Thursday, December 31, 2009

My momma made me clean my house

While our basement was flooding, I called my mom and raised the white flag. I know that I call our families for anything at anytime and they will be here. But once they are called into action it is difficult to call them off. Since it seems to be a city responsibility, and the nature of the water was something we definitely did not want to to deal with, we hired a company to do it. So while the basement was being dredged out and defungified, my sister organized a school shelving unit out of control, (after she brought coffee and donuts, her labeler, and organizing boxes) my dad hung out with the kids (and they loved it), and my mom made me clean my room . . . and more (but she cleaned our bathroom, changed our sheets, did our dishes and laundry!) . It makes a great start to the new year. Thank you so much moma, papa, and Tracey.
P.S. I fell asleep before I could take pictures. What a week . . . .

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let's recap, shall we

So our blog has been quiet lately. Here are some reasons why. That sleep study and machine are not making a difference yet. I am still so tired at about 1 or so I very honestly can not keep my eyes open, driving or not. I am on my third trial mask. Let it be said that I did not try my best! The kids though are not helping. Seriously, our son was recently seen for health and sleep issues (falling asleep and staying asleep).

Then there is this guy:
Oh sure, he looks cute and Innocent now! He is tired from potty training, seeking out Isobel's dolls and stuffed animals, teething on Everett's Lego's, and dragging out dirty laundry where ever he finds it. Really, he is a lot of fun . . . but a lot of work too. He does great in the car (as you can see), is learning to obey (I can not wait for Everett's elective school course of dog training classes to start in January). He has been so sweet to all our friends kids too. Boxers are just awesome family dogs!

But back to it . . . . Christmas happened. Yikes it came and went so fast there are barely any pictures of it. Just the traditional Santa pictures for my mom (only for her and his 40 year tradition, other than our focus in on the birth of Jesus!)

Then there have been days like this: Who are they you ask? Fantastic city employees! You see, my husband is working nights. So once again the kids and I (and the dog) need to vacate the premises early so daddy can sleep. Today I was originally going to post about how I live life with my friends. I do! We do! We care for each others kids, make meals for each other, pray for each other, school with each other, vent and praise together. So today was no different with breakfast at Carolynn's then a walk, games and lunch. Simple right? That was until I decided to get a frozen dinner from downstairs in the freezer. Simple right? That was until the 6 inches of water and possible electrical current persuaded me to go no further. Ok, guess I will get dinner later, let Ian sleep, and tell him when he wakes up. So after minimal sleep my knight rises, learns of the problem and takes action. Simple right? That is until four hours and $200 later you are know further along than when you started. So I start calling pluming companies to admit defeat. Simple right? Nope. Many are over booked so no immediate help. As I go to inform Ian, he is coming in to inform me that the neighbors have 6 inches of yucky water too. Hmmm? So we call the city. Simple right? Nope. The dispatcher can not reach anyone. With the water level rising I start emptying my freezer and filling the kitchen one and a neighbors with all our hand picked berries and frozen meat. On my way back to meet the one plumber I could find, I hear a loud truck noise. That's right! The sewer company DID respond and started working on it right away. Simple right? Until Carolynn calls:(She offered to keep the kids so I could attend ANOTHER sleep related appointment). Her van has run out of gas and is stranded with her six and our two kids in her 12 passenger van with it's flashers blinking that no one, including a police officer, has stopped to check on. (*for the record she states that this has not happened since 1988*). So I leave Ian to hash things out with a city manager as to the damage to our home, grab our full gas can and hustle out to meet her.

With everyone settled back at home, I feed the family, sweep.mop.and vacuum the kitchen floor to kill any nasty germs from our boots during the day. Kiss Ian good bye (on the cheek since I have a cold), play with then tuck in the kids, feed the dog and contemplate the next step.

So see, just since the blog is quiet, does not mean that the house is.

