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Preview: FrannyKate's Creative State

FrannyKate's Creative State

Updated: 2018-03-06T10:02:57.085-08:00


Right Now: March 3


I always love when Katy posts her "Right Now" posts so I thought I would follow suit and break out of my blogging slump with one of my own. Listening... to Wicked and Les Miserables on my runs.  I never get tired of Broadway show tunes:-)  Also love Bruno Mars and always look forward to listening to the Wait Wait Don't Tell me podcast that I listen to as I clean the kitchen on Mondays.Remembering....  the fun little getaway to Great Wolf Lodge.  The girls loved having their friends with them and it sure made it easier on the parents!  Love this photo of Nora photobombing Maddy and her friend underwater:-)Reading....   My personal read is Sisters of the Sari, it started out promising but is feeling a bit forced to get all the pieces tied up at the end.  And I don't think it will bring me to tears, which is always necessary for a good book in my opinion!  Nora and I are reading Return to the Willows which is reminding me of when I was a girl and read Wind in the Willows.  We are enjoying the read aloud time together, especially when we go out for coffee together to read.  The family read-aloud is currently Scat which we are enjoying but is nothing amazing.  I am looking for a really good one to start after this.  Let me know if you have any recommendations.  I am feeling like we have gone through so many of the classics and with Maddy getting older and having read so much it is getting harder to find new material that will engage all 4 of us.Eating...   Loving my egg white, spinach, green pepper and onion scrambles topped with pico de gallo and also my daily spinach smoothies.  Healthy can be yummy:-) Maddy made crepes with strawberry sauce all from scratch 100% on her own for dinner tonight.  DELISH!!!Enjoying.... The glimpses of spring weather we have had.  I have gotten a bit of yard work done and today we enjoyed a full day outside with a family hike (thanks to and then the girls got home and biked in the neighborhood for another hour.  Looking forward to more sun, warmth and outdoor fun.Playing.... the family has been enjoying Wits and Wagers that Nora received for her birthday (thanks Amy!).  It is a super fun and easy family game for all ages.  It will definitely be going in the camper this summer. Coveting....  a ceiling without holes in it.  The good news is after years of issues the leak FINALLY seems repaired.  Now to get the drywall work completed and then we will move on to window replacement.  The joys of being a homeowner!!Watching....  nothing worthy of discussing!!  The girls are excited for The Amazing Race to be back on as that is there one prime time reality show that they get to watch. Thinking....  alot about having a real job next year.  I am enjoying planning and preparing for the fun but then have moments of wondering why I am doing this.  I am definitely wanting something more in my life to help fulfill me with the girls away all day but then I realize all the freedom I will be giving up and wonder if it will be worth it. Making...  getting ready to make these clay fish with 25 second graders on Friday.  I have never done a ceramics project with a class, so am feeling a bit nervous about the process.  Wish me luck!!! So what are you doing RIGHT NOW???  Feel free to play along and share!![...]

Christmas Wrap-Up


We had a very wonderful Christmas.  We were very fortunate to have both sets of grandparents drive over 12 hours in snowy and wet conditions to spend the holiday with us.  It made for a fun and full house.  We had lots of laughter, games, food and memories that will last the rest of our lives.
 Each night was ended with game time.
 The annual tissue paper snowball fight.

Maddy's Creative Corner #1


Here is a tutorial from Maddy on how to make an American Girl doll lamp that really lights up!

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2012 photo highlights


2012 was a wonderful year for our household but somehow blogging on a regular basis took a backseat to everything else.  The amount of times I think about making a blog post vs. the amount of blog posts I make is too large to count.

So instead we decided to catch up on the year by posting this slideshow of some of our favorite photos and events of the year.   Enjoy and Happy Holidays!


Thankful #12


Today I am thankful that Nora finally hit the 48 inch mark and can go on the slide at the Federal Way Community Center pool!  It has gotten harder and harder to go swimming there when she couldn't go on the slide especially when many of her friends have been able to go on it for a long time.  She had a fantastic time today going on the slide over and over and over again.  Maybe it is now time for Disney????

Thankful 5-11


 Thankful for fun preschool projects.  Today we made centerpieces for Thanksgiving.

Thankful for the right to vote.

Thankful for four more years.

Thankful for fun teachers at McDonalds.

Thankful for our veterans and our school that does such a wonderful assembly for Veteran's Day.  The girls were thrilled to contribute some family photos for the slide show.

