Posts Tagged ‘kids’

AWESOME Fall Day

Monday, October 18th, 2010
Blue Berry

Blue Berry at 6000'

We dashed off to White Pass to hike to the new lodge on Saturday. We spent 6 hours wandering around the new expansion area between 5500′ and 6500′. The weather was glorious. Not too cold, not too hot, it had recently frosted at that elevation so there were no bugs, no mud, even found a few blue berries. And I do mean a few.

Scarlet

Scarlet

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The girls really enjoy seeing the ski area during the summer. There are questions about terrain, topology, and landmarks being in the middle of what is supposed to be a smooth white slope. It’s satisfying to see their eyes light up and the wheels start to turn about how they will approach the hill the next time they ski it. There were more questions about direction and orienteering, weather, snow level and temperature. At one point they were even questioning the route down the mountain. All good in my book.

Isabel

Isabel

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Maleah found a wedge of wood that she became infatuated with. She was determined to haul it out, all the way to the car. She slipped a couple of times. I asked her if she really wanted to risk falling while carrying the wood, and she steadfastly refused to give it up. Of course, the farther down the hill we went, the more determined she became to haul it all the way to the car.

Maleah

Maleah

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The colors were awesome. Lots of red at 6000′. At home (750′) there is a bit of red, but mostly yellow and brown. At 6000′ it seems that the red is mostly at ground level, while the other colors are more-so in the trees, up off the ground. (I’m probably making it up ;^) Either way, the colors were awe inspiring. I had forgotten what the hills look like when you take the time to walk among the flora and not see it from a speeding car.

White Pass Fall Colors

White Pass Fall Colors

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We stumbled onto and over creek beds that were full, but not flowing and small lakes. These lakes would be called puddles if they were in an urban environment. They were from 10-50 feet across and 5″ to 24″ deep. Absolutely crystal clear water with luscious mosses and beautiful colors.

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Reflection, both physical and mental, made for a fine day.

Creek

White Pass Creek

East County Life

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
snow

snow

We live just east of the town of Mossyrock, WA. The business (Herbs of Grace) is slowly growing. The kids, on the other hand, are growing too fast. Maleah is 10, Scarlet 9 and Isabel 6.

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Coolin' Down

Coolin' Down

We really enjoy living out in the country. It’s quite different from the urban life. We’re more concerned about occasional loose live stock, rather than stray cat or dog. We have 4 neighbors. We drive old cars. The nearest Starbucks is 40 minutes away. And I’ve learned to drive a tractor, and work on one, too.

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Here’s a 4 year old satellite image:

View Larger Map

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I work at Morton Public Schools as the Technology Director. The district is in decline at 285 k12 students. We lost one teacher last year and will loose another this coming year. Although, they were able to offer me three days per week for this coming year, rather than two. I don’t make anywhere near the $$ that I made at districts in urban areas, but we’re making it and the lack of pay doesn’t bother me enough to move to a bigger city.

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Flower

Flower

The past 5 years has really been different for me. Life in the foot hills of the Cascades is slower, but each day is more important. Perhaps it’s being a father, perhaps it’s not living in a city. I’m not sure which. The kids do take a lot of energy, and at the same time, they provide a lot of energy. Maybe I’m just getting older. Had my 50th last September. Vanessa threw me a surprise party.

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The town of Morton (pop 1096) is about 15 minutes east. It is a small community, larger than Mossyrock, (pop. 300). Morton has depended upon the timber industry forever. There are still a few mills in the area, but mostly, logs are shipped in, processed and shipped back out. To publicly mention that perhaps Morton should look at opportunities other than lumber is to commit social suicide.

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Sunset

Sunset

There are a few progressive folks in town and they are pushing back. A buddy of mine owns a property in downtown Morton. He has built an upscale photo studio (Adam Angel Photography) and his wife built a nice yoga studio (2nd Street Yoga). Two of the nicest properties in town. They have a third unit that he and I are remodeling to be his photo gallery. A local group, FMAC, also remodeled the old Roxy theater and it is now a play house/movie theater, Clevenger Art Gallery; very nice. But mostly, the businesses on main street are lonely and sad looking. The best thing that could happen to Morton would be for the mills to close and all the remaining logging industry to leave town. Then Morton could begin its rebirth.

