Monday, April 10, 2017



I'm in my room with my coffee, planning our week while HAIL is pounding against my window. Umm, hello there spring! We've had some crazy weather this season, rather matching the crazy in our lives this year! First, my sweet sister and her family just returned to their home yesterday, after taking a long sabbatical after losing their little Lem in January. They could use some prayer as they reenter regular life. My grandpa died in February, which was more joyful than sad, as he is now wholly healed after several years of his body simply failing him more and more. My grandmother is considering moving up here, bringing her much closer to family as she ages. 


In March, we lost my great aunt to lung cancer, four weeks after being diagnosed! We got to keep my cousins three younger kids while she went and cared for her mom. It was a fun, sweet time for the little kids, though also exhausting for my introverted family! I would find Owen or Mia, off on their own, explaining, "I just need some peace and quiet for a while." My older boys slept upstairs in their rooms, but my younger three and the three cousins camped out in the living room together. Towards the end, nerves were being rubbed raw so I sent Owen and Mia to sleep in my bed, while I snuggled my little three year old cousin, who was greatly missing mama, on a couch. I found them snuggled up so sweetly next morning, I just love this picture of them!
 

   I just got these cuties in a bag of assorted notions at Goodwill. I LOVE those bags! If only I could convince hubby that I would be thrilled beyond belief to get them for presents, haha! There are many more pretty buttons and button cards in the bag, but that needle card was my favorite. Speaking of hubby, he is back to work today after five weeks at Academy! Since he's been a Police Officer, Corrections Deputy, and now a Parole/Probation Officer, this was his third Academy! Hopefully the last. I can't see any other job changes after this, at least pre-retirement jobs.



As I was finishing up this post, I realized our deer family was having breakfast outside, so had to take a couple quick (bad) pictures. There's about five in this group. They're so pretty, but as things begin to ripen and bloom, my affections sure are tried! Ok, I'm always tempted to talk about EVERYTHING when I'm not blogging regularly, so I'm signing off now, and hey - the sun is out!!

Monday, January 30, 2017

January

I let blogging go for the end of 2016, spending all my time just getting things ready for the holidays. We had some emotional times, as the end of the year marked one year since David's heart attack. The weather, Christmas music and movies were all beautiful but also a bit difficult, as they brought memories back of being in the hospital for David. It's unsurprisingly a bit of a struggle to know you've really and truly almost died. The new year found us with energy finally increasing, feeling as though we were waking out of a  weird dream, finally. I don't think I've ever posted a "word of the year" here, and I don't have one every year. This year though, is "Do". Pretty simple and straightforward. Do the things. Don't focus on losing weight, but DO exercise and eat well, DO teach the kids WHY they need the vegetables. DO the projects, DO the family time, DO read through the bible with the family, DO serve people, DO love people, DO make our home a warm place for friends, DO have those friends come over, DO keep track and enjoy blogging again. We were gearing up and doing well when tragedy struck my beautiful sister's family. After an accident, my sister's beautiful little boy was in the hospital for two weeks, spending his first birthday in a coma. He died two days later. His funeral was on Friday, it was so beautiful, and HUGE. My sister's family is so loved, God has them so very well covered. Over $26,000 has been raised for financial needs, their church and community love them and are ready to care for any physical needs they may have. To see how Lemuel's death and the family's faith has affected people has been wonderful. It's been certainly different to be on this end of a crisis. While we are all so sad to lose Lemuel here, it's such a joy to know he is fully healed, in the presence of the Lord, as well as all the family we have there. Healing has already begun, though we will always miss this beautiful boy.                                                                                        
Lemuel Craig Houston Jan 18, 2016-Jan 20, 2017
                                                            1 Thessalonians 4:13,14                                                              


