Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fully into Fall

Nearly the end of October now, and it definitely appears that we are full into Fall now.  The weather has changed back to the dreary, wet, colder types of days that have us turning on the heat, starting fires, and drinking coffee all throughout the day.

The fifth annual LBF chili cook-off was another success.  This year, we had our first female winner..... Stephana Timmer took home the first place award for this year.  In addition, Tiff Stauffer came her very closest ever to a win, coming in a very close second place, with her gluten free chili.  And as well, another female winner..... Erin Swedberg took home the coveted "Boobie Prize" this year.  :-)

Football season is coming to an end for us this weekend.  Evan plays his final game today, in Lynden.  We are hoping so much for a great win, and even more than that, hoping that Evan plays the best game of the season today.  He loves football so much, and we just love watching him play.  He has an amazing gift of athleticism, and he just does things on the football field that other kids can't do.

With football behind us, we will enter a new season this year.  Although Evan doesn't like to play basketball, Sierra has decided that she does indeed want to go out for basketball this year.  So, this morning, I will be taking her to get her signed up for the season, and dropping her off for her first day of practice.  This should be quite fun, as she has never participated in any other sports, with exception of one season of t-ball.  We look forward to seeing our little girl on the court.

For Evan, with sports done for the year, we will be starting to have him take weekly drum lessons.  Evan is very excited about band, and music..... and especially about becoming a drummer.

Grammy and Papa have been here for a couple of weeks now, and have decided to add one more week here with us.  They came to spend time with the kiddos, and to see Evan play in his last two football games of the season.  They also wanted to be here for their first time at our chili cook-off.  And now, they have decided to stay for watching the kids enjoy Halloween this next week.  The kids are enjoying it greatly, as they are being spoiled like crazy!!!  :-)

I started my second job, working for Westside Pizza in Everson, just this last week.  My first day was a full 9 hours, and then I worked just a short couple of hours yesterday again.  I will be back on Monday for another full day, and then should be into a fairly regular work pattern there throughout the month of November.  I anticipate putting in 20+ hours a week there, in hopes of making enough money to help us start try and climb out from under the huge mountain of debt we are in.  At minimum wage plus tips, there is no doubt that I am going to have to work as many hours as possible, and it is going to take a very long time to make any real progress...... but, it is a job, and part time jobs that work around my regular shift work schedule as a firefighter, they are hard to find and come by.

I am feeling sad today, as I realize that I haven't been on my bike now in a full 10 days!!!  Absolutely crazy, and I feel it.  I have slipped out of  my routine this past three weeks, and really need to get back at it again, right away.  I am planning to go back at it hard once again on Monday...... no looking back, no regrets..... just simply back on track, with hard work and determination once again.  Although I have no intentions of being in a calendar or anything of the sort....... I would like to be able to look at myself in the mirror, and to be able to see a mid 40's year old guy who could be in a calendar!!!  Time to get busy.

That's about it for now.... I am sure I am leaving out something, or more..... but I will post about all of that next time  :-)

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Monster Is Gone!!!.................

.....At least for now, that is. 

Yesterday morning, we were able to finally have just a bit of closure on the torment and pain and anger that has been a huge part of our entire year.... We were able to be in Superior Court, to watch The Monster (aka Greg Bass) be formally sentenced to prison, and then taken away to jail.

It was an emotional morning for us, filled with a whole host of feelings.  We were so glad to finally have this day which we all believed should have taken place a good six months ago now!!!  As much as we didn't want to see this sick freak ever again, it was actually good that he was able to see all of us, and all of the friends and family and supporters that we had there on behalf of all of the victims that have been at the hands of this evil. 

As he sat on the front bench of the court room, with only his mother at his side, we had practically the entire other side of the court room filled with the victims family members, friends and other supporters.....and that was awesome.  Not only did the Monster have to see and take notice, but so did his mother, and the Judge.  I believe that it made a powerful statement!!!

In addition, I went before the Judge, along with two others, and spoke on behalf of my son, Evan, as well as on behalf of all of the other victims..... past, current, and sadly.... those that will be in the future.  I have no doubt that there will be more.  The maximum sentence allowed is only 5 years in prison, and so, this Monster will be back at it again in just a matter of 6-8 years!!! 

But for now, the maximum sentence was given.  We watched and got a photo as the Monster was cuffed and taken from the court room, to be placed in jail until next Tuesday, when he will be hauled down to the prison in Shelton, WA.

Yesterday brought us some closure, and a bit of comfort.  At least for the next 4-5 years.  But I can promise this....when he does get released, and returns to our community once again, I plan to do everything in my legal right and power to make it very well known... who he is, what he has done, and where he is at... for as long as I am able to do so!!!!!

Thank you to our most wonderful and close friends, and my brother..... for taking the time to attend the sentencing with us.  It means more to us than you all can possibly imagine!!!  I only wish now that we had filled the entire court room, with standing room only!!!

Today, we start moving forward for the next 4-5 years, without having to worry about the Monster any longer.  That feels really good.  :-)

Perhaps, on this magnificent and glorious Fall day, I shall go out and spend a few hours on the bike!!!  The kids are in school, and Tracie is in Portland for the Women of Faith, it's just  me and the bike and the awesome day outside!!!  :-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall Has Arrived!!! :-)

Oh man.... my very favorite time of year!!!  I love the weather, the colors, the smells...... and the upcoming holidays!!!  I long for the arrival of Fall weather..... those slightly cooler days, but still bright and sunny and dry.... perfect for working outdoors, or going on some amazing bicycle rides!  :-)

I headed to Oregon this past weekend, to welcome the arrival of Fall, by riding in the Harvest Century Bicycle ride with my brother Brad, my great friend Scott, and our other cycling friend Doug.  What an awesome weekend it was!  The weather was fantastic, the route was beautiful, and the ride went very well for me.  120.5 miles logged for the day..... we left Grammy & Papa's place on our bikes at 6:30am, and arrived back "home" again at 6:45pm!!!  A total of 7 hours 42 minutes on the bikes!!!  :-)

While we were away, Fall came in here at home.  The weather changed, with the temperature dropping down to those cooler Fall 60's, and a slight NNE wind helping to bring the leaves to the ground.  It is still bright and sunny, and absolutely beautiful outside..... perfect for riding, and for getting some outdoor things accomplished before the rains return in another week or so.

Tracie is heading down to Portland this weekend, with a pack of women.... headed to the Women of Faith conference!  Should be a great time for her, and them all. 

Tomorrow morning is finally the day we have been waiting for now for most of this year...... The Monster (aka Greg Bass) is finally being sentenced and sent off to prison tomorrow morning, in Superior Court, at 8:30am.  We are so relieved to finally have this chapter of our lives be coming to an end, and for justice to finally begin to be served on this horrific animal of a human being.  We can only pray that God has His mighty hands involved on justice being delivered appropriately to Greg.

It is hard to believe, but we are now winding our way down to the end of the year.  We have our annual Chili cook-off competition coming up in just two weeks!!!  Tracie and I have our 21st anniversary in just two weeks!!!  And Evan's football season will only have two more weekends after this upcoming Saturday.  In the blink of an eye, we are going to be into November, and starting to prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!

This Fall and Winter will be just us...... no trips to Oregon.  We will stay home as a family, and just enjoy the holidays and all that God has blessed us with.

:-)  Hello Fall..... welcome back!!!  :-)