Thursday, July 28, 2011

Picky, picky, picky

For me, one of the best parts of summer are the fresh berries! I took the kids up to Greenbluff on a drizzly day to pick strawberries. I had gotten a flat from Norm and Ele, but we ate so many so quickly that I wanted to get more for jam and for flash freezing. Sydney, Derek and I each grabbed a box and picked until they complained.

This farm only charged 99 cents per pound, but I think they should have counted mine as a few extra pounds. . . the little ones would pick one, then eat a few.

Then we got to pick Norm and Ele's bing cherry tree while they were out of town. Sydney was the best little picker. She loved climbing on the ladder to get the high ones.

Olivia mostly ate them. I have found a few cherry pits in the diapers this week, yuck!

Look at the harvest! We got three flats to leave for Ele then we took home 10 gallon bags for ourselves and our lucky friends and neighbors to share! I feel so lucky to have access to this. On the way home Garth stopped at the store for a couple of things and said that cherries were "on sale" for 2.99 a pound!

They invited us back this week to pick their raspberries as well. Those are my favorite! No pictures that time but we have had raspberry pancakes, raspberries on cereal, raspberries with a little milk and splenda (my favorite!). And I still managed to mash enough for a batch of jam. Mmmm. . .the yummy tastes of summer!

My Little Tree Hugger

As I was trimming my roses the other day, Derek took a big wiff and said "I love these flowers. . . and these flowers love me!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Man Down

Sacrament meeting can be tough on little boys. Lately, Derek cannot make it through our one o'clock church. He ends up sleeping on Garth's lap through sacrament meeting then often stays asleep through much of Nursery. It's a little ironic because I can't get this three year old to take naps in his own bed during the week.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

4th of July

We had an amazing 4th of July! We had such a cold, windy, and rainy June so we were thrilled that the day was finally hot! We invited a bunch of friends and family to come celebrate all day with us at our association park and we filled the place up! There was never a dull moment for the kids. They played bubbles. . .

Played in the water. . .

This was Carter's first experience in a kayak, and he really caught on! He gave all of the kids rides and a couple of adults, including a lady who is 7 months pregnant!

There was an abundance of good food. Garth and Cameron smoked ribs for 6+ hours on the BBQ had a huge batch of pulled pork for sandwiches (thanks to the Rippys for slaughtering the pig for the occasion!). Olivia, as you can see, was partial to the chocolate covered rice krispies someone brought.

The kids spent hours on the beach and never grew tired.

We ended the night out on the boat to watch some fireworks. On our side of the lake they are illegal, but the other side is Steven's county and fireworks are legal so we cruised out and watched as people along the water put on a show. It was lots of fun!

Happy Birthday Olivia!

Olivia, I hope you know how much we love you! Even though you got left with your Grandma all day on your birthday, even though your mom didn't make you a cake, or wrap your presents, even though all we have to show for your second birthday is some iphone pictures of eating ice cream at McDonalds.

Grandma Theresa was an angel and took all three younger kids while we spent the day with Carter at Hoopfest, it just happened to also be Olivia's birthday. We got there at 10 in the morning and there was a tower of presents and a homemade cake. Obviously she was well taken care of. After the last game, we all went to Livie's favorite spot for a burger and some birthday ice cream. Pretty lame but that's the life of the youngest child in this family. We Love You Olivia!

50th Anniversary

In June, Norm and Ele celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Garth and I worked with his Dad, Step-Mom, Brother and Sister-in-law to throw them a party! The Hamiltons have an annual picnic that used to be held at the farm and for this special occasion, we brought it back. There were over 100 people there that were somehow related or neighbors of Norm and Ele. We had lunch catered by Red Lion then a program. It started with a slide show of pictures that Karyna put together, then I sang the Rooster song (I even played the guitar. . .first time since high school). Then Keith told some funny stories about spending time on the farm. At Grandma's request, Carter sang a solo then the kids and I sang "Grandpa" by the Judds. Garth ended the program with some more memories and thoughts about Norm and Ele. Good times were had by all. Congratulations to Norm and Ele!This is Ele's wedding dress that she made herself!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sad News

