Sunday, December 28, 2014

November notables...

The boys finished up soccer halfway through November.  I did another half marathon (2:11) - about 20 minutes faster than the one I did back in 2011.  We had a big week for Thanksgiving, which I'll document next.  Here are just a few other moments from November.

We never do very well on crazy hair day at school, but we attempted to style it a bit different.  Semi-crazy.  

 These two are cute.  You never know what to expect.   You might find them reading a book in a bucket, with underwear on their head, or wearing my bra (not pictured...).  Savannah still likes hats and shoes.  

The kids had off a couple days of school for Veteran's Day, so Alex took them hiking one of the mornings.  It was the dog's first hike, and the kids were excited to find a banana slug.  I enjoyed a few hours without the kids!

Monday, December 8, 2014

22 months

One more post for October:  

I made Savannah's plaid dress and matching doll dress out of one of my shirts that never fit right.  She likes it.  I like it.  Cute girl - especially when sleeping!


Well, one good thing about a power outage - creating collages on my laptop was about all I could do in the dark.  So I have now caught up with October on my posts... here's Halloween.

We went to the annual Halloween party at a friend's house - great party.  New for this year was a spooky tunnel, which Nathan almost didn't do because he was scared!  He finally did.  I don't think Owen or Weston ever went through it.  The kids enjoyed the usual games, and we enjoyed a taco salad bar for dinner.

Here is the crew:  

I made Jared's shirt and light saber, little boot covers for Savannah's outfit, and put together Nathan's costume.  I didn't have to sew the pants, but did glue the red stripe down the sides.  I sewed the shirt and vest and made the belt out of craft foam.  

Luckily the other kids were happy with thrift store finds.  Weston was excited about his "Pirates of the Caribbean" costume because it satisfied 2 things he wanted to be - a pirate and a skeleton.  Skeleton pirate - perfect.  Owen specifically requested to be a muscular spiderman, so I was so glad to find that.  Whew.  Savannah was fine with her costume, because it had a dress, hat, and shoes (all things she loves.)  

Below is the aftermath of our trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.  Everyone was really generous, and the kids ended up with plenty of candy (for not much work).  The kids began going through their candy, weeding out their favorites and making a pile of discards.  Nathan discarded some, Owen discarded more, and Jared kept EVERYTHING!  Ha ha.  I'm not surprised.  

Weston ate ONE piece of candy (smarties) and then he was done.  He didn't want to go trick-or-treating at all.  We had to coerce him into it.  After every house, he asked, "Are we going home now?"  At one point, he even tried to say, "We need to get home and do our dinner chores."  Silly kid.  At least we got him to go and get some candy for Mom and Dad.  

I was particularly happy at this point, because this meant Halloween was done and I could move on to the next holiday... ;) 

Pumpkin patch kids

I took Weston and Savannah to the pumpkin patch on an outing for playgroup.  We did the tractor ride, looked at the animals, picked out a couple little pumpkins, and enjoyed a snack.  

We took all the kids back one evening.  The big kids really wanted to do the corn maze.  Weston and Savannah got another chance for the tractor ride.  

We let the kids carve Owen and Weston's little pumpkins.  We didn't get any big pumpkins this year.  Just these cute little ones.  

Owen had to take a picture with "Bono" the monkey, his buddy from school.  He was assigned to watch over him for a few days and take a couple pictures of Bono doing something with him.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Best day ever...

The night of Halloween it rained pretty hard, but the soccer games were all still on the next day.  Weston and Savannah didn't waste any time in finding the best spot on the sidelines to spend their time.  Weston started out with those rainboots on, but had taken them off by the end of the game.  Sigh... they had a great time.  What can you do?  Just start taking pictures...

Green Flash, Tenacious Tigers, and Tsunami

Soccer season was from the beginning of September to mid-November.  Alex was the head coach of Owen's team, and I helped as assistant coach.  It sure seemed like a long season - we were counting down practices and games by mid-October... we had fun though.  This was Owen's first season to play, and he did pretty well.  He was the team's "best goalie," although they don't have goalies for this age.  He preferred to defend, although he did score a goal or two.  In fact, there was one game when all of his teammates scored a goal.  