Thankful for a sunny day for my morning run and 2 girls who kept me company.

Thankful for an enjoyable and relaxing day spent in the kitchen.  I made white chicken chili, mint brownies and 2 batches of pretzel rolls.  

Thankful #3 & 4


Day #3 photo represents many things I was thankful for:

  •  Thankful that I survived the season being the "head coach" of Nora's soccer team
  •  Extra thankful for all the help Tom gave as "assistant" coach (he really became as much of the head coach as I was)
  •   Thankful that my daughter still thinks it is great to have her parents be her coach
  •   Thankful for a successful season with a fun team
  •   And especially thankful that the season is over so I don't have to wear that hideous orange           t-shirt anymore:-)

Day #4  Seahawk Sunday

Today I am thankful that we were able to enjoy a Seahawk Sunday game day.  The past month we have had many conflicts that have interfered.  But today we were able to enjoy it with every ritual and superstition that we have including:  pizza poppers for lunch, cheetos for second half snack, skittles for Lynch Touchdowns, First Down cheer (pictured above), touchdown celebrations and of course all of us showing our Seahawk Pride with our gameday gear.  I love that our girls enjoy all of this as much as I do and not only do they enjoy all the silly stuff but they fully understand the game of football and can watch it and give good commentary on what is going on.

Halloween at Hogwarts take two


Last year we had Hermoine and Hedwig.  
This year was Dumbledore and Fawkes the Phoenix.

Thankful Post #1


Way back in 2008 I participated in my first photo challenge where I would take a photo each day in November documenting what I was thankful for.  This was before Project 365 or any other photo challenges and it was a great way to focus my photography and get a good glimpse into our daily lives.Fast forward four years and life is busier than ever, my blogging has become non-existent (sorry mom!) and my photo taking is lagging far behind.  At times I wondered if all that effort was worth it but over the past day I have spent time looking back at my scrapbooks and rereading old blog posts and enjoying it so much.  Being reminded of fun activities, cute things the kids have said, crazy phases they have gone through and so much more.  I think I started to feel that my photos weren't worth posting since they weren't up to par with most bloggers' amazing photo-shopped, high quality photographs.  And my writing was pathetic with no humor, many grammatical errors and way too verbose.  But going back I realize those things shouldn't matter and I am doing this for my own documentation and I do truly enjoy it.    SOOOO with that I start my 2012 Daily Thanks Challenge to help kick-start my blogging, photography and scrapbooking once again.  And what I was thankful for yesterday was all the documenting I have done over the past 10+ years.Day two and I was thankful for a no-school day.  Life is so crazy with all of us running around to meetings, practices, volunteer activities, school events... and it seems we never get the chance to just slow down.  So I really appreciate the many no-school days we have.  Today we had a Horsopoly marathon, did fun crafting and baking along with trying to catch up on some chores around the house.  These days really help me to recharge my battery and be ready for the next whirlwind of craziness. The girls are also trying to participate in the the photo challenge by taking their own photos.  I am ashamed to say this was Nora's first photo. Yes, she was thankful for her Halloween candy.  Lovely.......   I was thankful that the girls made a large pile of it to donate to the Troop Donation Drive at school.    Luckily, before I had to give the big mommy lecture of what things we really should be thankful for she took this photo for day 2.She is thankful for her sister!!I will be trying to post many of my daily thanks on my blog to keep myself accountable.  Anyone else want to participate???[...]

Spring Break - Maui


We have returned from a fabulous spring break trip to Maui.  The motto for this trip was sun, sand and surf and repeat over and over again.  This is obvious going through my hundreds of photos, as they all really look about the same.  I think I must have at least 100 alone of Madison in different phases of boogie boarding, as that was her favorite activity to do.  Nora's favorite activity was snorkeling.  Unfortunately, our waterproof camera decided not to be waterproof:-(  It is so hard to pick and choose what photos to post so I am just going to go for it and share.  I'll do another post or two on some of the activities we did while there.

