Family Time

A Week Without Cell Service

We are so dependant on our mobile devices that it was a welcome change of pace to not be able to get into FaceBook or answer text messages.  We did head out of camp and into town three different times throughout the week long enough for me to upload some pictures and check FaceBook while we enjoyed an Italian soda in Chester.  Now we will see if I can get a few photos up to share over this next week.

Categories: California, Family Time, Fulltime, Road Trip | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

John Day Fossil Beds National Monent

We are headed to family camp!  Maybe we should be more organized and have our meals planned but we like to celebrate small victories and not stress about the rest so we are celebrating getting on the road!  The first leg of our journey is a coming together. Chad, me and the kids with Stephanie and Cyrus and Suzanne, Jeremy and their kids.  We had decided on a meeting place of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument with a plan to head south from there.  The GPS said 4 hours 20 minutes.  We were up at 6:30AM taking showers, getting dressed and loading the car took a little while and some motivating YouTube Tetris music.  Finally deciding we would have to leave the kayaks behind seeing no way to fit everything.  Stephanie and I had seen a few blow up “kayak”s that hold two people and were on sale at Fred Meyers so she went and got two of them as well as a quick breakfast that the kids could eat at the shop while we hooked up the trailer.  We left the house at 8:30 thinking that was pretty good time.  We had a few hiccups hooking up the trailer and were still feeling like we were making good time leaving Salem at 9:30.  I put in our destination to google maps giving us a 2:30 ETA.  With lunch and traffic we were not making the kind of time we wanted to.  Heading first after following a sign to the painted hills section of the park we backtracked and were relieved to finally make it to the paleontology center at 4:00PM.  Stephanie and Jayson met us in the parking lot as Jayson headed back home to hold down the fort.   We also got to see a few faces from our past! George and Jerry Lunsford (high school teacher and youth pastor from our past lives in Cambridge Idaho) now they may regret making a special stop at the national monument, but we sure did enjoy catching up with them.

 John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is know for its vast range of fossils of both plants and animals as well as number of fossils that are still being found there.  All this is fun and interesting making me eager to learn the real truth behind the Grand Canyon,  the continental drift, and now 15,000 feet of fossil layers in the middle of eastern Oregon.  I am guessing that the answer to many of my questions will have to wait until the other side of the pearly gates as I do not buy into evolution and millions of years.  After the main visitor center we enjoyed the farm house for a little while before heading to John Day.

  We took up three whole booths at dinner.
 I was blown away how breath takingingly gorgeous the drive was!  We made it about half way to family camp whoo hoo!! California here we come!

Categories: Family Time, Fulltime, Homeschool, National Park, Oregon, Road Trip | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Ode to Life on a Farm and an FBC Bridal Shower!

One of my favorite parts of being raised on a dairy farm in rural Idaho was the sheer number of births I was exposed to. I know, really, none of you are suprised.  Our birth numbers were pretty impressive even compared to some birthcenters I have worked in.  Between the kittens, the puppies, the piglets, and the sheep not to mention the cows.  For this birth junkie I never had to look to far or for too long.  I loved feeling like I was helping wether it was drying of kittens whose moms didn’t lick them as clean as they should have, holding a lamp for my mom who would place the newborn piglets on dry straw closer to the heater who were being born on a cold winter morning, or sticking straw in the nose of a newborn calf to stimulate it to breathe when that function didn’t start as spontaneously as I thought it should have.  The truth be told I’m sure most of those animals would have been fine with out me and maybe a few would have even been better off 😉 I was young and just doing my part to make the world a better place.  I often feel like I was given a huge priceless gift that I could never give my kids even though I often wish I could.  Wednesday morning the kids got a small glimpse of at least this aspect of farm life when Cyrus’ kitty (a stray that he has been feeding) gave birth to a batch of kittens. I had woken up shortly after six and was getting dressed to take the dogs on a walk when a knock came at the door.  It was our neighbor who had just come home from work and noticed that White Blueberry (that’s what Cyrus named her) was having kittens.  I knocked on Stephanie’s door and relayed the news and soon all the kids were up and out to watch the birth of these new little kitten lives. Six little furry babies were born.  The first little white one born wet on the cold cement did not make it, but the other five with their tiny pink ears and high pitched mews are doing quite well.  They were moved to a comfy box in a safe from the kids and other animals location and the mother kitty seems to be fabulous in her new role.  I continued out to walk the dogs since there was already too many people for a birth mommies comfort so Hannah was our photographer.

