Sunday, April 27, 2008

Which day is this? Oh, Saturday

We hit the lazy river today. What is a lazy river? Well, a lazy river is usually at some sort of water park where you go around and around on an inner tube without having to move much,with the exception of trying to avoid getting doused by water from waterfalls and such. We went to Typhoon Lagoon, another Disney park.
No cool freebies at the water park, but Emma met her heart's desire.
It was called, “The Garbage Pail”.This was a sand bucket filled with ice cream and toppings such as waffle cone pieces and hot fudge sauce. I was huge, not even the four of us could eat it. I must say she learned that important life lesson about you eyes being bigger than your stomach.
On an odd note, I must say, keeping this blog “Cub Scout rated” is difficult when one has spent the day in a sea of humanity. Oh what tales a water park could tell...
We headed back to the hotel for the evening, and of course, we went to the manager's reception for more slushies and popcorn. Our night had only began, as our next destination was Disney Quest. Disney Quest is a multi-level arcade extravaganza. At first it was sensory overload, then it was, “MUST PLAY GAMES!” We played for about two hours, but left in order to meet our friends at the Orlando airport.
This was the first installment of our “Sunriver” friends meeting at Orlando. They were in very late, and we waited and waited for them to arrive, but they seemed to enjoy their surprise greeting.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Three Nancy's



So Thursday, we slept in late, and laid by the pool a good portion of the day. We enjoyed the pool deck atmosphere with the rock 'n roll sunshine music playing in the background. We also had a surprise guest, yes the guy has a power washer, yes a loud gas power washer. The kids and Paul survived my vigilant sun screen spraying (If you ever want to say, make someone scream like a girl, the new sunscreen sprays come out freezing cold).

Not very exciting, but it sure was relaxing. The freebies for the day were at the manager's reception where we had free snacks, and the kids had all the slushies they could drink. We headed to Downtown Disney for the evening. Evander was in nine year old boy heaven at the Lego store. Also, we did a stock up trip to the Winn Dixie. For those who didn't see the movie (one of my favorites), Winn Dixie is a grocery chain. Well, I did my pre-Disney World trip homework, and sent away for my Winn Dixie Club Card. Well, I saved over seven dollars off my bill just because I did so. That was exciting.
Friday, we slept in later than we had planned, as the time change threw us off, but we did go to a Disney park today, two actually. Our first trip was to Animal Kingdom, where I met the Nancys. We entered the park, and while Emma was on a hunt for a park map in English, I noticed a cast member was named, Nancy. Well I quickly stated that I was also a Nancy. We began to chit chat and she gave me a “dream”. Well I can't say I had really dreamed it before, but she gave us a pass for priority seating to the “Lion King” show. I can say it was really cool. Paul was able to be a part of the show by acting out the sound of a warthog. My very own Pumba.

We spent the majority of the day at Animal Kingdom, and loved the Expedition Everest ride. It is a crazy adrenaline making roller coaster. The Kali River Rapid ride was awesome as well. It's a big ol' circular raft ride where you never know if your the one who will get soaked. At one point, I closed my eyes, and heard a wave that sounded like what a tsunami must sound like...It hit Paul and only a little of me.
As Animal Kingdom closed early this evening, we took off for Disney's Hollywood Studios, as it was the park that was open the latest. We were disappointed to know that the major rides that were open were two hour waits, so we opted for ice cream, fries, and an interesting “movie” tour. Needless to say, we headed back to the hotel about two hours after going to this park.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Red Carpet Club-Day One



