Sunday, April 26, 2015

Showering Julie

Part of the reason the week was so scattered was due to the migraine I got Saturday through Monday (boo!!!) that canceled my existence plans for those days, and the other part was waiting to see when I'd get a chance to see this gal:

Julie arrived in Oregon the previous Friday and was hoping to spend time with us on Sunday - and then maybe Monday, and then for sure, Tuesday.  Well, that was the plan anyway, Monday night, as Julie was actually leaving for our house around 9pm to arrive by midnight, when family plans actually had her do a U-turn, and return back to Cannon Beach.  We COMPLETELY understood, and actually supported her decision to do all she could to honor her family, knowing this was the last time she'd be in Oregon before getting married in Oahu in August.  Also, I knew something she didn't.  I knew that Mikayla and I would be driving up to attend her surprise bridal shower on Sunday, so I wouldn't be robbed of Julie time afterall.

Julie, however, did NOT know that, and in concern for her daughter, her mom suggested that we offer to come hear her speak at her family's church that same Sunday, so that Julie would know she'd get to see us to, and not blow the surprise.  I loved the idea, as it allowed us to hear Julie speak on her experiences with STN, allowed us to see Nic, who flew in just for the weekend, and worked it out so that our whole family drove up to Cannon Beach vs. just us girls.

These smiles were very genuine!

Julie was pretty much "on to us" about the shower, but I was NOT going to be the one to blow the surprise.  Given she had a suspicion her time might not be hers to decide upon after church, she opted to ride with us from the church back to her house (which ended up being Cannon Beach's Chamber of Commerce).

She shared the seat with Brayden en route so we could all catch up in our miniscule amount of time to talk to her.  

This is what happens when you have a sister who is an interior designer and a mom who owns a gift shop/floral shop/cafe in town - a very beautiful and impressive shower!  

 Julie was thrilled to see these ladies had made it from Portland to come see her.

Beautiful decor, wonderful food....

Some time was spent asking Julie questions (along with us) about how well she knows Nic - and what answers he would give.  That was very endearing.  But, then, when they announced we'd be doing the "Design a Wedding Gown with Toilet Paper" game, I just about threw a hissy fit.  I am NOT a game person to start with at such events.  But, this one, seriously, what is the purpose?  My poor daughter had to be a "Child Bride"

(But, she looked adorable).  

And, here's the other gals that were also victimized.  Julie got to be the judge and decide which dress she'd choose.  

Maybe it was all worth it when I was able to capture this expression on this little participant's face.  Kind of says it all, doesn't it?  (Hey sweetie, cheer up, Julie actually picked you as the winner....) ;)

Then, on to present opening.  She got a whole lot of "nothing" when it comes to articles of clothing, if you know what I mean.... It was kind of amusing because she'd open present after present with "thongs" - and this little girl seated in front of us kept asking Mikayla what those were for and why she kept getting them....

Case in point....

Mikayla and I snuck out around 3:15, knowing we had a three hour drive ahead of us and that the guys had already returned to pick us up.  (At this point, folks were going around the room explaining how they knew Julie, and based on the first 5 people, it was looking to take a while....there were probably over 40 in attendance....). 

It was really quite bittersweet to see Julie, get the opportunity to listen to hear and have her to ourselves for a few minutes - and then have to just leave the scene knowing we won't see her until a few days prior to her wedding.  But, we'll take what we can get - and I sure am thankful it worked out as much as it did. 

Clearly, the whole weekend tuckered the kids out....and with a plane ride across the states happening on Friday - I suspect we might be seeing this scene again in the not so distant future.  

On Friday we leave for Disneyworld....and this family could NOT be more excited.....

Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Always Bet on Blart"

All week long, my plans were just goofed up.  I'd set something up and then they'd need to be changed, or someone else would need to change them.  Sure enough, the weekend was just as "spur of the moment". 

The one thing that was on the calendar and did happen was Mikayla's lacrosse game.  It took place in Corvallis this weekend - and as you can tell, the weather was a little unpredictable.  

One moment, it was glorious sun....

And, the next minute, it was literally hailing and pouring down quarter size droplets.  Fortunately, that kind of precipitation waited until the game was over, but we got pretty dumped on during the long walk back to the vehicle.  

It made for (what appeared to be) sweet bonding between the kids... =)

Next choice..."American Pie Pizza" in Corvallis - or going to see "Paul Blart Mall Cop 2" in Independence.

Well, as the poster says, "Always Bet on Blart"....

Mikayla's "Snap Chat"...

