Friday, June 20, 2008

Newest Member of the Kantola Family

I'd like to announce that our newest family member should be arriving in the coming week. He is a little over three years old and about 73.5 pounds. :)

His name is Racer and he is a Belgian Malinois (pronounced Mal-in-wah).

In one of the very first correspondence emails I had with the breeder, Penny Winegartner, she described Racer as below:

Malinois are dogs that really want to be part of a person's or family's life [so] that getting the bond between you is usually pretty easy. I actually have a young male Malinois (Racer) who would be a very good fit for what you've described about your home life. Racer is just a bit over three years old and was in a home with small children until he was a bit over two years old. The man who had him wanted to do protection sports, but Racer just didn't have enough fight drive for him. Racer is extremely sweet, stable in temperament, moderate drive, very obedient (his obedience is almost good enough to take into the show ring), housebroken, use to small children, good around other animals and is looking for a person or a family to call his own. He is a very responsive dog and really wants to please his people. He is a dog that I consider to be safe in most circumstances. In short he's just about someone's perfect pet dog - I've just been waiting to find him the perfect home.

And now Racer's wait for his perfect home is over. Jason and I are so very excited to get to add him to our family. We're really looking forward to all kinds of adventures with our newest hiking and camping buddy and we're so pleased Siennalee will be able to grow up with such a wonderful companion and furry friend.

Look out for many more posts involving this sweet mug to come!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Last Father's Day, Jason's first Father's Day, we spent the day far apart. For most of the year, Jason was stationed in Kuwait with his Navy Reserve Unit and Siennalee and I spent our days at home; playing, growing, and awaiting his return.

This year, we were able to greet a very happy Daddy with a "Happy Father's Day!" first thing as he came downstairs! This year we got to have a nice, lazy breakfast and watch Daddy enjoy his presents. This year we could have a grill out to celebrate the fact that God gave me the very best man to be my husband and the father of my children and gave my children the perfect man to help give them, prepare them, and support them throughout their lives.

This year we get to celebrate Jason, this wonderful, hardworking, adventurous, funny, handsome, strong, ticklish, chocolate-loving, dreamer of a man God gave to us.

Happy Father's Day Jason.
We love you like crazy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Washing Ants

As the weather begins to warm up this time of year, as it does most years, the comfortable temperatures bring out more than just the unfortunate white legs and bare arms and backs of indiscreet Oregonians. It brings ants. Sugar ants.

They come, unbidden, unwelcome, and unexpected, into your home, looking for free meals and picnic fodder.
I hate them. Hate them with the heat of a thousand suns.

Siennalee, who - like a good toddler - always watches me very closely, would come up and ask for a "wash" - which is a baby wipe (because they "wash" you). More times than prudent, probably, she'd seen me get tissue paper, stalk angrily over to the nasty black offenders, and wipe them off God's good earth.

And so I would supply the "wash" and she would stalk her little toddler self over to the ants' favorite entry point and go hunting.

She was pretty good. (Oftentimes she would just catch bits of sand or dirt from the backyard, but I never told her. Why crush childhood enthusiasm?)

No decorative rug was left unturned.

She was tenacious.

The ants finally surrendered (the poison I put out probably helped to drive home Sienna's point, too).

"Ant, Mama, ant!"

I do believe she'd like to have these stuffed and mounted... I know I would.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hiking Mary's Peak: Take Two

The weather was just barely sociable weekend before last and so Jason and I decided to make a break for it up to Mary's Peak. We knew we'd possibly get rain, but hey, we're Oregonians; rain we can DO, but snow... Ahhh, at last the snow has departed for higher places. And now we scramble up to the new green-ness, just finally freed from winter's white hand.

The trip was mostly a success; the parts that were not included a giant, rudely yellow, metal arm stretching across the road, advising us of its continued closure and that we would not be able to access any trails beyond. Also included in the less than successful details is the fact that this mountain is wonderfully accessible, but sadly not just to us, and so we had to share with groups of other (louder) hikers. Not to mention the nasty nasty litterbugs.

But, joy! We went back to an excellent trail, now free from snow, and hiked it a good way until we were blocked by quite a large tree fallen over the trail. Jason and I paused, exchanged looks, and considered the group of hollering hikers just up ahead of us. And then there was our cranky baby, now well past the time she preferred to lunch and then to be rocked and put down for her usual nap. So we turned back.

I have a feeling that we may need to take a few more running starts before we can finish what Jason and I once used to consider a meager day hike, but until then, we're all enjoying said running starts as well as each other under the big fir trees.

Siennalee and her currently preferred method of hiking.

Off to the big trees!

Beautiful valley views.

Misty mountains.

One of my many stops to appreciate the beauty.

BIG trees.

More peeks of the valley below.

Hi Jess. Did you stop again? (Can you see Siennalee's adorable little face?)

Mountain wild flower. We think this one is called Oxilas.

Wild strawberries.

The beautiful little stream violet!

When I was walking beneath this beautiful green canopy I half expected to see a teeny fairy princess flit in front of my path.

Free from the Kelty Kids Carrier!

Hey Daddy! Where you goin'?

This is a lot more work than riding in the Kelty! Whew!

Ooooo, pretty mountain.

We gotta do this again!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Meeting Bella

Nuthin' cuter than a toddler and a puppy...

This past week we drove down to Uncle Mel and Auntie Donna's house to spend some time with them and Jason's sister Cheri. One of the biggest draws, besides seeing these special family members, who else Cheri was bringing with her for our visit.

Meet Bella. She's an 8 week old red Doberman pup and Chad and Cheri's newest furry baby.

I'll say it again: Todder + puppy = devastating cuteness.

Both little girls were munching on shared saltine crackers. Sienna would head inside, nab crackers from on the kitchen table, and bring them back out share.

Auntie Cheri finally brought out some treats a little more geared towards puppy taste.

"Now remember, these are for Bella... not for you."

There we go.

And for your viewing pleasure, I present Toddler and Puppy: How Cute Is That...

The Green Report

I'm happy to report my garden is growing along beautifully! It's survived a week or so of quite unseasonably HOT weather and then days of sudden drops in temperatures following closely behind.

While my tomato plants are roughing it a bit in these cool weeks... lettuce is thriving!

In fact, I've been able to harvest several salads and fresh fixin's for sandwiches and burgers from the gorgeous, green, organic bounty. My peas have finally begun to take off (they didn't care much for the hot weather and are now living it up in this cool June air)...

...and I anticipate picking them with Jason and Siennalee very soon. The potato plants are beginning to flower a pretty purplish bud and my squash and pumpkin plants are juuust tolerating the cool...

... can you see 'em in the picture? Just you wait, they're quietly growing along, ready to spring forth once the weather warms.

Marigolds stand sentry around my garden box... the pretty red, gold, and yellow blooms are a natural deterrent to many pests who would love to munch on my hard work. Growing on either side of the marigolds in the picture above are baby sweet peas... once they bloom, they'll serve to attract beneficial insects like bees who will help pollinate the waiting fruit flowers.

I mean, how pretty is this?

All in all, things are growing quite nicely. Jason and I look forward to a good summer of good organic eating!