Monday, December 29, 2008

Connor gets a Trampoline for Christmas!

Thanks to Steve & AnnaMarie, Robert & Celeste, Shoo & Pam, Carolyn & Carl, Scatman & Paula, Mike F. I promise, Connor will most definitely get the most use out of this trampoline as humanly possible! Thank you SO much!

Whoo Hooo! Trampoline!!!

This is a BIG trampoline!

Trevor had to trim away some branches from the apple tree :)

You have to attach the springs in the right order.

Connor absolutely LOVES it! He is wearing wool socks with fleece socks that have grippy spots on the bottom so he won't slip as much. I think it was 40 degrees at the most.

Our feet all got a little muddy. It's been raining pretty much non-stop since Christmas until today - our first day dry enough to put up the trampoline.

Video clip to come...

Kiester Family Christmas & Bunco!

Totems! A new family tradition!

Those handsome Wulff boys.

Thanks for hosting everyone Myrna & Doug - you have a great place to have us all at once :)

With Lee's folks, Rita & Bill.
The Kiesters. (Kraig, Donna, Rita, Bill, Karen, Myrna, Lee).
Diana & Trevor were the 'two turtle doves' among other parts to the 12 Days of Christmas carol.

Connor & Grandma.

The cousins, ages 17, 18, 19.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I am liking this pretty well. Lee got it for me for Christmas, and it's a sweet little camera. He got a 4 gig memory card for it as well, so it has plenty of room for video besides just the photos :) Sweet!

I still need to read thru the booklet, but I have the basics down so far. Connor really likes the to watch himself on the videos.

I still need to download the software & set up my new pictures on my system, and then I should be able to add more photos on my blog again.

And just for those camera fans - a big feature for me was the viewfinder option, so I don't have to use the screen to take the photos if I want to save batteries. Those screens suck up juice pretty quick, and batteries just last a lot longer if you're not using the screen :) I do plan on getting a charger down the road, but the AA batteries work fine in the meantime. And I really don't even need the 8.0 megapixels - my old one took most shots at 3.5 and I thought they were sharper than my old 35mm anyway, even zoomed in close.

Whew! I'm so relieved to have a camera again! Thanks sweetie :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An Meine Freunde & Verwandschaft!

This is for my friends & relatives in Germany who got a Christmas card telling them to check out my blog...

Viele Liebe Gruesse aus Oregon! Wir haben schon in letzter Zeit Schnee, und es soll vielleicht einen "White Christmas" bei uns geben!

Ich muss mich entschuldigen, dass ich nicht einen Brief mit meiner Karte geschickt habe, aber wenn ich zu lange gewartet habe, wuerde die Karten nicht mit Weihnachten angekommen.

Und ich muss mich auch fuer meinen Deutsch entschuldigen - Leider ist es nur wenig dass ich eigentlich Deutsch spreche, deshalb wir kommt es nicht so einfach.

Ich wollte nur sagen, es gibt viele Fotos von meiner Familie auf diesen Blog, aber mann muss durch die "archives" schauen. Ein Link am rechte Seite zeigen auch einen Slideshow von mein Vater's Memorial. Carolyn hat auch einen Blog mit ihre Familie Fotos, es heisst "Keeka."

Fuer uns war das Jahr sehr kommisch. Es war Diana's letztes Jahr bei Oberschule, und sie war auch irgendwie gewahlt fuer einen Show auf MTV. Es zeigt noch nicht in Kanada oder Europa, aber wenn ich hoere dass es geht, werde ich wenigstens einen email senden. Meine Mutter & Connie mussten es auf DVD sehen, die wir selbst gemacht und geschickt haben. Es war ein sehr schoenes Show, und ich hoffe ihr habt die Chance es anzuschauen.

Zur gleicher Zeit wurde mein Vater viel schlimmer mit seinen Krebs, und er ist im Mai gestorben. Die naechste Woche sind wir alle nach Kelowna gegangen fuer die Memorial. Die Foto auf unsere Weihnachtskarte ist von dieser Zeit. Meine Mutter geht es so gut wie moeglich. Ich bin sehr froh dass Connie und ihre Kinder wohnen so nahr, und dass Mami besonders mit der kleine Aaron ganz beschaeftigt ist.

