Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Happy anniversary

Some husbands buy jewelry, or flowers, or sweets for their wife on their anniversary. But my husband went even better than that. He bought us 3600 hazelnut trees.




We even got to spend a long weekend together ... hours and hours, planting all those starters in pots.

When we got married we chose Memorial Day weekend for our wedding. One, because it was a long weekend and two ,because we didn't want to wait for Labor Day. So this Memorial Day weekend we traveled to the farm and played in the dirt and water. We laughed with the kids, talked about the future and competed to see who got the most potted. We picnicked out at the farm, enjoying the quiet. peaceful atmosphere. Better than most restaurants.
Being married to a farm boy has its perks. I know I won't starve as long as I like hazelnuts, or anything else we plant.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Science in a box

Shh, don't tell my kids but I got them an educational gift.
I'm a little late to figure this out, but I'm so glad I tried it! I ordered my 12 yr old a Tinker Crate, and my 8 year old a Kiwi crate. ((And no, I have not been paid to post this))
For the past few hours, (on a Saturday!) my child has been learning about hydraulics and robotics. Without me making her.
Without me reading some dry textbook to her.
My younger girl made a periscope. On her own, following the instructions.
I remember doing hat with my brothers as an kid,but I wouldn't have thought of it for my kids.
Last month Little K learned about the body, and sewed some felt organs. Miss M learned about electrical currents and made a paint spinner.
They are so excited when they know the Box is on its way. Of course they love to get mail with their names on it. And they dig in as soon as they can. They enjoy making whatever comes in the kit, and I love that they are learning about 'science' even though we don't call it that.

Epilogue

Funerals can be inspirational.
Or rather, the memorial service can be.
Today the Mr and I attended a memorial service for a dear man, a great man, a wise man. Over and over again those were the words used to describe this older friend of ours. And it wasn't just platitudes being said about a life well lived. We knew this man, the Mr knew him more than I, but those were also the words my husband used to describe him.
As I sat listening to brothers talk of their sibling, grandchildren talk of a grandpa, and friends reminisce on a friendship, I thought How would I want to be remembered? How will I or our children speak of my Mr when that day comes?
I hope we will run the good race (figuratively and literally). I hope we will find strength in the hard challenges, and display grace in tough times.
And I hope that it is a celebration of Life not just a mourning.
Deuteronomy 30:19 " ... choose life that you and your children may live ..."

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Let them eat cake

April is a big month of birthdays around here.
We've had an enormous amount of cake and ice cream this month, I've also stepped up my exercise routine. The two may or may not be related.
Earlier in April I had a hankering for some chocolate cake. "It's April It's cake month" my brain was yelling at me; so I listened. I grabbed a new recipe from my friend Betty Crocker and whipped up a delicious chocolate cake. And that is how we started the week of my husband's birthday!
((Here's a link to the recipe  https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/best-chocolate-cake-with-fudge-frosting/ee6153e7-dd8c-47ae-bd88-8fc70ce57a24   Note - I used my lactose free milk instead of buttermilk and powdered baking chocolate instead of the bars. And I made basic frosting not the kind listed here))
On his actual birthday he got sherbet - because he's not really a cake kind of guy. But he loves sherbet and ice cream. And then we had company over, which means we have to have some kind of good dessert! So I whipped up (literally) a chocolate cream pie that is the easiest thing in the world to make, but tastes so so good.
((Here's the link for my recipe  http://togetherasfamily.com/2017/06/no-bake-double-chocolate-cream-pie/  ))
The following week my middle daughter had her 15th birthday. But because she was going to be out of town on the actual date, so we had chocolate cake again a few days beforehand.
And this past weekend my youngest was baptized. Tradition says we get a cake and celebrate, because it really is a great thing she's done. It was a store-bought cake, and we finished it up last night.
Oho! I forgot - the day before baptism, we celebrated my niece's 30th birthday .. yes! more cake!
But wait, there's even more.
Tomorrow is Little K's birthday. Which means I need to make a cake today! I think I'll go visit my friend Betty again. And then this weekend I'll get in and good long run.


