Sunday, November 26, 2006


By the time this snowstorm ends, there will be a foot of snow that has fallen! This picture looks black and white, but it's not...

This morning Don and I took JoJo into Langley to purchase touques and gloves, because amazingly enough no one could fine theirs. It took hours because of the horrible driving conditions. We were in the truck, driving with 4-wheel drive, and there were plenty of cars and trucks in the ditches on either side of the road. At Wal-Mart, we stocked up on groceries so we don't have to drive for awhile. This snow is supposed to last a few days.

We'll probably have no school tomorrow...shucks! In the meantime, the kids (except for Jordyn) played in the snow, built forts, and had a snowball fight. Only one person ended up in wasn't Patience.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Can you believe...

that Valarie gave ME a hard time about updating my blog?!?

The good news is that the Richeys arrived safe and sound to our farm around 4:30 this afternoon. I couldn't get my shoes on and the baby bundled up fast the time I got out there, they had their tree in the bed of their truck and were all ready to come into the warmth! In the good ol' days Valarie would've spent hours finding the perfect it appears that the tree that's closest to their truck when they park is the perfect tree!

They brought pizzas, pop, and a very yummy dessert which we all ate in no time. The kids had a great time together...amazing...and the babies were in hog heaven with all of these fresh people : )

Here are photos of various groups of people! For newcomers, the pictures are Dylan, Val, and Nathan; five cousins eating pizza, Hailey and Patience, Kelsey and Jordyn, and me and Dave!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Napping with Daddy

Last night, after my coaching interview, I came home to dad "babysitting" Jordyn. It was 7:30 and they were both completely sacked out! The flash didn't even wake up Jordyn.

Patience, who put herself to bed at 5:00 last night, is still sleeping soundly. Thank the Lord, no vomiting last night! Maybe she'll even be able to eat something more than just two Saltine crackers today. Poor little thing...but I have to admit, her sleepy cuddles are very nice. Normally she's way too bouncy to give anything more than a cursory hug. Yesterday she fell asleep on my lap twice : )

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Catching Up!

Well, what a week this has been! On Wednesday of last week we had a pretty brutal storm in the PNW...sustained winds at 100 mp caused considerable damage, not to mention driving hazards AND power outages. We lost power at around 11 a.m. on Wednesday and it didn't come back until Friday morning...almost 48 hours! The first day was fun, almost like an adventure, Thursday was a little annoying but when I woke up Friday a.m. and found there was still no power I basically lost all my sense of humor about it.

The power outage was not without its benefits. The boys didn't have school Thursday or Friday, freeing them up to work with Don. Don was able to get a load of trees out of the interior on Thursday with the help of Nathan. That's a huge relief because the weather just wasn't cooperating when Nathan was available.

This weekend I spent Saturday a.m. at a 4-H workshop and then just did my normal house and kids routine in the afternoon.

Saturday night Patience woke up around 1:30 throwing up. Lovely. And since she shares a room with Jordyn, she woke up too. I cleaned Patience up, her bedding was a mess, so I put her to sleep on the floor in my room. I got Jordyn back to sleep (lucky girl got a bottle in the middle of the night!) and then went into my room just as Patience got sick AGAIN. More clean up, and this time I smartened up and got her a bucket. I brought her into bed with me, and every 15 minutes she would say, "bucket," we'd sit up while she vomited into the bucket, I'd clean her up, empty the bucket, etc. until around 5 a.m. We woke up at 8 and she wasn't able to keep anything down. The poor girlie has only had water and two saltines all day long, and has lost most of the water. She went to sleep around 5 tonight (and she's slept alot of the day) so I'm hoping a good night's sleep will help her recover. She doesn't seem feverish.

I did several loads of laundry all of the casualties of Patience's getting sick as well as catching up with the regular laundry. Those days without power put a kink in my routine of a load (or two) each day.

Don has worked all day long. This afternoon he took Nathan and Dylan down to bale a hundred or so trees that he's selling wholesale.

Tonight I met with our 2007 head coach for swimming to interview some potential coaches for his staff. I think this is going to be a good year.

And now I'm off to bed...a little early, I admit, but I need to catch up on lost sleep from last night and who knows what's in store for me tonight.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pink on Pink

Here's JoJo all happy with herself for being in Sissy's chair!

JoJo is now officially 9 months old. She's still crawling, although she's getting quicker! And right now she's suffering from her first diaper rash : (

She's 100% on a bottle now...boy, that formula is expensive! And eats about three jars of baby food a day, plus snacks of Cheerios and such. Oh yeah, and she eats whatever table food we give her at dinner time.

