Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pac Man

It's too bad that I didn't take pictures when Danny started this project on Tuesday. I think he spent about 6 hours on it on Tuesday, 4 hours on Wednesday, 4-6 hours on Friday... and pretty much all day today. He finally had it finished to his satisfaction at about 6pm.
If he had planned it out ahead of time, we maybe could have started saving up large pieces of cardboard. As it is, we pretty much didn't have anything bigger than an orange box...if that big. I think there is possibly more duct tape than cardboard involved here.

It was not a costume to run around the neighborhood in - we sent Alex with him to make sure he didn't run into any little kids. His costume was a big hit - everyone recognized the iconic shape and color. I'm practically teary-eyed when I think about all the hard work he put into this costume.

Practically - but not quite. Just wait until Monday morning when school starts and he has to pay the piper (me) and catch up on his late assignments.

Friday, October 30, 2009


This is how it all starts...first you start staying up late, or getting up during the night to get a drink of water to quell a coughing fit, or both. Add to that a sick husband who has his alarm turned off (so HE can sleep)...and the next you know it's 5:48am and you're supposed to be at church ready to teach in 12 minutes.

Thankfully this all happened on a Friday day. I had my game all prepared...(think speed dating meets scripture mastery...) thank goodness. As soon as I saw the time, I lept from bed and told Steve to call the church (good morning honey) as he was dialing, I was dressing - thankfully it's not too cold to wear sandals with a longish skirt. I asked Deann (on the phone) to have our substitute principal go to my classroom and have the kids take down the tables and stack them.

I made it to church just 2 minutes late. Pretty awesome. Not only did I make it, but so did Danny. I had a couple of my students put up the scripture "dates" on the wall while we were singing our opening song...and we were pretty much ready to go about as soon as we would have if I hadn't been late.

The bright lining to this? I got an extra hour and 18 minutes of sleep this morning. Wahoo.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy 24th Birthday ...Yesterday!

I was planning to post a birthday blog for Nathan yesterday...unfortunately we had some internet here we are, more of a post birthday wrap-up.
  • leftover Funfetti sprinkles and lit candles are the culinary equivalent of putty and paint(which "make things what they ain't).
  • this style will be know as "Birwedding Cake" - a combo birthday/wedding style. Lots of layers like a wedding cake (made of my cream cheese pound cake) and frosted like a birthday cake with Nutella and cream cheese frosting.
  • Snorlax cake topper. Nathan's choice.
  • I think he really liked the presents we got him...I think.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Argh, maybe.

This is my effort at pumpkin carving this year. Not too bad considering what I had to work with.

Here's what I had to work with:

  • a slightly undersized, under ripe pumpkin (it was the biggest homegrown one we had left - I wasn't about to waste valuable bunker money on something as ephemeral as a carved pumpkin)
  • a bum left wrist.
  • a burned right thumb.
  • I forgot to put on my glasses, so I had to squint at the pumpkin the whole time I was carving it...come to think of it, I probably did look slightly pirate-ish.
  • I carved it while Danny rewrote his History essay...the one he had just about finished (all but the bibliography)...before the computer died.

If I had had a larger pumpkin, I definitely would have tried something with more scope...possibly Star Wars related. I've been know to carve a mean Darth Vadar.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Moving Picture

Stephanie and Cory left Marysville last Monday. Their trip to South Carolina ended today! Here's a little of what I know - I hope that Stephanie will get a chance in the next week or two to fill in more of the story, but I'm pretty sure they'll be busy moving in and getting settled.
  • Monday: left our house at 5:50am. Arrived at Mountain Home AFB in time for dinner.
  • Tuesday: I know they drove to SLC...visited Temple Square and then spent a little while at Aunt Debbie's house - so they could visit with her and Grandma Erminie (see picture). Spent the night at Hill AFB.
  • Wednesday: Drove through Wyoming then down to Colorado where they spent the night at Aunt Suzanne's house.
  • Thursday: Some snow and ice on the road in Colorado...but they made it to Wichita, Kansas that night.
  • Friday: Wichita to Little Rock. Noticed that all the good roads were toll roads.
  • Saturday: Little Rock to Atlanta. Noticed that rest stops are perhaps not as common as would be appreciated.
  • Sunday: Atlanta to Charleston.

