Friday, December 31, 2010

Year In Review

Disneyland Huntington Beach Hollywood Drive back from Cali A sad goodbye to a fallen hero Meetings Reserve Academy Instruction School Board Retreat Matt turns 38 Girl’s Dinner Scrapbook Convention in Portland Super Bowl Party School Board Meeting Winter Break Baseball Tryouts MLCA Crab Feed Baseball practices School Board Meeting NCAA Tourney in Spokane Deputy of the Year Dinner Spring Break WSU Mom’s Weekend Baseball Games galore Reserve Academy Mock Scenes School Board Meeting Anacortes Garden Art SAT Testing at school Even More Baseball Games Board/Staff Retreat Spokane Garden Fair Heather Turns 36 Gingkho Field Trip Colton turns 7 Boys’ Church Fishing Trip Spring Musical Yard Sale Outdoor School Chance is Baptized All-Star Tryouts – HE MADE IT! Last Day of School Sun Lakes Olympics, including “Minute to Win It” Basketball Camp Spotter Class Instruction Baseball Tourneys Sorticulture Garden Show Board Meeting Edmonds Art Festival Father’s Day ERAD 4th of July Campout Vacation Bible School Chataquah ERAD Board Meeting State All-Star Tournament Week at Grandma’s Richland Allied Arts Week in Yakima – deemed “Cousin Camp” ERAD Computer Testing Wilbur Ellis Picnic Hull BBQ ERAD Board Meeting VACATION Mt. St. Helens Grayland Beach Chance turns 11 Crabbing Seafood Chowder Doughnuts Kites Hikes Go Carts Jr. Ranger Beach Bonfire FUN First day of School ERAD Fantasy Football Draft Cabin Camping Grid Kids Karate School Pictures Football Games Campaign MLCA Auction School Preview Night Homecoming Food Drive Kansas City Investigation School Pullman Fall Show Board Meeting Cabin Camping Spokane Getaway Middle School Basketball Girls’ Weekend Thanksgiving at our house Girls’ Basketball 14th Anniversary Retirement Parties Office Christmas Parties Gingerbread House Decorating Messer Christmas Christmas Eve at Mom & Dad's Christmas Day at Home Christmas at Granny's on 26th MLCA Christmas Tourney Champions New Year's Eve at Triple Play

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wiped Out!

When you get to spend an hour straight doing this:





Then once you get home, you'll look like this:



Apparently, it even made the dog tired!

Thanks, Kangaroo Bounce House! Check them out for your next birthday party or family gathering - especially if you appreciate a quiet house when you get home.
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Not to mention mile-high (Colton's estimation) bouncy slides, a huge variety of bouncy houses, a clown, concessions, and an indoor facility to host your off-season party.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rice - a recap

  • One pound of rice cooked.
  • 5 spice choices on the Lazy Susan at the center of the table.
  • Initial attitude check: Chance, angry. Colton, excited. Mom & dad, a bit weary.
  • First scoop - straight up. Small scoop. No seasonings allowed. As "authentic" as possible.
  • Most of us fly through the original scoop. It's still a novel concept. We are busy talking about Cambodia and the lifestyle there. It's better when it's warm. And we all want to get on to a scoop with at least something for seasoning!
  • Except Chance. He hasn't taken a bite bigger than a Basking Robins sample scoop yet - and we all know how minuscule those are!
  • Many variations tried - seasoned salt, ranch popcorn seasoning, cinnamon/sugar.
  • Except Chance. He's still working on the first, very small scoop.
  • Dinner Question - If you could give the Cambodians one thing, what would it be?
  • Chance - Something better than this! After much prodding and pushing, he conceded that he would somehow give them better food, and it would include lots of fresh fruit like one of those big Safeway fruit trays.
  • Colton - Some toys, probably toy swords, and some gift baskets full of pineapples, apples, oranges, and some candy bars. Probably Crunch bars. And nothing with nuts, in case any of the Cambodians have allergies.
  • Matt - assurance that they wouldn't have to worry where their next meal is coming from.
  • Heather - technology available to us that would allow them to grow better crops, and get more yield from the rice acreage that is available to them.
  • Just like any good Christian revival, next came the pitch for funds. How many bags of rice did we think we could commit to providing?
  • Chance immediately offers up either his savings or chores for two bags. $20. He's feeding 2 families for at least a month.
  • Colton decides, after much cajoling (he started out giving a big ZERO), that he could commit to 1.5 bags. $15 worth of offering money or chores. He's feeding 1.5 families for at least a month.
  • Overall - a pretty good evening.
  • I was reminded, by my stubborn boy who barely ate one small scoop of rice, cried at the table because he wanted to eat something else, wondered why we had to go through this when WE weren't the ones in Cambodia, and went to bed directly after dinner by his own choice - that I can't force someone's heart to break for the things that my heart breaks for. Even my own kids. God will break his heart for other things. And that's okay.
  • I was impressed with Colton's immediately embracing the concept. He ate 5 bowls of rice, and had 1,000 or so questions. It took him a bit of a push to let it affect his pocketbook, but he's come a long way from our first year, when he thought they all should just trek on down to Wal-Mart and buy some chicken nuggets for themselves.

