Friday, January 4, 2019

2018 Family Newsletter

Hello, Friends and Family! We hope 2018 was good to you. We're pleased to have been able to host many of you in our new home. God has been so good to us. As the “after-shocks” of the fire keep happening, God continues to provide for our every need. We are learning to be totally reliant on Him rather than ourselves. Our biggest expense came this year when we learned we had to put in a new drain field. When all felt impossible, God provided! We lived without sewer for about 3 months, ”glamping” in our new home. Once again, we are VERY grateful for running water and a working septic!

Michael is still commuting to La Grande where he continues to work as a mechanic as a Federal Technician for the Oregon National Guard. On drill weekends he is commuting to Salem. He just received his Chief Warrant Officer (WO2) rank. Very proud of him! He has kept himself very busy this year volunteering as an Assistant Scoutmaster in Josiah's Boy Scout troop. We had to tear down our hay shed to accommodate the new drain field so he built a mini-barn. He wanted to add pigs to our homestead this year. It turns out he really likes pigs. Both pigs are in the freezer, but he looks forward to raising more in the future (me – not so much). He hopes to be able to work on his T-Bucket more next year.

Josiah is 15 years old and turning out to be quite the hunter. He absolutely loves it, even though he didn't have a lot of luck this year. He added duck hunting to the list this year and studied to get his trapper's license. He recently advanced to Star rank in Boy Scouts and is very involved, earning quite a few merit badges again this year. He is currently studying for his driver's permit. He is a freshman in our homeschool this year and is doing very well despite his increased academic workload.

Hailey is 11 years old and still enjoys gymnastics. She is currently on pre-team. She is homeschooled part of the time and then goes to a special reading class to help with her dyslexia. She loves her teacher and is gaining in confidence. Reading and writing will probably always be difficult for her but she is a hard worker and we are confident she will gain the tools she needs to be successful in whatever she chooses to do in the future. She loves all things mermaid and is becoming quite interested in art. She is in 5th grade now.

Rina is 3 years old and enjoys cooking and baking with me in the kitchen. She is truly the cherry on top of our family sunday. We all adore her and the biggest challenge we have is to try NOT to spoil her too much. She received a miniature horse from her Nana and Papa for her 3rd birthday. Bakerman has been a cute addition to our homestead. We just received another miniature horse from Michael's cousin, Carol Ann. Bakerman was lonely and needed a pal. Her name is Sugar. Rina enjoys helping, books, counting and playing outside when the weather is nice.

I'm well into my 10th year of homeschooling the kids and still love it. It gets better every year. I also did a lot more tours for the Pendleton Underground this past year. We are thoroughly enjoying our toy hauler and have taken it to Glacier National Park, the Oregon Coast and deer camp. I was also able to take Hailey and I on a mother/daughter trip to Tuscon, AZ with my sister and my niece, Lily, to visit friends. We were able to see the Biosphere 2, Fort Lowell (used during the Apache Wars) and visit Tombstone, AZ. We learned a lot of history in 3 days!

As we embrace 2019, we have no idea what it holds. This we do know. God is in control. He sees, He knows, He will sustain us when things feel out of our control. Over the Christmas season we enjoyed celebrating the birth of our Savior, our Messiah, our Redeemer who lives! May God bless each of you this New Year. We pray that when you look at our IMPERFECT family, you will see what the Lord has done – despite our mistakes and failures. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37.

Happy New Year from the our family to yours!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cheese, Beach, Crabbing and Seafood Feasting Fun! - August 2018 Family Vacation: Part 3

My kidlets at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company in Tillamook, OR. The first time we attempted to go to the Tillamook Cheese Factory there was a line out the door so we decided to keep traveling and landed at the Blue Heron instead. Glad we did! 

Michael particularly loved all the old logging and farm equipment displayed on the property.

I always said Michael was my mule!

The kids said I make a good milk cow. I'd say that's pretty accurate :)

The girls delighted this musician by dancing to his music.

Afterwards, we want back to play on the beach at Bar View Jetty. Hailey and her cousin, Lily, are always having a great time together.

There were sand castles and forts to be built all week long with the cousins.

The kids got a selfie-stick at a thrift store so I tried it out. Here is Larry, my step-dad, and I. It was great having both sets of my parents with us at the beach this year.

