Usually, Ellie helps Daddy make breakfast. This particular Saturday we made breakfast biscuits, which are super easy.
Start by rendering about 8 oz of Bacon cut small
Mix 2 cups of bisquick
1 Teaspoon of baking powder
Milk until it is slightly runny
The rendered bacon
About a cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese
Spray a muffin tin well. Pour the mix in, gently place a slice of Havarti on top of eachand back for about 12 minutes at 450.
Quick, easy, delicious. Then we sat around and relaxed and told puns:
Q: What do you get when you boil a funny bone?
A: A laughing stock!
Evie has developed quite a taste for coloring these days, and she is really quite good at it. It’s one of the few things she will sit still for.
Sunday evening we went to Aunty Celyn’s annual 4US fundraising dinner. This is always a great time, and the food is always amazing! Auntie Celyn’s mom, Auntie Lynn, is a phenomenal Filipino cook.
On Monday Daddy had the day off so we drove up to Enumclaw to Dude’s house to pick 6 quarts of blueberries.
The week since then has been a whirlwind. Daddy has been working at the armory, trying to organize all the medical supplies. Mommy has been working at her office, and the traffic going past the base has been nightmarish every night.
We are going to do our best to enjoy a very short weekend before Daddy has to take off again. You all have a great weekend. God Bless, and pray for us.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
This has been a week of changing plans. It turns out that Daddy is not going to deploy right away. The surgeon wants him to do some physical therapy on his arm and make sure the repair is really set in there before he goes out the door. So We have a little while longer with Daddy. He, meanwhile, has been taking it easy… ish.
Can’t let the Commies Win!
What? I don’t need my bicep to ruckmarch.
Last weekend the weather was great, and we had time to get caught up on some work that needed doing. You know, the usual, pressure washing the deck, weeding the garden, weeding the flower beds, sweeping, mopping, laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. Sometimes it seems like life requires so much maintenance, we never have time actually to live it.
But that is not quite true. We have time for coloring.
And we have time for snuggles.
And we have time for legos.
On Sunday we fulfilled a Memorial Day tradition and went to put flowers on the headstones of deceased family members. We made something of a party of it this year.
Especially once Evie decided that Everyone needed flowers in their hair:
I think next year we should bring food and beverages and have a picnic.
Speaking of food and beverages:
Kathleen made some delicious blueberry-oatmeal bars on Thursday. However, they mysteriously vanished prior to our company arriving on Sunday, so she made another batch, this time with apple in them as well.
It is a bit ironic that we spend more time preparing our food than we do eating it. This can sometimes be frustrating, especially when it sometimes seems like Mommy and Daddy are always in the kitchen, either cooking food, or serving food, or putting leftover food in the refrigerator, or cleaning up dishes after food.
I suppose it’s just another way that it seems like life takes so much maintenance you sometimes don’t even have time to live it.
We could probably do things the easier way: hire someone to mow the lawn, weed the garden, keep the flower beds nice; buy food ready made, or eat TV dinners or just subsist entirely on raw fruits and veggies, precooked meat, and protein bars, like Daddy does when he is in schools or training.
Or, we could change our way of thinking. What if the “maintenance” of life actually was life? The chores and responsibilities and nuisances and whatnot are not interruptions of life, but the very stuff of which life is supposed to consist? What if we were put on this earth to do good work, and work is actually meant to be an enriching, ennobling, human activity which we are supposed to love?
We had two of Ryan’s classmates, Jess and Kim, over for pizza on Sunday night. Jess brought her kids and we made individual pizzas in the pizza oven, as well as two regular 18″ pizzas in the regular oven.
the kids ran around and played in the playhouse like crazy. Jess and Kim were able to sneak up on them and give them a good scare.
And Ellie tried blueberries for the first time!
She is a different baby than Evie. Evie would have lived on blueberries for the first two years of her life if we had let her.
Ellie is getting so big these days. She can walk in her walker.
She was a little bit cranky yesterday, not wanting to be put down in her chair or walker. We didn’t know why she until the mystery was solved today.
Let the bacon begin!
Daddy was able to take the girls to MC on Monday night, which was a very nice time. Evie was ecstatic that Aunty Celyn and Aunty Diana let her use their purse straps as “horsey reins!”
All in all, it has not been a bad week. We hope your week has gone just as well, and you are headed into a nice, relaxing, human weekend.
Last week ended with an injury that put Ryan in the OR to repair a distal biceps tendon rupture.
This is a picture of the classic “Popeye Arm” deformity.
While Popeye was getting his tendon reattached Kathleen had the pleasure of exploring Madigan Hospital, to everyones great surprise she didn’t get lost. At this time we still do not know how this injury will affect the upcoming deployment.
On Saturday when the rest of the world was celebrating the Royal wedding we were celebrating the marriage of our good friends Andy and Annarose Jowenson! Not exactly at the same time, because they would have had to get married at 1:00 AM our time to be at the same time. But in the same day.
