Summer Daydreams

Back in 2007 we went on a road trip to Oregon and Washington.  Zach’s Uncles’s ex-wife lives in Washington.  She is also one of Ron’s best friends and as such we just pretend like she is Zach’s aunt.

DeDe and her husband live on this amazing piece of land.  The highway that runs through town has mountains on one side and water (ocean/strait/bay, something big with Canada on the other side) on the other.  They raise dogs, have chickens, a garden for fresh veggies and lots of strawberries and herbs and other fun stuff.  The land is surrounded by trees and they’ve developed little areas all around – the wedding site, mexican lounge, swings.

Their house is tiny.  Years and years ago they had it moved from town out to the “farm.”  It is probably the tiniest house I’ve ever been in, but what is so great is it doesn’t matter.  When you are there, you go into the house to pee.  The rest of the time you spend outside, playing, sitting, talking, just enjoying the world God gave us.

This year we want to take Isaac up there.  We’d like to stay longer than the night (or two) we stayed last time.  We figure will bring out tent and camp out.  It’ll be a great experience for Isaac and it’s about the most relaxing place I can think to go.

So, today, as I watched the snow fall and found out that all schools have been cancelled tomorrow due to sub-zero temperature, I was dreaming of laying in the mexican lounge with the sunlight piercing through the trees creating the perfect napping atmosphere.  (Okay, okay, I was also thinking about the best shower I’ve ever had in the amazing outdoorish shower house they have, but the mexican lounge just sounded better.)

I can’t wait for summer!

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Write. Read.

I sit here tonight wondering what  I should write about.  I’m sure this will happen to me several times over the year, but it is also one of the reasons I wanted to challenge myself to write everyday.  In my current situation (working from home, no school, not much adult interaction, etc), I’ve felt like I was losing skills, primarily those of reading and writing.

It’s not that I’ve forgotten how to write.  I write everyday – business emails that say the same thing over and over or Facebook status or Twitter updates where I’m forced to use as few words as possible to get my message across.  While these are all good skills, personal and educational/intellectual writing is also good – especially for one ex-English teacher who wants to return to teaching.  And so I write.

My thoughts regarding reading are following the same path.  I find that if I don’t make time for reading and goals regarding reading, I can spend that time getting lost in TV or on the computer or cleaning house or making bread or playing trains or running a child up the stairs to get to the bathroom or a handful of other things.  Like any skill, understanding written words requires practice and training – the more you do it the better and faster you get.  And so I read.

I wonder though if sometimes practice doesn’t make perfect, or maybe it’s the fact that sometimes we practice wrong.  Just because I “practice” being a parent everyday, doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a better parent.  And even though I write definitely or vacuum everyday doesn’t mean I’ll ever really know how to spell them.  Sometimes their are just obsticals that can’t be over come…

For now: I’ll write.  I’ll read.  And enjoy my practicing moments as much as I can without worrying too much about the end result.

Summer

The last two days have felt like Spring which just hints at Summer and already I’ve been having trouble getting summer off my mind.  As we are still in the middle of Winter and who knows when the next snow and cold spell will show up, we tried to make good use of this nice weather.

Yesterday, I had to work, but Isaac got out for several hours with Uncle Cody.  They moved the basketball hoop out front for a while, took a trip to the park and spent at least 30 minutes reading books in the grass outside.  Isaac wasn’t ready to come inside when I said he needed to eat and take a nap.

Today, despite the weather forecast saying it was going to be cooler, I decided we were going to go to the zoo.  And the weather perked up, just enough to make for a glorious day.  We stopped and picked up Aunt Susie on the way and the three of us had quite a nice afternoon.  If you ask Isaac he’ll tell you about Elephants, Zebras and Hippopotamus’ in the water hiding.  We didn’t get the to giraffes (one of Isaac’s favorites), because he so wanted to see the Elephants and Hippos.  Isaac will also tell you of his green octopus cookie that Aunt Susie bought for him.

As we walked we talked about Summer….oh, glorious summer…I can’t wait.

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • Zach graduating on May 7
  • Zach and I both looking for teaching jobs for the fall
  • Having two incomes again
  • Going camping and doing fun things on the weekends (since we won’t have to worry about school!)
  • Road trip to DeDe’s in Washington, including a few day (I hope) in Canada.
  • And maybe, just maybe, I’ll climb another 14er this summer.  It’s been too long and I’m kinda scared to go back, but it was so thrilling I need to push myself to to it again.
  • Having five weeks of vacation that I must use and a total of 7 weeks if I want it, mean I want to plan trips and actually get out and do things!

