Thursday, February 28, 2013


We had breakfast for dinner the other night.  Nicole made pancakes and she commented that the one she was eating was as big as her face.  She even held it up to her face to prove her point!  I (jokingly) said she should carve eye holes and it could be a mask.

She did it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Toasty Warm

 We came home from Boise to a chilly 54 degree house.

I bundled up to go check the horses' water and decided to stay bundled up to hang out and read the paper.  I also have a big heavy blanket on my legs.  Might as well be warm.  I thought the hat was an especially nice touch.

My hubby found my attire to be amusing and took a picture.

And this is what Glenn wears when the house is frigidly cold.  A t-shirt and a tank top for "extra warmth".  No blanket.

I may look silly, but at least I'm not crazy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Boise Food

One of the nights in Boise during the Hallissey tournament, we ate dinner at the Outback Steakhouse with some friends.

I had steak.  It was yummy, but my plate looked sadly half empty.  I had plenty to eat as it also came with a big salad.  But there's something to be said for filling your plate.  Maybe use a smaller plate or spread out those yummy garlic mashed potatoes so they take up more room.  Something.

Especially when this is what your husband's plate looks like.  He didn't get a salad, so he really didn't consume that much more food than me.  It just looks more pleasing.  What I'm saying is that I had a little plate envy.  But then I ate my food and was very full, so I got over it.  Thanks for listening.

The happy couple.  Happy to eat.  Happy to be out with friends.  Happy that the kids sat at their own table and the adults sat at another.  It was almost like a date.

And no trip to Boise would be complete in our family without a trip to Olive Garden.  We stopped there after the final championship game.  I was almost too exhausted to want to eat.  Almost.  Not quite.  I had my usual - Chicken Scampi.  It is the yummiest.  You have to have an affinity for green and red bell peppers, but I do, so I love it.  I was so hungry and so tired that I forgot to take a picture until my leftovers were waiting to go home.  It's lucky I had any leftovers to take a picture of, really.  I wouldn't want to deprive you of a photo of my leftovers.  I'm considerate like that.  You can thank me later.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Epic Volleyball

 Another epic weekend - this time it was all about Volleyball.

Nicole's team played in an 8th grade tournament on Saturday.  Twenty games to 21 points over eight hours. I don't know how they were still standing at the end of the day!

But the best part? . . . . .

They won first place in the tournament!  They have improved so much in the past two years.  They're a very talented team.  So talented, in fact, that they were also invited to participate in another tournament on Sunday that was a fund raiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.  There, they played 12 games to 25.  Considering they were playing against very experienced women's teams and even a couple of  high school varsity teams, they did very well.  Didn't win any of their games, but didn't get blown out of the water, either.  For being an 8th grade team they held their own.

So there you have it, one weekend, we live and breathe basketball.  The next weekend we live and breathe volleyball.  Hopefully, next weekend, we just breathe!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Man

On the way down to the epic basketball tournament in Boise, we traveled through McCall, Idaho.  McCall is fairly well-known around these parts as hosting a wonderful ice sculpture contest and winter carnival at the end of January.  I've toyed with the idea of going every year, but it never seems to happen.  We've been lucky enough to drive through town at times when the sculptures are still around and they're pretty impressive.

This year, some of the sculptures were pretty melted already, but this guy was lucky enough to be fairly well shaded.  He was located right next door to the Subway where we stopped for lunch (this is $5 February foot longs - gotta love that!).  The kids enjoyed checking him out and I'm always up for a photo op!

He had stairs on his right shoulder . . . . .

And a slide on his left.  Surprisingly, none of the kids wanted to try out the slide.  I guess wet jeans didn't seem like a good idea for our additional 2 hours of driving.  Smart kids.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


No only were we all excited to be done playing/watching basketball.  The team was understandably excited about this cool 2nd place trophy they just won!  We took lots of pictures.  Everyone wanted pictures of their child with the trophy.

And then it was time for a group hug with the coach.

And I needed a picture of the trophy with my three kids.

And this is how Glenn really felt after the exhausting weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Official Game

The final championship game at the Hallissey tournament was in the same gym where the State basketball games had been held just days before.  And the refs were the same ones used for the state games.  That was hard to believe, because they sure didn't call very many fouls, but that's what they said.

It was all very official.  The Boy Scouts presented the colors.

A young woman sang the National Anthem beautifully. 

 And Glenn got to introduce his starting lineup.

And it was only their third game of the day at 12:30 pm.  Against a team who was undefeated in the tournament and was playing their first game of the day.  No biggie.  No pressure.  But they did great.

And then there were no more games and I did a little happy dance inside.  Honestly, if you'd told me ahead of time we were going to be playing seven games over 40 hours, I may have rebelled a little.  But it wasn't so bad.  Exhausting, but not so bad.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Last year, Nicole was was on the team, but didn't want to play and was mostly the stats girl at the Hallissey tournament in Boise.  This year, she shocked us all by agreeing to not only be on the team, but actually spend some time on the court!  For having not played the last couple of years, she did quite well.  But I'm a little biased.  I'm the mom.  But still.

