Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The music

I'll be getting the Christmas music off just as soon as I can remember my user name for that web site! They will help you out if you forget your password but expect you to be able to remember your user name I guess!

Obviously I got the music changed. Never did figure out my user name so I just started a new account! This time I wrote it down!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
Testing out the sleigh. She had had braids in which is why her hair is so curly/frizzy.
Posted by Picasa

Merry Christmas to all..

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas this year! We were so blessed to have lots of family around us and more of anything than we needed. Christmas Eve was at our house this year with Rick's side of the family. Since churches were all pretty much canceled due to the weather we had our own little candle light service which turned out to be really neat.

After everyone left I was sitting on the couch checking where Santa was on Norad with the kids. I had a little bell on the vest I was wearing and it made a little jingle. Paige's head popped up and she said, "I hear Santa!" I intentionally made the sound again and she bolted off my lap. I asked her where she was going and got, "No! Havta go bed else Santa can come!" She made a beeline up the stairs so I asked if she was going to tell Daddy good night. Without even looking back over her shoulder she yelled, "night Daddy!" Normally she would have turned around and gone back for a hug - not this time Santa was comming! She was so much fun this year with the whole Santa thing. Poor Trace is really struggling with what to think about it. He wants to believe but I think deep down he knows. I guess we did pretty good to make it ten years with him.

Christmas morning the kids found that Santa had not passed them by. He treated them all very well and got them what they had asked for. Between parents and grandparents I don't think there was much on their lists they didn't get! Although Caden did say there was one thing he didn't get and it happend to be the $100 Star Wars toy he has wanted forever - so sorry that's just not happening!

We still aren't done with family though. Rick's mom's side is getting together on Saturday and my side on Sunday. There won't be many gifts for us at either which is just fine with me!

As far as the weather is concerned around here - it has been a mess. We have more snow on the ground than this area has had in something like 50 years! More snow on Christmas Day than they have records for! I think there was about a foot our there and it was really pretty. Unfortunately they are NOT prepared for it here and do not have the snow plows needed. So most of the roads the snow just piled up on and got packed down with traffic. Then the cars with chains tore it all up so it is kinda like driving on ski mougles a total nightmare! The weather is supposed to start warming up into the 40's now so we should start to see it melt...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

At this point it sounds like we are going to be house bound a bit longer. More freezing rain expected today. I've already done my baking, gifts are wrapped, house is clean (that's a miracle) now what? I imagine I could find a closet or two to clean out but I think I'm leaning more toward sewing. I can't remember the last time I had time to actually choose what I would do. Yes, she is asleep in there! It was too hard for her to walk in so I rigged up an old laundry basket and tucked her in nice and snug - maybe a little too snug! We were heading over to get the boys.

Just a shot of our house in the snow. Not that great...

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

This was too funny! Trace lured Paige over near him then grabbed her and took off down the hill! Normally I would have been upset with him for tricking her but somehow it just struck me as funny instead. She screamed the whole way down and was madder than a hornet by the time I got to her. When I asked her if it was fun and did she want to go again I got an emphatic "NO!" Caden on our little sledding hill.

Trace with his bright red, frozen face.

This was Paige the night before. We went for a little walk since we had no idea how much we would get or if we would even get any more.

This is a what we have now. Much more typical of the Northwest is this ice. It is about 1/4 inch thick and covers everything! Caden didn't believe it was there until I opened the door and started pounding on it!

We have had a couple of interesting days around here. The boys got an early Christmas vacation with classes canceled Wed, Thurs & Fri. Friday afternoon it started snowing and it continued through the night and ALL day Saturday. I've never seen snow literally come down all day without ever stopping. In the end we had about 7 inches at our house. The boys found a drainage ditch in our neighborhood and turned it into a sledding hill. It is about the size of a small lot for a house with the hill being about 10 feet high. So plenty of room for lots of kids. They spent most of the day over there and had a blast.
During the night the snow turned to freezing rain. I noticed it shimmering off the snow during the night and it was really pretty. Well, that's almost as much fun as far as the kids are concerned. So, they suited up and were off to the sledding hill by 9am. I have a feeling I won't be seeing much of them today!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sledding Northwest style!

