Thursday, July 30, 2009

We are not in Washington anymore, Toto

OK, so I am still in Washington but it sure does not feel like it. I got to spend 24hours with my friend, Anissa (from Arizona) and Marla (she lives local). I arranged for the other children to have some fun adventures with friends. You can see what Aaron and Erik were up to, check out Syndi's blog. The other children enjoyed time with Tami's family. Of course, I had the baby with me. We love to go to Thai food together, it is a great treat to not have to cook or clean up after myself. Unfortunately I hurt my back and have been struggling with that all week. Syndi again watched the children so I could get a massage and that helped but hopefully will be all better soon.
Mikaela came and stayed overnight so that I could spend a bit more time with my friends. I really enjoyed seeing her for a bit when I got home and before she had to leave. It is really hard when you have a child move out and you don't get to see them as often as you would like.
On Wednesday we had some friends from church come over. Taylor went to their house to help out last week and I have enjoyed getting to know people better. Heather and Hannah and Caleb and their sweet baby boys, Andrew and Peter came for a play date. I was super excited that Heather called because I always have great intentions but to plan is really an area I am working on. We had a great time and all the children seemed to get along famously.
We begged and Sean searched high and low for a swimming pool to help cool us off but to no avail, there is not one pool to be found in this county! We invited ourselves over to Jessica's house because she has air conditioning and we love her and her children and our inside temperature was a balmy 89 degrees! I guess I don't have to worry about heating my back.
I took Savannah and Jess took Aaron and Erik and we went to DQ for ice cream treats and to Libby's doctor's appointment. My rant again for the doctor is as follows:
  • The Dr. comes in and says I must be jumping for joy, because Libby is now 14 pounds, 9 ounces.
  • I said, "yes I knew that from the scale we have at home"
  • Dr. replies, "what are you doing differently?"
  • I say, "nothing"
  • Dr. then gets on the defensive "you mean, you are not pumping and fortifying like we discussed last time?"

I mean really, why are they so surprised that we are doing fine without their 'help'? Plus, when I took Libby in for her lab work the technician said there was no way to draw as much blood as was needed for all the tests from an infant. UGH I just want to be left alone!

Sorry these are the random thoughts that are going through my head right now, and it is still too hot to go to bed. The other night Sean and I found this listing and got a chuckle out of it, I now know the perfect pet for my children. Go to and type in best of, hamsters. Sorry, I would have put in the link, but I don't know how to do that yet.

Enjoy summer while we have it and try to stay cool, or at least not too hot.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I love Summer

After we went Raspberry picking and to the Dairy for ice cream I stopped at Rite Aid to get Pectin to make some jam, unfortunately they do not carry Pectin so I bought a small swimming pool instead. Logical right. Tami was nice enough to wait in the car while I ran in so I did not have to bring in all the children. She reminded me of the time I went in to a beauty supply store for shampoo and came out with luggage. Hmmm. Cody and Cassidy and their mom, Mary came over to enjoy the pool and raspberries. The girls really enjoyed the raspberries and I made 4 batches of jam and a raspberry rhubarb crisp.

Cassidy and Ruby helped themselves to a lot of raspberries.

We had the wonderful treat of a beautiful sunset. I love where I live, I love seeing the beauty of God's creation all around and the handiwork of His creativity.

Ian has exclaimed more than once, "Look at the sunset God painted just for me!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beach Day(s)

Jess and I have had so many wonderful beach days together. It is getting more difficult with the twins so mobile, and not as frequent as we used to. Tami planned a beach day for us and the great northwest weather cooperated for us! Look at that cute baby. Honor loved the sand and stopped what he was doing to pose for the camera! We tried to keep the babies in the shade as much as possible.

I feel so blessed to be surrounded by my wonderful friends, beautiful weather and healthy children. We always remember to say thank you to Sean when we get to enjoy a fun filled day with friends at the beach.
Look how cute that little boy is. Sean calls him Juicy Justice.

I know how fortunate I am. I get to stay home with my children, I get to educate them, train them, play with them and I have a husband who works hard to allow us to live the life we do. I am so thankful that we have made the choices we made to give us the life we have.

Taylor and Savannah built these great sandcastles under the dock. Savannah smacked her head on the dock a few times and Taylor only did it once I thought for sure that we were going to have to go get stitches. Thankfully it is only a small cut on her hairline that should heal in a few days.