Mid morning after all the new additions were settled, we accompanied Stephanie to a church play date at Bush park it was fun to see some old friends.  After that I made my way out to get the groceries to make an appetizer for a bridal shower.  Our house is close to Target and Lindsey was registered there so I though possibly I could get away with one stop shopping.  I kind of had to since Stephanie had a Dr. appointment and I needed to watch the kids.  I was pleased to find jalapeños, cream cheese and bacon.  It all the suddenly became way less convenient when despite the customer service representatives best efforts we were unable to access the registry.  She suggested I just pick out something I like and get a gift receipt.   I looked at a few things then decided I would get a date night gift card to P.F. Changs and some cute refrigerator magnets.  Date nights are so important anytime but especially in the first years of marriage when you go quite suddenly from the novelty of dating and special effort to spend time together to being together with out effort needed to be spent.  It is easy to feel like all the romance has gone from your relationship.  Feeling pretty good about my purchase…this traveling thing has made me an anti-stuff person that may have been a factor.  The cream cheese stuffed bacon wrapped jalapeños took longer to make than I thought and I found myself running a bit behind schedule.  Since Chad does all of our cooking I am a bit out of practice.  I seeded and viened the jalapeños, Caleb filled the halves with cream cheese and Hannah wrapped them with bacon.  The first batch we baked at 400 degrees for 20 min.  Then put them back in for another 10….it wasn’t supposed to take that long per Chad.  The second batch we turned the oven to broil since the problem with the first batch was that the bacon didn’t get as crispy as I wanted it to.  The second batch came out crispy and perfect in about 8 min. So much better than the first batch and soon enough that I was only going to be fashionably late.  A tad underdressed and in my brother-in-laws older truck I headed out excited to spend even more time with my FBC family.  It is amazing what can go through your  head in 28 minutes.  I went from the top of the world happy to be part of this celebration of a fellow nurse that I couldn’t be more proud of and her stands on maintaining a God honoring relationship better that Chad and I had been at protecting eachother from the temptations that come when you love and are so physically attracted to your amazing soon to husband.  As I got closer I worried about what people would think of my non traditional gift better suited for the actual wedding than the shower.  What about my car, I was so glad to have the chance to use my brother-in-laws truck since Chad had ours in Portland as he was attending a class.  All the sudden it was front and center in my mind that it didn’t compare to the world’s view of a successful person and maybe even quite the opposite…were my appetizers good enough.  Good grief.  Serious rain on my parade.  Such an upfront attack of fear about what these people that I love and I know love me would think of me.  By the time I arrived I was feeling self conscious but willing to take the risk.  Nothing worth doing is with out risk and the rest of my life is about not letting fear stop me from doing what I feel like we are called to do why would this be different?  The appetizers were quickly well recieved and I guess it would have been fine even if they hadn’t.  Of course the self conscious feeling was never completely shaken.  I hadn’t planned on staying late but it was fun to sit around the fire and listen to those around me.  I don’t drink and was a lot more up tight than everyone else but it was fun to just sit and listen and not have to talk about myself.  I was asked for my marriage advice and let’s face it I organize my thoughts way better on paper than in verbose elegance.  Thank you Lindsey for loving me just the way I am.  Everytime I spend time with you I come away with a new drive to always do my best and love others until it hurts.  Maybe someday I will be as thoughtful of a gift giver it’s not my love language I guess I just need more practice.

