July 30, 2010

Doodle turns 11

Her birthday was a month ago and I am just now getting around to sharing the pics with everyone! (Dont tell, but I don't have the thank you cards done either. I am sure Grandma P is horrified..........)

Doodle wanted to have a skating party and sleepover. We spent the morning cleaning house, shopping for all manner of supplies and getting ready.


What is not shown is the bag that had all the candy in it......... or the 4 pizzas, 3 orders of bread sticks and 4 2 liters of pop...... can you say sugar high?

We met up with all the kids at the roller rink. The girls had 3 hours to skate until they dropped. Here is some of the fun:





We headed back to my house, with some very sweaty and hungry girls. They ate, played some games, opened some gifts and giggled A LOT!



Being it was Doodle's big day, they concocted a plan to go and tee-pee the Vanderways. I can roll with that, so I loaded up the "borrowed" mini van (thank you CHB) and drove to the Dollar Tree for some tacky yard art, and whatever else they could come up with.











Back at the house, we did cake and ice cream:



Sweeter than any cake in the world is this girl:




What a gaggle of girls! They were a lot of fun to have over........

As we waited for it to get dark, the girls played games, watched movies and had a great time. 11:00pm rolled around and we headed out in our pajamas to create mass havoc:



We got home an hour later, tucked in with a movie and at 2:30am I yelled at the girls to be quiet! They slept until about 7:30am when I rolled out of bed, made pancakes and eggs and shoved them all out the door! All in all, a great party!

July 28, 2010

Island Fever.........

Couple of weeks ago, the peeps and the kids headed out to Jetty Island for a day of fun in the sun. CHB, Moxie Crimefighter, Miss Em, CHB's stepdaughter, all the spouses and kids, myself and the chitlins. Quite the crew!

We boarded the boat, plopped our tooshies on the shoreline, slathered the kids down with sunscreen and sent them along thier way.

The tide was waaaaayyyyyy out so the kids had a chance to dig, explore, run wild and free and get sand in places where sand should not be!

The weather was nice: great breeze, nice sunny day with not a cloud in sight.



There were sandcastles to be made, bodies to bury in the sand and sand sculptures that begged to be photographed. Doodle and PIA made this one:



Tasty right?

There were holes to explore, waves and surf to run through, kites to be flown and all kinds of sea life to investigate.

This is one of my favorite shots from the whole day! Only a kid could be THIS happy covered in sand.......



It was great to sit in the sun, gossip/yak/chat with the ladies while the kids played nearby. What you cant see from this picture are my lobster legs.......



Lil C actually had fun, which was nice to see! Being the oldest in the crew of kids he can be easily bored by what the younger kids like to do.......



Here he is with CHB's hubby messing around. CHB's stepdaughter Amber and her child, Bella came along to the beach. Bella is such a cutie..........



More sand fun:







And the two cutest kids on the whole planet:



As we packed up all our gear, and about a pound of sand, and headed towards home, everyone remarked on the good time that was had. Of course, since we were at the dock, we had to take the "whale" picture. Here are the kids with their goofy faces:



The kids had fun, I had fun. Who could ask for anything more?

July 21, 2010

4th of July 2010

The peeps and I once again spent another holiday together. The ladies all got together and decided it was to be a paella/sangria worthy celebration. With CHB's folks out of town, and me sitting their house and cats, we had the perfect place to party the night away! (With the parental units blessing of course!)

CHB, Moxie Crimefighter and I headed out the day before to purchase all our ingredients. (Last year I missed out on this so I was SUPER excited to be a part of it). We had already hit Costco the night before.

First stop: Trader Joe's. We needed 10 bottles of  $2 buck Chuck.........We then headed to Mill Creek to go to the Central Market, and enroute decided we HAD to visit Frost Doughnuts. I had tried one of their doughnuts before, but had never been to the store, and CHB and Moxie had yet to experience the true bliss of one. Soooooooo, as we were pulling in to the parking lot of Central Market, what should appear to our right? Why Frost Doughnuts! We made a beeline for the parking spot in front of the door and practically melted once inside the door, it smelled that good!

I ordered the Smokey Bacon Maple Bar and the ladies got an assortment to take home to the family. We decided to eat it right then and there and by the way we were all moaning you would think it was a remake of Harry Met Sally..... seriously!

After we finished our delicious snack we headed across the parking lot to Central Market to find all the essential ingredients to make authentic Spanish Paella. We would our way through the store, eventually ending up at the seafood counter. The very nice fish monger (named Thom) delighted up with samples of this and that. I had never tried seaweed salad and let me tell you, it's good!

We stopped for gas on the way home and I scored a SWEET M&M watch at the gas station........... more on that later. We took all the ingredients to the parents house, less to pack around the next day, and made sure we had all supplies ready to go.



The morning of the 4th comes and we are all prepared to party! First thing on the menu? Make the Sangria! Stat!


