Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in Seattle

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope you all had a great time spent with family, friends, and filled with lot's of laughs and LOT'S of Food! We were supposed to leave Wednesday morning to go to Seattle but the weather was getting ugly and so Tuesday about 11 Jeff called home from work and said, "Do you think you can get packed up and ready to leave by 1?" Of course that wasn't at all possible but I said "Sure! I'll do my best." So I started throwing clothes into bags, frantically trying to finish the last minute homemade gifts that still weren't quite done and rounding up the presents that we were going to take with us. By 3 we were ready to go. The house was a disaster!!! We left dirty dishes, paint on the floor, clothes everywhere, Jeff's half-eaten birthday cake on the counter, laundry in the WASHER and quite a few of the presents that I had still stashed in their hiding places. BUT---At least we made it out the door. The roads were pretty good and travel was fairly easy. If we had waited until the next day as planned, it would have gotten pretty ugly--Dan and Amanda can attest to that!

Santa was pretty good to all--Everyone seemed to be happy with the offerings from the elves.

We topped off a great morning of stockings and gifts with a fabulous breakfast (Jeff always says that Bonnie is like an Italian mama--you know, the ones who keep ladeling food onto your plate until you either pass out or explode.)

After breakfast, everyone geared up in their snow clothes for some fun in the snow.

Andrew loved the lightsaber that Santa left for him. He kept building little snowmen all over the yard and then he'd "Saber" them down.

Dan and Kaylee built a snowman in the driveway so that they could drive through it with the Jeep. We named him "Desperaux".

This is the snowman that Addy and I built. We named her "Betty".

We Video'd Dan crashing through Desperaux but the file is too big to share here. Suffice it to say that this...

... is ALL that was left of poor Desperaux!

On Friday we took the kids to downtown Seattle. It was raining and pretty darn chilly so we weren't too adventurous. We did hit Pike Place Market. We had fun watching them throw the fish and checked out all of the booths.

All was well until we walked past a fruit stand and Andrew knocked one Apricot onto the floor. I, being the good citizen that I am, handed it to the sales guy thinking that he could wash it off and all would be well. The jerk, I mean sales guy, told me that I was going to have to buy it because it would be bruised now and they wouldn't be able to sell it. I was taken aback and all I could say was, "are you kidding me?" I thought he was joking at first. Was he really going to make me pay for it? Yep, he was totally serious. I bantered back and forth with him a bit and things got kind of testy. I hate to admit it, but I was REALLY mad--over 1 stupid 50 cent apricot. I never swore but I did raise my voice so that all of the people standing around (and there were a lot of them) could know exactly what I thought of this particularly evil fruit stand. He, the jerk, threatened to call security--imagine being sent to jail for a 3 year old dropping 1 apricot. I finally dug into my purse and practically threw the 50 cents at him and stomped off ---with one last parting shot of, "nice customer service!!!". I walked down the aisle to where everyone was waiting for me and Jeff asked me, "where is the apricot?" I had been so mad that I hadn't even taken it with me. So I said, "screw that, I'm going back there to get my stinkin' apricot--they're not goint to keep it." So I went back and said, "Where is my apricot, I want it" and guess where they had put it------yep, right back on the pile of apricots for sale-----"bruised" my arse. What a joke! I guess I will never know what possessed him to throw such a fit over one piece of harmless fruit. (Who knows, I may never know why I threw such a fit over the same fruit!) I think my sense of customer service just said that it was totally wrong to force me to pay for something that was a.) not my fault b.) not damaged in the least and c.) so inconsequential in the big scheme of things. Oh well, I had to add a picture of the offensive little man and complain about him at the very least.

This little episode might have ruined the outing but I couldn't help but shake my head and laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation. We just moved on and enjoyed the Italian market, handmade popsicle stick puppets and the fresh mini doughnuts.

Andrew had fun kissing the hog--before I put the kabash on that germ filled activity.

We did not however enjoy ripping our hubcap off on the way out of the parking garage. We could have done without that. Thank goodness for Ebay! replacement cost dropped from $100 to $25.

