Friday, December 17, 2010


27 people in our house for Thanksgiving was an adventure.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shane and Myann Stats

Shane's stats:
Weight: 49 lbs (80%)
Height: 44 7/8 inches (75%)
BMI: 17 1/2  (90%)

Shane has usually been about the same height and weight, so this was his first departure from that.

Myann's stats:
Weight: 36 lbs. (50%)
Height 40 inches (50%)
BMI 16 (75%)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Myann!!!

Dear Myann,

The other day I looked at you and paused. I do not know how you grew so fast. You are always telling me that you are not little and that you are growing, but I think I failed to realize just how much you have grown until that pause the other day. You stood there in track pants that barely touched your ankles, of course you refused to take them off because no one can tell you to do anything, but it was proof of how much you have grown in just the past 3 months. Physical growth is only one small part of your growth. You want to run the neighborhood with the boys and do everything that they do. I have no doubt you would be fine, but I think I will hold you close a little bit longer. You are still challenging, you are still stubborn, you are still complicated, but I am slowly learning to understand you and we are finding our way together. I love that you are so lovable, and even on the days when I do not have time for endless hugs and snuggles, I try to just enjoy them because you will not always be small enough to climb into my lap for snuggles. You are our budding artist, thank God, because none of the rest of us have a lick of artistic talent. You are smart, though you are determined to not let me find out; you are compassionate, but only when you are feeling love; you are shy, but only when you are putting on an act; you are all boy, except for when it comes to purple. We have no idea what to get you for your birthday because you only want what Shane has. You are not into babies or barbies or dress-up. You like sword fights and wrestling and throwing balls. You do love your movies and taking care of your stuffed animals. You have said you want to be an animal doctor and I think you have found your calling. We love you big girl and look forward to the adventure that life with you will bring.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thank you for understanding people

Today was a normal day, take all 3 kids to the gym and get home in time for lunch and then back to school for Shane. Sounds easy enough, right? I thought so until I got a call from the gym asking if by chance we came home with the wrong shoes. I thought, no we're good and then they asked that I check. Sure enough, Anders had one of his boots and another boot that was double the size. Somehow I managed to put Anders in a shoe twice his foot size and not even notice. I was quite embarrassed and said I would be there in 20 minutes to swap out the boot. Once I thought back I wondered why Anders was walking funny, that boy has skills that he walked a fair distance in a gigantic boot through the snow. Thankfully the mother of the child was quite kind when I returned the boot. She smiled and said, no worries, I have been there too, why would a mother of 3 notice something as insignificant as a boot. Thank you God for gracious people who do not make us feel like morons.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Prelude to Thanksgiving

15 family members and friends flew to Spokane this week to celebrate Thanksgiving in Spokane with us. Uncle Shane had already been in town and stayed for the crowd.
Second, was my Dad and Pam, who were here for a full week before Thanksgiving.
Then arrive Pam's sisters, Aunt Sandy and Cheryl, and Pam's mother Donna.
Next came Brian and Weida, my sister-in-laws, Danielle's parents.
Then, Winn, my brother's close friend.
Then, my Mom and John.
Last, Alex and Danielle with Lexi and Austin.

In the midst of all their flight arrivals was the snowiest November in history. It was nuts, gorgeous to look at, but terrible to drive in.

For pre-Thanksgiving festivities and to celebrate mine and Brian's 8th year anniversary - we went to the shooting range. Nothing spells romance like shooting a Magnum together.

Friday, November 12, 2010

November Ongoings

Myann went with Daddy to Texas on an "alone trip". Since Shane had his "alone trip", we felt it only fair that she get one and the timing worked out perfect. Brian had a work trip to Houston, so he took Myann to have a week alone with her grandparents and aunts and uncles. To say she was spoiled was an understatement.
Here is a picture before they left for the airport.

And what do the boys do with their sister with her hair stuff.

Anders then busted his face in the gym parking lot. He ended up busting his lip and getting a black eye. However, he barely cried. I did not realize the damage he had done until the next day.

Just before Myann got home, Uncle Shane came to town to see Shane's graduation from Jedi Training Camp. Shane loved the camp and is already asking when he can go again.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Progress Made

Every single day and usually multiple times per day I read or rather Anders discusses his Bible stories book. He likes to point out the animals, call the wise men santas and say "Ho, Ho HO." Every brown bearded man is Jesus. He can identify every single animal and we are talking, foxes, camels, zebras, and every other animal. Ok, so he thinks donkeys are horses, but I give him credit though I do correct him that it is a donkey. However, he ALWAYS, as in 100 or more times has called the ostrich a monster. No clue why, but from day one of going through the animals he has called the ostrich a monster. I have corrected him 100 times and he would still say monster. Well today at nap, he actually pointed to it and said ostrich. I was blown away and super excited. You would have thought he pooped in the potty the way I cheered and hugged and told him how smart he was. He just giggled and must have thought, this woman is crazy. We will see what he calls it tonight.