Categories: Family Time, Homeschool, Oregon | Tags: , | 2 Comments

First Night Shift, Bay Front and Dinner at Mundos! 

It has been a while since I have had to stay up all night.  No big deal right!? Not so I was having to fight pretty hard to keep my eyes open between 5 and 6 AM.  All in all my second shift at Samaritan Pacific Comunity Hospital went well it may take me a few nights to get the whole night shift routine down pat.  The thing about the nurse that I worked with last night even though it was slow (we did have patients) she used the time she worked, the whole time, on things that bettered the unit and the hospital.  After our routine checks and restocking we ran over test scenarios of how to admit the patients and paperwork/ epic/obix admissions. Then we scrubbed the couches and she worked on continuing education.  I have worked quite a few places now and often when you are on a unit who has a lot of down time there is a lot of FaceBook and YouTube going on.  I love how she continued to find ways to use the time she was getting paid for to do good for her employer.

Chad took the kids to Yaquina Bay lighthouse while I took a three hour nap this morning.  They loved it and came away with the history lesson of: in 1870s kids were not to talk at all during meals and to eat everything on their plate.  This light house was in use a very short time since it ended up being a poorly visible area.  The Yaquina Head lighthouse replaced it in a better location and is still in use today. The kids checked that out earlier this week when we were here.  After a bologna sandwich and the first watermelon from my dad’s garden for lunch (So delicious by the way! Thanks dad!) we headed out to walk the bay front shops.


There was a family with kids ages 8-13ish who had crab pots in the bay just off of the pier.  Hannah and Eve were quite curious the kid explained the whole process and showed them their catch so far.  We stayed and watched for a while.  We loved watching them pull up the pots and throw the crabs that were too little back.  Eve acted as if she was just part of their family getting in and helping touching the crab ropes and pot. It was great!The thermostat said that it was 77 degrees but it felt hotter than that the sun beat down and Myra panted away.  After the bay front we met Grandma and Grandpa Owens at a park and walked to the beach to cool off in the breeze coming off of the water.  I was still tired and enjoyed a beach nap in the soft cool sand with the cool beach wind.  Caleb made his own kite and Hannah tried for a bit to fly a kite we had just bought from one of the bay front shops it was just too windy for kites today. 

   At dinner time we packed up and walked along some of the shops near the beach until we found a unique little restaurant that looked like a good place to eat dinner.
 Dinner was great! Myra and I took a walk out on the bay bridge and now it is time to get a little rest before these next three days of day shift.

   Good night!

Categories: Family Time, Fulltime, Homeschool, Oregon, Road Trip, Travel Nursing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Build-A-Bear With Grandma

Donna, my mother-in-law, has been asking for the last couple of weeks for a girls date so she can take the girls to Build-A-Bear.  She had been wanting to take them since we were in Disneyland in January.  Chad joined us making it a whole family ordeal (Caleb’s still at camp). At Washington Square we walked to the far end of the mall before we discovered that it was under construction and not currently open.  On to Clackamas Towne Center we went.  At Build-A-Bear Hannah knew already what she wanted and Eve was quite indecisive.

 The employees at Build-A-Bear were a kick in the pants so involved and good with the kids the customer service is what makes the experience.  The girls were in heaven and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Chad couldn’t resist getting a toothless for Cyrus.  Which he has been loving on ever since he got home from swimming lessons.

 The kids (mine) gladly gave up three of their older toys as these are kind of big toys and we have to work hard not to own more than we have room for.  We got our room all cleaned up too. It has been a a productive day.

 Tomorrow we head back out to the beach for five days of work before heading to family camp.

