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Stuck we are. What day is it? Thursday. Do let me fill you in. We tearfully left the Parrish compound on Monday morning after Shelly and Heather (my sister wives) prepared enough snacks for a football team headed out of state on an away game journey. Shelly and Christian were great help in packing provisions and rearranging for optimum space. We left with the GPS in hand, programmed by Chris, our technology guru, along with lots of new music and stories all added to the ipod. Thanks to all of you for your help!

We made it to the gps destination around 10 in Boise, ID. Unfortunately, the address was one digit off and we ended up at a rockin' party at a Boise State Dormitory. Chris really was thinking of me and my own good when he programmed that thing. After a few keg stands and some table dancing, we finally made it to the Shilo Inn. We awoke the next morning, headed next store for a bit of breakfast and were off by 9.

The trip to Salt Lake City was interesting. Sun, rain, ice, snow, sun, snow, rain, sun. Like that along with the up and down of the mountainous landscape should've sent me questioning this trip, but we finally made it to Salt Lake alive. I swear I saw some Big Love compounds on the way in. Heather, Shelly, get to looking at real estate.

Found the LaQuinta, checked in and swam to our hearts content in the pool as the snow fell outside. Boys enjoyed PBJ while watching Kung Fu Panda as I prepared for the next day. Little did I realize, there really was no preparing for what I was in for the next day. I am an idiot. Did I mention that Henry had and on/off fever the entire trip. Oh yes.

We left Salt Lake with wet roads, but cleared of snow and high winds. This was no big deal, but as we approached Wyoming, winds really picked up and snow was "swirling and twirling" as the boys said the entire trip. We could actually watch the snow drifts building off the road as we drove. I have never really driven through anything quite like it. Snow was flying everywhere, but at times enough so I could see far enough ahead of me to see the wall of snow I was to drive into. Like driving in milk. Did I mention that Henry was feverish AND started puking as the roads got bad. At one point, I pulled over to dump out the vomit, only to open the car door, lift the barf bucket (thanks for that Shell), only to have a gust of wind grab it and smack it into me. Success? Back on the road and into the snow.

It went on like that until I-80 was closed at Rawlins, where we stopped at a Days Inn. Mistake. It was truly a dive, but I was out of energy to look further. At 5, and every half hour from then on, I went on checking road conditions to no avail. We were stuck there, along with the swim team hoping to make it to the state tournament, the Fed Ex guys and a bunch of hwy workers and other truckers. I decided if we're going to be stuck here, we better find a place with a pool. Called a Laramie native and asked for advice. Renny said I'd better stay put, the roads wouldn't be open for another day, but suggested we at least check out Anong's Thai for lunch. Lucky for us, there was a room at the Best Western and we've spent the day in the best indoor pool (90 degrees in there, I swear.) Ate some of the best Thai food ever (thanks Renny) and now I'm writing you and checking road conditions as the boys zone out to some free HBO (yes, its a kids movie) while enjoying hot chocolate. I feel like I should be singing Christmas carols. Ahhh. Being stuck isn't so bad after all.


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The end is near.

This is Shelly, reporting for Jenny, this evening. Since Jenny is the talent behind all of the Parrish Home Improvements, her fingers must be used to maximize production, which means she is at her trusty sewing machine. I will recap the last little bit-o-fun here....

We rounded out the swimming lessons for all boys. I was able to showoff Jenny's talents in the kitchen and at the sewing machine to a few of my favorite gals. We allowed Drew some alone time with his cousins during school hours at the skateboard park. I have to give a sarcastic shout out to Jenny and Bryce on this one...really?!! now i will be expected to keep up with this new obsession with the skate park. As I would usually call them shmoos, Wynne translated this into a great new term "you watermelon moe".

On Thursday, it was Ladies Night and yes, the Czyzewski Sisters were both out with hair recently washed, in full outfits and Jenny even sported some new shoes (it must be added that they are of the heeled variety). We nearly starved ourselves so that we may scarf down some food & drink at Sip. Jenny's newest friend was in attendance as well, Heather Brown and she knows everyone in this little town. We gulped down some wine, enjoyed some tasty sliders and were lucky to have none of these come flying out of our noses as we were heard laughing more often than not.

Friday was Family Fun Night at Discovery Elementary (Drew's school). Jenny whipped up a sign, as only she can, and we were all in attendance; along with about 300 others. Wynne had the most quotable quote of the evening when he busted out, "It's fun and it's's family fun night". He will be spokesperson for this event next year. Fun was had by all, although us adults would have loved a big happy Catholic beer garden.

