Monday, October 14, 2013

Win Some and Lose Some

Reading a library book together at bedtime.
It is the most wonderful feeling to know that my boys will grow up with their brothers. To have siblings to be picked on by and to be loved by unconditionally.
Dylan is a great big bro. He will play with the littles, read to them, encourage them, and dote over them. Don't get me wrong, he is still a pain and tries to get them in trouble or avoid playing with them when he friends are over, but he is extremely protective. They are instant friends. When I'm having a tough night or Dylan hasn't done his reading homework I will have him read to his brother (s) and all is right in the world. 
Lincoln loves his big bro. 
Camping this summer.
He absolutely idolizes him. If "Bowbie" has his hood on, Lincoln will wear his. His outfits, his mood, his snacks, all reflect whatever his older brother is doing. It is a great opportunity to remind Dylan that whatever his choices are will impact his little brothers but it also gets a little old after a while when he feels like he never gets any alone time (I know the feeling!). 

IHOP! Trying to keep the boys entertained while waiting for the food. 
 Warner loves trying to keep up with his older brothers. He is getting more agile but still doesn't play like they do. He is more in the wrecking stage which is extremely frustrating to Lincoln. At this point he could really take or leave his little brother but I think it is just the current stage they are in. He does have some tender moments and will hug or kiss him, or try to pick him up to bring him to me (a choke hold around the neck, but hey he's trying). They all want to sleep in the same bed and still take baths together so I'm lucky there. I guess we will have to see how this brotherly love pans out in the future.
Eating a snack while checking out the pet frogs. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Turn the Beet Around

See, I told you I wanted to talk about beets. Why? Because they are super awesome.
We read a fun book called Tops and Bottoms about a lazy bear and a poor rabbit. The rabbit tricked the bear by telling him he would plant and take care of the garden but he will give the bear the bottoms of the plants and he will get the tops. So the first round of planting he grows things like lettuce, and corn, broccoli. So basically he gets the good stuff and the bear gets nothing. Then he tricks the bear again and says the bear can get the tops and the rabbit will get the bottoms, so he plants things like carrots, beets, radishes and potatoes, all things that you eat out of the ground and discard the tops. In the end the bear learns not to be lazy and the rabbit family doesn't starve so everyone is happy. The boys got a kick out of the mischief in the book and we talked about how we eat different parts of different plants.
We planted several different types of vegetables including beets in our little landscape garden and watched them grow up, up, up. After we had zucchini coming out of our ears, and salad for days it was time to pull up the beets. The purplish reddish bulbs looked dingy and not too exciting. But, my favorite part, when you slice them open you see these beautifully awesome rings of ruby and white. Kids will be astonished by the pattern inside and won't be able to wait to see what this cool veggie might taste like. Dylan said they kind of tasted like sweet potatoes. I like to roast them in the oven in slices so they turn out kind of like chips. I've also roasted them whole in tin foil and then cut into wedges then thrown them in a spinach salad with feta and balsamic vinaigrette. You don't get a lot of beets when you plant, unless you have a lot of space, but they are a fun thing to have around. Another trick I used is to serve them with sweet potato fries so there is more to go around and the kids can choose how much of each they want to eat.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Embracing Our Unique Children

Here's the article I wrote for my monthly MOPS newsletter. If you are interested in reading the whole newsletter it and many other things can be found at the Ellensburg MOPS website. 

"I have three boys. Three chances for perfect little carbon copies I can shape and mold any way I like. Except each child is unique and there is nothing I can do about it!
I have one child who saw all of his school pictures lines up from the last few years and said, “Oh it’s so cute, I almost want to cry!” I have one child that can sit and stare at a tv screen for hours (if I were to actually allow that sort of thing, right?) with his tongue hanging out but can’t stop running around long enough to color in a picture. I also have another child who loves carrying around different tools of sorts, a wooden spoon, a Swiffer or this week, screwdrivers, wherever he goes.
Each of my boys live in the same house, they even sleep in the same room, they eat the same food, they all share the same toys, but they are so different from each other. God has called each of our children to be uniquely themselves and we as mothers have to do our best to meet the needs of each individual child. What works with one kid won’t work with another so as a mom we have to keep evolving and trying to nurture our kids in whatever way is best for them. And sometimes we have to just let them take a nap with a screwdriver." 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pinterest Almost Killed My Blog

I think there was a crack in the system.

Ok I needed something to blame for my lack of posts in oh what, two months or more. Maybe it was getting up at 4:45am or around there to go into the gym to work out for three months. Maybe it was the fact that I became a football mom and have three rowdy boys and it feels like everyday is starting to revolve around balls (yes, I mean every kind). Maybe it was finally getting on depression medication and trying to figure out our new normal. Maybe it was a wacky summer and I just needed time to breath. Maybe.

