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"

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Kahului Weather
Tonight Oct 7Sat 8Sun 9Mon 10Tue 11Wed 12Thu 13Fri 14Sat 15Sun 16
Partly CloudyMostly SunnySunnyPartly Cloudy / WindPartly Cloudy / WindPartly CloudyPartly CloudyScattered ShowersSunny / WindFew Showers / Wind
Partly Cloudy Mostly Sunny Sunny Partly Cloudy / Wind Partly Cloudy / Wind Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Scattered Showers Sunny / Wind Few Showers / Wind
-- High 87° 85° 88° 87° 87° 88° 87° 87° 87°
72° Low 71° 71° 71° 70° 69° 70° 70° 70° 70°

The Morning Routine

So we're about a month into school, and I'm super tired of telling the girls how to get ready in the morning. Like, Every. Single. Step. I know, imagine that. Not to mention I'm trying to get beautified in the morning as well. I don't just wake up looking this good people! While at Rachel's today, I saw she made a checklist of sorts for her son to help him with the same stupid annoying freakin' difficult problem. I went directly home and fashioned my own. Since Jane really isn't reading yet, I added pictures to help. I'll be posting it to the inside of their closet door. What do you think?  Click here to view the checklist.  Will mornings get easier?  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oh Sam

You won't believe this quote.  How he learned it, I have no idea.  (Well, perhaps I do, as I know his sisters very well.)

We were in the grocery store, and as I perused something on the shelf, he said, "Look Mommy!  Cheetos!"  And he proceeded to put the bag in the cart. 

I said, "No, Bud.  We're not buying Cheetos.  Please put those back." 

As he took the bag back to the shelf he lamented, "Ohhhh Mahhhhm.  You bwoke my hawrt."

Damn cute, I tell you.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

PSE 9 - actions

So I'm pretty proud of myself for figuring out how to download and install actions for Photoshop Elements.  What's an action?  Well it's sort of like a recipe someone has already put together with various Photoshop tools, adjustments, etc., put in one handy-dandy "action".  You download actions from the web (various photography sites have actions for purchase and lots for FREE), then install them in your PSE program.  You open up your picture, click on the thumbnail of a particular action (or 2 or 3), and PSE applies the "recipe" to your photo.  It's pretty simple, and you don't have to waste a jillion hours adjusting every little, blessed, tweakable thing in PSE.  So below are two pictures from the first day of school that I played around with.  You've seen them before, but not with these fun actions applied.
For Charlotte's photo, I ran Coffee Shops "Define", "Eye Bright" and "Polaroid Effect".

For Jane's I applied Coffee Shop's "Perfect Portrait" & "Rounded Corners for Web".  I really like how it warmed up her already tanned skin and darkened the red in the brick.

It's fun playing around with this stuff, but I need my guru, Rachel, to give me a workflow tutorial.  Guess we need yet another meeting for "BWB" (Broads Who Blog). 
It doesn't take much of an excuse - especially if Rachel brings Pao's donuts.