Thank you, Lord, for the abundance that we live in. We are blessed beyond measure. Please, Lord, don't let it harden our hearts. Don't let it become expected or taken for granted. For whom much is given, much is expected. You expect a lot of us, Lord. May we make you proud to call us your own.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's Rice Night

So, last time I wrote about this, we had Rice Night in response to what I thought was an ungracious attitude on my boys' part during the Rice for Cambodia campaign.


Since that night, our entire family has become accustomed and in-tune to the plight of the Cambodian people and this small way that we can make a difference.


So, this morning, on our way out the door, when I mentioned it was "Rice Night", no one even batted an eye.



Tonight, we will have rice for dinner. As with the post before, there will be only seasonings on the table. And, we'll cheat a bit and offer milk and cinnamon/sugar.


We will eat rice to our hearts and bellies' content, and nothing more, in honor of the Cambodian people.


We will eat rice to experience just a sliver of what they experience.


We will eat rice to open our hearts to their struggle.


We will eat rice to loosen our hands on our wallets.


And we will prayerfully consider what each of us will pledge to the campaign.


One bag of rice is $10. It will feed a family for 4 - 6 weeks.


One ton of rice is $400. It will feed 40 families for 4 - 6 weeks.



Will you prayerfully consider joining us?


Tomorrow, I'll let you know how it went. I'm sure there will be both funny and heartwarming outtakes from our evening. Stay tuned . . .

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Roots

My quilt is done, my quilt is done!

It is the most fantastic heritage scrapbook I've ever seen. And it's not even a scrapbook! It fits on the wall perfectly, right at the landing of my stairs, so you can see it from wherever you are sitting in the living room.

Old homesteads.

Mule teams harvesting.

Marriage certificates.

Vintage pictures.

Excerpts from my mom.

It's priceless.


Some of my favorite portions of the quilt -it was hard to pick just a few!
This one of my mom, and the corresponding story of her playing in the mud and not acting like a "Little Lady" is hilarious! Love it!
My mom and her older brothers.

Grandpa/Grandma Grant's certificate of marriage and a pic of his train - he was an engineer.


As mom tells it, the Grants were so proud of their legs. This one is a great comparison shot of "Grant Legs" versus "Mires Legs". Too funny!
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I had it quilted at The Fabric Patch in Ephrata. Great ladies. Experts. Handled my priceless treasure with such care. Added gold edging to the border to create a look of a matted picture. Sewed around 7,000 (ish) buttons and pics without a complaint. I would recommend them 100 times over, if you need any quilting done!
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I am so thankful to my mom for the hours and hours she put into this quilt! Not to mention the history and personal excerpts. I am excited for the boys to have a piece of their family history in front of them every trip up the stairs.
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Thanks, mom! You are the best - I love you!!!
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PS - (I think they got a princess, whether they (or you) knew it or not!)


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Happy Place

Trees changing colors and losing leaves


Listening to the creek babble




Comforting smoke out the cook stove and fireplace



A new, bigger, better fire pit to gather 'round in the back meadow



A fresh coat of oil on the barn logs




A full wood pile for year's (or more) worth of cold evenings and memories


I love the cabin . . .

Monday, November 1, 2010

Daylight Savings Ending Quickly

And I'm gonna need that extra hour!

We've been running to and fro, and everywhere in between. And some fun stuff has been going on, that I don't want to miss capturing!



  • October 17 - Matt heads to Kansas City to a big-name national conference for his work.



  • October 18 - First annual Wilbur Ellis Pumpkin Patch and Chili Feed. Thanks, Darla!





  • October 19 - Chance' first orthodontist appointment, and another 12-month stay of execution for my budget!



  • October 21 - Grandmother comes to stay with Colton while . . .



  • October 22 - Chance and I head to Pullman for our final Art Show of the year



  • October 25 - Middle School basketball begins



  • A BUSY week with month-end close, board meetings, and field trips. Topped off by . . .



  • A much welcome final camping trip at the Cabin.





This week is a bit more laid back, but I will sure make good use of my extra hour this weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Election Blues

Oh, I cannot wait for November 2nd.





I have said it before, and think it becomes more true with each election. Our election process, and therefore our country, has become one that USUALLY the most qualified candidates are too intelligent to put their families through an election. So, we primarily get the glory seeking, money-backed, less qualified individuals at every level.





And it gets ugly.