Saturday, April 7, 2018

Our Spring Break

A week has passed since our spring break ended and I am finally getting to this.
It went by too fast! We kept busy enough to feel it, but no so busy that we didn't sleep in. Oh, that felt good. And yes, Monday morning of back-to-school was very painful for all of us.
We started the break with a wedding - friends' children who we've known since our kids were little. We all enjoyed the wedding .. it was simple and beautiful. Our Boy got a chance to serve - scooping ice cream at the reception. 

We all enjoyed the dancing - The Boy and I joined in on the Mom and Son dance;
The girls showed us their moves to songs we had no clue on;
and The Mr had some great tango moves. It made me miss our ballroom dancing days.
That evening we picked up The Cousins. What a giggle-filled three days those were!
We took them to a local children's museum one day. There was an exhibit there for streams - and just like an engineer's grandchildren would do, they each started damming up the stream, making an island and enjoying the lake they created. It was great to watch them enjoy playing in the mud, one of my own favorite childhood activities.


We squeezed in some dress shopping, a movie, and a day at the farm among sleeping and eating. I am not a movie-goer, (I think the last time I went was in 2015) but I really wanted to see this one, so my sister and I took an afternoon and went to see "I Can Only Imagine" in the theater. It was very good!
 I took the girls out to the beach for one afternoon. Oh boy, it was definitely an Oregon coast day - sunny but so cold when the wind blew. That didn't stop the girls from climbing the big dune and taking plenty of pictures. I even managed to make it up the dune once. We counted starfish - and discovered so many we lost track of what number we had reached. There were plenty of people at the coast that day, but we never got stuck in traffic; and we had an enjoyable dinner at Mo's before heading back to the city.
 And finally, it was the end of the break - Easter weekend. Our church has a newish tradition of serving breakfast for everyone on Easter. Since we have a Saturday night service, we serve breakfast then also. All of us, minus the Boy who had to work at his real job, signed up to help serve the breakfast. Being the first time for our family, the kids weren't sure what to expect. But we all had a great time serving and visiting with all who came.
Then it was Easter. This is the first year I have ever made/given my kids Easter baskets. They were surpised to find them in the morning. After church and eating Second breakfast there, we came home and had our own family egg hunt. First the older kids hid the eggs filled with candy, for the youngest two to find. And then The Mr and I had a fun time hiding them for the older kids to find. We gathered up our things and traveled to my sister's home for the big family meal and egg hunt (175 eggs this year)



Spring Break was over. Another week of relaxation done.


Track Season

It has begun.
Track season is well under way, and the girls had their first meet this past Thursday. Way back in February, the Girl Who Swims did not want to go out for track. We managed to convince her, with our parental ways, that she should however.
And seeing her smile as she ran at the meet confirmed my parenting skill this time at least.
She's trying something different this year - not long distance! She is running the hurdles for the first time ever and loving it. I think she likes challenges. She also was in the 4x100 relay and the 4x400 relay! Another new-ish thing for her.
The younger daughter is running long distance this season - this time around she did the 1500 and 3000. I think she wants to do the 800 also, but she needs to work on her speed if she is going to try that. I ran that back in the day (and it was my favorite) so it would be fun to see her try it.
 

Trying something

The weather people were predicting gale force winds and pouring/ dumping rains. The bicycle tire and brakes weren't working right. No one was in bed at 10:30 pm.
That was Friday night.

On Saturday morning, three of us got up at 6 am to head out for a triathlon. The Mr and The Girl who Swims would compete - I would spectate. The other children would sleep in and later clean house or something (more like the something of watch movies).
We had a downpour as we left home but then a few miles down the road it was clear and sunny skies. There was a breeze ... ok, a wind ... but it wasn't blowing us off the road.
The competitors had nearly perfect weather for this triathlon. My sister and I got to see both of my people swim - it was a bit of exercise for us too as we hurried from one pool to the other pool in a separate building, to see them in time; we managed to see our friends bike and run also.
The weather held; all of our people finished the race without collapsing (always a win in my book) and we had a great lunch on the way home.
And then the skies opened and the rain came down in buckets. Thankfully by then I was tucked in by the woodstove next to the fire, reading a semi-interesting book while my Mr and daughter recovered from their workout.