Posts Tagged ‘Washington’


May 22, 2011

Eleven years ago, my sister and best friend, moved away from Phoenix to Washington state.  REALLY far away. I didn’t want her to move away…. with my two cutie-pie nieces… it was not fair.  But life is rarely fair.  She left on a Saturday and I woke up Sunday and just cried.  Preferably, I like to keep my peeps right close.  I did not prefer this arrangement, but knew God’s hand was on their move.

Before Christy left she recorded this song on a cassette tape and gave it to me.  (Remember those?) I played it over and over as a sweet salve to my sad soul.  My husband got sick of it really fast.  Well, maybe it was after the 127th time I had played it.  And I usually couldn’t make it through the song without crying either.

A few weeks after Christy’s move and my mourning period had eased, Rick came home to find me crying again.  It was totally about something else, but he non-sympathetically asked, “Were you listening to your sister’s tape again?”  HAHA.  It’s funny now, but it wasn’t funny then.  Time has a way of changing scenarios.

Still today I love this song.  The Lord has blessed me with so many friends through the years.  I truly am thankful!  Every place we have lived, He supplied a bosom friend for me.  I love you, my friends!


W.O.W. (Wildflowers of Washington)

July 3, 2010

A photo tribute to the beautiful flora and fauna of the most northwestern State of the contiguous 48.  Never have I had the opportunity to capture so many of God’s creations… every color, well almost.  My favorite colors were all covered… and that’s all that really matters, right? I don’t pretend to know what all of these flowers are named, but I do know some of them…. having lived in the great Northwest.  Please help me out if you know any missing names. 


Daisies, duh:  (and grass seed)




Different Roses:

Different Roses #3:

Bachelor Buttons:  (these were our wedding flowers!)


Not sure, but could be the flowers of blackberries??:


Unknown to me, but the blue ones look similar to Lobelia, the white similar to Star Jasmine, and the little yellow ones are shaped like Violas.


There you have it.  See?!  I need to do a W.O.W. scrapbook album and give it to Rick so that he will have fond memories of our hiking in Washington.  Please, take time to smell the roses!

A Rough Re-entry

July 2, 2010

It’s taken me several days to get back into the swing of things after three weeks away from home.  Re-entry was rough.  We arrived home at 1:00 am Tuesday morning after taking a “short cut”… yes, the infamous short cut… that takes longer and is curvy and bumpy and narrow and all the truckers know about it too.  I can’t remember the last time I had to get out one of the gallon size zip-lock barf bags for myself.  Thankfully I didn’t use it.  I just held it in my free hand… the one that wasn’t clinging to the door handle…. and I breathed deeply for a LONG time.

I felt sorry for Rickey, by husband, because I knew he was only going to get about 4 hours of sleep before having to go to work.  But I was in no shape to drive.  I consoled myself by noting that HE chose the “short cut” that made me sick.  Not the nice wife, I know.  But still, I could have driven the other route and he could have slept, but no.  That old hind sight saying is so true.

Five a.m. Rick’s alarm went off and I was a sweaty mess lying in bed with no covers!  Welcome back to Phoenix, the Valley of the Scorching Sun!  110 degrees…. not hot enough to boil water… only people.  Our bedroom is the hottest room in the house, and that morning it was worse than usual… because of re-entry.  I had to escape… and headed for the loft, just outside our room and turned on the ceiling fan.  Ah, the cool breezes. 

As I sat there cooling off, I glanced over to the homeschool bookshelf and a feeling of dread passed over me!  I have planning to do… for the whole year ahead.  I didn’t want to.  I didn’t want to be awake.  I didn’t want to be hot.  I didn’t want to live in Phoenix in the summer.  Then I realized that I had only been home from vacation for four hours, was over tired and irrational and I had six weeks before I had to plan anything… and I didn’t need to think about it now.  Or this month.  And I always get pumped back up to homeschool with glee at the annual convention in July.  Whew.

