Thursday, December 9, 2010


This week I am in Duluth Minnesota taking care of my cousins two boys while she is in the hospital recovering from spinal surgery. The good news is the surgery went well and the recovery looks very good.

Me and the two boys are having fun, although I am questioning the sanity of anyone who chooses to live or visit a place where the temperature high is 2 degrees. The boys love to be outside in this weather - they just received new snowboards and they have been trying them out on the hill in the backyard. I prefer to watch from the kitchen window.

Tomorrow is a no school day, so we are going to attempt the zoo. I'm sure the animals are nice & warm with their fur coats, but I'm not so sure I will be.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Review

I belong to a online group called Library Thing. Its a website mainly for cataloging your books, but it has a fun aspect of interacting with other people who are interested in the same kind of books. One of my favorite things about Library Thing is that they get books before they are published & they let a few lucky members each month review the books for free. I have always wanted to review a book, but as there are a limited number of books & a huge number of members who want to review, people are chosen by lottery.

Luckily, I was chosen this last month to review a book called, Christmas Chronicles: The Legend of Santa Claus by Tim Slover.

Here is my review:

The Christmas Chronicles is a heartwarming story about a man who discovers a book, "the true and authorized chronicle of Klaus." The actual story inside the story about Klaus is really unique and fun. He was an carpenter, who wants to make children happy after the black death hits his small village, by leaving wood carved toys outside their front doors. As more and more villages hear about his activities they too want a visit. His good deed, grows from just his village to the entire world with the help of his wife Anna, an evil bad man, and a group of Saints. The outside story, that of the narrator reading the chronicle, is pretty cheesy and not very interesting. Overall it is a book I recommend reading this winter.



The fall weather has really hit Oregon and what that means in Portland is rain. The rain has begun and with a few exceptions it will continue to rain until about June. That means for us Portlanders we spend a lot of time doing indoor activities. For me that activity is knitting, I have become an exceptional knitter during the past 10 years (or at least I think so).

Being a knitter for me, is all about the process and not actually the final product, which is why I don't really knit many things for myself. I tend to give away most of what I knit, which is a good thing that I have friends & coworkers with
children. The past month I have knitted 3 dinosaur hats, a pumpkin hat, and a puppy dog.

This next month, I plan to finish up a toy dinosaur, a knit one or two pairs of socks. Stay tuned for more pictures.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Busy Weekends

Weekends have been pretty busy for me this September.

Two weekends ago was the annual Race for the Cure in Portland, which is the largest race on the west coast. I could really tell, as I maneuvered through the crowed waterfront park with my friend. This was our 8th year, and our best time just a little over an hour for 5K's. Which might not sound fast, but when your trying to walk along with 40,000 other people your not usually too speedy. We had fun, came home with a bag full of goodies from local vendors, & raised money for a good cause, and best of all it did not start raining until we finished the race.

Last weekend, my parents visited to help me remove an ugly bush from my front yard. The bush removal was a success and we even managed to have some fun activities. Including a trip to the Portland Farmer's Market & several yummy restaurants.

This weekend I'm hoping for good weather, so I can finish more yard work before the fall rains begin again. I'm also going to try to attend the Annual Oregon Archives Crawl that the Oregon Historical Society is sponsoring.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall is in the Air

The weather is changing here in Portland - the nights are cool the days are crisp and more often then not there is a continuous drizzle of moisture. So I try to take advantage of those dry & sunny days while they last. I'm trying to clear out the weeds that have managed to grow uncontrollably between the flowers & other plants in my yard.

On one such day, I was attempting to pull weeds in between the holly tree and the hedge separating my yard from my neighbors immaculate yard. And I ran across the largest spider I have ever seen. It totally spooked me & I was just positive that this was some sort of deadly tarantula & that I should probably contact animal control. So I very carefully left him undisturbed to grab my camera. I was able to get my picture & then I realized that the spider had not moved in quite some time. So very carefully with a very long stick I moved the branch that the spider was hiding under. What did I find....well my guess is that the neighbors grandchildren had been play
ing next to the hedge & left one of their toys.

Luckily I had not called the news station yet.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

End of Summer Birthdays

The end of summer always means birthday parties galore in our family. I have my birthday at the end of August as well as both my parents plus several family friends. So it always feels like there is another party to attend or be shopping for. Which can make for a really fun and laid back summer moving into fall. We have had several barbecue's and picnics to attend this year and for the most part the weather has held out, not being too hot or too chilly.

This week brings the first day of student teaching for KelliJean in Spokane, and at least here in Portland the first signs of fall crisp mornings, rainy afternoons, and the leaves are starting to change. Around the university buildings are being painted, new signs are being installed, and everyone is preparing for the students to come back in full force.

