It’s the last Fri-Yay of the year!

by katherine on December 30, 2016

Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve turned out a FriYay post, but I had a good run there for a while. Actually, we’ll go with good-ish. But when I logged into my dashboard this morning to mark some comments as spam, I realized today is Friday. And the last Friday of the year.

Awesome things from this week-ish…

1. I got to have lunch with a couple of old coworkers. One of which moved to California and was home just for the holiday break. It’s always fun to catch up with old friends!

2. Andy started framing part of the wall for my office! Yay!

3. I guess Christmas was technically earlier this week, wasn’t it. That was pretty awesome. Cooking Christmas morning brunch with my dad has definitely become a highlight for me.

4. When we lost power for 5 days, that was less than awesome, but what was so great was all of our friends and family that offered up their homes for showers and hot meals and even places to crash if we needed it. I ended up spending a lot of time at my Dad’s house during that time so I could shower and work.

Photos from the week…

Part of a wall! Operation convert part of the garage into an office/guest room is a go!

We ended up at my Dad’s house on Sunday, the week before Christmas. I snuck this sweet photo.

Julia and I ran a 5k race in 26 degree weather to kick off her birthday. We both ended up with 3rd place in our age brackets. HEYO!


My dad and I making brunch on Christmas morning.

Sweet niece snuggles on Christmas day! I had drool spots on my top the rest of the day, but it was worth it!

I really really love my new coffee mug.

Things I’m looking forward to next week…

1. Tomorrow night we are headed to some friends’ house for dinner. I doubt we’ll stay there to ring in the new year, but it’ll be fun to hang out with them for a while anyway!

2. I leave on Wednesday for a 5 day trip to Texas. It officially kicks of show season for me which means I’ll be gone a week at a time every other week for all of January and half of February. That’s less something I’m looking forward to, and more just something that’s happening.

3. Taking down the rest of the Christmas decorations.

4. Going hiking with my sister, cousin, best friend and her cousin tomorrow morning! We heard that the butte may be closed due to those ice storms we had recently so we need to check on that first. If it’s closed, we may just end up somewhere drinking mimosas. Either option sounds like a winner to me!

 

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2016 Family Recap

by katherine on December 21, 2016

It’s that time of year again! Christmas cards have been sent and now I’m sitting here (possibly procrastinating a work project) thinking, man I should have written a Christmas letter! Our little family really isn’t so little anymore. We seem to always be busy and running. 2016 was filled with extreme highs, some lows (like losing power for 5 days over the last week!), as well as adventure for our family of five and looking back, it was most definitely one of our best yet.
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Big picture-wise, a lot happened in 2016. In January we welcomed our first nephew on my side of the family! George stole my heart the minute I first held him. He’s growing and changing so much – I just wish I was able to make it up to Portland to see them more often. Then in May we welcomed twin nieces! Unfortunately they were born scary-early and spent a lot of time in NICU but now they’re home and healthy and growing more every day.

We had a lot of fun summer adventures that included our first camping trip as a family of 5! The kids had a great time… Andy and I needed a weekend from our weekend haha! It was so nice to get back out in the woods. We hadn’t been camping since Reese was a baby. We hiked 6 or so miles at Silver Falls with some friends. We road-tripped to Cheyenne, Wyoming in August and met up with some friends that live in Michigan – Cheyenne was the midpoint for both of us. It was a quick trip, but the kids did so great and it was so great visiting with our friends. We’ve already started planning our trip for next summer! We ended the summer with a long weekend at the Oregon Coast.

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Rylee turned 8 in May and started the third grade this school year. She continues to be involved with sports adding basketball and now even volleyball to the list. Between those, soccer and softball she’s playing some sport throughout the school year. Rylee works really hard at her school work and it really shows. Her teacher this year is really pushing her in all subjects and it’s so fun to watch her face new challenges head on. Her ability to understand math concepts blows my mind, and honestly intimidates me just a smidge. She will be better than me at math in no time. She also loves to read and devours books. Right now, she is reading 4 different books in preparation to compete in OBOB (Oregon Battle of the Books).  Most recently she was invited, as one of seven 3rd graders and only 14 kids in the whole school, to represent her school on a team for a national STEM competition called Destination Imagination. I am still learning what all that entails, but she is very excited about all she has on her plate right now. Outside of sports and academics, Rylee enjoys helping Andy build things/complete projects around the house and property. She is an amazing big sister and has such a big heart.

