Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Want what you have...

Well, another little bump in the road has come along... Once again in lovely Snohomish it is snowing. Snow has been falling for several hours but not sticking to the ground. Smiles could continue because at least it was not accumulating. Now you know the luck we have had recently with the beautiful white stuff. Guess what, in the last 15 minutes it is now sticking to solid surfaces. I keep reflecting to something my Mother-in-law mentioned last week when we were snowed in. I will share with you now.

"Here are some words about contentment that I like:
Be happy.
When you don't have what you want, want what you have.
MAKE DO.
That's a well-kept secret of contentment!"


So as I look outside and think of all the things I would have liked to do today instead I will make due and be happy with were I am. I can reflect on the year that is coming to a close and the wonderful things it has brought. The joy in little childrens faces when they see the magic of Disneyland, the promise of lovely new babies to snuggle, the beauty of newly married love with an entire future to behold, the assurance of spring and summer yet to come, the beauty of a complete family bathed in health, and knowing that 2009 is a blank slate yet to be determined. I am blessed and will have to remember that even when it is easier to get irritated with the events around me.

Maybe this reflection was meant to occur because as I have reflected guess what... the snow has stopped. It is once again raining. Do you see me smiling?

Happy, Happy Birthday to my dear Sister-in-Law KT! Hope it is fabulous and we know the year to come is bound to be exciting!


Happy New Year to you all!
I hope this day finds you wanting what you have.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I have good news to report...


It is raining in Snohomish!

I hope it melts the snow. When I came home from work tonight I got the van stuck in the snowy driveway again and I do not want to dig it out tomorrow. It is now just this wet, mucky, slushy snow but it still sucked the van into it's evil vortex so that once again I have to get out my snow shovel! DAMN YOU SNOW, I HATE YOU! Well, I will probably only hate it for a few more weeks then I will forget what a pain this was. Then I will romantically wish for a beautiful snowy day again. I think snow is like childbirth, easier to enjoy when it is gone! Either way the rain is welcome because it lessons my shoveling work in the morning! 




Saturday, December 27, 2008

Careful...

My dream has officially become my nightmare. 32" or more of snow, I have given up trying to keep track. Just a "hella lot" to quote younger, cooler kids.
What did we do to deserve all this snow?!


Walkway to house and driveway...shovel this? I think not!



Taken Christmas morning, check out the snow on the deck behind her.


Yep, more of the same...snow, snow, snow. How can something so
beautiful be such a pain in the arse?


Christmas day at the Marks house looked like this...Still amazing to me!
This is historic and I know we have created so many memories...yet I am
done with it. I was happy and embraced what I had. Now I yearn for
Something more, like a trip to the grocery store!

I am hoping and praying when this all melts it goes somewhere else and does not complicate our lives further. They say rain is coming but I am having my doubts at this point. It snowed here all day. Our power went out at 3pm Friday as I type this by the power of our generator at 12:15 am I just wonder...how much longer?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We wish you a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Christmas 2008


Click the above for a link to photos from our Christmas Beach celebration---Snow all the way to the surf! CRAZY. I will write more later about the events for now just enjoy the photos.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SNOW DAY!

I thought I would share some of the fun pictures. Snow is the nicest backdrop, it makes the images just pop out. Hope you enjoy. You can see more if you click on the link...

Here is the entirety of our day so far

Wake up and watch this... 
Charles Schultz 1965

remember when Trevor was little, I think about 18 months old at Christmas. I was told time and time again he looked just like Charlie Brown...glad he outgrew that bald ginormous head thing! He might have been teased in school-

While they watched the cartoon they got to eat some donut holes we bought for Megan's class party that she had to miss. Then they watched a Muppet Christmas special we had Tivo'd. 

After that we did a little of this... 

Smile for Mom

and

Practice our parade wave

and of course some of this...

But only the clean stuff!

Then this happened...



After that I witnessed this... climbing a giant Juniper to 
throw snowballs at the neighbors truck-
Making friends wouldn't you say?




Click on the Fall/Winter 2008 tab above for more pictures.


Hope this day finds you warm and safe with 
people you love!



9 inches and still snowing~


Guess what, no school. I think it is safe to say that we have begun our Christmas vacation 3 days early. 

