Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pictureless Update

Hi Everyone! I let Tadd pack up the transfer cord to my camera, so I can't show you any pictures. We got all moved out of our house last Thursday and Friday. Tadd's dad came to help us buy our new mini-van on Wednesday. A mini-van has become my dream car : ) So, we are no longer car-less. Thanks so much to Andy and Jennie for letting us borrow their car until we bought our own. Friends don't get much better than those two. Thanks also to Aunt Mary and Aunt Esther who spent all day Thursday helping me pack and entertain kids. These two generous women also provided us with Subway for lunch and stew, homemade bread and fruit salad for supper. Grandpa Idaho and Grandpa Tractor got our moving van all packed (and Tadd, of course) and we managed to fit it all in--phew! We had our doubts at several points during the day : )
So, as of 10:30 last Friday morning, our little house is no longer occupied by us. The new family should be all moved in and happy. Tadd drove the moving van and his dad took the pick up truck and they both made it safely to AF late Friday night/early Saturday morning. I think Tadd said the van would go all of 35mph up the passes. Grandpa Tractor, Uncle Alan and Tadd unloaded at our new rental with help from Grandma Tractor, Aunt Heather, Ella and Teddy all day Saturday. Tadd started his new job on Monday. Whew! How's that for an update?
As for the kids and I...we have been enjoying rest and relaxation here at my dad and mom's house. I'm having last minute get-togethers and play dates with friends who live here in the south-sound and the Harbor. Thursday morning, Lord willing, the kids and I will drive to our new home with muuuuch help from Grandpa and Grandma Tractor.
I'll do my best to post pictures of the moving experience and also of the new place as soon as I find my cord (and my equilibrium).
Oh yeah--the Kirkland meeting had a beautiful going-away for us after last Wednesday's prayer&reading meeting. The ladies made the most beautiful cakes and cupcakes, tarts and other goodies. And then they gave us gifts and words of love and hugs and even a memory book. None of these folks will ever be forgotten. And each and every one is invited to stay with us at our new home--please come visit us Kirkland meeting friends!!!!
Until the next post...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Saying Our Good Byes

The kids are asleep and I'm out of boxes at the moment. What to do? A quick post, of course : ) We've been having last play dates and lunch dates and babysitting sessions, etc. Here are a few cute photos from such events.

Yes, she has a black eye. Got it at the indoor playground doing something (I don't know what) while I was cleaning up some toys.
We met our good friends Conner and Alexa and their mommy Janelle at the Bounce House last Wednesday. Janelle taught first grade in the same district that I did, only at another school. We got to know each other at first grade meetings and through a mutual friend. She had Conner just three months after Ezra was born. And then Alexa was born just three months after Caroline. We both stopped teaching to stay at home with our little darlings, so we've been able to have lots of play dates. Ezra and Conner have been friends since they were babies. Caroline and Alexa are just starting to interact.

Good Buddies!

A good bye hug.

Our sweet babysitter Mackenzie came over a couple times this past week to help me out while I packed up and ran errands. The kids love her and we always feel totally safe leaving them with her.
And this is one of my co-workers from Opstad, Mrs. Reorda. Caroline cuddled right up to her when the first grade teachers brought us lunch during their spring break week.
We will sure miss all of these folks--but we'll come back to visit!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jesus--He Can Move the Mountains

So this was a very busy weekend--with not a single photo to document it! Friday morning I left to meet up with my mommy group so that we could leave for Portland....without our kids!!!! Yeah!!!! My mom and dad wanted to take my kids to the Puyallup Spring Fair, so I dropped them off in Puyallup and headed on my way. I hear that the kids had a blast, saw cows, dogs, pigs, touch snakes (ewwww) and rode on the carousel. I think Grandpa and Grandma Tractor might even have pictures of it...but I don't.
Friday night, Tadd took the kids to the J family's house for a birthday party for their youngest--who doesn't seem so young anymore. I hear they had a lot of fun there. Still, no pictures.
And I--oh boy, did I have fun. My girls and I went to Portland for a Beth Moore conference. We heard a lot of wonderful nuggets on crucifying self from the book of Galatians. We chatted the night away when we should have been sleeping (since we didn't have kids). We ate snacks and breakfast and a delicious lunch. I'm still dreaming about the avocado egg rolls that Angie bought us. And guess what? Yep, no pictures. I didn't even take the camera.
And now moving week is upon is. I had to stop packing this morning to take Caroline to the doctor because she is quite sick. We found out she has pneumonia. Poor baby. She's miserable. But now we have antibiotics and instructions to keep her comfortable with Tylenol.

