Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Warm and Fuzzy

He wanted to make a blanket by himself. Never mind that I am making him a quilt. He picked the fabric himself, decided the dimensions and did it all. Not too shabby for a kids who loves skating, four wheeling and all that dangerous stuff. I love that he wanted to do this on his own.

Winter Break Quick List

1. Missed the week of school before the break.

2. It snowed.

3. Ran around house maniacally looking for hubby's gifts. I couldn't find them anywhere.

4. Knit some baby booties.

5. Asked the boys if I had them hide Dad's gifts. They looked at me like I was crazy and pulled them out from under their beds--already wrapped. We had wrapped them together!! Argh, I do this every year.

6. It snowed-a lot.

7. Enjoyed being snowed in. Nothing says time with family like watching the Back To The Future trilogy in one day!

8. Made cinnamon rolls.

9. Saw some family.

10. Made some rockin' candied citrus peel! Seriously good stuff!

11. Did I mention that it snowed?

12. Went sledding with the kids.

13. Loved time with my family where we didn't have a schedule to keep.

14. Missed seeing my siblings.

15. Surprisingly had the power on the whole time!

16. Did some more knitting. (see #7)

17. Loved watching the lads love their Christmas gifts.

It has been a great break. I think we are going to try and brave the big city today. Little C is going to the skate park and Big C has a gift card to Powells Books. I'm looking forward to our outing. Ciao!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Just Wonderin'...

We were all hanging out and watching a movie when little C says "Do you think I can do the splits in tighty whiteys? They aren't as flexible as boxers." Well, this isn't something that I can weigh in on, so if you have an opinion, by all means let us know what you think! Merry Christmas...

Monday, December 22, 2008

You live in Oregon if...

You are snowed in during the month of December with only 18" snow. Granted we have received most of it in less than a week, but it still makes me giggle. This is a great picture of the shop in the snow and some of the drifting that we have going on. Some are really impressive.
Our neighbor came over and plowed us out with his tractor. David had taken the truck out to see if could get out, but couldn't make it back up the drive. We might be able to make it to town tomorrow if we don't have freezing rain. There's just no reason to go anywhere with all the stinkin' ice. In this picture you can see an orange topped figure. That would be little C who is snow boarding down that drift. He has had a blast playing in the snow. The wind should be calm tomorrow, so I think we will venture out and sled. We have enough big drifts that we won't have to leave our property.
You might ask yourself what one does while snowed in? Besides taking water to the animals and clearing snow away from doors, we have been watching all the free family movies on Comcast. On Saturday we watched the complete trilogy of Back To the Future. AMAZING!! I'm sure it makes you wish you could be snowed in as well... if only you could be so lucky! Well, I'm off to find a wayward retainer. Ta!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's always a party here....

I love how sparkly everything looks when it's out of focus! The guys brought home the perfect tree on Saturday--tall and slender. We decorated on Monday and now we are anxiously waiting for the big day to arrive! We have only been to school on Tuesday this week, church was even cancelled because of snow and ice. It makes sense only if you live here. Because it snows so seldom, nobody knows how to handle driving in it. But after growing up in Montana it seems pretty wimpy.
Here's some good-looking logger guy who hangs out in my living room in the evenings. He's even better in focus!! (Maybe that will learn ya to call me a blogging slacker)

Here is a great picture of big C on little C's birthday gift with a friend of ours. I love how messy the room looks! It's just lots of birthday festivity!!
I love seeing the snow outside, it makes it really seem like winter to me. I hope you're enjoying yours! Cheers, babe!

Monday, November 17, 2008

First dance, second hat and third handspun

Here is my third yarn that I have made. I think I might make a beret style hat for myself out of it. It's pretty small, fingering weight and took a while. I learned a lot about spinning smaller yarn. I think I'm going to continue to learn every time I start a new project.

