Monday, March 30, 2009

Contest time... stay tuned

Okay all you followers and lurkers- a contest is coming to this blog. I can't tell you yet what it is, but I will tell you the prize involves candy. Now, who doesn't love candy? And who doesn't love a good contest? I tell you, this is the perfect match! Stay tuned!

Before I hit "publish post", I'm inserting a picture. Blog entries are always more fun with a good picture.

I'll let Kaisha defend herself on this one! (love you Kaish!)

Friday, March 27, 2009

This man is funny!

The countdown has been on for a couple of weeks. Counting down to tonight. Counting down to TIM HAWKINS!!! LIVE!!! IN CONCERT! IN OLYMPIA!

I laughed so hard I cried, and I don't think I was the only one! Part of the fun was going with our good friends, the J family and the C family. It's good to just laugh together sometimes.
Check out this clip from It's one of the jokes that I laughed the hardest at:

This man is funny! I hope we can go see him again sometime.

Happy Birthday dear Bretty....

Brenda turning 3, Brett turning 1

Today is my brother Brett's birthday!

Things I love about my brother:
  1. he is a kind and gentle man
  2. he married Kristine

  3. he and Kristine have provided wonderful children for my kids to be cousins with

  4. he loves the Lord

and most importantly...

5. he has always laughed at my (dumb) jokes

Thanks for being such a great brother Bretty, and happy birthday!

Us at a Christmas dance at BHS, 1982


Our Dad teaching Brett how to tie his tie. I think Dad is probably about 42 here! (The same age Brett turns today)


Brenda age 7, Brett age 5


This is the best one! We are dressed for "Nerd Day". Spring, 1983? Love the guns on the wall and the 1970's carpet. Are we 16 and 18?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Guest Blogger Photographer: Brenda's mom, Marcia

My parents know how to beat the cold, rain and snow of the Pacific Northwest... they move to Yuma Arizona each October, not returning until April. My mom just sent these pictures of their little place down there. I can almost feel the heat, just looking at these pictures.

cactus garden plus quartz rocks and cactus skeletons

Crown of thorns

bougainvillea and black lava rock border

My dad and his bike. The source of much fun on the warm AZ roadways

newest cactus. the bloom only lasts 3 days

A proud Thomas

Thomas was named "Student of the Week" last Friday. This is an honor given by Thomas's first grade teacher, Mr. C. The recipient of said honor:

  1. receives the title IN FRONT OF THE CLASS (it doesn't get any better than that)

  2. is bragged on a little by Mr. C

  3. gets to take the class mascot, Rascal the Raccoon, home for the weekend

  4. is asked to write a bit about the weekend with Rascal in a class journal book

Rascal is cute, but because he lives in a first grade classroom, I never know exactly what other critters he may be carrying along with him (ewww!). So, the first stop for Rascal at our house was a quick trip through the dryer. After that, he smells good and is hopefully ready for a fun weekend. Below is a picture of Thomas and Rascal, eating ice-cream together.

Way to go Thomas!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring!

This makes me want a convertible. And sunshine.

Get up, get out, spring is everywhere...

Pet Roll Call

Yes, we are a family of 5, but our house has a popuation of 8. The other three who live here are our pets: Annie the dog, and Dot and Dixie the cats. Let me introduce you...
This great dog is a farm collie who is just about to turn 3. She has long hair and only sheds twice a year. The first shed lasts from January to June, and the second runs from July to December. She is a sweet dog and will do most anything asked of her if the reward is cheese or bologna. Annie likes to "hold hands" with people and we're told this was also a trait of her mother's. Given the opportunity for freedom, she would love to run and run and run to find some sheep. Maybe one day we'll take her to a place where she could try herding some type of livestock.

Annie comes from a great family who breeds farm collies, not show collies. Their web site is

Annie in the snow this last December

Annie, what beautiful eyes!

Dot and Dixie:

These kitties are siblings and came from the girls' dance teacher, Lauren. Well, actually from Lauren's cat who is uniquely named "Kitty". Dot and Dixie turn 3 this May. They are typical cats, and think they rule the world. They revel in hunting for game in the empty lots around here, and placing their victory trophies (ie: dead rodents, birds and once a rabbit) on our doorstep.

