What put me on this path?

I posed this week's Sibling Assignment to my brother and sister. You can find their posts here and here.

Think back to a time before you went to college that contributed to choosing and doing well in your current career.

I was asked to apply for my current job, because I have had experience as a college admissions officer, I have media experience, and working with kids.

All my previous jobs before this one have contributed to having the experience to do well in my current position. But I guess the question is, what got me going in the original direction after college?

The only thing I remember about choosing a major as I was heading off to college was that I knew I didn't want to be a teacher. I wasn't really rebellious as a teenager, so maybe this was my way of rebelling against the other members of my family. When I was a senior in high school, my mother was a teacher, my dad had gone to college to be a teacher, by brother was a teacher and my sister was a teacher. I didn't feel like teaching wasn't a worthy profession, but I wanted to do something different.

So what was it that made me choose another path? I think there were several factors that steered me toward a career that involved public speaking, writing, planning and organizing and performing.

I think church gave me my first chance at singing solos and performing in Christmas programs. I always seemed to get good parts because I had a loud speaking voice and I read well.

I also remember while I was in Campfire Girls and our group had a talent show one year. My talent was a stand up comedy routine. And people laughed.

My freshman year in junior high, I took drama. I had watched my brother and my sister perform in plays while they were in high school, and thought I would always want to do that. We also had to write our own play in that class, and I got an A.

I continued my creative pursuits in high school, continuing playing the flute in band, singing in choir, peforming in plays, writing a school newsletter, and being involved in student government, speech competitions, pep club, and a couple years playing volleyball.

Reading and writing were always subjects I enjoyed. But when the light really came on for me was when I took Poetry from Dale Bachman. He made it come alive and analyzing poetry was amazing, and it opened up a world I didn't know existed.

So, I think the things that I did well and gave me pleasure were the performing and writing I did, so that is why I headed to college with perhaps a communications major.

And now I am the Gear Up Site Coordinator. I am using all the knowledge, creativity, I have gained in the last 22 years since I graduated from college to help kids figure out what their strengths are, what gives them pleasure, and how they can be successful after high school.

How cool is that?

I get to use my creativity, my organizing skills and my communication skills to make a difference in the lives of these kids.

And even though teaching is part of this job, I'm still not a teacher. I feel uneasy being called one. Because I wasn't trained in the teaching profession. But I can still help kids, and help teachers, and be supportive to make school a better place for all of them.

Plus, my lifelong dream has always been being a Broadway musical star. I know I'll never make it to Broadway, but at least I have the Sixth Street Theater in Wallace to help fulfill this dream on a smaller scale. Well, it isn't the Big Apple, but it is in the Centre of the Universe, so, who knows? Wonderful magic can always happen at the Centre of the Universe.


A Great Evening Out at the Rockin' B Ranch

A fun time was had by all last night when 0ur friend's Frank and Barb treated our leadership team from church to a night out at the Rockin' B Ranch at Stateline.

If you go to their website here, you will see that they pride themselves in the following things:

*Experience a great escape with a warm Western style welcome.
*Clean family fun in an Old West setting.
*A three out of four star fine dining rating.
*Beef, Chicken and Ribs served fresh off the BBQ with all the fixin’s.
*Entertainment from the time you arrive till the time you leave.
*Cowboy shoot-out show, Western music and a sometimes kid’s posse.
*Interactive comedies with audience participation.
*Birthday and Anniversary celebrations.
*A tribute to the Old West and the legendary trail rides.
*An evening filled with music, food, and fun.

There is Kiki Aru on the right in the blue hooded sweatshirt getting sworn in to be a part of the kid's posse to hunt down the robber.

Here is Hailey, Lisa, Madison and Bryan enjoying the delicious meal.

The Princess, Z2 and Kiki Aru ham it up for the camera. They loved the dinner and the show.

Here is more of our group enjoying the entertainment.

Pastor Carey in her cowboy hat with her husband Mark enjoying the show.

Miss Pammie Brownlee is the hostess for the evening. Her and her husband Scott are the owners of the Rockin B Ranch, and put on some great entertainment.