The game that was most fun for the players was the one in the mud.  There was a big mud hole right in the middle of the field, so most of the boys were camped out in the mud.  A few of them didn't want to get dirty at all.  

After the last game, we had an end-of-season party.  The team got Alex a bobble-head coach trophy.  It even looks a bit like him, except for the mustache.  

Jared hadn't played soccer for a few years.  He has improved a lot since he was watching the birds in U-6 soccer.  He is much more aware of what's going on and more aggressive.  He had a really good coach, who helped the team make a lot of progress throughout the season.  His team didn't quite make the upper pool of play-offs (maybe 12 teams in that one?), but they got 2nd place in a lower pool of six. It turned out to their advantage, since they got a big trophy for 2nd place.  (I think only the 1st and 2nd places in the upper bracket got trophies, so if they got out before that, they didn't get anything.)   Jared and his team were pretty proud of those trophies (they thought they got 2nd place in the U-9 league).  I think Jared wants to play again next year, so at least he enjoyed it.  He got to play with several buddies from school, so that was a plus as well.

Nathan also had not played since 2011, but he never looked like he was behind in skills.  He was aggressive and played well.  He also had a good coach who knew where to play the boys and build on their strengths.  Nathan played mid-field most of the season.  The highlight of his season was scoring off a corner kick.  His coach was happy that someone finally put a body on one of the kicks and knocked it in.  We were all very proud of him.  His team had enough playing points to make the play-offs, but was disqualified from play-offs since the team (parents) didn't fulfill their referee assignments.  It is unfortunate that the kids were punished for something they had no control over.  And it wasn't all the parents fault either.  One of the designated referees was injured halfway through the season, and the soccer organization wouldn't allow a replacement.  Why...?  I don't know.  Strict rules.  Anyway, it was unfortunate because their team was really coming together by the end of the season.

It was fun to watch each of the boys play!  Here is Nathan's goal from the corner kick (I wish I hadn't turned off the camera so fast afterwards, because the celebration was amusing.)  It's a quick video...

Oh, and that was also the day that Nathan had made a bargain for screen time to play I-pad games, and we agreed to that if he made a goal.  I think he may have been more happy about that than actually scoring the goal to tie up the game.   

Thursday, November 6, 2014


We were getting ready to eat dinner, and I looked out the window and saw Weston blowing bubbles to Kai.  Eventually Weston joined the dog outside, and it was fun to see them both trying to get the bubbles.  They were almost like siblings fighting over them.  I think Kai and Weston are on about the same level right now - they're pretty good buddies.  Sometimes I wonder if Kai is actually nipping at Weston.  I think she is just trying to lick his face and play with him.

Savannah joined in the bubble fun on another day.  

 She likes wearing hats, particularly backwards.  Is she going to be an athletic girl?  Don't know, but she sure is cute right now!


Savannah has started praying recently.  She likes to say a prayer before naptime too.  So cute.  This time she was praying over her hot dog, which she calls "diggity dogs."  We checked out a Mickey Mouse's Club House video from the library, which has the hot dog dance on there.  That's where she gets diggity dog - "Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog..."  It was so cute the first time she pointed at the hot dogs in the fridge and said, "Diggity dog."  

I tried to get it on video:

my brave firemen

Cub scout Jared

Jared's birthday was back in May, but it was after all the pack meetings were done for the summer.  He finally did his bobcat ceremony in September.  Often, there will be at least 2 boys doing the ceremony at the same time.  Jared was the only one this time, so he got to say the oath, and promise and such by himself.  He did a great job, saying them all without help.  We officially have a Wolf in the house!  (I think by the time Weston does scouts, we should be experts in all this scout stuff.) 

Let there be chocolate cake!