I do need to say that I am living off of all of your prayers--so thank you all. This whole move has been so terribly hard on me. I, who am not much of a crier, feel like I've cried enough tears to flood our little town for a third time this season. I, like Peter, have gotten my eyes off of the Lord and onto the crashing waves and raging storm. I know that Jesus can and does move mountains. But I am learning that sometimes He doesn't. Instead He asks us to go over them. And boy did I want them moved. But I also know that all I have to do is put my hand in "the Hand of the Man who walks on water, put my hand in the Hand of the Man who calms the sea" as the song from Ezra's tape says. Thank you all for the encouraging emails and comments you've sent reminding me to do so. I so need those reminders, because I hear that the view on the other side is something to behold.
I apologize for all the talk and no pictures. I should be busy enough from now on out to be kept from such blither blather : )

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Classes at the Community Center

This is Si View Community Center where we attend children's classes, go to the indoor playground and enjoy monthly family night. Family night involves dinner cooked by the local high school culinary club (for a $1 donation), crafts for the kids and entertainment. We've seen Valentine's Performing Pigs and the Amazing Bubble Man this year. The food is good, the entertainment is a blast--and the price (free) can't be beat. Our community center is part of a Metropolitan Parks District and therefore subsidized, making the prices quite hard to beat.

We trudge up this pathway at least 3 times a week in the fall/winter/spring. Caroline takes a class called "Mini-Movers" which is mommy and me style. Ezra sits in the corner and reads books while he waits for us. He took this class when he was Caroline's age.
I don't have many pictures of Caroline's class because it's hard to participate and take pictures at the same time. Caroline's favorite parts are playing with the parachute and the balls.

These classes are what have taught my kids about "clean up time".

Ribbon spinning.

The teacher, Miss Sara. We do love Miss Sara. She has a daughter Ezra's age and a son Caroline's age and they each participate in classes with her.
Ezra's classes are "drop off" meaning that mommy doesn't have to participate. Instead, I sit in the entryway and try to entertain Caroline and gab with all the other moms and dads. It's a nice break and sort of a social hour too. And Ezra LOVES his classes. This year he did "Fun in Fitness" with Miss Sara and "Hot Tot Sports" with Miss Jessica.
Here he is scoring a goal in Miss Jessica's class. She taught the kids tee-ball, soccer and basketball. She is good about teaching proper form, real rules and game etiquette.

Here is Ezra receiving his certificate of participation. That silly little girl walked right in front of my camera multiple times that day.

Ezra with Miss Jessica.

And Ezra with Miss Sara.

During "Fun in Fitness" the kids walk a balance beam, climb a ramp, jump off the end, do a somersaults and then crawl through a tunnel. Ezra got to jumping pretty high.

These kids can really get down with their "this is how the animals dance" song.

Look at those dancing elephants : )

Their class uses the parachute as well.

I love this picture of Ezra throwing the ball up high--it's almost at the ceiling here.
Listening to Miss Jessica instruct him on proper base running technique. This particular morning he ran from home to first, second, third and then slid into home. No one told him to slide, I'm not sure why he did it. But it was cute.

The community center has an indoor playground 3 days a week. We make use of it every Monday after Caroline's class. We used to go more, but now we're too busy with classes. The indoor playground has been a great learning experience for our kids. Ezra has had to be carried out screaming before because of fights over blocks, cars, etc. In the moment my embarrassment levels are through the roof and I think that I can never return. But we know that if we give up, he'll never learn. And he has gotten much better. We still have moments, but they are much fewer and farther between. All these kids in one big room are good at knocking off each others rough edges!

If you've never been to an indoor playground, make sure you google to see if there is one near you (unless you live in sunny California and don't need it, ahem, A-Megan).

This is our local children's librarian. She hosts story time every Wednesday morning and Thursday night. This picture was taken during a Thursday night "pajama" session. We never have time to don pajamas before running up for story time. But, Miss Jennifer faithfully wears her pjs and fuzzy slippers for Thursday nights. We generally attend either the young toddler or pre-school sessions on Wednesday morning. Who doesn't love story time? And Miss Jennifer has more energy than all the toddlers in the room. She sings and makes silly noises (not that kind) and jumps around and teaches rhymes and hand jives and keeps all the kids entertained. She does not just sit and quietly read a story. Ezra has attended story time since he was 8 months old and Miss Jennifer will be dearly missed.

One last bit here. Last night as I was brushing my teeth, Ezra was settling into our bed for his nightly "tell me a story, daddy" ritual. Here's how our conversation went:
Ezra (pulling covers up over himself): "I need to go to sleep so that I can get more energy!"
Mommy: "Oh really?"
Ezra: "What will I do with my new energy, momma?"
Mommy: "Drive mommy crazy."
Ezra: "Mommy, I don't know how to drive, maybe when I am older."
Hee hee.

