Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More birthday fun for me!

My surprise party was Saturday, but my actual birthday was WEDNESDAY so I had almost a whole week of festivities!

On Tuesday night I treated myself to a playdate with my friend Stacy.  :o)  It was her birthday...for one day of each year, we are the same age.  I needed to take James to Trail Life that night, and Stacy lives near the church, so I just hung out at her house for that time.  It was such a treat for me since I only had 1 kid with me (Sedric) and he was pretty good.  :o)

Then on Wednesday I made myself a plan for the perfect birthday.  Included was:

read ~ shop ~ garden ~ pray ~ coffee break ~ work ~ clean ~ play ~ bake ~ eat ~ connect

I hustled to get it all done in one day!

I BAKED a new recipe: pumpkin monkey bread.
It was pretty good!  Made the house smell nice, too.  :o)
I combined COFFEE BREAK with PRAY like I try to do
every day (doesn't alway happen, but definitely had to
make it work on my birthday).
Unfortunately I had to spend 2.5 hours in the
car on Wednesday, mostly driving Bunny and
Mariposa to and from Franciscan Girls.
But I could count it as "WORK."  :o)
SHOP!!  I stopped by the nursery and bought "a few" new
perennials for the bed my dad helped me prep.  (He took out
all the old irised and we added a new tier using rocks.) 
My new babies from the nursery
Girls working for Franciscan Girls Club at the retreat house.

Also on my birthday I did more WORK (teacher work) and I got to GARDEN by planting some annuals.  I updated my blog so that counted as CONNECT, and I had some PLAY time with Celeste and our My Little Ponies.  And I can't forget EAT....

Marcus made Bourbon Blonde Brownies
for me!!  This was SUCH a treat especially
since my bday was on a weekday, and this
is NOT a quick-and-easy recipe by any means.
 Later that evening I did some more SHOPping at Marshalls and treated myself to a few small birthday gifts, and also READ in the car while waiting for the kids to come out of RE.  The only thing I didn't really do was CLEAN because, while I did my "normal" cleaning chores, I really wanted to clean out a closet or two.  But I guess if there was one thing that should drop off my list, it should be clean.

A few days later I was able to do some more planting and get all (but one) of my perennials in the ground.  Yay!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Today is my 40th birthday!!

Do I feel "forty?"  I don't know...part of me has felt 40 for a long time now.  When I was a young mom in my 20s, I made friends with women who were older than me, and I still have those friends!  But in my 30s...I started making friends with moms who were younger than me as well.  So I have no idea what I "feel!"  But I can say that Forty feels Fabulous!

For my birthday Marcus made plans to take me and Bunny out to a local Japanese restaurant this past Saturday.  Or so I thought.  We made a detour to drop James off at his cousins' house for a sleepover...and (what do you know?), my friends and family were there for a SURPRISE PARTY for me!

My dear husband had been planning this since April!  :oP

After getting over the initial shock (who am I kidding, I wasn't over the shock all evening), I got to see the scope of what my husband planned.  Full dinner with appetizers and entertainment.  It was a fantastic evening!! 

While the party was at Marcus' parents' house,
he had it catered so they didn't have to provide
food or beverages.  Yum!
DD (broken ankle), Stacy (7 kids), and Sterling (from Idaho)
--these ladies went through a lot to get here!
I LOVED sharing this evening with Bunny <3
Marcus had arranged for a private PAINT NIGHT party!!!
OMG it was so much fun!

(I think the "blinking" is on purpose.)
The finished products.  I love how they are all the same but
they all have individual takes on the example painting...
except Sterling of course, who had to be DIFFERENT! :o)

I was showered with gifts.  I don't remember a birthday in the
last 20 years (or more!) when I received so many presents!

I have the best husband, friends, and family ever.  :o)  They made me feel so special on this big birthday!  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fun at the State Fair!

Every year the same routine--end of August brings the Oregon State Fair!!!

This year we went on a Wednesday since Marcus had to work a 24-hour shift on Monday (our usual day for the fair).

Of course we still followed our usual routine: first, the farm animals.  Then chickens, parks + rec exhibit, and hot, fresh scones.  This year we went to the 4-H barn next, and then we had an early picnic dinner.  Quilts were next before heading to the rides.  (Man, they are expensive!)  Little kids rode first, then big kids, and finally we ended our evening with a giant elephant ear and a few more exhibits.

Grandpa would like the pig exhibits.
So excited to see the chickens!!!
Boo, the chicken exhibits were gone, and the cavies were in.
Luckily we found a FEW chickens and ducks
tucked away along a back wall.