Room Re-Do Part One


Madison has been talking about a possible room remodel for her birthday in June and I thought it sounded like a good idea.  At our old house we had spent so much time on adding paint, stencils, molding, flooring.... for both girls rooms before they were born.  When we moved into this house we had other things to focus on along with 2 busy little girls and their rooms never felt really done.  Here was the state of her room at the start of the project. So Maddy and I have been discussing the remodel and she was drawing up little ideas and plans.  Then I stumbled upon this on Pinterest.  And my goal with Pinterest is not just to pin items but to actually DO them!!(and if you have no idea what pinterest is, you are missing out and we must have a conversation).  Madison's had the bed portion of the picture and her room is so small that it is difficult find space for all her goodies while still making it look put together.  I showed the plans to Tom and he was as inspired as I was.  So although her birthday is still 3 months away we decided we should get started while we felt inspired.  Tom and Madison got going on making the plans, which was a great time to use a little math in real world application.  Then the building started.  Maddy wanted to be a part of the process the whole way through and I think was somewhat helpful.  It was a really fun activity for Dad and Daughter to work on together.  I have no photos of the numerous Home Depot trips we made over the past 3 weeks.  It was a bit ridiculous, they may even know us by name!After the building came the painting.  I was a bit concerned giving color choice to Maddy but she made some great decisions.  We used a darker teal blue as the accent wall with a lighter blue for the other walls.  I have to say painting the cabinets was a bit of a pain getting into all the little corners and edges.  Painting has never been my strong suit.  And lets not discuss the room painting with cutting in on those edges and moldings.....   Then we had the moving in.  Maddy and I worked ALL DAY Sunday on organizing.  I really wanted to take the time and do it right so we went through every piece of paper, book, toy, figurine, stuffed animal that was in her room to decide what was being kept and what needed to leave her room - either garbage, recycling, garage sale pile, find another home.....  We even went through her "memorobilia drawer in her bed.  Both girls use one drawer to put all their special papers, pictures, art projects... in.  You know all those things that sentimental people (like myself and the girls) can't get ride of but have no home for.  I would say Maddy and I cleared out half the drawer which felt good.  Wish I had some photos of how the room looked in the middle of this process.  I was a bit worried that we would never see the carpet again.  But we persevered and got things all put away.  The closet is completely organized even with empty shelves and the new shelving is looking good.  We still have a ways to go on the remodel.  Still debating on bedding, this fleece blanket Maddy made this winter and just happens to match well so we will take our time looking.  I need to make some type of window treatment, find artwork for above the bed, finish painting as I only did the area around the bed, make a reading corner and find an area rug.  But I am so pleased with how the bed area turned out.  We are using the left side as her desk space and Tom is planning to put doors on the lower right cabinets.  The upper cabinets can hold books, trophies, figurines, jewelry boxes and so much more.[...]

Dolly and Me Tea


We have concluded the final piece of birthday celebration with Nora's friend party.  She choose a Tea Party with 7 of her friends and their favorite dolls.  We went all girl and all pink with this one.  I don't think our house has seen this much pink in all 9 years of having girls but it was fun to decorate and be girly for a change. side note: I got some adorable photos of all the girls together with their dolls and their "dance party" but I am not comfortable posting photos online of kids if I don't know their parents are okay with it so I had to select from the other photos instead.  We hosted the tea party up in the playroom loft.  The big girls had their table and the dolls had their own.  Here is May, Nora's doll, all ready for her friends to arrive.  Each doll had her own place setting complete with cake, pie, napkin and lemonade.And the big girls' tableThe guests of honor!  The girls made jewelry for their dolls.  Maddy helped with a few hair-dos on the dolls along with "hello my name is...." nametags for each doll to wear.  The cake was not my finest of productions but luckily 7 year old girls are fairly easily impressed!The dolls enjoyed their teaparty time tooWii Dance Party was a big hit and could have kept them entertained for hours I think!  Best party activity ever!  None of the girls used controllers we would just put the song on and let them go.We ended the party with more tea while decorating picture frames with a group photo of the whole gang.  Overall this was a very successful and fairly easy party to manage.  Treat bags consisted of the girls taking home the place setting for the dolls complete with mini-eraser cakes and pies and the lemonade drink along with a mini i-phone eraser for the dolls and then each girl got to choose one of the primrose centerpieces to take home.  [...]

American Girl Outings


Grandma Margie was in town for Nora's birthday so we celebrated on Sunday by taking the girls on a special outing to the American Girl store.  That is quite the experience!!  It was a bit overwhelming for the girls, especially Nora, to make choices.  This was especially true since they were spending their own hard earned money and wanted to make sure they made the best choice possible.  Both girls got the dolls' ears pierced and then chose a new outfit for the dolls.  Very fitting of the girls - Madison chose a track suit and Nora a pretty party dress.

