Friday, November 26, 2010

First Snowfall of 2010

Snowing at 8:00 a.m. while the kids get off to school. Yay! Snow!!

3:00 p.m. about 6 inches of snow. Yay...snow.

5:00 p.m. 8 inches of snow. Whoopee. Stuck in snow.

Katie in her new Columbia jacket she just got today and ready to enjoy the snow.

Buck the Dog loving the white stuff while chasing the kids around the yard. Puppy Heaven.

Derek and Alexis enjoying a snowball fight. Buck is right on their heels of fun.

Derek balling up another snow bomb...

HEY! That's coming straight at the unsuspecting camerawoman! Not nice!!

Alexis enjoying her snowball war.

Not backing down from an older brother.

Katie is heading for the hills! (though she maintains she was only getting quickly to her secret snowball stash on the island of the front yard)

Derek slathered a paper towel with petroleum jelly and alcohol and then set Alexis' snowman on fire. It actually burned for sometime. Interesting little experiment.

(clockwise) Evan's friend Grant, other friend Max, Evan, Alexis, Katie and Pyromaniac Derek all warming up to the makeshift snowman fire.

We woke up on Monday to the beginnings of a little bit of snow. It was exciting, but no one thought it would stick so I sent the kids to school and went to Portland with my friend who had a guest pass to the Columbia Sportwear Outlet (OH MY! THAT'S a fun place and it has LOTS of our money...I digress). By the end of the day, my friend and I were getting calls from our husbands in Longview that it was getting bad and we should hurry home. Portland was barely raining, so we thought they were exaggerating. By the time we got back home, we were snowed in at our houses. We had about eight inches dumped on us in that first day. The girls had early release that day at 12:00 p.m. for student/parent conferences, so they were going home early anyway, but their bus home turned sideways coming up our hill and their release was delayed over an hour. All us parents were on pins and needles wondering if our kids were actually ON the stranded bus. They weren't, thank goodness! The boys' after school activities were canceled (except Derek had football practice since they are playing in the semi finals this weekend) and that began our four day snow-in that finally ended on Thursday--Thanksgiving day. The days following the snow were very cold and when it dipped below freezing, we had very thick icy snow. Tough to drive on our hills with that. I shouldn't say we were completed snowed-in because JD did get down to work each day (though his schedule was spotty since people couldn't get into town) and I managed to get to the store to get my Thanksgiving menu items. No school for the kids though. I rather like having them home and who doesn't need a few days to sleep in on a snowy morning? Thanksgiving brought rain, and we now have no more snow.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Monarchs Win

JD, Derek and Me after the big win. It was 40 degrees and we were all FREEZING in the Tumwater stadium!

Derek and his high school football team won a close game the other night. It was the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. The boys pulled a win in a SQUEAKER game. Back and forth all night long. Great game! He's only a sophomore, so he doesn't play much, but it's fun to ride this season with all the seniors. His time will come next year and the year after. So much fun to enjoy the Friday Night Lights with all the football boys, parents, cheerleaders, band and crazy student section! Next weekend they will play Archbishop Murphy HS in the TACOMA DOME in the semi-finals. The winner goes for the championship the weekend after. This is the farthest any football team has gone from our high school. Great memories for Derek.

NOTE: It should be said that up until this last win, Derek was silently hoping that the team would lose. He's now missed the first few weeks of practice with the wrestling team and won't be eligible for the first meet. He's a little grumpy about it, but if there's a chance for state, he's going to stay quiet!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Safety Girl

Alexis is a member of the crossing guard this year. She takes her duties quite seriously and safety is her number ONE priority! Here she is working her safety magic after school this week.

Blankets for the hospital

Alexis and Katie with friends Madison, Emily and Kendall in the hospital parking garage.

Hospital lobby after we met up with younger brothers Josh and Issac and their two blankets.

Just passed off the blankets to the pediatric unit and feeling good!

Alexis came home from church last week and said that her Primary counselor gave an inspirational lesson on service and how each one of us should try and find more ways to serve. She took it to heart and asked if she could organize a service project. She decided to make blankets for the pediatric unit at our local hospital. Each child admitted is given a blanket to help him/her with the trauma of separation and fear of being in the hospital. She wanted to invite a few friends to help. They all got together after school yesterday and made fleece blankets with cute little teddy bears tucked inside to poke his head out. (I was forbidden to help except to give verbal advise). The younger siblings got on board too and they managed to get seven blankets finished. We took them down to the hospital last night. The kids were thrilled to complete the project and we had a great discussion about helping people in need we likely will never meet. I'm grateful for a thoughtful daughter who is willing to break out on her own and get things done. Love that kid!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wrestling or Basketball? Hmmm...

Evan is in black. He shoots...

Goes for the takedown...

Has the kid in pinned position...

Evan wins!

