Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Inpatient Rehab (for my camera)

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my dear sweet camera has been misbehaving as of late.  It has been slightly annoying through our white Christmas to not have a dependable camera around, but I have been having a hard time figuring out what is wrong with it.  Is it the battery?  The charger?  The camera?  Well, yesterday it officially pooped the middle of shooting some friends of ours!  Arg!!  I was at least able to get their family shots before it turned off, saying goodbye indefinitely.  I ran it into a very dependable camera shop (Camera West) that fixed a minor problem this summer, proving their honesty by fixing a tiny problem for free.  They were a little baffled by my rebel's (living up to its name, eh?) mood swings, so we will have to wait and see what is wrong with my baby and if it will be worth fixing.  Cross your fingers, guys!  And to all of my family that I was going to take pictures for this weekend...Sorry!  Here are a few of the pictures that I did get to take yesterday.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Personalized Address Stamp

For my sister, Lia, I turned their new house into dot art for an inked address stamp.  I think it might have been a little bit too subtle because a few days after Christmas Lia realized that it was her house on the stamp.  Oops.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Presents in Review

Since I couldn't just go around flashing all of my Christmas presents (even though I really wanted to show everyone what I was up to), I thought I would do a project a day to show you some of the fun we had creating for our family this Christmas.

This is a little piece of Angela's lap quilt that I made her.  We kept it simple with strips of these two fabrics, with the black dots on the back again.  Then I did some free motion quilting swirls up the strips as an accent.  Viola!  A fairly quick quilt (quick as a quilt gets, at least.) for my wonderful sister in law.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our week in pictures

Our Christmas Story play....minus Elise since she insisted on playing 
with playdoh in the other room.  Those rebellious 2 year olds!
Mary, Joseph (the one making the funny face) and baby Jesus

Not exactly sure what Hannah is doing here, but these are her new pj's.  
They all fit pretty well except Lilly's pants, that are now Elise's.

Sweet Lilly Lu in her dress that Komo gave her.  Stinking cute, she is.


This will soon be a fairy house, kind of like this one.  Just don't
say "those 5 words" to Autumn because she loves her fairies.

I am sorry guys, but I just don't have the time or brain power today, so here are some pictures from the Kang Christmas, in all of the glory of my kids, their incooperative spirits and my camera's temper tantrum.  (Behave, camera, behave!  It is either that I need a new battery or that my camera is dying.  I am really hoping it is the battery, but it is appearing that the new battery isn't fixing the problem.  No!!)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

None of your Beeswax! (Candles, that is)

What a wonderful Christmas we had!  The girls all loved their gifts, but more importantly, they loved watching people receive their gifts that they had made.  The rest of the day was spent playing with all of the new toys and just being together.  Elise played "Thomas" all day long.  I don't think she would even require any tracks because she roll plays with them as if they were her dolls. (Ok, she might eventually want some tracks)  Her opening presents was asking one of her sisters to open it, her eyes lighting up at another Thomas toy and adding whatever it was to her game she was playing at the moment.  Hannah and Chloe were serving sandwiches and sushi (Melissa and Doug style) to us throughout the day from their kitchen.  It was really the ideal day.  Staying at home with the family, just enjoying the company.  

Right before dinner, we had the lights go out on us a few times, which sounded like this: Me: "Someone get to Lilly!" Elise: "Turn the lights back on!" Lilly: Wahhhhh!" Rachel: "I got to Lilly right before I stepped on her!"  We quickly scrambled for some beeswax candles that my dad had dipped for us, found the matches and....the lights went back on.  Then they lights went off.  Then the lights went back on.  Then the lights went back off.  We decided that we would eat our Christmas dinner a la candle light.  Then the lights went back on.  Everyone sighed very disappointedly and that was when we decided we would do it anyway.  We turned off all of the lights and enjoyed a very calm, relatively peaceful candlelight dinner.  I think a new tradition has been born, and this one that is way easier to carry on than the making pj's for 3 little girls. (wait!  There were 3 when I started it....6 is so much harder)

By the way, I am so grateful for all of this snow.  I know a lot of those folks out there have hated it.  I realize that it has kept a few families apart this Christmas, but it did a great job of keeping us together.  It has been such a gift to force us to slow down, spend less time running around , spend less money on worthless presents and more time just being together.  I have had numerous deep conversations with the girls about the season that I am not sure I would have had if I had been running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  (Including the not so deep conversation in which Rachel remarked that she likes Christmas because I am nicer during the Christmas season.  Thanks, Rachel.  Note taken.  New Year's resolution added.)

