November 23, 2015

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Talent Show

Our homeschool co-op had a talent show a few weeks ago.  It was such a great opportunity for the community to come together and support the kids.  All of the kids have amazing talents!  There were singers, pianists, dancers and even a comedian.  Have I told you how much I love this co-op?  Great mix of people, and my kids cannot wait to go on Mondays.  Love it.

My kids participated in the show as well.  Oldest Bit played the banjo, which surprised me.  He has always been unsure of himself and shy, but he approached me about performing, and so I supported in any way I could.  He is turning in to such a mature young man.


Middle Bit is taking a hip hop class, and performed  some of his new moves with some of the others in his class.  I did not know what to make of his being in hip hop.  I was so surprised to see that he really is good at it, and truly likes it.  He asked to be enrolled in the class for next term as well.  So cool!


Little Bit was in a little theater demonstration and ballet.  These were small performances, but she rocked them!  Her big ballet performance is tonight, and her theater performance is next week.  Really neat to see her performing on stage.  She takes what she does very seriously, and it puts a smile on my face to see her loving every second.




I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

We are looking forward to Thanksgiving and all the delicious food!



November 20, 2015

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A Birthday


Middle Bit turned 12 a little over a week ago.  We had been waiting for his birthday patiently because his gift was so unique.  We do not normally go all out for a birthday gift, but this year was different.

He has been playing the guitar for five years now, and getting quite good.  The route he wants to go is playing rock music, but in order to progress we needed to get him an  electric guitar.  These are very expensive, an not something you would get a child just because.  At least not in this family.  Middle Bits teacher said he would keep his eyes open for a good quality used guitar for a good deal.  About a month later, I received a text that one of his students needed to sell their Fender guitar for some extra cash.  It was only a year old and very good quality.  The price was right, so we got it.  We had it hidden for a month and a half, having to endure his longing after every guitar, and expressing his deep desire to have an electric one.  We kept telling him, “One day.  These are expensive so we will have to budget.”

So on his birthday when he opened it up, his eyes widened and he looked in shock.  At first I wondered if he even liked it, but then I realized he was truly  speechless, which if you know Middle Bit, is a very rare thing indeed.

He plugged it in to his new amp, and strummed the electric guitar.  And as he strummed, I saw his future.  It fits him perfectly.  I am not talking about size or shape, I am talking about personality.  I do not know if he will become a rock star, but I do know that the guitar will be a part of who he is.

I am so very proud of him.

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November 18, 2015


Our Night in Vegas

I told you all yesterday of the impromptu trip to Fresno.  I told you how I picked my husband up from the airport, and then we just kept driving.  I also said we spent the night in Vegas, and that was a story all on its own.  So today, I will tell you the fun and crazy story of our night as the top one percent of the tax bracket.

My husband travels quite a bit, and when he stays at hotels, he gets points that earn us free nights.  Because of this, not only does the hotel offer points to stay overnight, but they do offer a stay without using any points, for free at ANY of their hotels.  This could be at the most basic to the most ritzy, depending on where you are at.  So on our way south to Vegas, my husband called the booking service, and asked where we could stay with our one absolute free night.  No, we did not want the basic.  I mean if you are going to use this opportunity, you better use it well, right?

The person on the other end, booking our night, said, “Sure, we have a $500 suite at the Palazzo available.  it is only a king size bed thought, would that be suitable.”  Yes our family of five can figure it out!  I mean if we have to rough it, we have to rough it.  We were a little excited, and then realized how ragamuffin we all looked.  Hair standing on end, ketchup stains from the fast food.  But hey, this could be a one time thing.  So we sucked it up, and walked through the high end hotel.  Mixed matched luggage in tow, ketchup stains and bed heads.

We were standing in line, when a woman approached us and asked if we were members.  We said with great pomp, “Why of course we are!”  She then escorted us to the “elite check in”.  Keep in mind, we did not look elite by any means, and all the people looking us up and down, were now looking at us wondering who the hell we were.

The gentleman checking us in was tremendously sweet.  I think he could tell we were not the normal clientele, and decided to help us out.  He said that he noticed we had the king bed suite and would it be okay to change us to the two queen bed sweet.  Of course we said yes.  Then he said that he wanted to check on a few things, and would we mind if he excused himself for a minute to make a few phone calls.  Uh oh, this is it, they saw the ketchup stains.  He came back and said, he rearranged our booking to make sure we were on the strip side so we could have a view.  He also said he arranged it to be on the 26th floor, and to please enjoy our stay.

