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!".                                  

Monday, March 7, 2016

Our Weekend

We had a lovely weekend! Of course, every day is pretty much an extended weekend for us, and will be for another month. I kinda hate the idea of David going back to work; I like having him around. I'm sure it will be nice for him to get out more, but I think he likes being home, too. Thursday was pretty nice, David and the three younger kids painted birdhouses. Mia had become obsessed with painting something, so we picked some up from Joann Fabrics.

Of course I haven't taken a picture of their finished work, haha! I need to put a sealer on them still, so maybe then. 

Friday we wanted to get out of the house, so we headed down to Tillamook, which is always a beautiful drive, more so now that it's been several years since we've had to make the trip every other weekend for taking the oldest two to their dad's! I do wish I could have captured the amazing ocean waves, as the day was rather stormy. It was just beautiful. While we hoped to see Rachel and Alaina for a grandbaby fix, Rachel and her dad were also feeling antsy and had headed down to Corvallis to get out of the house! Kind of funny, guess our strange weather is having that effect all around. Currently we will have a beautiful, sunny day, making us feel like getting outside and doing something, not necessarily productive, but SOMETHING, nonetheless. Then we will have a couple days of wind and rain, but still are left wanting to do something.

We found a place that David has been wanting to go to, that sells some amazing jerky. It was ridiculously inconspicuously located, and the gps "insisted" it was in the wrong building, but find it we did, and the jerky was purchased. We then went to Denny's for lunch. Not our favorite, but not horrible, either. Our own little town has so many great restaurants and cafes now, that we have become rather spoiled by it. After lunch we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We can't remember the last time we were there, but are pretty sure Mia was a baby. Mia LOVED it. She now plans on living in Tillamook and working in the factory when she's grown. We ended the visit with Tillamook ice cream, of course. Mia and I should have shared. We got the same kind, which she declared to be, "Delicious! So Delicious!", then was "full" after about 10 little girl sized licks. Saturday we puttered around the house, then David and I met up with an old friend from high school and his wife. They were on a birthday trip for him, and we got to try out another local hot spot. The food was pretty good, but it was so loud, I don't see us going there again. We're just too old! Sunday we finally went to church again, it was so good to be with our church family. With physical and cardio therapy every day during the week, David is usually too tired to do just about anything on the weekend, so we've just been staying home the last couple months. 

On the project front, I of course started yet another one, because why bother finishing all the millions I've currently got going? No, really, this is a perfect no-brainer for watching tv. Just a seed stitch cowl for...myself! Crazy, right? 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ob-la-di Ob-la-da

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on, brah, la-la how the life goes on. That song seems to run through my head quite a lot these days. Sometimes good, sometimes not. We personally are doing well. David is doing great, he's been driving for a while now, even! The pic below is his first time. We had a wonderful, if not really strange Christmas. 

David is doing wonderful with his therapy, other than his therapists keep increasing his exercises, haha! Our new year started out, as usual, with us going to bed before midnight. A couple of the kids managed to stay up to greet the new year, but we're usually too tired! I made up a few cowls in January, one for Rachel's late Christmas present (with money, isn't that what parents are for, haha?), one for a friend's birthday, and one for Mia. I only got a picture of Mia's, of course.  I found myself finally filled with exhaustion in January. All the adrenaline and excitement of December emptying itself out left me so drained, but happy. I was easing back into extreme house cleaning and crafting and project finishing. I've had so much fun with David, every time we run into someone who hasn't seen him since the heart attack is an emotional experience.

By February, we were getting into a groove, making headway, planning for school (ugh, we're so behind!), enjoying our time together. So many of David's unbelievably wonderful coworkers have donated enough of their own vacation time that he doesn't have to go back to work until May! So crazy!! What a huge blessing. There are more people signed up to donate even more time if he's not ready to back at that point. Amazing. A word I use often these days. Then the evening of February 5th, I was scrolling through facebook when I saw someone say a police officer in Seaside had been shot. I still can't properly convey what I felt when I saw that. The last time a policeman in Oregon was shot and killed was when I was a kid, he was a good friend of my dad, and I remember many evenings spent with him and his wife. I was young enough that I was sad over it, but not distraught. Years later my own State Trooper dad was shot at while at work (right after my mom had assured the wife of my dad's new recruit that that sort of thing almost never happened here). Still, it went with the job, and my dad had survived the Vietnam War. My dad was basically bulletproof in my mind.This, though. As a grown woman, wife, and mother. After coming close to losing my own husband just over a month previous. I felt paralyzed. His wife had no warning, that sort of thing really and truly "doesn't happen" here. Except that it did.

