Saturday, June 30, 2007

"Craft Night"

We had "craft night" Saturday night at church. This is one of the ministries I am involved in. I love to organize this fun night for the ladies. We call it "craft night," but here's what I did.

I set up the tables and chairs in the "bus barn" where the event was to be held.

I copied "Grace Notes" (the newsletter I do for church) and stuffed it in the mailboxes.

I went to Costco with Kathy for her latte freeze and my berry smoothie.

Then we went to Safeway for Chinese food.

We went back to the church building to find no one was there even though "craft night" officially started 42 minutes earlier.

We ate our chinese food and talked.

We considered taking off for a movie.

We finally broke out the actual craft stuff.

I worked on my scrapbook of pictures and journaling from our spring break trip to Seattle.

Kathy and I went in to the church building to prepare the communion trays for Sunday.

I went back to working on the scrapbook and visited with a few others who came in a little late.

We all considered going to the movies, but decided that the movies we wanted to see should be seen with our husbands and/or children.

I tried to help Kathy reply to a text message. (We didn't figure it out.)

I finished my beautiful scrapbook! Yeah!!

I finished my chinese food.

I cleaned up.

I made 3 cards.

I loaded my stuff in the car and helped Kathy do the same.

Now you know why I always put quotation marks around "craft night." Only about 20% of what happens actually includes crafts. :)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Who? Meme?

I am excited to announce my very first meme tagging. Thanks Katrina! And what could be better to talk about than eating out at my favorite restaurants? That's on my top 10 list of favorite things to do. Maybe top 5. (Mostly because there are no dishes to do afterwards!) :) Since I live kind of out in the boonies, we tend to have a little larger range so my restaurants are all over North Idaho, USA. Some are favorites because of the food. Some because of the atmosphere. And some because of the memories they hold. So here goes.

1. Toro Viejo. Toro serves my favorite Mexican food in town. And I've tried a lot! They have the best chips and salsa, the best lunch specials, and the best appetizer platter. I've gone there with my family, my extended family, my friends, and by myself. And it never fails to please.

2. The Rib Ranch. The Rib Ranch has good...wait for it...ribs! I love the small family atmosphere and the way it feels like a good country restaurant. We took Josh there for his first birthday. He had grilled cheese and vegetable soup. The receipt is in the scrapbook and the memory in my heart.

3. Wolf Lodge Steak House. I have been to Wolf Lodge only a handful of times in my 27 years as an Idaho resident, but I've loved every time. I love steak. What can I say? And at Wolf Lodge, that's truly their specialty. Our 15th anniversary is coming up in a few weeks. That sounds like a Wolf Lodge worthy event!

4. Canton. The Canton, in downtown Coeur d' Alene, has the best egg flower soup in town. Not to mention yummy lemon chicken, egg rolls, and special chow mein. That's where Arrty and I went before my senior prom in 1990. And I can't count how many other times we have enjoyed great Chinese food at Canton. We recently took the boys there for the first time and they loved it. Especially the cool soup spoons! :)

5. Ground Round...I mean Nosworthy's Hall of Fame. I haven't had a Hudson's burger in well over 20 years, so I can't really compare the two, but come on. What's a burger without all the stuff on top including bacon and ham and pretty much whatever else you want? And they have fries. Lots and lots of fries to go along with a huge and delicious burger.

Honorable Mention: Mr. Steak. I can't list my favorite local restaurants without mentioning Mr. Steak. From the time I was 16, I went to Mr. Steak for my birthday for the free meal. But even when it wasn't free, I loved it. Arrty and I especially have good memories from our dating days to the night after we got married and beyond. We were so sad to see it go and still, when he asks me where I want to go for dinner, I occasionally say, "Mr. Steak." To which he responds, "Mmmm, Mr. Steak." Then we go to Outback.

So there it is. My favorite local restaurants. Now I'm hungry and have to go get breakfast that will unfortunately not include nachos or ribs or steak or lemon chicken or fries. Oh, well. There's always lunch.

