Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Health Class

Ryan and Mr. E got put in charge of making little videos to show students about some of the school rules at the high school.  They wanted to cover No Headphones, No Food or Drink, and Use a Hall Pass During Class.  Somehow the girls and I were volunteered as the actresses for these videos.

The high school is undergoing a remodel, and only some of the classrooms looks ready for occupation.  Yes, we have a week until school begins.  Students, as of yesterday, are not allowed inside any of the buildings, but staff are.  (Huh?)

One of the classrooms that actually look like a classroom is for Health class.  So this was the room picked for the Headphone Rule video.  All 4 girls were sitting quietly in their desks reading textbooks from the classroom or a very thick Harry Potter 7 book, when the camera pans to me (with headphones on), clearly rocking out and reading a 1st grade level Barbie book.

After 3 takes, I turned around to put kids' the textbooks away.  Elizabeth had her book open to the reproduction chapter, and was apparently examining the pictures of male anatomy.

Great choice for textbooks, Ryan.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh Canada

We took a little day trip up to the Peace Arch park on the Canadian border.  Ryan's parents, his brother and sister-in-law came with us.  The twins and Aunt Blair hadn't been to the Peace Arch park.  We took charcoal, hot dogs and other picnic necessities with us.

Emma can say she's been in two places at once now.

Grandma, Grandpa and the girls
Checking out the lily pads in the pond.
After walking around the park, we staked out a shady spot for our picnic.  Annie and Maddie kept trying to sneak ice from the cooler to eat while the boys cooked our dinner.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Friday Harbor

Friday we met up with my dad and family, and we took a ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor. 
This was the girls' first ferry ride.  It wasn't much of a morning for viewing the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands, but we still spent part of the ride outside in the fog.
I made use of the $80 ferry ride, and grabbed a free map of the island.  Our first stop was English Camp, from the time of the Pig War.  (Google it- this was a real thing...)  English camp is on the northern part of the island.
We enjoyed the beach with all of the shells.  We brought home a bag full of them.
We had a picnic lunch at Roche Harbor.  Afterwards we drove around the island and down to the American Camp.
We hiked down to Grandma's Cove to play at the beach and check out the tide pools.

Ice cream at Friday Harbor.
Maddie said this was her "Beeg Boat."
The ferry that was to take us back was an hour late.  We had lots of time in the car.  The kids showed us how to make Capri Suns "fancy"- stick your pinkie up.
At least the fog was gone on the ride home.  The sunset was beautiful.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scenic Drive

My husband, as long as we've been married, has wanted to drive Highway 20.  Instead of the usual 3.5 (in good traffic, so usually more like 4) hour drive, it would take us 7 hours to get to his parents' house.  My desire of spending the least amount of time cooped up in the car with my children has won out- until now.  Since we didn't come up with any grand destination for a family vacation, we would make a trip to the west side of the state as cool and adventurous as possible.
We left just after 8 am, and made it to Winthrop for our lunch stop.  Winthrop is this old west-style town filled with tourist trap stores.  Absolutely perfect for the family of small children, right?

So we walked the boardwalk, and peeked in the windows of the stores. 
I will say the drive was very pretty. 
This, I believe, is Ross Lake.  The water is a very bright shade of aqua.
We stopped here to stretch our legs and throw rocks into the lake.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Double Digits

This was the big one. 

10 years. 

TEN YEARS, people.  That's how long we've been married. 

A whole decade.

Our anniversary number has reached the double digits.

Thanks for a good 10 years.  You are my rock, my wind break, my safe place.  I love you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Twins, twins and more twins

Last week I took three of the kids to the P city pool, while Ryan and Emma were at the fair.  I subjected the masses to the glare of my ultra-white skin so the kids could play with some of their friends.

A co-worker of Ryan's was there for swim lessons in the other pool.  Between my twins, her twins and my friend Tiffany's twins, well.... It apparently was Twin Day at the pool.
We were missing the one other (older) set of twins belonging to the teachers of the high school.  There were 4 sets of twins born in 4 consecutive years, ending with Tiffany's twins.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Arrivals

(Just a little note- I did try to post this a couple days ago, but my computer and I are at odds.  It randomly does weird things, and I am not-so-patiently waiting until it's time to buy a new computer.)

A couple of weeks ago, Ryan brought home some quail eggs.  He got an incubator for his Animal Science class (which incidentally doesn't start until next month), but he had to try it out.  At home.  To make sure it worked.  The incubator started out humming and rocking on the kitchen table, but was thankfully short-lived.  It made its new home in the toy room, high enough that the twins couldn't open it to look at the fragile contents.

Last Saturday afternoon, we had our first new arrival.  Ryan had low expectations- 5 or 6 out of the 28.  We had that before we went to bed Saturday.  By Sunday evening, we had 19.  NINETEEN.
 The kids were super excited to see the baby quail before church.
Ryan had a box, baby bird food and a heat lamp all set up.  But no thermometer.  That was rectified Monday morning, after 9 got a bit over-heated during the course of the night. 

