Sunday, April 29, 2018

TOFW - local style

I had the unique opportunity being on the Time Out For Women team staff this year.  I was asked to be on the local staff this year as it is the first time TOFW has come to the Tri-cites.  My job was to find some other awesome ladies to help advertise on social media and in person and also give out local scholarships and then help out on the weekend of the event.  We've been working on stuff since October so it was pretty exciting to finally have the weekend arrive.
I feel so honored to call these ladies friends.  It was a pleasure spending the weekend with each of them.

Our Tri-cities team -- together we helped SELL OUT the event (2,500 ladies in attendance)!!  My specific group was in charge of the door entry (checking for tickets, passing out wristbands and bags).  We were the first face of TOFW and so we were assigned to be extra friendly!  I was really impressed how important it was to the TOFW paid staff that each woman be made to feel important and to not bring in any contention (ie. the customer is ALWAYS right).  It really was a great experience!
My favorite speaker was Carol Decker who got a bacterial infection while she was pregnant.  She had an emergency c-section and basically when she awoke she had had both legs amputated, one arm, and another finger from her opposite hand.  Her baby lived and after months of rehab, Carol returned home and learned how to be a mom to her two young girls (with the help of a nanny), care for herself, learn how to be happy and have fun with her new life.  She was so inspirational!!  I also loved hearing Mercy River's motivational music!

Here are a few highlights for me at TOFW:

-Life is a gift.  It you don't open it you will miss the beauty inside.

-The Lord will MEET you where YOU are. 

-Charity is an outward expression of our inward feelings on grace.

-Through grace you can be turned into the best version of YOU.

-No other work transcends that of righteous, intentional parenting. - Pres Nelson

-When you are going through trials look for the miracles.

-Those who love also choose to suffer.

-Never, never shut the door of your hearts to any of your children.- Elder Oaks (As God nevers shuts the door to any of us)

-The day of judgement will be a day of mercy and love. - Elder Uchtdorf 

Sounds like TOFW will be coming back to the Tri-cities in 2020!!! 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Doing the jig with a pretty gal

Tyler had the pleasure of attending the high school prom with a friend from school.  He reports that he had a fabulous night!!  They dined at Zesta Cucina, danced, and then hot tubed before ending the night.

Tyler and Regan

Looking handsome and pretty

Fun night!

And I must share Alysee's amazing hair creation she was hired to do for a friend for prom.  Isn't she amazing!!!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Macaroons...done ferreo rocher style

This girl is amazing in the kitchen!!  She has NO fears!  Last week Chloe decided that she wanted to try her skills out on making homemade ferreo rocher macaroons.  Um...I was like, what is that? And I'll be out-of-town.  She was like, "Um, I don't need your help." and they are like these...
So while I was out-of-town and Birch was putting together our new lawn mower and attacking the forest...
Chloe was in the house converting grams to cups (actually Birch did help her with this part before he went outside) but after that she measured, sifted, formed, baked, creamed, etc... everything on her own.

Chloe LOVES to get out ALL her ingredients before she starts a project

She uses a frosting bag to make each cookie

Piping the hazelnut filling

Ta da!!!  The final product!  
Outside of the kitchen looking like it had been throw WWII -- the cookies looked and tasted amazing!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Inland Awesomeness

Tyler was able to compete at a regional tennis tournament in Spokane this weekend called Inland.  He played doubles with partner, Kade.  These two played hard and won their first match but sadly lost their second match and were booted out of the tournament.

Grannie, Blayre and Ryan and the boys came to cheer on Tyler. So sweet!! Tyler had a great time!!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sneaking away

Birch and I have been eager for a little get-a-way for a while now.  Birch had a continuing education course in Portland on Saturday and so he worked this past Monday so he could have Friday off.  We left in the morning for Portland and drove straight to the Portland Temple.  We BARELY made it in time for the 11 am session.  The best part about our temple time was meeting my parents!

After our temple time my parents treated us to lunch at PF Changs! IT WAS SO YUMMY!!  We were all ravenous and ate every last morsel of rice!

We had to reenact this picture as we took a similar one almost 22 years ago.
Then we headed to our hotel near Birch's course by OHSU.  It wasn't the nicest hotel but it wasn't nasty either. The next day I enjoyed sleeping in and then met Birch at lunch time.  He then dropped me off at Pioneer Square shopping area and I wandered around for five hours.  I found some fun deals at H&M, Ross, and TJ Maxx.  The rest of the shopping stores were CRAZY expensive!

Birch picked me up and we headed to Vancouver for a super tasty dinner.  We just randomly picked the place after reading some reviews on YELP.  Much to our surprise, the day we went was their opening day for the season.  We had to wait almost an hour but we enjoyed sipping on some soda and enjoying the sunshine and the water.

If you are in the Portland area you need to check it out.

Birch's fresh caught halibut tacos were amazing!!  I had fish and chips and it took me back to all my wonderful memories of Long John Silvers fish and chips from when I was little in Pennsylvania.  I loved drenching the fish in the malt vinegar.

