Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tales from the bathroom. Read on if you dare. Seriously, don't say I didn't warn you.

Ryan and I attended the wedding today of a young woman who used to babysit our kids.  It was outdoors, and over 90 degrees today.  Oh my freaking gosh.  It's not even June yet.  It was a lovely ceremony, but hot.  I have a sunburn to prove my case.

When we returned home, and I was desperate to use the bathroom.  I hightailed it upstairs to my bathroom, dropped the skirt, and sat down on the toilet.  In a little bit, I grabbed the toilet paper and started to unroll it.  That's when something hit my leg.

My bare leg.

That something had legs.

Eight of them.

I screamed, and started trying to brush the spider OFF OF ME.

It didn't work so well.  The spider starts running down into my underwear.

GAAAAAAHHHHHH!  How the heck do I get a spider out of my underwear?

I could not get my skirt and underwear off fast enough.  Once it hit the floor, the spider runs out, across the floor, and hides under our fancy sink vanity that is off the floor.  I can't get at the thing to kill it.  It's a spider in my house, and he pert near made third base with me.  He has to die, and I can't reach him.

My day needs to improve.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Museum That Comes To You

The Burke Museum I had not heard of before this week, but they came to our school district and had a free family night.  It was nice- everything was touchable, and they had a little clue scavenger hunt to keep the kids interested.  After dinner I took the girls down and we explored.  It was held at one of the elementary school's gymnasium.
Emma might have been on the older/larger side of the target range.  The lab coats were one size fits.... some.

Ryan, the lucky intern that he is, was the Administrator In Charge of the event.  Seriously, wasn't there one actual administrator in the district who could have been there?

Towards the end, Ryan was "poopered" out.  I spied him propping up the wall.  Ryan has been go-go-go for so long that he's running out of steam.  Today he started the day by making substitute plans for his own classes, spent most of the day playing principal at one of the elementary schools, ran back to the high school to help with biology testing, had a meeting, and then supervised this event.

Maddie took this picture of the rest of us.  We got a little carried away with being silly.  But we were waiting around for the end of the event, hoping Dad could come home with us.  (Wishful thinking, as it turns out.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

More about the turkeys

Walking down to the end of the driveway to meet the elementary school bus, I've been having some followers.  Momma turkey and all of her babies have taken to following me and looking for food hand-outs.  They followed me more than halfway down the driveway before giving up.
At least she isn't so fiercely protective of her young anymore.  We are allowed to be close without the puffed up feathers and hissing.  Ryan hasn't tried to pick up any of the babies recently, so perhaps that helps.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Burn Baby Burn

I had it all set.  I had beans in a pot on the stove cooking for dinner, and I was going to hide in my bed with a book for a couple of hours until the kids started coming home.  I had a hot water bottle, some tea, a brand new book, ibuprofen, and I was going to do my best to ignore the misery of feminine organs that don't work quite right.  I don't talk about it much, but boy, I wish there was a way to tell your body, "Hey, I don't need these parts anymore.  You are dysfunctional, and I don't like you.  Thanks for the four kids, but we should really break up."

I haven't figured it out yet, but if I do....

Anyway.  Moving on.

The book was good.  It was a light, funny, engaging read- the perfect kind of book for my day.  (It's called Clandestine by Nichole Van, if anyone is interested.)  It was so good, or perhaps my bedroom was too far away from the kitchen, that I failed to notice the smell until it was too late.

In my haste to bury my sorrows in a book, I failed to turn down the burner down to low.  I had turned the temperature down, but not low enough.  The liquid had long since boiled away, and the beans were getting harder and blacker by the minute.

I generally consider myself a decent cook.  Burning things isn't usually a failing of mine.  But today, I more than made up for it.  I guess sometimes you need to fail spectacularly to keep you humble.

I emptied out the pot of the beans that looked halfway decent, and was going to chip the black stuff off the bottom in hopes to salvage at least some of dinner.  But they were just too far gone.  The pot alone was going to need several hours of soaking to start to undo the damage I inflicted on it.

So, I left the pot in the sink, the non-crispy beans in the bowl (that we later fed to the poultry), and I just crawled back into bed.  So much for dinner.

I'll come up with something later, I thought to myself.