We've flown the first leg of our trip and have a way long layover in SFO. I am trying not to count how many bags of chips or pretzels I've eaten. I'm trying to remain calm knowing that there are free snacks a few feet away. I also know that no lunch is served on the plane, so I'm trying to fill myself enough not to go into starvation mode on the plane (not that many of us good Americans starve). I keep sending the children for snacks, as I am busy working on my computer. I'm not sure which sort of work I've done. It's more about killing time, since I know I will be interrupted by sweet family and all these new surroundings.
Evander is giving Paul a tutorial in Pokemon. Emma is busy helping me pace myself with the snacks. I think I might be getting full.
As I wrote that, Paul signaled me that it was time to go eat. WE obviously aren't on the same page. He was asking about going to eat real food. I thought that was against the rule that he didn't know about- that is buying the non-free food. I'll have to hurry up and eat my chips.
Last night, we made it to our destination without starving. We intend to spend much of the day by the pool.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Time has flown by this week. We are a very active family, but I have spent the majority of this Sunday, oddly enough resting.
So, the rundown of this week is...
We began the long list of to-do's for our "Sunriver" vacation to Orlando. Glow in the dark bracelets are on our list, as are rain ponchos for those really wet rides.
Our "Sunriver Gang" is vacationing in Florida rather than Sunriver. We've hung out at Sunriver with two other families since Evander was a baby, and have spent time together on vacation almost every year since then. Last year, my dear friends were wonderful caregivers to me while we were at Sunriver.
My dad was very ill and I didn't know if our family was going to be able to meet our friends at Sunriver, but bless their little hearts. They listened to me, fed me, and put all the meals together. These are those constant friends that will last a lifetime...
Tuesday, at Scouts the boys worked on learning knots. I tried somewhat hard to learn these knots, but this wasn't the night. I'm still working on my shoelaces.
Wednesday, I was able to do one of my all time favorite activities. I went to the Lane County Waste Disposal site, otherwise known as the dump. I'm not sure when my attraction to the dump began but maybe it was when one of my siblings took me when I was little, and I found a skateboard, which I took home. Maybe that's when I started loving free stuff too. bb
The Cub Scouts were given a great tour of the new BRING facility, and of course, the dump. It smelled. Not super smelly, but smelly enough for sure. Jokes aside, I was a bit distraught knowing that I contributed to the loss of about two 35ft. trees a year. So I have felt guilty for any use of paper these past few days. Maybe I've saved a branch since Wednesday.
This was a big week in that our nephew Sam turned fifteen. On Thursday, Emma and I watched him run a race in track. It was so nice to be able to go and support him in such a way, especially since Crazy Aunt Nan has a fondness for track.
Friday was our run around day, as we tried to finish the never ending list of to-do's. Emma and I hit the salon, later the kids had a game date with Grandma Judie.
I haven't mentioned our little soccer organization that meets on Saturday morning, but that's for another post.

After soccer, Evander read his "When the Clock Strikes 8:00" at the Saturday market.
I was a proud Mama listening to him. I was also very glad that his godparents and grandmother were there to support him as well. It was cold outside, but the experience was well worth the outdoor experience. video
We also joined Sam Saturday night with his friends and "outlaws". Sam's mom is marrying into a wonderful family, and our little family seems to have quadrupled.
So this Sunday's review has turned into Tuesday's review of Tuesday through Tuesday, with Sunday being one of the highlights not aforementioned. Sunday I had occasion to lay around. I ran the "Recycle Run" shortly after the morning snow. I didn't run in the snow, but it was quite chilly. Without the play by play, I'll fast forward to the end where Paul, Tucker and baby Wilder cheered at the end. My good buddy ran the race too, and it was too fun hollering for her. There weren't many people running the race, so I came home with another medal. The highlight was the exciting cheering from my friends, and laughing at ourselves for being crazy enough for running nine miles on a perfectly good Sunday morning.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Keys To A Lifelong Friendship



Monday...Well, now I'm back to the Lindsay/Morgan visit.
Not so fast, a little more rewinding. Sunday night we beat the rain, and moved all the giagantamous lavender to the back yard. Then we were tired. But not too tired, because I promised Lindsay we would have enough energy for her visit. 
On Monday, we were up bright and early and I went into full speed cleaning mode (although I'm not too sure anyone could tell). After the unofficial end of the clean-a-thon, I needed to move on to my hostessing duties. As I am not a huge plan aheader in regards to meals, I was perplexed as to what I might serve the ladies for lunch. The regular faire for guests around here would be sandwiches with meat, but I opted for something a little more fun for the ladies. I went the fondue route. 
After a trip to a couple of grocery stores,  I showed up just in time to greet our guests. After our greeting of hugs and welcomes, Morgan showed me what she bought from the outlet stores at the coast. I'm a little slow, but those thinking wheels started turning as she showed me a cute onesie with a duck on it. My sweet little flower girl is going to have a baby!
We so enjoyed the afternoon with pregnancy talk, baby talk, catching up and eating a variety of veggies and not so veggies with our fondue (Evander later confessed to eating double digit marshmallows!). 
As Monday was a continuously stormy day, we did find time near the end of the visit to drive to Shamrock Gifts so I could show Lindsay and Morgan one of the places I like to gaze at the gift items. I thought of her the last time I was there as they had a multitude of bunnies for sale, as I associate bunnies with Aunt Lindsay. While we were there she confessed that a youngster recently visiting her home had counted nineteen bunnies residing in her home, with two real ones living outside. 
A few days ago, in my blog, I touted my devotion, admiration and affection for my beautiful sister-in-law Lindsay. Visiting with her left no doubt of that. She left behind what reminds me of the keys to a lifelong friendship-letting go, forgiving, loving no matter the cost, and an enduring sense of humor.  

Where Was I?

