Sunday morning we woke up to a few snowflakes, which for the Pacific Northwest is a big deal. A few snowflakes slowly turned into accumulation.
It continued to snow all day. While everyone was watching the Super Bowl, Evie was hanging out with Deedee and Papa riding her horse and playing in the snow. She even helped Papa shovel the snow.
In return for Evie’s help, Papa took her for a ride in the snow.
By morning we had more snow than we have seen in the lowlands in the last 3 years.
Mommy and Daddy went to work and school on Monday morning only to find that they were both closed due to the weather. Daddy ran into Uncle Adam at school so they made a snowman before returning to the south sound together. Mommy ended up working all day covering the hospital.
Daddy and Evie played in the snow as well and made a snowman and bearded snow frog.
The rest of the week was fairly status quo. Uncle Adam and Daddy started a class that they got as Christmas gifts, Historic European martial arts AKA the sword fighting class Ryan has been talking about since he met Kathleen.
Mommy didn’t have to work on Thursday or Friday, Daddy likes to join in the breakfast conversation so we FaceTime while he walks to class. Evie’s favorite part is when Daddy stops and lets Evie watch the buses drive by.
With Daddy and Uncle Adam away practicing to fight in the crusades (or the zombie apocalypse, whichever happens first), Evie and Mommy went and played at an indoor kids gym. Aunt Maryanne and Edmund came too!
One of Evie’s favorite parts is that this gym also has an arts and crafts area. She made a Valentine.
Evie likes having Mommy home during the week because they get to do things like cook and bake together. This week they made cupcakes.
Now we are sad to report that the snow is gone, it was fun while it lasted.
Short blog this week. Mommy and Daddy are beat, and Evie is too little to blog. Go figure.
Evie likes going to visit Jesus. It is one of her favorite things to do. She especially likes the 8 A.M. Mass on Sunday, because then she gets to hang out with her buddy Joshua afterwards.
Daddy has footlers!
Uncle Adam came over on Sunday to help move the pergola we are building in the back yard (no, it is not finished yet. Not even close.) We needed him to help us move it a total of 3 feet. It took about five minutes to set up, move it, and put everything away, but it was a good excuse for a two hour visit, complete with tea and chatting and Edmund.
Edmund is a hoss. And he can move! He crawls like a young gorilla, very fast and with a lot of inertia.
We visited them on Wednesday night for steak and salad and beer and salt potatoes.
Maryanne makes some mean salt potatoes, almost as good as the ones Ryan and Adam grew up with. (Salt potatoes are a New York thing, dating back to the early 1800’s when Irish immigrants working the salt marshes in Syracuse NY used to bring their potatoes for lunch. When the lunch bell rang they would toss the raw potatoes into the boiling vat of brine, fish them out again, and voila!)
Nowadays we add butter, but other than that the recipe hasn’t changed. You take some potatoes, preferably new from the garden, and boil them with a whole lot of salt. Hence the name.
Edmund showed Evie one of his favorite toys: the spring loaded door stop.
It doesn’t get much better than that!
Mommy has been working very hard sorting Evie’s old clothes and tagging and pricing the ones that she doesn’t need or didn’t use much to sell at a baby item swap meet nearby, called “Just Between Friends.” She spent a few evenings and part of a morning working there, selling some of our extras and came home with a whole set of the next sizes up…
And a nice, shiny metal tricycle and a little red wagon. The tricycle is too big for Evie to reach the pedals, but she can sure ring the bell!
Mommy is Evie’s favorite Mommy ever!
And that’s all. We need to hit the hay and be up and at ’em dark and early tomorrow. Best of luck to all.
Happy Saturday! We know Family Friday is late yet again, but it continues to be crazy in the world of this Kraeger family.
Last weekend we went to a wedding of one of Kathleen’s cousins. Evie was excited because cousin Edmund got to come along. Uncle Ryan and Aunt Kathleen were baby sitting. The best part about the wedding as far as the little people were concerned was that the wedding was held at the Swiss Park, Evie and Kathleen’s home away from home. They have lots of swings there, slides too!!!
Sorry all the pictures of Evie running up and down the slides didn’t come out.
After all the playing at the wedding while we were packing up getting ready to go home the little people discovered yet another place to explore…the carSunday we all got together and Aunt Maryanne’s parents house to celebrate Aunt Maryanne’s Birthday. It was a pool party. Evie is still unsure about this floating in the water thing. She doesn’t quite trust it.She preferred to play on the side of the pool or sit and kick her feet in the water.
