Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Riley!

In 1997 we acquired a golden retriever puppy for Krieg. We were friends of the breeders and were able to visit the litter while still living in a whelping box. Krieg wanted the name to start with an 'R'. To this day I'm not sure why but he did have a red ribbon on his neck so maybe that's where it originated.

Names were bounced around. 'Romeo' was popular but I couldn't see us standing at the door calling the dog - Romeo, Romeo where for art thou... Riley joined us in February. His AKC name is Manhattan's Golden Sonrise. Manhattan is the breeder name. Golden - duh. And Sonrise - well Krieg has always been my sonrise - an early riser and a morning person (ugh). We call him Riley, Riles, Riley Roy or Red Riley Roy Rover.

Riley has retrieved a bizillion tennis balls. He's chased after Krieg (and Matt) and a soccer ball. He's followed football passes and sat on the sidelines watching lacrosse. He's run on the beach at the Washington Coast and slept in the tents. He's lived in four different homes with us. Riley made the move cross country with us, enduring endless stops for family fun. We've walked hundreds of miles together and shared a few knowing looks. He's never liked conflict. Much like his Master. When voices were raised or horse play began, Riley would disappear to his crate or a quiet place on the stairs. But he's always been ready to greet us when we come home. Always "talking" and a exuberant wagging tail for a homecoming.

Riley turned 14 years old today. We've have no contact with the breeder family and I know one other of the little passed already. Riley has given us a couple of scares leaving us aware of his mortality. He's given us fourteen years of loyal companionship and unconditional love. It's our turn now to make him as comfortable as possible and let him know we love him too.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Christmas Wish - a day together

Matthew & Britnee

Tate's first run

'Nuf Said...

Our newlyweds Erin & Chris

The Hubster

Engaged Krieg and Karissa

Matthew, Taten and Britnee - such a cute lil'family.

Karissa, Matt, Tate, Krieg and Britnee

Hope your Christmas weekend was family-filled!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

No Cheeseheads

After Christmas we drove Erin and Chris home to Moscow and stayed overnight. We had breakfast with Erin and we headed south for home. Much to our surprise Mike was pulled over on the Lewiston grade. Apparently neither one us accurately knew the speed limit. Trooper Schwenke acquired the registration and Mike's driver license and left us saying he would check Mike's record.

Upon his return the trooper asked Mike if we were Packer fans... (you think?), showed us his Detroit Lions logo wallet and proceeded to tell us that Cheeseheads were now illegal in Idaho!

A trooper with a sense of humor! Thank you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Great-Great

Corinne Lillian Murwin Apfel

This is my Grandma. After I was born, my Mom returned to work and I spent week days with Grandma for three years. The bond didn't end there. Gram's house was where we had holiday feasts. It was where we gathered with aunts, uncles and so many cousins. It was where we had sleepovers upstairs in old iron beds and soft quilts. We dressed up in old clothes kept in a trunk on the back porch. We ate cookies and drank strawberry sodas at the kitchen table. We climbed the crabapple tree and picked raspberries from the garden with Grandpa and sat on the front porch in the rocking chairs where he counted cars. Grandma shared stories of her childhood... gypsies, circus bears and panhandlers. If only I'd thought far enough ahead to write some down as my memory fails me now.

When our daughter was born there was no doubt her name would have a part of Gram's. Despite living away from my hometown, I made sure we had plenty of letters to mail with pictures. Our visits always included time spent with Gram. When we moved back, Great-great, as she was loving called by our children, would 'watch' the kids while I shopped for Gram's groceries when we could no longer take her out. They'd listen to her stories while I cleaned her small apartment. I truly felt like our children came to know Great-great and love her like I always will.

Today would have been Gram's 109th birthday. Happy Birthday Great-great. We love you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our Family is Growing...

This weekend, November 5th, our youngest son Krieger asked his girlfriend Karissa to marry him - and she said YES!

They are planning to marry on August 3rd, 2012 at Holy Apostles Catholic Church in Meridian, ID.

