Monday, June 23, 2014

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, June 23, 2014

Outside my window...  laundry flapping on the line with a sunny sky and a nice breeze.

Hearing...  the washer churning out another load.

Pondering...  despite being told that Tate's new Naida processors are "water resistant"...
not so much.
A replacement is on the way.
Thanks, Advanced Bionics :o)

Praying...  I forget that Tate is still adjusting to his new processor because he's doing so well, but I'm praying that he'll continue to adapt; we're all praying for a friend from church who broke her femur when her horse rolled on her; and for Wyatt's continued recovery.

Thankful...  Wyatt is doing MUCH better - just an ibuprofen here and there and still eating mostly soft food but he doesn't look like a chipmunk anymore and isn't so sore; Gunnar had a MAHVELOUS time at Disneyland; and Kerry continues to have enough work, though we keep praying for more.

Wearing...  turquoise capri pants, blue t-shirt, flip-flops.

Creating...  three gifts I won't be able to show for quite awhile!

Going...  to cook a turkey pot pie for dinner, with raspberry pie for dessert (and it's not even Pi Day!) The boys and I spent about an hour and a half weeding in the garden this morning and there were just enough ripe raspberries for a pie.. mmm mmmmm!

Reading...  The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker.  The author is an expert on security issues and "the prediction and management of violent behavior".  So far it's fascinating.  May seem like an odd choice, but very relevant in terms of personal security and accurately interpreting threatening situations.  If I could sum it up so far I'd say, "Trust your intuition."

Looking forward to...  our Oregon coast vacation, later this summer!

In the kitchen...  good thing I cooked that turkey last week as Wyatt has been having a lot of mashed potatoes and gravy, with turkey minced into small bites (easy to chew).  I'm making turkey pot pies today - one for us, and an extra to share - maybe with our friend from church!

In the learning rooms...  *** crickets ***

Around the house...  um, what?  We're focused outside!

The Mother Load...  I have no idea, which is the scary part!  Time to really inventory what I need to accomplish this summer and get cracking'.

Noticing that...  I think Gunnar is getting taller!  No surprise, now that he's THIRTEEN.
Yep.  I officially have three teenage boys in the house.
Should I get a padlock for the fridge? ;D

One of my favorite things...  finishing projects :D

A few plans for the rest of the week...  very happy to report that there is much less on my calendar than last week!  CAP (of course), a therapy appointment for Tate, a follow-up at the dentist for Wyatt, and motocross (work) for Wyatt and Tate.

A peek into Gunnar's world...
apparently the "birthday pin" (look on his shirt)
and a polite request are your magic ticket to special privileges at Disneyland...
like getting to sit right in the front of the monorail!

Friday, June 20, 2014

This Too Shall Pass

So.  Wyatt's wisdom teeth are out.  Surgery went fine.  But that poor kid... the nurse came out while he was waking up and said, "He doesn't take much medicine, does he?"  No.  Apparently he's kind of slow to come out of anesthesia.  And he didn't feel too great either.  In fact, for the first time ever I can say that I've seen someone looking kind of green, and that's not just a figure of speech.

And then there's the gauze they wanted him to be biting on for awhile, to put pressure on the incisions and promote clotting.  Well, let me just tell you one thing:

gauze + braces = a crazy mess

Meanwhile, while I was with Wyatt at the oral surgeon's, Kerry and Tate completely forgot he (Tate) was supposed to go to work.  Thankfully his boss (a personal friend of mine) called to remind him, so he got there late.  She hires kids and knows it's their first job and she's pretty forgiving... just don't let it happen again :oS

In brighter news, Gunnar called from Disneyland and is having a fabulous time!

And today is a new day.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Brownie Volcano

Somebody REALLY enjoyed his birthday dinner at the Rainforest Cafe!

He assured me that he shared it with Aunty Tami and Uncle Dave.

And today?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Grasshopper Days

For today, Tuesday, June 17, 2014.  Yep, we're still here.  In the middle of the whirlwind.

Outside my window...  lawn mowers going - everyone trying to stay caught up on mowing, between the June rains.

Hearing...  laundry spinning, robins and jays, and... well... lawn mowers.

Pondering...  the activity level around here lately.  Good golly, Miss Molly!  Since the in-law visit last Tuesday, we have...

