Friday, July 29, 2011

This Past Week...

Hard to believe that summer is almost over and it is about time to start the school routine again. A few significant things have happened this past week that I want to share so that I can have it in my "journal" for future family members to read.

1. Josh completed his Eagle project! Yipee! That kid about gave me a heart attack waiting until almost the eleventh hour to get it done, but he pulled through. I decided a long time ago that I was not going to be a mom that did the project for him. I wanted him to do it because he wanted to and because he felt it was important. Not because I expected him to do it.

He built a desk for a teacher at the elementary school in our neighborhood who is confined to a wheelchair. He had a LOT of help from fellow troop members and especially Bro Jackson. After we tallied up his hours, we discovered that he had almost 120 hours logged for this project. Wow. Glad he did it :) Now I have a Court of Honor to look forward to...

2. I have been working on a book to give to my in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary and finally completed it. It was a book that had the Family Proclamation in it, word for word, with family pictures that I had gathered, scanned, edited and uploaded along side it. It turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself! Ha! I had a little (BIG) scare just before completion when my computer freaked out on me and shut down and when I finally got it to come back up, the book was gone. Ekkk! Thankfully, Greg came through and found my files and was able to put everything back together again. Whew.

Putting this book together was really a great experience. As I was breaking down the pages with the different parts of the Proclamation I began to find myself thinking about the words all the time. What a marvelous thing that document is. Have you ever really read it? I mean REALLY read it? It applies so much to everything that is happening around us today. It has now become one of my favorite scriptures. I love everything about it. I challenge you to sit and ponder and think about each part of that incredible revelation. It will change you and touch you. Promise.

3. Dayna and Peter are buying another home. Translated, that means I am once again heading to Boise in a couple of weeks to help Dayna with her big move. They will still be in Boise close to my mom, but Peter was needing a shop to put all his 1960 Camero's in so that Dayna could reclaim her home. His car parts were slowly taking over the house. I have teased Dayna that most people who are about to become empty- nesters downsize their homes...not get bigger ones! Ha! It will be fun to visit with her again as I have not really seen too much of her during my last visits to see my mom.

4. My garden has finally taken off! We planted about a month later than usual this year due to our crazy schedules and the even crazier weather. I am still amazed to see all the vegies out there growing. We have been blessed :) I know it sounds a bit silly, but I include my garden in my daily prayers. I know that the scriptures talk about people praying over their crops and fields, so why wouldn't the Lord not bless mine too? And He certainly has...I never dreamed that just a little over a month since planting, we would already be producing yummy vegetables. Tender mercies. I love being able to walk out my back door and pick FRESH food for dinner to feed to my family. No chemicals or anything weird. Just pure, simple food. Exactly how Heavenly Father intended it to be.

That is all I can think of for now. I really need to get back to taking more pictures of things. Hopefully that will happen soon and I will have some to post.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mom & Me Roadtrip - Part 3

I have an obsession. Barns and old buildings. I am not sure what my problem is, but I probably need some kind of help. I love everything about them. Textures, colors, shapes...EVERYTHING. (I want one of these next to my chicken coop someday - ha)

While on our trip, my mom was very patient with me. I would stop the van on a dime if I spotted a barn of some kind. I was snapping pictures left and right. It even got to the point that she could spot them before I did! I have a great collection of photos that I hope to translate into drawing and painting someday. Here are some of my favorites that I thought I would share...

This first picture is of an old farmhouse that was once owned by one of my ancestors. Don't you just love the tree? That is an amazing tree. I had to tromp through quite the field to get this my flip-flops...through blackberry bushes...not the best combiniation:) It was worth it though.

The next barn was on an old back road and we just happened to stumble upon it. We had left the main road to take some pictures of a covered bridge and the road took us on a loop. This was on that loop. Talk about hitting the jack-pot! I love everything about this barn too. Especially the weathered boards on the front of it. It almost looks like it is crying...good stuff. Also...notice the blackberry bushes in the foreground that are growing out of control??? See...they really are weeds out there.

The next picture is of the barn my grandmother used as a child. I really like the simplicity of it. I also like how it is nestled in between all those gorgeous, large, green, green trees.

The last picture down is just of some random barn I ancestral ties. Just a cool barn...

And finally, these building are located just outside of Lime, Oregon. I pass them each time I go to the coast and I have always wanted to stop and take a picture of them. So...this time we did! It was raining and I had semi-trucks flying by me, but this shot was worth it.

Mom & Me Roadtrip - Part 2

This is "Farmer Kirk's" garden. My mom designated that name for him, and it fits :) I love his little (big) garden. I think my favorite thing about it is the greenhouse he made from SCRAPS. That's right, scraps. It even has running water cool is that? I am a bit jealous...

