Monday, April 30, 2012

You know it's really springtime on Clear Creek Road.....

...when the neighbors come back.

But these aren't your typical snowbirds or sun chasers. Nope, these neighbors follow the food.
The grass is plentiful and sweet this time of year, perfect for mama cows and their growing calves. Many pastures across this fair land will have cows grazing during the warm months, but few will have this particular breed of cattle. These are Scottish Highlanders, a very unique breed known for their thick coats of hair, small and compact bodies, and flavorful cuts of beef. I've never eaten one, but I sure do enjoy watching them.

Welcome back Neighbors! We missed you!
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Fave: Milkshake Dates

It's very appropriate that this is the post for this particular Friday. I'm gone most of the weekend for a retreat and Lana and Dan will have some much needed (and appreciated) time together. These two....dang, they get me every time. The way she completely adores and looks up to him, the way he is tender and patient and protective of her. Yup, I am absolutely certain that no father and daughter were ever more perfectly suited for one another than these two.
I doubt there will be much hunting this weekend (not the right season), but there will be lots of fun time spent together. Riding in the "little truck with Daddy" is one of Lana's favorite pastimes. Usually these rides result in a trip into town for a shared milkshake.
There will defintely be snuggles too. Lots and lots of snuggles (No doubt a few tickles will be tossed in for good measure. Lana's laugh is far too addicting to withold tickles!)
Oh, and they will play. Maybe outside in the sunshine, or maybe inside for a crazy game of hide-and-seek. (Lana's the worst hide-and-seek player in the world. She hides and then pops out and tells you right where she is. It's not effective, but pretty funny.)
Or maybe they'll work. For Lana, even time spent working with Daddy is a great time. And it usually ends with a shared milkshake. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Two of her favorite people

My brother, Kasey, and his wife, the lovely Dr. Christina, are getting all their ducks in a row as they prepare to move from Des Moines, Iowa (Where Christina is finishing medical school) to Anchorage, Alaska (where she's been accepted into a residency program). This past weekend they drove straight from Iowa to Seattle to get their car on a boat headed north and Lana and I were fortunate enough to catch up with them for dinner in Spokane. Lana absolutely adores her Uncle Kasey and Princess Tina (Lana's name for Aunt Christina), and it's evident the feeling is mutual.
Yes, they saved some conversation for me, but it was the little sprite who got the bulk of the attention. She's asked me several times since if we get to visit them again soon. Sorry Lana-Loo, both Alaska and Iowa are a loooooong trip away. Hopefully a visit or two will happen, but not any time soon.
At the end of dinner, Lana gave them both the customary hugs and kisses and bid them a fond farewell. She patted Christina on the head and told her, "Good Luck." It was a bit odd, but adorable and quite appropriate for the situation. Good luck guys! We love you. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Fave: Lana's Turn

Hello. Happy Friday to you! I'm Lana Jean and Mommy's giving me a turn to share with you my favorites.

First I thought I'd show you my favorite jammies, my Piggy Jammies!

These jammies are the best because they're cozy and warm and have cute pigs on the feet. They're my favorite.

But then I thought of my pink toes. They're my favorite too!
Sometimes when Mommy clips and files my toe nails, she also paints them pretty for me. I like pink toe nail polish. Pink is my favorite!

I also like doing art projects, like this bright orange spring-time flower.

Art is my favorite!

Sometimes I like to take all my stuffed animals, babies, and friends and put them all to bed. I tuck them in with their blankies and tell them to go to sleep.

I love all my sleepy friends. Melmo, Little Mickey and Minnie, Cabbage Patch Baby, Music Bear, Henrietta, and Glowie are all my favorites.

Well, actually Dolly and Big Minnie are my favorites.

Yup, definitely Dolly and Minnie are my favorites.

Now it's your turn. What is your favorite?

(Here I am being bossy - again. Mommy says being bossy is my favorite. I'm sure I don't know what she's talking about!) 
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Fave: Ulman Cancer Fund and the REV 3 Run

Several months ago, my friend, Harmony and her husband Ryan embarked on a frustrating, confusing and life-changing journey through the world of cancer. (Their story is chronicled in better detail on Harmony's blog.) Ryan was diagnosed with a very rare form of bone cancer that has resulted in major surgery and radiation treatment. Ryan has been a champion cancer fighter and has blown me away with his recovery and awesome attitude and rock-solid faith.

It has become increasingly important to this amazing couple to not "waste cancer." Meaning, they fully intend to make the best of a most unwelcome situation, encouraging others and working to make other cancer patients' experiences less harrowing.

Harmony is not only a wife, mother of three, student, fabulous dresser, and all-around super-cool chick, she's a RUNNER! (And I mean an awesome runner. This girl has attacked half-marathons and marathons like they're tackling dummies.) She has gone out of her way to encourage my meager running habit, even showing me some hip stretches at church one Sunday morning. Although she is dealing with some running-related injuries, she keeps it up because for her, running is a tool that allows her to reset her mind, concentrating on something other than her husband's fight against cancer.

It was a natural fit for Harmony and Ryan to team up with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults Revolution 3 Run Across America to raise funds and awareness. Harmony had the opportunity to join the REV 3 team and run some legs of the cross-country relay and invited others to join her virtual team, logging miles daily and donating money from March 26 - April 16. I happily signed up to be a part of TEAM DAVIS, setting a personal goal to run 50 miles in three weeks.

My ambitious goal was cut short by pneumonia, and even now, recovering well, I feel like my lungs aren't even close to 100%. I will keep running through the last day of the challenge though, and I will donate to the cause. The more I learn about the Ulman Cancer Fund, the more I think it's a great and worthy cause. Read more here, and I think you'll agree.

