Thursday, July 31, 2008


It has been chilly, drizzly, and gray today. A perfect soup day. I have a new recipe for tomato soup which uses bread instead of cream for consistency. I'd love to try it but my blender is no more. But it got me thinking and instead I made the Chile con Queso from The Surrogate Hostess. Which used to exist on Capitol Hill across from St Joe's. It had the tasties soups and treats and I think every dish had real butter for the second ingredients. The others had it as the first. Needless to say, the food was awesome. Very sad to say it is no longer with us. However, some of the recipes were shared and have become the staples of some family get togethers.

As I was making the soup, the smell instantly tranported me to my aunt and uncles big blue house. Which was conveniently located just up the street from the restaurant. Especially I remembered the Day After Christmas Party. We would all get together for the Day After Christmas Party- because there were just too many of us to get together on the actual day. There would be old friends, teachers, and even some relatives there that you only saw at the Day After Christmas Party. It was a huge house and my uncle always got the biggest tree he could and it felt like the party in the Nutcracker- old, festive, and Christmas. And somewhere in the large kitchen was a crock pot keeping warm and speading the steamy aroma of Chile con Queso.

The Blue House is sold. The parties continue at the new house, although I haven't been in years. I'm not sure which of the friends, teachers, or even relatives still go.It is sort of funny because I don't know when I even started trying the soup. I am sure not when I too youg. But still that is was I associate it with. And its a very good memory. And good soup too.

Chile con Queso

Saute 1 med onion. chopped
Add 4 cans crushed tomatoe
1 can green chiles- mild diced
2 cups chicken stock

Simmer 10 -15
Stir in 80z cream cheese in spoonfuls.

Good with corn chips or french bread. With butter of course.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Here's How It Began

With this little window. I'd been wanting to put something up but after my failed attempts to leave my real number with the window guy, I'd given up thinking about it. But finally, I found a little spring rod, dug up some old shades, hemmed them and- ta da. I was really pleased. And even though it was the smallest window in our bedroom, it still made the room feel cozier. Partly because this window faces the neighbors yard and I think it made it feel more private. Shane was very pleased and as we were getting in bed he remarked,

"I know guys aren't really supposed to care about those kind of things, but I really , really like it."

So I kept the momentum going today and threw up a curtain in the sitting room. It's not what we'll keep, but for now it makes the space nicer. And then Shane felt inspired- by two little curtains- to re-arrange the sitting room, move the desk, and get a lamp for it.

I found some drapes for Cyril's room- after many trips and some of them ending in tears. Not just the kids either. I decided just trimming and hemming up the little curtains, I did not want to invest any time making curtains myself. And because the rods are small, I needed something light weight. Which most store bought curtains are. And I also did not want to mess with lining. I could just picture it. I still need some for Kateri's room and then I may start on the bonus room. It is kind of freeing just using tension rods and cheap drapes. I can pick what I want and not worry about being stuck with it for years. Installing shades would be far too much commitment for me. And plantation shutters at $400 a window, would be just too much anything. I will have to hem Cyril's curtains, so I can feel like I made some effort. Aside from dragging four kids to three different stores and making it home with all of them. I'm pleased and am looking forward to seeing what I feel inspired to do tomorrow. Although, given that I came down with a bad cold today, i may be inspired to sit in the sitting room and drink tea. But I can still plan.

My friend, who I've known since birth, got married on Sunday. The wedding was at a neat place called The Kitchen Farm in Paulsbo. We left the kids with Grandma and Grandpa and took a ferry over by ourselves. It was very nice, with the exception of the weather- good luck, right? Luckily, it did hold for the ceremony and only after most everyone was under the tent did it start to rain. But the flowers, the ceremony, and of course the bride, were beautiful and I was glad we were there to witness such a lovely occasion.

