Friday, December 26, 2008

A River Runs Through It...

A river of snow that is! We were awakened on Christmas morning to a rumble and cracking so loud it was a little scary. We looked out the window just in time to see a river of snow come sliding off our roof that swept the log railing away with it like it was made of toothpicks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The long awaited Kitchen pictures!

What do you do on the second night in a new house? You rip out the kitchen of course! This is what it looked like in all of it's Marigold colored glory! The cabinets were made of the same wood as the logs... and the counter was faux wood... I basically felt like the bride of Woodywoodpecker!
We painted the cabinets black and put in a speckled gray countertop with a stainless sink and new dishwasher (that didn't leak!).

The Stove had barely been used but was... Marigold so...

I painted it. No, I am not kidding, I painted it with appliance paint! I personally think it turned out great and cost me $6.48!

This is my very large pantry but if you can't see it, it is because it is camophloged with the logs! LOL

Much better! (In my opinion anyway)

I felt like the cabinets up top really boxed off the kitchen from the great room so...

We took the small one down and re-hung it in another part of the kitchen making it more open and adding a whole other section to the kitchen. For those of you who think you recognize the little rolly cart you are not mistaken. It is the same inexpensive rolly cart that I had in the other house but we painted it black too and then used some leftover countertop on it to make the match just right!

I decied to leave the other upper cabinet as the area behind it will eventually be part of the master and it will be a hallway so it will not be blocking anything and will give me more room to hang pictures later. I took the sliding plexy glass doors off and left them open to provide easy access to my dishes and spices (I think it looks great with the all white dishes).

The kitchen is about three times the size of my old one and I love it. It really stands out now as a room of it's own instead of dissapearing into the solid wood vortex! I bought the dishwasher and stovetop on sale at Sears and with all supplies the grand total for this remodel.... $650.00! Not bad eh?

I Got My Wish.... It Shocked Me Anyway!

I spent the morning on the phone trying to figure out where to pay all the bills and getting the addresses changed and all that good stuff that comes on the tail of moving. Most calls were just endless journeys through automated phone systems (which I think are just shy of evil) and digitally voiced prompts. Then it happened. I called the new power company to figure out what the "bill" they sent me was supposed to mean.

They had sent me an application for membership and a "bill" with no amount. My first shock was that a person... a real person.... answered my call and asked how they could help me. I explained what I had received and he told me that up here in Elk the power company is a non-profit and is mutually owned by all the residence. My ten dollar one time fee was to add me to the account that now makes up share holders along with everyone else. Weird but this is not the shocking part I was referring to. Next he explains that the amount wasn't on the bill because you get charged after the usage each month and that the blank was to fill in the number on my meeter.

Here comes the shock, are you ready? You're not really ready, you just think you are LOL! My bill is paid "on the honor system" I am to try to read my meeter about the same time each month and then mail in the new slip with the new reading and the payment for last month. They only check the meeter if a house is sold for legal purposes. I asked if people ever skunk out and he said "Never that I have heard of. Sometimes people have trouble paying but the community usually gets together to help out". Go ahead, read it again... that is really what I just said!
This phone call comes on the tail of me chuckling to myself over the FOUR page spread in the Elk Sentinel (our local paper) with 4X6 photos of each child 9-16 who got their first deer this year (holding up the antlers... with the deer still attached mind you LOL). I feel like I am living on the set of Little House on the Prairie! My friend Leslie is right... I have teleported back to the 1950's and I couldn't be happier!
The top picture is our house from the S. W. and the bottom one is from the East

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fun with a chainsaw...

So, this was the view from our back deck before Ben got a chainsaw...

And this is the view from our back deck after Ben got a chainsaw! Much better view!

Firewood anyone...? We waited all of one night in our new house to completely rip out the kitchen and two whole nights to cut down six huge trees. The neighbors must be scared at this point. Oh well, this is how we role. LOL The kids are doing well and we are... adjusting to our new adventure one and all! Even with some interesting and very untimely setbacks, it looks like we will be done with the kitchen in less than a week so, look forward to some wild before and after shots. They will leave this one looking a little tame!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A long road ahead...

This is our new driveway. You can just barely see the house up there just to the left of it. In the spring this will be a million shades of green. I am sitting here in my chair trying not to go out of my mind not being up there already!

We had the walk through with the people buying our house Sunday morning. Actually, since it is now Monday morning, they own this house and we are renters! We are picking up the truck today and moving tomorrow. It has been such a long road getting here but it is really happening! This has been our dream literally since we got married almost fourteen years ago and I am in a state of shock that it is about to become our reality. The people who built it and lived in it until now, are a Christian family too. In fact, one of the grown sons and his wife are teachers at a home school program like the one that our kids attend here in town. Up there however, it is a full size school as there are even more home school families in that area then in Spokane.

