Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Our local zoo finally is putting lights out at Christmas! 


Peek-a-boo!11-27 zoo


We played so hard at the Zoomazium—petting lizards, building snowmen, and having a serious snowball fight.




The snowball fight earlier had been with yarn balls, and this soap bubbles didn’t really hold together well, but they sure were fun!


[Thanks, Jen, for the pictures I snatched from your site!]


I thought we would be ready to leave by 7pm.  We dragged ourselves away a little after 8, since it was going to close soon and it was after bedtime as it was.  Too much fun!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas in Our Home

The trimmings.



The trappings.  (Great place for mistletoe, eh?)035


And the only place in the entire house that none of the kids can reach yet.  See that Tupperware pie holder up in that high nook, above the pantry?  That’s were I keep the four batches of rum balls I made right before Thanksgiving..  Wesley and Piper can eat rum balls all day long….if they could get to them.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Eclectic Birthday

We love Mabel for many reasons, but here’s a few more:

1. She has parents who make her this birthday cake.  I love the candy horn!006


2. Angry Bird plates, Princess napkins, Sesame Street party hats, butterflies, rainbows, stars.  What doesn’t this girl like?


3. We did a “Creation Station” as the party activity!  How cool is that?


4. Happy Birthday, Friend!


Friday, November 23, 2012


The author of one of my favorite books, The Power of One, died yesterday.


From the Seattle Times:

Bryce Courtenay, 79, best-selling Australian author whose books drew on his early-life experiences in Africa, died of stomach cancer Thursday in Canberra. He started writing in midlife; his debut novel, "The Power of One," published in 1989, was translated into 12 languages and became a hit movie.


My note:  The soundtrack of the movie is fantastic. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

First on my list of things I am thankful for….


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Cousins

I took the kids to the cabin just for one night and we brought Parker along, too. (Hey, what’s one more when you’ve got three hooligans?)

Bedtime did not go that well.  It didn’t take long before I took Wesley out of the bunk room and put him in my bed, where he feel asleep almost immediately.  Piper slept quickly after that, and it took Kyla one bed change and a little longer before she was sound asleep.  Parker, the best sleeper in the whole world, was quietly still awake as it came upon 10 o’clock. I picked him up and rocked him, and it didn’t seem to make a difference.  So I laid him next to a snoring Wesley in my bed.  A few minutes later, I found this.078


What a night!  About 2am, Piper came in crying because she had to go potty and couldn’t find the lights (uh, we’re doing a remodel and lights have been moved around).  After we were both back in bed and I was asleep again, Kyla came in to say that Piper was crying that her pillow had fallen on the ground.  It didn’t occur to me until morning that Kyla got up, stepped over the pillow on the way to get me, and had to step over it once more to get back to bed.  Sigh.  And then, well before 7am, Parker, who with his partner-in-crime, is still sound asleep on Dwayne’s side of the bed, wakes up, sits up, and quietly starts cooing happily.  As if a mom can sleep through that.  The girls finally got up, took the boys downstairs, and I pretended to sleep a little longer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Petting Farm

I love this shot of Piper, hands on her hips, having a nose-to-nose conversation with a horse.  What really makes this shot is Wesley’s peek around.



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Best Dressed


I was in the laundry room doing some sewing and, of course, the kids followed the mommy magnetic field and followed me in.  Luckily they got completely distracted by the swimsuits hanging up, which led to a hilarious game of “Swim Lessons”. 



This is how Piper likes to play, and it is a bit of insight into Piper’s brain….


Piper: Kyla, I’ll be the baby who’s not even one years old and it’s my swimming lesson and I’m supposed to wear my floaties but I don’t want to and so I won’t.

Kyla: Okay, baby, it’s time to put on your floaties.

Piper: No, no, no, no. I won’t wear my floaties.

Kyla: Come on, sweetie, you need to wear your floaties!

Piper:  No, no, no, I don’t wanna!

(Repeat, repeat, repeat.)

*                *              *               *                *                 *

Wesley has taken this as his fashion turning point.  Yes, those are his swim diapers over his swim shorts.



Wesley stepped it up a notch today when he put Piper’s gymnastics leotard over his regular clothes.  Then he put on his swim shirt, then Piper’s pink swim shirt, and his blue scarf, and sat down to watch Dinosaur Train. 


