Sunday, August 31, 2008


At church today. Always the best time to photograph Mae.

Myron's camp trip. I took a photo of this collage of photos on the church wall.

Today was a swell day. We made it to church 15 minutes early and in time to claim our bench. Our family is so large now, that we have to get there early or we're out of luck for the comfy seats. Our favorite spot is the 4th row from the front, right in front of my little old biddies. There is a row of five very sweet older women that sit right behind us. They are all widowed and are close friends. I hope if Shane goes first that I will have the same kind of support system. They have family home evening together and go out to lunch. It reminds me of how my close little net of friends are now and how we might be someday. Hopefully not for a long long time. Today we had testimony meeting early because next week is Stake Conference. For those of you who don't know what testimony meeting is, it usually happens on the first Sunday of the month. As members we fast from dinner time on Saturday night until dinner time on Sunday. The money that we would have spent on those meals is then donated to the church for those that are less fortunate. It is also an opportunity to have a specific point focused on, and fasting shows our earnestness to have it resolved. Members of the congregation get up and bear their testimony that the church is true, or an instance where they felt the spirit etc. Today we had quite a few special testimonies that really touched my heart. The first was Elder Clark. He is a new missionary in our ward and has this intensity about him when he talks that really got my attention. He was offered a honorable discharge 3 months early from his mission to prevent him from losing his several scholarships to college. He turned them down just last month because he has faith that God will show him another way to pay for college and that he needs to be on this mission. I! What an amazing example. He is in the right ward to announce that. With all the money in our ward, I think if we open a fund for his college tuition, he'll receive many donations. I have to check and see if this is even allowed first. Leslie, my sweet friend, you gave such a beautiful testimony about treating our families like special silverware, not like normal everyday silverware. What a beautiful analogy. We really should treasure our families and not treat them like normal every day fixtures in our lives. Families are a treasure. You don't have to be LDS to see that. Finally, another wonderful woman in our ward bore her testimony to the youth about holding on to the rod and not to be tempted. I know, this sounds like a normal everyday generic mormon line, but I assure you, hers came from personal experience. Her son has just been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her testimony was profound and I was so thankful that my boys were wide eyed and listening as she described the situation and strongly warned our youth. So many others bore their testimonies as well and were equally as uplifting. These were just a few I really felt like sharing. That's all for now. Time to get cooking and then clean up. I'll write more tomorrow.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Last minute school shopping.....never a good idea

Apparently Bothell has gone semi pro in the way of crankin out talented football players. Every one of our football teams lost to Bothell today. The rookies, Brennan's team lost 6 to 25! It was fun to watch Brennan tackle and I think I may actually be starting to get this funny game called football. Go Bainbridge! I actually attempted some last minute school shopping today. Never a good idea, but the boys really needed shoes. Not just any shoes, Converse. So, I had to make the trip into Silverdale. Shane had to get back to work after the game and so I was on my own. I don't think I have had all 5 of the kids together without Shane since summer began. It was insane and we only went to two stores. Old Navy was down to nothing but luckily Target had the boys Converse. They are only 30 bucks a pair there. After our couple hours of shopping, it was clearly evident that we needed some park time. We stopped by the lovely Lions park in Poulsbo for about an hour and enjoyed some Sluys doughnuts and of course.....more football. Whatever the sport each season, my kids cannot get enough of it. They have to play it all the time. As I am typing, all of the boys and Shane are outside throwing the football. Anyhow, it was a crazy day but we made it work. Bad news.....I still have more school shopping to do. My own personal tip to myself for next it alone!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Football, scouts and campfire

Before I get into the football, scouts and campfire, I have to share with my friends, the news I received from my hearing specialist today. She confirmed that yes,....I am nearly deaf in my right ear. After some really cool tests and noises, we found out that I have only 30% hearing in my right ear. Now I have to decide if I want to keep it that way (great for naps when kids are noisy, just lay on good ear) or possibly have surgery to correct. Any opinions on this matter would be greatly appreciated! Now...back to the real story!
Brennan is extremely proud of this next installment of photos. While Brennan was at football practice, we hung out so that we could take him out of practice early to head over to pack meeting. Here is how Rylan and Mae stayed entertained! Look at that girl, she's a natural!

