Friday, December 25, 2009

Have yourself a merry little Christmas...

"Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance - each beautiful, unique and too soon gone."

We didn't have a white Christmas this year but the memories are still as precious and fleeting as snowflakes. The gifts where opened and the food was eaten but the joy of being surrounded by family will linger in our hearts.
We are well and truly blessed.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy 18th

Someday I'll fly
Someday I'll soar

Someday I'll be something much more


Cause I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for



From the moment I heard this song I knew it was about Brandon. His spirit and his personality have always been so much bigger than the sweet little body it was crammed into.

"Watch me! Watch me!" That refrain echoes through his childhood.
"Watch me jump off this swing!"

"Watch me ollie this curb!"

"Watch me jump this ramp on my bike!"

"Mom! Watch me!"

Although overwhelming at the time, they are now one of the sweetest pieces of my memory. He's 18 today and I continue to watch him. I watch him grow and develop and mature every day. I watch him making big decissions and wrestle with life choices. I watch him laugh and struggle and I still watch him play.
My prayer for him is that he will choose wisdom over wealth, love over fear, and that he will know I will always be here to watch him.

Monday, December 21, 2009

"A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand"
Jenny and I made a huge assortment of fabulous cookies for Christmas this year! We made peppermint yum yums, smore thumbprints, chocolate peppermint drops, snickerdoodles, and peanut butter cookies. Some were gifts, some were shared on Christmas Eve and some...ok many...went straight into our tummies!
I love being able to cook with Jenny. It's one of the most precious times of the holidays. She's an amazing cooker-girl!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thanksgiving

We are well and truly blessed.What's Thanksgiving without a nap? We missed them this year.
We give thanks for unknown blessings already on the way~

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see. ~Linus van Pelt--It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

The weather man said, "Tomorrow will be the last dry day for at least a week."
The Radio DJ said, "It's supposed to start raining tomorrow and it will probably not stop until May because that's how we do fall in the Pacific Northwest!"
Terry and I said, "Quick! Let's get to the pumpkin patch before we have to dig our pumpkins out of the mud!!!"
So that is what we did! We rounded up our youngsters and headed to our favorite patch out on Sauvie Island. Talk of our favorite memories and a brief "discussion" about who would be partnered with whom in the corn maze took up much of the trip. We arrived to find that we had been doing it wrong all these years! The best day to go to the Pumpkin Patch is not on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The BEST day to go is a sunny Monday evening!!! No crowds and no mud. Both a bonus in our book. We did the maze first-boys vs. girls this year and I am proud to say that Jenny and I were victorious! We arrived on Victory Bridge well ahead of the boys. Girl Power!
We hitched a ride on the last wagon to the patch and went in search of the "perfect pumpkin". Sticking to the rule, you can only get a pumpkin that you can carry, we each found our victims, err pumpkins. The pumpkins have gone through a strange procession over the years from smallish when the kids were young to ginormous when they were in middle school back to smallish now that some of the shine of digging out pumpkin guts has gone.
Back on the wagon and out to the car. The only bummer about the Monday evening trip is that they don't sell Elephant Ears on week night. Depending on who you ask, this is almost a deal breaker!
But despite the lack of fried dough we had an amazing time. Just like always.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. - George Eliot


This is my absolute favorite season of the year!!! I love the nip in the air and the leaves and the pumpkins and chilly nights spent watching high school football!

We have an extra special reason for all those football games this year because Jenny is a JV Cheerleader. We've loved watching her and she's having so much fun! She's also involved in ASB for the sophomore class so she's been burning the candle at both ends for several weeks. Her 15th birthday is coming up on the 19th and in her world the whole month is just for her! Guess that's what happens when you're the princess :-)


Brandon has begun his Senior year. It's all a little overwhelming to all of us I think. He's got a pretty light schedule and is really enjoying the school year so far. He's talking about going into the Coast Guard after graduation and we're pensive but supportive. Eventually he wants to be a High School History teacher. He has so much potential and we're so excited at what the future holds for him!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thankful

