Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
Ephesians 2:7-10 The Message

Friday, December 19, 2008

Almost Done!

WooHoo! I'm almost finished with my list. It's a good thing too. We decided to leave a day earlier to try and dodge the snow forecasted through the Gorge. I'm sure glad we have the Yukon!

I have just a couple of things to do first thing in the morning and then it'll be time to pack up the car and have it ready to go. As soon as church is over Sunday we hope to be on the road.

The kids are a little bummed about going to Washington. Weatherbug has forecasted a White Christmas here, and a rainy one in Washington. I am not the least bit surprised. They are packing boots and snow clothes anyway, just in case.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brrrr! it's COLD Outside!

You know it's cold when you are sitting right next to the woodstove and you are still freezing:)

This morning it was -2 when we took the kids to school just before 8. It was still only 6 degrees at 11 AM. But it did warm up to 25, of course with the wind chill it was -5. Now we are back down to 18 and cooling fast.

Las Vegas is getting hammered with snow right now. We are far enough north that we are getting zip, zilch, nada! We got about an inch Monday.

It looks like we will be driving in snow most of the way to Washington. Bummer. It will be pretty but not fun.

Here's a picture of what little snow we did get. Nothing spectacular!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12 Days!

That's how many days until we leave for Washington for Christmas. That means I have 12 days to finish my baking, (that I am taking with me!), 12 days to finish those homemade gifts, 12 days to get my Christmas cards mailed (and they aren't here yet even though I upgraded shipping), and 12 days to get everything together that we need to take with us!

I am doing a CTMH party for a friend while we are there so I need to get my samples made and pack only what I need for the party. That will be soooo hard, LOL!

So tomorrow I will get started on that list that isn't really growing, just the time to get it done is shrinking!

Have a blessed day!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Baking Bread

Every time I go buy a loaf of bread and see the nearly $3.00 a loaf price tag I think "I should just make my own bread."

So today I did. Most homemade bread I have had has a really hard crust on it so I think I was a little leary, but I found a great recipe here. With my kitchenaid mixer doing all the work, it was really cinch to do. And when you figure out how many loaves of bread you can get from a 10 pound bag of flour, wow, the money I will save.
My plan is to bake 4 loaves at a time, that should get us through half the week (once the novelty of fresh bread wears off:) I figure if I just plan for it then I can get it done on my laundry days since I usually stick around the house on those days anyway.
Here are my first 2 loaves of bread! They could have cooked just a tad longer but we had some with dinner and it was oh so yummy!

Here are a couple of recent projects. The first I copied from the Close to My Heart web site main page in November. The second is the new Acrylic Album from Close to My Heart, with Notebook Paper and rub-ons.

I didn't take pictures of the inside pages because of the glare of the flash on the acrylic pages. I keep forgetting to take it outside and get the pictures in natural light, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

For the first time in I think, forever, we will be by ourselves for Thanksgiving. It seems kind of wierd but I am going to do my best to make it a special day. It would be easy to treat it just like any other day, but I want it to be a memorable day for the kids.

So we cleaned house today, just as if we were having family over, and I went to the library and checked out a couple of movies. We also got Wall-E from Netflix so we will watch that tomorrow night. And of course The Sound of Music. Probably be just me and Becca for that one:)

The table is set and the turkey and ham are ready to go in the oven tomorrow. The kids got to help plan the menu and the only thing we don't have figured out is dessert! We have a whole pumpkin pie left from the church dinner on Sunday but none of us are real crazy about pumpkin pie. I figure I have flour, sugar and cocoa, and today I bought a jar of caramel just in case I need it, so I will come up with something.

If you get a moment check out Jeanette Lynton's blog here. She is the founder of Close to My Heart and has been posting her "27 Things I am Thankful For", one for each day of November until Thanksgiving. It has inspired me to really sit down and think of 27 things I am thankful for. So much so that when I spoke at our Ladies Luncheon this month I shared a few of those things. Some are obvious, like faith and family. But I have also been reminded to thank God for the trying times this past year. Those times make us stronger and God has been teaching both Butch and I many things during the past year. Even though we have had a tough year, our faith in God is strong and we are keeping our eyes fixed on Him.

I challenge you to think of 27 things you are thankful for and share them with someone else. You may be an encouragement to someone and not even realize it.

Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, November 21, 2008

FFA Dinner

Well last night was our FFA fundraiser dinner. Initially we have been helping to raise money to get the FFA Chapter started. Part of this is also to get textbooks since the school district doesn't seem to think we need Ag Science and wood shop books way out here in the middle of nowhere. When the Advisor went to the school board meeting to ask for start-up money, they basically said no. The problem is that to have an Ag Science class, they have to have an FFA Chapter.

So we are on our way. We had a Prime Dinner/Dessert Auction last night. Most of the kids in the classes helped out. After it was all said and done we brought in over $2000. In addition to that, one of the teachers has found $1500 in funds from other sources. I have to admit I was a little surprised that we brought in that much money, but then we live in a community that really supports the kids. And while our school may not have a lot of things to offer, things are improving.

Praise the Lord for his provision for FFA, to give our kids a chance to gain some leadership skills and learn valuable skills for their future.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What a Blessing

It is such a blessing to have help from people in the church when things need to get done. We have reached the point where if it needs to get done but no one wants to do it, well, it will sit until we have a chance to do it or someone else gets tired of seeing the "problem".

Today we had someone show up to help Butch with the church roof. They replaced the screws along the seam that was leaking the most and they are going to sno-coat the roof. He also got the swamp cooler taken care of for winter.

We also had another couple show up that helped clean out the "storage room" aka "the room where everything gets dumped because we don't know what to do with it!" We got it cleaned out, shelves put up, and ALL the food put away for the food pantry. We even got to give some food away tonight and it was nice that I didn't have to get way down on the floor to see what is in the bottom and back of the cabinet.

We had a bunch of stuff for the thrift store so we went with the couple who helped clean out the room and they treated us to lunch as well.

We so appreciate their help in getting things done around the church. We just can't be the crae taker of the church and the congregation too. When we begin feeling the pressure of having to do everything around the church, our ministry begins to suffer.

So please say a quick prayer of thanks that people are stepping up and helping out. Pray that more people would be aware of the need to do this.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I was thinking I should check in...

but not much has been going on the past few days. We did go for a drive Tuesday. We went through Bishop, CA to Lone Pine where there is a place called Alabama Hills. A lot of old westerns were filmed here. We should have stopped at the visitor's center in Lone Pine and got better maps of where different movies were filmed, I just had a map form the internet. It was pretty cool though. I'll try to get some pic's up in a couple of days.

We then drove to Death Valley, got to the bottom at sunset, that was pretty cool, but we drove out the other side into Beatty in the dark. It was nice to get out of town although I don't think the kids were real excited about getting out of bed on their day off from school.

Other than that we haven't been doing much. Just trying to get stuff done around here. We're having a work day tomorrow, if anyone shows. We discovered some roof leaks in the church last Sunday when we had our sloppy snow/rain. It rained, then snowed for a little bit, then turned back to rain and was nice and sunny by the afternoon! Life in the desert:)

Anyway, Butch will be replacing screws in the roof tomorrow and we have a room that we need to clean out in the Annex beacause our food pantry just got a bunch of food donated and we have no place to put it. We're going to turn one of the storage rooms into the food pantry.

So, at least this week, it has been a quiet life. Trying to get lots of scrapping done while I can:)

Friday, November 7, 2008

2 New Pages for my Faithbook

I am trying to stay ahead of the gals in the Faithbook class but have already fallen behind a little bit. Oh well, they didn't get as much done as I thought at the first class. I think I might have to add a class in December so everyone can get caught up!

Anyway here are the next 2 pages.... (all products are Close to My Heart)

The theme for this one is "Gladness For Many Things" I wanted to focus on something that makes me happy. Since the beach is in my blood and I love going there so much, I thought this picture captured that. I love seeing my kids loving the beach!

This page theme is "My Life Verse" I chose Deuteronomy 30:19 - Choose Life. This verse reminds me that every day I have a choice to make. I need to choose life the minute I wake up. Choosing to live for God each day.

A Few New Ones

We went out on the kids half day last week and took some new family pic's. There was still a lot of fall color down the valley. I turned these to black and white for my Acrylic Album. Pictures of that will come soon. I know, the fall color doesn't matter if I turn the pictures to black and white:) I plan to make a couple of Fall pages and will use them in color for those!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Youth Group and other stuff!

