Friday, January 27, 2012

21 years ago

21 years ago, I woke up to the familiar pangs of labor. Uncle and Auntie picked up the older 2 and whisked them off to church with their cousins. Doug and I took a walk in the pear orchard across the street until it seemed time to go to the hospital. It was a beautiful sunny day. Daniel was born during the SuperBowl---his dad can tell you those details. His Aunt Donna was there also. It was a joyful day!

Today, on the first day of his official majority, he is a man with a heart for God, an eye for beauty, an ear for music, a mind for learning, a seeker of truth, a love for family, a cultivator of friendship, one who practices hospitality, hands that will serve and work hard, at home in nature, with a delightful laugh.... and so much more.

Happy Birthday Daniel!! Your mama loves you :-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

I'm thinking about Mother's Day with a somewhat heavy heart. My own mom no longer can recognize her family, and my own kids are living far away.
** However I perk up when I think of the many, many moms that have enriched my life and helped me to be successful as a mother:
of course Rita, my own mom--who taught me that mothering was a noble endeavor;
my very loving and wise grandmothers and aunts, my husband's dear mom.
--my sisters; Donna, Karen, Nancy, Tina, GayEllen; each a mother to admire;
my many, many girlfriends who have shared the journey and seasons of mothering with me, as we each faced the joys, challenges, frustrations and sorrows in concert---so many times I found renewed strength, insight and encouragement by my relationships with these girlfriends---I highly recommend that women nurture these types of friendships and bonds---they are life-saving.

And now I am watching the next generation, daughters of my friends, my own younger friends and my nieces; Marla, Karrie and Christen as they each take seriously the task at hand with great love and devotion.
I love and admire you each. The thought of these remarkable and awesome women makes Mother's Day a celebration indeed!! May the Lord bless you all as you continue the Journey of Honor that being a mother is.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dog Gone Mystery

Between the time Crystal went away to college and Jon's going was imminent we got a puppy for Daniel.  A yellow lab (is there any other kind of dog?) She was named "Annie" after the dog in Where the Red Fern Grows). She is luvable and an eternal knucklehead as labs tend to be. She was so little when we first got her, we had to net her pen to keep a hawk from carrying her away---we do live at the edge of a woods.  She is now 9 years old and weighs about 75 pounds.  When we are camping, she loves to swim in ocean, river or lake, but does not swim at home.  She's gotten into trouble for getting in the pond, and never has been in the pool, even when we have tried to coax her to join us. She hates taking a bath.

Last weekend we went to the Troutdale McMenamins for Cousin (reunion) Fest disguised as a wedding. There are photos on Lee and Tina's blogs (click the sidebar links) if you want to look.  Annie was left at home in the care of our good friend Brendan.

Annie does not care to be left behind.  Whenever suitcases come out, she sulks and sighs---very dramatic.  If, however the kennel is loaded into the Mountaineer---she is a happy dog, and has been known to sit in the kennel, in the car, for 2 days straight to insure she gets to go along. Odd things have happened when she has been left alone too long---so we don't tend to let her stay at home by herself.

When we got home, Brendan was here with his mom. "To survey the damage" she says. When Brendan got to the house on Saturday, he could not find Annie.  He called and called.  He could hear her dogtags tinkling and he heard her wimpering, but could not find her anywhere around the house.  He finally went up on the deck and looking down in the direction of the whining saw the pool was empty, the lining shredded, and sure enough, the dog was at the bottom of the pool. He got in the pool to lift her out---she is physically fine.  We cannot imagine what caused her to get into the pool, she has always refused to get near the steps or the deck. I just imagine some critter must have gotten near it for a drink in the heat last weekend---and she was doing her guard dog duty. She has a bear scratch scar beneath one eye--but that's another story.

Anyway, we've decided to sell the pool and decking on Craig's list.  To sell this place, we would have had to extend the deck and fence it---more trouble and expense than it's worth.  Doug is mourning the loss of his pool though.  He works out in the heat, and loves to float at the end of a day.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer Daze

We have had record heat for a week now. Kept the a/c on overnight a couple of times---something we don't do often, because usually it cools by 40 degrees or so.
Anyway, the heat sort of prevents a whole lot of activity. However, we do keep moving and have plans.

I have had the opportunity to engage in Spanish conversation with my friend Sherry. I hope our schedules will allow this regularly. I get so excited when I'm in the midst of it. Realizing I DO understand, and I AM understood is so awesome!! I get teary eyed with gratitude and do not want to lose what I have gained. Sherry is teaching basic Spanish to a small group from our church that will be going to Honduras (Mission Trip) this fall---I'll be attending the class tonight just for the exposure to Spanish. Keeping my ears tuned.

Daniel is working hard at Shelter One (Jim and Donna's business) coming home hot, dirty, and tired. Dinner, shower, a bit o' time online, and bed is about all you can expect from him Mon - Thur. Crystal & I joined forces last Friday, to help Daniel with the shopping for George Fox. He moves into the dorm August 27th. Our list is covered in checkmarks---we're nearly ready. He even found jeans that fit (31/34)--3 pairs!! None of us really enjoy shopping, so to get so much accomplished in one day was a blessing and miracle! He saw the dentist yesterday (2 cavities---need to floss!) Has an eye appointment in 2 weeks, and will make a trip to the Health Dept for a meningitus shot---maybe swine flu too---I'm trying to decide. I'm hoping to do a drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf, clean and purge in his room---that won't happen for a few more weeks.

Crystal has been relaxing at home. The change from Roma to Medford has been greater than anticipated, but she is doing well. We love having her laughter in the house. She found a women's soccer team to play on---scored the winning goal last week!!--
She is making a quilt out of old jeans and cords for Daniel to take to college. This is a tradition. My niece Karrie, made the first one. Then Crystal made one for herself and later for Jon when he was leaving for OIT. Daniel's is mostly denim blues with some hunter green, brown and tan corduroy added in for color and interest. It will be very handsome. She did find and buy a cute little car last week---a Hyundai Accent. Just what she was looking for and the right price. She will probably head to Portland around the 12th to job search in person. Please keep this in your prayers.

Doug has built a patio out of pavers in the side yard--just outside the Master Bedroom. We acquired a hot tub last spring, so now it is in a proper setting. This is one if the projects to finish before we put this house up for sale. (We've purchased a smaller house in Jacksonville with the plan to downsize and simplify---it's being rented right now) The patio is a very nice addition, the pavers compliment the rock garden wall well. That's alot of rocks to carry up our sloped walkway---the 109 heat didn't help--except, his back hasn't bothered him---hmmmm! He has earned a relaxing weekend away!!
Providentially, my first cousin's (my mother's niece) daughter is getting married at the McMenimins Edgefield in Troutdale this weekend. The wedding has become the venue for what has been dubbed the "Cousin Fest". Many of our first cousins from the mid-west are coming out West. All my siblings and their spouses are going. Crystal will share a room with my sister Karen. (Daniel will be hanging out with my Brother Lee's kiddos--his close in age cousins). We all have the Eurpeon style (bathroom down the hall) rooms. Normally I wouldn't choose this arrangement, but the rooms are sold out. I think it will be fun to run into cousins in the hall at night. From the hotel website, it looks like there'll be a celebration of Jerry Garcia's birthday this weekend as well---tie dye is in order---I don't think we'll go there.

The next weekend, we plan to camp at beloved Union Creek Campground. We're hoping Doug's brother Phil and family will join us. After that Crystal and Daniel will be moving on to other people, places, and things. Doug and I will try to do a bit of that too!
The day we take Daniel to GFU, Doug and I are boarding a plane for Oahu. He had some "use 'em or lose 'em" airmiles we cashed in for 2 tickets and a rental car. Our good friends Bob and Cindy Sharp now live there and have invited us to stay with them---too good to turn down.

In the meantime, I will turn fresh applications into the 3 nearby school districts with a resume showcasing my recent attendance at Language School---and the SIOP training I attended last summer. This is a tough year, but, jobs only come to those who throw their hats into the ring. If nothing comes from that, I will sub as before. Which I do love anyway.

Before we know it, the days will shorten and mornings will be crisp and cold with leaves starting to color. It is a wonder how quickly change happens. I am trying to practice the discipline of Thanksgiving each day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Going with the Flow

I've been taking time to recover. When I got home from Puebla, I was not only tired but a little ill.
I did a lot of sleeping last week. Towards the end of the week, I started cleaning and organizing the upstairs bedrooms to prepare for Crystal. Crystal is home from Italy! She taught at AOSR for 3 years, can you believe it? What a wonderful experience she has had.
She does not yet have a job for the fall, nor are there any prospects at this point. We'll see what comes next.

