Monday, August 31, 2015


Pumpkin season arrived early this year.  I found this beauty out among the weed pumpkin patch.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Remember when Annie and Maddie would get so upset when one was mistaken for her twin?  Now they try to confuse people.

Friday, August 28, 2015

All About That Bass

Emma came home with something new today.  She's in band again this year, and her band teacher thought Emma could branch out from playing the clarinet to playing the bass clarinet this year.  The thing is huge.
 The bass clarinet is being provided by the school, so we don't have to rent that too.  Thank goodness.
She's been honking away on the giant thing all afternoon.  The fingering is the same, and she will still be using the treble clef.  Emma still wants to keep up with the clarinet, so she doesn't have to haul the bigger instrument when marching band begins.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

School Begins

Before bed, the girls got their new backpacks and shoes lined up in the front room, ready to go.  I like how their choices reflect their personalities.
 (L-R) Maddie, Annie, Elizabeth, Emma

Ryan didn't have a new backpack to show off, but we did buy him new shoes.  Which are hard to see in the picture below.
We started the day bright and early.  Ryan usually takes Emma to school on his way to work.
She's starting 7th grade!!

Even though Annie's school doesn't start for almost an hour and a half after Emma's, Annie is ready to go!
Eventually, we were all ready to go.
Annie-1st, Elizabeth-5th, and Maddie-1st
Because we had some time- we got a silly picture too.

We drove down to the school.  It's going to be really nice having the kids at 2 schools this year instead of 3.  When Emma goes to high school, we'll be back at 3 schools for a while.  But we still have two years before that happens.  Thank goodness!

First we dropped off Maddie in her classroom.

 Next was Annie, right next door.
Finally, I walked a very patient Elizabeth to her classroom.
I came back home to a very quiet house.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Older and wiser, too

Someone just got glasses....
Yes, my husband took a selfie in his truck.  It's almost worth posting the picture for that alone.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


I don't always know how things get started around here.  One moment we are eating our very own homegrown carrots, and the next- those carrots have become "tongue rings."
 We'd pop out the center part of the carrots, and then try to stick our tongues in the hole.
And then, in Elizabeth's case, try to stick as many as she could on her tongue.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


We planted 5 or 6 varieties of sunflowers this year.  Ryan thinks this one is pretty cool looking.  It does look like a giant dandelion.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Think Pink

Emma has been earning some money babysitting for people.  She babysits for us too, but we are not as generous in the money department, I guess.  She's been saving, and decided she wanted to buy paint for her bedroom.  We've only painted the front room and kitchen since moving in.  The house was freshly painted before we bought it, but the house was beige from top to bottom- and flat paint at that.  Except the two upstairs bathrooms.  The girls' bathroom is blue with white and blue wallpaper, which is pretty, but mine is orange and green.  I like the sea green, but I am not sure why I haven't painted over the burnt orange and peach yet.  


Emma wanted to paint her room pink.  Ryan wanted to say no, but Emma did buy her own paint, and the color was not awful.  I was overseeing the job, and I said yes.  Ha!  So there.

Sisters were not allowed in, so they parked themselves right outside the door.
 Emma is wearing my clothes!  She didn't really have clothes for painting in, and I have more than I needed.  That's the benefit of keeping clothes you've had since you were a teenager.

 I know the pictures all show Emma working, but I may have put a fair amount of work into painting the room too.  Maybe.  Just a little.
Now we just have to put the room back together.  I think she wants to rearrange the furniture too....

Thursday, August 20, 2015


For the second time in the 11 years that we've lived in this town, we attempted to grown artichokes.  The first time Ryan grew them outside his greenhouse at the high school, and I believe that was the first year he taught.  I must have finally pressured Ryan enough, because he planted some again, this time at our house.  We were a little concerned that the plants would never do anything besides look like weeds, but we've had success!
We've had a few of these little artichokes.  They are really only single serving size.  We had to wait until we had 6 ready at the same time before we shared with the kids.  So we've had a few already waiting for that day to arrive.  (Aren't we just amazingly nice parents? *sarcasm*)

Oh!  Ryan upgraded to a newer phone.  The iPhone 3, which Ryan has been trying to convince students was the iPhone 6 mini, has been old and sad for a long time.  I got a newer iPhone 5 for my birthday/ last Christmas, and now Ryan has an iPhone 5S.  It takes decent pictures, as you can see above.  He also ditched our prepaid service with Ptel and is now using the better reception of AT&T.  He gets a stipend from the school district for cell service, so he can always be reachable.  It's nice that he has service inside the school building now.  Our town is not known for great cell service anyway, but this has been a definite improvement.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Over the river, and through the woods...

Yesterday the girls and I took a day trip over the mountains to see my mom and Grandma. I am fairly certain my grandma is starting to wonder if my husband exists anymore, because I don't think he's come with us on our trips this year.  He's a busy fellow, and it was past time to visit again.  

I think the visit went well.  It's a lot to ask the girls- to sit in the car for the long drive over, then to be quiet and well behaved for the visit with their great-grandma, and then sit back in the car for the long drive back home.  Of course it means that I am alone on behavior-watch with Ryan not in tow, so I don't know how much actual visiting I truly get to do.  Hopefully it's just enough to gaze at my flustered visage...?  

We got a couple of pictures before we left.  I thought it would be good for the girls to get a picture with Nana and their great-grandma.
I think Emma is as tall as Grandma now.  I remember when I reached that point in my growing.  
Obviously I didn't stop growing when I got as tall as Emma is.  Something about posing with members of my family makes me feel like an Amazon woman.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Happy Anniversary to Us

I picked up Chinese for two today and joined Ryan for lunch. We ate in the ultra-romantic staff lounge at the school.  The romantic ambiance was furthered by the custodian chowing down on his lunch, and other staff members who came to ask questions of the assistant principal.  It left me with some time to take a picture of my orange chicken, chow mein and rice.
Ryan had to work late.  We are happy and very thankful he has the new job, but it is an effective method of taking my husband away from home a lot.  Both he and the principal are new at their jobs this year, I shall be glad when things settle down a bit.

