Friday, October 26, 2007

When using a flash, Olivia is not the best of picture-takers! She has a really hard time keeping her eyes open. Nevertheless, she just lost her other big tooth and a photo was in order. It's funny, neither of my kids ever had a lisp or any other speech impediment. Athough, I sometimes wished they had because of how cute and it its. So now with a big space in front, Olivia's tongue gets stuck in the gap and she lisps! It's really cute, but so fleeting. As you can see, the other big tooth is not taking its time coming in. The gap will be gone soon, and with it, the lisp.
No, he's not flipping you off! In the spirit of all things "lost", I thought I'd include Simon's most recent missing body part...his entire nail! While we were away at the coast celebrating our 10-year anniversary and the children were being babysat by Aunt Darcee, Simon crashed his bike into Peter's parked car and somehow managed to rip the entire nail off. So now all he's left with is this weird nail bed and a good story.

I was unable to post a photo, for some reason, when I blogged about Grandma. I really wanted you to have a visual of the coffee cup and saucer. I'm sure all my siblings remember the pink chicken set!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Coffee with Grandma

I had a special moment yesterday that I thought I might share with you...

I was gifted with a rare, quiet hour yesterday-Peter was away setting up an art show and Simon had a friend over and they were quietly playing in his room. I decided it was high time I sit down for a little Jesus time-Bible study and prayer (it's been a while and my soul is running on empty!). I also decided this Jesus time needed a cup of coffee accompanied by a couple leftover homemade brownies. I got so excited!

I made my coffee-black since I was having a "sweet" with it-and searched the cupboard for just the right coffee cup. I came across one of Grandma's pink, chicken coffee cup and saucer and my heart stopped. It was just the thing I needed! As you all remember, these coffee cups are really small...maybe 6 oz and they are old!

I poured my coffee, placed my warmed brownies on the saucer and sat at the counter, bible open. Instantly I was reminded of Grandma-her legacy, her love, her faith, her always-black coffee- the moments I would, as a child, secretly watch her sitting in a corner, sipping her coffee, and I would wonder what went on in that quiet world she was imprisioned by.

I felt as though she were there with me. As if I was having one last cup of coffee with Grandma. And I was comforted. I sipped my coffee with a smile. And I prayed for a faith at least half as strong as hers. I prayed for the ability to pray in earnest as she always did. I closed my eyes and pictured her in heaven, young again, hearing, and singing hymns with the angels.

I miss her. I finally realized I miss her. So often in life, with certain things, I just take it as it comes and never look back. I haven't shed a tear since the day she died. But I shed a tear yesterday. And it felt good to feel. To remember. To feel that tug at your heart that reminds you that you have suffered a loss. And the world did suffer a loss when it lost Gertrude Gazeena Dolly Stott.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


This is a common Blackberry. It is found everywhere here in the Northwest. It grows on the side of the road, in the forest, along paths and trails...everywhere. It's considered a noxious weed by those who would prefer it didn't over take their yards, trees and shrubs.

"It's a berry, Rachelle! Why are you blogging about a berry?", you might ask.

True, it's a simple berry. But in its simplicity, it has brought our family joy!

For the last several summers, our family has been frequenting the "blackberry meadows", as Simon has coined a strip of blackberries a couple blocks away from our house near pastures full of cows, horses and sheep. Generally, we hop on our bikes for a neighborhood ride and eventually find ourselves swerving down the old country road, past the grazing animals, towards the sun setting behind an old oak tree to our blackberry meadows. Sometimes it's just for a quick snack to re-energize our weary bones for the bike ride home. Other times, such as tonight, we venture directly to the meadows with a purpose...dessert!
While finishing our dinner tonight of simple bean and rice burritos we decided it would be great if our dessert of simple vanilla ice cream could be colored by a handful of simple blackberries! Once we returned from a wonderful, midsummer night's bike ride through the neighborhood to collect our plump, bursting circles of sugar water, we scooped some ice cream, swirled the blackberries right in and enjoyed a sweet, fresh treat. We all marvelled at the beauty around us. We thankfully remarked about how we love our home, our neighborhood and our simple little lives. And we sat in pure bliss, savoring every last drop of melting, blue ice cream as if to silently agree that the bounty God hides for us, his children, is one of the greatest gifts in life! There is something about venturing only a few blocks from my home and being able to pick a nutritious, tasty food directly from the spot God placed it, that makes me feel safe--taken care of. I can't explain it. And it may not even make sense to you unless I say is given to us as a gift. Daily. In the simple things. If only we can stop a moment to taste it.

It's the simple things, I remind myself.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Camping @ the Metolius

We just got back from an amazing camping trip over the weekend! We were invited to join some friends from church up at Camp Sherman in Central Oregon. What a beautiful campground! It's where the Metolius River springs up from the ground and eventually runs into the Columbia. The Metolius runs along the entire camp site and is just breathtaking! We all had a great time floating in the river, playing in the sun, fly-fishing, roasting marshmallows and having great fellowship around the campfire (Josh and I played "Chubby Bunny" to see

how many marshmallows we could fit in our mouths...I was victorious!), making camp ice cream, bathing the boys in a not-so-warm tub of water, feeding the fish at the fish hatchery and basically getting as dirty as possible!