And then of course......out of all that hay, she finds the one mud spot. Mae is definitely the dirtiest of all my babies. She LOVES to play in the dirt and has so much fun doing it, how can I deny her, her fun?
Tonight was pack meeting for the bear/wolf scouts. We had a potluck dinner and then awards.
Of course as soon as Nora spotted Shane, she had to be up in his arms. Mae and Nora were being so cute, they kept putting their foreheads together and then laughing.

The boys roasted marshmallows and made smores. They had great fun. I started my own game with the kids. "Who can make Katie the best marshmallow game". I was the judge. I ate so many burnt marshmallows, I lost count. Thank you Emma L and Emma R for the "brain crisps and goof crisps" too cute. Emma R informed me that the reason he had marshmallow in her hair was because she wanted to have white hair (Emma is 6) but when I went to put other white materials in her hair such as potato salad and chips, she objected. Good luck with all that Brooke!
Another great Russel moment was tonight when I told Jared that Nathan and I were talking about all of Jareds awesomeness and Jared replied "well, of course". He makes me laugh. Thanks for your clever fun kids Brooke! Always entertaining that family.Here is Hiram (nora's big brother) and Mae just down at the beach. I love the way Hiram is looking at Mae. He is so tenderhearted and sweet with her.

We had an awesome turn out! More people than when it's at the church!

It was a great night, good friends, great food and goodnight!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just cuteness

I just had to pop on and share this photo. This is the perfect image I always had in my head of what having a daughter would look like. She is sugar and spice and everything nice.
As much as I love my sons, and you know I do, there is just something so special about having a daughter. I get to share the same things my mother shared with me, play dolls and make "pretty things" , teach values that were taught to me, cry and laugh about boy things and finally at the end of it all, be friends. Having Mae reminds me of how very much my mother loved me and how very much I loved my mom. She was beautiful, amazing, spiritual, fun and silly all rolled into one. She would have loved my kids and there really is an aching void here still from her leaving this world. I am very thankful that my family is an eternal one and that i'll see her soon enough.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Locked in Lollipops- A Katie Butler Mystery

Yes, well we'll get to that in a minute. First, here are some photos from yesterday. Sundays are my favorite days to take photos because Mae is all dressed up. Here she is in nursery. I hope she's not sick of nursery by the time she is actually old enough to be in there.

Here is Shane playing around with Dan. The kids in nursery adore Shane and he adores them in return. Give him any screaming baby and in less than 5 minutes, he'll have a happy baby. He is just so amazing with kids.
It started out as a favor, working at the cutest little childrens boutique, "Lollipops" here on the Island. My friend Karin owns it and needed some help while she was out of town. She asked me back for yesterday and then this coming Wednesday and Saturday! I was so excited. I am definitely going to need those hours now to pay off all the clothes I want from there. It was a slow day and my trusty associate Myron joined me. He was my little food runner. I love the location of Lollipops, it is right downtown and in the middle of everything, including the famous for a reason, "Blackbird Bakery". Myron delivered very delicious curry cauliflower soup to me and potato dill soup to himself along with their homemade oatmeal wheat bread. Then, he ran back for some of their most amazing chocolate mousse, which we ate very slowly, as we mmm'd and aaah'd our way through it. I was a little embarrassed to return the cups to the bakery when we had licked the cups clean. What I love about this bakery is that for a cup of soup (a new soup every day ) and a full thick slice of homemade bread, it is only 2.75. The only bummer is that if you really love a soup, your probably out of luck to have it again. They make a new soup everyday. My favorite of all time was the Potato sorrel nettle. It tasted like artichoke.
So here it is. I am so excited to be working here. It is fun, quiet and nice to look at. Karin has done such a fantastic job designing this shop. I had to take some photos to show it off.
This is where I get to sit. Behind that beautiful counter.
This is the view from next to the counter, looking out towards the door.
And now.......locked in Lollipops,...sounds like a Nancy Drew mystery! It really isn't that big of a story, and Myron would kill me if he knew I was posting this, but here goes. Karin had just asked her husband John to make me a key for the store. It was sitting on the counter bright and shiny when I got there with the "Katie's keys" tag. I promptly put it on my key chain, so proud to be considered an "employee". Seriously though, I haven't worked in 11 years! I mean, i've worked, but haven't gotten paid for it. At the end of the day, after doing everything I was supposed to to close up, we were ready to head home. Why is Myron on this side of the door you ask? Good question. Well, after I was unable to lock the door on the outside, I came in to call Karin to ask if I was given the right key. In the meantime, Myron decided to mess with the lock and EUREKA! Was able to lock it. I hung up the phone and went to the door to pull the key out and finally get out of here. Well, the key wouldn't turn back the other way to unlock the door. We were stuck. Here is Myron jiggling and trying with all his might to unlock the door in between his mumbling to never ever show anyone or tell anyone what happened. Sorry, Myron, all is fair in cyber space.

After 10 minutes of trying to unlock the door, the truth sank in....we weren't gettin out alive. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but you get the drift. I called everyone on the employee list, including myself aka my husband to explain what was going on. My husband was the only one to answer. we are in this photo, contemplating the scenario. Meanwhile, people aka owners of the other shops are closing up and giving us peculiar looks as to why we are just standing near the door and not leaving when everything is obviously put away from outside and it's time to go home! My pride keeps me from writing SOS on the door or screaming help in sign language. After another 30 minutes, I start down the contact list again and finally reach Roxie who politely explains to me the secret jiggle, push, shove technique that frees me from the pink prison that I had previously decided that I would be camping out in for the night.
We made it out and arrived home to hugs and kisses from kiddos that actually missed their mama. It was a nice time and I am so glad that I got to resurrect some of my lost writing skills by exaggerating the "locked up" incident!
In the end, here is Mae in her new nightgown looking adorable as ever and yes....on top of the table. Phew! Ciao.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yard sale treasures and feeling good

First of all, I just want to just say how much I love and adore my husband. Not only did he agree to me going yard sale shopping, he cleaned the house while I was gone! It was nearly spotless when I returned and couldn't refrain from kissing him over and over. He is amazing, sweet, hardworking and he's all mine. It looked so nice, that I had to take a photo!
(That and I can showcase the amazing mirror that my friend gave me and the 100 year old 1st edition dictionary and stand that I got today for 15$) Everyone that knows me knows how into books I am, so this was a MAJOR score for me! Bring it on Greg aka my scrabble buddy.

This is the kitchen, tada. I can't believe I am showing it this messy, but actually, it's cleaner than normal, especially while I am in the middle of cooking dinner. I am baking lasagna Bolognese tonight. It is an amazing recipe from my italian friend, Chantal. It takes 2 and a half hours just to cook the sauce, but Shane worked so hard today that I want to surprise him with a very special dish. Bon apetite!

Above is a fun photo that I took today. Rylan is playing piano and Mae is singing along, but Rylan isn't too happy that she is "ruining his song". Aren't little sisters the best!??
Below is my beautiful mirror that is getting ready to be hung by papa bear, but not before taking the classic mirror image photo. She thought it was too funny to see herself, her whole self. Look at those thighs!

Other news, Nathan actually cleaned his room! I know....miracles do happen. Myron is over at best friend Fergus's and Brennan just returned from his football jamboree in Renton! Apparently he is a pretty amazing player (this we knew) and scored the teams ONLY 3 touchdowns! Now, not only is this amazing.....but the games were only 10 minutes long. His position is half back. Shane is such the proud papa tonight and Brennan cannot stop talking about his "awesomeness". He hasn't taken all of his gear off in two weeks! Can you say diehard?
Keep it up Brennan, get that scholarship and make that money! Momma needs a new pair of shoes!

Friday, August 22, 2008

La Befana is a go!

