Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad

Hi Dad.
I miss you.

Today is your first birthday in Heaven.  A year ago today you met Jesus.  Does it feel like you just arrived, or like you have never lived anywhere else?  I wish I could ask you what it was like there.  I wish I could hear your voice describe to me the streets of gold.  Have you talked with Moses, or hung out with Paul?  I bet there is no end to the amazing things you are doing.  I am homesick to be there with you today, Dad.

Things down here are good.  The kids are growing up so fast.  Your little Hunter-man is growing wiser by the day.  He says he wants to be a missionary when he grows up.  What do you think about that?

Next week we will be in Oregon.  I think I will have a cup of chowder at the pizza place and remember the years of fun and laughter.

Love you.....
Joolie Woolie

Whale lice

I was asked what Whale lice were... or rather a Whale louse... because that would be one...

They are little critters that live on whales.  Now, the person that asked me what they were is a fellow homeschool mom, and I am confidant that she already has looked up what they are....  but for the rest of you who may not have looked it up........ and were too chicken to ask what in the world it was, here it is...

 whale louse is a parasitic crustacean of the family Cyamidae. They are related to the better-known skeleton shrimp, most species of which are found in shallower waters. Whale lice are external parasites, found in skin lesions, genital folds, nostrils and eyes of marine mammals of the order Cetacea. These include not only whales but also dolphins and porpoises.

SO..... there is your more than you needed to know definition........

Here is what they look like. ( yes this is an acutal family photo :) )
It is the little critter on the left.   When you have boys, that also happen to like bugs, these things are like the rolly-pollies of the sea during the times the whales migrate between their fishing grounds and their mating grounds....

Any-hoo.... that's what they are.  Don't you feel smarter now?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Peace and Quiet

Not sure how this came to be..... but I got the tall end of the stick today.  My husband kicked me out of the house with a newly outfitted, yet ancient laptop..... to find out if the wireless worked somewhere other than our house :)  While he watches the kids and works on fixing the truck.

So here I sit.... listening to music in Starbucks....  with a Pumpkin Spice Latte, welcoming fall.

I kinda want to go back home.... but Big Daddy told me to stay out for awhile.  You see last night we had 4 boys over for an airsoft war, and video game blowout awake over.  I would call it a sleep over... but I don't think anyone slept.  I went to bed around 1 a.m. and they were still up and at it....  There are many moments that I am ever so grateful that my bedroom is upstairs and at the other end of the house....

I am starting to get excited about our upcoming vacations.  At the end of the week we will be heading to the Oregon Coast.  Few places refresh us as a family like this place does.  Cool, salty air, laden with the smell of pine trees and campfires.  Walks on the beaches, hunting for shells and whale lice.  The quiet lapping of the waves on the dock as we wait for our crab pots to fill with dinner.... yes, it is the good life.

Our next big trip will be to NYC for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  A few years back my aunt decided that she wanted to take us as a family to go see the parade.  "As a family" is a total of 13 people.  The woman is stark raving out of her mind!.....   Needless to say, the tickets are purchased, the hotel is booked, people are starting to shout out their must see locations.... all we have left to do is get to California to get on the plane.  The Lord is going to need to help us, this is going to be one whirl-wind trip.  We fly out on a red-eye, and they want to hit the tarmac running when we arrive at 5 in the morning.  I have a feeling that my children are going to do little but sleep the entire 12 hour drive home from California when we get back..... they are going to be wiped OUT!

I think by the time we are done with Christmas.... we are all going to collapse.

I will be sure to let you know how it all goes.... that is, if I make it out alive.

Friday, October 15, 2010


The other day Hunter was going to get to go and shoot his bow and arrow at the neighbors house.... and Jeremiah was feeling a little left out of the whole shooting thing...  So big brother Evan decided to help him shoot something fun at home....

Q and A for the day.

 There has been an 'answer some questions, ask some new ones and tag some blogs to answer' Meme going around amongst the homeschool crew bloggers....  These were questions that my Homeschool Crew Mini Crew Leader ( say that ten times fast ).... was asked, instead of tagging individual blogs, she challenged her readers to just answer all these questions and let her know in her comments ... you can check out her answers at Life at Oak Grove.
So here we go.......

These first set of questions came from Heidi at Reviews & Reflections

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? If so, how close to being finished are you? I’d like to know your Christmas shopping personality. 
Um..... no.  Well wait, I got one thing for my mom. I haven't started.  I don't think I will get much purchased for Christmas this year.  We will be doing a lot of traveling with family in the months prior to Christmas, and that is just going to have to be it.... 
Is there a particular field trip destination that you and your kids could (and do) visit over and over again?
When we lived in California we went to the Jelly Belly Factory often.  We were also close to S.F. and Half Moon Bay and would go exploring tide pools.

