Monthly Archives: July 2006

Blessings Out-Weigh Bruised Bones

This weekend I learned that when a person gets older the ground really does become harder. I never really got that before. I was always of the old addage ‘air matresses are for wimps’. Well, ummm . . . I’m a wimp. Yeah. How did I make this amazing discovery?

Paul and I packed up the four kids, our tent, sleeping bags, a few clothes and wood and food and such and took off early Friday evening. We headed down an old back road towards the Oregon Coast where we knew there some little known podunky campgrounds where we were sure to find a spot for the night. Find one we did and I built the fire and started the hotdogs roasting for the kids while Paul erected the tent. The evening was a hoot as we ate hotdgs and smores, sang songs and told stories around the fire. It was getting late so we sent the kids off to the tent and not to long after the snores began Paul and I turned in.

The ground was really hard, and rocky. I even had a thin bad underneath that kept some of the rocks from jabbing into me but it did nothing to comfort the dull ache on my body from the hard ground. Everytime I rolled over I thought to myself that it had to be morning now, only to realize that maybe a 1/2 an hour had passed by. The night creeped along like a slug trying to make it through a patch of salt. It felt like every bone in my body was bruised no matter how I laid.

Finally I thought I heard the sound of my salvation as a thin small voice began singing wordless melodies of his own making. Jacob! Surely it was morning now, but alass it was only 4:30 a.m. It was quite hilarious, trying to sleep on impossibly hard rocky ground being serenaded by our 16 month old from 4:30 until 6:30 a.m. when everyone finally was awake and we proclaimed it a decent hour to end our torture. 2 hours of joyous music that made me giggle even through my torture.

To say we were exhausted is underated beyond comprehension and the plans of continuing out to the coast for a fun day at the beach were quickly squelched as we staggered and stumbled into the cool mountain air. We cleaned up camp quickly and headed back to home. We were only an hour away and as we drove we realized we would be back easily in time to go to the local ‘Old Fahioned Days Festival’ parade. This brightened the children considerably.

It must have been fated that we would have a terrible night, and we are very grateful for it now, for on our way home, as Paul excelerated from a stop sign, the engine revved manically but the car went nowhere ending in an aweful sounding, chunk-chunk-chunk. We coasted off to the side of the road. Paul hopped out and looked under the car and hood and found nothing aparant. He hopped back in and put the car into drive. Though it shifted into drive it would not shift into any higher gears after that and we limped the last few miles home at an excrusiating 20 miles or less an hour. We were very grateful that we hadn’t gone further into the wilderness and had this happen. So now we were without a family car. We walked the mile to the parade, enjoyed it, and came back home to sleep for the afternoon. We bought a new battery for my parents little honda that we can at least fit one adult and all the kids in so we could make to church the next day and I would have some mode of transportation while the van is in the shop.

I feel like I am driving a little clown car right now. It is a small blue honda accord, two-door. I pull up and all these little people come popping out of the car from all sides. There is a lot to be grateful for. The honda is for sale, thank goodness it hasn’t sold yet. We could have been stranded in the middle of nowhere, or me alone with the kids. We are not of the cel phone carrying crowd yet, though at least we have AAA. πŸ™‚ The blessings are great and the inconveniences are few, especially if our warranty (that we purchased when we got our little van) covers whatever needs to be fixed. So we hope and pray that is the case, for we cannot afford major car expenses right now, and there is no way a new vehicle is possible. Until then the Elizabeth and Dot will get to have fun taking turns riding in the front seat. Quite the adventure for them. πŸ™‚ And with Jacob singing everytime I turn around things can’t be that bad. πŸ™‚

Oh, speaking of singing, it melted my heart yesterday. I was asked to fill in as the organist at church yesterday and the closing song was Families Can Be Together Forever which my children know VERY well. I could hear the three of them above the organ and everyone else singing just belting the words out at the top of their sweet little lungs. Everyone smiling and chuckling at our little family choir just singing away. Something about the words of that song and hearing my children sing it so sweet, so loud just melted my heart and made my sould smile. πŸ™‚

(and we are getting an air mattress before we go camping again . . .)

