Monday, December 21, 2009

Sorry I Asked.....sort of

Yesterday was our 12th anniversary. Shane was feeling a little under the weather so we had a low key family day at home building K'Nex and playing "Gold fish" as Kateri calls it. It's always fun playing with her and Cyprian. She gets the game and is pretty good. Pippin, when asked if he has a Jack says "No, but I have a three and a four" and usually announces the new card he has fished out of the pile. But that is fun too. As have been the last 12 years.

So the other night, we were getting into bed and I asked Shane,

"Why did you want to marry me?"

He looked surprised.

"Why did I want to marry you? Because I loved you."

"But why? What did you like about me?"

I wasn't looking for an ego boost or anything. I was just really curious. I mean I know what I was like back then. I wasn't really very nice. I was kind of moody. If I didn't
get fed often enough I was*not a nice word.* When I think back I really wondered what he was attracted to. And what made him not run away.

He paused.

"I don't know. I never really thought about it. I just loved you. I couldn't help it or change it. It just is."

He paused again.
"I mean I guess I'd have to think about it. Maybe if you gave me couple days I could write up a paper or something. But I've never thought about why."

I started laughing. I had only asked for fun but I was sure he could come up with something. He was acting like I had asked him what his favorite Martian dish was.

"I don't really think in details. I'm a big picture person so when you ask for details its hard for me to say. Let's turn it around. What would you say if I asked you the same question?"

I leaned up on my elbow and looked at him. I rattled off a list of things I like,

"I like the way you laugh, your sense of humor. I appreciate your work ethic. The way you would interact with my nephews and siblings, and now our kids. Your honesty, your thoughtfulness, your character."

He looked pleased and said,

"Wow. This is nice. Keep going."

I stopped.

"I could go on. But its your turn. Does hearing some of my list help?"

"A little."

I waited.


Finally he came up with this gem.

"I love all the potential you have. I know sometimes you say you can't or have some excuse for why not. But I know you are capable of a lot more than you think you are.'

He delivered it like it was really something.

I wrinkled my nose.

"So you loved me for my potential. Like a lump of coal could someday be a diamond. Hmm. I don't think I'd have ever guessed that."

I was still laughing when he turned out the light.

"I like that you like to read," he offered as a parting gift.

It's been a great 12 yrs and I look forward to the next dozen. And the next. And to someday achieving my potential. I didn't ask what he thought that might look like. That would much too detailed.

I don't know why the date is wrong as today is the 28th. Oh well. I had to ask for help getting my keyboard to work. Of course he just pushed one button and then tried to explain why it worked when he did it. I don't really care about the details as long as it works. And it gives him something useful to do. Besides taking out the garbage.

We're Back

Somehow the pictures got all re-arranged but I'm too tired to fix them right now. So in no particular order, here are some photos of out trip to Bora Bora. The Four Season's Resort was absolutely amazing and I've never been so spoiled in my life, except by my husband. After getting home I had to get used to sitting down without someone immediately offering me ice water, or menu, or both. The staff was incredible and I could fill up several posts, and I probably will, raving about how nice they, and the resort were. But for now... These little huts were sprinkled around the pool. If you got near one a staff member rushed over to set up the towels and fluff the pillows and another would bring ice water and ask if you needed anything else. They were pretty cozy and one day we did sit and have lunch in one. They would have been great for naps, but there was so much we wanted to do we actually never slept during the days.
This was our last swim out side our bungalow, it was a modest 1,100 sq ft- the size of our first house- and so cozy. The water was about 8-10 feet off the deck so we would start the mornings with a little swim before breakfast. Some days Shane would swim to the shore and then run back for a morning work out. It was too far for me so I'd shower and wait for him to jog back- which was a little ways. But just enough to prepare us for breakfast.

Our dinner at La Villa Mahana was incredible and also warrants its own post as we took pictures of every course. And each one was amazing. Definitely on the not cheap side- the girl's menu doesn't even have prices. But like I've read on the travel sites, if you are looking for a deal on Bora Bora, you're on the wrong island. I guess that would apply to all of French Polynesia. The dinner was incredible. Shane had the foie gras as one of his courses and it was so yummy.

