Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Universal Parenting Truth #24


They will ALWAYS miss the thing you are telling them to look at, out the window.


Monday, September 28, 2009

He doesn’t do much Halfway


The night before Ryan ran his first Half Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13 mile run), this is what I told him:

“I am proud of you.  This race exemplifies everything you are.  You are a man who stretches yourself in every area of your life.  You set goals to do what is hard for you, whether in fitness, parenting, serving God or in marriage.  You stretch yourself and you accomplish what many people would simply say is ‘Too hard’.  This race is why you are the man you are.

And that was BEFORE he got his awesome time of 5:55:44. 

The cheerleaders:



Right before the last 1 mile of the race.  He was dead, but you can’t tell.


The finish line:


The “congratulations package” brought over by the Daines.  It was full of 6 packs of treats, because he did the race in under 6 hours.


**And EXTRA big thanks to Ryan’s aunt Susan and Uncle Jerry, who went above and beyond in the hosting/feeding/loaning car/cleaning up after us category.  And Mark and Mandy who drove down to Jerry and Susan’s to give moral support over the big weekend! 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Indian Summer


If I hear one more person say:

“I am just ready for autumn to start!  I’m ready for this summer to be done”…

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Picture 048I’m going to hit them.

We are enjoying the most lovely Indian Summer here in the Inland Northwest.  Yesterday, when I took these pictures, it was 90 degrees.  The flowers are still blooming, the tomato plants are still tomato-ing, and my kids are riding happily on their bikes to school.  And I’ve been hearing moms complaining about it.

What I always want to ask those people: 

Have you ever NOT gotten enough cold weather?  Have you ever wished spring would come later, so you could have just a little more winter?  Are your kids jeans NOT as hole-y as mine by the end of May?!

Long Live the Late Summer!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009



After trying out recipes all month (yay on the Pelmini and the Borscht, nay on the Peirogi—seen here):

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and cooking for, truly, 8 hours

and worrying that all my mismatched and lame dishes would look dumb

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and a trip to the Kiev market for some black bread and smetana (Russian sour cream…it’s on EVEYRTHING)

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and having Ryan type Russian food names for all my dishes

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and reading the LONGEST (though most excellent) Anna Karenina


I must admit…book club was a success.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

Seth:  “Mom, I have a good idea!  How about when we get home, you make some cake and we eat it ? Isn’t that a good idea!?”

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Why yes, Seth, it is.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Summing up Summer

(everyone’s allowed one of of these on their blog, right?)

I know you thought all we were doing was birthday-ing, traveling, losing our jobs and whining.  But you are wrong.  In between the birthdays, travels, job loss and whines, we did the following:


Emma got to spend a week with Grandma Dorrie.  Despite quite a few bumps and bruises (that Grandma can play rough!), Emma had a great time.

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This was the Ryan Romney School of Swim.  Certain former-lifeguard/swimteachers are too cheap to pay for swim lessons, so every once in a while I threaten spending his hard earned money if he doesn’t teach the kids.  This was his answer.  What are these called?  Arm-ups?  Anyway…they did lots of them.

Emma and Gabe ended up taking lessons, but only because the local gym wouldn’t refund something else and would only transfer it to swim lessons.  They learned the 4 major strokes, in hopes of being good enough to start swim team this fall.

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These are pictures from our town’s annual Fun Run.  Everyone but Seth and Faith participated, as well as half of our ward.  Emma and Ryan (ahem, 4 miles in 27 minutes) took second place in their age division.  Oh, and me?  Oh, how nice of you to ask—I ran it in 34 minutes (8.5 minute hilly miles—not that I want to brag.  Or anything).

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These are pictures from my cousin Tyler’s visit.  I hope they prove to Aunt Stacy that we did do fun stuff with him…slave labor at the raspberry patch and finding junk in the local lake!

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Faith got ridiculously small pigtails forced onto her head.

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Also, I sat her down next to some pretty roses, to take her picture.  And she fell into the rose bush.  While I tried to pull her from the thorny depths, she thrashed around with her face and hands.  The results are the HORRIBLE scratches you see in this picture. 

Just wanted to include that awesome parenting move for posterity.

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We had lots of fun trips out to local lakes and rivers (Liberty, Hayden, Priest), with generous uncles providing lots of fun tube rides.  Too bad I don’t have the picture of me and two other 35+ matrons doing some of our amazing tube tricks.  While you would have loved the tricks, the thighs might have put you off.


This is from one of trips to Riverfront park.  Our deal:  Ryan does the height rides (see above with Seth on the Ferris Wheel), and I gag my way through the spinning ones.  It’s a true testament to our deep love for our kids that we did this 4-5 times this summer.


Our kids slept like this EVERY night.  They DO have their own beds, but why sleep all alone, when 4 kids in a twin is available?



As a Finished-Mom’s-Tortuous-Summer-Learning-Schedule Reward, we took the family to the 3$ Movie Theatre and saw “Up”.  Since we are the last family in the world to see it, I don’t need to tell you how super super funny and entertaining it was, right?



And this is how Seth chose to take a few bike rides this summer.  Last year’s Halloween costume, this year’s birthday cape from Grandma Nut.  He said to Ryan: “Dose people were  looking at me.”  Ryan replied: “Really?  Were they looking at you like ‘that guy is so cool’?”  Seth:  “No.  They were looking at me like they thought I was REAL.” 