 The kids are watching a Charlie Brown Christmas in our warm house. I just pray we keep the lights on. It sounds like we are supposed to have continued snow/ice/cold for several days. Michael's Brother and family are supposed to fly in tomorrow for our family Christmas... This might get interesting. 

The real bummer is that when normal people get to take a snow day and stay home and enjoy the snow with their family the poor guys working for the transit company do not. Michael has to go in early an stay late. He left home at 8pm last night and still is not home. Who is really riding a bus in this weather? Beside the homeless guys trying to stay warm I cannot imagine many people. He says they are just putting chains on constantly. UGHH, I'll pass. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Want a cookie?

4" and counting...school is listed as 2 hours late right now. I think it is safe to say that will change. Good thing we picked up a game of clue when we were out running a couple errands before the snow. It took over 2 hours to get home from somewhere that normally takes 20 minutes. We never got stuck though. I love our van, it just went everywhere I prayed it would go! YIPPPEE for the Bokeswagon Verovan as the kids used to call it when they were little (couldn't say Volkswagen Eurovan).



When we were in the car this conversation happened...

Me: We need to find a cooking store (kitchen type items)

Elise: can we have one? (I could hear glee in her voice)

Me: huh? what are you talking about?

Elise: a cookie, you said we needed to find a cookie store

If only I was a cool Mom that drove around looking for random cookie stores...I feel so boring and un-fun now. Sorry kid, no luck! Boy she would have been disappointed if we had actually found a "Cooking Store" before we ended up in a snow storm.



Careful what you wish for...

You better watch out, You better not cry, you better now pout I am telling you why...

Santa Claus is Comming to Town

It sure feels like it. We live in a little pocket called the Puget Sound Convergence Zone. We are projected to get between 8-16" of snow today according to channel 5. I prefer KIRO because they are indicating a meager 3-9". Either way it poses problems for children that are so disappointed to be stuck at home and not attending there holiday parties at school. I guess we will need to improvise and have a party at home. I do not think it will be the same but it just might be the best option.

I do recall when I made my previous wish for snow to avoid the chaos that comes with the big stuff. Maybe this is our Christmas Gift from Sarah Palin for Voting for Obama?

Monday, December 15, 2008

A lyrical masterpiece...

After begging, pleading and complaining about the song my Mom's phone played when I called her she changed it to this little beauty. This song gives me goose-bumps. The lyrics are so wonderful to take them for yourself or imagine them for your children. I am not sure if she knows she hit it out of the park. I like to think she picked that song because the lyrics touched her the same way they touched me. 

Rascal Flats

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big


If you click on the link of the title you will go to youtube and get a sneak peak at another sappy thing I really enjoy...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Have you heard...

there are mumblings and rumblings... Panic is starting to set in. Whatever will we do? It might... maybe just maybe.... wouldn't it be pretty if we got some...

SNOW!
UPDATE: 2:05pm
Nevermind -- according to KIRO News
"Winter Storm warning for Puget Sound canceled". Imagine that, a storm can be canceled.
Sounds like instead we will have

RAIN!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

her finger & her thumb in the shape of an "L" on her forehead

I was almost thru the year without pulling a maneuver that makes you go "man, I am such a bonehead". Then what happens? So close to the finish line, I could practically smell the beauty of another year tied up in a nice little package with a pretty bow on top! Yep on Sunday, December 7th I blew it! After having a nice leisurely bath, I decided the jets needed to be cleaned in the tub in our master bath. It seemed like a great idea at the time.

Let me walk you thru the next part-
  • Step 1 insert nasty chemicals and run jets for 4-7 minutes
  • Step 2 drain said nasty water
  • Step 3 due to corrosive nature of above mentioned chemicals fill water 2 inches above jets before running jets again
  • Step 4 (this one is important guys!) TURN OFF THE WATER!
Yep you guessed it, I overflowed the bath tub. So much so that the little dust bunnies could have used a life boat to be saved. The tub was taking so long to refill that I went to go find my cell phone "real quick" so I would have it Monday for work. Then some laundry that needed washing, perhaps I would fold the laundry that I took out of the dryer, it seemed like a good idea to load the dishwasher. It was then, as I was rinsing a dish in the kitchen sink, only then did I have that "OH CRAP" moment. Running off to find trusty Remo lying on his dog bed just outside the disaster zone. He did not even bother to come alert me that I had a problem... Where is Lassie when you need her? Water spilling down the heat register, dangerously encroaching the carpeted closet, Running down the tile surround. I think I said every 4 letter word I knew at that moment. I might have even made up a few new ones!