We also enjoyed a fun birthday lunch in the Bistro.  The food was better than what I had anticapted and they certainly make the kids feel special and include the dolls in everything.  If you plan to go on the weekend, make sure to get reservations!  I saw many very disappointed little girls and parents who expected to come in and get seated with none and were turned away.

Overall it was a fun experience that was good for a special occasion outing.  I have to say these dolls are quite the hit in our household.  I wasn't too sure when the girls started requesting them but they LOVE them and I really like the fact that they are being so creative and imaginative with them.  And must admit that I am a bit hooked myself:-)

12 on 10 Birthday Edition


(Nothing like a birthday to get a person out of a blogging slump.  Let's see if it continues past this weekend!!)Breakfast in bed with homemade cinnamon rollsA bit of a rush job on the cake-pops this morningA brief reprieve from the rain allowed for a fun photo shootAnd tree climbingAnd scooteringA little quiet time for everyoneNora said that getting her report card on her birthday was a great gift!!Nora's dinner choice: steak, homemade rolls and honey butter, tossed salad and melonPresent timeThe final gift suprise from daddy!  Now we all mountain bikes and Novara brand like any good REI family should.  And Nora finally has a bike that isn't a hand-me-down.Birthday Ice CreamMy gift was matching jammies for Nora and May along with a lunch trip to the AG store that we will take on Sunday.[...]

Birthday Girl - Through the Years


One Minute Old1 Year Old2 Years Old3 Years Old 4 Years Old5 Years Old6 Years Old7 Years Old[...]

Weekend Wrap-Up


We had a really fantastic Thanksgiving weekend full of fun, food and friends.  The only negative is that I took very few photos (and the ones I did get weren't of great quality), so will need to wrap up the memories with words so I can remember the special weekend for years to come.  We started off the 4 day weekend by spending Thanksgiving day skiing at Crystal Mountain.  The weather was a bit chilly and windy for my liking but we had the mountain almost to ourselves while everyone else enjoyed their dinners.  The girls were a bit nervous that they may have forgotten how to ski so we did one run on the bunny slope for them to prove that they were right where we left off in March.  The first half of the day had very icy snow conditions which isn't ideal for the first ski of the year but the girls did great taking it slow with lots of turns and made us so proud.  Then the snow began to fall which gave a nice top coat that made skiing easier and allowed the girls to be more confident.  Here's a video Tom took of them going down their favorite "cat track".  allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />Looking forward to a great ski season.  It is going to be so much easier this year with the girls beyond the beginner level.  I am just a little concerned that I am going to be the one holding us back and Tom and the girls will be leaving me in their dust (or powder).  Friday we were lucky enough to have the Brown Family come down from Canada to spend a few days celebrating American Thanksgiving.  Dinner turned out well and the timing seemed to work out pretty well.  There were a few recipes I tried that I won't be doing again (green beans and apple pie) but the majority of things seemed to be good.  I tried a few new things with my cranberry recipe that was well received and the layered cheesecake/pumpkin pie was delish!!Saturday we entertained the "dog crew" from our old neighborhood.  We spent a great deal of time with these 3 families living in the old neighborhood.  Our dogs brought us all together and we enjoyed many walks, dinners, births and more with them.  This was the first time we all were together again in probably 5 years.  The kids all had a great time playing and we enjoyed a good brunch and lots of catching up.  We promised it would not be 5 years again before we got everyone back together.  I can not believe that I did not take one photo of the reunion:-(Having the Browns around for a few days was so enjoyable.  The kids entertained each other for hours on end and were really pretty amazing for being confined in the house for 2 solid days with no arguments or major problems, just a few minor tears.  A few highlights and low lights from the visit:Derrick finding the missing hamster in the bathroom garbage can after his shower.All 4 adults spending the first half of Apple Cup outside searching for a lost cat that ended up being in the house all the time.  Tom and Derrick showing off their criminal skills by getting the Brown's car unlocked when the keys were inside and cutting off a shoplifting ink cartridge from a shirt with great success.Watching our traditional horrible movie when the kids were in bed.  This time it was "Bad Teacher" and it was really awful, which is hard to say when it had Justin Timberlake in it.  But even he couldn'[...]

