Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Eggs

We headed over to my in-laws for Easter weekend.  First thing on the agenda- dyeing Easter eggs.  The kids were excited to dye all the eggs Grandma bought.  (And she's nice and buys LOTS.)

 Aunt Brynne and her fiance Curt were there too.  Curt was not as excited as the rest of us to dye eggs.
 At least Ryan was available to talk to Curt while Brynne was painting the sparkly eggs.
Look at all those colorful eggs!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

We Day

Ryan got to chaperon a high school field trip yesterday to Seattle for the first US We Day.  He left the house at 3 am, and got home a little after 8 pm.  Ryan came home very jazz-ed about his day, although it could have been the sleep deprivation going crazy on him.  The kids weren't in bed yet (yesterday being the last day of school before spring vacation, and there was no need to get them to bed on time if dad isn't home).  Once the kids were in bed, he had to share about his day..... to his sisters, his brother, his parents....

For one, he was glad the message was all about service, and making a difference in your community.  There was not one deviation into a gay marriage/gun control/other liberal activist message.

But by far the biggest excitement came from the celebrity line-up.  Some we knew, some we didn't.  The generation gap is rearing its head.  He said the most excitement from the audience came for a group called Macklemore.  And I said, "Who's that?"
Ryan left still not knowing what the song was about.  It was THAT loud in the crowd.  But all the teenagers had their cell phones out, recording the performance.  Ryan thought he'd be cool too, and he recorded a portion of the performance.  I watched it on his phone and all I heard was crowd fuzz, and saw a tiny lit stage.  After a google search, I am now more familiar with their music.  But I hope they cleaned up whatever song it was that they performed for the kids.  Geez.  But, Ryan wants an ugly coat like that pictured above.  He thinks it would make a great Halloween costume.

Also on stage at some point during the day were the Seahawks coach and some of the football players, Jennifer Hudson (Ryan texted me and asked who that was.  She I knew of, so I was able to tell him.), Kid President, MC Hammer, Martin Sheen, Magic Johnson, JR Martinez, Seattle's mayor and WA state governor, The Tenors, and a bunch of others.  

It was quite a day.

I, on the other hand, wanted a new pair of jeans.  One of my favorite pairs has a great big hole in the knee.  I took the twins with me shopping, and never found a pair that I liked and fit me with my hooligans in tow.  I'm sure there's something out there, but I guess I need to try looking without two someones whining that their legs are too tired to walk anymore.  But, I did get the van cleaned out and vacuumed, so yay for my day...

A Sad Tale

This post has been a long week and more in the making.

This year Emma wanted to show a pig for 4-H again.  Now that we have a whole lot of room, and no longer live "in town," we thought we'd adopt a couple of pigs.  I guess pigs like company.

After work a couple days in a row, Ryan built a pig pen.  Then on Saturday, he loaded Emma and a pig box into his truck (Emma got to sit in the cab, luckily), we purchased adopted some pigs.  Ryan actually picked up three; one being for another FFA project.  He brought them home, and all was hunky-dory.  The kids thought the pigs were cute, and spent half the day in the pig pen.

When it was dark, Ryan and I went out to check on the pigs, and to make sure they made it into the lean-to "house" to stay warm for the night.  Ryan chased 2 of the pigs into their bed, but one wouldn't move.

He thought maybe its legs were asleep.

The next morning, it still couldn't move.

Things progressed, and we ended up separating the pigs, for quarantine purposes.  Ryan talked to a veterinarian, and we got antibiotics and steroid shots.  We also used our turkey baster to try to get fluid into the pig.

The last couple of days, the pig just laid there in his box, twitching and looking absolutely miserable.  I felt awful every time I checked on him.

He died today.

We never named him.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Preschool Fun

On the last day of preschool this month, we celebrated by having an Easter Egg hunt.  (We were missing Sean, who was home sick.)
 Maddie, Noah, Kennedy, Annie, Jaxon, and Savannah


Elizabeth is turning 8 soon, and we were still waiting for that first loose tooth.  She was pretty stoked when she finally got a loose tooth.  And so we've waited for it to fall out.  And waited.  And waited.

Her permanent tooth came in behind the baby tooth.

And we waited for that baby tooth to loosen up more, but it never did.

Yesterday evening we took some plates of cookies around, and "happened" to see our dentist.  We asked about Elizabeth's tooth problem, and got the answer- time for an extraction.