Justice and Liberty for all. I love that over the Supreme Court bench there is a sign that says Justice is the protector of Liberty. It is so fitting. I find it amusing that I usually end up with Justice when I am helping with the boys. I don't purposefully seek him out but I do think he is easier to hold because he doesn't 'squiggle' as much as Honor.
Jess took Taylor and Aaron home with her to play and have dinner and I took Everett and Isobelle home with me and fed them dinner and played ice hockey on the trampoline, steal the bounce and popcorn. Isobelle got one warm bath and a cold shower (long story). We had a fabulous evening and Tami and Ian got some time together without children.
Today we went to town so that Taylor could buy a stroller for her 'babies'. We enjoyed some thrift store shopping, and ice cream at the dairy. We ran into several friends at the dairy and they invited us to go to the beach with them. After short consideration I decided that going to the beach sounded much more pleasant than cleaning and being hot at home. We ran home, threw some honey mustard chicken in the crock pot and rice in the rice cooker (I Love my Servants) and headed to the beach. We got home just in time to shower everyone and put PJ's on and eat dinner.
The following conversation was heard at our dinner table tonight:

Erik: Papa I really want a skim board, can you make one for me? You can use your chainsaw.
Papa: I don't have a chain saw
Erik: Yes, you do.
Aaron: You know the thing that goes Bzzzzzz
Me: They mean your table saw
Erik: you can use some strong wood
Papa: I don't have any wood
Erik: yes you do it is on top of the table saw
Me: no, that is Formica
Taylor: who is Mica?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Family Fun

Northwest Washington is the best place to live (but don't tell, we don't want it to get too crowded). We went to the Raspberry Festival on Saturday and enjoyed some basketball, shopping, looking at old cars (OK, so the little boys just loved jumping down the middle of the road on the turtles) but Sean and Aaron loved the cars. My favorite part was running into old friends that I do not get to see often enough.

Although the ice cream with fresh raspberries on top was pretty hard to beat!
We even made it home in time for Sean to work the hives and the rest of us to clean, mow, sweep (did you know it takes 1 hour and 12 minutes to sweep my kitchen floor?) mop, fold laundry and get the house in order. I love a clean house!!

I love cleaning the house on Saturdays because generally I try to not do any work on Sundays. Omitted from that of course is the 2 loads of sheets that I do daily.

Guess who started crawling on Saturday? I cannot believe it either~no it is not Taylor. Libby is 6 1/2 months old. She was reaching for a piece of paper that was just out of her reach and wiggled her way to it. I then experimented with a toy to see if she really could do it. It is not pretty nor is it smooth but our Lego playing days in the living room have come to an abrupt halt for the time being.

Today, we utilized our kids bowl free coupons and went bowling after church. The free bowling cost $20 with shoe rental but was much more affordable than it would have been. Now, to find used bowling shoes in the right sizes (must check Goodwill).
Ian had great technique and would lay down and line up his ball then push it down the lane. Ruby just threw the ball and it took about 45seconds to go down the lane. Amazingly, she got a few strikes and a couple of spares!

At one point Sean said, "I feel like we are going to Wally World, We are going to have fun if it kills us!"
Doing things with 6 children requires some amount of finesse and always some training. The idea that you have to wait for the person next to you to finish bowling even though they are not on your lane is really hard to understand.

Of course, what are you supposed to do with your 6 month old who has not napped all day because of church? Why you put her in the ergo and continue bowling. I think I need to be the poster child for ergo I love it and use it all the time! I never knew that I could get a strike, a spare and 2 gutter balls bowling with a sleeping baby.

The children loved it and we all had fun! We finished up our great weekend with Papa Murphy's pizza, spinach salad, lemon iced tea, and strawberry shortcakes with whipped cream and our weekly Sunday night movie!

Our bowlers in order of standing Sean got 1st, Ian, Mama, Ruby, Erik, Taylor and Aaron. Just to be fair Ian, Ruby and Erik bowled with bumpers and the rest of us without. We will definitely be bowling again soon.
It is currently 11:30pm and I have to clean up the kitchen, make our bed, take someone potty, feed the baby again, take out the garbage and recycle and be ready to begin anew tomorrow promptly at 7:03am.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


For Mikaela's 18th Birthday we told her we would take her skydiving. Her birthday was in September and this was the first weekend that was available, but she said it was worth the wait!I was nervous for her but she was just excited! Her boyfriend, her dad and our friend Kelly and her boys Gideon, Joshua and Caleb all came to cheer Mikaela on. Grandma (aka Geaba) was planning on coming with cousins Justin and Kimberly but unfortunately was rear ended and was in the ER. It was very odd for me to be there watching my first born jumping out of an airplane when my mom was in the hospital. My mom assured me that she was fine and that I was where I needed to be (she called me when she was strapped to a board in the ambulance).