OK, so I'll admit, not everything about the northwest is great. School has been closed the last two days and likely will be out tomorrow. As Caden so kindly pointed out to me that means they will be out of school for 21 days! It would be one thing if there was actually snow thay could play in, but what you see is about all we get. There is actually a little ice they are sliding on that was put there deliberately by a hose. I told Caden that there might not be school and he looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Mom, there's no snow!" Yes, I know dear. Welcome to the Northwest.

Gingerbread Houses!

All I have left now is the Cinnabons on Christmas morning and I've fulfilled my motherly obligations for this year!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sugar Cookies!

Just click on the picture and it will enlarge so you can see it better!Posted by Picasa

Just hanging out with Daddy

Posted by Picasa

She got away Daddy!

Posted by Picasa

Paige and Daddy playing

Posted by Picasa

The accused...

Yes, Tigger chewed through our Christmas tree lights and no, it wasn't like Christmas Vacation!Apparently he has suffered no ill effects although the lower half of our tree is a little dark.
Posted by Picasa

The scene of the crime...

Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 12, 2008

Showers likely, drizzle, rain off and on, intermitent showers, mist, downpour, rain.
Just a few of the words that come to mind that the weather men out here use to describe the weather on a given day. However, for the past few days we are hearing things like; winter storm warning, blizzard conditions, snow possible, 5+ inches expected in the higher elevations, dangerous travel. Now, don't get me wrong, I grew up here. I understand that a little bit of snow is a BIG deal. But really shouldn't 'winter storm warning' be reserved for stuff more like we saw in Illinois? I know I may be eating my words by monday, but as of today the kids got off the bus without coats. It is supposed to be in the 20's early next week. You'd think we were expecting a polar ice storm! Now, 5 degrees with a wind chill of -5 and 8 inches of new snow on the ground with no plows in sight, a three car driveway that has to be shoveled and new snow still falling? Well that's a winter storm. Ok, that's enough of my little soap box. We are all just shaking our heads and rolling our eyes over here!

Yeah, I know, I could regret this ...
I actually hope I do though!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

'Twas a soggy Sunday morning...

Look at that soaked jacket! Trace was willing to just take anything!

This was literally just a few minutes after getting out of the car!

...when we chose to get our Christmas tree! The best day for us to go and it hasn't rained all week. The weather man predicted rain but did we dress for it? Nooooo. We were dressed for semi cold and possibly snow - not rain. What was I thinking? I guess our mid-west Christmas tree hunting is still fresh in my memory! Of course it didn't just drizzle, or maybe even intermittent showers - it was a nice steady rain from the minute we got out of the car. We kept reminding each other that we were making memories - were we ever! Rick eventually found our tree and cut it down. While he tied it on the car I got three kids out of soaking clothing and into dry stuff. The other two families we went with were no where to be found but we headed for home anyway! We did much better than last time though, at least this one fit in the house! It is standing in our living room drying out at the moment (not like we could leave it outside to get dry).
The kids were thrilled to go "into the wilderness" for their tree once again. They especially love getting to do anything with their older cousins! Christmas tree: $5, Gas to get Christmas tree: $15, traipsing through the woods soaking wet: Priceless!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Merry Christmas

I know we can't go back, but this video and song are so touching. Maybe there is someone reading here that might feel that gentle tug in their heart. Maybe, just maybe another child will find their home soon. Adopting a child touches a place in your heart so deep. It streaches you and forces you to trust in God like never before. And the rewards are beyond anything you can ever imagine.

