Archive for October, 2006

Happy Halloween!

The secrets to carving a great pumpkin.

First, watch Papa to see how it’s done.

Then, get over how “ucky” it is.

Start scoopin’.

Assist Mama in making the face.

Click here to see how it turned out…

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Cute as a bug

Sometimes Halloween Carnivals are just too hard on little bugs.

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What does Sophia love? Well, let’s see now… Cheese, raisins (both at once are always good so as to keep her regular!), anything Mom and Dad are eating in our own little bowls while sitting on the couch (usually ice cream), and, of course, spaghetti! I’m so lucky to have a daughter who enjoys food even more than I do. She was a big help to Mama in preparing this spaghetti dinner for us. She even decided after the pot was full of noodles, that we needed just a few more, so she shoved them in, too.

I let her help with dinner every night, so now, when she sees me in the kitchen, she’ll run in yelling, “Up, up!” and expect to get scooped up and be let stir or add something. She’s such a good help, I don’t know what I ever did without her!

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The Promise

On October first, I stood and watched as one of my closest friends in the world said her final goodbye to her father, as his ashes were buried in the Palmer Cemetery. This picture was taken there.

During what was probably the hardest time of my life, this same friend found the time and money to come and be with me when I needed her most.

Two people there for each other – definition of friendship? Might as well be…

The morning of my brother’s accident, Lyndsi had written a song that seemed to be too well timed. She sang it at his memorial service. It would have fit perfectly into her dad’s as well, but somehow she has made it John’s song. It is something we will always have, and I thank her for that.

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One of the things I love most about being home with Sophia, is getting to play with her. There are a few games that we indulge ourselves in on a regular basis, including the chasing one I mentioned earlier. Some games, though, are a little less conventional.

One of my all time favorites is playing the game of “hide and seek”. Up ’til this point, I am always the one who hides and she the one who seeks. In the living room, I take one of her green blankets (her decke) and I wrap it up all around her really tight so that it takes a while for her to get out. Then I run to either our bedroom, her bedroom, or the entry way and hide until she finds me. When she does, I let out the roar of a lion, and then the chase begins. If she can make it back to her decke in the living room before the Mama Lion catches up with her, than she’s saved. She’ll see it and start panting, “Decke, decke, decke…” and then collapse onto it and hold on tight. If I try to tickle her, than she’ll she’ll tell me “Decke!” – as if to say, “I’m safe, remember?”.

Last night we all played a wacked-up game of “Duck, duck goose” where Isaac lay and I sat in the living room, and she weaved her way through us around and around going, “Nah, nah, nah, nah,” the whole time. Every time she went around or in front of one of us she kind of sped up, both in her walking and her chanting, because she knew, eventually, one of us would reach out and grab her and get all kinds of tickles in. She loved the game so much that later that evening, after we had finished with our walk, she went straight back into the living room and walked in a big circle chanting “nah, nah” again. What a big goof.

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With all that’s happened in this past week, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what’s important to me. When we were told that we’d have to leave our home (what?!) I was overwhelmed with anxiety. Thank goodness I had, just last week, organized my pictures into one large mound of boxes and stacks in our bedroom. But that, even, didn’t seem like we were prepared enough. Thoughts raced through my brain about safes – waterproof, fireproof, earthquakeproof safes. I thought about the things I had left at home to face possible destruction: letters between me and Isaac, the journal we had kept when I was pregnant with Sophia, my wedding dress – not to mention Isaac’s bear rug.

The truth is we are never prepared enough to “save” our belongings. In an instant, all of what we physically possess could be gone.

What I’ve learned from this is not that I should disregard all of what I own, but to rather spend my time and energy in my relationships first and foremost. My relationship with God, my family, my friends.

I am grateful to be back home, but I am also grateful for the reminder.

To view some pics from the flood, go here.

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Cordova, Alaska

Weekend before last, I had the pleasure of traveling with my mom and Sophia to Cordova, AK, where I spent the first 5-6 years of my life. It was amazing to be there again, but this time with my daughter. It was fun hearing Mom’s stories and seeing Sophia play in places I had played as a little girl. And, of course, it rained and poured almost the whole time.

Sophia had a great bonding time with Grandma Donna. They played and laughed (I think my mom laughed more than Sophia!). It is always nice to see them together. (Note: Sophia looks a little “serious” in this picture, but let it be known that she did have a wonderful time! For example, the first night she didn’t go to sleep until well after midnight, as the ferry ride made her way to excited.)

I can’t even describe how much it meant to me to see the house I was born in. Even though it was somewhat worn down, it didn’t change the fact that it was where I drew my first breath. I just kept thinking, “Who could ever be expected to get a house re-painted in all of this rain!”

Cordova is not only the place where I was born, or where my older sisters went to high school, but also where my nephew Kenneth is buried. It sent chills all through my body to stand next to him, and to have Sophia “meet” her cousin here on earth.

Kenneth has moved on to a much bigger and better place. Keep him company, John, until we get there.

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