Saturday, August 19, 2017

Day 1

We're back to Day 1!  The first day of this school year came and went in a flash!  Pictures were a bit of an afterthought, but we got them accomplished.  You can see Caiden is "thrilled," Cambry is a little unsure, and Delaney is as excited as can be!

This will be a different year - 2 in the jr. high and only 1 at the grade school.  Getting Cambry going with this new routine has been an adjustment.  She had two-a-day vb practices leading up to the first day of school, so she was already tired before it even began!  After one week of practices, I can already see she is stronger - our main goal for her with volleyball.  The trick this year will be keeping her organized. As an 8th grader, Caiden has it all figured out, of course!  ;)  As far as football goes, it sounds like there is a quarterback battle brewing.  He would really like to play quarterback, but being one of the bigger guys out there, he may have to be on the line.  We'll see how he responds, either way!  Our little 2nd grader is just excited about her teacher and seeing her friends again - nothing very new for her.

While this is my 2nd year back to teaching, things still seem very new.  In fact, teaching 8th grade language arts is a new addition to my schedule.  It ups my total number of students to 75!  My grading process may need to be adjusted or that is all I'll be doing this school year!

So far so good after two days!  We'll see what the rest of this year brings!

2nd grade, peace, or "K"?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Our youngest turned 7 last week!  She wanted to celebrate simply with one of her best friends, Jenna! And she requested a 3-tiered blue and pink cake!  I think she had a fun day, despite the rain - again.  I think most of the birthdays in her short life have been rainy!

This girl is 7-going-on-17 some days, but other days is still the little girl who wants hugs and tucked into bed at night.  If you need something organized, she's your girl.  If you need a job seen through to the end, she's also your girl (most of the time)!  If you need a kind note, she's happy to do it!  We are so thankful for the energy, kindness, and spirit she brings to our family.  Happy Birthday!

New things for her doll, Camille 

Working on the "Adventure Camp"
Lego set

Our Jr. Volunteer!

Cambry spent some of her time this summer at Bethesda Home.  Her duties included:  helping in the office, helping to serve lunch, gardening, and passing out zwieback and hot chocolate to residents.  She enjoyed meeting and interacting with the residents and learning to work in such a facility was probably pretty eye-opening for her!

Last week, they hosted a little appreciation event for the jr. volunteers, complete with ice cream and a balsa wood airplane glider contest - one of the resident's ideas!  We were thankful for this opportunity for Cambry and she says yes to helping again next year!
Alyson, Miranda, Jasmine, Cambry,
Jaicee, Braylyn

Let 'em fly!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Parades, Volleyball, and Reunions - Oh My!

We had such a busy Saturday beginning with the Threshing Days parade down Main Street.  This year, all three kids were involved with the parade.  Caiden played in the band, Cambry walked with the Bethesda Jr. Volunteers, and Delaney wanted to decorate her bike and ride it with her friend, Jenna.  Amazingly, it was quite cool for August 5 - some were wearing jackets due to a strong breeze!  Because of the cooler weather, Threshing Days attendance was up by quite a bit.  I heard they even ran out of food at the Low German Meal!

Caiden was lined up to be a ball-runner at the sand volleyball tournament, but then got asked to join a team with his friends.  Apparently, they were excited that he could get his serves over!  They didn't win any games, but I think they had a good time together!

Timothy, Rachael (hiding), Emily, Jacob, and Caiden
Then, while Chelan and the girls went to a family wedding, I attended my class's 20th reunion at the high school.  We actually had a decent turnout - 15 of us by the end of the evening!  It was great to catch up with everyone and our classmate, Alan, even catered for us.  He made some amazing Mexican food!  Another classmate, Aaron, put together a class video for us - using info. and pictures that people had submitted.  We watched it in my current classroom - or Mrs. Schroeder's room, as most people remembered it (our high school English classroom).  Later on, we watched old videos - one of them all the way back from 6th grade!  I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.  To see us as middle schoolers again was awesome!