Evie and Cousin Edmund were co ring bearers. Evie insisted that it was her wedding and her beautiful wedding dress and flowers that Annarose selected for her only confirmed the idea in her head. They tried to steal the show from the royals, Evie tried to steal the show from them. It’s only fair.
Evie approved of the reception location as well! It had a large play area that she thoroughly tested. It was found to be up to her standards.
Even at the reception when the DJ announced the bride and groom in walked Evie with them.
Mommy and Daddy enjoyed hanging out with friends that we just don’t get to see as much of these days. You, know life and all that.
Other than that its been life as normal, with work, cooking, cleaning and reading. Ellie has moved up to her big girl highchair and to the eating of puffs.
The rose that Uncle Adam and Aunt Maryanne gave Ellie for her birth bloomed this week for the first time.
Well that’s if for this week. Hope you all have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!
Evie saw this lady teaching kids how to pan for gold.
So she and Mommy scooped up a pan and started panning…
and they struck it rich!
After that we were able to retire to a life of ease, adventure and philanthropy, and were able to hire a professional web designer to run this blog and publish Family Friday for us…
Actually, the Canadian government (in the person of the lady in charge of the exhibit) insisted that we dump the gold back into the sluice for other people to find. So we tried our hand at drilling for it instead.
No luck there. Alas. I guess we will just have to continue our life of more than adequate means, busy-ness, adventure and philanthropy.
So then we went across the street to this 19th century house that belonged to a doctor who worked in the area. It is still on the original plot of land. It is maintained as a free museum by volunteers, and is quite a lovely little house.
Daddy also tried to remember all the piano he used to know.
No luck there.
The kitchen is fully child-friendly and touchable. They even had a little hat just for Evie to wear.
Across the courtyard is a little one room schoolhouse that they moved there from it’s original location.
Then on Sunday we went and joined Auntie Celyn and her family for a fundraising dinner for 4US. As in previous years, the dinner was absolutely delicious.
Evie and Edmund’s favorite part was the homemade popsicles.
Auntie Lynn (Celyn’s mom) loves having the little people around.
And that’s about all for this week.
Oh, and our cantaloupes are done. We didn’t get many of them.
But they were very delicious and juicy.
So juicy, in fact, that we had to insist upon a bib in order to eat them.
And that’s all for this week. Y’all have a good weekend. God Bless.
Well, folks, we finally tapered Evie off of her seizure meds, and she is now completely med free. Thanks be to God!
Last weekend we said farewell for now to a very dear friend, Kyle Poje. He is going to Rome to study in the Seminary for the next four years. It was a special occasion so Evie and Daddy made banana-walnut-chocolate-chip scones for the party.
The party was at Wright Park in Tacoma with all our MC friends. We didn’t take very many pictures, but it was great to catch up with all the folks we don’t see very often anymore, now that we are all growing up and living our lives, so to speak.
Uncle Gus set up his hammock and Evie and Edmund thought it was pretty much the best thing ever. Evie would have stayed there all night quite happily.
Last weekend was the first weekend we have been able to attend Mass at St. Frances Cabrini is several weeks. It was good to be back and see all our friends. Evie wanted to light candles. She likes lighting votive candles, and she likes dropping money in the St. Vincent DePaul poor box. Unfortunately she is too short to reach the slot.
“I can’t reach. Daddy, help!”
Fr. Paul happened to come along and he was happy to help her up. She thanked him very politely, “Thank-you Mister Father Paul,” which made his day.
Then in the afternoon we went to the Moergeli family picnic. The Moergeli’s are Kathleen’s Mom’s family.
I don’t know when it was that we managed to get out and weed and harvest in the garden. I think it must have been Friday, because we were busy the rest of the time. But we did manage to do that.
We got the garden weeded, watered, and as much harvested as was ready. The broccoli and peppers have turned out to be a bust, but the peas are coming in like gangbusters and everything else is doing pretty darn well.
Evie found this fine fellow hiding in the leaves in the back of the yard.
She named him “Moana” and gave him a bath in the pool.
Rest easy folks, it is not a real rat. It is made of rubber. Must have been someone’s Halloween prop at some point in the distant past.
And the day culminated with a swim in the pool. Mommy did not want to swim because she was on call and had to wear her scrubs.
Evie made sure she got at least a little bit of a bath anyways.
And that’s all for this week. Stay classy, folks, and always ready for adventures. Keep your go-bags packed.
Well, Ryan’s quarter is over. He passed all his classes. Now all he has to do is seven more quarters without failing out and he is scot free!
No problem. If Evie can drag Daddy’s backpack around the room, then he should be able to do a little school.
Just because the quarter is over does not mean we are less busy. Mommy has been working nights this week, which leads to a lot of odd hours and less family time. Evie even has to wake Mommy up in the afternoon.
Evie doesn’t understand the changes in schedule, but she rolls with them.
Mommy is out on call right now, actually, in the pouring snow.
That’s right, folks, it is snowing in the Tacoma area. We don’t have any pictures because it is night time right now, so you’ll just have to believe us. Or watch the news in the morning. I am sure people will be freaking out about it tomorrow.
