Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I have the CUTEST helper in town!

He helped his daddy clean up the patio, driveway, and yard after windstorm #2 blew through our area. He thought he was pretty hot stuff muscling that leaf blower around the yard. Gotta love a man with power tools/equipment. LOL!!!

Thanks for all your hardwork Mr. Connor! XOXO

Monday, November 29, 2010

Let the holidays begin!

In our area, snow isn't a for sure event in the winter, so if/when the white stuff starts coming down, we get a little excited! And we don't waste a second of opportunity to get out in it, because what starts out as snow will often turn to rain later in the day.

Last Monday, the snow started coming down about 8:40am, and by 9:10am, Connor was bundled up and heading outside to enjoy it:

He'd have been out there even sooner, except we were struggling to track down pairs of mittens and a hat that would fit! After getting outside, Connor came to the door and asked me if it was Christmas. I told him that we still had about a month to wait. He looked at me for a second and then said, "But it's snowing!"

Later that afternoon, Emily and her cousin, Ali, decorated turkey-shaped sugar cookies

Dan and the boys were outside building a snowman. Dan and Jared were working on the biggest portion

And I got to take the picture of my niece, Eva, out in her first snowfall

Nothing like a little snow, time with family, and frosted cookies to put you in the mood for the holidays!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A song for mommy

Jared wrote and sang the following song to me last night:


We weren't at home to be able to grab the video camera, so I'm hoping he'll sing it for me again later today so I can have it recorded!

In case you can't read all of it, it says:

Mommy you are the best ever. You make the best lunch ever. You are a sweetie. I always love you. I do I do love you. I love you for letting me go to school and if I didn't go to school I would not be smart. And since it's Thanksgiving, Happy Thanksgiving.


Thursday, November 25, 2010


Things I am thankful for:

*The health of my family
*My wonderful children
*That no trees fell on our house during the windstorm
*That my husband HAS a job, even though he has to work LONG crummy hours
*Activities that keep my children busy and happy
*Allergy medications
*The Toyota Sienna that fell into our laps 4.5 years ago and has been a fantastic vehicle for us
*Close friends
*Our pets, who can be pains in the hiney, but overall, have been great/fun additions to our family
*email, Facebook, and blogging, which has allowed me to keep in better contact with people at weird times of day I otherwise wouldn't get good opportunities to be in contact with... I can't call them at 10pm when the house is finally quiet and the chores are done, but I can pop on Facebook or a blog and read updates, and offer comments, suggestions, congratulations, etc, or email them something.
*Hubby's paid vacation days, which allow us the opportunity to spend time together as a family without also dealing with the loss of pay for the day/week that we're together.

And the list could go on and on!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Emily the hairstylist



She's got appointments available during the holidays, ladies! Reasonable prices, too... *grin*

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Soccer season is officially OVER!

Jared's season lasted longer than Connor's, but officially ended a week ago with a pizza party and trophies. The boys had a blast, and Jared was THRILLED with his trophy. (despite the look on his face in the picture below...LOL!)


Coach Brian was really great with the boys. Jared really enjoyed playing, and we saw some definately improvement mid-season. There were a lot of neat boys on the team, and they all played really hard this season! We're proud of you, Jared!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Picture day outfit

Connor's preschool class had their individual and group pictures taken last week. Connor was so excited for picture day, and bounced right out of bed and got himself dressed (while I was totally unaware he was even up, since he usually ISN'T at that time!).

I'd had the sweater vest in mind, but the rest of the outfit needed some help. However, he was so stinkin' pleased with his choice, and I didn't want to crush any feelings OR cause a major tantrum by making demands, so I had to be VERY creative and used my persuasive "powers" to the best of my ability.

I talked him into a long-sleeved button up collar shirt that goes with the sweater vest by reminding him that Jared wore a button up collar shirt with HIS sweater for picture day, and told him that mommy really wanted the pictures to look similar on the wall. He went for it. Talking him out of the shorts was a much longer process. If it'd just been his individual picture (from the chest up, as most school pictures are), I'd have left the shorts alone, regardless of the cold temps and pouring rain; I'd have been willing to cut my losses on that one. Except, EXCEPT, it was also the GROUP picture day, which meant FULL BODY SHOT. The shorts HAD TO GO. I ended up managing to talk him into wearing the shorts the next day instead. PHEW!

Gotta love that he took some initiative, though, right?!?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Look what the storm blew in

It's huge! It's width is the same as the length of my foot, and it must have stood 6 inches off the ground (and that was with the bottom all smashed in from the impact of the fall). I'd already broken it apart a bit with a big stick from a distance (checking for bees before messing around with moving it!!) before I thought to take a picture


As I suspected, it was empty, THANK GOODNESS! Of course, poor Jared was the one to come across it in the yard while we were doing clean-up from the storm. After getting stung 31 (or more!) times last summer, he understandably has an issue with bees, and was NOT happy (to say the least) to discover the nest.

