For his birthday yesterday because he was bored. The poor kid was so stinking excited and set them all up. Then he had this big smile and started asking siblings if they wanted to play. They all said no but I could tell it seemed like a maybe. He didn’t realize and I didn’t want to push so he asked if he could put on his jersey from the league and I said yes. He came out all decked with socks shorts and all so happy. He looked around and I was standing g there. Like okay buddy I’ll play with you while I was thinking crap. I am going to die lol. Soon the siblings all come and join and we are all playing but I was dying. Holy hell. Need to do more cardio. It was super fun and we had the whole family out there playing with him.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Friday, February 21, 2020
This morning as I sat with my morning prayer and scripture time I was thinking about how tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. That brought me back to thinking of our first date at an Applebee’s and how it was the night before his birthday. In actuality it was on a Friday just like today with his birthday on a Saturday. Same as 17 years ago.
He had been trying to set up a first date for a bit over a week at that point. The dates never lined up those first ten days due to plans I had already made with a girlfriend and a trip to Idaho to see family. Finally we were able to meet on the 21st. After we both got off work he met me at my apartment and picked me up in his little Hyundai hatchback. It wasn’t a beauty, but it was reliable and could get around in the snow. Applebee’s it was. I was pretty nervous as we had been long time acquaintances through mutual friends for a long time. He was very handsome and quite the catch, but I never thought we’d ever align to connect as he had been a bit of a bad boy and I was a bit of a church girl awkward dork style.
At dinner I remember debating if I should be dainty and order a salad, but I was really quite hungry so I ordered a steak I believe. Something with some meat. We had a good dinner with good conversation. I think the stars had aligned to bring us together best neither of us really understood why the connection and draw was taking place to have a meal. We weren’t each other’s types by far but we both had an intrigue in each other. He was a gentleman and paid, was respectful as ever and held the doors open for me. He said it was his 21st birthday the next day and his friends were hosting a party for him. We met through these parties and I knew how wild they could get. I also knew a 21st birthday for him would be an epic blowout. What did I do? I decided to pass and let him enjoy the epic experience without my subpar awkward drinking we just had a first date type of energy.
He was super excited to tell me he had moved into his own apartment and had it decorated. He wanted to know if I wanted to see it. Usually this means some sort of a move that doesn’t involve apartment oogling, but for some reason I went along because he just genuinely seemed pumped about his place. He was so proud he had worked hard to make it happen. We pulled in and he excitedly led me to the door. I walked in to find it tastefully and modern my decorated. Every item in its place. No second hand furniture in sight as each item was carefully chosen. I took the tour and we sat for a moment on the couch where we talked. No pressure. No ulterior motives. His friends began to text that they were almost in town from being on the road coming into his party for tomorrow. They were going to crash at his place for the night. He drove me home with a cordial and sincere goodbye where I walked in and thought wow what just happened?
The next evening I went to the store to buy a birthday card. What kind of a card do you give a guy after just a first date? Nothing too crazy or insightful. I finally found one and drove to his house to drop it outside his door. When I walked up I could hear the raging party inside. It was his 21st. His best buds were there and they were having an epic memory. I was happy for him and dropped the card and went home. The next day he called me in a confusion. He said the card must have been brought in because it was found on his counter by him the next morning. He panicked because he thought maybe I had showed up and for some reason he didn’t see me. That’s the man I married. He hasn’t changed to this day with his care and love for others.
Tomorrow 17 years later he is taking our boys to a football game while he drops his wife and daughter off at a cheer competition. After we are going to get dinner as a family. I am so thankful.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 6:35 AM
Monday, February 17, 2020
I take a few weekends off from writing and oh my I have a lot to catch up on. First off the weekends ago Caylee had a cheer competition in our area and her team took first place out of six teams. Literally it was a dream and a total surprise. I thought she’d maybe make second since they have been having a few bumps. The announcer is hard to decipher and it turns out a caylee didn’t even know she won for quite a while. She didn’t even know they were calling her division because a lot of her teammates are also on other teams. When her teammates started jumping up and down she thought the other gyms team had won and was happy for them. Then her teammate handed her the medal and yelled we won first and that’s when it hit her. It was also the first time she’s won a championship jacket. That girl wore that all week long to school.