I hope everyone gets to savor the last few days of summer and are looking forward shorter days, falling leaves, and the smell of baking cookies.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Softball World Series

Last week was the Little League Softball World Series, here in Portland at the Alpenrose Dairy Field. My friend Kristine & I volunteered for our 5th year has scorekeepers for the East Field. Normally this keeps us quite busy during the week, keeping score for around 10 games. However, this year we had only 4 games, due to a last minute scheduling change because the team from the Philippines was unable to attend. The coaches from the Philippines were not able to get their passports & VISA's approved & through the proper government channels in time.

So even though we had a small number of games we had a fun time and enjoyed meeting the girls & coaches from Poland, Porto Rico, Texas, New Jersey, & Canada. There was a sportscaster from Texas that gave an amazing play by play description of the Texas vs New Jersey game, which made the game more interesting.

Next year we are hoping to get to work with the folks from ESPN more.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Blueberry Jam

This weekend I made my second attempt at making jam. This time I tried making freezer jam and it worked out so much better. I also used the food processor to mash the blueberries instead of trying to do it by hand, which I did with the first attempt, it made all difference.

I got a uniform purple color and a pretty jam-like texture. It was a perfect sugar to berry ratio to make a very good tasting jam. I ended up with 10 jars if any one would like some, just let me know. Thanks!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Blueberry Picking

Blueberries, blueberries, and more blueberries.

This weekend I went blueberry picking with my friend Marcia & her 15 month old Mayson. Sunday after church we drove up to Mt. Hood to our favorite u-pick blueberry farm. We enjoyed the "ku-plink, ku plank, ku plunk" sound of the blueberries dropping into the tin pail just like Robert McCloskey's "Blueberries for Sal" Our timing was right in the middle of the season, so we had a good variety of large juicy, berries & small dark purple berries. Mayson ate as many berries as he picked and he was a good sport the entire trip.
We ended up with a little under 10 lbs of berries, which we split between us and giving a little to her father who very generously funded our adventure. The next task on our "summer 2010 to do" list is to learn to make jam.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Backpacking Day

Saturday morning Meagan & I got up early to catch the first bus out of Aberdeen for our backpacking day. We road out to Balmoral Castle, which is the royal family's summer vacation home. The castle was first bought by Queen Victoria and has been used by the royal family ever since. During the late spring & early summer the grounds are open to the public. The public is only allowed into one room inside the castle which is the ballroom. For a ballroom, it seemed pretty small but they did show a video of a party/ball held in the same ballroom a few years before and it looked like it was big enough for traditional Scottish dancing. The gardens at Balmoral are huge, and grow quite a bit of food used in the kitchens. The castle employees a large number of people from the near by town. Interesting fact, the grounds include one of the last natural pine forest in the UK.

After we were done touring the grounds at Balmoral, we caught the bus & headed out to the town of Banchory. A cute little town in the Royal Deeside area of Scotland. From Banchory we hiked out to the bridge of Feugh to look at the falls and we found a cute little tea house to have lunch at. Lunch was not my favorite, but we did stay for tea & scones which were served with strawberry champagne jam that was just delicious.

We continued on our trip to Crathes Castle. Which is this wonderful old castle that the family actually still lived in up until the 1960's when their was a fire that destroyed the modern part of the castle. Luckily the original castle was left unharmed. The land that the castle is on was given as a gift by King Robert the Bruce to the Burnett family, the castle was built over several decades, being delayed due political problems during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots.
The castle is fairly nice, but the gardens are the amazing part. They were beautiful, you could really spend all day on the grounds, there was several hiking trails and camping areas. Unfortunately we only had a few hours before we had to get back to Aberdeen, but this is one place I would love to return to.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stonehaven & Balmedie

Our first full day here in Scotland, Meagan & I traveled by bus to the small coastal town of Stonehaven. She once lived here for a few months, so she new all the good sites, including an awesome ice cream shop where I tried Banoffee ice cream; very yummy.

It was here in Stonehaven that we hiked up the cliffs to Dunnottar Castle and had our picnic lunch. Very pretty.

The next day, which was very sunny as well, we spent the day in Balmedie walking the sand dunes and exploring the beach. We found a ton of unbroken shells, and we seemed to be the only ones picking them up. My guess is that shell collecting is an American thing.

