Tuesday, December 30, 2014

scream scoring

Grant and I have a new obsession:

I figured out that the gym next door has open badminton nets and we signed up for a family pass! Two weeks ago I gave Grant 3 tries at serve and if he hit it twice against me he got a point.
He fell down often.
He got mad often.
And he would throw the birdie over to me to change serve.

Last week I started giving him just 2 attempts at serve and he had to hit it 3 or 4 times against me to get a point.
He fell down often.
He got mad a few times.
And he started passing the birdie over the net with his racket.

This week my court size is larger than his but other than that we are even. He has to really win each point - with one exception - we play scream scoring.

Scream scoring is when he hits a birdie so hard at my face that I scream. If I let the birdie drop and scream, he gets two points. If I get it back over the net with a scream, he gets one point. He currently earns about 5 scream points per game.

He falls down often.
He rarely gets mad.
And when I pass him the birdie for a service change he can hit it once with his racket and then catch it with his hand.

He is awesome!!!

From the first day, he always wanted to go back and play the next day. It might have been the post game slurpees that kept him coming back, I'm not sure, but I am very proud!
(except when people are walking around the track next to us and he falls down and cries like a baby and I look like a terrible mother…I mean, I'm still proud, but also embarrassed and slightly ashamed that I sent a kill shot at his head.)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

christmas 2014 wrap up

I don't really remember what happened….but there was yelling, and face timing, and a sugary breakfast. 

Grant and I were very excited to give Dad our art creations:

And the children were OVERJOYED with the spoiling which included new markers that were used immediately. Pokemon. A dinosaur robot. And a BOX OF CATS!!!!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

two days before christmas

Two days before Christmas, and all through our home
full of invites and coffee cups, there was no room to roam
The kids are all coughing and we began sharing
mostly of Calli and last year's Christmas barfing

The paper tree has been painted and hung up with care
the last Mavora packages are piling up over there
Tim at his cutter, and I at my mac
Kateri printing bags, pack after pack

Telling the story of the candy cane friend
the day it was found, at it's unfortunate end
When the baby was sleeping, and we peeked in and saw
the cane was unwrapped and clasped in her jaw

It was a fun time remembering, working, and laughing
but now the children are wrestling, and my home they are trashing
so I'm off to run one and Tim will take the other
it's a typical day for this working mother

Have a Merry Christmas,
from us to you
here's hoping this Christmas
that no one will spew

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

the thanksgiving nutria

We had a very fun Thanksgiving this year with Rin, K-dad, Kateri, Faith, Cousin Rowan, Volleyball Eric, and the miracle of the Thanksgiving Nutria!

This little guy lives a mile from our house on the Nike Campus. I had been taking Grant running there for two months trying to introduce them but we could never find him - until our Thanksgiving morning run! We were so happy to see him!

….similar to the time Rowan fell in love with Eric around the dinner table. Oh the leaning and the laughing!

When we made the place cards maybe we should have separated those two.

And yes our house looks different. We rented this one to fit in allll the love! Unfortunately I have only one blurry picture to show for it. I was busy packing, unpacking, cooking, coloring, cooking some more, and enjoying the giant couch. 

I am VERY thankful it's over.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

a cat cat here


They make me crazy…but it's a funny crazy at least. There was no school Monday, just this song. Over and over and over again. 

Friday, November 07, 2014

fall half marathon

I'm just going to share the short version of this season's half marathon with the Shepherd's Door ladies. I am still working out with them weekly and you can always ask me about them and I will share more. I am very proud of each of these ladies! We had a super wet great race.

Monday, November 03, 2014

running with my boys

For Tim's birthday this year we celebrated by meeting up at the zoo and running to Pittock Mansion. It was about a 7 mile trail run. The selfie we took before we got down to the running is my newest favorite of us. We finished with the biggest burgers EVER at Skyline Burgers. Portland is a great place to date someone you love!

And now my little love is running even more often with me. He is in the process of trying to earn Skylanders Trap Team (for the Wii). If he runs 100 miles with me it's free! Good deal right? He has run 26 miles so far. That probably took him three weeks. If he doesn't get a cramp, he loves to run to the forest. We always scare the frogs away from the bridge at the pond. Once we went out late and he said, "I want to watch it get dark!" And with a 4 mile run we did just that. 

