Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hunter is Here!

Hunter arrived just before 2:00 am via C-section. He weighs 7 lb 6 oz and is 21 inches long.

Our first glimpse of Hunter through the nursery window. 
We'll get to know him better tomorrow.

Maleena and Max just before they took Maleena to the operating room.

Max is ready for Hunter's birth.

Hunter is our 20th grandchild. That sounds like a lot of grandchildren - and it is - Mark and I are wealthy in grandbabies!  Little Hunter is just as special to me as all of his cousins. It will be so fun to have him here in Oregon City and to get to watch him grow. I know he will have his own little personality, and I am really looking forward to getting to know him.

Welcome, Hunter!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


My new grandson, Hunter, was due today.

Even with the help of some pitocin all day, he hasn't arrived yet. The doctor says that Maleena needs some rest, and we'll try again tomorrow.

Sweet dreams, Maleena.

Hey, Hunter! Come out and play!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A New Way to Serve

I've been teaching the adult Sunday School class at church for the last 18 months. The class is called Gospel Doctrine. We studied the Old Testament in 2010, and we're studying the New Testament in 2011. Teaching this class has been a joy. The class discussions are stimulating, and my personal faith and testimony have been deepened as I have studied the scriptures more carefully. The (Mormon) church puts out strong teacher support materials, and I never lacked for a bounty of information, ideas, and Christ-centered scriptural teachings to share with the class every Sunday.

Two weeks ago, I had a phone call from one of the bishop's counselors. He wanted to meet with me. I was pretty sure what that meant. Mormon churches are run entirely by lay leadership, from the bishop down to the nursery leaders. Everyone knows they will take a turn at a wide variety of church assignments, or callings. I've always believed that my bishop and his counselors are inspired, so it would be silly to decline a new calling. If the bishop is inspired by God, then saying "No thank you" would be like saying "no" to God, right?

The bishop's counselor was very sweet. He thanked me for my service as Gospel Doctrine teacher, and then he told me I was being released because my service was needed even more urgently the church nursery!

Now there was a time (probably when my own children were small) that I dreaded serving in the nursery. This time around, I am thrilled about it. Our nursery is growing, and they need to split it into two groups. I will be the leader of the "junior nursery," with children ages 18 months old - 2 years old. (Younger babies and children stay with their parents. A Mormon church nursery isn't about child care; it's a place for young children to learn the gospel at church.)

I am honored to have an opportunity to serve as the junior nursery leader. What a sacred thing--I get to be their teacher who will introduce them to their own class in the church. As small as they are, they have a place to be at church, a place where they can feel safe and loved as they learn the gospel.

I went to the nursery today to begin re-learning the ropes. It's been 20+ years since I've served in the nursery. It's a lot more than just a playtime for the children. They do begin with playtime...after all, they've just sat (more or less) through 70 minutes of Sacrament Meeting in the chapel with their families. But after a while the toys are put away and the nursery presents a real lesson to these little ones. They learn to sit on their chairs, to take turns, and to listen to a teacher in the church. Later they sing Primary songs and have a snack.

And it was a busy group! The time flew by, and before I knew it, the parents were coming in to pick up their children. We sang a goodbye song to each child and she/he left, and they departed with smiles and hugs.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thank you, Dads

I am so blessed by the fathers in my life.

My dad was the first man in my life. His hands held me when I was a tiny baby.
Here is working on yet another project for me.
 Dad with Maddy
 Dad with David
 Dad - Christmas
Dad and Mom - always a team

 Mark is my best friend and sweetheart. 
We work hard all school year...
...and we play hard in the summer!
 Mark with Abbi, Charlie, Arora, David
 Mark snowshoeing with Josh, Kat, Sarah
 Mark with Arora
 Mark and me at the start of the "Best Dam Run"
 Mark and Maddy
 Mark - 56th birthday at the beach
 Mark with Maddy, Arora, Seth
 Mark helping with chores
 Mark with Olivia and a good book
Mark and me camping at Olallie Lake

