Monday, April 17, 2017

Snow Day!

The night of Feb. 5th while we were at a friend's house for a Super Bowl party, it snowed. The kids played the rest of the night in the slushy snow/mud in their backyard. It snowed all night long and the kids were so excited to have a Snow Day on Monday! They certainly made the most of it. Eben (and Coal) built a snowman, the boys made a snow fort. The girls (and then all the kids) worked on a igloo and finished it! It was impressive! It even had a window. They all sledded, made snow angels, snow balls and brought some inside for snow cones. They played out there all day long!
A couple of days later the igloo looked like lace!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Berg's Disneyland Birthday!

We started a tradition when Eben turned seven to let our kids chose an amusement park for their birthday. Berg chose Disneyland! Good choice, Berg! He was able to turn 7 three months earlier than any of his siblings because the only time for our Disney trip was the beginning of February! Sadly, on the drive down, Eben and Kivi were knocked out with sickness, and the couple of days we stayed at Poppie and Nonnie's house the rest of the kids got it. But by Feb. 1st almost everyone was doing great, except Dada who medicated and powered through the whole day. We were going to do some fun CA activities before Disney, but no one really felt like doing anything except playing at the house and watching movies since they were all recovering from the yuckiness. We did manage to go to a very cool indoor climbing gym, Pella got a hair cut by Nonnie and we had some In 'N Out Burger. But that's about all the fun we accomplished for our first three vacation days. 

I'm glad we laid low though, because everyone being well (except Dada, who doesn't cry, so it didn't bother anyone else) really helped us have a great Bergie Birthday celebration.

Berg's Kissing Picture in front of the flower Mickey head and all of us on Main Street.
Peter thought it was crazy and pathetic that the first ride we chose was the Storybook Ride. It was actually way more crowded of a day than we were anticipating and Berg did not want to go on a roller coaster - yet. So a gentle, slow moving boat ride through miniature castles it was. We were the first ones on it! Then we rode the Alice in Wonderland ride and then against Berg's previous request, the Matterhorn. He cried and whined in line, and then loved it. 
So we were able to go on all the roller coaster rides after that! We actually were able to go on every ride, because although it looked really crowded the lines moved fast and we snacked and ate our lunch in line. We always bring cheese, crackers, salami, grapes, oranges, popcorn, chips, water and other snacks in backpacks.
The longest line we had to wait in was the Mickey Mouse line. Berg really wanted to meet him. So we did. Well, Berg and Mama did, everyone else went on the Chip and Dale roller coaster. 
Our great Toon Town pictures.
The Magic castle - morning, noon and night. Before this night time shot we were watching the electrical parade while eating ice cream and singing, "Happy Birthday" to our boy.

Before we left CA, the kids all said goodbye to the pool, they will miss it so much. Poppie built this pool and I think it's the thing they look forward to the most about visiting. They had a whole extra day to play in it, even though it had no water, because we needed to let our sick Dada sleep for a day before we headed back home.

This was a fun birthday, Berg! I'm so glad we all got to share it with you! It kind of summed up how you are in other areas too, scared at first, then excited to jump in with both feet once you've tried it. You are an amazing kid. You are kind and loving and super giving. You've giving away almost all of your toys to other kids having birthdays, your siblings or me. You were baptized this year! You want to be a missionary in Florida when you grow up and not have any kids. You love Eben, games - any games and always want to play. You are great at memorizing your verses. You hate water. You don't wear a shirt to bed. You almost always wear your clothes backwards or inside out (or both). You have skipped a grade in math. You do the same school work in all the other areas as Jasper and Opal. So in case you forget - you are super, crazy smart! Sadly, you are losing your "squish" and becoming all muscle. But you will always be our Squish, because you are our Squishy and we love you. God made you amazing and lovable for His amazing purpose and we can't wait to watch and see!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Into the New Year

Grandma and Grandpa took us all to Whidbey Island to stay in a 100 year Colonel's house for our after Christmas trip. It was cold, cold, cold! We tried to go do some adventurous things, like see the bunkers, sling shot on the beach, practice archery, but none of our attempts lasted long. We froze!
We mainly spent our time inside the old house at the very long dining room table puzzling, playing games or watching shows.

The beginning of January we did lots of indoor rock climbing, following our normal homeschool schedule, Tuffy wanting to go potty on the potty chair (although I'm not potty training him) and Eben threw a Jello party for his siblings.
It's been very cold! So we tried freezing bubbles one not rainy day. It was very fun to watch them freeze and when you pop them they slowly melt.

