Thursday, November 26, 2009

Family and the Coast

On this Thanksgiving day, I am most thankful for my family. I am grateful for the time we get to spend together. In case you did not know, the Oregon coast is one of our favorite places to visit together. It is beautiful and relaxing. There are great towns like Manzanita, Seaside and Astoria. Each are very important to us. While we were over at the coast, we got to spend some time enjoying Seaside.
Seaside is the home of our favorite Arcade...Funland. We stop there any chance we can get (this tradition goes way back before we had kids...back to Erik's childhood...I think Tennant's have been going there before Erik too).Dan was kind enough to get us all a place right on the shores in Seaside...and yes there was a pool! It might be November, but we cannot pass a chance to go swimming..even outdoors! On our drive back to Ridgefield, we stopped at the Custard King. Every year we pass it on our way to Manzanita and every year Glenda points it out. She would explain that she loved going to the Custard King growing up. She loved taking Erik as a child. She loved the lemon custard. They stopped selling custard, but we did get to enjoy a Tillamook ice-cream cone in memory of our grandmother.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saying good-bye

As I was looking at quotes and ideas that Glenda loved, I found this quote from herself. "I just love to give to others-of my time, my friendship and gifts with no expectation of any return of the same. It makes my heart feel good." She believed and lived these words.
We had Glenda's funeral and the burial this past weekend. I was amazed by the amount of people who filled the chapel. Each person's life was quietly touched by Glenda.
The service was filled with beautiful music which she loved. There was an arrangement of "Oh, My Father," "Amazing Grace," "The Lord is My Shepherd," and "Hallelujah." Afterwords, there was a lunch put together by the RS sisters. It was very kind of them to put together.
The lunch was a good time to be with close friends and family.
The burial was in Warrenton, Oregon. This cemetery is the perfect spot for Glenda. It is along the Oregon coast where she grew up.
Her grave is near her parents' graves. We had a small ceremony with more music including the version of the Taps that she had emailed out to everyone the day before she died.
Saying good-bye is never easy to do.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Missing Glenda

Monday night Glenda passed away. She was a generous loving person. Her quiet touch on our lives is impossible to describe. My mind keeps flashing memories of Glenda.
From the beginning, Glenda has welcomed me into the family. When Erik and I were first married, we were headed from MN to Utah. When we got to Utah, she had us go to her friend's house for a surprise. We went and found that she had filled their basement with a pile of groceries and other things that she thought we would need as we were setting up our first home. Life was filled with those surprises from Glenda.
I love this picture of Glenda and baby Emily. Glenda is doing what she loved best. Holding one of her grandbabies. Family was so important to Glenda. Especially her grandchildren. Unfortunately we have always lived far from our Grandma Glenda. She was able to bridge that distance though. She constantly sent them postcards and packages in the mail to let the kids know she was thinking of her Minnesota grandkids. They sincerely felt her love.It has been wonderful being loved by Glenda and being part of her life. We are missing her terribly.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Leaves from the lower part of our back yard. Bagged by yours truly (49 bags to be exact).
The trees are worth it, right?I'd say yes

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bike gang

There is new bike gang in our neighborhood.They are on the streets on a daily basis. Their trips are getting longer and longer. They are on our streets because of this guy. He seems to be the cause of all the biking these days.Ryan got a new bike from Grandma Ginger and Grandpa Bill. They have helped Ry relearn how to bike and improve his confidence and skills. They have spent so much time with him. Ryan is really a lucky guy. Now they are having a great time together roaming the streets.As long as the weather continues to be amazing...this will be a frequent sight. I think I need get myself a bike and join the gang.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Art Adventure

When I was in elementary school, there was an art program that brought works of art into the classroom for kids to see. It was a parent volunteer thing. I can remember the mom..Virginia Sweeny's mom to exact that would do it each year. I can remember thinking that I wanted to do that for my kids. Fast forward a bunch of years. I am innocently going to open house. Andrew's teacher asks if I would be interested in being the "Art Adventure" parent for their class. I went to a training at the Institute of Arts. We were introduced to eight different works of art. Our focus is Artists' Inspirations. I really enjoyed talking and learning about the art. It was so fun to look for what we thought the inspired the artists.

