Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stay Tuned for More Info

Let's just say it will involve these people...

going to this place...

without these kids...

Yes, I know its borderline illegal to leave your kids behind on a trip to Disneyland, but we are mean and nasty that way!
I will proudly hang my "Worst Parent of the Year" award!
I can't wait to spend a week alone with my husband!

Actually, the kids have taken it quite well.  They were reminded of all the fun they had this summer and our plans for the new year.  They get a week with Granny and Grandpa and I think they are scheming all kinds of treats and favors.

What am I looking forward to the most?
Moving through an airport without a child!  Small, but important pleasures!

What will I miss the most?
Those faces for sure!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apple Season is Here!

I LOVE this time of year.
I loved it in Texas.
I loved it in Cheltenham.
But I love it best in Yakima!

There's nothing that says "fall is here" better than fresh apples!
And we live in Apple Country - that's for sure!

Some good friends of ours have a fruit farm and gave us a load of Gravenstein apples...they're best for baking and cooking.
So, I decided to can some applesauce this weekend.

The pictures make it look nice and neat...but its a big mess and takes quite a lot of time.  Best to dedicate a whole day to getting it done!
I canned smooth applesauce - like the kind you buy in the store - and chunky.
It turned out sooo good!

After apples, I moved on to these guys...

These are called pluots and you can read about them here.
If you ever get a chance to try one of them, you should.
I'm not a fan of plums OR apricots, but they sure go nicely together.
I made several jars of pluot jam...delish!

And I must say, it can get lonely in a kitchen all day.
But, not if you are kept company by a tall...


and handsome...

new refrigerator!!!
Sorry for the bad picture...I was shaking with excitement!
We finally said goodbye to the old short white fridge that came with the house and bought one that we had the kitchen remodeled for!
A FANTASTIC deal as Sears over Labor Day weekend was too hard to pass up and Donald figured I had it coming with all the money I've saved in groceries over the past couple of years.

Our old fridge is in the basement providing extra freezer room and keeping beer cold other refrigerator responsibilities.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sweet Gifts

A few years ago, I returned home from a visit to Texas with this tiny pink bottle that my mom gave me.
It's so cute...only about four inches tall or so.
It sat empty on the kitchen window sill for some time...waiting to find its purpose.

It finally found the sweetest reason for being.

When the kids pick flowers for me, the idea of picking anything beyond the actual flower itself just doesn't seem to work.  
Stems - leaves - who needs those?  
So, I end up with a pretty little flower that is expected to be a full view.
I decided to drop the flower into the small jar.
Over time it slowly loses its color, but not its beauty.

They've filled it up and added other treasures too.

I can't be sure where it all came from, but the one thing that I do remember is the sweet little bird.  
In January 2006, a month before we moved from England, Donald's sister Susan came for a visit.  She and I took Hannah on a day trip to Bath.
We walked and saw a lot of beautiful things -

and the ancient Roman baths

But what did this cutie buy with her money?

This itty bitty little pink bird made with the tiniest slivers of bark for wings. 
He's smaller than the tip of my thumb.

How she saw it in the shop we were in, cluttered with jewelry, knick knacks and souviners of all sorts, I'll never know...but she has always had a desire for tiny sweet treasures.

So, of course he deserves place of pride at the top of this jar full of love!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hello Trombone!

We have a new instrument in the house.
Ivan's in 4th grade this year and that's when the kids at St. Joe's get a chance to try different instruments and choose one to learn.
All summer he planned on the trumpet, but after his hands-on introduction to the instruments at school, he came home with a sheet of paper that says, "Ivan is going to play the trombone".
Oh really.
Well, why not?

We picked it up last Wednesday.  I figured they'd have smaller versions that fit kids his size...but it's one size fits all!
Thank goodness for rental contracts - these guys run around $950!!

He took it to school the next day and his teacher showed him how to put it together and how to make noise with it.
Yea...that's all he can do right now - spit in it blow in it.
The reading music part is coming soon though.
Oh, and he's pretty good at making toot noises while shaking his rear at me.

I think it's pretty cool and I'm anxious to see how he picks up on music and practice, etc.
In just two more years when Jenelle gets her turn, we may be able to hit the road as a traveling family band.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


God bless America!
Jenelle at Mt. Rushmore in 2006

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Watermelon Much?

Nothing says end of summertime like a sweet juicy watermelon!

Yep, it may not be official on the calender, but we can feel that summer is on the way out and fall is near.
The temps are dropping and the mornings are darker.
The earliest apples are already for sale at our local orchard shop.
I love it!  Best time of year for sure!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Love This... this spontaneous laughter.
I don't remember what it was that was said, but she cracked up and I was lucky enough to snap the camera at that moment.

Love my happy girl!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Day of School Pictures

Here they are...with new shoes and everything!
Hannah is in middle school this year, Ivan's in 4th grade and Jenelle is a 2nd grader!

And here's some first day of school pictures from the past...





Cheltenham, UK

Goes by so fast...