(I'm tagging non-bloggers Kathy, Ada, and Marci to tell us their favorite local restaurants. Use my comment section.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Flying Solo

10 Reasons Why It's Good To Go To The Movies By Myself
(This list should take nothing away from how much I love to go to the movies with my family or friends. It's just good to go alone sometimes.)

1. I get there on time and don't have to wait for anybody in the lobby.
2. I get to choose the movie.
3. I get to choose whatever snack I want (usually Raisinets and Diet Coke).
4. I don't have to share said snack.
5. I can sit wherever I want.
6. I can laugh out loud and not worry about what anyone else thinks.
7. I can cry and not have to pretend that I'm not.
8. I don't have to explain anything about the plot to anyone.
9. I don't have to clean up any spilled snacks.
10. I get to soak it all in--the movie, the emotions, the solitude--without distraction.

10 Reasons Why It's Good To Go To The Movies With Kathy

1. We usually get there on time and since we ride together, I don't have to wait in the lobby.
2. She and I like the same movies.
3. We can go in together on a snack combo and save a little money.
4. She will share her Junior Mints if I ask.
5. We agree that anywhere but the far right side of the front row is an okay place to sit.
6. She doesn't mind when I laugh out loud.
7. She pretends not to notice when I cry.
8. Not only does she understand the plot, but makes witty comments about it.
9. I usually don't have to clean up any spilled snacks because she catches the spill in her purse. :)
10. I get to soak it all in with someone who is my favorite distraction.

Monday, June 25, 2007

So Many Posts, So Little Time

All weekend I have had posts formulating in my head. Everything I did seemed to have blog written all over it. Here are some of the things I have considered writing about. (Some of them may appear later this week as their own post.)

*My wonderful husband, who seeing the beginning of a mommy melt down, took the kids home from town so that I could go to the movies by myself. (This after his 50 hour work week, mind you. He's my hero.)

*Ocean's 13--the movie I watched by myself on Friday.

*The benefits of going to the movies by myself.

*Our family day Saturday driving around Beauty Bay looking for morel mushrooms and how much fun the boys had.

*How blessed we are to get to live in this beautiful place and the rich and famous only get to visit. (Unless, of course, they choose to live here.)

*The Ironman and how inspired I am by the athletes and the community that supports them.

*The fact that my youngest son now rides a two-wheeler without training wheels.

*How hard it is to consider selling our house when it's so perfect this time of year.

*How much I loved the movie "Bridge to Terabithia."

*My sister's wedding plans and how happy I am that she's happy.

*Adam saying, "It was so funny, I forgot to laugh about it!"

*That I now officially hold the record for saying, "Keep your hands to yourself," the most times in 10 minutes.

Let me know if anything sounds interesting. All these blogs and so many more are in my head just waiting to be shared. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Me and My Shadow

Yesterday was one of those days. One of those days when I was very much looking forward to a few minutes of peace wherever I could get it. So when my husband got home from work and told me that he was not going to Bible class (he's been working overtime and the long days keep him from doing much after work), I thought I might just get those few minutes. So I fed my family and got myself ready to go. I was just getting ready to walk out the door when Adam decided that he wanted to go with me. What am I going to say? No, you can't go to Bible class. I don't think so. So Adam, aka "My Shadow," quickly got ready to go with me. I knew that my plan had been changed. And I was right. He talked all...the church. He asked questions that I knew he knew the answers to. He talked about what had happened that day. He talked about the things we passed on the way. He just talked. So much for peace. At church he went to his class and I went to mine. Ahh, 60 minutes of relative peace. I didn't have to get anybody milk. I didn't have to answer any silly questions. I didn't have to break up any fights. I enjoyed every second of it.

I had also planned to go to Home Depot to buy plants after class. So with Adam in tow, I went. He is very much interested in anything scientific and so was very excited to look at all the flowers and plants with me. The fact that I let him choose some to plant absolutely made his day. I asked his opinion and we discussed which would look good together. He was interested in everything and didn't get at all bored even though we were there for almost an hour. So this trip that I had intended to make solo turned into a very nice duet. I truly enjoyed shopping for plants with my youngest son.

