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Saturday, April 30, 2011

As if i don't have enough to worry about.....AND WOWSERS! WONDERFUL WOOD!

Wolves in broad day light.....

Collared Grizzlies by night....

and day.......

See those claws?!?! ugh......

And would you believe we have foxes?! Nobody even knew for sure if they still existed up here until this pic was taken......

Some time over the winter somebodies horse had to be put down and they hauled it off into the woods a little ways from our road. Another neighbor put up a trail camera to see what would feed on it. Well now we know and it doesn't make me any more relaxed when I'm out there doing my long distance runs not far from where the body lays........

*special thanks to our neighbor with the trail camera for his generosity in sharing pics

Amidst a stack of self help books, I arise......looking rather bedraggled. There is still an invisible hole where my guts once resided, but other than that, I am no worse for the wear. My most recent mission? To survive yet another long night at work. Reminisce with me that we may escape our woes together for but a few moments of eternity........

I was feeling rather pouty when my good buddie, The Dolphin Goddess, told me her own tale of woe - she has a knee injury and would be unable to run with me this weekend at Bloomsday..... A hushed awe fell over the phone line, followed by a gasp, then I threw down the receiver and began kicking and banging the floor with my fists bawling loudly....er... just kidding. I wished her well and gave some parting encouragements. We had planned a big ol running extravaganza along with a fancy motel, shopping at a real mall and dining at some extravagant place like maybe "The Olive Garden". I wasn't sure what to do next. Bravely, I put on a stiff upper lip and decided to trust God. After a few phone calls and a good attitude, much to my relief, I found that one of my co-workers would love for me to go along with her. Another one even called me back telling me that she would be my back up back up plan ;-) It all worked out fine and it will be more the economy version where I get up at 3am and drive to meet her versus the motel/shopping. This is more our budget anyway and thats a good thing - right?

"Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:" - Phil 4:11

Today as the kids were wrapping up with school, my husband told me he was heading out to cut wood. Instantly my cheeks puffed out and my bottom lip began to protrude. "Wanna go for a walk when you get back?" I asked hopefully. After considering it, he asked if I wanted to come and do wood with him. That was very exciting because I can hardly ever get him to let me go along on his "man outings" and I was hurriedly scurrying around to get ready. Super Catman had instructions on finishing his workbook pages and The Sock Fashion Expert agreed to keep an eye out for Miss Moonbeam who was going down for a nap anyway. I donned 3 layers of long sleeves (one can never be too prepared for the cold) and stumbled out the door with a fizzy water and 2 tangelos.

The dirty old black truck seemed to crawl along at an ever slow turtalic crawl. My husband stopped at each prospective log laying alongside the road. He surveyed them keenly and then moved on. It was like driving through a car lot trying to find the perfect car. He eyed each log with careful skepticism. This went on for about an hour and I began to get fidgety. Every once in a while, he stopped to pick up left over fire wood cuts from the side of the road. Sometimes people who have already been out cutting leave a few logs behind that don't fit or are misshapen. My husband loves gleaning that stuff. Before long, we had the truck 1/4 of the way full, but I was still fidgety. I eyed my watch warily "we have to be back for me to get a nap before work" I pessimistically warned. On and on we turtalically crawled......

I reminded him of the time 15 minutes after the last time I reminded him. Some where inside, I was asking myself why I was so uptight. Perhaps it is because I am always rushing from one thing to the next, haphazardly. My husband, on the other hand, always does things slowly, but thoroughly. We make a great team (when we want to). Anyhow, at long last he said "oh I guess" and soon he was picking up more left overs. After that, he stepped maybe 20 feet off the road and started the splitting maul on a giant log. As he lifted up the splitting maul and brought it down with determined force, I suddenly remembered why it is that I like going to get wood with him. Even in a plain long sleeved cotton shirt, His muscles rippled through the material. Big pectoral muscles bulged along with my eyes. His brute arms wielded the tool as if it was some easy rhythm, but I knew better. I sat awed for a few moments of time...... Then I remembered that I was supposed to be helping him. I walked over and picked up one of the giant logs. It was so heavy I could barely lift it. I tried to act nonchalant. I carried it up the muddy embankment and barely got it over the side of the truck. He smiled a knowing smile. "I'll just throw these up to the road since the embankment is hard to maneuver". I gaped at his arms and shoulders again and dumbly nodded. As I began painstakingly hauling piece by piece, I noticed him throwing the wood this great distance to the road, effortlessly. Some of them I could barely pick up, but I couldn't let him know that. I tried my best to look impressive as I stacked it in the back of the truck, secretly hoping to somehow gain his favor.

