The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Real Vacation, part 3

Bike paths.  That's the big reason we go to Fort Stevens so often.  When kiddo was little, she rode in a baby seat on the back of my bike.  Then she graduated to one of those Trail-A-Bikes.

The last few years, she has ridden her own bike- first a kid bike and then this year she has her first "forever bike", a Trek 7.0 hybrid step-thru design that will grow just enough to support her into her adult years.  After that, it's up to her to buy her own bikes!

I sold my trusty "Ol Blue" mountain bike and also bought a Trek 7.0 hybrid.  I like it because it is lighter and has bigger wheels, but I sort of miss the shock absorbers.

It's so much fun just to watch her ride- she goes bombing down the way with nary a care, jacket streaming out behind her...

I leave you with more bikes and biking, and a sample of one of our wildlife encounters...

We were 20 feet from her and she let us stay there and take pictures for a full two minutes.
Uh-oh, too much paparazzi!  And off she went!

We've seen deer in previous years, and plenty of chipmunks, but one year there was a coyote standing right on the bike path just looking at me. I used my tele lens to capture him before he took off and I am still awed by that close encounter.  This year during dinner one night we heard a pack of coyotes howling after they made a kill.  Had it been later at night, and darker out, it would have sounded very eerie.  But during the day it almost sounded fake- like a bunch of voice actors were hiding in the forest, trying to make a cartoon.

 Still to come- the lake and the ocean!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Real Vacation, part 2

Fort Stevens has a lot to offer.  The historic fort, the bike paths, the walking paths, the lake, the ocean- all contribute to the different likes of each group that goes there.

I like the fort.  I can just picture the guys stationed there during WWII- keeping an eye on the Pacific Ocean and the mouth of the Columbia River, manning those big guns that can hit a target up to 15 miles away, enjoying R & R on the beach...

Here's us at the fort:

Ocean, lake, and more bike shots coming soon!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Real Vacation, part one

This summer flew by!  In June I spent most of my time reading up on ways to make my classroom more engaging and interesting (for me as well as my students) and after school was out for the summer we did sleep in a bit and watch some Dr. Who (kiddo is into it, I am not sure yet).

July was camp time.  I signed her up for 4 different camps- Artivisim, Bible camp, theater camp, and church retreat.  While she was at camp, I went to school and worked on how to switch from our excellent state math standards to the Cruddy Common Core State Standards.  Yes.  I was at my desk much of this summer.  I don't tell you that to illicit sympathy, only to show you what kind of time it really takes to make these transitions that don't need to be made.

August was spent mostly trying to figure out this dead hard drive problem.  Mid-month, I was back at work for four days of meetings and trainings.  Yikes!  However in the midst of this we were able to squeeze in a few days at the coast with some friends.

We have camped at Fort Stevens numerous times, but this year we rented a cabin instead of a tent site or a yurt.  A cabin.  With a kitchenette. And a gas grill. And a bathroom.  AND A SHOWER.  Yeah.  This is camping.

I'll post more about the bike trails and historic part of Fort Stevens in the next installment.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Museum of Glass

We recently visited the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA with my folks.  We only spent a few hours, but I could spend a whole day there exploring the indoor and outdoor sculptures.
Here are the scrapbook pages I made of our time there:

Next time I visit, I want to take in the art museum and the history museum that are walking distance from the Museum of Glass.  Who knew Tacoma had so much culture? 

Friday, August 15, 2014


Got my pictures back.
Got my documents back.
Got my scrapbook pages back.
Now, things aren't all in their original locations and I had to re-install some basic programs, but I didn't lose what I thought I might lose and so it is a huge relief!

I'll get some more pics up here in a few days.


And pray.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Death of a hero

On July 2, 2014, the world lost a great man.  Olympic distance runner, WWII hero, and follower of Jesus, Louis Zamperini died at the age of 97.

If you haven't read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, you have missed out on one of the most riveting stories of our day.  I'm not going to spoil it for you by giving details, but I will strongly encourage you to read it before you go see the movie about his life that comes out at Christmas.  (You know the book is always better than the movie, and almost 9,000 Amazonians gave it 5 stars!  Read it.)

I didn't get to meet Mr. Zamperini here on earth, but I will certainly see him in heaven.  Not because either of us are good enough to earn heaven, but because we follow Jesus.  Our names are in His book.  When we die, Jesus says, "Welcome! I have your reservation right here!"

Not everyone gets that greeting.  If you decide you don't want a relationship with God or his Son here on earth, He certainly won't force you to spend eternity with Him.  Of course, the other accommodations aren't quite as nice.  If you thought battling your inner demons in this life was hard, just wait until you battle the real ones face to face for eternity.

It's your choice.
You might give it some thought and do what Louis and I did.
But don't wait too long.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Still at square one...

Got all my disks back.  Computer can't read them.  Back to The Mac Store tomorrow.  Ugh.
(Yes, the data is on there.  It's a glitch with the DVD drive.)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Looks promising...

Well, the guy in Eugene thinks that I will get all my data back, and in the format it was when the hard drive died! This is very exciting, but I am not celebrating too much yet because I still need to get the DVDs in the mail and install them. Weird glitches could still occur.

If it works, I won't have to re-do any of the documents I created for my classroom, I won't have to remake any greeting cards I made on PrintShop, and, most importantly, I won't have to re-create any of the 30 scrapbook layouts I had finished and ready to go to the printer.

We'll see!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Begin again

Last Sunday, my hard drive died.  It's really really dead.  So dead that the Mac Store couldn't backup the data.
Yes, I cried.
5 years worth of documents, photos, and scrapbook pages...  maybe gone forever.
I thought crying was an appropriate response.
I also spent some time berating myself for not having a external back-up drive.
And then I did some research and found a place in Eugene, OR that specializes in getting data from the dead.
If UPS does its job, I will know on Monday or Tuesday of next week whether the dead can be resurrected.
In the meantime, I am rebuilding my list of favorite websites as best I can, and working on that email contact list...

Sigh.  All those photos.

I now have a new hard drive AND an external back-up drive and I promise to turn off the computer once a week to let it rest.

I kind of want to go out and do a little shopping therapy to make up for this lousy week.  Trouble is, I just spent a bunch on the new hard drive and the external back-up drive.  Maybe I'll just talk to my counselors, Ben and Jerry.  Chocolate therapy is often just as good.