Sunday, February 18, 2018


Jason and I put in a lot of miles this last week.  Well, Jason actually drove and I kept him company.  There was only one time that I may have talked too much. Ha ha!

Me, making the trip extra fun with lots of stories, questions, and opinions.
East Wenatchee-Spokane- Federal Way- Home  

First, we went to Spokane for Jason's work retreat.  Jason wasn't feeling great, but it was still nice to get away and stay at a nice hotel and eat delicious food all on a company's dime.  I think we spent a whole $30.00 on the entire weeks adventures!

Historical Davenport Hotel-Spokane
This area was gorgeous!

The hotel was restored in 2002.
Second, we went to Federal Way to watch the little guy swim for a total of 52 seconds during his leg of the relay.  He kept telling us not to come but I told him that this is what parents do! We spend many minutes, sometimes hours, waiting to see our kids do something great for a few seconds.

Most of the athletes looked liked adult monsters compared to Evan, who is 14 and almost 1/2 years old, and I was impressed by the size of the pool.  Evan looked like he was having a lot of fun watching and hanging out with friends.  He informed me that he can take an ice bath for 7 minutes without wimping out- I was impressed and frightened by this information.  Can ice kill your chances to father kids?? EEK!

Eastmont Swim & Dive state qualifiers

Waving to Mommy!

Evan's name all lit up on the screen. 
Eastmont Huddle

Got him to take a photo with me! We weigh the same but somehow he is skinnier.
This weekend was also David's 18th birthday. He is an adult!  I am always proud of that kid and pray for him every day.  I don't think I will ever stop worrying but it's getting easier to let him make his own decisions and find his own way. He sent me a few photos from his recent trip to UT and he looks happy.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

On to State!

Evan placed 6th in the 100 m Breast stroke at Districts.

Eastmont 4x100 m Free relay is heading to State this Thursday.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Wild Winter

The VanderSluis' gang is still hanging in there trying to work hard and do well in school. I took a little break from the blog because I had a lot going on with my job and life this fall. So, instead of feeling guilty about not doing it, I chose to put it on the back burner for a while. But now I am back!

ME: I am doing the best I can in my job even though it can be rough disciplining underdeveloped minds.  I have been focusing on food a lot these days and it has been a good thing!  I realized that I do not eat often enough and then I am starving.  This leads to all kinds of bad things since I switched work outs to early mornings.  I have found many new favorite foods that are easy to grab before work and scarf down in front of my students.  I think they are use to me eating every class!
I still rehearse 6 choirs this year and teach kindergarten and 1st grade music.  I cannot believe how much planning goes into my job and when I don't plan I FAIL.  My school is turning into a 7th through 9th grade school within 3 years from now, and I am struggling with the idea of working with that age group.  Still not sure what I will do, meaning I may go back to elementary.

Evan: My boy is acting like a teenager in all the right and wrong ways.  He is currently on swim team for the High School and doing super well in breast stroke.  I hope my next post has more news about that!  We just found out that he aced all of his classes this semester and that's pretty awesome.  He says he is not that great at English but I can't imagine him not doing well with writing his opinions down on paper.  He is still witty as ever and very much like his Dad the older he gets.
Stake Dance- not sure how they were supposed to dress I think!

New company hat.
JASON:  Wenatchee is a beautiful place to live.  (This is the view from my school parking lot).  I am super jealous that Jason gets to work outside staying busy with his orchards and farmers and talking to adults about adult things.  He seems more busy this winter than normal but still happy with his job. Jason and I had a great 20th anniversary and got away for a few days before Christmas.  He surprised me with diamonds!
Happy Anniversary to me!

DAVID: Dave is back at school and taking lots of really hard classes, in my opinion.  I think he wants to go into engineering but he's still 17 and has lots of time to figure that out.  I also think he is still navigating college life but I just got off the phone with him and he promised he is doing really well; staying social and studying a ton.  I snapped a picture of my burnt cookies for him to know home life is still the same.
Happens every time!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Busy as ever!

  •  David graduated from High School and then we dropped our baby off at college.  THE HARDEST thing I have ever done is cut the cord. David is getting along well and learning how to study and take care of himself.  I worry every day but in a good way, he sends me texts of what he's eating and sounds happy. All of us are still adjusting and I am confident he will do great things.
My baby- still little and needing his Mom.

