Category Archives: holidays

Easter 2017

For the past couple years, we’ve avoided the ping pong-ing of going from house to house to egg hunt to egg hunt because it’s just too much. Instead, we host Easter brunch at our house after we’ve done our own family thing.

Our own family thing consists of Easter baskets and an inside egg hunt where some eggs are more easily found than others.

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We don’t go crazy on baskets. They’re even more simplified than Christmas stockings. Lots of candy, a couple toys, a book, that kind of thing. Each of the little girls got a doll. I think we nailed it as far as the quality vs. quantity.

After some time with the baskets, they hunt. And then they celebrate. (James chose not to participate this year)

 

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(I wanna know what goes on in that smart little brain of his)

And then, after all that fun just by ourselves, we invite more awesome people to come over to eat like crazy and have even more fun!

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Maria serenaded us with some violin, too.

We had a little quiet time and then decided to go to the skatepark.

Okay, so why is it that parents think it’s okay to just drop their little kids off at the skatepark with their new scooters and rip sticks and leave them there, where they don’t take turns, they cut people off, and make it a mess for scooter-ers and skaters who actually wanna ride and know what they’re doing. It drives me nuts. And when they do get in the way and cause a collision, and the parent is there, the parent does nothing. Like…literally nothing. So we had to deal with it. Which meant doing nothing, because when you try to tell 9-year-olds that they should take turns so they don’t get hurt, they look at you like you’re a complete idiot. So Luke kept getting SUPER frustrated and Jamie kept pretending to throw up (it’s a tactic he’s been using to get us to leave somewhere in a hurry…he wasn’t actually throwing up, more like very dramatically coughing and spitting) and Franci wouldn’t quit screaming (she was coloring in the car, literally feet from the park with all doors open, we could hear her and talk to her, but she wasn’t happy with it) so we bagged it and headed home for some quiet time and a bike ride.

I’m beyond tired and I don’t think I’m ready for the work week. But it’s weird how it comes whether you are ready or not, huh?

Happy Easter!

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Christmas Cookies: a lesson in patience

I am not patient. I am a great teacher’s helper because I can cut things out like a mofo and I’m so good at making copies. I can even sit with kids for 10 minutes at a time and I’m pretty good. But put me in charge of teaching young children to do something or facilitating arts and crafts for a mess of them and I turn into a nightmare.

“Uhhhh, just let me do that.”

“Don’t touch that. Why’d you do that?! That’s not how you’re supposed to do that. Are trees really purple? Uhhh….why don’t you go wash your hands. Also…you have snot coming out of your nose.”

So making Christmas cookies with my children was a lesson in patience and I think I’d give myself a C.

I let them decorate four cookies each and they were the burned ones.

Man, theirs were just messes.

But let’s talk about mine because mine were freaking incredible.

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Yep, I did it. I spelled out JOY. That did not define the experience of decorating Christmas cookies with my children, but Joy to the World, man.

Okay, I’m just kidding. I’m 90% kidding. Okay, I’m 60% kidding.

Making cookies with the kids was not as awful as I thought it would be, even though I would still give myself a C grade because I have got to mellow out. Next time, I’ll earn a B. But I’m giving myself extra credit and raising my grade to a C+ because of this:

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Worth it.

Cannon Beach: Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we took a little time out. Dan and I have both been going and going and going. I’ve been out of town more often than I ever have been in the last few months and we have meetings or commitments almost every single night of the week, not exaggerating. We normally host Thanksgiving and I never mind it. I like being busy with something fun: getting a table decorated, planning food, arranging seats, that kind of thing.

Since starting work (I go in four days a week after I drop kids off until it’s time to pick them up again) and Green Apple Project as well as other little side things (Inland 360 which you should go check out because Charlotte is front and center, Lego League, Bunco, etc) I find myself not having a lot of downtime.

Before you think I’m complaining, you should know something. When I have too much downtown, I start to worry. I obsess over things, I get extremely anxious, and it’s not healthy for me. I need to be busy in order to stay sane and I’m only 1/4 kidding.

Sometimes, though, a time out is necessary so this year we took our time out at the beach.

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It wasn’t beautiful like this every day. Actually, it poured buckets most of the time, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying every second of it. We took (wet) walks on the beach, gathered seashells, and cozied up in our hotel room.

The kids were so good. They watched DVDs in the car on the way over and got along while we were there. We really lucked out with them when it comes to traveling. I suppose they finally realized we like to always do adventures so there is no sense fighting it.

But they even let me take photos of them and cooperated beautifully.

My love for Hanna jams runs deep.

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My parents were there and so was Josh. Tracy and Nate and Abbey joined in, too, so it was basically the best time ever.

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I vote for ocean Thanksgiving every year.

