Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Ok, final update...me!!!

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 stores...one 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 knows...one 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!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


As I suspected it was a very busy weekend. We tend to get quite a few graduation announcements each year and try to make it to as many parties as possible. This year the parties were spread out quite a bit geographically, so we didn't make it to as many as we would have liked.

So, we are moving on to Cassidy. There is so much to say about Cassidy. She is 13 1/2 years old and just finishing up her 7th grade year at St. Maries Middle School. In a nutshell Cassidy is a DRAMA QUEEN. She challenges us every day with her huge personality and social nature.

Cassidy is a great student and enjoys school. She is capable of getting straight "A"s but her socializing sometimes gets in her way. This year she took a class called Publications. It is a class that specializes in desktop publishing. They put out the monthly school newsletter and the yearbook. She found that she really enjoys this type of thing and is looking forward to taking it again next year.

Cassidy has tried almost every sport the school and community has to offer. The best I can tell, she has not fallen in love with any of them yet. In elementary school she played soccer and basketball and continues to play basketball for the middle school.

When she was in her late elementary school years Cassidy often wrestled (the sport, not just play) at home with her brother to help him practice for upcoming meets and competitions. We found her to be very strong, very competitive, and a quick study when shown what to do. Shortly thereafter she began asking if she could wrestle. Both Mike and I said no, in no uncertain terms, should a girl wrestle. We had a myriad of different reasons that we were against the idea. When she hit sixth grade she wore us down and we finally decided that we would let her try (we knew she wouldn't like it and figured that once she knew that it would be over). Well, guess what? She has wrestled for the club team and the middle school team for two years now! I know, I can hear some of my friends gasping in horror from here!

Interestingly enough, wrestling has been a very good thing for Cassidy. She is VERY social, has a ton of friends, and has the tendency to be a follower. She wants to do everything her friends are doing and nothing that they aren't. Making the decision to be the only girl in town who was wrestling, while her friends were doing other things, was a very big deal for her. She struggled most with that part of it. What has come of it is that Cassidy has gained some confidence and realized that she can step out and be her own person and it doesn't matter that her friends are not signed up for the same activities as her. A hot-tempered kid, she has also had to learn how to control her emotions...sometimes she succeeds and sometimes she doesn't. She has also had some success in the sport as well. She has brought home a handful of medals and now holds the record for the fastest pin in St. Maries Middle School history at 3 seconds (I personally think that the kid she pinned was so surprised that a girl knocked him down that he just laid there!).

She recently tried out for cheerleader for next year and made the squad. One of the rules of cheer leading in the middle school is that you can only do one sport. Although I believe that she is leaning heavily toward basketball, I don't know that she has decided.

Besides school and sports Cassidy enjoys anything that is social. She like to hang out with her friends and talk on the phone...and TEXT! Good grief! About 9 months ago we made the decision to get rid of our home phone and go exclusively cellular. Financially, this was a good decision. At the time we got cell phones for all of our kids. We limit their talk time each month, and although we have unlimited texting, we have some pretty strict rules about the phones...no phones at school unless you are in high school or have a school activity, no phones during meals, on family days, or after 8:30 pm. Cassidy is our kid who likes to push the boundaries of these rules, although she is learning that it is more comfortable for her to follow the rules than be without her phone because she didn't.

Every two years one of the middle school teachers organizes a summer trip to Washington DC. The kids fund raise for two years, then go on this trip. Cassidy has been involved with the group for the past two years and is looking forward to leaving in the early morning hours of June 10 for her trip. They will fly to Washington DC and spend several days there sightseeing. Then they will bus to Philadelphia, visiting an Amish community on the way. After a day or so in Philadelphia they will leave for New York City. It is a 9 day trip and she is really looking forward to it. Kaittlin was able to go when she is in middle school and really enjoyed it.

Cassidy is planning on attending church camp this summer and spending days at the pool. She loves to spend and have money, but is not particularly interested in working for it. This is an area that we are working on with her. I hope it is the age...I do remember thinking at one point that Kaittlin was the laziest kid in the world and now I am very proud of her work ethic. Cassidy does have a couple families that she enjoys babysitting for so may have the opportunity to do more of that. She also spent a couple afternoons with me recently scraping the old linoleum floor from our kitchen and dining room and seemed to enjoy the process. She is a "messy" so I am trying to entice her to clean up and organize her room with the promise of new paint, flooring, etc.

All in all, Cassidy is our most outgoing, outspoken, opinionated, and challenging child. However, I believe that her personality traits that sometimes make me crazy right now, will mature into traits that serve her well in adulthood.

The picture attached is from last summer in our yard. Until next time...