Monday, June 30, 2008

Mama's Day Off

Ok, so how sad is it that my day off was a result of going to a 3 hour Doctor's appointment in Seattle?
Hey I will take what I can get! My friend Jessica was able to leave her children with their dad and Sean took the day off to be with ours so we went to Seattle together.

On the way down we stopped at Starbucks and in between the ultrasound and the doctor we went out to lunch. We then went shopping at Babies R Us (she is pregnant with twin boys), and Nordstroms, Pottery Barn, Jack and Janie, Williams and Sanoma, Motherhood (where I discovered the BEST materninty pants in the whole world). We also hit Goodwill and Winco. After which we went to Sticky Fingers BBQ which Jess had talked about all day. We got there too late and they were closed but, never hold back pregnant women!! Jess went in and asked if they would serve us. They said that they only had chicken left (what luck) We had the best BBQ with extra cornbread!! It was delicious. Such a fun day and all because of a doctor's appointment.

Sean and the children stayed home and played. They released our butterflies that we watched hatch. They managed the whole day without me. I even came home to a clean kitchen. I know that everyone was happy to use a batch cook meal and I was thrilled to not have to worry about it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Swarm Catchers

The small section of the swarm.

Putting the swarm into the box to bring them home.

Today is Ruby's Second Birthday. I was happily making her birthday cake and last minute preparations this morning when the children yelled, "What's going on? It looks like the hive is swarming!" I dropped what I was doing and ran to the window. Sure enough, there were about 60,000 bees flying around my back yard!! What an amazing sight (gave me perspective to the Isrealites plagues) but not a sight you want to see from your own hive. Fortunately, we were able to see them land in our neighbor's back yard.

I called Ivars (someone I met at the beekeepers meeting) and went to his house to borrow some hive equipment. He followed me back home and helped Sean and I catch the swarm. It involved pruning the branch off of the neighbor's tree. We then put them in the new hive and watched and waited for the best. The bees are incredibly docile (Think of how you feel after Thanksgiving dinner) they had gorged themselves on the honey from my existing hive and left to find a better home.

We thought everything was going to be fine. A few hours later we noticed the bees about 1 1/2 inches thick on the outside of the new hive, they covered nearly all three sides!! Again, an amazing sight! Then they swarmed again. We tried to follow them, but they went over the fence, across the next street and we lost them. We drove around asking people and looking but no luck. We are still hoping that the bees will find a place close by and we can catch them again. We just lost about 60% of our hive and probably our honey for the year. I guess it is a learning process but what a bummer.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rotating Tires

I did not anticipate Erik and Ian helping Sean rotate the tires on the van when I sent them outside in a white shirt and khaki pants.

Alas, I must realize that tools, grease, taking things apart and spending time with papa are all things that attract a boy like a magnet. I appreciate how Sean teaches them things that every boy should learn from their dad. He is patient with them especially since they have fun (read: pick up bolts, move jacks, and lugnuts,) more than they actually help. That is what teaching is all about.

Birch Bay

Today we had Ian and Ruby's child dedication at church. I know that they are almost 2 and 4 but we always wanted to wait until everyone could be there. Well we picked Father's Day weekend and told everyone and went ahead with the formal ceremony of our commitment to raise our children to know Jesus.

After church, they had a hotdog dinner to celebrate Father's day and the children ate 27 hotdogs combined (gross I know). so needless to say they had some extra energy. We stopped at Birch bay to watch a beautiful sunset and let the kids play.

I was playing with different settings on my camera and liked the lighting and it makes me smile to see Erik's cowlick in the back.

Ruby was not looking at me so Sean called her and I got this beautiful picture of her.
Happy Dedication Day. We love you

CPS Update

So I have received lots of questions about what is going on in that department. The young lady was with us for almost a week and there was almost constant drama. I was very proud of our children and their acceptance of her, they gave gifts, made pictures, played games, gave her the good seat in the van, and included her as part of the family.
The problem was me. Sean was fully supportive of what I thought was best. I tried to be a confidant, discipler, therapist, trusted adult, and what ever else she needed. She and I talked about her beliefs and that God wants a relationship with her. Sean and I talked at length about Jesus coming to 'seek and save the lost' she definatly is lost. and that God often asks us to do things we are not comfortable with (I have checked into foster care) so it's not like I was too uncomfortable. So, you ask"what's the problem?" Well, with her around I was getting calls from her mother telling me 'RULES' which I promptly disregarded. but I felt oppressed, there was darkness and no peace. I believe that if God is calling you to do something, even if you don't like it, you will be filled with peace. I experienced the opposite. I had some panic feelings, anxiety with shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, dizzy,etc., I don't believe that makes me very functional or provides my family with what they need.
So I made the call, after call, after call to her social worker and told her we needed to find another placement. I felt like I was abandoning her and kicking her to the curb, feeding her to the wolves, but it had to be done. I also told her the social worker was coming and gave her a suitcase and helped her pack. I hugged her and told her it was best to get her more permanant placement. When the social worker arrived she did not want to leave and cried as she hugged the children. I felt like she was taking a piece of my heart with her when she left. It was a horrible moment. We continue to pray for her peace, safety and especially salvation and hope that her time with us was both helpful and a blessing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ellianna Grace

Zach and Tami allowed me the blessing of being their Doula for the birth of their second baby. The first was born in Germany after a long (5+days) labor and they were looking for something different this time. Zach was totally in touch with Tami and her needs and responded quickly and joyfully. Tami went completly natural using only slow deep breathing, she was amazing to watch. They called me at 6 am and Ellianna was born at 5:30pm. She only pushed for about 20 seconds or so and did fabulous!!!

