This has been one heck of a week at the Kraeger house, folks, (at least at this Kraeger house. As you may, or may not, be aware, there are actually quite a few Kraeger houses, and the heckiness of any given week may vary slightly depending upon which Kraeger house is polled.

Whenever Grandma is around, the week tends to get more interesting.

This week started off with Evie and Ellie getting sick, the car bursting a water pump, Grandma arriving from New York, and Mommy leaving for Hawaii.

So we were down a vehicle. Fortunately Kathleen’s co-worker’s husband was able to come and take a look at it, and he took it away to fix it, so we just got a rental car for the week.


Kathleen had a medical conference to attend with her friend Jen, so they arrived on Saturday in time for a whole week of learning, sightseeing and relaxing. Back in Washington the weather was unbelievably gorgeous, so we all went out to enjoy it. Evie protested at first, because she wanted to watch a movie, but once we got out there she loved it.

HRH Princess Sophia (She came up with a new alter ego).
Ellie wants to climb too!
Both of the girls’ dresses were made by Grandma Ann.
A bit o’ somethin’ ‘ere, an’ a bit o’ somethin’ there.

Daddy and Grandma and the girls went to Annarose’s first birthday party!

Yay! Annarose is a whole year old now.

She is a big, happy, chunky baby girl.

Trying out her Daddy’s new GR2 he got for their upcoming trip to Lourdes. #Pilgrimage #GoRuckBaby

It was a wonderful celebration full of good friends and noise and laughter and kids hyped up on sugar and chocolate. So noisy was it, in fact, that Ellie was quite overwhelmed, and refused to step away from Daddy for the first couple of hours.

Too much partying for this baby girl.

Everyone else had a great time, though. Especially Evie, who was essentially a multicolored blur for the duration of the festivities.

Ellie didn’t warm up until about ten minutes before we left, but when she did get warmed up, she found herself a rocking chair and really kicked the party up a notch.

Whoa, there Ellie, slow down!

Silly baby girl! She’s a little old lady at heart, just like her Mommy. ❤

On Sunday Adam and gang came over for beef stew. We made a delicious beef bourguignon, and hung out outside for most of the day.

Ellie helped sweep off the deck before company arrived.

Grandma and the West Coast Grandkids

Ellie decided Annarose could try out her new hat.

Here you go!
See Daddy? I share!

Surprisingly, Annarose did not appreciate having a bucket on her head. However, when Daddy explained this to Ellie she was a good sport about it, and even helped her cousin remove the offending headgear.

They really are very good friends, though.

Grandma was the one taking Evie to and from school all week.

Evelyn is ready for breakfast… At Tiffany’s.

Meanwhile, Mommy got out to do some sightseeing.

Daddy and Evie went to Ash Wednesday Mass on Wednesday night.

At first she didn’t want ashes on her forehead, but then she got used to the idea and even got quite excited about it. But she couldn’t keep from touching the ash spot on her forehead, so it was gone by the end of Mass, having returned to the dust from whence it sprang. Sic Semper Transit Gloria Mundi.

This is a drill weekend, but it was just re-deployment classes, so Daddy decided to bring Ellie to drill with him and give Grandma a break.

“Hi Mommy!”

She was far more entertaining than any of the speakers.

And then Mommy came home! Yay!!!!

Kathleen saw a little sun while in HI. The girls wasted no time scratching, scrambling, poking and climbing all over Mommy’s sunburned arms and shoulders, you may be sure.

Also, if you are wondering what is encrusted on Daddy’s hoodie, it is just snot. Ellie still has a runny nose, so that happens. In fact, Ryan composed a slimerick about it. (A slimerick is like a limerick, only slimier).

My hoodie is covered with snot.
You might think that is gross, but it’s not.
When the babies are sick
They bring it on thick,
And this is their favorite spot!

And now it is time to close out this Family Friday with one last picture of Grandma and all her West Coast Grandkids. She flies out tonight for back East and all her East Coast Grandkids.

We can never get them all to look at the camera at the same time.

God Bless! Have a great weekend.

Long time no Family Friday! It is for the usual reason, AKA, we have been busy. The Saturday before last, we woke up to this.

That bright light in the midst of the snow is one of our 12″ tall pathway lights completely buried.

Of course Evie was over the moon with excitement. As soon as she woke up and looked out the window she wanted to go outside in her jammies. We disagreed that this would be a good idea, since flannel jammies, although very insulating, are not very waterproof; also since Evie gets super cranky without breakfast. So we made some pancakes and told her she could not go outside until she ate at least two of them. Daddy tried to make them as interesting as possible.

