Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I took a little blogging hiatus. There have been many things that have kept me away from the computer lately but I will tell about them in a later post. If there is anyone out there that still looks at my blog from time to time you may have to bear with me for a little while. I use my blog as part of my scrap booking and journal so I will be going back a little bit to get caught up. My wonderful mother was able to retire after 24 years of working full time. During those years she also raised 8 kids and those 8 kids produced 26 grandchildren. My sister's and I have been waiting for this day for a long time. We wanted to make this event as special as possible to her so we decided to surprise her with a weekend at a cabin in Hood River. The surprise was that all 8 of her daughters would be there. We had one fly in from Arizona, one from Idaho, and one from Colorado. We told my mom that we had all pitched in and were giving her and my dad this weekend away as our retirement present to her. Then we all made arrangements to be able to get away for the weekend and sneak up there to surprise her. My sisters and I are all kids at heart when we get together so the whole event was really a blast. We loved sneaking around Hood River waiting for my parents to get to the cabin and of course we loved sneaking into the cabin to surprise my mom. Below is some video I caught of the initial surprise. (Brace yourself. You are about to hear 9 women squealing in delight).

Right away we had to take a picture along the stairway. We have plenty of these shots from our younger years. Maybe they were Brady Bunch inspired??

A few of us ventured out into the snow for a play day. There was a long sled run right along the cabin. My sister Bridget and I were the first to try it out. Bridget won the craziest mom award. She had no fear.

Michele ventured out onto the deck with baby Isabelle to watch.

Debora also got in on the action. (Not pictured is my sister Lindsey who finally came out to play with us. She was the most scared which surprised us all because she is the toughest of us all. We decided that was okay this time since she had just had a baby less than a month prior).

The area around the cabin was beautiful so some of us decided to go for a walk.

We started off in the light and walked a long way up the mountain. It started to get dark and we all decided that maybe it wasn't the best idea to have walked so far into the mountain with just five women. We made it back safely though.
I have some really fun videos of us sledding but I can't get them to load onto this blog. :( We had such a good time and many of us have had the chance to spend more time with our mom since her retirement.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Halloween and Thanksgiving!

In my attempt to get caught up on my posting I am combining Halloween and Thanksgiving. We have already had so much fun this holiday season! We have been able to spend a lot of time with family and friends.

We took Isaiah and his friend to the OSU Homecoming parade and bonfire. We had a lot of fun even though the bonfire took FOREVER to get going.
In between Halloween and Thanksgiving this little sweetheart was born. My older sister Lindsey had her 5th child Isabelle Dawn Ordyna. I happened to be in town so I got to see her in the hospital. My sister invited us to Thanksgiving at her house so we could help out since she had just had a baby.

The kids watching Swiss Family Robinson while the adults were busy cooking.

It was a feast. We had way too much food. We ate for three days straight. What a holiday!

Uncle Daniel at the kids table

After all our feasting Daniel and I took the kids on a walk to the duck pond. These boys love trying to catch things.

We had a great weekend and we were glad to spend it with the Ordyna's

Thursday, November 18, 2010

CAUTION: Do not read if you have a weak stomach :)

The last few weeks have been exhausting. Just in time for the holidays:) I started coaching Isaiah's basketball team last week. I did this last year and must of forgot how much patience it takes because I volunteered again. I figured if I was going to be driving him back and forth I might as well just stay and coach, besides how hard can it be? These kids have the attention span of a blink. We had practice on Tuesday night. I decided with games coming up I should teach the kids different ways to get open. I first taught them the basic v-cut. This went ok. I then attempted to teach them how to set a screen. This was a disaster. What was I thinking? Way over their heads. After about ten minutes of explaining and having them practice one of the kids raised his hand and said, "I don't get it." I then asked, "How many of you don't understand what your doing?" All eight hands shot in the air. Needless to say we will be playing games and doing relays tonight.

I also organized freezer meals with my mom, sisters, and one of my sisters friend. My sister was pregnant with her fifth child and instead of having a baby shower we all got together and made 11 dinners for her to have on hand once the baby comes. Of course we all made dinners for our families as well so it was a win win situation. We couldn't have picked a better weekend to do it. My sister had a doctor's appointment on Friday where she found out they wanted to induce her on Sunday. I drove up on Friday and we started cooking at about 4:30pm and didn't finish until 2:00am! It was a loooong night but I am already enjoying the fruits of that labor this busy week. (side note:My sister delivered her beautiful baby girl Isabelle on Sunday night). The next day after the freezer meals I threw a baby shower for my little sister Monica. Her baby is due in January. I was a little tired but I love throwing parties so it was fun. I was looking forward to coming home and going back to my normal pace. Not so. My older sister Debora has an 18 month old that has been really sick for the last two months. He has been in and out of the hospital and every time we think is getting better, he has a relapse. Needless to say Debora is emotionally and physically exhausted and in need of as much help as she can get. My dad and mom have been taking turns driving over to Bend and helping for the last three weeks. My dad's mom lives with my parents so when my dad leaves he has to find someone to care for my grandmother. He usually asks my sisters that live up in Hillsboro but none were available so Nana came home with me on Monday. My grandmother has dementia and she is actually quite weak so it can be a little mentally and physically draining. I haven't taken care of her for about a year now and I am a little surprised at how weak she has become. She has a hard time just getting out of bed. Once I get her up and going it's fine, it's just the getting her up and going part that can be tiring. She came with Isaiah and I to our dentist appointments and basketball practice on Tuesday. I brought a comfortable chair into the gym for her to sit on during the hour long practice. I felt bad about how much she had to sit around and wait for us but with work and Daniel's new calling, he hasn't been home much in the evenings. I looked up about a half hour into practice and didn't see my Nana sitting in her chair. My heart jumped. Luckily she had only made it a few steps outside of the gym. I asked a parent to take over and I ran out to get her. She said she was looking for something to eat. I don't think she knew where she was or why she was there but she knew she was hungry and decided to try and do something about it. I purchased some chips from the vending machine and got her back in her chair.

Yesterday was EXHAUSTING! I scheduled her for a shampoo and style at the salon I go to. She likes to be pampered. I got her up, fed, and dressed in 45 minutes. I was pretty surprised because it usually takes longer than that. We pulled up to the salon with just enough time to slowly make our way to the door. Just as I turned off the car my Nana said she needed to go to the bathroom. She struggles with incontinence so I knew I needed to hurry. Too late. She started to go and she was mortified. I felt so bad because there was nothing I could do. I told her I was going to run in and let them know that we had to reschedule. I took her home and did what I thought was the impossible for me. I apologize if this grosses anyone out. I honestly did not think I would be able to clean up this mess. I have the weakest stomach when it comes to these things, but I guess when there is no other option, you do what you have to do. An hour later all was well. I was so tired when my head hit my pillow last night and continued to stay tired even when my feet hit the floor this morning.

I have a new appreciation for a young, working body. I just keep thinking about how life really does come full circle. We come into this life with people needing to care for us and we leave this life the same way.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A New Boy!

I have a little catching up to do. Oh how I miss the summer already. I used to be such a scheduled person. Not so much anymore. I love the freedom of summers. Another school year has begun and with that Isaiah has had another birthday. His 8th birthday was on his first day of 2nd grade. He awaited this birthday with much anticipation. It was his magic birthday because he turned 8 on the 8th!

I can't believe my boy is a cub scout! He loves it. He was so thrilled when his uniform came in the mail. He couldn't wait to put it on.

He had a really fun birthday party with lots of family and friends.
He saved up for a long time to buy this tether ball. This kid loves tether ball. It's the only thing he does at recess. It cracks me up because I can't help but think of Napoleon Dynamite.

This kid scored big time this year. His grandparents got him his very own tackle box. This picture does not do justice of how excited he was. He kept wanting Daniel to get out his tackle box so they could compare. He organized and reorganized it all week long. It was very cute to see him haul it around with such pride.

His mom and dad spoiled him a little this year;) I have been wanting to buy him these clubs ever since we saw them about a year ago. They are a little big for him but that was the idea. I wasn't going to buy him clubs that he outgrew in a year. He was so excited to use them. We took him golfing for his birthday and it was a little rough for him. The clubs are a little too long for him so it was harder for him to control. He was expecting his new clubs to make him play like Tiger, (he really did think his clubs looked, "exactly like Tiger's clubs"). He was a little discouraged after that and it made me nervous he wouldn't want to keep playing. My dad took him out a few weeks ago and helped him with his swing and encouraged him to keep playing and have fun. Thanks dad. That really helped!

The most important decision Isaiah made since he turned eight was to be baptised!
I can just cry looking at this cute little boy here.

A little pre-baptism bumper big wheels in the culd-e-sac with his cousins.

Handsome boys!

