Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Exhausted but triumphant

I am exhausted. I did the majority of the cooking, i.e. work, for today and we were up until 3:30 a.m. wrapping and cleaning. So yeah, I am exhausted. But the kids had a great day. I think all of them got what they wanted. I know my oldest DD did. It was a pleasant day with snow falling outside (though not much stuck). The downside was my mom came down with whatever has gone through my family and DH is still sick so I ended up doing most of the cooking and cleaning up. Due to the weather, my parents and friends headed out earlier than planned so some of our Christmas traditions fell by the wayside like playing card games and just hanging out after dinner.

Now it is on to the next thing and we put Christmas to rest for another year. It was a fun day filled with family, friends, gifts and traditions. That is what it is all about.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saying goodbye

We have a lost a member of my extended family. Exactly one week ago, while my girls and I were having fun at a 4-H event, a member of my family lost her husband. Members of my family lost their father. Members of my family lost their grandfather. The community of Salem also lost a great man. He was an educator. He was a man who believed every child could make something of themselves. He was a man who was known to pay graduation fees for seniors who couldn't afford too. He was a man who loved to go to his beach house and watch the ocean rise and fall. He was a man of strong faith. This man was a teacher, a vice-principal and a principal. He helped start a new high school and acted as their principal for the first few years of its existence. He was also a man who believed in fighting what some call the impossible fight against the ravages of methamphetamine. He worked with state legislators to create the Methamphetamine Strike Force. He was a man who came out of retirement to act as an interim principal at not one but two different schools. Finally 15 years after his first retirement he tried it again. This time it mostly stuck. He was a man who believed in the betterment of humanity. He sat on the board of the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley. A man who a man who loved to cook and was known to cook authentic Italian for 8 for fundraisers. He was a man with a strong sense of right and wrong. Anything that might harm a child was definitely WRONG. He was a man that based his work decisions on what was best for the children under his supervision. He was a family man. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father and a grandfather. He parented with strength and compassion. He raised two wonderful children who are now great parents themselves. He was someone his grandchildren looked up to and respected. He was a man who will be sorely missed by many, many people.

While he was a relative by marriage only and a "shirt sleeve" relative at that, I really respected this man. He had several token sayings. A couple of his favorites were "Pressure makes Diamonds" and "Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way". This man, the husband of my mother's cousin, was a man that the world is poorer for losing. He was relatively young at only 68 and there was so much more he might have done. I learned more from talking to him a few minutes at a time over the years about parenting, kids and life, than I have from spending hours and hours with many others. I wish I had gotten to benefit more from his knowledge as my children would be the better for it.

Guido Caldarazzo, you were one of a kind and you will be sorely missed.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Spirit

There is absolutely no Christmas spirit in my house. No one cares whether or not there is any Christmas anything in, on or around the house. They don't care if there is a tree or stockings or anything. Well, except for me. I care. I am sitting here crying because it takes me having a complete freak out/breakdown for ANYONE in this house to do anything. I have cleaned the entire area where the Christmas tree is supposed to go because my stupid husband just kept saying "where are we going to put it" when I asked when we were going to go get a tree. We get a real tree every year and it has to be over 7 feet tall to fill the space it goes in so it is not like I can go get it by myself. Besides picking a tree is supposed to be a family event. We are supposed to have fun picking it out and decorating it together. Christmas is supposed to be a family event. But there is no one in this family that wants to help or do anything. Stupid husband has to take the camper off the truck to be able to haul said tree. But he won't because he doesn't want to have to drive my van 150 feet so he can turn the truck around. WTH????? There is NO other day before the Sunday immediately before Christmas to get a tree because there are things going on both weekend days next weekend and on Saturday the 22nd as well. So basically that means that we will have the tree for exactly 2 days before Christmas!!! What is the point of killing a tree to have it for 3 days? We are leaving, supposedly, the day after Christmas to go to San Francisco to watch the Oregon State Beavers play in their bowl game. That is if stupid husband ever gets all the "details" worked out and actually purchases tickets before they are all gone. If I had my way, we would get the tree and put it up the weekend immediately following Thanksgiving. Now we are going to have the stupid thing for exactly 3 days???? What is the point? It is not as any of them have any Christmas spirit anyway. I guess I will just wrap their presents and throw them on the floor. That is all they care about anyway. The presents!!! At this point, I don't even see a reason to finish shopping.

Christmas spirit???? Bah humbug!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Oh you have got to be kidding

I post daily on a diet/weight watchers related website (DWLZ) and read a post today about Jennifer Love Hewitt being fat. She is a size 2 for crying out loud! Someone posted a link to an article written about JLH firing back at the paparazzi for printing some unflattering pictures of her while she was on vacation with her new fiance. This article was listed as news by a prominent magazine. NEWS?!!? Really, you have got to be kidding me! Considering that 90% of the women in this country would give their eye teeth to have her body how is an unflattering picture in a rag mag news?

I appreciate JLH publicly commenting on this and fighting for healthy body types everywhere. Truly it is refreshing to hear a celebrity embracing their body rather than trying to starve themselves to the obligatory size 0.

I am never going to be a size 2 so this may sound like a whole lot of sour grapes but truly when is this kind of stuff going to get the outcry that it needs. An actress has to defend her size 2 body, news at 5 really sickens me. There are real problems in this world, focus on them and leave this beautiful, successful woman alone.

I am off to work off a calorie or two cleaning this pigsty. Will that be next thing to make the news, some actress who dares to clean up after herself or cook for herself or raise her own children?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wild weather!

What crazy weather we are having lately. In the last week we have had freezing weather, threats of snow that did not materialize, massive amounts of rain and wind. Since December 1 we have had nearly 4 inches of rain. The coast saw hurricane force winds. The highest gust recorded was in Bay City at 129mph.

