Thursday, September 14, 2017

Summer Summary

This summer was crazy. Not kidding. I graduated on June 10th and the next two weeks were finishing up piano and harp and going to lots of recitals. The last week of June was wrapped up with VBS or as we say it at our church "VBC" (Vacation Bible Camp). Then the first week of July, we went to La Pine with our cousin and grandparents for a whole week. After living in that dry climate (note: I will never agree to live in a desert), we headed home for a day before camp. Grant and I spent six days there, got grounded in theology and apologetics while Rowan and Rose experienced adventure and horse camp without having to stay overnight. Mom came to pick us up from camp and told me that
1. I'd been asked to play the harp for the pastor's daughter's wedding.... and 2. we were to leave for Leavenworth, a little Bavarian like town in 5 days as a graduation trip together. 
Leavenworth was so beautiful! I had been there only once when I was about ten in the winter but now it was summer and there were hanging baskets, and balconies, and grass covered roofs! We stayed in a little cottage that had a Romans verse written in bold red letters up the curved stairway and an old, ancient piano in a little nook off from the entryway. Here are some pictures of the cottage ~ The picture on the left is of one of the sheds. Notice the grass lavishing the top. The pic. on the right is of the stately courtyard of Abendblume, the cottage's name.


Here is Mom and I having our morning tea in the hand carved dining room
We went to a play the last night in Leavenworth. It was called Sound of Music....I know you know it....and it was acted out of doors in the hills. An orchestra played and the play went on as the sky darkened. During the last part, the stars were out and all the actors and actresses sang Edelweiss while the little band of musicians played on and on. It was very pretty, once in a life time kind of moment. Mom and I traipsed home down the long dark trail, for the play was up in the hills quite a ways, made longer by switchbacks.
 After that night, we went to Parkdale and decided to visit the rest of the family who were scrounging it out camping. They said they were sick of the dogs barking at the other campers so we took them home for the night. Now I'm pretty sure if we hadn't had the dogs, we would have had a cup of tea and gone to bed for the night. But we did have the dogs, and Comet decided that she wanted to make her toilet again before bedtime. So Mom opened the door, Comet rushed out, and we both hear a sharp bark of pain. And then the odor....seeped in through the screen door, accompanied by whimpering. Now I'm not sure it was a skunk, for it smelled like a strong chemical or burnt rubber. There is a fox that sprays an odor around our area so maybe it was that? Whatever it was, Comet was in misery! Her eyes were watering, the smell was overpowering. Mom rushed for soapy water and made me grab the baking powder to annihilate the fumes. We shut poor Commie up in the barn and went to bed exhausted.
Later the next day, Dad, Grant, Rowan, and Rose came home, smelly but happy. Gabrielle came up to spend the night and we all picked blueberries at a local place. After we came back home and had company over, I reunited with a friend from Mexico. We had been pen pals since our trip. Rachel and I walked and talked through a book store together where we met since our homes are so far apart. We had a wonderful time together!



The next day, we prepared food and food and smiles for a family of 13 who were coming over at 5 pm. Well they ended up staying until 12 am! Three of them didn't end up coming (one of them is married) but everyone else came! They're the kind of people who you laugh and smile so much with your mouth hurts....literally.
Two days later we headed to Seattle to meet Great Aunt Karen and Great Uncle Dennis from Texas with their son-in-law and daughter. That was a fun trip!
On Wednesday, the Martins came from North Dakota! We met at a park and then they came over to our house for dinner. We hadn't seen each other in so long but everyone acted the same as they always had.
Farewell time! Order of people from left: Raleigh, Mom, Rowan
Order of people from left: Raleigh, Mom, Dad, Conner



The rest of August was more camps for the boys and Parkdale adventures. And then school came...Grant went to CAM and I started working on Ebay and Rowan and Rose started up school with Mom.

Weather Reports:
Weird weather going on lately! The total sun eclipse came (August 21st) and our grandma is super into all the prophecies along with that and so when Hurricane Harvey came (August 25th) followed by Hurrican Irma (August 30th), she was really getting emphatic about all the natural disasters!

 On September 2nd, our family had thought about going to Eagle Creek Trail but then decided to go hiking on Sunday, the third, to the Oneonta trail in the Columbia Gorge. Well, a fire got started on the 2nd, on the Eagle Creek Trail by some teenagers with fireworks and 140 were trapped between the fire that just started and another fire that had been burning since July. The trapped people had to spend the night and then instead of going 3 miles back the way they had come, they had to hike 14 miles around the blazes! We could have been part of the predicament and adventure! On the fourth, Monday labor day (having hiked the Oneonta trail and spent the night at Parkdale), we headed back down I-84 which was covered in a thick brown reddish smoke that hurt our throats. We could see the plumes from the freeway....they had already evacuated parts of Cascade Locks. Ash fell for 3 days leaving the roads dusted gray. The sky was a weird gray color, even with us living about 60 miles away. The fire grew and has now consumed 37,500 acres of our beautiful Columbia Gorge in Oregon. On our hike Sunday, we went under this massive old wood tunnel, it was amazing! And now we read it was burnt and they're not sure if it's salvageable. We had just walked through it and the next day - gone. Roughly 360,000 acres are being burned in Oregon alone right now, a quarter of all the blazes burning in America at this present time. The summer gave us a long drought but now weather reports are saying rain next week. I learned this summer that I like the sun and I'm not looking forward to the rain! Isn't that strange?
Picture of the eclipse