I discovered how great wraps are. Coats can be too bulky and hard to move in. But I got a wrap and it was great to be able to wear it, drape it, or just hold it when I wanted it. I am thinking I might like to get some more. Shane said it was a cute accessory. But I might want some warmer ones. I still had to borrow Shane's coat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I have a problem

And no, its not related to the above picture, unless you consider that we don't have any to go with dinner tonight to be a problem. Ok I have two problems. But since we're here I'll intoduce you to our new "special ocassion wine" first. So far we consider any night we open a bottle a special ocassion. So that's good. Shane just picked it out to try and we both loved it. It smells- do they call that the nose?- coconutty and rich. It tasted slighty coconutty as well, and after awhile it got better with hints of nutmeg and vanilla. Like a new crush victim, I could go on ,but for now I will just say we both highly recommend this wine. It was $24.99 at QFC- another reason it is a special occassion wine. Shane, Cyril, and Grandpa Ron went hiking this week-end. It was Cyril's first time and he was so excited going to REI with Shane to pick out his gear. They had a great time, got an acceptable amount of mosquito bites, and no major mishaps. Shane said the majority of the camp-site time was spent trying to dry Cyril's pants and shoes. Cyril didn't mind and played barefoot in the snow.
On the way home Grandpa asked Cyril what his favorite thing about camping was. After a long pause Cyril responded,

"What? Who are you talking to , Grandpa?"

"You, Cyril. What was your favoriet thing?"

"Hmmmm. Probably sharks" Cyril answered.

When I asked Cyril what his favorite thing about the week-end was, he said the frogs.

I think Trudy has a similar picture of Shane standing by the water on one of their hikes. Ron said watching Shane and Cyril it could have been him and Shane.

And my problem will have to wait until later because it is lunch time now and the natives are restless.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The above link is to a Fox interview with my 6th grade math teacher's husband. He has Lou Gehrig's and is spending his remaining time/energy fighting the euthanasia initiative in Washington State. It is short, moving, and very well spoken. Even the anchorwoman got choked up. And even if you don't watch it, pray for John and his family and the failure of the initiative.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jetty Days

The wind gods promised a good forcast this week-end so we headed up to Jetty on Saturday. Well the wind gods lied and though there was some kiting there was also the sound of kites falling out of the sky and hitting the water with a big thud. And everytime you hoped no one got hit. Sometimes it gets a little nerve wracking. Kids and kites can be a little scary. And add to that some of the newer kiters still learning how to control fully powered 12 meter kites with lines of death attached to them and I feel less than comfortable.

Well, the wind not being so great, Shane spending more time on the beach because of it, and the warm sun feeling warmer, also because of it, we all had a great time and I forgot some of the reasons I promised myself I wouldn't go back because of. The bathroom being one. There is only one and its on the floating dock 1/4 mile from where we camp. Last time Shane told me to just find a tree. But with so many other islanders, I didn't feel comfortable. So I trudged off on the path to the toilet. But they cut some new paths and I ended up on the wrong one, got lost, couldn't wait, and finally found a thirsty bush and took Shane's advice.

Not so bad. But then Kateri pooped. Being confused about not having a toilet nearby, she paniced too and just went without saying anything. In her bathing suit. So I secretly transferred the contents form her suit to a clean diaper and put it wrapped up in our garbage bag. Which we had to haul around with us in the heat and on the ferry for several hours. I didn't want to draw attention to it by apologizing to the other passengers. So I didn't.

Could have been worse. Then Pippin pooped. He only had on swim shorts-without lining- and while I was gone to exchange out return tickets, Shane said he was hiding and quiet behind his kite for awhile- Pippin was- and when Shane went to check on him, .....yes that's what he was doing. Shane picked him up, shook out the remains, converted the kids sand shovel into a pooper scooper and once again, we boarded the ferry with a bag o' poop. I'm wondering when they will stop letting us on.

We didn't take any chances so yesterday, because the wind not being so good the day before and me forgetting everything, we went again, but we took Shane's boat. Which is great except we can't all fit in it at once with all the gear so we have to make a couple trips. But it beats rowin the barge he had last year and we can come and go whenever we want, and no one can kick us off. So after Liturgy we packed up, ate a big lunch and headed out.

