Sunday, December 28, 2008

Random Quote ...

I haven't found much time to post lately, but I saw this quote today and just had to share it with you, especially my dog-loving friends and family members. I love my animals and especially my chocolate lab Tucker. So when I saw this quote I thought of him.

He is your friend, your partner, Your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, To the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A note from Aunt Patti reminded me that I haven't updated my blog in FOREVER. Life just seems to have done what it always does and has occupied my time. I haven't even had time to scrap lately... which is totally sad.

Well, on the good news front Brian is back to work after his broken hand. He went back last week and I'm so glad that he's well again. We're starting to settle down into a routine again now that he's back, although I truly miss all the housework he did while he was off.

The kids lives are what keep me most busy these days. Chase has swimming 3 days a week right now, trying to get him to a point where he can pass the BSA swim test and advance to his next rank. It's been a challenge but he's working very hard at it. He also has Boy Scouts once a week, where I serve as the advancement coordinator. Starting in the new year I'll be driving him to Portland for drama classes too.

Tristan is the one with the busiest social schedule right now. I had this great idea to get the kids all into swim lessons this month before all the basketball craziness started .... yet the basketball craziness started sooner than I anticipated. So the boy is busy. Two days a week he has swimming. Two other days a week he has Taekwondo and gets to rush home for dinner before heading to basketball. Then on Saturdays he's got TKD competition team training and, starting in January, basketball games. I know it's a lot, but he's really doing well with it all. He just wouldn't give up TKD but wanted to try basketball before it got really competative so he's doubling up with both this season. His schedule will get much easier after swimming is complete this week.

Carissa has swimming twice a week too and hers will also be over at the end of the week. She started a new dance class this month and will be starting 4-H Adventurers soon too. Her activities are only once a week so she has plenty of time to hang out with her friends and make big messes around the house. LOL

Now, the other sidenote to this is that the boys both want to join 4-H dogs. I really love the idea of 4-H and spent nearly my entire teenage years doing 4-H horses. I think the boys would learn a lot from doing 4-H and our dogs certainly could use a little more in the way of manners. Win-win, right? But with these schedules I'm just not sure it's possible. I guess we'll wait and see.

Well, it's time for a little catch-up. Let's see, what have I missed??? The big thing was Thanksgiving. Jimmy & Virginia came down from their new home in Washington for a few days. It's my first time seeing them since they came back to the states and I was excited to see Randal. Last I saw him he was 4 months old and now he's a rambunctious 1 1/2 year old. We had a good but busy Thanksgiving at my Grandma's house, where she served up lots of yummy goodies to a group of 14. Of course she made my favorite ... marionberry pie! YUMMMMM!!! The day after Thanksgiving was, as always, an early one for me. Did my black friday shopping, Brian did his. We were both successful in getting what we wanted. Mom came over that morning and shopped with me, joining me in line at 5am after her 1 hour drive to my place. It was fun shopping with her. Jimmy, Virginia and Randal (oh, and can't forget Stanley the dog too) came over later that day for some family time and a mini-celebration for my Mom's 60th birthday. Mom had fun pushing Randal around and Virginia, Jimmy and I rocked the Rockband for a while. It was fun. We were sorry to tell them goodbye but we're looking forward to going to see them up at their place on Jan. 1.
Oh yes, the annual Christmas tree adventure. We went hunting for our own tree and decided to go for a noble fir this year. We've never had one and always wanted one, but the tree farm we usually go to only has dinky ones so we always end up with a Douglad fir instead. Well not this year. We went on a mission to find a nice noble and we did. We found one so nice that it was too big for our house! Not to worry, we trimmed a bit here and there and it looks wonderful. The great thing about this year was that Brian is working on passing the tree-cutting torch on to the boys. Chase got down there and did a bit of sawing on the tree this year. Next year I expect he'll do a bit more and before long he'll be doing it all on his own. The kids all helped Brian haul the tree out. I, as always, am exempt from the cutting, hauling and other dirty work so I can take pictures. Sometimes I love my job! LOL

