Monday, May 31, 2010

Nice weekend

This was a perfect way to end a very nice weekend. A family bicycle ride on the Greenway. I promise that I do actually own a bike...this is twice now I've claimed to be on one, but provided no proof!


Husband AND ribs...

Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Birthday Boy!

Donald turned 41 yesterday! Now he's the same age as me and I finally have reprieve from being called a least until December when I turn 42...

Jenelle made a special "party" t-shirt!

I made a rich and yummy chocolate cake. The recipe can be found here.

We haven't had a lot of sunshine in Yakima lately, but Saturday was nice, so in the afternoon, Donald set up obstacle courses for the kids. They had so much fun! There were lots of victory jumps and ribbons were awarded! The pictures are from the first race...everyone had a chance to prove they were a good sport! But, competition between siblings can be tough and after many races and some tears, we called off the games. As I sit and type this, they are all outside again with newly designed courses. I love hearing them cheer each other on - even though they want to win themselves!

Donald and I finished off the day by going out for dinner to Zesta Cucina! Delish!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wuthering Heights

I LOVE this book!

I remember, vaguely, being assigned to read it in high school. I found it incredibly difficult and not of much interest. In fact, I don't actually remember getting past the first few pages.

I'm sure some of my feelings for it now are a result of having lived in England and falling in love with all things British, but the main reason that I decided to pick up the book again was because of a BBC production that Donald and I watched on PBS last year.

For me, this was definitely a situation where watching the movie first made reading the book a better experience. If you want a great love story, watch this clip and then continue with the other parts on YouTube. You can also rent it from Netflix.

Then read this...

"If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it."
- Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, Ch. 9

Isn't She Lovely?

Hannah plays the clarinet...and she plays it very well. She had a band concert last Monday and was the best clarinet player there.


Not long ago, she approached me about not playing when she starts 6th grade in the fall, but we talked about the importance of extracurricular activities and also what a gift it was to be able to read and play music. I heard a quote once from a musician. He said, "No one ever grows up and says, 'Man! I sure wish I had never learned to play the piano!'" Tru dat! Most of us wish we HAD taken an opportunity to learn.

There's also pretty cool research out there that indicates musical training can enhance the brain's development and function. It sure couldn't hurt.

The kids are fortunate to have an opportunity in 4th grade, at their school, to learn an instrument. Ivan's turn will come in the fall. He's leaning toward the trumpet.

Since our talk, Hannah's started enjoying playing more. Her band teacher told her she is good enough that she would probably make State if she plays in high school. We are so proud of her!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Larry, Jog-a-thon, Birthdays, Bike rides!

Lots of updating to do! Now that its slow on the crafty front and all my favorite tv shows have come to and end "sob" (Lost, Survivor and Amazing Race), I will try once AGAIN to blog more regularly. I don't think I'll get around to once a day, but several times a week is certainly do-able.

For those of you curious about Larry...and I know there are some of you...he is doing wonderful!

Donald doubled the size of our garden this year and made plenty of room for Larry to grow! I'll be taking pictures of him every couple of weeks to track his progress. He's looking good!!

Just Jog!
The jog-a-thon this year was a huge success for our school! The goal was $30,000 and $35,000 was raised! This money goes directly to the teachers and classrooms! Yea! This event is an awesome example of positive peer pressure. The kids - and I mean all of them, not just mine - always amaze me at this event. From pre-school on up, big or small, athletic or not, they run their hearts out! Here's some highlights...

Ivan getting his shirt signed. This is a fun tradition!

Jenelle and her best friend Chloe!

Man she's an awesome runner, but how do those tiny matchsticks carry her around so many times?

Hannah and her best friend Amanda!

Birthday Girl!
Jenelle turned seven a week ago!
She didn't want a big party, so we had a small celebration on the day of her birthday and then went to see "Furry Vengeance" with her friend Chloe (see jog-a-thon pics above) and had a pizza dinner.

And as you can see, she didn't have a traditional birthday cake...she had some of that delicious chocolate pie!!

Bike Riders!
Now on this next topic, you'll just have to take my word for it, because we don't have any proof. But this past Sunday, my friend Renee and I went on a bike ride in the Yakima Canyon!

(photo taken from this Washington RV Campgrounds website.)

The canyon is closed off to traffic once a year (a Crime Stoppers fundraiser) and people can ride their bikes from one end to the other and back for a 35 mile round trip excursion - without the worry of traffic. Because of the nature of the landscape, there are gentle hills and grades. Well, that's how they advertise it anyway...gentle...hmmm.
So, we got going and eventually stopped to rest and refuel at the halfway point.
At that time, we were both exhausted. For me it was certainly a different workout as I haven't ridden a bike in years. The sky was looking pretty nasty in the direction we were headed and so as soon as Renee started to breath the words...I shouted "YES! I'm ready to turn back!" I figure 16-17 miles is a good start for getting back on the bike!

So, content that we had made a great effort, we were happy to turn back. Ironically, the nasty sky we saw was actually coming our way! We were hit with rain and sleet on our return! It was cold and miserable for the last 2-3 miles, but the feeling (once feeling came back into my hands) was great and I'd definitely do it again...going for the distance next time!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Oh, I hope I do a better job of posting this month. I got busy with loads of sachet orders and just didn't feel like adding blogging into the mix. I've sort of missed it, so I think I'll make some time for it this month.

Here's what we have going on in our backyard right now!