Here's the second hat with my second handspun. I really love how the yarn turned out and the hat turned out well too. I think the kid wearing it is turning out alright as well. He had his first middle school dance on Friday after school. I stayed and spied on him. The dance started out as any middle school dance does with the boys on one side of the room and the girls on the other. Then groups of girls started dancing so groups of boys started "dancing"--I'm still not sure what they were doing, but at least they weren't just standing around. Then there was a snow ball dance and one of the cool volleyball girls picked Clancy. He had about three picks of his own to make until the song was over. After that everyone just danced in a huge group in the middle and really had fun. Clancy is quite a hit with the vb girls which is really good for his self-esteem. I loved watching him. He's pretty comfortable doing his own thing without seeking approval from everyone else. (he dances like his dad, but at least they both will dance!)
The mighty hunter went looking for elk and came home empty-handed. It's just the way things go sometimes. We have had beautiful weather with lots of sunshine. I really love it. I don't mind the rain so much when we have the sun in between. I think that's it. Probably not the most exciting post for my bros to read, but maybe I'll knit you a hat! Cheers!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Rosy cheeks and creamsicle hats

For my guy whose fave color is orange...This is my first handspun yarn and I have to say that I'm kind of impressed that everything worked out the way that I planned. Now the weather needs to cool off so he can wear it!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Pirates and Skeletons, Oh My!!

For the second time in my costume-making career I didn't make costumes for my kids this year. I feel no guilt and don't feel like less of a mother for the experience. Big C decided at the last minute to go trick-or-treating and a pirate costume was easy to put together with some of the stuff from last year's Indiana Jones costume.
Little C wanted to be a gorilla, but when he found the skeleton costume, his mind was made up. I love how it makes him look knock-kneed!

I didn't have to encourage this picture, it pretty much happens naturally when they stand next to each other! They really hauled in the candy and had a great spook night. Hope you did too. Ta!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

What's in your outhouse?

I bought this cabinet a couple of years ago at a garage sale and was super excited about it. My bubble nearly burst when I showed it to my dear hubby and he said "Whatcha gonna do with an outhouse?" I wanted to say that I would stuff him in it and flush! We all call it the outhouse now. It has become home to all my fabric and fabric-related miscellany. Until a couple of weeks ago it was a disaster, but now it is a thing of beauty! Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Outhouse!!

I even got all crazy and organized the fabric by color with all the flannel on the second shelf under the reds. The baskets have a bunch of goodies and special fabrics. I keep opening it just to see how pretty it all is! The two blocks on the door are for little C's quilt. He really wanted the orange to POP and I think he nailed it! If this seems like a crazy thing to be excited about, think about organizing your drill bits or whatever...Now you know what's in my out house! Ciao

Monday, September 15, 2008


That's what little C said when he saw my hand. Older C told me in no uncertain terms that he doesn't approve. And yes, Dad knows. And he knows that it is henna and not a permanent tat...I went to Saturday market with my friend. It was such an incredibly beautiful day with lunch along the river. Since we were in Portland there was plenty of freaky-people watching! sometime I'll tell the story about the women on the train next to us...Keep Portland Weird!!! It was nice to have some time with a great friend in the sunshine. Thanks D!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Poof!! Dreams turn to dust...

He's my crazy guy who's afraid of nothing (except E.T.) He's a man's man and loves to things his dad does. That's why today when the audio doc said that his hearing is getting worse and there can be no more shooting of any gun, I saw his face turn and I cried and cried. The doctor really didn't know what to do with me, she doesn't understand how much a part of life that is for these guys. I asked C if he was more sad about his hearing or about the guns. He said the guns...and if his hearing goes he can always learn sign language-in fact he has said this since we first found out about his ears. This isn't some kind of boo-boo that I can put a bandaid on or kiss better. It has really taken the wind out of his sails...and mine too...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fresh, Organic, Free Range Firewood

This was a sign that we saw on our way home from the beach yesterday. It is totally hilarious!! Kind of makes me giggle.

This is a skim board. The guys are getting better at it each year. This year they figured out that if you go fast enough you can catch a couple of waves.

Here C is trying to get the dog into the water. She sure is a baby for how big she is! The beach was beautiful and relaxing. It was definitely hard to come home...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's all about summer

And summer is almost over...I'm just going to list what this summer has been for me.