Now, as to our current life, here it is ...

coated in white and pretty as can be. But boy, is it icy. I'm not really keen to drive in this and thankfully the schools are closed (which means my preschool is closed too ... YEAH!). The kids are REALLY EXCITED about getting out in the weather and having fun. Poor Carissa hasn't had a lot of time to do it as she is getting over a horribly bad cold and I just can't see her getting all chilled and wet when she's recovering. So she only got to go our for about an hour today. She took full advantage of her chance to try to catch falling snowflakes. She wasn't so successful ... LOL.The boys spent several hours out there playing and enjoying the snow that comes but a few times each year.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I have the best husband in the world.

Seriously, I do. Not only is he up with me right now (at a startling 4:25 am) but we're splitting up and he's and braving WalMart alone on Black Friday. He's on a mission for a gift for his daughter from the big guy. I don't think he's ever done this before in our 14 years of marriage and I am just so thankful for him and the sacrifice he's making. He is NOT a morning person but is bravely traversing WalMart with throngs of people at 5am because he's just so wonderful. Gotta love it.

I am headed to Fred Meyer now (the only other store in our area! LOL) for the half-price socks, robes, slippers, sheets, Christmas lights and whatever else I happen upon.

Wish us luck finiding what we want this very early morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight ...

So the premier was great. Jenn and I went out for an appetizer and to sit and chat then wandered over to the theater about 11pm. We got in line with my friend and co-worker, Melinda, and her group. They saved us from being WAYYYYY in the back of that huge line. The newsstations were all there with their satellite trucks and cameras just taking pictures and talking to fans. Since it was filmed locally a few of the stars were there - two guys who played Quilete Indians (including the person who plans Sam Uley) and the woman who plays the waitress at the diner. I didn't care overmuch about that but it made it a little more fun.

We got hustled into the theater about 11:20 and got settled into some great seats. The theater filled pretty quickly, despite the fact that it was HUGE. They opened a second theater to accomodate all the fans. As soon as the movie started everybody started screaming and clapping. Some of that continued throughout the show. There was quite a bit of ooohing and aaaahing and laughing going on. Any time one of the local stars came on screen (they were watching in our theater) people would yell. Whenever Edward came on with one of his looks people would start screaming. It was quite an experience.

I loved being there with all the fans but will definitely be seeing this again when the furvor dies down a little bit. Sometimes I didn't want the screams and the laughs, sometimes I just wanted to enjoy the movie in peace and get into the story. So I'll be seeing it again.

Now, as for my review ...
The movie is nowhere near as good as the book, but then again they never area. I'm wondering how much someone would be able to follow the movie if they had not read the book.
I thought overall the actors were well chosen. Jacob, who I thought I wouldn't like based on pics I'd seen, was absolutely wonderful. I'm really curious as to how they're going to make him into the big burly Jacob that he becomes. Hmmmm.
What's up with the funny looking Cullens? I know that they have to make them super-white and all but their hair was horribly fake looking. Jasper was absolutely freaky looking. Ugh. Carlisle wasn't good either. Esme and Alice were brilliant and I liked Emmett and Rosalie well enough.

Overall I think the movie was good but could be WAYYYY better if they had a bigger budget.

Another tidbit to add - the entire Port Angeles scene was filmed in the town next to ours. Part of the movie shows the Columbia Theater in the background, our little tiny and old theater that we love to go to. So that was neat.

And good news to end this all off - Summit has announced that they are moving forward on filming New Moon. Hopefully we'll see that one in theaters in the next year or two. WAHOO!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tonights the Night!!!

We've had tickets for weeks and weeks and tonight is FINALLY the night! TWILIGHT!!! Jenn and I are going to Portland for a midnight showing tonight. I'm so excited! Of course, that means staying out until 3am and then getting up at 7am for work, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. Hopefully it's as wonderful as the books!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A little late ...

