All posts by cattailfarm

Who Is This Guy?

This is a “kid” that came through the youth ministry I used to run. Always a compassionate and fun guy, he is now an adult living whole heartedly for the Lord. God Bless Caleb!

Tea Time With Jones

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Caleb Jones and I’m about Jesus, community, story telling, and music. There is not a rhyme nor a reason to this blog other than to tell stories and share the thoughts that occupy my mind.

Let’s start with a story from my own life.

March, 2017. At the time I was living in an empty convent in a neighborhood called Oceanview which rested in a valley roughly eight train stops and a 20 minute bus ride outside of Cape Town, South Africa. Oceanview is 30,000 bodies strong and everyone knows everything about everyone else. This was not a place with a fun night life, in fact, we didn’t leave the house after the sun went down. The neighborhood is home to gang activity that causes death and tragedy daily, but if you spent a day meeting the locals, you…

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September 2017 ReCap

I’m going to recap September and October and then I’m going to go back to little blog posts as I obviously can’t stay on top of monthly recaps. 🙂

September 1 I passed my motorcycle driving skills test and a few days later I was able to pick up my license from DOL.

September 2 we went to the local motorcycle races and had a nice time. We kept it short because it was wicked hot!

September 3-6 were just sort of normal days around the house except the wildfires were dropping ash on our cars. We dropped Pip off to hang out with China the cutest pugle ever, found a park nearby to play at and got ready for our trip.

September 7 – 10 We did our annual Seaside Oregon trip except my dad was sick, so my parents didn’t get to come with us this year. I’ll do a separate post on this trip as there was WAY too much to put in this post.

September 11 through the end of the month was just regular life. I’ll share some photos below.

11 – Finally bought myself a new watch as my old one wouldn’t stay on anymore and the face was peeling off.

13 – my tribal warrior enjoyed playing in the yard today

I enjoyed quick laying some pavers so hopefully we don’t swim up to our front step in mud all winter. It was just supposed to be laying them out to get a general idea of what I wanted but now it’s mid-November and it hasn’t moved.

The 15th we did some science in the front yard.

Isaac got this thorn stuck in his flip flop while we were out walking the dog.

The Sensory kit came

Sept 16 – Isaac took this photo of my cleaning Mr Funny Bunny’s cage while he rubbed vigorously against my arm.

Sept 17 – I love when these two snuggle together.

Sept 18 – Experiencing a new to us Thai restaurant with Grandma. Not the greatest photo of my mom, but it is all I had.

The 18th took us to Fred Meyer and then a quick stop at Johns dan Katie’s to take a family photo for them. Got a good solo shot of Katie for our practice. Then attempted to get 6 people looking at the camera and in focus at the same time. This is not my career folks.

Sept 19 we walked the dog in the rain while Isaac ate a popsicle. Yes a popsicle in the rain. Love this kid.

Sept 22 was Isaac’s first day of Family Roots Class, and although it is NOT what I was expecting, he enjoys it. Flip flops and all.

We also did our first farm of fall day as soon as Daddy got home. Off to Bob’s we went. The corn maze didn’t open until the next day, so we went into Snohomish for some food and planned to return to Bob’s tomorrow.

Sept 23 – Farm Day for real this time

Sept 24 my whacky dog was trying to jump our fence to get to me. We took this picture to show how tall the fence is that she was trying to get over. Mind you, she got her head above the fence line!

Oh and I love this kid

Love this quote

Sept 27 I set up the bouncy house in an attempt to convince Isaac to pass it on. FAIL! He still loves this thing.

Lulu (formerly Louis L’Bunny) enjoying her time on brand new grass I’m growing.

The guys testing out our new headsets inside the riding helmets.

September 28 was LEGO story time for Isaac. I wish I could remember what this story was he was telling me.

Sept 30 was the longest and most fun Ikea trip I have ever been on. Thanks for the adventure Dan and Leah!

And that is where September ends with Dan getting off the bike and us all heading home.

Epic Solar Eclipse Adventure 2017

When I was a kid about Isaac’s age, my family got to see Haley’s Comet. When I heard there was a chance to see a total eclipse that was crossing the entire continental US, I knew I wanted our family to be a part of that.

