Saturday, December 17, 2011

Yep, it's official. Hell has frozen over.

I ran a 5K today. 
See what I mean?
It's COLD down there tonight.

McKenna, Me & Jenny
These two crazy-ass friends of mine made me do it.

"Take 'em down, Mom!"  Seriously?  Love it!
And here are my sweet cheerleaders with their darling signs.
I'm not sure what kind of full-contact, mommy-ninja 5K Charlotte thought I was running, but I appreciate her aggressive and encouraging comments. 
And it was lovely of Jane to put me at the front of the pack.   :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

How did she get to be 9?

Charlotte and I had a great afternoon together a few weeks ago.  First we went to the Ft. Steilacoom Park to take her "9" pictures.  There are great backdrops at the park with lots of colors and textures.  After our photo shoot, we went to Starbucks where we had fun sipping our drinks and downloading the "app of the week".  It turned out to be quite an entertaining app, and we howled and laughed the entire time.  It was a great mother-daughter day!

My friend Jenny mentioned that this ought to be Charlotte's CD cover.  I think she's right.

This one just kills me.

We found these numbers written on the side of this building. It was a date, but of course we zeroed in on the "09".

This photo seriously happened by accident.  I was checking the settings on my camera and said, "Hey, Charlotte.  Turn around for a sec."  And this is what I got.  Love it.
I don't always love pictures of my kids in B&W, but I LOVE this one!  I feel like I can look right through her eyes.

Notice how she didn't smile "with teeth" the entire time?  She's getting braces next week.  Hopefully she'll soon be more comfortable flashing her beautiful smile.
I love you Charlotte.  Please don't grow up too fast.  You still need your mommy.

Front yard make-over, phase 1

I'm afraid I cannot (for the freakin' life of me) find a "before" shot that includes the above areas, and the guys had already ripped a bunch of stuff out before I even knew they were here this morning.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyhoo, Kevin, known for "The Great Wall of Kiehl" in our backyard, came by and took out the huge hedges that were on the right of the driveway and the crummy, annoying, prickly shrubs that were to the left of the driveway.  The shrubs on the right did nothing but make it hard for people to see when backing out of our driveway and block visibility for and of kids riding bikes up and down the street.

This is the view from our front porch.  Our yard seems tons bigger now and it's really lovely to see more of the orchard across the street.  I'm super glad the kids will be safer riding bikes now, and we'll definitely spruce up these corner bed this spring with some low growing "stuff".
(a.k.a. "stuff" Kevin will advise us to plant there, then plant it there.)

New Reindeer Jammies

How many years do you think we have left??

Christmas morning - 2010
Christmas morning 2009
Sam is super interested in opening up his garbage truck from Santa.  But at least he liked his Jake Locker jersey.

Sam's first Christmas 2008
My. Favorite. Picture. Ever.

Here's to a silent night!

A to the K

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Sam: Mommy, when I be a big boy, I kiss you and be married to you?

Mommy, to herself: Dear Lord, please freeze time and don't let him grow up too fast.

A to the K

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bow Down To Washington!!

We took our good luck charms friends, Steve & Cynthia, to the Apple Cup on Saturday.  And boy it was fun!  I'm not just saying that because, well, the Huskies won, but the real fun was laughing and visiting with our dear friends. 
Thanks Crosbys for the fun evening!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Great job ladies!!!!!

After attending two wonderful conferences for the girls yesterday, we decided to celebrate with sparkling apple cider in champagne glasses.  The girls thought this was so grown up!
Of course, after all the accolades, toasts, etc., Janey went to clear her plate and plowed her 1/4 full champagne glass right over and it shattered into a gagillion sticky pieces. 
The dinner time clean up took a few extra minutes, needless to say. 
Good thing my wine glass was empty.  :)

Last night we were very thankful for 2 happy girls, 4 wonderful teachers and our fantastic school!!

My new favorite thing...

