29 December 2008

Winter Snow in Hayden

We went out today to Hayden to check out the lake cabin. It started out a snowy day, and it snowed and snowed. I think once we got past Tobler's Marina there had only been about 6 cars. As you can tell there had been no plow through. It took us an hour to get around, slow and steady, but the pictures were fabulous! It was sooo quiet watching the snow fall and hearing nothing. We got around and came across some guy running his tractor through the driveway, so we were able to get down. Lucky us. We didn't have any intentions of going in the gate and drove up the road to try and see over the fence. We got out to browse, look and take pictures. Mike took the ones through the link fence, I thought they turned out cool. I walked back to the gate and found it unlocked, so I pushed my way in and trudged through the knee-hi snow, hiked up the hill to the cabin, and found the porch safe and sound. We walked down to the lake and found the bay frozen, more awesome pictures, and everything quiet. The last few are on our way back, with the storm blown over and the lake clearing. All in all, a fun, cold, wet, memorable day. You can also view them here in the Picasa3 Album, http://picasaweb.google.com/jamjmrr/December08?feat=directlink

27 December 2008

Snow Day

There is snow here.......again. Mike once again is shoveling. It is becoming a morning routine, along with taking out the dog. Here is little Zeke, Richy's new dog. We are all adjusting in various ways. He is a spunky little guy, about 3 1/2 months old. He is still learning his name and we are learning the "potty-let-me-out" signals. Then, they headed to Mission Hill for some sledding. Kids everywhere, jumps and crashes. When they were sufficiently cold, hurt and tired they came home for some of mom's great hot chocolate! Yum, yum, YUM!

Richy, getting aerodynamic....

Logan, Becca, & Richy climbing up that big hill.

Pictures taken by my awesome dad. (Shhhh, he dosn't want credit.)
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21 December 2008

Orange Peel Candy

I was looking through one of my favorite food sites, foodgawker.com and came across a post from Hungry Cravings (I think her name is Lucy Vaserfirer). It brought back some good memories of my mother. She made these one year at Christmas and I have thought about making them again on and off through the years, but didn't know where to find the recipe. So, I fell in love with the idea of making them for memories-sake. I sent a link to my sisters and of course they knew right where the recipe was in the Joy of Cooking. Should have known, it was my mother's standby cookbook. But, I liked this particulatr recipe and they were fabulous! Candied Citris Peel 2 oz. citrus peel, cut into strips 1 cup sugar, plus more for coating Peel and remove as much flesh and membrane as you can before candying, blanching will take out a lot of the bitterness. Place the peel in a saucepan with 2 cups water, bring to a boil, drain. Repeat 2 more times. On the third time, bring peel, sugar, and 1 cup water to a boil and simmer for 16-18 minutes, or until the peel is translucent. Drain the peel and save some syrup for another use. (I added about a Tablespoon to a cup of hot chocolate, yum!) Spread the peels in a single layer on a parchment paper lined tray and let cool. Roll in sugar to coat. Keeps for about a week in a sealed container. I peeled 7 oranges, made about 2 cups of peel, filled my 2 cup pyrex measuring cup, and simmered in 8 cups sugar. Yikes, but so yum! I had some ulrtafine sugar that I rolled them in, but I think next year, or tomorrow, I will get some raw sugar. That might be yum, too. You can try this with lemons, lines, oranges, grapefruit and she even suggests kumquat slices. Enjoy if you dare! Happy cooking, Jenn
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Ahhh, the snow

Well, I finally got these posted. It has been a real adventure the past few days. We even thought that church might be cancelled. It all started on Wednesday night, the 17th. It snowed steady and heavy for about 36 hours the first time. Wednesday night we shovelled about 10-12 inches and in the morning we had about the same. This is a picture of our backyard. In the 'V' of the tree on the right there is an old wodden birdhouse that the tree has grown around.
Oh, you can't see it? Sorry, it's under all that snow...hehe. The trampoline is normally above ground. I sent Mallory out with the yard stick and she snapped the next picture.
No joke!
This is my nephew Logan and Becca sledding from the road into the driveway. They had so much fun. I made a lot of hot chocolate that day, since school was cancelled, as was everything else in town.
The kids used the ladder to climb onto the top of the snow bank. 4 days later we are still waiting to bet plowed out. Mike has been helping a friend with his paper route with our 4-wheel drive. Melany actually got plowed this morning. Great weather for dad to come!
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21 November 2008