Also, side note. Anders is a daredevil thanks to the influence of his older siblings. He will jump from anything even when he should not however. However, I think to make me still feel loved and needed whenever he goes to step out of the car he always says, "Mommy, hand." It warms my heart.

Other funnies, today Anders discovered our talking Elmo. It is Shane's and still says "Hi Shane" and "Shane's loves applesauce", among several other phrases of which Shane corrected him that he did not like applesauce that much anymore. Point is, the toy is old and has been in our lives for years, though Brian has tried to throw it in the trash numerous times. Anyway, Anders has fallen in love with it. Today Elmo had to change his diaper, not mom. Not an easy task to use Elmo's limbs to change Anders' diaper. Elmo had to get his shoes on and Elmo had to go to the gym with us. Curious to see if this lasts more than a day, let's hope not.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Myann's Halloween Dance Recital

Myann's dance class has been working on a dance that they performed for us today in costume. Myann was a bit shy with all the parents watching, but she did most of the dance. It was a tap routine, which is her favorite, except she tends to slip in her tap shoes. Surprising note, Myann was the only Darth Vader. I bet you were expecting more Star Wars characters in her class. That's my girl, she moves to her own beat. She would like to clarify that she is a nice Darth Vader.

Oh no he didn't

Tonight my eldest and now least favorite child said in reference to the car trash bag. "Mom, how can you call this a trash can when you never empty it?"

This coming on the heels of, "How come Sheryl can keep her car so clean and yours is always a mess?" Sheryl is my neighbor and car pool buddy. My immediate response was, "Well Sheryl does not have 3 little kids messing it up." But who am I kidding, my car from when I was single had any number of miscellaneous things. They add to my clutter, but I can clutter a car all on my own. At least I can blame the kids.

He is confirming our suspicion that he will be the family neat freak. Praise God!!!! This family needs a neat freak, because Brian and I are soooo not.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anders 2 year stats (Technically 25 months)

Our shot schedule is a little off, so Anders had his 2 year well check up today.

He was super shy for the doctor, which meant extra snuggles for me, so no complaints. But he did what he had to do and was thrilled to get his stickers for consolation.

Weight: 34.4lbs (95%)
Height: 35 3/4 in (75%)
Head: 20 in (90%)

Anders ongoings: He now sleeps with 4 animals, they have doubled in the past month (let's hope it is not a trend). He loves his Jesus book and points out every animal including the camels and zebras. Of course, the fox he calls it a box and he calls the ostrich a monster. No clue why. He also loves his foam puzzle books. He loves them so much that now he sleeps with them too. His bed is quickly becoming crowded. He loves fruit and bread and the occasional meat, but not so keen on veggies. He is our first kid to not like broccoli. He counts, but frequently skips the number 2, kind of ironic. He sings twinkle twinkle little star and the abc's. He loves Curious George and Nemo. He loves to announce who is naked, even if it is himself. By naked, he sometimes means you have skin showing. He has no interest in potty training. Well he likes to sit on the potty, but has yet to do anything on the potty. He is in Soccertots and has no interest in following directions or sitting on his spot. He just wants to run and kick the ball, jump when he feels like it, and catch the hula hoop. He is an amazing ball handler and has a good kick.

He also has inherited or learned his brother's propensity to get to the candy. I frequently find him stacking stools or moving chairs to get him tall enough to reach the candy. He loves all candy, chocolate or just sugary. He loves his vitamins and comes running because he thinks they are candy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New way of eating

In an effort to support my brother on his new eating regimen, I started looking into healthier eating. I have begun reading lots of books and slowly making changes around here. Some have been well received and others not so much. Brian let me know that quinoa 3 different ways in 3 different nights was still too much quinoa. So we are spacing it out a bit. The kids are willingly trying new things, but not always fully happy and taking to eating lots of apples between meals. Thankfully, I have children who LOVE healthy snacks. I wish I could snack like them. They beg for celery and cucumbers. But I want to make sure they are getting the protein they need as well as a variety of fruits and veggies. So I researched and settled on this version of a bento box.

It presents all the food at once and forces me to serve a variety of foods. The kids think it is a neat presentation and like the variety. I give them smaller quantities of several different foods. Myann and Anders seem to be eating the same amount as before, but Shane is eating much more and without complaint. Every day at lunch used to be a battle of choices and what he did or did not feel like. It has only been 2 weeks, but so far, he has eaten every healthy morsel of every meal I have served in the box for 2 weeks. I am sold. I do not give him a choice for lunch. I make the food and serve it. And he has been eating it. On my creative days and when I have an extra minute, I cut some of the food in cool shapes or serve the sides in cool shaped silicone cups. I use the silicone cups for the leftover foods because they are less enthusiastic about leftovers, but I serve it in a heart shaped cup and tell them it was made with love. They totally bought it. Score for mommy.

