Saturday, November 15, 2008

Living Life

Hi there! How is everyone doing? We are doing well here at the Kelly home, staying really busy of course! Sean is enjoying the fire department and doing well at his "new" home station. He has been there a little while now and is starting to get accostumed to the flow of the crew. He has been traveling a bit as well, first he went to a conference in Vegas and then about a week later he went to Pueblo for training in Hazmat. He enjoyed both trips but is glad to be home. You know him, he is always happiest at home or out with the family. We had a WONDERFUL family vacation in September when we went down to San Diego for a family wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and we hit a lot of the tourist spots. Sean drove the WHOLE way... isn't he fabulous?! I am so spoiled! We took the trailer for the first out of state trip and everything went smoothly, we had a great time.

I have been really busy at work lately. There are a lot of families in need and every day we are open we are seeing new families coming in to use the food bank services. We are open for food 3 days a week and could probably open a fourth and still be busy.... it's a bit crazy. I am glad we are there to help though. I loved our vacation in September too, it was good to have some family time before we hit the busy season! Disneyland and California Adventure was just a blast and we got to go to Sea World with Dave and Erica and family and Doug and Joy so that was really cool! I wish we could do it all again next year! We even got to spend some time with Uncle Bob and Aunt Jeannie (hope she isn't reading this because I don't think I spelled her name right! eeks!-don't tell on me!) It was a wonderful memory making time. I am also busy being a mom right now, or should I say 'taxi driver?' Anyway, it is a marvelous life. Thank you God for blessing me with it.

The kids are all doing great! Travis is working hard in school and not loving it. Justin is working fairly hard and not loving it either..... but they are both active in the youth group at RLC and maturing in their own relationship with God. That is neat to see.... they are serving in church as well. They are both such neat young men to be and I can't wait to see where God leads them in the future! Thankfully, both of them are staying clear of dating at this time and just enjoying life without all those added pressures. They just have a bunch of friends, guys and girls and are enjoying hanging out. Travis has more hang out time with his friends, Justin is more of a home body and most of his social events are church or youth group related. He is doing well though. Justin is also enjoying beekeeping, Sean has to keep him focused but he is pretty active in the beekeeping club and they even extracted some honey this year! We hear positive reviews on it too! Next year he will be selling his honey, this year it was more of a 'sample what I have' time. Travis is still active in ROTC and armed drill team, they were in a parade for Veteran's Day. He enjoys it and has a great group of friends in it with him.

Stephanie is little miss social, want to do it all gal! We finally relented and allowed her to try a session of swim lessons to see if she could handle it in her schedule. She already has ballet and jazz one day a week and brownie meetings twice a month, plus whatever activities they do. Now, she is doing swimming for 30 minutes twice a week. She also joined the recess running club, recess choir and a drama club. These are all things the school offered that she signed up for and participates in during school hours. She is also still in the Magic Strings program playing the violin at school! So, little miss social she is! She loves it all though! We just went to see Disney High School Musical on Ice last night with the brownies (she LOVED it, even though she has never seen the movies) and today she is at an drama workshop with brownies. I tell ya, she is a busy bee! Speaking of bees, she also wants us to get a bee suit for her so she can work the bees with Justin and Sean... we will see.

Well, Travis is waiting for the internet to play XBox live with one of his friends, so I will say farewell for now..... I might write again soon! Smile often and love God with all your heart.... and remember that it is always better to show grace when the opportunity arises... it's hard, but God shows us grace every moment. I am going to try to extend grace more this week.... love ya all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where Does the Time Go?

Well, here it is... the end of summer. So much for my blogging once a month plan! Such well thought out plans too. Oh well, there's always tomorrow to blog. Since I'm here, let's chat!

Sean and I have been busy as usual but enjoying life. I have been working at the food bank now for almost a year and am really enjoying the job. I love being able to serve people and help make their day a little better, it's been a great place for me to be. It's a job that I can do well and then at the end of the day, leave my desk and it all waits for tomorrow. I miss some things about working at the church but I still get to head down stairs and say "hi" a few times a week since we are right next door! So that is neat.

