Tuesday, November 27, 2007

thirty dollars

that is how much we had to fork over to pay for our holiday with family this year! that is the price for 4 tickets to fly us to california, where we will drive to arizona to spend 4 days with mitch's family. then we will drive back to california, after my parents get back from hawaii, to spend 4 days with them!

the part that i love, almost as much as the $30 price tag, is that we are taking our swimsuits and we are taking our capri's and we are taking our short sleeve shirts and we are going to be toasty warm!! i can't tell you how much i need toasty warm right now! i very much dislike being cold!! i need some time to thaw out!

today, i love frequent flyer miles!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

turkey woes

and this is why i have never cooked a turkey!

video

may you get a cooperative turkey this thanksgiving day!

and is it just me or, holy cow, is that one hefer of a turkey!?!!

it's diva, for this girl!

i found it! the perfect fit!

i don't know how it is for you when you go shopping for new jeans, but for me it is a nightmare that i try to avoid. this is how it goes for me...

i go to store x and load up my cart with a gazillion and one pairs of jeans each in 2different sizes because i don't know what size i am anymore! then i proceed to the changing room where i am told that i can only take 8 items in at one time. so begins the long process of finding the perfect pair of jeans. after about 40+ minutes of getting undressed, trying on the 8 pairs of jeans, then putting my gym pants back on so i can go back out to exchange the 8 unflattering pair of jeans for the next 8 pair that i have high hopes for, and repeat about 20 times, i leave the store empty handed! yup! that was a big fat waste of my time! now can you see why i try to avoid this nightmare?!

but there comes a point in a girls life when she needs to take some pride in how she looks and stop going to the grocery store wearing her gym clothes or her "boring jeans", as my sweet, kind sister has called what i wear.

so, i steeled myself and head to nordstrom rack to live out my nightmare. after experiencing the above shenanigans, i reluctantly settle for 2 pairs of jeans and take them home. another thing about me when it comes to new clothes, since i don't buy them for myself very often, i leave the tags on for a week and wear the clothes around the house before i really decide if i will keep them (and sometimes i even go to church with the tag hanging out the back like i did this past sunday, thanks lynn for telling me!). much of the time i end up returning them! i know, i am a nut case!

after wearing these for a week i fell in love with the way they fit! i'm still trying to decide if i like the other pair that i brought home, but these diva it jeans are my new love! and mitch is lovin' me in them! hehe!

success! sweet success! love it!

so, now i am going to raid the nordsrtom rack and buy up every pair of diva it jeans in my size that i can find!! when you find a good thing you have to repeat it, or in this case, buy them all! wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

remembering

last week, i was talking to darilyn after our monthly GNO (girls night out), if you don't have a GNO, i highly recommend them! anyway, we were talking about photos and she told me that her all time favorite photo was one on my sister's blog. it was a picture that mitch took while in colorado. she reminded me of a wonderful part of our sabbatical trip that i never got around to writing about.

so, i decided i would write about it today. i am remembering that day back in july with a big smile!

one of the first places we put down "roots" (meaning: where we stayed for more than one night) was vallecito, colorado. mitch's grandma (aka grandma great) has a cabin in the mountains there. if you remember the missionary ridge fire back in 2002, that is where grandma great's cabin is. it was amazing that she didn't lose the cabin when you see how close it got! anyway, it is a very peaceful little retreat in the mountains.
my sister and her husband were selling dish network in albuquerque this past summer, so they were close enough for me to drive out and pick them up. okay, so a four hour drive both ways might not sound very close, but when we are comparing it to thousands of miles to fly from oregon to hawaii, a four hour drive seems like minutes! i made the drive and we were able to spend a wonderful 5 days with them in vallecito.

probably, my favorite thing we did was to rent a pontoon boat and take it out on vallecito lake! the weather was perfect. the sky was blue with beautiful fluffy white clouds. we drove out for awhile and found a good spot to cut the engine and enjoy a cool but refreshing dip in the water. plus, lala had to go tinkles.

she was a little hesitant to jump into the water, at first, but then her "i have no fear gene" kicked in. she was the first one to jump in after uncle stuart. she didn't really want to go tinkles in the water, at first either. so, she played around in the lake with uncle stuart. as uncle stuart began to lift her back up into the boat, she said, "wait! i'm going tinkles!" sucks to be uncle stuart at that moment! but he's a good sport!

once we got that out of the way, everyone jumped in!

nani:

uncle stuart:

auntie malia:

mitch:

me:

lala, again:

we were all having so much fun!! the boys, or i mean the men, were trying to flip each other off the boat, much to malia's discouragement (i think that was the first time that i almost saw them argue! malia was NOT happy!)

during all of this fun water play we didn't seem to notice the dark clouds encroaching on the edge of the lake from between the mountains.

it wasn't until we heard the thunder in the distance that we paid any attention to the darkening sky. it was then that we decided we should start making our way back. i'm afraid, though, that we were a bit late on starting back. there was no way that we were going to out ran those clouds or the pelting rain!

of course we were not prepared for the 20 degree drop in the temperature! we were all wet from playing in the water and now we were in the wind and rain without a warm coat to protect us from the storm! thank goodness we left the sunshade on when they asked us if we wanted to leave it up or take it down!! even still, we could feel the sting from the rain as it hit us! i get goosebumps just looking at this picture of nani freezing in her life jacket.

i'm not sure if you can tell, but in those last two pictures you could see the rain hitting the water. by the time we docked the boat, the rain was coming down so hard and cold. our teeth were chattering and our bodies were shivering uncontrollably. as we ran for the shelter of the tiny tackle shop feeling the force of each drop of rain, we were amazed to see hail bouncing off of the deck. no wonder it was so stinkin' cold and the rain was hurting so bad!!


as soon as we crowded into the tackle shop along with everyone else whose boating plans got cut short lala announces that she needs to go to the bathroom. i reminded her that she had just gone. then in a very loud voice, much too loud for the smallness of the crowded room, she announces, "NO! i have to go poop!" embarrassed for her, and okay, for me too, i respond, "let's just announce it to everyone!!" she just gave me a really weird look!
even though or trip got shorten, we all loved every minute of it. even the freezing cold! great memories!
oh, and i almost forgot the picture that got this all started! this is darilyn's all time favorite photo (i think it is pretty awesome too! not only are we synchronized, but we are even wearing matching bathing suits, well, the colors are a little different):

and this last picture is one of my favorites. it just makes me smile! how can you see lala's big smiling face without smiling yourself?! i dare you to try!

but the best part about this picture, her shorts are practically down around her ankles and she doesn't even care! you've gotta love this girl!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

color

my awesome dad lent me his super duper fancy macro lens for me to play around with. that is exactly what i did! if you're not familiar with what a macro lens is, it is the lens that allows you to get within millimeters of your subject. it has a very shallow depth of field which makes for some very interesting photos!

i decided to take it to the temple grounds in seattle and boy, did i hit the jackpot! the colors were incredible this time of year! here is what i was able to capture.

okay mom, can we go now?! i'm really bored and hungry!

but i'm having so much fun! just a few more, i promise!

did i mention i was hungry?! i'm losing my patience!

i love how the white steeple shows through the brilliantly colored trees on this one! so picturesque.

that was a very fun day for me!! even though our littlest one was not as thrilled as i was, she managed fine!

Friday, November 16, 2007

the holiday inn

i love the way little kid's brains work. things are so literal to them, it's funny!

while we were driving to seattle last week, mitch and i were reminded of a funny thing lala said earlier this year when my mom came to visit. tutu lady was here for another work conference in portland. she was staying at the holiday inn near the convention center for her first two nights until the conference was over.

on saturday night, after the conference had ended, we were driving to pick up tutu to bring her back to stay with us for the rest of her trip. we had been there several times before just to go to dinner with tutu and to see her hotel, etc. so the girls were watching for her hotel. as the building came into view the girls started chanting, "tutu's hotel, tutu's hotel!"

my mom was going to be waiting for us outside ready to just hop into the car. so, i explained to the girls that we would not be going inside this time.

after a short pause (i guess her brain was processing this) lala says, "well, they shouldn't call it the 'holiday inn'! they should call it the 'holiday don't go inn'!"

well, there you have it! you can't argue with that, now can you!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

seattle nightscapes

so, while we were in seattle i took the opportunity to play around some more with the settings on my camera to create different types of pictures. the night we went to the "crap it", i was able to set up the tripod and take some nightscape photos. becasue it was so dark i set the shutter speed to super slow, with a large aperature. i couldn't believe how long the shutter was staying open. anyway, here are two of my favorite seattle nightscape pictures. i love how the lights make the sky sort of an orangy, yellow color. pretty cool! it was such a beautiful night!