... since Halloween has long since come and gone, but the kids were all decked out and had a wonderful Halloween night. It was beautiful weather, dry and not too cold, so we spent time trick-or-treating our neighborhood and then stayed home to hand out candy. We had a budget-costume year and I spent under $10 all together.
Carissa was a monarch butterfly so I purchased her wings and she wore black leggings, long-sleeve shirt and black w/white dot dress on top. A headband with pipe cleaners and pom-poms formed her antennae.
Tristan was a ninja and wore an outfit that Uncle Jimmy brought back for him from a trip several years ago. I bought him a mask and a $1 glow stick sword.
Chase wore his pig costume from 2 years ago, when he played Wilbur in Charlotte's Web. Easy and unique.
Here they are all dressed up for the big night. :)
Of course, Halloween isn't complete without some pumpkins. Here are their handmade creations this year. Chase made this nice face:
Tristan, being told he couldn't make it into a dragon, opted for a bat pumpkin instead:
Carissa went all girly with hearts galore:
They looked so nice glowing on Halloween night.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Top 5 for Today

Something that I saw on the Playground of Memories message board and thought I'd post here too. Here's my top 5 good and bad things for today.

The Bad
1. DH broke his hand doing Taekwondo last week. He's grumpy and whiny and off work for 4-6 weeks. He's going to have to use all his stored time to get through the time off.
2. I have SO MUCH work at the preschool to do. Evals for conferences are top on my list along with curriculum for the coming weeks. SO MUCH WORK.
3. I have no time to scrapbook. I'm trying, really I am, but when I've got so much other work to do it's hard to concentrate on that. And I so want to scrapbook.
4. Tonight is the benefit for Tristan's best friend who is very sick (but doing better) and we really have no money to give to them.
5. Chase's teacher is seriously annoying me. At conferences I told her that he wasn't getting challenged and that I didn't want him to come home with A's on every assignment without even trying. She looked at me like I had 2 heads and hasn't done a single thing to challenge him. GRRRRR.

The Good
1. At least DH has sick leave, vacation and comp time enough for his weeks off. We won't have to live without $$ at least
2. My best friend Bek is visiting from Arizona. I hadn't seen her in almost 2 years and I truly, truly missed her!
3. My little brother and his family have returned from their stint in Italy. They've been gone several years and I've seen them only once in that time. Now he's stationed in Washington and it's only 3 1/2 hours to go see him. And now I can get to know my nephew too.
4. I'm counting down the days until the Twilight movie. I can't wait!!!
5. My house is clean. We cleaned it fully twice, once for Bek coming over and the other for when I hosted book club. That really clean thing sticks around for a while and I love that.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I feel like this today ...

I am having a happy-happy, joy-joy moment because Bek is coming to visit! I haven't seen her in a year and a half, since she moved to Arizona, and she's coming back to the NW for a funeral. And while I'm sad that someone died, I am SOOOOO excited to see her. YIPPEE!!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

For love of a rat

For love of a rat we stop everything when we realize the rat is sick.
For love of a rat we spend $50 on vet bills to diagnose it's pneumonia.
For love of a rat we give it shots in it's little tiny leg muscles twice a day.
For love of a rat we do everything we can to make sure Tristan's best friend survives.
All for love of a rat.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The friend update...

More good news from the friend front. Tristan's friend flew to San Diego to have surgery and that seemed to go well. He's on the mend. Not that he'll ever be quite the same but he is on his way up. We're so glad that he's doing better.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween from our family to yours. Hope you had a great one!

