Thursday, August 28, 2008


I read today that in times of upheaval or stress, therapists are recommending blogging as a way to get your emotions out. Well, thank heavens. That saved me $100 in counseling costs. Even though my blog only has an audience of 2 (thanks mom), it's nice to write about life in this venue.


10. Eating vine-ripened tomatoes and corn on the cob
9. Playing poker with Cinnamon Toast Crunch as our poker chips
8. Kayla and Whit making the Varsity Tennis Team
7. Kurt Bestor singing Happy Birthday to me
6. Watching Kev, Dad and Matt interviewed on the 6:00 news all in the same month
5. Catching "Bob" the fish (we are on a first name basis) in our secret spot three times in a row. He just keeps getting bigger.
4. Making a 1:00 am run to Betos for a Sunday night "Date" with Kev (it's the only time we could get away)
3. Sunrise at Silver Lake with Hannah
2. Hearing that Jantzen is riding in the 60 mile bike race
1. Finding the first bright yellow leaf of fall in the canyon

I took on a consulting project this past week which has been a blast. I love getting out in the workforce again. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the work! Plus, it's chipping away at that big bill for Jantzen.

Kev is traveling this week to games and took Kayla with him on a daddy-daughter road trip. Next week I head to NYC on this consulting project and then head to Arizona and Vegas to catch Volleyball and Football games with Kev.

Countdown to the end of fishing season and the beginning of winter. Ugh.

Friday, August 22, 2008


The perfect Bday. Kurt Bestor private concert. He sings Happy Bday to me!

Hannah's First Day of School
Gentry's First Day of School

Friends and Family,

Jantzen is doing great for all of you who have been asking. Not only is he in a good place mentally, but physically he is making great progress. We have heard from Jantzen that he has entered a 60 mile bike race on September 13. Those of you who know him will know the IMMENSITY of this progress since the most physical activity he has seen the last few years is rolling out of bed! Believe it or not, he is biking up to 27 miles a day in preparation! Pretty cool stuff. He has assured me new pictures are on their way which definitively prove that he has big muscles.

It's hard to believe at how paths can go so different in such a short time. One of Jantzen's "friends" from several months ago has found himself in prison for the next 1 1/2 years with a bleak progress. And Jantzen is thankfully moving in a direction that we hope will bring happiness to him. He is registered to go to the local high school at Bonners' Ferry and it looks like he may get an internship to a local boutique where he can work with a lady who also makes custom designed clothes. We hope he can see the contrast and begin to thirst after the activities and people that build his confidence and remind him of how amazing and wonderful he is.

We are believers in the power of prayer and would invite all of you to add him to your prayers this coming month. Our financial resources are running thin and one of two things will happen: he will need to come home early in which case we need him to make GREAT progress before then, or we will find a way to keep him there and give him the entire year to gain perspective and strength. Either way, all of our prayers in his behalf will make a difference.

He is limited in who he can hear from, but we would like him to receive all the encouragement possible.If you would like to write him

Please send his letters to:

Northwoods Academy
c/o Jantzen Matthews
PO Box 8
Bonners Ferry, Idaho 85208

On other fronts, Education Week was great. The kids being in school is even better! This weather is heavenly (especially at about 8:00 pm), and Kevin assures me that the football games at Snow are equally heavenly.

Lastly, how about that David Archuletta? If Disney doesn't snatch him up as the next Zac Efron, they are nuts. (I definitely should have been a promoter/agent in life. Did I tell you I discovered Josh Groban and Celine Dion? A story for another day.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A week at the Cabin

First things first--I have a new separate blog at that is focused on fly-fishing alone. There just isn't enough space on the family blog to cover the great fishing.

Hannah and I had a wonderful week at Silver Lake Flat together. Gin Rummy tournaments, frozen bra parades, swimming in the lake, playing pool shark, watching the sunrise at Silver Lake, teaching Hannah how to fish, having hair styling parties, hiking, and playing poker using Starburst as poker chips. Yes, it was wild and wooly, the adventures that ought to make the rest of you turn green with envy.

She was great company! My favorite moment was when she caught her first fish by herself at Sunrise. It was 6:00 a.m. and we were the only ones out on the lake besides a lone owl we could hear echoing through the mountains.

Hannah's favorite moment was probably the million times she creamed me in a game of "Speed". It's just not fair. My old body doesn't think and move as fast as hers.

