Summertime Fun: Week 5

July 10, 2014 by kelly

This was a busy week! We went berry picking (strawberries and raspberries), made jam, visited Aunty Carrie and the chickens, saw a lighthouse, picked our first ripe tomato, the kiddos started sharing a bedroom, took a family hike, AND had a neighborhood pool party! Here’s how it went down:

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Before he tasted any of them, he put them in the bowl. Afterward, he just put them straight into his mouth!

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Hard working berry picker! She was a great help!

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We love having Aunty Brenda with us!

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All done!

We had originally planned to pick strawberries, but the fields were really muddy and the strawberries were at the end of their season, so we switched to raspberries. We were all glad! It’s easier to pick raspberries and easier to chase little helpers down the wider rows!

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The Bounty!

Brenda stayed after we picked berries and we made a batch of jam. It was delicious! And it is always better to work on something like this with a friend.

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Jam made!

The next day, we drove up to visit Aunty Carrie. We went to the park, threw rocks into the water, saw a lighthouse, feed the chickens, and ate the largest ice cream cones of our lives!

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A tiny lighthouse inside the lighthouse

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Feeding the chickens

We have checked out the same book from the library over and over. It’s called The Songs of Wildbirds by Lang Elliott. Beatrice loves this book. And she colored a picture of her favorite bird (robin redbreast) and sent a letter to Mr. Elliott.  She was very pleased to see that she is now tall enough to put a letter into the mailbox herself!

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Fan Mail!

Another item on the summer fun list was sharing a bedroom. We found a few things to make the purple room look more gender-neutral and moved in Sam’s crib. Here are Beatrice and Daddy relaxing after all their hard work getting everything just right.

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Sharing a room!

The next day we took a little family hike to some nearby falls. There were many flies, but we had a fun time. Lots of carrying of children by the parents! But it was really nice to get outside together and have an adventure.

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Family Hike

The week ended with a party in our neighborhood pool. It was a great time for the children to try out their skills from swimming lessons and play with Daddy in the “big pool” (we often go to the baby pool in the afternoons).

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Pool Party!

Summertime Fun: Week 4

July 8, 2014 by kelly

This week was very busy. The children had a babysitter four times in one week!  We did things like met with a financial planner and had dates and were privileged to attend the service to celebrate the life of a dear friend’s dad.

The children continued their swimming lessons:

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Bubbles!

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And we got to meet Carter and welcome back the whole family! What a great day! We can’t wait for more playdates!

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Buddies!

And the tomatoes started to ripen, much to our delight!

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Summertime Fun: Week 3

July 3, 2014 by kelly

Things got a little hectic around here. Apparently, the goal of writing one blog post a week is too much for me to handle. So I’ll just catch us up a bit.

The weather here has been unusually warm and sunny.  For my birthday, I received a fire pit AND fire wood! Yay! Here are some photos from our first family campfire:

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Family Fire Pit Self Portrait!

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Waiting Patiently for their Marshmallows

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Evening Hymn outside

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He liked the s’mores!

The next day, we went to a little amusement park/farm and had a great time! The children were the perfect age for most of the little rides. It was really fun to see them enjoying themselves together.

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Crazy Corn!

Another item on our summer fun list was “Ride a horse. A real one.” We were able to cross this off the list, much to Bea’s delight. Sam was not willing to even go near a horse, however. This was exactly the same response Beatrice had at this age!

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Bumbleberry!

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Happy girl!

Beatrice went on many rides that I never expected she’d be interested in trying. She had a great time!

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There were many activities for Samuel as well. Both children really enjoyed the canoe ride.
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Family ride in an antique car. Beatrice and Samuel BOTH driving! Yikes!WP_20140621_003 WP_20140621_005

Summertime, we’re having a blast! More adventures to come!

Summertime fun: Week 2

June 13, 2014 by kelly

This week, we continued our swimming lessons and our big outing was to visit tide pools! To prepare, we read a couple of books about tide pools and talked about the beach. Our local aquarium has naturalists on the beach that were great about directing us to the things we were hoping to see. They will be at area beaches most of the summer: http://www.seattleaquarium.org/beach-naturalist

We met up with a few other families from Bea’s preschool, and my dad and brother were able to join us. It was a really fun time!

