Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Thing

I have a thing.
A thing for steps.
And a thing for family.
A thing for how family and steps are connected through generations.
The steps that I ran over everyday for 6 years as a Ranger's daughter.

These steps were the foundation for first day of school pictures with best friends.
I also made my children sit in the spot that I spent hours and hours playing when I was little.
Not sure I shared the fact that I also used to put things down the metal pipe that anchored this sign in place. 
 I  learned that when your Dad pours water into the said pipe, the wiffle bat will float magically up to the top and be able to be retrieved...probably just to be dropped in again.

In Fossil, Oregon., I felt the connection to my great grandparents through the steps they built as immigrants to America. 
My grandparent's steps in Dunsmuir immediately transport me back to my childhood...the seemingly mountainous stairs that led to loving arms and the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies that have no equal.
 Even the steps on the home I lived in until age 4 in Mt. Shasta hold power for me.
There are another set of steps in our life.
The steps to nowhere.
These are at my Hubby's parents' home.
They used to be attached to a mobile home that my sister-in-law lived in for a time. 
But as long as I have been in the picture, they have stood alone.
They have been the spot in which to sit and chat.
Reflect and discuss.
They have also been the jumping off point in many young lives over the years.
These two are leaving for college this month.
  But the steps to nowhere.
Things are changing as they always do.
Changes can be hard.
I don't know if these will remain in anything other than our memories.
With LPP leaving for college, I wanted to preserve as many of those memories as possible for myself and my little family.
Steps...family...it's my thing.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Travelling to Italy through our Tummies

SPF cooked inner for us on Friday and I must say, I was pretty impressed. 
 She came up with the table setting on her own and knew what she wanted to serve for the most part. 
We had seen an episode on TV with the Moroccan Chocolate Mousse and it seemed worthy to be added to her Italian themed dinner. 
Same side of the planet after all.
I taught her how to make shavings and she piped the mousse into little teeny cups that had been my Mom's like a pro.
I must say it was delicious...and pretty...and rich...and yummy!

  SPF really wanted to make cheese ravioli...from scratch. 
We learned together. 
We also decided that hauling my Kitchenaid pasta making attachment out and reading the instructions, might have been an easier path.
We used another of Giada's recipes for the pasta and the filling from another.
We had a hard time getting the pasta rolled to a super thin sheet, but in the end they worked. 
 And it was fun.     

  SPF said the precooked ravioli looked like camels. 
We weren't sure if we had enough to feed everyone, so we used the remaining filling into premade jumbo shells to be sure. 
It wasn't necessary. 
Our 10 year old also learned to brown butter with pinenuts.
 She added a tomato and fresh mozzarella salad, Italian bread and all was tasty and pretty.

SPF began the evening with a savory cheesecake
She learned how to cook with a water bath and displayed the crackers on a platter in a lovely pattern...trust me...it was.
We all left stuffed to the gills and proud of our girl..
I wonder where she will take us next time.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Truism

Strive for peace with everyone and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
~Hebrews 12:14

Friday, July 31, 2015


 I began what I thought to be a quick task this morning. 
 I needed to clean out my camera card and rather than make a file that reads, "photos to sort" and dumping them all there, I did it properly.
Not that I have any files that say "photos to sort"...they are mostly not even labeled THAT precisely! 
I had photos from last year at this time still on it! 
I moved photos to appropriate folders and made new ones if necessary. 
 It took longer than I had anticipated...much...but it was also a trip down memory lane.
These two men were fantastic role models for our girl. 
They will be two of the few who we will miss next year.
We actually had a teeny tiny bit of rain last year, although you would never know it now. 
 What better way to celebrate rain than to play in it!
Oh!!!! Now I remember what green grass looks like.
 Proof that I was a bit overwhelmed at the end of school last year. 
 Chris was asked to help carry a statue in the Tipton Festa.
 I heard "white shirt" and passed that info on to him.
What actually was said, was "black shirt".
Oops...my fault.
This dog is a pain.
Cute, but a pain.
We had some magnificent sunrises...
 ...and sunsets.
And I am a sucker for those.
LPP and I had a monumental task this summer and we finished yesterday.
Just noticed this pic is on its side. 
 Oh well.
Sorting through, dividing up and cleaning out this storage unit was a dirty and dusty job, it also was fun. 
Working together with my girl and sharing memories with her is something I will treasure. 
 Not the dust and dirt, though.
Sasha posted her second installment on an Organized Summer this week.
Check it out.
 Do you think like an organized person?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Look Back

How can it be that there is only one more full week before school begins? 
I just don't understand.
July 29, 2014
This place will always remain home to me...it just is.
It matters not that I have not actually lived there in 45 years.
 Yikes...THAT makes me sound old!
July 30, 2013
These are truly words in which to live our lives by.
July 31, 2012
I haven't made this in awhile.  It is super yummy, easy and good for you.
July 31, 2011
The "college in four years" is HERE...in two weeks. 
Oh my.
July 30, 2010
One of the ports on our first Disney Cruise was Tunisia.
This was mere months before the Arab Spring.
  Was it our favorite spot?
Was it someplace we would want to visit again?
Probably not.
But is was filled with history of part of the world that won't experience peace for a long time.
 I am very grateful that we were able to visit part of the country that played such a pivotal part in the world.  Our kidnick's kids will learn about this time in their history books. 
 I wonder what will be said.
Besides...where else can you go and watch as your husband gets kicked in the ankle by the camel that is carrying your daughters?