Then to make things even more interesting the rivers flooded all around us and my neighborhood was an island for a few hours this evening. Roads to the north, south and west were all closed. The river runs right next to DD's school and was running through the parking lot for a while tonight. School is closed tomorrow. Goody two extra helpers for the day. Bet they will beg to go back to school Wednesday.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Stupid, stupid parenting

Okay, I will publically admit that I am an idiot in the arena of parenting. That is all I really wanted to say but felt it was important to remind myself that I am indeed an idiot.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Packing to camp

Camping is a vacation only in the loosest form of the word. Furthermore actually getting a family of five to the campground is a full time job not for the feint of heart. Between uncooperative children, piles of laundry, an undecided upon menu and numerous other tasks that must be completed before leaving it is a wonder I am sane by the time we leave. That is taking into account the possibility that I am not sane to begin with to even consider taking this trip. After all we are heading off to spend a fun filled week with....... my MIL's family at a reunion in the middle of bloody nowhere. There will be no escape other than locking my camper door and hiding. However it gets darn boring in tiny, little camper (actually as campers go it is big but relatively speaking....) and it would offend the MIL. That is never good. Offended MILs make serious nuisances of themselves, particularly mine. However, I have digressed off the point. The point is not the fabulous time we will be having (or not) when we finally arrive at our destination but the fabulous time we are all having getting ready to go to our destination.

Are there professional organizers who do this kind of thing for a living per chance? If so, how much do they charge? I am beginning to think that it would be a good use of my meager available funds at the moment. While I am at it, can I also hire someone to finish planting my garden, put in my watering system, find someone to take care of the place while we are gone (i.e. feeding animals and checking aforementioned watering system), wrestle my children into submission, potty train my son, take the dog to the vet and the other million and one things that need to be done prior to leaving? Yeah I was pretty sure no would be the answer. I guess that means I need to wrap this up and go motivate children again. Off I go. This vacation better involve me actually getting out in the boat on the quiet of the lake by myself or nearly by myself because if it doesn't I may just swim away.

Monday, July 2, 2007

What a beautiful day!

On Saturday June 30th I had the privilege to attend my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary party. That is just an amazing milestone. The day was just fabulous. The weather was perfect with bright sun and blue skies and none of the wind that Bandon, Oregon is notorious for. Nearly all of the immediate family was in attendance to help Joe and Karen celebrate as well as many of their friends and acquaintances. Over 200 people in all were able to come. They had a nice, short ceremony during which the pastor of their church read a neat poem written about their life together. This gathering also gave the family a chance to reconnect. We are scattered far and wide with busy, busy lives so it was great to be able to sit and visit with my cousins and their children all of whom are growing up way too fast. It was amazing to see one of the bridesmaids in her bridesmaid gown and my uncle wore the same tux that he wore for the wedding 50 years ago. What a happy couple they are, my aunt and uncle. They have survived a lot of trial and tribulation and have come together in the tough times. Their's is an amazing love that they share. They have raised 5 beautiful, fun and talented children, have 12 amazing grandchildren and have 1 cute great grandbaby. I strive to have the kind of marriage they have had; one that will stand the test of time, children and changing life circumstances. My grandparents also celebrated 50 years together. My parents and inlaws are also on their way to making that major milestone. If DH and I are successful, I will be 70 when we celebrate 50 years together. I am looking forward to the changes that will come and the many milestones ahead of us that we will celebrate on that day.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I apparently suck at it.

I just don't do it right. My kids argue, they refuse to cooperate, they openly defy me, they fight with each other and me in public, and I cannot reason with them at all. I admit I have a volitale personality and I tend to go from 0 to screaming in about 1 second flat but I swear they not only know the correct button to PUSH, they are sitting on it. I have 3 kids. I want them to be productive, helpful, happy, content, accomplished kids now and responsible, productive, happy adults. At this rate one of us is not even to going to live to see that adulthood. I feel awful when I blow up at them. I find it very difficult to reason with them when all they do is tune me out and ignore EVERY blasted thing I say.

I am constantly comparing myself to other parents I know. Their children are always polite. Their children help each other and do not fight with each other in public. How do other parents do THAT.

I am thinking my attitude is not helped by the fact that I have been burning both ends towards the middle with running said kids hither and yon, no one is getting to bed at a reasonable time, we are all tired and I am sick. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some miracle suprise like completely compliant and helpful children, a clear calendar, an unstuffy nose, no cough and the strawberry jam already made and in the freezer. Yeah, I don't think it will happen either.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blog Challenge

Stacy's challenge this week is:

Just write. Stream of conciousness. Doesn't matter if it even makes sense. Who
cares if it flows. Just start. Just type whatever pops into your brain. Go.

She says the reason for this challenge is that she is in a blog funk. Well, I am sure that, given the fact that my last entry was June 6, it is obvious that I am in a funk too. My main problem is that I never know what to blog. Is it interesting to anyone but me? Probably not. Is it worth documenting? Again, probably not. Should I do it anyway so that I get more comfortable getting my thoughts out of my head? Yep absolutely. So she says to follow the stream of conciousness so here it goes.

