Monthly Archives: November 2014

Can it really already be time to leave?

With the big kids sleeping over at the Buswell’s house and Eve soaking up the one on one attention she was getting from Grandpa we snuck out for a date this one didn’t even include the dentist. We had wanted to go to Word of Mouth before we left in April but that had never happened so now was our chance. We got there early enough in the morning that the wait we were told was half an hour. Ok, that works for us. Then 15-20 minutes later they came back and asked if we wouldn’t mind sitting at the bar and we wouldn’t. I remembered that I didn’t have my ID on me but with as much gray hair as I am now displaying it is much less likely I would be asked for it and besides that I never plan on ordering anything that I would need it for. After we were seated practically right in the face of the person tending the bar I thought I should have said no to sitting at the bar, how can we talk here like this. Yes Chad and I spend a lot of time with each other but with an almost 10 year old almost always with in earshot there is plenty of things that we can’t just talk about. We looked over the menu and decided on an omelet to share and some coffee. It was kind of fun to people watch the servers as they shuffled back and forth to tables and I’m pretty alcohol ignorant, I had no idea there was so many ingredients in a Bloody Mary. Isn’t 9:00 am super early to start drinking? I guess it is the day after Black Friday. We could turn towards each other and found ourselves in all the chaos and noise able to converse. We talked over some near future plans, some what ifs, and talk timeline. We really are along for the ride but it is nice to know what the other is thinking.


IMG_2815.JPG We stopped and picked up the big kids visiting for another good 45 minutes, the kids (us too) were not ready to hear the words “sorry you can’t stay another night. We leave tomorrow.”




IMG_2821.JPG Back at grandpa and grandma’s house we gathered all the laundry we had washed, the new clothes from the beach trip, and the kids and packed them into the car. We were surprised to get to see Aunt Bonnie as sheei saw our car and had turned around to come say hi.
We had a little extra time and were close to Aunt Judy and Uncle Bob so we were excited to get a chance to see them too. When it was time to go Eve announced that she was staying with Aunt Judy and was quite sure about it, to ensure that it was so she hid. The kids looked for her and did not find her. Thank goodness she is still at that age where when her parents call for her she answers or she may still be hidden in Aunt Judy’s closet.

IMG_2839.JPG From there we met up with the Rodlis picking a place with a play structure so us grown ups could talk and the kids could play together and get some energy out.








IMG_2870.JPG we missed getting the Girls over to Louanne to visit :0( but it was already time to load the car. Besides unsealing all the bags and sorting out all the holy and stained clothes packing the car is getting easier. We know where everything has to go and we have now dumped (in out room or on our shelf in the garage) all the non-essential items. Nothing to make our house homey. Nothing we “might need” and NOTHING we can do without. The kids aren’t even buried in the backseat. Maybe we are getting the hang of this. Steph and I had our traditional Starbucks coffee date to end the evening. Maybe the reality that we are already leaving again will set in by the time we head out of town. Sorry to those we missed visiting this time through time. We already miss you all and we haven’t left yet.

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A Family Day At The Beach

We spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa Owens house last night with loosely made plans to go to the beach. Donna was up so early considering she hadn’t even gotten off work until 12:00am. Although we were up early we got a slow start and weren’t even on the road until 10:30am. Grandma had gotten matching boots for us girls and we all wore them today.

We pulled into the roads end in Lincoln City and were just thrilled to see the Pacific Ocean again like an old friend that we so longed to set our eyes on. The beautiful crashing waves, moisture in the air, the roar of the water, the fog obscuring the rocks in the distance. So perfect. So beautiful.


IMG_2758.JPG We got out and walked down to the edge of the surf. The wind blew Caleb’s hat off, but he was able to retrieve it from the surf. We ran and skipped around and although it was cold every one was grinning ear to ear.




Being so wet, windy and cold (I’m hesitant to say that because compared to Wisconsin it was quite warm) after a short while we headed to the car. In town they had two reindeer on display we stopped to take some pictures for Cyrus they were so cute.



IMG_2785.JPG Mo’s was tradition for family time at the beach so we headed there for lunch after driving a loop around one of our favorite campgrounds.




IMG_2788.JPG lunch was good, it was so fun to just be together doing our favorite family activities.