Stay tuned for Graduation updates & more travels.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Scotland Holiday

We arrived in Scotland safely Sunday afternoon after a very long plane ride and a short stop in Paris. Where we had the most confusing plane transfer. It turns out we were arriving in terminal E2 and changing planes, departing at gate E23, which was very hard to figure out was actually still in terminal E2, but we had to leave security so that we could come back into the other side of the same terminal. Also, our lovely gate E23 was not where the plane was housed but the bus that would take us to the plane, a 10 minute bus drive which seem to take us through the French countryside.

All in all we had a good trip and are now staying with some wonderful friends of Meagan's.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

4th of July

I hope you all had a good July 4th, celebrating our Nations birthday. We had a busy weekend, like almost all our weekends. Meagan had a friend from Scotland visiting, so she was out & about driving around Eastern Washington showing off all the great wineries, going hiking, and visiting farmer's markets around the area.

I went to my college roommate's wedding in Pendleton, OR. It was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding in Eastern Oregon. I had not been to Pendleton for several years now, its probably been 10 years. The town has grown, although most of my memories about Pendleton are from when I was a small child. Although, it was amazing how many things I did recognize & remember, such as the McDonald's, the Skippers which is now a Starbucks & the office complex where Dad had worked. I even remembered the corner on Main Street, where one summer when I was about 3, it was so hot that my shoes got stuck in the asphalt while I was crossing the street with Mom. All in all it was a good trip.

Then of course we had a barbecue at Aunt Kenda's new house, which was the perfect spot to see the fireworks from her front porch. Something that we should do every year from now on.

As a side note - this week Meagan and I are getting ready to head for Scotland. Very exciting!


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Job

Big news for me. I just accepted a new position at the University where I work. Beginning Friday, I will be working as an Accountant in the AUX Accounting office. This will be a big change from the account receivables/payable area that I have been working in, and it will be sad to leave my office mate, who I have shared an office with for the past several years. However, it is an good & exciting change in my career path. Wish me luck.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Graduation and Science Camp

Well like Tiah said I finally graduated from Eastern! And I am really excited to start my student teaching in the fall! I am already planning with my cooperating teacher and getting ready! After graduation I headed off for my senior capstone, which was offered the week after graduation. We spend five days at Chewehla Peak Learning Center near the 49 degrees ski resort. It was a blast we spent each day out at a different field site doing inquiry investigations and learning about different ways to teach science to elementary school kids. We learned about water quality, fire ecology, geology and the areas history, and about trees and forest ecology. It was so much fun! I got to know my classmates really well and we had fun going experiments.
As for now, I am looking forward to my student teaching and I got a job at Costco, so I will be working hard all summer!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Ocean Trip

Last week, the cousins were visiting from the mid-west for KJ's graduation. They were going to spend a few days in Newport, OR before going back east, so I tagged along. I had a wonderful time, running around the beach in the rain, mist, & wind with the two little boys. They showed no fear to the cold water & spent a good amount of time running in & out of the waves.

We had a good time, visiting all of the beach shops, searching with no luck for an oyster with a pearl. We visited the Newport Aquarium to see the sharks, and the Underwater Gardens to see the octopus; where we also learned that the sea star is one of the most dangerous predators in the ocean. Not far from here, we walked along the pier and heard lots of barking, we looked down and what did we see....about 20 sea lions hanging out & talking to one another. The cage that it looks like they are sleeping in, is a movable cage that the coast guard takes out to use to help rescue sea lions, when its not in use the locals like to use it for their naps.

We had a late night smores & camp fire on the beach before coming back to Portland. We also had the chance to visit the tidal pools and see fun creatures.



KelliJean graduated from Eastern Washington University this month. With a degree in Reading and a minor in Special Education, she will be student teaching in a 3rd grade classroom in September. We are very proud of her, and I'm sure Mom & Dad are very excited to have the last daughter out of college. They can now start planning for all their retirement plans.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Washington DC trip

Last week I traveled back east to participate in my good friend, Becca's wedding. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia and all of us bridesmaids were able to stay at her home, while we helped with the preparations.

Our first full day we went to George Washington's Mount Vernon. Where George & Martha lived from 1759 - 1799. We toured the estate and grounds, which have been kept as faithful as possible to the original. A fun fact was that during one year the Washington's hosted over 600 overnight guests.

After Mount Vernon we had lunch & sight seeing in Georgetown. Our sight seeing included the restaurant where JFK proposed to Jackie. And Holy Trinity Catholic Church where President Kennedy and his family attended while living in the DC area.

