Saturday, July 05, 2014

Country Mice

Some things we love about big cities: 



Museums!

Bridges! 

Sky scrapers! 


Good food! 




Escalators!  




It's a great thing to spent four days exploring with thousands of people milling about and not know a single person.  As much as I heart my little Colfax, I have to admit it is nice to be anonymous for a bit. 

My children have yet to perfect the art of maintaing composure in public places. Their tendency to walk zig zag across all sidewalks regardless of how many people are zooming past disrupts pedestrian flow terribly. 




We are pretty excited about trains and trams, and don't get me started on street cars. It's almost like Disneyland. 








I'm happy to day that each child packed a lunch every morning and carried it in their Aloha backpacks to eat as they wished. Hashtag field trip mom. 




They also like to climb statues. I highly suspect this is not favorable in the eyes of city folk. 








Oh yes. And the zoo. We heart the Portland Zoo. 


Did you know that the  Zoo rents wheelchairs?  It's true. For only $7.00 one can push their freshly-sick son around the whole zoo. This way the other three children can still enjoy the day rather than sit in a hotel room all day.   Theybhave even conveniently placed garbage cans at every turn. For the puking. 



I was foolishly optimistic that his predicament would keep him close to me. Perhaps THIS would be the zoo day when I did not have to search for him. 

How silly of me. 

Even in his diminished state he still managed to wander off when I was returning the chair at the end of our visit. 

After searching for awhile with three (now very tired and hungry and complaining) girls I finally sought the help of zoo security. 

I found out another tidbit about the zoo I didn't know before.  If a child is suspected to have left the zoo premesis while missing, a City wide code is called. 

 
Thankfully I returned with the "lost boy" (found laying beside our van) just before the code was called. 

Phew. 

I wouldn't want the City of Portland to be mad at us. We want to come back soon!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 - 1975 = 39

We left Mo's Chowder House with our bellies full of butter laden clam chowder and, for me, fish tacos.  







The kids' hair was full of sand from an afternoon of frolicking on the beach and it had started to rain.  It's the Oregon Coast, so of course it started to rain. 

Three of my four chickadees ran up beside me for some warming snuggles. Ivy was full of "thank you for taking us to the beach and thank you for the licorice and thank you for buying us a nice dinner and thank you for the snuggles". Oakley (who will be taller than me by December if not sooner) was crawling all over me because I guess I am no longer big enough to give him the snuggle input he requires, and Georgia was shivering cold, clinging to my thigh.   

Eden held off a bit. But when we strolled down to the edge of Cannon Beach to the tune of "DO NOT GET MORE SAND IN YOUR HAIR I MEAN IT" She put her head on my shoulder for just a moment.

"Happy Birthday Mom".  

Then she was off. 

Gods gift to me on the thirty ninth anniversary of my life on this earth was an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the four. 

One

Two

Three

Four. 


Very different, unique, challenging, beautiful and great children who all call me Mom. 









And this guy is alright too. I guess. 



Life gets a little bit better each day. 


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Week two of summer vacation is on the books....

Some things about this summer (so far). 

My son is almost always missing.  I felt an urge to pull out his Cub Scout book for some summer enrichment. If he comes home, that is.  I often feel that if I were just a schmidge more creative, a tad more interactive and a mite more organized that I could get him involved in a project a day that would keep him around and keep him learning. 



My Mom came to visit and it was just lovely. I have to admit, I made her drive a high and windy gravel road just for the fun seeing her reaction.  It really was the next best thing to riding a roller coaster with my Mom, which is a life experience I will forever be grateful for.   Oh, the tears of laughter.   We also hiked, explord, swam, visited and ate. A lot. In fact, I cooked dinner almost every night she was here.  A modern day miracle I tell you. 





There were a lot of smiles and fun times during her week with us and I have to say that I am really enjoying this process of getting to know the person that she is, the one that was hidden for so long. 









Eden turned twelve (!!!!!????) while her a grandma was in town, and to celebrate they watched 37 episodes of Alfrred Hitchcock Presents together.   There were a fair number of Little Debbie's involved, and several hand made  dish cloths  to add to my pile.    








Kenneth received a last minute work assignment to teach a course in Portland next week.... So guess where  this mom is headed?  Portlandia, of course. I am looking forward to a week of exploring with my little summer camp entourage.  

A few years ago when we spent the entire summer in Portland it was a daily occurrence to be asked by random people if I ran a daycare. It dawned on me that to these city folk saw my rainbow of children, and that there were SO MANY OF THEM and could only assume that I was tending the children of others. For cash. 

Funnier still is that when we went to Utah after that, people who cared to comment on my crew would almost always mention adoption. Four children is status quo over there in the jello belt. No one blinks an eye.

News that some prominent LDS people in social media are up for excommunication has dominated my Facebook feed this week.   Google "John Dehlin" or "Kate Kelly" if you want the details. 

Here is a little tidbit I became aware of in this horrifying "Mormon Moment"..... a man, when excommunication is a possibility, attends a church court of 12-15 people including the Stake Presidency, several high councilmen and some brethren who are there to provide evidence on behalf of the person whose neck is on the line. 

For a woman, however, she attends a smaller meeting with no one else but her bishopric there. And no one is there to advocate on her behalf. 


I may be status quo for my large family and my deep rooted desire to can fruit, but there is so much about the way I live and express my Mormonism that is  far from status quo... And I have to say, I am scared.  


Which I consider ridiculous.  Because what is an almost-39-year-old woman doing in a place that makes her scared to be who she is?  


I always thought when I got to this stage in life that I would have a lot more answers than I actually do. 