Now it's time for school to start (hallelujah) and life will get back to a nice schedule.

We are thrilled that Gentry will now be living with us full-time on a permanent basis. We love that girl and look forward to her presence in our home.

Kev has mapped out the year and football will be taking up most of our weekends. I guess it's time I learn to love the sport. We'll be getting an apartment in Ephraim so we don't have to be apart as a family so much of the time. Now we can join him on some of the weekends and he won't have to sleep in the "Tinkerbell Suite" dorm room.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Hike That Went Bad

Jasmine and I decided to head out on a beautiful summer's day for a 3 mile hike before a nice fresh salmon dinner together. I had to wait ten extra minutes while she applied sunscreen on this hot day. Finally, we were off.

About 15 minutes into the hike, we saw some nice cloud cover rolling in. Ahhh, we said. This will be the PERFECT temperature now.

Then we started to get a light summer shower. "Even better!" we said. Some light misting to cool us off.

Then thunder shook the mountain and followed with it several strikes of lightning close enough to take cover. As we stood under a tree, we said, "Surely this will pass in ten minutes. Let's keep hiking." No sooner had we said it than the "Downpour of 2008" commenced. Torrential rainstorm, flash flood trail, mud and water everywhere, and no sign of stopping. There we stood--metal water bottles in hand, standing under a tree. The stuff the news reports are made of when they talk about two stupid hikers who died on the mountain.

It took forever to get down the mountain because of the slick mud. "Whose idea was this dumb hike anyway? Laurel said to Hardy. Finally, we made it down but without one stitch of dry clothing anywhere.

The only person who thought it was cool now was Dazy, who thought she hit the hiking jackpot as she plopped her slick, muddy body into my newly cleaned 4runner.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The End of Summer Push

Today, an update on life and some stream-of-consciousness thinking, as inspired by Holly's blog. This time, I'm writing two blogs. The first is the normal-happy-what-we-did-this-week blog. The second is an usually candid out-loud thinking.

First things first. The girls are trying out for the high school tennis team today. We are hoping they both make the team. Whit is playing in the finals of a tennis tournament today and continues to do well.

School is two weeks away, which excites mom and dad. We'll look forward to the return to structure. Hannah and Kayla are both in Honors English, Kayla made the musical theater tryouts and the show choir. Hannah made Yearbook staff. Should be a fun year for them. Gentry is a big 6th grader this year--queen of the school.

Kevin just won 4th place in the Riverwoods Country Club golf tournament. What a kick! He is just getting started with football season, his favorite time of the year. You can almost smell fall in the air. It's hard to believe he gets to watch football for HIS JOB this year. Seems crazy to him as well.

I'm just getting bummed thinking fishing season is on the downside. I hate that cold weather that's coming. I have enjoyed a summer that's including A LOT of hiking, fishing and exploring. I'm getting ready for Education Week, the last big event of the summer, as well as a fun road/camping trip I'm planning with just Hannah next week when the girls are with their mom.

Zac just started a new job which we all are celebrating. It means he can start saving money again for FIT or whatever he decides to do. And we heard from Jantzen. He is adjusting well to Northwoods Academy. They spent the weekend swimming at the lake.

Part II--read at your own risk

I've been having a hard time lately understanding why life's challenges seem so lopsided--some seem to get so few in life, and others of us seem to get heaped on. We were speaking to a dear friend the other day who said how stressful it's been that her son didn't make the competitive soccer team and that it's created a lot of turmoil in their home. I caught myself immediately having a dialogue--or rather an argument-- with myself in my head about how unfair it was that was the biggest trial for them vs. trying to show some empathy for the situation. Yep, I felt real jealousy for the normalness of their lives. How foreign it seems to have "normal" problems like having your child come home late from curfew, or figuring out how to pay for the car repairs that month, or how to get your kids to be nicer to each other. I can't even begin to make a list of what we have been dealing with. You'd be scared to be my neighbor. Just use your imagination and then multiply it by ten.

I guess it's no surprise that my never-normal life would have never-normal problems. Nicole says it's always been that way. I have a bigger than life, LIFE. And the good stuff is extra big, just like the bad stuff is as well. We'd like to move from "surviving" to "thriving" , but that happens on a different timeline than we get to dictate. Yes, we are O.K. over here, but TIRED. I guess the biggest comfort is that God's on our side.