After being together again, I realize how important these people were to me growing up.  I was with them almost every day for so many years - in many ways, they had a role in shaping who I am today (along with my family, of course).  For that reason, I think it's okay to get together every once in a while to remember our growing-up years.  I'm thankful that we went to the work of planning and organizing this gathering!
Alan - chef extraordinaire!

our old English classroom - my current classroom.  I haven't
gone far!

Dallas, Schwab, Letha, Brent, Aaron R., Andrea, me,
Pam, Lisa, Renae, Leia, Alan (front), Scott (front)
It was a full day!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cambry's Week!

While Cambry has been in 4-H for 3 years, we haven't ever been too involved in the Marion Co. Fair.  Last year, we left for vacation right after her foods/clothing judging, and the year before that, she only had 1 project.  This year, however, we have been back and forth to Hillsboro all week!

Tuesday:  Cambry had her foods and clothing judging.  Here are her results for her three baked items:
Zucchini Muffins - blue ribbon
Soft Molasses Cookies - purple ribbon.  This was her very first purple ribbon in her three years of 4-H.  And, coincidentally, I took this very same recipe when I was ten years old.  We didn't realize it was the same recipe until after the fact!
Banana Almond Bread - blue ribbon 

The judge is pointing out some things about the banana bread
Then, onto her clothing construction judging - she got a purple ribbon.  This was surprising given the fact that she took off the waistband twice, then melted part of the finished waistband with the iron, and made a completely new waistband.  What a process!

Elyse Boden was the judge's assistant
 After conferencing with the first judge, she then had to put the pants on and model them - checking for fit and style.  Even though the judge deemed flip flops unworthy of modeling in, and thought the outfit should be dressier - Cambry got reserve champion for the style review portion!  We decided the judge must have liked how the pants fit!  We were certainly proud of Cambry for persevering throughout the whole sewing and judging process!

There were more girls who sewed outfits, but not everyone
chooses to do the modeling portion.

Friday:  Cambry chose to also be in the visual arts project this year.  This meant she could take up to 6 items for judging on Friday.  She opted to only take three - all of which had been done in art class during the school year - with a little tweaking to one of them.  The results were 1 red, 1 blue, and 1 purple.  An even bigger surprise came after the parade. Cambry was walking through the 4-H Building and saw that her "purple" picture had received Reserve Grand Champion!

The judge examining her Meadowlark (blue)

Haiku picture (red)
 Friday night we returned for the parade.  Surprisingly, our 4-H Club was the only one with a float this year.  Sigh...  The fair has decreased so much since I was a 4-Her.  No bands, hardly any floats, mostly farm equipment.  But there was still candy!

Petting Zoo - baby rabbits are so cute!
The sheep were lined up ready for showing

Delaney even got a pony ride!
Even though there is no carnival, there were bouncy houses set up.
Delaney and Amily enjoyed this obstacle course!
It felt like a really busy week, and we don't even show any animals!  We were very proud of Cambry's work, and she was quite proud of herself - she really gained some confidence this week, and that is what it's all about!  No matter how the ribbons end up, she is gaining experience, perseverance, confidence, and leadership.  And that is what we are trying to instill in her!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Delaney's Week

Delaney had a fun week - her FIRST lost tooth (she was thrilled with two quarters the next morning):
 AND a blue ribbon at the Marion Co. Fair for her Lego display:  Jungle Explorers (open class - original design)!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

4th of July Family Fun

My parents hosted a family reunion at their place for the 4th.  It had been about 7 years since the last one, so it was time!  I enjoyed catching up with family I haven't seen in a while and the kids had a blast in the pool - even making some new friends!
Little Carly was quite a hit!

My cousin, Erin, and her son Jax - plus 2 of her nephews

My Uncle Lynn must be telling quite a story!!

My Aunt Sharon, Great Uncle Johnny, Mom, Dad, and my
Great Uncle Wilbert

Big group - still missing quite a few!

The girls with Emerson Hiebert, my cousin's daughter

Siblings - Lynn, Sharon, Dad.  Just missing Starlet, who
lives in WA

Little Harper - such a cutie!

Chelan and I embarked on a paddle boat ride

A little firecracker - Ava Hiebert
 A few of us stayed for fireworks!

chasing parachutes