Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Resolutions

I have been telling myself for months now that I need to start eating better, drinking more water and getting on the treadmill daily. But for whatever reasons it hasn't happened. First it was Mindy's wedding and then tree harvest and now I've run out of excuses. Yesterday I even went so far as to put on sweats and tennis shoes. I even sat in front of the treadmill and watched the University of Oregon bowl game. When I was at Costco a couple days ago I bought stuff like carrots and celery, hummus and skim milk. But I still have chocolates left from Christmas and I can't seem to throw them away. I have stocked up on Viactive and vitamins, bottled water and crystal light and fiber one bars. This is what I know that I need to do but would my friend Stephanie be offended if I didn't eat all the cute little chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting and pretty sprinkles that she sent out here? I think so too. Besides, I was wondering, since New Years Day falls on a Thursday and that is just the middle of the week, should I just wait and start on the treadmill on Monday? Anyway, I just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year. My motto for now is Merry Fitness and a Happy New Rear!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

jean quilts

I have been wanting to do this for a while but now I have more time. I am taking Jay's jeans and cutting them apart and making quilts for my kids and for Granny and Papa ( my mother and father in-law).

That way when they want to they can cover up and feel a hug from Jay. I have only one made so far and I will be sending it to Jay's mom tomorrow. I know she will love it. I cut his jeans apart and saved everything that I could use. Even the smallest pieces will be something.
This is all that was left when I took them apart.

I cut 6" squares out of the jeans and also out of flannel.

Then after sewing them in strips and sewing the strips together we had to snip every square. I say "we" because "we " took turns snipping. This is the part I didn't like to do. It took quite a while and it was kinda not looking like I thought it should. But after washing and drying the quilt, the snipped edge fluffed up and looked much better.

I think it is cool because some of the squares have stains on them that wouldn't come out. They were his work pants. Not all of the quilts will be made with this technique. I want to be able to use the smaller pieces, too. And I want the kids to pick out the flannel for the backs of their quilts.

This is what it looks like when it is finished. I know that she's gonna love it. I will show you the others when I get them made.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Giving

Now that our kids are grown ups it is hard to think of something to get them for Christmas. It seems like they already have everything. So last year we decided to do something different. We gave them money. But they couldn't keep it or spend it on themselves. They had to find people who needed help. People who didn't have enough money for just the essentials, let alone for anything extra. They had so much fun that we did it again this year. This is them as they started out on their shopping. They had already done their homework and picked a few families that they wanted to help. They first contacted the schools, the churches and the food bank and asked for families they could help. After getting information such as ages of kids, sizes of clothes and shoes, or other needs, the lists were made and off to the stores they went. Stacy had the list and gave each one an item or two to go look for. We thought it was funny to see what each person picked out. Taylor was told to pick something out for a 12 year old girl. NO TAYLOR, not plaid flannel for a girl!!!!Casey and Louis were so happy they got to pick out toys. Where did Ryan go? Oh, he was sent to the grocery part to get hams and cheese and fruits and stuff. He also got double stuff oreos and gatorade and candys.

Mindy was so happy to pick out pink stuff and glittery stuff. It was really fun to see them pick and choose each person something special. They had one little boy that really just wanted his own toothbrush. Does that mean that they all shared one toothbrush?? Can you imagine? They got coats and shoes. They got toys and games, socks and gloves. They bought books and perfume and jewlery and backpacks.

Two stores later, five shopping carts full and they were done. They loaded it all in the car and went home to sort it all out. The next day they delivered their gifts to two of the families. The others were dropped off at school to be delivered by a teacher so they could remain annonymous. There were tears of joy in giving and tears of joy in recieving. It was so much fun. If I bought them each something for Christmas this year they would not be able to tell me next year what I had got them. But they will remember every thing they got for the families they chose and how it made them feel. Thanks kids, you made my day.

Christmas Pictures

The boys were really excited to open their present from Nana and Grandpa and Grandma. This looks like fun.
Connor I'm sure is telling Santa that he was a really good boy. I wonder if Santa believes him???

Caleb just plain looks like trouble. But since he's cute I bet he gets something from Santa.

This is Princess Snotty Pants.

Oh, but she is cute too. So I guess she can have whatever she wants.

