Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What a Day!

Yesterday was a blustery cold, snowy day at Bear Valley. It was supposed to be Lowell's "Friday", but his boss asked him to work today. After reading this, you may understand why. His work day began at a ridiculous 4:30am because one of the snow removal guys quit - and in order to be on the mountain at 4:30, he has to get up at 2 am. In my opinion, this alone qualifies him for a medal - but it gets better.
The carpool meets at the market and then the guys sleep as much as possible on the drive to the mountain. The first job for Lowell was to weld new feet on the very old blower to get Kieth out on the parking lot to start clearing snow. Meanwhile, snow cat driver Carl came in saying that his snow cat had leaked 4 gallons of oil in three hours. So Lowell put more oil in it and sends Carl on his way. Next, Lowell and Danny load up parts to go fix snow cat 58 that was left over night at the lodge with a 'broken drive hose'. When they get to the snow cat and dig it out, they discover that instead of a broken drive hose, it is a broken tiller hose. So they turn around and head back to the shop. On the way, they come across snow cat 51 which appears to be on fire. Danny picks up Carl from his smoking cat and drops him off at the shop to get snow cat 59, leaving Lowell there on the side of the mountain in the blinding snow. (snow cats only seat 2) Danny picks Lowell up, now with the right parts to fix snow cat 58 and off they go. While they're putting in the plug in the new tiller hose, they see Carl go by in #59. About 5 minutes later, Carl comes walking up to Lowell and Danny saying #59 now has a broken drive hose. hhmmm... Well, they start up 58 and leaving it warming up and follow Carl to 59. At least they already have the parts to fix a broken drive hose in their cat. Just for your info, since I'm sure you don't know :) changing a drive hose on a snow cat is no fun task because it requires laying under the snow cat in the snow with snow and fluid and water dripping on you. Anyway, they fixed 59, put the tools back in the utility cat and sent Carl on his way. Then they head back to 58 where they had left it warming up and start to drive it to the shop. Unfortunately, 58 won't groom, so Lowell has to follow in the utility cat so that he can cover 58's tracks because they are driving right through groomed skiing trails. So, Lowell turns around to groom where the tracks were left and after about 10 yards, his parking brake locks on and he can't drive anymore. He manually turns it off, and starts again only to come to a schreeching stop about 10 yards later. He discovers that the passenger door keeps falling open, and for safety's sake, the cat automatically shuts itself off. So he jumps out to shut the door and suddenly, Craig comes flying by and misses Lowell's feet with the rotating knifes of the tiller by about 12 inches. Lowell finally makes it back to the shop when Kieth calls. "My blower is broken." This is the only blower they have left on the whole mountain. Kieth says that the feet need to be adjusted so Lowell gives him the benefit of the doubt, (he doesn't think that will solve the problem) and does it. When they test drive it, the blower is still trying to flip over and not staying level on the ground. So they take the blower to the shop. Next, Kieth and Steve decide the problem must be in the ram. So, they remove the ram and take one off a snow cat. They have to fabricate a mount for it because it doesn't fit, and then finally they test it again. Same problem... Lowell says they need a new cutting edge. Finally its lunch time. (Can you believe it - all this before lunch!?!?!)
As they're finishing up lunch, the office calls to tell them the Pepsi delivery truck is stuck in the parking lot. So Kieth goes out on the grader to dig him out. Lowell and Steve are left to deal with the blower problem so Lowell tells Steve that since they don't have a cutting edge, they need to give the box down pressure. Usually on a blower, the weight of the box keeps it pushed down into the snow, however in this case, the edge was worn down and the snow was extra thick and wet, so the box kept riding up the bank and causing the blower to almost turn over... So, they decide to make a hose and a valve to help the box stay down. Viola! It works! So, Kieth goes back out on the blower and Lowell goes down to the parking lot where there is a bus driver complaining about his chains and his brakes. Lowell brings the bus to the shop, replaces the chains on one tire and looks at the brakes. Oh, and since he has nothing else to do, the bus driver asks him to fill it with gas too.
Then Kieth calls again... He's broken the shear pins in the blower. Shear pins are the "weak link" in the blower so that if the blower hits something hard, the pins will break and cause the blower to stop spinning without chewing it up. In this case, the shear pins broke and the drive line was flopping around so that it broke the hose off of the ram they had just put in.. Lowell and Steve go back out into the storm and fix up that mess. When they finally get back to the shop, they can start on the work that they were scheduled to do for the day. There is a pile of work orders on the desk for the snowmobiles that are lining the shop. They get the tools laid out and wash up to start on the snowmobiles when, again, Kieth calls. "I broke it good this time." He knew it wasn't the shear pins this time, but the blower wasn't turning and it was making a horrific noise. He brought it into the shop and Lowell and Steve discover that the bolts have fallen out of the driveline - and, amazingly, it didn't do any collateral damage. So, they put the bolts back in it. Kieth looked at Lowell after all this was over... "Can you work tommorow?" "Sure," Lowell says. "Then let's get out of here!" (Finally!!) On the drive home, they discover that the place where Kieth was breaking the shear pins was the same place Steve had to drive on top of the snow because it was just too heavy and packed for the grader. Lowell said they call it "Sierra cement".
So, how does Lowell get through days like this? "I just think of my little family at home and providing for them." Isn't he wonderful???? And don't you feel better about your job now? :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I know it sounds a little silly, but I'd love prayer for our cat. I think he may have a broken leg and along with the pain he's going through, I don't know how we're going to pay for the inevitable trip to the vet... I'm going to try to get some help through the local Humane Soceity, but I'm not sure how much they can do. The vet said that for the initial visit and the xray, it will run about $200. That's a lot for a pet, but he's very loved and special... Prayers for the kids, and how they handle this whole thing would be great too! Thanks! :) Oh, BTW, he's much bigger now, but still very loved! And still carried pretty much everywhere. :)

