Friday, February 19, 2016

Entering the 21st Century 

Well now that we are 16 years into this futuristic century,  The old man and I have decided to join in on the techno fun.   Yep  we went with a cable internet connection and ditched the dsl line.   I KNOW  SHOCKING Though it may be, we felt it was time.

We skype with our adorable Grandkids,
We Google things for ourselves,
We even figured out how to upload a picture to facebook !
But, the most compelling reason for the big switch,
We are getting those fancy phones that use 

Yes this old gal is getting a smart phone that I most likely will need my Grandkids to explain to me.  

I love the world we live in and am grateful every day
for the technology that allows us to be connected,
even when we are miles apart.

So there you have it. 
We are almost updated

See you out there in that 
World Wide Web

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


For the last few Summers, we have held Papa's Pirate Camp. 
Nothing big,  just a few of our favorite pirates and sometimes their mommies (who take lots of pictures for us).  We have found that some of life's best lessons come in the form of Pirate Guidelines.

Life should be full of family and friends who think you are wonderful, even if they know you can have bad days.

Every pirate needs some alone time every now and then

All beverages are best out of their original containers

Bubbles are fun no matter how old you are.

Girls can be Pirates too, so include some every now and then

Water is your friend.

Nobody will ever tell a story better than Papa.

I thought there might be a few who follow us that felt we had dropped off the planet.  Well I just couldn't figure out how to get back into this blog after I started writing a new one with just some of my thoughts that really didn't have anything to do with my GREAT FAMILY  

I am happy to report that the Family Blog is back. !    :D   

And this is what we have been up to the last few months.

Dennis’ Story of being found

Dennis was adopted,  that is almost where this story begins.  He was adopted by two very loving and wonderful people who raised him in wonderful circumstances.  He was well loved and grew up knowing that he was adopted.   His parents were never secretive about that part, but all they knew was that he was part Native American, Born in Bremerton Washington, and that he was a ward of the state.  They encouraged him in his desire to learn about the Pacific Northwest Indians and fostered his love of all things ocean and beach.  
He was curious about his birth Mother, and a few times mentioned that he would like to know his heritage and medical history, but never went looking for her as he was also told, “Somethings are just best left alone”.  So He did.
In July of 2014  Governor Inslee in Washington State, declared that all sealed adoption records for persons who were adopted before 1993 should be unsealed.  Dennis filled out the paperwork and received his original birth certificate within a few weeks.  We started looking up the birth mothers name, Olive May George Costa, and after a bit of sleuthing,  located her in a censes in the tribal records for the Port Gamble Tribe.  Dennis contacted the Tribe in September 2014, and was given contact information for Patricia Rudd, who we would have to work through in order to get any more information.
Patricia was very happy to help and after looking at a copy of the Birth Certificate, found his Mother on the tribal rolls for the Port Gamble S’Klalams.  She was sad to report that his Mother had passed away in 1982, but was willing to help Dennis fill out the paperwork for enrolling in the tribe which his mother had belonged to.   In October of 2014, He started this process and while we were waiting for all the steps to take place, Dennis received a joyful piece of news.  In July of 2015 Patricia called to let him know that he was the youngest of 6 siblings, and that she had found contact information for the oldest Sister, Sharon Black.  Sharon and her Sister Cathie had been told by their mother Olive, before she passed away, that she had had another Baby and that they needed to find him.
The circumstances of this conversation are in and of themselves a tiny miracle.  Before Dennis was born, all 5 of his older siblings were put into Foster Care and then put up for adoption by their Father, while their Mother was recovering from domestic abuse.  They were, all 5, adopted by wonderful Parents, Dean and Alta Jacobson, and grew up as a group, thinking that they were all that there was. It should be noted that Dean and Alta had already raised children of their own and then adopted the 5 Costa children along with another Girl, Barbara. 
Upon the untimely Death of the oldest Brother Gary,  Olive came to the funeral at the invitation of Alta, and shared with the girls that she had birthed another boy after the kids had been taken from her.  This boy, she told the girls, she had named Donald, and they should go and find him.   They looked for about a year to no avail as they were looking in the wrong state,  Mis-information on the part of Olive whose memory was not in very good shape.
After some time, Sharon contacted the Tribe in Port Gamble and left her contact information, “In case Donald ever comes looking for his Mom”.    During the process of enrollment,  The Tribal member working on Dennis’ paperwork remembered that she had contact information for Olive’s son, Donald, when they realized that Dennis and Donald were one and the same, the passed this information on to him.  
Dennis sent an email to Sharon, and asked if she was looking for a Donald Costa,  She replied and said she had been looking for him since 1986, and asked are you he?  Dennis replied,  “I am he”, and the phone calls that ensued were joyful.   
There have been many tears of joy and love, and sadness in these last few months.  Joy at finding out that he was not alone, there are Brothers and Sisters who want him in their lives.  Sadness at the discovery that His Mother and older Brother Gary have passed on and he will have to wait for that reunion.
We attended the Tribal Council meeting in October of 2015 and Dennis was officially voted back into his tribal family.  We went up and spent Thanksgiving with his Uncles and Aunts, some cousins, and one of His Sisters, Cathie, who drove all the way up from Utah to surprise him for the holiday.   He has had such a warm welcome from the four remaining siblings. 
We are anxious to see what the future holds,  canoe trips in the sound in hand carved canoes that Dennis will be able to help make.   Salmon bakes on the beach of Point Julia,  complete with clams and oysters that seem to want to just walk up to your fire,  tribal stories and Artwork to learn, and then pass on.   So many cousins and Aunties to get to know and laugh with, and Uncles who want to pass on their skills and traditions,  all of this and more we look forward to.    Thank you for joining us on this journey and encouraging Dennis to follow his heart, it has led him to some pretty amazing people.   