We've also been going to the Children's Museum in Olympia a lot since Grandma and Grandpa got us a membership for Christmas. There is always so much to do there.
Jan. 13th we hosted Jessica's Women's Clothes Swap. Kivi was able to come too and she found some cute stuff!
Jan 15th the girls kayaked in the frozen lake and the boys hot tubbed while watching shows in our portable hot tub that we put back into our room.
Jan. 19th
Dada took Eben skiing with some friends and they had a fantastic time especially since it was suppose to rain but ended up being clear, not that many people were on the mountain.
Jan. 23rd We went to the capitol building for the March for Life rally. It was a different experience, but we really loved standing with so many people who also love babies and the gift of life, praying for our country, a change of heart for our leaders and our nation and for all who have ever had an abortion for healing and forgiveness. What was interesting was the "other" side yelling, chanting, screaming - hating. If they had heard the words of our speakers they would have heard peace, love, forgiveness, praying, singing and hope.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Demolition Day!

The day after Christmas we got busy with the hammers, axes, shop vac and all our combined brute strength to get rid of the wall between the living room and kitchen! Well, maybe it was more Dada and Poppie strength, but everyone participated! Mimi and Nonnie moved everything around in the kitchen so it would all fit without the cabinets we were knocking down.
And after removing the fridge and stove the cabinets started to come down. Then the kids got to get involved and were excited to help bust holes in the wall. 
Everyone got a chance to hammer a hole into the wall. 
The day after Christmas is also eat your gingerbread house day, so we took some breaks to do that too. Hey, it fit the Demolition Day theme!!
Eben and Kivi were super helpful at keeping the debris out of the way and hauling the tons of wood that was used in building this massive wall to the fire pit. All the kids helped, but that "strong chugginess" can only lift so much. Recharge the Chuggy with kisses!
Mama kept the fire going. Dada was "On FAHR!"Look at that hunk of a man, ripping down walls with his bare (sometimes gloved) hands!
The finished (well, not completely, but for this day - it's done.) project!! We can walk right through!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

A "Rockin'" Christmas!

This year we were spoiled! We had all the grandparents and a big surprise from Dada. We started off the morning singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and blowing out the candles on His cake, which Grandma brought.
 We read Luke Chapter 2 - almost from memory now and cuddled with Grandma, Grandpa, Nonnie, Poppie and Mimi - Wow, what special kids!

Dada made stockings for everyone!
Then we thanked God for the amazing gift of His Son and had some breakfast.
We took Coaly's First Christmas picture in the giant baby stocking. The stocking that I first made for Eben's First Christmas and in which all the babies have had their pictures taken. But none of them actually hung in it like Coal.
We took turns and casually opened presents. It was very mellow and relaxing and peaceful. Tuff being sick might have helped in that area. Dada had taken the boys and girls separately this year to buy presents for each other and they love to watch their siblings unwrap the gift they chose.
Then Dada told the kids that instead of a scavenger hunt this year, they would be doing a puzzle and all the kids had to work together on it the whole time. Little did they know that while they were putting it together, just down the very long hallway, Dada would be putting up a rock wall! He had been building it in the garage and had it all pre-assembled, ready to be screwed in place. So he had it finished before they were done with the puzzle!
Once they completed the puzzle they had to flip it over and follow the clue...
down to the shed, where they found a box...
with ropes and harnesses. They were confused. Then Dada said, "Follow me!" and he led them down the hallway and revealed his big surprise! They were so excited!
The rest of the day we spent, rock climbing (of course), playing with new toys, snacking on finger foods and sparkling cider, watching Christmas movies and cuddling. It was a very good way to celebrate Christ "Our Rock".

Christmas Eve 2016!

This Christmas Eve, Peter had a great idea! We woke all the kids up early and headed to the Seattle Sheridan to see their display of amazing gingerbread houses. I can't believe he's never told me about this before. It was so great! The sculptures were beautiful, and to make it even better - the six "houses" (if you could call them that, they were actually pieces of edible art) were all Harry Potter themed this year! A sculpture for each book. So it kind of felt like they were created just for us, that, and the fact that we got there so early in the morning we were just about the only ones there to see them. Mama and the girls wore our last year jammie pants, knowing that tonight we would open our new ones.  Then Dodie and Uncle Cheese and Kookie and Buggy met us there.
After walking around the display a couple of times, (each time seeing something totally new because there was so much detail in each piece) we walked down to Pike Place Market for some yummy donuts and then Shmee took me to the Crumpet Shop and I had my first ever crumpet. Both were pretty wonderful! It was a sweet morning.

Our daily morning advent traditions for the month of December only changed a little this year, we just had to add two more advent activities because Tuffy was ready to join the fun and I took out the "wait" day. So now the activities are light the advent wreath, have a cup of tea that morning at devotions, put the character on the nativity, serving jar, pick a prize out of the big stocking, light the tree and pick 3 candies out of a sock and share with 2 siblings. Of course the candy ones are always their favorites.
Christmas evening we went to church for candlelight service and had to sit in the foyer because it was so crowded, so it wasn't very dark for the candlelight part - the overhead lights were on most of the time. Then we came home and opened the traditional white boxes...
Surprise! Matching Christmas jammies! Mama made them out of sheets from Mimi.