It's official - all of our children have found someone to share their future. We've done good Pa!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Simple Abundance

A gift from my husband last Christmas was the book "Simple Abundance - A daybook of comfort and joy". It has daily readings and are often very inspirational and thought provoking. I'd like to say I wake every morning, accept my first cup of coffee from my husband, don my reading glasses, because yes they are a necessity, and read the intended morning entry. But alas, I'm somewhere in March's readings and most mornings it's an effort to just FIND my glasses.

Recently the subject is excavating. It's talking about digging deep into your soul and finding/learning who you are, and making it a journey. The journey may not be pleasant as excavations are not a glamorous job. It asks to recall memories of moments in our lives and think about our priorities.

Without doubt, family has always been my biggest priority. Growing up family included grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from both sides of our family. It meant special events, weekend get-togethers for card games, picnics, birthdays - and often double the holidays because we'd spend time with both sides. It was mowing for relatives in the summer. Helping Gram with baths when she was unable. It was visiting aunts or uncles 'just because' I was passing in the neighborhood. I didn't know any different.

I left home two weeks after graduation - joined the Navy to see the world. Uncle Bob wrote me religiously. Gram's letters were reassuring. Contact with my cousins lifted my spirits. I spent four years in the San Juaquin Valley of California. It was God's plan for me. I had a great Navy family. And I met my best friend and husband of nearly 3o years.

Our created family has extensions. When we married I was young. I believed we could be one family. It was our priority to teach our children the value of family. I confess I've struggled with my desire to have a united family. I wanted it for my husband. Now I know you can't force something to be when it's not God's plan. I'm stubborn. It took me awhile to accept that which I had no control.

God's priorities for me are a family which included our three beautiful children, their chosen spouses and, for right now, a loving grandson. I'm blessed to have a great friendship with a daughter-in-law who was married to Mike's oldest son (now passed away). We are included in the special events of our (Mike's) oldest grands and now our first great-granddaughter.

We moved away from my home state. At the time it was the best way to provide for our family - which was the priority. Staying when things changed became a family decision. We made it work. Now I find ways to visit my parents and siblings. It means finding the right air fare and sneaking in a day off but always worth the effort. I couldn't imagine my life without making time with them a priority.

I realize my job change this summer also was a priority. I made the decision to accept a position working fewer days, allowing Mike and I to have more time together. It also opens up very special time for our grandson's sleepovers, walks to preschool and visits in the afternoon. Perhaps I should be working - to provide for my future years - but I believe in my heart this is my priority.

Our family has never been limited to bloodlines either. We have many dear friends from our Navy family, who have shared holidays and special events, tears and cheers while apart from our blood family. They certainly are not left out of our priorities now.

As I read my daily entry, I realize our priorities have shifted from newlyweds to parents and now empty-nesters. Admittedly as time slipped by it became more of a necessity to let loose on the reigns of control. Now we are temporarily sharing our not-so-empty nest with our youngest. For the time being, I'll enjoy the brief conversations as he passes through and even try to sneak in an occasional hug.

Priorities. They are what you make of them... and after all these years, my family is still my first priority.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A confession...

My name is Deb and I am a procrastinator - but this week I started my 12-step program.

I checked more things off my "to do" list than I added.

I finished projects. Bird houses will add color next summer when included with the hanging pots of flowers.

I 'winterized' the yard BEFORE winter started. Perennials are cut back. We are in a good place to keep up with the maple trees when the leaves drop this year.

I worked out on my days off AND a even two of my three work days. I'm taking advantage of the beautiful days, testing out my endurance for walking/running intervals; walking to the Y and working the Strive circuit machines as well as Zumba classes.

I am limiting my time on SpaceBook... the way the new format selects what I see and don't see frustrates me anyway.

I am making the most of our time spent with our grandson. His sleepovers are always welcome. Spending time with him after his morning at preschool and hearing his stories when they are fresh on his mind is such priceless quality time.

I am enjoying the change of seasons.

Post-wedding life in our household continues with flair. We are already getting an itch for a road trip - checking our "bucket list" of places we'd like to visit on weekends and working out the details.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Questions from a 4 year old...

I love my new work schedule. It permits me to relax and enjoy Monday night sleepovers. It allows me to be home when our grandson wakes up in the morning and gets ready for preschool. Preschool is close enough to walk back and forth.

