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.