Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween from the Past

Happy Halloween!

. . . . From our little cat, dog, and giraffe from a "couple" years ago.  (Seven, to be exact!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Glenn and the kids went to the corn maze in Lewiston last weekend.  This amazing 11 acre endeavor was grown by Morgan's godfather, Phil and his family.  Sadly, I couldn't go along because I had other committments.
 Morgan was thrilled because Phil was there and able to hang out with them. 

I'm told it was a tad chilly, but a fun time was had by all.

Monday, October 29, 2012

My kids, the animals

Another dress up day for Red Ribbon Week at the elementary school was to dress up as an animal.  It was supposed to represent keeping your "paws" off drugs. 

What morgan really wanted to be was a dog.  A cat seemed too girlie, I think.  But we convinced him he could be a cat chasing a squirrel - his latest favorite stuffed animal.

 And Ellea was a tiger-cat-thing. 

Do you see the resemblance?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Crazy Hair

This past week was Red Ribbon Week which is all about teaching the kids to say no to drugs.  One day was Crazy Hair Day.  So after getting home at 2am from Seattle, I got up at 6:30 am to do some hair.  Those of you who know what a big morning person I am, I know that was a sacrifice.  Needless to say I went back to bed after the kids got on the bus!

With Morgan's short hair, our options were limited, of course, but I thought his hair looked pretty crazy.  We just loaded it up with gel and made spikes and sprayed it with hairspray.  Surprisingly, by the end of the day, it just looked like he had bed head!
 Ellea wanted braids with wire in them so they'd stick out.  We didn't get quite the level of sticking straight out as we had hoped, but it was fun.  Hopefully she didn't poke anyone in the eye.

Then we put some ninjas in her hair because she's tough like that.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Ellea tried out the self-timer on my camera while they were outside playing in the snow.

I am very impressd with the results!

She didn't even cut off anyone's head!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

First Snow

I was in Seattle Sunday through Tuesday this week for a conference related to my job.  This is what it did while I was gone.....

I threatened to prolong my absence until the snow went away, but (God bless them) the kids said that wasn't a good idea.  The people in Seattle were complaining that it was so cold, but it was in the high 40's.  I thought it was pretty nice.  I'm speaking comparatively.  "Nice" is actually 60 degrees or higher, but you gotta take what you can get.

It doesn't look like the snow was sticking all that well, but that didn't stop my kiddos from digging out their snow clothes and going out to play in it together.  (AND took pictures that they agreed I could use on my blog!)

Not exactly perfect sledding conditions just yet, but it was a good start.  The next day it snowed an inch or more and Morgan and Ellea built a snowman together.  I'm glad someone around here appreciates the snow.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flowering Pear

Our only purchase when we were strolling around Home Depot was a flowering pear tree.  It was half off making it only $15.  We had been discussing replacing another tree that had died in our front yard, so it was perfect.

Not wanting it to die in our cold weather, we wasted no time getting it the ground.  Mostly I was the supervisor.  I pulled weeds and turned on the hose.  Glenn dug and up the old tree. We debated how big the hole had to be for the new tree.  As I wasn't exerting myself, I voted for deeper than Glenn started with.  Being the agreeable kind of guy he is, he continued digging.

So here's Glenn next to his tree.I know you can barely see it, but it's there.  It even still has leaves on it and looks rather healthy.  You just can't tell it the picture!  Someday this will be a 20 foot tall tree.  Or, maybe it will simply survive as the dirt in our front yard isn't the best.  Either way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fourth Child

After his birthday lunch, Glenn and I decided to wander around Home Depot.  We found all kinds of things to look at and laugh about. 

I started playing with the electric fireplace thing-y and Glenn realized he didn't have his phone to take my picture.  I went out to the car to get it, because I'm always in need of blog material.  I would've liked to have brought in my fancy Canon camera, but it seemed odd to walk around home depot with a big camera around my neck like some tourist.  So I settled for the phone camera.

And then silly Glenn spotted the toilets and thought it'd be funny to take a picture of him sitting on one.  We had a good laugh about, but I said no.  I just wanted a picture of the toilet so I could blog about his silly plan.  Right after I snapped this picture, he actually SAT DOWN!  Thankfully, it was very brief.  So brief I couldn't take the picture, but I was okay with that.  I didn't care to be kicked out of Home Depot!  Glenn offered to sit down again, but I managed to keep him moving!

