Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanksgiving, Christmas, & More

I have not posted to this blog for a while, mostly because when I started the draft for my last post shortly after Thanksgiving I tried to add a very optimistic (unrealistic??) number of photos. For some reason I really struggle posting photos on this site. If there are any readers who use blog spot that have perfected an easy way to post photos PLEASE leave your comments (it doesn't matter where I place my cursor when I upload my photo it lands at the top of the blog...I find it hard to move with a traditional mouse, which is what I have at is easier on my lap tap at home).

I got frustrated & the perfectionist in me couldn't bear to go back & try to fix I am now attempting.

Our family had a good holiday season, which seemed less hectic than complaints!

Thanksgiving was spent at my parents house with them, us, and my grandma. It was a good day, with good food & very relaxing. The photos interspersed in this post are from that day.

It was discovered by a quick glance of the calendar that the lateness of Thanksgiving this year left us with one less weekend before Christmas, so we decided to get our Christmas tree over that weekend rather than wait. We made our annual trip to the local tree farm. Rather than the usual snow we were met with rain & mud, but a lovely tree we got! (It DID take a week to get it decorated, but we got it done).

We finished up club wrestling the first week of December with the state tournament in Post Falls on my birthday (I can't remember a birthday in recent history that we did not wrestle on). Ike made the decision to wrestle one weight class up from where he had wrestled all year for the state tournament...this was a risky decision, but he knew the risks. He ended up taking 2nd place which was a particular good placing for that decision. He wrestled well & was very proud of himself. Afterwards we all went to dinner with the head coach & his wife, so that was fun.

The next weekend was VERY busy. It was the St. Maries High School Wrestling Invitational tournament (Friday & Saturday). We host 20 teams for the 2 day tournament & it takes great effort to put it together. We worked hard all week helping & late into the night on Friday. On Saturday we did not plan on attending as it was Ike's Middle School wrestling district tournament. We left quite early, following the bus. We had received a bit of snow over night & it was freezing rain when we left. By the time we reached Coeur d'Alene the roads were a sheet of ice, the rain was freezing to the windshields, & the wind was blowing very hard. We trudged on for a while longer, but then between Mike, the bus driving, & the coach the decision was made to turn around & go home. The kids were very disappointed, but all of the parents were quite glad we did not try to complete the trip, then come home in the weather & the dark. So, we got back about 10:30 am & worked all day at the high school all worked out.

Kaittlin's drama club performed the play they had been working on three times in the month of December, it was quite funny. Cassidy had quite a few deadlines for the yearbook, and Ike had his band concert. The last two days of school before the Christmas break were cancelled due to the first real snow of the season...and SNOW it did.
Between December 17 and December 31 we received just over 5 feet of snow at our house. We got a lot of snow last year during the month of January, but it was over a longer period of time...this came fast & hard. We have already shoveled our roof this year!

It was Cassidy's birthday on Christmas Eve...she is 14! Can you believe it??? She requested homemade clam chowder for her birthday dinner & Grandma & Grandpa came & enjoyed it with us. Afterwards we went to our church for the candlelight Christmas Eve service...she is only one who gets a candlelight church service for her birthday every year! hahahaha!
Christmas was a good time for us as well. The kids had already had nearly a week of snowboarding, sledding, & movies due to the extra days off of school. We never spend an exorbitant amount of money on Christmas & this year seemed extra tight, we were in the middle of remodel work on the house when the gas prices went haywire & just the general upswing in all prices affected us, as it did everyone. We are fortunate that our kids are not spoiled (I think sometimes they would like to be), but really they ask for very little...Kaittlin asked for a purse this Christmas was a little leaner than usual. But it was just as fun. Kaittlin received her purse & was thrilled. My mom & dad got snowed in for their final shopping trip of the season so gifted some cash, the kids actually were happy with that as they are all saving for some things. Kaittlin is looking forward to Junior Miss this year & memorable moments of her senior year & would greatly like a digital camera. She saved up some gift cards from her birthday & Christmas. I believe those, along with the newly acquired cash will now buy one. Cassidy wants her hair & nails done (she's SUCH a girl!) and Ike wants to purchase new wrestling headgear, so all were happy.

We were all ready for school to start up again when the new year started, but it was short lived. Monday was business as usual, but the snow started in the afternoon. All after school activities were cancelled, as was the very first Junior Miss practice. Monday night there was a huge snowstorm, but St. Maries had school on Tuesday....I think we were the only ones who had their defense the roads were pretty good in the morning, as they had plowed all night, but everything degraded pretty quickly throughout the day. Our high wrestling team was supposed to go to Timberlake on Tuesday night, but that was cancelled because Timberlake did not have school. By Tuesday night it was 40 degrees & raining like it was April. Wednesday school was cancelled because of severe ice on the outlying roads (roads in town were slushy, but not too bad). Thursday school was cancelled because of water over the outlying roads (by this time roads in town were great). Home wrestling match was cancelled. On Thursday they evacuated Calder because of the river flooding & an ice jam.

On Thursday afternoon Mike called me & told me that one of his bus drivers had been given four tickets to the Washington State Cougars basketball game in Pullman for that evening & wanted to know if we wanted to go...YES! How exciting! So we went with Jim & Linda to Pullman, had dinner, & went to the game. They lost by 7 points, but it was so much fun. I am not a HUGE basketball fan UNTIL you get to the college level, then I love it. That was the highlight of my week! :)
There WAS school today...the kids were all very happy. Ike & Cassidy went to a middle school dance tonight put on by the Humane Society. Cassidy is going to spend the night with a friend & Ike is going to an overnight birthday party. Kaittlin left with the wrestling team for a 2 day tournament in Kamiah this morning, they should be home tomorrow evening late. Mike is out at a friend's shop working on his pickup, which is why I had time tonight to try & fix this post! :) Mike's sister will be in Plummer tomorrow & we will go there & spend the day with her & her husband.
In other miscellaneous news I & all three of the kids have recently gotten FaceBook pages & started communicating with friends that way, Ike is thinking about wrestling the Washington wrestling season, we have found THE Junior Miss dress & will be ordering it very soon, Cassidy is going to cut her hair.
That's it for now...I apologize for not posting for awhile...I will try to do better! :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Picture Post

As promised, here it is. I brought my camera to work today & loaded all of my pictures onto my computer. Then I took it downstairs to our photo machine, made a CD of all the photos & printed some I needed. I am charging the battery as we speak & when I put it back in I will be able to delete all the photos from the card & start over this afternoon at Ike's last home middle school wrestling match.

Here is a sampling of some of the pictures on the card:

This was Cassidy getting ready for a dance where they had to dress "cowboy".

The next several pictures are from Kaittlin's track season. She throws the shot put & the discus. She pulled a pec muscle early in the season while lifting weights & missed much of the season, although was able to come back right before districts. Although she didn't place at districts she came really close. She attended a very prestigious camp this summer to work on her throwing & is really looking forward to track this coming spring. She also purchased

her own discus & shot put designed for her height. I think that will help her throwing.

Regular season baseball...followed by all star baseball (picture was at his birthday bbq following the game)...followed by football.


I think that gets you all caught up on pictures. I will post wrestling photos closer to the end of the season.

One last most of you know, quite a few years ago some dear friends of ours, Ted & Becky Schulz, asked us to allow their daughter to live with us during the week so that she could attend school here in St. Maries (they lived in Plummer). As a favor to them we agreed, and for two years Sonny attended school in St. Maries and stayed with us during the week...going home to Plummer on the weekends. She shared a room with Ike & quickly became a member of the family.

When Ted got a job in North Dakota & the entire family moved there the summer between Sonny's freshman and sophomore year we were thrilled for them that they were able to all be back together in one home again, but the void that was left in our house was see Sonny had become a sister & daughter.