Ellie, however, was not so excited about the snow that she let it interfere with eating all her maple breakfast sausage links. Turns out the grease from maple sausages also makes an excellent hair product.

Who knew, right?

Ironically, with all Evie’s excitement and hurrying, she really did not get outside any faster than the rest of us. We all made it out the door at about the same time.

Actually Ryan ran outside in his sandals to take this picture before it got marred by all the footprints.

But finally, there we were, out in the great white winter of the 2019 Snowmageddon. Evie promptly went wild…

While Ellie was a little out of her depth.

She couldn’t even squish her feet all the way to the ground, there was so much snow, and sometimes she would fall down and then it would get in her face and neck, and sometimes her glove would come off and then her hands would get cold. Once her boot came off.

When she wasn’t following behind Daddy or Mommy shoveling a path, she was much happier when she found her way to the rocking chair on the front porch.

Other than that she had a lot of fun!

Mommy tried to show Evie how to make snow angels. She made quite a lovely snow angel herself, but she couldn’t talk Evie into flopping down on her back in the snow.

Silly child.

There is nothing like snow for wearing out your toddler. Also for wearing out a Daddy. Just shovel out an entire cul-de-sac by hand (they don’t believe in snowplows in Western Washington) and boom! a great workout was had by all.

This is what happens when Evie gets distracted and doesn’t finish her breakfast.

Ellie takes care of it after she gets down from her high chair.

On Sunday after Mass we had Uncle Adam and Aunt Maryanne and the kids, as well as Ben and Christine and their kids, over for a pre-valentine’s day Rom-Com viewing. We were going to watch the greatest romantic comedy ever made, (i.e. “The Quiet Man.”) However, while we were waiting for the food to come out of the oven we sent the kids outside to shake their sillies out and wiggle their waggles away. Ben went outside to haul them around in a sled…

Then Adam and Ryan went out to throw snowballs at him. Then they started making a pile of snow, and Ellie and Daddy started rolling snow-boulders…

So Christine had to take over pulling the kids.

Aunt Maryanne was called upon to shape the snow-lady’s more feminine characteristics…

Group photo!

You can even see the little snow-baby that Noah made right next to Edmund!

Then Ben and Christine had to leave so Christine could nap before going on night shift, so they didn’t get to watch the movie with us. It started snowing again later so Adam and Maryanne had to leave before it was over. But it was still a great time for everyone.

After a long day there is nothing like standing over a warm-air register in your flannel nightgown (That Grandma Ann made for her).

The fuzzy thing in the foreground is Ellie’s hair photobombing the picture.

For the next week we played in the snow more (it was one snow-day after another for Evie) while Ryan began his final clinical rotation in a nearby family medicine clinic. He is already learning important wisdom which will serve him in good stead in his future practice.

On Thursday we ran errands as usual.

Evie and Ellie were happy to wake up and find fresh baked cookies that Mommy made before she went to work. (Grandma Ann also made the farm animal dress. Ellie’s favorite is the duck.)

On Friday Evie’s class celebrated her birthday at school. We took a picture of her official birthday questionnaire for posterity:

Daddy was especially pleased that her one wish would be “Having a sword.” As it should be. The only thing better than a sword is a book.

Evie’s family birthday was on Sunday, with Deedee and Papa, Dude and Susie, Gigi, Uncle Adam and Aunt Maryanne and kids, and Ronnie and Amanda and RJ.

Evie would have like to have everyone else over. In fact, she did invite every living person she has met for the last two weeks over for her birthday party, but Mommy and Daddy are a little more selective, and a lot more logistically minded. As it was we about maxed out our capacity for a formal “sit-down” type meal. There is just only so much space at the table.

More of Grandma Ann’s handiwork (we got a birthday package in the mail, hence the new dresses).

Evie loves being the focus of any gathering. She informed us that she is “A special gift to the world,” and that her birthday is her favorite birthday.

Grandma Betty (Gigi) and the girls.

Ellie too was enjoying all the people over as she had an all-but-unlimited supply of people to read books to her (have we mentioned that her favorite word is “boop” [book] and her favorite activity is bringing books to any adult who stops moving and demanding that they read it to her?)

