Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah in the whitehouse?

Hey! How cool would that be!?

I am not anxious to open up Pandora's box and get started discussing politics. Honestly, it tends to be a subject that I avoid. Maybe I need to examine why that is, or maybe it just isn't my thing!

I was surprised, as were many, when the announcement was made this morning that John McCain was picking Sarah Palin. Part of my surprise was in that I had never heard of her before! But like I said, I don't do a whole lot with politics...

I don't know if anyone cares about my vote. I do care to vote. I think it is a fantastic opportunity that we have been afforded to be involved in the political process, and I think it is something we should all partake in, regardless of whether or not we feel extremely compelled by the issues or candidates on the ballots.

I don't say that lightly... I have at times considered not casting a vote in the upcoming presidential election.

I really don't care for the way that the democratic party as a whole continually attempts to discredit George W Bush. It is very immature and unprofessional. He is the president of our country, got their by legal means and deserves respect. I find that my personal beliefs align more often with Republicans, but a party affiliation is one of the last ways that I would identify myself.

And yet, here I am, finding myself in a quandry:

I would prefer to continue to have a conservative white house.
I don't like John McCain.. unfortunately, I can't pin point what it is I don't like... he creeps me out? That doesn't sound like a good defense...

I am concerned about some of the changes that would be made by a liberal white house.
I find that I'm drawn to Obama... can't pin point that either...he's charismatic and speaks well... I don't know if that makes him a good president though...

And just to even out the debate:

Joe Biden also creeps me out.
Sarah Palin intrigues me - a successful, powerful conservative woman... and she has 5 kids (BIG points with me).

So who will I vote for?

I have NO idea....


I got such a kick out of this....

I was watching inconvenient truth the other day and there's the bit where it shows the sea level rising really high and flooding most of the world. Well i live near the sea, and don’t want to drown, so i got to thinking. Maybe if we lower the sea level a bit, when the water level rises then it won’t rise high enough to flood.

Anyway, here's the plan. Everyone who can should take a bucket of sea water and pour it down the sink. If lots of people put the effort in, we could lower the sea level substantially and create a better world for our children to live

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We have a winner - Simplicity

The polls are closed, and we have a winner!

(The kids are excited, can you tell?)

(Actually, this is just my normally well-behaved children reminding me that more training and instruction is required when we put off running errands until nap time. Rest is so important to the skills of focus and listening to Mommy's directions about acceptable behavior in stores. I think that is a different post...)

We have a new vacuum cleaner. It is a Simplicity and it was purchased at Stark's Vacuums in Beaverton, with the help of Ben, our friendly sales person.

I'd like to say thank you to all of you who have provided input on this decision.

We reviewed the consumer reports testing results and were deciding between the Kenmore Intelliclean (about $250 on sale) and Eureka Boss (about $140 at Costco). On my way to Sears to check out the Kenmore, I decided to stop at Starks, the local vacuum dealer, and see what they had to offer. Ben immediately directed us towards the Simplicity lines.

For $350 we have a reliable machine with a 7 year warranty and the first 3 annual tune-ups included. I expect it to outlast the warranty.... but nice to know that it will at least be around for that long... and it's light enough that Noah can push it.

Starks also takes away our old broken Bissel machine and will recycle it so that it doesn't end up in a landfill!
(Noah is saying good bye to the old machine)

Monday, August 25, 2008


Hannah, my nephew Jack, Noah, Maggy and Zak last month at my Dad's house

I was never that good at understanding dominate and recessive gene characteristics. I think these are dominant genes.

My paternal grandparents with my brother Bob (Jack's Dad) when he was about 7 months old.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Now auditioning - Vacuum Cleaners

Last week my beloved Bissel "Lift-off" canister vacuum behaved in a way that I am not so thrilled about.

Flames shot out of the back.

Considering we paid less than $200 for it 4 years ago at Target, I think the chances of saving my baby are not good.

I realize that we should probably consider making an investment in a good machine, but I really wish I knew what that meant!

My parents had two vacuum cleaners, one that I remembered from as early as I could remember, and the other, which replaced it, coming some time around my pre-teen years, and continues to faithfully suck. (that's good in this case). And yet! This is the third machine we have owned since going out on our own, 10 years ago.

