Happy Family Friday, everyone. It has been a good week, with a good deal of Family time.

Modeling the latest in cookware (or… cook-wear?!)

Of course it wasn’t all fun and games. Poor Ellie was sick over night, throwing up all her supper and then waking up to throw up twice in the night.

Even Mommy’s new earrings can’t cheer her up 😦
But Jello really helps. (Also, ignore the basket of laundry on the end of the table. At least it’s clean laundry.)

But she was better enough by Friday night to hang out with Evie in their “special secret spot!”

And “Horse around” upstairs. We were thinking of doing a caption contest for this picture, but honestly, no one will ever make up a caption better than the real one, so we’ll just tell you what was being said:

Evie: “No, Ellie! You can’t come with me! You don’t speak Danish!”

Ellie (Indignantly!): “Come too! Speak Danish!”

So now you know. Apparently they speak Danish.

We got the time on Saturday for some wonderful time outdoors working on our yard. We bought a whole bunch of flower bulbs and planted them so that our yard will have many beautiful colors next spring and summer.

Of course the nasty chestnut is in full swing, so there were many “pokies” to pick up all over the yard. We filled half the blue bin with them, and they aren’t even half way done.

Evie and Daddy ran a few weeks’ worth of paper recycling and junk mail through the shredder. That gray bin Evie is draggin in the picture above is the paper shreds to “feed to the worms” a.k.a. put in the composter.

We also noticed that our smaller apple tree has been leaning a bit to the left under the weight of its apples. A quick test confirmed that its roots have become quite loose with the recent rainfall.

This became a job for Daddy and the girls. They helped dig a post hole with the straight bar, and then, armed with only his trusty k-bar…

This looks like a shot from a survival show. Evie took it.

Daddy made a stake, and managed to plant it a few feet into the clay and rocky fill beneath the apple tree’s roots. Voila!

The tree looks much straighter now. We might experiment with spike irrigation next summer to encourage the trees to shoot deeper roots, because eventually that stake will rot out. But for now, it works.

While we were up there we also removed the last of the old glass from the hot box (the main pane broke in a wind storm a few months back). The odd thing is the peppers are finally starting to do really well. Hopefully the black plastic lining is enough to keep the frost damage off them until Ryan can get some clear plastic over the top.

Unfortunately, Mommy started feeling yucky Saturday night, and by Sunday morning had a fever of 102, even with ibuprofen. Of course, being a pair of medical folks, we tend to be pretty conservative about our visits to the doctor, so she stayed home Sunday morning and slept while Daddy took the girls to Mass.

The girls rushed in to help Mommy feel better as soon as we got back…

But she still slept most of the day Sunday, and spent the awake parts wrapped up on the couch, drinking tea and watching the girls color.

She had to call in sick on Monday and go to Urgent Care. Turns out she had strep throat, and so did one of her co-workers. So some antibiotics and some motrin/tylenol, and she was back on the mend, and (so far) no one else has gotten it in the house.

Unfortunately that meant that we had to cancel our dinner plans to have Adam and Co over on Sunday. The problem was we had already planned a menu for braised pork roast out of the Vatican Cookbook, and purchased the ingredients (or harvested them, in the case of the carrots) and thawed two pork loins. No one felt like eating them on Sunday so they stayed in the fridge, but by Monday it was imperative we get things cooking so as not to waste the meat.

We’re not sure what that face is, but the meat looked great.

All in all, it was a tasty dish, but we will do it better next time. We will not cook it as long, and we will start the tomatoes in the pan a little earlier, and also probably saute the veggies a little less. I must say, though, the red wine and Madeira vegetable sauce was hearty and heartwarming.

Let’s see, what else…

Wednesday was a Daddy and Ellie day, and we did not manage to accomplish much, except for enjoying some silliness:

And some time outdoors.