See what I mean about having four kids?  He's more of a handful than my other three sometimes!  But he does make life interesting!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday Underwear

Our first stop in Lewiston was K-Mart.  It's so unusual for us to go to Lewiston without a big long agenda of all the different stores we MUST go to.  It was very nice to go shopping, just the two of us, without much of an agenda.  Well, we did have a tiny agenda.  Glenn wanted new socks and underwear.  Isn't that what everyone wants for their birthday?  That's one of the things he oftentimes used to get as a kid, so why not?
I spotted this fabulous hat that is supposed to resemble the Seattle Seahawks' mascot.  And Glenn, being the good sport his is, tried it on for a picture.  Sadly, he didn't want to buy it.  Isn't that too bad?  I think if it had been Joe Vandal, the mascot for the University of Idaho, he would've been all over it.  But a man's got his pride.  Wear a bird on his head?  No way!

And because I took his picture, he decided he better take mine!  I have been looking for some brown boots, and these were great, but they were a size smaller than I normally wear.  In fact, they had hardly any shoes in my size.  I think it was a case of size 10 discrimination.
While I was trying on shoes, Glenn was across the aisle picking out his Fruit-of-the-Looms.  He was a little hesitant at first because there were a couple of women employees rearranging the undie section.  Finally, he just swallowed his pride, and marched over there.  Surprisingly, the ladies asked if he could help him.  You'd think they'd just step aside and give the poor guy some privacy.  Glenn wasn't fazed at all.  He told them what he was looking for and seemed to talk to them at length and have a gay old time with it.  Who knew picking out underwear on your birthday could be so much fun?  I'm hoping it's the first time perfect strangers have helped him pick out his undergarments.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Birthday Lunch

Glenn's employer started giving employees the day of their birthday (or some other day of their choosing) off this year.  My schedule gives me Fridays off.  So it was a date!

Of course, in Glenn's mind, there's no such thing as a day OFF from work.  There's always something that could use to be done.  So he got up early (the first cardinal rule of birthdays - you should sleep in, but then, I'm a champion sleeper-inner), drove over to Grangeville and had his snow tires mounted for his company pickup.  I know, it's sad that it's that time of year, but sometimes we have to face reality.

And then it was off to the big city of Lewiston. We did some shopping and had a leisurely lunch at Red Lobster.  It was wonderful.  The waitress even brought out a candle and a coworker and sang him happy birthday.  It was fun.  Happy, happy birthday, Glenn!

Friday, October 19, 2012


Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Happy birthday to Glenn,
I really love you.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon, 2007
You went and turned forty,

And now forty-one

But you sure wouldn’t know it

‘Cause you always have fun.
Summer, 2012

I sometimes have 3 kids,

But mostly it’s four

‘Cause you’re silly and funny

And laughter galore.

Summer, 2012
I pray for another good year,

And then 41 more,

Keep living life fully,
You make my heart soar.


Thursday, October 18, 2012


You'd be surprised the things I take pictures of.  All in the interest of having blog material.

As you can likely tell, I'm running short of blog material this week....

But, isn't this a great picture of a pineapple and my kid's head?!  Pineapples are so sculptural.  And yummy.

Aren't you glad I shared?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

End of the Season

Tonight was the last 8th grade girls basketball game of the year.  Nicole gave up playing basketball a couple of years ago, but she’s enjoyed being one of the stats keepers and her dad gets a big kick out of reffing.

The end of one basketball season, means there’s another one right around the corner in this household.  Glenn will coach Ellea's 6th grade team in January.  And he's planning to coach the 7th/8th grade team that will go to a big tournament in Boise in February.  And he usually plays on a men's basketball league in the spring.  We just can't get enough basketball around here!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nicole's Robot

Nicole and all her classmates have to take a one semester “Industrial Arts” class where they learn different engineering and science principles. Her first project that she brought home was a hydraulic “robot.” She thought it was no big deal, but I was blown away when I saw it!

The robot uses syringes and water with food coloring. Water is pushed or pulled from the syringes on the robot to the syringes in the operator’s hand to make the robot move. It can spin from left to right, up and down, and in and out, and the pinchers open and close.

Very cool, if you ask me, but I’m just an un-cool mom.

Monday, October 15, 2012


We had a little scare yesterday with my Schnauzer dog, Zip. He loves going for horse back rides with us, so I didn’t think anything of it when he tagged along with Nicole and I and a friend. What I didn’t know was that my friend’s horse has a vendetta against dogs……

Zip got kicked once and yelped a little, but seemed fine, so we continued on our way and I assumed that he learned his lesson. He’s clearly not a very quick study because he promptly put himself in the situation to get kicked again. Only this time, I watched him get kicked in the head. He proceeded to roll down the hill, while yelping hideously. He made no attempt to stop himself from rolling and I was convinced that he was hurt terribly. I yelled out and quickly jumped off my horse and ran to him. He was stunned, but quickly came to his senses and sat there panting and looking mostly okay. (My friend felt terrible that her horse hurt Zip, of course.)

