Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Girl Time

Our local theater has $5 Tuesdays.  As a reward for good report cards and parent-teacher conferences, I took the girls to see Cinderella.  We all loved it.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy Spring

This just makes my heart happy.
There's nothing sweeter than a bouquet of dandelions from this darling 6-year-old.

New Skills

Learning new skills is exciting, and kindergarten is a great time for that.  Annie and Maddie's latest accomplishment is shoe tying.  Today I wasn't even allowed to tie my own shoes, because a couple of little somebodies like to practice.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ryan's New Machine

It was time.  Our ride-on lawn mower died mid-way though last year's growing season.  Ryan tried to keep up using a regular push mower, and well... even that one gave up on us.  

So, we've been keeping our eyes open on Craigslist, and Ryan checked out a place in town for used ones, but the decent ones were not that much less than buying new.  So we bit the bullet, after doing some research and window shopping, and bought a new John Deere mower.  
 There she is.  Ain't she a beaut?  Doesn't our tax return look nice?  It made me laugh to see this nice, new (albeit base model) John Deere mower on Ryan's poor old truck.
Ryan had to take the mower out for a spin right away.  All right Spring, now we are ready for you.

Punch Bowl Falls

Our school district is a little bit different when it comes to Spring Break.  They schedule parent-teacher conferences the two days right before Spring Break, so if you luck out, you can have a week and a half long Spring Break.  We had our last two conferences Thursday, so Friday we all piled in the car and drove to Oregon.  I had heard about a pretty hike out to a waterfall called Punch Bowl Falls from my friend Rachel, and we decided to go for it.  It's one of the longer hikes we've done, and the kids did amazingly well.  When all was said and done, the pedometer said 5.6 miles.

It was such a beautiful day for a hike.  It was probably 70 degrees, and the sun was shining.  It's been spring for so long already this year that we got to enjoy butterflies, flowers, mud, and green everywhere!

I did such a great job planning ahead (cough cough) that all pictures captured are on my phone.  I really should have brought the real camera- the scenery was amazing.

We walked under waterfalls.
 Next to steep cliffs.

 Through streams.
 Emma is not happy with me taking a picture showing Dad carrying her across.  12-year-olds are getting entirely too big for that sort of thing.  But Dad was the only one with water-proof boots, so he was the one who sloshed through the water carrying all the kids one at a time.  I got to hop and skip myself across.

We walked all the way to Punch Bowl Falls, only to discover that you can't see the falls from anywhere dry.  We had to peel off our shoes and socks and wade out into the freezing mountain spring run off.

 You have to go out further than where Ryan is now.  I thought my feet were going to freeze off.  I had to give myself a pep talk half-way there.  "Danae, you've come all this way on this hike and your feet are already frozen and you are not going to give up and you are going to finish walking out to see that stinkin' waterfall!"

So I did.  If I'd walked out further, I think I could have got a better picture, but this was as far as I could convince myself to go.
Ryan said the rocks hurt his feet, but the cold water hurt me so much that I didn't really care about the rocks.

You can't really tell, but my feet and legs were so red after my little river walk.
There was another waterfall that was pretty cool.  It was a little tricky to look at since we were at the top of it.

Then we walked what felt like straight up for a quarter mile and rested before doing the rest of the hike.  And took pictures of ourselves.  And ate crackers.
 Cram in, everyone!

Next to the bridge there was a good spot for rock throwing.

Our day wasn't over yet.  We drove over to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and Dam which was only a couple of miles away.  We admired the "fingerling" salmon, trout, and checked out the giant sturgeon named Herman.

 We drove over the dam, and looked at the fish ladder before going up to the top to admire the view.

After that, we were really and truly pooped and ready to go home.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Disney Day

Annie and Maddie's school had another dress up day as a reward for good behavior school-wide.  Maddie dressed up as Elsa, and Annie was Sleeping Beauty.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Chicken Update

I feel like I have an entourage every time I walk down our driveway.  Sometimes I take left-over pancakes, toast crusts, apple cores, or other kitchen scraps down to the chickens and turkeys, and so whenever I get close to the fence, they all come running to see me.  Since I walk down the driveway a couple of times almost every day, the birds are always running to see me.  Have you seen a chicken run?  It's awkward and funny looking.  But then, it probably looks the same when I run, so I suppose I can't laugh at them too much.
 Yesterday when we collected eggs, we found the usual collection of chicken eggs, a couple of turkey eggs, and then a giant egg.
This is the comparison shot- chicken egg, turkey egg, and this bruiser of a giant chicken egg.

I can't get the egg carton closed around that giant egg.  It's crazy.  I am surprised we didn't find a chicken turned inside out from pushing out that thing.  Seriously.