We had 3 new ones last night for youth group. WooHoo!!! 1 comes to church but just has never come to youth group. The other two were here for the Youth Game Night on Halloween. Now we just have to keep em' coming back:)

Round Mountain Football made it to the play-off's. I don't know if it is a first for them but it is a first since we have been here. They had an awesome season. They play their first play-off game Saturday. We are hoping for later in the day so that we can go since we have the craft fair that day. Serving Taco's again. We don't have a lot of help so may be shutting down early anyway.

Today is supposed to be our day off but the kids are out of school tomorrow so we may take a day trip just to get them out of the valley. (After we vote) They haven't been anywhere other than Fallon since school started. So today will probably be a working day. We have to make a run into Tonopah to go to the bank. That'll take at least half the day. I'm trying to to do a better job of preparing for Sunday, before Saturday! So I will probably work on music today too.

I would rather spend the day scrapbooking, that's what I usually do on our day off when we don't go anywhere. I am in the middle of an acrylic album and really would like to finish it. Maybe if I get everything else done.....

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Slime Time Fun Fest & Youth Party

Slime Time Fun fest was a hit! We had over 50 kids come. A lot of the kids who came hadn't been to Power Lab so we were able to reach that many more kids with the Gospel.

The ones who did come to Power Lab asked about Professor Wilma. I was dressed as Professor Gizmo and had to explain that Wilma couldn't make it out from CA so she sent me, her cousin Gizmo. It was a lot of fun. They got to play a few games and of course we had slime. I'm am glad we didn't use this particular slime when the VBS kids slimed us. This batch came with the Slime Time materials and it literally felt like it came out of someone's nose, we tinted it green. I'll leave the rest up to your imagination:)

I, (Gizmo,) also did a couple of experiments in the Lab to share the gospel with the kids. We had some who stayed pretty much the whole time and came to Gizmo's Lab every time I did the presentation.

After Slime Time we had a youth Game Night until midnight. We had about 25 teens come, less than half of those come to youth group. Again I would say it was a success. When we can get these teens off the street and away from causing trouble, one of our goals has been met. Also being able to show them that church is a fun place to be will hopefully bring some of them to youth group. Especially as the kids get to know us more. That's the main reason we wanted to help with concessions at the games this year. Kids are starting to recognize us out in town and hopefully that will open doors for us to share Christ with them and draw them into youth group.

We are averaging 13 - 15 kids every week at youth group. I just hope that the lessons are sticking with the kids. The last few weeks I have really felt that we should stay in Romans and dig a little deeper into that book of the Bible. Last week we focused on worship and I had them look up verses on the W's (who, what, why, where, and how) of worship. I was trying to not only teach them about worship but also how to use their concordance. I don't think they even realized they were learning that!

We'll see if we have any new ones tomorrow night.

Overall it was a great night for outreach last night. Now if we can just keep up the momentum and get more adults helping at events like this... I am so thankful for the ones I did have, and the teens who helped with Slime Time were a lifesaver.

Continue to pray for us, it's been a rough year. Pray for community within the church so that we can reach out to the community beyond the walls of our church.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Page Done

I won't have internet tomorrow so I wanted to post this before I went to bed. My mom won't like that I posted it but it's my blog. I really liked how these papers look with old photos. The original was a black and white photo, I turned it to antique. One of the things I am trying to do as I scrapbook is to get more heritage pages done.

So, mom, sorry for putting it out there, I know you don't like to be in pictures but this turned out great and I just had to share. Love you mom:)
The tag at the bottom says "You leave an impression on me." All materials are Close to My Heart.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Colors of Fall

Friday Butch and I went for a drive. We just needed a day "out" of the valley. So we drove north through a little town called Kingston. It's a nice little town with not much in it, the story of central Nevada. We drove through Kingston, over the mountains and made a big loop back through the town of Austin.

I didn't really expect to see much fall color on our drive because all our leaves just froze and blew off the trees. Many of them are still green and the ones that aren't green are brown. Definintely not the pretty yellows and oranges of fall. SO we were pleasantly surprised on our drive to find some spectacular displays along the way.