After I took the kids to school this morning, I called the dentist office and got an appointment for today.  I figured it would be best to just get it done, and not let the anticipation become bigger than the problem.  I picked her up from school early, took her home for a snack, and away we went.

They got her all numbed up.
 (She wasn't so sure about that.)

Then they pulled both lower front teeth.  She was bouncing off the walls with excitement, and trying to chat around the gauze.

She's a tough and brave girl.  There was a little crying as the numbness wore off, but she got through this like a trooper.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dishwasher Woes

Our dishwasher stopped draining.  Ryan took the drain apart and tried to see if there was something blocking it.  Nothing.  A few days later (when Ryan had time again), he tried a more invasive check of internal parts, and thought maybe the drain pump was dead.  So Ryan ordered a new pump.

Long story short-- it was not the drain pump.  

The next possible part to replace was almost as much as a new dishwasher.

Our dishwasher posed as an overpriced dish drainer for a week and a half.

Our next date night took us appliance shopping.  Our big tax return present to ourselves was a new dishwasher.  (Boo.  Not what I really wanted.)  What we bought was not nearly as nice (read- expensive) as a Bosch, but as the silly thing was pretty new and now dead, how nice can a Bosch be?

Ta da.  The new dishwasher.  Lowes didn't have anything we wanted in white, so we have an un-matching stainless steel appliance, but at least it was cheap.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I asked the twins what they wanted for snack.  "I don't know," was the response I got back.

I started listing off possibilities: strawberries, grapes, carrots, graham crackers....  Maddie thought graham crackers sounded good, along with strawberries.  As I grabbed snack-makings and started passing them out, Annie looked at me and said, "No dam crackers."

Either she's been hanging around foul-mouthed kids when my back is turned, or the speech therapy is definitely needed.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fire pit

I was away with some friends for an overnight trip last weekend.  Before I left, we were joking around about Ryan's propensity to hurt himself, so I turned and said to Emma, "If Daddy hurts himself while I am away, you should call and tell me."  Ryan insisted that she shouldn't, and he would pay her for her silence.  

Well, midway though Saturday I pulled out my cell phone to call and check on my family.  Ryan picked up the phone and demanded, "Did Emma call you?"  

"No.  I was calling because I hadn't heard from you in a while.  Just wanted to see how the kids were doing.  What's wrong?"


"Whatever.  What's going on?  Why would Emma have called me?"

"I hurt myself."

Ryan had told me earlier he wanted to build a fire pit.  He had invited the other husbands and children of the ladies I went with (and the missionaries) for a hot dog dinner that night, and he wanted a fire pit to roast those hot dogs.  In the process of building it, one of the bricks smashed his right thumb so hard it split his nail and sprayed blood into his face.  It had been bleeding a ton, and hurt too much to apply pressure, but it was finally slowing down.

But the girls all were doing a good job taking care of him.  Maddie told him she's be his "mom."

I had to laugh at my "mom sense" that prompted me to call home 15 minutes after the accident.  

In any case, Ryan is doing fine.  His thumb nail is pretty gnarly looking, and catches on everything.  We are taking bets on how long his nail stays attached to his thumb.

Also, the fire pit works really nicely.  It cooked up a nice dinner for all the dads, kids and missionaries, and we've used it once this week for us.  Ryan butterflied the two remaining home-butchered roosters and made them for dinner last Wednesday.  We also threw on some potatoes, and made banana boats for dessert.

We also tried hard boiling eggs in paper cups.  It worked!

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This morning the kids woke up to leprechaun aftermath.  Most of the pictures in the house were sideways:
 The toilet water was green.  (But I won't subject anyone to pictures of the inside of our toilets.)  The leprechauns were SUPER tricky, because even when you flush the toilet, the new water comes in green. They must have done the tank too.

The kids tied the fridge doors shut with fazoodles last night.  When they got up this morning, it was still tied shut, but the milk was green anyway.
The kids tried to make a leprechaun trap, but there was no leprechaun there this morning.  Those sneaky leprechauns did leave us with a bunch of "gold" chocolate coins, and a roll of Rolos.  How did they know how much Ryan and I like Rolos?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Just had to laugh

I went into the pantry to grab some juice boxes, and had to laugh.  
Someone got thirsty and took matters into their own hands.
But at least we had a nice picnic.  We are lovin' the warmer weather!