The mountain was so pretty and every time you saw it you had to take a picture because oh, its raining on the mountain. Now the sun is shining on it. Now the sun is setting. You never got tired of admiring it. Shane wanted to hike it as far as you could go. I wanted to sit in the pool and have a kiwi mojito. I guess we'll leave the hike for another time. along with para sailing. Our appointment got cancelled do to wind conditions. But were able hike around the ocean side of the resort and snorkel in the lagoons so there was no lack of activities to fill the time.

We had a very good Chateneuf du Pape with our dinner. It was nice to have 5 courses to go with it. And it went with all of them. Very well.

We went on the shark and ray snorkel which was too cool. The first day we were there, Shane was snorkeling off our deck and found a sting ray. So of course he had to come back and get his camera on a stick and go play Steve Irwin. I was very glad to hear from our snorkel guide that they are actually very friendly and if you don't scare or step on them they won't bother you. However, when they cover the floor like a carpet and then come swimming at you trying to climb up your chest its hard to not take a step. They are very heavy and could knock down a little kid easily. So I stayed close to Shane and grabbed on to him if I needed to.
Shane thought they were super cute and cooed and talked to them like they were little puppy dogs. They lapped it up, much like a puppy dog, as he stroked their heads with half a bait fish. He eventually let them eat it. It really was unbelievable. The reef sharks were there too. But they were not playful at all.

The camera had a spot of water on the lens, but we were surrounded by begging sting rays. We had to wait for a path to clear before we could make it back to the boat. It was hard to say good- bye to the little guys. Well actually not so little.

We had a nice sandy beach to play on, and the resort is growing coral in the lagoons. There were already a wide assortment of sea creatures, but in a few years when the coral is bigger it will be even more amazing.

We had a little gecko join us for dinner one evening. He just sat there on our table for the longest time. Then he blew a bubble- I think that means he liked us- and stayed until the waitress almost but the bill on top of him. I was releived to see he found his way off the table via Shane's leg. We wanted to bring him home too. Along with a sting ray.

All in all it was an amazing time. We met some neat people and neat animals. Had some divine meals. Exquisite service. And not too bad of a sun burn. Our five year plan it to all learn french and take teh whole family on a trip. The resort had tons of activities for kids with a supervised facility for younger ones. And an entire area for teens with a pool table, foosball table, couches, computers and games. I think once the kids get older, can swim better, and learn some french it would be an amazing place to take them. And we'd enjoy it too.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Deck The Halls- or Anyone Can Decorate

I know I'm not a decorator. My Spartan rooms and bare walls are a testimony to the fact that I lack much vision for artistically arranging pretty much anything, and I accept that. But today I decided that to take our minds off the loss of Draca, we would decorate the kids' rooms for Christmas. And I thought it would ease the move back into their bedrooms, which I think everyone taking care of the kids this week will appreciate.

And I figured with pine garlands and white lights, how hard could it be? We put on some Christmas music and I set to work untangling the lights from last year. After 15 min I looked and had about 3 feet of usable lights. Not to be discouraged I kept untwisting away, Kateri keeping me company. The other kids got bored and went away. But armed with my light strand, some nails-sorry Shane- and a garland I nailed and twisted my way to a Candy Cane Lane Masterpiece.

And when I was done, I stepped back and realized, I was right. I'm horrible at this.

The picture is a little blurry, but that actually improved the look as you can't see extra wires and such sticking our here and there. Not to be discouraged, I descended on Kateri's room. I decided to forgo the garland as it was really time consuming, and prickly. But the strand was a little long for just her window and after wrapping it back and forth a few times I still had a big wad of twinkling lights. I thought, duh, make a wreath of lights. So I scrunched them up, added another nail- sorry again, Shane-and I was done.