I will not have a computer for a good week I am sure (so we will see how deep this addiction has really gone) but I will be back with a vengeance and lots of pictures of updates when I return. Now this driveway is my long road ahead and I couldn't be more grateful or excited if I tried!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


If you can, please take the time to watch the Ben Stein movie EXPELLED. It is a very good movie and makes the truth of the situation very clear. If you can do nothing else, please do this...

Go to this site and sign the petition. You will be asked to fill in your information and then an e-mail will be sent to you. Once you click on the link in the e-mail your name is added to the petition and you will not receive anything else from them unless you ask to. By signing the petition on this site you are telling law makers that you believe that we should have freedom of speech in Science. You will tell them that there are no bad questions and that we, as well as children in school, should be able to talk about Intelligent Design, Creation Theory OR Evolution. Not just one or the other.

This man has a voice that the scientific community will not be able to ignore the way that it has chosen to so many before. I truly believe this petition could make a huge difference. Please consider taking the time to sign. There is so much at stake. Thank you.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I was tagged by Everyday Life to write seven random things about me. I am now sad and slightly embarrassed because I so don't know how to do the different color "linky thing" yet and it is oh, so obvious now! You win some you lose some... but at least I was invited to the game so... here goes! LOL

1. My name was supposed to be Melissa. I am the youngest of 5 and the only girl (yes, I speak spoiled fluently) and my mother was positive I was a boy while my brothers were convinced I would be a girl. While my mom was desperately trying to think of a girl name in the room, my brothers were out in the hall telling the nurse my name was Amy. When they wheeled me back in the room to my mom, baby girl McCoy had already been replaced by Amy Marie McCoy! My mom was so glad the boys were happy that she just left it!

2. I married my husband during senior year in high school while I was still 17. We skipped school on a Friday and my parents drove us to Idaho and signed the papers. On Monday we went back to school as a married couple.

3. I read an average of 200 pages a day. I love to read and always have.

4. I have never colored my hair... not even for Halloween.

5. When I was little I was in a Christmas production at our church every year in the month of December. We did 23 shows a year with 3,000 seats at each show. Some times they even had to go into the overflow seating. I got to do solos, studio recordings and dancing. It was really a wonderful way to spend the season. My favorite part was hearing how many people responded to the alter call every night before we went home.

6. I am a karaoke junky and I am toying with the idea of trying live stand up... yeah, I'm serious!

7. My nicknames are "the Entertainment" (Katrina),
"Marshmallow" (Jen & Nikki),
"Orange" Dad,
"Braveheart" (Moe) and
"the world most misunderstood person" (Leslie)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Still haven't missed one...

I am still a record holder (in my mind anyway) and have not missed an Amy Grant tour since Age to Age! This one was so amazing for me as she only did songs recorded prior to 1988. This was an anniversary tour and with each song, memories of a lifetime washed over my mind's eye. She was with the original band from that tour, which was really cool. Most have made names for themselves now but still did this tour with her. I will be digging out all the old albums and will clearly need to re-purchase some of them since many are on tape... LOL! Regardless, I still remembered every word to every song!

At the end of the show she sang several new songs that she has written while on this tour... just her and her guitar... wow, is all I can say. I was sobbing like a baby (which I generally avoid like the plague... and yet) and for good reason. I will run (not even jog) to get the next album if these songs are on it (who am I kidding, I will anyway).

My only sad note on this one, is that my husband married a stalker... and I did not. I know which hotel she stayed at and she made a comment during the show that she had to be in the lobby at 4:30 tomorrow morning to leave for the airport... and I would have been sitting in that lobby all night with a heartfelt letter of thanks, in hopes of being able to give it to her... but SOMEBODY thinks that that is socially unacceptable. Now you all know why I wanted to go alone. At least we had the sweetest seats in the house... or maybe I would have come home alone! LOL What? I am mostly kidding!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kaeding Decision 08' ...

While most are focused on the national election we have been deep into our personal Decision 08' as to where we are moving. The sold sign is up, the requested repairs have been made... now where do we go? The inspection on the house in Elk went really well and we had a long talk with our kids and each other last night and we have our "final answer". We are moving to the log house in Elk Washington!
For some of you this is a longer drive and somewhat of an inconvenience but please know that we did take all of that into consideration. This is what we have dreamed about for so long and I still can hardly believe it is going to happen. We had the house inspected by two professionals and they both found the house to be structurally sound and very few things in need of actual repair. The things that do need repair, we are very capable of doing and are not concerned about. The logs are in great condition and have finished settling which is a very big deal when it comes to log homes.
So... get ready for some twisted-fun before and after shots as we tackle each new project! Thank you everyone for your prayers, affection and blatant patience as we have wrestled with this. Moving day is November 13th, 2008. Decision made.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My secret nightlife...

Bed time... and I was back up at 4:00

Most of you know that I don't sleep the amount of hours recommended by well... anyone! What you may not know is how low the number actually is. Drum roll please... I sleep between 2 and 6 hours a night. I literally cannot sleep more than that. When I get really stressed or excited, the number can drop to under 2 for a few days in a row. The thing that makes it crazy is that that is really all I need. Even as a kid, that is all I needed to sleep.