The nest was quite soggy, and built up in several layers (like a cake!), which were all really moldy on the bottom. I'm a little horrified that huge nest was up in a tree in our yard this summer and we didn't notice! I'd have expected to see a steady stream of bees coming and going!! However, minus the bees, the nest WAS pretty neat to inspect. Had it not been soggy, I'd have tried to salvage it for the kids to share with their classes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1st storm of the season!

And if the scientists and weather forcasters have it right, it sounds like this winter is going to be ROUGH for most of us. Is it okay to just stick up our white flag of surrender now before it gets any worse?

I started to remove some of the branches from the patio (which, I might add, hit the roof BEFORE ending up on the patio!), but some of them were so big I could barely lift them! One of them was a huge forked branch that I had to DRAG across the yard to the burn pile!

This picture does not do justice to the amount of branches and twigs that were strewn all across my yard, the alley, and into the neighbor's yard

I thought this one was funny, sticking straight out from another bush, blocking the walkway, like a tollbooth or something!



huge branch sticking out both sides of bush in the yard!

Branch that fell right above the kids' rooms and scared Emily half to death (it rattle her room so hard that some little knick-knack stuff got knocked over!)


you can barely see the cement of the porch, or the blacktop of the driveway under all the Fir needles!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quote of the Week

I recently came across several great quotes and couldn't stop at posting just one! Take a few minutes and read each one. You'll thank me, I promise!

"Say what you want and be who you are because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
- Mahatma Gandhi

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein

"The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have is now." - Bill Cosby

And something else to ponder for today (taken from the booklet within Taylor Swift's newest CD "Speak Now"):

"Words can break someone into a million pieces, but they can also put them back together. I hope you use yours for good, because the only words you'll regret more than the ones left unsaid are the ones you use to intentionally hurt someone.

What you say might be too much for some people. Maybe it will come out all wrong and you'll stutter and you'll walk away embarrassed, wincing as you play it all back in your head. But I thinhk the words you stop yourself from saying are the ones that will haunt you the longest."

If you don't come away from my blog post today feeling uplifted and positive, then there's no hope for you! Today matters; YOU matter. XOXO

Monday, November 15, 2010

Forget the boa constrictor!

Remember that song from your childhood that went:

I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
And I don't like it very much

Oh no (oh no) he swallowed my toe (he swallowed my toe)

Oh me (oh me) he swallowed my knee (he swallowed my knee)

Oh fiddle (oh fiddle) he's up to my middle (he's up to my middle)

Oh heck (oh heck) he swallowed my neck (he swallowed my neck)

Oh dread, he's up to my (slurp gulp)

So yeah, forget the boa constrictor, these poor kids are getting swallowed by a whale!

(Emily and her BFF Katie on the bottom, Jared and Connor on top)

and that was after their close call with a giant jack-o-lantern that tried to eat them!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Man of many talents

Connor was wearing not one, but TWO mail carrier jackets from the Clifford exhibit at the Children's Museum. And while he was wearing TWO mail carrier jackets, he was scooping up plastic food off the ground with the gardening tools from a different part of the exhibit. Dan and I had a good laugh!

He also took up some sewing

took a stab at being a truck driver

Drove a ferry

Tested out being a cashier

was a construction worker

a home-owner

a professional pouter (it was nearly time to go home and he wasn't very happy about it!)

a grocery shopping firefighter

a painter

a window washer

and a break dancer.

He was also (without photographic evidence), a firetruck driver, a bus driver, a gas attendant, a Mexican restaurant employee, a hiker, and the curtain guy in the theater area.

All in a day's work!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fun with hair

Emily has been doing my hair at night while I read the kids a bedtime story. She was so pleased with this particular one that she ran for my camera and took a picture

And because she'd taken a picture of MY hair, she wanted me take a picture of HER hair:


I wish I'd taken one from the front! It was bedtime and I was rushing...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Man Overboard!

Connor was "sailing" at the Children's Museum when he decided to jump ship!!

He then proceded to flap his arms around, and informed us he was swimming. Ha ha! Notice that he remembered to wear his "boat coat", and that he has it properly fastened...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A stack of bones

The boys and I decided to stack a few of Clifford's bones end on end to see how tall the bones were compared to the boys:

For the record, Connor is 2 1/3 bones tall, and Jared is 2 2/3!! *grin*

Monday, November 8, 2010

Emily Elizabeth and Emily Grace

We went to the Seattle Children's Museum over the weekend, and the current "traveling" exhibit is Clifford.

I couldn't resist posing Emily!


It was actually HER idea to pose like in the 1st picture. Pretty funny!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lesson Learned!