Kateri took one look and declared it looked "all tangled". Then she ran and threw herself face down on our bedroom floor, crying. Putting the beds back together is next on my list. I'm not sure what she had envisioned but I'd think any little girl would be excited to have Christmas lights on their walls. I might even do my room next.

She got over it and I comforted her with the knowledge that Grandma and Auntie Courtney, who have very good taste and very generous hearts, are going to help decorate next week. She was a little consoled and I think tonight when she gets in bed and sees the sparkly lights she'll be pleased. At least long enough to fall asleep in her own bed.

I can't take credit for this one. Kateri decided put up the banister garlands by herself. I think it kind of gives the look of a jungle Christmas or an abandoned building being explored by Indian Jones. Or something like that. So far no one has tried swinging Tarzan style from the balcony, and I took down the long piece that stretched all the way across the banister, threatening to clothesline Shane on his way down in the morning. I did envision it happening- see I have some vision, and it was really funny, but I thought it was in the Christmas spirit to take it down. And I think that might make up for all the nail holes.

Photo shoot- by Kateri

I took a few, meaning 4, pictures and was shocked when I went to download them and found there were over 100 pictures on the card. Browsing through them all it was pretty obvious who the photographer was. This was one of my pictures. Kateri decided last night to "organize" the pantry. I hate it when she does that because I can't find anything afterwards and have to ask her where the chicken broth etc. is. Maybe that's why she does it. But I don't want to discourage her from helping around the house and I think in time she will be a very good organizer. Although I was a little taken aback when she emerged from the pantry for a moment and announced,

"I'm not doing this for you. Its for Grandma, when she comes over."

I guess I"ll take what I can get for now.

Anticipating a trip to Grandma's, she had two bags packed by the front door, complete with her Christmas stocking. And when Shane and I were searching for the camera this morning she reached deep into her backpack and pulled it out. Complete with her latest photo journal.

She likes to go around and ask people to make a funny face, which everyone is happy to do.
Cousin Jonah was happy to oblige too.

I think this one might be for her room remodel plans. I'm not sure if this is the before or after picture.

This one was pretty good of our new Gecko, though I fear what she might have done to get it to cooperate.

A little Christmas arrangement she did in her room.

Proof she had an accomplice.

"Pizza on a Pillow"

Ahhh the life of an artist!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

End Of Life Decisions

I don't think you're ever really ready to make them. And even if you do plan ahead, they can still catch you off guard. I certainly felt caught off guard yesterday. I wrestled all afternoon with the options. I called Shane for help. I tried to comfort and prepare the kids when the outcome seemed apparent. But even then we were faced with choices.

Draca had developed a prolapse. We decided to take her to the vet in the morning, but in the morning it was even worse and we knew she wouldn't make it. Cyril went to the icon corner to pray for her, I was praying for Cyril. We had to decide between letting her slowly die or ending her pain. Would it be more painful for the kids to see her go slowly or to end it quickly. I admit I was tempted to just end it myself and end the kids' and her suffering. But then I wondered how the kids would feel if they found out mom had done in their gecko.

In the end Shane talked to Cyril and Cyril decided it would be best to let her go. Shane gave him a beautiful carved box he brought back from India and we made a little blanket and pillow for her. Cyril had decided the hibernation/freezing option seemed kindest, so I cleared a space for the box and we processed to the fridge.

I took the little kids to use the big kids swim lessons and Shane stayed home to assist in the burial. When we got home they were just leaving to the pet store to look for a new gecko. I cleaned out the cage and ordered pizza for dinner. In a little while they were back with a baby gecko. She/he was the most active of the bunch and the kids immediately agreed it was the one. They picked out some new housing for it and new flooring. We got it all set up and he settled in nicely. They are going to name it Draca if its a girl and Draco if its a boy. WE should be able to tell in the next few months.

