Monday, May 17, 2010

Dreaming of Maga.

Annah woke up this morning and told me that she had a dream that she had a tattoo of a picture of Maga Becky.  And that when she rubbed the tattoo.. "Maga would come out and be with me".  She asked if people could draw a picture of Maga so that she could get a tattoo of her.  She says she wishes it would really happen.

On a lighter note.  We walked from our house to Tiffany's house today.  We walked one way to get there and another to get back.  I Googled it.. both ways are the exact same distance.  .9 miles.  Weird.  It took 31min to walk it.  That includes the 2min it took to convince Annah she could ride her bike around the dead bird in the middle of the sidewalk, the 1min it took to get her coat off of her and tie it around her waist and the 1min it took for her to recover after driving into Miss Tiff's chicks and hens, losing control and hitting her knee with the handle bars of her bike. 

Along the way we passed a neighbors house.  This is the conversation Annah had with me about them. 

Annah- "Those people are nice."
            "I know they're African."
            "Bsept they speak Christian"
            "But I know they are African cause their skin is black"
Me- nothing.. it stumped me.. I think I prolly giggled.

The end.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A day up the Lewis River

Today we went up into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  Every time we go up there.  I feel like I am betraying my life-long ties to Mt. Hood and the Mt Hood National Forest.  I am now a Washingtonian.  I have  to learn about what is on this side of the river. 
 Here are some shots of the upper portion of Swift Reservoir on the Lewis River.

It's funny to me that even though they are so close to each other... they really do have big differences in their appearance.  I don't even know what it is exactly.  Maybe up here there are more deciduous trees?  Maybe it is that most of the growth up here is younger due to the Volcano?  Or maybe it's the Forest Fires that we read about today.  Apparently there was hardly anymore forest after several fires between 1905 and 1937.. maybe that's what it is.

Here we are at the little falls that we stopped at.  I don't remember the name of them.. although I could look on our new wall map of the forest.  I know it was the road on the left after Curly Creek Road goes off to the right and Road 90 goes off to the left.    
Here are Lower Falls, the second falls we hiked to.
Even though there is this apparent difference, in both you can tell you are in the Pacific Northwest.  They both make me love them. And they both make me wannamake my children walk all over them.

We had a wonderful day.  Great weather. 
Lots of stops along the way to just look
around at campsites and even one to take
a small 1 mile hike out and back to see a
waterfall.  There was a stop at the Forest
Service station to see about a map and
purchase a day use pass.  We drove about
6 hours and walked about 4 hours.  No one
got hurt.  Only momentary fits were thrown,
and whining about how far we were walking
only the last 5min of walking!  They did,
however, let us know they lacked the patience
to endure the hours of driving.

 Here we read about how the Indian Tribes would navigate through the Forest according to which season it was.  Different areas held different means of survival dependent on the weather and which animals were around.
Um yes, this was Daddy's thing.

Yellow Moss on a steep rock overhang.

This is us using the rope Jesse brought as a tool to keep us all on the path!

Daddy and Ethan filtering water to fill our Camelbak with!
Jesse working with all of his "things".
Naomi hanging out with Daddy.

All the kids working on their balancing skills.. at a lower height!

Annah waiting for me to get her shirt wet so she would stop being "dying hot"!

Ethan hiding in one of the many hollow trees.

Naomi posing for me... sigh.

All the rascals together!
I am having issues trying to format around pictures.  Argh.  I know how to do this with the Office.  Not yet with this though.  I think I am getting done using words and just gonna try and get the pictures up.  Here is one more link which will give you a map of the area we were in.  We hiked a 4mi hike up road 90 along the river viewing 2 of 3 different falls named, Lower, Middle and Upper Falls.  We saw Lower and Middle.. but forgot to get pictures of Middle. 
Bruce testing the water.. His fists tell it all!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Oaks Park Safety Patrol Party!

Yesterday Naomi and I went to a "party" at Oaks Park, a local amusement park.  I went mainly because I don't like sending our kids off with into the world with so many people I don't know.  The older I get the less I enjoy amusement rides.  I get queasy and my old woman back can't handle the jerking that most of the rides include.

I was put in charge of 3 girls.  Naomi and two of her fellow patrol gals.  One was in her grade and the other was a 5th grader.  We had a delightful time.  The weather was beautiful and the girls were really easy to please.  I think they rode about 6 or 7 rides in the 3hrs. we had there.  We were each given a coupon for 2 hot dogs, 2 sodas and 1 ice cream.  I was a little horrified thinking about the quantity of gross foods we had available to us to go along with riding crazy rides!  But turned out they were small hot dogs, about 3/4c total of soda, and only one girl wanted the ice cream... my girl.

 She not only ate her two hot dogs... she ate one of her friend's too.
 And then she ate an ice cream when no one else wanted one.

I didn't do a very good job of taking pictures.  But was coerced into riding a ride called "Screaming Eagle".  I renamed it, "Screaming Summer".  It was crazy.  I don't know why I did it except for the love of my daughter and wanting her to have a friend with her on the ride.  Here is a video I found on youtube that shows the extreme craziness of this ride.

Here are the rest of the pics I managed to take after riding that awful ride.  The girls did a great time making sure everyone stayed together, enjoyed their time and felt included.  They were all fine with saying "NO" if they didn't want to go on a particular ride, (which is why I ended up being the one in the Eagle's talon!).  And believe it or not... I had a "drama-free" time with 3 tween-agers!  It was fabulous!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Umm, I don't think that means what you think it means.

Jesse and Ethan are wrestling.

Jesse is giggling.

Ethan gasps!

"Don't do that!  You're gonna make it so I can't have babies!"

Jesse stops.

"What?  Pinch your nipples?"

Geesh.  Where's their father when I need a back-up!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day '10 Thinking's.

I'm having a brain fart and can't think of the word I want to use instead of "thinking's".  So bare with me.

This year Mother's day felt different than any other year.  Prolly 'cause life is always changing and I've never been in "this" place before.  I'm gonna do my best to relay some of the thought processes behind my thinking's, without going into storytelling mode. (or is that the purpose of this thing?)  (well, I'll just say I'm gonna try and focus more on getting all of my specific thoughts shared as well as the thought processes without sharing about all of the rabbit trails that lead me to those thoughts)  (Ok.. starting now.)

I felt a need/desire to show my mom that I appreciate and love her.  More so than ever before.

Process that lead to the thought: 
This is the second Mother's Day that I've spent missing my Mother-in-law.  I don't know how many more I'll have with my dear Mother.  I don't want to waste precious time or have regrets.  This isn't as morbid as it may seem.  It is just a harsh reality I've been faced with.  My Mother lost her Mother when she was about my age.  You don't go through life expecting these things that happen to everyone to happen to you.  They just do.

I am SO thankful that I have the honor of being a mother.  I want to spend this time relishing that honor and working to enjoy every aspect of it.. even the difficult ones.

Process that lead to the thought: 
This last Thursday a family in our community lost their child to Leukemia.  I believe he was about 10yrs old.  I cannot fathom the pain that this must cause nor the strength the Lord must endow to make it through this.  Let alone to do it in the manner of upholding His name and trusting Him and honoring Him through all of the pain and sorrow of it all that these parents did it in.  It truly is a testament to His faithfulness.  I know, as a parent, their strength had to have come through Him.  Again, this isn't as morbid as it may look.  It's just a reality I've been shown.

I don't think I mind planning things for my family to do today.  I think I can enjoy it and be glad in it.  I have so much to be thankful for that being "in charge" of the days festivities can be a symbol of my thankfulness.  A way for me to not only bring honor to my own mom, but to honor my husband for all that he does.  All that he daily offers me.

Process behind thought: 
My hubby was gonna be camping from Thursday through today.  So, it was up to me to decide to sit home with the girls or take the opportunity and show my mom how much she means to me by honoring her in some way.  And in my mind honoring her goes hand in hand with either making her food to eat or buying her food to eat.  So, going out to lunch seemed like a great way to do that. 

Thought:  I'm really stoked and feel like a grown-up taking my parents out to lunch.

Process(es) behind thought:
a) My dad has always done his best to make me feel special on days that were meant to do that.  Two that stick out to me are Valentine's day and as an adult, Mother's Day.  I always felt special receiving the Carnations and heart candy or thoughtful card that maybe he bought or maybe my mom bought.. but he rarely just signed "Dad".  He's done a great job showing me he loves me and is proud of me.  He's also done a good job of "supporting" me even after I married.  Either by taking all of us out to steak dinner to celebrate his raise or paying for me to go to retreat or allowing my husband, baby and me to move in with him so that my husband could go to school and get an amazing job.  He's done all of that and more.

b) My mom has always been a good advocate to my dad to get him to provide things like steak dinner and whatnot to me and mine.  :)  Also, she's cooked and baked and crafted so many things for me and my family to show us her love.  I've been so crazy in the head since having children, and life has been so totally consumed with their day to day needs, that I've not been very good at reciprocating much of that.  I may have even had a little attitude once and again about why I should not be expected to do anything other than take care of the needs of my little immediate family.  Again, I've never been where I am before.  Life is amazing with all of it's "seasons" and "hurdles" and "ruts" and "mountain top experiences".. what a ride!

3.  :)  I am having more and more moments of clarity in my day to day life.  I feel that I am getting ahead of the game in several departments in the tasks that make up my "Responsibility Chart".  I can now have free brain space to think "outside the box".  Thinking of others and trying not to spend too much time feeling like dung for not thinking of it sooner. 

IV- We have paid off our financial debts and are at a place where we can share the blessings God has bestowed on us without neglecting to pay off our debtors.  THIS, is a testament to God's continued faithfulness in our life no matter that we've faltered in our faithfulness to Him.  It makes me happy and sad all at the same time to say that.  :)(   (that looks like jumping jacks)

Ok.. so that was a bit rabbit trail-ish.  Pardon me... please.

