Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A couple quick stories

I was making my rounds to the kids' bedrooms cutting everyone's nails. I was working on Aiden and saw he had some hangnails and thought it would be nice to get them trimmed off. He stopped me quickly, " Mom, no! It's my skin collection!" I laughed and laughed and after I calmed down he quickly said, "Mom, don't tell anyone!" He doesn't always like us to tell funny things he says after the fact. It's enough that he lets us laugh while it's happening instead of crying like he used to!

My kids have watched Newsies fairly recently and turned on Little Women this morning. I heard Aiden announce, "Hey, that's Jack Kelly!" I was surprised that he would remember his name because it has been many weeks since we watched it so I told him how surprised I was and his response was... "I never forget a man when I see a man!"
Like, duh, mom!

What a memory.:)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's almost time!

Pull out the holly. Put up the tree before my spirit falls again. Hmmm.... hmm... hmmm... hmmm... hmm I may be rushing things but Deck the halls again now. For we need a little Christmas need a little laughter. Need a little hmm hmm Happy ever after yes we need a little hmm.....

I guess I don't know all the words.

The last month may have been difficult but I am very much looking forward to the family arriving on Tuesday night. My parents and Tara, Eric and Malak are coming up for Christmas and then Chelan and Aaron are coming up for New Years. We had a number of days of school canceled due to snow but I am also glad that the kids have a break now for a couple weeks. Time to finish cleaning up the house and get the beds ready. We're having a party called "the Ries party" and it starts Tuesday! Whoopie!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sickness, always behind, more sickness

Life has been kind of crappy for a while. All through the crappy parts are many good things but the crappy things have worn me down. That, and I joined facebook... We decided to move, if you remember, very quickly about a week before October finished. We moved November 9th into our house. Since we began to pack our life has been a whirling dervish. It is not normal yet but boy am I looking forward to Christmas break. Here is a choppy run down of life: packing, cleaning, hosting Haloween party, packing, moving things, moving in, unpacking two days, Cindy's death/sudden Portland trip, unpacking, grief, my birthday (day after getting back from Portland...), unpacking, really behind on kids' homework, missed meetings from being gone, lots of homework, cleaning, Thanksgiving at my house, unpacking, more homework, behind on projects at church, christmas decorating, cleaning, unpacking... all the while needing to have laundry done and food on the table. Oh, wait, did I mention Ben had strep before Thanksgiving, Aiden had/ still has a bad cough and ear infection, and Izzy and Emma, and me, and lots of zink and fish oil and garlic and silver and "c" and on top of all that Ben has had hives for over a week due to our laundry soap so everything that has been washed has to be rewashed as well as the mountain waiting to be washed, and rewashing bedding, dish towels, bath towels, cloth napkins and a husband who is freakin' tired of itching and can't touch any one or anything... And more unpacking and cleaning for a Merry Christmas... Don't forget we have to get presents... I'm tired and my throat hurts and I have lines to memorize for a play and people to call for my brother so he can have an income next year... I'm sleeping in tomorrow.

Monday, December 01, 2008


In all the chaos of packing and moving and Andy and Yannick moving here to Bellingham and unpacking and Cindy's death and overdue homework and cleaning our old house and unpacking we were suppose to be ready to host family for Thanksgiving! As long as you didn't go in the garage we looked ready for company! We had our meal at Andy and Yannick's house and spent time at our new house as well. My parents came up as well as Ryan and Jess and Art and Lesa. It was great to have everyone here in Bellingham! Here are some pictures of our week.

This is the view from A and Y's living room, dining room , kitchen... It is spectacular.

Jason, Jones and Cody enjoying the fire
We invited Bruce, a guy from church to share T with us. Here they are being entertained by Ben.
The entertainment
Sneaking a peek at the mashed potato process
Taking a picture of ourselves in the mirror
Izzy and India
Some of the cousins on the "fatboy"
Silly Emma

We had sickness and injury but besides that it was fabulous. Now to gear up for Christmas!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Inevitable!

I had conferences with Aiden and Emma's teachers which were very pleasant. My kids won't be expelled any time soon and their teachers like them and all so that's great.