Thursday and Friday were mainly running wedding errands. However, Friday night was the cocktail hour in Alexandria's historic old town and then a trip to the Lincoln Memorial. Half way walking across the Potomac River into the district, the sky opened up and we were caught in a downpour. We made it to the Lincoln Memorial and huddled inside to wait out the rain. The rain did eventually stop and we and we made it to see my favorite the Korean War Memorial. There was just something about seeing this at night in the rain that made it all the more moving. We also visited the Vietnam Memorial and the Red Cross Woman's Vietnam Memorial.

Saturday was the rehearsal at the Old Presbyterian Meeting house, the church building that President Washington attended. Then dinner at the Athenaeum which was once where General Robert E Lee did his banking.

Sunday was the wedding in historic Leesburg, VA which the groom joked is as far west as the locals travel. It was a beautiful but very hot (95 degrees) day. The groom, Kevin, had joked that he was putting me in charge of the weather after Friday's walk in the storm. So I'm happy to report the weather agreed with me.

Monday was our last day for visiting. It felt very fitting to spend Memorial Day in the Nation's capitol. The Arlington National Cemetery is very sobering on this day. We were also able to see part of the Memorial Day parade and festivities.
The National Archives was my favorite place to visit and I could have spent the entire day there but unfortunately I was with people who wanted to visit other places. We also, visited the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

Overall I had a wonderful trip, and I can't wait for a return visit.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day in Spokane

KelliJean had to work on Mother's Day, so we decided to have a Saturday Mother's Day and drove into Spokane to have dinner at Cyrus O'Leary's which is our family's favorite restaurant in Spokane, I think it is largely due to the pie variety. After dinner, we took a family walk through Riverfront Park & the Spokane Falls.

During which KelliJean was able to impart her recent knowledge of Spokane history from her classes. The best part was the Garbage Goat, designed by a nun for the 1974 Expo, as a recycling/environment statement (the fairs theme in 1974). The sculpture will eat small pieces of trash with its vacuum digestive system.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Meagan!

Today is Meagan's birthday, she is at the ripe old age of 26. Happy Birthday!

This weekend we had a family birthday barbecue for her. Dad barbecued steaks while Granny and I put together shrimp and vegetable kabobs. Both were very successful. I think Granny really enjoyed being able to contribute to the dinner and being put "to work".

Mom made a yummy dessert; it was a Victorian sponge cake with raspberry jam, fresh whipped cream, and fresh raspberries. It tasted a lot like raspberry shortcake. I'm sure she would be very happy to share her recipe with anyone who would like to try it out, just let me know.

I think Meagan had a wonderful birthday weekend. And today should be good even though she had to work.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


It is definitely spring in the pacific northwest. We had beautiful warm blue skies one day and cold rainy wind the next day. But in between all the crazy weather I have been able to get out into my garden and start planting.

We have 2 raised gardening beds at my house and hopefully by this summer they will be bursting with yummy goodness. So far we have coming back from last year, strawberries, chives, rosemary, sage, and mint. I have planted cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic chives, and sweet onions. Then starting from seeds that I'm hoping will take off are carrots, radishes, rainbow chard, zucchini, cantaloupe melons, and pumpkins.

In my indoor window garden, I have French Marigolds that are doing quite well, and an English Lavender. Unfortunately my mint and basil indoor garden bags did not take off. Better luck next time.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Break and Spring Quarter

I am finishing up my first week back to school from break. It is hectic and stressful already! 70 days till graduation, if anyone else is counting :) For my spring break I spent most of it traveling, my first destination was Olympia, Washington. I got the chance to catch up with one of my best friends Britnee, her fiance Chris and 3 month old Caralynn. We had a blast! Britnee and I went to a movie, shopping, and hung out one day. Then we all went to downtown Olympia and they showed me around and other than that we spent some relaxing time playing with little Caralynn, she is growing up so fast! After Olympia, I went to Portland and visited Tiah, we went graduation dress shopping and I helped her out at work. Then it was on to Kennewick, I spent the last few days of spring break with my friends who have moved home. My friend, April, and I climbed Badger Mountain, which was a lot of fun, it was nice to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather we were having. Spring break was definitely not long enough, but it was really nice to get out of Cheney for a little while at least. If anything I am ready to get back to my elementary school and seeing all my students.
Now it is back to Cheney and back to school and homework :( Although I am on the home stretch of my college career. This quarter I am taking math, my reading practicum seminar, doing my reading practicum, taking the admission to professional degree candidacy, then the week after graduation I am taking my senior capstone which is science camp! This quarter holds a lot of things for me. I will be taking over and teaching the reading program in my 2nd grade classroom, which I will be spending 13 hours a week! Also I will be applying for my teaching certificate and preparing for student teaching. I am so ready to take it all on!
I am now ready for the weather to warm up and enjoy my final quarter in Cheney, hopefully we won't get anymore snow! Remember graduation is Friday June 11th!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I was up early (5am) to start my Corned Beef.
This afternoon will be a frenzy of cooking cabbage, potatoes, and soda bread.
I hope everyone is able to enjoy good Irish food like we are.