On the Menu


I think I have the weekend menu plans almost finalized.  We are delaying Thanksgiving by a day so that we can celebrate with the Brown Clan when they come down from Canada on Friday.  Our meal on the actual Thanksgiving day will be whatever they are serving up at the Crystal Mountain cafeteria, as we will be spending the day on the slopes.  So most likely we will be having soup of the day and cheese pizza.Friday will be the feast at the Kimmet household and I wanted to share what's on the menu along with some of the recipes.  The most boring component of the meal will be the turkey itself.  I saw a few amazing recipes I wanted to try but our family is really not into turkey and it is just an excuse to have all the side dishes so I am taking it easy on that part and just got a turkey breast to throw in the oven.  We will be sending the 2 free Fred Meyer turkeys we have acquired to the food bank where they will be much more appreciated than in our home.   NOW, bring on the side dishes!!!Mashed Potatoes of course.  I stay fairly straight forward on these for Thanksgiving.  Other times of the year I will throw in cheese, bacon, chives and more but when you add gravy to the top it is best to keep it classic.Coconut Candied Sweet Potatoes (this is pretty much dessert during dinner for me, not sure anyone else in the family likes it but that means more lefotvers for me)  recipe link Homemade Rolls with Honey Butter - Nora's favorite part of the mealStuffing - I seem to alternate years between going with a new recipe to the basic family stand-by and this year the old family favorite wins out.  Nothing fancy, nothing extra just the basics, which will make Madison happy.Cranberry-Apple Sauce - My own special secret recipe which includes orange juice and lots of applesCarmelized Green Beans - recipe hereAnd then onto the desserts for the evening.  I am doing 2 this year.Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake - a pumpkin pie on top of a layer of toffee cheesecake.  Recipe hereCrumb Topped Apple Pie - Half pie, half cobbler recipe hereFeeling like I am missing something but maybe that is it.  Then we are having more friends over for a Saturday brunch.  That menu will include homemade cinnamon rolls along with a potatoe and bacon breakfast casserole.  We will add a few leftovers from the day before, fruit salad and veggie and cheese trays.  So now I have to devise a cooking itenerary for the next 4 days.  Tomorrow will be cinnamon rolls to put in the freezer so they just need to be thawed and baked on Saturday.  Wednesday will be the pumpkin pie cheesecake that requires almost 3 hours of baking time along with the prep.  I will also take on the cranberries on Wednesday.  Thursday I can get the sweet potatoes done and get some prep work done for other items.  And then Friday will require the delicacy of timing all the dishes just right to have all components ready at 3:00.  This usually requires a detailed timeline taped to the cabinet doors with all utensils, serving dishes and ingredients laid out in assembly line fashion.  And thank goodness for oven warming drawers when all else fails.Hoping everyone has a wonderful and delicous Thanksgiving day or days as the case may be!![...]

Goodbye October


Time to say so long to October, get the Halloween decorations packed up, box up the soccer gear and move forward into November.  To say that October was a blur is an understatement.  Between PTA and school commitments, Tom's work travels, soccer times 2, piano, choir, homework, science projects and so much more it flew by.  But before it is too far in the distance I wanted to document a few highlights and favorite photos from the month.  This trip to the the Olympic National Park with Tom's Aunt Joanne and Uncle Phil deserved a blog post all to itself but got lost in the shuffle.  I took a ton of fun photos on the beach and in the amazing rain forests.  Super fun trip!!!The sweetest birthday card ever from Nora.  "Roses are red, Violets are blueYou are so sweet, I love you"Nora and I have enjoyed a few early morning coffe/homework dates when Madison goes to her  choir club before school.  A nice time to bond and catch up as Nora really misses all of the one-on-one time she used to get with me before starting full-day school this year. Playdates haven't been as common this fall with all our activities but we have squeezed a few in.  Bella and Nora played a full game of chess all on their own:-) A bit of a failed attempt at skeleton gingerbread men.  But they still tasted delish! The paparazzi was out in full force for the last soccer game of the year. A fun first grade field trip to the pumpkin patch. Wacky hair day at schoolWe went to the park with the girls' best buds.  They had a great time feeding the ducks and playing with the leaves and I got some really fun candid shots with the bff's that I think will make for some adorable Christmas gifts to each of them.[...]