This year our tall, lanky basketball player, Evan, decided to try his hand in his brother's sport: Wrestling. It is at the same time as basketball, but since he is dedicated to hoops and will play that all through high school, thought he wanted to see what Derek loved so much about wrestling while he had the chance in middle school. In two meets (3 matches) he is undefeated! Derek and Evan went through the pictures of his matches and critiqued his form and technique. Little room for improvement, but for a kid who's never wrestled, he's doing great.

Right now Derek is still playing high school football (League Champs!) since his team is in the state playoffs. They play Foster High School in the semis tomorrow night. Derek is torn because he wants to go to state, but CAN'T WAIT for wrestling to start since that is his favorite sport. High school wrestling officially starts on Monday, but the football team will likely win tomorrow and go at least another week, if not more. He's trying to stay positive, but he's itching to get to the mats.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall Birthdays

Dad and his friend, Marge, as he opens his gifts.

Alexis and a giant sombero.

It fits Grandpa just a little better!

My sister, Lisa, and brother, Todd.

My sister, Lynne.

Katie and Lynne's mother-in-law, Jackie. We like to call her Miss Jackie.

Evan and Derek being "cool" AGAIN.

JD trying to avoid the camera.

Me. I'm not shy!

Our traditional cake of choice: Fresh BANANA! I got so excited about cutting it that I forgot we hadn't taken a picture of it.

The birthday kids: Alexis and Grandpa.

My family from the Seattle area met us about half-way in Chehalis the other day for lunch at Azteca Mexican Restaurant where we celebrated my dad, Richard's, birthday as well as Alexis' 11th. They are the only two fall birthdays so we try and meet up to celebrate those together. With soccer and everyone's work schedules, we finally found a date that worked for all. Happy Birthday, Dad and Alexis! Now that's all the parties for this kid! Sheesh. That's FOUR!

P.S. Pardon the lousy pictures. They were taken with JD and my cell phones. Forgot a camera!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halloween 2010

Katie and her friends, Zoe and Nellie at Zoe's Halloween party.

Super Girl Katie at recess right before her classroom Halloween party. "Up, up...and away!"

Alexis planned her 5th grade (all three classes!) Halloween party. Here she is manning the "Gross Out" bags. I think this one is "Vampire Guts" (slimy spaghetti). She's such the Martha Stewart of pre-teens!

The four-foot wooden Jack-O-Lantern beanbag toss I made over 10 years ago. STILL use it every October. JD told me at the time that I was going "way overboard and we'll never use this again!..."

This is EVAN! He is a stickman. He wore a black sweatsuit and we hot-glued glow sticks on his sweats.

I took these in the garage with all the lights off. You can't even see that's a person! The party he wore this to eventually sent the kids on a scavenger hunt. No one lost Evan! He was easy to spot in the street. Safety first!

Alexis and Katie at the ward Trunk-or-Treat Saturday night right before they hit the street trick-or-treating. So cute. They got a haul!

This year, Halloween fell on a Sunday. That's bad news for people like us who want to keep Sunday as a day of rest and one free from the things of the world on the Sabbath. When we lived in Ohio, the same thing happened but the entire state moved Halloween and trick-or-treating to Saturday! There were lots of different religions and none of them wanted to participate in the holiday Sunday. Not so much here in Washington. *sigh* Oh well, we just did LOTS of things on Friday and Saturday instead.

Katie had a friend's party one night. Katie and Alexis had parties at school. Both girls went to the ward Trunk-or-Treat and later went trick-or-treating at church members' home. Evan went to a boy/girl party (yikes!), Derek played in his high school football game and then went to a Halloween party and the next night a Stake church dance. Everyone had good times.

Here are a few pictures of all the fun at the different events. There are no pictures of Derek because he couldn't stand to be in a photo that may go out into cyberspace. He wore a pair of Katie's fairy wings and thought that was a hilarious get-up for a church dance. JD was horrified it would be considered cross-dressing. What?! Dorky, yes. Cross-dressing? Not so much. Rest assured, Dad, that it did not prevent him from slow dancing (NEVER fast dancing--WAY too much to ask) with girls all night long. Ladies loved the wings.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Jailbird JD

Another dentist sent this cake over. It has a real hacksaw baked into it. Funny!

Me trying to save JD as he is cuffed and "arrested" by a Longview fireman and taken to "jail."

JD was approached by the Muscular Dystrophy Association to be a "jailbird" for the day. They come get business leaders, take them to a restaurant and ask them to get enough donations for the MDA then they are finally released after they make "bail." Since MD is a huge part of my family's life (my mother, sister and brother--as well as multiple extended members--all have the disease), it was a good opportunity for us to help the MDA raise some money for local patients.

On Thursday, they came and took JD from work during lunch and brought him to the Red Lobster restaurant. I just happened to be there when the local firemen came to "arrest" him.

Overall, it was a great experience for him. He raised nearly $1,800.00 with donations from friends, family and business associates.

I'll post the official MDA jailhouse photos when I get them.