If you want to help propel TEAM DAVIS to the top of the virtual run leader board and support the Ulman Cancer Fund, join me by donating here. After you submit your donation, be sure to find TEAM DAVIS on the list so credit goes to the correct team.

We all know someone who has dealt with, or is currently dealing with cancer. The sickness, frustration, uncertainty and questioning could easily drive some families into despair. But instead of wanting pity, Ryan and Harmony have chosen strength. They've chosen to remain faithful and stand tall, encouraging others and finding more than just the silver lining in their situation. They have truly chosen to not waste cancer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

It may finally be Spring here on the Palouse. So, to celebrate, this weekend Dan started working on our garden. So far, I can take ZERO credit for any of the garden's progress. Dan's done all the digging and heavy lifting.
(Oh, Hi Husband! You're sure lookin' good out there fixing all that fence. What? You want ME to come out and stretch barbed wire? I'm sorry, I'm sure I didn't hear you right. Clearly I am much too busy snapping photos to be any help to you right now. Okay, come in for dinner soon. Love you, bye!)
On Saturday, Dan put in onions, garlic and early lettuce. We seem to have pretty good luck with early-season vegetables, as well as veggies that primarily grow underground.

Last year, we lost all of our vines, including squash, pumpkins and zucchini in an early frost. It was more than a little bit heartbreaking.

Here, let's hearken back to friendlier days. Our late spring/early summer garden was a beautiful vision of neat rows and colorful plants. We dined on fresh spinach, new lettuce and sweet onions while we waited for the tomatoes and peppers to join the party.

After thinking about what did and did not work well last year, I've come up with a list of ways to improve our vegetable garden this year. (Oh, because he does most of the work, Dan has total veto power. But he's a smart husband and knows to use his vetos wisely.)
1. Less Corn. I don't know why but we kind of suck at growing corn. It stands there, teasing us and looking delicious, but somewhere in the developmental process, It gets stunted and fails to gain the required sweetness. Corn also takes up a lot of space for very little reward.
2. More in-the-ground veggies. With our early frost, we lost a LOT. So to guard our hearts, this year I propose we grow more onions (multiple varieties), garlic, carrots, radishes, and give potatoes a try. An added benefit to this plan is that the wee one loves to dig, so come harvest time, she'll have to opportunity to earn her keep.
3. Stay away from the super awesome Mom's Weekend Plant Sale. I'm a sucker for this plant sale held on the WSU campus every spring (it's this Sunday if you're interested). Every year I buy plants too early at this sale and then they die. As much as I'd love to support those hard working horticulture students, I'm passing this year to save my dollars and my sanity.
4. Fewer cherry tomatoes. I {heart} these little sweeties, but Dan detests them and I can only eat so many. Last year we were flooded in them, so we should probably grow fewer.
5. Build a tent. No, not for camping, but for saving our tender veggies. An early cold snap got us last year, but this year we plan on putting up a fight (or a tent) to save the fruits of our labor.

Please share. What are you putting in your garden this year? What challenges are you working through?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Wrap Up

Holidays with a nearly three-year old are great fun, and Easter is no exception.

First, we started with a local Easter Egg Hunt in Palouse. It was perfect for little kids. Lana burned off some energy at the playground before hunting time.
She scoped out the competition and intimidated the others in her cool-girl shades.

And then it was GO time! Lana had zero hesitation as she grabbed egg after egg and filled her bucket.

She enjoyed the egg hunting so much that we let her do more hunting in the yard when we got home.

We really tried to help Lana understand the true meaning of Easter with stories, conversations, and these Resurrection Buns.

I don't think she quite has a thorough theological and practical understanding of Easter, but she did enjoy the tasty treat. The buns were super easy to put together and I think they'll be part of our Easter morning traditions from now on.

And of course, no Easter Sunday would be complete without a new dress!

Lana was beyond thrilled with her new butterfly dress. Weeks ago she helped me pick out the fabric and has patiently tried it on for me as I was adding the final touches. I was super happy with how it turned out, especially because my sewing skills are probably more than a little rusty.
Happy Easter! I hope it was fun and eventful!
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Friday, April 6, 2012

                                     Tonight we grieve.

                                     Tomorrow we wait.

                                 Sunday we REJOICE!

Friday Fave: Feeling Like a New Woman

When my Grams came for a visit a couple of weeks back, we took off one afternoon and got pedicures.
Yup, those are my (newly pedicured) feet. And no, I don't normally post pictures of my feet on the internet, but I did that so I could share this story.

When I went in for my pedicure, my feet were UG-LY. My toenails were gnarly and jagged (I may or may not have scratched Dan with them more than once), paint chipped, and calluses dry and cracking. My feet needed HELP. A sweet Asian lady took over an hour to carefully and methodically transform my gargoyle feet into appendages worth showing off in summertime flip-flops and strappy sandals. When she was done applying the final coat of Midnight Blue polish, Sweet Asian Lady looked at me and asked, "You feel like new woman?" I smiled and agreed. Oh yeah, I definitely felt like a new woman.

That got me thinking, other than a pedicure, what  else can give you that same feeling? I've hopped out of a salon chair with a new pep in my step after chopping off a few inches. I may have done a twirl or two while showing off a new dress. But neither of these compares with the clean and new feeling of a pedicure.

So, tell me Ladies, what do you do to feel like a New Woman?
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Frankly, she doesn't care about my opinion on the matter...

....nor does she probably care about yours either.
Yes, I know Lana's sunglasses are on upside down. And yes, we've tried correcting her many times. But this is the way she prefers it.
And she doesn't care what we think.