryan with some of his moves:


 And Dawn too:


 On Thursday afternoon the very last thing they do is both show choirs perform their shows for each other (and any parents who want to come watch). Let me tell you, walking into the school by the fourth day it was pretty ripe in there! It is the smell of hard work and happy dancers! They both looked great!

I can't wait to mark my calendar and plan the show choir season. It has gotten off to a very great start!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Random Memories Down the Lane

Spending time downstairs this past week I stumbled upon a great blast from the past on Amazon Prime when I saw Match Game 73 and Match Game 75, both seasons! I was curious because this game show of all things is connected to my very first memories as a child. There are a lot of things that I remember, and from my experience talking with others I remember more details than most about a few of those experiences.
Match Game...It was probably more like 74-76 that I remember this show. We lived in a mobile home on my grandparent's farm because my dad had been stationed in Thailand for a year when I was three. We continued to live there after he returned until halfway through my first grade year. My brother and I are 18 months apart and my mom often let us nap together in her bed in the back of the house. We screwed around back there a lot! I remember squeezing ourselves under the vanity in her room with stuffed animals and pillows thinking we would sleep under there. But what I remember most about nap time in the trailer house was that we would sneak down the hallway and position ourselves where mom couldn't see us but we could see the television. 

Mom made our clothes for us mostly because back in those days it was less expensive to sew them than to buy them. So often she had her sewing machine on the kitchen table and would have the tv on while she worked. The fun thing was we got to see Match Game since that is what was usually on during nap time. Finding a couple of seasons of that on Amazon Prime last week was fun. I remember most of the celebrities that are on there not because of the shows they were starring in, but because of the fact they sat on that set of Match Game. 


I think that whole experience prompted me to think about my 9x13 inch lasagna pan. My mom had one, my grandmother had one and it is strange I was thinking that it wasn't til about two years ago (because I put it on a Christmas wish list) that I have one myself.  Why did it take me 20+ years to acquire one?

The thing I remember most from that time of my life was that Grandma made Crazy Cake. We make it here too because the boys love to watch the soda and the vinegar react. Back in those days though, my aunt and I (she is four years older than I am) would play dolls all the time. One day we played wedding and my grandma made Crazy Cake for "the wedding" and decorated it for us.

It is silly out of all of the things that we remember in our lives that these random moments are triggered by things like tv shows while I sew or lasagna pans when I do the dishes. Our minds are so amazing and I don't understand how it works. I just know that these two memories didn't come from a photo album where I remembered because I saw a picture of it. These two memories came from the days before cell phones and the ability to photo document ever moment of our lives.

I am thankful for those warm fuzzies every once in awhile!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Not Sure How to Feel About That

I have written posts about my barberry bushes before. We have a love-hate relationship. In order to keep the enrty to our home tidy and neat I really have to trim them twice a year. There are a ba-zillion of them so that is not going to happen anymore. Plus, when I clip them, the red all comes off and the bush that is left is just green like the bushes beside them. So, they aren't nearly as beautiful as they could be if they were just left to grow.

We have wanted to move them to the side of the house, but over the weekend decided that we will indeed wait to move them until the fall when the research I have done tells us it is the best time for them. Because I have had to apologize to a few guest for the pokey branches that have grown out into the sidewalk, I knew I would need to trim the plants at least on the inside by the sidewalk.

Well, David is on vacation this week and his sister is here visiting. The three of us were sitting in the living room chatting with coffee this morning when the mail came. Soon after the familiar sound of the mailbox shutting, David and Michelle were trying to peek out the curtain from their seats. They said that the mail carrier was standing in the middle of our sidewalk. 

We couldn't see well through the sheer curtains on either side of the door but it seemed like he was bending over. He took a couple of steps and stopped to bend over again. From where I sat, it looked like he had dropped some mail and was trying to pick it up, like some of it had fallen into the bushes.

Being curious to see if he had gotten it all, I went outside once he left. Guess what I saw...branches of our barberry bushes lining the sidewalk from the porch to the driveway! Seems he was tired of getting "attacked" by the prickly barberries! I am not sure how I feel about this...in my humanness I think "The NERVE!" But, in my compassion I feel bad that I haven't gotten out there before now. 