An Irish Blessing for you today:

May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Some of my 'art'!

First of all, I should start off with a warning, I am not an artist; I would consider myself more of a craft person. But this quarter I did take Art in the Elementary School, in which I made a lot of art. So I figured I should show some off. This piece was made from ripped construction paper. And we were suppose to copy an illustration from a book I choose the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlrt and the illustrations were all made out of leaves.
This was a 3D sculpture that I made out of paper mache. My roommates and I named him Scout and he lives in our room now.
This piece was acryllic paint on canvas. It just might be the best piece of art that I made in the entire class.
Over all I had a blast in the class! and I got a lot of wonderful ideas for my future classroom, and isnt that the point?

Britnee and Caralynn Visit and the end of Winter Quarter.

Thursday one of my very best friends Britnee came to visit. She brought her two month old daughter Caralynn. I loved getting to see them both! I got the day off from school and work on Friday so that we could spend the day together. First we went out to brunch at this fun little cafe, it was delicious and Caralynn slept right through it. After that we went and visited some other friends who work in River Park Square and then took Caralynn to River Front Park and went sliding at the Red Wagon. The adults had a blast, and Caralynn was...well not all that excited about it, but then what two month old would be. That was about as much excitement that Caralynn could take, so they headed back to Olympia. But it wont be long before I get to see them again, in fact I will be heading to Olympia for the first part of Spring Break, in just one week!

While it was a really nice end to the quarter to see Britnee and Caralynn! But I still have one day left in the quarter. I somehow survived my quarter with 21 credits, and I did extremely well in my classes so I am very happy with that. Up next is my official reading practicum and the last few classes before graduation! Yay. So be looking for the graduation announcements in the mail. And as a reminder Graduation is June 11th at 9am in Cheney, WA.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First Job

Well it is offical, I now have my first real big kid job. I have been hired at Kadlec Regional Medical Center. I am starting on monday as a physical therapy aid for the next two months while I study for my board exam and then when I pass my boared exam in may I will start working full time as a physical therapist. It is all very exciting and yet a bit scary.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gold Medal

It is official. Here is my Gold Medal for my participation in the 2010 Knitting Olympics, I also received a pretty nifty certificate, which if I didn't think was too dorky I may just frame & hang it in my library for everyone to see.

On Stephanie Pearl-McPee's website "The Yarn Harlot" (organizer extraordinaire of the Knitting Olympics) she has a list of all 2000 + participants and links to their projects. Its amazing how many talented knitters there are. I may have to work on my knitting skills and in 4 years commit to knitting an adult sweater for the games.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gold Medal Sweater

Drum roll please....
I present my 2010 Olympic sweater. Completed just in time, it was 17 days of knitting when ever I had a moment of free time. With only a few periods of frustrating unkitting and then trying again, and only a couple nights of staying up past 2am.
Pictured here with my celebratory glass of wine, in leu of traveling to Toronto, Canada to attend the official Knitting Olympics Closing Ceremonies. I have to say, I am very proud of myself and my knitting abilities to knit under a deadline. And I believe this will make a very nice addition to the St. Rita's Parish Auction later this spring.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Moose Hunting in Coeur d'Alene

Well, hello everyone! Man, have the last few weeks been flying by! I cannot believe it is almost the end of winter quarter already! I finally got a break from my hectic schedule this past week, my elementary school had Friday and then Monday off for President's Day weekend! It was a nice break, that is for sure! Well with all the extra time you would think I would get a bunch of homework done...well you would have thought wrong! Just kidding, I did get a lot of homework done but I also went on a day trip to Coeur d'Alene with two of my roommates and my friend Andrea. We had an absolute blast! It was a rainy day, but we decided to walk down to the lake and walk on the boardwalk, but we got a little distracted when we found Mudge and Millie! Mudge is a moose and Millie is his friend who is a mouse. In total their are five bronze sculptures around downtown Coeur d'Alene and their is a children's book that goes along with it. Of course we had no idea that this existed so we started in the middle at sculpture number four and went out of order. But we had a blast hunting for the moose and taking hundreds of pictures! All in all the day turned out really well we found all the moose, window shopped in downtown, checked out the resort and ate a delicious meal! We have resolved to return to Coeur d'Alene in the spring and its warm enough to enjoy the lake a little more.


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This blog is about three sisters!