Today is a good place to be.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dirty Rainbows and Milo, the Deer

This morning at our walk in the Nature Park, we took the Big Fir Trail and went on an "animal hunt". Leila found several deer tracks. We were sure they were all around us, but we couldn't see them because they were dressed in brown, unlike us, dressed in blue and pink(Leila's thought process of course). We heard a lot of birds though, thinking they were either talking about a party they were going to have later tonight(my interpretation), or telling us to be quiet or we would scare the deer off(Leila's interpretation- where did she get that from...). Halfway thru the walk, Leila turned into Milo, a brave deer, who led us back to the van.

Nathan was pretty quiet and didn't want to run or walk ahead like Leila did and held my hand most of the time. He spotted lot of "people's" out on the trail and told me to to keep my eyes peeled for pine cones, and boy were there a lot. He also spotted several "dirty rainbows" on the trails. I was impressed with his ability to put his vocabulary together that way in a way that made total sense.
How wonderful it is to live so close to a bit of nature in an urban world.

They love eachother!

Here they are standing under a "dirty rainbow"

Here is "Milo" leading us to safety. If you notice her hands are up on her head- her swords- and if we get too close we will get poked (A formal warning or somthing).

(He is just so cute!)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Horse-back Riding

After a very fun but very quick trip to the beach with my girl friends(more on that in another blog after I get pics e-mailed to me), Jeremy and I loaded the kids up to go to a friends Birthday Party out at Chehalem Ranch in Newbergon Saturday Evening, April 26th. Leila's friend Shay turned 5 and she hosted a horse-back riding party! Cool! Everyone wants a friend who has cool parties like this-- right?

This ranch is pretty neat. They use Norwegian Fjord Horses to provide therapy to clients in all areas: physical, emotional, and mental. This breed possesses a gentle nature and a calm disposition. They do partys, of course, they do regular lessons, and they allow teenages with experience to teach as well. Both kids were a bit nervous when we walked up to the stables. They had thier bike helmets(Leila's had a unicorn, and Nathan was Cars-- what else, right?). They watched for a while. While kids rode around for a while the handlers would play simon says, then they would have the kids put rings on different color cones. Leila and Nate realized it was a lot of fun, so when it was thier turn, they went out to get on the horses. Well, Leila did. Nathan had a change of heart, but his sweet handler let him lead his horse for a little while, and then he built up his courage to take a ride. It was a fun party. The children enjoyed themselves and we had fun watching them. We were grateful to be invited to Shay's party. Thank you!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My headache- my silent partner

I have chronic pain. Headaches actually, but the pain is wide spread thruout my body at times. Everything hurts. Lately its been radiating down the left side of my body, even down to my ankle. I have noticed very strong correlation with stress, lack of sleep, too much junk food. I usually know my triggers. If I don't realize it, I can look back and trace back to what I did or didn't do that resulted in my pain. Just coming off of tax season I have been able to relax, and its been nice to let my body have some down time. I am hoping the pain will slow down a bit, but I have yet to see that happen.

Here is my history as if it were yours: I want you to imagine a life where you have headaches at least half of the time, if not more. These headaches can range from very mild so as you hardly notice them, to very severe- throbbing constantly, churning your stomach, sensitive to light and sound. You remember going home from school in the 6th grade due to headaches. You try to get relief with different methods. At the young age of 13, one doctor just kept upping the dosage of one medication until you became so sick from the medication that you figured that was worse than the headache itself. These actions have caused a you to avoid medications, even for good, at any cost. You try to only take medications at very last resort for the rest of your life. This experience has also caused you to be hesitant to bring up your situation to doctors the rest of your life. Your wonderful parents were very concerned. They watched the pain and were likely suffering right along with you. They sent you to Physical Therapy. Bio-Feedback. Counseling. Allergist. Even a neurologist. A CAT-scan proved your headaches were not anything serious, like life-threatening. You just needed to cope and learn to live with them.