We decided we better head home and so he rode in front of me on my horse. He didn’t struggle, or seem uncomfortable, and we made it home without incident. I called the vet to see if there was anything I should do for him or watch for and he suggested some pain killer. He probably had one heck of a headache! Poor guy.

This morning his back to wagging his stubby tail and looking at me with unadulterated love in his eyes. It looks like he may be okay.

Glenn’s hoping the horse knocked some sense into him…….

I have my doubts!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Near Tears

Glenn and I had a good laugh yesterday.  He might try to tell you I was laughing at him, but that's just not true.  Besides, it's my blog, so I can tell the story how I want.

I have this thing about making my children say "Yes, please" when I ask them if they want something.  If they only say "Yes," I tell them I can't hear them until they catch on and throw in the "please."

Yesterday, as Glenn and I were getting ready to leave for a funeral, I asked him if he wanted a piece of toast.  I was downstairs and he was finishing getting ready upstairs.

Me:  "Do you want a piece of toast?"

Glenn:  "Yes."

Me: (smiling deviously) "I can't hear you."

Glenn:  (much louder) "Yes"

Me:  (chuckling)  "I'm sorry, I can't hear you."

Glenn:  (MUCH louder) "YES!!"

Me:  (audibly laughing)  "I'm sorry, I can't hear you."

Glenn:  (Yelling and probably thinking I must have cotton in my ears) "YES!!!!!!!!!"

I finally took pity on him and said, "What do I make the kids say when they say yes?"  By this time I was laughing heartily and near tears.  He argued that I offered him a piece of toast, so why should he have to say please, but I make my kids, so why not him?

It continued to give me pleasure to think about him upstairs YELLING as loud as he could about his toast.  Every few minutes I'd start giggling again over the whole thing.  He must've thought I'd lost my mind. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fire Wood

It's so nice having slave labor our children's help to put away firewood every year.   I remember when Glenn and I did ourselves.  It took a lot longer.

This was all the wood we had leftover from last year.  It's not much.

Now, we have two full rows of firewood and more outside to bring in.  I'm not a big fan of making firewood, but I have to say, I love burning it and living in a warm toasty house all winter.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vandal Band

Glenn went to the U of I homecoming game without us last weekend. We considered tagging along, but he had an early-morning meeting and so the kids and I just stayed home.   I was disappointed I wasn't there after he reported back on the routine the marching band performed during half-time.

You know it was good if Glenn paid attention and even got out his phone to take a picture!

You'd think after having had a girlfried/future wife who played in the marching band for three years, he'd be pretty interested in it, and he's likely more interested than some people.  But mostly, the marching band isn't his thing.  So when he came home all excited to tell me about their halftime show, I knew I messed up by mising it.  Apparently they took folding chairs onto the field.  At one point, everyone but the drums and tubas put down their instruments and did this whole STOMP!-type routine with the chairs.
It sounds very cool.  He said most everyone in the stands were watching.  Historically, the halftime show is when most people go to the bathroom and the concession stand and don't act too interested in the band.  Everyone except the band parents who are there to watch their kids.  And past band members, like me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Uncle Roger

Get ready to be impressed.

Are you ready?

Hold on to your socks.....

There was a man named Roger Sherman who happens to be my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great uncle (that’s 8 greats, in case you were wondering) and was a pretty important guy in the founding of this great country.

Can't you see the family resemblance?!  I think I have his earlobes.

Roger Sherman was the only man to sign all four great state papers of the U.S.: the Declaration of Independence, Article of Confederation, the Constitution, and Continental Association. I’m not quite sure what two of those documents represent, but I’m certain they’re important. I’ve heard of the other two. (Sorry, Uncle Roger, History isn’t my strongest subject.)

He was also on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence. You may have heard of a couple of the other members of that committee. Their names were Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

Impressive, no?

I was duly impressed.

And I am feeling pretty special right now.


(Thank you to Auntie B and my dear father for their hundreds of hours of genealogy research to acquire this information.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October Lemonade Stand

My apologies for missing yesterday's post.  I came down with a stomach bug on Sunday and was still recovering.

The kids wanted to know if I would let them set up a lemonade stand on our road last Saturday. My first thought was, “What’s the point?” But I try not to be a KILLJOY about all things fun and good, so I said okay. I also warned them that (a) our road is fairly deserted, and (b) lemonade isn’t often in high demand on a 58 degree day. I was in the middle of trying to write a paper for my online graduate classes. Now that I think about it, I should’ve skipped all the warnings and negative energy and simply gushed, “YES! That’s a FABULOUS idea! Have fun!”