We left to head home on Saturday morning. We stopped in North Bend to hit the outlet stores there and dawdled our way home. We finally made it to our house about 7:30. Of course it had snowed about a foot more since we'd been gone and so we had to borrow our neighbors shovels in order to dig our way up to the doors. The snow was pretty wet, evidently it had rained earlier as well and the snow was HEAVY so it took us about another hour just to make it up to the doors.

These icicles had started before we left but when we got home they were MONSTROUS! This picture was actually taken the day after we had gotten home and it had been raining hard for quite a while and so they had already melted a bunch. I should have taken them the night before when they were just about touching the ground and as thick around as stumps. I hope the gutter doesn't fall off.

I can't wait to see what the new year will bring. I'm looking forward to some great new years resolutions. What are you going to be doing in 2009?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Thermal Conductivity of a... Tongue?

Do you remember this?

Well sure enough--As life follows art--Andrew came running in the house yesterday saying, "mom! Addy needs you! She needs you bad! Her tongue is stuck to dat ting." So I rouse myself up from whatever I was doing, and poke my head outside to check on Addy. Sure enough, her tongue is stuck to this...

Poor thing! She really couldn't get it off. It was bleeding and everything. Believe me, I felt bad for her but at the same time I couldn't help chuckling a bit to myself all the same. I did, however go immediately to get some warm water instead of for the camera (although, the thought did cross my evil mind). We poured the water over the tongue and, easy peasy, she was FREE! After we got the bleeding stopped and her tongue stopped stinging she looked almost like this again.
Needless to say, we did have a little chat with all of the kids about what happens when you stick your tongue on cold metal. I'm not sure it sunk in though, I'm pretty sure Andrew was trying to lick the ice off the fence later on. I better keep the water handy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Annual Christmas Tree Hunt

We went out to the woods for a few hours last Saturday. We were supposed to be picking out our Christmas tree but I have to admit--I got a little lazy this year and put up a fake tree. I just really needed it up early this year for some reason and I knew that we weren't going to be able to get out to get a tree for a while. So...we just tagged along for the fun of it. Anytime we have the opportunity to play in the woods-especially with the quad and we are all over it. There was no snow this year but we had a great
time taking all of the kids for rides on the quad. Maya would chase us down the road for a while and then get tired and turn around and go back. I love taking her out there with us. She loves the freedom and is just so happy. I think that's why I love it out there too. I just love the freedom you feel being out in the woods with, relatively no one else around. (Did I just compare myself to a dog?)

We were driving West in order to get home and the sunset that day was one of the most beautiful sunsets I think I have ever seen. That includes all of the gorgous ones from Tucson. I just had to stop and take some pictures. It flat out took my breath away. The colors were brilliant shades of oranges, reds and yellows and the colors on the cloud formations was just the coolest thing.

Total Eye Candy!

I'll let you judge for yourself--although I'm quite sure the pictures can't do it the justice it deserves.

Monday, December 8, 2008

China!!! Let the preparations begin

These babies came in the mail a few days ago. I have also been filling out all of the VISA paperwork and getting the passports sent in so I can't help but start to get excited about going. I'm in the info gathering process--so if anyone has any info to pass on--let me know. I have been working on my "lip-zipping" and my "yes-sirring" and we learned the most important of all chinese words-----"Ping Cow" which may end up saving my life. (translation=Rice) I'm not exactly sure how adventurous I will be for the Chinese food. I guess we'll see.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Flashback Friday--What did you do when you were supposed to be napping?

I should have a contest to see if anyone can guess the yummy delicassy that Kaylee has just partaken of.

.............. powdered sugar?




...........white chocolate?



ding ding ding--you guessed it! Evidently it is quite tasty. She seemed to love it--ate almost the full tube. This resulting picture has been one of my favorite pictures ever. The face she is making is just classic.

