Friday, June 19, 2015

23 years

Me, 19 years young in my gorgeous 1992 stylish maternity wear!

My 18 month old giant baby in Wurzburg, Germany. 

Opening his present, I love that smile! 

Good grief. I've been a mother for 23 years! What a crazy mixed blessing motherhood is. It's all I wanted, growing up. Sadly, I rushed into marriage to achieve it, without the benefit of some time to grow myself. One of my goals as a parent is to provide an environment that allows my children that growth while at home, enough to make wiser decisions upon reaching their own young adulthood, whether that be more schooling, working, or even their own young marriages. Mostly, that they will have confidence in their relationships with God, that they won't feel like they're on their own in the decision making. That we are encouraging to them in going after their own dreams, in cultivating their own skills. That success is not about the money. There's no big "moment" in life that will solve all your problems or make you suddenly happy. You get to choose to be happy along the way. If we actually trust God, then we don't stress about the stuff we already have no control over. We take care of the stuff we can, and enjoy the rest. At least enjoy each other through the rest. I stumbled and struggled a LOT with Scott and Rachel; I learned a lot, too. I have wonderful relationships with both of them, and am so grateful for that.  I am just so grateful that God even gave us so many wonderful, healthy kids. I pray I do Him even a little bit of justice by them.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Family Barbecues

        Good grief, have we been busy this past month! I'm fairly overwhelmed, too many projects going, no single room "finished". I've felt pretty down about it a few times, but have to just get myself reoriented and focused. I still need to make a new, complete list of projects so I can start crossing them off. I think it would help to see what is actually being accomplished along the way! On the upside, we've had some beautiful weather and a couple family celebrations, so that's what I'm posting today. My dad's 65th birthday was the 8th, so the Friday before, my family went over to my parent's house for a barbecue. Rachel and Alaina even came up, which of course, was wonderful. My parent's have a beautiful property, about 3 1/2 acres. Perfect for shooting bb guns, which I loved to do (and was pretty good at) growing up.
      Last night, my sister's kids were all in town to celebrate one of their cousins (on my brother in law's side) graduating nursing school. When that party had wrapped up, we all met up at my parent's house again for another barbecue. It was so much fun! Rachel and Alaina came up again, though Scott has had to work both times we've been over there. "Grandpa 2" (guy in camo coat, bottom set, right middle) and "Meemaw 2" (in glasses, middle pic, middle row of bottom set) also got to come over. Kenny (Grandpa 2) was a road deputy, and had worked during my dad's time as a State Trooper. He and his wife have become great friends with my parents, and another set of grandparents to my kids (hence the "2" in their titles). They loved spending time with my kids and my sister's 12 kids, they're all such sweet and fun people! Alaina instantly fell in love with my oldest nephew, Samuel, which was adorable. It's so crazy to see how grown everyone has gotten. This May, Anna has been officially leukemia free for two years!!! Emily and Craig have been on a cruise this week, and the family will be reuniting at some point today, which will be so good for her very little ones. We look enough alike, that they kept getting caught off guard, calling me "mom", especially as it got darker and the kids became tired. (they got to say goodnight by phone, the top middle picture of the bottom set shows little Tirzah, giving mom and dad a kiss goodnight!) Still, I'm so glad they got to go be alone for a week, it's not easy to get alone, especially when you're pastor's family, and a large one at that!! They've done a wonderful job, though. Such an awesome family, anyone who meets them, falls in love with them.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was extremely low-key. Even for us, haha. Saturday morning through early afternoon Mia ran errands with David, they had a lot of fun, but close to the end she became oddly quiet. By the time they came home, she just wanted to snuggle up with me. I was growing suspicious, and sure enough, before I knew it, she was throwing up all over me! Eww, poor girl. The rest of the day was spent snuggling, being watchful with a bucket, and changing out blankets. She and I spent the night on the fold out couch, trying to keep liquids in her. About 4:30 in the morning, she popped straight up and said, "I'm hungry and thirsty" and ate half a burrito and drank some water. She slept quite a bit after that.