Basically I could go anywhere with this guy and LOVE it!!  But throw in some sunshine, water, and good food and I'm a happy camper!
After dinner we stopped at Sierra Trading Post and found some sweet deals!  We didn't get home until 12:30 am but it was worth it!!  We've loved listening to Steve Young's autobiography called "QB: My Life Behind the Spiral."  While I was dozing off on the drive home Birch was entertained.  We're both so grateful that Grannie was willing to hang with the kids while we enjoyed some time with just the two of us!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Grannie Comes To Town

We were lucky enough this past week to have Grannie and Carter come stay with us.  The days were quiet and the afternoons and evenings were wild with kid's activities. 

During the day, Debbie and I worked tirelessly at updating all the kid's school books.  For the past thirteen years I have had a file cabinet that we have thrown all the kid's school pictures, schoolwork, awards, etc...  I tried once years ago to update all the books but it was too overwhelming for me and I didn't last long.  With Debbie by my side, we cut and glued and finally finished all the books.  I think I have learned my lesson and will now be able to keep them up.

Cousin Carter loved the afternoons and evenings when all the kids would come home and entertain and play with him.  Chloe was in HEAVEN!!!
Chloe and Carter are two peas in a pod.

While the kids were all gone during the day we did try to do a few fun things together.  I dug out our playdough, lincoln logs (not a hit), magitiles, picnics on the porch, a trip to Walmart to pick out a new shirt, a hair trim, and a fun little photoshoot to surprise his momma!

We had lots of sunshine this week so playing on the trampoline was a perfect activity.

Chloe LOVED learning how to make macaroons alongside Grannie.  The two worked for hours on Saturday perfecting their recipe and ended up with these masterpieces - Coconut Mango Macaroons.

Sunday we threw an early birthday party for Grannie.  We celebrated with sharing things we love about Grannie, giving her a new pair of adventure sanuk sandals, having homemade Cafe Rio Pork Salad, and a Chocolate Delicatessen Waffle Sunday.

Grannie is such a special light in all our lives!

Alysee is fabulous at her hand lettering - check out the amazing lettering on Grannie's package and letter.

These two didn't get to spend a ton of time together this week but each minute they did they loved it up!  
 Come back again Grannie!!!!  We LOVE having you here!!!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Alysee-bird sings

Alysee had the honor of singing at a music festival at Columbia Basin College in Pasco on Saturday.   Her choir was chosen to sing at the closing ceremonies.  They had four different numbers they sang but they were chosen to perform their version of "Witness."

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Run for your life...

Another track meet in the books!!  It wasn't rainy this week but man was it windy and cold!  Grannie and I huddled together and tried to think warm thoughts.  Nate competed again in the 1600m, 800m, and javelin.
Nate tried so hard to beat those two boys in front of him.  He was really giving it his all!

Trying to recover before his next event.

After Nathan threw the javelin a coach from a different team approached him and complemented him on his form.  She shared that it's not your stature that makes a good competitor but your skill - and she raved about his skill for several minutes!

Lots of boys running the 800m

A strong finish!  Birch made it just in time to see Nate run this last event.  Birch prayed in the morning that he would be able to make it for part of Nate's meet and the Lord really pulled through!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Chop, Chop

Spring is here and the girls and I have all been itchin' for a new du.  Honestly, I have been feeling like a dog lately but the kids all seem to like it when I grow my hair out.  I couldn't stand it anymore so I indulged myself a bit this week.  New mascara, ordered some new blush and eye shadow, waxed my eye brows, and chopped my hair.
Feel like a new woman!
Chloe was a little more hesitant to get her hair cut but decided that as long as it grows by the summertime she was okay with a change.

Alysee needed no convincing...she had been wanting to get her haircut for several weeks and was delighted when she was finally able to get it done.  It's healthy and thick now!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

First Climb of the Year

Birch and the boys were guests at the scout campout this weekend at The Feathers in Vantage.  Sounds like it was crazy busy with the weather warming up but they all had a good time.  Nate just advanced from the Deacons and Coop is just shy from being a Deacon - Tyler and Birch came along in order to have the skills and equipment. 
Coop isn't much of a camper but after we finally kicked him out of the door and he got into the great outdoors -- he ended up having a great time.

There were about fourteen scouts and leaders that camped together.  They had a fun time playing catch.

Nate is just finishing up his Camping merit badge and so he was in charge of breakfast and lunch.  Birch says he did an excellent job leading and working along side all the boys.

Breakfast burritos and Costco muffins for breakfast

Birch is so good with all the boys!  He gave years of his life to the scouts and when he was released as scoutmaster our kids were all sad.  I'm thankful that he has still made it a priority to often accompany them on their campouts so they have those good memories with their dad.

Coop scaling The Feathers

Nice job!

Birch cleaning up a route.

And kudos to Tyler who took all these pictures.  He really is quite the camera man!  Tyler was a great help in setting up climbs and belaying for hours.