Back to sleep I went and did feel much better when I awoke in another four hours.  I thought my attitude had improved since 5:00 a.m., but then I went into the kitchen and looked out the back window.  Dead, tall grass with weeds that had yellow and purple flowers blooming greeted me.  Not the nice wildflowers of Washington.  Annoying weeds.  And four pots with dried out dirt and dead flower plants.  I didn’t want to look at brown.  I wanted to still be seeing green trees and green fields and green ferns and wild blackberry bushes bursting with fruit.  I didn’t want to be in Phoenix.  I didn’t want to be hot.

We are now on day four of re-entry.  I have adjusted slightly better each day.  Part of day three was spent sitting in the coolness of the ice rink while my boys skated, planning trips to leave Phoenix this summer.  It made me feel better to have escapes on the calendar.  Nothing extravagant, but trips to cooler climates with pine trees.  Trips starting next weekend!  I like the ice rink in summer!

Waterfalls Galore

June 25, 2010

Vague memories from my childhood of the highway up the Columbia Gorge surfaced yesterday as I returned 35 years later as a tourist.  This was the highway we traveled from Portland to Grandpa and Grandma’s house in Heppner, Oregon.  I remember diligently keeping my nose glued to the south-facing window… counting waterfalls.  They were a rare novelty then even though they were so close to home…. it’s not like you see waterfalls everyday.  Our activities director planned hikes up three waterfalls… huge waterfalls.  The Multnomah Falls hike has 11 switch-backs and climbs 700 feet.  Unfortunately, I was a dripping mess by switch-back two and didn’t see the need to kill myself off on waterfall number one!  It is so humid here compared to Phoenix, and add a bit of waterfall mist and my hair was limp, like spaghetti.  Let me tell you, a homemade ham and cheese sandwich has never tasted so good!

In the visitor’s center I confiscated a map of the Gorge and realized if we were to see this part of God’s country in ALL its glory… we had 32 more sites after the 700′ hike.  We only made three. It is so beautiful and lush here on the Washington/Oregon border.  I understand why the pioneers saw this as the Promised Land, the Land of Goshen and the Land of Milk and Honey.  Green green green everywhere!  And wild berries and wild flowers galore.  Does my nature-loving-soul good.

To the untrained eye, this would seem like a conventional family photo of the Crosbys…. but no.  Our daughter is in California helping with the VBS sports camp.  So we had our niece stand in, being this is our first partial family vacation without our daughter, and because I’m not ready for family of four pictures yet where I’m the only girl.  They do look quite a bit alike…. blonde hair, blue eyes, same height, etc. etc.

This is the first living picture of my husband after my sister informed me that he let my boys climb outside the barriers for photos at the top of Multnomah Falls… and I let him live.  Photo evidence of my mercy and grace, that’s what this really is.  Yes, I was present at the other two waterfall hikes in their entirety.  Good grief.

At waterfall number three, Latourel Falls, I diligently read the sign that explained the history of the falls which went from a private owner to the state parks system in memory of the man’s wife.  The base of the waterfall was where they held family church.  Imagine owning a piece of heaven on earth!  If you get a chance to tour the Columbia River Gorge… just do it!

Vacation Saga #27

June 23, 2010

While soaking up the cool breezes at Lake Tahoe, I happened to go to mapquest to see how far away my sister’s house was from the Lake….. I was surprised to find that it was closer than my own home by more than 100 miles.  Yes, this is my sister of My Sister’s Jar fame.  My mind started scheming.  I mentioned to my vacationing, beard-growing husband that it would be cool to “run up to Washington” to see my sister’s family.  We figured out that if Rick took off two more days we could vacation for another WEEK!  (Gotta love the four-day work week!)

Long story short, Rick called in and they were able to get another pilot to cover his flights… so we drove to Vancouver, WA on Monday.  YEAH!  All of the people in the Northwest should be thanking us for coming and bringing the nice Phoenix weather with us!  Seriously, yesterday was their first day of summer!  They are all scorching at 82 degrees, but we are loving it.  It was 25 degrees hotter today at home. Makes me want to stay here until October.