Too much of your life was passing you by while you laid in bed, in pain. One day on the way home from 8th grade with a massive headache there were some rowdy boys on the bus. There was a discipline problem at the time and the bus driver made seating assignments. He happened to seat you next to several of these nasty boys, who were shoving and you were shoved against the window, hitting your head, making the headache even worse. By some miracle Dad and Amy happened to be waiting at the bus stop to pick you up that day, even though the walk was very short. In tears you got into the car. Dad was not as concerned(The headaches were old news and by now you have had them for years and people were getting a little bored with your drama-- they still love you, but you always have a headache... you will deal with this your entire life). But at home after you crawled into bed, in tears, because the pain is so great, your sweet sister Amy comes and checks on you. While you can't express your gratitude to her at the moment, your heart will never forget her tenderness. Your headaches have always been a silent battle that your parents have helped you fight, the sisters learned early to steer clear of their aching sister. (I am sure it was scarey for them too-- in fact until this moment I have never thought about it from their perspective.) That summer you gave up a fun week-long babysitting gig out at the John-Day Fossil Beds with a family at church because you were afraid of an attack. It seemed you would get a very bad attack once a week that required much time in bed, a blessing from Dad, and the the calm would return and you could be a teenager once again. Some travel agency sent a poster size picture of a very blue ocean. You put this up above your bed so when you laid in bed you could focus on the ocean and thing quiet relaxing thoughts. So much of what you are learning is relaxing, controlling your muscles, controlling your internal stress. So you have that figured out you think, so why do I still feel so much pain you wonder. A question that will haunt you the rest of your life.

Finally I learned to LIVE with headaches: When I started some temporary work and was still calling in sick like I stayed home from school I realized pretty quickly it wasn't acceptable to live this way in the real world. I had to get up and go no matter what my body was telling me. My body seemed to be lieing to me anyway, I hurt, but staying in bed didn't seem to be the answer, I didn't feel a whole lot better. Sure, it was nice NOT to have to do anything for a while, but when you are talking several times a week, and you are looking at paying rent and utilities, and now I have children to care for and many other responsibilities, I can't stop. I don't believe I am doing any damage by powering thru my pain. In fact, now that I am home I am finding the distraction of work and the object of getting up early and having something concrete to focus on almost made it easier to get thru the pain. So, until a doctor tells me I need to stay in bed, I won't change my ways. But, I won't go work out or do anything too crazy-- I do know my limits. I am on a daily medication that started helping in the beginning. Its been about a year and its not helping as much as when I first started, so I need to go in and adjust the dosage or get on something new, but we just switched insurance and I was using tax season as an excuse to not do much. I have this on my to-do list. And not to worry, I drink my water, stay away from the "bad food" on the lists the doctors put out, take my multi-vitamins, and a multitude of other things many well meaning friends and family suggest every time I might make mention of a headache.

Those immediately around me understand. My sweet children know about my headaches, sometimes they can't be quiet because, well, they are children. My husband is usually accommodating. By day three of a week-long headache he has usually had enough and stops helping out as much, but Hey, he helped out for three days! I think that is admirable! But sometimes he just doesn't think about the constant pain I am in, and how the inevitably makes me not a nice gal. I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone, however I do wish sometimes some of those around me could experience one of my headaches just to see what it was like.

I have had my prayer friends take me under their wings or wrap me in their spiritual arms for a time, and I have felt it. Most recently was during this past tax season I shared my pain with a very dear friend because I was coming very close to a breaking point, wanting and needing to completely withdraw and get on some major medication for pain. I also shared this with my sister. The night before I shared my pain, I was busy running errands. My pain was at an all-time high. I hurt every where. I took a double dose of pain medication, but was pressing on with errands(probably shouldn't have been with the double dose of pain pills, but hey, I am a busy gal! I gotta do what I gotta do!). That night in bed, the pain was so great I couldn't sleep (an aspect my darling husband doesn't understand at all, why not just sleep it off?) my mind was wandering because I felt so alone and helpless. At least the house was quiet with sleeping children and I could de-stress for a few moments on my own. My mind was heavy because at work I was worried about my sisters health(high blood pressure), and my Dad's memory issues. I laid in bed saying my prayers when my mind wandered to the girl in the bible with the "issue of blood" and all the faith she had in Jesus to be made whole again. This inspired me to actually get OUT of bed and kneel. I need to be more like this girl, show my faith in my actions and ask to be made whole. I was able to sleep. That in and of itself was a relief. Nathan joined us at some point during the night, but it didn't disturb me. I woke up still in pain, and very emotional from the pain, the stress, all my worries. I was so grateful for a full nights rest. I shared this experience with my dear friend Marcie and my sister Amy. Their prayers started working(I have feeling Marcie shared my need of prayers), and by the end of the day I was feeling pretty good. The next day too. What a miracle. A miracle of prayer. A miracle of friends. A miracle of faith. Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. -Martin Luther King Jr.

