Made with love

If you can’t be honest on a blog where can you be?  So here it is – I (Christopher) can’t cook.

Well, there are a few things that I could put together, but nothing fancy and not much beyond breakfast, BBQ, and mac n’ cheese.  So, this morning, Karissa left to spend the better portion of the day with some of her friends.  It was 7:30am and everyone was hungry, so what did we do?  Everyone (except Audrey) got to make something.  Rylee went to work on preparing the coffee, Kyler started cooking up the sausage patties, Caleb put the toaster to work on the eggo-like things I found in the freezer, and I scrambled up some eggs.  I love having a big family where everyone gets to pitch in and make stuff for each other.  Especially when the reality is that they could probably do as good or better than me at putting this stuff together.

We laughed, and we danced around to Rylee’s fav song right now – TobyMacy “Made to Love” as we all made our breakfast with love. We took some time to talk about what the words of the song means to us and got ready for the day.  It is going to be a adventurous day with dad involving the park, the fire pit, bb guns, and hopefully some nutrition along the way.

Gerald Blaz Strovas

Gerald (Jerry) Blaz Strovas of North Bend, WA died on January 20, 2010.  He was 70.

Mr. Strovas was born on April 9, 1939 in Black Diamond, Colorado.  He married Jacqueline Riley in Borger, Texas on June 4, 1959.  They were married for 50 years.

In addition to his wife, survivors include his sister, Fran Braden of Borger, Texas, brother, Denny and his wife Carolyn Strovas of Amarillo, TX, his daughter, Carissa and her husband Deke Crews of Birmingham, AL, son Christopher and his wife Karissa Strovas of Bothell, WA and six grandkids – Sarah and Cole Crews, and Rylee, Caleb, Kyler, and Audrey Strovas.  Preceded in death by his infant son Jerry Lynn Strovas.

Mr. Strovas was a loving husband, father, and grandfather.  After growing up in Borger, Texas, Jerry and Jackie moved out west with the Mobil Oil Corporation.  After many years with Mobil, Jerry owned the Paul Bunyan Market in North Bend, WA.  His most recent years, Jerry has sold real estate in the Northwest.  However, family and the outdoors were his passion.  He spent the last number of years spending precious time with his grandkids in Washington and Alabama and hunting and fishing in Washington and Alaska.  Jerry had a smile and a laugh for everyone he met.  He will be missed.

Remembrances may be made to the American Heart Association.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, January 27th at 2:00pm at Calvary Chapel North Bend, 1556 Boalch Ave NW, North Bend, WA 98045.  A reception will follow.

Edgar Martinez bound for the Hall of Fame?

If you ask me, it is a resounding YES.  But then again, I don’t have a vote.  If you did, what would you say? There are six players in all of baseball’s 140 year history that hit .300 or more, had an on-base percentage of .400 or more, a slugging percentage of .500 or more, 300 home runs, 500 doubles, 2000 hits, and 1000 walks.  They are Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, and you guessed it – Edgar Martinez.

I grew up idolizing Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez.  As proficient at the plate as Edgar was, he was even more clutch when something huge was on the line – can you say 1995?  For as much credit Jr. receives for building Safeco Field and keeping the M’s in Seattle, Edgar was as equally responsible.

I know he was “just a designated hitter” and that he did not start in the majors until he was 27 which left him shy of the magical 3000 hit mark, but this man was as pure of a hitter as you can see in the majors.  At some point, MLB will have to begin to allow DH’s into the hall of fame, and why not start with the best DH in the game in this year’s inductions?

Carvin’ up some fun

Saturday morning we went to a local pumpkin patch with Stephanie, Danielle, Todd, and Isaac.  It had rained significantly on Friday, so by the time we got there, it was pretty muddy.  You will have to wait to see some of the pictures to come from that day, but for now we will show you the vegetable of our labor.  We let the kids pick some nice pumpkins (they had to be able to lift the pumpkin into the wheelbarrow on their own).  Daddy cut open the tops and then each  of the kids took out the guts.  They each then chose something to go on the pumpkin and then watched as Daddy tried to come up with something that resembled what they were hoping for.  Going right to left: Rylee, Caleb, Kyler.  Maybe next year Audie will be able to lift one into the wheelbarrow.

Kyler Carve
Caleb Carve
Rylee Carve
Group Carve

The 12th Man


A week ago Friday was my birthday and I had the privilege of working an extra long day.  What made it a little bit easier to digest was the fact that I won two tickets to the Seahawk’s game against the St. Louis Rams from 710 ESPN Radio.  I flipped on the station and heard that they would be giving away tickets to game in fifteen minutes.  I thought, why not, and dialed the number at the right time.  After four busy signals I finally got through and to my surprise, I was the 12th caller and had won tickets to the game.  I was so surprised I had a little trouble giving them my name and then after I got off the phone I realized I didn’t know how many tickets I had won. Upon figuring out it was a pair of tickets, I asked Todd if he want to join me via text since he was teaching at the time.  He immediately responded with “Heck Yes.”


Sunday morning finally arrived and Todd and I headed down to the game to find a spot to set up our tailgate (Hyundai style).  We are not quite ready for the big boy tailgating as I was amazed at the set up that so many people had by their vehicles.  But, I was enjoying every moment of our little pregame set up with our boiled hot dogs, chips, cheese and crackers, and choice beverages.

We picked up our tickets in the Event Center and enjoyed a great showing of Seahawk dominance.  28-0 over the lowly Rams.  I had always heard about the influence of the 12th man, but being a part of it was a fun experience.  The first Ram’s offensive play of the day was blown dead for a false start penalty.  The crowd was really into the game the entire time, even when it got to be pretty clear the Hawks were going to blow them out.  I would like to go again some time and definitely recommend checking out a Seahawks game at least once in your life.  This game is definitely in my top ten sporting game experiences.

