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Archive for the ‘Life in General’ Category

Catching Our Breath

Eight thousand, four hundred and fifty five basketball games later and I can now catch up.

Perhaps that is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much.

The boys are in their final rounds of tournaments this week and then we’ll be done with the games for this season.

But it’s been fun!

Here’s what we’ve been up to (besides a few rounds of the flu and strep throat):

Bethany's JV Basketball team took 2nd place in their league tournaments (missing 1st by just a few baskets - rats!). They played a GREAT season!

Bethany’s JV Basketball team took 2nd place in their league tournaments (missing 1st by just a few baskets – rats!). They played a GREAT season!

After JV Tournaments, its was off to Pasco, WA for Jimmy, Austin and Beth.

The boys play basketball in the President’s Day Tournaments while the girls dust off their volleyball uniforms to go at the competition.

Both teams missed being in the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, but had a fabulous time of playing, listening to preaching and enjoying good fellowship.

Beth and her Bros all set for the semi-formal banquet in Pasco.

Beth and her Bros all set for the semi-formal banquet in Pasco.

Beth in the back with some of her teammates and good friends.

Beth (in the back) with some of her teammates and good friends.

James did not get the memo to wear blue.

James did not get the memo to wear blue.

Poor Joselynn tried and tried to get a nice picture for me. Thanks anyway! (This is more realistic, don't you think?)

Poor Joselynn tried and tried to get a nice picture for me. Thanks anyway! (This is more realistic, don’t you think?)

The day after their return from Pasco, they washed and repacked their clothes for a weekend at High School Winter Camp.

They had A LOT of fun and were convicted by the awesome preaching they heard as well.

No pictures yet, but I’m hoping some will come my way.

In the meantime, we packed Noelle up to go to a friend’s house for the same weekend while Patrick, Court and I headed up to College and Career Winter Camp in Sun Valley.

Patrick preached four sermons that weekend on being a light for Christ:

Letting your light so shine... The theme of Patrick's messages. He illustrated the points with how a lighthouse is built and how the light must never go out.

Letting your light so shine… The theme of Patrick’s messages. He illustrated the points with how a lighthouse is built and how the light must never go out.

Court and her sweet friends, Beka and Jos.

Court and her sweet friends, Beka and Jos.

Patrick and Bob. If you're drinking any beverages when they're together, it's likely said beverage will come spewing out your nose. Very, very likely.

Patrick and Bob. If you’re drinking any beverages when they’re together, it’s likely that said beverage will come spewing out your nose. Very, very likely.

Patrick getting his ice skating on at the famous Sun Valley outdoor rink.

Patrick getting his ice skating on at the famous Sun Valley outdoor rink.

I was a party pooper and decided not to skate in the bitter wind and cold. So I took pictures of my handsome husband instead.

I was a party pooper and decided not to skate in the bitter wind and cold. So I took pictures of my handsome husband instead.

 

Court with more dear friends: Emily and Anna.

Court with more dear friends: Emily and Anna.

Had to stop at the Starbuck's, of course. See how much we love each other? More and more and more each day.

Had to stop at the Starbuck’s, of course. See how much we love each other? More and more and more each day.

 

Preaching again, the final morning.

Preaching again, the final morning.

The entire group (minus myself, who was behind the camera). Our good friends, Ben and Vickie head up the group and do an AMAZING job! They are on your left (she is expecting a little girl soon!)

The entire group (minus myself, who was behind the camera). Our good friends, Ben and Vickie head up the group and do an AMAZING job! They are on your left (she is expecting a little girl soon! She will join two big brothers – so exciting!)

Noelle had a lot of fun this month also on a school field trip to Planet Kid:

*Almost* too big to be a Planet Kid. (sniff!)

*Almost* too big to be a Planet Kid. (sniff!)

Buds since birth twelve years ago!

Buds since birth twelve years ago!

Catching their breath.

Catching their breath.

It’s been a FULL month and February has just flown by!

But it’s been full of much joy.

Until next time ~J

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*Sigh*

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

~ Nahum 1:7

This last month has been wrought with trying times.

So much of it has just been, well, ‘life’.

But one built upon another…then yet another….it seems like mountains sometimes.

One of the most sorrowful events that happened was something we knew was coming: The death of our dear, precious friend, Bob Murphy.

Here he is with his dear wife and my sweet friend Pam. These were healthier days.

Here he is with his dear wife and my sweet friend Pam. These were healthier days.

Here we all are in July 2011 in the Portland area. It was during this time Bob was recovering from a liver transplant.

Here we all are in July 2011 in the Portland area. It was during this time Bob was recovering from a liver transplant.

On Saturday morning, February 2, we got the call that our wonderful friend had broken the tape at the finish line and crossed over to Glory.

He fought such a good fight and he finished his race so bravely.

Pray for the Murphy family, please.  So many changes ahead for sweet Pam and their sons.

And if you think of it, please, pray for my husband. Bob was like a father to him, one of the dearest friends he has ever had.

We simply cannot wait to reunite with him in Heaven.

—————————————–

On a less serious note, but heartbreaking to our Noelle: Her dog, Lucy, had to go to someone else’s home.

