Scenes from a park

Making cider!

We had a fun trip to the farm to make cider!

Out to the orchard!

CareBear picks an apple.

LiliBee picks an apple.

A little teamwork.

LiliBee checks the apple stash.

Clean and ready to press. The apples, not the kids.

Crank it, Papa!

Mmmm, apple mush.

And then my camera battery died. But picture a couple of gallons of tasty cider and all of us enjoying it!

A trip to the pumpkin patch!

We spent a lovely autumn morning at Scholz Farms in Orting. Pumpkins and farm animals and corn mazes, oh my!

Let’s go, Grams!


Let’s go!


Gingerbread girl.

Into the unknown.

CareBear is tall!

LiliBee is small!

Weekly update

We had a big, fun week around here!

The girls and I took a trip to Scholz Farm down in the valley with my folks. It’s a great size for little kids and just about everything is free!  Carys led us through the “pumpkin maze” (the field of pumpkins) from one end to the other while Lilia touched a lot of pumpkins very tentatively.

They have a big sawdust hill for kids to play on so the girls played with the other kids for awhile, with varying degrees of success at getting to the top of the hill. We fed chickens and a donkey before heading into the gingerbread-man-themed corn maze. Then it was time to pick out a couple of pumpkins and head home for lunch! Quite a nice way to spend the morning.

And then we spent the next day in the ER… Lilia managed to split her head open in the back on our fireplace hearth (I’m not entirely sure what happened as I was in the kitchen at the time). Head wounds bleed a lot, which was really impressive and kind of makes me glad that we’re getting new floors next week as I don’t have to figure out how to get blood out of the carpet! By the time we made it through triage, Lilia was running around dancing with Carys in the waiting room. After much cleaning and numbing and waiting, Lilia got two staples in her head and we were on our way. She’s fine and it hasn’t slowed her down a bit. Danger baby.

This weekend brought more fun, though. We headed out to the farm for apple cider! We trekked out to the orchard to pick our own apples (we visited the beehives on our way, which Carys found fascinating) and the girls had a good time picking the ones they could reach.

We then washed and ground and pressed them into cider. Both girls had a chance to crank the wheel and feed the apples and, surprisingly, didn’t get bored! It was a nice little outing and we’re all enjoying the cider.

No-Pressure School Fundraising update: It’s the last week for Entertainment books. We’re also selling Ram Cards (for the restaurant) and I think we’re doing an auction in a couple of months if anyone has something they’d like to donate.

This week will probably be a little more busy. We’ve got to finish up our preparations for the remodel and there are 3 different doctors appointments and Carys has school, of course, and classes start at the Y. And I still need to decorate for Halloween! I need more pumpkins.

Weekly update

Since I missed a week due to illness, this is a summary of the last two weeks… which makes it kind of long, but it’s my blog so I can do that.

I hope everyone is enjoying the last of August. I can’t believe it’s almost the start of school already! I have a new interest in all of those “back to school” ads these days as it will only be a couple of years before that has to mean something to me.

We had a lot of fun over the last two weeks. Unfortunately, last week ended with all of us coming down with a cold and missing out on the weekend. It was a planned “stay at home and get something done” weekend, but we mostly just sat around sneezing and coughing at each other so not much got done. The girls didn’t get nearly as sick as Chris and I did, so they were practically back to normal quickly. Chris took a sick day today to avoid infecting his coworkers. Unfortunately, my parents were not so lucky.

CareBear had another day camp type of class, this time with a safari theme. She had a great time and got to bring home an elephant mask, which has become a very popular car ride accessory. The class was particularly helpful since we had so much down time due to our colds… CareBear tends to get a little stir crazy if we stay home too much!

Everyone recovered from their colds around here except me. I ended up having to go in to the doctor for antibiotics as my cough just wouldn’t go away and apparently decided to turn into bronchitis. I’m tired of being sick so often!

