Monthly Archives: February 2007

A Random Post (with photos)

I was sitting down just now to begin typing when the phone sounded beside me, which succeeded in sending me jumping to the roof.  (The silliest things startle me and make me jump.)  And who should happen to be on the phone but Connie with “The Ensign” to talk with me about my story that was scheduled for publication.  I just about fell off my chair I was so excited.  And I think my jaw hit the floor when she complimented my writing and that she hoped I would write more (not add to the story, just write in general).  I’m not saying that to brag, it just astonished me that an editor and writer for the magazine thought I was good.  So, lets just say that it might be giving me a bit more confidence in stepping out of my writing/publishing shell (a bit more confidence, I am still rather terrified at even the thought of attempting anything more).  Anyway, the story is loosely scheduled for next March (2008).  So sit back and relax, and I will tell you again when it gets closer and the publication month is more sure.  And believe me, you will definitely hear about it when it finally appears…probably more so than you would want, heh. 🙂


All the kids are home from school today, poor things have terrible nasty colds that they were kind enough to share with me.  Elizabeth woke at 1:00 last night, not able to breathe well from being so congested.  We had a sleepy snuggle on the floor in a very steamy bathroom and she seemed much better after that.


I love our school principal even more after yesterday.  There was ten minutes left of school when I got a phone call saying that Elizabeth was not feeling well, flushed, and feeling week-kneed and could I come get her because she didn’t think she could walk home (and the office aggreed, poor thing looked miserable). Dorothy was stayed home yesterday for being sick.  I informed them that I had a piano student there and that I wasn’t able to pick her up.  Instead of having to call a bunch of people to try to get her home, the school principal said she could slip away for a minute and brought her home for me.  Now, that is a principal who is involved and cares. 🙂


My Dot has been the sweetest thing lately, I think she can tell I have’t been feeling well.  On Sunday she unloaded and loaded the dishwasher (voluntarily).  And yesterday she asked, “Mom, can I unload the dishwasher?”  The little darling unloaded it, then unloaded it again after I had loaded and washed a load, then proceeded to load all the dinner dishes.


On a sad note, Dorothy’s little friend, Maddy, has been diagnosed with acute leukemia and will not attend school for the rest of the year and is undergowing severe kemotherapy treatment.  Dorothy is just devestated, so if you would be so kind as to keep Maddy and her family in your prayers I’m sure it would be greatly appreciated.


On a more funny and mischeivous note, Jacob has been having way too much fun with mom being sick and a bit slower than usual, and has taken full and complete advantage of it.  I had set a basically empty jam jar by the sink to be washed, not thinking about what would happen if a certain son should spy it.

Jacob Digging in

Yummy Sticky Fingers

And when that wasn’t satisfying enough he went in for the kill…. I call this photo:

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Pot

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Post


Filed under Children, Dot, Every Day Life, Humor, Jacob, Lizy, Parenting, Writing

A Toddler’s Secret to the Universe

Jacob has figured out that chairs make you taller.  Why, with a chair you can reach up to answer the kitchen phone and make lots of noise on it and babble like crazy while mommy is trying to talk.  A chair can unlock the great mysteries of what lies beyond- or above as the case may be.  A chair is the answer to a toddler’s universe as he unlocks the secrets of the treasures that lie in wait upon the counter top.  Brownies need not be out of reach  any longer, they are in full grasp of tiny hands and devouring mouths.

The little hooligan finished off 1/3 –  ONE THIRD of a pan (9×13) of brownies sitting on the counter this morning.  That is a LOT of brownie for a minnie man his size.  I think he found some graham crackers somewhere too because it looked like he had rolled in them. 

The worst thing about this situation?

I have to clean up the mess.

Well, maybe that is second worst.  First worst would be that I don’t get eat any brownies…  🙂

Brownie Shenanigans 1

Brownie Shenanigans 2

“Who me? What makes you think I got into any brownies?”
Brownie Shenanigans 3

“No, I think he went that way…”
Brownie Shenanigans 4


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob, Parenting

All Grown Up

We had been debating it for ages – how to cut Jacob’s hair and how short.  It was getting long again, and the curls in the back were getting unmanagable.  Unruly, matted and tangled as soon as the poor tyke woke up. 

