Friday, October 19, 2018


So, since moving here we have experienced several new things.  One was the "hazardous smoke" that was coming from wild fires.  I now have a Spokane Air Quality App to let me know when the air isn't safe to breathe.

NOW, we are witnessing a surge (that's what the reporter said on the radio) in Blue Ash Aphids.  I have read "The Grouchy Ladybug", so I know what they are.  But I can't recall ever really seeing aphids before.

Apparently it is mating season for them, but due to other factors there are a LOT of them.  Swarms of them.  In fact, we even have a tree in our yard that is a hot spot for them.  My father-in-law was kind enough to show me some up close.

I love getting to know a new area and all of the different quirks...but this is DEFINITELY different!

Thursday, October 18, 2018


In Wichita, Jake and I built our dream home.  We filled it with amazing new furniture that was durable to withstand our very young family.  I decorated both kids rooms on things I liked and thought they would like too.  This was what they knew home was like.  Then we moved to Spokane.

Here, we had the kids very involved in deciding which house we would buy.  They even picked out their rooms before we closed on it.  So as they unpacked their boxes and decided what they would keep or not, they slowly began to decorate their own rooms.  Owen said it best when he told me, "We haven't been here long and it already feels more like HOME."  He has been able to explore what he likes and so has Allie when it comes to their personal spaces.

The same goes for the rest of the house.  We are living in a home a few years shy of a century old and yet our newish furniture somehow worked in ways we hadn't used it for before.  Unfortunately, some of the pieces didn't even work due to the space.  So we have been looking outside our norm for options.  Enter Boulevard Mercantile.

This place is AMAZING!!!  It was a whisper of a window front that caught our eye as we were driving down the street one day and decided to stop and look inside.  I am so glad we did!  We have since found character pieces that not only fit our new family home, but add to the charm and style we've got.  I'm sure we will be going back to get more in the future.

A repurposed cabinet 

Part of a classic sectional 

The other part of the sectional

Pop's chair 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Day 4

Today is my full day with just my we decide to do laundry!  It's actually quite the event.  Our washing machine has been on the fritz for over 2 weeks.  So this is our weekly "catch up" day for clothes.  Plus, Jen will be able to pack clean clothes and not have to wash them when she gets home.  To help with the downer of spending almost 2 hours at the laundromat, I take her to breakfast before at Frank's Dinner.

Then we take the clean mountain of clothes back to the house and walk the dogs.  No visit with my family is complete without a trip to Target.  Nothing special was done today, but quality time was spent with my sister before she flies back tomorrow.

Day 3

We've been a little busy, so I will quickly post a few days of highlights.

This day involved a day trip to Green Bluff, more specifically "Harvest House" for some pumpkin donuts.  We got there about 40 minutes after they opened and I haven't seen them this busy before.  The line for the donuts was around an hour and a half wait!  But we are determined.  So Jake and Owen stayed in the donut line, while the girls and I went and picked out pumpkins, picked apples and walked around to the vender tents.  Jen bought Allie an early birthday present (alpaca poncho) and some homemade Carmel syrup.  The donuts were worth the wait!

We had work dinner that we cameo stopped by.  Jen even dressed up for the event.

The night concluded with several games of UNO (I won!!) and face masks.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Day 2 with Jen

You have already read how day 2 started with the flu shots, but the day just got more and more amazing as it went on.

The kids and I took Jen to Downtown Spokane.  We first went to this amazingly quirky store called Boo Radley's.  Of course, I can't leave there without buying at least a few treasures.  I even got a stocking stuffer for Christmas.  Jen LOVED it, but there was a line to check out so she wasn't able to get her items.  Don't worry, I saw what she was holding.  ;)

We then stopped at the Spokane Dog Cart.  Allie has been dying to try a hot dog from this guy.  So for lunch we each got a hot dog and ate them in the Riverside Park.  After we finished eating we took our trash to the "Garbage Goat".  The carousel was our next stop for a fun ride and not so easy game of Ring Toss.

Then we continued our stroll to Auntie's Bookstore and Uncle's Games/Puzzles.  As we were walking around the store front I saw in the window that one of my fave authors had released a new book from a series I like...AND would be there at 7:00 that night to sign books!!!  So not knowing exactly how the evening would turn out, I bought a copy and received 2 free admission tickets for the book signing.

Later that afternoon, Jake and I went to a vintage store to look for some seating options for the basement (the sectional from our Wichita home wouldn't fit in our stairwell area to get to the TV room of this house).  We found a good possibility but we needed to measure the items.  So I decided I would take my sister on a "Sister Date" that evening.

I picked her up and we went back to the vintage shop (which she LOVED) and I bought the pieces.  Then she and I went to dinner downtown at this Italian place called Tomato Street (Owen has been wanting to try).  Finished the evening at the Public Library hearing Ransom Riggs speak and getting my copy signed by him!

It was an AMAZING day!!!!

Brave Girl!

Allie's band aid even loves her!

So, last time my daughter needed shots it was a few months ago for her 11 year old vaccines.  That means 2 injections and she HATES needles.  I even tried bribing her before that appointment and the result ended with 3 nurses holding her in place (because she kept walking towards the door), her brother leaving the room (because he couldn't take her screaming), me holding her face trying to get her to calm down and breathe, with one of the nurses finally deciding to shoot her in the leg because it was easier to keep still.

I've known we would need to get flu shots and start the HPV vaccines soon.  Not looking forward to this at all, I decided to have us get the flu ones while my sister was visiting.  My kids LOVE her.  It was her job for a while to vaccine kids, so she had strategies for doing it with scared kids.  My plan was in place.

Yesterday was the day.  We had talked about it for weeks now.  We would go to the Walgreens on the corner, so we wouldn't have to scare our new doctors YET.  We would do it early in the morning, so we could lessen the amount of anxiety time before getting them.  Plus, we planned to take Jen downtown for some site seeing and shopping after we got them.

Sounds like the PERFECT plan...of course, I'm always surprised.  When the pharm tech called us back I walked in first to ask if they could give her's in the leg.  She was already wearing shorts to make it easier.  He informs me that they can't do that.  UH-OH!  Then the crew walked in and I let Allie know of this change.

We are all standing in front of a single chair by 3 single shots laid out on the counter.  Allie blows me away by announcing she will go first.  So Jen sits in the chair first for Allie to sit on her lap.  Allie is very hesitant to sit still and the whole time the guy is telling us he is VERY good at this and will be VERY quick.

When he grabs the alcohol swab, Allie bolts to standing and won't look away from him.  He explains it's just the cleaner and asks her to hold her tee shirt sleeve up.  Staring at him intently, she pulls the sleeve up and lets him wipe her arm.  Then she turns the arm away from him.

I'm standing in front of her trying to calm her down and letting her know that she needs to just get it done so that we can get ours and go on with our day.  She is standing there not budging for about 2 minutes.  It's quiet in the room.  Then she turns her arm to the guy and says, "OK, do it!"

He paused for just a second to look at Jen, who is still sitting in the chair and quickly shakes her head YES!  Then he gives her the shot.

NO crying.  NO screaming.  NO holding her down.  NO sound at all.  It has been done.

The room is in AWE of her.  Even Owen was so surprised!  He told her how proud he was of her and she smiled.  Owen and I got our's, I think I may have been the one to wince the most.  And then we went on with our AMAZING day!!!

Sometimes she surprises me, but today I think she even surprised herself.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

My Sister, Jen!

Today, my sister arrived and will have the privilege to become our first house guest.  She is staying with us until Tuesday, but we have a TON of things to do with her before she leaves.  Our mission is to get her to fall in love with Spokane and decide to move here...she's already decided that.  But we want her to love it and not just be moving here to be closer to us.

Since the kids were in school today, I got to do some fun things with her.  I picked her up from the airport and took her to eat at Yards Bruncheon.  Then we stopped at a local pet store to get some dog food for our dogs.  Ok, that one was actually an errand I needed to do.  But I followed it with a pit stop at Hello Sugar, for a carousel of mini donuts.

Finally, we went to my house.  This was Jen's first time seeing it.  I gave her the thorough wall through.  Then we walked down a few blocks to Rockwood Bakery for some iced tea and a brownie to share.  We continued down 18th Street to the famous Manito Park.  I showed her Mirror Pond, Bear Cave, Butterfly Garden, English Garden, Rose Hill, Japanese Garden, Lilac Row and back home.  Jen was a trooper and managed to get almost all the way back home before she started getting "Charlie Horses" in both calves.  We did after all, walk 5 miles!

I took her with me to pick up both kids from school.  I introduced her to Dutch Bros, where she got a FREE large iced tea as a welcome treat the crew gave her.  So she got to see 2 different neighborhoods.  Both kids were excited to see Jen in the passenger seat.  Dinner was at The Onion, followed with dessert at Scoops.

Once we arrived back at the house, everyone quickly changed and jumped into the hot tub.  I can predict we will ALL be sleeping good tonight.  Because tomorrow is ANOTHER big day!