Just past the lake above Kingston there is a guard station. In the trees just before the guard station we were surprisd by a swing. I wish I could have captured the view from the swing, as I was sitting on it, the trees created an orangish frame to the mountains across the road. It was absolutely breathtaking.

We capped off our drive with a very filling lunch at the Toiyabe Cafe in Austin. The best burgers and onion rings around.

This is the swing at the guard station

This is one view from near the swing, but not the one I saw while sitting on it!

When I worked at REI we had a picture that said simply, "Integrity, leaving no doubt where you stand." I have had the page I want to do in my head capturing that sentiment since before I left, and now I have a picture to go with it. I am always amazed that a tree can grow out of a rock.

Wild burrows at the north end of the valley.

We found the Hot Springs everyone told us about when we first got here. The Forest Service has kept them up pretty well. There were people using one of the tubs, thankfully they were dressed! The water is VERY hot! We didn't dip more than our fingers but now we know where they are if we ever wanted go back. It was nice day out together and gave us a much needed semi day off.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cooler weather

With cooler weather we are beginning to see the bugs find their way inside. About a month ago, during the ladies luncheon, we found a fairly large scorpion in the nursery. A couple of weeks ago the boys were setting the chairs back up and a large Sun Scorpion was on the wall. I guess it is different because it doesn't have the tail like a regular scorpion.

Well, sunday morning when the boys came in for church, a Sun Scorpion was on the wall by the sound booth. So, boys being boys, they got a jar and caught it.

The pictures aren't great because there is NO WAY I am letting Grady take the lid off the jar to take a picture of it. They caught a moth and tried to feed it to the sun scorpion but apparently it isn't hungry. It keeps running from the moth. They tell me they are going to take it to their biology teacher because the last one he had died. Whatever, as long it gets out of my house, far, far away. Maybe he'll give Spencer extra credit!

I find it interesting that my oldest son who refused to do his science final last year, which consisted of collecting and classifying 25 bugs, now is fascinated with collecting this sunscorpion and even caught the moth they tried to feed to it. Go figure!

We had a Re-Gressive Dinner yesterday afternoon with the church. We started with dessert, traveled to another house for the main dish and sides, and ended at the church with appetizers and a gmae. It was fun. We didn't have a huge turn out but the ones who came had a lot of fun. And all the girls, (really that's all we have other than Grady, Spencer and one other boy) had fun hanging out together all day! They buried Becca in the leaves that are falling out front. Spencer mowed them Saturday and within 5 minutes you couldn't even tell.

The picture isn't great because I forgot to change the setting on my camera to "night." Oh well, we are looking forward to big family photo shoot in a couple of weeks. Hopefully we'll find a place with some fall color. We didn't get much of the turning leaves this year, they just froze and started falling!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Warming up...

Well, it's back into the 70's (woot!). I am actually glad. I refuse to turn on the furnace until I absolutely have to. We are not looking forward to the propane bills this year. Last year we had one month where the bill was $1500, for one month. The church can't afford that right now. So, I am using a couple of space heaters as needed, mostly just in the morning, and sparingly using our woodstove. We don't have much wood yet.

We had intended to get some more wood this week but our schedule just hasn't allowed us to get up into the hills. Butch and I had to go into Reno Monday, came back Tuesday. Then Wednesday we had to play catch-up, Mornings for Moms met today and we have a breakfast meeting tomorrow to help plan an FFA Fundraiser. So I guess we'll go out 2 days next week. Luckily it doesn't take long to fill the truck. I hope the wind stays away.

Grady is doing well on fundraising for DC. He is almost halfway to his minimum goal. We sent his registration in this week and hopefully will get a confirmation on dates in the next few days. He almost has all of his tuition, the other half of what he needs is for airfare and then he will have to raise enough for some "spiffy" new clothes and spending money. He is still very excited about going.

Becca is doing very well on her Oboe. That is still her current highlight. She practices nearly every night for about an hour and is picking it up quickly. She has been frustrated lately because they have a concert Tuesday night and she isn't ready. She is doing as well as she can be with the way band is out here. I told her to just be thankful she has a mom who can help her learn her instrument. If I couldn't help her I'm pretty sure she would have given up by now.