We have continued to count her as a huge part of our family, enjoying her INFREQUENT (maybe she's reading this) visits to Idaho, traveling to ND for her graduation, & following her success in college both in the classroom & on the basketball court. (We even have a clock on the wall in the living room set to ND time!) We have traveled to Montana a couple times to watch her play over the years & Shawn was able to fly to Bismarck a couple years ago to spend a long weekend with her. This past week Sonny received a very exciting basketball honor & we are so proud of her. Follow the link below to read all about it:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two More Wrestling Opportunities & a Smelly House

Last Saturday we headed to Potlatch for a club wrestling tournament. This was a new experience for us. St. Maries is part of the North Idaho wrestling league. Our scheduled tournament for that weekend was in Sandpoint. As it turns out this year we have several tournaments quite a ways away (Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, Priest River). Our head coach thought it might be fun to try a Central Idaho league tournament. We have a pretty small team this year, with quite a few young wrestlers. He thought it would be easier on the parents to have a shorter drive & good for the kids to have different kids to wrestle. After getting permission from leagues to switch for this weekend the decision was made to go to Potlatch.

The Central league does things a little differently. They wrestle round robin, which means that every wrestler gets to wrestle every kid in their bracket. This is good because it means more wrestling, more opportunity. There were only 4 kids in Ike's bracket so he got to wrestle 3 times. He was the lightest wrestler in the bracket weighing in at 98.4 pounds...he wrestled in the 113.2 pound bracket (they name the bracket after the heaviest wrestler in the bracket). He had three good matches & a very good day...he pinned all three of his opponents & secured a first place medal.

On Monday I had big plans of cooking a turkey for dinner & then having turkey leftovers all week. I put my turkey in the electric turkey roaster before I went to work, turned it onto 275 degrees & off I went. At about 3:00 that afternoon Kaittlin called me after arriving home from school to a house FULL OF SMOKE. Evidently the thermostat went out on the turkey roaster & instead of cooking at 275 degrees all day it cooked at 2000 degrees all day. The turkey & the roaster were crispy critters & the entire house was full of smoke. Thank God nothing caught on fire! However my house still smells sooooo bad....kind of smells like we burned the turkey with the feathers on!!! :( I have left the doors & windows open, run fans, sprayed Febreeze, burned candles....I think it's a little better, but, STINKS!!!!

Ike had his first home middle school wrestling dual last night. They dualed Canfield Middle School (Coeur d'Alene) and Kellogg. Canfield has a HUGE team...I heard they have about 75 wrestlers, although they only brought about 50. This gave our wrestlers a lot of matches. Ike had 3 matches. He won all three, two by pins & one by points in the very last seconds of the match...almost gave me a heart attack!!!

We head to Lakeland this Saturday for a club tournament and have another middle school dual at home next week.

Working on getting pictures off my camera for a "picture post" within in the week...stay tuned! :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Golden Pin

A couple years ago Mike & I heard about a little incentive that one of the wrestling clubs did for fun. Every time one of the wrestlers won a match by a pin they would go to the lady who started this (one of the moms) and she would give them a "golden pin". It was a gold safety pin. The kids loved it & I thought it was just the best idea.

I have kept this idea in the back of my head for a couple years & this year I decided that I would give it a try. I found gold safety pins online for way less money than I expected. I ordered 3 inch ones for the wrestlers' first pin & 1 1/16" ones for each subsequent pin that they can hang off the big pin. My thinking was that each year I will start off with a big pin for their first pin of the season & small pins for the other pins...they can wear them on their sweatshirts or caps & it would be a fun way for them to advertise their success on the mat.

I asked Mike to contact the woman whose idea I was stealing & ask permission before I did it. He saw her at a meeting about a month ago & she told him to absolutely steal her idea, however, she offered him a warning...this will take on a life of it's own. She said that she started out her incentive in club wrestling, but it quickly spread to middle school wrestling, & now she has high school wrestlers who come & find her after securing a pin because they want their golden pin for their Letterman's jacket.

We found out last night how true her words were. Last Saturday we had our first club wrestling tournament & told the boys about the golden pins. As I expected they were very excited & I was able to give out quite a few of the big pins & two of the little ones. One of the moms even said that the boys were so excited to get their safety pins that they were by-passing their parents' congratulations after leaving the mat to come find me to get their pin! :)

Last night we traveled to Kellogg to watch Ike in his first middle school match. We wrestled against Kellogg & Wallace & our team did very well. Only three of the middle school wrestlers also wrestle for the club team, but when I walked in they were quick to find me & verify that pins at these matches would count for "gold pins". When I told them they would & yes, I had brought them, the word spread & soon the whole team knew that if they won by a pin they too could have a pin on their sweatshirt. So, needless to say, several more pins were handed out.

It was fun to watch...even the boys who didn't get pins were so excited for the ones who did...they made sure they hurried over to the bleachers & got their prize. I think this will be a really fun thing to do.

Ike wrestled well again. He won his first match 6-2 and his second match by a pin (yes, this was his first pin of the year & he got his golden pin).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Silver Medal

Well, wrestling season has officially began!

I took the day off work on Friday (mostly because I just was not up to figuring out a Halloween costume to wear to work...I know, Iknow...). I spent the day cleaning house, cooking, & baking so that we would have food to pack & take with us to the Bonners Ferry wrestling tournament. This is the first club wrestling tournament of the year.

After the kids got home from school & Ike got done with middle school wrestling practice we packed up & headed out. Cassidy stayed behind, spending the night with a friend & joining us in Bonners Ferry on Saturday. We stopped in Plummer & picked up Al & off we went. When we drove through Worley we noticed that the town was completely dark, kind of weird for Halloween night. Evidently, the power was out all over the area (including St. Maries) for about an hour & a half that evening. We stopped in Coeur d'Alene & got a bite to eat then made our way north to Bonners Ferry.

We arrived at our motel at about 9:00 pm. Kaittlin's friend Alicia came & picked her up to spend the night at her house. Mike & I, Ike & Al got settled in for the night. We stayed at the Log Cabin Inn, which is just north of Bonners Ferry & is just the nicest motel, very clean & hospitable. We stay there every year that we go up for wrestling & highly recommend it to anyone staying in the area.

Mike & Ike were up early to go to the school for weigh ins. Ike was happy with his weight of just over 98 pounds, which put him in the 100 pound weight class. They came back to the motel for sausage/egg/cheese biscuits, juice, pumpkin muffins that I had made the night before. Then we packed up & headed to the school for the long day of wrestling.

The tournament actually went quite smoothly. Kaittlin worked all day at the table. Each club is required to provide table help. Kaittlin generously volunteers to do much of that each year for us. She enjoys helping, gets community service hours towards high school credit for it, & gets to free up the parents from having to spend as much time doing it. She recruited Alicia to help her this year.

Ike had a first round bye so had to wait quite a while to wrestle. All of the boys in his bracket were new to us. Ike did not gain any weight this year compared to last, so the kids he has wrestled in the past were heavier. His first match he wrestled VERY well & won 9-2. He was very excited with his win. There were only 6 kids in his bracket & because he drew a bye his first round & won his second round that put him in the medal round. The second match (for 1st/2nd) was a exciting match. Again, he wrestled SO was anyone's match...a couple times he almost had his opponent pinned, but he wiggled out of it...a couple time HE almost GOT pinned but managed to get out of it. He ended up losing the match 6-9. He was disappointed because he felt like he had made some mistakes that cost him the match & he was really hoping for that gold medal, but silver is good & he wrestled well.

This was Al's first time watching Ike wrestle folkstyle & I think he had a good time. He is likely heading to Arizona this week.

Our whole team did really well...most of our boys medaled. All in all it was a very good day & we were done in record time...out of the gym before 3pm!!! We had dinner at Alicia's parent's house before heading back to St. Maries.

It was a long, tiring, but good weekend...nice to have that extra hour of sleep on Saturday night!!! :)

Booster club meeting this week, drama practice, Ike's first middle school wrestling match in Kellogg, cheerleading practice, club & school wrestling practice, & teacher conferences at the end of the week.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Football is OVER!!!!!!!

Whoo hoo!! Football is over! Although it is not my favorite sport (sorry Dole Clan), the problem has not been so much the sport itself, it was just time.

Ike's team advanced to the Division 2 (that's the 4th & 5th grade age division) All American Bowl (that would be the game for 3rd/4th place in the league). Last week was a crazy week at our house. Middle school wrestling started on Tuesday. In St. Maries only 7th & 8th grade students are allowed to play middle school sports. However, several years ago our middle school wrestling coach petitioned the school board to allow 6th graders to wrestle on the middle school team on the grounds that he had a small team & most of the schools we wrestle against include all three grades on their rosters. His request was granted with the stipulation that if his team ever got so large that they needed to pay another coach to help out, 6th graders would be out. That has not happened so Ike has been eagerly awaiting his first school sport.