Last Friday was Valentine’s Day. It was a Friday so all three boys he parties at their school. It was Logan’s last school class party as he is in junior high next year. Very bittersweet. Owen has his last year of preschool and made out with quite a few valentines. Well caylee came running to my car after class saying she wanted unexpectedly to go to the valentines school social but she needed $4. I didn’t have any cash and so we went home. She was sad in the back seat and in succumbed. I raced home and back with her and the money and got to the school to drop her off. This extra trip was making me late to grab the boys from their pick up so I quickly sped off. About an hour later my husband and so hop in the car and start to head to her school along the 40 mph highway and as we are rounding our second corner we
See her marching along the road. I couldn’t believe it! We pulled over and got her in the car. It turns out that since it’s a school function after the bell you can’t leave and return and so they wouldn’t let her in. With no cell phone of her own and feeling defeated she decided it was best to walk the four mile trek along the winding old highway in a pair of crocs and a cardigan. I can’t tell you how my heart felt all night after that realizing what had happened and how she could have been hit or stolen. My girl said she was scared but kept her head high and marched on. We all learned a lesson. More planning for a school function from her. Less hurry from me and if the function won’t let you in ask for a phone to call me.
This last weekend was the last one sports free in quite awhile since caylee and I have cheer weekends and the boys start soccer. Saturday we loaded in the car and drove to Seattle to watch the first XFL game. How fun it was to spend the day together at the field cheering on the players. Sunday we loaded up with the same tank of gas and headed to the beach for the day. The rain cleared while we parked and we walked and found old Japanese bottles and buoys that had floated up on shore.
I am grateful for my family and these moments.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 7:37 AM
Monday, February 3, 2020
The super bowl was yesterday and I was lucky enough to take Vince and the kids to my parents house to watch it together. My mom had been hinting. We were secretly planning on going and then she came out right and asked me directly. Elana came over with Jackson and Jay. They are so cute and had fun playing as cousins. Jackson wasn’t so sure about Vince and I. It took the evening for him to come up and give us a fast hug or an ET finger.
Friday both Caylee and Ian had birthday parties. Both were sleepovers but caylee had to come home that night on my rules and Ian had his first sleepover. Caylee said they had fish snacks and fish candies and chocolate milk. Ian got his hands on some Dr Pepper and a gaggle if sugary treats. Silly kid. He said he stayed up with his buddy until the sun came up. When I got him back he was tired but didn’t know it. He finally took a power 30 and then woke to head to Matthews laser tag party.
When they were gone Logan and Owen had us playing Risk together while eating pizza and root beer floats. He had my back when I said I didn’t want to battle any guys in the game. He said that dad will be the crazy machine man in a war and I will be saying peace and love and praying. I love those kids.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 6:57 AM
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
I am a break neck pace person with my always on the go mentality. There is always and adv to be tackled. My mom is the same and had us running around doing different activities. She was amazing with how she could make it all happen and not seem to break.
With having four kids and now they are all in sports. The last trickling in, its becoming a bit hectic. I thought my husband would love being the sideline dad and doing all the things but I think the pace is upsetting him and the lack of connection to the sports themselves. I find that since we own a business all I tend to talk about is this and that related to it with him. It gets to these points where I have to stop and check and then I don’t know if that even makes a difference.
How do you balance it all as a parent? Following and honoring God while being a great mom and wife and shuttling kids to their events. At what point have I lost touch? I had to stop and ask myself Am I Loving them well?
I think that’s a yes and no answer. I dedicate my life to them and their ventures. I jump in with both feet, but mentally I start to feel out of touch with it. Life gets so serious. They get so much with it that they stop appreciating the little things sometimes and we clash in moments where the frustration is the highest. Certainly we can have passions and interests. Things that keep us in shape and connected. I have a supportive husband but at what point does he stop being supportive? Hints here and there to me about my brashness. I am being checked for over talking him and not being respectful about listening and noticing what he finds important.
The rule book to life is the Bible. It’s a truth, so I can’t say there’s no rule book for life. I can say that each person is different. Each family is different and there’s no rule book for the family.
Monday, January 27, 2020
Vince and I have been talking about the northern mid area of our state for a while. It looked intriguing to us with all of the trees and scenery. A place to bug out. We might have been crazy to decide on a Friday night to wake up the kids the next mor unannounced and hit the road for the 7 1/2 hour drive. Hotel booked, packed up in an hour and on the road by 6 am we were driving through the passes.