My poor husband does not have the same malfunction and he has had to learn to love me through it. He is used to waking up without me in bed or being woken up with me getting in our out of bed throughout the night. To make matters worse, I prefer to sleep with all the lights on and some form of noise (t.v., radio... the louder the better) and he is a deep, black, silent room kind of guy! LOL

I don't think it is insomnia because I am fully functioning and surprisingly good humored as a rule. From what I understand people who suffer from insomnia are well... happiness challenged. My son says that it makes me a little hard to live with but great to vacation with! I think he really did mean it as a compliment! So don't be a hater... I just have more hours in my day than everybody else!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We have made an offer!

We have made an official offer on the house in Elk that we fell in love with 6 months ago. It went down in price the same weekend that we got and accepted an offer on our house and that says a lot to me. For those unfamiliar with the area, Elk is north of Spokane on Hwy 2. It will take Ben about 40 min. to get home from work instead of 20 but he is more than happy to do so to be in this house and out of the city (all of the Seattle folk are chuckling that 40 min. is even an issue but around here that is like FOREVER for a commute LOL).

This is the view of the house when you get to the end of the driveway and turn left. It is not too visible from the road but you can see it if you really look. The driveway goes up the side of the 10 acre field that is also part of the property. The house is on the 5 acres of treed property on the rise over looking the pasture. We are planning on re-staining in the spring and finishing the bottom half of the house with the rounded stone rock facing. The house needs a lot of work but the bones look great. We will feel better once we have an inspection mind you but we are feeling good about it. That is the front door that is open in the picture above and this is the main floor living/dinning looking into the kitchen.
This is looking down from the loft steps at the doors going out to the deck. That is where I was standing to get the picture above.
The loft is 600 sq. ft and has windows all around. Looking east you have a perfect view of Mt. Spokane and looking west is a valley with the mountains in the background.
Ahh yes, the basement.... it is unfinished. It is 1200 sq. feet and has a bathroom plumbed so it is not as bad as it seems! LOL it is insulated and mostly cement so it should be a pretty easy finish... don't get scared, we are project people and I swear in a year this place will knock your socks off!
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is today the big day?

We are going out with the realtor today to look... one more time... at all the places we have looked before and a few new ones. We really believe that we know which house we want but this could indeed be the day that we make an offer. I am scared, excited, freaked and giddy... all at the same time! The majority of our close friends and family think we are absolutely insane and I hope they are right. Some people feel the most alive when they are risking it all on a dream. I am one of those people and I am so glad that Ben is too!

We actually turned down one house because it was all done. The work was all done. A place for everything and everything in it's place. That would have been a bummer. We are looking forward to the work. We want to get our hands dirty and work side by side on building something together! This is our new home and we want our fingerprints all over it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gather round the table...

My husband said that this needed to go on my blog so... here goes! This is what we had for dinner last night. It is a ginger/lime chicken stir fry served over coconut/jasmine rice, topped with sliced cabbage and cashews.

This is a very typical dinner at our house. I love to cook and have a very hard time when children come over and won't partake of any food that is not fried or covered in cheese. Below is a picture of my 2 year old son digging in. I think it is because they have never been given a choice of what they will or will not eat, that they are not picky. We exposed them to all the food that we love and welcomed them at the table with us. We eat together at the table for every meal that we eat at home. When we have guests, we try very hard to not have a "kid" table but rather, smoosh together around one.

The kids all like to try their hand at the chopsticks when we eat Asian or Thai. It is fun to watch them give it a shot. Jedi gave it up after about 5 minutes this time and went for the good ol' American fork!
I have tried very hard to teach my kids that when you go to some one's home for a meal, you are to eat it. Someone went to the trouble to cook for you and you will eat it and say a gracious thank you. Even the popular "polite bite" is offensive to me. Why would you tell your child to force down one bite of something (usually while making a face) and then "politely" refuse to eat anymore! I am blogging this because so many times I have heard moms tell me that their little ones would "never eat that" when we have tried to exchange recipes and it frustrates me! If they see you eat it and enjoy it... sure they would! I believe we create picky eaters by telling them what they "would and would not" like. Children are natural imitators. Raise the bar.. they will rise to meet it!

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Making of Mr. and Mrs. Aldana...

Two of my lovely sister -in-laws... Sara and Emily

I have been told that it was near unpardonable manners for me to so involve others in my getting ready for Miss Emily's wedding and then say literally nothing of the outcome. I beg your pardon and mercy and I will now attempt to set things right.

We had the bridal shower at my house and it went very well. After dinner we reverted to vulgar games and the giving of much naughty lingerie and so it was a bachelorette party of sorts as well. One week later it was time for the rehearsal dinner which thankfully only involved minimal crying and only one actual fight in the parking lot. Not bad at all with that much family involved.

