Thursday, August 28, 2014

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Thursday, August 28, 2014

Outside my window...  sunny blue sky and a breeze blowing the very dry leaves of the dogwood tree.

Hearing...  lots of people working on their houses.  It's construction season, you know.  (That comes before hunting season and the rainy season.)  We have new neighbors near us who brought in a pre-fab house in three pieces.  We missed seeing that happen the day we drove home from Oregon - would've been fun to watch.  But they're still in the process of zipping it all together, however they do that.

Pondering...  where did the summer go?  We'll be back to school in less than a week.  *sigh*

Praying...  for work to continue to come in for Kerry, for Wyatt to find a p/t job, and for a smooth transition into the school year for all of us.

Thankful...  it's been a good summer - lots of good things for the boys, from Worldview Academy to fishing in Canada to the family time at the coast, and lots more :D

Wearing...  old turquoise capris and a blue t-shirt, with my trusty flip-flops.  It's (blessedly) a bit cooler today - mid 70s and breezy, which I think is just about perfect.

Creating...  hmmm.  Getting all my ducks in a row for starting school, but that's not the same as "creating".  Hope to do a little sewing for a shower gift next week.  

Wyatt and Kerry have created a little progress on the rock wall project.

Of course, "The City" came by today to politely harass us.  I mean, God forbid it might rain and water might fall on the dirt and GET INTO THE LAKE which would somehow (that nobody can explain logically) be an ecological catastrophe.  Never mind that we're not actually in the lake-watershed or that much of the shore of the lake is dirt or that short of a monsoon there is no way rain could wash our dirt all the way into the lake.

No, what they REALLY wanted was to bully us into getting a permit, because permit = money.  But Kerry knows the code and we will NOT be paying for a permit.

Meanwhile, this looks like something fun to create...

Going...  to freeze a bunch of green peppers - more than I can use at once!

Reading...  still reading (aloud) Blink with the boys, hoping to finish before school starts.

And for no apparent reason, the boys give you this:

 Looking forward to...  fall colors.  Don't tell the boys.

In the kitchen...  thinking about BBQing tonight - I've been marinating some chicken.  Not quite so hot today, but I still don't want to heat up the kitchen.  My neighbor didn't mind heating up hers though, and sent us this:

Seven jars of home-canned peaches!

In the learning rooms...  I'm getting there.  But schoolwork?  I'd much rather look out the window.

Around the house...  all kinds of boy stuff - CAP stuff, stuff they're reading, stuff they were wearing and took off, and air-soft stuff.  Because boys love to shoot.  And they got this right away...

The Mother Load...  the boys are helping me work through a short (ha ha! did I say short?!) list before school starts.  It mostly involves cleaning the house.  Not a huge blitz/purge like last spring, but a general clean-up.  We've been so outdoor-focused that the inside has kind of gone to seed a bit.  This morning we divided and conquered:
  *  picked blackberries
  *  weeded the garden
  *  picked red and white onions, celery, green peppers, carrots, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes. and a butternut squash (which wasn't quite ready, but grew out onto the path and had to be dealt with)
  *  cleaned (most of) the family room (half a closet left)
  *  tidied their dressers (the tops, not the insides yet) and dust-mopped their room (even under the beds)
  * washed all the veggies we harvested
  * mowed the neighbor's lawn (summer job)
  * got a load of laundry washed and on the line
More to do tomorrow, but I'm feeling pretty productive so far :D

Noticing that...  the boys are falling into a bad habit...

Something fun to share...  the boys brought me these this morning.  Blackberry cobbler tomorrow, and more in the freezer!

A favorite quote for today...  

When you do stuff,
stuff gets done.

One of my favorite things...  changing seasons.  I like them all, but summer-to-fall might be the best.  And I just found my favorite pumpkin spice candles :D

A few plans for the rest of the week...  friends coming to dinner tomorrow, reading with the boys (trying to finish the book, which they're very much enjoying), and tying up the last few loose ends before school starts.

A peek into my day...  we brought home from the garden...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Re-weirds of Parenting

Do Not Use A Glass Jar As A Hammer

Statement #68363957 that I never thought I would have to say.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

None the Wiser

Our chapel youth group - None the Wiser - had a bit of an adventure recently.  The plan was to meet at the chapel, carpool up to Artist's Point, and do a hike, shuttling some of the vehicles to the down-hill end of the trail.  That sounds good, doesn't it?