The final stretch wasn't too long of a stretch - they made it from Atlanta to Charleston by about 1:30pm - just a little too late for church. They had entered their new house address as "home" on their GPS - so they swung by there before heading over to Charleston AFB - where they will be staying for the next 2 nights - until they close on the new house. The Elder's Quorum of their new ward has been alerted to the move in - so that should go really fast. Stephanie and Cory were brutal about getting rid of stuff when they were packing up their old house - so they only have one POD to empty.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cough Drops for the Soul

It may not have been home-made chicken soup, but when Deann dropped off some cough drops for me may as well have been.

I've been pretty much under the weather for the past week...I started getting a tiny sore throat on Monday...then it got a little worse on Tuesday. By Wednesday it was a full-blown cold. Itchy eyes, streaming nose, fever, hacking cough. Yeah. I haven't been sleeping well for the past few nights due to coughing myself awake every time I would doze off.

When Deann called me yesterday morning - to discuss seminary for Monday - I'm pretty sure I must have sounded totally pathetic. A while later Danny comes into my office with a bag of cough drops. I hadn't even heard Deann come to the door.

Thank you Deann. I slept better last night.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

I scaled Mt. Laundry and have lived to tell the tale.

Countless loads of washing and drying...a mountain of folding...and I'm down to the last load. Wahoo. I even mopped the floor - I think I'll leave Nathan to scrubbing the shower. I could offer to pay him with my ill gotten gains...

...the 71 cents and one game token earned by "money laundering".

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family and Friends,

This past Monday we went to a stake Undokai it means exercise meeting literally but it`s a sports activity. It was fun they had a bunch of games and races. The weather was really good as well.

Oh yeah, there was also a harvest festival thing. They call it Danjiri, some people from the neighborhoods go around in a portable shrine looking [for/at?]things and chant/sing stuff. I heard one that was practicing in front of our apartment singing some Japanese song that went to the tune of `Yankee Doodle` and after that `I`ve been working on the railroad` It made me smile. It`s interesting to watch for a bit, but not fun for traffic.

There`s really not much to write this week. Please take care.

Elder West.

PS. I`m thinking of sending a Christmas package sometime but have no idea what to send. Please tell me what you`d like me to send.

Friday, October 16, 2009

In The Ghetto...or...

...Children Ruin Everything.

I'm feeling very trashy here at the old homestead. Hopefully Home Depot still carries this brand of blinds - because I really don't want to replace all three of the blinds in the bay window.

And now we sing...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Apron #4

Stephanie christened this one "dancing in the kitchen". Have I mentioned how much I like the bias ruffle?

I'm getting faster at making these aprons - but I still wouldn't mind having a sewing buddy. Any takers?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Apron #3

Rebekah said "Why don't we do some sewing?" this morning. Yeah, yeah....okay. I changed the pattern that we used for the other two - I simplified it while not taking away from the awesomeness of the bias ruffle. Instead of the fiddly border on the side I just lined the whole thing. No hand sewing(yea!) and a few less steps (yea!). It turned out adorable...I just wish that Suzanne was still here to take the picture.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Secret Keeper

Who knew my husband could keep a big secret from me? Evidently my sisters suspected as much...

It all started for me on Thursday(it was weeks in the planning for the rest of the conspirators). Steve and I spent the day down in Seattle (see previous blog post). A beautiful day...but wait! It's not over yet! You can look at the details of the planning over on Steve's blog, but since I was the receiver of all this fabulous is my take on it.

Much to my surprise, I loved being surprised. Not all surprises are good - but wow, was this one. Steve did an awesome job with his part of the whole con job. It didn't hurt that I love any excuse to get together with my siblings. It was amazing that no one spilled the beans...Brian and Jody, Marcy, Sherri, Keira, Tia and Suzanne...all of them here for my birthday! It almost makes me want to turn 50 again. Almost.

I wasn't all that amazed when Brian and Jody came to the door on Thursday night. Brian had mentioned several weeks ago that he and Jody might head up to Seattle for their anniversary. I told him at the time, that we might not be in town - since it was going to be my birthday weekend and there was a possibility that Steve and I might take off for the weekend. When they showed up unannounced, I put it down to male forgetfulness - I figured Brian had just neglected to call. No problem. When the other 5 siblings came in an hour and a half later...well, I was gobsmacked. My first thought (when my brain finally caught up) was "where I am going to put them all?!?" I already knew that Brian and Jody were staying in Seattle. It turned out that Sherri, Marcy, Sue and Tia were staying at the Holiday Inn - that just left Keira and 10 month old Zachary to stay with us. I had just about enough room for them.

