Thursday, December 31, 2009


OK, so Brian loves sushi. Every time we go to Reno, that's all we hear. "I need to eat sushi." Plus all he has talked about for a year is that he wants a sushi making kit so he can learn how to make his own. Thus a kit appeared under the tree for him this Christmas. We learned today that while most people associate sushi with raw fish, in reality the word sushi means "flavored rice wrapped around other things". So after watching a couple of videos on the web, Brian set out to make some sushi. He made a couple of rolls and then asked Hannah if she wanted to make one. She ended up making 3. This is the last one she made just for Brian with crab, cucumber & some kind of hot sauce Brian keeps in the fridge. Looks pretty good for a teenage girl's third attempt and sushi rolling. :o)

Snow Caves

Brian and Parker went with a group of boy scouts camping in the snow. The goal was to sleep in snow caves. The went some where near Silver Lake which is to the west of Susanville in the Cascades. They have to hike in and pull their gear on sleds. In this picture Parker is on skis, which he had never done before. Brian said he fell a couple of times, but did good for the most part. Brian didn't get a good picture of the caves, but said he shovelled A LOT of snow.

Christmas 2009

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season in 2009. We had a VERY quiet Christmas. We didn't leave the house for 2 days. It was nice to just chill for a couple of days. I failed to get a picture of all 3 kids together. Below is each of them with their loot. I always worry that they don't have enough under the tree & in their stockings, but after all the grandparents, aunts and uncles contribute it ends up being too much. :0) This was a significant Christmas for Parker as he found out that Mom & Dad are Santa. Eli had his suspicions and Hannah already knew. What was really cute was a few days after Christmas, both Hannah and Parker lost a tooth. The next morning while we were reading scriptures, Eli leans over to me and asks if I am the Tooth Fairy. He adds, "be honest. Give me the truth." What's a mom to do??

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snow. More SNOW. SLEDDING!!!

It's been snowing off and on for a week now. On Sunday, 12/6 we awoke with below zero temperatures and a frozen condensation line for our furnace. Yeah! The boys have been asking to go sledding all week. Yesterday we bundled up and headed for Willard Hill (about 8 miles west of Susanville). Hannah didn't want to go and Brian wasn't feeling well so it was just the boys and I. I missed the turn off to the access road because the snow plow had created a fairly high berm that blocked the road from the highway. We turned around and went back to get a better look. Parker asked if we were going to have to go back home. I told him no; we were just going to put it in four wheel drive low and go for it (my dad would have been proud)! Once we were over and breaking trail Parker says, "Wow Mom, that wasn't too bad. Were you scared?" I replied, "Nope." To which he added, "Other moms would have been scared. You rock mom!" Talk about melt your heart. :o) Here are a few pictures I managed to take.

Going up . . .
Coming down . . .
Our lonely truck in the parking area. At 10:30 am we were the only ones there. The boys had the hill to themselves for over an hour.
This was the view at the bottom of the hill. I thought it was a pretty picture. It was snowing.

Thanksgiving 2009

For Thanksgiving this year we made the rounds in Oregon. I had to work the day before and Brian wanted to go the the Lassen High football game (it was the division championships, Lassen won), so we decided to drive on Turkey day. We planned to eat our Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant in Klamath Falls, but the town was dead. Nothing open but an Elmer's and a Sizzler. We were about to give up hope and eat at the Sizzler, when I remember there is a Casino about 30 minutes north of Klamath on Hwy 97. My dad goes there occasionally. Sure enough the tiny casino had a buffet going. Nothing extravagant, but a nice meal. We had fun.

We spent Thanksgiving night at my dad's house in Rufus. Where Parker decided to see if the "old fashioned" rotary phone in the upstairs bedroom worked. What number does he dial?
9-1-1!!! Of course they had to call back to make sure we were all OK. On top of that the Sheriff also called. Ugh!!! So much for an uneventful trip. :o)

On Friday we had lunch with Grandma Jo. We wanted to eat at Brian's favorite Chinese place, but they were closed so we at at Big Jim's. Then Brian fixed a few things on Grandma's computer and we hit the road to Beaverton.

We had yummy tacos for dinner with Brian's brother Brad's family. Brad got Hannah to try cow brain by telling her it was beef. She didn't appreciate that. But Parker liked it and ate two brain tacos! Gross!!!

