Friday, May 25, 2007

A Snake In The Drain

Unfortuantely I do not mean a reptile, I mean a plumber's snake. I honestly think I would have preferred the reptile. The boys could have caught it and made it a pet....yes, that would have been much easier. I don't know for sure but I am fairly certain that the whole reason that the kitchen sink stopped draining on Wednesday night was my fault....

Andy called from Canada and while I was chatting away about how it was snowing like gangbusters at their camp in Banff, I let the rice on the stove burn. In order to quickly make a new batch, I dumped the whole pan of sticky burned rice down the garbage disposal. Right after that, the sink stopped draining.

That night before bed I dumped a bottle of Liquid Plumber into the sink and went to bed. In the morning we had a sink full of Liquid Plumber. So my husband did what every bottle of drain cleaner and website says to NEVER, NEVER do. He plunged the sink, to no avail.

The next step was to borrow the snake from one of the trustees from church. After hours of pushing and cranking we still had a sink full of, now, disgusting black water. Not to mention that my poor husband and much of our kitchen was now also covered in the same disgusting black water.

In an attempt to carry on, I continued to make meals with water from the bathroom sink and just let the dishes pile up knowing that "eventually the sink will be cleared and I will be able to run the dishwasher again." (I have a aversion to doing dishes by hand.) After 4 meals and I Bible study group, the dishes really pile up.

Thankfully we got some great advice from one of the guys at Bible study on how to clear the drain, a Drain King. This is an attachment for the hose that shots a super powerful jet of water through your pipe to blast out the clog. So, first thing this morning Zack and I set out to acquire a Drain King. Two stores, a dozen donuts, and 2 Starbucks coffees later (I figured we deserved a treat) we found one and brought it home.

Upon our triumphant return, I found my husband washing all of my dirty dishes in the utility sink. (He definitely deserved those donuts!)

To make a long story short (I guess it's already a little late for that), IT WORKED!!!! The drain is clear again. Now all I have to do is clean!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Boys will be Boys

This past weekend Z and I had the opportunity to attend the annual "Mountain Men's Retreat" hosted by Greater Grace of Portland. The subtitle of the event is "God, guys, grub, guns" and is held at SoreAcres in Amboy. Thanks D.S. for letting us use your property! I have been several times before but this year was the first time for Z. I must admit that I was a little worried about how he would do around all the men but was pleasantly surprised to learn that several other men had brought their sons along.

G.P. was our Bible teacher for the weekend. The focus was on using our gifts for God's work. He did a great job of illustrating the how everyone has a purpose and how we must all work together if we are going to accomplish the big purpose God has given us.

Men begin to gather for Bible Study As each of us arrives we were given a sealed envelope with instruction not to open it until instructed to and not to show anyone. At the appropriate time we were asked to identify what was in the envelope and what it was used for. Most of us learned that it is hard to know what it is or what it is used for when it isn't in the right context. Later we took all that various pieces from the envelopes and G.P. put them together to make a simple pistol. It was neat to see how all these pieces which we couldn't recognize alone easily fit within one another to form something we were all very familiar with. POINT: We all have talents and gifts and God calls us to work together to be His Church and to accomplish His purposes. All too often we either struggle to see how we fit in or we happily allow others to the do the work and miss out on the opportunity to be used by God.

Of course, having all the guys away from our wives didn't mean we were going to without food. C.M. has been our camp cook for years and always does great work. With him on the job it is like eating gormet camping food.

While the weather was predictably wet the clouds seemed to run out of moisture just in time for the Saturday afternoon gun show. Between the twenty or so guys there were probably something like 7 or 8 shotguns, 9 rifles, and a dozen handguns, with plenty of ammunition to go around. It was fun to try out some bigger caliber stuff.