IMG_2798.JPG I’m not a big shopper but there was several things that we needed clothing wise for the kids and we rarely go to the beach without stopping at the outlet malls and today was no different. We were finally able to find pants Caleb’s size that fit our tight budget $10 and for Hannah too who recently wore holes in her two pairs of jeans $8. That was totally provisions from above just finding them because Caleb is so skinny that even skinny jeans don’t stay up on him. Donna blessed us by unexpectedly covering the cost of the much needed clothes of which we are soooo thankful. Thank you Donna again. We ran into Dr. Hall, Ruth, Bill and Christine at the outlet malls. It was so good to see them and congratulate them on their wedding in person. They let me know of the up coming Honduras medical mission trip in January of 2016 and let me know that I should plan on going.
The drive home was rainy. With Hannah and Eve asleep the car was awfully quiet. So after fighting the nods I started singing but wasn’t able to get Donna to join in until we tuned the radio to Christmas music. Eve was not ready to say goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa yet, I don’t blame her a bit for that she adamantly insisted that she stay with Grandma one more night. The two older kids packed for friend sleep over at the Buswell’s house. We trough some leftovers on plates for a quick dinner of which the kids out of excitement ate very little. Upon arriving at the Buswell’s house we not only got a personal tour of their new house but dinner and a chance to just sit and visit. The kids were so busy playing together that we hardly saw them, we didn’t have to worry about what Eve was into it was so relaxing. Thank you Buswell’s for dinner and an evening of relevant adult conversation and an opportunity to foster the kids friendships with each other.

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Thanksgiving 2014

We stayed the night at our house but got up pretty early, we were eager to get to grandma and grandpa’s house. Not even thinking we called them to get coffee orders because it is nice to feel like we can give them something in return for all they do for us. As soon as I hung up I remembered that getting coffee would mean supporting non-necessary businesses open on Thanksgiving. Now what do I do, I already got their coffee orders and their hopes up. We stopped by Starbucks and picked up the coffee rationalizing that it was only 7:00 AM so far away from dinner time that we weren’t really keeping these employees from their family time, but really we were headed to family time so what’s to say they weren’t missing some if their family traditions being open.
We spent the morning chatting and preparing food, those of you that know me well know that I’m no cook. Sad but true. Good thing you don’t have to be to peel potatoes. Mostly I just keep those who enjoy the cooking aspect company and am a second set of hands when it’s needed. We kept one eye on the parade then turned our attention to the dog show which is one of our favorite family traditions guessing which dog will win each class. Brooks showed up for dinner three classes in to the show so we turned it off to visit with him. We had decorated the house with our thankful chain which ended up being all white this year but was sill a good exercise in realizing all we have and how blessed we are. After dinner we headed out to catch Donna’s side of the family having their thanksgiving so we could see them all too.








Back at grandma and grandpa’s the kids watched a new Veggie Tales movie that grandma had bought for them and Stephanie and I took the opportunity to take some thanksgiving dinner to a traveler friend working in Lebanon. I was sure she had said Albany so with out confirming I headed there. We got all the way to the fourth floor before we discovered that she was in Lebanon. I don’t know that I had ever been in Lebanon hospital thank goodness for GPS. It was fun to Catch up with Karen. I had intended to stop by the FBC one last time as it is a totally different crew on but received a text from Chad enquiring as to when I would be home. I was fighting sleep so I decided to head home instead. I thought about the thirty some thanksgivings that I have had, you have so few in your life, thank goodness we don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to be thankful.


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Giving Thanks

We have so much to be thankful for this year. Maybe not anymore than last year, but we recognize Gods hand in our lives this year more than we have in the past. There is something about not having the security of those long time permanent jobs and our support system with in arms reach at all times that is teaching us that we can be confident in the provisions of our Jehovah Jireh. Acting in faith not just thinking we have faith, hoping and praying that we never actually have to test it out. Seven months ago now we jumped ship on our suburban comfort zone.
Today as we made our thankful chain that not only made a good boa/scarf it stretched the width of the house I was filled with a humble awe for what we have had a chance to be a part of.
Thank you God for your protection, safe travels, friends we have met on this journey, so many opportunities to learn, the Great Lakes, endless Indian ruins, battlefields, and preserved natural wonders. Thank you most of all for the work you have begun in us may you take it on to completion. “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

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Appointment Marathon

Since the kids stayed at grandma and grandpa’s house last night Chad and I were able to go to the dentist by ourselves. We haven’t gone anywhere together by ourselves in months it was amazing. Awww I went first and nearly fell asleep just lying there, when it was Chad’s turn I had to give him a hard time and take a picture. He loves it when I do that ;0).

IMG_2692.JPG I paced a little and dealt with a little business finally settling down to read for the remaining few minutes. We had a few minutes between the dentist and the first Salem Pediatric Clinic appointment. We headed for a quick cup of coffee at Safeway for an on the go breakfast then met up with Donna at SPC to hand off the kids. The appointments had been spread out all day with an hour or so in between, but about an hour before they called to ask if they could reorganize it starting 15 minutes later and doing all three kids sequentially. Oh thank you, so much better. The kids are all on track with their growth and milestones I wasn’t really too worried about that. We have some homework to do on providers at LA Children’s Hospital that specialize in Tourette’s for Caleb. We are blessed with such good kids and as a parent it is hard to watch as they run into their own struggles. Even though I know that our character and strength is developed in challenges I wish I could protect the kids from pain and discomfort.
Eve had her four year immunizations and some labs. She was so hard to hold and I totally failed on my one job. I was supposed to hold her hands and on the third shot she got her hand loose and barely missed getting her hand right in the way of the needle I quickly/reflexively grabbed her hand and totally elbowed the nurse in the forehead….I just about died and apologized profusely several times. She insisted that she was fine but I still felt so bad.



