Monday, April 30, 2012

Car Wash

Who needs a car wash when you've got kids? Photobucket


They had a blast getting totally soaked and soapy, and they only missed a few spots...  *grin*

Friday, April 27, 2012


I've been hearing about Geocaching randomly for the past couple of years, but haven't taken the time to look further into it prior to a few weeks ago. While Dan was in Montana for work, I woke up early and couldn't sleep, so turned on the TV and was flipping through channels and came across an interview with the guy who created the whole Geocaching thing. After hearing him talk about it, I came out out to the computer and logged onto the website, started researching cache locations in my area, and started to get really excited about the whole concept, figuring it would be something fun to explore more this summer with the kids! I got some friends interested in it as well! We downloaded the Geocache iPhone app and started talking to other people who have done geocaching, etc.

My friend Jami and I were out running a few quick errands today and she asked if I wanted to try finding a cache (she's found two already while she was getting a lesson from a family friend, but I hadn't tried finding any yet). Turns out there was one hidden 150ft away from where we were running one of our errands, so we went over and found it! Photobucket

There are TONS of caches just in my home town, and I know the kids will have a blast with this! We've already ordered the trackable "bugs" so we can create our own caches, and track the "bugs" as they move around. With the app, we'll also be able to try to find caches while on vacations and road trips, etc. I'm excited to see where this takes us!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Steve Bob, Conqueror of Cheese

Jared received a baby tree from school in honor of Earth Day. He got off the bus very excitedly showing me his tree and saying, "Look at Steve Bob (insert our last name here), Conqueror of Cheese!" I can't tell you how much I adore his hilarious creativity!! Photobucket

We need to find a safe spot in the yard to plant Steve Bob, and hopefully Jared will share more of the story...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Madisen

We celebrated the 1st birthday of one of my besties over the weekend (Her actual birthday is tomorrow). The weather was AMAZING and the location was more so. The party was at Steph's aunt's house, with a view of the gorgeous mountain, a HUGE grassy back yard, pond, ducks, large patio, plenty of seating... The kids had a BLAST!

At one point, the kids found TINY squirt guns and started spraying each other (it was really warm out and we knew they'd dry quickly), and then somehow it spiraled out of control and the hose came out, and several other toys that had better soaking capabilities and before we knew, they were all drenched! LOL

I don't envy Jared is those heavy, wet jeans!!

These ducks are regular visitors to the back yard and were happily gobbling up bread pieces the kids had thrown

We had to leave early from the party, so I requested Stephanie and Madisen open the gift from us before we left

We tried the little skirt on her (we gave her a cute ruffly tank top to go with it, but we didn't mess with trying that one on her yet). SOOOO adorable seeing this baby toddling around in a big fluffy skirt. LOVE!

Emily Grace picked this outfit out for Madisen

I swear, baby clothes have gotten so much more cute since Emily was a baby!!

Steph's very talented mother recreated this cake from an image on Pinterest. Isn't it adorable??

Happy 1st Birthday (tomorrow) Miss Madisen!! We love you!! Wishing you many many MANY more happy and healthy years to come. XOXO Thanks for letting us help celebrate your special day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ANOTHER black eye

Connor has had so many black eyes (ALWAYS on his left side), I've completely lost count. There was one Christmas I rescheduled Christmas pictures because he got a black eye, only to have him blacken it again a few days before the rescheduled appointment. I kept that appointment, and now we have professional documentation of a lovely green blotch above his left eye!

On Easter Sunday of this year, I noticed a slight red mark above his eyebrow that looked a little swollen, and when questioned, Connor said he'd tripped and hit his eyebrow on the edge of the patio. The red mark was faint, the swelling was very minimal, and he said it didn't hurt at all, so we didn't think anymore about it.

The following Thursday at swim lessons, he came out of the locker room with a very GREEN eyelid, eyebrow, and forehead. I have no clue HOW we failed to notice any bruising between the red mark Sunday and the huge green bruise Thursday night, but we did!

This picture was taken the following morning (Friday) at the bus stop, and you can see it's already turned more yellow than green.

It's now been two full weeks, plus a couple extra days, and there is STILL some color on his eyelid. I'm thinking he must have hit harder than we realized, which just goes to show what a tough kid Connor is! I'm pretty sure if I'd fallen and hit my eye on the edge of the patio hard enough that it was still bruised two weeks later, I would have cried!

I think if, or more likely WHEN, he winds up with another left-side black eye, I should take him in for a brain scan or something. I mean, how many times can you take a hit to the same part of your head before you start causing permanent damage?? *grin*

I guess I should be happy the wounds to his face have mostly been BRUISING injuries; his skin scars with the tiniest of scrapes and I'd like that sweet little face as scar free as possible. As it stands, you can pretty clearly see the white line on OUR right side of his lower lip in the picture where he had to have it glued back together...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day

Dan and I woke up to a sign from Emily and a world map from Jared to kick of Earth Day yesterday!

