My hubby is always winning something or other from the local radio stations or from vendors or seminars he attends. He's won everything from a digital camera and IPod to countless coffee mugs (or latte mugs as they like to call them) and T-shirts. He's won tickets to some really neat events and to some ho-hum events. He's won books and coffee and even a squeegee! The other day I was cleaning out our bookcase and decided to read one of the books he won (actually he won it twice!). It's called The Exploding Whale: And Other Remarkable Stories from the Evening News. It was written by our local news personality, and it documents many interesting stories he's covered, not the least of which is the infamous exploding whale. If you haven't heard the story (or seen it), you have to check out this site, Infamous Exploding Whale, and watch the video! I've watched it several times, and it makes me laugh every time.
Thursday, October 27
It was a morning of messes, spilled milk (twice), potty training mishaps of the worst kind, etc. I was feeling a little over the edge, and then I checked my email. A friend sent this to me, and though I don't always view or read the internet forwards I get, I'm glad I checked this one out. It made me laugh and renewed my perspective on life...it doesn't always have to be taken so seriously!
Monday, October 24
Ever wonder what it's all about? Why all the little annoyances and frustrations of life? I know there's probably something I can learn from them, but sometimes I just plain wonder, "Lord, what's this about?" I still laugh when I think about a bumper sticker I saw that said, "Maybe the hokey pokey really is what it's all about." While I find that funny, I refuse to believe it's true. I know God has a plan and He can use everything we encounter for our ultimate good. Still, I frequently allow the mundane things in life to get to me, as I did this weekend, instead of letting it roll off my back or even allowing God to grow me. The whole weekend just seemed like it was one of those where nothing went as planned or expected, and, sadly, despite my early attempts to keep a positive perspective, I ended up succumbing to the situation and became cranky.
Friday morning after Ryan's eye appointment and several errands regarding our new house, we finally headed north to Tacoma to see Ed's grandmother. She had an extensive surgery on Thursday, and we wanted to be sure to see her. We spent the night and took the kids to the zoo the next day before heading home. Ryan's early appointment seemed to take forever, partly because they had to dilate his eyes. He fought and screamed like crazy while we tried to get the drops in...ugh. Then we got the news that he will have to have surgery, never good news. After his appointment we went to pick up some flooring samples at the interiors place, but they didn't have any to actually take with me, so it was basically a waste of time to stop there.
Next we went to the appliance place to get our appliances ordered, and while Ed talked to the rep, I took the kids to the bathroom. Once Ryan discovered the toilets had an automatic flusher, he freaked out and refused to go. We've been through this before and thought he was over it, but apparently not. I tried a different approach than the last time, hoping to help him get over his irrational fear (one of many). Let's just say it didn't end nicely...somehow in the struggle I ended up getting my shirt peed all over! Sure, it's funny now (I know YOU are laughing), but I was NOT amused at that point in time. Fortunately I had another shirt in the van since we were packed for an overnight stay. I changed and went to join Ed only to find out that they don't carry the one brand stove we picked out (we were told we could pick out anything and they'd order it). More wasted time and energy (and shirt).
We headed up to Columbia City afterwards to check on the progress of our house. The builder was there and told us they are behind on our house because they haven't installed the gas line yet and it's too cold to texture and paint inside till they get it installed, so it's pretty much at a standstill right now. However, he also gave us the only good news we got that day which is that we can still get our stove someplace else and just have him install it. Whew! We had Gramie watch the kids for a whole evening so we could shop for all the appliances, and I wasn't looking forward to having to find a babysitter to do it again.
Finally we were on the way to Tacoma, and the rest of the trip went along the same lines. I'll spare you the details, but let me just say, it's a good thing I brought extra clothes for Abby. I had to change her three times on Saturday alone! Nothing really bad happened, but there were just small annoyances the whole trip. Ed's Mammaw appears to be recovering well, which is an answer to prayer. I'm over my crankiness and despite getting sick on Sunday, I'm ready for another day, even if it's full of mundane irritations and setbacks. Afterall, I get to be a Mommy to two precious children, wife to a wonderful man, and most importantly, I am a child of God, who loves me even when I'm cranky!
"The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'" Jeremiah 31:3
Sunday, October 23
I had to share this picture that I took at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, this Saturday. They have such beautiful habitats there, and most of them make it really easy to see the animals. There were two tigers in the exhibit, and they were just beautiful. We had been to the Oregon Zoo probably half a dozen times before we ever even saw our tigers! I continue to be amazed by God's creativity, and going to the zoo is a great way to be reminded!
Thursday, October 13
My mom has started coming once a year so my husband and I can take a weekend away by ourselves. This year we went to Seattle. We had a great time, though we were pretty tired when we got home. While we were there, we took a cruise through the Puget Sound and up through the locks into the lakes, we went to the Pacific Science Center, Pike Place Market, and of course the Space Needle.
It was a nice weekend to reconnect with Ed and have some time alone. We missed the kids though, especially when we were at the science center. They would love that place! Seattle is a beautiful part of the country, but we were glad to get back to little ol' Beaverton. I wouldn't trade the Portland area for anything they have to offer, including the Pike Place mini doughnuts (which are far better than Krispy Kreme!).
They have finished siding and sheetrocking the house, and it is beginning to look more like a "real" house now! This week and next they will mud and tape, and I think interior paint comes after that. My mom was visiting this week, and it was fun to take her out to the house and community. It also allowed my hubby and me to go pick out some finishes while she watched the kids. We have just about finished picking out everything. Now if I can just decide on countertops...
Wednesday, October 12
We have been spending more time up in Columbia City lately, so I thought I'd post a couple of pictures. We love the post office! When I mailed a couple packages from there last week, there was absolutely no line and a very friendly postmaster. (I should have pulled our van out of the way before taking the picture, but you get the idea.) I'm not sure what they do at the Community Center, but here is a picture of it. It is located right next door to City Hall.
There is also a school (6th grade only), museum, a senior center, a gas station/convenience store, a sports center, several parks, and a new coffee shop which also houses the library. If you want to do anything else, you have to drive a couple miles to St. Helens or Scappoose, though they aren't exactly booming metropolises either, but of course Portland, Beverton, etc., are only a 30-minute drive away.
Saturday, October 1
I think it's finally sinking in that we have bought a new house! It's seemed like a surreal dream for the last couple weeks, but I guess it's really happening. We went for a visit this afternoon, and it's really exciting to see it coming together. They were working on the siding today, and they are supposed to start drywalling next week sometime, I think. We even met one of our new neighbors today, something that didn't happen in our current neighborhood for weeks (it may have even been months) after we moved in.