For those of you who didn't know... Sean, Stephanie and I have started attending a "new" church in Renton (that is 'new' for us, it's been around for many many years)and it's going well. Our previous Associate Pastor at RLC was hired for their Senior Pastor position and he asked Sean and I if we would be willing to come help him grow the church. I have taken on a volunteer position of Children's Ministry Director and am partnering with another friend from RLC, David, in getting that ministry up and going strong. I am a bit like a fish out of water because I am used to being the admin. right hand person, not the one that people go to for the decisions but David and I are working closely with Pastor Chester and I think it's going pretty good. It's a stretch for me, but once upon a time, running all the youth camp games was a stretch and now I just LOVE IT! Sean is spending his Sunday's serving at the mocha bar which he really enjoys doing. It is a great way for him to "mingle" without actually "mingling". He has also made a few friends with a couple of the guys and there's some talk of making guns or something... I don't know, ask him! He is excited though.. some Saturday gun making get together thing! Teeheehee....

The boys have stayed at RLC because they are connected and didn't want to go anywhere. They are 18 and 16 so they can certainly have their own church home. Plus, I get the best of both worlds because I get to be a little part of RLC even though we are not there anymore. I spent a bit of time at their picnic last week and it was pretty fun, except the rain shut it down a bit early. I enjoyed seeing old friends though! We are all still working on the timing in dropping off and picking up and all that between two churches but we keep telling Travis if he would get his license, he could drive! No such luck though, maybe soon. Sometimes we have Aunt Danae' take them home when we think to plan ahead, but we haven't been very good at that lately.

We are gearing up for our family vacation! Sean's cousin is getting married in San Diego in September and we decided to make a trip of it. We are driving the trailer down and hitting the San Diego Zoo, Sea World and then to Anaheim for Disneyland for 3 days and then to Redding to see my dad. Then home again! Travis gets to fly down to San Diego and stay a few days for the activities there, but with his school schedule, he can't miss the full 7 weekdays we will be gone. Thanks to Kris for using her miles to get his tickets and thanks to Uncle Dave and Aunt Erica who will be picking him up at the airport in Burbank and hanging with him for a day before they all drive to San Diego. Sean and I will be mid trip when he flies in so he is just heading to the Kelly's for a day, it should be fun for him and them.

Well, I am sure you are all ready to go do something else and get off the computer so I will say farewell for now. Hopefully, not for long......

Loves to you all!

Monday, February 18, 2008

What's Going On?!

Well, this is two blogs in less than a month! This must be a new personal record.... don't get used to it though! In my previous post, I alluded to some transportation changes and thought I would update that exciting news.

Sean wasn't happy with the gas mileage and towing with the Expedition and has been researching options for something different. Well, after a few months of research, re-organizing the budget and counting costs.... Sean bought a ..... (are you ready to hear???)....... FORD F350 long bed super duty blah blah blah Diesel Truck! Can you believe it? The thing truly is a beast! Many of you may have heard me call the Expedition "a beast", but this one really is! I actually had to drive it home from the dealership because Sean was at work and it was ready a day early... so, I actually drove it before Sean did..... funny. Anyway, it seats 6, has four doors, has an extra tank and some other stuff Sean likes. It is dark blue so Justin was happy (no red for him) but since the boys are used to the Expedition, they of course didn't understand why we couldn't just keep that. Also, Travis, who has his permit (how's he drive? Please, don't ask) isn't going to be allowed to drive it just yet so he doesn't love that prospect. He has an old truck that Kris got from a friend for him but it is a stick and he can't drive that yet, so we haven't been doing the driving practice that we were. I guess it is up to Kris for a while! Pray for her! Teeheehee. Justin doesn't like change so right now he is tolerating the truck when in it and driving with me in the car instead of the van. He will warm up to it all in time. The van and the Expedition were traded in. To be honest, we would have just given the van away but it has been on it's last legs for a while and it would be more trouble for whoever we gave it to instead of a blessing, so off to the dealership it went and from there, I am sure to the auction. So, I drive the car now. Stephanie LOVES the truck!!! It has this American flag decor plastic something (like a bug guard or something) on the hood and Sean was going to take it off but Stephanie loves it, so of course it will stay!!! Teeheehee! Personally, I think it is cool but then we all know where I am on the "cool" scale. But, for Stephanie, it will stay because she is the princess afterall! Anyway, that is the news on the truck. We are going camping later this week and will have our first tow trip so Sean will get an idea of gas mileage for that. I am looking forward to getting away for camping, it has been awhile!