Ich bin auch sehr froh dass Carolyn & ich konnte zusammen an Papi's 80 Geburtstagsfeier in Oktober, und Trevor und ich waren wieder zum Besuch waehrend Fruehlingsferien in Maerz.

In August hatten wir unsere Austauchstudentin, Leonie, wieder zum Besuch, diesmal mit ihre Eltern. Juergen & Martina haben einen Reisefahrt durch Oregon gemacht, und Leonie ist mit uns wahrend der Zeit geblieben. Die Maedchen hatten so viel Spass zusammen. Am Ende von Leonie's Zeit bei uns sind wir alle nach Kalifornien gefahren, eine 20-Jahrige Treffen zu machen bei unsere Freunde von unseren Gang. Wenn ihr uns von '83-88 besucht haben, dann kennt ihr diesen Gang. Ich glaube es gibt einen Slideshow davon auf "Lee's Tidbits." Wir hatten alle ganz viel Spass.

Diana ist jetzt an der Uni von Oregon, und studiert Gesellschaft und Japanisch. Sie konnte auch Deutsch studieren, und ich hoffe sie nimmt die Chance in Deutschland ein Semester zu verbringen - es ist nicht schwierig sowas zu machen. Trevor ist dieses Jahr wieder zu Hause, und studiert bei unsere College. Connor ist jetzt in der 5. Schuljahr, und geht an Junior High School naechtes Jahr.

Lee war ohne Arbeit von ende Januar bis November. Es ist wirklich furchbar hier mit 11.7% ohne Arbeit in unsere Gegend. Lee is gluecklich dass er wieder etwas gefunden hat - er arbeitet bei unsere Bibliotek, und es ist nahr genug dass er laufen oder Fahrrad fahren kann.

Ich arbeite immernoch mit die sehr behinderten Kinder, wir haben drei neue Kindergartner dieses Jahr. Es soll noch mehr naechtes Jahr geben, und wir werden sehen wie das geht!

Also, alles Liebe, und wenn ihr einen "comment" lassen moechten, bitte sehr! Es freut mich wenn ich weiss Jemand meinen Blog liesst!

:) Tina

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We had a very nice Open House on Sunday. The weather mostly cooperated, and it was only rainy - the mountain passes were all clear & safe, so we were able to have family from Grants Pass & Central Point make it as well.

I don't have any photos, but the snack table held:

Trevor's sourdough bread & spinach dip
Cranberry salsa & pita chips
Queso & tortilla chips
Veggie tray & onion dip
Lay's "Get your smile on" (Connor's wish)
Nacho Cheese Doritos
Trevor's fudge
Diana's spritz cookies
my stollen (german almond Christmas bread)
Rice Krispie treats (also Connor's wish)
Hershey kisses
Peanut M&M's

Lee made most of the dips.

We had family as I mentioned, friends from TOPS, neighbors, and friends from church. The kids had some friends over as well. This time around it went in some short spurts of about 6-8 people at a time, and we got the chance to just sit and talk a little more this year. We never know who will show, but pretty much anyone we know is invited :)

I think everyone had a good time, and we're still nibbling on the leftovers :) My favorite is the cranberry salsa. I should have made copies of the recipe. It's really pretty and tasty, and I will probably post that later...

Then on Monday I stayed in bed most of the day & read "Twilight." I'm hoping Diana & I can catch a matinee of the movie before the vacation time is over :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Getting ready for Open House

On Sunday, we're doing our annual Open House to visit with family, friends & neighbors. We never know who will show up. We have done this every year since we lived in a rental on Ridge Street back when...

Since both Trevor & Diana are home from college, I gave them each a list of things to do around the house to help out. I still need to go and check how well they did - my level of 'clean' and their's can be very different - heh. I got all the curtains washed while Trevor was cleaning windows for me.

Today I'll try to get the last of my cards out, and tidy up around the house again. Tonight we'll do the final shopping. Tomorrow is the final cleaning day plus any final baking, dip-making, fudge making, etc. It's also the final decorating of the living room & tree. Busy! At the end of the day, I'll wash the floors. It's kind of my last thing before I fall into bed.