Pancakes, it is.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Home Again

Ryan was able to bring his bees home again.  All three hives made it home last night, and he couldn't wait to check on them again.  Bro. Ricks came, and they had a great ol' time looking in on them.
 Bro. Ricks was tough.  Ryan had another bee jacket for him to wear if he had wanted, but he opted for just a bee veil.
They admired the bees, the honey, the larva, and whatever else is going on in there.  I was feeling pretty brave myself for getting so close while the hives were being opened.

Ryan says we should be able to harvest honey this year.


We took our first family overnight trip in forever.  It wasn't attached to some school-related thing for Ryan, and he took no computer or textbooks.  I can't remember the last time that happened.  We decided to venture out and see our friends, the Quigleys.  So, Friday I packed, gassed up the car, and shopped for snacks while everyone was at school, and we left shortly before 4:30 pm.

I had to get a picture of our gear before I packed the car.  We've really streamlined.  This ain't bad for 6 people overnight.  There's so much more crud you have to bring with small children, and somehow we've moved past that stage.
 Annie was tired.  She totally crashed.
We made good time, and arrived in time to run around like crazy munchkins before the sun went down.  Sometime after 9 pm, we gathered the kids indoors for dessert before going to bed.
 Emma, Audri, Annie, Maddie, Charlie, and Elizabeth
 Saturday morning, I got a much needed haircut (thanks Rachel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and then we headed out to Portland for some sight-seeing.  We rode the train into town.

 We had a picnic lunch, went to Powell's city of books, went to another park, and had an adventure trying to get back to the train again.
We made it back to our cars again, and went to dinner at IKEA.  Ryan and I had never been to IKEA before (gasp!), so that's where we all ate dinner.  The kids were all exhausted by this point, so after Sean and Rachel took their kids home, we could only do the quickest of glances through the store before heading home.  At some point, I will need to check out that store again.  Truly.

We had a nice visit.  Before we left, Sean told us to tell our ward "hi" from them.  Ryan wasn't scheduled to conduct or speak in church, so we just smiled and nodded and said sure, if the opportunity arose.

About 40 minutes into Sacrament meeting yesterday, it was obvious that the speakers were not going to use all of their allotted time.  Derek and Ryan (Bishop was out of town) were conferring during the last speaker, and Ryan drew the short straw.  He was going to speak, spur of the moment.

Good thing he had an opener already.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Moms and Dads

We often have a pile or two of laundry waiting to be folded and/or put away.  Instead of being, you know, helpful or something, the kids thought that the clean clothes were an obvious call to play dress up today.

Maddie even went so far as to find one of my bras in the air dry clothing to add a certain element of authenticity to their dress up.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Home Teaching

This month not only did I come along for Ryan's Home Teaching outing, Annie and Maddie decided to join the fun.  Midway through the visit with the Barnes family, Bro. Barnes brought out his motorcycle jacket from back in his single days.  Ryan tried it on, and it was a bit small.  I was forced to try it on, and it was too big.  Annie and Maddie tried it on, and it was just right.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Won't You Bee Mine?

Ryan has a new hobby.  It's called bees.  Ryan was gifted a beehive last year.  A friend of our neighbor watched Ryan messing with his beehive with no protection whatsoever, and offered Ryan a bee veil.  They talked a while, and the man suggested the hive was doing well enough that they could try to split the hive into two or three new smaller hives.  So that's what they did.  Splitting a hive can't happen at wherever is home for the bees, so Ryan took his hive to the man's house, and they split the hive.

Fast forward to four weeks later, and Ryan has found himself two sets of bee gloves, and bee coats with attached veils.  He convinced me that I should come along on one of his trips to check on his bees.

I am not a big fan of bees.  Over this past year I've become more accustomed to their buzz-iness (bad pun, I'm sorry), and have learned about drones, royal jelly, "honey supers," and other bee related information.  So I put on the bee gear, and watched Ryan play with examine the contents of the hives.

This is my excited face:
Next time I need to pin my bangs back with bobby pins.  They tickled my nose for 20 minutes, and I was unable to do anything but try to blow them away.  It didn't work very well.  On the bright side, the angry bees could only try to sting my face, instead of actually stinging me.  Seriously, when you mess with beehives, the bees go after your face.  It's unnerving, even when you know you are protected.

