Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Abode

Some have asked me to post pictures of our new home. Some don't care. I understand. How often have you been forced to watch someone's home movies---or in this era of oversharing---home videos of a birthday party or a party in which people do some purdy weird stuff or videos taken in a birthing suite at your local hospital.

In my defense--I have not posted videos of me dancing on tables with lampshades on my head, nor do I plan on doing so as no such videos of me exist. Yes, I managed to erase them all before they fell into the wrong hands. No, I didn't keep copies. Yes, I am kidding.

So here are some indoor pictures of our lovely new abode. We are loving it here.

This is our upstairs living room. The wood floors are wonderful. Large windows with no curtains because no one is anywhere near us to be able to look in. Just lovely trees, squirrels and birds. Peaceful!


And the stockings were hung on the chimney with care, in hopes that Saint Nick, soon would be there...



Another view of the upstairs with living room and kitchen area. Looks pretty clean for having hosted a big ole party last night, doesn't it? I owe it all to my elves. Santa was quite helpful as well.



Upstairs guest bathroom. Or as Ashley likes to call it, MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE!



Looking from our bedroom into our rather tiny closet. Our bathroom is off to the right. I'd show you our bedroom, but that's where all the remaining boxes are. No, we're not entirely unpacked yet. Cut me some slack, it's only been about 2 and one half weeks!



The downstairs living room. Actually it's the room for the kids. And my big kid with all the guitars.



And last, but certainly not least, the downstairs kitchen.



I'd show you the four bedrooms but there are children sleeping in them and they would not appreciate me snapping their pictures. I would love to do it, of course, but I fear retribution.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Seriously?

There are so many things that I do not understand. Like, how does a radio work? Or a television? Why can't we breathe under water or fly like the birds? Why does peanut butter and chocolate taste so darn good together? Why do some people make the same mistake over and over and over and over and over and.....well, you get the picture.

I. Do. Not. Understand.

It makes no sense to me. I figuratively scratch my head. I shake my head. I bang my head against the wall, but all that does is give me a headache and does not solve the problem of the person DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT!!

It's just a teensy weensy bit frustrating for me, as you may have guessed.



I'm a fairly easy going, patient person. I am thankful that everyone has choices in life to make. Your choices determine where you're going. Choices are good. You can always choose what to do---you cannot always choose the consequences of your choosing. Sometimes even when you choose and think you are making a wise decision, it doesn't turn out the way you thought it was going to turn out. That's where patience comes into play.

Then there are people who choose poorly, expecting a good result. Seriously?? SERIOUSLY???

To this person I say the following: SERIOUSLY? AGAIN????? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU????? WHEN WILL YOU LEARN???

I also say the following: I love you with everything that I am, but I will no longer rescue you. Your choices are your own. I cannot help you any longer. *I* choose to take a step back and let what happens, happen. Now stop asking for our advice when you never take it. We are done. Good luck. It's sink or swim time, baby. It's up to you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Too much news...

Turn on the tube, whadda I see, a whole lotta people crying don't blame me...."


I need to stop reading/watching the news. It's depressing. I find myself worrying about people I don't know, in places I've never been and wondering how I can live with myself in such a beautiful home, with enough food to eat when there are people out there suffering.

It doesn't make for restful sleep at night.

I have an overactive sense of guilt---even for things I haven't done. Ever have a police car come up behind you and follow you for a bit? Does your adrenaline kick in? Even if you haven't done anything wrong? Yeah, me too. I don't know why. I would make a terrific Catholic, or so I hear.

Suicide bombers randomly murdering innocent civilians due to some misguided religious fervor and the promise of nubile young women on the other side of that explosion, babies suffocating accidentally as they slept in their parents' bed", A drunk driver kills a byciclist and so much, much more.