So I picked this up at Fred Meyer yesterday for a mere $19.99, which I thought was a great deal.  Even if I only use it for Thanksgiving, I consider it a cheap entertaining investment.  (Guess I'll need to have more parties.)  Each side holds 2.5 quarts, and if you remove the chaffing dishes, the bottom part is a warming plate for appetizers.  I plan on putting stuffing on one side and maybe mashed potatoes on the other?  But I usually make a ridiculous amount of them, so 2.5 quarts may not cut it. :)  Those taters may call for the ol' Crock pot!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

A to the K

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

These Chairs Are My Bitches

These chairs are totally my bitches.

Yeah, you may be laughing now, (well maybe not you, Mom, sorry) but I was NOT laughing around 2 pm this afternoon.  I've put a fair amount of furniture together in my lifetime...Ikea, Fred Meyer, Target, World Market.  Today, I picked up two of these chairs from World Market for our dining room (on sale, PLUS 25% off - boo-yah).  All I had to do was attach the seat to the back with 4 bolts and add the front legs with 4 more bolts, but damn those Allyn wrenches!  And the threads on the bolts wouldn't catch with the threads in the chair back.  I was determined to see these bitches beauties standing at either end of my dining table (which is a beautiful antique from Brett's amazing great-grandparents).  Anyhow, after "blessing them out" as SuLee would say, I love the way they look. 

Now I must go in search of fabric to recover the original chairs, and then the dining room and living room will be one cohesive, flowing unit. 
And while I'm at it, that tree has GOT to go.

To the rescue!

Woody and Buzz - my heros!!
Are they the cutest, or what?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My SIX kids!

Took these jokers to Black Bear Yogurt yesterday. I've been
dying to check it out, and I couldn't think of 6 better reasons. (So yeah, I'll go to a lot of trouble to ge me some fro-yo.)
It did not disappoint!

Two people asked me if they were all my kids. Must have been because they were so well behaved. ;)

A to the K

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011


In our town, there is NO lack of Harvest/Halloween events and activities.  The only one we've missed this weekend is the UP Fire Dept. one (sorry Uncle Kirk!).  But between a soccer game in Browns Point and a trip to the doctor (Sam is covered in hives - Jane said, "Sam, I'm so sorry about your bee-hives"), we're doing pretty well.  Last night was our school's Fall Festival, which was SO much fun.  There were carnival games, a cake walk, a mad scientist center (think haunted hallway), trunk-or-treat, pizza and more.  Our PTA really banded together to put on a great event, and we had over 20 kids from Curtis Jr. and Sr. High which was a HUGE help.

This afternoon, we hit our church's Harvest Fest.  There were similar games, stations for tattoos, nail painting, face painting, ice cream cones and not one, but TWO bounce houses!!  Thank you UPPC staff for putting on another wonderful event.

Here are some pics of the kids in their costumes. 

Charlotte the Evil Wizard

Jane, the damn cute Rock Star

Skeleton Sam
I got a Tootsie Roll, whatchu got?

Yum.  Ice cream.
Okay, so this one's not ours, but he's DANG cute, right?  This is Benjamin, son of our friends Aaron & Jenny Stewart.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Show Off Your Shot

Ladies and Gentleman!!!!  For the first time ever, I'm linking up with a photography "challenge".  It's on my friend Rachel's blog, and her photo challenge called "Show Off Your Shot".  This is a sunset shot from Maui while we enjoyed a beer at Lahaina's Cheeseburger In Paradise.

Hope I "win".

and then, she {snapped}

It's Rachel's Bloggiversary!!!

Help her celebrate, and sign up for her AMAZING Giveaways!!!!!

I'm crossing my fingers to win that super cute camera bag.  We shall see...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What a beautiful morning!

And we were lucky enough to see it on the way to the bus stop! Five minutes later, on my way back home it was gone. Timing really is everything.

A to the K

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Charlotte turns 9!

