Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Family Pictures from September

The Parks Crew

Mom, Dad, Carole, Kevin, Sarah & Matt

Who's dumb idea was this??? :) Oh~mine!

Mom ~ 83 Dad ~ 86

September 2010

We should have got pictures of them getting in the tree!!!


Thanks to our friend and photographer, Barry Moses for tolerating all of our sillyness during this photo shoot at our local private university ~ Whitworth. These pictures were taken during Matthew's post army visit in Spokane. We had a lot of fun even though it was kind of thrown together at the last minute. Thanks to my kids too for tolerating all of the "creativity."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Micro-Scapes: Mushrooms

Mushrooms were a curiosity during a recent visit to Priest Lake. We were there for a women's rereat, but during a lag time, I was to be found on my belly under a tree taking pictures of these tiny "forrests." What a great time I had getting these pictures and learning about my Sony CyberShot at the same time. This first picture is my personal favorite!
A cluster of mushrooms.

Upon reflecting with my photography friend, I would have moved the grass out the way before shooting this one.

I never thought I could shoot into the sun, but this picture proves that I was wrong about that.

I love the texture of the pine needles on the ground juxtaposed to the texture on the underside of the mushroom!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More Idaho Sunsets

This sunset was so spectacular, I could say it's the prettiest we have ever seen. I have visited South America, Canada, Mexico, and both coasts of the United States. During that time I have witnessed many gorgeous sunsets, but this one wins the prize.

This was an area north of Spirit Lake and due west of Priest Lake in a tiny town named Blanchard. The residents were all out on their decks as we watched the colors change moment by moment. Very memorable!

Monday, October 18, 2010

North Idaho Trip Sept 2010 012


North Idaho Trip Sept 2010 013

In the beginning of September, Kevin and I were able to spend some time in Northern Idaho for our anniversary. The first night we were there a storm was brewing. The clouds were lit up by the setting sun and the show was SPECTACULAR!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Electronic Challenges

The first thing you might notice is that I include no pictures with this blog entry. It's been a couple of weeks since the kids left now. When Sarah packed up and moved, Dad decided we didn't need wireless any longer, so I have been completely unplugged from my electronic life.

Last week we were in Blanchard, Idaho for a delayed anniversary trip. Kevin and I needed someplace close so that we could commute for our jobs and parent care duties. I was able to get some beautiful pictures while I was there but do not have internet access to them as they are loaded on my netbook (which presently has no internet access.) Sooooooo. . . when that happens, I will share some of them here!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wolf Lodge and Couer D' Alene with Uncle Bob & Aunt Jan

Riding in Matthew's "Benz"
Jan after Matthew's "Patron Challenge"
hmmmm. . . looks like she met it!

Big Sis & Little Bro

Matt & Uncle Bob

Matt's attempt to get Momma drunk . . . (he failed.)

It's been a pesonal challenge to my kids and my mom to get me drunk. I have never been drunk in my life and really have no desire to do so. Nevertheless, my family continues to try. After a delicious dinner at Wally's Wolf Lodge, we landed in Couer D' Alene. After my Kalua and creams, it turns out that Matthew thwarted himself by (accidently of course) spilling one of my drinks (cran/vodka) on my pristine white pants. So I made it through the night unscathed and my white pants recovered (with a little bleach) too! Even though I remained sober, Jan, however, met Matt's challenge after a couple of shots of Patrone. There was lots of conversations about family history and how blessed we are to be together now.

Another funny thing that happened was that Kevin got stopped for his cool shoes. This is funny because in now 26 years of marriage, my husband has never been stopped on the street for his fasion sense. Here are the now infamous shoes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Northern Quest CasinoSARAH & MATT
While serving in Iraq, one of the things that my mother and Matthew promised each other was that they would go to the casino together when he got back. It turns out that Sarah and I were able to join that party, and so last night we all went to Northern Quest together. The kids and my mom had a great time as grandma gambled her $50 and then was miffed that they would not give her a "refund." We enjoyed a meal at the noodle house as well. (Yum)
It was so great for us to all be together again. What a peace and joy it is for me to know that Matthew is back well and whole. They are planning to move to Las Vegas next week to begin their lives as full time students!!!
We will be squeezing as much as we can from every moment while they are both here. It will be difficult to say goodbye again, but there is solace in the fact they are going on to bigger and better things.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


My co-worker and friend, Barry, and I have been working hard to improve our diets and increase our vegetable intake. Through a few conversations we came up with each of us bringing in a creative, tasty version of them. During all of the deliberation we were disscussing the meaning of "cruciferous." Barry is quite the linguist (being trilingual) and immediately recognized the religious origin of this word. So this one is for you Barry. . .

Cruciferous is the adjective form of "crucifer,"meaning cross bearer, from crux or cruc- meaning cross, and -fer meaning one that bears.

Cruciferous vegetables (including cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower) are those that belong to the order of Brassicaceae. (wikipedia) "Cruciferae is an older name; it means "cross-bearing," because the four petals of their flowers are reminiscent of a cross."

Love word origins.