What is your favorite season, and why?
Fall.  There is something about the return of crisp cool mornings, leaves changing color, a fire in the fireplace that just makes me happy.

Are you content with your home? If not, what would you like to change (assuming money is not an issue)?
I am content with my home.  I love where it is in town.  I love the street, my neighbors.... the yard.  Even though I am content, we could stand some updating in a few places, and if money were not an issue, I would knock out the wall between the kitchen and the living room and get a new kitchen floor.

Do you have a dream vacation destination?
hmmm ....several actually.  I would like to go on a cruise to Alaska.  I would like to find a wonderful tropical beach location to visit, and rent an apartment and live like a local.  I love the coast... so any beach works for me.  Disney World with an unlimited budget.....

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? If so, why is it your favorite?
I think my all time favorite is Psalm 91:4.. And He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.  I love the mental picture here.  A mighty eagle with little chicks under its wings....  How safe, how warm, how tender that is.
Do you decorate your house for the seasons? If so, do you have a specific treasured ornament or decoration?
In the fall out comes leafy, orange brown and green table cloths. Pumpkins for the porch...  they stay till we are through Thanksgiving.  Christmas stuff goes up soon after Turkey day.... BUT... If I know I am traveling for the holidays, I usually leave the tree down, and just put stuff up around the house.

What one thing would you change about yourself if you were able?
I would lose some weight.....
This set of questions are from Michelle at A Life Better Than I Deserve wants me to answer these questions:

What type of gifts do you prefer to give? Do you prefer home-made, gift certificates, store-bought, etc?
I am a homemade gift girl.  I like to give jams and jellies, home-made toffee from a deep secret family recipe. I love to wrap them up with pretty ribbon, and a hand made card.
What type of gifts do you prefer to receive?
I am a bad gift receiver. I feel bad when someone goes and spends their money on me....  I would rather just get a nicely written card or something.
Do you stock a gift closet, or box, and purchase gifts throughout the year?
I used to, but not so much anymore now that money is a bit tighter.
What is your favorite type of music? Do you have one?
We pretty much only listen to Christian Radio....  Music, talk... whatever...  Maybe I would have to say Casting Crowns is a particular favorite of mine....
Do you like chick-flicks, or not?
yes and no.  I used to like them, now I don't usually like the way the relationships are portrayed, so I don't watch them.  Really we have started to watch fewer and fewer movies.  If they are not in line with what we believe, we do our best to avoid them.  If we can't watch them with all our kids... it doesn't get watched.
Do you have a hobby? Do you make time for it regularly?
lots... some more regular than others :)
I make cards.  I love to write, and bake.  Cooking is lots of fun too. I garden, can, and make jams and jellies.  I knit and enjoy needle point ( but I have not done that in a long time)
What is your favorite thing about where you live? Every place has its pros and cons. What are the “pros” about where you live?
I like the pace of life here.  In CA we lived in the SF Bay Area... there was TONS of traffic, and everything is busy busy busy.... Now, in Eastern Washington, we have horses and llamas at the end of the street, there are hobby farms, and horse trailers driving through town.  It is still a city, walmart and the mall are only 5 minutes from my house, and we have 3 high schools in my town alone.... but the slower pace still prevails.

What is your favorite kids cartoon movie?
Disney's Robin Hood.  That chicken cracks me UP!

If you choose to answer these questions on your own blog, come back and let me know you did, so I can get to know YOU better!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thoughts on the big 4-0

Well, it has arrived.  The day I knew would be here all year.... It's my happy birfday.  So far, it is just like every other day.... just one year older.  I still woke up to the husband bringing in a cup of coffee, made with extra beans, because today was Thursday, and my birthday so... well.... he figured I could use the extra beans.  This morning I had a toddler next to me too... again, pretty normal...

There have been some differences in the day.......  everyone said Happy Birthday to me when they woke up, except Jeremiah....  He just wanted ice cream for breakfast, and threw a fit when I said no.... but that is normal. There were Happy Birthday posts on my facebook wall.... that doesn't happen every day.  I am sure though that it is going to pretty normal around here, I am still going to have to decide what to make for dinner.

This birthday has me in a bit of a nostalgic mood....  wistfully looking back to birthday milestones of years past.

