Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Breaking news!

From the sounds of our newscasts since noon yesterday, you'd think there was an actual crisis in LA. That is, until you look up from your laptop and watch a video clip of perfectly tidy mini-mart shelves looped to play over and over again, peppered with periodic shots of a solitary brick-strewn ally, presumably to document the earthquake's "devastation." I am grateful that it was only strong enough to make me think one of the children had bumped into the back of my beach chair, that it prompted Dan to finally pay for earthquake insurance on our new home, that the news provided a genuine belly-laugh for our family, and that we live in a city where "storm watch" means the sun will be clouded over for at least part of the day, "heat watch" means the temperatures might hit the low 1oo's, and "breaking news" rarely is.

Monday, July 28, 2008

You know your grandparents love you

when they're willing to take you camping - no parents allowed! Between fishing, the waterpark, smores, playground and a lot of dirt, the the three biggest grandchildren all had a blast. Papa and Tilly insist they had fun too, but admitted that the tent is out and a tent-trailer is in for next summer's trip... can't say I blame them!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Not quite Albuquerque, but...

...still pretty fun! This morning we dragged the kids out of bed at 0'dark-thirty to drive to an adjacent county's balloon festival. I'm sure the 3o or so balloons we saw don't compare to THE festival, but we all really enjoyed seeing them up close, talking to the pilots and snapping a few photos before heading home before we are usually even out of our jammies.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer lovin'

One thing I love about summer is the fruit. The fresh bounty available this time of year brings back so many wonderful memories!

Blackberries always make me think of my paternal grandma - a woman of quiet, unending energy, who continued to physically sweep her roof free of pine needles into her early eighties. She walked many miles on even the dreariest of northwest days, and when my sister and I were with her, we walked too. Summer added a special sweetness to those walks since our route was lined with wild blackberry bushes which we collected with gusto, despite the aggressive thorns.

The unusual dragon fruit, though not especially sweet, appeared in most every yard and breakfast table on our summer trip to Vietnam to pick up our sweet Reagan.

Blueberries grew on three huge bushes lining the property of my childhood home. We anxiously anticipated the day that the Seattle sun would finally emerge and ripen the fruit. Only a small portion of the berries ever made it into the bowls my mom provided for collection, but somehow she still managed to create the most delicious of cobblers. Even now, 15 years later (!) my palate is still too spoiled by the memory of fresh blueberries to really enjoy the store-bought variety.

Raspberries also grew in our yard, but were a little sun-starved, so each berry was especially cherished. They were never bountiful enough for baking and I don't think even one ever made it inside for rinsing.

Our strawberries were always enjoyed first by the slugs, so my childhood strawberry memories are associated with the local pick-and-pay. I still wonder how inflated the prices much have been to compensate for all the gems we consumed before the cashier's desk. Strawberries are also associated in my memory with my college cafeteria. It was able to redeem itself for the meat-that-made-me-a-vegetarian through an annual strawberry fest. I can think of almost nothing better than the tables piled high with the red fruit surrounded by vats of chocolate.

As his very favorite food in the world, watermelon will forever be associated with Parker. Perhaps this preference for melon over ice cream, pizza, or any other high-calorie food explains why he's holding steady at just 30 pounds.

Do you have any summer fruit memories? Please share while I go enjoy a bowl of cherries... oh yeah, cherries: the fruit I can only enjoy fresh (nothing cherry-flavored please) and preferably warm. Each summer on our way to our lake vacation in eastern Washington our family would stop at the Haas family fruit stand where we would purchase boxes and boxes of them from the ancient Mrs. Haas who always seemed to have just returned from picking a fresh flat in the orchard. Yum!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Alyssa and Parker went knee-boarding alone for the first time yesterday! Both did great, though Alyssa was quick to assume her spot as "flag girl" after one run and Parker kept asking for "one more turn." Daddy improved his skills too, while this mama spent more time making sore muscles than actually skiing. Little Reagan was a little ill, so she spent the day with Grandma Tilly instead. Perhaps we'll get all three out on the water next trip!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Too few words

Most of my life I’ve longed to be more outgoing. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an introvert (at least by this definition!), but I never seem to have a lot to say. I’m not afraid to share my opinions or talk about myself, but what might take my husband 15 minutes of colorful storytelling I could probably convey in 15 boring seconds. Fine and good if you’re in a hurry or value conciseness, but not great for prolonged conversation… or maintaining a blog. I marvel at those who can write pages and pages on a daily basis, convey in great detail the life of their family, articulately expound upon the latest issues in the adoption community, or challenge me with some spiritual insight. I am a girl of brevity (which is why I often resort to pictures!). I’m drawn to those who can manage so much more. My husband is my extroverted opposite, my friends are generally quite verbose, and even the blogs I visit most frequently are maintained by men and women God has blessed with far more words than I. Though there are corresponding benefits to my personality, and God is faithful to convict me of the related sins I am prone to (read: self-centeredness), I sometimes find myself falling short – even here on this blog - of what I wish I could be.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cute, but why?

Alyssa's kindergarten graduation is old news by now, but since my parents are out of town and missing their grandbabies I thought I'd post a few photos. The ceremony was pretty cute and Alyssa took the job of sign-holder for one of the musical numbers very seriously, but I still don't quite grasp the point of it all. Why is the promotion from pre-school, kindergarten, 6th, and 8th grade a bigger cause for celebration than 1st through 5th or 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th grades? Are children who will end up repeating kindergarten excluded from the pomp and circumstance? Questions I don't think I'll get answered... but we had a great time, clapped and cheered with the best of them and completed the celebration with a Happy Meal lunch!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Three little fishies

Most of our evenings lately have been spent in the pool, and all three kids seem to be sprouting gills! Our usually-cautious Alyssa has become very comfortable even in the deep end, and easily swims to the shallow end and back. Daring little Parker is now swimming across the narrower length and will likely be holding his own against his big sister soon. And Reagan... well it's hard to imagine that she never even saw a bathtub in the first third of her life. It's a little scary how happy she is to be underwater! When not snuggling in her towel she's jumping in the pool and floating around waiting for a rescue, with never a cough or a cry. Tonight she started squating at the edge in the way that only asian-made bodies can, stretching her arms out, and diving in. It's been fun and we're glad that summer is not yet even half over!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Gross photo ahead!

Okay, so Parker really isn't my only child but he seems to be the only one getting press lately. Unfortunately today is no exception - unfortunate because of the photo I feel compelled to share. Parker is one of those children that jumps instead of walks, runs full speed, and has very little natural fear. Yesterday that energy caught up with him as he slipped on his bunk-bed ladder and knocked a tooth loose. Part of his gum is gone and his right front tooth is now protruding down a little farther than it was two days ago. We saw the dentist within 20 minutes but she said it's still possible he could loose it - aagh! I'm not queasy about much, and I have no fear of dental work for myself, but for some reason this whole incident really gets to me. I know God is in charge of teeth, and I know this little thing is not outside of His control, but I still find myself wondering if I could have just pushed it back in a little farther or somehow otherwise prevented it. My pride, I know. Parker is taking it all in stride, but I would feel better if there was a bubble I could seal him into!
(Hi Mom! Sorry this is the first post to greet you on vacation!)