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

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....