A Sun Break Afternoon Fun The Firing Squad Z.L. tries out a cool rifle

On the way home we both agreed we had a great time. I am so thankful for this great opportunity to invest in my relationship with my son, and I am already looking forward to next year (when both Z and A will get to go!)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Just Will 'N' Me

This weekend the Leingangs split up. Andy, of course, was on his cruise. Chris and Zack went to a men's retreat. Will and I were left alone so we made the most of it! First we went out to supper at a Mexican food resturant in town that Will really likes and had a really yummy meal. Then we came home and played our favorite 2-player games that we hardly ever play because most of the time more than two people want to play a game around here. Oh, and we drank really good orange creme sodas while we played and ate peanuts, too.

After we put all the games away we watched a couple of episodes of Andy Griffith and ate chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with chocolate syrup on it.
Will didn't want to sleep in the basement by himself so I brought all my scrapbooking stuff upstairs to the dining room table (where it still is), put in "Music and Lyrics" and went to work. When I crawled into bed at 12:30am, I found Will sleeping on my bed. He didn't like being alone. So I covered him up with an extra blanket and slept soundly until the phone rang at 6:50.

My mom called to check in about picking up Andy's stuff on the way through town. They are now headed for Alberta, Canada for a few weeks. Unfortunately, no one was home when they came. But Chris and I both got to talk to him on the phone and hear about what a great time he had! Although we miss him, we are so thankful that he gets to do this! Will and I had to go to a Women's Retreat planning meeting this morning at a resturant down south (sorry Will) and then we went and spent the day with my friend Kate.

Kate and I had a great time! I brought my sewing machine and she helped me make a purse. I was inspired when Emily posted pictures of the adorable purse she made and insisted that it was really easy. I, on the other hand, needed lots of help with the "easy-to-sew" pattern because I do not know the language it is written in. Thankfully, Kate was a great teacher and I only had to take it apart once. I got one done and another started, and I can't wait to make more. When we got done, we out to to a great Thai resturant and had a great lunch.

It's even got a liner!

It was lots of fun and I got out of cooking three meals in a row!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Silver Falls- Part 2

Here are some more pictures from the rest of the trip.

North Falls- the walk down (and up) the 77 stairs was worth it

In the cavern under the falls

Looking out at North Falls

Upper North Falls- has a great swimming hole at the bottom

Trail of Ten Falls

About 10 years ago we went on a LB District campout at Silver Falls State Park. It was beautiful and I have always wanted to go back so the boys could see it again. The weather was perfect yesterday, so we decided we would go back again.

So we packed sack lunches, some trail snacks and some water and headed south. We hiked about 6 miles or so through beautiful rainforests along a sparkling creek studded with waterfalls all along the way. We saw 9 of the 10 falls, only missing Twin Falls which we camped near 10 years ago.

Taking a rest before heading out

South Falls

Frenchie Falls- weird name, cute little falls on the way to the backside of South Falls

Behind South Falls

Lower South Falls

We couldn't go behind Lower South Falls

Will touches a waterfall

Winter Falls

Walking through the rainforest

Middle North Falls

Drake Falls

Double Falls

Lower North Falls- my favorite!

Having snack by Lower North Falls

It was a spectacular day! We took about 170 pictures but I thought I would just share a few. Ok, it's a lot but it was hard to choose. :o) If you are ever in the area, you have to go. And if you come to visit us, we just might take you there.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

On The Waterfront

Today we took Andy to the pier in Seattle so he could leave on his cruise to Alaska with Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Frank, and Aunt Amy. He was so excited that he got up at 6:15 this morning. I usually have trouble dragging him out of bed before 8:00.
I wish we could have gotten a picture when we got to the point when we saw the ship for the first time. His eyes got so big and this huge smile broke out on his face. He had no idea it would be so BIG. Actually, neither did we.

The ship

Getting to the terminal before the crowd- whew!

They use those cranes to load the luggage on board

Waving Bon Voyage

After they boarded the ship, the rest of us took off and explored the waterfront a bit. They were having Maritime Days in Seattle so we enjoyed a few of the activities there and went and had an awesome seafood lunch at Ivar's. Yummy!