  • Evan is a freshman this year and getting ready to start swim in two weeks.  He is as sassy as ever, a good friend to me, and likes all the attention he gets as the only child for the next four years.  I just want him to stay little but his sense of humor gets sharper every year so I look forward to that growth!
Evan's 7th grade pic.  His voice has changed and he's taller now.

Halloween with his best friends

Good Friends are priceless!
  • Out entire family loves MUSIC. I'm the only one who only gets paid right now for my passion.  Both kids are getting into guitar and both of my boys have amazing singing voices.  Evan has studied longer and sings all day which I totally love and appreciate.  Jason shares songs and talks to us about all of our musical ideas and we love him for supporting us in our crazy musical moments.
  • I have a new calling at church to lead the Young Women beehives who are 12 & 13 years old.  I'm excited and organized enough that I think I can fit that into my busy schedule. I have been listening daily to the Book of Mormon and have gained a better attitude about work since doing so.  I like my job but I still have days I wish I could stay home.  I am proud to be able to pay for Dave's college and scripture study has brought more meaning to my work. I have 6 choirs and one is only made up of boys- 34 of them! Yes, I am insane.
  • I have INSTAGRAM so if you don't follow me you should since I post on that quite a bit like a journal.  We just took another adventure in the Lexus around our area and it was gorgeous.
  • My best friend moved away and that made me sad. I tried to convince her not to move to UT but she did anyway.  The good thing is I now have my best friend and family all in the same area.
  • I still run 3 times a week and lift weights 2 times a week.  I got this idea to get up at 5 a.m. and it was torture at first but now I have more time after work to do everything else I need to do. My goal this school year is to run FASTER.  I have discovered that 400 meter repeats for 5 miles can send my heart rate up like nothing else! The good part is that I have tons of energy and I feel 25.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June update

The other day, I was sharing something simple about my childhood and Evan turned to me and said. "I literally know nothing about your life.  And you have an interesting one!"

I thought a lot of things at that moment.
1.  I keep a journal- maybe I should share that now.
2.  Why is my life interesting?  I am just normal.
3. What have I not shared?

The third question almost sent me into a panic.  I thought that maybe my kids don't know the real me.   Fortunately, I soon calmed down from that thought because I know I have always been honest and open with them.  Obviously, I need to do a better job at sharing stories.

David has been working many hours the past few weeks in the warehouse for cherry season.  He is doing a great job staying positive at a boring job that pays time and half.  I think his first paycheck helped a great deal!  After my experience with Evan, I wondered if David felt the same way.  This last year I have been more consumed with David's life than my own and recently I helped him sign up for classes.  With a few clicks on the computer he was all ready to go and it just amazed me how well the church has organized the university and mentors for my son.  Dave is very ready to leave home and have his own experiences.

Evan worked the past five days himself and came home saying the same things David did when he started working at 14.  Both boys came to the realization that many people work hard tedious jobs for very little pay.   They both learned the value of getting up at dawn to work and how to find time to play between work hours.  I have to say it is exciting to witness your kids learn the value of work!

Jason has worked over three weeks straight now without a day off and always has a great attitude about everything.  We can't wait to get out on the boat and take more trips in our adventure mobile.  We recently installed an awning with a mosquito net attached since I am allergic and hate them. So it looks like camping got even better!  Our first destination better be the beach.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Don't Cry, Smile!

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

This sentence perfectly describes how I feel about my oldest child graduating from High School.  I did not shed one tear during the graduation week UNTIL I assembled a special picture collage to display at his party.  It hit me hard how quickly time passed and how much David and I love each other today.
I knew when he was born that I should cherish every moment and work hard to develop a relationship with my boy.  It has been my number one priority to be a better listener than a disciplinarian. To lead by example rather than tell him what to do. And, to share my love for my religion with my child.  As I stared at 50 some pictures all at once that represented 17 years of David's life, I knew that I had done it.  I knew that Dave had accomplished his goals so far too and that just got me crying and crying!

Our family has had a roller coaster of a year getting David where he needs to be but we did it!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Jan 2017 Update

My family has been on a super fast ride this year.  We are going here, and there, and everywhere it seems like.  So far, no one has been too sick this winter and our "to do" list for the house is getting done.  Here are a few pictures to catch you up on our lives.

Evan's first JH Band Concert.  He is there, somewhere.

My most difficult students on a Field Trip.  I survived December!

Chamber Choir performance Dec 2016

Team Captain and  Senior Swimmer

New lights and paint!

Evan is helping me make decor decisions.

David sang at the Voice of Eastmont.