The week went something like this:

Monday Ike had football practice, Cassidy had to cheer at a middle school football game (since it was the last game of the season the 8th grade players & cheerleaders were recognized so we had to attend in the freezing cold as well), and Kaittlin had drama practice.

Tuesday Ike had his very first middle school wrestling practice right after school, Cassidy had cheerleading practice, & Kaittlin had drama practice.

Wednesday Ike had wrestling practice. I picked him up at 4:30 & he changed his clothes in the car on the 6 block drive to football practice which had started 15 minutes before. He had football practice until 6:00 pm. At 5:30 Mike & I had to be at the middle school gym for club wrestling sign ups until 6:30. At 6:00 Kaittlin drove throughout the town & gathered all of her siblings & took them to the church for youth group...thank God for the 99 cent dinner at church on Wednesday!

On Thursday Ike had wrestling practice right after school & Cassidy had cheerleading practice. The athletic director from the high school called me at noon in a panic because the person who was supposed to take tickets at the JV football game had cancelled at the last minute & he wanted to know if I could fill in. When I pulled out my calendar to check to make sure I could I realized that Mike was planning on coaching at the first club wrestling practice that night & had likely forgotten that he had agreed to fill in at a state mandatory coaches meeting for the high school coach in Cd'A (the high school wrestling coach was coaching the JV football team). Ike also had club wrestling practice that night & Kaittlin had drama practice. We barely had enough cars & drivers to make that night work, but we got it done!

On Friday night Ike had wrestling practice right after school & Cassidy had to decorate for the middle school dance that the cheerleaders were sponsoring. Isaac had to go directly from school wrestling to football practice. Then everyone home to shower & get ready for the dance.

Saturday morning the middle school held a fundraiser for the wrestling program. It was a biscuit & gravy breakfast followed by a wrestling exhibition. We went to the breakfast at 7:00 am and Ike was able to participate in the exhibition for about 20 minutes before we had to leave for Plummer for his football game.

His football game went well. I thought they played pretty good. They won the game 38-20 claiming 3rd place in the league in the age division. Everyone on the team got really nice hoodie sweatshirts. We had to stay for the championship game so we could attend the awards ceremony. It was cold & VERY windy. My face still feels like it is sunburned!

It was an extremely busy week & I am happy we are down to only one sport! Middle school wrestling practices every night after school. It works out really well for me. He gets done about 4:30 each afternoon. I get off work at 4:00pm. So I usually just work an extra 10 or 15 minutes then drive straight to the school & pick him up. Their first match will be next Tuesday, November 4th in Kellogg. I think he is really excited to wrestle his first "school" match.

They also have club practice most nights this week getting ready for their first tournament on Saturday. He goes if he wants to go. I am actually there right now. I came tonight with Mike & Ike because I had to help sign up the coaches on line to get their background checks done, so this was a good time to blog. We will go to Bonners Ferry on Friday night. Mike's dad is still in Idaho which is later than any other year ever...usually he is WAY gone to Arizona by now. He will go to Bonners with us & watch Ike wrestle folk style for the first time ever.

The girls are doing well also. Cassidy stayed home from school today with a severly sore throat but seemed better tonight. I think a days worth of sleep did her a world of good. She is having a good time cheerleading & is looking forward to indoor sports cheering.

Kaittlin is doing well in school. Her hardest class at this point is Chemistry. She got a 90% on a test in that class last week, that thrilled her. She is taking the college CNA course. In conjunction with that class she was able to take a field trip last Friday to Lewis Clark State College's Health Professional's Day. She was able to choose her own 3 breakout sessions to attend on campus. She picked Sports Medicine, Nursing, & Physical Therapy. She really enjoyed the one on Sports Medicine & had a great time.

This post seems really long, but it has been a while since I posted. I have pictures to share (Kaittlin's letterman's jacket, Ike football, Cassidy cheerleading, etc), but no camera with me today....maybe in the near future.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Wow! What a week it has been!

Last week it was homecoming week at St. Maries High School, along with several other high schools in the region. On top of that it was also Idaho State Junior Miss.

Homecoming festivities included a myriad of home games....girls & boys soccer, volleyball, & football. As the coordinator of the Lumberjack Booster Club BBQ Crew this kept Mike very busy with cooking at all of the games...I don't think we were home for dinner a SINGLE NIGHT! The high school had class competitions all week. They decorated halls & had contests during lunch. On Wednesday night there was Jock Strap Volleyball, Powderpuff Football, & Deal or No Deal. There was a pep rally one day & the parade was on Friday. All of these activities were one big class competition (I don't even know which class ended up winning). One of the big competitions was the dress up days. Here are photos of Kaittlin from the dress up days (most were taken with her phone & emailed so I apologize now for the quality):

Monday was Hobo Day. This may have been her best effort of the week.

Tuesday was Cross Dress Day where the boys were to dress like girls & the girls were to dress like boys. She wore her dad's biking leathers & received several comments on her remarkable likeness to him:

Wednesday was Wacky Wednesday. Evidently that was an "anything goes" day:

Thursday was Generations day. The freshmen were to dress like infants, the sophomores as toddlers, the juniors as adults, & the seniors as senior citizens. Kaittlin did not get a picture this day, but as a junior wore a suit.

Friday was class color day. Her class color is orange:

Our homecoming football game was on Friday night againt Kellogg. We lost 0-27. Our school holds their bonfire after the football game. I think this is really weird, as the school where I went treated the bonfire as a pep rally the night before the game. There were several away games on Saturday, then the homecoming dance on Saturday night.

Kaittlin did not attend the dance in St. Maries. Her boyfriend goes to school at East Valley High School in Spokane Valley. It was also his Homecoming week. He invited her to go to his dance on Saturday. So Mike drove her to Spokane on Saturday afternoon. She & Joe went to dinner with Joe's stepmom (it was her birthday) & his grandma, then went to the dance. Here are pictures from before the dance:

I missed the last half of the week. On Thursday afternoon I left for Coeur d'Alene to attend the Idaho's Junior Miss program. As one of the co-chairmen of the St. Maries program I was there to represent our board & committee, along with several other members, & to support our contestant there. She did a fantastic job! I had a fun time, but was really tired when I got home late Saturday night.
It was a very long, fun-filled week & I am very glad homecoming comes only once a year!!! It has been rainy & cold all this week with frost, wind, & power outages. I have been listening to talk of the upcoming wrestling season & Ike keeps showing me catalogs with wrestling shoes in them. I think winter is HERE!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Kaittlin!

Yes, it's true, Kaittlin is 17 years old! How the time flys! And with me being so young....:):)hahaha!

Kaittlin turned 17 years old on Saturday. That day Ike had a football game in Plummer in the afternoon so we went to it. They played Potlatch & won their game. Ike didn't play a lot, but seems to be getting it a little more & a little more. Afterwards we headed to Coeur d'Alene & had dinner had Kaittlin's favorite resteraunt, Panda Express then went to see a movie. It was a fun day.

It is a typical busy week in our household. On Monday Kaittlin went to a football game in Spokane, the guy she has been dating was playing at home game at his school (she rode with his sister, who lives in St. Maries). Cassidy has 3 different games to cheer at this week plus has to take photos at an away football game because she is in the publications class. Ike had to give a speech at school yesterday because he was running for class office. In the middle school, in each grade, you choose to run for four "class representative" seats. You make speeches & your class votes. The person with the most votes is the class president & the other 3 are the representatives. Ike is now the class president. Progress reports came out this week. Except for one C- they were all VERY good.

Mike had a booster club planning meeting for homecoming next week & I had a party for our Junior Miss. She leaves on Saturday for Coeur d'Alene where she will spend one week preparing for & competing in the statewide program. I will be going to the program starting next Thursday. I am really excited for her to experience the state program...she is going to do great.

So, same thing different day. Hope all my readers are well!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Doctor Blessing

I just wanted to post here & say what a blessing it is to have a GREAT doctor.

As a child, our family doctor was always in Spokane...there was no clinic or doctors in Plummer (although I think we went to Fairfield for a while when I was very small). When he stopped practicing family medicine & went strictly immediate/emergency care he recommended us to another general practitioner in his building. We interviewed her & loved her. Although she is a general practitioner/family doctor her passion is preventing & treating diabetes, heart disease, stroke...all those diseases that we become more susceptible to as we get older. Because of this many of her patients are middle-aged or older. When our children were very young we would get the royal treatment when we came to her office because the staff did not see that many younger patients & we were an anomaly.