On Wednesday night we joined some friends of ours on Facebook live to say the Glorious mysteries of the Rosary in honor of October (which, as you should know, is dedicated to Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.) Of course, it is hard to get two little girls to sit quietly for the whole Rosary, but thank God (literally) for the Rosary coloring books we found. The art isn’t the greatest, but they are still fantastic for the girls every night when we say our family decade, and even for a whole five-decades they kept them engaged and involved at an age appropriate level.

This was Evie’s product after five decades.

There need to be more great Catholic resources like that. Maybe we will make some if we ever find the time.

And that’s all for this week, folks.

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to say your Rosary, or learn how if you don’t know how.

God Bless!

Happy Family Friday, Y’all! This is an especially good Friday because Evie and Ellie woke up to a surprise!

Daddy was home!

That’s right he got home late last night. Kathleen picked him up at SeaTac around 9:00, on a work night, but it could have been worse. The original flight was supposed to get him in at 11:00.

But let’s back up to the beginning of the week. Ryan missed Papa’s birthday party, because he was training. But they had a good time anyway.

Evie took this picture of Papa and Great Grandma.

Kathleen was trying to find some cheap flights that would bring her and the girls out to meet Ryan, but she could not find any that would get her back in time for work on Monday. So Ryan drove down to South Carolina to hang out with Uncle Chris and Aunt Sharon and their family.

14 Mile Hike with Uncle Chris and Joseph. Lovely view of the fog from the top of Table Rock.

Ryan used to visit them once or twice a month when he was in the Special forces Q Course at Fort Bragg. That was a long time ago, of course, and a lot has changed. Some loved ones are no longer here…

And some new loved ones have shown up since those days (mostly of the small and energetic variety).

Yes, they are trying to pop balloons with their butts.

The girls spent most of Saturday at home. They relaxed and slept in, and even let Mommy sleep in a little bit. Ellie woke up first but was nice enough to just hang out in her crib with Baby Music and let Mommy sleep.

Mommy was trying to make pies for Papa’s birthday. Evie helped a whole lot,

And there was enough filling left over for her to make some little key lime pies.

I think the big one turned out beautifully.

They had been thinking about going up to Enumclaw Saturday night, but the girls also require a lot of playing with, so some of the pie didn’t get made until fairly late in the evening.

So they went up on Sunday instead.

And that’s all for this week. Y’all have a great weekend, keep us in your prayers.

God Bless!

Another week of Daddy being gone has passed. Everyone has been very busy.

But it’s still important to take the time to stop and smell the Daisies.

Last Sunday Mommy took Evie and Ellie up to Deedee and Papa’s house to visit.

Ellie is still not sure why she should smile at the phones that people are constantly pointing at her.

This was also the week of Emma’s birthday party next door. Since the fence is still broken, it was relatively easy for an invitation to make its way over to our side, and for our kids to make their way over to their side.

Meanwhile, Mommy kept herself busy by pulling out Daddy’s old Texas Skillet, the one he has owned for more than a decade, the one that has sizzled a metric ton of bacon in its time and has never been washed, and which also has been living on top of the cupboard in the kitchen for a couple years because it started burning on and Ryan never made the time to strip and cure it, where it has been collecting dust and grease from the old broken oven vent before Ryan fixed it…

You know the one.

A few weeks ago Kathleen read in her 1930’s homemaker manual that the way to strip cast iron is to boil potato skins in it. It worked on her smaller Texas skillet (it’s more of an Oklahoma skillet, really) so now she tried it on the far nastier big skillet. It worked quite well actually, and she was able to heat treat it and cure it with vegetable oil. We’ll see if Ryan can remember to maintain the seasoning when he gets back.

Ryan has been busy also, long days of training,

It may seem like a lot of effort, but the National Guard is called upon to perform the same missions that Active Duty is called on to perform, but we have only about 40 training days per year to prepare for them, compared to at least 250 training days on Active Duty. When you think about that it makes sense for us to go out in the middle of nowhere and really knuckle down to getting after it for the few weeks of AT we get.