Silence and solitude, even at 10 o'clock at night I can not find it. DS(3) will.not.go.to.bed. Took a long nap today so guess what? Yep not tired. Drivin' me crazy. Crazy I tell you. Just once I would love to come out here, sit down with my laptop and enjoy......silence. Of course I would have to turn off the TV to get actual silence. I don't think I can do that. Ace of cakes is on. That is a cool show. I wish I could bake and decorate half as good as Duff and his team do. Those cakes are amazing. Speaking of cake, tomorrow is DH's birthday. I am a terrible planner. Or really the issue is that I am a terrific procrastinator! Yep, you guessed it, no cake. What is a girl to do when the DH is getting a year older, we are going to dinner with the parent sets and there is NO CAKE? Uhhhhhh, first panic. Then realize that tomorrow one can call the restaurant and see if they can create a special, last minute, dessert for me. Hmmm, yep I will try that. If that does not work? Off to the store I go to pick up a cake mix. After all there is nothing that is more important about a birthday when you are already in your 30's.... dare I say mid-30's than cake. After all as the 4 yo on TV just informed us, "sugar keeps you awake!" LOL. So how do I swerve this over to another topic? Just go I guess. I love college sports. My sport of choice at this very moment is college baseball. Particularly "my" school's college baseball team which is one win away from the championship series in the College World Series. The only thing standing in our way? An annoyingly persistent UC Irvine team that will.not.go.away. They came back on Arizona State tonight in the bottom of the 8th inning with 4 runs to tie the game and force extra innings. They finally won, downing, arguably, the best team in the tournament 8-7. It took 13 innings to win last night. They are persistent. They are like Oregon State, "my" team, was last year when they won 7(!!) elimination games to take home the national championship. Frankly our fans don't know quite what to do with ourselves since our backs are not currently against the wall with a win or go home philosophy. All of that could come to an end tomorrow night. UC Irvine is going to be one tough opponent. But their pitchers are tired, they have played two long games back to back and we had a day of rest. Can we do it? Tune in to ESPN2 tomorrow at 4 CDT to find out.

Interesting? It was to me. Maybe blogging is not my "thing". Should I quit? Maybe. But I am not ready to throw in the towel yet. Until the next time......

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Will it never be over???

I am so darn sick of school mornings. Now granted I have it about as good as any mother could because DH does mornings in our house and I get to sleep. However, there are still incidents that cause mornings to be a stressful event nearly every day. Today it was stalling and procrastinating resulting in a missed bus. Now normally DH can take the offending child on to her school because it is located in the general direction of his job. BUT this is Wednesday. Wednesdays are the day that DH has to be at court to sit on the Grand Jury. This has been going on for all of May and will be going on for the rest of June. Two months of every Wednesday. I just knew, when I heard breakfast being made only 5 minutes before the bus was due that I might as well get up and start getting dressed because there was no way everyone was making it to the bus on time. Now, as stated, I am aware of how lucky I am not to have to do this chore daily, this is the second time in as many weeks that I have had to get myself and the 3yo up and out to take this child to school. Grrr. You would think that we could get through one week without this problem. School is not out for another 6 days and since these last weeks are such an utter waste of time, it makes this issue doubly annoying.

Only 6 more days, only 6 more days, only 6 more days.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

They did it, They did it!!

I am a huge college sports fan. My team of choice is the Oregon State University Beavers. Our baseball team is the defending national champion team after an unlikely and hard fought series of wins in Omaha last year. This year started out so well with a 20 and 3 record going into the Pac-10 conference but the team struggled down the stretch and finished the regular season under 500 in league. We got an at-large bid to the Charlotteville, Virginia regional and in true fight back fashion just won their 3rd game in two days to win the regional and earn our way into the super regional after losing a heartbreaker game in 13 innings on Saturday. Now, due to a twist of fate that surprised us all, Michigan did not apply to host so we get to host the super regional here in Corvallis.

GO BEAVS!!!!! We need 2 wins to get back to Omaha. What a great weekend of baseball.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

He is 3!

My DS turned 3 today. Even though he is a very smart boy and we have talked over the last few days about him turning 3, it was not particularly outstanding as days go. Actually my older DD and I were gone most of the day to a rabbit show for her. When I got home DS was down for his nap so I still did not get to wish him Happy Birthday for a couple more hours. By the time he got up, it was literally just minutes from his actual birth time, 5:35 p.m. PDT. It is sad that this was not more special for him. But he will get a special day on Monday when we celebrate with my brother, aunt and uncle, parents and DH's parents. We are planning a picnic in a park near the In-Laws' house and it should be fun.

He is my baby and I am sad that he may be my last. I have always planned to have 4 kids and he is only #3 but I feel so overextended right now with the family I have. Due to health issues I had with DS's pregnancy I MUST lose some weight before we even consider another pregnancy. That combined with some plans in the works for a major vacation trip in 2008 means I will be nearing 35 before I even consider getting pregnant. I am not sure it is going happen. I wish we had made more of a big deal for DS this year. I want to celebrate every milestone as if it might be the last one I celebrate with one of my kids. Turning 3 is a big deal and it should be celebrated. He does not care cause he does not know any different, a birthday, for now, is just like any other day but I know the difference and I shortchanged my baby.

Somehow a post that started out being about my boy has turned into a whine session about me. He is my boy and it is his day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR SON.

Blog Challenge

This week's blog challenge from Stacy at Scrapshare is to do a love/hate check using the 5 senses. Here is mine:

The SIGHT of my children playing together outside in the sunshine.
The SMELL of the clean, crisp air in the early morning.
The TASTE of the first strawberry of the season.
The SOUND of the house when everyone else is gone
The FEEL of a snuggle or a hug from any of my kids.

The SIGHT of toys all over the floor.
The SMELL of cooking brussel sprouts, broccoli or cabbage. Ick.
The TASTE of artifical sweeteners. All of them leave a nasty and lasting taste in my mouth and throat.
The SOUND of whining or fighting before school when I can't send them outside to work it out amongst themselves.
The FEEL of sugar spilt on the kitchen floor and left for me to find and clean up.

What are yours?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Amtrak Trip

These pictures are from our recent Amtrak trip over the mountains from Chemult, Oregon to Eugene, Oregon. This trip was a gift to my younger daughter Emily from my parents. My two daughters,Jessie and Emily, my parents and I rode the train. My husband Matt and my son David chased the train back over the mountains. Odell Lake, featured in one of the pictures, is a favorite fishing and camping destination for us. We often hear the trains that travel the tracks bordering the lake so we decided this would be a fun trip to take. Emily, David and Matt all love to watch trains. This is the reason for the trip being a gift to Emily. It was a beautiful day and it was an adventure.

