It was a lovely Sunny Week in Feb!

Sunday Scavenger Hunt… (or Monday in this case) =)

This weeks prompts were:  Strike a Pose, Color Me Green, Hobby, Footwear and Shiny!

its a fun little way to get creative with your camera during the week.

Strike a Pose

silly Nana has been obsessed with our fireplace this Winter

she paces in front of it meowing if it isn’t on …all day long!  =)

sometimes she flips her tail hard on the floor *up and down* up and down*

this day she was glaring at me too… then looking away…glaring at me… looking away

it was so funny!  =)  can I share a couple more…she was just so funny I couldn’t help it!

I will only torture you with a couple more !  =)

laying in front of the fireplace playing with my tail pose

don’t mess with me doggy I have big muscles and long claws pose..

she was protecting her spot in front of the fire place =)

b/c Merlin often messes with her while she lays there “sun bathing” in the heat

Nana isn’t the only one who loves the fireplace

Sammy loves to hang out in front of the fire place too!

Color Me Green

I brought home a hazelnut latte the other day

and immediately poured it into my favorite green Denby mug

a wedding present from 13 1/2 years ago =)

I LOVE these mugs ~ they are Perfect!

the Perfect mug makes or breaks your coffee drinking experience

don’t cha think??!!

It doesn’t look very green b/c the lighting in my kitchen stinks

Lucky me my hobby picture is green too…

just in case y’all think I failed the green shot =)


(since I don’t have an awesome camera to support my amateur photography hobby)…

I chose cooking

I love playing with food ~ especially baking =)

but I happened to be playing with green food this week!

with all my dietary challenges …cooking has become tee dee OUS  *ugh*

anyway…this week I decided to embrace my old hobby with a happy heart again… =)


rumor has it … some old fashioned farmers in Holland still wear these ??

can you imagine?  =)

this pair belongs to a friend and are clearly NOT used for farming!

I have some small shiny read ones from my childhood that I pull out at Christmas

but they are tucked away for the next 11 months!

*my footware pic was from my archives…fail** =)


this pretty little crystal hangs in our living room window

and the sun was out this week…*bliss*…  making it sparkle!

I thought I wouldn’t be able to get a decent pic with my snap and shoot

but a few shots actually turned out kinda cool  =)

sparkle sparkle =)

hope you find sparkles in your week!!

thats all folks

homeschoolin to tackle



if you’ve never participate in the Scavenger Hunt… its fun…

click below to join the fun!

She still cooks…

Yep… that would be me… the she who still cooks (barely)

if you make it to the bottom there is a carrot cake “recipe” (fyi)

Some of you might actually remember my old blogging days ( a short two years ago…ha ha ha) when I shared recipes about once a week… anyone?? Bueler?   nevermind… =)  back then when I started my blog I had actually thought *just maybe* I would become a food blogger b/c I loved to cook…. and after watching Julie and Julia and discovering The Pioneer woman… well… I thought is was meant to be!  *cough*cough*  Well… that was ONE year BEFORE…I went Gluten Free … (which was one year ago)…I took the GF plunge due to digestive issues…*cough* cough*  I can’t believe I am confession this to the wild world of bloggers!… I have uclerative colitis issues actually …or well.. they think… either way I do have a form of IBD…. otherwise known as inflammatory bowel disease… Soooooo I didn’t just loose gluten… gluten was just the last thing I lost… (for those of you who are sayin … “what?”… google it… I can’t bare to share anymore!  ha ha ha…

You see over the last 10 years I assumed I had something of the sort… with all my “issues” I figured something was up… I mean most people don’t have to take pepto or something of that sort on a daily basis… *sigh* =)  slowly but surely I found my trigger foods (without doctor support yet) and found some but not a lot of relief from not eating certain foods.

Life is what it is and you roll with it, right?  (or in my case you suffer if you don’t roll with it)  *sigh* =)  After I complain a little I usually just roll with it!!  and make jokes….  better to laugh than cry.  right?  right.

My trigger foods are citrus based, acidic based, fiber based, gluten based, dairy based, green veggie based, spicy (tragic) based …etc. etc. etc. ….  is there anything left to eat??

NOT much. No tomatoes (ack.. HUGE loss), no onions, no peppers, very little spice, no beans, no lentils, no oranges, no eggs, very little dairy, very little salad, very little grain, no oatmeal, no fried foods, blah, blah blah… you get the idea… and never mind I have high blood pressure which means I have to be careful with that too…

anyway.. without complaining too much I am basically trying to say …sometimes I get tired of it all and lose my desire to cook …b/c well… what the Heck am I supposed to eat anyway!!??  =)

with that said.. with a sly smile on my face… I embraced gluten free cooking for the first few months… it was challenging and kind of an adventure!   and then I sort of went into a cooking depression if you will…  I mean seriously … I can’t cook very many of the Pioneer Woman’s recipes anymore… (HUGE LOSS… really!! I love most of Ree’s cooking!)  I on the other hand began to cook a lot of gluten free pancakes b/c it is one of my only food pleasures left in life … ha ha ha… don’t get me wrong I love some of the yummy pancakes I have come up with… but… you can’t live on pancakes alone!

then life picks up and gets busy (9 months out of the year in our case due to our little soccer player!) anyway… it becomes even harder to feed my self, my picky eaters (a whole different post)  and lets not forget my poor husband…. who rarely complains and eats a lot of pasta these days!!

why am I spilling all the beans, complaining a little and well… blogging about IBD… good grief… what has my world come to?  … I kid… I kid!  I decided recently I NEED to get out of this cooking slump.. this lack of blogging slump… and embrace my busy life… my gluten free (everything free) life… ha haha… and roll with it!  I love blogging and interacting with y’all.. and I miss it!  So the real truth behind my blogging slump lately… is partially driven by my pity party about cooking/food… and lets just say I spiraled a bit from there.