But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
              

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

First Day

I don't have any pictures today. I just want to get some words down. David's first day at his new job was wonderful. I don't know the last time he felt so light. Although we have both been grateful for his job as a Jail Deputy, something about it has been feeling fairly oppressive the past few years. I think sometimes that's how God pushes us into a new direction. This new job feels so "right" now. It's strange, though, to be changing jobs at this stage in life! I had the funny feeling of sending a child off to his first day at a new school, hahaha! David, in civilian clothes, feeling kind of funny himself. Last week, off to the jail to don his uniform, this week off to his office in a nice shirt and pants. He has his own office. Something else that has occurred to me often this past year is how all seven of our children have a different version of the same parents. For instance, other than the first four years of our marriage, when David worked LEDS with Oregon State Police (a computer job), David has always carried a gun. Well, when Mia was born, she was what we referred to as "stupid fearless". Owen had always been (and still is) "cautious fearless". Meaning, Owen has always been willing to try anything, but also has an innate sense of "too dangerous". Mia lacked that, though she has developed it over time. We no longer felt good having David's service gun at home, so he began to keep it at work. Well, he doesn't have a lock for it at his new work yet, so he wore it home last night. Owen walked in, talking, and stopped in his tracks, "YOU HAVE A GUN!!!!". He was utterly amazed. Somehow he had no idea that his policeman dad had one. So funny, where we live they are no big deal, he shoots bb guns at grandpa's house fairly often, and watches grandpa and one of grandpa's friends shoot targets with other guns. Now, our younger two kids will likely have no real memory of dad even in uniform! David will never work another Christmas or Thanksgiving. He won't have to miss church again. I'm still a bit torn on how wonderful weekends off are. I did like have midweek days off, for running around, while most others are in school or at work. Small trade-off, though.  The kids and I finally got my sewing area cleaned up. I don't have an actual sewing room, so that is all in the eating half of our kitchen. Well, David had his heart attack while I still had an explosion of sewing/crafting supplies I was organizing in there. I have started on it a couple times since then, but just hadn't had the motivation to really finish. Although I still have plenty to organize, we got the largest portion of it done, table and floor clean! I made a turkey dinner and we finally ate at our table again last night. Owen had a bit of a panic moment, asking if it was Thanksgiving, which we're supposed to have at Grandma and Grandpa's. I assured him, I was both cleaning out our freezer and celebrating dad's first day at work, which relieved him hugely. He then enjoyed the unexpected turkey dinner. The whole atmosphere of our home feels different. I know it's partly the "new", but the new seems to be bringing a sense of order. Shift work keeps things unsettled, which isn't the best for us. We're pretty flexible people, which sounds like we should do well with shift work, but really, I think it helped us be too lazy. Throw in a giant heart attack and the exhaustion that follows, and this last year has been a doozy. I think we're feeling the healing that is finally coming, and I welcome that!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

