Remembering my mom

Eighteen years ago, May 23, 1990, my mom died following a tragic scuba diving accident two months prior. For me, now being 36, I have lived as many years without my mother as I did with her. I never thought I would get to this point. It seemed unthinkable so many years ago, and yet the day has arrived. What can I do on a day like today? Pray for strength and peace, remember, blog. 😉 My extended family is no closer than 1200 miles away and as many as 3000. It’s weird, everyone deals with this loss in different ways. Being the eldest and only daughter made my relationship with her different than either of my brothers. We were certainly three individuals! I was getting ready to launch from the nest; she had no idea how we would afford my college choice of SPU. She never would have guessed that grants would be offered me because of her own death. (And yes, I loved my years at SPU.) This day is always extremely hard for my grandma, and I can’t wait until I get to squeeze her personally when we travel to Missouri this summer (road trip!).

Sharing my mom with the kids

Taken at Mom’s grave on her birthday, September 5, 2005

I looked for the newspaper articles written about her diving accident (at Keystone, resulting in her being comatose for two months before her eventual death), but was unable to find them. I love them because they highlight the best things of her – you know, kids aren’t always the best at appreciating their parents… As a nurse, she managed several community-based programs thru St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham for both kids and seniors, and was well-loved by many in the community. She was a great mom who overcame difficulties, found Christ as her personal savior just months before she died, a wonderful friend, and I often wonder what kind of grandmother she would have been – one of the best, I’m sure.

I miss you, Mom.

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A fabulous perk of home schooling!

Ice Cream sun, and the Velveteen RabbitLanguage arts in the sun!The sun has  finally arrived for more than one day here in the Seattle area. If it comes out, so do we!!

Portland for the day

High above Portland00 AM and I\'ve already been up for 2 hours...Ashley & WillieSettling inAshley & RachelBumpety, bumpety, clickety, clackety… We rolled down to Portland by train yesterday for an amazing day trip with the whole family – until an abrupt stop. Thankfully, the breakdown near Puyallup was temporary and we were on our way once again. Under mostly grey skies and 60 degrees, we took every imaginable mode of transportation that Portland had to offer: train, street car, aerial tram, and the max – oh yeah, and lots by foot, as we explored downtown Portland with the Mansfields and the help of Portlander and friend, Lynn Johnson. Besides riding on all these cool things, Bekah, Jordan and Matthew got to help the street car driver ready the tracks by switching them, tooting the horn, and revving the engine. While in Portland, we also enjoyed Powell’s City of Books and Finnigan’s Toy Store. Powell’s is an absolutely amazing store and is probably the size – if not bigger – than the Seattle Public Library. It dwarfs any other bookstore I’ve ever been in and I could have spent the whole afternoon in there. We also rode the aerial tram up the hill to OSHU. You’d have thought the kids were in Disneyland on a roller coaster the way they yelled and threw arms in the air when we started swinging at the tower!

Taking the train was a first for all of the kids. Schools on Trains is a program offered by Amtrak where school groups can ride between certain cities for a great rate. As part of Homeschooling His Way, we got the special pricing of only $10 round trip ($80 normally) per person. About 30 of us took this trip.

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