Saturday, October 31, 2009


The front steps
Sophia's Pumpkin...A cat in the grass

Coulter's Pumpkin with a little "Bling"

My Devil pumpkin....eatting a little pumpkin

Kees' pumpkin...A vampire with a broken tooth. Opps!

Most years we make a big deal of going to the pumpkin patch and getting the full pumpkin / fall experience. Next we dig out the Halloween decor and get busy making out house all scary. This year I didn't feel like it. That's my excuse...I didn't feel like it. Our only decorations (besides the pumpkins) are 2 pumpkin paintings made by the boys at school. And our pumpkins....Got 'em at QFC. Yep, I'm all Martha Stewart and stuff. Not my best momma moment.

I did carve pumpkins with the kids. This means that I have to cut off the top, clean out all the pumpkins and then carve all the pumpkins. Maybe this is one of the reasons why I "don't feel like it." I will say that Sophia got out 95% of the pumpkin goo herself. That was nice. Kess and dice, I had to do all of theirs. Coulter didn't want to get his hands dirty. Kees didn't know why that stuff needed to come out.

We roasted the seeds....yummy.

Everyone got to design their own pumpkins and then I carved the faces with the Drummel Tool. That worked pretty well.

Tonight we're going to a party so we won't even be home. Weird. That is a first. The kids will Trick-or-Treat around the neighborhood and we'll all have a good time. Next...I guess it's time to get out the Thanksgiving stuff and then quick...the Christmas stuff. I better start "feeling like it" soon because we're doing our big party this Christmas and "I don't feel like it" won't cut it for that.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Snack Mom

I must preface this post with the note that this is my 6th year of preschool participation at ChildsWork. It has been a really good experience for all of my kids and I am grateful for their teachers there. They have givin my kids a curiousity for learning and wonder at their discoveries. It is a blessing.

Friday was Kees' snack day. This is a big deal. You get to pick out what you want for snack, your parent can come and stay in the class room for the day and it's just a little bit like being a star. Kees was REALLY excited!

I had a few things to take care of so I got to his class room just after 9:00. When I walked in the room Kees' face lit up. He was thrilled. I set my things down and made my way over to him. He hopped up and sat on my lap with a big smile. "Hi mommy. He he he" He introduced me to his class. You could tell he was really proud.

After circle time we went out for recess. He wanted me to run with him the whole time. I declined. I'm not much of a runner.

Next it was time for "Exploration" in the class room. The kids get to pick and choose. Kees opted to play a game. It was really fun to watch the kids make up the rules and how to play Candy Land. It was nothing like the game I remember but they were having fun. It was interesting because they didn't seem to care who was winning or if they were playing by the same rules. At home there would have been yelling about not playing by the rules and who was cheating. At the end of "Exploration" they packed up the game and no one won. Good stuff.

Then Kees and I went down stairs to prepare snack. He carried the trays and I carried the heavy stuff. We worked in tandom and Kees made sure that everyone had equal shares. He was diligent in his work.

Snack was a hit especially the Nori. I was surprised by that. We also had apples, cheese sticks and pumpkin scones.

So Kees got to be a bit of a star yesterday. I was glad that he enjoyed it. It's a bit tedious and I am not wild about going to preschool. But once again I am shown that it isn't about me now is it?

Fall Leaves and Mosaics

Kees - "Random"

Sophia - "Island"

Coulter - "Fish Too"

Fire Breathing Dragon



Sophia's "Fish"

I try and do a bit of art with my kids every now and then. Honestly I am not much for finger painting, messy art or just scribble. I am a bit more type "A" then that. I want to have a project, be able to explain it and then have the kids do their own with out having to kill myself helping them. Sophia is there but Coulter and Kees don't have the skill or patience yet to do anything that requires much detail work. The fall mosaics (that's what we have been calling them) are perfect. They're cheap and there is no way to do them wrong.

A couple weeks ago when the leaves were in full color here the boys and I went out collecting leaves. Sophia was at soccer so she didn't get to go with us. The idea was to collect as many different colors and shapes as we could. We arrange them on wax paper and then iron another piece of wax paper on top of them all. Above are the designs that we came up with.

It was lots of fun for us all and that is sayin' something.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


So here I am a 44 year old mom of 3 kids. I am trying to get myself in better shape. You know the ole, move more eat less thing. Sadly, sometimes, moving less and eating more is, well, just more fun. Especially this time of year when it's getting cold out and everyone is baking and making soups. I love soups. AND I am in the mood to cook. I go through phases of loving cooking and hating cooking. I am in the former right now. But I digress....

