Monday, May 18, 2009

Blue on Blue

Life seems to snowball in the strangest ways. I left off after leaving my son at school, cried the whole way home, and tonight I prepare for the long drive to go pick him up...

How was I to know that this was going to be such a tough season? We all have heard "if you can't say something nice, than don't say it at all", and I suppose I have sort of been thinking that regarding blogging. Once again I have hit a dry patch, but this time it is more due to real life weighing heavy.

With the snow melting, and the sun shining, I have to believe that a season of loss is ending. I have to believe that.

In January I lost a ministry that is very near and dear to my heart. In February I lost my 2nd born to college, which is "good" but still painful. In March my oldest moved out on his own, so two of my three are leaving the nest and I ache.

Two weeks after leaving my Toad at school, I received a call from the hospital. My dad was there in ICU. Within a few days we had a diagnosis, and he was released into Hospice care...given six months to live. I spent the next two and a half months caring for him, but in April...I lost my dad.

Now as I plan to go get my son from school, I also plan my dad's memorial. I don't think I have ever cried so much as I have these past few months.

I have been knitting though! What is funny to me is that in hindsight I notice a lot of blue. It was not a conscious decision. I see a thread to it all and will elaborate further...but for now, I just wanted to dip my toe back into this thing called blogging.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Life As You Know It No Longer Exists...."

Words spoken to me by my mother in law when we found out I was pregnant...words I tell every pregnant woman I know, and words I now tell myself.

There are so many things wrong with hitting the emotional roller coaster that comes to women in their 40's and then add to that their babies seem to grow up and go away at the same time. Who made up those rules? I like to think I am not a wreck but then out of the blue I am crying...does it get better?

See, I have this kid that I really like. We got along from the beginning. Unlike his older brother (another kid I really like) he came into the world with a fast delivery. From the beginning he was just "easy". Not to mention cute as a bug...this tiny mouth that I could stare at all day, and his little nose I kissed constantly.

As he kept growing he continued to be more than I expected. Kind, loving, peace making, smart, missionary heart, and Jesus loving beyond any hopes a mom could ever pray. Sure his face became scratchy, and he smelled less like a boy and more like his dad, but that was fine. I still really liked him.

We never confused parenting with friendship, but this kid and I really got along. We've done some amazing things together, share a kindred spirit in many ways, and in the right light and at the right angle he sort of looks like me. Or at least he has my freckles. We like the same music, he makes us all laugh daily, and he begs me to knit for him! What more could be asked?

But now? Now I'm not so sure. See, he has gone and done the one thing that breaks my heart in the most bittersweet way a mom's heart can be broken. He grew up. I don't know if I can ever forgive him for this one, mainly because he had to go and do that quickly too.

As a homeschooling mom I can count the days we have been apart. Now I am counting them down until we drive him off to college and leave him there. Counting down until I can bring him home for Easter Break. Counting them down until he can come home again....but I know he will just leave for school or some other adventure again and it is the beginning of the end of life as I have known it no longer existing.

This is a poem my aunt embroidered for me. She gave it to me at my baby shower beautifully framed. I loved it then, and lived it with my kids...the upside to all this aching that I am feeling right now is the fact that it comes from living it well.

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow... For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow... So quiet down cobwebs... dust go to sleep... I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep!!

I am open to encouragement....not to be such a whiny baby, because I really am fine, but then there are those moments I find myself tearing up for no reason....ugh! Also to be fair, it is not like he is going off to some worrisome place. He is going on a full scholarship to bible college. I guess I can forgive him.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

100 Days of Prayer

Well, I'm back to blogging...who knows for how long, but at least for one more post. I don't know why something I can think about so much, and want to do so badly still seems like the thing I never get done in my day. Oh well...

So we have a new President! I have really enjoyed seeing people be so happy for a change. There seems to be an optimism that is refreshing, and for many people it represents more than a change in who sits in the Oval Office. I don't think of myself as looking at race as an issue, perhaps being naive, so it was a bit of an eye opener to watch the faces of all colors...seeing their tears as a man is sworn into office, a man who looks more like they do. I was sincerely happy for their moment and what it meant, obviously going very deep in ways I can't imagine. I am looking forward to people talking kindly about the President, respectfully even. I hope the honeymoon lasts.

I did not vote for him, but it does not change my respect and support. The thing that makes me sad is that many people still seem to want to make jabs at the previous President. The thing that both men have in common is that they are just I don't mean that in a gender way, I mean it in a humankind sort of way. We are fallible. If we are honest with ourselves we can admit that we all blow it. Even the things we desire to do well, we don't always do well.

I am hoping that our new President, my new President, exceeds all expectations. When he shows his fallibility, and he will, I will not be one of the people being nasty with my words. There is a difference in having a differing opinion policy wise, and just saying critical things in a mean spirit. I hope we can know the difference.

I have commited to participate with the Presidential Prayer Team's first 100 Days of Prayer. Not that praying beyond 100 days can't happen, but we have all heard the importance of the first 100 in any administration. Feel free to ask me about it, Google it, or just ignore it...but it is my own way of personally supporting President Obama.

As for the frivilous, I loved Michelle Obama's yellow dress! Was it lemongrass? She looked beautiful....and those girls!! I giggled when I saw Sasha and Malia and their outfits as well. So colorful and fun, just like they seem to be. My absolute favorite moment was Sasha giving her dad the thumbs up after his speech. Absolutely precious and loving and a great way to kick off this new term.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall baking...

I am so ready to bake! I have been craving all things warm and wintery which tells me more than the leaves changing colors ever will. It is time to hunker down and get ready for the long cold winter. The news people interviewed a local ski area rep and based on their record keeping of snowfall by October we are in for an above average year. The Almanac calls for a colder than normal winter so if you put it together....I better stock up on oatmeal and canned goods. Oh, and baking supplies.

I called my niece today. She was baking
! Budge is 10 and quite proud of her role as the "family baker". I have one of those too and got to tell her all about how her cousin Toad will make me cookies at the drop of a hint. I got to tell her how it makes a moms heart glad to smell the yummy goodness that fills the house. Mmmm.....

Budge was asking me how to make the frosting.
She needed to frost these cupcakes and while she knew her mom would smell them, she still wanted it to be a surprise. Could I stay on the phone with her and walk her through making it. Heck yeah I could! I started explaining how making frosting was going to be fun because she was in for a shock when she saw how little liquid would go into the powdered sugar, and that it actually makes frosting.

Then she said something that blew me away...especially for 10 years old. She said "Auntie, that is what I just love about baking. It is almost like a miracle! So many times you put things together and just think 'how the heck did that happen?' like it's a miracle or sumpin!"

And then I get really sad that we don't live closer. This is my same niece who will call me (starting at 8 years old!!) and tell me she has her knitting in her hands and can I tell her exactly how to bind off. The trade off is that I can call her and tell her that I need to hear a little "Aran Boat Song" or "Red Haired Boy"....and she will do her best on her fiddle. A girl of many talents that one.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Oregon Trail...

I am clearly behind the curve on this but I have to share about our trip. Besides having 6 plus hours of drive time to knit, take in gorgeous scenery, and chat with my Honey Bunny...I had these lovely girls to greet me!

Is there anything quite like having beautiful nieces come running out to the end of the driveway, jumping up and down? Budge was lite
rally waiting for us, watching down their long street, just to get that first glimpse of our car turning the corner. Oh, but it sure feeds the ego, I mean the heart!

e went up to celebrate with my brother and his wife. It was their 10th wedding anniversary, and they came up with a plan as unique as they are....Treehouses! We stayed in a Treesort, and had a treemendous time! Hehe...they do that to you there. They put a pun on anything possible and it is contagious.

Here wa
s our original tree house....Serendipitree. We ended up trading with another family member who was solo for the weekend. They told us it would sleep 3, but I don't know how as the bed was a twin! I suppose if you wanted to sleep fetal on the floor, or like an owl on a branch outside...but we actually wanted some sort of bed. Kerri graciously traded us for her house that slept 5 and all was well.

