Monday, June 29, 2015

Catch Up - May

June is almost over and I still have so much to say about the month of May!

The month brought a lot of projects for the older two kids at away-school. The Girl has to make a Rube-Goldberg like contraption for her science class, utilizing different tools. She did a great job, all on her own, to make the marble(s) roll through the different parts without stopping.
Mother's Day. It seems like a long time ago. It was a great day of relaxing and doing nothing! It seems like we are always on the GO, so a day without any responsibility or place to be is a perfect day for me.
 The Mr. and the kids also finished the drainage project in May. I hauled a couple of loads of gravel, and they filled in the hole. Now we can get back to some basketball.
 And we helped out Grandpa with some of the planting at the farm. Of course, by now this scene looks different (I'll have to get an updated photo when we go out this week), but the little fingers in our household helped put in some of these seeds.

 We also took a family bike ride at a local park that has oodles of paved trails. This was the first time Little K rode her own bike the whole way. She has outgrown the kid seat that was attached to my bicycle, so we decided to try and see how far she could go. And wow did she go! We biked at least 3 miles, and she kept going the entire way without complaint.

 To wrap up the month of May, the Boy made it to the state level in track! So of course we trekked down to Eugene to watch his races. He placed 8th in one of them; and although his team didn't place in their relay, he still ran a really great race.
And there is a quick synopsis of our month.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Run Again

Just under a year ago, I ran a marathon. My first, and possibly my only marathon. After that experience I took a long time off from running. Just about a year actually. Oh, I ran sporadically, thinking I would get back to it. But this past year has been full of other people's activities, and a rolling tide of health issues.
I've been taking iron supplements for a week now, and it is so wonderful to make it through the day without taking a nap!
Last Friday the Mr and I drove down to the Boy's State Track Meet. We were running late, we didn't really know the area, but thankfully we were able to find parking sort of nearby. So we ran - because we had about 10 minutes to get to the gate, buy tickets and get inside to see the Boy run the first of this two races. By the time we sat down I was breathing hard, and a little shaky because I hadn't eaten for hours, but we made. And I made it - running. It was the catalyst for this morning's run. 
So I ran a mile today. A whole mile! Without stopping or feeling like I was going to die. It's an incredible feeling to know that I can actually do this. I can run again. Since the Mr has his mileage up to 13 miles - he ran a half marathon last weekend - I asked him to help me out today. Mental support is just as important as the shoes I wear. I took a long warm-up walk, and then started running my mile. He caught me at the end of his workout and (mentally) carried me to the end.
Oh what a feeling.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Of books and things

It's no secret to those who really know me how much I love to read.
I'll try one genre for awhile, get bored with it, and move on to something else. Last year it was biographies. There are some fascinating people out there. Tim Conway's bio was one of my favorites, along with Carol Burnett. This year I am back to fiction, but not the Christian fiction I once gorged on. I got so tired of the predictable romance novels, (I can hear my Peruvian friend cheering at this.)
Our family passes books and magazines around and one came across my doorstep titled My Sister's Keeper (by Jodi Picoult) - interestingly enough, my sister brought it over.
Once I started it I didn't want to put it down. It's a fascinating read, taking on a bio-ethical topic but yet written in a compelling story of a family dealing with leukemia. It made me think, and at my age my brain needs workouts.
I also learned that I should NOT read stories of children with leukemia when my own child is sick. My little Ham-N-Cheese girl had a fever of 101-102 for nearly a week. Thankfully it did not turn out to be anything serious, except in my crazy dreams that must have been influenced by my reading.
This week I am back to reading Power of a Praying Parent, and The 5 Love Languages, both non-fiction, and both more focused on helping our family grow. But if you have any suggestions for next week, let me know ...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May Flowers

We had a few princesses over for tea this past weekend. We brought out the special girls' tea sets, and prepared plenty of dainty food for little fingers.