I will spare you the details but just know, to protect my family and our home, I have grounded myself from ever cleaning a bathtub again! Sorry Michael that has to be your job now. Gee maybe this worked out well after all?!

Michael gets a "free pass" because not once did he say anything unkind. Have at it buddy, give me something else to write about.

20 days are left in 2008---let's hope I don't top this one!
Did I just jinx myself?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Feeling Nutty?



I was singing an old commercial to Megan tonight...this very one in fact. One of her spelling words is M-O-U-N-D-S.  Nice to know somewhere you can locate these old gems and relive being 9 years and running around the playground in bell bottom pants and a polyester shirt singing..."Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. Almond Joy's got nuts...Mounds don't." 

Courtesy of Almond Joy and Mounds please enjoy this trip down memory lane--because sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't! 




Saturday, November 29, 2008



Last night while I was asleep I dreamt I walked out to the kitchen and looked out the kitchen window and there was snow covering the driveway. When I woke up it seemed so real--- I was actually confused for a minute when there was no snow. Now that Thanksgiving has passed I would love to see a little snow cover the ground. Just enough to make it pretty, not too much that makes life chaotic. Don't you agree? Is there anything better to help get into the Christmas spirit? I can't think of anything better.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo courtesy of Lucky Oliver as I had no turkey available to hang a sign on

More to come I just wanted to pass along well wishes to you! Now I must go bake !

The following comments are being written by Megan:

I am thankful for... fuzzy socks, my family, pigs, chocolate, and my best friend Madison!!!

Trevor says he is thankful for...people. (not sure what he means, I think he was not into the tell me something you are thankful for game. )

I told them to come up with a few things that maybe are out of the ordinary. I have to say I am thankful for all those things too! I would add my morning espresso, pillows, washing machines, dishwashers, and Christmas vacation! You may also notice that there is nothing from Elise. She is not ungrateful just very hard to pin down on anything other then "to be alive".  While I certainly am happy she is alive, it just did not have the punch of fuzzy socks?!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Irony...

We recently undertook a complete fall cleaning since we had skipped the spring cleaning for well...several years at least. Anyhow it went something like this ---> empty all the treasures out of the kids rooms into my hallway. Clean and thoroughly vacuum the carpets. Then rearrange the room and pray, plead and beg that it remains nice and neat. Well what did we end up with...besides some asthma and very full garbage cans, a brief glimmer of tidiness. They all love the "idea" of a clean room. Just not much interest in keeping it that way.

Image my surprise when I was looking at the hallway mess and spotted this... look at the bottom left corner of the following picture. I will then give you a close up of what you are seeing. I am embarrassed to show you, please do not think less of me. :) All this junk came out of the girls bedroom.





IRONY: the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning

I truly wish I could report that it was successful and I now have neat and tidy little children. But as I sit here typing I hear a box being dumped on the floor in Trevor's room. Wanna bet it is still there long after they move onto something else to do.

I did get a response when in frustration I told them I was going to put daily pictures of their rooms on this blog so that all could see how they live. I might have to explore this option. I think I will go start the documentation. If you do start seeing dreadful photos here of messy rooms. Please ignore and know that I am working on a experiment at home. As Ren and Stimpy used to say "maybe something good, maybe something bad".

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birthday Etiquette



Cousin Avery has a birthday coming. She will be having a birthday party this coming weekend. I happened to be talking to her and asked if I was invited to her party. She took a moment to respond. I started to wonder if dear sweet Auntie had not made the cut in her nearly 4 year old mind. Then she quietly said "You will need to bring a present though". So sweet of her to remind me of proper birthday etiquette.

Now I wonder if I could get away with that. Please someone ask if they can come visit me so I can quietly remind you it would be nice if you brought a gift...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Learning to tie...



Trevor and Elise are 7 years old now. It seems like Elise learned to tie in one evening and has never looked back. Trevor...well that is a different story. We were starting to think we may have to tie his shoes before he goes off to college everyday. He just had no interest in doing it himself. I think Michael had finally tied his last shoe when he told Trev..."No more video games till you figure out how to tie your shoes". Guess what happened...yep you got it.




