Sunday, May 10, 2015

27 Days of Summer Vacation: Day 3


I turned off my alarm this morning. I heard Jonah leave for school but I didn't have to get up and do anything. We did decide that we really needed a trip to Olympia to get a new hard-drive to back-up the other desktop. Once we were up there we needed to go to Cash & Carry, the Scout Store, and Trader Joe's, besides Costco. I was excited to find the dried mandarin oranges at TJ's so I grabbed 3 bags (last time I asked about them the worker told me that if I ever see them to stock up since they are intermittent on the shelves).

Came home to find my Mother's Day gift- a case of Raspberry New York Seltzer! I think the last one I drank was the summer I left for Guam 27 years ago.

The Adna 6th graders have been at Cispus this week so Tovah hasn't had team practice. We finally got back in with the batting coach (his daughter has had Thursday games for most of the HS season) this afternoon. If she would just follow through with her swing and use the power in her hips she would hit the ball over their heads and it wouldn't matter than she doesn't have to speed to sprint to 1st base.

The boys have Scouts on Thursdays, I took them as I'm pretty scarce during school and fastpitch. Jonah turned in his Reading MB that he has been working on for over a year. He has to complete 2 more Eagle required MBs for Star. Isaac has a handful of required MBs plus his Eagle project to complete before March and his 18th birthday. Isaac is planning on going to Camp Hahobas this summer and go on the 50-miler in the Olympics. Jonah just needs to figure out how to get 3 more camping nights to finish the Camping MB requirements then he's never going outdoors again!

27 Days of Summer Vacation: Day 2


One of the girls in my cohort is expecting a baby girl in August. We celebrated her with a baby shower at the home of one of our instructors (his wife graciously agreed to host when I approached her).

Welcome, Baby Alyce!

Jonah and Arin went to Puyallup for a track meet so it was a quiet dinner at home with Ryan, Isaac, and Tovah.

27 Days of Summer Vacation: Day 1


Took Jonah to school and then met a friend for breakfast. Then ran home to get Arin to get him to Bartel's to get fitted for a tux. Thankfully they didn't freak out on me when I walked in on Tuesday and said I needed a tux for Saturday, they said no problem. Did you know that are about a gazillion tux options to choose from? We just wanted a basic black tux, with a vest. Thankfully not only could I order it and pick it up in town, but it was a lot less to rent it than I was expecting. I also need to add "order a corsage" to my to do list for the week.

Got Arin home to finish his school work. We had gone early just in case we had to take the tux search to Olympia. Isaac has to be in Centralia at 1 to go to Seattle with PATH. They are celebrating the close of Persuasion with a night out in Seattle to see Phantom of the Opera at The Paramount and dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Ryan was supposed to go but was scheduled to work. Sharlene is going but we weren't sure they had a ride and I didn't have to take them...Rides are all worked out and off they went. Saw lots of pictures on Facebook of their adventure. They had about 30 minutes to spare between dinner and the show so they let then loose at the Barnes & Noble. I'm amazed they got them all back!

We grabbed groceries while we were in town and made it home just in time to run Tovah to play with a friend and get to the high school fastpitch game. It was their last league game and Ryan had promised several of the girls that he would come to a game. They won but let a huge lead slip away.

Tuesday night is always Taco Tuesday. The Gillaspies came as well as Allyson and a friend. Isaac usually does the bulk of the cooking so I had to do it. After dinner I had to cook chicken and eggs for the baby shower luncheon I'm doing on Wednesday. Shar brought Isaac home around midnight.

27 Days of Summer Vacation


*May 4th I finished up my first year of the MATESOL program (that's a Master of Arts Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Multnomah University in Portland. Fall Semester starts August 31 but I have to go full-time this summer to make my schedule work out with commuting and the kids' sport schedules. So, this summer I'm taking Survey of Theology online, World Religions in a 1-week intensive course at the end of June, and I'm going to do my practicum (student teaching) here locally for 6-weeks starting July 6.

I feel like Phineas and Ferb, I need to make every day of these 27 days count for something....