Our local paper's letters to the editor today made me sick.





We have one race in which some feel health is an issue. With every letter to the editor I've ever written, especially if against someone else, I wonder how their kids will feel if they ever read it. Clearly, there are many out there who care not.





There are a couple races in which, if you believe popular opinion, religious affiliation matters more than qualification. Few are "brave" enough to broach the subject in the letters to the editor, but some have, and I wince. My opinion of popular opinion isn't very high.





I guess I place more faith in America than this. Intelligent voters deserve an honest and respectful discourse. They do not get it.





Intelligent voters deserve facts without spin. Unfortunately, few are thorough enough to dig around and find out the facts for themselves. So they believe the spin.





I have, too, on occasion. And I am disappointed to look back and recall my stewardship of the great freedom we are granted here.





Come quickly, November 2nd. I'm losing faith.




  • VOTE.
  • With intelligence, please.
  • VOTE.
  • Not the way I would.
  • The way YOU would.
  • Just.
  • VOTE.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - First Grade

Colton was so concerned that the flowers were almost as tall as the White House!

I can't believe I ever got poor handwriting grades - this is fantastic! Way better than what it is today :)

I should have pulled this book out in college - I think my first Physics test covered most of this stuff!


Thank you, Mrs. Kendrick!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What a week!

  1. Football is done.
  2. Basketball (Jr. High) is on the horizon.
  3. Karate continues.
  4. I am coaching basketball this year. Woo Hoo!! YIKES!!!!
  5. I went through a box of stuff and memories, looking for my old basketball playbooks and motivational stuff. WOW! Found both of my high school playbooks. No luck on the College one. Also found a "volume" of poems I wrote in college. Your early twenties are such an emotional time. And very dramatic. And apparently also pretty cheesy.
  6. I also found my first grade notebook. I thought I was much more advanced than what Colton's class did last year - Matt thought it was way behind. I guess we'll settle in the middle and assume he's getting an education worth paying for.
  7. Dinner at home most nights the past couple weeks = NICE.
  8. The dishes involved in that? Not so nice.
  9. On the bright side? I'm caught up on the folding. Miraculous, indeed :)
  10. Wilbur Ellis/Warden High homecoming night kickoff to our food drive - FANTASTIC! 600 pounds of food to start us off. Food drive runs until first week of December. Last year = 15,000 pounds in the Upper Basin. Hope we beat that . . .
  11. Trying hard to retain the difference between a Shuv-It and a Pop-Shuv-It. Not to mention an Ollie, 50/50 Grind, Ollie 180, and various others that have his toes peaking through his new shoes already. It all looks like skateboard trick mumbo jumbo to me, but Chance and Colton are getting tired of explaining.
  12. Both of my boys asked for haircuts this week. I think we've reached a new level in personal hygiene.
  13. Hosting Thanksgiving for my family - trying to decide how much is a reasonable budget to spend on a cleaning service the week before. The number increases daily. I can't even keep up with the dishes.
  14. Ready to be done with Election 2010. I'm not a politician. Friends with one side and supporters AND friends with the other side is so uncomfortable! Without saying a word, just sitting in a certain section of the audience during a debate says - "although you are my friend, I really don't think you are qualified to do this job." Hard to do. Ugh. Politics have become so divisive at all levels, there is very little respectful discourse anymore. You must love the guy you're voting for and hate the other. It's just not me.
  15. Chance is becoming a pretty frugal money manager. Finally spent his gift cards from his birthday (in August). Decided against a new cell phone (doesn't use it enough [yet]), and an iPod (content to borrow mom's), and has a decent amount of minutes left on the old cell phone (for now). So, a new skateboard got the nod. Internet research, and more internet research, and more internet research, finding out more than I ever knew was possible about decks, trucks, bearings, wheels, grip tape, etc., etc., etc. I'm proud of him!
  16. On the other hand, all of my free time is spent reading books on handling "TWEEN" attitudes. I've actually come across some very helpful suggestions, but I'm leaning toward Darla's method for our next battle - take away everything but bed and clothing. Everything else is privileges to be earned.
  17. Colton continues to amaze me. He is doing so well in school - the vocabulary that surfaces occasionally is well beyond his years. But, really, he could care less - about homework, school work, reading, etc. Hoping something peaks his interest enough to capture his focus. Look out world when it does!
  18. We had a field trip of Chance and Colton's classes to our house to see the bee hives and extract honey. I gotta say - based on the incessant questions alone - we don't pay 1st and 2nd grade teachers enough. In addition, based upon the tween attitude mentioned above, we also don't pay 6th grade teachers near enough. Thank the Lord for the heart of a teacher. Truly an amazing gift.
  19. Random Napoleon Dynamite quotes are starting to hit me at unsuspecting times. The boys are certainly rubbing off on me. "I don't understand a word that just came out of your mouth!"
  20. The boys are working on the old Dodge. It'll be a pretty sweet ole truck when it's all said and done. Both boys have lots of "credit hours" on the books - 1 hour working on the truck = 1 hour driving the truck. We'll see how the books look once they turn 16 . . .

