Before the rains started again... the grown-up kids playing soccer in the front lot. Posted by Picasa

Self Defense Class

The girls are taking an intensive Self-Defense course from Master Mike Mather in Warrenton.

Master Mather brought in some students to help with the training.

Madison is also taking advantage of his time home to take more private lessons with Master Mather.

The kids are so sore...they can hardly move at night!

Christmas Trees

After visiting the Grandparents, we headed to Dixie Mountain and picked out 2 trees. Posted by Picasa

Aura arrives home from Morocco

Aura arrived Thursday, Dec. 15 late in the evening. Paris (who arrived earlier in the day from Michigan) and I were joined by their cousin Fairley... picking her up at the airport.

She couldn't speak English... but the girls cried and hugged. (Her English was up to speed quickly.)

Sit on Grandpa's Lap!

Grandpa's girls are getting bigger!

Paris, Fairley, Aura and Saren pile onto his lap for the photo! Posted by Picasa

Aura with US Ambassador to Morocco Thomas Riley

Nancy Riley (his wife) sent me this adorable photo of Aura.

Aura really enjoyed their visit and was homesick having another "Finnish Mom" around. (Mrs. Riley) The Rileys have 2 college age daughters... I am sure they must miss their girls terribly.

Aura will arrive home for Christmas later this week. Posted by Picasa

Asian Fusion Dinner at The Depot

This was my entree of Kasu Halibut Udon Noodles with Grilled Baby Bok Choy and Asparagus simmered in a light Shoyu Fumet.

The middle dish is actually the 1st Course ...HERE IS the link to the menu.
Chef Cleveland Graham used his stunning experience at the fabulous Earth & Ocean restaurant at the W Hotel in Seattle and was the master on this wonderful treat!

The Hoison Glazed Duck Breast was a favorite. How is our neighbor holding those chopsticks!?

Brett and I ended the evening with a very appropriate soak in our hot tub!

More wood to get through the winter months. The kids can help stack it. Posted by Picasa

Hot Tub in place

Filled with water... still waiting for the controls to be replaced. It needs some work on the outside wood...but we plan to build a deck around the back end of it.

It will be ready for use when the kids arrive late next week!

While we are away, the cat plays!

I was picking up Madison at the airport in Portland and Brett was busy at the office.

Someone, somehow...cut a fiber optic line south of Longview... and dsl/cell phone/phone service was interrupted for over 14 hours. The area of southern Washington and parts of Oregon included the Long Beach Peninsula. yikes!
A forced break.

Brett came home to do some house chores and found Calypso was entertaining her friends. They allowed Brett to get up close ...until he went to get the camera...then they became a little bit shy and went to the back edge of the yard.

Madison is home!

A sure sign that Madison has arrived home is floor space ... covered in his stuff. He lives out of the few packs/suitcases for most of the year.

He has 5 weeks off and will be leaving tomorrow for his apartment in Seattle. We will see him again the week before Christmas when his sisters are home. Posted by Picasa

December 1

Today is the day to start decorating for Christmas! It is also a day of sadness... since it is the anniversary of my mother's passing... in 1964. Then 3 weeks later... we were flooded out of our home. The people in New Orleans have it pretty easy compared to what my father went thru. AND he didn't ask for or receive FEMA money either!!

So... to bring joy and happiness on this anniversary...I always start to decorate and prepare for Christmas.

This year... Madison, Aura and Paris will be home! I can't wait!! So much to do...I have list upon list of tasks, shopping, wishes, meals and activities.

Madison arrives on Sunday, Dec 4 (not sure what time)... he will be dividing his time between Seaview and Seattle for the month. Paris has finals soon and then flies to Portland airport (PDX) on Dec. 14, about 11pm. Aura arrives from Morocco (at PDX) 24 hours later on Dec. 15th.