For some time I've been on an emotional overload due to the vicissitudes of life, mostly things beyond my control. When things come to me in the night as I try to sleep, I mentally shove them all behind a large door in my head and then slam it shut with large padlocks. It worked---perhaps too well. Each time a bad thought arrived---a circumstance over which I had no control--behind the door it went. I found myself distancing myself from actual feelings, as feelings were dangerous and to be avoided. No, I didn't lose my faith--my faith is still rock solid, I simply deigned to stop feeling, because it was painful.

Probably not the healthiest way to deal with things. Ok, there was also chocolate involved as well as this great Thai restaurant. But I digress....

I have discovered that I want to feel things again. And to that end..I would like to share this with you. Merry Christmas everyone. May the humble birth in that stable so very long ago, bring you joy and peace and life everlasting.

Monday, December 05, 2011

We Is Moved

Yes, yes we is.

The rooms here are full of boxes and crates and bags and I want to know why all those nice young men brought all this stuff inside but didn't stick around to unpack them? I even fed them pizza!!

Yeah, I know. I am VERY thankful for all the help we received on Saturday. It was a Herculean effort, to be sure.

Now our cat lives under our bed. He refuses to come out. Not eating, not drinking and of course if nothing is going in then nothing is coming out. It's not like he's sick. He's simply terrified. I don't blame him. This place looks nothing at all like the one he's been living in for the past three years. We do hope he comes out soon.

Our doggie is much less frightened. She's anxious. Follows me everywhere. Lays on my feet. I've uprooted her from her home and she's not quite sure what's going on but as long as her humans are with her, she's just fine.

I cannot find the box with my shoes in it so I am forced to wear my tennis shoes, even to work. I can't find my coat. Or my sanity. I must have left that back behind in Seattle. Or in widdy biddy pieces all over the place. On the plus side, I got to ride in police car today.

No Ken, not for the reasons you're thinking. I had to make a home visit to a less than savory abode. No, I did ride in the back. No, there were no handcuffs. Yes, I did get to use the siren.

Ok, no siren except for the one in my head. If I'd brought my officer friend home with me he'd take one look at the house and say, "You've been robbed!". Sadly, no. It just looks that way right now.

Ok, ok, I'll get back to work on it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Birthday

I spent it in bed. Mostly. I tried to go to work but alas, I was feeling seriously rotten so stayed an hour and then went home.

I slept most of the time. I'm sure I needed it. Everyone wanted to take me to lunch, and when I say 'everyone', I can't include Johnny Depp because he didn't call. I mean family and/or friends. Then they wanted to do dinner and a cake. No, no, no, cough, hack, choke wheezethank you. So we're going to celebrate Sunday evening after we've moved into our new place.

OH! I almost forgot! I told hubby not to get me anything but he did anyway. I have new cookware!!! SO excited!!!!!!

Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pegging the Stress Meter

OHMYGOODNESS I AM STRESSED.

I was telling hubby just that the other day. I know that there are a couple of things that peg the stress meter in life---LIKE MOVING. Yeah, you know, that THING we're doing soon. :::looks around the room that is NOT packed:::: Yeah. STRESSED.

And it's manifesting itself in some very odd ways. I go upstairs and suddenly I have jazz hands as I climb. I change the channel constantly--not just when there are commercials on. I can't seem to keep my brain focused on one thing at a time. And the number one WORST thing about this---I'm not hungry and I'm EATING. Or THINKING ABOUT EATING. It's nearly 11 pm and my mind keeps talking to me.

Are there chips upstairs? No...I don't think there are...mmmm...nachos sound good. No, there's no chips. Yes, there is cheese. Hmmm...no chips. Chili? Sure, got some chili. Wait--it's almost 11. If I eat chili I will be up all night and in pain. No, can't have chili.

AND I'M NOT EVEN HUNGRY!!!!!!!

Time to change the channel again.

GAHHHHHHHHHH! I'm not packed. Can we afford this new place? Can we afford NOT to move? Are we doing the right thing? What about leaving my father? Who is now sick as a dog with shingles and in a lot of pain and shuffling around and not walking well and ooooooooooh crap. Guilt mixed in with moving is seriously the REAL pegging-the-stress-meter-high-point right now. I feel incredibly guilty for leaving him.

