Friday, May 22, 2015

Times are Changin'

For 33 years I've been a stay-at-home mom, giving up the working world the moment they placed that first sweet baby girl in my arms after her birth. My dear husband worked hard and we were frugal for many years so that I could be home. It hasn't always been easy, but God has blessed, and what a great group of adults we've put out into the world!

Now all seven of the kids are adults and there are new opportunities to explore.

Last summer I was approached with the opportunity to volunteer with a group that helps our local refugee population learn English. I was hesitant. Sure, I homeschooled for over 25 years, but those people spoke English. How do you teach English to people who speak Arabic, Karen, Chin, Burmese, and other languages? So I said I'd like to observe for awhile before making a decision.



The first month, I went down to the apartment that World Relief rents in the heart of the area of Kennewick where the refugees live and observed all the levels of English classes they teach in the morning. These people soon captured my heart, and by the second month I had taken a couple of classes for myself. I chose Level C as the students can already read, and communicating with them is a little easier.

Tuesday was the last class for the school year. The experience working with the refugees was so good and I learned quite a bit about different cultures and the process it takes to immigrate to the U.S. I'm looking forward to continuing to teach a couple of mornings this fall.

Besides volunteer teaching, a position has opened up in our family insurance business and as of this month, I'm going in to work every day, mostly doing some bookkeeping and payroll. Some days I leave the office with my head about to explode from trying to understand all the new information I'm trying to take in. I'm sure it'll get better and the whole process will be second nature, I sure hope it's soon!!

Not being home much during the day takes some getting used to for this homebody! The garden isn't getting as much attention, the deadheading is going to be a constant evening activity for me. But I can't think of a better stress reliever than deadheading and weeding!

This weekend we're heading up to Spokane as daughter Kirsten qualified for Regionals in discus. And on Monday all the kids are coming over for our annual Birthday Bash where we celebrate the birthdays all at once.

I hope all my U.S. friends have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and all the rest of you a great weekend!



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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Joy!

We've had some gorgeous days lately and the roses that get the most sun are really starting to pop!

Lunar Mist

Lower: The Impressionist, Upper: Sky's the Limit

Peach Silk

Oh yes, the iris too!

With the good weather I've been emptying out the pots and getting them replanted. I'm especially glad to get my deck boxes replanted and happy once again!

I've begun my morning garden walks, coffee in hand, seeing what's new and just enjoying the play of color and serenity.

If you've any interest, my husband and I have started a new blog featuring the wineries near our home. Gary loves photography, we both enjoy wine and exploring the back roads, so we thought this would be a fun thing to do as our nest is practically empty. You can find it at:

Winery A Week

I hope you are enjoying the simple pleasures in life today!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Calling It Good

Yep, I'm calling Convent Garden by The Drawn Thread good, in other words quitting. Not because there's anything wrong with the design by the designer; the problem is entirely with me. And that is the reason I set aside this lovely design several years ago.



When I resumed stitching on it a few months ago, I had forgotten that reason, and I didn't really look at what I'd stitched. I just saw it, and resumed the stitching. And after finishing the center garden of the design, I unrolled more of the linen on the scroll rods, and it hit me.

I had not properly centered the design on the linen! Argh!

So this is as far as it goes.



And that's ok with me!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Awakening

After some amazingly lovely spring weather, my garden is just about to burst into color. I am so ready!






It'll be 80F today! I have more fertilizing to do, then laying down some mulch. I can feel the vitamin D surging as I soak in the sun!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Little Getaway

My DH is a really good photographer and has had an itch to get out to find the wildflowers. Saturday we were in Yakima for the Davis Invite track meet, so we decided to ditch the meet a little early and head down to the Columbia Gorge.

(Incidentally, Kirsten pr'd in the discus with a throw of 94 ft! She's getting there.)

Unfortunately, the wildflowers had already peaked since we had such a mild winter and early spring, but there were still patches in some areas. We stayed overnight in The Dalles, OR, and explored all around the back ridges from The Dalles to Hood River, plus Columbia Hills State Park on the Washington side.

And look what we found!



Yes, zebras and camels! There were even a couple of giraffes who were camera shy, plus some llamas and alpacas. Someone has quite a hobby farm going here.


The two photos above were near Columbia Hills State Park, WA.



These are from the Rowena Crest near Rowena, OR.




These are from the highlands above Hood River.

I took these photos with an extra camera DH is letting me use. It's a Canon 60D with a lot of bells and whistles that I need to learn. It's bigger and heavier than other cameras I've used, like the Rebel, but I think I can adjust.

It was fun getting to do something a little different and I'm hoping there will be many more trips just like it in the future!