Today, I got to go to three Kindergarten classes. I chose these two art pieces to talk about (I get to go back in about a week and discuss other artworks):A Fishing Party Off Long Island. By Junius Brutus Steams
This painting lends itself well to talking about art portraying hobbies and other interests.
Baboon and Young by Picasso
We talked about the fact that Picasso loved playing with his kids..thus the car head etc.
Also we talked about using things around the house as materials for our art (assemblage). This conversation lead straight into our class art-project.

To make this art adventure experience more hands on for the kids, we made classroom sculptures. I told the kids that I loved making new friends. I told them that I wanted help making an art project about friends. I brought in a bunch of stuff from home (Picasso style) to create a "Playground Playmate."
I just put the X structure out and can and let them roll with it. I also put out cotton balls, silk flowers, Popsicle sticks, feathers, puff balls, tubes, Styrofoam peanuts, Christmas bows, shredded paper and necklaces.
This is what Andrew's class made. Everyone had a chance to add something to the sculpture. You know what is funny..when I envisioned this project I thought the can would be on its side for a round face. I was just the gluer..not the creator though. I like it better their way.
The second class came up with this fun friend. I love the yellow pants and flower hands. This one even has bows on its shoes. They were all really engaged in the project. It was hilarious to see these minds create. I took the above picture after the project was made. The teacher was trying to get them back in their chairs. They kept wanting to add more things though. Good sign.
This was the last playground pal. The class named him Spy Guy because they gave him a telescope to spy on people. Notice the cute bow tie.

I really liked working in the Kindergarten classes. It makes me super excited to get back to school to get my early education degree. Next week is the fifth graders...Heaven Help Me!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's all about pumpkins

We had another recipe night tonight. Let me tell you something about these ladies...give them a theme and it is AMAZING what they come up with to eat. Oh boy, did we feast. Our theme for the night was pumpkin. Anything Pumpkin. There were breads, cookies, cakes, desserts muffins, pies, bars
and not just one..but THREE different yummy soups.
These girlies can cook! I loved getting to try things that I have never had before. I loved hearing that these things really aren't that hard to make. I am now ready to spring the new pumpkin recipes on my fam!

I have to point out another great part of this night. This might be my favorite part of the night...that's saying a lot because I like me some food...
I love spending time with these guys!
I love talking to them. I love laughing with them. They are so much fun to be around.
I also enjoy a night out and the chance to not come home until after the kiddos are in bed..thank you Erik : )
Super fun Loni...thanks for hosting the night!
Here's what I brought. (It is pictured above next to the bowl of whipping cream in the 9x13 pan)
Pumpkin Dessert
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 29 oz (or 2 15 oz) can packed pumpkin
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Pour mixture into a sprayed 9x13 pyrex pan.
Cut 3/4 c softened butter into a yellow cake mix.
Crumble over top of pumpkin mixture.
Sprinkle 1 c chopped pecans on top.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Best served warm with whipped cream!

Thank you Stacey P. for the incredible pumpkin dessert recipe! It is oh-so-enjoyable!

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's working!

I have exciting news. Well, it is exciting if you live in this house. It is exciting if your name is Erik. Finally after 13 years of marriage, I have established a laundry routine that seems to be working. Laundry has been a problem. We have always lived with huge piles. Dirty piles. Clean piles. Piles Piles Piles. It was never ending! We would have to dive into the clean clothes pile to find clothes to wear. We would have to run to Target because we cannot find clean socks. It was all stressful and took a lot of time.
I now feel it is safe to go public with my laundry goals (this system has worked for 3 weeks). Each person has their own bin..and I wash one bin a day plus their bedding. Towels have their own bin. No more combining all the dirty laundry into one HUGE mountain that will never be conquered. Now we have simple piles. This is probably how all you normal laundry people already do it...but it is revelation to me :) Next step: each person washes and puts away their own bin. Dare I dream?