Thursday, October 28, 2010

ANOTHER black eye

Katie went to a Halloween party the other night and had a great time. The next day I noticed she had a black eye! What?! Turns out there was a clown at the party with a flower that squirted water. She ducked the water and hit a table. Ouch. My sweet baby girl now has a green eye.

Evan & Friends Love Letters

Evan tenderly kisses the page while his friend Grant applies lipstick.

Grant's careful application. Lookin' good...

Max has a bit of a better form. Has he done this before?!

Their signed, sealed and eventually delivered letter.

Evan had a few guys over the other night to hang out (ended up spending the night, but that's fine too). JD was gone hunting with Derek and so all the other kids got to invite someone to hang out with that night. Evan asked if some girls could come over to play games with them too. I'm okay with that as long as I'm around. When they invited the girls, it turned out they were having a volleyball team party at a family friends' house. They were disappointed to miss the boys, but had to stay. Since Alexis had invited the younger sister of the v-ball party over, her mom Nikki, brought her as well as a message to Evan and his friends from the v-ball girls. It said how much they missed the boys, wanted to come over, etc. The boys got it in their heads to send a message back, but sealed each message with a lipstick kiss (with my $20 lipstick, thank you!) Couldn't pass up sharing these photos of dumb boys. Teenagers...

Alexis' Family Party

Yay for me! 11 years old.

Opening her favorite gift: an iPod.

Waiting for the cake...

We always do a night just with our immediate family for each of the kids' birthdays. Big extended (coming next week in Seattle) and friend parties are fun, but we like a quiet one just with us to celebrate that kid and enjoy cake alone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Katie's Mad Soccah Skillz, y'all

A friend of ours sent me these pictures of Katie playing soccer this season. Her last game is Saturday. I never realized how much she sticks her tongue out! She's a good little player and very quick. It's her favorite sport. Of course, she's a great basketball player too (awesome guard), so I hope she continues to do both for a while. The other day she asked me to put her in dance. I have to admit that she is incredibly graceful and athletic, so she'd be great at dance too. Might let her do it. Still mulling that one over. Alexis said the same thing. Sporty girls!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Family Picture

Arrgh. Just realized that our family picture on the website is over a year and a half old! We need a new one taken. Everyone is bigger and older! That's not necessarily a good thing for some of us... I'll have to call my friend, Kyra, the photographer and herd the animals together for another photo op.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Derek's First Buck! (more graphic pictures)

Venison, anyone? 'Cause I got A LOT of it...

What are the chances?! Derek, now 15, got his first buck on the weekend after Evan got HIS first buck. We are delighted that the competition is OVER between the two of them. Derek's buck was taken in the same county (and nearly the same area) as Evan's was. Evan and his group saw Derek's buck last weekend, but missed him several times. It is also a black tail and is a 4 x 3. Needless to say, Derek is perfectly giddy about it all. We will go ahead and mount these antlers too (in a European mount, for those in the know), but not the whole head like Evan's. Derek is convinced he'll get a bigger one another time. Sheesh. This stuff is expensive! There goes the PS3 for Christmas!

As for JD, he still has his own tag to fill, but his greatest joy was seeing his boys get their first bucks. He's so proud and happy. He's still going to try a little hunting on his days off though! :)

Well, I'm off to the taxidermist and sporting goods store with another severed head for counting antlers and mounting. I can only hope for my good fortune of attracting more men on the freeway with this head. Good times. Once the boys can drive I'm sending them for tampons or something equally grotesque for them. It's only fair.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Evan's first buck (might be graphic pictures!)

Evan's first buck.

Evan and our friend, Cody, who spotted Buckzilla for Evan first.

Evan in the pickup after dragging Buckzilla out of the canyon with Cody.

Buckzilla finally is home.

Older brother Derek rushed out to see what he missed this weekend. "Oh man!"

Well, miracles never cease! For the first time since we left Ohio (11 years ago, in case you wondered), my family has brought home wild game. JD took Evan over east of the mountains last weekend and with the help of our friends, the Reynolds, found the boy a giant buck. It is a black-tailed deer and has 6 x 5 antlers (you hunting people know what this is). It was Evan's first rifle hunt and the only time he's carried a gun or shot one. First shot and apparently the shot and buck of a lifetime. The boys were over the moon when they got back Saturday night. It was all Derek could do to not throttle his brother for getting a buck before him. He was happy and jealous all at the same time. I tried to warn Derek ahead of time that this was a big buck, but don't know if he really believed me until he saw it. He said, "You got Buckzilla!" The local sporting goods store does a contest for the biggest buck and so far Evan's got it. Everyone told us we HAD to mount it, so I relented and took it to a taxidermist so Evan could have it. It will NOT be hung in my house other than Evan's room (behind the door). He will take it when he leaves home for good. I will not store it.

I am not entirely fond of this whole hunting thing, but realize my guys dig it, so I stay quiet. My patience was tested when after it was skinned, I had to haul the body and head to the butcher and taxidermist. Apparently it will be good sausage and jerky. Driving around the county with a severed head was a little Godfatherish, but it certainly got me lots of attention from the men around town. Thought I was having a good hair day or something until I realized they were ogling the antlers in the back of the truck and not me. Lots of honks and waves though.

JD is taking Derek out today for the weekend. We can only hope for our luck to continue for Derek!...