My son is like me. I figured someone would be and they all are in some ways but... Aiden gets distracted easily. All through my elementary years my teachers would say over and over, "Jennifer gets distracted easily and she needs to stop talking to the people around her." Some people aren't as fun as me. Can I help it if there's something more important going on? Aiden has a hard time completing his work. How odd! One generally hopes that others copy the more positive aspects of ones character but inevitably they'll do the opposite. Not like he had a choice in the matter but I have cursed him. I give him no excuse by any means but it is one thing he'll have to work on all his life. Too bad.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm 30

Yesterday was my birthday. Unfortunately, it was pretty gloomy. Not because of any of the activities of the day just the reality of starting up life after a death. It's not that I was thinking of Cindy or the family every moment. I just felt a cloud hovering, an utter sadness, where tears and rain could escape at any moment, hiding just beneath the surface. Turning thirty wasn't how expected it even though I was looking forward to the moment. I'm thankful I turned thirty. I'm thankful I can still be with my family. I'm reminded of that luxury that I so often take for granted.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cindy Wilson (edited)

For those of you who have not heard, our dear friend, Cindy, has developed bacterial meningitis. She is now on life support and we are heading down to love and cry with our family at East County. Please pray for so many who love her as well as her daughter Natalie who is having to travel from Botswana to be with her.

Cindy left this world to be with Jesus on Wednesday morning at approximately 9:30 am. Natalie will arrive tonight and the service time will be forth coming. We are without words at the loss of such a wonderful friend, mother, and wife.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What would you get with Fifty Bucks?

Okay, really quick I have to tell you about Aiden.

His Uncle Andy bought all his Imaginext from him and he made $50. We asked him what he was going to buy and he said he wanted an XBox. We told him he didn't probably have enough for an XBox but we would look on line to see what we could find. The very next morning he asked me if he could get his money because he wanted to buy something at the book fair at school. It's a good thing to purchase but we already knew what he really, really wanted and he was probably going to need every penny. I told him no and he was very sad and mad because it was his money. Later that morning I walked into his room to find that he had snuck and gotten his money and taken all his fifty dollars to school with him. I called the school and talked to the secretary who took a message for his teacher to call me and that he was not allowed to buy things with his money. It was too late. He was in the office with his teacher when they called me back and he had one dollar left. Despite his disobedience, he was very thoughtful and bought things for Emma as well as two books for Izzy. They kept his purchases there and got Emma's things from her until I could get there to see if we could get his money back. He came home from school and started weeping. It was the saddest thing. He just hid amongst boxes and cried and cried. It was so sad. For the time being I wanted to just comfort him and help him understand that he had decided what he was going to buy already but it comforted him little. I immediately looked on line to see what we could find. We found an XBox and a PS2 for $35 total. When Emma got out of school we painfully returned everything as Emma cried and Izzy cried about the things they couldn't have any more. It was really horrible. When it was time to pick up the XBox we had to have the conversation about his dishonesty and sneakiness and because of that he was going to have to tuck his XBox away until Sunday when we move to our new house. He cried a lot more but was still pretty happy to have the XBox in his hands. Whew! What a hard and sad lesson to learn and it affected a number of different people. Sunday is just around the bend and now he has games just waiting for him.

Monday, November 03, 2008


I would just like to note that I know that more than three people follow my blog. So, If you didn't notice that new thing over on the right and you follow my blog, you should click "follow this blog". You can also stick the same thing on your blog when you click on "layout" and "add Gadget" that way you don't feel so rejected when no one has any comments for you. :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008


We had a Harvest Festival at our church building again this year but didn't have it on Halloween night. It was a huge success which is always exciting.

So let's recap. Last year's Halloween was spent at the building. The year before we drove to a few people's houses from church around Sidney and they got some candy and showed off their costumes. The year before we did some trick-or-treating but not with Ben because he had a class on Halloween night in Abilene. And before that Izzy was a baby and we had something at the church. So, this year our family all went out together for the first time to our neighbor's houses. We had a lot of fun together and met some neighbors we hadn't met yet. Too bad we didn't do that last year because now we won't actually be their close neighbors... Our kids really had a fun time.

We threw a late Halloween Party for the Swiss Ries today and I'll post pictures of the table spread later. I'll also post our Halloween dinner. We had bat meatloaf and mashed potato ghosts and Green Goblin Gool squeezed from the heart of a vampire (otherwise known as green lemonade). I had a mashed potato moon instead. Pictures forth coming. :) I just thought it would be nice for them to have a full stomach before going out to collect candy. And what's more exciting to eat than shapes?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Our new house

These pictures are not in the order I put them in but I can't seem to cut and paste them. It's just not working. Which is why you'll see two of the front of the house... This is our "new" house that we're renting. We haven't moved in yet but will have the keys Monday evening and move everything on the 9th. Here is one of the three bathrooms.
Here is the office on the second floor. Scrapbooking, here I come!