". . . even the (stones) vegetables cry out his name!" ~ interpretation: mine!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Kevin & Sister ~ Jan
This weekend we drove to Missoula to visit Kevin's sister, Jan and brother in law, Bob. It's about a three hour drive, so we stopped in Wallace, Idaho. This is one of the most beautiful drives I have ever done: right up there with the rainforests of Kauai. If you ever have the chance to drive through the panhandle of Idaho, don't miss it. Spectacular.
Carole & Joey on the Lake!

Joey and Sandy

Gazing @ the Beauty

In Wallace @ Red Light Cafe:
Famous for the best Huckleberry Shake between Seattle and Boston!

View of Missoula, Montana from Jan's Deck
Seely River from boat

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


So I have had a lot of requests from my "past lives" to post about my present worklife. I work for a division of the local community college called The Institute of Extended Learning (IEL). This division of the college heads adult basic education, ESL (English as a second language), GED preparation and High School Completion (HSC). I teach all of these with the exception of ESL.

The students I teach have dropped out of school for one reason or another. Most of them live in poverty and are looking to improve their lives and contribute to society. It's very exciting because many of them come to the IEL with doubts of their own abilities. Often they are surprised to see that they are very capable of learning the curriculum. Did you know that about one third of high school graduates cannot pass the GED? Many people see it as a "step down" from high school, but the truth is that if the student goes on to college and gets a certificate or degree, it does not affect their lack of success in the long run. You can look up famous people who have earned their GED. It may surprise you. The picture on this post is of Barry Moses (fellow instructor) and Jessica Randall (instructional tech) who I have the honor of serving alongside in the same classroom.
One of the visions of the IEL is accessibility of education. Because of this we are found at places like worksource, the Salvation Army and homeless shelters. In fact the local school district cut off services to homeless teens, so we picked up the program and their downtown shelter. We also make instruction accessible by doing a lot of one on one and small group teaching.

It's really special to be involved in a program that makes such a profound difference in the lives of people!!! And often we not only affect their lives, but the lives of the generation to follow. I feel blessed beyond belief to work for the IEL!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Danny and the G-parents

Here are a few pictures from Danny's visit in June.
Danny & Gpa @ Manito Park
Gpa helping Danny FLY!

Gma sneaking in a Kiss!

Monday, August 9, 2010


There's been a death in our house. It's not common knowlege, but we have a serial killer in our house. Before you call 911. . .

The "victim" is not a person and the perpetrator isn't either! The photo gives the unfortunate physical evidence. Everytime we bring a new dog toy home not much time passes before we find it de-gutted, de-squeked and quite dead. The murderer of said toys is our dog, Joey. Normally a sweet, loving companion, he quickly turns into Cujo when a squeky toy is introduced. Here is his most recent mug shot.

We don't seem to learn. We keep hoping that he will take good care of his toys, but he is part yorkie. . .who have been bread to kill varmits. Well, I guess we are just going to have to accept this evil part of him!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Riverside Flower

DSC01252, originally uploaded by squirrelmom989.

During the kayaking snafoo, I was able to take a few pictures from the shore of the river. There were wild irises growing along the edge and struck a lovely pose (just for me, or course)!

I love Spokane!


This was a beautiful evening with the moon coming up over the river. We enjoyed a wonderful paddle with all of the wildlife waking after a sleepy afternoon!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Danny in a Cat Tree

When Matthew was about 2 or 3 I came into our kitchen to find him on TOP of the refridgerator!!! He has always been a good climber and especially loved it when he was little.

Now his son has inherited his love for all things out of reach. Danny discovered our cat tower toward the end of his stay with us. He loved to climb up, but he kept thinking he could get down through that little hole he has his feet through in the picture. Needless to say, Amanda had to rescue him from the hole several times. He then thought it was just a fun game!!!

Like father, like son!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

For Kevin's birthday this year he recieved as his gift a new (used) fishing kayak. We have always talked about owning a small paddle boat of some sort. I found that I loved the feeling of "wearing" a kayak and being so close to the water. It is so quiet and pristine to be out on the water watching the osprey dive for fish.

On this trip we were marveling in the center flow of the river, when suddenly Kevin's paddle broke in two! He began floating downstream immediately which caused me a bit of panic. Much to his credit, he was able to use a single oar to get himself to the shore. In the picture above, he is using my AquaBound paddle, which we ended up sharing. While on shore, during his paddle, I took picures of the broken paddle with my kayak.

My Emotion Glide Kayak I got this last Christmas!

My emotion that day went from wonder, to panic, to enjoying watching my husband as he happily paddled off shore. We have since replaced the broken paddle!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Danny in Fountain

Danny in Fountain, originally uploaded by squirrelmom989.

Four Generations of Family

Danny: 1 1/2 years, June 2010

Danny and Amanda came to Spokane at the end of June! There's nothing like a toddler to bring out the child in 50 something grandparents! (. . . Although I was still just 50 during the visit, thank you very much.) There was lots of going to the park, playing with the hose and general foolish behavior! We totally enjoyed this visit with our sweet Danny. During the visit my friend, Barry, took pictures of all four generations at Manito Park. It was quite the event to have all of us there that day. It was quite tiring for the grandparents, but they were happy that they went. Here are some of the results from that day!

Left to right: Amanda (19), Danny (1.5 yrs), Kevin, Carole, Doris (83), Howard (86), Sarah (25)

Kevin, Carole (g-parents!) Danny and Amanda