Sunday, October 30, 2011

aaron video

Aaron identifying the Catan cards at 21 months.  (For timber, he sadly explains, "tree fall down"). 
Are you impressed, Uncle Stephen?

October in Pictures

Summary of photos:
A deer hit Adrian's car one dark morning; he was fine; we're not sure about the deer.  We enjoyed a trip to Oregon: fun, food and family!  We returned home to find our maple tree adorned with golden leaves.  When they all fell last week, we enjoyed them from the ground, too.  Ella has wanted to make "dark" bread for a while, so we took the time to make some Swedish Rye bread yesterday.  Out of it (plus some previously baked oatmeal bread) we were able to make checkerboard sandwiches!  And our girls are learning how to play Catan with us.  Ella won the first game she played!

things dads do

Last weekend, upon returning home from a week in Oregon, my sweet husband offered to help me with the 8 loads of laundry that had accumulated while we were away.  Even though laundry is my "favorite" house chore, looking at the mountain caused me to gladly accept.  Somehow when we work together, work seems to take less than half the time.  A few hours later, Adrian was occupied when I heard the dryer end its cycle, so I went to switch out loads.  Upon opening the dryer, I discovered that he had re-washed and dried the huge, heavy jeans load that I had already placed in the clean laundry basket ~ only I hadn't folded them yet.  One thing about house help, whether husbands or kids: you can't always have it "your way", it may not be the most efficient, and it may not look the way you usually finish ... but still, I am thankful!  I think thankfulness is the key to getting more help in the future. 

As our family grows, I am finding my chore systems to need constant adjustment.  I am still confused as to why, when we had our 4th baby the laundry seemed to double and I was running the dishwasher twice per day instead of once.  After all, he was just an infant ~ why the increase?  As he has gotten older, those adjustment have become "normal", but I am still battling the way toys reproduce while we aren't watching, and the way there are 8 little hands dropping items around the house no matter how closely I watch.  Luckily Ella is stepping up to be a great help.  I was once told that age 7 is when they really begin to pitch in around the house, and I've been waiting... for Ella, it was 7 1/2 (this autumn) when she suddenly started organizing and cleaning in a way I didn't know she was capable of!!  Hurray!

Back to Dads.  Last weekend, the girls were begging to go for a bike ride in the crisp autumn air.  We also needed a handful of things at the grocery store, so Adrian combined the tasks and took E&T on bikes to Albertsons to shop!  Along with all the fresh apples, oranges, bananas, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, & yogurt I had requested, they came home with mini Butterfingers, frosted sugar cookies, bologna, Cheetos, and a big tub of Tillamook ice cream.  I am one (1 out of 6, that is) who attempts to keep high fructose corn syrup and artificial anything out of the house ~ and here walking in was a load of all of the above.  I was rather amused.  Oh, how the children would be lacking in balance if it weren't for their dad!  They truly NEED the balance their daddy provides.  (Well, maybe not the Cheetos...)

Adrian provides "balance" for the kids in many other ways, too.  We have a routine of picking up toys (and books and clothes and many other miscellaneous items) before daddy gets home.  Upon his arrival we have to strategically plan our 1.5 hours before bedtime.  We eat dinner, clean up, set up a game, and then start the bedtime routine.  Over the last week, we have been playing board games almost every evening.  Sometimes game playing is slow going as they learn, but we are REALLY thankful to be together after Adrian was gone weeknights for 6 out of 7 weeks.  And I'd much rather be telling the children which card to pick up than watching who-knows-what on the DVD player.  We happily canceled Netflix a few months ago, and *might* get back to wholesome video watching when the weather turns really cold.

So...  I am the one who calls out orders to get dressed, eat healthy food, wipe your mouth, keep on task in school, put away one project before you begin another, pick up your toys, you've played with the computer/iPhone/laptop enough, and get to bed on time.  Adrian is the one who comes home, plays games, serves dessert, wrestles at bedtime, and knows how to relax....  God knew our children needed both.

Can you relate?  I'd like to hear how YOU are balanced out by your family!

Friday, October 28, 2011

HE provides!

Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide.  "And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son. So they went both of them together"  (Gen 22.8)  "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh. As it is said to this day, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided."  (Gen 22.14).  And of course Abraham's experience was a foreshadow of the LORD providing himself a lamb who would take away the sins of the whole world.  He has provided.

We are thanking Jehovah-Jireh this morning, as Adrian just called from the side of a mountain to announce that he successfully hunted a cow elk!  We will now have local, organic, grass fed meat provided for our family for another year!  Thank you God, Creator and provider of all.

"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." --Hebrews 1.3, NIV

Monday, October 10, 2011


Ok, well, these photos are hopelessly out of order, but blogger won't let me move them right now, and I'm vowing not to lose my sanity over it.  Instead, I'll lose my perfectionism ~ most of these were taken during our 2 weekends at Gramma Mary's house in early Sept.
Tessa learned to ride without training wheels a while ago, but one weekend in September she suddenly found her confidence, and now embraces any opportunity to go for a ride!  We are so proud of her!!  One walk in the park had 2 girls riding independently and 2 in the bike trailer, so we are finally hopeful that whole family bike outings will actually be a fun thing in the future!

The kids at the picnic spot before a carousel ride (photo courtesy Elissa ~ thank you!)

Aaron with his 1st Birthday wagon (only assembled 8 months late!)
The kids enjoying a snack during our sadly unsuccessful hunt for huckleberries

Our kids are never happier than when outside...
Gramma Mary and Jaci riding Missoula's carousel. 
Ella & Tessa took great delight in choosing which horse they would ride, but photos of them turned out blurry!

