Thursday, June 26, 2008

Renovations, Rain Storms, and Dogs

SSSNNNNIIIIFFFFFFF! Aaaah, the sweet smell of summer. No school, no work, just play play play all day! At least, if by "play" you mean hauling two tons of wall stone by hand to build up the terracing in your front yard, or gutting out your kitchen (cabinets, appliances, flooring and lighting) and turning your bathroom from a 1/2 bath to a 3/4 bath...then, yes, we're playing! Today Chase and I worked on building our front porch. I learned quick how to accurately hit a nail, enough black thumbs'll teach ya that! It's not finished, but the hard part is done, all the leveling, squaring off and attaching-to-the-house part is finished. Chase had to leave tonight to be at the Young Men's camp-out as one of the leaders. He was planning on coming home tomorrow, except I just got a call from him. He was at the hospital 'cause he may have dislocated his shoulder from doing, none other than...wrestling! "If I told that boy once I've told him a THOUSAND TIMES!" He should be fine, might slow down some work, but he'll be fine. I'm packing up the kitchen so we can take all the old cabinets out, the new ones come in just four days which means we can get the kitchen all finished up here soon! In the mean time we've been knocking out walls and enjoying the demolition part of the renovations. I recall Hilary getting angry about hearing too much about house renovations so I'll stop there and let you in on the rest as I get photos to prove the progress. We had a tumultuous rain storm the other day which left mud puddles in our back yard. Mud, because we still don't have grass...just dirt...and now mud. Enoch had a lot of fun with that though. For a long time. And it resulted in an AFTERNOON bath instead of his usual evening bath. We've been watching a friend's dog for the last week while he's been out of town. Actually, the dog is his girlfriend's who left him with the dog while she did some internship out of town for several weeks. Long story short...I HATE LITTLE DOGS! Maybe I should correct that, I hate inside dogs. It's just that the only experience I've had with little dogs has been inside. They all eat poopy diapers no matter how concealed you make them and they all stand under your feet in the kitchen waiting for you to drop food for them to eat. My secret pleasure is to "accidentally" kick him while I'm moving around getting meals ready, or to "innocently" step on him. Anyway, Enoch seems to like the dog. It's the first thing he asks for when he wakes up in the morning. Except he says, "Gah!" I don't know if it's 'cause he's mixed up the first letter with the last or because the dog's name is Gus, but he calls all dogs, "Gah." Hope everyone is doing well. I saw Dave 'n Jo's pictures. Maybe it was the innocent truth that echoed from the organic melody or the beautiful family so honestly portrayed but I was fighting back my tears, I loved it. Being away from my immediate family and relying on the support found in friends around me, has completely changed my idea of what "family" means. The pictures you guys had taken puts another point-of-view on the definition. The birth mom is an amazingly honest woman, with herself, the baby and with you. SHE is the one who broadens the definition of family in a selfless and noble way, not because she has chosen to place her child, but because she sees it does not end the family of strengthens it. I don't know if that made sense, but I've been very impressed with her character and am thrilled she has chosen you guys to be the baby's parents. We love you guys, see you in...A MONTH! Wahooo!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

We went to the Rose Garden in Washington Park in Portland on Thursday it was very beautiful!

This rose was as big as Jo's face!

Joseph found a fun slide!

And he smelled lots of roses...

Here's a movie about how the "slide" worked.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Some Pictures For You To See

I'm tired and want to go to bed, but I thought I should put a couple pictures on the blog of what we've been up to the last little while.

Sometime in February or March we went to a "sugaring" farm, that's where they make maple syrup.

It was freak'n cold outside but really really warm inside where they were boiling the maple sap, that was nice.

In May we celebrated Cinco de Mayo at some friends' house where Enoch gently tapped a pinata with a plastic baseball bat.

This was an improvement from the last couple times we've introduced him to pinata's where he screams and crys for "Mamamamama!"

One day Chase and I were downstairs doing grown-up things while Enoch was busily playing with toys and wondering around the house. We noticed he had gone upstairs and became quiet. Suddenly we heard something heavy falling down the stairs, Enoch's step stool. He scooted back downstairs, picked up his step stool and set it in front of his chair. He promptly sat down and set his feet up on his stool and grinned from ear to ear.

Chase started an illegal fire in our backyard to get rid of all the dead brush we had.

Memorial Day weekend we went camping with two other couples from our ward.

