Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hot Days, Cool Nights...Desert Life and stuff!

Well, it's supposed to be near 100 degrees tomorrow. I think this may be the last really HOT day of the summer. Now, I could be wrong...but there does seem to be a trend toward cooler weather. It's definitely getting cooler at night. Right now at 10:20 PM it's 76 degrees (F). It's been getting into the 50's some nights so I KNOW it's getting cooler in general. However, I find the change to be most pleasant. I am looking forward to the changing of the seasons...the ushering in of some rusty colored leaves! Can't wait.

Anyhow, the park was lovely today. We were there yesterday as well. The kids have really enjoyed the wading pool. It's a nice change from the spray parks. We didn't even need a pool for the backyard this year. We've managed to get to the parks several times a week and here in this hot desert they have lots of water at the parks for big time SPLASHY fun! Now, we did HAVE a blow up pool from Costco, however, Condi (the dork dog) put more holes in it than I could keep up with patching AND it was poorly made anyhow and would have not lasted even IF Condi hadn't thought it was her own personal plaything! CHEAPO. The one they carried for the last couple of years was GREAT...this one...not so great. It ended up in the garbage after less than 20 uses. How sad.

Right now Mark is reading "RED MUTINY" (whatever that is) at the dining table and I am here, obviously, typing away at the computer. Condi is laying, sprawled out between us and the kids are all passed out upstairs. The baby was so tired tonight she was trying to fall asleep while I was bathing her. That was rather sad. She didn't really get a good nap in today so she was asleep by 8PM. It seems to be getting earlier and earlier to bed for her and less daytime napping. As long as we're out running around that works out well. Once we start staying in more a long day time nap will be nice so I hope she'll go back to that routine.

Mark's Mom (HI ELIZABETH!) will be here this weekend for a couple nights. That means big fun for the kids. They'll get to swim in the hotel pool and get lots of new books read to them and perhaps some sort of crafty project. Grandma "E" always brings lots of fun for the little ones and they really look forward to her visits.

Well, I'm heading to bed now. I am beyond tired and we had no DS9 to watch tonight. We have only TWO EPISODES LEFT. I am so saddened by that. Our last disk should arrive in tomorrow's mail from Netflix.

Oh...if you really want something to get bitter about read this book: BORN IN THE USA by Marsden Wagner, M.D., M.S. My midwife/ND, Dr. Frazer, aka: Ginger, brought this by our house the other day for us to read. I had expressed an interest in it when we were talking one time and she had just ordered it. I haven't read it all yet but plan to get through it soon. Mark has also read some of it. WOW. It's a good read and an eye opener. Glad I already had my eyes opened before I had my babies!

LOVE TO YOU ALL! Nighty Night.

Howard Amon Park Pix




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Today at the PARK!




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Tuesday, August 28, 2007





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House Pictures




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More Pics of our HOUSE




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Yeah...I'm aware!

Aware of the fact that I've been kind of slacking on the posting and pictures here. I know, since some of you have told me, that you check every day for new material and I am NOT supplying it. For that, I'm sorry. I will try to do better. I am grateful that you check and that you are interested in our little family and it's happenings!

Today I took the kids to the wading pool at Howard Amon park again. They sure do enjoy it there and it is so nice for me. I felt as if the walls were closing in on I'm not going psycho or anything. Maybe it's hormonal. I just HAD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Actually...I have to every day it seems. I just can NOT stay home all day long and feel OK about that. I mowed my back yard TWICE today. It had been 3 or 4 weeks since my last mowing back there and the grass had gotten very long and very lush. The bad part of that was that I went to pick up the doggy poo first and had a hard time finding it in the 6-8 inch tall grass so I missed some. Found it later...on my foot, of course. YUCK. Anyhow...I mowed this AM in one direction with the mower set at the highest possible level and then again while cooking dinner at the next level down in the opposite direction. Looks like a nice plaid design has now been cut in the lawn. Now I think I'll have to do this daily, lowering the wheels each day, until it looks normal again. It is lush though, I have to give it that! WHEW, anyhow, it's done.

