Scenes From Christmas 2016

We have enjoyed our time together this Christmas.  Honestly 2016 was a very busy and slightly overwhelming year.  Mr. Bits is finally back home after four long months, the kids and their activities have settled down at least for the past two weeks, and I have been working away on various projects.  All in all, the year has been good, but I am glad to have a fresh start!

Here are some pictures of our very quiet Christmas this year.

Christmas Eve Fun:  Two church services, decorating cookies and new pajamas!

 

Christmas Day gifts and rest.

 

After Christmas Snowshoeing.

After Christmas Hike on a Frozen River with our dogs!

Happy New Year Breakfast!

 

From our family to yours, Have a very Happy and Healthy 2017!

 

Adventure in Arizona

First I would like to say Phoenix is hot!!!!!! Second I would like to say, I was tremendously thankful for the hotel having a pool!!!!!! With that being said, we did have a great time in Phoenix. It was fun having absolutely no responsibilities for a while.

Middle Bit was born in this great city, so he had fun seeing the old house we lived in, hospital he was born in and the church he was baptized in. We took him to the church he was baptized at, and one of the priests is still there almost 13 years later! I have a picture of her holding him as a baby, and now of them standing next to each other 13 years later. Time does fly!

Other highlights were visiting Tombstone and Bisbee. If I had the chance to live in Bisbee, I would. The town is so eclectic and much cooler in temperature. Love it!

We had a great time, but like all good things, we had to come back home. We were all grateful for the time away and time spent together!

What were some of the trips you have been on this summer?

Love,

Suzy

Hoops

Our old basketball hoop was a hunk of junk. It was not a permanent basketball hoop, which honestly caused a great deal of problems. It was constantly blowing over in the wind, which meant the hoop itself was an unusual shape. It was not round, but instead oval, and even rectangular. One day, we finally took it apart, but this left the kids without a net. For our oldest child, that is a big deal. He love basketball! So we began looking for a good deal on a permanent goal. The price for these is unreal!! 800 to a 1, 000 dollars. Something we could not afford! Some friends of ours had taken an old basketball goal down at their house. Their boys, are young, and they decided to remove it. The goal was totally old school playground. The long white pole, with a simple white board and rim. They offered it for free, and so we jumped on it. We had the pole powder coated black, we sanded the board and repainted it a nice bright white and repainted the orange square on the backboard.  All it needed after that was a new net, and it started to look brand new! It was a great project for the three boys to work on together, and cement into the ground. Now we have a basketball hoop installed permanently into the ground, and in the end it only ended up costing us $200!

There have been many games of horse and pig played on it since returning home from Phoenix. Nothing like a summer evening playing basketball!

Hope your summers are going well!

Love,

Suzy

Flowers

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I have been spending as much time as I can in my backyard lately.  In the early morning I sit in my ugly seventies rocking chair and read my Bible or devotion for the day, drink my coffee and pet the dogs.  In the evening, I walk around the yard, pulling weeds where I see them, and admiring the flowers that are beginning to bloom.  I am trying to slow down, even in the midst of a crazy busy life.  I do not want this life to be a blur from one event to the next.  Instead, I long for peace.  The flowers in my garden are beautiful.  The garden has not yet matured, and there is much growing to do, but the flowers that are brave enough to bloom in the midst of un-organization, they are making an impact.  In the mismatched growing, there is strength and beauty, and I feel as though it reflects my own life. Bits of beauty in an un-organized, mismatched life.  Reminders, that it will all come together, and be beautiful.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer.

Love,

Suzy

40!

In February, I celebrated my 40th birthday!  I did not want any birthday parties or events that make others feel like they needed to get me things and I feel really uncomfortable when I am the center of attention.  I really did not want to be surprised by any of that either.  But I did not know what I wanted to do.  Mr. Bits asked me, but I just could not decide.  The weather where we live had been horrible for a month straight, and the inversion that happens because of the constant snow cover became really depressing.  So getting out of town sounded like a good option, but I honestly had no clue where I wanted to go.

Some friends of ours suggested we try to go in on a cabin together since his birthday was around the same time.  We could celebrate mine, my daughters and his all at once.  So my husband began planning, and we decided on Bryce Canyon in southern Utah.  Warm (warmer but still chilly), clear skies and beautiful scenery.  Our families cooked meals together, sat out on the balcony in the warm sun and drank beers (grownups only of course), and drove into the national park for a day of hiking and looking around.

It was truly a great birthday and a much needed dose of sunshine!  Another special thing about my birthday is that I share it with my grandpa.  He died when I was young, but I remember sharing my birthday with him.  We were both born on Feb 13, and on a Friday!  Every birthday, I have a toast towards heaven and wish him a special day, and this birthday, I felt as though he were wishing me one right back.  Nature does that.  It brings us closer to those we miss.

Love,

Suzy

Oldest Bit

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Our homeschooling year is going well.  The kids have been attending an online school, and they have loved it.  The school has been challenging, yet it is so nice to be able to complete assignments at their own speed.  Yes, they have to complete a certain amount by the end of the week, but there is no time limit during the day for them to get it done, and this truly helps, especially with the different learning styles my kids have.

Oldest Bit has learned a great deal about himself this year.  He has blossomed through all the activities that he has been a part of.  In co-op, he has learned that public speaking is not so scary.  He has played his banjo in front of a large group of people.  He is excelling at basketball.  And even though he has a teenager attitude, he still gives me hugs and tells me he loves me.  How absolutely wonderful.  I cannot believe how fast he is growing up, but I have had so much fun watching him mature and come into his own.

But the child cannot take a normal picture!  Every time I was about to click a photo, he would change his face!  Drove me crazy!

Oh, I love you Oldest Bit!  Please time, go a little bit slower!

Love,

Suzy

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!