Saturday, October 30, 2010

Perfect Love

In this life on Earth there are many types of love. There's puppy love, deep love, crazy love, boundless love, mushy love, special love, and more, but there is one type I see every day between my husband and our oldest child, Addie, and that is PERFECT love.

Know how you see people together and you can SEE the love and FEEL the love between those people? Well, that's what Grouchy and Addie have. It's beautiful, wonderful, visible tangible and PERFECT!!

As Grouchy was trying to get packed for this trip out of town to the north slope of Alaska to be gone for a while, he was bound and determined he would build the girls a balance beam he had told them he could build. Meanwhile, the girls had used masking tape to make a beam on their floor, and they used it every day. There were other projects ahead of the beam....fencing, wheels on the wheelbarrow, fixing a couple of Garrett's toys, getting Grouchy's cold weather gear washed and packed, hanging out with my parents while they visit, shuttling kids and horses to and fro for 4-H and other activities, but the beam WAS GOING TO BE finished, PERIOD. On his departure day before he had to catch an early afternoon flight, he started filing, cutting, sawing, sweating it until it was just right. He still thinks it isn't just right, but I have news for him. It is JUST RIGHT, and it is another example of the perfect love he has for his family. And by the way, Addie loves him with perfect love, too!! We are so blessed by this amazing, Godly man!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

In Costume....

This afternoon started the weekend-long Halloween fun for our little town. From 3 to 5 this afternoon, the merchants in our town of 2500 people handed out candy to the kiddos. If w business had an orange paper jack-o-lantern in the window, they were welcoming trick or treaters. We enjoyed the many families and happy merchants sharing in the children's delight. The best of all was our last trick or treat stop, which was one of the town's three ice cream shops. The owner had just run out of little coupons for free ice cream, so instead of giving us a coupon, each kiddo got FREE ICE CREAM.....SCORE!!!

Addie likes to pull together different things to make her own costume, and this year she collected things over a couple of weeks and named herself the "Pumpkin Princess." Bug Garrett called her "Trick or Treat Punkin Addie."
Ainslee is Katara from the Avatar cartoon series:

And drum roll please......yes, for the 4th year in a row, Garrett is a PIRATE!!! Surprise. Here he is with his parrot!

And this is early, well, not really that early, but just as the sun came up. Lucy was grazing, and there was this neat glow around her as the horizon glowed more and more brightly!

Tomorrow night, the local LDS church for a trunk or treat, and then at 7, our church has a Walk Through the Bible night where the adults of the church dress as Bible characters and act out different Bible stories and give the children candy. Should be fun! Sunday night we will drive the truck around to the neighbors' homes to trick or treat. We will likely hit only 10 homes and things are so spread out in the valley here. Mom and Dad are still here, and that is such a huge blessing as Grouchy is away for work. They are enjoying the guest house and we are LOVING Having them here!!! Tonight Addie rock climbed at the YMCA and Ainslee played in the huge pools tonight. Mom enjoyed exploring the Y and learning her way around. Off to bed. Oh, forgot we have a 4-H horseback riding day with costumes on people and horses, games and yummy treats. We can't wait!! But we miss our Daddy-O terribly!!!!
Godspeed and enjoy a safe and happy halloween!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Well Come On In!

Knock knock!!! Who's there???

It was a bit windy and cool yesterday, and the girls went to get the mail and kicked this tumbleweed all the way from the fence at the bottom of the driveway up to the front door. When they were coming up the hill, I noticed Addie's horse, Lucy, was acting very surprised and alert about something, but I could only see the girls coming up the drive. The angle of my view blocked this huge tumbleweed they were kicking in turns!!! I love the looks of excitement on their face when I opened the door!!
Tonight we took the girls to the Boise State University, Louisiana Tech football game in Boise. Yes, that's the BLUE college football field!! It really looks wild!! We stayed until just after halftime. It was pretty cold, and it even snowed a little!! The mountains just east of Boise were dusted with snow, and it made such a pretty drive into town.
Grouchy leaves for a term of work in Alaska tomorrow. Please pray for his safe travels and healthy mental state while he is there. I know it can get lonely there, and he hates being gone, but he is so brave and selfless working like he does. We love him so much!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Random Fun

My parents, Nina and Pop, are here for two!!!! We are having a great time!
I have no earthly idea why this is all underlined and in blue, so just bear with me here!