Chase the pig, Carissa the monarch butterfly and Tristan the ninja

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our news

So, here's the new news from our household:

That lovely looking thing on Brian's arm is his temporary cast for his newly broken hand. He took a kick right in the hand during a Taekwondo sparring match on Tuesday. He said it hurt but being the manly man that he is he kept one, sparring (and winning) 5 more rounds. Then he did forms and self-defense until his hand really started to hurt. By the time we got home we had decided to take him to urgent care where he was promptly seen, x-rayed and given this lovely cast. Now he's enjoying (or not enjoying, as the case may be) his 4-6 week vacation from work. Hopefully all will go well and he'll heal quickly and correctly. We're keeping our fingers crossed that all goes well and he can return to work soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

There's something to be said for having one kid ...

Not that I have a lot of experience here. I haven't had one kid since before Chase turned 2 years old. But this weekend was just for Tristan and it was a wonderful change.

Tristan had a TKD tournament this weekend and the other two would get sooooo bored sitting there all day long just watching match after match after match so they opted to go to Grandma & Grandpa's house. They headed over there last night and as soon as they left I hustled Tristan off to bed. I knew that he wouldn't get much sleep because he gets so excited about the tournament.

He was up and at 'em this morning for a nice healthy breakfast and then got all dressed to go. We let the dogs in the house just before we left and the moron of a dog (i.e. Jack) jumped on him with wet, muddy paws. DOH! Dirty pawprints on his white uniform and not time to clean them. I did the best I could with a wet washrag but I was ready to wring that dogs neck this morning!

Tristan had 2 events at this tournament. His first was forms, which he has been working very hard at. He's been practicing and practicing and practicing. He did very well for himself and gave a great show, getting 3rd out of the 7 in his group. He was thrilled with his well-deserved bronze medal. He received a bronze in sparring too, though he had to repeat his first match because of a technical scoring button malfunction.

After the tournament we let our little champion chose lunch and went on to have pizza at Flying Pie. YUMMY. Then it was off to Toys R Us where he was dying to use the $3 gifcard Toys R Us sent him for his birthday. He bought a Bakugan toy (don't ask ... it's his current obsession and I am totally clueless).

We made our way home and spent the evening playing a fun game of Mario Party 8. When Brian turned in early (he has to get up at 5am) Tristan and I got in bed with him and just layed down and talked for a while. It was a fun day and a great chance for Tristan to have us all to himself. Of course, he does profess to being "bored without Chase". But I think he secretly loved being our one and only for the day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And life goes on...

I know I haven't written anything since my last sad post. I must admit the just thinking about it makes me sad still. The good news is that we did get to go visit the friend and he looked well. He was smiling and joking and just being himself. But as his dad said to me on my way out, "you could never imagine from looking at him how fragile he is inside". So we're continuing to keep Tristan's friends in our thoughts.

Of course, from my own selfish side of this I am just so sad for Tristan. This boy was probably his best friend and I think the feeling is mutual. Tristan has so few friends that he truly cherishes and this boy is one of those. I feel bad that he is worried about his friend and that he is having to deal with not having him around. I know that this is nothing compared to what his family is dealing with, both now and in the future. I just hope for a miracle to change the possible outcome.

On to other things is life, because life continues despite this all. We went to the Blazers fan night a week or two ago and had a good time. We were a little late and ended up in the nosebleed section, but the kids didn't care. Here they are...

Beyond that it's just getting read for Halloween and looking forward to Christmas. I can't help but think about how quickly this year has flown... and Christmas is just over 2 month away. Wow. Better get shopping...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Today I write with a heavy heart. It's a day that has made me happy to have my kids to hold, to have them safe and warm in their beds, to have them healthy and happy in their bodies.

One of Tristan's very best friends is gravely ill. He was doing well, living his happy life. He is a wonderful kid, kind and caring and fun. Tristan has few good friends yet somehow these two linked, they just "got" each other. I think that's part of what makes it so hard.

Tristan had been over to his friends house and had enjoyed playing in the orchards with him, picking and tossing apples and playing "scuba man" together. He has come to our house where they ate ice cream bars and jumped on the trampoline together. He was supposed to come visit our house one day about two weeks ago and his mother called to say that he was sick. Well he never came back to school and we later found out that he was in the hospital.