He says he's fine. Even looking forward to it. I know better.

And now on top of all of this, I've got a fever and a very rotten cold. Can't breathe, can't sleep, can't eat because it's too late and I don't have any chips!

Here's hoping that nyquil will knock me out tonight.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

I packed five boxes today. It may have been four. The big news is that I packed boxes!. I've not been good at doing that lately. I'm not sure if I'm in denial or what. I know we're moving. We talk about it all the time, it's that invisible hammer hanging over my head with a date attached to it....

I'm not a fan of moving. Today my youngest daughter said, "Hey mom. The last time we moved it was the most awful, hot weather EVER here. Now we're going to move in the middle of rain and wind and storms. Why do we pick such awful times?"

I don't know. Honestly, I don't.

I attempted Costco today. And when I say 'attempted', I mean I drove around looking for an open parking spot with rain pelting my suburban hard enough to leave dents and with wind gusts worthy of the beach. After pondering the following facts,

a. I didn't have a coat
b. I was sans umbrella
c. I wasn't feeling that great

It became quite clear to me that I shouldn't shop at Costco today. Mother Nature was obviously against it, and who am I to go against the wishes of the personification of nature that focuses on the life-giving and nurturing aspects of nature by embodying it in the form of the mother? Nobody, that's who.

So picked up some lunch for my father and myself and headed home. The 'home' that will only be my 'home' for the next week or so.

We're in for a windy, rainy, stormy night tonight. I had a work meeting (Latino Family Night) tonight that I was supposed to attend, but I'm in an incredible amount of pain right now and I'm not certain I could speak Spanish, let alone English right now. Just typing this is taxing my prescription-addled cerebral area. I keep having to fix typos. So, my wonderful, amazing, terrific, handsome, delightful, helpful, manly, gorgeous, sweet husband took the stuff I was contributing to the meeting for me.

Have I mentioned that I adore him? I do.

I think the last of the pain meds is kicking in so I should stop attempting to type.

Did I mention that I packed some boxes today?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Washington State Liquor Store Controversy

No, not the one you're thinking of. Yes, the ballot measure to take state government out of liquor sales did pass. Yes, I live in WA state. No, I don't drink.

Which brings me to my topic today. Messing With Their Minds And by 'them', I mean my beautiful, gullible, thirteen year old daughter.

We are in the process of packing up our stuff to move. In order to do so, we require boxes. Lots and lots of boxes. One place you can get free boxes is from the liquor store. So on Wednesday after school, I pulled into the liquor store parking lot. The look on my daughter's face was priceless.

Ashley: What are we doing here?
Me: Well, you know I've been under a lot of stress lately...
Ashley: Yeah, so?
Me: Well, I've decided I just want to cut loose for a while. You know.
Ashley: WHAT?
Me: I just need to blow off some steam. So Daddy and I thought we'd get drunk.
Ashley: (unbuckling her seatbelt and leaning up close to the front) WHAT???
Me: It's not like we're going to stay drunk. We just want to relax. You know.
Ashley: WHAT? No, you're not going to do that.
Me: Why not? Everyone does it. I'm tired of being good all the time.
Ashley: What's daddy doing in the store?
Me: Well, this is a liquor store.
Ashley: Yeah, I know.
Me: They sell booze.
Ashley: So what's he doing in there??
Me: Buying some booze.
Ashley: No he's not. What's he doing in there?
Me: What do they sell in there?
Ashley: Booze, but...
Me: So what could he be doing in there?
Ashley: Mom, what is going on?
Me: I already told you. We're tired of being Mormon. We're going to try something else.
Ashley: LIES! I don't believe you! You don't drink!
Me: Well, not til now.
Ashley: MOM!!!
Me: What?
Ashley: I know you. You won't do that. I'll run away if you do!
At this point hubby walked out of the store with an armload of boxes. You could hear her sigh in relief.