I'm really looking forward to having a Koi pond at the new house. I've missed having a pond. It will be fun to figure out what sort of filtration I'm going to do for this one and fix the waterfall and all the other fun things that go along with running a pond/water garden. This one is big enough to have a nice sized water lily or two in it. That will be nice. I think I'll get a miniature variety and a medium sized one. Pink and Yellow I believe. One with mottled leaves. That will be pretty. I can't wait for next Spring already!!! We'll have to do the "Square Foot Gardening" out front. It's the only SUNNY location and I think the raised beds will look really nice out there. I'm excited about that as well. Lots of fun planning what to do in OUR OWN YARD! It's going to be so nice to OWN a home again. Renting has it's benefits but owning is so much better in my opinion. We still don't have a closing date but as far as we know all is going smoothly on the financing end of things. I think the guy is just a bit busy at the moment so we're on the list of "to do's" for him and we're just not right on top. Oh well. It's not like we're in a huge rush here! I'm afraid to start packing until I know FOR SURE and have a closing date on paper. We have started moving stuff around in the garage though and it's been fun discovering things that have been boxed up for some time. The children have been having a bit too much fun since there are SEVERAL boxes of toys that were purged at one time or another. I'm ending up with many of them back in the house. That's part of why I just had to get out today. There were toys everywhere and I just felt overwhelmed and buried by them that I couldn't even begin to pick them up or direct the children to do so. I just wanted to escape from them. OK...I realize I'm probably creating one of the longer run on paragraphs as yet in this blog. I'm just typing away at whatever comes to mind.

The children just went upstairs to bed. Mark is now doing the story hour before bed while I put the baby to sleep. I miss doing the reading but baby seems to want Momma in the evenings. After stories he goes up with them and they say prayers then he lays with them until they're asleep. Az is out within minutes...or seconds of lying down but Avi can be a bit of a troublmaker at bedtime. She can stay up for what seems like forever. I think it's worse when she is overtired. Anyhow, I had the baby in bed before 9PM. Maybe Mark and I will watch another episode of DS9 tonight. We're only a few shows away from the VERY LAST ONE of the entire series. It will be sad to be done with them. It's been such a nice thing to do together. I guess the timing is good though since we need to start packing and getting ready for the move. We'll have to do most of our work after the kids are in bed so the timing is definitely good or perhaps even providential!

Now I'm getting tired of typing. I have more to say surely but I think I'm done for now. I have other things I'd like to get to. I will TRY to have more to say tomorrow and I really, really, really, plan to put up some new pictures. I just need to download them and take a few more. OH...I'll leave you with some other pics of the house. That will be good. Have a lovely night/day or whatever.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Moving along...OT...oh, & Mark got a raise!!!

Things with the house are moving along just fine. We aren't at a place yet where we have a closing date...but that's just around the corner. The inspection went well, although Mark and the inspector found a heroin needle and spoon in one of the kitchen cupboards. NICE! I have to say that I find that a little on the creepy side, however, it's not the type of home a druggy would have probably been living in unless, perhaps, he/she was the son/daughter of the previous homeowner. The reason I say this is because the home was kept up so well and so was the yard. Mark thinks that perhaps someone who was working in the home (construction/roofing/etc.) may be the culprit. Either way, I'll be extra diligent to get things super clean and I'll be searching EVERY nook and cranny for other paraphenelia. now you know the only YUCK thing that was found during the inspection. All else was OK and sound! No problems.

Let's see, what else do I have to relate? Oh, yeah! Now that we are definitely going to be staying here I've decided to get out there and meet some other homeschoolers in the area. Some of the ladies and their kiddos were planning to be at a park today and I decided to go on down and meet them. We spent 4 hours there and the kids had fun playing with the other children while I enjoyed conversing with a couple of the gals. I had a very enjoyable some encouragement and some new ideas too! All in all a winning situation and I think I met someone that I would be delighted to know better as it seems we have much in common! Anyhow, that was VERY nice and I'm glad I went. I'll have to do that more often!!!