Ellie also stole the spotlight a little bit by confidently walking up to the bathroom door and requesting to sit on the potty (non-verbally) and actually peeing in the potty… twice! We had not even started training her yet, but she figured it out on her own has been doing it a couple times a day ever since. You better believe we are positively reinforcing the crap out of that. (hee hee hee. See what I did there?)


So Evie is now a four year old. She is now very grown up, and very wise, and knows a lot of things, and is very good at so many things. If you don’t believe me, just ask her. She’ll tell you herself straight up.

We tried to calm things down a bit the rest of the week. Daddy likes to relax in the evenings, since he seems to work late every night at this new clinic.

We visited Deedee and Papa last weekend.

Ellie says, “Guck! Guck!” (Truck! Truck!)

Alas, with being four comes the unpleasant task of the four-year-old well child check. Evie is done with doctors. She has decided she wants nothing more to do with them, and was, in fact, quite anxious and distraught over breakfast.

She can be a bit of a worrier sometimes. She said she was going to like doctors when she got big and becomes a doctor, but she is not going to like them while she is little.

Ellie, on the other hand, is not a worrier at all. She threw up twice in the night and still woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to make scones for breakfast.

If she were selling scones, I would buy all of them. (College fund bakesale, anyone?)

And also, just like that, the snow is gone the crisis is past, winter is back to its usual rainy self, except for today which was gorgeous.

Those are the earthly remains of the snow-family in the background. The rest of them, we hope, has gone on to a better place… that is, into our lawn.

That’s all for this week, folks. God Bless, and have a wonderful weekend.

Short Family Friday this week, not because nothing much happened, but more because so much happened that we didn’t take many pictures. Most of it was boring anyway, stuff like work and deployment. For the amount of work we do, we grownups, we certainly don’t seem to get a whole lot done. Kathleen has been struggling to get her new ultrasound lab set up all by herself. Ryan has been struggling to get memos filled out and signed, health and welfare issues sorted out, fingers stitched back together…

Ellie says, “Too much struggle, not enough snuggle!”


She’s probably right. All the work we do is important, don’t get me wrong, not the least since it enables us to keep making an Evie and an Ellie (they, like the rest of us, are not finished being made yet). Still, it’s easy to get lost in the grind and forget the important for the sake of the urgent.

She finally has enough hair to brush! (Lucky her!)

At any rate, big events this week…

Definitely the biggest event by far was Ellie’s birthday! 

“What? Who, me?”

That’s right, Miss Ellie is now one whole year old! She can walk, she can say Mama and Dada and Papa, Hi, Yes, and All done.

Everyone came and had frozen yogurt to celebrate Ellie’s big day!
“What is this on my head? I can’t see it. Deedee, let go of my arms so I can grab this thing on my head and taste it.”

She loves her some frozen yogurt. The presents did not impress her much…

(Bet you can’t guess who gave her this one!)

But she just loves to tear wrapping paper!

She is still our happy, snuggly baby girl, and nowhere near as “contra mundi” as Evie has always been, but she is still starting to develop a mind of her own. 

Mommy’s eyes and Daddy’s half-smile. I think it’s a great combination.

She likes to try things that Mommy says “no” to, just to make sure that Mommy really does mean “no.” The funny thing is she does it with a less… pushy? sassy? attitude than Evie used to. Ellie does it a couple of times to see whether it is always “no” or only sometimes “no.” But then she does what you tell her to. She also doesn’t say “no” yet, whereas that was one of Evie’s first words, right after Dada.

Where has Evie been in all of this? 

Well, Miss Evie has been ever so busy, rehearsing for her school concert. She got to sing and dance with her friends in front of everyone! (Well, sing with her friends, dance by herself.) 

Of course, our child is the one who can’t keep still. It reminds Ryan of a home video of Kathleen from about that age, in which little Katie stood up on a stool in the middle of Christmas present opening and called out, “Now quiet, everyone, I am going to sing!” 

(I am sure it also reminds Grandma Ann of a few moments from Ryan’s childhood as well. He was never accused of being shy until he became all teenagery and angsty and introverted).

Of course, all that glamour takes its toll. Poor Mommy had to wrangle an over-excited, high-as-a-kite Evie into bed that night, which was not easy. Getting her out of bed the next day was not easier. 

Ellie is early to bed, early to rise. Evie… not so much.

Alas, Evie got Daddy’s hatred of going to sleep, and Mommy’s hatred of getting up. The worst of both worlds. We’re sorry, child. We hope you will overcome someday!

