Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Spears Annual Christmas Letter 2009

The Spears Annual Christmas LetterWhen you care to send the very best!
From Someone Else's Sunriver Yours!

Our picture is false advertising of us and our new puppy Charlie. We gave him away shortly after this picture was taken, well 4 wks later. It wasn't that he was a terrible dog; it was just that I really missed my husband's joyful personality and zeal for life. I now know when I ask if something is ok to buy and his response is "well I guess so" that actually means "I'm really not on board". I did a wonderful job making our new family member seem so lovable by staging happy scenes of kids running around in the backyard with Charlie, giggling, tossing tiny apples for fetch, family baseball with the dog nearby, what joy and completeness our family now has is the message I was trying to convey to Ward. Well that didn't work. I can't remember what finally was the last straw, perhaps realizing the kids were reneging on the "but we'll take care of him, promise," or taking him outside thousands of time in my pj's and in my stern voice saying "GO POTTY" over and over in which I think...hmm. maybe he doesn't have to go potty, only to take him inside where he decides to “make it happen” on the rug!! Don't get me wrong, Ashley really cared for this dog, but the boys were right at the uncomfortable height of unfortunate nipping, and Ward well, he was just sick of getting his leg peed on every time he came into the room. So in order to keep lines of communication open and have the freedom to EVER leave the house again with money in my pocket I decided our dog days were over. Don't worry we left him with some food and water in a forest with other furry things. JUST KIDDING... hang up the phone, we found a very nice home for him where he is very loved and wanted. I cried the first night he was gone and Ward having no clue asked..."are you upset about something?"
Speaking of Dogs..

Ashley did a huge hike with Ward up Dog Mountain in the Gorge. I think they call it that beca
use you either get dog tired, or you need a dog to go get help if you don't make it up the severe incline. I did this hike when I was engaged to Ward to impress him, actually half way up he was literally towing me on his back pack, amazing he still married me with that behavior. The view at the top is breathtaking though which is usually why I put up with the pain and agony of these adventures… and the kids and I know Ward usually packs peanut M&M's.
Its no wonder Ward is not fond of animals, as a Realtor he has to deal with all sorts of unexpected things out in the "field". Imagine what you would do if you had the three kids in tow measuring a property in rural Clackamas county only to look up and see a big hairy, slobbery Llama galloping towards you. At first they thought “oh, look at the happy llama! Quickly they realized the toothy grin was not happiness but territorial anger. Ward told the kids to run for their life and don’t look back, which they did and made it safely back to the car. A similar experience with the wildhappened at our house located in more of a country setting that seemed to attract more wild animals. An open hole left from construction gave us the unpleasentries of a family of opossums living under our house. (Some o
f you might remember our prior history with an opossum getting into our house the year before). But this time, for several weeks we tried getting these horrible animals out of the garage with little success until we discovered they like Taco Bell and Sour Patch Kids candy (who knew?). Thankfully, that worked like a charm and soon they were back into the wild. Speakingof the wild, Ward spotted this interesting "art work" while showing a property. Yes, that is stuffed half deer sticking out of the wall with a tiny Swiss village inside. It's those moments in a tough Real Estate market that brings laughter as medicine and makes you glad you got out of bed that day even in a challenging market. Most of you may have heard we moved again this fall.
Which leads to the next chapter "When Your Kids think Cardboard Boxes are Furniture" from the self help book for kids I'm writing called.... "Mom Dad.. Why is the U-Haul in our Driveway Again?" Thankfully, we have settled into our new (old) cozy house and the kids are adjusting well after reading chapter 3 "Making new friends in every community"- when everyone your age at the mall is an ex-classmate". Chapter 4 "When you've moved too many times asking friends to help is out of the question." and Finally Chapter 5 "How to move your whole house just you, your husband, and a hand truck- fighting the temptation to leave heavy things behin

We love watching our kids play soccer even though there was a lot of driving around, rain, lightning and thunder, hail, and evil barking attack dogs. Ashley scored her first goal this year which unfortunately was the exact time I was looking down at my coffee. Luke attacks the soccer ball like a pit-bull after a kitty, and Owen...well we never know what w
e were going to get out of him. Near the end of the season I pretty much wanted to hunt down the soccer commissioner for scheduling early morning Saturday games in the dark & cold when later that day we'd drive by and see the gorgeous rays of sun beaming down on the empty field other than a guy playing Frisbee with his dog. Our most shocking match was against the Hispanic team from Woodburn. They've got something going on down there that we don't, evidently. This reminds me of our many trips to our favorite taco truck downtown Portland. One special night we took time to test a few different taqueria trucks and found our favorite still was located on 6th. We have yet to get sick so they must wash their hands and for a 1.50 you just can't beat the flavor. Speaking of flavor and Mexican food we learned last year that transporting tortilla soup to a party is quite challenging. During the first turn we realized we were going to be late and sadly not everyone at the party was going to get soup.