Evie is doing her own training, these days. Without being prompted she accurately pointed out the spot on the lake that we visited when we were in Glacier three weeks ago.

We assume that she remembered it from the big wall map Kathleen showed her when she was there, since she can’t read yet.

She is one smart cookie!

Our peas have started producing too!

Between our peas and the neighbor’s peas (they are on vacation and asked us to pick their peas while they were gone) we are pulling in about half a colander at a time. Not bad for two tiny little plots.

And that’s about all the happenings this week.

Daddy drew a picture of a bunny in the letter he wrote to Ellie, so she decided to play bunny.

We hope you have had a good week and continue to have a wonderful weekend. God Bless. Pray for us.

This has not been a very Family Friendly week, starting with the weekend. We make the most of it as usual, but it has been a bit rough.

Saturday was a busy day. We spent the morning transferring ownership of Grandma Betty’s car to us so that Mommy will have a commuter to take to work, and our larger car can stay home and fit all the carseats more conveniently for when Grace has to take Evie to school.

Then Daddy had to go up to the Armory in the afternoon to finish packing gear for Annual Training. We went to Saturday evening Mass together, and then Mommy got called in to work. So it was one of those days that we just didn’t get a whole lot of together time.

But at least we had lunchtime together, and Mommy made Daddy a glorious large pan of patio beans for his trip.

Then on Sunday Daddy got up before the sun to drive out of state with a few other guys for Annual Training.

Ironic, really, leaving for AT on Father’s Day. Of the guys out here, only one doesn’t have kids yet. Welcome to Special Forces, even in the Guard.

Once we arrived there was the obligatory shaving of the face.

Before we can successfully guard the nation we must first divest ourselves of our panache.

Then let the training begin.

Good to get behind the gun again. And also it is really pretty country out here.

Evie informed Daddy that he needed to write her letters while he was gone. That is what she learned from the Korea trip last year.

There you go!

Mommy’s letters take longer to write. We have had a little time for sightseeing between events. Ryan got to visit a very beautiful local Church.

My home away from home.

Meanwhile back on the homefront, Mommy continues to hold the course with the girls. They spent Sunday at Deedee and Papa’s house celebrating Father’s day.

This week was also Evie’s last day of school for the year!

We are so proud of this big girl! She has learned her letters and her numbers and has done a wonderful job of learning to listen to her teachers and get along with her classmates. She works hard and has so much energy!

Mommy is run quite ragged, but she still manages to get things done, and still have time to hang out with the girls.

Deedee and Papa were able to come over earlier this week as well.

With the nice weather there is a lot of playing in the Hammock.

It is the best place to relax.

Daddy can’t wait to get home and relax there with his girls.

Evie erasing the days, one at a time, until Daddy comes home.

That’s all for this week, folks.

Oh, and also Ryan got official word that he passed his national certification exam last week. He is now officially a PA-C.

And that really is all for this week. We hope you guys had a great week, and have a wonderful weekend. See you later! God Bless.

Hello, Folks! It’s time for another Family Friday! We hope you have been having a great week. Ours has been… productive.

Any time you enter the week riding on a great black concrete bear, you know it’s going to be a good one.

It has been a busy week, but more of an odds-and-ends kind of busy, not so much a major event kind of busy. Laundry,

gardening,

harvesting,

That’s just the first pick, since then we’ve been getting about 1.5 quarts per day.

cooking,

canning,

Kathleen found a recipe for Peony Jelly and decided to try it. It turned out tasty and a gorgeous color but didn’t jell to a full jelly consistency, more like a warm jello consistency.

cleaning…

Okay, let’s be honest, cleaning impacts our schedule pretty minimally because we don’t do very much of it. Sweep the major floors (as opposed to the minor floors, right?) every couple days, and mop maybe once a fortnight-ish. We begin to see the wisdom in our ancestors’ division of labor, with one of the spouses primarily in charge of the outside, and the other primarily in charge of the inside.

