Monday, June 27, 2011

Still back in May--but almost done now!

Uncle Brett came to stay with us for the YP weekend at the end of May. He was treated to early morning wake up calls including a bucket of cars being dumped on him. Rise and shine Uncle Brett! Nora adores her Uncle "Bet" and was always very sad when he left the house. She'd stand by the door calling "Bet" and crying.
Landon has taught Nora the joy of looking quietly at books. Thanks, Landon! I have a feeling you will be the calming influence in her childhood.
And guess who came to visit for Memorial Day weekend plus a few extra days? Yep--Uncle Alan, Aunt Heather and the kids. Whoo hoo! We headed downtown and basically did all the same things we did with the last cousins who visited.

These three climbing on the ropes and peeking down into the water had Ella quite nervous.
Last time we were at the flying fish stand Ezra was with his other cousins and they were scared by a fish head that wasn't "quite dead". This time they were freaked out by a monk fish--those things are a little creepy dead OR alive. And they weren't sure which was the case here.

The sign says "Wassup? I'm a monkfish, yo."

The fish are flying!

We watched some cheese being made.
You know you are from the country when you have to carry your car top carrier down through the parking garage because its too tall for the low ceilings : )

The only 2 of Grandpa and Grandma Idaho's 9 grandkids to have Idaho birth certificates.

This is what cousins do best--wrasslin'!

Can't wait to see all of our cousins again. Next stop...Idaho. I suppose what will happen is that we'll live life at a fast pace all through July and it will take me until the end of August to catch up again. And folks, I'm trying my hardest to think up a good give away. But I don't really make anything fun to give as a prize. Hmmmm...maybe that should be my give away. You can comment about what you want for a prize and I'll pick the best (er, most affordable). Haha. I'll keep thinking and try to come up with something soon. Because quite frankly I'm feeling like a non-giving blogger.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Thank You Request

The following is a message from Rebecca over at "MyWhitsEnd.

"A LASSEN PINES PASS ALONG--copy this to your post to spread the news of a card shower. Read more in the note.

by Rebecca on Friday, June 10, 2011 at 7:47pm


There are two people that ensured I had many happy summers. They also helped me to survive college, and ultimately allowed me to meet my future Hunni. Their names are Mr. and Mrs. Weaver, and I for one just want to say thanks.

After running Lassen Pines camp for many, many years, the Weavers have finally decided to actually have a summer vacation without 100-300 energy-filled, not always the best behaved, kids. Now I know that I am not the only person who feels this way, so I thought it would be nice if we all thanked Mr. and Mrs. Weaver for so many years of giving. I think in some cases maybe up to three generations attended Lassen Pines Christian Camp. So if you attended camp 40 years ago, 14 years ago, or attended last year for the first time, why not send a thank you note to them.

Maybe you met your best friend at Lassen Pines, maybe there was something said in a meeting that you still enjoy, maybe you need to apologize for lighting off some fireworks :) , or maybe you just want to thank Mrs. Weaver for her healthy AND DELICIOUS meals. So why not join me in sending them a note. If you could include a current picture of yourself, I'm sure that they would get a kick out of the fact that you finally grew-up. You might want to add your maiden name, just as they probably remember you by the name you used at Camp.

I have permission from their daughter to include their mailing address:

Wally and Delores

215 Highlawn Place

Altadena, CA 91001

If you prefer email, you can reach them at

And if you would rather just leave them a message right now, I have set a page aside for comments on my blog Just click on the page entitled LASSEN PINES, and leave your note. I will print up all the comments at the end of July and send them to Mr. and Mrs. Weaver.

To help pass this on, you can copy and save this on your profile. Or you can just call up your friend, reminisce about Lassen Pines and tell him/her about the planned card shower.


a Lassen Pines camper"

I happen to have been a Lassen Pines Camp frequenter as well and promised Rebecca I would pass along the message to please send a Thank You to Uncle Wally and Aunt Delores this year. Going to Camp Lassen was the highlight of my year from the time I was twelve until I was sixteen. After that it was simply one of the highlights of my year : ) The first time I went to Lassen I caught a ride with my best friend and her family. We rode the ten hours in the back of her mini-van in antsy anticipation. Finally--Lassen--the signal we had reached the best days of our lives. Our chance to meet and fall in love with the man of our dreams. Time to meet other girls who would become pillars in our lives. Ohhhhh, were we excited. After that first camp experience was over and we were back in our respective homes (3 hours apart) we wrote letters back and forth (before email, of course) and always ended with "only 357 more days until Lassen!" or "only 289 days until Lassen" or "only 32 days until Lassen...three more outfits to buy!!!" get the idea. We may even have co-authored a song (a very spiritual song) titled "I Need a Guy, the Perfect Guy" to the tune of "Amazing Grace".
Of course, as we grew older we did meet young women who became pillars in our lives. We met a little-older-than-us-women who became role models for us (Rebecca being one of them) and we met counselors who taught us a lot along the way. We listened to Bible meetings that helped to shape and change us and bring us closer to the Lord. And we also pulled many a prank and learned to deal with the consequences. Dressing up as a boy is all fun and games until the adults are actually fooled and send you to the boys' cabins instead of your own. And if you're going to put a rotten egg in the bottom of a young man's sleeping bag, try to do it in a cabin where your dad is not the counselor. Words of wisdom.
My own parents have been working with the Weavers for the past 16 years to help put on the camp. I have seen through their hard work just how much is put into such a camp. Without Uncle Wally and Aunt Delores and their years of emotional and physical sacrifice these times and lessons could not have happened. Please do take time to send a thank you, a memory, a verse or a kind word to Uncle Wally and Aunt Delores. Knowing them, each and every word will be savored.
*Interesting update: My best friend and Lassen partner, who we'll just call Amanda for sake of not having to make up a name, and myself both married men who attended Lassen as well. However, neither of us met or dated our mate at Lassen.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I May...

