Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

The biggest snowball in America by the world's smallest girl.

"Huh? Snow? Who'd thunk?!"

Rollin, rollin, rollin...

Glitz and snow.

Video game heroes.

Again?! REALLY? We were enjoying an afternoon with cousin David visiting after his dentist appointment playing games, shooting pool, etc. Imagine our surprise to see snow and a LOT of it coming down. We ended up with about an inch and it was gone by the morning, but we had fun while it lasted!

Christmas 2009

Grandpa feeding the baby panda Katie got for Christmas. His friend Marge looks on.
Our hostess Auntie Lynne telling us when/where/how we will celebrate.
My, what a pretty new scarf!
Dad gets beautiful snowflakes.
Hey! Someone excited about a pellet gun.
The newest Air Jordan's for Air Evan.
The playdoh hamburger maker!!! Thanks, Oma & Opa!
Yeah for me!!

This Christmas was MUCH better than last year's. At this time 12 months ago, we were snowed in with over 12" of powder and the power went out. Seems like it might be fun since we played board games by candlelight and had a wonderful dinner planned. Unfortunately, December is very COLD and after a few hours, we bundled in blankets and sweaters as we contemplated how to cook dinner. BBQ? Open fire?

No snow this year and later in the afternoon we headed to Seattle to have dinner with Terri's family. As you can see, everyone really enjoyed the day and all the gifts. We drove up the trailer and spent the night there so we could enjoy waffles with the Hills.

We are so thankful for our blessings of a wonderful family and the birth of our Savior. We hope your Christmas was as great as ours was!

Winter Sports

Evan on defense in Portland tourney.

Derek (in red) gets ready to grapple at a local wrestling tourney.

Things are getting complicated around here. Our family is currently involved in FOUR sports! Derek is in wrestling with the high school, Evan is playing tournament basketball, Alexis is playing indoor soccer and Katie is swimming. AARRGGH! How do we do it? We love every minute of watching these kids, but it boggles the mind to figure out how we make it to EVERY game and match. Katie and Alexis pix to come later...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More furry issues

Pepper perched for the poach on the porch
(notice all the wet footprints leading up to this moment?)
"Must reach..."
"I'll get YOU, my pretty!..."

If it weren't bad enough that this adorable cat that we LOVE brings in live snakes and other creatures in various modes of life as tributes of her love for us, now she has done the unthinkable. We have been happy to see a frequent dead mouse placed lovingly at the entrance to our house by Pepper. One, she is keeping anything that might want to come near the house from doing so and two, she is terrifying the neighboring forest animals with her wrath. Both equal one thing for me: No mice near me--EVER. Love that. But tonight she was unable to kill her prey in the 100 Acre Woods and then bring it to me. She must have brought it back prematurely, because she inadvertently chased the creature to my back porch. I came in the other night to find Pepper keeping vigil at the wall. Imagine my surprise to see a field mouse clinging for its life trying to escape death. I don't know HOW it hung on (several times it slipped and seemed it would plunge to its death, but it held on). I cheered Pepper on with, "Reach higher! You're not trying...Kill IT!!!" but she just wasn't able to reach it. Finally, I pushed it off the wall with a broom and Pepper happily chased it and batted it around until it met it's maker. Love that cat.

Evan's new bike

Watch out, Buck!

My sister Lynne got Evan a screamin' deal on this Redline bike (I guess they are pretty cool?). Evan saved up his own money and finally was rewarded with the Blue Bomber. Unfortunately, by the time he got the money together, the weather is now cold and rainy. He decided to try it out in the rec room instead. Actually, he's been riding it every day after school and has plans to troll around Longview with his buddies soon. Thank you, Auntie Lynne!

Thanksgiving 2009

Just one more for the road...
Alexis & Oma snuggle up
Opa has clearly been affected by the tryptophan in the turkey
Derek and Grandpa (and Pepper) "working off" their meal
David, Katie & Uncle Todd
JD with eyes only for the cook

With Lynne and Dave in Mexico with Dave and Jackie, Thanksgiving traveled south to our house this year. We were so happy to have JD's parents, Donna and Pete (Oma & Opa) here with most of Terri's family from the Seattle area (Auntie Lisa had plans with her boyfriend's family). Lots of turkey and pie for all! Gobble, gobble!

More Alexis Celebrations

Auntie Lynne picked out SUCH a cute cake!
The Troy girls squeeze in for a photo
JD & Uncle Todd ponder the menu
The Hills (Uncle Dave, David, Jackie & Dave--lots-o-Daves!)
Grandpa & Auntie Lynne
Todd, Evan, Derek & Auntie Lisa

A few weeks after Alexis' friend birthday, Terri's side of the family all got together in Tacoma's Spaghetti Factory to give one more celebration. Grandpa Rock, Auntie Lynne and Uncle Dave (with a surprise visit from cousin David!), Auntie Lisa, Uncle Todd and Jackie and Dave all came to wish Alexis a happy birthday. How many more parties does this kid need?! Really fun to get everyone together for a meal none of us had to prepare! Thanks for making time for Alexis!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alexis' 10th Birthday

Head Diva
All the girls at the "Academy Awards."
Alexis' yummy cupcake.
"Preteens?" *yawn* "Borrrrring..."
"HOW many girls are coming over?!"

Originally postponed due the swine flu outbreak by her brother, Derek, Alexis was now ready to have her 10th birthday party with all her friends. The girls had nachos, decorated giant cupcakes (thanks, Oma!), made movies and had an Academy Awards show where everyone won something (Alexis won "Best Makeup Artist"). Later we did manicures on all the kids and watched a movie. The next morning was Super Waffles. They stayed up too late, but seemed to have a great time and with nine girls--amazingly--there was NO FIGHTING! Love you, Alexis!!

Halloween 2009

"Dorothy" and "Hannah Montana" get ready to beg for candy.
Our friend, Sarah "Geisha Girl" with "Dorothy" and "Hannah" (sans wig, but added boots)

Boo! Since Halloween fell on a Saturday this year, we had lots of pre-Halloween parties and events in addition to regular ol' Halloween night! School parties, the Ward Trunk-or-Treat at church and other fun events made for a great weekend. Although we had teen party invites, the boys chose to do their own thing and eventually went to a scary movie with JD on Halloween night.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gearing up for Halloween

So imagine being quarantined with your sicko brother for three days? That's the kind of fun we were involved in this weekend. Bored out of our gourds after a few days, the girls decided to pull out the face makeup and begged me to doll 'em up. The got dressed in their outfits and gave me their requests. I think they turned out pretty well! Obviously, Alexis was the Butterfly Princess and Katie was a Vampire Princess. One week 'til Halloween!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Swine Update

Last night we brought Derek to the emergency room because he was having trouble breathing. They did a chest x-ray and determined that he now has thickened lungs (bronchitis--but not yet pneumonia) and he's being treated for that too. Still fighting the fever which makes him a bit loopy. I went to give him his morning medicines and he looked at me and said, "Get away from me! I will knock you unconscious!" Yikes. He kind of stopped and looked at me again. "Did I just say something really odd?" Yup. Fever of 102. Makes him a little goofy. Let's hope he doesn't really take me out before this thing is over!...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It found us...

Derek and the mask with his trusty buddy keeping him company.

Well, we thought we could avoid it, but it found us anyway... Derek was diagnosed with the Swine Flu on Friday afternoon. Thursday he was healthy enough to play in a high school football game, came home and ate three Big Macs and did his homework. The next day he woke up with a temperature of 102 and unable to get out of bed. It was like he'd been hit by a truck. Absolutely knocked him on his rear-end. I took him to the doctor where they thought he had strep throat. Since Alexis had her 10th birthday party Friday night with a gaggle of 10th year olds at 5:00 p.m., I was really hoping for the strep throat. Imagine my shock to hear about swine flu instead. Had to cancel the party at the last minute and we'll reschedule later. Derek has been very sick for a few days and is doing better today finally. Keep him in your prayers and that we avoid anyone else getting this horrible thing!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

YMCA Incident Follow Up

Many of you have asked me to post what "incident" happened in 2005. Well, let me tell you...

It was the summer before we bought our current home, so we did not have a pool. Since the boys were busy at soccer camp most days, the girls wanted to do something. They suggested I take them to the YMCA to swim (the weather was brutally hot, so don't ask me why they wanted to swim INDOORS). Coincidentally, I had just bought a new swimsuit and this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. It was a beautiful salmon-colored number that fit me just right and I felt totally comfortable in it. (Women: As you well-know, this is a difficult find and one that will not happen often in our lifetimes. It is one to be savored. I digress...)

I put on my suit and walked out to the pool with the girls. Our YMCA has a warm pool and an activity pool (ie, cold!). We elected to try the warm pool. We swam about 4 1/2 minutes and Katie announced she had to go potty. Out we got, went to the bathroom and jumped back in. Several minutes later, the warm pool closed and we were all asked to go to the activity pool. We got out, walked through double doors and onto the activity pool deck, past the viewing window and into the pool. I noticed several people were watching us and I silently was patting myself on the back about purchasing my snazzy new suit and thought how comfortable I was in it with it's great fit and cute color. We jumped in, swam about 20 feet and the head lifeguard called me over.

(Actual transcript of incident...)

Me: "Yes?"

Lifeguard: "You need to get out of the pool, please."

Me: "Oh. Why? Did someone poop in the water or something?"

She narrowed her eyes at me.

Lifeguard: "Noooo. We can see right through your swimsuit."

What? She must be joking.

Me: "What? What do you mean?"

Lifeguard: "I mean we can see THROUGH your suit. It is completely transparent. You need to get out right now."

Surely this woman has never swam in this cold of water and my skin is clearly reacting to the cold. Prude. I argued politely. She was not giving up.

Me: "Oh, brother. Okay..."

I began to climb up a ladder.

Lifeguard: "Wait! You can't get out yet! Do you have a towel?"

This woman was a real piece of work! I motioned where my towel was and she proceeded to cover me up like a burrito. Grumbling about her obvious overreaction in my head I herded the girls to the locker room. I rounded the corner and stood in front of the wall of mirrors. My mouth dropped open and a strange, guttural, moaning noise emitted from deep within my throat. She was right! It was like the swimsuit was a mere, salmon-colored Saran Wrap over my naked body. Here were stretch-marks from four kids and that mole on your hip no one can see but you if you crane your neck just right. Oh yeah, and your ENTIRE NAKED BODY!!! I just stood there and gaped at my trauma. Finally Alexis said sweetly, "Are you okay, Mommy?" Okay? OKAY?! How could I possibly be okay about this? I replayed in my mind the last 30 minutes...

1. In the warm pool--swim for 4 1/2 minutes (slightly EXPOSED moment--underwater)
2. Out of the warm pool and walked to the bathrooms (EXPOSED moment)
3. Swimming in warm pool (EXPOSED moment--because although I am underwater, several saw me get in)
4. Walked from warm pool to cold pool (EXPOSED moment)
5. Walked past viewing window with 99% of entire population of county present (WAY EXPOSED!)

All the blood drained from my face and I quickly got dressed and somehow managed to get the girls dressed too. Dang it! Didn't I bring MORE clothes than this?! We walked out to the lobby and past all the viewing public AGAIN. I approached the now off-duty lifeguard. She smiled at me. "You alright? Let me swimsuit?" My feelings were a combination of contempt and gratitude for this wrinkly, old lifeguard. She outed me, but she also probably saved me from jumping in, additional trips to the bathroom and other visual moments. As if I were a traveling peep-show that had just been caught in the act, I started to over-explain myself nervously,

"Yes. Thank you for letting me know so quietly. I've never worn this suit before and had no idea..."

I proceeded to ask about the warm pool lifeguard. Why hadn't he SAID anything to me? For crying out loud! I'd got in and out of the warm pool TWICE and he didn't say a word. Speak of the devil, he came into the lobby. He saw me and stopped. I resisted the urge to strangle him and I demanded to know why he didn't save me from walking the length of the pool and past the viewing window. He told me (without making eye contact, by the way) he was like a deer in the headlights and he panicked when he saw me. Luckily, he told the head lifeguard who finally told me.

Hindsight, it is pretty funny, but for several years, I could not show my face and/or body at the YMCA for fear of additional humiliation.

NOTE TO READERS: By the way, the water aerobics class that JD and went to on Friday? Yeah, well, let's just say JD was all talk until we approached the pool. He said he changed his mind. I begged. He shook his head. I did the class alone and he swam laps. Wimp. The good news is that I was youngest person in the class--by 30 years!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Yikes. Just the word kind of elicits feelings of something creamy and gooey. Wait...that's yogurt. (It's always about food, isn't it, Terri?!) Anyway, I just signed up the family for a membership at the local YMCA. JD and I are intent at getting fit and healthy. Me, more fit and lose a little weight. I'm shocked when I see what has happened to me after four children and 18 years of marriage. I'm too healthy to be this unhealthy! Today was my first day and I decided to take a Yogalates class. This is a combination of yoga and Pilates. I really enjoy both--I thought. The workout was great, but I am not sure what to think about some of these poses I had to do. I felt like I looked like this picture. Several poses involved me sticking my bum up in the air and more than a few required me to peek at my classmates behind me through my legs. Something called the "pigeon" may be illegal in several states, but I can't be sure about that. Wish me luck on my multi-faceted workouts and encourage me along! I NEED YOUR HELP! Tomorrow is water aerobics and my sweet husband has promised to join me at class since he has the day off. I told him how excited I was for him to join me at this and he just smiled. Love him for encouraging me!

P.S. This is the first time I have set foot in the YMCA pool since the "incident" of 2005. Don't know what I'm talking about? Well, you and very few others DON'T know about it. Teaser: I'll post it in a day or two...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Anyone want some cheese?

"You're not gonna BELIEVE where we have cheese sauce in this kitchen..."

"This can't be good...."

Buck taking care of cleaning the floor.
All over the place!
On the ceiling and in the light socket??!!

JD was in Lake Chelan this weekend for a dental conference. Since the kids had so many things to attend, I decided to stay home this time. My mother-in-law, Donna, came up for the weekend to help me and cheer on the girls at their games. Friday night we made baked potato bar for dinner. We got all the toppings ready and prepared for a yummy dinner. Last thing we put out was the cheese sauce for the broccoli and cheese. Just needing to be heated, we popped it in the microwave. When it came out, we put it on the counter. Several seconds later it EXPLODED! Arrgh! Cheese E V E R Y W H E R E!!!!! The jar didn't break, but the sauce went straight up and out. Luckily, no one was burned, but we'll be repainting the ceiling next weekend!