Monday, January 31, 2011

72 Hour Kit

Good family night tonight! We opened up the 72 hour kit to check on it since Mt. St. Helens is starting to rumble again with earthquakes. We were shocked to see how long it had been!...I had diapers in there for Katie (now 8) and all the food expired back in 2005. Good thing we checked it out. I'd hate to see how my nearly 6' teenagers would squeeze into size 8 undies! :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New guest poster...Alexis Monique

Alexis REALLY wants to have her own blogging page. Problem is, she's only 11 and I worried about her doing that on her own. I agreed to let her occasionally be a guest poster on the family blog. She calls those posts: "Monique Moments," after her middle name. She totally cracks me up! So, when you see the "MMs" you will now know those are all Lexi!

monique moment

look at that, little miss scholar :)



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

8th grade Science Experiment = Explosions

Evan and his friend Spencer had to devise an experiment for their upcoming Science Fair. They decided to go with something that exploded, of course. They dropped various numbers of mint Mentos candies into Diet Coke and watched the chemical reaction. Spencer's dad, Rich, and friend #3, Grant, all came to watch the display. Katie and I were there to video tape. This video is the last bottle where they put the rest of the Mentos they had in for a total of 22 Mentos. They are total spazzes. Gosh! I love these teenage boys!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Leadership Alexis

The principal of our school recently invited two girls from each 5th grade class to lead the school in a penny drive. Our little Alexis was one of them! The author of the book, "Three Cups of Tea" is coming to town soon and all the schools are raising money to give this author since he uses all funds to build schools in the Middle East for girls. Alexis is BEYOND excited and is just thrilled to be in charge of something. She is driving me slightly crazy thinking of all the things they can do to motivate the students to bring pennies. Kind of a bad picture of all the girls! They are super cute otherwise! This photo is on the school's website and you can view it up close by clicking here. :)

Fundraising Dinner

Happy to see our friends the Evans. He's a judge with the superior court and we love them all to pieces. Isn't it great that such a good man sits as judge of the community?! We heart him and his cute fam! Here Alexis is showing our ticket #68 (they were on #40). We waited a while, but it was worth it.

One of our community members passed away last week and a local burger joint decided to do a fundraiser for his family. This good man was a deputy with the Sheriff's department and also coached football and basketball at the high school and middle school. He was 37 years old and died of a sudden heart attack while playing a pick-up basketball game. He leaves behind three young children.

We decided to converge on this small restaurant and make that our dinner plans. We were delighted to see so many of our friends come out and support this man's family. The restaurant eventually ran out of food. Makes you glad to live in a small town sometimes.

Paintball War

My gun-totin', hunting lovin', NRAer, Derek, was thrilled to be invited to one of his wrestling teammates house the other day for a paintball war. His friend's family has about 3 acres that they have transformed into a paintball course, complete with building and trenches. Derek had a ball and can't wait to do it again.

Evan tourney basketball 2010-2011

Our tournament basketball season hasn't gone as well as we'd like these last few months. We have a new coach that is not as committed as we'd like, and they have taken too many players (13) to make it really fair. Evan (number 15) is holding his own, as usual. I tried to post a video, but it isn't working. You'll have to use your imagination, I guess!

School ball just started and I'll post a video or photos of that soon as well as the tourney stuff.

Derek Varsity Wrestling 2010-11

Let the games begin!

Ohh! Getting ready to throw this kid around...

Already had the pin within first 30 seconds.

THAT'S how its done! :) My kid was a beast this match.

So far, "The Boy," as JD has called Derek since he was born, has done quite well in his favorite sport this year. At this point, he is undefeated in district at 160 pounds and just placed in his last two big tournaments. No bad for a sophomore. We're a little frustrated with the program and coaching, but have to stay quiet to keep the peace and support our kid. Derek loves the sport so much we're just happy he is having individual success. JD coaches him each dual (one school against another) and at the tourneys (multiple schools) too. His coach may be bothered, but JD isn't going to stop coming and Derek really wants his dad with him.

YW Fun

A cute puzzle my counselor did with the girls. On one side of the puzzle piece was each girl's name and the other side (when assembled together) spelled out our ward. Good bonding object lesson!