Rainy and 55 degrees, perfect beach weather:

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It’s raining and we’re at the beach!

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Smiling!

We first spotted this anemone:

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Our first find: sea anemone!

Then we saw this one, still open:

 

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Tide Pool!

Next we saw this little crab, Sam was a fan!

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Baby crab!

And a little hermit crab!

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Hermit Crab

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Hermit Crab!

I wasn’t sure what this was, but the naturalist told us it was Dog Whelk eggs! So cool!

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Dog Whelk Eggs

First Sea Star: Purple!

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Purple Sea Star

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Sea Cucumber

The clams were spitting and spouting all over the beach. It was fun to watch the water squirt up!

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Horse Clam

Attempted posed photo near the sea stars:

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Purple Sea Star!

We found a cockle on the way back from the water. It was surprisingly heavy.

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Cockle!

It is almost as if they try to avoid having a posed photo together….

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Tide POOOOOOOLS!

And when I asked to have a photo with them, they said they wanted a photo with Papa instead.

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We love going on adventures with Papa!

It was a great morning at the beach! And both children took a nap this afternoon, which opened up the opportunity to write this little blog post. Have a great weekend!

Summertime fun: Week 1

June 9, 2014 by kelly

We started “summer” without a hitch! School is only two days a week and the week after preschool ended, we went right into swimming lessons two days a week, so things are basically the same around here. Different days, but same schedule. Both of the children are enjoying their swimming lessons and we are hoping that they will be safe, strong swimmers at our neighborhood pool this summer and for many summers to come!

I’m hoping I can blog at least once a week about the adventures we’re having. We’ll see how that goes. This week we made a list of summer fun activities and I thought it would be fun to do one right off the bat. “Look for birds, turtles, ducks and EVERYTHING at the park” was the request. And boy did we look at everything! We are fortunate to have a park nearby that has a great walking area for viewing birds and turtles. We headed out on a sunny day in hopes that Sam would see some turtles and we were not disappointed!

 

This turtle was rather large and kept popping it’s head up and moving it from side to side. This delighted the children!

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Hello!

We walked along another path and saw more painted turtles all sunning themselves on these logs. The children were especially fond of the tiny turtles. “Such cute little babies!” they exclaimed!

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Turtles on logs

We were also able to see red-winged black birds (and an adult feeding a baby!), a great blue heron, carp splashing in the water (mating season), ducks, geese, and two bald eagles.

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Gazing at the animals and lake

The bald eagle is on the piling in the distance on the left and you can almost make out the heron in the upper right, kind of on an island. We learned that herons eat the baby red-winged black birds, so that’s why this one hangs around so much.

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Bald Eagle! And A Great Blue Heron!

We went along another path because Beatrice wanted to see the bald eagle again. This is where Samuel started crying because I was pointing out a blackbird to him and he didn’t want to see it and then it flew away. Of course, after it flew off, he wanted to see it, which resulted in many, many tears. I tried so hard not to laugh right at him, but it was one of those classic moments. Mercifully, it was as if the red-winged blackbird heard his cries and it flew back into a nearby tree. Happy toddler times once more!

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More bald eagle! This was a highlight for sure!

On our way back to the car, Beatrice spotted a woodpecker in a tree. She is really getting quite good at spotting birds!

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Love them. Love this photo!

What a great start to summer!

 

Last Day of Preschool

June 6, 2014 by kelly

The week after our trip, Bea had her last day of preschool. She does not usually have school on Fridays, but there was a potluck lunch picnic and a little end of the year program. She was so excited, she was up at 5am, asking to get ready for the day. Unfortunately, we had quite a few hours to fill before lunch started! Once we arrived at her school, she was happily playing on the playground with her friends and after a little lunch, they had the program.  We thanked the teachers and then the children sang two adorable songs. After that, there was a little moving up ceremony for the younger children. Each child received their finished Glad Book from the year and a dinosaur. (The younger class in her school is called the bears and the older children are dinos.) Beatrice was thrilled to be a dino now. A little heartbreaking because she will not attend the same school next year!

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Shaking hands with teacher Andrea and receiving her Glad Book and dinosaur

Afterward, we had our little foursome of girls together for a photo. These four have been together for most of their lives. I was in prenatal class with two of the moms and we were in newborn class together as well! The saddest part about changing schools is that we will miss seeing these sweet families each week!