It was, in lots of ways, a summer filled with fun and lessons learned.  Hopefully that’s how we all remember it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Because it’s Grandparents Day, you know

(In order to get his religious knot in Cub Scouts, Gabe needed to write a letter and tell someone why he appreciated or respected them.  He chose my mother.  To understand this letter, you need to know that my mother was named Doris, but has always gone by Dorrie.)Grandchildren

Dear Grandma Dorrie.  I want to tell you about things why I appreciate you and why I respect you.  My First Thing why I appreciate you is becuse you take away time at school to come down to wasgeton [Washington] and do fun things with us, take me on dates and go to movies with us and that only a few of the things.  The next thing why I respect you.  is your name.  I like how when some one calls you Doris, you tell them no, to call you that and I think personally that take alot of coargre [courage].  Those are the things I wanted to talk to you about. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

love, Gabe Romney xoxoxoxoxox

To all the grandparents (even the ones who DON’T have the courage to set people straight on their correct names):  We are blessed by your love, righteous examples and generosity.  Happy Grandparent's Day!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Don’t Tell Me Stars Hollow Doesn’t Really Exist


Tip #1:  If you weren’t a fan when the series was running, start watching the 7 seasons of “Gilmore Girls.”  I was introduced about 2 years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed the quick banter, quirky characters (Michel, Paris, Kirk), and smart humor.  It’s kind of a girl show, but my brother Nate and awesome husband are fans. 

Tip #2:  You could rent them from Netflix, Blockbuster, or the library.  But if you want to be as smart as me try this:  Go onto Ebay, buy the first season, then sell it back on Ebay, and buy the next one. When I did this, I could usually almost re-coup my initial payment.  It was fun to have all the discs available and I felt so savvy when I would sell my season back for more than I paid!

Tip #3:  Find a friend to watch it with you, because nothing is more annoying than finishing THE WHOLE THING and having NO ONE who cares.  You know when something really good happens on “Lost” and you and your friend can all discuss?  Well, I was left high and dry.  No one knew the sadness inside of me as I came to terms with the finale.   (Which, while nothing spectacular, just felt right.  If you’ve watched, PLEASE feel free to discuss it with me via comments or email.)

Tip #4:  Deal with your Gilmore Girls withdrawals by getting a haircut exactly like one of the main characters.  Or maybe that’s just me.

alexis_bledel  Alexis Bledel/Rory Gilmore

GGhair GGhair2 Jessica Romney

(I was REALLY irritated when I left the salon and somehow still looked 35.  After scouring the Internet for millions of pictures to show my stylist and getting Rory’s 20 year old look stuck in my head, I was confused at the wrinkly face that peered back at me from Rory’s hairdo.)

Who needs a reunion show?  I look in the mirror, and I have Gilmore Girls every day.

Oh, and about the contest.

The answers are:

J: Pavarotti wrestling an alligator in Seattle

R: Elvis, giving birth (is that not the most hilarious picture) in the space shuttle.

It was a little hard to figure out who was eligible but I went with LeeElle, Karajayne, Ilene and Nancy. I used one of those random winner pickers on the web and (drum roll)

is my winner!

I have your address, so your prize will be on it's way, tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Homework, on the first day of school

I’ve made it easy, by filling in the answers for you.  Except the last one…it changes hourly.

1) I had one baby, then another, then another and then another: 114_1497

1+1+1+1=4 kids at home all day.


2) Then one left me,finally, for the whole day, to go to first grade:


4-1=3 kids at home all day

3) Then one more left me, with his big sister, for the whole day, to go to first grade:


4-2=2 kids at home all day

4) Then I had another baby.

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4-2+1=3 kids at home all day

5) Then, today, the third baby left, with her older siblings, to go to first grade:

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5-3= 2 kids home all day

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6) The children at home < the children at school.

7) How ________________ for me!

Pick the word the best describes Jessica’s feelings:

a. weird

b. sad

c. fun

d. all of the above

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Let’s play a game

We played the MOST FUN game with a bunch of friends the other night.  It’s called Who?What?Where? and we laughed our heads off.  It was perfect for a big group and it would work with kids 8ish and up, as well as adults.  Go buy it here.

Now, you need to guess

1. Who…as in: What is the name of the person in the picture?

2. What…as in: What, specifically, is this person doing?

3.  Where…as in: Where is it happening (can be Proper Noun or generic place)?

for these two pictures.

My artistry:


Ryan’s artistry:


(we’ll close the contest on Tuesday, September 9th and announce the winner of the prize the next day!)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

When you have a birthday …

it’s good to have a mom and a dad.

1.Moms make sure you have your favorite meals

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2.Moms talk your dad into spending money on a bike and lunch out, even before “The New Job" is official

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3.Moms make you awesome (Peanut Butter Cake cake found here):Picture 075Picture 080

and slightly less awesome (it’s a wagon wheel, alright?!):

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birthday cakes.

4. Moms keep around the 4 boxes of dress up clothes so that when you have a “Pioneer Party” (his idea, not ours), you and your siblings have plenty of clothes for period dress.

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1. Dads have the sibling that is the mother of the oh-so-fun Daines cousins that are integral to each birthday celebration

Picture 032 (Emma’s party….didn’t take one for Gabe)

2.  Dads know Mom tends to over-do parties and so decides to take over

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3. Dads provides Pioneer games such as Watermelon Spit:

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Jump the Snake:

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Drop the Cowboy:

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Musical Wagons

and Make Your Own Paper Bag Cowboy Vest:

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4.  Dads remove earrings stuck in your ears, in hopes that your 4 year old will provide better comprehension than your 3 year old year did.



What a team, right?