Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kicking Cancer's Butt

In a few weeks I will participate in the South Kitsap Relay for Life for my 5th year.

This is a cause I hold very close to my heart. To read more about my reasons for walking, or to Donate to an extremely worthy cause, please check out my Participant Page :

Thank you, all for your support and contributions!

Creature Feature

Ok, I know that I am TERRIBLE about updating my blog regularly (quarterly?), and I am constantly "meaning to", but somehow it just doesn't get done.

Spring is always such a whirlwind time of year for us. Baseball season takes up a huge amount of time. This year was Ethan's first year of t-ball. Yeaaaaah... about 4 games into the season he pronounced that, "Baseball is boring, I don't want to play anymore." Anyone who knows Ethan, knows there is no point in arguing. (You know the baby-name-origins books? "Ethan" means stubborn.. wish I'd seen that before he was born! ;-) Anyhooo, he is now waiting for Soccer season to return, and leaving the diamond to Carter. Carter is on the "Sunrise" team this year, and really enjoying himself. The beginning of the season was a bit of a transition (up to a new league with older kids), and being the youngest and smallest player on the team was a bit of an adjustment. Fortunately, he has two really great coaches, and his playing has improved a ton.

Last week I chaperoned a field trip to the Pacific Science Center with the 3rd grade. After arriving at the Port Orchard Ferry dock at 6:15am, we took 2 ferries over to Seattle. On the Bremerton Ferry, many of the kids enjoyed feeding seagulls off the back deck (aft?) While in general I am not a huge fan of the gulls (too many childhood incidents ending with gullpoop in my hair), it was neat to see them flying at the same speed as the ferry, giving an impression that they were quite still.


Once we finally arrived at the PSC, we had a great time exploring. We also saw a laser light show, and an IMAX movie about the Grand Canyon that was really amazing. Of course, there is never enough time to see and do everything that we want, but we made the most of the time we had. One of our favorite exhibits is always the Butterfly House. In all the years we've been coming to the PSC and the BH, I have never seen so many different varieties all so active before! It must be the time of year, but literally they were EVERYWHERE. Flying, flitting, eating, resting, and displaying their gorgeous colors.

The brightly colored flowers made fabulous backdrops to all the magnificent colors of the butterflies.

Natural camouflage

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A much Happier Jack-cident!

This afternoon, I made a rather, well... rash decision. On our way home from Chuck E. Cheese, the boys and I accidentally stopped at the Animal Rescue exhibit we drove past. Then we accidentally went into the room with all the animals in need of homes. Then (yep, this is the big one!) I accidentally picked up the grey tabby that reached out and grabbed my sleeve. Well, after that, accidentally spending an hour filling out paperwork was completely out of my control. This may have been, in part, due to the serious lack of sleep last night; but really I've been wanting a new cat for months and although the timing may not be perfect, I definitely feel like the stars aligned today and the choice was taken out of my hands. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!)
So, I am proud to introduce the newest member of the Papaya household- Jack. Jack is a 3 month old tabby, whose full name is actually Jackalope, because he tends to bounce around the house almost as much as he runs. He is a cuddly, snuggly, wonderful little fella and needless to say the boys are deliriously happy about his arrival!

Not for the Faint of Heart...

...Motherhood, that is. Sometimes the job description just doesn't prepare you for the things you get to see- especially when you have 2 rough-and-tumble boys! Last night my oldest boy took a Big tumble while at gymnastics, and cut his head open. Alot. Even scarier, was that he has no memory of the accident. All he remembers is running across the gym and then waking up on the couch, covered in blood (gotta love head wounds for sheer volume!) After whisking him off to the emergency room, I watched (in concealed horror) as the doctor removed the gauze and exposed, not only his wound... but a gash all the way to his skull. Owwwwwwwwwy!

One facility-transfer, 4 x-rays, and 1 CT scan later, we finally got around to the business of stitching him up around 1am. Because the wound was so deep, he actually got 3 layers of stitches. 3 at the skull, 7 in the muscle tissue, and 17 on the surface. (That's 27 stitches total!)He was such a trooper! I don't know if I could have held it together nearly so well if he hadn't been so incredibly brave!
We finally made it home around 3am this morning. One would think he might take it easy today, lounge around, be pampered a bit. Ohhhhhhhh, no! That, of course, would have meant missing a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese- and getting to show off his newly acquired battle scars!