Reality hit again and I looked at my watch. It was time to leave. "Lets just get those logs out there" he said. "Okay" I dumbly nodded and I found myself in some clearing picking up pieces of wood. I don't know how I got there, only that I followed him and did i mention that he has these huge pectoral muscles that bulge through his shirt? Soon I was sweating (from hauling wood through the clearing) or was it that? He said "lets just get these last few pieces. Besides that, I like the view". The thought took a moment to register "View? What is scenery when all these big chest and arm muscles are bulging through your shirt?! How could I possibly notice a view?" I wondered to myself. Then he gave me his mischievous smile, and flashed those beautiful blue eyes and I giggled. He was talking about me. And I was walking taller and trying to impress him with my amazing wood carrying ability........

On the way home, I wondered why he was in such a hurry to get there. After all, who cares if I get a nap anyway? I want to go back out wood hauling........................

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Patient Husband and Other Events.....

My husband with Moonbeam and cousins......

Sock Fashion Expert LOVES Grandpa......

The Anniversary Cake....

Easter Weekend the men headed out into the furthest parts of wilderness by snowmobile....

On our way home from MN, my husbands generous middle brother gives their littlest brother this cool car!!

Elasta Woman and I at Easter Service with little ones in tow.....

My boys checking out the Ford Easter Afternoon....

My husband and I out on our Easter Afternoon 4 wheeler adventure....

Papa giving baby a "sit"

Me and my neice.....

Cousins Roaring Laughter and Running!!

Sweet MN moments...

Moonbeam's great grandma who she is named for (no the grandmas name isn't moonbeam :-) )

There are a lot of things to tell......and i haven't any idea where to start. How about if I just give you a few bullets to start :
- My men found wounded lion tracks crossing our property. Nobody knows how or why, but a seriously wounded lion is prowling about, (hopefully dead).
- A trail camera picked up the amazing find of a FOX (feasting on a dead animal)!! Until this positive proof emailed to us today, we did not know they existed in this part of the country. Maybe if i get the gumption i'll put some of those pics up soon.....
- Easter was a super fun weekend. The men took off to the furthest remote places by snowmobile while Elasta Woman and i hid Easter Baskets for the kids, did egg coloring and tested our "fitness" on 9 grueling stages out of my "Fitness" magazine. Would you believe i just barely achieved "Super Star" status (LOL!!). After ward we had an amazing BBQ with the exhausted men.
- The Sunday Service and Brunch was also memorable. That afternoon we relaxed and played. While the kids went out fishing and running, My wonderful husband took me on an exciting 4-wheeler ride among the melting forest slopes.
- Moonbeam did her first real TINKLE on the potty frog!! She has now been promoted to celebrity status and wears her "pick ups" (pull ups) proudly. Her brother gave her a box of Nerds for her heroism. She sat back on the rinsed out potty chair eating them. Then to my horror she dropped one in, picked the wet candy out and stuffed it in her mouth - eeeww!! I told her "no no!!" When she was done sitting, her brother thought she had done something special again. That is until he discovered the items in the potty frog were none other than waterlogged Nerds ;-)
- THIS SUNDAY is my 7.3 mile Bloomsday Run. My good Buddie "The Dolphin goddess" hurt her knee, so rather than the luxury motel, mall shopping and fun trip, it has changed to my riding down with a friend from work mega early in the AM. Should be an adventure as i've never done anything with her before :-)
The other morning we were getting ready to take Super Catman to the Orthodontist. I donned a pair of Capri's I found for $1 at a second hand store a month or two ago. I asked him what he thought, he said "fine dear". As the day progressed, I noticed that the Capri's looked terrible.

They were baggy in the butt and looked really funny like maybe i pooped my pants or something. There was enough room in the rear to fit a second or maybe third butt. Come to think of it, they looked like they were made for a lady with a big bubbly rear. The more I looked at them on me in the reflections of store mirrors, the more upset I became.