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View More: http://witnesseverymoment.pass.us/rice_haag_families

Reese turned 4 in July. This girl likes to live out loud. Emphasis on the loud. Ha! She is full of spunk and always has a twinkle in her eye. She’s in the Pre-K class at her daycare/pre school and it’s very fun to see her put together letters and sounds and begin writing. The other night Rylee was teaching her basic addition – go figure. Reese has essentially spent her whole life watching her sister play organized sports and between Tball last spring and soccer in the fall, it’s clear that she cannot wait to get out on the field! She will be playing soccer when she starts kindergarten next fall and she is so excited about that idea. I often joke that if there’s a fight in our house, Reese is in the middle of it. Her and Lincoln get along great 99% of the time. Rylee and her however, well, there’s just something about sisters, I suppose because I remember doing the same things to my sisters. In general, Reese is very independent and strong-willed and will do things in her own time and feel her own feelings and most definitely does not care for her big sister telling her otherwise. She loves to play “home” and cart her baby dolls around the house. She is obsessed with all things baby mainly because of all of her new cousins! She loves to hold them and tells me “I am their best cousin, Mom.” … it doesn’t matter which cousin she is referring to.  She has even named one of her babies Éliane, after one of her cousins.

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View More: http://witnesseverymoment.pass.us/rice_haag_families

Lincoln turned 2 this year. If you’re around him for more than 5 minutes, his shyness will wear off and you’ll hear him talking a lot. It’s fun to hear him stringing sentences together and it’s downright funny hearing him reprimand his sisters… “Calm down, Rylee!” “Reese! Be quiet, Reese!” No idea where he hears those phrases! He is running all over the place – mostly chasing after his sisters. He also loves having sword fights, pretending to vacuum (with those same swords), or building/fixing things “like Daddy” with his toy tools. We offically had our very first trip to urgent care for an injury thanks to him. He jumped off the bottom step at my sister’s house and slipped on the hardwood floors. We thought he bit clear through his bottom lip. Turns out he didn’t and other than a fat lip, he was completely fine. FUN TIMES! He also loves trains and helping Andy build fires in the wood stove. He’s most happy when his sisters are including him with their play and will happily play the pretend husband or “babe” and carry around the baby dolls. Lincoln has a great relationship with both of the girls.

View More: http://witnesseverymoment.pass.us/rice_haag_families

View More: http://witnesseverymoment.pass.us/rice_haag_families

Andy started his 13th year of teaching in September. His schedule this year includes P.E., shop, and construction math. He has worked really hard on building a shop program out there and has made some fantastic industry partners in the community. He is also team teaching a STEM class and has his “head teacher” position helping with transcripts, counseling, and basically running everything behind the scenes. New kid shows up? Mr. Rice can help. Kid can’t get into his locker? Mr. Rice can help. A parent needs a grade report status for another class? Email Mr. Rice, he can help. Anyone know how to set up the PA system in the gym? Mr. Rice can help. Kid needs a bandaid? You guessed it… Mr. Rice can help. He has even been voted by the senior class two years in a row to give the commencement speech at graduation. Because, why not? He truly loves what he does. While his work keeps him plenty busy with long hours, he has managed to help coach Rylee’s T-ball team last spring and it sounds like he will be helping with basketball next month too. Outside of all that, it seems like he’s always scheming, planning, or executing a major project around the property and the latest one is a home office for me. We are converting part of the garage into an office/guest room. No no, we will not be getting rid of Andy’s beloved Cruiser. There will most definitely still be room in the garage for that! One of these days, maybe his priority will shift to something for himelf and he will get those brakes replaced and install a steering conversion kit like he’s wanted to for the last 4-5 years. Maybe.

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In February I left my job at the IT training company to take a position at a tech company based out of Portland. Working from home offered a lot of flexibility with family stuff and traveling to Portland once a week for work meant seeing my sister and nephew on a regular basis and that was amazing. But after not quite 3 months with that company – basically out of the blue and thanks to facebook – I was offered a position as Director of Marketing for a hunting company. The company is based in Texas so I continue to work from home. DREAM JOB STATS: Achievement UNLOCKED I am so, so happy to be back in an industry I love. It’s been fun reconnecting with old colleagues. I have traveled to Texas a few times since I started in June and even had the chance to hunt whitetail in South Texas. 2017 kicks off with quite a bit of travel for me… I will be in Dallas, Vegas, and Harrisburg, PA for shows in the first 6 weeks alone. I am looking forward to sticking with this company for a long, long while with many more adventures. Hopefully a caribou hunt will be on the docket in coming years! Aside from work, I continue to really enjoy cooking and have also taken a liking to running. I certainly wouldn’t call myself a runner, but Julia (my best friend of 32 years) convinced me to run a 5K race with her back in May and we’ve done two others since then! Most recently was a holiday run on her birthday where we both took 3rd place for our age divisions! Next year we’re going to bump it up to a 10k!

Andy and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary in August. Last March marked 10 years living on our property. We have three amazing, healthy kiddos. It’s hard not to look at this life we’ve built and smile. We are looking forward many more adventures in 2017!