Fast forward to today when I talked to his Dad. This friend is sick. Not just flu sick, not something curable that he'll get over sick. He is SICK. He is change-your-life-forever sick. He is never-going-to-jump-on-the-trampoline-again sick. And it's breaking my heart.

I remember how hard it was on me, at age 27, to lose my best friend. I can't imagine having to deal with it at Tristan's age. Or even worse, how to deal with it as a parent. That's not to say that there's not hope. There is. There's hope that a miracle could happen, that a drug could be found to help, that his life could be longer than his dad made it seem. But the opposite could also be true. And that's what gets me.

So, as I was reminded today by his dad, I am urging you to go give your kids a huge hug. Hug them hard, hug them long, and think again how lucky you are to have them in your life.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Big 5-0

Oh yes ... it's the big 5-0. No, I'm not 50... yet. But I do want to shout out for my milestone today -- I received a request for my 50th published layout! Wahoo!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Sickies

The Good:
The new school opens tomorrow. I'm so excited. I've put a lot of work into making it look like a classroom and I think the kids are really going to like it. And I'm so excited about teaching there this year. Of course, this could also be construed as the bad, seeing as how I'm feeling quite a bit stressed about it all right now. But that will calm down once classes start and we're back in our normal flow.

The Bad:
My toe hurts. So does my ankle. So does the arch of my foot. Oh, and all on the right foot, wouldn't you know. TaeKwonDo is giving my body a bit of a beating. The arch has been hurting on and off even before TKD and the ankle is from an old riding accident that bothers me now and again. But the toes is all my fault - jammed it today but incorrectly kicking during a sparring match. Thankfully it just hurts and doesn't seem to be broken, but ouch!

The Sickies:
Oh yes, it is that time of year again. Carissa was sick Friday. Chase got it this morning. Tristan came home with it today. Thankfully it's just a fever, headache and balance/dizziness issues. No puking, so that's a positive. And Carissa's passed in a day so I'm hoping the boys do too. But for now I've got a couple of sickies on my hands.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Now that school is back in it seems like life is in fast-forward again. The days go by so quickly. I can't believe it's almost October!

Yes, life for us is busy. Thus is the life of parents of 3. Monday is Boy Scouts for Chase. Tuesday is Campfire for Carissa and TaeKwonDo (TKD) for all 5 of us. Wednesday is nothing yet, but Carissa is debating between Hip Hop dance classes or piano lessons, both of which are on Wednesday (and will probably replace the TKD that she hasn't fallen in love with). Thursdays are TKD again ... in the afternoon for the kids and in the evening for Brian and I. Fridays are blessedly wonderful no-commitment days. Our Saturdays usually consist of Competition Team TKD practice for Tristan and the occasional Boy Scout event for Chase. Then Sunday rolls around and we all just like to relax and decompress before starting the week over again.

Add to this the time I'm putting in right now to get the new preschool up and running. Wow ... it's a lot of work. But classes start on Wed. and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes smoothly.

So there you are, our life in a nutshell. Busy, yes, but also wonderful and happy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Allow me to gloat...

Just indulge me a little Mommy moment here please.

So Chase joined Boy Scouts in February and has taken to it quite well. He enjoys the camping and outdoors activities. He went to summer camp for the first time as a Boy Scout this summer and worked really hard when I was there. He earned 4 merit badges while at camp. Then he came home and finished the partial one that he had from camp. Then he earned one more. He also completed all the activities to advance to his next rank.

So along comes Court of Honor, which is the big hoopla ceremony to award the boys the badges that they've earned in the last 6 months. Not only did Chase get his Tenderfood rank, one of four who got it -- two who joined the same time didn't even get it.

Chase also earned six merit badges. Six. Read 'em and weep. This kid had the most merit badges of the 25 kids in his troop. I'm so proud of him and he is thrilled for himself. The next day we went out and bought him the much coveted merit badge sash, which you can't wear until you've earned at least 5 badges. There's boys who have been in the troop a year longer than him who still don't have it. He proudly wore it to his next meeting.

