Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Memory: Kiddie Pool in May

I have many pictures of me with my younger brother and sister. We did a lot of things together, so inevitably, there are lots of pictures of the three of us together. There are formal ones of us at weddings and graduations, and posed ones of us sitting up stiffly in a photographer's studio, but this picture is by far my favorite:
This picture was snapped during a short-lived swimming attempt. I think it was only May, and surely not hot enough for the spring-time sun to heat up a backyard pool. But I distinctly remember my siblings and I insisting to our mother that yes, it was sooooo hot outside, and yes, if she got out the pool and filled it up, we'd happily spend the afternoon outside splashing and swimming. 

 I think our mom knew we'd take one step in the frigid water and step right back out, so she told us all that we had to get completely wet, hair and everything, before we could be done and get dried off and go inside. We all agreed, certain we'd spend hours getting wet. Of course Mom was right, and the water from the garden hose was colder than we could stand, but we'd made her a bargain, and we had to stick to it. 

 Mom had the foresight to grab her camera and after we'd all been dunked, we dutifully stood in the water, shivering together, for this most excellent photograph. We are clearly freezing, yet smiling like we're having the best time. To top it off, Jen is wearing a t-shirt that reads, 'Wild Women Don't Get the Blues.' A more perfect t-shirt has yet to be designed. Immediately after this photo was snapped, the three of us raced inside for hot showers and cozy blankets. Mom dumped the pool and put it back in the garage and I'm sure we didn't ask for it again until at least July. 

This adventure, is just another example of how yes, Mother certainly does know best.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Memory: Pie-eating Contests

I know all families have their oddities and quirks, but I've often wondered if perhaps my family was just a bit more unique than others. 

Take, for example, our competitive nature and our affinity for pie. Put those two things together, and you've got all the makins' of a good, old fashioned pie-eating contest. I don't think we had these family mess-fests very often, but here is photographic evidence that they did indeed occur:
Here's my brother Kasey, Dad, sister Jen, and the bespectacled one on the end is me. I can't remember who won. Maybe my siblings would know? Mom was the resident historian and competition umpire. She took the pictures and determined the winner of the event.

(Side note: How do you like my old-school scrappin' style? This page is probably 15 years old, so I should be forgiven, right?)

So, be honest, is a family pie-eating contest the strangest family quirk you've ever heard of?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hunting, snow, and little monkey girls

Last weekend, Lynden friends (Dave, Shannon, and little Joie) came over for a visit. Dan and Dave spent their days hunting and hiking through the ice and snow, while Shannon and I bundled up the little girls, and sent them careening down a hill.

The mighty hunters, their faithful dogs, sweet Joie, and the birds.

Proud dogs and their birds.

Joie had never been out playing in the snow before, so Lana was all about showing her how much fun it could be.
Getting these two dressed for the cold is the toughest chore of the day.

We've got a great snow hill out behind the barn, so the little blondies got their share of excitement on the snow tube.
The little monkey hats topped off the cuteness.

Thanks friends! We had a great weekend. Come back anytime!
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Memory: Wild Waters

There are six inches of snow outside and we spent a couple of hours out this weekend playing on the snow tube, so of course it's the perfect time to reminisce about hot summer days at the water park, right?

I lived in Utah for about 7 years while growing up. Near where we lived, there was a fabulous water park, Wild Waters. This place was awesome for the 8-12 year old crowd. Waterslides, hours of sun, tubes, concessions, lifeguards, and minimal parental supervision. It was pretty dang perfect.
(Yes, that is me at about 9 years old. Rockin' the itty bitty top and the ridiculously bony legs. No, I don't know who the mulleted boy is in the tube beside me.)

For several summers, Wild Waters ran a summer pass deal that allowed the "whole family" unlimited enjoyment for the entire season for $100. They weren't specific about who could be considered "family" and just huddled the group together for a picture, printed off cards, and if you were in the picture, you were "family." I think between all the parents, cousins, grandparents, and those who were temporarily adopted into the family for picture day, we probably had 30 people on that one pass.