And now, for the challenge of this post.  We've played a little game at the Kang house, somewhat spuratically, that I'd like to challenge you guys to play along with.  It is very easy and requires little to none planning. (That is very important over here)  Whenever we are making a little treat, buying a yummy snack or something along those lines, I will ask all of the kids to guess a number one through ten.  It is always a little out of the blue, but the kids always know what I am getting at.  (I guess if I was a little more creative, we would use something besides guessing a number EVERY time, but in another life....)   Whoever guesses my number chooses a person to receive the surprise and we go sneak it to their doorstep.  It is always a secret, normally a person we don't even know and it always makes for a great little game.  So, as you are finishing up your holidays, or as you are starting the New Year, whenever you have a second to spare (that is all it takes), join in the fun and play our Very Random Acts of Kindness Game.  Your kids are bound to have a blast (and start requesting that you play it more often) and you are bound to feel the lovin'.  Everyone, get your game on.  Ready, set, go!  You can even share your fun in the comments.  Pretty please?

Merry Christmas

Due to crazy weather and the Forest Grove Post Office (which, by the way, I love going to because everyone knows everyone there!) being short on post card stamps, I still have a pile of cards that will be mailed out soon.  Until then, here it is in all of its digitalness.  I hope you all enjoy your family this Christmas as much as we are enjoying ours.  I was thinking today about how great of a Christmas Season it has been so far and my next thought was that it wouldn't have been without all of you.  Each of you has made an impact on us (either large or small) that has made this past year, in all of its trials, a little easier.  Without all of our friends and our family, this Christmas would have been a lot more stressful and sticky ucky.  Thank you to all of you for everything you have done for us.  We appreciate all of the acts of kindness that have come our way during what could have been a very dark time for us and instead was full of blessings.  We have felt every prayer that was offered and feel very blessed to have all of you as our friends.  Thank you!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Stroke scare

Disclaimer: Angela, do NOT pass this on :)  No need to worry the folks, eh?

So.  Last night we had a little "get together" with the paramedics.  They seem like very nice people and we enjoyed chatting and all, but I think we will avoid all future get togethers with their type of people. Before I get into the thick of it, we thought Chris was having a stroke, but it turned out to be a panic attack.  A little scary for Chris (and the whole family!), as his biggest fear right now is...having another stroke.  

They think this could have been from all of that playing in the snow and sledding, which I think makes a lot of sense.  Basically, he was sitting on the couch and all of a sudden he was going tingly and hyperventilating.  Yikes.  Tingly sensation.  Stroke?  Tingly sensation on his face, eye stinging.  Stroke?  Right arm can't move.  Stroke?  Leg twitching.  Stroke?  It turns out that these are also common with panic attacks, but the main difference is that his right side couldn't move because it was stiff and tight (panic attack) and not because it was weak (stroke).  Horrible, horrible experience, but all is well now.  We know now how to identify this, we are having Chris take it easy (no more sledding, honey!) and all of our great neighbors dotingly shoveled our driveway today and brought us a nice, sodium free lunch.   I am hopeful that this won't happen again simply because now we know the early signs and know that when we see those signs, Chris needs to cool it and relax.  Whew.  I am so not ready for him to have another stroke.  And kudos to the Forest Grove FD paramedics that made it up our very steep and snowy hill in about 5 minutes.  Did I tell you that our total count for snow is 26 inches now?  Yep, they did a great job getting here fast through a whole heck of a lot of snow and getting Chris back to normal.  Whew.  Breathe, Sarah.  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thank you, Lilly

