Thursday, May 29, 2008

What it means...

If you live in Pendleton, ya gotta be a BUCKAROO. It doesn't matter if you bleed Black and Orange...around here Green and Gold is what it is all about. My students are going to flip out tomorrow when they see me.
They are going to say...
"You have Duck braces..."
and I'll say, "Yep, go BUCKS!"
And they'll say... "No, I said Ducks."
And I'll say, "Yeah, I know...Go BUCKS."
Have I mentioned I love messing with third graders.
In honor of May 30th ... a.k.a. "Team Johnson Day" ... I am stepping out of my comfort zone and bringing on the Green and Gold. I know the day is going to be a huge success. -Walt is on his way home to be surrounded by friends and family. We are all excited to be stepping up our Pendleton Pride to help support one of our finest!
A Penny Thought: REGARDLESS of what my braces look like...BEAVERS RULE and DUCKS DROOL...but so do I with this mouth of metal. I also have developed a whistle that resembles a lisp when I read aloud. Oh bother!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Our Friend in Need

When Marc and I first moved to Pendleton, we were newlyweds, we were pregnant, and we were starting our life as we now know it. We moved here in the middle of a huge ice storm in the gorge.

Marc was stepping into a similar position with his job at Farmer's Insurance. I was beginning a job that I hated from day one as a telephone-long distance-Internet sales person. We had no friends.

Spring came and we joined the Round Up Athletic Club as well as the Pendleton Country Club. Right away Marc started making connections on the golf course and at the noon basketball game at the RAC.

He came home one day and told me he had invited a couple and their 2 year-old son to dinner that weekend. He'd made a Montana connection...and I was thrilled to have someone coming to dinner that had a small child. I was getting so excited about becoming a mom. Before the weekend arrived I met a wonderful girl, (I still consider us girls, too...women makes us sound old), named Stacey. As we were visiting we made an immediate connection. She was an OSU grad...a mom...and as it turns out...was the same girl that already had a dinner date at my house for the weekend.

Marc met Walt...I met Stacey...and a lifetime friendship began. Their son Connor was adorable and charmed his way into our hearts immediately. When his baby sister Caitlin was born, we were honored to stand as her Godparents at her baptism.

We've shared holidays, birthdays, OSU wins, OSU losses, Round-Up's, Rainbow adventures, etc. Now we are ready to stand up and share another experience with our friends! We are uniting with their family, other friends and the community. The Johnson's have a fight on their hands.

About a year ago Walt was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (malignant skin cancer) on his ankle. He had surgery and was ready to close that chapter when complications arose. After months of having pain and swelling with no medical answers the doctors have again found cancer. He has currently been at OHSU for over two weeks. Chemotherapy begins tomorrow.

Walt has a link on the Caring Bridge site that Stacey updates frequently. It is inspirational to read the guestbook. So many people love this family as much as we do. The prayers that are being sent out on their behalf will make a difference, we all believe that. The Johnson's are strong in their faith. They know they are not alone on this journey. They are ready, and so are we!

Coach Johnson:Photo by Rob Bynam EOSPN.Com

There will be a fundraiser this weekend. A Tailgate BBQ lunch with all proceeds benefiting the family. Another fundraiser will be held on Friday, May 30th. This will also be a BBQ dinner with an added silent and live auction. Donation of items are welcome. If you are hungry Saturday, come by and grab a hot dog or hamburger. If you or anyone you know would like to make a donation of an item or cash, please let me know and I will send you in the right direction.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

(The girls got these for Grandpa and he was happy to pose.)

It is my dad's birthday today. I didn't get to spend the day with him...I didn't get to send him his birthday treats...but I thought of him often today and I did share 'flu' battle stories on the phone with him tonight. I wish I was better saying aloud my feelings, but I guess in that category, I'm a chip off the 'ole block. Here it is 11:30 pm, your birthday is about over, and I'll get in trouble for burning the candle at both ends of the wick...but I want you to know...

You have taught me so much about living a life of character. You always give more than you take. You never give up and don't complain about the cards you are dealt, the rains that come too fast or never at all. I know that a very few do the work for many. It is important to stand up for yourself. When you make choices in life they reflect on those around you, so make sure they are choices you can be proud of. I've always known that you were my safety net if I was in danger, but you'd let me fall to learn a life lesson. I'm learning each day how hard that is for a parent.

I'll never forget the day I was so excited to talk 'A Few Good Men' with you...I was proud that you were in the military...that you fought for our country. Though I don't remember your exact words, I'm sure they were brief, but a quote from the movie summed it up, "You want the truth, you can't handle the truth." I was so caught up in the Hollywood of it all, I didn't take time to think about what that meant to you. It wasn't all paid a price...for our country. You fought, you served, you trained, and you taught me that you'd do it again, but it wasn't all that Tom Cruise portrayed in his movies. I learned that I will probably never completely know the impact it had on your life. I hope you know, that even though it goes unsaid most of the time, your entire family is proud of the life you chose to live.