The wedding itself was beautiful! BJ played the piano for the prelude, party march and brides entry. He did an amazing job and impressed everyone with his combination of humility and incredible talent. I have no idea how I came to be the mother of such a wonderful child but I am so grateful. The reception was at Mukagawa (for those non-Spokanites it is a former Army fort turned exchange student housing for Moody Bible Institute) and I saved the day by driving (partially the wrong way on a one way street but hey doesn't everyone) to the nearest liquor store to purchase the license that we were supposed to have gotten beforehand. They were so accommodating that when they confiscated the liquor they kept it in the fridge for me until I got back! Now that is service folks!

At the end of the day they were officially Mr. and Mrs. Romano Aldana and looked every bit the adoring, over the moon, made for each other, bride and groom. May they live happily ever after.
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Sunday, October 5, 2008

This is what I wanted.... right...?

We got an offer on the house. This is the call that I have been waiting for and so why did my little heart gasp when I heard these words? I am a freezer. Not the kind that you store your deer meat in.... but that is what I do.... I freeze. I don't so much like change. We have made a counter offer and so they have 24 hours to say yes or no. This is going to be a long night, I can feel it.

Why is it that I can be so sure about things until they might actually happen and then I have a nervous breakdown just thinking about them happening? The most pathetic part is that when I think about staying here... I just feel so sad. When I think about leaving here, I start having palpitations! At least I have really solid reasons for this sudden emotion. For instance, I have recently ordered a lot of samples and they are coming to this address. What if I never get my free sample of Gain or Crest? What if we move out to the country and a coyote eats Jedi? See what I mean?! (stop laughing, I am really freaking out here!) Moral support on isle 3 please! Is this really the last month I will clean these bathrooms?
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Dress...

I had to buy another dress. This seems like a simple statement but it isn't. I am in my sister in laws wedding this weekend and we all went dress shopping about six weeks ago and picked out our dresses. The one I really liked I though was a bit pricey and so I went home and ordered a similar style but smaller price tag from the web site. Being a good little mommy I did not open it when it came because I didn't want anything (or anyone of my children) to happen to it!

When I took it out to hang it up this week before the wedding... it didn't fit. I then proceeded to go to my friends house so she could help me MAKE IT FIT. If you know what I mean. LOL Then we went to the shop and used the bra of wonders and it did make it fit... but it didn't look so good! I had to buy another dress. They don't do returns! I am so angry at myself I cannot even tell you. The weird thing is the same size dresses all fit me at the store! AHHH! To add insult to injury, which dress did I end up buying? You guessed it THE ONE I WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!

Being in someone else's wedding is almost as expensive as being in our own! Between my double dress nightmare, Ben's tux, the shower and all the family coming to town.... have mercy people!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Getting all political?

I am sorry, but if I don't say something I am going to have some sort of breakdown people. I believe the Bible is true... all of it. ALL OF IT! The Bible says nothing about financial planing or budget distribution on a national level. It says nothing about equal rights for everyone without distinction (in fact to be honest it talks a lot about the fact that the only real freedom you have is in Christ) or free nationalized health care. It talks pleanty about being ready for battle on a national level as well as a personal one... because you will face enemies.

You know what the Bible does say? It says that a nation (any nation) who allows homosexuality, sexual impurity and murder (whether the victim can be heard screaming as you kill them or not) will not be blessed by God and that he will destroy it. We have the only nation founded on Christianity in the world and we are the most powerful country in the world. Make no mistake, those things go hand in hand.

So don't talk to me about your health care or your beautiful vision of our country getting out of debt (if the population can't budget how can the government?). Explain to me how you support abortion when only 2%-4% are involving rape or incest out of roughly 215 performed EVERY HOUR in our country alone. Tell me how you came to believe that Sodom and Gomorrah is a fairytale and that just parts of the Bible are true! I clearly don't expect my non-christian friends to understand my passion on this subject... it is the ones who say they believe and yet are supporting the death and destruction of all that is sacred in our nation that I am questioning.

I generally keep my political opinions to myself but at this point I just don't understand. I am crying out for the ones who literally can't before they are slain. Read your Bible and show me what I say isn't the Truth!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Never Went Out When You Were Young...

"Why do you go out so much? " This is one of my parents favorite questions for me. It is usually coupled with a healthy dose of "Your mother never went out when you kids were young, she was happy at home" and or "What do you need a break from?". I know my parents mean well and I am very blessed to have a husband who knows I need a break and is understanding and supportive of my friendships with other women. It still raises doubts in my head though... I begrudgingly admit. It's not that I don't love my family or that I want to dump my responsibilities on Ben to get "even" for being with the kids all day. I have witnessed women who use "girl's night out" in both of these circumstances and... we're no longer friends. I need time with girlfriends regularly to just be me.