I recently found out that my friend Brooke lost her husband. We were friends briefly when we lived on the south hill and they were here for law school. They moved to Yakima so I have run into her a time or two and I get updates occasionally from my brother who lives there.
Mark came home early from their family trip to Utah so he could return to work and died in his sleep of a brain aneurysm. This hit way too close to home for me. They are about our age, with 5 kids about the ages of my kids, healthy, happy, wonderful people. You just don't expect something like this to happen to someone like her. I have had feelings of sadness and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my own husband since I found out. I am so grateful for all he does, for the dad he is, for his hard work, his humor, his decisiveness. I think of how heart-breaking it would be if he didn't get to see Livie growing up and saying funny things or if the boys never got to go golfing or on a Home Depot run with their Dad. My heart has been so full this week just thinking about how quickly life can change and how grateful I am for what I have at this moment. I have so many reasons to be happy and I feel so blessed.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Believe it or not, Spokane is the host of the world's largest 3 on 3 outdoor basketball tournament. It is quite the event here, they shut down half of downtown and there are basketball hoops lining the streets. It is actually in the Guinness Book of World Records! This year, there were 7,ooo teams and nearly 20,000 participants ranging from a 2nd grader bracket all the way up to the over 60 bracket. Players are guaranteed two to three games on Saturday and if they win, they play Sunday. I didn't want Carter to have to make the tough decision to not play on Sunday so I wasn't going to encourage him to play. However, one of his friends' dad called and said they wanted him to play with him even though they knew it would just be on Saturday. I was glad they included him and that there was no pressure to play Sunday.

The "Giant Killers" (not sure where that name came from or what it means) lost their first game. They hadn't really practiced together and they are new to the half-court rules of play. They did much better and won their second game so they got to play one last game.

The other kids were at Grandma Theresa's house all day but she had plans in the evening so I had to pick them up before the last game. It was fun for Carter to have a cheering section but it was SO hard to have the little ones in that crowd. They estimated 250,000 spectators for the event. Unfortunately, the Giant Killers lost their last game on a last second two-pointer from a kid on the opposing team. Fortunately, that meant they didn't play on Sunday so Carter didn't miss out on anything.

The next day, Carter could barely walk. When we were soaking Carter's feet and he counted 12 blisters (although I think he had a couple of those before hoopfest started) and he announced that he doesn't think he will ever play in hoopfest again.

Sewing With Grandma

I love it when people teach my kids things that I cannot teach them. Recently, Sydney had a sleepover at Grandma Theresa's house and they sewed together. Now I can sew a straight line but it is not a real talent of mine and it is something I do out of necessity, not enjoyment. Together they sewed this cute strawberry sundress and she even got to experiment with a decorative stitch on the bottom.
Then when they were at Grandma's house while Carter played hoopfest, They made one for Olivia. Theresa has some serious sewing skills and I'm always impressed at the things she does with no pattern. I would be thrilled if this was a skill she passed on to my girls!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Spring Training

It seems that when Spring finally hits in the Northwest, everyone is training for something. This year alone, I had friends and family training for half-marathons, full marathon, Olympic triathlon, Iron Man, Ragnar relays, and century rides. I am impressed at the time and dedication people put into these endeavors but I'm just not that into it. I officially gave up running last year because of knee problems (which cuts out most of these events) plus I am too cheap to buy a road bike and I feel like if it's a nice enough day to be riding a bike, I'd rather be skiing.
The one thing I miss from training for an event and completing it, is the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes along with it.
This Spring, I single handedly moved 13 yards of river rock, one wheelbarrow load at a time from a huge pile into the long beds that go along the side and the back of my house. Okay, I know that is nothing like these events but I felt pretty proud of myself for setting my mind to it, and getting it done!

The only bad news is, 13 yards didn't quite cut it. I need several more to fill in around the hot tub and in three beds with trees.