However we got involved so late in the game there weren’t even campsites available. Anywhere we could find to spend the night was almost $1000 or we could sleep in our truck in a parking lot with thousands of other people and some honey buckets. So after awhile of trying to figure out how to make this happen, we decided to drive down the day of the eclipse.

It got closer to the day and reports were coming in regarding the traffic issues and travel times, and we decided driving down the day of just wasn’t going to happen. I was pretty bummed out that we weren’t going to get to see the total eclipse.

Jason pulled a rabbit out of his hat and saved the day by booking us a hotel outside of the Zone of Totality. We headed down Sunday morning, stopped at OMSI, had a beautiful and non-stressful drive and basically just had a nice time getting to the hotel. Pip kept Jason awake all night as she slept with him while I slept with Isaac. Pip felt like she needed to protect us all night so every time someone came down the hall or the elevator made a noise, she would make a noise.

Despite the lack of good sleep, we all woke up early, checked out of our hotel and headed south to the eclipse. There were several other people checking out at o’dark thirty. We assumed they too were headed for the Zone of Totality.

As I pulled out of the hotel and turned toward the freeway, Jason looked down at the freeway which was brake lights for miles. He said, “Go straight. Go straight.” So I went straight over the freeway and Jason the Navigator began tapping away on his phone. We found a beautiful 40mph road that took us south through some amazing country. We were definitely going faster than the parking lot ummm freeway, and we were enjoying the sunrise, cool old houses and farmland as we went.

We arrived in Monmouth at a little park with a playground, a stream, an actual toilet and only one other car. Slowly people trickled in and set up chairs and blankets. We seriously couldn’t have asked for a better location. The people were our kind of people – looking for a good place to watch the eclipse without huge volumes of people. Everyone was nice as well. There were a few other dogs and a handful of kids. It was perfect.

2 minutes of Totality.

Thanks to Jason for making it happen and thanks to God for getting us there safely.

The return trip wasn’t horrible as we took farm roads all the way back to Washington. We stopped at a farm stand and got ice cream, hit a playground or two, and even enjoyed a little gravel road in the middle of nowhere. We found out later a friend of ours left at basically the same time as us but took the freeway home. His freeway drive took 2 hours longer than our backroad drive and was obviously way less pleasant. From Longview on, it was a bit of drudgery as we did get on the fairly clear freeway a little after Longview. I was quite tired by the time we pulled into our driveway, but it was totally worth it.

Now here are the photos – some taken by me and some by Jason. Enjoy!

At OMSI:

At the hotel:

At the park where we saw the Eclipse:

August 3-4, 2017

We like to celebrate Isaac’s first day of school by going to Leavenworth. Here are a few photos from our overnight trip.

Trip begins with a stop at Sultan Bakery. Always a favorite and a twice-annual gluten cheat.

Next up is our trestle bridge park where we walk across the bridge to a quiet spot and play in and by the river for hours!

Then it’s off to the Welcome to Leavenworth sign for his “school photo” for the year. This year was all action and we didn’t get a stationary focused shot where you can read his “First Day of Second Grade” sign. I literally pulled the first picture out of a video Jason shot.

It was HOT!

Next we went to South so Isaac could get chips and salsa, and I could make WikiStick art for Isaac.

Day Two we landed at the river and spent most of our time there. The water was so low the tubers had to go down certain areas just to get through and we were literally playing almost in the middle of the river.

Out of the water and heading home.

Congrats on starting Second Grade Isaac!

August Recap

2017 seems to be speeding by faster than I can keep up. We are now over halfway through September and I’m just now looking at blogging August. So… here goes!

August 1 – Play day with Best Friends

Jason unintentionally flips me off while working on his Kawasaki engine.

August 2nd – Mount Vernon visit with his other best friend Paige.

August 3-4 Leavenworth trip for Isaac’s First Day of Second Grade. (A separate post with more photos coming soon.)

August 5 – Drove to Mount Vernon to pick up Pip who stayed with our good friend Chris and Jeanne. On the way back we stopped at Shambala Bakery for lunch. Delicious and GF. Then we walked back to the truck and found this time capsule.

August 8 – Homeschool Meet-Up at Gold Creek Natural Area ended up being a hang out day with best friends Caleb and Jacob again as Gloria was helping a widow and the boys had a lot more fun playing with us.

