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Back From Vacation

Several years ago, Shelah, Carey, and I started dreaming. We wanted to take an East Coast trip to see some of the sights and visit Carey’s family. Our original plan was to drive, but as time went by, plans changed. What we actually did was fly to Raleigh, N.C., and we included Stephers. From there, we rented a car (a red Prius, sometimes known as Red Devilspawn and most lately as Shuttle Pod Prius) and drove to Greensboro, N.C., to hang out with Carey’s family. We put about 1,100 miles on that Prius, because we went to Boone, N.C., and we also drove it from N.C. to Charleston, S.C. and then down to Orlando, Florida, where we happily exchanged it for Disney’s Magical Express. We spent six nights at Disney’s All Star Music Resort and had a lot of fun at the parks during the day. When that was over, we were happy to board Magical Express and catch a flight back to the Pacific NW. It was a great trip in so many, many ways, but we love living here in Oregon. It was good to come home.

(Here, it cools off at night! How awesome is that!)

I’ve got some other thoughts, but I think I will write them into some additional posts.


My goodness, my goodness! Time supposedly flies when you’re having fun (amazing how it never gets redirected thanks to bad weather), and it did over Christmas break. We had a great deal of fun and commotion. It wasn’t all fun, was it, Carey? She went back to North Carolina over Christmas break and had bad weather flight trouble. I think her only flight that went as planned was the one from Portland to Chicago. Everything else was changed. Other than that, though, there was lots of fun. For Christmas, my mom set up a house rental over at the coast, and most of us were able to go. Let me just give you some highlights:

  • Shelah managed her schedule so that she was able to be at most all of the family stuff. Working as a hair stylist has meant that she’s missed a lot, and it was awesome to have her around over Christmas.
  • Ping pong! The table at the rental was in poor repair, but since we aren’t serious players, it really just made for more hysterical laughing.
  • Playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos with Kalyn
  • Kimberly’s exit line, delivered with perfect timing and intonation: “I’m so confused!” Nobody has any idea what she found so confusing, but, boy! Was it funny as she muttered it and left the room.
  • Mom chortling over spam texting Rachel’s phone
  • Presents – I had lots of fun giving them this year
  • Stephanie’s genuine disappointment over not getting underwear for Christmas. Who wants underwear for Christmas?!? Stephanie! Maybe she’ll get lucky for her birthday.
  • Grabbing drinks at the Lincoln City McMenamin’s with Shelah, Stephers, and Rach. The waitress was lousy, unhelpful, and rude, but the barkeeper was her antithesis, so we got just what we wanted and had a good time, anyway.
  • lots of good food, including Suzanne’s Chocolate Cake, and coffee. Can’t forget the coffee.
  • Speaking of which, I took a hand grinder over to the coast and had a great time grinding beans with Kimberly and Kalyn. They must have liked it, too, because they kept turning that handle with never a complaint!
  • Nertz!
  • Good shopping trip at the Lincoln City outlets – we found some great deals and got there early enough to stay ahead of the crowds.
  • Rach got to come back and hang out with us for a couple of extra days. She and I went to the airport to pick Carey up and then took Rach home, which, except for Carey getting back a day later than planned, worked out well.
  • Watching Rach and Stephers pouring over airline tickets trying to help Carey get home
  • Jacob and Elizabeth missed the coast trip, but they came over for several hours one day after we got back, and it was great fun.
  • Playing WoW Sunday afternoon with Rach, Jacob, and Stephers. Shelah brought her computer over, too, but since she’s not a WoWer, she played Sims. It was fun company!
  • Watching Carey when she opened her birthday present from Rach – heehee!

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. It did make writing posts difficult. There was so much commotion! People’s schedules are just, more or less, getting back to normal. I’m hoping that means I’ll get back to a more regular posting schedule, too.

Happy New Year!

For all those New Year's diets!

For all those New Year’s diets!

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish everyone a merry Christmas! I had all these fun ideas involving more elaborate measures, but then, you know, things happened, and elaborate didn’t. 🙂 No worries – it’s still a merry Christmas!

If you’re traveling, go safely.

If you’re cooking, try not to burn anything.

If you get next year’s winner at the ugly Christmas sweater party, be grateful!

Whatever you do, have a great day!

Thanksgiving – Already?

It’s hard to believe that another year is nearly gone, Christmas is almost here again, and Thanksgiving is this week. Where does the time go? It went into all kinds of things, for some of which I’m even grateful! Please note: this list is hardly exhaustive.

  • physical therapy – I started the year with appointments, had several months off, and now I’m back with more
  • bathroom floor – mine needed replacing. It was definitely a learning process, but I’m happy with the result!
  • Jacob graduated from college with honors.
  • Jacob and Elizabeth moved to WA. I’m definitely glad to get that stinky brother of mine further away… not, but I am glad he found a job.
  • Shelah got a new job as one of Salon 124’s stylists. She does good work!
  • Stephanie was inducted to Phi Theta Kappa, just like three of her older siblings.
  • We had a tie-dye party!
  • Rach, Shelah, Stephanie, Carey, and I hung out for a day in the Sisters area. That was a lot of fun!
  • Kimbelry and Kalyn won Awana trophies!
  • Mom got new kitties. They are cute, little stinkers who think inside is great, but given that some of us are allergic to cat hair, and that nobody likes the smell of used litter box, they are having to get used to their originally intended, outdoors lifestyle.
  • Carey started grad school, is getting A’s, passed the licensing tests, and is loving student teaching.
  • Kimberly loves her swing that we put up in an oak tree.
  • Kalyn has been learning the 4H market lamb ropes.
  • The chickens are (mostly) staying in their pen, thanks to a lot of hard work.
  • When I look out of my window, rather than seeing a nasty amalgamation of mud, weeds, trash, and chicken mess (it bore a resemblance to a neglected dump – yuck, yuck), I see Kimberly’s swing, Kalyn’s fort, and a lawn coming up. It’s AMAZING! Not only is it looking good, it feels good, especially because it was a group effort. Let me share just a few examples. Mom and I earned blisters getting Kimberly’s swing up; Kalyn, Stephanie, and I had fun times learning about teamwork while trying to lash together a framework of filbert poles to make a fort; Mom, Shelah, and I got facefulls of things we don’t want think about during the chicken run remodel; Carey’s close encounter with a hornet while helping fill the woodshed I built led to a new dance craze, the Weekly Shriekly (j/k! – she did shriek and dance thanks to the pain, but we ran to help rather than imitate); Rach, who came down and spent several days in order to help, was brilliant and built a device we could drag behind the four wheeler to smooth out the lumps left by tilling; Kimberly kept us all entertained by looking up bagpipe videos on YouTube; and Stephanie did some research to find grass that grows well in shade. It was a great team effort and makes me grateful not only for the beautiful space developing, but also for my family!