I was working on the computer, I don’t quite recall what I was doing.  After a while I emerged from the office to prepare dinner.  Where’s Paul? I wondered as I walked back to the bedroom to see if I could find him.  I walked into our bathroom and there they were.  Jacob sitting happily on the counter with a pile of hair around him – Paul shears in hand.  Jacob looked at me and I nearly choked, his hair was so SHORT! Paul had used an 8 guard, but it was still really short.  The lack of hair wasn’t really what got to me, but the fact that he didn’t look like a baby anymore.  He all of a sudden looked so grown up.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the two boys and the hair cutting, which I was really dissapointed about, but I did get the bath after pictures, and some others.

Bath Time!

Doesn’t his special zipper look fabulous? The surgeon really did such a great job. 🙂

Bath Time! 2

Now those too look so much alike it’s almost scary! 🙂

Jacob Hair Cut

I just love this photo for some reason – he looks so cute and funny eating on the wrong end of his fork.

Jacob Eating Dinner

Jacob loves to hide from us and play peek-a-boo. He’ll squeal, “Where go?” and dive under blankets or anything else, but will allways peek to see if you are watching.

Jacob Hiding

That’s my boy! A true book lover at heart! 🙂

Jacob Loves to Read

Isn’t he adorable and look so grown up now? But, I must confess, I do miss those curls. 🙂 (We might let it grow just long enough to start to curl before we chop it off again.)


Filed under Children, Heart, Jacob, Parenting

Escaping the Winter Duldrums

February is a hard month.  Spring feels like it is on the doorstep, and we are sick of being cooped up and winter.  The kids get antsy to play outside, and the parents are antsy to send them out more to limit the bickering from living in close quarters for a few months.  So, in this state we sat when we got a call from Paul’s Aunt saying that her beach house was available weekend before last.  We were estatic, the perfect getaway from the winter duldrums.  We loaded up the children Friday afternoon after school and by 5:00 we were speeding happily on our way to the coast.

Hotdogs roasted in the fireplace along with s’mores were the order of the night as we huddled together on the couch, warming up with the rest of the house, as we watched a movie.  Morning arrived quickly and with excited kids hopping about we started the events of the day.  There was playing, relaxing, a bit of snooing, some gallavanting, and definitely beach walking.

Our gallavanting took us to Depoe Bay, home of many tourist shops and mouth watering salt water taffy.

Paul and Kids - Depoe Bay

We picked up a flock of seagulls somewhere along the way -heh 🙂

Paul and Kids - Depoe Bay

Kiddos - Depoe Bay

We made sure to stop in at the Whale watching station and learn about the whales that travel the Oregon Coast. We got to watch a reall cool video and the kids were fascinated with the binoculors provided. Though there were no whales to be sighted this time of year, the coast guard was out doing training. It was fun to watch as one boat towed the other across the bar, under the bridge and into the bay.

Coast Guard

Coast Guard

Coast Guard - Depoe Bay

Soon it was lunch time and kids were beginning to rub their eyes so we headed back for lunch, and naps. But, before we had to return home we made sure we headed out to the beach in between rain showers.

Emmy on Neskowin Beach

Elizabeth on Neskowin Beach

Dorothy - Neskowin Beach

Paul & Jacob - Neskowin Beach

Jacob and Susie - Neskowin Beach

Too soon it was time to go back home, but it relieved the cooped in feeling and was a blast. 🙂


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

This Crazy World in Which I Live

Thursday evening I was breaking out into irrational (well, maybe not too irrational) fits of crying, escorted by moments of sheer frustration, hovering under a cloud of gloom.  All this brought about a migraine that is still lingering from time to time today.  As Friday dawned the day really didn’t seem too much better as I remembered the events of the evening before and was trying to decide if I was feeling sick or not. 

For those of you raising your eyebrows and wondering…”hmmmm… is she pregnant?”  The answer is “no” 🙂 and you can lower your eyebrows now.