Some things I remember about Wild Waters:
*The Ragin' Rapids slide was a simulated river which was traversed on a float tube. Inevitably, skinny blonde girls ended up flipping their tubes on the first set of rapids and going the rest of the way down tubeless.
*You knew you'd earned "big kid" status when you finally has the guts to climb the steep stairs to the fearsome, Double Trouble. You only got to keep the newly acquired status once you actually went down the slide instead of walking back down the stairs once you reached the top and the scariness of the attraction was too overwhelming.
*I've never slept better than after a day of playing in the water, wearing a slight sunburn, and being mildly dehydrated.
*If you hurt yourself and had to go visit the medic's office, upon your return, you were a minor celebrity to your waiting friends. In all my years at Wild Waters, this only happened to me once. I stepped on a bee and it stung me. Bee stings were taken very seriously and I was given a Popsicle and a bandaid.
*We were allowed to bring in coolers of food and drinks, so buying food from the concession stand was usually not permitted by the thrifty adults. On the rare occasion when one of us was given a few dollars to buy french fries or a hamburger, every sibling or cousin within a 5-mile radius, walked up the hill with the gifted child in hopes of pouncing on a wayward fry. The ironic thing about it is the concession food was not good at all. I'm sure the sandwiches in our coolers were tastier and better for us, but there was just something about getting to order something from the snack stand.

Wild Waters is closed now. The slides and pools removed, and if you didn't know at one time there was a magical water park in that space, you wouldn't ever know. I'm very glad I still have this picture and the fond memories of that time.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Go Cougs!

Last Saturday, we took Lana to her first ever Cougar men's basketball game. She absolutely loved it and wants to go back again and again. She was lucky enough to be selected as the "Small Fry" of the game. She met the cheerleaders, hugged Butch the Cougar, and shouted "Go Cougs" on the jumbotron.
She had such a great time and is probably ruined for lesser things. Since this was her first game, she'll have to learn that most kids don't get the royal treatment at games, and instead usually sit in their seats the whole time. But I'm glad she got to have such a great experience and I hope we have many more.
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Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Memory: Bottle Babies

(For 2013, I've decided to write a weekly post entitled, Monday Memory, where I'll tell about something I remember. It could be something I remember from childhood, or maybe from just a few years ago. Because this blog serves as a life repository, I figure I need to extend the stories to include the past as well as the here-and-now.)

When I was a teenager, my dad decided we should raise bottle calves. He learned of a local dairy that sold their bull calves inexpensively, and thought our family could raise them, feed them to finish, and sell them when they were nice and fat.

Baby calves are so stinkin' cute when they're little. They are active and curious and will lick and suck anything, including fingers, a stray hat, a belt loop, or even each others' ears.

We probably had close to 100 calves come through our place over the years. Every single one was given a name, plenty of hand-fed milk replacer, and all the care a calf could ever want. Unfortunately, sometimes we'd lose a calf to illness, and others would simply fail to thrive. It was a challenge to get up early every single morning to feed the eager babies, as well as keep their pens clean, and make sure the animals stayed as healthy as possible.


When I went to college, I left the baby calves behind in the care of my younger brother and sister. (In all honesty, both of them were better, more patient calf raisers than I ever was.) I haven't fed a bottle baby since that time.

This year, at the Northwest Washington Fair, there was a great baby animal exhibit. We caught it at the perfect time - feeding time - and Lana got to feed a bottle calf with the help of one of the exhibitors. She absolutely loved it, and requested to have her own calf at home to feed every day.
I don't know if she's quite ready for that responsibility at a mere three-years old, but we'll probably have the raising-bottle-calves-conversation in a few more years. Until then, I have enough bottle baby memories to get me by.
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Friday, January 4, 2013

Welcome Back Old Friend!

Of course, the "Old Friend" I'm referring to is the PBS show, Downton Abbey.

I've written about my love for this show before, but once I finished up season 2 this summer, I began counting down the days until the January premier of season 3.
(Yup, sometimes that sorry soul was me.) 

 But Sunday, I will have to wait no more! Once again the palatial acres of the Grantham Estate will enter my home via the television.
(Although Sunday there will most likely be NFL playoff games showing all day, so I'll just DVR my show and watch it later, ridicule free.) 

 See, even Ryan Gosling wants in on Downton Abbey goodness.

While I count the hours until I can curl up with the goings on of British aristocracy and those who serve them, I'll just buck up and do what I should have been doing all along:

(Oh, and if you've actually seen the 3rd season already, please spare me the spoilers. I'm already kicking myself for peeking and don't want to know anymore thank you very much.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Spirit

This year we bypassed the glamorous and posh New Years Eve parties and instead took Lana to the highly-lighted Locomotive Park in Lewiston to enjoy the lights and music.
The dancing penguins were by-far her favorite attraction. She danced and danced with these little guys and was pretty heartbroken when we had to leave them behind.

The gingerbread men were quite large, but not at all tasty.

Dan and Lana even climbed in the train for a quick picture.

I think the lights will remain up at Locomotive Park through this weekend if you want to check it our yourself.
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