After moving to St. Maries it became harder & harder to get to Spokane & we began to use the doctors/clinic here for minor issues...stitches, sore throats, allergies, etc. I think we have some really good doctors here & I particularly like a couple of our physician assistants, but like any small town there are is hard to get an appointment with who you want to see, you get to hear about every miss/mistake made because everyone knows everyone, they have a hard time retaining doctors who want to stay here therefore the turnover is high. So, even though we do frequent the clinic here our family doctor is still our family doctor.

Last fall, right about the time I needed to go in for my annual physical I received a letter from our insurance company saying that we could no longer see Dr. Harrison in Spokane unless we wanted to pay the entire bill ourselves. It took MONTHS of back & forth calling, explaining, etc to finally, this spring, be told that we could see her, but our co-pay would be $40 instead of $20...twice as expensive, but way better than changing doctors.

The summer was crazy, so I finally got an appointment to see her for my annual physical (one year late!) yesterday. I also took along Cassidy, who received a diagnosis last spring of asthma, but had not been seen since by Dr. Harrison and Ike, who has been struggling with frequent, painful, huge, ugly, nasty cold sores.

My appointment was at 2pm & the kids' were at 3pm...we did not leave the office until, she is not inefficient, she spent ALL of that time with us! She gave me my physical & got my prescriptions re-done for the sleep disorder I have (and have really been struggling with since I have been out of medication)...she also ordered some lab work & routine tests. She hooked Cassidy up to a computer & measured her breathing. She was able to confirm the asthma diagnosis, identify some of her triggers (cold weather, exercise, & interestingly enough, acid reflux!) & get her some prescriptions ordered. She also said that Cassidy has a sinus infection which is likely why she has felt terrible for the past 10 days or so...antibiotics on board today! She spent a long time looking up & researching possibilities to treat Ike's cold sores, we finally came up with a solution to try for a while to see if it works.

Dr. Harrison is also very good about making sure you don't pay more than you should for your prescriptions. She always has a wealth of samples, coupons, etc on hand & has no problem telling you to go to the over-the-counter section at Costco for some of your needs. She loaded us up with samples so that most of our prescriptions could be filled a few at a time so it wouldn't be one big expense. I was kind of afraid we would be pulled over on the way home & accused of robbing a pharmacy! :)

I'm really looking forward to getting my sleep back on track, getting a handle on Cassidy's asthma, & (hopefully) Ike not having to suffer through any more cold sores.

So, for that, I am thankful for our family doctor!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Home Alone

Ssshhhh...can you hear that? That's right, quiet!!! I am home alone! That doesn't happen very often, wow!

This week went well. I had two meetings scheduled for this week, plus all of the kids' activities so it was set to be a very busy week. However, my Junior Miss meeting ended up being rescheduled for next week so that took a little pressure off.

On Monday evening Mike & I went to a Lumberjack Booster Club meeting. It was held at the new restaurant at the Golf Course, Casa de Oro. The food was really good! The booster club has recently acquired an influx of new members & is undergoing some leadership changes. The club, which has been very successful & influential in the past had dwindled down, not in paying members, but in members that are willling to volunteer to do the physical work required to keep it going. In recent weeks, there has been a push to revive & revitalize the club & there has been a lot of interest. We started the meeting with elections of new officers. Mike was elected Vice President & the coordinator of the BBQ Crew, the group of volunteers who BBQ hamburgers & hot dogs at each home, outdoor sporting event. The group seems to be very interested in carrying on with the events that the club has sponsored in the past, as well as coming up with some new & exciting ideas.

Ike has been feeling much better after his bout with strep & his cold sores are healing up. I have a doctor's appointment with our family doctor in Spokane next week to see what we can do about the cold sores. He had football practice three times this week & also got his alto saxophone for band...he is very excited about that. On Friday night all of the little guys who play football were announced in front of the crowd at the home high school football game with their big brothers on the hs team. This morning he had a football game in Plummer. They played Spangle & were defeated 18 - 0, they didn't play particularly well. He is at the hs soccer game right now with Kaittlin & is bringing home one of this friends to spend the night.

Cassidy had an asthma attack at school this week. She is terrible about taking her inhaler with her. Her asthma is not horrible, mostly only acts up during allergy season & exercise. She will also be going with me to the doctor on Wednesday of next week to have her asthma assessed. She has been going to cheerleading practice this week. She went to Plummer with us this morning & watched Ike's football game, then went to Papa's house. She will be home tomorrow.

Kaittlin had a good week. She is taking the CNA class at the high school this year. It is a college program through Lewis Clark State College that is held the first two periods of each day. The first semester is the Fundamentals of Health course & the second semester is the actual CNA course. The Fundamentals of Health class is held mostly online & is somewhat self paced, although there are deadlines that must be met regarding assignments, quizzes, & exams. Her first week consisted of a small amount of reading followed by a quiz. She received 100% on that quiz. Since then she has been working on reading a large amount of material, followed by an exam that needed to be completed by last Friday. On Tuesday she took the exam & passed with a 72%. The students can re-take the exams to better their scores as long as they have them completed by the deadline date. Kaittlin decided to study some more & try to get a higher score. She took it two more times & again, received scores in the 70's. So she studied more, took more notes, & re-read the material from start to finish before taking the exam one last time on Friday. She got a 96%!! Whoo hoo!!

Kaittlin is a member of Key Club, which is a student service organization affiliated with the Kiwanis. She really likes it & will likely be a volunteer all of her life. Key Club is getting geared up for the year & she is right in the thick of it. She also went to the football game with us this morning, mowed the lawn when she got home, & then took her brother with her to the hs soccer games this afternoon. I suspect they will be home shortly.

Work was crazy for me this week. We are short handed & training new employees & it seemed to be one of those weeks where everything goes wrong! Mike BBQ'd at soccer & football this week, but took today off to go on a motorcycle ride with some friends.

We are looking at the list of items that need to be done for the winter & trying to figure out where we are going to fit all of that in...hopefully the weather holds for a while.

I will sign off now & enjoy my last few minutes of quiet before everyone starts trickling home...

Monday, September 8, 2008

One week down!

Well, the first week of school has been completed, with little or no problems!!!

Kaittlin has a very full schedule this year with so many of the required classes landing on your junior year. In addition she is taking a two hour college course that will culminate in receiving her CNA at the end of the school year. So far, so good. She got 100% 0n her very first quiz & has been working online all week for toward the test that falls at the end of this week. She got her letterman's jacket this week...she is SO EXCITED!!! She wore it doing her homework the night I brought it home & even though the weather has been in the 80's she has wore it everyday since!!! I need to get the battery charged on my camera, then will post some photos...the jacket turned out very nice!!! She has school pictures today & managed to get in a couple soccer games & a half of a football game last week, she went home early because she was not feeling well. We called in for antibiotics for both her & Cassidy after Ike's bout with strep & I think we caught them both in time.

Cassidy has had very little homework so far & seems to be enjoying school. She has cheerleading practice three nights a week & they spend the first 45 minutes of every practice working on homework, I really like that. She & a friend went to Plummer last Friday night to go to the football game (her friend's cousin was playing), then they spent the night with Papa, went to the movies in Coeur d'Alene on Saturday, & back to her friend's house on Saturday night. She came home on Sunday morning.

Ike is enjoying middle school & likes his homeroom teacher. They tested last week to see which math & reading classes they will end up in. They should know that today. He is feeling much better & is almost done with his medicine, but is suffering through a horrible bout of cold sores...yuk! And, of course, school pictures were last week!!! He had his very first football game on Saturday. This is his first year of playing & he was pretty excited. I know NEARLY NOTHING about football, but do know that he is on the first string defense team & the coach said he did a good job. He surprised me on Saturday morning by coming upstairs & announcing that he would like to be in band! Really???!!!??? Although he has always been fairly musically inclined he has never really shown an interest. He said he originally thought he might like to play the drums, but EVERYONE wants to play the drums, so he chose the alto saxophone. He is very excited to get his instrument today (he can rent one from the school for $25 a year...can't beat that!).