View More: http://witnesseverymoment.pass.us/rice_haag_families

Now looking back at this letter, I realize why I could never write one to include with a Christmas card… I may as well bind and publish this bad boy as a short novel! If you made it all the way to the end, BLESS IT! Gold star for you. xoxo

*Photos by Elizabeth Crow Media

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The Advent Activity Calendar: Year 5

by katherine on December 2, 2016

This marks our fifth year of the Advent Activity Calendar. I love the tradition this has created. Rylee remembers it now and has asked for it for the last 2 years. Reese isn’t there yet, but when she got home from daycare last night and saw it all set up, she was super excited. And Lincoln? Well, as with any third born, he’s still just along for the ride at this point.

My plan was to get it all set up after the kids went to bed on the night of November 30, so that when they woke up December 1 it would be waiting for them. Alas, in true “World’s OKAYest Mom” fashion, it didn’t happen like that. But I DID manage to get it set up during my lunch break yesterday (working from home has such great perks), so it was waiting for them when they got home from school. On December first! So still a win in my book!


Being that this is the 5th year we’ve done this, I tried to mix in some new activities along with the standard favorites. I’m marking the new ones with a * in my list below.

Here’s the list of what we’re doing this year:

December 1: Make beaded candy canes. – Think pipe cleaners and plastic beads.*
December 2: Reindeer Games – Play pin the nose on the reindeer – a game kit I found at JoAnne Fabrics.*
December 3: Deck the halls!
December 4: Go shopping for the local food pantry. – Every year the elementary school does a food drive for our little community. I give each kiddo $10 to buy food.
December 5: Do you wanna build a snowman? – Decorate bedroom doors like snowmen.
December 6: Elf Yourself! – use a photo of your face/head and create a body/hat/etc to look like an elf*
December 7: Gingerbread Dice Game
December 8: Melt Snowflakes – remember those little plastic beads you melted with an iron when you were younger? Those.*
December 9: Giving Tree – choose a tag off the giving tree and shop for it
December 10: SANTA project shopping – SANTA stands for Sharing Among Neighbors Toy Appeal – another local community project. Each kiddo gets $10 to buy various stocking stuffers to donate to the program.
December 11: Go get a Christmas tree!
December 12: Decorate the Christmas tree
December 13: Make popsicle stick trees*
December 14: Winter activity book – whatever holiday themed activity book(s) I can find in the Dollar Spot at Target.
December 15: Preschool Christmas program!
December 16: Paint snowflakes – big wooden snowflakes I picked up at JoAnne’s.*
December 17: Family Christmas movie night!
December 18: Family baking day
December 19: Wrap Teacher gifts
December 20: Decorate a gingerbread family
December 21: Eat snowman pancakes
December 22: Read Christmas books by the fire with hot cocoa – we get a new Christmas book (or two) every year
December 23: Go look at Christmas lights
December 24: Write a letter or draw a picture for Santa
December 25: Time to celebrate!

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Lincoln is TWO!

October 12, 2016

Lincoln, You’re TWO YEARS OLD little man! Holy moly you are so much fun. I’d say that I miss the baby days, and how are you already two, and what happened to my baby, etc. etc. But can I tell you a secret? I LOVE that we’re getting out of the baby stages. You turned […]

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It’s FriYay! – Dante Edition

September 30, 2016

Hi. Hello. It’s been a busy couple of weeks! Last weekend we had non-stop plans with family and friends. Let’s get to it, shall we? Awesome things from this week: 1. Last Friday night we had friends over for dinner that we haven’t hung out with in a while. It was fun to catch up […]

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It’s FriYay! – Lame Photo Edition

September 16, 2016

Let’s be real here… that will probably not be the only time I ever need to use that as the title. Meh. Chock it up to another point for the world’s okayest mom. Awesome things from this week… 1. I totally killed it on the workouts this week. 2. I’m thanking my past self for […]

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It’s FriYAY! – Bye, Bye Summer Edition

September 9, 2016

Ok so let’s see here. Last I left off on this FriYay thing it was early July. I had a good run. Basically? We were too busy have fun all summer. We had an awesome summer, with some really great adventures and a lot of family time. We hit the coast for a few days, […]

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Reese Said What!? – Stinky Linky Edition

August 19, 2016

On our road trip last week, I turned around to the back seat to take off Lincoln’s sandals for the next stretch of road. I had no idea he had such stinky feet! The second I removed the sandals the car filled with smelly-boy-feet-stink. Andy and I looked at each other, kinda laughing he rolled down […]

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Pro Tip on Feeding Babies

August 11, 2016

I’ve been texting with some mom-friends this week about the challenges of breastfeeding and pumping and the guilt and resentment and “OH MY GOSH WHY AM I NOT MAKING MORE MILK I AM SO SICK OF THIS” of it all. After 3 kiddos, I’ve been there done that. Ironically enough, world breastfeeding week just wrapped […]

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Reese Said What? – FaceTime Edition

August 7, 2016

I’ve been in Ft. Worth for work over this weekend and was able to FaceTime with the girls Saturday night when they were spending the night at my sister’s house.  Me: “you being good for auntie?” Reese: “yep.” Me: “what’s your sister doing?” Reese: “Ry, come here! I’m facing time mom!” Facing time. I’m still […]

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