The Roundhill Life

Bits and pieces of a round hill life

Pictures and Noah’s Ark July 5, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kandsroundy @ 8:13 pm

Years ago when Steve was diagnosed with Autism, one of the questions that often pervaded my mind was ” what will he understand about God – can he understand that God loves him?” The reality is sometimes I am not even sure he understands that we as his family love him. Over the years God has given me peace when it comes to those questions – not answers, but peace. We trust in who God is and what He has done. Steve is God’s creation – created, like each of us, to bring honor and glory to God.
How can an individual who has very little social and verbal skills and limited communication bring honor and glory to the Lord? Because God created Steve, He has a plan for his life and ways for Steve to honor and glorify his creator. Because my mind is limited I tend to forget that bringing honor and glory to an infinite creator can come in infinite ways.
For those of you who don’t know, Steve loves the story of Noah’s Ark. This is evident in our house daily. The multitude of stuffed animals that file literally two by two down the hallway. The same stuffed animals that find themselves in a makeshift ark in the backyard. The movies and videos on the subject and the stacks of pictures drawn. These all attest to Steve’s love of this Bible Story.



Recently I received the following text from Steve’s Sunday School teacher: ” I keep forgetting. A couple Sundays ago, F, a weeknight childcare worker and nanny employed by a new family, asked if she could have Steve Noah’s ark picture. I said sure. Well it turned out the new little boy she would be caring for is named Noah. She asked him if he knew where his name came from. He said no. So she unrolls Steve’s picture and shares the Bible story. The little boy loved the drawings and colors on the animals. She wanted you to know how Steve’s picture was used by God.”
Tears poured down my face as I marveled at how God is using Steve’s pictures to introduce others to the story of grace and redemption. Tears came at the beauty of how God uses the most unlikely to tell His story.
I am challenged by this to remember that what we do each day can have an impact for eternity – things we don’t often realize. I am challenged to continue to pray for Steve and to trust the Lord each day for Steve and the life God gave.

 

Volunteering July 2, 2013

Filed under: Steve,Susie — kandsroundy @ 5:53 pm

One of the job sites that Steve worked while in school was a local library. And we have been able to continue volunteering there. I don’t quite know how Steve feels about it, although I know he enjoys checking out books after he finishes his shift. I personally have found it fascinating to get a behind the scenes picture of how a library operates.

Steve goes in and makes sure all the newspapers are in correct order, and recycles those that have passed a certain date. He then cleans the newspaper shelves. As you can imagine they get covered in ink. This week we started adding some of the magazine shelves to our cleaning list. After that Steve heads back to fill the bag bins. He checks each of the donated plastic bags for holes before putting them in the bin. This keeps those books you check out dry on your way to the car – which is a necessity where we live! Then Steve delivers the bins out onto the library floor where the checkout areas are.

I love seeing how focused Steve can be when working with the newspapers and how diligent he is with other tasks. I am also learning more each week how best to work with him and enjoy the time.

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Good to the last drop June 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kandsroundy @ 9:20 pm

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Sundays we usually have lunch out after church. Today was no exception. But it was special too – we were getting in the car and Kevin said “do you think we should eat lunch somewhere?” From the back of the car a quiet voice said “Five Guys”. Rarely do we get an immediate answer, much less one without giving several options. So off we went. In the photo Steve shows us all how to make sure every last drop of ketchup is enjoyed!

 

The quilt December 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — kandsroundy @ 7:27 pm

My mother is an incredibly talented seamstress and quilter. Her designs and color choices as well as her technique amaze me. And while I will never practice enough to be as good as she is – I do try to spread a little love with what she has taught me. Shortly before my first (and only) nephew was born my mom gifted me with a quilting class. I really enjoyed it and it gave me the confidence to try a baby quilt for a friend. It turned out cute enough that I made one for my nephew which started a trend. For each little one born to a sibling or sibling in law, I made a baby quilt. (To my oldest niece – sorry I started this after you were born! Maybe for graduation?)

When I started doing this I took the mommy before baby was born to a fabric store to have her pick out fabric or theme colors. And up until niece number 6, I pretty much used one pattern for the quilt – a simple 4 patch with coordinating theme prints.