OHHHHH, cupcakes, and dolls, and dress up clothes, oh my.

She got ahold of one of the boys headband flash lights and was trying it out. I thought this was such a cute picture.
I'll post more pictures later. I gotta get something done around here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Feeling the blues

I am feeling the blues. I think it is partly because we were so busy with tree harvest and now there is not much going on. Mostly tho, it is because I miss Jay with every breath I take. This is the first time in over 20 years that we haven't gone home for Christmas. It feels weird. I already miss going to Grandma's house for Christmas eve. I have never not been there. I will miss all the good food, the funny gift exchange and being with family. I will miss not being at Jay's mom and dad's house. They too will be alone this Christmas. Even tho I have all my kids here with me, I feel alone. Christmas shopping isn't so much fun. Stuff is just stuff. Jay would love to get things for the little ones. If he was here I'm sure that he would be in the hot tub with the little boys while it was snowing outside. They would probably come in and get the juicer out and make carrot juice. The boys thought that was fun. They didn't like to drink it but they liked to help him make it. He would love to see his little Kenzi dance around singing "I like to move it, move it." He would eat her up, she is so cute. He would be 4 wheeling with the big boys. He would be plowing the snow for the neighbors, or having a snowball fight with the kids. Maybe he would be making a snowman with Connor and Caleb. He would always put the carrot in the wrong place:) He would come in and put his ice cold hands on my back. If he was here he would dance around the kitchen like a goof and eat all the cookie dough. He would ask me if I wanted to go see a movie even if it was already 9 o'clock at night. Everything was just more fun with him. Now I feel restless and bored. Even tho I want to go home for Christmas, I also want to be here. This is where I feel closest to him. I don't want to leave him alone. I think maybe tomorrow I will make a snowman with the little guys, and then get in the hot tub for a while. After church tomorrow night I think we should go look at all the pretty lights. Maybe we should make oatmeal cookie dough and eat it instead of bake it. Maybe we could sit around and watch "Trinity." (he must have watched that movie a million times) And we could eat uncooked pasta and dill pickles and drink carrot juice. I think tonight I will sleep on his side of the bed. And I will pray and thank God for all the great times we had together.

Monday, December 22, 2008

That was yesterday, this is today!!

Yesterday I told you about the ice storm that went thru here. It was crazy. Then about 4:30 last night it started to snow. In no time there was about 2" of fresh snow on the ground. I needed 4 wheel drive to get up to my house at 7 pm. In the night it must have warmed up because it started raining and I heard it rain all night long. This morning when I looked outside the snow was all but gone. 7 am it started snowing ginormous flakes. It was really getting deep. I had to go into Salem and the roads were pretty bad. Most everyone had 4-wheel drive or tire chains on. It hasn't stopped snowing all day.
We measured it a little bit ago and it was over 9". THIS IS CRAZY! Needless to say, we will not be going anywhere for Christmas. This will be the first time in over 22 years that we have had Christmas at home. It will be really different. But this year every day is different. We will stay home, open gifts with the little guys, make a yummy dinner and watch a movie or two. Maybe we will make a snowman. I better go get some bird food. What do those little guys eat when it's all covered up?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Crazy Weather

This morning we were getting ready for church and it was raining outside. Mindy called and asked "Are you sure you want to come down to church?" " Why would I stay home because of the rain???? " I said. Well, there is an inversion going on cuz I am at 1000 feet of elevation and they are at maybe 500 ft. Here it was fine but as we went down a couple of miles it was all ice.

Every little thing was completely covered in ice. It was so pretty but so dangerous. We saw tree branches touching the ground, power lines down everywhere and people trying to stop traffic because of the downed trees and branches.

Every road we turned down was impassible. So we drove around and took pictures and talked to people. It was really quite fun. Then we went to the cafe to eat. It was packed. There were so many people in there. Everybody was out of power. It took over an hour to get served our breakfast ( which by now is lunch). Outside the restaurant was a tree lot.

This is the sign and the trees.

" Nope we don't have flocked trees but we do have frozen trees!"