I had just met Jason Goodding the day David and I came home from the hospital. He had just stood and stared at David, so moved and happy for him to be alive and standing there in the courthouse, grin on his face, surprising everyone with our visit. David told me who he was (he was in a suit for court at the time, not his uniform), and what a great guy he was. He had a wife and two daughters. My heart is so broken for them. He was serving a warrant on a guy who has been causing grief since back in my dad's day. A guy who has told David that he will never quit using drugs because he likes them too much. A guy who wasn't legally allowed to be in possession of a gun. Jason's funeral was incredible. I'm trying to find a picture of all the patrol/emergency vehicles. There were police officers from Chicago, Florida, Canada, and I don't remember where else.  David and I rode in a Road Deputy's police car with his wife and him, through the processional and it was beautiful to see the number of people standing along the side of the road, showing their support. Still, when all was said and done, when the rest of us went home with our spouses, to our children and grieved with each other, Amy and her daughters are still without Jason. As are FOURTEEN other officers' families without their family members. Unless more were added through the night, our country has had FIFTEEN police officers killed in the line of duty this year. In just two months' time. Any yet...God is still good. God knows what's happening. That good can come out of bad. That there is still so much beauty to be seen in our world. That there will be so much more evil and sickness to be borne before we're finished here. For now, we trust and teach our families and friends to trust, to continue to love and pray for those we want to hate. I take joy in the rogue bunch of daffodils in my backyard who continue to grow every year since we've lived here, even though I do nothing, even when we had the backyard razed by a friend with a backhoe. Then ignored it again. Joy in the blooming magnolia bush, all the trees, green buds pushing their way out. Making plans to make the outside of our home a place to make people feel welcome and loved. Joy in a little girl who loves to dress up as "Spidergirl", who also loves Chinese food (yay!)

Whose hair has finally grown out quite a bit after last year's "do it herself" haircut!

Getting more and more of our house "finished", taking a day to paint my little hallway white, making hat and coat hooks out of scrap wood and hooks that came with our house when we bought it.

Cleaning up an old switch plate that also came with the house, and LOVING the soft, worn brass.
I had a couple of these, then found some more older ones on ebay. Though I also found a way to "antique" new ones, which I will likely try. I just love them.

Our newest family member, "Nikki" (named Nekoette by Emma, but seriously, none of us are calling her that! She immediately became Nikki)

She settled right in, even our two other cats have accepted her. Goliath has always loved kittens and is very sweet with her, bathing her, snuggling with her, playing and roughhousing with her. Luna...will, she doesn't attack her and no longer growls at her, so that is her version of acceptance. Ruby, our dog, just isn't crazy about any cats, but is good about backing of her chase when scolded to. 

We have been doing a fair bit of running around and eating at restaurants (enjoying ourselves a bit before we have to crack down on our budget and pay those pesky people who saved David and made him well, you know! We will never have been so happy to be broke! Also, we are pretty blessed to have good insurance) . We took Mia to Seaside with my parents, which always means a trip to the Carousel Mall. Mia got two rides out of us that day. Today is looking sunny, we will be cleaning, as we've been taking too many lazy days, aside from David's daily therapy sessions. I am tentatively hoping for some calm. Some time to finish and enjoy our home projects.

Ecclesiastes 3 (NASB)

A Time for Everything

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Our Plans, His Plans (Pt.4)

This should be the last post dedicated to David and his heart attack! It just continues to get better from the last post. David's healing has been so quick and full, that I am just amazed. After spending the morning being gawked at by a group of hospital staff, we learned they were watching him and had decided he was well enough to be booted from the ICU - YAY!!! He was moved from the ICU on December 16. While adapting to our new space, I see a familiar looking man walk past me. I asked the lady I was talking with, "Is that...?" She says, "That's Andy." I say, "Andy Paulson?" She says, "Yes! Do you know him?" Weird time to be fangirling, and I managed to not chase him down like a weirdo and tell him how much I loved his wife's blog (Posie Gets Cozy) and how I'd been good and ordered a kit a month over the summer to stitch up over the Fall for Christmas presents, but didn't finish because David had a heart attack.  *sigh* Nope, I held it together and just watched him interacting with his coworkers, smiling and laughing. There was something reassuring about seeing him on the happy side of their struggles, knowing I'd prayed for this family and cried for this family and rejoiced for this family and he didn't know who I was, nor that I was standing there, just watching him. Anna, the lady I was talking to, didn't know about her blog, but agreed that they were absolutely as wonderful a family in real life as they seem on her blog. We've had so many people praying for us, hundreds, that I will never personally know of. It's so beautiful to know God knows each of us and our hearts and our ability to love and hope for the best for people we will never personally be involved with.  David was on Andy's floor for only a couple days before he was moved again to a rehab facility. He was there for a week and a half, not long at all! He improved even more, and he is home with us. All day on the 30th, I just couldn't believe it had been only one month since it happened. Truly the longest month of our lives! Well, not for David, he was unaware of most of it! Poor guy just woke up, suddenly (to him) unable to do anything for himself. He walks well, his memory has been amazingly restored, his left arm is very usable and his right arm is steadily increasing in strength. He will still be home, doing rehab locally for a while. How long remains to be seen, basically as long as we can afford it and keep his job, so a couple more months. Then he will go on light duty at work. It has been a long, but incredible month. I'm thankful for so much that has come out of it, but really and truly hope to not go through something like that again! Here's to a quieter New Year!!