Daniel will be leaving for George Fox University August 27th---just 6 weeks. We made our shopping list last night. Friday is his next day off--let the accumulations begin!!

Pictures from Mexico

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Short timer

I have 2 more class days togo. I´ll be at the bus station bound for the airport at Mexico City Saturday morning. I´m very ready to be home.

This has been a worthwhile experience, I´ve learned alot. At times, I am thinking in Spanish, so that´s cool--and very surreal when you realize it. I am really tired though---and really glad I´m not staying for the whole course (4 weeks).

It is quiet here this week, 5 students left last weekend and we only got 2 new. There has also been alot of people sick---I blame the street food. Martin, from Denmark got samonella, and had to get an antibiotic shot.

I´ve been on 4 excursions, Chulula, Tlaxcala, Teutihucan/Mexico City, Cacaxatl. The words you can´t pronounce are in Naguatl, the Aztec language. The places are all very interesting. Similar, yet different. The famous one, atTehutihacan is actually a complex of 3 pyramids and several altars. It was not only a center for the religion, but commerce and military too. The original buildings date before Christ, the Aztecs occupied from about 200 - 700 ad. Their remodels are what you actually see and climb.
I´ve been to several museums and churches, of course. I´ve begun to get a general idea of Mexico´s History. Our Guia for each tour uses Spanish only---so you listen really hard and hope you´re understanding correctly.

Last Sunday, our guia, Carlos, failed to wear distinctive clothing. I lost sight of him a couple of times in El Bosque de Ciudad de Mexico (equivalent to Central Park). He is hard to pick out wearing a plain beige shirt in a sea of morenos (dark haired/skinned) people. Then, at El Castillo, 3 of us got separated while we were taking photos----the man walks way fast. Poyon, Malcolm and I had no idea where they went, and he hadn´t really given us an itinerary or timeline. So we sat by the exit gate for a little while. Then Poyon asked the guard if he´d seen our group leave, and he insisted they had. Anyway, the dilemma---
stay together and head down the hill?--or stay put like mama always told you to.

I opted to stay with them. They both appear Mexican, and Malcolm is a big guy. We walked the only path down the hill. At the bottom, still no sign of our group, so we bought water, and sat on the steps near the walkway for 20 minutes or so. Poyon decided to jog back up hill and double check. While she was gone, Malcolm and I discussed the ¨what if´s¨. Between us we had 20 pesos (less than $20), no credit cards, no phone, 2 cameras---Carlos had told us to leave everything nonessential on the bus. Mexico City is 3 hours from Puebla. Not the best of scenarios. We agreed not to get worried for at least 2 hours, and Malcolm said he thought he had friends in the city we could stay with.

It wasn´t long though that Poyon came running back with thumbs up. We didn´t miss much. The group was herded through the Museo at walking pace, no time to read any of the postings next to the artwork, so I don´t feel too bad. We did tell Carlos though, he really needs to dress more conspicuously, and tell people where he expected to go, and for how long. And we should done what mama always said.

Mexico City is a big city. Very crowded on a Sunday. The Zocolo is very European looking ( it was built by Spaniards) We only had 2 hours there, we weren´t interested in shopping, so we quickly took a peek in the Cathedral, then headed across the Zocolo to a rooftop restaurant for cervezas and cenar (beer and an evening meal/snack) The view was beautiful. It was election Sunday. All alcohol sales were stopped on Friday at midnite until after the polls were closed at 6pm on Sunday. We ordered at 5:15 pm and were finally served at 5:55 pm. I wonder if this custom really helps people to be soberminded as they vote?

Please pray for smooth transitions and travels on Saturday. I´ll take the bus at 10 am, should be at the airport about noon, my flight leaves at 2:55pm, layover and customs in LA., in Medford at 9:55 pm, Lord willing.

I will post my pictures when I get home.

Love and thanks to everyone

A funny: many times during class, Irma (the teacher) will sort of laugh at things said (incorrectly) and say ¨chistoso¨ and often it is Malcolm who has last spoken. So, yesterday he asked her, why are you always saying ¨cheese toast?¨ Irma laughed until tears ran down her face. Chistoso means funny, or you´re teasing! We giggled about it for quite awhile. It was good to laugh hard.