The Bearded Sailor

Another request from Grandma: a photo of Nathan with his beard! This is Sailor Nate all decked out for the Remembrance Day parade on Saturday.

Nathan got permission from cadets to grow a beard after his drama teacher requested it for a part Nathan is playing in the school play. He just found out that now that it's a fully-grown regulation beard, he can keep it as long as he wants! Apparently in the Navy it's okay to have a beard, probably due to the seafaring tradition...

Since he hates shaving, he's going to keep it!

Patience's Disrobing Disorder

My lovely 2 1/2 year old daughter has a rare disorder: she'll consciously or subconsciously take her clothes off at nearly every opportunity. Don really hopes she outgrows this before teenagehood! As a result of her behavior, she is frequently running around the house either naked or in some degree of nakedness.

Yesterday when she appeard butt naked, I yelled, "put your clothes on!" for the tenth time and she appeared one minute later with socks on.

She was wearing a new western shirt from Grandma (duh) and hasn't quite gotten the hang of any shirts besides t-shirts, so when she redressed herself without assistance, this is what happened! Upside down and inside out! She did fine on the lower half, though.

Sometimes she puts her underwear on so that one leg hole is around her waist, which of course throws everything off, and makes it look (on one side) like she's wearing a thong. Very funny...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

New Sleepers!

I'm sure we wouldn't be able to have all these hundreds of children if we had to purchase all of their clothes. But we don't! We have the most generous parents who send boxes of incredibly cute clothing every so often so that when we actually DO buy something ourselves it feels foreign!

Here is Miss Patience modeling two of the five or so new sleepers that Grandma sent to her. Can you just see her saying, "Cheese!"?

Thank you, Grandma, for the wonderful new sleepers, socks, and shirts! I love the cowgirl ones!

My Gazebo-less Garden

For those of you who know what my backyard USED to look like...

You can see the skid marks that the tractor made pulling my gazebo out of the backyard and over to where the second shop is. The gazebo was on the new proposed property line so we had to move it before the subdivision could be finalized.

Nathan was shocked when he came home and it was gone. I never knew it even mattered to him but he told me that he wanted to get married in that gazebo just like Don and I did. So we'll have to make sure it sits in a picturesque setting when it's in its final place.

I'm hoping my yard won't look like this too much longer...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

One Horrible Night

Ugh...I haven't had this little sleep since Jordyn was a newborn! Yesterday Miss Patience had a very late, very long nap, which made her not really sleepy until about 11 last night. That's much later than Don and I like to be awake, but since she's currently sleeping in a trundle bed in our room, she kept us awake until she finally drifted off. Shortly after that, Miss Jordyn woke up and started crying. This happens at least every other night, and we just let her cry. She goes back to sleep after a few minutes. Last night, after 20 minutes, Don went in to change her diaper. She has had a bit of a diaper rash lately, so we wanted to make sure she wasn't stuck in a dirty diaper. Nope, that wasn't the problem! So, he put her back to bed, freshly diapered and she continued to cry for 20 more minutes. Then I hear a crash/thump, and then her crying escalates. I run in, only to find her laying down, crying her heart out. As soon as she sees me, she stops crying. I pick her up and snuggle her to me as much as possible (she's not a snuggler) and try to sway/rock her back to sleep. She settled down but didn't seem tired AT ALL. She looked at me, around the room, out the door, wondering when we were going out there... After 10 minutes of that, I realize that I am not going to be able to rock that baby to sleep. So I put her back in her crib...heart-wrenching crying...for another hour. I think it was around 3 that she finally was quiet. So, yeah, we got about 4 hours of interrupted sleep. Jordyn is taking a nice long morning nap (must be nice) and Patience is just plain cranky. I think I'm going to try to keep her up until 7:30 or so. She'll probably fall asleep at the table...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Not Just Fishing...Catching!

Sean and Don had an excellent time at the fishing field trip today. Even though the weather was poor, there were lots of fish caught! They were salmon and they were spawning, and there were lots of them. Sean caught the second fish of the day, and, according to Don, Sean is an excellent caster! Here is a great shot of Sean, and another one of him and his teacher, Mr. T.

A Rainy Saturday Morning...

The weather is bleak here: driving, freezing rain! I'm hoping that all this weather is over before December, as this is really not the weather conducive to choosing a real tree at a Christmas tree farm...this is the weather where you run to the grocery store and buy an imported, dried out tree.

This morning Don and Sean headed off to Sean's fishing field trip. Yep, in this weather. I hope it clears up at least some, or it's not going to be any fun for anyone.

Dylan is gone for the weekend to his Redhawk Voices retreat. Nathan was supposed to be sailing, but the cadets had the good sense to cancel when they saw the forecast. No sense in getting a bunch of boats and cadets all the way to Harrison just to have it be too windy to put in.