Group shot we took to send to another YW who wasn't able to be at the activity.

Had a fun night with the YW making soup and goofing around the church kitchen. They are cute. It was stone soup where everyone had to bring something to make the meal a success. Needless to say, I think they got the point.


Evan at the old allergist getting a breathing treatment. FOR WHAT?!!

At the new allergist where NOTHING but a sensitivity to dust (bottom left) comes up in the testing. As you can see, Evan is not in anaphylactic shock or pain due to the dust tests.

Last year, we brought Evan into the pediatrician for his yearly bronchitis and sinus infection. Everyone in our family gets them at least once a year. The pediatrician said that it might be due to allergies in Evan, so we had him tested by a specialist. The allergist came back with alarming news: Evan was allergic to over 40 things, including chicken and Buck the Dog. Also, he was deathly allergic to dust mites (was 3 points away from anaphylactic shock) and is suffering from asthma. What?! I said, "But the kid is a four-sport athlete and we've never had ANY breathing problems before?" The doctor said it isn't that uncommon, but that he was recommending shots immediately. What kind of parent was I?! This news devastated me to the core and I profusely apologized to Evan for neglecting his health. We got him into the shot regimen immediately and regular allergist check-ups.

One year later, I was due to have his allergies checked again. Nothing had changed in his health and he even got his yearly bronchitis. I waited for the allergist (as I had done MANY times) for nearly 2 HOURS in the waiting room before he emerged and spent 3 1/2 minutes (I timed it) telling me Evan was the same. I calmly explained to the doctor that I would not be returning due to his lack of respect for my time and that I would like my records changed. He argued with me about staying with the practice. We walked out.

I made the appointment with another allergist in Vancouver and brought Evan's records with us. The new doctor walked in and said, "I'm not sure how to tell you this, but your kid doesn't have allergies." Needless to say, I had Evan RETESTED only to find out that he's sensitive to dust and I should put allergy covers over his mattress and pillow. That's it? Yes. That's it. No 40 things, no chicken (that included bouillon, broth and nuggets), no anaphylactic shock, no asthma. We put that kid through three shots a day three days a week for a YEAR?!

We are beyond upset and are considering legal action. What about our time, money and trouble? To cap it all off, the old doctor has called me four times at the house trying to get me to return to the practice and even left me a message telling me that "it would not be in my best interest to go to another practice." WHAT?! Stalking me in a somewhat threatening manner?

Stay tuned for the rest of the story...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Glassblowing Date

Our boxes and the shards of glass we use to color the clear glass.

JD & Terri, December 2010.

Dipping the clear ball into white glass.

Firing the glass to adhere the colors.

JD and super-cool hippie, Ian.

JD and Ian rolling his blue and red glass shards.

Ian blowing the first puff of air into the glass.

JD is inserting air into the ball by blowing into the small tube.

All done and ready to remove!

It was my turn to plan a fun date and I decided to find something I KNEW JD had always wanted to try: Glassblowing. Seems kind of random and out-of-the-box, but definitely something he has always wanted to do.

I was eating my breakfast in December while watching the morning news. Our local news profiled a glass company that was offering the opportunity to make your own Christmas ornament. I called the company and booked me and JD for the next weekend.

We headed to the Pearl District of Portland (all the artsy-fartsy people are there--very trendy) and finally found the building. I hadn't told JD where or what we were doing (which is VERY hard for me because I am not a good secret-keeper). He was thrilled to find out it was glassblowing.

Inside this huge warehouse they had 6 or 8 kilns and loads of beautiful artwork everywhere. They had us put our names on our own square boxes that would house our ornaments and then we picked out our colors. JD went very masculine with blues and greens and I was more chickish with purple and pinks. They both turned out awesome and it was a great date when we finished off with dinner at a Thai restaurant. Kind of a "bucket list" item we checked off that day.

I so enjoy spending time with my best friend. We definitely need to do this more often...

Girls School Photos

A watercolor painting from Alexis, December 2010.

Alexis reading to a first grader, December 2010.