Monday, November 12, 2007

thank you veterans!

i know that veteran's day was yesterday, but here is a BIG shout out to all of the veterans who have supported and fought for our country! i love the freedoms we have and we wouldn't have them without you!

mitch and i have been watching a series called "the war" about world war II and i cannot even imagine the sacrifices these young men and their families had to make. war is an ugly, ugly thing, yet these men and women went out and fought for our rights and our freedoms, and they continue to do so! i am humbled by the dedication and the valor of these individuals! i am grateful that there are men and women who bravely go to war so we can maintain the freedoms we have!

thank you to all the brave men and women out there!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

ferry trip

"mommie on our next vacation can we come back to seattle so we can go on the ferry?" that is what nani asked me as we were returning back to seattle on the ferry from bremerton, last monday. to say the ferry was a good choice would be an understatement! the girls absolutely loved it! mitch and i thought they might have fun, but didn't expect them to enjoy it so much!
it was a perfect day for a ferry ride! we caught the 8:45 morning ferry to bremerton. as you can see the sky was a gorgeous blue, with a bit of early morning cloud cover. the girls loved every minute of the ride.

once seattle was out of view, we went inside the ferry to get out of the cold and to get some "breakfast". actually, the girls got a bag of popcorn and i had some ivar's clam chowder to warm me up. mitch and tutu lady were the only ones that had breakfast food. here's a cute picture of tutu lady and lala after breakfast:
the girls found a video game and "played" it while i took the camera outside. i played around with the aperture, exposure, and shutter speed to get some great photos. it was interesting because with the sun behind me the sky was blue, but as i shot towards the sun is was more orange. here are some of my favorites:


this picture is probably my all time favorite. nani's hair and expression are priceless! you can tell she is enjoying the experience immensely!
here we are back where we started the morning, minus the morning clouds! beautiful!

dinner on "alice can way" at the "crap it"

before we left on our sabbatical trip back in july, mitch and i purchased a garmin nuvi gps to help us on our drive. it was an excellent decision, as it saved us many times on our 7 week road trip.

last week, we took the fifth wheel for another trip, the first trip since we put it into storage after the sabbatical. we were all very excited to travel in it again! this time we took it up to seattle to spend time with my mom who was on a business trip there.

on our second night, we went out for dinner. being in seattle, we, meaning my mom and i, wanted seafood, of which, mitch was okay with as long as the restaurant had something other than fish. my mom had heard from a friend that the crab pot was a fun place to eat, so we decided to try it out!

we entered the restaurant into our nuvi and headed out. for those of you who don't have a talking gps, it can be very comical at times to listen to the voice pronounce some of the street names. well, this night was no exception. as we got closer to our destination nuvi says, "turn right on alice can way and arrive at crap it on left." we all started laughing!

after finding an excellent unmetered, parking spot, we were able to enjoy a very fun dinner at the "crap it"! this place was so cool! my mom and i order crab, or "crap" as the nuvi would have called it, and shrimp. the waiter brought it out in this big stainless steel bowl and dumped our food out on the table. then, he gave us a wooden board and hammer to pound the crab legs open. we put on our attractive plastic bibs, provided by our waiter, and went to town on our little crab legs!

as i'm sure you can guess, our dinner took a tad bit longer to eat than the hamburgers and chicken fingers that the others ordered. there was a lot more work involved for us!

as my mom and i enjoyed our crab and shrimp, mmmm delish,
the girls occupied themselves by coloring on the table:and climbing in the windowsill (it's a good thing this was a casual dining establishment!):
the other two members of our family were not quite as patient! while mitch was gripping about how long i was taking to eat and feigning irritation and boredom: the baby had lost all patience:

and mitch finally gave up and took a nap (pretty good self portraits of mitch, don't cha think?):
FINALLY, i finished eating all of the yummy crab and shrimp that my belly could handle and everyone was so relieved and happy (ok, so i know the baby doesn't look too happy in this photo, but she really was happy to get out of her highchair! i think she just wanted to get down to show off her newly aquired walking talent she had just mastered!))

all in all it was a great dinner at the "crap it" on "alice can way"!

so, who can guess what the street name really was?? (if you already have been there and know the name don't ruin it for others).

Friday, November 09, 2007

i love this tree!

i took this while walking on the seattle temple grounds. isn't this tree beautiful? the bark is amazing! it looked like someone had wrapped the tree trunk in red metallic foil, the way that it gleamed in the overcast light! and those leaves! breathtaking!

vacuum creates domestic diva

i don't know what happened to me this morning, but i woke up and got the girls ready for school, just like any other day. when my "5 minutes til we need to leave for the bus" alarm went off, we scrambled to get the finishing touches on nani's hair and oral hygiene completed before my "we have to leave right now or we will miss the bus" alarm went off.

as we crammed our feet into our shoes and head out the front door, in our haste, we practically trip over our vacuum, which is sitting just outside our front door on the porch. hmmm?? oh yeah, our neighbors must have returned it last night.

nani off to school and lala waiting to be picked up, i start to get this urge to actually use the vacuum. once lala is off to school i run upstairs to get the baby out of her crib (thankfully, she is not sopping wet). while i feed her breakfast, i look down at the wood floors beneath us and i have a strong urge to sweep and mop. huh?? where are all of these urges coming from??!! this is so not like me!

breakfast completed, i clean up our dishes and while putting them into the dishwasher i look at the counter tops and i have an overwhelming need to scour them! what???

i sweep

i mop

i vacuum

i scour

not wanting to have everything clean, but the bathroom i tackle that, as well! notice i wrote "bathroom", not "bathrooms". that's because there is only one bathroom on our first floor.

apparently, my urge has been satisfied with just the downstairs!

phew! glad i got that out of my system! maybe if the urge strikes again the upstairs might get clean, too!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

and my day gets better!

maybe i should stop blogging and pay attention to my neglected children and household!

note to self: all bathroom doors must remain closed from here on out!

jury duty

mitch got a summons to jury duty last month. last night he was supposed to check in to get the instructions on what he needed to do tomorrow to report for jury duty. he looked at the summons and noticed that he could defer for up to one year. so, he went to the website and sent in his request to defer until the second half of october 2008.

after hitting the send button he went to the website to see what the reporting instructions would have been had he not defered and he saw something like this:

"we need jurors 1 thru 216 and jurors 230 thru 249 to report tomorrow at the
courthouse."

mitch was juror #219!

today in his email he received this:

"Per your request, you have been deferred from jury duty in the Washington County Circuit Court. You have been deferred to the 2nd half of October, 2008. This Court's policy is to grant only one deferral."

awww, poor baby!

calgon take me away, anywhere but here!

this is my life today!


this includes all of the rv bedding and towels from our weekend jaunt up north, plus our normal weeks worth of clothing, etc. oh, and it includes the baby's crib bedding and pj's because she woke up this morning swimming in her own pee! ok, not "swimming" but the closest you can get to swimming in a crib! it was so gross! i stripped her down to throw her into the tub and when i pulled her feet out of her footed pj's they were WET and starting to prune up!!! ewww gross!! how does someone so little pee sooo much in one night??!!

what this does not include, are the other two loads that are still in the washer and dryer just waiting to be added to the ever increasing pile! oh, and have i told you how much i despise folding clothes?? it's right up there with unloading the dishwasher, which reminds me it is full of clean dishes! ugh!

i bet you're jealous! you wish you were me today, don't ya?!

(note: have any of you mother's tried those night time diapers? i am so tempted to go out and buy them, like, right now!! i don't want this to happen again! do they really work? do tell!)

a week late

alright, so i know that halloween was over a week ago, but i am now just getting my life into some sort of semblence of what it was before our trip. so, between loads of laundry and unpacking and cleaning up messes and.....and....and...(does it ever end??) i am going to attempt to get to today!

since i've grown up, or i guess i should say, since i've gotten bigger because i'm not so sure that i have grown up yet, halloween has sort of lost it's excitement. it just seems like such a strange holiday! i mean, c'mon, we dress up and walk around with a bag/bucket/pillowcase and go house to house asking for candy. doesn't that seem a bit odd to you?? anyway, i am kind of the bah humbug of halloween and my girls are lucky they have mitch for a dad because he gets into the halloween thing.

anyway, halloween was a quick ordeal for us, thankfully so! i made creamy pumpkin soup for dinner, of which i was the only one who enjoyed it(my family is a little, shall we say, resistant to any foods that are not regularly on the menu, what am i saying? some of them, one inparticular, are resistant to ANYTHING that is on the dinner menu!). which also meant that i enjoyed it all week long, since i was the only one that would touch the stuff. it was really good!

anyway, after my family wouldn't eat dinner, the girls got dreesed up in their costumes. nani and lala were witches and kawena was a puppy dog (thanks to lala's puppy party all i had to do was go out and buy some slepper pj's that looked "doggish", and we had a little puppy).

our ward had a trunk or treat, so we went to that and were home in time to get the girls to bed at a decent hour! i know, you're probably thinking that sounds very boring and uneventful, but the girls loved it and they didn't ask for more! while we can get away with it we will go for simple, because i know there will come a time when we can't do "simple" any more!