Poor baby, Hannah felt so bad for Eve and decided she deserves the best Christmas present for everything she had been through.


We barely made it down the road and she was out. We dropped Caleb by the house with Uncle Jayson because he wasn’t feeling that great and we headed back out to visit Hannah’s BFF Hannah. Eve slept in the car for a while Hannah, Hannah and Sarah played while Chad and I visited with their parents.



IMG_2704.JPG we got home late and had pizza for dinner. After Aunt Stephanie got home from work she and Hannah made an apple pie. Eve is finally up walking around on her own and was even jumping on the trampoline. Caleb is also feeling better. Not that I’m not excited for Thanksgiving, but I really don’t want it to come. If I could just hold it off for a few more days I would, I know that as soon as Thanksgiving comes it will all be over and we will be saying goodbye and leaving all over again.

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I Guess I Just Can’t Stay Away

Having crossed a few time zones and gotten semi used to early shifts I was awake before our 6:00am alarm. Most of you already know that Eve has Neurofibromatosis type one, with no apparent complications yet we do have to follow up yearly with the Eye Dr. and Geneticist up at Doernbecher. Her eye appointment was today and everything checked out with no concerns. Eve told the doctor that she was on a date (because it was just her and us parents) the doctor said it was kind of a weird date to which she replied, “well it is a date because we got food.” I guess that doughnut stop at Fredmeyer at the bottom of the hill won us some parent points in her book either that or she was just relishing this one on one time even if it meant eye dilation drops.




We were back in Salem by 11am and stopped in at Lancaster Village to hug an old friend. Time is never a guarantee and my sweet friend is looking much older than the last time I saw her. May God bless her and keep her in his arms be her company and hold the loneliness at bay. As lunch time hit we got the car cleaned out completely. I went with Hannah to check in with the neighbors we chatted for a half an hour or so and when I returned to the house Chad was gone with the car taking it to the shop to vacuum and clean the seats. When you practically live in your car it is sooooo nice when it gets a good vacuuming.
Chad picked us up and we headed for a visit with Great Grandma Brown. The kids love their Great Grandma.




IMG_2683.JPG More neighbors came over before dinner. After dinner we headed to Grandma and Grandpa Owens’ house. A sleepover was in order for the kids. The early morning was catching up with me. That and the warm cozy environment at my in-law’s house made me a tad sleepy. It is nice to be so comfortable and in a place where it’s ok to just be myself. br />
IMG_2691.JPG A cup of tea was a nice pick-me-up and Chad suggested we swing back by the FBC on our way home to see the night shifters, I was going to ask if he was up to that very same thing, it was huge that he suggested it first. My mother-in-law said, “you just can’t stay away from this place can you!?” So true Donna, so true. I just can’t stay away, for one you can’t just go one time and see everyone, secondly, that is what the FBC is about. We share a bond working so many shifts elbow to elbow, having each other’s backs, in life threatening emergencies or just chaos management. My night shift girls it was so good to just hang out with you for a while tonight. You know you have my heart.

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Visiting my home hospital

We got in after dark, our own comfortable bed felt like a resort to our backs and heads. This morning feeling rested I was ready to go home, my home away from home that is. Chad had lab work first thing and thought of a whole bunch of other errands that needed to be done while he was out. By 9:00 am I gave up the waiting game and called to find out where he was at. Soon he dropped the newly washed car off with the coffee card that we had used to budget a coffee run for my FBC family.
Steph came along with me.
It felt good to take all those familiar turns. I found myself not even thinking only driving, like muscle memory my arms knew how to get there with out being prompted.

IMG_2605.JPG Awe Silverton Hospital, after seven long months I was home. Jen T. was working away in the front office her bright smile and warm hug were a great big welcome home greeting. Before I could get on the unit there were even more welcome home hugs and greetings. You FBCers know how to make a girl feel welcome. I am so humbled that even after seven months absence you all hold me as dear to your hearts.
It was fun to go around and get everyone’s coffee orders, hugging and catching up with each person as I went. I was very glad that Steph had come with me as it was an opportunity for some just us time and she was very helpful getting the 17 coffees safely to the car and then onto the unit.