On the way we stopped at a dog park in Yakima. Drove through crazy giant rock walls, stopped at the Grand Coulee dam and drove through the reservation in the snow on a lonely road.
When we got to Republic the town was adorable, but a bit too far. We went to the consignment shop and found small town treasures on our way about and then made the hour and a half drive to the next town towards the hotel. We were the only ones in the Mexican rest and he delicious food that everyone was so hungry they cleaned their plates and then had a family swim after checking in to the hotel.
Sunday was heading home a shorter way but with a three hour stop in Chelan where we were looking at an area down a long road and then got stopped by snow so got out to walk. The way back to the truck everyone started to melt. The dog almost got away. Mom was yelling. Dad hightailed for the truck and then got bashed in the face by the big dogs collar as she tried to get back into the truck.
Home by 8. Time for baths and to bed for school. I do think we need to live more of a small town life though.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 6:53 AM
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
How has it been a week since I wrote? Life is crazy, beautiful busy. The kids are coming off a four day break. Three of the days Caylee spent doing her cheer competition and practice. Her team did so so and had some mistakes. A time for humbling retrospect. The first day the boys came to watch with Vince and I. He took them to the zoo in between. Sunday I went solo. After her stage moment she came off and I could see the look in her eyes so we went off for a quiet moment together so she could decompress in peace.
This last week has been full of moments. Moments like a major hospital bill that I acquired after a quick trip for anxiety. The discount application gets rejected and so after finding an error in their calculations I resubmit. Last week I learn it’s completely gone. All forgiven.
Yesterday I wake up to an email saying that there is a water meter on our beach lot that’s been there for five years. One that nobody knew about at the time of purchase. I even had submitted an application for its installation last year and gave up due to cost for a bit and they didn’t even know. Now we find that water was there all along
Then I hear the news that the cheer gym the Caylee and I sadly left last year. The one that we left friends but we felt it in our hearts to move on. To become cheer gym nomads of sorts...that gym just announced that after six years of operation they are closing after this year. Multiple girls will be without a home.
As I recount these blessings of our moves and our blessings I can see a theme that I know is not a coincidence.
All is forgiven.
Bringing forth streams and water in the desert land where there is no water.
Leave the city where I placed you and become nomads
Posted by Free Learning Family at 6:47 AM
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
My week has been full of loving my best life, cleaning the house everyday, making task lists, filing quarterly tax reports, and spending time with my kids.
Vince took Owen and Caylee to cheer on Monday. Him and Owen walked around the store and saw the sturgeon in the tank. They picked Owen out a new outfit to wear. I took Ian and slogan to soccer. Ian packed me a snack for the car sit and brought me a blanket and then when we parked and sat in the car he pulled the snacks and blanket out for me. He fired up a movie on the tablet and we watched Logan okay through the rainy windshield.
Last night Vince and a I went to the store and bought two electric fireplaces. We don’t have a woodstove yet and I was dying for something bright in this cold weather. We got home and I came in my room to find him and Ian working side by side installing it on the wall. I was going to jump in and help, but stood back because it was a moment they were sharing. How lucky I am to have this family and these people in my life?!
Monday, January 13, 2020
The hype is real. Today was supposed to be the start of a whopper snow day. All week long the white stuff was to come down. I was so excited about the thought that I mentally prepared to not prepare for today. When I woke I looked out to find rain. Dang it!
Let me say also that I cheated a bit this weekend and didn’t install the social media apps, but I went on the or pages via the web and I can say that my motivation and production went down. No books were read and my patience was at a zilch. It’s definitely time to roll. The weekend was spent with the kids on Saturday cleaning the house and then pizza with my old friend Chantel. Vince has been out of town for three days for business and so we were excited to see him roll in to dinner. A sight for sore eyes.
Sunday was filled with lounging, the Seahawks losing in the playoffs, Caylee and I binge watching the Netflix series Cheer, Logan, Ian and Owen having sleepovers in their rooms and filling their days with scooter riding, legos, Disney Plus and fighting. Life is blessed.