 Little K had her first friends birthday party this time. She was able to invite 4 friends over to celebrate with a tea party. They played games, they ate food, they drank "tea" (lemonade), the made princess party hats. And Little K came away with some nice gifts! Plenty of princessy items, lots of bubbles (yay!) and a baby doll.
 She loves her babies, and is taking some time on making sure this new one has just the right name. 2 days later, and I am not sure if she has settled on a name or not yet.
 She also got a beautiful dress. That lights up. And sings. Yes, a singing dress. By the end of the evening, the rest of us were all quite done with the song, but she loves that dress, and its matching, singing, bracelet.
I wonder how long the batteries will last. Hopefully not until she is 6.

April showers

We didn't have much rain in April this month, which is very unusual for Oregon.
But we got a lot of outside work done! We had a couple of days at the farm, along with working outside on our own yard, fixing up fences and drain pipes.
 Grandpa had a couple of bicycles for the girls to try. Little K did her best to keep up with them, but eventually she ended up with mom on the back of the pickup, going for a ride with Grandpa.
 It was a gathering sticks kind of day - a perfect job for people closer to the ground than us adults! They got a kick out of building up the burn pile. My dad cleared some land to plant new trees and he couldn't work the ground until those pesky sticks were out of the way.
 Back at home the Mr has been working on getting our drainage problems taken care of. When we get the normal amount of rain for Oregon, our backyard starts to look like a lake, along with a nice pond in the front. We have finally discovered why, but it has taken a lot of digging to figure out where the pipes were plugged. This past weekend we found an elbow in the pipe that was clogged with roots - live roots - where the pipe had come open as it settled in the ground. Whoever installed it did not attach the two sections very well.
 There was also a fence to repair. Y'know, after 20 some years, things just start to fall apart; or get knocked over by the wind. Thankfully it was only one section that needed fixing, and we only had to buy concrete, since we had some posts in the garage already, and we could re-use the slats. It was a good learning opportunity for the kids too - I'm always looking for those!
 Even little K wanted to help.
 And finally, as April comes to an end, we had Little K's birthday. Turning 5 is such a big deal. She's no longer a baby. She's learning to read, and to tie her shoelaces, and soon to ride a bike without training wheels.
 Of course, the certain Princess from a certain *cold* movie was the star of this birthday. My girls loves that movie still, and would watch it daily if we would let her. Unfortunately, we are long over the songs. Except for the snowman. I could listen to him some more.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


April is birthday month around here. Within our little family there are 3 we celebrate, and the extended family includes 7 more, and then there are a number of good friends with April birthdays.
We start out with this man:
The Mr and little K goofing around

He makes me laugh. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. He knows when he needs to make me laugh, and when to be quiet. After almost 20 years together, he has that figured out.
We had birthday pie, instead of cake, made by our girl
 along with other presents from me and the kids.
 We celebrated the 12 year-old's birthday this weekend. She had a sleepover and scavenger hunt with her friends who share birthdays this week, and then we had a little family gathering in the yard
The weather is actually beautiful for an Oregon springtime, so we are taking advantage of the outdoors while we can.

Monday, April 6, 2015

This Holiday

The things about Easter in Oregon is you never know what kind of weather you will have. Will we be wearing raincoats or sweaters to hunt for eggs this year? Trying to find a pretty dress for each of my girls has been an endeavor of patience every year. Why, oh why, do stores in Oregon sell pretty spring dresses WITHOUT sleeves?????? We found racks of dresses with spaghetti straps, or thin straps, but very few with sleeves - and they are all short short sleeves. If I knew how to sew I might start a business in Oregon selling long-sleeve spring dresses!
But we girls managed to find something new to wear - one of the few traditions we have for this holiday. And I managed to eventually get a good family photo of these silly kids.

After church we drove to my sister's house for a family dinner.
And the egg hunt. Notice the jackets? It was cold and wet outside! We managed to hide and find the plastic eggs in between rain showers.

 Even the older kids searched - although originally they said they weren't going to.

And now, it's time to clean out the snack cupboard, do away with any lingering Halloween candy, and organize the goodies from yesterday.