It got a little busy with a delivery and discharges about the time we were leaving so I snuck out with out saying bye to everyone. My Hannah Banana, Kathy, Dawn, Tamara, Kellie, Rocio, Christy, Karen, Lara, Sarah, Drew, Janet, Mary Kay, J. Mo, Juanita, My favorite Cooper, Meredith, and Erin (sorry I couldn’t stay until you came in). You guys made my day. Oh how you have blessed me and made me feel loved today thank you for everything. It was sad to leave. I do wish that I could have my cake (being with my loved ones) and eat it too (enjoy the adventures and challenges of traveling).
We quietly drove home, it was lunchtime but I wanted to take the opportunity to sneak in a visit with Mary Beth as she was working from home today. Her puppies gave me a friendly mauling, we joked back and forth and just visited for about an hour or so before the kids dentist appointments called me away.


Thankfully the kids are all three cavity free! Caleb had to have four teeth extracted so tonight should be a good payday from the tooth fairy especially considering the discomfort that was involved. After the dentist Caleb and I visited with Louanne for a couple hours.

A soapy bath for Eve and Cyrus and a spaghetti dinner gathered around the table as a family drew our evening to a close. I don’t know if it’s the time change or because it’s daylight savings in winter but the night although young seems late, time for me to crash. Doernbecher apt. for Eve tomorrow will come early.

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Home for the first time since Easter

Suzanne and Jeremy shared their home with us last night. 14 people sleeping in a four bedroom house worked so much better than our usual of sleeping 14 people in their old two bedroom house. It was a good different, although I’m good for the floor if it means being with my family.
I liked getting to see them in their new roles in Pendleton, already dressing more Pendleton and less Portland ;0). The cousins all slept over together in the living room downstairs. That is all except Eve and Elijah, they didn’t make it. Eve slept with us and about two hours into the night I realized why we never really let the kids sleep with us. As cute and sweet as they are, they make sleep much more difficult to come by.



Church was good. Uncle David called as we were gathering the troops to head home, thinking we were in Irrigon they had already passed us. We missed their company at lunch. Mom picked up a special coffee treat for all of us. We sipped our coffee and visited while Dad, Chad and Suzanne arranged the Reunion leftovers for lunch. It was sure hard to leave. 24 hours with a handful of people we love most in the world was not enough. Really the whole week would not have been either. Good bye mom, good bye dad, goodbye Hadassah, Elijah, Jeremy and Suzanne. You are in our hearts always. At least we didn’t have to say bye to Steph and her family just yet.
The drive was pretty, it got dark so early though. We missed the west end of the gorge and Multnomah Falls.




Our first taste of Christmas was a special treat sent as road food from Aunt Diane


The rain greeted us with gusto about Troutdale.

Grandpa Owens met us at one of our favorite restaurants, Fudruckers, mostly for all the fun family memories we have made there over the years. Eve sang him one of those never ending songs of hers, we were so glad to see Grandpa.

IMG_2595.JPG We stopped in at Kohls on the way home to say hi to Grandma Owens too.

IMG_2597.JPG Quick hugs all around, then home to unload the car. It feels so good to be home all I want to do is go to bed. For doing pretty much nothing all day traveling can sometimes sap the energy right out of you.

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Nathan and Lisa

Spending the night last night with Nathan and Lisa and their four girls was so fun. With all the kids close in age they played so well together. Their giggles and laughter filled the house. We were a little late getting ready for the day because it was such a laid back and restful place to be. You never know what the future holds for your kids and their friends. I don’t know if Chuck and Donna, and Larry and Mary would have know what kind of friendships their kids might have had as they grew. After watching Chad talking to Marly or Natalie Lisa was recalling a time but one generation ago when Chuck would ask her those very same questions when their parents would hang out together. Here we are twenty five/thirty years later our kids playing for hours together giving us a chance to foster our own friendships, reminisce, and fellowship together.








IMG_2540-0.JPGThank you again for your friendship what a blessing you are to us.

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Sherman Family Reunion 2014

We have been looking forward to today 11/22/14 for at least two months, ever since a date was set. Holiday is a time for family and we have been so blessed with a big family.
My grandparents had seven children and all though they are no longer with us we have several new generations to get to know and celebrate with. Also it was the first time in months to see my sisters and father. The food was great, the hugs were better, but the best part was looking around the room seeing smiles and hearing laughter at every table. Two of my uncles must be major kid magnets, it made me smile to see all the kids congregate at their table.






Aunt Peggy was Eve’s favorite of all grandmas. I don’t think she minded the attention but it was funny when it was over as Eve was not interested in letting her leave with out her.


We weren’t missing any of the second generation. I think we were only missing a few of the first cousins and more second cousins than I would have expected.




All the kids gathered around Aunt Diane just like we were when I was that age.

On the way out we had to have a mini snowball fight.


The much anticipated four hours passed too quickly of course. Thank you so much everyone for coming. We love you all, it was so good to be together.

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