Monday, December 31, 2007

Who cares...!?

Well it has been a long time since we have posted anything, I guess you could say I have been waiting for the right stuff to post. Well yesterday it happened! So we didn't go to church because Courtney, Megan, and Jenn were all sick. Courtney was the worst; she had "runny poop" and was throwing up all day. So Hazel and I go to the store (Oh shut up...your not perfect either) to get Courtney some medicine, Gatorade, and 7UP. On the way home Hazel asks "What we were going to have for dinner?" I respond "Homemade chicken noodle soup." Hazel, "I don't want that!" Me, Well Courtney, Megan and mom are all sick and need the soup to help them feel better." Hazel, "Who cares about them, I want pancakes!" We still have a little ways to go in her sympathetic/Christlike caring attribute training.
Well this morning about 7:00 Megan comes running in our room as excited as a little kid can be and DECLARES "Mom, I have runny poop!" I think she was probably excited that now she can have the little Gatorade's I bought for Courtney yesterday. Well the morning went on and I made pancakes, (to appease Hazels request last night.) Megan came and sat down with a rather grim look on her face; it seemed she was realizing the "true joys" of runny poop. I give her a pancake, as a test to see if her stomach could handle it. She looks at her plain pancake, "I want syrup!" Me, "Not today Megan, I don't want your tummy getting more upset." Megan, "I want bacon then." Me, "Not that either Megan, the grease will make you more sick and throw up again." I did give her some 7UP to help settle her stomach. This made her a little happier since none of the other kids got to have pop. She eats one little square and can't handle any more. She sits there with a completely heartbroken expression. I ask her "What else is wrong?" She responds, "My tummy is mad at me. It must have been all the candy I ate!" I love these kids, they are so funny.
By the way our Christmas was awesome. My brother Brandon is the man and hooked me up fat this year. Tom granted one of my wife's wishes by buying her a fabric cutter thingy, and the girls got more toys than they know what to do with. Thanks to all who made our holiday season memorable. All our love and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The ward Christmas party

This morning was the ward Christmas party. Everyone showed up in there p.j's and ate breakfast followed by lots of activities. I really enjoyed the idea of having it in the morning. It was a lot of fun. After eating we decorated cookies did some stamping, and made Christmas decorations.
Then came Santa. The first picture is of Courtney. She got on Santa's lap and told him she wanted her OWN computer. Santa asked "Why? What's wrong with your one at home" To which she replied "It's too slow, everyone is on it all the time, and it's not mine! I really need one of my own santa" (The pic is mid explanation justifying to santa all the reasons why she needed her own. How quickly they grow up. What happened to Barbie dolls and blocks?) Then it was Megan's turn. As she walked toward Santa she yelled out "Your not the REAL Santa!" Santa replied "Yeah, I know...but you can still come sit on my lap and pretend. Maybe I will give you a candy cane." Megan, getting comfortable on Santa's lap, blurts out "I just knew you weren't him. You're wearing rain boots, and the real Santa doesn't wear rain boots silly!" Our quick witted Santa replied "And what do you want for Christmas little girl, a bag of rocks?" Megan threw her head back in hysterical laughter demonstrating the thought "Don't you know who I am?" She then proceded to tell Santa, with a huge smile on her face like she is proud of her clever disobedience, that she really wasn't a good girl, "well only sometimes." Like this was the time to brag...on Santa's front of the ward. Priceless! I don't know what I am going to do with this one! Hazel was next. She is very talkative at home. We can hardly get her to be quiet half of the time. However, when she gets in front of people she seems to have forgotten how to speak. This situation with santa was no exception. I finally got her to go sit on his lap. She sat down and Santa started asking her questions: "What's your name?" "How are you?" "Do you want a candy cane?" "What do you want for christmas?" No sound escaped her little lips. She glared forward with a blank expression of malcontent. With out warning, she uttered as quietly as she could, testing Santa's supersonic hearing, "I want a barbie head and 'Nakeup'," then jumps down and doesnt look back. ( This pic is the look on her face the whole time she sat on Santa's lap) HILARIOUS!! This was Myles first time with Santa and he loved it! I was very surprised. I think at first he was like, "What in the world?" but he soon was laughing and having a great time with "Jolly ol' Saint Nicholas." Maybe it was Santa's incesent teasing with a candy cane or maybe he just had gas. Which by the way he loved as you can see from the first pic. (the cane, not the gas!) Happy holidays!!
The Ritchies