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And of course, White Pass Ski area is only an hour away.

White Pass Panorama

White Pass Panorama

Later,

Brad

Herbs of Grace

Adult Ski Day, April Fools Prep, Growing up.

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Had a great adult ski day today. Adam and I were on the lift by 8:40. It’s snowed about 20 inches over the past two days. We got the tail end of it this morning. First tracks on most of the runs and plenty of untracked on each run, and were home by 12:30, in time to take the kids to a geology activity at the local Salkum library.

April 1 is right around the corner. The kids are already prepping. Almost prepping to tears. It’s fun and painful. M can’t seem to understand that an April fools prank is supposed to be a surprise. She is busy setting up tricks and asking me to do things, “Dad, will you please brush your teeth now.”  As my eyebrows raise, I ask what’s up, and she is forthright and says, “It’s an April fools trick.” Now I don’t know if I should be looking over my shoulder or throwing away my toothbrush.

If you are a regular reader,  you know that there are kids in our family. They grow fast and get smarter and sassier every day. You all know what I’m talking about. From the kind and gentle moments with people like the librarians, the grocery clerk, or other parents, to wild and crazy moments with their friends and each other, and playing and joking with me.

Sassy ISassy MSassy S

The expressions they display, and exhaultations they emit are truly wondrous and, at times, frustrating. The highs and lows are exhilarating. During the frustrating outbursts, I find myself getting caught up in the energy and, despite knowing better, I sometimes don’t help them gently back down but rather I end up being stern, unforgiving and frustrated. During the peaceful, quiet times, I sometime watch from across the room. I see, not the growing, sassy child, but a beautiful young person. A calm, serene human in a moment of peace.

Quiet IQuiet MQuiet S

I wonder what they will look like when they are older. Which Reiter-Nixon features will dominate and which Birks-Klein features will dominate? I can see both sides in all of our kids. Parenthood is a fascinating journey. I would never have guessed it when I was young.

Later, Brad

Herbs of Grace

Sick Kid, Skiing, Weather, March Sale

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Woke up to a meek voice last night, around 2:00, saying the 7 worst words a parent wants to hear at 2:00am,  “I think I’m going to throw up.” Maleah got the bug that’s been going around. She and Vanessa were up and down last night, then Maleah stayed home today, hanging out in bed, not having fun. If it’s the same bug that got a hold of the neighbor girl, M could be in for a ride for a few days. I’m keeping my fingers washed and crossed.

Had a couple of GREAT ski days in February. We had a stretch of unbelievably nice weather this past week. These pics are from a few weeks ago when Joel Attaway (40 Below) and I went to the back country, soon to be part of the ski area, at White Pass. We hiked to Goat Rock summit, then had a nice leisurely ski through the new area, checking out the new lifts and lodge and eventually landed back at the ski area. A big shout out to Laura, Joels wife, and our friend Adam, who skied with their kids and mine, so Joel and I could play.

Fresh pow.

Fresh pow.

New ski run at White Pass.

New ski run at White Pass.

Lift towers for new lift at White Pass.

Lift towers for new lift at White Pass.

The kids even got in on the ski action, they just DIG IT! When we get our regular computer back, I’ll edit and post some video of the kids.

The weather has been so nice here the past 10 days, all the wild things are throwing off their winter wraps, and starting to spring forth. I even mowed parts of the lawn. I’ve never mowed in February before. Luckily the snow pack at 6000′ is at average, because at 4000′ it’s getting thin. Could be an early end to the ski season this year.

We’re offering a killer deal on lip balms during March, 50% off! Get ’em while they last.

More later,

Brad

Herbs of Grace, Inc.

Kids, A House that Breathes, Snow.

