Tuesday, February 24, 2015

30 by 30 February Update

(I'm counting December 2014 as the starting month, so things are complete out of 13 if they are monthly goals.)

1. Go to Paint the Town or similar event with friends: still trying to find a session that I like!
2. Professional goal (I'll post specifics when things are set)
3. Buy animal print shoes or colored pants (birthday Toms from my siblings! But... I actually do want to look for some colored pants. We'll see...)
4. Read 6 nonfiction books (completed 1/6: Before Happiness, working on #2.)
5. Bake bread monthly (2/13)
6. Monthly Pinterest projects (3/13: The K's, the purse)
7. Run another 5K
8. Write a will
9. Update my books read list, start using Good Reads again!
10. Social media detox week
11. Complete Blog book 2014
12. Become a Google Trainer (in progress)
13. Send a handwritten note monthly (3/13 complete - really more since I wrote the Guv, my Senator, and my rep all at once - but I'll just count that as one)
14. Have a birthday party for Lincoln centered around his interests (pretty much planned, just need to carry out!)
15. Girls' trip (scheduled March 13-14! sort of. this one is developing/evolving.)
16. Learn to drive a manual transmission (Daniel, I'm looking at you here!)
17. Catch a fish
18. Take family pictures for someone else
19. Go to Cirque du Soliel (awesome, awesome, awesome experience!)
20. Learn to knit (started - hooray for parent-teacher conference nights! post to come when I finish the project)
21. Visit Cathedral of the Plains and the Sternberg Museum
22. Eat at a food truck
23. Take pictures of a Flint Hills sunset (not from the window of a moving car)
24. Make the Harvest book with mom
25. Upgrade camera (completed December 24, 2014)
26. Complete Project 365 (a photo a day), (in progress!)
27. Pare wardrobe down to clothes I really love and am comfortable in
28. Get dressed up and go on a "mommy and me" date with Lincoln
29. Research PhD, NBCT, and Teacher Leader possibilities

Monday, February 23, 2015

Farm Boy

At the farm this weekend we took a few pictures for Lincoln's birthday invitation. Here are a few of my favorites that didn't quite make the cut.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


It is certainly a common cliche that we all mourn in different ways.

Some have beautiful and accurate words.

Others make beautiful music.

Some seek comic relief.

Still others serve.

I tend to sputter through, searching for the "just right" words, the "just right" number of tears, the "just right" answers to queries of "How are you?"

I have now watched my quiet, introspective, private father mourn both of his parents in his own unique way.

K. John does not search for words or music or comedy.

My father mourns by creating the perfect final resting place. Twice now, I have watched him. I know he carefully cut through the matted winter - or early spring - grass with the shovel, creating puzzle pieces to lift gently away, digging a hole, covering it in preparation for our family's final words.

At the graveside services, he was quiet, offering few, if any, words.

But at the end, after his siblings, in-laws,  children, nieces and nephews had all released a stalk of wheat or a handful of dirt, he helped pour the rest in, filling the hole to just the right height, tamping down the dirt, and carefully placing the pieces of sod back in their space, returning on his own later if it isn't quite right the first time.

Only subtle scars hint that the ground has been disturbed, marking the quiet place his parents will rest in peace.

Baby Rowan

At the end of January I was lucky enough to take newborn pictures for a friend. Little Rowan is so precious, and her big brother Jonah is pretty darn cute, too.

It was a great experience, and I learned a lot. I'm looking forward to more fun, relaxed photo shoots like this one, if that's what comes next!

February Update

It has been a crazy, busy month so far, and things don't appear to be settling down anytime soon.

Lincoln gabs all the time. The other week we were in Columbia with my family. My parents took him from the hotel to Sarah & Jamie's house. When they got in the van, he told them, "My daddy is naked in the shower!" One night we were videotaping a conversation with him and he ended it by exclaiming, "My tooted in mine bathtub!" The next day I spelled something to Brad in the morning. Lincoln chimed in with "T. N. T" I asked him if he was spelling - "Yes!" then what he was spelling. "My tooting!"

He speaks fairly clearly but has trouble with a few letters and initial sounds. He knows colors and some shapes and opposites and counts to three.

We sometimes call our dog "Jazzy doodle." Lincoln has picked up on this and makes his own joke by adding "doodle" to everyone's names - Mommy doodle, Grandma doodle, Daddy doodle.

Lincoln had a little cold/stomach bug that kept him home for a couple of days - one of which included a visit from Grandma Valerie!

We took a puzzle along for the car ride to Columbia. He loved it and has asked to "play puzzle" pretty often since then.

Lincoln has declared that he wants a fishing pole for his birthday. But... he also asked for medicine. So who knows what he really wants?!

Lincoln is almost always a willing helper, for everything from cooking to cleaning to putting things away. He recently started vacuuming, after seeing a video of his friend Jackson using the vacuum. This was a bit of a sudden change - the day before he cried when I vacuumed! Now he begs. He will often get upset if we tell him we don't need his help in the kitchen, which can be a little frustrating when we're, say, chopping onions or working at the hot stove. But we are so glad that he has a helpful heart. If I had to guess, I'd say his love language must be Acts of Service.

I can't believe next month is already his second birthday - and only his second birthday!

Reverend Sarah Nichole Klaasen

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My sister Sarah was ordained as a minister with the Disciples of Christ.

It was a beautiful service that was a long time coming.

Sarah has long known her call to ministry, and has lived the last number of years searching for ways to live out that call in her life.

She is a born leader, listener, nurturer.

She will be an incredible pastor, when that time comes.

And this ordination, while not a calling to serve a specific church in ministry, is another step in that journey.

Mom made this stole and presented it to Sarah. She said, "Green is the color that represents ordinary time. May God bless you as you minister to others in ordinary time; in the ordinary day to day journey of life with people in community and with those struggling to find a place to belong; with those beginning life, with those in the prime of life and with those at the end of life. May God give you the grace and patience to be present with all God's children."

Our family presented Sarah with a peace lamp. It is not a traditional part of an ordination service, but it is one that recognizes our Mennonite heritage.

I am so proud of my sister, and I know God will bless her life of ministry in whatever form it takes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Park + School

With the warm winter we've had, we make lots of trips to the park. Usually we go to Brad's school and play on the equipment there because there is rarely anyone else at that spot, so Lincoln can run free a bit.

We always have to make a stop inside Brad's classroom to see the fish and play a bit inside, too. Once I took Lincoln by myself and didn't have a key to the school. Lincoln spent about 20 minutes trying to get in different doors!