But I'd like to officially blame Pinterest. In case you don't know it is a website where people share pictures linked to websites of inspiration for all aspects of life and you can "pin" the images to your virtual boards to get back to later. It is an awesome place to find recipes, decorating ideas and crafts etc. I put off ever going on there even when friends would rave about how much they loved it because I knew it could become a time-suck and there already wasn't enough of me to go around. When I did finally jump on the band wagon I was hooked. I mean it is really cool. I even thought I could pin stuff from my blog onto Pinterest and increase my readership. This was also back when I thought I could make money blogging (oh silly me). But then I realized I didn't have the technical skills to make my pins look pretty enough. Or how to even put text onto pictures. Or the cool ideas to write interesting and inspiring posts daily. I started to spiral downward.

I was eating healthier so all the posts about delicious desserts just made me want them more. I knew I didn't have the time or ingredients to make fall scented playdoh or hand sew adorable Halloween costumes. I didn't have the financial resources to go out and redo my kitchen to look like the stunning ones I saw online. I couldn't look at posts on romancing your husband while I was just struggling to communicate with mine. My dinners weren't always perfect. I had let all of these things creep into my head. Slowly, without even noticing.

I was letting comparison steal the joy I got from blogging. 

It is still hard. Now that I've had such a big absence the longer I go without blogging, the better I feel like my posts have to be. No one wants to read about beets like I almost posted on... maybe I will tomorrow after I get all of this out. But I finally realized this blog is for me. For people who care about me and my boys and the hubbs and even Danielle who is now studying abroad in Chile. It's about my take on daily life and the crazy adventures we have. It's most definitely not about being perfect or doing things the most awesome way... just our way.

So here we are. Here's to a fresh take on getting back to what I originally set out to do.

So here is just a teeny glimpse of what's been up with our crazy life:
Warner played Goofy Dress Up

We got in the Guiness Book of World Records as the loudest crown together at a Seahawks football game.

Lincoln was just too adorable while playing dress up at the Children's Activity Museum.

We celebrated 5 years of marriage!

Dylan started playing football for the Kittitas Grid Kids.

The kids loved the animals the most at the county fair. 

The boys started school, preschool and third grade respectively. 

We Skyped with Danielle in Santiago, Chile. 

I took my hand at being creative with lunch. Lincoln loved it anyway. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Oregon Vacation - Part 1 - Astoria and the condo

Shane hasn't had any extended vacation time from work in a while so we were thrilled to finally be able to take a nice long family vacation. The first leg of our trip we drove down to Gearhart, OR where we had rented a two bedroom condo right off of the beach. It was a short 10 minutes from Seaside but in a much more quaint and relaxed town. We figured staying in a condo (which was basically like an apartment with maid service, a pool and fitness room and a laundry room facility) would be much easier and more economical in the long run than a hotel room. We had two bathrooms, a full kitchen and a nice balcony with an amazing 180 degree view of the coast. The weather was great and we had more fun and relaxation than I thought possible. 

It took a lot of food and snacks to get us through the trip, but I'm sure much less than if we had bought it all along the way. Bags, boxes and coolers helped us stay on budget while still eating fairly healthy but still enjoying ourselves. 

I also packed each kid a snack bag which they got to keep with them in the van. Each bag had two drinks, individually packaged snacks such as crackers, fruit snacks, raisins, protein bars, mini peanut butter containers, and other special treats. They were responsible for their own bags which meant they could have a snack when they wanted, but they didn't get more along the way. Mom didn't have to constantly be turing around passing food back and kids learned about portion control and managing their supplies. 

Danielle had magazines and her iphone with music so she didn't require much in the way of entertainment, but I made up a basket full of books, fully-charged electronic games, coloring books, quite games and other toys to keep the boys entertained on the 5 hour drive. We put both of the older boys in the back row of the van so they could play or nap together and Dylan could help Lincoln when he needed it. Danielle and Warner were in the middle row of the van so she had a little more leg room and could help with the baby every now and then when we needed it. Warner did pretty well on the drive, but hey he's still a baby so there were a few tears but we stopped and got out a few times and that helped. Hey Mommy and Daddy needed some more coffee and walking around a Fred Meyer all the way in Oregon was pretty cool. 

Our first morning of site seeing we headed up to Astoria, Oregon to do all things touristy. One of my best friends from junior high and high school lives in Portland so we made a plan to meet there for the day and catch up between chasing my kids around an unfamiliar location. We got to Astoria earlier than planned so we could find the house where they filmed part of the Goonies movie. The house welcomes tourists but you have to walk up their steep driveway. What a fun family picture. 

Shane took a picture of a young couple in front of the sign and luckily they took one of us. Can't believe we actually got a good picture of the six of us together!

"Hey you guys!"

The house has changed a bit over time, but still pretty much the same. 

The kiddos. 

"The Goondocks"

The view from the house. Wow, what a way to live huh?