Then we were off to Grandma Margaret's where we spent the night. We had a lazy morning just visiting with her which was really nice.

On Saturday afternoon we attended Uncle Jerry's 60th "surprise" birthday party. Not as many people came as they were expecting, but it was fun all the same. We stayed with Jerry and Sandy that night and stayed up way too late visiting. It was so nice though. Uncle Jerry made his famous french toast for breakfast. Ahhh, the memories. :o)

All in all is was a nice weekend and for the most part great driving weather. Thanks everyone for feeding us well and letting us crash at your houses. I took our camera but didn't take one picture!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 School Pictures

Hannah in 7th Grade: 13 years old
Parker in 6th Grade; 11 1/2 years old
Eli in 4th grade; 10 years old

Friday, November 20, 2009


YES, Hannah and I stood in line for tickets to the midnight show last night!! Here is our story:

Last weekend Hannah asked if we could buy tickets to the first showing of the new Twilight series movie New Moon. So Monday I went to the theater after work, closed. Tuesday, closed. Now I'm getting worried since the movie is Thursday night. I called my friend Jennifer and she told me the theater is usually open after 6pm. So after YW (youth group for those non-LDS readers) that night, Hannah and I went up to the theater only to find the sign had been changed from tickets available to SOLD OUT. An employee saw us standing there talking and came out to see what we were up to. He told us to come early (an hour or two) before the scheduled movie start time and we might be able to get some "stand by" tickets.

So we hatched a plan to be at the theater by 10pm on Thursday. My friend had also invited us to a 7pm pre-New Moon party where they were going to watch the original Twilight before going to the New Moon premiere.

Thus Thursday arrived. It had the makings of a good day. I got to work on time and Hannah's team won their basketball game by 1 point (Hannah scored 6 points of the teams 12 points). After Hannah's game I sold snacks while the 8th grade team played. We ended up not leaving the school until 6:30pm. We decided to drive by the theater to see if any people where in line yet. Unbelievably there were. So we rushed home to change clothes, grab some dinner and blankets, bagged the party and made a bee-line for the theater. We got there at about 7:05pm. Luckily a gal from church works there and she was on duty. She told us that the people who were hoping to buy tickets should wait in a different line. Yeah! for us, we were FIRST in that line. Literally minutes after we put our blanket down in our spot another woman came who wanted to buy 4 tickets!! Perfect timing for us!!

Now we settled in for the wait. One of Hannah's friends (who happens to be named Bella) was in the line of people who already had tickets. They went back and forth between lines, drinking hot cocoa, listening to music and talking. Bella was wired and Hannah was tired. It was cute to watch.

Anyway about 10pm one of the theater people came out and told us that we could only buy tickets for those people "physically" standing in line by 10:30pm. No purchasing for people waiting at home, in the car, etc. At 10:30pm they came out and said we wouldn't be allowed to take in blankets, backpacks or other bags with us and that they would start letting people in at 11pm. So just before 11pm Hannah took our blankets back to the van; luckily we had been able to park about 1/2 a block away.

Once they started letting people in, they were very orderly and the line moved pretty fast. And then . . . a random act of kindness!! A husband and wife herding a bunch of teenagers had an extra ticket. The man leaned across the barrier and told Hannah it was for her. She and I both just stared at him. So he said it again. Hannah looked at me to see what to do. I asked the man if he was serious. "Yes," he said. "It is for her." I pushed Hannah forward and told her to take the ticket. She took it, but hesitated about going in. I looked up and saw my friend Jennifer back in the line. So I told Hannah to go stand with her and go in with her. She went into the theater about 11:15pm. How cool was that?

I on the other hand I had to wait, outside in the cold until 12:05am. There ended up being 16 people in line behind me and we all got in!! It was an interesting experience. One I don't know that I will repeat. However I am now assured, by several people I had never met until last night, that I am the "coolest mom". What they don't know is that will only last until the next "I must have . . ." comes along and I say no. Then I will return to being my normal mean mom self. But until then I will soak up the love. :o)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

We are the parents of a TEENAGER!!

