Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Farm Day

Yo.  Today was Sunday.  Gotta work on the farm Cousin Style.

 When you're really cold but your cousins think sitting in the bucket is a cool idea. (I taught Alana the Farmer's Blow today and she practiced diligently.  Clearly our next conversation will be about Aim and Landing Zone.)

Thankful for a Grandpops who makes hot chocolate.  Poor lil' cousin hands were f.r.e.e.z.i.n.g.

Greg is officially the most patient and awesome uncle/dad...dude had 5 kids on the backhoe and still managed to clear out blackberry bushes.  And a fence post. 
P.S. Flipping people off is a new concept in our house.

Teach them young. 

Yup.  It's poop.

 Teeny tiny mushroom growing in the hollowed out part of the log.

 Next weekend's to do list: mending fences.

 What happens when the nieces and nephews rush ahead of you and you shout at them "Don't get on the 4-wheeler until I get there!"  

When you hope that Uncle Greg will let you back on the backhoe with him if you stare at him with great big blue puppy dog eyes.

 Giraffe Tree.

 Giraffe Tree.  Note: Emmett sobbed on the way home because he didn't get to see the Giraffe Tree.  Dude was literally waiting for a giraffe. 

 The real work awaits.

Cyril is good in a pinch.

And last but not least: why is there a pile of oyster shells hidden under some bushes, way up on the hill?

Just kidding, here's the real last one: Happy Almost Spring!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Christmas & Back When

This year the extended Fenn Christmas looked a bit different than usual and it wasn't just because some people were missing.  And it was challenging for much of the family.  But sometimes it's the little things that help and this year pictures were one of those little hugs during this sometimes lonely part of transition.  Such a little thing, but sometimes so much.

 (antlers from the farm!)

Something about seeing Great Grandma Madeline and Great Grandpa Edgar Fennimore holding a sweet little baby.  How much it warms my heart to see Grandpa's smile in his mother's face.

Or hearing Uncle Mike ask to keep the picture of him on a horse, because he'd never seen it.  Or seeing Grandpa and his brothers hold their much shorter dad on their many Fenn siblings or cousins pictures have someone mounted on someone else? (answer: many)

Or seeing Grandma and Grandpa so young and full of hopes and dreams and lives yet to be lived.

And still smiling 25 years later...

And 50 years later....

There's something reassuring to not just know, but to see, that Grandpa has always been true to himself.  Always.

And last but not least, to know that these two party animals:

Are responsible for these:

On that note, I'll sign off and leave you with a little song that says it better than I ever could!

Forever Country 💕

Saturday, October 28, 2017

After the Storm

Sometimes, in the flurry that is living life, there will occasionally be a moment where time seems to slow down--just a little--and if you are lucky, and both paying attention and 'unbusy' enough, you actually got to appreciate it.  

I had that perfect intersection of time and opportunity today.  

It's been an uncharacteristically warm autumn week.  The leaves are brilliantly red and yellow and orange, sometimes all at the same time.  Air smells a bit musty as summer decomposes.  And though it's only 1:34 in the afternoon, the sun already has a slightly sunset cast to it, a golden glow in which flies and bees and mosquitoes seem to glow as they dart about.  Mumford and Sons' After The Storm crooned from the Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen as I headed towards the front door to check on the kids.  And for just a moment, time slowed down and everything was perfect.  A golden moment.  

And while it doesn't look like much, it felt like a gentle hug in the crazy chaos that is swarming our lives and our world.  Just as quickly as it started, it was over and it was back to reminding myself to get Alana a new bike helmet, and texting Kevin to get frozen blueberries instead of M&Ms as potty-training treats, and making sure Barry isn't chewing something he isn't supposed to, and worrying if Emmett has MRSA and if my house is clean enough for the babysitter tonight.  

But I had the gift of that moment and it allows me to weather the next storm and look for the golden moment after.  And I wish and hope the rest of the Fenns get such a moment today as well. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

What comes first, Christmas or New Year’s?

Submitted by Gabe....

The wonderful and exciting holiday season is now over and everyone is back to their usual grind (except for those with “snow”).  With all the hype, preparing, and our-right excitement, I wish there was a way to extend the holiday season.  After this last trip home, I found that our family does quite a good job with that. With our family growing, seemingly by the minute, I feel the Fennimores will never have a dull holiday season.