If you look right behind where he is standing you can see a wall of berry bushes. Kirk gave me some starts to take home to plant in my garden. Hopefully in a couple of years I will have some grand raspberry and marionberry bushes like his--SWEET! We actually had to wrap the starts in shredded paper with water to keep them moist during the drive home. Taking them on the plane from Boise to SLC was even trickier, but somehow we managed and security did not take them from us. In the picture below you can see what my bushes will look like someday. So far, 4 of the bushes are thriving and seem to be strong and will pull through. Not too shabby when you consider the difference in the climate. I also asked for some blackberry starts, but he just laughed at me (in Oregon they grow like actually spray them to keep them from taking over fields). Actually, I was serious...I also want blackberry starts. So...maybe next time I am out there, I can get some of those too :)

In the bottom picture if you look really close by the tree, you can see Kirk's chicken coop. I want a chicken coop. Really, I do. Greg thinks I am nuts, but wouldn't it be wonderful to just step outside and grab a fresh, pure and perfect, non-chemical egg? That is my dream...I know, I need bigger dreams :) And...if I was a chicken, I would want to live in Kirk's "farm". Look at all that shade and the tall, tall grass to find all those wonderful bugs to eat. Sounds like poultry heaven to me. I wish we lived closer. I would volunteer to be a farm hand :)

Mom & Me Roadtrip Part 1

In mid-June my mom and I took a road-trip to Oregon. It was great :) We had a lot of fun and I was even able to read two complete books throughout the whole thing! ( I highly recomment the Hunger Games series...addicting stuff). I was talking to my mom the other day and we both agreed that we are ready to go back again. I know I will always remember this trip with her--it was a great memory I will always treasure.

The day we left was actually pretty crazy. I had to leave the house by 6:30 am to catch my flight to Boise to meet my mom. I ended up having a horrible night's sleep and when morning arrived, I only had about 4 hours of sleep. Not good, especially when you realize that I was supposed to fly into Boise, grab my mom and drive her van all the way to St Helens (typically about 9-10 hours of driving). I also woke up not feeling too well. Really not good. I was pretty concerned. I asked Greg to please give me a blessing that somehow I would be able to make it through the day and that I would be able to drive safely to St Helens, Oregon.

Upon arriving in Boise, I met up with my mom, packed up the rest of the items in her van and took off. We were both excited to finally be on the open road and heading for the coast!

About 1 hour outside of Boise, I suddenly realized that my cell phone was not with me. I am still amazed that I even realized it at this point. We stopped the van and searched everywhere. Nothing. I said a quick prayer to myself that somehow I could remember what I did with it and I instantly could see it in the small bag I carried on to the plane. I had left it at my mom's thinking I did not need anything in it and it would just be extra baggage to tote around. So...that meant that we would have to drive all the way back to Boise and instantly loose 2 hours of driving time. Not good when you considered how much sleep I was surviving on.

You also need to realize that my mom has many health limitations and we were originally concerned about her sitting in the van for such a long period of time because of her hip problems. When we realized that we had to turn back, it was rather heart-breaking. I began to wonder if we would even make it over the Blue Mountains that first day.

After returning to Boise and getting the phone, we were both laughing about the situation. Isn't laughter wonderful? When everything seems awful, sometimes laughing is all you can do. We even joked about mom's neighbor seeing us and what would he think of us returning so soon. We had decided that we were going to tell him that we needed to go to the bathroom! Ha! Fortunately, we did not see him and we were on our way again.

I KNOW that angels were with both of us that day. I did not have ANY feelings of fatigue AT ALL during the entire drive there and my mom only had to stop twice to get out and walk. It was truly a miracle. I actually did not even so much as yawn until I dropped into bed at the hotel around 10:30 pm. How grateful I am for a Father in Heaven who loved us both enough to watch over us and strenghen us so that we could make this trip. It really is humbling when you stop and think about it.

The pictures below were all taken on the day we went to Skamokawa, Washington with my brother, Kirk and his family. It was another great day. Our original intent was to comb the cemetaries searching for ancestors. My mom knew where many were buried, but Kirk and I had no idea and we wanted to know in the event that she was to pass away. We also drove around the valley stopping at various family landmarks and getting an "Ancestral Tour" by my mom. I loved every minute of it. It is great to know where you come from. We spent a lot of time in a cemetary in the middle valley. We even had lunch there! Some people may call it crazy, but we called it a family reunion :)

Funny story: While eating lunch at the cemetary, one of Kirk's kids spilled soda on top of one of the graves. I can't remember who, but one of them said "You just spilled pop all over great-great grandpa!" I told them that he was probably thinking "AHHHH....I have been waiting 75 years for a good drink of pop--thanks!"

While driving around near my great-uncle Clyde's home, I spotted some fox-glove flowers. I remember as a child my grandpa showing me how to "pop" them. I suddenly stopped the van and my mom and I jumped out and picked some to show the kids how to pop them too. Kirk was following behind in his van and I am sure he thought "there goes crazy Aunt Dawna again..." It took a couple of tries for the kids to figure out the method of "popping" them, but they eventually got it. One of the pictures below is of Evan with the fox-glove flowers that we left on Grandpa's grave.

Anther picture is of my niece, Lauren toting around the large family history book my mom brought. She looks so cute! favorite picture of all is of my mom coming out the portable outhouse in the cemetary. I told her that I would use this for her obituary photo someday ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I Have Been Doing

I look at my blog and feel guilt. I have been so busy with other things that I just have not had time to sit and blog. Hopefully after this weekend that will change.

I have been making a book for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary that is coming up at the end of this month. I did not think it would take me so long to get it done, but it has been consuming my time. I had a friend show me a book she made for her children all about the Family Proclamation. I loved it! So...that is what I am making for my in-laws. I have spent hours gathering pictures from Greg's side of the family and then scanning them and editing them and putting them together in this nifty little (big) book. I hope it turns out exactly like I can see it in my mind AND I hope they like it.

So...I am off again to work on the book. I will try to make contact again some time next week :)