Sunday we had the pleasure of a movie date night. Kathleen’s Aunt Dude was kind enough to watch Evie for the night. Evie loves to explore at Dude’s house because she has all kinds of things that grow there.Pumpkins! Look Dude!Apples…’I’m not sure which one tastes better, Evie better eat both’
Ryan took the opportunity to grab a few peppers and carrots from the garden for his snack at the movies, but don’t tell anyone its a secret.
Monday morning Grandpa Jerry had some tests done on his heart up in Seattle which showed that he was in need of a CABG (coronary artery bypass graft), he was bummed out so we decided to stop in and give him a little Evie pick-me-up.
Evie ate all of the strawberries and the few blueberries that are still being produced in Grandpa’s garden. She had the most fun playing in the corn while daddy was picking some to take home.
Because Evie is such a helpful creature she even helped Grandma by watering the plants on the deck.Other than that Daddy has been working on the deck like gangbusters trying to get it finished before he has to return to school. The above picture is what the deck looked like on Saturday before the wedding, below is the progress Ryan made during the week between rain showers.
Well that’s all for this week. Keep us all in your prayers especially grandpa Jerry. Hopefully we will have good news about that next Friday. God Bless!
You know that feeling you get after a day long book binge?
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like that. I mean, Holy Eventful Weeks, Batman! It seems as soon as Ryan goes on vocation, he actually does more work than he ever does at school.
Let’s see, where to begin.
On Saturday, Daddy and Uncle Adam ran a 5k charity run for a fundraiser event for the charity 4US. 4US is a charity and Uncle Adam and Maryanne belong to which raises money to purchase ultrasound machines for crisis pregnancy centers.
It was hotter than heck!
Adam is faster than Ryan. Or perhaps I should say he is not as slow. He came in a good minute ahead at 22: something, not impressive at all.
Ryan ran even slower, at 23:07. Even less impressive.
Purely coincidentally, both Ryan and Adam have begun a 5 week training program to get their 5k times down again. Being husbands, and fathers, and full time college students is no excuse for sucking.
Daddy went to look for his sandals, but Evie had them.
And a belly button.
Silly baby girl!
Mommy taught Evie how to make pan cookies, and let Evie leave her signature in the cookie dough.
It didn’t come out after it was baked, but it looks cute in the picture.
On Sunday night Mommy had to work (Booo!) and Auntie Celyn and her family were hosting their annual 4US benefit dinner, so Daddy and Evie had to go alone.
Auntie Lynn (Auntie Celyn’s mom) always has a beautiful set up, and this year they outdid themselves.
Evie likes it because she can play in the fountain as much as she wants.
She wanted to share her pink hat with Edmund.
But he has his own.
Actually, he borrowed it from his dad, but it looks pretty good on him.
Evie discovered a love of corn on the cob. She ate all of her own corn, and then stole as much of it as she could from anyone who could be melted by the baby blue eyes.
We need to remember to get the recipe for these little jar salads from Celyn, because they were delicious. Daddy and Evie brought some home for Mommy so she could have it for lunch the next day and it was still yummy.
The big project of the week has been the deck. A few weeks ago, Ryan put his foot through one of the rotten, shrunken boards, and we have just been waiting for him to be done with school for the summer to tear the whole thing apart and resurface it.
But first, Kathleen wanted a change in the structure. Before the deck had a two-level design, with the regular flat area right outside the door taking up most of the size, but a second area, towards the back lawn, higher than the main area by six inches. Kathleen wanted it all one level.
So, on Tuesday, Jerry (Kathleen’s dad) came down to help, and he and Ryan stripped the surface off that section of deck.
It didn’t take too terribly long.
Ryan decided rather than disassembling the frame and reassembling it lower, to try to detach it, move it all as one piece, dig out underneath it, and then move it back in one piece.
It worked pretty well.
Jerry came back down on Wednesday, and Adam came over, and the three guys moved the frame up onto the main deck.
Then came the real work. We thought it would be less than a yard of dirt, but 15 or 16 wheelbarrow loads later it turned out we were gravely mistaken.
Evie wanted to help.
But we told her we needed her to watch Edmund, and make sure he stayed out of trouble.
The maternal instincts must have kicked in because here she is making sure he gets all his sunscreen.