It's hard to believe that it has been 13 years since we became parents. I can remember with vivid detail the day Hannah was born. Now she is officially a teenager! It was a busy week for our family, so she opened her gifts from the family in the morning before school.

What's in the big box?

Newspaper?? What another box??

What? Another box? Well at least this one is wrapped!

It's a cell phone! Are her parents CRAZY!!!!!!

Yes! Hannah got a prepaid cell phone for Christmas 2008 with the first prepaid card. The deal was she would learn how to manage her minutes and earn her own money to purchase them in the future. With her running all over the county for soccer & basketball we decided it was time. She did ok with it for about 6 months. Then she would "text" herself out of 200 minutes (400 texts) in a weeks time. It became a constant battle over the phone and we began to reqret getting the thing.
In early October SCN began switching people's phones over to AT&T iphones. And SCN employees could get a discount if they signed up with AT&T. So Brian started doing some research, talked to the SCN IT manager and the manager of the AT&T store here in town. And thus we signed up for a family plan and Hannah got an unlimited texting, full keyboard & touch screen phone for her birthday. She is on cloud nine! (Of course that will only last until she messes up and gets it taken away.)
What's Brian doing in all the pictures? The plan was for him to call the phone while she was unwrapping it. Some plans work, this one didn't. But her face was still great when she realized what she had opened.

Halloween 2009

For Halloween this year we went to the party at the church. It was well attended with dinner, costume parade, games and cake walk.

We decided that Hannah was too old to go trick-or-treating this year and that from now on she would have to come up with her own costumes if she was going to dress up. So she decided to be a Zombie Soccer Player. She asked me to put her hair in pony tails, tease them and spray them black. You can't really see the black, but her hair turned out really cool.

Parker decided to be a Mummy. I had to sacrifice a sheet , OK it was old, and my mom wrapped and pinned him up. Parker wanted to go trick-or-treating so bad, but ended up going to just one house on his way home from the party. (We live 2 blocks from the church.)

Eli decided he was not into halloween this year. At the last minute he said he wanted to be a "beat boxer" ????? So I spiked his hair and sprayed it black. Then he changed his mind again and put on his costume from last year which was a knight. I didn't get a picture of that one. :o( Eli was having no part of trick-or-treating. Which was totally fine with me!

Eli's Cabbage

This is the cabbage Eli grew. It came home from school as a seed in a styrofoam cup some time in early June. It lived on the kitchen window sill until about mid July. Then Brian helped him plant it in the flower garden outside under the kitchen window. Eli was obsessed with water it and checking on it's progress. We found out later he was supposed to give a report on his "gardening" experience at the beginning of the next school year. So this is what it looked like right before Brian helped him cut it. Of course Eli wouldn't eat any of it, but Brian managed to sneak it into a few dinners and salads. :o)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Michael Jackson's "This is It"

OK, I went to see it. Brian laughed at me. But I was (still am) a total 80's girl. I bought the Thriller album the summer I turned 16. I remember playing it over and over that summer at my dad's house.

Anyway, I thought the documentary was well done. In some of the footage he forgot words and didn't sing as well. But at other times when he was giving direction to the band, his talent was amazing.

I just keep thinking, "how sad to be so talented and yet so screwed up."

It's too bad he never got to perform it. The production looked like it would have been a great show.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A day in the life . . .

So now that you know it's havest . . . add to that 3 kids on 3 different soccer teams, Brian in school & oh yeah he's working at Sierra-Cascade in the mornings before his 9:30am class, piano lessons, after school band, scouting & church youth group. And let's not forget my mom! :o)

Here's what our week looks like:

Monday - Brian class at 5:30; Parker soccer game; Hannah soccer practice
Tuesday - Eli & Parker after school band; Eli soccer game; Parker scouts & soccer practice; Hannah piano lesson & youth group
Wednesday - Brian class at 5:30; Eli & Parker piano lesson; Parker soccer game; Hannah soccer practice
Thursday - Brian class from 3pm to 6pm; Eli & Parker after school band; Eli soccer game; Parker soccer practice
Friday - Whew.......breathe...........we made it!
Saturday - Hannah soccer game either at home or in the Redding area (2 hours away)
Sunday - Church
Monday - Do it all over again :o)

Friday, September 18, 2009


This is the first year Parker has played league soccer. He scored this goal in their first game Monday, 9/14. OK it was actually their second game, but the other team didn't show up for their first game. :o) I missed the game (it's harvest time), but a friend filming her grandson accidentally caught Parker in the lense and sent me this video. You have to be quick, the ball going into the goal is the first thing you will see. But his reaction after is priceless.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labor Day

Eli finally decided to give the toy a try (as long as Donna went with him). It wasn't long before he was showing off.
I love this picture of Eli in the canoe with Donna's bull dog CoCo. Donna says CoCo would stay out in the canoe all day if they would let her. CoCo even has her own life vest.

