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December 18, 2009

I’ve done it. I’ve made a decision, and I’m going back to blogspot. They have improved the way the user can manipulate pictures and I can insert fun stuff easily. So, sorry for the confusion, but come see me at www.runningarends.blogspot.com

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Cat time…

November 10, 2009

A major event happened in the Arend household this past August; we lost a cat. Dixie. Emily’s cat. Emily’s first cat of her very own. I don’t have to even tell you the buckets of tears that were shed as we realized after a few weeks that the kitty was really not coming back. We suspect she had an untimely encounter with one of the local coyotees. ugh!

Well, the good news is that Dixie’s sister, Dot, is still alive and well and very fat. The other good news is that we have adopted a new kitty, Lewis! Lewis is spunky and funny and full of life and trouble. He’s a total kitten. We found him on the way back from a visit to Bellingham at the NOAH animal center in Stanwood. After petting a few of the kittens, Emily decided that the little grey kitty with the white feet and bib was HERS!

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This is Emily, first holding Lewis at the NOAH center

He was in a room with his siblings. They all huddled together and were afraid of everything that moved. They were pathetic! Once home, if we set him down, he just sat there on the floor, shaking. It took a few days, but eventually he warmed up to his new environment, including Dot and Annie.

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The dalmation isn't real, but the girl and cat are

Dot is Lewis’s best sister-friend. Lewis is the troublesome little brother that Dot never wanted, but will put up with. At first she just hissed at him, but now they play together and I’ve even caught them grooming each other a few times.

We love little Lewis. He was named for Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark. Dixie had been named for the town of Dixie, WA, and Emily wanted another Washingtonian type of name for her new cat.

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Lewis, the wise kitten

My alma mater, Whatcom Middle School

November 5, 2009

Well, some of you may have seen headlines today about the fire at Whatcom Middle School in Bellingham, WA. Apparently a fire started in the wee hours of the morning and by sunrise, the building was missing a roof, library, and I’m sure countless other spaces.

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Water pouring down the front steps.

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Water and debris fill the street in front of the school

The building was erected in 1906 as Bellingham High School. Some years later it became Whatcom Jr. High, and then Whatcom Middle School. I went there from 1976 through 1979. My dad attended WJH in the mid 50s. Generations of Bellingham families have attended that campus. I can remember well the feel of that old building, and the saying posted above the front door: WASTE NOT THY HOUR. We mocked those words at the time, but now I get it!

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Today on Facebook, many other Whatcom Warrior alums have been strolling down memory lane as we are saddened by this fire. Conversations of Mr. Kennell’s helium balloon project in science, the cigarette smoke that rolled out of the staff lounge, people being put in lockers and gigantic food fights have brought back a lot of warm memories of that time.

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It’s got to be hard for families and students, not to mention the staff, right now. One poster on FB said, ” I just talked to a friend of mine from high school. Her daughter actually attends Whatcom right now. She said her daughter is in tears and barely slept last night. She is crying over her teachers, her school projects, will she get to go school with her friends when they figure out what to do, etc…It’s got to be hard having gone to school there, but I can’t imagine being one of the students that goes there now. Lots of prayer needed for present and former community members.”

This link has some pretty amazing video showing  that shows just how huge this fire was. http://westernfrontonline.net/2009110511540/multimedia/multimedia-whatcom-middle-school-on-fire/

 

*sniff*

With fall brings… school!

October 6, 2009

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Can’t you just smell the new crayons?

Big changes this year in the Arend household with regard to school; all 3 kids are in public school this year! Great anticipation, great excitement, and great big bunches of nervousness grew as the opening day approached.

Of course, with a new school year comes new shoes. I ordered a pair of Converse high tops for Thomas this year because there was a screaming sale on them at Macys.com. He was super excited with the prospect of his first Converse shoes coming by UPS. Every day, he asked, “Is it today that my shoes come?” Finally, I told him, “Today’s the day,” and he promptly ran upstairs. I had no idea why the sudden exit, but when he came back down, I knew instantly… he had gone to get his binoculars. He then spent a good part of the morning camped out at the end of the driveway, looking through the binoculars for the brown truck that would be delivering his much anticipated shoes! Such a sight!