Ryan was pleased.  All the hives had bee eggs and larva, which means all three have queens now.  They are ready to come home!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hawaiian Day

Today was Hawaiian dress up day at Annie and Maddie's school.  All of the students earned a dress up day for good behavior, and someone decided Hawaiian was a good theme.  So I dug out some of my old luau gear, and the kids had fun last night.  Ryan even played some of my Hawaiian music, and we all wiggled our hips.

 We went for something a little simpler this morning.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spring Fever

You might think that we would be past the winter-time sickness now that it is May.  But no.  Not for us.  Annie stayed home today with a fever and a sore throat.  I feel like it's a little bit wrong that I enjoy these days.  It was just me and Annie, and several episodes of Sofia the First on Netflix.  Eventually Annie just crashed.
...And my leg went to sleep.  But these snuggles happen so seldom that I have to soak them up as they happen.  The problem with twins is you can't just snuggle a sleeping baby every chance you get.  You end up putting them down to sleep every chance you get because you can't really hold two at once, and there were older siblings to attend.  So today, we hung out in our pjs, drank lots of juice, and had lots of cuddling.

End of the Year Concert

The 6th grade end of year concert was last night.  It was a big jamboree, held at a neighboring district and it included 6th grade students from 6 or 7 schools.  The kids took buses at the end of the school day to the neighboring middle school to practice for a couple of hours with everyone and the new conductor (who was coincidentally from the high school where Ryan's dad teaches), eat some dinner, put on black and white concert clothes, and perform at 6:30 pm.
Emma was chillin', getting her reed ready to go.
I took a video clip with my cell phone.  Just remember- these are 12 year olds who have been playing their instrument for less than a year.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Turkey Lurkey

We have poultry almost coming out of our ears at the moment.  Ryan has hatched at least 30 chickens and turkeys in incubators, we have two turkeys and a hen setting on eggs in the chicken coop, and one turkey who flew out of the chicken run to hatch 12 of her own next to our neighbor's barn.  She did a great job, and now she has a "rafter" (I had to look up the correct term) of turkey chicks running after her.  This particular hen-turkey is a very protective mother, and our cats give her as much space as she might desire.  One does not cross her, or get too close to her offspring.
We did give away most of the incubated chicks to our western neighbor, thankfully.  That only encourages Ryan, and we have more eggs in the incubators again.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

They Call Me Mom

With today being Mother's Day, the bishopric decided to seriously condense the early morning meetings, and so Ryan spent most of the morning with us!  It was so nice.  I think I could get used to seeing that husband of mine.  

Sacrament meeting was spent listening to fathers and husbands and sons tell about how grateful they were for mothers.  I think I got to hear most? some? of the talks while keeping the kids quiet-ish.  During the 3rd hour, all the women were able to go to Relief Society, which is the woman's group that I don't think I have attended in my own ward for 5 years.  I enjoyed the soft chairs, and the change of pace.  I could listen and learn, and there was no corralling of any younger people.  Amazing. 

After church, Ryan was home just minutes after we arrived.  Another happy thing.  He was able to snap this picture of me and my beautiful blessings.
The girls had been so excited to give me my Mother's Day gifts they made at school, that I got them all Friday.  I may have seen the ones the twins were working on during my volunteer time.  :)  Middle school students don't do Mother's Day gifts, though.  It seems a little sad that Emma has moved beyond that point in her school life.  Elizabeth, Annie and Maddie drew Mother's Day cards for me during sacrament meeting as well, so I had quite the collection of hand drawn memories to remind me of this year's Mother's Day.

Ryan made us orange chicken with rice for dinner.  We opened a couple bottles of Martinelli's cider to end our weekend celebration of NO MORE HOMEWORK.
 Emma made whoopie pies for dessert.  I think this is my favorite cookie right now. Mmmm.

Amy's Baptism

Our niece Amy turned 8 years old this week, and got to be baptized yesterday.  
 She was baptized by her uncle Michael.
 Brynne and Emma
 Amy and her cousins that were able to come.  Emma was the lucky one to hold Charlotte for the picture.  We are glad Charlotte has gotten over the worst of her stranger anxiety and is content to let others hold her, at least for a while.  As Charlotte's dad was baptizing Amy, and her mom was playing the piano during the baptism service, I exercised my Auntie Rights and held her in the hall.  She was fine if she couldn't see her mom and dad.
 I think this was supposed to be a picture of Ryan and Emma, but Maddie kinda stole the show.