*  had a visit from some missionary friends 
*  gone to Coldstone to celebrate (we celebrate everything) so, um, to celebrate the end of the school year (almost), Tate's fabulous progress with his CI (definitely), and anything else we thought of that day ;D
*  hosted the youth group here for an afternoon of games and snacks when their hike got rained out
*  enjoyed "Christmas in June" with my extended family (more on that later)
*  went flying with CAP (Wyatt and Tate)
*  passed a math test (Wyatt, placement test, community college - woo-hoo!)
*  survived the last day of public school (Wyatt)
*  finished a quilt top (me)
*  gone to the library (Tate, Gunnar, and me)
and I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting.

Praying...  Gunnar's Sunday school teacher has a broken femur (horse rolled on her, I think), Wyatt is finishing up some homeschool work (!), and Gunnar leaves tomorrow for Disneyland!

Thankful...  Wyatt tested into the math class he wanted at Running Start (woo-hoo!), Kerry has plenty of work right now (praying that continues), and summer is almost here.

Wearing...  blue capri pant, blue t-shirt... whoopee.

Creating...  still working on the gift-quilt - can't show it yet.

Going...  in circles? so much to do!

Looking forward to...  Gunnar's trip.  My brother and sister concocted a plan to take each boy to Disneyland when he turned thirteen, which they revealed back when Wyatt was that age.  Gunnar has been (mostly patiently) waiting for his turn, for five years.  And OH BOY is he excited.  He's been talking about it almost incessantly for the last two or three weeks (and at intervals for the last few months).  I'm mostly happy for him to go because I know he'll have a fabulous time.  And also because  - after the post-trip let-me-tell-you-about-every-single-minute-of-my-adventure - we can finally stop talking about it ;D

In the kitchen...  a happy fridge full of leftovers.

Around the house...  birthday and Father's Day "debris" :D

The Mother Load...  my lists have lists.  And with a sewing project spread out, all my other stuff is piled on my desk, where I can't avoid it.

Noticing that...  time for a few haircuts in this house.

Something to remember for later...  I had a birthday!  I'm 48.  (Not one of those people who claim to be 39 year after year after year... ;D)  Since we'd already celebrated on Saturday, on my actual birthday I:
*  ran some errands with my mom (had to return one birthday-present-duplicate)
*  bought some "new" clothes at Value Village (my SIL was absolutely appalled that I'm still wearing clothes that are older than Gunnar - what would she think if she knew I got them used to begin with?!)
*  picked Wyatt up from school
*  made everyone lunch
*  put a twenty-five pound turkey in the oven
*  made stock/broth with the neck and some veggies
*  took Wyatt to his math placement test
*  cooked an entire turkey dinner (minus sweet potatoes, which I love but the rest of the fam does not)
*  bought ice cream for the family
*  ate an entire (little) carton of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup all by myself
*  watched a movie with the family - an old Kurt Russell / Goldie Hawn flick called Overboard.  Kind of funny, but we had to "edit" a few scenes - ACK!

A favorite quote for today...  from my friend Rebecca
What doesn't kill you
will surely leave a big mess to clean up.
If you've made a turkey dinner recently you'll know what I'm talking about.

One of my favorite things...  milk chocolate Lindor truffles - the boys got me some for my birthday!  Goooooood boys :D

A few plans for the rest of the week...  get Gunnar packed up and deliver him and Aunty Tami to the airport in the morning (!), drag Wyatt moaning-and-complaining through the rest of his chemistry test (in progress as I type), get the boys to Civil Air Patrol tonight, and - the fun just never ends - Wyatt is having his wisdom teeth out on Thursday.

A peek into my world...  I mentioned "Christmas in June"... in my family, June is a magnet for birthdays.  Throw in Father's Days, graduations, and the inevitable weddings, and it's a force to be reckoned with.  This year we had five fathers, oldest to youngest...

my uncle, Doug

my dad


my brother, Dave

and my cousin's husband, Mike

As well as seven birthdays...

my cousin's daughter, Raelynn
(who got a hair crimper)

my cousin's other daughter, Mikayla

my cousin, Ryan


my dad, me, and

who was loving the trampoline (first time?)

 and the air hockey

and was pretty well done in by the time we got to presents.
Gunnar picked out this one, some Mickey Mouse themed play-dough toys called
"Mousekatools" - very cute!

So you can see why I call it "Christmas in June".  It's fun, it's family, and it's good.  And a little (or maybe a lot) overwhelming.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Just in case your Tuesday is kind of ho-hum,
here's a little pick-me-up,
compliments of my friend Rebecca in Maine...