The thought of loosing his Nintendo time made this a mission of utmost importance. Mastered in one afternoon. Hmmm...what else do we need to have him learn to do?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Not Red States and Blue States...The United States of America



“As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, ‘We are not enemies, but friends – though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your help and I will be your president too.”

~ Barack Obama

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trick-or-Treat...

TWO YEARS IN A ROW! Two years in a row I have totally biffed to pictures of Halloween costumes. So let me describe them to you...

Trevor... Black full body suit with a black cape and a mask. Any guesses? I told him he needed to learn to say "Luke, I am your Father" in a voice like the guy that does telephone commercials. Yep, you got it. Darth Vader. I think he wanted to be him because his light saber was broken and that way he could get me to buy another one. Hard to believe a movie that came out when I was a child his age is still such a huge influence. In his 2nd grade class were 4 Darth Vaders and a Storm Trooper!

Elise... cowboy boots, brown long leather jacket, cowgirl hat, pig tails, and bucket that said "pony food" on it for collecting her goodies. That was way easy. She is our "little Cowgirl".

Megan... for a hint Megan's initials are M M. She had on green and black striped tights, black go-go style boots, and a huge Green circle with a giant M on it. She was an adorable green M&M candy.

They were all adorable... we went trick or treating with cousins Caleb (scarey scream guy) and Avery (a pretty peacock) since they live in suburbia and have lots of options for a great looting. They got so much candy that towards the end of the night Megan's bag broke wide open on someones front porch as she was getting more candy. How lucky it was there and not in the middle of the street. Oy Vay! Lucky for her they lady that answered the door gave her a new bag to hold all her junk!

I am hoping someone else got some pictures. If I can come up with photos I will post them here to be viewed by all!
Grandma to the rescue...got a few photo's hopefully my sister got a couple good ones too~




On Hallowe'en the thing you must do
Is pretend that nothing can frighten you
And if somethin' scares you and you want to run
Just let on like it's Hallowe'en fun.
~19th Century Halloween postcard

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life and Death of a Pumpkin...



A video perfect for the holiday...a little spooky for little ones though. Consider yourself warned. It made it so much harder to carve our pumpkins. I should be a liberator instead we scooped out his guts and ate his seeds. They were yummy too!

The kids had no help on there pumpkin designs. Megan and Elise designed and carved their own pumpkins. Trevor drew out his design but needed some help getting it carved. He was a little disappointed Mom was not talented enough to carve the words "The Temple of Doom" on the tombstones...maybe next year?! I better get my act together!




My new favorite pumpkin cleaning tool!
A metal ice cream scoop. Where have you been all my life?

A lot of concentration


A ghost flying out of a tombstone

Traditional with the word "HI" carved in his mouth

Very green and with a giant smile!

I've learned there are three things you don't discuss with people: religion, politics and
the Great Pumpkin.
-Linus

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm out of my Gourd! But you all new that was the case...

Pumpkins, corn, carmel apples and pictures...! We hit the Bob's Corn festivities this weekend. Corn maze and pumpkin patch Ho-down. We had fun finding that perfect pumpkin and attempting to maneuver thru a 10 acre maze of corn. Grandma, Papa and Brea and her lovelies joined us for a great weather accommodating afternoon. Avery picked herself a tiny pumpkin (although I am pretty sure it was a squash) I think Caleb ended up with the largest -- Megan gave him a run for his money! We have a rule that really makes it easier for the parents... You have to be able to carry your own pumpkin and scoop it out yourself! It certainly makes them think twice about a 50 pound pumpkin...especially since Trevor only weighs 54 pounds himself! Although he tried...you will see he picked a pumpkin that was pretty big!

Enjoy the pictures... there is also a link to a slideshow of more if you are interested.



From Bob's Corn 10/19/08


From Bob's Corn 10/19/08


From Bob's Corn 10/19/08


From Bob's Corn 10/19/08





Monday, October 20, 2008

14 days and counting...


Hi all I will not pontificate on how you should vote. I believe that we all have the right to make up our own minds and not belittle anyone or make them feel like they cannot discuss what they believe to be true. I also believe-- we all believe-- we are in a mess of hurt right now due to poor decisions made by many. The best thing I can do is research and explore why my candidate is the right choice not why the other one is wrong.

So come on...get mad if you have to... Vote however you feel you need to! Make your voice be heard loud and clear!


