Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Sweetest Soul

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to visit my grandmother recently.
Gertrude Purse (is that not the BEST grandma name???) passed away yesterday morning in her sleep with her family surrounding her.
Her faith asserts that she will be with my grandfather now and for that, I am also happy.
She was the most kind-hearted, gentle person I have ever known.
Goodbye Grandma!
We will miss you.

Friday, June 19, 2009


The girls have been taking swim lessons for a couple months. They absolutely love to be in the water. Their swim instructor is "Mr. Keith."

They've "upgraded" to wearing goggles and swim caps (to keep their hair out of their eyes). I am absolutely aware that they are going to have to go to therapy at some later date to work through the issues they will likely develop when they become aware that I made them look this way on purpose:

The video below (not available if you're reading this on my facebook feed--come on over to the actual blog: to watch it) contains some snippets of their most recent lesson.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Well, we're finally here... Geneva started soccer yesterday. She is so excited.
With hand-me-down shin guards and hand-me-down cleats... she was ready to get her drills underway. (Have I mentioned previously that she is all about dressing herself these days--note the striped shorts and striped tank.)
Chloe lives 4 houses down the street and is only 5 weeks older than Geneva. They are on the same team.
"It's really important to listen to our coaches because they will tell us when it's time to make some goals," reported Geneva.
Here she is keeping up with the boys.

She is a soccer player.
She is really cool.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

60-Minute Salad

I made a delicious dinner last night (yep, I do say so myself). I'm calling it a "60-Minute Salad" because it took that long to make it. Though I suppose, technically, it took closer to 60 days than to 60 minutes.

I bought these raised planters for Greg last year (for his birthday). He had talked at length about wanting to plant a garden with Geneva. I bought the big one for him to actually grow a few things and the small one for Neens to dig around in.
They have sat empty against the back fence for over a year.

I went ahead and took over, planting all "starts" in the beds and in these clay pots. I had a lot of success with the herb garden I did last year in pots (on the patio). My herbs have come back with vigor this year (though, I did lose the basil to snow and decided to replace our stringy rosemary with new plants this year as well).

Between the pots and the beds I have 3 tomato varieties, 2 squash varieties, zucchini, cucumber, 2 red peppers, sweet beans, lettuce (butter, spring mix, red and green leaf), oregano, basil, peppermint, spearmint, chives, english thyme, lemon thyme, flat-leaf parsley and rosemary.

We've had some beautiful weather and the veggies are really taking off. However, we've really only been able to enjoy the herbs so far... 

...until last night when I decided to "harvest" my lettuce for the first time. I noticed right away that I planted my starts WAY too close together so I had some thinning to do. The caterpillars that nested in the two heads made my decision fairly easy.
I picked and snipped until I had quite a bowlful of crisp leaves and a pretty substantial pile of inedible cast-offs (though the bugs might argue the "edibleness" of the leaves I discarded).

Garden lettuce is dirty.
Several rinses and spins later, I was ready to dress up my salad.
I made a light lemon vinegarette and added cucumber, grape tomatoes, fresh basil, chives and mint, kalamata olives, roasted almonds, and feta. Then I topped each serving with a scoop of flaked albacore dressed in the same vinegarette (lemon juice, olive oil, fresh garlic, dijon mustard, salt and pepper).
The result was as delicious as it was time-consuming. 
We ate the whole bowl. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"I Think I Want a Dog Instead."

Geneva's school has a tradition of giving away little fish (as pets) on the last day of school. They end their school year with a unit on Ocean Creatures so part of the "Discovery Room" is a tank filled with these tiny tropical fish called Danios. Parents get to decide whether to accept the "gift" or decline. We accepted.
Which meant a trip to the pet store to purchase what we would need. Apparently, Danios do well in filtered water (though they can survive in a bowl). They eat blood worms (mosquito larva) and some other disgusting thing I don't recall (but can survive on tropical fish flakes). We upgraded the environment with a fancy little tank and downgraded the diet to something I could manage: flakes.
Greg took the preparation of the tank on as a "Daddy Project" with Geneva. Of course, Piper needed to get involved too. Everything needed to be cleaned and assembled. 
Geneva had a part in all of it. She was really pleased with the rock gravel she selected at the pet store.
We found a nice place in the kitchen to set up the tank. On Friday we introduced our fish (everyone got a "pair" because Danios do better in pairs) to their environment and Geneva named them. The tank seemed so big for such small fish.
On Saturday they got new names.
On Sunday they got different names.
On Monday there was only one fish in the tank.
No sign of the other fish. The tank is much bigger than the fish--but it's not THAT big! I didn't want to call too much attention to the missing fish. I texted Greg at work...
Hmmm... did one of them eat the other one? Not likely, since there were no 'pieces' of the deceased and I found it terribly unlikely that it could be consumed entirely.
What happened?
Geneva never noticed the absence of the second fish. Or if she did, she hasn't mentioned it.
Monday night (after the girls went to bed) Greg did some more thorough investigation. Mystery solved: the filter sucked the tiny fish up; it was dead inside.
Poor fishy.
I think I'll replace it with a bigger, more colorful fish. Though, Geneva might notice... hmmm good or bad?
No matter. She wasn't all that interested in the fish--considering she "wants a dog instead."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Things I Love (Friday)

  • Getting back into the swing of things with my blogging!
  • How much I've accomplished by not blogging so much...
  • Sisters who play cuddling games:
  • The "Girls' Weekend" I had with my good friend Simone. Simone came up from California a couple weeks ago so we could have a couple days "off." It was fabulous! Greg did everything and I got to come and go as I pleased; wake up when I wanted to; be excused from bedtime, bath-time, and meal-time; ignore the house, dishes, laundry (like I don't do that anyway!); and pretty much explore the great places Portland has to offer with my girlfriend. I didn't even have to miss my family because I slept every night in my own bed and kissed and squeezed my husband and girls every day! Bliss.
  • How well Geneva did at her first dentist appointment. Great X-rays, raspberry-flavored teeth cleaning, flossing, dental exam and the best part: NO CAVITIES!
  • Playing golf with my husband and our friends.
  • Anticipating Geneva's first soccer practice (more to come, I'm sure).
  • Avery's first haircut:
  • Thunder storms (yep, we've had a couple).
  • Looking forward to having our friend John (who's in town from CA) over for dinner tonight (but wishing Betsy was coming too).
  • That Piper's cough has miraculously not turned into Croup this time!
  • Progress and Growth (both literally--below... and figuratively):

  • Mint. Delicious. Fun. Great atmosphere. Lovely company.
  • Paper airplanes... more specifically, how entertaining they can be for my 3 year old (who is almost 4!).
  • Organization. Though it truthfully doesn't look like this this morning... it will by tonight!
  • How often I'm hearing Journey played on my satellite radio--and I'm not even listening to an "Early 80's" station. Oddly enjoyable.
  • Playing together:
  • So You Think You Can Dance. This is such a great show... once you get past Crazy Mary (one of the judges). Give it a shot... I mean, is there anything else on right now anyway???
  • The pillow box and stationary set I made by recycling a page from my calendar:
  • All the stuff I've taken the time to make in the past couple weeks.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Self Portrait

(I know I've been MIA of late... I'll catch you up on all our craziness very soon. But here's a quick post I just had to get in.)

Sometimes our children are a mini self-portrait of ourselves. This can be flattering and not so much so... as in the example below:

I distinctly remember despising when my mother would do this to me and I had no idea I was doing it to my children until Piper began doing it to me and to her stuffed animals.