Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Here we are again, welcome to the backwards blog, business as usual. Here are our christmas trees, I tried something different this year, and we do like it. This small one is the downstairs one with all the little ornaments from Rosi, and the ones I painted. The other one is the big upstairs one, with pointsettas and a cosy little place for our christmas elf.
After we delivered the kids to their very happy Mommy, we visited all sorts of nice friends and family. Sam got to hold all the cute babies, and I didn't because I have a cold... sniff sniff. Can't get rid of the stupid thing.

Yes, Grace had a tongue, and a really cute one at that.

Anya had piano lessons while she was with us, and was very proudly playing "Jolly old Saint Nicolas".
Does this look like Aaron might have missed his mommy and is glad to have her back??

Bathtime was always an adventure, I wondered sometimes who got more wet, them or me?

This would be the cute little Gwynneth, she was starting to smile at Grandpa.

Sam was a hit with the bedtime stories

And also was the supervisor for the magnificent gingerbread house. Not Graham cracker, mind you, real gingerbread, and the smell of it conjured up all sorts of lovely childhood memories for me.
Here is Nikolaus tag morning.... They woke up around 5 am, I heard them whispering, so I just told them to go back to sleep, it was still night time We didn't hear from them again until 9!!!!

Anya was a great help with the truffle dipping, not to worry all of those hands were washed, with soap and then sanitized. Truffles were great, thanks to Emily and her amazing recipes.

Anya and Aaron decorated my christmas tree. They also put up the village underneath. It really got interesting when the "Monster-Barbie" appeared and tipped over the houses!

We spent Thanksgiving in Atlata with Kim and her family. Of course, just for us, they had arranged for a record cold spell,with temps almost down to freezing! As soon as we left it got back up into the 70's. I got them all excited about Emily's super truffles and Beka and I made several batches for Kim to take to family and friends.... she called the other day to make some more, I think the family enjoyed them all gone, so there were none left to take to friends.

Before we went to Atlanta, we spent a few days with Emily and Kids. No rest for the weary here, she made us read stories (Sam) and put kids to bed, cook, shop, make truffles and hug cute boys. And she had the loveliest weather for us, we actually begged to have the IC turned on. It was a wonderful visit as usual. Can't wait to go back and escape our icky snow.

My goodness these pictures are in disarray, here is some more Nikolaus unwrapping going on.

And here is some more Atlanta visit with Kim and kids.