Without anymore whining, complaining or negative thoughts … I am going to start researching gluten free and IBD friendly cooking… and embrace it!  and when I master a recipe or two … share it!  surely one or two of my readers will be able to relate… and maybe… just maybe the rest of y’all will like my recipes even if you  don’t need to be GF ++  or should I say minus minus?   It will be a slow start but eventually I am going to try to share a recipe once a week… wish me luck!   I am cheating today b/c my “recipe” is from a box!  (ooops!)

Gluten Free Carrot Cake!

I started with 1 cup grated carrots, 1/2 cup applesauce and a TBSP of vanilla

I could have just stirred them, but I decided I would ‘blend them up a bit’

I didn’t puree them… it was more like a chunky puree

it looked like … well… never mind!

I poured it into the bowl with 2 eggs slightly beaten & 2 heaping tsp of Cinnamon

stir, mix, blend, whisk all that together…

then I opened the box, cut open the packet and poured it over the top

really complicated process that part was!

if y’all remember my kitchen has terrible lighting

especially in the winter months!  bear with my over edited, artificial lit food pics!

blend again… I use my pastry blender b/c I love that thing !

it is WAY better than a spoon!

Next up… Prep the Pan!

I prepped my pan with olive oil cooking spray and sugar cinnamon

I would NOT have used sugar cinnamon

if I had read the sugar per serving content first (*oh my stars SWEET*)

go ahead… pour it in the pan…

y’all know how to bake a boxed cake right?

easy sneezy… that is pretty much what I did… =)

Jenn style… with a few things changed!

adding applesauce & cinnamon

of course I should have reduced the EGG!  oops.

It was VERY moist … and SWEET… OH my stars!!

but yummy…

I LOVE carrot cake… and usually I would frost it with cream cheese frosting

but this one was WAY too sweet to add any further sugar!

anyway…  this is the box brand I used…

it IS really good… though too sweet for my taste.

it wasn’t gritty either which is a huge plus in the GF world…

but I will keep looking!

24 g? or mg? of sugar per serving is TOO much for this chick to swallow!

a regular Betty Crocker Cake mix is 18 g? or mg?  =)  for comparison!

anywho … speaking of packaged foods…

my hubby has been VERY “curious” about SPAM lately

he has never EVER been introduced to Spam

growing up in a small town.. where trailer trash jokes are funny…

I grew up eating the salty stuff…

and I think I even liked it in my mom’s scalloped potatoes?!

anyway… for some reason the joke has been surfacing for months in our circle of friends

so my hubby finally asked me to make some the other day…

and I humored him… against my better judgment!

Lets just say… this amateur cook will NOT be humoring him again!

even though he thinks it might be good to keep some on hand… (WHAT?!!)

*sigh*  ha ha ha

(ps I am truely Sorry if you like Spam…I hope I am not offending anyone… I just can’t endorse it…its way to unnatural… way to salty…and the texture alone makes me want to… oh… never mind… )

I am going to click publish and run b/c I have to take my home schooler to a class !

hope I don’t regret my unedited post!!

See y’all later!



The Drive to the library

After our mini blizzard – snow – ice storm

the kids and I took a trip downtown

to the library

this is pretty much how our afternoon unfolded:

(sweetly fitting into the Scavenger Hunt prompts this week!)

oops… this one was actually snapped the day before our library day =)


a wavy ripple pattern??

this was the day the sun came out after the storm

and began melting our icy snowy world

which is now limited to a few dirty snow piles in parking lots



(artificial hazelnut sweetener plus coffee = artificial high…  Caffeine baby!)

oh how I love me a good cup o coffee =)

even better with latte art !!


boys… seriously!  =)

OK.. so…

I am a bit heavy hearted about the OLD trees in Olympia

that no longer stand alone

they have endured years of stormy, snowy, windy weather

a few freezing rains and an earth quake or two

the Pacific Northwest weather isn’t as mild as one might think

anyway… after the recent heavy snow fall and freezing rain

the old trees have lost even more of their beautiful limbs

here are a few snap shots of the trees from around town

the day after the freezing rain melted   =(

Old (or rusty)  and Stand Alone (or not)

see the poles (they have been holding up this tree for years now)

a few of the older trees on the capital campus have them

take a closer look

can you see all the snapped branches?

pictures don’t really reveal the depth of the damage

that tree wasn’t the worst I saw… but it is one of my favs

heart breaking

I maybe have climbed that tree 20 plus yrs ago

when I should have been old enough to know better =)

its hard to see all the old trees slowly loose their ability

to stand alone

after a little research I found out these trees are about 100 years old

I also learned 20 trees on the Capital Campus will be cut down *sniff, sniff*

this tree will likely be cut down too

this baby is 120 years old!!


this tree stands in a one block grassy area in front of the “old” capital building

half the 120 year old tree fell over

so SAD!!

these pics of this tree do look a bit cartoon-ish to me…

with a little imagination?  =)

it would be rude of me to point that out though… =)

the old trees in Olympia are sentimental to folks around here (me)

do you ever feel like that about your daily surroundings

Mt Rainier has that effect on me too…

my heart goes pitter patter when I see it

and all its glory … smiling at me… you know?

hm… don’t answer that … ok…


a few years back that little “park” lost a bunch of its old trees

there was so much damage they cut them down all 6-10 of them

100 plus year old trees… it was SO sad!

anyway… that one above was one of 2? trees left standing in that “park”


last one I promise … this is down the road from the Capital

the homes and trees alike are from the early1900’s

It is amazing how many “close calls” we witnessed!

every 25 feet there was some kind of fallen tree “branch”

some were smaller than others…YIKES!