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Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, Lizy, Parenting, Religion

Pets/Animals

I’ve got a full day ahead of me tomorrow and I will be lucky to get anything posted, let alone visit anyone’s photos before Sunday, so I figured I’d better post it now . . .

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This is one of my favorite photos. I took it of Paul just before we were married, he is holding my pet iguana, Iggy.

*Edit – Iggy is about 4 years old (maybe 5) in this picture (as far as I can remember anyway. He died shortly after. Once we were married we moved him from my parents’ home in Oregon to Utah. Iguanas do not handle change well, especially climate changes (which we didn’t know at the time) and he died shortly after the move.

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Breathe

I love my children dearly. I adore them and I love to spend time playing and having fun with them, but I also love escaping from them every once in a while. πŸ™‚ Which is what I did yesterday. I picked up the babysitter at noon and then escaped into the dearly covetted mommy silence of an airconditioned car with no screaming children in it. I didn’t even turn on the radio, which has become more of a device used to drown children out than one of enjoyment. heh. πŸ™‚ I ran my mommy only errands to such places as the bank (I had to walk in for this visit), Staples, and Michael’s. The havoc four children completely bored to tears would cause in these places made me shudder. I even snuck a few moments to walk aimlessly through the stores!

When I finished all my required errands I found that I still had an hour left! And entire hour! I am not a mall person, but there are two stores that I like to stop in from time to time. The Disney Store (of course! what else did you expect? heh) and Bath and Body Works. I refuse to hall my children around the mall, as they would have contests as to who could hide best under which rack of clothes in which store, I’m afraid I’d never see them. Nope, malls are my kid free zone which explains the fact that I hadn’t set foot in the mall in about 4 months. I didn’t have much time though so I aimed for my two favorite stores, which lucky for me are side by side.

I have been increasingly disapointed in Disney and their lack of attention to Goofy. I mean come one, who else is there? It’s all about Goofy. heh πŸ™‚ For years I haven’t even been able to find a decent simple character t-shirt with him in color on it. My friend even looked for me at Disney Land but found nothing. So when I walked in I was pleasantly, estacticly, joyously surprised to see a very orange t-shirt with a full-size goofy in full color on it! It was AWESOME! Thank goodness I can do orange, heh. πŸ™‚ Then I pampered my self with yummy smelling body lotion stuff. Ahhhh, what a day. Of course I got home and the kids had smashed berries and tracked mud all over the kitchen floor that I mopped the day before. But at least they were alive and very happy. πŸ™‚

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Filed under Every Day Life, Parenting

Lion Heart Festival

I just realized that I never wrote about our attendance at the lionheart festival in Portland. On July 15 the Children’s Heart Foundation-Oregon Chapter hosted the 3rd annual Lionheart Festival at Lauralhurst Park in Portland, Oregon. We attended last year, but being pretty fresh from hospital days and new on the scene of the Congenital Heart Defect world I was not in the position to volunteer. This year, I was though, and boy did we have fun. Upon arriving I paid for our family entrance ticket and checked Jacob off. Each survivor receives a special yellow t-shirt of courage. And families receive Children’s Heart Foundation Caps, pins, bracelets, etc. The day was packed with fun. I was stationed with another couple in the ‘loot booth,’ where we took care of sales of t-shirts, heart jewlery and lion tails. I adorned my girls with tails and they strutted around the park excited to have fun and to introduce Jacob to everyone they met.

Lion Heart Festival 2006

I finally got to meet families I had talked with by email, and see kids who I had prayed anxiously for through surgery. One of the major highlights of the day was when they gathered all the CHD families together for a photo, the yellow shirts were amazing, so much courage grouped together in one spot.

Lion Heart Festival 2006

After the photo the heart kids led us all in a parade around the park. It was an awesome day of music, food and fun.

Lion Heart Festival 2006

Lion Heart Festival 2006

The very best part? Aproximately $20,000 was raised to fund research for congenital heart defects! The mission of The Children’s Heart Foundation is to fund research to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart defects. Since 1996, The Children’s Heart Foundation has funded 24 research projects with more than $1.9 million! They have also written and published a parent resource book, β€œIt’s My Heart,” and chartered three chapters across the United States. If you want to see a list of the research projects they have funded you can see them here.

All in all it was a wonderful and rewarding day, and I can’t wait for the next one. πŸ™‚ I’ll post photos to flickr once I get them developed. πŸ™‚

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Filed under CHD, Family, Heart, Jacob

Persuasion

My Dad is a man who can take people completely by surprise. He is a botanist who reads so much that he is well entrenched in history and many, many other things. At first impression he is seems serious, and rather intimidating, and it’s not just his bald head. πŸ™‚ He has that air of professor that demands respect, whether you know him or not, he has traveled to Europe, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, and has a wide knowledge of all these places. He gives lectures and discourses that are brilliant. I’m not saying that a man like this cannot have sense of humor, I’m just saying that it seems to take people completely by surprise. I remember that often he would participate in a church talent show and out he would stride in his black graduation gown and cap perched atop his head. No doubt the audience was expecting something intellectual, when suddenly his face would twist into the pure goofiness that we loved and off he would spout the beloved limericks that he had made up:

“There once was a great purple lizard
Who had an oversized gizzard,
Hungry for bones he ate hailstones
and Died of an internal blizzard”

Because of this he could often convince people of completely preposterous things. (he didn’t make a habit of it, just did it once in a while for a good joke) One day, not too long after he and my mom were married, they were driving through Oregon and my mother made a comment about all the barns whose roofs were sitting on the ground. My dad, seeing the perfect window of opportunity, launches in, “It’s the Oregon soil.”

“Oh?” she asks, keen on hearing more of this strange phenomenon.

“The properties of the Oregon soil (and I am sure here he rattles of some long scientific names) are such that, combined with the rain, allows for the barns to sink right into the ground. Oh, see? That one has just begun!”

I’m sure he was much more scientific than I just was because she believed him! Maybe she was blinded by love, but she still believed him. I don’t know how long he strung her along for, but it made the BEST family story. We still tease her about it today. I remember standing in mud up to my ankles, “Mom! I’m sinking! I’m sinking!” And every time we pass a broken down barn, “Hey mom! There’s a sunken barn!” My husband has even taken to referring to this phenomenon as the “sunken barn” phenomenon.

So should you come to Oregon to visit and see the barns fading into the soil, now you will know that truth. And for better, or worse, I think I have received some of his talents in the power of persuasion. heh. πŸ™‚

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Filed under Family, Humor, Memory, Personal History

Bridge

Weekly Anamnesis #31

The road twists and curves through the countryside, a flutter of leaves that never quite settle as the cars drive through. Colors so intense they suffocate all your other senses, and you wonder if you dare to breathe. Hues of yellow, orange, and red mixed with a bit of green still clinging to summer days smother the countryside. As the breeze rustles the branches and the leaves shiver and shake the hills almost look to be on fire. The road winds around until we arrive at an old Mill on Slippery Rock Creek. The falls crash against the nearby rocks sending a fine mist into the air driving the chill of fall into your bones. I love the old wood and stone building, but just down the red I catch a glimpse of red and something that steals my heart.

I loved it from the first moment I think I saw it, stretching across the water, a covered bridge. I loved the feel of walking through it, it felt magical, out of another era not my own. I can still picture the red paint, and the crossbeams on the inside as we walked through, stepping out of the paths of cars. Something so simple, it almost seems silly that it captured my heart so.

I decided to look on the Internet, to see if I remembered it correctly. The white weight limit sign at the top of the entrance, the yellow caution marks as you approached. All was as I remembered it. But the last picture left my heart with a chill. It lay there, something I loved and remembered so dear, smashed in smithereens by a fallen tree.

(The picture was taken two years ago, if the date was correct anyway. I wondered if it would be rebuilt. Perhaps I shall visit someday and I shall know. But I hesitate; it just wouldn’t be my place with out the covered bridge.)

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Action

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Ok, I didn’t take the picture on this one, but I am the one jumping. Since I used my all-time best ever action shot for Father’s Day, I posted this one:

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