We had our usual awesome time - punctuated by loud crying from Zac (who we're pretty sure is the spawn of....never mind). After going to the temple on Saturday we decided to spend the afternoon back at my house doing various projects. Marcy was working on jewelry, Sherri was making headbands and the rest of us were sewing aprons. Well, I was sewing - Suzanne was cutting and ironing, Keira did a lot of the pinning and Tia held the spatula (just kidding!). We decided it must be a "Super Saturday"...a "Super Sister Saturday". Next time we get together it'll be at Suzanne's house (her house is much bigger than mine). We're thinking maybe in April.

My favorite part of the weekend (besides family)? When Steve had me close my eyes while he got down on his knees in from of me and then proposed to me all over again...while presenting me with a beautiful new ring (to replace the two he cut off). Sweet.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Greek food, flowers, a troll and locks.

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. The neighborhood of Seattle, that is. Steve and I headed down to the big city this morning...

Right off the bat we totally scored a parking place right around the block from Pike Place Market. We had a nice leisurely stroll through the market - it was only a little crowded. We picked up some spanakopita and baklava for lunch, bought some flavored honey to take home (we buy some every time we go...which fortunately isn't too often) and two large bouquets of flowers ( at $5 a bouquet I could have bought more...) and then we headed back to the car.

Our next stop was the Fremont Troll...we only had to cross the bridge twice to find it. It was almost a case of "you can't get there from here"...but we persevered and found it.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks were next. We watched 3 different boats being raised or lowered in the two different locks. There was only one fish in the fish ladder, but hey, it could have been worse.

Our final stop was Top Ten Toys. It's too far away from home to go very often, and it would be expensive to take kids there - so it was nice to go while we were in the neighborhood, without kids. It leans more towards educational/imaginative toys and books...they don't have a video game section, there is no "Barbie" section, no "Hot Wheels", no Disney. After drooling a little over their large selection of Playmobil, I ended up getting Stephanie a pack of activity cards - 100 activities to do with small children in the car...hopefully it will help with their cross-country car trip coming up soon.

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Typhoon Melor

If you've been following the weather in the western Pacific this week, you may have noticed that there was a typhoon that hit Japan yesterday. We're very grateful to Andrew's mission president for his update this morning. I'm looking forward to hearing Andrew's side of the story.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear family and friends,

I came to do email this week since I probably won`t be able to next week. But there`s really not much for me to write this week.

We had district meeting again on Wednesday. We normally have a district meeting once a week, except for zone conference week and transfer week. This time we focused on using the Book of Mormon in all of our contacts. I also encouraged the Japanese elders to pray in English once a day. They`re doing pretty good with that so far.

We also set a baptismal date with an investigator for October 18. Things are going well for that so far. We only first met him September 22. He plays in a band at some other Christian church but we he came to church yesterday and committed to come every week.

Indian Nan and curry recipe?

I experimented with making different smoothies over this past week and discovered that just ice, milk, a little sugar, and vanilla make a good smoothie. (I had already used all my other smoothie making ingredients).

I mailed a couple pictures but as soon as I have access to a decent computer again I plan on copying my whole SD card and mailing it. I have 700 pictures but not a whole lot that I`m in... It`s a lot easier for me to take a picture than to have my companion take a picture of me.

I heard that a new temple was announced for Sapporo, Japan. That`s pretty much at the opposite side of Japan from here. The members here are a little disappointed because they were hoping for one here. But they can get to the Tokyo temple by train or car. The people up in Sapporo have to fly to get to the temple, it costs about $400 round trip per person I think. It makes me a little more appreciative of there being a temple an hour away from home.

Random fact: Most Japanese people have probably never eaten turkey. And ovens that can fit turkeys in them are pretty rare.


Elder West

PS Happy Birthday Mom. (I probably won`t be able to email next week)

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Alex blogged about the cold he has. While on the one hand I feel sorry for him...on the other hand I'm starting to feel sorry for myself...'cause I'm pretty sure I've caught it. I don't think I can really blame Alex for it...Danny has had it since Thursday. Sterling had it for a day or two before that...and who knows where a nearly 2 year old picks up a cold. Probably at church during nursery.