December 30, 2008

Go Grandma, Go

While we were visiting Grandma over Christmas we got to play in a lot of snow. The kids had tons of fun, and so did the rest of us. We even managed to get Grandma out there on a sled. I bet it's something she hasn't done for a long time and I wonder how soon she'll do it again. Thanks for the fun and the snow, Grandma Cleo.




December 29, 2008

islandalli and family

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December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!





December 22, 2008

Over the Hill and Through the Woods

We are about to start out on a grand adventure... It's a snowy white world out there and we are trying hard to get to Grandma's for Christmas. Our street seems to be the worst of it, from watching the news, so maybe we have a chance. We can't wait to visit with all of our friends and relatives in the coming days. Wish us safe journeys!

December 18, 2008

Baby, it's COLD outside

After hearing all week we were supposed to get snow and not getting it all week, we were a little surprised this morning to wake up to snowfall. It's almost 2:00 and it hasn't stopped yet. School was cancelled and so was work for Dad, so we all bundled up and headed out for some fun snow play time.Adam took the time to teach his sister how to eat snow. She thought that was great fun.Dad made snow angels and asked to be buried in the snow, which Meg wasn't that thrilled with. She kept trying to get him up.After a snowball fight that sent Adam in the house to warm up and check his head for marks, we went for a walk in the woods. (Note to Adam: don't start a snowball fight with your mom and dad at the same time and expect to win.) Meg started off ahead of us and wanted to just walk away. It took us some time to convince her to come back to us so we could go home and get warm.We had a fun morning. What a way to spend a winter day!

December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Cake Bug!

It's Adam's 8th birthday today. We can't believe how fast time has gone or how much he has changed this last year. Since Dad's birthday a few days ago, I have tried to get Meg to say "Happy Birthday". While she talks alot, she also only says what she wants to. She didn't tell Daddy Happy Birthday until we got out the birthday cake. Then somehow, something happened in her head and now instead of Happy Birthday she says Happy Birthday Cake! He thinks it's so funny.

Bug was looking forward to staying home today because of a big storm that missed us entirely. It hit north and south of us, but missed us. No snow, and it's not even that cold anymore.

Here are some things we love about our Big Bug: He's got a sense of humor, even if it is odd. We love that he finds things to laugh about. He lavishes love on his sister. They play together, laugh together and occasionally cuddle together. He's a smarty pants and amazes us with his thirst for knowledge and his ability to learn new things. He's likes to learn about or do one thing at a time, until it's all learned or all done, even if it takes a long, long time. Like the lego designs that take days sometimes, or the block building that take hours. He loves to play Monopoly on the computer and has a great memory. He likes to run fast and jump high and swing fast. He loves the ATV's at grandparents houses and wants us to let him drive on his own. All in all, he's an amazing kid and we are so grateful to be his parents. How blessed are we???

Happy Birthday Bug!!!

December 15, 2008

100th Post




It's my 100th post! Is that a milestone? I am not sure, but any reason is a good reason to be happy, right?

So what's been keeping us busy lately? Seems like this time of year is always filled with craziness and you are supposed to be feeling peaceful and calm. I haven't ever figured out that paradox. In any case... here's our latest and greatest....

We had a great time at the Creche display. Megan made us all smile. See the story behind that in a previous post. We had some snow fall in the NW. It's pretty, but we aren't used to the COLD temps around here. Today the high is supposed to be 23. The news said it's colder than it's been in this area since 1956. Church was cancelled Sunday, not because of the 2 inches of snow, but because of the ice. The kids did bundle up and go out to play though. They had a great time. Adam is looking forward to spending time at his Grandma's in ID so that he can play in LOTS of snow.


The annual Christmas Choir concert was last night. That was so nice. I love participating in it every year, but after practicing since July, I am always glad to have it over too. It was fairly well attended and I hear it sounded wonderful. I know the special musical numbers I got to listen to rather than sing in sounded spectacular.




On the birthday front, we had a good friend over for dinner on Justin's birthday and some cake and ice cream bars. That was fun. Adam's birthday is Wed. and he's turning 8!!! His baptism is Saturday. We are so excited about that. He's really growing up. He is having a little family party this year with a trip to the movies on the agenda. I even cancelled piano lessons that day for him. Lucky kid.