Ashley: That's not funny, Mom!

It was a little bit funny.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

We're getting ready to move. Again. This will make ::counts on fingers and toes:::: the 12th kitchen that I've had since I was 21. No, wait. 13. This will be my 13th kitchen.

I had two different kitchens in college, though I probably ought not to count those as they weren't entirely mine. I had to share them. Then the five kitchens I had when I lived in Venezuela as a missionary might not count as mine either, as I shared them with other missionaries or the families we resided with. Wait--there was one place in Barquisimeto that was our kitchen and ours alone. So that one counts.

Then five kitchens since we've been married---and now for the next, and hopefully last, kitchen. Number 6.

This is my oldest daughter's first kitchen as well. There are two kitchens in the home we're getting. She will have one downstairs in her area and we will have ours upstairs. She's so thrilled! And so am I. She's already purchased one thing for her kitchen--a small ceramic jug with some kitchen utensils. Sadly, this is all she's accumulated thus far.

Which makes me think that I too am woefully lacking in kitchen stuff as well. Hubby and I sat down and made a huge list of things we're going to have to buy for our new place. The list was mighty and the list was long. We haven't had new cookware since we married, nearly 25 years ago. It's waaaaaay past time. Any recommendations? What kind do you like the best, or wish YOU had in YOUR kitchen?

I've also decided something else. When we married, lo these many years ago, there were wedding showers. An embarrassment of riches were gifted to us by my husband's family and friends. So when we started out our life together, we had our everyday dishes (I'd collected them as I was growing up), we had our semi-formal dishes, and we had our fine china.

The everyday dishes we used was a lovely set of stoneware. Sadly, they have not lasted all these years, all these children, all these oops-I-dropped-somethings. The semi-formal stuff, seen below, HAS survived. Mostly because we hardly ever use them.


Pretty, huh? Well, ok. It was the 80's. I liked pink. It's not what I'd choose today but they're still cute. We have decided to make these our everyday dishes. Time is fleeting and life is short. Why hold out on the pretty stuff until a special occasion? All of life should be treated like a special occasion.

As for our Fine China.....It's gorgeous and we might just use it for Sunday dinners from now on. Just because.

It's Noritake and it's called Virtue. So beautiful. See?



So there you have it. My 6th (or 13th) kitchen and what I plan on doing with it. My daughter's first kitchen. I wonder what kind of dishes she will choose? I'm sure there will be much borrowing going on between the two kitchens. Either way, I hope that she uses the 'good stuff' and doesn't let it sit in a hutch for years, as I have done. The good stuff shouldn't be hidden. I hope I can teach her that now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Religious Tolerance Is Alive and Well--Just Not for Mormons

Wow.......

Bigotry and hatred is alive and well in America. I was just reading over on CNN About the Mormon Church
and how diverse it is.
The comments from people reading this story were--ugly. For the most part. Those who were posting things against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were ill informed, rude and downright mean.

It's amazing to me that it's open season on one faith here in this country---and it's sad to me that except for a few outside the church who take it upon themselves to speak up--it's accepted.

We are taught to live the ten commandments. You know, that whole be honest, don't kill, don't steal, stuff that is often taken as more of a list suggestions rather than commandments from our God? Yeah, that one.

We are taught to be honest in our dealings, to love one another, to cherish and nurture our families. The church has a welfare system that is second to none. It's all done through donations. We take care of our people---AND we send aid all over the world when natural disasters strike, or when a community just needs help. Click HERE to see some of the things this 'cult' contributes to the world at large.

We believe in taking care of ourselves by not drinking, smoking, using drugs or drinking coffee. While this may not make us popular with Starbucks, Coors or the local crack dealer---we're ok with that. We truly are.

Even if I didn't believe that the church was true---I would still raise my family in the church. The values, the commitment to family, honesty, integrity, service and desire to always be a better person are important.

I am not perfect--no one is. We are human and we make mistakes. I'm grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ that allows me to repent, to change and to keep moving forward.