So today marks 14 years that we've been married.  The day was sort of anti-climatic.  Don't get me wrong, I love  my husband, and I love being married to him.  I guess this is just a busy time for us.  And I am counting down to school starting.  There's something about August that turns my kids into screaming, fighting, quarrelsome grumps.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Ryan tried to surprise me.  His downfall was mentioning to the kids that he had a secret that "we can't tell mom."  Maddie is incapable of keeping any kind of secrets.  She is a fount of information sometimes, much to the dismay of her sisters.  ("Mom, Emma has [contraband] in her room."  "Mom, Emma let us stay up late watching tv while you were on your date.")  Earlier this week, Maddie came up to my room while I was trying to convince myself I needed to get up, and told me that dad was going to take me on a trip for our anniversary and the girls were going to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  

Ryan doesn't often try to surprise me.  He struggles with not telling me things.  I thought it was sweet, and didn't mention Maddie's blunder.

So Saturday morning, Ryan told me to get ready and pack for an overnight trip.  To Leavenworth!  So I got ready, got the kids packed, got me packed and we were off.  We dropped off the girls at their grandparents, found them some food for lunch, told them to be good and helpful (and hopefully Grandma and Grandpa will be back from Moses Lake soon....), and Ryan and I were off.

We arrived in Leavenworth, parked at our hotel but didn't check in, and wandered around the shops.  (This trip was clearly planned with me in mind.  Ryan does not choose to window shop at knick knack stores ever.)  We had snack at a Danish pastry shop.
 And this is a bad photo of the mural on the wall at the pastry shop.
 Once it was 4 o'clock, we checked into our room.  We got the honeymoon room.  It was a gorgeous room with a pretty fancy four poster bed.
 Our room included as many rounds of miniature golf across the street as we wished to play.  We played one round on the hardest mini golf course I've ever played on.

I lost my ball in one of the ponds, and Ryan was a gentleman and fished it out for me.  It was a pretty course.

We checked out the evening entertainment at the town gazebo.  The Funky Chicken played on the accordion is memorable.  
 We had dinner at a German restaurant.  This is how they served us our bread.  Hi-yah!
 So, so yummy.

This is my dinner, complete with sauerkraut.  I've never had sauerkraut before.  It wasn't bad.  I am clearly past caring what I will smell like post-dinner.  I guess Ryan and I have moved into the "old married couple" territory.
 And headed back to our hotel.
 I enjoyed the snuggly bathrobe while we were waiting for the jaccuzzi to fill up.  The jaccuzzi that was in the middle of our room.
 The next morning found us enjoying the fanciest breakfast I've ever had.  There were made-to-order omelets, "homemade" pastries, and lots of other European specialties.  This is the view of the "Bavarian" mountains from the breakfast room on the 4th floor.  Also one of the rooms on the 2nd floor was ours.
 Our morning meal was accompanied by a cute old man wearing short pants and playing his Alphorn.
 We played another round of miniature golf, and then checked out.  I took a few pictures of the fancier parts of the inn that I liked.

 Then we raced back to accompany our children to church with their grandparents.  Kim's gallbladder needs to be removed, and she's not feeling her best.  It meant that our little get-away was just under 24 hours, but at least we got it.

You can tell the kids were well-rested and thrilled to be coming home- here's Maddie throwing a fit.

Annie lost her tooth while we were gone.  She brought it home so the tooth fairy could pay her a visit.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mutual, here I come

For the first time in years, I was released from Primary.  I haven't even been in nursery for an entire year, and I was released.  It was a sad day.  I love the little kids and the slow pace of play time and sometimes even enjoy the wrestling match that is lesson time.

I was called to be the Beehive advisor.  This means I get to follow Emma around, to mutual on Wednesday nights, and to Young Women on Sundays.

Today I went to my first mutual activity since I was 17.  We (the Beehive class) sewed baby blankets for a children's hospital in Portland.  The Mia Maids were making cards for the same hospital, and the Beehives took turns making cards too.  We had almost enough sewing machines for everyone, but we couldn't figure out how to work them all.  There's nothing like trying to use someone else's machine to make you feel simple.
We did get most of the blankets made up in the 3.5 hour activity.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


It seemed like a good idea to run out to the garden and grab an onion and some peppers to use for our dinner.  I forgot Ryan had the irrigation sprinklers on.  Did I let a little thing like mud stop me?
My poor tennis shoes.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

She's Had A Birthday

We headed north today to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday with the family.

This picture made me laugh.  I took a picture of Kim taking a picture of her birthday cake.  Rick was trying to shield himself from the intensity of so many candles.  (Haha- if he can survive his own, he can survive fewer of his wife's.)
 Watch Brynne try to make herself scarce while still holding the cake.

Friday, August 7, 2015

New Job

Ryan has moved into his new vice principal office.  It's pretty plain digs at the moment.  I wanted to help Ryan personalize the room, and Ryan had mentioned a while back that he wouldn't mind having one of those stand coat racks in whatever office he might acquire after his job search.  I couldn't find one that looked sturdy enough online (that was within our price range), so I helped Ryan find plans online to build his own.

I think it turned out pretty nicely.  I used the left over stain from the downstairs bathroom vanity.
Add to this a couple of family pictures and a picture-sized chalk board, and we've made some progress on Ryan's new office.