Monday, May 27, 2013

Longer than...

Today marks the day that I have been married to Mark longer than I was married to my first husband.

Nineteen years and thirteen days.

Ahhh...this time it's been nineteen happy years.

Congratulations to us! We're so glad we took a chance on each other.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Penny Party - A Quick & Simple Party for the Grandkids

Yesterday we hosted a belated birthday party for Sarah, Kat and Maddy. I reached back into my grandma memory bank and pulled out the...

Penny Party!

This is a super-easy, super-inexpensive party theme. I bought a cake mix, whipped topping, ice cream cups, and 4 bags of the chocolate coins covered in gold foil (more about those later).

You can get a lot of mileage with little kids and pennies.

First I burgled 200 pennies out of the coin jar Mark keeps on his dresser. Then I hid them (pretty much in plain sight) around the living room before the grandkids came.

I also made up a quick little "penny bag" for each of the kids. The girls got yellow polka dots, and Josh got one with a manlier print.

It didn't take long for 4 grandchildren to find 200 pennies.

We counted to make sure we had found them all.

Let the Penny Games begin!

First we played Drop the Penny in the Silver Pitcher
They had to stand with a penny on their chin and try to get it to land in the pitcher. Obviously, Maddy had less of a handicap here than Joshua had. This kept them entertained for about 7.5 minutes.

Then we played Toss the Penny on the Diamonds
In theory, they were aiming for the green diamonds in the linoleum flooring. The kids were good sports about this game, but it was even less exciting than Drop the Penny in the Pitcher. They would have been more enthused with better targets and better prizes, I think. Since I didn't have any targets or prizes at all, it should be fairly easy to bring this game up a notch the next time we try something like this.

All right then, on to Pin the Penny on the Maddy!

First, we needed a Maddy:

The kids colored in the Maddy outline, except for the face.

They they took turns putting their pennies on the Maddy, trying to give her a face. (I put little rolls of masking tape on the back of the pennies. Each grandchild got to put 4 pennies on the Maddy.)

Time to sing "Happy Birthday." I made strawberry cupcakes and kept the frosting super-simple: Whipped Topping. The kids put a few sprinkles on the top and everyone was happy. We also had the little plastic cups with ice cream in them, and I gave each of the kids a bag of foil-covered chocolate "coins" as party favors.

The kids played together until it was time to head home.

Happy belated birthday, Maddy, Kat, and Sarah!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

To be a little girl again

What a treat, to be the daughter in the home for Mother's Day. I am treasuring every moment of being a full time daughter. Here's a photo Maleena took yesterday after our family picnic at Canemah Children's Park.

What makes a mother? I loved this video. "Life didn't come with a manual. It came with a mother."

And if Mother's Day is hard for you, be sure to check in with Polly's sweet post.

To my dear mother and mother-in-law, to my amazing daughters and daughters-in-law, to my friends and colleagues and sisters everywhere, to my grandmothers who have gone before me are with our Heavenly Mother today...

...Happy Mother's Day. Thank you for all you do. I love you.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Butterflies in my tummy

Butterflies in my tummy this morning...not what I expected! My AP Lit students are taking their big test this morning, and Mark is taking his National Board Certified Teacher exam in Spanish.

Hahaha--I thought I was cool as a cucumber. After all, I'm not the one taking the test!

Mmmm...not so much. My tummy is doing flip-flops even though I'm pretending to be cool and relaxed.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Moving Day

Mark and I flew to Spokane on Thursday to help with Mom's move. My brother, Maury, drove over from Shelton (WA) and our son-in-law, Eric, drove over from Royal City (WA) after work. We packed and sorted Thursday afternoon and evening, then loaded the truck all day Friday. Some of Mom and Dad's wonderful Colville neighbors joined us. Bless them - they stayed and helped all day.

 The manly men: Mike S (neighbor), Maury, Mark, Mike W (neighbor), Eric
(except for Eric, it was a very alliterative crew)

 Mark and Brian (neighbor)

 Mom and Dad had lived the last 16 years in a 60'x14' mobile home on beautiful ranch property. They owned the mobile and rented the site from the rancher. Dad called it their "mountain cabin." Here's Mom in her cabin, mostly packed into the truck. (The rancher bought the mobile from Mom, which made the financial arrangements of the transition much simpler.)

 Mom fed the birds every day for 16 years. They will miss her!
She was regularly visited by quail, pheasants, finches, blackbirds, robins, flickers, and many, many others. She was also visited by wild turkeys, but she didn't like them much.

 Saturday morning before we left for Oregon City, Mom, Mark, Eric and I hiked to the top of the hill behind their home. We had a special destination in mind.
 The iconic barn at the top of the hill behind Mom and Dad's mountain cabin. This was their view every morning.
 The view from the barn. The green roof in the center of the photo is the snow roof that Dad built over the mobile home 10 years ago. Dad took Mom on many adventures over their 61 years together...and he gave her some beautiful views throughout their marriage.

This photo is taken next to the stone foundation of the barn. We brought a small bag with some of Dad's ashes on our hike, and we took turns scattering them near the corner of the barn. We thought Dad would like to have a little bit of himself left on this beautiful ranch. He sure loved his time here. I also read the poem, "High Flight." It seemed very appropriate because Dad had proudly piloted small planes for many years.

 Exploring above the barn. Mom is showing Eric the homesteader cabin on the property.

The barn reflected in the pond, which was the water source for Mom and Dad's cabin.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941