Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

So, I haven't been very consistent with this yet, but that's o.k. I'll keep working at it. This week I am thankful -
1. That I've had 3 of my grandkids here with me since Monday while their parents are on a trip to Arizona. Ryleigh (11), Spencer (8) and Ethan (6) are great reminders to take life a little slower and enjoy the ride a whole lot more.
2. That I was able to find a wonderful, loving home for Rusty. I feel better about that decision as each day passes.
3. That it's sunny today. I never realized how much I love sunny days.
4. That my 12 x 12 printer works and I can use it to get so much more scrapbooking done!!
5. That Chad is playing baseball and I can go watch him. It's one of my favorite things to do.
6. That Jeff is doing the hot dog cart again. He really does love serving food to people - it makes him happy. If it makes him happy - it makes me happy.
7. For Google Maps. Otherwise - I'd never be able to find my way around the State of Oregon.
8. For cell phones and husbands that can help me find my way around the State of Oregon when I get lost and my google map didn't give me the location I needed.
9.That my smaller jeans still fit - that means that in spite of myself, I obviously haven't gained enough weight to move up a size!!
10. That tomorrow is another day as far as food choices go. Yep, I'm struggling right now. This waiting for the house to sell stuff is getting really, really old.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Today our sweet little dog, Rusty went to live with a new family in Albany. Here's the story -

We got Rusty as a baby - all 1 pound of him. Honestly, he was the littlest dog I had ever seen and I loved him from the moment I saw him. That was 4 1/2 years ago. Rusty has been a great dog, but - well, let's just say he's a little needy. He requires a lot of attention and love - something that's been easy to give, but with our impending move to Arizona and all the life changes that will come with that, I worry that he won't get the attention he craves and that will be bad for all of us. I hadn't really been trying to find a home for Rusty. Just when I think I'm going to post him on Craigslist, I chicken out. My heart tugs and I just can't stand the thought of him not being here - even though sometimes frankly he drives me crazy. But my daughter Jeni has been trying to find a home for her dog and this lady seemed like someone that might really be good for Rusty so she sent her my way. I was hesitant at first. I called the lady - Amy - and made a tentative plan and then changed my mind. Amy called me back and asked me to keep her number and if I changed my mind, to call her. She was so nice and understanding of how hard this was for me. I decided to have her just come over and see Rusty. She did and that was it. It just felt right. Rusty went right to her and she held him and was so good with him. I knew it was what I needed to do - for us and for Rusty. Funny thing - I told her that Rusty was crate trained and that he could sleep in his crate and she was a little disappointed. She said she was really hoping that he could sleep with her. Can you say, "Dog Heaven"? Needless to say, I cried when Rusty left with her, but now - 3 hours later, I can honestly say I feel really good about the decision. Rusty will be so happy and so will Amy and so will we. It's all good.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jeni!

About 1999

Kissing Devin!

It is so hard for me to comprehend the fact that my little girl is 28. Yep - she turned 28 today. It seems like yesterday - literally that I was arriving at the hospital in the middle of the night with what I thought might be labor pains. After a long 5 hours (o.k., sorry all you marathon birthers - but for a first time mom 5 hours was plenty long!) there she was in all her pink (actually red) glory! She was 9 lbs. 6 oz. and 21 inches long. Had tons of dark black hair. And the most beautiful eyes I'd ever seen! Those eyes looked right through me and into my heart and that was it - I was completely hooked. And I have been ever since. I love this sweet young woman with all my heart and soul. We've been through a lot together - her and I. I was 20 when she was born and for a lot of women that would be old enough to settle down and be a good mom. I'm afraid I probably should have waited another 12 years. It took me a long time to grow up, but Jeni hung in there with me (like she had a choice, I guess) and I think it's turned out good. Not only is she my daughter - but she is my friend. I love being with her so much. I never get tired of her. She has a list of wonderful traits that could take me all day to talk about, but a couple really stand out for me.
First and foremost she is definately her own person. She knows what she likes, what she wants and she doesn't settle for less. She is very comfortable in her own shoes and knows her value as a human being and as a woman.
She is funny. I mean really, really funny. She says the funniest things at the most perfect times. She makes me laugh probably more than anyone else I know.
She loves her family - Her husband and her kids and her extended family. Jeni is definately a team player when it comes to family duties and activities. She and her family attend almost all of Chad's baseball games. They come to all family dinners. She is so good to show love and support to her (and Dan's) entire family.
She is a hard worker. She comes by this fairly naturally - the women in my family are all hard workers - but it does a mom good to see her daughter work really hard for things she wants. She's teaching this important quality to her children and I'm so glad.
She's got a tender heart. Her brothers (and sometimes her sisters) would probably think I'm crazy to say this about her, but it's true. She covers up that tender heart a lot of the time - but believe me, it's there.
I could definately go on, but I'll stop there and just say that this little girl saved me. I had her at a time in my life when I really needed some grounding and something (or someone) else to think about besides myself. She did it. Thank you Jeni for being my girl - I am so thankful that you are my daughter and I love you so very much.
Happy Birthday - Jeni Lyn.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Tyler - 25 years old
Tyler - 16 years old