Labor Day 2009

On Monday we went over to Lake Almanor to visit Donna and Larry at their "lake house". It was a beautiful day, with no wind on the lake. The kids, to my knowledge, had never been out on a boat and towed behind on a toy. Larry was so patient with the kids and they had a great time after they got over being scared.

Hannah has been obsessed with driving lately. She wanted to drive the boat really bad. So this is her evidence that she got to drive . . . NOT. The boat was still tied up to the dock. :o)

Eli did not want to have anything to do with getting on the toy behind the boat. Riding in the bow was his version of a good time.

Hannah and Parker on their first go around. Eventually they all rode it by themselves, even Eli.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Day of School

We traditionally take a group picture on the first day of school. Some serious ones and some goofy ones. This is our 2009 goofy picture. I spent a 1/2 hour straightening Hannah's hair. I told her there is no way we are going to straighten it every day. :o)
Hannah is in 7th grade this year and will be 13 in November. Parker is is 6th grade, he turned 11 this past May. Eli is 9 and in 4th grade.

I couldn't find the 2008 picture. We had just moved to Susanville and if I remember right we had some computer issues and lost a batch of pictures during download. So this is the 2007 silly picture. Wow! How they have changed is just 2 years. Hannah was so mad that her haircut was shorter than she wanted. But it looks so good on her.

This is the 2006 picture.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oregon Cherries!!

THE DALLES cherries to be exact.

I went to the IGA here in Susanville a couple of weeks ago and the first thing I saw in the fruit and veggies section was cherries. As I got closer I saw that they were ORCHARD VIEW FARMS cherries. I bought 2 pounds. :o)

When I got home you would have thought it was Christmas. Who cares what else I bought, give us CHERRIES! When I first started working at OVF the kids hoped I would get paid in cherries.

Today I discovered they still had them. I don't know if they were a new shipment or just more of the old one pulled out of storage. But they were in good shape so I bought 2 more pounds! Same reaction when I got home . . . give us CHERRIES! Thanks OVF!!

Shasta Caverns

On the other side of the McLoud arm of Lake Shasta, only accessible by boat are the Shasta Caverns. It is so amazing what mother nature can do with water over time. Brian says "if you've seen one cavern, you've seen them all." But I think this one was very different that the lava caves near Bend or the caverns we went through in the Black Hills of South Dakota. These caverns had a lot of different formations and what they called "cave bacon" which was created from the deposits in the water as is waved in and out.

Lake Shasta Camping

Last weekend we went camping on the McLoud arm of Lake Shasta. It is about 2 1/2 hours from Susanville to the west. I-5 crosses the Sacramento arm. The lake is a man made lake created in the 1940's when they built Shasta Dam. The lake has 5 arms and several towns are under water as the valleys were flooded by the dam.

It's been a few years since we used the big family tent. But we got it up in no time!

The area is bear country so you have to put your food in a bear box. The chain has a key on it that you use to lock the door. Apparently bears haven't evolved enough to figure out how to unlock the door. :o) Give them time . . . .

