Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pie and Science

A couple of weeks ago on our walk through the "farm" the boys and I noticed the blackberry patch. I was unsure our new place would have the same blackberry opportunities our old house had. At the old house, blackberries were plentiful and right out our door all along the driveway. The kids spent many a summer afternoon at the old house in the driveway picking berries. These were memories I was afraid we were going to have to do without this year so imagine my excitement when we found them all!

The other issue: in my book it isn't summer until there is a blackberry pie.

My plan during our school day is for #3 and #4 to have some "activity" time with mom. Yesterday we started making pie crust. But baby woke up or whatever #2 was doing wasn't working anymore, something happened to end our crust making. We picked it up today and the stars must have aligned because not only did we finish the crust but the entire pie!

#4 started asking as soon as Mr. Wiedz pulled into the driveway if it was time for pie. Everyone was excited!

We also had a fun science lesson today at the florist work barn. Dyeing sunflowers! The lovely florist-neighbors gave me a bouquet of beautiful sunflowers on Sunday. When I was cutting them and putting them in water I noticed that half of them were dyed red. Not only beautiful but a great science lesson to have ready made with a field trip to the barn. We saw racks full of tubs of dye filled with sunflowers. The kids thought it was great...although the boys thought the apples and the plums in the trees were just as good!

#1's report on our little science field trip.
#5 got a taste of ice cream too...he loved it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mr. Wiedz: "Mrs. Wiedz, Do you know what the best part of my day is?"

Being a parent is a thankless job. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we give. The Wiedz children have been away for the last 4 days. I picked up #2, #3, #4 last night and I picked up the #1 this evening from the coast. #5 is typically not far away from the bosom, no need to worry there. Anyhow, this evening, as we put everyone to bed, I was reminded of God's many blessings, his grace on our family, we were once again complete. All of the "giving" and frustrations go away, in the brief moment that I stare at each child, bending over to smell their breath and kiss them goodnight. I then finish my evening routine, and am typically the first to bed. Mrs. Wiedz likes this as I warm the covers. As she climbs in, I kick the covers, she complains, and we settle in, knowing the inevitable will come soon, the first crack of a cry that is sure to come just as we drift into cloud nine. At this brief moment, comes the best part of my day. I ask every night without fail "Mrs. Wiedz, do you know what the best part of my day is, "What honey", laying next to you now, knowing that I get to wake up at your side". I simply wanted to post tonight to thank Mrs. Wiedz for giving me the opportunity to share a life with her, share the gift of life, and grow old with the best friend anyone could ever have. You truly do complete me. I love you always......

Be safe,

Mr. Wiedz

Oh, her eyes, her eyes, make the stars look like they're not shining
Her hair, her hair, falls perfectly without her trying
She's so beautiful, and I tell her every day
Yeah, I know, I know, when I compliment her she won't believe me
And it's so, it's so, sad to think that she don't see what I see
But every time she asks me do I look ok, I say
When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change
Because you're amazing, just the way you are
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while
Because girl you're amazing, just the way you are
Her lips, her lips, I could kiss them all day if she let me
Her laugh, her laugh, she hates but I think it's so sexy
She's so beautiful, and I tell her every day
Oh, you know, you know, you know, I'd never ask you to change
If perfect's what you're searching for then just stay the same
So, don't even bother asking if you look ok
You know I'll say
When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change
Because you're amazing, just the way you are
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while
Because girl you're amazing, just the way you are
The way you are, the way you are
Girl you're amazing, just the way you are
When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change
Because you're amazing, just the way you are
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while
Because girl you're amazing, just the way you are. Yeah

Bruno Mars

Get Set...

Mr. Wiedz and I have had the weekend to ourselves (well, with just #5 but he's so easy and quiet that you'd hardly notice) to get our house ready for school.

I haven't said much about it, just a sentence or two in the "about me" paragraph, but the Wiedz household is embarking on a homeschool adventure. There are a number of reasons, those are for another post.