Our neighbors Bob and Judy have 10 children who are grown and a ba-zillion grandkids! In effort to keep these grandkids enjoying things around their farm, Bob and Judy have accumulated some amazing play equipment and turned their back area behind their tractor workshop and barnyard area into a beautiful playground. The COOLEST thing about it is that they invited us to play ANYTIME and we can WALK TO IT from our house....or ride horses or the ranger or 4-wheelers! Here's this amazing swing they have. The horizontal piece holding the tires by chain SWIVELS around and around, so they climb a little ladder to get on, hold on tightly, and I run as fast as I can pushing one tire and they go spinning high off the ground!

We joined the Caldwell Family YMCA about 17 miles from our home. This is the indoor pool facility we LOVE! The girls workout with the swim team on the far left in the lap pool, then enjoy the diving board and slides and lazy river. Garrett LOVES the sprayground and gradual entry pool in the foreground.
This is my father, Pop, on his way with us to play at Bob and Judy's house. After talking to Judy that evening, we learned we are somehow probably related. Our families came from the same two American Indian tribes, Creek and Cherokee. How cool is that???

We enjoyed out sweet neighbors Don and Donna taking us on a long dirt-road drive to explore Succor Creek Park last week. It is an area of geological surprises and lots of fun paths to explore. There are primative camping spots too, so I see a fun adventure in the future!! Here is my mom, Nina, loving on my girl, Addie. We had a nice hike there up and into a canyon before we realized how scary-rough the path became!! We made it down just fine, but we did have a few iffy moments!

Lastly, Grouchy has worked so hard and can finally rest well knowing the front pasture is complete. This pasture is an alfalfa and grass mixture. Until we get a hard freeze, the alfalfa can be dangerous to the horses in large quantities. In this photo, Ernie and Lucy had their hour of evening grazing and enjoyed their hour of morning grazing before church. The girls had a 4-H day at their leader's arena nearby at 2 today. They had fun, but Lucy's feet are in a very long rehab process. She has always work shoes, it seems, and her feet need a break. We are rehabbing her in hopes of her being able to be barefoot long term unless we are riding up in the high mountains where shoes are a must. Even then we hope to pull the shoes off right after we ride in the mountains. It takes new growth, lots of walking on soft surfaces, then eventually walking on rougher, rockier surfaces to get her feet built up for daily comfort and strength. I mainly post this photo so Laura can see the horses!! Hi Laura!! See you on December 1!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

God Answers Prayer.....I am reminded.

Last night at midnight, Grouchy and I were startled out of a peaceful sleep when our two dogs began barking loudly. We put the dogs in a large crate together at night in our garage, and our garage is adjacent to our bedroom. I had forgotten to close the garage door, so we assumed the dogs saw or heard something and decided to bark. When we looked outside our window into the backyard, we saw a medium dog-sized animal walking under our swinget away from the house. I turned on the back patio light while Grouchy peered out to try to identify the animal. He said it was not our cat because it was too large. He grabbed a pistol and headed out to close the garage door. We fell asleep again, but when I got up this morning, Grouchy told me he was awake again at 2:30 this morning to the sound of a cat fighting just out our window. He never saw an animal outside, but he was worried that Ainslee's sweet cat, Diamond, was likely dead.....captured by a wild animal. We have coyotes here, and we heat them every night down by the Snake River. A neighbor had warned us to keep the cat inside at night so nothing would get her. Last night, though, I never saw her to bring her into the house or the barn. I pray every morning as I am getting ready to get out of bed and while I do a devotional. Lately, I have had many prayers going heavenward, mostly selfish prayers, honestly. But this morning I told God that I was going to lay my selfish desires aside and just beg for Ainslee to have her cat back. She LOVES that cat, and she adopted Diamond as a very sickly, tiny kitten at the animal shelter in Gonzales, Louisiana. We were not sure she would even live through her kitten-hood, but Ainslee doctored and loved the little scruffy, crusted with snot little kitten into a very sweet, personable, lovely cat. Later in the morning we told Ainslee and Addie about how we thought Diamond was gone. Ainslee acted tough and said,"I bet those noises Dad heard were the noises of Diamond shredding a coyote!!" That was extremely doubtful, and Grouchy was almost certain it was something eating a cat that he heard. We decided to take the Ranger (ATV) to the neighbor's house about a mile away to get some fresh eggs and return a borrowed book. On the way out to the barn, I noticed that Ainslee left the house first, and as she walked out onto the back patio en route to the barn, she dropped to her knees and prayed!!! I thought that was really cool, but I felt bad that the cat was gone and prayer couldn't make a wild animal cough up a healthy, pretty kitty. We headed down the driveway to the road and took a right to head to the neighbors' home when suddenly, out of the ditch to our right climbed Diamond the cat!!! Ainslee ran up the driveway with her to get her home while Mom, Addie and I waited on the Ranger.

