Friday, August 29, 2008

Did He Really Say That?

So I'm excited about the choice of Sarah Palin to run with McCain. It was a smart choice. But I am still jaw dropped about what Charlie Gibson said as he was announcing her speech. In addressing that she has five children...the youngest just born in April has Down's Syndrome...and she chose to keep it. Did he seriously say that??? I need to find a copy of what his exact words were because I was busy yelling back at the tv, "Well, duh, she chose to keep it." Chose? How stupid that sounds.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cutest Fad

Grandma recently sent my daughter some super, crazy socks. Have you seen these socks? . (I don't even know how to get to a mall here so I am not up on fashion!)

The company that makes the socks and other clothing items is called Little Missmatched. They are not only adorable but you no longer have to worry about finding the right pair out of the laundry black hole again! Seriously, why didn't I think of this?!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Sidelined. Benched. Any of these would be appropriate for my day.

Last week while running one early morning I felt it. YOW! Sharp pain zipped down my shin upon my second hill. "I can work through this" I assured myself out loud. Wrong. Limping home I thought hmmm, this can't be good. Tears swelled and I brushed them off. Surely the pain would subside.

Wrong again. An hour later we were in the car on our way to go camping. Leg propped up on the dash and ice in place, I waited for the pain reliever to kick in. Somewhere in the back of my head a nagging thought kept coming...I wonder if I should be going hours from home in this condition.

So here we are a week later and I listened to that annoying, uber-intelligent, inner voice and went to the doctor. Her worst fear- a stress fracture.

We are still waiting for test confirmation but in the meantime I am on a TIME OUT for one month. One month leaves me with 3 weeks to train for the Victoria, BC Half Marathon that we spent a fortune on to go to. The race that I was going to be SO prepared for. Runners will understand that when you can't just take off it eats you up- it's an obsession.

Now I realize that I'm sounding like a big fat whiner (to be only fatter after a month off) and I know I'm not terminal so I should graciously accept this gift of sacrifice but the truth is- I'm having a hard time doing so. I'm in pain and limping after my children which is no fun whatsoever.

Okay, I'm done with the soapbox. I'll suck it up. Swallow my selfishness and thank God for the two legs that I have to stand on. (Even if I look like a flamingo).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just Tri It

The big kids did their first triathlon this weekend and they did FABULOUS! Not only that but they had a blast.

75 yard swim, 2 mile bike and half mile run...and they can't wait for the next one.

Zen Camping

Went off without a hitch. Comfortable, easy and oh so beautiful.

Morning on the beach. We woke up to rain on the tent tarp which is actually a very lovely sound- until you remember all of the things hanging outside and on the table that really shouldn't get wet. This picture could be called, "Dad, I'm going to patiently sit right here and you just let me know when you're done with my eggies." OR "Dad, are they almost done??"

The rain cleared leaving the sun to break through the campsite. While walking to the beach I turned around to see this...

This beach is full of logs that we presume have fallen off ships and washed ashore. Some very clever camper has started the trend of fashioning very cool architecture. This house had two rooms completely decked out inside with furniture.

On our way out we obediently stopped where a friend told us too. Now I'm not one for desecration to national parks but I had to admit, this made me chuckle. (Look closely at the sign).

And what a Big Ceder indeed. We spent a little time hiking in Olympic National Park until it was time to hit the road. Back to civilization. Back to the real world. Back to running water and soap. Can't wait till next summer!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who Packed the Marshmallows, Where's My Toothbrush and What's That Sound???

It's chilly, dark and pouring buckets and we're heading out anyway. We're off for the first full-family camping adventure EVER. It's only a two day trip but we're still excited (except for that persistent rain).

With any luck we'll be back with good stories and great photos.

See you soon...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

That Was No Putty Tat

A shrill scream, "MOM! Help!!" followed by thumps and desperate cries rang out yesterday afternoon. I entered the scene just in time to see Belle, the very bad dog, lunging at Alene Bubbles. Who?? Arlene, my daughter's obsession- err, I mean pet bird. Anyway, I frantically leaped on the dog fully expecting a blue tail to be emerging from her mouth. Spared in the nick of time, Bubs was scooped up and carried off by a wailing child.

Now I can't figure out just why my usually passive-afraid-of-a-fly dog was trying to snack on the poor bird. It has thrown me for a loop. Aren't cats supposed to do this?? Surely golden retrievers are friendlier than that...