I have no pics to post at present. Baby is beginning to cry. Mark got home at 5 and got called out again on an emergency right after he arrived. He won't be home until at LEAST 8pm. LOOOOONG days for the both of us. The OT is always nice though. Gotta feed little Liberty. MORE later!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's Official

We are buying that cute little home! The seller agreed to our offer. Well, after he countered and we countered all in all we're getting a GREAT deal! Enough said.

Goodnight for now. It's late.

I'll put in a real post tomorrow or the day after.
Real, as in LONGER.





Sunday, August 19, 2007

A question for the readers


Seriously, I really DO want to know your thoughts on this one!!!

Isn't She A Cutie Patootie???

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Baby and Doggy

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Condi & Liberty


Liberty seems to just stare at Condi whenever she's around. Liberty wants so badly to reach out and grab her! It's so funny to watch. Condi would prefer to just lick the baby all over but the momma would NOT prefer that! We have some funny human and animal interchanges going on in this house regularly.
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Avi & her little friend, Vanna


Yeah, Avi needs her hair touched up. It really DOES look cute...but it was a bit windy so it's all in her face. I had even hair sprayed it lightly so it would stay in place...well, no such luck!
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The Giraffes

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The Soccer Team

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French Toast and!

We had a delicious Sunday breakfast of FRENCH Toast and some bacon. MMMMMM.

Waffling refers to that cute little house. We keep going back and forth in our considerations of the possible purchase of it! The more we drive around and look on the internet to see what's available in our price range, the more we like the little old house we first looked at! We could go higher in price range but we want to keep paying the amount we've BEEN paying in rent for our mortgage. Since we're working on Dave Ramsey's financial freedom plan it just makes sense to stay with what we've already been budgeting for. That way when Mark DOES get his big raise...or even a littler one than he's requesting, we can just put all that towards our debt and our savings...and some upgrades on the house over time. Then eventually when we have things well in hand we can sell and move up to a bigger, better home. It's the American way after all...isn't it??? Oh wait...the American way is to buy MORE than we can afford, go deeper into debt, have the house forclosed on, and file bankruptcy...right? Hmmmm...guess it depends on the kind of American you are! We'd prefer to be the FIRST kind.

Today is Sunday and we decided to "sleep in" until 7AM and just take it easy today after our LOOOOONG week. Last night was the first time Mark and I were able to hang out and watch a couple episodes of Deep Space 9. We are on the last season. Mark got lots of OT last week, and while that's ALWAYS welcome and nice, it sure makes for long days for us all. Then, because he's on call he had to unexpectedly go to work on Saturday AM as well (for the forest service in Pendleton, OR)...he was to leave at 5 but didn't awake until 6AM (oops, forgot to set the alarm!) so ended up going a little later to Pendleton than he'd planned. He still made it for the last half hour of the soccer game. I had to get two kids, myself, and the baby ready and out the door to be at the soccer field at 8:20AM. Guess what? I made it and even was able to get my Starbucks coffee on the way! Yee Haw! Yep, that's me, hollerin' like a cowgirl over here in the desert. I was pretty proud of myself! Actually I was amazed!

I'll post some pics of the soccer team after I post this. Right now the baby is soundly sleeping in her rocker...Az and Avi are getting a "talking to" about paying attention, listening, and obeying. What's that? What did you say? I didn't hear anything! Oh well...

I think we're going to go on another drive to look at homes in Richland. We have an appointment to look at homes on Monday, including "our" little old house again. Oh, speaking of that, we went by it again yesterday and there was a cute little family looking at it. I felt possessive of the home, as if it were MINE. It really irritated me to see someone else looking at it! Kinda funny how that works. Mark felt it too. I guess when you have already imagined yourself living in a home and seeing in your mind how that would look it does seem a little like it's "yours", thus the feelings!

