Em woke earlier than the norm this morning and Ryker was happy to wrap her up in blankets and cuddle her as she so likes to do upon waking. I continued to help my student with her studies until I heard Ryker and Em in the bathroom. "Great job, Em." Ryker exclaimed. "You're such a big girl. Brother is proud of you!" He was helping his sis go to the potty. We're exactly two weeks into this program and still on a bit of a learning curve. I sat quietly at the top of the stairs and watched as he proceeded to help her wash hands and then attempted to clip her unruly hair away from her face. Em waited patiently while Ryker fumbled with her hair. Before returning to my work, I gave my sweet son a hug and told him I think he is the best kid ever. Oblivious, he asked, "How come, Mom?". I love my babies!

On another note, I am appreciating email updates regarding our friends in Haiti. It is good to see progress being made towards repairing homes and grounds, to see smiling faces and to know that much needed medical treatment is becoming more available. Melanie is safe, in good company and has returned to teaching. I envy her the privilege of providing these desperate kiddos with something so simple and yet so valuable - normalcy. Among my favorite pictures are several of women throughout the city of Port-au-Prince wielding straw brooms and sweeping rubble. A beautiful picture of human resiliency and hope, if you ask me. Hugs and love!


The citizens of Haiti have been on my mind. God's servants and saints there, our friend Melanie Rumble and all those affected by this tragedy have been on my mind. May this tragedy open hearts in Haiti. And hearts here as well!



If there was ever a reason to have a guest room, it would be so your guests would not have to lay their heads next to the booger wall. I've been told that my child is not unique in this - that many mothers (in this case, father) are required to clean boogers from the wall next to a child's bed but this knowlege makes me feel no better. Today Ryker informed me that those were not his boogers. They were Em's and he knows for sure because he doesn't wipe his on the wall. He eats them!

It's so fitting that I have a child who eats boogers because I have a booger phobia. It's really real! In fact, every student I've ever had the privilege of teaching knows I have one basic rule: If you must pick your boogers, eat them. Papers with anything remotely resembling boogers on them, will not be graded.

Only one parent ever objected. In fact, I'm pretty sure she asked if I'd tell my own child to eat his boogers. And I'm sure I said yes. I feel really bad now about lying then. :) Though I am on the fence regarding which is worse - the one who wipes boogers on the wall or the one who eats them???


Santa Claus came to town!

Santa was somewhat discombobulated this year. We're so glad he came but presents were strewn all about the yard and he was really sweaty and all out of breath. It was also bit strange when Santa began to behave inappropriately while hugging Uncle Terry. Ryker was quick to declare it the reason he hasn't and won't hug Santa Claus. Thanks Santa. Thanks a lot.

Somehow Uncle Ron missed the whole show. It was sweet of Santa to leave him a gift anyway. Uncle Ron, despite all his faults (name calling, cheating, general disorderliness), is still my favorite uncle. :) Em thinks he's pretty special too! Or maybe it's just the kitty.

Christmas Supper...

It was lovely. Thank you, Dan and Carol, for offering your home! Everyone contributed and everything was delightful!

I'm proud of my cousins. They're all really cool kids. But I'm feeling more like an Auntie these days and a wee tired of all the jabs regarding my age. Kinda hurts my feelings (and pains my joints too). I envy their closeness. I hope they know how lucky they are to have each other. Do you hear me guys? YOU LUCKY DOGS YOU!!! A handful of the girls are off to South Africa for several months. They've already traveled to Australia and all around South America together. I'm living vicariously and love it. A very merry Christmas!

Gary is top of my list of favorite Uncles. It has nothing to do with character though and everything to do with my coffee addiction. Uncle Gar makes a mean latte and would you believe that he hand delivered one to me six mornings in a row? The last one tasted a little funny though. I think we'd outstayed our welcome. :)

The espresso line was getting pretty long. For the love of coffee, someone please get Uncle Gary a tip jar!

Speaking of mornings, this particular morning Carly and Ryker were mysteriously absent. In fact, they were nowhere to be found. They'd decided it would be a good morning for a soak in the hot tub. And if Carly says it's okay, there is no reason at all to consult Mom!


Christmas Eve and morn...

I love Christmas Eve. Carly and Ashley made sure Ryker and Em were included in setting out goodies for Santa. I was happy to have found some really special Reindeer food. It was the magical kind and guaranteed to bring Rudolf and his team racing our way. I described the store I'd found it at in great detail (a unique little store specializing in all things Christmas) and Ryker hung on every word. Carly glanced at the tag, rolled her eyes and said, "Yeah. Like Pier One."

Well, what do you know? Santa found the place. And after three trips and hours spent unloading gifts, I'd guess he knows this home as well as his own.

Strange as it seems, Santa's elves can make kittens. They're exceptionally life like! Santa brought Ryker a Wii. He wanted to know what it did. Em first opened a gift of candy and it was all over for her. I noticed that my cousins got an awful lot of socks. What is that?!? I remember when Santa starting bringing me socks and for lack of a better word, it sucked. :) We had fun!!! Love, hugs and kisses to Grandpa and Grandma Good. We love celebrating in your home.


Because I'm not digging sitting in front of the computer for more than a few minutes at a time these days, our holiday fun is going to have to be posted over the course of the next several weeks. That, and I have big plans this month to do as little as possible so I won't have anything else to post anyway.

Mount Baker provides a beautiful backdrop for skiing. The lifts however, are painfully slow. How is it possible that a ski hill with 8 lifts not have even one high speed quad? Regardless, skiing with the cousins was a treat. I've always known cousin Amy is as frugal as our grandmother (Yes YOU, Aim!) but not stopping for lunch just to squeeze every minute out of a lift ticket is beyond frugal! :)

Would you know that in a few years Dad gets to ski for free? I guess they don't expect many 65 year-olds to be hittin' the slopes. Dad points his skis down the hill and stops for nothing...and nobody! His ski adventures usually end with a bang (or crash) and this one was no different. He made it until two, when he pulled up covered in white and announced he'd slipped on a little patch of ice. That can really hurt at age 59 and as many miles per hour! He sipped hot chocolate at the lodge for the remaining two hours. Does anyone know where I can purchase a governor for skis? Dad's never going to make it to 65 otherwise. Tee hee.

I'd like to take this moment to gloat, I mean apologize, to these fine people for thoroughly schooling them in Balderdash. It was inconsiderate of me. I am sorry. Next time I will attempt not to win by such an embarrassing margin. :) Thanks Aunt Sue! Your enchiladas are exceptionally good.

Boo hoo...

We've not had nearly enough snow this season. So far there's been no sledding, fort building or snowman making. But each dusting of snow has the kids begging to jump on the trampoline. Don't let appearances fool you. These two are no angels. ;)

 Do you remember our Uncle Tom? He's the one who always appears on this blog asleep in an easy chair. He recently managed to procure a boat load of tickets to a WSU basketball double header hosted right here in our very own arena. It was fun to spend time with some of the extended Tippett family. Unfortunately we have exactly one picture of the weekend and it's this one, taken by Ryan's mother. Ordinarily an MIL would object to her DIL kissing men other than her son. But it was Butch and if Marlene could have made her way over, she'd have planted a kiss on his mug herself. I'm fairly certain that Butch uses Downy fabric softener as conditioner or bubble bath or something. Bet you didn't know that. Thanks Tom, for all your hard work. And we're keeping our fingers crossed that the event will take place again next year.

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The best day ever!

Sometime after dinner yesterday, Ryker announced that it had been the best day ever! We inquired as to why, of course. "Because I've been in my undies all day long!" It's true. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner in our pajamas. And after all the holiday fun, it really was a great way to spend a Saturday.

Today was not a good day for Ryker. He was pretty bent out of shape about having to watch a "stupid girlie princess" movie with his sister. We drug him to Princess and the Frog anyway. He giggled a lot and occasionally laughed out loud. But when the movie was over he sighed an exceedingly loud sigh and exclaimed, "That was even worse than I thought!"

Happy 2010 everybody! I'll post pictures of our holiday antics before the year is out. Promise. I just need to recover from several ulcer-inducing card games, a sore ankle (dance revolution?), an aching shoulder (wii boxing), Buck Buck (don't ask!) and a little family Fear Factor. Caramel onions, anyone? :)