Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We Survived and Had Fun!

We arrived at our planned campground Friday night to find it hadn't been opened yet.  So we drove back down to the Little Naches campground just down the road.  We found a great spot, and set up camp in a downpour.  Dana and I were soaked and freezing by the time we all ate hotdogs and pasta salad in the trailer.  It didn't look like the first night was going well, but by the time we put the boys to bed, the rain had stopped and we went out and gathered around the campfire Dana made and ate s'mores.

Saturday and Sunday were beautiful.  Better weather than they had in town.  While we haven't been camping in over a year and a half, it felt like things were back to normal being outside and enjoying ourselves.  I think the boys really liked their first trip, and we are all looking forward to the next time.

 Just before Kaia fell
Doing what Mo's do best
The back of our campsite, the log provided plenty of fun.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We have Teeth!

Yesterday evening, I did the now routine tooth check when I picked up the boys.  I knew Bryce would have a tooth anytime.  The big lump he had in his gums for weeks was replaced with a depression on Tuesday, and a tooth always comes through right after.  During tooth check, there was a tooth we cheered and told him good job.  So I headed over to check Brendon's gums but felt nothing.

At home while feeding the boys their bottles, I couldn't resist checking both again.  When checking Brendon, I realized that while his tooth wasn't sticking up yet, at the bottom of the depression, the tooth was there.  Both boys have been chewing extra hard on Papa's oxygen hose and apparently it worked.

They are really taking this identical thing seriously, which may be why Bryce has yet to actually crawl.  He can army crawl, he can do a bunny hop move (hard to describe, but hilarious to watch) and he can move by sitting up and then going back into crawling position over and over.  Bryce is entirely mobile, just doesn't move the knees then the hands in crawling motion.  Brendon on the other hand gets up on all fours and rocks, eventually pushing himself backwards.  And Brendon can roll to where he wants to be extremely fast.

Sleepy Bryce
We are mere days away before crawling is mastered and we have 4 on the go kids.  Yes, our busy life is about to get a lot more interesting!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Unplanned Menu Plan

Yes, it's Wednesday, and I'm just now posting this.  I don't have a specific menu plan for the week, but there is definitely a plan.  We are going camping this weekend, so things are a bit crazy.  Yes, it's our first trip of the season, actually first trip in over a year and a half.  And it is the first ever camping trip for two little munchkins.  Can we say adventure?!

Photo was taken by Kaia with my phone.  Not a great photo, but you can see what life is like for me.

We are considering leaving the dogs in the care of family or neighbors, just for this maiden voyage.  Our awesome neighbor Carl is always happy to keep an eye on the house and loves our dogs.  Two fewer bodies to deal with sounds like a pretty good plan, but Sampson so loves to camp...

The menu for this week is pretty much a list of dinners to choose from each night.  With the exception of steak there is no prep work needed (I'm going to use the marinade sample from mysampleshowcase on those).

Weeknight Menus
Healthy pigs in a blanket, peas (Monday's dinner)
Macaroni and cheese with ground beef added, fresh veggies on the side
Steak, corn on the cob and grilled red potatoes
Spaghetti with meat sauce
Hamburger gravy (ground beef with cream of mushroom soup) over rice

Camping Menu
Friday Dinner:
Pasta Salad prepared ahead of time, hot dogs or sausage dogs

Saturday Breakfast:
Sausage links and eggs, maybe some grilled peppers and onions if I find a decent price

Saturday Lunch:
Grilled Pizzas

Saturday Dinner:
Baked potatoes, Hamburgers, and fresh veggies

Sunday Breakfast:
Huevos Rancheros with spicy sausage dogs

Sunday Lunch (if needed)
Tuna fish sandwiches.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mount St. Helens Repost

Castle made from ash

Bears on a log

On Sunday, May 18, 1980 Mt. Saint Helens blew. I was 26 months old, but I remember it. Well I don't remember every detail, but I do remember the day turning to night.
I spent Saturday nights with my grandparents, and went to church on Sunday morning with my Grandma Sarah. I don't remember going to church that morning, but apparently the smoke cloud could be seen, and ash was beginning to fall. One of the men in church, at the time was a teenager, and with all the talk of it almost being like the end of the world, he was baptized that day. I don't remember that. I do remember leaving the building, and asking my grandma why it was night time. That's what I was asking in my head, but I'm sure knowing a 2 year old's vocabulary it was much more like, "Night? Gramma, Night?" She had me put my hankie over my face and keep my head down as we walked to the car. I was thoroughly confused. How did we go into church in the morning and come out at night? The sky really was black. I have been told that I stayed with my grandparents for a few days after that. The city pretty much shut down to dig out.

Me and my Grandpa Alva (Al). This Polaroid is undated, but he passed away in the Fall of 1980, so I know it was most likely taken in 1980.