Now there is playing going on in the other room. Mark loves to wrestle with the kids. Oh, this morning the children came in and we were all cuddled up in our bed together, baby and all! I started the story game where I started with an open ended sentence and then it went around the bed from person to person. When it got to Az the army always came in and boomed things up...Avi always had some animal dilemma...and I, being after Az, always had to make Avi's dead animals alive if the Army didn't really kill them, they just THOUGHT they did. It was pretty funny. Mark even added in a few lines here and there when he wasn't TRYING to go back to sleep with all the racket. All in all it was a pretty funny and fun morning.

I have SOOOO Much I could write about. If I had the time I'd write the funny things the kids say all throughout the day. Somehow I usually forget those things by the time I do have time to sit and update you all.

We're having a RARE wet day here in the desert. It's only 59 degrees out as I speak. The night temps haven't even been that low all summer long. I guess Summer is finally starting to wind down. Can't say I'm too sad, but I will miss being able to run to the water parks with the kids and the wading pools! We'll have to have NEW things to do this fall and winter. Maybe long walks in the leaves in the park. We did that some last year but the kids don't like the LONG walks...just meanderings and playing on the equipment. Fortunately with our lack of rain here it's usually ok to play at the parks in any temp. as long as you are dressed appropriately.

Condi is laying at my feet snoring. I need to go up and shower as I've been here FAR too long. I'll post the soccer pics before I shower so you have something to look at. Have a LOVELY SUNDAY afternoon/evening!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Week, The Desert, and Staying where it's hot!

I can't believe the week's gone by and I haven't even posted ONCE since Sunday until now, of course. So much for being on a roll. Part of the problem is that Mark has been working overtime almost daily...well, yeah, it's actually BEEN daily not just almost daily! He's been in Cottonwood, ID for the last two days working out at their prison. He got up early and left by 5AM both of those days. Cottonwood is only 15 miles away from where my sis and her family live in Grangeville and it's 4 hours away from our home in EA WA! He was happy to be able to meet with Brother-In-Law, Dave, for a quick lunch and visit on Wed. before heading home. YESTERDAY, which was Thursday, Mark was working at the prison and JUST about to leave to rush home for an appt. we had to view a house (more about that in a minute) and the whole facility was placed on lockdown becuase they had "lost" someone. So everyone has to remain until the lost person is found...they have to do recounts of the prisoners etc. Anyhow he was not detained for too long and was able to make the nearly 4 hour drive in a much shorter time, due to speeding I think! Ha ha. We had an appointment to view a home at 7pm and he made it at all in all not bad for timing considering the lock down and the distance he had to travel.

Now, as to the house viewing...
We just found out that we are FOR SURE not going to be moving to Yakima for 2-3 years or maybe MORE or maybe NEVER. So, the conclusion we made from that info is that we'd better just settle in here and buy our own home and think of this place as home for a while longer. It's funny, I don't really feel at home in this's not the house we're in, but the town we're in. Actually, it's even more than that, it's the side of the state we're on. I miss the WEST side. I miss the Seattle area. I miss my family and my friends. I haven't really made much effort to make new friends here. I mean, I have met some people. I have acquaintances and someone that I hang out with on occasion...but no really good friends. That said, it's not like I've had lots of time to develop any really great friendships anyhow. When we moved here I had two toddlers and then I was pregnant and now I have a baby and a 4 & 5 yr. old (well, they're ALMOST 4 and 5!). They keep me pretty busy. We go to parks almost daily. The kids love the wading pools at the big parks. We get out and about regularly. We even have fun while we do it!!!