We took an impromptu trip up to Mt. Rainier… it started out as “let’s go for a little drive”, then it was “hey, maybe we should go to Alder lake” and it turned into “why don’t we go pick up a national parks pass while we’re out here?” Since it was late in the day and we weren’t really planning on going all the way up there, we only went as far as Longmire before stopping to explore. The girls were more impressed with the bugs they found than the mountain, but they had a good time nonetheless. It was a very nice day for an outing.

We spent part of this weekend doing some comparison shopping and errands and then providing “tech support” over at my folks’ (ok, Chris does all the work, I get to visit), which was a nice change of pace. We’re in the market for a new washer and dryer and new flooring if anyone has recommendations!

Sunday was spent down in Centralia for a celebration of life/memorial gathering. It was nice to visit with family that I don’t see often, though the circumstances were unfortunate. CareBear made fast friends with Aunt Gail and has been talking about her ever since. She was particularly tickled that Aunt Gail thought the butterflies on her undies might be real!

We made a surprise stop at Chris’ folks’ on our way back north. The girls helped feed the goats dinner and we had a nice visit. It turned into a later day than we expected, but the kids did some napping in the car so everyone maintained good moods all day!

This week will finally (hopefully) see our long planned visit with Auntie T and Z. Our classes have finished for the session so it’s our week off. I’m not sure what else we’ll be doing with ourselves, but I’m sure we’ll keep busy.


On our recent visit to NorthWest Trek, we learned something new… benches are almost more fun than looking at the animals. The kids didn’t miss an opportunity to climb up onto a bench (and they had lots of opportunities, I’ve never noticed how many benches are scattered around the park). LiliBee and CareBear had different bench “styles” though…

CareBear and Pas were more of the “waiting for the bus” type of bench sitters.

Or maybe “hanging in the park”.

I have no idea what the topic of conversation was, but it was pretty entertaining to watch from afar!


LiliBee and Grams, on the other hand, seemed to have more of a “sporting event” method, with lots of looking back and forth.

Maybe it was tennis?

Or basketball?

But they certainly were much more animated than CareBear and Pas!

Weekly update

We’ve managed to avoid any of the rest of us getting sick again (so far), so we were able to have quite a fun week. We started new classes, had a picnic in the park, played at the fair and even visited Northwest Trek!

Carys is trying out a preschool gymnastics class this time around. So far, it’s her and 4 other three year olds swinging chaotically from bars and jumping into the foam block pit with varying degrees of success. She had a lot of fun and I was quite entertained. She’s also taking a swimming class again and is actually starting to get the hang of kicking!

Lilia is taking a parent/child swim class this session. Chris went with her and, since it’s the same time as Carys’ gymnastics class, I didn’t get to watch this week. I hear that her favorite part is jumping off of the wall to Chris and that she liked doing “motor boat”. She tends to get chilly while swimming, but that didn’t stop her from climbing in and out of the pool for fun.

Chris surprised us with a picnic at the park the park on our way to the farm this week. One of the best parts was that I got to be surprised, too! Since I’m usually tasked with planning and providing food for things, it was a very nice change. Carys thinks that surprises are the best and she and Lilia had a great time picking out a picnic table and playing at the playground.

We hit the Pierce County Fair this weekend. It’s a nice sized fair for little kids, even though the ride selection isn’t very diverse. There were only a few rides that Carys could go on (and none for Lilia, but that’s not unusual)… though it didn’t matter too much since she rode the 4x4s twice and then did the “jungle gym” obstacle coarse type ride 4 times. She really liked the ball pit part of that “ride”. We did all the usual fair looking and eating and generally had a great time.

Unfortunately, Chris missed out on some of the fun to make an unscheduled trip to the dentist for a temporary filling. He cracked part of one of his molars off eating breakfast, so he’ll be going back in a couple of weeks for a crown. Lots of fun for him. Luckily, our dentist is right across the street from the fair so the girls and I had plenty to do while waiting for him to return.