The mourning continues today and I don't think we'll try to get any work done. But the kids are planning how to celebrate the new gecko's first Christmas and hopefully over time they'll be able to smile and enjoy the new pet. And I'll be praying this new one lives a long and healthy life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Watch Your Back, Iron Chef

I'm afraid there is no competition worthy of Kateri. While I was doing some very important research , really, on the internet, Kateri found the package of ground turkey I had thawed for hamburgers. And decided to make tacos intstead. But she also knew Pippin liked potatoes, so sh boiled some new potatoes. After exhausting all the websites I could I find, I emerged to find her cooking two-fisted. The turkey was just about done and she was ready to drain and whip the potatoes.
I did help her adjust the seasonings of the taco meat, there was a little too much cinnamon-sugar.
That might have been Pippin's fault as he was "helping" a little. We added some taco spices and it came out tasting kind of like a Moroccan taco. But it was tasty.

I might add that this was after she vacuumed the up-stairs, cleaned the bathroom, and put on a load of laundry. All without me asking her to , or her asking for help.

The kids have all been into cooking lately. Audrey made french toast for everyone last week for break fast. Cyril likes to make hashbrowns and they can all make "egg in a nest" too.

I"ll talk about my important research later. Shane's home and it's time for tacos.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


La Villa Mahana was booked on the 11th. But we got a table on the 12th. Yeah! I'm thinking a white dress. Maybe.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I did not see this one coming!

Two weeks ago:

Shane tells me he has a surprise for me. In December.

I ask for hints. He says "No" he'll tell me the day before we leave.

OK. So we're going somewhere.

I ask what I'll need to be prepared.

He says he'll tell me what to pack the day before.

A few days later he says he'll tell me on the way to the airport. For now, just have my passport and bathing suit ready. He says he's already arranged for the kids. So we're flying and will be gone at least over night.

I think,' we did a trip already this year'. Either my kids aren't as difficult as I thought, people are crazy, or just really, really nice. Or all three. Any way, thanks to everyone for making this possible and way to keep a secret. I guess he's been planning it for awhile. Though apparently he did not disclose location and even let out some misleading information in the event of a slip up.

I rule out New York. He knows I don't like the cold much. I think maybe Hawaii- we still had a credit for the messed up flight on our way to Palau.

Then I think of Mexico. That would be warm too. He gives me two hints. Its not Mexico. Its not Hawaii. I think maybe the Carribean, but don't say anything. Then I also think any place with a hotel could have a hot tub. Requiring a bathing suit. And it would be like Shane to give me crazy misleading clues.

I ash him how long we'll be gone, and if I'll miss a cooking class.

He says 6 days. And yes. I'll miss a class. He says he doesn't want me to think or worry about anything. Just plan on a relaxing time.

I immediately think of planes crashing, orphaned children, snorkel kinks while night swimming etc. Then I think I need a new suit as my other one is not that comfortable.

Shane can't help himself and decides to show me some edited pictures. I get a three second look while he covers up the side bar and URL. I take in more than he thought I would, but still don't guess it. He covers up even more of the pictures. I get to see three or four, but they are all of insides so there is no geography to go on.

The insides are paneled walls and have a sort of NorthWest feel. But that would not require a plane. If we really are going on a plane.

Finally, Shane can't take it. He usually gives me Christmas presents early because "you might like to have it now". And he was agonizing over some of the decisions he needed to make and couldn't ask for my input. I know Shane is a bit extreme, and when he says he thought of a cool vacation, and then thought even cooler, and then took it to the extreme cool and came up with this ,I was still floored.

Then I was scared and running through all the bad scenarios- Hungarians are ridiculous I tell you-and Shane was wondering if he should have told me. But after a good night sleep, and some good tea time at Tirzah's, I felt better and was able to embark on fine tuning some of the details.

Shane would like to go para sailing. Together. And do a snorkel on the ocean side. And maybe a helicopter tour. Oh, and jet skis. I was sort of surprised sky diving was not on his list.

I did some reading and put this on our list. Generally they recommend a 3 month advance reservation. But I called our hotel and she said she could arrange something. They only have 6-8 tables and only serve that many couples an evening. I said we'd like the 11th but will take any night they have available. Maybe I'll need a new dress too?