OK, so there's my Mommy gushing for today. ;)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My newest craving

Well, I can't call it an obsession since that title is still claimed by the "Twilight" series, which I just got done reading *again*. But lately this has been my favorite food.

Fresh pineapple. Yummmmm. I've been eating it on everything. Chicken sandwiches. Burgers. With cottage cheese. Fresh out of the fridge. Any way I can get it I'm eating it. I probably have polished off two pineapples in the last month -- all by myself. I do take comfort in the fact that at least it's a healthy food I'm craving and not my normal hazelnut chocolate or that yummy zucchini bread that calls to me from the freezer (and can only be eaten warm and covered with butter).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

First Day of School

This was one of the easiest first days of school ever, at least for Carissa and Tristan. They were headed back to the same teachers in the same classrooms of the same school. That's the advantage of a small school with blended classrooms. The only "new" thing for them was the handful of kids in the grade lower than them who are now in their classroom. It was a stress and worry free day for them and I love that!

Carissa dressed in her, as Brian called it, "child of the 80's" look for her first day of 2nd grade. It had to be a skirt, of course, along with a Camp Rock t-shirt and leggings. She even chose out Keds as some of her school shoes, though they are a bit different than the Keds I used to wear way back in the 80's. Now, the Camp Rock thing is something she's absolutely in to lately. She's loves all that Disney bubble gum pop stuff right now -- Camp Rock, High School Musical, Jonas Brothers, etc. I must admit that I like it too ... cute movies with lots of great songs and good messages. Anyways, she is fake-posing for the camera because she just wants to get to school!
Tristan is all about the dragons this year. Dragons for his room, for his backpack, for his t-shirts. He loves them! He also requested that I spike up the front of his hair for the first day of school. Of course, I don't even think he's brushed it since then, let alone asked for it spiked again. But it was cute for the first day. He's leaned out a lot this year, partly becaues he's grown taller and partly because his TaeKwonDo keeps him really active. As a matter of fact, I just realized that he's only inches away from being able to do the splits. He was feet away from the floor when he started TKD but he has gained a lot of flexibility and is doing awesome! Here he is, off to his first day of 4th grade.If there was a "hard" first day of school this year it would be for Chase. We spent all summer in limbo, not knowing if he was going to be attending the school in town or the small island school where he'd take his chances on a new teacher that was hopefully better than the last two, neither of which lasted more than one school year. The Friday before school started they finally called with his teacher assignment ... the teacher we had hoped for at the school in town. With that settled he started to get a little nervous, worried that he wouldn't know many of the kids and would be starting over again. He had no reason to be worried though. Three of his good friends are in that class and he knew nearly everyone there to some extent. He picked right back up where he'd left off before leaving the schools in town and by the end of the first day he was happy to be back here in town.
6th grade is his final year in intermediate school and next year he goes to middle school (ACK!). He chose a lot of skull stuff this year ... skull t-shirts, a skull hoodie, etc. Very "mature" and not "cartoonish" things too. My, how he's growing! We had to buy him mens sized shoes for the first time this year and he has eeked above his brother in height again, which thrills him to no end. He's getting all grown-up on up so quickly! And yes, I do realize that he has one yellow shoelace and one white one. Apparently that's "cool". I don't get it ... LOL.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


My neighbor fixed the problem (I needed a new power source) and I have my computer back!!! YEAH! I was getting worried about the fact that my bills and my checkbook and everything are on the computer. Thankfully it has returned before payday. Wahoo!

That also means that I can finally post all the things that happened recently. So look for those posts soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'd love to update...

I'd love to post pics of the first day of school and tell you all about it. I'd love to share Chase's first Boy Scout Court of Honor. I'd love to, but I can't. My computer is broken. Yup, that's a technical term, at least for me who knows nothing about them. It was working one minute. Turned it off. Wouldn't turn on the next day. That's it. And yes, it is plugged in.