When I am with Ben, I am Ben's wife. When I am with my our kids, I am their mom/teacher. When I am with my girlfriends... I am just Amy. I do not have to think about if anyone likes what I am ordering for dinner because I won't be sharing it. I don't have to count heads or stand in the bathroom for the ten minutes (right after the food comes) because my friends can take care of themselves. I can talk about my feelings and shoes (in the same sentence) and no ones eyes will glaze over before I am done. I can ask "am I crazy or would you have reacted the same way" and get more than a one word answer! LOL

I value my friendships with my girlfriends and I will want and need them even more as my children grow up. I want to set a good example for my kids that friendships take time and energy to grow. I need to have time to continue and explore the things about me that made Ben like me enough to want to share a life with me and maybe even find some new interests! I tell my kids regularly that I am a wife and a mother because I wanted to be not because it was my only option. It is important for me that they understand that they are my priority right now but my life does not revolve around them. I know first hand how much pressure that can put on a child (especially a grown one).

So... I go out. Once a week if at all possible, with my girlfriends and we laugh, talk, eat, talk, shop, talk, maybe see a movie and then talk about it. LOL Afterward I come home refreshed, and a better mom and wife.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I think I am sensing a theme here...

I went shopping yesterday and I fell in love with these green heeled loafers. After a quick call to my friend Leslie to get me through the "should I or shouldn't I buy it" blues, I did indeed purchase them. I have a hard time paying $20 for shoes for me. I have a hard time buying anything for me actually. Leslie suffers from the same disease and so if she gives me the go ahead, it is probably a good decision. Anyway, back to the point at hand... I thought that my favorite color was deeply grey blue but I am starting to wonder, due to the massive evidence that I may have crossed over to olive green! I now have a stunningly matching set (seeing as how none of these were purchased together or even at the same store) of olive green accessories. My purse, bible cover and cute new shoes will put me in the full on fashion-ista category at church for sure! This Sunday I will look like someone who should be "ushered in". LOL

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Sunne In Splendour

I had book club this week and it was really fun just to reconnect with everyone after the long summer. Our book was "The Sunne In Splendour" by Sharon Kay Penman and was based on the lives of King Edward and his brother the famous King Richard III. We selected our next book and I have ordered it from the library but they are all currently out so... it could be a week or two before I get my little hands on it. If you are in the mood to join us the selection is "A Little Trouble With The Facts" by Nina Siegal.

I read an average of 200 pages a day. My average has been down as of late because I packed all of my books a few months ago (along with almost everything else in the house) with the expectation of moving. We have still not sold the house and soon I will begin unpacking. Frustrating yes, end of the world, no. I need to read. Some people just don't feel that need and I find that so strange. I grew up in a house of readers. We were all camped out in corners from time to time with a good book. My husband has read three I think, since we have been married. We have been married for over 13 years. So I posted a poll about the last time you read for pleasure and I am truly curious what the average is.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Whitehouse Grill

I apparently have two kinds of friends... those who have been to the Whitehouse (most of them, with me) and those who have no idea what it is... or where... or why on earth I fly out there like a homing pigeon nearly ever Friday night. So I have decided to blog the 411, give you the down low, bring ya'll up to speed, fill in the blanks, explain myself...ok, that one isn't even possible in the English language LOL!

The Whitehouse Grill is a restaurant located in Post Falls Idaho. It is owned by a wonderful Turkish man (God bless the horrible map maker who got him lost in Post Falls of all places) named Raci. He is also the head chef. The restaurant used to be in a little white house that is half a block from it's current location. That little white house is now the Oval Office Martini Bar, which Raci also owns. You can actually watch him run down the alley twice every night between them to check on the Oval Office staff. He spends most of his time in the Whitehouse however as it is his true love.

What makes this restaurant so fabulous you ask?

They are not open on Sundays(a rarity, that makes me smile). They close for the entire fourth of July weekend every year with the staff PAID because Raci feels it is so important to celebrate being an American. They close for one week a year with the staff again PAID while he travels home to visit family. If he is not there to supervise... they don't open (I should add however that although he comes to do all the prep and inspect deliveries on Mondays, he is not in the kitchen that day and sadly, you can tell). Thanks to all of these things you can count on good friendly service every time because the staff adores him. The food is top notch every time because nothing leaves that kitchen without his approval. This is the restaurant we take guest to, celebrate in, and go to to relax because we never leave disappointed. At this point there are only two things left on the menu we haven't tried and I can say that there are no bad choices. Order anything and you will leave totally happy. If you only order one thing however make sure it is the Sea Bass as I believe God actually created it just for Raci. He looked down and thought... now I will make a fish just for my little Raci and poof... Sea Bass.

So there you go... Now you know.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sailing, Sailing, over the ocean blue...