But, welcome to America in the 21st century, where we both work outside the home at least 40 hours a week. And when we talk about the 40 hour work week, which became the American standard in the days when you lived within walking distance of your workplace, we don’t necessarily consider commute times which varies in Ryan’s case, but for Kathleen adds another 1-2 hours to her day, depending on traffic.

And of course, the small people continue to insist that we feed, clothe and shelter them. Or at least they would insist upon it if we ever fell far enough behind in these tasks for them to feel the pinch. Well, maybe not the clothing part. Ellie, for one, would be perfectly content to roam around in her diaper all day in this nice weather. And she has some rather colorful diapers, so it could potentially be borderline socially acceptable, and might save us about 1.5 minutes in the morning…

Ideas!

But who are we kidding? The one who takes up all the time in the morning is Evie. Sometimes all you can do is just keep them contained while you knock out a few quick tasks…

But I digress…

Deedee’s birthday was on Monday so we went out to all you can eat buffet on Sunday evening. We didn’t take any pictures of that, because, let’s face it, one AYCE buffet looks pretty much like any other. But we did take a picture of the girls playing in the mall play area afterwards.

You can see Deedee’s hands hold a phone on the right. Does this count as a picture of the birthday girl?

Happy Birthday, Deedee!

With the nice weather we have been having a little more success with our gardening. The cone flowers we planted back in march have come up.

Only two have come up, which means we probably put them in too early when the ground temperature was too cold and most of the seeds rotted. These two represent the survivors.

Ellie is getting bigger and more accomplished as a climber. She can now climb up in the net at the play ground, she can climb into the first crux of the Japanese maple by the deck, and she can climb out of her crib without assistance. She still can’t open the door of her room, but that’s a-comin’.

She had to join Daddy on some frantic errand running yesterday while he desperately (and unsuccessfully) tried to pull together all the stuff he needs to go out for annual training next tomorrow. The major piece of equipment he was looking for wasn’t ready, so improvisation will have to occur.

As usual.

But it was the Army’s birthday, and they had cake at Military Clothing and Sales, so that was a win!

She was done after 3 bites. Not much of a sweet tooth, that one.

And that’s all for this week, folks. We hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend. God Bless!

Keep on trucking!

Well! This week was a barrel of monkeys.

Or a bucket of Ellie. Same thing.

We already wrote earlier this week about our visit to the cemetery for Memorial Day. Or rather, the Sunday before Memorial Day. After visiting at the cemetery we went to Deedee and Papa’s house to visit and then visited Dude and Susie.

Always a hoot

On memorial day Daddy and Evie did their best to cook the most patriotic and American breakfast we could think of.

Start out with a little bit of red, white and blue…

A.k.a. strawberries, blueberries, and Bisquick.

When will they ever be done?!

Add some bacon and a little bit of sausage, and voilà!

#Murica!

Then we went down to Dupont for a hike with our good friends Margie and Dane, and their daughter Zellie.

Setting out on our grand adventure.

For our hike we chose sequelachew park which is a 1.5 mile trail from behind the Dupont police station down to the water on the sound.

Ellie gets to ride, because her legs are short.

It is quite a lovely trail, broad and well-maintained, that slopes gently downhill to the water.

Evie and Zellie stopped to collect some nature.

It runs down an old railway grade, so the slope is not very dramatic and there is plenty of nature for the little people to hunt.

At the bottom, the trail goes through an old rail tunnel from when they used to have a dock down there.

This is the only place where there’s any track left, but it runs underneath a working railroad track that runs along the edge of the sound from north to south.

Once you go through the tunnel you arrive on the beach which, like most Washington beaches, is entirely composed of rocks of various size. Far from being a disadvantage, this is a most excellent thing when you are small and want to throw rocks in the water. It also works when you are big and want to throw rocks in the water. This beach comes handily supplied with rocks rated for all your rock throwing needs, at least from 18 month girl to 34-year-old BCFF.

There are also some pretty decent rocks that you can climb on.