I will confess, it is still a little more of the first reaction than the second unfortunately because I keep thinking in my head "no WAY am I going out there today and doing it to give him the satisfaction of making his point, especially because I know I was already planning to clip them!" I feel like leaving those clippings right there so he has to walk on them tomorrow! Maybe if I leave it, he will clip a few more for me tomorrow! But for now it looks like he did half my job for me!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Update: Let There Be Light

I can not leave this space! David made a wonderful addition to my creating space downstairs and I will take a few minutes to update you about what is going on down there! When we moved in there were two eight foot florescent light fixtures in the middle of the unfinished area. The kids set up the Lego table under them and they did all kinds of other playing in that area of the basement. After four years, the bulbs one by one burned out and they were no longer giving any light.

I asked David if the fixtures could be moved (one across and above my cutting table and the other up across and above the table where my machines were). He didn't think that would be a big deal and so he with the help of some of the boys, moved them right where I needed them. We then went to get new bulbs. No luck, the fixtures seemed to be bad. But David, knowing so much more than I do without having to YouTube it, knew there were a few things that he could try so I left it to him to figure it out.

Having a large garage with a ba-zillion eight foot florescent light fixtures, he was able to test the balists. I knew nothing about that and as you can see, I hardly know how to spell it - but then spell check doesn't either so I will just leave it at that. I was out one evening last week and came back to David asking me to go downstairs and check it out.

Well, if you have ever heard "let their be light" in any other context besides "in the beginning", there is no comparison. Seriously, I can not get myself to leave down there and it isn't even all organized and clean! I have never had such good lighting in any area I have ever worked in. I attribute my ability to crank out creativity this past week to this very thing.

You can also see a few more fabric bins on my shelves so that is a great thing that I have been able to accomplish too. Still a ways to go as far as the organizing and purging, but things are coming right along. So, as an update of my creative space, I am happy to say, there is light. It is a happy place!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Who's Gonna Drive You Home?

You are humming a tune after reading the title of my post up there aren't you? Well, song lyrics or not, that is the question in our house lately. Yesterday, David had gone out to pick up some groceries so when Ryan called from work to come pick him up, it was me who drove over in David's car since he had the van to pick up groceries.














Ryan got in and I had to laugh. I told him "good thing you got that hair cut yesterday or you wouldn't fit into Dad's car!" Seriously, his head touched the roof of the car and his hair was getting caught in the sun visor! He has a good sense of humor when I said I had to take a picture of him! The kids are all getting more and more comfortable on the road and I have had to get used to the passenger side. Some like it completely quiet when they are driving. Some want the GPS removed from the dash (which is a good idea at this stage) and some want to chat all the way.

I say it often and I will say it again, time flies by so fast. It seems like we were just at the DMV getting their permits and here they are - two of them starting drivers ed next week. It will be a little while til I am used to them driving around town, but we still have a few months before they are on their own.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

I Do Windows After All

We moved into our current home in November 2013. Talk about a crazy time in our life! August 15th I had just had a double mastectomy after a lumpectomy left cancer in the margins. And, why not try to "flip" your old house, get it on the market and try to sell it in 30 days so that you can move into the house you see yourself living in for the rest of your life!

God did an amazing work through all that. I smile when I think about our linoleum party and then the finished product as we put the house on the market the night before I went into surgery. It blows my mind that it was already four and a half years ago. Then as I was getting into life again the cancer came back. Wow was that a shocker and rocked my foundation. But we did what we needed to do to get it out and all of the treatments that it takes to get well again. And I have blogged for years now about the whole process and life as it goes on around all of that.










But speaking of our current home...through all of this time in our home I have taken the window/screens out of the kitchen windows only and washed them last summer. After seeing some condensation and mold growing in the sills of the boys' room a couple weeks ago, I decided I would pull all of the windows and screens out and get rid of that mess! Today was the day. I hosed down the screens and scrubbed the frames and left them on the patio to dry.

I know...gross!
The glass panes were tougher since there was a lot to scrub on those. I have missed feeling like I can handle these kind of chores around the house so today has been wonderful! Maybe there will be easier breathing in that room after all is said and done. Looks like here in Iowa we have skipped spring and jumped right into summer with these temperatures but I can still spring clean in summer weather! At the same time I can work on my non-existent tan!

It is about time I get around to some of these things. One room a day is definitely doable and the weather today and the next few looks good! I am thankful for these windows because the windows in our old house were ridiculously difficult to clean. Even though I doubt the boys will even notice they are clean, it is great to know that I know! I think I will invite them to join me in the task this weekend when I get to the living room or dining room windows too.

I am thankful to be able to do this and believe me, I don't take these kind of things for granted!