Halloween at Hogwarts


Tom has been reading the Harry Potter series to the girls.  They just finished book #2.  So far they have only seen the first movie but I am sure more are to follow.  We try to have the rule that the book has to be read before seeing most movies made from books.  Anyways... the girls are enjoying the series immensely and decided many months ago they were going in Harry Potter themed costumes.  Madison's decision was quick and easy as she has been told more than once she resembles Hermione.  The costume for her was store bought and easy this year.  Nora's decision took a bit longer to decide on.  At first she was going to be Crookshanks, Hermione's cat.  I was a bit fearful of taking on this costume and didn't think it had much of a "cute" factor.  Eventually Nora settled on Hedwig, Harry's owl.  I found some inspiration online and the costume making began.  Nora helped select all the materials.  I thought a colorful owl would be fun, but she insisted on staying true to the book so a snowy owl it would be.  We got lots of white, grey and silver materials to piece the costume together.  It thrills me that my girls are eager and willing to have "mommy made costumes" and I think we will look back on those photos with fond memories even if they may not be the most perfect of costumes. To say may sewing skills are sub-par would be a compliment but I had fun making the costume. I was pleased with the dress and Nora was thrilled with the winged cape.  The hat didn't turn out as I had envisioned but we went with it.  A few people called her a chicken, some got the owl and many didn't bother guessing and just asked.   We did come across some true HP fans who right away said Hedwig.The day was nonstop partying!!  I think the girls are in one of the few schools left in the county that allows full on Halloween parties with costumes at school.  Many of the staff wear costumes all day and get very festive.  It was a bit odd for me this year to not be in charge of either of the parties but they were fun and it is good to give up control(or that is what I try to tell myself!) The only thing I contributed were sliced apples for Nora's party.  Madison and her best bud did make these adorable Mallow Monsters for all 28 of their classmates.  Super cute!!Then we were off to Kent Station for some trick or treat.  I will admit that my motives for going were to get some decent photos in the daylight hours with good backdrops, the girls saw it as more loot for their bags.  We met Tom for dinner in attempts of getting something of nutritional value into the girls for the day.Finally we made our way home to add a few layers and back out for another 2 hours of trick or treating with friends before crashing into bed for the night.  I have to say the Halloween was never that big of deal to me growing up, that I can remember and I would never have considered it in the top running for favorite holidays but the past few years it has been climbing the charts.  The girls are at the perfect age for costume decisions and trick or treating.  And we have started going out with friends for the evening festivities that have really added to the enjoyment.  The girls are all ready starting to come up with costume ideas for next year.[...]

Pumpkin Patch x 2


The girls and I took advantage of the gorgeous sunny weather and the early release day at school to fit our pumpkin patch trip in. I was a bit worried that we may not make it this year. Between soccer Saturdays, rainy days and regular old life getting in the way it almost passed us by. And what is better than one pumpkin patch visit? TWO pumpkin patches in the same day. We took a longer trek to visit a patch that had more activities for the kids to do which was lots of fun but the pumpkin selection was almost non-existent so we had to stop by our little local patch for a better selection of pumpkins. No more words needed, just plenty of photo-ops![...]

Front Yard Transformation


2 years ago

1 year ago
I can't say the transformation is complete but it is alot closer and to a stage that I can enjoy.  It took alot longer than anticipated but I am really happy with the outcome.  Still have lots of planting to do and adding lighting, moving the mailbox, removing cinderblocks, replacing front door and windows..... but you get the idea!  Here's more photos from the completed project.

I am sure most women wouldn't be too excited about rocks, but I have to say they make me so happy.  I LOVE these rocks like many women probably love their favorite clothing items.  They are exactly what I imagined and I think really add interest to the beds.  The rock in the front corner will eventually get a plaque with our address attached to it.