All the ingredients get dumped in to a 5 gallon Bubba (thank you Moxie for letting us use your Bubba Keg) snap the lid on and the filling of the cups commences.




Doesn't that look awesome?

After 2 hours of chopping, straining, browning, measuring, swearing, mixing, and laughing, it was time to eat!



And here is the ensalada:



We feasted, laughed, and thouroughly enjoyed ourselves!









The kids had fun too:



Costco: $74
Trader Joe's: $47
Central Market: $100
Paella and Sangria with the peeps: PRICELESS

July 1, 2010

Lil C, 13 today, a man tomorrow......

Last week I put Lil C on the train from Seattle to Salem. He was to be met over the state line by Grammie.....

Lil C was off on an adventure. For the first time in his life, he was not only going to ride the Amtrak train, he was going alone. I know this is not an unusual occurence, but for me? I was as nervous as a momma bear could be.

I suddenly understood how CHB felt when she put HOW and PIA on the airplane to Texas unaccompanied. Your heart clutches inside your chest. It is like you have given your heart arms and legs and it is not only walking around, but running, jumping and kicking for it's independance.

Of course in all the rush to get him to the train, I forgot the camera. As I nervously waived from the platform, and waited for the train to be out of sight, I of course had the run through of horrible accidents that could take place in the 240 miles between here and there.

I drove myself back home and waited anxiously for the call from my mom that Lil C had made it in one piece. When that call through at 6:33 pm I knew I could breathe again.

A week later, as I go to pick him up at the train station, having made the 240 mile round trip, I am just as nervous. As the train pulls in to the staion, I walk up to the doors, peeking around the other passengers hopping off the train, and then I spot him. My handsome son, approaching me....... and my heart swelled with relief.



Strange how he seems to have grown a foot since I saw him last, just a mere 10 days ago.

Here he is in front of the doors of the station:


The architechture of this old building is gorgeous...... If you are ever in downtown Seattle you should check it out.

And here is his wrist "brand" which let everyone and their brother know he was an unaccompanied minor on the train. Seems he was not the only one, not that he minded. Truth be told, he really liked riding the rails and would do it again!


I am happy to have him home. I am sure that Grammie is also happy to have her house back to it's normal quiet state!! Without her, this trip would not have been possible, and I know Lil C is very appreciative of all her efforts. I know I am. Love you mom. Seriously. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I love you, but I need a vacation!

Every June we have an end of the year celebration for our girl scout troop. We have a Court of Awards, where we honor each girl and hand out the badges they have earned throught the year. This year was no exception to the rule. We had all the parents come, everyone brought a dessert to share and I passed out all the achievements to each girl.

I wrote a little speech; partly because I get a little nervous talking in front of the parents sometimes, and partly because I felt that what I had to say was important and I did not want to forget a single word. It went a little something like this:

To my lovely ladies:

This year you have all done awesome things! You have sold a truckload of cookies; cultivated a wonderful relationship with the seniors at Grandview; taught younger girls the traditional Girl Scout way and made a positive face for our organization in our community. You ladies are impressive when you buckle down and get to work. You are very ambitious and took on the Bronze Award with a gusto that was eye opening!

I know I can get frustrated with you when you talk too much, or when I try to get your attention, but I am always here for you. I see the changes that each of you have made. My heart swells with pride when I think of the growth in all of you, and what that will bring to your life later. Every time a new task is thrown at you, you rise to the challenge and amaze me with your grace, determination and ingenuity.

I am so proud of all of you. It means a lot to me that you allow me to lead you down this road. I can NOT wait to see where this journey will take you and I am so glad to be a part of it. Thank you for sharing this experience with me!




To my beautiful daughter:

Thank you for allowing me to be “girl scout mom” to the other girls. I know it can be hard to be the leader’s daughter, and the extra pressure it adds to your Girl Scout life. I am thankful you share me, and you do it with amazing generosity and poise. Thank you and I love you!




To CHB:

This year would not have been possible without you. I think I speak for all of us when I say that being cookie mom is a thankless and frustrating job. You are completely overwhelmed and it takes over your life for a month; yet you do it every year with a smile on your face. Thank you does not even scratch the surface. You are my partner in crime, my confidant, my right hand and the best friend a girl could ask for.

Thank you for being there for me and always having my back, like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!



To the Parents:

Mrs. Harris: Thank you for all you have done for our troop, and a HUGE thanks to (your work). Without their generous donations, not only monetary but for the vans as well, thanks does not even begin to express how I feel.

To All the Parents:

Thank you for bringing your daughter every week, to all the field trips, to all the Bronze activities and shuttling her around for cookie season! Thank you to the parents who went on the overnighters with me, drove to the ends of the earth and back. Thank you for sharing your daughter with me. It is a real pleasure as well as a personal reward for me to be a part of shaping these young ladies in to strong, independent, well rounded women.


Now, with all that being said; I love these girls, I truly do. BUT I'm ready for a vacation! I enjoy having the summer "off" from scouting so I am refreshed come September to start again.