Sunday after church we'll set things out and see what the weather does & who can make it!

My favorite thing about Open House is that it makes me DONE a few days before Christmas. I can just focus on my family and enjoy the season once the Open House snacks are set out :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Last night, around 11:30pm, it started to snow. Connor woke me up this morning, saying, "It's snow!" and I half-expected to see a few inches covering everything, but it was only just enough to make a crust of snow on the lawn & cars - the road was just wet.

Well NOW it's really coming down in big, fluffy, flakes - these are the size of a silver dollar or bigger. I'm thinking it's not just gonna be a crust of snow in about 20 minutes...

Lee walked to work this morning - maybe he should have brought his Canadian Kamik boots?

I'll have to borrow a kid's camera & take some pix once Connor gets out there :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

A whole family again (for a few weeks anyway...)

This is the photo I would have used on my Christmas card, if it wouldn't have been quite so dark. The flash wasn't bright enough, and although Diana tried to photoshop it brighter, we wound up a little too blotchy-faced to put on our card. Oh well. It was a good try. I used a different photo for the Christmas card instead (which should be underway pretty soon depending on Walmart...).

In any case, I drove up and got Diana today from her place. I had her park her bike in her room and we got some Taco Bell after stopping at Trader Joe's for a couple of things. The drive was just rainy - we beat the big storm that's supposed to hit either later tonight or tomorrow. And then more storm comes in on Sunday. There's a good chance for delayed start to school or complete snow days next week. One day showed the low being 25 degrees, and the high being 26. Hee. Yep - that's cold.

I'm glad to have my girl back home with us again for the break. She has a few things planned - she'll check in on the High School this week - hang out in German class with her favorite teacher and then go the Japanese Club meeting in the afternoon. She might go camping on the coast with a friend if we can work it in. Then we also need to get cousin Daniel over for a visit as well.

I weighed in at TOPS almost 4 pounds under my goal, so I am good to enjoy myself here & there. I have a recipe for cranberry salsa I'm looking forward to trying. w00t!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Connor & the Bible

Connor really loves reading through Trevor's old copy of the New Catholic Picture Bible. It was given to Trevor when we lived in Garden Grove by his preschool teacher as a birthday gift. I think Trevor was five when he got it.

I like this particular picture Bible because it uses the old-style illustrations. They don't hold anything back - When Christ wears the crown of thorns, there's blood dripping down his face, etc.

This type of illustration is much better for Connor, vs. the cutesy-cartoony style illustrations that are more prevalent today. I'd have a tough time finding a cartoony bug-eyed illustration of Christ depicting His trials, like the scourging at the pillar. For Connor to understand things like "suffering" - the illustrations really do need to be accurately visual.

So the illustrations of Christ on the cross are rather vivid, but that's how Connor will learn about His suffering and sacrifice best.

However, last Sunday at Sacramental Prep class, they were working on the Annunciation (When the angel Gabriel tells Mary she's going to bear the son of God), the Visitation (When Mary goes to visit her much older, pregnant cousin Elizabeth), and the Nativity (which hopefully anyone reading this blog already knows even if they are not catholic).

The stories were read to the kids, and then the teachers brought out some dioramas with figures of the main characters in the stories. After the story was done, I took Connor over to the teacher to have him get a closer look at the Visitation. I pointed to the figure of Elizabeth, and showed Connor her big tummy. I didn't know if he'd gotten the fact that she was pregnant from it being read to him.

I said, (pointing to Elizabeth's tummy) "Connor, what is that?" I figured his response could be anything from "she's fat" to "Push the baby out!" But I was surprised.

He said, "That's the baby John the Baptist."

The teacher raised her eyebrows and said, "Boy, he really knows his Bible stories!" Hopefully it helped her see that Connor might not seem like he's getting stuff - but he is exposed to everything we can get for him, and he *is* getting it.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


I thought someone would have mentioned the fact that there were two laptops on the table while I was making the stollen.

Both Trevor & Diana had homework to do, so I just had them move down to the end of the table & I tried to keep the flour from flyng their direction.