But it didn't quite work out that way.  Apparently on the way up, the church van caught on fire.  Well, something like that.  Maybe the brakes? Maybe something rubbing on the rear tires?  Everyone is fine.  Thankfully, it was an inconvenience rather than an emergency, which it easily could've been, had the brakes been involved on the return trip - a long, curvy, steep descent.  But the caravan of vehicles never managed to regroup.  Thus Kerry, Wyatt, Tate, and a girl from the youth-group ended up doing the hike by themselves.

It's an amazing hike - about six or seven miles, mostly level or downhill (okay, some uphill), mostly in open country (near timberline), with absolutely stunning views.  The only thing that would've made it more beautiful would've been a clear, rather than hazy sky.  But still...

If you look closely at the rocky hill in the background, you'll see that it's columnar basalt.  If you're not a geologist, that means that it was once lava and cooled slowly into columns, which are often hexagonal.  It's pretty cool.

Okay, yes, there is a bit of uphill to a saddle, but the trail is clear to follow.

And yes, those are patches of snow you see.  In August.  This area set a world record in 1999 for the most snowfall - 1140 inches - in a single season.  That's ninety-five FEET of snow.  Or twenty-nine meters, if you're metric.  

It's a lot of snow.

Of course, all that snow has to go somewhere.  And as you might guess, that somewhere is down.  Down the path of least resistance, which might be... the trail, at times.

Now that's a pretty cool rock.

From the saddle you can look (roughly) west toward Mt. Baker...

... and east toward Mt. Shuksan.

The trail then winds down to Bagley Lake, and the road, crossing yet another snowfield on the way.  You could slide right into the lake if you were adventuresome... or incautious. ;D

The catch is, you come out about two miles and a few hundred feet in elevation lower than where you started.  And the youth group caravan had gotten separated.  What to do?  Just hitch a ride back to the top with someone.  And wouldn't you know the first people they approached ended up being friends of ours?  Acquaintances from a former church with the missionaries who'd been house-sitting for us while we were on vacation!

Coincidence?  I think not.  ;D  Things may not have gone as planned, but all went well.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Outside my window...  sunny, clear and 82F.

Hearing... the fan blowing in the windowsill, aaaaaah.

Pondering...  how good it is to have all the boys back home, and not much planned for these last two weeks of summer :D

Praying...  two more weeks until school starts - big adjustments ahead for Wyatt and Tate.  And Wyatt needs a job.  And he needs to put more effort into looking for that job.

Thankful...  for a successful, confidence-building experience at Cascade Falcon, and for the hilarious non-stop-talking reunion of the three brothers - Tate and Gunnar hardly saw each other the whole week, so it really felt like a three-way reunion.

Wearing...  shorts, tank-top and flip-flops.  I don't think I've worn any shoes but flip-flops for weeks and my feet have the (tan) lines to prove it.

Creating...  I did a lot of cleaning out while the boys were gone.  Now I want to make my office more cozy.  And it needs a better name.  Office?  What... am I an executive?

Going...  nowhere :D

Reading...  finished Age of Opportunity (Paul David Tripp), re-read Future Men (Douglas Wilson), re-reading Women Encouraging Women (Elyse Fitzpatrick), and reading Blink (Ted Dekker) aloud with the boys.

Looking forward to...  for years Kerry has been talking about building a rock wall along the driveway.  I'm ambivalent.  But right above the driveway I want to create a fire-pit area.  The boys and I even started.

We brought rocks from the lake and made a fire ring, cleared out a bunch of toys and junk, and weed-whacked the grass...

We even collected and stacked firewood, in anticipation.  We were good to go.

And then Kerry started collecting rocks... and dumping them all over our fire-pit area, because it's so handy there, right above the driveway.  *sigh*

And there it all languished for three years.  An eye-sore.

But... ta-daaaa!

Grandpa Grasshopper delivered a little present.  It's on loan to us so Kerry can finally DO this project!  It even looks like he might have a willing helper.


In the kitchen...  my fridge is stuffed to the gills.  Our garden is producing :D  Fresh green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, and raspberries.  Onions and garlic are drying in the garage.  And I have bags of blackberries in the freezer that the boys picked this morning.  Woo-hoo!