I was very happy that I have a great lens and was able to get some great shots. My favorite photos were of someone else, bummer. We were not sure which jumper she was so I took pictures of all of the skydivers.

Erik sat through the whole training with Mikaela and REALLY wanted to jump too. I am sure that he will someday. The children were all hot so they sat under the picnic table for some shade and enjoyed some Popsicles that Kelly brought just for the occasion. The boys even enjoyed some basketball while we were waiting.

I cannot believe that I have a daughter who is old enough to go skydiving. The time really does go too fast. Renee once said to me, "The days are really really long, but the weeks go by fast."
That is so true. I value all the time I got to spend with Mikaela as she was growing up and wish that I could have a few more years of influence to shape her into a Godly woman.
Becoming a parent of an adult is difficult and exciting at the same time. You never stop caring. Prayer becomes much more fervent and frequent because you don't have the control that you do when they are young. Ahh, how naive I am I am never in control they all belong to God and should be constantly treated as God's.

Sean and Mikaela are talking about making this an annual event. Thank you very much but I will enjoy it from the ground not 14,000 feet in the air, at least not this year.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I was so blatantly reminded last night at 1 and 3 am that I forgot to mention how graciously Sean takes care of the puking that occurs frequently in our home. He doesn't even seem to mind that I always puke when cleaning up so he steps in cleans up and allows me to go back to bed! What a man!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Sean

OK so this photo was not actually taken today, but how many of you have a picture of your husband with a Bumbo seat on his head? We celebrated with homemade pizza, strawberry rhubarb crisp and great friends. Thanks to Jason and Jess and their family and to Syndi for sharing the day with us! Those of you who don't know my husband may think of him as quiet and reserved. Don't let that fool you. Once you get to know him is is quite animated and funny in a dry sort of way. He has a special fondness for old books, especially the books you can find at Goodwill. I have evidence by the 4 foot stack of books on our dresser in our room. He loves to read. He reads things I could never imagine reading. One day he told me he was just getting to the interesting part of the current book he was reading "Architecture of Country Homes". He also reads Analytical Chemistry books for fun!
He loves his bees. When I started studying bees with the children in our homeschool he thought I was nuts. Now I think he is a bit nuts. We went from one hive to five (our lot is 1/3 of an Acre). Then we drove a hive over 200 miles (with all the children in the van) to give to Sean's father.
Sean has very high standards and adheres to them himself. He is honest and ethical (almost to a fault).
I admire his integrity. I love talking to him and discovering new things about him, even after 12 years of marriage. I enjoy seeing him with his daughters and the joy and delight he experiences with them. His sons love to play with him, and seek his approval above all else. When they see the affirmation he offers they are filled with pride.
He is a wonderful leader of our family and we all enjoy listening to him read to us. He has patience of a saint.
He loves routine and being home. He likes to keep his family close.
Thank you to his mom and dad for shaping him into the man he is today.
Happy 38th Birthday Sean!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nature Studies

The Bible tells us to teach our children when we get up, walk along the way and lay down at night. I have found that I have to be intentional with my teaching. A lot of teaching happens by 'accident' but most of it happens when I think about it and plan. I inter-library loaned a great book called "The Handbook of Nature Study" by Comstock. When I noticed the poppies blooming in my front yard I pulled out the book and we read all about poppies.

Then we cut open a poppie and looked at the seed pot. We counted and observed.

Finally, we drew the poppies and are going to put the drawings and observations in our Nature Journal. Taylor loved the exercise and Ian was very through. Erik got it done quick but did participate. Aaron missed out because he is at golf camp.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Solid Rock Family Camp 2009

I don't know if I could pick a favorite part of camp because we all had so much fun! My highlights differ from my children's but since it is my blog I get to tell my best parts. I love being with these friends. The older children help so much with the younger ones and are ready and willing to serve with a smile. I remember when I first started hanging out with Renee our now 9 year olds were little babies in diapers. Where oh where does the time go?
This year the planning was so through and the children so helpful the adults had time to drink tea, and coffee and laugh together.