Here is the house we ended up in. It was called Treeloon and is meant to look like a Saloon with the swinging doors. Not only was it bigger but it actually had a sink in it! I did have to make runs to the bathroom in the dark (scary) but I could at least wash my feet before climbing into bed, brush teeth and take out contacts. I'm a simple girl, the sink was perfect!

Here is our view from the deck...

Inside the Treeloon, not where we slept but a bunk that would acomodate 2-3 kids....I was tempted to take a picture of the "special bucket" that was in a cupboard should you not want to walk to the bathroom in the scary night. Since I was mortified even knowing it was there (Honey Bunny told me) it was all I could do to stand its presence
. I could not bring myself to even touch the handle of the door. Is this just me who finds this sort of gross? I do have to wonder if anyone uses it, blech!

My sister on the other hand is a bit higher maintenance. So guess what she got? Thank goodness she didn't get the little cupboard with the night time amenity!! Across the wooden bridge from me was a militaryish tent that had a bed in it...Cavaltree. I asked her to model her house and open the flap door. She said a snarky "Model this!" ....then I had to run to the bathroom so I didn't wet my pants. That is how it goes with us.

Above that, on the back of the tree, there were a couple of wooden ladders that lead up to the top tree fort. My daughter and nieces all slept up there and we just hoped no one had to go to the bathroom in the night. The ladder area was dark and sketchy and we didn't need any falls.

The kids loved it. I tell you, if you have little ones this is a place to take them. This is the sort of thing that smaller children would never forget. I know my nephews and nieces will be talking about this for years to come. I would only do it again if it was a family thing like this, or I was taking small children. It is a bit on the pricey side, and I can say that I did it, no need to do it again but I would for an event. It really was a fun novelty adventure.

There was swimming....

Berry picking....

Exploring the 'hood.....

The best part? Family!

Oh, I nearly forgot! While we were there we met a couple from Family Fun Magazine. They were doing a story on the Treesort for an issue next summer. It is in the section called "Worth the Drive". They needed models for the photo portion and our family was who they chose. My brother and his wife were the parents, and while they have two boys only one was cooperative for pictures. So the "family" was my brother, SIL, nephew and niece! How cool is that? So I took pictures of them taking pictures...

My sister looking at the shots the photographer got...

We also got to squeeze in a soccer game during our trip. Is there anything cuter than 5 year old kids trying to make their legs work? I am endlessly amused by this! Poor kids can barely kick the darn thing, and then half way through the game they change the goal sides. Now they have to remember to kick the other direction. The other funny thing is the coaching styles...some coaches really try to instill the rules of the game and others are just about the kids having fun and learning good sportsmanship. I am in the camp of the latter, so I laugh at all the time outs, off sides calls and kicking out of bounds. The kids have no clue, at 5, but the coaches are ready to blow a gasket. So funny! Makes me run for the sani-hut!

Get 'em Bo!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Summer is Slipping away...

I don't know if I am getting older or not, but I sure seem to dread winter more and more. Don't get me wrong, there are many things I love still, but it just seems to last longer than I ever recall growing up. So much for global warming! My winters seem longer and colder than ever!

But not yet. We still have summer waning and are into a beautiful fall season. Driving home today I noticed that the aspen and birch leaves are beginning to turn and so are my lilac bushes....the same ones that only a few months ago I was watching them sprout out and flower.

Tomorrow we are off to Oregon for a family get together. My brother and his wife are celebrating 10 years of marriage and decided to plan an interesting camping experience. We will be staying in treehouses! I am so excited! Just the kind of quirky fun I love.

After getting to Grants Pass, where my sister lives, we will stay a night and then head out to Cave Junction. From there we'll all be staying a Out n' About.

This is our tree house. It is called Serendipitree. All of the houses have funny little names and when you call in, you make a "treeservation". Each family will have their own tree house but there is a common area where we will be able to cook and eat together. I just hope my sister's tree is near my tree so I can huck pinecones, or acorns or whatever grows there at her. Better yet, we can both gang up and either annoy our brother, or our own children, or both. The two of us getting together is always and evil sort of way.

Technically it is a treesort, or bed and breakfast type of place, so a nice full breakfast is served. This makes me happy! If one meal a day is made for me I am thrilled and call that vacation baby!