Living in the Willamette Valley, we had quickly forgotten the pristine excellence of Central Oregon-the juniper and pine needle smell in the air, the taste of the water, the kind of people you meet and the shared loved of the outdoors; it's as though we are in a constant state of worship-pure wonderment and awe. I've always felt that nature literally screams out the name of it's creator...who could ever spend a moment in nature and still deny the God of the universe?
Peter and I joke that, because we miss Bend so badly and because we would love to live there again, our subconscious blocks it out in an attempt at self-preservation! But I must say for now, we feel full! Our souls have been fed and all our sensory organs have been nourished...

Friday, June 29, 2007


Olivia and Simon just finished their first season of T-Ball! Simon loved every minute of it, of course, while Olivia...well let's just say she was less than thrilled to be playing. She kept saying to me, "Mom, you never even asked me if I wanted to play! You just signed me up knowing I don't like this!"

What was I to say in response? It's true! I never asked her if she was interested in playing. Ya know why? Because I knew what her answer would be and frankly, all I cared about were the T-ball pictures. I'm mean let's just be honest here. I know I get the bad mom award for this one but really, those pictures are priceless; they always are. I just wanted her to be able to say that at least once in her life she played baseball and she had the proverbial T-ball photos to prove it!

And in the spirit of honesty and bad mom moments, ya wanna know what else I did? After I had signed her up, I bribed her into sticking with it and playing out the season by buying her a pink baseball glove! Once she saw that cute glove at Big 5 next to all the other boring, boyish gloves and she knew that all she had to do to make that stylish glove her own was to promise me that she'd play...well it was a done deal! Sad thing is, I knew she couldn't pass it up! Talk about entrapment! It even came with a free, matching back pack! I mean seriously? What girl passes that up? Even if it is equipment for a sport you have absolutely no interest in. The point is, Olivia looked into the future and saw herself in left-field lookin' stylish and chic! Good on her for being so insightful! Besides, what's that saying? "Beauty before pain" or something to that effect?

Anyway, I'm not proud of it, but hey! It happens! And now I not only have cute T-Ball pictures to show my grandchildren, but I have a funny story to go with it! Cheers!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Olivia's Dance Recital

Wow, it's been a long time! Sorry about that folks! I suppose rather than attempt to update you on the last several weeks, I'll just start over-with the most recent.

Olivia had her dance recital with the Albany Dance Academy this last week. She played a doctor in a loosely translated edition of Snow White. It was a great success, she did a great job and she has informed me that dance is her life and she has finally found her thing! (all her words) Well, as you can imagine, this gives me much relief! No more failed attempts at signing her up for activities only to listen to her complain and gripe about how hard it is. I was searching for the one thing that she would/could do that she would enjoy and get exercise doing. We found it and it's been an absolute pleasure watching her practice at home and show a genuine interest in all things Dance!

The hardest part of the week, however, was that her 25-year-old dance teacher and cast member in the performance, was killed in an automobile accident 2 days prior to the first night's performance! The accident happened on Monday and 24 hours later she died. This girl, Sarah, was her main teacher every week. Though the entire week has been very emotional for all the dancers, they were able to put on their happy faces and "dance for Sarah". The really great part was that Sarah was a Christian living her life fully for Christ! Her dad is a local pastor and she regularly did inner-city missions trips as well as a couple abroad. Not only were we able to confidentially tell all the girls that Sarah was in heaven, but there was an awesome presentation and alter call of sorts before each performance in honor of Sarah.

In all, a very roller-coaster week for us all, but one that has enabled us to teach and guide our children through the realities of life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Good Day!

Ya know those days? The ones that you find yourself smiling through? Today has been one of those days...a good day! It started with a good workout this morning, fun in the sun all afternoon, a good report from Olivia's dance teacher, "She's a good dancer-very focused-and we should think about putting her into a competition class", (How about first things first - like getting through Kindergarten?), some fabulous fajitas for dinner and, after dinner, Olivia let me pull her second tooth with a needle-nose pliers, the way my dad did with us kids!!

But two things in particular gave this day the "good" title: the kids' little sunbathing setup and the drip system that I installed all by myself!

As I was installing our new drip system (keep in mind it was already piped, I just installed all the drips and hoses) the kids were in the backyard playing and minding their own business. I go inside to get a tool and come back out to find them propped up in their chairs, using the patio table set ottomans for foot rests, eating a bowl of banana chips and drinking from big cups of ice water! I couldn't stop though they were 80 years old in a Florida retirement home reminiscing the good ol' days! I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

And as far as the drip system just gave me such an amazing sense of accomplishment and capability. I have been putting it off for over a year, terrified that I wouldn't be able to figure it out and would have to call a landscaper. I finally realized that I really should figure it out before we leave for Peter's art trip so that our roses don't die. I can't believe I figured it out. We Piersma's truly do have the "Do-it-yourself" gene! And our rose tree just bloomed it's first, big, red, fragrant's been a good day. (Should I be worried about tomorrow?)

Monday, May 7, 2007

New Blogger in the family!

So, Peter and Janel have blogs and I figured it was about time that I started a blog too! It just seems like the easiest way to post pictures regularly and to keep everyone up to date on all the sweet, little happenings of the Mathios family. However insignificant these sweet happenings may or may not be, at least now you have the choice to know about it or not! So here's to happy, hopefully regular blogging on my part, and here's to happy "knowing" (or not) on your part!