On the way home, we talked about our trip to the store and he asked me why there were so many kinds of flowers. The teacher in me said, "Why do you think there are?" He said, "So that we have lots of pretty things to look at." Good answer. Then I told him that I thought God had a very good imagination to think up so many wonderful plants. "Yeah," he said, "He's a cool God." Yes he is. And not only because of the plants, but even more because of the people he gives us to share their beauty with. And the times that he helps us realize that moments of peace aren't always found alone.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thought of the Day

The days are long...but the years are short.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Saturday was girl's night out. For a few years now, a bunch of us have bought summer theater tickets and Saturday was our first show. We all met at Applebee's for dinner. (I had garlic and asiago chicken. It was yummy. I wish I had some right now!) During dinner we passed around prom pictures and told stories. It was so much fun and a great way to learn something new about each other. After dinner we rushed to the theater. We were a little late, so by the time I dropped everyone at the door and parked, I barely made it before curtain. (Thanks, Kathy, for waiting for me!) The show was "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and it was great. It was well acted and funny and so entertaining. I love the story about how Millie wants to be "a modern" but finds out that deep down she's not so modern after all. Maybe I've seen too many plays, but I knew from the time she tripped Jimmy that they would fall in love. But it was fun to watch how the relationship progressed. They both fought it. He didn't want to be tied down. She didn't want to be poor. But fight as they may, love overcame--as it usually does. And then, guess what?! He was rich! (I knew that, too, about halfway through the play.) It was so much fun, as always. The company was the best. The show was great. The conversation was...well... interesting. (What happens at Applebee's...) Only a few weeks until the next show. I can hardly wait!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Who Needs the Maytag Man?

My refrigerator quit working. I noticed it about a week ago when the milk wasn't as cold as it should have been. We have a friend who is a refrigerator guy, so we called him. He told us to take everything out and leave the doors open to let it defrost, then see if it would work. And it did. For about 2 days. Then it happened again. So I called him back this morning and he said we needed to replace the defrost timer. Arrty is at work, so I began my search for the defective part. It is not shown in any of the paperwork that came with the fridge. So I went to the Frigidaire website. I found a picture of what the defrost timer looks like, but still no help on where to find it. Back and forth to the kitchen pulling off panels and searching. Then finally I went to "Where is the defrost timer on a refrigerator?" It took me to a page about do-it-yourself repairs and there it was. Not only did it tell me exactly where to find it, but how to take it off and replace it. In case you ever need to know, the defrost timer on a refrigerator is underneath the fridge on the left hand side. I removed it and am shortly on my way to get a replacement. I love it when I am able to do handy things like that. (But glad that I have a husband who usually does those things so that I don't have to.)

Saturday, June 16, 2007


When walking by the "pink" toy aisle yesterday at Fred Meyer...

Josh: "Shield my eyes! Shield my eyes!"

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Last night I went to the basement in search of my prom pictures to take to girl's night out on Saturday. I knew about where they were. The first place I looked was with my Coeur d' Alene High School yearbooks (1987-1990). The pictures weren't there, but whenever I touch my yearbooks at least an hour of looking at pictures, reading notes, and reminiscing occurs. I was flipping through, smiling at the big hair of the 80's when I came across some newspaper clippings. They were from the CDA Press dated January 26, 2002. It was the story of Tory Kelsey. He was killed in a gun accident in California while serving in the Marines. I knew Tory. I was in choir with him and picked him up every morning at 6:45 to drive him to jazz choir class. Some mornings he was fully dressed, but most of the time he came out carrying shoes or a shirt or some other article of clothing. Tory was one of those kids who fit in with every group. Everyone loved him and his smile could light up a room. And he was cute. He came to CHS in our junior year and the first day he walked into choir class all the girls froze. We were used to choir geeks (no offense, I was one, too), so this boy who was absolutely cool and gorgeous was a breath of fresh air. And he could sing. Our choir concert audiences grew that year simply because there were so many more 16 year old girls coming just to see Tory. He was fun and funny and sweet and smart.