End of Summer





I took these pictures at a surprise party we went to for a lady who has been in my life for quite a while. She and her family are like our family. This spot is her very favorite spot in the world, it is about a 20 minute drive, and I NEVER KNEW IT EXISTED BEFORE THIS!!! How?!? It is a perfect place, water deep enough for the kids to have a wonderful time playing in, but not deep enough to leave us constantly freaked out. It was just beautiful and quiet. I see us enjoying this place often in our future. There are crawdads, though we only saw one that day. Salmon swam past the kids' legs, which they found pretty exciting. It was a really lovely note to end summer on, along this chapter in our lives. We have one week left, really, but will be starting a new one that I'm so excited about! David has only one week left as a Jail Deputy, and will be starting at Parole and Probation on October 3! I'm so excited for him, the interaction with inmates has often been a favorite aspect of the job. It can be the worst, too, but when someone is just really struggling and wanting to improve their life condition - well, David is really good at helping them with that. We love when former inmates approach us in the grocery stores, looking healthy with clear skin, jobs they're so happy to have, new babies, happy families. I had actually encouraged David to think about this job before. Just before his heart attack I had pointed out to him again that the best part of his job is the actual job he is now getting ready to start. There are benefits for our family, too, as we will permanently be on "day shift," weekends and holidays off. This is a huge relief, as my own health is not wonderful anymore. I have high blood pressure, not helped by the fact that during David's recovery, I GAINED more weight. Oddly, sitting with a tired man, watching millions of movies and tv shows, eating too much pre-made food, leads one to get fatter. Ugh. The almost down side to his heart attack being purely genetic is that he doesn't require a super healthy diet. His blood pressure and cholesterol were perfect. My own cholesterol is decent, too, I just really need to get overall improvements on my food intake and energy expenditure: i.e., time to focus on my portions and exercise regularly. Fortunately that tends to be pretty easy on day shift. This year my focus won't be so much on getting "super healthy" as just getting into a good routine. The extra weight will drop naturally as it does for the few months every year we're on days, only now I won't have the 8 months of swings/graves to undo all the good! I know I will eventually get to a point of having to really work at it, but for now regular exercise, not eating late at night (since we'll be in bed) and eating regularly through the day will be plenty good for me!  I do keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to keep blogging. There are times I just really enjoy putting my thoughts and days down, having a place to look back over, but other times I feel like it can eat up too much time. I struggle at times doing something "just because", without having made something tangible, even while knowing having something to look back on is very tangible.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Computer's fixed!

Holy Cow. We FINALLY got our computer fixed yesterday!!!! I still could use a camera, but I at least have my phone to take pictures with. Sadly, I see several of my favorite bloggers not blogging. I miss them! Blogging seems to be in a transitional phase. Transitioning how, we'll see. It makes me kinda sad, though is it really sad if people are just busy, haha?  I hope Fall brings them out again! I realize I could easily not get back into blogging, too, but again, we'll see. Our own lives are in a weird transitional phase right now, and I do hope I take the time to record it. That's all for now, I'm just excited to use a real keyboard again!!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Lovely Spring

                                                 
Kids out drawing before breakfast.
                                                                                                              Today is going to be HOT!!! The three younger kids are happy, they will get to clean and refill the wading pool. Blueberries are beginning to ripen, salmonberries are being inhaled daily. Plans are being made for gardens, duck and chicken coops, goat pen improvements, playhouses and so much more. Deciding what the priorities are, how to do it on a tighter budget, now that we're paying some big medical bills. That is NOT a complaint!! I'm very happy to be paying them. We're just also wanting to do as much as we can while most of our kids are still young. A couple things are being redone in the kitchen, fortunately we realized a couple things we needed to be done differently before we'd finished. We also realized we actually have space for a playroom, which I'm so excited about!!! I get so tired of toys, but also sympathize with having doll houses "set up", haha! I've hijacked my daughter's kindle, I think blogging and commenting from here will work better than my phone. Our computer is still dead, I'm going BONKERS. It is not fun trying to home school without it. Still, David is on graveyard shift, anyway, which causes us to change how we do things a bit since the computer is in our bedroom. He has a physical test tomorrow and an interview on Monday, he is hoping to move over to Parole and Probation. It would be such a great move, schedule wise, with a Monday through Friday work week. Holidays off, even! Mostly, I think David would be so great at it. He is so good with the inmates, they tend to respect him and seek his advice already. I hope everybody's having a lovely spring! I'm feeling motivated, hopefully the whole family will catch it, hee hee.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

From my Phone

Going to give this a shot, we'll see what happens! Our computer crashed and David's been sick. Since he's our Tech Man, we're waiting on him to be able to get things fixed. I suppose my biggest problem blogging from my phone is that I just don't want "One Account for All of Google". I mean, I'm slowly warming up to the idea of local friends knowing I blog...very occasionally, ha-ha! But, not completely.    We had a pretty great Easter, the weather was indecisive but beautiful. After church I hid eggs outside before David and the kids got home (I was home sick). They found the eggs just before the clouds and rain reappeared! Mia repeatedly said, " This was  a beautiful Easter! What a lovely day!".