Friday, July 1, 2011


*Title taken from the movie Hook*

Last fall I stated back to school.
The following is what I learned:
I have learned that it is best not to miss class.
It helps to have a study buddy.
Mouthing off to the teacher only gets you a BAD grade.
*This I learned from others experience NOT my own*
Power point is not a scary as I thought.
I can still spell most words correctly although I now LOVE my Computer spell check
The Librarians are WONDERFUL.
Research is much easier now that we have the internet.
Every thing you ever wanted to know about the treatment of circus animals, and then some.
Our state does NOT fund the poet laureate any longer due to budget cuts.
There is always one more piece of paperwork to fill out for your tuition.
Poetry is still a love of mine.
The more you know the more write, not always a good thing
Imaginary numbers Still have a right answer not an imaginary one.
Love has rules and writers must follow them
Hamlet is still a Great read.
Logarithms make sense.
The little red haired girl with all those tattoos and piercings sitting next to you is a sweetie,
So Don't judge a student by his appearance.
Standing up for your values earns you respect
The book is ALWAYS better than the movie.
A 3.94 is harder than I remember.

Someday I might Graduate and become a Real People
until then
Bring on that summer reading list.

Good summer break everyone

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"To Be or Not to Be..."

When I grow up I want to be... We have all dreamed of being something, teacher astronaut, firefighter, nurse. What did you dream of when you were little? Are you that person now? No one ever says they want to be second best doing something dull and un-fulfilling when they grow up yet how many of us put our dreams on the shelf and settle for what ever we can find.
When I was little I wanted to be two things when I grew up. I want to be a teacher and I wanted to be a Mommy. These seemed like two things that would be fun and that you had to be smart to do. My own Mom was so smart she knew all kinds of things. She created a world of fun out of nothing and I wanted to be like that.
I had wonderful teachers while I was in school who made learning fun. I had a teacher in the 4th grade who found a way for us to dissect cool stuff for science. I had an Teacher who saw the potential for great readers and sent a few of us to the library to get the "Special Books" Like Huck Fin and Wrinkle in time, when we had read all of the books the rest of the class was reading.
Now I have been a Mommy for quite a few years and this is what I have learned about my dream come true. It is harder shop for the perfect toy than it is to build the perfect blanket fort. Fast food is NEVER better tasting that food that comes out of the oven with the marks of little helpers ( even if they did think that salt was sugar ). The city pool is cool but being able to lay out in the little pool at home at midnight and find the constellations with Dad is cooler. The trip to the fun thing is always more fun and more memorable than the fun thing itself.
I have also been teaching now for many years although not in the formal state-run setting that most of us associate with teaching. Teaching is done in many ways, Mom's are teaching all day every day if anyone cares to learn. I have learned a great deal from all my students over the years and I would like to share just a few. Students are more interested in what you have to say if you can remember their names. There are never enough black brown and pink crayons in a box. Candy in the class is never helpful but sometimes an un-frosted cookie in the shape of a covered wagon is the best visual aid. The student who has read ahead and is prepared is a treat and somewhat rare. Most of the time spent teaching should be spent listening to what your students think about what was said.
When our children blessed our lives, I set aside school and formal education and paychecks that would have been nice to stay home to raise my children. I know that not everyone does it that way, but it was the way I chose. Full time Mom and dream on the back burner. I missed out on all that late night college fun and long time friendships that good roommates and classmates become. Now I find that All this time I was Full time Mom and Full time Teacher. the pay was immeasurable and the benefits are just now kicking in. I have the benefit of seeing all the children I have taught over the years begin to raise their own children and to become GREAT Parents. I have the benefit of my own little grandsons coming to my house and showing me the marvelous things their Mommies and Daddies have taught them. I am greatly blessed to have taught some of the best children on earth and they have taught me much as well.
Now as I return to school to finish what I started years ago, a sense of humor is helpful as I try to explain what I am doing to younger minds than mine. They marvel that if I am already teaching privately why would I want to sit in an English class that no one seemed to really want to take. I laugh and explain that even though I have taken this class before it was years ago and the paper credit doesn't count any more. Lesson to be learned: Finish what you start in a timely manner or you will have to start over. I have enjoyed remembering the lines from Shakespeare's plays long forgotten and now renewed. Lesson to be learned: Love of family is the most important thing and trust is essential to that love. I have even enjoyed learning that I can do algebra after all these years. Lesson to be learned: Some things are not as hard as we remember or perceive if we will just sit down and do them.
To become what we dream we must work hard and sacrifice those things that do not matter for the things that do matter. To not become what we dream leaves us empty of some of the joy our Heavenly Father desires us to have. Having been sent to earth to become like our Father in Heaven requires sacrifice and hard work. We must give up what would seem like a good time for what appears like hard work at the moment. To be like Him requires that we Not be like the world. To be what we dream means that we can Not be distracted from flashy here and now.
To be who we are, or not the real question is are you willing to pay the price and go the distance and finish what you started when you first had that dream.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The End is Just The Begining