Finally, after he started laughing about somebody wearing something bizarre at Walmart, I blew up "you notice everything about everybody else, but you never even noticed how terrible these pants look on me!" Time stops. There is a look of frustration and male puzzlement on his face. He has NO CLUE why I am upset. Suddenly I am sure that people are thinking to themselves "why would she wear those terrible pants to town? She looks a like a real hill billy." I rush to find the hair dye, noticing that my roots are growing out. Minute by minute things start looking worse. I try on some exercise shirts for the run this weekend. They are ALL too tight. "I must be gaining weight too!!" I start obsessing. My husband meets up with me and starts joking about my pants because he still does not know why I am so distraught.

On and on these emotional outbursts seem to occur, but my darling husband continues to hold his tongue and try and act in a comforting manner. He has the patience of a saint :-) He doesn't ask for much, my dear husband. Every morning he wants to eat eggs with runny yoke and potatoes. If I am busy, emotional, or working that night he makes them himself, otherwise I make them. Even if I'm making some other time consuming breakfast (waffles, pancakes, etc), he always wants the same thing - eggs and potatoes make him happy. He likes to drink a cup of tea at night and in the morning. He asks to be left alone when he's working on a mechanical project. He rarely spends much money on himself. He rarely goes out with friends. He never complains about anything. He gets up every morning and corrects the children's math and then teaches each one a new lesson. He participates in family devotions each morning and prays with the children. He prefers to play "Risk" or watch a family movie with the kids at night while I'm snuggled up by his side rather than go "out" or pursue his own hobbies. "Out" for him is a hike in the woods or a ride on his 4-wheeler. He likes to sneak a candy treat to Moonbeam and tell her she looks "pretty". She cocks her head back and forth and then runs to the mirror to see. He stops what he's doing if he thinks I need him. Every day he seems to sacrifice something of his own time to give to me.
Recently I started reading "Managing Your Emotions" along with "The Virtuous Wife". It seems to be a good compliment to it ;-) Hopefully I will get better at not getting mad at him for "not telling me my pants look terrible" and other assorted silly reasons ;-) I'm also working on not bugging him while he works on replacing an engine he's been hired to do - lol!! How's your wife -o- meter running?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

Hello All :-) Sorry again for all my delinquent blogging. Partly it just hasn't been in my heart. I have been through a lot of personal challenges over the past few months. It is taking me a while to get caught up with everything. Baili graciously awarded me this award. I have to list 7 things about myself in accepting it. Here they are :

1. I am running Bloomsday (7.2 mile) run in Spokane in 2 weeks!! That is exciting for me because i didn't even think i could run that far. One day I just had this feeling like it was what God was leading me to do. Amazingly my daughter started running long distances and pushing me to do it with her. I was just amazed that we could consistently run 6 and 7 miles together. I guess God has a good plan in it :-)

2. I started another sugar fast yesterday. Again, one of the bizarre things I felt I should embark on. I'm going to try and go 2 weeks without white sugar and concentrated sweets in my diet :-)

3. I fall apart daily but God gives me supernatural grace. I look like a virtuous, got it together wife and mother. The truth is most days I'm a wreck. The only thing that keeps me sane is worship music, prayer and a patient husband and kids ;-)

4. I am alive when I am basking in the summer sun next to a lake wearing as little as I can modestly get away with. I'm also alive when I'm running, swimming and hiking through the forest. The forest sets me free and I feel Gods presence around me.

5. I have become obsessive about praying "The Power of a Praying Wife Prayers" over my husband daily. I recently obtained a copy of "The Power of a Praying Parent" - bwahahaha!

6. Fear is my worst enemy.

7. I love dogs, especially German Shepherds. I gawk at them when I see them around and secretly believe someday I'm going to have one again :-)

Okay, here are the people I would like to award "The Versatile Blogger Award" to. They are all very versatile, though they are true to a flavor and diversity all their own :

The Mama Has Spoken - because she always gives me a good laugh!

Mama Bugs Blog - because she inspires me with her Godly attitude and backwoods adventures!

Amber - because she always has something nice to say to everybody and she is faithful.

Julia Christie - Because she is an OUTSTANDING artist whose pictures come alive. Even though I'm not into art, she makes me want to keep coming back for more of hers :-)

The Modest is Hottest Girls - because they are everything that i am not

Mama Bear - because she loves God and her family and never stops trying to inspire us to do the same.

Blessed Mom - because every blog post awes me and takes my breath away

Kimberly - because she lets us grow with her and makes her home her domain

They all have blogs worth reading and are truly worthy of the above award!!

