Sunday, August 17, 2008


I don't know how else to title this blog other than just saying... "Phew!" It has been a continuous whirlwind around here. A couple of weeks ago things were really clicking at home. Despite some little issues, like Josiah playing out the part of Where the Red Fern Grows on our walnut tree, things were going along pretty smoothly. We'd been enjoying swimming lessons at the Y and getting in some fun trips here and there, too.
I told Josiah I needed to measure the size of the damage he made on the tree so
I could keep track of if it got worse or not. He was pretending he was
Billy Coleman and had treed the 'coon up the biggest tree in the forest.
He was determined to chop it down!

Here's Sierra jumping into the pool!

Here's Mia jumping into the pool!

We celebrated Grandpa Davis' birthday, 08/08/08, at Roaring River Park, which was perfect since it was pretty hot that day and we could enjoy the coolness of the creek after dinner.

Then we made the big trip back up to Spokane to collect a good portion of our stuff, visit some friends and family, and share about Mongolia with the kids at Selkirk Chapel's Vacation Bible School. As far as picking up our belongings, regardless of what happens with the camp, I feel I've slept long enough with the mattress on the floor and I was ready for the kids to have their toys back so they had something to occupy themselves besides their deteriorating games of "Wounded Dog" and "Ninja Fighters" both of which ended in fighting or frustration. Some of the things we picked up will be for the baby, some things will help with home schooling, and somethings I just wanted back. Living without many of those things for so long has allowed me to look more critically at what we're keeping and purge some things from our home. That's a good feeling. Opening the boxes has been very fun as we get to enjoy all the things we have again. Already the kids' rooms are starting to look like homey, warm places to live not just white walled sleeping places. It's so exciting, but lest I get ahead of myself, I still have several more boxes to go as well as a cleansing trip to the Goodwill drop off site.

The trip to Spokane was another long trip, though, and it started out with a headache which later became a full blown illness. I'm so thankful we got to meet with some friends and family, and everywhere we went the kids had friends or cousins to hang out with. I sure wish I had been feeling 100% though. You know, when you don't see people very often you want to be at your best. Oh well, you take what you can get. The kids enjoyed playing with Grandpa Nordstrom's baby guinea chicks, jumping on the trampoline, riding the zipline, keeping the burn pile going and even celebrating Sierra's belated 3rd birthday together.

Mia and a little chick.

Sierra rides the zip line (Daddy's idea, not mine!).

Josiah manning the fire.
Birthday party water games with the cousins!

Lunch with the cousins!
As soon as we got back the kids' started getting sick and then the heatwave started. Boy, did I miss the air conditioning of our last house and was kicking myself for not finding and bringing back the air conditioning units we had up in Spokane. The house didn't cool down at night much so everyday we'd start out 2 degrees warmer and end up in the 80s on the inside. It wouldn't have been as bad if everyone was feeling good and we could head out for some cooler activities but as it was we were stuck inside just surviving for the most part.

Andrew had the state match cowboy shoot in the middle of this so he was off having a blast (as he mentioned several times) while I held down things here at home. Boy I can't wait until my girl's weekend in November!!! We did go out and visit he and his brother Tim to encourage them in their shooting and join in a cowboy dinner, fashion show, and raffle. It's so funny to be dressed totally normal yet feel so out of place when everyone else has morphed back to cowboy days. Despite sweating like crazy, Andrew didn't stop smiling the whole weekend and totally crashed when he got back.
Andrew in full cowboy gear in 104 degree weather.

As if this isn't enough I was trying to start school the Monday after the cowboy shoot so I was busily reviewing the curriculum and organizing like crazy to prepare. The school room is still full of tools, scaffolding, boxes, etc. etc. so we'll have to start at the kitchen table, but I suppose that's the least of my worries. I think the hardest part for me right now is that I'm combining two curriculum and trying to figure out how you teach 3 different levels. I decided to give myself another week and that's fine. We'll still start a week ahead of the public schools but we'll only be doing 4 days a week with field trips and extra work time on Fridays.

I'm also in the midst of trying to choose a midwife. Believe it or not, I'm looking to have a home birth this time. This venture started with the lack of insurance coverage and my very few choices of doctors or midwives in the first place but it has ended with a strong conviction that I'd like to labor more naturally and be in the comfort of my own home. I also have the reassurance of the hospital being only 2 minutes away from our house so if anything does go wrong we're really close to emergency help. I've noticed at the hospital that the more babies you have the less helpful they are anyway. Last time I was hardly checked on and we ended up leaving just a few hours after Sierra was born. I felt great and I really just wanted to see the kids and avoid all the germs of the hospital, too. Plus, comfort wise at the hospital, the epidurals I've had just never seem to work right, yet they still charge me the same. Why not have some practical encouragement for working through the pain, have the flexibility to move about and labor however feels right at the time and be in a familiar setting. Secretly I'm also hoping I can use this situation as leverage to get a larger soaking tub in the bathroom. It's a very long shot, "you're dreaming", kind of hope, but still... It sure would help. Anyway, this selection process and the personal education of how it all works and understanding the purpose of it all has been pretty time consuming in and of itself.

So, all that to finally say... I'm sorry I haven't been blogging more. There have been some neat things God's been doing and I long to share them in hopes they will encourage someone. There have also been some fun pictures and stories I'd love to tell you about, but, alas, I've got to wrap up some of these other things first.

I am very much at peace with staying put in Salem for now, obviously I've got enough on my plate just with our "normal" family stuff. Andrew was all set for a change and I think it's harder for him to switch gears back to same ol' same ol'. We still covet your prayers!

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Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff