Friday, May 13, 2011


Yesterday my great grandmother passed away.  I found out the sad news on Facebook (a good thing, not a bad thing).   We found out a couple of months ago that the doctors were giving her 3-6 more months to be with us here on Earth (I remember the timing of this news since it was right around my birthday).  Her breast cancer cells had gotten into her muscle tissue and were spreading (she was diagnosed last year at the age of 93).

IMG_6440Aidan with his Great Great Grandma Pearl Major – March 2009

My brother and I, upon hearing the news, flew to Seattle and drove across the state to visit her the first weekend in April.  I’m so very glad that we did.  We wanted our last memories of her to be positive ones.  We wanted to let her know that we loved her, and that although many miles separate us, we wanted her to know that we valued her. 

We had a great visit. It was fun showing up on her doorstep (she was very surprised—I had let one of my great aunts know that we were coming and verified that great grandma would be home). :) We laughed together. Enjoyed great conversation. Caught up on a few bits of family news.  Saw how blessed she was by the members of her quilting group (they made her a few gorgeous quilts—I got a little teary-eyed when I read the back tag and saw one of her frogs attached to the one that was pieced together by the group as a whole— my Grandma Velma was quite sneaky to “spirit” the frog away so it could be used on her gift). Apparently, she cried when they presented the quilt to her. I tried to hold it together so it wouldn’t set off another torrent of tears. 

We left her house completely amazed by the peace and grace that surrounded her (and her sense of humor!).  She was truly an inspiration to us.  I hope that I can follow her example and have a good attitude and be gracious under whatever circumstance might be facing me.  She was an excellent role model that I wish that I knew even better (although, what I did know – I adored!).


Me with my Great Grandma Pearl ,  Chewelah Park – Aug. 2010


Aidan, Great Grandma Pearl, David and me – Aug. 2010


Dustin and Great Grandma Pearl – April 2011


Me with my Great Grandma Pearl – April 2011

My great grandmother was a very special woman who will be greatly missed.  I am thankful that her time of pain and suffering was minimal.  I am thankful that she is no longer in pain. I am thankful that she was surrounded by family when she passed peacefully from this life.  She lived a full 94 years. This beautiful woman. I love you and look forward to spending an eternity in Heaven with you.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Cub Scouts go to Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge.

  At the end of March, we went to Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge with our Cub Scout pack.  It was a beautiful day to get out into nature and to hike along the trails in the wildlife refuge.  We took a vote at the very beginning to see what hike the kids wanted to do.  The adults figured that many of the boys, the younger ones especially, would want to take the shorter hike and that the older ones would go on the longer hike.  However, only 2 of the moms wanted to take the shorter hike (one was 8.5 months pregnant, the other was myself who wanted to stay with her pregnant friend, just in case…). Since we were obviously outnumbered, she and I joined the rest of the group on the 4 mile hike. 


The kids did amazingly well going the distance and enduring the 90+ degree temperatures we had.  Our only problem was trying to get them to slow down to see what different animals could find!  It is awfully difficult to see things when one tries to race past them. :) 


There were several “Stop, Look and Listen” points marked on our trail.  Here, the boys were supposed to stop, look around at the surroundings and write or draw what they saw.  Did they see any birds? If so, what ones did they see? What types of plants were around in the area? Was there any water?


We all saw and heard many different birds.  My David was very excited to hear a cardinal call while we were out on our hike since that is his favorite bird.  One of the boys happened to see a Texas tortoise alongside the trail about 2 miles in.  We had to work a bit to keep the boys from touching it, trying to pick it up, etc. :)  They were just a wee bit excited about their find!


I enjoyed visiting with a few of the moms on the hike, watching the kids have fun and also enjoyed seeing the beautiful flowers in bloom alongside the trail. Unfortunately for me, I forgot to grab a new memory card for the camera, so I had to be very particular about what photos I wanted to take while on the hike. Hopefully I will remember to pack a spare in our hiking pack next time!


When we arrived back at the visitor’s center for lunch, Aidan and I stopped next to one of the bird feeding areas.  A woman there quietly pointed out a green jay that was eating sections out of an orange to us.  It was mine and Aidan’s first time seeing a green jay in “real life.”  Honestly, it is one of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen!  We were fortunate to have stopped by the bird feeding area when we did, because the green jay flew away only a couple of minutes after we had it pointed out to us.  There were red-winged blackbirds in abundance, and I even saw a woodpecker!


After the hike, we had a picnic lunch outside of the visitors center, then the majority of our group went on the tram tour through the refuge.  I think that the tram tour was one of the best parts of the outing.  Our guides pointed out different plants and animals to us, explained the history and other aspects of the refuge to us and really helped us to gain a greater understanding for where we were.  All in all, it was a great outing, and a good time was had by all who went.