Friday, January 30, 2009

Sledding With Missa A and Miss J--mini-post

Last Saturday Missa A and Miss J called and asked us if we'd want to meet them up at the pass for some snow fun. So we packed up and hit the road. Ezra had a blast sledding and playing in the snow. He willingly explored the safe areas and the "no-no" areas. Caroline got cold quickly and was a little grumpy. Someday I hope they'll be on the same page with longevity in the great out-of-doors. Anyhow, here are a few pictures that Miss J took with her new camera and gladly shared with us.
The cheapo saucer we have turns in circles the whole way down the hill, making it easy for photos to be taken from the top of the hill.

All ready for daddy to give us a starting push.

Ezra enjoyed going down by himself (yes, that is my scarf--he loves scarves).

We left our camera in the car and have nothing to contribute picture-wise. However, I do have one little quote from Ezra.
While observing my pot of pasta boiling over last night: "How did soap get in our passa mommy?" Keen observation.
Also, on a tooth update, Ezra was able to sit quietly and have a filling and a sealant done yesterday at the children's dentist. This means we will be able to skip the procedure they first recommended using general anesthetic. Thanks all for your prayers for Ezra yesterday morning. Now we keep praying that those front teeth hang on for a few more years!

Monday, January 26, 2009

This, That and the Other Thing

The past week has been plain old boring life around here. We are not done with our science project yet, but hope to be soon. The kids' classes have started up full swing at the Center and so we are now rushing out the door 4 out of 5 mornings. As I speak, there are two men under our house removing the mold we developed from the flood waters being under the house. Jealous? When they are finished the insulation installation can commence. And then can we be done please? And now...I'll give you a glimpse of our non-exciting last week. We have been planning to fix the floor in our computer room for quite a while now. We decided that we'd get the flooring guy here before he was too busy with all the post-flood remodeling. These next pictures are mostly for Grandpa Idaho and Grandpa Tractor--and any of the others terribly interested in sagging-Pergo floors and how to fix them.
Ezra offering his hammer to the "woiker man".
Out with the old--had to dispose of the whole floor just because of the one area that had to be fixed. That type of flooring had been discontinued, so he couldn't just replace the one section, unfortunately.

Playing on the futon in the living room--the furniture juggling was just short of insanity. We are thankful to have it all back in its proper place!

Finding the problem.

The fix--new (even) mud.

"Look mom! High heels with my moto-shirt. What do you think dad will say?"

"Someday you can wear them too, Kine."

This is intense joy--not anger. He sometimes likes to steal back the high chair from Caroline.

This is nothing out of the norm--we all have a little love for ice cream in this house. Especially when topped with bananas and hot fudge.

I finally got around to trying out a new recipe I've been wondering about for a few years. Cherry-chocolate chip cookies. Deeeee-lish! In Tadd's words "I wouldn't be offended if you made these again."

"Look mama, it's a helicopter!" Tinker toys really are an educational entertainment system. The other evening I broke them out (Ezra has to pick up ALL other toys before this multi-piece set is allowed off its high shelf in the closet) while I made dinner and the kids entertained themselves for a good 30 minutes--without fighting.

We went to mommy group last Friday and spent the afternoon/evening at Grandpa Tractor and Grandma Harbor's house. The kids are big fans of the air Grandpa makes them lots of popcorn.

Caroline is also a big fan of Grandpa. She shouts his name when we pull into the driveway. Since he was at work when we got there, she spent a lot of time asking for him and watching out the window for his car. Her Grandpa love is not limited to Grandpa Tractor--she loves Grandpa Hi-do a lot too :)...just in case he was wondering.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Final Post-Flood Update

Flood recovery is continuing all around the area. Most of our neighbors' homes are down to bare bones. Demolition noises echo all over. Tadd and I both wish that we could help a little more than we have been able to. It's hard with two small kiddos to worry about and also, a little work of our own here on the home front. We have been able to feed our neighbor a few times while he toils with ripping out his floors and walls. And Tadd did enjoy helping him demo his deck on Saturday. The Lord DID preserve us and the inside of our house. However, upon further inspection, we found that the water had entered our crawl space and got the insulation wet. All the insulation had to be pulled out and replaced. To save half the cost, Tadd bravely decided to do the removal himself. The sooner it comes out the better. Wet insulation under the house can get the wood wet and cause mold. So, as soon as we knew what we had to do, it was time to get to work. Tadd crawled and scooted around in the dark yanking out nasty wet insulation. I stood on the outside and pulled it out as he handed it to me. Oh yes, and the kids?...good question. Against our better judgement, we let them run around in the dark cold dirty backyard. Icky. Then, my parents arrived to save the day. Mom stayed inside and watched the kids, did dishes, made beds, etc. Dad went under the house with Tadd and they handed the insulation out five times as fast as before. Boy were we happy to have that job over with!
Now the crawl space is drying out and later this week a crew will come replace the insulation. Tadd replaced all the pipe insulation himself. He also had to clean out the shed and rake up all flood debris from the yard. The city has a free dump site that's been open from the day after the flood until today. Talk about savings! Can't beat free. Thanks to mom and dad for all the help--and Tadd for all his work!
Here are a few last photos from the school district website to leave you with.

Here is the inside of the high school auditorium.
And Highway 202 down in Fall City. Look at what the raging flooded river did to the road and cars. The houses off to the left were ruined as well.

Here is the high school sports field directly to the east of our house.

The red house to the right of this picture is just across the street from us. The beige house has a very sweet young Christian family living in it. They have 3 very young kiddos and have flooded twice in the past two years.

The street to the north of our house.

Here is the floral shop/gift shop I love to buy gifts from and the laundromat. They have cement floors and are used to flooding. They are in a low spot and are some of the first to get wet every flood. Both were open one day after the flood.

The middle school down the road. Thankfully, the inside stayed totally dry. And now, Lord willing, we shouldn't have any more flood pictures to show you this year! We'll be back to the usual adventures of Ezra and Caroline! Yesterday we spent the day in Tacoma for all-day meeting. But, the camera stayed home without us--so, no pictures. The kids and I have been working on a science project that we will hopefully soon be able to post! Until then...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Today we went to the zoo! The Woodland park zoo in North Seattle. I have taken the kids to the Point Defiance zoo, a long time favorite of mine, several times in the past. They have never been to the Woodland Park zoo. It is wonderful. So many animals. Natural habitats. And I happen to know a lot about the landscape design there. Looooong ago, when I was Brooke-of-a-different-last-name, I had a good friend named Natalie-with-her-former-last-name. She went to University of Idaho and I went to the University of Washington (go dawgs!). She came to Seattle with a group of her landscape architecture groupies and teacher who we also know. I was invited to spend the day touring interesting landscape destinations around Seattle with them. Being an English major, I always had Fridays off of school and gladly followed them around on their field trip. I got to go to the zoo and learn all about how natural and wonderful all the vegetation was. It was fun then and it was fun to remember today. The day I was there waaaay back then, a new baby elephant and just been born and was a huge attraction at the zoo. I think I saw him today in the elephant barn, a bit bigger now, having his bath. He behaved impeccably for his trainers.
Here's my little ones now (oh what a long road it's been since that long ago day--I have two kids now, what????) sitting on the hippo statue.
The king of the African savanna. He was truly magnificent. His lovely wife was resting behind the tree. I hear rumors they may be expecting.

Ezra checking out a viewing cave.

The elephant territory is HUGE. We wandered all through it before finding the adults just outside the barn and the juvenile inside having his previously discussed bath.

Just about every exhibit has a sculpture nearby. The kids were happy and cooperative for the first hour and I took lots of pictures of them with the sculptures.
Elephant trunks are a great source of curiosity.

Only Caroline was brave enough to touch the Komodo dragon. The real thing stalked all over his habitat for us to watch. A little creepy. A lot creepy, actually. As was the python with the dead rabbit he had rejected for his lunch.

The below photo is poor quality. But it has a story. This young orangutan was playing with his/her mommy's hair. Just like Ezra does! He was mesmerized and had to watch. I explained that he was picking out the bugs and eating them. Ezra thought about that for a while and finally said with deep feeling "That's gross!"

Later on we found the gorillas. This is so precious. Here is a less than 3 month old infant cuddled in her mommy's arms for a nap. Oh my word! We were so happy they were outside--and right next to the glass too! What a find.
Daddy stayed awake to guard his baby and wife. He kept looking at Ezra and Caroline. Caroline was kissing the glass in efforts to get to the "BABY!"

The gorillas are split into two groups. This is the second group. The below is what I assume to be a pregnant female. Her belly was enormous and kept kicking and lurching. Her over sized mammories were hanging off her side. Boy do I remember the discomfort of having a belly that size!
And here is Big Daddy himself, enjoying a leaf and berry salad fresh off the stick, so to speak.
And, my own little monkey--climbing where little boys were not meant to climb at the zoo.
After this, we had to stop taking pictures. Kids were screaming. We were freezing. Time was running out. We did see lots more animals, had lunch and played at the "zoomazium". On our way back to the car we toured the family farm and saw all the animals more familiar to us--cows, goats, rabbits, chickens, horses and pigs. The kids crashed in the car and we all came home to finish our naps.
I did want to share some of Ezra's conversation from today. He talked about being a big boy someday and riding the bus to school. He expressed a desire for "his Kine" to come with him. He said, "I will hold her hand so she can come to my class with me. I will tell her, 'don't touch those things' and I will teach her things!" How I pray he always wants to include her this same way! Then, during lunch in a very crowded food pavilion he calmly asked me "Where is God?" I answered that He was in Heaven. He said with all confidence "Yes, He is...and we are going to go there soon!" Ah, the faith of a child. Amen, even so come, Lord Jesus!

Monday, January 12, 2009

This is a Water-Free Post!

I will post more pictures of the recent flood at a later date. For now, let's forget about it and show a few shots of what we did while we were evacuated (just for you Auntie Avy!). My dad, mom and two youngest brothers had just arrived home from Brazil the day before we got to their house. They were tired, tanned and trying hard to get back on schedule in our time zone. We made all but the "tanned" category harder. It was a much needed distraction to hear all about their time with the Binottis and down in "Floripa" at the beach house and the Bible conference. Also, they quite generously brought us all very cute clothing from Brazil.

In addition to Brazilian gifts, the kids got belated Christmas presents. Ezra was quite excited to have a moving, noise making front end loader/back hoe and two books with an electronic "pen" that reads the stories to him (I am excited about this gift too!!!!). And Grandpa and Grandma decided that no little girl should go through life without her own pony--so, Miss Caroline is now the owner of a rocking, talking super darling little pony. True to form, she is terrified of it and Ezra loves it. She's getting used to it.

Here are some pictures of the clothing, gifts and our time at Grandpa Tractor and Grandma Harbor's house.

It fits, mom :)
A little tackling/wrestling session while we were modeling our new clothes.

This little outfit, complete with headband is stinkin' cute!

Ezra's clothes are a little big, but will be perfect someday soon :) Grandma bravely bought them from a Portuguese speaking clerk while shopping all by herself.

More goofing off while we tried things on--don't worry, we got the headband off her neck before any strangulation occurred.

Our little cowgirl on her pony.

Playing a concert at Grandpa and Grandma's

Ezra and Ha-ha George borrowing Grandma's laptop.
Caroline was in love with "Bett" the whole time we were there. This photo fails to capture the possessive little pout she had on the whole time she nestled in to his lap. She would have let him hold her ALL day most days.

After we returned home Ezra made use of his new gift AND his sister's.
P.S. We had a new cousin born yesterday, but we don't want to ruin the surprise before her own mommy blogs about her : )