I got a new swim suit. I remembered an article where the woman said she had a terrible time trying to fit into the fashions of Audrey Hepburn that were all the rage. Until she realized she was more of a Sophia Loren type figure. Well I'm kind of a shorter, stretched and saggy version of Audrey Hepburn, so I decided to go with something that doesn't try to re-shape, prop up, or pretend something is there when its actually somewhere else. I still have to do some tailoring but I think it should work.

And I even took a swim lesson for some practice and tips. He said as long as I didn't panic, I'd be fine. But when I swim at night, in deep water, far from the shore- I panic. Luckily the lagoon is 4-8 feet in most places and I'm not sure we'll do much night swimming. Just after one lesson I was ravenous for hours. I'm afraid with my terribly inefficient metabolism I'll have to go on the Michael Phelps diet for a month. And practice mindful eating. Meaning be mindful that I EAT. Lots and often. I can easily get distracted or busy and then by dinner I wonder why I feel exhausted and grumpy and don't have energy to work out or vacuum, or be nice to anyone. That's why I prefer weights to cardio work outs. Which I should work on for the next few weeks.

And get the Christmas plans going too. I did some shopping on Sunday and got the kids their Christmas jammies, the girls dresses, and a couple extra things. Hooray for Amazon. I'll just find all the art supplies we wanted and get it ordered. Soon. Last year we had such inclement weather it disrupted deliveries. It has been windy here lately, but I'm sure its nothing Mr Postman can't handle. I did order sunscreen so that it would come in time.

And I've got to keep the kids on track so we don't get behind in school stuff as well. And I guess I should clean out the fridge before Thursday. And while I'm at it, I'd like to find some jeans that don't try to turn me into a Bratz doll. But right now I think I need a snack.

I did do weights with Shane, after he did the cardio without me. And then I slept really well, woke up early, and am looking forward to doing another work out tonight. He has the P90X work out DVDs, which are nice because they are varied and I can use lighter weights or do less reps and we can still work out together. Unless its cardio. Or anything with jumping. I have a hard time not migrating into him or the bookshelves if I do jumping jacks. So weights really are safer for me. And Shane. I should have a snack to get prepared for it.

Guess Who's Swimming?

Kateri and Pippin have been asking every week, when they can sign up for swim lessons. Well we missed some lessons because of colds and I was told I could use them for for any registered swimmer. And since you only pay registration for the first two swimmers, I went ahead and registered the other kids.
They were so excited on their lesson day. Pippin was madly tearing the house apart looking for his Curious George swim shorts. He couldn't find them and settled for his plain blue ones. Kateri found her suit and put it on right after breakfast, though lessons were not until 3:45

Pippin tried on the different goggles while Kateri had her lesson. Kateri loved it- shocking- and fearlessly jumped in from the side and put her head under water. Pippin said he didn't like the swimming part because his face got wet. But he did like the "black float". I think for now they will just pick up the other kids missed lessons. I'm not sure I can get a regular spot for them and arriving at 3:45 was too early. The parking lot was jammed with buses and parents picking up their kids. We were almost late just because of parking. But the big kids are learning a lot, and it wears them out. Cyril asked if we could stop at QFC and get a whole chicken for dinner after lessons. We stopped. And got two.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our Newest Member

This is Draca. At first she was Draco. Then the kids did some reading and investigating, and found out "she" is a girl. I didn't ask for details but they changed her name and now they are plotting to get a Draco so they can have little Dracettes. We're thinking she is a little young yet.
The kids were thrilled when we brought her home. Cyril- whose room she stays in- was sure he wouldn't get any sleep that first night as he's probably have to get up a lot to check on her. She has shed once already and seems happy in her new home. She is pretty low maintenance, aside from having to buy and feed her crickets. Its more difficult to keep the crickets alive. But the kids are happy with their pet. I'm happy she doesn't bark, shed hair, or need a litter box. Pippin is a little upset he doesn't have his own gecko. I'm sure this will just be the beginning of the pet years, but so far so good.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Surprise Vacation