Our kids are not the only ones who have been active this last year. If you notice my big toe in the family picture, has a blue band aid on it. That was souvenir from the 1/2 marathon I walked in June. I'm still not sure why people like to do those things, at about mile 10 of the 13 I thought I was going to have to pick up my insides off the pavement, That picture was taken in August and to this day my big toe is still not pedicure worthy. I hate getting pedicures anyway because the little lady doing my feet is always a size -3 with a shoe size of kids 13. That's fine for her, but one look at my feet she usually makes a curious groan and gets right back up to fetch "supplies" which I'm certain is a "shot of something" to get her through the procedure. It humors me when they ask "You like flowa" as IF I would be the flower type when they clearly could not have missed me driving up in my big, ugly, tan mini-van (see older posts) Which by the way, as some of you know already thanks to facebook, just got paid off and just hit 100k miles. This van has been through 9 years of abuse. I'm pretty sure I lost any hope of trade in value when I spilled a tub of white primer paint all over the tan carpet in the back seat. Kelly Blue Book doesn't even have a category suitable for the condition of my car. BUT it is a car and now that it is paid off I've stopped praying it will get stolen. I seem to be magnet for those kiosk demonstrators at the mall that want to straighten my hair as they yell out "ma'am you have naturally curly hair?" (duh)... as if I'd really like them to straighten it right there in the middle of the mall. A guy yelled out tonight "ma'am are those your real nails?" I'm thinking...huh? you mean people actually pay to have bitten down nubs? "uh yea...they are".

Ward as you know does extremely strenuous activates. At Sunriver the kids and I went on a “long” bike ride to the country store and back and were ready to watch a movie and nap, all this while Ward was riding his bike to Mt. Bachelor AROUND the mountain and back in the same 3.5 hours. It's pretty sick if you ask me and after 14 years of marriage I've decided to let him be him and me be me and told him us happy people who sleep in and don't push it to the limits and also know everything about pop culture are.. well... happier! He brought home a scary gift for me, a North Face puffy coat th
at can withstand -0 temperatures!!! He likes to go snow camping and snow shoeing (which is so strange). It is a MUST to wear sunglasses in the bright conditions on the mountain which Ward accidently dropped in the cold rushing river which could’ve ended his trip at that moment. Thankfully, he was able to make some new glasses out of duct tape, a shoelace, and some extra surprise lenses found in a case.

We were excited to get Blazer game tickets to take the boys. The seat had binoculars attached to them which made watching the game moreenjoyable and shocking to watch the boys use the binoculars when the Blazer dancers hit the floor. I'm sure if I had the camera pointed the other way the picture would be of Ward looking in his binoculars. Ahem...

I could go on and on which is not what you need at this time. I started blogging this last year so if you want more crazy stories you can always check here throughout the year. I'm still singing and ready to start writing some more tunes but every time I sit down I hear a "MOM.. we're hungry" If only our kitchen was set up like a buffet where they can just grab and graze. That's ok though, I see them growing so fast and realize this season with them at this age is going faster and faster and I want to cherish all my time with my family that I can. We hope you have a wonderful time with the ones you love and care about and we are thankful each day no matter what we go through knowing God is our Hope and our Strength. Love, The Spears
Ashley: Age 11, 6th grade, Plays Soccer and Volleyball, short term goal: get a new Aeropostle T-shirt, long term goal wants to be a Kindergarten Teacher. Luke: Age 9, 3rd grade, Plays Soccer and likes golfing, art and watching football games. Short term goal: Head to the Lego Store, Long term goal: wants to be a Pilot. Owen: Age 8, 2nd grade, plays soccer and likes watching football. Short term goal: eating taco salad, Long term goal: Attend Oregon State.