After the first few hours of digging we invited our neighbor over and made an attempt to put the frame back in place. Unfortunately we had mis-calculated an the hole was too short by four inches. So it was back to the shovel and the pick for another hour or two, and all the tedious business of lining up the footer stones and leveling them.
Of course we took a break for supper (which was delicious scrambled eggs with bacon and beets on the side lovingly prepared by Kathleen) and appropriately refreshing beverages.
The kids ate about three suppers, none of them very big because they were just to distracted by all the goings-on.
Finally, round about 8:00 or so, we called our neighbor back, and he brought a friend, and we slid it into place, like it was made for it.
And that doesn’t look half bad.
As for the lilac that we removed, Ryan replanted it elsewhere on the lawn. It had a decent sized root bulb and has been growing for years in the rockiest soil this side of County Claire, so we give it fifty/fifty whether it survives or not. Ryan poured four gallons of water on its roots and left it with the traditional Irish Blessing of the Plants: “Now grow, damn you!”
With that much love and affection, how can it possibly fail?
And that’s all for this week, folks. Have a good weekend, and God Bless, from the Kraegers.
Daddy’s first week back from Thailand has certainly been a busy one!
Evie tried on a bracelet that one of the Thai soldiers gave to Daddy to bring back for her. She likes it, but she is still a little bit too small.
We decided that the first thing we needed was a good old-fashioned family outing.
So we went to the local Farmer’s market, where Evie amused herself by making friends with random babies in strollers.
She liked this chair so much that she didn’t want to leave it to go home!
On Sunday we went out with Uncle Adam and Aunt Maryanne, and Baby Edmund, and Baby Edmund’s grandparents.
Uncle Adam invited us out to Northwest Trek, which is a zoo a few miles south of us that features only animals native to North America in general, and the Pacific Northwest in particular.
Evie especially liked the Great Pacific Northwestern Banana Slug.
And the big tray of bones.
The sign said “Don’t climb on the moose,” but we (by which we mean Daddy and Uncle Adam) reasoned that they kids weren’t climbing, per se. They were simply sitting, where someone had lifted them up too. So they weren’t technically breaking any rules.
We got to go on a train ride around the free roaming area of the park. Evie liked all the animals,
But Evie’s favorite critter at the zoo, is none other than her cousin, Baby Edmund.
Edmund likes Evie, but he does wish she wouldn’t be quite so touchy-feely about it.
Evie insisted on helping to push Edmund’s stroller along the mile or so of trail we walked. Before we got to the end of it she was so tired she kept belly flopping on the pavement and then crawling after the stroller on her knees to push it. There is no quit in her!
On Monday we had some family over to the house for a small 4th of July party. The best part of it (for Evie at least)?
MORE Baby Edmund!
Evie is getting to be quite the hugger. Edmund? Meh, he can take it or leave it. Especially from Evie.
Other than that this week has been super busy. Daddy started school… Finally!
It has been long days, and there are a lot of them ahead over the next two years. Right now we are blessed to have Auntie Grace who can play with Evie and do fun things like make glasses out of pipe cleaners.
And it is absolutely necessary to optimize time at school and work so that in the evenings we really are free to spend the time with Baby Girl. She needs Mommy and Daddy in her life. What’s the point of getting an education and jobs and moneys and things if you get old and your kids don’t know you?
Choose the most important. That is wisdom.
That’s all for this week, folks. Hope you’re having a great week, and a great weekend. God Bless!
It sometimes seems as if “Family Friday” should really be called “The Adventures of Evie,” because that’s really what we talk about. But just to prove the Ryan and Kathleen have adventures also, here is a picture:
That’s right, Ryan and Kathleen went on a date to Red Robin, and then went to see The Avengers, Civil War. Ryan took this picture for posterity, and Kathleen disapproves of it.
That’s all the pictures we have of us. The rest are all of Evie. Go figure, right?
While we were dating, Evie was hanging out with Auntie Dude, and exploring the garden and building with duplo blocks.
Last Friday Uncle Adam came over to pick up Baby Edmund. Mommy made cream tuna on toast, and Daddy made Korean rice cake soup.
Last week we went to the local Korean market and Ryan tried to buy some sweet rice cakes, which are a favorite Asian treat of his. Since he is studying Korean right now he tried to ask in Korean, and the only word he knows for rice cake is “턱” (pronounced “Tuck”). The nice Korean lady pointed us to a cooler on the back wall which held, not the sweet, soft, chewy rice cakes that Ryan knows and loves but 턱국턱 (pronounce tuck-gook-tuck) instead. This is the rice cake soup that Koreans make especially on New Years Day, but also throughout the year.