I feel so blessed right now.  My sweet little Lilly Lu.  Let me start by saying that I love nursing my babies.  It is wonderful in so many forms, but the thing I don't like is that my babies never let me just rock them to sleep.  If I am holding them when they are tired, they want food.  Tonight, for the 2nd time this week, Lilly has slowly drifted to sleep in my arms without nursing and I must say it is different.  I don't know why (maybe because it is so rare), it was such a sweet moment.  Sitting in the quiet glow of the Christmas tree, with Lilly stroking my face (she loves this), slowly closing her eyes.  This moment was priceless.  I felt time slow and I sucked every bit out of this moment that might never happen again.  Thank you, my oh so sweet Lilly Lu.  As if she isn't the sweetest thing ever when she is up and at 'em (and boy is she-standing by herself, crawling all over the place!), she is 20 times cuter when she is drifting off to dreamland.  Now I am extra jealous of Chris, who has always gotten to experience this with all of the girls and extra sad for him as he can't experience it with Lilly.  I cried right along side him after his stroke as he lamented his not being able to hold his daughters, but I feel it even more right now.  Feeling that extreme joy tonight reminded me just how much it must hurt him to not be able to rock her to sleep.  Lilly, you are such a blessing to us. 

Today, I might have started something bad.  We'll have to see how it plays out.  Elise is always either playing in Thomas land or pretending to be a doggy.  We can get her to do many things that she would not do otherwise if we start playing doggy with her, so today I used it to my advantage a few times.  To get her dressed, I talked about getting the baby doggy dressed in her pants and shirt.  To wash her face, I pretended like I was a mommy doggy, cleaning her baby. (No, I did NOT lick her face)  To get her OUT of the room with the sleeping Lilly (yes, Lilly actually slept today!), I got on my knees and called baby doggy to follow me.  Yes, all well and good.  Except that now Elise expects me to crawl on my hands and knees at times that I don't need any specific behavior to be her mommy doggy.  You see, the joy of having 6 kids is that this is normally something that the big sisters do with her.  They are sort of her play friends that are always at her disposal.    I have now been drawn into that category and, as much fun as it was, she expects me to jump in and join her no matter what task is at hand. (nursing, cooking, etc)  Once again, it was lots of fun, but once I start getting holes in the knees of all of my pants, will it still be fun?  Luckily, Lilly is quite the crawler, so we try to get her to follow Mommy Doggy, too.  If you come to our house and see my crawling through the house, you will know that baby doggy wanted me to come out and play.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snowed in and loving it

I must say that nothing is better than slowing it down a little, having to stay home and just enjoying the family.  I guess I might not feel like this a week from now, but so far, I'm loving it. Chris commented on my foresight in going grocery shopping, to which I replied, "Yep!  We have enough hot cocoa for the week!"  Who needs veggies, right? Things that were o my list: Gloves for Elise and Rachel, Gingerbread House Kits, Sleds, Hot Cocoa....and a few other, more practical items.  We are getting a ton of snow up here in the hills.  I don't think I've ever had so much snow for such an extended period of time before.  Fun, fun, fun.  (until we need to go somewhere, I guess)

I think that one of the best things about homeschooling is that it is flexible.  We aren't limited by this snowy craziness, the kids can hurry through their school so they can go sledding and they aren't driving me crazy being home....because they are always home.  And when I say hurrying through school, I mean it.  Autumn is my schooler that likes to drag her feet a bit, but she has been getting done by 10 am the past few days!  One more reason to love the snow, right?

*Update: 12 inches and counting.  Definitely more snow that we got in Beaverton

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Silly boys! Trains are for girls!

Yeah!  I just finished Elise's Christmas present and unlike all of my other projects that I want to show you, I can actually post this one.  I don't think my sweet Elise will be lurking on my blog (Unlike the rest of my family) to find out what she is getting under the tree.  Elise loves Thomas.  This all started on a trip to Lia's house, hanging out with her cousin, James, who is one train obsessed kid.  Little did I know that she would soon pass him up on the Train Maniac scale.  Thomas is the coolest thing since sliced bread to little Elise and we can pretty much get her to do anything if we tie Thomas into it.  (Or Percy, or Harold....)  The problem comes up when we try to find Thomas gear that it all is very masculine.  I am alright with buying trains galore, but potty training would be a lot easier if I could get my hands on some Thomas panties. After coming across some Thomas material at Goodwill, I decided to embark on making her a cute little messenger bag and matching zippered pouch to tote all of her Thomas gear in.  Oh, and of course to make it a little girlier than the typical Thomas bags.  Here it is!  Now I just need to make 9 more presents.  How many days until Christmas again?  Uh oh....