The one thing I can tell you is about my exciting new position. Tinkertime Preschool is opening up a second school, this one in my hometown (instead of the next town over). Tinkertime Too will be opening in October sometime and guess who the teacher will be ... MOI!!! I'm excited. I'm teaching this year but in a co-teach position. This will be me, teaching in the hometown that I love, at a new little school and with a class of my own. I'm soooooo excited! There's a lot of do to get it going but soon enought I'll be working just a mile away from the house. YEAH!!!

Well, that's all you get for now, at least until my neighbor (hopefully) gives me a prognosis on my busted computer. Take care all.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Just had to share

This was one of the shots I got while we were off exploring Sauvie Island on the last day of summer. I just love it ...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

14 years.

14 years! 14 years? Have I really been married for 14 years? I'm too young to have been married that long. Whoa ... reality check. Guess I'm not. Guess I'm really that old and have really been married for 14 years. Unbelieveable.

As I've gushed about time and again, I am so blessed to have Brian in my life. He is such a wonderful man, such a loving father, such a caring and strong husband. He is everything I have ever wanted and even more. We've been through 14 years of marriage. It hasn't always been rainbows and butterflies. We've lived through devestatingly tough times and also unbelievably, overwhelmingly happy times. Somehow we've made it through 14 years together and still love and adore one another. Today, on our 14th anniversary, I am proud to be his wife and partner and to have such a wonderful man by my side in this journey of life.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Forever Summer

This is it. The last afternoon, the last day, the last moments of summer. We spent them outside, freely exploring the outdoors and enjoying each other. No worries about what tomorrow brings -- new teachers, new classmates, new schoolwork -- just eagerly soaking up the final rays of this sun-soaked season. In moments like this I mourn the end of summer, the end of relaxed and carefree, the end of unscheduled and unrequired. In moments like this I wish it could be forever summer.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

On being a cops wife ...

Over time I've come to realize that there are some consolations that you have to make when you are a cops wife. New, minor changes that he makes and that slowly become part of everyday life. So, in "You know you're a redneck when" style, here's my "You know you're a cops wife when" list. The whys are listed in parenthesis.

  • You know you're a cops wife when you are left staring at the corner of the wall in every restaurant. (Because he needs to always have full view of the room and entrances and also not leave his back unprotected. Thus he sits in the corner and you sit facing him, facing at the corner.)

  • You know you're a cops wife when it feels wrong to walk standing on his right side. (This is the gun-carrying side. On duty or off he needs to have his right hand free in case he needs to access his weapon. Even when he's not carrying a weapon he naturally leads you to the left side to leave his strong side open.)

  • You know you're a cops wife when you are almost exclusively regulated to the passenger seat. (Oh yes, the need to be in control of the vehicle. Anyways, he does have all those defensive driving courses under his belt, so he must be the safer driver.)

  • You know you're a cops wife when you look at your husband demeanor when meeting someone new and instantly trust his character judgement. (He knows A LOT of bad people and can easily get a quick feel for those who are fundamentally "good" and those who are obviously not. Not to say that this is infallible, just that he always make a very quick, and usually fairly accurate, judgement of a person and I can tell from his body language whether it's someone in the "obviously not" category.")

  • You know you're a cops wife when you have to cook dinner 3 times and he still doesn't get to eat it. (Coming home for dinner is a great idea ... until he gets a call he has to rush off to. Then he calls me and says that he's ready for dinner so I warm it up again, only to have him get called away again - often before he even makes it home. I draw the line at 3 times warming it up ... after that he's on his own!)

  • You know you're a cops wife when you say "I Love You" and "Be Safe" at the end of every conversation with him. (Just in case ... you never know what can happen.)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Our summer ...