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The smile tells all that the shoes were worth the wait!
The smile tells all that the shoes were worth the wait!

 

Once the shoes arrived, it was time to begin sorting through the recently purchased school supplies. Have you ever put a name on each and every crayon/pencil/pen you own? It’s quite a hand-cramper, to be sure.

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On Emily’s supply list was a scientific calculator. She was pretty excited to need one, then when she took a close look at it, she changed her tune!

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See the fear in her eyes? Actually, she really likes math!

Once everything bore a Sharpie mark resembling “Arend”, it was time to arrange the treasures into the NEW school box. Such fun!

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Finally, the day arrived. Pencils packed, lunches made, new clothes (and shoes!) on. September 9, 2009 was a day of new beginnings… and a morning full of nervous stomachs. Jack took Amanda to her first day of high school. She is now a proud North Thurston Ram. Our only hesitation about the school is their school color;  purple. It’s a tough pill to swallow for parents who are Cougar Fans!

Amanda quickly made new friends and adjusted to the groove of a high school schedule. Below is a picture of her and her new friend, Sarah. The blessing is that Sarah lives 1 block away and she is a GREAT kid!

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I took Emily and Thomas each to their first day of classes. Emily to Chinook Middle School and Thomas to South Bay Elementary. One kid at each level of school. It’s a crazy morning of people leaving, but it’s completely do-able.

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Have a great school year you three!

The Visiting Chef

September 23, 2009
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A couple of weeks ago, we had a visit from a chef, otherwise known as Uncle Scott (Jack’s brother). He told us that he is not actually a chef, yet. Rather, he’s a cook. It didn’t matter to us because he taught us all how to make pasta and bruschetta. Soooo delicious!

Cheff Scott, armed and ready for battle

Cheff Scott, armed and ready for battle

Emily, dressing the bruschetta. It was tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil an white nectarines. DELICIOUS!

Emily, dressing the bruschetta.

Bruschetta... tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and white nectarines. "Yum" doesn't do the taste justice.

Bruschetta... tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, basalmic vinegar and white nectarines. "Yum" doesn't even come close to how good this was.

 

Weigh your ingredients when making pasta

Weigh your ingredients when making pasta.

 

Amanda's turn, adding moisture to the pasta dough

Amanda's turn, adding moisture to the pasta dough

Thomas was first up to crank the pasta roller. The dough goes through the roller seveal times, getting thinner with each pass.

Thomas was first up to crank the pasta roller.

The dough goes through the roller several times, becoming thinner with each pass.

The dough goes through the roller several times, becoming thinner with each pass.

Finally, an attachment goes on that cuts the sheets into fetuccini.

Finally, an attachment goes on that cuts the sheets into fetuccini. Notice the whipping cream in the yellow carton on the shelf behind Emily? That's going into the alfredo sauce.

 

Laying the cut noodles out, getting ready to cook them.

Laying the cut noodles out, getting ready to cook them.

and Wha-la! Chicken fetuccini alfredo. Lunch is served!

and Wha-la! Chicken fetuccini alfredo. Lunch is served!

Now a pasta roller is near the top of my Christmas list. Right behind Beatles Guitar Hero.

THANKS SCOOTER! What are we cooking next time?

let’s start with a little pun…

September 21, 2009
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Catch up... ketchup. Get it?

ketchup… catch-up….  GET IT?
Have you ever left a project for so long that when you came back to it, you weren’t sure where to begin? That’s how my blog is feeling. I have bet my niece, Kaisha, that I would update my blog. That was a week ago. Now I owe her chocolate. 