So what exactly are we doing different. Eating as little processed food as possible. We have never been fast food people or even restaurant eaters for that matter. I cook 99% of our meals. However, on my worn out days I would make mac and cheese, like I did tonight. But I have not been buying anything new from a box. We have been eating all fresh or frozen fruit, all fresh veggies, and grass fed beef on the few nights we eat beef. Most nights it is chicken, and we are working on the free range chicken part. I am even going to home make the granola bars and try to get us off boxed granola bars, our car ride standby. As I said, the kids mostly snack on carrots, celery, cucumbers, and fruit, so they are pretty easy. I am trying to eat more nuts as snacks and less protein bars. Next we are going to try to get off canned foods as much as possible. Our ultimate goal is to eat less sugar and less foods that might have added chemicals, pesticides, and sweeteners. It is tough and it will be a slow transition.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shane's Inventions

Lately Shane is all about his inventions. For a month, he has been talking about how his transporter would work. For the record, Shane has never seen Star Trek, so he did not know that the concept was not original. He may have seen it elsewhere, but every time we are running late, he says, "See Mom, when I build my transporter, we will not run late again."

This morning at church they talked about a group raising money for malaria nets. We talked more about why nets are so important. Shane then said he was going to invent a machine that created a laser field around you while you were sleeping and it would zap any mosquitoes that tried to get to you. Original idea, maybe not cost effective for rural Africa, but an interesting idea.

I am torn between posting his inventions, what if I post them and then someone steals his idea and invents it before he his old enough to do it on his own. I know, crazy, but he will never forgive me if someone gets to his invention first.

Warning: Serious Mom Bragging Post, VERY Biased

Maybe he should have been named Thor - it suits him.

I have previously thought that I gave birth to the cutest kid in the world, but now I KNOW it is true. No luck getting him to smile for the camera, he was focused on the task at hand...getting candy.

Here he is smiling. See what I'm saying. Crazy cute!

And we all love his thighs so much we even let him climb on the table in a diaper. So actually pretty gross, but I was so worn out at this point in the day, I didn't care.

Ok, so the other kids are cute too. But I am biased towards Viking superheros.

By the way, I would feel amiss if I did not mention where these pictures were taken. My good friend Jen has an exceptional party planning daughter, Jordan, friend of Myann and betrothed to Shane. She planned every detail of the party and did all the decorations herself. It was the best Halloween Party we have ever been to. The kids had a blast and I was relaxed the whole night.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Decorating

Daddy has been gone a lot lately, so our pumpkins were not going to be carved any time soon. I am not brave enough to bring out several sharp objects when it is just me and 3 very eager kids. Shane found these push in pumpkin decorators that I had bought on clearance after Halloween last year. Perfect! All 3 kids could decorate their own pumpkin with just a little extra momma muscle. They were pretty proud and I rather liked the clean up - NONE!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Picking

It was a perfect Tuesday morning, so we decided to go back to Green Bluff to pick pumpkins. We chose our favorite pumpkin patch, Knapps. We were the only ones when we got there and had the entire patch to ourselves for a while. It was peaceful and gorgeous. We convinced the Kipps they had to join us. They arrived in time to pick some tasty blackberries. At that point the kids were done, as were we, so we paid for our load and ventured to Walter's for apple picking. Walters was a bit less peaceful since there were several school trips and we were on a tight schedule to get Shane to school. Jen was kind enough to offer to pick apples for us.

Anders was thrilled to see a tractor, he would have made a great farmer.

Anders saying, "Too heavy"

Running through the patch

My poor attempt to get all 3 in a decent picture. Shane was not cooperating at all.

Blackberry picking is hard work.

I love these pictures of Jordan with Anders. She is so sweet with him.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Scenic train ride

We took the scenic train ride again from Ione, WA. The weather was pretty terrible, but the kids loved being inside in the caboose. They even had an elevated seat to better enjoy the view. Ok, so they mostly loved screaming in the dark tunnels and eating snacks, but as a great man called Papaw (my SIL's grandpa) would say, "Making Memories." We definitely made some memories. We were with our dear friends the Kipps and Prizemans and even Brian's boss Beth, who we love and happened to be in town. And props to Beth, she rode in the middle seat between Myann and Anders for the 90 minutes there and back. Poor Beth did not know what she was getting into, but she seemed to enjoy it.

Anders sticking his head out the window. I love the rain drops on his face.

The caboose

Myann wanted a picture all by herself

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Harvest Time

Though we have been to Green Bluff already, I prefer the quieter weekdays. However, the weekdays do not have the blow up houses and crazy mazes and festival stuff. So we went there Saturday after Shane's soccer game. Nightmare! It was packed, as I knew it would be, but we did it for the kids. Which meant we did not get apples or pumpkins. Instead, we let them play and then ate pumpkin donuts, ice cream and went home. We shared the misery with the Prizemans of course, so they made it better.
Shane and Myann with the Pumpkin Queen or Fairy?

Shane and James hamming it up