She's number 12 on the right.  She looks like she knows what she's doing.  I'm not that biased.  Okay, I might be a little biased.

The "littles" on the team (4 sixth graders) didn't get a whole lot of playing time, but they were the stats keepers and cheering squad!  They played the last minute or two of a couple games that their team was way ahead or behind in.  At most games they weren't relegated to the floor, but this particular gym didn't have enough seats.  (Ellea is number 40.)

See, there's number 12 again.  Looking good.

Ellea getting a pep talk from the coach (Glenn) before she goes in for the last minute of the second game (we were ahead by about 15 points).  She looked a little nervous, but she did great.  Again, biased mom talking, but she did do great.  Really.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekend Basketball

We had a crazy-long, exhausting, fun weekend.  We drove to Boise, Idaho, four and a half hours away, and partook in a girls' 8th grade basketball tournament put on by a Catholic church down there.  It was the 50th year that this tournament has taken place, and the second year Glenn has coached a team.

Sadly, we lost our first game, which immediately put us into the "loser's bracket."  It's hard to play a game after traveling such a long way.  The girls were clearly out of sorts and not playing as well as they could've for that first game.  Especially since we played the same team again later in the tournament and beat them handily.

So, when you end up in the loser's bracket, you can still make it into the championship game, but you have to win lots of games to get there.  They played one game Friday, three games Saturday, and three games Sunday.  Seven games over about 40 hours.

After losing that first game, they won the next five!  They made it into the final championship game of the tournament, playing the team that has won this tournament the last couple years.  The championship was our team's third game in five hours and the other team's first game of the day.  Our team played their hearts out, but it was a tough game, and they were clearly pooped.

They still walked away with a beautiful 2nd place trophy.  The coach of the other team told Glenn after the game what a great team he had.  One of the tournament organizers told him that they've never had a team scramble all the way back out of the loser's bracket back into the championship.  (Ellea is in the front row on the right and Glenn and Nicole are second and third from the right in the back.)  It was a great experience, but man were we all tired!  Even those of us who did nothing but sit on the sidelines and cheer!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sugar Baby

I was doing an internet search for Valentine's ideas for the hubby and decided to try one of those cute "Candy Grams" I've seen before.

Glenn was sufficiently impressed. Of course, being the sentimental fool that he is, I'm not sure he'll ever actually remove the candy and eat it.  My mom had a fabulous suggestion:  if he opens the candies carefully he can tape the wrappers back up there.  We'll see if he's willing to "ruin" it.  If it were me, I'd have eaten half of them within an hour.  That's the difference between Glenn and I.

Since you can't read it so well in the picture I'll share my prose with you.  Yes, I wrote it.  I found some examples online that helped me.  Pinterest.  You can find anything on Pinterest.

Dearest "Sugar Baby,"
"U-no" you're my Valentine.  You're my one and only.
Our love is a "Whopper."  With you I'll never be lonely.
I "Scor"ed big when you made me your wife.
You are my "Lifesaver" in this sometimes difficult life.
I love our "Good & Plenty" "Snickers" and fun!
You're "Extra" special & I love you a TON!!
Hugs & Kisses, Loretta

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy V Day!!

I had to send my wedding ring off a couple of weeks ago to have it fixed.  The gold had worn down around the channel-set baguette diamonds and needed to be built back up.  I missed it, but I have a smaller band that I wore while it was gone.  I had been asking Glenn to pick it up for me for the past week or so.

I came downstairs this morning to this on the kitchen counter. . .

Isn't he a sweet guy?  I think I'll keep him.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Spelling Bee

 Ellea was one of two 6th graders who made it into the school-wide spelling bee.  Glenn and I went and watched and enjoyed ourselves so much more than I ever imagined we would!  Who knew spelling bees could be so exciting?!  We were on the edge of our seats!

Of course, it helps that our daughter made it to the top three.  They started with 12 students from 3rd through 8th grade.  The final three were Ellea and the two 7th graders.  The way it works is if one finalist gets their word right and the next two spell theirs wrong, the last one standing has to spell one more word correctly.  It kept ending up that the last one standing would mess up their last word and it would go back to all three of them again in a spell-off.  Make sense?  No?  Good.

Just know, that it was a nail biter as we kept thinking maybe Ellea was done and then she'd be back in the game again!

Ellea was a champ.  Her word in the first round was "cook," which obviously she got right.  Each round, the words got progressively harder.  One of her words towards the end was caricature.   How many adults can spell that word?!

She made it into the top two, but the other girl beat her out.  Then Ellea had a spell-off with the third girl and that girl got the word "consignment."  Too easy!  I don't remember Ellea's word, but it was harder.  And I'm not biased, or anything....!

Good job, kiddo.  Daddy and I are proud!  And we're now hooked on spelling bees, so I hope you enter a few more!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mr. Bean

One of Ellea's favorite birthday presents this year was the DVD set of all the Mr. Bean episodes. What? You're not familiar with Mr. Bean?!  That's so sad.  We weren't familiar with him until recently when some (adult) friends introduced him to our kids.  (You know who you are!)