I pulled an Amy again! LOL My husband had Labor Day off and as we were sitting around the breakfast table talking about what we wanted to do as a family for the day... it happened. I got one of those crazy ideas in my head and well, we all know how those end. I told Ben that what I really wanted to do was go sailing in the San Juans for a week. That was at 8:27 am. We called Ben's dad (who lives on a 45 foot sail boat in Poulsbo) and asked if it was alright if we came. That was at 8:35 am. Ben then called the owner of the company he works for at home and asked if he could take the week off. That was at 8:50am. By 9:24 all six of us were packed and in the car driving away. I believe we broke some kind of record by doing this and will gladly except prizes! We drove across state and took the ferry to Bainbridge, drove to Poulsbo and were on the boat by 6pm. We spent the first night in harbor and walked into Poulsbo in the morning for breakfast goodies (they are somewhat famous for their bakery) and some supplies food wise (yes, and wine... LOL) and set sail that afternoon.
Our first stop was Kingston Harbor and we stayed the night and shoved off first thing in the morning for Friday Harbor. We took some time to walk around the town and went again in the morning to have fresh beer bread and stiff coffee for breakfast and headed out to sea again.
Next we sailed out to Jones Island. This was a favorite destination for Ben as a kid and so it was extra special for the kids to get to go. We moored on a buoy and went ashore in the dingy (a few at time) and walked all over the island. The island is inhabited by many deer and they will come right up to you and let you pet them and feed them. It was so cool!

After all that nature it was time for some city... well technically Orcas is a city... LOL! We sailed up to the city of Orcas on Orcas Island and went to the ONLY restaurant in town. We dinned on fish and chips of course, some calamari and a couple cold beers and we were headed back to the boat for the night. This was my favorite night of the trip because I sat out under the stars with the kids and talked for hours.
We decided to head home by making the loop around Orcas Island and back down the other side of the San Juans. We saw dolporpises (close to a dolphin but a little darker), seals galore and even a nuclear sub! Behind Ben you can see the famed Deception Pass and I even got a glimpse of Camp Casey (where I went for sixth grade camp).
As we came into Port Townsend for our last night at sea we were surrounded by huge ships on every side. It was their wooden boat celebration weekend and the harbor looked like a scene from out of a pirate movie! There were about a hundred sail boat with their sails unfurled, some schooners with 6-8 sails each and even a few pirate ships. It was an awesome site. All good things must come to an end however and after a week on the blue, we headed back home.
This was a wonderful trip and the spontaneity of it just made it more fun. As my son BJ put it... "sometimes it is hard to live with someone as crazy as you mom but you sure are great to vacation with!" Ah, from the mouths of babes!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Flashback... but in a good way!

I have been putting my stalking skills to use as of late to locate some of the people I went to private school with (2nd -7th grade). I have managed to find almost all of them... the ones I want to find (some things are better left in the past) LOL. It is a really weird brain experience to flash forward in that many peoples lives in such a short span of mine. Most of you know that my high school reunion was one of the coolest experiences of my life but this is totally different. All of these people are Christians. It is so amazing to me how easily I feel I could relate to them and we could fit into each others lives again. It is a real life example to my heart that we truly are family.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Although I work like a dog on most days, I have no employable title. I have seen quite a bit of this word humorist as of late. As I have done a little more digging I have discovered that if I had to hold a day job (which of course it has been proven repeatedly, 17 times in fact, that I cannot) this one suits me well I dare say. If there really is a tax ID number for an occupation like this sign me up. Of course the next question becomes who on earth pays your salary for this sort of thing? With my understanding of our government and social economic structure I would automatically think.... taxpayers of course! So, would it be a federal grant that I could apply for or maybe.... Oh, oh, I've got it! I will keep track of my billable hours (aka time spent amusing those around me using only my seemingly boundless vocabulary, tireless work ethic and near perfect comedic timing) and bill the city for.... a city beautification project! I think I'm gonna need a permit for this.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My son is a verbalist...

That was no grammatical error. I didn't mean he is verbal... he is a verbalist. For some unknown reason our smallest child (2 yr.) has decided that verbs are the words he likes the best and nouns can take a hike. Each animal is referred to with it's sound. A horse is a "neigh", a bird a "caw caw", a sword "hiya!" and so on. He refers to his shoes as "on's" and all cars (except buses) are "bye bye's". Even the people in his life are referred to by the sound they make or what they do for him. That has perhaps been the funniest of all, to see what he gets out of his relationship with you. His 6 year old sister is "why" (if you have had a six year old you get the joke). His 12 year old brother is "what" (if you have had a twelve year old you get this one too!)

In actuality, I suppose it makes sense. It has made me pay far more attention to the things that he notices because he tends to point out the obvious that we take for granted. It makes for an entertaining time trying to figure out what he means (or whom). The strangest part of it all is that the rest of his speech is developing quite normally. He will ask "can I have one... please?" or "thank you, oh, it's so yummy". All other parts of speech are being used correctly. It really is bizarre but I am not anxious for it to pass as it is pretty stinkin' cute!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

She leaving me... us

So one of my little nieces was sent up here to Spokaneland for the summer. She has been staying out with my parents and any time I can get my hands on her, with us. Her last day with us will be Friday (she has demanded one more night at the Whitehouse for dinner and I am happy to oblige), as she flies back early Saturday morning. Her father and I are... very similar creatures (understatement of the century I know). For this reason I am a quick study on her and she is an equally quick study on me. At first she said having so much family around was a little overwhelming and now she is scarred of how lonely a three person household will feel upon her return. She has reawakened all the love and passion I have for teenagers. I have long had a deep respect and affection for those the between the ages of 13 and 18. It is such an amazing age. Never again do you love, hate, burn, or give the way that you do in this brief window of life.