After the baptism, we had a family taco dinner, and then we all headed out to the shed Rick had built earlier in the day.  Michael and Ryan had to help with something, and Blair and I unsuccessfully tried to keep the kids clean.  Kim, my mother-in-law, thought this was great fun and took the following pictures.

The kids got so filthy.  It was so bad.  When we finally got home at 9:30 pm, we got all 4 kids through showers and baths.  Tired or not, there was no way those dirty bodies were sleeping in their beds like that.

The Journey Is Nearing Its End

Ryan has been just slammed with work.  Truthfully, I'm not sure how he's still functioning.  Ryan has done such a good job with his internship that he's been requested all over the district to cover at a school when an administrator is out.  I don't think that's entirely normal.  But with that, trying to keep up with his actual job (teaching...) and writing sub plans for all those days he's out and correcting the busy work he often assigns, his church calling, his family who like to see him sometimes, and all of his homework he is supposed to do, he's running on empty.  His professor at Gonzaga pushed up the deadline for all his projects to be completed and submitted, and so Ryan was determined to get everything done Thursday night.  We were taking pictures of papers with the cell phones, instead of scanning them onto our home computer and then me emailing them to him.  He showed me the ridiculous and often confusing number of steps it was taking to submit anything.  I tried to be his champion and cheerleader, but I failed after about 11:00 pm.  I took a picture of Ryan hard at work in his "study" and went to bed. 
Well, I went to bed after checking on the kids.  Annie and Maddie still crack me up.
Ryan said he finally got to bed around 2:30, and dragged himself out of bed again at 6:30 to make sub plans for his classes because he was "helping out" at one of the elementary schools for the day.

I took Ryan lunch, and brought him a piece of celebratory chocolate cake from Safeway.  He was beat, and still had the rest of a long day ahead of him.  

After school, he had his FFA plant sale.  We left at about 7 pm.

After a good night's sleep, he looked like a new man.  It was a very visible change in him to see that weight lifted.  Our life is not such that we can bask in that feeling.  But at least we got a chance to celebrate by taking the kids out to Red Robin for lunch on Saturday before heading to the baptism of a niece.
The kids have declared Red Robin their new favorite restaurant.  We just don't go out to eat all that often, so this was super exciting for the girls.

Ryan still has a day at Gonzaga to wrap everything up, and he will still have days he will be "interning" instead of teaching, but the worst of it is over.  The homework is done.

I have to say that again.

THE HOMEWORK IS DONE!  {happy dance and Halleluja Chorus}

I feel like we should make a bonfire with some of that stupid, tedious work he's done, but most of it is strictly on the computer so that won't really work.  Or make a target out of one of the worst of the textbooks he's had to read, and blow it to smithereens.  Just something to show that we survived this, and lived to tell the tale.  It's not the boss of us anymore!

I'll have to just settle for actually seeing my husband when he's physically home.

I can take that.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Annie crawled in bed with me this morning, and made an extended stay.  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

High Fashion

This morning we had church, like all Sunday mornings.  Ryan had his early morning meetings, so it's me trying to get 4 girls ready, plus myself.  I can handle one or the other, but getting both done can be challenging.  You'd think it would start to get easier as the kids are all getting older, but somehow new challenges are presenting themselves.  ("What?  I have to get out of bed?  But MoooOOOoom!  I'm still tired and I don't know what to wear!")  In the middle of a particularly challenging morning with my preteen, Annie was also having wardrobe issues.  Annie wanted to wear her new-to-her tutu, but it doesn't quite cover enough by itself.  It's fine over leggings on a school day, but it wouldn't exactly be considered church attire.  I suggested wearing the pink tutu over a skirt, and I had a pink one in mind that might kinda go with it.  Maybe.  Well, Annie did not want to wear the pink skirt.  She wanted the blue and green tulle skirt that has the same kind of fabric as the tutu.  I shrugged, and decided to just go with it.  It matched the crocs she insisted on wearing to church just fine.  (haha)

Judge me if you dare.

(I snapped this picture to send to my mother-in-law.  Look at Annie's idea of a good outfit!)

We walked into the church building, and Ryan met us at the door.  He looked at Annie and then looked at me.  "So, you let her come to church like that?"

If you don't like it, maybe you should be at home in the mornings.  She's covered and decent, her hair has been braided, she was fed, and we arrived at the church building 5 minutes before 9 am church started.  I call that a win.