Here is the dining room and kitchen as seen from the front door.
The living room
And the front again.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Merry Holloween?

These were this years carvings. Aiden's is scary pumpkin. Izzy's is puppy pumpkin. Emma's is Disney Castle. Ben and I love to have a competition when it comes to carving but the past few years all we can manage is carving each of our children's pumpkins! We have some fake ones we need to carve but I'm not sure we're going to have time for that soon, so...

Now, for the Merry part...

Our neighbor's house!

What In the world? We pulled out our scarecrow and they pulled out big blow up Christmas-Go-Round! Then, in one day, they had lights, reindeer, trees, Santa... oh, and two jack o lanterns! You can't put up Christmas before Fall starts!
Do you like the emphasis in the picture here?

"One of the these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong. Can you guess which thing is not like the other? Now our song is done."

Well, like we say every day now, Merry Christmas!

(I am going to be extrememly busy these next few weeks. I'll update when I can!)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Maybe I'm crazy!

I thought it would be great writing and computer practice for Emma to have her own blog! So we created it together and now she's hoping that her friends in Portland will make their own and check each other's blogs. Check out her first post

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pumpkins! (Edited)

Izzy had her second field trip of the year to the Pumpkin Patch. Not the coolest patch ever or anything but they did have a hay maze.

Who doesn't like a good pumpkin? Carving an intricate picture and displaying in with delicate candle light. I discovered some fake pumpkins last year at the thrift store and actually carved one this year. Greatest thing ever. My creation will never spoil. It remains beautiful and unfuzzy! We haven't carved the rest of our pumpkins yet but that post will be forthcoming!

I've added a picture of my pumpkin from our Texas time. It had two sides. Too bad I don't have digitals of some of my best work!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ben's conversation

So, the following is Ben's conversation with Aiden that he quickly wrote down so as not to forget anything. This conversation happened on the way back to the house from the bus stop. Izzy was there, too.

A: Dad, Jayden likes to have sex with naked girls. ( this kid is a 2nd grader.)
A: repeats
D: Who told you that?
A: Some people at school.
D: Aiden what does sex mean?
A: Oh... it's something...you know...I don't know. What is it? (laughing)
D: Buddy, sex is something that only married people should do and I don't think it's appropriate to talk about with your buddies at school.
A:Yeah! You and mom have sex all the time, right?
D:Well, not as much as I like.
A: (laughing) Yeah!
I: Dad, what is sex?
D: Aiden, what did you do today at school?
A: Ah, nothing!

Dad thinks to himself... "Crisis averted!"

So Ben wimped out of that one but, I promise you, I have had to have this conversation many times with all of my children. I have come to realize that trying to discuss these matters with them when they are these ages seems pointless! They don't remember what we talk about at all! I have had some pretty decent explanations, too! But, don't ask for them! That's what your parents are around for. Jeesh!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


So, I hurt my neck. It was a really strenuous activity I was involved in and I really need to be more careful about how I exercise! See, when your lying in bed and your alarm goes off, the best advice is to wear earplugs or figure out some sort of method other than turning it off so that you don't feel inclined to reach over and turn it off, for that, and that alone, is what I did to hurt my neck... And as I lied there, I thought, "that hurt" and I lied there five minutes, six minutes, seven minutes... And with each minute, the pain got more intense and my neck was able to move less and less. Then... I tried to get up. With every millimeter or a move my body tried to make, shooting pains seared up into my skull. Any way I thought I might be able to move was useless. Now, I could have had Ben just pull me up. Yes, the perfect solution. Only guess who was out of town at that very moment? It starts with a "B" and ends with a "en"! The longer time ticked the more I was determined to get Advil and NOW! So, as quick as I could I maneuvered my buns to the edge of the bed and allowed my body to fall off. How else could I force myself to endure the pain that inevitably shot through my brain?
Let me tell you, I had two very full days planned while Ben was gone and that changed rather quickly. I had Izzy taken to school by someone else and canceled my meeting which left me just enough time to lay down very carefully and sleep so as to try and relax every muscle that had tensed up in body.
As the hours go by, I find the pain to transform into something new. A different muscle, a new pain, and actually, ways I can move it and places I can put pressure which allow me to turn certain ways... But, in the last 60 hrs I have prepped a shower for caulking, a counter for resurfacing, watched two boys for a day, packed up my scrapbooking stuff, taken my kids and myself to a friends where we scrapbooked and stayed the night, and layed flooring down for my first time! And church and sleeping but...
This (picture below) is a pressure point I discovered for neck pain. If it's the right side of your neck push on the left hand and vise versa. I've only tried it once so far and am very hopeful! I've never been to a chiropractor since we moved here and we've always had some sort of good deal wherever we've lived thus far so I don't want to pay 50 to 200 bucks for a little poppy pop but we'll see if I'm forced. I am trying to move it and massage it and have some arnica and other drugs... Like pot. Just joking! I've also discovered my most reliable massager. It's me. I'm always available, I know exactly what I need and I'm good at what I do!
Hopefully this will come to pass. Life could be worse. My neck's just stiff. That's all.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Some random pictures