Some time ago our family took a very long road trip to a very special place. All the way there we heard the Oh Too Familiar “Are we THERE yet”? The road seemed long and tiresome and although at times we made the road fun for the most part is was all about wearing your seat-belt and staying where you belong and not getting lost and on and on. Seemed like more of a burden to get where we were going then the Special Place would be worth when we got there.

What our children did not know was the Special Place would be worth every minute they had to spend in the car. What could they in their inexperience know of their destination? They did not remember having been there and could not possible know that their parents were doing all they could to provide them with a grand and wonderful life experience. Soon they would have more joy then they had ever previously known.

When we arrived they were indeed thrilled. So many memories of that day fill my heart and theirs. Such reunions as they had never remembered. Families, gone from our presence but not forgotten, were waiting for us to greet us and fuss over us and share everything they had with us. It was indeed a marvelous time. We were so happy to be where our family was. The long road was over and the End was just the Beginning.

We are all part of a larger family, The Family of Our Father in Heaven. He too has asked each of us to go on a long journey to a special place. The road is filled with seat-belts that must be worn to keep us safe. At times we have fun, laugh and create a memory of the journey, but still we must follow the rules of this road. And when we reach our destination we too will be filled with the joy of being again with Family that we knew but perhaps because of time and distance and space have forgotten

Sometimes, in our lives, we make choices that take us places we do not want to be Yet, at other times, People in our lives make choices that leave us in places we do not wish to be. Still we stand together and that makes us strong. We are a forever family and we WILL Stand strong yet again, even if we do not want to stand here.

Here where the road seems longest, Here where the pain is felt most deeply. Here feeling left behind as everyone else moves on without us. Here, left Standing alone, on earth. Yet we remember something of our Home in Heaven each time we hold that new life that comes so fresh from our wonderful Heavenly Home. We feel it when we reunite with friends and loved ones in this mortal sphere. We feel it most tenderly when one we loves reaches the end of their journey and discovers,

The End is just the Beginning.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Funny how life goes and goes and then one day you notice how much has gone. This week Dennis and I noticed that it had been 30 years that we had been married. I wonder if it was those flowers that give it away, or perhaps all of our children coming home for dinner or maybe it was card that said how after 30 years he still loves me like it was just yesterday that we fell in love. Whatever it is that makes you notice the time, the time becomes less important as you go along. What is important is the way you feel every day. Do you feel better because you have this wonderful person to share your day with? Do you want to spend your evenings and free time with them ? Do you count the minutes in anticipation of their arrival? When the only time that matters is the time spent apart because you just want more time together, You know that you have something special. Time at our house this year was kind of a BIG deal. With Dennis doing a temporary night gig for a few months that has turned into half the year... Time together was a big deal. Then we noticed that both of us were just a tad closer to that half century mark than we would like to have to admit. Dennis hit it last January and I was edging closer than I ever wanted. Funny how so much of your life you can pack into what feels like such a small amount of time. Funny how such a short space of ticking minutes becomes years and decades and then you are the grey haired grandparents. Funny how that vow to love forever seems to be just getting started and someone much younger points out that you have been married longer than anyone they know. Funny how time flies when you are having fun.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Easy Life