Decisions are made by those who show up.
- Aaron Sorkin

Thursday, October 9, 2008

an afternoon in the life...

Broke out the camera today! Check it out...

Elise today...finally not a canned smile.


Megan having some chill time before hitting the homework! I am stunned at how much homework they all have. Keep in mind Trevor and Elise are in 2nd grade. Megan is in 4th grade. HOMEWORK EVERYDAY! Crazy!



Trevor chowing on a homemade cookie...can you tell Mom had the day off? Gee, you can really see all the fingerprints on his glasses in a picture! Better remedy that...

Have you ever seen these?



They are so cute! Do you know what they are?

They are tiny little Kiwis that aren't ripe yet. You eat them skin and all like a grape...we love them! Probably not something we will buy frequently since they are a little expensive but we had to try them! Next time I think we will try Kumquats.

Monday, September 29, 2008

hmmm...

Today the kids and I ran down to costco to pick up dog food. We decided to be leisurely about it and wander the aisles when we saw this...


I think I may recall hearing something about this but I never expected to see it in the store. Tucked right on the other side of the cell phone kiosk between printer supplies and cordless telephones sat a casket display. Trevor and Elise had no idea why anyone would want one of them. Megan knew what they were for but was surprised that costco was selling them. I am not sure how that works...

gee I wonder if you get a 2% cash rebate on that purchase?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

CROAK...

Well last week Elise ended up catching some big kid version of croup... or crap which seems a far more appropriate name. She recovered pretty quickly. She was kind enough to share it with her big sister who woke up Saturday morning with no voice. She sounds like a dog that has been debarked. Funny how taking to noise out of one kid seems to lower the volume on all of them. They are right now quietly playing Monopoly on the floor and all is pretty quiet. I feel bad for her but maybe another day or two without a voice would be fine. Is that mean of me to say?

We have a long weekend from school so I am sure she will be back to her authoritative self by Tuesday.


A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.
~Irish Proverb

Monday, September 22, 2008

Summer 2008

Here are some misc. pictures from our summer-- click the link and enjoy!

I was told it is not clear what to click to see the pictures... right below the picture of the 3 helmet heads where it says "SUMMER 2008". The actual words are the magic port hole...

From SUMMER 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Darn that TIVO!

I was aimlessly folding laundry and had the TV on to keep me company when a commercial came on for the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy. It looked so good. I could not wait. I suddenly feel like a junkie off "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" willing to do anything for just a little sneak peak. I will not spoil it for you-- I saw something. It all happened too fast to see what it was and who was involved. In the old days I would have just been a little more curious to see the actual show. Now in this day and age I start tossing laundry everywhere to find the remote control...back it up a minute and then put it in sloooooow motion. That's when it happened... I had that instant "oh darn" feeling. Like a kid that opened their Christmas presents and rewrapped them. Knowing come Christmas morning there will be noooo surprises for you. Feigning surprise and "Oh My" when the real moment actually arrives.

Oh well, I know something you don't know!


Shhh... don't tell the kids

I cheated on my children. Please do not tell them. I know there will be hell to pay later! the price will be high but I am prepared to pay it.



For birthdays my Mom, Sister and I do things rather then buy things...although our doing things usually results in us buying things. Go figure, total woman logic there. Mom bought us tickets to Shrek the Musical for our birthdays this year. Yes, I know the kids would have loved it but they also may have gotten wiggly and bored and tickets are spendy. So us big girls had an afternoon out at a great show. They are headed to New York this fall. If you have a chance see the show! Really it is not just for kids!

He must have had knee pads on because Lord Farquaad walked on his knees the entire performance.






Hey I got an idea! I could stay with you! We could stay up late, swap manly stories, and in the morning, I'm making waffles!
~Donkey

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Do pigs have lips?


Election, Election when will this end... I suspect it will get more ridiculous before it is all over and then when it does end one group will probably cry foul. I have no idea what group that will be... It seems to be a daily thing where it goes one way then the other. We still have 6 weeks left of this bickering, finger pointing and accusations. Gee what is a mom to do? I just want to send them both to their rooms to take a time out for about 5 weeks! 
Either way they need to leave Olivia the pig out of it! 
Check out this link to see what Huckabee had to say. Caution though -- he defended Obama 




Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? 
 ~Robert Orben