All in all, for being a 3 mile round-trip, the steady uphill grade for the entire way back makes it a bit of a smoker especially if you are carrying a rucksack with an Ellie on top of it. After our hike, we enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch before heading home to relax for the rest of the day.

Daddy is trying to step up his grill game, so the girls are helping him study.

The neighbor kids came over in the afternoon to test out the sturdiness of the hammock pole after Ryan added three bags of quick-crete. At 50 pounds apiece, that’s 150 pounds of support at the very base of the pole, so it should do the trick.

It may still have a little bit of shake to it, but at least it’s not leaning precariously like it’s going to pop out of the ground it any second.

After nap, Eli wanted to come outside but no one was available to put her shoes on right away, so she helped herself to her sister’s shoes, put them on her self, and walked on outside.

On the wrong feet and everything just like a proper toddler shoe should be. And then she proceeded to get them soaking wet. This is also very right and just for a toddler shoe.

Mommy has been working hard with her new business, selling bags two ladies who need to carry things around in their life. This, in my experience, includes pretty much every lady ever.

Ellie likes to help by explaining the various virtues and benefits of each bag and accessory item.

She’s been getting pretty good responses too, complete with live Facebook videos and other fancy stuff like that.

We spent all day Thursday packing and getting ready for our trip this weekend.

Ellie says, “This works for me. I’m ready to go.”

When Evelyn got home from school, she thought that was a good idea so she joined her sister.

Evelyn reading “The Knight and the Dragon” to Eleanor.

In case you were not familiar with this during tale, you may listen to Evelyn’s rendition of it here.

Or not, since the mobile app won’t allow me to paste the link in apparently. You’ll just have to imagine it.While some liberties may have been taken with some aspects of the story, it was, nevertheless, heartwarming and profound as ever.

Last night, we got together for pizza to celebrate Ryan finishing PA school.

Ellie is impressed

It was a surprise get together, Ryan thought we were just getting together with Deedee and Papa before we headed out for the weekend.

Instead, all of these folks showed up…

And piled on top of Deedee.

And we got our party on like we were graduating college.

Then, we went home and finished packing. We staged all of our rucks by the door as they should be.

Not to mention our suitcase and car seat carrying bags.

And then everyone was up bright and early this morning

Ready for our next big adventure.

So have a great weekend everyone, we will see y’all next week.

God bless!

Happy Easter Week, everyone!

Tri-tips roasting on an open fire.

For those who don’t know, Catholics are supposed to celebrate Easter for a whole week. If you haven’t gotten on that yet, you still have a whole day to get your celebrate on! Plus, tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday. I can’t think of many things more important to celebrate than Divine Mercy, since none of us are getting to Heaven without it.

So do yourself a favor, dust off an old cookbook (for you TLM folks out there, I am sure you can find a pre-1962 liturgical cookbook written in Latin) get your kids together, assign some tasks, and get cooking. Make something delicious together, eat it together.

This was a particularly delicious dish (asparagus wrapped in prosciutto). It has unique spiritual symbolism, in that it represents all of our highest spiritual longings.

Don’t believe me? I shall explain:

  • The vegetable represents our hope for higher things. That’s why it’s called “aspire-agus.”
  • We wrap it in the prosciutto of happiness
  • Season it with zest
  • And pour over it the olive oil of gladness.
  • Plus, prosciutto is pretty much like bacon, so it’s awesome.

Or, if the weather is nice in your neck of the woods, get out and hike. Or plant a garden. It’s easy! Get yourself a hoe and some seeds, chop up a few square feet of your front lawn (get rid of all that useless grass, best to take it out by the roots or it will come back) and put the seeds in the dirt.

Apples in bloom on either side of our greenhouse.

On Easter we had Deedee and Papa and Dude over, along with Uncle Pat and Aunt Patty, and Travis and his girlfriend Savannah. Between them the girls made out like bandits.

Deedee and Dude filled about three dozen eggs, which Travis and Savannah cleverly concealed all over the lawn.