Well, I went to the movie last night (no, it was the wee hours of this morning!). It was good, Alice is still my favorite character. Jacob was way uglier than I imagined. Loved the scenery and flying! They say Bella is a bad actress, she played Bella exactly as I imagined her, boring. Great story. I'm not ga-ga over the whole thing like the teenagers, but maybe that's why I'm not a teenager anymore. lol, have to grow up sometime!

13 November 2008

SMTA & Mo'

I had a great day at my SMTA mtg (Spokane Music Teachers Association). After teaching on my own for 7 years, I joined this year. I am hoping to get more training, network and learn cool stuff - like today! The program part of the meeting was about a book called "What Every Pianist Needs To Know About The Body" by Thomas Mark. It is a discussion about using each part of the body most effectively for safe and efficient piano playing. It was great and totally an "a-ha" moment for somethings I have wondered about, hadn't even thought about and nothing I could say, "oh, I knew that" hehe. Nothing like having my own version of continuing education! Now, I want to get the book and read all the other tidbits and goodies inside. (wow, looking at my terminology, you would think I like to cook....hum)
Other fyi's in the family......
Not much going on but the day to day this week. We have had Logan this week and he lost the house key. Poor kid was really stressed about it, Becca was a good support, but because of the problem he missed Taekwondo tonight. Melany comes home tomorrow night. Mike had a snafu with the demo system, but good thing he's in ATLANTA only 3 hours from the home office (Birmingham) and they drove him another one. But, hence, he has to stay another day and will be home on Friday instead of Thurs. The kids and I were very disappointed. Jacob is doing well, has his papers in to the Bishop, but he wants Jacob to earn a few more bucks before he goes. He had given 2 weeks notice at Papa John's but in the meantime 2 kids 'quit' by not showing up. So, Jacob has gotten more hours filling in the holes, plus getting a nice ethical reputation. Great lesson learned, we advised him to give 2 weeks instead of walking out, and now it has paid off. I think he is going to stay on and still look for something more to fill in his time. Mallory is starting Winter Drumline - don't know what she is playing, probably end up where ever they need her. Richy is working on his grades - he's smart and I wait daily for the I'm-bored-text. Becca is getting sparked again with her piano and had over 5 hours practice time. Her time is beginning to match her talent. That's all for today. It's late, but I can't sleep. Tomorrow is late start and I'm going to make bread. Don't laugh. =)

02 November 2008

Mallory's Senior Quilt

Well, I barely got it done in time, but she had it for her first long bus ride for band. This is the full effect. If you look carefully you can see the band instruments in each of the pin-wheels. Drums, contras, french horn (her instrument of choice), clarinet, sax, etc. Sometimes the instrument is in the center, on the point, or easily seen in the middle. It was SO much fun, I have a great friend who helps me 'see' the bigger picture. My mom was great at that but I didn't get that talent from her. I wanted to get close ups of the quilting my friend did on her long arm machine. It is a special, huge, quilting machine that can do intricate patterns and designs quickly and efficiently. You can see the horn here and parts of a trumpet in the center. The pin-wheel on the right, there is xylophone, and the very center is a piece of clarinet! On the edge is part of a trumpet.
Here is a great shot of the french horn. If you look carefully you can see a tiny eighth note that came out in the center of the pin-wheel. You carefully line up 8 peices of fabric (it needs have a repeating pattern), as you cut triangles you get 8 exact pieces, then you sew them into a pin-wheel. It's called a Stack n Wack pattern. I may do another quilt with the same technique. (christmas-theme for the living room?)
The quilting here has a saxophone in the stitching. The top is cool...you can see the tuba/contra/baritone (my kids would laugh at me, because I can't keep them straight. I'm going for the contra). And then, in the middle is a trombone, just the slide part. As I said, SO fun and cool!
Next in line for a quilt is me or Becca. I have patterns already picked out, now just waiting for the time/money. Soon. Hope you liked it! Jenn =)
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19 October 2008