On Friday night I took tickets at the high school football team & Mike helped cook with the BBQ Crew. On Saturday we went to Ike's football game & Sunday after church was spent at home. I didn't get a lot done, I didn't feel that good. But it is sure nice to be on a schedule again.

This week is looking busy as I have two meetings to attend, Booster Club & Junior Miss. Then of course there is kids' practices, Kaittlin is involved in Key Club activities, & Ike has another football game this coming Saturday.

Well, that's about it for another week. Have a good one!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Holiday Weekend

Whew! It is nearly over! Holidays are exhausting!

Labor Day is a huge weekend here in St. Maries. Our local Paul Bunyan Days celebration is always that weekend & draw thousands of people to our little town. I used to really enjoy partaking in all of the festivities, but have gotten to where I really pick & choose now. There are so many people in town, so many tourists, that the celebration, although very fun, has lost some of its small town charm...there are usually more people downtown than there are at the Coeur d'Alene fair on any given day.

Our family's weekend really kind of started on Thursday, as Kaittlin had a friend from Bonners Ferry arrive that day to spend the weekend with us. Kaittlin acutally went home with Papa on Wednesday night. He needed to make a run to Genesee, Moscow, & Lewiston on Thursday. He let Kaittlin drive the whole way...the first time she has driven that far & in a "city". He said that she did well. That evening Alicia arrived.

On Friday, after several days of Ike complaining about a sore throat, he woke up so sick that he couldn't swallow water & barely spoke (now, THAT is sick). I took him to the clinic on Friday morning. He tested positive for strep & was sent home on antibiotics. After work everyone headed to the football game (except for Ike who was asleep on the couch & didn't even care that we were leaving). Kaittlin, Cassidy, & Alicia along with Alicia's boyfriend, Nick all attended the football game then headed downtown to the PBD teen dance. Cassidy said it was great...the older kids thought it was "lame". Mike was cooking for the Lumberjack Booster Club BBQ Crew at the game...they sold a bunch of hot dogs & hamburgers...good night for their first outing. My job at the game was to stand at the back "entrance", the one that everyone sneaks into & check hand stamps. I went home to be with Ike when they stopped charging admittance at half time. We played Grangeville...our JV blew them away & we lost 21-0 (I think) for varsity.

Saturday was kind of a relaxing day for me. The girls headed to the carnival. We stayed home all day. I had to cook the last of a half box of peaches I had before they got too ripe...made peach crisp & bourbon peach cobbler...yummy! Al brought over BBQ'd ribs & I made cheesy potato casserole. ALL of the kids showed up at 5:00 to each, including Nick & Joe, Kaittlin's boyfriend. They vacuumed up the food & off they went again...Cassidy back to the carnival for a couple hours & the teenagers to a movie party at Nick's house.

On Sunday Ike was finally feeling good enough to be upright...he actually felt alot better. So we all went to church, then the kids all headed to the carnival to watch the competitions & games. Later in the afternoon we stopped & picked up Ike & went to the EnduroCross races...I have never been to was really fun!

Then about 8pm everyone met at the city fields for the best fireworks show in the Pacific Northwest! No really, it truly is the best fireworks show in the Pacific Northwest...$40,000 worth of fireworks...the show lasted 57 minutes. Several years ago there was a show on cable that ranked the top ten fireworks shows in the United States. The St. Maries Paul Bunyan Days show was ranked #10 in the nation! It is amazing!

The show ended just after 10pm & the girls had to part from the boys....aaawwww, sad... We were all home by 11pm, except for Cassidy who had a babysitting job immediately following the fireworks. She spent the night there & will be home today.

This morning is the parade...Ike's football team is walking in the parade. I am at work so will miss it, but they line up in the parking lot of the store, so I will step out right before 10am to see the sights. Hopefully as soon as the parade is over all of the children will be heading home. I will get off about noon & Al is bringing over steaks to BBQ. I hope to have a relaxing afternoon & evening at home before the BIG DAY tomorrow. Back to school, whoo hoo!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Getting Ready for School

It is almost time for school to start! The summer went sooo fast...of course when you get snow on June 10 it tends to shorten up the season.

Last week we got the kids registered for school. I thought public education was supposed to be free!!! Last Wednesday was sign up day for the 8th graders. Cassidy wasn't home because she went to Oregon for the week with her Papa, so I brought Ike with me just so he could see the school (they don't pre-register 6th graders, but rather take care of all that the first day of school).

I got Cassidy all signed up, paid for her ASB card & her first month lunch. Since I was there right before they left for lunch & there were very few other people there signing up they went ahead and let me fill out the paperwork for Ike...still doesn't know who his homeroom teacher is. Got him all registered, paid for his ASB card, $40 book deposit, & his first month lunch. That day put me back about $170!

Thursday was registration day for HS juniors. We took Kaittlin up & got her schedule, everything was right & her locker worked! Paid for her yearbook (significant discount if you pay at the beginning of the year) & her first month lunch...$66! HOLY COW!

Then on Friday we headed to town to finish up school shopping. Cassidy was pretty good. She had received some hand-me-downs & gotten a box of clothing at our church's school clothing giveaway. She had also opted to reuse her book bag from last year, so really all she needed were shoes. She will wear flip flops the first month or so, then get shoes. Kaittlin was paying for her own school clothes as she worked all summer. She did the majority of her shopping at Value Village, you really can get great clothes used (& much more expensive labels that we can afford new) and also picked up some shirts at Ross. I bought Kaittlin a few dressy things & we also had a major find....she will need business appropriate clothes for her Junior Miss interview this spring. We found a two piece, pinstriped suit (pants & jacket) that fit her great at Ross...$19.99!Ike found all of the clothing he was looking for at Value Village & also managed to find TWO pair of BRAND NEW shoes.

We also picked up the remainder of our school supplies...we had already purchased pencils, paper, notebooks, folders, & Ike's backpack. So we needed a backpack for Kaittlin, pens, binders, book covers. We found most everything we were looking for & didn't spend TOO much, compared to what we could have. The kids all got their supplies gone through & packed their backpacks. Funny how three kids who say they are not ready to go back to school can get so excited about some pens & paper! :)

We hit Dairy Queen, then headed home. Whew! What a day!

Cassidy got home Friday evening & has spent much of her weekend cleaning her room...I think she might be sick!! :) Ike is out right now trying to sell raffle tickets for a load of logs for football. He has a week of practice in & is looking forward to next week. On Friday night our high school team had a scrimmage & before they started they announced the names of all the little guys playing football. They got to run out onto the field through the tunnel of hs players...they thought that was great! Kaittlin has been working quite a bit & today started her final week. Her last day for the summer is on Wednesday.

We have to fill out some paperwork for her CNA class. First semester she takes a college course Fundamentals of Health, then second semester she will take the actual CNA course. Both courses are through Lewis Clark State College & is free if taken through the Tech Prep program at our school. She will leave her Junior year as a state certified nurses assistant. She will be able to work for the nursing home or hospital next summer. I haven't been through all of her paperwork yet, but it looks like she will need a tetnus shot & a TB screening before she can start. She is needle phobic, so that should be interesting.

The next week brings a Booster Club meeting, our first soccer, volleyball, & football games, trying to get the house in order for the beginning of school, & the onset of Labor Day weekend...a big one here in St. Maries.

Here we go....

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Template

Ok, Kaittlin stopped whining about my blog template being pink, so it's not nearly as fun to torment her if she isn't reacting. So, I decided it was time to pick a new template.

I found the ones that were available as standard at this blog site to be a bit boring. There was really only one that I felt was "me", and EVERYONE uses that one.

So after searching the internet I found this one. Maybe still not as "me" as I would like, but much closer than the pink.

I tried to find something polka dot just for Cassidy's sake, but everyone I found that was polka dot was also so bright that it hurt your eyes!

Our weekend was good. We picked another 2 gallons of huckleberries on Friday night, which we had already sold. Saturday was a very large wedding here in St. Maries. Although we were invited to the wedding we were also asked to work for the caterer, which was much fun. The reception was beautiful, the weather wonderful, & the food great. I made a poor shoe choice for being on my feet all day & I paid dearly for that. Didn't do much on Sunday, it was so hot (and did I mention that my feet hurt?).

Ike starts football practice this afternoon, Cassidy went to Oregon with her Papa to visit Mike's brother, and Kaittlin got her letterman's jacket ordered on Friday.