So please. If you want to know more about who we really are, click HERE. It will take you to a website where you can talk to a real live member of the cult church.

And remember what Thumper the bunny said in Bambi. "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all"

Good advice.

Conflicted

Mmmm....Halloween candy. I think I'll have some. No I won't. Oh yes I will. No....I WON'T. mmmm....chocolate.... Sigh.

As you can see, I'm conflicted today. I started work at 7 this morning. I went home around 10 because I have to go BACK to work this evening at 5. So I thought....ok, I'll go home and clean the basement. And I did. Well, ok, I started. I brought down three garbage bags. I found FOUR glasses, five forks and a bunch of crap by the TV. I cleaned that area. Then my phone rings. Apparently I had to BE AT SHOREWOOD HIGH SCHOOL RIGHT THAT VERY SECOND OR LIFE AS WE KNEW IT WAS ABOUT TO END AND SHE WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO GET HER IPAD UNTIL THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY AND YOU KNOW THAT IT'S IMPORTANT AND YOU MUST COME NOWWWWWW.

So I went. And was she waiting for me in front of the school as I'd asked her to do? No. Was she waiting in the office for me, because this was such a HUGE FREAKING EMERGENCY?

The answer to that would be no. I called the cell phone number of her friend and then called IT SEVEN MORE TIMES BEFORE SOMEONE PICKED UP.

As you may have intuited, I was not a happy camper. No sir. Not at all.

So I paid with a check for her iPad and then came back here to the office because driving home only to DRIVE RIGHT BACK OUT HERE to pick the kids up is a waste of gas and time and I'm seriously ticked off that I couldn't get the entire room cleaned to surprise my husband.

So, yeah. Surprise. I'm cranky. Do you think eating more chocolate will help?

Yeah, me neither.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn Colors and Thankful Hearts

After church today (which was FANTASTIC and wonderful since it was the Primary Program) we had lunch then took all three of our gorgeous girls for a drive to spend time adoring the beautiful fall colors. We went out by Snoqualmie Falls and then to the little town of Carnation to MacDonald Park. Oh so pretty. We walked in the woods along the river and snapped a few pictures along the way. Here's Ashley and Steph striking a pose on the path.
The colors were striking...moss and leaves and trees. The air felt heavy and fecund with the fallen leaves and the dampness.
So much beauty...
Allison and Ashley and Lance walking ahead of me on a bed of Autumn leaves....
Allison and Ashley along the way. Oh how I love these girls of mine. This was a sweet interlude and there seemed to be a truce of sorts between the girls. A truce from the random and uncomfortable teenage-angst-driven-contention that occasionally pops up between them. Peace in abundance....
Leaves...
Ashley by the river at the end of our nature walk...
Ashely and Lance, each taking pictures...
Ashley...
Allison and Stephanie and Ashley Rose. Holding hands and walking.....
I've nothing witty or even mildly amusing to say tonight. The only thing I want to express at this moment is my gratitude for answered prayers and thankfulness for the beauty that surrounds us here on this earth. I'm grateful for a loving and merciful Father in Heaven who listens to His children and knows our struggles. I'm truly thankful for the gift of family.

I am blessed.

Monday, October 17, 2011


It's official. We're moving. It's been three long years here and it's time. It's long overdue, truth be told.
We're moving to a beautiful house in Lake Forest Park. Closer to my work, in the school district for the girls and closer to hubby's job. We're all excited. Ok, we're excited to be getting this great house---about packing and actually doing the moving? Meh, not so much. The only good part about this is that the majority of our stuff is STILL packed up and so that won't be a problem.

I feel like I kicked a puppy though, when I had to tell my father we were leaving. I told him that's how I felt and he smiled and said he wasn't a puppy.

I still feel like I kicked a puppy though. It's not a nice feeling.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

"I hate you!!!! YOU'RE THE WORST MOM EVER!!!!! WHY DON'T YOU DIE???"