We discovered that Enoch is a TOTALLY AWESOME camper/hiker. We can take him anywhere...pretty much. We hiked the highest peak in Vermont (4,195 ft.)partly in the rain and Enoch slept through most of it.

This is your retarded sister(-in-law)/daughter. It's actually the best picture we have of the view at the top of the mountain, so if you can look past my melodramatic heroism you'll see a beautiful view of Vermont...on a cloudy day. So these are pictures of us on hikes with friends. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's been long enough since we posted that I though you might need to be reminded what we look like. Portland has really grown on us. We wear all natural fibers, eat locally harvested foods. You'll be pleased to note that we've also added a former president to our family ranks.

All seriousness aside, I'm very excited that Hilary reminded us that we have a blog. Now that we have internet at home, we can actually participate a little better. If you want to know what happened to us between our last entry and May, you'd better just call us because it would take too long to catch up here.

These are some pictures from our trip to Multomah Falls when my good friend Paul from Rochester came out to visit us. Paul is Joseph's Godfather. I know we don't really do that as Mormons but Paul is Catholic, and we're good friends. Joseph didn't remember him at all at first, but by the end of the long weekend he was asking for him.

I'd never heard of it before we moved to Portland. It's up the Columbia River Gorge, which has tons of beautiful waterfalls of which Multomah is just the most famous and wheelchair accessible. It is a steep one mile hike (about like the hike to Timp Caves), and Joseph made it all the way up on his own steam with one refueling stop. He's a tough kid.

Here are some more pictures from the Multnomah falls trip

Joseph and Paul looking at the falls

Joseph getting stuck

Joseph finding his own way

Pictures are worth a thouand words, and I'm tired so here a bunch more pictures from our lives lately. Categories include: 1-our new play structure (got it for $15.00 on Craig's list), 2- Another slide we got from a garage sale for $3.00, 3- A visit to the Enchanted Forest, 4- Joseph measuring things as he is wont to do lately, and 5- Joseph with an interesting hat that can double as ear-muffs. Enjoy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hillbilly fun at the VA

Hi everyone! Well, I read Missy's story (very entertaining) about the questionable and remote furniture store, and realized there are sure a lot of funny things that happen that never get written down. Well, I have something funny that I would like to write down for your enjoyment. . .

I was at work the other day, and I had this patient ( I think about 72 years old) with a really heavy southern accent, except it wasn't just southern it was like. . . "ignernt" southern. I asked him where he was from and he told me he was from Chatanooga, Tennessee. I was excited because I've been there before, and told him I went to see the "Chatanooga Choo Choo" while I was there. He told me it was a lot different when he was growing up there "a million years ago", before they built the water turbines and created a river and such. He grew up in the backwoods and his family grew corn. He lived in a small cabin with 7 brothers and sisters (well, half-brothers and sisters because his mama didn't know who the father was of most of them). They didn't have electricity until he was 11 years old, and then it was just a single lightbulb.

That was all very intriguing to me, and it reminded me of Dolly Parton's story. Then he began educating me on the ways of the hillbillies. He told me he was kind of ashamed of his background, and when he came to Utah, he changed his name for $152. I asked him, just jokingly, "So, what was your hillbilly name, Billy Bob?" Without even looking up, he nodded and said, "yep". He told me that in hillbilly families, usually the firstborn son is named Billy Bob (William Robert is the official name), and that son usually ends up going by Bubba. The firstborn girl of a hillbilly family is usually called "Sissy" as a nickname. Bubba and Sissy are names that can be transferred to other kids in the family, usually the fattest kids end up with those names. When "Sissy" becomes a teenager, it is more respectful to call her Sister. So, in the backcountry, there can be "hollers" full of Bubbas and Sisters.

He then told me that he married a girl from Louisiana, and his mother didn't speak to him for 3 years because he married outside the family. Apparently, in hillbilly families, it is simply expected that you marry your cousins. All of this patient's siblings married their first cousins, and he was the only one to break the "rule". He taught me that if your two cousins marry each other, their baby is called your "double first cousin". He told me he met a hillbilly from Louisiana who married his own sister! I asked him how the kids turn out in these families, and he said mostly they're just "ignernt" and unable to function without welfare. I wonder, though, if those genes don't show up later in life as a person gets older, you know, strange sicknesses and immunodeficiency and things.

Just some fun facts for you about our hillbilly friends. Thank goodness for education! Have a fun day!