Archive for July, 2007



   Posted by: Mark    in General, Our children

Tami’s Aunt Sharon was in Seattle this past weekend with Uncle Boyd, their three children and spouses, and a host of grandchildren as they prepared for a cruise to Alaska with some friends. They arrived almost a week early to enjoy a bit of Seattle, and invited all of us up for a few days before their departure. I took a couple of days off of work, and we made a long weekend of it.

We were scheduled to meet them all on Friday afternoon, but decided to drive half of the three hour trip on Thursday. We spent the night in Olympia, and it was neat for the kids to see the capital buildings. We did not sleep all that well Thursday night, and discovered Friday morning that the stationary side of the sliding glass door in our third-floor room was pulled away from the wall by about a foot behind the curtain. So all night the trucks going by on the street right outside the room really were louder than they should have been! We are just very thankful that Isaiah did not find the opening, as the railings on the patio were more than wide enough for him to climb through had he made it that far.

We checked in to the hotel in Seattle around noon on Friday, and walked down the hill about ten blocks to meet the family at a restaurant on the pier. From there we walked to the Aquarium, where we got to see a squid, the kids got to touch starfish, and we watched the jellyfish swim around. From there we walked back to Pike Street Market, watched the fish throwers, got ice cream at Rocky Mountain Chocolates, and took the bus back to the hotel. It was Subway for dinner, and then a much-needed night’s sleep.

Saturday found us at the Seattle Zoo outside downtown. We saw leopards, monkeys, lions, hippos, and just about any other animal you would expect to find at the zoo. Dinner was a fine meal at Spaghetti Factory, and we walked back to the hotel for another night’s sleep.

One rather memorable incident occurred as we prepared to check out Sunday morning. We were waiting for the elevator on the 24th floor with Isaiah, Timothy, and our luggage when the doors popped open and Lindsey jumped out with three of her cousins (second cousins?). She began jabbering madly about wanting to go up to the pool on the 28th floor with the girls, and Tami and I tried to decipher her noise. Meanwhile, Isaiah did what we had all been doing for the past few days when the elevator doors opened: he walked on.

We saw him when the doors were about half-way closed. Tami was too slow to get her hand in the door to stop it, and I was too slow to mash the call button to open the doors again. Our 20 month old son was on one of six elevators, alone, at checkout time, on the 24th of 28 floors in one of the larger hotels in Seattle. Stunned silence for two seconds. The elevator was headed up, so I bolted around the hallway and up the stairs to 25 — no one. Back to the stairs and up to 26. No one. Back to the stairs, up to 28, no one. Mild panic moved to frustration and anger. I found a housekeeper on 28 and quickly explained that my son was on an elevator and we needed to find him. I ran back down to 27, then 26. On my way back to the stairs after checking the hallway on 26, I found an open room and pushed quickly past the startled housekeeper to the phone. I dialed the desk and asked them to contact security to help find Isaiah.

During my frantic running, Tami had hopped on the next elevator and
headed up as well. She made it to 28 and found the same housekeeper I
had encountered, and told him the same story I had (though with the
touch only a panic-stricken mother can muster). She jumped back on the
elevator and headed back down to 24 where Timothy and Lindsey were with the three girls and our luggage.

I then ran back out of the room from which I had called the desk, and down the stairs to 24, praying that the Lord would protect Isaiah, and pushing worst-case thoughts from my mind. Tami was there and I told her to take the elevator to the lobby and check at the desk. I ran back to the stairwell, knowing that although 24 floors is a lot of stairs to run, it would probably be faster to run them than to wait for an elevator that would stop at a half dozen floors on the way to the lobby. Two steps at a time, swinging around the landings, making myself unbelievably dizzy. 24 floors to the lobby. And about two whole minutes behind Tami.

On the lobby level, I ran to the desk and asked the man behind the counter if he had heard any updates about the missing child. “Missing child?” he asked. Great. The lady I had pushed in front of overheard and mentioned that the boy’s mother had just picked him up from her. She and her daughter had been on 26 waiting for the elevator. When the door opened, they saw a cute, curly-haired little boy with a blanket over one shoulder and a stuffed dog in the other hand, all alone. He was happy as could be until he realized this woman was not Mommy, and began crying. He cried the whole way down to the lobby until he saw Tami, just before I got there. I overheard another woman talking to her grown daughter about seeing the little boy in the elevator, and the daughter was almost in tears imagining the feelings of the boy’s mother.

I took the elevator back to 24, hugged Isaiah, and promptly strapped him into the stroller, where he remained until we strapped him into the truck after checkout.

We said our goodbye’s and thank you’s as Tami’s family headed off to board the ship. We stopped for breakfast lunch at a local cafe (Tami noticed we were the only ones with children during the entire hour we were there), and headed over to the Pacific Science Center, already tired. We played with a harmonograph (I just have to build one of those!), visited the dinosaurs, and watched folks play in a really cool water fountain that must have been 200 feet across. Back to the truck, on the road headed south –oops, stop at KFC for lunch! Home by 8:30p and asleep shortly thereafter.

It was not a relaxing getaway by any stretch, but we did have a good time.


Congratulations, Jesse

   Posted by: Mark    in General

Jesse Gardner (of PlasticMind fame) officially completed his ordination into the ministry this past Saturday. Congratulations, Jesse!


Up and running

   Posted by: Mark    in General

I am now officially running on MT4 Beta. I had hoped to get a new template completed before this, but time has not allowed it yet. I have a lot to learn about the template structure for this major Movable Type update, but since the readership on this blog is generally about one more than zero I should be fine.

This also represents the death of the URL, at least for now.

Look for new pictures here soon!