Saturday, December 31, 2011


I love looking back at the year and seeing what was accomplished.
2011 was full of fun and joy, heartbreak and sadness, stress, a bit of the bizarre, and through it all, blessings.

In January, we celebrated the new year, I learned how to make non-dairy cheese, we celebrated mom's birthday, we took the boys sledding, we stayed the weekend at the Gescher lake house, took the boys to the bottom of Detroit Lake, celebrated Tom Selleck's birthday, and started putting in a new tub and, much to our delight, Jill and John got married.

In February, we had our second annual 14 Days of Love countdown to Valentine's Day. Some of my favorites this year were our Crush Party, when Lily got red lips and heart attacking. Deb and Kevin helped us tile our bathroom and the bathroom got mostly finished (it still isn't finished!), we made fun valentine's for school, we celebrated Grandpa Joan and Maddie's birthday and I had a weekend getaway with my Soul Sisters.

In March, Mustache March began (so sad for me), Derek and Stephanie had a birthday, our family was shocked to lose one of our family members to an untimely death, we went to see the house my mom lived in as a child and the remains of the Provo Tabernacle, Wil and Phylicia got married, we celebrated Landon's birthday, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day, I took a quilting class with my father, Steve surprised the boys with a visit and we celebrated Sarah's birthday.

In April, Stephanie and I did a U.S. and Scotland Here and There Photo Challenge, my parents moved, I took a two art classes, Larry and I avoided an accident but were run off the road, we celebrated Steve's birthday and my sister came home from Scotland, these were hand delivered and I took a flower design class.

In May, the wee ones made a backyard zipline, we had a hot dog potluck, took Lily to the coast for the first time, we took the boys to Eastern Oregon for Larry's birthday, celebrated Alivia's birthday and Landon had his first (and hopefully only) toothache.

In June, Lily met Captain, my man clan became bull frog hunters, my dad and I had another quilting class, participated in the Jeff Young Fun Run, saw my aunt and uncle on their mission, Landon graduated from Kindergarten, we had lots of outdoor summer fun, the boys invented the jump board of doom, we started working on our backyard deck and I transformed a picnic table.

In July, we went to the paddle boats, saw a diner dwelling monkey named Elvis, LongBoardLarry was in Concrete Wave's Reader's Choice Award in 4 categories, we took the older boys for a weekend trip to Southern Oregon to zipline and see the vortex, I took the wee ones to visit my brother in Seattle where we went to the zoo, played hide and seek and swam, I painted our shed door, we made a homemade slip and slide, my man clan got a little boat to help with bull frog hunting, we went to farmer's markets galore, Larry and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary, we took the boys to the beach and spent Independence Day with grandma and grandpa Joan.

In August, Larry and I went to Bend and saw Ben Harper in concert with Paul and Cassie, and we saw the Go-Go's in concert in Portland with Deb and Kevin. I took the boys headstone hunting, we took the man clan to a super cool Renaissance Faire in Washington and we met my second cousin, who is a magician.

In September, the LongBoardLarry mobile was loaded up with me, Lach and my parents. We drove to Arizona for 10 days, where we did a lot of sight seeing and some family history, including finding our family homestead and visiting Globe, where we found information about my third great-grandfather. We celebrated Lach's birthday, took the boys to the Field of Flags and celebrated Laird's birthday.
In October, I ran my first half-marathon, we had a lot of fun with autumn and Halloween celebrations, including carving pumpkins, eating a lot of theme food, taking the older boys to the Nightmare Factory, taking all the boys to a fun pumpkin patch and going trick or treating. I started taking screen printing classes and we celebrated the third year of the kidney transplant.

In November, Larry and I went whale watching with Stephanie in Anacortes, and Steve joined us on that weekend getaway. We celebrated Larry J's 16th birthday, celebrated Thanksgiving, started the 30 Days Until Christmas Countdown and we cut down our Christmas tree.

In December, we continued our Christmas Countdown, where we made gingerbread house, wrote letters to Santa, made snowflakes, made Christmas cookies and ate a lot of holiday food. We made ornaments and snowglobes and saw an incredible live nativity. We celebrated Grandma Joan's birthday, had an awesome Christmas Eve and Christmas day with our families, saw the Zoo Lights and Miriam came to help celebrate New Year's weekend.

I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to 2012 and what it has to offer.

Wishing you all the best for you and your family in 2012.


is one of the items on my new year resolution list, after I was inspired by Crystal. This is what I'll be learning to make in 2012:

January - naan
February - soap
March - moisturizing kitchen hand scrub
April - hamburger buns
May - hummus
June - a sprinkler
July - fruit leather
August - freezer jam
September - pretzels
October - bagels
November - vapor rub
December - apple butter

I love my list of resolutions this year. It's a really long list, but it is (at least it seems to be now) organized for successful completion. Believe it or not, there's even ghost hunting on it.