Back to Thursday...
In the evening, Grandma Judie offered to take the kids as it was a Samfest over at her place. I was itching to go enjoy the sunshine outdoors with my husband for the evening. We settled with dinner at the North Bank, since we haven't had a hankerin' for their food and beverage for quite a while. I run on the path next to the restaurant frequently, and I wanted a good seat by the river to actually enjoy the view, instead of just huffing and puffing my way by the Blue Herons. 
It turned out to be a lovely evening, actually a bit romantic even. We sat outside at a table next to an outdoor fireplace. This was reminiscent of those college days at High Street visiting with Charley Dewberry and chatting up about philosophy and such. We were seated near a group of those younger 20/30 somethings who didn't have any kids with them. They reminded us of those ancient days with friends-carefree, outdoorsy types imbibing, when friendships were golden.
Friday, we began the grand clean-up at our place. I was able to accomplish much in the yard, continuing to move the gigantamous lavender to the backyard. Emma did a great job of cleaning the inside of the house, once she realized she had accidentally lost a recent gift from Auntie Patty. A special ring was missing from her finger which Patty had given to her on her 13th birthday. Well, Emma was distraught, but motivated to clean in order to find the ring. After a couple of hours, I began cleaning my room, when Paul noticed the ring on my floor. It was a great find.
Saturday, was the most georgous day of the year yet, and was the day I signed up for the Eugene Half Marathon. I was put to ease by the director of the race, that I wouldn't need to run 10 miles in Florida (I don't think I've mentioned that "travelin' nan" is headed to FL). He seemed to think if I get that long run done before I go, I'd be good to go before the race. O' Happy Day.
Emma and I shared some "Love Casserole" by attending a baby shower down the street at a dear friend's house. A fabulous idea was implemented, in that, one of the gal's gifts was some cloth diapers which the shower guests then embroidered. Remember my mention of my  mechanical skills? This applies to the Domestic Arts as well. With much focus, I was able to "stitch" out a heart on one of the diapers. 
 I had walked home to retrieve my camera to take pics for the shower, when Paul asked about the whereabouts of the dog which we were sitting. We then came to the conclusion that in the midst of the transitions, the dog had sought her freedom. The boys took to the streets in search of the dog, while I returned to the shower, with thoughts of the lost dog looming over me. I didn't stay much longer, (long enough for cake) then began to search the neighborhood  for the little black lab. While I was near the end of my search loop, a call to Paul revealed that Van said that the dog's tag had the owner's number on it. We concluded that if found, someone would call this number. Minutes later, Paul called to say that our next door neighbor had the dog. Lost ring, lost dog, oh the drama, in these the days of our lives...
Sunday, we went to church, came home long enough to make a sandwich, then Van and I were off to cheer on my favorite godson, Evander's best friend, at his baseball game. Not only was he so handsome in his uniform, he made some great plays that made me quite proud to know the kid. Evander chatted up the bench, and seemed to enjoy encouraging the players. At the end of the game, he somehow finagled a Butterfinger candy bar from the Snack Mom.  I was privileged to enjoy Erin's yumolicious Rice Krispie treats.
We made it through the rest of the day, without losing anything. I think.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Never A Dull Moment


These past few days, our family has been readying our home for a visit from my beautiful sister-in-law, Lindsay,(all my sister-in-laws are beautiful) and my beautiful, niece,(all my nieces are beautiful) Morgan.
In case you don't know Lindsay, I have known her since I was at least five years old. Lindsay was a high schooler when she started hanging around our home (sometimes outside our home since my father was a notorious teaser, keeping her fearful of coming inside). My teen aged brother, Doug, was the reason why she visited. I wasn't always so receptive to my brother's dates, but Lindsay easily earned a place in my heart. She had beautiful long brown hair, a soft voice, and comforting brown eyes.  If there were such a person, she would be one of those rare people who actually may have missed out on being inherently evil. 
So, our family prepped our house for the visit by cleaning those places that "no man has gone before". We also tried to accomplish tasks in the yard that may earn some respect back from the neighbors, as we have been somewhat negligent in keeping up with the Jones as of late.  
So I'll do a little rewinding of our family's happenings...
Thursday, started out as a fun day with my baristo babe (I don't know if that is the correct name for a male barista)Paul, helping me out at the book fair for the kids' writing classes. Paul made "coffee" drinks for the kids and staff during Emma's writing class. It was quite a blast just serving the kids, watching them enjoy themselves in the class, and having fun "imagining" the classroom as a bookstore/coffee house. 
Paul had to leave early, so I had to "man" the espresso maker. Now, if you know me, you know that I don't do mechanical things very well. It's a combination of not paying attention to the directions, learned helplessness, and a brain that just doesn't do mechanical things (think of those intelligence test where you try to put certain shaped blocks together. I can never figure how they actually go together).  Before the book fair, Paul told me he would have to leave for a meeting, which meant I either had to recruit a barista, or actually pay enough attention to his directions to be the barista. Well, after some help from Evander, and a little wasted coffee, I learned how to make a latte! What I didn't realize was that I had worked myself into a job, as I had recently begun letting my husband make me a latte in the morning. What was I thinking...
*I am so falling asleep that I need to keep all of you in suspense until sometime tomorrow on our happenings...although I traditionally do not post on a Tuesday, I will make an exception as I have more exciting news to note...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Four B's