So, basically.  This was my favorite Mother's day yet.  We went to California Pizza Kitchen.  My hubby and boys ended up coming home early and so being able to go with us today!  My sister and her family were able to join us in celebrating this blessed appointment of Motherhood.  It was an honor to share the day with two women who have taken such pride in this task.  Two women who have purposed to honor God in and through the inner-workings of their lives as well as their jobs as Mothers.  I got to come home and practice the "not so lovely" part of the job and sit on the tub rubbing my Jesse's back as he fought the urge to lose his Cheeseburger Pizza.  Poor guy has a headache and tummy-ache, presumably from being worn out from the weekends adventures. 

Thank you Lord for allowing me to carry within me these precious gifts, Naomi, Ethan, Jesse and Annah.  Thank you for putting within me all that I need to do this job well and love them up good.  Thank you for the blessings of good health that you have bestowed on my family.  Thank you for always providing for our physical needs, above and beyond what we could imagine.  Thank you for giving me the honor of living a life that will show my children who you are and how you love them.  Give me the wisdom to now how to train them each in the way they should go so that when they are old they will not part from it.  Thank you for giving me a mother who did this for me and continues to show me your heart for me and people in general.  I pray that you bless both my parents this year.  Bless them with needs met, joys abounded, wounds healed and victories taken.  Amen and Amen and Amen.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Fred has been a part of our family for about 2 months now.  The kids still enjoy pestering him and Annah still wants to hold him on a daily basis.  However, the responsibility of keeping his scheduled feedings and "playtimes" going has fallen on my shoulders.

I've read the book we got on how to care for him.  I've learned to brush him, cleaned him and even enjoyed looking for new toys for him. 

While reading the book I learned that you should train your guinea pig to come to you, rather than "chasing" it around the cage to pick it up.  He likes to be petted but when we try to pick him up he runs.  So, I've taken to sitting by his cage, petting him and holding my hand by the door for him to come out to me.

This week we've had a new development in his level of trust.  Or so I thought.  As I would pet him he began to sit on his haunches and allow me to put my hand under his belly.  I took this to mean he wanted to allow me to pick him up.  It took several tries before I was quick enough to catch him before he fell over or changed his mind and ran off. 

So, last night the kids and I spread his blanket (he has been shedding so much that he has to have his own towel or blanket) out on the ground and we all lay around the edges to form a fence of sorts.  He was running around, sniffing each of us, "pop-corning" (which is this cute little jump/twist action he does when excited) and squeaking away. 

He kept coming over to me, so I would try and pet him and then put into practice our little trick of him getting into my hand so I could move him over next to one of the kids.....

And then it happened. 

Fred revealed he wasn't trying to get "into" my hand... but rather "onto" my hand.. or something.  It was horrible.  I quickly wrapped his blanket around him and put him back into his cage. 

I am not an animal or pet "person".

I have always been afraid of dogs.

I have always been allergic to cats.

I think birds are cute, until they flit in my face.  And then I quickly jump into attack ninja mode and "hi-ya" them across the room.

I do like horses and cows.  But they aren't meant to come into my house.

I also haven't been fond of rodents.  Rats, mice, ferrets, guinea pigs, squirrels, rabbits, chinchillas... oh and gerbils.  (I don't know that all of those are actually rodents.  I just have had the same type, though not necessarily the same level, of disdain for each of them)

Fred was changing this.  I don't have babies anymore who like me to hold them and who are completely dependent on me for.... life.  And now.  I don't know.  I looked it up online and we can get him neutered.  Bob Barker would have told us to.  I don't want my kids to have to deal with Fred... trying to take advantage of their friendship. 

He's a dirty birdie.  Even though he is a rodent and not a bird.  Dirty Birdie is the exact feeling I have toward him. 

Now I'm wondering how much rodent castration costs.  Or do they cut the tubes like on people.  I should ask P-dub.  It could be a homeschool "experiment"...... or not. 

Anyway.  I am willing to forgive him.  I just don't know how to convey to him my feelings on the matter.  It's not like a dog that you can kick away or something.  I tried a bit of kung-fu to stop him last night.  Maybe that'll help. 

I'll let you know what we decide. 

In the meantime. 


Pray for Fred's soul.  :)

Monday, May 3, 2010


As part of our working toward a life filled with Christ, we've decided we are going to be getting up at 5am.  This poses several problems.

- I am not an early riser.
- I am not an early to bedder.
- If I wake up early, the kids wake up early.
- Even when trying to go to bed early, my mind keeps me up 'till about 1am.
- I am not an early riser.

I'm looking forward to several potential benefits.

- I may be up earlier than the kids.
- I may have more hours of the day to get things done.
- Quiet time may be more easily kept scheduled.
- Exercise may become an early morning routine rather than mid-morning, allowing for a smoother transition into what will become a necessity with homeschooling.
- I may become a better example of responsible living for my children.

Now, I'm going to go look for a mantra or potion or prayer or wherever the secret is hidden on how to succeed in all of this.  (just in case any of you are freaking out.. I'm just kidding about the mantra/potion part)  ;)