Crazy!!  and Sad!

I guess you could call me a SAP

but I love trees!  =)

alright alright

I’m done now.

poor trees.

OK.  OK.

I am done.

really. =)

Ta Ta For Now



click on the link below to view others interpretations on this weeks Scavenger Hunt

There is something peaceful about a Blizzard…

Its Sunday!!   Scavenger Hunt Sunday!

Since our week was … well… Extremely EVENTFUL…

I couldn’t resist all the extra pictures!  Enjoy!!

Our week started off with a few inches of snow on Monday

and your Oh so typical

snow penguin with a tasty carrot nose and feet!  =)

seriously… look at MERLIN!! drooling…

Yep… he ate the feet and nose!

day 2 of our week we woke to this…

uh…in Western Washington that is 9 inches past


and the beginning of a really cool snow fort!!

built around 9-10 pm!!

rolled mostly by the daddy…

don’t let those cute kids fool ya!!

day 3 … Wednesday…

this is not unheard of in Washington…

but good grief… not typical either!  we had 21 inches by lunch!  =)

I’m not sure who had more fun… the kids or daddy!!


maybe the kids…

snicker snicker…

ps hubby is 6 feet 1 inches tall… so the fort is/was 5 feet plus plus?!!

7 kids fit in there the next day… probably could have squeezed in a few more?

Anywho… day 4 … we woke to this…

freezing rain… ice covering EVERYTHING…

dangerous… but beautiful!!

I love my cute fence… have I mentioned that lately?

even cooler with freezing rain all over it!

Oh yeah… the **photo scavenger hunt**…  finally! =)

Black and White

and this next one is a terrible shot ….

but check out the layer of ice on the 21 inches of snow!

Black and White x2

those posts half way up are 24 inches I believe…

cool ice layer, eh?  =)

CRAZY week in Western Washington …

actually Olympia was the “eye of the storm”  ** yay us!!**


beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe…

Color again

this was the 3rd freezing rain storm I can remember…

in 41 years… =)  though dangerous … amazingly peaceful…

God never fails to present us with blessings of beauty (and peace) in the mist of a storm.

in our lives… and well… in our world.  =)

A Day in my Life

Every day we walk Merlin and he uses this fire hydrant… every day…

unless of course it is buried under two feet of snow and ice!  =)

sorry Merlin.

I liked this angle too… shiny!  =)


ah… yes… POWER… of which we had none for 48 hours.

We were thankful for candles, the gas fireplace and hot water tank,

the camping stove …and well… the Harry Potter and Hermine wands =)

hours of fun!  Seizing our days in this peaceful blizzard!


frankly with all this snow… we didn’t see much of the sun this week…

especially not at the sunset hour!

the “snow and ice storms” have begun to settle down…

but there is a lot of damage in our city from the snow, ice and falling trees

many homes/neighborhoods are still without power

and I hear we are in for some windstorms…next week … YIKES!

Wind with all the weak damaged trees from the snow & ice

That sky seems to be threatening us… don’t ya think?  **shudder**  =)

I do love a good storm… though  it is sad to see the damage after…

yet so peaceful and reassuring to see the community gather around

and help each other out… love one another… ya know?

funny how a storm can bring beauty and peace.  =)


I hope your week is a little less eventful than ours is predicted to be!



if you are unfamiliar with the Scavenger Hunt… click on the link below and go check it out… Ashley is an amazing photographer!!  and it is fun and inspiring to check out everyone’s interpretations of the weekly prompts!

Winter Flurry

Howdy Folks ~

I believe this week actually marks my 2nd year of blogging..

interesting.   =)

I started with such enthusiasm back then…

2 years later I have found myself struggling to blog

balancing my time is not my strong suit!

I am hoping to start fresh this year and put my heart back into it!

I miss it.  A LOT!

I loved Ashley Sisk’s Sunday photo Scavenger Hunt

so I will start here.. and WOW… how it has grown!!  =)

My goal is to get back into the grove of sharing my life through this blog…

hoping that my world will connect with others

maybe encourage others

be encouraged by others


be inspired

you know the drill! =)

That is the part I miss most!

so here we go … I’ll start with the weekly Sunday Scavenger Hunt … Hi Ashley!!  =)

This weeks prompts are:  Winter Wonderland, Frozen, Sweet, Stacked and Hole.

Winter WonderLand

Washington weather is apparently cooperating with this weeks theme

Merlin LOVES the snow

I love watching Merlin in it

I love how it collects on the branches

and our new little fence =)


I don’t love how frozen my car is when I get off work at 11:00 pm at night!

my holiday job at the bookstore is almost over (kinda sad)

this week I will be actively looking for work again

we have found the extra little income is very helpful!


I was going to post the cookies I baked … but Merlin is just capturing my heart this week!

it melts my heart how cute and sweet Merlin is… =)

doesn’t he look like the sweetest dog ever?

Stacked (and Sweet)

yum.  the end.


down the Rabbit hole?

doesn’t it make you think of Alice in Wonderland?

ironic  =)

I went out with friends this week to a place called the Iron Rabbit

and thought this coaster was perfect for this prompt!  =)

Alright folks… I have to skip off to work soon…

I will visit a few of y’all later…

I am excited to catch up with some folks I haven’t visited in a long time!!



the mostly absent blogger these last few months! =)

if you are not familiar with this really fun photo Scavenger Hunt…

go check it out!