Well, after much nudging by my family, I am finally catching up on this blog. Where to begin? Well, the summer. Our highlights were (in no particular order) are detailed a bit below:

 

We had some great food this summer. Above is a picture of a FANTASTIC burger that Emily and I made. It’s a rip-off of Red Robin’s Whiskey River BBQ hamburger, complete with the little onion sticks you see sticking out. It was, as my Grandma Vi would have said, “De-Lish!”

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This summer included some really hot weather. Can you say, “Thank you God for AC”? While the girls were off to AWANA camp, Thomas had us (mom and dad) all to himself. Is there any better time than a hot day with no sisters to bother you to figure out if a person really can cook an egg outside in a hot pan? Look below…

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After a few hours it was determined that the egg cannot cook in this manner. It ended up being put onto Annie’s dog food.

 

The garden was another fun thing this summer. We grew a lot of veggies. The corn didn’t do so well. I think it’s because I planted them next to the sunflowers. I read up on planting with sunflowers and learned that they are nutrient leeches. Shouldn’t plant anything too close to them. Next year, we’ll do it differently!

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Ask the kids, and they’ll tell you one of their favorite surprises of the summer was a visit from my old high school buddy, Michael Hagan. They had met him once or twice before, but their memory of him was vague. Mike sent several emails before his arrival from the Oakland to tell us of the games he was bringing and how he looked forward to playing these with the kids at all hours. THAT was enough to send the kids to the peak of excitement and anticipation! There are few things they love more than playing games. Any game. All games. Especially new games.

After a snack and a little leg stretching (Michael drove straight from the bay area to our house that day), the games came out and Michael delivered! The kids were thrilled! The only thing they may have liked better is when he told stories of when he and I were in high school. From Glenn Beck losing the ASB presidency to Rudy Chapin, to character traits of our orchestra teacher, the kids were enthralled with the stories.

All four playing Mille Bornes card game. Thomas was the point magnet! Notice Michael was Thomas's partner...

All four playing Mille Bornes card game. Thomas was the point magnet! Notice Michael was Thomas’s partner…

Michael stayed here two nights, but before leaving, the girls danced for him. He said they were the best (only?) Irish dancers he had ever seen and insisted on a lesson. A total photo op…

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Michael, Thomas and of course, Sandy the crazy poodle

What a fun visit! We can’t wait to take a turn and drive down to California and stay with him for a few days!

More to come… back to school, a visiting chef, and waiting for new shoes. Stay tuned!

it’s time for a change

July 22, 2009
Did you find me?

I just switched from blogspot. It was driving me crazy with it’s quirky way of moving things on the page. Pictures and text usually ended up some place other than where I wanted them. Much frustration. So, I’m here at wordpress, and going to give blogging here a try.

This will be short, as it is really just a test. I’ll add a few pictures, and see how it goes. So far, so good.

Okay, so Summer Hummer was a blast! Here are some of my favorite pictures:

 Umm…. where is the picture button? how do I load a picture into the blog? Let’s see…… OH! I found it!

Big Barley Ben says, "Be a blessing!"

Big Barley Ben says, "Be a blessing!"

 Wow! the picture went right where I want it! This is great! I’ll try another.

The Lads performed for the kids twice a day. A fun band with a great message. We loved them!

The Lads performed for the kids twice a day. A fun band with a great message. We loved them!

Jack (my awesome hubby and assistant councilor, Gunner, Colson and Ethan on water day. Brrrr, it was the coldest day of the week!

Jack (my awesome hubby and assistant counselor), Gunner, Colson and Ethan on water day. Brrrr, it was the coldest day of the week!

My Thomas, getting ready to bravely climb the rock wall

My Thomas, getting ready to bravely climb the rock wall

Bible Adventure time with teacher Trella

Bible Adventure time with teacher Trella

Upon tasting his Blue Raspberry sno-cone, Thomas exclaimed to the group, "THIS TASTES LIKE BEER!"  What?

Upon tasting his Blue Raspberry sno-cone, Thomas exclaimed to the group, "THIS TASTES LIKE BEER!" What?

 

Our group of 8

Our group of 8

Well, that’s it. I’ll publish this and see how it looks!