They are joined by Chuck Booris on guitar, Andrew Wilson on fiddle, and his wife Deanna on guitar.

They are done for this season, but will start up again next June for another season. They also have a Mellow Jazz Night during the summer on the third Tuesday of June, July, August and September. This is for adults only, and I hope PKR and I can go and enjoy that next summer as well.

So, next summer, mark your calendars and go and enjoy the Rockin B Ranch.

#96--My Tree--Forming New Seed Pods

A slight wind shakes the seed-pods
my thoughts are spent
as the black seeds.
- Hilda Doolittle


Oh, the Places These Kids Can Go!!

Wow, it is Wednesday already, and I haven't posted in a few days. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess. And I have been having fun this week. I have started working at Kellogg Middle School as the Gear Up Site Coordinator, and I've been doing some training in Boise and Spokane the last two weeks. But this week I was at the school. And today I got to talk to the seventh graders a bit about the program, and I had fun having the 7th graders help me read Dr. Suess's book Oh The Places You'll Go. I do it again with the 8th graders on Friday.
I'm trying to get across the these students that they have a right to go to college. Also, in the book, there is a section that goes:
And will you succeed? Yes!
You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

"Kid, you'll move mountains!"

So, be your name Buxbaumor Bixby or Bray or
Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So, get on your way!
I'll be talking to kids about the mountains they have to face in their lives in order to succeed. For some, it is getting up in the morning, or getting the homework turned in, or getting to school on time.
For others, it is far darker...involving poor living conditions, abuse, drugs or neglect.
These are the kids I want to reach out to, the ones who feel defeated already. I want to help them have a dream. I want to show them there is hope.
I want them to move mountains.
And I want to be beside them helping them get to the top!!


Images and Thoughts on Washington D.C.

This week's Sibling Assignment was given by Raymond Pert. Our assignment was as follows:

I've attached a sound file of a composition of Tim O'Reilly's. Download it. Then go to Windows Movie Maker and make a slide show of pictures you have taken or scanned, using Tim's composition as the soundtrack. Then, upload your slide show to YouTube. If you need to open a YouTube account, do that.

I made the video and uploaded it to YouTube, but I can't figure out the whole embedding code thing, so you can find my video on YouTube here, or watch it from the Blogger video feature above.

Inland Empire Girl's video on Road Trips Through North Idaho is found here, and Raymond Pert's video Sculpture's at Lane Community College is here.

My video uses photos I took on my trip to the Nation's Capital last summer, and uses quotes to convey some of my thoughts I took away from the trip. Enjoy!


Ich Verstehe Nicht Fußball...Do You?

I have a confession to make.
I don't get football.

And I say this statement on many different levels.

First of all, when I say this statement, I mean, I don't understand the rules and the plays of the game. The closest I ever got to understanding football even a little bit was playing this game.I remember being on a pep band bus in high school, probably traveling to a basketball game (which I do understand and enjoy), and I borrowed the handheld football game from someone and played, and, I kid you not, I lit up the whole bus when the lightbulb went on above my head as I played the game and declared:

"Oh, that are what the four downs are."

Most of my time at football games growing up involved either running around the stands with a group of friends, or playing my flute or piccolo in the pep band. I knew you cheered when there was a touchdown, and we played the Kellogg fight song, and we also cheered again if the football was kicked through the goalpost. Other than that, I couldn't tell you if our team had a running game or a passing game, or if the offensive team was on the field, or the defensive team.

Things got a little better when I got to the University of Idaho. I was in the Vandal Marching Band, so spent a lot of time at Vandal football games (in the Kibbie Dome, where I have fond memories of water dripping down on us from the leaking room).

Football was rather fun at the University of Idaho my sophomore year, when the Vandals were in the playoffs. I remember over Thanksgiving break having to head back to Moscow to play in the band for a big game. Now many of you could probably tell me who we were playing in that game, and if we won or lost. Sorry, the only details I remember from that day was the ride home from Moscow, with me driving, and I believe the brakes were going out on the car. That is what I remember.