This post is about Missy. I met Missy about a month ago the first time I played basketball (in a really long time).

My friend Becky invited me to play basketball at the NECC (NE Community Center) on a guest pass. I was leery since it's been, ohhhh, almost 26 years since I last played. But I went. Do you know how hard it is to play basketball for an hour straight? I was thinking "Oh my goodness, I can't believe I used to do this for hours every day!" The lines, the running, yadda, yadda and blah, blah, blah. The thing is I had a really good time. All the ladies were really nice, some were beginners, some had played before and were pretty good. It wasn't too competitive and we just tagged in and out as someone got tired.

I missed a couple weeks because I was out of town but I went back this past Monday. We were about 40 minutes into playing when I was guarding Missy. Missy has played basketball only a few times in her life. She was doing really well. She could dribble the ball, shoot and even scored a couple times. The next think I know, while I was guarding her, she was on the floor holding her knee. Anyone who knows anything about that action knows, "Oh CRAP! This is bad." She laid on the floor for a few minutes, we got her ice. She needed ice on both the back and front of her knee..... "Oh damn, that is really bad!"

I have to tell you that when this happened I was not in contact with Missy. I was really grateful for that fact because if I had been I would have felt REALLY guilty. Like it was my fault. As it was I felt bad enough. It really was just a wrong step.

After a few minute on the floor I remembered I had some Advil in my purse (fanny pack) and gave her some. 10 minutes relief. We called her husband to come and assist her. Luckily he has a flexible job and was able to come. Laurie and I assisted her to his car (she couldn't put any weight on her leg), wished her luck and off they went. We all stared at each other and though, crap.....that sucks.

Apparently it was so swollen for 3 days that they couldn't even do an MRI. They could today. Guess what? It was worse then we thought. She has a torn ACL and Meniscus. Yikes! Worse yet, she has 3 kids, 6, 8 and 11. I called her tonight and she said that her family has been helpful and great. AND her mother and mother in law live close and have been really helpful. Thank goodness. A few of us from basketball are going to bring her some meals so that they don't get sick of Mac-n-cheese (though my kids would love that every day).

Here we are a bunch of 30 and 40 somethings trying to have fun and get fit(ter) and BAM, someone gets hurt, really hurt. I am trying to figure out if I should still play basketball. Missy and I are about the same size and she is almost 10 years younger then me. Doesn't that mean that I could go down just as easily or even more so? I'm just saying..... Maybe I should stick to the stairs and the bike. I feel like I have been so lucky with the knees so far, maybe I shouldn't push it. But then there is the other's really fun. It's a fun group of women, it's a fun way to get exercise Becky, I know you read this....don't worry, I haven't made up my mind, I am just pondering.

Sometimes this getting old thing blows but I can honestly say this, I wouldn't go back for anything. I used to win at most sports that I participated in. Now I have fun playing sports and I don't really care if I win. I'm there to have fun. Age, grey hair, kids, happy family life, great husband and a bit of forgetfulness beats the heck out of youth, ignorance, arrogance and a bit of sports ability any day. I'm just not certain if basketball is going to be my thing or not. I don't know if I am willing to take that risk.....we'll is fun.

Zuppa Osso Bucco

I had to put this on the blog so when I am traveling OR if someone else needs the recipe it's easy to find. This is really easy to make and takes about 30 minutes begining to end.

Lamb Dumplings:
Combine the Lamb and the next 5 ingredients then reserve mix and rinse off your hands.
1 pound ground Lamb
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls
1/4 cup, a generous handful, grated Parmigiano or Romano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
Coarse salt and black pepper

2 cloves garlic, cracked away from skins
1 (2-ounce) tin flat fillet anchovies, drained
Handful flat-leaf parsley, about 1/4 cup loosely packed
1 lemon, zested
Pile garlic, anchovies, parsley and lemon zest on a cutting board and finely chop the mixture, then transfer to a small dish. I put mine in the food processor.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pot
2 carrots, peeled
2 ribs celery and their greens
1 medium yellow skinned onion, peeled and halved
Coarse salt and pepper
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
1 (14-ounce) can white beans, cannellini, drained
1 (15- ounce) can diced tomatoes in puree or coarsely ground tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock, available in re-sealable boxes on soup aisle
2 cups beef stock, available in 1 cup small boxes on soup aisle
1 cup egg pasta, broken egg fettuccini or medium egg noodles