I had a major break-thru: If this pain was not from a headache and from some debilitating or life threatening disease like cancer, I would be so grateful to have time with my children, or friends, that no matter my pain, I would make the most of every single minute. So, just because the headache isn't killing me doesn't mean I shouldn't live as if today is the last day I might experience the simple goodness of my life. We never know when our last day of life will be... I don't want to waste it in my bed. I don't want to waste it complaining about my aches and pains. (Note: This doesn't mean I still won't have my days when I can't get out of bed for several hours, or won't whine for a minute or two. I am trying, I really am!) There is a good chance when you ask me how I am, if I don't answer "good" or "great" that means I am hurting. Also, if you notice I can't remember a word or two, or if my wrinkle between my eyes is a little deeper, or the color under my eyes a little darker, likely I am hurting. But play along... I don't want to dwell on my pain, I don't want you to either. I don't want my silent partner in life to win any precious minutes of my life.

A First for Nathan- Quick, take a pic

So today my Son wore his very first Band-Aid. He turned three in DECEMBER. Why am I remarking on this? He hates band-aids. My Daughter will put a band-aid on a pen mark or a mole. She even put a band-aid on mark on a wall once, but my sweet Nathan doesn't like band-aids. He gets hurt and rarely wants to be fussed over. He has needed band-aids in the past, and we have forced him to sit with us while we put pressure on his owie in hopes we can skip the band-aid step, and thanfully we were able to skip it.
He had a doozy of a scrape on his hand about a week or two ago, it wasn't so bad, but the scab was bad and it kept getting caught on things and it hurt him, it bled all over again. Just let us bandage it up buddy! At my dear friend Kimberlys house on Tuesday his jacket pulled the scab again and it started bleeding. She tried to entice him with a Sponge Bob Band-aid. He was having none of that and declared Leila needed to hold it. Of course she found a very old owie that really needed to be covered up with it, so I let her, not really sure there was actually an owie there. He found it on the floor this morning and asked me to put it on him. I was so excited he was up for it I didn't even care it was gently used. It had lost its adhesive, so I pulled out my adhesive from scrapbooking and made it work. He did put it on his owie, even thogh it had healed up. At the store today he picked out his own box of NASCAR band-aids and he is wearing a new one right now.
Have we turned a corner?
Will I be able to perform basic first aid on my very accident prone three year old?
Stay tuned for developments in this case...

"Look- its a car"

Leila needed some "Hello Kitty" band-aids since Nathan got his car ones.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day - Daddy does his part

Look at this clean air-- did you know My Husband, my babies Daddy, helps with this clean air! OK, so I guess I am bragging a bit... but Jeremy is at a new job and I haven't really connected with it. Not until today. I liked his previous job because he helped with the design of "Technology Furniture" at Antrho Corp. I knew the product, could explain it, have a desk in our office, have a really cute picture of him as a "model" in front of some of thier product hanging in our office. I could identify with it, so I liked it. He changed jobs begining of this year and I was uncomfortable with the change,and I realized it was because I didn't really know what the new product was all about.

Until today that is. Jeremy sent home a pretty cool article on what they build at Climax Portable Machine and Tooling, Inc. They made the Front Cover of the April issue of Clean Energy Magazine. This issue’s cover includes a picture of a Climax Circular Mill being used to machine wind power towers such as the picture above. I am not sure how long these links will be good-- and honestly I can not say I read the entire article, but I finally realized its a cool company, even though I will likely never have any of thier product in my home, its good for the environment, and they have been around a long time and will stay around a long time. The best thing about this company is my husband seems pretty happy there. A happy husband is a good thing.
Link to the company's web page:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tax Season is Over OR is 20 years Enough Already?

So April 15th is a Holiday-- for everyone, right? Well it has been for the Fredericks since my family made the pilgramage from Utah to Oregon back in 1986. That was when my Father, the CPA, started up his own Tax Service Business. We had no idea we were in for two decades of "Tax Seasons" and the stress that goes along with it. And it was truly a Family Event.

In the begining Dad rented a little apartment on 1st and Washington in Hillsboro Oregon. He lovingly made us "Salut" his office whenever we would drive past it. We had a very white, diseal station wagon he bought at a car auction with his good buddy Ken(One reason I can not own a station wagon today) that he would park on the corner there in hopes somone would accidentally side swipe to total it. Luckily it did break down before I started driving and I didn't have to endure driving to High School. Sorry Mar and Amy, that couldn't have been fun. Anyway-- on those days he worked in his office we wouldn't see much of him during his busy time. We missed our Dad after him being off work for about a year before our move to Oregon. But he was happy and it was starting to be a succesful little business. Life must have been rough for my Mom during those time too, but we made do. After Dad felt he was established enough, and once Marella moved out leaving the downstairs office open, he was able to move his business home. This was a bit nicer since we could look in at him while he worked, or plop down beside him once we got home from school and say hi.