Spencer is well...Spencer! He got off to a rough start in Biology and now has one week to get his grade up to passing. He is doing well in the rest of his classes, maybe not doing his best, but for the most part, he is doing better than last year. We are still hoping he will decide to be an FFA officer. His teacher wants him to but he is undecided. I think it would be good for him to have a leadership role but it has to be his decision. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks.

Church life has been pretty quiet lately. We are busy, but it's because we are doing just about everything. It gets discouraging at times and we just pray that the people here would discover a passion for God and spreading the gospel through out our valley. We are doing our best to keep our eyes fixed on God. We have had some opportunities to help out with concessions at the volleyball and football games. Through that we are able to build relationships with those who do not go to our church. We are praying for God to open doors with these people.

Thank you for praying for us. God blesses the faithful.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

First Snow

Well, it didn't snow much yesterday. I say "much" because it certainly tried. Butch and I helped with concessions at the football game and it was sort of snowing when we got there but the wind was blowing so hard the snow wasn't really landing anywhere.

It was extremely cold though. When we went to the game at 6:00 it was 33 degrees and with the wind chill it was probably about 20. I was sure glad I was inside the concession stand, not that it helped much. There is no heat but at least it blocked the wind, a little. We sold about 170 cups of hot chocolate and coffee, and there wasnt even that many people at the game:)
Today it has been making attempts to snow off and on all day. There was a Junior High Volleyball tournament today that we helped with and when we went this morning there were some very dark clouds just north of us. We hadn't been there long when people started talking about it snowing. We saw a lot of cars that had driven in from other areas for the tourney with a lot of snow on them.

When we got home there was just a tiny bit on the deck. At one point it was coming down pretty good but it is pretty dry snow and didn't give me anything to take a picture of. However, we've gotten a good dusting in the mountains. Take a look.......
Notice the flag...yes, the wind is blowing , not quite as hard as last night though:)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Will it Snow Today?

That is the question. Right now it is 24 degrees. Brrr! Snow is forecasted for today and tomorrow. So, will it snow today? Perhaps. Will we see it on the valley floor? Probably not:)

Many people have been guessing when we will get our first snow this year. The Farmer's Almanac apparently says we are going to have a long, cold, wet winter. When the temperatures dip as much as they do here, that generally means lots of snow. We will see if The Farmer's Almanac is correct, it generally is.

I will let you know later if we get our snow!

I kind of hope we do, even though we haven't had Fall yet. The leaves are still on the trees and they are still fairly green.

We're supposed to help with concessions at tonight's Football game, I guess I better bundle up!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Faithbook Class

I have been working on creating a Faithbook Class. It is something I wanted to do for a long time, just for myself, but decided to offer it to the ladies at church as well. I think maybe 5 or 6 will be participating. We will spend the next few months creating and album that scrapbooks our faith. Each month we will focuas on 2 or 3 different topics to scrapbook.

The first month we are focusing on our testimony, Surrender, and Baptism. I have discovered as I have been working on my album, that it is drawing me closer to God because of the focus on my walk with Him. I hope that the ladies who take this class will discover the same thing. The goal for this class is to first of all help the ladies get their testimony written out, but also to draw them closer in their relationship with God as they discover the little things that God has done in their lives. Sometimes we forget about the little stuff, only remembering the big God moments.

Here are the pages for the first class plus one for the second (the last picture:)

What I've been up to lately

Well, the past couple of weeks I haven't been doing much of anything. I got a horrible cold that has pretty much knocked me out. I'm at the tail end of it now but the cough just keeps hanging on.
So, I have been sleeping a lot because I just feel run down and tired all the time. I did get to fill in for the band teacher at Homecoming. That was fun. He needed someone to direct because he had to take his brand new baby in to Fallon to the doctor. (Baby is OK, just a check-up) So I got to direct at the pep assembly and then again at the game that night.

We've also been getting back into our fall ministries. Mornings for Moms started last week and ladies luncheon started last month. Numbers have been few but I think those who came have been blessed.

I've also been trying to get some things made to sell on My store is Jenscraps. I don't have a lot on it yet, just some layouts and a few mini albums. I am hoping to be able to take one day each week and spend creating cards and mini albums to put in my store.
I got most of our summer pictures scrapbooked, at least the first half of the summer:)

When we go to our Staff Conference in Sctotts Valley, CA, we try to find fun things to do with the kids in the afternoons. This year we went to the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. ( I like to get postcards from the places we visit and include those in pages. On this layout, it is a pack of 10 postcards that I just put over the page and people can pull out and look at them.