Saturday. Uncle Chris shocked us all with his family planning (not the birth control variety) and took his Big Love family out to Poulsbo and the Marine Science Center. Poulsbo is a quaint Norwegian town on the water that boasts an amazing bakery, along with many shops. After a fabulous fish & chips and chowder lunch, Chris packed the 5 boys into the minivan and left Jenny and I to shop. What a treat! That Uncle Chris has his own way of watching the children...all were happy and all scooters and sports equipment were utilized during his hours in charge. Papa Murphys pizza provided dinner for all thanks to those wonderful and generous parents of this family it appears Halloween is the new Christmas.

In a few days their road travels will begin again. How lucky we are to have had them here for so long. I am still trying to extend this time with Jenny and my nephews, but must let them return to Bryce. I just hope this Spring we will be blessed with another month long stay. It will seem quiet here....


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miracles and accidents happen

For whatever reason, my phone doesn't alert me to messages until about 6hours later than a message is sent, meaning I miss things. For example, I had just spent all morning on hold with the nice folks at Seattle Transit about losing my wallet on one of their buses, then cancelled all of my credit cards, debit card, etc. when I was simultaneously alerted to a message regarding my wallet and a call from the Seattle Police Department informing me that a wallet had been found. I was relieved mostly, and a little frustrated (see line 3.)

I loaded the boys into the car and off we went, back to the city for a treasure hunt.
Getting there was no big deal, but driving in the city with the gps was no fun. The computer voice advising me to "turn left" then echoed by Wynne "mom, turn left" when turning left would indeed result in me mowing over pedestrians and drive into oncoming traffic as the street was a one-way. We finally found a parking space near the police department which happened to be encased in a city block of construction, only to find that the parking meter only accepted cards. Arghh! We moved the car again, to a parking garage for retail patrons only, vowing to buy something after operation wallet retrieval. We walked up to the station, got the wallet, no hitches, then back to the car. Henry complained of feeling ick. I ignored it. Bad idea.
We shopped for soup, sickness provisions, then escaped the city right aroudn the time everyone else decided to do the same. Wynne chose a tray of salmon sushi as a treat, so being an idiot mother at the end of her rope, I agreed. As I was passing the tray back to him (while driving in downtown traffic) I spilled the wasabi and soy sauce all over myself. No big deal. We'll be home a couple hours of traffic.

About 20 miles outside of Tacoma, Henry mentioned feeling yucky, about 3 seconds before puking all over himself and his carseat. Fun! Now the car smells of sushi and vomit. The last 20 miles made us all a little sick.
We finally make it back to the Parrish abode. Henry removed the yucky clothes, we took the carseat out and Wynne ran in to the bathroom just in time. The toilet flushed and so did everything else, right up and out of the bowl onto the bathroom floor and out into the hall. Yess! The fun never ends. I never expected my day to be so much fun. least I got my wallet back. Thank you nice Seattle person, whoever you are! You made my life better, even if the ride there (and back) didn't win any awards. Glad to have my identity back and thankful to all those that helped.

Now Bryce is here with us. We visited the city today. Took my nephew and the boys to the Seattle Art Museum to check out some great exhibits. The Calder exhibit was a big hit. All the boys were great and we all loved the art. A few mentions about the naked folks painted and sculpted, but we made it through okay.
Now its too late to make much sense, so I'm out until next time. Tonight, a visit to the Tides made all that washed in , wash right out. A few beers will do that now and again. If ever here, the Tides is a must! Locally brewed beer, fish 'n' Chips, local Oysters and all on the water. A happy ending.