Another football highlight that year was, again, because of being in Marching Band. Our band traveled to Seattle to march at a game in the Kingdome. It was the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Pittsburg Steelers. The only reason this game was a highlight was because of the celebrity factor of some of the players. I remember watching the players jog around the stadium before the game, and seeing Terry Bradshaw, and Mean Joe Green. The only reason I knew who Joe Green was is because he used to chug Coca Cola on a TV Commercial.

Our marching band was seated right behind the Seahawks, and the one player I had heard about was quarterback Jim Zorn. And, if I recall, he was pretty darn cute!!The next year, PKR joined me as a student at University of Idaho after spending a few years at Western Montana College in Dillon. He would sit up in the stands with me, and patiently try and explain to me what was going on, and where certain players were headed on the field, but it didn't help. My brain doesn't absorb football plays.

Playing Trivia Pursuit with PKR kind of puts this in perspective. He had incredible ability of holding in his brain a plethora of TRIVIAL sports facts that help him in the orange sports and games category. I, on the other hand, do a much better job in the pink Entertainment category.

On another level, I don't understand the obsession of watching football all day on T.V. Or the Fantasy Football leagues. I'm not saying this is a disparaging way. I'm just saying I don't understand that much attention paid to football.

Again, I don't understand football.

But for those of you who do, and love watching it, playing it, following it.....have a great fall!!


Memories of an Unpolluted Creek

Kellogg High School in the late 50's

Kellogg High School is probably one of the only high schools that has a creek running under it. The high school is located in a beautiful setting. It is up Jacob's Gulch. (I think Jacob's Gulch is named after the Jacob's family who owned the land up there and ran a dairy.)

The creek running down Jacob's Gulch is Jackass Creek. In the photo below, you can see how the creek runs under the school.

Today, after dropping off The Princess at school, I noticed a culvert by Shoshone Medical Center, which is at the entrance to Jacob's Gulch, and the culvert had a big grate over it so you couldn't get into the culvert. This reminded me of playing in Jackass Creek in my youth.

Up behind the high school was a trail that took you along the creek, and there was a reservoir that, at one time provided water for the high school. (I'm not sure if it still does or not.) Below the reservoir were little dams, and it was fun to play in the creek because the water was clean. This water hadn't been affected by the mining pollution, at least not directly.

Jackass Creek was very unique to me as a child growing up in Kellogg, because you could see little fish in the creek. Things grew in this little stream. The water was clear.

Most of the local water I was used to seeing wasn't that way. "Lead Creek", or the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River that runs through Kellogg, had been a bit murky, then got clearer, but still nothing lived in those waters in my childhood. And I don't remember being told I couldn't play in that water....it was just understood.

The other creek that I would frequently see is the water running by Silver King School, which came from the Zinc Plant up above. It was another polluted stream that you stayed away from.

(The North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River was not polluted, but I don't remember going up there much until I was a bit older.)

Exploring Jackass Creek was a treat. I could splash in the water, which got a little deep where there were the little man-made dams, and it was cool, and you could splash your way down toward the high school. In those days, there were no grates. I remember playing in the culverts and walking in the creek all the way to "Lead Creek", and wondering what happened to those pour little fish once they got to the river?

Now it is all gated up. In fact, I think most of the culverts were closed up by the time I graduated from high school.

But some things remain the same. The creek still flows through the high school. The walk up behind the high school is still beautiful. Actually, the area is even more beautiful because there is much more vegetation. Wild turkeys are seen in the KHS parking lot. PKR and The Princess saw about five deer in the KHS parking lot last night.

I don't ever remember seeing much wildlife around Kellogg when I was little, or even hearing about it unless people went places to hunt.

As I look back, it seems odd how normal "Lead Creek" seemed. And the Smelter Smoke, that created that burning sensation in my throat as I played on the playground at recess.

It shouldn't have been. But it was part of my life, even though I wasn't always a willing participant.

A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty.