Parents

Mom and Dad are home.  10 days in Australia.  We had dinner with them tonight.  I love them.  And missed them.  I do worry about them and their health.  I don’t always agree with them and I don’t always like to be around them, but I’m glad I’m close with them.

I learned today my mom used to be a mighty good bread baker.  During the discussion my mom leaned over to me and said, “I think I’m going to take it up again.”  It was funny, because I’ve been thinking recently that she needs a hobby, something to do and keep her busy and her mind going.  I think it’ll be good for her to get back into it.

Anyway, we got back to their place and I went to copy her favorite bread recipe.  I asked about a few of the directions and she looked at it, laughed and said, “I don’t know, I guess you’ll just have to use discernment.”  My mom, the bread baker. 🙂

Risk

I had this great idea to write about today.  Then I sat down to play a game of Risk with my sister on Pogo.com.  Someone we didn’t even know jumped in the game and ruined it.  Kept jumping from computer player to computer player, so essentially this person was playing three players.  It was quite rude and now that the game is over, I’m frustrated and mad and don’t feel like writing. 🙂

Sleep well…or have a great day!

Pistol Pete

Today I learned that my grandfather’s younger brother died on Monday.  I think this may make my grandfather, the oldest of his seven siblings the last surviving one.

I didn’t know Cecil well, I’d only really met him a handful of time, but I was extremely fond of him.

My oldest memory of him was when I was ten or so.  He just driven down from Minnesota and brought with him fresh un-processed milk from my uncles farm.  The cream just sat on top and when you stirred it up it was the best milk I’d ever had.

I got the nick name “Pistol Pete” from him that trip and for the life of me I can’t remember why, but every time I’ve seen him since, I was always Pistol Pete.

I’m sad for my grandfather.  He is an amazing man and has been through so much in his life.  I’m thankful that at 96 he is still smart, witty and independent.  And while he has watched his siblings die, he has been be blessed to still have his wife by his side, for as much as she drives him crazy, he loves her with all his heart.

Learning of Cecil’s death has made me want to go visit them again.  We last went down there five years ago and it was a bit of a…hmm…let’s just say we determined we never wanted to return.  But I love them.  I want them to get to see Isaac more and we now have friends down there.  Maybe we’ll have to find a way to go this year sometime.

Birthday Dinners

Both Zach’s mom and Zach’s Dad have birthday’s in January.  This year we invited them over for their own birthday dinners.  We did this for two reasons:

Number 1…we are trying not to spend so much and I can cook a meal for a whole lot cheaper than five people going out to dinner.

Number 2…Ron and Sue don’t spend much time with us, and when they do it’s in a restaurant, so they don’t get to really experience Isaac.

Sue’s birthday is first, so we had them over for dinner two weekends ago.  I don’t have pictures of the meal, but it was yummy. 🙂

Zach grilled up some salmon he had in the freezer and I made fresh bread and rice.  First I chopped up onion and celery and sautéed it with garlic, then cooked the brown rice for several hours until it was done.  I seasoned it with some thyme, rosemary, sage, and maybe some other stuff.  Probably didn’t really go with the fish, but it was yummy and everyone liked it.  And we had leftovers that we are still eating (and they are still yummy).

As I don’t like fish, I didn’t reserved a bit of the onion and celery for my chicken that I cooked up in the skillet.  It was delish!

For dessert, I served Frozen Strawberries (unsweetened), thawed and mixed with nutella whipped cream (my new fav), in mini-graham cracker pies shells with more nutella on top.  They were super yummy!  Especially the whipped cream, which Sue’s loved so much, she ended up eating all the leftovers.

After dinner, we let Isaac play basketball, trains and his favorite, read books.

This weekend I made dinner for Ron. We invited Cody and Susie too. I saw parmesan crusted chicken on America’s Test Kitchen last week and wanted to try it. I couldn’t remember the exact recipe, so I just kinda made it up, but it turned out well. I also made parmesan buttered noodles with sugar snap peas and carrots. Oh, and don’t forget the fresh bread!

Again, it was delightful. I was going to make crepes with blueberries and whipped cream for dessert, but Isaac ate all the blueberries the night before, so we didn’t have dessert. I think it was okay, everyone was stuffed and there were tons of leftovers!

