Hilleary Jensen - A GREAT 4th Grade Teacher and Soul

We lost Miss Jensen unexpectedly on July 4th. We are going to miss her dearly - she was and will remain an inspiration to everyone!

Hilleary Jensen, from UPSD

The morning before we learned of Ms. Jensen's passing, Kaitlin and I were driving and we came upon a stop sign that Kaitlin insisted that we take a picture of, so I took a snapshot through the windshield with my cell phone and this is what we saw:
Later, when we learned that Ms. Jensen was gone, Kaitlin and I talked about the stop sign and we felt it was a special note from Ms. Jensen.

When I think of Ms. Jensen I have always visualized her as the team player who was undoubtedly always voted as "Most Inspirational".

We are going to miss you Ms. J. Thank you for everything you have done. You will keep on inspiring us.

Link to Obituary and Guest Book


Grandpa Was a Rock Hound!

My Grandpa Merle was a rock hound. He owned his own rock cutter and polisher. I remember the rock polisher and thinking it was some kind of washing machine because it was huge! We're talking the 1960s here. I have no idea what rock polishers look like these days, other than the small one Ian has that holds just a few rocks at a time. My Grandma Myrtle had half-gallon milk cartons full of his polished rocks. Here is a sampling of some:

This summer we are taking the kids on a mini vacation to the Oregon Coast and Northern California. I'm hoping we will be able to do some agate hunting when we are at the coast.


And they're off!

It's the annual Daddy-Daughter Dance tonight, something Kaitlin and Bill look forward to each year.


Purina Busy Bones

The reason they call them BUSY Bones is becuase you will be BUSY cleaning up your dog and your carpet when they get done with them.

Once the Busy Bone gets wet and crumbly it turns to the texture of lumpy paste. Mabel and Connor had paste from their nose and whiskers to their toes. It took some serious scrubbing with a wet rag to get them presentable.

I did try to keep the dogs on an old blanket while they were eating them, but apparently I was not Alpha enough because they did what they wanted (Yes, I DO watch the Dog Whisperer, what's your point?!?). Needless to say, when they finished, I was shampooing the carpet.

Quote of the Day

"You are never going to achieve anything unless you get started."
- John Mellencamp


Yes We Can.

Yes, we did.

Yes, we will.

Doesn't matter what party, what race, what sex, what preference, what religion, or what your name is.

Change can happen.


Max is Dead, Max is Alive

It was a sad day yesterday. Kaitlin came into my room and said, "I think Max is dead, he's not moving and he looks really pale". Max is the hermit crab that she has had for almost a year now and, may I say, has done an outstanding job taking care of him - feeding, watering, and cleaning his crabitat.

I am sure Max is not dead. After all, we have had scares with him before, like, "Mom! Max is missing!" and after trying to figure out how he could have Houdinied himself out of his crabitat, sure enough we had found him under his water dish where he had burrowed into the sand.

So, I followed teary-eyed Kaitlin to her room to see this "dead" crab for myself. Sure enough, I pick him up and he does look pale and he's not moving. So we called out to Bill (he IS the MAN of the house so he's in charge of the dead-pet department). Bill picked the little hermit crab up and when one of Max's little crab legs fell off, all hope was lost. Being the Chief Coroner in charge of the Dead-Pet department, Bill made the official announcement:

"He's Dead"

Kaitlin started sobbing. I started sobbing. We were sad.

It was decided that Max would need a memorial service with a proper burial, so we found an old watch tin to use. Kaitlin wanted him to have a blanket so we went through some fabric and sewed a small blanket together for him. Kaitlin attached a red heart button with her new-found button-sewing skills. The tin was filled with sand from his crabitat, topped by his blanket, and finally, the remains of Max. Not to be buried alone, Kaitlin wrote him a note, added a picture of herself, a flower petal, a small penguin from dad, a note from mom, a shiny rock from brother, and a bit of food in case he got hungry on his trip, and finally, we set up the viewing:

After the viewing and Kaitlin and Bill had scouted out the proper burial spot in the flower bed, Kaitlin decided she needed a few pictures. So we arranged everything around Max's tin, and we started taking pictures.

We were so sad.

Then, Kaitlin says to me, "MOM! HE'S MOVING".

"Um, no honey, he's dead" (didn't I mention that We were sad???)


Poor Kaitlin, she must be in denial. I must have bumped into his tin and moved him.

However, on closer inspection, he WAS moving.

There were small bright orange legs coming out of Max's shell and the nasty, pale, cold, dead legs were falling out of the shell. Being the brilliant marine biologist that I am, I put 2 and 2 together and sure enough, Max was MOLTING!

The sadness left our little household and the crabitat was prepared for Max's joyous return.

Who could have known we would have a dead Max but then he would be alive again?