Sunday, December 20, 2015

Where is that Big Yellow Ball?

Can we just take a moment to ponder this photo?

42 Degrees, Rain, and Sunset at 4:25 pm  and they want me to Get Out Here? It should say Get Outta Here! 

It did NOT STOP raining for 26, 27, maybe 28 STRAIGHT days in December. Seriously.  Can someone please send the sun back to the PNW or send me out of it!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Volley Christmas!

 Tis the season for some volleyball. The season kicked off with all the girls baking, laughing and exchanging gifts. Well, that would be more of a soccer party than volleyball. The volleyball girls had a Christmas Party and it was a HIT! That's more like it. Getting together to build community is always a great way to start the season. We love Lina's coaches and even though the semester will be fast and furious, we can't wait. May the odds be ever in their favor.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Gospel Christmas 2015

So it's raining still, in case you were wondering. but in spite of the sour weather, we weren't gonna let a little rain stop us from celebrating Christmas and all the fun happenings of Portland. Last year we missed out on many fun December moments still trying to figure out life here, so I had my list ready this year. We did the Christmas Tree Lighting in Vancouver, Check. Now it was time for some down home Gospel music and dinner with our girls. Yeah for dressing up and going out on the town!

We sat in the very back row. Not a single row was bad in this concert venue and actually the sound resonated just fine from here.

Not sure WHY these stuffed dogs were under the tree in the lobby of the concert hall but two cute girls and two stuffed animals called for a picture to be taken.

Then there was this scene. 

Hey that's a nice backdrop. Let's get a picture there... or two or three by the time they smiled and stopped laughing. Kind of fuzzy to boot!  

I enjoyed the concert and the company! Who knows what fun event we will discover next year. Until then....

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hiking in the Rain, PNW Style

It's raining here. Surprise!

But in-spite of that my sweet man asked me to go on a hike with him. At first I was like, eh...really? But being housebound days on end is a drag, so I embraced the idea and started pondering what one wears in the rain around here. It's warmer this week than last so just a few layers and my water proof jacket, thank you Costco, was enough. No umbrella, ella, ella. T heard of another trail system near our regular hiking spot. We drove by where we thought it might be and after looking for it ever so closely, we found the small, singular sign by a hidden driveway. We've driven past this park so many times. Who knew?!

I was completely wrong about hiking in the rain. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. It wasn't a crazy, stay inside, wind knocking down trees rain and the canopy pretty much protected us. Of course I always enjoy being with my husband, so give me him and the outdoors... I'm simply joyful.

The landscape in Washington is breathtaking. When we hike, I have to stop, breathe in a bit and take in the beauty. I have my own Secret Garden that I share with the rest of Washington but when there's only two of us on the trail, it feels like my very own. We explored as much of the trails as we could before dusk.

The ferns here just grow. And grow. And grow. No maintenance require. They even grow out of trees. No, really. Just amazingly beautiful.

There are also some cool mushrooms here. Different colors, shapes, and sizes.This one looked like someone carved into it.

Now that we discovered we can hike in the rain, where to next? God knows, and I really mean HE knows, how much it rains here, and how much I need my outdoor time. I guess it's time to acclimate to the liquid sunshine and just go! Welcome to the PNW.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

So Thankful

Thanksgiving is a time I think about preparing early. Then I actually do prepare early. Buying a big turkey, making sure we have food for the whole weekend, any special desserts, house cleaned and ready to go, all of it done as early as possible so I can be kind and well... kind. I pull out the white board and write lists. I check off list and rewrite list. Some things we just learn about ourselves through the years and one of those for me is that Early Preparation leads to a Peaceful Home.... and being kind.

What started off as a Thanksgiving with just the four of us turned into a year of just the thirteen of us. I am so happy!

We had Rob, Joanna and the sweet kiddos in first followed by Boo and a few of her friends and then one of Becca's best friends and her boyfriend. Really, so many people. So much fun!

There were games, music, laughter, staying up later than we ever do catching up, lots of food, exercise to burn off all that food, the Vancouver's Christmas Tree lighting, putting up our Christmas lights, cutting down the tree, and watching the Broncos beat the Patriots.  All this in 5 days!

Did I mention I was happy?

And Thankful. Am I ever thankful.

They're practicing their dramatic faces. 

Love, Love this picture! 

Apparently one of the ducks is named after Boo! 

Some serious tree huggers . We are in the PNW!

Love these smiles and so enjoyed our time together. 

My heart is filled with joy. So very thankful.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Boise Bound

A little time away to visit the folks was well overdue. T could work from Boise and Lina had a vacation day so we took off across 84 to Idaho. I love seeing mom and dad and enjoy getting out of dodge a bit too. We enjoyed some gorgeous scenery along the way; colorful trees and a soft glow from the sunset. The weather was perfect; no crazy storms to contend with and no icy roads to slip on. Mom and Dad treated us to breakfast, lunch and dinner. We covered all the bases visiting restaurants and diners I hadn't been to before. Luckily they have an elliptical in the loft to work off those added calories from all the delicious food we ate. We watched Hallmark movies and drank hot coffee. Mom, Lina and I shopped and well, we shopped again. It was a marvelous time away! Sometimes you just got to get away a little bit and what better place than visiting two people I'm very thankful to have in my life.