Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Taking a break

I'm tired. I'm worn out. I'm depleted. I'm running on empty. I've been sick for the better part of the last month and I'm struggling to find time and energy to do all of life's daily tasks, including one of the most important, which is spending quality, quiet time with God.

So that said, I am taking a blogging break. I don't know when I'll be back. A week? Two weeks? A month? I'm not sure.

I will, occasionally, stop by all of the blogs that I love to read (listed over there on the side), and will comment when I feel moved to do so. Until then I do ask for your prayers. For rest, renewal and restoration for me........which I know can come.


Oh yeah, I know I never reposted my "pray for Oprah" post. I will someday.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Saturday's Spring Break Adventure

We had visitors!
My sister Gina and her kids came to stay and play with us for the weekend. She has five kids, ages 10, 8, 7, 5, and 3!

Our first adventure Saturday was Cooper's first soccer game! It was a lot of fun and very cute watching those four year olds running up and down that field with really no idea what they should be doing!

Our original plan was to head to the Oregon Zoo, but it was turning out to be a pretty rainy day, so we altered our plans and headed to:

We had a great afternoon checking out all of the exhibits and hands on experiments. The big success of the day was when the older boys (Jesse, 10, and Ben and Caleb both 8) led the building of the dinosaur skeleton. All of the pieces were scattered and buried in the sand in a 12'x6' area. There was over 75 pieces and each was numbered.

After much trial and error the boys were able to get the skeleton nearly complete. They were missing two very critical pieces that made it impossible to complete the entire skeleton, but they had fun and worked together well!

We spent about five hours exploring and playing at OMSI and were not even able to get to it all!

After OMSI, we headed out Hwy 26 for a gourmet meal at:

We don't do much drive-thru eating, mostly because I can't stand the mess in the car, so the great novelty for us was ordering right from our car, having it delivered to the car and eating it in the car! The boys also loved seeing a car-hop on rollerskates.

Hello Yummyness on my dashboard!

That is the Sonic Burger with cheese, lettuce, tomatoe, pickles, onions, ketchup and mayonaise. It was good (for a fast food burger). Sonic is famous for it's drink menu.....and there was so much to choose from. It was a tough choice, but all the boys went for the Cherry Slush and I went for the highly reommended Route 44 Cherry Dr. Pepper. 44oz. is a lot of soda!! But it was yummy with all that crunchy, crushed ice! Dave and I also shared an order of onion rings, which neither of us were to fond of. They tasted like they were fried in sugar water.

I will be hitting the treadmill tomorrow afternoon to run off that burger and huge soda!

Sonic was a fun treat, but it was 30 miles from our house, so probably not somewhere we will frequent. I have heard rumor that there is one opening on the other side of our town this summer.......

There was one last bonus Spring Break Adventure for Dave and Ben today. A very good friend of Dave's has season tickets to the Portland Trailblazers and was not able to use today's tickets so he gave them to Dave. He and Ben got to watch the Blazers lose to the San Antonio Spurs. During half time all kids under 16 were invited onto the floor to shoot a free throw and it was LeMarcus Aldridge bobble head night. How fun for Ben!

Heading into Spring Break Benjamin was struggling with a bit of envy because a lot of his classmates and friends were heading out of town for vacations. He was sad that we were not able to go somewhere this Spring Break. I reminded him that we had been blessed with a trip to Disneyland recently, and that we would be able to have a lot of fun together even at home this week. I then decided to work very hard at being intentional with him this week. Each day I went to work in the morning and Dave stayed home with the boys. Most days the boys pitched in to get work done around the house before I got home so that we could spend the afternoon playing. They cleaned their rooms and their bathroom , pulled weeds and vacuumed out the cars. Our adventures were not expensive, in fact most days we spent less than $10 for that days adventure because we had coupons, free passes, or the destination was free. Saturday was our most expensive day with Omsi and Sonic. It was not hard planning adventures as long as we were flexible to work with the weather.

Tonight, when I was tucking Ben in, he told me that it had been a great week. When I asked him what made it a great week, he said "spending a lot of time together."

This week I made it a point to hold Ben's hand while we walked and hug him often, because I know that we are getting closer to the age where that will not be cool anymore.

You know our kids grow up so quickly. I challenge you all to be intentional with your kids. A fun and fancy vacation is great, but just spending time with our kids is all they really want!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday's Spring Break Adventure

True Confession Time:

I have lived in this area for 16 years and have NEVER been inside the "Fort"
(as the locals call it)

I have been to the Fort grounds for the fireworks,
(for my blog reader who are out of town, Vancouver is home to "the biggest fourth of July fireworks show west of the Mississippi")

and other occasions, but never inside the walls of "the fort".

