Jun 30, 2008

Black Hole

My sister, Tom, and the girls arrived at Mika's house Saturday night and camped out there before heading into Seattle for the day. We met up later in the day and they brought the boys and I up to my cousin Rhonda's house. We are in the good old USA but our cell phone thinks I'm in Canada. We are not communicating via cell for the duration of our stay here. They also have dial up . . . I know hard to believe such a thing exists . . . so our internet connection is also few and far between. With our two main avenues of communication down, we are in the black hole for the rest of the week.
So far we are having a blast! We went to the lake today, swam in the pool here at the house and picked up some locally grown fabulous raspberries and strawberries. There are plenty more exciting things in store for the rest of the week.
Happy 4th of July!!

Jun 28, 2008

Ocean Shores, WA

The annual Sand and Sawdust festival was this weekend in Ocean Shores, WA. Mike, her sisters, mom, the kids, and I all headed over to the beach to enjoy the beautiful weather and check out the sand sculpting and chainsaw carving competitions. The water was freezing but the boys played in it for awhile. Most of our time was spent playing in the sand. We had such a great day. It was so nice to be outside enjoying some of the best weather I have ever experienced in Washington, and it was really fun to hang out with Mika's family.
The only problem with the day at the beach was major sand infiltration. The sand is so fine and the wind was blowing into everything. I have a temporary camera situation due to sand finding its way in to all its moving parts. Those of you who know me well, know that I am a camera breaker and are probably not too surprised to hear this. Hopefully, some can-o-air will help me clean out the camera and get it back into shape.

Playing Local


On Friday we stayed close to home and headed over to the Hands On museum in Olympia and then to the Heritage Park fountains nearby. The Hands On museum was basically a huge imagination station for the kids. There was a market, kitchen, puppet show and stage area, building area, a boat, water table, craft room and more! The kids played for hours.
When Mika and I had enough of the museum, we took the kids over to a park where water shoots up from the ground. They ran around until they were too cold to handle the fun anymore.

Jun 26, 2008

Mount St. Helens

Today the boys, Mika, Madison, and I headed to Mount St. Helens. We spent time in the visitor center before heading to the Johnson Observatory to see the mountain and the crater left by the eruption. The weather was gorgeous! We had a picnic, played at a playground and enjoyed a beautiful day outside.
Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980 causing huge mud slides, ash clouds, and major destruction to the forests around the mountain.

Jun 25, 2008

Summer Vacation 2008

Some people think of a summer vacation as a vacation taken during the summer. I, however, decided that "summer vacation" should mean that you actually go on vacation for the whole summer!
I consider myself blessed to be able to spend 7 weeks traveling and visiting family and friends. I am blessed to have dear friends and family that I want to spend time with, kids that love to travel, and last but certainly not least, a husband who is supportive of my crazy whims.
The boys and I boarded our first flight in Baltimore on Tuesday, June 24th and arrived in Seattle later that evening. While I was excited about the journey that lie ahead, I was very sad to leave Matt and my wonderful friends in Virginia. I'll miss them, and will think of them often.
We are spending time in the Pacific Northwest before heading south to California. Matt will join us later this summer and spend a week in the Sacramento area followed by a week camping outside of Mendocino, CA. We are sad that Matt couldn't join us for the complete journey, but realistically - someone has to fund our trip!
We have a lot of fun things planned, and a lot of time to do nothing but enjoy the presence of the people that surround us. It is an exciting time for us and should be a really memorable summer. I'm looking forward to turning my blog of random musings into a travel blog.

Day 1: Arrived in Seattle and was picked up by Mika and Madison.
Day2: The boys woke up at 5:30am Pacific - too early! We spent the morning settling in, played at a local playground, planned our adventures for the next few days, and then celebrated Mika's slightly belated 1/2 birthday with dinner and cake. You may recall from an earlier posting that all people who are born in December and regularly receive gifts from me would be celebrated on their half birthday effective immediately.

Jun 20, 2008

Still Cool!