Heat a medium soup pot over medium to medium-high heat. Begin to chop veggies while pot heats up: dice carrots into 1/4 inch pieces, chop celery and onion. Add extra-virgin olive oil to hot pot and carrots. Turn carrots to coat them in oil and add celery and onion as you get them chopped up. Work near the stove so you can chop, then drop into the pot. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and a bay leaf. Stir vegetables and cook 5 minutes to begin to soften. Do not let vegetables brown, reduce heat if necessary. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute. Next, add beans and tomatoes and stock to the pot. Put a lid on the pot and raise heat to high. When soup boils, about 3 minutes, add 1-inch balls of Lamb dumplings directly to the pot. When you are done adding the Lamb, stir in the egg noodles. Simmer soup for 6 minutes to cook noodles and meat dumplings. Adjust seasonings and turn the heat off, then let soup stand a couple of minutes.

Serve soup in shallow bowls with a couple of teaspoonfuls of gremolata on top. Stir the gremolata throughout the soup and pass crusty bread at the table for dipping and mopping.

See....Now we all have easy access to the recipe.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I have to admire our dog. There is nothing that she loves more then "ball." She likes to bite the ball, chase the ball, and I am sure dream about the BALL. Unfortunately, this time of year playing ball is not as frequent of an event as Iva would like. She turns into a mud ball while chasing the ball. The thing that I admire about Iva is how she can sit and stare at you for hours. She is hopeful and persistent. She does not know the meaning of "no ball." She all hears is the "ball" part of that statement. To her we sound like Charlie Brown's teacher except for the key words in her life, "go, ball and park."

In our house we've had to be careful about saying "go, ball and park" because Iva goes nuts. We say things like, "Shall we play with the dog and the round thing?" or, "Let's move across the street to the field." All in hopes that Iva doesn't understand so she'll stay calm. If we can't agree to play ball and someone says, "ball" it just seems mean not to do it.

Wouldn't we all be a bit better if we could have the blind hope that Iva does? All she wants to do is exercise, run with abandon and play. What a great goal. Sometimes the "stare" works but Bob is way less apt to take her then I am. I cave. The look in her eyes says, "Take me out, play with me.......LOVE ME!" I can't resist most of the time. I mean, it's what she lives for.

So I say (for Iva) live in the moment, enjoy the little things that bring you great joy and focus on your goals (playing ball) not obstacles (Bob and rain).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mt. Hood Weekend

The back of Timberline Lodge

Kees in his cave. He was being a Mountain Tiger....hugh?

Sophia after her "summit"

The whole fam damily at 7000+ feet

The 'rents and the boys on the ski lift

Check out the bunny ears on the mirror. So Cute! And the fire log pillows on the bed.

Becky relaxing on the sofa. Great room.....

Gas "wood stove" and bar area.

A WAY better kitchen then I have.
Deer head in the living room. Check out the antler chandelier.

Wow is all I can say about the cabin we just stayed at this weekend. The cabin is called the Mule Deer Cabin and is phenomenal. Every detail is beautiful and has been attended to.

The mom's arrived on Thursday. We went to Timberline Lodge for dinner. It was pretty good and we enjoyed it. Then we went back to the cabin and got our party on. I have to say, waking up tired after a party night is MUCH easier when the small people are not around. We had breakfast, went on a little walk and then prepared for the coming onslaught of people.

The troops started arriving about 5 pm. We had a huge dinner with all 15 people. The kids watched a movie, the adults talked and then later watched a movie too. The cabin has a rear projection movie set up. Again, cool.

Saturday was gorgeous! The sun was out and there were only a few clouds in the sky. We all headed up the mountain to the Timberline Lodge. When we arrived we voted to take the chair lift to the top of hill (or the top that we were going to). It takes you up to about 7000 ft. From there we could see forever! We could see the top of the mountain and many other mountains. We felt lucky to be there when the weather was so good.

That evening some of us danced to 80's music (Becky's era) and had a fine time. Again, food, family, wine, movies, fun..... All fun.

The one bit of nastiness.... Saturday night Coulter got sick. He had been complaining that his stomach hurt. Then, about 10 pm Coulter came up whining and just hurled on the floor. He hit a couple pillows and some leather and wood furniture. WHAT he DIDN'T hit was more important. There was a carpet that was not only beautiful but I am sure about half of Bob's salary. Coulter was inches from hitting that. I am still quaking thinking about that. Bob had already laid down with Kees so I was on my own with this one. God bless Becky who jumped up and helped cleaned up Coulter's mess. I was torn between finishing the clean up or cleaning up Coulter. We cleaned up some of the barf but then Coulter was really upset. I got up and stripped Coulter, put him in bed, made sure he had a barf receptacle for the night time with towels underneath. By the time I got back up stairs the mess was totally cleaned up. I couldn't believe it, Becky finished cleaning up that gross mess. Yikes!

Sunday was pack up, clean up and drive down. It all went fairly smoothly and Coulter seemed to feel better. Thank goodness. It was a really fun weekend on all fronts. THANKS BECKY!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!!!! BOO!!!!

This is the poem that Coulter wrote for Halloween. He has really been working hard on his writing. I am so proud of my big boy.


This is the picture that he made to go with his poem.

My sweet Coulter with his pumpkin.

Kees as a Halloween "Thinker"

Big girl Sophia with her pumpkin.

While I was in the mountains of California, Bob and the kids went up to my mom and Ed's house for their neighborhood Harvest Festival. Now there is a man that is brave! I love him so much. When I told my friend George what Bob was doing he thought Bob was nuts, "I would NEVER do that." Yep, Bob's a keeper.

As it turns out, they all had a very nice time. Danny (Ed's son)and his, kids Ella and Anna, came down from Seattle too. Our kids were thrilled to see them. It had been since Mexico last year since they had been together. The weather had been horrific until just before the Harvest Festival. Almost the moment the party started, the clouds parted and the sun came out. All the kids got to find their pumpkins with their names on them. There were trailer rides behind the tractor and general merriment. And the dogs....apparently there were about 7 or 8 dogs that all ran around and had a blast. Iva ran the whole time (about 3 hours) and then collapsed.

The moment the party was over, the clouds reconveniened and the rain commenced. Go figure.

While they were there they also got to see Grandpa Ed's new project THE TREE HOUSE! It's not finished yet (duh) but it's already fabulous. The kids were not only excited but thought is was really cool!

The kids in the tree house.

Here's the side view.

SO that was last weekend.

The week has gone quickly and we've all been busy with our regular stuff. Now we're preparing for a family weekend up at Mount Hood. I'll go today with my friend Becky and then the families will join us tomorrow. More good times! I'll write more later.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wedding Weekend Pictures

In order these pictures are ….
#1 - George, Sarah, Marilyn (the Bride), Heather, Cassandra, Ellen and Tony
#2 - Connie and Abdul (Dude Mike from Springfield)
#3 - Heather, Sarah, Connie
#4 - Darcey (Marilyn’s brother) and Thai’beh (Majid’s Cousin)
#5 - Shawn and Ellen

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Beautiful Thing

Marilyn and Majid - The happy couple!!!

Sarah, Marilyn, Heather, Ellen and Cassandra

Abdul (Dude Mike of Springfield), Heather and Connie

Ellen and Tony

Ellen and Cassandra

I just got back from California where I attended the wedding of my dear friend Marilyn Beck. She married Majid Karimi a man of Persian descent. I had never met Majid before but I couldn't have imagined a nicer man for Marilyn. He is smiling all the time, embraces his friends and family always, and is an all around lovely man.

I tell you this, Majid's family is HUGE! He has five brothers and two sisters and most are married with a few children.... There were aunts, uncles, cousins etc. all over the place. Marilyn's family was well represented as well but it's hard to keep up with the numbers when it comes to the Karimi's.

Ellen, Tony (Ellen's Boyfriend, such an nice guy) and I all arrived on the mountain on Friday. I immediately went to the spa. My toes were a mess and lord knows, one can not attend a wedding with messy toes!

Upon returning to my room I met up with my room mate Cassandra. We conferred that it had been about 15 years since we had crossed paths. How is it that she looked exactly the same? Cassandra is smart, successful, friendly and beautiful. It was really fun to see her doing so well and to, well, just see her again. She was a great room mate.

Shortly there after our reunion we took a short car ride to a little restaurant. By the looks of it we weren't expecting much but the menu was great. Everyone sat all mixed up so we could get to know one another. As it turns out, I sat next to Marilyn's mom, Ann, and across from Abdul and Connie, Majid's oldest brother and sister in law. Abdul is in his early fifties I would guess and his wife is right behind him. Connie is Hispanic and FULL of life and humor. Abdul is known as the strict one in the family. Of course, I didn't know this so I went in with no preconceived notions.

As dinner progressed we shared LOTS of interesting conversation. It's always fascinating to hear a new point of view when it comes to world politics. We shared many ideas and didn't share others but it was all good. Later on I asked Abdul what his WHOLE name was. It was something like Abdul Kalif humina humina humina Karimi. So I translated it for him. Abdul is a title, his second name is a common name, the next one means "From the" and the last name describes the area he's from. The area is a grassy plane. So I translated it as Dude Mike of Springfield. Well I'll tell you that caught on. By the end of the night he WAS "Dude Mike of Springfield."

Majid told me, "I have NEVER seen my brother like this." That made me laugh since all I had seen was this silly guy. I later heard so much more about Abdul. He moved to the US when he was 19, put himself through school and moved his siblings over two by two. He then felt the responsibility to guide them as they were educated, married and basically sought the American Dream all while getting married and having four children of his own. I think that would make anyone fairly serious. Lots of responsibility. I hadn't met that Abdul. I met the Abdul that was "Dude Mike of Springfield" and liked laughing a lot. The same guy who adored his wife and was very happy for, and proud of his whole family.

We played poker late into the night on Friday. I think we were there until 1:30 in the morning and it turns out, we were not the last to leave! Yikes. This wouldn't have been so bad EXCEPT - it was in Marilyn and Majid's suite. AND Marilyn is almost 3 months pregnant. I know how tired that made me, I can't imagine having to host a wedding and a bunch of crazy people in my suite. As I came to learn later, Marilyn has learned to accept Majid's hospitality and knew there would be people in their suite the whole time. Bless Marilyn!

Saturday was fairly quiet. We all got up early considering the late night. The women did flowers and then the women in the wedding party had their nails done. I had lunch with George, Sarah and their boys, Minas and Michael. It was fun to catch up with them. Later then I rested and got ready for bowling. We all went bowling for the rehearsal dinner.

After bowling it was back to the hotel where Majid insisted we all go to their suite again. We did but then we all insisted that he and Marilyn go to bed and we left at about 11. Much better considering the next day they were getting married!

Wedding Day - I slept in while there was a hum through out the rest of the group getting ready. The wedding was held on the lawn over looking the lake....Beautiful. The ceremony was fairly traditional but also included Persian traits and welcomed all believers. I loved that part. We are all one. There were many representatives from each family flanking the bride and groom. So much love.....

The reception had all kinds of music and the food was great. Majid's brothers and Marilyn's family all toasted the happy couple with love and blessings. Even Dude Mike got up there. I was dragged onto the dance floor by both Abdul and Connie. I felt like the long lost sister who had finally be reunited with her big Persian Family. It was great.

So it was a successful weekend. I loved seeing my old friends. We talked about the fact that we've all been friends for over 20 years, almost half a life time. Amazing! And I love these people as much as I ever did. Then to meet the Karimi Family and feel like I have even more family. Fabulous. Abdul and Connie have insisted that I come back and bring the "Dutch one", Bob and the kids. Abdul said we'll have a big celebration when we go. I am sure it will be amazing.

Thanks so much to the hosts for providing a wonderful experience for all involved. I will not soon forget...actually I will never forget that good time.

Friday, October 16, 2009


It's going trip that is. I left Portland at 11:00 after clearing security with my terrorist bra. The under wire in my bra set off the detector. I received a little massage from a woman in security and then was cleared as having "no weapons" except, of course, my bra. The flight was on time, the staff at Alaska Airlines was friendly and all a good experience.

I flew into Orange County and took a cab to my friend Ellen's apartment. I did a little laundry and read my book....The Lost Symbol. I'm hooked. Why can't Dan Brown crank these out as fast as I can read them?

We went out to a great little Mexican place. Delicious! Then we went out on the town and met up with one of Ellen's buddies. We stayed out too late but had a great time.

Today we're headed to Lake Arrowhead Resort. I'm getting a desperately needed pedicure and then out to dinner with friends. This is going to be great fun! More as it comes.....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Few Random Things

A few days ago I was outside watching soccer practice on a beautiful sunny day. I usually sit in my low chair and try and relax. It's one of the few times that I can sit still and not feel guilt about doin' nuthin'. As I was sitting there I saw a woman walking toward me. She was walking her dog and wearing a skirt, a shirt and tennis shoes. I can tell you this much, she wasn't wearing a slip! I swear, it wouldn't have been much different if she were walking down the street in her underwear. And to make matters worse, she was at least 50 pounds over weight. Yikes! I remember when I was a teenager and my mom said that I had to wear a slip under my skirt. I thought it was a bunch of hooey. The one thing that I had going for me was I was 127 pounds and pretty cute. I honestly can't remember if I wore one or not but I sure hope so. I just had to share that because it was really funny and if you have a thin skirt....WEAR A SLIP!!!

Last Spring I was riding my bike. When I got to a 4 way stop, I stopped. I waited for my turn and then I started across the intersection. As I started, the guy coming from my right started too and almost hit me. I rang my "pedestrian" bell..."ring, ring, ring" and said, "Hey, WATCH OUT!" He didn't even flinch. I may as well have been blowing him kisses. As I was ringing a guy on a bike pulled up next to me and blasted his horn. I mean BLASTED!!! I said, "WHAT was THAT?" and he showed me his air horn. I went out almost immediately and got one. I haven't used it much but I am pretty sure it saved me from a side swipe 2 days ago.

First I'll tell you I went to fill up my air horn at the gas station. I wasn't going to but I figured, better safe than sorry. The guys at the gas station thought it was the coolest thing they had seen in a while. They all came out of the garage and were checking it out. They couldn't believe how LOUD it was. It's as loud as a regular air horn that you would have on a boat. One guy said he was going to get one to replace the one he carries around on his boat.

After filling up the air horn I was riding down Broadway. Broadway has a bike lane. As I was getting ready to cross MLK there were 2 bikers about 30 feet in front of me. The light turned green and they proceeded. A car was waiting to turn after those bikes went by. Then there was a car right behind that car that was also turning. I KNEW he wasn't looking down the bike lane and I KNEW I was going to have to be on the offense. Yep. Right as I was getting to the intersection he started to turn. I BLASTED MY HORN and he SLAMMED on his brakes. It was awesome! It wouldn't have been a horrible accident but I prefer NONE thank you. I sometimes feel like a geek with all my stuff on my bike but I have to say I was really grateful for my air horn.

Yesterday I got my hair cut. My last cut was in the Bahamas so it's been 4 months, it was time. Of course they made it look great. So great that I am not sure that I can do it. The gal that dried my hair flat ironed it. I have never done that before and I have to say I really liked it. So there are 2 problems; I don't know how to do it and I don't have one. Everyone loved it and said how great it looked and with it flat ironed it looked like I had it dyed a darker color. Of course I intended to take a picture but didn't. I am feeling under the weather.

I am going to a wedding in a week and hope that I can re-create the look. My friend Mary Ann has a one that she is going to let me try. Apparently a good flat iron is fairly expensive so I want to make sure I can do it before I drop $100. We'll see how this goes.

As I mentioned I am feeling under the weather. I am praying that I get better. I was planning on visiting my friends, Mary and Carl this weekend. Carl is very sick with cancer. Of course I can't see him if I am sick. All of us who love him need to protect his health as best we can.

Both Mary and Carl are dear friends and have been for almost 40 years. We met them when we lived in Denver so that was about 1971. They have been like a second set of parents to me. Mary and Carl have always been there for me when I have needed them especially when I was in my 20's. I remember calling them when I lived in Houston (about 1990) and they lived in Germany. My parents were going through their divorce and were leaning on Rex and I a lot. I needed to talk to an adult who wasn't needing me for support. That is just one of many times they were important to me.

We have spent more holidays together then I can remember. There has always been lots of laughter between our families. So many memories are wrapped up with them, more then I can write. So I am really praying that I am better but I will not be able to go unless I am 100%. Say a little prayer that I get better. Thanks in advance.

SO that is a bit of what has been going on for me.

The kids have been in school and doing their usual stuff.

Sophia has been fighting homework, room cleaning and general responsibility. That is a whole other post and I'll spend some time with that soon. She has caved and has admitted just doing the work is WAY easier then all the complaining. Ahhh, progress.

Coulter is loving school. He doesn't have many details to tell me but he is writing, coloring, drawing pictures, talking about math, patterns and so on. I love his excitement for learning. In the morning he dashes in and we have to catch up with him just to say good bye. He comes out of school almost every day with a smile from ear to ear.

Kees is also loving school. He has the same teacher that Coulter had last year and the teacher that Sophia had the year he was born. He feels that he is DUE!!! They are learning about beavers, they're writing plays, talking about patterns, learning about sharing and problem solving and many more things. I love his teacher and how she makes learning an adventure. The kids set the pace and she fills in their questions with answers they can understand.

I would be totally remiss if I did not mention that Bob got a promotion!!! He will continue his position as the CIO of the hospital but he will also take on the Chief of Staff job. This has been a goal of his but he didn't fathom that it could happen this fast. He's been at the hospital for 5 months now. I am very proud of him, as usual, and continue to be impressed at his high level of performance and the accomplishments and results that he consistently delivers. I still am convinced that we made the right decision when we talked more then 10 years ago when deciding, "Computer guy or hotel guy?" Computer guy was the right choice.

So there is the brief and a little commentary. The kids are out of school tomorrow for an in service day. I'm trying to figure out what to do with them since I don't feel very good. Maybe Kids Club Fun and Fitness? We'll see. More when I have the energy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Old Chairs Made New Again

The green is the old and the other two are DUHHH....... the new.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Today Was Like a Box of Chocolates

Today started out just like any other Sunday. We all slept in a few minutes. I spread the word last night, "No TV in the morning." so the sleep in would be possible. Bob voyaged out to Starbucks for coffee (I am still not sure about this one because we HAVE A COFFEE MAKER!) but I digress. Bob made breakfast for all and we went to church. The kids were good and totally willing. This has made going to church much nicer. After church we went to the coffee hour, the kids had cookies, we all chatted and the produce table was up. It's great. You can pick up a few things for a donation. It's better then when the market vendors would throw it all away.

After church the kids lobbied for Chinese Food. That sounded good to me so I told them to lobby daddy. He's the tough one on that. He agreed so we went to our favorite place. A little dim sum, a couple more regular things....yum. Sophia later reported, "That was good Chinese. I can still taste it when I burp." What a lady....

Then on to IKEA! I love to go to IKEA and don't need much of an excuse to go. But today we needed a BIG basket that we could put the kids coats in. They come in the house and just throw them on the floor, now at least they'll have a target to throw them. I am trying to make it as easy as possible. If you can't beat 'em..... The kids asked for a bunch of stuff...they got nuthin'. By the end of the trip to IKEA they knew they weren't getting anything and the gave up. I love how Coulter would say, "But I want it because I have been so good." My response, "We have raised you to be good. That is my expectation."

Next home again, home again.... As we drive up what's across the street from our house? 4 guys in armor sword fighting. They had a whole little set up. When the kids went over the wenches gave the kids little foam swords. It was really something. The ladies were preparing some meat thing over a gas flame thing and I think they were drinking some sort of grog. I snapped off a few pics and the kids thought that was so cool. Apparently they are going to be here monthly.

After our bit of sword fighting we went to the ice cream social for Kees' school. The weather was fabulous and there were all kinds of things going on. There were pony rides, ice cream, 2 bouncy houses, live music, and lots of playing on the play ground. Iva even got to come. Everyone had fun.

We were home by 3:30. This meant my day of getting things done was almost shot. I had planned to and really wanted to reupholster my dinning room chairs. This is something that I have wanted to do since the first day that I set my eyes on that nasty green material on the seats. Totally YUCK. On the plus side, we used the yucky material as our practice material so it has all the stains on it. Yesterday I picked up some material that is PERFECT for our colors and I got it for a DOLLAR at a yard sale. How cool is that? But alas....the day is only so long.

FIRST, we turned down the kids' request for play dates. We are hell bent on making them learn to entertain themselves. This went on almost every hour on the hour. I was ready to beat them. Bob and I spent our time getting out the winter stuff and organizing. Each kid has their own basket or drawer. All coats go in the BIG BASKET, hats, gloves, scarves, back packs etc go in their own space. Man I hope this works. I hate the clutter at the door. My kids don't even notice it.

After the stuff was organized, put away it was time to ..... make dinner. chairs. As I moved into the kitchen Bob said, "I'll go pick something up." I love him. I GOT TO START ON MY CHAIRS!!! The new material covered 5 chairs and then I have another material for the rest. I am really happy with my new chairs but especially happy that I was able to do it myself. They look great! I am tired but really happy with the result.

It was a good Sunday albeit busy and a little strange. How often do you have guys in armor sword fighting in YOUR front yard? Yes indeed, today was like a box of chocolates.