Monday, August 5, 2013

Tearful Remembering...

Last night I received word that my grandfather passed away.  He was 90, and in declining health for about the past year, so this did not come as a surprise.  Yet, the tears fell.  Apparently it doesn't matter how much you expect it, or how much warning you have...the tears will fall.

Last night I was laying in bed when it seemed like a dam in my mind burst.  Memories with him and of him flooded through my mind uncontrollably.  Memories from my childhood.... memories of going into their basement into his office and finding him working there.  I liked the smell of the basement, the musty smell mixed with fresh laundry...and last night I could smell it.  Memories of him playing games with me.  Memories of going for walks around the block and to the parks nearby.  Memories of going to church with them.  Memories of the gatherings of family and friends at their house.  In the summertime, picnic tables would line the driveway...and in winter, gathering at the tables in the house.  Memories of his laughter echoing as he interacted with those gathered there.   Memories of him pushing me on the swing in the backyard behind their garage.  Memories of many times simply spent together.  Me asking questions, and him answering.    Sitting on the front porch, greeting neighbors as they walked by, just enjoying life, simply.  And even though he quit smoking a pipe many, many years ago...whenever I smell one, I think of him.  I don't remember him ever smoking it around me...but I remember liking the lingering smell on his jacket as I would give him a hug.  I even remember where he kept his a cubby/ledge next to the stairs on the way down into the basement.  I remember as a kid, picking them up at times on my way down the stairs, closing my eyes, holding it inches from my face, and gently breathing in as though I was smelling the perfect rose.

Then more memories of more recent times flooded in...of the few times I have been able to get out to Wisconsin to see them.  Of my kids doing some of the same things I did as a kid with him.  Of Skyping with them, and wishing I had made time to do that a lot more.

Tears mourning the man I knew and will always remember fell.

Memories of his smile, of his laugh, of his smell, of his embrace, of his voice, of his love.
His patience, kindness, infections smile and laugh, his giving and caring nature, his sense of humor, his sincerity.  How his eyes twinkled when he smiled or laughed.  How he could draw people in, making them feel at ease and like part of the family.  His devotion to his wife, my grandmother....and the love and respect they always shared for each other.  All memories I get the privilege to cherish for my lifetime and are part of the legacy he has given me to pass on to my children.

Grandpa, Gramps....
I am so thankful you are my grandfather!  
I cannot express how much I love you and how much your love has meant to me.

Heaven is blessed to have you.  

Here with my oldest son, Ryan...who was the first of his great-grandchildren.

Out for a walk with Ryan a few years later.

And with my youngest, Evan.  They share a birthday (85 years apart to the day!) as well as a middle name.

Monday, July 15, 2013


I have been completely remiss in my duties with this blog!

Today I was motivated...sometimes a rare sight given the normal day-to-day responsibilities and upkeep of a home, work, kids (almost always one of whom needs "mom" for SOMETHING) and their activities...and then the just simply "me" time.  That is the time when I *could* be updating the blog or working on pics...but frankly, sometimes I just don't have it in me.  SO...when I do...I try to take full advantage.  And today just happens to be one of those days!!  HIP HIP HOORAY!

The boys are growing up so fast and summer is flying by!  Both are doing well.
Ryan is becoming quite the "young man" at the ripe age of 8, and is developing quite the sassy sense of humor.
Evan is doing well on his diet (for seizure control).  He is still having seizures, but they are not nearly as serious/bad as they were before the diet change.  So, we continue to tweak and try to find a good balance.  He is an active and energetic 5 year old...keeping us on our toes, challenging us, and also bringing a lot of fun into the mix.
Both have been enjoying summer immensely!  Camping several times, lots of outside play time, pools, swimming, out on a boat, and a couple trips to the movie theatre and "Kids Club".  Many more fun times are summer fun continues.

Part of my motivation has stemmed form some photo processing and a photoshoot with my boys.  Some new pics have been posted in the album "Boys - July 2013".  I will also be going BACK and processing/uploading pics I've taken of other events such as Evan's birthday and Easter (and failed to post...ahhh...motivation...where were you then?!?!).

Monday, July 1, 2013

Vids, Vids and More Vids!

I have started to accumulate a pretty large chunk of videos since we purchased the GoPro.  So I finally pulled the trigger on a new video editing software (Cyberlink PowerDirector 11) in hopes of cranking out more videos and to utilize the horsepower my desktop computer provides.  So far I am happy with the way the software works and I am slowly figuring out new ways to speed up production etc.  Below you will find a few of my latest videos.

Halibut Fishing

Moto Ride

Utah Skiing

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Papa Thom!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Snow Ski!

Well if no one else will update this blog than I might have to!  Last Friday 1/13 we (Andi, Dan, Pete, Kelly, Mark, and I ) set out to get our first day of snow skiing in.  Well Pete and Kelly have been skiing a lot this year and are season pass holders at Mt Hood Meadows.  Dan one of my good buddies has a gopro hero 2 action cam and also recently got the Gopro Hero 3 black from his wonderful wife and daughter.  So we (Dan and I) took some footage throughout the day to video document the highlights.  Dan let me dump the raw footage off on my computer and I decided to take a stab at making a video.  It was definitely a great day skiing and I had fun tinkering with iMovie on my macbook.   Thanks again to Grammie and Papa Hymas for watching the boys for us or this never would have happened.  For best viewing open it in youtube and select the 720p setting. Anyway check it out!

(click here if you want to go to youtube for bigger vid!)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Camping Memories...

We have been on a few camping trips so far this summer and had a WONDERFUL time with family and friends...making memories.

Before summer leaves us for the crunch of fall, we will have more memories to add to our collection.
I've added some more pictures to the online have a look :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Art of Humor

School has ended...and Ryan brought home several items during that last week of school that gave me a good chuckle.  Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.

The first one was a map of the world.
I need to give you a little back story on this one.  When Gage and I were on our last cruise, Papa Thom and Grandma Dar showed him on a map where we were (Puerto Rico).  That has stuck with him, and he can pretty easily point it out on a map.  If you look, he designated it on this map.  However...he must think that people who stink live there.  I laughed when I read his label for it..."Port or Rekos".  Oh...he also labeled Camas, WA...but apparently the whole city has relocated to Alaska :)

The second was a watercolor painting he did of a flower, and he was to label the parts of the flower that he learned in class.  Here is what the whole flower looks like (apparently this flower was in very bumpy ground).
Upon closer inspection...I realized that what I thought were leaves, were actually (in part) speech/comment bubbles.  Here is a closer look at the top and bottom of the flower...

I asked Ryan to explain what was happening in this picture.  He showed me the flower and its parts, and then explained that a little bad guy fell from the top of the flower ("AAA!"), and then hit and bounced off the petals on his way down ("ouch!" "ouch!" "ouch!").  Then at the bottom, he sunk into the dirt and was trapped by the roots (one last "AAA!" in red at the bottom of the flower).

This last one is not really funny...but shows the growth Ryan has achieved during his 1st grade year.  
The directions for each page are the same..."Draw a picture of yourself."
The picture on the left is from the first week of school in September.  The picture on the right is from a few weeks before the end of school in June.  I was amazed at the increased detail and more appropriate use of color that he has developed.  The kids mounted them inside of a black 11x14 piece of construction paper, and folded it into a large card.  Ryan presented this to Gage for father's day...the bottom line on the picture on the right says "Love you Dad".  Makes my heart smile!!