Remember me in my meat plight. When we returned from Minnesota we discover our largest freezer was kaput! Oh oh oh!! I should be thankful that a lot of it was still partly frozen and the rest was cold!! I cooked up pounds upon pounds of hamburger along with 5 roasts. The little freezers are stuffed full - every nook and cranny! We threw away 2 trash bags of what was the most replaceable. Stubbornly, I have made smoothies every day because I can't bear to toss all my hard work in fruit! Now the big challenge is how to use up what is in the refrigerator before it wastes! Pray I will become a MEATY MEAL MAKEN MAMA in a hurry ;-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Ton of Pics!!

My niece and talented violin player "super human duckie girl"
My other niece and violin player "super human monkey girl"!!
My husband teaching my sister how to clean a gun :-)
Sock Fashion Expert becomes the feared "attic boss"
The whole kit n' caboodle (All my family)
Visiting Grandpa at the Nursing Home
Sock Fashion Expert serenaded him with her guitar
And the girls played violin for him too..... See him smiling? In the back the kids are all coloring pictures to put up in his room.
My mom teaches the boys to play poker......
And lets the little girls play with her special dolls..........
There was a lot of fooling around at bedtime..... Auntie brought the girls silly things like egg cartons to cuddle with ;-)
The Men played Risk
My Aunt and Uncle hosted a luncheon in Duluth....

I got to see baby Maxton for the first time!!
Sarah and Quent
Moonbeam and Maxton
Maxton and his Grandma
Me and my 3 aunts..... What a pleasure to see them all!!
Meeting baby Terrance for the first time :-)
A PILE of friends :-)
Shopping with the girls!!
Sock Fashion Expert brought the little girls crowns :-)
Moonbeam has been talking about "Shopping with Bhama" for months!! She finally got to do it!!

Its been a good trip, and its coming to an end. After the first 3 days at my in laws, we headed to a remote location to spend a day with a big family of old friends. The kids loved it and stayed up the entire night feasting on candy and fooling around with their pals. The next day we headed to Duluth to see a bunch of my extended family. It had been a couple of years and I had new second cousins to snuggle up to for the first time :-) My aunt put on a lovely luncheon and made it a special day for all.

After that we were on to my sisters where I had fun with my nieces who are supernaturally endowed with super human monkey and duck like reflexes. Then we spent a week at my mom and dads place. It was a peaceful visit there too. The weather was beautiful and the warm winds beckoned the sock fashion expert and I outdoors to our running destiny. My amazing daughter coached and prodded me to do a record 7 miles straight with her. That was pretty cool. She also prodded my mom to clean out her attic where they hauled record loads of junk out to the end of the drive way. There was so much stuff there that we feared the garbage man wouldn't take it, so when he came, we all helped him load the mess to take away and supplied him with a generous slice of ice cream cake!

My sister spent a lot of time out there with us and we made a lot of fun memories. A basketball tummy held my first nephew and I was anxious to speak to that little boy and feel him kick every chance I got. Silly Auntie that i am, I brought the monkey nieces funny things to cuddle with at night such as egg cartons and cookie sheets. The men played some Risk games that lasted for untold hours. My mom also taught the kids to play Poker and we burned a day on that too :-) Back at my in laws there was a special surprise! All the 3 brothers and their families got together once again along with a surprise trip from Nebraska Great Grandmother, aunt and cousins. The big celebration was graced by a 3 tiered, 6 layer, 3 flavor 40 year anniversary cake made by none other than the Sock Fashion Expert. After a lot of eating, playing, visiting and laughing, everybody headed to the swimming pool at the motel so the kids could play some more. My dear husband got right in the pool and played ball with the kids. It was especially a lot of fun when he tried to keep the ball from me because he used all kinds of unorthodox tactics ;-)

What an awesome time we've been having!! I have loads more pictures and loads more to tell, but i will save it for next time!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In Memory of my Cousin Monty.....

We were all sad to hear that our cousin, Monty, passed away on Tuesday. He was only 31. He was the oldest of 5 children, and the pride and joy of his parents. His parents pioneered the way for future generations when they began home schooling him and his siblings from a young age. As a result, he was one of the nicest, kindest and most obedient children I knew. I have many fond memories of our days together as kids. In later years, he was a veteran who served our country and returned home with lasting injuries. He was a husband and a father, who I am sure loved his family very much. We will all miss him..........