Then we hit the Astoria Sunday Farmer's Market. Right in the middle of down town the farmer's market was full of cool crafts, locally made wine (with free wine tastings for Mommy!), fudge, jerky, and of course produce. There was also quite a bit of samples and yummy food. There was even live music we watch while waiting for my friend to arrive. 

Warner loved his blue ice cream cone. 

Yummiest gotee ever. 

Next we headed to the Astoria Column. It is this awesome tower with a spiral stair case that you can climb all the way to the observation deck and throw off balsa wood airplanes into the wind. The column is on top of the highest point of Astoria so you can see all the way to the horizon for 360 degrees. It was pretty breathtaking, not to mention the shortness of breath that came from climbing all the way up with a baby strapped to your back in an Ergo. 

Lincoln wanted me to get a shot of his booty. 

Enjoying a rest with my two youngest. 

Warner is always curious. 

The view from the top. Shane and the boys and my friend Krystal watching the balsa wood planes float off into the distance. 

The view of Seaside is straight ahead in the distance. 

Danielle taking a selfie.

Warner isn't easily impressed. 

The intricate carving into the column. 

Shane and Warner taking in the scenery back on the ground. 

Next we headed to the most awesome coffee shop in Astoria. Shane and I actually stopped here on our honeymoon almost 5 years ago so it's kind of cute to take the kids back here. It has a big garage type door so you can easily walk in and out and plenty of outside seating. We loved getting more coffee and hanging out before saying goodbye to Krystal. 

Hey look, she actually got that momma's boy to laugh. 

Danielle and Dylan with the cool sunshine effect at the Astoria Coffeehouse. 

That's the column we were just on top of. 

Finally we made it back to the condo. Danielle took a rest out on the back balcony and when she got up the boys thought it would be cool to hang out on her stuff. 

While part of the movie was filmed in Astoria, the Haystack Rock filmed in the movie is actually in Cannon beach which you can actually see from our balcony there to the right of the mountain in the distance. 

The panoramic picture from the back balcony. 

One way we saved some time, money and sanity was to call in an order at a local Mexican restaurant and then eat it at the condo, out on the balcony. We got to enjoy good food, the great weather, at our own pace while we just let Warner run around. We actually ended up eating out more than I anticipated but it was nice to not have to cook and clean up after ever meal on our trip. 

With two sliding glass doors, the condo had plenty of light and great views. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Oh yeah I have a blog! Lincoln's Birthday, 4th of July and Camping.

Yes, I'm still alive! It's been pretty busy and we are in the midst of summer but I've just been taking time to take care of the kiddos and myself and get things back on track. We just got back from a much needed vacation, some camping, some birthdays and some other life stuff that got in the way of blogging. But here we are. Hopefully I won't be reposting any ideas or pictures but it's been so long since I've posted things are already fuzzy :) We started of July pretty wild! 

Lincoln and Dylan were wrestling around with each other and some how Lincoln's arm got hurt. After X-rays and hours in the ER nothing was really confirmed and he got a splint wrapped arm and a sling for a few days. 

The cool X-ray of his bones, he was so excited to see what things looked like on the inside.

Daddy met us after he got off work and helped walk Lincoln out.

Luckily having one arm didn't keep him from doing much. He still wanted to try and help mop.

And he was still curious. Here he is using his foot to hold a padlock and a key with the other hand.

But don't worry, Lincoln turned three very happily. We had a fun day and even did fireworks a day early to celebrate.

It was pretty cold and windy so we bundled up to watch fireworks. Don't worry, the weather didn't seem to keep him from peeing in the bushes.

Shane took the day after the 4th off, so we had a nice long weekend and went camping. We invited up 4 other families and my in-laws as well and hand a great time enjoying the great outdoors and celebrating Lincoln's birthday. He wanted an American flag cake so I delivered, with blueberries and red sprinkles on vanilla frosting. We also had sliced watermelon and ice cream to round out the party.

Lincoln had a ton of presents and loved all the cool stuff he got. 

 I love how great Lincoln is when he smiles!

Oh wait I have other kids too. Here all the kids are, with the boys all in the same bright colors each day so it was just a little bit easier to find them and make sure no one wandered off throughout the weekend. Danielle was able to come up and hang out too so we always love having her around (and yes I am wearing a Darth Vader voice changing mask in this picture). 

Slightly blurry but a cute picture of the boys. 

My little three year old cheese ball. 

We found a shallow stream to play in and the kids loved wading around the the ice cold water. 

 Yet another peeing venture in the bushes. 

 My sissy came out for the day, unfortunately this is really the only picture I have of her and Lukey being there. 

Shane and Warner hanging out around the campfire. Too bad you still have to take naps in the wild. 

Too bad there is always proof of eating dirt. 

 The boys love sharing the same bed, too bad they don't always give each other that much room. 

 Free Sluprees at 7-11. Took the kids and two kids Danielle was babysitting to get them, whoohoo!

 Warner loved the icy cold slush, his hair had a great time in the wind ;)