As we get older we learn with each relationship and each experience to give a little less of ourselves and out trust. With age comes wisdom and caution but it comes with a rather large price tag. We tend to loose our joy and passion. I feel that so much of the teenage angst for lack of a better term, comes because we try to keep teenagers children too long. As my niece so competently said it "there is a difference between childhood and childishness". In the past a 15 year old girl would generally be married, running a household and caring for her husband and family. Our bodies and minds are made to do so. The trouble comes in trying to prolong the childhood phase with people who are no longer children. No wonder they fight so hard for we are going against the design of nature and God's timetable. We tell them to grow up, take responsibility for their actions, think for themselves and then within the same breath tell them we are responsible for them and they will do what we say when we say and how we say and are surprised when they act out with childish behavior.

When it comes to sexuality I see even more evidence that we are making a mistake in timing. Having been married at 17 clearly colors my opinion I suppose. We were married in Idaho at the Hitching Post because we could not find a pastor who would marry us (with me under 18) unless I was pregnant. They wanted me to have more experience dating and better know what I wanted in a mate. What a twisted theory. The more people you have romantic relationships with the better the chances that you will end up in trouble (or now a days... dead). Not to mention the more people you have later to compare your spouse to (and any honest married person will tell you this isn't a helpful tool most of the time). With the kind of passion and die hard stubborn loyalty that teenage relationships are famous for, I cannot help but believe that if they we nurtured and cemented instead of made fun of and or treated as forbidden they would stand a much better chance of lasting a lifetime then our modern day idea of settling down after you have done everything you can to make yourself happy for years and wondering why sacrifice and submission don't feel like a good fit.

My opinions don't make me popular with the parents of teenagers and I have been told that I would be an unwelcome volunteer with youth groups but I think that's sad. It is only in recent western history that we have become so self centered that we look at marriage as something to put off until you have had your fun and are ready to give up the good life. Ben and I grew up together. Our relationship was forged through the experiences that we went through together. The things other people would have fought about we laughed at because we were to young and inexperienced to know any "better". Who am I kidding we still do! When we talked about getting married during senior year (yes, of high school) we decided that it would work out just fine because we were physically attracted to each other (couldn't keep our hands off each other) and we both loved the Lord and wanted to serve him faithfully. That was it. That was our big list of pros. We had been dating for three weeks. We were right. We still can't keep our hands off each other and because we pray together for our marriage and we serve a God who loves marriage and desires to see it succeed, it works. It would have worked at any age. We pray and He does the rest.

I think our relationship with the Lord suffers from the same mental shift in society. The Bible tells us to come to Him with the heart of a child. When we look at a child's love as silly and childish we close our hearts to God. If you come to your marriage with the heart of a child it too will be blessed by God. Notice I didn't say with a solid career path, a five year plan or financial security. They won't get you any further with your marriage than they will with Jesus.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This house...

I am now sure that we have done just about everything possible to improve the chances of this house selling and must now wait. If I had a dime for every person who has given me that precious look and said... maybe you're just not supposed to move... I would be rich and just as irritated. I am oh, so very aware that it looks bad... but I am also so very aware that God has given Ben and I the same dream and the same feeling of urging that this is the time and not to give up.

What is it that has convinced people that if it is difficult to accomplish or takes longer than you had penciled into your day timer to happen, that it must not be God's plan. Have you read the Bible? There is (usually but not now because we have taken everything unnecessary down) a sign in my kitchen that says " CAUTION: If the going gets easy... you may be headed downhill". I have been unpleasantly surprised by the amount of believers that think if it all just goes together without a hitch that God was in it... and that the harder it is the more likely you're out of his will. I am inclined through personal experience and reading the Word to completely disagree. LOL.

And so, we wait! Don't get me wrong, I don't want to move if that is not what God has for us and I believe that He is in control. I just know that nothing good comes easy and the harder the journey the sweeter the homecoming.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Father Is Turning Orange

I was raised in a household of all or nothing people and we do not do anything halfway (unless the directions actually call for you to stop there). My mother is diabetic and I suggested that she try switching out the fully sugar loaded fruit juice that she usually keeps on hand for the all natural organic carrot juice that has a different kind of sugar and might not affect her as negatively while still giving her the "juice drinking" experience she apparently craves. Needless to say it went the way it usually does, she doesn't do change and my father was all over the new and exciting experience.