On another note, we are gearing up for some fun things in the Kelly home. First will be the camping trip to Ocean Shores in the trailer. Travis isn't off school for a mid winter break so he can't go, but we will go with him next time I hope. It will just be the two kids and us. Next month, Sean and I are going with our friends to see Bill Engvall in Shelton, it should be a bunch of fun!! Getting tickets was a bit of an adventure for me, but I should have them in hand by Wednesday... gotta love Ebay. Got them close to ticket price too, didn't have to pay a bunch extra so that was good. I wouldn't have gone if that were the case. Then in June, Doug and Joy and Sean and I are going to ...... anticipative pause ...... ....... ....... New York City! Sean and I are SO EXCITED! We have talked about it for years, literally, but finally last year, we decided we would go this summer. Sean and I joined Trendwest and we got a condo that is kitty corner from Carnegie Hall right in Manhattan! It is going to be great! It will be cozy in the condo but I think we will just be sleeping there and Doug survived me living in his house for almost a year so I am sure he can survive me for a week!! Teeheehee.... I hear he snores loud though, so I will bring ear plugs I think. Sean and I have designated our tax return for the trip and been tucking away a bit in a special savings account and it will be a great trip! Then in September, we are going to San Diego with the kids for Kevin's (Sean's cousin) wedding and then on to a visit with Dave and Erica and the kids. I think we will be going camping with Dave and family so FUN FUN FUN!!! We are driving the trailer down to San Diego so it will be a fun trip.

Anyway, I am off to get some breakfast so I will say "see ya" for now, but maybe I will stop in again soon. Remember to buy girl scout cookies from Stephanie. I love ya all! Smile often and enjoy life, it's a great gift from God!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Easing into 2008

Can you all believe that it's February of 2008??? I can't! Where did the time go? I always mean to blog, then I get busy reading the Cagles, Thompsons, Danae's, the Youngs, Nevada team, the Green Girl and whatever else jumps out..... THEN... no time left for mine. Funny how that works. But, here I am tonight!

Most of you know that I got a new job in November, it is really a great fit for me. I am able to do much of what I love.... talking to people, administrating things, serving others and I am having a blast doing it! I am the Administrative Assistant for the Executive Director of a community food bank. Really, it's more than a food bank but that's what they call it.... we serve A LOT of families food three days a week and one day a week is devoted to assistance appointments where we qualify people for a federal energy program and such. When I first started there, I just figured we'd be checking people in for food and whatnot but it is so much more. The set up is really classy, it is like a shopping line where the clients get to choose from a variety of items and they really get a great load of food. We also served HUNDREDS of families for the holidays by providing a complete holiday dinner, including the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, yams and even a pie. They got to get their holiday food to take home and cook for their family. We did that for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We also served over 700 local children by allowing their parents to "shop" for 3-4 gifts for them at our "gift store". The presents were chosen by the parents so each child was able to get things they would really like. It was AWESOME! AND to top it all off, I am home by 4:45 each night, Monday - Thursday and OFF Friday-Sunday. I am loving it! It's suits me well....

The rest of the family is doing great. We were all sick for a while this month (except Justin of course), but we have finally bounced back. Sean is gearing up for a promotion of sorts at work, he will become a part of the hazmat team and with that comes a little pay increase, so that is neat. He will most likely start in early spring with that. He is a bit bummed to leave the crew he is with because he really likes them all but he knows this is a good step for him. I think he will like it.

Sean also BUILT JUSTIN A BEDROOM (okay, he had A LOT of help from his boss) but Sean did a lot of the work too. I am just so proud of him! He wanted to build Justin a real room downstairs and he did it. It took months, but it looks sharp. We just got our house appraised and it went up quite a bit, I think the room had something to do with it. (we also got a heat pump, furnace, a bunch of electrical work and new windows too, but the room is the best part!)We were happy with the appraisal and are getting ready to make some changes in the way of transportation for our family. I will keep you posted on that!! (we hope!)