I have issues…

with time management that is…..oh my stars!

I miss the land o blog…forgive me for being so very NOT present these days

I had issues before I got a temp/part time job… yikes… how will I ever keep up!!??  =)

Here is my last ditch effort to finish the 365 photo challenge (jenn style… 7 pics a week)


someone put my husband out of his misery…

stupid moles


cold game of soccer on my birthday in early Dec… =)


the tree


snoozy christmas dog


home schoolin with volcano art


a winter band concert… with the one in public school

who happens to be the cutest flute player ever…


ladders & shoulders

decorating the outside tree


our neighbors decorated one of the street trees first

I loved it so much we did our own =)


they ended up filling with water

and are now in the land fill… next year we will try to seal them?? =)


Is that Robin hood?  =)

nope …just my little boy

he made a bow and arrow with daddy

it was a project for his medieval class =)


it shoots REALLY well!  kuddos daddy!

I think we will wait another year or two before we buy him that

“bee bee gun”  he asked for on his Christmas wish list… =)


cookies cookies cookies… we love cookies in December ( and jan, feb, mar..etc. etc…) =)

traditional date ball cookies …(only we didn’t use dates this year… I like the dates)


we went to the local-ish zoo…

for their annual zoo lights


moon was almost full that night

no rain… perfect!!  cold and beautiful night!


can you find the moon?

the real moon?


not bad for a snap and shoot on 57x zoom… ha ha ha…


gingerbread (kit)  =)


leaning tower of  tree


Nana sleeping on the warm lights that fell …


every year on New Years eve we usually do one of these A, B, C mystery puzzles…

you read a murder mystery, put together two puzzles that don’t look quite like the box cover… usually it includes a small area of one puzzle..then you try to solve the mystery with the pictures from the two puzzles…finally you read the end of the mystery.  anyway… I found this one in early Dec and  bought it with my birthday money!  and then came home and put two more I’d found that I don’t already own on my Christmas wish list =)  I have a collection of these babys now… good times with my little girl (she loves them too!)… I have most of A-F now I think??  This one made me think of The Pioneer Woman … of course!  Wonder if she likes puzzles?? =)  it was her birthday recently…


my sisters and I have had our picture taken with Santa 3 times in our lives

once every 20 years… since I was 1… =)  this year we cheated a little…

next picture will be when we are in our 60’s… oh my!


so every Christmas Eve we let the kids open 2 presents

(usually PJ’s and a stuffy)

shortly after the kids started ripping the paper from their new PJ’s…

I noticed Merlin…

Looking at HIS tiny stocking!!   HYSTERICAL!!

He’s SO smart!!


we started laughing

and he got even more excited!!

he got 4 balls and two bones from that little stocking! ha ha ha


Christmas morning the kids did their typical thing and got ready to open stockings in front of the tree…while we had coffee… and then there was Merlin again…

** oh the laughter **  poor Merlin!


the kids let Merlin go first!!  =)

and put the poor dog out of his misery!


speaking of misery… we got daddy a few things to help

put him out of his “mole” misery!!  =)


we also got “daddy” Zombie Dice…

he doesn’t love many games … he tolerates them.  which is tragic for me …=)

he discovered this one at a Computer Geek conference he goes to every April

and has been talking Zombie dice since last April…

Now my hubby has his own Zombie dice game …

and we have created a Zombie loving church group … who enjoyed  “eating brains”

and trying not to get shot with a shotgun! ha ha ha … =)


it really is very innocent… don’t let the box fool ya =)  see…


we spent a couple days after Christmas in the land of giant raspberries

I mean… in BC visiting the hubs Canadian family…

and riding the raspberry round-a-bout?  =)

sorry I can’t help myself sometimes…


sometimes I take pictures of things from the car window

so we can zoom in and show Sammy things he can’t otherwise see

it makes him feel a part of the world we so easily take for granted =)

take a look at the size of that Eagles nest..  =)


over winter break we introduced our kids to one of my favorite movies EVER …

and one of my favorite actors… ever…. for ever and ever … Amen.

oops…carried away…  I heart Johnny D.  *snicker snicker*=)

he’s even handsome and funny as a lego character!

ha ha


Merlin spent the week after Christmas chewing on his new bones

he got up to get a drink at one point…

and the bone just stayed there in place

stuck to the carpet…

never a dull moment in our house.  ever.

I love my crazy busy funny life.  =)

Two last things.

1. I am SO glad to be done with my take on the 365 photo challenge

2. I am looking forward to catching up with ya all!!

I am off to read some blogs!  =)

Looking forward to catching up with y’all !!




No need to ramble… I’ll just get on with it…

my life in 30 pictures… for Nov2011 =)


meow… good bye October … hello November =)


our “home school” Fall view … I love our Fall View!  and I love this shot b/c the window looks like a corner window if you look at it just right… kinda? maybe? no?


one of my favorite streets in me hometown…  I walked that street a lot in high school … and I worked on that street 2 times in 20 yrs and many life changes inbetween… and now my Canadian hubby works on that street… its “my street” … ya know?  and Look How gorgeous it is in the Fall… *sigh* =)


here it is again 1/2 through Nov

(my pics are going to be out of order this month) =)


and there it is now at the end of the month…

after a wind/rain storm… *sniff*


Lets talk about my hubby…

I think I might have to admit him into a mental ward soon

poor obsessed hubby


this is becoming a daily routine around here

and nope… he is not trying to start a new fashion trend


nope… not fashion…. you see…

he’s trying to kill the little bugger who is destroying our yard!!


looks kinda cool dusted in snow…like ancient writing?… =)


oh yeah… snow… we had one little dusting of snow

in Novem..bbbrrrrr….


this is what Novem…bbbbrrrr should look like….

beautiful colors… NO snow… NO rain… =)


funky clouds in the sky


we’ve actually had a decent Novem…bbbbrrrr…

for the Pacific Northwest =)


one morning I woke up to funky spider webs EVERYWHERE

how do they do that over night??  my entire back yard was covered in these mass web creations… and long strands from the fence to the bush… bush to fence… fence to bush… CRAZY!