 

Pumpkin Patch

Another October, another trip to the pumpkin patch. Thank GOD the kids get to go with their classes because taking six children to a muddy pumpkin patch and having to tell them a million times that one is too big or rotten isn’t fun. But being a chaperone with a teacher and her class is awesome.

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[I seem to have the ability to create bad weather for any event, so of course it was wet and muddy]

Charlotte is pleased as punch when any routine gets interrupted, so this was just a perfect day for her.

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One of the farmers, Joe, showed the kids around. And while Joe was very nice I think perhaps this should be his last time manning a group of 5 year olds around a site that has lots of hard rules to follow.

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It’s hard to listen when there are puddles to jump in and worms to wrangle.

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But finally the tours were over and it was pumpkin hunting time: the best time of all.

They tasted some farm-made cider, ate some apples and pears, and in 45 minutes the field trip was over. Perfect.

Before I left, I snuck into the store and got some apples and caramel – you can guess what I’m doing today.

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Halloween Training

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I’d like to preface this post by telling all of you that I had kind of forgotten about Halloween until my kids dragged the boxes (why do we have multiple boxes?!) of Halloween decorations up from the basement and begged me to let them decorate. There’s no forgetting Halloween now.

In previous years, I may have constructed clever family or sibling costumes, organized giant kid Halloween parties and maybe even snuck an adult party in there, too. This year, the kids are choosing their own costumes and I don’t even care. The annual Halloween party? I’m really just swapping out Lego League (ooooh, that’s a post on its own) for Halloween party and cutting our previous guest list by 2/3rds. Apparently I’m a giant party pooper.

But Jamie is prepping for Halloween. He isn’t a fan of dressing up for it which is odd because he’s been known to rock a king’s cape for hours and he’s sported a queen’s dress or two. But nope, he doesn’t like Halloween costumes which is why he’s chosen to be a paper boy this year because it just requires that he “finds a satchel to stuff newspapers in…comics.”

Jamie is most interested in the candy he’ll be raking in and has realized that his very lazy lifestyle means he won’t be on top of his game as far as the amount of ground he can cover. But he has a solution.

“Alright, so I just need to put some sneakers on and, starting this week, walk around the block a few times. As Halloween gets closer, I’ll walk longer and longer so that when it’s actually here, I’ll be able to walk a really long way without getting too tired and get so much candy.”

He may not be active, but he’s pretty smart.

The Snake

We are really lucky that we have a boat available to us in the summers. We live on a river, it gets hot as hell and sometimes you just wanna get out there! We’ve been really reluctant the last few years to take it out, having so many kids and all. But last night, as the temp reached over 100 degrees, we said, “To hell with it, we’re packing these monsters up and giving it a whirl.”

And we did.

 

When Danny got off work, we slipped out of our clothes and into swimsuits and grabbed some towels, some snacks, some lifejackets and went out on the Snake River.

The kids were SO GOOD. They sat, they listened, they were safe, and we didn’t have to worry once. We stopped a couple times to jump in and swim and then headed further upriver to a beach.

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The views in Hell’s Canyon are incredible.

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The sky was clear, it was hot, and everything was perfect for a trip to the beach.

Even mama took part in the fun. I mean, after posing for a ridiculous, cliche, ‘standing on a beach making my legs look as tan as possible’ photo. Duh.

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The kids ran wild and laughed and swam and had the best time ever.

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We left with a promise to come back soon — and we’re making good on our promise and are heading out again tomorrow.

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Happy Saturday!

DIY Fabric Banner

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You can all now call me Dr. Prasil.

Or Professor Prasil.

Or Professor.

Or just Ruthie, I don’t care, but I prefer Dr. Prasil.

What I’m saying is that I’m teaching a blogging class at our local college all about blogging and one thing we did was a DIY post. Enjoy!

 

Here’s what you need:

Photo Apr 14, 6 27 54 PM

 

Cut the fabric into 1″ strips.Photo Apr 14, 6 34 18 PM

 

Oh, hello, lovely class.Photo Apr 14, 6 34 54 PM

Fold the strips in half…like so.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 10 PM

 

At the end of the strip with the fold, fold it down again only about 1″ down.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 24 PM

 

Cut a slit about 1/2″ long on that fold (so that when you unfold it, it’s an inch long, Einstein)Photo Apr 14, 6 39 36 PM

There’s your slit.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 47 PMPhoto Apr 14, 6 39 59 PM

Lay it on top of the jute cord like this:Photo Apr 14, 6 46 26 PM

 

Pull the ‘free ends’ around the back side of the jute cord and through the slit.Photo Apr 14, 6 46 43 PM

 

Tighten that baby up.Photo Apr 14, 6 47 00 PM

 

Now, go create a petition and present it to your dean of nursing, proposing a change in carpet pattern.

 

You’re done!