The Best Time of The Day

I just got done putting the kids to bed. Right before they go to sleep is my absolute favorite time of the day. Everyone brushes their teeth and goes potty and then gets comfy in their beds.. And then I read. Previously we've read The Magic Treehouse, Dr. Seuss, and other random books that I've found... Then the kids requested that we read the Bible. Honestly. The kids asked. So, we busted out the kids bibles and got started. We read a couple of pages each night and talk about what God is doing with His people... But hands down, their favorite time is 'questions'. I jump back a few nights and start asking questions about the things we've read... Who, for example, led the Israelites after Deborah? And did Moses ever get to enter the Promised Land? Who was Elijah's successor and what miracles did he preform? I can't even express how much I love this time of night... I love learning about these things myself and I LOVE having the kids learn them! Even Jillian remembers the names and the places... They all raise their hands in excitement when they know the answers and they never want me to stop. They can't get enough of learning about the Bible. How blessed am I? Honestly, what better quality could I ask for in my beautiful children than a love of the Word???

ps If you want the answers to the above questions, let me know! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Busy Day

Well, today was a busy day... :) Not only is it My Husband Rocks Friday, but it is the day before Valentines day, Friday the 13th, the morning of a huge snow storm and the day I got one of my wisdom teeth pulled. Here alone, (Lowell was at work - he was going to take the day off to take me to the dentist, but they needed him and we decided that sending him to work was the right thing to do) I got up and tried to get the kids ready for school and then put chains on the car when it was snowing at an incredible rate! In only 3 hours, we got almost a foot of snow. And that's not really the best part, it snowed all the way down to 1000ft. In our neck of the woods, we're used to a little snow but down there - it was a nightmare. And a town full of people who don't know how to drive in the snow. There were accidents everywhere! Thankfully, as far as I know, no one was hurt. So, I got to practice my chain-putting-on skills while getting dumped on.. I learned that I need to practice a little more and next time shouldn't be when the weather is soo bad. On the other hand, this snow is job security for Lowell. This picture is of the highway that we had to take to get to school!! The highway! :) And then I got my tooth yanked out, (yikes) but thankfully, my wisdom teeth didn't start acting up until 1 week after we got dental insurance. Isn't God wonderful!! :) And then went to school and to participate in the kids Valentine's day activities.. Then home to shovel out the wood pile and make a fire... It was 40 degrees in the house. :)
So, why does my husband rock? Because this whole week I've been plagued with a massive toothache. My husband, wonderful man that he is, has been so supportive. I've gotten a ton of sweet, soft kisses on my cheek along with many homemade smoothies (because that's all I could eat). Also, he was great about taking on more responsibilities with the kids, like reading to them because my mouth hurt, and he was just so thoughtful and understanding. I adore my husband! I am so blessed to have a husband who is so loving and who really believes that his family comes first. He doesn't take his responsibility lightly - he provides for us, he protects us, he desires to spend time with us and he honestly seeks to do God's will so that our family will be blessed and will live according to God's plan. I am so blessed! Thank you, Lord for the very perfect valentine's present - another day with my husband! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Beth Moore Link

I really want to share this video with you... I just adore Beth Moore already, but this clip struck home for me... She always manages to bring new light to stories that I thought I new inside and out... Well, this is not a new take on an old story, but a new take on salvation completely. Listen, and let me know what you think...
ps I have a great "my husband rocks" story that I can't wait to share on friday! :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Favorite Story About My Husband

The idea behind this week's "My husband rocks" is to tell a story about him that makes you laugh every time you think of it... Well, for me, that's easy! :) I love telling the story about when Nathan was a few months old, and we took a trip to visit his Aunt in Bakersfield. We had just gotten lunch to go at McDonalds and as soon as we got back on the highway, Nathan woke up from his nap - wet. And unhappy. So, Lowell pulled over as soon as he could. I pulled Nathan up onto the front seat facing me, standing by the side of the truck. I was changing his diaper, had just gotten the wet one off, when I dropped the wipes. Meanwhile, Lowell is digging through the McDonalds bag to find his lunch. I put my hand on Nathan's leg while I retrieved the wipes. When I stood back up, Lowell was squealing and hanging upside down out the door. Apparently, Nathan had peed and it went straight over onto Lowell and onto lunch. Lowell had tried to jump out the door, forgetting that he still had his seat belt on so he was left with his feet up in the air by the side of the highway with cars honking at him as they passed... :) It was hysterical! I was laughing so hard I sat on the ground and cried with laughter. I love my husband soo much. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Innocence of Children

I have to share what my darling Chloe just said... We're watching Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. This is the first time they've seen it (and myself as well). The opening scene is a mother giving birth... First I was asked why the woman was moaning and crying. Well, because having a baby is very hard, I said. Then Nathan wanted to know why it hurts.. "Its because your stomach opens up, huh?" That was his answer to his own question. I told them to just get back to their movie... Then Chloe shared some of her wisdom on the subject. "Babies come out naked, huh Mom? That's why they put them in a towel." It was all I could do to hold back the giggles. :) Yes, Baby, babies come out naked. :) Naked and beautiful. Gotta love the innocence of childhood. Thank you Lord for reminding me what a blessing my children are. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What It's All About

I was very moved today by the news. Isn't that suprising?!?! The stories tonight were about Lousiana men going to the areas of the US hit by the recent ice storms to pay back some of the good deeds that were bestowed upon them after Katrina and about the pilots, crew and air traffic controllers who saved all 100 + people on the airbus in New York. It was so refreshing to hear about people who care about others. In fact, one of the quotes from a man helping clean up debris from a widow's house was "Its just about loving on people. Its all about encouragement and loving people". Isn't that what life's all about? :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Husband is Wonderful :)

My husband is so sweet... My girls (like the rest of the female tween population of the US) love Taylor Swift. Lowell.. doesn't. :) However, today my husband came out of Walmart with Taylor Swift CD in hand and spent the entire ride home from Jackson listening to "the princess song" over and over and over... That's love. :) And I love him for it! :)
Thank you Honey for showing our girls that they are important to you and for being a good model for them of sacrifical love. You're wonderful!