So Shane took us on our surprise vacation last week end. I was very good and did not tell the kids where we were going, once I figured it out. The morning after Shane got home, and the day we were leaving, he asks if they are all packed to go to Leavenworth. They might have figured out on the drive anyway. But they were ready and excited.
The cabin was a little ways out near a little town called Plain. It was a pretty drive and the leaves were turning and we had brought everything we'd need for a cozy fall week end. We stopped in Leavenworth and ice cream, pet a horse, listened to some music, and tried some not so great wine. Although first we had lunch with some tasty Icicle Ale.
We stopped and got two decks of cards and the kids used them all week end. I went down to check on them in the morning and the three older kids were sitting up on the top bunk playing "Go Fish". I love when they all can play together.

There was lots of silliness too.

And hot tubbing.

There was even some snow for the boys to drive their new trucks in. Shane had brought RC trucks for both boys from "New York" or more like the hobby store down the road. He said he couldn't find anything on his trip for them. He did get the girls some jewelry. One of Kateri's ear holes grew over so she can only wear one earring. But the look kind of suits her.
We had a great time and it was very restful once I got some sleep. The first night I was nervous because the three big kids were downstairs in the bunk beds and you just wonder when they are going to wake up and forget where they are so you sleep lightly waiting for a sound. Sure enough,first I heard them calling. Then I heard them crying. Both times I jumped violently-Shane who was sleeping says-and then got confused with the lock on the door so Shane had to get up and do it for me. And both time it was still and quiet on the other side of the door. Or on the outside of my head.
The second night was better as I was exhausted from the first night. Luckily, I had Kateri to help with the cooking. She is really, no surprises here, amazing. We unloaded all our things into the house and when I came in to the kitchen to unload the cooler, found Kateri had already done it. She helped cook too. One night we were playing go fish, boys against girls, and I decided to add a penalty. Losers had to do the dishes. Kateri cheerfully piped up,
"I'll do the dishes!"
The boys cheated first. We won. And I did the dishes.
All in all a good time.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another Birthday

Audrey turned 11 on Sunday. It's hard to believe she is that old. We're almost in the teens!
I'm guessing she wished for a horse or a dog. A Husky, as that is her favorite lately. Although she likes wolves too. She has decided Jack London is her favorite author, for right now, and has been reading his books. She thought it was really neat when she saw a wine at QFC with a wolf on the label. It was called Jack London. I'll have to get it some time just so she can have the empty bottle.

She did get webkinz husky from Grandma and Grandpa, and Shane surprised her at the cabin with another stuffed dog. Poor substitutes for the real thing, but a lot cleaner and quieter.

The kids. Kateri's hair has not gotten any tamer- or smaller. I think she might be due for another thinning.
We had a great time on our vacation and we have lots of pictures but I'll post those later as I'm a little behind on my day right now. It's always hard adjusting to coming home.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The ballet studio was holding auditions for "Clara". Kateri didn't really get what auditions were and thought of it as just another ballet class. I left Shane and the kids home and we headed to the studio. She was excited it was just two of us. I had brought my book and she asked if I was going to come in. I said I'd like to see her dance. She paused thinking of how to get rid of me,

"But you could just drop me off. Because that would be more, like, realistic. Don't you think?"

Maybe realistic in the sense she's probably told the other girls she drives herself to ballet. I did go in, but, as it turned out parents were not allowed to watch from inside the studio. So I took my book, Ender's Game, and went next door and had taquitos while I finished it. It was quite nice. She had fun and tried to explain all the things they had the girls do as she finished off the taquitos I brought for her. She doesn't really care about the part, I think, but is just excited to be in the Nutcracker. Kateri, on a stage. I think its going to be amazing.

She's been keeping up with her studies along with her dancing. If I am not available when she is ready she gets out the phonics material and sits, filling her page with letters. She is pretty good at remembering the sounds and because she's loved writing since forever, doesn't need any encouraging. I could probably sit and do phonics with her all day and she'd be happy.