                I found that I had to constantly remind myself it was winter and not the middle of summer.  We were still having hot summer-like days with eighty plus degree weather days. I found myself getting light sunburns from being outside and the ever constant pitting out in shirts (You have to love our family’s genes in the heat).  Despite my surroundings I listened to Christmas carols and the Marines put up a few lights at the house and I found the Christmas cheer to carry me onto my leave period. Packing was an experience as almost all of my clothes are picked out for tropical/subtropical climates. But alas I was on my way back to Oregon! I definitely did not fit in at the airport as I was one of the very few wearing shorts and a t-shirt (and a funny speaking visitor, the lovely German, following me around with the Old Man) upon arrival in snowy Portland! Well, what would the holidays be without a little lost luggage (I mean, who needs long pants in winter…or rum? Haha). However, I was greeted at the gate by loved ones.

                The first weekend was filled with running around and saying hi to all, a few group meals, a little football, meeting the newest Fennimore, and of course a little winter sickness. I was lucky enough to introduce the lovely German to everyone and show her our home! On Sunday we were able to pick up the last Fennimore, not in Oregon, yet from the airport. Pee-yew, did that brother need a shower. Texas taught him some bad habits, haha. That night part of the reunited family was able to get together with Grandma and had a fun meal with her! A few of us stayed behind and got a lesson in Hand-and-Foot by the master.

                The next couple days I took off, with the lovely German following me still, to the coast. The family stayed back and did regular family things. Some watched the new Star Wars movie, others worked, some ate, and one couple got stuck on their side of the mountains! And some of us continued shopping for our S.S. (Secret Santa not the bad kind). This year was special as the Big Sis of the family managed to put together a photo shoot that fit as well as it could with EVERYONE’S schedule. Not an easy task at all! It only took her roughly seven years to plan organize it! It was lots of fun to have everyone together and some new people at our family photo. The game of the night seemed to be ‘Make the Kids Smile!’, and we got some good photos of this.

                There was still some decorating to be done and lights to be hung. With the work-force of the visitors we were able to decorate the houses and make ready for the fat man in the red suit! The “small” Fennimore Christmas was scheduled and as tradition has it, not everyone had finished wrapping (someone’s getting coal in their stocking). The food was prepared and everyone dug in! There may or may not have been a mini food fight at the table (more coal).  It tasted delicious! Not a complaint in the house. We then moved onto the unwrapping of the presents!!  The tree could barely hold all the gifts underneath its green covered branches. And then the chaos ensued! From books to toys to games-to the fine liquor at the end, everyone was feeling warm and happy. Another “small” Christmas had been completed.

                We got to celebrate Little Sis’s twenty-third birthday! Alcohol and good company make for a fun night (but maybe a rough morning for others).  That afternoon was the BIG one. There was lots of delectable food, a few winning lotto tickets, and of course never ending family members. I was able to do a lot more introducing of the lovely German. We had almost the whole family together under one roof. Something Grandma said made her very happy and grateful for. She couldn’t remember the last time so many were under her roof. Santa this year made a grand entrance (without scaring the kiddos!) and all received their Christmas gifts from Santa.

                The next couple of days were filled with smaller get-togethers and meals and two big beasts. The lovely German and I were lucky enough to be treated to a zesty Smoked Salmon Benedict by the Master Chef himself. While the lovely German was studying away, I was out running errands and meeting family when and where I could. I was happy to help Little Sis pack up a U-Haul and a truck with all of her stuff (to include a Taser that we couldn’t get to work). She is off to start a new chapter in Ontario with her man and we are proud of her for it! I got to take two of the young cousins ice skating and had good back-up to help me out and together we were able to help the young boy learn how to skate! A group of us made some memories going to a Winterhawks’ game and saw them skate to victory and a few black eyes!

