Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Two days before Christmas break, I got a call. It was Carolyn at the school. Carter fell in P.E. and hurt his arm. She wasn't sure how bad. . .splinted it. . .thinks I should get it checked out.
After two hours in urgent care, it was confirmed that Carter broke his arm. Technically speaking, he got a buckle fracture in his upper wrist. The nurse assured us that if you are going to break a bone, this was a good way to do it (except that it was his right hand and he's right handed). They wanted to wait a few days to cast it but since we were heading to Canada for Christmas with Theresa, they went ahead and did it the next day. Carter chose a lovely blue color despite the doctor trying to convince him that a red and white candy cane cast would be super cool.
We even got done in time for him to head to school for a couple of hours and fill it up with signatures before school was out. He is pretty proud to be the first one in our family to break a bone. I am hoping he is the last!

Pancakes With Santa

While Garth was skiing. . .I mean working in Canada, we went up the hill to pancakes with Santa. It was a lot like last year. Olivia wanted nothing to do with Santa. She very much prefered to be in the safety of Grandpa Norm's arms.
Derek wanted nothing to do with Santa until he offered him a candy cane, then he was perfectly willing to crawl on up there.
Sydney was adorable and told him all about the zhu-zhu pets she wants for Christmas.
Carter was skeptical and kept trying to get me to tell him that it wasn't really Santa. On the way back to the farm in Norm and Ele's car, his thoughts were confirmed when Ele said that "Frankie is going to be tired out after being Santa all morning." Carter was excited to know the secret that he wasn't the REAL Santa, it was just Grandpa's friend Frank (no wonder he knew all their names!)

Tweaking Tradition

For the past several years, my mom, sister, and I have been making mint chocolate truffles for the holidays. The recipe was passed down from my Grandma Frederickson who supervised our first few truffle sessions before she passed away.
It's funny how you get stuck in a rut. We always make the truffles at my mom's house on a day we can be without children. My mom always handles the melting of the dipping chocolate. . .if you're not careful it gets too hot and turns gray. My sister has perfected the mixing of the middles (room temperature ingredients is the key). I am the official dipper. My Grandma Fred said it's because I have the coldest hands (except for the year I was pregnant and almost all of them went gray, she was sure my hot maternity hands had messed them up.)
This year, due to crazy schedules, we did truffles at my house without REAL margarine (because no store in Spokane sells it any more) and there were 6 kids at the house. Luckily, they turned out great and Carter was thrilled to get in on some of the action. Hand dipping is a skill that must be developed. His first efforts were not too shabby but we did set them aside for him to eat himself. They weren't quite up to par for giving away!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Miscellany

This month, Garth got to take Carter and Syd on separate occasions to a Gonzaga Basketball game. When Carter went, he got to do the half-time race where he had to put on a gonzaga uniform and shoes, then try to be the first to make a basket. There are no pictures or video to document because the iPhone was malfunctioning (I think it was really the user that was the problem). He did manage to capture this adorable picture of Syd.I was a little worried about little hands messing with the decorations this year. Olivia loved the tree and did a great job looking without touching. Derek absolutely insisted that the tree lights be on all day every day but also did a great job keeping his hands off the decor. I love the kids all festive for church on Sunday.

The best line of the holidays came from Derek. We were sitting at our church Christmas party and there was a family performing "Angels We Have Heard on High" there were a couple of singers, one on a saxophone, a trombone, and a trumpet. Derek looks at me and in a very inappropriately loud voice says "they're horning mommy!"


A few weeks ago, Grandpa Norm showed up at our house with an early Christmas present for Sydney. He made her this amazing cedar chest. We LOVE our Norman masterpieces! He has made both boys a toy box, a great toy table, and an adorable baby cradle. These are treasures we will keep forever!

A Flash Back

Every year for my mom's birthday, I update a scrapbook that I started for her after Carter was born. It is called "Grandma's Little Angels" and is full of pictures of her with her grandkids. A couple of weeks ago, I finally looked at the CD of family pictures that we had done in early September when my Grandparents were here from Utah. Just wanted to post my favorite pics (for the blog book that I swear I'm going to make this year!)The grandkid photo obviously didn't go great so the next day when we all gathered for Sunday dinner, we tried again. Still not great luck. This one turned out pretty cute, they are all laughing at my Grandpa Russ doing his Donald Duck voice.