As far as Christmas gifts go... I had wonderful intentions of making these really cute gifts for nieces and nephews and family. Supposedly easy and fast. They aren't done yet, but I still have a little over a week before we leave. Wish me luck. I am still working on Christmas cards too. Your best bet on that front is to keep checking the blog because I may not get to the actual mailing this year. This week schedule includes a dentist appointment, finishing gifts, mailing said gifts, a birthday party for Adam, a party for Meg's friend, getting ready for the baptism and packing for our Christmas Vacation. Whew, I am tired already and I haven't even started.

I did get some Christmas pictures taken of the kiddos though. I can cross that off my list.





December 7, 2008

Yeah Baby Jesus!!!


This made my Christmas season, really. What a treat...

As a family, we attended a community event sponsored by our church called the Creche Exhibit. It's wonderfully done, beautifully put together and a treat to attend. This year there were about 600 Nativity Displays along with a live Nativity every hour by different performers and live music in both the display area and the chapel almost the entire time. It's so peaceful and sweet. (Thanks Annie, Robyn, Julie and Amy for singing while we were there... you really touched our hearts and Justin even commented on your talents.)

We arrived just in time to find a seat for the Live Nativity performance. Meg had already had time to notice the manger and the baby doll playing Jesus resting in it. She has a doll thing right now, so she wanted desperately to investigate.

Someone else came and got the doll and Dad grabbed her so that we could sit to watch Mary and Joseph and their real 6 week old baby enter the room. She was fascinated with the whole thing, and then Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger and he started to protest. Meg kept saying "Baby Jesus?" over and over. About the time the baby in the manger worked up to a cry she was in a frenzy. She was cheering and lifting her arms in the air and yelling, in toddler loud volume, "Yeah, Baby Jesus. Hooray! Yeah Baby Jesus!" Mary started giggling, but tried to keep her part going, then Joseph started giggling too. Good thing it was almost over because by the time they were done, the entire cast, including children were giggling at her.

Sweet Meg was so excited to see Baby Jesus. She was so happy he was there, and she didn't want him to be sad. It was so sweet. I couldn't help but think of how excited we can all be for the second coming of Jesus Christ and how joyous it can be to invite Him into our lives now. Meg really did show me the true meaning of Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas one and all. No matter what you celebrate, I hope you find some peaceful time this season to count your blessings, share with friends and remember what's important to you.

November 30, 2008

Happy Holidays to Us!!!

I guess we can't say we never win anything anymore. Actually, we couldn't say that anyway. We are a pretty lucky family all around. In any case, we won something pretty fabulous last night.

The So-called Grown-up's in the family went to a boat holiday party. The food was so-so. (They served turkey, two days after Thanksgiving, ugh). The music was interesting, and karaoke was going strong. Lots of people had a lot to drink and we were sitting back watching it all take place. We listened to someone do a decent version of Billy Joel's Piano Man and a group of drunk goofs bungle their way through Friends in Low Places. Mercifully, someone stopped the madness to do some drawing for door prizes.

We waited, not expecting anything. We knew there was a Wii in the mix. Adam has been on edge about getting a Wii for Christmas, he wants one so bad he's started to bargain with us. He says if we get it, it can count for Christmas, Birthday and he will throw in $2.00 for us. What a generous offer, don't you think? In any case, we did not win the Wii. Instead my name was called for an all inclusive stay at the beautiful Inn at Port Ludlow for two people on any weekend before the end of Jan. that we would like. A mom and dad get away, not too far from home with luxury we could not otherwise afford. We were thrilled!!! We decided that was a great Christmas present for grown-ups and we will look forward to going. Now to find someone to watch the darling children for a couple of days.... Any takers?

November 27, 2008

It's a NEW CAR

Well, not brand new, but new to us. The Sunfire is having some major issues that we just can't cope with anymore. We liked not having a car payment and when it came to the point where we were paying our mechanic every month what we would pay in a car payment, we decided it was time to do something else. We scrimped around and came up with the money for this nice, newer car.