Niece # 4 quilt

Niece # 4 quilt

Nephew and niece #3

Nephew and niece #3

Niece #5's quilt

Niece #5’s quilt

This was a nice simple pattern, went together quickly and easily and was usually done by the time the little one arrived.

Niece #6 was born in Scotland – this complicated the whole “going shopping” thing with mommy! She did specify some colors and theme and even sent me some ideas of fabric she liked. But for some reason, I struggled to find something I liked. So one afternoon, Kevin, Steve and I headed to a quilting store – and there the 2 guys spotted a quilt pattern they fell in love with. Something that involved some techniques I had not done in years. But I thought – why not. I scoured some fabric shops and finally found the fabric. This quilt took me much longer than I anticipated, but was well worth it! Every quilt I sew – is sewn with love and prayers for each little one, I think this niece may have garnered a few more prayers due to how long it took. 🙂 I did have some help along the way. My wonderful mother saw that it was taking me a while to get the applique portion done – so she jumped in and in 2 days had it done. I also have a binding specialist that I keep on retainer for finishing the last bit of the quilt – he does a superior job and comes pretty cheap. Below are pictures of the quilt in progress.

Fabric

Fabric

Cut fabric

Cut fabric

Squares take shape

Squares take shape

Quilt base

Quilt base

Sorry its dark - but owl pices

Sorry its dark – but owl pieces

Owl finally sewn on - thanks mom!

Owl finally sewn on – thanks mom!

Remember whooo loves you!

Remember whooo loves you!

Borders

Borders

Borders on

Borders on

Binding specialist - Christmas Eve

Binding specialist – Christmas Eve

Completed quilt!

Completed quilt!

I love this quilt! I hope that it gives little Fi lots of warmth and that she always remembers she is loved.

 

An Alaska Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — kandsroundy @ 6:46 pm

Its not often enough that I make it home – let alone for Thanksgiving. In fact I have not been to Alaska for Thanksgiving since before I was married. This year I made it – sort of. Technically it was before Thanksgiving – but we had turkey so that counts, right?

It was an absolute whirlwind of 4 days – but I loved every minute! I arrived early on a Friday morning and was picked up at the airport by my folks and one very special little cutie!

Little Miss Mea

Little Miss Mea

I spent a wonderful day getting to know this little miracle of a niece. She is a doll and one of the sweetest little things you will ever meet. Honestly – all my nieces are adorable, so she fits in quite well.

Saturday, mom and I headed to a craft fair downtown, meeting up with my SIL, Carol, and we shopped, had lunch, caught up – lots and lots of fun! The evening was spent at the Alaska All Star Gala – a concert of the top high schoolers in the state. There were 2 choirs, a band and an orchestra. These are some very talented young people! One of them was my extremely talented niece, Sarah. She played her viola in the Orchestra. The music was just incredible! I don’t have a great picture from that night so I will share a picture of Sarah with her viola – the instrument itself is quite amazing – it is the Daniel Pearl Memorial Viola.

Sarah

Sarah

To cap the night off – while at the concert I ran into some friends from High School – who had a son participating in one of the choirs. It was so good to see them and reconnect a bit.

Sunday after church the whole family came over to my folks house for an early Thanksgiving feast. There was a LOT of food, fun, laughter and music. And so very much to be thankful for. It was a blessing to spend time with my brothers and the wonderful women they married, my nieces who are so beautiful inside and out, my cousin and his bride and her family as well as my parents.

Appetizer Table

Appetizer Table

Cousins getting to know one another

Cousins getting to know one another

Daddy & Daughter

Daddy & Daughter

Auntie Susie & niece #7

Auntie Susie & niece #7

Mommy & Daughter

Mommy & Daughter

The bluegrass crew

The bluegrass crew

Monday I headed home – but with a very full heart of joy and thankfulness for that trip!

 

A little Christmas happiness December 21, 2012

Filed under: Steve,Uncategorized — kandsroundy @ 12:03 am

Today I want to share what may seem like a little thing for most people. But it’s something that makes me smile because it shows me how much Steve pays attention to things he sees, reads and hears. Plus it reminds me to be so very thankful for the wonderful teachers and para-eds who give so much of themselves for so many kids.