Picnic dinner!  Fresh sandwiches, New Seasons
salads, Pringles (a special treat), and fruit.
This is one of my friend Ann Marie's quilts.
She won a blue ribbon!  I need to ask her what
the symbolism is.
The detail was a-MA-zing!!  The WHOLE quilt
was row upon row of tiny hand-stitched lines.
And the "material" for the numbers was from
tags, I think from her hiking equipment.  A lady
nearby called it "The REI quilt" because you can
see a little peak of an REI tag....
Little kid rides!  Cellie loved the carousel.
Seddie REALLY wanted to ride a roller-coaster
jungle gym

Big-kid rides next

Bye-bye big kids!  I was off with the littles
for a visit to Familyville and Jesustown.  ;o)
Gemma REALLY wanted an inflatable hammer.
Big kids had fun.
We met up again, and I got a ride on the Ferris wheel!!

(there we are!)

Yummy elephant ears.
Alaskan Racing Pigs on the way out.

Posa's pig Bob didn't win, but she got a ribbon anyway.
A visit to our friend's goats before heading for home.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

this is real life, folks

So many blogs (professional ones) are just about the good stuff.  The pictures are beautiful, the food is always delish, the house is always perfect.  I love those blogs.  It's eye candy for me.  

But this is not one of those blogs.  

Here's a glimpse of "a day in the life."  It doesn't show everything, but it does show a series of unfortunate events:

The garage is really getting to me, so looks like it's time to
clean it out!
All this stuff in the middle of the 2nd bay?  It needs to be relocated.
And the play area needs some TLC.
And while I have an awesome school-storage system (thanks dad!)
I still have some books to sort.  Just a few.  :oP

This was a day when Marcus was traveling.  Whenever I try to tackle a project when he is traveling, it never ends well.  Really, taking care of these kids is a full-time job!  They can't be left unattended for a minute!!

Someone thought she had dry skin.
 That night was a rough one for about 20 minutes there.  I was about to put Sedric to bed when I realized his freshly-cleaned sheets were not yet ON the bed (he had had a little accident at nap time, bless his heart).  While I was struggling with the sheets, Bunny came running in saying, "The giant mice are eating Speckle!  The giant mice are eating Speckle!"  This can't be good.  

I told her, "Send up James to take care of Celeste, and I'll go down to the barn with you!"  So James bounded up and found Cellie in the bathroom.  Still working on the sheets, I heard James exclaim, "Noooo, no, no no, this is bad, no, this is really bad...."  The above picture shows how we found her.  So I had to scrub Cellie with soap to get the greasy cream off, the dash downstairs to put my boots on to go to the barn and take care of a poultry crime scene.

Turns out the giant mice did not KILL Speckle...but they were willing participants in her burial process. I decided at that moment that barn or not, country or not, mice were NOT welcome!  Anyway, Bunny and I set to work to bury poor Speckle (who likely died of natural, not rodent, causes).

I think it was about 9pm at this time.
I wondered what the neighbors thought.

And I still had work to do inside:

When I am alone, I usually leave dinner dishes
until AFTER I put the kids to bed.  Blah.
 The kids, however, were not traumatized by the evening's events, and decided to do some star-gazing.  (They did show me Saturn's rings.  That was pretty cool.)

Marcus came home right about this time, much to all of our delight.  I'm sure he was bummed he missed all the action of the previous 30 minutes.  But he was glad to have a project the next day (buying and setting mouse traps).  There's nothing like being needed and staying active! :o)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

dinner with friends

It's not often someone is willing to take on a family of EIGHT healthy eaters and invite them to a home-cooked dinner...but that is exactly what my friend Fanny did!

homemade focaccia with onions--YUMMMMM!
Fanny made a fresh salad and pesto pasta along with the focaccia
(Fanny is from Italy BTW).  I've known Fanny for 15 years now,
since she was pregnant with her 3rd child.  :o)
Fanny's daughter Irena made DELICIOUS
chicken and salmon skewers--seriously, they
were amazing!  She is only in 9th grade and she
has a big interest in the culinary arts.  The drinks
she made for the kids were fantastic as well!
The L-Z family has a beautiful old home in
Forest Grove, with a perfect back yard.
showing--and learning--card tricks (Veronika is in James' grade)

Marcus with Krystof 
Seddy and Veronika
We all had a FABULOUS time and are so grateful for friends like Fanny and her family!  We were totally spoiled and the L-Z girls were very patient and energetic with Seddy and Gemma especially.  :o)  Next it's their turn to come to OUR house!