Monthly Archives: November 2006

November Magic

I awoke yesterday morning, and this morning, to the most delicious thing: SNOW! Not much, just a dusting, but enought to turn traffic into a horrendous nightmare. The way they talk on the news you would think we had 5 or 6 inches dumped over night, but we have maybe half an inch scattered across the ground, if even that. But it is snow! Saturday we chopped down our Christmas tree and we’ve been decorating for Christmas.

(Our snowy and somewhat unkempt yard – this is a fraction of our yard, it is very large, very high maintenance and almost impossible to keep up with. I suppose that is what you get for trying to take care of a yard that belong to a Botonist – my Dad. heh)

So, here I sit looking out the window at glorious snow, Christmas lights winking at me in the background, a warm cozy fire burning in our wood stove, a mug of hot chocolate by my side, typing my blog. Now, that is magic. Yay snow. Yay Christmas. Yay. Yay. Yay!

This is our dog Susie. Jacob has yet to say his sister’s names, but he runs around calling “Susie!” all the time. 🙂

Elizabeth and Dorothy were so excited to walk to school in the snow yesterday, this morning, Emily got to join them as we walked down to the corner.


Filed under Children, Every Day Life, Family

The Day After

The biggest shopping day of the year. While people are whacking each other over the head for the newest latest model for the lowest of lowest prices I hunker down in left over pie and turkey bliss with kids clamoring all about me. I dread the traffic and hordes of people and evade stepping out of the house like I would the black plague. I won’t even venture to our local small town stores. So then why, or why did I find myself headed to the mall of all places on the day after Thanksgiving?

It all started at the hospital the day before. See we had taken those pictures of Jacob’s surgeon that we were so excited about, and when we went to take a picture of the group of us that helped with the dinner our camera stubbornly refused to turn on, or do anythign for that matter excepted make a few whining noises. Kids whining is bad enough. 😉 So when we got home we popped in a new battery thinking it would cure our camera ailments to no avail. The stubborn thing just fizzled out on us and wouldn’t even do the auto rewind when we pushed the special little button. I was frustrated and slightly panicked as I began to call around the next morning to find out who could extricate the precious photos without ruining them. Fred Meyer leaped in to save the day. I also spent an extra 4+ hours researching digital cameras and talking with my brother (who knows a lot about them) about things we would want. It was a daunting task, but by the end of my searching I had a good idea about the different things on digital cameras and an idea of what I wanted (that was at least close to the range we could somewhat afford, what I really want is WAY out there, heh).

I took my film over to Fred Meyer and they saved it from the man-eating camera with ease and proceeded to one hour develope it. I went home and proceeded to call every place in a 3o mile radius to ask about cameras, prices, sales, and warranties.

That is how I found myself driving in the late afternoon through holiday traffic this weekend on my grim search for the ‘only one left’ that had kindly been put on hold. No one jumped me at the counter or accosted me in the parking lot. I didn’t even have a fender fight over a parking spot, just glided right in. Fate must have been on my side. Why the rush on the camera? You might ask. Well, how can you decorate the tree on Sunday, without a camera to take the photos? So I braved insanity and came out still standing.

There is a lesson to this story: If you have to go out Thanksgiving Weekend, go late in the afternoon, all the nut-jobs have worn out by then, of course you’ll probably miss the biggest, bestest sale on the biggest bestest item, but then, Christmas isn’t about all that anyway. 🙂 heh


Filed under Every Day Life


(I never got the chance to write my thankful post that I had planned to do on Thursday, the day turned into a blur. An awesome blur, but a blur just the same)

Wednesday I rolled up my sleaves, dug in and got to work. I baked and prepared everything for our dinner that I possibly could ahead of time, and spent the rest of the day calling people who were contributing food to the Thanksgiving dinners at Emmanuel and the VA, answering the door and the phone, and printing off checklists and directions by the dozen. My two drivers were do to arrive at 9:00 p.m. to load the cars, so just after 8:00 I began to box and sort food. By 9:oo or so we braved the pouring rain and loaded up all the cars.

Thursday morning my alarm went screaming off and I hauled myself out of bed. I stuffed the turkey and got it roasting, got the rolls out to raise, and then got ready for the day. At 8:30 my friend arrived with her loaded car and we headed into Portland. Upon our arrival at Emmanuel Children’s Hospital we unloaded and began to set everything up. This was the first time when I was available for all the set up and preparations. We had a lot of fun as we chatted and laughed while warming up the food and setting up the tables. Just before serving time at noon, I began my walk around the hospital reminding all the nurses to come and eat and to send the patients and their families over to eat as well. Just as I finished making the rounds Paul arrived with the kids.

It was a wonderful experience as we visited with the partakers of the feast, sharing encouragement and sharing in the small and large joys, as well as sorrows and frustrations. Upon hearing about Jacob two hospital staff mentioned they were on the transport team and mentioned they probably had flown him in. I told them that it was a young man who took care of Jacob from the transport team and that I had always wanted to run into him again. He had stopped by a few times while Jacob was in ICU to check up on his progress, but I never got the chance to get his name and thank him for all he did. They new exactly who it was, told me he had moved to Arkansas, and gave me his e-mail. Then, to make things even better they told us that they had just barely seen Jacob’s surgeon, Dr. Iguidbashian, in the ICU.

