Monday, December 31, 2018

Good-Bye 2018, Hello ‘19!

From our family to yours!

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Three & Me!

Dwayne came up with “Three & Me” to claim his time away with the kids—a clever and distinguishing phrase from my “Me & 3” adventures.

It wasn’t meant to be a Christmas present, but I hope we make this a tradition at the end of every year from now on!  He took the kids away Saturday afternoon, and they came back Monday afternoon, leaving me alone with the house. And oddly, it was perfect for all 5 of us!

Dwayne found a hotel room with enough beds—and a pool!—down in DuPont.

12-30 Three and Me (Dwayne) away

We don’t spend much time hoteling as a family, but besides a pool and 3 separate beds, we learned the value of a complimentary breakfast.  It’s a good start to a day for a parent who doesn’t have to quickly get creative first thing in the morning!

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I love that Dwayne broke the time away into 3 adventures and 4 restaurant choices, so each  kid got to pick one of each.

Kyla chose the Pt. Defiance Zoo.  I admit, I was a smidgeon jealous I didn’t get to see the new aquarium!

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Wes chose seeing the new Spiderman at the cinema after a Pizza hut lunch.

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Kyla was excited by her Red Lobster (and crab legs) choice.

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Piper picked Chuck E. Cheeses, which Dwayne reported not being nearly as awful as he expected.  He got them each card to play for exactly 1 hour.  Kyla, my darling minimalist, didn’t want any of the cheap junk or candy kids can purchase with their tickets, so she gave all hers to her siblings.  Who bought cheap crap and candy.12-30 Three and Me (Dwayne) away 1012-30 Three and Me (Dwayne) away 11 12-30 Three and Me (Dwayne) away 1212-30 Three and Me (Dwayne) away 13

I was running errands when they came home from Chuck’s and then McDonalds (Piper’s choice), but it was a happy reunion!  But, please, please, go away in another 363 days!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

End of Year Random Catch-All

Apropos to nothing….

12-23 Clementines

I love the look (and taste!) of Christmas tangerines.

Book of Conventions

I took time last summer to go through all my old teacher boxes.  I cleared out this folder, but I’m fond of the cover.  Winking smile

Breast Feeding cover up

There was a great story this year about a breast-feeding mom who was told to cover up.  So she did.  Well played, Mama!


Picture I took before I lost 12 pounds earlier this fall. The chocolate baby was overflowing the jeans a little too much.

Vivians book 

I wish I could claim this story, but all credit to Island Em.  For the first time, her two girls were off to a week-long summer camp, and Em dared to tackle V’s room.  She found this manual written by V, entitled “How to Clean your House”.

Here’s the kicker.  When she opened it:

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Yeah, that would be blank.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Me Without Three!!

Bye, kids!

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Bye, Babe! 

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I love you!  Don’t hurry back!

Because I have a long “want to do” list, just waiting for a quiet household with no one in my way. I put all the Christmas cards on the wall in new frames that no longer get in the way of the barn door (I love seeing our evolution).

12-30 My project

I caught up with a similar project from our Mother’s Day family photos on the dungeon wall.


Christmas filled our recycling bin, so most of the mess in the  office now is bags and boxes of papers that need to be recycled, because not only did I organize what you can see, but I cleaned out papers older than a year from the files.


Christmas Chaos (The Room That Must NOT Be Entered by anyone other than Mama in December) is now back to being a guest room (while also storing a certain bicycle hidden behind pillows for someone’s 9th birthday in a few weeks and a plethora of boxes until recycling day).


Downstairs game/books/video shelf got some TLC and decluttering.


The most important regrouping was for my mini office in the coat closet.  I also mostly caught up with cabin paperwork.  Phew!


I also shampooed the upstairs carpets, and cleaned out our bathroom a bit.  (Anyone need a new-in-box pregnancy test?)

12-29 Off to Three and Me Denise does 12

And Kyla often gives me a box of random things to sort and get rid of.  She had some ornaments that  really have no sentimental attachment to her. My only reaction is to keep things with names and dates (Baby’s First Christmas!  Must keep always!), and I love that she knows that this isn’t her style, doesn’t love it on her tree, and can’t see needing this as she gets older.  My only regret is that it can’t really be donated (see “2006”), but otherwise, she’s completely correct.  But she’s the  lucky one—she fills a box, hands it to me, and I’m the one who has to best figure our most appropriate disposal of all the items.  But that’s my job and it’s worth having less stuff and a live in Role Model!

Thanks for the 48 hours at home by myself, Babe! Best present ever.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Hot Cocoa Bar at Pacific Science Center

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I took 5 kids to Seattle to see an IMAX, laser show (the afternoon Queen show is not worth it, even free), and a few Virtual Reality experiences.  But the Cocoa Bar was one of our top highlights.  It’s fun to take kids this age!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

After Christmas Play

12-26 Piper and Abby

Old Friends were excited to play with new toys!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy Christmas Eve

We love our family gatherings and Christmas Eve at my mom’s house in particular.  Here’s some shots, starting with the best I could get of the 5 oldest cousins. 

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12-24 Crazy Cousins 2

And then we got better (thanks to Brian’s camera over my phone):

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