-floating the river with the guys
-blackberries and jelly
-olympics and knitting
-cooking foil dinners over a fire in the pasture
-hanging the laundry to dry
-watching boys grow up faster than I ever thought possible
-looking forward to a family reunion and then being home too soon

Older C has been working for a neighbor this summer. He is saving for a trip to Europe next spring. He is also picking and selling blackberries by the gallon. He's been working really hard and I'm proud of him. He also spent his first week at Scout Camp and had a stellar time.

Younger C went to a skate camp and had fun. He also went to Cub day camp for the first time as a scout! He loved it and was really worn out everyday. This week is a football camp for him at the school. So much fun before we are back to the grind of school.

I had a couple of inservice training meetings this week. I would love to take a sabbatical the first three weeks of school and have time to do some things at home. Hey, if wishes were horses, right? I'm teaching a friend how to sew which is fun. She is really catching on fast. Now don't laugh too hard on this one...I'm assistant coaching the volleyball in the Middle School this year. I figure I can give a lot of pointers to the ones who sit on the bench since that is all I ever did. We are doing a camp this week, and it's fun to get to know the girls in a different environment than the classroom.

I always think about where I was personally a year ago and feel good about the personal progress that I have made in a year. I think about where I will be in a year from now and I wonder what changes are afoot for our family. I always wish for that crystal ball that might give me a glimpse at all the answers.

One more thing. I'm ready The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. It was written in the mid 1800's and it's well written and really darn funny. I really love the time period and the antics of the characters. Okey dokey...Ta!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What a croc!

What's not to love about red maryjanes? The fact that they are made out of plastic is weird, but they are oh, so stylin', right? Clayton's fav color is orange. When they were new these babies glowed! They were so bright. Clancy's favorite color is blue. These are definitely his fashion style, understated and match anything. I really love this pic!
So, I have not figured out how to post pics where I want them. I think you can follow though. The top and bottom ones are on a tour boat in Montana on the Missouri River. It's a great ride through what is known as the Gates of the Mountains. It's an optical illusion that makes the mountainous cliffs look like gates that are closing behind you or opening in front of you. It is cool to be there and think that this is where Lewis and Clark were so many years ago. The boat guide is a retired teacher and very cool, he let the boys pilot the boat on the way back to the dock. It was a big highlight for them.
The other two pics are the second day we were home. I found some hay for our animals on Monday and we went to the field to pick it up. Dave's allergies were so bad that the boys and I took the hay up to the barn on Tuesday. It's so much more fun to work with the "farm equipment" for the boys. It's good to have that all taken care of though.
We're off the the orthodontist, the library and wherever else I can make the mighty truck go! Ciao babe...

Back in the saddle

Coming back from vacation is always hard for me. We have sooo much fun, stay up too late and then have a ton to do when we come home. We had a great time at my family reunion. My brother and his wife were stuck with hosting the crew this time. They did a great job of showing us a fun time. I think the quotable quotes of the trip were the lady at the bowling alley saying how entertaining it was to watch us bowl and when Jared came upstairs after bedtime with a CareBear and Jason said, "Jared, why do you have a CareBear in your pants" without laughing. Try it some time, it's impossible not to laugh.

I can't find the USB cable or I would share some pics from the trip. We've been mowing/hauling hay/weeding/alpaca shearing since we've been back. No wonder I never want to get out of bed in the morning?! Well I'd better change out of my pj's and get moving on this day. Ta!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

New York: It's a Zoo Out There

I still haven't figured out how to post pictures and text...oh well!! The DC/NY trip was so fun and so full of details and events that I'll just say that I'm glad that I live in a tiny little burg in Oregon! In DC we went to the White house, the capitol, the Holocaust museum and all the various war memorials. We ate one day in Union Station which is a really beautiful place! In NY we went to Central Park, The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero. We saw Legally Blond on Broadway which was a real treat. Another thing I really loved was haggling with the street vendors. I bought the zebra bag from the funniest guy who drove a hard bargain, but relented to the country bumkin from Oregon (his exact words)! The hustle and bustle were a little overwhelming at times. In fact I had people get angry with me for being too slow getting my money out or put away at lunch. Who knew? I much prefer the slower life this side of the Rocky Mountains.
I sure missed my guys. They went camping in Wallowa and I'm pretty sure they had more fun than I did. In these pictures they are packaging up the newborn kits. They are finally complete! It was fun to listen to their comments as we bagged things up. They couldn't imagine not having such a simple thing as soap to wash your baby. They talked about how many blankets both of them had as a newborn and what they have now. I think this project has made the impact I was hoping for.
We are off to Montana and Idaho next week. It's going to be a lot of fun seeing family and relaxing for all of us. After that we are just going to chill here on the farm, go to the beach and enjoy the rest of the summer! Cheers!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's the way we roll

