Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas and 2015 wrap up...

 Trying to catch up today on the blog...
We had a great Christmas.. Low key, quiet, quality time together kind of Christmas.
The best part was we had a WHITE Christmas... It's just what I needed this year. 
Having the kids out of school gave me time to have a few photo shoots with Lucy.
Here she is in her elf pjs and santa hat with some of our packages.
Mom and I had so much fun wrapping this year.. I love the beauty of a simple wrapped package and pretty ribbon.

I saw some fun snow pics on Pinterest with girls in semi-formal dresses, I showed them to Lucy and she volunteered to brave the cold in a party dress to take some fun pics. :)

This one is my favorite.. 

I had picked Jennifer (our exchange student) up from school on the last day of finals and she couldn't wait to help shovel the snow and build a snowman.
My mom helped and he turned out super cute.
I had ordered a "snowman kit" years ago and found it in time to dress him up.  

At last Christmas Eve.. These photos are a little off due to my white balance, but I'm posting them anyway...
Here's everyone by the tree after they opened their Christmas pjs.

My girls..

Lucy with my moms dog, Pippa. 
We are now getting ready to ring in 2016.
I'm excited to see what the new year holds.
I'm not making resolutions this year, but intentions instead. 
I'm letting go of some things I've been holding to and I'm ready to make some self discoveries this year. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I survived November {barely}....

Here it is almost Christmas and I haven't blogged about my crazy November...
Have you ever had one of those months that throw you into a tailspin?
So, here goes...
November 6th, I'm on my way to a "girls" lunch with my mom, Olivia and Jennifer. The girls didn't have school and I thought it would be fun.  On our way we passed a small Christian college that's close to our house.  We were stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk when all of a sudden a woman slammed into the back of my car going about 30 miles per hour.  Witnesses said she was looking down, probably texting... Luckily, no one was hurt.
My old trusty Land Cruiser took it like a champ, the little Honda that hit me...not so much.  
We ended up with a new bumper.

Fast forward one week later...
November 13 (Friday the 13th).. Olivia was with her boyfriend trying to cross 3 lanes of traffic to get to Starbucks and ended up crashing her car...
Again, no one was hurt.. But, Olivia's car was totaled. 

Then November 17th.. We here in Spokane experienced a "windstorm" guts over 70mph.
We lost power for 60 hours, no electricity, no heat (other than a gas fireplace that doesn't work very well).  Schools were closed and we sat around trying to keep warm.  As luck would have it, Jeff was out of town on business and missed the whole thing. 
Here's some iphone pics from the storm.

 Yep, I broke my McDonald's rule.. It tasted good by candlelight..  :)

 We had fun one night making shadow puppets. 

Every year for Thanksgiving we go to our friends cabin to celebrate.  It's fun to "get off the grid", but I have to admit I was not too excited since we had been "off the grid" only a week earlier.  
We had a great time as always and of course ate way too much.

 View from the cabin

 We ended up with too many pies this year.. we had a pie per person..  
Oh man, it was good!

To finish off the month, we received notices from Lucy's and Olivia's schools about a lice infestation.
Well, as you can imagine this threw me over the edge and I was doing daily lice checks, washing everything in hot and vacuuming every surface in the house.
I then had psychosomatic lice for the next week.  Ugh!
Luckily, there have been no signs of lice.  
So, all in all I guess I can say I'm thankful for all the blessings we received and
Thankful November is over..  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

...and my other senior

...and my other senior, Jennifer
Jennifer is our international student from Beijing, China.
Jennifer was also with us last school year.
Jennifer has been a fun addition to our family.
She is super smart, has a great sense of humor and is beautiful inside and out.
Jennifer has promised if she ever writes a tell all book about life with an American Family, she will not use our real names.  LOL!
Jennifer and Olivia are both knee deep in college applications..
I'm excited to see the acceptance letters about to come in...
Both Jennifer and Olivia are only looking at one in-state school (not the same one)... all the rest are out of state. 
I have two about to leave the nest and this school year is flying by... 
There will be much more to post in the upcoming months... 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween

I have had this idea in my head for over 2 years..
earlier this week Olivia agreed to go out for a photoshoot.  I love this location at an old cemetery here in town.
I, of course added the ravens in photoshop.  :)
This makes 2 photoshoots with the $7 thrift store wedding dress.. I call that a good buy.  :)
Happy Halloween friends!  Stay safe!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Celebrating Lucy...

 Last weekend we celebrated Lucy's 12th birthday and 11 years of her Forever Family Day (gotcha day).