Now it’s back to business since it’s Monday and no snow.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 6:32 AM
Thursday, January 9, 2020
The forecast is predicting snow for 7 days straight starting on Monday. Oh boy. The best is that my daughter has a cheer competition that weekend after so if it snows we will be chaining up and crawling our way to practices.
Vince is headed out of town for a rare long distance roofing project. A thankful opportunity to work in the winter. He is taking his crew with him. I have started doing store compliance projects and food delivery. It’s not a ton, but I am excited to see where life takes us. God has been good. I know He will continue to love on us and my hope is that we can continue to grow the business to bless our employees more each year.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 6:41 AM
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
This week I have started a fast of social media. It’s something that I feel has consumed my attention and focus all day long. It’s a constant distraction with very little reward, so this last weekend I vowed to stay off. It was even more solidified when I learned that the owner of Facebook is one of the top 10 richest people in the world as it causes my productivity to stumble. Heck no.
I can’t even begin to express how different my
Viewpoint and productivity is without it. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit how much I realize it had a hold of my life. Last night there was some pertinent news going on with bombings in Iran and a new Bachelor, so I figured I should pop on and see what I was missing. Well... I found I was missing absolutely nothing. It was just a bunch of junk,
Distraction, platforms, memes and whining. Sharing of accomplishments that were not my own at all. It’s hard to realize I was spending my days staying abreast of the nonsense.
Yesterday Owen was home from school and so we spent the whole day together interacting, deep cleaning the boys bedroom and making cake and banana bread. It was amazing. Logan I found out had hit his head in school at recess on Monday and had a big red bump from it. We spent the evening with the family watching Jeapordy and helping him with math questions on prodigy. Caylee is my beautiful tall smart lady who is finishing up with classes at middle school. She has had a crappy math teacher, but is switching this next block and also gets to take shop again. Ian is my spirited big hearted kiddo. He is getting tall and I call him Snugs because he loves to snuggle even to this day and demands it.
Blessings blessings. Now for my day.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 6:14 AM
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Man day one of back to school and sports and we go in swinging. All the kids had full days of school either Caylee heading straight after to cheer for her longest practice of the week. Logan got straight off the bus and headed straight to soccer in the far rain. Here I am the morning after still in my robe when yesterday I was light years ahead at 6:30 am, but it’s okay. Tonight we have no sports and I am not sad about it.
I have been working hard to stay off social media. Well I don’t know if working hard is accurate, but it makes sense. It’s too distracting for me. I get absorbed into the world and their news. Mentally distracted by frivolous posts and memes.
I did hear of an 11 year old boy who was hit in a crosswalk yesterday across from the school parking lot. It ended up being a younger impaired driver who stayed at the scene. He’s now in jail and a family’s life is ruined with the loss of their young son. You never know how fast life can end. I woke in the middle of the night after having a nightmare. A dream where I found Ian in the street after being hit by a car. A policeman was there helping him, but seemed overwhelmed and sad himself. For a moment I was in that scene. I could feel a touch of the pain and it was too much to bear. I am grateful for life and for my kids. I am grateful for my husband and my family.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 6:34 AM
Monday, January 6, 2020
It’s the Monday after winter break. How crazy that it’s been two weeks. What a blessing. I feel they are old enough to where they still fight and get on each other’s nerves, but overall they enjoy each other’s company. I am grateful for the pause in our schedule we so desperately needed. I am grateful that as much as I want to go get a job and we could definitely use the money that I would have missed out on this time together. I am grateful my husband got to spend a lot of it with us.
It started over two weeks ago at the Jumanji 2 movie. It ended with four days of the kids and I not really going anywhere. I literally used one take of gas all break and I still have a quarter. The boys played together and spent so much time building legos in the play room and working together. Caylee since she doesn’t have a cell phone spent so much time reading that she re-read the first 3 Harry Potter books Illuatrated addition and a fourth book.
I would find her missing and open her door to find her in a corner or in her bed reading a book. What a joy for a mom to find. I am grateful to God for these memories and it’s bittersweet as a mom to realize that someday it will end. Maybe it’s time to buy that big property and go off grid so each kid can have a parcel to build on. Maybe the crazy Alaska shows have it right. They might spend time separate, but they come back together in seasons. They take care of each other honestly and truly.
