Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fresh From Heaven

We welcomed a new little grandbaby to the Gale Family:

Mabel Sienna was born to Seth and Taylor
last Saturday morning.
She weighed 6 lb. 4 oz.

Mama Taylor had a short labor and delivery and the 
proud parents were holding their sweet daughter seven hours
after Taylor's water broke in the wee hours of Saturday morn--

So Precious! And look at that hair!

Mother and daughter

Aunt Siara stopped by to visit.

Here's a blurry, pixelated picture of Seth as a newborn--
just to make note of the hair similarity... was cropped from this awesome picture of Seth being
welcomed by his older siblings. 

I have to wait a couple of weeks to welcome this newest little one in person--her early arrival caught us all a little off guard. I am dying to get her in my arms and start the Nana spoiling!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Another Vacation Highlight

During our week of Disney, I spent a fun day with our granddaughters chilling at the hotel.
I wanted to give their parents a day to play child-free.

We did the laundry and you know, riding in the elevator,
putting quarters in the washer and dryer and 
watching the clothes spin around
proved to be great fun!

I enjoyed the air conditioned comfort and the girls enjoyed
hotel furniture gymnastics.

We went down to the pool grill for lunch and enjoyed some
On Site

(This made me a little crazy--you know how I am about grammar and spelling)
Technically, it was On Site Dinning when 
baby June wanted a drink of Norah's smoothie,
there was some very loud protesting...
And then Norah kindly shared with her by accidentally dumping it in her lap.
But, since we were just an elevator ride away from a bathtub,
not a problem!

After naptime and an afternoon snack, we met up with the rest of our gang for dinner. 
The next morning when Nicole got the girls up for another day of The Magic Kingdom,
 she told me they asked,
 "Can we stay here with Nana again? That was fun!"

So when it comes to entertainment, Nana's right up there with Disney.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

Remember when I used to keep a blog? 
 I begin posts
of questionable importance and then I get interrupted 
and they are left to hang out in the archives gathering dust...

Here's one:
We went to Disney World.
This was a long over-due promise kept.
When Shane and Sam were wee young-uns, we planned a family vacation to Disney World.
A few months before, we were at the Oregon coast on a very busy holiday week-end at a very crowded beach and Sam decided to find his own way to the restroom. 
(We had been momentarily distracted by Seth on a beach bike, running
 into a poor, defenseless elderly lady.) 
Sam, being the independent three-year-old that he was, didn't feel any need to ask for adult supervision to negotiate the crowd and made his way alone to the bathrooms far, far away.
Just as I was in full hysteria and Andy had recruited the life-guard to help us look for him, Sam came sauntering nonchalantly across the sand..
That was the moment I realized I could not handle eight children in a crowded amusement park.
But six seemed doable.
So, for their safety and my sanity, we got an awesome babysitter to spend the week with the little boys. And we  promised  we would take them when they were a little older. 

So, fifteen years later, promise fulfilled.


Anywho, we tagged along with Scott, Nicole and those adorable little granddaughters.
We enjoyed all of the Disney fun in varying groups and worked the Fastpass system with
great precision thanks to the Gale Force Logic Team.

The little girls did the Princess Tour

I think my princesses are pretty sweet!

It was a real Princess Palooza! 

Their Daddy was cast in the role of Palace Guard during
 the theatrical performance of
Enchanted Tales With Belle--
he was a good sport and quite the actor:

And Bailey had a starring role as Belle's father.
She gave a stunning performance--shivering in prison.

Sam and Shane's childhood Dream-come-true
(If you wish upon a star...makes no difference who you are!)
Getting a hug from Tigger!

And we conclude this post with a cute picture of the ever-adorable
Sitting in a Dinosaur Restaurant.
In Disney World.
With a dinosaur hat on her head.
Good times.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nest Obsessed

Here's what is going on at the moment here in our neck of the woods:

I noticed that this poor, dehydrated plant needed a drink. 
So I grabbed a pitcher and stretched up to pour
some water into it.
As I tipped the pitcher into the plant, a bird flew out!
Then another bird...
I was so stunned I just stood there and tried
to make sense of what would draw a bird to that
sad, droopy hanging plant.

I thought maybe there were some bugs or seeds of some sort in there.
I grabbed a stepladder and climbed up to take a look.

I was amazed to see this beautiful little nest
nestled into the neglected petunia plant.
The "Robin's Egg Blue" of Robins' eggs is
just so beautiful--it makes my heart sing
with joy just looking at those eggs.
I am an unabashed fan of the beauties of the earth and
I am constantly amazed and awed by the 
variety of creation we are privileged to enjoy!

I have been so obsessed with the nest that
I set up a spy station in the garage. 
I can stand on a ladder and see through the window without
disturbing the Robin parents as they keep careful watch over
their little Robin embryos. 
Luckily I missed the eggs when I watered the plant and the birds
came back to their little hanging love nest.

Of course I had to research everything I could find on the life and times of 
the industrious and cheerful Robin:

(This one has recordings of their Dawn Song and their other calls!)

The eggs need 12 to 14 days of incubation before they hatch. Since I had
neglected my petunia plant for so long, I'm not sure when the eggs were laid.
But don't worry, I will be checking regularly from my spy post in the garage for the 
baby Robins' big debut!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Reflecting on a Jar of Costco Pickles

Gentle Reader,
To say that life has been hectic would be an understatement. So much to blog about, so little time. Add to that the complete meltdown of my old faithful laptop. The one I held onto even when I got a new one for Christmas. I liked blogging on it because I knew exactly how to do everything on it. I'm an old dog who is slow to learn new tricks. It had a major overheating problem but I had learned to work around it. Until one Sunday morning when I printed off something for church and left it open and running without propping it up for air to circulate under it. I came home from church to find it cold and unresponsive. Since my in-house IT Support is on a mission, I was left to stare at it in shock and disbelief. How could I have been so careless?