Our trip to the big guy

I decided to take the kids after school in the hope that it wouldn't be crowded. It paid off because we were the only ones there! Since there was no way I could/would pay $15 for one 5x7 picture I had to stand outside the little fence to use my own camera. Unfortunately I'm discovering that while my camera does well enough outside it is totally inadequate inside - especially from a distance. So none of the pictures were great but there is one I'll have to work with and see if it will do. Otherwise we'll have to go back for a 'retake'.
Trace wasn't too keen on the idea of actually going to sit with Santa. He asked me if Santa didn't already know what he wanted. In the end I gave him the perfect out by suggesting he take Paige up. He then made a point of telling Nana and Papa later that he only went so Paige would go! Both boys got their 'order' in and then it was Paige's turn. I doubt Santa gets very many two year olds who tell him what store their gift of choice is at! She told him, just as she keeps telling us, that she wants, "the baby and diaper changer in the big box with the little stroller - at Costco!" Of course she doesn't say it quite that clearly and she rattles it off so fast that someone usually has to interpret! Good thing Santa has finished his shopping for our house.
Things at our house are about the same at the moment. We are decorated for Christmas and this weekend we are hoping to hike up into the woods for our tree. Trace has started advanced unicycling. He is doing so well! Apparently they were riding around and shooting baskets at the same time the other day. In the next couple of weeks they will be learning to jump rope and hop on the unicycle. I'm pretty impressed! There were only a couple of kids who were moved to advanced after only one session of beginner so it's a big deal for Trace and we are awfully proud of him. Caden is doing really well in Chess club too. He really has a knack for it - unlike his mother! Every week he looks forward to playing with his buddy Saunders and they are getting pretty advanced themselves. Paige is excelling at being two! She is getting a little too smart for her britches though. We are in total shock that she can already recognize over half of the alphabet and even knows the sounds of a couple letters! That's about it for now...
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


I got it! Thanks Jill A.! Not only did I finally figure out how to fix the mess I'd made, but I was able to change the background for the first time EVER! While I was at it I added the actual Christmas card picture I will be using - since it is officially the season now.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkey and Children

Those two words do just seem to belong in the same sentence don't they? I am having problems downloading pictures so none of those today. (of course it is easier to download them if you actually TAKE them in the first place, but that's another issue!)

Just thought I'd say Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Black Friday and Happy Shopping to everyone! We had Thanksgiving dinner at our house on Tuesday. Rick flew out the next morning. On Thursday the kids and I wandered Walmart for quite a while before going home and getting all the Christmas decorations out. Then we settled down for a Christmas movie and Survivor. It was pretty nice. I didn't do any early morning madness shopping on Friday but I was still able to get a couple of deals. The boys main gift was ordered from Amazon for quite a deal, and a possible birthday gift for Paige was picked up by someone else. I was able to get out by myself in the evening and get a lot knocked off my list. I am feeling pretty good and over half way done, I think!

Hopefully December will be a fun time to enjoy light displays, cut down a Christmas tree and make gingerbread houses and cookies. The best part though will be having Rick home on Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day! All is good...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I know, I know

The blog is messed up. I am trying to fix it but obviously haven't been successful! All I wanted to do was change the top picture and the side colors - guess that was too much to ask. Bear with me though I'm working on it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chase with Dad

The boys BEG Rick to play chase every night he is home! It gets awfully loud but it usually gives me time to clean up dinner.

Monday, November 17, 2008

End of the season = one busy weekend!

Soccer season has finally come to a close around here! Of course it would have to be the most complicated day scheduling wise. The boys games were an hour apart in time (one 30 minutes away, one 40 minutes away). In order to get Trace to his game 1/2 hour early as required he had to leave right as Caden's game was starting. Once they were over both boys had end of season parties at 4:30 on opposite sides of town. All I can say is Thank You Mom and Ed!! (aka Nana and Papa) Trace's coach had some nice things to say about him but was most impressed by his agressive defense skills. Caden's coach was happy with how he seemed to come out of his shell as the season progressed and that he enjoyed playing goalie. It was a long day and a relief to have it overwith! The pictures above were taken the weekend before. It didn't actually rain during either boy's game but the amount that had come down during the night and just prior to the game, was enough to turn the fields into giant mud pits! We completely striped both kids in the parking lot then I spent an hour at home rinsing mud down the laundry sink.
Since soccer season tends to get the car a bit messy (mud, grass, chairs, stoller, balls, water bottles, snack wrappers, etc...), and it was a beautiful day on Sunday I decided to get out and shovel out the car. I found several 'lost' items and gathered far too much garbage, but WOW does it look and feel much nicer!
Of course, while soccer is just ending there is always something else just starting... Trace has been asked to join the advanced unicycle class (how's that after only six weeks?!, and both boys are considering giving wrestling a try come January. And there is still chess club...
Mom's Taxi - in service.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two exciting years