May God bless our week, our year and our lives as we go forward and head into the the hustle.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 5:52 AM
Saturday, January 4, 2020
We are down to our last couple of days of winter break. I am kind of sad, but know that routine is good. Life is good, but I must not look my peppy self because as I was putting my coffe my 8 year old Ian said, “Mom you look tired.” From the mouth of babes. Technically it’s Saturday so I get a pass I feel in other news...my plan of waking the kids up earlier each day hasn’t panned out much before 8 am. It’s a fine line of getting them back into routine and not wanting to have them wake up too early when they don’t need too.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 9:16 AM
Friday, January 3, 2020
The kids aren’t back to school for three days. We have slowly been getting back into routine. Yesterday called for lists of tasks to be handed out. Ian got his list done pretty quick and then he spent the rest of his day scootering around and building legos.
Yesterday I heard a quote from Trent Shelton. It was, “Inconvenience exposes commitment.” I loved it so much I wrote it on my mirror with red lipstick. This year is going to be another big power year. I wrote down some of this years power moves and tacked them to the wall. I don’t like resolutions. I feel like they are hopes. I am more into moves. Moves are silent. They aren’t shared with others that are not pertaining. The resolutions of say working out and such are more habits that need to be done in order to accomplish the big moves. Resolutions are made to be broken. They set us up for failure and frustration. Moves are a big picture with steps to be satisfied that move us in a bigger direction. If I have a resolution to work out everyday and then life happens and I miss a day I am already feeling like I failed on myself. That is a hard place to be in. It doesn’t become a positive place for us and then we have to ask ourselves where are we going with the resolution? What kind of a life is it working us towards? That’s the move to be acknowledged. If the plan is to become healthier then that is our move. How we get there is by exercising and eating healthy. Podcasts. Time with God etc. Just having the resolution to work out everyday is a spinning hamster wheel to what result? Tiring and no end goal in sight. Honestly I didn’t even do a workout on January 1 and I felt dang good about it. I started on the 2nd. Let my first day be one free of hustle and of jumping into the demands and expectations of the ball drop. Let it be organic, necessary and appreciated.
Posted by Free Learning Family at 10:12 AM
Thursday, January 2, 2020
What a couple of weeks it has been. My life with the kids and husband is very busy. During peak seasons we tend to have 2-3 kids in sports about 5-6 times a week. My husband complains and I get a bit tired at times, but the kids love what they do and iit is good for them. It’s rare to have a couple of weeks to just be together and do new adventures.
My husband was able to take a lot of it off with us. He just woke early and went back to work today while the kids have four more official days before they are back. He set his alarm early and then snoozed for a good hour. Finally I realized it was time so I rolled out of bed to get the coffee started and make his breakfast. Now that he’s out the door I have been sitting here spending time with God and getting ready for the day. I am letting the kids sleep in a bit still, but the late night tv watching ended yesterday, so they can start getting to sleep earlier.
It is very present in my mind how grateful these moments are. Time is going by so fast and soon Caylee will be out of the house and then the rest will slowly follow. As I sit here I hear Ian wake and hop on his scooter to ride to my room for the morning hello. Owen just popped his head in to say hello.
It was the first year we had a fake Christmas tree. I found it back in November at a consignment shop for cheap. I was getting discouraged in the past years with the trees dying before Christmas even came. Plus last year we went to a cheaper tree farm and after Vince and I arguing on the way we realized we were going to be hunting while walking around cow pies. I am sad we can’t feed them to the goats and chickens though.
Christmas was spent together at home. The kids got toys and books. There was a lot of sleeping by me and playing by the kids. I made a ham dinner. On the eve I drug the family out to the candlelight service.
A couple of days after we packed up and went to the cabin for two nights. It always takes a night to settle in, but each time we go more repairs are being done to make it more pleasant. We spent the day going up to the mountain to find snow. Sledding was closed but the kids were able to roll down the hill and make snow angels. Then we traveled down a long forest road to Packwood for pizza.
After we came home for a day we packed back up and went to the beach in Lincoln City for two nights. The kids went to a play place childcare on the eve for dinner time and then we picked them up at 9 to ring in the New Years. Ian fell asleep by 11, and we lit a fire and watched the ball drop as a family. On the way home we took a wrong turn, so decided to stop at the air museum and the cheese factory
Posted by Free Learning Family at 8:38 AM