Jared said it was easier drawing some different countries than trying to draw the actual continents (but wouldn't specify what any of the countries he drew were...LOL)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

More Kayaking Fun!

Tuesday was supposed to be nice and sunny, so we'd made tentative plans to go kayaking with some friends. The day's plans got all changed around, and we ended up not being able to get together with our friends after all, but Emily and Connor still really wanted to kayak (despite the fact it never did get sunny, and was only 49 degrees!). We called Grandpa Dan, who borrowed some kayaks from his neighbors, and we took the two crazy kiddos down to our neighborhood beach/dock and sent them out! (We'd visited my aunt and her grandson earlier in the morning and Jared opted to stay with them instead of coming out kayaking)



Emily Grace kept wanting to go OUT much further than I was letting her, but Connor isn't quite as competent and I didn't want HIM out that far, and I didn't want her out that far by herself. When we're with our friends and there's a good sized group of them out that far together, I'll be fine with that (easier to see a big group of them versus just one kid if a boat comes along or anything... Yes, I'm paranoid!).

Most of my pictures of Emily are from behind because she just kept paddling around the perimeter of the boundaries I'd set for her, looking longingly at the bigger waters further out. LOL

I did call her in for at least one good shot

Connor paddled over and posed nicely for me as well

The water was really calm, there wasn't any breeze/wind, and my only complaint is that I didn't think to bring a camp chair down with me so I'd have a place to sit... They stayed out for about an hour to an hour and a half, and had ZERO desire to come back in, but my FIL needed to get back home to make an important phone call, so we had to pack up and head home. They've already asked numerous times when they can go out again. Looks like we'll be searching Craigslist for affordable kayaks so we can enjoy this activity more frequently without bugging people to loan us the equipment!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BB Guns With Grandpa Jeff

Grandpa Jeff (my dad) invited the boys over to practice shooting the BB Gun. He set up a big piece of wood in the far end of his detached garage, drew a big black circle on a paper for a target, set up some flashlights aimed at the target for better visibility, and rigged up a station to stand behind and be able to rest their arms and the BB gun on while aiming. The boys were THRILLED.

Connor kept wanting to shoot like a lefty

He kept being high on the Target, so we forced him to try shooting like a righty (which he is)

He did a little better, but not by much! He stayed within the wood behind the target each time, so we're assuming he gets the general idea of how to line up the notch and whatnot, just hasn't quite mastered it yet to have more accurate aim!

Jared came quite close to the target each time he shot (I think the furthest away of all his shots was 6 inches, and the first few were within 1-3 inches).

Once Grandpa Jeff gave permission, the boys would run up and see where their shot landed

I suggested we circle each one after we found it, so as there were more and more holes, it would be easy to know which was the newest hole, and which were the older ones

Grandma Marlee took a turn shooting as well

Grandpa Jeff took two test shots to make sure the gun was sighted properly (or whatever the terminolgy is! ha!), and got both shots very close together in the black circle. When I had my turn, my shot went directly between his two! Dan's shot didn't make it into the circle... *grin* Emily was at a friend's house, but said she's interested in having some turns next time.

They boys have been invited to come back again soon and practice some more. I'm sure they'll take him up on it sooner than later!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fun With Friends

We had a great time with some good friends over the weekend!

The kids all got to go kayaking:

The rest of the kids wouldn't come closer while I was down on the dock (didn't have my good camera that would zoom out to them!) and I forgot to go down and take pictures when they were all coming back to the dock, so I only have a closer one of Connor and Carly. Carly's mom took a bunch with HER good camera, so I will have to get some copies!

And then we had a little impromptu stop at Cabela's on our way to Charlie's Safari in Lacey


Friday, April 13, 2012


Last Friday was such a beautiful day, so Connor and I decided to spend part of our "Mommy/Connor Date Day" hanging out at the beach in our neighborhood. Nothing glamorous by any means, but it's quiet, close to home, and entertained Connor for two hours before I was starving and made us go home for lunch. *grin*

I packed up a book to read, made sure my camera was fully charged and had room on the memory card, grabbed some beach toys, and off we went. When we arrived, we discovered a low tide! Couldn't have asked for a better set-up as far as Connor was concerned.

Connor immediately dashed off across the beach to hunt for crabs, and quite quickly dashed back up to me:

"MOM! I barely even set my foot down and look how far I sunk! I think I'm going to get muddy today, don't you think?"

Then he found a little critter

Which he stopped to inspect more closely several times as he brought it up to me



Of course you can't have a bucket at the beach and not spend at least a little time playing around in the water... He kept looking back at me waiting for me to tell him to stop. I figured he might as well have his fun and never said a word!

"It's really hard trying to dig and not get my knees or butt dirty. Do you care if I just sit down?" (Nope; have a seat!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter 2012

We celebrated Easter with my family a day early, due to work conflicts and other obligations. My mom and dad had hidden Easter eggs for the grandkids to find, and we really coudln't have asked for better weather for the occasion!