Clearly, I was having way too much fun with the selfie-stick! Here I am with both my moms.

Andrew and Josiah spent a great deal of time and energy building this amazing sand fortress. A lot of engineering and thought went into this. Kept them busy for hours.

We picked a picture perfect day to go crabbing at Kelly's Marina in Brighton, OR. We've been stopping by there to buy fresh seafood for years and always dreamed of going crabbing on a boat. We finally made it happen this year and I'm so glad we did. This will be a family tradition for years to come. We enjoyed it so much.

This ended up being Josiah's favorite activity of the entire vacation.

We got two keepers!

Michael and Rina were the pilots of the boat, Josiah was the puller, Hailey and I were spotters. 
We made a great team!

Awesome memories were made.

While our crabs were cooking, Mom met us down there and she and Larry bought enough seafood for our whole family to have huge seafood feast.

Rina is not a fan of the smells of fresh seafood.

Crab, Prawns, steamer clams and grilled oysters with garlic butter, Parmesan and bacon bits.

Josiah was a big help with grilling the oysters over the campfire. This kid adores seafood!

Eating treats like this is what this Eastern Oregon family loves. We live far enough away from the coast that we aren't able to go every year, so we make the most of it when we are able to vacation there. More to come!

God Bless,

Monday, November 5, 2018

Tree to Tree Aerial Adventure Park: August 2018 Family Vacation: Part 2

I had such a great time playing with my older kids in the tree tops at "Tree to Tree Aerial Adventure Park" outside of Forest Grove, OR. We stopped there on our way to the coast. Josiah was able to go with his Boy Scout Troop a few years ago and wanted to go back.  I'm glad we went. It was a lot of fun! Poor Michael, he was stuck on the ground with the cranky toddler who desperately needed a nap, but he managed to get some good pictures despite.
I love Hailey's look in this picture, LOL.  I'm very afraid of heights but I had to focus really hard on the safety system they have in place. It helped me not to think about how high I was off the ground. There wasn't a time during this experience where I didn't feel safe.

 Josiah convinced me to go on this red diamond run with him. Fun and challenging at the same time. I felt a little torn between the two kids who each wanted me to go on the runs with them. Because of that, I ran out of time to try out a black diamond run with Josiah. Next time!

 Josiah was truly in his element that day.

 It took some convincing for Hailey to go down her first big zip line. I went first and then she did it. I was proud of her for conquering her fears, too.

 Mama first!

 Don't look down, LOL!

Rina watched us for awhile and then hung out on the play set. We'll go back when she's old enough to participate. 

Vacationing with such a wide age range is quite challenging sometimes but we managed to make it work. After this adventure, we made our way to Bar View Jetty (outside of Tillamook) with our camp trailer for a week of camping on the coast. More fun to come!

God Bless,

Thursday, November 1, 2018

"Capital Fun" in Salem, OR: Aug 2018 Family Vacation: Part 1

Since we were headed to the beach anyway, we decided to take our trailer down to Salem the weekend before our vacation started and visit some dear friends during drill weekend before heading to the coast. We had a wonderful time catching up with a family we hadn't seen in 3 years. Our kids had a blast playing with their kids in the Willamette River.

Such a an awesome couple and wonderful hosts! We ate well while we were there.

The guys got to talk "military" and "Boy Scout" stuff. Josiah is really growing up. 

 During Michael's lunch break, we rushed over to see the Oregon State Capital building. Unfortunately we weren't able to get in as it was a Sunday and much of the outside is under renovation. At least the kids were able to see the basics- something they've never seen before.

 The beaver bronze was a hit with the kids. Next time, we'll have to go back on a weekday so the kids can go inside. Also we will wait for the renovation of the grounds to be completed. 

Michael took us to work for a couple of hours where we got a private tour of several helicopters, including this Blackhawk. The kids thought it was amazing! We really enjoyed meeting some of Michael's co-workers. Great people!

That evening, we all combined our kayaks and we had just enough for both our families to go kayaking on the Willamette River. So much fun!

What a blessing to reconnect with friends and see where Michael drills. It's nice to put faces to names. It was a short weekend packed with lots of fun. We left the next morning for our aerial adventure at"Tree to Tree Park" in Forest Grove, OR, as we slowly made our way to the coast. 

More fun to come...

God Bless,


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