Everyone loves watching little kids find eggs, even if there is entirely too much candy for two very small children to eat.

We grownups don’t have as much energy, so we mostly celebrate in a more sedentary fashion.

And then we finished up with a rousing game of “Ticket to Ride” which was the first time we have played it with all five players. Let me tell you, the board gets way more crowded with five players.

And the rest of the week we have tried to be at home enjoying ourselves as much as possible, thanking Jesus for the gift of His resurrection.

The girls playing dress-up together (they are superheros. They apparently have not been following Edna’s advice.)

Especially Ellie.

The Daddy is slowly learning how to do hair, since we seem to have so much of it around the house.

So is Ellie.

And that’s all for this week, folks. Remember, It’s still Easter until Sunday.

It’s good to Family. It is also good to Friday.

Sometimes I look at the blog roll-up, and wonder what happened to my blogging. There is no variety in our blog titles. They all have the same name!

I used to be writing something thoughtful, topical, and (I hoped, at least) thought provoking, every day or so. I talked about topics, philosophy, martial arts, etc. Now all I talk about is Family Friday, and that only once a week if I’m lucky.

(Could be worse).

But the truth is, it’s good. It’s important, far more important than anything I used to write about.

There is a wonderful interview with Cardinal Carlo Caffara, Archbishop of Bologna, head of the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family under Saint John Paul, in which he relates a letter he received from Sister Lucia, the Fatima visionary. In it she says:
the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issuehowever, Our Lady has already crushed its head.”

And that is really the point of Family Friday. It is not just to keep Grandma Ann apprised of the West Coast shenanigans (although that is an important part of it).

Family Friday is first and foremost a fundamentally faith-filled phenomenon.

😀 (I don’t care for alliterated “f”s, but I couldn’t resist.

It is a witness. We try to be honest about the rough parts: deployments, work, tiredness…

We spare you most of the details of Evie’s stubbornness and Ellie’s ventures into two-year-old-ness.

She can be stubborn, and she doesn’t pay attention. Ellie also can be stubborn, but she always pays attention.

This is the neat table…

But we hope that by writing Family Friday as close to every Friday as we can, we can witness that in spite of everything, (and even in some ways because of everything) Family is possible and worthwhile.

“You know you love it!”

It is worth all of the loss of independence, time, energy and young-ness that we have given up, and all that we continue to give up. But it’s a mistake to think that we spend much time “giving things up.” There is sacrifice, but it’s hard even to call it sacrifice, because it’s just so much fun!

They keep us busy, and everything has meaning and value, because of them. People who live for themselves, and are self-determined don’t know what they are missing. You don’t live until you live for someone else.

I would never even try to make a pie like this for myself.

You have the chance to hit virtually every corporal and spiritual work of mercy multiple times, every single day.

Feed the hungry, anybody?

and then when you get up early to make a breakfast of delicious breakfast biscuits, you can enjoy hearing them complain that they don’t like biscuits, “because I don’t like the ham.”

More of Kathleen’s amazing barbecue sauce, now with a pint and a half of hot and spicy BBQ sauce (Ryan is the only one who eats spicy).

We have been busy with the usual busyness this week. Ryan has been working at his Family Medicine Preceptorship. He usually runs late and gets home tired, but it’s a great learning experience.

Kathleen is rocking the commute and running the vascular lab at her job in Olympia. Except that the power steering went out on the truck during her commute, but was fine the next morning when Ryan drove it. So now we are driving it around waiting for it to break again, so that’s fun.


We like to live on the edge. Which is why we let four-year-olds paint…

And 18-months-old bake.

Ellie also helped Daddy try his hand at great-grandpa Ted’s world famous pumpernickel recipe. She watched it bake and made sure it got hot correctly.

And we have become host to a pair of brush-tailed rats that have begun stealing our bird seed.

Sometime next month if Ryan has time he will commence a proper feud. If not he may just shoot them and eat them. Squirrel is pretty tasty, and by then they should have some good eating on them.