My family went and spent the night at my parents' house as it is about 2 hours closer to the taking off point than our home. We arose at 6 am so we could leave at 7 am to make it to Chemult by 9:30 am. The train was due to arrive in Chemult at 9:40 am. We arrived at our destination on time, though mom was convinced we were going to be late. Then we waited, and waited, and waited some more. Finally at 10 am when the train was officially 20 minutes late, we called the information line for Amtrak. We discovered that the train was running 3 HOURS behind schedule. Now, Chemult is a blink and you will miss it map dot in the middle of Central Oregon. There is just not much there. However, one thing it DOES have is a pretty good restaurant so we headed over there for a late breakfast/snack while we waited. We waited there as long as we could be eventually the kids started getting to restless so we headed back over to the empty parking lot that represented the "station" to wait some more. Finally, at about 12:30 the train arrived and we were able to board. We chose to sit in the lounge car where we had a beautiful view from the nice big windows. The trip was amazing. We were lucky enough to be sitting across the aisle from a gentleman who is an engineer for the freight line. He had deadheaded to Klamath Falls and was riding the Amtrak back to Eugene. He gave us landmarks and told us interesting things throughout the trip. We saw deer and a couple of elk. We also saw some beautiful country that you can't easily see any other way. Poor Emily fell asleep for part of the trip but enjoyed the parts she remembers. LOL. There were certainly so fun memories created as well.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Last Call

Today was Sabrina's final goodbye. I appreciate all the warm thoughts and prayers that all of my friends have showered on her family and mine.

The service today was lovely. Many family members spoke. Her mother told us about the short time they had with their sweet little girl. Cousins, aunts and uncles and even her grandmother told of memories of Sabrina, fun times and painful. My friend Kristi put together a lovely slide show that documented the years the family had together. Sabrina was put in their care at age 3 in 2001 and her adoption was final in January 2003. The photos showed a mischievious, warm hearted personality that loved flowers, animals, family and friends. The final series of pictures of her final months were painful to view but heartwarming nonetheless. She looked like a completely different child due to the water retention from the medications and cancer. One of the local rural fire departments made her a member of their department. As near as I could tell the entire department was there for her final goodbye. Absolutely the most tearjerking moment of the entire service was when Salem Fire dispatch made Sabrina's final call. They called her name three times over the radio and then told her it was time to go home. Dispatch then signed out. Most of the assembled friends and family did pretty well until that point. Of course there were tears but that last call was more than many of us were prepared for.

My DD Emily went with me to the service. Sabrina was her classmate. Em counts Sabrina among her closest friends. Emily did very well through the service though it was a little long for her 7yo patience . Last call got to her as well. Many of the school kids and their families were there and tomorrow is going to be a hard day at school.

I am feeling a bit lost. There are so many feelings flowing through me. Worry that something like this could possibly happen to my children. Fear that I would not handle it with the grace Sabrina's parents have shown. Thankfulness that it was NOT one of my kids and guilt for the thankfulness. My eyes and nose hurt from crying and my head hurts from all these thoughts and feelings rolling around in it. Sabrina will always occupy a small corner of our hearts and sunflowers will always conjour memories of her. She was a delightful, funny, energetic, loving, personable child who had lessons to teach us. She accomplished her goal as she taught us all about love and compassion.

We will miss until we see you again Sabrina. With all our love, goodbye.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

We will miss you sweet girl

Goodbye Sabrina.

I am so glad your passing was peaceful. Don't worry, we will take care of your mama and your daddy. We will all miss you.

Sabrina H.
8 short years
passed away at 10:40 a.m. on April 24, 2007.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hanging in there

Well the weekend is gone and Sabrina is still with us. I have not seen her and do not intend to intrude on the family to see her but I have a contact that is far closer to the family than I and she is keeping me updated. Kristi sent a message this morning that they did not go over on Saturday as planned because they thought that might be the day and Sabrina's parents wanted to be alone with her. However, as she was still here on Sunday Kristi and another friend made dinner for them and took it over. They got to see her for a couple of minutes and were able to give her a kiss and rub her hand. Sabrina is very comforted and calm when her mama is near so they are spending most of their time together curled up in bed.

I am still very, very sad and so is my daughter. Kristi says that her son is having a really rough time too but is doing "okay" right now.

Thanks for all the kind thoughts and prayers. It helps.

Friday, April 20, 2007

So sad!!

My heart hurts. My eyes are welling up with tears.

I just had to tell my little girl (7 years old) that her friend and former schoolmate who has terminal cancer, has taken a turn for the worse and her family does not expect her to live much longer. A good friend of mine is extremely close to the family, her son (8 years old) was "going to marry Sabrina someday". Kristi emailed me this afternoon to tell me that Sabrina's Hospice nurses believe that her passing could come as soon as this weekend, early next week and certainly by next weekend. This child is so sweet and loving. She is also the only child her parents have. They (her parents) adopted her when she was around 2. They have only had 6 years with their precious little girl and now...... I know that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all but this is just so heartwrenching. We are all sooooo very sad. I keep crying. I keep thinking, what if this were my child? How would I possibly handle this?

I am not religious but have to believe there is a better place waiting for this dear child who is being taken from us way too soon. Cancer is just a horrible, horrible thing. I hope the researchers find a way to cure it soon.

My heart hurts.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The wait is over!!

Woohooo DH and I have a healthy nephew as of 1:52 p.m. PST. Wyatt Michael shares a birthday with my grandmother who is turning 95 today. It sounds like it was a long, difficult labor but in the end, everyone is healthy and happy. Yippee.