What I have written on my right hand is, "Be Brave, Be Calm, Be Clear and Be Careful."
Why do I have this written on my right hand? Well, almost three years ago, I signed our family up for Cub Scouts. Evander has his Tiger and Wolf and patch and has almost completed the achievements for Bear. I say our family joined because Boy Scouts really is a family and community organization. Their philosophies not only encourage the boys to build character, but encourage families to help build a great community.
Oddly enough, I've never been a boy, but was extremely jealous of my brother when he was a Cub Scout. He was able to do some great activities with his friends, as I watched. I thoroughly admired Mrs. Paulson, his den mother. She was able to mesmerize these boys into working on activities that they might not try on their own. Now, as a woman, even I see that such a leadership role as a Cub Scout Den Leader can have an influence on these boys' sister. As of yesterday, I became a card carrying Cub Scout Den Leader. So now, I have the opportunity to be a den leader and do all the fun things the boys do-if I choose. I made it through those first squirrelly years with the boys, and I look forward to the journey ahead with them. I'm going to need to be brave-maybe I should get my hand tattooed with those 4 B's.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Self-control

The chicken are speaking to me...are they hungry? Do they want us to gather the eggs? Do they want their coop cleaned out? Do they want it to stop raining?
I'm not sure how often I actually hear them, as I have developed a great ability to ignore them in their chatter...
It's Sunday, and we don't have much planned today. My house has returned to disorder, due mostly to the fact that on Thursday we had glorious weather here, and I opted to return to my gardening duties. I have begun the process of moving my gigantomous Hidcote lavender from the front of the house, to the backyard, where, I can overlook it's needs as I do my chatty chickens. I love that our guests are greeted by their wonderful smells(the lavender, not the chickens), but the lavender has grown woody and I don't prune them as often as needed, hence, not so pretty. I like plants that need pruning, but I am a slow pruner. I am in need of a pruning tutor, mentor perhaps. OK, maybe someone sitting close by to supervise me while I prune. Seems as though my mother did that on her last visit...
So I spent the afternoon on Thursday in the garden. It felt so good to be outside working, as I am, sad to say, a fair weather gardener. Evander mowed the front lawn, and I mowed the back. Things progressed so well that I even pulled out my seed box. I was prepared to throw caution to the wind, and plant some seeds in the garden, when Emma informed me, it was time to go to the Cub Scout's Roundtable meeting. I stopped just as I was about to open the package. Alas, the rain has since returned, the seed packets are all over the kitchen table, and the lavender plant that I moved, isn't really in the ground.
Saturday's run notables...
I didn't see the moon on Saturday morning, but the sun seemed to be rising as we began our run. Heidi and I ran the first part of the Eugene Half Marathon course. About four miles into the course is South Eugene High School. Well, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton just happened to be scheduled to show up at the school a few hours after our run. People had already begun to line up outside the school to get into the event. As Heidi and I ran by it was really, really, really hard not to taunt or heckle the crowd, as I am not a fan of Hillary. I joked with Heidi about what great self-control I had in not yelling, “Go John!” (Granted I don't know much about John McCain, and don't know if I will vote for him, but know I don't like Hillary). As I write this, I think that it probably was a good idea that I didn't taunt these Hillary supporters. Political supporters can be quite rabid, and now I envision their response to my teasing with Heidi and I running for our lives up East 19th street. Our safe half marathon pace would be pressed to an all out sprint to avoid the clutches of those I had offended.
It's a good thing I have self-control.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mantal Health


In Saturday's paper, there was an article with a headline asking for people to join a "Mantal Health Committee."
Well, I didn't take many mantal health classes at the U of O. I do, however, have a few friends that inspire me in such domestic artful play, but I just know I was meant for the mantal health field. I was even a "Skill Builder" in the mantal health field a few years ago. I would go to a family's house and help them with their mantal health issues. I was really good at the diagnosis of such issues as: " PTSD; Post Tramatic Stuff Disorder," "ADHD; Anti-Do-Hickey Disorder," "OCD; Obssessive Clutter Disorder," and when they just had a poor mantal self-image.
Well, a few weeks ago, I had an itching or inspiration, to add a little aesthetic love to my house-without spending "any" money (So, maybe I did spend some money. I think the "mantle love" cost about ten bucks).
The boy in the picture, clearly benefits from my mantal health expertise.