I am so happy for the choice Isaiah made to be baptised. Isaiah and I had several conversations prior to his baptism. One of them went like this:
Me: "Isaiah, have you prayed about your decision to be baptised?
Isaiah: "Yes, but even if I said I didn't want to be baptised you and dad would make me.
Me: "No we wouldn't. This is your decision to make (I said this with much hesitation, because had he came back with, "I don't want to be baptised." I don't know what I would have said:)
Isaiah: "Really? You guys wouldn't make me get baptised?"
Me: "Nope, really"
Isaiah, after pondering for a moment: "Well I want to be baptised. It's the right thing to do and I want to live with my Heavenly Father again someday."
My heart immediately swelled with joy! Can a mother really ask for more than to hear their child express such righteous desires? I felt so much gratitude at that moment of motherhood. Gratitude for such a sweet little boy and gratitude for all the people in his life that have been a positive influence and example.
Thank you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yellowstone National Park

Our Vrtiska family reunion was at Yellowstone Park this year. We stayed in a resort in West Yellowstone. We had so much fun. Most families had their own rooms except for the little ones, which is mine and my little sister who is a newly wed and pregnant with her first. We stayed together. All the rooms were right next to each other so we all left our rooms propped open so the kids could go from room to room and play. Each morning the kids would wake up and go find their buddies and play until it was time to go to that days activity. At one point I had all the four and five year old kids in my room playing and Isaiah was off somewhere else. It was pretty fun!

First shot of the kids inside the park. They were just a little excited.

Our first stop was the Artist Paint Pots. Very beautiful and not as stinky as the geysers.

We were pretty lucky to get an amazing view of the buffalo. Daniel and I took a wrong turn and ended up getting lost from the rest of the family. We went all the way north to the Mammoth Falls which are amazing. On our way back to find the group, pretty much impossible since there is no cell phone range and the park is huge, we came across some traffic. This usually means there is an animal to see. The cars slowly moved along. When we came up over the hill we could see this huge herd of Bison come up over the hill. The cars kept moving forward and some people had pulled over and gotten out of their cars. Just as we were the car in the front the herd started to cross the street. It was right in front of us! Daniel looks over and says, "Look at that guy jump into the back of his truck. Wait isn't that Adam?" We had found my family. They ended up in the exact spot we did and we all got to experience the Bison together. It was a pretty majestic sight!

Daniel and Isaiah wanted to stop at about every river and creek in that park to fish. Finally on our way out we did. We never caught anything of course but the scenery was so relaxing.

The park days were long and packed. They were super fun but we all need a day off after the first couple outings. It's tiring to go all day long with 18 kids! The next day we all hung out at the resort. The kids' favorite thing to do was swim. They were in that pool for hours. The adults organized a mean game of whiffle ball. I am sad I didn't get any pictures of either. I have known my whole life that my sisters and I are all very competitive but I had no idea how competitive every one's husbands were. My dad even got after it. Luckily nobody got hurt....as far as I know.

The next day was Old Faithful day. I have seen Old Faithful erupt before but I had no idea that there was so many more cool things to see around the land there.

We had front row seats. We only had to wait 45 minutes and the kids kept themselves entertained playing in the rocks the whole time. Daniel and I found a lovely couple from New Zealand to chat it up with while we waited.

This is actually just after it went off.

It's starting to go. The rest of it I got on video so you can't see the maximum height of it all.

The next few pictures are just of the geyser's and springs that caught my eye. The whole thing is really just amazing. The coolest thing is that the volcano is constantly changing so you won't necessarily see the same things each time you go.

One of my favorites. It looks like coral but it's not! :)
I also love the ridge that has formed on this one.
I know the colors just look dirty here but the camera didn't capture the whole picture and the beauty of it all.
Another one of my favorites. I love the different color.
Makes you want to jump in it's so clear. I don't think that would be too safe though.
This is called Anemone Geyser. Can you guess why?
Heart Spring

All the kids wanted to throw something in the holes that look like they go to the center of the earth. I'm sure it took a lot of self restraint for them not to.

On our way home from Old Faithful we drove down Fire Hole Canyon drive just to see what was back there. We were pleasantly surprised by a beautiful canyon with water falls and a great place for Daniel to try out his fly fishing.

I guess this is the fastest way down. Makes sense to me.

Isaiah and I had fun exploring while Daniel fished.

Last day:(
There is this nice little swimming hole on Fire Hole Canyon Drive. The water is supposed to be 75 to 80 degrees. On a nice warm day that would be great. Our last day at the park just happened to be the coldest one. The original plan was to go for a nice family swim before we had to leave. I backed out and Isaiah, Stephan, Daniel Dewey, and Daniel Long went.
I was pretty impressed with the boys just jumping in and swimming. There was a little rock slide upstream you could ride down. You just jump into the current and let it take you down the river. The boys had to swim.....
...and climb all the way there.

Isaiah not too sure about his decision to do this.

Daniel had to help the boys swim once they got closer to the current. The rest I got on video. The video basically shows Stephan get in just fine and have a blast and then Isaiah refusing to do it after. I told him that was the only way he could get back and so Daniel and he jumped in together and they did it. Once Isaiah reached the other side it was all frowns from him.
We had such a great trip. It went by way too quick though. For those who have never been, I highly recommend, at least at some point in your life, taking a trip to Yellowstone National Park.