Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

For Christmas Abby was given a digital camera. She has wanted one FOREVER! Yesterday we went in to Portland to spend some of our Christmas money. Our first stop was the Portland Temple. While I was in the Distribution Center the kids and Grammy K. walked around. Abby took all of these beautiful pictures. My New Year's Resolution is to visit here more often.
Happy 2009!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Pajamas (1 of 2 posts!)

I found these pictures the other day, cleaning out some old boxes of stuff I can't get rid of. My scanner is not hooked up, I can never really get it to work, so I took pictures of them. They are not the best quality, but my kids have had a lot of fun looking at them. (Erin you were so young and cute! You are about 9 months older than Christine in these photos!)

The photos are mostly from Christmas Eve 1991. I was home from BYU for the holidays. Not pictured is Laurie, I think she spent Christmas in Utah that year. This was our last holiday season in Modesto, CA. (next year I think all us McBride girls should get together to make our own Mr and Mrs. Clause heads!)

More lovely pajama pictures, Laurie gave me these HOTT jammies. Wendy, what's with the blue leg?
Another fun pj photo. Do you get yourself and spouse matching pj's? Will he wear them?

Do you get your kids new pajamas each year for Christmas? Do they match? Do you sew them? Do you open them up on Christmas Eve?
While growing up, for most years at least, I can answer yes. Do I sew my kids pajamas? No, I have a pattern for some pj bottoms, but have yet to try it. Do we give pj's? Usually. Do they match? Only if buying the same brand is considered matching. Do we open them on Christmas Eve? If I can remember which package they are. This year my mother-in-law wanted to get the kids something they could use, so I helped her pick out fun pj's. But since I'm not giving them, the kids won't be opening them until Christmas Day. Should I substitute anything else, or just ignore the tradition of one gift on Christmas Eve?

I'm not sure if I've ever taken pictures of my kids with their new pajamas. I think that will be my tradition this year, take a photo of the kids together in their new pj's!
Read on, I have another post!

Pictures from the last couple weeks

Santa's workshop. Mom, don't look too closely! But if you want to learn how to make some cool birds go here.
Abby and her uke.

Michelle on the xylophone. Peter's concert pictures didn't turn out as well.

This morning's view from my window.

First day of snow play. This picture makes me wish I hadn't already ordered Christmas photo cards.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Crsitine's Birthday

We had Cristine's birthday party at Pietro's Pizza last Friday. Erin, Bridger and Forest joined us for the exciting event. (hey little guy, your birthday is coming up!)
Cristine was so excited by this gift, more dress up clothes!

The other day I asked Cristine to change out of her favorite dress up outfit so we could go to the store. A few minutes later she came downstairs wearing her clothes over the top of her ballerina dress, but she didn't quite get it all tucked in. She is wearing a mullet, business in the front.

Party in the back! How did my sweet little girl suddenly turn 3?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just Wondering

Have you ever felt like emptying your child's dresser and just leaving them with one outfit? In the evening putting in a pair of pj's then in the mornings putting in another outfit? Would that solve my problems of straightening out drawers and picking up clean clothes from the floor? Would it keep my almost 3 year old from changing outfits several times a day? Would I have to hide the dress up clothes too?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Book Club

Our ward has had a book club for a number of years. I have tried to go as often as possible. Most of the time I am working and unable to attend. Two months ago I was able to go for the first time in about a year. When they were discussing where they would meet the next few months, my hand shot up and I blurted out that November would be a good month for me. My first thought were that a deadline would help to get a few things cleaned up around here. My second thought was how can I gracefully back out.

Last week I worked on a few cleaning projects, which was a good thing since I was sick on Wednesday and wasn't able to clean as much as I had hoped. Rain prevented us from doing much outside. But the outhouse that was positioned close to the house during a short time of septic tank troubles was finally moved. (First impressions are a good thing, and I didn't want anyone thinking that we didn't have indoor plumbing).

People came bearing lots of desserts, friendships were renewed and our book was discussed. We read (OK, I didn't finish my assignment, but should be able to today) Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza. This was quite an incredible book, I enjoyed the comments made by those visiting.

Next month we are reading Dickens, A Christmas Carol. This one I have already read and we'll be going to someone else's home.

Phew, I survived.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Christmas is just around the corner, unbelievable until you walk into a W-mart where they already have Christmas music playing. Rick's family gets very specific about gifts and wish lists. I have always had a hard time spelling out what I want, because
A. I feel embarrassed to actually ask for something specific.
B. I can never think of anything I really want.
C. I dislike knowing what I am getting, I like surprises.
My sister-in-law Rannie always gets me the coolest most surprising fun crafty gifts, they make me want to shop with her. And she doesn't shop from my want list. Other family members need help in choosing gifts. Over the years I've come to appreciate those lists, how handy is it to know that so and so likes black socks and someone else wants season 2 of Northern Exposure.

Every year I am very slow in getting my list together. This year I've decided to start early. I've decided to come up with my wish list now. Instead of telling the family I need silicone muffin pans I want to gather up a cool, fun, surprising, exciting list of what I want/need. (ok, this is sounding a bit selfish, but family members are asking and I have a good idea what my kids want-like) Maybe if I write my list now, I'll forget what I asked for by Christmas time. Here's the problem, aside from having Clean H0use come in and clean/organize/paint, I have no ideas as to what I want. Any ideas? What do you want for Christmas? What do your kids want for Christmas? Keep it clean, or I'll delete it.
Happy Holidays

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween Pictures

Halloween pictures this year was met with a few unwilling participants. They wanted to get on to the good part...the candy. I quickly snapped a few shots, so we could get on our way.
This year I made 3! costumes. Abby wanted to be a wizard, we found this cool purple fabric with spider webs and made an easy cape. She is trying (being forced) to show off the material and didn't want her smiling face to be seen.

Michelle and Cristine were both Little Red Ridding Hood. I think their capes turned out pretty well. (Hopefully when I enter one into the fair, next year, the judges will be kinder then they were to the kimono. Hello it's a Halloween costume, it just has to stay together while you go trick-or-treating, for example look at the ones found at W-mart).

Peter wanted to be a pirate looking for his lost loot. He must have found it since his bag was so heavy.

Cristine wasn't into the picture taking either. In this photo she is wondering why her bag is so flat and empty.
Other than the photo shoot, we had a fun night. The weather was mild, coats were not required, I think that was a first! The rain held off until the next day. Erin, Bridger and Forest met up with us, then came back and stayed the night. Another family joined us for dinner after trick-or-treating. We had yummy chili and bone breadsticks. We played cards and Settlers of Zarahemlia while the kids ran around eating too much candy. I think Halloween should be on a Friday night every year!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Harvest Post 2- FINALLY

These two pictures were taken from our driveway the other morning. The pink one was taken first, as I raced to school to get the kids to school on time. The first one, really second in order, was taken on the way home.
We have had the most amazing beautiful fall I ever seen. I think it has something to do with not having much rain. One customer told me that this was the most colorful, beautiful fall he'd seen in 20 years. Since I've only lived here for 16, that makes sense. The rain started last night, just in time for Halloween.

I know I left you waiting, but here, finally, are pictures of my new tractor. Isn't it pretty? This little orange tractor is so zippy. Forward and Reverse are in on pedal-so no more shifting.

This is my other reason for liking this tractor so much, the seat. But not the seat part, the behind the seat part.

See that, the seat has a secret compartment, just wide enough to hold a book. Perfect for those slow moments when no one has need of my kickin tractor skilz. Books read during harvest 3. By the way this is all top secret, mr. farming husband gets a bit grouchy if he finds me out reading.

My back up tractor drivers gave it their approval. They both liked the no shifting thing, not having to use a clutch rocks. One even told me that the cup holder was muy bueno, he was never seen very far from his can of coke. Cup holders on a tractor, almost makes work like a joy ride.

We have had the most amazing beautiful fall I ever seen. I think it has something to do with not having much rain. One customer told me that this was the most colorful, beautiful fall he'd seen in 20 years. Since I've only lived here for 16, that makes sense.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Harvest Post, more pictures to follow

Ah, Harvest. Remember my cool John Deere tractor? It has been replaced. I was sad when Rick sold MY tractor, but I have learned to love my new tractor. It is all shiny and ORANGE, phew it is bright. (you'll have to wait for photos, they are on the other computer).

Harvest is now over and payroll is finished! Now it is time to clean up, organize and get ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those holidays are sneaking up on me!

Next week all the kids have field trips-how is that possible? The three little kids are each going to a pumpkin patch-different days of course. Abby is going to the Maryhill Museum of Art-this one I want go to. If I go to one or two does that mean I'm required to attend all 4?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Autumn Fun

Our last few weeks have been packed full. My youngest sister Erin, her husband Bridger and their cute little guy Forest moved to the Portland area. We've been able to spend a couple days with them and look forward to holidays, hikes, bbq's, zoo trips, coast camping trips etc. It is exciting to have family nearby again!
In between helping them move in, wood cuts, huckleberry picking and awaiting harvest to resume, I decided to start decorating for fall.
My fall decorating ended before I changed out our cherry blossom twigs. I have looked all over town trying to find a fun fall idea for the giant vases. We may glued orange and yellow tissue paper on twigs if I can't find anything better.