Categories: Family Time, Oregon | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Newport Bound

I think we might have a plan now, I’m not sure if it is plan G or plan J but it is far from plan A or plan C.  We packed quickly this morning.  Less planning is needed when your only going two hours drive away, but still there were a few things we could not afford to forget.  Attending church at our own church was amazing as always.  Getting to see Aunt Bonnie and Great Grandma Brown was a special treat as well as trying out a new Sunday school class since  our old newlywed and young couple class that we attended for 14 years has morphed into a much different class in the last year and a half.  We attened a new class with our old classmates that is currently on a parenting series.  I hope we will be able to attend enough to follow the current study.  We sat in our “normal” (if you can call it that anymore) spot in hopes that we would get to sit by Dr. Dan and Robyn so I was super excited when Roby came up from behind us and slid into the chair next to me!!! Yay!  It was so good to see them (our Sunday school teachers since the day after we got engaged in 2001, they came up to us at church and said, “We are starting a young married’s class.  We would love to have you join us.” We have hundreds of fond memories made together.)  A few hugs, and minutes to catch up is all we had before service started.  We had time to make temporary dinner plans for next week I can’t wait to catch up for real.  After church we rushed off to our lunch date with Grandma and Grandpa Owens and Red Robin.  Their current coloring pages are the United States we counted up that we have visited 22 states so far on our “trip”

 looks like at the end of this assignment we need to head south then East as we have not yet seen most of the south east states.  After lunch Caleb headed out with Grandpa to get a card for a party they were headed to.  A little one on one time while Grandma works the off to camp in the morning.

 I love that he has so many strong godly and manly mentors in his life.  In the last week alone he has had the oportunity to work beside my dad one on one and now quality time with Chad’s dad.  I couldn’t have dreamed that we would be so blessed, I hope there is a day when Caleb recognizes just how blessed he is.

The rest of us buckled in and headed west.

 She is just so darn cute.  We made it to Newport, checked into our hotel and then headed out to drive around.  Plan G like we talked about earlier is us borrowing a trailer from Chuck and Donna (Chad’s parents) and finding a campground that allows long term campers with a monthly rate.  We will still need a lot of things to fall into place but right now that is where we are at.

 It is so beautiful here!  We can’t wait to get settled. Now for a little sleep, ready or not we start tomorrow. 😬

Categories: Family Time, Oregon, Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seaman Day Pictures

 This photo was taken just as the park opened. Many more Newfs came and went over the days time. (the news artical written about the event!
Pictures sent by the ranger in charge of hosting Seaman’s Day.

Categories: Family Time, Homeschool, National Park, Oregon | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Seaman’s Day, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park 

Seaman Day? What is that?

Every year on the second Wednesday of July Fort Clatsop (where the Corp of Discovery wintered 1805-1806 on the Oregon coast) hosts a full day of events and activities for adults and children focused solely on the 34th member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Seaman, Meriwether Lewis’ dog.  Seaman was a Newfoundland, and Seaman Day allows kids, and adults, to meet and touch dogs like him.  Today our job was to be throughout the park so if someone wanted to see a Newfoundland they would and if they didn’t like dogs/afraid they would not feel threatened or like they couldn’t see the park.  They had us sign up for a few of the different events and activities, we were signed up for the 1100 River walk, the Kid’s Corp, the 1430 Meet a Newf and a Seaman Stories at 1530.  I was nervous about how Myra would do since she is great with people but pulls terribly and wants to play with every dog she sees and there would be a lot of dogs.

We set our alarms for 0430, took our showers the night before getting to bed kind of late but before midnight.  Eve woke up pretty happy. Stephanie and Cyrus joined us as well and by the time we were to Portland area all three of our backseat passengers were checking for holes in their eyelids, no snoring included.

We made good time and had plenty of time to stop and eat breakfast at Safeway in Seaside.  We were the first ones there by maybe two minutes and before 15 minutes had passed there were at least 5 more.  We have a Newf but had really never seen or hung out with any other Newfoundland other than Myra and two brief visits with her parents when we met her and picked her up from the breeder.  She was born from two family dog Newfs not a reputable breeder and Newfoundland owners and breeders can be a bit snobbish about where you got your Newf and linage/bloodline. Would they be excepting of Myra, would there be any other Newfoundlands as small as Myra?  Would she get along with the other dogs her size? Would that much personal touch by strangers and kids climbing over her be taken in her usual low key stride? Time would soon tell.