She patiently waited for this day to arrive for 364 days.  (God help me with leap year.)  Friday marked 9 years sweet Charlotte has been in our lives.  It's been a fun and exciting ride with many teachable moments, for parents AND child.  :)

Charlotte, we're so blessed to be your parents.  We love your passion for music and how hard you've worked in school this past year.  You have surrounded yourself with nice friends, been an encouraging teammate, and a kind big sister and cousin.  Thank you for teaching us every day, and for letting us teach you as you grow up.  Just don't do it too fast.  Deal?

We love you,
Mom & Dad

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Kiehl-isms

We were eating dinner tonight, and Jane was telling Sam we don't say "bottom" at the dinner table.  "That's potty-talk," and she pointed to the bathroom.

Later I said, "Sam, you stinker."  He chastised me saying, "We not say 'stinker'.  That's toilet paper!!"


Last night, while Jane was in the shower, she clarified which shampoo she should use.  Then I told her, "Just a little - about the size of a nickle."

"A nipple?" she asked, horrified.

"No, a nickle!!!" I said, laughing. 

"What's a nickle?"  She asked.

I should have just left it at 'nipple'.  :)

Monday, October 17, 2011


I have to write these down before I forget.  Jane just recently learned about "porta-potties" while were were playing at a park  We've never really used the word "potty" so I see how she got a bit confused when a couple weeks later we were at another park with a porta-potty.  She told me she needed to go to the bathroom,  and while pointing she said, "See Mom!  They have a "teeter-tottie"!"

The kids love hand sanitizer and each have a little bottle clipped to their backpacks.  I also keep a pump bottle in the car because we never know where we may find ourselves.  Any how, Jane must be like me and have no patience for inefficient use of time or energy. 
That is why I LOVE that Jane calls it -- "hanitizer". 

I hope she never stops.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

While the cats are away...

...the mice and their Grannies shall play!  The kids enjoyed a lot of fun with Brett's mom, Grannie, and my parents, Grandpa and Grandma Cukamo (nickname).  Here's evidence that my kids ate dinner at Lefty's, the new town diner, and LOVED it.  And evidence that 2 of our children were inappropriately dressed for either season or time of day. :)  I LOVE this picture and that my mother-in-law knows me well enough to take it and text it to me while on vacation.  Can't wait to try one of those chocolate milkshakes I keep hearing about!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our Magical Week Away

We truly had such a relaxing week on Maui.  Thanks to Brett winning us the plane tickets, our family friends letting us rent their condo and the grandparents doing major tag-teaming, we allowed ourselves to put the 'R' back in R&R.  We hit the beach early, then went "home" for lunch on our lanai.  Then we'd head over to the pool where we were fixtures for the afternoon.  Our big adventure each day was going to dinner.  We had some amazing meals, and witnessed some incredible sunsets.  And best of all, I hung out with my favorite person for literally, 24/7.
Here are just a few (out of 350) of our favorite pictures.
Outside the Hula Grill in Whalers Village in Ka'anapali Beach

Ka'anapali Beach
Our condo is just out of the frame of this photo on the left.  It was 25 steps to the pool, and 33 to the beach.  Yes, I counted. 

We left home at 6:30am PST, and landed in Hawaii by 12:30 Hawaiian time.  We were walking along this beach by 2:30pm.  I love when you practically get a whole day in your destination city.

Kapalua's Plantation Course - GORgeous!

Dinner at The Sea House in Napili Bay

Our last night, in Lahaina

Our last Hawaiian sunset.  Sigh.
(For your photography buffs...this is SOOC!)
Seriously?  There were SO many rainbows.  I took this moments before we left for the airport, and afterward it started pouring down rain.  Yep, time to head home to Washington.  Plus, I was starting to miss the kids. :)

Pumpkin Patch 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


...from Lahaina

Taken with my phone!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

This is no joke.

Maui is not for sissies.
We're sitting on our lanai enjoying a cold bev, then off to explore and find a spot for dinner.

A to the K says "Ah-to-the-loha"