Well, my darling daughter, I guess I won't die right now, even though your screeching might make me wish I would, because my job here on this earth isn't quite over yet. You see, it's not ok to yell at me. I'm your mother. There are rules to this thing called life---one of them is actually a commandment from God about honoring your father and your mother. I'm fairly certain that screaming at me and telling me no when I've asked you to do something isn't anywhere near honoring me. Nope. Not even close.

Asking you to turn off the television and work on your homework should not elicit a 'NO' from you. Here, let me help you. Here's how the conversation should have gone:

Me: "Hija, do you have homework?"
You: "Yes I do"
Me: "Please turn off the TV and do it right now, ok?"
You: "Ok, thanks for reminding me. I'd hate to have to pretend I'm sick tomorrow so I can stay home because I didn't do my homework tonight"
Me: "You're welcome"
You: "Can we bake cookies later and have hot chocolate by the fire and read the scriptures together?"
Me: "Again? Oooh, all right. I suppose."

You've already had your beautiful cell phone turned off indefinitely for back talking me. Yes, I know tomorrow is your birthday. No, we won't be going out to dinner. No, not tomorrow night OR the night after that. Why, you ask? Well, I'll let you think about that one sweetheart.

You're a smart girl. I'm sure you'll think of something.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hi, I'm Pamela and I'm a Mormon. That's how my profile on www.mormon.org starts out. It's how everyone's profile on Mormon.org starts out---well, except for the Pamela part. There's a link on my blog to my profile there. I don't know how many of you that visit here have ever clicked on it. I'm not sure that I've talked about my faith a lot on here--except most do know that I am a woman of faith.

I think perhaps some of my friends and family don't really understand my beliefs beyond a certain point. No, I don't drink coffee. No, I don't drink alcohol. NO, I am NOT the fifth wife in a polygamous relationship and no, I never watched Big Love. I am not a sister wife---whatever that is. And though I've read Dooce, the blog about an x-LDS woman who got fired because of her writings online, I am not her either. She's very witty---I'll give her that---but she has too much of a potty mouth for my tastes.

Yes, I am not taken with potty mouths. I do like wit. And I do believe that you CAN be witty without resorting to gutter language. You don't? You sure? Well, to each their own.

I am a Christian. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe in the bible. I know that my redeemer, Jesus Christ lives today. I know that the windows of heaven are not closed to us---we are our Father's children and he loves each one of us. There is more to this life---than this life. I know this with everything that I am.

Occasionally I'm around people that drink. I sometimes think they believe that I should be drinking with them. And if I'm not---then I'm 'self-righteous' or I'm looking down my nose at them because they are. Drinking, I mean. I'm not. I do not think less of you because you drink and I do not think more of myself because I don't. Everyone is different. We all make choices. I have made this one and it suits me just fine. It would be nice if booze was not pushed upon me though.

I believe in a living prophet today. I believe that, as in ancient times, God speaks to His prophets today.

My faith led me to leave my home when I was 21 and live in a very hot south American country for almost two years, to live among the people and teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was a volunteer position. Anyone who knows me will know that I would never volunteer to go anywhere with such high heat and humidity if I didn't believe in what I was doing. I did. And I do.

I am not perfect. Anyone who knows me, also knows this. I'm a sinner, just like everyone else. And yes, I do believe in sin. Just as I believe in light and darkness.

So there you have it. Hi, I'm Pamela. And I'm a Mormon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blackberries

Today I picked blackberries in our back lot. There are a great many blackberry bushes there that have been left to flourish. Not from laziness mind you, but because we love blackberries. Or a mixture of both. As I was tugging the juicy black fruit from their vines I noticed something.

(Pontification Alert!)

Notice the picture I took up above? The ripened juicy and quite tasty berries are surrounded by hard, green blackberries that have not completed their journey. Clinging stubbornly to their runners, they're nearly impossible to detach. And why would you want to pick these berries anyway? Bright green, extraordinarily sour, they're not good for much. I wondered why some berries took in all the water and the sunshine given them and became what they were meant to become when right along next to them, receiving water and sunlight in equal measure, others did not flourish. They did not grow. They did not progress. Their skins hardened and refused entry to the water and the life-giving sunlight and they stopped growing.