The good news was all the other Newfs were as low key as Myra or lower key and as long as she had a chance to meet them after that she no longer pulled toward them and after the first half hour or so she didn’t really pull even for new dogs she did growl two times at a bigger dog throughout the day but it was short with no teeth or anything just a holy cow this a big dog and I don’t know what to think about a dog bigger than me.  She liked all the events, but I think the Kid’s Corp was her favorite….the cool indoors with kids petting her all over while she sacked out on the floor.  The other Newfoundland parents were all very friendly and not at all judge mental.  It is funny how I remember all the dogs names and only a couple of the handlers names.  They may all have the sameish colors and similar markings, but between personality, size and head shape they were very distinctly different.  If we had let them all loose in a gym it would be easy to tell who is who.

With Uncle Jayson picking up Hannah from camp we didn’t have any time constraints, but everyone was done long about 1530.  Eve and Cyrus were starting to misbehave, Myra was ready to not be bothered (mostly because Eve was misbehaving and poking her nose with sharp sticks which she did get in trouble for) but also she has never in her life been handled that much and she was starting to turn in towards us instead of reaching out with her nose to lick every new person who came with in reach.  Instead of making it a bad experience we quit while we were ahead. Myra and I went out of the park and sat in the shade out front of the visitor’s center.  Aunt Stephanie, Eve and Cyrus watched a few movies in the visitor center and Chad stayed to help one of the other Newf handlers finish the Seaman Stories presentation.  We left as soon at the presentation was over as did Brogen (another Newfoundland, the best looking one I have ever seen in person) with us two being the last to leave the park of the doggy volunteers for Seaman’s Day at 4:30PM.

The kids were asleep within 10 minutes and stayed asleep most of the way home.  It was a very good day!  That only could have been made better by leaving about an hour earlier…we are taking note to remember that for next year.

 Eve was giving Myra a volunteer hat to wear.

  The flag raising ceremony.  The period flag had 15 stars and 15 stripes.  I never knew about flags with more than 13 stripes.  Eventually they went back to thirteen because let’s face it 50 stars and 50 stripes would be a super complex flag.  Shortly after this time period they decided to go back to thirteen for the original colonies and only add a new star for each state.

  The replica fort is super awesome.  I think we could live in a complex like this. 
  Check out this HUGE slug!
The family above has 4 Newfoundlands!!! I think one is plenty, I don’t know how they do it!

  Kid’s Corp
    Below is Brogen in the Seaman Stories presentation.
   A new must try in Seaside. Fish and chips made out of tuna.

I can’t wait to get the group photo I will add it when it comes.

Categories: Family Time, Oregon | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Battery Charging Kind of Day

Kidless this morning, Chad and I both still got up before 7:00am.  Chad had plans to work with his dad for the day and I needed to pick up Eve from grandma’s house and take Myra to the groomer.  We headed out a little early so we could take the car by the mechanic shop because we had some concerns about how it had been acting lately.  It was a good thing we did. The car did fine until it warmed up.  We made it to Japanese Connection just fine but the last five blocks from the mechanic to the shop (Chad’s parents business base) was rough.  We couldn’t get it out of first and the clutch was sticking.  We are hoping it is the master cylinder.  Needless to say once we parked the car in the shop we knew we would not be able to move it too far.  It will stay there until it’s “doctor” appointment on Thursday.  Donna saved the day by coming and picking me up and taking me back to her house, since we are a one car family we are kind of high and dry when our car misbehaves.  Chuck and Donna have let us borrow one of their cars for the next two days to get us by.  They are continually such a blessing to us I don’t know what we would do without them.   Eve and I then took Myra to the groomer and rode with Aunt Steph and Cyrus to check out the toy section of Fred Meyer running into a church friend there. Back at home Eve and Cyrus were playing well together and Steph offered to keep an eye on Eve so I headed to Silverton Hospital Family Birth Center!!!! Seriously I can’t stay away from that place.  It was 11:00 and I guess I picked the perfect day to visit.  The census allowed for me to have the opportunity to say hi and catch up with each of the nurses, CNA, tech, and unit clerk with out interfering in their work.  I was on the unit for about an hour then headed to the cafeteria for lunch with the management team.  The weather was perfect for sitting outside and we caught up, as Hawaiians would say “we talked story” mixed with a little business.  I love Silverton so much!  Whenever I am there I come away wishing that I could take everyone with me to each assignment.  Then we could see the United States without ever having to be away from our friends, doesn’t that sound perfect?  I got home from the hospital around 1:30pm Stephanie was in the front yard talking to our neighbor who is also a good friend, we talked for quite a while before we decided that it was getting hot enough we should move to the shade.  Ice tea, lawn chairs, and the shade with the company of a fellow mother/neighbor it doesn’t get much better than that.  Steph had headed out for coffee with a friend so Hosanna and I visited and watched the kids play for a few more hours.  Steph came home from coffee and took Eve and Cyrus to swimming lessons and I got ready for a bridal shower.  Mary Beth came over and we headed out to go shopping, then we picked up Myra and took her home just in time to sneak in a sit down pizza dinner and make it to the bridal shower.  We had some good laughs, it was one of our best visits.  It was so wonderful to see so many friends at the shower too.  It really has been, besides the car acting up, the most wonderful and relaxing/recharging day we have had.  I am just starting to feel like maybe I can face starting back to work again.  It is an awfully good thing since my next contract starts Monday.

Categories: Family Time, Oregon | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

And Then There Was None

One of our littles (Caleb) stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Sherman for the week.  Hannah got all packed up when we got home last night and headed out to camp early this morning.

   She was so excited, I hope she has a life changing good time, many of my favorite childhood memories were made at church camp.

 Eve and I half-heartedly worked on organizing the garage, Chad and Jayson took a few things to the dump and we got ready for lunch at Keizer Station with Grandma and Grandpa Owens.  Chad went on to work with his dad, and Eve decided that an afternoon with grandma would be much better than returning home with me.

   So just like that I was kidless and husbandless…that hasn’t happened besides sleep (daytime sleep after a night shift if you are worried about why I would be husbandless at night 😋) in a long time.  A nap might have been good, but a cute 4.5 year old boy wanted a playmate and I didn’t bring his cousin (Eve) home with me.  I’m not sure how we got around to trying to ride a big boy bike with out training wheels but before I had been home 40 min. he was peddling like a champ and giggling when I had to run to keep up with him.

 I guess Cyrus was in need of some Aunt Sarah attention so I stayed outside with him and sorted some stored clothes and watched him practice starting and stopping until it was time for dinner.  Steph and Jayson headed out for an anniversary date night and Cyrus and I headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for dinner taking along his bike and helmet so we could show grandma, grandpa, and Uncle Chad his new skills.

    Eve and Grandma had gone to the store. Grandma let Eve plan and make dinner, she chose meat balls, cheese balls, melon balls, blueberries and Cheetos.  She was having a “ball” planning a meal and preparing it with grandma.
 Cyrus and Eve played for a while after dinner then Cyrus had everyone come out side to see him ride his bike.  We said goodbye and came home with Eve staying for a sleepover.  It was a pretty productive, fun day and overall relaxing.

Also my “Big Island” earrings came in the mail they are bigger than I thought they would be but they are light and I love them.  I will be thinking of our four months in Hawaii everytime I wear them, all the amazing people we met and the metamorphosis that occurs each assignment in our hearts as we trust in God, trying to obey and be a blessing to those around us only to be humbled at how he has provided key relationships and situations that have stretched and grown us, providing for our needs before we even knew we had them.

Categories: Family Time, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at