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


We went to the girls little holiday festival thingy at school tonight, after words we went looking at Christmas lights. They loved that and would make comments such as, "Wow dad, they worked hard on this house didnt they!" if the house was very well decorated. If the house was not so decorated, "Well dad, they did the best they could huh!?" I think it is so funny. When we got home I had the kids go in and get thier PJ's on then pick up thier rooms. Hazel (who requests help for everything) goes in and cleans her room. Then she comes in to me and says,
"Dad my room is all clean."
"Is it?"
"Are you going to check under my bed?"
At this point she runs away. about five minutes later she scampers back into the room and says,
"There dad! Are you going to check in my closet?"
Hazel bolting down the hall yelling..."Girls, he's going to check the closets!"
I love kids!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tis the Season...

So I am sitting around the house not doing much, (which is the case since I stopped student teaching last week), and Courtney and Megan say, "Dad, it doesnt feel like Christmas in our house. We need our tree and decorations." I got to looking and I must say I agreed. So on Tuesday I went down to our storage unit in Moses and picked up our tree and decorations. I spent a couple of hours trying to organize the stupid thing! I have come to the conclusion that fake trees are only good for a couple of years. I start sorting through the jungle in a tote to find the right size branches that go in the right spots. That was freaking ridiculous. The branches are so close in size it was almost impossible. I decided to light the tree as I built in from the bottom up. So about 2 1/2 hours and 600 lights later the tree is up, lit, and a little lopsided around the top becuase I got one row in the wrong spot. Also becuase we are so poor, our tree is about as bare as Tom is when he is in his hot tub! Beautiful!
I spent Wednesday morning putting up the last of our pathetic attempt at seasonal decorations. I cant wait until I have a job and start making money to be able to buy things to clutter up my house for the holiday season. A little to Martha Stewart I know, but that's the way it is! Have a Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 1, 2007


I have lived in Othello almost my whole life. I know it is a little depressing but there are perks. Last summer when we were living in the apartments on Ash street I would walk out side and smell food cooking such as fresh tortillas, caldo, mexican rice, and carne asada. I had finally had enough! I wanted some too... not just some but enough to last a life time. I am a huge mexican food fan! So, I went to my neighbors house and asked her if next time she cooked something, anything, if I could come and watch. She agreed. Soon I was making Mexican rice, carne asada, tortillas, and arroz con pollo. It was great, but I really wanted to learn to make tamales. Well...we moved before I got the chance to learn. When we moved to these apartments I was kind of sad. We new everyone in the other apts. and everyone here seemed to look at us as the crazy white people (Othello is about 90% hispanic). but soon enough some of the neighbor kids started coming over and now we can't get rid of them. Our neighbors are really nice. Maria (the mom) dosen't know english but she would always feed our kids anything they were eating if they were over there. One day Kimberly (one of the kids) asked me if I wanted any tamales. I said YES!! I love them!! I asked them if they would ask their mom if she would teach me how to make them. Maria said that she would teach me. So we spent 6 hours making tamales. we made chicken, beef, pork, and cheese.She makes everything from scratch, including the broth and all the sauces! They were alot of work, but sooo worth it. Maria would tell me what to do in spanish then her daughter Karen would translate. It was fun. I loved that she was willing to teach me and talk to me even though we speak different languages. She is a neat lady and they have an awesome family. I asked her if there was anything that I could teach them to make. She said that she wanted to make Oatmeal rasin cookies. random but whatever. So I did and they have made them almost everyday since. I am glad I had something I could offer. I also helped them with there Thanksgiving dinner. I helped them make there first homemade pumpkin pie. and showed them how to bake the turkey and make gravy and stuffing. We are truly blessed to know them. ( I know the picture of the tamales dosen't look very good, but trust me they are great!)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another Sunday Excursion...