 By morning I was feeling a little put out, after being up most of the night I had to make my own coffee, grr. Everybody else slept in, because "Mother's Day".  I cut myself a piece of peanut butter cheesecake and grumbled a bit. Finally everyone started getting up, David was sweet and went to get me chocolate croissants and Dutch Bros coffee. He and the kids gave me my presents; the flowers in the white vase, a portable phone charger (I had borrowed Rachel's while she was visiting, so handy!!) and a drill of my own to keep in the house, haha! I just laid on the couch all day with Mia, who would get up and run around for short spurts, then crawl back up and sleep. I watched several movies on tv, which was kind of nice, but usually something I enjoy more during stormy or rainy weather. I had been planning to start sewing a quilt for my bed, buy, hey. What better way to celebrate Mother's Day than being a mom!  Later in the night Scott came by after work, he's just started cooking at a pub and is really enjoying it. He brought me the smaller glass vase of flowers and this hilarious "MoM Hefeweizen" made with rose petals. He wrote a really beautiful, sweet letter on the card he gave me, which I will be keeping! Such a sweet kid, we struggled with him so much when he was young, he was so filled with hurt. So many days were spent just begging God to help us get through the moment, not to mention the day. To help us to not just *react* to him. I've seen so many children/grown children acting out today, and so many judgmental people complaining about adults not controlling their children. I kind of get it, but we live in a time of such a mixed understanding and expectation. We put our kids through so much and get mad when they don't know how to cope. Everything is someone else's fault or because of some condition, anyway. Morality has been tossed out the window, being akin to a judgmental, self-righteous kind of people. 

How would one "control" their child without beating them,anyway? Why should anyone be "controlling" their child? Silliness. Why can't people focus on raising children who love and respect people, make good choices, but have grace and compassion when they fail? Those children won't need to be controlled, only led. Today it's judgmental and wrong even in churches for christians to show concern for a fellow member falling away. Morality has never been a bad thing, it is protective and nurturing when done without hypocrisy and judgmental attitudes. We live in a time when few people can recognize the difference between "judgmental" and "having judgment". A time when what we want is more important than what is best for us. A time that treats teenagers like children who are supposed to know how to be functioning adults upon high school graduation. As difficult as Scott's youth was, we learned a lot about parenting and taking a different path. Having him is what gave us the conviction and strength to homeschool our other kids. We learned how important a healthy heart is, Scott was in so much emotional pain that school was genuinely unimportant and just silly. Although I am not against public school (on the contrary, before we moved back to Astoria, we had a wonderful school, with really wonderful teachers), I have seen firsthand how ill matched many schools are with most of today's kids. I'll go on about that some other time, I didn't really mean to go on in this post, but it is good to see that trusting what I knew about my son and us. I allowed him to drop out after his "Sophomore" year (he in no way had enough credits to ever graduate on  time, and here, if a student takes longer than four years to finish high school, they are considered a dropout), and it was the best decision I could have made for him. He moved out, dog-paddled his way through life for a few years. He will be 23 in June and has already lived his hard years - not that hard things might not still come to him, of course, but his emotional well being is so much better than it ever was. He loves his family so much, and can express it now. He is an intelligent man, and should he decide to get his GED or even diploma, I know he'll be surprised at how easy it will be for him. Even without either, he is doing the job he wanted to do. He's always enjoyed cooking and has had an easy time getting the job he wants. He's going to be trying to get a job on a fish processing boat (still cooking), it will be a sacrifice because he would be out for months at a time, but it is a job that pays very well. His very sweet girlfriend is supportive of him, which is huge. In the mean time, he was recently offered two local jobs, both knowing he was going to be trying for the job on the boat, and willing for him to come back after he's done. 
Back to yesterday! I'd seen these pillowcases on ebay, unfortunately they were for bid only. I generally avoid bidding like the plague, I prefer Buy It Now! The blue is the color of my bedroom walls, so I've been watchful. There was only one bidder all week, and they were at $8.99.  The bid ended yesterday, and after only one bidder for a week, there were four others by evening. I finally threw my bid in, with a top bid of $40. A little steep for pillowcases, but I figured... Mother's Day (big sheepish grin). I didn't want to look after the bid closed, and was still feeling a little iffy about the $40 if I happened to win. Would David kill me over $40 pillowcases, haha? I finally checked, and I won! For $14.00!!!!! Now that I feel pretty good about! I can't wait to finally get our room together. Planning to start on my quilt later today, but must get the kids set up with their schoolwork first. David is picking up another project for me after he gets off work today. One I know he's a bit stressed about, but I'll share that tomorrow. David made steak and eggs for dinner, and it was so good! He had wanted something fancier or take out (I usually love Chinese takeout for small holidays) but the dinner he made completely hit the spot. I really did have a lovely Mother's Day, and after getting better sleep last night, I do feel better today, anyway. Only a couple wake-ups with Mia through the night, then David quietly got himself ready for work without waking us up, so we got to sleep later. 

How was your Mother's Day?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Loss and Life

Playing with Grandma's phone!

Mia "reading" to Alaina, who loves books - Emma actually read several to her, with her fully attentive the whole time!

grabbing momma's face for kisses!

He really was happy to be holding her, haha! Also, that's paint on Emma's arm, I'm realizing it looks like a horrible burn or something!

No crafty stuff, Just some pictures of my beautiful, happy grandbaby. We ended a month of funerals with a wonderful though short visit from my daughter and Alaina. We lost three people in a matter of weeks. How does it seem to really come in three's? So weird. First, we lost a really good neighbor. My husband and I grew up with his two kids. My husband almost literally, as we live on the same street he grew up on. One of his brothers does, too. It was very sudden and rather a shock to all of us. He was one of those men who had an impact on so many people, had helped so many people, but didn't go telling everyone. He just did, quietly. Which was funny, because he really wasn't a "quiet" guy, haha. We will miss him, but his family is moving into his home, which will be nice. Second, was another man from our neighborhood, though he and his wife moved when he retired. He was a retired Deputy, David grew up with his kids, too. Wonderful man, wonderful family. He had been ill and in a care center where my dad (who is retired State Police and knew him quite well) had been visiting him, hoping he was mending. He had apparently gotten Cody to laugh pretty well and cheered him up some. If anyone can get someone to laugh, it's my dad! Third was the hard one for me, and most unexpected. He was also retired State Police, my dad had been his coach and he'd been an uncle/big brother to me for years. He was only in his early 50's, healthy, jogged everyday, but had a heart attack. Other than the babies we've lost, he is the first person I've cried over, ever. I'm not a crier, I just don't cry when people die, no matter how sad I might be. I tend to be a "doer", just tell me what I can do for you, and I'll do it. I've wondered if maybe I don't cry because most of the friends and family I've lost hadn't been actively in my life for years at the time of their death, but I hadn't seen Kent in 17 years!  He had gone through some of his own problems and moved away and, as people do, we just lost touch. The last time I saw him was the day I was moving into my own apartment after my divorce in '98. He just happened to show up in town that day and came and helped us move my stuff up to the fourth floor of a crappy apartment. He actually had been a groomsmen in my first wedding. I do hope we're done with funerals for the time being. Stay alive, people! *sigh* It was really nice to have Rachel here for a few days after all that. Poor girl has had her own trouble; she had to have her gall bladder out last week! She is healing well, and is so happy to be done with that pain, though! And, just look at that adorable baby she gets to see all day, every day! She is just the happiest baby, unless she is tired and a man is talking to her, poor guys, haha! For some reason when any of her grandpas or "adopted" grandpas  talk to her when she is tired, she starts crying. Hopefully a short phase, I really feel bad for them all! Well, I'm sure this was all rather rambly and weird, buy I'm still emotionally spent. Here's to a better week, hopefully month!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Blooming Rhodies and Goats

    Weird title, really, because goats should not eat rhodies, bad; but hey, our rhodies are  blooming! I love them, but wish they lasted longer! I'm hoping to move the swing to the backyard eventually, and add to it, Right now it's pretty near to where I'm desperately hoping to get a clothesline put in!! Today is perfect weather for hanging laundry, *sigh*
     First thing this morning, as usual lately, Dipper got out of the goat pen to get his own breakfast. He figured out that he is tall enough to show off to the other two goats and feast on their favorite tree. They get so excited in the Fall, when the leaves start dropping, it's adorable. We don't have a nice, tall, permanent pen for them, we had to get one up so quickly when we started with goats. Unfortunately fences cost money, ugh. We were also hoping they wouldn't get too tall, but...he, at least, did, haha. We aren't surprised, we got to meet his father, and that guy is HUGE!!! As in, started rethinking the baby goats we were there to get. Mia just adores those goats. She gets a little nervous because they do accidentally knock her down, but she'll grow. She is finally fully in undies now. We are a diaper free family. I know a lot of people get excited over that, but it doesn't really do anything for me. Probably because even though I don't crave my own baby anymore, I do still crave my own toddler/preschool age kids, heehee. I love having little kids. I love having big kids, too, I think I've said before, but I love where we are right now, with kids spanning every age! Anyway, I am getting this afternoon to myself! Does that sound like just the opposite of what I just said? Haha, not really. I'm getting the afternoon to clean, uninterrupted! Our projects have left the whole downstairs pretty cluttered, finding time to focus  on finishing the sorting and putting away has been pretty impossible. David was already wanting to take the kids and me to see a movie today, so I begged off and asked Meemaw to watch Mia.  Is it weird to be super excited about cleaning? 'Cause I am!! I did make time to build this set of shelves, we always need more room to store books!! The only "downside" to having a bunch of bookworms. I love it!  I'm removing the dark wallpaper behind it, I had started painting it all white, but really prefer a smoother wall these days. Every wall in that little hallway is actually a different color. So awful, but glad I realized why I wasn't liking it. The wood was free, I removed it from a cupboard we were using as a pantry cupboard in our laundry room. It was fairly ineffective and blocked a window. Windows are the only form of ventilation in there, and I'm hoping by having better access, maybe I can at least hang *some* laundry in there to dry - and have it actually get dry rather than still damp and covered in mildew. Our shower is in there, which I'm sure doesn't help, but we're also at sea level, right next to a river. My parents live next to the same river, but on a hill, and it makes a huge difference! She hangs laundry out all the time and it dries just fine. A fan is definitely on our list of projects, but they add up quick! Well, this was going to be short, pretty sure I'm incapable of short!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Whew! What a strange few weeks we've had. We are also in our family's birthday season.  I'm stopping in long enough to share a couple brights spots. Yellow seems to be my spring color this year! Completely unintentionally, but there all the same. I've been out a set of salt and pepper shakers for a while, I always manage to break just one or lose a piece of one. I came across this set while deciding between a vintage set or new. With vintage, there are so many beautiful choices, but I don't relish the surprise of ill-fitting or clogged tops on a set I want to actually use. I found these on Amazon and they're actually rather large!  They are also a nice, soft, older looking yellow. I do love them!

