Saturday, December 9, 2017

Maui and mom

Over the summer mom was having issues with what she thought was a sinus problem but after lots of tests and MRIs they found a brain tumor :(. They scheduled surgery for right after Thanksgiving and because of all the testing they were unable to come for their regular fall trip.
My sister suggested that we crash there Maui trip on mom and dad’s expense and surprisingly they were up for that!!! This discussion happened in early October and their trip was scheduled for mid November through Thanksgiving, so we quickly had to find airfare and a place to stay. It all came together and off we went!!!
Shortly after we arrived mom and dad made an announcement that she wasn’t having her surgery because it was too risky. We were all silent but then they told us that wasn’t true and Mom’s symptoms had gone away so she really wasn’t having the surgery! How rude...not the best joke!  But, what a relief for all of us (aunt Sue and uncle Rich were there too). Unfortunately, a few days later her symptoms came back. They still did not think surgery was a good idea based on what was happening and recommended an MRI to check to see if it had grown.
Even with all the ups and downs, we still managed to enjoy Maui! We headed over to Lahaina one day for lunch and enjoyed the waves at Fleming beach. 

We also spent lots of time at little beach (clothing optional-this was a little bit uncomfortable for the Rinehardt’s, but I think after playing in the waves the kids hardly noticed). 

Reggie Bodysurfing
Grandma was the bird whisperer and the kids were trying to feed them like she was:

We snorkeled with the turtles at secret beach which was wonderfully amazing (the new masks are so much better!) and hiked into the Haleakala crater. I don’t think the kids were really impressed with the view until we actually hiked in a good 1/2 hour. 

The kids enjoyed all the amenities at the Maui sunset.... tennis, shuffleboard and the the pool. We found a great dinner happy hour place and enjoyed celebrating Reggie‘s birthday dinner a little early! 

And lastly, we went to a luau. We had never been so it was good to experience but I’m not sure that I would do it again.

 The weather was just about perfect. Very different than when Ryan and I go in March though. The sun was a lot weaker and it was quite a bit cooler. I’m very glad that I bought a jacket at Costco when we arrived (there were many people eyeing it at the luau because it got very chilly there!). It was a wonderful family trip and we all have lots of great memories. Thank you again mom and dad!!!  Wade made a video that was's the link:
I had planned to fly to Washington to be there for my moms surgery and since that’s where my ticket had me going, I had to go!!! The rest of the family headed back to California and Grandma Peggy came the next day and spent the week with them! That was helpful for Ryan since he had to work. And I came home with all kinds of little surprises that Peggy had done in her boredom (like washing the windows) while the kids were at school, thank you for that!
In Washington, we had cookie day with aunt Pam and made several different varieties of cookies (molasses and shortbread are my favorite) and I made some toffee which turned out fabulous!  Just what we needed after stuffing our faces in Maui.  Later we enjoyed a wonderful turkey dinner prepared by Wade!  The rest of my time there was very relaxing, mom and dad hosted the Seahawks game and we had game night with mom and dad’s friends. It was a really nice, slow paced time for me ☺️.

 Mom had her MRI and the tumor stayed stable so they are just going to continue to monitor and check every few months, praise the Lord! 

Thursday, December 7, 2017


Elsa continues to make our lives interesting.  I heard a ruckus in the middle of the night, but didn't want to get up and deal with it (Ryan was traveling), so I told the kids in the morning to be on the lookout for a critter.  I took the kids to school and this was my welcome back:

Elsa was sitting in the kitchen, looking up and when I followed her eyes, boom!  I thought I'd just get a towel and throw it on top of the rat, but I underestimated its speed.  Elsa had no sense of urgency whatsoever as it was running to the other side of the house.  I knew we had traps, so I YouTubed how to set it.  Just about that time, Laura came over to walk and I was telling her of the dilemma and as I was setting the trap it scurried out from behind the armoire and there was nothing but shrieking from Laura.  It did give me an idea though...see my success below.  Probably should be on YouTube as a way to get rid of a rat!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fall activities