I'm excited for a productive 2012!

Anything fun on your list?

Friday, December 30, 2011


from the airport last night.
Miriam wanted to surprise my sister, Stephanie, with a weekend visit. It was such a hard secret to keep AND what a fun surprise it was!After we got her luggage, we hunted Stephanie down and the surprise was awesome! Too bad I didn't get her reaction on video.


Do remember the ones I showed you for the wee ones and Lily? Click here for a looksee. I couldn't show you the older boys' before Christmas because they check out the blog. Now that Christmas has past, here are the final two.Laird being a survivalist with knife, fire and of course, bugs for a snackity snack.
Larry J with a dreamy sports car.

All five are framed and in the hanging in the boys' rooms. They are so fun and look magnifique!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Love, love, LOVE this video chat karaoke special with Zooey Deschanel and Joe Gordon-Levitt.

Sorry, I don't know how to make it fit in the frame.


I have in my life.
Look at this wool bag she made me for Christmas. She is a knitter with mad skills.
I'm so happy to be the lucky recipient of this bag. I love it!


Pillowcases with Mr. Right and Mrs. Always Right embroidered on them.What makes these pillowcases even more awesome is that she HAND EMBROIDERED the lettering. Isn't she so good?! She loves handwork and is so good at it.

Want to see more of Grandma Amazing's handwork? Check out:
- Quilts she made our boys
- Christmas stockings for our family

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Wooden suitcases full of childhood memories.I love how the names on the suitcases resemble a combination. It was so fun to go through the papers, art and photos. The boys had a great time laughing at their dad!
A few of our boys have written very similar papers about wishing for a monkey.
Who knew Larry used to have a hut in his younger years.

But of all the writings, photos and art projects that were in the suitcase, my all time favorite was a picture Larry drew of his mother for Mother's Day. I'm framing it. LOVE IT!!

This was such an awesome gift! The smiles, laughter and memory sharing was priceless.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Some of us siblings got together and gave a year of experiences to our parents for Christmas.Some of the dates have specific dates and times - a play in January and my mom's favorite movie, West Side Story, etc... How lucky are we that it is playing at the Elsinore Theater in February?! That was an exciting purchase; nothing like old movies on the big screen. The other dates are for their favorite eateries, movie tickets, etc... Some are extravagant and some are simple, but what they love.

My sister bought the basket to contain their monthly excursions and made a really cute photo collage of the gift givers. We all brain stormed about their favorite activities and likes and then we scurried about town to pick up the gift cards.

Twelve months of paid dates for the love birds. After 43 years, I love that they still hold hands.

Our gift was inspired by Shannon at Life in General.


at the Oregon Zoo.There are over a million lights at the zoo and they are incredibly beautiful and fun.
If you haven't gone yet, you have until January 1.

Monday, December 26, 2011


we went to church, then headed over to Grandma and Grandpa Joan's house. We opened presents, the cousins played, one of the highlights is always grandpa's train set, and we had a delicious Christmas lunch.

We are blessed to have such incredible family. It's been a fabulous, joyous, love filled weekend! I truly hope your Christmas weekend was amazing too.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


was at our lair and it was full of food on tables with wrinkly tablecloths, presents for everyone, almost all of the family in town, lots of fun noise and laughter.
The three littlest cousins were so much fun to watch open their presents, we got serenaded by carolers, ate way too much food and went to bed with smile on our faces.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Carry on family traditions.My father remembers his dad making rice krispie treats with chocolate chips on Christmas Eve.
I remember making them with my father for Christmas Eve. We'd snitch them and have to make another batch.
I make them with my boys on Christmas Eve and we always do an extra batch so we can snitch.


for my dad in the 80's. To be honest, he looks a little scary and that is exactly why I like him so much. When I was six, we lived in Italy and I had a scary Santa experience and this Father Christmas reminds me of him. Here's my scary Santa. Who knew they made Santa masks? Isn't that the scariest Santa you've ever seen? Good times, good times....

Friday, December 23, 2011


Gingerbread houses. Actually, graham cracker, but we still call them gingerbread.The host/hostesses.
This tradition with grandpa is something the boys really look forward to every year and this is the first year they haven't done it on Christmas Eve.

Although it is so much fun doing this edible craft with all the cousins on Christmas Eve, it was a much tidier, less rushed and a calmer activity done one on one with the grandparents and individual families. It was a fun and tasty evening!
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