It's a 2000 Mercury Sable and we like it alot. It fits our whole family, it's in good repair, and it drives very nicely. It's nice to not have to worry about getting over the pass, or paying your children's college tuition savings to your mechanic.

Anyone in the market for a Mechanic's special? Low miles, just needs a new transmission and some electrical work. It's CHEAP!

November 26, 2008

Sad Baby

This is what Meg has looked like for the past 5 days now. She started running a fever when we got into the car to go visit Grandparents for an early Thanksgiving and was miserable all weekend. I thought she might be better when we got home, in her own bed and all of that. Nope. She's still a sad, sad baby. I took her to the doctor just because I couldn't stand to see her so sad anymore (and because my arms were getting sore from carrying her EVERYWHERE) and it turns out she has a double ear infection. No wonder she is sad. But, here we are on day 3 of meds and she is still sad. Fortunately she is sleepy too, so I can get some blogging done.

Here she is telling me "No picture Mommy. UP! UP! UUUUUUPPPPP!"
Hopefully she will be feeling better very soon. Sad babies are the worst thing ever.

November 19, 2008

It's that time of year again....

Time for family Christmas Photos... While I am not sure yet about ours, I have had the privilege of doings some fun photos for friends and clients in the area. Thought I would show you some of their cutest shots.


November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom


Happy Happy Birthday to my Mom. Our top favorite things about her:

1. She bakes the best bread ever! She kept us going on bread and fruit in years when there wasn't much of anything else. We never felt deprived.

2. She's the hardest worker ever.

3. She believes in magic. She tells her grandchildren that the traffic lights are changed by magic and that electricity fairies run the lights in her house.

4. She's always looking for new and different ways to do something. Sometimes she has to re-invent the wheel, but it's always more interesting when she gets done.

5. She makes tuna sandwiches for her poor grandson when his mama won't even open the can. That's love.

6. She's weathered some real storms in life. Although she's gotten wet and battered, she's always serene in the aftermath.

7. She loves the Lord and teaches her children and grandchildren to do the same.

8. She can rock even the crankiest grand baby to sleep. It's the most amazing thing.

9. She's truly happy to help others when she can. It's never a burden, never a bother and always a joy.

10. She has an attitude of gratitude. I love that she's grateful for the small things even when all of the big things are going downhill fast.


Happy Birthday Mom. We love you.

November 13, 2008

Veteran's Day

I wanted to do a Veteran's Day post. Something patriotic and wonderful. Something that said how grateful I was not only to those who have served in the armed forces in the past, but to those who teach me so much as they serve now. Something that would give the praise and appreciation they so much deserve. Unfortunately, in between food poisoning and phone calls, I didn't get to it. So sorry to everyone who deserves the thanks.

Here's what we did instead. All morning I cleaned like a mad woman. My house has been spiriling out of control for a while now and that was the day to do something about it. The phone started ringing early, with random stuff, and didn't stop. After Meg's short nap, we attended the Veteran's Day program at the Kitsap Pavilion. It was so nice. Very well attended and very well done. Adam loved it and Meg loved the flag she got to carry around all day. They had a free lunch afterward (I know there's no such thing, and now I really believe it). Adam and I stood in line for chili and hot dogs and salad. Justin and Meg weren't interested, lucky them. As soon as we got home, I started feeling yucky, and Adam started feeling yucky. As it turns out, something wasn't right with those hot dogs and we were both sick the rest of the night. So not fun. I am sure they weren't trying to kill us, but what a way to say thanks, eh?

In any case, I wanted to say how much I am grateful for the Veteran's who have served before us, who have paved the way to the wonderful life we have. Grandpa Bill, Grandpa Duane, Uncle Rob, Cousin Johnathan, Uncle Kevin, Joe, Matt, Shandrea, Bill, Patty, Karl, Tony, Dawn, Lou and so many others... we love you. Thanks for every little thing.

November 6, 2008

Reflections

In Adam's class this year they are participating in the national PTA contest Reflections. The theme this year was "WOW". He went back and forth on several things he wanted to do, and finally settled on photography. We went to a local park and he took tons of pictures. He put them all in a computer collage, (by himself, really). He called it Wonders of Washington. His comment on the back said "These are things in my neighborhood that make me think WOW."