I have such wonderful sons, step-sons, and sons-in-law.
I'm listing their photos here in alphabetical order.
 Bryan with Katie, Olivia, and Trish (his mom)
 Bryan with Olivia on her blessing day
 Chris with Charlie, trick-or-treating
 Chris and Kendra
 David with Holly, Arora, Ender
 David with Arora on the Clackamas River Trail
 Eric with Becca and Ender
 Eric with Becca on her blessing day
 Jayesh with Josh and Chris (friend)
 Josh with Ethan, Nate with Blake, on Ethan's blessing day
 Josh with Ethan
 Max and Maleena on their wedding day
 Max and Maleena...a long time ago... :)
 Mike with Maddy
 Nate with Ashley, Blake, Kenadi
 Nate helping decorate for Maleena's wedding
 Scott and Julia
 Tim and Audrey
Tim with Audrey and Sam

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful men in my life!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Quick Afternoon Hike to Mirror Lake

I joined up with Julia and the kids, and her new sister-in-law Michelle, for a quick afternoon hike to Mirror Lake today. After all the whining I've been doing all spring about the cold rainy weather, we could not have asked for better weather. It was in the mid 70s with a nice breeze. The trail is mostly shaded, with a 700' elevation gain, so it was perfect for hiking. It's only 1.4 miles to the lake. We hiked there and back in just under two hours.

The lake would be a better mirror for Mt. Hood without the breeze.

Kat, Josh, and Sarah
This was their first time at the lake. Too cold to play in the water today!
Yes, that is SNOW they are standing on.

Kat, Sarah, Julia, Josh, Michelle
On our way back down the trail.
I was standing below them on a lower switchback.

I wish the picture quality were better. All I have for now is my cell phone. did take our defective camera back for a full refund, but I have yet to buy a new camera.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blogger Stole My Memories!!!

I am SO SAD.

Yesterday when I was writing the Eagle Creek post, I tried to link back to the 2008 hikes I took on the same trail.

I searched through my archives, and...THEY'RE GONE!!

Everything before January 2009 seems to have been deleted from my blog. I started the posts back in 2007, I think. Did I miss something in the fine print somewhere? Should I have known better?

I thought those older posts would always be there. I thought I could use them as a kind of personal history. How can I save them? Does anyone know about this???

Monday, June 13, 2011

Eagle Creek Trail

Punchbowl Falls

I hiked 13 miles on the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday.

Oh, it was glorious! I hiked with my friend, Liberty Fort, all the way to Tunnel Falls and back.

Our husbands, Mark and Jason, hike with us to Punchbowl Falls, and then they relaxed/read books/played iPods/napped while we girls took up the challenge of making it all the way to Tunnel Falls and back.

The weather was perfect. 70-something degrees with a light breeze.

How many times have I hiked that trail? I tried to count to myself as we hiked along, but I've lost track over the years. Twenty times or more. I first hiked it in the early summer of 1989, and I've hiked it at least once almost every year since then. I can distinctly remember five different overnight backpack trips on Eagle Creek, but there may be more. My favorite overnight on this trail was the time Dorothy and I hiked in to 7-1/2 Mile Camp by ourselves in 1990. My second-favorite campout was the hike I made with Josh in 2009.

It was Liberty's first time to hike Eagle Creek, and it was fun to watch her be surprised at the beauties of the trail. I never get tired of it, but it was fun to see it again with fresh eyes. I grabbed Liberty's camera several times to take some souvenir photos for her, but for some reason, I never did snap any photos with my camera. Too busy hiking and enjoying the feel of the trail, I guess. I took lots of photos of the same hike to Tunnel Falls in 2008...but I had much better weather this year.

Final verdict: We hiked 13 miles in 6 hours, with only 3 rest stops. I was only a little bit sore afterwards, which surprised me because I am definitely not getting enough exercise lately. Was I pleased as punch that I made the hike in good time and in good shape? OF COURSE! Would I do it again? YOU BETCHA!!

 Rainy day on Eagle Creek Trail, March 2008

 Solo hike to Tunnel Falls, March 2008

 Lush green...March 2008

Rock formations - the tops of columnar basalt - March 2008

 The "tunnel" of Tunnel Falls, March 2008

 I made it! Tunnel Falls, 6.5 miles from trailhead, March 2008

 High Bridge, 3 miles from trailhead, March 2008

 Josh hiking Eagle Creek Trail, June 2008

 Josh and me on our overnighter, Eagle Creek Trail, June 2008

 Josh on the Eagle Creek Trail, June 2008

Creek crossing on the Eagle Creek Trail, June 2008
This picture makes me smile...Josh is 11 now, and so TALL!