It’s true. I am a killjoy.

I am so grateful that my kids have learned to ignore my pessimism, and forge on with their own fun. They made their Country Time lemonade, took cups, ice and a container for all their hard-earned cash and headed to the end of the driveway. They even put up signs a little ways up and down the road from our house, to alert people of the lemonade opportunities up ahead.

I came out some time later. Not ‘cause I had a strong hankerin’ for lemonade, but because I sometimes get my act together and do supportive things like go buy a glass of lemonade because it's the right thing to do. I was the teensiest bit shocked that the price they set was $1.00 per glass. These weren’t huge cups, so I suggested maybe that they were a little overpriced. So they slashed their prices. And then they had a big crowd. Not really. I was their first customer and some time later they had one other. (God bless him.) By this time, I think they had drank most of their refreshment, so they called it a day.

I suggested that next time, they should set up in Keuterville where they’d be slightly more traffic, and perhaps offer homemade cookies. I was informed that there would likely not be a “next time” any time soon!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Little Ones

This is a very random picture that has nothing to do with anything in particular, but I sure do like it.  Why do kids have to go and grow up all the time?  I want my babies back!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall Weather

It's official.  The fall weather has begun. As in, it's 30 degrees in the morning and the day time high might get up to 55. Cold weather's not my thing, in case you didn't know that...   On the bright side, we did manage to avoid starting a fire in our furnace until October. Last year, it was middle September. On the not-so-bright side, we will likely need to start a fire every day from here on out.

Some people embrace fall with a scarecrow.  I just dig out pictures of the one time I was ambitious enough to build a scarecrow. 

Besides, I don't want to embrace anything that means I'm cold all the time!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Another Photographer

Morgan wanted to use my camera the other day when we noticed the beautiful sunset going on in our backyard.  My first answer was no, because, well, sometimes that's my answer to everything just 'cause it's easy.  I immediately saw I was being the tiniest bit unreasonable.  He wasn't asking to take my camera on a bike ride, or anything.  He just wanted to walk out on the back deck!

I'm glad I came to my senses, because he snapped a couple great pictures.

Not bad for an eight-year-old.  We may have another little photographer on our hands.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Sometimes, children numbers 2 and 3 seeem to have it out for each other at our house. We're talking a love-hate relationship that leans heavilly toward the hate side some days. Not unlike the relationship I had with my brother.

One day recently, they were really pushing each other's buttons while they were unloading the dish washer together. Finally, I'd had enough and instructed them both to come over to the couch. They were confused. I told them to sit next to one another and hold hands. That's all, just hold hands. They looked at me like I was crazy, but they did it. They sat there grinning at the sillines of it.

But guess what? It did what I had intended! They went back to unloading the dishwasher together after about 5 minutes of hand holding and didn't have another problem. It was a miracle!

It's rare when one of my "mom ideas" works, so I get pretty excited!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wood Pile

We have lots of firewood sitting outside waiting to be split and stacked in the basement. Glenn hauled most of it to the house in the form of long logs which thrilled me. If he can load the logs with his tractor and haul them home, that means I don't have to stack them in the trailer, and then unload them at home to stack in the house.

Did I mention the BIG pile of firewood waiting outside?  We have been splitting it with the hydraulic splitter attached to the tractor. It's a beautiful thing that makes quick(er) work of splitting wood.

Now, some people would carry the firewood over to the house one piece at a time. Not us!  Glenn pushed it close to the wood door with his tractor.  It's a brave, trusting wife who can stand by and snap pictures of her husband driving within 10 feet of her house with a big piece of farm equipment!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Joe Vandal

Phew - what a week!  I was in Coeur d'Alene for about 24 hours early in the week for a meeting and then went to Moscow late in the week for about 48 hours for a different meeting! 

The Moscow meeting is a twice a year event related to my job as site coordinator of a federal grant. They're never particularly fun meetings, except I really enjoy my time with a few of the other Idaho site coordinators. We were thrown together last January during my trip to New York city. I had a choice: either get comfortable with these ladies and enjoy New York, or sit in my room and miss out on the fun! So we got comfortable! Now I consider them wonderful friends and we had good laughs together in Moscow.

One night there was a home game scheduled for the Vandal Volleyball team. It was a great game. They played Texas State - best out of five. The Vandals won the first two "sets" (that's what they're called apparently), lost the next two and won the fifth. All five "sets" make a "game." In case you were wondering.

This is "Joe Vandal," our proud University of Idaho mascot. Can you imagine how hot this outfit must be? I spent part of the game trying to decide if the wearer of the costume was a girl or boy.  No final call on that mystery.  We may never know...