Watching Scent Training.

Playing in the creek

August 9 brought us bright light as Jason removed our old corrugated roofing from the breezeway and replaced it. We are constantly shocked by how bright it is now.

August 10 – Swim lessons continued throughout the month of August. Some days are better than others. This was a good day.

After swim we stopped at Fran’s house to go look at her daughter’s stock tank swimming pool. Fran happens to live right near Uncle Dan and Tia Leah, so we stopped in there. They weren’t home but Leah said to pick the huckleberries if we wanted to, so we did. The dog came for a snuggle and the Uncle came and asked us to pick the extra blueberries they had. It was a good day.

August 11 – Library and street tacos followed by helping the neighbor with a question on his truck while out walking Pip.

August 12 – Riding gear return happening but Isaac’s favorite rider’s replica bike was for sale. So he just had to sit on it and Daddy just had to show him how to lean and look into the corner. Non of us can wait for race season to be over, so we can watch it. $$$ during the season. $ after it’s over. Here is Marc Marquez Jr on his Repsol Honda.

August 12 – Finished the bulletin board made from fabric Bev and I picked out and our old fence boards. It looks pretty good I think.

August 14 – Food coloring, water, muffin tins and a freezer. Oh then there was the goggles and the hammer and the paintbrush.

August 17 – We said goodbye to the quiet neighborhood and saw the sky through our backyard boundary line for the first time in 14 years. They tore down ALL of the trees and are putting in 7 houses. It is a sad day. Our yard became the rescue habitat for all the moles and squirrels and rabbits that were living in those woods.

On a brighter note the cousins came to play! Here they all are having snack time.

August 18 – Hot date with my hubby! We went to Revolve in Bothell. GF Paradis!

August 19 – We don’t always play the safest games. Here Isaac is using a hammer to hit caps on the end of a shop tool that Jason is holding. Great hand eye coordination work!

August 19 – Preparing to ride the R3 for one of my last practice days before testing for me license.

August 20 7:44am – We head to Oregon for the Solar Eclipse on Monday. (A separate post with photos to come.)

August 22 – Tried making Bison Patty Melts thinking for sure Isaac would not like them but going for it anyway. Well he LOVED it! In fact we all loved it.

August 24 – Opening day at the fair. Isaac was really tired this day so we didn’t do as much as we usually do. He loved the whacky house and we went on that a lot. I got a chance to go on two rides with Ella. One was called Freak Out and it was totally awesome until the last three swims when we both decided it was way too much. Then we went on another ride I can’t remember the name of and laughed hysterically the whole time. Overall not the best trip to the fair ever, but we had fun. It was great to have Bev along on the scooter. Here is Isaac in the whacky house and in the petting zoo.

August 26 – I got to go to Mt Vernon to hang out with The Pioneers – my hiking buddies. We hiked up behind Jeanne’s new property, left signs for Paige who was coming behind us to camp out with her dad, snacked on the ridge, saw a hawk or golden eagle, did crafts and ate some more.

August 27 – This cat.

August 28 – Field trip to Pacific Science Center with Gloria, her mom and the boys!

Butterfly world

At the giant table

Playing giant pipes

Magneto!

August 28 also marked the demise of our Magic deflating pool. This was the final cleaning and filling as best we could do before sending to its final resting place as a holding space for someone’s dirt pile.

August 29 – We began our fantasy map making. This is super fun!

And that was basically the month of August.

The rest of July

Well I’ve once again lost track of time and skipped most of a month so here’s a quick run down of the rest of July.

July 9 – Blue C Sushi for Jason’s birthday 

July 10 – Isaac is so cold at this pool but he loves his coach. 

July 13 – Went Blueberry picking with Julie and Felix and found this seriously cute little snail. 

July 13 – Isaac mapped the galaxy and created a story. 

July 14 – Helped John and Katie butcher their laurel hedge that was as tall as the power lines. 

July 15 – Found our new favorite spot. Edgar’s taco truck in Bothell. Yum!

July 15 – Isaac builds a home for his snail. 

July 16 – I launch the Sensory Box for the Sensory Lending Library

July 17 – Isaac finally gifts a bunch of his matchbox cars to Green Bee. The lady receiving them is going to use them in the shoeboxes for Christmas through her church. 

