It's rainy here.

I know you've heard that, but it needs to be repeated, especially when I tell you what happened to me tonight.

It had rained all afternoon and the world was wet.  We stopped at Safeway to pick up a few things on our way home.  Purse and keys in hand, kids trailing, I sailed into the store on a mission:  I wanted to get out of the rain as quickly as possible.  In a hurry, I didn't notice the puddles just inside the front doors, and suddenly I started to slip.  The floors, you see, are a nice hard polished cement (what are they thinking?!?!) and when my boots hit that puddle, they wouldn't stop.  Since my hands were full and my brain hadn't registered what was happening I couldn't brace myself very well when I started to fall.  I had probably slid a couple of feet by this time and so my body sank just in time to be stopped by:


Yeah, you heard me right, I fell into a cake-laden table at Safeway.

I had sunk just enough that my knees hit the ground, my chest hit the edge of the table, and my face landed splat on the nearest cake.  LUCKILY the cakes had plastic covers on them, so I didn't walk away covered in cake, but when I stood up the entire side of one of the cakes was smashed in.  Oops.

You know how when you need someone in the store, you can never find them?  Well, I found the best way to attract some help.  Within seconds I was surrounded by a dozen grocery store people: clerks, bag boys, even the manager was suddenly inquiring if I was okay.

Now, safely home with a handful of pain medicine and the promise of a warm bath, I can't decide if I should laugh or cry.  My knees, chin, and shoulder really hurt.  But then I get a blow-by-blow vision of myself sailing into the store, or remember how three of the giant sheet cakes had been replaced by the time we left, and I start to chuckle.

Man, where is my video camera?  Funniest Home Videos would pay big bucks for this stuff!

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Lots of people have asked me: What are your kids doing all day while you are at the farm?  The answer is simple: building forts, digging, chasing each other with swords, picking flowers, eating Miner's Lettuce, poking things with sticks, tromping through the Forest of Night.  With 5 other kids to play with there is never a dull moment around here!  Dirt Girl and Tractor Boy (as they will be referred to from here on out) have never been happier!

We've all heard that saying, "The church is true wherever you go."  And I think we generally all understand and believe that.  But since we moved to Oregon I have found new meaning in that saying.

It all started the first week we were here, staying with friends in Vancouver, Washington, waiting to find a place to live.  We were staying with a lady my mom knew when they were girls, April.  April happened to be gone visiting her parents in California the week we got here, so we were staying at her house alone.  I decided to be brave that first Sunday and figured out which ward we should attend and went, all by ourselves.  We arrived early, as I like to do, and in the ten minutes before church started more than half of the people in the room had made our acquaintance!  I felt very welcome and not so very far from home.  (Vernie recently expressed surprise at receiving the same treatment when they visited a ward in Vancouver, as well)

A week later, settled in our new home, we headed off to church and met the same behavior in our new ward!  Everyone here is so friendly, although I frequently feel that "We're not in Kansas anymore" feeling, attending church is almost unsettling, it's so wonderful!

Not only have I felt so very welcomed, this ward has bent over backwards to meet our needs since we got here.  Although the garage sales I had when we moved helped tremendously to both lighten our loads for moving (I've never had an easier time unpacking!) and pave our way financially, they left us lacking some essential items (sleeping on the floor wore thin pretty fast).  Within a few weeks of moving in every item of furniture we needed had been replaced.  A list was created of other misc. needs we had and each item has been more than accounted for!  Today alone I came home from church with: a brand new grater, a bag of yarn, an over-the-door-shoe-holder, 20 hangers, and 6 sets of queen-sized sheets.

In e-mail correspondence with the Relief Society Secretary concerning our family's needs, I expressed my surprise and delight at their help.  She replied: Yes, we have a great ward - - full of love and giving.  We're working on being celestial!!!!

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