And then of course, Thanksgiving. Daddy was able to go to Mass, but still had to do some work. But at least he was able to skype in for the big Thanksgiving Meal at Aunt Dude’s house. 

I thought I got Evie in one of these pics, but I guess not. She was just moving too fast.

Everyone loves playing with Aunt Susie!

Ellie decided to help Papa out with his Thanksgiving snacks. She carefully walked from the coffee table to his chair carrying one piece of party mix at a time and gently placing each one in his hand. 

“Here you go, Papa. It’s yummy!”

She even tasted them before she gave them to him, to make sure that they were only the yummiest! What a great baby girl!

That’s all for this week, folks. Happy Thanksgiving, and God Bless!

You close your eyes for a second….

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Where are my girls?

And they start growing up on you.

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There they are!

They are getting so big now. I am glad I get to see them, even if it is only on the video chat.

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You can tell where they get the cuteness from. ❤

We had a big event last week.

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Grandma Betty turned 92!!!

Happy Birthday to a great old lady. Mommy and the girls went to visit her in her apartment.

And had fun hanging out with Deedee and Papa and Aunt Pam.

They also got to go play at the park.

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This is a new trick for Evie, jumping from turtle to turtle.

The park at Bradley lake has a swing designed for one big person and one little person, so that you can sit and swing with your baby in a little basket swing facing you.
Family Friday 175 (4)Evie and Ellie thought it was great for some sister time too.

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Weeeeee!!!! We’re swinging, Mommy!

Poor Ellie has not been sleeping well this week. She keeps waking up in the middle of the night crying like she is not comfortable. Maybe it’s just teething, or maybe she gets hungry. It’s strange, since she used to be such a great sleeper. She still falls asleep just fine, but she likes to wake up in the wee small hours of the morning now.

Unfortunately that means that Mommy has to wake up too, even on work nights. Ellie does not acknowledge work nights.

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Even Daddy gets to join in the tired baby fun via video chat.

The first thing Mommy wants to do as soon as Daddy gets back is sleep for at least 12 hours straight.

Some pictures from this week:


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This Montessori school has been such a good experience for Evie. She has taken to it like a duck to water, and, now that some of the initial excitement has worn off, even takes time to eat some of her lunch while she is there. She has friends and she is excited to see them every day. But school has seemed to increase her curiosity, not just at school, but at home. She is more interested in books, letters, drawing, and writing “notes” for Daddy.

Ellie too is growing fast. She can now say “Papa!” Let me tell you, that makes Papa super happy. Oddly, Mommy’s name is still “milk” (in sign language) even though she has been weaned for over a month now.


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Let me tell you, one of the best parts of my day is when that video chat opens up and I hear Ellie calling from the other end of the house, “Hi! Dada!” then I hear her little hands and feet slapping the floor as fast as she can crawl to come and play peekaboo and shake Daddy around and make faces. Family Friday 175 (2)

It is going to be a great day when I can hug my girls again.

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Evie is the captain, of course.

thank God for technology. Think about our great grandparents during WWII, or even during Korea, Vietnam. There was no video chat, there were no phones, there were only letters. (Those don’t go out of style, by the way. Kathleen and I have approximately doubled the volume of the military postal system in the last month, I think.) Remember the Gulf war.  Heck, I remember the early days of Iraq and Afghanistan when guys couldn’t call back for weeks or months at a time, and then it was only ten minutes on a staticky sat-phone connection and then “Time’s up, next man.” I remember the sickening feeling of getting an answering machine (who has those anymore?) at three different numbers in my one chance to call home for a week.

Technology is great. But it is going to be wonderful to be able to hug my girls. Family Friday 175 (7)

That’s all for this week, folks. Keep us in your prayers. God Bless!



It has been a short, quiet week this week. Lots of family time, and some ordinary fun times.

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Grandma and her West Coast babies.

Uncle Adam and Aunt Maryanne came over on Sunday for some barbecue pork and blackberry custard pie. They also brought a desert of their own… blackberry lemon pastry. It’s blackberry season around here. They’re in everything.

It’s so hard to get a picture of these two together these days. Ellie won’t lie still long enough.

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Ellie says, “Later, guys! I’m out!”

Grandma is super happy to have half her grandbabies together.

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But Ellie is still out of here!

Mommy was on night shift, so she was away all night and sleeping during the day. But we all tried to get together in the afternoons.

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Evie and Oswald putting a puzzle together.

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Grandma and Daddy sword fighting.