You know that item that is prized by a woman higher than almost any other.  That one thing that is forbidden to anyone but the owner.  It hold the innermost workings of a woman’s life and her universe revolves around it.  Your husband would sooner die than look through it, and children ask three or four times to be sure that you really did ask them to search it for a particular item.  Well, someone – some unknown hooligan – has violated that prized item and absconded with it late Tuesday night.  That is the kind of action that if the police don’t get you the lightning will – heh. 🙂

Yup, so for those of you still trying to decipher my strange cryptic rambling, my purse was stolen.  We didn’t discover it’s theft until Thursday night when I was trying to leave to buy diapers at Costco.  We couldn’t find it anywhere.  We searched in, over, under, and through every thing.  I even searched every cupboard and looked in the fridge and freezer – hey, I have kids, and one of them is a toddler, anything is possible – heh.  We couldn’t find it anywhere.  I racked my brain trying to remember when I last used it, and came up with Tuesday night to go get pizza.  The pizza place didn’t have it, and then I remembered that Paul was in a hurry to get to Scouts and I grabbed the pizza and pop and went charging into the house so he could go charging out.  I must have left my purse sitting on the passenger seat in the van.  And that was the end of that.

Friday we spent the entire day closing bank accounts, opening new accounts, cancelling credit cards, flagging numbers left and right, getting a new driver’s licence, and taking lots and lots of advil and praying lots and lots that whoever took my purse doesn’t decide to completely destroy my life.

So, if you wave at me while walking down the road and I don’t wave back, don’t worry it probably wasn’t me….  heh

 *UPDATE:  No less than 10 minutes after I published this post and I was cooking dinner in the kitchen, Paul hollered at me from the office.  In I came running only to find him standing there, holding my purse!  Not my new purse either, but my old one.  We had looked… both of us, at least 3-4 times each underneath the desk.  I was on my hands and knees looking.  Some how (give you ten guesses as to how – he’s short, adorable, and gets into everything) it had gotten shoved under – way, way under ( we are living in my parent’s house while they are on their mission, so to truly understand this, you have to understand that the office is a storage room. The portion we use is tiny, and we have two desks, one infront of the other shoved in there.) the desk.  It was so dark and black under there neither of us could have found it.  So after a weekend of frustration and renewing EVERYTHING the purse was sitting there all the time.  I don’t know whether to give thanks or throw back my head in frustration and howl…

….I am very grateful.  Why do I have the feeling this would ony happen to me…

Oh, and if you wave at me while I am walking down the road and I don’t wave back, it was probably because I biffed it right as you passed.


Filed under Every Day Life, Goofs, Humor, Miracles



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This Bible belonged to my Great Great Grandmother, whom I am named after. She carried it with her across the country as a pioneer in one of the many handcart companies. It was printed in 1869.



Filed under Photography

A Little Hot to Trot

It was bound to happen eventually.  With my charming ability to crash, trip, and fall into anything I should be surprised that I made it this long before disaster hit.  Luckily it wasn’t as much of a disaster as it could have been….

 October was upon us and the temperatures were quickly dropping as the frigid air settled in.  Trying to live on a shoe string and cut as many things out of the budget as possible, we decided that we would do without gas heat for as much of the winter as possible, and began our quest for more wood for our wood burning stove.  We actually prayed for wood at one point, worried that we wouldn’t have enough to get through the winter, and our friend had two trees blown over in a terrific wind storm after that.  We teased them that it was our fault, but as one tree had been dead for a few years it gave us lots of wood to burn, and they argued that it needed to come down anyway, and this way they didn’t have to pay for it.

Anyway, I digress.  When we started using the wood stove, Jacob was a real worry, as toddlers and stoves don’t mix to well.  After a day or two  of heart pounding shooing Jacob away from the stove and exclamations of “Hot!” Paul came up with a great idea. 

When Dorothy was born we bought two boxes of those gray baby fence/gate segments.  There are 6 segments in a box and they connect together.  They’re awesome.  We can make an enclosed play area when they are little, or just put pieces of segments across openings to rooms as a fence to help keep kids in or out.  Adults, and even the older kids can easily step/climb over them without too much of a problem (unless you’re me).  So, Paul took about 6 of the pieces and set them up as a permimeter around the danger area to keep Jacob away and out of trouble.  That was it, problem solved….