Sunday, August 02, 2009

These are the dogs that we have aquired. We adopted "Midge" our greyhound from a greyhound rescue group on the Oregon Coast called Homes for Hounds. She arrived on Parker's birthday in May of 2004. She turns 7 (in human years) in August. We will never forget her birthday because greyhounds have it tatooed in their ear. Midge is a lot of fun, but most of the time she is a couch potato. "Skipper" is my mom's pomeranian mix. Some of her students found him outside a store by the school in Dayton. After no one claimed him she took him home and cleaned him up. He had no hair from his mid back to his tail. He had horrible fleas. We keep him shaved now in what is called a "lion cut"; fluffy head, fluffy tail. He seems to be more comfortable. He follows Midge everywhere. If we want him to go outside we have to convince Midge to go first.
The weekend of his birthday and father's day, Brian and the boys went on vacation to Southern California. On Friday they met up with Mark (one of Brian's good friends he met while working at DaKine) and his family. They went to Universal Studios. The hits of the day were Water World and Jurasic Park. On Saturday, Brian got to go to Disney for FREE because it was his birthday. They had a lot of fun with Mark's family; Mark has 2 boys similar ages. It was a lot of driving, but Brian said it was worth it. Even if you factor in that Eli puked going over Donner Pass both times. :o)
Notice the Monopoly box he is sitting on...........
Eli is 9. He will be 10 in October. Eli is our "pot-stirrer". He keeps us all on our toes. He LOVES to play games. Cards, Scene-it, pictionary, you name it; he'll play. He loves soccer, playing the drums and riding his new bike that Santa brought at Christmas time. Eli is our bonus child. He is special and here for a reason. According to Eli it is so that he can be a professional soccer player.
Celebrating a lot of "Scouting" hard work! We did it!

On a Safeway shopping trip, Brian discovered "Parker's" brand of Root Beer (I don't know if they may other varieties of soda pop). When Brian brought it in, Parker was so excited that there was Root Beer made just for him.
Parker turned 11 in May. He finished Cub Scouts, earning all the ranks from Tiger to Arrow of Light. Brian and I were the Webelos leaders this year so Brian got to present him with his Arrow of Light award. It was a very neat pack meeting. The Arrow of Light is the only Cub Scout patch that moves to the Boy Scout Uniform. Parker is our facts and figures guy; about animals that is. He loves to watch discovery channel and animal planet. He loves books with animal information in them. When he has to do reading time at school or for homework, it is really hard to get him to read a "chapter book." Unless of course it's about some kind of animal. When we go to theme parks, Parker and I want to see all the shows. Everyone else could care less. Parker will be in the 6th grade this year.

Friday, July 31, 2009

YEAH!! Brian finished the summer semester and we the family survived the ordeal. It was a rough 8 weeks and 15 credits. It started off bad as one class started a week earlier than we thought, and we were at Randy's graduation in Bridgeport the first couple of days of the actual semester. On top of that, one of the online classes was Algebra (which Brian hates now). We are just hoping for a C passing grade in that class. It was worth the heavy course load though as Brian will be done with his AA at then end of the Fall Semester 2009. In California that allows him to substitute teach. We found out today that Brian qualifies for a small pell grant in 2010. It's not a lot, but every little bit helps. We are hoping to get through school without incurring any debt. Keep your fingers crossed.
I don't like the slanted bangs over the eye, "but it's the style". I wasn't able to get it as straight as the hairdresser or Mindi did. Hannah has thick beautiful hair , "but you didn't hear that from me." She wishes it was straight. We always want what we can't have. :o)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hannah is finally old enough to attend "Girls Camp!" She is at the bottom right, second one in. The one with the beanie and green shirt. They played a version of "Survivor." She had a great time and came home a little bit more grown up. She got to be home for about an hour and a half, long enough to shower and pack. Then we were off on a 4 hour drive to Medford, OR. Where I traded Hannah to Marci for the week. Hannah stayed in Beaverton with Marci and attended a Basketball Camp in Beaverton.

Let's start with Hannah. She is 12 at the moment. In late April of 2009 she got a big girl hair cut. She hated it. She left the salon before I could even pay and I found her in the truck, in the fetal position crying that she "hated it!" She wanted to wear a beanie to school, but ended up with a pony tail every day. When we went to Randy's graduation in June Mindi styled her hair and straighten it and things began to look up. So Friday, she went again for a cut. We talked about what she wanted for several days and since I couldn't be there (which was probably a good thing) we practiced what she would say. Apparently it went well because upon arriving home from work I was told by my mom that she "Loved it!" Unfortunately I didn't get to see it. Brian took the kids swimming at the lake. So tomorrow we are going to attempt to recreate the style for church and we will take a picture.
I love following other people's blogs and so I have decided to give blogging a try. Life is never boring in the Lupkes household. The bad things is we don't seem to take a lot of pictures. So we will have to change that.