IMG_1833Robin gave a family night lesson on Family tonight from For the Strength of Youth. She wrote out the importance of the family in swirly letters. She did a great job. Nothing is more important than family. Our best efforts should be in the home.


Final piano recital

Nicole had her final piano recital today. She played a movement from a Beethoven Sonata and four pieces from Dello Joio. They were energetic and full of feeling. I could tell there was joy and relief from having completed all those many years of piano study and performance. She contributes willingly and beautifully in church and youth meetings. I am proud of her. Here she is with her teacher and both of her piano teachers and then with the family afterward.

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Fun in the sun

We went to the beach today to just have fun and relax with some of our friends from our ward. It was a lot of fun. We had an awesome game of ultimate frisbee, hit a volleyball around, played ladderball and smash ball, built sand castles, did stop motion movies, and the harlem shake. We have a few burns, and we are tired, but we love our dear friends who we spent the day. We needed a day for relaxation, good conversations, and beautiful weather.

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Anacortes, San Juan Islands

We went to a ward in Anacortes. I met a friend from Finland there who I knew at BYU. It is always amazing what a small world it is in the church. In a remote ward in Washington I met someone from college and Finland. We had a great chat.

After that we had a wonderful hike around the top of Anacortes that overlooks the San Juan Islands. Beautiful vistas and talks and time to think.

We followed that with a delicious dinner and more connecting.

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Discovering La Conner

P1020416Jacobsen Women Retreat 2013

Julia    Mary Ann   Sue   Melissa   Kristine   Rachel

Today was a day to discover the small town where our inn was situated. It was the small town of La Conner. In the morning some of us went to a yoga class, while others got neck massages and facials. Then we went for a delicious lunch and afterward went to the river where some of the ladies did some glass blowing.We stopped in many of the shops and book stores. I spent time just reading in a book store about Daring Greatly, overcoming fear and letting ourselves be vulnerable. We had lots of great chats and time for beauty. Rachel gave us all these beautiful scarves. It was cool outside, perfect for wandering and exploring.

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Matching tulip shoes, perfect for the weather and wandering in the fields

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Tulip tour in the rain

This morning the six of us set out on a bike tour of the tulip fields in Skagit valley. It was a rainy day, so we had to bundle up in ski clothes. But it was an adventure on the bikes. And the tulips and tulip fields were magnificent. We also passed by raspberry and blueberry fields, daffodil fields, and rustic barns. It was a memorable experience on a cloudy day filled with color and light.P1020349 P1020350 P1020351 P1020352 P1020353 P1020354 P1020355 P1020357 P1020359 P1020360 P1020361 P1020362 P1020363 P1020364 P1020365 P1020367 P1020368 P1020372 P1020373 P1020374 P1020376 P1020377 P1020378 P1020379 P1020380 P1020381 P1020382 P1020384 P1020385 P1020386 P1020387 P1020388 P1020389 P1020390 P1020391 P1020392 P1020393 P1020394 P1020395 P1020396 P1020397 P1020399 P1020400 P1020402 P1020403 P1020405 P1020406 P1020407 P1020408 P1020409 P1020410 P1020411 P1020412 P1020413


Washington journey

Rachel and I flew to Seattle this morning and had a great tour of some harbor towns across from Seattle. I thought this sign in the airport was amusing. Seattle is near lots of water. We just needed a rental car, not a cruise ship.IMG_1723We had a delicious lunch in Gig Harbor.IMG_1726 IMG_1725 IMG_1724We then stopped in at Rachel’s aunt’s jewelry store in Port Orchard.IMG_1727

We then made our way to Poulsbo where Rachel’s grandparents live. It is a Norwegian town on the water. They live in a wonderful home with tulips and a great view of the water. We had a great visit with them.IMG_1728


Her grandparents took us our for dinner. They are sweet. I loved watching them take care of each other and hold hands on the way out of the restaurant. Years of life and love together.

IMG_1731We then made our way to the ferry from Kingston to Edmonds. We made it with just three minutes to spare.


We had a long drive up to La Conner in the Skagit valley where we are going to see tulips and have our Jacobsen women’s retreat.

This was waiting for us in the room we stayed in.


We made it and united with the rest of the Jacobsen women for our adventures this weekend. Some delicious cookies and conversation, and we had lots of rain on the drive up. I am glad to have arrived safely, and I am looking forward to a fun weekend.




Hard work and determination

I am tired right now. I am going out of town in the morning and so I squeezed all the piano lessons for the rest of the week into today. That was nine piano lessons. I guess I am determined to keep up with these kids weekly. It makes a huge difference to do weekly piano lessons. But I am tired! We also got all the laundry folded and the all the beds changed today. Erik was integral in that process. I couldn’t do it without him.

After all the work, I went to Brandon’s baseball game. Erik came a few innings after I did. Brandon got to come up to bat with the bases loaded. He had his first hit of the season and hit an RBI. The next batter hit a triple and cleared the bases; Brandon scored all the way from first base. It was a bright spot after all his hard work to make the team. And then after making the team, his hard work to earn playing time and batting time. He has been getting some great hits lately, but they have been caught or barely thrown out. So today was the reward for the hard work. I am so glad Erik made it to the game too. I am so proud of Brandon’s work ethic. He gives it his all, works hard all practice, and really listens and responds to the coaches.

He and I were definitely worn out tonight. But there is nothing like the feeling of fatigue after giving it your all. It feels satisfying and rewarding, and sleep is calling me.