There was my sweet sixteen.  We turned the garage into a malt shoppe.... dressed up in poodle skirts, ate burgers, and listened to Elvis.  It was the day I received my first flowers.  Dad wanted to be the first guy to ever buy his girls flowers.... so he did that for each of us on our sweet sixteens.  I still remember who was there.... Dale Rawlinson, Roger Korsten, Amy Larmor, Stacey Miller,  Rodney Bogue, Jeff Miller, Ray McGonigle,  Beth and Marshall Smith, Chris and Joel Croll...  Kelly Gabel,  Renee Bogue and Stacy Bowman... worked on a little dance number, Mrs Bowman made them poodle skirts.  It was very cool.  Amy..... Where is that picture of everyone on the lawn?  Can you send it so I can post it?

Then there was 18.... 
There is no photographic evidence of this birthday.  We were at Disneyland as a family. I remember we were ready to walk out the door of the hotel, and mom gave me my present.  It was a gold rope bracelet.  After I opened it, she announced that birthday was over!.... and it was time to go to Disneyland. (I must say that mom denies making this statement to this day.... but as an adult, I can totally see her saying it to be funny....) According to my friend Stacey Miller, this was deemed an absolutely horrid thing to be told on my birthday, even if it was spent in Disneyland.  She then organized a surprise party at her house with our friends.  We played pictionary with a HUGE tablet in the front living room....I can see in my mind her mom leaning on the counter in the kitchen talking  to us all as we came in for refills, I can hear her dad calling me "Julie-Bird", and I think he dug out some old family videos and pictures with me in them to make sure I was good and embarrassed.  .......good times, real good times.

This one sort of fades in the memory...  I think it was around the time my then fiance broke up with me.  I probably had a quiet dinner and cake at mom and dad's.

this one is blurry too... I am sure it was celebrated at The Fish Market, with the whole family, and with the all time classic:  Chocolate Peppermint Cake.

The last birthday with dad.  I will say it was hard to be in a festive mood.  We did cake, mostly because it was a distraction from what was really going on.  I think we all breathed a sigh of relief when the day was over, and he was still alive.

you have read the happenings so far.  If something exciting happens... I reserve the right to edit this post and update you all. (update 10/15... We ended up having a family dinner at IHOP.... not so terribly thrilling of a location, but kids meals are free, and I am always up for saving money.  My hubby got me an ice cream cake that said "Just cresting the Hill" ... he is so cute. There were a few gifts: chocolate, candles, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.... my family knows me well. )

The other thing this birthday has me doing is thinking about my own mortality.  Odd you may say, to think of death on the day you celebrate your life, but my own life, and the lives of people close to me have been touched with death lately.... and many of those who have passed have not been that old.  When people that are only 11 or 20 years older than you are dying.... you begin to ask yourself questions about the legacy YOU are leaving.  You begin to ask yourself if you are really making good use of the time you have today, in this hour, because you are not guaranteed anything more.  I wonder if I am doing all God created me to do.....

Ok... enough of this introspective talk.  It is time to go and make a cake.... Chocolate Peppermint , of course.... and decide what I am going to make for dinner, and maybe take the kids to the park.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hunter: On Licenses

While we were driving around yesterday, Hunter began review with me some thing he had learned from a delivery driver at his daddy's work. This man was gracious enough to let an extremely inquisitive young boy pelt him with a zillion questions......

Now a month later...... a few parts of the information from the interview have been changed....

The setting is in the blue buhvervan.... I am driving in the rain, and concentrating way more on the road than the prattle that is coming out of Hunter in the back seat....Evan is with us, and frankly I think he was trying to impress his brother with his new found knowledge.

.... he says " did you know that semi truck drivers need a special license? "

I nod....He keeps going, because he really didn't want an answer....  he knows I am half ignoring him...so is his brother.

" Everyone else has a regular license.  They have a special one.  If they don't have this special one, they could get arrested, or even thrown in jail."  .... I don't have the heart to tell him those are the same thing.  He sounds so grave and desperate when he adds "jail" to the end of a sentence for emphasis.  I like the fact that he thinks it is horrible....

He keeps going.... I think now he is liking the sound of his own voice....
" The special license is called an OCD license........"

I lost it.  I was unable to listen further.  Both Evan and I cracked up.
The mental picture was too much to bear.

I just had visions in my head of semi truck drivers walking around their trucks adjusting the lug nuts so they were all in line.... straightening and re-straightening their pencils before the test..... tapping the steering wheel three times before starting the truck.....

oh man... funny stuff.....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

An update on "Lost...."

