the hyphens that define my life

Oh, The Places We’ve Been – Our Year In Review – Part 2 June 15, 2014

One reason we chose Spokane as our new home was where we could, what we could experience if we travelled 2-4-6-8 hours from our front door.  Not only the incredible places, but the diversity in experience as well.

We’ve done and seen some pretty awesome things this year.  Here is a photo essay of our year in Spokane, experiencing and enjoying all four seasons.

Thirty minutes down the road, we spent our summer on the Spokane River at Post Falls and tubed the riverway up to Lake Coeur D’Alene.  Good times.



Much closer to home was the rope swing adventure:


Not a bad start to our year.

Then school started and finished.  See how they’ve grown:

first day of school 2013last day of school 2014

At least their hair has grown.

All Spokanites will tell you that winter is their least favorite season, then they will all tell you that spring, summer and fall are their favorite months.  Fall was an incredibly colorful end to summer.










We went to our first corn maze that would never legal, insured or permitted in Southern California.  The novelty of  this insane adventure near the Idaho state line will be etched in my children’s brains forever. My eight year old brought home his daily journal from school.  He wrote “We went to a corn maze. People chased us with real chainsaws and there was a joker that scared me and my brothers.”  Recorded sound effects can have a huge impact on an 8 year old. I laughed remembering the moment, that he wrote about it, and how frightened we all were by the 6’5″ scary Joker.  Here are my children of the corn









Summer and Fall we went to Green Bluff, WA, straight to the farmers to pick peaches, blackberries and pumpkins.

Bounty summer 2013 ???????????????????????????????


Brr 2013

We didn’t let the cold stop us.  We travelled about an hour north to Elk, WA to cut down a Christmas Tree.

christmas tree 2013

Old man winter supplied an “easy winter” by Spokane standards.  Thank you.  With snow arriving late, we only went skiing four times.  Only.  There are 5 mountain resorts within 2 hours of home and we managed to get to four of the five, missing the one closest to home, Mt. Spokane.  We skied Silver Mtn (ok, this is the one I sat with ski anxiety in the lodge),  49 degrees North, Lookout and Schweitzer.   Lookout was great for early snow; Silver was too steep for the boys and I (I’m sticking the boys in my anti-steep anxiety zone); 49 degrees North was my personal favorite and got me over my issues and back on my skis; and Schweitzer, at the end of March, won all of our hearts.

schweitzer top o the world (2) schweiter boys 2013

Our two hour travels took us skiing, our 4 hour circles took us to west to Seattle and east to Missoula and Butte Montana.

photo (2) photo (3) photo (4)

photo (5) photo (6)

Back in Spokane, spring color exploded with color.  This beautiful lilac peeked through my backyard fence.

photo (7)

For now we’re staying close to home.  Who needs to go anywhere with this spectacular scenery in Spokane?








Fully Living Life August 18, 2013

Today we ventured north for the first time since arriving in Spokane and headed to Green Bluff where the Green Bluff Growers, an association of small family farms and farmstands, have U-Pick (pick your own fruit) and annual festivals.  Today was the first day of the annual Peach Festival.  Though we are not fans of festivals of any sort, we thought fruit picking would be a great activity for our boys and visiting Southern California friend.  Of the 48 Green Bluff Growers, we selected #5 Hidden Acres as they offered U-Pick Peaches and Blackberries


The four boys were skeptical that they would have any fun as the whole day sounded like a whole lot of work.

Then they made a friend, a pig wallowing in the mud.


The pig got out of his mud bath and gave himself a shake.  All four boys miraculously missed being splattered with mud; however, a cute 8-year-old girl dressed in pink and pigtails got spotted with mud, head to toe.

We ventured off to the blackberry patch and the boys had a blast finding the darkest, biggest berries. Surprisingly, no shockingly, the one who enjoyed berry picking the most was my husband who was the first to fill his gallon size bucket. The hot topic of discussion while berry picking was deciding what dessert should we make with the berries and peaches.


In the berry patch, we met a couple with a two-year-old son who just happened to move from Los Angeles to Spokane a year ago and live 5 blocks from our house!  We exchanged numbers and look forward to getting together soon.

After our berry buckets were full, we headed to the peach orchard.



We successfully picked 13 pounds of blackberries and 50 pounds of peaches.  Peach cheesecake and peach ice cream with blackberry sauce was the requested dessert.  Uh huh, sure.  Let me get right on that.

Bounty summer 2013

We have heard so much about 9 Mile Falls and Riverside State Park that we decided to head west and check it out.

Riverside State Park is a 10,000 acre park along the Spokane River, leading to the dam that creates 9 Mile Falls.  Our goal was to find a place to swim and cool off from our fruit picking efforts in the hot sun.

We parked the car and followed a trail about a mile to this awesome bridge and perfect spot to take a dip.




The boys played in the cold water while I took photos of the wildflowers.






We hiked back to the car and spotted this caterpillar next along the way. EEK!


We headed home and miracle of all miracles happened – our 7-year-old fell asleep in the car.  A true sign of an awesome day.

We were all beat by the time we got home but guess what? We have 13 lbs of blackberries and 50 lbs of peaches to deal with, not to mention dinner and the requested desserts.

Tired momma could not pull it off. My husband picked up dinner while I made a fantastic peach blackberry lattice pie.  Not on the requested dessert menu which I managed to put off until tomorrow due to lack of ingredients and time.


Five quarts of peaches were canned tonight too using one of the 4 boxes of peaches.  The other three boxes were put in our cold storage in the basement until tomorrow morning when they too will be canned.

The pie, just so you know, was a delicious end to our action packed day.