                While not all the family was there, we celebrated at the Fennimore’s house (the Salem ones) and it was a fun easy going night. We learned how certain people felt about certain situations in the ever-telling game of Cards-Against-Humanity. And learned how NOT to wash the mouth pieces from Speak-Out. We also may have forgot to set a timer for the 2017 Countdown, but oh well, who needs that! It was a fun evening/morning and the new year brought a little more snow with it! On our last day at home the lovely German got to shoot for her very first time in the freezing cold! She is actually a half-decent shot. The lovely German and I finished out our adventure in Oregon by a having a hearty breakfast with our escorts that took us to explore Portland. Albeit freezing cold and windy it was a fun way to end the trip!
                This trip was full of experiences. Some good, some bad, and some new, it was definitely memorable and highly enjoyed. As stated earlier it was great having the whole family together again and getting to meet the baby of the family. I was thrilled to introduce the lovely German to all of you (and realize all of the little monsters liked her more than they did me) and for you all to ever so graciously accept her into our family. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing you all even if it was only a short visit. This trip was special to me and I know to others as well. Situations have changed in our family and I love seeing how we, as a family respond. No matter the situation I know I find strength in knowing you all my back and I have yours. This family is resilient at sticking together through tough times and being supportive to those who need it. No matter how stubborn we can be, we know who our family is. I believe the oldest brother is the one who told me this; we have started our own family tradition in our “small” family Christmas. He explained that the large family get-together had to start the same way. A long, long time ago, before recorded time, Pops was celebrating Christmas with his siblings and their new families. I want to thank you all for a wonderful trip home. Keep taking care of each other and keep those of us not around updated on the kiddos and other events going on. Have a wonderful year and know that you are all thought of everyday! Keep being the awesome family that you are!


Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 26

It's the day that Patrick Jerome, Jr celebrates his birthday.  Every year.  Dude just gets older and older.  And older.  And every day he just kicks more ass.  So proud and wishing him lots of birthday love!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Birthday Ponderings

Birthdays are often considered milestones for an individual and a time to celebrate the person who literally did NOTHING and yet he/she is the hero of the day.  Coming from a large family as we do, birthday celebrations are quite common and yet each is special in its own way.  My last birthday celebrated at home was for my, maybe I should say our, twenty-first. The celebration started the night before with absolutely no drinking with our delicious Double Jumbo Markum Burgers (RIP).  The five brothers then headed to Spirit Mountain Casino!  Upon arrival the date had already changed to August nineteenth!  We celebrated with shots and drinks that may or may not have been served out of the trunk of the Jeep.  We proceeded inside to the bar where a drunk gentleman proceeded to buy us two rounds of Jaeger Bombs (at five dollars each) when he found we were celebrating a double twenty-first birthday! We then continued onto the casino floor where I went and bought myself an expensive gift. Gambling. What a fun gift.  Throughout the night and possibly being caught on cameras in the parking lot the whole casino seemed to know who we were. We were celebrities for our charming personalities and tantalizing conversations! Haha.  Well we made it to the morning where we were to meet the rest of the family at Lincoln City.  Greg and I definitely held our alcohol like champs and we ate a champion’s breakfast before going to the beach! Ok, maybe I couldn’t eat anything and maybe Greg fell asleep at the table (my memory is a bit fuzzy).   I do recall making it to the beach where the sun was shining, well as much as Oregon allows. We then had a fun day of activities on the beach.  Before heading back I remember going to Chinook Winds with our OLD man (he is sixty!).  All in all this was an amazing twenty-first!
 After having lived overseas now for three years (give or take a month or two), I have realized how important birthdays are to me.  This is a time our family always spends together and celebrates whoever’s birthday it is.  As we get older we need and seem to want less.  For our birthday Greg and I have always celebrated together and Pat is normally nice enough to let us celebrate with him, what a nice big brother!  This has been some amazing memories of the family coming together and spending quality time together.  The last four birthdays I have had have been overseas and away from family. I am now aware of how much I don’t like celebrating my birthday.  This has been something I’ve always shared with my twin and on occasions Pat.  Celebrating my birthday is not something I have overly enjoyed.  I am excited for all the birthdays to come in our family whether it is the young or the old celebrating! Happy Birthday Greg and in a week happy birthday Pat!

Respectfully Submitted,
Sgt. Fennimore, G.J.
MSG Det. Havana, Cuba

Friday, August 5, 2016


Usually summer is the horribly sunny, dry, and hot season that I only tolerate because this season is next:

Goofy buggers.

But today I had a chance to really enjoy a summer Friday morning--picked pears, apples, prunes, and blackberries on the farm with my own family.  I forgot how much I hate grass seeds in my socks but I got over it and we have some great fruit and great memories.  Which got me thinking about other summer camping! 

Great big 'ol family camping trips.  Looking back, I am still amazed that we all made it to adulthood, limbs in tact and no one incarcerated. I mean seriously...

Crazy, right?

Crazy amount of fish!

Crazy licorice-sneaker!

Crazy amount of cheating going on here.

I mean seriously!  Who thought THAT was a good/safe/sane/legal idea?!?!?

Who gave Ken an ax?  We already know who asked Mitch to hold the wood....

Once again, good looks save the day!