~Albert Einstein, 1950


I'm a Benevolent Creator

I came across a new personality test you can take called Personal DNA, your true self revealed. You can find it here. I felt like the results were pretty accurate. Those of you who know me best can read through and see if you think it is accurate or not.
You are a Creator

Your imagination, confidence, willingness to explore, and appreciation of beauty make you a CREATOR.
You are independent, and you enjoy your self-sufficiency.
Defying convention, you are very innovative, and you have a vivid imagination.
The look of things is important to you, and you have a keen eye for aesthetic beauty in multiple arenas.
You have a strong interest in what is new and exciting—and that includes forging ahead with new ideas, not simply discovering what is already out there.
Your eagerness to seek new and varied experiences leads you into many different situations.
You're not set on one way of doing things, and you are creative when it comes to finding novel solutions to complex problems.
You trust yourself to be innovative and resourceful.
Your confidence allows you to take your general awareness and channel it into creativity.
Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

If you want to be different:

Appreciate the earthly, practical elements of things—there is beauty in form as well.
While you are good at thinking abstractly, focusing on details a bit more may help you discover things about the world.

how you relate to others

You are Benevolent

You are a great person to interact with—understanding, giving, and trusting—in a word, BENEVOLENT
You don't mind being in social situations, as you feel comfortable enough with people to be yourself.
Your caring nature goes beyond a basic concern: you take the time to understand the nuances of people's situations before passing any sort of judgment.
You're a good listener, and even better at offering advice.
You're concerned with others at both an individual and societal level—you sympathize with the plights of troubled groups, and you can care about people you've never met.
Considering many different perspectives is something at which you excel, and you appreciate that quality in others.
Other people's feelings are important to you, and you're good at mediating disputes.
Because of your understanding and patience, you tend to bring out the best in people.

If you want to be different:

You spend a lot of time taking care of others, but don't forget to take care of yourself!
Sometimes you can get overcommitted, and when you sacrifice spending time with those close to you, it can make them feel unimportant.


Slings and Arrows review

My brother Raymond Pert gave me the DVD series 1 of Slings and Arrows for my birthday this year. I finally had a chance to watch the entire season over the weekend, so here are my thoughts.

After watching the first episode, I was a little put off by the constant use of the "F" word, and the sex. (But, this is just me.) This show is rated along the lines of Sex in the City or The Sopranos.

But, once I got past those two things, I got into the story of this six episode series, and I loved it. The premise of the show, and why my brother thought I would enjoy it, is telling the story behind the scenes at a theater.

This theater is one that does Shakespeare plays, and while they are rehearsing onstage for the play, the story is also being told on what is going on behind the scenes.

(I've always felt more drama goes behind the scenes of a play than what happens on stage. It is the nature of the people involved in productions.)

As the story develops, you come to appreciate the art of the theater, and what the true calling of a theatrical production is all about. They are rehearsing Hamlet on the stage, and themes from the play are also being played out in thier lives.

There are two more seasons, where one season they do MacBeth, and the following season they do King Lear. I look forward to seeing how they play out these stories in real life.

I was very impressed by the actor Paul Gross. I don't think I had ever seen any of his work, but he was so good in this show. But so was everyone else. It was a great cast, well written, and a wonderful story.

So, if possible, try and get past the language and sex, (if that bothers you) because there is a great story being told.

Furry friends bring amazing gifts

Inland Empire Girl gave us this week's sibling assignment. Here it is:
Think about a pet that has been a part of your life. Think about a significant event that happened with that pet that made you realize you were glad the pet was in your life.
Her story can be found here, and Raymond Pert's can be found here.
Emotional healing is a most amazing gift that's bestowed by our furry friends ... The choice to nurture a pet in our life can bring huge returns on our investment.
— Chelle Thompson, Editor of Inspiration Line

Jessie and Lynx

Here they are, my two furry friends that helped me survive life on my own my first year out of college. My first job took me 691 miles away from Kellogg, to the town of Glendive, Montana where I worked at Dawson Community College.

I had always loved animals. My first pet that I remember was a cat named Peter-Twinkletoes. Then we had a dog names Cleo. These were both before I was 4 years old. Both died by being hit by a car. We did live on a busy street, so no more dogs or cats at our house.

In later years, I had a white rat and two different parakeets. Mom, because she was a schoolteacher, also had various critters in her classroom.

When I moved to Montana, I knew I wanted some companionship, and I knew cats were a little easier to care for than dogs. Also, my fiance PKR (who was back in Moscow finishing up his education at the U of I) also loved cats, so I decided to get a cat to keep me company.