Ellianna Grace arrived safely on Sunday evening. She is a beautiful 8lb 1oz baby girl.
I pray continued blessings on their family and sweet little Ellianna.

Class of 2008

It is so fun to see Mikaela take the next step toward growing up. She received special mention for doing such a great job on her portfolio. We are very proud of her.
Mikaela made some great friends and had some wonderful memories. Megan has been part of our family for the last 4 years. It is such a blessing to have friends that you can count on and who are there for you in Joy and Sorrow.

Last night was Mikaela's High School Graduation.
Has it really been that long since I drove her to kindergarten and cried because my baby was growing up?

Could it be possible that she has completed 13 years of school?

Could I really be that old?

Is it really possible that she will be starting college in the fall?
Where has all the time gone?
I guess it is all true, the proof is in the paper --- Blaine High School Diploma Class of 2008
Goode Job Mikaela

Saturday, June 7, 2008


This photo has nothing to do with my post but is typical of something Ruby might do.

I got a call on Wednesday

Phone Rings

I answer: hello

Person on Phone: hello is this carolynn?

Me: Yes

Person on Phone: this is ______ from Child Protective Services

Me: Ummmm OK

Person on Phone: I understand that you do respite care
Me: No

Person on Phone: Well I was given your name and we have a girl here who has nowhere else to go when can you take her?

Me: Ummmm I really can't, but I guess I will talk to my husband. I will call you back after I get back from the library.

Person on Phone: I am going to put you on speaker and you can talk to her mom, the case worker, and advocate.

Me: OK

We have a conversation about this girl the mom says I can take her the social worker says I can take her

Me: OK I will talk to my husband I will be back about 5

I talk to Sean on the way to the library he says, I guess so until they figure something out. The children and I go to a really lame magic show at the library and this girl wearing all black with black eyeliner and pierced lip walks up to me with a ripped garbage bag containing all of her belongings and says you must be Carolynn I'm _______.

Me: OK, Where's Erik

After 5 minutes of frantic searching I find Erik out in the parking lot standing on the back of the van. I go collect all the children (even the one who isn't mine) and take them home.

Oh by the way she's also vegetarian (which we are not) and I had made meatballs for dinner.

So, needless to say I had to wait until the next day to talk to Social worker and stuff. Have not heard from mom except to tell me all the 'rules' whatever. I am trying to figure out what to do with her and the social worker tells me to wait a few weeks!!! WHAT my daughter graduates on Monday, I have a birth sometime this week, an appointment in Seattle, Homeschooling, being pregnant, never mind I did not sign up for this and I am not a licenced foster care so we are not getting any compensation.

Monday hopefully we will get it all straightened out.


Ian was having a great time rubbing his head on the trampoline then shocking me. It was all fun and games until he rubbed his nose instead of his hair.


Ok so I know this is a very unflattering picture of me but, I put the dining room chairs on the table so that I could vacuum. Aaron then spotted a 'fort-like' place to do school. I was amazed how quickly we accomplished his lessons. Usually I have to point to each problem and bring his attention back to me (I must sound like the Charlie Brown teacher). But doing math and quizzing happened effortlessly and quickly under the table.

Meanwhile, notice the other dining room chair. Taylor, Erik and Ian were playing super memory. It is super because not every card has a match and some have 3 matches. I guess the game is several games combined over time. Notice how Erik does not just sit and play the game he must be bent in half in the chair and Ian is perfectly thrilled to have his four matches (he gets to play the game and take turns).

Taylor is still beating the pants off of everyone.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

They're Alive

It has been 5 weeks and our bees are still doing great! They have filled the bottom deep and we just added the upper deep. They have been building comb in places that they weren't supposed to, but I think we have that figured out now.

Taylor has been great helping me and until yesterday she had not gotten a single sting. I have been stung twice-OUCH. But yesterday she was trying to help the bees that were on the ground in front of the hive and got stung 3 times!! I told her she could use my bee gloves next time she wanted to pick up the girls.

My wonderful husband, Sean has repeatedly said that is is my hobby and I am the expert. I think he is really getting into it and is very concerned with them. He has even taken over making the syrup and removing the misplaced comb. He does it all in shorts and flip flops!! What a man.
He did check his shorts before he came in the house. The risk is that when bees land they like to go UP. I think it is a pretty risky thing being a man and wearing shorts around a hive.