On our way home from Conference we decided to stay in Sonora, CA for a couple of days of relaxation before we came home. One day we went to Columbia, CA, a preserved Gold Mining Town.

On the way home to Round Mountain we went over Sonora Pass. I don't think we will do that again! Spencer, who never gets car sick, was feeling a little queasy, so we made a few stops coming over the pass. One place gave us a spectacular view of mountains, valley and waterfall. This pass is very steep, 16% grade in most places, and very windy. Fun:)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Check Out Grady's Awesome Art

The other day I was reading through my Digital Scrapbooking Mag and I saw a turtorial on how to "Bling Your Blog" and I thought, "Wow, I should do that to my blog!"

So since Grady is interested in Graphic Design and knows how to do all these cool things in Photoshop, (my Christmas present last year that I can't figure out :), I asked him if he could create a banner for my blog for me.

Today I showed him the digital paper I wanted to use and a picture that I thought might work and he did the rest. It only took him maybe a half hour to do and he did such a great job.

I told him maybe he could make a business out of it to earn money for DC. You never know...

Branching Out

Wow, my shy "guys" and girl are branching out. That is a good thing! Grady has decided, all on his own, that he is going to join the Academic Olympics this year. He said that the kids who did it last year said it was a lot of fun. Since he is my braniac I am sure he will do really well at this. I told him that meant he would have to talk and he said he thought he could handle that:)

Becca has decided she wants to join Junior High FBLA. Becca is really looking forward to being a part of this. She is also 6th grade class treasurer and embracing leadership quite well. She is so much more outgoing and willing to be in front of people than I was. Praise the Lord for that.

~~Oboe update~~ she can play a scale but still needs to look at the fingerings in the back of her book. She can also play the first few measures of the fight song. Today she actually got most of the notes out in tune, she's been consistently flat to this point. Homecoming is next week and I told her that after that she can take it to school but she's playing my clarinet for homecoming and doesn't need to take both.

We haven't heard too much more about FFA for Spencer but he will be a part of that club. There is a school board meeting on the 2nd (here in Round Mountain, surprise) so we will go to that and hopefully the district will approve funding for a local chapter out here. Apparently if the school offers Ag Science, they have to be a part of FFA, so if the program is not approved I'm not sure what will happen to Spencer's Ag Science class.

Grady is looking forward to Washington DC and has begun fundraising. He needs to raise a miniumum of $3000 to cover airfare and tuition and then will also need to raise funds for his daily lunches and to have a little bit of spending money. If you'd like to help him with this e-mail me if you don't have our address. He is trying to think of other ways to raise money as well and may sell something at the craft fair coming up. That will depend on if we can get the supplies in time for him to make them.

So, my kids are growing up and I can't help think that in just a few years I can turn the boys room into a scrap room. Wahoo!!! Seriously though, it is hard to think that in just a few short years they will begin leaving the nest. Grady said he will help me scrap his pictures because I only have three years to get them done. Great confidence he has in his mother! He did the math for me and has decided that since I have 40 years of kid pics to scrap, (15 years of Grady, 14 of Spencer, and 11 of Becca) he figured he better help me or I'll never get it done:) I've kept up on 2008, at least for the family book so I think I am doing pretty good. It will be fun to have his help.

He is also working on a banner for me for my blog so the top is a little more exciting. I told him maybe when he gets good at that he can hire himself out to create banners for other people's blogs. Maybe a way to raise money for DC!

Anyway, that's what is happening in our lives for now. Later!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A great Day for the Kids!

Today was a great day for the Hallenbeck kids...

Becca's Oboe arrived today. She was so excited. I was out in the church when she got home from school and when I told her she ran back to the house as fast she could. She was so excited to play it. She was able to play a few notes and we began working on the fingerings she will need to know to play the school fight song. I am so glad I can help her learn to play. It makes it a lot easier for her. I guess I'll be learning to play the Oboe now too:)

Over the summer Grady was invited to go on a 14 day study tour to Japan next summer. He decided that he didn't want to go. I think the thought of going to another country with a bunch of kids and adults he didn't know was a little overwhelming for him. Well, today we received a letter inviting him to go to Washington DC next spring to attend the National Young Leaders Conference. This trip he does want to take and he said he was glad he had said no to Japan because he really wants to go to DC. So as soon as we get more information on the cost, he will begin raising money to go.