Still waiting!!!!!

Did I mention I am NOT patient. Just had to get that out. Will update as I get information, IF I GET INFORMATION. ARRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH

Waiting, waiting and more waiting!!!!

I am not a patient person. I like instant gratification in most things. It drives me crazy when my DH teases me with cryptic comments about gifts while they sit waiting to be opened. Perhaps that is why my children, particularly my middle DD, have such a low tolerance for waiting.

Now we are waiting for something really, really exciting. My SIL is in the early stages of labor and my nephew is going to be arriving sometime soon. The problem? SIL and BIL live in Seattle and we live 5 hours away and I have NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON!!!!! Nobody bothers to call or update us on a regular basis. DH only found out that things were starting to happen because he tracked down his parents to wish them a Happy Easter. We got a cryptic update at 4:00 yesterday afternoon via email saying that SIL and BIL were going to triage at the hospital to be checked out and then.....nothing. No message that they came back home, stayed to be observed, that she is or is not in active labor, etc. I am going just a bit stir crazy here. Like I said, I am instant gratification kind of gal. I know that babies arrive in their own sweet time, heck I have 3 myself and one was 2 weeks late! All I am asking for is a bit of information. I guess all we can do is wait, wait and wait some more cause I am not driving 5 hours to get information particularly since I would NOT be welcome. Oh yeah, did I mention that I don't think SIL would appreciate my worry and concern?

Off to knit and worry.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blog Challenge

Each week Stacy over at Scrapshare posts a weekly, voluntary blog challenge. This week's challenge is regarding the current time change situation we experienced on Sunday.

Stacy wrote:
We had an "extra hour" of daylight today. How'd you spend it? Any regrets? If so, describe how you'd spend it differently, given the chance.

My question is where was this alledged "extra" hour? I certainly never found it. I got up on Sunday morning having forgotten about the darn clock changes and went about getting going. DD#1 had a 4-H related event planned for noon and here it was only 9:30 so we had plenty of time right? So we went about getting goats fed, rabbits fed and watered and started on pick up/clean up chores. At some point, I decided to go check the ingredients for a recipe I was considering trying that was stored on my laptop. So I went and flipped on the computer only to find that it was not 10:55 as I had thought but actually 11:55 Luckily, the 4-H event was at a friend's house only 10 minutes away but we still had to get ready and out the door! So the reality is, where is that extra hour? I don't know because I never saw it. In actuality I lost an hour. Where did it go?

Oh yeah and what about those children I speak of so often? The ones who are complete night owls resistant to going to bed on a good night when it is dark outside at 6. How the heck am I supposed to impose an 8 o'clock bedtime when it is still light outside until all hours of the evening? These kids of mine want to play outside, particularly on these spectacularly beautiful sunny days without a cloud in sight, which is a rarity in March in Oregon. This time change has completely disrupted my routines and those of my children. Pick a time and stay there. Please Oregon join the other two sane states and let's quit messing with the clocks. The sun knows what it is doing!

Over and out for now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Home visits

Okay so I had a stressful afternoon today but it turned out my worry was for nothing.

DD#1 (10) is in 4-H here in Oregon. Several of her clubmates are getting foreign exchange students through an exchange program set up through 4-H. We had decided to participate ourselves and I filled out all the paperwork, etc. However DD has not lived up to her end of a bargain we struck regarding this. One of the conditions was to get her room clean. She has not done it so I withdrew our name for consideration. However, the coordinator of the program for our county asked me to go ahead and finish the last step in case she gets her act together soon and we change our minds. The final step was the home visit. Now I am the world's worst housekeeper who is trying to reform my ways. So having someone visit, even when I know they are coming and can prepare, freaks me out. My kitchen floor is nasty and needs a mopping badly but that, of all the home care chores, usually falls under the perview of DH. Today found me running around making sure the house was presentable. Truthfully it really was not that bad but I felt better weeping and picking up and organizing. Turns out I needn't have worried. While they did come in, they did not venture beyond the main part of the house, so my DD's messy room was inconsequential for now and all they did was ask a few questions, chat a bit and head out to visit another family. Woohoo.

A nice side benefit is that there is a lot less for me to take care of tomorrow and Friday as I have a Pampered Chef party scheduled here on Saturday evening. Of course the only people who have said they are coming are my inlaws and the friend from whose show I originally booked. I have had a couple of people say they are going to put in orders even though they can't be here but I have yet to see any order forms.

Tomorrow I am going to try and power layout enough pages to keep me busy for a few hours at a crop on Saturday morning. It should be fun. I am looking forward to it even though I have to leave the crop early to attend a 4-H planning meeting and then run home to host my party. Hmmm, a very busy day is planned. Guess I better get to bed early so I am well rested and it will carry over to the weekend.

Over and out for now.

Friday, March 2, 2007

What was I thinking?

Let me preface this with saying that yes I encourage my kids to get involved in lots of different activities. Most of those activities are within the 4-H program. Jessie has projects in Food and Nutrition, Food preservation, Horticulture, Scrapbooking, Rabbits, Photography, and Goats. It is the goat part that is giving me headaches today.