It's hard when you're 19 and someone your age dies. It is especially hard when that death was absolutely preventable. And it's even harder when the person who died could have changed the world. Our choir teacher called a bunch of us to sing at Tory's funeral. We gathered in our choir room at CHS for practice. I guess when you enter the military you kind of plan your funeral. Tory had chosen "Nights in White Satin" and "Old Irish Blessing" as the songs he wanted sung. So that's what we did. Through tears and shared memories we learned the songs. And later that week, we sang them at his funeral. The night before the funeral, a friend and I went to the viewing at the funeral home. There he was, lying in a casket in his Marine uniform. I kept expecting him to sit up and smile. But he didn't. I realized then that he was really gone. The funeral was hard. It always is I guess. But he was 19. He hadn't really lived. He never got married or had children or did all the things that I know he would have wanted to do. Tory is 19 forever.

Also with the newspaper clippings, I found a copy of a letter he had written to our choir teacher. Here is what he wrote in closing his letter to her.

But one last thing I've learned. Music is the last form of magic man has to himself. Think about it. Nature makes music: birds, insects, animals, waterfalls, rain, thunder, whales, and just life in general. Music holds the key to peace, especially in one's own soul. You, ma'am, are a magician and teacher of magic. You teach the children and they learn the beauty. Music can make us happy, sad, strong and invincible or cowardly, depending on how it is played. That is powerful magic. Teach on and change the world.

Irish Blessing and Love,
Tory L. Kelsey

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. The sun shine warm upon your face. The rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Trading Places

Josh had a dentist appointment today. He was getting two sealants on his permanent molars. The dentist says he really needs to have his teeth sealed because they are "groovy." I love that my son has "groovy" teeth. :) But also, his left top front tooth, which had fallen out at least six weeks ago, hadn't come through yet so the dentist wanted to make an incision so that it could catch up with the other front tooth. When we found this out a few weeks ago at his check up, I was a little nervous at the prospect of the incision and always said "incision" instead of "cut" to keep Josh calm about it. But of course after a few days, he asked me what exactly they were going to do to him. I told him that they were going to cut his gum so that the tooth could come through and he was a little nervous, but didn't make a big deal about it.

Today he was such a trooper and didn't make a fuss at all during the sealants, the numbing, or the incision. The only way I knew that he was at all concerned was that he asked me to stay in the room with him. Usually he is good staying by himself. But all I could think of as my baby sat there with the dentist cutting his gum, was that if I could take his place, I would. He felt no pain. He wasn't even all that scared. But the mommy in me wanted to protect him from even the least bit of discomfort. Even if that meant that I had to go through it. I honestly think that it was harder for me than for him. When he was finished, all he wanted to know was when the numbness would go away so he could eat lunch. And he even said thank you to the dentist as we left. What a kid.

(He is fine, had raviolis for lunch, and hasn't said a word about his tooth.)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Grease Is The Word

I was flipping channels this weekend when I saw that "Grease" was showing on VH1. Whenever I see it on tv, I have to watch it (even though it sits on the shelf as part of my video collection). The scene I happened upon was the dance at Rydell High that is being broadcast on television. There is a part where the kids are doing a dance that has the boys in one line and the girls in one line and the couples, one at a time, dance between them before taking their places back at the end of the line. All of a sudden, watching this scene, made me remember a dance that I had been a part of in high school. The only school dance I went to was my senior prom. But as a member of jazz choir, I once performed at a benefit dance and after the performance we stayed and danced. I don't even remember where it was or what it was for, but I remember dancing down the line just as the Rydell students were doing. I remember who I danced with and can see it in my head like it was yesterday. I remember having such a good time and being happy and laughing with my friends. Isn't it funny how the brain works? I hadn't thought about that night in such a long time. But I'm so glad that the memory was triggered by Danny and Sandy.