This afternoon we walked home from preschool, enjoying the warm sunshine. Tate turned the corner into the park and says "Wait Drahma, I have a question for you." I stopped and looked at his sweet, little face, waiting for his question. "Who is God?" I took a deep breath and thought how that wasn't what I was expecting, but answered "God is someone special who looks out over everyone from heaven. He helps us to be happy, reminds us to be thankful, hugs us when we are sad and keeps us healthy and loved."

He seemed satisfied with the answer for all of 20 seconds. He looked back up at me and said "Who is Jesus?" I said "Jesus is God's son. He was a teacher and taught people about God and love."

Tate then responded, "Oh so Jesus is a teacher like Tio?"

Oh Sheez... Please don't tell Tio his nephew compared him to Jesus!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Glimpse at the Wedding Weekend

Chris and Erin married September 24th on the Washington Coast, surrounded by family and friends.

  Wedding Preparations

Wedding vows on the beach

Reception at the Cabin overlooking the Beach.

Family gathered for the Photo Opportunities.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's official! The wedding was perfect! Our daughter is a Mrs! More to follow.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chris & Erin - Today's the day two become one...

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate,
but through being the right mate. -Barnett R. Brickner

Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the
individual you think you can’t live without. -James C. Dobson

There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or
company than a good marriage. -Martin Luther

A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ come together. It is when
an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences. -Dave Meurer

Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom
when we love the ones we marry. -Tom Mullen

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's never quite what you think...

"At the end of the day faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don't really expect it. Its like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And its not so important happy ever after, just that its happy right now. See once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you, and once in a while people may even take your breath away"Meredith Grey - Grey's Anatomy

Saturday, September 17, 2011

You are who you are...

You don't have to love your family members. Sometimes there are disagreements, animosity, falling out, divorce or remarriages. It doesn't change the fact you are still a member of the family and therefore the family tree.

Threatening legal action to the geneology website, because you discovered the incomplete tree when you 'Googled' yourself, is childish. If you'd looked further you would discover the information on the tree is available through public channels. There is a private tree (family members are invited and participate regularly)which is current.

Why after years do you continue to carry such bitterness. Your actions are mimicked by those who look up to you and have always had a pure heart. How sad. They will miss out on a relationship and opportunities because of examples, instead of keeping your heart open or asking questions. Projecting your negative thoughts onto them... No one ever pushed you away. You've always been welcome and open discussion encouraged.

You are still a part of the family. The way you choose to handle it is up to you. Professing to be Christian is talk. You should truly learn to walk the walk as well. Words are easy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Erin!

Dad, Erin and Mom - just like the "early years"...

Today is our daughter's 28th birthday. It seems like just a short while ago it was her and I hanging out together while Dad went off and did his adventures in the Navy (because you know it's not just a job...)!

In a week our daughter will become a "Mrs." She's so happy and we love her Chris. He's a great addition to our family. Life ever-changing - our family growing! Happy Birthday Sweetheart! We love you with all our heart!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Always and forever...

I will remember the day. We were living in the apartment. We had been here mere months. Our oldest was away at her first year of college. Our home was being built. It was my nephew's birthday.

I drove the boys to school. On the way home I heard something about a plane into a building. Once home I watched the Today Show. I watched in disbelief as the second plane flew into the WTC. I called Mike. They hadn't heard anything and he was stunned.

I spent the day watching reports on TV. It had to be a dream. I checked on our daughter. I called my parents. I spoke with my sister and brother. I wanted to hear the voices of those I loved. Later we stood on the sidelines while our sons practiced soccer - you see our life continued at it's normal pace - but did it really remain normal? We are all forever changed.

God Bless America.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pictures really can say a thousand words... You just have to listen.

We are family. We call one another and chat. We share ideas and thoughts. We vent frustrations, console, hug and laugh with one another. It's always been this way.

Our babies grew up together. I never felt judged and am always welcome in their home. Activity schedules were shared with us and we tried to attend whenever possible. We've been included - accepted for who we are - Mike and Deb - Dad and Deb. I realize today how valuable this relationship is to me.

Thank you for being my friend for the past 29+ years, opening your heart to include me as a part of your life.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Balloon Launch...