(scrap-lifted photo)

To get the most of this non-Arizona weather, we attempted a hike to the Camas Lily Fields above Lakamas Lake yesterday.  I say attempted because among our two families, there was not one successful map reading soul.  A picture was even taken of the trail map so that I could eventually show the routes that we hiked and re-hiked to find the lily fields.  No one told us that they only bloom the week of Mother’s Day.  Sheesh.  I did capture a photo of every little blinkin’ bloom on the entire trail (partly to make my necessary heart-rate-in-the-danger-zone stops seem of the photo taking nature… and not the totally out-of-shape nature)… much to my speedy marching husband’s dismay.  He kept saying, “You know we’re not going to develop all these pictures, right?” Whatever.  I decided, while kneeling on the wet path getting the perfect picture of a purple and orange wildflower, that a Wildflowers of Washington (WOW) scrapbook was indeed in my future.  I might even give it to Rick for Christmas.  Plus, I have 75 free prints on snapfish right now.

I would be showing you some of the photos, but I did not bring the cord for my camera… and my techy brother-in-law doesn’t have the photo card capability on his treasured macs.   I didn’t even have the photo card in the camera when we started this adventure on June 9th. I bought a card at Walmart in Nevada… but it didn’t work.  I don’t really understand all the little letters printed on those tiny cards.  Eventually, I purchased the correct card and it is FULL of pictures that I wish I could share.  But no.

End of the School Year

May 12, 2010

Tomorrow is supposed to be the last day of school for LAKE Academy.  (L = Larisa, A = Austin, K = Keeve and if Zaza’s real name starts with E… it will all be so perfecto!)  However, none of my pupils are finished with their work.  My most hopeful student did not pass his last math test with over 90%…. which is not a passing grade at LAKE Academy.  We have high standards to uphold… and math requires skills that need to be remembered over and over.. and mastered.  He will be doing some review and then retaking the test.  Some of you may balk at my expectations, but the kids know they can live up to them… so I set them HIGH!  If I set them low, they would live up to those as well.  We are not striving for mediocrity in this home school!  No, I’m not pushing my kids beyond their capabilities either.  Calm down.

Pupil #3 got braces put on this week and it has slowed his progress in math and grammar.  I gave him a check-off list five weeks ago with what needed to be accomplished each day.  He has been faithful and diligent until this week.  He may be able to complete his work for the year on Friday… if his mouth is not distracting him.  Wires poking your cheeks can be such a detriment to every day life.  Good grief!  Thank God for wax!

Pupil #1 has had an unbalanced year.  She had way too much of a good thing during the first semester and much making up for the lacking things during second semester.  I also gave her a list of what needed to be accomplished to complete her sophomore year.  Frankly, it will probably take her another month.  But that’s OK.  Her calendar is wide open!  She’ll be winding down the same time as her cousins in Washington who don’t finish school until end of June.  Perfect.

As the homeschool marm, I reflect on my teaching for the past year… right about now…..  Mid-May.  I didn’t do as well as I had hoped with staying on top of high school history.  Spanish for my boys died mid-winter and is still in need of resuscitation.  We may be doing that all summer.  For spelling, both boys advanced more than a year!  They also finished math and are right on course… actually, #2 son is about 2/3 of a year ahead.  Their writing dramatically improved this year thanks to an IEW course.  (Institute for Excellence in Writing)  They know how to take notes from three sources, compile them, make an outline, write a three paragraph paper with opening and closing/clincher sentences… AND know how to add strong verbs, adjectives, adverbs, clauses and sentence openers.  (More than most high school graduates!)  So I feel great about that!  Not so great about high school history.

Out of my nine years of homeschooling my kids, I would only say I did a great job one out of nine years.  That’s not good odds. I’d tell you the exact percentage, but my calculator is missing from my desk.  And I don’t do math in my head.  As soon as I have to carry a number, they all get mixed up.  My great year was last year…. year EIGHT!  But, hey, there’s always next year!  And if we don’t set our goals high… we wouldn’t accomplish hardly anything at all!  Next week I’ll be breathing easy.  Whew!