Friday, December 18, 2009

Family Thanksgiving

The girls and Steve and I went to OKC for Thanksgiving. It was the girls' first time to OKC and the first time meeting a large group of O'Dell's. They handled it pretty well. Sarah, Emily and Cassidy made friends pretty quickly.

My girls got to be a part of the annual "Spoons up" ritual.
All the girl cousins together in one spot.
Debbie, Chris, Dad (looking mighty handsome) and Agnella. Such beautiful smiles.
Emily and Sarah got Kenny figured out pretty quick. "Let me Go, you Goof!"
I think Santa was feeling a little claustrophobic when the girls had a shopping day.
We got to help trim the tree at Dad's house. The girls had a blast. Agnella let them put things wherever they wanted. (I think Grandma enjoyed spoiling the girls for a few days.)

We had a wonderful time, it was over too soon and we can't wait to go back.
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best Fried Chicken in the USA

I went to Oklahoma City to visit my family for Thanksgiving. I find it only fitting that my first post about my trip be devoted to Eischen's Bar. My great-grandmother has passed away so I can safely say Eischen's makes the best fried chicken in the country, dare I say world?

Eischen's is in Okarchee, Oklahoma. A good 30 minute drive from the city. Well worth the trip as evidenced by the huge crowds and long waits for a table. The menu is simple. Waiters appear and ask not "What can I get you?" but(insert southern drawl here) "How many chicken's ya want?"

Appetizers are served.

Your side dish is next. (Vegetables are very important for a healthy body).

And the main course!

This made a believer of my kids and even my husband who strongly dislikes chicken and fried foods. After I dismembered the chicken so it didn't resemble poultry he said, and I quote, "I have to admit it's good chicken." which I'll interpret as "Eischen's, the best fried chicken in the USA."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dancing with the STARS???

The girls and I had a full-on Girls Night Out.

We are huge fans of Dancing with the Stars around here (Well, most of us). Some of us even shed tears when our favorite is voted off. So when I heard that a dance production including stars of my favorite show was coming to town I rushed to get in line.

The show was called Champions of the Dance. It was in the big city. At night. Late.

We decided to get a hotel. So the girls and I went to town early and did some shoppin' and some eatin' and checked in at the hotel for a little nap.

We got all dressed up and headed to the theater.

The show was great even if I was unable to locate any "Stars". I believe that one female dancer spent one season (probably voted off early) on the show. We had great seats and Little One entertained the audience with an impromtu cha-cha-cha during the intermission.

It was one of those moments when I wish I had my camera ready.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

School Room Organization

This year our school room became a living organism that moved, ate and reproduced at an alarming rate. With Little Girl starting first grade we were bulging at the seams.

Books, art projects, science experiments were in, under and on top of every surface. It was time to do something.


No, we did not build these ourselves...are you kidding? But I can highly reccommend Roelke Corporation in Jacksonville, Oregon. They made the trip to middle-of-nowheresville. Figured out what I wanted before I even knew, built it off-site and had it installed a few weeks later in just a couple of hours... I could not be happier.
My children now get up early, happily skip down and say "Can we start school NOW?" Not really, but a mom can dream, can't she?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Off to the Races!

We live in a small town. We don't live in a small town on the outskirts of a big town like Yukon is to OKC. We live in a small town where the nearest big town is an hour and a half up the highway. Our town is growing, though. We got us a Petco a year or so ago. When I say it was headline news in our paper for weeks, I am not kidding.

I read the paper every day. Not for news, although I do skim the news. No, I look for stuff to take the kids to. Whenever ANYTHING for kids is happening, we are SO there.

So when I read that our great PETCO was having -GASP!--Wait for it!---HAMSTER RACES!--We immediately began preparing. We happen to have two tiny dwarf hamsters named Bolt (sounds fast, doesn't he) and Daphne (after the Scooby-Doo Daphne, of course). The hamsters were a consolation prize to my children who were dying for a parakeet. I cannot abide by birds in the house. I think they are cute and sound pretty but I cannot vacuum up bird seeds fifty times a day.

Here is Big Girl with "Bolt" (who really knows, they are exactly the same) in the practice run.

Emily with "Daphne" warming up.

"Bolt" didn't quite live up to his name (but then again...)
"Daphne"("Bolt"?...) took third place! "Daphne" brought home some chew toys and treats for her stunning win. Believe me she was up against some stiff competition...Some of those other hamsters were bigger than Daphne's ball!

The girls had a blast ...who said there was nothing for kids to do in this town?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

First Day of School-Belated

The girls were very excited to begin the new school year. Big girl entered 5th grade. Little one entered 1st grade.

This was them fresh-faced and smiling on the first day.

The excitement soon wore off-as it usually does. We are one month in now and still right on schedule. Even with Daddy having lots of days off and multiple trips to the hospital in Portland. The girls are doing great even though they don't bound down the stairs bright and early anymore.

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Brace Free...Or Not

As I previously posted, Big girl got her braces off in July. She was an amazing patient. Never complained and always did what she was supposed to do. She was young to get braces, too. Just about 8. When Big girl was 7 she was diagnosed with scoliosis. This came as a big surprise to all of us and because she was very young for the onset of scoliosis we spent the next two years monitoring the progress of the curve with multiple x-rays, MRI's and many, many trips to Portland to visit the spine specialist at the Shriner's hospital (A great organization to support, if you can). On this last visit, the doctor felt her curve had progressed to the point when bracing was needed.

She was x-rayed (again) and measured by the "Brace Guy". This was done with amazing speed and efficiency, I couldn't believe it. Definitely not a government-run operation.

Two weeks later and yet another trip to Portland and Big Girl is the owner of a shiny new back brace (they let her pick out the design).Notice the smile. This kid is amazing. After a few brief tears when she heard about the bracing, Big Girl has had an incredibly positive attitude. Never complains and in fact reminds me to put it on at night.

She only has to wear it for 12 hours a day so we put it on at night after she has a shower and take it off in the morning. Hopefully, this will prevent her spine from curving further and prevent her from having a full-time brace or surgery in the future.

I am so proud of my girl. I don't know what I did to deserve her.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Niagara Canada, EH?

My darling husband and I had the opportunity to get away for a few days. As one of us (I'm not telling which one) had been a raving lunatic for 2 or three weeks... or months... or years...(one loses all track of time in the padded room), we decided to get far, far away. As far as possible without leaving the country. But then we actually did leave the country, but just barely, and it didn't really feel like we were leaving the country because we drove into Canada and they didn't even stamp our passports! I mean really! I LIVE to get stamps in that thing. I even took it to Mexico when it wasn't a requirement and begged them to stamp it for me. Anyway, back to the story. We flew into Buffalo, NY from Oregon and then got a cab to Ontario, Canada, home of Niagara Falls! We got in after dark so although we could hear the falls, we didn't get to see them until the following morning when we woke up, opened the curtains and were met with this spectacular display.


The first thing we did was take a walk along the falls and head into the heart of the tourist district.


We rode on the Maid of the Mist first. This is the famous boat that takes people right to the base of both falls. This is the American Falls. Very respectable falls but slightly less impressive than the Canadian Horseshoe fall. Also the American side is less developed tourist-wise. Which is why we decided to go Canadian.



It was pretty hard to get a picture of the Horsehoe Falls from the boat since we (and the camera) were getting soaked. The mist hides some of the falls but you get the picture. I don't have exact numbers but the falls are VERY HIGH. (I don't speak Metric, anyway).

We also went on down the river to view the rapids. These are very fast rapids, they are some dangerous category (5 maybe?) They told us on the tour to be careful not to fall in because we we could die....uh, really? I think I could'a figured that one out myself even if I am a stupid American!



This is a picture of the American (left) and Canadian (right) Falls bridged by a rainbow. I think this makes me look like a brilliant photographer, patiently waiting all day for just the right light and conditions to take the most perfect photo. Okay, maybe not but it is pretty, though.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bungee Bear

Daddy took the girls to Girl Scout camp last weekend. They stayed in tents, swam in the lake, made pine derby racecars (in deference to the dads, I'm sure). They all said they had a great time. The girls slept in a tent on their own. The dads were left to wonder what their little girls were up to all alone in the wilderness without parental supervision...

We discovered this on the camera when they got home:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Home at Last

I am just back from spending 8 days at my in-laws house. It was over 100 degrees every day. I had my 9 year old nephew as well. I hurt my foot and was on percocet and using a cane. i had to use the electric cart at the grocery store (actually, that part was fun). I had dinner at the elks with the over 70 set. My dog threw up twice and ants invaded his food bowl My daughter threw up twice. My kindle ran out of power and I forgot the charger.

Big girl and I did have a great time Saturday night. We had a wonderful dinner and saw Henry the VIII at the Shakespeare Festival. But I am very, very glad to be home at last.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Free at Last!

Big Girl Got her braces off! She was extremely excited and invited us all to a Milky Way and Bubblegum Party. A good time was had by all.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Miguel the Monkey

The girls were in a summer camp play yesterday. The play was called Miguel the Monkey and the Cunning Lion. Big Girl played Flamingo #1. Little Girl played Miguel's Little Sister Monkey.

The play was adorable. The costumes were awesome and the kids all did a great job. There were some serious thespians in the group!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New School Books!

Yesterday we got 2 huge boxes full of our new home school curriculum. Most parents of home schoolers are taking a huge sigh of relief that they have a break for a couple of months.
Not me. I plan waaayyyy ahead. I love, love, love books. Books of all kinds. I would love to own a brand new set of encyclopedia even though the information would be outdated as soon as I open the box and all the info is free on the internet.
I really love fresh new textbooks. On the first day of school I always hoped I would be one of the first ones called up to the teacher's desk to pick up my new book. I knew the sooner I was called, the better my chances of getting a newer, fresher book. One with little to no wear and tear or writing. Even better than that...a brand new book...MY name the FIRST on the this book belongs to: page!
Maybe when people ask me why we home school I should just tell the truth..."I'm in it for the books!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Go for the Gold

With one thing and another, I haven't been able to post lately. More on that later. On Memorial weekend we all hopped into the minivan and headed to the metropolis of Garberville, California for the Region 1 Tang So Do annual tournament. Big Girl was competing as a 6th Gup or green belt in the 9 and 10 year old division. Little Girl was to compete as a Little Dragon.

Last year Big Girl competed 3 days after getting 8 stitches in her knee. She did not win a medal although she came close. We were really hoping she would place this year to make up some for that disappointment.

Little Girl competed first. She was adorable, yet intimidating. She did an amazing job on her form and won her sparring match.

In her division, everyone wins a gold medal but she surely earned year she will be in the Gup division like her sister so watch out!

Next up was Big Girl. Dad and I had our fingers crossed she would place in forms. She had worked very hard on her form and we thought she'd have a pretty good shot at it.

She tied for 3rd... They both had to do their form again... They tied for 3rd again...

Dad and I were biting our nails. Head judges were called in. The 3 judges made a call. It was 2 to 1 for the other kid. Boo Hoo!

Next up was sparring. She won her first match. It was hard to follow but she had 2 more matches and we thought she was doing well. When the announcements for awards came we held our breath and...

Gold Baby!

Aren't they sweet?....I mean scary! Scary, of course!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hiking Adventure

Being the adventurous, outdoors-y family that we are. We embarked on a rugged 3-Day hike into the deep, dark, dangerous forest this weekend. We left with only the clothes on our backs. We planned to survive off the land. Hunting for berries and small animals we would eat raw like Survivorman Les Stroud. Ignore what looks like man-made steps into the forest. It is only an of nature's mysteries.
Note the fear on the children's faces. Though they are seasoned explorers there is always a chance someone might not make it.

On the third day, morale is low due to hunger and weakness.

Fresh water at last!

We reach the end of our adventure. The tallest falls in the entire world! (Or within an hour's drive of our house.)
Finally, starved,dehydrated and exhausted,we emerged from the forest to find sustenence and rest in the way of prime rib and wine at my favorite restaurant.
Bet you didn't know we had it in us!