That is the long & short of it. Have a great day!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Almost time for school

It is crazy how fast the summer flies has been a while since I have posted.

We have had some busy days & I am looking forward to the fall the time summer arrives everyone in my family is ready for a break from the "routine", but I for one am ready to be back in a routine. It is nice for a while to fly by the seat of your pants & take each day as it comes. But after a while I long for a schedule where I know where everybody is going to be everyday & doing what!!!

Ike signed up for football the other day, then attended a 2-day football camp in Plummer. I am not a huge football fan & have been less than enthusiastic about his pleas to play. In the past we have limited the kids to 2 sports each, but Isaac has assured us that his grades this year will convince us that he can play we gave in & are crossing our fingers. He enjoyed football camp very much & said he learned a lot, since he didn't really know anything to start with! :) His practices start this coming Monday.

Cassidy just completed a 2-day cheerleading camp here in St. Maries put on by the high school cheerleaders. She has been designated as one of the "flyers", that is the cheerleader that they toss into the air and (hopefully) catch when she comes back down. So far no disasters. She is getting ready to go on a road trip with her Papa for a week or so to Oregon & is very excited about that.

Kaittlin has been very busy working. When she picks up her paycheck today she will have enough money that we can go this afternoon & order her letterman's jacket. She is absolutely THRILLED with I am, since she is the one paying for it! Her days off this week happened to fall on the same two days that our youth group was doing a hiking/camping trip. They hike into Crystal Lake, spend the night, & hike out. She went along & should be home sometime this afternoon.

Each year in the beginning of August our church sponsors a school clothing giveaway. They collect gently used children's, teen's, & adult's clothing all year. We sort them onto tables by gender & size, then on a Saturday the doors open & anyone can come in & pick out school clothing for themselves. They also give out new socks, underwear, & backpacks to the kids. It is a really great ministry. I have managed to volunteer my time to help out for several years now. Since the volunteers with the sorting, etc usually show up with bags & bags of their own kids' clothing that was cleaned out of the closet we are generally allowed to pick out anything that we would like as well. Each year I am able to get a few things for each kid, which really helps with the cost of back to school.

This year Ike & Cassidy made out great...not so many things for Kaittlin. It also gave the girls great incentive to clean out their closets & drawers to get ready for the upcoming school year. They donated sooo much stuff! Ike still has to go through his things & I am afraid there won't be much left when he does...he FINALLY grew this summer!

Last weekend we spent a day picking huckleberries. We managed to get 2 gallons to sell ($40 shoes...whoo hoo!) and a little over a quart for ourselves. I'm not a big a fan, although I don't mind them cooked into pancakes or muffins. The rest of the family loves fact we have to hide them from Cassidy...she likes them frozen with sugar sprinkled on them & will eat them ALL if given a chance. Mike & Ike are going back out today as we have been contacted by someone who would like to buy 2 gallons if we can get them. I like to pick them, it's kind of therapeutic.

So that is about all that has been going on in our lives...getting ready for school should take up the rest of the month then off we go!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quieter Week

It has been a significantly quieter week than the previous one I blogged about for two reasons. First of all, there were far less disasters to deal with and secondly, Ike is gone to camp...that makes it REALLY quiet.

We took him up Sunday afternoon, north of Deer Park for a week at Bible camp. He was very excited & raring to go. He makes new friends very easily so should have a fabulous week. He will be riding home Friday with the mother of one of the other kids that went.

Kaittlin made it back from her two week hiatus very tanned & ready to get back to work. She has worked everyday since she got back. She had a very productive throwing camp & enjoyed Bible camp very much.

Cassidy has been splitting her time between here and Plummer at Papa's house...her favorite place to go.

I am off work the rest of the week. I will be having a yard sale on Friday & Saturday & hope to earn enough money to buy a new kitchen table and chairs. I hate having yard sales & after the last one I vowed to take my things to the local senior citizen's thrift shop as soon as I had a box full...well, now I have a garage full!!! I am trying to get more organized so hopefully this one will be my last! :)

Mike still has not figured out what is wrong with his pick has him stumped! In addition, we are looking hard at trading in our mini van...I think for a NON mini van this time! We are plugging along in that process...maybe by next week I will have a new (used) vehicle.

Tonight & tomorrow on the agenda I will be getting my stuff ready for the yard sale...I probably won't post until next week again.

Have a great one!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WOW!!! What a week!

Well, the past week and a half has been busy, interesting, and at times, a not-so-funny comedy of errors. Let me explain...

About 2 weeks ago my Check Engine light came on in my minivan. Mike checked the oil, the gas cap, and all the other things that he could think of that would cause this and couldn't find anything wrong. The van appeared to be running fine, just the light was on. As a precaution we only drove it in town when necessary. After a couple days when it didn't appear it was going to fix itself, we took the car to a local auto shop here. After putting it on their diagnostic computer they determined that the light was triggered by a sensor in the exhaust system...either something was wrong with the exhaust system or the sensor was bad. They felt that it was probably still covered under our warranty so didn't mess with it.

Mike called Dishman Dodge and spoke with someone there. He agreed that the problem was a warranty issue as well and they made an appointment to have it fixed last Thursday. So on Wednesday night Mike's dad came and traded me cars. He took the van to Dishman, received a loaner car, and spent the day doing errands in Spokane. When he went back to pick it up they told him that they had actually found two things that were causing the light to come one. One of them was a warranty issue and the other one cost $350 to fix!!! Of course, it was one of those things that had to be fixed to avoid damage to the car!

The day before Mike and I had just discussed how we had managed to overspend on our flooring project leaving us a little "lean" in the financial area. Also the day before Mike had visited the credit union where we keep our very meager savings account and nearly emptied it to get cash for his week long trip to Boise this week (most of his expenses are reimbursable, but the reimbursement will not arrive for 30-60 days). So, the $350 bill had to be put on the credit card, ugh!!!

Car fixed, now ready for All Star baseball games in Coeur d'Alene. Having to drive there three days in a row and paying for that gas was not something we were looking forward to so we drove the van, which gets the best gas mileage, the first two days. The final day, Sunday, we decided to take Mike's pickup to Plummer and load up some landscaping block that Mike's dad was getting rid of. Then we would take his car from there to Coeur d'Alene.

Halfway up PeeDee hill the pickup starting making some weird clicking noises. By the time we got to the top of the hill it was blowing TONS of white smoke and trying to cut out unless he kept the accelerator pegged. When we got to flat ground it seemed to improve a little so he decided that he would try to limp it into Plummer (another couple miles) and look at it there. But on the next hill climb it did the same thing, except this time the smoke was black. He decided to pull over and as soon as he let off the gas the pickup died. It wouldn't start again.

While we were there trying to figure out what was wrong some friends of ours from Plummer drove by on their way to church. They stopped, offered some suggestions and encouragement, then headed into town, but not before offering to trailer the pickup back to St. Maries if need be. We called Mike's dad and he came and picked us up.

Mike had a suspicion he knew what part was possibly causing the problem, so when we got to Cd'A we headed to Schuck's to buy said part (did I mention that we are kinda broke right now?!?). Then we went to the game.

After the game, back to Plummer, and install the new part on the pickup on the side of the road. Got it installed, attempted to start the pickup....NOPE, apparently that wasn't what was wrong! So we had to call our friends, Walter and Denise, and take them up on their offer to load up the pickup on their trailer and pull it back to St. Maries. Of course, this got us home at about 9:30pm, which was too late for Mike to mow the lawn and for us to get some of the clothes washed that he needed to pack as he left early the next morning. Oh yeah, and when we were getting out of Walter's pickup in our driveway, I heard Mike's cell phone (one of those Palm Treo smart phones that are so FRAGILE) hit the ground and break into several pieces....I didn't even ask!

It was one of those weeks that makes my stomach hurt and my hair turn gray(er), but there were some definite blessings hidden in there as well. Let me list them for you (it makes me feel so much better about the situation)...
*at least ONE of the items wrong with the car were covered under warranty
*we had recently talked about looking into trading in the car...this got it past the talking stage, now we are looking
*we were not running late on Sunday. Had the pickup broken down when we were running late on Saturday Ike would have likely missed the warm up part of his game.
*the pickup made it to a great spot when it died. The field access on the side of the road where it stopped had enough room for the pickup and Walter's pickup and trailer when we were loading it.
*when we left the pickup by the side of the road we were concerned because Mike did not have his key with him to lock his tool box in the bed of the pickup. No one touched his tools.
*we got the pickup loaded and ready to go just as the heavy farm equipment arrived needing to use the field access that we had been parked in all day.
*Walter and Denise...THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Mike left for Boise first thing Monday morning, we could not have left it there for a week.