Last night I had the fire burning brightly and the warmth was filling the kitchen as the children swapped valentines and gorged themselves on enough candy to open a small shop.  I went to check on the fire and see if it was in need of another log.  I lifted my leg to step over the fence and I lost my balance.  In horror I felt myself falling backwards toward the stove.  My arms began flapping as if I was some strange gangly bird trying to take flight and save myself from the impending disaster. I tried all I could do to throw myself forward, but to no avail as my backward momentum was too strong.

 Though the fence was the culprit in the first place, it also helped me out a bit. I was still on the fence and as the plastice bent and fell beneath me it slowed my crash just enough.  As I felt my backside connect with the edge of the stove I was able to rocket off and fling myself to the floor, skidding halfway across to the family room.  The fence spring back up and sat there rocking slightly, laughing, no doubt, at my never ending grace.  I was just glad that I had jeans on and didn’t get burned – at all.

Now, that is what I call being in the “hot seat”.  heh 🙂  And my husband can officially say I am a pain in the rear… hee hee (I didn’t get burned, but that stove is not soft and the bruise will be sure to last at least a week).

Ok, so I want to hear all of the “hot buns” jokes that I know you are thinking of right now…


Filed under Goofs, Humor

CHD Awareness Day!!

Somewhere…someplace… today…
A family is waiting to hear…
Is something wrong with their baby?
The answers aren’t quite clear…
This family has entered an unwanted world…
And they just don’t know what to expect…
Somewhere…someplace… today
They first heard the words: heart defect.
And how they hoped this was not true…
And thought… this cannot be…
I too… know just how this feels…
For one day…this was me.

A man and a woman embrace…
Their baby is in surgery…
They long to see her face…
They haven’t got to hold her yet…
Without…a cord or line…
They pace the room awaiting news…
And hope she’ll be just fine.
Prayers fill this busy waiting room…
And mom and dad are scared…
The tiniest hearts are repaired.

A child’s growing fast…
His mom thinks…can this last?
It’s almost easy…to forget…
That anything is wrong…
Her child seems so strong.

Somewhere…someplace… today…
A little boy fights…just to live
A father holds his tiny hand…
His love…all he can give…
The doctor’s are all baffled…
They fear that he might die…
A family says goodbye…

Somewhere…someplace…each year..
More than 40,000 families will see…
What it means…when something’s wrong…
They’ll face a CHD.
Today…for just a moment…
Make time to tell someone you know…
“I’ve been changed by a heart defect”.

Author – Stephanie Husted

It’s Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day everyone, so spread the word and spread awareness.  Here are some little known statistics about CHDs, research, etc.  taken from the Children’s Heart Foundation:

Congenital Heart Heart Defect Statistics and Facts:

  • Congenital heart defects are America’s #1 birth defect. Nearly one of every 100 babies is born with a CHD.
  • Congenital heart defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths.
  • This year almost 40,000 babies will be born with a congenital heart defect. 4,000 of them will not live to see their first birthday.
  • 91,000 life years are lost each year in this country due to congenital heart defects.
  • The cost for inpatient surgery to repair congenital heart defects exceeds $2.2 billion a year.
  • Congenital heart defects occur frequently and are often life threatening, yet research into them is grossly under funded.
  • Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding only a fraction of a penny is directed toward congenital heart defect research.
  • The Children’s Heart Foundation is the only organization strictly created to fund congenital heart defect research.
  • In the last decade death rates for congenital heart defects have declined by almost 30% due to advances made through research.
  • The Children’s Heart Foundation has directed almost $2 million to 24 different congenital heart defect research projects.
  • More than 50% of all children born with a congenital heart defect will require at least one invasive surgery in their lifetime.
  • There are 35 different types of congenital heart defects. Little is known about the cause of most them. There is not yet a cure for any of them.
  • In the U.S., twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD.