So once again I learn from my children. God does answer prayer. God listens to us. But he especially answers the prayers of children.....and not just children as in young people, but children as in those Christians who have child-like faith. Today was a beautiful day. God answered Ainslee's plea to have her cat back, and God answered lots of my prayers by showing me how He wants me to be!!!

Addie rode Lucy today, Ainslee rode Ernie, and I walked a couple of miles going along with them on their ride. Addie is coming around some!! I was very proud of her.

Garrett helped my mom let Ernie graze the backyard to get it mowed. Ernie was very happy!!

We enjoyed a trip to Farmer Bob's backyard where he and his doll of a wife have a very nice playground they have built for their numerous grandchildren. They are such sweet folks! My father got to talk with Mrs. Farmer Bob. She has traced her lineage back to the Cherokee Indians, and our family goes back to Cherokee and Creek. I have seen this amazing woman only four times and she hugged my neck again today and even told me she loves me. What amazing people!!!! Oh, and all this while she wore her Oxygen tubes and wheeled her tank alongside. How amazing!!!! I have some photos I need to share from the playground. Bob and his wife...mainly his wife...have built, bought and designed some really cool playground equipment, and I need to show you!! Too hard to describe!

We had our adoped grandparents, the Reeds, who took us to the waterfall canyon, over for pizza tonight and ended up with our first campfire in our rock fire pit, and it was such fun!!!

My eyes are crossing. I hope to post photos tomorow!!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

Garrett's class enjoyed the most fun field trip this week. His teacher had a Pumpkin Patch field trip at her house!! She and her husband had planted some giant pumpkin seeds, and they yielded huge pumpkins!! She even allowed me to come with the girls! The most interesting thing was going on the hay ride on little trailers behind golf carts and exploring the area they live on....the old flood plain of the Boise River. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over her campfire and picked pumpkins, Indian corn, tomatoes, potatoes, radishes, broccoli, snap peas, apples, gourds, white pumpkins, grapes, and I know I am leaving out something!! The girls had a great time, and Garrett was more interested in pushing his stroller around with his pal riding in it!! I don't think Garrett even ever got a pumpkin! That's enough chat from me....just enjoy the photos!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Puppy Love

I love seeing children and animals enjoying each other! I was blessed to catch these four goofing off today.

During my many, many, many days of raking rocks, moving rocks, picking up rocks, shoveling rocks, and so on, I began to pick up rocks that looked like hearts. I would put each heart rock on the table on the back patio each day, and here's the collection. I have a special friend who is fond of rocks who will receive these and more in the mail and know right where she should put them.........

I was trying to capture all of the "Vivian Butterflies" flitting about the alfalfa field. My dear friend Lisa saw her baby girl, Vivian precede her to heaven last year. When I was talking to Lisa via text messaging yesterday, I mentioned all the yellow butterflies in our field, and she told me they called those "Vivian Butterflies" because like Vivian, they flit about everywhere like crazy. May not be the exact butterfly type Lisa sees in Louisiana, but we have named our beautiful butterflies "Vivian Butterflies" too!! Sorry you cannot see the butterflies, but as the girls and the dog, Remi, were running, they disturbed the butterflies and even more of them began flitting about!