...finish posting about May before June is over. Or, I may not at the rate I'm going.
I thought about skipping over these pictures, but they were on my list of "things to blog" and if you know anything about me you know that I tend to be a slave to my lists. It's a side effect of being a teacher. You learn to live your life in tiny 2 inch squares and lists.
The first weekend in May we spent in Gig Harbor so that I could go see my girls at a gab-fest session of Mommy Group at a playground. (Yes, I did just refer to my past life as a teacher and then write a run-on sentence). It was rainy and I didn't want to take my camera. Let me tell you why the ladies of Mommy Group like to meet at the playground on a rainy Friday: it's empty. As in, we're the only ones there. And with no one watching us we can let our kids run wild. And we ignore them. Yep, almost completely. You'll hear any one of us say things like "well, is there blood? No? Okay then, he'll be fine" or "work it out yourselves" or "shoot, I guess I need to put down this food I'm stuffing my face with and go take my child off the monkey bars in case she actually does a triple-Gainer like she's threatening" and "go use the woods so that I don't have to walk you to that nasty outhouse". No joke.
And then we mommies eat as much food as we can and cover as much gabbing ground as we possibly can in a short few hours. And then we all groan when the rain lets up and other moms pull into the parking lot. And I have not a single incriminating photo.
Isn't my little Nory Pory puddin' pie sweet with that little flower behind her ear?

The kids spent Saturday roaming around Grandpa and Grandma's huge backyard. They sure miss having this yard at their daily disposal. I don't think Ranger misses sharing it with them.

Mother's Day happened to be the Sunday of that weekend and my poor Mama had to work at the hospital. But the rest of us went to Grandma's for pizza and cupcakes after meeting and she joined us there later in the afternoon.
Aunt Cindi and Cousin Ally knelt down to be closer to Caroline and she thought she should kneel too which got us all giggling.
Take Two.
I wanted a picture of my children with me for Mother's Day. But the sun was in our eyes in a violent way. And when you see the sun once every two months and then suddenly it's in your eyes--it's bad!

We hope to see more of the sun soon.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Uncle Brettski's Graduation

This one has a lot of pictures--beware! The second weekend in May saw us driving over the mountains to go watch Brett graduate from the University of Idaho as a chemical engineer/chemistry major. We left on a Friday and drove to Hayden to Uncle Jake and Aunt Emily's place. We had a relaxed evening with an amazing meal cooked by the Auntie and then frozen yogurt eaten by Lake Coeur d'Alene just after sunset. Later Ezra reported that was his favorite part of the whole weekend.
Saturday morning we got up too early for a Saturday morning, threw on some dress clothes and hopped in the van to drive the winding road to Moscow for the 9:30 AM graduation ceremony.
Don't they look like a cute little family? The Kibbie Dome where the graduation is usually held is currently under construction. So they took the ceremony outside. The forecast was for high wind, thundershowers and possible funnel clouds. Yikes!
Instead of the rain we had beautiful blue skies. We didn't need any of the umbrellas we hauled out there--but we did need sunscreen! Thankfully I had some in my purse for the kids' faces. But our arms didn't fare so well. And the poor graduates baking up front in their hot caps and gowns got burned to a red glowing crisp.
Being outside all on one level means that you can't see a blessed thing. Thankfully they set up screens--Brett is walking across the platform to receive his diploma there on the left side of that screen.
Nora finally sacked out as the ceremony ended.
Here he comes!
No family pictorials because half the family was hiding around the corner in the shade. But there's the graduate with his supporting dad and mom.
Then it was back to the condo where Brett lived with Jeff and another roommate.

Time to pack up alllllll five years' worth of stuff.
Heffay kissing his mini-giraffe good bye while lifting de weights.
Mama cleaned out the fridge (and that's quite the job with a condo full of college boys)
The girls had fun playing out on the front steps while the boys and Grandpa loaded up all their worldly goods to take back to Gig Harbor.

A little Guitar Hero for father and son...
After we were packed up it was back to Coeur d'Alene's famous Wolf Lodge for a celebration steak dinner.

Now that was a steak.
One dinner. We did a lot of sharing. Between the plate full of red meat and the fully loaded baked potatoes we were all groaning and holding our tummies.

Food is one thing Brett has always been serious about.

After dinner we went back to Jake and Em's to party some more. Ezra and Caroline cried "shy" and hid behind the blow up mattress in our bedroom when the other guests showed up.

Aunt Emmy made chocolate pudding cake at Brett's request and I can tell you that it was a good choice.

Nora thought so too.
Ezra wrapped up a paper plate to give to Brett as a gift. It IS the thought that counts, right?
A Kindle--that's more like it : )
Dad with his two UI graduates--one more to go.
The boys' friend Matt spent a lot of time playing with the kids and letting them play with his electronics.
Sunday after meeting we all had a nice 5 Guys lunch together and then headed back west for home.
An update to this story is that Brett has been hired to be a chemical engineer at a glass factory south of Olympia. He's currently living in a motel while he looks for apartments. We are excited that he lives close enough to come home on weekends and it will be an easy drive down to visit him!