It seems that the only way I'm going to get to blog about our summer is in updating posts. I never seem to find time to blog when things happen so this catch-up will have to do. Here, in no particular order, are some of our summer highlights so far.
The new Stephenie Meyer book came out. YEAH! Read the whole thing the day I got it. Couldn't put it down. Of course, that's how it is with her books. This one was a little wierd but good anyways. It was nice to see the story move on.

In June the kids took part in the River City Childrens Theater summer production of "The Emporers New Clothes". All 3 kids were able to act in it this year. They did a great job! Chase was a swindler called "Hoax".

Tristan was a spy

and Carissa was an orphaned Cadet (good thing she was orphaned ... her pony tail got all ca-ca and none fixed it so she went onstage lopsided! LOL).

Last week we took the kids to Mt. St. Helens to hike the Ape Caves. This is a large cave that formed because it was once a lava tube. The lava is all gone, of course, but there is this huge cave to hike. It took us several hours to hike the couple of miles, as you have to climb over boulder pile after boulder pile. We had such a great time together, really working as a family and enjoying the challenge of a new experience. Sorry, no pictures. The kids camera broke and I couldn't risk taking my camera along on a hike like this. :(

I did however take the camera to the beach when we took our one and only night away this summer.
On the way to the beach we, on a whim, decided to stop at the Tillamook Forestry Center. This place was great! Neat exhibits, fun activities for the kids and some hiking trails behind where we wandered around for a while. The best thing is that it's free. Gotta love that!
We took the kids to our favorite place -- Cape Kiwanda. We stayed in the cabins at the bunnies resort and took lots of time at the beach. The kids climbed the huge sand dune
then we cut over to hike the top of Cape
then it was a fun run down the steep dune hill and back down to the beach where we checked out the tidepool area
and just walked along the beach. The kids, of course, were on the search for shells to take home. Our rule is that it has to be a whole shell to go home. Not so easy to find whole shells either. Here's what we ended up with this trip.
We were sooooo sandy after this that we washed it off in a swim at the resorts pool before heading over to the yummy pizza place we always eat at when we visit.
Back at the cabin Chase made a fire and we make s'mores before heading off to bed.

The next day we made another trip to the beach and another swim in the pool before heading out. Chase had to organize a family activity as part of one of his merit badges so he planned a hike for us.

We visited the Cape Meares lighthouse. Now, growing up next to a lighthouse in Newport I was surprised that this thing was so short. It's this stout little lighthouse. Cute but small. We also hiked to see the "Octopus Tree" and then hit the road again.
We stopped at our fave place - the Tillamook Cheese factory -- for fresh ice cream and cheese curds. YUMMY!!! Cheese curds are my absolute fave and I only get them when I visit the cheese factory.

Then we were on our way up the coast. We stopped in Seaside and walked, stopping for yummy elephant ears (are you seeing the trend here ... vacationing does nothing for the waistline! LOL) and a round of mini golf. Just for the record, I kicked ass. I even got a hole in one the last hole and got a free ticket, which the kids promptly used for a ride on the Tilt-a-Hurl.... oops, I mean Tilt-a-Whirl. Looks cool but I get green in the face just thinking about riding that thing. Ugh! They loved it though. After Seaside we headed our way home. It was a short trip but we really enjoyed it.
Chase went to scout camp in July. I went for the first few days and then left him for the rest of the week. While I was there I did get some pictures. Here he raising the flag at a campwide flag ceremony.
He got to go to the cold Lake Chamberlain to work on his Trail to First Class swimming, where he learned some minor lifesaving techniques.

Of course, the best part about Camp Merriwether is that it's on the beach! The boys spent as much time as they could down there, enjoying the sand. This is Chase and his 2 friends, who have all been together in scouts since they were Tigers at age 6. Six years and 5 camps later they still love hanging out with one another. Gotta love that. OK, I think that just about wraps up anything big so far this summer. Yeah, I'm caught up. One thing crossed off my list of to-do's!