Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day Trippers: Gold Lake Sno-Park

Nearly a month ago we put today's "SNOW DAY" on our calendars in an effort to make sure it actually happened this year. Eugene, Oregon doesn't get a lot of snow but thankfully we don't have very far to go to find some.

Last night we checked the weather report and were really sad to find out that our favorite spot (see also: a place we went once when we were dating) was supposed to be rainy. We checked out another place further away and decided to make the call first thing in the morning. This morning we were thrilled to find that Gold Lake (near Willamette Pass) had 2 new inches of snow and was too cold for rain!

We did not get out nearly as early as we had hoped, but getting 2 kids (one of which was super cranky- Malakai!) and 4 people worth of snow clothes, extra clothes, food, and other supplies isn't a quick task. We pretty much always run late when we don't have a strict time that we have to be somewhere.

We arrived at Gold Lake Sno-Park (I didn't forget the "w"that's the actual spelling.) just before noon and began getting the boys and ourselves suited up. We borrowed some of our snow gear and a vehicle from my in-laws (thanks Ron + Debbie!) and pieced it together with what we had. Like I said, we don't get much snow. Malakai looked absolutely adorable in Ben's childhood snow suit...

Those of you who know Malakai or follow me on Instagram may be familiar with his anti-clothing ways. I got him to wear the snow suit by first, reading The Snowy Day the night before and comparing Peter's red snow suit to this one; and second, he wasn't allowed to get out of the car and go into the snow until he was properly dressed. Worked like a charm, except he refused to wear the hood after the first few photos. You win some, you lose some.

Once we got all bundled up we headed up the cross-country skiing/snow shoeing trail to find a clear spot off the track to play. We didn't go far, which was nice because without the proper gear you sink a lot and Desmond is SUPER heavy.

The weather was perfection. A light dusting of snow falling here and there, fresh powder all over, no wind and some sun breaks. Gorgeous.

Des loved playing on his tummy in the snow, so random. Malakai insisted on making "Frosty" and then snow angels- all his own ideas.

After the snowman and angels were made we explored the snow bank on the other side of the trail. I was so afraid that we'd sink into oblivion if we stepped into it. Ben and Kai tested it out and it was just fine, and super fun to play in.

Kai said, "looka me! I'm in the snow bank!" He kept wanting to climb to the top so Ben tested that out too and it was fine. Up they went...

We had an absolute amazing time. Our day could not have gone any better. The boys were in great moods (once we were out the door), totally thrilled about the snow, but easy going when it was time to leave.

We ate lunch in the warming lodge and listened in on the interesting conversations of the ski-patrol guys hanging out there. The boys didn't last long on the ride home before the fell asleep, Ben included.

Malakai was super sad that we were done with our "snow day" when we got back, but he snapped out of it alright. I hope we can make this an annual trip!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

life as we know it

The title of my blog has never been more true than now. It seems that we are taking on a new endeavor and fighting a new fight on a weekly basis. I keep finding myself asking God to guide us, give us wisdom, give us peace.

 Not to say that everything is bad, but we've had a lot of challenges and I've shed quite a few tears recently. I know that I am under severe attack as I continue to strengthen my knowledge of God and my service to His kingdom. The enemy does not like it, which is a good thing but a very very hard thing.

I am so thankful for the support and wise counsel that I find in Ben, we are such a great team these days and we are finding that in these storms we are becoming more and more solid in our marriage. I could not have asked for a better man to have at my side and as the head of our little family.

Our boys are finally healthy. Desmond got over his cough quite a while ago and Malakai is just finishing up antibiotics for a cough that lasted over a month. When I bought the meds last week the generic cost us $99! That was even after Target reduced it for us (it was $165). Ben's work just switched over insurance and because it was only a week into the new year we didn't have the cards. Thankfully the guy working at the pharmacy was super helpful, gave us everything we needed to process a refund once we had the insurance information. We got over half of our money back- praise!

My broken toe is finally feeling somewhat normal. I am easing myself back into normal footwear (I've been exclusively wearing my knock-off "Uggs" for the last 5 weeks) and I'm trying to not wrap it, but I'm not sure if it's too early. I've never had a broken bone so I don't really know what I'm doing here.

