Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One of many doggy photos

I usually find about 50 surprises whenever I download photos from my camera. This time my surprise was dozens and dozens of poses of Cassie, which is a little more interesting than the LEGO photos I usually find. The boy has his own memory card, but we both get confused about which one to use. I should get him a camera for his birthday, but we have other plans.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pinewood Derby

Ethan had the best weekend full of Pathfinder events. We dropped him off Saturday morning at 8:30, met him for lunch, and then didn't see him again until 9 p.m. What a day—meetings, community service, skating, swimming.... The next day was even better; he finally got to race his pinewood car! We put in a couple of hours at the derby, enough to see him win two of his three heats and a lot of other action as well. I'm grateful to all the adults who have the energy, creativity, and commitment to put together such great times for our kid. Amazing.

Friday, January 01, 2010

First Night Spokane

Ethan made a bunch of kids' crafts, visited a castle, slid down a slide made of ice, fake-auditioned for children's theater, joined a parade, watched a film festival, listened to gospel, swing and blues was quite an evening for all of us. I think his favorite event was hamming it up at the children's theater. He really blew them away with his many interpretations of the line, "I won't grow up."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Early Christmas at the Raggedy Edge

Our friends' house is really coming together—books out of boxes, some running water, electricity here and there, 1 1/2 toilets—but we'd have fun sharing a tent for a week (oh wait; we've actually done that!), so these quirks didn't really seem like hardships. Claire and Ethan were little cats crawling through various nooks and crannies, and I introduced James to the joys of t-shirt stenciling with freezer paper. (The James Bond design? His idea!) And we got to spend an evening puppy-sitting Stacy's brother's Akita, such a sweet little puff of a dog. Hard to believe that he'll be a real handful someday.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tricks and treats

Ethan may not have the dark hair and tall, skinny frame of the time-traveling Doctor, but he definitely has the attitude. And great hair, don't you think? His mom, well, heaven knows she looks nothing like any of the Doctor's assistants (and wouldn't last 5 seconds with a Dalek), but she's up for a lark. And we love driving people crazy with our bad British accents.

And this is Patrick! We should have gotten a picture of the two of them together. They're less than two years apart, but Patrick is 6'3". Ethan is...not. And I don't need to add that Patrick's mother is a professional artist and overall creative genius. This costume was even more amazing in person (and when worn frontwards)*. The tiny trick-or-treaters out tonight were pretty excited to see this guy running around!

*Due to hindered movement and impaired vision, this costume is not approved by the Safety Committee. Do not wear this on stairs. Or in cars. Or on narrow walkways. Or indoors. Or crossing stairs. Or while around smaller people. Just hold still and look really awesome.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Prepping for the big day

We had four pumpkins but only got ambitious enough to carve two of them. The spider is Ethan's design, and Dad did the scary face. Mom was too busy making pumpkin pies! Needless to say, the kitchen smelled wonderful! (And was an utter mess later that evening, but that's what turning the lights out is for.)

Another bit of essential Halloween prep is the treat bag. A TARDIS* bag is the perfect candy collecting receptacle. After all, it's much bigger on the inside!

*Time And Relative Dimension In Space. :) If you didn't already know this, you really should put Doctor Who in your Netflix queue. (The tenth doctor, David Tennant, is our favorite.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Future Master Guide?

In honor of Ethan's official entry into the Torchbearers Pathfinder club, I took some really dark blurry pictures. Let's hope he will follow the example of his father the Eagle Scout instead of his mother the Pathfinder dropout.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Balloon Dad...

...was too busy grading papers, but Chickenhawk posed in his Harvest Party costume.

Sadly, my mylar creation did not rise, even when filled with helium balloons. Which probably means we will never make it on reality TV.

One last weekend

It's always nice to squeeze one last recreational weekend out of the year, but with mornings in the 20's I'm glad we didn't try camping! Wallowa Lake is gorgeous in October. Nothing is open--you have to drive about 12 miles to civilization if you forget something really important like, just for example, ketchup--but it's peaceful and the salmon are spawning and the colors are amazing and you can even manage a little paddle! Ethan left us in his wake. The kids loved watching the salmon, perhaps especially the dead ones, which were the perfect subjects for rather violent fish autopsies. Another nice surprise was finding that the Rock Whisperer had visited the river as well.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Crazy little makeover

The other day I got this whim about our coat rack. I forgot to take a "before" picture, so you'll have to imagine the oak-colored veneer and a front panel covering up where the shoes are. It had a bench with storage, which seemed like a great idea, but you had to lift the lid to get into it, and it was just a big open box, so it wasn't great for storing shoes, especially since backpacks and purses inevitably ended up on the lid.

Anyway, we knocked out the front panel (a jig saw helped) and turned that panel into a second shoe shelf, held up on the side by scrap 1x4s from the basement. A scrap of 2x2 became a post to reinforce the center of the bench (since the front panel was no longer doing this).

A trip to Home Depot for black spray paint, four more hooks so we can hang more stuff, and a couple of trim bits to hide the cut edges finished it off. After spraying my way through 3 1/2 cans, I can barely move my right arm, and I killed roughly 68,000 brain cells with fumes (will be more careful next time), but seeing our tidy shoes-in-a-row replacing the nightmare of shoes-in-a-heap makes it worth it. A nice plus is that I don't miss that fake oak look. Much prefer painted fake oak!

Am thinking a natural linen cushion might be nice...maybe with a black monogram in the center? Just a little something to make us respect the flat surface instead of piling bags and things on it.

Pssst....see that extra little hook on the side? Keys! And a leash! Hurrah!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Just a typical day on the homestead

We were the incredibly lucky guests of two farm parties this fall--the Priddy party with the Spokane ALS support group (the highlight of Cassie's summer for sure) and the Dietrich party. Wow. Almost made us want to live on the farm, except for, you know, all the chores and work and everything.

The pictures at the Dietrich Homestead speak for themselves:

Fun! Not often I get home from a party with hay in my pants. Can't beat that!