That’s all for this week, folks. Pray for families. If you don’t have anything urgent going on right now, consider becoming families. It’s a trip! And it makes God smile.

And now for some well-earned slumber. Good night, and God Bless!

Hello, Folks. How’s it going?

Not much has gone on this week. Ryan started things off with a bang by doing a 15 mile ruck.

It was as much fun as it sounds. He didn’t necessarily play it as savvy as he could have, i.e. didn’t bring enough water or snacks. But one of the volunteers gave him a gallon jug after they took down the water stations, so he survived, sort of.

The 20-miler coming up is the last of the series, so he’ll try to play that a little smarter.

The girls have been enjoying daily life this week, with the usual round of school, play, chores, sleep, repeat, (with some eating thrown in just to keep it interesting).

It’s good to be sisters.

Building forts is more friendly with two.

Ellie wants to do everything that her big sister does, especially popping bubble wrap.

Playing with Evie’s new magnadoodle, her favorite booty from her recent birthday haul. Evie drew the face all by herself.

Going to pick up Evie from school. Ellie is turning into a little bookworm (and Daddy is so proud!)

When the weather is nice we like to stop at the park on the way home from school, to shake our sillies out, and wiggle our waggles away. Evie shakes so rapidly that it is hard to get a picture of her. This is the best Daddy could manage.

This was Ellie’s favorite, a slide just her size!

Kathleen went and did something new this week, though. She got her hair done! That doesn’t happen very often. She wanted to chop off a bunch for better air circulation, and while she was at it she tried a new hair style.

Before…

After…

Ryan thinks she looks good either way (helpful, right?) The girls haven’t noticed yet.

It feels kind of weird, though, writing a Family Friday that isn’t solely about Evie and Ellie, and actually includes Ryan and Kathleen doing things they like doing, as if they were people instead of parents.

Silly Mommy and Daddy! We know your lives revolve around us!

One other development, Grandma Ann has come to visit for a little over a week. We have no photo-evidence yet, so you’ll have to take our word for it. She is a shy, reclusive creature who shuns the front of a camera, preferring to be the photographer rather than the photographee. We will see if we can collect some surreptitious pictures of her interacting with her offspring and the offspring of her offspring.

Let’s be real. All the pictures will be of her and her grandkids.

That’s all for this week. God Bless!

This has been a topsy-turvy week.

We started it off on Friday evening by attending a Mass and Party to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Mass Consumption!

That’s right, Mass Consumption is ten years old! It has been 10 years since Diana and Celyn started meeting with any and all interested young adults on Monday evenings to read the Mass Readings of the day, and talk about them. Back then Ryan was getting ready to go to the Q course, and Kathleen was paying off her student loans. We didn’t start attending until January 2012, when Ryan first got stationed in JBLM. I think the way it worked out was that Ryan met Ronnie at MC, and Ronnie invited Ryan to the St. Frances Cabrini Young Adult Group, which is where Ryan met Kathleen, whom he subsequently invited to Mass Consumption.

The rest, as they say, is history.

It has been a great, and I might add, highly unusual group, especially in our area. They were told by their parish priest when they first started that in the Seattle Archdiocese a group that put on only one event per year was considered a success, so difficult is it for our generation to overcome our distractions and the atomization of our culture to commit to a community. And yet MC has been meeting every week, with no real breaks since 2009. Diana and Celyn still meet every Monday night at Panera Bread and welcome any who want to join to read and talk about the Mass Readings, or talk about their day, or ask for prayers, or just hang out and be silent.

Of course the group has changed in those ten years. A good number of us have gotten married (Ben and Christine, Ryan and Kathleen, Adam and Maryanne, Margie and Dane, and then Danica to Dane’s brother Brennan, Ronnie and Amanda). Others are engaged, soon to be married. Now that we have families with small children, it is harder to make the Monday evening meetings. Others have gotten jobs farther away. The picture above represents only a part, probably less than half of the people whose lives have been shaped to some degree, greater or lesser, by this remarkable fellowship.