That's about it for me. What's on your list lately?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

10 . . .9 . . .8 . . .7 . . .6

Circle Journal Spoiler Alert!

Sandy's Top 10!

This is totally off the cuff. I think I've answered these differently before, but this is where I was at this week.

My house is on FIRE! What do you grab?
1. Matt & Kids
2. Jake
3. Scrapbooks
4. Ancestor Quilt
5. Laptop
6. Purse
7. Recipes
8. Framed pictures
9. Photos
10. Books


How ‘bout dinner & conversation (past, present, or future)?
1. My husband – I never get enough of this!
2. Esther – I’m dying to know more about “such a time as this”.
3. Jesus – It would be the most challenging conversation of my life, but the best!
4. CS Lewis – To just pick that brain for an hour . . .
5. The Circle Journal Crew – ‘nuff said
6. Martha and Mary – gonna have to be together – I’ve got questions for them both!
7. Darla, minus kids, plus drinks – neither one of us is able to accomplish that very easily.
8. The Mayflower passengers
9. My boys – when they’re adults


Yikes! I’m packing, but I don’t know where I’m going!
1. Jeans & boots
2. Short-sleeve shirt
3. Sweatshirt
4. Undergarments
5. Swimsuit
6. Camera
7. Cash
8. Shades


All the colors of the Rainbow - My favorite of each






Where in the US would you like to travel?
1. Glacier
2. Yellowstone
3. San Antonio
4. Zion Nat’l Park
5. Alaska
6. Boston in the fall


5 Senses - My favorite of each









Scrapbook much? - most used tools
1. Clip-o-Matic
2. Laptop
3. Silhouette
4. Organized(ish) Room


I am . . .
1. Loyal
2. Determined
3. Saved


Pics! Two of my favorite in the last two months.




Never leave home without it
1. Cell Phone

Monday, October 4, 2010

Colton's Dinner Question

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?


Matt - Make it so no kids can get hurt.


Chance - Get rid of all the bullies.


Mommy - Homes for all the orphans.


Colton - Create quicker transportation.
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I was proud of my boys! No wishes for more candy or tons of money. Both had well-thought answers. Maybe the Messer boys will change the world for the better someday . . .

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Placemats









Except Matt won't let us eat off them.


Would you?


Thanks, mom! Once again, a priceless treasure to decorate our home. You are the best!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sound Bites

It seems like when we get busy, our life becomes a series of sound bites. Often little thought goes into what comes out of our mouths, which can be both good and bad, and it's the small sound bites while running to-and-fro that stick.


My prayer life takes on a sound bite type frequency, as well. It's the same - both good and bad. The good thing is that I am probably more in tune with God all day, little by little. The bad thing is that I know my day/week/month will suffer when I don't allow God a good chunk of my morning before my busy day gets started.


We've had lots of memorable sound bites around here lately. They stick in my head. Repeat themselves when I need a pick me up. Some of them repeat themselves just to annoy me.


Chance - Dad, you just sound like a dork when you say that! "dank" is NOT the same things as "jank". You don't even know what "jank" means! (He's right, we don't! We just finally caught on to the fact that "sic" is NOT a bad thing - it's a good thing! Go figure.)


A messenger from the Lord - Your ox has been stuck in the mud for weeks now! If you ask me, it's God's opinion that He gave you enough intelligence to figure it out and buy a smarter ox. (We RESTED the next Sunday :) Mostly, anyway.)


Colton - to the Dr. who is putting 3 stitches in the back of his head - At least now I know what the worst day of my life is! (She stopped stitching for a moment and giggled. Actually, she had to muffle giggles throughout the entire process, as Colton was spouting off left and right, but was hurting and being VERY serious - not trying to be funny!)


Chance - I don't want to go to your (Matt's) barber - it smells like old people there!

Jillian - I know it's hard. I know you want to quit. Waaa, waaaa, waaaa. Do you want to be skinny, or not?

Colton - molten rock underneath the center of the earth is magma. (He's been listening in while we study for Chance's science tests, apparently!)

Viktor Frankl (Nazi Concentration Camp Survivor, via Focus on the Family) - The man who has a "why" can live through almost any "how".

Beth Moore - Has God placed you in a position that seems to stir up every insecurity you have? Take it personally! He's stirring it up to scoop it out. He was crucified in weakness, but he lives by God's power. For we also are weak in Him, yet toward you we will live with Him by God's power. 2 Cor 13:4

Wednesday, September 22, 2010