Wake Up Call

One day Luke got up earlier than his alarm, and forgot to turn it off. When he got out of the shower he heard the alarm going off, and puppy Rucker hoooowling at it. It is our favorite party trick, and an excellent ice breaker at dinner parties :)


Stephens Family BBQ

Today we had a bbq at my parent's house. My dad caught two salmon last week which he bbq'd along w/shrimp (ick) and chicken (yum). I love my family!!!

Cousin Casey Little Julia & Uncle Bart
Cousins: Libby, Bea & Meaghann
Julia, what a ham!
Mom showing off the roses dad got for her. Braggart.
Ash's pup, Lilly. We fed her limes today, thinking it would be funny, but she seemed to ENJOY them!
Dad & his girls. His favorite is on the right.
Ash & Patty
It is becoming increasingly hard to photograph jack w/o this result. He is bent on thwarting my photojournalistic efforts. As you can see, Ashley is more supportive.

5 Year Anniversary

Luke and I have been married 5 years as of August 24th. Last year we both forgot our four year anniversary until the day after, so this year we made a point to take the day off & participate in some adult activities: poker, blackjack, and slot machines. We lost a little $, but we had a blast & it was worth it. We also had a lovely dinner at the Inn @ Spanish Head in Lincoln City. I broke out the camera before dinner for the sole purpose off blogging- so keep that in mind if the photos look a little uninspired...or if luke looks tired of being asked to simultaneously A)keep both eyes open B)don't blink and C) smile...

8 Random* Facts (*hand selected to impress you with the caliber of my character)

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/stories about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

8 Facts:
1. I married my high school sweetheart. We met when I was 15, got married when I was 21, and just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. Also: my parents met in 6th grade and have been married 28 years.
2. Two years ago I was jogging through a neighborhood on a Saturday morning. I ran by a house and saw smoke coming out of an open side window, obviously not a good sign. I ran to the front door, and started pounding, then just opened it. Inside I could see the smoke was coming from the kitchen to the left, and I ran up the stairs to the right yelling to see if anyone was home. Two kids were at home, upstairs, and when they heard me they came running- they didn't know the kitchen was on fire!! We all got outside & by then neighbors were coming out of their houses. The firemen came & put out the fire, which wasn't as big as it originally seemed. The kid's mom came home shortly thereafter, and was very upset but super thankful her kids weren't hurt!
3. My first job was at the Wilsonville Payless Drug Store. I worked at the pharmacy counter, ringing up people's prescriptions. One time a man came in to pick up his prescription, and said: "Prescription for Dick." I said, "What is your last name?" (the prescriptions were organized alphabetically by last name). He said, "That is the last name." I said, "First name?" He said: "Harry." Being the high school girl I was, I had to excuse myself to the backroom where I laughed so hard I cried. I had to have the pharmacy tech ring the man up. I could not control myself. I sometimes laugh when I KNOW I shouldn't and it is really, really hard to stop. Especially if my brother or husband are present- then it is impossible. Two examples include my cousin's piano recital (they did well, but the kids before them were HORRID), and a recent wedding where the priest called the groom by the wrong name during the prayer. Laughing uncontrollably when you should not be laughing is feeling between terror and exhilaration. Also when people give you dirty looks because you are being rude, it is even harder to stop.
4. I am missing both unneccessary bonus organs: appendix & tonsils.
5. Last year I secretly saved money for 9 months and surprised my husband with a trip to Hawaii. I arranged his time off with his dad. I snuck money away when I got a raise and then forged his name on our tax returns so he didn't know how much money we got back. It was the best surprise EVER!
6. As far as I am aware, I have never narrowly escaped death. Although one time when I had food poisening it felt like I was close. Word to the wise: avoid "house of louie's" chinese food downtown. Or at least take the time to ask yourself: what does a guy named "louie" know about chinese (let alone proper food handling techniques)???
7. I have had to think really hard to come up with flattering "random" facts about myself. I ran low on such stories, and feel obligated to tell you that #2 and #4 are lies. But part of me feels like if you believed #2, then you're a bit of a chump & maybe I should have just let you believe me.
8. I will feel more honest if I tell you some of my faults: I am reeeeally crabby when I wake up from naps. I am terrible at staying caught up on laundry - it is my husband's biggest beef with me. I sometimes ramble (and i feel like if i'm aware of this, then it is an acceptable social fault). I have recently used a word twice...and I'm not quite sure of the meaning. I'm not saying what the word was, but this is a good reminder that i should look it up when I'm done posting here. I can be very impatient. I am sometimes extra nice to the drive through attendants at fast food restaurants, not b/c I am a genuinely kind person, but b/c I secretly hope it will sway them in my favor if they were debating whether or not to spit in my burger.