My printer, inspite of Joe's relentless patience and good advice, does not work. I just composed my Christmas letter, and now I can't even print it, so maybe this will be my christmas greeting to everyone. A very merry Christmas from the Clarks. We want to wish you all the very best for this holiday season and for the new year. We had a lovely year, if you check my blog, you'll get a scetchy idea of what we have been up to. (I am not a very regular blogger, since I spend all the exciting times with my kids and expect them to blog about it, besided they have much more time than I do;).
So here are some pictures of our recent adventures in Munchkinland. Anya and Aaron came to visit for a week and now I am hopelessly behind in all my Christmas preparations, but had so much fun, I wouldn't trade it for anything. One of those Aaron looks will wrap you instantly around his little finger, and Anya's sweetness with everybody, esp. her little brother will melt your heart.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sit down, take a deep breath, close your eyes for a moment, you are not hallucenating, this is indeed another blog here from me... I am doing fine, thanks for the concern. It's just after reading Emily and Jen's blogs I got a bit winded and exhausted and decided to take it easy today... so I just stayed at the computer and one thing led to another. I figured out why I wasn't able to upload more pictures on the last blog... I had dropped the upload window clear out of the computer. I found it later, when I closed everything up, it was all smashed and crumbled on my desk , I had to iron and glue it and then figure out how to get it back into the computer...j/k. Anywho (to speak with Dacia) here are the pictures I didn't get to include last time, and for good measure I included the ones from yesterday. On Tuesday Sam came back from his State Farm Class (he has to take all sorts of classes, that's why he is so dang smart! ) and decided there was no use going into the office the next day, since they would be updating his computer system and he would just be in the way. So, how about a last trip to the Tetons, and while we were at it, lets leave a little early and go to Yellowstone as well. It took a grand total of about 3 seconds to convince me that that would be a swell idea. So I woke up at 3:30 am and couldn't go back to sleep (must have been the excitement) so I finally got up at 4:30 am and found Sam on the couch reading... no wonder I couldn't sleep. I sometimes wonder if he really can't sleep, or if the book is just too exciting that he takes every opportunity to read. So I got busy and grilled some salmon for our lunch, did a load of laundry and started to organize my cookbook. Then I packed the cooler and made some awesomely delicious salmon sandwiches for our lunch. Sam turned on the music...who was thinking about sleeping now! Well, actually, I was. It was around 6 am now and I was really tired. So we did in deed manage to sleep until 8:30 and were on our way by 9. It was a glorious day and we were determined to have fun. We went past Island Park and Herriman State Park... remember? The fall colors were in full bloom, swing.... what are fall colors in??? But I was so busy on the phone with Emily that I didn't even think of taking any pictures.. Oh well, there were more to come. Yellowstone was lovely and before long we got to see 2 elk, a coyote and a buffalo. Most of the other animals must have been on leave. After working all summer long at photo ops for the tourists they had earned their vacations. Wonder where they went. At any rate, It was very lovely and we were not unduely pestered by the animals. We decided to take a different route this time, a little longer, but one we had not been on for a while. So we missed most of the geysers, but got lots of the pretty water falls. It brought back all sorts of memories of family reunions and trips past. We got to see Gibbon falls and upper and lower Yellowstone falls etc... They were still as pretty as ever. By the time we reached Yellowstone lake it got quite dark and cloudy and it wasn't long before we had several cloudbursts. Nice. All the smushed bugs got washed off the car. By the time we got to the Tetons, it was nice and dry again, and we went right to the Oxbow, where I got some pretty fall color pictures. Problem is, you gotta be there in the morning or the sun is all wrong. It was still pretty, but the pictures would have been better with the sun in the east. We went on to Jackson and discovered a couple of new art galleries we hadn't seen before and quite liked. Since I had thoroughly endulged myself for lunch... homemade zucchini bread and out of this world Salmon sandwiches yes, Emily, I will post both recipes in the recipe blog after I am done withthis one. I decided to go easy on dinner. So while Sam got himself a double burger at Wendy's I was going to have a yoghurt.... until he put that strawberry shake with whipped cream and a cherry on top in front of me... try at least a little, I brought 2 spoons... when I could see the bottom of the cup I realized that he had brought 2 spoons... maybe he had wanted some of this too??? Allright! I walked for almost an hour and a half this morning, okay? Well, that's it, I think I am out of stuff to say, so I might as well stop. Love you all lots.

Yellowstone river by fishing bridge, right by the lake. Sam said that half a century ago his very words here, he used to fish here and there were tons of fish.. this time there were none, you'd think he'd leave a few for later, greedy little bugger.

Here are the rest of the Oregon, Washington etc pictures. We spent a morning at the Portland Temple.

This is at the Parliament building in Victoria, Sam wanted his picture taken with Lizzy and Phil. I think he is the best-looking of the 3.
Here is our favorite beach in Washington: Ruby beach. Last time I got my feet soaked. This time it was Sam's turn.

Pat's birthday. We almost needed a firetruck to take care of the candles.
The totem pole is in Victoria, part of the museum exhibit. And that's all folks.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

2. annual post... or is it already the 3rd?

The sunken gardens

Japanese gardens Italian Gardens
Family pictures at Bonnie's
Ferry ride to Vancouver Island Sam's Birthday Museum , Victoria by night

Alysia said she wanted a new post and that people really read it. I seriously doubt that. But I will humor her anyways. Sam and I haven't been up to too much lately, just the usual travelling. The weather is definitely getting a bit more brisk, esp. at night. I will get really unhappy if my tomatoes freeze. I bought 5 plants at $3.95 a piece and so far I have harvested 5 tomatoes... that makes them a bit pricey. Zucchinis are doing great, as well as cucumbers and beans.

I have been exercising most days for the past 4 months, and it finally seems to be paying off, I don't get winded anymore when I walk up from the basement. After hearing that 84 year old Carlo runs after a bus and catches it.... I thought it was time I was less of a couch potato.

Last month Emily and I had a very enjoyable time at Education Week in Provo. Of course we had to deal with one major interruption on Thursday..... but little Grace and her new heart were well worth missing a day of classes! We even talked Dacia into joining us on Friday in the evening and it was even more fun with the 3 of us. Got to do that again and see if we can't recruit a few more to come, like Buggy and Jen next time.

Sam and I took off for a week to celebrate everybody's birthday, or so it seemed. We went to see Bonnie and family and celebrated Sam's birthday, then on to Linda's house to celebrate Matt's birthday, only he wasn't there, so we partied with Megan and kids and had a good time anyways. Then at the end of the week we went to Sheila's to wish Pat a happy birthday. In between we made it to Vancouver Island to see Victoria by night very romantic, Butchard Gardens still my very favorite, I got to see it twice, the 2nd time Sam read his book and I went alone and all the annoying people were gone! Sidney by the sea they have the most awesome art galleries and of course the Museum of British Columbia and the Parlament building which is lit up really cool at night and the very fancy Empress Hotel built for Queen Victoria's visit. I was always so impressed by Emily and Dacia's small print in their blogs... but see, I figured it out, I am awesome too now!

Sam and I like to just get into the car and go when we travel. Rarely do we make long range arrangements other than calling diverse relatives and announcing our imminent arrival. So we had a leisurely breakfast with Megan, and then mosied on to catch the ferry to Canada. We had some idea where, no idea when... someone said they sailed every two hours. Just for the heck of it, I gave them a call.... not every 2 hours, 2 sailings a day, and the last one was at 2 pm, we would need to be there at noon to get on.... considering that we were still about 4 hours away and it was already 11:30, I would say our chances here were slim to none... ups. Well now, there are other fairies but those would not take us to Canada, only ferries would. So I contacted choice # 2, leaving from Port Angeles... yes, there was one leaving at 5pm, and with reservations we needed to be there by 4:15.... no problem, we'd have time to stop for lunch! We almost missed that one too, the roads are a lot longer than they look! Thank goodness my blindness was temporarily interrupted to suddenly locate a freeway that went the way we wanted to go I had totally not seen it before and we were only about 1 exit away from it. So we charged ahead and skidded into the terminal at 4:18... without a stop for lunch, gas or even potty! But the beauty of a reservation is, you still get into the first lane and are one of the first to get on! The ferry ride over was perfect. The water totally smooth and the weather warm, so I hung out at the front of the boat "Bug" heisst das auf deutsch.... and watched for seals and enjoyed the wind in my hair. We had a lovely hotel room and even enjoyed the benefit of a fridge and microwave occasionally it does pay to plan ahead.
Getting back home was less fun. Peaches were ripe, pears were ripe and I was the only one to do something about it. Well, it's all canned and bottled and frozen now, and after a nice massage this afternoon, life looks good again. I'll throw in some pictures now, who knows where they'll end up, I am sure you can figure out what they are. Well, as you might have noticed, it did not turn out exactly as planned. All the pictures are at the beginning again, and in a totally jumbeled fashion, to top it off, I had several more pictures I wanted to add, but somehow the program won't let me, so you'll have to peruse our photo albums when you come to visit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Home at last... for how long?


yellowstone New look for front and backyard

coit tower, San Francisco

Bonnie and kids back home in Moscow one of our babybirds in the backyard

snow on top of Logan pass at Glacier

Stanford University Redwoods

Fishermen's wharf, San Francisco
Golden Gate bridge Trolley in SF

Looking at this year's photo album, it seems we had a major trip for every month. I feel a bit exhausted, and wouldn't mind staying home for a while. The yard looks fabulous, esp. since Sam and I put in some real muscle in the front and back, ripping out whole flowerbeds and doing them over.

Of course, we did our monthly trip.... right after I got back from visiting with Emily in Vegas, I had a short week to recover and it was time to help Bonnie get back home. She had spent almost a month with us, having fun and visiting, but it was so much more hectic than we had planned, that she needs to come back soon, so we can do all the stuff we had planned but never got around to. So we drove to Moscow, in 2 cars, and then took the short cut thru Glacier and Yellowstone and the Tetons home. Glacier is still as lovely as ever, they had just opened the week before and were busy with road construction, lots of snow still at the top. It was so nice to see all the lakes and reservoirs full. And the wild flowers were just beautiful and so abundant.

I guess I never posted any pictures from our San Francisco Trip. It was great fun and we had the time of our lives. Sam had grown up in Palo Alto; and had an Aunt in San Francisco, so those were all his old stomping grounds and I had a superb tour guide. I was so impressed by Stanford. What a beautiful University. What a lucky guy to have gone to school there. I loved the Redwoods too. (Emily said it would be easier to do my writing first and then do the pictures... we shall see... well, the pictures are a horrible jumble... maybe I can add some sense to them.