Virtual kayaking

Tugboat races

Art appreciation

Then because we were in Seattle and it was so close to Mother's Day we stopped see Chris' mom. It was so nice to see her and our nephew Ben again and get to visit with them. We are hoping that they will be able to come and see us soon.

We miss Andy already but we know he will have an awesome time! Now the boys want to save all their money so we can go on a cruise next summer. :o) Keep saving boys!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

There's No One Driving That Thing!

Andy: There is a car outside and I think there is something wrong with his brakes because his tires are kind of clumping.

Mom: What do you mean?

Instead of trying to figure out what he meant I decided to just go out and see for myself. As I walk out the door I see a car on the opposite side of the street slowly rolling down the hill and quickly picking up speed. At this point I know I will never catch up to it and see that the doors are locked anyway. Two houses down the neighbor's white Cherokee is parked on the curb right in front of the car. Just before it would have smashed into the Cherokee, the car veers to the opposite side of the street, plows through a flower bed and into a driveway of the house 2 houses down from us (it seemed a lot further watching it roll down the hill). Andy and Will take off down the hill behind the car to see where it ended up while I ran up to the house where the car had been parked to let them know that their car had just rolled down the hill.

Seconds after the car hit the retaining wall, the two neighbor guys came running from their yard and in less than a minute the homeowner came home from work. I can imagine her surprise when she drives up and sees 5 or 6 people standing in front of her driveway staring.

Thankfully there was little damage to both the car or the neighbor's property. The guys helped her get the car out of the driveway and check for any damage. Chris said that the brake was set and the owner claimed that the car was in gear, so who knows how it happened. But no one was hurt and it could have been much worse, so all in all it was a good lesson in why you turn your wheels when parking on a hill.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

NW Trek

Anne Marie and I planned this trip months ago and we chose the most beautiful day of the year! We met Luther, Anne Marie and their son Zach at NW Trek yesterday. It was so wonderful! The weather was sunny and about 80, there were baby animals out, and the boys had a great time running around and learning about all the native plants and animals in the NW.

After we were done at NW Trek, we were all very hungry and a bit tired. So we all drove into Olympia to a Chinese buffet there that the Stenbergs really like. The food was so good and we ate until we were stuffed. Then Anne Marie and I went to the Super JoAnn's to shop and I spent a bit of my birthday money. The boys all went back to the Stenbergs' to relax and play in the backyard of their beautiful new house!

It was a wonderful day and we were so blessed by the whole day!

By the way, I need to mention that all these photos were taken by Andy. Great job, Andy!

The elk herd enjoying the shade

Mt Rainier peeking over the hills

The view from the top off the hill
Brown bears having supper
Spring means babies (this one was born the day before)
Caribou on the road
The coyote sunning himself on a rock

Mt. Rainier from Yelm

Friday, May 4, 2007

Hey! Who Moved The Table?

I never blog twice in one day but....

The boys and I returned from our co-op ice cream party to find that our kitchen table had been moved into the corner of the dining room. Now I knew we hadn't left it there, but I also knew that Chris had meetings all day and hadn't been home either. It took me a second (because the boys did such a great job at keeping a straight face) to notice that I got a new stove!!!

Chris bought me a new stove for my birthday/Mother's Day and brought it in while I was gone to surprise me! Needless to say, I was very surprised and REALLY EXCITED!!! Our old stove was a almond colored (the only non-white appliance in our kitchen) stove with no window, not self-cleaning, only one large burner, and ran consistently 50-75 degrees too hot in the oven. I can't wait to make supper!

I am including a before and after picture of the kitchen. For those of you who have seen our kitchen: yes, we took out the cabinet above the counter between the kitchen and the dining area. We love how much roomier and brighter it is now that it is gone. Now I just need to touch up the paint and it will look great!

Zack's Favorite Things

These are some great pictures of Zack's favorite things to do. Mowing and models. He has been working diligently on both this week. He will get up early in the morning to get done with school so he can go to work and mow. He also works on his Ferrari model every chance he gets.