Jazz choir was one of my favorite high school experiences. I loved my teacher and still count her as a great blessing in my life. I loved the music. It was always so much fun to sing those great jazzy tunes. I loved my choir mates. Being such a small group, we got to know each other and were friends in and out of class. I loved being part of the select group of students. We had to audition and being chosen my junior year was quite a boost for my self esteem. And I love the memories of traveling to performances and competitions. Especially the memory of singing for our supper at Pizza Hut on one such trip. I don't think I would want to be in high school again, but if I could just go to choir class and skip p.e. and geometry, I would at least consider it. :)

Friday, June 08, 2007


My children are stallers. They are experts at avoiding actually falling asleep at bedtime. Trips to the bathroom, drinks, forgotten stuffed animals in the living room, funny stories they forgot to tell me, being too warm, being too cool, messed up blankets, toenails that need to be cut, backs that need to be scratched, questions that can't wait until morning. All these and more come up each night to postpone falling asleep. And sitting here, I just realized where they get it. From me! I should be doing one of at least 100 things on my to do list, yet here I sit telling you all the things that I should be doing instead of actually doing any of them. Today's priorities are cleaning the house, doing laundry, typing Grace Notes, and making a grocery list. So, instead of going into great detail about the most effective way to disinfect a bathroom used by two little boys, I will go now and get my gas mask and rubber gloves and dive right in. (Figuratively speaking, of course.) Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Okay, I'm back. Since my last post I have finished the school year. The last few days are very busy which is why I haven't posted for the last week. Monday was kindergarten graduation rehearsal, graduation preparations, our school's night at Triple Play, and swim lessons for the boys. Tuesday was more graduation practice, decorating for the reception, picking up the cakes, the graduation ceremony, the reception, and finishing report cards, awards, and thank you cards. Wednesday was our last day with awards presentations and lunch with the staff. Today, I went to school and cleaned my room, did book inventory, and completed my students files. So now, here I sit officially finished with the 2006-2007 school year. It went by so fast. Amazingly fast. Graduation went well, and although I did have to pause for a moment to compose myself, I didn't cry. I graduated my little class of 5 and 6 year olds each of whom now has his or her own little spot in my heart. One of my students is especially special and made it difficult to hold in the tears on Tuesday night. My own baby, Adam, graduated. He is officially a first grader. He'll go to school all day. He'll have spelling tests and homework and real grades. And I will have no one to spend my afternoons with. (I actually volunteered to teach 7th and 8th grade math and science in the afternoons next year. That should make for some great blogging!)

But even though I will miss my kids, I am so looking forward to summer. Last summer was spent in pain and physical therapy so I feel like I missed my absolute favorite time of year. But this summer will be different. Days at the beach. Mornings sitting on the porch reading good books. Time playing with the boys. Hikes with my family. Time to organize my house. Free movies at Riverstone. Afternoons in the park. Walks in the cool of the evenings. Hours of scrapbooking bliss. Ahh. I can't help but smile just thinking about it. And I can't wait to get started. Now I just have to decide which to do first!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Show and Tell--June 1st

Our last kindergarten show and tell:

1. Dora purse with coloring book and crayons

2. Adam's Stick from the Stickman

3. talking Woody Doll from Toy Story (He says, "There's a snake in my boot!" among other things.)

4. Batmofield (aka Batmobile) complete with Batman action figure

5. toy horse drawn carriage pulled by a horse named Ruby

6. a stuffed horse named Penny with dyed brown fun who spends her days chasing butterflies and her nights beating up her big sister

7. a box full of stuffed animals including an ice skating orange dog, Flower Polka Dot Bow the yellow duckling who wears a polka dot bow and holds a flower (hence the name, I suppose), and a purple frog with green feet named Froggy

8. a bouncy ball that is "crazy and obnoxious"

9. a Barbie (Did you know that they have painted on underwear now?)