Well tonight was Master Clubs.... and I thought I would take some time to let you know what happened.

As we headed into game time, my three girls from last week were not there.  My heart was feeling a little sad.  I was talking with God about it, and He was reminding me that He does things in His own time.  So I set that little dissapointed part of my heart aside, and just got about the normal game time stuff.

Five minutes later,  I looked to my right, and there she was.  My little tough cookie came back!  I nearly cried; I was so happy to see her.
She was without the other two.  Could it be that she came alone?  Could it be that she initiated getting someone to bring her?

'Cuz I am nosey, I asked, "Are the other two coming?" She answered, " Yeah I think they are,  I came by myself today.  I had someone bring me.  It was a bit squishy in their car last week." 

It is a good thing I was already sitting down.  Otherwise I think I might have fallen over.  I was shocked, and amazed that she had arranged to come on her own.  .... a "PRAISE GOD!" fired off inside my head. 

As I walked upstairs to our class time, I realized I was surprised again.  I was surprised that God had answered our prayers.  I guess I need to get over that....  I asked Him for forgiveness for my oh so little faith.

I don't know if I can describe the difference in her this week, but I will try.  Every ounce of her that was hard, dark and angry was gone.

This week she was more joyful, engaged, and smiling. Eyeliner was only on half of the eye today, she wasn't working so hard at trying to hide behind her hair. Not once did I hear how stupid it was to be here.  Not once did she say she would never be back.  She was excited to get to work in her booklet today.  She had questions.

Her first question was about eternal life.  The booklet asks, "Do you understand that eternal life in heaven is a free gift from God that cannot be earned?  It can only be received by faith."
She told me she didn't understand how it could not be earned. So we went over how faith isn't working for your salvation. I explained that faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone to save you from the penalty of sin.  I asked her if that helped, if she understood that no amount of studying, no amount of being nice, no amount of doing good things was going to get her into heaven.  She said sort of, she said that faith must be like some sort of miracle..... she said she was going to need a miracle.

The next portion of the booklet asks about making a choice.  It lists three choices.
1. I trusted Christ as my Savior when I was _______ years old.
2. I would like to trust Christ as my Savior, ask Him to forgive my sin, and spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
3. I am not ready to make that decision right now.

She turned to me and said,  " What if I am between 2 and 3?  What if I am not ready to do number 2, but I don't want to say no like number 3."
I told her, " Then write down on the paper that you are in the middle.  I don't want you to pick one and not have it be a truthful answer."

At least we know right where she is.  She isn't ready, but she seem curious.

We moved on to some memory verses.  One that she worked on this week was:  " ....for one is your Master, even Christ." Matthew 23:10.  My prayer for her this week is that this verse will stick to her like glue.  That she will find herself thinking about the words Christ and Master.  That she will be faced with wondering who her master is.

Another praise:  One of the girls, the one that seemed to have been to chruch before and had mentioned to be that she had already been baptized.  She was at church on Sunday.  She came with her mom, sister and grandmother.  One look at mom, and you can see she has life experiences beyond her years.  I would venture to guess that her life has not been an easy one.  She looks like I felt, when I started going back to church. 


Afraid of what these church people think about her, and what would we say if we really knew everything

Please pray with me that I might be able to reach out to her.  I don't know how, but God does.  Pray that I will be ready when the time comes.

Continue to pray for the two other students ( that we know of ) that have not made a decision for Christ.  Please pray that God will work in us as leaders, preparing us through this week for the work He wants us to complete.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I don't know..........

This morning, my dear husband brought me coffee in bed.

It is Monday, so he added extra beans to the grinder.  I love him.

Today, he gave me the biggest cup.  I needed it........

And then he said a few small words.... words that struck a wee bit of terror into my heart....

He said, "Your happy birthday is coming....."  I continued to sip my extra strong coffee, pretending that I didn't hear him.

He boldly forged ahead, " What do you want for your birthday?"  I kept sipping.... and ignoring.

When I finally decided not to leave the poor guy hanging.... because really I know that he is asking, and trying to be thoughtful....  He blurted out, " Soon you are going to be old.... like me."  We laughed. 

I went back to sipping........ and ignoring.

I again decided it wasn't nice or polite to stay quiet.... even though the coffee tasted amazing.

I told him, I don't know........  I don't know what I want for my birthday.  I really hadn't thought about it.  Truth be told, I would rather it didn't happen.  Can't we just skip this one?

I don't think he is going to let me off the hook.
I am going to have to come up with something.

Anybody got any ideas?
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