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Adventures in Burkeland - Saturday, March 12, 2011
A little working family on a little hobby farm.
 Saturday, March 12, 2011
Our past week was hours and hours of blissful nothing-ness, followed by 24 hours of exhausting excitement. We headed up to Ocean Park, WA (just north of Long Beach, WA) when Carson was done with school last Friday. Elaine’s parents have a timeshare there and had invited us to join them for the week. With absolutely no agenda in mind we did almost nothing all week outside of playing, swimming and watching a bit too much Aloha Scooby-Doo. Although the weather was actually much better than we expected, and the hotel is only a couple blocks from the sand, we only found our way to the beach a couple times for some sand castle construction and kite flying. Mainly we made multiple trips to the pool each day, although we also explored the army battery at Fort Columbia and flew gliders off the top of the Astoria column one day as well.

Probably the best part of that time (no offense to Scott) was when Scott had to come back home to work Monday-Wednesday and I got some good one-on-one time with the boys. It seems I always walk away from these times with the same take-aways (so one might think I would learn), but I’m always amazed at how grown up they’ve become since the last time I interacted with them sans Scott. Carson desperately wants more responsibility than I’ve been giving him.  When I forgot something in our room and already had the kids buckled in before I remembered I asked him if they would be OK while I ran back inside. “Can I be in charge?” he asked. “Sure”, I replied, “you’re in charge.” He BEAMED. When I returned he was standing next to Nolan caressing his head. “Mom, I took off my buckles, but only because Nolan was crying for you and I thought it would help if I gave him his blanket and held his hand.” Seriously? Is this my kid? From then on whether it was going from our room down the hall to Poppy & Nonna’s room, getting himself dressed or clearing the dishes, Carson was “in charge”. By the end of the week he was getting around the entire complex by himself, and doing exactly what I asked when he arrived, whether it was calling to say he made it or waving from the balcony.

So let’s call that part “Phase 1”.

“Phase 2” began at 3:37 Friday morning when the phone rang in our room. It was a reverse-911 call notifying us that a tsunami advisory had been issued for the coast of Washington and we were being advised to evacuate. We had watched some of the first footage from the Japanese earthquake before heading for bed Thursday night, so we basically knew what was going on, but flipped on the news to see what they were thinking might hit our coast. It soon became clear they were predicting a 1-2’ surge in area where we were, but were saying 2-3’ at Astoria and Seaside, which were on our way home. Scott & I talked and decided we would be fine if we stayed at the hotel, but acknowledged that we might have trouble getting home if something larger did hit in the other towns. Soon more calls were coming from my parents asking what our plans were, and the hotel management making sure we had received the tsunami advisory information and asking if we were planning to leave. It soon became clear we would not be getting any more sleep as everyone waited for 7:12 – the time the first surge was supposed to hit Long Beach. Although our hotel was only two blocks from the beach, it sits on a hill and we soon learned it was the local evacuation site, which meant the parking lot filled up with cars, trucks and RVs as people moved up from the shore. Fire personnel and a county sheriff walked around to answer any questions. The gas was turned off which meant no fireplaces, laundry or swimming while we waited. We found out later this was standard practice as all the restaurants we drove past on the way out were also closed. As it turned out, nothing visible really ever came of the tsunami in our area. Incredibly interesting experience though.

The beginning of “Phase 3” popped into Scott’s email around 6am while we awaited the outcome of the tsunami advisory. Scott’s brother, Chris was headed to the hospital with his wife, Tia. Our new nephew was about to be born!! Since we were already in Washington, and already packed, we decided to head north instead of south on the way out. Once we established that nothing was going to be splashing in from the ocean, we took off for Kirkland, where we arrived just a little over an hour before little Casey Patrick came into the world at 4:24pm. The boys were thrilled to meet their new cousin, and Carson was VERY interested in everything. He watched Casey’s first bath, first diaper, talked about the umbilical cord and even held him at just over an hour-old. We went back over to Chris and Tia’s to let the kids play for a while and then (finally!) headed home.

We arrived at the farm just past 1AM where we found (Phase 4) two new baby lambs! Our second ewe had finally had her lambs sometime between Wednesday night when Scott left and the wee hours of Saturday morning when we returned home. (From the activity level, we’re guessing Wednesday night or Thursday.)

So that’s about all the excitement we can take for a while. Part of me wishes all the excitement had come at the beginning of the vacation so we had the rest of the week to recover, but life never seems to work that way! It was a great week though – huge THANKS to mom and dad for the room, PRAYERS for everyone who was affected by the earthquake & tsunamis and huge CONGRATULATIONS to Chris & Tia on their new baby. More pictures of the week are posted here.
3/12/2011 10:22:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Wednesday, March 02, 2011
We drove the whole way home like this today. Apparently in Oregon you get so used to your umbrella that you don't even notice when, say, you're no longer outside.

3/2/2011 9:48:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Sunday, February 27, 2011
Sure, why not?
I didn't really feel like cooking anyway.

2/27/2011 9:24:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Thursday, February 24, 2011
Linfield did a two-hour delay this morning after a late-winter snow storm dropped a couple inches on us last night, so we spent the extra time dubbing the hill next to the tree house the "sledding hill". And finally, after eight months on the farm, Carson (a.k.a. Mr. Not-A-Fan-of-Change) said, "Mom, maybe this house is better than the old house. It has a sled hill." Wow... yeah, maybe.


2/24/2011 6:52:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I'm pretty sure this is a way to express love. In a very testosterone-laced language.

2/22/2011 8:10:55 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Monday, February 21, 2011
Dear CenturyLink: We have not had a home phone for over five years. Yes, you made us get a phone number when we moved here, but you cannot make us own a phone or plug one in. Therefore, when the only way you have to trouble-shoot a week-long problem with our internet connection is to ask if there is a dial-tone, we think you are living in the past. Update your business practices to reflect the current millennium please. Thanks.

2/21/2011 8:06:31 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Tuesday, February 15, 2011
When I started singing this song to the boys at bedtime it actually settled them down a bit. Now the overall mood has shifted slightly. Maybe if we went back to how it used to be they would go to sleep a bit faster. *sigh*

2/15/2011 9:09:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Wednesday, February 09, 2011
On a list of things I'm thankful for, non-carpet flooring from the outside door to the bathroom ranks pretty high.

2/9/2011 8:03:52 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Monday, February 07, 2011
So yesterday we went to a Superbowl party. This in itself is not a huge thing, we used to go to Superbowl parties all the time – pre kids. Since the boys came along we have basically assumed getting everything we needed together was not going to be worth whatever nominal amount of time they would actually last at the event. But yesterday we got there and STAYED THROUGH THE WHOLE GAME. No kidding. We actually attended a 5+ hour event with both the boys, left when everyone else left and everyone was still smiling. I can’t say we saw every minute of the game, but we were there. This is a huge step. RMEF Heart of the Valley banquet 2011 – here we come!

2/7/2011 11:18:49 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Saturday, February 05, 2011
It’s always around this time each year that I start to wish the days would get a little longer, a little faster. I sometimes find myself staring at a calendar marveling that it’s only February, when I’m sure it should be closer to March or April. In truth, I need the time between now and March/April, so I don’t really want to shoot forward in time – I’m just ready for a little more daylight and possibly more warmth. Overall, I enjoy winter, but enough is enough.

We’re still spending most of our time dealing with the ins and outs of the farm. There’s a lot to do and we’ve had to start reminding ourselves that if it doesn’t all get done this year, there’s always next year, or the year after that.  My new favorite website is the OSU Extension Service site, which tells me the first crops will go into the garden next month! That means spring is close, right?

2/5/2011 8:43:41 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #       |  Trackback
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