Gathering Graces 5/28/2017

*It was so  great attending Legacy Church this morning.  When we lived in Meridian, this is the church we attended, and it was nice visiting with people I hadn’t seen in a while.  Pastor Ralph Lowe gave a wonderful sermon on the importance of prayer in our life, and how we need it daily to keep our “engine filled up”.
*Zoe and I went to Mongolian BBQ for lunch, and it was nice spending some time visiting with her about her plans for the future.
*After lunch I stopped at Dutch Bros and ordered an iced Cocomo.  Boy did it hit the spot!!
*After taking a short nap at Laurie’s house, I headed over to meet a special little girl, Margot Siddoway.  Margot is my walking partner Nikki Ross’s newest little granddaughter to join her sister Vivian, and parents Jeff and Kori Siddoway, who live in Meridian.  It was such a joy to see this family, and my friend Nikki was born to be a grandma!!
*Then I headed to Nampa to attend my niece Taylor’s bridal shower.  It was a beautiful evening and it was so fun to see my three girls and their two cousins together.  These girls are all very close in age, 21,23,23,24 and 26.  I was glad they could all spend some time together this weekend.
*Then I headed to Laurie’s and we had a wonderful visit into the wee hours of the morning.


Gathering Graces 5/27/2017

*What a wonderful day of connecting with family and friends while here in Meridian.  As I drove through different parts of Meridian today, I was reminded of some of the places I used to frequent while we lived here 17 years ago.  There are some things that remain the same, and others have changed much over the years.  Somehow, I find comfort in the fact that some things have remained the same.

Me and April at breakfast
*My morning started out with breakfast at Steve’s Cafe with my wonderful friend April Kiebert.  We talked about her new job, how wonderful her kids are doing, my life, and how much we appreciate each other’s friendship.  The awesome thing is I will be back in two weeks, and we will get to spend more time together, too.
*Lunchtime was spent at Kahootz Pub and Eatery with my wonderful friends Anita Jo Jahner and Laurie Roberts.  The food was delicious, and the company was even better!!
Anita, Laurie and I

Having coffee with Ryan Griffin
*I spent the afternoon taking a nap.  It felt so good.  Then I met Molly, Zoe and Cosette and Ryan Griffin at The Village in Meridian for coffee.  Ryan graduated from the College of Idaho last weekend, so it was nice to congratulate him in person, and get caught up.  I am very proud of all of Ryan’s hard work!
*Later we were joined by Kevin and Linda, Taylor and Karlie and Laurie.  We went to The Matador for some snacks.  Such an amazing day catching up with my wonderful family and friends.  And I especially love hanging out with my three girls.


Gathering Graces 5/26/2017

*This morning was the Senior Scholarship Awards Ceremony at Kellogg High School.  It has been fun and rewarding working with these seniors, and helping them make their college education more affordable.  Of the 75 or so graduating seniors, about 50 of those earned over $500,000 collectively to help pay their way to college.
KHS Senior Scholarship and Award winners, 2017
*I stopped by Kindred to visit Mom before I left town for the weekend.  She was in the rehab room doing some of her Occupational Therapy.  We had a good visit.
*I had a beautiful drive to Moscow this afternoon.  I love the rolling hills of the Palouse.
*I stopped by Cosette’s apartment to pick her up, then we went to Molly’s apartment to pick her up.  Cosette got behind the wheel, and I went to the backseat.  I can’t believe I didn’t sleep at all on this trip.  It was a great trip filled with lots of talking, eating junk food, and listening to Cosette’s playlist.  We are traveling to Meridian/Nampa for my niece Taylor’s bridal shower on Sunday.
*I dropped off Coco at Zoe’s house, then dropped off Molly at her Aunt and Uncle’s house.  It had been a long day, and we were a little giggly when we arrived at Zoe’s house.  She was a bit tired, so she didn’t appreciate our humor at such a late hour.
*Then I made my way to my sister-in-law Laurie’s house by about 12:30 am, MST, and soon was in bed.


Gathering Graces 5/25/2017

*Today was spent working with Juniors in the classroom giving them information about their upcoming Senior Projects and building a resume.
*I am so thankful we had all KHS seniors apply to college last fall.  It has made it so easy as students toward the end of the year decide to attend college, because all they need to do is call the college, get their username and password, and when they enter their web account, all the information they need is there.  It has made things so much easier this year.
*Much of the day was spent preparing for Friday’s Scholarship Award’s Assembly which is at 10 a.m. Friday morning.  I can’t wait to present awards to students, and see them get their various scholarships.
*My cousin Lura Baugh Mullikin, and her husband Lyle have come for a visit from Orofino for a few days to spend some time with Mom.  Since I am leaving for the weekend, Christy graciously hosted a dinner at her house tonight so Paul and I could visit with them.  We had a delicious chicken dinner outside in Christy and Everett’s backyard, and it was nice to visit.
*A request was sent out about a month or so ago by the KHS band director Mr. Hix to any faculty members who would like to participate in a faculty number with the KHS band at the spring concert.  Paul and I answered the call, and had a fun time doing a silly song with the band playing different percussion instruments.  I enjoyed visiting with one of my former GEAR UP students who was attending the concert with her grandparents, and she said she hadn’t seen her grandparents smile and laugh that much in a long time.  And that sums up why Paul and I do the crazy performances we do at times....because sometimes people need a break from their day, and a reason to laugh and smile. And if we can help bring that smile to someone’s face, that makes it all worthwhile.