God willing there will be many more years of MC, and more importantly the relationships and faith built and strengthened in its 10 year history will continue to grow, continue to overcome our distractions and the atomization that seeks to pull apart our community at every level.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

Saturday was a busy day, and Mommy had to work in the afternoon. We did manage to get in a family hike at Bradley lake in the morning, but the evening was just Daddy and the girls playing and reading books upstairs while Mommy scanned arteries and veins. At least we had all Sunday together, and on Sunday afternoon we got a very special surprise!

It snowed!

At least it was a surprise to Evie and Ellie who were absolutely enchanted by the miracle of white flakes falling from the sky. It was less a surprise to the grownups who had heard such rumors on the weather forecast.

Since there was apparently some big football game, and the roads were empty, it was a perfect day to go out for Frozen Yogurt.

Ellie wanted to boop the bear’s nose.

Monday morning was when it got weird. Ryan was supposed to have a campus week in Seattle, and when he got up at 4 AM to brush off the truck and get to the train he saw only about 2 inches of snow on the ground, nice, light fluffy stuff, dry and powdery, no slush or ice in it. Being from upstate New York, he did not give it a second thought, but drove down to the train station and hopped on the train to Seattle.

Well about 20 minutes later someone at the U of W woke up and freaked out at the snow-a-geddon that had descended in the night, and sent out an alert email cancelling all campus operations for the day.

Oh well, no big deal. Ryan would just ride to King’s Street and take the 6:05 south. Inconvenient, but it’s a free day off.

Then the girls’ Nanny got stuck and couldn’t make it out to the house. At that point Kathleen had no choice but to stay home with the girls until Ryan got home. Since she was suppose to start at 7:00, and Ryan likely wouldn’t get home until 7:00, this would make her about 30-45 minutes late, depending on traffic, but not terrible.

Then the doors on the train refused to work in the snow. They had to be opened and closed manually, and the conductor refused to run the whole length of the train opening every door at every stop, so we had to wait for the next train. Another 20 minute delay. Then the next train pulled out of King’s Street Station and promptly stopped on a siding to let two northbound trains pass… 20 minutes apart. Then it turned out that there was only one open track for a good portion of the run (apparently Washingtonian trains cannot run on tracks that have snow on them) so we had to stop again on another siding to wait for the northbound commuter train to leave a few stations ahead of us and get past us.

It was after 9:00 when Ryan got home.

Meanwhile, Kathleen was not moping around waiting. She got the girls up and they were too excited by the snow to wait, so they went outside to play before breakfast.

I’m ready to go!

Then back inside for an enormous breakfast of eggs and hashbrowns (Evie ate like a horse!) and some hot cocoa.

So Daddy got a free day home with the girls, and we spent the morning making bread. It was a new recipe he had not tried before, but Ellie helped and it turned out quite well, actually.

And we worked out.

After nap we went outside again.

“Look, Mommy! I made a butt!”

She insisted we send a picture of her butt-print to Mommy at work.

Apparently they didn’t get as much snow in the south at Mommy’s work.

The whole fiasco was repeated on Tuesday, minus Grace not being able to make it. Ryan came outside and saw that the snow had mostly melted and nothing was left but a few spotty patches of ice and compacted snow, with perfectly clear tire tracks. No email from the UW, so he drove down and hopped on the train.

Grace arrived and Kathleen went to work. Then we got the alert that Sumner school district was still closed, so no school for Evie. Then UW sent out another alert, cancelling all campus activity, again. This time Ryan stayed on campus, since he was already there, and got some work down on the internet until lunch before taking the bus home.

We made a snowman!

Wednesday the college returned to normal, but Sumner school district did not. And apparently we are expecting more snow this coming weekend!

That’s okay, we have plenty of food and drink, and nowhere to go other than Church.

And always plenty of entertainment indoors.

God Bless, y’all. Have a great weekend!