Pumpkin patch fun

Katie getting her jumps in at the bounce house. She kept telling me, "Now!!!" every time she landed for me to take her picture.

Alexis trying to win big prizes by slingshotting a corn cob into the field buckets.

Snuggled up to Mr. Scarecrow.

Fashion does not take a break at the pumpkin patch. Please note that she matched her rain boots to her outfit.

"Mom! This is the PERFECT one!"

My girls on the hayride.

Anticipating Halloween this year, I took the girls out to the pumpkin patch last weekend (not cool for the teenage sons of mine to go do that anymore, apparently). We wandered around for the little while, found a load of pumpkins and visited some of the games at the farm. I'm going to miss this when they grow up and leave me and JD. Will someone go to the pumpkin patch then with me?...sniff....

Alexis' 11th Birthday

Little sister Katie putting the finishing touches on a cupcake. Nice fruit leather hair!

Alexis' friends watching her open presents.

Makaela, Rian and Bella enjoying cupcakes.

Makaela and Alicia decorating cupcakes, or something...

Alexis showing the girls what Sarah's face looks like to make her cupcake. that frosting on her chin already?!

Some of the cupcake faces. Cute!

Once again, it is time for giggling, squealing, screaming and general girliness....time for Alexis' birthday party! This year the girls all came over while JD and Evan went to the first weekend of deer hunting season. Derek stayed home to suit up varsity for the high school football game and also had a PSAT college test the next morning. Poor him. Luckily he was gone until pretty late and missed most of the noise.

First, I divided the girls into two teams for a video scavenger hunt. Half went with me and the other half went with Oma. Each team had one hour to complete as many items on the list as they could. Each item HAD to be video taped with the entire team doing it, to avoid any cheating. The hunt including lots of things around town like having a group dance in the parking lot with the car stereo, singing "Mary Had A Little Lamb" in the meat department of the grocery store and ordering Krispy Creme donuts at McDonald's. Oma and her team got kicked out of the Safeway store for inappropriateness! When they all arrived back at the house, we made nachos and watched each team's movie on the big screen. So funny. Goofy girls!

After dinner and videos each girl had to draw a name of another girl and decorate a jumbo cupcake to look like her. Afterwards we all guessed who was who. They were quite creative. The rest of the night they were busy doing skits and other "chick stuff" until they finally collapsed during a movie. Next morning, we woke up and had SUPER waffles, eggs and sausage and they all went to soccer games or home.

Another super fun girl weekend! Thanks, Oma for coming and helping again! Wouldn't be the same without YOU! :)

Got Milk?

JD got to work the other day to find one of his lab coats slightly altered. The staff got together and put huge black cow spots on his coat to make him stand out on Bosses Day. It worked!

Sturgeon Fishing on the Columbia

Evan reeled in the biggest fish of the day. Whoa!

Gotta measure it though to see if it's legal...

Yup! It's a keeper! Let's TOUCH it!!!

Johnny, Kyle, Jake and Evan hold the two fish the group caught. My little Buckeye was a happy boy that night!

Evan and the boy scout troop had the opportunity to go fishing for sturgeon on the Columbia River. The best part about it was the fact that they went with a GUIDE! JD also went to help (yah, help. It wasn't AT ALL that he wanted to go fishing too!) and said this guy's equipment was incredible. He had a fish finder the size of a TV and every bell and whistle needed to pull up the big ones. And that's exactly what they got. BIG ones. JD and Evan were the only ones to reel in sturgeon of legal size. After a great day on the river and lots of fun, they came back in where the guide even cleaned and filleted out the fish for them. Wow! That's service! That night JD brought home the fish, chopped it up into large chunks, breaded it and made the most AMAZING fish and chips I have ever had. Seriously, it was awesome. (Mouth is watering as I type).

On top of everything, he did it for free as a service to the scouts and the trip didn't cost anything. His name is Dan and his number is (5o3) 816-6803 or He does sturgeon, steelhead and salmon guides year round in multiple rivers and bays. JD's definitely going out with him again. Good Christmas gift for the guys, ladies!...

Derek's Eagle Project

The area of the property Derek decided to built the patio. Used to be an old swimming pool.

LOTS of sand.

Laying out the pattern.

Cutting brick to fit the smaller spaces.

Building the firepit and sweeping in the last sand.


A few donated chairs and the vets are ready to BBQ!

Derek is finishing up with the last few merit badges required for his Eagle Scout award. This summer he started his project, which was making an outdoor BBQ patio for the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) unit. He got various businesses and individuals to help him fund and donate the project. He just finished the patio after many months of sweat, labor and time. It was exhausting and we are so proud of him! What a difference between the first picture and last, huh?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Alexis and her cabin-mates at Cispus.

Alexis and her friend Rian getting ready to board the busses.

Most of her cabin. Her counselor is in the middle back. She's a little short senior in high school!

Loading up!

Its a tradition that the whole school comes out and waves goodbye to the kids as the busses leave. I think that's so sweet. Katie is in there somewhere!

Each year the fifth grade classes leave for a week of outdoor school (staying in cabins) with their teachers and high school counselors. This is quite an experience and her older brothers did it, so Alexis was really looking forward to it. She had an adorable counselor and a wonderful time learning about plants, animals and getting along with all her cabin-mates. Need a campfire song? Alexis is your girl!