Category Archives: Project 366

A Civil Skirmish

Today, the kids and I attended a Civil War Re-enactment at a State Park about 90 minutes from our home. With only about 150 soldiers (both sides combined) it was more of a skirmish than a war, but that didn’t stop ‘em.

Conferderate Zoave Soldiers
The Confederate Army carried the day, mostly because of superior artillery support.

We all had a good time, viewing the battle and touring the encampments. Many of the Civil War buffs were available for questions, and would hold forth on their role in the battle or camp for 20 minutes at a time, much to the dismay of David and Sarah.

Photo op with a Union Cavalry officer
This man must be a lot tougher than he looks, because he was shot dozens of times and stayed in the saddle.

Project 366, Day 271

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You May Be Tall But …

I changed your diaper.

Sometimes there are irrational, odd thoughts racing around my mind. I’m not proud of them. Mostly I manage to keep them all to myself.

how'd they get so tall?

Next thing you know they’ll be asking for my car keys. Gasp!

Tonight Joshua and I drove our visiting guest to the airport. Looking at the pictures of me flanked by these tall young men with their deepening voices, long legs and huge feet I couldn’t help but think one thing:

I knew you both when you were babies with chubby cheeks and kissable toes…I changed your diapers.

I know, it’s embarrassing and a bit shocking – such talk should be avoided at all costs. I can’t help it. I’m a mother and the years have raced on ahead of me. I see the handsome, godly grownups you are becoming, but in the shadow, visible if I peer closely, I still see my firstborn baby and his little friend.

Give me your sword

Sigh. Go on, grow up. There doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it.

Help me!

You can tell I accept my aging gracefully.

Project 366 – Day 232

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My Equestrian

We rescued Rachel from the perils of horse camp this morning. She’s been slaving away this past week, caring for the horses (can you say “mucking stables?”), taking riding lessons, playing in the lake and learning more about the Lord.

It’s a difficult life.

rachel's in the lead

here she goes

it's the finish line

This morning there was a show for the parents. What an incredible sight to see Rachel horseback riding so confidently.

A huge thank goes out to Rachel’s close friends, Jenny and Sarah, and their sisters who helped with Rachel’s camp fees. You girls are awesome!!!

rachel and sarah

Rachel and Sarah greet the campers.

We’re very glad to have Rachel home, safe and sound.


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A Visiting Dignitary

On Wednesday one of Joshua’s oldest friends flew into town for a visit. David’s mom, a few years older than me, was one of my spiritual mentors while I was in high school and college. She sang at my wedding and has been a dear friend for many years. Last summer while we were visiting David’s family in Michigan, we casually discussed the idea of David coming to Washington for a visit some time.

swimming in MI

Joshua, David and a random little brother hit the pool hard last June.

“Sure! We’d love to have him,” I said enthusiastically. It’ll never happen, I thought to myself. This is just one of those friendly, polite comments people make when they want to convey their affection.

“Mom,” Joshua said to me several months later, “David and I have been writing back and forth. You know, letters with paper, envelopes and stamps, I’m sure you’ve heard of the US Postal Service. Anyway, he mentioned something about coming to visit this summer. I told him which weeks were good for us. I just wanted to let you know.”

“Mmmm, that’s nice dear,” I responded, giving him my “absolute full attention” while making dinner, listening to my new cd and refereeing a fight between Daniel and Rachel. “Those boys, full of wild plans,” I mused.

Three weeks ago I received a voice mail from Nancy, David’s mom. “Kathy, we’re so excited. We’ve got reservations for David. How is the third week of August? Call me back. We’re buying the tickets tonight!”

What?? I was truly delighted, yet a little surprised. I didn’t really believe they would send David all the way across the country (okay, partly across the US) to see Joshua. What a treat! Joshua and I made plans to fill the time and show David some of our favorite parts of Washington.

Get off the island, David!

great jump!

Sometimes you have to push those good friends OFF!

Prospective Activities

1) An afternoon at the lake
2) An overnight in the Duckabush
3) A hike up around Mt. Rainier
4) A day in Seattle
5) As many board games as we can fit in between our adventuring.

back from the lake

The Duckabush River is COLD! These boys actually went IN the river. Brrrrr.

Perfect! It doesn’t hurt that the weather has been gorgeous this week. Lots of sunshine and warm days. In fact, it might be just a little too warm for Joshua. He prefers the typical Washington climate which hovers in the low 60′s. And he actually likes rain.