We tried so hard to make the relationship work.

But after countless times of cleaning up the frozen pony poop she brought into the house and her little ‘gifts’ left on the upstairs carpeting, we were at Decision Pass, getting ready to take a walk down Go Back to the Shelter Lane.

And then it happened.

Lucy chewed up my husband’s custom solid oak stair banister column.

A stair banister column he designed and crafted himself.

For weeks. He designed and crafted it for WEEKS.

And since Lucy couldn’t find her squeaky toy, and was left alone for five minutes, she chose the banister.

But she is now in a better home from what I understand, after being at the shelter for less than twenty four hours.

I think Noelle’s tears have finally stopped. And we have a voucher from the shelter to try again this spring.

Maybe we’ll go for a rabbit next time?

Painted toe nails.

Painted toe nails.

Who? ME?

Who? ME?

Reviving the old dog, Duke.

Reviving the old dog, Duke.

Lucy did teach Noelle a lot about responsibility. She kept her fed, bathed and well loved. We prayed together that she would find happiness in her new home - hopefully a place with lots of ponies and pony poop to keep Lucy happy.

Lucy did teach Noelle a lot about responsibility. She kept her fed, bathed and well loved. We prayed together that she would find happiness in her new home – hopefully a place with lots of ponies and pony poop to keep Lucy happy.

———————————————-

My apologies for such a heavy post.

But I believe in being real.

We have so many blessings to thank God for.

These little detours sometimes cloud those blessings for just a little while, but they were always there anyway.

~J

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So my OCD, Type A, ADD, ADHD, ACHD….wait, no. That’s the Ada County Highway District…

Anyway, my perfectionist yet horribly easily distracted tendencies wanted so badly to turn this blog private.

Because I just know…I just KNOW!…some perv is slowly planning the kidnapping and demise of our entire family JUST because I post pictures of our wild, over the top party life. And he wants to join our party.

Or not.

After reading up on it further, it turns out that each. and. every. one. of. you. who read this blog would have to sign up for your own WordPress account simply to look at mine.

And I really don’t think we’re all that and a set of golf clubs to require friends and fam to do such a thing.

So I’ll take my chances with the pervert stalker and hope against all hopes that he doesn’t show up on my doorstep someday with a party hat on.

In the meantime, here are a few pics to make you chuckle:

Can you guess who the Alpha Dog is in this picture?

Can you guess who the Alpha Dog is in this picture?

Hint: It's the dog with the bigger bed.

Hint: It’s the dog with the bigger bed.

What’s funny is they really just submit to each other all the time. Lucy has revived Duke and he actually plays with toys now.

He’s never played. Never fetched. Never wanted anything more than to be loved.

Until now.

We teasingly call Lucy “Duke’s little Abishag” since she often curls up with him on his bed during the cold, bitter days. (Read 1 Kings and you’ll get the Abishag part.)

Speaking of bitter cold:

Great Gatsby! It has been COLD!

Great Gatsby! It has been COLD!

So cold that the snake river has frozen entirely and my husbands nostrils froze together the other morning as he was working outside in this ‘minus four’ weather.

The frigid air does lend its own beauty, though.

We have been waking up to frost laden mornings, which create beauty in the most unexpected places. So I grabbed my camera, ventured out into the minus temps and clicked until I could no longer feel my fingertips.

Our curly maple in all its frozen glory.

Our curly maple in all its frozen glory.

 

Forgotten pumpkins set aside after Harvest.

Forgotten pumpkins set aside after Harvest.

 

Who knew barbed wire on an old post could yield such beauty?

Who knew barbed wire on an old post could yield such beauty?

And signs of life on a fence rail even in the dead of winter. All made lovely by the white, winter snow.

And signs of life on a fence rail even in the dead of winter. All made lovely by the white, winter snow.

 

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. ~Isaiah 1:8

 

Blessings.

~J

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It’s snowing! Again!

Lucy actually got Old Man Duke to play!

Lucy actually got Old Man Duke to play!

It took a while for the snow to melt off her nose. She pretends she is a bulldozer in the stuff.

It took a while for the snow to melt off her nose. She pretends she is a bulldozer in the stuff.

Still melting...

Still melting…

I think she had a little nosecicle.

I think she had a little nosesicle.

And, boy howdy, has it been cold! It's currently a balmy nineteen degrees with snow and freezing fog outside as I type.

And, boy howdy, has it been cold! It’s currently a balmy nineteen degrees with snow and freezing fog outside as I type.

So Patrick asked me to go someplace warm with him on a date. Of course, Texas Roadhouse! Sweet Daughter Number One gave us a gift card. Check out the size of that chicken fried steak. Enormous! He brought some of it home, thankfully. I gave him the evil eye for being able to eat like that and still stay fit and trim.

Since it’s so cold, Patrick asked me to go someplace warm with him on a date. Of course, where else but Texas Roadhouse! (Thanks to Sweet Daughter Number One who gave us a gift card.) Check out the size of that chicken fried steak. Enormous! He brought some of it home, thankfully, instead of eating it all in one sitting. I gave him the evil eye for being able to eat like that and still stay fit and trim.