Life right now is full of good-byes and packing boxes. We'll keep you all posted as our move-out happens. 10 days left in our little house!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend

We hope you all enjoyed your weekend as much as we did ours. Saturday we went to our community Easter egg "hunt" aka: grab. It was raining hard and we didn't want to ruin the camera, so no pictures. But you can imagine it. Large circles are chalked off in the grass. Each circle has an age range. We were in the 0-3 circle. Kids and parents stand around the circle in the pouring rain waiting for the horn to blast. Inside the circle are hundreds of plastic eggs. They are not hidden. They are the opposite of hidden. They are just laying there. Randomly kids break away from parents and run into the circle early. They are dragged back crying and screaming. Everyone's toes are numb by now. We are all sick of waiting for the late folks to find parking and push and shove for a spot in the circle. After 20 minutes the rain increases from a steady downpour to a driving rain and the horn blows. Kids run, parents push while screaming "look for the golden egg!!!!". Our kids are overwhelmed and refuse to pick up eggs. In a few seconds all the eggs have evaporated. We walk away wet and laughing at the absurdity of it all. This has nothing to do with Easter, of course. But it's kind of funny to go to.

Today Caroline donned her Easter dress (a gift from Grandma) and her new headband (a gift from mommy's friend Jessica) and smiled for some pictures. I thought I'd include a picture of mommy and daughter, forgive me.

I am boycotting most of the little boy's dress clothes in stores this year--so Ezra has no cute Easter outfit. Oh well. Daddy likes it better this way.
After meeting we headed down to Great-Grandma's for Easter dinner. I think there were about 23 of us this year. Lots of older cousins to entertain Ezra and Caroline.
These days everyone is always gathered around a computer. Notice another one being carried into the room in the background.

My Uncle Dan and Aunt Cindi. One of them is celebrating a 50th birthday today.
Rob wasn't feeling real well and crashed out on the couch. He didn't even wake up when Ezra's Ha-Ha-George was placed in his arms.

Uncle Mikey is always a favorite with Ezra and Caroline. They must sense that he is a Grandpa as well. His grandkids live waaaaay out on the east coast and so he enjoys a little substitute grandkid time when he can get it.

Great-Grandma, Aunt Pam and Carlie had an Easter egg hunt for Ezra and Caroline. Back in the day the Easter egg hunt was the most anticipated part of our get-together. We'd all pray for sunshine and be so disappointed when nine times out of ten it was rainy and windy. In fact, one year there was a wind storm that took out the power and also started stripping the tiles off a neighbor's roof. All the uncles rushed over to help secure the roof while the aunts stood around trying to salvage the mostly cooked dinner. (Don't worry, no one was hurt, the roof was saved, the power came back on, the dinner was eaten).
When the weather was nice we'd hunt for eggs out in the yard. The uncles hid eggs in crazy spots and us kids were let out in waves, according to age. Then we all grew up. No more egg hunts. Now there are great-grand kids! So, the youngest of the grandkids (Carlie) was excited to hide eggs for the great-grandkids. Unfortunately they don't get the hiding part and mostly followed her around watching what she was doing with the colorful plastic eggs : )

We tried locking the kids in this room filled with high school seniors and a recent graduate. But, neither the girls nor the kids were too excited with that option. As a side note, Ezra tried on and hid all of these girls shoes.

We hid eggs on the previously sleeping Rob. Poor guy, just laying there sick and getting abused like that.

We tried locking them in the hall closet whilst the eggs were being hidden--you can see how much they enjoyed that. Finally, we let them out and the scavenging began.

Cousin Carlie helps them hunt.

"Look what I found!"

"Oh MY!" she exclaimed when an egg fell open and she discovered that they were filled with CANDY! They both looked like little hyper chipmunks as they opened eggs and stuffed their cheeks as fast as they could.
He managed to fill up his tupperware quite well.
Another interesting hiding place for this little yellow egg. We might have gotten a little too sophisticated with the hiding for a three and one year old.
After the kids had their egg hunt, the adults got to enjoy our own kind of dessert: pie!

Caught in the act. No, she didn't polish off the entire chocolate cream pie...we just ran out of plates.
Poor Grandma, she'd be embarrassed, but she looks so pretty in this picture. She really eats very little when she entertains, so it's not very fair of us to set her up this way. She spends most of her time on her feet in the kitchen cooking, arranging, cleaning and serving. And we all enjoy the finished product.
What a way to finish off a wonderful meal! Pie! A little chocolate cream, a little caramel apple, a little raspberry and a lotta whipped cream : )
Of course, these days everything we do is a "last" and therefore just a little bit sad. We thoroughly enjoyed the day. Both kids missed their naps in order to squeeze every last drop of play time out. We hugged all the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandpa and grandmas good-bye and headed for home. And we know that, Lord willing, we'll be back for plenty more of the good times.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


House: officially closed this afternoon. We move out the 24th.
8 months of being on the market, showings, hassles.

6 years of living, loving, playing, raising babies:

Four years of running around in our little Passat:
As of today:
no house, no car, no job.
Emotions: all over the board.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and He shall direct thy paths."