Monday, March 27, 2017

365 challenge - week 12

Good Morning!  Happy Monday to you! 

Here we are - the last week of March!  YIKES.  Time is flying like the speed of light.
How has your first quarter of the year gone?  I will close out my quarter with a Colony House concert! (Eric, Hannah, and I)  It's going to be great, I just know it, and I can't wait! 

A few surprises for us so far...
We still don't know what exactly ails Hannah.  We really thought we would know by now! Several times we thought we solved the mystery, but instead it just seems that have discovered another puzzle piece. How it all fits together - we still have no idea. But we do have an appointment next month (the soonest we could get) with a gastroenterologist through Seattle Children's Hospital.  
It also looks like a couple of my children need vision therapy - mostly for eye tracking and weak muscles which make the eye turn outward with strain and stress. Sorry, Kids, you got that from me.  BUT, we learned that Ellie's vision has improved, and the vision therapy she did a while back has proved successful. YAY.  She won't be needing more. 
I learned a dear friend has cancer.  That has been quite sobering.  My thoughts have gone to her so often.  I find myself awake at night praying for her. I remind myself that while all these things may take me by surprise, they do not take God by surprise.  In fact, He has orchestrated all the details of our lives from before time began. While I may not know the "why" of it all.  He does!  That is a comfort!

. . . . . 

Here are the photos I took last week for the 365 challenge. 

[ 73/365 - how I relax ]*... I love to take photographs.  It really is fun and relaxing.  
bonus because I couldn't decide... 

[ 76/365 - a habit ]*... a Trader Joe's habit.  My kids always look for Freddie the Frog! Do yours? 

[ 78/365 - tiny ]... tiny buds mean spring must be soon.

[79/365 - floral ]... another sign of spring - this beautiful ground cover.

[80/365 - details ]... daffodils are definitely a sign of spring.

[ 81/365 - life ]... tummies, and teeth, and eyes - oh my! (aka LOTS of doctors appointments)

[82/365 - variety ]... "I must have flowers, always, and always."  - Claude Monet

[ 83/365 - what motivates me ]... a really good cup of joe!

[ 84/365 - happiness ]... hers...and mine for hers.

Hope you are off to a good start to your week.
- Carol

Linking with Image-in-ing

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Hello and happy spring,

Ever since the happening of all the February birthdays and fake birthdays, Mary Anne had been counting down the days until hers.   

Tuesday, March 21st, bright and early, before everyone headed off to work... gifts.
(She's even still in her nightgown!)

Sea turtles are Mary Anne's absolute favorite thing.  A sea turtle kite from her California Grammy was just right.  We are all looking forward to some warm beach days!

Because turtles are her favorite, green is her favorite color. 💚😀

 Ellie wrote her a special story about sea turtles.  Sarah helped by laminating and binding it for us.

Grandpa found a skateboarding turtle sweatshirt.  Pretty perfect.

Grammy found her favorite t-shirt, in a bigger size!  (She was super sad to have outgrown the other one.)

Daniel began putting together the doll house we gave her.  He is a great big brother. The girls played with it all day long.

She requested lasagna and French bread for birthday dinner.
Chocolate cake with strawberry ice cream for dessert.

This birthday seems the turning point in our "baby" days. Now that she is six, it really does feel different.  Somehow six feels so "big girl" to me.  Maybe it's because she has to hold up two hands to display her age, or maybe it's just all the milestones that are happening, or maybe it's because the last remnant of babyhood days are her booster seat for the car, and a few sippy cups in the cupboard.

Mary is marked by a sweet disposition and a joyful heart.  She is also tender-hearted and teachable, and for that I am so thankful.

So - here's to six and the many blessings this next year will hold for her (and for her daddy and me as we watch her grow - in size, in character, and in the knowledge of our great God.)