McKenzie Classic

Mallory is the one on the end, far left. I can usually pick her out when the mellos are together. The "Elvis Move". I dropped the camera right before this and barely grabbed it in time to shoot the moment. At the McKenzie Classic in Vancouver, WA, you can buy "shoutouts" from the band boosters that they announce over the PA system as the band takes the field. Mike and I did one this year for Mallory. We said, "Mallory, thanks for 4 years of marching excellance with CV.......the sky is yours! Love, Mom, Dad, Jacob, Richy & Becca" She told us later she almost cried. (Mal hates to cry, so that means it was a good thing) These are the candy flowers that came with the shoutout. She had this sweatshirt made. The front is the event logo and with all the participating bands listed, left side is CV, right side MB, and across the hood is a musical staff, the back is some kind of band-oriented lingo. She's very fashionable now. They came in 6th place. I still wonder about that. But we were playing with the big kids here and there were definatley 2 bands better than us, plus the host band, who played in exhibition. 3 down and 1 more to go. 900 miles round trip to Corvallis, OR. I get to ride a bus!

Columbia River

We were driving back from Vancouver along the Columbia River and saw beautiful scenery. Mike inculdged my and let me take a few pictures. Here are some of my favorites. Hope you enjoy them.

15 October 2008


Our family's new favorite songs is "I'm Yours" by Jason Marz. It has the whole ukulele-thing going on and reminds us of our BIG family trip to Hawaii in 06, so we actually call it the Hawaii-song. Anytime someone hears it on the radio (me), I text the kids (shhhh, they aren't supposed to do that during school hours), and tell them the Hawaii-song is on.
So, 2 of us were humming in our heads, and Richy says, "Man, Mallory's song makes us all happy!" I like being happy.
Note: there is one bad word, and we ignore it and be happy!

14 October 2008

Funnies from a friend......

A friend sent me these clean jokes, refreshing in this day and age. Enjoy!!!
Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, 'Why is the bride dressed in white?'' The mother replied, 'Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.' The child thought about this for a moment then said, 'So why is the groom wearing black?'
A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, 'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't let me be late!' While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again! As she ran she once again began to pray, 'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late...But please don't shove me either!'
Three boys are in the school yard bragging about t heir fathers. The first boy says, 'My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50.' The second boy says, 'That's nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100.'The third boy says, 'I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!'
An elderly woman died last month. H aving never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her ha ndwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, 'They wouldn't take me out while I was alive, I don't want them to take me out when I'm dead.'
A police recruit was asked during the exam, 'What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?' He answered, 'Call for backup.'
A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem . A small child replied, 'They couldn't get a babysitter.'
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to 'Honor thy father and thy mother,' she asked, 'Is there a commandment that teaches us ho w to treat our brothers and sisters?' Without missing a beat, one little boy answered, 'Thou shall not kill.'
At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when th eye told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and she said, 'Johnny, what is the matter?' Little Johnny responded, 'I have pain in my side. I think I'm going to have a wife.'
Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil. One said to the other, 'What do you think about all this Satan stuff?' The other boy replied, 'Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It's probably just your Dad.'

13 October 2008

Melany's Birthday

It was Melany's birthday last week. I told Logan was going to get his mom a real "adult" cake. He said, "Great, I want to get her a dragon cake!" So, I took him to Just American Desserts where they have adult cakes and I explained his mom needed an adult cake. But, I did let him pick the flavors, fillings and the writing on the top.
It was the first birthday cake she's had since college. I think she liked it. Can you tell by her smile?
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Sweepstakes Again!

