Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas at the Cabin

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast at my parents'  (Thanks, Mom!) and then we headed off to the cabin for the rest of the weekend.

We had to bring the kittens this time since they are still too young to be fed to the coyotes left at home alone for three days.  They are cute and significantly less trouble than children, even if they do make me wheeze.11-29 cats at cabin


There were so many great things about the Holiday kick-off on the island, but our favorite was the tree-lighting in Langley on Friday night.

Yep, one single tree in a tiny park.  Okay, so it wasn’t so much about the tree.

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It was about the “You’re a Goonovember 004d Man, Charlie Brown” actors performing a few songs from the upcoming play.  It was the Shifty Sailors bringing out the accordion and guitars and leading a crowd through a dozen songs.





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It was definitely running into the few friends we’ve made on the island, and then meeting more new friends.  And it certainly was the rein-alpacas (yes, Kyla, those red antlers are real. Certainly. Just like those elves.) bringing in Santa to our favorite small town.

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Shops were open past 4pm-it was quite a ruckus!  We bought knitting needles at the yarn shop and a gluten free cupcake at the Commons.  Yeah, we know how to party in Langley!

And Dwayne came up with the best way to wrangle Wesley.  It was about the happiest he had been all afternoon.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


‘Twas the week before Christmas season,

The weather was warm,

The pumpkins were still out,

But gosh darn, now so are my Christmas lights!


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But more decorative than a bunch of LEDs is a Wesley in dinosaur jammies, with a beret on his head and rainbow butterfly wings that flapped as he ran up and down the driveway playing with his sisters.  I tried to take a picture of him in my heart, as my MP3 didn’t do a great job.  And I need something to sustain me as he drives even his father to the End of Patience.  (Yes, it’s a real place.  I’ve been there lots.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One Last Picture of Halloween

Our downtown offered business trick-or-treating and professional photos.  I finally downloaded ours and actually really like it. 

Halloween at Molbaks


I’d Photoshop Dwayne in, but I’m already a month behind on blogs. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Best Birthday EVER

Yeah, yeah, we all know I am an introvert.  But in the last few years of being a stay at home mom, I have developed from a run-of-the-mill gosh-I’d-like-some-alone-time sort to a full-fledged will-you-&#$!ing-leave-me-alone curmudgeon. 

So when my birthday came smack dab in the middle of a three-day weekend, I decided that I needed to go to the cabin.  Without kids.  I NEEDED TO GO TO THE CABIN WITHOUT KIDS, repeated the curmudgeon.

So I went. I left after tucking the kids in bed on Friday night and came home to kiss them goodnight on Sunday.   

I didn’t get to the cabin until pretty late that Friday, but decided to exercise my birthday prerogative by rearranging all the furniture that night.  Since I brought my coursework with me to complete that weekend, I wanted the desk right next to the stove.  I wanted things to be clean, organized, decluttered, and most necessary, cozy.  All so I could get a lot of studying done. 

Ta da!

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Okay, so you can’t see much, but now there’s a reading corner and the desk is more usable. 

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So immediately I set up my computer and…played Spider Solitaire.  (Not to worry, I really did finish that course over the weekend.)

I finished patching, retexturing, and painting the bathroom wall.

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And did a few other little projects.  Even tackled the wet grass that had gone unmown for two months.  Oops.

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And after issuing several invitation to friends to come over (sans kids), Rochelle was able to join me and I got to go for the long beach loop walk I’ve been wanting to since we first got the cabin a year ago.  I love good friends and solitude, and the best of the former doesn’t negate the latter. Thanks, Rochelle!

I woke up on my birthday to a quiet cabin.  I didn’t have to get up to feed anyone.  No toys were left for me to step on the landing, no broken crayons left all over the floor, no toilets left unflushed or opened packages of oatmeal strewn from the cupboards to the table.  I didn’t have to ask anyone to get dressed (you know, that thing we need to do every morning?) or get on shoes or to buckle up. 

One of the best things about the weekend was driving into town for wi-fi and cocoa, passing the church we go to on the island where an older man was cleaning the parking lot and thinking to myself “If I didn’t have kids and had the blower in the back of the car, I’d stop and help him.”  And then realize that I didn’t have the  kids then, and I had brought the blower to the cabin to clean off the deck and had put it back in the car.  I stopped and blew off the other half of the driveway with him in less than thirty minutes.  That’s how awesome the weekend was.

Next year, I turn 40.  Dwayne and I are thinking about celebrating big together on October 9, exactly half-way between our two birthdays.  Which means next November 10th, you will probably find me alone at the cabin.  I can’t wait!


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PS  I reached Zen in those 48 hours, and totally lost it by Monday morning.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It’s a First World Problem…

..but it’s still driving me crazy!

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We knew this would happen.


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I was away most of the day helping a friend with a house project.  It was a decent day and Dwayne wanted to finish up the building season by getting a last section done on his walls and cleaning up for the winter.  This meant open season for the kids.  We both knew the house would be a disaster whether or not Dwayne worked outside, so he might as well make progress. 