Spencer has been excited about his Ag Science class. We met his teacher tonight and she is excited to bring this program to Round Mountain. She is trying to get an FFA chapter started and Spencer is looking forward to being a part of it. They will be applying for officer positions soon. We'll see what that means for Spencer in a few weeks hopefully. I think we may have finally found something that he is interested in!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


OK, so I'm sitting here getting ready for Youth Group, really wanting to just take a nap:) and I decided I should get some pictures up. I finally got them off my camera yesterday! I did get a short cat nap as well. My guitar lesson re-scheduled for next week so I have an extra hour. So here you go. Our summer in a nutshell! VBS Pic's are on the VBS blog, and my latest scrapbook pages will be in a new slide in a few days. I have to get pictures of those ones still.

Spencer's 14th Birthday. His birthday always ends up in the midst of busyiness. This year it fell at the end of VBS!

We spent one day out at Mayfield Lake with the LTCC family at their annual campout. Becca just had to take out the Kayak!

We also went to the Pierce County Fair. Not as big as the Puyallup Fair but we got our "Fair Food" fix!Some friends from LTCC took me out to lunch at this wonderful little Italian Cafe in Sumner.
On the other side of the mountains we visited a couple who moved from Round Mountain last Spring.

And then, summer was over and it was time to go back to school!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another week goes by

Another week goes by and pictures are still coming soon:) Sorry for that taking so long.

We have been busy doing a lot of yard work trying to get things ready for fall. I figured we had better take care of last year's mess before the leaves drop this year. They have begun so it has been a busy week. There are tons of weeds everywhere so we started with that. We had one person from the church come help us a little but last Saturday. When we went into town we bought a torch to burn the weeds and seeds they have dropped. Maybe next year they won't be so bad. We've also been trimming trees. The first time since we have been here.

We've contributed 5 truckloads of tree limbs and big (BIG) weeds to the Homecoming Bonfire pile. Homecoming is Sept. 26 so we need to get the rest of the wood debris that is lying around down there. We just want to do our part to make it the biggest bonfire ever:)

The kids are busy with school. Settling into routines and getting back into the swing of things. Band has been challenging for Becca but everyday she is able to play a little more. They don't have a beginning band here so all the new ones are in with those who have played before. She started on my clarinet, until her OBOE arrives (the 10th, woohoo) so I can help her out quite a bit. She loves to practice so that has not been a challenge. However, she has to learn the Star Spangled Banner buy the 26th and was given the 1st part which has some pretty high notes. I didn't learn those until my 3rd year playing. I dropped it down an octave for her so she can at least play in a range more suited for a beginner.

Today she got out her Oboe reed and learned how to make it "squawk." The funny thing is that her book said she should do that every time she goes to play. Soak the reed, then blow air through and make a loud sound like a bird (squawk). Her band teacher ought to love that!

Tomorrow is a wood cutting day. We still have a little left from last year that never got cut so we plan to do that tomorrow. That will give us an idea of how much we nned to get. It doesn;t look like we'll have any to give away this year which isn;t a good thing, but there is only so much wood 2 people can get.

This weekend is Smoky Valley Days. There are alot of events spread out in the valley. It should be interesting. Our Women's ministry was asked to do food at the craft fair part of it. Saturday will be full of making tacos. I won't get to see much of anything else that is happening. Tomorrow is High School football, they won their game last week, hopefully that is a good sign of the rest of the season. Sunday their is an inter-denominational service at the fairgrounds and Butch was asked to preach. It will make for a busy Sunday morning but it's the first since we have been here so it will be good to see how it goes.

For now, it's time to get the kiddos headed towards their beds.

I promise, pictures are coming. Once I get through this weekend....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The end of summer!

Wow, it's already the end of summer as we know it. School starts Monday. We love having the kids home, but we also love when they go back to school. I think all three are generally looking forward to school, Becca and Grady more so than Spencer. They will all be in band this year, and Becca will be in Middle School, both boys in High School.