Paul and I snatched our camera (I had never had the opportunity to take a photo of the surgeon with Jacob) and Jacob and headed down to the ICU. We were greeted by our favorite nurse who confirmed that Dr. Iguidbashian was indeed in the ICU and went to find him. Grins and thanks were offered all around as we showed off how big our boy had grown and how grateful we were for all we had received. The surgeon was thrilled to see how well Jacob was. On of the ICU nurses took a group photo for us with the surgeon and favorite nurse. We felt so fortunate to see them and delighted in one of the many highlights of the day.

Some how it seemed that we did more, reached out to more people, and really made a difference. Not that we hadn’t during previous dinners, but this one just seemed more so. We finally wrapped up the dinner at 2:30 and at 3:00 I headed towards home while Paul finished cleaning up. When I hit home I finished up our Thanksgiving dinner.

When we finally settled down for dinner around 5:30 – 6:00 we revisited our day and all the marvelous reasons we had to truly give thanks this day. A beautiful miracle of the selflessness of all who pitched in at the last minute to bring happiness to this day for those in a not so happy place. By the time all was said and done, I was too tired to even think about writing, which is why I didn’t post this until now. (combined with lots of other busy events over the week-end I’ll write about soon).

Hoping you had a marvelous Day of Thanks, with lots of reasons to be thankful.


Filed under Family, Heart, Jacob

Thyme?…or was that Time?


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I finally have gotten back on the ball and had a bit of fun with this one. Our regular camer died, and I have entered the wonderful world of digital and super zoom. 🙂 The following two pictures are dried thyme. (It’s worth the click to see the big pic on the top one).

And since the topic was ‘Time’ I couldn’t pass up my favorite clock.


Filed under Photography

Heart Stopping Panic

We were walking down a stair case, Paul, Jacob and I, some ways up from the ground. Faces were all around us, recognizable, and yet, somehow lost in shadow. The stair rail running beside us was tall with broad blue slats placed too far apart. Far enough apart for a young child to slip through. Someone had thought of this though, and there was some wire mesh going about half way up, leaving a gap between the mesh and the top rail.

I don’t remember how it happened, I just remember a scream ripping from my chest as I saw Jacob plummet over the side. “Call 911,” I yelled at a nameless face as Paul and I hurtled ourselves down the long staircase, afraid of what we would find at the bottom. We couldn’t run fast enough, it seemed as though our legs churned in slow motion as my heart threatened to beat its way up my throat and out of my body. I felt sick with fear; absolute nameless terror; so much so that I could hardly breathe. We rounded the last corner and there he was. Laying crumpled on the floor. With a sob I rushed forward, stopping short of his still form, not daring to touch him for fear of doing him more injury. “Where is the ambulence?” I cried. Some how I knew that miraculously he would be fine. He always came out fighting, he had a purpose here that God wanted him to do, he wouldn’t be taken from us yet.

Sirens filled my head and I was surrounded by paramedics rushing here and there and we were transported to the hospital. He was alive. All were amazed. He had a terrible concussion, but he was alive. “No one should have survived that fall,” they told me shaking their heads in awe. I was told that during all the tests they had performed they had found some additional minor problems with his heart, nothing too serious they told me…

With a start I sat bolt upright in bed, trying to figure out where I was and what was happening. Paul was sleeping soundly beside me, low snores eminating from his half open mouth. I could hear Jacob breathing softly in his room over the monitor. Choking back terrified tears I snuggled close to my husband clasping his hand. I didn’t want to wake him. Not now, that would almost make it too real. Even as I recounted the terrible nightmare in the bright lights of the bathroom, a shadow was cast over our usual cheery moods. Yes, it was just a dream, but we’ll be keeping an extra close eye on him over the next few days, just in case.

(This happened just last night… I am still shaken.)


Filed under Children, Heart, Parenting

Tiger Cubs at the Zoo

One last set of photos (can you tell I’m making up for slacking off over this last week?)
We took Grandma and Grandpa to the zoo when they were here for a visit. While we were there we found these cute little tiger cubs and just had to take them home with us. They are still a bit wild and ferocious, but we are working on taming them. 😉

(as in shish ka-bob, I have no idea how he got this nick name, but get it he did)


or when she is feel particularly wild:

I know it’s a bit odd to name a tiger Lizard, but then, we are.
Odd that is. 🙂

We’re training them for the Wagner Family Circus, heh. 🙂


Filed under Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, Lizy

Carving Pumpkins and Stuffing Scarecrows

Last year we started a new halloween/autumn tradition. While at Heiser Farms we picked up some haybales and the corn stalks. Then, a day or two later we sat out on our front step and stuffed our friendly scarecrow. Everyone pitched in and Jacob watched from his play area. Here we have the crew hanging on the front step surrounded by our fall festivities.