We are making newborn kits for a Humanitarian aid project at church. We decided as a family that each of us could make a kit. Here are the guys sewing their receiving blankets. They each picked out their own fabric. I think they are having fun with it. Cloth diapers are next...

This quilt is going to our friends who are moving back to India. I thought a Cowboy/Western/Americana theme would be a great souvenir from their years spent in America.

I asked the boys to move some rounds of wood from the tree David fell last year and here they are, farming it kid style! I love how innovative they can be. The wagon has bark on it. Whew, I hope they used enough chains!! This is how they spent part of the first day of summer break. They also mucked out the chicken coop and cleaned the nesting boxes. I have to harness their willingness to help whenever I can! They leave in the morning to camp with dad in Wallowa. They are so excited about this...maybe that's why they are so willing to help?

That's it for about a week. I'll post again when I am back from the east coast. I'm pretty excited about going. Have a great week! Ta!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Trippin' in a Mini-van

I did it and it goes against all that I believe in. I drove a mini-van on a road trip! I don't know, maybe I'm a better person for it, but I had told myself it was something I would never do. I showed up to leave for the Middle School field trip to Antelope Oregon and was told I would be driving a mini-van of students on this trip. We have enough students to fill two buses and then about 10 more, so rather than take another bus, the school district rents vans for the overflow. One would think that one would need a special permit or something, but I guess I was just the one who seems crazy enough to say "Sure, how bad could this get?" Yeah, so paybacks really are hell!! Try spending four hours in a mini-van (!!!) listening to show tunes and six Middle School girls singing full bore the whole time. Whoo hooo!! I discovered this great phenomenon as we were driving, though: If you leave the Columbia River Gorge, you will encounter this yellow stuff called sunshine. Sunshine, blessed sunshine!! I almost forgot all about you!! So we get to Antelope and the place we stay is called Wild Horse which is where the Rajneeshe compound used to be. Now it is a Christian youth camp- a weird dicotome, I know. This field trip is a huge reward for the students. It was rough for me once we were there. I had to make sure the zip line would be fact I had to go down twice to make sure it was ok. Then after everyone was blinded by the whiteness of my legs, I hung out by the pool and just chilled. Have I mentioned how tough my job is?? We spent the night, repeated activities of the previous day and then headed back to the dreary drizzle of the Gorge.

This week has been more field trips with work. Yesterday and today I was in charge of a student with an authority defiance/agression disorder as well as ADHD and adolescent hormones. What was I saying about paybacks? As a culminating activity to an ancient Greece study unit, we went to the Greek Cuisina in downtown Portland. Awesome food!!! Wow!! The kids did some Greek dancing and had a chance to break plates. Good times. Today, though, I accompanied the squirrel to the Portland Zoo. I'm certainly thankful that my kids don't have behavior disorders or academic difficulties. I guess that's the best part of my job--greater appreciation for my guys.

Speaking of my perfect children, portfolio night was last week. Older C scored 2 points below the max on state math testing. He also had a band concert tonight and they really sounded great! Younger C is also a genius...reading and doing math above grade level. This really gives him a leg up for next year.