I thought it was time for a new picture of Alex and me (since we were looking nice for church anyway).  Our anniversary is in August and birthdays in September.  We didn't do anything big to celebrate, but we had plenty of cake!  We had cake with Alex's family when we were there in August, and my family had cake for me when I flew to TX in September.  I made a cake for Alex's birthday, and our home teacher from church brought over a HUGE cake the afternoon of my birthday (Alex got off easy...)  The cake was too big for our family to eat, so I decided to get some friends together at the last minute to help us eat the cake.  

 14 years together!  We got married in 2000 - it's easy to remember how many years.  

We celebrated my uncle Doug's birthday too.  Chocolate cake - YUMMY!

My birthday this year was a memorable one.  Luckily we had plenty of sweets on my birthday - we literally had a stinkin' morning, since our dog got sprayed by a skunk just outside our open window.  The whole house smelled bad for a couple of days with the stench.  (We took the cake over to a friend's house to celebrate where it didn't smell!)  

We got to shop for a new cage for the dog that morning, so she could sleep inside again at night, and gave her a special bath.  The day could only get better from there, and it did.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

GG's great grandkids

Some pages from GG's book:

Great Grandma's 80th birthday

Amidst Alex's September travels, I was able to sneak away to Texas for a weekend to celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday.  (Thanks to friends who helped watch our kids on Friday before Alex got home and on Saturday during soccer!  I left on Friday afternoon, Alex got home Friday evening, I returned Monday night, and Alex left again Tuesday morning... whew!)

We decided the party theme should be cows & western, considering GG loves cows and where she lives now (the "cowboy capital of the world").  GG grew up raising cattle and she also worked for the National Cattleman's Association.  It seemed only appropriate to make a cow cake for the occasion.  

I got in late Friday night and made the cake at my sister's house that night.  It looked really good when I first made it.  When I looked at it in the morning, one whole side had separated/fallen off.  I tried to prop up the side with rolled up foil as best that I could.  Then we had to transport it in the car for about 45 minutes - longest car ride ever... seems like every time we hit a bump in the road more pieces would fall off the edge.  I had to just take off one side when we got there.  The rest was still in pretty good shape.  Hopefully GG liked it.  I know that Eli loved it!  :)  

My mom and sisters had everything all decorated really cute, with pictures of GG when she was young, pictures of her grandkids and greats, cow balloons, and western stuff.  I toted along a few paper plate cows that the boys made.

One of my September projects was making a book for GG of all of her great grandkids (110 pages=no time for blogging...)  GG has 16 great grandkids!

Most of the kids had to stay home, but Evie got to come with Alison.  Noah and Eli are the lucky ones that live close to GG.  Alison had a super cute cow costume for Evie to wear - cutest little cow ever!

The party was just a small family one, but it turned out just right.  GG's three kids were all there - Doug, my mom, and Gary (along with his wife Quin).  All of my sisters were there (and Audrey's husband Sam) - of my siblings, just missing my brother Mike, who wasn't able to make it (missed you Mike!).  We are grateful that Alex, Daniel, and Micah were able to stay home and watch the kids.  

It was fun to watch Eli conduct "Happy Birthday."  And it was fun to have cake & ice cream for lunch!

                                                                                      Some were all worn out after the party...

We were lucky to make it through the party - GG had to go to the ER in the evening.  Her leg was infected, and she was in a lot of pain.  She was in the hospital the rest of the weekend (and still not at home now).  She has been undergoing chemo treatments and trying to get stronger.  She's a fighter!  I am glad we were able to be there to celebrate - I loved seeing the surprise on her face when I walked in to give her a hug!  She didn't know we were all coming.  Just wish the weekend had ended on a better note, with more time to spend with GG.  It was a tender mercy to be able to celebrate her birthday with her that afternoon.  We love you GG!

I finally got to meet Evelyn (Evie), who was born in March.  She is a pretty smily baby!

Enjoyed my time with family - just wish I could have stayed longer!