We just returned from a 2 week vacation back to Washington. Of course the pictures are still on my camera so they will come later. I think it's time to update the Slide anyway! We spent one night out at Mayfield Lake, since half of Lake Tapps (at least half of the ones we know:) were out there camping. It was nice to visit with everyone who was there. We also went to Lake Tapps that following Sunday.

Then we went to Butch's sister's in Marblemount and shared with their church. Then it was off to Eastern WA. We visited a couple who moved from Round Mountain and then travelled southeast to Idaho. We spent one day just hanging out at the hotel doing nothing. We did so much of nothing that I didn't even take any pictures. Oops!

We got home Monday night and jumped back in the saddle of ministry. A lot of things still needed to be cleaned up and put away after VBS. Normally I do that the week after but since we left right away, it was all waiting for me when we returned.

We are gearing up for the start of our fall ministries, new Sunday School teachers will begin the 7th with their classes. I will be teahching the 5-7th grade as well as doing most of the teaching at youth group. We are still praying for a couple to come along that has a heart for youth and can take on that ministry full-time, volunteer of course!

Keep praying for us as we serve the Lord here in Round Mountain. We were challenged this morning by one of our Deacon's who has similar desires to ours for our church to grow together in unity as we reach out to the community. Pray that our church family was challenged by his message and that they would have a desire to grow in their faith and grow stronger as the family of God.

(New pictures coming soon:)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Check out the VBS Blog

Just a quick note for you to go over to the VBS Blog and check out the pictures from our Friday Night Finale. We had a great week with 41 kids and 28 volunteers. You can read more and see some pictures here!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In the Midst of Power Lab

We are in the midst of Power Lab. It has been a great week so far. We have been blessed to have 7 Youth and 4 Adults from Graeagle Community Church in Graeagle, CA here this week to help us with Power Lab. They have taken a huge load off of me, allowing me to relax a bit and have fun. I am definately NOT feeling the stress I did last year. And, they have just about the whole front parking area weeded! Now if we can get it sprayed so more weeds won't grow. That would be great!

We are looking forward to our trip to Washington next week to visit family and friends. It will be good to have some time away for a much needed rest.

An update on Becca and Washington DC, we decided that this was not the year for her to go. It was a hard decision but feel that the timing was just not right. I'm sure she will have another opportunity to go.

Grady on the other hand, has recieved an invitation to go on a 14 day study tour in Japan the summer of 2009. We are praying for God's direction in this opportunity. He doesn't know yet because there are so many extra people here so, shhhhhhhh! We will tell him about in a few days. This is probably a once in a lifetime trip for him so I am hoping that there may be some way he can go, and that he would want to go. He has done great this week, getting out there and hanging out with the kids who are here from Graeagle and having conversations with the adults who are here. I have really seen him come out of his shell this week, I hope it will continue.

I have some brief updates on VBS on the VBS blog, the link is on the left. I can't wait to return from WA, as much as I am looking forward to going, so I can back to scrapping. I am going to start a Faithbook class with the ladies in the church this fall. We will make a scrapbook telling the story of our faith. I have wanted to do this for a long time and with our retreat theme this year, it fits. I have my supplies and can't wait to get started.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Becca's Swim Meet

Becca had her first swim meet yesterday in Hawthorne. Her and 4 other girls from Round Mountain traveled 2 1/2 hours to compete against kids from several towns. All the girls did great for having never competed before. They started practicing in April and have come so far in their swimming.

Becca's main race was the 11-12 year old girls 50M Butterfly. She finished in 16th place (out of 25) with a time of 1:04. One second faster would have put her in 8th. That is a personal best for her. She was excited because she beat the fastest boy in that age group. Way to go Becca!

I remember the first day of swim team when her coach was seeing how the kids did with each stroke. When it was her turn for Butterfly, she got in the pool and said "I don't know what to do." He told her to "Guess." Well she did and took off like she had been doing it her whole life:) That is by far her favorite and best stroke.

Here a few pictures of her day!

This is during the 50M Butterfly

The Breast Stoke during her 100M IM

New Pictures! (It's about time:)

Here are a few pictures from when my mom and step-dad were here. The first two pictures in front of the Haul Truck are from 2006 and 2007 to show you how much they have grown since we have been here. Nevada sunshine maybe?

It took Grady 6 tries to blow out all those candles! Must be the elevation:)