You see, she had a couple of cute little pygmy goats which on their own are not much work beyond the usual animal maintenance. However, she wants to add a project area to her goat project. She wants to raise a market goat for the 4-H youth auction at fair. Fine, great. She brought this up after last year's auction and I thought it would be no big deal. Boy was I in for an education. I thought you just find a breeder and go pick out the goats you want. Little did I know that it was going to be this difficult. I have a fellow 4-H leader (yes I am a leader of the group) whose son has raised market goats. She assured me that her friend would have boar goats ready at the right time for us to get one or two. However, her friend purchased a new farm right before the new year. Great for them, not so great for us, because the farm is in Deer Park Washington which is several hundred miles from our home. So all this leads us to yesterday. The day I completely lost my mind! I agreed to purchase for Jessie two baby goats that need to be bottle fed!!! Okay in and of itself but these guys do not know how to eat from a bottle having never had to do it before. You see we took them right from their mom and put them in my van to bring them home. Teaching animals to take a bottle after they have been with their moms is hard and usually an exercise in frustration. That is what I have been dealing with all day. They do not like the bottles, they do not want to eat from the bottles and I am going nuts! What was I thinking? Why did I possibly think this was going to be a good idea? I could have had her wait another couple months and have nice, weaned goats. Granted they would have been more expensive but really the milk replacer was not that cheap either. All in all, I am seriously regreting this particular decision!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Creative Countdown

This week's blog challenge is pretty easy. I think I can even handle it after the week we have had. Nothing bad really, just busy, busy, busy. So here we go:

10 Favorites
Color: Spring green
Food: Pizza
Month: April
Song: Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue by Toby Keith
Movie: Dirty Dancing
Sport: Basketball
Season: Spring
Day of the Week: Saturday
Ice Cream Flavor: World Class Chocolate from Baskin Robbins
Time of Day: Nap time

9 Currents
Mood: Somber
Clothes: Sweats and a T-shirt
Taste: Not sure
Desktop: Yellow tulips
Toenail Color: Natural
Time: 11:15 p.m.
Surroundings: My living room
Thoughts: Surprise over a news article
Wonderings: Why people live in tornado country and why there seems to be more and more deadly storms recently.

8 Firsts
Best Friend: Stephanie Blackwell
Kiss: Donny something or other -- real memorable, huh?
Screen Name: Jessmom
Pet: Kitty Kat
Piercing: ears
Crush: Skip Marler
Computer: Atari
Home Location: Brownsville, Oregon

7 Lasts
Cigarette: Never
Drink: Blue Hawaiian last Friday at a work gathering
Kiss: goodnight kiss from my little boy
Movie seen at the theater: Over The Hedge (sneak peak for HP workers that did some work for the movie)
Phone Call: Fellow 4-H leader asking for a phone number of a mutual friend.
CD played: Daryl Worley
Gift received: My laptop for christmas

6 Have You Evers
Dated One Of Your Best Friends: No
Broken the Law: No
Been Arrested: No
Skinny Dipped: yes once
Been on TV: yes in an interview for the news
Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: no

5 Things
You've Eaten Today: chicken and rice, beef roast, baked potato, brocolli and cauliflower
You've Done Today: Surfed the net, played with my son, drove my daughter to a farm to pick up a couple new goat kids
You Can Hear Right Now: The TV news, DH eating potato chips
You Can't Live Without: My family, my computer, my camera
You Do When You're Bored: Play on the computer, knit, read

4 places you've been today
DD's school
Wilsonville to get goats
Newburg to the farm store
Home in my glider chair with my laptop

3 people you can tell anything to

Pam R.
Debbie M.
Matt B.

2 Choices
1. Black or White: Black
2. Hot or Cold: Hot

1 thing you wanna do before you die: See my babies grown, married and happy

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Which is worse?

Which is worse potty training a child or sending said child to kindergarten in diapers? Honestly I think potty training was created to drive parents to the looney bin. I forget between children how trying this time can be. With 4 years between each of the kids it is a long time between potty training sessions. Yet despite that, I am surprised that I don't remember it being this hard with the girls. Jessie (10) and Emily (6) got the idea fairly quickly and just kind of did it. David at 2.5 is another story entirely. He knows what he is doing. He knows that if he holds out long enough he will get a diaper for nap or bed time and then he is good. If he runs around naked, we have no problem with #1 but having underwear on is another story. He KNOWS that they are not diapers but he still uses them just like a diaper. I know he can get this but can I last until he does?

Monday, February 26, 2007


Projects. There are so many I could work on. I am constantly finding new ones too. The latest is baby booties. I have found great baby yarn and I just had to make some baby booties. I am going to make a hat too. They will go to my new nephew when he arrives in late April. I already have a blanket project I have started for him too. I taught myself to knit and am still very much a beginner but I have had experienced knitters tell me I am doing good work. I just hope my SIL likes these things. They are certainly made with lots of love. It is easy to go find something they have picked out from a store and put on a list to buy, wrap and send. There is no personal investment, little time and even less interest in a gift like that. Fitting for our relationship. But is that what they want? Or do they want something with a little more investment and love? Who can be sure?

I have not had the best relationship with SIL. I can't read her and don't know when she actually likes something I have given her, if she ever does! Hopefully she will at least put these on the nephew when he arrives.

Other ongoing craft projects are all scrapbooking related. I have books started for all three of my children. I just finished a gift album for the above mentioned SIL. I am finishing up a gift album for a friend. Those are just the projects in actual progress. The ones in the planning stages are numerous and endless. Lucky for me I have an endless supply of scrapbooking materials available to me through my own Creative Memories business. It does nothing for my profitability but getting the pictures into books and the stories written is far more important. Better get back to work on one of those projects now.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rain, rain and more rain!!

It is an inside kind of day today. It is raining buckets outside today and no one wants to venture out into it. I am using the quiet morning to get a gift album finished for my friend's baby girl. This is a project that should have been done a few weeks ago. I have been feeling idea blocked so I put it off, then I had to get the gift album done for my SIL. Her shower is today but I am not able to attend because I have to be here for my daughter's basketball game. My FIL came down and picked up my other daughter so she can attend the shower. Consequently, I was able to send the gift album up to the shower with her. I am feeling a bit insecure about this gift. I think it is a nice album, my CMC team thinks it is a nice album but SIL is a non-scrapbooker so I am not sure what SHE will think. I have had a rocky relationship with her so I hope this turns out to be something unique that she will enjoy and use. I had the darn thing all wrapped up before I thought about taking pictures of some of the pages. :( I used the Once Upon a Baby Boy album kit available from Creative Memories and two packs of spargo pages for this album.