The kids and I headed out to Northwest Trek with my folks today. We had a nice walk on one of the hiking loops and then wandered around looking at animals. Carys was really impressed that she can spot the animals all by herself now, even when they’re not moving around. Lilia loved stopping every few feet to pick up a new stick or rock or leaf. It was quite challenging to keep her walking in anything resembling a forward direction. The animals were mostly sleeping while we were there, but it was still a fun trip.

This week will probably be a little more mellow, with rain in the forecast and all. I do hope to hit the last weekend of the Ren Faire, though!

Weekly update


We’re finally flu free around here. It’s been a long three weeks of fevers and staying home. We more than made up for that this past weekend, though.

After toddler gym on Saturday, we headed to the Spring Fair. I love fairs, have I mentioned that? It was pretty crowded being Saturday afternoon and all. We managed to have lots of fun in spite of the long lines, though. CareBear got to go on a few rides and won a new ball at the “fishing” game (plastic, magnetic fish). LiliBee complained about not being able to do that stuff yet but enjoyed the people watching. We all enjoyed visiting the goats and chickens in the barns.

Sunday was our belated Easter Egg hunt down in Olympia. Auntie Trina hid sugar filled plastic eggs all over Grandma’s yard and the girls had a great time finding them. CareBear is an egg finding machine, her basket was over-flowing! LiliBee wasn’t sure what the fuss was at first… it was fun to put eggs in the basket, but she doesn’t have the competitive streak yet and was more than happy to just look at the eggs. Grandpa did some grilling and we had a whole Easter Party! The girls slept all the way home.

Today, we had CareBear’s appointment to recheck her vision. She tested as normal this time around, so there’s nothing to worry about at this point. It was a pretty painless appointment.

Then we headed out to the park to take advantage of the nice weather. After walking the paths with Grams and Pas, we turned the kids loose to play at the playground. CareBear got over her initial hesitation about the slides (I don’t know where that’s coming from) and spent a lot of time going down the tunnel slide. LiliBee wasn’t sure which slide she wanted to go down for awhile, but she sure did enjoy climbing around the smaller equipment.

It’s nice to be well in time for the fleeting warm spring weather!

Crabby Chickens and Miniature Horses!

How cute is this baby? We made a trip out to The Crabby Chicken Ranch today to meet the newest baby. Mark (Chris’ coworker) and his wife, Kim, raise miniature horses and one of them foaled about a week and a half ago. The new baby is adorable and sweet!

Apparently, CareBear’s jacket was a tasty treat.

Both CareBear and LiliBee got baby horse kisses.

After checking out the horses, Mark let CareBear and me visit the chickens. We got to pet a very sweet Bantam hen and then CareBear chased some of the bigger ones around.

LiliBee and Chris watched the chicken festivities.

A visit to the ranch always makes me want to have miniature horses (and other miniature farm animals) and chickens. I need to look into our county’s regulations for backyard chickens… I’d love to have fresh eggs!


We ventured out in the rain today to visit the 2nd Annual Celtic Faire in downtown Puyallup. It’s put on by the Puyallup Main Street Association and isn’t so much a fair as a collection of stores doing something Irish themed. It was fun to walk around town, stopping here and there for some green cupcakes or colcannon. There were men in kilts, women in Irish garb and we even saw a leprechaun! The girls really liked the bag pipers wandering the park along with the Corgis, Scotties, Sheepdogs and Irish Wolfhounds.  We had a very non-Irish lunch of hot dogs at Lucky’s Hot Dog Diner (very much recommended!) and watched the dog parade go by.

One of the really fun things about downtown is the art.

They have sculptures on many street corners and even some building walls.

This one seems to be art within art.

And you can’t see it very well from this picture, but the cross walks on some of the streets in town have daffodil inlays. Those are the ones along the parade route. Puyallup loves it’s daffodils.

I’m just sad that I didn’t get a picture of the “saltine bed” hanging on the side of a building… one of these days I’m going to do the “art walk”.

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