So now we have 1 1/2 days of school left and I will be leaving on Tuesday the 10th for the Middle School Washington DC/New York trip. Then I will just hang out with my own kids at home...I'm really looking forward to that! Ciao, babe

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's been a week and I feel like I have nothing to blog. The weeks have been so busy...I know that everyone has a lot on their plate, but I enjoy being a homebody without a lot going on. Young C is in baseball and track so practices are a big part of life. Older C is still in Hunter's Safety for a couple of more weeks. At least the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming! I went to a really fun baby shower for one of the teachers at work, it was a lot of fun to chat and eat! Too bad I didn't take pictures of the dresses I made...Oh well. I'll write more later when I have fun pictures and a better story...Ta!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Of Mothers and Boys

It's Mother's Day...a day I once abhorred. How does one sit in church while everyone waxes on and on about how wonderful motherhood is when I wasn't sure this was a 'hood' that I would ever experience. Mormon culture is really tough on the fertility challenged crowd. I remember wondering what my life was worth if I couldn't/wouldn't become a mother. I would always be wife/sister/daughter, but the elusive mother was a label seemingly just out of my grasp. There were so many times that hopes were raised and I was sure that this time all the meds/timing etc would work. Those hopes were let down so many times and with those hopes went my ego and emotions each and every time. Did I mention that I had a friend who had three children in the time I worked on and had my first. One day she said to me "I finally know how you feel, we have tried for a month and we're not pregnant." Yes people can be incredibly insensitive when they are trying to be kind.

Now I have two incredible boys who are so much more than I ever could have hoped for when I was incredibly naive and shopping for onesies and pacifiers. On this day they treat me like a princess. Breakfast in bed, nap in the afternoon, dinner prepared by their hands. They even give up the remote control to me for the day (maybe under small protest, but still..) I only have their dad to thank for teaching them that this should be a day of honor for me. Mother's Day is now a day I love and look forward to enjoying.

Now that I have that elusive mother label firmly in my grasp, I wonder daily what I should/could do to be a better mother tomorrow. My constant goal is to yell less. Some days are great and some aren't. I wonder do I set the example that they need to be honorable priesthood holders, just good people in society? Right now they are really good guys, so I'll just keep trying.

My own mother is hard to write about. She really taught us the importance of serving other people. I remember doing things for other people anonomously even when things were pretty lean at home. I know that I owe so much to her for who I am now. Happy Mother's Day to all!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby

Today is our 18th anniversary! It's pretty exciting to me, I've been married almost half my life. I have to say that we have had some pretty rough patches, but I think that sticking it out has made our relationship what it is today. I think there is a lot to say about friendship and the familiarity that comes after 18 years of being together. Our evening wasn't all glitz and glamour. We had friends over for dinner and David changed the brakes on their car. Isn't that what it's all about though? Being together and helping other people?

Last night I was thinking about marriages. I thought of my friend who is a widow at age 37. I also thought of my friend who left her husband this morning to move to California-alone. I don't think we get married and envision either one of these scenarios, but they certainly are real, aren't they. I am really grateful for my marriage and all the rough patches and great patches that make our relationship what it is today. I'm thankful that my hubby isn't so shallow that he still appreciates me-even when I'm chubby and hanging out in my Carhartts with a do-rag on my head. Yeah, it's sexy, baby!!

So here's to you Dear Hubby!! I'm signing up for another 18 years!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

down on the farm

Yes, Yes indeed, we have alpaca now. And yes, yes indeed, we did haul them in the Honda Element. I know, it's just hard not to be jealous of my life, but not everyone can live the dream!! These guys will live with the rest of the animals out in the pasture. They are great for mowing and for guarding, which is the main reason for having them at this point. We have been losing poultry at an alarming rate. They both have good fiber, so it will be fun to play around with the fiber and see how that goes.

It's four-wheeler time in the country. The four-wheeler wouldn't run so the guys hauled it in for a tune-up. Now that it's back, our driveway will never be the same. It's really a lot of fun and like the little C says "We're back into 4-wheeling again."

The other picture above might not show it too well, but he has a black eye courtesy of his younger sib. I wasn't home when it happened so that absolves me of bad parenting, right? Actually he is pretty proud of the shiner and had to point it out to everyone. It's on the yellow side now and on its way to fading out completely.