So about an hour later "we" stopped shaking, crying and lamenting and had our much needed safety discussion. We won't be walking around with a bird on our shoulder when cujo is around anymore. (Audible sighs of relief could be heard now...)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Today's Motto: Quit Yer Judgin'

Yesterday in usual Sunday morning fashion we were late. Late for Mass which if you haven't heard me say it a thousand times...we drive far to go to church. So when you're late and have a long distance to go- it's not a leisurely morning of sipping coffee and reading the gospel ahead of time to be prepared. In a word, it's stressful.

I opted to go to a closer church yesterday. Better to be on time, I thought. Before I even pulled into the parking lot I was irked. I followed a car covered in bumper stickers for a candidate I'm not voting for. "Are you kidding me?" I said out loud. Within seconds I had sized up this woman and was angry with her for even coming to the Catholic church with her very loud, controversial opinions stated on her car. "Okay, easy girl, maybe it's not her car" I thought.

We went into the church and not a one was kneeling in prayer. Distracted, I took a quick scan and saw lots of chomping on gum, chatting like a picnic, very casual outfits, kids up and down to the water fountain, etc. And then I saw her. The old lady in the back wearing her mantilla. Boom, it hit me. Why am I sitting here in judgement? This sweet, reverent lady in the back seemed to not notice all that I did as she was focused and smiling and prayerful. Instantly I asked for forgiveness. And I'll need to do it again and again, I'm sure.

Sometimes these little reminders pop up in the back pew of our lives to help us be what He wants us to be. And as for today, I will really work hard to not roll my eyes at bumper stickers or cast judgment in any way. Today I will be the little, old lady and try love it all.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

And Finally, The Heat

So all summer long I've been waiting for it. The real deal- hot days. We are on day number 3 in the 90's which pleases me to no end. Huh? Is that some sarcasm coming from the girl with no A/C in her house??? Nope. You see I've been afraid that summer (which really just started in July around here) was petering out. I was worried that my kids were missing out on swimming and lazy hot days that get the best of you and sun-lightened hair.

So I am grateful for the past two days at the beach coming home worn out with a stifling kitchen to warm to cook in. I am grateful that we'll hit the lake yet again this afternoon with raft in tow. I am grateful that I'm sticky and sweaty. With fall just around the corner I can now honestly feel like indeed there was a real summer- the season does exist up here in the Pacific Northwest.

Now I'm off to break out the homemade popsicles and run through the sprinkler- and suck it all up before Monday's high of 75 with rain.

Holy Days and Naming Stuff- Sometimes They Don't Go Together

My daughter sewed her baby brother a new bear yesterday with some truck fabric we found. She did the whole thing by herself and even signed a sweet note in back. After she presented him with his new favorite bear this conversation unfolded:

Me: So what should we name this little bear? Oh, I know, since it's the Feast of the Assumption, how about Mary-Bear?? That would be perfect!!

Little Guy: Ummmmmmmm, no, I think I'll call him Tow-Truck Dave.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bright Eyed and Not So Bushy-tailed

It's 9pm and I'm getting sleepy. I read to the kids. We say our prayers. I'm ready to enter a coma-like state. Groggily, I wash up, get jammies on and fall into bed. Ahhh, it feels so good. Tired, sore muscles relax. The sheets are cool and comfy. My body says, "Good day, girl". And mind starts racing. My heart rate accelerates. I look at the clock and see an hour has gone by. Then two. What gives?

All summer long I've been fighting insomnia. My husband (with the high stress job) jokingly reminds me that I'm not the one who should be having this issue. And I agree. I truly don't get it. I have tried it all to remedy the situation; sleepy time tea, Calm's Natural Sleep Aid, reading, praying (lots and lots of praying), deep breathing... I'm at a loss- meaning more than not understanding. I mean I'm at a loss during the day that follows these night. A loss of patience, energy, enthusiasm.

I know that I have a lot on my mind but don't we all? How is it that some can turn it off and I, for example, simply cannot? How do we get our bodies in a natural rhythm so that when we're tired in the evening we can just lay down and sleep? How do we keep that excess junk out? I'm all out of answers and tricks and ready to enroll myself in sleep school. But I'd better have a second cup of coffee first.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Being Still

It happens to other people all the time but rarely to me. I have read countless times on my regular blog lineup how people have prayed and miraculously right in front of them is His answer. Perhaps it's a rarity for me because I'm expecting billboard sized answers. Maybe I've been overlooking the subtle little messages all along.