We had such a mild fall in Livermore which allows us to enjoy lots of outdoor activities.  We went popcorn picking at Ardenwood farms and got a nice stock pile.  I've decided microwavable popcorn isn't so healthy, so we have been blowing through our ears of corn pretty quickly, but I do think we got enough to last us for quite some time.  Our family is big on eating popcorn!
Ainsley's best bud, Makayla joined us.  We were sure sweaty by the end!
I also enjoyed lots of hikes with friends at the backside of Lake Del Valle.  It is such a peaceful place.

We also joined the Livermore rocks movement and painted/decorated rocks and placed them downtown.  Hopefully, we brightened someone's day.  These rocks were unique because they traveled all the way from Lummi Island in Washington.  I think we will make it an annual thing.  It was a very fun activity and didn't require much effort.

Ryan and I had a date afternoon, wine tasting!  There is a wine trolley that drives all over Livermore and we decided it was time to see what that was all about.  We packed a lunch and rode our bikes downtown to catch the trolley and tasted at 3 wineries.  We split the tastings at 2 wineries, thank goodness because by the last one, I was having a really hard time functioning properly.  Wine is very strong!  They were all delicious, especially the last place we went, ha ha!  It was quite a comical ride home for me, laughing all the way.  Not sure if its legal to drink and bike, but I'm pretty sure I would have gotten a ticket.  We made it home safe and sound!

 I just so happened to find someone else's rock that day :)

This was the first Halloween that Reggie did not trick-or-treat with us.  He went with his friends, but at least he was in our neighborhood.  We got stopped by a police officer who was handing out full size candy great was that!  And we saw our favorite pig :)

 Khalif blends right in the with the decorations at this house!
Ryan flew to Asia the next day and Grandma Pam flew in!  Reggie had a field trip that day that I was chaperoning, so I couldn't even pick up Aunt Pam from the airport (that goodness she has a friend who lives close to us).  Reggie's field trip was really neat....we learned about refugees and experienced just a tad of what they deal with.
Of course, his field trip was long, so she got thrown into our crazy schedule and had to take Ainsley and Khalif to piano.  It is a good thing she had Siri and maps and was able to navigate.  It is really hard to make the schedule work with one person, so thankfully, she was able to come visit and help out!
This was the next morning....Ryan's tire had been losing air and he just kept putting air in it...I happened to look at it after picking up one of the kids from piano and saw the nail :(.  I drove it anyway since the repair place was only about 1 mile away.  Usually things go terribly wrong when he travels and I was worried this was the start of a crazy week, but that was it!

Playing Taboo of their new favorite games.

We kept busy while the kids were at school, going to the gym, delivering food for meals on wheels and having lunch!  Aunt Pam went all out at Sauced.  This is the biggest sweet potato I've ever seen!
 So full

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Level 8?

Ainsley was a bit behind after the summer because she had a lot of fear.  Ryan gave her a pep talk and let her know awhile ago that she only had a month and a half to learn her new skills.  She came home in tears that night, freaking out that she was running out of time.  I told her, forget 8, let's do level 7 again and have fun, no stress and let it go.  She was much better and somehow after that, she decided she was going to get her skills and it has been amazing to see her overcome her fear and see what she can do when she really wants to.  She is supposed to find out on Friday if she moves up, but you can see from the videos below, that she has her skills.  I am happy for her, but she has lots of aches and pains that we are constantly working to overcome.  Part of me was wanting her to do 7 again (the vault is a little scary to watch) or try something else like trampoline or volleyball, but she lights up when she is at the gym and loves her friends so much. 
I bought a rife machine, so I have been treating her much like the acupuncturist and it has been amazing!  Her Achilles have been bothering her at times, her wrists, her back, ugh, but the frequency treatment is really effective for her.  We have been using CBD ointment (medical marijuana) and that is pretty amazing stuff.  I also bought a cupping set and have been using that on the whole family.  Surprisingly, Reggie's back is always the worst.  He feels just fine though!  The chiropractor seems to have fixed his headaches because it has been several weeks without having one, so thank the Lord for that!