What else have we done this week? Well…
Daddy got home early on Monday so he and Evie went to MC again. It’s been months, and apparently the gatherings have been quite small lately. This week, however, was the biggest group we’ve seen in months. Evie had a ton of fun catching up with her people.
Mommy and Daddy made Evie her very own felt Christmas tree with ornaments that she can put on and take off (it was all Mommy’s Idea, Daddy just did the gluing). Evie has enjoyed it, although it has not looked like this since she saw it, and more than once she has had fun sticking the ornaments to her own pajamas. If it works for her, it works for us.
Mommy and Auntie Grace found a playdough recipe, and Evie had a few hours of fun with that.
They used vanilla flavoring in the playdough so it would smell nice.
It worked! Evie thought it tasted delicious. Unfortunately Auntie Grace is too fast and never let her get a proper mouthful.
And she is obsessed with singing and dancing, and definitely still obsessed with “Singing in the Rain.” Not a single day goes by, and very few indoors hours, when we don’t hear her little voice plaintively suggesting, “Watch Rain?”
We try to limit it to once or twice a week.
Could be worse. Could be “Baby Einsteins.”
Just the title of that movie makes me shiver.
(See what I did there?)
And that’s all for this week, pretty uneventful, but it will undoubtedly get busier as we move into the holidays.
Keep us in your prayers, and try not to stress out too much.
Last week’s Family Friday was kind of cursory. Long on the pictures, short on the describing and such. Well, it was a busy week. It happens. This week was quite as busy, but it was one of those rare “between” weeks. Meaning that it was a week in which Ryan had just finished one block of something and hadn’t started the next block of something yet. The last “block of something” being a four-week Korean language refresher and the next “block of something” being a trip with the National Guard.
Since it was a “between week” Ryan spent it catching up on things. He cleaned off the tables in the kitchen and dining rooms which had been turning into sort of catch all platforms, and after weeks of catching as much “all” as they could, they were a bit cluttered.
Evie is classy, as usual.
On Saturday we went for a hike out at the park. Evie walked part of the way and part of the way she road in a backpack on Daddy’s back.
Mommy is very good at hiking, up hills and down hills. The trail is extremely steep in places, and Mommy has short legs, but she leaps like a mountain goat.
A tree fell across the path, but Daddy caught it.
He and Evie lifted it up so Mommy could walk under it. They make a good team like that.
Evie went up to Grandma and Grandpa’s house on Sunday and stayed over night until Monday.
Grandma’s strawberries are coming in like gangbusters, and Evie thinks they are delicious. She ate a whole bunch of them.
On Monday night we went to Auntie Celyn’s house where her family was having a commemorative celebration to mark the one year anniversary of her grandfather’s death. We said the Rosary and then had a big Filipino feast.
Noah says, “No Evie, you put those rosaries back.”
Evie says, “Yeah, whatever. Evie say all the rosaries.”
Noah and Evie get along well.
But Evie really, really loves Baby Nolan. She always wants to hug and kiss him, and we have to force her to keep a little distance and keep reminding her, “Gentle touch, Evie. Gentle touch.”
The best thing about Filipino feasts is the Filipino food, especially the Lumpia.
Evie says, “Yum, yum, yum. Don’t mind if I do!”
That’s all for this week, folks. Keep us in your prayers as Ryan is traveling. Evie and Mommy are going to miss him, and he is going to miss them.
Daddy went out early on Friday to build the campsite setup.
We all arrived late Friday evening. Some friends from MC also joined us.
Auntie Lenora joined us.
Uncle Brock and Uncle Ryan joined us as well.
Evie likes to go on walks, but sometimes she falls down and then she can be sad. But she gets over it quickly.
Mommy and Daddy charbroiled some burgers and dogs over the fire.
Daddy and Evie went into town to go to confession and while we were there, Evie visited with Saint Joseph and Baby Jesus.
Evie met some puppies that she got to play with. She kept calling the little one, “Baby.”
We spent the weekend having fun but we did take a lot of pictures.
Uncle Ben and Auntie Christine came up and joined us for Sunday Mass. They brought Noah and their new baby Nolan. Evie wanted to visit with baby Nolan but Noah told her “No! The baby is sleeping!”
Evie looked anyway.
We visited Mommy’s relatives where her family puts flowers on the graves on Memorial Day Weekend.
Evie loves babies. Baby Nolan is a chunky little guy. He’s built like a little linebacker!
Evie and Noah played together digging holes in the ground and stomping in puddles.
Grandma and Grandpa came out to visit us on Monday, they haven’t gotten to see Evie in a long time.
We got a four-legged visitor as well.
Kathleen named it “Sir Hector.”
It rained a good deal over the weekend, but Monday was nice and sunny so we spread all the camping gear out on the lawn and it dried in a jiffy. The tent canopy looks a bit like an elephant when it is draped over the bush.
It has been a busy week since then, but there is still time to hang out at the park.
That’s all for now. Have a good 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”