Monday, December 6, 2010

These are not the records I want to break

Snowiest November ever in Spokane. A whopping 25.9 inches of snow!
Why the adults in this house don't love it . . .
Shoveling, snow blowing, shoveling, snowblowing, etc, etc, etc.
Driving in icy/snowy conditions.
Cancelled school.
Why the kids do. . .
Cancelled school.
Snow maze tag in the back yard.

Sledding and the post-sledding hot cocoa.Okay, Olivia didn't love the sledding.

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

Thanksgiving was the usual . . . lots of food, lots of family.
The best thing we "gobbled" this year was the newest Hamilton baby.
Aida Margaret Hamilton 3 weeks old.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We had a truly incredible trip to Costa Rica! It was the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. Here's how it went. . .
Day One: Fly all day to San Jose. SJ is not a very pretty city. We stayed at a hotel right in downtown so we could experience the city but that was a poor choice. There was a strip club across the street and it was more like a hostel than a hotel.
Day Two: 3 and a half hour drive North to La Fortuna. We oohed and ahhed the entire way, gorgeous scenery everywhere. We stayed at the Tabacon Resort and Spa. It has this huge hot springs area with waterfalls and pools and pathways. The best part was that it is heated from the volcano and didn't stink like sulfur.

Day Three: Combination tour began at the Hanging Bridges. It is a series of 6 large and 10 small bridges through the jungle. This is the view of the Arenal Volcano from the reception area.

I tried to be Jane on this real life Tarzan vine. I was surprised how strong it was. We were like horticulture students learning about the plants and wildlife in the Rain Forest. I learned so much!The thing you can't tell from the pictures is how high these bridges are. You are literally walking through the treetops. On this bridge, we got to stop and watch some Spider monkeys playing in the trees. The next part of the combination tour was the La Fortuna Waterfall. You walk down a ton of stairs to get to this point.
Then you can swim underneath the waterfall. I was swimming hard and could barely move forward!
The last stop on the combination tour was a hike around the Arenal Volcano. They have closed down a portion of the trail because the volcano is still very active.
This was as high as we got. It was beautiful with a view of the Arenal Lake and a little town called El Castillo (Garth and I were trying to figure out how we could get our boat there. It would be a great place to live.)
Day Four: We drove North again and white water rafted on the Sarapiqui River. It was just us and the guide. They were only class 2 and 3 rapids but there was constant "foam" not any floating time which made it interesting. This day ended with an evening at the Spa. We did a Mayan Temazcal (sweat lodge cleansing) that was as crazy as it sounds and a couples massage in an open air bungalow in the jungle. . .AMAZING!
Day Five: We drove South to the Pacific Coast to a little beach town called Quepos. Our hotel was called "Si Como No" and this was the view from our first room (that is the ocean behind me, it was just so overcast and we have a very poor camera that it just turned out white).
My kids' favorite story from the trip was about this guy (or one like him.) We checked into our room then went out to dinner. When we returned, we noticed something on Garth's pillow. We thought it was a bug. Then I saw the same thing on my pillow. Upon further inspection, we realized it was gecko poop and the culprit was hanging out on the ceiling above us. Someone came to try to brush him off the ceiling and out the door. As soon as he touched him, he ran into a crevasse in the ceiling. The guy shrugged his shoulders and with a thick accent said "He have a home." Thinking that was a good enough solution, he went to leave. We had to stop him and say that we'd like a new room without geckos pooping on the pillows. Day Six: Canopy Tour. There were 10 zip lines, two rappels, and a Tarzan swing. This was not something we had planned on doing but due to the rain, our other tour was cancelled so we did this one. I am so glad we did, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Day Seven: Manuel Antonio National Park. Again, a lesson in wildlife and horticulture. We got to see sloths, monkeys, snakes, iguanas, beautiful plants etc.

After the tour we hung out here for the afternoon until the evening rain started.
That is Garth body surfing in case you can't tell.

Day Eight: We hung out at our hotel pool all morning then headed back to San Jose.
Day Nine: All day flight home.