We’ve greatly enjoyed David so far. He’s polite, helpful and pleasant to be around (he and Joshua even made dinner tonight). The only grievance against him is that he is actually taller than Joshua, and has been for quite a while.

“He cheats,” Joshua confided. “Both his parents are rather tall.”

Tim and I aren’t pipsqueaks, but we both felt rather diminished by the comparison.

Apart from that, though, David is good company (he’s a gamer) and a great friend for Joshua. Into every relationship, a little rain must fall, I guess.

Anyone else want to come for a visit?

Call first!

Project 366, Day 228

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Endurance Hiker

In these troubled times, it pays to have a guidebook.

For example, when choosing a hike for an afternoon outing, it might be helpful to read these words, describing a trail I chose, somewhat at random:

Goat Peak #958C — 2.8 miles

A very steep, long climb with no water, this trail is for the endurance hiker. At the summit of Goat Peak there are views from Glacier Peak to Mt. Adams and everything in between. Slippery when wet, with an elevation gain of 2600 feet, the trail is closed to horses. The trailhead is at Hells Crossing.

I’ve been called a number of things, but ‘endurance hiker’ is not one of them.

Boys of Chinook Pass
We stopped for a quick picture at Chinook Pass, on our way to the east side of Mt. Rainier.

The boys and I attended the our church’s annual Men and Boys Campout, which I wrote about last year. This year, we brought along two other boys, and had a nice time. The weekend event is pretty unstructured (purposefully), so we camped, whittled, rode horses, built forts, played in the river, poked sticks in the fire and hiked to Goat’s Peak.

A boy and his hatchet ...
Our hatchet figured prominently in many of these activities.

I guess the trail’s origin at Hell’s Crossing should have been a clue. I sought advice from the event organizer, a semi-retired pastor who administrates at our church and heads up Men’s Ministries.

Weekend Cowboys
Everyone who wanted to (and even some who didn’t) got a chance to ride.

“It’s a little steep,” Dale cautioned me, “but not too bad. I used to hike up there quite often,” he assured me breezily.

I probably should have remembered that Dale used to train with runners competing for a place on the U.S. Olympic team.

A man and his faithful steed
No horses were injured in the filming of this blog.

As we set off up the trail, my heart sank. Leading the way, Joshua strode out as though the incline were a minor annoyance; I found myself gasping for breath after taking only 50 steps.

“Tell … ya … what,” I huffed, long pauses between each word. “How ’bout you guys take one of these whistles, and give a blast if you need help. I’ll keep one as well, and you boys wait for me from time to time.”

What's keeping you, Dad?
A relatively flat part of the trail …

David charitably kept me company, providing me an excuse for going so slow. Every 20 minutes or so, I’d catch up with the rest of the boys, who were usually lying around on rocks, chafing at the bit to be off. “What took you so long, Dad? We had time to build a lean-to and whittle a staff … “, Daniel asked, reproachfully.

“David … has … short … legs … “, I wheezed, hoping to pacify him with a true, but irrelevant fact.

Heroic poses
“Is that the peak? Or maybe that one over there?

Eventually (after several tries) we reached what we thought was the top of Goat Peak. For a long time, the trail slithered up a ridge and across several saddles, so we were never entirely sure. We later discovered the trail was part of a larger, 27-mile path, which had duped many a hiker before us into miles of extra climbing. Based on the topographical map I checked, the vertical rise was as much as 3000 feet to where we called it a day.

At the top?
I declared this the top, by the authority vested in me …

The older boys laughed and skipped down the trail to the parking lot, while I plodded downward with David. Due to a knee injury I sustained as a parachutist in the Army, I can’t really go very fast downhill, so they were snacking and guzzling root beer at the car for a good while before David and I arrived.

My faithful companion
David didn’t seem to mind that I was so slow.

That night, knee throbbing, I hobbled from the car to the campsite, while the boys sprinted around, playing tag. “This whole ‘aging’ thing is not very well managed,” I mused, remembering my own youth. I used to squander my energy playing Ultimate Frisbee and such, never realizing how briefly that strength would be available to me.

Goat Peak, or maybe not
We never were sure, even from the road, which peak we had climbed. Maybe this one?

Maybe my current ‘exercise plan’ (mostly involves moving my computer mouse) has something to do with my lack of physical prowess?

American River
Um, that river is glacier-fed, isn’t it?

Nah, probably not. :)

Project 366, Day 222

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