I have to share this poem because it speaks to my Mormon heart...after which we will adjourn to the cultural hall where light refreshments will be served. 


Pioneers - Carol Lynn Pearson
My people were Mormon pioneers.
Is the blood still good?
They stood in awe as truth
Flew by like a dove
And dropped a feather in the West.
Where truth flies you follow
If you are a pioneer.
I have searched the skies
And now and then
Another feather has fallen.
I have packed the handcart again
Packed it with the precious things
And thrown away the rest.
I will sing by the fires at night
Out there on uncharted ground
Where I am my own captain of tens
Where I blow the bugle
Bring myself to morning prayer
Map out the miles
And never know when or where
Or if at all I will finally say,
“This is the place,”
I face the plains
On a good day for walking.
The sun rises
And the mist clears.
I will be all right:
My people were Mormon Pioneers.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's Here!

Sure signs the summer is well on its way include: 

Neighborhood blossoms. 






Field trips.  



And bedding all over the yard. 



I would like to say that I am using these last couple of weeks before school ends to deep clean, organize and de clutter. 

But unless I'm working or running kids around I prefer to just sit on the porch and enjoy this lovely season. 

We all need to hope that I won't die soon because whoever has to deal with my cluttered counter, disasterous garage and jam packed closets will not be a happy camper. 


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Something Right

Some changes at Kenneth's work have meant that he has been out town a lot more than usual.  Parenting alone is, for me, a death trap of shame. It brings out the worst in me because, well...

NO. ONE. LISTENS. TO. A. DAMNED. THING. I. SAY. 

And then I turn into a monster. 


The neighbors heard me yelling at them at least five times yesterday. I looked like a crazy person, I know. And honestly, I feel crazy. And I hate it. 


I may, in fact, be the one and only woman on the face of the earth who is not naturally nurturing.  

And because no one listens to me do you knows what is going to happen?

The reading lists won't get fililed in,the homework won't get done (why the hell do they have homework at the end of the school year?), the piano won't get practiced (and Team Workman will miserably bomb the piano recital which will surprise no one), we will be late for school every day, no one will go to bed on time so no one will get enough sleep and everyone will be grumpy the next morning so there will be fighting and fighting and fighting and Oakley will run away from his class room and probably get kicked off the field trip and Ivys hair won't get done which is disgusting because it's been over a month and her braids are starting to turn into stinky dreadlocks and then I will be the clueless White Mom who has no business raising and African American child and I will forget to put sunscreen on Georgia who will burn to a crisp at the park and sprout seventy more freckles in the process which are cute, but which will give her skin cancer, and Eden will feel alone and neglected so she will push and push to stay up late and I will either yell her into submission of just cave and let her do whatever she wants which is a very unhealthy cycle and in the end I will just hate myself for all of it because none of this shows anyone how much I really love them.   And the house will be a mess. 

All the Brene Brown in the world can't save now. 

Perhaps the only answer is to start drinking wine. I hear it's like anti anxiety medication. 

.
.
.
.
.

But two weeks ago I did something right.

I was going to save it for a whole new post, but, in the end, I must.  I must.  I must take in the good with the bad.  I must remember that I am ying and yang, that there is lightness and dark.  It all goes together.  

So the ridiculous panic of this week will be entered on the same post as the peace of connecting with my oldest child. 

I followed a blip of inspiration and entered an art competition with Eden.  She seeps creative energy from every pore in her body and really wanted to do this contest, but she also really wanted me to do it (I think the magnitude of the thing was a little scary for her).  So I doodled up an entry and she created her masterpiece.   

Surprisingly, we both won the opportunity to paint our pieces onto large banners that will fly over Colfax for all to see. As intimidating and embarrassing as this was (because I am NOT an artist and have never painted a thing before in my life), it was actually super fun. 

We spent an en entire Saturday together painting our banners.   Painting, talking, working, sharing, creating, smiling. 

Maybe she will remember this one Saturday instead of this week.  

Or maybe she will remember them both and someday understand that  her Mom is made up of both good and bad and so is she and this is okay.

We are all just learning.  Right?















Saturday, May 17, 2014

#nunuandjared


At Nawana and Jared's wedding neither party was required to take a step down. 

No one had to promise to obey or to hearken.

No one had to give themselves away in an unequal  compromise.


Anyone who loved her could be there, regardless of whether or not they met a rigid standard of conduct.

They were there because they love them and that is all. 

They were married under the beautiful sun, where thy wanted to be.

They defied the constraints  of relentless tradition because it was just too much. 

They pledged their commitment to each other equally and honestly using words that came from their hearts. 

This is the least religious wedding ceremony I have been to and it's the most beautiful to date.  Peace, happiness, and yes, the Spirit of God like a fire was burning.  





Congratulations NuNu and Jared!!!

I hope you continue to forge your way through life in the same way you came to this moment.  Thinking with your mind, feeling with your heart, discarding the baggage that weighs many of us down. 




(photos courtesy of their wedding album)

Now's the Time



If you ever have a hankering to visit little Colfax, come now.

Don't bother coming in November, unless you are family and are looking for a turkey dinner.

But these are the days that the Palouse shines, so come one, come all.

I have nothing of merit to say right now.  Except, maybe, that I am thankful for this full beautiful life I've been blessed with.  The green of the hills just brings out the good in everything.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Mother's Day is Every Day, so I can Still Write About It.




My power, my peace, my strength is most evident and most useful when I  discard who I thought I was supposed to be and embrace who I am.

Thank you God, for slapping me across the head again and again with this vital lesson about Motherhood and, frankly, anything else that matters.

For Mother's day, and every day I want to pay it forward to my children, loving them for who they are.

The little turds.