After dinner Zach and Cody cleaned up the kitchen, Susie and I chatted on the couch and then all the boys played Wii. Isaac running back and forth between the two rooms.

It’s Day!

Haven’t a two-year-old is problematic for playing cards with friends, so we planned a late night card night on Saturday…which lead to another problem – tired parents and very awake child.

On Saturday night…oh, I mean, Sunday morning, we went to bed at 3AM, Isaac had gone to bed at his normal 10:30ish time, so when 8:30AM came around, he was ready to start the day.  He walked on into our room, I pulled him into bed, hoping he’d snuggle in and go back to sleep like he sometimes does.  I rolled over and continued to sleep.

Next thing I know, Isaac is laying on my back to get to my face and yelling, “It’s Day! Mommy! It’s Day!”

I continued to sleep, so Isaac found new things to entertain himself.  He climbed off the bed and went into the bathroom.  I hear him say, “Oh no.  Muffy water.” (We are dog sitting my parent’s dog and we keep her water in our bathroom and I knew it was out).

He climbs up on the toilet, turns the water on and proceeds to try to fill her bowl.  I hear him talking about doing it and helping, but the water ran for a LOOOONG time.  Zach decides it has gone on long enough and tells Isaac to stop playing in the water.  Of course, in typical two-year-old way, Isaac gets off the toilet runs out of the bathroom with the bowl, throws bowl and then himself on the carpet and starts screaming.

I did what any mom who wants sleep would do, I reached the remote, asked for my husbands eyes and turned on Martha Speaks….and then 30 minutes later Curious George.  Hey…I needed my sleep.

I did quite enjoy listening to Isaac wander around and find things to do and really, he was trying to help and be good, he just got a little distracted. 🙂

God’s Plan

God uses us in ways we don’t expect.  I’m sure I’ve impacted people’s lives and never even known it.  The week, God used Facebook to reach me.  I love Facebook….I know I’ve said it before, but there it is again.  I love that you can be “friends” with so many different people that you wouldn’t normally interact with on a day to day basis.

Robbie was one of my husband’s employees.  I met him several times…he was a great kid.  When he graduated from high school two years ago, he moved to Hawaii for college.  We are Facebook friends.

The other day he posted on his page this status:

Ya knw wht?! I’m really Grateful when the things I Hope for don’t end up happening. That Just means God has something better planned for me. Come on Jer 29:11

It was what I know, but needed to hear again.  You know, sometimes someone says something just the right way at just the right time to reach you, had it been someone else, worded slightly differently or a multitude of other things, I might not have really heard it.  But this was my time to hear it.

I’ve been feeling rather down lately.  I haven’t much talked about it here (except to say I’m down), and I’m not really going to now, but this post along with the verse (oh, and don’t forget God in all this) has really put me at peace.  I’m okay.  And I’m going to continue to be okay, in fact, God has mighty good plans for me, I’ve just got to keep the right focus.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

Before Isaac

Before Isaac we didn’t go out much, but we had friends over almost every weekend to play games and hang out.  One friend, in particular, we used to see a lot of and now, not so much.

Okay, we won’t blame it on Isaac.  In reality, we had Isaac, Zach and I were both in school and then just Zach and most of our free time was devoted to Zach’s schoolwork.  Russ, the above mentioned friend, graduated from school, became a full-time nurse and got a girlfriend, who happens to be a doctor, so it’s not like their schedules meshed with our that well.

But today is different!  Today is the day that life is going back to “before Isaac.”  You see, before Russ would randomly call us and see what we were doing that night and we’d say nothing and that he should come over and he would.  I think sometimes we’d call him, but he is generally awake before us.  And today, we were out driving around and Russ called.  Tonight, we are having some much needed Russ-time.  I’m excited.  I love all my friends, but of the close few Russ is the one we see the least.

Crazy to think that Russ and Zach went to high school together, but I didn’t meet him until two days before our wedding.  And it wasn’t until several years later when he moved back to Colorado from Chicago that I really got to know him.  It seems like he has always been around.  For a long while, Russ and Stacy were our “everything” friends.  We did everything together….birthday, weekends, weddings.  Guess we are just waiting on Russ to get married now and Stacy and Joe to move back to Colorado….but I have a feeling Russ won’t be living in Colorado by then. 😦