I was sharing my vacuum woes with a friend of mine, who is unable to do her own vacuuming right now (medical reasons). She told me about how they researched vacuum cleaners a few years ago using Consumers Reports. A good idea... will follow. She was also kind enough to let us test drive their machine for a week. The Eureka Boss, which is 2 years old, is providing our carpets with a clean and fluff that makes me want to vacuum every day. (Shane is liking this!)

Things that are important to me:
1) Should last more than 4 years
2) Must suck
3) Needs to be light enough to be used (well) by a capable 6 year old boy
4) Must do stairs well
5) Must handle lots of string, hair, hair ties and various dress up clothes that accidentally get sucked up.
6) Needs to have a good hose... high chair, cheerios, need I say more?

So, do you have a story about a vacuum, good or bad, that you'd like to share? Maybe you'd like to lend me your machine for a week too? Maybe we can fill everyone else's vacuum bags and put this off for a couple months..... (just kidding)

If you like a certain machine, I'd love to hear it!

Too bad Cutco doesn't make vacuum cleaners....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Travel Journal in Pictures : Toll Roads

This is the way we traveled....

I must be a blogger... I'm taking pictures of toll tickets.
In my defense, there really aren't that many toll road in the Portland area....

.... so random... I know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cuts like a knife

I need to come clean, put it all out on the table...

I have been having a 12 year love affair.

My husband, I think would agree, that it has only allowed me to love him in better ways.

I am, oh, so passionate about my knives.

When I was in college I took a job selling Cutco knives. It is because of these knives that I have developed a love for cooking.

I have a large set of knives. About 3 dozen pieces all together. I have been using this set for 12 years, longer than most knives work, let alone work well. And! I wash all of my knives in the dishwasher (Ok by the manufactures recommendations).

Cutco claims that most of their knives will stay sharp, with normal use for 7-8 years. So I knew I was coming to a place where they could use to be sharpened. As a part of the standard warranty, a "Forever Guarantee" I sent my Cutco to Olean, NY for service.

It cost me $9 to send the package. I paid $9 to cover the return shipping. As you can see from my return invoice, I sent 30 pieces.
18 of the pieces were sharpened and returned. 12 of the pieces were replaced with new and returned to me. Some of these pieces were knives, slotted turners, and silverware that had fallen through the grates in the dish washer and melted the handles on the heating elements. Some of these pieces I fully expected to be sharpened, but were replaced anyway, including 2 pairs of super shears and garden ratchet pruners. The total value of the items replaced at current retail prices is over $600!!! (remember, I only paid $18 to ship, TOTAL!)

I was not expected to provide a proof of purchase. It wouldn't matter if I had had these knives for 2 years, 20 or 50. Back when I was working there, I saw some 50 year old pieces , found at a garage sale, refurbished and returned, looking like new for the cost of the return shipping.

As far as great products go, I have very much enjoyed the quality of my Cutco up to this point. Even if they only last me 10 years, it would have been well worth some investment. When I consider that they will last my lifetime and I can share them with my grandchildren, I truly treasure that investment we made. How many things can we own that really give back to us?

I love my Cutco

A Travel Journal in Pictures - unexpected wilderness

God has blessed America

I love our home in Oregon.
Just driving along Highway 26 over the Sylvan pass, I am amazed at the variety of green. I don't know that I've taken the time to consider how many shades of green I can take in, just in one glance.

The unique beauty of the Oregon Coast... tide pools, gianormous rock structures that might appear to be misplaced, winter storms.... only a quick car ride away...Snow-capped mountains, Arrid high desert, Vast and dramatic Columbia River gorge. It is a beautiful place to call home.

I realized with this trip back to the home of my childhood, that I had taken for granted the diverse beauty of New York. I have always felt a twinge of defensiveness when anyone mistakenly assumes that any reference to New York would be to New York City. This is New York (a freeway... note the farm and cows behind the truck)

The truth is, I have a limited knowledge and experience in the "Big Apple". To assume that the city is the only thing New York has to offer would be a shame.

Much of the western part of the state, continues to offer beautiful wilderness, pristine lakes (with many wonderful wineries), and a rural life that sings glories to God's creation.