I just can't keep this boy down!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Adventures in Babysitting

My dear friends are out of the country this week, and I have graciously agreed to house/kid/animal sit while they are away. So, here I am with 4 kids (2 eight year olds and 2 five year olds), 4 dogs, 3 cats, 2 fish, 1 bird, 1 guinnea pig, and 1 snake. WHat could possibly go wrong...right?

Day 1... Smooth sailing.

Day 2... After running kids to school and other assorted errands, I stopped to fill the car up with gas. As I swiped my card and went to open the gas-hatch, I realized it was locked. After several minutes of searching, in vain, for a button or nob to pop the hatch, I finally broke down and called David in Amsterdam. Me: "Hi! No, nobody's bleeding... I, can't get the gas-hatch opened at the gas station. THe button's where? Ohhhhhh, ok, thanks. Have a nice trip!"
Problem solved. Later that night, we discovered that one of the dogs had chewed up a Karate belt accidently left within reach. Many tears ensued. Still, things are going relatively well...

Day 3... The kids wanted to take a bath all together in the jet tub. It's big enough, so why not? First, Ethan got his foot cut on one of the jets. While I was downstairs finding a bandaid, the other 3 started a naval battle of mythic proportions. After getting everyone out and into pajamas, it took approximately 40 minutes to mop up all the water, dry off the windows, walls, and ceiling, and squeegee the dog that was witness to the event...

Day 4... Ohhhh boy. This is where things get dicey! Western Washington is having its first severe weather storm of the season. Thursday's wind gusts were "tornado-like". About half an hour before I needed to leave to pick kids up from school., the power went out. Ok, fine... except that the car is in the closed garage with power doors. hmmmmm. Fortunately charma was on my side, and the power blipped on for about one minute; just long enough to hit the button and get out. Oh, and of course I shut it when I left.
It then took me about 40 minutes to drive across town, due to power outages and no traffic lights. After loading all 4 kids in, and stopping at Safeway for some bread (It is a scientifically proven fact that children can exist for days on peanut butter and jelly alone), we returned home. The power is out, but no problemo- I have a housekey. A brand-new-never-been-tried housekey, shiny and freshly ripped off the cardboard. Can you imagine my shock when the darn thing didn't work??? With 4 kids whining about having to sleep outside, I made rounds around the house, but to no avail. Finally, I managed to nearly break the key forcing it into the lock and barely turning it. Whew!
Safely inside, I went about gathering candles, flashlights, boardgames, blankets, prestologs, and making several pb&j sandwiches. Then we secured everyone in the master bedroom for our "Slumber Party". I managed to get the prestolog started, and only set off the smoke detector twice (a personal best, I think!) Oh what fun! Flashlight battles, reading by candlelight, eating junkfood (If Lisa is reading this... I mean carrot sticks! yes! Healthy foods!) And by 8:00 we were all ready for sleep. By we, I of course mean me, as they were all still bouncing about...
Finally, I got everyone settled. With three of us in the King bed, and 2 in sleeping bags on the floor--- forget John-boy, this was what we heard:
Ethan(5): "Samantha, I'm going to marry you someday."
Samantha (5): "I don't think so! I'm gonna choose my own man!" (said as she's snuggling with Carter(8)!
Ethan: "ok."
And... goodnight!

Day 5 and 6... With the power back on, life has returned to some form of normalcy. In the last 48 hours we have had three baby teeth fall out, for a total of 2 visits from the Toothfairy. Very, very exciting indeed! After 3 hours of soccer in the rain this morning, I'm pretty happy that we don't have to leave the house again until tomorrow. The kids are downstairs playing Wii (wonderful invention!) and I am enjoying a bit of quiet time before dinner. Yes, I'm sure that the next 2 days will be calm and adventure free... right?

I had some cool weather pics to upload, but Blogger seems to be having some trouble... sorry!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Taking a Walk

It has been a very, very busy month. We've had Mother's Day, 7 family birthdays, cub scout ceremonies, school field trips and picnics, baseball games (3 times a week!), and all the other day to day stuff to squeeze in between! With all this going on, sometime 'walk' was more like a frantic 'run' but I think we're over the busiest times. Now we're looking forward to the "Lazy" (ha!) days of summer ahead...