Sweet Miss Eva!



Emily Grace

The big kids were running from place to place so fast I could barely have time to focus the camera before they took off again (never did get a non-blurry one of Connor!)

We forced them to line up for a group picture

And then we let them make funny faces!


**On an unrelated note, in exactly one month my firstborn enters the world of double digits as she turns 10!!! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE??? (cry!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blanket Donation

I crocheted this blanket in order to donate it to the Community Inclusion Program auction, which my in-laws are very involved in.


I'd originally intended it to be a baby blanket, but it was pointed out to me by several different people that it was a great size to be a lap blanket for at the office, or at the computer at home... So I guess it could by hyped up either way! I forgot to measure it so can't be positive, but I'm guessing it's about 32in X 44in. Somewhere around there.

It got TONS of compliments from people who saw me working on it (I had it with me a few times at the dance studio while Emily was in class!). I'd started to second-guess the BRIGHT colors (in case you're interested, it's Caron Simply Soft yarn, colors Peach, Lemon, Persimmon, and Tangerine), but people stopped constantly and raved over how pretty the colors were, so I'm glad I went ahead and used them. Hopefully it brings in a decent amount of money. *fingers crossed* It's so soft and warm; it was hard to part with in the end! LOL

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

100 Days of School

I was going through some pictures on my phone and came across this little gem, which I totally forgot to share! As part of the recent "100th day of School" celebration for the Kindergarteners, there was a themed packet they could work on throughout the day.

This page made me LAUGH!!

Having 100 ______ could really be a problem:

Connor decided that "Having 100 rotin peepl (rotten people) could really be a problem."

Notice the "hed slunched ovr" (head slunched over), the "no legs" (but notice that far bottom left drawing, which is one of the missing legs stuck in the mud), the "orm" (arm) (which has too many fingers because they all fell off and landed on the one arm on the ground), the "i" (eye) laying down on the ground by the word "peepl" (which is why the slunched over head is a cyclopse...).

My immediate reaction was to try to get him to write a more serious answer, until I thought about it for two seconds and realized he was right; having 100 rotten people really COULD be a problem... And it makes for a really funny blog post!! *grin*

Monday, April 9, 2012

Science Project

After hours and HOURS, weeks and WEEKS (ETC!) of running flashlights and measuring battery strengths (every five hours of use), Emily is FINALLY done with her science project:

After 335 hours, I can tell you that Panasonic brand batteries were the only brand still running in the refrigerator, and that Panasonic and Sunbeam brands were the only ones still running at room temperature. Who knew they'd last that long?? NOT US!!!

I can also tell you that the batteries lost SIGNIFICANT amounts of strength in just the first 5 hours of use, and then lost it much more slowly after that (you can see the huge drop on the far left of each of the two line graphs in the middle of her display board).

I can also tell you that batteries recharge themselves quite a lot in the hours they are not in use (hence the VERY unexpected up and down zig-zaggy line graphs she ended up with). I expected she would see a steady decline in battery strength as the hours passed, and that she'd be able to make some predictions about which brands were getting ready to die based on their low strength. NOPE! While there IS a definite downward trend to the graph, it's pretty much entirely an up/down/up/down pattern, and they all stayed within a very similar range of strength.

I can also tell you that when a flashlight uses more than one battery, it seems to drain one battery much more than the others (when a flashlight would die out, she would test all three batteries, and each time, one battery was very low, while the other two were still within the range of flashlights that were still working), which leads me to believe you could possibly get more life out of your batteries by rotating them within the flashlight from time to tme, but we didn't test that to be sure...

I can tell you that the Panasonic and Sunbeam batteries we used were purchased from the Dollar Tree. Nothing fancy or expensive, nothing you see commercials for (though to be fair, Energizer lasted the second longest in the fridge, and while it didn't last overly long at room temperature, it's possible it was a faulty flashlight because it died out with pretty high voltage readings...).

This project turned out to be much more labor intensive than I would have predicted. This was mostly because of measuring all the battery strengths every five hours, and then having to enter the information into the computer to make the lines graphs... It also got tricky finding enough time to run the batteries, and also time it out so she'd be home at the five hour mark. Emily was THRILLED when the project was finally over. We already have a fun idea for next year, and I can safely say it shouldn't take 335 hours!! *grin*

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wedding Reception Fun

We attended the wedding and reception of a "family" member over the weekend (the father of the kids I used to nanny for got remarried). It was a beautiful wedding and reception, and I'm so glad we were there to witness it and be a part of it all.

Monica and Nick were Jared and Connor's age when I first started nannying for them, and look at them now!

Connor was pretty content to keep Auntie Monica all to himself!

Daddy and Emily Grace were being goofy!

Jared ever so politely asked me to dance, and despite the fact that I HATE to dance, I couldn't turn down such a charming offer!

Congratulations to John and Michelle! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together.