Soccer Season


Sorry to my loyal reader (i.e. mom) for my lack of posts.  Really no excuses, just busy with the day to day craziness called life.  I had this idealic image of both girls going off to school full day and me blogging daily, having a pristine home, home baked dinners each night and 2 hours of exercise completed daily.   Instead it is a bit more like keep the house just above hazardous waste level, the hope of 2 sit down dinners a week, weak attempts of exercise a few days a week, and a blog that hasn't been updated in almost a month.  The majority of my day seems to be consumed by PTA/school volunteer craziness.  I enjoy it all and feel blessed to have the time, energy and passion to give to the school but I am hoping for a bit better balance in October....Another thing keeping us super busy right now is soccer.  Both girls are loving it like always.  We have practices for one or the other 3 nights a week and then at least 2 games a week, sometimes 3 if Madison has a weeknight game like this week.  Madison is playing 4/5 grade soccer and with this new age division comes the FULL SIZE soccer field and goal.  They are huge and it requires a ton of running for the girls.  The good thing about the larger field is that it really forces the girls to stay in their positions and make passes, no more of the "hive" mentality for sure.  Madison has decided goalie is her specialty position which gives me so much stress.  The pressure on a goalie is huge, I don't know how she is so casual about it.  And at last night's game she was so aggressive when an opposing player was charging the goal, Madison didn't back down at all.  The other player ended up getting called for illegal contact for running into Madison.  Not only did Madison go after the ball aggressively, but she STOPPED the gal from scoring.  She produced a shut out in her half as goalie.Nora is playing with the same team on K/1 soccer. She is in a different league that does things much differently than  Madison had at this age. A bit simpler and smaller. Nora is disappointed that they don't have the goalie position but is still having a great time. The first game she was so focused in staying in her correct position that she didn't get as involved in the game as normal. This past week she figured out how to stay in position yet still be active in the game. She had 2 great assists during the game.After taking a season off, Coach Tom is back in business taking the lead of Madison's team.  He is really a fabulous coach and takes the position quite seriously.  The girls respond well to him and I think he is enjoying this older age group where they can work on more specific skills.As for me, I am soccer mom.  Organizing snack schedules, sending out emails and schedules, taking over practice duties when Tom is unavailble and being THAT mom on the sidelines who may yell just a bit too loudly:-0  I can justify it in Madison's games as being the assistant coach, no excuses for Nora's game though.[...]

Crystal Mountain


Since we spent so much time on Crystal Mountain this winter we decided to take a visit to see what it looks like in the summertime.  We took a lovely ride up the gondola to the top of the mountain for stellar views.

Riding back down the gondola seemed a bit too easy.  It sounded much more fun to hike down the mountain and have a picnic lunch.  It is only 3 miles and all down hill, how hard can it be?   The hike started off quite well.

But then quickly got a bit difficult.  Our peaceful picnic lunch got a bit sidetracked with a swarm of mosquitoes, flies, giant ants and more.  We ate quickly and continued to head down.  Nora then had some bathroom issues to tend too but we got that straightened out too.  The most difficult thing about the hike was the footing.  The trail was all covered in loose rock, gravel and dust that made it difficult to get good footing going downward.  There were a numbers of slips and falls and a few whines and complaints.  But luckily we all rallied (with the help of daddy's emergency candy supply) and we made it to the completion. Of course, there weren't many other options.  By the time we realized how difficult it was, the climb back up to the gondola would have been just as difficult.  This was definitely a bigger adventure than we intended but we felt very accomplished (and sore and tired) at the end.  It was fun to see the ski runs without the snow and talk about what lifts we ride on.   Looking foward to the upcoming season all ready!

First Day


I am now officially the mom of a first and fourth grader!!!  Please pass the tissues:-(  I actually made it through yesterday quite well, but maybe it is because I was at school 4.5 of their 6 hours.  Today may be a different story.  Don't get me wrong, I have a huge to do list to tackle and plenty to keep me busy.  But it is still sad to think of my girls growing up and not being home with me during the day.   The girls started the morning with Daddy's best pancakes (I am not allowed to make pancakes in our house since the girls claim I burn them).  In celebration of the first day he made the numbers for their grade levels.Then they were off to the bus line.I greeted them off the bus at school and thought I would be helping them settle into their classrooms, but they left me in the dust for their friends and I just stood there waving goodbye as they didn't look back.  Madison had a great first day with lots of positive things to say about her teacher.  Nora's quote was it was "good but boring" and she pointed out to me numerous reasons that full-day school isn't that great.  The number 1 and 2 issues for her is that she doesn't get much time to play with her toys at home or have playdates.  She also isn't thrilled with having to wash her desk everyday after lunch.   There may be a bit of an adjustment period for the young one.  I recall Madison had a tough time adjusting the first few weeks of full-day first grade too with many tears at the bus line. [...]

Then and Now


Just returned from a wonderful weekend camping at Deception Pass State Park and thought we would do a little photo comparison of our 2008 camping trip at the same spot.NOWTHENNOWTHEN NOWTHEN NOWTHENNOW THENTHE END[...]