I asked him if he wants to join a running team but he told me, "Nah, I just like to run with you." 

I like to run with you too buddy!  ♥

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Check out this wicked battle between cousins. Gabe plays for Oak Hills and Grant plays for Westside. They have similar skills on the field and are fun to watch by the goal. 

And here is Elsa and Enderman (a minecraft thing). We went to the Coplens' neighborhood to Trick-or-Treat again this year. Nina was Anna. She and Calli were in charge of the pack this year since Grant couldn't see doorsteps or ring doorbells. The key to getting the most candy is to take the first piece your neighbor is handing out and then look in the bowl and say, "ooohh I want that one!" If you are 4, apparently, you get that piece too.  

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

walking to school

Here is a taste of my morning conversations with a 4 year old.

BTW - Calli is in charge of dressing herself for school these days.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

september days

We went to the beach to get a family picture but all we got was sand-blasted. So we promptly retreated to the city streets and turned our beach defeat around with some good old fashioned sugar and shell shopping! We still love Cannon Beach, OR.

Three times a week we go to soccer. On the way Calli sleeps like this -

Grant is awesome like this - 

Plus we saw some SWIFTS and went sledding down a grass hill with 200 other small children. Just ask Calli about it.



Monday, September 08, 2014

the second first day

We took Calli to preschool last week (when it was closed) and this week (when it was open)!
Mom Fail.

She was just as happy the second time we went to the first day of school.

Tim took a picture of Grant for his first day. I remember that his blue sweatshirt sleeves were covering his hands. It was a horrible picture and I lost it….thinking back now, I may have lost it out of spite. 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

70 in sauvie

We were blessed to celebrate K-dad's 70th birthday (just a little late) at Sauvie Island. There was rhubarb wine, roasted corn, and honey sticks galore! We LOVE it when Grandad and Rin come to visit the Portland gang. As far as I can tell, 70 is the new 50.

Friday, September 05, 2014

parenting advice

Now I know there is no way on earth to write parenting advice on the internet without making someone mad. And rightly so. Every family and child has different goals and reacts in different ways. But even so I am writing my parenting advice tonight because (1) some people are searching for good parenting advice (2) some people are working hard parenting and they just want to feel like others are in the same boat and (3) I hope Grant and/or Calli read this when they are 24 or 36 and have children of their own. Maybe this will be just the perspective they need in the future - because heaven knows I can't remember a darn thing unless I write it down! If this advice goes against what you believe is right, please feel no judgement at all from me.

Flashback: All my parenting tips and tricks have been learned from my Brother Dawson or my Mom. Dawson was working with his kids before I had my kids, and I watched him. He told me a standard rule for his children was to respect adults. Even shy Macy had no excuse. The respect and common courtesy of looking someone in the face and saying hello and goodbye was expected. I was not super impressed but it obviously stuck with me.

Yesterday: The East Coast Grandparents are visiting this week. Last night when the Grandparents said good night, Calli (age 4) ran to her room and hid under her bed. I asked her to say goodnight. She would only crumple up and cry and say no.

I've made some excuses for her in the past when she didn't want to say goodbye. I know Grandparents swooping in for 3 days at a time, twice a year, must be hard on a little one. To give her the benefit of the doubt I felt like she hated goodbyes because she didn't know if she would see the people she loved again and that maybe made her feel upset and was cause to withdraw.

But I took initiative anyway because I felt it was right for her to learn not to be selfish and to love her Grandparents even if she is upset about it. Here is what happened.

- I asked her to stop behaving in this shy manner and be respectful. She declined that invitation with extra wailing and I think she threw up in her mouth a little.

- After the Grandparents left the house I explained what she did incorrectly and she received a spanking. I then told her what I would like her to work on next time. She pretended to go into cardiac arrest and blew a sobbing snot rocket across the room. I got a kleenex and finished the melt down like I always do. I asked, "would you like to keep crying or stop crying and I can read you a book before bed?" She always chooses a book.

- Yes it was dramatic as all get-out but she lived! She always does.


- This morning Calli asked for a piece of candy and I made a deal with her. I will give you that piece of candy tonight if you work on respecting your mom and dad and grandparents. She took the deal.

- Over breakfast I gave Calli some examples of things she could say when her Grandparents left. I also let her know what behavior I wanted to see when I ask her to do something.