My cousin Becky has inspired me this morning to achieve the easy life. She posted that as of 10:30 this morning she had already accomplished a laundry list of the days activities Such as laundry, windows bathrooms lunches packed Kiddies bathed dressed fed and ready for a new adventure. Beds made, floors vacuumed, and Kitchen cleaned up from breakfast. WHEW ! You see my cousin Like myself, is a stay at home MOM. We lead the easy life. For when you are a stay at home Mom this is your life, look at all the freedom you will have when you choose this EASY life.
You set your own hours. ( whenever you are needed )
You set your own menu ( What ever the kids will eat this week )
You set the dress code. ( What will wash the best with this activity. )
You set the schedule ( as long as you have everyone where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there.Dressed the way they are supposed to be dressed )
You set the pay scale ( as long as it is leftover from everything else )
YOU Cook, YOU clean, YOU administer the first aid, YOU are the referee.
YOU DETERMINE THE ATTITUDE (cause if Mama ain't happy ain't nobody Happy )
You are the captain of your ship What could be easier than That. :D

So to all you who are looking to ease your burdens and get out of that race of a life you lead
Just stay home and lead the easy life.

Enjoy :D

Thursday, July 22, 2010

BaseBall Anyone ?

When I was a kid I learned to play baseball in school. I Learned the rules or so I thought. I even learned to swing a bat. I lived in Seattle the home of the Professional Losing Mariners so.... when our little town decided to start up a woodbat league, and they called for host families for the young men who would be playing, I thought WHY NOT !

Let me introduce you to my
Boys of Summer !

This is Marshall and Danny and Karsten
with Dylan at one of our Baseball games.
Our team is the Walla Walla Sweets.
Danny # 14 plays mostly 3rd base but sometimes first. He lives with us and Dylan loves him. Marshall # 6 Plays all the infield and Dylan thinks he is Funny. Karsten #33 Plays 1st base. These guys are great to have in our homes and they have been great to get to know.

We had a bat night giveaway and Dylan got a little bat. but when we went to take pictures with the team he wanted Danny's bat so...
Danny traded him.
Dylan thought that was cool
But he did have to give Danny back his big bat and that was not cool.

This is Chris # 46
He is a Pitcher. He has a fast ball that is really fast. It is really hard to hit too.

Dylan thinks he is his big brother.
He follows him everywhere when they are both at the house at the same time. And Chris has been a great sport about talking to him and playing in the pool with him.

If you have seen our pool you know why that is a big deal.

We love to watch all the boys as they swing for the fence
Or guard the home turf.

And you can't have baseball in Walla Walla without a big Sweet Onion. oh yeah and Great Umpires.

The season started out a little chilly and Dennis Had to get me a jacket.

But as you can see Now we have beautiful sunshine and they work really hard to keep our field of dreams Green.
We love to sit and watch as they prep the field.
And This is where we sit for every Game. Great seats !!! PLAY BALL :D

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What is a Family anyway

This is me, I am a boy and I am All BOY ! I love Dirt and mud and dogs and cookies and everything that is loud and dirty. But I also love my bear and my blanket and a good cuddle when the day is over. I Love a bath and soft warm PJ's . I have a Mom and a Dad and that is our Family. Just us and we are very happy . So when My mom and Dad told me that We were going to have a baby brother soon, I wondered what that meant.

When I asked my Dad how we were getting a baby Brother he thought about it a while and said your mom is going to take care of that . But we are going to love him and he is going to be a lot of fun.

So one day After spending the night with Nana and Papa we go to this place and I see my Mom just laying around in Bed. Now my mom works very hard to keep My Dad and Me clean and Fed and entertained and happy so I thought she was just taking a nap before she fixed me lunch. But she said No, she was working on getting a baby Brother here.
It doesn't look like work to me but I am just 2

So Nana and I went to the bookstore and found a book about being a Big Brother and then one about Cars racing and crashing ( that one is for my Dad cause he can make the BEST crash sounds EVER) and took them home to Nana's and read them. and waited. OK WE made cookies and played with the dogs and took a nap and then the phone rang and My Dad said that we could come and see the new Baby Brother. Uncle Derek and Nana and I went to the big place and look what we found.

This is My Baby Brother.
He can't do anything yet that is fun but everyone seems to really like him.
I think he doesn't know I am his Big Brother yet but I keep telling him that he is the baby so I think he will get it soon.
So, this is my Dad and my Baby Brother,
And I guess my family is just everyone that loves me and That I love