The wind was better- good for Shane- and the wind was better- not so good for us sitting on the shore in beach gear. After awhile Audrey wrapped herself up in a towel and cocooned behind some big logs with her Nancy Drew book. Peeking out ocassionally to ask when we were going home. Kateri was soaking and cold so I took off her suit but couldn't find her dress and had to give her my t-shirt. Which meant I was in my suit and shorts shivering in the wind. She said it was just like a dress and it fit her so well , so she should keep it.

I decided on Saturday , to not try and video Shane kiting, and the regular camera doesn't get good pictures that far away, so I focused on just exploring with the kids.
Cyril -looking pretty cool in his wet suit.

Cyprian relaxing. He asked if I could take his pants off so he could be "Cootie, so I can be cozy".
We went farther up the beach where it was slightly less populated with kites. Cyril found a peice of wood shaped like a cell phone. Unfortunately, he had to take this call just as I took the picture.

Cyprian- working hard to cut down a fallen tree with a stick.

With less wind, there is more Papa time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


My brother and two nephews received Scouting awards for rescuing a man who fell off a broken bridge last December in the midst of the big rain/wind storms. Here is an article about the incident.

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July and Border Days

For the Fourth we decided to take a 7 1/2 hr car trip to Grangeville, ID. Not just for the ride but to see Shane's sister and family. Although I do like car trips with Shane. He loaded up his Zune with some good music, we packed up the truck and away we ennt. I love that Shane will sing with abandon along to any song, regardless of key, range, or even words. Seriously. I love it. And it makes the miles go by a little faster. That and his running commentaries on the other drivers and what they are doing wrong and why can't people here drive like th people in Montana, where people really know how to drive.

We had a fantastic time and I think I experienced the most exhilirating, hysterical, and terrifying times in my life. And it was all at the same time. There was a carnival set up, pretty much in his sister's back yard, and the kids had a fabulous time enjoying unlimited thrills and fun. At first I was a little concerned at the seemingly cavalier attitude the ride operators exhibited toward safety. Like when one of them lit of fireworks and threw them under the Scrambler cars as it was running. With mykids on it. But I felt better when they shut down the ferris wheel for a little while. To stabalize the supports. I was glad they were on top of that. They must have missed something else though because later the ferris wheel would not stop. Kids were stuck on it as it went round and round, and were calling their parents from their cel phones. It did made it a little more exciting to wonder as you apple car is spinning, if you might not just spin off the ride and go bowling into the crowds.

But the best ride was being run by a separate group, which made me much more comfortable, but still scared. I didn't go on it personally, but watching your kids skyrocket into the air flipping and bouncing all over was enough. Kateri saw what they were doing and there was no holding her back. I was a litttle concerned because the harness didn't seem too snug on her and when the attendant helped her do a backflip I could see it was not super tight around her middle. But Kateri was content to just fly up and down. More than content.

They would pull on the lines as she came down so she would slingshot up 25+ feet in the air screaming like a whistling Pete, while my heart dropped into my stomach. I expected her to slip out and go flying, maybe into one of the still running ferris wheel cars. She descended laughing hysterically and calling out, "Higher, higher". In a short time we had a crowd gathered around clapping and cheering her on. I'm thinking we should have charged for the show. I was very bummed the camera did not have enough battery power to take a video. But at least we got a picture. I won't be too suprised when she announces her desire to go skydiving for her 5th birthday.
And here she is on the slide. I had to go on it with Pippin and was a little scared. By the rickety stairs. Kateri thought it was great and when she got to the bottom waisted no time in picking up her blanket and charging back up the steps. I thought we'd never get her off but eventually she agreed to try the swings.
Pippin enjoying a cold drink in the park.. Cyril, Azriel, and Jonah

Grandma and Grandpa with the Posse. All the grand kids except Elijah who was napping.
On the way home form the parade I saw and liked this stores advertisments- "Guns, Tools, Ammo- Household Items". I like Idaho.

I think Pippin was out of ammo.

Ready for take off. No fear here.