The bad news today?  Chloe was looking on Pottery Barn Kids today with me and when she saw the kitchen set, she said "We don't need one of those.  We have one out in the garage that Grandma got when she was here!"  Yep, you guessed it.  I had tried to plan ahead on a group item from a very jolly feller.  Now I am in a little bit of a jam.  Yikes.  At least she said something because I would have hated for her to find out (if you know what I mean) quite this early.  The rush to fix this one should be interesting.  And in the mean time, what do I do with this other...item?  We give our girls 2 gifts for Christmas: the predicatable matching pj's and one other small handmade item.  I hate to ruin that by throwing this bigger item out there since I can no longer "help" a certain feller with his delivery.  Hmmmm.  Do you like my code?

On a side note, I think I need to stop blogging so late.  It makes for crazy talk.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baby love and other Kangness

Not my baby, but still just as sweet.  These are from a family that I "shot" today. :)
One week old babies remind me of just how much Lilly has grown up.  Sigh.  It is so sad that it goes by so quickly, no matter how much you try to slow it down.  The little feet.  The cute little sneezes.  Yes, Lilly is so much fun right now with her giggling, clapping and standing up all of the time.  Still, a newborn baby is a different sort of  priceless and, no, I am not going to go do anything crazy!  (that was for Chris and my mom....didn't want to freak them out or anything)

On to other life updates:  Elise has slept in her dog house for almost a week now.  (A blanket over the table in her room)  Why do we buy our children beds?  It has made bed time so much easier.  Instead of lots of crying, I simply ask if doggy wants a "backpack ride" and my two year old doggy hops on, barking all the way, saying something about mommy doggy.  Just a few "woofs" later and she is off to doggy dream land.  It works like a dream! Rachel deserves all the credit for this one as she started it.  What a fabulous big sister, I tell ya!  

We are on tooth fairy watch at our house, too.  Chloe has two wiggly teeth and Hannah has her first wiggly tooth.  I have offered to pull out any teeth in exchange for an extended bed time, which has pretty much only made Hannah want me to pull out her tooth every night right around....bed time.  No, I am not a mean tooth pulling mom normally.  They just have these other teeth coming in that are in slightly nightmarish places and I am hoping that this might save us a few bucks on braces down the road.  I know....keep dreaming, girl.  I have a tooth fairy elf now (who finally figured it all out last year) who keeps me in check so I don't forget to deliver any "packages" when these said teeth do finally fall out.  She reminds me that night and will sneak into my room in the morning (after I forget) and sneak everything to...where it needs to be.  Hey, I don't call her my secretary for nothing!  Us moms don't have quite the memory that we used to and with Rachel being such a young spry, she makes up for the memory that I lost. (it did all start with her!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sister Power

Chris update:  Chris has been back to work for a week and a half now.  He kind of went all out and returned to his normal work week.  I think it has been very theraputic for him to return to work and feel a little more useful. (Although I sure do miss his tutoring help with the girls)  He said that he was able to type at 15 wpm with 100% accuracy yesterday, which I consider huge since a month ago it was 3 wpm with 60% accuracy.  Since he was the fasted typer in town before, he still has a while until he is back to what he considers normal, but I think 500% improvement is pretty darn good.

I had such a sweet sister moment last night with Rachel and Autumn that I just had to share.  Since I grew up with my 3 sisters and plenty of chic bonding, I love seeing the same with my little girls. (Don't get me wrong.  There was plenty of fighting, too!)  Last night I went into Rachel and Autumn's room at 10:30, doing my laundry fairy duties.  They were sleeping in one bed, all cuddly and cute.  As I went to set down their clothes, Rachel jumps up and says "What are you doing snooping around our room?" They both broke out in that uncontrollable silly girly giggling.  :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

I need some serious help!