Matt has been flying for over 6 years now, and I still think it is so cool! Today the boys and I went over to Fort Belvior to watch him land and display the helicopter for an organization's picnic. We missed watching him land, but hung around long enough to see him take off.
T
he boys climbed all over the aircraft as if it was the first time they ever saw it. In reality, they see it just about every time someone comes out here to visit.
Other cool guys at the picnic were Military Police K-9 handlers and their dogs, and firefighters with their truck. I was so impressed by the K-9 dogs. Their training is amazing. The boys didn't really understand what the dogs were doing, but were enthralled by the firetruck. The firemen were so kind to show the boys everything in the truck and explained how everything worked.
It was a beautiful day, and a great opportunity for some soldiers and firefighters to show off their stuff!

5 miles!

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to run 3 miles in 33 minutes or less. Since meeting that goal earlier this year, I have continued to run and have been trying to increase my speed and distance. Although I experience a lot of pain in my left knee after completing a run, I have continued to run and I'm determined to improve my running ability.
Yesterday I ran 5 miles in 55 minutes. It isn't a great speed, but it was the first time I ran for such a long time, so I was pretty impressed with myself. The best news is that I had no knee pain during or following the run!
Now, I must confess I only run on a treadmill, in an air conditioned gym! A runner friend of mine said that running on a treadmill takes 20% less effort than running outside. I'll agree with this statement. So, in running reality I only ran 4 miles - but in my reality it was 5!
Someday I'll take to the streets, but until then . . . I'm willing my legs to keep moving on the treadmill and believing that even in my 30's, I can still take on new physical challenges and be successful!

Jun 16, 2008

A Prayer For Our Children

"since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins."
Colosians 1:9-12

Jun 14, 2008

Ordinary Day

On the surface today was just an ordinary day, but it was really a great one. The day started off with my 7am doctor appointment. Seriously, 7am on a Saturday? It was the only appointment I could get, so I took it. I saw a very efficient and nice Nurse Practitioner who did what I asked of her and went above and beyond, just the opposite of my last NP. After the Dr. visit I was feeling faint from the blood draw (not really but it sounds good) so I was off to Panera for a 400+ calorie cinnamon crunch bagel and a coffee. I enjoyed the breakfast in the restaurant, uninterrupted, and then headed to Target, the mecca of all discount shopping to pick up some things on my list . . . and somethings that were not. And finally, I stopped by the gym to work off the bagel. After I finished my 45 minutes on the elliptical (the exact amount of time required to burn off the bagel) the older man next to me took out one of his earphones and said to me "I knew you could do it, it was tough there at the end but you did it!" Shouldn't I be cheering him on? Anyway, by this time I figured I better get home. Matt, the boys and I headed to the pool for 2 hours and enjoyed the passing clouds and refreshing water. We almost had the pool to ourselves, which made it even more enjoyable.
After lunch and some "quiet time" for Eli, he came downstairs and asked me to play with him. I told him I really wanted to but I had so much cleaning to do, I couldn't play until I was done. He looked up at me and said "then I'll help you". It was possibly the sweetest moment I have had with Eli in awhile. He just wanted to be with me. So, I gave him all the "cool" jobs that he usually doesn't get to take part in like squirting the windex on the glass, dusting the shutters, and cleaning the toilet. He wasn't squealing with excitement but he didn't leave either.
We ate dinner and filled the time with laughter, followed by a sing along with Bob and Larry, and got the boys in bed in time for Matt and I to watch a movie together.
I got some errands done, enjoyed some time alone, time with the family, and time with . At the end of the day I stopped to think how special the "ordinary" can be.
I hope you have an ordinary day!