The band competed in Spokane this past weekend. It is always great to perform in front of our home crowd. Only a few families travel the miles each weekend (don't look at me! and with the gas prices you would think we could justify sitting one out, but NO, after 5 years, we have to keep going! We love it!) But this weekend we had so many family, friends, and alumni there it was awesome. And they came away with Sweepstakes again. Look at that great spacing! 16 bands competed. The farthest was Bozeman (MT), they definately travel a long way. Some from Tri-cities area and Central, WA and a few from Spokane. Um, of course you can see which one is Central Valley. Not, we have the color guard standing in a triangle, just right of the center. It is very cool to see a full retreat. They won't do that on the coast the next 2 week, just a Drum Major Retreat. So, this is a treat to watch!
A really nice piece of hardware!
Mallory with her fellow Mellos. Monday, when they were listening to the judges tapes, a judge said he didn't like Mellos, but that they were the best Mello section he had EVER heard and he was thinking he may have to start liking them now! Great to hear from a judge! 2 down, 2 to go, and these are the hardest.
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10 October 2008

My Senior, part 2

Couldn't get them all to post......these were taken last and were the funnest (is that a word? lol)
Couldn't get them all to post in one.......these were fun!

My Senior

Here are a few pictures of Mallory. I took them on my lame little digital camera, some turned out WAY cute! I only call it lame because I don't know how to use it very well.

08 October 2008

Jacob's got a job!

Jacob's got a job! He's been working since the end of September, keeping his tips to play with and saving the rest. He likes it, learning how to take orders, make pizza and of course deliver. Handsome guy, eh?
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05 October 2008

Future Drumline

Richy marched in the Valleyfest Parade. It was a really, really short parade. They go from City Hall, Sprague and something, across the street from the Opportunity Post Office, and walk to Appleway Florist parking lot. All sorts of elementary school groups, a little military, politicians, volunteer groups, etc. We had a good time.
Richy is trying to do his serious face just like Jacob and Mal when they are in "marching mode".
Chatting with his friend Nate, who lives around the corner.
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27 September 2008


So, yes I know, it's been 3 1/2 weeks since school has started. I don't know who checks out this blog anyway, but hopefully I can get better at posting and sharing. I figure it's like my journal, documenting important events, silly and weird stuff.
My baby has started 4th grade. Yes, 4th grade. She has Mrs. Bergdahl and helps a little Russian girl with her work. She speaks no English, but can read some. There is another student who speaks Russian and interprets also. So, they work as a team, Becca more sign-language-ish, and more as a friend/companion.
Richy is on his last year of Middle School. 8th grade, the big 13. He is excited to be running Cross Country this year and is pretty good at it. Now we will have to brush up on that sport, we don't know how to encourage/supprot him. We need to learn the buzz words and the lingo.
Mallory is a Senoir!!!! My second. She is so beautiful and full of spunk and spirit. She has really taken on a lot with her AP classes, marching band, and looking for a job. She is a great musician, too. Music is her fav! Another school year has started.

06 September 2008

Lost Kitty

It was a sad night last night. In a matter of moments our kitty was gone. She was playing in the dark hallway, someone zigged as she zagged and she got stepped on.......she was gone in about 30 seconds. We buried her at Grandma and Grandpa's under the pear tree. She was so cute and spunky, not a mean-thing about her. She was worming her way into everyone's life, even Mike, who is allergic to her. We miss her tremendously. ~>.<~ crying tears.

31 August 2008

New Kitty!

When we went to the Girl's Camp Fireside, we aggreed to take a little kitten. Silly me, what was I thinking! You would think I have enough little critters running around my house with 5 hamsters (another service-oriented resuce story), Cocoa (our aging kitty, I think she is 91/2 - anyone know cat years?), plus my 4 kids, 1 nephew, and just because I'm on a roll, Mike, too!
She is so small! They say she was 8 weeks, but goodness, she is tiny! Here she is in Mal's sweatshirt pocket. We all call her something different: Mal calls her Jynx, Mike calls her Spike, Jacob just calls her Kitty, I personally like to call her Deantsy (Dintsy? Deeeeeentsy?) I need a good language person to comment on the spelling please, where's Mal when I am typing! She likes to hang out around our necks, I suppose it reminds her of her mother. Warm, near our vocal cords for purring and talking, and can feel our hearts beating. Cocoa doesn't really care for her, but hopefully that will change over time. In the meantime, I give Cocoa extra love and space on the bed until she adjusts (don't tell Mike!).