Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Purple Belt / Black Tip

Two weeks ago Ivan participated in a grading at his dojo.
He's recently started training in the young adult class and it runs from approximately 7 - 8:30pm on Monday and Wednesday nights.
I don't stick around like I used to when he was in the younger classes, and as a result, I don't see him "doing karate" as much as I used to.
I was a pleasure to watch him grade and see how good he has become lately!
He did an excellent job on his kata and will now start working towards his brown/white belt.
We are very proud of him!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Week in Pictures: 15 March - 21 March

3/15 - Sunday Funday!

3/16 - My lunch!  Lots of salt and pepper and real butter!  No one else (even Donald) really wants to eat asparagus.  They have some at dinner if I make it, but its not by choice.  I don't know what's wrong with them...this stuff is amazing!  Spring is the season for asparagus and its grown all over our valley, so the freshest stuff is about to hit the market!

3/17 - The girls rooms aren't the only ones that get a bit shabby at times!

3/18 - I'm so in love with where we live!  I feel like the luckiest person sometimes!  Mt. Adams, when not covered up by clouds is spectacular!

3/19 - Ivan showing off his battle scars from karate and the punching bag!

3/20 - The newest addition to my KitchenAid products!  My old Sunbeam hand mixer, that we had since we were married 18 years ago, finally wore out!

3/21 - The neighborhood is changing.  This is our next door neighbor, whose son just started driving. His car is in the driveway and his three friends cars are parked in the road.  We'll be adding another vehicle to the street this summer when Hannah starts to drive.  Everyone is growing up!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Buds!

All of a sudden things are growing!
I messed around with my camera's manual focus to get some close up shots of new growth around our house.

This are blooms on a dogwood tree that I received for Mother's Day almost 3 years ago.  It had white blooms on it when we bought it, but then each year afterwards, it had no flowers.  I was beginning to give up hope...thinking that we had done something wrong when we planted it. But it looks like this year it will actually flower.

Miniature purple tulips in our front bed are starting to open!

The blueberry bushes (purchased the same Mother's Day as the dogwood) have proven themselves fruitful each year.  And each year they make more and more delicious blueberries!  No comparison to store bought fruit!

Oregano coming back after the winter.

And lavender!!!

Finally, the lilac trees!

We haven't had a winter to speak of and I had wondered if I would be as excited for spring as I usually am after cold, snow and gray for so long.
I am!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Week in Pictures: 8 March - 14 March

3/8 - A picture of myself that I like!  A rare find!  (except for the Angelina Jolie vein smack in the middle of my forehead - growing old so gracefully!)  Jenelle took it while we were out hiking on Sunday.  

3/9 - Jenelle agrees to make brownies after school.  During the preparation she sees that we only have one egg and we need two.  So, she goes to two different neighbors and we are still unsuccessful in getting that second egg.  So, I give her $2.60 and she walks to Walgreens to buy a carton of eggs.  She comes back empty handed and says that they cost $3.99.  What??!!  We decide to try making them with only one egg...how bad could it be.  As she cracks the egg, she mistakenly dumps it into the composite container instead of the bowl!  Oh no!  So we grab some more money and head down to Walgreens together and they ring up only $2.49!  Quite the adventure for a pan of brownies that didn't make it through two days!!

3/10 - After dropping my box of coupons on two different occasions outside of Fred Meyer recently, it finally broke apart and I had to get a new one.  I can't tell you how ridiculous it feels to be a grown up...down on the ground picking up tiny pieces of paper worth approximately $.25 each from all over the place.  I'm going to have to be more careful!

3/11 - I've been dealing with a hamstring issue/injury for quite some time and finally felt that I was ready to start Body Pump again!  These weights are so small compared to where I used to be, but believe me...they did the job as I was barely able to move for three days afterward!

3/12 - Coffee with my friend Kirsten outside of Northtown Coffee.  Gorgeous day with blue skies, budding trees, a red robin...and the county jail house in the background!

3/13 - The best way to start a Friday the 13th!

3/14/15 9:26:53 - Pi Day!!  Donald started way before 9:26 in the morning!  Apple crumb, lemon meringue and chocolate!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wild Horse Monument and Ancient Lakes

A gorgeous weekend needed a hike!
Last Sunday, Hannah and a couple of her friends, Jenelle and I took off for a day of hiking around.
We stopped the Wild Horse Monument just outside of Vantage.
A steep hike up (that felt even steeper going down) gave us beautiful panoramic views of the Columbia River.
photo by Hannah

Next we drove to a place called Ancient Lakes.
It's an amazing place that was created during cataclysmic floods after the ice age.
The massive basalt columns were once solid lava flows called a coulee.
The current landscape is a result of those flows being eroded by the ancient glacial floods.
After walking a long way across dry ancient lake beds, we came to the area where there are still lakes being fed by a waterfall.
It was such a contrast.
Dry desert landscape with a waterfall right in the middle.

The girls wanted to hike closer to the waterfall.
So I took their gear and walked around the other side so that I could watch as they explored.
It's very hard to give perspective with a camera to how large this area is.
This picture is a zoom of them while they traversed the rocks toward the base of the waterfall.
And this picture is what I saw with my eyes.
If you look dead center...right above the grasses around the lake, you can see four tiny people.
And they made it!!
(See Jenelle in the pink shirt to the right of the waterfall?)

After this picture, Hannah and her friends stayed here and ate their lunch
Jenelle and I walked further and hung out for a while.
We had all pretty much run out of water (should have brought a couple of bottles each!) and Jenelle was dead on a rock...
 ...or was she???

I took a few more pictures of the beautiful scenery...
 (It's actually a triple waterfall!)
...and when the girls caught up with us, we were all ready to go!
We had a long walk ahead!
Once we made it around this last column, we knew the parking lot was close.
It was a long day and a much longer walk than we expected, but once everyone was replenished with water, everyone agreed it was fun!

At the same time we were out, Ivan and Donald were having their own adventure!
They hiked an area off the Yakima River called Umtanum Creek Canyon.
Donald took this awesome picture of Ivan pointing at a cairn (man made stack of rocks) they made on top of a hill.
I've enlarged these pictures, but you still have to look very closely to see the rocks.  The cairn is at the very top of the hill and Ivan is near the bottom for the picture.

My goal this summer is to take advantage of this amazing place we live and get outside as much as possible!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Week in Pictures: 1 March - 7 March

3/1 - What?!  March already?  A warm winter has brought us an early spring.  Ivan's first mow of the season.  The last couple of years Donald or I would mow the edges of the lawn for him, but this year he can handle the whole thing on his own!

3/2 - I've been trying to add a few things to our walls lately.  I found this mirror at Hobby Lobby (thanks Mom!) and a place where it fits perfectly!

3/3 - Tuesday morning with Ivan:  Me: "Have a good day!"  Ivan:  "YOU have a good day Mom...you matter too!"

3/4 - Working on a custom drawer liner order for a woman in London!

3/5 - Hannah leaving tennis practice and laughing at my ridiculous attempt to slyly take her picture.

3/6 - Jenelle and her friend Margaret at the St. Joe's Fish Fryday!  They are excellent helpers!
(photo courtesy of a fellow St. Joe's parent)

3/7 - Saturday morning breakfast for the man (and me!)