In the learning rooms...  *crickets*

Around the house...  am I the only one who kind of lets the house go to seed over the summer?  Maybe it's a Pacific Northwest thing.  Y'see, we have a hard time staying inside when the sun shines because summer is such a brief thing for us.  I'm storing up light and warmth against the cold, wet, gray months ahead.  Right now, the focus is all outside :D

The Mother Load...
* The boys and I have more work to do in the garden
* Am I really ready for school to start?  No, I didn't think so.
* Must make sure I have what I need for science experiments so they don't get skipped because it's inconvenient.
* The. Garage. Must. Be. Cleaned.  This is only on MY list because I need to motivate the males in the family to get this done.
* The flower beds around the house need some TLC... what the deer haven't eaten.  *sigh*
* What to do with Tate's "old" hearing aids (still functional)?  Ebay?  Also we have some CI accessories from his Harmony that are not compatible with his Naidas.  This is expensive stuff - must be worth something to someone?!
* Take another load to consignment and a box to Goodwill.
* Aaaaand, I'm sure there's more I'm not thinking of right now.

Noticing that...  it's starting to feel like fall :D  (Don't tell the boys I'm so happy about that!)

Something to remember for later...  the way Gunnar actually took my hand at Cascade Falcon graduation to take me to meet some of his new friends.  (Did he think I would wander off?!)  Sweet :D

Something fun to share...  Gunnar seems two inches taller after encampment.

A favorite quote for today...  I don't know, it just doesn't have the zip of "except after c".

One of my favorite things...  friends from church hosted a reception for their son and newest daughter-in-law (married out of state).  They hired a photographer to come for the occasion and - bonus - to take family photos for anyone who wanted.  How generous!  We might have dressed a little differently had we known, but here's to keeping it real ;D

A Bible verse...  1 Chronicles 28:20  I was praying this verse for Tate and Gunnar while they were at Cascade Falcon.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work.  Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.

I know their work wasn't for the temple of the Lord, but it still fits.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  the boys are at CAP tonight, and now that Wyatt is driving,  I don't have to go!  In fact, I really have no plans until the neighborhood BBQ on Saturday!  And there was much rejoicing ;D

A peek into my day...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

I have all my boys back home again... and there was much rejoicing.

I've been glued to facebook, watching for updates on the Cascade Falcon page, and that needed to stop ;D  Because Tate was on staff (or "cadre" as they call it) he was harder to find.  Especially since his job - Logistics - is pretty much behind the scenes.  But I did fine a few of Gunnar each day.  Sadly, they did the obstacle course on Friday and I think the PAO team was busy putting together the encampment yearbook, so no pics of that.  Still, found a couple more of Gunnar...

He'll have to tell me what they were touring here - maybe the motor pool.  I know they talked to mechanics.  (Gunnar has the yellow camelback.)

And here is his flight - Bravo - in formation in the shade, Gunnar is fifth from right, looking hot and tired.

But graduation finally came!  We arrived before the cadets and got to watch them file in.  Gunnar was all business - gave Grandpa a brief nod, but didn't break rank at all.  Look how much smaller he is than the other cadet!  Some of the staff called Gunnar (and the other small ones) "pocket cadets".  No kidding!

Tate was all smiles and had a few free minutes as he wasn't technically "in" the graduation ceremony.

Before the Pass-In-Review, they give awards.  Gunnar's flight did well - the Honor Cadet of the week, the Warrior Spirit cadet, and something else - maybe flight sergeant of the week? - were all from his flight.  AND they won Honor Flight of the week - that's great!

That's why the "B" flag has ribbons tied to it.

Here they are, standing in formation, getting ready to march.  Gunnar is second from right.  They were WAAAAAY across a field from us.

Here comes Bravo Flight.

And here's Gunnar, eyes right, as they pass the head honchos.

Since they circled around the field, when they lined up again across from us Gunnar was front right.

Aaaaaand, big finish!

I think a couple of cadets had already walked away, but Gunnar wanted a photo with most of his Flight.

I mentioned that our home squadron sent fifteen kids down - Tate as staff, and 14 cadets.  Gunnar's best buds were in different flights and they hardly saw each other.  Three "pocket cadets", but they all made it!

Being on the logistics crew, Tate sometimes worked closely with the DFAC (Dining Facility) crew and made a good friend here :D

It was great.  They've talked my ears off.  I'm glad they went.  And I'm glad it's OVER!

And in case the neighbors weren't sure if the boys were home?  I think the six loads of laundry might have clued them in... whew!