Over the last several years, both in high school and in the transition program, Steve’s class would take a trip to a local mall just before Christmas. The kids bring a small list of gifts to purchase, plus some funds for those gifts and for lunch. I can not imagine what an undertaking this must be for these classes! Keeping track of the kids, their lists, their money…it exhausts me just thinking about it. And yet, I know how important it is that the kids learn these processes in a real-life setting.

So today I wrote Steve an email, put a list in his wallet and sent him off to school. He came home with a gift for the person whose name he drew in the family Secret Santa drawing. He told me what he had for lunch – I heard French fries and root beer. Then he picked from the 3 kinds of wrapping paper I had, cut the wrapping paper and taped up the gift with very little help from me. He wrote a name on the tag and put it under the tree. Mission accomplished. I loved seeing the sense of accomplishment on his face.

Seeing Steve be a part of the Christmas traditions makes us all smile here at our house and reminds us of how much we have to be grateful for. God has blessed us in so many ways with wonderful people in Steve’s life who make these moments possible.

Secret Santa has been busy!

Secret Santa has been busy!

 

Wild Kingdom in the front yard November 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — kandsroundy @ 6:45 pm

Sunday morning, I headed out to grab some stuff for Steve while he was at home with a friend while we went to the football game.  I was a bit distracted and did not pay much attention to my surroundings.  However, as I pulled in the drive when I got back, I glanced at my lilac bush.  Now, I have had various birds and insects visit my lilac bush – butterflies and hummingbirds are my favorite visitors and they come when the flowers and foliage are at their best.  But its November and the lilac is pretty bare.  Which made it incredibly easy to see this:

Squirrel!!

So of course I took several pictures from different angles, watching this squirrel watch me.  It surprised me that the squirrel was not bothered by my dog – who obviously is going blind – he never saw the squirrel. The other thing that occurred to me was that this squirrel appeared to be hanging on for dear life.  I could not figure out why this squirrel was not moving – seriously he did not move.  He appeared to be ok, just frozen stiff.  Kevin came out and tried to shake the bush to see if the squirrel would hop down – nothing doing.  That little guy just hung on even tighter.  Erik showed up to stay with Steve and we all contemplated the scenario that was going on and then this happened:

Let the stalking begin

Our neighbor’s cat decided to try and climb the bush to join the squirrel.  Unfortunately for the cat – and fortunately for the squirrel, there really is not a branch strong enough to hold the cat.  So the cat came back down and settled in for the duration.

Keeping an eye on the prey

Kev and I had to leave, but Erik checked on the squirrel every hour or so.  He informed us that eventually the cat did leave.  But the squirrel was in the tree for several hours after the cat left.  By the time I got home the squirrel was long gone and it was dark.  I have no idea if he scampered off to safety or fell out of the tree in a dead faint after hanging on for so long.  I do know that if he survived, he has lots to tell his family, and he will probably never step paw in my front yard again.

 

What a weekend!

Filed under: Uncategorized — kandsroundy @ 6:21 pm

November is usually one of those months that seems to drag by for me. It seems that until Thanksgiving and the whole big “get ready, Christmas is coming” things are pretty quiet and smooth. This year, not so much. My calendar looks like it got hit with a paint ball explosion in way too many colors. Lest you think I am complaining, let me assure you that the explosion of color is filled in with really great things!

Thursday we had the fun of having Kev’s brother’s family over for dinner. It was fun to catch up a little more with them and enjoy the sounds of little girl laughter and voices – something that has been really lacking in this house.

Friday was my calm day. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did not get much done in the way of housework, just tried to catch up on a few things that I had gotten behind on after our trip.

Saturday was a day I have been looking forward to for a couple of months – Wicked!!! I met up with my SIL and we had lunch at a great Italian place called Maggianos. Good food, great ambiance and I have so much food leftover that I don’t need to cook this week for me! Then we headed off to Seattle to see Wicked. My son David, had seen the show in London a year ago and really enjoyed it. Thankfully, he did not give me too much in the way of plot spoilers so I was able to sit and just really soak in the music, the story and be enchanted. I love the whole experience of seeing a show – I don’t do it very often and maybe that’s why it thrills me when I do go. Of course the company – my SIL – was great and that has a lot to do with the fun!