I am usually on the back side of the camera, but tonight I was able to get Ainslee to grab the camera. After many attempts to get a shot of us kissing, I settled on this first one Ainslee took. I spend so much time with this rascal that I thought I should at least have a photo with him. Look how he can grab fist fulls of cheeks!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Today was a beautiful, very productive day. Garrett got on his bus at 7:15, and while he was in school, the girls and I got our homeschool lessons completed. Grouchy worked on fence in the front pasture where we plan to winter the horses on the alfalfa after the first freeze (which may be tonight!!). Garrett's bus dropped him off at home around noon, and after lunch he took a nap, I read our read-aloud books to the girls (homeschool history and science), and then grumpy Ainslee and I napped...aaaahhhhh!!!! Grouchy took Addie to run errands in Homedale, and they have discovered a little coffee shop in town that they seem to "slip over to" every time the truck rolls!!!
After Garrett's nap, he left on his footed PJ's and enjoyed a four wheeler ride with Addie. Note the fashion statement below: footed dinosaur PJ's and orange Crocs!!! Priceless!!!

This evening as I made salads with rare fillet mignon slices (YUM!!), Garrett became the poster child for Raisin Bran. I just wish it could keep him regular!!!

And now introducing Julie the Cruise Director. Grouchy figured out that Ainslee needs to be in the know, and when she is, she is much, much, much more predictable, comfortable and happy. I found her here on the kitchen counter this afternoon updating our weekly family calendar. She said she wish she could leave her birthday on the calendar from last week so she would have one every week....SOOOOO Ainslee!!

Once Grouchy had the fence posts set, he needed them to be watered to help hard set them in the powdery ground. He sent Garrett out to do the job, and I was so excited to see him diligently obeying his job description!!

This photo is for our sweet friend, Laura. She was Lucy's buddy for the past year, and she took great care of Lucy for the several months Addie was recovering from her broken arm last year. Laura misses Lucy, and I think Lucy misses her, too.
Laura, this morning it was pretty windy, and I thought Lucy looked very pretty with her mane blowing in the air! You might be able to see her winter coat beginning as a little light fuzz in this photo. She is oh-so-soft right now!! Just wish your grandfather could teach me how to keep her eyes from looking freaky in this photo!!! She is turning darker with her new coat...almost black again. I can't wait for you to spend time with her in December when you and your family come visit!!!!!

Huge news for our crew is that Grouchy was able to get tickets for the girls and us to go to the Boise State vs. Louisiana Tech football game in a couple of weeks. We are so excited!! We enjoy attending college football games sometimes in LA, and Grouchy is Tech Alumni.
Special request tonight. My dad's father, Granddaddy Horn has had a heart attack. At first, it was thought to be a mild one, but it appears to be more serious. Please join me in praying for my grandfather, someone I adore and respect above all others on earth, and pray for my father who is scared to lose his best friend and dad. Granddaddy Horn has a cancer that was discovered and treated for a while, but the treatments were too much for him. He was sent home with hospice but has done extremely well, recovering to the point of going for 4-5 hour truck rides in the mountains with my dad and wearing HIM out!!! We are so thankful for this time. I was able to visit Granddaddy before we moved, and I cherish that time greatly. I am so blessed to have enjoyed so many wonderful experiences with my grandfather and his wife, Mema, who died when Garrett was a few months old. From learning to fish to hiking, turkey hunting, playing piano and hanging out with my two cousins, listening to Granddaddy play the fiddle, hearing countless stories of his childhood and youth, driving across America with them, overnights at their house in Alabama, and the BEST HUGE SPREADS OF FOOD, all homemade, EVER!!! I will always remember the hugs, the genuine joy they shared when I walked into their house, their interest in my life, but most of all, their prayers, Christian examples and parenting mentoring through they years. I am so blessed. I am also encouraged that Heaven is near, and we will all be reunited someday. It's still so hard to see these people leave this life. It is even harder to know how much this is hurting my dad.
Much love and Godspeed to all!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ainslee's Birthday Photos