I've been reading post after post about what I might need to get ready. School room? Dining room table? Schedules? Text books? Photocopy now or as we need through the year?

Mr. Wiedz and I decided to go with a create-our-own curriculum based on the classical education model as outlined in "The Well-Trained Mind" by Susan Wise-Bauer and Jessie Wise. I spent the early summer outlining and planning what books I'd need. I ordered materials at the end of July...oh, what fun it was to have package after package arrive! And Mr. Wiedz and I put this weekend on our calendars.

This weekend has been set aside as "School Prep Weekend 2010". Mr. Wiedz built some fantastic shelves from lumber we got from a mill in Kings Valley...that tree grew up in the same place we did, that makes me smile. The shelves are gorgeous! And hold SO much!

I got a lot of good information on the planning and preparations from Preschool and Peace (I found this blog on google...had to click with a title like that!). She talks in one of her posts about getting everything prepared during the summer. I know what my kids would do if we had to stop for me to get something or make something or photocopy something, I opted to stand at Kinkos for over an hour to avoid that. I spent Friday morning making 738 copies. And on Saturday afternoon I put them all away!

Organizing our school area was really fun! Mr. Wiedz helped me put items on the shelves and asked at one point where my pencil collection was. I ran out to get it! I spent much of my childhood collecting pencils all with the intention of being a teacher someday and having them in my classroom. I made it! I'm a teacher with my own "classroom"!

We're doing a "soft open" this week. Easing into things. Seeing where the holes are. Where we need to adjust our schedule or our expectations. I'll report how that goes.

The other day in my web-surfing if found a great article with a quote that has stuck with me...
"Instead, my kids “let it all hang out” and show me where I need to help them, guide them, pray for them."
Here's to "letting it all hang out" and grace for the journey.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mr. Wiedz: Rules, Rules, Rules

Here is the deal. Mrs.Wiedz and myself have had a few recent questions regarding my recent posts. Although I appreciate the concern, I would greatly appreciate it if questions and feedback be left alone. I recognize that this might sound strange, but I post with the intent that when I feel it is appropriate to put forward information, I will do so. What I post is quite personal, factual, real and can be difficult to discuss. This said, I have been enjoying posting. Anyhow, I appreciate your understanding.

So, how did the deposition go.........

Frankly, in a sick way, I kinda enjoyed it. All of the pompous lawyers sitting around a table, starring at you in the eye like your a bad person, simply trying to get in your head to make you feel sometype of guilt. Egging you on to make a statement that they can use against you in the future. Simply put, it did not work with me. See, these people need to realize that over the past four years, I have been through hell and back again. Only by the grace of God, did Mrs Wiedz, our family, and myself make it through. These attorneys try and create stress, to make me stumble..... Their stress is petty......

Real stress is trying to feed a family, not knowing where your next meal might come from, praying each night that the Lord would provide. Real stress is putting on a suit, in a 100 degree day, driving an old truck with no AC, 1/4 tank of gas, (cold calling) knocking on business doors in the hopes that they would speak to you about a potential job even though they have never seen you before, real stress is knowing that your wife loves you unconditionally, supports your every action, while her friends judge her, real stress is being so depressed you can't get out of bed the next day.

Deposition went well for one reason, knowing in my heart that no matter how hard they tried, they could not "break me". I am now a stronger husband, business man, friend, and leader than I ever was before. Yes is was painful and hard however it taught me priceless life lessons. In closing on this topic, it remains unclear what will happen when the dust settle's. We will know more by years end. Until then, I take peace in my favorite biblical verse:

"Focus your eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal"
2 Cor 4:18

On a lighter note, I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with Mrs. Wiedz and #5. It was great. We worked really hard, preparing for the grand opening of the Classical School of Wiedz. My weekend primarily focused around building some shelves, moving items where Mrs.Wiedz told me to put them, eating, drinking, and believe it or some pretty good sleep. I am recommending to the board of directors for the Classical School of Wiedz that we do this once a year. #3 slept and Grammie's from 8:30pm to 12:30pm the next day, #4 slept from 6:00pm to 7:00 am. They both made the comment that it is loud at home, go figure!!! I guess a few of us needed to catch up from the past year.

I look forward to the return of our children, they will be trickling in the next few days. I plan on getting out on the river this week. The weather is already beginning to turn and for some reason it seems especially beautiful to me on the water. The fish are starting to run the rivers, and I am about ready to fish for some Chinook. Additionally, duck football begins this next weekend, however I get to skip the first game for a wedding Greeeeaaaatttt......... Mega foul, anyhow, family first. Then off to Sun-river Resort or a family vacation. By then, we will be talking about thanksgiving. Hold your horses, let's slow down a little and take things one day at a time.

be safe,

Mr. Wiedz

Reason itself is fallible, and this fallibility must find place in our logic


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some string...a door...a tooth

# 2 lost one of his front teeth in June. The other front tooth became loose shortly after and I told him I thought it would be so cool if he lost the second before the first started growing in so he'd be missing both his front teeth at the same time!
But #2 likes to take his time to do things. Mr. Wiedz says he has two gears, slow and just a little bit faster. Loose teeth happen in a similar fashion. He likes to just let them get really wiggly, no wiggling them himself. One of my closest friends and her husband TrevStac came for a visit a week ago, the Trev part of TrevStac being a dentist tried to get #2 to let him pull out the pretty wiggly tooth. Nope, but #2 had fun playing around like he would let him then shutting his trap right quick!
Last night Mr. Wiedz left the house to take some sleepover necessities to #1 who was at a friends house. As soon as he left #2 wondered if we could get his tooth pulled before Mr. Wiedz got back. He also wanted to try tying a string to the tooth and the doorknob and slamming the door. I got out some string, tied some slip knots and we gave it a go.

The door did nothing but I think trying to get the string tightly around the tooth got the tooth REALLY loose. One pull with a washcloth and we were in business! #2 was so excited...Mr. Wiedz thought it was so cool...the tooth fairy made her appearance...and I got my little boy missing his two front teeth!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mr. Wiedz: Business, Business, business...... Life is not always fun & games

Great weekend, made memories, life is good........ Back to the grind..... Wait, I have to go to court.....

As I mentioned a while back, I had things to say, and sometimes life is not always the easiest. I get the pleasure of attending my first deposition today, what a joy!!!! Yes I am being extremely sarcastic. Essentially, a business that I have been involved in had a partner, who was legally obligated to make monthly cash payments to the business. I went into financial obligations based on those cash payments. Unfortunately, my partners defaulted, paying $60,000 of a $680,000 debt. This action killed my cash flow, which ultimately caused me to default on my obligations. Needless to say, everyone is suing each other, trying to get paid, the attorneys are getting richer, and when all the dust settles, what you have is quite a few hard feelings, more bills, and little to no cash.

So why is this relevant. Here are a few valuable life lessons you can learn from my business failures:

1) Never give up control of the business, maintain at least 51% ownership
2) Don't expect that a legal binding contract will protect you. If your partner has more money than you, they can drag things out in court until you run out of cash, in the end, you loose
3) "Good will" in business is priceless, once you loose good will, your screwed
4) Forecast, plan for 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, nothing lasts forever, even if things are perfect now, all things come to an end
5) Don't take things personally, this is especially important, your business success or failure does not define you, what defines you is how you do business, how you approach life, the choices you make
6) Time heals all things, you still have to get up and get out of bed, because somebody out there loves you unconditionally, life gets better
7) Manage daily risk, everything is risk, getting out of bed and driving to work, the choices you make, the people you associate with, manage risk well, and you will be successful

I found out today that a former good friend of mine (We had a huge falling out) who hired me at Pebble Beach, who went on to an epic golf career at two of the most famous golf courses in the world, who had fancy cars, clothing line contracts, huge salaries, a beautiful wife and three children, lost it all. He is divorced, out of the golf business, selling in Portland. He judged me because I killed a business, I judge him because he killed a quality of life. Loose-loose as far as I am concerned.

Anyhow, so where do we go from here, the debt will likely get settled out of court, the company will get dissolved, you make better decisions next time, life goes on. Hug your kids, embrace your wife, and be grateful you can still enjoy sunsets, a glass of wine, and your children begging you to play ball.

Be safe,

Mr. Wiedz

"You move forward, because you have seen worse"


Wiedz Wonder

After we had packed up and helped clean the rental house on Sunday of Cousins Weekend Mr. Wiedz and I took the kids out on Wiedz Wonder to do some more crabbing. I had never been out on the boat so I was excited to spend a couple hours out there. The kids had all had a turn or two but it had been a week or more *gasp* and they were all ready to go!
Mr. Wiedz had to work a lot harder with just us family on the boat as he was the only one who could throw or pull crab pots. I got a lesson on boat driving and I wouldn't say it was easy but I definitely improved...Mr. Wiedz didn't have a choice but to keep letting me try, he can't drive and pull pots!

Of course there are all kinds of science and nature study out on the boat. Everyone watched over the sides to find animals and plants that are living under the surface. There were some spots that were quite shallow as well so you could see the tides affect on the sand of the ocean floor. #1 was working on her oceanography badge for girl scouts so we tried noticing the plants, animals, pollution, tides, water, and other things so she could meet the requirements of her badge.

Everyone had a job when Mr. Wiedz was bringing in the crab. I was driving. #1 was next to me making sure no crab were tossed or loose near her. #2 was in charge of the cooler lid, open for Mr. Wiedz to toss in a legal crab. #3 supervised #2 and Mr. Wiedz making sure they both knew crab were on the boat. #4 sat out of the way. And #5 slept. It was a well-oiled machine.

#2 commented that time on the boat was really nice and that they didn't even fight while on the boat. Everyone did do a fantastic job! It was such a pleasant way to spend the late morning. We also had great weather that day, another Oregon rarity!

We got the boat back to the launch and I left Mr. Wiedz to get everything settled while I fed #5. #1 was a huge help and the boys waited patiently for their turn to get off the boat. We stretched our legs, used the facilities, washed our hands, got out the snacks and headed for home...where the real work began.
The boat trip was fantastic! And it's a good thing that it was because there is so much work involved with taking the boat out like that! We stopped along the way when we saw a deep boat launch and got the boat in enough to run the motor through with fresh river water to flush the salt water out. Then at home we unloaded, scrubbed the boat inside and out and dried the boat!
We were tired but had another delicious crab dinner last night!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cousins Weekend 2010

Last year Mr. Wiedz's cousins got together for a camping trip. We went to Eastern Oregon on the only raining weekend they had last summer. Both tent awnings Mr. Wiedz's cousin had gotten as wedding presents broke in the wind. We all had a nice time, being with family is always better than the weather, but the boys said they were going to plan the next year.

This year we found a house on the second row of the beach in Pacific City. Small paths through the first row houses led to the beach. I'm usually not a beach person. I grew up going to the coast, all of my family lived at the coast but we never went to the beach. And the beach is so messy. But I decided that this trip would really be about the vacation. I would buck up about the mess and enjoy the journey.

While Mr. Wiedz and some of his cousins were out crabbing and #5 was asleep with another cousin at the house I took the big kids to the beach.

They ran...They built sandcastles...They dug...
They played... I knitted...
#5 woke up so cousin T was done watching him...the kids were ready to be done at the beach anyway so we went back to the house, showered all the sandy bodies and got into new clean clothes. Luckily the house had a washer/dryer so I was able to wash all the sandy clothes there.
After #5's lunch the kids and I headed out to Fat Freddy's for lunch. Fat Freddy's was the restaurant I went to with heather and tina in high school, we were in Pacific City for the fireworks on Forth of July and they'd had gotten hamburgers a this roadside burger joint. As a vegetarian I passed but I was so hungry I decided to have just one bite...until I HAD to have my own. I've always remembered that Fat Freddy's turned me from my vegetarianism (my mother was very happy).
The kids and I had a great lunch, Fat Freddy's would still end any ideas of vegetarianism. And walked back to the house. The big kids watched a movie while #4 found a sandy area next to the house to play. I sat outside knitting while we waited for Mr. Wiedz and the second round of cousins to come back.
The cousins and Mr. Wiedz had had wonderful luck on Wiedz Wonder and Cousins Weekend had a crab feast!
No one counted but we think there were nearly 30 dungeness crab on Saturday. The cousins and Mr. Wiedz had SO MUCH FUN on the boat! They pulled crab pots, watched the cooler get fuller and fuller, and motored around the bay.
After our fabulous crab feast Mr. Wiedz took the kids on a sunset beach walk as he had promised. Many of the cousins joined in. #5 was having his evening nap so I took the opportunity to have some minutes to myself. Some much needed minutes sitting on the couch, watching the sunset from the window, working on my quilt project.
Of course a sunset beach walk meant wading in the ocean, rolling down the dunes, and a new batch of sandy bodies and laundry to be washed. But we did everyone clean and warm and in bed.
The next morning was clean up time and getting everything packed back up to head home. As we worked to get that all done Mr. Wiedz's cousins T and B were cooking up a delicious Sunday breaky!
Thank you everyone for a wonderful Cousins Weekend! Can't wait for next year!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Swimming Lessons

Everyday this past week has found the Wiedz household at the pool for swim lessons. All of the kids are enjoying their classes and learning more in this week than ever before. The classes are all VERY small, #2 and #3's being the larges with four kids for 2 teachers. #1 is by herself with her teacher...learning to do more strokes and a wall turn!
The last couple of mornings of lessons were chilly, I checked my phone thermometer after lessons and it was 59 degrees! The kids did awesome!
Next week we have four more days of lessons, I'll show you what #5 and I have been doing during them.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I was going about my normal blog reading routine yesterday morning when I came across this thought from DesignMom.

"I’ve found myself pouting because it’s the last weekend of summer vacation at the Blair house. Pout! Has it been a summer worth remembering? Did my kids feel barefoot and fancy free? Were enough popsicles consumed? These questions weigh on me."

I thought about the summer here in the Wiedz home. Has it been worth remembering? Fancy free? Popsicles? Fun?

My sister said something to me at the beginning of summer about only having eight more summers with her son before he graduates from high school. We were talking about using those carefree days to fill with memories, for him (for our children) but probably more importantly for ourselves.

Between the two ideas floating around in my head yesterday I decided to leave the laundry, dishes, clutter, school preparations and general to-do lists here and we went to the park. I stopped for popsicles, found some recycled plastic containers for the sand and water feature, made sure I had a blanket to sit on and my project to work on.

Someone (#1) thought it would work to get the sand off by rolling down the hill. They had fun, I'm not sure the sand went anywhere but the boys were very itch-y from rolling in the grass...

Here's to the end of summer! Make it memorable!

I'm not really ready for today...

There's nothing special about it and that's probably my problem. Just the mundane of a Wednesday in August.

Have I ever told you August is my least favorite month? It is. The lawn I meant to keep green is not. Everything just wants water. The summer lazy routine is old and not working anymore but it's too early for the school routine. Yeah, not a big fan of August.

There was an awesome thunder storm last night as I made dinner. At one rumble it felt like the thunder was RIGHT over our house. #4 was helping me with dinner and every time the thunder would roll he'd want to go see...nothing to see buddy, we just get to hear it! After dinner we went and stood in the rain. It was refreshing. While out there I found this. I love cloud breaks, to see a glimpse of heaven.

This morning as we're trying to get ready for the day. I'm feeling August. In need of a new routine. Looking for the sweet and good and memorable for the day though.

Chubby, dimpled baby hands will do.