The other gift album I am doing is more generic. I am doing it in a 7 x 7 album with a pastel snap pack and a pack of soft touch papers on natural pages. All of these items are CM of course. I am hoping this will be a good Mom's brag book for my friend.

It feels good to be back to scrapping. I have been treading water for a while now, unable to find the inspiration to get anything done so to have paper on pages is awesome. Now I just need to translate that enthusiasm over to my own projects that are being neglected lately.

Happy scrapping on this rainy day.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Oley, moley it has been almost a month since I lasted updated the blog. Does that mean I have a month's worth of rambling to do? Probably but this has been a pretty tame month so it shouldn't take long.

An update, quickly, on the medical issues that face our family. Grandma is not doing well. She cannot, as mentioned in the orignal post on this subject, take the medication the doctors wanted her to take for the cancer. She was found by a friend very ill with pneumonia and rushed to the ER. She came home on antibiotics and was doing well for a short time. However, she had a stroke last week and has been sent home on Hospice. When I asked DH about the prognosis, he said "the doctors say she is very ill and needs to see the people she wants to see". Very scary and stressful for the family. My MIL in particular (this is her mother) is having a very tough time. On the one hand I think we should find a way to go up and see her but on the other I worry that having the five of us there would be too much of a strain. Besides I am not sure what the effects of the stroke are and I am not sure the kids are ready to deal with that reality. Oh the decisions we face as our family gets older!

On a happier note, we spent President's weekend playing in the snow and camping in the mountains. It was cold and windy as there was a storm coming through but boy we still managed to have fun. We stayed at Hoodoo Ski Resort in one of their electrical hook up sites. During the day we played on the sledding slopes and in the evening we played board games. We wore out the kids so much that they went to bed early and got up late. I have some fabulous pictures just waiting for printing so they can go in the scrapbook. Oh joy, more to work on. Just a couple of these great pictures:
Emily (dd 6) sledding in the dark.

Jessie (dd 10) and David (ds 2.5) sledding in the dark

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Slide show fun

Playing with pictures is fun. Try it out. These are a few of the many, many pictures I took on our trip to Canada last summer. These are from our first two days of travel north. Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier National Parks were our stops for those days.

The weather was beautiful and the sun reflected on the snow. It was so much fun to share these sights with my kids. The look of fascination on their faces when we saw the bald eagles flying high above Mt. St. Helens. Their rapt attention as we read the storyboards along the trails we hiked. They absorbed the information and remember still the fun we had together on those beautiful, relaxing days.

What is beautiful?

Last week on Scrapshare (a fun and helpful scrapbooking site) the blog challenge was to look up the word "beautiful" and then apply it to our lives. According to Dictionary.com beautiful is defined as:

1. having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
2. excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.

So what is beautiful to me? Beautiful is the smile on my daughter's face when she makes a basket in her game, the first one of the season. She loves the game but struggles to keep up with the others at times so it was a great moment for her. Beautiful is a completed scrapbook. Even when it is just a volume of an ongoing project, it is a major accomplishment that will be treasured in the future. Each of my children have a scrapbook. The two older kids have two books so far. My son, at 2.5 years old, only has one and really I have only gotten the first 6 months of his life done but it is started and when it is done, I will cherish it. I hope he will as well. Beautiful is a quiet evening spent with my husband even if all we do is watch our favorite TV shows or lose ourselves in our own private quiet.

So what is beautiful to you?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Business anxiety

Tonight's topic is business. Specifically mine. Having a home based business is a pleasure and a pain. It is a pleasure to share my passion with others. It is a pleasure when those others begin to understand and embrace the message. It is an even bigger pleasure when I see their creative, completed albums. The pain is finding those others to share my passion with. The pain is that I hate to call up people and basically beg them to schedule events. I need paying, consistent customers. Finding them is the problem. I am basically a shy person by nature but I am good at selling the idea of the importance of memory preservation. Our mission of preserving the past, enriching the present and inspiring hope for the future is an important one. It needs to be shared. Our products are good and will preserve those important and irreplacable memories in a way that no other products on the market can. Our company makes sure that statement is true by testing other companies products as well as our own. So these products should sell themselves right? Sure that is true, to the right clients. My issue is finding the right clients. How does one find the clients as a stay at home mom? I know, I know, the store, the post office, the whereever I happen to be and meet up with people. The problem? Refer to the statement about me being shy posted above. That is the long and the short of the issue and one I have yet to find an appropriate, working solution to. I have a goal of having 50 new customers by the end of 2007. It is almost a month into the year and I have only one new customer and she won't be a repeat one I am sure. What to do, what to do?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Medical Mysteries

Our family is dealing with some pretty weighty issues right now. DH's grandmother has lung cancer. It is metastasized renal cancer that she had years ago. Traditional chemo is not effective on this kind of cancer. There is a new drug out that is supposed to help, though it is not a cure. It is supposed help slow the growth of the cancer to prolong life. However, she has had a severe allergic reaction to the medication on the first try. The doctors took her off the medication, waited for the reaction to clear and then tried again with the addition of Prednisone to control the reaction. Unfortunately, this regimen did not help so she can't take the drug. Truthfully, I don't know what this means in terms of how long we have with her but I do know it is going to be a long road no matter how long or short it truely is. I am sad for my DH and my MIL.

