Monday, August 31, 2009

Saying Good-bye

to Chris

Zac's good friend and nerf wars compadre, Chris (3rd from left) has moved away. His family had to relocate for employment, and we will miss him dearly. It all came about quite suddenly, although we knew it was a very real possibility for some time.

We had a good send-off party for Chris, with a big dinner and time for RPG's and making plans for a reunion next summer at CBM. We all went to Mass together, and shared small group/coffee hour with Father before Chris headed off in the mini-van for his so called "exile in the desert."

It's never easy saying "goodbye" to someone we love, someone who brings such joy and exuberance to our lives. Life gives us goodbye's though. Learning how to say farewell and how to cherish the moments we have with one another are good lessons to learn. Might as well start now. You are loved.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not just another hike
Zachary helped plan a summer hike for our youth group. He's been waiting over 2 months for the event, and at the very last minute it seemed like it just wasn't going to happen like he'd hoped. However, it turned out to be a perfect day.
We met first to celebrate Mass, and headed out with packed lunches immediately afterwards. Eating at the trail head made for lighter packs on the hike, and since it was almost 1:30PM we were pretty hungry.
We stopped at the lake for sharing, led by Father, of course. Each person shared, we prayed, it was perfect.
While we were at the lake-side, I brewed some coffee for the adults. Actually it was instant coffee recently introduced by Starbucks. All I did was boil the water. Very good, I highly recommend!

Taking the time to hike with your some of your favorite people in the woods is worth every effort. I highly recommend!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shots from Sucia

We took a 5 mile hike to Echo Bay (first photo).

Our campsite was in Fossil Bay (photo 2). We camped on the strip of land between the 2 bays. Life is good!

On the ride home we spent some time all together on the bow enjoying the sunshine (3).

I found a quiet spot to spread out and relax on the latter half of the ride home... Tim found me (4)! Then I was joined by some great friends for adult fellowship on the deck in the sun on our cruise home (5).
When the Sea Scouts discovered our perch, they did request that we don life jackets, which we happily did.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our get-a-way to Sucia Island as the guest of a local Sea Scouts Crew was wonderful.
The boating trip rounded out a great month of boating with the troop. We were unloaded at the pier, and then hiked a quarter mile or so to our campsites.
Sucia is a very popular destination, and though on the one hand we were "out in the middle of no-where" we also were surrounded by many other campers and day-visitors.
Our crab pots netted 2 crabs on our first (and only attempt). But there was so much food at the Dutch Oven potluck that we simply packed up the crab in the cooler for another night!
The beauty of Sucia Island is unparalleled.
Camping in the San Juan Islands is amazing.
More soon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fair Lessons

A group of 8 can eat a mound of curly fries in under 10 minutes (easy).

Some people are unbelievably poor dressers.

Army vehicles are VERY cool.

Flame swallowing should NOT be tried at home, kids.

Newborn cows take a few tries before they can stand on their 4 legs.

Horses are LOUD.

Horse racing charioteers are entertaining.

You can win prizes for vegetable art.

Dad will spring for a ride at the fair, even if mom doesn't really like the rides.

The shuttle takes under 5 minutes in travel time on the way TO the gate, and about 25 minutes to the car FROM the gate.

You can still eat your ice cream after it falls on the ground, after you scrape off the dirt & debris.

Alkaline water cures cancer.

Dogs go home on Wednesday, cats come on Thursday.

The fair is more fun with friends!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

9 years ago today

Here are some favorite shots from our visit to the fair in 2000, Peter's first fair.

Peter loved the shiny metal as much as the ice cream. Well, we probably didn't give him ice cream come to think of it.

Zachary was Joseph's rock of safety on the
"scary rides."

Our awesome double jogger stroller made packing all the day's necessities and 3 boys a cinch. Except for navigating in crowds...

Having grandma & grandpa along for the day made it extra special.