Since all of us worked so hard to keep our family in check with Dad gone so much, lets Celebrate that its finally over! Lets go to Izzy's! It was affordable! And for us young kids , ages 7-16, a buffet was always somthing everyone could agree on. Izzy's became a fast tradition and we have gone there ever since. Over the years its been fun to take up tables, and as the grandkids joined us the tables have grown. There was one year when Jacob was just a little guy, and he ate ice cream after ice cream. The final count being around 6-7 I think. Amy didn't mind, she was sending him to his Dad's that night, who by the way misses Tax Night since leaving our family! The entire family has enjoyed our tradition, while some of us have tried to change the local(My Mom and I being the ones who have voice the greatest desire), it just isn't the end of tax season without Izzy's.

Having a Dad as a CPA has its advantages. He works like crazy from Jan- April, but he is a lot more flexible the rest of year. We were able to take Frederick Family Skip Days in May or June, heading over to the beach hoping it was nice over there(Being Oregon we had some days when we would have had more luck staying in our back yard!). We had a few battles with the seagulls who just helped themselves to our food that wasn't in coolers. He was around to make quick trips with us in the afternoon. He started taking over the back to school shopping and bought way more than Mom because "it just looked so cute" on us! We definately developed a different relationship with our Dad because we spent so much time with him in the "off season". Time we are all grateful that we have.

This year we were missing: Jacob, Bethany, and Richard. :o) But the rest of the wild group was there.... and here is proof(Joseph didn't make it in a photo darn it-- he was moving too fast)!

Britlee met us in the parking lot! Izzy's here we come!

The kids were under a table having some fun.

Pheww.... we did it sis! Its finally April 15th!

Yes, my dad has my purse on his head... strange I know. But this is what Tax Season does to us. It really makes us a little bit crazy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

That Darn Cat!

OK, so I am not a cat person, and I have two blogs about Ali?

Well, she sure is trouble... somthing was missing when we walked in from our garage.

It was a plant. Ali is getting big enough to jump up on the counters and the breakfast bar that we use a plant stand.
Such excitment!!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Things I Am Thankful For...

My Husband- He is so sweet with me and takes good care of our life together.
My Kids- I love hearing their little conversations together, even if they don't quite make sense. I am glad they are each others best friends.
My Dad- I am so glad I can laugh with him.
My Mom- She keeps my Dad busy when we need her to.
My Sisters- My forever friends.
Prayer- it works. I will post a blog on an experience I had this last week, but I have a few friends(including a sister) in particular that seem to move mountains when they pray for me.
Water- drinking, showering, keeping my plants from wilting.
My laser jet printer that my sister gave me- it prints so nicely!
The first sunny day when we don't need a jacket outside. Yea!
Seeing my daughters joy over a dozen ducklings following thier momma in a parking lot, and her wanting to sharing that joy with me.
Kissing my sweet boy and feeling his little arms around my neck, hugging me back.
Healthy bodies, heatlhy minds. Strong shelter, strong convictions. Loving heart, loving family.

I have so much to be thankful for. I am tired, my head aches, and when I try to sleep I can't. Life is truly crazy right now. But, when I pause to reflect on those things I have I can't help but be grateful for what is around me. I have no reason to be anxious, no reason to worry. I have all I have ever wanted. The stress is temporary and will be looked back on as a learning experience on this long journey to this person called Me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Simple Bear Necessities or Gotta Dance!

OK-- so this is a long video(Almost 5 minutes)-- very cute, but you have to really LOVE my children to endure it all. If you DO LOVE my children, you will be happy you watched the entire thing.

Leila takes center stage, but Nathan makes some very short, but very funny cameo appearances(first one at about a minute, so hang in there). They both take a bow at the end.

Sorry about turning the camera vertical, wasn't thinking.....

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fun with Yarn, or Trouble with a capital "T"

His Grandmothers will be proud. Both Jeremy's mom and my mom are very handy with a knitting and crocheting needle. In fact this yarn came from Jeremy's mother attempt to teach me some crochet back when I was on leave with Leila. I was upstairs for just a few minutes, probably doing laundry or who knows what, and I noticed it very quiet. Leila and Nathan had gotten into the yarn downstairs. The Yarn was tightly wrapped around the couch behind Nathan too. It was quit snug around his neck, as you can see he is not flashing his famous smile to get him out of trouble. In fact I had to help him fight off a bit of panic. I had to use scissors to cut the yarn off. Leila was involved. To what extent I will never know, she kept her distance when she saw things getting WAY out of hand!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Relay for LIFE!

When you think of CANCER, do you think FUN?