Pumpkin carving time! One of our favorite activities. Everyone loves to take the ‘guts’ out of the punpkins and for Jacob it was a new and interesting experience. You can tell by the grin on his face, he thought it was lots of fun. 🙂

I love how the seeds and goop are just dripping out of Emily’s hands all the way down to the pumpkin.

Here is everyone, digging and scraping away.

I know it’s mean of me not to post photos of the finished products, I didn’t do it on purpose, they are just in my camera still with the rest of the halloween photos. They will be coming soon (after Thanksgiving some time).

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Filed under Dot, Em, Every Day Life, Family, Jacob, Lizy

What has Jacob been up to lately?

Another set of photos. . .

I was making dinner one night when I had a little visitor. I turned around to return the eggs to their proper place and I found this little rascal who had snuck into the fridge before the door had closed. . .

Isn’t this where mom keeps all the yummy stuff?

(have no worries we got snapped a quick photo and got him out quick, with a sound ‘No! The fridge/dresser is not a place to play.’)

I suppose this was fore shadowing of the disaster the day after when he got squashed by the dresser. It was too late in the evening at this point to get anything to fasten the dresser to the wall with, and in all honesty we never thought he’d succeed in pulling it over. But I have to say, even though he got a firm ‘No.’ and we were rather upset to find him playing in the dresser, it did make for an adorable photo.
(Do I have another Dot on my hands?)
heh 🙂


Filed under Children, Heart, Jacob, Parenting

Heiser Farms

To Prove I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth completely while trying to get everything set for Thanksgiving, I have a few photos from October to share with you. No Halloween photos yet, they are still in my camera . . .

The major drawback to not having a digital camera is not being able to write about and share events when the happen, but some time after when the film is finally developed. One of our October traditions is to take the children to a pumpkin patch/farm. We don’t usually pick out the pumpkins there, just enjoy the autumn festivities. This year we found a new place to go, Heiser Farms. They charged next to nothing for the corn and hay maze, the hayride was free, and they had lots of animal the children could pet. They had a giant pumpkin cannon that shot pumpkins way off into one of the fields. And a kiddie area with lots of small tractor/tricycles that the kids could play on and ride.

The hay ride took us out to the pumpkin patch and corn maze. We hopped off and had a fun romp through the pumpkins, admiring how huge they were. There were hay bales made up like giant spiders, and some with goody face painted on them. Here is the crew at the entrance to the corn maze. It was an awesome corn maze, very twisty and turny with lots of dead ends and paths that took you in endless circles. In fact, I’m surprised we found our way out, expecially with the kids leading!

Heizer Farms

Jacob enjoyed running through the maze on his own, but also enjoyed his comfy seat upon Dad’s shoulders when his legs got too tired.
One of his favorite things to do was to lean forward to give Dad a big kiss on the cheek. Then he would snuggle his cheek right up next to Dad’s for a hug.

(I do realize this heavily one-sided to Jacob, the reason to this is because it is his first real trip to the pumpkin patch where he can do stuff, we tended to take a few more pictures of him than the others. I have lots of pictures of the other kids too, but just didn’t get them all scanned in.)

What is this great orange ball?

The kids all had a blast riding around on the tractors – I just love how his jacket matched this little tractor.

So, this is just a bit of the fun we had in October, there way too many photos to post, I just put up a few of my favorites. (apologies to those who visit me on flickr, you’ve seen them all before).

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Filed under Dot, Em, Every Day Life, Family, Jacob, Lizy

Heart Smiles

I have written a number of times about going to the hospital and helping out with the three main holiday meals: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. I just starting to realize that it was getting close when I got an email for the woman who organizes the dinners. She organizes the dinners at three separate hospitals; of course we always go to the hospital where Jacob was. She had a major last minute break down for two of the hospitals, one of them being Jacob’s. She asked me if I could talk to our congregation and friends and see if anyone could help out at all. The email came in the middle of the week before last, just as we were headed into our week of sickos. Needless to say, it got shunted aside as I ran after kids with mop and bucket in hand, and fought off pneumonia (Jacob is doing fabulously now by the way, his cough is nearly cleared out completely, fever gone for a while now, and back up to his energetic self).

On Sunday while at church I suddenly remembered the desperate need for food for the Thanksgiving dinner. Paul raced home to write down what was needed from the email we were sent. We made up a sign-up sheet and passed it around to the women.

I didn’t think that we wouldn’t get a good turn out, I just didn’t expect this big of one. In just one pass of the sheet, we have almost everything we need to provide for both dinners! And I still have a week and a half to gather the last of the donations needed. I am so excited that everyone came through for the cause. These dinners mean so much to the patients and parents at the hospital, they mean a lot to me, from the experience we had. To race in last minute with everything needed to carry the dinner on makes my heart smile. I’m not congratulating myself by any means, I’m congratulating the awesome people and friends at church that have given so generously from their heart to make it all happen


Filed under Heart, Religion