Boy, I did not post often in the beginning of this here blog. 
The closest to this date in 2009 history was
August 24, 2009
SPF and I spent the afternoon with my sister a few days ago and I tell you that I still love their house as much as I did when we helped them move in.
They have made it a beautiful and welcoming home.
And I want their floors.
Although with the dust factor in the country, I think these will be the right color for us.
 Not that we are in the market for new flooring yet.
Just sayin'...love these.
The bathroom would be nice too.
Happy Thursday, y'all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Spreading Some Kindness

We are very fortunate to have, currently and in the past, our kidnicks in a terrific K-8 school. 
 The atmosphere at this small, country school is that of caring, nurturing and learning.
  It has been the perfect fit for our family. 
 It has also been fun to have SPF learn from some of the same teachers her siblings had. 
When we moved them to this school, LPP was in second grade and had Mrs. Castle.
I was pregnant with SPF and concerned with our decision to switch schools. 
 I was confident that in the big picture, things would be better, but the little things worried my heart...new friends, fitting in, finding their place.
Mrs. Castle was a perfect fit and my worries disappear very quickly.
She became SPF's teacher as well.
  In third grade, LPP had a wonderful student teacher who would be hired the following year.
 That student teacher, Mrs. Rose became SPF's teacher. 
Another perfect fit. 
 LPP and I were both Mystery readers in her class that year.
When Mrs. Rose shared with her class that she and her husband would be having a baby, the class was overjoyed. 
The kidnicks truly shared in the joy of that news. 
 On the flip side, they shared in her sorrow the following fall when they learned that Mrs. Rose's baby was born sill.
Last week, would have been that baby boy's first birthday. 
 Mrs. Rose posted the following on Facebook
On July 24th Tucker would of been 1 year old.
As most of you know, Tucker had health issues and was born still.
To celebrate Tucker's 1st birthday, we are asking family and friends to perform an act of kindness (big or small) in honor of Tucker.
We would love to hear how you made someone's day while remembering our baby boy.
 Please share your stories and pass this post to ALL who would like to spread a little kindness!
Thank you for your continued love, support, and prayers.
This past year has been full of joy and sorrow, but God has given us a sense of hope, comfort, and peace as we travel through life on Earth without Tucker.
Now go and spread some kindness!!!
Lots of Love, Gary and Lindsay
When I shared this post with our youngest, I asked her if she could think of anyone in particular to be kind to, she immediately said ."Ann".
Ann, you see,  is a wonderful friend of mine who recently lost her father.
My heart was filled with pride for my daughter. 
 She knew that she wanted to make a sun for Ann to brighten her day and knew just how she wanted to make it.
So she did.
We talked about what treat we could make to take to Ann and her Mama.
We settled on these cookies since they had been the ones I made for her class.
It seemed appropriate somehow.
I think these ladies agreed.
Tucker Rose was also my inspiration to spread a bit more kindness this week.
When my sister and I were growing up, our grandparents had an upstairs'  room with a wall lined from floor to ceiling with books.
Books on every subject under the sun. 
Last week, I unearthed several sets of children's books that they kept for us to enjoy on our visits.  My love for books is common knowledge and parting with them becomes an emotional task. 
Sharing books that hold a special place in my heart with family and friends brings me joy, though.
When I found a set of books filled with short stories, I knew I needed to share them.
  Mrs. Castle...remember the girls' 2nd grade teacher? 
Well, she has moved to a new school this year and I hoped she would appreciate and cherish them for her students.
 I was right. 
 I will be delivering these to her this evening.
Will you join us in spreading some kindness?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Learning AND Having Fun

Sugar Plum Fairy participated in an Equine Care and Riding Program this year conducted by her riding instructor. 
It began last November and ended last weekend with the final exam and awards.. 
There were 9 kidnicks in this inaugural season and I think it was a great success. 
There was listening, learning and note taking as well as on-horse training at each meeting.
All the work these kids put in came to fruition yesterday. 
There was a written exam, grooming and tacking test, followed by a  short riding pattern that tested each rider's knowledge and  ability to control and communicate with their horse properly.
My daughter fretted over the written test all week. 
 As we talked it through, we realized that this would be the first time she had ever had to take notes on her own. 
Apparently note taking is taught after 4th grade.
That had not occurred to me.
Anyway, I was prod of what she included in her notes.
Even if she struggled on the written portion, I wanted her to realize that everything she learned this year was good. 
 Everything that she  knows about horses is more that she began with.
While we don't know how the written portion turned out yet, she did well over all. 
Every student passed the program and is able to move on and up next year.
And they had fun doing so. 
 They chattered and laughed while waiting for the results. 
  And THAT is what all of their hard work and dedication is about. 
 Bettering themselves and having fun while doing so. 
  Fun times and great kids.