I spent a couple of days last week on a field trip with the Middle School. We went to the beach for our oceanography unit. It was super rainy the day that my group was inside doing labs and nice the day we went on a 4 mile hike. The day the other group hiked, it rained 2.5 inches. They had water running down the trail. More kids came back muddy than not. It was a good hike and we could see where the estuary went into the ocean. I don't have any pics from that trip but it was a lot of fun.
On the crafty news: I'm almost done with a super cute knitted dress that will be a baby gift. Almost done with a scarf that I started in Montana and started a scarf for a family member that I'll see this summer. (Jason, you can wear it with your leotard...the pink one). I'm off to pick up the Little C from a rainy baseball practice.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Aprons and cowboy quilts

Here is our sewing group. We made aprons which is quite obvious. They are all reversible, which is really snazzy. We had a great time. It's really sad that my hair looks like crap and I look pregnant, but really, it's just the apron...

Here is my third quilt of the year and the recipient. Her name is Dulsanna and she had Ian this last Tuesday. I think she liked it. It's nervewracking for me to make a quilt for someone when they haven't chosen the fabric. The back is cowboy flannel and I couldn't get that picture to upload for some reason. You can see it sitting on a chair in the apron picture, though.
It's supposed to snow this weekend so I'm going to build a fire now. I think it's the latest in the year that I've ever built a fire. I think I'll go recover now for posting so much in such a short time...

This whole life thang

Today I went to a funeral for the mother of one of my friends. Her mother was 85 and lived a great life. The family took up most of the chapel and there were very few other people there. I had taken the lads with me and they were sooo good!! As the speakers talked about this woman's life, I wondered what would be said about me if I were to have a funeral today (weird, I know...just consider the source). Would it be said that I hated getting up in the morning and was grumpy for about the first hour of waking? Would it be that I was just some crazy woman about 5 seconds from directing traffic in my nightgown? Well, I asked the lads...They said they would say that I'm a good mom, not too strict and not too much on the spoiling side. It really made me smile to realize what would come to an 8 and 12 year olds mind...Little C also said that I was a hard worker and big C said that I'm grumpy when I'm tired. I really love these guys, especially when they aren't punching each other in the stomach or having some kind of flatulent contest. At the end of the service was a beautiful song about a woman meeting Heavenly Father again. I might have had a tear or two going down my cheek and the boys were very tender toward me. It almost made me cry harder. They held my hands and told me I would be ok. It's nice to know that they can be so sweet and loving.

So this whole life thing is incredible. I've held an hours -old baby this week and attended a funeral of a woman considered a great and loving mother by more than just her children. I think we sometimes underestimate the impact we can make during our time here. Just something to think about...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh, Baby

It seems this whole life thing is quite cyclic. I suddenly find myself surrounded by a lot of pregnant acquaintances. Most of them are young and having their first. Two of the women I work with are pregnant. Well only one is now and the other brought in her baby today for a quick show-and-tell. I forgot how beautiful a newborn is. I love that when I held him out from me he stayed all scrunched up with his legs pulled in close to his body. Another friend is 45 and had a boy today. She also has boys that are 22, 20 and 16. Surprise surprise!! I've thought a lot about her in the months since she told me that she was expecting. This is not a curve ball that life has thrown at her. This will be a huge change in everyday life for her and her family that is still at home...It really brings to home the fact that we are subject to the Lord's will. I'm excited to go to the hospital this evening and meet this new life...

Friday, March 21, 2008


Life can really teach some great lessons. I'm learning that absolutely nothing is more important than the time we can spend with our families. I flew home for a week to be with my parents while dad had open heart surgery. He did great, but definitely a cause for thought. After I came home a good friend of our died of cancer. I think of what his wife would give just to be able to make more memories with him...

I can't believe that my oldest son is wearing a size 8 shoe and is 12. By the end of the summer I wouldn't be surprised if he is as tall as I am. My younger son is learning some of the things that some second graders never learn, like the importance of real friendship. He also has made the distinction between celebrating the Easter Bunny and Santa or celebrating the birth and resurrection of the Savior. Because of my children I am definitely a better person.

Here are a couple of pictures of what I have been up to. I think it would be a lot of fun to make one quilt a month this year, no matter what size they are. I've made two and need to finish the third, so I am right on track. Let's see if I can figure out how to post pictures.....
So the pictures are there, but not here. I really have to figure out the picture thang....