The adult women were talking about how wonderful Hilary is and how creative she is, we love her! and Brian, her husband replied, "Everyone wants to be my wife!"
It was so classic because he really did not mean it to be about him, but it was.

Erik's team placed 3rd overall but in my opinion they were the best! Both Erik and Sam are high energy and require a bit more supervision and Colin and Judah were so patient and included them in all the activities. During the scavenger hunt one of the items they had to bring me was one live bug. Sam was so excited to bring it to me and when he opened his hand and showed it to me it wasn't alive anymore. Colin and Judah could have been very frustrated but instead they hurried off to find another live bug!
Erik was super helpful and even offered to wash several adults dishes.
Ruby was very seldom with her group but enjoyed every activity. I couldn't help but smile when she came running down the hill crying because everyone used 'her' 300 water balloons. Other than a few 3 year old possessive issues she had a wonderful time and was very happy her papa was there to help her.

Syndi and I slept in a tent with Libby and Ruby and we had way too much fun. I felt like a little kid again talking well into the night. I am not sure how we ended up not sleeping in a tent filled with children but it was wonderful. I know that Chuck did not appreciate it (sorry). Next year I will remember to make sure that I am not sleeping on an incline!
Thanks again to all the people who worked so hard for such a great weekend, and for all the children who participated and appreciated the hard work!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Celebrating Ben

We had the privilege of celebrating Ben's 11th birthday with him. We started the day with a glorious trip to the beach where the children played on Ben's new raft and swam and ate and played. We love the beach and it is even more fun with great friends. We were so excited to meet Ben and we try to not be bitter that we lived around the corner from each other for 5 years before we met! Ben is such a great friend and plays so well with all of the children. It is rare to find a friend that you can spend so much time with and never argue.
Ben is honest, he is fair, he is respectful, and kind. Ben has integrity that is difficult to match. I enjoy watching Ben figure things out and include others with the games. Ben's laugh is distinct and full of joy. He has a smile that lights up the room.

We had this onesie for little Libby that says "Jedi in training pants" and on the bum it says Star Wars. I couldn't resist having her wear it for the Star Wars party and she loved playing with the light saber. Although one of the dads at the party kept referring to her as a he (I guess I can't blame him).

I will have to copy this game of light saber wars where the children have to balance on a half ball and try to knock each other off. It is an all boy game where they learn balance and can hit each other fairly. We did have to remind them several times not to hit in the face! Taylor enjoyed the game as well and was really quite good at it.

Another memory made, another day to let others know how much we care about them but definitely not another ordinary day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Time Flies

Usually our summer is laid back with many days at the beach and home. Not so this year! I cannot believe it is already July 8th! Ruby has been showing interest in riding a bike but the only one we have around here that is her size was missing one training wheel. I knew where some other wheels were but was too busy to fix it. I gave the box of spare training wheels to Aaron and he went to work! What a great brother.

Then, with great patience and determination he tried to teach Ruby to ride the bike. She wanted to pedal backwards but not forward. They worked together beautifully for awhile until they both got bored.

This is reality. Notice Aaron sitting on the couch in the background. We have been so busy that I have been doing laundry but not folding it. I decided when we couldn't see over the laundry that it really was time to fold. My children are each responsible for putting their own laundry away and they rotate whose job it is to take the laundry out of the dryer and lay it flat (so I can wait to fold and it doesn't get as wrinkled). Taylor helps Ruby and Aaron puts Libby's laundry away. Ian tends to shove his shirts in the bottom of the closet but has to go back to hang them up. Erik does not want anyone to take HIS hangers, he has them color coded and equal numbers of hangers.

It took me a bit but I got it all folded and the children put the laundry away before breakfast so it couldn't get knocked over. Next time I won't wait so long.

Another random photo I found on my camera. Aaron was trying out his new toothbrush. I bought them because they stick to the counter and do not have to be in a community cup where the toothbrushes all touch. I never knew you could brush your teeth with the toothbrush stuck to the door jam..... I guess we will see what the dentist says about how well it cleans. We have 5 dentist appointments tomorrow. Our dentist has a Ms. Pac Man game in the lobby, I must remember to share the game with the children (I will get high score again =)).

Future Posts to update where we have been:
Ben's birthday
Happy 3rd of July
4th of July: Parade, BBQ, Fireworks
Bee Moving
Justin's 10th birthday
And that is just last week!