This would have been ok if he were a normal person but... he started drinking two bottles (BOTTLES!) a day. I have since convinced him that no more than one bottle a day is even in the psychotic range. In his defence this act of insanity has greatly improved his psoriasis but with one teeny tiny side affect, he is actually turning orange! I have seen this happen with little kids that only eat the Gerber carrots, mac n' cheese, peaches and squash (my friend Julie had to take her daughter to the ER only to find out it was from only eating orange things lol) but never to an adult person. I wanted to include some of the photos I have taken of my parents together lately to prove my point but I still don't know how to include pics on the blog so... (I figured it out! But I bet you already figured that out didn't you now?! LOL) My dad.... and my mum!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ooooo! A couples charector building project! Yippie!

For all those of you who have attempted to do a major remodel project with your spouse, you already know where I am going don't you?! LOL For those who have yet to wake up and think "let's put our relationship through the proverbial ringer today!" ... don't.

It started off innocently enough with the decision to replace the carpet in the house and turned, somehow in the last 48 hours into an event that has ranged from dirty, sweaty, and painful to back breaking, deep tissue injury from using a JACKHAMMER for HOURS! (totally true) LOL If Ben weren't my best friend, I so would have killed him!

Our house is now piles of furniture anywhere there is not carpet and anywhere there was carpet is striped bare, vacuumed and ready to rumble! For those of you who have been to our home you know that that is not actually possible to do house-wide and so that is what the upstairs looks like (which they will do tomorrow) and then tomorrow night we will put the furniture back in the upstairs, transfer the furniture from downstairs (minus the piano, don't even ask what our plan is there because we so don't have one) and eventually after putting back all the furniture, trim work and freshly painted vents and return covers we will finally have the house just the way we always wanted it... and then hopefully, it will sell! LOL Why do we do the things we do?!
Wait don't anybody answer that... I love a good mystery!

Monday, July 21, 2008

White and Yellow Tent Day!

It is opening day for the VBS that my kids look forward to the most every year. It runs four four long days this week and they have more than a thousand kids. You totally read that right, over a thousand! It is so much fun and it is the week every summer that they get to see just about every playmate in Spokane they have ever had. With all the churches we have done things with and MOPS groups we have been a part of it is like a big reunion for them. I will be shuttling them back and forth between VBS and grandmas house this year however because we are replacing our carpets all throughout the house this week and it seriously looks like twister just came through! LOL All our worldly goods are precariously balanced on top one another in any and every space that isn't carpeted! Not the safest environments for the kids!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Smile and say.... Cheeese!

I awoke this morning to a conversation with a buddy I haven't chatted with for awhile. Awhile being code for, since the last major upheaval for me on a social level. I was faced once again with the seemingly endless issue of how much do you say and how on earth do you say it. When you have gone through a messy social divorce, (aka. once upon a time we used to be friends and now... not so much) it is tempting to want to defend that position which led to the separation. In my case, (I was the one begging not to be left... unsuccessfully) it is really tempting to try and explain how badly I didn't want this separation and the pain it caused. Unfortunately, in this case, I would only be trading my truth and I am sure her condolences, for her broken heart. She sees these people as trustworthy and for her, they are probably quite safe. The people in question are actually big hearted, warm, wonderful women. Wonderful women who have no respect for who their real enemy is and how happy they have made him. So what is a girl to do... (you guessed it) Smile and say..... Cheese of course! LOL

If I could implore you anything (oh great unknown readers and potential stalkers) it would be to take care with the people around you. Jesus wasn't kidding about the love your neighbor thing. It really is the hallmark of who and what we are. Look for the reasons to believe in the other person. Assume the best first. Give the benefit of the doubt that they mean you no ill. And last but certainly not least... treat them the way that you would want to be treated were the shoe on the other foot because I hate to break it to you... eventually it very well may be.

I will leave you with a poem (what you didn't see that coming?!) that speaks to my heart on this subject and then I will close the book on this little chapter...

Oh the comfort,
the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person;
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words but to pour them all out,
just as it is, chaff and grain together
knowing that a faithful hand will sift them, keeping what is worth keeping,
and then with the breath of kindness,
blow the rest away

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dear Diary

My husband has this T-shirt that he ordered and I didn't get the joke, so he had to explain it to me... slowly. It says, "More people have read this shirt than your blog 00000002". Once he explained it I thought "I better get me one of those". He says no one reads them and so they are like a glorified diary. I don't have any of the diaries from when I was a kid. Not because I didn't have any... because every time I found my mom reading one, I would burn it (not kidding). So, since my mother is the most computer illiterate creature on the planet, with no intention of changing that, I find myself finally safe and sound having a diary... and oh so much to say LOL.

Today was like so many others. I woke up with almost nothing on the schedule, thinking that I might get a chance to relax a bit, only to have everyone and their mother's brother's dog send me their to do lists, like unfinished files on a social workers desktop. I am literally stealing this moment for myself and trying to feel bad about it... but I just don't. So far today I have made two meals (for the kids, that I didn't have time to eat), returned carpet samples (for my husband), ordered carpet (for the house), solved a major minor banking catastrophe (for my husband), purchased a birthday present (for my sons friend), prepped dinner (for 6) and driven across town twice. People it's midday. Well the list calls and off I go. The really scary part is that I love this... all of it.