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

I, our two year old, spent the day in her pajamas. V tried to get her dressed this morning, gave up, and turned it over to me. I got two of each item of clothes, so she could have her choice of what to wear, but as soon as I headed toward her, she went screaming in the opposite direction, yelling that she wanted to wear here pajamas today. I started the knock down drag out, and then caught myself and let her be. Her pajamas are the full body type, with footies. They are pile and have a high neck, so I realized that she was dressed warmly. I did manage to get a parka and boots on her. So off we went, to the coffee shop and grocery store, with I in her pajamas. Did I mention that she’s two? This all makes sense now, right?

The kids are getting excited for christmas. M, age 7, keeps asking “how many more days”. S, age 5, tells us what she wants from Santa, and I, wants a nutcracker.

It has snowed here over the past few days/nights and the kids are really enjoying it. We didn’t get much snow last year so this is extra “cool” this year. Bought the kids a sled and even though the snow is very sparse, they were out there on the hill pushing each other around.

Our 110 year old house is not what you would call, air tight. Living here reminds me of the year we spent in Japan. The Japanese build houses that “breathe”. They are cold in the winter and hot in the summer. During my bicycle commute in Japan, I watched the daily progress of a house being torn down. After the siding was removed, there was building paper, but there was no insulation, and only a thin wall covering on the inside. When I talk to folks about our old house, I tell them that it “breathes”. Anyway, I woke up this morning and the temperature outside was 26F and, remembering that the house breathed all night, was 46F inside. It took the old wood stove an hour to warm the house up to 54F and another hour to get to 60F. Needless to say, we wear sweaters all the time. V has a heater in the office which keeps it toasty all the time.

V is very busy with Herbs of Grace. We have demos to line up and present, product and samples to ship, marketing and sales firms to keep organized and motivated, product to manufacture and package, office supplies to order, displays to design and manufacture, press releases to write and publish, a website to maintain and a zillion other things to do. I’m sure it’s going to get busier and busier. I don’t know if V realized this when she signed on, but she’s hanging in there. She has always had her own business, but this is the first time that she has marketed to the mass market. It’s quite different than puttering along doing Saturday markets and an occasional gift show.

White Pass has a ton of snow, hope it stays cold this winter.

Later, Brad Klein

Herbs of Grace website

Trade Shows, Working Late, Surgery.

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

It’s 11:50PM. I’ve been cleaning up some mail and researching the Natural Products Association (formerly the NNFA). We have to be members of this association if we want to exhibit at their trade show next July in Las Vegas. Can you believe it, a conference in Las Vegas, IN JULY! Go figure. We’ll be at ExpoWest in Anaheim, CA, March 8-11, 2007, and are planning to exhibit at the NPA show in Vegas, July 20-22, 2007. Trade shows are a great way for us to get out there and meet our customers and show our product line. If any of you will be attending these shows, we would love to meet you, so swing by and say “hi”.

Anyway, I often work late because the kids and V are in bed. Since V works all day, this is my time to get a bit done. I suppose, between the two of us, we put in from 12-16 hours per day on the business. When one of us is in the office, the other is with the kids. The kids are tended to, but V and I rarely get one-to-one time. At times I don’t know if this is a receipe for success or disaster, for either the business or our relationship. Like so many parents and grandparents have said, “I wish I spent more time with my kids” or “I spent too much time at the office.” V and I can say we spend time with the kids, and at the office, we just don’t get time with each other. I suppose we’ll be saying “I wish I spent more time with my spouse.” Since we are both committed to the business and the kids, we are ok with our arrangement for now.

Daughter M has bounced back from surgery, last Wednesday. As a parent, it sure is uncomfortable to watch your child go through surgery. It was an out patient issue, so we were back home in one day, but even tho, M sure was feeling low for a couple of days. V and I found it discomforting to not be allowed into the recovery room, so that one of us could have been there when M awoke. M was very shaken up when she was being wheeled out of recovery. When she saw us, she busted into tears. It was sad. Short lived, thankfully, but sad none the less. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we all stay healthy, and in no need of surgery in the future.

Later, Brad