January 21, 2012

Snow Overload

This past week has been a fun one! Between Tuesday evening and Saturday afternoon we've had record snowfall (15-18 in),an ice storm, frozen rain, heavy rains and high winds. This caused lots of downed trees, power outages (up to 230,000 at one point), stranded people and traffic problems galore! We are now under flood watch as the rain continues to melt snow and the temperatures climb.

The kids loved the snow! Well, except Payton. She thinks its pretty and wants to play in it but doesn't like cold hands. Or feet. So she would play outside for a few minutes then run inside to warm up. Leaving melting snow puddles all over the place.

Another snow lover turned out to be Jack. The first time he went outside there was a flock of about three dozen birds in the backyard. As soon as he saw them he ran and hid under the BBQ! I wish I'd gotten a picture of that!

Once the danger birds left, he started to enjoy himself. He would leap/frolic through the snow with his lips and ears flapping about.

So, while I'm glad we had a few snow days, I'm also happy to see the green grass and feel warm again.

January 12, 2012

Lame Post Alert (you may be getting a lot of these)

What do you call a thirty-something mother of four, who is currently addicted to football, Pinterest, the crockpot , office supplies and staying up too late?

Give up? The answer would be... ME!

I have a HUGE list of projects and things to do but I keep finding myself wandering over to Pinterest to see whats going on. And every visit leads to more and more projects being added to my list! Its a vicious cycle!!

As soon as I figure out how to get my Pins to show up over here I'll show some of the projects I'm working on.

January 4, 2012

The Plague has Found Us

Last week (Thursday, to be precise) Payton started acting a little off. She was fine in the morning but by afternoon she was laying around a lot and not wanting to do anything. That night I put her to bed a little early, hoping that some extra sleep might help fight the sickies off. No such luck. About an hour later I went to check on her and she felt really warm. I took her temperature and it was 103.6!! So we spent a LONG night fighting her fever and trying to get some sleep. She spent Friday napping and napping some more.

By Friday night a nasty cough and sore throat had joined the party AND decided to invite Ryan.

Rather than give a detailed play by play of the last few days, I'll just say that Regan and I are still feeling good (knock on wood-cross my fingers-hold my breath) and the others are passed the worst. Hopefully.

So now we're three days into my new blogging goal and I'm wowing us all with details of the plague that has afflicted my home. I'm thinking it can only get better from here.

(Pretend there is a picture here.)

(I googled the word 'plague' trying to find one

and lets just say there were no family

friendly images available.)

(You're welcome.)

January 2, 2012

School is Back in Session!!

Today was our first day of school after a great Christmas Vacation. It took us a little longer than usual (mostly because I talked a lot more) but we got it all done! I made a few (minor) tweaks to our schedule and added to our language arts program.

Ooh! Language Arts! This year I took everything (!) I had done last year, all my ideas on how L.A. should be taught and TOSSED THEM! Last year was miserable! Why would I want to repeat it? *Side Note* We actually found out in May that Regan is dyslexic. This helped explain why we were having so many struggles (not just in reading) and gave us some ideas on what we could do to work around them.

So this year I worked to make our learning as hands on and FUN as I could. With Language Arts that meant doing a lot of things like 'Mailbox', having a 'Picture Journal', using apps on the ipad, using Poetry Magnets and using WriteShop 'World of Animals' cards.

Mailbox is probably Ryans' favorite thing to do. I have a big box of stationary cards that the kids can choose from and they each write letters/notes to each other. We made a mailbox out of an old cardboard box (we painted and decorated it, of course!) and fill it up during the week. Every Monday we pass out every one's 'mail' and have fun reading them!

Picture Journal is pretty self explanatory. I made a few 5x7 journals out of cardstock, put a photo on one page and have them write a few sentences telling me about the picture. They can either tell whats really happening OR they can make up a crazy story. Here's what Ryan did last week:

The picture I gave him. (We were at a wedding.)