Ainslee had a very nice birthday, in spite
of her assuming it would be no fun since
she isn't in Louisiana. I am very thankful
for the many relatives and friends who
sent gifts.....she truly had a great day, and all the presents made it extra special!!
We made cupcakes the night before
her birthday so we could take them to AWANA to share with the kids' church friends. I purchased a chocolate cake to share with our neighbors for an actual
"party" at our house after lunchtime.
Our homeschool friends who live nearby came and also the sweet couple who took us to the waterfall. I think the kids are adopting
those folks as Idaho grandparents. They are so sweet and loving, about the age of their grandparents, and sadly no longer get to see their own
grandchildren. I pray our kiddos are bringing
some of the joy back into their lives....that joy grandkids

Thanks for the DSi game, Nina and Pop!!!!

Aime family, thank you for the very special presents,
including this English riding set!!!

Somehow, I lost a photo of Ainslee
opening gifts from DiDi and
Granddaddy, but rest assured she was sompletely surprised and VERY excited when she saw them!!!
These kiddos you see with ours are the homeschooled neighbors. They are all three very sweet and fun, and we are thankful God put us near them. The kids enjoy riding down the canal road to pick these guys up on 4-wheelers to play, hang out at the Y and work together on swim team.
We have had the most frustrating time with the internet lately, and this should be resolved Tuesday, so I will be updating more frequently.
Special thanks to Uncle Gus, one of Grouchy's best friends, for hanging out with us last night and today while he was on a Southwest Airlines layover in Boise. We just hope you will bring the rest of the family to ski next time!!!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Baby Girl Turns 8.

I always find the eve of my children's birthdays bittersweet. When I kiss them goodnight on these nights before their birthdays, I feel like I am kissing that child the last time at that age. Corny, it may seem to you, but it means so much to me. I kissed Ainslee goodnight tonight, she curled up to me and gave me an extra squeeze, and we prayed. I thanked God for the wonderful person she is and for entrusting us with her care. I thanked Him for choosing us to be her parents and for trusting us to love her like He does. I have fallen short on so many things daily. On the top of that bad list is my patience with Ainslee. She is blooming right now, so I know it is hard for me to fully recall our tough times with her, but I do know I wish I could do so many things over. I can't say if I would do things much differently, given the lives we have and the kiddos we have, but I will ALWAYS regret losing my temper with Ainslee, harping on her about her hyper nature and impulsive behaviors. Now she is on her ADHD med, she is doing so much better in every area of her life. She has more self control and more intentional organizational behavior than ever before. I just hope we didn't do too much damage for the two years we resisted medicating her.

Enough of my midnight ramblings.

Happy birthday, my brilliant, big-hearted, sassy, energetic, BEAUTIFUL inside and out, daughter. I am proud of you!!!! And in the morning, yes, as SOON as you wake up, you FINALLY get to open those presents. I hope you like them!!


Monday, October 4, 2010

How Do You Fix It??

Ever have anything happen in your life or even worse, your child's life that you wish you could just FIX ????? Just FIX IT!!!!!!

Let me issue a disclaimer before I vent. I know I cannot hold a candle of complaint to my friends who have lost children, parents, who have critically children or who have children who have strayed from Christ and are out of control. And I will never try to. Those pains and that suffering is worse than I can even imagine.