Now that's what you call One Stop Shopping.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, June 9, 2014

Outside my window...  a few clouds drifting in with patches of blue.

Hearing...  a breeze rustling the leaves, a few birds singing, and squirrels chasing each other around.

Pondering...  in-laws visiting tomorrow.

- God's comfort and peace for the family of the man we've been praying for (died last week) - they're a wonderful testimony of faith, but it still hurts
- for Wyatt to hang in there one more week of school and finish strong
- continued work for Kerry

- Kerry has had lots of work the last couple of months!
- plans are coming together for the boys' activities this summer
- a string of sunny days to get outside chores done

Wearing...  capri jeans, navy tee, blue crocs (slippers)

Creating...  working on a new baby quilt - can't show it yet.

Going...  to wrap/bag/organize gifts for the big party Saturday.  My family has four dads to honor and seven June birthdays - SEVEN!  It's like Christmas in June.

Reading...  just read a quick autobiography of author/illustrator Bill Peet - fun and interesting.  (Our favorite Bill Peet book is Cappyboppy).

Learning...  I do not particularly enjoy making a whole ton of itty-bitty half-square triangles.  Glad THAT part of the quilt is done.

Looking forward to...  

... a getaway this fall.  Kerry and I just had our 20th anniversary, but since it fell the week after Tate's surgery, well... I was confident that things would go well, but I just didn't feel right about planning to be gone right afterwards, y'know?  And summer is so crazy, why not fall?  I booked us three nights in the little town of Winthrop - over on the dry side of the Cascades.  My parents will keep an eye on the boys (I know they're big enough to leave alone, but they'd probably eat pizza three meals a day and nothing else.  Ice cream, maybe.)  Anyway, I'll relax more knowing that everything is covered on the home-front.

Sorry, the pic isn't very clear, but LOOK AT THAT.  Gunnar asked me what we were going to do.  See, I'd be happy to take a couple good books and just sit there swinging in the autumn sunshine, listening to the river go by, and reading.

In the kitchen...  leftovers for dinner tonight.  I cooked a couple of little roasts down over the weekend and made pulled pork - yum!

In the learning rooms...  ummm, not much.  Gunnar and I have a little bit of reading to finish.  That's it.  Wyatt, on the other hand, needs to finish up his chemistry and some economics.

Around the house...  Gunnar wants to move the furniture :D

The Mother Load... oh gracious.  I made a big, poster-size, weekly calendar that shows the whole summer.  As if that makes it easier to deal with.  Sort of.  Here's one thing I'll tell you about CAP:
They love their forms.  For the boys to go to their overnight activity last weekend?  Five pages.  Can you imagine what they need for a week of encampment?  Ugh.  

Noticing that...  The days are so very looooong :D  Light before 5am, and the birds know it.

Something fun to share...  Gunnar has REALLY enjoyed his weekly babysitting job this school year - hope that works out again next year!

A favorite quote for today...  from the very elusive creator of Calvin and Hobbes...

One of my favorite things...  food cooked on the BBQ.

A Bible verse...  Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

A few plans for the rest of the week...  work the Mother Load - forms, organizing, sewing, weeding, cleaning... it's a thrill a minute ;D

A peek into my world...  the colors of summer, right above my driveway :D

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Aaaaand, Good Night

The boys arrived home this evening from their Marksmanship Training Activity.

Apparently it was wonderful, but here's the problem with having all three boys involved in the same wonderful activity:


And I don't mean their scores at the rifle range, I mean the dinner-time debrief.

Welcome to my world...

Everyone wants to tell the best /worst / funniest / strangest things that happened.  And voices get louder and that's-my-story and I-want-to-tell-mom-about-that and it's-my-turn-to-talk-now.  And then they're all angry-eyebrows and loud-loud-LOUD.

And then after dinner they all need to put their gear away (and that's so much more exhausting than getting it all out) and GoodGollyMissMolly they all need showers, and Kerry wants to read something to them but Gunnar (who gets out of the shower first) falls asleep on the couch.  It takes me several minutes to wake him up, after which he insists he has not been asleep (oh... very, very asleep) and has been checking his watch every five minutes (*Ahem*  Not wearing a watch.)   But he is waiting for brownies and has a melt-down when I suggest we save them for tomorrow.  Because I am obviously cruel and heartless and care nothing for his feelings.  Or the fact that they apparently got exactly three minutes of sleep last night and really, really need to go to bed.

Which obviously means they had a fabulous time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

We've Come A Long Way

 Yah, a looooong way.