I think people are a great deal like these blackberries. Two siblings, living side by side with the same parents, the same love and devotion and spiritual instruction, sometimes do not receive the Word in the same manner and therefore do not complete their journey and become what they were meant to be. It doesn't mean that they won't eventually get where they need to be, but it does mean a great deal more effort needs to be made in order to overcome the hardness of heart and the 'greenness' of their spiritual desires.

Some may need more time, others immediately grasp the sunshine and the water and all the marvelous nutrients gifted them and burst forth into glorious sweet blackberries. They fulfill the measure of their creation.

I try to take in the good given me, taught me, gifted me and do something with it. Other times I'm like the hard green berries that don't allow the sunlight in. I hope that one day I'll have none of the hard green parts and all of the sweetness of a faithful Saint who has fulfilled the measure of her creation.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


You know what I love? I love that my husband is the greatest daddy on the planet earth. And probably the greatest daddy in the known universe. Each day I'm thankful that I married this guy. Each day I am inspired by his selfless actions and his desire to do the right thing.
See that picture up there? That's Ashley in a canoe on Greenlake. After work he dropped Alli off at the pool for swim team practice and then took Ashley to the lake. (I was at work) They went canoeing. Just the two of them. I love the memories he's building with our children and the love he holds for them. I love the knowledge that they will always remember the things he does for them and have that pattern of parental love to guide them in their lives.
I am blessed.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Times they are a changin'...

And it's never more evident that when you see pictures of your children three years apart...

This was taken in 2009.

And this was taken in 2011

Where did that time go? So many changes in them, in what they're doing with their lives and how we are as a family. Some of it hurts my heart to think about, some of it is good.

Ah, change. Not a fan.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Twisted

No, not me silly. Well, perhaps a bit, but that's not the focus today children.

There is no focus. Unless you want to have a focus, then focus away.

Today is Wednesday. I only know that because I looked. If I were Scottish I'd have said, "I kent that.." I've been reading a series of books about a woman who goes back in time through some standing stones in Scotland. It's full of kilts, sporrans, large hairy men with broadswords and lots of Scottish words that I don't ken. Well, I do ken, but if I were to suddenly break out in Gaelic no one here would understand me. Although I'm not entirely certain that I ken Gaelic.

What I DO ken, however, is that my lovely summer freedom is slowly coming to an end. School begins on the 12th and I go back to work on the 5th. I've enjoyed my time off. Being a lady of leisure has it's appeal. I ken that.

Yesterday, due to an unfortunate and slightly humorous foot puncturing, my husband did not have to work. We took the day and the two younger girls and spent the day on Whidbey Island. Do you ken Whidbey Island? It's beautiful. You really should go there.

As some of you know, or ken, I am not a person who enjoys heights. They frighten me. Yet I did walk across the bridge at Deception Pass. See? I even took this picture of Allison and Lance.

I know, right? I give and I give and I give.

We went down to the state park and sat on the beach enjoyed the sunshine.

Here are more interesting photos to amuse and delight my readers. All one of you.


Here's Lance and the sun at Fort Ebey State Park.


Lance by one of the entrances to what's left of Fort Ebey.


Lance hanging out on driftwood at Deception Pass State Park.

Funny story. Before we got to Whidbey Island we stopped at a fruit stand and everyone got ice cream cones. On waffle cones actually. They were HUGE and these were single scoops. I took five licks of mine and couldn't go further. Poor Lance had to finish mine and was rendered nearly unconscious from the sugar overload. He gives and he gives and he gives.


I took this at Fort Ebey State Park. If you look V E R Y closely you can see Mt. Rainier on the right side of the photo off in the distance.


This proves I was there and was having a good time.


Sunset off of Fort Ebey State Park



As we left the park on our way to the ferry, we came across a fawn nibbling grass on the side of the road.

