Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Did your mother ever say that to you? Go OUT, get some fresh air. I don't remember my own mother saying this, but I sure say it. A lot.

In our little world, we have what's called Mandatory Outdoor Time. Meaning, if it's not raining, get out! The best time for us to go out is after lunch- it isn't as cold and the timing is right for that much needed energy release.

Armed with a camera today, I saw:

Most everyone has seen this angle of my little guy- his pants are perpetually plumbed. Couldn't resist adding it to the list.

The sky couldn't quite figure it out today. It rained, then sun- off and on for hours. But it made for a beautiful contrast in color.

Please don't tell the tulips that it's still winter.

Two variations on shelter being constructed in the distance. One made of tarp, the other au naturel.

Solitude Sought

I had one of those days again. Too many needs and not enough moms.

As we were about to embark on a mandatory library trip last night, my husband, seeing my desperation of the long day, urged me to go with big kids- meaning he'd stay behind and put the littlest needy one to bed. Do you know what that means for me? It means I can look at each and every single book if I want to. In peace. And quiet.

Being the only three people (exception made for the librarian) in the entire place did wonders for my soul. I sat and read for pleasure, for insight, and for inspiration.

And the payoff, this morning there was a little one quite taken with our choices.

I absolutely love my library basket. I love changing it out weekly and filling it up.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just Like Pavlov

"Look mom!" says the littlest one, "It's Christmas!"

And in all reality, we're only supposed to get two inches which will then turn to rain. Not at all like Christmas...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

Time has been flying over here so I've been on a blogging diet. It's unusual that I had to blow the dust off my camera this morning and see what its memory was holding. What was not on there was our afternoon spent with Regina and kids on Friday. Good for Regina that she snapped a few photos because clearly it didn't occur to me. How fun that our kids were perfectly paired up in age- mine had a fabulous time. Regina tried to teach me a thing or twelve with knitting and probably went home with a huge headache.

The rest of the weekend brought about two basketball games, my honey's volunteer firefighter test (he did great), an awesome run in the sun through some beautiful terrain (but again, no camera), Mass at this funny, old church on Saturday evening, teaching Sunday school yesterday, shopping, knitting and dropping stitches, a chilly adventure looking for treasures by the river with my daughter and finally relaxing.

And so it's Monday again and we're back to the grindstone of lessons and such. That means I'm back to my yin-yang of homeschool indecisiveness. Someone recently told me that every winter homeschool families go through this. Maybe it's a temporary, seasonal thing but I'm leaning more towards traditional school in the fall. With lots of prayer and counsel, we'll get it figured out- just another unknown in our lives. Have a great start to the week, my friends.

Oh! Are you wondering what I did find on the camera? A few photos of the golf course across the river from our house. It's getting better everyday but still has a few obstacles.

We've had a lot of foggy days here lately. My favorite days are when the sun comes out and the fog lifts. Ahhh.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dare to Dream

I overheard the most profound conversation between my sons tonight en route to ballet pick up. It went like this:
Little Guy: Whaddayou wanna be when you grow up?
Big Brother: Ummm, I think...the president.
Big Brother in return: What about you? You can be anything, you know.
Little Guy: I'm gonna be a garbage truck. NO- I mean a monster truck.

It just makes a mother's heart swell I tell you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Get Your Leash, Fatty

I have a fat dog. Some recent comments about le grand chien:

"Wow, you like your foodies, huh big girl??".
"You're not starving, that's for sure".
"Is that...a golden??"

Yes she's fat but it's not all obesity. Part of the problem is the ginormous cysts she has on her carriage. They add a lot of girth to the poor pup. We paid silly amounts of money to find out she doesn't have a thyroid problem like her mama-she's just a sneaky eater and developing "old dog" issues.

Have I mentioned that Belle has quirks? Well, she does- many at that. She is severely afraid of loud noises. On stormy nights and the fourth of July you can find the big beast in the bathtub. I've mentioned before that we hear echoes from a shooting range, too- doesn't help her case. Recently with all the dump trucks unloading 2,000 ton boulders on our road- she has lost her mind. So, we now have a fat dog who won't go for a walk.