I learned a little local history today:

I had always envisioned that the fort was built as a protection against the Native Americans when this area was settled. However, the "Fort" was actually the settlement camp and Northwest headquarters for the Hudson's Bay Company.
It was a fur trading post.

The HBC flag is still flown over the Fort

The Fort did not have any operating cannons until after the day when a British ship passed by and offered a 7 gun salute and the fur traders were unable to fire back. This embarassed the Fur traders and so they installed a Bastion (below) and cannons, which were only fired for celebratory reasons (such as the Queens birthday!)

None of the buildings or walls are original. The Hudson's Bay company abandoned the Fort when the fur trades declined. The army moved in and burned all the original buildings in the 1860's because they were useless to them. The existing Fort is a replica. The rebuilding began in the 1960's. Archaeologists have found many artifacts on the grounds, including an 8 foot section of the original fort walls.
There is your FREE history lesson for the day.

The Fort was not our original destination. We were headed to the Pearson Air Museum and just happened to drive by the Fort, since it was not raining at the time I decided to stop. I am glad I did. The boys and I had a great time. There was a blacksmith there demonstrating the making of the traps and tools, and in one of the buildings there was a bunch of animal furs hanging to dry and a Park Ranger there to answer questions and allow the boys to feel the pelts. Their favorite thing to see though was the replica cannons and the piles of cannon balls.

I was a little disappointed to learn that my idea of the purpose for the Fort was all wrong, but it was very fun learning about the history of this area and we will be heading back down to the Fort this summer when they are having an "old tyme" baseball game!

We did head over the the Pearson Air Museum after the Fort. We got there just about 45 minutes before closing. It was "First Friday", with an art exhibit of one mans collection of WW I & II plane prints. Because it was "First Friday" the admission was free! The boys were not that excited by the old planes, but there was a couple of hands on activities for them to do. The 45 minutes was a perfect amount of time for us there.

We had another FUN afternoon!

Ben even said, "it's like we are tourists in our own hometown."

Stay Tuned for Saturday's Adventure!

Little Hint: It includes a certain fast food restaurant, that is exactly 30 miles from my house!

Wednesday's & Thursday's Spring Break Adventure

Wedenesday's adventure was:


JJ Jump is an indoor inflatable playground here in town that is a VERY popular place for kids birthday parties. This past winter Benjamin was invited to five parties there, and everytime I would drop him off for another party, Cooper would cry because he did not get to stay.

(out of sympathy for Cooper I have promised him that he can have his fifth birthday party here next November
and he is not letting me forget that)!

So Wednesday we met up with our good friends the Paces and had a bouncy adventure.

Sorry there is no other pictures, it was to dark in there for good pictures.

Thursday's adventure was:

Swimming at the Jim Parsley Center

with DAD!!

(again no pictures because dad doesn't remember to do that and besides they were in the pool)

While my family swam I had TWO whole hours to myself.

"What did I do" you ask?

Of course I went to TARGET all by myself!

Before swimming we had Cooper's second soccer practice (for the team that I am coaching!).

That was an adventure in itself!

This is what Cooper did during the 15 minute car ride from our house to the field:

Note to self: Nap is necessary on Thursdays!

Now it's Friday and raining.

Here is what my children are doing right now:

Do they not know that it is

I guess I better go figure out what today's adventure is going to be and save them from their mind enriching activities!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I, like many others, have been following the blog of Nate Lawrenson at Confessions of a CF Husband. As I type this, his wife Tricia is in surgery for a double lung transplant. If you have not visited their blog, you really should. Theirs is a story of amazing faith and a true testimony to the power of our God. Go check out his blog and pray right now for Tricia, her doctors and transplant team, Nate, baby Gwyneth and especially the lung donors family because they have lost a loved one today.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tuesday's Spring Break Adventure

Beverly Cleary is my favorite children's author.

Recently Ben has started reading her books also.

So today we headed over to Portland to see the sculptures of Ramona:

Henry Huggins:

and his dog Ribsy:

Cooper wasn't much into the sculptures, but he loved the giant slide at the playground:

And he practiced his flying:

Then we headed over to the famed Saint Cupcake:

Yummy cupcakes!

I had the Fat Elvis:

Eryn and Meleea love Saint Cupcake.

My personal opinion is that it is "just a cupcake".

~It was a FUN afternoon~