And now....who will I tag? I do not have enough blog friends to tag. sad sad sad


going to the chapel

Ryan, Amee, Luke & I went to a friend's wedding this weekend.

I did not pose this

but i couldn't not take the photo...
photo trivia: the missing key in the photo above is the "Y" key, which was tragically SUCKED off the keyboard by an [abnormally powerful] shop-vac in a well-intended effort to clean dirt & debris (also, the "Y" key) from the laptop. "Y" key was [gruesomely] retrieved from bowels of aforementioned perpetrator, but to no avail: it is not readily apparent how one might re-affix "Y" to keyboard.
Statement issued by husband, quote: "I would have gotten in a LOT of trouble for doing that, and you get away with blaming it on the shop vac....???"
...dutiful and well-meaning housewife unavailable for comment.

what she lacks in size....

she makes up for in "personality:" cassandra jo middlebrooks. At the tender age of 1.5, she rules the roost, and cleverly has her auntie & uncle wrapped around her finger. bossy isn't quite the word...more like TYRANT. Most endearing of all are her new latest phrases: missssewel (michelle) and guuuucka!?!??? (rucker???)



Crescent Lake 2007!

Luke's family gathers at Crescent Lake every year for a week long camping bonanza. It is a bonanza b/c there are:
1) showers
2)flushing toilets
3)a pavilion with electricity for:
a)coffee makers
b)electric skillets
c)mini fridges

But it is still classified as camping because:
1) i sleep on the ground
2) there are bugs
3) there is a campfire
4) there is a LOT of dirt and dust
5) we lay in the sun all day reading books and getting tan
6) at night the little kids eat smores and we force them to make us smores too!
7) there is no soap provided in the bathroom for handwashing, you have to bring your own

Uncle David's boat- the source of endless water skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding fun!


Grandpa Dick (luke's dad) and Cassandra

Jack & Patty: Kissing Cousins (see post below for family tree explanation)

Me, Patty & Jack
Me & Rucker-roo, who camped longer than his dad did!
Chris, Luke's brother
Tethered dog entertained by children with sticks

Tired dog, too much entertainment.
Luke & his second cousin, Taylor! This is the only pic of luke b/c he only camped for 12 hours. Lame camper!
Patty, me & Reina - sunbathing beauties
Tent set up: patty is drinking, richard is dancing. Sara & Chris are trying to get the poles in right....
....and Christina is helping Jack hammer in the stakes. She is wearing her preference of camping attire: baby ugg boots, a pink T, and a denim skirt. Naturally.

Bye Bye Kimmee

Kimmee, Luke's 2nd oldest sister, is leaving to train as a missionary in New Zealand!! We miss her already, but know she is doing important work. These are pics from her going-away-bbq.Jack & Patty (that would be my brother and luke's cousin. It sounds incestuous, but after some diligent drafting of family trees and research on Oregon State laws, this is deemed a perfectly legal union.) Christina & Cassandra (our nieces)- deceptively obedient for this photo...

She didn't make the squad :(
Gill & Naomee, Luke's 3rd & 4th sisters! Eating doritos...
Reina (Luke's brother's wife/my sis in law), me, and patty (Luke's cousin/my cousin in law/and if she were to marry her boyfriend (my brother), she'd also be my sis-in-law.) Phew!

how to kiss a squeamish boy

1. Do not act suspicious. Smile kindly. 2. Quick Approach!!!
3. Force required, kiss accomplished.

brags of the parental sort

My mom & dad are very talented at hobbies they've developed as a response to "empty nest syndrome." My mom does stained glass, and below is her largest piece, measuring about 5 feet tall!!! It took her 8 months to finish, and is hanging in the back stairwell in a frame my dad made. It is gorgeous when the light shines through it! My dad has been wanting a pond for a while, so this spring he started work on a waterfall and pond in their backyard. He dug it in next to the new patio and stairs he set in concrete. The pond has lots of goldfish and koi, all growing very quickly on a gourmet diet of twice daily brine shrimp feedings (!)
On the upper pond is a tree my dad hand pounded out of copper! It is already starting to get a teal color to it as the copper oxidizes. He crafted each leaf individually, and hung some on hooks so they move in the wind! The best part of all is that he used copper piping to plumb the tree to water so that water drizzles out of tiny pipes to make it look like rainwater is falling off the tips of the branches--- it is so beautiful and despite begging and pleading he will NOT give it to me!

Ellis family reunion

My mom's side of the family came into town for a BBQ! It was a beautiful day, and so good to see family that lives far away. Cousins were there too...but for some reason I didn't get ANY pics of us! Ash & Christopher...

Neices and Pizza

Reina, Christina, & Cassandra came over for pizza and some impromptu dancing. Dancing action shot...

sissies :)