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Got to get the snuggles in while you can. 

It was Papa’s birthday this week too, and Deedee and Papa dropped by for some key lime pie (from Costco).

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He only has one candle.

It has been super smoky around here due to the wild fires in Canada. Papa doesn’t do well with the smoke. Last year it gave him pneumonia, so he has been wearing a face mask.

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Ellie thought it was hilarious.

It has been really hot out here as well, by Washington standards, anyway. But Daddy is used to the heat, so he and Evie got outside to get some work done. We put in a walkway from the deck to the corner of the patio where the clothesline is.

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Daddy dug all the holes, and Evie put the stones into them. 

Evie worked very hard and did a great job.

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I think it looks great!

Ellie went out for her very first Pho. Man, that child can eat some noodles.

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Then it’s time to sit with Grandma and gnaw on the spoon.

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Ellie likes dancing to Cajun music!

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Daddy can’t even get up the stairs without getting mobbed.

Mommy finally finished working on Thursday morning, but she was very tired from a week of working nights.

Time for afternoon snuggles. 

That’s really all for this week. Told you it was short and quiet. We hope you have a week just like it!

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Summer time is hiking time in the Pacific Northwest! We found a nice little trail hike in Dupont last weekend that took us from the town hall down to the sound.

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There was an ouchie on the trail down that resulted in tears from Evie. Mommy still opted not to carry her.

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The trail went under the railroad tracks to the beach.

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Evie was enchanted with the tunnel

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I don’t know how she bends her arm back that far.

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And chased the little crabs.

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Evie is not afraid of the little crabs. Neither is she very interested in them.

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She would rather throw rocks.

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We could not put Ellie down because there were too many things for her to put in her mouth.

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Even the Puget sound looks good in July Sunshine.

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Hiking is hard work

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Evie, however, had plenty of energy after hiking the 1.5 miles down and 1.5 miles back up.

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Picnic time!

Evie is really quite a good hiker. Hopefully she gets lots more practice this summer.

Mommy made some absolutely delicious coconut prawns on Friday. Family Friday 165 (1)They were amazing, as evidenced by the fact that Ryan and Kathleen ate about two pounds of them together. Even Evie ate two of them, and she is very averse to eating new things.

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Ellie says, “I notice you’re not offering me any shrimp!”

A friend of ours had a baby baptized on Saturday evening after Mass, so we went to Mass Saturday night.

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“Yay Maddie! You got baptized!”

Then Uncle Adam and Aunt Maryanne came over and we hung out at our house for a while. Ellie was very intrigued by her baby cousin.

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Daddy, why doesn’t she crawl? It’s more fun than just lying there!

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It’s okay, I help her.

Sunday was the day of the annual Moergli Picnic (The Moergli’s are Deedee’s Mom’s family). We are sort of related to them, twice removed, in Kathleen’s case, three times in Evie and Ellie’s, but that’s close enough for a picnic. Mommy spent the morning concocting deliciousness:

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Whole wheat dough rolled flat with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar.

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Rolled into a roll

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Sliced into slices

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Mommy’s valentine!

The picnic was almost intolerably hot for everyone except Daddy (he has spent a lot of time in hotter places) but everyone still loved seeing the girls.

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“I call dibs when she wakes up!”

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Aunt Susie beating the heat!

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Even in the pool hats are required when you are as white as Evie and as resistant to sunscreen

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Everyone loves an Ellie!

We experimented with camping out in the back yard last weekend, but that didn’t work so well (Evie did very little sleeping. Consequently, so did Daddy). Daddy has been trying to get a hammock up behind the tent, but has been having issues due to not having the right materials.

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Evie helps set up one of the anchors. I taught her “ERNEST” (Equal, Redundant, Non-Extending, Solid, Timely, a.k.a. the qualities of a good anchor).

The only points to anchor the hammock are approximately 30 yards apart, consequently if you hang it with any dynamic material (i.e. material that has any stretch to it), you end up lying on the ground as soon as you put weight in it.

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The tent works well enough, for what it is.

We did eventually find the right combination of hammock, straps and price from Amazon, and with a few times tightening with a ratchet strap…

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Voila! A hammock!

Why does it appear to sag so low in that picture, you ask?

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How else could all the short people get into it?

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Evie: “I’ve always wanted to be on a boat!”

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It is now a wonderful place to read Beatrix Potter.

Daddy and the girls got to go to MC on Monday. Unfortunately, Mommy wasn’t feeling well.

