Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend 2009

Thursday (11/26/09)
This year we opted to spend Thanksgiving day with Grandpa Dave & Grandma Margie at their place on Harstene Island. The plan was to have dinner at about 1:00pm on the Island, along with Aunt Rachel, Uncle Steve and Great Grandpa Joe... plus whoever else might show up.

The day started out innocently enough with an 8:55a.m. departure from Mt. Vernon. Awesome. We had 4 hours and 5 minutes to make the 160 mile / 3 hour trip. Piece of cake.

We decided to bring both dogs with us, knowing that they would spend most of the day in the car. Since the Ornamental Dog Union is still in negotiations with the Island Living Dog Union we figured it wasn't safe to let the two groups mingle without close supervision. Plus, we would be able to monitor Josie's leg condition to prevent her from gnawing on it all day like she would if left at home.

Despite a malfunctioning DVD player, things were going surprisingly smooth... until we made an ill fated decision to take a mid-trip break at a McDonalds near Tacoma.

Somebody ordered pancakes.
With syrup.
To Go.

Somebody managed to spill syrup all over themselves.
In the car.
On the Freeway.

A big fit was thrown.
Then, traffic stopped.
The fit... didn't.

Next stop: 9-1-1 Clothes Shopping at Walmart in Shelton, since nothing else was open.

T went in the store and picked out some clothes that would enable Syrup-girl to make it through the day.

Syrup-Girl tried on the clothes, but they were a size too big. T went back in to exchange them for a smaller size.

Somewhere between the front door of the store, the kid clothes section and the Customer Service Desk, T managed to lose the receipt needed for returning the clothes. She called me on the cell phone to let me know the situation.

Legend says that she wandered around the store, retracing her steps to find out where she lost the reciept. Eventually, the receipt was found. Coincidently, it was found right below a really nice sweater that just happened to fit-just-right, be just-what-she-needed and just had to be bought.

A short while later, T appeared with the resized clothing and we continued our trip to The Island.

We arrived 5 minutes late (but no one complained... thanks Rolfs!).

The next few hours included an enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner and entertaining conversation. The girls enjoyed playing on the beach with the Island Dogs, and Steve. They also enjoyed playing Crazy 8's.

Due to Tanya's peanut and celery allergies, dining out, or dining at other peoples houses always involves some degree of risk for us because we can't control the ingredients or gauge the cross-contamination risk. The holidays are particularly risky because it's often nuts and celery galore.

After dinner we had a few tense moments as Tanya started coughing, which is one of our indicators that she may be having an allergic reaction. After using her inhaler and downing some Benadryl, the symptoms, luckily, seemed to diminish. We all had flashbacks from a few years ago when we spent my birthday in the ER due to a restaurant unexpectedly using peanuts in a dish that we didn't expect to have peanuts.

Eventually the Island Dogs all went their separate ways and the Ornamental dogs were ushered into the house for a little social interaction and leg stretching (not leg raising). This was Katrina's first visit to the Island. I think they enjoyed exploring the house, meeting Aunt Rachel's dog Rudy and gnawing on some Island-Dog-sized bones.

We began our homeward-bound journey at about 6:30pm or so (uneventful) and managed to meet up with Aunt Rachel & Uncle Steve at Shari's restaurant in Tacoma for a lite-late dinner (and some pie).

From there we made a quick visit to see Rachel's new house before making the final drive back home (again, uneventful)... arriving about 11:10pm.

Friday (11/27/09)
Tanya and I battled a few crowds trying to get a good deal on a card table and chairs... but we lost and came home empty handed.

There is a lot more to the card table shopping story that I'll share with you another time (Tanya couldn't find the car in the parking lot and I rescued my damsel in distress).

Afterwards we spent some time cleaning out the garage and catching up on other projects that keep getting pushed aside for other projects.

Saturday (11/28/09)
The Sears Dryer Repair man came to look at the new dryer which makes an unexpected thumping noise. All the time. Yes, this is the dryer we bought a couple weeks ago. He said it's not unusual and it should go away in a few months.

Mikayla and I went to see the second movie in the Twilight series: New Moon.

A framed Christmas family heirloom fell off the wall and broke two other Christmas Heirloom decorations. We were very sad to lose these two irreplaceable pieces but are relieved that the third can be re-framed.

Sunday (11/29/09)
Mikayla was an acolyte at church while Tanya helped organize the Christmas Program rehersal. After that we spent a few emotionally charged hours putting on Christmas lights. It was great to have some help on this project... and it was great to do it without getting rained on for once. Thanks Tanya.

This evening we enjoyed the Mount Vernon Christmas Parade in downtown Mount Vernon. Tanya, Mikayla and I watched the parade procession while Alexia enjoyed being a parade participant with her Girl Scout troop.

** Girl Scout cookie pre-sales start in late January -- Mark your calendar! **

So... it's been a busy weekend.
Maybe it's just me, but two day weekends are never long enough.
Four day weekends, apparently, aren't long enough either.

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and recognize all that you have to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 23, 2009

The November Update

Time flies when you're having fun.

It also flies when you're really busy.

November is no different... except that there is a lot less daylight (particularly when the weather is crappy and today I'm pretty sure it was dark at 4:27pm).

Earlier this month we attended the 4H Awards Banquet for the Kids-N-K-9's club. Both girls were recognized for a long list of accomplishments. The leader of the club, Christy Lyon, was recognized as the 4H Leader of The Year. She truly earned it and we were thrilled for her. Thanks Christy!! You are amazing!

Speaking of dogs...
It seem that Josie (one of our "ornamental dogs") started licking her front paw... repeatedly. This has resulted in an open sore that needs to heal.
So, to prevent the licking and begin the healing process we first first tried spraying the wound with an antiseptic that promised to taste so bad the dog would no longer desire to lick it.
Didn't work.
Next we tried tying a bandanna around it.
Josie quickly figured out how to get that off and resume her handiwork.
Next we tried gauze and tape.
Didn't work.
Ace bandage.
Didn't work.
Time to get serious.
Instead of an Ornamental Dog, she's now a Sideshow Dog.

Don't get me wrong... I do feel bad for her.
I also feel like I have a good idea for next year's halloween costume.

Changing topics here...
Let me say congratulations to my Cousin Emily (& Jason & Audrey) on the new addition to their family: Alexandria Rose.
Also, good riddance to Emily's gall bladder.
Here's her blog.

Let me make a suggestion to you, Emily, and everyone else out there with young kids.
It's a given fact that one day you'll say "I sure wish we had done that thing where you stand the kids against the wall and mark their height". Eventually you'll get around to doing that, because everyone does it at least once.
Then you forget about.
Then you remember again... about four years later.
Then you move.
Most people leave the sheet rock in the house... and there goes your haphazard growth chart.

So... go find a BIG roll of paper.
No, paper towels are not a good choice. Neither is toilet paper.
Make sure it's at least 8 feet long (because you just never know). Tape it on the wall and use it for your growth chart. Measure each kid at their own birthday party. Make it a tradition so you don't forget about it. Then... when you move... you can take it with you.

Don't store it near the recycling bin. Or the fireplace. Or the kids Art Desk. Or the color printer. I'm just sayin'.

We started marking our kids height on the wall in the closet in our first house. Then we moved.

After we moved, I was busy painting and thought it would be special to have the kids put hand prints inside the closet at the new house. So... we did that.

About 12 months later I was doing more painting. Hey... good timing... made another hand print from each kid. I think we managed three years in a row... and then skipped the next three. DOH!

So... trust me... go get that big roll of paper and use it. Sure... go ahead and do the wall-marking or hand-print stamping (because they are cool) but at least you know the paper version can follow you from place to place.

This last weekend I finally finished the living room painting project that I agreed to do about 11 months ago.
Husky fans will be broken hearted to learn that our yellow/gold kitchen+purple living room combination no longer exists. Now it's yellow/gold kitchen+Latte living room.

This week we have Parent-Teacher conferences (all is going well in school), Tanya is dutifully working on her report cards and I am dealing with the chaos of a new computer system at work that came online today.

We're all thankful for so much and are looking forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.

Happy early Thanksgiving wishes to you all!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Fun Activity Book

Alexia really enjoys creating things.

Lately she's been creating a lot of drawings at her desk and tonight she surprised us with her first activity book.

She happily mystery-gifted this book to her sister by sliding it under Mikayla's bedroom door and then running and jumping into bed (where she was supposed to be in the first place).

Here are the scans that I managed to get before the activities were completed.


Coloring Page:

Name the Parts of a Dog:

Word Search:

In the event that you a) are feeling creative, b) are home schooling your children, c) need to give your kids something to do to temporarily stop them from fighting or d) are bored, then you should print out one or more of these pages and complete the activity.

When you are done, feel free to scan/email or snail mail them back to us here at TEAM Rolfs and you might win a spot in a future blog posting or video right here on the TEAM Rolfs blog! MAYBE there will be big prizes!

For those of you with a passion for art, you should be sure to check out Scott Rolfs' website. He's spewing artistic talent with great drawings from comics to monster trucks, heroes, villians and countless other subjects.

Unfortunately it seems the artistic gene decided to skip right over my branch of the Rolfs family tree. In fact, even my writing is bad. It's so bad that I'm not allowed to sign Christmas cards.

You all should be thankful that blogs are typed because otherwise no one would be able to read these diverse stories.

Now, get busy working on those activity pages!!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Drunken Sailor

Last week Mikayla participated in her first choir concert of the year.

Do you see where this is going yet?

The whole family was able to watch the show so here is a short video compilation that I threw together since obviously photographs don't quite capture the essence of the song.  It's less than 3 minutes long.

A quick Google search brought up the above lyrics and, thank goodness, the choir group used a slightly different set of lyrics.  Maybe Mikayla will enlighten us in the near future with a more accurate version of the Mount Baker Middle School interpretation.

Mikayla has now provided us with the actual lyrics... Middle School style:

What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
What shall we do with a drunken sailor earlye in the morning?

La, La, La-La (repeat multiple times)

Put him in the scuppers with a hosepipe on him.
Put him in the scuppers with a hosepipe on him.
Put him in the scuppers with a hosepipe on him earlye {clap} earlye in the morning.

Put him in the longboat 'till he's sober.
Put him in the longboat 'till he's sober.
Put him in the longboat 'till he's sober earlye {clap} earlye in the morning.

La, La, La-La earlye in the {stomp} morning!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Pajama Day. Take 1.

Mikayla was excited for 'Pajama Day' at school today.

I was jealous and thought about wearing my slippers to work, but didn't.

At about 2:50 this afternoon my cell phone rang.
It was Mikayla.
In a quiet voice she simply said:
"Today was not Pajama day."

It seems Pajama day was rescheduled to some future date. Somehow everyone else knew, except for Mikayla and two eighth grade girls.

My guess is that she'll get over this minor embarrassment.

At least she was comfortable!