Mr. Bean is actually a television series from the UK with the actor Rowan Atkinson.  There are movies and an animated series of this character, but the original 25 minute episodes are the best.

Mr. Bean is silly and irreverent and goofy.  I see why Ellea likes him so much.....  (Just kidding, Ellea!)

Just in case you're dying to see what you're missing out on, this is one of my favorite clips.    Enjoy!

I hope you have a fun, silly day!  Life's short, laugh more.

Monday, February 11, 2013

One Less Iron

What a weekend.  Glenn (and I, but mostly Glenn) were the chairpersons for our yearly parish dinner.  Roast beef, ham, *real* potatoes, and all the trimmings.  Today was the big day.  Thursday was an all day cook-the-roasts event (that I missed out on due to work), Saturday was cutting the meat, veggies for salad, peeling 250 pounds of potatoes and other finishing touches.

But, today was the big day.  We served over 400 people, and sold over 3,000 raffle tickets.  Again, Glenn gets most the credit.  He wanted to take this project on again (it's the fourth time we've done it), so I let him cover most of it.  We chaired it last year also, but I was in New York City at the time, so I missed it.  

Good job, Glenn, you pulled it off.  Even with all your other (many) irons in the fire!  You did good.  Thank goodness someone else has stepped up to do it next year, but you did good!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tiny Birds

 Morgan's latest Boy Scout project involved assembling a bird house.

It involved tiny pieces of wood and tiny nails.  It was suggested we use a hair comb to hold the nails, which sort of worked.  Needle nose pliers worked better.

Is that not the tiniest bird house you've ever seen?  Not sure what kind of bird can fit in it.  A tiny one.

Friday, February 8, 2013


After our exhausting makeover (ha!), it was time for something to eat.  We had eaten a huge breakfast at IHOP just a few hours earlier, so we weren't all that hungry.  What I wanted was an Orange Julius.  Who doesn't love one of those?!  But, sadly, the Orange Julius had closed so we found the next-best thing.  The Cinnabon joint had yummy blender drinks.  I chose the Oreo version and my friend had the strawberry-banana.  They were de-lic-ious!

And, my new friend was a very good sport about taking random pictures of everything in the interest of blog material.  She even suggested we find some crazy dress for me to try on and she could take my picture.  I was tempted, but nothing jumped out at me.  Sadly, we ran out of time.....  We were too busy getting all dolled-up!  Maybe next time!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I tagged along as a chaperon on a youth group rally in Coeur d'Alene that Nicole went to last weekend.  We had a fun, great time, got very little sleep, and enjoyed some time in a "real" mall (we don't have one of those nearby) the next day before making the 3 hour drive home.  After wandering around for a while with another mom, I randomly (jokingly) suggested we get a makeover from the Clinique counter in Macy's.  Much to my surprise, we ended up doing it!

This is our "before" picture. . . .

And after a little make-up magic, our inner-bombshells were uncovered!  We enjoyed it so much.  The two women who dolled us up were delightful and talented.  We even learned a little bit about what colors to use. Of course, since they work on commission, I felt slightly guilted into buying a couple things, but I'm happy with my purchases.  What the heck - you only live once!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Old Man Morgan

Ack!  It's been how many days since my last blog post?!  You select few who read my blog probably were beginning to wonder if I'd froze to death up here in the tundra!  Well, good news!  I'm still alive (albeit cold) and ready to resume my mostly daily blog!

Yesterday was the 100th day of school, so Morgan and his classmates got to dress up like 100-year-olds.  He did what I told him not to and put together his costume at the last minute, but it came together okay.

This was his "grumpy old man" look.  He's using Nicole's pig cane.  Classy, huh?!

We attempted to put cornstarch in his hair, but you can't tell very well in the picture.  We also attempted wrinkles with an eyeliner pencil, but it was hard to make it look wrinkly and not just like we'd drawn weird lines on his face!  He was happy with the end result, so it's all good!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mama Bear

It's so hard as a mom watching your child playing a sport they love and not getting as much playing time as they'd like.  As a matter of fact, for me, my hackles raise and I want to get in the coach's face about it.  Luckily for my daughter, I have some self-control and instead just sit in the bleachers and fume!

I know it's hard to be the coach and try to get everyone playing time while still being competitive on the court.  So long as it doesn't become the standard that Nicole gets less time than most other players, I'm fine with it.  Since it's only happened once and we've only played two games, I think I just need to chill out!

And, I didn't think I was a crazy competitive sports mama.  I'm not, really!  It's just the protective mama bear in me, I guess!

What little she did play last night, she made a couple of great saves.  I wanted to share this video with you of one of them (she's number 4).  I hope you enjoy lots of pictures of volleyball and basketball, 'cause that's what you'll be getting for the next month or so!!

Happy Friday!
(or try this link, if the video won't load)

Oh, and they did win all three matches they played last night, by the way.  They've got the season off to a great start.