Twas a lovely day and we were sorry to have it end. And we wouldn't want Lance to puncture his foot again so we could have such a lovely day---but it was nice to have him with us.

I ken that.



Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yay Summer!

It's true. Summer has sort-of-kind-of meandered into the Seattle area.

I know, right? Surprise, surprise!

And we've been making the most of it. Hence the no-blogging thing for the past month. I'm fairly active on FB, but have sort of let blogger go for a bit.

In the past month we've spent a lot of time at the Beach cabin, lost our dog, found our dog (expensive experience!), had some lovely dates with my wonderful husband, spent some fun times with the children and seen my son move out of the house. That last one may or may not be permanent. Haven't seen him since he left except for one evening when he dropped by. Ah, independence and freedom. Remember that?

I've had one girl go on Trek and the two youngers will be going to Girls camp the second week of August. Hubby and I are tossing around the idea of going to Vegas while they're gone. I've had my great niece spend the week here with us and when we take her home tomorrow we're dropping off my youngest and picking up my great nephew for a few days. It's a game of musical kids!

My father? Well, he loves having his little ones here. See?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hello world!

Schools out, I'm supposed to be 'out' until September but somehow I keep needing to head into work for just one more thing. Which is fine---I'm thankful to have a job.

We went camping this weekend. Normally my idea of 'roughing' it would mean I go somewhere where cell coverage is just a wee bit spotty--this place was roughing it and THEN some.

But first a little about our nearly 12 hour drive to get to the middle of nowhere. And I when I say nowhere, I really mean it. This was nowhere in a BIG way. In a bear, rattlesnake and coyote kind of way. Where the mosquitos were the size of Boeing 787's but with better take off and landing capabilities.

We went to Lake Ellen. Don't ask where it is--just know that if you want to experience nature without all the nasty ammenities like showering, flushing a toilet or getting a cell signal, this is your kind of place.

First we followed this man. Yeah, yeah ok. I used the Alien Booth app on him. This is my father. Normally he doesn't look like this unless you squint.

And this is what we looked at for hours and hours. The rear end of his trailer.
Please excuse the duck and the bear. The bear is called The Navigator and has been with Lance and I since before we were married. It's a long ooey gooey love story that is best told another time. The duck? I think it belonged to one of the kids and came along for the ride.

The drive there took 11 1/2 hours. ELEVEN AND ONE HALF HOURS! The drive home took us 6 1/2 hours. SIX AND ONE HALF HOURS!!! Yes, there was a difference of FIVE HOURS. That's because we were following this man.

And this man wanted to take the 'scenic route' and then drive 25 mph under the posted speed limit.










Ok, it wasn't 25 mph under--but it was darn close. He had a trailer to fall into when he got there. We had to do this:
















The detour was fine because we got to see the snow that was still piled up over the pass.









And we were also able to see this beautiful, albeit windy, sight high up above the resevoir.
















The girls (cousins and friends that went with) tried to enjoy the pristine and freezing lake. Ashley is on the floatie. Some of them washed their hair in the lake. There was no beach, you had to climb down rocks. Notice all the other people there? That's because there wasn't anyone there. I'm not sure anyone else could find the place. Which was a pleasant experience--not having to have a lot of strangers around.



















My father fished the lake off the dirt road around the side. He never caught anything but did have a huge bald eagle swoop in where his fishing line was and scoop up a fish. It flew off to feed it's young and my dad packed up his gear


The other men we were with all limited out each time but they had to crawl down large boulders on the other side of the lake to do so and it was too dangerous for my father to manage that. He got down there once and had to have four guys help him back out. The trout were delicious, by the way.








Alli played the guitar while we were there.









We were going to stay four nights but then remembered a birthday party we'd promised to attend and so we left on Saturday morning. We never made it home in time for the party (sorry Jordan!) but when we did arrive, our kitty was extremely happy to have his human home. Lance is his human. Can't you tell?