These are some pictures I took at a house nearby that is a public building. We looked around inside and took pictures outside. It was sort of fun. Yah, okay, it was fun! Izzy brought her friend Harsimran. She's Indian. It makes me think of Eva...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

To redeem graphic post...

Birds! (Graphic content)

This morning was bird morning...

As I took Izzy to school there were some crows eating a freshly killed squirrel. When I headed to the church building I saw a large hawk hop off the road into the bushes with it's freshly killed breakfast. Then, when I picked Izzy up, that same dead squirrel had attracted some seagulls. I was driving pretty slow and there was still one seagull pretty dedicated to his meal. I said, "Move, seagull. I'm driving through here..." And I slowly drove closer and closer expecting Mr. Seagull to hop over to the side of the road and let me pass. So, I'm getting closer and closer, hoping... hoping... Then, thump... THUMP... THUMP! Ahhhh! Yuck! I killed a huge seagull! How stupid are seagulls? "I wasn't gonna take your food!" Darn seagull! (I showed Izzy on the way home.)

Monday, September 22, 2008


Two bullets on the subject

*I was thinking, for some reason, about the neighborhood I used to live in during some of my growing up years. I lived in the Oakbrook neighborhood. It was a great place to be able to ride bikes, there was a park close by and don't forget the beaver marsh! It wasn't actually a marsh at all but a foresty area with a stream running through it and a path that took you around a long loop. Lovely! And then I thought, if I ever lived in Vancouver again, I wouldn't mind looking for a house in the same neighborhood. Then I thought, I wonder how prices are comparable in that neighborhood to what they are here in my neck of the woods. So, I looked up one of those cool maps where you can see each little house icon in any particular neighborhood and get the details. Two things, I noticed. One, there are some brand new homes on 99th st that amaze me. Only because it was all full of houses already! What did they destroy to errect new ones? And not just one new either! Second, our old neighbor lady on the corner with the poodle's house is for sale. I'm sad to say she probably passed away... I remember her house so vividly.

*I was going to write a different post about how we were going to make an offer on a house. It's right near the church building, big enough, wood floors, lots of light, big yard, green house, not to mention some chicken pens. It's a repo and we've been wiating for a while to see if they were going to lower the price at all because there are many things that have to be done before it's actually livable! We were at least waiting so they would accept a low offer. Well, we made the decision yesterday that we would write up an offer and sign it as soon as Ben gets home on Friday. Well, unbeknownst to my dear husband, there is now an offer pending on it... What?! Darn! Well, isn't that devine intervention? Man! Now I get to sit at home waiting for Ben to come back so we can look more... Poop.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Garden!

This represents my feelings toward my garden.

It's gone to pot.

Couldn't save it. It's production was a tease and far less useful than I expected. It's not all over. The tomatoes have survived "the plague" as I like to call it. Some flowers survived. I got some sweet peas, some sugar snaps, some strawberries, one lemon cucumber, one mini cucumber, and two full size green beans. Everything is a shriveled, poopy, stupid, dumb head now. My tomatoes are alive despite me because I refuse to go outside and tend to anything. It's too depressing and I don't want it any more. The tomatoes are suppose to be romas but they are actually the size of cherry tomatoes and they're ripening.

Next year I plan to have a real garden in the ground. I feel capable of having a garden and I proved that to myself even if you guys think I'm a failure at gardening. You weren't here, so you don't know. I've learned very useful things and know things to do and not to do next time. One being few pots! I will reserve them for flowers and I will patch up the holes I drilled in my beautiful pedistal pots. That was a bad idea. Good for you, all you people with produce. Good for you. I'll just get mine at the market now. No more energy for death!
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