Floor-layout full

I don't have a recent video of this, but she is up on high beam, making these almost every time.

Sleep :(

It seems that when I turned 41, my body started falling apart.  Started with my groin, that was irritated for 6 months on the right side and then finally went away, only to show up on the left side a week later.  My left shoulder has also been freezing up and causing pain, but, my upper back has been the most life interrupting.  It started in early June and was intermittent at first, but now I can't sleep through the night.  It has been months since I have had a good night of sleep :(.  Starts at about 3:30 a.m. and every time I move, it feels like my upper back is going to break.  So, I have been getting up and sleeping in the recliner couch for about a month and it has helped a lot.  I've been doing chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and physical therapy and now instead of sharp shooting zingers, it is a deep ache, so I guess that is some improvement.  The foam roller has been the biggest difference maker and I'm now realizing that stretching after exercising includes your upper body!  I'm hearing the same things from everyone, that I'm very tight and need to stretch and stretch some more.  I need to do yoga, but it isn't something I enjoy, but I will have to start doing it on a regular basis or I might be in pain forever.  Here's a few picture of my therapy (torture)...clearly there are issues!
 This hurt sooooo bad
 I didn't even think I was bruised after this treatment, but no such luck

Monday, October 30, 2017

Firsts for Khalif

Khalif had his first swim meet this weekend and it was perfect weather!  Mid 80's!  Unfortunately, he learned a very important lesson....check your goggles before you dive.  I guess he forgot to suction them to his face and they slipped right off his eyes and it made for a very rough swim.  He was a bit rattled, started with the wrong stroke, but pulled it together and finished.  He was very upset, but we were very proud that despite the curve ball thrown at him, he finished! 
Video of his race: 
The night before the swim meet was multicultural night and there were all kinds of booths and new foods to try and we agreed that the shortbread was best, but the Chupati (sp?) from Kenya was a close second.  There was a booth from Norway, but no treats, just cool sweaters.  Khalif's grade did a song in Spanish...doesn't he look excited and comfortable having the spotlight on him??!!
Ainsley was at practice and Reggie was with his friends, so Khalif got all the attention!  

Multicultural night was part of UN week and since we are an IB school, they have a lot of awareness around that week.  The kids played games from other countries and cultures, had guest speakers from other parts of the world and did Kids Against Hunger again and put together thousands of meals to be sent to Puerto Rico!  2nd grade is the first opportunity to actually pack the food and I just happened to be volunteering when Khalif's class went through!
 Isn't his toothless smile just the cutest!!!

Friday, October 20, 2017


Well, KOA was different this year without mom and dad.  We couldn't pull together a group costume either, so we all dressed up in whatever and Ryan didn't even wear a costume!  But....we made it and the weather was absolutely beautiful (probably the best its ever been) and we had such a nice relaxing time.  It was 2 o'clock on Saturday before I even looked at my phone.  We met some new people and I had a great time catching up with old friends.  The kids were MIA nearly the whole time and had their own fun.  Reggie brought his buddy David since we had extra room in our cabin and that was good since we said no electronics.  He was very bummed about that and wondered what they were going to do.  I suggested they bring nerf guns and that was a big hit, plus they went swimming and rented banana bikes.  They spent a lot of time with Noah too.  Ainsley was glued to Camille and Khalif to Sophia and everyone was happy!
This was brilliant....he rented a uhaul and had all his smoker/cooking supplies right there and there was even enough room for a couple chairs.  I am not a fan of ribs, but his were delicious!

 Thank goodness we brought a football!
 The old lady

 These people transformed their cabin into the movie "It" and it was amazing.  I didn't even realize there was a cabin back there.

 Lots of adult goodies!