Ryan has a theory.  Maybe there's an ostrich that sneaked into the chicken coop last night and left us an egg for a laugh.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I don't think we have quite recovered from the time change of beginning Daylight Savings.  I know I've been a bit extra tired, and the kids have been really grumpy and prone to dramatics.  Today after dinner, I was making banana bread to use up some of our over-ripe bananas, and Maddie told me she doesn't like banana bread.

"You don't have to have any, you know.  We have other food."

"Do we have any strawberries?" Maddie asked.

"You know we don't.  You finished the last ones yesterday."

"How about yogurt?" she wanted to know.

I peeked in the fridge, and listed off the kinds we have, namely peach, strawberry and lemon.

"I don't want those kinds," Maddie wailed.  "I only like the blueberry kind!"

I tried to console her, saying we do have other kinds of food.  You know, pretzels, apples, graham crackers, lunch box peppers...  All kinds of nice snack foods.

"We have no good food in our house!"  Tears, stomping, wailing.

I hope this grumpiness is due to the time change.  Otherwise, I just have dramatic and moody children, and no hope of them being otherwise.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

Last night the kids separated into two groups to get ready for the leprechaun's visit.  Emma and Elizabeth attempted to make traps, and Annie and Maddie wrote notes to the leprechauns.
 I would lev (leave) the chaps (traps) Leprechauns.  By, Maddie   it is slipery (slippery)

The leprechauns took the notes from Annie and Maddie to heart, and stayed away from the traps.  They did wreak some harmless havoc, turning the milk green, and messing up couch cushions and turning chairs on end.

I love watching the girls the morning of St. Patrick's Day.  Even those getting kind of big to believe in the magical, are excited to see what has happened.  Elizabeth came downstairs before her alarm went off, wide eyed, and curious to see what kind of craziness would greet her.  The leprechauns were tricky and hid the chocolate coins this year on top of the door bell in the kitchen.

When the kids got home from school, they were all excited to smell the corned beef cooking.  We had the traditional Irish American dinner of corned beef, colcannon (with cabbage instead of kale this year, and cooked with bacon- yum!), and carrots.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Fairy Tale Evening

A BYU dance group came to Washington state to perform, and their last stop was in Yakima before heading back to Provo.  One of the ladies in our ward was in the BYU theater/dancing troupe back in the day, and was instrumental in having them come perform in our state.  We lucked out, receiving some tickets for free, and had a lovely evening.  The dancers performed selections from different fairy tale ballets, like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, and others.

 At intermission, kids were invited up to the stage to dance with the ballet dancers.  There were some little boys up there as well as a couple hundred little girls.  Annie and Maddie are on the right side, mixed in there somewhere.

If you would like to see a video of their dance, click here

Annie wasn't feeling great, complaining that her stomach didn't feel good (she hadn't eaten dinner), and Ryan ended up sitting in the foyer with her for the last 15 minutes.  But we got through the evening with no barfing, so I am thankful.  The stomach flu came later.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Birthday Party

This is the year for friend birthday parties.  We do those every other year for mom's sanity.  We went really low-key, doing a simple scavenger hunt for the activity.  The girls were all over the house, up and down the stairs, and even outside at our mail box at the end of our driveway.  One of the clues was in the freezer.

 Then pizza for dinner.
 And cupcakes.
Kendra's gift of the giant chocolate Easter bunny was a hit.

 Kaylee, Kendra, Olivia, Amerie, Kylie, and Emma.
Afterwards, Emma chose to watch Maleficent, which we had rented from Redbox.

And that was it!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Turning 12

Emma is turning 12 years old.  Oh my goodness.  How did my little girl get so big?  

We celebrated a day early.  Ryan had to be gone on Emma's birthday, so we did presents after school on Tuesday, followed by crepes for dinner, and birthday cake.  We crammed it all in before running off to 4-H at 6:30.
 This girl still loves her books.

 Emma wanted white cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

On the bright side, opening presents early means you get to wear new clothes on your birthday.  Even if Dad isn't around.  (Again.  Excuse me while I grumble grumble grumble about the year from you-know-where.)
 After school, I picked Emma up and we went out for ice cream.

For dinner we had ravioli (Emma's other favorite dinner) and left over cupcakes.  Then, because it was a Wednesday, Emma got to go to her first mutual activity at church.  The Beehive adviser and some of the Beehive class came to pick Emma up as a surprise.  (I may have heard something about it ahead of time.)

So, there you go.  My eldest is now 12.  Definitely no longer a little girl.  Emma is beautiful inside and out, and I am so honored to be her mother.  I'm glad I have been entrusted to raise this wonderful and smart daughter of our Heavenly Father.