I was hoping to drive south and visit with Val, et. al., but I think the last thing she needs is to be exposed to our lingering colds.

Nathan is still sleeping; Jordyn is down for her nap, and Patience is terrorizing the house. So that's our rainy Saturday morning for you! I'll post more later, if anything newsworthy should happen.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Houston, We Have a Mudroom!

This is yet another room that is too small to photograph well...this is the view from the top of the stairs. There are just a couple of details left, such as trim for the window and closet, a closet door, and a long white coatrack that will go on the wall opposite the wood stove. Oh yeah, and a proper light fixture. Right now we're just using an old floor lamp.

There is still a little painting left to do, as well. Last night Don painted 1/2 of the stairs (the same color as you see on the floor) so now he'll do the other half.

Our project is so close to being done I can hardly stand it! I can't believe how much these extra walls have added to the "livability" of this house. We should have done it long ago (we've said that about every renovation project we've ever done, though!).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Return of Our Christmas Tree Farm Angel

Altenate Title: Will Work for Wine!

My wonderful stepdad, Lee, retired last September from an eternity working for the airlines! He is one of the best retired people I know...always busy, always travelling, working on house projects. He's definitely not one of those people who kind of fade away when they retire!

Last December, when I was 7 months pregnant, with a toddler to boot, and a lot of work to do around the farm and the house, plus the three boys who all have lives and need to be driven places, I was getting a little nervous about how I would make it through...

And then, just like a guardian angel, Lee arrives at the farm and stays for 12 days! He worked long hours with nothing for compensation besides a little food and wine! He made the fire early in the morning, he drove the kids all over the place, he made and served popcorn to zillions of kids for our school tours, not to mention assembling the zillions of snowmen crafts that those kids put together during their tour. Yep, he was definitely indispensible!

And he's coming back!!!! I just found out from my mom that when they come up for the end of November (concert) Lee will just stay on through the busy weekend! Even though we aren't doing school tours this year, there are other additions, namely Jordyn and Danica! So I'll still need his help : )

If you haven't figured it out already, Lee is a pretty spectacular dad! Now I'm looking forward to the Christmas tree season instead of dreading it!

Playing with Mrs. Potato Head

Here are the girlies playing together (well, okay, Patience is playing and Jordy is watching!) with Mrs. Potato Head. You can see that Jordyn doesn't feel well. Poor Bubelah...

A House Full of Sickies!

That's we're all stuffed up or dripping : (

I have the beginnings of a face ache. Poor little JoJo is still not better, but she doesn't have a fever so I don't think she has an ear infection. Patience just has dark droopy eyes and she's willing to sit (or lie down) and watch a movie. Admittedly, that's not so very bad!

Yesterday after lunch I was wiping Patience's hands and face and said, "what do you want now?" with her bag of Halloween candy in mind. She said, "Baba." I said, "Don't you want some Halloween candy?" and she said, "No candy, nap!" So off she went with her bottle for a nice afternoon nap (lucky duck!).

Don said she did great with trick-or-treating! She didn't say, "trick-or-treat," but she did say "thank you" everytime. And she would just stand there saying thank you with her bag open until people gave her more candy! And more often than not, she would try to enter people's houses...they must have seemed like the kind of people she's like to get to know!

Nathan brought home bad news...a failed math test. He says the teacher is going to let him rewrite an especially dismal part of the test which would raise his score. Let's hope that's right, because a failed test means no basketball, which starts next weekend.

Dylan fessed up to something he's been secretly doing after school: he's singing in a Jazz ensemble! I told him vehemently "no more choirs or bands, young man!" because I though that 5 was definitely enough! But the music department wants to start a younger vocal jazz group because right now the really good one is made up of grades 11 and 12 students. Dylan is in the "second string," so to speak, which is made up of grades 8 to 10. It's a small group...6 students. And Dylan wants to know if Grandma is going to come to February Blues, Poppy's Jazz festival, to hear him play and sing! He figures we can celebrate JoJo's birthday whenever the festival is, so you can kill two birds with one stone!

Oh, and here's another news flash: Dylan has decided that he's NOT going to Disneyland this year. He has three more years of pricey band trips, including one to China! so there's no rush in laying out the big bucks this year. I'm sure he'll regret it when the rest of the group heads out in April, but you can only do so much when you're not independently wealthy. I figure he can continue saving, and by next year's band trip he'll be all set. It's painful to learn delayed gratification, but what a great perspective to be able to have.

Okay, I'm off to do more reading. Patience, unfortunately, loves "Fox in Socks." It's very difficult to read!