Oh yeah, some good family bonding at that movie.  It's not going to win an award at the Oscars, but it was funny, totally clean, and made you leave with a smile on your face.  Works for us!!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Out to the Lake and Supporting Young Life

I had to snap this picture shortly after Whitley was dropped off at our house and send it to Stephie.  "Gilbert" the stuffed kitty had been left behind the day before and Whitley was very happy to be reunited.  =)

I was "housebound" on Thursday, as I had agreed to let Brayden take my vehicle to school knowing it would be a crazy evening of trying to get kids transported when we had other plans.  So Christi and Elsie came over in the morning to keep us company.  This bin they are playing in was made when I was their age - originally designed to be a rolling woodcart and given to my grandparents.  We repurposed it as a toy bin, and I think, after this morning, the girls would like to see it permanently repurposed as a form of entertainment.  ;)

Shortly after noon, Nancy came by to pick us up and take us out to her family's "Lake House" at Fern Ridge Reservoir.  I've never yet visited, so it seemed like a good choice, knowing the drive there and back would give Nancy and I some quality conversation time to catch up, and that Whitley would probably get a kick out of seeing the lake and exploring their home.

We did - and she did - as evidenced by how little time it took her to fall asleep when we got in the vehicle to go back home.  The Zenke Lake House was even cozier than I imagined - I can definitely see why they choose to retreat there so many weekends.

Later that evening, John and I had a bit of a "Date Night" as we were invited to attend "The Young Life Fundraiser".  (We actually thought it was an auction, but that's okay....)

I have to say, the food was DELICIOUS.  As were the hybrid oatmeal/brownie bars we scored during the Dessert Dash.  I definitely took a break in the pre-vacation dieting on this night.  

Nancy and I didn't even realize we'd be seeing each other in the evening until the very end of our visit.  She was included, last minute as Christy's husband, Sheldon, couldn't attend.

John and I were amused that Brayden made another brochure.  He's actually only attended one Young Life event - that being the weekend at Washington Family Camp.  But, hey, we'll take it. ;)

The Young Life Ministry is one that I respect, but haven't necessarily expected it to touch our family's lives too much.  However, as it turns out, each of our kids participate in a morning Bible Study with about 10 of their peers - that's each led by a Young Life staff person.  So, I was wrong - and we are very thankful for this ministry's involvement in our kids' lives.  They did a "Tonight Show" style of format to introduce some of their staff, keep us entertained, and help us recognize how the funds raised during this evening would be used.  They did a great job and it was a fun evening catching up with a lot of other folks seeking to support the ministry in Eugene.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

In the Life of Mikayla...

It's been a good couple of months for Mikayla - but not without its challenges.  

In the friendship/spiritual front - she's had a blast getting to meet with her closest friends on a Thursday morning Bible Study.  I am so grateful to these girls and the gal in the picture below who's taken on the leadership after befriending them at Cal Young through her Young Life involvement.  HUGE praise that this is all taking place and all these girls are a part of it!

Of course, there's a few littler girls who think she hangs the moon...

Physically, Mikayla was feeling like the cough/cold she was fighting in mid-March was just getting worse.  We had the camp nurse listen to her chest with a stethoscope on the Friday afternoon she was at Harlow, but she heard nothing concerning.  However, even over the weekend, her condition worsened and by that Tuesday, we were at the doctors and confirming that, indeed, she had "Walking Pnuemonia".  Bummer.  It was a very sweet moment though to have Whitley give her an "it will be alright" hug.  Soon after this pic was taken, Steph swung by and picked up Whitley and we proceeded to another medical building for x-rays.  Fortunately, the meds helped and she improved (though, it definitely took a long time and kept her from quite a bit of sports participation). 

Several weeks after that picture, Mikayla was participating in this tournament.   Because of our trip to Disneyworld, this would be the last tourney she would be participating in this year.   She finished strong and the team ended up winning in their bracket play, so that was a bonus on an otherwise long and tiring day. 

(Through the course of the day, she probably had over a dozen different hair-do's as so many people wanted to play with her hair in the downtime.  - Including myself....)

And, finally, on the academic front - she's continued to be a super-achiever, coming up with a 4.0 in this last grading period.   Currently, we're in the midst of state-testing (NOT A FAN!) - so the stress level has accelerated (not to mention having to prepare for missing school), but she's come a long way in figuring out how to manage it without ending up in tears.  She is becoming such an amazing young woman I can count on in all sorts of extraordinary ways - I absolutely love this girl!