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Friends!

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Smile!

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Sam was there too! Having a great time on the playground.

 

The week after preschool ended, the moms got together for our own little celebration! Ladies, it is such a joy to love our babies together! I am so thankful for each of you and the wisdom and encouragement that you have provided me and our whole family.

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Road Trip!

May 29, 2014 by kelly

We took our very first family road trip over Memorial Day weekend to Berkeley, CA. We woke the children at 4am and they were so excited to see Aunt Rachel, that they happily changed and got ready and loaded into the car. We were off by 4:15 or so, had coffee in our hands by 4:30, and hit the road!

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Fuel for the parents

The kids were surprisingly alert and awake for being up before breakfast, but they did a great job in the car. We stopped at a rest stop in WA and then made it to Salem for a breakfast stop. Sam was in a poor mood….

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Sam before pancakes=bad mood

But he cheered right up after a plate of pancakes and some hashbrowns from my plate. He has truly earned the title of Carb King!

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Sam after pancakes=happy!

 

We powered through with a quick pit stop for snacks around lunch time and made an early dinner at In-N-Out at the first one we saw in CA! It was such a great time. The kids were happy and actually ate their cheeseburgers (because it was like Aunty Carrie’s!) and the staff at In-N-Out were really friendly.

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First family In-n-Out experience

 

We arrived to our rental house around 9:30pm. Despite some stress with electronics (what do you mean we don’t have navigation for CA?!?!?) and tired kiddos, we made the trip in 17 hours and were all very happy to see Meama and Papa and Aunt Rachel!

The next day was mostly spent walking around the neighborhood, playing in the little yard and doing anything other than getting in the car. That evening, we enjoyed a dinner at my sister’s house for the graduating class members and their families. Beatrice and Samuel played in a giant pile of rocks and Bea made a new friend, which was adorable to watch. They were incredibly dirty and pretty sleepy by the time we made it back for bed.

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Congrats Y’all!

The next day was the big event: Commencement. We were all very excited to be there to clap and cheer for all the hard work my sister has done and for the way she is serving God in the world! B&S made it through most of the hooding of the graduates and then spent the rest of the time playing around outside. Thankfully, California weather that weekend was idyllic. And we saw a lizard! Highlight!

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During commencement

Congratulations, Rachel! We love you!

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The whole gang after commencement

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Mom and Dad with the graduate

While the children were resting that afternoon, we took the chance to have a little walk while my parents watched the kiddos. We took our photo at the YOLO street sign near the rental home because it was fun and funny! And true. YOLO!

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YOLO!

The next morning, we got up and had a leisurely time of things and were on the road after breakfast. We took some last photos with Aunt Rachel and were on our way (after a stop for coffee, of course).

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One last photo with Aunt Rachel

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Ha ha! This book is so funny! (They’re figuring out gratuitous laughter)

The kids did really well in the car again. It was less exciting to be driving home, so there was a little more whining, but they were able to be generally happy in their car seats.

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Happy on the road!

We finally pulled into he driveway around 1am and fell into our beds as quickly as possible! We are so thankful we were able to take he trip to be part of graduation. It was really special to spend some time with my sister and meet some of her friends and see the community she’s built during her time in seminary.

Stitch Fix: Help Me Choose!

May 18, 2014 by kelly

Stitch Fix is a really fun service that I first heard about a pretty long while ago. Shopping is not something I enjoy too much, but my clothes wear out fairly quickly with all the racing around after two sweeties all day. Stitch Fix sends you five items in a box, you get to try them on at home. Anything you like, you keep. Anything you don’t want, you send back in a postage paid envelope. So easy!

I received my latest box and here are the items I received:

I asked for items that could be worn with leggings. I received two dresses that looked so great in the box, but also very different from anything I’d choose. This pink dress has mesh sleeves. The mess was less noticeable than I thought it would be when I first pulled it out of the box. It fit a little funny though and I felt like I was pulling it quite a bit to get it to look right.

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Pink Dress

Striped dress. I first didn’t like this very much, but adding the belt really helped! I really liked this quite a bit even though my face looks quite strange and blurry.

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Stripes

Teal top with white stripes. I really, really like this one! It’s a light fabric, but I”m not sure I’d wear it with white pants regularly.

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Teal and White Striped Top

This last photo has two items. The blue top and the polka dot capris. I’d never ever wear something with polka dots ordinarily, but these fit really nicely and I was surprised at how much I like them.

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Two in this photo! Blue top with polka dot capris

This hat. Not part of the stitch fix. Pretty sure it’s going back, but it’s kind of fun to photograph.

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Giant white hat!

Okay friends, what are your thoughts?

Mother’s Day 2014

May 12, 2014 by kelly

I had BIG DREAMS for mother’s day 2014 and I gave Jonathan the whole list and it ALL came true! Here’s my dream: wake up naturally (not to the sound of crying or the presence of a face right next to mine), take a shower and have hot coffee waiting on the counter, have waffles with strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast, make it to church without anybody crying (well this didn’t quite happen), have some time to putter around in the yard, go the whole day without cooking anything. If you have ever spent the day with two toddlers, you know what a tall order this can be to fulfill!

It turns out I got to buy plants with my mom and Megan on Saturday and returned home to find the garden beds were mostly ready! Yay!

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Planting together

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The finished product Saturday night.

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Covered the seed beds to keep out the birds

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Breakfast with presents!

We took a photo together before church….here are the best three photos. The children gave me a kneeling pad for in the garden and one for each of them to work alongside me:

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Sam REALLY likes his kneeling pad!

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Getting wild!

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One last try and Sam is trying to pull off my dress. Yikes!

After church, we loaded back into the car and met my parents and my brother and his family at the beach for some fun and a cookout. Beatrice surprised us all by climbing up a bunch of rocks all by herself! And Samuel held a crab and thought it was fun! We had a great time and it was just a perfect afternoon of fun together.

Too sunny!

Too sunny!

And one last photo of my sweet helper. Love this girl!

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My helper girl. She loves to be outside!

Being a Momma is a challenge for sure, but the fun and cuddles make it worth it! I sure love you, sweet family! Thank you for a perfect mother’s day!

Beatrice is Four Years Old

March 17, 2014 by kelly

It’s hard to believe our little girl is four already! This year her birthday party was on her actual birthday, which was really fun!

Beatrice, you requested a bird party with your favorite people! Your daddy made the invitations, asking everyone to celebrate with “birds galore” and boy did we have birds!

Chocolate bird cake:

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Before the party, we had pancakes for breakfast. Shaped like birds, of course!

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We spent much of the week prior to your birthday making bird crafts to use as decorations. It was such  fun to work with you and Sam on the projects and I know you two enjoyed making everything.

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We played “pin the bird in the nest”, smashed cascarones, had cake and really celebrated the completion of your fourth year!  While you received many nice gifts, the best thing I have witnessed this year is Sam becoming your buddy. You do silly things together and play games and call out, “Come on, Sam! Let’s go have some fun!” and take his hand and run around. It’s a delight. I hope you two develop a strong friendship. In fact, aside from a strong relationship with Jesus, that is my biggest prayer for you both.13210880423_f67794f902_z

I continued the tradition of the birthday interview, and it is so neat to hear how your answers have changed this year compared to last year.

What do you want to be when you grow up?  A bird

Where do you want to live when you grow up? In a house

Where do you want to go on vacation this year? The Beach

What is your favorite thing to do with Momma? Play birds flying around

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?  Go on long walks

What is your favorite thing to do with Samuel? Play around with stickers

What is your favorite place to go for fun? To the park when it is sunny

If you had a million dollars, what would you do? Buy something! A bird for myself.

What was the best thing about being three?  That I got to be three for so long

What is the best thing about being four? I don’t know. 

What did you learn this year about Jesus?  Nothing.

Who does Jesus love?  You! Me! 

What is your favorite store?  The cookie lady store (Fred Meyer, where they have literally chased our children to make sure they get cookies)

What is your favorite song?  Feed the Birds (from Mary Poppins)

What is your favorite restaurant?  Sushi (She doesn’t actually love sushi, I think it’s the conveyor belt delivery that is fun for her)

What is your favorite food? Macaroni and cheese

What is your favorite color? Purple and pink.

What is your favorite toy?  Easter eggs

What is your favorite book?  Superworm

What is your favorite thing to wear?  My sparkly purple bird shirt

Who is your best friend?  Avery and Adriana