I feel better already! :)

In addition to the fiasco part of the last week, I do need to say that the All Star games were absolutely FABULOUS!

Friday night we played Lewiston. Lewiston baseball is notorious for being very skilled, as their good weather permits them to start practice in the late winter months, rather than late spring like us. It was an evening game and the weather was great. The game started out as many people expected. Going into the top of the third inning we were behind 10-1 (at this level the boys play 6 innings, however after 4 innings if one team is ahead 10 or more points the game is over). Then our boys kicked it into gear. We started hitting the ball well, pitching well, capitalizing on mistakes made by the other team, and playing really good defense. We battled back and lost the game, after 6 innings, 12-11! It was such an exciting game. It was interesting to watch the teams and crowds leave the field at the end. Lewiston, the winners, were quiet and dejected looking. St. Maries looked like they had won the World Series.

Saturday was Ike's 11th birthday...can you believe it?!? We were running late that morning, but managed to get him there just in time. After the game we set up one of those pop up shelters near the field and cooked hot dogs for the boys and their families. It was fun, the team loved it, and clean up was so much easier than if you have a birthday party at your house!!! They played Timberlake that day and won was kind of a boring game, but Ike played really well. In fact, he even got his name in the Coeur d'Alene paper the next day. He popped out once, and got a single, double, and a triple (another one of those that was just feet from clearing the fence).

Sunday was the fateful broken truck day. But baseball went well. We played Coeur d'Alene. We jumped out ahead early, but Cd'A kept battling back. It was extremely close the whole game, but we ended up winning by 1 point I think. Ike had an interesting game, a bad tag and two bad throws (by him) scored for the other team 3 different times...but he evened it out with two great plays at the plate and two more REALLY long hits! He also got beat up pretty bad, he was hit by 2 pitches while catching and another while batting. They ended up taking third place in the tournament, which was a very good showing considering the competition.

Mike left for Boise on Monday morning and I had to spend the day yesterday at our location in Pullman, Washington so Ike and Cassidy stayed in Plummer for a couple days (Kaittlin is still at camp) so I have been "home alone". Although it is weird to not have anyone there it is kind of nice to have a little peace and quiet...I have not gotten nearly as much done as I would have liked, though.

That's the update for now. I am hoping for a much quieter second half of July! :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 4th of July

It has been a crazy couple weeks since my last post. Let me try to catch you all up.

Cassidy returned home from her trip to Washington DC, Philadelphia, & New York City safe, sound, & sleepy! :) She had a fabulous time & in true Cassidy fashion spent all of her spending money...mostly on gifts for other people! Having had two children attend this trip now, I was amazed at how different kids enjoy different parts of the trip. Kaittlin's favorite parts of the same trip were the Holocaust section of the Smithsonian, dinner at an Amish community in Pennsylvania, & the Empire State Building. Cassidy's favorite parts were Mt. Vernon, the changing of the guards at Arlington, & shopping in NYC.

Cassidy has been busy "friend hopping" since she got home. She has spent the night with several friends, went on a boat ride to see fireworks, & put up babysitting flyers in hopes of earning some money this summer.

When Kaittlin was hired at the city pool this summer she was told that they were cutting back hours of all the lifeguards & they would likely only work about 20 hours per week. So she set off in search of a second job. It is difficult to find a job in St. Maries that is willing to work around a teenager's school, sports, activity schedule and even more difficult to find one that is also willing to work around another job. Both she & I originally avoided her applying at the store where I work for several reasons. But, finally she decided to apply there. She was hired in our Subway/Deli department & worked both jobs for several weeks.

She found that she was enjoying working at Subway very much & her manager offered her more hours several times. She began having some problems at the pool with one of her supervisors & decided that she would leave their employment & accept the offer of more hours at the store. She has been very happy since then, working nearly 40 hours every week. She now has spending money, is very close to having 1/2 of her letterman's jacket paid for, & is putting a significant amount into her bank account for college.

Yesterday we took her to Spokane for the Ironwood Thrower's Camp which is held on the Whitworth College campus. This is the largest track throwing camp in the United States & Kaittlin won a scholarship to go there. We got her checked in & helped her move all of her things into one of the dorm rooms. It was kind of surreal following her into a college dorm, packing all of her things, & leaving her there. Wow! Two more years...hard to imagine. She called last night & texted me earlier today. It sounds like she is having a fabulous time. The camp gets over on Friday. We will be driving up to see her & talk to some of the instructors. But she will be leaving with a friend from Bonners Ferry who she met several years ago at church camp & who also throws & is attending Ironwood. She & Alisha will head to Bonners where she will spend the weekend, then they will go to church camp from there. She will be home on the 18th.

Ike has been busy swimming at the pool, riding his bike, & going to All Star baseball practice. Last weekend he was asked to be a ball boy for the American Legion wood bat tournament. He worked ALL day, both days of the weekend & was tired & dirty when he came home, but I think he had a great time.

This weekend we had our first 2 All Star baseball games. On Saturday we played Sandpoint in Coeur d'Alene (all of the games are in Cd'A this year). Ike was the catcher for the whole game & hit a VERY LONG triple of which he was quite proud. The game was a good one & we won 13-2. Yesterday after dropping Kaittlin off at camp we made a mad dash from Spokane to Coeur d'Alene to see his second game. Thank God for Papa (Mike's dad) who drove Ike to Cd'A so that both of us could drop off Kaittlin. We got there just in time to see Ike hit for the first time. He was the catcher during this entire game as well. He had a good sacrafice out, a great tag at home, & a really long stretch to make an out at home. The boys played well, but lost this game 8-2. There was also some questionable calls by the umpires, but I don't believe that is what lost them the game.

Next weekend we have games on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon, & Sunday afternoon. Ike's birthday is on Saturday so we will likely provide some type of treat for the team after the game to help celebrate that. I don't know what I am going to get him for his birthday, but may put off the "party" until later in the month so that we can possibly attend a Spokane Indians game.

Mike & I have been busy trying to finish our new flooring in the upstairs of our house. The floor is in, but we have the pesky "finish work" to do...molding, stair treads, etc. We have another coat of paint to put up in the top half of our stairway, stair treads to stain, polyurathene, & install on the top part of the stairs, flooring to lay on the landing, paint on the bottom part of the stairs, then pulling out the carpet on the bottom part of the stairs, & stain, polyurathene, & install stair treads on the bottom part of the stairs. After that there will be some minor molding & then we are done with that project! Whew!

I have also been trying to get the garage cleaned out & get ready for a yard sale. This weekend I got half way through 3 stacks of boxes (floor to ceiling) in the garage that have been there since we moved!!!

All of that & throw in a couple weddings, a visit from my VERY good friends from North Dakota, a baby shower & you can see that it has been a very eventful several weeks. I will try to do better about posting more often...that way I can make the posts shorter! It is hard to get computer time at home when I am not absolutely exhausted. Sometimes I can get a chance to post during my lunch hour at work, but it has been busy there as well & I find that I get interrupted so much that it is useless!

More later....probably after this weekend of baseball games...unless I get lucky!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Ok, final!!!

I continue to work at Archie's IGA here in St. Maries as the office manager, where I have worked for at least 100 years! :) Over the past several years the family I work for has acquired two other grocery in Orofino, Idaho and one in Pullman, Washington.

Our store is the home office for all three businesses. I currently oversee the office staff and customer service booth staff at the St. Maries store, and the office managers of the other two stores. It is a very busy office with much to do, is extremely challenging, and quite interesting. Although sometimes I wish I did not work as many hours as I do, I truly believe that I am here for a reason and enjoy the job most of the time.

Prior to moving to St. Maries Mike was very involved in our community, serving as a volunteer firefighter & EMT, among other things. I simply did not have the time between working full-time, commuting, and taking care of the kids and home. When we moved Mike decided that he was going to scale back a bit, so I said, "my turn".

