Our Family's New Christmas Present

Here I am, world!

Love this newborn shot with the baby still coated in vernix.

We welcomed a new baby this Christmas. My brother at the age of 38 had his first baby - well, his wife did all the work, but he would sure like to take the credit. I was able to be doula for my sister-in-law along with my sister. She did such a fantastic job. The OB ruptured her membranes at 3+ cm and 21 minutes later, the baby was born. It went so quickly that the doctor didn't make it in time. The L&D nurse did a wonderful job. Notice, she didn't even have time to put on her 2nd glove. Here are a couple of my favorite shots.

baby boy, 8 lb 3 oz


Weekend Musings

Yesterday, we went to friends' property to get our Noble Fir Christmas tree. It was a gorgeous day and we could see Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood from their yard. I silently prayed for the 3 mountain climbers who were still missing on Mt. Hood. There have been other times people have been missing on the mountain and it is always so weird to be so close to the mountain, to see it's majestic beauty and know that at the same time people could be suffering that very moment - very tragic.

Then we spent several hours at the house cleaning, packing, ripping up carpet that got flooded again with the most recent storm. There must be so much water beneath our house. It stinks very badly now. I dislike being there.

We returned the the apartment and heard a bang. A ball of fire shot up in the air and then all of the power went out. Turns out there was an explosion at a substation and the power company shut off the electricity to about 50 thousand customers. The kids were very excited to see the fire, so the older ones took off down the block to get a better glimpse of inferno. Dh and I followed behind with the little ones. We got back to the apartment realizing that we could be wtihout power for days since there were already still thousands without power from Thursday's storm. Of course we were not prepared for no electricity, so we went to the store for candles, flashlight/batteries and breakfast before church. Can one have enough excitement in a week? Thankfully, power was restored around 12:30 am.

Sadly, after church today, we found out that one of the climbers had been found dead. This is so sad - along with the recent tragic story of the Kim family.

On a lighter note, here is the first of our baking - molasses cookies. They are/were wonderful. More to come. And on this day, I became the mother of a 20-yr old. Is that even possible? Surely not.


Pompoms Everywhere

We went on the pompom bandwagon. It was the perfect craft for us in our temporary housing. The kids from 16 on down all loved putting them together. After they were strung, there of course were extras laying around. You see what happens when you have boys and their toys. Doesn't every boy need pink pompoms to transport in their matchbox trucks?


Sharing Your Gifts

Last Sunday, our three violinists played Christmas carols with their Suzuki violin class at a retirement community. It was a beautiful program. I love to have the children visit the elderly. They get so much joy in seeing young people.

My mom really modeled for me to have respect for the elderly. She took me to retirement homes to visit elderly relatives when I was young. And most recently, she took care of her mother who was suffering from Alzheimers until her death.

When I was around 11 years old, I had a paper route. I delivered papers at an assisted living facility. When I collected the $$, sometimes I was invited in their rooms and we would chat a bit. I can't imagine my children collecting $$ for a paper route now, and especially wouldn't like the idea of them going inside people's rooms or homes, but it was different back then - or at least we were all naive. Anyway, as we would share stories, some of the residences found out that I played the piano and wanted to hear me play. So, one time, I stuck my piano music in my bag of newspapers and when the route was finished, I played some pieces for a handful of residences. They enjoyed hearing me play - mistakes and all. I eventually realized that these people were so anxious to see a young person, it didn't matter what was played. I decided that I would practice my lessons at the retirement facility - scales and all! They didn't care.

So, it gives me great joy to see my children using their music abilities and time to be a blessing to others. What a waste to play music just for yourself when you can bring a little sunshine to others.
Here are a couple pics. This is the chaplain who interviewed our 7-yr old. He didn't seem to have any stage fright - lol.

Ok - working on a laptop, not having my photo editing software to crop is a pain - lol.


Moved in

We are finally settling in to our new 3 bedroom apt. It is a 3-story townhouse.

I have come to realize after living here with only the bare necessities that we have way too much stuff at home. I will be spending a few hours each day packing up and getting rid of the excess that has been accumulating over the last 6 years. It will be a daunting task, but I know it will feel so good to have it done.

I just realized that I left my cord in the computer to upload pictures. I'll get that next trip. I am so thankful for insurance. We are probably going to be living here for 4-6 wks.

My girls made it their mission to find the Christmas decorations and have already put up lights and decorations around the place. They decorated their room, too. It's nice to have girls who want to decorate. Oh, and we had to bring all of our baking stuff over here - baking stones, Cuisinart, etc. We will be baking soon. How can you have Christmas without baking?

More later . .


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