Gathering Graces 5/24/2017

*Because I will work Friday morning, I stayed home from work this morning.  It was nice to have a leisurely morning to work on some things, and think about some things.
*Brother Bill send a letter to Christy and I to “put some things on the table” about some of his plans.  I was glad I had the time this morning to read through the letter, think about his questions, and have the time to respond.
*I arrived at work just as lunchtime was ending.  I spent some time prepping for my time with the juniors in class on Thursday.
*After school, Paul and I went and visited Mom and she was in story telling mode, and we heard a few stories, one in particular that had to do with getting sunburned on one arm, selling tickets, and Mom winning ringing a live chicken, and Dad ringing its neck.  It actually was a pretty funny story.
*If you haven’t seen my hair, it is short and spiky, and is brown with blonde and red highlights.  I always get a kick out the comments I hear from the older Kindred residents about my hair.  It always brings a smile to my face.
*Since it was a cooler and windier day, Paul made a fire in the fireplace.  That made the house nice and warm and cozy.
*In the evenings Paul likes to bring out his guitar and practice.  He is teaching himself a new strumming pattern.  Last night we had a great conversation about music, and playing guitar, and bluegrass music, and guitar picks and a lot of other topics, and the fire crackled in the background and helped keep us warm.
*In anticipation of my trip to Italy, I went and grabbed my Barbie (who will be going with me of course), and decided I would do a daily photo shoot of Barbie helping me get ready for the trip.  You can see the photos on Facebook or Instagram, with the hashtag #BarbiescountdowntoItaly.


Gathering Graces 5/23/2017

*I had some socks and her new shampooed wig to deliver to Mom this morning, so I stopped off and got them to her before I headed to work.  I also took some time to weigh her, take her blood pressure and heart rate, and check her oxygen level.  They do this all as part of her care at Kindred, but we also like to keep our own records as well.
*My Gear Up students do various tests on Jackass Creek that runs alongside and through Kellogg High School as part of their service learning project each year.  It was an absolutely perfect day to be outside doing this project.  Some classes did Biological Assessments such as identifying macro-vertebrates, looking at the micro-habitats, and observing the stream habitat type, the plant cover and algae cover of the stream.  Other students did Physical/Chemical analysis, which included measuring stream depth, stream flow, stream velocity, pH, chloride and oxygen levels of the stream, and observing the color and odor of the stream.
Testing the water next to KHS

*Most of the day at work was spent on preparing for our upcoming Scholarship Awards Assembly.  It is so exciting being a part of helping students obtain funding to attend college and receive a post-secondary education.
*I met with a few parents tonight whose students are attending the Gear Up Youth Summit this summer to go over information with them.  I am unable to attend this year.  Ss the six students attending, plus my daughter Cosette, who will be their chaperone, load a bus to go to Pocatello to spend a week at Idaho State University, I will be driving to the Spokane airport to start my journey to Italy.
*After being at KHS all day, I finally arrived home around 6:30 p.m., and Paul had made dinner, some spaghetti with white sauce and smoked oysters, some red sauce, Kale salad and bread.  It was delicious. 
*I needed some dirt therapy tonight, so I decided it was time to plant my tomato plants.  I had looked up online if there were any secrets to planting tomato plants, and there was so I thought, let’s put some extra items in the planting hole and see if they work.  When I filled the containers with soil, I layered the potting soil with compost.  Then I dug the hole, and put baking soda, Epsom Salt and Bone Meal in the hole.  Then once the tomato was planted, I added some slow releasing fertilizer and mixed in it as well.  Since it isn’t quite warm enough during the evening, I decided to bring out my water wells to cover the plants, creating a mini greenhouse of protection around them until the nights warm up a little bit more. I hope this yields some delicious tomatoes this summer.


Gathering Graces 5/22/2017

Alhambra Slide on Google Earth
*I mentioned something about not planting things until the snow is off the Alhambra Slide, and it started quite a conversation of comments about the slide, and how many people had heard that saying, and how my friend April didn’t even know what we were talking about.  Kellee said her dad had just mentioned the same thing last weekend, and she thought the slide looked like a woman.  I have never seen it that way.  Cedris and Jamee both said going by the sayings of our elders is a good idea.  It was a fun exchange.
*I needed to order some shoes for my upcoming trip.  I found my favorite Sketchers at Costco.com and ordered two pair.  Then I found the sandals I wanted, and they were also Sketchers.  I hope they all provide my feet much comfort this summer.
*I went over a little before Mom’s dinnertime and visited with her for a couple of hours.  It was a hard visit, but a good visit.  The good thing is Mom is getting better, so is thinking more about things, and thinking more clearly about them.  So she had a lot of questions about a lot of things.  Some of the questions were hard to answer, some questions I didn’t know the answer to.  But we both concluded that we need to keep talking and asking questions as our family continues to figure out all of this out together.