We're off to the fair today, making more memories.
Going the low-budget route, if there is such a thing at the fair! Hoping to see our friends show their sheep. Fun awaits!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

4 skiers

Zachary, Joseph and Peter (and I)were all able to get up on 2 skis at last night's Boy Scout meeting on the lake.

Zachary earned high marks for an AMAZING face plant (right after he had commented that falling when water skiing was much less painful than falling while snow skiing!). His face was red for some time... poor guy!

Joseph and Peter each coasted along on 2 skis, but wake crossing could not be mastered... YET! They popped right up on the skis, and after falls, they put the skis back on in deep water and gave it another go. Troopers!

I was able to ski last night, too. The boat full of youths were done skiing, and facing the long drive back to the dock without anyone in tow... I just had to volunteer my services!
Coasting to a stop at the dock was the highlight for me. I must admit, I had forgotten how many muscles are involved in water skiing.

I did have a few water skiing memories on the front of my brain:
  1. the time when my dad attempted to ski slalom after years of not skiing (or doing much exercise at all) and tore his hamstring almost immediately
  2. the time when my little brother attempted a dock stop w/ a boat operator (not me!) who didn't know the proper speed for approaching the dock... Peter John careened into AND THEN flip flopped over the float and into the water on the other side. He still has a battle wound from that incident. I am sorry to say I was laughing hysterically when it happened... until I found out he was really hurt. Poor kid, suffering with such a mean sister!
These images kept me playing it safe & sound behind the boat. Attempted to cross outside the monster wake at one point, and got a face full of water myself!

Monday, August 17, 2009


No, I didn't really give Hope a sip of my iced coffee, but she was excited to try it! Before I knew it, she had the straw right up to her mouth! Luckily her daddy was watching and snatched it before she could hurt herself.

She was also eager to get her hands on the bag of coffee... Maybe she's just showing what a Northwest girl she is!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fiddle lessons

after lessons
with a friend
down at the cove
over the barnacles
to the big rock
and in
on the count of

Turns out this was a big accomplishment for our friend, who admitted that he had to overcome a phobia of deep water (or was it sharks?) in order to leap into the salt water with Joseph and Peter. It took a few attempts at leaning over the edge before he could actually work up the courage to jump in. But he did it, and was he ever proud of himself!

He admitted that his phobia of female doctors still applies.

One thing at a time, guys.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A New Sport

This month's theme in our Boy Scout troop is Watersports and Motorboating.

After one meeting dedicated to reviewing first aid and refreshing (or learning) basic CPR, we met at the lake last night.

Friends of the troop (& Eagle Scouts) offered up their properties, their equipment & boats to give our Scouts an opportunity to try water sports.
For the older Scouts, getting up on water skiis proved to be a challenge, but do-able. Zachary thought it was "cool."

For the younger Scouts, the challenge was just slightly beyond their ability.
One of our first year Scouts did get up on 2 skis and get over the wake a few times!

Joseph was also able to get up... and then quickly back down! But he's excited to try it again.

Having grown up on the water and around lots of water skiing, it brought back great memories. What a gift for our Scouts to be able to try out a new sport. Many thanks to all the adults who made it possible.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Give it a Tri

Joseph and Peter competed in the local youth triathlon Saturday.

Joseph's recount:
"The swim was evil, because it was 400 meters! Biking was easy at first, but it got really hard at the first hill. I biked 3 miles, which would have been easy without the evil swim. The run (1 mile) was really hard, because it was at the end of the race and I hardly had any wind left. I was lucky to complete it!"

Peter relates:

"It was kind of easy. I didn't do too great in the swim. My goggles were leaking. I was fast in the transition to biking because I only put on tennis shoes. Everybody else dried themselves and put a shirt and socks and shoes on. Biking was pretty easy and I passed a whole bunch of people. When I jumped off my bike, I let my bike roll into a cone cuz I just thought, 'it's not my care' and I kept on running. The run was probably the easiest part, cuz I'm a good runner. I got 5th overall in my division (9-10yo). I finished in 20.33 minutes."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blue day

Today we learned that a teammate of Zac's (from the swim team) was killed in a car accident. Two other teammates witnessed the accident, (one was the driver).

