Monday, September 29, 2014

On the roof ...
Name that song!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

SEEERIOUS air hockey

Bennett was getting a little too intense in his game vs his Daddy....

Wild Moose Chase 10K on Mt Spokane

Such a fun morning!
We LOVE going up to Mt. Spokane.
 So beautiful, and not too far away. The weather was perfect.
Meredith and Lily joined us - she did the 5K.  I placed 2nd.
Trail races are the best!
Though I'm pretty out of shape on the hills - they were brutal.
But, what doesn't kill you.....
I made sure to let Brian know how much I appreciate his total support of my little racing hobby. Though I know he enjoys coming out to these things (free food! Live music! Nature walks w/ the kids!), it still is so nice that I don't have to cajole him into it.
Time to go look up races and find one for next week!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Nicest Chalk Artist ever

             He let 4 yr olds help him!
{Downtown Spokane}. 

School surprise

On the way home from the gym I looked at the clock and realized we'd be going right by Brianna's school while she was starting lunch.
I impulsively decided to just stop on by and join her!
Her face when she saw me.... that made my day.
My year.
She was SO sincerely, genuinely delighted.
I can't imagine her being any more excited if we had told her she was going to Disneyland or something.
The twins loved it - they went and got their trays like little pros.
Brianna's friends were in shock - they thought it was so cool that Brianna's mom came, and brought 3 "little kids" along!
I better enjoy this while I can, right?!
I can only imagine that it won't be long before she won't be so delighted to have me join her at school lunch....
It was over all too soon.  They only get 20 minutes for lunch!
But we went out to recess with her too.
Which was insane. All those children are WILD! Pure chaos out there.  I don't think I could handle working in a public school setting.
Side note... I keep debating between paying for school lunch or packing from home. Which is more cost-effective, healthier, etc. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Brushing in STYLE

Everyone needs to put on a kimono and a crown before brushing their teeth.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bouncing w/ Bennett

I ADORE THIS LITTLE BOY!!!  He makes the funniest little noises and says the cutest things. And is always up to play play play. Seriously.... I don't want him to grow up. I know that sounds so cliché, and such an overused phrase by sappy sentimental moms.... but no - really - I don't want him to grow up. He's going to turn into a big boy. Then a young man. Then a MAN. And I'll have no sweet little boy to giggle and wrestle with me like only a little boy can! Saaaaaaad!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mirabeau Waterfall

So pretty! Can't believe I grew up 30 minutes from this place and had never been here. 55 acres of trails and park area surround this waterfall!

Best Farm Ever!

Strawberry Hills Nutrition Farm in Greenbluff. Beyond organic - it's called Nutrient Dense Farming. We picked a little of everything they had available there (and I've got the bill to prove it, ha! Real food isn't cheap!)

"The nutrition-dense farming techniques that Verne Fallstrom has implemented at Strawberry Hill have piqued the interest of farmers all over the world. Strawberry Hill Nutrition Farm offers some of the freshest, most healthful and nutrient dense produce around. Unlike an organic farm where some types of pesticide applications are acceptable, on a nutrition farm like Strawberry Hill, we don't use any pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Instead, we concentrate on soil health - ensuring it has the right biological balance of nutrients including trace minerals (AZOMITE®) to keep the plants healthy, which in turn keeps the pests away.  PRODUCE GROWN ON THE FARM:  Beets,  Broccoli, Cabbage,   Carrots (several color varieties), Celery, Cucumbers, Herbs, Garlic, Kale (several varieties), Onion, Sugar Peas, Peppers, Pole Beans, Potatoes, Rhubarb,  Romaine Lettuce (green and red), Swiss Chard, Summer Squash (zucchini, yellow crook neck), Tomatoes, Winter Squash (pumpkins, spagetti, butternut, acorn, delicata, hubbard, kabocha),  Blackberries, Raspberries, Strawberries (of course!),  At Strawberry Hill Nutrition Farm we promote health. Come and experience the difference! With over 45 years of experience in geology, geophysics and geochemistry, Verne Fallstrom is both the brains and brawn of Strawberry Hill. A certified Master Gardener and Master Composter, he also studied nutrition farming in Australia with Nutritech Solutions. Strawberry Hill Nutrition Farm was started from scratch and became what it is today trough Verne's dream of growing healthy food, improving personal health and helping others.  Verne's intention at Strawberry Hill is to take the simple concepts of nature and apply them in order to produce the most nutrient dense and delicious fruits, vegetables and herbs possible. "Study nature and work with her," is his motto.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Valleyfest 10K! Felt awesome to do a real-ish race again! I WANT MORE!!
And this was the view along the whole course! Mirabeau Park and the Centennial Trail are incredible.

Meredith and I pride ourselves in being VERY mature around port-a-potties.....