A trip as we had is, of course, wonderful because of the time spent with loved ones. That time is so precious to me. But it also brings refreshing to my spirit, as it is a beautiful place.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Heart of Gold

Matthew 5:10 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

I would like to introduce you to my dear and precious friend Amy. We met in 7th grade. She was my best friend all though middle school, high school, we kept in touch in college, and she even moved to Oregon with me for a few months. That was 10 years ago. I wish I was better at keeping in touch. Despite our weak communication, she continues to be one of the most treasured relationships of my life.

I heard someone speaking about friendships. We should choose our friends wisely. I can’t say that I’ve ever been so conscious about whom I align myself with. Generally, if life brings our paths together and we have a reasonable amount in common and relate well, I would term you a friend. I have thought about it and I’d like to be more purposed about who I devote my time and heart and affections to. I have been blessed that a few friends, like my Amy, have come my way, despite my lack of purpose.

I am so delighted in the path that her life is taking, and God is leading her, and she is following His call. After a season away from home, she felt called to come back. She found herself working in the same, less-than-spectacular job that she had in college. And nothing seemed to be right. Then she met Eric, who also seems to be in what would appear to be the “wrong place”. They are in love and it is oh-so-wonderful! And now, it appears that providence is taking them to grander stations.

She deserves, more than most people I know, to be treasured and loved for that awesome heart of gold, treasured and loved for the fun and amusing and interesting and intelligent person that she is, treasured and loved.

He must be someone special. They seem to be well matched. I wish them the best of every day that they spend together. I wish many, many wonderful years together. I pray that God bless them, but I can also see that he already has.

Jet lagged but home

We arrived at PDX on schedule last night about 11:15. I would have (should have) gotten a picture of us returning... that would have been a good blogger thing to do. I think the reason that I didn't is that I was sooooo tired!

We actually had a good flight, but I think that it was about 2 pm EST on Tuesday when the adrenaline died and tired reality set it. It was a crazy busy week. It was a blast. I'm so glad we got to see as many friends and family as we did.

I took a ton of pictures and have ideas in mind for at least 7 or 8 different posts that I'll try to get out to the blog over the next week or so as I have time.

One quick story before I get to bed early:

We got on the flight at JFK and attempted to take our seats. We were split, 3 seats in one row and 2 in the row behind. A gentleman in his 50s was already seated in the other seat in our row when we arrived. Noah sat down first. Shane got Hannah and Zak seated in front with him. I changed Maggy's diaper and got to the seats a few minutes after the rest of our family. As I was getting settled I had Noah hold Maggy on his lap. The gentleman got visibly anxious. He said "uh... I don't do well with kids". (did you read my post about "I wish I knew what people were thinking" ?? Be careful what you wish for...) He impatiently is trying to get the attention of the flight attendant. I'm trying to keep smiling and not be offended.... after all, at this point, he has seen nothing that would indicate that our kids would be a problem for him. I figure this is his issue and I'm going to be as understanding as possible. When the attendant finally gets close enough to find out what he needs he said, "I am not going to put up with this tonight, I need a different seat."


Well, I'm grateful for a story I read once about someone who should be so lucky as to be near a great bunch of kids. It helped me to keep smiling and kindly get out of his way so he could find a new seat.

It turned out to be a great blessing. We got the row of 3 seats to ourselves and Maggy was able to lay on the extra seat and sleep for the majority of the 5 hour flight, which she wouldn't have done on my lap.

I still chuckle when I think about what he must have thought could have happened. Poor guy. If he'd only stayed, he might have realized that children are worth enjoying. Thanks for your seat!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

For Pauline!

We are at the home of my brother Bob and his wonderful wife Mandy. Today we are celebrating Jack's 1st birthday!!

Chris (Liz's bf) talked to his Grandma (and our adopted g-ma) this am and she wants more pics. So this is for her and all the other grandmas and friends who are wondering what we're up to!

My cousin Jennifer and the girls

My Uncle Bob Dedrick, Aunt Kay Dedrick and cousin Jenny with the kids

Liz and the kids at the park in Albany

Can you believe what they make you do outside of Oregon?? (pump your own!!)

Uncle Chris and those lovie kids!

Aunt Mandy and her helper getting ready for the birthday party
Coming soon... the intrigue of toll roads!