Jun 13, 2008

Weekend Getaway

Every mom deserves and earns a weekend away! At least that is my firm belief.
I had my 2008 "mom's weekend away" this past weekend. I chose to go to Clarksville, Tn to visit some girlfriends.
Before leaving the house I finished the laundry (not that it is ever actually done), made sure the dishes were all clean, swept the floor and vacuumed. My hope was that tidying the house before leaving for the weekend would make cleaning it upon return a little easier. I'm not sure if that plan worked. Upon return it was quite the mess.
So, I headed to Baltimore to catch a early morning flight. The first hour of my trip was already quite rewarding. After traveling through airports with two kids in tow for the past 3 years, traveling alone was great. I arrived at the airport 1 hour before my flight. I parked the car in the long term, put my ONE very small bag on the courtesy shuttle and was off to the terminal. I checked my bag (since the 3-1-1 rule is just irritating) and headed to security. As I stood in line I found myself people watching. I have no time to people watch when I am ensuring my kids don't cause a security breach, so this was truly entertaining. On one occasion I watched a lady take note of the TSA agent yelling to "keep your boarding pass out" and then continue to put her boarding pass with her shoes on its way to the x-ray machine. Now, this became a huge ordeal when she approached the metal detector without it. They wouldn't let her through so she went back to her stuff which, was already on its way through the machine, to retrieve her ticket. Long story short, the ticket got lost in the x-ray machine and she stood there baffled with 30 angry passengers behind her. Just a note: take off your shoes, and your belt, take the money out of your pocket, put your cell phone in the container, your laptop in a separate container and KEEP YOUR BOARDING PASS WITH YOU! Come on people it isn't too hard.
So, once through security and no more free entertainment I picked up a magazine that I would actually be able to read during the flight and headed to my gate. On the plane I had the privilege of being entertained by the older lady setting next to me. The flight attendant announced that she would be coming by to offer us drinks and peanuts. She announced the beverage selection and then headed down the aisle to take our order. It was pretty clear she was taking orders because she had a pen and pad of paper in her hand. When she reached my row I said "I'll take a Coke", then she looked at my fellow passenger and asked her "can I get you something to drink?" The lady replied "yes". This began a conversation between the two going back and forth "what would you like?", "what do you have?", "this is what we have . . . ", "yes that sounds good", "which one sounds good?" "do I have to tell you?"
At this point it is everything I have in me not to laugh out loud! Of coarse you have to tell her what you want! So, the lady then needed the list of offerings read to her again before replying that she wanted "juice". Unfortunately, for that flight attendant there were about 6 different juices being offered. Finally, they agreed upon orange juice. It was great.
I found that when I am not consumed with taking care of my boys I have so much time on my hands to appreciate all of the humorous everyday life things that are going on around me.
The bonus of the flight was that we had an early arrival into Nashville. Great! This never happens to me. However, since we were early there was a plane at our gate and we had to wait on the runway for 15 minutes . . the exact amount of time that we were early. Hmm.
Once in Nashville my friend Katie picked me up and we headed to a local mall for coffee, shopping, lunch and a lot of talking. I happened to be in Nashville for Fan Fair which is the country music event of the year in the city. Just about every country music group pops in sometime during the three day event to do a little diddy. The weather was great so Katie and just found a nice park bench in the shade, listened to music and enjoyed being together.
I also had the chance to visit my friend Sara once I got into Clarksville. We spent the day together catching up and solving world problems, like the trade deficit, the weakening dollar, and watched Hilary Clinton PAINFULLY concede to Obama the democratic presidential candidacy.
It was such a relaxing, wonderful weekend. I am so blessed to have met these ladies so many years ago and to have maintained a close relationship despite the distance that is between us.
I appreciate that Matt didn't even flinch when I told him I was going away for the weekend and my sweet friend Rachael's willingness to help watch the boys and shuttle Eli to school on Friday while Matt was at work.

Jun 4, 2008

Wildcats Head to Super Regionals!

The Arizona Wilcats advance to Super Regionals where they will take on the top overall seed Miami. The winner of the Arizona (41-17) Miami (50-8) match up will head to Omaha. The games are this weekend and will be aired on ESPN. We are so excited for Grayson to be a part of this team and to hopefully make his television debut!
Game 1: 4 p.m. Friday, ESPN
Game 2: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN
Game 3:* 4 p.m. Sunday, ESPN2

Go Wildcats!!

Jun 1, 2008

Why is your belly so big?

I came home tonight and changed into my lounge wear (some comfy stretching pants and a tank top). Apparently the elastic waisted pants revealed something new to Eli - I have a gut.
He looked at me very seriously and asked "why is your belly so big?".
I'm trying not to introduce the "f-a-t" word to the boys so I said "because I'm chubby".
He replied "no that isn't it".
We went back and forth a few minutes about how huge my belly was and pondered why it was so big. Finally, Eli concluded "mom you must have ate too much".
"Yes Eli, I ate too much today, yesterday and probably a little too much off and on for the last few months and therefore I have a big belly".
That was a really fun, uplifting conversation I had with my 5 year old. Last night Gabe and Matt had a lengthy conversation about God, Jesus, and heaven. Did I get the God questions? Nope. I get to discuss flab.