Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This morning began like other mornings... Closing the window at 6:15 when the neighbor's dog started barking, ignoring the weather update on my husband's phone, trash truck idling outside and coffee. Until my husband shared a newspaper story. The sharing is also routine - he often reads me stories which may interest me (probably why I read the newspaper so sporadically). I'm sitting here wondering about the news, doing routine things, but this story startled me to the core.

A bit of background... We moved here from WI. My husband accepted a job offer which was made by our neighbor. They lived next door to us for four years. I remember the day their movers were to arrive was bitter cold and I'd offered his wife and 5 year old daughter refuge in a warm home.

Their oldest and our youngest are the same age. Our friendship grew. Summer meals outside. Soccer sidelines. Winter game nights. When Mike was offered the job we felt we were ready for a move towards our goal of returning to the West Coast.

Their family moved before us. Our friends helped to ease the transition by sharing information on schools and neighborhoods and convincing a soccer coach he really wanted to reserve a spot on his team for Krieger.

We built our new home in the same neighborhood. We tried to continue our
gatherings with our new friends.

After 9-11 the job disappeared. They started a powder coating business. She made sure the boys had part-time work if they wanted.

As things happen life lead us down different roads. We tried to connect periodically. She reached out a lot when they had some difficult times. But her suicide hit us hard. I didn't understand how she could be in so much pain that leaving her children was part of the answer.

We've seen the kids around events and followed their progress. Occasionally I see their now HS senior daughter running in the area and it always raises my heart rate as she looks so much like her momma.

Recently we connected with him. He remarried and shared news on all the kids. Mike and he caught up on plenty.

Today the newspaper article was of a local man who has been missing since Thursday. He dropped 2 of his children off in Southern Oregon and took off in his plane. Radar and cell towers tracked him but search parties are in the process of looking for the plane crash. Weather was bad. The pilot is our friend.

Please pray for them.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memories made, Memorials in mind...

The newlyweds were home for the long weekend. We've only seen them once since Christmas and that was their mini-honeymoon/our weekend at Kalaloch in March. 

First on the list of things to do...  take advantage of the time together and go shopping at the mall in hopes of narrowing down our options for dresses for the family wedding in August.  Don't let the pictures deceive you - we really did take our shopping mission serious...  most of the time.

And despite my angst for shopping I DO love shoes.  And when the shoe store has a HUGE sign stating "CLEARANCE" in the front window what's a girl to do...  well maybe we had just a little extra fun trying on ridiculously inappropriate shoes.  Let's just say I'm thoroughly grateful to God for the height He provided me.
Mrs. Roper's daughter in leopard... 

 A little twin action... 

 Eventually we found dresses to try on.  Some were too Big, some were too Small... 

 But none were Just Right...   (Well not quite.  She did find an adorable dress for herself and I already fell in love with an internet ordered dress which arrived earlier in the week...)  I had the best time shopping.  YES those words did just come from my mouth.  Erin and I laughed & giggled in dressing rooms.  We twirled around like 'toddlers in tiaras'.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend the time with our daughter again. 

Solar lights over the flagstone/firepit area

Saturday night was designated for "Family Dinner" and the inaugeral dedication of the flagstone patio and the deck.  Except no one told Mother Nature.  It rained the end of the week so the deck status was not quite FINISHED and the temperatures were just too cold to sit outside - even WITH the firepit. 

We went through the illusion of an outdoor meal with burgers and brats.  My reward for a day of shopping was TWO buckets of margaritas to share.  Indeed...  'nuf said.

The newlyweds headed for home with the masses today (and arrived safe and sound).  Mike and I took advantage of the clear blue skies and warmer temperatures.  I mowed and weeded while he finished the stairs for the deck.  

Of course we were both very well aware on this Memorial Day, those who have passed to preserve our freedom and way of life. I know in my home town folks were gathering at the cemetery at the end of the parade route.  It's a way of life.  First you thank God and those who served, then you gather with family and friends.

We (the Royal We) are still planning to replace the upright arbor which holds up the grapevines on the end of the original deck area this week, and tomorrow the wood will be sealed (now that the evening temperatures aren't below 50 and sunshine is in the forecast).

Matt and Brit took in an afternoon movie and Tate came to supervise progress here on the homefront. 

After all...  someone has to keep us out of trouble!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Keeping Out of Trouble...

So today the lumber was delivered for resurfacing the deck.
 The boys were both occupied with their own projects today
so Mike and I were fending for ourselves.