If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get. ~Frank A. Clark


Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes it's not easy to be thankful. Sometimes it seems like there isn't much to be thankful for. We've had a few of those days in the past month as I deal with the loss of my job. We've had a lot of questions as we look forward to the Christmas holidays, Brandon's 18th birthday and having two kids in high school one job short of our usual income. But you know what? God is so good to us. We're blessed enough to be living in a real life example of a loaves and fishes miracle! We don't know what we're going to do. I don't know what kind of job I'll find or when I'll find it. The beautiful thing is that we don't have to know! We just have to trust that our God knows and he's big enough and he loves us enough to take care of our smallest needs. He even blesses us with some of our wants when we least expect it. Terry is a heroic and amazing man. He's taken on a second job to supplement our income while I'm searching. I am so proud to be married to him. So proud of the example he is setting for Brandon about what it looks like to be a father, husband and provider and so proud of the model he's displaying for Jenny about how a man takes care of his wife and family.

We have each other. We have our health. We have our family. What more could we ask for?

We are thankful.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Weddings

Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work. ~Author Unknown


All these weddings have made me nostalgic! In just a few weeks Terry and I will celebrate our 7th Anniversary! It's remarkable how quickly the time has flown by. Sometimes I can't even remember my life without him. We call this always. We feel like we've always been together. We're so lucky because we just fit. Not everything is easy but everything is right. Every problem can be solved, every hurt can be healed and every single laugh is cherished. The bumpy road we traveled to find each other has only made our love more precious. We hope and pray that Adam & Sarah and George & Janna will be as blessed in their new marriages as we have been in ours.





Friday, September 4, 2009

Our Little Cheerleader

"All women are created equal...then a few become cheerleaders!"














Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rockaway


“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”

A week at the beach. No worries, no work, just our feet in the sand. Life is good!!
Brandy found us a great house to rent in Rockaway Beach, OR. I think this might have been our first full family vacation (the only one missing was our sweet baby brother, but he sent his fiance to represent!) and I think we were all a little apprehensive about how we'd do all together for a whole week. I'm so thrilled to report that we had the absolute best time ever!

Grandpa Jerry played wii
Jenny and Jack were marine biologists
Charlie Knuckles kept us all laughing
Garry got his oysters
Jenny got tired of Colton's you-know-what
Terry snored the kids right out of the basement
The food, the food oh my goodness the food
Grandpa tipped over in the chair on the beach
The ocean tried to eat Jenny and Colton
The wind blew and blew but it couldn't blow us off the beach
Brandon and Colton find out just how cagey Grandpa is
Jenny tried...to skim board...she tried
Nights of family games
The kite man...go Elmo
How many movies can two teenage boys watch


“When you look at your life the greatest happinesses are family happinesses”

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The 4th of July!!!

You have to love a nation that celebrates its Independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. ~Erma Bombeck
My absolute favorite holiday is the 4th of July! I know that might sound strange but I like it more than Christmas, Thanksgiving and my birthday all rolled into one. It's the absolute best of everything that makes my family great. The food is amazing and there is always more than enough. All the family comes. Everyone! And even some friends and neighbors sneak in but we're an exclusive bunch...invitation only! The stories get bigger each year and there is always laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. It's the only day of the year where we can indulge our inner pyro! We blow stuff up all day long.
And we honor our family's long tradition of military service. We are so proud of those who have sacrificed and fought for our freedom.
Aunt Barb and Uncle Ben have been opening up their home to us for nearly 20 years and I am so grateful that they continue to allow us to blow holes in their yard!!! They are the best!! And did I mention that we have fireworks? LOTS AND LOTS OF FIREWORKS!! ENORMOUSLY HUGE AND AWESOME FIREWORKS!! Well, we do!

Beat that neighbor!
video

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Life's a beach...

Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much
you love the beach.


I had two days off!!! We decided to take advantage of one of those days and head to the Oregon Coast. It was beautiful, windy, sunny and a teensy bit chilly but who cares when you're at the beach!!! We had the best time and loved being able to take Colton, Jack and McKenna with us.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day


There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his children, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. ~John Gregory Brown

My dad is a great dad and a great Grandpa!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Almost Summer

Sunny Day.
Slip and Slide.
Need I say more?


