My Last Hurrah

I have pretty much wasted my summer. None of the things I wanted to accomplish I actually got done, except this one…

I actually I went on a girls weekend.

With the kids away, it was the first girls weekend I’ve been on since the twins were born, 6 years ago.

My very good friend Laurie found that Harry Connick Jr was going to be in Vancouver BC for a concert and you could get tickets for a meet and greet. Well, color us there!

We have both been fans of his for too long (at least since high school for me- and Im not telling you how long ago that was!) I’ve seen most of his movies and have a whole channel dedicated to him on iHeartRadio.

Seeing him live was spectacular! He is so talented, and has such a great rapport with his band members. I think everyone had a solo. The feeling was one of a jam session, of getting together with really great friends who appreciate music in a variety of forms. They were all so enthusiastic and into the music you could literally feel it moving through the room.

Harry Connick Jr. played the piano, the trumpet and drums. Once we even played drums with his feet while playing the piano! Such talent is amazing to watch, and is so awe inspiring.

DSC_4271At the meet and greet, he was smiling and gracious. I cant wait for the pictures to come back. (they wouldn’t let us take our own photographs- Ill post them when I get them) I got to shake his hand and tell him that I thought the concert was amazing. I just hope my eyes didn’t do the funny squint thing that they do when I get extra excited.

The only drawback to the show was that during the show, when Harry Connick Jr was talking to the people of Vancouver and comparing that nights show to the precious nights show at Chateau St Michelle Winery (no meet and greet) he said everyone was buzzed on wine and overly enthusiastic. Considering the winery is actually closer to my hometown, that felt kind of bad, as if he was dissin my peeps.

All in all though, the experience was amazing, the music was phenomenal and the atmosphere was electric. I would rate this one of the BEST concert experiences I’ve ever had. I definitely recommend you see Harry Connick Jr in concert!

How to: Water Balloons

Image from Wikipedia – Click for link

Okay – so we had record sunshine in the Pacific Northwest this weekend. Sun and 80 degrees before July is practically unheard of.  So, what did we do? We played in it of course! We managed to find some left over dollar store balloons while cleaning and my mom had the great idea to make them into water balloons. Yeah. That wasn’t as easy as it looks. These were regular balloons, not special balloons, and I couldn’t get the darn openings over the spigot of the sink.

Running them under the tap at full force didn’t work to get the balloon past its ‘Point of No Return’. Anyone who blows up a balloon knows that point, where your breath gets it to a certain point, then you have to blow just hard enough to get the balloon to expand. What to do?

I got the Turkey Baster. Yep. Make sure you can squeeze it with one hand and the tip is inside a partially blown up balloon and that’s all she wrote. The water will enter the balloon and displace some of the air. Beware, the balloon will be trying to force out the air AND the water, so make sure to tilt the turkey baster to the side to let air escape the balloon like sealing Tupperware. Fill the balloon to desired tension with water, tie off and set aside (gently).

When everyone has their balloons ready: ready, set, GO!

Individual Greenhouses for your Garden

***A repost for those of you who are planning a garden***

I love fresh vegetables, and I grew up with a vegetable garden and there is nothing better than a vine ripened tomatoes picked fresh and made into bruschetta or some other yummy food.  Our family started its first vegetable garden to introduce the older kids to healthy eating.  It was great when the realized how food was grown and they actually wanted to try the tomatoes and the zucchini. The chocolate zucchini cake was a hit, the tomatoes were not.   So we keep trying.

Since we live in the Pacific Northwest and our summers are finicky.  I have friends who have migrated from California or Texas and they bemoan the fact we can ski until March and wear hoodies until July. So, it helps to have a green house or a cold frame to give your plants a healthy head start.

I, however, have 3 small boys to raise. Which means they would break any cold-frame, accidentally of course, and I can’t afford a green house. (Their feet never seem to stop growing!).  So, I came up with another, much cheaper idea after visiting Williamsburg with family. According to the period actors, the settlers used glass bells over plants as miniature green houses. I don’t want breakable glass around the kids and the food, so we used Milk  Jugs. Yes, Milk jugs. We go through a gallon of milk a week and have plenty of them around.  Its easy. Cut the bottom of the milk jug off, leave the cap on the top.  The plants get their water from the surrounding ground.  And, the milk jugs let light through while heating the surrounding air, to encourage growth.

As the garden grows, watch for more posts.  The first round of spinach is about ready to be harvested!

Maritime Fest


Every year the Thea Foss waterway in Tacoma opens it arms and says ‘Come Visit’ us and see how amazing Tacoma really is! The Maritime Festival is an annual event, the 20th for 2012, and offers all kinds of free fun for families on Aug 25th and 26th. You can tour the Port of Tacoma by train or by boat, for free or participate in a boat building contest. My building skills are not great, but if yours are and you have a bunch of friends that want to have fun, the pictures look pretty neat from years past.

The festival has Pirates, Music, Food, and I have also seen a fishing tank there put on by the local union. This really is a great event!

Thea Foss:
Park at the Tacoma Dome and take the Link Light Rail to the very last stop, Theater District

The Festival runs a shuttle bus (every 20 min) from that stop to the festival – ALL FREE

If you want to pay for parking downtown or on the waterway, you can, but its not advisable unless you are trying to catch the 1st boat or train. The Link Light rail starts at 10am, so does the festival events.

SATURDAY – Festival & Boat Building & Train rides

    Boat Building

Set up: 7-9am
Build: 9-3pm
Race: 4:30

Cost is $60/team with no more than 3 people per team ($20 ea person)
Teams Supply their own tools, but the boat building materials are provided…

There are more rules/information, but you need to look HERE for more information.

    Train Rides

Mark your calendar to ride the rail around the Tacoma Tideflats at Tacoma Rail’s open house. Learn how Tacoma’s own freight-switching service supports the economic health of the Port of Tacoma and the Tideflats industries.

In addition to free train rides, you will be able to walk through a locomotive, view railroad maintenance equipment, visit the locomotive shops, see two large model railroad layouts, have your face painted, visit with clowns, play a game, eat food… and more! Children will receive a token of their visit.

SUNDAY – Festival & Boat rides
The free Port of Tacoma Boat Tours provide a close-up look at one of the largest container ports in the United States.

Boat tour boarding is first-come, first-serve. Best to arrive 30 minutes prior to sailing times. For those who need special assistance boarding, the last tour at 4:00pm will have the highest tide and will make boarding easier.

Introducing STARFIRE SPORTS SKOTS Program : Macaroni Kid

Introducing STARFIRE SPORTS SKOTS Program : via Macaroni Kid

ImageIn Tukwilla, the Starfire sports fields has a pro-rated, soccer class that lasts the whole summer.  Each class is $12.50-$14.50 per class (usually 1 class per week) for up to $145 for a 10week session.  The Starfire clubs mission is to “help youth develop as players and community members through participation in soccer. The classes feature fun, interactive and cooperative games that promote problem solving and teamwork” Wow, now I want to join!

Classes run from June 2nd through August 10th, depending on the day you choose and fees are pro-rated.  If you click the link above, you can get a discount as well!

Starfire Sports: 14800 Starfire Way Tukwila, WA 98188 206-431-3232