After the game, I began to think about what other sporting events I would like to attend.  I would love to go to some World Cup games, and would love to attend the Olympics at some point in my life.  If you could go to any sporting event, what would it be?

Music to my ears…

Family Listening

On Saturday, we had Karissa’s parents piano delivered to our house.  When one of the movers was leaving he said “with four kids there goes the peace and quiet!”  Well, he could not have been more wrong.

When Karissa sat down and began to play, all the kids (Audrey was in my arms) came running over to listen to her play.  As she played and sang, the peace did not leave, but the peace came flowing into the home.  It was great to sit, watch, and listen to her sing and play El Shaddai for all of us.

With some consistent rules set up, each of the kids have had turns playing the piano and all three of them love it.  It is amazing to hear their personalities come through as they play in their own way.  We are delighting in their delight of music.  We are grateful for the gift of the piano and look forward to them developing their passion for music.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Conversation on the way home from Grammy and Grampy’s:

Rylee, age 6 – “I want to be a farmer and take care of animals and sell them”


Caleb, age 5 – “I want to be a race car driver”


Kyler, age 3 – “I want to jump over big mountains!”


We thought it was interesting to hear what each of the kids said to this question.  Rylee has said that she has wanted to be a farmer for quite some time now.  Who knows how that will play out in life.  Now that I am almost 32, I have some ideas of what I want to be when I grow up, and they don’t usually involve crawling under houses.  I will now pose the question to you, no matter how old you are now…

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A weekend at the Nooksack

This last weekend was supposed to be a trip to Mt. Baker, to spend time together as a family with Nana, Papa, Auntie Stephie, Dee Dee, Buzz, and little Isaac…however, plans change.  As it turned out, I got to take the three big kids to Mt. Baker while Karissa and Audrey stayed home to rest and to work on other projects (blog post to come I am sure).

With Nana and Papa sharing their time share at Mt. Baker with the rest of the aforementioned family members, we were looking forward to some quality time staying right off the Mt. Baker Highway near the Nooksack River.  Karissa and I found a reasonably priced place to stay since our growing family no longer fits in the condo.  I was lucky enough to get off work early on Friday night, came home, packed up the van with our little family minus the two and headed North.

We got to our rustic cabin, moved in, and got ready for bed because we had a tremendous day ahead of us.  We were off to some breakfast with the family and then to hit up the Skyline Divide trail. This was an ambitious undertaking for our three little hikers, but they were up to the task, well, mostly anyway.  From the trail head, it is a two mile, 2150 ft elevation gain (steep for those counting at home) to a most beautiful North Cascades meadow with stunning views of the surrounding Cascades and Mt. Baker looming nearby enticing all climbers.  Our little group was not about to go one step further, so we enjoyed lunch in the glorious meadow resplendent with wildflowers.

You might be wondering why I was not wearing a shirt for some of those pictures.  It was not because I was trying to show off my manly physique, nor was it because I was too hot (it was a delightful temp), it had everything to do with the fact that Kyler had decided that a good way to thank his Daddy for carrying him all the way up the two mile trek on his back was to pee on him.  Yep, Kyler was in a ergo backpack, meaning that the only thing between me and him was his pants and my shirt.  So that wetness on my back that I thought was sweat, it turned out to be urine.  Nice.  So off went the shirt.  Of course both boys wanted to get in on the shirtless action.

A few other highlights were Nana singing “Climb every mountain” from the Sound of Music and of course Auntie Stephie getting knocked off the trail, down the hill, and onto a tree by a little horse fly.  You might want to ask her about that.  Once we figured out she was okay, we all shared a bit of a laugh.

Of course the hiking was Daddy’s highlight, but the highlight for the kiddos was the pool.  They just loved jumping in from the side, “swimming” over to the stairs to do it all over again.  Kyler must have jumped into my arms 200 times during the three times we went to the pool.  Time with their Auntie’s, Uncle, and cousin was treasured as well.  One of Caleb’s most treasured activities is throwing large things into the river.  Pictured above you can see him holding up quite a large tree that he found and proceeded to toss into the river.  It wound up getting stuck on rocks, but between throwing rocks at it, Papa going wading out in the water, and some enthusiastic cheers, that tree made it down the river (at least around the bend).

We missed Mama and Audrey, but we had a great weekend away.  We are so grateful that Nana and Papa have a little spot that is not too far away, perfect for a weekend getaway.  Much fun was had by all, and plenty of memories were made.

You know you’re getting old when…

…after some talking, some prayers, a kiss good night, and a short snuggle with your 6 year old daughter you wake up to her saying “Daddy, can I have some of the covers back?”  You stumble out of bed and thinking that you must have barely fallen asleep, you realize that it is 2:30 in the morning and it has been five hours since you tucked her in for the night.

My Oh My


I really don’t know how it happened…therefore it must simply be the pure love of the game, but Kyler has fallen in love with the Mariners and baseball.  Karissa was at a garage sale the other day and picked up the VHS tape of the magical 1995 season put out by Eagle Hardware.  He just loved it, in fact, that day he had to have it with him when he took his nap.  The kids love watching it, especially Kyler, and so far he has seen it three times.  Secretly I love watching it too because it brings back fond memories of my own.  Plus, it is quite a fun thing to be able to share all the great stories of Junior (in his prime), Edgar, Randy, Buhner, and yes, even Luis Sojo’s inside the park homerun off Mark Langston.  If you need a ride in the way back machine, come on over and I am sure Kyler will share his video with you!