Saturday, March 17, 2018

Finding Luke's 11th home!

We are moving again this month. Hopefully this will be our last move while Jason works in S. Dakota. Luke turns 5 years old next month and I was counting up the number of homes we've lived in since that time and it's ELEVEN. I never moved even once until I was 18 - so go Luke! Hoping this hasn't damaged him, but instead makes him a flexible, adventurous person :)

Here are Luke's 11 homes --

1. Our beloved Vermont barn

2. First Guatemala home

3. Second Guatemala home (needed to find something more affordable)

4. We got flooded out of our second home (perhaps that's why it was cheaper?) and had to move back to our first home until we found this, our third Guatemala home

5. First Idaho home - just for a few weeks, but what a blessing it was as we transitioned into Idaho life

6. Second Idaho home - loved this cozy garage apartment in the woods!

7. Third Idaho home -- summering at Priest Lake

8. Forth Idaho home - our very first home purchase

9. Washington home -- summering in Leavenworth

10. First S. Dakota home

11. Second (& hopefully last!) S. Dakota home!

We were really fortunate to be eligible for a small grant which allowed us to purchase this little 50's bungalow. The house and neighborhood lack the charming character of our current situation and there is a lot of work to be done on the house, but the neighborhood is nice and it is more affordable than our rental. We have much to be thankful for.

I am reminded once again of 2 Chronicles 29:16 "Lord our God, all of this abundance ... comes from your hand and all of it belongs to you." 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Making friends

For the first few months after we moved here, I wasn't ready to put myself out on the friend-market again. Leaving amazing friends in Moscow, to find more awesome friends in Leavenworth and then leave them as well made me want to just take a break from all that relationship building entails.

In December, I realized my break in this area was really hard for Luke. Our super-social boy who loves playing hard with other kids had been left with just me and Mabel for months. In January I started making an effort to plan playdates with folks we'd met through the library, MOPS and in our neighborhood. Luke is happier and it is good for all of us, but boy is friend-dating exhausting!

I am thankful for the women that God is placing in my life, especially the Mom's of these kiddos. We each have one 4 year old and one 2 year old ... and, they all play well together (most the time!)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sleeping past 7

I doubt that I'm the only one who becomes obsessed with sleep after having it taken away on a repeated basis. Ever since Luke was born I have been obsessed. Even though he started sleeping through the night at a decent age, his morning wake up has generally been very early. He is an early riser no matter when we put him to bed; and often if he's put to bed late, he wakes up even earlier than usual.

All summer, he was sleeping until 6 on most days, but Mabel was getting up for the day with the sun. This meant that somewhere between 4:45 - 5:30 I would make a mad dash for their room to snatch her before she woke Luke up. It made for some mornings that felt very long.

After moving here, both kids seemed to get into a good routine of both sleeping past six ... until early November. Then they both started waking up 3+ times a night to go to the bathroom which meant I needed to be up also since Mabel still needs help getting on/off the toilet.

After weeks of that routine, I finally realized that Luke was waking Mabel up since she's a light sleeper and had the idea of having Luke sleep elsewhere. A little tricky in a 2-bedroom house, but we've been doing it for several months now and Mabel has been sleeping in until SEVEN (and even after) on many days. It's been a-mazing! Twice it's even happened on a weekend which was really lovely.

All that to say ... we're attempting to get them back in the same room again for the night. I don't know if I'm ready for it :)

Our month closed out with a larger snow storm and then some above zero degree days to play in the snow without literally freezing ourselves. A pleasant change.

We made use several times of the free snowshoe loaner service provided through the Outdoor Campus -- Luke loved learning to use snowshoes --

Got plenty of tubing in on the hill across the street --

It even got warm enough for the snow to stick together for a snowman to be built --

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Driving through a snowy Spearfish Canyon

Almost every year since we got married, I've created a photo calendar with photos from each month from the year before. It's a fun way to remember the previous year and pretty much the only "photo-booking" I do these days. For the past three years, when making our calendar February has completely stumped me. I literally have had only one or two photos. For the entire month. For three years running. That is just how dreary and yucky February in Idaho is ... this year we vowed to try to DO something photo-worthy this month. 

So when we had a somewhat decent weather day recently, we took a drive through the scenic Spearfish Canyon. This place was spectacular when we drove through it in Fall and I was curious how it would look in the snow. We were not disappointed. Around every curve there were beautiful mountains and a very chilly looking creek.

Coming through the town of Deadwood at the end of our drive.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Celebrating an early Valentine's Day

Jason has a work trip this week - his company's annual convention (which is planned every year over Valentine's Day) - so we celebrated Valentine's Day with the kids while he was still home.

I have never tried to make pancakes in any particular shape as I'm usually just hoping for getting them fully cooked without burning; but in the spirit of the holiday I decided to try heart-shaped. Whew, it wasn't always pretty, but with these helpers what could go wrong?  ;-)

The kids even wanted to dress for the occasion for church on Sunday. Super cute :)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Feeling chilly

We've had rather brisk temperatures recently and woke up to this on Saturday morning. Brr!

Although it is certainly not my favorite, one bonus to the extreme cold is that it releases me from the feeling that I should get the kids out to do something. Instead we stay inside. Making forts, putting puzzles together, watching spectacular sunrises, reading books, baking, cleaning and anything else I can think of.

Luke did the sweetest thing for me. He had been coloring on some scratch paper and taped this one to our window, telling me "look, I drew summertime out the window for you mom..."

As cold as Saturday morning was, it was supposed to warm up to the teens and be sunny with very little wind; so we knew we needed to get out. We headed up to Buzzard's Roost for a short hike. It was a beautiful day and we had the place completely to ourselves :)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Wrapping up January

After the fervor of the the holiday season, I'll admit this month seemed to drag a bit ... it probably didn't help that we were all sick with various illnesses for about a week mid-month and then I didn't feel like I'd fully recovered for another full week. :-(

We did manage to have some fun in the midst of the chilly weather and sickness.

After our two weeks of frigid temperatures, we had a day early in the month that was above freezing and felt SO incredibly warm. We immediately went outside to play :)

One of the most fun things this month was getting to host a pen pal friend for an evening who I haven't seen since we met in 2010. Shan is a missionary in Japan who worked with Jason's aunt & uncle when they lived there. We got to meet her when we visited them while living in China. Shan is an inspiration to me and after finding out that she also like to write letters, we began writing to each other.  And now, nearly eight years later she is on home assignment in South Dakota! It was a blessing to see her and hear first person about her life as a missionary (and I'll admit .... it's always nice to be around another tall woman!).

We attended the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo last weekend. It's the second largest annual event in the state (second only to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally) and it was a total ZOO. Might have been more fun without having to keep track of our two kiddos, but they had a good time.

A new friend introduced us to the FREE kids art room at the Dahl Art Center - complete with a dress-up section, thousands of legos and all kinds of art supplies for the kids to use. It was awesome!

We were also treated to gorgeous sunrises on a nearly daily basis. Love that!