Here's Tate, at three and a half.  His audiologist is making his first ear mold impression and he's investigating the strange pink stuff in his ear.  (It doesn't hurt, but it must feel really weird.)

And, PS, isn't he adorable?!

And then a few weeks later, here we are back at Children's.  I'm putting in the ear mold and Tate is wondering why on earth people mess with his ears every time he comes here.  I mean, WHAT, already.

And then I turned it on.  And there was sound.

That look on his face is worth a million bucks.  He told me later that summer that he could hear rain.  And birds.  And whispers.  The quiet sounds.  Things he'd never heard before.

And around our house, hearing aids became COOL.  Gunnar wanted his own, and Tate was glad to help him out ;D

Tate certainly never let his disability hold him back.

And here we are, years later, having made the transition from hearing aids to cochlear implants.  Well, we're still in process.  It's only been a week since his new processor was activated and Tate is doing great.  Kerri (our fabulous audie) put him in the sound booth yesterday and he's made a ton of progress just since last Thursday or Friday.  I won't quote tests and scores at you... just know, he's doing great.

He reports that I (and others) no longer sound like mice.  We're still kind of robotic and muffled - not crisp and clear yet.  But again, ONE WEEK.

And tonight he had a first, and I didn't have my camera handy.  (Mom fail).  So I'm reposting a gratuitous Christmas photo, because this is the kind of smile I got :D

Or this one.  Tate has a great smile :D

We hooked up his Compilot, blue-tooth-linked it to Kerry's cel phone, and Tate called Grandpa and Grandma Grasshopper.

That sounds so ordinary.  He made a phone call.

NOT ordinary.

That's the first time in his life - the first time EVER - he's been able to hear clearly on the phone.  That's huge.  That's independence.  Making a phone call can now be ordinary, like it is for everybody else.

All this technology... it's like drinking from a fire-hydrant.  There's more we need to learn how to do.  But for now?


Monday, June 2, 2014

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, June 2, 2014

Outside my window...  gorgeous, bright sunshine and clear blue skies.  Love it!

Hearing...  at least three kinds of birds calling, Gunnar in the shower, and tappety-tappety-tappety.

Pondering...  some sewing I want to do... now that the weather is gorgeous.
Why wasn't I inspired when it was cloudy and rainy?

Praying...  our friend from church died yesterday.  While we know he's with Jesus,
his family is still here, and missing him.

Thankful...  for all the beauty around us - my pink and white dogwoods are finishing their bloom, and so are the lilacs, but everything is so green and lush right now.

Wearing...  turquoise capri pants, blue tank top, and flip flops.
(I almost said "thongs" - you know, the kind that go on your feet -
but I'm trying to break the habit.)

Creating...  our annual Fathers-Day-June-birthday extravaganza is coming,
and I have gifts to make/buy/assemble.
Also, a new chapel baby comes in August,
and I have a neutral (boy? girl?) quilt idea.

Going...  to take a day off weeding.  "Oma Aikenbach" is protesting.

Reading...  just finished The Doolittle Raid, a non-fiction account of Jimmy Doolitte's bomber raid of Japan during WWII - fascinating.  My pile of books-to-read is embarrassingly tall.  Must make progress!

Looking forward to...  being done with school for the summer.  Tate and Gunnar are so close!  We'll probably finish this week.  Wyatt is another story...

In the kitchen...  I think we need to BBQ again :D

In the learning rooms...  winding down, and it feels great ;D

Around the house...  our focus is turning outward and
I need to keep an eye on a few things inside
(like the dust - ugh!)
and it's time to move the houseplants out for the summer.

The Mother Load...  it's too beautiful a day to speak of that.

Noticing that...  the crows.  They were going nuts while I was hanging out laundry a couple days ago.  Then I noticed it - a big, dead mole in the driveway that hadn't been there just moments earlier.  I think one of them dropped it and wanted it back, but wouldn't come get it when I was there.  I had Wyatt put it in the trash.  Sweet.

A favorite quote for today...  Giving money and power to government
is like giving whiskey and car-keys to teenage boys.
P. J. O'Rourke

One of my favorite things...  FINISHING things.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  back to Seattle again tomorrow, for another "mapping".  Then we get a break for about a month.  Wyatt has a doctor appointment today (all is well), CAP tomorrow, work (Wyatt and Tate) on Thursday, I think Gunnar babysits tomorrow, and the boys are probably going to a Marksmanship "camp" this weekend.  Yay!

A peek into my world...  out my office window...