Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Remembering Chloe

I'm saddened to report that we awoke on Monday morning to find that Mikayla's pet rabbit, Chloe, has unexpectedly passed on.

Chloe joined our family in June of 2005 and enjoyed four and half years in our rabbit yard where she had the freedom to hop about, dig tunnels and even stay dry during wet weather.

Every morning she would come and greet me at feeding time, excited to receive her daily human interaction and a short petting.

Prior to this unexpected turn of events, she seemed completely normal and happy.

Nibbles, Alexia's white rabbit and Chloe's roommate, seems to be doing alright, but may be grieving in her own way.

We'll sure miss you Chloe. Thank you for brightening our lives. You were a great pet.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can't Wrap This

I hate to do this, but it goes along so well with the Holiday Olympics: Gift Wrap posting that I can't resist.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Olympics: Gift Wrapping

Welcome to the 2009 Holiday Olympics.

The spotlight tonight was on Tanya and Eric as they battled it out in the exciting Gift Wrapping Competition.

Numerous shopping trips over the last few weeks have led up to this exciting event.

One such trip included a visit to the fabric store to buy yards upon yards of Tulle that would be wrapped around each gift like a ribbon. Instead of buying a few rolls, T took the DIY route figuring we save some $$$ and just cut our own from a 10 yard strip.

Thus begins Round 1.

T cut the first strip with less than desirable results.

Her Tulle cutting skills rival my penmanship skills.

While T decided it was a good time to check out what her BFF's were doing on Facebook, Alexia and I tackled the Tulle cutting project with results that met the minimum quality criteria for Tulle Ribbon. Whew!

Within just a few minutes we had 50 Tulle ribbons.

Round 1 results:
Gold Medal goes to Eric
Silver Medal goes to Alexia
Bronze medal goes to T.

Mikayla was disqualified since she is away at a friends house for the night.

Now we had a pile of cut Tulle, but we didn't have any wrapped presents to tie them around.

Thus begins Round 2.

Alexia went to bed. This is a no-minors allowed event.

A sizable pile of gifts quickly grew on the table and floor as all the hiding spots were visited and emptied. They were sorted and analyzed and then discussed in great detail to make sure none were missing and to make sure no purchases had fallen through the cracks.

Judges Josie & Katrina thoroughly examined the items to make sure none were edible, chewable or containing squirrels. Once the dogs retired to their own bones we were ready to start the competition.

Like a whirling dervish, T unrolled paper, put gifts into boxes, reoriented gifts, cut and taped faster than anyone I've ever seen. It was crazy.

After a gift was wrapped, she'd pass it off to me for labeling, ribbon tying and placing under the tree. It seems my penmanship still leaves a lot to be desired, but it also seems my tying skills only work on my own shoes. Tying ribbons on gifts is not one of my talents. Placing presents under the tree went pretty smoothly.

All I had to do was keep up with T's pace, but it just wasn't working for me.

Round 2 results:
Gold Medal: Tanya
Silver Medal: Eric

Stay tuned for more upcoming Holiday Olympic Events such as Cookie Baking, Finding Locations To Put All The New Christmas Gifts and every one's favorite: How Quickly Can You Take Down The Christmas Decorations After Christmas And Replace Them With The Snowmen Winter Decorations.

Happy Holidays!


PS: In other news, today Mikayla had her first workout with the Gymnastics team while Alexia went to dress rehearsal for the Christmas play that is being performed tomorrow. After we were done with those events we all went to Bellingham for the 4H Holiday Party at the ice skating rink and dinner at Round Table Pizza. Busy, busy, busy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Typical December Weekend

After a hectic week at work I was really looking forward to a weekend.

Friday night Tanya met up with friends for an evening of Scrap booking. She spends many hours a month, all year long, dedicated to creating beautiful memories for our family. Similar to the Growth Chart I talked about a few posts ago, projects such as these frequently fall by the wayside with little notice... only to be regretted years or decades later. Kudos to Tanya for her steadfast dedication to capturing the moments now so that we may share them with others in the future.

While she was scrap booking, the girls had a couple friends over and they all enjoyed attending Friday night Open Gym.

I enjoyed 45 minutes of quiet time at home. Well, I enjoyed 10 minutes of quiet time and then endured 35 minutes of barking dogs. There's some motivation to get the yard fenced.

Saturday started with Alexia & Tanya heading off to Christmas Pageant practice while Mikayla and I ran a few errands. Safeway, Starbucks, Safeway, Wal-Marche.

After lunch we jumped into the car for the annual Christmas Tree Hunt. We could have (should have) just hunted in the garage for the artificial tree, but instead we took advantage of the weather to visit the Hovde Tree Farm between Alger and Acme. (Yes, Acme, like in the Road runner / Coyote cartoons).

The weather was fantastic, albeit quite cold. There was even a trace of snow on the upper parts of the tree farm. We walked all around, twice, took some mandatory scrapbook pictures and finally chose the tree that looked a little bit better than Lisa's tree from last year.

Girls by the tree house:

Alexia locates the redneck chainsaw manger scene:

Double Whammy: Eric cuts down the tree and you can see his slowly receding hairline:

We made a couple stops in the old neighborhood (Glenhaven) as we drove by to check on our old house, the clubhouse, the lakes and the pool.

Once back home, we unloaded the tree, stuck it haphazardly in the tree stand with some water and then darted off to the small town Sedro-Woolley Christmas Parade.

Mikayla, Josie, Alexia and Katrina were all in the parade with the 4-H club. Since it was dark, it was difficult to capture photographic images of the event. Here is Alexia on the float:

Here is a ghost-like almost image of Mikayla (upper arrow, in a teal coat) and Josie (lower arrow, in the white fur):

Once the parade was over we headed back home to decorate the Christmas tree and enjoy the typical family holiday decorating conversations.

Topics this year included a number of exciting debates, such as:
1) Where should the tree should be located?
2) Is the tree straight yet?
3) Are the lights on the tree yet so we can put on the ornaments?
and the most popular topic of all:
4) What do you mean we don't have any tree lights?

Three trips to the store and four hours later the tree was deemed to be 'decorated'.

Alexia exclaimed that she would never forget this day because she got to stay up until 10:30pm to decorate the tree. That's her equivalent of "THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!"

Sunday started with another Christmas pageant rehearsal and church, followed by a clean out of our 'under the stairs' storage area before heading out to dinner.

While cleaning out from under the stairs we uncovered some photo albums from the 'before kids' era. Alexia came across a fantastic honeymoon picture of T & I on a catamaran outside of Maui. She couldn't believe it was us and exclaimed "Mom's wearing a bikini! She HATES bikini's!".

We met up with Kim, Chris, Kari, Troy and their kids for dinner at Red Robin for Kim's birthday. Dinner itself wasn't too unusual... except that Mikayla started to not feel well. Then she started feeling worse. And worse.

We rushed home with Mikayla becoming more anxious to be home as soon as possible. A short while after arriving at home, Mikalya emerged from the bathroom with something interesting to show us.

A quick call to the Asthma/Allergy doc put us (mostly) at ease and then we worked to ease Mikayla's anxiety.
Between her sister and her mother, Mikayla has seen a lot of medical conditions over the years so changes such as this tend to cause her undue stress.

We'll keep an eye on her for changes and see what happens on Monday morning.

Thus ends another typical Rolfs December weekend.

Happy Holidays!