Monday, August 25, 2008

Poker and Project Night

As I sit at my breakfast counter I am tickled by the strange mix of activity going on around me. To my left is an impromptu Texas Hold 'Em game played by all adults living here (minus boring old me). And behind me is a huge hole in our wall - two talented men are here replacing dry rot in our floor and in the floor beneath our french doors.

A funny twist of events with this construction project... Jay did not want to begin this project until we had ordered and received replacement doors, since we really did not know the state of things under the floorboards. (He suspected a need to replace the doors and did not want to leave us for days on end without a door.) So you can imagine the dilema we found ourselves in when it was discovered that the door we ordered was nearly 4 inches too large for the existing opening. A half-day project quickly grew, hence the hammering at such a late hour (9PM and still going strong).

Thank you, Christy and Julie, for loaning out your respective husbands. I hope bedtime with the kids went alright at your homes without your men. (I was pleasantly surprised that the activity and energy in this house did not impact the bedtime of my three little guys...I wonder when I get to hit the sack.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Amazing Day at the Beach

We took a day trip to the beach this weekend so that Jolita could put her feet in the Pacific Ocean. I can honestly say that it was the best day we have had at any beach in a very long time. The sun was shining, it was warm, no wind, lots of activity like surfers, beach volleyball, people hanging out all over the place, It was everything that the Oregon Coast is NOT known for - like we were transported for the day to a small slice of California's beaches. So taken-off-guard were we by the wonderful weather conditions that we arrived without towels and Ryan had jeans on. We actually bought swim trunks for him and a couple of towels for all of us to share so that we could really take advantage of the day.
Here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure!
Jolita, Davis, Jackson, and Ryan running in the waves. (I did a lot of sitting and photographing.)
Playing in the waves. Davis was fearless, actually swimming in the waves. Jackson was more tentative (thank goodness!) and stayed below the knee level.

Jolita with our boys. They have fallen in love with her. It will be hard to say goodbye!

Davis, recovering from one of many crashing waves. He did not stop running for the whole 3 hours we were there.

Jackson, posing like a surfer. Very serious business for him.

Weston, loving being covered in sand (big surprise). He did not get a nap this afternoon and was cranky in the car as we arrived but as soon as we let him put his toes in the sand and water he was in heaven. (And then 30 seconds after being placed in his car seat - at 5:30pm!! - he was in dreamland.)
What a marvelous day! Thanks, Jolita, for giving us a reason to go!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Feeling a Bit MIA

I see now that it has only been eight days since my last post, but for some reason it feels longer. And this post does not promise to be particularly thought-provoking or comical. Just a "yes, I'm still breathing but life is unusually busy."

Soccer practice started up the week we returned from vacation. My seven year old is playing in what has turned out to be a very competitive league. The coach is very open about the fact that he coaches this age group because this is the time to "catch the kids for greatness," when they are learning the basics. Needless to say, I am a bit leery of the gotta-be-the-best flavor of conversation. He's a first grader, afterall, and we are just out for a bit of fun. I'll (try to) suspend further judgment until at least mid-way through the season.

The other adventure awaiting us when we returned from vacation was a missionary from Lithuania. She is staying at our home for a total of 3 weeks (less than a week left now - wow that went FAST!!). She has been a complete blessing to the household as she raises support for herself so that she can return to minister to people in her home country. If you think of it, be praying for the ministry in Lithuania. It is a dark country, still recovering from Communism and headed straight for full blown post-modernism. The country is very poor since they joined the European Union, and with the hopelessness that Communism left, the lack of true Christian churches, and the recent war between Russia and Georgia, Jolita (the missionary) has her work cut out for her!). If you have a heart for the Eastern Block countries, or some un-tagged missionary money, leave a comment. Every $20 helps!

We will miss her dearly when she leaves and have relished the time she was here.

I could say more, but a list of tasks awaits. Hope all you faithful readers have enjoyed the first 21 days of August!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yes, It was me

Yes, it was me that you (perhaps) saw, but (more likely) HEARD in Target this morning. To be more precise, it was not ME you heard, but my three screaming children.

Uh-huh. I was that mom with the three kids and the swollen belly ("Come on now, young lady, do you really think you can handle another one?! Get that girl some prophylactics!") in the 14 foot long cart made so that two bigger kids can sit and have foot and leg wars right where my sensitive shins hang out while I walk the aisles. Yes, that same cart that has no place for a one-and-a-half-year-old child except the part of the cart that houses all the precious items to purchase. (Why did I let the kids talk me into getting that dreaded cart this time?)

Yes, it was me you saw chasing after a tiny basketball that the baby kept throwing out of the cart. The fact that it still had its square-ish packaging did not squelch its bouncibility as much as you would think.

And as you walked the diaper or shampoo aisle, you could not avoid the ear-piercing screams that said baby was belting out - all because I just could not chase after that ball one more time. I put it, instead, under the cart on that bottom part meant for over sized or overweight items. So this poor, deprived child could SEE the beloved ball, but could not touch it. And OH MY how that angered him. MY, OH MY!

It is quite possible that, because of the screaming, you did not hear the bickering in which my older two children were engaged. Oh, you missed a good set of arguments, let me assure you. "I want the red seat belt!" "No, you have to have the BLACK one. I have the red one. Get your legs out of MY AREA!" "Mommy! why can't IIIIIII-EEEEEE get soccer shoes?!" "Get your legs off of me! Quit it!!"

So, sorry about that. I did not mean to make such a scene. I actually intended to have fun getting the soccer player of the group new cleats, and a ball for each of the still-too-young ones. My mistake.

Incidentally, the baby lost all interest in the ball once he got home, and middle child - the other ball recipient - had a major melt down later that evening on the way to big brother's practice because - you guessed it - he could not find his new ball that he so desperately wanted to play with during practice.

And on my kitchen counter is the verse I have been thinking on and memorizing: Romans 12:9-10 "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to each other in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." There is a lesson in all this.....somewhere.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cultus 2008

It was a REAL VACATION! Yes, you heard me. In stark contrast to our 4th of July camping trip, I got GREAT sleep camping with my kids (my own bladder issues aside, of course). It was wonderful to watch my kids enjoy the one place on earth that I have memories of enjoying 32 out of 33 years of my life. I could go on and on about so much, but as you will see at the end, I have some laundry to do. Jackson spent 12 out of 13 awake hours pretending he was skiing or surfing. He actually got up on two skis this year (at 4 1/2!! years old). It was just the impetus Davis needed to dig up the courage to ski, too. Nothing like little brother skiing first to get you on the water, too.

Weston. He was a trooper. I did not bring nearly enough swim diapers or dry clothes to keep this guy well-cared for and clean. Not surprisingly, he was in the water and sand at all times. He ate enough sand (on accident) to actually make an impressive showing in his diaper. By the end of the week he was making sure that when he had food in his hands and dropped to the ground in a tantrum (few and far between) or to just have a seat, he dropped to his palms, keeping his fingers sand-free.
I mentioned i did not bring enough swim diapers, right?
Davis. what is to say about this guy? He has really grown up and Cultus was proof for us. For starters, he was a help to us as we loaded and unloaded everything, He took care of himself, and he skiied - really skiied - around the lake.

And now, I must go. Here is what awaits me everytime I walk downstairs. The picture really does not do the mounds justice. I am guessing 10 or 11 loads. But as I told my aunt as we were swapping laundry stories, it is all worth it.

See you next year, Cultus!!