*this is for my mom, who has been asking me for the last month
 for a picture of Elise's new "doo"

Ok, so Chris might agree that I need some serious help, but this is a different kind of help than he thinks I need. :)  Chris is going to be returning to work next week. He'll be working from home some of the time, but some days will have him eating at work.  Having homeschooled all of our girls from the beginning, I am not much of a lunch packer.  If you add into this all of Chris' dietary restrictions, I am at a major loss.  I would love some help from the audience on this one.   Any lunch packing ideas?  Lunch meat isn't an option. (way to salty)  There can't be a lot of saturated fat in whatever it is and it really needs to be under 300 mg of sodium. (total)  Please help me! 

Today we are taking the girls to an assisted living home to play and sing some Christmas songs.  I figure it will go one of two ways.  I know they will play their piano songs, but when it comes to singing, either it will end up just being the adults singing because of all of the girls are huddling shyly behind me or they will sing proudly and a little bit louder than they should.  (Which is my preferred choice)  I never know when they girls (mainly Hannah and loud and outgoing ones) are going to turn shy on me.  It is somewhat unpredictable and sometimes I wish I had a little shy remote because sometimes I would like for them to be a little bit more shy (and please stop telling everyone our complete family history!) and then there are the times when I wish they would at least say SOMETHING to the person talking to them. (Just a small "hi!"??) Ah, the unpredictability of motherhood!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Crabs and tidepools and cheese, oh my!

Today we took a little day trip over to Tillamook to explore some tidepools, partake of "cream cones" a la Tillamook and of course, pick up some seafood for my starving husband who can't eat most food anymore.  

While Chris was in rehab, my family tried to get out and about with the girls quite a bit.  With us living in a somewhat new and unfamiliar place for them, they sought out what they knew.  This resulted in quite a few trips to...Tillamook.  This was quite evident this morning when I asked Elise if she wanted to go to the beach in hopes of enticing her to get dressed, which she never really wants to do.  I repeated "Do you want to go the beach and see the cows?", to which she quickly responded to by telling me that she wanted cream cones.  I guess Tillamook Cheese Factory made a little bit of an impression on her.  About 10 minutes later, Chris went to the store for a quick compact flash card run (YES, my husband can run errands again!!!) and Elise had a gigantic freak out because she was just positive that Chris was going to go see the cows, the beach and her cream cones without her!

A few hours later (can you tell that we have 6 kids?), we were off.  We made perfect time to enjoy some tidepools (which we've never really done here) near Tillamook Bay.  The girls loved finding purple crabs a plenty, fish, 2 anemones, and many, many shells which were each collected like they were the only shell that my sweet little girls had ever seen.  All of this exploring despite the slight drizzle and cold weather proves that we have become true Oregonians.  That and the fact that we held our own little beach clean up as we left.  :)  Chris maneuvered along the slippery rocks quite well, but he did have an altercation with a rebellious group of barnacles that resulted in way more blood than I personally like to see. (ask my parents about how much that is.  None.  Still not quite as gross as when Autumn got her tongue stuck to her braces the other day.  I was SO grateful that I had Chris at home to take care of that gross moment.)  

Ok.  So here is where I put in writing just how much I love my husband.  I'll preface by saying that he has been extremely diligent with his diet.  He has now lost 20 lbs since his stroke and although he is on a very low dose of cholesterol and blood pressure medication, he has lowered his blood pressure to 120/75 (from 220!!) and his Cholesterol to 139 from 270.  Ok.  Back to how much I love my husband.  I *hate* seafood.  Blah.  Gross.  Yuck.  He loves it.   Slightly allergic to it, but he loves it.  And he can actually eat seafood right now!  So we went to a little shop with very fresh and very cheap crab and oysters.  Dinner for the whole seafood eating portion of our family (everyone minus me) for less than $18.  Here was the catch: First of all, I had to go into this store that stunk to high heaven of this seafood that I hate.  Then, I had to drive in a car that stunk to high heaven of this seafood that I hate.  And last, but not least, my house smells like crab now instead of Christmas trees (which I love) after cracking open all of this seafood for my dear, seafood loving husband who cannot open it when his weak right hand.  Oh....and I haven't gone around complaining either.  I saved it all for my dear blog readers, mainly because I want to turn to this when Chris tries to say that I don't love him.  Here is the proof, honey. :)  I love you more than I love my hands not smelling like oysters. (which is a lot!)  

