Sunday, July 29, 2012

Portland "Treasure"

This week was all about discovering Portland's treasures and "treasures". A while back while driving through an unfamiliar neighborhood I came across a Goodwill Outlet. I was intrigued and asked many people about it with mixed reviews. This week my curiosity got the better of me and my mom and I made our first trip.

While it certainly is not for everyone, it is not as bad as some people made it seem. Nobody ripped things out of your hands and you didn't have to wear a gas mask (gloves were helpful however). The crazy thing about it is they sell their merchandise by the pound rather than by the item. We loaded up a heaping cart full and pushed the entire cart onto the scale to make our purchase. The whole haul was over 60 pounds and only $45. We did have to invest some time in washing and sanitizing but at the end of the day I think it was worth the effort.

Later in the week I also got to discover one of Portland's true treasures. With our ward Relief Society we took a hike and ended at the historic Pittock Mansion. The original owner of the home was a prominent figure in Oregon history and founded the city's largest newspaper. The mansion was amazing but the views from the mansion were even more spectacular.

We have now lived in this city for a year and yet it keeps surprising me with new treasures to discover.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Turn the Music Down and Listen Up

This week has brought about exciting news in our lifes. As I mentioned a while back, I lost my jobs. Since then I have been looking for jobs, and was even offered a job, but nothing felt right for our family.

During this time, I made a half joking comment to Brendon and Rachel about needing to rent a space at their house to start a preschool. They thought it was a good idea, and while it has not worked out to do it at their house, it started the ball rolling. The next thing I knew my mom and I decided we would do this together. We were looking at spaces to rent, deciding on program hours and ages, and planning daily schedules.

In all of this, the weak link in the equation was the location. We found one space to rent, but it did not feel right and I was getting a bit discouraged. One day, after we had gone to view the other rental space, I decided to get on the phone and start calling churches to see if anyone would be interested in partnering with us in this endeavor.

About the third call I got lucky. The West Linn Lutheran Church was interested. They had talked with another preschool and a charter school in the past about similar ventures, but they did not work out for one reason of another and they were excited for us to come see the space and talk it over.

The space was/is just perfect. They has a big rec room, a theater room, a dramatic play room, an art room, and a library and while we did not need nearly that much space, it the possibilities were really exciting. The only problem is that we would have to submit a proposal with our planned use and proposed monthly donation and wait for approval of the board.

On Thursday the executive board met and voted to move forward with the project. There are four more members of the full board that do not attend the executive meetings that still need to vote, but when we heard from the pastor on Friday she indicated that she did not think this would present a problem at all. She felt that it would be fine for us to move forward in securing our insurance, licenses, etc.

By the end of next week we should have full confirmation from the board, but it looks like we are starting a preschool! The next step is to get the word out and work towards full capacity. I can't tell you what a blessing this is for our family and I am so excited to move forward.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Big 0-5

This week was Colvin's fifth birthday. Yesterday we got together to celebrate. We partied hard with lunch, cake, and a slip and slide.

Most of the kids (and some of the adults) really got into the sliding. In true
Quincy fashion, he was not a big fan of the idea of getting wet or dirty so he only made one pass. Luckily I had my camera ready.

Colvin and Maude were right in the mix from the beginning.

Merrick really wanted to join in the fun but could not really figure out how to do it. He want to do it like a slide and just sit down and go, but that did not work out too well for him. Jeremy stepped in and helped him first pulling him down and then by sliding with him.

The slip and slide was a big hit and we will definitely have a repeat soon.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Timbers, 4th, and Camping

This was a busy, fun week. Jeremy took his final for his Constitutional Law class on Monday. Tuesday we celebrated by going to a Portland Timbers soccer game. I left saying that anyone who ever says major league soccer is boring has never been to a game. It was the most fun I have ever had at a sporting event.

We sat in the "Timber's Army" section which is dedicated to the die hard fans. We did not sit during the entire game. Instead we cheered, shouted, and sang for all 90+ minutes. I really did not want to go to the game, but I am so glad Jeremy made me because it was a blast.

Wednesday was the 4th of July. We celebrated with a bar-b-que and fireworks at a neighbors house. It was a fun, late night. It does not get dark here until almost 10pm so it was way past bedtime even before the fireworks started. Merrick was excited about the fireworks in the beginning, but eventually decided he was done and ready to go home and get to bed.

We finished the busy week with a camping trip to Bend, Oregon. Ben and Becca's family went to Bend mid week and my parents, Jeremy, Merrick, and I joined them on Friday. Merrick is such an outdoor kid. We had a great time swimming, floating the river, playing catch, and just hanging out. We also got to see lot of wildlife up close and personal.

We got home from Bend late last night, which is why I am late in getting this blog done. We were all tired from the week and ready to sleep in our own bed, but it was a great week.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Papa

You may have noticed the lack of post last week. That was because at my usual blogging time I was making the trek from Phoenix to Salt Lake on our marathon trip to my grandfather's funeral.

As I mentioned a while back, my grandpa was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer back in October. At that point he was told that he had weeks or maybe a few months to live. Miraculously he lived 8 months and we all had some tender times with visits, phone calls, and Google hangouts, where we were able to express our love and say goodbye.

On Tuesday June 19th we got word first thing in the morning that papa had passed away. Despite the time we had to prepare, it was still a blow. We decided that my parents, my brother Brendon, Merrick and I would leave the next day and start our drive to AZ. The plan was to drive to San Francisco the first day and then finish the trek on Thursday.

Well, it turns out we are crazy because we hit San Francisco at about 5pm and we all felt good. Merrick had been such a trooper and we decided that since we had 4 drivers, maybe it would be better if we just marathoned it on in. We thought Merrick would sleep most of the night and it would be easier on him, but it turns out he decided to only sleep 4 hours. Despite that, he did AMAZINGLY and we made it to Arizona by about 5am.

The next few days were a blur of love, tears, hugs, and laughs. On Friday night we had the visitation at the funeral home. My grandma was amazingly strong and looked unbelievably beautiful.

Following the visitation, we all went back to my grandparent's house where we all watched a video my grandpa had made for my grandma to say goodbye. It was so sweet and tender.

The next day was the viewing and funeral. Again, my grandma was amazingly stoic as she said goodbye for now to her eternal companion and partner for the last 67 years. The funeral was planned by my grandpa to the T prior to his passing and I had many people comment to me that it was one of the best they had ever attended. It truly was a great service.

My grandpa wanted to be buried in Blackfoot, Idaho with his parents, my grandma's parents, his brother, and his son that lived for only a few hours after birth. The next day was Sunday and we all packed up and drove to Salt Lake. We stayed the night there and then the next day finished the drive to Blackfoot.

We got there a little early for the luncheon so we were able to tour the town and see where my grandparent's fabric store was.

The house my great-grandfather build.

Where my mom went to elementary school.

A house my grandparents, mom, and uncle's lived in.

The "dream house" that my grandparents built.

And the one room farm house were they lived when my mom was born and where they were living at the time of my mom's accident.

After the luncheon, we went to the grave sight for the burial. It was a sweet time to say final goodbyes.

I am so grateful for my knowledge of eternal families. I know my grandpa is with his parent, siblings, and son having a great reunion. I know I will see him again. So I say goodbye for now, but we will meet again.