Oh the things we do when we are supposed to be napping. It reminds me of the time that I was supposed to be napping and decided to stick a bobbie pin into the light socket. I distinctly remember thinking, "I wonder what will happen if I stick this in here." (I was about 5, I think) I definitely found out, that's for sure. Sparks flew, fire flared and before I knew what had happened, the bobbie pin had melted into my fingers. That's when my thoughts became, "Please don't cry! Just don't cry! DON'T cry!!!" To no avail. I was so scared that I would be in so much trouble because I was supposed to be taking a nap. After about a minute I couldn't take it any more and I ran down to my mom who was doing laundry. She fixed me up and the only other thing I remember is having to tell my dad about it when we picked him up from work. I was petrified--It's one thing run to mom--it was another to have to fess up to my dad! My fear was definitely overrated and not neccessary. No beatings were given that day and all is well. I have always wondered however, why that particular memory was ingrained into my head. I think it is actually one of the earliest memories that I have.

I guess I just find myself remembering that experience because Andrew recently stuck a little toy lock into the socket and deja vu----sparks flew, fire flared and before he knew what had happened he had a nice little burn on his finger and thumb. ----Oh please spare him the rest of MY childhood mistakes.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Funnies

Hope you have a VERY Happy Thanksgiving!

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinnerStay off your thighs!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
(Alas, I cannot claim authorship of the above--although I can claim similar sentiments)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sixteen years--and Thankful for it

Today is our Anniversary. Sixteen Fun-filled, adventure-prone, laughter-inducing years. I'm thrilled to be able to say that I married my very best friend and that he is STILL my very best friend after all of these years. I'm not a "worrier" by nature, but still to this day, my greatest fear is that something would happen to him and that I would be left here on earth by myself for the rest of mortality. That is something that I'm sure I could get through but certainly any joy found afterwards would be incomplete until that day that we were reunited. The beautiful thing about God's plan for us is that we can and will be reunited someday. What an amazing, yet simple plan. I'm so grateful for that plan. I'm grateful that I have been blessed with the knowledge that God lives and that he is REAL. He has blessed my marriage and blessed me with 3 fascinating and wonderful children. He has blessed me with a comfortable home and all of my needs are met--and frankly most of my wants as well. Indeed, my heart is full and I have thought a lot lately about Gratitude and Thankfulness--this being Thanksgiving time and all. My thoughts keep returning to the idea of the word "Thanksgiving". I can't help but think that if one is truly Thankful or full of gratitude then they will display that thankfulness by sharing or giving to others. --hence, Thanks-Giving. My own goal is to show my own Thanks through much more giving to others. I keep telling my children it's not enough to say "Thank you." We have to show our thanks. Now it's time to put my money where my mouth is.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"24" reasons why Jack Bauer Rules

We love 24!! So, in preparation for the big premiere, here is a fun list of why we all love Jack Bauer.

1. Jack makes carrying a purse masculine.
2. He gets perfect cell phone reception, regardless of his location.
3. He's tough enough to withstand torture, but isn't ashamed to cry.
4. He gave Cheng the silent treatment for 2 years.
5. Jack can fly a plane and a helicopter.
6. Jack doesn't care what other people think of him.
7. Jack Bauer is always right.
8. He got Erin Driscoll to listen to him eventually.
9. He pulled the trigger on Chase. Talk about dedication to his work.
10. Despite suffering from Herion withdrawl, he was able to break Ramon Salazaar out of prison.
11. He broke Ramon out of prison in less than an hour. It took Michael Scofield a whole season to break out of Fox River.
12. Hacksaw.
13. He doesn't always listen to orders, because he knows he's right.
14. Jack hurt that annoying scumbag Joe Prado.
15. He killed the whole Drazen gang by himself.
16. He figured out to look up presumed dead people in order to find Saunders.
17. He can hold his breath forever.
18. His magic hoodie is very impressive.
19. Straight men have crushes on him.
20. He can kill people without using his hands or legs.
21. He asked for forgiveness before killing Chapelle.
22. He's "died" twice and yet seems to be in great health.
23. He trusted George to take the plane down.
24. Despite saving millions of people over and over again, has never asked for a thank you!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Flashback Friday-It all started when...