What he wrote.
Since the first part of the year went so well, I decided to add a little bit more to our writing and see how it went. Today went great and I hope it continues that way. One of Regan's favorite things to do is the 'Animals of the World' cards so I went back to their publisher to see what else they offered. I found Writeshop Primary and after reading reviews/looking at samples, I decided to try it out.

WriteShop Primary Book B
I love how it gives you the option of doing a 1,2 or 3 week schedule. (We chose 2) It also has a lot of parent involvement and hands on projects used to reinforce each lesson. Our goal is to complete book B this year and take all of next year to work through Book C.

Other than adding WriteShop, the only other changes I made were little things like seating and how we could make everyone was completing ALL of their assignments.

January 1, 2012

Let's Try This Again...

After a year and a half absence, I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get restarted. Should I try summarizing whats happened while I was away or just start over and ignore the giant gap between posts? Since summarizing that much time would lean more towards a novel, I don't think that will work.

So I'm going to just jump in and get started!

Today is January 1st. My favorite day of the year. I love the whole idea of having a new beginning, a clean slate. New Years, to me, is a time to make new goals, try out some new ideas and to let go of some of the things that didn't go as planned last year.

This year, instead of making resolutions, I'm taking the idea of 'Bucket Lists' and putting a little twist on it. I'm making shorter, seasonal lists of goals and things I'd like to do. Both personally and as a family. My Summer list is looking like all fun so far! I put a few gardening goals in my Spring list (which is a little intimidating to me) but its something I want to get better at. I will probably post my goals at the start of each of the seasons, as a bit of encouragement to continue on with them.

So here's to a new year, new notebooks (mmmm...I love new notebooks!) and a new start with an old blog! Sounds like a good year already!

June 30, 2010

June 30, 2010


This week we skipped going to our local library branch and instead visited another. The Chehalis library is one we hadn't visited before. It was remodeled inside and out and looks great! The outside of the library has a pretty little garden and a big fountain out front.
One thing I really liked about the childrens area is that all the bookshelves were low enough that I could stand off to the side and see where each of the kids were.

June 23, 2010

June 23, 2010

 Our summer reading challenge has officially started! We are joining our local librarys' Summer Reading Program as well as the ones through Borders and Barnes & Nobles.
We are trekking down to the library every Wednesday to load our arms with as many books as we can carry home. Some weeks that will mean Mom gets to rescue everyone who overdid it and carry their books as well as her own. Hopefully that won;t happen very often though! My back can't take it! Maybe we should invest in a wagon. Then I can sit in the wagon with all the books and the kids can tow me home!
Today our library is having a Summer Reading Kickoff Craft Workshop. Regan and Ryan don't know about it yet but they are going to LOVE it! Anything at all that involves creativity and they're all for it!

June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010

For the past few Friday nights I have been down at the ball field cheering for our churchs' softball team. They are a great bunch of people who take the game REAL serious. You wouldn't believe how hard and far they hit the ball! You need to be really careful where you park your car because the parking lot is NOT safe!
So far they have played two games and had once cancelled  because of a soggy field.(soon to be rescheduled) I think I'm going to take our camcorder down to the next game and see if I can get some good footage.

June 5, 2010

June 5, 2010

On Mothers Day this year the Childrens Church had a baptismal before the Sunday morning service. Regan had never been baptised so she asked Michael and I if it was ok for her to do it. After making sure she understood what it meant, we gave our ok. Here is the video Kacie got of it.

(Pastor Bill is asking her a few questions and having her confess Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.)

June 3, 2010

June 3, 2010

Last month Payton had her very first dentist appointment! I must say, she did very well. The ladies that work in the office all came by to tell her how cute she was and how good she was doing.

I don't think they get many two year olds in for visits. I wouldn't have taken her in except I remembered how long it took Ryan to relax and be okay with the dentist looking in his mouth (four visits/two years) and I wanted to get her a head start on it. I guess I worried for nothing because she was a pro!