Well it's official, I have done what I never thought I would see at church. Here's the situation. Megan wakes up at about 6:30 (as is her routine during the week for school) and decides that she is going to play; no big deal we don't have church for two and a half hours. Around 7:30 she decides that she is hungry and proceeds to make herself a large bowl of Froot Loops. She eats about 5 bites and tells me she's full. I am not buying. I tell her she needs to eat the cereal quickly so she can get ready for church. Slower and slower she moves, whinier and whinier she becomes. I tell her she is not getting down until her cereal is eaten, and if that means she goes to church in her pajama's, so be it! She kindly responds, "Nuh-Uh!" I walk away and finish getting ready. She tries to get down and play, at which time she gets busted and put back on her chair. The time passes for her to have a shower. I let her know that now she does not get to shower because she has been wasting time. Well the time comes for us to go to church and there sits Megan at the table, Froot Loops the size of golf balls! I tell her to go and get her shoes on because we are going to church. She freaks out yelling and screaming how she's not ready and needs more time, blah blah blah! I tell her she wasted her time and it's time for church. So we get a coat and shoes on her (Her coat had to be zipped and buttoned up all the way)and get into the car! She keeps repeating, "Everyone going to laugh at me!" To which I calmly reply,"Your right Megan, EVERYONE will laugh at you. Maybe next week you'll get dressed!"
So we get to church and I ask Megan if she would like to take her coat off. The wheels started turning and you could see her weighing the pros and cons. She decides to take the coat off. This simple act makes me realize what had really transpired that morning. There is my 6 year old, eyes red and puffy, an embarrassed expression on her face, standing in a mostly torn "Favorite" white Little Mermaid night-gown doing her best to adjust the sleeves and neck line to make her self more presentable. I couldn't help it at all...I burst out laughing...granted I probably shouldn't have but dang it, it was funny! This is one moment in my life in which I can say I truly had no sympathy for her. She made her bed and now she could lye in it. Needless to say she elected to wear the coat throughout church.
We walked into sacrament meeting about 10 minutes late so everyone got a good look. She sat down in our pew and slunk down trying to hide. After sacrament a couple of people sitting around us as a simple question, "Not a fight worth having this morning?" To which we replied, "No." The usual response was something to the effect of "Don't feel bad, I did that once too!" Each was followed by an experience much like my morning went to which helped me feel better about my decision (not that I felt bad about it!) Now for those of you sympathising with Megan, by the end of church, she came running to me telling me all about how much everyone liked her "jamies!"
This week we didn't have the same battle, this time she started to get ready, but stopped after her shower to play. I reminded her that I didn't care what she looked like, she was going to go to church, yes naked if necessary! She promptly got dressed and was ready a good 15-20 minutes early. I think it worked.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Almost Done...

Well it's official, I am almost done with student teaching, how bitter sweet. I have been very blessed in my placement. Warden is a great school district. For one every other friday is an early release; so we rush the kids out because we have a "meeting." Once the kids are gone we go down to the staff room and enjoy a huge's theme, Italian. Now for Warden this means Stauffers frozen lasagnas, bagged Italian salad with RANCH dressing, an assortment of take and bake breads (mostly garlic) and then a plethora of pumpkin desserts. A little slice of Italy! They do thier best, Tom has spoiled me.
Warden has been a great placement for me. I found out a few weeks ago, that a kindergarten teacher, whose parents live is Spokane where she goes and visits every weekend, jsut resigned becuase she got a job in Spokane. So that leaves a postion open in the middle of hte year. Sweet, I know. I have been doing my best from the begining of the year to woo the staff and those who matter at the school. When I foudn this out, I took a few more steps to continue the courtship. My cooperating teacher, Melinda LeGrand, as well has been advocating for me as well. She has taken time to point out many reason why Jill, the principal, should hire me, in addition doing the same to the staff and office secretary. I do have things I have to complete before I am able to "get hired," but I am confident if Jill wants to hire me, she will work with me to help me get things done. Now this is all a big "What if" type scenerio, so any and all prayers you could offer would be appreciated. I aplogize this isnt up to my usual standard of comic relief, but I am tired.
All our love

Friday, November 2, 2007

Trick or treat......