Sorry, got way off track there.  It was a wonderful day with lots of fun.  It doesn't seem like we have fun outings very much anymore.  It is either a therapy day or a school day.  Today was....a great little family field trip day.  Another cute kid moment from today?  I commented to Chris how crazy it was that we had this nice little haven behind the rocks, among the tidepools while the waves were crashing on the other side.   All of a sudden, Hannah was urging us to leave quickly and was almost in tears.  She was pretty sure those waves were going to come over.  I guess she isn't my dare devil in all things.  

Monday, December 8, 2008

A business idea for some entrepreneur out there

The day after we tromped around Parry's U-Cut for the perfect tree to make the season bright, Hannah (who is a pretty bright little girl) turned to me and asked, "Is our tree fake or real?"  Rachel and I looked at each other and giggled quietly to ourselves before reminding Hannah about the part of the trip where the tree was cut down.  This is when we came up with a brilliant business idea.  A fake Christmas Tree Farm.  It is for that part of the population that doesn't do real trees because of allergies or whatever other crazy reason (They don't like the intoxicating smell of a Christmas tree in their house?), but that still want the experience of cutting down a tree.  They go and choose out their fake tree (in a field of other fake trees of various sizes), cut it down with a fake saw and then tie it to their car to fit in with all of the other cars toting Christmas trees at this time of year.  What do you think?  I think it is a stroke of genius. :)

Here are a few sneak peaks for you, Leigh Anne.  Your family is so refreshing up to my kids.  No chasing Clark down to sit back in the pictures, bribing him with a lollipop.  No telling Cali to stop rolling her eyes for just a few shots.  Will my kids grow out of this or is it just because I am their photographer?  Maybe I just need a better bribe.  Hmmm....  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Long overdue pictures

Due to a complete lack of brain cells, I never put up these pictures.  They are of our good friend, Wells, who headed up a bunch of guys to put in our sprinkler system....on a very rainy, rainy day.  Ah...if only the heavens had shined upon him as they did on Nike.  Sigh.  What can I say except that we definitely can't call these guys "fair weather friends".

UPDATE:  I have fewer brain cells than previously accounted for.  I can't even find the pictures that I just mentioned, but I really hate to waste all of my typing energy and not post at all, you go. :)  Did having children really eat away at my brain capacity that much?

We'll show those Doctors yet!

After Chris' stroke, we were told that we should probably just sell Chris' newly purchased civic since it is a stick.  They said it would be at least a year until he could drive it. Of course they threw in probably, which I guess means yes to Chris.  He is one determined guy.  On the way home from therapy yesterday, he asked if he could drive the rest of the way home.  I found an empty parking lot (Cornelius Theater is never that busy, right?) and asked him to practice in the parking lot for a little to see if he could make it on a road full of stop lights and traffic.  As I was putting in my little request, he was pulling out of the parking lot.  I guess Chris has never been one to lack confidence, eh?  He drove his car all the way home without stalling (until we were pulling in the driveway) and today.... (drumroll, please!) he drove to Nike all by his lonesome.  Feeling a little like a parent of a teenager, I begged him to call me when all was safe and sound.  I have to day that it gave me goosebumps to hear the garage door open when he came home.  What a warrior.  Sorry, Doctor Friedman.  Chris isn't listening to that can't stuff anymore.  Where there's a will, he finds a way.  