Any way, after we ate , we drove around a little more to see the awesome sites. It is amazing what this weather is doing. We decided to come home, make a fire, play games and eat. Now it is snowing big gigantic flakes and everything is turning white again. I am glad that I don't have anywhere I need to be.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Simple things

I told you about the girls and some friends coming out yesterday for a lunch and a cookie exchange. I told you how much fun we all had. What I forgot to tell you is that it didn't matter that there was a couple of inches of snow on the road to my house. It didn't matter that I didn't get the front porch decorated cute like I had planned. It didn't matter that the boys (Connor and Caleb) knocked the 9 foot tall, fully decorated Christmas tree down in the middle of the living room when everyone was here. Or that on it's way down it knocked the mounted deer head off the wall. It didn't matter that Robin is dieting and this was so not a diet food day. It also didn't matter that I forgot the broccoli in the microwave oven till lunch was almost finished. What did matter was that we all had so much fun. We laughed alot and shared yummy recipes. What I do know is that sometimes life is so complicated but happiness is really pretty simple.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Simple Pleasures

Today Stacy and Mindy and I had some of our friends over for a cookie exchange. It was so much fun. We have done this for a few years in December after harvest is over. We tidy up the house, put out a few decorations and make some yummy treats for the girls. We even had snow outside for added decorations.

Everyone brought their favorite cookies along with their recipes. We all had lunch and then traded cookies.

There were lots of different kinds of cookies, bars and candies. I don't know who was more excited about this, us girls or the boys. They didn't have to clean house, make lunch, bake cookies or clean up afterwards. But they sure were happy to test all the cookies and tell us what ones were their favorites. Sometimes it took lots of trys to decide which ones they liked the best.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

From Wahoo to Boohoo

We are finially down to our last load of Christmas trees. They should go out tomorrow or Thursday at the latest. The slings are hung back up in the barn. The pallets are all neatly stacked. The chainsaws are put away in the shop. The guys have been cleaning up the landings where the trees were staged. It has been a fast and furious six weeks. Now that it is almost over I find myself smiling and crying alot. I am so happy it's over. I'm so happy that we got it done with no problems, no injuries and no screw ups. That's the wahoo part. The boohoo part is that two of our full time guys are leaving for Mexico tonight. Even tho they will be back in a few months, I cried when I paid them and said goodbye. They are like my family and I like to have them here with me always. I cry cuz I am so proud of my family for helping get this season behind us. I cried when I think of all the prayers that were offered up for us. I cry whenever I think of Jay guiding us thru each day, thankful for all his notes and records. What the heck, I am crying right now. I call these tears liquid love. I think I better go squirt myself with "Happy" perfume.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Can I get a big AMEN!! We are almost finished with this years tree harvest. Everything has gone so smoothly. I know without a doubt that Jay was watching out for us on many occasions. I know that I told you about the fog and how we didn't have fog on any of our fly days with the helicopter. Even when it was foggy everywhere else we were clear to fly. I also wanted to tell you about another thing. Jay had both of his GPS's (global positioning system) with him. They were both destroyed. On them were all the coordinances for the different fields. This information is necessary for the helicopters to locate the fields. Without knowing how to use a GPS we were wondering what to do. One day Caleb and Connor were making their "time sheet" for me and putting them on a clipboard. When I was doing payroll I took their time sheet off the clipboard and there in Jay's handwriting was all the coordinances for each field.
Another thing that happened was this. Towards the end of harvest you have to look at your orders and check you inventory of trees cut and bailed on the landing. Sometimes the trucks get full before all the trees are on them. They don't want to come back for just a few trees so we try and adjust. We see who can use more and who might have too many. One guy had 243 extra trees. They are cut and bailed and he doesn't really want to come all the way back from Idaho if he doesn't have to. And then there is a field that we need to clear cut with approximately 220 trees left. WELL, last night a guy called from California and says he NEEDS 500 more of exactly the ones we need to get rid of. How about that???

On another note, a very good friend (teacher) of ours was accused of sexual abuse last February. We knew all along he was not guilty of this horrible thing. His trial was this week and yesterday he was found INNOCENT! Amen to that.

Also, my good friend Diane got test results back yesterday. Her cancer is only in the left breast and is not attatched to the muscle. She will have surgery soon to remove the breast. They will take a couple of lymph nodes and check them for cancer. The doctor told her she may not even need cemo. Please keep Diane in your prayers.