So we bought some, because why not?
When Ryan asked his Korean teacher what the word for sweet rice cakes was she explained that there was none, it’s all 턱.You actually have to explain that you mean not the soup making kind, or specify that it is the sweet kind you are looking for.
But it turned out 턱국턱 is pretty good, like Ramen with rice dumplings instead of noodles. Evie enjoyed stabbing the rice cakes with her thumb to eat them.
Then Mommy had to go to work, but Uncle Adam and Baby Edmund stayed to enjoy some deep, philosophical conversation.
Evie slept in that hair.
If you want to be an #outdoorsbaby in Washington state, you have to be willing to play outside in the rain.
Evie found a worm… and tried to eat it.
Evie and Daddy stopped by a Bubble Tea shop called “Bubble Island,” to get some Bubble Tea. We brought them home, but then Daddy dropped his cup on Evie’s head trying to carry everything in the door at one time.
Good grief, is that stuff ever sticky!
At least Mommy’s cup didn’t fall, but Evie was very sad and sticky and had to have a bath.
Evie always likes to visit the other babies at Church.
Evie found a snail on a walk with Daddy!
Evie likes to wear Mommy’s apron. It’s a little too big for her, but we don’t have an Evie sized one yet. Later we will get her one and then she and mommy can look alike when they cook.
Evie helped Daddy to plant some potatoes in planting pots (we haven’t been able to clear a garden plot this year).
It was delicious!
That’s all for today folks. Remember, God loves you even more than Evie loves cheese…
This has been quite a week! While Daddy has been off Army-ing, Mommy and Evie have been very busy. A while back we decided to try to get together some groups who could help out preparing a meal and serving it at a local overnight shelter. We kind of got the idea because one of the administrators at the shelter is in Ryan’s men’s group at church, but we thought we could get two groups going.
One would be through MC, our Bible study group. It’s a strong, regular group of committed Catholic young people, so should be pretty much a no-brainer. The other group is supposed to be based in our parish.
We’ve gotten the MC group at least informally established, while the parish group remains in the conceptual stage. That is fancy Army leadership talk (see, Ryan is learning something at this school) for: “We haven’t done a thing about it yet, and don’t know when we will because we just got too busy.”
But the MC group did prep and serve its first meal on Saturday! Kathleen was a little annoyed that after we decided to do this together, Ryan up and gets orders to go train and left her to coordinate and run it all by herself. But she did pretty amazingly, so it’s all good.
Of course it didn’t help that the coordinator at the shelter went on vacation the week prior and the coordinating instructions got dropped somewhere. We ended up getting an email from our friend Josh at 6:00 friday night to say that the ground chicken we were planning on using was still locked in the deep, deep freeze, (minus 30 degrees Farenheit); the keys were with the cooks for the day who had already gone home; and no one would be able to get it out until 9:00 the next morning. Kathleen was planning on starting at 11:00 A.M. the next morning.
I (Ryan) think that God was throwing Kathleen a curveball as a training exercise, because she likes detailed plans laid out well in advance that follow through without a hitch. But she reacted pretty smoothly. She was on her way out to a movie with our friend Jenn when the three way text message storm began, and they simply changed plans and began cruising around the area looking for meat.
Specifically ground chicken.
It was a fun time. Between that and the next morning we ended up with all the chicken we needed, although the curveballs weren’t done. Some of the chicken was bad, but Kathleen kept the receipt (she’s good like that) so no harm done. The casserole was just a little less meaty than she planned.
So Kathleen, Brock, Celyn and Aunt Susie had a great time making food and they got rave reviews and requests for seconds. Orginally they were planning on making 6 pans, but they had extra ingredients so they made 8 instead. Which was good, because all of them got eaten!
Meanwhile, Evie went to a birthday party for her friend, Adalmoro, who is 1 year old!
Then on Sunday, Mommy and Evie, as well as Grandma and Grandpa, went to the Swiss park for an Easter egg hunt.
Everything was going well until…
What the Heck is That?!
It’s a giant white rabbit thing! Kind of creepy, but I guess if Mommy is around it must be okay.
Evie touch the bunny’s nose!