Monday, November 12, 2012

Puddle Jumping

My good friend, Jen, surprised me by showing up at the cabin this morning with her two kids!  I was there with my kids just for one night while Dwayne worked on Veteran’s Day. 

Jen is a good friend partially because there are few adventures she is not up for.  She was well prepared with extra clothes and boots to take the kids down to the beach today.  Hopefully I can get some of her pictures of our brightly bundled and booted (great alliteration,   eh?)  kids on this drizzly day.  This is the only picture I got before my battery died! 

Cabin 404

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Dwayne totally outdid himself for my 38th birthday.  He arranged for my parents to take the kids on Thursday afternoon (no school on Friday) and then whisked me away to a surprise location—a spa in Leavenworth! 


11-9 Leavenworth 1


In addition to a stone-hewed outdoor Jacuzzi, restaurant meals and a 90 minute massage, we had priceless time together, including two full sleep-ins!  Leavenworth is really chilly in November, but since we were between the busy Oktoberfest and Christmas Tree Lighting, it was peaceful and enjoyable.  We went for a 5 mile walk along the river trails and up Ski Hill, drooled over beautiful estates (a shared hobby) and got more exercise together than we have since our snowboarding years.  

It’s simply lovely there, even between post-foliage and pre-Christmas lights.

11-9 Leavenworth 3


We made it to the top!  I look 5 months pregnant, but sadly (gladly?), it’s all the Kleenex I have in my pockets for my head cold.

11-9 Leavenworth 9


11-10 Birthday




When we returned to get the kids, they were very excited to celebrate my birthday. And it wasn’t just the chocolate-chip-oatmeal cake that made them giddy.  Piper drew me a special picture.




This a drawing of me going to the bathroom and yelling. I’m probably screaming, “I need privacy, children!”

Kyla made me a cocoon out of purple yarn to hang on the Christmas tree and composed a “Happy Birthday Special Dance I Made Up Myself” (a video that will remain in the family, but I won’t subject you), and she also drew me some pictures.Scan_Pic0002

I forgot what this is, but I liked how she made it from all three of them.

The next one is easier to interpret:


Wesley greeting me with a kiss, many hugs, and a simply stated, “I missed you, Mommy.”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Leaf Diving

Last weekend, Kyla surprised me by raking up some of the backyard leaves while I was working out front!  She wanted to do some Leaf Diving.


That’s not a leaf pile.

11-4 leaves 1


THIS is a leaf pile!

11-4 leaves 4


Bring over the stepladder from the trampoline and you have…LEAF DIVING!  (Or, at least, Leaf Jumping 2.0.) 11-4 leaves 5

11-4 leaves 6

11-4 leaves 10

11-4 leaves 8

11-4 leaves 13


Good times.

What We Do at the Zoo

I just found “new” pictures on my camera from earlier this month when I took the kids to the zoo.  Apparently to sit on a chair and watch a video.  A jaguar video, but a video. 

11-2 zoo 1


We got a little more exercise climbing the whatchamacallit in the Nairobi Village.


11-2 zoo 5


I just love Kyla’s outfit!  And she’s found some straw she twisted into a decoration for a hut.

11-2 zoo 6


Speaking of outfits…Piper’s outfit is all attitude! Smile11-2 zoo 7

Another Wall…But at the Cabin This Time

Before we even put an offer on it, Dwayne and I were pretty sure we’d want to take the large “master” bedroom at the cabin and divide it in half, so we can have a total of three bedrooms and maybe up to seven beds.

Papa Jim shares our dream, shares our love of DYI projects, and has four times the experience of Dwayne and I combined.  He went up for two days this week and accomplished this:2012-11-06 16.25.44 (1)

For those familiar with the layout, the far corner where one of the new doors is leaning against the wall is the bathroom. 

He’s going up in a few days to start the wiring.  Jim reeks of awesomeness …and probably sweat after carrying all the materials up those stairs.

Maybe by Christmas, we will have a third bedroom that a couple could actually sleep in, instead of using a couch or bunk bed!  Come to think if it, I think Jim is just building himself his own bedroom. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I really liked this post regarding some early election results in out state:
Danny Westneat's election analysis
    Reader Kalaloch sends in this summation of our local election:

    "Well, the People have taken a great step toward turning Washington State into another California. Good luck!"

    Actually, California rejected both legalizing pot and gay marriage (in past elections.) After this election, we are now well to the left of California.


    by Danny Westneat, Seattle Times on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 at 10:51:18 PM