Grant eternal rest unto Aly, oh Lord, and give her a home in heaven with You.

Bless her family, be their consolation and strength in this time of grief.

Heal the witnesses and the drivers, dear Lord, may they find peace in You and draw close to You...

We ask these and all our prayers through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Today's Gospel: Mk 9:2-10
Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.

As we celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord today, let us quiet our hearts and our minds and find the time to enter into this glorious mystery.

In what way(s) is God calling me to transform my life?

How can I be more attentive in listening to Him?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Here's a look at Zachary following his friend across the Nooksack River on the "bridge." The former (man made) bridge was washed out in a storm. Remnants of it can be seen along the river bank. We took our time finding the right place to cross (having instructions from a friend who crossed here last week) and looked at several log bridges before choosing this one.


Zachary's birthday hike to Elbow Lake proved to be quite the adventure.
Crossing the Nooksack River at the start of the hike was challenging and required careful footing on a log bridge.

We gained about 1,000 ft elevation on the 3.4 (+/_) mile hike to the lake, crossing several streams and venturing through old growth forests.

Once we arrived at Elbow Lake and started pulling out our lunches it became obvious that the stop at the lake would not be the highlight of our day, as the flies (biting) were in full force! The flies would avoid any areas recently sprayed with Off, but they would go looking for other parts of the body not yet covered with deet...

We sang to Zac with unlit candles propped in his sandwich, and took a few snapshots before heading back down the trail.

We opted to dip our feet at a creek crossing along the trail on the return trek rather than in the lake, just so we could get away from the flies' kingdom!

Later, we all enjoyed dinner together at home and went to Mass before heading to Scouts.

Joseph had his Board of Review for First Class, and was awarded his new rank last night!

Before bed, we sang to Zac (with lit candles) and had ice cream while Zac opened up many cards (with gifts!) mailed to him by family & friends.

Many thanks to everyone (near & far) who helped us make Zac's 15th birthday such a special day.
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bye bye roosters

Unfortunately, both of Peter's Polish chickens turned out to be roosters....
The kind who start screaming at 5:30AM.
The kind who inspire your neighbors to call you at 5:31AM to complain!

Luckily, our good friends live on a farm in the county, and made room for these fancy birds.

Peter had a hard time saying goodbye, but then when he discovered our friends have a goat in need of a home... well, his spirits lifted significantly.

Now we're hearing, "Can I have a goat?" again about every 3 minutes.

We're off on our hike, in celebration of Zachary's 15th birthday today!

Happy birthday to Janell and to Hannah today, too!

God Bless our president Obama on his birthday today. We pray especially for a change in his heart for a new and profound respect for all human life!

Monday, August 3, 2009

15 years old (almost)
Yesterday we celebrated Zachary's 15th birthday with Grandma Billie and Grandpa Cliff.
He wore the special hat (for the first time) and enjoyed pasta and homemade ice cream.

His birthday (Tuesday) will be spent up in the Twin Sisters area on a 9 mile hike with a group of Scout friends and family. But since Grandma and Grandpa won't be on the hike, they had a special early party for Zachary.

15.... wow!
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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Look Who's Flying Now!
Yesterday Joseph, Zachary, and 11 other Scouts joined a few pilots at our local airport to work on the Aviation merit badge.

They toured the control tower and learned about air traffic control. They participated in pre-flight inspections of the airplanes. They held the controls and "flew" the airplanes during 20 minute test flights over our city!

The event was coordinated for our troop by one of our adult leaders with a passion for aeronautics. He organized it through the Young Eagles program. Run by EAA (the Experimental Aircraft Association) Young Eagles sponsors aviation education programs, so there was no cost to our Scouts.

It's open to all kids ages 8-17, so if you know a kid who would like to take a free test flight, visit the Young Eagles website for more information!

After the tour & test flight, each of the boys was issued a certificate and a passport with a special code which allows them to take part in online extension activities. What a great program!

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