Paige reminded me this morning that she was a baby "in China". Yes, she was. Such a tiny little thing too. And so serious at first. The moments and days after each of my children joined our family were magical and so special. Each one so very different and all so very surreal. The day we were given Paige is the one of only a couple of times in my life when I tried to literally slow down time and remember every second. The sights, the smells, the colors. With Paige it is the color orange. The room we were in was done in golds and with the lighting it just seems more orange in my memories. She was also dressed in yellow and orange. The sounds of crying babies, lots of talking and Lisa's voice calling out names.
I look at her now and see such a different child. It hardly seems like she was that bundle handed to me in a noicy conference room amidst cameras and happy onlookers. The same little girl who captured her daddy's heart, and filled mine instantly. A beautiful child. Chosen for us so perfectly. Given to us so trustingly. Cherished by us so completely.
At about 4:30 today we will have had her in our lives for two entire years. Part of me wants to cry and go back to do it again because it has been so wonderful. The other part of me can't wait to move on and see who she will become. For now I will hold onto the moment though and embrace her toddlerhood and try not to forget for a second what a gift a child is.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween

Paige was so excited this year to be a "bumbabee, say trick or treat and get candy!" Caden was a Clone trooper for what is probably the 5th or 6th year in a row and Trace settled on a mail box. Unfortunately the Clone helmet started hurting Caden's head after about 15 minutes and the mailbox was a total disaster! It hurt his legs to walk and he couldn't move his arms but the worst was the way it forced his neck forward! After the first outing he came back home and changed into a Navy workman! It was a good idea though. Overall the kids had a good time. Caden wishes that Halloween was everyday and Trace thinks he's nuts!

Time to move on to the next great adventures! Thanksgiving (which we'll be celebrating early since Rick is scheduled to work) and Christmas (which we have no idea when we'll be celebrating!) Let me be the first to wish you all Happy Holidays!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Final Farewell to Fall

A friend and I took the kids back to our "new favorite place" this afternoon. School has been only half days all week and we all needed to get out and burn off some energy! Despite the forcast for rain it held off all day and we all loved being out to enjoy the beautiful changing colors. I am going to miss being able to go there once the rains start - which is predicted to be tomorrow. Wouldn't be the Northwest if it didn't rain on Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another busy day...

The boys bouncing in the harnesses. Paige loved the balance beam!

We took the kids to the pumpkin patch on Sunday. It was an absolutely beautiful day! The sky was the brightest blue and it was warm out even. Paige wasn't about to let any of that spoil her rotten mood though. She only wanted to be held or holding someone's pointer finger (preferrably mine). Absolutely NO other finger would suffice either! Since I did need my hands occasionally she spent much of the time screaming. The boys on the other hand had a ball on the hay pyramid and chasing the chickens! We had four great pumpkins in the end and Paige was asleep before we were home.

A few hours later we were off again to a birthday party at a gymnastics center. The boys were so excited about it they could hardly wait. The gym is pretty amazing with foam pits, a zip line, trampolines and harnesses they can wear to jump and flip around in on a long trampoline.

We had dinner at Nana and Papa's and finally made it home around bedtime. Since the boys had their first orthodontist appointment and a half day of school they lucked out and just stayed home. I'm not sure we could exactly call them lucky though when the ortho recommended "wiggling out" two of Trace's teeth and seven of Caden's! Of course "wiggling" is parent code for extraction. I can hardly wait but I think we'll schedule them at the same time to get it all over with!

So that's our life in a nutshell for the last few days! Drop me a line and let me know how you are doing!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Soccer fun

We had an exciting day of soccer today! Trace's team has been moved up to a division 1 standing. Unfortunately they aren't ready for it - but they are too good for division 2. So needless to say they have started their loosing streak. However, Trace has done AWESOME! Today he was like a human shield bouncing the ball off his head, his chest (twice!) and his sides. When he was in defense very few balls made it by. In fact when the coach pulled him out for a quick breather the other team score 3 goals!! As soon as Trace was back in - no more scores! It is great to see him doing so well and feeling so proud.