CRAZY… EVERYWHERE I tell you…must have been thousands of the creepy little critters… is all I can figure… **shudder**  ((double shudder))


one morning there was a thick fog…

when the sun was rising…


beams of light were peeking out from behind the fog

and the houses


makes a girl stand in awe … you know?



sunset   =)


beautiful Fall colors


gingerbread pancakes … what more can a girl ask for?  =)


I know ~ I KNOW ~ Yum right?!  =)

I need to perfect the recipe before I share


but round 1 … really was delicious!!

soon… OK?… I will share it soon… I hope…


you see…

I started working Nov 3rd?   Proud bookseller in the bookstore…=) it really is a good thing… my daughter is in heaven knowing her mommy is surrounded by books she can access at a discount now… ha ha ha… I am working evenings and weekends… so I can stay home and home school my little man… and bring in a little extra… we NEED it… =) Now… Life is busier… crazier… more insane… less time for sleep & housework…. and well you know… my lil ole blog!  but I love it… I love you all … I can’t quit… so I forge on… ONCE a month… *yipes* its not enough… I WILL find a balance!!  =)


the monkeys are handling my absence… 25 plus hours a week…

pretty well… they whine a little… =)


the animals… not so much…(look at Merlin trying to lay with the kitty)


ok… fine… the cat doesn’t care…

she’s just mad that the weather is cold & wet…

she’s a big fat baby when it comes to winter weather!  =)


MERLIN!!  how embarrassing!  ha ha ha…

Merlin has been a bit more naughty since I started working…

he’s chewing things again while we are gone…

digging things out of bags, bins, off tables…etc… and CHEWING them!

we thought we were done with the chewing thing… little bugger!!  *ugh*


hm… What else??

oh yeah… THE protesters… they are all part of this giant tent city that has taken over the Capital Lake Park… calling it “Occupy Olympia” or something like that… *ugh*… I will be nice and NOT SAY ANOTHER WORD….its just better that way…


speaking of turkeys =)

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!!

time with friends and loved ones!

anyone else tired of Turkeys??

I mean Turkey?   =)

gobble gobble!

I have many blessings in my life and much to be Thankful for!!

Much much to be Thankful for.  =)

Blessings~ to you and yours ~


**yikes tomorrow is Dec 1st and I have done NOTHING to prepare for the beautiful and fast approaching Christmas season!!**   Is it just me… or are some of y’all a little behind this year too??  (someone please say yes!!)….. snicker snicker!

October’s over? ;)

October was a bit odd this year… usually by October my life is in Fall routine and I am going with the flow… but not this October…I should have known it was going to be an odd month … when my daughter started wearing her pillow on her head =)


Here is my Odd Month at a semi-QUICK glance… 365 photo style…

yep I know… quick is very unlike me … if I succeed! =)


Sammy and I did some baking together

(that isn’t too weird for us)


Gluten Free banana bread

(I will type this recipe out for y’all one day!)

A good gluten free version.. not too gritty.. just moist enough… =)


isn’t this steamy picture kinda dreamy? =)


home made cranberry sauce for Canadian Thanksgiving on Oct 10th

Easy sneezy:  1 cup Apple Cider, 1 tbsp Vanilla, 1 Cup Sugar, 1 bag o berries… boil… reduce heat and simmer your steamy pot til the berries break down to your liking… puree a bit for thicker sauce… sweeten it more or less… Tasty!  eat on turkey…eat on bagels… eat on cheesecake… eat by itself!!  YUM!

(this doesn’t count as talking I was sharing a recipe!~!)  =)


Amazing Spicy Pumpkin Syrup

Click on the tasty kitchen ~ search ~ as titled above.  =)

You WON’T regret it!!!

and you will want some when you make these!!


Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes = a little bit of bliss!


you didn’t think I wouldn’t tell you HOW did you?

1 egg, 1/3 cup Apple Cider, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon,  1/4 cup pumpkin… whisk… add gluten free bisquick (about 1/3 cup give or take) til it is kinda thick but still pours… I find GF pancakes hard to flip… thicker SMALLER pancakes flip easier for me in my Cast Iron pan… with a little extra oil… this amount serves two happy kids or one happy grown up!


Note … smaller pancakes… =)  can’t you just smell em cookin?

I am obsessed with pancakes right now… Cider, pumpkin, gingerbread…

SO AMAZING!  all my own creations!  =)  I should write a pancake cookbook!


hubby on the roof = ODD.

he doesn’t do handy work often~

its not his thing …

told ya Weird month…


mini submarine just crusin down the highway…

not somethin we see every day…


Abby at a book signing… this kid LOVES to read folks…

she wants to be an Author one day…


Rick Riordan ~ Author of The Percy Jackson series = )

more recently The Heroes of Olympus series

Our city was 1 of 7 on this mini tour!!

