Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Snow after Christmas!

Cecil thought the snow was a blast. Unfortunately, it was up past his legs, but he didn't mind. We did lose some plants due to bending and breaking, and no, the trash wasn't collected for 3 weeks.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas is Here!

Marnie celebrates her 10th birthday and then Christmas is upon us. Grandma sent a great present for all the birds at our home starving from the snow. Marnie built it on Christmas afternoon and the birds were eating before we were.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Snow Hits

It seemed to last forever. The kids were excited, then stir-crazy. But the snow and the freezing temperatures were not going to prevent us from going shopping, especially with Katie back from college!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lights of Christmas

We went to the Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach for the first time this year. It was an amazing thing to see, especially the pink tree!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Jack Gets Set

After two weeks in a temporary cast and sling, Jack moves on to a real cast. He ended up choosing blue, just like Frazier did a year ago.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Temple Square

The Salt Lake Temple has to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. It is simply stunning with the Christmas lights and beautiful surrounding grounds.

Willards and Huffs at Temple Square

With both families visiting Utah for Thanksgiving, we figured it would be nice to meet up and have fun together. So we headed for the Christmas Lights at Temple Square on Saturday. It was packed with people, but that just made it more exciting. Paul was in the temple, working with his dad, and we were outside, enjoying the sights.

Friday, November 28, 2008


We enjoyed some fantastic pie at Cousin Rick's home in Salt Lake. This is Katie with two of her cousins, McKenna and April.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Outside Helaman Halls

The boys catch sight of a trough of leaves and must attack! Here comes Katie and Marnie unawares.

Off we go to BYU

We are spending Thanksgiving in Provo and Salt Lake so we can see Katie. Calvin here is modeling his new BYU sweatshirt as we wait for Jack's name to be embossed on his new scriptures. Katie had to work so we are enjoying a tour of the campus and remember what it was like to be students.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jack Breaks His Arm!

That just doesn't look right! The Skagit ER was great to Jack and they fixed him up in about 5 hours. He was retrieving a basketball from some unopened bleachers when they shook and he fell off. He will be in a cast for 6 weeks or so and learning to write with his left hand.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jackson Turns Twelve

Happy Birthday, Jack! Still as silly as ever.

Midsummer Night's Dream

Calvin, Tiffany, and Alex pose at the close of another performance of Midsummer Night's Dream. Calvin is doing his interpretation of Nick Bottom, sometimes with donkey ears, Tiffany is one of Oberon's fairies (you should see the light-up wings), and Alex is Moonshine in the play within a play. The troupe of players is the most hilarious thing ever! We were crying with mirth. Performances continue Thursday thru Saturday (Nov. 13-15) at 7pm in the PAC.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pumpkins and Politics

It looks like Jack's pumpkin ate his candle. I guess when they get to 30 lbs they eat everything.

And Marnie carved a Kitty all by herself. It was too windy to keep lit, but it still looked amazing. We did the usual trunk-or-treat at the church and got a good load of candy. I remembered once that my mom and dad tried to extract some of my candy when I got an unusually large haul. I was indignant. I had earned that candy. I guess that's why I'm voting McCain/Palin.

Happy Halloween!

It's a messy job and they love to do it! Thank heavens they are talented enough with a knife to carve without assistance.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Warming Up to Fall

As a little height-challenge student of the 4th Grade, Marnie has access to taller friends' wardrobes. This little number fits her perfectly and keeps her warm on autumn days in front of the fire. How sad that she'll grow out of it just a quickly as they did.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

APNQ Quilt Show

Nancy Davis and I won Honorable Mention in the APNQ Show in Seattle this summer. The lnk is in the right column if you want to see all the winners. This Mariner's Compass won in Traditionally Pieced. I wish you could see the quilting better because Nancy picked a great variegated thread and the black showed off the quilting very nicely. I think she did all the hard work!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

There's a Hole in my Backpack dear Liza

What is that in there? Something is trying to get out!

Why, it's The Dark Lord Chuckles, the Silly Kitty! And she found a hole in Marnie's backpack. I think she wants to go to 4th Grade.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Apple Pie Chow Down

The kids enjoy some Autumn sunshine and hot apple pie. We collected quite a few apples from our tree and we purchased a 20lb box from Eastern Washington, too. Can't have enough apples!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Have you made a Fire yet?

September 25 was the posted day for our first fire of the season. That is a bit misleading because the following week was beautiful and 70 degrees. Nevertheless, it means we were out cutting and splitting Saturday in between conference sessions. We have to Feed the Beast! Note: Jackson is now allowed to drive the lawn tractor with the wood trailer. Please call before stopping by!