I don't know why exactly I'm being prompted to blog about Tyler. In recent years - 10 to be exact - there hasn't been a whole lot of positive things going on in Tyler's life, so consequently that means there's not a lot I - as his mother - want to share with the world. You see, Tyler is my second child, my first son. He was born 11 days late on December 3, 1983. He was such a cute, fat, red baby. He came into the world rather quietly - not crying at all at first, which worried the doctors a little. He had a shock of dark black hair that the nurses loved to put into different hair styles each time they would bring him back to me from the nursery. One time it was a little mohawk, another it was parted straight down the middle like a barber shop quartet singer and once it was parted on the middle and combed over. Yep, he was funny from the getgo. He does have a funny sense of humor and can be very funny. He also has a tender little heart and is quite sensitive. After Jeni, his older sister, figured out that he wasn't going back where he came from, she would always take such good care of him. If he cried, she always tried to make it better - either with her smiles or a bottle or a favorite toy. He required a lot of attention - more than the average bear I think. He would climb on top of tables or get into the top kitchen cabinets all in hopes of getting a rise out of me. I learned early on that the less fuss I made, the better. The more fuss, the more he did things to get a reaction. It was a hard thing for me to learn since I am basically a reactor. As time wore on, the attention thing got bigger and bigger. I don't know if maybe I had of just reacted to things when he was little then he wouldn't have felt the need to keep doing more and more. Maybe he was just wired that way and nothing I could have done differently would have made a difference. As he entered adolescence and then pre-teens he liked his music loud and angry and definately didn't want anyone telling him what to do. (I know, typical teenager) He - like his mother - is a reactor and didn't really stop to ever think about anything he did. He just jumped in with both feet and paid the price later. He ran away from home in a fit of anger at 16 years and 2 months. He's been running ever since. He's come back home twice now in hopes of fixing things that were wrong in his life. I keep hoping - like all mothers do - that he and/or we will find that "magic thing" that makes his life better, that makes him happier. I love this boy/man so much and I want to fix things for him so badly. Partly because it might help him, but partly because it would be good for me to not have to worry about him every minute.

Anyway, he's out in the world trying to figure things out and having a hard time making good, clear choices. I pray for him every single day and hope that one day something will click for him. Because as a mother, my heart breaks to think that he's not living up to his potential.

I love you, Tyler.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Basking in the afterglow...

Me and my mom and dad - I'm about 2 or 3 months old

So yesterday was my 48th birthday. Wow. I have to keep saying that number to myself because it doesn't seem real. I have no idea how I got to be 48. It seems I was just chasing boys on the Orangewood Elementary School playground or just graduated from Washington High School or just gave birth to my first child. My Grandpa Grant used to tell me that I should enjoy the age I am because the time goes by way too fast. He was right, of course. The time does go by way too fast.

I had a great day. I had to get up earlier than I would have liked - 7:30am - but it was worth it. I got to spend the morning with my daughter and her four kids. They bring smiles to my face. Jeni had a dentist appointment and I went along to keep the kids busy while she was in with the dentist. I could have stayed at her house with them, but what fun is that? It was way better to challenge myself and see if I could keep 4 kids quiet in a small office space. Luckily, the office was next to an old pioneer cemetary that is apparently being restored. We had great fun walking through and reading some of the headstones. The kids were amazed that some of those people died in the 1800's!! Then we did a little shopping - Walmart, Costco - all the "good" places! In the afternoon I relaxed with my magazines while Jeff worked in the garage with his brother, Jon. Those two love to "work" in the garage together. To cap off a great day, my kids - Justin and his girlfriend, Kaitlin; Jeni and Dan and the kids; Andrea and Greg and Jeff and Chad and I went to Pizza King and ate dinner and listened to karaoke. It was fun to be together and catch up. We were so tickled when Ryleigh got up and sang! She did 5 songs, one of which was "Happy Birthday to Grandma!" I got all teary! I am amazed at that girl. Not only can she sing, but she has the courage to sing in front of a restaurant full of people! I mentioned this to her on the way out to the car and she replied that if she was going to sing for a living, she better get used to doing it in front of people! Smart thinking.

I love birthdays - not necessarily the getting older part - but the birthday itself is usually great fun and puts a smile on my face the whole day. The day wasn't entirely complete however, until my mom and step-dad called and sang Happy Birthday to me in the evening when he got home from work. They do this for everyone in the family, which is so cool because it's become a tradition. Everyone looks forward to hearing them sing.

I'm grateful for another year. I hope I'm smarter than last year, a little more patient, a little kinder and more understanding. I'm looking forward to lots more years of learning and smiling!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New computer...