After being in Glendive a couple of weeks, I looked in the classifieds for kitten giveaways. I found an ad and went and checked it out, and decided which one I wanted. I moved to Glendive at the beginning of August, and decided to get my new kitten over Labor Day weekend so I could be around it for a few days.

Jessie the first day I got her

After I picked out my new little kitten, I met one of the new instructors at DCC, who also had a kitten she was trying to give away. She convinced me that two kittens could keep each other company when I was gone during the day and while I was traveling on the road for my new job.

So I gave in.

Lynx on his first day in his new home

And I am so glad I did.

They both arrived on Friday of Labor Day weekend, and boy were they cute. I named the girl Jessie P.K. Roberts, and the boy Lynx Firecracker Roberts, because he was born on July 4th.

Jessie getting a little bigger. She never was a very big cat.

With my other pets I don't ever remember making a connection or having them respond to my moods. The first time this happened with the cats, I was in my living room in Glendive, and a wave of homesickness overcame me, and I lay sobbing on the couch. Communications with PKR back in Moscow wasn't quite as convenient as it is today. We would write letters, and had limited our talking time on the telephone to once a week, mostly because of our financial situations. No emails or IM's for us.

So, this particular night, I remember Jessie jumping up on the couch, meowing and snuggling up beside me, comforting me during this sorrowful moment. I'll never forget the comfort I received.

Lynx was also a snuggler, and would sleep in bed with me and cuddle up. He was like a stuffed animal.

Lynx was a beautiful cat, and, at his peak, weighed about 25 pounds. He wasn't fat, just big.

We think he was part Maine Coon.

I remember Lynx was always on the lookout for me when I would return home to my apartment in Glendive. I lived on the second story of an old house turned into three apartments. Mine had a sun porch in the back, and Lynx must have known the sound of my car, because he would be at the back window when I drove up, and by the time I came in the front door, he was down on the post by the front door. He did that every time.

After PKR and I were married, they were our "children". We got more entertainment from those two. Especially when the cat nip came out. We loved them alot.

We were blessed to have Lynx in our lives for almost 11 years. He died February 14, 1996. Jessie lived until she was about 16 or 17.

Our family still has cats, five to be exact. And now we are also dog people, with two dogs. I couldn't imagine not having pets around the house. They are such a comfort and such wonderful companions.

They just love you, no matter what.


#95--My Tree--Early September Light

Happy we who can bask in this warm September sun,
which illumines all creatures,
as well when they rest as when they toil,
not without a feeling of gratitude;
whose life is as blameless,
how blameworthy soever it may be,
on the Lord’s Mona-day as on his Suna-day.
- Henry David Thoreau


GEARING UP for new challenge

For the past two days I have been in Boise going through training for my new job.

When we arrived yesterday, the program manager started out our training telling us that there may not be funding for the program, and he had until 5 p.m. today to let the governor know if the matching funds were available.

Not a great way to get people motivated about their new positions.

But to give him credit, he was very postive and said he believed it would all work out.

Today, Gov. Otter extended the deadline because he believed that Gear Up Idaho had made enough progress and that they would be able to get the funding. See article here.


Yesterday we learned all about the Gear Up program, and how we would be working with the 7th and 8th grade classes this year, and follow them through graduation, picking up another class of 7th graders next year. We learned about all kinds of things to help create a program that will best serve the students in our districts.

Today, we did Dependable Strenth Training. It helped each of us define the things we are good at. Some of mine were creativity, planning and organizing, visionary, writer, effective communicator and musical.

I love doing exercises like this that help remind me what my strengths are, and now I can use that knowledge in preparing for the plan to help the students at Kellogg Middle School.

One thing I put down as an example of a "Good Experience" today was a project I did as a parent volunteer at Meridian Elementary. I went in once a week to a fourth grade classroom and did a writing workshop where I exposed the students to different forms of writing such as poetry, memoir writing and newspaper articles. At the end of the year, I picked the best piece of writing each student did, and published a book, then had a literary tea, invited the parents of the students, and each student read their piece of writing to the group.

