Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Fourth of July

We had a great Independence Day.

Cait explained the reason for the holiday and was very proud of her storytelling skills down to O's level--how the colonists wanted to choose their own boss and make their own rules and there was a big fight for many years. O had Cait repeat the story two or three times over breakfast. After the last time, he thought for a minute then said, "I am going to pick my own boss and pick my own rules too. I'm now the boss around here."

Shouldn't have told it that well, I guess.

After breakfast, we went to downtown Pasco to watch the parade!

Mike: "Tell me about the parade, O!"
O: "There were some police cars and then some semi trucks and then some tow trucks and fire trucks and then a street sweeper and then it was over!"

(He conveniently ignored the marching bands, the dancers, the veterans, the horses/rodeos, etc. So funny.)

Stokers invited us over for dinner and then we watched their INSANE neighborhood fireworks. Everyone was lighting off aerial fireworks in every direction. The show started around 7:30 pm and hadn't let up by the time we left at 10:30.

O loved it, yelling "WHOA!" after every one for the first hour. He also added, knowingly, "This is just like lightning and thunder, except instead of saying BOOM, it says POP."

Happy Fourth! :)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

June Books

Covers from


I am really enjoying the continuation of this series. I like the complex characters and, I read them in a day (a credit to Mike's patience) and that's always fun to do something in one day.

My Man Jeeves was a book club read, but Jarom's recommended these to me multiple times. This book is how the butler Jeeves suggests a solution to his employer's problem, which somehow makes it worse, and then he fixes it. Very funny. My only complaint is that a few of the problems repeated themselves (rich relative about to cut off allowance to poor relative, etc....), so I am not going to take up another one in this series just yet.

It probably should have occurred to me, but I hadn't thought that the transoceanic slave trade had lasted on the black market for as long as it did. This book was fascinating and very sad. Hurston documented the interviews and his stories faithfully. I highly recommend.

This is a bandwagon read I put off for a while. We finally listened to it on a road trip, and we mostly liked it. There were some laugh-out-loud funny parts and then there were some we didn't care for as much. 

Very Gladwell-y, but good. O likes the story of David and Goliath now, "Do you remember when he CHOPPED his HEAD off???"

I picked this up because the title is awesome, and it had some very interesting parts. It was a lot more academic when I was expecting and everything was packaged into small was easy to set it down and get absorbed in a different book until I remembered this one again. You could probably find most of these on the internet and get the same information.

This book was a well-written retelling of the legend of Circe. I think you have to like Greek mythology a bit to appreciate it. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Cait made a quick day trip up to Pullman for work and they went to a local restaurant named Sella's. This was notable because it was Cait's very first official calzone.

Cait took a picture to send to Mike: "CALZOOOOONE!"

Also, the creative artwork was very entertaining.

Good ol' Pullman.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Flat Tire and Bucket Truck Rescues

Uncle Aaron had fixed a flat tire on the road for someone a couple weeks ago and O had repeatedly said, "I wish I could fix a flat tire like Uncle Aaron."

Today he got his wish. Our neighbor informed us of our flat tire one Mike and O got right to work to fix it.

What a man.

In between watching Dad work, O used his new bucket truck to rescue kitty cats off Mom's forehead. *sigh

Friday, June 22, 2018

Richland Desert Nights Cruise-In

Cait loves random community events and easily talked O into going with her to the Cool Desert Nights Cruise-In. He could hardly sit still waiting for it to begin: "I am so exciting for the car parade!"

He had something to say about every car that passed and we danced to the classic old-timey car-themed music going on. There were two GTOs and a rash of Novas, even! O helped me take the pictures of the cars, so the choices are a bit eclectic. Ha.

This one's for sale, guys! 

Took this one for Luke.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cheer Up Charts

We've been dealing with some very emotional threenager moments around here, so we had a family home evening lesson about feelings. We talked about appropriate ways to name, express, and deal with them and made ourselves little Cheer Up Charts. It was fun to see what we each came up with and what was borrowed from someone else.

The backhoe sticker was the highlight, though.

A day later, in the midst of hangry tears, O wailed, "I WANT MY CHEER UP CHART." So we walked over, decided on an activity, and O happily went off to do it. We high-fived.

We'll take our parenting victories where we can.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Online Course

In this internet age, you can find professional-quality online courses on many different topics. Mike's been teaching himself MODFLOW in the comfort of our own home.

And something is telling him that the instructor might be from Latin America...

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018

Channer Family Reunion 2018

This year, Mike and Cait were in charge of the family reunion. And it turned out pretty well.

If you consider a day of rain, night of snow, day of rain, night of hail/snow/rain, day of on-and-off rain, night of frost, and one day of partly cloudy skies "pretty well."

The result of the poor weather was that we mostly just sat around the fire most days and didn't do much--well--didn't do anything. And that was fine by Cait. She's been wanting an excuse to sit around and do nothing for ages and we finally had one.

O took a day to warm up to his cousins, but with their solicitous attentions, he eventually got to running around with them.

Finally we got a break in the weather and started off with some fishing.
Lost Valley Reservoir

We told a lot of stories around the campfire too. Jaxon's version of Baby Blue was the highlight. He loved the attention so much, he kept going around and around the fire starting the story over to make it last: "PICTURE THIS! Baby Blue is FIVE HOUSES AWAY..." etc.

There was some shooting, of course...

And some dodgeball with Grandma...

Fast forward 80 years and I still see them doing this...

We made it out swimming once and the water was freezing!

Rescuing the beach ball without touching the water. ;)
These three were going to jump in together, but chickened out at the last second. Only Logan made it in that jump.

These boys actually didn't care about the water temperature and would have stayed a loooong time.
We love you and can't wait to do it again next year!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Mike and Caitlin Ar'havinababy-eetsagirl

Yep! We're having a baby that will be born between now and December! (probably)

We went to a doctor to see how it was growing. They used a magical wooden wand (from Maytag, 16 inch, chestnut, unicorn hair core) and announced it was a girl!!!!!!

They even printed out images of what our little angel looks like.

So congratulations to us!

Caitlin made me write this post, so I did.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 2018 Books

Images from

Agnes Grey was a bit of a slow start for me, but I really liked her character. She was subtly funny and clearly awkward and lonely in this position she had in society (her only option as a woman to have an income). I liked that the romance snuck up on me--I wasn't expecting one in this book--and I loved how it ended.

Also, here is where my ill-advised foray into theater stops for a while. I mean...what. the. heck. I don't think I would have made it through this extremely short play because I barely made it through this extremely short book. It's all very existential and what not, but it was weird.

This novel is a spinoff of the Seraphina books. I had not read them, but I've been meaning to, and somehow I ended up with this one from the library first. It deals with some pretty heavy topics (I would say this is a pretty late YA), but I liked Tess's resourcefulness and determination to go her own way, despite the many mistakes along the way.

I liked this book, though I had the distinct impression from the beginning that it was not going to end happily. I liked all of the characters. I felt they were very authentic and the struggles and worries were very relatable. I'm ready for this debut author to release another book.

For some reason, I really liked this book a lot more than the first Mary Poppins. I don't know if I finally understood her character and liked her vain, selfish self or if the stories were genuinely more interesting.

This was a book club read and I liked it. The characters were funny and the premise was unique. I thought I had it solved an hour into the audiobook, but nope. Pretty light-hearted, feel-good read (you don't even feel bad about the murdered guy).

Nat and Jarom recommended this hefty book to me, and it only took me...uh...6 months to get around to finishing it (embarrassing). This runs the gamut of human emotions in the 100-ish-year history of a sea-faring Danish town. There is some beautiful (translated) prose in here as well as some very sad stories.


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