I am so glad Halloween is over! I really can't complain too much, the kids did have fun. This year we went to Moses Lake to go trick or treating with Scotts family. We all met at 5:30 and didn't stop until about 9. The kids have about 20 lbs of candy! I refuse to let them have too much sugar, so the daunting task of eating all the candy has been put on my shoulders...The things we do for our kids :) Courtney was a bride, Megan was a "bampire", Hazel was a nome princess, and Myles was a cow. On Saturday we went to Moses Lake to Tristen's (Scott's nephew) preschool party. They had games, food, pictures, and a haunted house. Megan and Courtney wanted so badly to go inside. They got to the front of the line, megan took one look inside and said "I'm not going in there". But Courtney decided to be brave and go through by herself. Soon enough I herd crying. It was Courtney. She was so scared that she had gotten a bloody nose. and was crying hystaricaly. The haunted house people came and let her walk through it with the lights on so she could see that it was all fake. Eariler that day....The girls were all dressed up in there costumes and were playing. Soon they started singing songs, making up there own words as they went along. this is how is went...
Courtney sings "I am a bride, but I have no one to marry me, but that's okay because I am beautiful"
then Megan sings " I am a bampire. I like to kill and bite people. Especially brides and princesses"
and ending with Hazel "You are my shunshine, my only shunshine"
Hilarious. The things kids come up with.
Halloween day the kids had school. When they got home they got dressed and ready so we could make it trick or treating to my mom's before heading to Moses Lake. My mom is so cute! She got all dressed up as a clown to surprise the kids. What a wonderful grandma my kids have. The things she does for them. Little things like that they will remember for a lifetime. I love my mom and all the things she does for me and my family. We are truly blessed. I know this blog is a bit scattered, blame it on the candy I ate for breakfast.
P.S. the rest of our halloween pics are in the ritchie family gallery link to the right.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You are my shunshine

So Hazel has recently become obsessed with the song "You are my sunshine" She loves me to sing it to her but my favorite is when she joins in and sings it with me. I love her little voice and the way she says shunshine just melts my heart. Does life get any sweeter? This is just one of my everyday joys I wanted to share. -Jenn

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Yesterday morning I went to Tri-cities after I dropped the kids of at school. I Shopped all day with my friend Kristen, then rushed home to pick up the kids at 2:50. When I got home I started cleaning up and doing all the things that I normally get done in the morning. The kids were outside playing and Myles was asleep. So I decided to turn on the T.V. so there would be some kind of noise. I continued cleaning when I herd Oprah say "If you knew that you were going to die what would you say?" (not exact but similar) anyhoo....I found myself watching intently. This man that was speaking was a Professer, husband, and father of three small children, and had found out that he had only a couple of months to live. He had pancreatic cancer and there was nothing more they could do. He gave a final lecture to his class that talked about what he had learned in life but was actually letting his kids know what he wanted to teach them if he were going to be alive. I soon found myself sobbing, I felt so blessed to have the knowlege of the gospel. To have a family that I will live forever with, and that I WANT to live forever with. I thought about what my parents had taught me in my youth, and how throughout life I turned back to those teachings. I can only hope that I can instill in my kids the same pricipals. Does anyone else wonder about these things? I started thinking about Scott and how grateful I am for him. I am so blessed to have a husband who lives and practices what he belives. I am grateful to Scotts mom who taught him when he was young. I often think of her. I know that she is proud of him. I am excited someday to meet her face to face. Scotts best friend and his family also had a huge part in how he turned out. I am eternally grateful. Anyways...enough "gratefuls". Who'd have thought...Oprah? Looking back and reading this I feel like I need to end in Amen. Anyhoo, I was just happy for the break in everyday thinking.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Afternoon Magic Show

Well it's another Sunday afternoon; I am doing homework, Jenn, Courtney, Megan, Hazel, and Myles are having "quiet time." I am sitting here trying to write up a stupid pile of lesson plans and all I hear is "NO DAVID!" "PUT YOUR PANTS ON DAVID!" "EAT YOUR FOOD DAVID!" "NO DAVID!" being screamed from Hazel's room. I go back there and she is "reading" a story called No David. Any of you who have read this book or seen it will have to agree, it's funny. I had to laugh. Well after several 10 minute warnings to be quiet, I finally tell the kids quiet time is over, now it's nap time! Court, and Meg go right to sleep, while Hazel however, decides that nap time does not apply to her. She must not think it's not in her best interest to follow directions or something. So after about 30 minutes of, what I beleived was "nap time," Hazel the magnificant comes out and proceedes to perform several magic card finding tricks for me. Here's the basic's on how it would go.