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Nosey nellies.

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Auntie Celyn loves her some Ellie snuggles!

We also celebrated Uncle Adam’s birthday this week. Unfortunately, he has requested us not to post any pictures of him so no one will see how old he is looking now. It’s really quite shocking. What hair is left to him at his advanced age is as white as printer paper and twice as crinkly. Aging. It’s a son-of-a-gun.

Just kidding. He doesn’t look a day over 42.

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Meat. Lots of Meat.

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Evie and Edmund were too excited to eat very well. They spent most of their time pushing the table around and complaining about the other pushing the table around.

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Tunnel of Fudge cake.

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He needed help to blow out his candles.

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Evie and Edmund playing with Uncle Adam’s birthday present.

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This picture was taken right before the chain snapped.

And that’s all for this week.

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Evie modeling the Dr. Seuss shorts/overalls combo thingy that Grandma Ann made for her. 

Have a great weekend. We’ll see you all later!

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It has been a fairly ordinary week here at the Kraeger house. Just hanging out, working, playing with the girls. You know, that sort of thing. Deedee had a birthday on Sunday, and she turned 60!!!

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Happy Birthday Deedee!

We went out to lunch at a restaurant called “Shenanigans,” and let me tell you, there were some shenanigans.

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A rare picture of Evie sitting still and looking at the camera, sort of. And Grandma Betty looking classy.

Evie made herself right at home next to the window and kept calling out all the things she could see on the water. She also made friends with the man in the next seat. By the time we left she had dubbed him “Captain Tim” and also “Uncle Tim.”

Not shy at all, that one.


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Ellie enjoyed herself with much less fanfare. 




Then Evie and Ellie went up to Deedee and Papa’s house for the night, where they ate all the strawberries.

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Evie is big enough to help pick, but if I were Papa I would make her do the bending down. She’s a lot closer.

Evie found Mommy’s old hand prints!


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Still a little smaller than Mommy was.

Daddy continues to excel at physical therapy.



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If you can’t work both arms, work the one arm twice as hard. 

It’s a good technique.

With one arm out of commission, Daddy is trying to make time for reading, and is actually making it through some books, a little bit here, a little bit there.


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He gets really into it.


Ellie is working out too.

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The trick she is working on is called, “Pull myself up, any way I can.”

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Almost there! If I just… stretch… a little… further!

Which is ambitious, considering she doesn’t crawl yet. Who needs that, right? Skip the horizontal, go straight for the vertical.

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Unfortunately, horizontal has a way of catching up with you.

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I’ll just practice crawling right here. Perfect!

Mommy has also been busy, as usual. Last week she made some plum jam and canned it.

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It is as yummy as it looks.

She made a small batch because it’s more of an artisanal jam than one that you would put on peanut butter sandwiches or anything like that. It has a sweet, tangy flavor with a gorgeous color.

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Four beautiful half pint jars.

The rest of the week has been pretty much normal. Here are some pictures of it:


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That’s all for this week, folks. Have a good weekend, God Bless!




Guess what!

We finally had Evie’s birthday party!

It took her five or six tries…

But eventually she got it all the candles blown out by herself.

It was a pretty awesome party. The grownups got a chance to sit and talk IMG_0218

And enjoy the baby timeIMG_0236

while the kids ran around and were crazy. IMG_0234

There were some old friends for her to play with…



As well as some brand-new ones!

Welcome, Annarose!

Auntie Danica brought her new baby, Emma, who is not a very new baby anymore.

She is eight whole months old!

Off course there were lots of presents. She doesn’t have to share her grandparents very much yet, so she gets lots of presents.

It’s a new dress!!!!!

Papa, do you like my new tutu?


Noah thinks girl presents are boring.

Daddy’s favorite part was when Evie got a new book and she had to take it to the table and flip through it before she would look at any other presents, no matter what Mama and Deedee said. They wanted to keep the party moving, Evie had a book.

Yep, that’s my girl.

Happy Birthday, Evie!

We all love you.

So there you have it. She is officially three years old with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities appertaining thereunto. Mostly responsibilities. That’s how it is, around here. First you learn the responsibilities, then you get to enjoy the privileges. Because Mommy and Daddy are old-fashioned like that. Even Ellie has her job to do. She has to do tummy time.

It is not her favorite, but she’s a good sport about it.

And she has to practice grabbing and lifting things.

Still better at left-handed grabbing than right-handed. 