Since our 16th anniversary is this next Tuesday, and I have been thinking about how fast time flies when you're having fun, I decided to post this picture of Jeff and I. This was at Ricks. It was one of the formal dances just after Jeff and I started to become pretty serious. ---I mean look at him, how could I refuse a gentleman like that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cracker Soup...from a 3-year old point of "View"

Jeff and I walked upstairs this morning to find Andrew, the chef, stirring up a nice big "pot" of what he likes to call, "Cracker Soup". He informed us that it was for our dinner for which I am personally very glad since I wasn't sure what to cook myself. He then proceeded to ladel out some bowls for us to try--Yum! Doesn't it look delicious! Where, you might ask, did we get such a beautiful serving dish? Being the conservation-minded citizens that we are, our ash container from the fireplace doubles as the perfect soup turrine. I think it also serves as the secret ingredient in the award-winning soup.

The enjoyment he was obviously feeling from this fun little experiment was almost, but not quite, equalled by my own enjoyment when, just after ladeling out everyone's soup, he turned around to give the dog a big hug and I was greeted with this enticing view.

Maybe Santa will bring him a belt for Christmas! In the meantime I get to secretly smile whenever I catch a glimpse of those sweet little cheeks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tidbits of Fun

These kids are cracking me up! All of the silly, funny things that they think up to entertain themselves keep a permanent smile pasted to my lips. I store them up so that at times when they, let's just say, aren't quite as cute, I can remember them and I decide it's not worth it to do bodily damage. Here is a small sampling of recent things that I want to remember.
Andrew put together this helicopter with his builder set and flew it all over the house. Why is it that boys learn how to do sound effects so much earlier and with so much more efficacy than girls?
I was making dinner one night and Addy started squishing cheese through my garlic press like it was play-dough. She was so excited to be able to make all of that blonde, stringy "hair".
I have no idea what the thought process was behind this brilliant idea. I only know that a whole roll of adhesive tape was used to perfect this masterpiece and that much to my homemaking shame--it stayed on the door knob for at least a week before I finally took the time to remove it.

My kids LOVE doing this! They go and get their "footy pajamas" on and hit the stairs time after time. I'm not sure who has more fun though, the kids--or the dog.

Andrew and Addy worked together to put this fascinating musical instrument together. Designed to be able to play it from either direction. Andrew is modeling the choke-hold method--much akin to the Suzuki method you have no doubt heard about. I have talented children, that much is for sure.

All three children gathered up buckets of water and lotions and heaven only knows what else into the living room last night. They then presented me with an invitation to visit their "spa." They were trying to pick out a dress for me to wear after I went to the spa. I asked them what this was all for and Kaylee replied, "We want to make you pretty so that daddy will want to take you on a date." Kaylee continued, "What dress would make daddy bounce around and want to kiss you all night?" -------------OH MY GOODNESS! Where do they come up with this stuff???

Friday, November 7, 2008

Flashback Friday--"Do You Like My Hat???"

One of our all-time favorite pictures of Addison--in her "younger" years. I just want to gobble her right up!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fall Colors

The fall colors have been pretty stunning this year. I don't think they lasted very long, but for a few days there, they were pretty awesome. I loved the contrast between the green and red in this one. Very symbolic. Having lived a good part of my life in Arizona, I never seem to get tired of the beautiful colors of Fall. I do have to admit that I am not quite ready to part with the glories of summer. I already miss the sun and I'm not quite ready to give in to the rain and the cold of winter. At least I know that come June, the sun will shine yet again --unlike the uncertainty that comes from having a socialist as our new "American" president. Heaven help us--because we can't seem to help ourselves!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Happiness

We had a great Halloween. We hit the trunk or treat at church and then trick or treated our favorite neighborhood. Everyone loved the costumes this year--Kaylee's basket of laundry in particular got rave reviews.