We were needing some new stools in the kitchen, our old wooden ones were getting bowed and weird, and were rather difficult to clean. I've seen these metal ones and was waiting for some at Fred Meyer to go on sale. They finally did, they came in red or a metal look. I really liked the metal, but when we went to actually buy them, we realized they were too short. Online, the tall ones were rather more than I wanted to pay for stools! I figured I would wait, we were in no hurry, we still have half the kitchen to rip apart.  I check Craigslist regularly and found these about a week later! The lady wanted $45, I asked if she'd take $40 and now we have stools - in yellow! They are a really nice soft gold/mustard color, and they are tall enough, yay!!

I've also managed a small bit of sewing, of a pretty and practical nature. The little cover that came with my small ironing board was destroyed quite a while ago; I don't even remember how, haha! I've had this fabric for a long time, it was given to me in a bag of other fabrics, and for whatever reason I just really love it. I've repeatedly considered making a garment for one of my little girls, but then they would outgrow it and the garment would be packed out of sight or ruined by being worn. Silly, I know, it's just fabric, but I really like the color combination and pattern. Now it will be pretty hanging in the sewing/eating half of my kitchen. I still have a small bit that I can add to a quilt later on, too!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Fine, I'm Enjoying Early Spring

This is a bridge where we live, getting rebuilt (and causing a giant pain in our butts). It does need to be done, and has been interesting to watch. The two younger boys have an excellent view from their bedroom, so Alan has been taking pictures so our friends and family can see. We normally use it to get to the grocery store, Goodwill, Costco, Home Depot, and pretty much everywhere else we need to go. Now we have to go around, taking us over where the houses in the photo are, and across a different, longer bridge. The hills in the back are actually Washington. 

We've had frosty, clear mornings, beautiful, almost warm days, and lovely sunsets over the last week. Today has actually been stormy, which is nice, but I really have given in and enjoyed the Spring-like weather. I always balk at first,  I just love Winter so much, but it only takes a few beautiful days to win me over to the idea of being able to do things outside, leave doors open to allow fresh air in, and to start finding things in bloom.

The goaties are getting excited, too. Poor things have such a mucky area by Spring and all through Spring, but as the blackberries start overtaking, they get to explore the yard a bit for a snack. My mom is looking forward to them visiting her pretty soon, too. I am really hoping to pretty up their area sometime soon, everything that has been built for them has been caused by an immediate need and leaves a bit to be desired, visually speaking.

 Our magnolia bush is in full bloom and is gorgeous! It needs a bit of a prune, pruning being something that we've failed at completely the last few years. The blueberry bush next to it is in a severe need of a trim - they should be pruned in Fall, and I keep putting it on the back burner until I realize the year has zoomed by once again. I also need to get some more blueberry bushes! Amelia loves them so much, our two bushes barely feed her over the summer. I haven't gotten any in the freezer since she's been born!

I cut a few branches off the magnolia this morning (I meant to yesterday, before the rain, but...) and filled my new milk glass vase I got at Goodwill. I love the shape and size of it, and snatched it up as soon as I laid eyes on it. David gave me a bit of a funny look, heehee, but he's use to me.

I also picked up a huge bag of tapestry wool. It came with some chunks of canvas, but I've been keeping an eye out for some to embroider on a rather moth-eaten wool army blanket we have.

This helmet is David's score. We don't know what we'll do with it, but we both like the markings - rather Captain America, haha. I do hope everyone else is having better weather, or enjoying the weather they have! I'm heading back to make some progress on the kitchen. I'm planning to make a page on here for a list of the projects I've got planned or have in progress. I like Pinterest and all, but I'm a list-maker, and think a page on here would be a fun list, providing I am able to steadily mark the projects off! I'd like to freshen up my blog, too, but man, that takes time! I just get too indecisive about it. Hope your weekend is going well!