ODD we got chosen over a bigger city like Seattle or Portland… =)

Exciting times for my little reader!


Check out these funky fall clouds in the sky

we have had some weird clouds/skies this Fall!

I have a few funky Nov. sky pics too!

speaking of skies…


Crazy sparkle sparkle falling from the sky!!

wish I had my camera ready when the sparkles first flew into the sky!

we were packing up to leave (darn it!!)


You see… we were in Seattle


at  the last home game of the Sounders

in the ‘regular season’


my little soccer players’ team went as a group…$10 tickets!!

the soccer girls and all their families… all 60 of us… fun time!!

(the soccer families don’t know I have a blog yet… no group pics… I don’t post pics of folks w/out permission!)  =)


last 10 minutes are always the most exciting!

The Sounders scored in the last 3 minutes & won…

sending them into the playoffs… (I think)   =)

*just like my little girls soccer team**   (odd)


This little brother is SO OVER Soccer!

he’s been attending sisters soccer games for 9 months straight…

(well 5 years + 9 months each year …what a trooper!!)

Abby plays in a Rec league…  but this year was a bit ODD…

Her team were undefeated in the regular season!!

so they had a special play off  b/c there were two groups in the local league this year…odd… they took the 2nd place title in that tournament… their first loss in the season! =)


Abby’s team played in a tournament … 4 games later they took

The District Championship!!

which means we go on to play Regionals and maybe State??

(its going to be a LONG FALL… soccer’s going to be 10-11 months this year)

One loss the whole season … with the two extra tournaments!!

**what a great season**  SO MUCH SOCCER and we are not done yet…

Better stock up on more of this


YUM… egg nog anyone?  more importantly coffee anyone? =)

we had an odd little visitor this month too…


I definitely needed coffee after this guy visited


he was a pesky little stick stealer =)


a pesky little ball taker  =)


a pesky little shadow when Merlin barks at the folks passing by =)

AKA a pesky little mail man barker


pesky little bugger sitting right in front of Mr. Super Sniffer

whilst he sniffs out the nearest cat, squirrel, deer, raccoon to chase/bark at…


but boy he sure was CUTE…

and he made my blurry girl a happy girl that day!

puppy sitting is fun b/c you get to send him home at the end of the day!


speaking of weird/odd…

this guy steals my camera and takes odd pictures of himself


he deserves a post all to his~self!  *soon* very soon*


another crazy cloud day…

doesn’t this one remind you of dementors

you know … in Harry Potter… ????


speaking of Harry Potter… doesn’t this little lego guy look just like him!!?! odd.

For Halloween this year we had a “Halloween Hide-In”… odd I know.

We introduced our children to Harry Potter… fun times!

dark house, glow sticks, good snacks, sugary treats and a movie…

PERFECT Quiet Warm Halloween!


We packed up our Halloween stuff last week…

and our kitty has been missing ever since…

any ideas where she might be? =)

ha ha ha ha ha…

thats NOT funny!

ok ok …

I think its time to sign off… and come see what y’all are up to these days…

I hope my bad blog habits aren’t scaring you all away completely…

I miss this odd land when I can’t seem to find the time to visit!!

Hope you all are having a Happy Fall!!



the odd one.

Mini Turkey Burgers (and Septembers 365’s)

Yum… right? =)   256/365

even my very picky eaters will eat these little babys!

they aren’t  my  kids “favorite” meal… but they eat em!

here is what you need    257/365

a couple cloves of garlic (I puree it on that fun little garlic plate)

a few fresh basil leaves

dried Italian herbs (for lack of fresh ones in my pretend garden)

1 lb of ground turkey

1/2 cup (or one cup) of fresh Parmesan (a MUST in my house …YUM)

oh.. and one egg white (or the whole thing…whose watching!?!)

I love sauteed onions too… but I was out!

puree garlic, chop basil really really really small, whip it up with the egg white & dried herbs (oregano is my fav) & a little salt and pepper for fun…

then put the Parmesan in your hand like so…

and rub your hands together over the bowl to make a finer grind…

then mix in the ground turkey and get your hands really really groody!

and then form little burgers with the meat mix 


because my littles eat so very little…

I freeze a few little ones for another day

then fry up what you need for the night in your mini cast iron pan!

they are really savory by themselves…

or you can put BBQ sauce on them, or Thai peanut sauce (YUM)

or cheese… garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, or whatever… =)

We made mini burgers b/c we found mini burger thins…

of course I ate mine without a bun b/c of the whole gluten free thing…

Either way… Simple & easy to make and enjoy!!


I am going to run through the rest of my September 365 photos…

I realize in my last pathetic post (it really was horribly written …sigh!)  anyway… my 365 photos are off by 2 … meaning I tried to post 2 weeks of pics… but somehow added 2 extras?!!  ha ha… rather than post by weeks … I need 18 photos in this post to put me at the end of Sept…SOOOO behind! *sigh*

I guess I will do 2 posts next week with 15 pics each to catch up Oct?  =)

here goes…


effective sundial don’t you think?  ha ha ha …

5:00 pm 2nd week of Sept.

not the first time we went to see how it worked and it was shaded!!

anyway… we went back the following day…at 3:30 pm


Hello??  It must be ornamental?!!  ha ha ha…

I think they put it in to line up with the Capital??

alas… it was fun to see how it should work!

moving on…

Have you ever had a “mini” butterfinger blizzard with french fries dipped in it?


YUM… try it… you’ll like it!!  sweet and salty!

Have you ever  eaten Coconut M&M’s?