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Worldview Camp

My cousin Karis (in the white shirt), loved playing frisbee in our free time.
This is the blue team being enthusiastic.
All the teams of almost 200 kids competing against each other.
Andrew in orange and Grant in blue. They look very serious.
Andrew accusing someone in Mofia.
Grant's friend Marcus from school happened to be there.



This is my small group. I'm in the front row, on the left. My cousin Karis is in the back row, on the right.
We went to Worldview camp again this year! This was Karis and I's third and last time. My brother Grant and his friend Andrew were coming back to camp for their 2nd time. The camp is 6 days of lectures about how to defend your worldview. You listen to 25 hours of lectures from 3 main speakers who do not get paid, they volunteered for this. Grant and Andrew were much more mature with listening to the speakers compared to last year (see http://starletschool.blogspot.com/2016/07/our-summer-in-6-days-one-cousin-who.html). I had a fun time getting to see people again from the Mexico mission trip who went there. Now I have 3 full notebooks of notes from the 3 years I was at Worldview Camp. If you live near it, you should go. It's on the east coast, middle states, and west coast. The speakers and staff travel each week to a different destination. Very knowledgeable men!



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Graduating?

I am graduating a week from today.
I do not know what will happen next.
I suppose I will have to find a job.
I don't know where.














I am supposed to be extremely excited for my future.
I am a live-in-the-present type however.
I am happy to be done with school.
I think.



I am still little Avonlea.
I believe I've grown in mind, body, and soul but.....
I still don't want to grow up.
I love Peter Pan.


I made it up one side of the mountain.
I see there is still more mountains to climb.
I want to go on till I reach New Zealand.
I wait till the time is ripe.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mexico


I went with a group of 50 to Baja California (Mexico) for a week. We practiced our Spanish with the locals and orphanage children, painted a mural (the one behind us painters), pruned peach trees, and worked on construction. It was a whole lot of fun!



Here is our entire group pictured above. We all had a great time. We went to the beach dunes with the orphans, evangelized at a local Mexican parade, and then worked the rest of the time!
There was a miracle at the ranch. We were hosting the orphan boys to dinner and we didn't have enough chicken for everyone to go around. The boys didn't come on time so the kitchen crew put the chicken back in the oven to warm up. Then someone decided we should pray that the chicken will multiply. It did! And we had more left over.

Construction Site
 
I'm in the red shirt. There were 3 plywood boards to paint. The boards will go in the new high school that we were building.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Few Pictures

 
To the left, Stormy lies down on his back...as usual.
On the right, icicles form a ring around the rim of the birdfeeder.
 
A peaceful morning with the sun shining


Exploring our marsh, Comet and Pearl gnaw on newly sprouted grass.
The picture on the right was taken at the beach. A seagull flies across the bay while the tide is out.
 
The frogs have started croaking and the crickets chirping. Spring is almost here!




Monday, January 30, 2017

PETS



 These pets provide so much entertainment yet they cannot speak with words. They are companions yet they are quiet.
They are comical yet they don't do it in the way of humans.
Pets wag their tails, shake their heads, and roll their eyes.








Do you notice Stormy in the sink above to the left?

Archie and Stormy (above) are two kittens who were born into our house by Chloe. Chloe became an outdoor cat when she turned on her two boys and hated them with all her little viciousness. Chloe had been outside since the summer when she suddenly disappeared. The snow and cold had forced the coyotes to hunt and kill outside their normal limits. I came across half a body (the back half) of Chloe the Calico Cat. So ends the tale of Chloe, not very noble, not very nice, very jealous, but a cat. Coyotes shall now be on my bucket list of enemies. Here is the last picture of Chloe that I took:
(It fits her personality to a T)
 
Here's Pearl yawning below ~
 
 
 
Paw prints in the snow. Cat prints next to Dog prints.
 



 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sugarless


our mom told us
we were going off sugar
she knows best
 i suppose
after so much holiday junk
we were just stuffed
with the most mind blowing things imaginable

all of january, we'll waste away
however so far
it has been okay
popcorn and cheetos
 no sugar in corn
ice cream and snickers
 we view with scorn
xylitol gum and ice chips are in
grandma keeps us supplied
we no longer look thin

february will appear
with it comes
new sugar year
let us hope we don't indulge
in things that fill and make a bulge

Poem by Avonlea on the spur of the sugarless moment

P.s. This poem was written without the help of gum and ice chips....or grandma for that matter