Shortly after moving here I was asked to tabulate scores at our local Junior Miss program. I was hooked!!! For those of you who are not familiar with Junior Miss, I will try to give you the short description. America's Junior Miss is a national scholarship program aimed at promoting and rewarding excellence among high school aged girls. The competitions begin at the local level when the contestants are juniors in high school. Each local winner advances to a state competition (Idaho's is in the fall of their Senior year), then the state winners advance to the national competition in Mobile, Alabama in June of each year.

The participants are judged in five categories at all levels of the competition: scholastics, talent, fitness, interview, and self-expression. The scholastics and interview portions of the competitions are held privately, outside of the public view. The other three categories take place on-stage before an audience and follow the format that you would expect to see at a beauty pageant. But Junior Miss is not a pageant, it is a scholarship program.

From that first exposure I was so impressed at the integrity of the program and what it did for the high school girls who participated that I couldn't stay away. By the next year I was on the committee. Our committee of eight women, led until recently by a wonderfully commited woman, has really grown our local program in the past several years...we have established a board of directors, adopted by-laws by which to govern our group, raised the amount of scholarship dollars that we give away each year, recruited an increasing number of girls, and won several state awards.

After being named to the charter board of directors, I was elected Secretary/Treasurer of the program and have served in that capacity until this past year. Last summer, our co-chairman and all-around leader Karen Ebert, passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. In addition, our other co-chairman stepped down from her position of leadership, although she remains on the board. Myself and another board member were elected as the new co-charimen of the program. It has been a learning year as we try to figure out our new jobs, but I cannot express how much I enjoy the opportunity to work with the young women of our community, create relationships with them, and attempt to be a good role model.

Junior Miss takes up the majority of my "me" time. We are very busy from December until April which is the preparation time for our program. During this time we meet weekly with the participants in addition to board meetings and other things that need to be taken care of. The rest of the year we meet at least monthly for business meetings, community service activities, etc.

So, in addition to work, Junior Miss, home, family, and children's activities I keep PLENTY busy. I also am involved in different things we do at our church and I keep the books for the wrestling club.

I really enjoy attending the kids' activities at school, particularly sports. I have come to love wrestling and really have fun watching track and field. I also like to cook and read when I have time and enjoy doing projects on our house, although I have no patience and a short attention span, so prefer projects that move quickly where you can see your progress. :)

That's it!!! You are all caught up on our family. I will attempt to make regular posts to help everyone stay updated.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Ok, moving on to Mike...

Mike continues to work for the St. Maries School District as the lead mechanic in their Transportation Department. He enjoys the challenge of their large fleet of buses. And, as anyone who knows Mike job is never enough! :)

He also is a CDL skills tester for the State of Idaho. What this means is that if you want to obtain a driver's license that allows you to drive truck or bus, you go to the sheriff's office & take your written test. Once you pass that test you come to Mike who tests you on your pre-trip inspection & driving skills. The tests take about 2 hours each & cost $50. Mike is contracted through the state, which means the money he makes is his, however he has to follow state rules, take their training, etc. It is a hot & cold business, sometimes he has more people scheduled than he can handle & sometimes he goes two months without any tests. But it is good extra money. He has also recently began giving the skills tests that are required to get the motorcycle endorsement on your driver's license.

When Ike was 5 years old a friend from St. Maries suggested that we let him try wrestling because of his build. Mike took him that first year & became simply fascinated with the sport. The next year he attended every practice of the club team with Ike & helped with "crowd control". By year three the head coach asked him to be an assistant coach. Under the tutelage of our club coach, Mike as learned a ton about the sport & come to love it more & more each year. Four years ago he applied for & got the paid position of assistant coach at the high school level. Wrestling has become huge in our family. Mike really enjoys coaching & his interaction with the kids. He helps coach club wrestling (4 years old through 8th grade) from October through December. Then high school wrestling begins in November & lasts through the end of February. As soon as high school wrestling is over he coaches Ike in freestyle wrestling. This can last through June, although this year we stopped early in April. Isaac was having a frustrating year & we didn't want to burn him out so we just moved on to baseball. Mike has also helped out the middle school team by substituting for the coach when he cannot be there.

He is looking at possibly not accepting the paid position of assistant high school coach this coming year. His boss at the school is looking to retire soon & Mike is picking up extra responsibilities there that will make it difficult if not impossible to hold up his end of the contract if he continues to coach. However, I believe that he will continue to help out the team as much as possible & continue to coach club wrestling.

Mike also volunteers in the nursery at our church. He recently purchased a new 4-wheeler of which he is very proud. He became one of the resident snow-plowers for our neighborhood this winter.

He has been busy recently on a flooring project we have going in our home. We are replacing all of the flooring upstairs, painting, etc. A couple years ago we attempted to build a deck on our house which didn't go very well. After most of the flooring went down without a hitch, he announced that he was more than happy to do any work we needed inside, but from now on we were hiring out the outside jobs! :)

The proper picture to accompany this post would be Mike on his 4-wheeler, but alas, I do not have one on my computer...will try to post one soon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


So, we are moving on to Isaac, but not without first mentioning that it snowed here yesterday....on June 10!!!

Isaac just completed 5th grade and will be moving to the middle school next year. He will be 11 years old next month. Several years ago we had a wonderful older gentleman working in our meat department at the store. His name was Isaac, but he went by Ike. Since that time our Isaac has taken to calling himself Ike, and most of his friends and family have followed suit. So do not be surprised if you find that I call him both names in this blog.

Ike is ALL BOY!!! Short for his age (I wonder where he got that) he is solid and muscular with black hair that he wears in a buzz cut, although for the past several years he has taken to shaving his head completely bald three or four times a year. People tell me he looks just like Mike...I don't see it, but he definately favors the Walters side of the family...I think he looks like Mike's brother, Pat. He is a good student, scoring extremely high on all of his standardized tests. He enjoys geography, math, and science. He does not particularly like to read, although he is a good reader. I think his biggest problem is finding something to read that he is interested in. His big accomplishment in school this year was his perfect attendance record for the entire year.

Ike is all about anything that has to do with sports. He can usually spout off all the names of the Seattle Mariners players, their jersey numbers, and where they bat in the line up. The same can be said about the Gonzaga men's basketball team and several NFL teams.

At 5 years old Ike started to wrestle for the St. Maries club team. This team has members from 4 years old through about 8th grade. Within a year he (and our family) was hooked! He absolutely LOVES to wrestle. He has continued to wrestle for the club team and in the past two years has wrestled freestyle as well. Last year he placed third in his age and weight division at the state freestyle tournament, which earned him a place on Team Idaho, the national freestyle team for the State of Idaho. This enabled him to compete at the Western Regional tournament in Oregon...I have a funny feeling that many family vacations for the next several years will focus around wrestling. :)

Ike also plays Little League baseball in the spring. For the past two years he has also earned a spot on the All Star team that competes in July. Although he does not seem as fascinated with baseball as he does with wrestling, he does well, enjoys it very much, and continues to improve each year. In previous years he has played both 1st and 3rd base. Last year he spent time behind the plate as catcher and this year they have used him sporadically as pitcher also.

Isaac is the funniest kid! He is constantly hamming it up, saying or doing something crazy that makes us all laugh. More often than not, our dinner table ends up erupting in uncontrollable laughter over something that Ike has said! Very often he will pipe up with something that no one would ever have thought he would know. When you ask him where he heard that or how he knew that obscure fact, the answer is usually "The Weekly Reader", "The Guinness Book of World Records", or "Ripley's Believe It or Not".

His likable personality makes him very popular amongst his friends. Almost all of the kids in his circle really like him and want to sit with him, play with him, have him spend the night at their house. I have always worried that this type of attention might make him cocky or prone to being mean to other kids. However, he continues to be a very sensitive, empathetic kid, many times attaching himself to the outsider, the younger kids, or the kids who are being picked on.

His plans for the summer include spending time at the pool, All Star baseball, and church camp. He is very good at keeping himself busy. It is not unusual for him to leave the house when he gets up in the morning and stay busy all day in our neighborhood...but he always comes home when he is hungry, and that is OFTEN!!!

We enjoy Isaac very much, even his sisters enjoy him MOST of the time. He is a happy, funny kid who is fun to be around. I cannot, however, figure out how he managed to get old enough to go to middle school so fast. Time flies!