Her favorite part was picking out her treasures as she left!

June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010

A few weeks ago was Mariah's Senior Prom. She and a group of her friends decided to go together and were meeting at one of their houses a few hours early to finish getting ready. Mariah finished getting her hair and nails done early so we went to a local park to take some pictures of her in all her finery. I need to do some editing on them but once thats done I'll post a few here. She looked so beautiful!
Mariah and her Dad before Prom.

We were on our way to her friends house when her Dad called and said he'd like to see her in her dress. So we stopped by their apartment and I was able to get a few shots of the two of them together. Seriously! Doesn't she look great!

May 30, 2010

May 30, 2010

WOW! I was sitting at my desk this afternoon and thought about writing a blog post that would summarize the past two months. So I started jotting down some of the things that have happened and the list just kept growing and growing! So, rather than list everything out I'll just hit on a few of the big things.
First there was Michael's surgery. Back in mid April Michael finally got the surgery that he had needed for the past year. We were extremely lucky to find a Dr. up at the University of Washington that could figure out what was going on with Michael's shoulder and what needed to be done to repair it. Unfortunately, what he recommended was total shoulder replacement. There were so many issues going on in his shoulder that there wasn't anything that could be done that would be a long term fix other than replacing it. Hearing that was a shock because he's only 32!! But if he ever wanted to use his arm again it was our best option. So he had the surgery on April 20th and everything went very well. The surgeon was actually able to fix another problem he found while operating that they hadn't known about.

Michael's Dr. was sure to put his initials on the correct shoulder.
While Michael was in the hospital my niece Mariah moved in with us. We spent a few days talking about expectations and making sure everyone was on the same page with things. So far things have been really good and she is an amazing addition to our family.

Mariah put on a puppet show for Payton's birthday.
Other than that we have been really busy with baseball, swim team, school, church, field trips, end of the year testing, Mariahs Senior Prom (and soon graduation!) and all the other things that fall into the days to make them full.

February 6, 2010

February 6, 2010

Yesterday was one of those days I had a LOT of errands to run and I had bored kids with me. I just love days like that.
Luckily the people at Les Schwab plan for days like that and installed a TV WITH cable at the other end of the store. I think it was a woman who thought to put it at the other end of the store. Otherwise you'd have a lot of guys standing around watching Elmer hunt for Wabbits and not a lot of work getting done. So the kids watched Phineas and Ferb and only complained about being tired/hungry/bored 27 times. When we left Les Schwab I took the kids over to Burger King and bought them some lunch and let them play in the play area. I really think we need more indoor play areas around here. It usually rains 3/4 of the year and the kids end up inside more than out. And I don't know about your house but at mine we go STIR CRAZY!!
That reminds me. I finally bit the bullet and bought a yearlong pass to the Hands on Children's Museum. Along with the membership we get huge discounts to almost every other museum we'd ever want to visit.

February 5, 2010

February 5, 2010

Our cutesy little puppy has grown by leaps and bounds.
When we first got him he would fit perfectly on my lap.

Now I fit on his.

February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010

A few days ago I decided to get the kids swim bags, jackets and other 'stuff' organized as much as I could. So I installed four coat hooks below our cork board and two heavy duty hooks on the wall next to it. Now Devon and Regan have a designated place to hang their swim bags and when I tell everyone to hang up their jackets, they know exactly where to put them.
The cork board is something we started using last year after Michael's arm was crushed at work. He had so many appointments we were getting overwhelmed trying to keep them all organized.
I was keeping everything in my daily planner but that didn't do Michael any good when a Dr. would call to set up an appointment time. So we set up the cork board with a big calendar and keep everything up to date on it. We also keep a copy of every ones business card so its easy to get numbers and addresses.
I have another big cork board above my desk that's just for me. I keep reminders, schedules, phone numbers, menu plans and anything else I need help remembering up there.