Now Caden's game was completely different! We laughed SO hard there were even some tears! I'm not sure what was the most funny though; Caden trying to guard another little guy who wanted nothing to do with it. They jockeyed back and forth so much that the elbows were flying and if the goalie hadn't kicked the ball someone would have ended up on the ground!; Or the time the other team's goalie was crouched down to get the ball but missed it and our team managed to kick the ball back and forth over his head a couple of times and still NOT SCORE! It is so painful to watch sometimes.; We also had quite a good laugh at our ref. who blew the whistle and called a time-out to answer his cell phone! Oh, my gosh that was a riot. Apparently his parents were sick and he needed to be reachable. They also don't have paid refs for this age just volunteers or occasionally a dad. Of course all the attempted goals that just miss and all the goals from the ball rolling between their legs because they are in la la land! Aahhh... life is so fun sometimes. To top it all off, Caden scored a goal!

I'll have some more pictures tomorrow probably.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mama Bear

Why do kids have to be so cruel? Even enough to make a grown adult want to get even with them! I can't say that it is so much in response to anger though as it is to sadness. (According to my mother the feeling of hurting for/with you kids never goes away.)
Trace arrived home from soccer practice last night in an absolutely horrible mood! Come to find out two of the boys on the team were telling him he was fat and not any good. Oh-my-gosh that just rips your heart out to hear! He has been trying so hard to fit in too that he is pretending to be playing an online game (that we had said no to) just to fit in. We promised to re-evaluate our decision this weekend. I guess these two kids have also made comments to Trace at recess too. I just wanted to say, "I'll take care of this, don't you worry!" But he's ten, I have to start letting him deal with these issues and can't always run in to help. That's really hard though. I am going to have a real hard time cheering for those two boys at the games from now on. As I was mulling the whole situation this morning it sort of dawned on me that this is just the beginning of a very long road. Middle school kids will always find something to pick on and high school is just one large popularity contest. If we could just put them in a bubble so no one could hurt them it would sure make ME feel better!


Some of you may be aware of the recent finding of contaminated infant formula in China. At this point they are not sure how far back the problem goes. They are recommending testing kids adopted since 2005 for kidney stones. So just to be on the safe side I took Paige in to visit our pediatrition. Her urinalysis came back clear and it appears that her renal ultrasound is also clear at this point! Yeah! As for the long-term prognosis - we don't know. Nobody knows. Melamine isn't intended for human consumption therefore has had no long term testing done. My suspicion is that she is fine now and will continue to be. Melamine does not stay in the body for very long and since she is no longer getting it I'm not sure how there could be unforseen results. Time will tell.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I didn't have time yesterday...

So if you don't want to read the sappy stuff just skip this one!
Anyway, I just had to look back on TEN years! TEN. Really. I still remember finding out I was pregnant for the first time, seeing the miniature heartbeat at 7 weeks, my entire day of labor...
Trace is an amazing kid and I am so proud to be his mom. I look back at pictures and think, "Oh-my-gosh! He was SO cute!" At the time I was to caught up in being a good parent and trying to get sleep. He was a cute baby though and an adorable toddler too. He used to sing Our God is an Awsome God but instead of saying 'He reigns' Trace would say "deranged"! We used to get a good laugh out of that one. The last couple of years though he has changed so much. No longer a little boy and trying too hard to grow up. He is my helper when I really need it and plays with his brother and sister so sweetly at times. With Paige he can be so tender (when he wants). Not one to complain he never said a word when Santa brought him practically nothing last year! Of course Santa had just 'misplaced' his real gift, Guitar Hero. Trace is always willing to sacrafice for someone else but will make it look like it is what he really wants. I love that I can talk to him now. We go places together and it is almost like having a friend along. I can also read him pretty well and get him to talk to me about pretty much anyting. He is a great kid. Smart, goofy, honest and tender. I can hardly believe we are over half way through raising him. I don't want to think about it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Double Digits!!

Ten years old! WOW! Where did those years go? We just had grandparents over in the afternoon for cake and presents so it was pretty low key. (We already did ChuckECheese!) Trace was thrilled with his Pirates of the Carribbean book and unlimited access card for the online game. He also really liked the new light for his bedroom. I found all three of them on his bed last night just having a grand 'ole time.