I realized today that I could take parts of this project I did almost 10 years ago, and adapt it to my current job.

Lots of work ahead, but this training has been a great help, and I'm looking forward to jumping in and coming up with a plan to help these students!!

A-h-h-h-h-h-h...my quiet hotel room

Sunday night I arrived here in Boise for a three day conference to receive training for my new job .

One of the luxuries I am experiencing is a nice, quiet hotel room all to myself.

I can't remember the last time I spent time alone on a trip in a hotel room all to myself.

I'm not responsible for anyone but me.

I can go to bed as early or late as I want.

I can just sit on the bed, stare into space, and veg out.

I can get up when I want and have my own space.
I can eat dinner or not.
I can go swimming, or exercise, or use the whirlpool.

Now, don't get me wrong, on an extended basis, this would drive me nuts. But, for a few days, I'm going to enjoy this alone time in my quiet hotel room.

No one needing me for anything.

Just some time to think, pray, meditate and regroup.



Kellogg Junior High Memories...from my early years

This week it was my turn to assign the sibling assignment. Here is what I posed:

Think back to being a student at Kellogg Junior High School, think of a very vivid time you remember, and share a story about that memory. It had to happen at the school.

Here is Inland Empire Girl's pasta story, and Raymond Pert's bball story.

Well, I'm going to have a little different take on my own assignment. I'm going to focus more on being in the building, and not being in Junior High.

You see, when Inland Empire Girl was an eighth grader and Raymond Pert was a ninth grader at Kellogg Junior High School when it was uptown in the old Washington School building, I was also a student in that building.

My classroom was in the basement.

I was five-years-old.

I was in kindergarten.

I am amazed at how much I remember from kindergarten. I don't remember large memories, but little snippets of time that have stuck with me for 39 years. Here is what I remember from kindergarten.

*Seeing my sister coming down the stairs one day and saying hello.

*Going outside one day when it was snowing and catching snowflakes on black construction paper.

*Standing in line for a drink at the drinking fountain, and having BG and BE act rather snotty towards me.

*Doing a program at the end of the year, and I recited a poem about a top.

*Handing out papers in the room.

*Carpooling to kindergarten with the Lamb twins.

*I don't remember this...this is a story my mom always tells. When I was in kindergarten, apparently I knew how to read, because Mrs. Clark would ask me to hand out papers to the students, and I could read their names and was able to hand them out. But, apparently I was a bit stubborn at home, because when I was asked to read a book to a family member, I refused. Not sure why, but that is how the story goes.

As I look back at my earliest memories, they always seemed to involve a change in my normal routine. Even earlier I remember being in the Paulsen building in Spokane when I was four years old and having the gas mask come over my face, and the doctor told me to count back from five. This was when I had my tonsils removed.

I believe kindergarten was a special time for me, because I remember so many things, and it was such a big change.

And it was the only year the three Woolum siblings were ever in the same building going to school at the same time.


A Meme from Inland Empire Girl

01. If you could have super powers what would they be and what would you do with them?
The ability to control the weather, so I can plan my days according to the weather.

02. Were you to find yourself stranded on an island with a CD player...it could happen...what would your top 10 bloggers island discs be?

1. James Taylor Collection
2. K.T. Tunstall: Eye of the Telescope
3. Laurie Roberts: For Such A Time As This
4. WOW 2006
5. Beethoven
6. The Beatles Collection
7. Les Miserable Soundtrack
8. Carole King: Tapestry
9. Billboard Hits of the 70's and 80's
10. Our Little Corner of the World...Music from the Gilmore Girls

03. If you were a smell what would it be?
A Pine Forest

04. What bird would you most like to be?

05. If you were a bird who's head would you poo on?
The one that had the best target.

06. Are there any foods that your body craves?

07. What's your favourite time of year?
Autumn, because I love when it gets cooler and the leaves turn, and it is a beautiful time of year.

08. What's your favourite time of day?
Early morning when it is just me up and I have some quiet, alone time, time to think.

09. If a rest is as good as a change, which would you choose? Change, because I like doing different things.

10. If you could have a dinner party and invite any 5 people from the past or present who would they be (living or deceased)?

1. Madeleine L'Engle
2. Julia Cameron
3. William Shakespeare
4. George Clooney
5. Barbara Streisand


Today's News In The Sport of Cross Country

Kellogg held their home meet today at the Kellogg Country Club and Golf Course in Pinehurst.

Z2 finished in second place today, with a time of 11:08.

Her father and mother were there at the finish line, cheering her on.

Another fine finish by Z2!!


Happy Birthday Kiki Aru!!

Kiki Aru was a surprise. Z2 had been born in July, and, while my body was recovering from that birth, another one was on the way. But I had no clue.

I do remember in March looking for a new Easter Dress, and I couldn't figure out why nothing fit, even though I had been losing weight. But I had no clue.

Then around mid-March I was lying in bed on my stomach and felt some strange little twinges. I thought to myself, could I be pregnant?

Well, I went to the store and got the pregnancy test, and, sure enough, the blue line showed up. I called my doctor and had an appointment toward the end of the month.

"Well, you are about 21 weeks along," he told me that day. "Your due date is the first part of September."

So, needless to say, this was a pretty fast pregnancy. I only had about five months to go.

After my doctor's appointment, PKR and I and the girls and PKR's brother DR traveled to Portland, Oregon, and I took the girls down to Eugene to visit my brother Raymond Pert. Well, it must have been rather obvious, because when I shared the news he said he thought I looked pregnant.

The pregnancy was pretty uneventful until Labor Day of 1995. I kept joking how funny it would be to go into labor on Labor Day. Which would be unique in itself, because I never went into labor with The Princess and Z2 was induced, so labor on my own would be unique.

In the morning, DR's fiancee had moved to Meridian, and we were helping her get their house ready to move into. I did some vacuuming to help out. Later that day I drove into Boise to PKR's aunt and uncle's house to get some bedroom furniture she was giving us for The Princess. As I drove home in the car, there was a strange tingling on the back of my legs, but I didn't think much of it.

After I got home, the wierd feeling pains and twinges kept coming. Around 10:00 p.m. I told PKR we had better call his Mom to come stay with the girls, because I was pretty sure I was in labor.

So PKR's mom came over and we drove to Mercy Medical Center in Nampa. They got me set up in a room, and my doctor was out of town, so he had one of his associates deliver the baby. (Basically, the nurse did all the work. The doctor just showed up to catch the baby.)

So we arrived at the hospital around 11 p.m., and I had actually gone into labor on my own. And it didn't last too long, because Kiki Aru arrive at 1:10 a.m. And I was out of the hospital and back home by 11 a.m. the next morning.

She did have a little trouble gaining weight her first couple of weeks, but after that everything went really well.

Kiki Aru is a wonderful girl. She is bright, kind and lots of fun. She is a natural born leader. She has lots of friends, and lots of different interests. She likes to run, play basketball and soccer. She likes to sing and act. She is our only blonde. (She was like me, but the opposite. My brother and sister were blonde, and I was brunette. Kiki Aru is blonde, and her two sisters are brunette.)

Happy 12th birthday Kiki Aru. You are my special baby and I love you very much.


Capturing Audrey 3 With Camera

Over the next week, take some pictures as if you were legally blind. Imagine what the camera is seeing and let it do the seeing for you. Like "Dog's Eye View" you really won't know what the camera recorded and then you will "discover a world that [you] would otherwise never be able to see . . . "
This is our sibling assignment this week as Raymond Pert posed it to us. Here are a few photographs I took below.
Sometime in July, I discovered a volunteer squash plant growing in the flower bed in front of our house between some of the pots of flowers I planted. I decided to just let it grow and see what happens.
The other night, I discovered it had started growing up the front window. We have affectionately named the squash Audrey 3.
Please look up Little Shop of Horrors if you are unsure of the reference.
I decided to take three pictures in the way Raymond Pert suggested.
What I discovered was an interesting reflection in window that the squash plant is growing up. You can see our neighbor's large spruce tree and the basketball hoop, and the condominiums.

I probably couldn't have got a shot of that reflection if I had tried to take that picture. That was the fun of this assignment. Discovering things that you didn't know were there.

Here is Inland Empire Girl's post here, and Raymond Pert's here.

First Day of School Picture

The Princess, Z2 and Kiki Aru are getting ready to go to school this morning. This is the last time all three will start school together. (Sob!) Kind of wierd to think The Princess is in her final year of school...a senior. Wow!!

She is sitting in the same classrooms I did as a senior at Kellogg High School in 1980-1981, and the same classrooms as her father sat in 1977-1978.

Another change is having her dad as a teacher this year, which is a little different. But I think she is going to like Dad as the Drama teacher.

Z2 in an eight grader and Kellogg Middle School, and Kiki Aru a sixth grader. All reported a pretty average day at school.

Let's have a great year girls!!

#94--My Tree--September days are here

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.
- Helen Hunt Jackson


Perfect Ending to a Perfect Summer

Mom has had a friend and her daughter staying with her these past few days, and they came over to our house tonight for dinner. What a joyous time it was.

We did an early birthday celebration for Kiki Aru complete with cheesecake and candles.

The talk around the dinner table, for a while, was centered on how flexible teachers should be with their students when it comes to them handing in their work.
Being flexible won at this table.

We also talked about Larry Craig, and how our culture demonizes homosexuality, and that women also have a code in public restrooms for propositioning one another. (That is what Raymond Pert shared with us.)

It was fun listening to mom and her friend talk about past friends and their lives growing up in Orofino, and how they both married Kellogg boys, and ended up living in Kellogg and raising their families here.

The girls even brought Lester out to join in the fun. (We could because Aunt Inland Empire Girl wasn't here to be creeped out by his presence.)

The girls were enjoying their last moments of summer, and were thinking about having to get up early tommorow to get ready for school.
It was a perfect ending to a perfect summer.

Ear Piercing: A Twelfth Birthday Tradition

When I was 12 years old I got to get my ears pierced. I remember going up to Wallace to a jewelry store there and getting my ears pierced.

I decided to make this a milestone in my daughters lives as well.
When The Princess turned 12, we went to Coeur d'Alene and she got her ears pierced, and I got another hole on my earlobes.

Last summer, when Z2 got her ears pierced, I got a third hole on my ears.

Today it was Kiki Aru's turn. Here she is after she got her ears pierced, and a look at the new earlobe.

Since my earlobe was full, I decided to pierce the cartilage on the upper part of my right ear.

(Actually, I wanted to get a small stud in my nose, but they didn't do that at Claire's in the mall. Maybe another day!)

Kiki Aru's actual birthday is Wednesday, but with school starting tomorrow, we decided to do the ear piercing today.


Four Wheelin' in Paradise

Today, I was four wheelin' in Paradise.
This was not included in today's plans. Originally, I didn't have plans today. PKR had plans to play tennis with Dr. B and DS, but then those plans turned into going out to Dr. B's house for swimming and pizza, then the guys going to play tennis after the sun went down.
So after church we headed out to our friend's house for a relaxing afternoon.
When we arrived, DS and his wife VS had been offered two ATV's to use if they wanted, so they traveled over to get them. When they arrived back at Dr. B's house, we decided to do some riding.
I think I had only been on an ATV one other time in my life, so I was quite a novice.
It was fun. PKR and I drove up Wall Ridge Road along the Coeur d'Alene River, and had the most magnificent view of Kingston and the river. I wish I had my camera with me. I could have taken some awesome pictures.
Dr. B's wife SB really liked the four wheeler's. She was a speed demon on them. And, I think now she wants a couple of them at her house.
I see how people get hooked on having them for recreation, hunting and riding around the beautiful country. The biggest problem was the numbing in my thumb from keeping the gas on...other than that, is was pretty easy.
I could do it again really soon.


New Blogger in the Family

Well, The Princess started her own blog today, to add to the family blogosphere.

You can find The Mind of Princess Molly here.

Here is how she describes her blog:

What goes on in the mind of Princess Molly? I know many people would like to know. Alright probably no one cares but my my mom, my uncle, my aunt, my cousin etc. have a blog. So I jumped on the band wagon and got one also.

I look forward to reading more of what comes from the mind of Princess Molly.