Monday, December 7, 2009

So Simple

Our children's favorite toys of late are so basic! The old fashion piece of rope is in high demand. Right now they are having a giddy time with an unopened package of pull ups. Recycled items, soap, paper, ect. Nothing in current society someone would set out to purchase "toys". This should make Christmas easy . . . .

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Meet Gus

Therapy in action. The days following Tegan were defiantly missing something. Like four legs. Do we wait? Do we not? We told the kids soon, but not right away. That was Thursday. Friday we searched online and local. Saturday we drove to Everett to visit this guy. He seems to have found Tegan's groove and fallen in it. Loving it!
He's great! And we are having fun.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

There's Stuff On My Floor

and there is no one picking it up. Our beloved Tegan passed away today.

I had to call Ian home from work. I have never done that. I have asked him to hustle home, but never leave work. He happens to work only 5 minutes away and our son needed his daddy! He was here right away. I was strong until I saw him, then I lost it. He was so strong and took action. He did all the right things right way, even making dinner. It could not have been easy for him.

It made me start sobbing all over again as I brought in the dinner dishes. Pre-dinner ingredients on the floor and scraps on the plates. Tegan was a birthday present to Ian 9 years ago. My husband wanted a house, so he could have a yard, so he could have a fence, so he could have a dog. Tegan was our first living responsibility. He was a moma's dog though. Always right behind me as I worked in our home. He would cuddle with me in the morning as I drank my coffee. This bedtime hour is super hard though. Everett and Tegan have always been together as far as Everett is concerned. In fact, Tegan probably had more of the bed the last couple of years! He was our buddy and a family member. Here are some things we will remember about him:
-The way he always walked himself home the last hundred yards or so of a walk, playfully wrestling his leash as we went.
-The large guy thought he was a lap dog . . . at 90lbs!
-How he SO gently took treats from your hands
-Protector of his kids and their friends.
-If he barked he was allowed to eat it, since he rarely did. Chances were if he did not like it, we would not either.
-He would sit so upright, he looked like a human.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I've been wanting to say something for a while now

This is my friend. I love her. She is the best cook I know (that will only offend you until you enjoy her cooking). Her home is warm and welcoming. She has a Master's in organizing a full home. She always looks fabulous. Her wisdom is superb in faith, marriage, and homeschooling.

At times we school together, together, shop together, pray together, vent together, and encourage each other. And to think I could have missed out on all of it. I met her six years ago on a whim. I was at her house with my first born, who was still so young and laying in front of me at my feet, when her then baby boy, toddled over and sat on Everett's head. Being a new mom, at a strangers house, I did not know how exactly to handle the situation. Remain calm? Can you remove someones child? Comment to his mother? Nock off her son to rescue my own?

It is now a story that we laugh about as our boys are now great friends. We talk multiple times a day! And I am blessed to have her as one of my core friends.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oh, HE is so good

The weather is crazy right now, like 60+ mph winds. Earlier this morning (1 am) Ian was working at the hospital making sure its generators and breakers could power everything during a power outage. Good thing since we lost power at 7:30 tonight. I was out having dinner with girlfriends, when the power went out there too. Since dinner was over and Ian texted me "the kids are freaking", I thought I would stop and pick up batteries and flashlights, that I had been dragging my feet in buying. I loath the price of batteries! God had us covered though. I spent a disgusting amount for them, yet due to sales I saved almost half. Half! On a night where the power goes out. Cool. Thank you Lord for always covering the details (and my little behind).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nights and lights