November 3, 2008

Bugs and Ghosts


I haven't gotten around to my Halloween post until now. Boo! Did I scare ya?


Meg was the cutest little Lady Bug. I love Old Navy costumes. Warm and cozy and cute! Adam wanted to be a ghost, so we made him as scary as we could. There was no hiding those freckles though.
Meg's favorite part was knocking on the doors. She was very polite and said thank you to every "Gramma" who opened the door to her. She didn't catch on she was getting candy until she discovered a succor in her bag. That was it, all she wanted to do was sit in the stroller and eat it. She loved the dogs too. Adam was again fascinated with the door bells and decorations. He was a good helper and he got A LOT of candy.

All in all, a good day. Looking forward to the fun again next year.

October 30, 2008

Bedrest Tips for Tiff

My darling cousin Tiffany is expecting her first baby with much anticipation. She's developed some problems and has been put on bedrest. That's something I know a little bit about. With both pregnancies I started dilating early and going into pre-term labor and was put on bedrest. With Adam, it was only about 3 weeks, with Meg, it was 7 weeks. That's a long time to stay down. So I thought I would post some Bedrest tips for Tiff. If you have any other good ideas, post them in the comments.

1. Read a lot. Get in all of those magazines you've been meaning to go through. All those classics you've always wanted to read and all of those just for fun books you can't justify spending precious time on.

2. Listen to the past 5 years of conference talks. It's a great time to catch up on talks you may have missed for one reason or another. It's pretty uplifting too.

3. Write letters. With real paper and pens. Catch up on letters to family, friends far away, and to your baby in the future. It will be fun to look back and this time in your life and remember what you were thinking and feeling.

4. Journal. I sometimes count blogging as journaling. Not really is it? You do the best you can. If you have time time though, do some catch up. Go through all of those e-mail tags you have and journal about them.

5. Get those recipies together that you have been wanting to try. (Although Tiffany is the most organized person in the universe.) It's always fun to look forward to trying to learn new things.

6. Get more fluent in your French. (Her Hubby speaks French as a first language). That way you can talk to your neices and actually understand what they are saying.

7. Vote. That took me forever. Do some research on your trusty laptop and get that absentee ballot in. That will take up at least a day.

8. Call and annoy your sisters. I was on the phone a lot, a really lot. My sisters, mom and grandmothers got really sick of me calling. I just needed some conversation.

9. Keep Netflix in business. Send for all of those movies your husband woud never watch with you. Watch TV series, all at once. That was fun. I watched The Closer, and a friend of mine got all the seasons of Little House. It's kind of fun to watch them all at once.

10. SLEEP. I was surprised at just how tired I was when I didn't DO anything all day. Get as much rest as you need. Stock up now, because once Oni shows up, you will not sleep for more than 2 hours at a time for the next 3 years. Love ya Tiff.

October 29, 2008

I love my cat, but....


If you are a die hard animal lover, one that believes animals health ranks right up there with your own, you can skip this post. I will understand.

I love my cat. She's a sweet kitty. She's good with the kids and cuddles right up with Justin. She's about 6 years old now and she's a bit of a fighter. We can't keep her in, she's too loud, so she goes out and looks for trouble. A few months ago she got into a fight with something and got an owie on her leg. It turned to an abscess and got infected. We had to have surgery for her and after care, all of which totalled about $400. We thought she might be more careful about who she consorts with, but I guess not. After that she was in a few minor scuffles with who knows what and has had various scratches and cuts here and there.

So a few days ago she came in after spending the night outside. (Did I mention my cat was stubborn?) She had a big gash on her chest, just above her leg. You could see muscle. It was ugly. I took her to the vet again and they wanted to to do surgery and a skin graft. The bill would be about $700. Now, I love my pet, but that's a LOT of money. I asked for other options. We are doing the self healing method. She will have an ugly scar, but with antibiotics, and her lovely new collar to keep her from picking at it, she should be okay. All that for only $225.


The good news is, she will recover as long as we keep on top of it and she doesn't develop some sort of massive infection from it. The bad news (for her) is that she's grounded. No more going outside for the time being. Hopefully, she'll heal up soon and be a little nicer to the other creatures living in our neighborhood.