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her: a birthday, and a bit of outside

She turned 12.  She had a sleepover, went to the movies, ate food she wanted, and enjoyed her cakes and presents.  I’ve also included here photos of her venturing out for bits of time as the weather warmed: these were her chosen set-ups when I kicked her out to “go outside and get some sun while it’s out!”  One day it was sunny for the whole day, and even a little warm, so we had our friends over and rang in the season with our first hot dog roast.



Matt and I caved.  We finally gave in and bought the trampoline our kids have been wanting for years.  Our friends came over to help us set it up, which saved us sooooo much time.  And now, even though it might ruin the lawn, I have to move it to mow, and we have to figure out what to do with it when we move, I am thrilled about it.  My kids laugh and smile, play together, move and go outside more, and have a fun thing to do with friends.  It is great.


We hardly craft anymore, but we had our annual homeschool group Valentine’s Day party coming up, so we went on a crafting binge.  They wanted to win prizes for their boxes in the box-decorating competition, and that was reason to go for creating in a way they just aren’t too interested in anymore these days.  Except Ashton, who is into making movies and stop-motions (her blog is here:, and Cedar, who is into making paracord bracelets.  Anyway, these boxes ended up so awesome!  Cedar even won the Grand Prize for his age group.

snow, oh, snow!

“It won’t be long before we’ll all be there with SNOW!”  Do you recognize that song?  We did watch several old musicals this winter while we snuggled up during snowy weather.  More snow, and cold temps, happened here this year than in many years.  We loved it!

comings and goings

Winter was wet and cold this year (though the photos seem to show mostly the sunny days— this is only part of a mostly very gray, cloudy story), with many, many, MANY days at home.  From the snaps I captured (and I missed a lot of photos of our adventures with friends and at home), I see we have indeed kept busy.  We continued with our church, homeschool, working on our house, friendships, choir, and YMCA classes.  Cedar started chromatic harmonica lessons, Ash got braces, Jess cut her hair short, and we finally added a second car (and a payment to go with it!).  We got some museum trips in, a couple of theater shows, and Jess did the Seattle Women’s March.  We are very much looking forward to more sun and warmth— even the locals are complaining about the long winter we’ve had!



December has brought us cold, rain, and several days of snow; woods walks; time with friends; an epic kitchen project; legos and stop-motion and movie making by Ashton (if you want to see her work, her blog is; Christmas decorating and traditions at home and at church; a visit from Matt’s parents for his Navy Band concert; Ashton’s choir concert (which was so very exciting for her); Christmas Day in all its glory; and, as usual, a good bit of family togetherness.

the things of fall


I haven’t been taking many photos lately, but pictured above are a few of the fun things we’ve done this fall.  It looks from these photos like the weather has been gorgeous and sunny, but in reality we’ve had mostly rainy, gray days that turn to night around 3:30pm.  Halloween was as exciting as it ever is, with decorations and preparations filling the month of October.  Matt and I have been working hard on house projects, as usual; this time it’s been painting and refinishing the kitchen.  Matt’s schedule is random this time of year, so we see him a lot sometimes while at other times we high five him when we can.  Jess had the opportunity to get tattoos on her reconstructed breasts for free via an organization called  While Ashton is getting deeper into reading books and building cities made of Legos, Cedar is into trying all the things– including pogo sticks, yo-yo tricks, magic, paracord, pennywhistles, and other novelties.  As a family, we have been playing games, making art, making our kids exercise and do chores (evil parents, I know), spending lots of time helping at our church, visiting with friends, making interesting ketogenic food, walking in corn mazes and woods, and spending a lot of time at home.  We ran a 5K at the YMCA, too…. in the pouring rain.  Thanksgiving was spent with our friends the Demicks and their parents, along with a second turkey meal at home the next day.  Jessica’s 38th birthday celebrations included purchasing our Christmas tree (a fake one for the first time ever, and we love it) and decorating it, along with hot cocoa (and peppermint schnapps, of course), Christmas carols played on the piano, and a fire in the fireplace.  I’m sure there was so much more we experienced together this fall that I just don’t remember, so I will go for snapping those pictures more often.

Mailli - Your play looks amazing!