Laura

Olympic National Park. October 2012.

Text updated May 2004. Photos updated May 2012.

Born: Portland, Oregon
Raised: Newberg, Oregon ~ “A Great Place to Grow.”

As I experience life, mostly people, but also events, objects and locations, emboss onto me, creating an ever-changing reality. Looking back on my childhood, I smile with love. My brother, two sisters and I were great entertainment for each other while growing up. Between my oldest sister and youngest sister there is only a six-year time span. My parents did us all a great benefit in teaching us the value of family. Even with Brett and me moving across the world I feel close to my siblings.

Childhood Interests: Gymnastics for 10 years, tried volleyball, basketball, running, riding bikes, church youth groups, spending time with Grandma and Grandpa, singing and swinging at the same time in the backyard, listen to music, and eating sweets.

Favorite Vacation: Many family vacations were spent along the Oregon Coast where both sets of grandparents live. To this day, I strongly believe the Oregon coastline is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. There is something so peaceful and powerful about listening to the crashing waves and being the only one within eyesight on the beach.

Vacation Firsts: battled quick sand, boat rides, learned to water ski, had first kiss, found sand dollars, built sand castles, went crabbing, painted grandpa’s fence, watched Little Lord Fautleroy, and so much more

My parents instilled the great value of education to all of us. When the time came to stretch my education beyond my small childhood town and school, my parents supportively urged me out the door. During my time at Whitworth College I received a degree in Elementary Education, ran on the track and cross-country teams and for the first time developed some strong personal views. Spokane, Washington seemed a long way from my home in Newberg, Oregon; however, over the next four years the distance collapsed creating a need to expand once again.

College Highlights: Traveled to Europe with study group, saw Greece, Pompai, Italy, France and England. Went to Canada to snow camp with a group of friends. Learned to snow ski. Competed with some great athletes in both cross-country and track. Taught at Seth Woodard Elementary School under the guidance of a wonderful teacher.

After graduation I moved to Burns, Oregon and worked at Kirkland Institute. At Kirkland I worked with boys who were placed by the state and needed a good education, valuable guidance and love. I thoroughly enjoying working with these young boys but my life in Burns did not last long. Three months later I had moved from my frog infested house in great hopes of a teaching job in Redmond, Oregon. My stay in Redmond lasted about a month.

Brett and I made the move together to Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. Living in the small town of Mineral was a wonderful experience, creating the need to have many hobbies! I substitute taught for two years in the mountain communities to the East and the HOT valley to the West.

Hobbies in Mineral: Reading, scrap booking, making candles, paper making, gardening, hiking in the park, snow shoeing, sledding, snow camping, baking, chopping wood (this turned into an obsession, playing board games, planning a wedding, running, lifting weights, and staying politically active.

My General Music Taste
James Taylor
John Denver
Norah Jones
Kenny G
Johnny Cash
John Lennon
George Winston

Some of My Favorite Books

Nonfiction
The Crossing Place by Philip Marsden
Into the Wild by John Krakauer The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
When Elephants Weep by Jeffery Moussaieff Masson

Fiction
Lord of the Flies by William Goldin
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Solar Storms by Linda Hogan
Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
Beautiful Child by: Torey Hayden
Somebody Else’s Kids by Torey Hayden

Children’s Stories (Always read to your children! )
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Holes by Louis Sochar
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Velveteen Rabbit by Morgery Williams
Airmail to the Moon by Tom Birdseye
Soap! Soap! Don’t Forget the Soap!

All stories by Roald Dahl

Some Favorite Quotes

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real. It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair had been loved off, and your yes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
-The Velveteen Rabbit

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“Some children were asked, “What is love?”
One little girl answered, “Love is when your mommy reads you a bedtime story.
True love is when she doesn’t skip any pages”
- Author Unknown

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“If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay that way, but if you treat him as if he were what he could be, he will become what he could be.”
- Goethe

Final Note!
Thank you for taking the time to read a bit about me. Please stay in touch! – Laura

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