Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Happy Birthday Grandpa Tractor!  This bunch sure adores you. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Need New Pictures!

I'm getting pretty sick of the same pictures on my blog--but no one else is coming in here and changing them up.  So I guess I'd better take matters into my own hands.  Oh right....

Over spring break we lazed around and enjoyed the time off.  I can't remember a whole lot of what we did.  The kids and I went and visited my parents.  We went and saw the Pompeii Exhibit before it left the Pacific Science Center--and the United States.  I highly recommend seeing it if you can.  You have a week or so left to get to Seattle.  Then it's back to Italy. 
Then at the end of the week we were visited with some incredible weather.  So we jumped on our chance to get out into the great out of doors on bike and on foot.  Not on the same day, of course. We are not bi-athletes.  There we are--all lined up and off to the races.  It's not quite the same exhilarating yet peaceful time as a mountain biking experience--but it's what we can do as a family right now. 
 Plus, we can stop along the way at parks to play and have a picnic.

 The next day we headed up to Wallace Falls for a hike.  Henry had not been at all happy on our bike ride the previous day--he cried for several hours straight.  I heard no fewer than three different dads ( I assume they were dads) comment as they raced by on their bikes "I've been there before!!!" as I pulled my trailer full of lunch and blankets and screaming baby.  Anyhow, after that particular experience, I was not expecting a happy boy in my backpack.  And a backpack is a lot closer to my ears than a bike trailer.  However--I was pleasantly surprised with a model child for the whole hike.  Praise the Lord!
 The others did pretty well.  We only went to the lower-falls--which is the shortest hike--but that's okay.  We thought about pushing it but decided to be realistic.  Everyone leaves happier that way.  We have the rest of our lives to be aggressive.
 Lollipops along the way help with happiness too.

 I can't help but think he's cute :)   He's my precious baby.  And each day he sheds some of that babyhood.  It breaks my heart in half.  I adore hearing him talk and seeing him develop.  But I miss that tiny bundle.  He runs and jumps and throws EVERYTHING.  He laughs and chatters and can hear a motorcycle from a mile away.  He shoots sparks of mischief out of both eyes 100% of the time.  He keeps me awake all night--but last night at 1:38 AM he said "mommy, pretty" and about made me cry (albeit I'm pretty tired, so tears would not be shocking).  He followed it up with "daddy, pretty" lest his favorite person get his feelings hurt.  He is head over heels in love with each one of his siblings and has a special relationship with them all.  They would each lay down their life for him, I am convinced.  AND--Henry is already trying to ride a bike.  It's purple with training wheels.  But we made it a bit more manly by getting his helmet done in orange and green camo.  It all balances out.  But I digress from talking about the hike.  I couldn't help myself when I saw this picture of my precious little man.

 These two beauties asked me about dating the other night on our way to Ezra's baseball game.  Not as in "when can we date" etc.  But more like "what is dating?"  They wanted to know how it works and how Tadd and I knew we wanted to "date".  It would have been so easy to say something about how that's a topic for a (much) later day.  But I took a deep breath and thought what a wonderful opportunity to plant good seeds in their minds.  We discussed the point of dating in brief (finding a mate).  We discussed the most important thing to find out (if he is the Lord's and if he lives that way).  And we discussed how Daddy and I got to know each other :)   They listened so closely.  I don't think they'll do that when they are 16.  It made me really happy for the opportunity to have this chat today--even if it seemed a bit premature.  We also discussed how when a girl is dating she should always tell her mother everything--hehe.  And if she doesn't tell her mom, she should tell her sister.  And then her sister can tell her mom.  Indoctrination! 

 Tadd always brings along an extra pair of pink sunglasses for an emergency.
 Thank you Lord for the beauty you have created! 
And that's a wrap.  Now I have new pictures staring at me on the blog page!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Whidbey From Daddy's Point of View

 This set of pictures is all from Tadd's phone.  It's fun for me to see the different view he takes on our time.  This post will be largely without narrative.  Mostly because I told the story of the weekend in the last post.  But also because I'm tired.  We had a very "spring-ish" baseball game this evening.  It was cold and quite rainy.  But it was on a turf field--so no rain out.  Now I'm trying to warm up and waiting for my freshly mopped floors to dry so I can put things back where they go and then put myself to bed!
 The kids always love a chance to take a ferry ride.  We usually just walk on because for the most part we only use the ferry system for fun.  Nora could not remember ever driving the car onto a ferry before and eagerly anticipated watching how it worked.  It's so fun to see things through the kids' eyes--so much that is mundane and every day to us is exciting and new to them.
 Also, nothing says "yes, I do trim my own bangs" quite like a selfie.

 "My son give me thine heart".  And thine hand :)  

 We put an offer on this house.  But they turned it down because it was about 5.7 million less than they wanted for it.  Ha!  This home was the dream house of a Microsoft big wig and his wife who helped found Seattle Chocolates.  You can buy it if you want.

 This is where things get a leetle bit silly.
 Karate kid style.  Not that they know what that means.
 Aunt Megan the below picture is for you.  Don't I look just like that guy doing all those yoga poses on the beach???  Ha!  Not!

What would we do without iphones and their cameras?  Thanks for sharing your pictures with us, Tadd!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Whidbey Weekend

Whidbey Island is full of beauty.  It has been a few years since we've headed to the Island for a bit of relaxing.  But a week and half ago we had the opportunity to spend some time there.  Tadd has a co-worker who generously loans us his house there every once in a while.  Were we ever thankful!  We arrived on a very cold and windy Friday afternoon.  There were kite-boarders everywhere (I'll show some pictures  of them another day).  The temperatures were much colder than we have been used to this mild spring.  I'm afraid we showed up unprepared for the weather.  Right off Daddy headed out with his kite and his Nora--the only one willing to brave the cold at the time.

 Pretty soon the others were convinced to leave the puzzles, games and Wii behind to go explore.
 Shell and crab carcass collection were a favorite activity.

Hey, what do you know, it's me.

Oh boy!  What could I possibly be cooking???

Don't worry, it was only sweet potato crisps to go with our hamburger supper.  One of the many things I love about this house is how well stocked the kitchen is.  It's not your typical vacation home kitchen!  Griddles, sharp knives, pie plates, juicer, fancy cake plate, baking supplies--I don't have to worry about bringing anything from my own kitchen other than food.  During dinner this gorgeous rainbow appeared right over Useless Bay.


Hot chocolate with marshmallows was the perfect dessert to enjoy that chilly evening while snuggled up on the couch for family movie night.  We stayed up way too late watching Swiss Family Robinson.  I loved that movie as a kid and had much fun watching my kids enjoy it.  It's every child's dream--being ship wrecked with your whole family and all the fixings for the fort of your dreams.
The next morning we enjoyed some delicious french toast with berry sauce and whipped cream.  Yum!

The wind had died down and it was much nicer Saturday.  The forecast called for showers and sun breaks--but the morning was one big sun break.

Don't let my girls fool you--it still wasn't really shorts and t-shirt weather.  I was wearing a sweater and coat.  They have always been very cold tolerant.

Useless Bay is full of driftwood.  It's lovely to look at and perfect for fort building.

Later that day we had some visitors.
One of the visitors forgot his rain boots and had to be carted around by his wife at low tide.

And then Grandpa and Grandma showed up too!  What fun.
If you look closely,  you can see the fish grasped in the hawk's talons.   He flew right over our heads.  The bald eagles were also out in full force and one of them carried a squirming eel right over us--but I didn't have my camera ready that time.

The kids snuggled in for story time the next day with Grandpa.
There are so many perks about this house at Whidbey.  The two families that own the house both have children.  So it's stocked with toys, books, games, puzzles, sand toys, tether ball....the list goes on and on. 

We did lots of puzzling.  Well, I worked on one of them with the kids the first night and then Grandpa took over and worked on about half a dozen with them.  The house also had the full set of Little House on the Prairie tv series.  The kids loved watching those.

My Mom's red coat popped off the landscape so prettily (I spelled that "pooped" the first time around, hehe).

Grandpa also took over fort building with the kids.  He's pretty nice to have around.

Watching the next door neighbor trying to get his kite board up and running on a not-quite-windy-enough afternoon.

I have so many more pictures to post....but I'll stop for now.