Warm up squats!! :)
This was all her idea, I promise.
She was hyped up on caffeine. And when she's like that.... she's a lot of fun :) 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hugs. Outdoor.

I love hugs.
I really do (unless they're the awkward kind with non-family members you didn't really want to hug, like one time when Brian's boss hugged me goodbye. Weeeeeird).

And I totally believe any research report finding a correlation between number of hugs per day and any positive outcome - up to and including reduced stress, elevated happy hormone levels, alleviation of all physical and emotional discomforts, eradication of poverty and chronic disease....
Hugs save the world.

The most divinely inspired website in the internets.....

I was feeling really overwhelmed this afternoon. SO MUCH to juggle right now.
A typically needy and insanely wiggly baby, Homeschool preschool for the twins, piano & school for Brianna, President of the Young Women program at Church, my job, house projects, trying to stay in shape, a million emails to catch up on.... I feel like there are a hundred balls being thrown at me and I can only catch half of them. Brian travels SO much - Chicago for long trainings, then all over the PNW for overnight sales trips. Even when he's home, he's got so much to do. We get 1-2 hours with him each day.
So I'm running this ship solo (though I'd NEVER, even jokingly, say I'm "single-momming it." Hate it when women do that. Real single moms don't have husbands making sure paychecks come in).
 And of course, I'm super grateful my parents are nearby to help when needed. But I don't wanna have to rely on them - they've got stuff too.
[deep breaths]
It just gets tiring to feel like I'm treading water all the time.
I was feeling especially down this afternoon, so I said a prayer asking for help.  Not for help to make my responsibilities go away. That's not going to happen. But just for ENERGY to do it all. And have a good attitude about it.
I went online to (I have to prepare to speak at a baptism tomorrow night - just another item on the list!)  And I couldn't believe the homepage. I took a screen shot of it:

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!!! Peoples - God is real! He knows me! He loves and cares for me! The Church is true. And I can keep going because I know that. I'm so grateful for this sign from Him today. Now back to that never ending to-do list :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Travelin' biznis man!

Brian's view every week as he travels home from working in central WA area.

Not bad!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gettin Gassy

Despite the cheesy smile and freaky looking eyes... I still find him ridiculously handsome.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Today's outfit: the same yoga pants and running shirt as yesterday.

While clearing out some boxes of old STUFF, I came across this calendar.  I'm sure someone got the Dachshund theme for me as a gift because I was obsessed with our mini dachshund, Waldo, for the couple years we had him.
But that's not what's interesting about this.  Interesting - borderline embarrassing.
On each day of the calendar, I have written down what OUTFIT I wore! Not only that - what SHOES I wore, and how I DID MY HAIR.
Why?! Oh, I'm sure for some totally rational purpose, like not accidentally wearing the same thing too frequently. Cuz I'm so sure all the other sophomores were REALLY paying attention to that and it would've been soooo humiliating to put on the same Abercrombie jeans on a Monday then AGAIN the following Thursday!  GASPINHORROR!!!
Oh sheesh. I had a good head-shake at myself over this, and it went into the recycling bin.
I just hope my daughters never get wrapped up in such superficiality.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Oh these two....

5.5 years apart... and yet, the best of friends! 

Charity gets genuinely happy to see her oldest sis, and Brianna consistently seeks out playtime with her live doll. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Red Corn!

Got 24 ears of these yummies from Bountiful Baskets last
week.....(yes, the co-op is alive and well in spokane!)

Didn't know red corn existed!
Thank you freaky California produce....

Monday, September 8, 2014

All 4

They're a little scraggly looking, but I'm crazy about them!

Saturday, September 6, 2014


On the way home from the gym around noon I had the strongest desire to see my Brianna.
Just wanted to hug her and make sure her day is going well. Its only the second day of school and Im already looking forward to summer break!
So we swing by and I asked to have her called to the office really quick. I think they were annoyed with me.
I got my hug.
We all did!
Whew. I think I can make it til 3:30 now....

Friday, September 5, 2014

Brianna starts piano lessons!

We found a teacher in our neighborhood! I'm so excited, she is fantastic. And reasonably priced.
I think Brianna is ready. Part of me says to wait another year or two...she'll learn more quickly ... But we don't have any other extracurriculars, (I'm NOT a fan of dance classes, and haven't found any nearby sports opportunities) so this is it for us!
I'm hanging out at this first lesson with her because she was nervous. I'm so grateful mom is watching the other kids so I can be here! (and get some great photo organizing time on my laptop)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Girl's turn camping

And by GIRLS - I mean Brian with his daughters. Not me.
 I have no strong desire focus my precious time and resources towards laying down in a tent in the woods.
 I'll do it to make the kids happy.... but Brian is even more willing, so I let him have the honors!

He took Brianna and Courtney to Zion's Camp - owned by our church. Near Riverside, about 35 min away. All the neighboring stakes get to use it.
It's awesome - rugged and off-the-grid enough, but with some conveniences - like fire pits, pavilions, makeshift bridges over the river, tire swings, etc.

Brian's exact text to me on their way home: "Little princesses had the time of their lives!"

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Date day!

After enduring almost 14 days apart, Brian wanted to take me on a date. He arranged childcare with mom & dad (including baby Charity! first time away from us that long!)
We debated between going to play tennis, going peach picking @Greenbluff, or hiking Mt. Spokane. Hiking won because Brian said he missed the mountains. He doesn't miss them anymore - we got some serious mountain time in! It was about a 30 minute drive to the trailhead, then almost 2 and a half hours of hiking roundtrip. Part of the time we stayed on the groomed trails, and part of the time we thought we'd be "smart" and bushwhack our own shortcuts. It got a little scary for awhile! But then I discovered yummy wild blueberries and huckleberries, and ate my fears away. mmmmm
It was great spending lots of time together, getting a darn good workout in, and knowing that the kids do just fine with their favorite babysitters!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Last one of the season!

Keeping the fairy busy

She lost two in one day! 

And didn't even tell me about the second one!

 Fortunately the fairy noticed and left the appropriate double fee (two of each size coin).

Sneaky fairy gets Brianna excited to practice adding coins :)

Newest mostest favoritest kitchen tool

The Vidalia Chop Wizard.
It's like 10 bucks at BB&B. Go get one.
It's changed my life. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ominous skies above the pergola...

We've had some crazy storms lately!

Tree rescue

What would I do without Meredith to help save our tree...

Brian's Chicago trip - Medline HQ

It was a loooong ten days for both of us!
Glad we survived.
This is what Medline calls "Phase 2 training." There are 4 phases.
Each are a 10 day trip to Chicago. Ugh.
But it's so much easier to handle these separations now that I live by family! Mom and Mere were awesome giving me breaks from the kids.
 I'm grateful his job is going well! Especially since 2 of Brian's counterparts have already been fired (including the girl pictured here!!) But Brian's been assured several times that he's doing great and his job is secure.
The top photo was taken inside one of the largest shipping/distribution facilities. Medline sells over 350,000 different health care products.
Brian has a lot to learn!

Lower photo:
Brian spent saturday morning at the Chicago temple, then went to the beaches at the Great Lakes to go running, then study.

I'm really proud of him, because this is what he chose to spend his "free" day doing, instead of joining the other guys at the movie theaters  (they saw 3 "double features" - meaning walked into one movie after the other, but only paid for one). Not too cool.

So happy he's home!! I love passing the baby off to him and having some freedom  :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Quad bunkbed

When we visit mom and dad (usually Sunday after church), this is where I lay down with Charity and get her to nap. Isn't it a cool bed setup?! Super handy when all their grandkids stay over.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014


I hope I get around to blogging about the family reunion. It was SUPER! I just have a hard time doing long blog posts with lots of pictures. I can bust out a bazillion shorties, but big ones overwhelm me. So in case that doesn't happen, here's this! Mom's dream pictures, made reality!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

This is how we mow

FINALLY finished the lawn.
Huge accomplishment.
With Brian gone, I have to get it done in multiple short increments  (I'm always the lawn mower - not him - because I prefer doing that to wrangling kids :)
It would take about 70 minutes if I could do it uninterrupted.
Got the one part down while Charity did her morning nap and kids played inside.
Another while she sat in swing, monitored by Brianna, twins on trampoline.
Another while she sat at highchair brought outside, snacks for all.
And the last part - while kids watched movie, baby in my front carrier. Absolutely exhausting.
But the lawn is MOWED.
Now to do it all over again NEXT Saturday... and every Saturday... until WINTER!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rainy day paper bag puppet show

I'm really grateful for rain.
Simply because it saves me a lot of time - I don't have to go water the garden and flower baskets!
But sadly, it means the kids' outdoor time is somewhat limited. Fortunately, they're pretty creative.
At least, the fearless leader Brianna is, and drags the twins along with her.
Today she decided to decorate some puppets out of paper bags and put on a show for Charity and I!
We very much enjoyed it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Burrito baby

At 9 months, I still quickly swaddle her before nursing her to sleep at each nap! It's amazing to me how that swaddled position seems to calm babies.

Twins & Cherries

Our farmer friend on Greenbluff lets us pick cherries for free at the end of the season.
Big dark juicy Lambert variety. Mmmm.
Sunday morning, Courtney and Bennett wanted to come "help."
They did an excellent job doing absolutely nothing remotely close to helping.
When do we get to the stage where all those little hands become useful?!! :)