We went to the cathedral again in the city this Sunday for Mass. Like many moms, Mass can be difficult with little ones in constant motion. I sometimes hold my breath and lack focus while I anticipate which exit we might need to flee from. So in usual fashion, my husband and I played tag team trying to get a feisty two year old to hush and be still. All the emotions that I fight on a daily basis were starting to surface and I bit my tongue hard to stop the tears. Neither of us was really "there" and when it got too difficult, Josh took the little guy out.

Peace and quiet - time for communion. Upon returning to our kneeler I heard it. The choir behind us broke into what I was unknowingly waiting for. My subtle little message:

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side!
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav'nly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past;
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to the Bushes Blackie

Okay, I can handle them on trails but not on my street. I suppose my crack of dawn jaunt I planned on in the morning will also be cancelled. Is there nowhere safe but the treadmill?? We had our close encounter tonight on the way home from soccer. On our road, in front of our car. And darn it, not enough time for a photo before that scardey-bear ran into the bushes.

And yes, even though they're cramping my style, I still think they are adorable and mysteriously wonderful and I'll admit- they lived here first. That being said, my daughter is finally coming down from her hysterics and we might be able to talk her into not moving back to Las Vegas after all.

Why I Will Never, Ever Run This Trail By Myself Again

Click on the photo to view closer.

Josh went for a bike ride up the trail behind our house. On his way back this is what was up ahead. He estimated this teddy to be about 400lbs and said his hand was shaking while taking this photo with his phone. Josh is home in one piece.

My running solo days are numbered.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm Telling the Secret

It's too hard to hold it in. The KIDSTAGE production of the Secret Garden blew my mind last night. (Don't worry, we recorded the opening Olympic ceremonies!)

It's so much fun to go and see a production and then compare it to the book. And what a classic book indeed. Being a musical, the stage production added wonderful adaptation to the story. Perhaps a little too difficult for the young viewer to understand; my daughter and I had fun breaking it all down afterward.

The songs will be no-doubt stuck in my head today (especially with a broken IPOD and a long run scheduled this morning) along with the most beautiful costume array and amazing set design. These kids were phenomenal.

Note to reader: I highly recommend not taking a young boy to a night time production of this your money and your sanity! Wink wink.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer Nights and Who Woulda Thunk It

Last night we shipped out a kid. Not overseas or anything like that- just to the neighbor for a sleepover. We never farm anyone out so it was a big deal for us all- especially for her best buddy in the entire world. We needed to think quick and drum up some fun for our middle man before he slipped into sissy withdrawl and slumber party envy.

Soon enough we had the plan. Josh and I are committed to track night on Wednesday nights with our running group. (You know, now that we're in full training mode, HA!) Track night is when you show up with about 50 other much faster-than-you runners and are given the drill. "Okay, tonight we are going to run as fast as we can until we puke". Slight exaggeration on my behalf but that's what it feels like. Okay, okay- so on with the story. The boys were absolutely perfect playing trucks in the long jump sandpit with some new friends and not once did I hear that terrible shriek "he threw sand in my face". It was all good. (Minus the pukey-feeling part).

Our plan was to go to movie nights at the park. We stopped and got smoothies and kettlecorn. Do we know how to serve up dinner or what?! Treats in hand we found a great spot at the park. What we didn't realize is that they wait until it's really dark to play the giant 50ft. movie. So there was plenty of time for running, checking out the compost and worm display, eating too many free mints, dancing to the music, pooping our pants and much to mom's horror she forgot the wipes, and just hanging out together.

Then it was time. Shhhh went the crowd all cozy in their blankets. The movie began. It's one of my most favorite of all time... And who would've thunk it...the kids loved it, too. They giggled and snuggled. It was so nice.

We'll have tired little folk around here today. Two boys who went to bed at 11pm and a recovering slumber party victim. But that's all okay. It was a perfect summer night.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Last Minute Gal

That's what I am- always jumping in right as the water is draining! Nonetheless, the 2008 Summer Olympics begin in just two days. And not wanting to miss out- I think we will cook up some patriotic, good-sportin' fun. Perhaps a tally chart for medal winners?? If you would like to get in on the last minute festivities, take a look at this great site. And if you have any other suggestions please send them my way!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Got Pockets? Get This!