Andrew had so much fun talking to the home owners--wishing them a "Happy Halloween" as only my rambunctious baby boy can. He'd tell people, "I'm spiderman! da na na na na na na na ---Batman!" Some one at one of the first houses called him a "kiddo" and he thought that was the funniest thing he'd ever heard. After that he told each person as he left the door, "see ya yater, kiddo. Happy Halloween!"

Addy was my sweetheart. She opened up a package of starbursts and she would give one to each person that gave her candy with a very pretty, "Thank you".

All in all, a very fun night!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Barn Dance and Parade

Addison participated in their annual school Barn dance last Friday. Jeff and I love attending this every year. The kids perform all of the country dances that they have been learning in PE and enrichment. They are SO CUTE! and the kids have such a good time. Kaylee was totally bummed that she had to miss it this year because she was practising with the band up at the Kibbie dome for the University of Idaho pregame performance the next day. (more on that later) Addy loves to sing and dance and she has been doing these dances or singing the songs all over the house almost 24-7. Believe me when I say that it might take a miracle for me to get "jump-jim-joe" out of my head. We even did that as a family for our FHE last monday and all of the kids LOVED it! Here is one of the little dances that she did for us. She has such a girly-girl personality, she just eats things like this up. It is fun to see her "princess" mannerisms come out.

Kaylee had a fun Saturday. She started all-city band this fall. She plays the flute and seems to be loving it so far. They were able to march in the U of I homecoming parade on Saturday. The weather was beautiful and she had a great time. I thought it was such a fun opportunity for a third grader to have. The only thing to put a damper on it was that right before she marched I noticed that she had a sizable ding in her flute already. (I'm sure thanks to Andrew). Anyone need some home or yard work done--I think she's looking for work. Anyway, we had fun watching her march by and give us a little finger wave. If you look closely you can see Noa L. and a super quick glimpse of Isaac W. too. After the parade she had to go back to the Kibbie dome for more practise. They played in the pregame show with the U of I band and many of the high school and jr high bands in the area. I asked her if she was nervous before and she said yes, but you couldn't tell. To me she looked as natural as can be. She did awesome. She is such a fun, brave little soul. She just really enjoys the moment.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

ZZ Top!!!

One of the reasons why Jeff and I thought that Moscow would be an ideal area to live was because it was small town--and yet, because of the two universities close by we had ample "cultural" opportunities.


Wednesday night Jeff came home from work saying that he had just heard on the radio that ZZ Top was coming to Beasley Collesium in concert--the next night. "What do you think?, he asks. "Do you want to go?" "Of course I'm in. Are you kidding me. It's ZZ Top", I respond. So we called around, found a babysitter and away we went.

This is a little sampling

We got such a kick out of some of the people there. The chick in the video smacking her chest was probably one of the funniest. She reminded us of when Jeff Foxworthy said, "Yep, you know it's goin' to be a good party when Peggy comes out of her shirt way too early in the evening." (scratch the video, I realize now that all of the video I took is actually too big and it won't let me upload it. Anyone know how to break it up???) I missed getting pictures of some college kids wearing beards down to their waists. They were pretty good. Then of course there is the resident "fondlers." You know, the couple who can't seem to keep there hands off each other the whole time.

All in all, we had a BLAST! The opening act was Blackberry Smoke from Atlanta, Georgia. Kind of a fun, blues-rock band with a decent sound.

ZZ Top was great! They were so much fun and I have to say--they were outright smokin' on the guitars. They were smooth as silk and you just knew they'd been doing this forever.

It was also kind of nice that Beasley is a non-smoking venue--so, we didn't have to get high from everyone else's smoke. We were pretty sure that came in handy after the concert when we were pulled over by the cops--for "rolling through a stop sign". Oops! (Jeff, still says he made the stop.) His streak is still alive though, because he was just given a warning--this time. If I wasn't so glad that we don't have to waste our money on a stupid ticket I'd probably be jealous of his uncanny ability to get out of traffic tickets.

For now, I'm just going to remember one great night!