July 17 – I went Kayaking with my friend Julie. We launched from the houseboat she and her mom are renting! 

July 17 – Patch and Leavenworth look like brother and sister except one is a stuffed dog. 

July 18 – Waterballoons on the cousins’ trampoline. Bonus points because no one got hurt!

July 20 – Mookie tried to remove my eye. Not really but she did fully sink her claw into the soft flesh just under my eye. Katie had to help get her claw unstuck. 

July 20 – Isaac loves to play this game where he stands on a chair and then leaps at me while I try to take a photo of him. He’s usually some sort of creature and we have to do it in this room with this light on. 

July 21 – We found this massive claw at the library. 

July 22 – Discovered RED ROCK SUBS in Everett. They have GF bread!!!!! And al their sodas are NO CORN!!!!!

July 22 – Jason built a Rocket Stove, we tested it out, Isaac created some plant soup concoction and we had a great evening together. 

July 23 – Parkour. Coach Rami was gone this week. Isaac started to freak out and say he wasn’t going to participate and he was going to leave. I told him it was his choice. Totally up to him.  He calmed down and did awesome in the class. 

July 23 – Motorcycling practice. Jason’s a good instructor.  Oh and here’s a close up of my helmet. I love my helmet. Fits so well!

July 24 – Isaac nailed it in swim lesson today. He was working on breathing. 

July 26 – Caught bees with Grandpa and then examined them through the cage with Grandma.  In this photo they are watching the bees eat honey. 

July 26 – Bev and I went for a walk in Mill Creek and saw a bear…

July 29 – Kayaking with Dan and Leah at the Arboretum. Followed by yummy lunch.  I didn’t take any photos. Here are a few from Leah. 

July 29 – Jacob’s birthday party.  Ben and Gloria had three boys from China staying with them for two weeks.  Here are just a few photos form the party. 

July 30 – Parkour for Isaac means workout time for me! 

And that is the end of July.  

July 8 2017 – Happy Birthday Jason and Happy Half-Birthday Isaac

Party Day has finally arrived. After weeks of planning and preparation, the day has come.  The theme this year is Ancient Egypt per Isaac’s request. We started out with arrivals and kids decorating their explorer hats.  Then we ate hotdogs, trout and all the delicious side dishes our friends and family brought. We actually have photos of this year’s event thanks to Dan & Leah as well as Bev Spore. Thanks to them for all these photos. 

After dinner, we began the adventure! I introduced myself as Gertrude VonHousenfield, a museum director, who needed help solving the Mystery of the Missing Sarcophagus.  

First up the kids had to pass an ancient Egyptian test to prove to the modern Egyptians that they were worthy to explore their land. They had to run between two bricks tagging the next runner upon their return. Each runner had to go three times. 
They asked the Egyptians, “Did we pass the test?”  The Egyptians replied, “Yes!” 

Their next task was to find up to 12 Egyptian figurines for the museum director to decipher and figure out the first clue as to where the sarcophagus was hidden. 

They weren’t able to find all 12 but they found enough to figure out the clue which led us to a golden scarab in the sky. 

Inside the Golden Scarab there was treasure and the clue that led them to the shed where their ultimate treasure was hidden. However upon their arrival to the shed, they found it was locked and instead of a key there was another clue that told them to go to the Nile to fish for clues. Each fish has a clue and each crocodile meant your turn was up and you had to find someone with a fish and help them with their clue. They needed to find the pharaoh and his wife, because they held the key to the shed!

Trying to figure out WHO IS THE PHARAOH AND HIS WIFE

It’s finally down to two couples: Uncle Robb & Auntie Crys or Uncle Dan & Tia Leah. 

So raise your hand if you think it is Uncle Robb and Auntie Crystal

Correct and they get they key that opens the shed where the sarcophagus and treasure are hiding!

Alright now off to the cake!  Huge thanks to Gloria Lunsford for sharing her kitchen and all day Thursday baking GF cakes with me for this pyramid cake.  Then she spent all day Friday doing the fondant. Thanks friend! The obelisk says ISAAC in hieroglyphs. 

And that smile says it all. The cake was good. The party was fun. Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen especially my loving husband Jason who was celebrating his own birthday but worked a ton to help me make this dream a reality. Happy birthday I love you!

Here are a few random photos: