Saturday, December 18, 2010


It was just by chance that I had gone to a different dinner hall that night. He was sitting alone. I thought he was too cute to sit by himself. I never gave him another thought. Two years later a different school and he was in my physics class. By the end of the semester we started dating. Three years later, almost to the day we were married.
He even smiled. :0)

What a view!

Jeff was a frozen "PoP". He did not wear a coat.

I sure do love this man.

Twenty-five years and four children later I love that man more today than I did way back then. For our 25th anniversary Jeff made arrangements for my dream to come true, to renew our wedding vows at Kerry Park. Sneaking dog, he made the arrangements secretly. I did not know until a week before!  Most of our Seattle "family" braved the FREEZING weather and snow. I thought the light snow made it feel very romantic. It was so funny after the ceremony a small crowd had gathered and they all cheered for us! Pretty cool.
We had a great party at our place following the ceremony. Heather made our 3 layer cake and Sarah Elizabeth decorated it. They cleaned our house, and set everything up. Everything looked so great.
The girls watched Emily and Joseph so that Jeff and I could spend 2 bliss full days together. Our first weekend away since Joseph was born.
My girlfriend Janet, chose my flowers.

Party following our ceremony.

Too pretty to cut!

Present time!

Those ROTTEN daughters shoved cake in our faces!

 It was a fabulous day spent with wonderful friends and family. We are so blessed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Joseph Steps

Drum roll please: This is a big one~ Joseph can now take his 7-8 daily pills with water or juice! This is huge!

When he was little he took his medication sprinkles with soy yogurt. It got to the point that he could no longer deal with the horrid taste of "sprinkles". (medication that was grounded up and placed in capsule form)
So we moved to baby food with pills. Joseph has had texture issues for years. I was really worried about this change. After a few days he was taking his medication like a champion. This lasted for 2 years.

About a week ago Seattle got socked in with a very unexpected snow and ice storm. We ran out baby food. He need his medication. I remembered that Joseph had taken a very small pill at the hospital with out any problems. What the heck I thought, might as well give it a try. He needed his medication or he could have a seizure. I handed him a pill and a glass of juice. He looked at the pill, stuck in his mouth and I encouraged him to take a drink. I handed him another pill. he popped it in his mouth, and took a drink. Next thing I know Joseph REACHED for the remaining pills and took them! In the morning same thing but this time he did not need encouragement to take his medication or to drink! Wahooooooo!

 He still will play the game of running away so that he does not take his medicine, but now comes back quicker pops several in his mouth at a time and takes a slug of water, just like a pro!

I am so proud of Joseph! Keep on taking those Joseph steps~ Love you.

Thanksgiving with some Black Friday Shopping thrown in

Sweet potato casserole
This Thanksgiving was the first year we have ever prepared our meal as a gluten free and casein free. It was wonderful. There were not that many changes to our main stay menu and those that we did were really not that difficult.
Gluten free stuffing
Heather's Pumpkin Pie
The corn pudding I made completely from scratch, rather than using canned creamed corn. I made our traditional southern 7 cup salad with plain soy yogurt instead of sour creme. I made 2 stuffings. One was gluten free and the other was not. Jeff made yummy gluten free gravy. He liked it just the same! Heather the Queen of baking taught herself how to make a pie crust from scratch as well as the pumpkin. The pie was out of this world. Everyone pitched in and our dinner turned out great!
On a side note: I do not recommend to cook a large dinner after 9 hours of black Friday shopping and no sleep. I was too exhausted to enjoy all the cooking.

Speaking of Black Friday my friend Harley's Life with 3 boys blog has a terrific gift giveaway: .
Rained all night, sometimes pouring.

Our entire time waiting to get into Kohl's was spent in the pouring rain. We made some new friends though and got some great deals. Was it worth standing in line? Not this year. Quality time spent with Sarah Elizabeth, yes!

Oh well! It would not be Seattle in the winter if it was not raining and besides it all worked out in the wash. I ended up scoring 2 nicer gifts at Target and for less $$! Ca-Ching! Still have several presents to get and then I am finished. Sarah Elizabeth is an amazing shopper. She goes through the ads, then draws a layout of the store. Plans our attack, then we are outta there!

It is my hope that you and your had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know we did. The best part of Thanksgiving was having Heather here with us for the first time in over 3 years! <3

Friday, November 12, 2010


Fall has come as with the cooler weather. Layering of clothing is a necessity these days. The cooler mornings yield to warmer afternoons. The trees are lovely in their full glory. School is in full session and the days are flying quicker than I would like. Before the clocks were turned back is was dark by 4:30 pm, A sign of things to come when winter casts it spell of short days and early darkness.
Steve and Sarah Elizabeth.

I am late posting about Halloween but I could not let it go with out posting a few pictures of our fireman  
(Joseph), Artist (Emily), tree spirit (Heather), Prince Charming (Steve) and Sarah Elizabeth.
Seriously Heather, texting while trick-or-treating?

Trick or treat was so much fun this year because Heather was able to join us and Sarah Elizabeth's boyfriend Steve. Trick or treating starts at 6pm and usually last till the candy is gone or about 9ish pm. This year Seattle was chosen for a 2nd year in a row as the Best place to trick or treat in the county! We thought that was way cool. We went into the City to the outer area of one of the neighborhoods suggested. Oh my golly the kids bags were so heavy that Joseph could not carry his! One house even gave out a treat to all the parents~Margareta's! Wahooo!!!! Nothing like being tipsy in a dark neighborhood your unfamiliar with. :0)

We headed back to our neck of the woods after about an hour. Joseph was tired and told me, " I NEEEEED TO SIT DOWN!" When arrived home I took Joseph around the complex and the older kids went to a neighborhood down the road. We timed it great and were all back in about an hour. They said they would have good farther but their bags were to heavy!

Bear and Heather start a fire.
After grabbing a snack and hot cocoa, it was time to get down to some serious business! Just as all kids do there major wheeling and dealing of candy! It never ceases to amaze me how fast this goes. There was candy flying everywhere. In the end I think everyone was happy with their lot.
A Dentist's worse nightmare.
Heather has her loot all neatly organized.

I was a bit worried about Emily eating candy before I could google it and make sure it was GFCF. After everything legal was identified the kids traded with her and she ended up with a fair amount. This made her very happy. Then the discussion of what to do with all the extra candy. They decided to donate it to the food bank. I kept a bunch to use in stockings we would give away to friends and teacher's at Xmas. Unfortunately there is a mouse in our house and most of that candy disappeared in days. :0(
NO! I am NOT going to give any of it up!

The food bank was so appreciative of all the candy the kids donated. It was almost half of a pillow case! They plan on using the candy for the children's stockings at Christmas.

Too pretty for Halloween.

Gimmie the goods and nobody gets hurt!

Hope that there were no tricks pulled on you and that you had a very Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Moonlight Beach Adventure

The other night around sunset we went to Edmond's Marina Beach. It is our favorite beach. The city of Edmonds has a discovery program that offers in-class as well as beach classes. Each summer they offer a wonderful evening with scuba divers bringing critters out of the Sound and on the beach.

This years event occurred on a warm summer evening. The sunset was amazing and a slight breeze was coming off the Sound. In the far distance we watched a storm rise over the Olympic Mountains and rain on the peninsula. A perfect summer evening. And don't you know I forgot my camera! So I have had to pull photo's from other times.

It was so cool to see the beach crawling with kids, flashlights and head lanterns. Stretched out across the beach were six plastic baby pools. Children and adults were oooing and ahhhing the contents. Squeals of excitement were made by those of all ages. Occasionally a diver would walk up on the beach with a net bag dumping the contents into the pool.

Other tanks where rainbows of colors. Until I moved to Seattle I had no idea that Star fish could come in so many beautiful colors. I think by far the purple ones are my favorite. Not only does the color vary as the does the texture. Joseph does not like the feel of  star fish or most sea creatures in general. It is so funny when we go to the grocery store. When we pass the fish market he always says, "ewwwww fish" but with a smile on his face! Take him to the aquarium and he could spend the day, put a palate of salmon in front of him to eat and he is a happy camper. :0)

Many of the pools contained several species of sculpin, flounder, and gunnel. The gunnel look like eels. Joseph thought the flounder felt slimy and giggled every time one would swim around. Once the flounder had hidden in the sand he would say "where did he go? where did he go?" From the movie Find Nemo. It was way to funny!

Another cool thing that was available during the Beach Adventure was a live Puget Sound-cam. The divers took camera's underwater with them. Joseph thought he was at the movies! He watched it for almost 2 hours. He even asked for pop corn! :0)

I cannot wait till the next beach walk. Wait, yes I can. It is December. I do not want to wish life to go that fast. It goes fast enough as it is!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Last week of summer

Summer vacation is over.Rather than just chilling and enjoy these last days of laziness, we crammed more than I would have liked that is for sure. Monday and Tuesday were all about Dr. appts for Jeff and I. Our insurance through Washington State ended so we were trying to squeeze in everything we could. I met Joseph's new epileptologist on Wednesday then met with his psychologist at the autism center on Thursday.

Took Emily and Sarah Elizabeth to see Eclipse. We went to my favorite movie theater, The Crest. All shows are $3. Now there is a deal! They more than make up for it in popcorn, drinks and candy. Now there is a racket.
Emily thinks she is such the big shot since she has been allowed to see this movie! She also began reading the first book in the series. She has carried the book around like a trophy. I have said no to her for quite some time in being part of Twilight. She cannot get over that I have finally give in. :0)

On Thursday we went to the Sam, Seattle Art Museum. The first Thursday of each month is free museum day. We have tried to go for so long but it seems that something always gets in the way, but not this time. We were able to catch the last week for the Kurt Cobain and Andy Warhol exhibits. The Cobain exhibit looked at the rise and fall of his career leading up to his suicide and the impact he still makes on people today. My favorite was a silent film where an artist could hear the music but we could not. She dance to a Nirvana song and Gloria Gainer, "I will survive". It showed the difference in style of dance the music created. Nirvana was free flowing and the other was force full and more stiff.
 The older daughter enjoyed the Andy Warhol exhibit. She felt that the photos were free spirited and enjoyed the mixed media his art work was presented. There was an interactive exhibit called the Andy Warhol Wall of Us. An old photo booth was available for you to have your picture taken, You could then choice one of the four pictures and add it the wall. We are now part of the exhibit!
The Quileute nation exhibit was beautiful. With all the attention that has been given from the Twilight Saga the Nation wanted to get "their story" told. Not only are they spirit wolves but whales as well. Head pieces, jewelery, clothing and a video in their own words was on display. I am so glad that we got to see this not because of Twilight but it is a rich part of Washington State.
I was surprised that Joseph enjoyed the museum as much as he did. He pointed out to pieces and made comments about them. These 2 were his favorites.
On Friday we braved the crowds and went to my favorite store: Target! Keep me away from those dollar bins. School supply shopping was the name of the game. I am proud to say I stuck to my guns and did not stray. The older daughter on the other hold did not stick to the plan. She found tights in every color imaginable. I had to restrain her from spending ALL her babysitting $$.  She loves tights and is quite proud of her collection. :0)
We did spent the week-end very laid-back as it should be. Oh did I mention Jeff bought me a van an Friday for my birthday?!
 I hope that you have had a great Labor Day week=end. :0) ~blair

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Joseph steps

As parent we always marvel at the milestone our children achieve. When they take their first steps, first lost tooth, slept through the night, etc. Joseph has taught us that even the smallest of things that we normally over look or take for granted is important. Being the fourth child I must admit I might not have noticed as much when he started sleeping through the night as I did with our first born or even second born. I might not have paid attention to when he learned to hop or draw on the sidewalk with chalk.

I try not to make too of a big deal when Joseph achieves a new task or makes a new milestone.
But today was different. I saw it the other day and kept my fingers crossed hoping it would happen again. Last night it happened again. Joseph emptied the silverware from the dishwasher into the drawer! He needed a little help but did not scream or yell when asked to help! Today I asked him to get out the peanut butter by telling him which cabinet it was located in. I then asked for a knife. So far so good. Just for the heck of it I asked if he would like to spread the peanut butter on the bread. "Yes!" By golly he did it!!!!! He needed just a little help with spreading but he did it by George. :0)

Instead of calling them baby steps I like to call them Joseph steps. So I will gladly take one Joseph step at a time not matter how long the long the distance is between. :0)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Delusions of Grandeur Slept In My Head

Delusions of Grandeur Slept In My Head

Why is it that children can adjust to time differences and jet lag better than adults?
While in WV my girlfriend would come over every day just a little earlier and earlier to help us adjust to the time difference and start working on the house earlier each day. I could have easily slept till 12 or even 1pm each day no problem. Our days would not have been as productive and I sure my girlfriend would no longer be my friend! Joseph~ his little body senses light outside translating not matter the time it is time to get up! Good thing we do not live in Alaska.
Upon arriving back in Seattle exhausted, I looked forward to settling back in to the 3 hour time difference. Thinking how tired everyone was that I would get to sleep in. Joseph had stayed up late and the prospects looked good.
Boy was I delusional! At 6am I was awakened to the CHIMES of “We’re hungry!” by Emily and Joseph. I am informed proudly by Emily that she had been up since 5am. Wasn’t I glad she let me sleep in?

Country Roads

For the  last week and a half the kids and I have been back in West Virginia. Not a trip of leisure that is for sure. The purpose of this trip was to pack up our house of 15 years and prepare it for a new family. We are not selling our home but renting our home so that we can continue to be close to Seattle Children's.
I never dreamed how over come with emotions I would be coming back to Charleston! I miss our home. I miss seeing the hash marks on the linen closet door marking the growth of the children over the years. I miss watching the kids catching lightening bugs. I miss Tudor's BiscuitsFirst Watch our Church family and our dear friends. WV is a beautiful State full of wonderful, kind folk. The kind that wave when you drive by their car, and bring you a yummy dish when you have a life event.
This year if all goes right Sarah Elizabeth will graduate from high school a year early. She plans to go to Marshall University. She misses snow, the mountains and the beautiful fall leaves.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love living in Seattle. It is hard when your heart belongs in 2 places. If I were Queen we would transplant our friends and house to Seattle everything would be perfect! But I am not and I can't! So for now I will enjoy the wonders of the Pacific Northwest while I can and dream of the country roads that one day will take me home.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Two years in Seattle!

It is appropriate that I start to blog again. Two years ago Joseph had spinal surgery~ actually it was called de-tethering of the spinal cord. Basically Tethered Cord Syndrome is related to spinal bifida on the inside. July 29th, marks the two year date of us officially living in Seattle. The two previous months, June and July, we had stayed at the Ronald McDonald House my children correct me! :0)

Earlier this spring we really thought we were moving back to WV. Jeff was still unemployed and at that moment in time Joseph was stable. We wavered back and forth for more than two month, then God revealed His plan. We were staying in Seattle. How it all was going to work out we had no idea! Shortly thereafter Jeff secured full time employment and Joseph’s seizures returned.
Next week the children and I are going on a bittersweet trip to West Virginia. We are excited that we will be able to visit with friends and family. But the main purpose of our trip is to pack up our house and place it into storage. Renters have been found and will move in July 31st. It is great to know that a new baby will be in the nursery and our house will once again become a home. But it is just weird thinking of someone else living there. Don't get me wrong I love that the house will be a home again but it will not be our home. The girls are having a lot of feelings of trepidation. I think deep down I do as well.
Yesterday Heather flew to WV to hang out with her girlfriend, Chelsea and go to the beach. She said it was weird that she was going to WV for vacation! Yet way cool that she can now call Seattle her home. I think that after this trip to WV the girls will feel the same way. We have had our lives on hold for the past two years. We have been staying here over the past two years but I think it is time to live here. I will always be from WV but I live in Seattle!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I am NOT making any promises.............

Deception Pass. Wonder what Joseph saw?

I am NOT making any promises that I will be a better boggler. But I will TRY. Heather has been here with us around four months. I gotta tell you that it has been wonderful having all my chicks’ home.

Wicked Lexi
In April Heather’s girlfriend Chelsea came out to visit for awhile. Chelsea stayed till the end of May.What an amazing young woman she is. She cooks out of this world, played way too many games of rummy, and calmed down the wicked Lexi kitty. 

At the end of April Joseph starting playing baseball on a challenger team. He was so much fun to watch and I know he loved it! May brought Prom season~ two for Sarah Beth. One at Edmonds Heights (Sarah Beth's school) and at the EMP for Mountlake Terrace High.

Sarah Elizabeth with beau Steve
The month of June brought Emily's graduation from elementary school, white water rafting with Emily's girl scout troop, camping at Mt. Rainer and hanging out at the beach to name a few!

The 4th of July we spent 2 hours watching fireworks at Matthew’s Beach. We took a side trip to Deception Pass and sailing on Lake Washington. The kids have since gone sailing two more time on Lake Ballenger with our new buddy Howard. This summer has been eventful to say the least. Who knows what we will do next?
Prom Night
Coach Melissa and Doug
Camping at Mt. Rainer
Seattle Pirates storm Alki Beach
Hanging at the beach
Splish, splashin in the Sound
Chelsea and Heather