Our house if full of problematic sleepers. As babies, our kids would not sleep. Older now, Bel falls asleep almost instantly and Everett usually does . . . except for those nights where he just can't fall asleep. Both are up way to early. Anxiety, stress and a snoring wife keep Ian awake. Me? I only look asleep.
We do our best to combat such issues. Going to the bathroom, taking a bath, story, water, blanket, (forcing wife to go to a sleep center) all for the goal of sleep. However the last two nights have had those elements that you want to control and those you could not.
Night #1:Ian packed up the kids to track down the source of the search lights. The kids were wondering and speculating as to what and where they were. The found them about 15 minutes later at the grand opening of our new children's museum. Fun and a memory. They things we want them to recall "Hey dad. Remember the time we . . .?''
Night #2:This? This is tonight. One of the nights E just can't sleep. It also happens to be the night that Ian noticed someone breaking into his car (we were just in the living room, lights on and everything! porch light too!). We called the police after Ian peddled around the block on my bike, since his was stolen just this last August. The police came. And Everett was allowed to get out of bed to talk with the police officer and then watch the search of Ian's car.
That should help everyone relax and sleep. Sheesh!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not found in a book

Today was Veteran's Day. I wanted today to be authentic and full of honor. This morning Everett was more than willing to complete a simple and basic book about the Armed Forces from Enchanted Learning. Then we watched some YouTube clips of the Changing of the guard of the Tomb of the Unknown. As a craft to hand out, we made poppy flowers that had became symbolic after WWII. I explained that we might not see very many WWII veterans due to their age. But we did meet one. The gentleman on the far left was 17 when he enlisted. The two gentlemen in the middle both served during the Vietnam War. The gentleman on the right gave me a complement. In reference to the flower (some red paper hearts, a black circle, on a pipe cleaner, with a tag), he said "This is the highlight of my day". Exactly! I was so hoping a our little paper and glue would relay our thanks. We attached tags to our flowers that said "we will learn". Learn instead of remember because I hope to make history real to me and our kids. I myself, have no first hand experience at the effect of war or a military family. I thought today might be a way to change that.

Today we heard their stories. We saw some of their eyes well up. We heard their answers to our questions. We shook their hands. We said thank you, and heard thank you. They appreciated the intention of our time.
We also went to the local flight museum to see some big planes. Then we went to papa's house to watch A League of Grateful Sons from Vision Forum. Although it was a good school day, I would make some changes. My mom must join us next time. And be to the Memorial Park at 9 am to hear the 21 gun salute and hear the taps.

P.S. Oh, they loved Everett's uniform. Many of them were cub and boy scouts too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Posts

To say that I am tired sounds cliche and like a broken record. You see, I currently can fall asleep no problem and stay there even. Way different than a couple of years ago when I could not fall nor stay asleep. The problem is that my brain is on (and on, and on, and . . ) I seem to have a restricted airway and thus my brain is repeatedly checking to make sure that there is air available. I know this because of my sleep study: Here I am with 2 chest band, 2 eye, 1 in each nostril, 1 mouth, 4 chin, 5 brain, 2 chest, 4 leg (that I can remember). That box in my hand was connected to each of them and my sleep was recorded. On your mark, get set, sleep . . . . They asked (as I am sure you are) "How did you sleep?". "No problem. No kids. No husband kicking me out for snoring". Just me, my blanket and pillow all in what looks and functions just like a hotel room. All the hook ups were not a problem. I woke up as much as I usually do.

The result: NO REM sleep. Can you believe that. I was shocked. Picture a non beating heart; a flat line. A good sleep will record curves below the line. Mine only did it once at the beginning of the night, 10:30 or so. In fact, that was the only time it dipped down, the rest of the night my "curves" were spike after spike of waking up. I am thrilled to know that this fatigue, fog, and lumberment (?) to complete a day is not just in my head. Now it is witnessed, recorded, documented, and on its way to being treated.
How do I feel about falling asleep with a mask on my face? Fine, if I can feel more human and capable. How does my husband feel about such a sexy embellishment? Fine since he will get a good nights sleep too, and his wife might be more able to tackle her tasks.