On a slightly different note, the Kangs have finally decked the halls.  We went to this great U-cut (or in our case, They-cut) tree farm that is a hop, a skip and a jump from our house.  Seriously.  3 minute drive.  The very kind owner gave us a flag to tie to our tree, he drove his trailer down there, chainsawed it down and got us all set up.  The best part? (Besides watching Chris take the rugged terrain pretty darn well) We found a tree that had a nest in it and we found a burrow that they think was from a nutria. (Think beaver/rat....yuck!)  Then we sat and sipped peppermint hot cocoa while Ken Parry of Parry Trees did all of the work.  It was great.  Then we had to get that big ole (I am thinking probably 10-11 ft) sucker in the house.  It shouldn't have been that different than every other year.  We always get a big tree and Chris and I carry it in together.  This would be no different, except that Chris would only use his left side.  I always help him anyway, right?  Ok.  Here is confession time.  I am a wimp.  (with a capital "W")  I normally kind of hold up my end, but I have to say our trees are normally a lot lighter. Lighter as in Chris normally does all of the heavy lifting.  I am for show.  Dang it.  Not this year.  Ok, I was still for show.  I am sure all of the neighbors got quite a laugh if they happened to be looking out their windows to see Rachel and I struggling to get our end up, with the stroke victim leading us along.  Luckily, the neighbors couldn't see when we were trying to get it in the stand.  Comedy in its best form. :)  All of the hard work is over for a while.  Anyone want to come by around the end of December to do the tree removal? 

I don't want to start a big green debate or anything, but I am trying to figure this out.  Which is worse?  Cutting down a perfectly fine tree for a month ( smells so stinking good) when the farm will still plant more trees to replace that one and the old one will be mulched/recycled or buying a fake one (to avoid cutting it down) that will some day end up in a landfill and will never be recycled?  Yes, I think I have been living in Portland for too long. I don't think I would have even thought about this 5 years ago. I am inclined to think #2 is worse. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This session of Driver's Ed is now over.

I have great news for all of those readers out there that find themselves driving around the Portland area from time to time.  Chris will no longer be running off of the road. (not that he ever did, but it sure did feel like he was about to!)  He drove to Nike the other day and drove to a Dr. Appointment (at which they said his cholesterol is looking pretty darn good!  All of that hard work is paying off.) and I didn't feel like we were about to die.  Isn't that great?  I actually felt like I was driving with the pre-stroke Chris, who has always been a much better driver than me.  Of course, Chris tends to be a little on the over confident side (which I think has attributed to his quick recovery) and now wants to drive the civic to his therapy tomorrow.  Yes, his civic is a stick.  I said a big fat no way jose to that one, but he plans on practicing around the neighborhood.  Watch out, neighbors! :) 

Tonight we went the the Light Parade in Forest Grove.  Ah, what a small town experience.  It wasn't fancy and it wasn't even that long.  It was a fun evening for the girls (Minus Elise, who refused to get dressed to leave the house and stayed home with Chris), complete with horses for Hannah.  It was so Small Town, USA and I LOVED IT!  Any more decked out and I don't think it would have worked.  It was the best and I think  I am falling in love with our new little town.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Back to the real world....

Well, we made it home safe and sound.  Physically sound, but the jury is still out on the mentally sound part.  Overall, the girls were VERY good for the 2 day drive from Las Vegas.  The problem is that: A) I still went to Joann's on Friday morning at 5 am so I was way too tired to drive from Las Vegas to Portland  B) Even if the kids are good for 75% of the time, that still leaves 5 hours of crying and craziness. (mainly on Elise and Lilly's part)  Glad to be out of the car, but I do wish we could have stayed in Las Vegas a little longer.  When we got home, Elise ran into the house exclaiming "Home! Home! Home! We're home!"  It warms my heart to see them so happy to return home.  Hannah was saying something about how she missed the smell of home.  Sweet little girls.  I was more like "Yeah!  No more driving in the car for long periods of time when all I really want to do is sleep. "  We arranged the trip around a few fun stops for the girls.  On the way down, our lunch break coincided with Lake Tahoe, which we had never seen before.  On the way back, we arranged a dinner break in Salt Lake City to see the lights on Temple Square.  We were blessed with great weather, no snow and minimal rain.  Here are a few pictures from the trip. (let's place extra emphasis on the word few.  You don't exactly take tons of pictures at a funeral, all though I think you should and I left my camera in the car at Salt Lake City.  Chris says we must not have even gone since we have no proof!)