Thursday, June 20, 2013

I don't even know what to call this post...

...I thought about "Bloggorhea," but that sounds kind of negative and self-deprecating. Not my intent. Then I thought about "Ketchup" - you know, as in "Catch up" - but when you have to explain the punchline the joke's not funny any more, right?

In any case, May and June have been crazy-busy, and I'm way behind on posting. I've been working on this post for about 4 days now, and it's not finished. I promise I'll post before I go to bed tonight, finished or not!

Where to start? 

School is out
The end of school is always a crazy time for teachers. This year was even more so because Mark has been working on his National Board Teacher Certification, and the deadline for his humongous portfolio was May 30. He had intended to work on it over spring break, but then family needs took over everything else with Dad's death, moving Mom, etc. was out last week week before last. We had finals on Tuesday and Wednesday, teacher grading day on Thursday, and then...done for the summer! The longer I teach, the more I appreciate our 10 weeks of summer vacation. 

Kendra and family - in the Northwest
Kendra and her three darling children flew in from Kansas at the end of May. They stayed for a week while husband Chris and his brother drove to Woodinville, near Seattle, where Chris' parents live. Kendra and Chris are settling in the Seattle area. He is looking for work and plans to finish his nursing degree in Washington, instead of Kansas. Their Kansas foster kids are settled into new homes. 
Kendra has the camera.
Chris, Lilly, me, Charlie, Abbi, Mark, Mom

We are looking forward to seeing this dear family a lot more often. 

Mom getting settled in
Mom is pretty well settled in to her bedroom/sitting room. Her pantries and her refrigerator are installed. The kitchenette is almost finished. 

Mom is a cheerful, positive person. She goes to water aerobics and the Curves gym almost every day. She has joined the Church choir and reading group. She has been busily meeting with her new doctors, dentist, audiologist financial advisor, etc. Most of the financial/legal dust is settled following Dad's death in March. 

She and Mark and I are getting along happily as a family of three. I am so grateful for our home - the 100-year-old farmhouse with the funky floor plan is adapting well to a new apartment within the house. I'll post some pictures soon!

Meanwhile, the fun never stops...
I've been doing some fun activities with the Young Women. We hosted a fancy dinner for the bishopric & wives at the house. We've taken a couple of pre-camp hikes. 

In my spare time I've been building Mom's kitchen cabinets (purchased at Ikea). Love them! I am a pro at putting Ikea cabinets together now. 

We left last week on "vacation." Yes, I know, we're teachers and we get 10 weeks of vacation. And yes, I know that road trips involving seven states, 3 weeks, and oodles of grandkids are not necessarily restful. But yes, we are calling this a vacation! We left last week and spent several days in central California with Mark's mom. Now we're in the L.A. area with David and Holly, and next we'll drive to the Las Vegas Area to spend some time with Angela and family. Then we hop a flight to Ohio to visit Katie and Bryan, swing home through Utah and Idaho. We'll pull into the driveway just before the 4th of July. 

Mom is traveling with us. She's such a good sport! She'll leave Ohio a day early to fly back to California on her own and catch her high school's 60-year reunion (!), and she'll return to Oregon a couple of days before us.

Here are a few photos from our spring / summer so far. Stay tuned - more vacation photos coming soon!

Dinner for the bishopric:
We turned our living room into "Ch├ęz Haynie."

We surprised the bishopric with the location by having a chauffeur pick them up. 
Mark impersonated The Fonz.

YW Hikes:
Triple Falls (near the Columbia River Gorge)

Mirror Lake and Tom-Dick-and-Harry Mountain (near Mt. Hood)
 Mom hiked with the group as far as Mirror Lake

 About a third of the group hiked to the top of Tom-Dick-and-Harry Mountain, overlooking the lake. The others stayed back and played at the lake.

Lemon Meringue Pie for Mother's Day: Mom used her mother's recipe

Building Ikea cabinets. Believe it or not, I'm having fun. (Really! I am!)

More vacation photos coming soon.


Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

So glad your summer is off to a good start.

Katie Lewis said...

Haha, at first I thought you said that Nana's panties were installed. Hahahaha. We're excited to have you come! See you tomorrow!

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

The pictures all loaded smaller than usual on my iPhone, and at first glance I thought it was a picture of Maddy popping up out of the box. :-)

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

And dad, you look great! Is that your new look for next school year; Nationally Board Certified and the Coolest Cat in the Foreign Language Department!

Did you have a comb in your back pocket? (They can be useful when corralling grand kids with tangles, and tangling with Bishopbric members!