Saturday morning we returned to Ann Morrison Park with our grandson,

as promised a year ago.

We had the extra fun of having both his mom and dad join our adventure.

We watched the balloons unroll and fill, and eventually lift to the heavens.

So many colors silent and graceful across the skies.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Making Forward Progress...

Every couple of days I'm reminded our daughter's wedding is looming closer and closer. Her frequent "it's this many days til..." on SpaceBook, the long list of things to do and of course the calendar, are all right there in my face, reminding me. All of it so loud even closing the door to the guest bedroom, aka wedding central, doesn't help. It's just time to do something about it.

I've ordered yet another pair of dresses... after returning dress #2, finding lingerie for dress #1, still feeling like I was wearing someone else's clothes and returning dress #1. My sister and I "shopped" together online looking for suitable dresses for a wedding on a beach, in September; suitable for weather we have absolutely NO idea what's going to happen; suitable for a bride in a long, white dress, groom and groomsmen in dress slacks, dress shirt and ties, bridesmaids in cocktail dresses and Dad's who will be sporting cargo shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. Where does that put the MOB? Thus my problem. I haven't been able to wrap my head around what I should wear. I really want to look nice after all it's my only shot at MOB. And I need to stop asking other people what they think because the differing opinions mess with my half century old brain. Not to mention I need to do something with this HAIR and find shoes too!

We've passed the RSVP NLT date so will give the stragglers another week and call to update our numbers with our DIL Debbie, who is catering the reception food. Our original figures were around 50 - last count we were 72. I've heard thru the grapevine the bride and groom blame part of it on us because we wanted to include more names on the invitation list, yet the guest list is mostly their friends. I'm thrilled they have so many good friends who are willing to make the journey to share in the special day. It just proves to us how dear this couple are to folks they know.

We want to have a couple of additional things to go with the catered food so I made banana and pumpkin loaves. Also made a few dozen muffins for breakfast when everyone is around. Baking is not my strong suit. I discovered while mixing the first loaf I only had one loaf pan. Mike wanted to run a quick errand and I needed to do too, so put the single loaf in the oven to bake while we were gone. Bought a couple more pans while we were out and returned to discover the oven had flashed some warning code, started beeping and turned itself off. We restarted the oven and I started another batch of banana bread for the new pans - realizing I never added sugar to the first batch. We tossed the banana flavored unsweetened loaf into the trash, baked the next two loaves and eventually 3 loaves of pumpkin bread (where I ran out of sugar and was 1 cup of flour short which put me back in the car for a second trip to the store) and raisin bran muffins. I know the problem really isn't my skill level but the working areas in my kitchen - that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Chris' mom has got the Rehearsal dinner planned and menu choices are being taken from the wedding party and family who will be with us already. The menu has a definite Pacific Northwest flare.

For use on the beach during the ceremony, we re-purposed a small table that had no job. Mike primed and is painting it white - perfect for holding the unity vase and sand.

The flower girl had her final fitting. When you are dealing with a growing 3 year old you wait until the end of the month. Erin is sending the dress home (via Krieg) to me for alterations this weekend. We will pick up Chris' ring this week too.

Grandma Denie made a perfect blue garter for the Bride and it arrived this week. It will be her something blue. Something old will be my grandmother's cameo.

I printed out the labels for the wine Mike made earlier this spring. We used favorite pictures from previous visits to Kalaloch. We also started printing the wedding program. Britnee is painting a water color Kalaloch scene which we will scan for the cover. It's truly a family affair.

Our only glitch was discovered last week. We had extended family coming to perform the ceremony. They recently relocated for jobs. They weren't sure they could come but would let us know. We completely understood where they were coming from - the move expenses were adding up. The new job was piling on.

Mike spent two days on the phone calling around to find a justice of the peace. On Thursday a Supreme Court Judge said he was busy that day but recommended another. On Friday the second penciled us onto his calendar. Meanwhile Erin and Chris have a good friend who has known both, since before they were a couple, and is an ordained minister. He was planning to come and was looking for lodging. Erin put a call in to him and on Sunday she got an enthusiastic yes. We believe that God had a plan for Erin and Chris' ceremony from the beginning and we are back making forward progress!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Kalaloch July 2011