- Carol

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

St. Patrick's Day 2017

Top o' the mornin' to ya, Friends,

So you probably already know we love all things Ireland. 💚 It all started a few years back when Hannah became fascinated with St. Patrick's life story, which then led her to discover all the beautiful things about Ireland.  Irish music (Celtic Thunder and Keith Harkin, mostly) were played frequently in our home.  It also inspired her to make a traditional Irish feast for us all for a St. Patrick's Day celebration.  
You can read about past St. Patrick's Day celebrations at our home here, here, herehere, and here.

Our celebration this year was a little different.  The extent of our Irish feast was this clover shaped aged cheddar and some festive napkins.  (That wasn't all we ate, but that was all that was Irish...and I think Ford Farms is actually in England, but shhhh.) 

There were two reasons - 1) Hannah's health.  She didn't really have the energy or inspiration.  You can read about a recent health update from her blog

Even though she wasn't planning on making a feast, even if she wanted to, we couldn't have because... we spent all day at the church, helping to decorate and finalize all the details for the big event the next day - the wedding that I was coordinating.

The bride planned a beach themed wedding.  Shells, aqua blue and white tulle, twinkle lights were all used to decorate.  All the bridesmaids were going to wear a shade of blue or green for an ombre effect.

These fun white light balls were hung with billowy tulle scalloped all long both headers.

Little white lights and tulle just make things look magical!  Don't you think?

Matt, Hannah and Dan were brainstorming ideas for setting up a "photo booth" to look festive.

My part didn't really happen until the end of the day when the actual rehearsal was taking place.  All the details of the ceremony to be gone over, plus the details of how the sanctuary was to be transformed into the reception area.

Olivia wanted both her parents to walk her down the isle.  They are a close family with seven beautiful daughters.  Olivia is their first to be married.

And then the moment things feel "real" or maybe a little surreal.  😢😀

It was a different kind of St. Patrick's Day, but so very memorable.

. . . . .

Honestly,  I felt so honored that they asked me to coordinate.  The two families did all the planning (menu choices, decorations, etc.), and I just made sure the details came together on their special day.

The responsibilities were divided between another gal, who was completely in charge of the food side of the day, (overseeing, three cooks for four appetizers for 400 people! cake cutters for eight sheet cakes from Costco, and twenty-five servers for the appetizers, cake, and sparkling cider), and me in charge of the wedding/reception details.

What a blessing it was to work with someone so relaxed, but so on top of all the details!  She was amazing!

Several times I felt just like Franck Egglehoffer, from the 1991 version of Father of the Bride.  I was just missing the headset. 😉
BUT seriously, I had an a-mazing "chair crew" of eight men who completely transformed the church with 400 chairs to a cleared room in about 10 minutes!  I'm not kidding. They hustled and worked so well together!  I keep using !!, but it's because it went so smoothly.  It sort of gave me goose bumps watching them work through all the details that we planned, practiced, and timed - and it went perfectly! Again with the (!) But seriously.

All the special moments like the cutting of the cake, the toasts (her father's made everyone cry!), special songs (sung by the bride to the groom, also her six sisters, who were the bridesmaids to the newly married couple), and the bouquet toss all took place center stage so everyone could see.

All this to say, it was a beautiful day - raindrops and all.
And now, I gladly hang up my clipboard for good.  😀

- Carol

Monday, March 20, 2017

365 challenge - week 11

Happy Spring, Friends!
  Last week I had lots of opportunities to think about the challenge prompts.  I managed to get the needed missed ones from the week before *.  I also found most of the ones for this past week... all but two. 

Without further ado...

[ 67/365 - my perspective ] *

[ 69/365 - writing ] *

[70/365 - starts with B ] *

[ 71/365 - fragile ]

 [ 72/365 - 9:00 a.m.]

[ 73/365 - how I relax ] 
That wasn't even a remote possibility this past week - ha ha not with the wedding on Saturday.

[74/365 - a black + white edit ]

[ 75/365 - yum ]

[ 76/365 - a habit ]

[ 77/365 - where I stand ]