 The pile in the driveway is the "BEFORE"...
 Slowly the boards found their way to the back yard while Mike put them in place.

Whew - 56 - 16' boards later and one of the pallets of Redwood are ready for their new home.
Guess I can say I had my 'upper body' workout for the day.

Soon enough I will be able to complete by BEFORE and AFTER blog.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Don't poke the Momma Bear

I've never been known to be overly very sympathetic but I do care deeply (read: throw myself down in front of danger) about my family and friends - with great emphasis right now on my family.  We raised our children to be independent thinkers, stand straight, speak up for what's right and respect others.  I've always been VERY proud of each of them.  They are all amazing adults.

Tonight we went to a high school lacrosse game to support our youngest who is part of the coaching triad with two other men.  We were joined by our new friends, his future in-laws.  All of us from the opponent side of the fence but rooting for the home team.  It seemed natural to show our support.  This wasn't our first time on the sideline. 

As we chatted before the game, I learned the opponent coach had been trash talking our youngest son - and it's been going on awhile.  Our son is an alumni of the coach's team and it apparently caused quite a stir when our son chose to coach with a different program.  Hearing these things felt like someone was poking at Momma Bear.

I think the fact this coach has made no effort to filter his feelings on the matter, and uses his status as a coach and leader to bad-mouth someone who has earned a great deal of respect in the program, is unsatisfactory.  In retrospect, I think it also adds clarity to our son's decision to NOT coach along side this man. 

Shame on you Coach.  Rather than continue with your disparaging remarks in an attempt to beat down a confident man, you could be using this opportunity to 'grow the game'.  Here you have an alumni from your team - the first League Championship team (I'm thankful he had a true leader coaching him at the time), who played on the state-wide program in national tournaments, and continued to play college lacrosse, assisting to add to the growth of the club at that level.  He has maintained close contact with many other players in the Pacific Northwest, players who have roots in this area, left and maybe even returned.

You are dissing a young man who's been active in lacrosse since 8th grade.  He's gained the respect of young upcoming players - even your future players.  He coached a Junior Varsity team to the State Championship.  He has earned the respect of his peers and adults alike. He spent the summer promoting the sport of lacrosse all over the Western States, assisting a professional player. 

You missed your opportunity Coach.  If you truly cared about the young men you are leading on the field every week, you should stop and reevaluate your own behavior.  It's not about you.  You have a very small group of minions who nod their heads in agreement and feign support.  Don't be fooled.

Fair warning Coach.  I will not go all Honey Badger on you...   I'm tired and just don't have the energy to deal with your hurt ego.  In the end - our son's reputation, honestly earned by hard work and dedication to the Valley's lacrosse program, will take him so much further in life than all of your bad mouthing and insecurities. 

Momma Bear

Monday, May 7, 2012

Words to share with my sons - no matter what age you are today...

Borrowed from Werd-Yab blog.  http://www.werdyab.com/2012/04/20-things-mother-should-tell-her-son.html

20 Things a Mother Should Tell Her Son

1. You will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don't take something away from her that you can't give back.

2. Play a sport. It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble. And maybe even throw or catch.

3. Use careful aim when you pee. Somebody's got to clean that up, you know.

4. Save money when you're young because you're going to need it some day.

5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom. Now please go use them.
*I'm proud to say you both do a great job in these departments.

6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.

7. Don't ever be a bully and don't ever start a fight, but if some idiot clocks you, please defend yourself.

8. Your knowledge and education is something that nobody can take away from you.

9. Treat women kindly. Forever is a long time to live alone and it's even longer to live with somebody who hates your guts.

10. Take pride in your appearance.

11. Be strong and tender at the same time.

12. A woman can do everything that you can do. This includes her having a successful career and you changing diapers at 3 A.M. Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.

13. "Yes ma'am" and "yes sir" still go a long way.

14. The reason that they're called "private parts" is because they're "private". Please do not scratch them in public.

15. Peer pressure is a scary thing. Be a good leader and others will follow.

16. Bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.

17. Be patriotic.
*Both your mother and father are Veterans.  One of you is also a Veteran.  Preserve your rights and those of people around you.

18. Potty humor isn't the only thing that's humorous.

19. Please choose your spouse wisely. My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren.
*We have one daughter-in-law and another soon to join our family.  We are so blessed with our first and look forward to welcoming the second.

20. Remember to call your mother because I might be missing you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bon Voyage

My recent companions are now on their way to live with our very special great-grand Ava.