So I have a new computer. I know - I'm a lucky girl. I'm married to a computer guy and so therefore I have all the coolest computer stuff, right? Well - sometimes. My kids can attest that it's like being married to a plumber or a painter. Your drains are always clogged and your house always needs painting. When they do it for a living, they don't want to come home and take care of stuff like that. I've been limping my old computer along for a long time. It's served me well. A few months ago, Jeff built me a computer just to house all my digital photos. It's a nice computer - black, really sleek and pretty and FAST! My old computer is putty colored, klunky and SLOWWWWW! The other day I said I sure would like to have just one computer. I'm not savvy enough to function on two computers. Plus, when I blog - all my new photos are on the new computer and the blog is on the old computer. Not too functional. I guess he felt sorry for me or was really happy to be home and wanted to show that happiness by doing nice things for me. So yesterday, he transferred all my data from the old to the new and installed some new cool stuff and VOILA! I'm up and running. Now I just have to get used to the new....
Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

So, a couple of my friends do this Thankful Thursday thing. I think I have even done it once - maybe twice. Each time I read their Thankful list, it makes me think of what it is that I'm thankful for. I have so much in my life that's good that I really should show my gratitude more often. So, with that in mind - here goes -

1. I'm thankful that Jeff will be here with us today for two whole weeks.
2. I'm thankful for my daughter Jeni and her sweet family. They keep me busy, which has been such a blessing with Jeff gone so much.
3. I'm thankful that Tyler seems to have found a job and is in a good place right now.
4. I'm thankful that Chad is playing baseball and is focused on school. For a 16 year old boy - that's fantastic!
5. I'm thankful that realtors are still showing my house on a semi-regular basis. That means that one of these times it will click!
6. I'm thankful that Jeff's sister Lynn lives 1 door away so that when realtors do call and want to show my house in 20 minutes, I can pack my magazine and my dogs and go to her house for a while.
7. I'm thankful for my primary calling. I love the little children and I love the ladies I work with.
8. I'm thankful for my friends that love me no matter what.
9. I'm thankful that I lost .8 this week in weight watchers. Of course, it's probably the .8 I gained the week before - but hey, that's o.k.!
10.I'm thankful that my creativity seems to be alive and well - at least for now - because I'm getting a TON of scrapbooking done!!

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Chad!!

That's a milestone - a major milestone.
I remember when I was sixteen. I thought I was so grown up. I knew everything.
Luckily for us, Chad doesn't think he knows EVERYTHING. ;) He's a great kid. He's 5'11", weighs about 144 lbs. Size 10 1/2 shoe. (He wore a 9 a year ago!) He is so handsome.
Some things I love about Chad are -
He's kind
He's secure in himself
He's calm - most of the time
He thinks about stuff - he's not impulsive
He's sensitve to the feelings of others
He's competitive - but not TOO much
He's respectful
He can talk to kids and adults alike and be comfortable in either situation
He has a GREAT smile
I love this kid so much and I'm so glad he's in our family. So Happy Birthday to my "baby"!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hey - I'm on a roll...

Not much exciting or interesting has been going on the last few days, but "Hey, I'm on a roll" with this whole blogging thing so I thought I'd just post some normal everyday stuff that's going on around here.
Tyler continues to pound the streets of Corvallis in search of employment. Several things are working against him - the economy, small town USA, tons of college kids already have all the jobs and it's winter/rainy season here still so all of the outside jobs are SLOW and won't hire for a few months. However, he has several things in his favor as well - his mother and father love him and believe in him and continue to give him a roof over his head and food to eat so that he doesn't have to worry about that, he's personable (when he wants to be) and he's determined. He knows he'll find a job, he just keeps trying.
Chad starts practicing with the baseball team today. He was loaded down when he left for school this morning. He had his regular school backpack that, I swear, weighs 100 pounds - his small backpack with his baseball clothes in it, and his HUGE baseball bag carrying bats, gloves and catchers gear. He was smiling, though! He's continuing to work with his french teacher and finish up that class.
Jeff is still in Arizona working his little heart out and trying to stay busy. He's hoping to leave to come up here on Thursday. He'll drive, because on Monday when we finally had some money to buy his ticket, air prices had tripled. That's probably good, though because he's back in the hot dog cart business at the end of this month and needs some supplies from here - such as ice chests, tents and such. He loves that hot dog cart stuff! It makes me smile.
Me - I stay busy with the kids and the grandkids and primary. Lucky I have all those things because I'd be going out of my mind about now. I finished up a scrapbook for Andrea so now I only have one more, which is almost done, and then her wedding album and I'm done with 3 of my kids scrapbooks! I've been on a roll (there's that phrase again) lately with scrapbooking. I'm just in a creative flurry so I'm taking advantage and trying to do as much as I can. All in all, life is good and I'm not complaining.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kristi!

So, lucky me! When I married Jeff I gained 3 great kids. The youngest of those three is Kristi and today is her 22nd birthday! Wow. When I married her dad she was 2 1/2. She was a cutie pie. She sucked her finger. Not just any finger - her pointer finger and she sucked it upside down. So funny! She also had a blanket and pig tails and the sweetest little lisp when she talked. She's been a daddy's girl from the time she was little and still is. He loves that so much!
Kristi loves to cook and is a terrific cook. She once thought it would be great fun to own a bakery. She's the quietest of all the kids. She watches everyone and takes everything in. She knows what makes Kristi happy and what Kristi needs. Sometimes she's a little too shy to do something about it right then, but eventually she gets what she wants and needs. She's sensitive and tender and easy going. She loves to just hang out.
I love this girl and I'm glad she's "mine". Happy 22nd, sweetie pie!