This is my latest obsession. That and cambazola. I finally ordered a box of tea from Amazon as I can only find it at PCC which is not too convenient a trip for as often I would need to go. The kids like it too. Shane was a little surprised the other day when Kateri offered to make Pippin some and he said he liked it, but wanted the blue kind right now.- English Breakfast. We have the blue kind, the pink kind, and the green kind- peppermint. All with cream and sugar, please.
As Kateri and I were practicing reading- mostly her just copying me at this point- she felt the need to use each word in a sentence. I thought some were pretty funny.
"BAND like "Hi, my name is band, what's your name?"

GUTS like "Someone fell down and got hurt and I saw their guts, do you want to come see?"
OLD like "Oh no! You're really old!"
She's pretty fun to work with.
It's been cool and very fall here. Luckily I decided to mow the lawn and clean up the yard on Sunday- our last nice day- and generally get ready for winter. Shane left for New York and I generally pass the time when he's gone on projects. He says maybe he should leave more often. But he's coming home tomorrow and I am excited to put the projects on hold for a bit.Besides the yard is all done and I got the entire downstairs floor washed. So I feel good about it.
He went to New York for an architecture convention. Computer architecture. He was excited because "Grady Booch" was going to be there. I could hardly contain myself when he told me. I do feel sorry for him in that most of the time when he talks about his work I'm sort of like a deer in headlights. As far as computers are concerned I am just happy if my printer and email work. Anyway, along with eating at some tasty French place, shopping, a little walk through Central Park, and the convention, he actually got to meet Grady Booch. So I guess it was a success.
He decided to celebrate his homecoming by taking us all to a cabin near Leavenworth for the week-end. Or as his announcement said,
"Have the kids bags packed and ready"
I asked him for clues as to where we were going but initially all he would tell me was we didn't need our passports, and to pack cold weather clothes and swim wear.
The kids were excited by the riddle and every day he would send more clues. Audrey was a little bummed when he sent a picture of a castle and said 'we won't be staying in a place like this"
But she liked the bunk beds he sent saying they would be sleeping there. I liked that there were only four bunk beds as that meant "I" would not be sleeping there. They have a queen bed as well.
It was good to figure out where we are going to be so I can start planning the menu and shopping. It is also Oktoberfest so there should be lots of fun things to see. Although I'm inclined to stay in and enjoy the fire and hot tub too. But I'm sure we'll go on some Alpine treks and visit the river. Which will make coming in to a cozy fire all that much more enjoyable.
Hope you all have a lovely week end. I have to start packing and get Pippin out of the toilets. He loves to use the clorox bowl cleaner thing, mostly for the blue sudsy bubbles it makes, and will wash all the toilets several times a week. He can do it pretty well and its one less thing I have to do. Oh, and I hear Kateri using the mixer so I'd better see what concoction she has cooking up. Hopefully it's dinner as I didn't have a plan for tonight yet.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Down Time

Well, we seem to be having our first cold of the season. So far it doesn't appear to be the Swine Flu, but there are sniffles and coughs and general malaise. So we will be spending as much time as possible sleeping, resting, reading, and tea drinking. With some Benadryl shots all around.