Stephanie, Justin and Travis are all growing up and continuing to be great kids. Such personality and life in them! I love being a mama. The "child of our heart" isn't living with us anymore and is back with her mom but we pray for her always and see her off and on. She will always be in our hearts and lives and know God has the whole thing covered!!!

I am even keeping the house up a bit more... (Jen and Melissa say "no way!") BUT it is true. I can see the rec room couch as I type.... it isn't buried with laundry today. My new job has helped with that because I get home earlier and it gives me more time for cleaning....yuck.

Stephanie is selling girl scout cookies, so everybody.... BUY SOME FROM HER!!!!!!!!

Well, I gotta go pick up those boys at Youth, but I will check in soon, I hope. Miss you all, love you all, see you when I do!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hot Summer Days

Look, I am blogging again and it hasn't been 6 months yet! Are you proud of me Jess?

Well, as usual, we at the Kelly house are BUSY! We did manage to get away for 8 days to Ocean Shores in our trailer and have some wonderful down time. I didn't check any emails (including work!) or get online AT ALL and I only checked my voice mail once a day.

Sean and I took ALL the kids (Justin, Travis, Stephanie and Holly) and just kicked back at the ocean, playing in the water (us girls), flying kites (minus Justin) and playing board/card games (the whole bunch of us!) It was a time that we all enjoyed and I am so glad we took the time to make it happen.

Holly had a great time as well and she is really becoming a part of our family. It looks like we may have her with us for another school year if all goes as planned and I am really excited about that! For those of you who have maybe been living on the moon or only see us twice a year, we have taken temporary guardianship of a friend's daughter for a season. I flew to Texas on April 5th to bring her back with me and she has been staying with us since then. She was in Mrs. Blackburn's kindergarten class (Stephanie's teacher from last year) and so I knew she was in good hands. She will be at Kibler again for first grade in the fall. Stephanie will be going to Southwood Elementary for second grade in the fall because she is participating in the Magic Strings Program but Sean and I didn't want to move Holly to a new school since she has made some friends and settled in. They play together a lot at home so I think they both will probably like having some time to just be with their other friends during the week at school.

Justin and Travis are doing great, it's interesting to have two boys close to the same age yet so different in personality. It is wonderful to see the gifts God has placed in each of them begin to grow and strengthen. We (the boys and I) are getting ready to head to Youth Summer Camp on July 29 for five days. I have gone the last few years and been in charge of the wacky crazy games (Steal the Squid anyone?) and look forward to it again this year!

Stephanie just got home from Kids Camp last night and she had a lot of fun. It's hard to get details out of an excited, tired seven year old girl so I don't have a lot of specifics other than she had a lot of fun! I did find out she likes sports more than I thought, they have these Play with Passion times where they can choose which group to be in for the duration of camp. They had a building group, an extreme sports group and a group for girls where they got to have a tea party, put on makeup, paint nails and such. SO, being that I work in the Office, we just signed her up for the girly one and left it at that. I guess she heard the groups and decided she wanted extreme sports (?).... go figure! She said "If my mother (yes, she calls me "mother" - I don't know why... Mel said she talks like she is from the days of Little House on the Prairie) would have asked me, I would have told her that I wanted sports!" SO, sports she did. I think she liked them...

Well, my work break is over so I gotta say "fare thee well" and get back to it! Oh, by the way.... this is DAY FOUR of my Weight Watchers Points Program and I am doing well so far! I am drinking LOTS of water and I think I am doing great. I will do my weigh on Monday morning so we shall see if any weight has come off.....

Until next time, Smile well and remember God has it covered.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Finally ~ The Long Awaited (?) Update

Hey everyone! I don't know if this is really long awaited, but hey, here it is. I am going to make an effort to update at least once a month from now on. My sister in law and many of my friends update a lot more than that, but I am not as fabulous a blogger as them! Life gets so busy, I don't know how they do it.

What's been happening with us? Well, lots, that's what! I will just give you the highlights...