Relay for Life~ June 1st and 2nd
The boys and I participated in the South Kitsap Relay for Life for the 4th time this year. While Carter's been pretty active in the event all along, this was really the first year that Ethan got involved. He walked with me, and asked wonderful questions while we walked around in the dark during the luminaria ceremony. I think he is still too young to appreciate all of it, but our conversations really made me realize that my baby is growing up!
These are the Luminaria bags that I made this year. On the left, my college mentor, Janet Reed, has spent the last 2 years battling a very aggressive form of breast cancer. On the right, to remember my uncle, Calvin Miller, who passed away 4 years ago May of cancer. I also walk because I am so very blessed by happy, healthy children~ and I know that not all mothers are so fortunate.

A leisurely walk...

Last weekend, we took a walk in Hansville with our dear friends, the Carlsons. The trail was absolutely beautiful, despite it's bewildering lack of tupperware to hunt. (No fear, this will be remedied this summer!) As we hiked along, we started to notice these intriguing little rock sculptures that were found all along the trail. They varied in size from quite small to rather large, but were really quite fun to find as we went. I took pictures of several. I'd LOVE to use these in some clues... but somehow I don't think they're entirely permanent. Oh well, I'm excited to see if any are still around next time I get out there!

I was busy snapping away with the camera, and soon found myself waaaaay behind the group. The forrest was so peaceful and quiet, it was almost intoxicating! Soon I started to see... well, faces in the large tree trunks along the trail. Some were quite remarkable... like big forrest gods keeping an eye on travellers. I took many pics, and this is my favorite Tree Friend:

The early summer weather has been so incredible this year... it's made getting out to walk so enjoyable! I hope I'm not jinxing the rest of the summer by admiring our weather too loudly! With only5 1/2 days of school left, I'm ready to enjoy some sun and get out there and BOX!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Spring Break

Wow, we've had a busy few weeks! It seems like we all have a bit of an energy burst when that spring sun comes out to play... here are some of our highlights!

Baseball season has officially begun! Carter's team this year, the "Glisson and Witt Crimson Eagles" are off to a terrific start! The boys have a lot of fun, and it's wonderful to see how much Carter's skills improve from year to year. He may not be destined for a baseball scholarship, but South Kitsap Western Little League.... Watch out!

Ethan and Bill got to go to the "Museum of Flight" in Renton for a field trip on March 29th. The boys got to see A LOT of airplanes, sat in a cockpit or two... and enjoyed an afternoon together. Ethan's favorite airplane? "The one that looks like a caterpillar" hmmmm... wonder which one that was?

After Carter's game on Saturday, the boys and I headed to Salem to visit Grandma and Grandpa. The weather on Sunday was so terrific, Dad and I decided to do a little letterboxing! We spent a few hours out at Willamette Mission State Park hiking and boxing. While we only found 2 out of 3 that day, we had a great time and really enjoyed the spring day. We also learned about this terrific "Ghost House"... a metal frame monument to the original mission erected in that spot a bazillion years ago. It's a really cool effect to look across the river and see the roofline. Not sure when it was put into place, but in all the years we've been visiting this local park, I'd never seen it before. Thanks Maiden... for the education :-)

The tulip is from the Deepwood Mansion garden... another letterboxing trip this week.

On Wednesday we headed to Pacific City on the Oregon Coast. While it was still a bit chilly, it didn't rain and overall the weather was quite nice. The boys L-O-V-E this beach because there is a LARGE sand dune at one end that they can climb... over, and over, and over... Carter, Ethan, and Dad are walking toward the sea and Haystack Rock in the photo above.

Right near this favorite spot, there just happens to be a delightful little park we never knew about... until (yeah, you know what's coming!) we went in search of a little bit-o-tupperware. The story goes that once upon a time, a little girl lost 2 pet bunnies near the park. Let alone, the couple founded a dynasty, which today boasts several hundred wild rabbits in this city park and surrounding area. You can buy bunny food nearby and feed them. They are pretty tame... if you are quiet enough they will come up and eat right out of your hand! The boys were enthralled with the cute little critters! I guess this will be another must-stop on all future visits to Pacific City!

After returning home on Thursday, Carter had another baseball game. And, of course, Sunday was Easter! The bunny came hopping by quite early at our house. After Bill's nap, we spent the afternoon at Irene's house eating,visiting with Great Grandma, and playing games. This shot of the boys seemed like a great way to sum up our spring break. Much fun was had by all!