Some of the kids didn’t react quite so well to the bunny. You can’t really blame then, though, the costume is kind of freaky!
And when Mommy and Evie went home, Uncle Adam and Baby Edmund came over for a visit! Evie was excited because she loves her baby cousin. He is less than half her age right now, but think about it, in two years, they will be so close in age they will be practically the same age. In twenty years the age difference won’t even be a thing anymore!
Evie has been spending a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa this week, because Mommy has been working nights. Sometimes Evie doesn’t sleep so well when her schedule gets disrupted.
But there has been some nice weather and she is always down to go play outside!
But the absolute best part of the week came on Thursday night…
Mommy and Evie got on a plane after Mommy finished work on Thursday Morning, and they flew out to visit Daddy!
Daddy missed his girls! Now we will be all together for the Triduum. God is good!
The last episode of Family Friday kind of ended on a cliff-hanger, with Daddy off doing Army things, and Evie and Mommy staying at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, so that Evie would have someone to take care of if Mommy got called in to work. This is how Evie felt about that arrangement.
But Grandma is very crafty, and armed with a secret weapon, known by the fearsome name of….
Huckleberries? Okay, I’ll give them a try but they can’t be as tasty as…
Oh My Gosh Huckleberries! Where have you been all my life?!
But unbeknownst to Evie, Daddy was able to accomplish his mission early and return home on Saturday night rather than wait all the way until Thursday. Yay, Daddy!
So when Evie woke up Sunday morning, there was a Daddy!
Unfortunately Mommy had to work on Sunday, but we were able to stop by for a visit to brighten up her afternoon.
Daddy had Monday off, so he and Evie went to the park.
It was (on Daddy’s part) a last ditch effort to wear the Baby Girl out since she was refusing to nap.
It didn’t work. Evie climbed all the way up the tall ladder, slid through the tunnel and went down the big slide.
And of course, she likes to make friends with other little peoples.
After more than two hours of running around she still wouldn’t nap. It was after 1:30 by the time she fell asleep, and she was awake again before 3:00.
And still going strong at MC.
Crazy Baby Girl. In the long run though, she can’t stay awake forever, and she always sleeps eventually.
On Wednesday we made Ratatouille. Evie helped by eating all the blueberries.She also likes to coach Mommy on her pullups.
On Thursday Baby Edmund came over for babysitting. When Uncle Adam came to pick him up after school he had some homework to do that needed to be finished right away, so he and Edmund stayed and worked on school.
Evie and Edmund played Noah’s Ark.
And that is what we have been up to this week. Keep us in your prayers as Ryan will be gone on Army stuff again, this time for quite a bit longer. Evie really did miss him, but she will be okay. She has lots of people around her who love her, and we have technology, so she will be able to see her Daddy at least a little bit every day.
Not much has happened this week. It has been quiet and uneventful, except for the continuation of day-to-day business and projects. Ryan (finally) finished the gates to block off the end tables in the family room!
Yay! Now Evie can’t crawl underneath the table and the chairs can return to their full upright position and be used for sitting upon once again.
We went to a birthday party for a friend on Saturday. Some of our good Catholic young adult friends were being excellent role models for Evie. She got to eat her first sword…
And almost got to drink her first beer!
Mommy had to work night shift Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and Daddy was working on National Guard stuff all day during the week, so this little family really hasn’t seen a lot of each other this week. Daddy and Evie had to go to MC by ourselves on Monday evening.
One of our Jesuit friends kindly let Evie borrow his Bible.
The worst part of the busy week is that the weekend may not be much better. Kathleen is on call Friday night and Sunday, and Ryan has National Guard stuff on Sunday. Hopefully we can get out and do something fun together on Saturday.
Uncle Adam and Aunt Maryanne came over for dinner on Wednesday night. Evie was excited to see her baby cousin. Edmund is more movable now. He can hold his head up and look around, and he takes more active interest in everything that’s going on.
Evie can’t wait for him to get big enough for them to have adventures together!
Hopefully between our two families we can figure out a way to reconcile our schedules so these two cousins can grow up together. God willing!
Then they will be able to ride elephants together!
We hope you all had a good week, and my God grant you a wonderful weekend. God Bless!
“Chivalry is only a word for that general spirit or state of mind which inspires a man to heroic and generous actions and keeps him conversant with all that is pure and beautiful in the intellectual worlds.
— Kenelm Henry Digby, “Maxims of Christian Chivalry”