Little Miss Annie and little Miss Maddie are in speech therapy starting next week.  After two meetings with the elementary speech therapist, we are scheduled and ready to go.  We went in last week for testing, which took an hour and a half for the two of them.  They were troopers, and even though they lost much of their interest an hour in, they got through it.  Today was the meeting with the official IEPs (Individual Education Plan) written up and reviewed.  This is a SpEd program, and since it's through the school district, it's free.  This is a ton better than working with the doctor's office, and having them set something up 40 minutes away and having to pay two co-pays.  Not to mention it was going to be 2 months before they could be evaluated.  So I started working with the school district, and things have gone well.

The official review of the IEP revealed that Annie and Maddie tested very high in their language skills (108 and 107 out of 115).  As in, they stopped testing after age 5.5 (meaning all the things a child 5 and 1/2 should know).  She thought they could probably go higher, but as they aren't even 4 1/2 yet, their language acquisition is just fine.

Their sounds are just barely below what they should be for their age.  If it had been "regular" children, then they probably would have told us to wait 3 months and see if it improves.  But as their language skills are above and beyond, then their articulation really should be better.  The plan is to move from 50% understood to 80% in the next 3 years (that's how long an IEP is good), but the speech therapist figures they should be just fine by kindergarten.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Best. Birthday. Ever.

Emma turned 10 years old.  A decade.  I can't believe it.  It can't be that long ago that her arrival turned us from a couple into a family, and me into a mom.  I am so lucky to have Emma.  She is wonderful, and smart, and sassy, and helpful.

As I was tucking my newly 10-year-old into bed last night, Emma looked at me and told me, "Mom, this was the best birthday ever."  I like to hear things like that.  So, thank you to all who sent and dropped by birthday cards and gifts, and to those who called her on her special day.  It meant a lot.

When Emma got home from school yesterday, she kindly shared the rest of the Oreos that weren't eaten in her class at school for snack.
As soon as Daddy got home, it was time to open her cards and gifts.

Emma got a new bedspread for her bed (so it isn't my old one from years ago), some books, a t-shirt, and a new bike from Grandma and Grandpa.  
We "Face Time"-ed with Grandma and Grandpa, and Grandma Skip so they could watch Emma open her bike.  Once the bike was all put together, we went outside.  (Or most of us.  Someone had to make dinner...)
Emma wanted Ravioli for dinner.

 Then it was cake time.  Emma asked for a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.
 (Elizabeth was ready with a big breath in case Emma didn't get all those candles blown out on the first try.)

That cake gave me some issues.  The 2nd layer didn't come out of the pan in one piece.  I texted Ryan to say how the cake fell apart (and had other issues like being super crumbly) and I was so mad.  I even greased and floured the pan!  Luckily frosting can double as glue, and I got it together enough that you couldn't really tell from the outside.
 When Ryan came home from work and saw my cake, I expected some congratulations on getting the silly thing back together, and he said not a word.  Turns out he thought I had given up on making the cake work, and had gone to the store to by a replacement.  I guess that means it turned out well. :)
Eat Cake!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Spirit Week

We are big into Dr. Seuss in our town.  Every year around his birthday, we celebrate with Spirit Week of reading and dress up days.

Monday was pajama day.  Annie and Maddie wore pjs in solidarity.  
 There was wacky sock day.  (Plus a set of pose-happy twins.)
 We also had crazy hair day.  I started discussing with Elizabeth earlier in the week ideas for crazy hair day.  Elizabeth suggested getting her hair to stick straight up, and I said, "Oh, like a mohawk?" "No Mom, I mean a FAUX hawk. I'm not shaving my head."  Corrected by a 7-year-old.  In any case, I made a FAUX hawk with ponytails for all the girls.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Ryan has been talking about making cheese for a while now.  He found out last weekend that mozzarella is fast and easy to do last weekend, he got online and bough rennet tablets.  Today, they arrived in the mail.  So we bought ourselves a gallon of whole milk, and away he went.

First the milk was warmed slowly on the stove.  Then he added vinegar and rennet.
 Then it's time to strain the whey.  Next, add salt and knead it.
 (And talk to his mom on the computer.)
 Ta da!  A half hour from beginning to end- mozzarella cheese.
Once the kids were in bed, he made another batch with the 2nd half of the gallon of milk.  Ryan was so excited.  He has made cheese!  (And really, how many people can say they have?)

Sleeping Beauties

We went to check on the twins, and found them snuggled together in Annie's bed.  I'm glad they like each other. :)