Lucy loves having two days dedicated to her.  
We celebrated her birthday with family and her favorite cake.
We celebrated her Forever Family Day with dinner at her favorite restaurant and a fun-filled night of family pumpkin carving. 
All this girl wanted for her birthday was accessories for her new "boho" themed room. 
She got new bedding and a fun reading chair.  :)
We are so blessed to call Lucy our daughter and sister. 
Her sweet smile says it all. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My senior...

I finally had a chance to take Olivia's senior photos last weekend.
I have to take a breath every time I say "senior"   :(
Olivia is busy with college applications and senior classes.
Her grades are great and so far, she's having an amazing year.
I can't wait to see what the future holds for her.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First day of school and match day...

 Today was Jack and Lucy's turn to head back to school.
Lucy started 6th and Jack 9th.
Jack decided to attend the local public high school this year.
I was a nervous wreck today...
He only knows a few kids and I was worried about him going from a small private school to a large public school.
He came home super excited, he met lots of great kids and even said he ate lunch with a bunch of cute girls.  :)
I'm excited for him to make some new friends and to see him perform some school plays. 
Lucy had a great day too and loves her new teacher. 

11 years ago today we got the call from CCAI.  We had been matched with what they called, "a spicy girl from Hunan China"  We raced over to CCAI to see the sweetest picture of our little Lucy. 
Every year I take a photo of Lucy with her referral photo..
Last year was the 10th year and I figured I would be done.
Well, today Lucy reminded me that it was her match day and she wanted me to take a photo.  
I just had to laugh.. I'm wondering if I will be taking this photo when she's 25?
I love my Lucy Lu!
Happy Match Day baby!  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

In the blink of an eye...

In the blink of an eye..
My girl started her senior year today...
Here's a photo of her on her 1st day of Kindergarten and her 1st day of senior year..
Where did the time go?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Capucine visits!

Our French daughter and sister came to visit us the last 2 weeks of July. 
We had so much fun.. the time went quickly.
We tried to pack in as many things as possible.
When Capucine lived with us as an exchange student in 2013, she was here in Spokane for Jan, Feb and March.. probably the worst time of year.
That winter was very cold and we did enjoy a trip to Seattle for spring break, but other than that we didn't do much, so we really wanted to show her Spokane in the summer.
All of these photos were taken with my iphone.. 

 Capucine's flight was direct from Paris to Seattle.
Since both of our cars are older with high mileage, Jeff suggested I get a rental car to drive to Seattle to pick up Capucine.
We ended up renting this cute VW bug for the day.
The girls loved it!

 We had a little Saturday morning crepe party..
We love Capucine's crepes!  :)

 We did some local sight-seeing.. this was at Riverside State Park.

 The view of a storm rolling in from atop Mt Spokane...
I'm thinking this was the only rainy weekend we had all summer.

 A chicken wing dinner.. Capucine loves American chicken wings. :)

 We enjoyed some down time too.. just hanging out on the back deck.

 Jeff and ended up taking the girls on a mini vacay to Portland OR.
This was a stop at Multnomah Falls on the way to Portland. 

 We were told the best way to see Portland was to eat your way through.. 
Our first stop was Salt and Straw ice cream.. 

 We then headed to Cannon Beach for the day..
It was chilly, but SO beautiful.  I cannot wait to go back.

 There was a full moon and low tide.. it was cool to be able to walk out this far.

 Voo-Doo Donuts..
another fun stop.  The donuts were HUGE!

 beacause I love fun signage.. 
Portland is weird, but a fun place. 

We headed back to Seattle to stay overnight and get Capucine back to the airport..
As we were headed to the Pike Market we passed this group of young sailors and I couldn't resist a photo op.    :)
We dearly miss our sweet Capucine and we are so thankful she was able to come us this summer. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I'm so behind in blogging...
Here is a photo from Big Daddy's 45th Birthday celebration in July.  
I'm so in love with this amazing man!
Happy 45 Jeff!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fun with the bestie...

Early in July I went to Seattle to meet up with my bestie of 27+ years.
We hung out in Seattle and then went over to Orcas Island. 
We shopped, we drank, we laughed.. a lot!
I even survived driving in Seattle traffic.. :)
I took mostly iphone pics, but I was able to capture some fun street photography/signage.
Here's just a few of the photos from our get-away.

 Staci and I were in the Pike Market and turned down a back ally and saw this homeless man napping.  I could't help but take a picture.  I have never really gotten into street photography, but this really spoke to me.  It's one of my favorites. 

I love to think of myself as a "wanna be" hippie, so when Staci pointed this out to me I had to take a photo of it.  
I found this sign on Amazon and I plan on ordering it.  :)
Thanks Staci!  Let's do it again soon!