Saturday afternoon I got Belle up to the mailbox and she laid down and cried. I had to bribe her every 10 feet with a cookie. There is something terribly wrong with using treats as incentive to get exercise. And it only lasted until my pocket was empty- she went home. I feel like we have a little problem here. No, make that a big one.

January- Code for "Make Yourself Feel Better and Organize"

Did you notice everywhere you go, life is calling out to get your ducks in a row? I'm talking the usual January get back in shape, de-clutter, pack away all that is holiday and just get organized.

I love that every January we collectively jump on our own personal makeovers- both our bodies and homes, offices, cars. The other day I went into one of those mega wholesale stores and was smitten with all that is clean (read no clutter) and streamlined (again, the clutter thing). I abhor clutter. I can handle it for about five minutes and then I get cranky and feel claustrophobic. Now my feelings may be this intense but my house is not quite there. I'm working on it. The phrase I've said one hundred and fifty-two times this weekend?? 'There's a place for everything, and everything in its place'. I think if I repeat it enough, I can whip the rest of them in shape.

And for the very first time EVER in my life, I have made a commitment to setting a weekly menu and shopping list to coincide. With this little book for some guidance (also parallels the 90 day workout program) I'm all set for the week. Dinner is made for tonight and already I feel more organized and ready to tackle the every night this week activity schedule. Ahhhh. Now if I could just get the van detailed and get the hot chocolate out of the carpet mats....

Friday, January 16, 2009

And if it Won't Shine

I have finally figured out that moving from one extreme- the desert with it's nearly constant bright sunlight to the Pacific Northwest with it's long wintry, gray days has taken a toll. I never thought it would be that tough because in Las Vegas if we had a rainy day that instantly made us feel cozy and comforted. I suppose we've had too many of those days up here and such short days, too. Completely at the other end of the spectrum. And speaking of spectrum, I made this little purchase yesterday to help. I ended up getting the smaller version- the Mini Plus- we'll see...And as I sip my latte this morning the light illuminating my room looks silly- I'm so glad there are no neighbors around to wonder if the circus has come to our house.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Bit Rusty

Remember when the sun came out for five minutes yesterday? It was so enticing we jumped in the car and headed to downtown Bellevue to skate before the rink closes for the season.

Wedging into custom made boots from high school was not easy. I think my feet have grown about a foot. There were no axles or double toes performed- just one doosey of a fall between mother and son. But it felt great to get out of the house and get some fresh, albeit, dark and cloudy air.

The rink (in the background with wreaths) is small but quaint and has a beautiful view of the city. It has a charm somewhat like a mini-Central Park with the twinkly lights at night.

Little guys have double-blades now, what a concept! This particular little guy did pretty well and seemed to enjoy it. Time for a hockey stick!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let the Sun Shine

Two great things happened this morning (amidst annoying things like cranky little people not getting enough sleep and waking too early so mom couldn't workout, enjoy coffee or computer time). Back to the positive- my husband told me that it looked like it just might be a sunny day and I got my whipper working for a perfect latte. Coffee is crucial for me but so is the sun. I haven't seen it in oh so long and have been researching therapy lamps because the need has gotten desperate.

Josh was right too, the sun came out! So, I put my little ones to work and together we brought up our school table from the basement and put it right smack into the sun. Ahhhh, just a few more subjects and we're outta here!

Not So Jumbo Jack

Hit the beads, hit your knees, just hit it for this itty-bitty baby. He and his family need your prayers.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gather Ye Horses

What does a girl do when she's blown her nose too many times?

Use the empty tissue box for a cart and horse, of course.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Boy's Dream and Some Serious Work Ahead

I have a trucker in my house. He likes everything truck. So when this arrived on our street, well see for yourself.

On a side note, I am so glad this is getting fixed- it's been a bit hairy.

Other parts of our road are completely messed up, too. (Just not hanging precariously over a river).

Chunks of asphalt are strewn everywhere throughout the big field. It looks as if a hurricane hit here.

One of the holes in the field. We've found some really neat treasures hidden in these.

Part of the road- I found out the pipe was part of the drainage for the ditch. That could come in handy.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Global Somthin'

It poured buckets yesterday but it was warm. And then it was cold. And then it hailed. I just can't figure it out. Is everyone seeing strange weather or just us Pacific Northwesterners?

We went out three times yesterday for a flood expedition and this is what we found. In the early morning the white caps where still running through the tree farm behind our house. The road was still unseen. The sound was still incredible. Later in the day, we could hear eachother talking and get a little further down the street. We found crayfish and tried to deliver them back to the river where they came from. We saw lots of damage all around. Fences missing, trees gone, and a neighbor discovered chest high holes in the road.

A good majority of the road was still underwater as of last night. But the river changes fast so we'll have to see the status on that as daylight comes. And as I write this there is a pink hue coming in through my window. It could be the sun- something I haven't seen in about a week.

And I need to add that as cabin-feverish as I am, I am thankful for all we have because numerous people have been affected by this severely.

Here is the tree farm, still a bit underwater. The river "should" be way back in the distance, as should be the road.

Another picture of the field that should just be grass. Now it's a lake.

Can you believe these boys fell in the mud? Boys, mud???

This child will rescue anything. And then she'll tell you about it's life span, where it originated and what it likes to eat. Oh heck, she'll even tell you it's mating/gestation periods. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Where's Noah When You Need Him?

Last night when I was driving down the mountain I saw the news truck. I've been living lately in a lovely bliss of no news. No media attacks- it's been really nice. However, I missed the fact that the river we live next to was growing. I may have made a comment or two about how it looked higher, but the river changes all the time.

Waking up this morning I saw the river from my kitchen, which is not a good sign. My honey quick got ready for work and took his hiking boots, knowing that he would have to park far away and hike home. He also took my grocery list with much needed items.(Oh that nagging yesterday to go to the's all clear now). Regardless, my honey was back in less than five minutes- our road was already flooded. And so once again, we are trapped.

The county has us pegged with a potential record flood. We'll be fine-we're up high enough. However, I have no milk, eggs, and most important- wine. Here's a few photos from early this morning and my how things have changed.

If you could only hear what the water sounds like coming crashing down around these trees. It make for a noisy adventure.

This field, on a normal day, is just grass. During this photo the water was just filling up. Now it has white caps on it.

Watching seagulls- almost feels like we're at the beach.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekend Getaway

Pulling away from the mainland as the sun sets- so early these days. What a peaceful spot. I never tire of the scenery.
Sometimes that's exactly what you need- a quick weekend jaunt. I do believe that a tropical beach (especially after last night's snow) would do just fine but I'll take what I can get.

A change of atmosphere, too little sleeping and too much laughing with old friends, a nice run through beautiful trails and just being by the water- it all does this body good.

And thankfully, after my revival this weekend- math wasn't that bad today. Smirk.

My little marine biologist looks longingly in the cold and wind for something, anything.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Year in Photos

Happy 2009! Inspired from Dawn's picture walk, I thought I'd review some outdoor favorites. I love going through all the shots and remembering special days.

Here's to a new year brimming with beauty and love.













With a Bang

New Years Eve is always boring and quiet at our house. We're notorious for it. We usually make a big pile of nachos, watch a movie, have a beer and are in bed pretty early. Not this year folks, we did it with a bang.

We began the night in usual fashion, instead of nachos, we had a big plate of very yummy hummus, olives, bread, pesto, garlic, cheese, chicken, etc around the coffee table. And this movie. (Which I thought would be completely "safe" for all ages but they sure made movies differently 30 years ago!)

Our doorbell rang with a pleasant surprise- my ever-so-gracious neighbor delivered some bubbly.

About 8pm we decided it might be fun to go to our running club's party on Lake Samammish. So we quick spruced everyone up and the kids were so excited to be going out. As we were leaving my husband mentioned that his manager was having a party and we were invited. Sure, why not?? We could pop in and what- be home about 10:30?

Well we all had too much fun and had to tear the children away from the insanity of lots of wee ones ringing in the new year. We left the party about 12:30am with my little guy saying, "I can't believe I went to two parties on the same night!" Me neither.

This is the face of a 3 year old who just learned it was time to go home. What a horrid mother!