Maybe I shouldn't have stepped on that spider crawling across my foot this morning, or screamed at the kids to get in the car (for the 14th time.) Either way, I accumulated some major karma, or upset the forces that be somehow (or however that works.)
The boys and I were headed to Seattle via the Bremerton Ferry for a big field trip to the city to eat some gourmet ice cream and meet up with friend for the afternoon. It all started out perfectly. the boys and I parked the car in Bremerton, walked on the Ferry, enjoyed a picnic lunch as we traveled across the sound to the main ferry terminal in Seattle. The weather was perfect. Sunny and cool. A great day for exploring the city. We exited the ferry, bought a return ticket for later in the afternoon and walked up Madison St. to the number 10 bus.
Hopped on the bus and traveled up to Pine St.and 1st for some of the best ice cream we've tasted. (Okay, we still hold allegiances to Sparky's in Columbia, but this was amazing stuff.) Molly Moon's ice cream is homemade with local milk and cream, local huckleberries, blackberries, herbs, honey, whatever is in season and local, they use it and blend it into delicious flavors. I tried the blackberry sage, huckleberry, honey lavender and cardamom. All these were delicious, but I had to settle on the salted caramel in a waffle cone made while we stood there ordering. Heavenly! Creamy, salty, sweet all at once. The boys both dined on the scout mint in waffle cones which Henry described as "awesomely goo-oo-ood!" Anne met us for ice cream and went with a local favorite including freshly picked huckleberries. We highly recommend going out of your way to check this place out when you're in Seattle.
We took those cones on a walk and run over to Cal Anderson Park across the street and enjoyed the fountains, playgrounds and knolls to roll down. What a day! We decided to catch the bus back down to the famous Pike's Place Market for more exploring. As we stepped off the bus, I was searching for my camera, catching up with the kids and running my mouth only to find ( a block later) that my wallet was missing! Yes, my wallet, key to my survival - gone!! This was a fun snag in the plan. If you ever end up in a crisis like this, being in a city 2000+ miles away from your hometown, bank, resources, etc, make sure you have Anne Powell with you. Without her I would've really been a disaster. And as many of you know, I am no master of crisis management. That's Bryce's department. It should be said here, that I am a loser. Not a loser loser, but in fact, a loser, as in, I lose things. Alot. However, thanks to Ann, it really didn't seem too awful. We caught and searched every bus we could. Stationed ourselves at the bus stop for about an hour and dialed and re-dialed the help line for the transit system to no avail. The boys were angels at this point, but Wynne was about to pass out on the sidewalk when I decided to give up and take the ferry back to Bremerton. Sure was glad I bought my ferry ticket ahead of time and put it in my wallet for safekeeping! Anne gave me a small loan, we ran about 15 blocks to the ferry dock, bought another ticket (thank goodness the boys are still free) and Anne held Henry's hand and helped us onto the ferry all the way. What a friend! The trip back was lovely as the sun was setting, but set off a bit with the boys asking me every 2 seconds why I lost my wallet and if we were going to find it. Don't I wish. Luckily, the boys still described the day as really, really fun. We still love Seattle, all the same. Anne, we owe you! Come visit us sometime, lose your wallet and we'll do our best to help you as you helped us. Thank you!!
Today, we are lonely here in this big 'ol Parrish house without all those sweet boys, but we are picking up the pieces from yesterday's adventure and resting up for the Chum Festival (Chum is a type of salmon) this weekend. Until next catastrophe....


Meds and Neglect

Bryce left us (the boys and myself) here in Washington so that he could go back and work. That Bryce...always in search of a good time.
Since he left, Shelly and I have been on a bit of a decorating binge, leaving the boys to fend for themselves with footballs and scooters. While we were busy hanging curtains, recovering chairs and contemplating carpet options, the little ones were tearing it up. It wasn't until Drew alerted us did we realize we were in such a state. Okay, it wasn't quite this dire, however it wasn't much fun. Logan and Wynne found a bottle of homeopathic cold remedy and decided that the tiny tasty marshmallows were so good that they ate about 150 each. Luckily, after much drama and commotion (and a call from a pharmacist) we found out that water was the solution and the worst we could expect, beyond extreme thirst, could be diarrhea. Thanks homeopathic remedies! Really, its as if the boys grazed in a field of onions or something. Still, this set our decorating sites back.
Yes, we have seen the kids some. Shell and I took them to the Museum of Flight, the skate park, around town in the Harbor and some fun at Costco and a playdate at the home of Heather Brown (who should have her own blog and comedy show. ) Now that we are back on track to make this house make HGTV, perhaps we should go put the kids in the daycare at Ikea. Don't be haters.

Beginning the Journey MO - WA

This photo sheet describes our journey from Columbia, MO to Ft. Collins, CO with the Monellos, to Wyoming, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and beyond.
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Washington treats us well

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An eventful week up here in Gig Harbor so far. We have spent many hours having fun outside as the weather has treated us well here. My sister, Shelly, seems to think that on this journey of ours I will need the strength of Paul Bunyan, so she's been dragging my rear end to toning, cardio and kickboxing classes at the YMCA, while the boys practice their crawl and diving techniques as "super eels" in swim lessons. We are having lots of fun and hope to do more work here with photos and other fun adventures as the weekend progresses. Thanks for checking in on us.