Friday, February 28, 2014

Silver Beaver

Last night the local Boy Scouts of America council had their annual Court of Honor for the adult volunteers. I was awarded a Silver Beaver recognition! This is the highest honor a local council may award to the adult volunteers. This year 24 adults received this recognition. The Cascade Pacific Council, based in Portland, currently has almost 11,000 adult volunteers, so it is quite an amazing distinction.

I was especially amazed to receive this award because I'm currently "just" a merit badge counselor. However, I have been an adult scouting volunteer for over 35 years - since I was about 23 years old!! I have served as a Cub Scout Den Leader (3x), Cub Scout Committee Chair and member, Boy Scout Advancement Chair and committee member, Assistant Scoutmaster (for 5 years - working with the 11-year-old Scouts), District Committee Membership Chair, District Training Team (5 years), and Merit Badge Counselor for too many years to count. I have been Wood Badge trained, and I have been on the Wood Badge Staff 2x. I was Den Leader for my son (David) and grandson (Joshua).

Jim Bean, my first Oregon City Stake President and a huge supporter of Scouting (he serves at the National level) nominated me. He told me that he wants to see more long-term volunteers recognized, and he thinks it's important that not only have I served very actively in the past, but that I am still involved with youth by teaching high school and by serving as Young Women's President. He was impressed to hear that I have taken the Young Women out on high adventure backpacking outings for the last 2 summers - so I'm taking the outdoor skills I learned through scouting and I am continuing to share them with youth. I also served at Young Women's Camp as a cabin mom, camp director, and certification leader for a ten-year span.

Last night we enjoyed a dinner with the other Silver Beavers and their families. Mark presented me with my award. Mom cheered us on. It was an evening to remember.

And yet, nothing much changes, right? I'm still me. I'll sew another little "knot" patch on my uniform to signify the Silver Beaver award, and then I plan to continue serving as I have always done. Being affiliated with an LDS Pack and Troop means that I'm always around, always a potential leader (again). Which is awesome. I'm proud and happy to be a member of the Boy Scouts of America.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Freezing Rain

Last night we had freezing rain on top of our 8" of snow.

 The view out the kitchen window.

 Icicles on the south side of the house

 Yesterday the neighbors made a 7-foot tall igloo!
They made the blocks by packing snow in the recycling bin.
It worked before the freezing rain fell last night.

 Somebody made a snow angel in the powder yesterday...

 And somebody went snowshoeing this afternoon
in the crunchy icy snow!
 We "hiked" over to the frozen wasteland that is Gardiner Middle School.
The little creek along the pathway to Gardiner
 Birch tree with snow
The frog pond (for storm water drainage) at the end of the street

We'll have "home church" later this afternoon. Then we'll see what the weather brings, and whether we have a normal schedule tomorrow, a 2-hour late start, or another snow day. I predict a 2-hour late start.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Legit Snow

Here in the Portland area, we are snow wimps. Give us an inch or so and we call it a snow day.

Mind you, we do have our reasons:
1. We have lots of hills
2. We get wet, slushy snow because we live in a marine climate
3. It often freezes at night, which results in sheets of black ice
4. We are prone to freezing rain….i.e., more black ice.

But still.

Friends and relative in colder, snowier regions often mock us.
And I don't mind a bit, as long as I get my snow day.

Sometimes we get a little snow in February. I can remember 1 or 2 years that we had a snow day this late in the winter.

But 8-10 inches of snow in 2 1/2 days? Never above freezing?
We are talking legit snow here, my friends.

The snow started falling Thursday afternoon.
Friday we had a snow day.
It was still snowing this morning when we woke up.
And we're supposed to get more snow this afternoon.
And some freezing rain tonight and tomorrow.
Church is cancelled tomorrow.

I know you're anxious to see this winter wonderland, so I'm posting a few pics for you below.

 Our front yard on Thursday afternoon.
Our front yard this morning.
…and watch the snow collect on that little cone-shaped evergreen in the back of the top photo.
Friday…lots more snow...
...Saturday morning - still more snow!

 …the hummingbird feeder is frozen completely solid.
(Luckily our neighbor changes his several times a day)
 Meanwhile, we're feeding the chickadees, junkos, and other little birds.
 And we have clear evidence that the birds were looking for bugs hiding in the siding of our house.
Hooray for protein!

 Before Mark shoveled the front walk the first time.
 After shoveling Saturday morning.
Then we went and shoveled some of the neighbor's sidewalks.
Good exercise!

 A walk in the snow with Sarah, Kat, and Nana.
Kat, Nana, Sarah
 Mark, Mom, me
(this was Friday morning)

 A few more pics from today - 3rd day of snow
 View of the back yard maple
Same view from a lower angle.
Yikes! The snow is trying to come in!

SO THANKFUL for indoor plumbing…snow days…electricity…sweet people in my life.

Stay warm! I'm heading off to make some hot chocolate. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Morning on Laurel Lane

The sky was beautiful this morning after two or three days of rain, and I felt drawn out of doors before breakfast. The morning was fresh and beautiful, and I could have stayed outside for hours.

That sky! It called to me from the front steps.

 Still a few drops of last night's rain on the branches of the Japanese maple.

 Fat Albert! How you've grown!
You were supposed to grow no taller than 5' when we planted you in 2007.
I guess you like your spot in front of the redwood tree.

I learned to play with the "infinity" setting on my pocket camera.
I couldn't get enough of the morning sky. 

 Loved the contrast on my neighbor's bushes...

The new wing for 6th-grade classes - on the back of Gardiner Middle School. 

That sky, that sky, that sky! 
Over the Gardiner track. 

Rose Farm Museum, through mossy rose branches. 

When I looked up through my neighbor's birch branches, 
it looked like tiny hands waving at the beautiful morning sky. 

I wonder how this lone apple managed to stay on the tree all winter? 

I really should eat more kale.
Anything that can stay this healthy and green through an Oregon winter has to be good for you! 

My mom's younger brother, my Uncle Dave Holman was in town.
Next week is his 74th birthday, so Mom took us all out to lunch

Happy Birthday, Uncle Dave!