We had to walk back through the hotel with fancy people, with our ketchup stains and bed heads, to the elevator.  We arrived on the 26th floor, and headed to our suite.  We opened the door to this:


Ummm, super nice right?  There were three televisions.  One over the bathtub.  Middle Bit took a bath and exclaimed, “I watched television while taking a bath!”


This is an awful shot of the bathroom.  It was much bigger, and the size of a normal hotel room.


This is the area where one would lounge.  The curtains were controlled by a remote, which the kids used constantly.  Oh, it had a television.

The sleeping area had another television.

Our family will never be the same again.


Hope you are all having adventures!




November 17, 2015

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Where to Begin

It has truly been a whirlwind of events the past few months, and I can honestly say some of the busiest weeks I have experienced as a wife, mother and grown up.  Teaching full time at home, going back to school, trips, running major events, and all the miscellany in between…I have seen that I can do it, but it does wear the body out.

This week is the first time in months that I have a “normal” week.  I have missed blogging, I have missed my business and have realized that these spaces are part of who I am.  With the events of the past week around the world, I have missed connecting with family far away and see blogging as a way to connect to family, friends, the world.  How important it is to do this in love, unity and peace.  I am so grateful for all of you and I look forward to connecting and seeing what is happening in your lives as well.

I could not figure out how to start this post, because there has been so many things happening, and last night, I sorted through about 300 photos from the past few months.  Where do I even begin!

So I will lead in words my month of September through mid October, then show you some very cool pics of an impromptu trip to Fresno California.  September began the craziness.  I put together a women’s retreat for the northern region of our state.  It was called, “That’s How the Light Gets In”, and approximately 30 women from 3 different congregations came together to learn about service and prayer.  I heard it went really well!  I say this because even though I organized the event, I was unable to make it.  I had class all weekend long!  Wonderful women banded together to help ensure all went well.  This was my first lesson:  how to learn to allow others to help.  I have always had a difficult time with this control issue, but honestly, I cannot do it all.  These wonderful women stepped up and did an amazing job, and I couldn’t be more grateful!  Class went well, and I am drinking through a fire hose of information.  Getting back into the school routine and writing papers on theology is mind boggling, but somehow, by grace, I am getting it done.

Another major thing I am working on with another woman is starting up a soup kitchen, opening in January.  There will be more info to come.  But in the midst of preparing for this, going to school and planning for our church bazaar, we have had co-op and home school!  I have enjoyed school this year.  The program for the kids is amazing, and this virtual school incredible.  The kids attend class online, and meet with their fellow classmates.  The curriculum is great, and I feel like I am running from kid to kid, but they are all having a great time.  The co-op has been a lot of work, but so worth it, and I am grateful for the ladies I work with.

Now to the Fresno trip.  This was an impromptu trip.  My husbands aunt and uncle live in Fresno, and one week called us to invite us to the wests largest civil war re-enactment.  Apparently, Fresno has the largest one in the west, who knew?  They know that my son is a huge civil war buff, and did not want us to miss this opportunity.  However, when they called, we only had a week!  My husband was gone, so we had to work out how we would do it.  So, on a Thursday, my husbands flight got in at 1pm.  Since he was already packed, the kids and I picked him up from the airport and just kept driving.  We spent the night in Vegas, which is a story all its own for tomorrow and got there Friday night.  All day Saturday, we attended the event, and it was pretty cool.  Here are the highlights.

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The morning started with a battle, and which one, I cannot remember.  I was not expecting it to be so cool.  The horses were so well behaved with all the black powder noise, and the characters were amazing!


In between battles, we walked around the camps, both union and confederate.

The above horse was the most friendly horse I have ever met.  I couldn’t stop petting her.  Really, literally, she would not leave my daughter and I alone.  Which was sad for my daughter, because she absolutely loves horses, but unfortunately this is what happens.


Yup, she is allergic.  So Benadryl to the rescue and the rest of the day continued.

The men and women participating stayed in character at all times, and answered all questions.  We all learned much about the history, and had fun learning some new crafts.



The doctor was by far the most informative.  We are so lucky for the advances in medicine.  I will spare you the details.

An old distillery, for medicinal and moonshine purposes!  Of course it was just for show.


And then of course the day ended as it began, with a battle.


We truly had such  an amazing time, and I am so happy we did not wimp out.  It was great to see family, learn new things and watch the kids have a wonderful time.

Thanks Bruce and Cheryl!  We had so much fun!


October 6, 2015

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A Guestroom/Classroom Makeover

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Our guestroom/classroom was full of clutter and not very inviting.  The green was from when my two boys lived in the room, and had different shades in one area because we did not color match correctly.  The bookshelves were overflowing, and the whole room felt closed in.