One of the hard thing about living with my mother in law is working around and with all of her many nick knacks. A few things I decided were too springy and was able to put them away. I think the Asian vases are too huge to try to move. I'm not too sure which season the Buddha statue would look best in. He too is quite heavy and I haven't been able to figure out a place I can move him without hurting any one's feelings.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bringing Bling to Lunch

Last year Abby and Michelle picked out the same backpacks. At the time it was no big deal, Michelle kept her backpack mostly in her room and Abby's was kept downstairs with her school stuff in it. Fast forward to this school year. The backpacks were still in good shape, so we decided not to buy new ones. The 2nd day of school I put Abby's lunch in Michelle's backpack. Abby was called to the office to switch lunches with Michelle. Michelle didn't realize they were the exact same lunch. I had planned to buy new lunchboxes, since ours were smelling pretty funky. While debating whether to buy spider-man or insulated boxes, I had the thought to iron on the kids names. I zipped back to the craft section and found some fun iron-on styles. It took a bit longer than the instructions to get the letters to stick, the flap is quite thick and took a while for the heat of the iron to get through it. After putting the kids names on the lunch boxes I then put an A and M on the two girls backpacks. Now each morning I just have to match the right name to the right initial-way easier than guessing. Today was day 2 of my brilliant plan, in my still sleepy state I was able to quickly get the right lunch to the right backpack. Plus the letters are still attached and the kids thought they were very cool.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

1st day of School

The big three.
Michelle-Kindergartner and her super fun teacher Miss V.
Peter-2nd grader
Abby-4th grader
School started for us on Tuesday. Everyone was so excited, me included. Michelle and I hung out together before class started, while Abby and Peter were off to greeting their friends. We read a couple books in the library as we watched all the kids running around. She then told me that Abby said she could not say "hi" to her when they saw each other around the school. Is being in 4th grade like being in middle school? I told Michelle it was her job to wave, shout and hug her big sister whenever she could. The house was so quiet when I got home, then it was almost tomb like after Cristine left for preschool.
Everyone likes their teachers and enjoyed the first couple days. Abby's been busy with homework. Today they took money for hot lunch since we were already running a bit late. Here's to a great school year!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our Garden, Weeds and All

Take a look at all those weeds! So far we've had a pretty good harvest.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fighting Fire Blight or the Blight of Our Summer Vacation

When school starts and the kids start comparing their summer vacations, our kids will probably rank pretty low in the coolness factor. At least twice a week, sometimes about daily we have been out helping Rick cut Fire Blight. Our job is to help Rick spot the dying branches, hand him the pruning sheers, spray denatured alcohol on the sheers after he's made his cut. Help him manhandle the ladder and pick up the branches he has cut. Cutting out all the fire blight is important, if left untreated it can kill the tree. Insects are attracted to the sticky sap and spread the bacteria to other trees. So far we have cut down about 25 trees. We have also cut the tops out of many trees. Rick said that this is the worst he has seen it in many years. One of our neighbors estimated that she has lost over 50% of her crop. We were out last night and will probably be out cutting another day this week. These photos are from last Thursday, one of the hottest days of our summer. It was also Rick's birthday. I tried to get some good photos, but the sun was too high, and I needed to get to work. It is very important to look up into the trees to spot the fire blight.
Cristine likes to work in style.
After cutting the diseased branches we load it onto a trailer. When it is full, we unload it onto our burn pile. When we have a big enough pile we get to have a hot dog roast.
Can you spot the fire blight in this photo?
Rick scaling the ladder. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hiking the Gorge

Last Saturday, Rick was asked to help dismantle girls camp. We decided we did not want to stay home, so we headed up the Gorge. Our first stop was the Bonneville Fish Hatchery. We fed the baby salmon and stood in amazement while watching the huge sturgeon swim by. We then drove to the other side of the freeway and hiked Wahclella Falls. This was a great hike for the kids, it was only a mile long, with some steep parts and a very cool bridge spanning a deep ravine. The waterfalls along the way and at the end of the hike were beautiful. Had the weather been a bit warmer, I think we may have stopped to splash around.
Taken on the cool bridge, Cristine was a little afraid, since there were small gaps between the boards on the bridge. But we all made it across safely.

Wahclella Falls
After our fun hike we drove through Cascade Locks, trying to decide if we wanted an ice cream from the cute little diner. When we saw all the cars and the huge line of people, we decided drive back to town and visit the local D@iry Queen. This photo was taken at DQ, showing Peter's recently lost tooth. The other top tooth is quite loose and will probably be out by the start of school.