So far my list includes...
  • print photos
  • clean the bathroom
  • Isaac Eagle project and finish required merit badges
  • Jonah needs to finish Star and get started on the next set of merit badges for Life
  • write long letters to friends
  • read a whole stack of books that are just for fun
  • finish a baby blanket and maybe knit a pair of socks and a hat to go with it
  • finish the pair of socks I started last fall plus another pair
  • graduation party for Arin along with Senior pictures and announcements 
  • take a picture every day
 * I graduated from Evergreen State College in June. I didn't walk because I'm not finished yet. I do plan on walking at Multnomah and then having a big party and then we are flying off to Hawaii to celebrate all the occasions we haven't had a chance to celebrate since I started school in 2010.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Spent today (my birthday) sleeping and preparing for work. Woke up to a gnome that looks like Larry Bernandez (look that one up!), and a great baseballism poster from Erica.

Spent Saturday (Taryn's Birthday) watching her little sister Tovah playing fastpitch. Tovah pitched for the first time in a game, and did pretty well.

Was thinking about my little 2 year old in heaven and realized that Taryn would be 22. What would she be doing? College, or graduating? Military? Working? Questions that have no good answers today. Realized that it really dosen't matter. What matters is: I know where she is. I know she has a little sister to look after (Ahvri). And she has lots of friends with her that I may have met for a very short time, but I know she will look after them as well.

I have 5 boys and a (3) Princess. I have track, softball, wrestling, cross country, school, work, movies, events, plays, chess clubs, band concerts, heartaches and triumphs each hour, day, week, month and year with this menagarie. And realize I wouldn't change a thing.

Thank you, Erica, for putting up with me.

And finally, thanks to the NICU night shift for helping me celebrate two birthdays this weekend at work.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Saying Good-bye to 2013

Ocean Shores December 2013

I was so ready for winter break to start this year. Fall quarter was long and very difficult for me, it wasn't the workload but I think it was the depth of thought being required to process all the information and to fit it into the information I had from last year. Border-thinking, coloniality, modernity, and how they fit into a white, Christian, U.S. citizen worldview. I'm looking forward to a tough academic program of linguistics that will allow me to take a breath from evaluating my place in the world at every turn.

I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish but to be honest I was pretty sure that just getting to sleep in a few mornings and do nothing was about all I was capable of accomplishing. The night before my evaluation conference with my professor we spent a couple of hours in the ER with Arin getting a possible concussion checked out (no, just a bang and a bruise but he lost 5 days of wrestling). So thinking that I didn't really do anything the last 3 weeks I made a list....
  • spent an evening with Ryan playing Santa for a friend's preschool
  • went to our last elementary Christmas concert/ program
  • spent an afternoon a the endodontist following up on Tovah's tooth issue
  • attended the Middle School Wrestling banquet with Jonah (he will be wrestling in high school!)
  • finished up 5th grade basketball with games on 2 Saturdays
  • took Tovah to see the Nutcracker
  • went on a date with Ryan in the evening (we go out to lunch all the time so I'm not sure why we say we never have time to "date")
  • went to the beach for 2 days
  • finished the One Ring scarf I've been knitting for 5 months
  • knit boot cuffs for a friend's birthday (it was back in November)
  • went to lunch 2 different days with 2 friends that I just haven't gotten to see since September (one was in Peru for 10 weeks so that's why, the other one our schedules just haven't meshed)
  • read several books just for fun
  • started a book on invented languages that I've wanted to read for some time, I hope to finish it this weekend
  • dealt with pink eye and other assorted colds
  • hung two maps that have been framed for months
  • hosted our annual Not a Christmas Party
  • restarted a sock that has been stalled since August
  • started motorcycle gaiters for my dad
Wow! that's a lot of stuff for 3 weeks that felt like I didn't accomplish anything. Ryan worked on Christmas so it was quiet after we opened presents. The kids played their new games and I knit, read, and napped. He took them to see The Hobbit and Frozen at some point during the last few weeks. We watched Elf and Muppet Treasure Island as a family.

Tomorrow I'm going to Ocean Shores to watch Arin wrestle with my mom and Sharlene. Sunday Tovah has pitching and Awana (but no team practice), Monday school starts back up for the kids and Isaac has Chess Club, then Tuesday I start back to school. The schedule seems easier because only 2 kids have sports and Tovah's only playing one sport this season instead of the 2 or 3 she played in the fall.