No-- most people don't. But I can change your mind! Last year we had fun while raising money for the American Cancer Soceity RELAY FOR LIFE, Forest Grove. Fun, and hard work. We all get tired from lack of sleep, over exertion and so much going on around us, but hey, is only 24 hours! Here is a picture of two of my favorite men "bumping bellies":

They were really good sports, my husband and brother-in-law. I can't remember who won, but a good time was had by those of us watching. I am not sure they should quit thier day jobs and become sumo wrestlers, but it was definately funny. Amy and I never laughed so hard.

Here Jeremy and I are climbing the rock wall:

I did fine going up-- felt really cool and like I was quite the woman. They said, once you get up there, all you have to do is let go and your body weight will slowly rapelle you down. Jeremy got up before me and let himself down before me(such chivalry!). I got to the top and realized I wasn't so sure about letting go. My family was yelling, "Just let go!" The Army guys were yelling, "No troubles, just let go, it rapelles you nice and slow." But I couldn't find it in myself to "JUST LET GO!" I am not afraid of heights, but maybe I am afraid of my body weight. Suddenly I was not secure in the pully system in place. I wished I had lost a bit more weight at that point! LOL. Obviously I did let go. My legs were a bit weak and I landed on my bum. But I did it and I loved it. Jeremy thought I looked cute in the harness! I think I could get into this for real someday. When my kids are bit older, maybe when they will do it with me?

Here are some other fun pics. Diane was our Survivor- we were excited to have her with us this year. Last year was newly diagnosed and didn't feel up to coming out. Its amazing our kids stayed with us. The HOPE sign burned all night and reminded us all why we were doing this. You can see our Monkey, and the monkey's inside our campsite! Fun fun fun!

At Relay, people from within the community gather to celebrate survivors, remember those lost to cancer, and to fight back against this disease. Relay participants help raise money and awareness to support the American Cancer Society in its lifesaving mission to eliminate cancer as a major health issue. During Relay For Life events, teams of people gather at schools, fairgrounds, or parks and take turns walking or running laps. The events are held overnight to represent the fact that cancer never sleeps. Through the survivors’ lap and the luminaria ceremony, we honor the people who have faced cancer first hand, and we remember those who have been lost to this disease.
I chose Relay for Life, Forest Grove because of my dear Grandmother Margaret Estelle Rice Frederick. It is held at Neil Armstrong Middle School, however when I started years ago, it was held at Forest Grove High School, which we could see from my Grandparents backyard. Grandma passed away from cancer around 11 years ago. But sadly, she isn't the only we have lost to cancer. In my family we lost my cousin Scotty at the very young age of 16, my Uncle Jack on my mothers side, and others I wasn't as close to. My husbands Grandfather Larry also fell victim. I personally have lost several friends. But we also have many friends who are survivors of Cancer. They are true heros. My favorite part of Relay is the Luminaria Ceremony. At night they light candles in "Honor Of" or in "Memory Of" loved ones. These candles are put in white bags that are decorated and they line the tracks, and this is how our walk is lit all night long. Its a very reverent and special time to really reflect on our loved ones. It makes what we are doing mean that much more.
Last year my entire family came out. It was rainy and cold, which was nice compared to the year before when we had temps well over 100 degrees, but only my family and kids, and the teenagers spent the night. We had fun. The event has entertainment thru out the entire time. Teams all have different things going on. I love the memories we create. I have to say it is a lot of work, and I end up doing most of it, but its important to me to have a team, and I do get a lot of support. So here we go again!
This year I am on the committee as Advocacy Chair. Last year I did publicity. I took on publicity as there had not been one previously, and all the work I did was immediate relief to the Event Chair. Since no one else had ever stepped up, everything I did was a lot more than previously done! Yahoo! Points for me! Same deal with Advocacy-- I am the first. So I can set the bar however low or high I want to. My main goal is educate people on what ballot measures are out there to vote on, how to get registered to vote if they are not already, and how we can make a difference in Salem. Lets make our state a cancer free state! How is that for excitement?
This years event will be held at Neil Armstrong Middle School, July 11-12 6PM-6PM. My team is the Barrel of Monkeys. This years theme is "Decade of Relay" so our team needs to choose a decade(Past or future) to decorate our campsite as. Please email me with any ideas of what we should do. Should be a lot of fun! I invite all of my friends and family(Family should plan on it since I count on you to be my walkers) to join us. There will be the rock wall again, the silent auction, music, fun!
I really hope my friends will be able to come and see what I am talking about. My family has been so supportive, but this is so much fun. Everywhere you look you see people with a unified purpose, and its overwhelming to think we contributing to eliminating cancer and may very well see a day when we will not loose another loved one to this terrible disease!

If you want to donate feel free. I more than invite you to come-- I expect it!

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Click here to view the team page for Barrel of MonkeysIf the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: