Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've been TAGGED!

Thank you Missy Laura! Okay, I'm going to do this somewhat on the fly because otherwise, I'll write a book. And none of us has time for that, right?
  1. I always jingle my car keys when I get out of the car. I just do. That way, I know I have them and haven't left them in the car. Unfortunately, I have left my keys hanging in the front door lock too many times to count.
  2. Everyone in the family has a different color hanger and when they are hanging empty in the laundry room, they MUST be grouped by color or I just cannot go on with my day. Don't judge.
  3. I have a thing for men with accents. Colin Firth...Cary Elwes...Christopher Plummer...Lord have mercy! Don't tell Danny. Teehee.
  4. I like the flavor of green peppers...I just can't handle actually chewing them. Can't and won't do it.
  5. I could spend a whopping $3.00 on my entire summer shoe wardrobe and be perfectly happy. Flip-flops rule. Especially the cheap rubber ones from discount stores. And I'm sorry, but I grew up calling them "thongs" and I'm really sad that I can't do that anymore without people thinking I'm referring to my underwear.
  6. I love to make stuff. That includes just about any genre of crafts...I'll give it a try. I rarely come across a crafted item and don't think to myself, "I could make that!"
  7. Sometimes, even after 19 years of marriage, I still look at my sweet hubby and think, "How did I get so lucky to land such a perfect guy?" (Think Fräulein Maria singing to Capt. Von Trapp..."I must have done something goooood!") Mushy gushy...yes. But it is the truth!

So, there you have it. Random bits about me. Now, since anyone I know with a blog has already done this, I'll leave it to you readers to leave your random-ness in the comments! Or better yet, this is the perfect opportunity to start a blog of your own...and this can be the subject of your first post!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

10:30 am....

One third of my heart just drove away in a white BMW.

Yes. Hayley passed her Driving Test yesterday!!! Woot woot!

This shot was taken by me, hiding behind a pillar so the Driving Examiner wouldn't laser me with his eyeballs. I was intimidated...I can only imagine what Hayley was feeling pulling out for her test. She aced it though!

So, imagine my surprise when she asked if she could meet her friend Karen this morning over at the Cross Country Track meet at the school. I didn't think she'd actually want to drive anywhere by herself! But then, as we parents must do, I handed over the keys to the car and stood in the window and waved goodbye. She wouldn't let me take a picture of her driving away, but I did get the promise that she would call and let me know when she arrived.

"To our children, we give two things, one is roots, the other is wings." Author: unknown

There's the phone ringing now....Sigh. Have a wonderful weekend all!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hey Ken...Do You Know This Kid???

Due to blogging difficulties, this shot didn't get added in the right order...but it must be shared! More on this part of the day later in the post.

My Susan and her Steven arrived safe and sound yesterday morning! What a treat for us!

Since it was morning, we headed straight for the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market and loaded up on nice, hot beverages. Little dude was very happy with his hot chocolate.

Susan and I agreed that this photo needs some explanation. (For the sake of our vanity!)

See, we had Steven take the photo and he is a tad shorter than we are, so his trajectory with the camera was from such an upward angle, it makes us appear that we have double chins! Everyone knows we really don't!

Moving right along...

We stopped off to say hi to the fishmongers at the Fish Market. There were no crowds, so they were busy setting up the fish for the day and weren't putting on their usual show.
Consider yourselves lucky to see Steven so close to the Monkfish...

We then walked up to catch the Monorail over to the Space Needle. This was a pretty big hit with Steven. I think there were only a few other people riding so it was like our own private coach.

This is my new favorite shot. It doesn't matter that I sit on the ground with my eye at butt level with the person in the photo.

Susan and I are sure that Tara Whitney would be so proud of my photo composition!

Even though we were just about the only people in line to take the elevator to the top, we still had to wait (for the elevator to return from its previous trip to the top.) Steven was less than thrilled!

Just kidding...I made him do that face!

Once up top, we played with all the cool machines they have to highlight the features of the Needle and then posed for pictures.

It really was a beautiful day to be up there. After riding back down in the cool elevator, we Monorailed back to our car at the Market and drove to Ballard to do a little chuckling and shopping at Archie McPhee. (Erica ~ be prepared!) Anyway, that top photo is Steven with just one of the fun things he tried on.

We got home, barely said hello to the family and had to head out to take Brian to bowling practice and we realized we hadn't really eaten lunch. We had to wait half an hour until the restaurant re-opened for the afternoon, so Steven bowled two quick games and then we went over to Cristiano's for amazing Chicken Caesar Salad and Pizza (for Susan and I) and a Cheese Pizza (for Steven.) So good! They brought a paper to cover the table for Steven to color...and color he did! He was cracking himself up here.

Well, that was our busy day yesterday. Today wasn't quite so busy (though check back tomorrow...BIG NEWS to report from the Liebel household!) We're getting ready to sit down now for some of Dano's burgers, chicken strips and home fries!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Schaeffer ETA: 9:34 AM

This is Susan, one of my dearest friends from the Old Country (aka: Southern California.) And she is arriving this morning for a visit! And she is bringing along her cool little dude, Steven, who is a big Second Grader this year! We're going to do a little Seattle sightseeing, a little fishing, a little eating, a little guitar playing and a little crafting. And I believe Susan is going to bask in the cooler temperatures while her husband and daughter bake in the SoCal heat!

Did I mention that Susan is my crafting soulmate? She is. We just "get" each other and we totally share and support each others interest (okay fine, obsession) with creating things. I am always blown away by Susan's creations...and she never fails to inspire me. How can you not adore the friend who sends you a purse that she sewed...from "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" fabric? I am so blessed that she is coming to visit, for the second time since we moved up here.

So, I'm off to the airport in a little bit. We'll try to update with some "What are we up to?" posts this weekend. Hi Ken...Hi Erica! We'll take good care of Steven and Susan for you...

Later dudes!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October Glory

That is actually the name of this maple tree. The color is this amazing fiery orange~red. Sometimes I like to pretend I'm a photographer (with real skill) and I have these little photo shoots. I thought this would look so cool with the blue sky in the background. The white is the sun...YES...we have sun!

So where, pray tell, was I having this little photo shoot??? Yup! We've been busy planting luscious flowering trees along the south side of the driveway. Then we planted a bunch of rhodadendrons and other bushes between the trees. Pretty, no?

For a little added color, I went nuts with the selection of kale and cabbage. Behold:

This beauty is called "Coral Prince." Sigh....

I don't recall the name of this one, but it looks like a gigantic rose sitting in the dirt.

This one is very frilly. We also have some white ones like this that look like heads of cauliflower sitting there. Very cool.

But I think the stars of the show right now are the maple trees.

Speaking of stars... ...in our book, at least! Tonight is our last home volleyball game, so it is Senior Night. The girls have been working hard preparing goodies and speeches to say "farewell" to the Seniors on the team. I'm bringing kleenex...no one warned me last year and it was quite emotional.

Have a GLORIOUS day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Boudoir Shots

No, not that kind! This is what I have to contend with in putting fresh sheets on the bed. (And I'm not referring to the freaky dog eyes.)

It was past Abby's "bedtime" so she was delicately urging me to get a move on with putting the sheets back on the bed. She doesn't always "help" make the bed, but her furry little sister does.

I don't think I've ever put clean sheets on any of our beds without Molly coming into the room and immediately jumping right in the middle of the bed. I throw the flat sheet over her and this is what I get: What's the problem, you ask, so naively?

Perhaps a closer view will help: (Thanks to Brian for risking his fingertip to demonstrate the dangers involved in making the bed. A check and bandaids are in the mail.)

Back to the wide angle shot ~ Abby is still standing her ground. So is Molly. Well, they're not exactly standing, but you know what I mean.

Let's go under the covers for an insider's view of this scenario, shall we? Sigh. I do love this kitty.

She finally made her way out after the blanket went on the bed. Abby, not so much. Okay, now the freaky dog eyes are scaring me!

There you have it. Trust me, this happens every single time I put sheets on any bed in the house.

It sure is nice to have help making the beds. Heh!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's the Little Things in Life...

I know we can't be the only ones who pulled up to the Costco gas station this morning and started singing "Hallelujah!!!" I have to think wayyyyy back to when milk at school was a nickel, a movie was $3.00 and gasoline was below $3.00 a gallon. Okay, so I exaggerated....just a little.

I'm not sure what prices are elsewhere, but I do know I overheard someone without a Costco card asking the gas attendant if he could get his gas for that price. The answer was no and the guy sadly drove away.

And what does my hubby think about all this? He was happy.

But hold on just a second! How sad is it that we are excited to pay $2.99 for a gallon of gas?

Josie Grandma and Grampa, you're welcome! I managed to provide a blog update today....and it was about Costco! Woohoo!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Volleyball...YEAAAAHHH!

We here in the Liebel household love volleyball. Love it. Check out Hayley. That is her with the big gold bow in her hair. She looks all sweet out there. She is anything but. While our little Bo is still pretty reserved and quiet, she turns into a Beast out on the court.

This is right after she's served the ball. This might be the clearest action shot I've gotten all season.

Allow me to explain. We have a nice little digital camera. It takes nice photos. As long as you are not in a gymnasium. Then, the color goes all wonky and if anyone so much as moves a hair, it blurs. Example ~ during warm-up: Therefore, I don't take any shots during the games. It would be a waste and I might miss some of the action.

So, there is a tradition that for every home volleyball game, the team gathers right after school at one of the girls homes and eats an early dinner. And they do homework. And hair. And play video games. And nap. And bond. We had all the girls (and manager) over before the Homecoming Game and Dano served up his best Mexican feast. They seemed to enjoy it...

Missy Laura, this one's for you! (I love you!) =D

So, Coach Kryger showed up straight from school. Oh yeah, it was Wacky Hair Day at school. (As if you couldn't tell.) Hayley, not wanting Kryger to feel so alone, ran upstairs and did her hair in the same style. Shear Genius, no? Okay, somebody please tell me they watched "Shear Genius." Anyone? Hello???

Every year for the home game during Homecoming Week, the team opts to wear a "throwback" uniform, complete with the less-than-flattering old style bloomers. Since the girls are truly more modest than that, they wear the bloomers over their spandex shorts. But they do come off for the game. This year, they wore these thick rugby-style shirts for the game, which seemed to be a little annoying, especially when the ball would just "thud" off of the shirt sleeve when hit. So, for this game, our #1 became #22.

I love this team! They've bonded like crazy and end up taking fun shots like this in the locker room before the game.

Along with the throwback uniforms and hair (side ponytails y'all!) their warm-up soundtrack is all 80's hits. Think Cindy Lauper...and can you guess what is playing in this photo? It doesn't matter what year we're in, all kids know how to respond when "YMCA" comes on. Love it!

The introductions..."She's a sophomore....#22....HAYLEYYYYY LEE-BULLLL!" Of course, this was after a gentle reminder from Hayley to the announcer that it is LEE-bull, not Lie-BELL! (Anyone that was at our wedding reception will appreciate the humor in that.) We ended up winning that night, hot long-sleeved jerseys and all!

This Tuesday at home, we played against the #1 team in our conference. I think they've only lost one game (and no matches) so it is always a tough go. They took the first two games (we play best 3 of 5) but our girls fought back hard in the third game and were victorious! Behold: Please forgive the crappy photo. Between the gymnasium lighting, the crowd going nuts and jumping on the bleachers, and me trying to hurry but hold still long enough to get the picture off, there was no way I was going to get a clear shot of the scoreboard. The proof is there though! We did lose the match in the 4th game, but the team played as one and we couldn't be more proud.

Last night, we played a team we lost to (3 games to 2) earlier in the season. It was a bit of a grudge match, going to 5 games again. Our girls had an amazing night, with our setter even breaking the school record for assists...GO PEYTON! This is some video (from my regular camera...hence, no audio) of Hayley hitting during warm-up.

video

The third times a charm!

So today, we head to the Mt. Baker Tournament. I believe there are 16 teams playing and it will be an all-day affair. (Dare I say I've missed the all-day Club tournaments???!) I'll let you know how we did later. Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kinda Sorta Therapy

Anyone who really knows me also knows that I have a bizarre love/hate relationship with spiders. Outside = love. Inside = hate (and therefore they must die. Quickly) We won't even get into my sleep habits after I've seen spiders during the day.

I digress.

Danny took the kids to school this morning and as I waved from the porch (in my robe, with nourishing coffee in hand) I noticed this guy. He seems to be missing something. Two things, actually.

He must be a pretty tough cookie. Did the loss of limbs hinder his mad web-building skillz? I think not.

So, I guess this means I'll be waking up tonight seeing spiderwebs in front of my face...oh sorry...we weren't going to get into all that. =)

In other news, I'm hoping to blog a little more frequently. I think I just was coming to grips with being cold. Everyone knows I love the weather up here in Ye Olde Pacific Northwest. But here's the thing: we went from beautiful to COLD. There was no mild. There was no cool. There was sun and then there was frost. There was warm...and then there was NOT. Let me just say, "It's frickin' freezing in here Mr. Bigglesworth!!!" Okay, I'm done whining. Except, I'm still mad that I can't wear my flip-flops anymore. Okay, now I'm done.

Have a lovely day. TGIF!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Where For Art Thou Summer?

Well, I got up this morning and looked out the window, only to see FROST on the roof of the house across the street.

Yes my friends ~ We have our first frost of the year in our lovely neck of the woods. It's not like I wasn't expecting it. After all, I did wrap up in a blanket last night to eat my dinner! It is just hard to reconcile the fact that I still have beautiful dahlias blooming in my flowerbeds, green tomatoes on the vine and frost on the roof. Josie Grandma is no doubt chuckling to read this right now. Go float in your warm Arizona pool Grandma...heh heh!

In other news, Hayley is running in a cross-country event today with the rest of her crazy volleyball team. Word has it that the team is dressing as bunches of grapes and the coach will be chasing them...dressed as a box of raisins! Oh you know there will be photos to follow...

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Totally Cheating On This Blog Post...

So, I have this niece, Laura. I call her Missy Laura. Because I pretty much always have. And always will. (Hi Missy Laura!!!)

She just got back from a trip to Colorado (where I happen to have spent a good chunk of time growing up and attending Thomas B. Doherty High School...that will come into play in just a sec...) Anyway, she posted THIS on her blog yesterday. And it is so very cool and it pretty much made my week!

In other related news, that little photo above was taken SEVEN MONTHS AGO yesterday! Happy Anniversary Laura and Corey!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Josies Came to Visit Us!

So, since I took almost three weeks off to search for my blogging mojo, I guess that is where we need to start! After having to postpone their summer visit, my parents (AKA: Josie Grandma and Grampa) finally arrived on Sunday the 14th of September. They made the drive from Arizona in a little over two days (ahem...leadfoot?) We were able to greet them with glorious, sunny weather. Behold, three generations!

We started off the visit with one of my current favorite activities: Blackberry picking. We hit the motherlode of berry patches and between the two of us, came home with about six quarts of blackberries. So of course, we made jam! And cobbler, of course! I know somewhere in the caverns of my computer, there are photos of the mountain of washed berries and pretty jars of jam. You'll have to use your imagination. Meanwhile, check out my dahlias. I grew these. From bulbs. In my dirt. And there are more still blooming outside! For the record, the blooms are six to eight inches across. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, which was our 19th wedding anniversary, was also Hayley's first volleyball game of the season. Danny had made dinner reservations for us at a fancy-schmancy place down in Seattle, but our girl was starting in her first Varsity volleyball game. We knew where we had to be! This is Hayley being introduced before the game..."she's a Sophomore.....#1.....Hayleyyyyy Leeeeee-bullllll! I'm sorry, hearing that will never get old!

Sadly, we lost that match, but they played well. Besides, ya gotta get those first game jitters out of the way. We'll touch more on volleyball later this week.

One of Danny's requests of my mom was that she bring one of her authentic German recipes with her and show us how to make Rouladen. Have you ever had Rouladen? You should. In fact, you can come to our house and we'll make Rouladen that will knock your socks off. You start with round steak, bacon and onions. And mustard and garlic and pepper. First, you have Josie Grampa beat the living snot out of the round steak. That gray blur is the meat tenderizer doing what it does best.

Josie Grandma approves of the tenderizing.

Then you pile the inner goodies on the meat, roll them up and dredge the whole thing in flour.

Then, you brown them and make a gravy out of the pan goodness. (Stop drooling.) Everything goes into the crockpot (because we were lazy and didn't want to tend a pot on the stove all day!) and a few hours later, you have to post a guard to keep people from "testing" the Rouladen.

Just check these two out. We were happy to have the Josie's here, but I think Dan was extra happy this day!

Behold: Rouladen. It has a very distinct flavor. A little Challenger Ridge Syrah...

...and some sides. This was a seriously satisfying meal. Sighhhh.

We spent the rest of the week eating, shopping, eating Peggy's Cucumber Thingies in the parking lot before watching more volleyball, perfecting Brian's bowling skillz and eating.

Alas, the cold weather soon infiltrated the region and the Josie's began longing for the warmth of Arizona. We had one last killer meal the night before they headed home: Filet with Bearnaise, bakers, french bread and killer strawberry spinach salad. I know...it tasted good, too!

Goodbye for now Josie Grandma and Grampa!

And by the way, I did start this yesterday afternoon, while it was still Josie Grampa's birthday!

Happy Birthday Daddy!