Wicked!!

After I got home – Kevin excitedly showed me his accomplishment for the day – He got the engine put into his boat! We settled in for a quiet evening and I spend some time doing something I rarely do – I changed my nail color after 24 hours! Here’s the deal, I wore a purple shade to go with my purple themed outfit to see Wicked.

Purple for Wicked

However, Sunday was another event that required a change for a very serious reason. There was no way I was walking into Century Link Field to see the Seahawks play while wearing purple – especially since the opponent was the Vikings. These are the things that can get you in trouble. So off with the purple and on with the green!

Green for the Hawks!

Kevin and I had a great time at the game – I am still amazed at how loud a football game can be. I have been to baseball games, hockey games, soccer games, etc. But nothing beats a Seattle Seahawks game for noise. The Seahawks played a great game, winning 30-20.

Ready for football!

I expect this week will be a bit quieter around here and I am thankful for that – but I have much to look forward to and that makes me thankful as well.

 

Eventful October November 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — kandsroundy @ 6:46 pm

October has come and gone and it went by so fast!  Here are the highlights from this past month.

1. Dan and Sarah and their sweet girls have moved back! We have missed them and I am sure that there are plenty who miss them across the pond!  These pictures are from later in the month when they moved into their new home.

All moved in and comfy!

Moving day smiles
Moving day smiles

2. The most exciting news of the month came on October 6th when Chris called to tell us Jordan said “Yes!” when he proposed!  We are so thrilled for them!

The happy engaged couple!

3.  Steve got glasses!  This was a big deal – it has been years since Steve had an eye exam, but he did well after some adjustment and he picked out a very smart pair of frames.  I think he looks handsome!

Dad & Steve

4. Trip to Dubuque – Kevin and I flew out to Dubuque to visit Chris & Jordan and David for a weekend.  Total fun!  Kevin played against David in the Alumni Soccer game.  You can ask them about the game – I seem to always tell it wrong, so if you want details, talk to them!  I got to enjoy walking between benches trying to cheer for both teams.

David

Kevin & David at halftime

Kevin making a penalty kick

It was a great weekend, we got to see several friends and meet new ones, hang out with David, spend time with Chris and Jordan! We are looking forward to  more visits to Dubuque in the coming year.

These are just a few of October’s highlights.  Can’t wait to see what is in store for November!

 

 

 

The Soccer Mom’s dream (also applies to baseball, swimming, or any other sport) August 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — kandsroundy @ 4:14 pm

Every mom who ever had more than one child playing a sport at the same time knows what I am talking about. Every year when the schedules come out for practices and games you get out a massive calendar and colored markers and spend hours trying to figure out the logistics of getting your kids to all their practices that occur at the same time on opposite ends of town. Once you have that covered you then start flipping coins to see which parent will attend child A’s game, and which will attend child B’s game and if you have a child C you pray for a grandparent or aunt or uncle or best friend can go along and root for child C. Then you need to rotate the schedule for the next week.. If you are lucky you will have a week where the games are evenly spaced time wise, you pack a picnic lunch and spend the day as a family going from game to game. This is why soccer moms drive mini vans – they need a vehicle that can function as a house, complete with a mini fridge (for orange slices and gatorade) and a place to put the gallon of coffee it takes to keep up with the schedule.

My days of driving to practices was over many years ago when they dropped out of rec leagues and either quit sports or played sports through the school districts – all I had to do was pick them up at the end of practice. But I have not forgotten the dream.

The dream was that they would play on the same team, attend the same practices and play in the same games. I could root from the sidelines for both of my boys at the same time. The dream has been achieved. Two of my kiddos (and believe me, they will always be my kiddos, in spite of the facial hair) are playing in their first soccer game together! That’s right – this year they are on the same team, wearing the same uniform and everything! (oh and I don’t have to wash the uniforms – that’s even better!)

White shorts – a mother’s laundry nightmare!

 

Taken last week after their first practice and right before we headed home

But alas there is one drawback – they are 2000 miles away. So I root from my cell phone and computer, waiting for a text or a call after the game, waiting for a picture to be posted somewhere, that might give me a glimpse of them in action. All the while enjoying the realization of the dream! Go Eagles!

Go Eagles!