Hazel holding the cards face up - "Pick a card dad!"
I do
Hazel - still holding the cards face up - "Put it back never(I did mean to write never, I think she will need speech!) you want to!"
I do
Hazel - Straightening the deck - "Let me get my magic sticky dust!" She does and sprinkles it on the cards. She proceeds to go right to where she saw me put my face up card and "WOW" me with her magical ability as she says "Is this your card?"
Her subtlity is sure to please crowds around the nation in the future!

Courtney and Megan had thier primary program today. I was very pleased with how they did. It is funny how a little something like sitting up in front of a large room of about 200-300 people will help a kid behave. Megan needed a little help to control her, thanks to 8 years of WWF watching when I was younger, the sleeper hold came in handy, is that wrong of me? Actually all she needed was a subtle life threatening! Once she was sitting in her little cage of a seat up in the choir section, she behaved very well. Courtney was very well behaved the entire time. She sang and participated at her best. It was fun to see. Meanwhile Hazel was a terror, she needed a not so subtle butt reminder out in the foyer. Jenn felt in good company since there was another mother out threatening to break her sons arms! we are fine and I am on the down hill slope of Student teaching. All our love.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Out Pimped...

Well it's official, I have been out pimped by my 6 month old. Yes I know that it sounds completely pathetic and not something I should be writing down in my secret public journal...however I do find this rather amusing. Well in order to truly appreciate this experience we should have a little background. Myles is a boob man! From the first time he was "exposed" to those identical sacks of goodness, he fell in love. He will see Jen, smile and stare at her chest (still smiling). Jenn will make a comment along the lines of "Myles my head is up here!" He will jerk his head like he just got caught staring, and then just smile! Well last night he was having a hard time going to sleep, I was holding him and he would just fuss and whine. I passed him along to Jenn, and he stopped. He would sit up, smile, look at me, smile even bigger, and then rub his face right in Jenn's cleavage! Sits up, and then smiles at me again. He repeats this about 3-4 times! Little punk is getting more action than I am!
For those of you who may be concerned, Megan is no longer visiting OT. Apparently the therapist decided not to pay attention to his own handwritten note that stated we no longer wanted his services, and if we did we would contact him. Some how he just didn't remember/see/think/consider that the note he wrote was our exact wishes. Well after a simple reminder..."DO NOT SERVICE MY DAUGHTER!" he will no longer be seeing Megan, I am goign to go by and visit with the Special Ed Director, Lori Scott (the gal that hired me at OSD), and let her know what happened. I am confident that this will not happen again.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

"We're Poor!"

So Courtney had school pictures this past week. She was recounting her experience to us tonight.
"The picture people only want money! They keep saying 'Where's your money? Where's your money?!' as the kids go through the lines. Well when they asked me for my money I just said, 'We're poor, we don't have any money!'
Oh the innocence of children
Tonight we found out that the Othello School District has been providing Megan with OT (Occupational Therapy) without mine and Jenn's knowledge. I talked to Randy, Tom, a few other teachers tonight and have come to the conclusion that the Othello School District is up a creek without a paddle. It's not like we are going to file some awesome lawsuit against them; it's not even like we mind her getting the therapy (sort of.) Our big problems are two fold; first we would have liked to have been included in the decision to put her into OT, and second the therapist is a freaking idiot! We have sent Megan to him in the past, and all he really seemed to do for her was piss her off! I may be new to this whole therapy thing, but I am pretty sure that the purpose is not to piss off the child! Jenn has a parent-teacher conference tomorrow, so we will be finding out how long this has been going on. According to Megan, she has been going from the beginning of the year. If that is the case, I will be filing a complaint with the OSPI (the State), the Superintendent of Othello,and any one else I need to to keep crap like this from happening.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

...but mom...she looks like one!