Please do not let this post or picture scare you off from investigating your sleep or health (Mrs. B I'm talking to you!!!) Even if I do not end up with a machine to help me breath at night, I may need a medication instead to let my brain relax for the night. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not a boy, but a young MAN

Everett is continuing to work on his gun safety pin. For that we headed to the gun range. Ian showed him how to load the .22 then it was his turn. Everett loved participating in such a grown up activity. Ian and Andy took him up in the wood over a year and a half ago. He can remember EVERY detail. He would love to do more "man things". All in due time Anyway, after the loading it was time to shoot.
Not that Isobel was board, but rather chill about our new activity. She kept wondering when her turn was. It reminded me of when my brother started his gun lessons. That was the exact moment I wanted to too. Everett wanted to try shooting outdoors too.

That's when she got her turn. Ian did a great job being a patient calm teacher for both kids.
In case any of you locals are wondering, our family entered and received targets for $20. On Tuesday nights it is Family Night. For that you receive the same PLUS a .22 and ammo. There is both an indoor and an outdoor range and an ear friendly lobby to watch from. I thought there was great information on the walls. The Ranger was nice too! It was nice to have our family (read children) welcomed and not shunned. He says that if the grant goes through, the family deal may be free starting in January.
For our family we want our children to have a healthy respect for guns. We want them to know how to handle them safely and what to do if a friend is more than a little curious if they ever come across one.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Twenty minutes is not twenty minutes

An elevated heart beat of twenty minutes requires:
10 minutes of getting ready
10 minutes of getting the kids ready . . . what, you thought you could do this alone?
More time spent if not working out at same location
30+ minutes working out for the goal of those original 20 (go, stop, solve kids problem, start going again, stop for something else, etc)
10 minutes changing clothes and think what might be to their next question "Now what mommy, what's next? How are you going to entertain me NOW?"

See it takes an hour or more to complete those 20 little minutes!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Field Trip

Yesterday we took a field tip to my parents house. My family hunts deer and elk and so there is a wealth of knowledge regarding our new subject of guns (gun safety and history leading up to the Pilgrims for Thanksgiving). The pictures are poor, but our day was so much more and great.First we started with a gun safety video. Then Everett recorded what he learned to do if he found a gun 1. Stop 2. Don't touch 3. Leave the area 4. Tell an adult.Then after a discussion of how to handle a gun (always point it in a safe direction, always treat it as if it were loaded) it was time to show and tell through the gun safe (posting pictures of that makes me nervous about privacy though). It was very cool for me to see my papa teach my son in much the same way he taught me. It was cool too for papa and I to use our hunting and camping memories to teach Evie. It was NOT cool to see the height difference between me at 10 vs. Everett at 6 with the SAME rifle! I'm gonna be a little momma to a big boy.

As with any grandparents house there are highlights. At my parents place it is the Wii and the hot tub. So since we were learning about guns, they did a little target practice via the Wii. Thanks Papa! I had a great time . . . and E did too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I believe Saturday was national Make A Difference Day. A church we have been trying out is big on community, and so participated. Our project was a park clean up, that just happened to be across the street from our house. So the kids and I geared and loaded up. Everett's participation fulfilled some Contenders and Scouts requirements . . . as well as warmed my heart. The first thing we had to do was clear the blackberry bushes. That is not easy! But many hands make light work. E was GREAT! Once shown how and what to do, there was no stopping him. In true man style, Everett dug to the roots and yanked them out.
Bel did her part to. I was surprise at how in to it they both were. Ev just kept going and Bel attacked what she could.After the berries were gone, it was time to plant trees. I was proud again at how Everett whole heartily went about his work. He had a mission and worked at it despite me, kid, teen or adult. He easily worked alongside whomever without a second thought.
After planting five trees he was more than ready to move on to something else. What could be more fun for a young man that a claw to pick up trash . . . and gross out your mother with it :)
Way to go buddy. I am so proud of your diligent hard work!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh, man

Monday night was our first Den Night. Everett was part of the flag procession for his fellow Tigers.