- When the time had come for the Grandparents to leave, Calli ran into the living room. She ran in circle of excitement and said, "goodbye! love you!" and then later, "see you later! have a good weekend!".

Well, I'd say that was an improvement!  I love it when parenting works. When mom feels like she has directed selfish behavior to non-selfish behavior (even if just by a bit) and when the child is happier because of it.

Press on parents of preschoolers! Press on! Do not be swayed by tears and snot and throw up! Press on!

Monday, September 01, 2014

pink cake II

The last day of summer is here again. It really snuck up on me this year between everyone being sick and then traveling to Reno for two weeks. Grant has some clothes and a backpack and a marble addiction... I think I did good.

Happy Last-Day-of-Summer-Break - Pink Cake! ♥

Saturday, August 30, 2014

li'l fishy

Please give a warm welcome to
Darth Fishious, Angel Cat Sugar, & Sprinkles

Monday, August 04, 2014

you've been upgraded

It's swimming lesson time! Grant missed a few of his because of illness but when he went in today the teacher sent him to the next class, so he graduated level 3 and headed to the lap swimmers - level 4. I was very scared for him at first but he fell into line with the other swimmers and the coach yelled instructions as he walked along the side. He fit right in. Not too slow. Really good form. Then the coach pulled everyone out of the pool, except for Grant. He swam one lap and the coach had all the kids (who have been in that class for 2 weeks mind you) watch Grant swim because he was touching his hands out front better then everyone else. Maybe the coach was just being really nice, but newbie Grant was grinning and I was about to pee my pants! Just last week Grant was taking in water trying to keep his hands out in front and today he is a level 4 example of the skill!? I am beyond proud of him.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

this happened


He wanted to type the blog post but this is as far as he got in 30 minutes:
Two days before my birthday we went to the aquarium. First we looked at a tank full of fish and Seahorses. Next we looked at some Spider Crabs.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

thursday nights

Thursday nights I've continued to drive forever across town to train the Shepherd's Door Ladies. They know me and trust me more and more. I had three brand new victims participants today for Abby's Off Season Fun Night. This season is going to be the best one yet. They are looking at doing a 13.1 in October. I'm praying that the staff, volunteers, and residents on the journey will BLOW IT UP!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

teaching model

I am still teaching an Indian Grandmother how to swim. There are 9 or 10 other Indians who swim there and know her language (or a lot more of her dialect than I do) but she insists that I teach her with our 9 common words. Here's what's happening:

I think this model could be applied to a lot of things in life - be an example and be encouraging. Apparently everyone can speak that language. 

(and she's starting to float!)

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

playing for keepsies

If you come to my apartment you will see that the only open spot on the floor now has a circle of tape in the middle of it. Here we have a marble throw-down three or four times a day. We play for keepsies and we battle for our favorites including Midnight Zone, Steelie, Flipper, Honey Bee and Mars. My shooter's name is Ruby. Grant's is Jumper. Calli's is Unikitty, who EXPLODES marbles everywhere when flung in by the 4 year old. We yell, we cheer, we pretend to cry, and just like in life, we play again and give each other another chance to win. We let the baby pick her favorite back out if she loses too many marbles. And we laugh at our wildly stupid shots through 14 marbles without even a glance. It is the summer of marbles!

Sunday, June 29, 2014


She's laying on the ottoman in her Christmas monkey pjs. A Hello Kitty blanket under her, a Strawberry Shortcake blanket on top of her. Slightly longer than the piece of furniture, her toes and head fall off the ends. Her brown curly hair has been perfectly placed to hang down to the floor. She had turned on the Frozen soundtrack before she expertly slid into her covers and is now snuggled happily, listening, and eating a dry pancake clenched in her fists like an otter floating in the bay. ♥

Saturday, June 28, 2014

what can I say

I went to my first graduation ceremony last night at Shepherd's Door. When I walked in I saw my running sister Rose (not her real name). She was dressed beautifully, as well as all the other gals. I was in white shorts and a sweater. Immediately she took me to her room and gave me a dress and her black flip flops. What can I say besides - I love her and I am blessed she loves me.

And then during one of the prayers a staff member said,
    "Lord here we are on earth…and here you are on earth."
What can I say besides - I'm stealing that.