Well it's time for another we are sitting around watching conference. This is the first time we have been able to watch conference in our pajamas at our own house. It's nice to not have to worry about my kids wrecking someone else's home. The girls made it through the first session kicking and whining all the way through; that's an improvement from April, when they were off in another part of Grandmas house making messes, (which grandma got to clean up. We were shewed out right after conference!)
Right now the girls are in the bathtub singing and playing; well actually Hazel is singing (shouting) "I am a human, I am a human...(repeat 2 dozen times before breathing!)" Courtney and Megan are playing and asking (demanding) Hazel to be quiet. She kindly (defensively) responds "Do you want me to punch you in the face!" This comes as such a surprise considering how kindly she put her little Care Bear to bed during conference. After tucking the bear in on the couch and covering it with a handkerchief for a blanket, she takes a little snack size Ziploc bag with a 4 inch rock sealed inside, and flogs her bear while yelling "Now you go to sleep! You go to sleep!" I stop her and ask what she is doing. As if I were asking something that should need no clarification, she responds "Putting my baby to sleep!" I am not convinced mothering is instinctive!
Meanwhile on the other side of the fence, a little while ago Megan was out side trying to play with some of the neighborhood rats, I mean kids. These kids have a tendency to pick on Megan because she will do things most girls her age wont, like play in mud, pick up worms, eat bee's, lick the sidewalk, you know kids stuff! Well this day she was trying to befriend a new girl who had just moved into our little horse shoe arena. The kids weren't being very nice to her, calling her names and not letting her play with them; and so she returned the kind gestures. Turning to the new girl, she blurts out "Oh yeah, well your a lesbian!" Well it didn't take long for this group of premature drama queens to make their way to out door step letting lose with all the "Mean" things "Megan" did. The subsequent conversation went something like this:

Jen - "Megan did you call Jazell a name?"
Megan - "Well they were calling me names first!"
Jen - "Well Megan what did you call her?"
Megan - "The lesbian!"
Jen - "Why would you call her that?"
Megan - "But mom, she looks like one! She's got short hair and looks like a boy!"

Megan did get in trouble, however I also laughed and laughed and laughed at her ingenuity and resourcefulness at the skillful art of name calling! As a disclaimer, we have never used, mentioned, or in any way had a discussion on the the topic of Lesbians and their characteristics. That was all Megan!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

My secret public journal...

Well I have been feeling a little bit left out listening to everyone talk about blogs and all the funny things that are posted; so damnit I decided I would join in on the fun and start my own.
Today Jenny drug me around today taking pictures. i am still not sure why we had to get all dolled up and then go sit in a dirty, garbage scatterd alley way behind some low budget house. I asked her why we were taking pictures today, when there were so many other things I would like to do, she didnt know either. Her response was, "Why not?" I thought to myself, I know that answer, it's the answer I give my kids when I may not have a good reason for doing somthing. I felt used!
Well I am still student teaching in Warden. I ahve a great master teacher to tell me what it is I am doing that sucks! I have a great group of kids who listen to me half the time, (mostly when they want something!) By next week I will be teaching the class full-time, which I am and am not looking forward to. Right now I have to write up about 15+ detailed lesson plans each week. Now by detailed I mean almost word for word, step by individual step, through the whole freaking lesson. I hate it. It takes me about 2-3 days to get all of my stupid lesson plans written up for a whole week, while it only takes me about 1-2 hours to plan out the activities. Something is not right with that! This is getting rather stressful, simply becuase if I dont do a good job at this free labor I am doing, they can make me do it again...oh pinch me!!
So I am stressing out trying to figure out how to teach 23 kids ranging from very below grade level (around 1st to 2nd grade) to very abave grade level (about 6th to 7th grade.) I have gotten into this bad habit of thinking about how "bad/stressful" my life is; I was pleasntly reminded that what I am going through is only a fraction of what my loving wife goes through, (basically raising 4 kdis solo.)
i got a phone call detailing a very hectic day being caped off with a little bit of classic childhood "exploration." This helped me see that I have a great wife who has to deal with much more than I do. She is a special lady and deserves all the love I can giver her plus more. She really is the person who keeps our house running smoothly. I love her and couldn't have asked for a better wife, mother, adn friend.