Oh be still my heart. Isn't he handsome! Sorry for the blurry pictures. I was trying to salute, recite and photograph all at the same time. He LOVES scouts!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Historical Dinner

We too went to the Historical Dinner. Since we are still studying colors and Noah, I kinda insisted that Ev go as Noah. He did a good job putting up with my character choice.
Not wanting to be left out, Isobel and I dug through our dress up box and found this. It is actually my old horse show outfit from when I was four + Ian's old hat and Everett's clothes pin gun from our trip to Winthrop = Little Annie Oakley. She was SO cute!I love this photo. Two of her friends came as Indians and our little gun slinger.Ian was a trooper. At the last minute he decided to dress up too . . . as Cesar. Does he look confused? I might be too if I was having a dinner conversation with a 3 year old Sacajawea.I attempted to go as Helen Keller. That did not go so well. I talk to much.
Everett presented his ark we made out of popsicle sticks. It was 1/120th scale with a picture of Everett on a scrabble square (1/2 in) to show how truly massive Noah's job was.Thank you Syndi for all your effort for a great night.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Daddy has will be working nights for a short while. He arrives home just as the children are waking up. Today he had a bedtime snack that was our breakfast. Then it was time for school . . . at Starbucks. We took our workbooks and enjoyed apple cider or in Everett's case hot coco. Language went well until we got to math. Everett does better when he can physically move to help his thought process. Such as when asked what is 45+1? He would stand at a wall, say "45" then jump one time to "46". Well of course Isobel has to join in to. We did a few of those and were outta there! But off to where? Can't go home yet. So during this week we will be bribing and crashing at friends houses to do school with them too. Today, Renee graciously opened her door to us. I explained to my kids that it was still school time and that they nor our hosts were free to play freely. Not wanting to disrupt her home, we said a quick hello and got to work. I had brought a pattern block activity for our youngest students and a bingo type game. It was fun to have more than one 1st grader and a few above and below that to round out my group! It was not even until lunch that we moms sat to say more than our previous hello. It was a good home school day away from home

P.S. Please pray for Ian as he is working on a runway (not is use yet), in the weather, at night, then driving home one hour.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Great Day

Today was THE DAY. As Ian was getting his table out of the car the kids and I prayed for daddy's nervousness, then we were off. It was a bit odd to be walking around down town Seattle with a table under arm. I love the fact that our kids are getting to see first hand to try something new. . . just try. Here is a picture of it from a while go. And here it will be (hopefully, there is one more jury to go). Ian has entered it in a box competition. It will be for sale and up for people's choice award (All those in Seattle go vote!)
The rest of our day consisted of Pike Place Market,

Where we saw lots of different kinds of arts. There was a very nice lady working with watercolors. Her work was beautiful. I thought her little travel art kit was way cool. I asked Evie to smile and this is what I got.
Then stopping at Dick's was a must! The kids and I bring them back to Bellingham for dad when we go. That's how much we all love these burgers.

We made a picnic of it in the back of the car. You never saw such four happy people. Until we loaded back up to go to grandma and jaja's. What a fantastic day and Congratulations Ian!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our art unit continues . . . . Coloring coffee filters and dipping the ends in water was way cool. Seeing it soak up water and having the colors separate was exciting. Yes, this moma sacrificed her coffee supplies for her children's fun education.We even painted our lunch. It's been a fun unit. You should see our ark! (later)
Isn't this cute. I found this awesome book at the library.(Hand-print Animal Art by Carolyn Carreiro). I love hand prints!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Art in the family

Still working on colors. Here we tried to color celery a secondary color. First it was in a primary color, then we moved them to different colors. Since then I have seen this accomplished in our science books by splicing the celery and having it rest in two primary colors to make a secondary. Guess this will be a demonstration in the scientific process . . . and retry.

Here is our homemade finger paints. The kids (we did this on a Friday that I work so Nic was able to fully participate too) each were able to choose a color and watch it mix in by stirring it. They thought this was cool, then it was mix and art!
Here is a table Ian has finished. It is at Artwood now. Sometime soon we will be taking another table down to Seattle. He is ONE of 60 participants in a Seattle show and contest! We are so proud of him.