I bought them this Fall to try…

they are ok… I won’t buy them often… =)

just going to keep jumping subjects here…

Sammy and Abby had a few Tennis lessons this September…


first second Tennis lesson… nice swing, eh?!

(bad mommy forgetting my camera the 1st lesson!)  ha ha ha…

Sammy played great for a kid with low vision… though it won’t come easy when we aren’t throwing the ball directly to him…  =(


and my sweet soccer girl Abby… well.. she took to it like a Pro!!

I did not get a great shot of her that day… anyway…

it looks like she has some sport talentS this kid!!

makes me proud since neither hubby nor I were talented that way! ha ha! =)


Abby celebrated her 11th birthday… how did my little baby grow up SO fast?!

ah…. she is now a young lady in middle school… *gulp*

I love my sweet, smart, funny, talented little lady… she has become an amazing little person with a heart of gold… I am proud of her in so many ways!!  gush gush gush… I won’t go on… might flood my laptop if I do! =)


we gave her a wee camera for her birthday…

a little Cannon snap and shoot

since she’s been asking for one a few years now!

I have been holding out… b/c where on earth am I going to download all HER pictures??  I have enough picture downloading issues of my OWN!!  ha ha…

*cough, cough*


Long story… we don’t need to get into to much… but our sweet little soccer player is on a new team this Fall… of which the hubby is assisting the new coach …verses being the head coach (sadly… I admit I am glad about that!!) anyway… it was sad to see the old team die out… but… the new team is shaping up to be a good thing!  No more Cheetahs =( … now she is plays on a team called the Tsunamis… =) not a great pic but here she is in the new uniform…. on the field.


no more yellow uniforms… that is nice too! We like blue better!  ha ha!

Abby even scored a goal during her first game on the new team!

good first impressions!  he he he…

we have had to do a little traveling this Fall ~ugh~ hate that part!


in late September we traveled to the beach for a game…

y’all know I love da beach!

So … the last of my LONG September 365 catch up pics were at the beach!


Cool …crazy waves …I love how the ocean always reminds me of how powerful and amazing God is… I always stand in Awe of Him at the beach!

oh… and it was not on the Oregon coast… surprised?

The soccer game was in Washington….( not my favorite beach) oh well  =)


the kids really wanted to get out on this tree

they played chicken with the waves to get out there!  =)



I got another lovely picture of my kidlings at the beach in 2011

and I love this one of my little buddy too…


and for my last two pics of September

we can NOT forget this little dude

he rides in the car with us every where we go


he’s getting a little smarter and more mature with age!

bwa ha ha ha ha…

are you bored out of your mind yet?



Thanks for staying to the bitter end!!


My 365 day photo challenge is caught up to September!

I will try really hard to post twice in the next week…

with 15 pics each post… for the 30 days in our lives in October…

I have some fun Fall Color pics for the next couple rounds…

and pancakes…

I made A LOT of  pancakes in Oct!

Yummy flavored pancakes!

Oh how I love Fall!  I often call it my favorite season =) !

Alrighty good then… enough about me…

How about you??  Do you have a favorite season?


now to come see what y’all are up to…

I am still failing in that dept. too!! =)


Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

Hi folks!!

I hope y’all don’t have a heart attack to see me back in the bloggy world?!!

oh dear… I am so so so behind!  =)

I didn’t mean to take a long break from the old blog

its just…. well… time management is not exactly a strength of mine

Let me splain Lucy   =)

It all started just before Labor day weekend…

we had Rock delivered… just before Labor Day 239/365

(I wonder if I took enough pics for my 365 day challenge?  I take pics every week… but they are in desperate need of sorting and editing!!)

5 cubic yards of rock  … oh my!!

the work began  240/365

transforming our yard from this 242/365

(long story… the neighbor built a beautiful fence… a little high and the rock drain was 6 inches from the fence… leaving their landscaping that is really our 6 inches of property…anyway it was  exposed under said fence… the area needed some help after the fence went in!!  a year later… )


Better, eh??!  =)

Lets just say Labor Day “week” was full of hard Labor…

my son even humored me and brought his old dump truck out of retirement

so he could help us haul.. rocks, clippings, weeds &  grass sod we dug up


we worked hard that week…

so we would appreciate the full JOY of resting on  Labor Day…

well…ok… we had 5 guests in our house that weekend…

so resting we did not…


Family visited so we played… and hunted geocaches…

ate gluten free peanut butter “breakfast” cookies


I’ll share some recipes soon… I’ve been baking lately…

Autumn rain will do that to a girl…

then… The Day before School started we played hard

to keep little nervous minds off of MIDDLE SCHOOL…(ack!)

we watched the sun rise  246/365

we went downtown to see Lady Washington sail away

after the boat show weekend (that we didn’t attend…ggrr…rocky weekend)


ain’t Lady Washington smaller than you’d think?

(she was in Pirates of the Caribbean you know!)

we didn’t wait around to see her sail… she took too long! ha ha…

instead we played with a River Otter in Capital Lake

he really was playing WITH us…. it was fun!!

he came out of the water… 248/365

and right up to the kids….

like… 10 feet from them!!

crazy!  Abby took this pic… =)

Twas a fun day that day before school

we played Snort… ate donuts…played Tennis… etc.etc.etc.

and I succeeded with my 365 challenge that week/day!  =)   249/365

I kept my little girl busy the WHOLE day

We played all day…  I will spare you the details

eventually the sun set  250/365

it was a wonderful day before MIDDLE school started!  (sob, sob) =)

251/365 Then it happened …

My girl became a 6th grader  (sniff)

this pic was taken after school… she was too nervous before! =)

apparently starting middle school wasn’t as scary as she imagined

and let us not forget my home schoolin 3rd grader!!


the start of home school always ROCKS my world A.LOT!. in Sept!