Dot lives for drinking out of the sink faucet.

Dixie is a night time girl who loves to be out at night.

Dot and Dixie

Monday, March 16, 2009

Beannactaí na Féile Pádraig ar ár ngaolta agus ar ár gcairde uile.

The above is Gaelic for "Happy St. Patrick's Day to our Friends and Family".

In honor of the saint who used a shamrock to teach the Irish about our triune God, we have none other than a few Irish dance pictures. After posting these pictures, I realize I have very few pictures of the girls actually dancing. I'll have to work on that!

Amanda, Lauren and Emily

First feis, 2005
"Dance for Life"

Lauren is the girls' private dance teacher

Emily's medals and a trophy this spring at Emerald City Feis

This is how the results of each dance are posted; by age (under 14),
dancer level (prizewinner) and dance (treble jig)

Emily and Amanda
Portland Feis, fall 2008

Emily, receiving her trophy for a treble reel competition

Patti and Amanda
Patti is one of the teachers at Scoil Rince Slieveloughane Irish dance school

Thomas and Jack, watching at the feis

Amanda, getting ready for a hard shoe competition

May the sound of happy music
And the lilt of Irish laughter
Fill your heart with gladness
That stays forever after.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Now we really ARE running!

"Cross the line in 2009" has been Jack's mantra for the year. What that meant was to enter, and FINISH, a 5K run in 2009. After a little research, Jack decided on the first annual Tacoma St. Patty's Day Run.

"Would you like to do this with me?" he kindly asked me as he registered on-line. Being a nice wife, I replied, "Yes, that would be fun to do together!" I had about 3 weeks to go from one who admires others who run, to one who runs. No problem!

Fast forward a few weeks to today, March 14. Raining and 42 degrees.

We arrived in Tacoma at 7:30 although the race didn't start until 9AM. The promoters of the race were advertising that you could arrive at 8AM and take advantage of "breakfast and Bud Light" at the restaurant on the dock where the race started. OUR reason for getting there so early did not involve having a malted beverage for breakfast! Instead, it was to get a parking spot that was close to the start/finish line. I wouldn't want to have to walk too far to get to a race. Did I mention it was raining?

People watching in the parking area was hilarious! Serious runners sprinted by our car, off to retrieve their number. Others stood in the rain to stretch, talk to other runners, or to parade in their green St Patty's running wear. A few endomorphs walked by, instantly making us feel like we belonged.

Waiting in the covered area before the race

Braving the wet and cold, we got out of the car and stood in a covered area until the race was about to begin. The serious people had been out at the starting line for a while. Good thing. I think they would have mowed me over.

Over 750 people beginning to move after hearing "GO!"

"GO!" yelled the official starter person, and we all started walking slowly... in the rain. After about a half mile, I warmed up and tied my coat around my waist, no longer noticing the rain. Plod plod plod. Mostly running, but some walking. At the half-way turn around was a man playing Scottish bagpipes. Made me want to run faster to get away from them, although they are a good instrument for the outdoors.

Jack was running ahead of me and met me at the finish line. I can't believe I finished and I wasn't the last person! I saw the lady who was last. She had a police car with its lights on trailing her, bringing up the end of the race.


Jack and Pam, Jack and Brenda. Pam is a cook at PGSchmidt. She and her husband agreed to do this with us!

I think my time was 39:20 and Jack's was 31:00. It was hard work, but I would do it again. Maybe the new mantra is "Two lines are fine in 2009!"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Major yard work

This was the scene in our backyard on January 24th. The goal was to have stumps and a few ugly trees removed, level out the bumps and holes, bring in 60 yards of soil, and shape the mounds that we will plant in this spring. The excavator was so fun to watch, especially when it carried the gigantic rock from the empty lot next door and placed it into the area which will be our fire pit. Now, if the weather would just cooperate a bit, we could get planting!


Pulling and clearing stumps

Soil is in, but not shaped yet. They hauled away 4 dumptruck loads of stumps and junk vegetation!

Here comes the BIG rock!

After! Mounds shaped, stones placed.

Guess who...

lost a tooth!?!

That makes 3 top front teeth missing now. What a priceless grin!