Almost everyone around here has jars of ash saved. Figurines made from the ash, like we have in our home, are sold all over. Gardens grew like crazy, with wonderful crops thanks to the ash fortifying the soil.

Here she is in 1995. She looks different now. You may have seen in the news when in 2005 she was building her dome, and blowing off some ash. I was pregnant with Morgan, and it was an eerie sight seeing plumes of ash rising from behind the hills. My drive to and from my in-laws home gives me a perfect view of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier. Mt. Saint Helens is nearby, just not visible from my vantage point. I showed Kaia the ash, and as we arrived home it was lightly dusting our yard and home.

This view was amazing to me. Driving up to see Mt. Saint Helens and after 15 years there was still so much devastation! But up here in the Northwest, we are resourceful. Someone took the ash and created some beautiful art and we enjoy it in our home.

Wolves made from ash

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Addition

The kids don't know it yet, but this cutie will be entering our lives in August.  He's a blue Burmese, from the same cattery Dana adopted Cinnamon.   This photo is from the breeder

Thursday, May 13, 2010

So Whose Kid Is He?

Yesterday Morgan declared to Grammy June, "My sister's mother and I both have green eyes!"  This isn't the first time he's called me his sister's mother, but it seems to get funnier each time.  June and I started laughing.  I said, "I'm your mom too, right?"  No response.  June asked him, "Well, who is your mom then?"  Mo thought about it and decided, "Well... I have a cousin."  We laughed even harder.  He didn't understand what was so funny and was getting irritated that we were laughing at him.

The funniest part to me, is that of all 4 kids, he and I look most alike and we have similar personalities.  But, I'm only his sister's mother.  Not sure whether I'm his brothers' mother or not.  Maybe I'll ask him tonight.

Monday, May 10, 2010


That's how I feel about my life right now!  There have been some really good things happening, but it has kept me busy.  So busy that I neglected my blog, and haven't been able to read them. 

First a few weeks ago, I found out that I am being promoted.  On July 1st I will be handling Community Investment, while continuing to handle the special campaigns.  This has caused a lot of busyness because last week was the first week of meetings with volunteers to review funding applications.  I'm pretty much job-shadowing all of this, and at times running it so that I'm ready when it is my turn next year to set all this up.

On the first day of panel meetings I received a call from OPM (Office of Personnel Management).  They had some questions on the campaign numbers I submitted.  I immediately panicked wondering what I had done wrong.  I've worked really hard to stay on top of all the requirements of the federal campaign, and I was sure I'd really screwed up.  To my surprise, the call was to inform me that our Combined Federal Campaign won an award in the area of Most Improved.  Our near 35% increase in giving means that several LFCC members and I will attend an awards ceremony in Washington DC at the White House Complex.  We are all thrilled.

Last, it's May.  May tends to start the barbeque season for us.  We went to our friends' daughter's 17th birthday barbeque on Saturday night and then Sunday attended a barbeque with my family for Mother's Day.  I didn't even touch the computer all weekend long.

Now a new week is starting, and I need to create a menu plan, and get the house back to clean since it didn't get cleaned this weekend.  Do you have a date that really starts off the "summer" season for you?  Are your weekends filled with barbeques like ours, or is there something else you do for fun?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Fun of Four

There is a whole new dimension to photo taking in our house.  Just try to get all four kids looking up, at the camera, without silly faces at one time.  Really, would someone like to try?
Mo refused to be bothered with the entire process (but he was looking handsome in his new outfit from Aunt Pat), Bryce found something interesting on his hand or Kaia's leg, and Kaia and Brendon decided they would cooperate for a bit.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fun Mail and a Re-worked Recipe

Mail isn't very exciting at our home.  Most days, I'd rather just pretend it's not there.  What's the fun of looking through a stack of bills, the latest offers from Charter and Qwest, or the multiple Cabelas catalogs?  Last night, though, it was fun!   I got home to find my box from My Samples Showcase.  It's full of great samples!  Montreal Steak marinade (Yum), Secret Clinical Strength (just in time, long story but my last "gel" antiperspirant ended up being liquid and leaked all over the counter this weekend), Instant Coffee, Aveeno, BenGay and more... 

After looking through all the samples, I started dinner.  It was a healthy dinner, Pigs In A Blanket.  I really wanted to eat these, but didn't want to blow my calories for the day.  So at the store I bought Kroger reduced fat crescent rolls ($1.69) and Jennie-O turkey franks ($1.00).  Cooked together each Pig in a Blanket was only 160 calories.  So I could eat 2 for 320 calories and add some green beans and carrot sticks for a healthy meal!  We will definitely be having these again some time.  The kids loved them (Mo even ate 2!) and they were easy on the wallet.  They will be even cheaper when Fiesta sells the franks for 1 cent a package. 

Have you re-worked any recipes lately?