The Children’s Heart Foundation also has a parent resource book called “It’s My Heart” that talks about all of the different CHD’s, Tests, and surgical procedures in plain everyday language.  The book is free.  You can obtain a copy of this book here: It’s My Heart.

 To Learn more about Congenital Heart Defects feel free to browse through my Heart Links Section.

If you would like to support CHD research, a donation to the Children’s Heart Foundation can be made here.

If you would like to donate to our Heart Walk please visit my Heart Walk Page.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and take care of those hearts! 🙂


Filed under CHD, Heart, TGA

CHD Awareness Week Proclamation Signing

Today I shipped all my children off to their destinations, all except Jacob, printed off a map of Salem and drove down to the capitol building. Governor Kulongoski had agreed to meet with our Northwest Families With Heart group for the signing of the Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week Proclamation.  A few of us met before the proclamation signing at a pizza place a few miles away.  We were able to connect names and faces as we chatted.  It is always wonderful to put a face with a family you have been praying for continually and sharing in the joys and sorrows.

After lunch we drove to the capitol building and were guided up to the Governor’s office. 

CHD Proclamation Signing

These are the children with Congenital Heart Defects that were able to make it to the signing standing in front of the Governor’s desk. There were two families there who had lost their child to CHD as well.

CHD Proclamation Signing

Governor Kulongoski signing the proclamation. It’s a bit blurry, Jacob was awefully wiggly (which is why he isn’t in this pic, heh. Hopefully the other mom’s will post their pics and I will get some better ones for Jacob’s book, for now this will do).

CHD Proclamation Signing

This next photo is of our good friend Michael, Jacob and the Governor. We have known Michael and Brigette for a number of years now, we played in orchestra together in the Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra about 5 years or more ago. They lost their son to CHD two years ago.

CHD Proclamation Signing

Finally we have Jacob hiding out behind the CHD Awareness balloon.

CHD Proclamation Signing

It was a fun and exciting day. There will be a very nice article in the Salem newspaper about CHD awareness, and the governor mentioned that the state was working on some legislation for additional hospital testing before kids are sent home, in hopes of catching more CHD cases before it too late, or next to too late. That was exciting news. All in all it was a wonderful meeting and we all hope that it will spread awareness of Congenital Heart Defects.

Lastly, what would a trip to the governor’s office be without some usual, fun goofy business?

The governor had gone back into his private office and we headed out into the lobby area just outside of his public office. As I stood and chatted with the other parents while waiting to sign the guestbook, Jacob played with his red heart balloon quite happily.

“Uh-oh,” I heard a dismayed and slightly panicked todler exclaim.

As I turned to him I saw his beautiful red balloon, now detatched from it’s string, float to the ceiling. Jacob was staring at it, and I could see the tears begin to well in his eyes. I knew that if I tried to leave without that balloon I would have screaming woe-begotten toddler on my hands. The staff all rallied around me and tried to figure out a way to retrieve the lost balloon (all the left-over balloons had left already). One gentleman snagged a long pole and a folding chair, another lady got some tape. With a great deal of team effort and to a thunderous round of applause, I carried a very happy and smiling toddler out of the governor’s office this afternoon. 🙂 As I thanked everyone for retrieving the balloon someone laughed and said, “If we can’t retrieve a balloon for a little guy, what can we do?” That made me smile.


Filed under CHD, Children, Heart, Jacob, Parenting, TGA



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I am posting early this week because we have a busy weekend ahead of us.

There are a number of things that I could have posted, but the first thing I thought of was my son’s heart. February 7-14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, the 14th being Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day. I thought it amazingly appropriate to post a picture of my son, during that time which we were all feeling a bit broken, though joy and healing followed. If you’d like to read about Jacob’s journey you can read the short or the long version, and come back on Wednesday next week for more information about Congenital Heart Defects.

Jacob Surgery

If you have any questions about Congenital Heart Defects, feel free to browse the links on the side bar, they will take you to some great informational resources, or you can also ask me. 🙂  If you take a look at my Heart Walk page you can read the statistics about CHDs too.


Filed under CHD, Children, Heart, Jacob, Photography, TGA