My wonderfully creative cousin, Steph and her friends started a bazaar in Utah fittingly called "Beehive Bazaar", (see link under "blogs I enjoy"). After looking at all of the items, I realized how great something like that would be here. I know we have "Christmas in the country" and the Christmas house, but what about a handmade bazaar? For those of you not familiar with the Island, about 60 percent of the island residents are either artists in some form, or writers, with a few actors here and there. The other 39%, lawyers, doctors, computer people, and the last 1%? Me! Mind, you these are not factual numbers, just my opinion of the Island. I have never been in a place so richly littered with artists in such a small area. My good friend Chantal and I have decided to start the "La Befana bazaar" this year and already have over 10 artists ready and excited to show their goods. La Befana is an Italian witch that would fly around on her broomstick and throw presents down to the children. I king of like "Bobbo Bazaar" Bobbo means Santa in Italian. Chantal is a beautiful painter and designer so I can't wait to see what she comes up with for the poster/logo.
Now it is just booking a place. I really wanted to book the Island center hall or the historic Seabold church, but surprise surprise, it's booked, even this far in advance! Today I will call the Commons and the Grange to see if they are open and book our spot. So far, here are our artists.

Laurie Sharp- writer and designer of wool pets (
Blackberry honey from local hive farmer
A great purse designer from Seattle (
Jewelry designed by Carrissa Barbee and hand created by women in a village in Mexico
Purses by Peggy Maracich
Organic and free range clothing by Naomi Spinak
Hand painted childrens furniture by Chantal Kollodge
Felt foods and patchwork birthday flags - me
Vintage childrens clothing - Susan Swolgaard
Soaps in lavendar and citrus by- Linda Snyder
handmade earrings by various people
cards and more! It is going to be great and I am super excited. Thank you to my cousin for the great idea.
I don't have much to report about this week. Chantal's birthday was Wednesday and a group of us went to Mora's for ice cream and then attempted to watch a movie at the theater, but ended up going back to Chantal's to do that. I went home. Yaddi yadda. Here's a couple of photo of Bren and Mae.
Ciao for now!


Monday, August 18, 2008

And the rains came.........

I woke up this morning thinking it was too early to get up because it was so dark. I went back to sleep and slept until 10am! Thank you to my awesome husband for that. It started raining later in the afternoon. I love the rain, the smells, the dismal sky. I was a happy camper today. Rain makes me want to stay up late reading stories with the kids with just one little lamp on. It makes me want to cook warm food instead of cold, take a long hot bath, and get into my long johns and crawl into bed and read, which is what I will be doing in a few hours. Today was a mellow day. The kids had dentist appointments with our favorite dentist, Dr. Brown. Rylan had to get one more "sugar bug" out of his teeth so Dr. Brown gave his tooth a "hug". Too cute and too much fun. My guilty pleasure is chatting with all the cool dental hygienists. They are around my age and loads of fun to talk to. Nathan was invited to Wild Waves tomorrow so he is pretty excited. The kids that are going are beehives and deacons so it will be a lot of fun for all of them. For those of you wondering what the heck beehives and deacons are, come to church on Sunday and i'll explain. Wink wink.
Not much more to report. Life is good, I am happy, the kids are happy, my husband is happy and that's all that matters.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The perfect trip.....the temple and Ikea

The day started out with a trip to the Seattle temple with my good friend Rhonda and her daughter Nora. We attended the sealing of a special family in our ward. It was so beautiful to witness this marriage and sealing of chidren to parents. I remember not too long ago when our family was sealed for time and eternity in the same temple, thank goodness without all the hammering, but what is interesting is that I noticed it before the friends entered the room, but not during the ceremony. Work was being done on the steeple (see photo). We took advantage of the lovely sun and had Shari Whyte's lovely neice take this photo of the three of us.
Nora. She is just such a special girl. I am so thankful that Mae is only 5 months younger so that they can grow up being close friends. I sure love this Nora girl. Woohoo....we arrive. It is hot and it seems that Ikea has added extra parking since our last visit. That means more people and more languages to overhear inside! :)
We spent about 3 hours in Ikea. It is so overwhelming. There are so many people and so much to look at. You could seriously spend all day there and not see everything. We came to Ikea with grand ambitions. Rhonda even came with a full sheet of paper of measurements for all sorts of things. After 3 hours.....this is what the back of her van looked like. Mind you, half is mine.
Not much, I know. I think we both ended up with 1 or 2 things from our original list. I did find some great things. Here's what I ended up with after 3 hours!
-lazy susan for kitchen table
-spice rack
-maple step stool
-mortar and pestle
-12 glass cups
-6 plates
-2 sets of silverware
-stuffed animal for Mae
-cups for Mae
-kitchen rug
-dish towels
Oh well, it was tons of fun. Definitely more fun than trying to figure out how to get back to the ferry. Rhonda and I are both spacecadets after sensory overload. We also learned that I talk loud (I am deaf in one ear) and she has acute hearing. You'd think we would have figured it out in the 6 years we have been friends. Anyhow, it was a great trip and it was so nice to reconnect with my close friend. I don't know when I will go to Ikea again. I think I might just stick to the catalog and online ordering next time. Ciao!

Ps- Watched "My Blueberry Nights" with Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz recently and I just have to say that it was AWFUL! I think they were trying to do the "Four rooms" type film and it just didn't work out very well. Awful awful awful! I lasted about 45 minutes and turned it off.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yay for fat

I am feeling oh so yay for fat today. After a long extensive ultrasound, (if you have seen the size of my jugs, you will understand why), the radiologist determined that the lump was nothing but a fat globule and would probably go away on it's own when I was finished nursing. What is strange is that after 13 years and 5 children, I have never had one before, but who's complaining? Not I. After my apt, I had to run around Poulsbo to try to find more football gear for Brennan. Thank heavens he is the only one of my boys playing football this year or I would be in the poorhouse by now. He needed a girdle to hold in all of his pads, rib protection and a cup. You'd think with all of these boys that I'd have cups lying around left and right, but mysteriously they all disappear after the seasons over. I think the sock monster that eats all our socks likes to munch on jock straps and cups now. Today is a hot one. The air is hot and stale in the house and I haven't even cooked yet. It is going to be unbearable after I make dinner. The good thing is that we leave right after dinner so, we're all good until we get home at 8. Tonight I am making chicken curry with coconut milk, curry powder, tomatoes, jalepeno and carrots.
I forgot to stop by whole foods to get some naan, so i'll substitute with fried tortillas tonight.
I am a movie freak, those that are close to me know that. I usually watch at least one movie a night before bed. I am going to start listing them in my blog instead of typing up my reviews seperately on my other site like I have been. Last night I watched "Secret" with David Duchovny. It was okay. I mean, out of 10 it's probably a 4. I love David Duchovny's acting, but the movie just wasn't as intense as I thought it would be. David plays a father that almost loses his wife and daughter in a car accident. As they both go into cardiac arrest the wife's body dies but her spirit enters her daughters body. The daughter survives and although the mothers spirit is inside her, somewhere the daughters spirit is still in there as well. Anyhow...not worth seeing. Another "okay" film is "Smart People" starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Dennis Quaid. It was a tragicly awkward film and definitely not these stars finest performances, or even close.
I give it a 4. A couple of very funny films were found recently. "Smiley face" is an indie masterpiece. I am a big sucker for stupid humor and really laughed at this film. The main character (can't remember her name) eats her psycho roomates pot brownies and stays high all day and some crazy things happen to her. The other great great film that is HILARIOUS is called " Death at a funeral". I will not spoil this film. It is so good.
That's all for now. I'd love to hear what films you love.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fun with lumps..not a Dr. Seuss book

I went into my new Dr. today after finally being approved by our insurance. She is amazing and fun and knowledgeable. It is going to be a great relationship. As soon as our medical cards arrived, I started calling and making myself appointments. It has been hard to get on insurance while Shane is self employed. In any case, man it feels good to be insured again. For only being 32, I have had some little hangups in the past couple of months. Today I went in for a large lump that I found in my breast last week. After examining me, the Dr. said it felt more like a cyst, but I need to go in for an ultrasound tomorrow morning just to make sure. It was a relief to hear that it didn't seem to be cancer. We started talking about my weight and my "apple" shape. Long skinny legs and chubby upper body, she said it could be an insulin rejection. When that happens fat gets stored in the upper part of the body....long story short. Anyhow, I am really excited to find out why I keep gaining weight and not eating much, it would be nice to get a little of my figure back at least. I also just found out today that our insurance covers breast reductions which I am totally on board with. Mae is our last baby and it is time. Shane was commenting today on how odd it is going to be to see me with smaller breasts and how none of my clothes would fit anymore. I started thinking about it and getting excited! I am also going to go ahead and get the gall bladder removed. Wouldnt it be great if this all could happen in the same day? Just get put to sleep all day and wake up with smaller breasts, no gall bladder and the cysts removed. That would be so wonderful, just get it all over with. Anyhow, I was tagged to list my busy day. Jenny, Corey, you're tagged as well. Here are some photos. Brennan in his football gear and the other sweet kids. -


woke up 8:30

got ready, got kids ready, checked email, said goodbye to Myron and Brennan and left for Dr.

10 am- Dr. apt

11:30- lunch at BK (bleck) head for home

noon- clean up house, pop load of laundry in, feed dog, water plants, straighten kids room

1:30- put Mae down for nap and take cat nap

3- make lasagna and type up bids for Shanes work

5- eat dinner

5:30- take Brennan to football

6-pick nathan up from zacks

-7- take myron and nathan to church for scouts/ym

7:30- pick Brennan up from football

8- pick Myron and Brennan up

8:30- give Mae and Ry a bath and get jammies on

9- read and put them to bed....

10- older kids go to bed

10:30....Shane and I sit down and watch some television

12- I read

1- hopefully go to bed.

WOW! This is a typical day. It doesn't seem like much until you write it all down. K, my friends, if you have read's your turn.


Monday, August 11, 2008


I forgot to add the walking video! Enjoy.

The mighty comeback

I am finally once again connected with the outside world. Thank you Comcast.....kind of. It's amazing how life slows down without tv, phone or internet. I am tempted to get rid of these things just to keep life at a normal pace. It wasn't a pain to go to the library to check emails and it was a nice break to not have telemarketers calling at dinner time. I don't know how I would do without my films though. This blog is nice to come back to. I was able to video tape Mae just learning to walk. It was a nice anniversary present for Shane and I. She is a walking fool now and has even learned to climb. We have to make sure all the chairs are on top of the table or else she will be in a matter of minutes. It's amazing how much babies grow and learn in a matter of days. Nathan returned from a 5 day 50 mile hike with the scouts up in the Olympics. I am so proud of him. The older boys couldnt stop talking about how strong he was and how he was always in the lead. His leaders said that he was a pleasure to be around and didn't complain once. I wish I could have seen him in action. When he was on the phone with his grandparents later that night, he told his grandpa that he read his scriptures every night and prayed to heavenly father to bless him with strength for the next day. He truly is a gift from god. Such a good example even though he can be difficult at home, it's moments like his conversation with his grandpa that make it all worthwhile. I made sure that when he returned that I had pizza, candy and soda pop. The first group of scouts that arrived gave me the heads up on what they wanted, so I rushed to the store and bought it, so happy for the opportunity to baby my baby that worked so hard and ate so little for the past 5 days. Myron went to Wenatchee for 3 days with his best friend and had a great time. He attended a crash derby/monster truck thing. He loved it and can't stop talking about it. I never knew Myron was into cars and such. Note to self, Myron IS into cars and crashing and all that jazz. Brennan starts football tonight. I didn't realize until the email today that practice will be EVERY night until the games start. 5:30-7:30 Monday thru Friday. So much for any more trips this summer. I attended a baptism on Saturday of a little girl that I taught in primary for 2 years. She asked me to talk on baptism and this was the first time I had ever given a talk. It went well and I was hardly even nervous. It was a great baptism and I felt honored to be a part of it. I think that's that it for catch up. Here are some photos that he let me take last night. My good friend owns a childrens boutique here on the Island called " Lollipops". She didn't have anyone to come in yesterday while she was on vacation and asked if I would work for her. She paid me in clothes, 30% off and so I picked some great outfits for Rylan and cute dresses for Mae that I would never even look at twice because of the price. I just love a good deal and it was so much fun working in the store around all the cute stuff. I let her know that anytime she needs help again, not to hesitate to call me! So here are some cute photos of Ry in one of his new outfits. That's it for now. Ciao!
This is the.."hurry mom and just take it, and no more photos" face.
The tornado that we call Mae
Cutie patootie
Mae's favorite things
raspberries, olives, watermelon
teddy bears, swings, ice cream
telephones, books, kitties