But complain I must. Addie and Ainslee began a weekly, one hour homeschool gymnastics at our local YMCA the week after we moved from Louisiana to Idaho. They picked out really cute leotards that came with little shorts to make them a little more modest. The coach, Emily, is PRECIOUS and very kind but firm. My girls LOVE the class!! They both took gymnastics in Louisiana back when they were very young....maybe 5 years ago because I remember nursing Garrett in the observation area. They liked it, but got bored, and I got frustrated with the incredible amount of cash it cost at that particular gym. We first began letting them take gymnastics because Addie was so clumsy on her feet and didn't like dance too much. Our pediatrician mentioned gymnastics might be a great way for her to develop and strengthen physically. Then they got tired of it and we finished the session they were in and did not return. They have asked about returning to Gymnastics many times, but with therapies and Garrett not doing well waiting around for them in a small area and not being ready to try gym, it just wasn't an option......until the move and this 10 a.m. class. They are enjoying it, no doubt, and all day long, since our new home is built on a crawl space, we hear the floor thumping as they tumble, roll, handstand, back bend, etc., over and over and over. They even took the masking tape and made the length and width of a balance beam on Addie's room's floor!! And they USE IT LOTS!!!! I know Addie isn't super strong. I know Ainslee is. I know Addie is DYING to excel in gymnastics and has the heart to do very, very well, but she just can't. It has been obvious from the beginning of the class when I watch, but then last week, Grouchy took the girls to gym without me. He came home very concerned about Addie's frustration about watching the other girls and boys and her little sister flip and swing and effortlessly contort their bodies. And Addie cannot do much of it at all. She cannot use her arms to hold her weight much at all. She cannot go into a back bend by leaning backwards, she cannot do a round off. She can barely go into a handstand, and that's very basic.......and all the time this is going on, Ainslee is improving every second right in front of Addie.

Addie came up to me this evening and was upset about this. She wanted to know why she couldn't do all the things the other kids can do. She wanted to know why life was so unfair. She said that she has the heart and desire to be an amazing gymnast, but can't. I tried to console her talking about the other gifts, ones I know are much, much more valuable than a gymnast body. I explained how that attitude and heart she has are what make her so amazing. She said she would trade all her current gifts and talents and heart and desire for physical ability. She said she wished she had a bad attitude and got in trouble all the time and could flip and all like the other children in her gym class. Her heart is broken. And ours are too, but nothing like hers.

So we want to help her find her "thing." Something she is passionate about AND can do well. We mentioned golf and tennis per her neurologists' advice. But she says the things she REALLY wants to be good in are things she isn't strong enough to do. She perks up about tennis. And yes, I know that the things she excels in do not have to be physical in nature, but at this age, that's what kids do, what her peers do, what she WANTS to do. Gosh, I just had a flashback to her soccer playing years when she was 4 and 5 and how she would take to the field with a smile, loaded for bear and tear into the ball and be aggressive and wonderful......for a few minutes. Then she would lag behind, eventually falling and crying and having to be consoled and a substitute called in. It makes sense now. She had the same trouble with Tae Kwon Do. She loved it and would go to tournaments and ALWAYS win first in her "forms," contest, the part where she showed her knowledge of movements and the steps of the basic forms, but then when she had to sparr, or fight another girl her age and size, she would start impressively, making great moves, thinking on her feet, but about 50 seconds into the 3 minute round, she would break down, lose all steam, and just cry. She would beg to quit, complain that her body was heavy and her legs burned and she couldn't keep on going. Crap. Pisses me off the more I think about it.

And she can't see that this phase of life is physical for kids, but the upcoming phases are not as much. She can't see her gift of piano, voice, the way she is sooooo kind to others, relates to everyone, goes out of her way to make people who are "different" feel okay, the little missionary, MDA fundraiser, animal advocate, good little cook and on and on and on. She can't see how shallow the physical world is.

And then she has to watch her little sister flip all over the place all day long. Addie thinks Ainslee is flaunting her ability. I tried to explain to Addie that so much of the time we have had to fuss at Ainslee while we poured praise on Addie for great behavior and attitude. Now Ainslee finally has something for which she is praised and people are impressed. But this hurts Addie because she isn't CHOOSING to sit on the sideline. I think she sort-of understood, or at least she said she did. I also tried to get her to see how much Ainslee wants Addie's praise and support.

So what now? I want to hold my baby girl and say, "Okay, tell Mommy and Daddy what would make you happy, and we will buy it, make it, whatever you need!!!" But if I did, she wouldn't ask for anything material. She would want the body she assumed and that we assumed she would have.