 

Speaking of huge plate sized meals, check this one out! My 'Son From Another Mother', Jeriah, took me out to breakfast as a thank you for taking him to an appointment. The young man devoured the entire plate of biscuits and gravy/hashbrowns and cinnamon roll faster than I could get my three strips of bacon down. How do they do it? I cannot comprehend.

Speaking of huge plate sized meals, check this one out! My ‘Son From Another Mother’, Jeriah, took me out to breakfast as a thank you for taking him to an appointment (such a THOUGHTFUL gesture!). The young man devoured the entire plate of biscuits and gravy/hashbrowns and cinnamon roll faster than I could get my three strips of bacon down. How do they do it? I cannot comprehend. I was pretty impressed, though! 

Have a good week!

~J

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In the last few days, our household gained a member, saw a member of the family turn another year older, and watched the clock strike twelve into a brand new year.

We began the festivities by welcoming Lucy into our home. Noelle turned twelve on the 29th and she really wanted a companion of her own. Here they are together right after the adoption at the shelter. Lucy is a sweet girl and she knows that Noelle is 'her' person.

We began the festivities by welcoming 8 month old Lucy into our home. Noelle turned twelve on the 29th and she really wanted a companion of her own. Here they are together right after the adoption at the shelter. Lucy is a sweet, smart girl and she knows that Noelle is ‘her’ person.

They have become fast friends and (can you believe this from Type A me?) I even let Lucy sleep on Noelle's bed.

They have become fast friends and (can you believe this from Type A me?) I even let Lucy sleep on Noelle’s bed.

She has won over the hearts of the entire household. Well, except for the cats. She thinks they're pretty fun. The cats, however, do not! (Lucy is shown here with Austin's feet.)

She has won over the hearts of the entire household. Well, except for the cats. She thinks they’re pretty fun. The cats, however, do not think she is fun at all! We’re working on a truce. (Lucy is shown here with Austin’s feet.)

Thirty pounds of spunk and sweet obedience.

Thirty pounds of spunk and sweet obedience.

Even Duke has decided he kind of likes the little whippersnapper. Lucy even talked him into playing with her a few times.

Even Duke has decided he kind of likes the little whippersnapper. Lucy even talked him into playing with her a few times.

But you can't turn twelve and not at least have a few good friends over. Here is Noelle with her life long best buddies, Madi and Autumn.

But you can’t turn twelve and not at least have a few good friends over. Here is Noelle with her life long best buddies, Madi and Autumn.

A special occasion Micky D's lunch! She doesn't get to eat there very often, so she chose it over pizza!

A special occasion Micky D’s lunch! She doesn’t get to eat there very often, so she chose it over pizza!

And next came the peanut butter chip brownies!

And next came the peanut butter chip brownies!

Blowing out all twelve candles.

Blowing out all twelve candles.

Twelve! EEEK! How did the time fly by so quickly?

Twelve! EEEK! How did the time fly by so quickly?

Going out on her special birthday date with Daddy to - where else? - Texas Roadhouse for chicken fried steak!

Going out on her special birthday date with Daddy to – where else? – Texas Roadhouse for chicken fried steak! We sure are blessed to have had our baby girl (aka, ‘The Dessert’) for twelve sweet years!

 

And here in all her randomness is Bethany. She finally found a fashionable way to keep her ears warm in our nine degree weather.

And here in all her randomness is Bethany. She finally found a fashionable way to keep her ears warm in our nine degree weather.

And, finally, we rang in the new year at church! We started off the evening with hymn singing and great ‘Popcorn Preaching’. Then we had some time of good fellowship followed by games for all ages. Patrick and I had a great time playing ping pong with the kids.

Here's Beth enjoying the little kids as she watches over the bouncy house.

Here’s Beth enjoying the little kids as she watches over the bouncy house.

Noelle with her sweet friends Madi and Rachel. Notice the little pair of arms around Noelle? She LOVES the little kids and usually has someone tagging along.

Noelle with her sweet friends Madi and Rachel. Notice the cute little pair of arms around Noelle? She LOVES the little kids and usually has someone tagging along.

Happy New Year everyone! 

 

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Noelle and her lifelong friend, Madi, having cocoa with the ponies.

Noelle and her lifelong friend, Madi, having cocoa with the ponies. Oh, and Jake the dog, too.

It still amazes me how long kids can play outside in the freezing cold elements.

It still amazes me how long kids can play outside in the freezing cold elements.

Being silly.

Being silly.

And being just plain old sweet.

And being just plain old sweet.

 

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Courtney went to her first College and Career Christmas party at Old Spaghetti Factory.

Can she be that grown up?

I was down and out with my rebellious kidney, so Daddy snapped some pics:

Lovely Courtney

Lovely Courtney

She really doesn't have a star on her head. Did I mention that Daddy took the pictures? I think he did it on purpose, thinking she's still his little princess.

She really doesn’t have a star on her head. Did I mention that Daddy took the pictures? I think he did it on purpose, thinking she’s still his little princess.

She went with her sweet friend, Victoria. Such lovely girls.

She went with her sweet friend, Victoria. Such lovely girls.

 

We are blessed.

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