Then after her workout she gets a big bottle of gainz juice (a.k.a. pumped breastmilk).IMG_0195


She’s been having to drink a lot of bottled breastmilk these days because Mommy is back at work, on night shift. It is unfortunate, but that’s the wonderful modern age we live in. At least we can chat in the evenings before bedtime.


Hi Mommy!

Not only working nights, but also on call, so last weekend Daddy had the girls while Mommy was getting called in right and left. We tried to go swimming at the YMCA, but the childcare room was already closed by the time we got there and since there was no one to watch Ellie, Daddy and Evie could not go swimming.

Evie was very sad, but being a very mature and reasonable child now that she is three, she contented herself with playing with a toy in the lobby for a little while…


And then we went to the park.

Silly child. She won’t keep her gloves on.

Neither will Ellie. She kept pushing her left hand out of her blankets into the cold air.

Oh well. If she doesn’t mind, I sure don’t.

Partners in crime! Evie is the getaway driver, Ellie rides shotgun.



Evie and Ellie stayed at Deedee and Papa’s house on Wednesday and Thursday because Daddy was up in Seattle all day and Mommy was on call all night. Silly, really. The medical industry is an unhealthy place to work.

She’s a pretty-pretty-princess!

And it’s only going to get busier from here on out for a while, but God is good, and we’ll get through it all.

Hi! It’s my new baby cousin!

God Bless, folks. See you next time!




Last week has been short, but Oh So Sweet! It began on Friday with Mommy’s birthday!

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Feliz Cumpleanos!!

Evie is a little confused about birthdays. She understands that people have them and they are a lot of fun, but she doesn’t understand why she can’t have her birthday right now. Or whenever she wants.


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“But why do I have to wait until after Jesus’ Birthday and Daddy’s Birthday? I want my birthday today.”

Poor Evie. Life is hard when you are only two.

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But at least she has a baby sister to decorate.

Then Evie woke up at 2 AM the next day with the croup. That was a fun morning for no one involved. We did our best to keep her comfortable until 0800 when the urgent care opened, and then Daddy took her in to see the doctor. It took a few hours, but eventually we got her a much needed shot of steroids, and then she felt much better.


She immediately went out and started pumping iron… No just kidding. Not that kind of steroid.

She felt better but she hasn’t been herself most of the week. There was lots of tired.

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This was most of the weekend.


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And a good part of the week.

Ellie turned one month old!


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She has also begun training kung fu under the tutelage of Master Elephant.

She met her cousin John Paul for the first time. He is one month old too!


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Although the camera did not catch him at a very flattering angle. He really is quite a handsome little guy.

Papa came over to help Daddy install the new microwave. It went pretty smoothly except that the power cord for the new one is in a different place than the old one, so we had to drill a new hole for it. Neither of us had a saw bit for the drill, though. Then Ryan remembered that there was an old auger and a bunch of auger bits in Grandpa Joes old tool chest in the garage.


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I haven’t used one of these things since I was a kid!

They may be old, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work! Love it!

That’s all for this week. Evie is feeling much better, Ellie is still growing, Mommy got to sleep in once (YAYY!!!!!) and we are just trucking along like it’s our job. Last Family Friday of Advent so if we don’t see you, Merry Christmas, and God Bless!


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Silent night, Holy Night, etc. 










Last Saturday our friends Ben and Christine had a birthday party for there son Nolan, who is also Ryan’s godson.

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Happy Birthday Big Guy!

This little rascal showed up too!

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It’s no wonder he’s so big! He is always eating.

The zoo-keeper brought a turtle for the kids to play with.

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Evie wanted to touch the turtle. Really bad.


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I need a turtle!

After the party we went to go visit the fishies, and then ride the merry-go-round.

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Evie wants to go riding off to win the Darby like Mary Poppins.

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Faster, Daddy, Faster!

On Sunday we had a big Pizza Party!

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Kathleen taught herself how to make gnocchi dough for her “Bangers and Mash” pizza.

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The day turned out beautiful!

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Teaching Evie the basics of pressing out the dough: “Don’t use the fingernails.”

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The “Chicken/Veggie stir-fry” is always a favorite.


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Evie was super excited to have a whole bunch of other kids over to play.

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Our first outdoor pizza party of the year was a great success!

Since Daddy had the week off from school, he was able to get a few odd jobs done around the house.

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And of course, Evie is always ready to help.

That’s all folks! hope you have a good weekend. God Bless!