Friendly Beasts

There is nothing like catching animals getting along together. Cecil, the chickens, and Chuckles (the silly kitty) are enjoying some fall sun. They just didn't know I would catch them being so nice.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Toffee Candy Apples

It's fall, and that means using those wonderful Washington apples in creatively delicious ways. This one was light and yummy!

The recipe is from Cooking Light Magazine (Aug '99).

8 Granny Smith apples (we used Golden Delicious)

1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup corn syrup or molasses

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp white vinegar

1. Wash and dry apples; remove stems and insert wooden sticks into the stem end. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Combine sugar and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan. I like to put the sugar in the middle of the pan and pour the water around the edges. Then I don't touch it--no stirring at at. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook without stirring until it reaches 280 degrees.

3. Remove from heat. Quickly dip apples in sugar and allow excess to drip off. Place on the foil and let cool for a few minutes. Yum! These crack more like toffee than caramel.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

CIQ Raffle Quilt

Camano Country is the name of the CIQ 2009 Raffle Quilt. We are selling tickets through April 2009. The applique is to die for and the quilting is custom finished by me! You can tell it is Queen sized as we had to pin up the bottom border because our tent was only 6.5 feet tall. The show will be at the Stanwood Middle School next year during spring break. Hope you can make it!

Busy Saturdays

Last Saturday was so busy, it took till Tuesday to recover. The Primary kids had a pre-Sacrament meeting practice beginning at 9am and Frazier had band practice at 9am. That would have been fine if we didn't run out of gas 100 ft out of the driveway. Paul came and saved us and we were off. I was supposed to set up our tent for the Quilt show raffle quilt at the Harvest Jubilee by 8:45am, and you can guess that didn't happen till 9:30am. It was pouring down rain so we worked fast. Later in the day we rode the little train. Frazier enjoyed the warmth of the local library. Calvin performed on the outdoor stage, but I was playing for him on the electric keyboard so I don't have a photo. After the 2pm performance we goofed off at the thrift store until we needed to pack up the tent and go home. We all got home at 5pm and collapsed. Wouldn't you know, this Saturday is beautifully sunny at 70 degrees.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reliving My Childhood

While visiting my parents in Temecula, they mentioned a new Bob's Big Boy had opened downtown. Mom and Dad were so nice to take us there for lunch and it was wonderful! I couldn't believe that the boys actually were full when we left. Here is Papa and me in my favorite spot.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Make a Blackberry Pie!

Today we drove to our favorite blackberry bramble and picked all we wanted. And Marnie scowered the property for a few more. They are running about 2 weeks late here, along with tulips, strawberries, peaches, and blueberries. So tonight we made a delicious pie. Here is the time-tested recipe. You can always tell we cut into the pie too soon, but we like it hot!
Blackberry pie
4-5 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sugar


Combine 4-5 cups berries with the sugar and flour. Make sure you combine well until you see no white sugar or flour. Brush the bottom of the pie shell with egg wash. Spoon the mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Cut a few tablespoons of butter on top, and cover with the top crust. Seal and crimp the edges. Brush the top crust with egg wash, and sprinkle with as much as 1/4 cup sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the temp to 375 degrees F, and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. (Put a rack underneath if you worry about dripping.)

Enjoy! Try to make your teeth the purplest!

Goin' to the Country...

Jackson, Marnie, and I canned peaches on Wednesday. Of course, it was difficult to keep from eating them, and we ended up with 11 quarts out of 45 pounds. We did make a couple of pies and cobblers, but most of them disappeared out of hand.

Katie Settles in at BYU

With her half of the room set up, Katie gets right to the work of finding her financial aid. It did take about a week to work out the kinks, but she made it happen. I only hope her room still looks this nice!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Back to School

It's time for the kids to head off to school. That means 5 children in 4 different schools. With Katie away at BYU, we have a little more room for the spiral bound notebooks and bottles of glue. Marnie moved into the boys' room and we had a bonfire of all Katie's notes from the last 5 years.

Howard is working on his music while at school. He will be auditioning soon for the school play. It looks like Midsummer Night's Dream. He's also participating in some auditions for an 80s band. He sure knows a lot of vocals, so he may be singing. Yesterday he played the drums for the first time, and now wants to meet up with his Uncle Tad and learn to jam.

Today is Marnie's field trip into the corn mazes of Snohomish. It is a perfect fall day and being a little height-challenged will be fun for her!