Her coach, Miss Emily, knows that Garrett has and Addie likely has Mitochondrial Disease. After class last week, she stepped over to Grouchy and talked to him about Addie. Addie had been visibly frustrated and beaten during the class. BUT Emily noted that Addie has beautiful balance and grace in her corner. She asked Grouchy if she could allow Addie to really focus on balance beam and let her learn an upper level routine for beam. Addie was excited and we plan to make a low beam for the girls to use at home, but that's not all Addie wants. She wants to be able to do the tough stuff, the cool stuff, not just spin and turn and jump on a beam.

There's my vent. My kiddos are very healthy right now.....considering. I am thankful. I just HATE seeing Addie's heart break, and in turn, Grouchy's break.

Recently someone asked if Addie has Mitochondrial Disease. There are a few classifications of diagnosis for Mito, and Garrett is a confirmed case, and Addie's is considered probable or likely. Labs are being run for the second round of DNA testing to try to locate the exact genetic cause of Garrett's Mito, thought to be a mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. Once this is discovered, that test that yields the answer will be repeated with Addie's blood, and likely confirm the same type. Odds are that she has the same type as Garrett per the genetic inheritance that would be obvious.


It's Apple Pie a la Addie and Ainslee

Addie, Garrett and I had the fun experience of picking apples from a neighbor's orchard on Saturday. We found an easy apple pie recipe that allowed the kids to do everything once I had the apples peeled and cored. They were so proud, the pie was so pretty, and I will not even begin to describe how DELICIOUS it was as no description could do it justice!!!


And I had to include this one! This week Garrett started offering us
free love." He recently began to say "I love you" after we say it, and then this past week he started coming up and randomly hugging or kissing us. Then today, he gave away some unprompted "I love you's!!!" I almost cried, and so did Grouchy when Garrett just tackled and hugged him in his recliner!! Life is good!!
May your Tuesday and your every day be filled with unprompted "I love you's!" I see mine from God each day, but I never appreciate them enough!
Hugs to you and yours!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Garrett Went Hiking!

Yesterday our neighbors invited us to go to a park nearby, just at the edge of the Owyhee Mountains. It was Jump Creek Park, known for its canyon trail leading to a small pond and pretty waterfall. I was excited to take the children because I heard it would be very cool in the canyon, and the trail to get to the waterfall and pond was only about a quarter of a mile, so I knew Addie and Garrett could handle it. The drive was about 12 minutes, and the hike was wonderful! It was a primitive trail, crossing Jump Creek once where we had to walk from one rock to the other to cross without getting our feet wet.
But the big deal, not to downplay the overall experience for the whole family, but the BIG DEAL was how well Garrett did!! He was so brave, so normal....kind-of. He had many, many freak out and scream moments when he would fall, slide on the loose rocks, the first time he got into the water up to his ankles when he felt how cold it was, etc., but overall, he was like a normal boy. He wanted to play in the water, walk out into the pond all the way, climb on the rocks, walk in the water down the was so exciting to me. Grouchy did some climbing higher onto the sides of the canyon, and Addie and Ainslee went with him more, so I gladly stayed with my little guy, and I was sore from smiling so much! It was dreamy, normal, reckless.....all the exploring he did! I had to stay right with him to steady him. He doesn't have his mountain goat feet yet like the girls do, and he did take some nasty with me falling alongside him!! OUCH!!

Here he is exploring the water. I took his old running shoes, and he loved having just the shoes, no socks, and tromping through the water!! IT WAS COLD WATER!!!

This rock was very fun. It was one solid rock with a hole large enough to walk through!! One end's opening was larger, and the other, the smaller with the exit out to a hill that was hard to navigate down, but we did this over and over and over!! Here is Ainslee helping Garrett explore.

The children enjoyed all of the freedom and water!

Our neighbors were nice enough to take this shot for us.
We hope to return to Jump Creek Park soon, and if you come to visit in the warmer months, we will be sure to take you!!!
Please continue to pray for Samuel's family as they wade through these days without him.