Oh yeah, back to the house thing! It's so easy to get sidetracked. So, since we're probably staying in this area for a while we decided we'd best start looking to purchase a home. We've been renting from my cousin and the house we're living in is very nice and suits our needs quite well. The problem is that it's not ours! And not just that, if we COULD buy it I don't think I would because it's not the kind of style I'd want to OWN. Renting is one thing and owning is quite another. Anyone who knows me knows how in love I was with my own first home in Gold Bar, WA. It was a 1906 vintage home. It was so special and full of charm. The kind of home you walk in and just feel at HOME. I LOVE old houses!!! So, I've been keeping up with the realestate market here since we've lived here and I rarely see an old home on the market here (at least one that WE can afford). Of course when I say, "OLD" I'm talking about OLD...not 60's or 70's homes. Mark came across a rare gem of an old house here in town while we were looking at the MLS for the area the other night. We made and appt. to go and see it last night. It is SOOOOO CUTE! BUT for a 2175 sq. foot home it feels TINY!!! 932 sq. feet is the basement. So that leaves 1243 for the upstairs. Now, I have to say that I didn't like the basement. It had the laundry room, bare walls in the main area and open to the ductwork ceilings (or lack of ceilings, I should say)! It had two bedrooms and a bathroom with a shower stall in the basement also. The windows were not to code so I wouldn't feel safe having anyone, ESPECIALLY the children, sleeping down there. It was DARK down there and artificial light just doesn't do it for me. I want natural light. Now I WANT a house with a basement...but one that is a DAYLIGHT basement. Not a DARK, partially finished basement. There were two rooms upstairs, refinished original wood floors (NICE!), lots of cute touches and a great color scheme for the interior as well as exterior painting. The bathroom upstairs was all done in VERY NICE tile and so was the kitchen. Lots of nice updates were made on this charming little house. The downsides were that I felt that I wouldn't be using the basement for any it would all be done in the 1243 sq. ft. upstairs. TOOOOO SMALLLLLL!!! The yard was cute with nice shade trees and there was even a VERY nice koi pond that just needed someone who knew a thing or two (LIKE ME) about ponds and filtration to fix it up. Anyhow, we all love it but after sleeping on it we kinda decided that it's really not for us for several reasons. There are the obvious ones I already mentioned PLUS it's on the "bad" side of town (although the actual street it was on was nice), we're not really ready to just run out and BUY a house, and I really would like a bigger yard (it was only .17 acre). Heck, a POOL here in the desert would be nice too! Anyhow, here are the pictures for your viewing pleasure:

CUTE HUH??? Well, we decided to go ahead and pass on this one, get pre-approved so we'll be ready when we do find THE ONE, and just take our time to find THE rushing here! PLUS we want to be ready to move before we HAVE to move and so that means getting rid of some stuff (garage sale anyone?), cleaning this house up (the yard, some painting downstairs, & general cosmetic stuff & cleaning that needs done after a couple years of living in a house with kids and a dog!), and I'm sure an ETCETERA will fit in nicely here and you can use your own imagination.

We do have a list of definite NEEDS (as we see it), WANTS, and WOULD BE NICE IF's for a house that would suit us. One of the NEEDS is a big kitchen. This cute little house definitely did NOT have a big kitchen. To give you an idea of the "would be nice if" category...well, a nice inground pool would fit in this category! After last night's adventure I'm thinking I'll need to add GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD to our NEEDS list. It will be easier to resell in the future, no matter how cute the other house is I think it would be hard to sell because of the area...but then again, WE were considering it despite the area so maybe I need to put more thought into that one. Hmmmm. And ONE MORE THING...if Mark does not get the raise he's requesting we may be moving to another state in a different part of the country entirely. You never know! This MAY occur, so until he sits down with his boss for his review and to go over his proposal we REALLY DON'T know FOR SURE if we will be staying here. If he stays with his present company we WILL be here for a while without a doubt.

I'm not sure how well I've written this post and I'm not going to re-read and edit it because I need to sign off for now and just want to post this so you all have something to read. Sorry I don't have any pics of the kids to post today. I'll update on them this weekend for sure~!!!


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another one of the baby birds

Mark thought this pic of Liberty should be altered by cutting her out and placing her with the Starling Babies when I was feeding them.
Who do you think she inherited her big mouth from?
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