I haven't made any real goals for the year except do what it takes to graduate either in June or August (if I need to pick up some math credits and Bible knowledge for Multnomah). I'd like to start running again and do a couple of 5k's with a friend. Arin turns 18 in May so we need to finish his Eagle requirements. We also need to hold Rush's Eagle Ceremony. Those seem like about all I can handle right now. If I was to choose a word for the year I think it would be Purposeful.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Coffee Break


Ryan's cousin called to see if I wanted to run away to Canada; she had a passport she'd never used and I have a brand new enhanced ID so we both can cross the border. I told her it would take me several weeks to plan such a spontaneous trip so we decided to go after school started during a week Ryan was off so he could get everyone to sports and such.
First stop was Fiddler's Coffee in Centralia

2nd stop was at Krispy Kreme in Tacoma. At this point I decided that maybe I should put our destination into Gladys the GPS. Gladys is not familiar with Canada. She had no information onboard to route our trip. Emergency Plan B was a quick trip to AAA for maps. The lady in the office also printed us a TripTik to the hostel in Jericho Beach where we were staying that night- we went Old School! Problem is, I was driving and Shar can't read a map to navigate....

  I like to stop at places we don't have in our Tiny Town and the surrounding area, I knew there was a Five Guys in Marysville and I'd never eaten at one, so that was where I was headed for lunch. Shar was just along for the ride and didn't really care what we did as long as I drove. You have to love a place that has grilled onions and mushrooms as standard toppings!

At 2:00 we were passing through Ferndale, just in time for Sonic Happy Hour. Shar claims I gave her whiplash as I pulled off the freeway...

Waiting at the Peach Arch to cross the border into Canada.

Gladys is lost...

See that beach area between my fingers? That's the nudist beach, I didn't mean to end up there but they had a bathroom and we had drunk a lot of coffee and Shar can't read a map and it was pouring rain and I just had to stop. On the upside- we didn't see any nudists, everyone had raincoats on, and I was able to figure out where we were and where we were going. We're supposed to be up there in the green area in the top right corner, just under that blue frame, that's Jericho Beach.

It's an old army training camp and its right on the beach in a really neat old neighborhood. We didn't get to do much exploring since the weather was really bad (at home they were having thunderstorms and the power was out for hours) but in the evening it cleared up enough that we did get to walk a bit on the beach and hear the waves and it was enough for me to be refreshed. I stayed in a Hostelling International Hostel in Seattle last winter with my program from Evergreen and was impressed by their cleanliness, convenience, and especially their price, $30 Canadian.

I think there is a TV crime drama that is filmed in Jericho Beach and Vancouver but I didn't go look up the particulars since I remember it as rather dark and gritty and I didn't want to freak myself out if that was truly where it was supposed to take place.

Looking towards downtown Vancouver in the setting sun. I never really got my bearings on where I was looking, I think Stanley Park is off to the left of downtown in this picture and the beach we were walking on was really the Fraser River.

The next morning we hit a couple of Starbucks for breakfast and to look for a mug for Ryan that we never found (when I was cleaning up my car I realized that the sleeve advertised a specialty blend that is only available in Canada and that would have been a great souvenir to take home but we were across the border when I figured that out). Due to Gladys being on vacation and Shar's map skills and Canada's non-existent highway signs it took us longer to get to the border than I planned (and we saw a lot more of Vancouver's suburbs and I have no idea if we went through the areas that I promised my mom we would avoid...) We still made it to the border by 10 a.m. so we could have lunch at Pike Place Market and be out of Seattle by 2 or 3 in order to miss the Friday traffic.

September is looking a lot like January as we drove through Whatcom County- gray and foggy.

It was fun to introduce Shar to my favorite parts of Pike Place Market- we had Chinese BBQ pork skewers and French pastries for lunch. And I bought half a dozen macarons to treat myself later. We stuck our heads into the original Starbucks so she could say she's been there but the line was too long to wait to get any coffee. I still can't believe she's lived in Washington most of her life and never really explored that part of Seattle- when I was a kid we always took out of town guests to the Market and the Curiosity Shoppe and since the kids have been little almost all trips to Seattle include Westlake, the Market, or the Waterfront.

Our last coffee stop was Dutch Bros. Coffee in Lacey. Dutch Mafia coffee is my new obsession and I hear rumors that we may be getting one and while I'm excited to be able to get drinks I also am afraid the novelty would wear off if we had one readily available...
We had a lot of fun and did a lot of driving. I packed books and knitting and got to none of them. I didn't get to Murchie's Tea or a grocery store to buy digestive biscuits. But I got to walk on the beach and sometimes that's what I really need. Maybe we'll plan our next coffee break to Kona?
Just kidding.