Are you like me and get overwhelmed with Bible reading? I have attacked my Bible numerous times- starting at the beginning, following along with Mass readings, I've even done the classic flip to a page and "give it a go". I tend to shy away from books that get confusing. I have always gravitated to the poetic nature of Psalms. I have even admittedly found myself wincing through parts of the Old Testament.

If any of this sounds familiar to you and your experience with Bible reading, I have received a gem that can truly help. Well known author, Scott Hahn, has written a new book titled A Pocket Guide to the Bible. This book so cleverly written in how it breaks down all the components of the Bible. It is also super easy to read.

Hahn begins by giving his readers a good historical look of who wrote the Bible and at what belongs in the Bible. There is an interesting piece on when and why certain books were taken out of the some Christian Bibles and why the Catholic church has left them in.

I just love the chapter The Bible and the Church.
God revealed himself to the ages, then, through Scripture and Tradition, and both are safeguarded by the Church. The content of Scripture, the canon, was preserved through Tradition. The correct interpretation of Scripture also depended upon Tradition. St. Paul gave the Church instructions that we still follow today: "stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess 2:15).
We're reminded too of how Scripture is tied to the liturgy. Many non-Catholics may not know that the liturgy in Mass is Biblical based.
"At home, you can read the Bible-and that's wonderful. But when you go to Mass, you live the Bible".

After Hahn quickly goes through the foundation of the Bible, he gets to the part that I needed help with; understanding. He breaks down that the Bible is all kinds of literature and we just need to be aware of the various kinds. For example, there are stories like the book of Jonah with plots and and characters and morals to be learned. There are also historical events and records, poetry, wisdom literature conveying advice and letters or epistles. And although we can better see these separate kinds of literature we are reminded that:
the Bible is still one book. It tells the history of our salvation, which is certainly the most exciting story ever told.

For me the last two chapters are thought of more as Cliff's Notes- they sum it up good and quick. The Books of the Bible chapter narrows down the books with key points. I say quick because they have just a sentence or two of precise information. The last chapter Where to Find contains categories such as Stories of the Patriarchs, Stories of the Conquest and the Judges, Jesus' Life, The Birth of the Church and The Sacraments along with their Bible references. This will come in handy while homeschooling this year because I can easily find readings to coincide with what we're learning.

I know that this fast and easy to read pocket guide will aid in what's most important- my drawing closer to Jesus Christ and if it can help me, I'm confident others will benefit as well.

This review was written as part of The Catholic Company product reviewer program. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on A Pocket Guide to the Bible.

Any Tea Experts?

I need help.

I'm experimenting with the chamomile in the garden and I need some tips. It's just not drying out very well. I've tried two methods that I found online; laying it on waxed paper for a few days and hanging it upside down. Neither tasted good at all when put in the infuser. My plans are to have a good stock dried and ready to go for the long rainy season this winter (and for gifts too but shhh).

If you have any suggestions please send em my way! And then we'll have tea.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Garden's Delight

I have a new favorite. Because we over-zealously planted waaaay too much in the garden, we're eating a lot of veggies these days. No complaints by me (can't say the rest of the fam is on board). So it's brown rice and veggies in the skillet at least once a day. I love summer!

Aren't I lucky? Who is this guy I found in the garden schlepping around my heavy bag?? And speaking of bags- the rice bag from Costco makes a perfectly cute carrier.
Veggie and chamomile arrangement compliments of my daughter.
Just needs a little salt and pepper and a bed of rice. Yum!

A New One

For months my two year old has struggled with sleep issues. Let's make that the two year old and his weary parents and perhaps a sibling or two. He finally goes to bed without screaming in terror which is so much better on us all. But he does wake in the night and need to be redirected from the crib to our bed.

Typically this is how it goes- he wakes crying and yelling for:

A. water
B. the light is off
C. something beloved went missing
or D. all of the above

The next familiar step is the little guy begging to come to mommy and daddy's bed. We cave. In he comes and begins to demand all kinds of stuff. His pillow isn't right. He doesn't have a blankie. He needs more room. And then when he finally does fall asleep he turns into Pelé. Come morning the scene is ugly- one whiny toddler and his matching parents. He redeems himself with a solid nap (in his bed) later in the day and returns to happy boy. Please tell me that we not the only family that does this on a daily basis!

However, last night's 2:30 am encounter went slightly different than scheduled. Last night as I ran to his room in the midst of hysterics he said something new- something he's never said before.

"I want St. Joseph" he sobbed.

Well that makes sense. He's looking for his patron saint. I wonder what he was dreaming/thinking/praying about...