Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Note from Dusty

As winter sets in we move the majority of our lives inside. We are great fans of the outdoors, but this time of year the inside of our home becomes full of beautiful decorations, great food, and family and friends. One of the most striking differences that has come about since Erin and I have been married has been the appearance of our home here on the farm. Erin has taken a hodgepodge of furniture from the 60s and whatever decorations I happened to collect over the first 20 years of my life and rearranged a little here, packed away a few things there, bought a couple matching things for this room and that and transformed our “tin-box” into a very welcoming home. As we were putting up our Christmas decorations this year I noticed her ability to make things look really nice, who knew coordinating colors could make such a difference. I have always loved Christmas decorations and so here are a few pictures to bring our home to yours.   

Despite decorating indoors, I always look forward to cutting a Christmas tree out of the woods for the farm house. This year Erin came with Dad and I on the hunt for the elusive perfect… well, the elusive good enough fir tree. As Dad said, they start looking better and better the longer you are looking. We only added three branches to fill in the tree we found this year, so it was a pretty good find. Since Erin came, we have photo documentation of our adventure.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Finding our groove, without feeling stuck in a rut.

Fall farm work is done, school is just chugging along, and it feels like we are now mostly settled into our little tin box house. It is nice to finally have a somewhat regular routine. How is it already the middle of November? 

We are still keeping a full schedule in the end of October and the start of November. Our Halloween party was a blast. We have some hilarious pictures from pumpkin bowling and the photo booth we set up. Here are a couple of our favorites from the party. 

Dusty and Tim just got done with fall work recently. Dusty kept thinking and telling me they were almost done then they would think of another project that should be done before the weather turns. I am sure that the guys have been busier than they like for this late into fall. I know dusty said many of the projects they have done lately are things that haven’t been done in several year because Tim needed help and Dusty was away a college. It is so wonderful to know that things with the farm will slow down a little bit. It feels like they have been going a million miles an hour since we got back to Spokane in June.

Last weekend was Tim’s hayride, potluck, and bonfire. He had an amazing turnout with about 80 people joining us for some or all of the evening. I was especially glad that the rain held off this year even though they were forecasting we might get a sprinkle here and there. (Last year it poured on us; people were soaked to the bone!) Everyone seemed to have a fun time and we only ended up with a few dishes to return to their owners so in all it was a great evening.

We also started a new church recently. Well, more like the same church in a new location, since it is a branch of the same church we went to in Pullman. We are really enjoying having it back in our routine and our new small group is great too.

This week I finished all my grades for report cards. I am very thankful to have that off my plate. Now there is just under a week before conferences to get the student portfolios ready; that is plenty of time for a procrastinator.

Next to do on our list is to figure out what we are doing for holidays. It feels like we just got done with our Halloween party, but I know Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are just around the corner… To party or not to party?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall = Busy, busy, busy!

I haven’t written in a while. In the past that would have meant that I had nothing to write about. However, that is currently the opposite of reality. I have had so many great things going on since the end of August I haven’t been able to write about it. So due to the laps in time this may be a bit shorter than most but probably still much more lengthy than necessary. As Dusty would say I don’t have a very good sense of economy with words. If I could say something with three words I will most likely still use ten!

The 25th of August I had an interview at Brentwood elementary for a second grade job share. It sounded like such a great opportunity to get my foot in the door to the Mead school district, even if it was only a half day position. A day later I found out I got the job! It was so perfect for me since my main teaching areas would be math, science and social studies with second graders. Wasting no time at all, I met my awesome teaching partner, Tracee, at school to look at my new materials the next day. The next week consisted of meetings and a few last minute preparations before the kids arrived.

School started on September 7th and things continued to pick up pace as I was offered another teaching opportunity in Brentwood. Mead district does this great thing when they have a combo class and I get to be a part of it. There is another teacher with a 4/5 combo, instead of making her go through two totally separate math lessons, one for each grade, they hire someone part time to teach one of the grades. That part time person is me! I have the fifth grade half of the class for their math every morning. They are a great bunch of kids and I love the individuality that shows in the older grade. It works well with my afternoon positions and I have some prep of time in between “shifts” to stay on top of everything. The only slight down side is that I can’t sub around and get to know teachers in other schools. Another positive note about it is that financially this situation is better than subbing so that is exciting for our savings account.

September is also busy because it is a birthday month around our house. This year was a big year as Tim turned 50 and Dusty turned 25! So of course we had to have a party. Originally Dusty and I had planned to invite Tim’s sisters from out of town to the normal family gathering. Then we thought it would be fun if we invited some of his really close friends too. We had though to try and surprise him but didn’t want to miss anyone important on the invite list so Dusty and I decided we better ask Tim even if it did ruin the surprise. Well let’s just say the guest list discussion went from about a dozen invitations to over sixty! And I just kept thinking “I am going to need more food!” It turned out to be a great party. Tim and Dusty were really glad to see so many of their friends. Among other September birthdays my grandpa Tom turned 80 and my Grandma Bev turned… well, she had a birthday!

In the end of September and early October we has a few semi-relaxing weekends, going to the lake with my parents for a boat ride, visiting with friends over dinner and working in our garden. We even opened our garden for U-pick flowers. The pictures speak better for these events than I can so I will let them do the talking.

  Before I knew that I had a job, Dusty had said he would take me on a vacation to Cannon Beach. Since I (thankfully) have a job now that plan didn’t work out as well as we once thought it might. When I realized I had an extra day off from school last weekend, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to sneak out of down for a short trip. I have been to the Oregon coast once before but don’t remember it very well which made for a great new adventure this time. We left right after school Thursday and drove mostly in the dark. Friday the weather was about as perfect as you could get in October on the coast. I loved exploring the tide pools and searching for shells. Saturday started out drizzly and proceeded to turn into torrential downpour, but it was perfect for exploring the shops in Cannon Beach and Seaside. Sunday was overcast but not a hint of wind, which was actually disappointing since we bought a kite the day before. We went for one last walk on the beach and I played in the waves like a little kid then we grabbed our stuff and hit the road.


Sunny enough to make a shadow!

This is the view from our hotel balony

Low tide

Yesterday, we were worried about the frost warning and cold temps predicted. Last night, my parents came over to take a few pictures of us in our garden. I love having photographer parents because they always get great pictures. We also harvested most of our pumpkins, even though they are still not quite orange. Looking at the leaves in the garden this morning, I think that we made the right choice about getting our pictures yesterday. Today, the leaves of everything are shriveled and brown from the frost last night. Not so photogenic! Here is what they looked like before the frost. *please note that the next set of pictures was taken by my parents :)


Now we are gearing up for other fall activities like apple picking, pumpkin carving, my birthday, and Halloween. Could September and October possibly be any busier? Sometimes I wonder why we do it to ourselves to be this busy, but I love the fun that each activity brings and couldn’t imagine getting rid of one!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Seattle Weekend Trip

Here is a mini diary of our mini vacation. I am very glad Dusty made time to take the trip before he had to start wheat harvest.

Friday Day 1: The 5th Wheel made it with no problems or suprises. However, I do not want to do the math on the fuel milage to get here. Driving over the pass I could almost hear the truck rumbling "gulp, gulp, gulp" as it sucked up the fuel. After unhitching, we went to the Woodland Park Zoo and I got to feed a giraffe. Then we went to the Ballard Locks where we saw big salmon and a seal. Tommorow is going to be even more fun because I am NOT going to mistakenly think that my good walking shoes were in the truck when in actuality I had left them in the camper... Stupid Sandals!

Saturday Day 2: Today was awesome! The Seattle Underground tour was so great. Our tour was followed by a crowded walk through Pike Place Market to find some lunch. Then it was on to the Aquarium where we saw all kinds of creatures. After that we went on an Argosy Harbor Tour. It was neat to see a different perspective of the Seattle skyline and catch a little breeze. Next we went to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. It was SOOO good; I wish we had one in Spokane. But then again, I don't because I would want to go the way too often. Lastly we squeezed in a bit of shopping before finishing our day by going up the Space Needle at dusk. We even watched some fireworks off in the distance.

Sunday Day 3: Our Space Needle tickets were good for two trips up in a 24 hours span, one day/one night, so today we started with another view from the top. Then we went to the Pacific Science Center. I absolutly loved the butterfly house. I could have stayed in there all day. Next we went to the Boeing Museum of Flight. They have some cool exhibits about the history of planes. It felt like we went back in time a bit. Last we went to visit our friend Nick where he lives in Mukilteo where we saw an adorable little light house, ate seafood for dinner on the beach at sunset and I found a huge sea shell. We went back to our 5th wheel and went to bed for a few short hours before getting up hitting the road so Dusty could make it back to work Monday morning bright and early. The End!

Whew! When we take a vacation we make it count. I do think it is funny the weekend we ended up going to Seattle (partialy to get out of the heat Spokane was getting) there were record high temps on the coast... but it does make me feel a bit less wimpy for saying "gosh it is HOT today!" about a thousand times on Saturday while we were walking all over downtown.
P.S. As soon as we got back into Spokane Dusty had to jump right into the combine and start cutting. So to clarify the last few pictures in the slide show are from the first day of harvest.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yellowstone Again

Last week I had the opportunity to sneak away from Spokane for a week with some great friends. Our friends Craig and Michelle had planned to take a trip for their one year anniversary with a bunch of friends. They had invited Dusty and I to go along weeks ago and we had to say no because Dusty would be too busy farming at the time it was planned. Friday, just two days before Craig and Michelle were due to leave, Dusty got the idea that I could still go on the trip even though he couldn't and called to see if that was possible. Since our friends are so amazing and incredibly flexible they made it work for me to go along on their trip. So Saturday I started to throw my things together and coordinate what I would need for the trip... and then proceed to throw in a zillion other things which I would most likely not need but still felt compelled to take along, just in case. Then Sunday morning after some swift (and slightly frantic) packing I headed off to Wyoming with the rest of the traveling gang. It was a great trip and I had so much fun. The only bad part was that Dusty couldn't come along. Hope you like these pictures, it is a beautiful place to visit!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dusty Drives the Boat

This summer haying season has been pretty intense; we got a very late start due to the wet and rainy June. Three weeks and 20,000 bales later, Erin and I headed to the lake for some fun in the sun last weekend. We loaded up with our stuff Saturday morning and were about to leave when Coby jumped in the cab of the truck and looked so ready to go that nobody had the heart to tell him he had to stay home, so we all, Erin, Coby, Moosey and I headed for the lake to cool off and relax.

I can’t say much about what went on Saturday afternoon because once we arrived at the cabin and got unpacked… which involved a fair amount of packing stuff down the trail… I was forced to catch up on some much needed rest. Maybe not forced, but I was tired enough that the 4 hour nap seemed impossible to fend off. Saturday evening Erin’s sisters arrived and so the whole Price side of the family was at the lake.

Sunday was another beautiful sunny summer day, and I slept in till 7:00am then went out to hang out with the dogs for awhile. I had informed Steve that I wanted to enroll in Steve’s Captain in Training program, so early in the afternoon we went out on the lake with the Velocity to start teaching me about the wonderful world of watercraft. After a cruising around the bay for awhile, Steve coached me as I brought the boat in to dock. After a couple attempts I think I am starting to get the hang of boating.

Erin enjoyed the day sunning on the dock, swimming with me, and trying to convince the dogs to like water. Moosey just isn’t sure about the wet stuff and defiantly would prefer to be on dry land.