I felt like it needed a good cleaning, and figuring out what was needed and what was no longer needed for our family.  A simplifying of the room if you will.

Here is the result.

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Since we no longer use the room for school, I decided to get rid of the table, and put their drawers for books in the closet.  The shelves have been combined and now hold their books nicely.  The rocker I have had since my oldest was born, sits in the corner with a reading lamp.  Great for guests and kids.  Quilts that my grandmother in law made the kids are now on display in the room, as well as the paintings my mother painted when the kids turned one.

The room is relaxing, serene and definitely a place where kids and guests alike can relax.

Have you done any cleaning out of rooms lately?



October 4, 2015

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Sunday Storytelling-Harvest Time


I have very few memories of actually harvesting anything as a child, but the ones I do have stand out in my mind.  We moved around quite a bit as I was growing up, and mainly stayed in rentals.  In the rentals, the yard was never huge, and there was really now reason to have a garden because you had to get the landlords approval.  While living in Las Vegas, we lived in an apartment, and the city garden movement was pretty much nonexistent.

As a little kid in early elementary school, I still lived in Oklahoma, and my Great Grandma Helberg was still alive.  She live in a smaller town, 9 miles away from the bigger small town.  I actually remember being in a car with my grandma and grandpa as we traveled to see my Great Grandmother.  I remember it taking most of the morning on the one lane old highway, and I remember having to pack a lunch to go.  As I look back on that now, I chuckle because my parents live in that small town.  It takes me 20 minutes to get to the grocery store in the bigger small town.  But, my grandpa was a slow driver.  There were picnic table stops along the way, and even still today if you travel back highway’s in Oklahoma, you will find a random covered picnic table stop.  I do believe it was used for families traveling from farm to farm, a rest area with no bathrooms.  By the time we made it to Great Grandmas, we were so excited to get out of the car and run around.  These trips were for helping her harvest her big vegetable garden.  It truly was a big family fun event.  She would make us corn husk dolls, and let us play in the guestroom.  Oh, I loved that guestroom.  It had a vanity that I dreamed of having, and I remember make believing I was putting makeup on.  Her house was so exciting and new.  I also remember going out to see the outhouse that my great grandfather used.  Even though they had plumbing, he refused to use the bathroom in the house, he only used the outhouse.  I also remember all the German books, which I have a few now, but being intrigued that they could speak another language.  They came fresh off the boat from Germany.  Great Grandma Helberg’s house was exotic for a child, and all children could not help but get lost in make believe.

When I was in college and ended up moving back to Oklahoma, my Grandma (Great Grandma Helberg daughter in law) would sit in a rocking chair on her back porch with a bowl full of beans, and we would snip the ends of the beans and talk.  We would talk about life, about how she was doing, about anything really.  I remember feeling a sense of calm, slowing things down and being in the moment.  The simple act of harvesting brought people together.  It was always hard work, but it was good work, the kind that got the whole family involved.

I think on some level, this is why I have a big garden today.  The kids and I will sit on the back porch, snip beans or peas, tie herbs to dry and shuck corn.  It is slow, deliberate and on some level fun.  Even though we do not have a grandma close by, we have a community that shares their harvest at church or we can go down the street and get tomatoes that are overwhelming a neighbor.  Gardening brings people together, and people who would not normally talk, suddenly talk about their tomato crop, or how those pesky beetles hurt their potatoes this year.

Harvest time brings a community together, and reminds us that the most valuable communication is face to face and growing memories together.

I hope you are all having a happy harvest!



If you have a story to tell, please leave a comment with your link.  If you do not have a blog, please leave a comment!

October 3, 2015

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The weather has been so beautiful and warm here for most of fall, but we have had some interesting days.  A couple of weeks ago, it was really rainy and chilly, and when the skies cleared, there was actually a dusting of snow on the mountains.  I know that seems a little early, but considering the dry year we had in 2014, it was a welcome sight.  But as quickly as the snow came, it left and reached almost 90 degrees!


A couple of weeks before the snow, we went to the amphitheater in our historic town to see my sons banjo teacher play in his band.  It is a bluegrass band, and against the backdrop of the mountains and our quaint town, it was so pleasant and lovely, that I could not resist taking my phone out and snapping a couple of pictures of the clouds with the setting sun shining on them.  So beautiful, and we were so lucky to see a rainbow appear.  The scene was made even more beautiful when the band started playing “Matthew”  by John Denver.  Go and listen to it, and you will love it!  Reminds me of home, Oklahoma though, not Kansas.

These past few days have been filled with clouds and spits of rain, giving us hope in the west of a wetter winter.

How has the weather been in your neck of the woods?

Love to you all,



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