Thursday, May 31, 2007

Almost Perfect

I love traditions. Camping on Memorial Day weekend with many of our friends is a family tradition that the kids look forward to all year long. This year's trip was almost perfect!
We went to Camp Zarahemla this year, an amazingly beautiful place. I loved this view of the lake! Aside from one chilly day and a very few sprinkles, the weather was great! We enjoyed sunny blue skies and when compared to the downpours we endured last year, I'd consider it perfect!
Our cabin was perfect with its beds and electricity (we don't normally camp with such luxuries) except when Natalie locked herself inside. She had locked the door but couldn't figure out how to unlock it. The key, of course, was inside with her. We tried talking to her but she eventually came so upset and could not be calmed. After exhausting all options we were considering breaking a window to get her out. I offered many silent prayers through my tears and after one spoken prayer (thanks Camille!), Jon was able to force the locked window open and while the lock looked stretched beyond its limit, nothing was damaged.
The lake was perfectly fun with the canoes and rowboat except when footballs and baseballs rolled down the steep hill and into the water. The water is much too cold for swimming but Jon forced himself in for the sake of a ball. Since he was already wet and freezing, he decided to try out the rope swing. I worried about broken legs and arms but he survived and we all enjoyed the show!

The kids love to play and spend time with their friends. With over 20 other kids to choose from, there is always an available playmate, or two.

Our talent show was a lot of fun! We even had an amphitheater with microphones! Jon and I sang a little ditty about our traditional camping trip set to the tune of "Rise and Shout." Caleb belted out "Ring of Fire" and Alyssa treated us to a little gymnastics show. So many fun acts provided lots of good belly laughs. It was perfect except that none of my pictures turned out. I would have had so many good, embarrassing photos of our friends--Bummer!

The food? It was just simply perfect! I love cooking outdoors and everything always tastes better when we're camping. We had a dutch oven potluck with all the other families for one of our dinners. Everyone contributed something and we had quite the spread. I made my Mac and Cheese--so yummy!

This is a classic picture. Zeke is looking at me in disgust while I read from my dutch oven cookbook, trying to defend my theory that there actually is a science to this method of cooking. I openly admit that the food turned out fabulously, but I still don't plan to give up my precise coal-counting ways. :)

Another year and many more memories. We had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sugar and Spice

I love having two little girls. One is a little heavier on the spice (not naming any names) but they both add a lot of sweetness to our lives! Though they are over four years apart in age, they are great friends. They love to wear matching clothes and think sharing a room is a great treat. I'm sure those feelings won't last forever so we'll just enjoy them while they last.

We recently bought the girls new bunk beds. Natalie has loved her big girl bed and has only fallen out once. :) As you can see, we chose not to stack them at this point. I'm afraid Natalie would do more climbing than sleeping! Isn't this the cutest room?

I just couldn't get enough of Natalie "cooking" in her high heels! She certainly didn't learn that from her mother! She's such an entertaining little girl, always making us laugh.

Thank heaven for little girls! But, let me just add that we are also quite fond of our snips and snails variety!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Can't Win For Trying

We've been battling this problem for quite some time. We've followed the doctor's orders but we can't seem to win. Does this look familiar?

Caleb went to see the GI for a follow-up visit about three weeks ago. We'd completed the two doses of TriLyte (I wrote about the first one here) and were hopeful that his x-rays would show all pathways clear! Although his insides looked better, he was still not sufficiently cleaned out. So what do we do now? Repeat the process. Two more doses. Except this time, instead of consuming the medicine once every hour, Caleb needed to drink it every thirty minutes. And nothing to eat until the medicine is completed. Taking 8 oz. every thirty minutes means it takes 8 hours to finish the jug.

Caleb took the news like a champ! He did not complain and simply said, "Mom, do you think in 2008 I won't have to take this medicine anymore?"

"That's what we're shooting for, Buddy. We gotta try this another time and hopefully you'll never have to drink it again."