I don't know how much we will get to do in terms of activities. They have all sorts of things offered, but I am just not into tons of separate things that all cost so much. Something about feeling nickle and dimed just bugs me. Anyone else? We tend to like hiking and exploring so I'm thinking we will do more of that. There is the Oregon Caves National Monument, and this sort of thing is right up our alley.

I will be sure to take my camera and take lots of pictures. When you put this many people in my family together it is bound to be a memorable trip in every way. Now that I have my fancy schmancey new laptop, I will hopefully be able to keep up the blog better, and I am even hoping to post from Oregon!

One last thing, on the knitting front, I have finished a sweater, baby sweater, and some socks. I really should post about them but it just seems to elude me with all the business we have had. The most exciting thing is that I thought the collective "we" were done with babies, but my sister in law is pregnant...with a boy!! I am over the moon happy. So I have nearly finished an EZ Baby Surprise sweater, and hat and I am working on a blanket. There will definitely pictures of those things.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Quite Random

Anyone want/need homeschooling supplies? I have finally graduated two of my three (and I'm going a different route with #3) and have tons of "stuff". I was thinking of yarn trade....maybe. I just don't know if I want to go the whole eBay route.

Let me know!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Off to Summer Camp!

Oh, I dearly love camp. Never got to go as a kid so I have more than made up for it as Besides being hot and smoky, it should be an amazing week! Zip lines, mountain biking, swimming, fishing, ridge runners, kayaking, giant swings, ropes course, blobbing, mud just never ends. I might even knit a bit during free time and try to get some fresh young recruits!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jimmy Beans Wool Coolness

Jimmy came up with this great idea to do video reviews online. These began with product reviews, honestly done, pointing out things we like (and don't like) about products. Added to them are some cool tutorial videos like a provisional cast on and that sort of thing. I know if anyone has an idea for something they would like to see, just suggest it! They are always open to fresh ideas!!

See the rest of the reviews here: JBW Video Reviews

There are a few more of mine, but I don't recommend them unless you like hearing "ummmm...." and "ahhhh..." way too much. What a dork! Look for Sandy, Jeanne or Laura and you will be much happier...heck any of the girls. They rock!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

My Son the Eagle Scout

Somebody tell me how it happens. You are in a hospital, tired and sore, and you won't let the nurse take that little baby to the nursery. He's all yours for the moment and you just want to inhale that newborn right back in somehow. No one tells you that this is your son, and you should now love him. You just do. For the moment he belongs only to you, in that quiet time. You are in over your head with crazy love, storge love.

Then that baby grows up. I still wonder how it happened and why it had to happen so fast. It came in steps. I remember each one, and it is bittersweet in my heart. You want them to grow into wonderful productive adults, but each of those steps leads them up and away. I am greatful for each necessary milestone, and did the necessary letting go every time, but it still makes a mom's heart a wee bit sad.

My son has grown up into a fine young man. He has some learning to do yet, but he is kind, honest, wholesome, loves his country, loves his family and loves his Jesus. I could not be more proud. I like him a lot! Oh, I will always love him like crazy, but I sure like him a too.

Not many kids these days commit to something at 7 years old and stick with it. I have a couple boys who did. My oldest has made it to his goal (the 2nd is right behin
d him) of Eagle Scout.

If you have any involvement with this program you know. Most people don't, and that is alright. We are proud just the same. We are fortunate to have an awesome Troop and it feels a lot like an extension of our family. Camping, hiking, backpacking, summer camp, tree cutting and running a Christmas Tree lot, Pacific
Coast trips to Yellowstone, Yosemite and every place in between. Spleunking, snow camping, rock climbing, bowling and golfing. So many things I can't even name them all. Memories, lessons, and moments my kids will benefit from for the rest of their lives.

All leading to the highest award in Boy Scouts. Eagle Scout. Less than 2 percent make this rank, and when my son graduates from Marine basic training he will have earned his first stripe because of it.

Yeah, I am proud, and thanks for reading this far and letting me share this. Just so you know he isn't too big for his britches, at the end of the day all the little girl cousins took him down!