But we still have 10 left.  And the kids have had a lesson on mortality....

Ryan moved them outside Tuesday, to a 4' x 4' press board box gracing our backyard.  They were trapped in one corner, to stay close (but not too close) to the heat lamp.  Today the baby quail got to have free reign of the box, and Ryan built it a proper lid, with a hinge and chicken wire.

The baby quail have grown a lot and are getting grown-up feathers now.  They like to run, jump and flap their wings. 

(Local friends are welcome to come see the little guys.  They are pretty cute!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

High School Teacher

A teacher who taught "next door" to Ryan for a couple years moved away with her family at the end of the school year.  Before she left, she gave Ryan this magnet that now graces our refrigerator:
Good to see Ryan is known for his kindness and compassion.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Fix-All

Ryan took apart the vacuum tonight to untangle the hair from the vacuum.  (Ryan insists this has to happen a couple times a year.)  I think the cheap plastic pieces of the vacuum had been held together by all that hair, and once it was removed, the poor old vacuum almost disintegrated.

No worries, though.  Ryan duct taped it back together.

I am feeling a little white trash at the moment.  But I guess that's what you get, when you get married in college and can only afford an ultra-cheap vacuum from K-mart. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I Must Look Like A Criminal

This morning I took all my four girls grocery shopping with me, while Ryan was fulfilling his Ag Teacher responsibilities (shearing sheep for an upcoming fair).  Grocery shopping with kids without Ryan's back-up has never been something to fill me with excitement.  The thought fills me with something more akin to dread.  But we cannot live without cereal, or crackers, or chocolate chips, so we braved Walmart.

The kids did quite well.  Elizabeth and the twins sat IN the cart, stacking the groceries on top of themselves and squabbling about who got to hold what.  But not too noisily, so I was happy enough.

We got to the checkout line, and I tried to pick the shortest line.  Unfortunately, the lady in front of me had two price checks, and bought printer ink.  (The printer ink is in these hard plastic containers that the checkers have to go somewhere else to open.)  Needless to say, I started not caring when the kids started playing with the toys in the check-out line.

Twenty minutes later, our groceries were paid for and bagged, and I made a bee-line for the door.  That's when the Walmart greeter guy stepped out and asked to see my receipt.  I looked at him and said, "No, you may not."

He repeated himself.  "I need to see your receipt."  And he started to grab the receipt out of Emma's hands. 

So, as I am younger and faster (and closer in proximity to my daughter), I grabbed the receipt myself and walked out.

Ryan asked later if the guy had tried to stop me after that.  I can't honestly say.  I didn't look back.

I guess the Walmart employees think that if you walk into their store, they can treat you like a criminal without cause.  Or they are profiling.  You know, those stay-at-home moms are a dangerous group.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Clothing Wars

This morning I was in the bathroom, trying to cut the finger and toe nails on the squirmy mass of limbs also known as The Twins.  Elizabeth came in and in a huff sat down on the floor.  I had asked Emma and Elizabeth to get dressed, and listened to squabbling coming from their room, so I was not surprised to see Elizabeth.  However, she was only wearing a t-shirt and underwear.

"Elizabeth, where are your shorts?"

The eyes of the poor, abused sister looked at me and she said, "Emma won't let me wear them."

Seriously?  Emma is taking this bossy older sister thing way too seriously.  So I yelled for Emma to come, and she came clomping over to us, wearing her "high heel" shoes she got for her 8th birthday.  (She loves those things.)  "Why won't you let Elizabeth wear her shorts?"

"They are MY shorts.  She can't wear MY shorts."

Elizabeth protested, "They were in MY drawer!"

I've been known to put clothing away in the wrong place, so I asked Emma to go get the shorts in question.  She brought them back, and I recognized them as being Elizabeth's and said as much.

Emma was outraged.  "No, they are MINE.  I wore them last!" 

So I told her to check the tag, and lo and behold, they said size 6.  "Emma, they are Elizabeth's shorts.  If someday you'd like to borrow them, you need to ask Elizabeth."

"But they fit ME."  Emma was not going to give up without a fight.

"Yes, I bet they do.  But you have a drawer filled with shorts that fit you that don't say size 6.  You can wear those.  Elizabeth gets to wear the size 6 shorts."

"Fine."  Emma threw the shorts at Elizabeth (Thankfully they didn't connect.  I can be appreciative that Emma inherited my lack of hand-eye coordination.) and stomped away.

I am in serious trouble.  I have two girls who really are the same size and two others who are very close in size.  The teenage years ought to be one long screaming match a joy.

As of now, the twins wear anything between 2T and 4T, Elizabeth can wear 4T-6 shorts, and Emma can wear shorts sizes 5-8 (especially if those size 5s were capris- they make good knee length ones now).  There is a lot of overlap. 

Serious, serious trouble I am in.