It was a genius evening.

Monday, June 23, 2014

for a laugh

68 hours ago - We learned our 5K race (& date night) in July, was actually in two days.

50 hours ago - In summer desperation, I raided the game store with the kids and bought all the marbles we could hold in our hands.

43 hours ago - We named the best marbles (Ruby, Jumper, Megalodon, Uni-kitty, Steele, Midnight Zone, Flipper, and Piccachu) and I promptly came down with "marble-shooter-arthritis-knuckle".

26 hours ago - I bombed that 5k in "July" and Tim and I pretended he pushed me home in a shopping cart.

6 hours ago - Grant and I were laugh-crying that we named one brown marble "poop".

3 hours ago - I tried to teach a 70 year old Indian Woman how to swim. Not because I know how to swim, or because she understands a word I say, but undoubtedly because I have a "yes face" and my kids are fish.

Summer 2014 is not here to disappoint!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

vancouver usa half marathon

We did it! The second team of half marathon runners from Shepherd's Door finished their race. Every single girl made (or beat) their plan-A goals. (More Here) Glory to God for the healing and the winning! I had so much fun! Thanks to all my friends who check-in and pray and support me and the gals. They were SO HAPPY!! Running is awesome! I love where it has taken me!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

preshool days

Everyday I walked Calli to school we took a selfie together on the way.
I love you Calli.

Saturday, June 07, 2014


I've spent a number of hours over the last few weeks volunteering with the running team at Shepherd's Door (again: see here). I am not the lead trainer this time, and I'm coming in late in the season, but I am working my tail off. There are times the girls in the program are super thankful to hear my perspective about God, and life, and running. I can see my time helping to make them stronger women; inside and out. And I am blessed by how genuine, thankful, and soft hearted they are. Then there are other times when half of them don't show up or I don't show up. The freeway was down right CLOSED the first Saturday I tried to run with them. It is not easy serving people that are very different than you on the other side of a major city.

Today I woke up at 6:30 am and my family is using kleenex as toilet paper. I was only able to run with two gals for about 20 minutes. If this was a business I'd be tempted to shut it down as the profits don't always outweigh the sacrifice. But you will no doubt see me time and again driving 2 hours to love "strangers" ... Because that's what Jesus did for me.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


When Calli yells, "Mom, I have a blog" it means the toilet is clogged.

Monday, May 19, 2014

expectation check

Today, Grant was eating his snack and I was working in front of the America's Best Cook finale. He correctly stated, "you like those cooking shows huh?"

(It's true. I have an addiction to the Food Network web of stars and time limits.)

And then he made my day.

Grant - "You should enter one of those!"
Me - "I don't think so, I'm a terrible cook. I just like to watch."
Grant - "No, you should enter your rice with milk, raisins, and sugar. It's the best. You would win!"

Sometimes the expectations placed on a mom can be astronomically high…but sometimes…you can get away with murder!

And just in case you don't know the BEST recipe in America.

Kid Milk & Rice
1 1/2 cup of leftover white rice 
a hand full of raisins
- warm in the microwave until steamy -

Add cold milk, enough to reach the top of the rice
Shake sugar and cinnamon to taste

Yes, you too can be a super cook! Enjoy that!

And can I just add, I heart Bobby Flay.
Best show ever!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

i must admit

When my children were babies, I thought:
Will I love them this much when they grow up - because I cannot love anyone more than this sweet, beautiful baby.

And when they grew to be 3 and 4 years old, I thought:
Will I love them this much when they grow up - because nothing is cuter than their jokes, the way they see the world, and snuggle up for story time in bed.

And when Grant turned 6, I thought:
Will I love him this much when he loses all his teeth - because his face melts my heart and I need it to stay adorable.

Once again the answer is yes. I guess I will love them this much always.


I had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. Tim always spoils me and my mom was here visiting which is my favorite time of year. I ran a Half Marathon PR (personal record) in 2:04.

0:05 after the race

3:45 after the race. Mom, Kelly, and Amy all walked the Quarter Marathon. 

We also had the beach day I was hoping to have for months. A little cold, yes, but beautiful.

Good stuff! Not to mention Tim finished his 2nd year of Pharmacy school, passing every test in the first shot. He is out of the classroom and interning around town. We work very hard right now, but I'm proud of where we've come.