Sean is doing great at work and having a good time. He was sponsored for ODA (Officer's Developement Academy) by the fire department. What that means is that he will be attending classes Monday-Friday every other week through the year (with summer off, but back to it in fall) and since he was sponsored, he does not have to pay for the classes and he does not have to find work replacements while in class. This is a great benefit for him and he is excited to be getting some more education in his field. It does mean a very busy season for him, but we are all up for it. It also means on some days he will go from class to work through the night and then back to class the next morning, instead of coming home for his nap. I am praying for slow nights for him so he can get enough rest. Knowing that this is just for a season makes it go easier and all in all, it is a great opportunity for him and we are happy about it.

Me? Well, what can I say? I was the last girl standing at the office and in much of my circle of friends to not get sick. Hence, this weekend I am sick. I have a tight chest and am coughing but it is minimal compared to some. I am just trying to be wise and rest enough and not do too much. Other than that, I am working, being mom and wife and trying to keep my house up. Nothing too exciting to report. But, I am happy and enjoying this great journey of life that God has given me!

Kids? Well, they are all great! Justin is gearing up to get his bees next month. He made his first bee box with his mentor and now he and Sean will be making 2 more. He is excited to finally start his beekeeping. A friend from church is going to make his labels in exchange for fresh honeycomb (thanks Olivia!) and he decided to call it "Out of this World Honey" ~ I think that is a great name for him to choose. He really likes outer space and learning about it, so it is a perfect name for his honey. He is also going to look for an angel bear jar to put his honey in, we will see how that search goes. It will be the start of a new adventure for him

Travis is doing great in ROTC and having a fun time. He just had his belated birthday party and chose to have a Halo party. They had 15 people all playing Halo together on four TV's at once. It was great fun and a special shout out to our FABULOUS YOUTH PASTOR, Andrew, who got the whole thing hooked up and ready to go. He also stayed and played with the kids for a lot of the night, what a great way to show love to "his" kids and make them feel important. I would have had NO IDEA on how to make it work, but Andrew took the 4 XBoxes, 16 Controllers and 4 TV's and got it up and running in minutes. Thanks again, Pastor Andrew! YOU ROCK!!
Sean and I were very impressed with Travis' friends, they were polite and a great group of guys. We have been so proud of Travis and his maturing that we went ahead and got him a phone for his birthday. Strings attached of course, but I think he will be responsible and smart with it and have no trouble. He is growing into a neat young man.

Stephanie of course wants to do everything. We have made her make choices on what activities she is in because otherwise she (and we!) would be running every night! She needs to have down time at home and relax and not be going all the time or she gets out of sorts and not herself. She is currently in Ballet (all year) and since swimming is on a month by month thing, she took a break from that to be in Drama Club March and April. She will be an elephant in "Circus, Circus" in April and is very excited! Miss Tammy said she would make her a trunk and ears so she is just bursting about having a "real trunk and ears!" Go, Tammy Go! She was also accepted into the Magic Strings Program for next year. She will take up the violin with the special program in the Enumclaw School District. She will be in a second grade class that is all Magic Strings, all the kids will either be learning the violin or cello and music is a focus of each day. They focus on individual playing and are not in an orchestra at school but there are options for orchestra when she gets going. There is a community orchestra from what I understand. As some of you may know, I grew up playing the violin but haven't touched it in many, many, many years. I look forward to re-learning along with Stephanie. And, believe it or not, I didn't even mention the Strings program to her, she was all over it herself! Ask Sean! She applied and was accepted and I think she will really like it.

Well, this is such a long post, but if I can keep it updated better in the future, I won't have so much to say!! Of course, this is me... so I am sure I will come up with something to chat about! Anyway, have a great day and remember to smile at all the wonderful things God has given you!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Summer Days with Creation Fest, Anniversary, 2K6 and more!

What a summer it has been! I haven't had time to write in the longest time! Or I guess I should say that I haven't made time to write. So, here is my summer update and you can read what sounds interesting and pass on the boring stuff.....but of course, anything I write is interesting and fun, RIGHT???? :)