Connor started taking swimming lessons at the YMCA this week (first time he's ever had lessons). The showers in the Family Changing Rooms have both a regular over-head shower nozzle and a hand-held nozzle. There's a knob to turn to choose which one you want to use. After one of his lessons, I stood in the shower, carefully aimed the hand-held nozzle away from me, then turned on the water to test the temperature to shower Connor off with. Instead of the water coming out of the hand-held nozzle, which was aimed away from me, it came out from the over-head nozzle, which was aimed STRAIGHT AT MY FACE!!! FREEZING cold water blasted down all over my face, hair, and arms as I tried to protect myself, and I scrambled to turn the water back off. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! My hair toweled off without much evidence of having gotten wet, and somehow, my legs escaped being more than just mildly damp (nothing really even noticeable visually), my face towel-dried, but my shirt sleeves were SOAKED. Thankfully, it was a dark shirt and pretty thin, so it didn't show too much and dried rather quickly!

You'd better believe I plan to more carefully check whether the water is set to come out of the hand-held nozzle or the over-head nozzle from now on!!!!

FYI, Connor has only had two days of swim lessons so far, and he's done fantastically! He sticks his face in when they tell him to, jumps in when they tell him to, etc. I'm very impressed!! His siblings weren't cooperative AT ALL at his age. I guess the difference is that Connor has been asking for lessons, instead of us forcing them on him like we did his siblings... LOL When Connor puts his mind to something, he follows through, so I've no doubt he'll be swimming in the near future!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Um... ????

My guess is that the photographer spent approximately one half second attempting to get Jared to smile before taking this picture. In the "comments" section of the order form, I wrote "please make sure his hair is laying flat and that his collar is straight." I guess I should have written, "Please make sure my child is smiling nicely, and not partially cross-eyed." LOL

Dan says school pictures are supposed to be goofy. I say I paid good money for school pictures and want them to at least be DECENT!! We'll be getting retakes for him on Monday! Keep your fingers crossed they don't come back WORSE! LOL!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Swim lessons

Between Emily and Jared, we've spent many a fall evening, and many a summer morning, at the local high school pools, paying lots of money, and getting very little results (less to do with the quality of the lessons, and more to do with the willingness--or lack of willingness--on the part of my children). We ended up taking a long (two year) break from swim lessons, hoping maybe as the kids got older, they'd have more of an interest in learning how to swim, and we'd get better results for our money.

Fast forward two years, and Connor started expressing an interest in having lessons (due to the disasterous attempts with his older siblings, we've never actually tried him in lessons yet). After a few weeks, he was still pushing the idea of having swim lessons, so we decided to take him seriously and signed him up at the YMCA and signed up for lessons (we picked the YMCA over the local high school pool programs because he can do morning swim lessons before heading to afternoon preschool, which saves us from having MORE evening activities for now!). He didn't love gymnastics, soccer season was torturous (for us) and he didn't love it either, and swim lessons seemed as good as anything else to try out.

He had his first lesson yesterday, and he did GREAT. He was full of smiles, he was a good listener, was cooperative, and patient. He did everything the swim teacher asked him to do (including sticking his face in the water AND laying on his back in the water with his ears below the surface of the water). AND... AND, he even happily jumped into the water into his swim teacher's arms!!! I was BLOWN away. This was night and day from how swim lessons with Emily and Jared went (typically, lots of crying and loud refusals to put faces near water or jump off the edge, etc). It was also night and day to how he behaved in my friend's pool over the summer (screamed bloody murder and clung to my arm while I attempted to show him that he could float in the water while wearing a life jacket).

When Connor puts his mind to doing something, he typically goes right ahead and does it, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he charged forth and fully participated today. I'm still a little nervous about how his next class will go, but yesterday's was a huge success, and I was/am ONE SERIOUSLY PROUD MAMA!!! GO CONNOR!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Fun

Halloween festivities started Thursday with the Trunk or Treat event Connor's preschool hosted. Here's our trunk from this year (not bad for about 10-15 minutes worth of work!!)


And our sweet Gracie is part of the co-op this year in the 2's class, so she was at the Trunk or Treat as well

Connor CRASHED on the way home (but notice how he's clutching his bag of candy?? LOL!)

Friday brought classroom parties and an all-school parade.

Here is Em with some friends from her class:

And Jared next to his friend Cecilia (his "girlfriend", as he calls her at home, but won't tell HER that at school! ha!)

Emily in the parade at school:

Jared in the parade at school:

Em's best friend Katie:

We started out Halloween day by carving some pumpkins:

And then we tried for a nice three-kid group picture. Total FAIL.


(Forget Where's Waldo! Where's Mario?)

We had the kids' cousins, Ali and Eva, meet up with us to trick or treat in our neighborhood (Ali and Eva's cousin Elektra came, too, but wouldn't pose for the picture)

Hope everyone had a safe and Happy Halloween!