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

My mom is a never ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune. ~Graycie HarmonI know it sounds chiche but my mom really is the best mom in the history of the world. She has the amazing ability to make each of her kids feel as if they are her absolute favorite. I'm convinced that I'm her most favorite but I'm pretty sure my sister and brother feel the same way! She loves us with the most unselfish and sacrificial love. Now that I'm a mom, I understand the sacrifices that she must have made for us. I understand all the things that she went without to make sure we had everything we needed and most of the things we wanted. She didn't work when we were little and I now understand what a blessing that was for us. She was always there for us....what am I saying...she IS always there for us!! Not a day goes by that I don't wonder at least once, "what would my mom do in this situation?" She's my role model, my measuring stick. I want to be a mom like her. I hope I make my kids feel half as special as she makes me feel everyday. Our relationship has evolved over the years and I'm happy to say that I love her more everyday. She is my mom and my friend and I am blessed.




And I am blessed because nearly 7 years ago God gave me the incredible privilege of becoming a mom to the two most amazing children in the big wide world! They are my absolute joy! The trials and challenges are outweighed a million times over by the love and laughter they fill my life with. I LOVE THEM!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mom's Birthday


Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday favorite mother!

Happy Birthday to you!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bowling!

Even if you don't knock a lot of pins down, be sure to strike a pretty pose! ~ author unknown

We just had the most amazingly fun evening!!! Who knew that bowling could bring a family together?! My Sister-In-Law, Marcelle, organized a super fun evening at Park Lanes in Hillsboro. We just love being together with family and it was so much fun watching everyone laugh and bowl! Jenny and I agree that we probably need a little more practice with the wii but even though we sorta
, kinda suck we still had a great time!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time. ~Martin Luther



I just hosted my first holiday dinner! A little stressful I'll admit but not enough to outweigh the joy of it. I love, love, love using this house that God has blessed us with to bless my family. There was a time in our lives that Terry and I couldn't imagine owning our own home. But our God is faithful and in His perfect time he blessed us. Now we have just the right amount of room to do something as amazing as today! We had my parents, Brandy and Garry and the kids, and my brother and Sarah here for Easter Dinner today. As always, there was plenty of food but the best part is the time spent together, playing games and just talking. I love my family so much and today was just great!



Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Scrap!

Scrapbooking isn't about scraps of paper and photos. Scrapbooking is about scraps of life - yours and those special to you. ~Rebecca Sower
Sometimes we wonder...is our family a group of scrappers or a group of collectors? This spring break we proved we are truly Scrappers!!! So many of my family works for the Camas School District that school breaks provide the perfect time to gather all kinds of pictures, papers, ideas and kits together for days of scrappin fun! Those lucky enough to have the week off got much accomplished over several days together! Some of the rest of us...namely me...had to work! However, Sunday was all mine! I came bearing Starbucks and all my necessities. I spent 10 hours in the company of my favorite people; Mom, Brandy, Aunt Barb (who's double car garage has become the ultimate scrappers paradise!), Aunt Eileen, Cousin Karen, Second Cousin Shauna and Sister-In Law-sorta-kinda Denise!
What a blessing to have such a close and special family.
Some examples of our amazing creativity!!!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Track


"Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings
on the way down"

That kid can jump! Brandon had his first track meet today and man can he jump! I had to work but I made it in time to see him do the triple jump. Before I got there he did the long jump, the high jump and the javelin. I was amazed at how effortless he made it look. His longest triple jump was 33.4 feet! A natural athlete for sure...we're so proud of him!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Birthday

She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child.-- Barbara Alpert

Today is my sister's 33rd birthday! We spent the afternoon at my parents house eating and laughing as we shared our favorite memories and went through old family photos. Brandy and I shared so much growing up including a bedroom! And although we are so very different, we are bound by a common love for each other. No one I know has more get up and go than Brandy! Constant motion and boundless energy make her who she is. She is a devoted friend, tireless advocate for her family, amazingly creative and loving mother, and the planner that keeps our family coming together. She plans trips, organizes meals, calls us, feeds us and loves my kids like no one else could! I can't imagine my life without her and I'm so blessed to call her sister and friend.
Happy Birthday my one-of-a-kind Sister!

Did I mention that for her birthday dinner my sister wanted a dessert sampler from Larsons Bakery?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tennis

The serve was invented so that the net could play.
~Bill Cosby

Jenny had her very first tennis match on Thursday! She was the cutest little tennis player on the courts of Evergreen High School and she did amazing for her first time out! We are sooooo proud!!! Way to go Jenny!