Creation Fest
Okay, so most of you know that I went with my great friend, Jennifer, to Creation Fest and I didn't even melt in the heat! It was an adventure for sure, we took off in my trailer (NO, Danae and Erica, I didn't drive!) My friend Jennifer drove our Expedition and pulled the trailer, she did pretty good but the ride home was a bit fast :) (think she was sick of me?) We stayed at an RV Resort about 25 minutes from the Gorge so we could have full hookups and run the air conditioner. The place had a nice pool that the girls (Stephanie and Jen's daughter Jessica) had a great time in and it made for nice mornings. We headed to the Gorge in the early evening for the concerts at night and even though we had to walk like 2 miles from parking to concert site, we survived! (of course, Jen would ride her bike 25 miles or run 5 miles in the mornings, so she was all warmed up and ready to go) I don't think I drove her too crazy, but I am sure I did a bit! Can you imagine being stuck with me 24/7 for four days straight??? In the heat, with lots of walking? But I think I was a trooper and we all got along good. :) Stephanie liked the music, the pool, and stuff and she actually has talked about the fun we had there a bit since coming home, so that means it was a succesful trip! I am happy I conquered Creation Fest, but I think I will leave it to the teens for next year! :) :) All in all, I am glad I went to Creation Fest and had an adventure with Jen, it's good to do stuff like that sometimes and I don't get to spend enough time with her, so that in itself made it worth it! :) There is only ONE Jen Kren and I love her like my sister! Thanks for making me step out of my box and take on a new thing, Jen, you are truly my friend for life.

Happy Anniversary to US!
So, July 29 was our ELEVENTH anniversary! We haven't actually celebrated it yet because of scehdules. I spent the day reorganizing from Creation Fest (got home that afternoon) and preparing for Youth Camp 2K6, which we left for on July 30. A friend of ours came over and hung out with Sean for a bit and took him out to dinner, so I got a kick out of that! Sean went out to dinner with our friend for the anniversary and I spent the evening at the Warehouse (our Teen Center) loading up game stuff! :) Thanks Kevin for making sure Sean got some dinner! Later that night, Sean came to the Warehouse and helped me finish up. So we did get some time together!! We are planning on getting away this month sometime to celebrate our Anniversary and his birthday which is on the 11th of August. Either way, it is wonderful to be married to Sean and we have had a great 11 years, been through a lot and we are still loving and laughing.

Summer Camp 2K6
Where to begin? There is something about being away from your usual everyday life that is good to experience sometimes. It gives you time to really focus in on God and listen to Him and also fills your cup! I haven't laughed that much in a long time! :) Maybe it was something in the air! I was the "Game Master" once again, which basically means I organize and run the games. This year, I think we took it to a new level and the kids seemed to enjoy it! Spaghetti anyone? I did miss Justin Carpenter though, he always knew exactly where the best play field would be and how to set up the various goals or borders for the games, but I think we got it worked out.

The worship was INCREDIBLE. It really went to a new level and it is so refreshing to be able to just give it all to God and not feel awkward. We jump, we clap, we yell, we lift hands, we just release ourselves and go for it. The team did a great job of preparing, listening to the Holy Spirit, and finding that balance of being planned and prepared but also open to go where God leads. Josh Cross, YOU ROCK! Noelle, you are the glue that sticks it all together, and team......GREAT JOB! Thanks for giving so much of yourselves to worship and leading us into that place with God.

TEACHING? Oh, yea! we had teaching....each day was a great build from what we had already heard and each speaker really allowed God to speak through them. I got so much out of it! Pastor Andrew, Pastor Steve, Rosanna, and Jason were all great! I missed Taylor and Noelle because I was prepping for games, but I heard nothing but fabulous reports from everyone! I know there were great seeds planted in the hearts of the kids and leaders too! The prayer time was intense and kids really stepped up and let God use them. It is wonderful to experience.

The kids were great. It is so precious to watch God work in their lives and see them receiving from Him. They are like little sponges and camp was a place they could just soak up Him. His love, His gifts, His heart, His Word. I know there were hearts changed and lives touched.....let's all be in prayer that those seeds flourish!

There is so much more I could say, but it's hard to put the experience into kind of got to go and live it for yourself. What I will say in closing is that we have THE MOST INCREDIBLE, GIFTED, PASSIONATE, and AWESOME Youth Pastor on the Earth and he has surrounded himself with the BEST YOUTH LEADERS ever! Way to go guys and thanks for letting me be a part of the summer camp team. You know I love being the Game Master and I hope you all had fun doing them! Sorry about the Billy Award, Andrew........