My favorite role of yours to-date, has to be that of Grandfather. I melt watching my girls with you. You had, what I considered, pretty big shoes to fill, those left by your father. He was a pretty dynamic grandpa. You, however, have outgrown those shoes and set a cast that may break records. The tractor rides, the 4-wheeler rides, the shoulder rides. The gift of love you give to my girls is a gift that we all feel is priceless.

If I could bottle a 'feeling' or a moment from my childhood it would be of us walking hand-in-hand. I remember how you would always lift me up, right before I was going to trip. There would be a moment of panic, fear of falling, that would suddenly turn to joy of being lifted, by your strong hands, over the rocks or invisible rocks that I had stumbled over.

Happy Birthday Dad. You continue to lift me up in more ways than you will ever know!
I love you!

The Cute and the Ugly of the Fair

The Cute!

If you haven't been to the Milton Freewater Fair before, I recommend you put it on your calendar for Mother's Day next year. The weather isn't going to be 100 degrees like at the summer fairs. There is a wonderful little petting zoo, pee-wee showmanship, lots of small furry animals, some ugly big ones, and a reasonable concession stand...(eat at your own risk...more on that to follow.) This post includes the Nelson girls who came to cheer Taryn on for her showmanship class and to see the ribbons they all earned.

The Ugly!

At approximately 6 pm on Saturday Walla Walla...on a dinner hit. I won't bother going in to the gory details...but simply said...I made this llama look adorable in comparison. I believe the 'slider' hamburger from the snack shack didn't agree with me...I can't swear it wasn't a 24-hour flu...but what ever it was it did this:

Kept me from seeing Taryn dance with her first boy at the family dance.
Kept me (and Taryn) from barn duty on Sunday morning.
Kept me from a restful night of sleep.
Kept my mom from a restful night of sleep.
Kept me from spoiling my mom on Mother's Day.
Kept me from enjoying Raphael's Mother's Day Dinner.
Kept me from baking my Dad birthday cookies.
Kept me from being able to control my tears on 'sale' day.

I am happily on the other side of what ever it was...I'm eating again. YEAH. Even with the bad-food episode-the fair was 100% spectacular.



Lemon Tea Cookies-Reserve Champion

Apron-Reserve Champion

Market Lamb-Blue Ribbon

Showmanship-First in Class-Blue Ribbon

Record Book-Blue Ribbon

Oatmeal Crispies-Adventure's Ribbon

Apron-Reserve Champion

Pee-wee Showmanship-Adventure's Ribbon


Sugar Spice Cookies-Blue Ribbon

Apron-Adventure's Ribbon

Pee-wee Showmanship-Adventure's Ribbon

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fair Preview...

7 blue ribbons

3 purple ribbons

5 rainbow ribbons

Almost 3 very early alarm clocks.

1 petting zoo

1 lamb sold

1 'premium' check from Grandma & Grandpa

fair food and ...

fair food-food poisoning

a boy and a dance

friends - new and old

pride - bursting!

Watch for all the postings later this week.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hot dae-fung-ja!

Grace was good at she asked for a

Hot Fudge just didn't come out right!

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cookies and Aprons...

After washing and shearing sheep...we headed indoors to bake the cookies for the fair. The girls are also modeling the aprons they made for the fair.

Taryn: Lemon Tea Cookies

Grace: Oatmeal Crispies

Reagan: Spice Sugar Cookies
I love how each of the aprons capture their unique personality.
Taryn...bright and cheery
Grace...Show me the money baby!
Reagan...Sweet and cuddly.

Words don't fail me now...

A penny thought: uh...I'm kinda stuck here. I know this could be an important lesson I could be teaching...I'm just not sure how yet.
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Friday, May 2, 2008

This is the way...

This is the way we wash a lamb,

wash a lamb,

wash a lamb.

This is the way we wash a lamb,

On a dandy Friday!

Lamb-glam! Photo after the blow dryer.

That is a fashion blanket. Very cute.

We are in full-throttle toward the fair.

Max got his first bath today.

We will give him another bath on Sunday...and then he gets sheared.

Taryn wants to keep the wool.

Yuck. I don't want the wool.

Why not, though?

She wants to make a pillow.

A penny thought: Instead of asking why, ask why not! I remember thinking EXACTLY how Taryn thinks now. I don't remember how my mom handled it each time. I am sure she found a balance. If I 'let' Taryn keep every collectible...we'd live in a dump. I'm guessing in this case...that once she SMELLS her pillow, she might throw it out herself.