Katie (back row, too short for back row!), Student of the Month at school, October 2010.

Alexis (back row in green), Student of the Month, September 2010.

Alexis (in green soccer jacket, next to girl in red) leading the Pride Assembly at school, October 2010.

Rice Krispies Mania

"Welcome the Spirit," was the topic of our FHE that the girls put on. Wish the treats were as good as the lesson!

Alexis and Katie decided to be in charge of Family Home Evening and provided us all with the treats the other night. They made huge houses entirely out of Rice Krispies. It came in a kit that JD's mom found at the store. Honestly, they looked adorable, but they tasted awful. I don't know if it was the liquid marshmallow spread or the royal icing they frosted it with that was the problem, but it was all we could do to choke down a few bites each to make the girls happy. Sadly, the houses did not make day #2 around here. Love those little girls.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Football end

I forgot to mention the end of the football season...our high school team played Archbishop Murphy in the Tacoma Dome. Derek was able to go suit up with Varsity and run out onto the field. That's about as much as he saw the field that day. Not too much playing time for the sophomores like him. It was an honor to be invited to dress though. It was quite a pounding that they took, but they did manage to win third place in state (a personal best for our high school). Good memories. Now on to wrestling!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Christmas activities

Katie is in the front row right at her feet.

Alexis and Katie were asked to help with the ward's Christmas program. The primary was in charge and decided to do a musical reading of "The Night Before Christmas." Our Primary President, Sis. Payne, read the story. Katie was one of the children in the choir and Alexis held the storybook pages. They had to wear their pajamas and they thought that was a little weird. It turned out pretty cute though.

Evan and his friend Ethan at Zoo Lights. It was FREEZING. Ethan showed up in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. Someone pitied him and finally gave him a coat.

Evan's in the back with the trumpet.

Evan and his middle school band (he plays trumpet) took their annual trip to the Oregon Zoo in Portland for the Zoo Lights event. The zoo is open in the evening and it is decorated with all Christmas lights. Various clubs and groups perform musical numbers. Derek did it when he was in the eighth grade too. JD went as a chaperone this year since I was busy helping Derek's high school wrestling team get ready to host their first wrestling tournament.

Non-wrestler does well

Evan representing his school (Cascade) with second place. Good job!

Evan decided to try wrestling this year and after going undefeated in his first season (and last, he tells us) out, went to the middle school district championships. That stinker won 2nd place! He did great and when he finally met up with someone who really knew wrestling, he did lose. It was a respectable loss though. No 20 second pin or 15 point loss. He gave it his best and still managed to do pretty well for himself. We were so proud of him for trying something new and giving it his all.

Oh Christmas Tree!

Katie and Alexis (aka SCHOOL-SKIPPERS!) with sleepy Santa.
Katie hauling a big one outta the woods.
The girls thought this was the cutest pony ever. He IS pretty cute!
Alexis fixing to get trampled by the goat herd.

This Christmas, we couldn't find ONE day that all the kids were off from sports, church or other responsibilities or activities. Can you believe that?! I wanted to just get all of us together for one stinkin' day to go cut down the Christmas tree at the local tree farm. It doesn't take long and we always have a good time.

By the second Monday in December, I had had it. I went up to the school, checked out my daughters and took them up to the tree farm. Of course, NO ONE was there, because every other responsible parent had their children in school. I figured it was only elementary school and they're already pretty smart, so I couldn't possibly be damaging them too much. We found a few trees for the house (albeit kind of shabby trees--I didn't have the energy or heart to tell them the trees weren't perfect) and hauled them down the hill. We even found a moment to visit Santa (he's quite old and we actually had to wake him up) as well as his reindeer (okay, they're goats and Shetland ponies)!

All in all, it got me what I wanted: Christmas trees and pictures. SUCCESS!

Time to Update...

Now that the kids are back in school, I have a few minutes to update this blog. I'll try and get this caught up in the next week. I hate getting behind! I still haven't addressed my Christmas cards. Do you think it's too late? Obviously, I've missed Christmas, New Year's and Martin Luther King Day. If I hurry I'll beat Valentine's Day! Hurry!!!!!