***Shall we take a Merlin intermission first?***

253/365 Lets not forget my Crazy Dog…

he is always up to his regular mischief!!  eating Toilet paper…

or trying to eat dead chipmunks the cat left behind

*ugh*   254/365

see the tail hanging out there… (ewww!)

Hoses are a wonderful thing…

when your dog hates water/the hose!!

*not sure how to move on after that… *shudder*…


speaking of dogs

I bought this hysterical dog cupcake thing

as an “after the first day of school treat” for my nervous middle school kid


who knew?  dog cake… ha ha ha

Abby decided then and there she wanted me to make them for her 11th birthday party that was approaching…  (lets just say we compromised…by the time her birthday came)

anyway…I was about to talk about Home School Curriculum…skip way ahead if you don’t or will never home school… Trust me!!  =)

I spent A LOT of time organizing curriculum in September!

not exactly 365 quality pics here folks… but it IS my real life !

(I think I won’t include these in my WAY behind 365 day photos!)

I use a lot of Evan Moor (Moore?) workbooks  and enlarge them on the photocopier for my little man with Low Vision…

( for anyone who doesnot know… my little man Sammy has 20/200  vision ~ that is not correctable)…  that is the main reason I love workbook style teaching with him!

I love  Teacher Created Resources and Creative Teaching Press too…

These companies combine well rounded Grammar & Reading with Social Studies, History, Science, Math, Geography … its a beautiful thing!

Teacher Created Resources

Evan Moore

Fiction and  Non Fiction Reading &  Read and Understand

Creative Teaching Press ~ Grammar Minutes

love the Math Minutes too

(we are finishing second grade grammar we overlooked last year)

3rd grade  is the first year I didn’t order too little or too much!! =)

SO yeah… Workbook style learning combined with readers, hands on art, science experiments, field trips …etc. etc.  works well for my low vision kid!  I am glad Sammy likes workbooks!  there are  so many subjects to explore with workbooks from these three companies alone!!!  =)

I use Evan Moore, Teacher Created Resources and Creative Teaching Press workbooks for Spelling, Vocabulary, Science, Reading/Comprehension, Science, Math warm ups, Grammar, History, Geography … etc. etc. etc.  They have too much to choose from!  Love love love them!!

Oh and how could I forget the Drops in a Bucket Grammar??

they have Drops in a Bucket Math too… not visually friendly for Sammy

(sorry about the sideways pics!) edit button is not cooperating!

Combined with reading books and art or science projects … the workbooks create  a very well rounded education plan.. I make “units” out of it all … for instance we are doing a unit on Explorers…  learning about early ships, famous explorers, geography/land & sea explored, Kings & Castles, Vikings, Pirates… all the places, people and things that were apart of that era… the unit ends up covering history, a little science, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, history and sometimes even math!  =)

*please note my chat style of blogging does not reflect proper grammar, writing, etc.etc.**  its how I rebel against such things… =)

The Readers we are LOVING this year … are these Usborne Early Readers!!  it is like they were designed to go with the workbooks!!  for *grades 1-4*

Love love love!!  Such fun subjects…

well… We think so anyway…

and this is only half of the books we are going to use for Fall/Winter…

Ships, Pirates, Vikings, Explorers, Castles, Knights, Cowboys..

Romans, Aztecs, Egyptians, Vikings…

never mind the animal and science based ones… Volcanoes, Weather, Penguins, Birds, Mammals, Frogs, etc.etc.etc….so much to choose from!  =)

Seriously Sammy is SO excited reading through all these!

I LOVE it!!  he is not waiting for the “units” to begin!  Crazy!

The Castles, Knights and Pirates are my/our favorite so far! =)

and there’s more

(these are not Usborne books)

there is  more…

The list is endless…

Gso many fun people, places and things we will explore in 3rd grade…

as you can see… I’ve been very distracted… from my blog…

it’s all making sense now isn’t it??  ha ha ha  =)

I haven’t even told you about Math yet!!

We are LOVING the Teaching Textbooks Math program…

Sammy loves it & I don’t do Math…so this is a Fabulous MUST for me!!

the DVD’s do all the introductory teaching for me *wink*

Teaching Text books are fun, interactive, colorful, and entertaining!  =)

Sammy enjoys following up on the lesson in the workbook too!?!  Ha. Love it.

b/c they include pictures from the DVD lesson… clever!!


are y’all bored yet….

I’ll stop here… even though I didn’t tell you about Abby’s Birthday, Soccer, Sounders games, Learning Tennis, our ever growing home maintenance list, painting dilemmas, looking for a job (**Sigh**), the endless piles of laundry, dishes (still no dishwasher), etc.etc.etc. …. oh… and all the yummy baking I have been doing!!  *sheesh*

HOW do you all do it??!!

I love blogging… I miss it when I am not here…but I can NOT for the life of me… manage my time enough to be a faithful blogger!  =)

(one blog at a time… right??… ha ha ha)

I really miss keeping up with you all…  now that routine is settling in (until I get a job and throw a curve ball into my routine!)… I am hopeful I can fit blogging back into my life again!!

Forgive me for the Giant blogging break??

Though my daughter has a couple soccer games this weekend… we are laying lower than we have in a long while this weekend… maybe I will find time to read blogs!!  Please leave me a comment and let me know you were here… so I can come visit you first!!  =)

**Can I come back and play again??!!   =) **