The big kids had to miss art class this morning and I cancelled swim lessons tomorrow. I have to say I am tempted to stop everything for awhile. But we'll give it another go next week and see how it goes. I had to run to art class this morning to do my job and pay tuition but luckily Shane was able to stay home for a bit so I didn't have to drag the kids. I do kind of enjoy having an excuse to stay home and be cozy. But if it drags on too long I'm sure we'll start getting stir crazy. I'm guessing Kateri will not be over it in time for ballet on Thursday. Audrey has decided to stop ballet so I was able to move Kateri to the morning class, thus avoiding the weekly dinner's at the Mexican restaurant. Which we enjoyed, but two hours with three kids who can only eat and color for so long before getting fidgety did get tiring. Sometimes Cyril and Pippin would get bored and come up with crazy ideas. Like 'see if you can eat with your arms pulled into the body of your shirt and just you hands sticking out'. They could.
Last Thursday I was fortunate to have brought the camera as it turned out to be parent's day. They had chairs set up for us and we were allowed to take pictures. I enjoyed watching the lesson and loved to see Kateri focusing on her feet and copying the teacher. I'm afraid my camera is terrible with the flash off, but I did get some video and was able to show Shane. But still they don't capture the joy and emotion of watching her stretch her arms and point her toes, completely focused on the steps and oblivious to everything else. Until she catches Cyril or Pippin army crawling in the back. Then she flashes a big smile and waves. I have to say it was one 0f the best performances I've been to and I was pretty much near tears the whole show.
So there won't be much to report this week. But I'm ok with that. I'm glad I stocked up on the Ruby Chai and half and half. Maybe we'll make some bread or something warm and tasty to make our quarantine more pleasant. Hope everyone out there on the other side is well and we'll catch up soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pippin Turns 4- and some catch up photos

Cyprian's birthday is not until tomorrow, but due to schedules, we had the party yesterday at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Of course we had the usual neighborhood gang pop over to help celebrate, eat cake, and add to the festiveness.

He was so excited to get GG's card. He was very generous and gave everyone a balloon and piece of gum. He spend his dollar on a bottle of juice this morning, and played stickers with Kateri while we waited for the big kids to finish art class.

He enjoyed his new Webkin and garbage truck. And has been playing with the little army men all day. It was great party and we enjoyed the leftover cake this afternoon after lunch. ( I am glad he asked for chocolate.)

This was not part of the birthday party. This was a girl trip my sister, a friend, and I took a couple weeks ago. Tirzah and Anna had found a cute little cooking shop in Cannon Beach which offered classes. So we picked one out, got a room, and headed down for the week end. The girls picked up some yarn at the yarn shop and started making hats. I have not gotten the itch to knit this year, yet. So I brought some books. We drank copius amounts of tea ( Mostly my new favorite Ruby Chai) and stayed up talking until 2am. Then got up for breakfast and coffee, shopping, beach walking, and whatever else tickled our fancy.

The little coffee shop across from our hotel was very cozy and had very tasty scones. I brought one back for Shane. Along with a couple bottles of wine.

The last morning we checked out and then rented bikes for a beach ride. Recumbent bikes are harder than they look. At least on the sand and pedaling up wind. The only thing that kept me moving was knowing it would be really easy on the way back and the fact that it is really hard to start once you stop. I was inspired to be resolute about doing more cardio wokours, But we made it back just as the rain started and had coffee at the Sleepy Monk before heading to do some shopping for the kids and heading home. We felt very re-freshed and ready for the new school year. Which started at 9:00 the next morning.

Cyril is the proud owner of a fancy new pocket knife. At least he was. Until I discovered he tried out the little scissors on his brother's hair. We'll give it back in another week or so. After I get him so balsa wood. So as to distract him from the nice wooden posts on the stair case.

Here is how we spend our Thursday evenings. Luckily it is one door down from the ballet studio
so the kids can take turns dancing and eating.

Pippin's version of a peace sign.

Here is my re-creation of the halibut from the EVOO cooking class. The fish and salsa came out very well but my lentils were not quite as flavorful. I even used the Umbrian lentil we had at the restaurant. Unfortunately, I made a lot of lentils so we had them a few nights running until Shane said , "Enough. No more lentils."

So then we moved on to the summer ratatouille with grilled bread and multi grain pasta. That came out pretty yummy too. I can put the recipes up later, but now my back is tired from my work out this afternoon. And I think I need some tea.

Tirzah just called today and said the hotel is having a fall special. And the cooking school has a new menu. I think bacon wrapped scallops were on it. I think Shane was impressed with the recipes and wine I brought back and would support a second trip. And the kids loved having Papa all to themselves. One aspect I loved about the menu was it was mostly vegetarian- only one beef dish-and very healthy. The kids love fish and some of them liked the ratatouille. Lots of good Lenten meals. Oh. And the wines were good too.