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But this is what I came home to…in just one room.  Piper, when she does not want to clean, can take a room so bad that you can no longer see the floor—and then make it worse. 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

High-Five Me!

I Dyslexia Red heart

To maintain my teaching certificate, I must complete 15 credits every five years.  It always feels good to get another few credits checked off, and yesterday I dropped in the mail my 35+ page coursework for a 5 credit class on dyslexia. Yahoo!  I completed it in just over a month, but of course, have been doing the research since May.  Reading Specialist—here I come!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Perhaps We’ll Move to Kentucky Someday….

(From on 11-13-2013)


Girls' school tells students: 'You're not a princess'

Lisa Flam TODAY

Mercy Academy ad

Against the Cinderella culture, a Catholic high school in Kentucky has a blunt message for young girls.

“You’re not a princess,” Mercy Academy says in a new ad created by Louisville, Ky. agency Doe-Anderson.

“Don’t wait for a prince,” reads another. “Be able to rescue yourself.”

“This message empowers them to move beyond that whole fairy tale idea and to write their own story in life,” said Mercy principal Amy Elstone.

The Louisville girls' school with 550 students launched the campaign last week, with ads on websites, billboards and bus shelters. Elstone knew it might raise eyebrows.

“We knew it was going to be risky going with this message,” Elstone told TODAY Moms. “Our girls are growing up in a society where they’re told by their parents that they’re a princess, and our message is that they’re not a princess, they’re so much more.”

The theme is also part of the school's enrollment video.

Elstone doesn’t want students to think they need to wait for their Prince Charming. 

“That’s what TV tells them and movies and Disney tell them,” she said. “We teach our girls to prepare for real life.”

That could include a prince, she said, as long as a student is writing him into the picture, Elstone said.

The campaign, Elstone said, is true to the school’s mission of preparing girls for the 21st century.

“And we think this holds true to the Catholic tradition and our ultimate goal is to produce women of mercy,” she said.

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So far, she has received only positive feedback.

“It’s been amazing,” Elstone said. “We’ve been hearing people talking about it in the community. It’s all over Facebook. It gets people talking. People are debating our message and applying it to their own life.”

Mercy students enjoyed the campaign when the school ran it by them last year, she said. 

“They all loved it,” Elstone said. “They said it is exactly what a 13- and 14-year old girl needs to hear.”

A few girls, she said, teared up, she recalled, and said, ‘Yes, I’m writing my own story.”

On TODAY, Natalie Morales credited the school with spreading a “great message.”

“You watch the Hollywood romance movies and you see the happy ending and the guy always comes in and saves everybody and everybody lives happily ever after and that’s not life,” Morales said.

*     *     *     *     *

Hey, Mercy Academy, I get what you are saying and I love your message! Crowns get in the way of changing the world.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pacific Science Center

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The problem with Kyla being in school full-day is we now have to go to fun places whenever everyone else does, so on Veteran’s Day, I packed up the kids, radioed in backup (my parents) and we went down to Seattle. 


We are waiting for Grandpa to grow up.  Maybe he just needs to find a smaller table.



This is Kyla’s look right before she gets so frustrated that she falls completely apart.  We are doing a logic puzzle. 

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If a mirror can change my body this much, can it at least get rid of the zits on my face?

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The butterfly pavilion is always a favorite.  Who knew butterflies liked checks?



This is me wondering how long Piper will need to pout because Wesley got to put the ears on the bunny he was working on.

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We needed a little fresh air and run around time before we drove back home.  Kyla is being her usual OAN (Oldest Available Need) and helping her Wes climb.


Wesley had a 30 minute pout before going in to full-tantrum mode (Piper joined him in this as we went to the car).


While Wesley pouted, Kyla got to go down the fountain and get herself drenched.  But she kept her spirits, even in November with no coat!  You go, OAN!

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Piper Builds a Better Mousetrap. Well, not really.

Clothes bin, exercise ball, and a Piper.  Well, at least she’s brushing her teeth.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Playing Doctor

Our good friend, M, came over to play with Wesley this morning (because two 3-year olds are easier than 1!). Wes was very excited to play doctor, but he’s 3, so this was a perfectly 3-year-old rated version. It didn’t even include the shots that he hates.  And M thinks it tickles.



Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cousin Fest

My dad and I have birthdays exactly 2 weeks apart, so a family birthday party between the two was perfect.  It was also right after Halloween, so the kids and I dressed up.  Wesley brought 3 costumes because he likes being a dragon/dinosaur, an astronaut, and Spiderman.  The superhero won this time and Parker got to wear the dragon.  (Yes, Wes is wearing underwear on his head.)

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Wesley often refers to Parker as if he were his invisible friend.  Parker is is best friend and brother when they are not together.  When they are together, they become more like partners in crime.

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Oh, yeah, this is trouble…

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Cecily tries to get in on the love fest snuggle.  There’s not room, honey!

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