Our schedule has been fairly light in comparison to the holidays and it feels so nice. My house is {mostly} clean and organized and I feel like I've got a routine to keeping on top of the mess, well, at least in the kitchen. Currently there are two baskets of clean laundry behind me, waiting to be put away. I loathe putting laundry away. And...let's not even talk about the garage.

In a little over a week we are going to try to take the boys up to the mountains to play in the snow and the weekend after that is one of my best's bachelorette party in Portland and my husband's birthday! Our schedule is about to get crazy again, but perhaps it'll be a nice return to what started to become familiar after a sweet little break.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let's Play Catch Up {December 2012}

Hi. I'm Shandell. I blog here sometimes. Remember me?

Oy. It's been a long time since I've sat down and updated {again} and there is a lot to talk about...hence the not having time to blog about it.

Well- last time I posted we were smack dab in the middle of a very hectic schedule. Ben had 3+ weeks of intense practice every night for the drama at church. It didn't take long for us to figure out that when you start doing more to further the kingdom of God, that the enemy attacks. He tried hard and we were down for a bit, but we got back up. Des suddenly wouldn't go to sleep for me, but once Ben got home and held him he would be out in less than 10 minutes. We had sickness throughout the house, and I broke my toe one night just when Ben was about to leave. Amidst all that I was left to prepare for Christmas on my own. I found joy in knowing that God had good planned through it all and in the end, at least 12 people decided to walk with Jesus because of the message conveyed through the drama.

Early in the month we actually made time to go get our tree at a farm, see the fire truck light parade go by a few blocks away, and prepare for and attend a cookie exchange.
{tree farm!}
{firetruck light parade}
{a sampling of my holiday projects}

In just one month Malakai got a new bed, his first desk, and a lit Christmas tree in his room. A lot of "firsts" for this guy. He was just a "little" excited.

On December 18th we had a pretty decent snow. It was a bit wet, but it stuck and looked beautiful for about 8 hours. Kai made his first snowball, which he promptly threw at me. Then subsequent others that he threw at his brother. We also made our 1st snowman together (last year I ended up making it all on my own). Desmond loved stomping around in the snow and found himself a puddle to play in. boys. 

We had a staff Christmas lunch at the church, a small group dinner that we hosted, welcomed a few new babies, and then we started Christmas celebrations early on the 22nd with Ben's side of the family.

{Pottorf Family Christmas}

Christmas Eve Malakai helped make cookies for Santa for the first time. We wrote him a letter as well. That night we usually attend the candlelight service at church but Desmond had a nasty cold so we had a quite evening. Christmas day we went 3 different places, Des was coughing so hard that day he puked 4 times (twice on me), the next day it was still so bad Ben stayed home (we were up all night). Then we had a couple days to prepare for the next round of Christmas celebrations.

{Christmas Eve Traditions: new jammies, cookies for Santa, story with daddy}
{Christmas morning stockings, Christmas evening with family}

The 29th was my birthday and on our way to a family outing Ben planned, Kai got car sick...once again, it was on me. The night of the 30th we had immediate families over for dinner to celebrate my birthday, that night Ben got sick...thankfully NOT on me. He was up all night getting sick and I was up with the boys half the night because their routine with daddy was thrown off. Even still, I enjoyed my birthday and we got through it.

{for my birthday- a pegboard for my kitchen, a necklace Kai made, boots I can't wear, and snuggles with my boys- yes Kai is asleep.}

Yesterday, New Year's Eve, we had our final Christmas gathering. Ben stayed home sick, and I took the boys for a bit. They faded fast so we left early and we were all in bed before midnight.

Today we all took it easy as Ben is still recovering from his stomach flu, and we are praying that nobody else in the house gets it next.

Needless to say, I fell behind in just about everything. House work (especially after the broken toe), Christmas prep, my part-time job at the church. I guess you could say my "resolution" for 2013 is to catch up! Now that most of our big events are out of the way I feel like I can breath and start to pick up the pieces (literally!).

I honestly feel so incredibly blessed. When I had hurt my foot I had family come over a few nights and help me with the boys while Ben was at play practice. Between Christmas and my birthday, we were showered with gifts. Not just material things, but gifts of presence and love as well.

2012 surely made itself known in our family's history books and I'm looking forward to the blessings and lessons that 2013 will hold for us.

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