March 25, 2009

isn't she lovely...

..."i can't believe what God has done, through us He's given life to one, 
and isn't she lovely ~ made from love"...
Happy 24 Olivia ~ from all of us!
Enjoy your day, and get home safe tonight!

March 15, 2009



What's not to LOVE about this girl??

Guatemala was heaven for Josie! Having her home has been heaven for us!

While she was there she was showered with love by everyone - but especially by Megan & Elise and their husbands and inlaws, and by Noelia & Chino, and a bit by an otherwise engaged grandfather, but especially by Sarah ~ Megan & Julio's precious 1 year old that you can see if you click above on the photo of Josie -I hear that Melinda & Chino plan to move to San Marcos as soon as their 'babies', Lee & Logan (17 yr olds) are on their own -  I think grandparenthood is pretty much their newfound purpose for living!

What's not to LOVE about this country?

Josie arrived home safely Thursday evening after having left Guatemala City on a 6 am flight.  She bravely went through customs in Houston, then went on to LA for another couple of hours in the airport before her final flight home.  She's a pro traveler now, there'll be no stopping her.  Actually she's anxious for us all to return to Guate for a visit SOON.  
Her plans for summer are filling up fast, even without any travel plans (other than a bus to girl's camp, or a bus to perform in a parade). She's also submitting her registration for SOAR.  She wrote her autobiographical essay while she was in Guate, and included what the time down there has meant to her - I'll tell her to post it to her blog.  I can't believe it's been 2 years already since Karli wrote hers, and went... and 3 years for Calvin, 4 for Sean, and 7 for Olivia.  Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future.

PS: One month and counting for Calvin and Mandarin heaven.  

March 11, 2009

girls will be girls

on January 23rd jessica, maya, brenda, kaydee, korynn, marci, erica, cherie, kaylee, and carissa had a fabulous girls night out filled with hair-do's, karaoke, fashion show, and more...
a total 'pink aisle' to the max eveningPosted by Picasa

March 05, 2009

happy half year

i like this one, and i love these two

we don't have enough pictures of this wonderful part of their august 5 day. i know we rookie juárez's were wrapped in the moment and even forgot to turn on our camera for sean! (shameful) - but i think friends and other family took several, i just don't remember seeing or storing them.  ... yup, we shoulda had amazing ashley there too, huh?
i'm grateful all over again today and every day for the Knudsen's - for their love, wisdom, generosity, humor, sincerity, hospitality, culinary passions, faith, example, acceptance, 
and especially for their BENJAMIN CLARK!



follow up: i saw this good advice a couple of weeks ago and emailed it to my Inbeteener, but I need to remember it too, especially that 4th line!

DANCE - like nobody's watching
LOVE --- like you've never been hurt
SING --- like nobody's listening
LIVE ---- like it's heaven on earth
-simple enough, huh? i just never would've guessed Mark Twain said it, i don't know, it sounds so "if by chance we meet, it's beautiful" '70's to me! (or maybe a '90's country western song?)

March 02, 2009

¡Hooray for MARCH!

March's arrival feels like a huge milestone for me!

As I've already mentioned to some who may read this, December's weather is charming here in the Inter Mountain West - but in my opinion, that's basically where the charm of winter ENDS. And the relentless overcast freeze of Jan and Feb seems to be a bigger struggle for me each year!

I've come home from work these past few weeks feeling worn out and old! I've just wanted to curl up in my comfy covers and sleep until the bulbs bloom! 
But somehow even getting enough sleep has been a challenge, yet my never-ending to do list just gets longer...

Dad called last night and mentioned in passing that i had looked tired when he'd seen me earlier in the day. Yup, i felt tired too.

But fortunately, good people and good things FILL my life!


~ I enjoyed being able to hear Tyler bless his sweet baby Mya yesterday. I loved hearing him bless her with the ability to know her worth and who she is as she grows up! (total paraphrase)
But it also relates to something else I've been thinking about lately...

~ I've now been a parent to six different fifth/sixth graders - I know that parenting experts focus on the importance of the first 5-6 years of life, and I agree - those are critical.

But I think preteenagehood (or "inbeteen", as Deb would say) is equally as critical!

Each of my six has had to endure the challenge of seeing many of their longtime classmates begin to change in 5th and 6th grade: Change their pastime's, their looks, fashions, vocabulary, attitudes, moods, level of self-confidence, (or lack there of), etc.

Soooo many kids at this age sadly get caught up in worrying too much about looking and sounding like they think others think they should look or sound. It becomes hard for many to just be "themselves" - most struggle in knowing who that even is. 
Which of course, then makes Jr High even more interesting...

Unless the inbeteener is one of the precious few who are grounded - and i don't mean in the "withholding privileges" sense of the word.  (i'm so punny) I mean those who have been blessed or encouraged or are trying to cultivate a strong sense of who they are.

My current 6th grader and I have had a lot of good talks lately...

Talks about feeling amused and compassionate instead of annoyed and mad/sad. 
Talks about faith. Talks about how we can know who we are!

And we're celebrating simple things... like cute $3 clearance sweater tops... yummy foods... fun wii fit turns... good blogs and photo albums... lime green rubber bands on braces... 
and the fact that in 6 more months 7th grade begins - complete with more wandering fish in a bigger pond.  And like the other 5 before her, I imagine she'll find interesting friends with whom she has more in common... friends that are right now having to adjust to the same types of changes in their own pool of 6th graders.

No wonder those amazing Finlayson's chose 5th grade as the year to have each of their 6(?) intelligent, well-adjusted children in turn be away from their wonderful Woodside Elem school. Those wise parents spent precious time with each child at that critical age. What an ideal way to help them secure solid roots prior to the potentially stormy winds of 7-11th grades! 
During that year, their child would spend 3 days a week studying and creating with mom and the other 2 going into 'the City' with Dad to a med school class he taught, then out exploring museums, gardens, aquariums, etc together. 
Even if my circumstances are far from their ideal, there is still MUCH I can do... even in simple ways - a few minutes here, and other bits there.

just that.

-oh wait, the last thing: 
#7 told me the juárez blog had to be red... maybe he's just going to have to start his own after all!