So I am forced to stop living in the past and get on board with the new technology--which of course will be obsolete in a few months. I may even update my iPhone. Sam will be so proud. It's just that I like things the way they are. I am resistant to change. Which is probably why I keep getting forced opportunities to experience change and deal with it.

Life goes on as they say and I am adjusting to relocating (again) at the same time I am adjusting to the shift in my family dynamics. For so long I have enjoyed the happy chaos of a full house. For years it has been my daily routine to do three loads of laundry (minimum) and cook large quantities of food. I did not know the meaning of peace and quiet and couldn't imagine "alone time". I rarely had the luxury of thinking an uninterrupted thought and anytime I needed to talk on the phone, it turned into a game of hide and seek while I tried to find a quiet place as my children followed me from room to room and closet to closet with their loud insistence that I was desperately needed. I was up early with seminary goers and up late for heart-to-heart discussions and then on call through the night for nursings, bad dreams, sniffles, tummy aches or sometimes just that unnerving stare from a child standing by my bed that would startle me out of slumber.

It was my life and I wholly embraced it. It was my work and my glory to bring to pass the mortality and daily sustenance of those souls I had been entrusted with and I  was determined to give it my all.  I knew that one day these amazing people would grow up and go out on their own. Some days it didn't seem to be happening fast enough...but then Scott went off to BYU and suddenly it was like someone hit the fast forward and  he was on a mission and Siara was at BYU then Shanna followed her. And on it went one after the other until we were down to Sam and Shane, collectively known as the "little boys". Not so little any more.

So that brings us to now.  Our refrigerator/freezer got zapped by a power surge during a lightening storm while we happened to be out of town. We came home to the stench of rotting food and had to throw it all out and start over. I headed to Costco to replenish our food supply and began the familiar trek up and down the aisles. I came to the pickles and  looked at the gigantic jar of delicious kosher dills. I started to reach for it and then stopped as I was flooded with the realization that since Andy is working in California and Sam would be leaving in a few days for his mission, it would just be me and Shane. My life flashed before my eyes as I thought of all the giant jars of pickles we had consumed. Including many jars of pickles we canned from the cucumbers we grew in our garden. I thought of our food storage in Camas with its shelves and shelves of food staples including a shelf of pickles. I was blinking back tears and trying to remain composed as I drew back my hand. I would need to buy a small jar of pickles at the Big Y on my way home. Although the shrinking of our household happened gradually, suddenly my realization of it came in a cosmic shift. Standing in front of the pickles in my local Costco.

 I pondered this as I drove home--I was alone in the car and free to think uninterrupted thoughts! The truth is although the household is shrinking, our family--like the universe,is expanding. It has grown with the addition of spouses and grandchildren. I can accept the changes that keep coming because I know one thing that does not change: our family is eternal. And some of them  don't even like pickles.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Here We Go Again

The Gale Academy of Classical Education is on hiatus for the week so here is an opportunity to do some catching up. 
A list of recent happenings:

We found out that we have a couple of more Gale grandbabies on the way. 
Always joyous news! The Seth and Taylor Gale family have officially announced. That sweet little blessing is due in September. 
That is all I am authorized to say. 

Sam is almost finished with his freshman year at BYU. We got this notice in the mail:

He was invited into BYU's honor society due to his
"...early academic achievement at Brigham Young University"
He joins Siara who also earned that prestigious honor. 

He received his mission call to the California, Los Angeles (Spanish speaking) Mission. He reports to the Mexico City MTC June 11th. 

Spencer will be graduating from BYU next week.

 We are heading out to Utah for graduation and during our whirlwind trip, Andy will ordain Sam an Elder and we will all go to the temple with him to receive his endowment. So, overlapping happy family milestones! 
Spencer has earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and he and Adrianna will be heading out to Wisconsin to begin gainful employment right after graduation. Well done! Graduation and a real job! 

Also, this happened:
General Conference with CONFERENCE BINGO!
They ate all the Skittles right away so coloring was a fun way to fill in the squares.

Scott and Nicole and fam were here for Conference livening
things up for us.

I got to spend a week with these two princesses.
There was a lot of Frozen going on around here--
including some fun braided hairstyles.

Norah made the crown and dubbed herself
"Queen Norah"
She also planned a party. When she read the announcement and invitation she was
so cute, Shane and I laughed. She became quite indignant 
and decreed:
"No laughing at Norah! No laughing at the party!"
It was hard not to defy her Royal Decree!

This was the creative party favor she came up with.

These two loved sleeping in the "Big pretty bed" and were
merciful on their old Nana and slept really well. Bailey had some
growing pains the last night so I moved Norah to another room and laid down beside Bailey to rub her feet and her leg. At one point she was crying and I felt so
bad for her. I asked her if she wanted to say a prayer and she wailed,
"Nana, I can only do one thing at a time and I am crying right now!"

And, in conclusion,  you may already know that this is also going on around here:
Another move...
Clear back across the continent to
Deja vu. 

Another job lured Andy away and he started there last Monday. 
Shane and I shall hold down the fort here until someone buys the fort.
I am in denial--the first step in the mourning process. 
Although I have done a lot of packing in spite of my delusional thinking.
I will let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, we have  been blessed beyond measure in so many ways I am going to trust that we will be where we need to be and our family will continue to grow and progress in all the ways we need to.