In addition to this, my DH's father is dealing with memory issues. When this started almost 2 years ago he was diagnosed as having subclinical seizures that were causing gaps in his short term memory. They have tried different drug combinations to combat the seizures and hopefully arrest the memory degradation. However, the results were not what all of us had been hoping for. After a poor job review my FIL quit his job. However, MIL and the job counselor were able to get him onto long-term disability so that they have not lost his income entirely. This happened a few months ago. Fastforward to two weeks ago. FIL wore a portable EEG machine for a week to determine the frequency of the seizures. Come to find out he is NOT having seizures at all. Instead he is suffering from early onset dementia. From the research that DH has done, this type of dementia has a direct genetic link. It is carried in one of three chromosomes. This is a dominant gene. There are tests to determine if DH carries the gene. That is all well and good. There is ongoing research into new drug therapies and all that. The fact still remains that there is a 50-50 chance that DH could come down with this same affliction in as early as 15 years! Our DS will only be 17 in 15 years!!! I am terrified right now but unfortunately there is absolutely nothing I can do other than worry which leads to depression which leads to overeating which leads to possible health problems of my own.

DH is probably going to have some testing done. I am not sure about his brother and sister. Their grandmother appears to have had this same illness so it is definitely a genetic issue that needs to be at the least understood. Hopefully, there will be something that we can do about it if the eventuallity warrants it.

For now, I have to concentrate on the positives and the things I can control. The positives are that we know about this now, there are tests that can be done and there are drug protocols that can be used if needed. The things I can control are my diet, the family's diet and my own reactions to the stress. I can make weight loss a priority. I can make living in the moment and trying not to worry about the future a priority as well. For now, that is all I can do and that is what I WILL do.

Monday, January 22, 2007

First ramblings

Earlier this week I took the momentous step of starting a blog. However, it was on another site, one that requires registration so I could not include all my friends without getting them to sign up as members of the site. This seemed pointless and ridiculous so I made a decision to seek out a free, no membership required site to host this blog. My first post on that other site was one I want to keep and share so I am going to copy and post it here so it is a part of this blog.

As posted on January 19th to that other blog:

My beginning ramble
mood: contemplativeI have never been a journal writer. I always wondered how people could find enough words to fill a blog or a diary. So what drew me to LiveJournal? Truthfully I am not really sure. I guess I just decided to see if I could really do it. Can I find enough interesting things to type about? Probably not but my ramblings are my own. Others are welcome to read as much as they can stomach but this is simply and expressly for me and nobody else.I have discovered that I feel the need sometimes to just write it out. With that in mind I started this fun little blog to ramble on about whatever comes to mind. Today's ramblings revolve around weight loss and Weight Watchers. A friend on Dotties Weight Loss Zone asked a question to get us all thinking. She asked how we stop sliding backward on our good habits when we notice this happening. I rattled off an answer to her about how I have not found an answer to this problem as I am still sliding, which I am. However, as I think more on the question I wonder, is this really the whole truth? Because the fact is I have put a stop to my slide but I have not made any forward progress. Why? Oh that is simple. I am "skating" as the flylady would say. I am doing just enough to get by without really tackling the issues that are before me. I do some exercise, I sort of watch what I am eating and make a token effort to get my water in each day but I am not REALLY working the program. I am not journaling, diligently drinking all my water, getting all my fruits, vegetables or healthy oils. As a matter of fact, I am not even doing the most basic thing, eating breakfast. So am I helping myself? Sure I am. I am staying heavy. I am allowing myself to not work the program and lamenting the fact that the program is not working for me. Now I am aware. I have considered this issue thoughout the day. I will continue to consider it as I work on what I am doing right. I am starting to exercise on a more regular basis, I have cut back on the soda consumption in my diet, I am making more conscious food choices. I am aware. That is a step in the right direction.

And a post from January 20th as well:

Basketball Saturday
mood: tiredToday was all about basketball. It should have been about bunnies and basketball but the bunny field day got forgotten about until it was too late to attend so it is just basketball Saturday. First up was my daughter's game. She is a 5th grader and is playing on a recreational team. I try to stay positive because while she is supposed to be learning the skills necessary to go on to play more competetive ball, it really is just for fun. However, I get so frustrated sometimes with other parents and the volunteer refs. The parents because they are so hard on their kids and the refs because they do not make the calls that need to be made to teach the kids what is and is not acceptable within the rules of the game. I too tend to be hard on my daughter if I feel she is not living up to her committment to the team by not working hard enough or hustling when she should be but I do save the critical comments until we are in private. It makes me sad to see and hear other parents berating their kids in front of others. Now on the issue of refs.... I admit to being critical of refereeing in general. I watch a lot of college sports and feel that the refereeing in general is not what it should be. However, it is worse at this age when the kids are supposed to be learning. The ref we had today is one we have had in the past and he is so inconsistent. He will let things go and go and go and then make a call that makes no sense. In the end, despite playing well and working hard, DD's team lost by 5 points.After finishing up in the gym, we headed out to watch our favorite college team, the Oregon State Beavers, do battle on the hardwood. It was a fun, boisterous game with absolutely lousy refing, see the reference above regarding my opinion on referees in general, and the guys ended up adding another to the loss column. It is disappointing as a fan to see loss after loss after loss particularly at home but really I should be used to it considering the fact that we had 28 YEARS of losing seasons with our football team, a memory that still stings in spite of recent success. I certainly hope that our basketball program, once one of the winningest in the nation, does not suffer a similar fate. Some will wonder why I care so much, after all I don't have a personal connection to any of the players. I can't really explain it either. I guess it is a simple matter of those who can play do and those who can't, watch. I am a watcher with a secret desire to play but that will never happen. In the grand scheme of things, is it better to blow off steam at refs that can't hear me anyway for the other 3000 voices in the colousium or is it better to blow off that same steam on my driveway and then pay for the medical bills? I would rather go for the colousium full of shouting fans.

So these are just the beginnings and I am just getting used to sharing my thoughts so freely. It may take a while for any of this to make any sense... to me or to you but at least I am writing these ramblings down.