Since we homeschool year round, our "first day" of this school year was July 1.  However, this photo was taken on our first day of Homeschool Group in early September.  We are delighted to have a large group of local homeschoolers meeting weekly this year; there have been 25 children attending for the past 3 weeks.  The kids enjoy great lessons and very fun play time!  We've done projects like baking, science experiments, and making duct tape wallets.  Up this week: decorating cake pops, lesson by a professional cake decorator mom!

Tessa was the one who suggested the photo shoot, and posed very cutely!

Ella pulling smaller siblings in the new wagon!

Bob Marshall Wilderness Fishing Trip

Since Adrian doesn't blog, I got to choose some photos from his Bob Marshall Wilderness Fishing trip from August!  Our camera remained broken at that time, so I was glad Kris shared his photos with us, which include a lot of Adrian!  :)  Even though we missed him at home for one summer weekend, this was truly a once in a lifetime trip! 
Gathering up the horses ~ there were 6 men with 11 horses (6 to ride, 5 to pack out camp)

crossing a stream near the beginning of the trail

Kris & Adrian

August re-cap

summer didn't arrive until July, and then August 29 we had this huge hail storm, so once again summer felt very short!  Thankfully we had reason to keep out the summer gear until October.

We attended the local Tri-County fair in order to see what ribbons Ella's 4H projects had received.  The girls were so excited to see projects from our house at a fair, and Tessa is now exuberant about joining the Clover Buds as well.  I have completely loved 4H as a complimentary activity to homeschooling.  It only requires 1 evening meeting per month, instills healthy values, always involves a cute craft and lots of fun!  A lot of people still don't know that involvement in 4H doesn't require that you have farm animals; the art and craft entry selections seem endless!

Ahhh, the joys of summer ~ like drinking out of the soaker hose!

A family trip to Storm Lake

Gleefully throwing rocks into the lake!

Amazing scenery and amazing little blessings...

Daddy & Aaron in the float tube, ready to go fishin'

adrian & jaci out on the float tube

They caught one!!!

mmmm, those made some yummy dinners!!


An ominous looking sun while the skies were smoky with nearby forest fires

Oh what fun, with friends from Michigan!!!
Our daddies had fun in the Bob Marshall together, and then we got to play too!  Here they are lined up, in order of age ~
Jalynn, Ella, Jocelyn, Madelyn, Tessa, Jaci, Aaron!

July Memories

4th of July!

Aaron's 1st sparkler

Just in case those sparklers are noisy...

So this is *part* of the process of packing 6 people for a 2 week trip.  Actually, I only pack for 5 of us; Adrian graciously takes 5 minutes to pack himself x amount of tshirts, jeans and socks... and wonders why it takes me so long to pack.  :{  On Day 1, I make sure all the laundry is clean so that we're not limited in what to pick out ~ I want to be able to choose comfortable clothes for traveling, play clothes for the beach, and formal clothes for Sundays without having to pick through laundry baskets!  On Day 2, I pack all of our clothing, which requires matching tops to bottoms, and sometimes coordinating matching outfits.  You also have to think about socks, shoes, and jammies...  On Day 3, I pack "everything else", which is, of course, more than half of the list.  Since we travel so often, I have a packing list that I print off the computer and just cross off as I go ~ so I don't forget to put the mail, milk and egg deliveries on hold, or a camera cable, or underwear for somebody.  I am looking forward to the day when the girls can be trusted to pack for themselves!  :) 

So we took off on our 2 week road trip, and saw a variety of landscapes ~ The main destinations were the Doland Family Reunion in Grants Pass, OR and David Oakes' reception in Eugene, OR.  But we also managed to visit Heyburn, ID, Bend, OR, Medford, Applegate Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Crecent City, CA, Lincoln City, OR, and Wilsonville.  Our camera broke about half way through the trip or else we'd have more to share ~ but I'm sure you're glad I have to stick to the highlights here!!

We weren't prepared to see *S*N*O*W* on our climb to Crater Lake!  In my 22 years of living in Oregon, I had never visited this famous landmark, so we were glad to go as a family on our way to Medford.

Freezing at the top

The kids enjoyed the view, yes, but not as much as the little chipmunk that darted across the rocks beneath them!

Drove through the Redwoods on our way to the CA beach.  Looking at these monstrous trees just forces you to say "WOW!" and marvel at God's beautiful creation!

The reunion began at Crescent City, CA where my grandparents honeymooned 60 years ago in June. 
It was an unusually sunny and warm day for the area, we were told...

Crescent City, CA
From there, we all traveled back to Grants Pass for our 4 day reunion.  We managed to rent a large property that provided plenty of beds for all, in addition to a lake, game room, basketball court, hiking trails.  Forty-five of us were able to attend, only missing 6 of my cousins and 1 dear Auntie!

Basketball games for all ~

And then the fierce competition showed up!

Honoring these wonderful people, my Doland Grandparents.

A new favorite photo ~ sleeping angel

The whole group: Grandpa and Grandma with their 9 living children and spouses, 16 out of 22 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren

My brothers and I

Another favorite: this crisp photo clearly depicts the relationship enjoyed between Uncle Darryl and Aaron.  I think because Darryl was able to be at our house in June, Aaron really bonded with him, and recognized him again in July.  Any moment he had a chance, Aaron would RUN to Uncle Darryl and demand, "Uppie!".  Mommy's arms got a break for all the toting Uncle Darryl did! 

From Grants Pass, we went to Lincoln City, where we enjoyed a few days with just my parents, brothers, and us.  I have no photos.  From there we went to Wilsonville where we stayed until it was time to travel to Eugene for the wedding reception of this happy couple: David & Jeanelle Oakes!
Little girls in summer dresses and a rope swing ~ what could be better?