Caleb took the first jug last weekend and because the second of the two needs to follow one week later, today was the day for what we'd hoped was the last gallon!

At 7:00 this morning I told Caleb that we needed to get started on his medicine. His reaction was quite shocking as he enthusiastically replied, "Oh good, because I feel like I'm going to throw up. My tummy feels sick like it always does so I need that medicine right away." The symptoms are all too familiar to him as he's struggled with numerous debilitating episodes which cause him fatigue and extreme nausea. How can the pipes be that backed up when we're using extra strength Drano?

Four cups went down smoothly as I hurried to get the kids and myself ready for church. I bottled up four more doses to take with us. We were rushed but I managed to get the medicine to the church kitchen and slide into Sacrament meeting just as it was starting.

Exactly one half-hour later Caleb and I quietly slipped out for him to drink the syrupy, salty drug. He got half of the cup down when he suddenly covered his mouth and gasped, "Oh no!" The poor boy tried to make it to the nearby garbage can but poor Mommy was left with a mess in the church kitchen. And just as my luck would have it, the paper towel dispenser was empty. I ran back and forth from the bathroom getting paper towels while Caleb hovered over the can. He pulled himself together and even managed to get the rest of the medicine down but he was a bit of a mess. I went back into Sacrament Meeting and explained what had happened to Jon. We decided that I would take him home and Jon would keep the girls at church. Once again, Caleb and I stood to leave. He made it to the bushes outside before getting sick again and then held his cup to his mouth the whole way home.

What do we do now? He can't keep the medicine down but is not going to feel better until he gets cleaned out, and I think this medicine is that best way to do that. We decided that he should take a rest and then we'd try again after awhile.

We'll just keep trying. This can't go on forever, can it?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

All In A Day's Work

How does a busy High Councilor balance his work, church and home responsibilities? Well, he mows the lawn in his dress socks but other than that he does just fine! He managed to change out of his suit but why bother dirtying another pair of socks?

Monday, May 14, 2007

If the Song Fits, Sing It

The bluest skies you've ever seen in Seattle
And the hills the greenest green in Seattle

I can't get these lyrics out of my head. They come from the song, "Seattle" by 70's teen idol, Bobby Sherman. We're known for cloudy skies and rain but we've also got some pretty amazing blue skies juxtaposed with the most beautiful, lush green! I think we live in one of the most beautiful places, I love it here! Here are some pictures of our fun in sun.

The perfect weather for a baseball game!

Caleb practicing his pop flies with Dad.

Cooling off with the sprinkler!

There was no school today so we spent the afternoon soaking up the sun at our neighborhood park. Unfortunately, I'm really bad about remembering sunscreen so we all got a little burned.

Just check out that view of Mt. Rainier!

With tomorrow's forecast calling for temperatures in the 80's, looks like I'll keep singing our song!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day. On most LDS missions, missionaries are allowed to call home twice a year. Once is Christmas, the other is Mother's Day. I don't remember if I was in an area with a phone for both of the Mother's days while on my mission, but I do remember calling once on a Christmas day. So, I don't think this is the first time I haven't been able to pick up the phone and call my Mom whenever I want on Mother's day to tell her how much she means to me and how much she has shaped my life. Mom, I love you.

I tried to make Mothers day somewhat special for Tara. Now I am not the best planner or organizer but I thought I would try and let her relax on her day while I attemted to make something that would resemble a Sunday dinner. I don't know how successful I was but I think we all got full.

I put an M in the potatoes special for Mom's day. I know, nice touch huh...

Caleb and Alyssa made gifts at school and presented them to Mom.

Natalie didn't want to get in the pictures initially but finally cuddled up in Mom's lap.

Alyssa took this photo. I am known for giving electronic "gadget" gifts. Since I knew I wouldn't get away with giving her the new Nintendo Wii, I opted for an Ipod shuffle.

Here's a close-up of the gifts the kids made at school. Alyssa's came with a note that said, "Thank you for giving me the building blocks of learning." Caleb made a peppermint foot soak.

Happy Mother's day!