Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eben the Six Year Old Scientist!

Eben turned 6 on October 20th!! How'd that happen? I still completely remember my sister fainting at my side in the hospital room while I was pushing him out!

Well, this year Eben decided to have a science theme party. He loves experiments, inventing, and messes. So I made him a lab coat and we rounded up all the ingredients necessary to perform our scientific experiments. Eben was so excited for this day!

Our experiments included:
- sucking an egg into a bottle
- making Oobleck
- making snot
- lighting a volcano on fire
- exploding Coke with Mentos
- air powered car races
and our one failed experiment:
- dinner.

Don't try to make 13 Easy Mac Macaroni and Cheese packets at one time. It doesn't work. It turns into goo. But hey, it totally fit the experiment criteria.

The beginning of making Oobleck:

Afterward, this was the messiest room ever! Oobleck is really fun, but very slimey, drippy and gets all over the place.

Dada showing off the snot he made. He got really good at it.

Watching the volcano erupt. It spewed ash everywhere. I hope it wasn't that toxic.

The Coke/Mentos explosion. It was super fast, but super cool!

Eben and his scientist colleages.

The big 6 year old and his microscope cake. Yes, the crazy boy found a picture on the internet of a microscope and said, "Yes, Mama, this is it! This is what I want my cake to look like!" I said "Are you serious? You think I can make a cake look like that?" He says, " Yes, Mama, you can do it! I believe in you. Just try." How could I say no to that? The whole time I was making it he was so encouraging and kept telling me it was the best cake ever. As you can tell however, it was only big enough for about 6 kids to have cake. Oh well. Eben was ecstatic, and it was his day.

All in all, it was a fun, crazy, tiring night. Our science boy loved it and felt loved by all his friends and family who came to celebrate with him. And I still can't believe my first little bald headed baby is six!

Happy birthday Eben! Keep discovering, experimenting, inventing, and creating! Use that amazing brain God gave you and have fun figuring out the exciting world He created. We love you so much!

Monday, October 26, 2009

October Randomness

On Oct. 4th we went to Steilacoom's Ciderfest/Applefest - I can't remember. It wasn't that memorable. The greatest thing was seeing the cider presses. Our neighbor, Mr. John, helps out with a super high-powered one every year. He let Eben work the controls to smash the apples in the press. We bought some cups of hot apple cider and bread with warm apple butter for all the kids - which ended up all over their pants. Note to self, we don't have to do this event again. If there's a place where we can just go press cider without the crowd, we'll do that instead.


I got this book for Kivi around the time that Opal was born. It's so cute because the little girls in it look just like them, wild hair and all. Opal LOVES Kivi to read it to her. At the end of the book the sisters give each other a big hug, and so do Opal and Kivi.

The Gate:

So....as part of our journey to become foster parents, which began in February of this year, we had to install a gate. Peter has been dreading this moment, not just because it's going to be a pain to get down to the lake, especially if your arms are full of kids and stuff, but because we both have issues with restricting children with bars, latches, gates etc. We both strongly feel that children should know and obey the boundaries we set before them and if not, reap the consequences. However, we had to comply with state law and put up a gate. I'm so proud of Peter and the beautiful gate he made. And now we are a little closer to being able to care for and love a child who needs our family for a while.

Kivi's Ballet Class:

Kivi has been begging, asking, talking about ballet for a long while now. I had this great plan to teach her myself, after all, I have taught a 3/4 yr old ballet class before. But she said, "Mama, I want to go to a ballet class with a different teacher than you and some new kids that I can meet." So my attempts at frugality fail. On Oct. 10th Kivi went to her first ballet class at the Jo Emery School of Ballet. It's on Sat. mornings and she loves it! This is her first class when she got to "skip" all by herself. She had the hugest smile on her face the entire class.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jasper's 3rd Robot Party!

We celebrated our third child's third birthday on Sept. 18th with a Robot Party! (He really wanted a jet ski party - but, that would've been pretty boring with a broken jet ski. So we got him to come up with a second option - good thing he's only 3 and easily swayed.) Since we had to change his mind set we started getting really excited about robots way in advance. We helped our kids make robot utensil, plate and food holders for the party and 2 big robots for the table decorations.

This one is my favorite. They each took turns picking out a random screw/lid/bolt and showing me where they wanted to put it. I put on the hot melt glue and they stuck it on. Kivi wanted to make it a boy robot. Can you guess which piece is her's? She never forgets about those things. Detail oriented, like her mama.

We had such a fun time making robots before the party, that we decided to make it part of the party too.

One night after I put Jasper to bed, he started crying like crazy, which is very odd for him. I went in his room to see what was wrong and he cried, "Who's going to make my cake?" I assured him not to worry that I would make it, and he said that he really wanted Mrs. Schock to make his robot cake. What? Seriously, that's what he was screaming, having nightmares about. Oh well, so the next day we called Mrs. Schock and asked if she would make his cake. This actually made things much easier! And Mrs. Schock made a fantastic robot cake that Bubba was super excited about!

It started getting really dark, so Dada got the flood lights out so we could take a group picture and watch the birthday boy open his gifts.

Then we had a short Robot Dance Party! Jasper has the greatest robot dance moves. And that shirt he got from Auntie Tonya - had to wear right away, and if it's clean, you'll see him wearing it any day.

All the kiddos and their finished robot creations.

Jasper we love you and your new love of robots! You're such a friendly, outgoing, happy guy! Everything you say is so cute! We can't wait to see how God will use you and the strengths He's given you to change the lives of others! We love you Bubba! Happy Birthday!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

She Walks!

On Sept 11th Opal finally decided that she would like to join the world of the walking!
So at 20 months of age our daughter took her first four steps! I didn't get it on video, but I got us trying to make her try again. She didn't:

But 2 days later on the 13th, we worked with her some more, here's the beginning of the day:

And a while later, she gets it! She seems to do better if slightly distracted, like if she's holding onto something. Here, it's her baby:

She's been walking a little more every day. She started going from couch to couch recently and soon I'm sure the crawl will be a thing of the past! Hurray for our little late bloomer! She talks a ton now too! She'll repeat everything we say and tries to make up her own little phrases. Like "Bubba innaout?" means "Mother, don't you think Jasper should get time out for that horrid action? Did you see the way he behaved? If I were you, I would definitely put him in his room!"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Camping & The Ape Caves

On August 27th, we decided to go camping! We had to try out the tent situation before the annual All Church Camping Trip in a real camp setting, not just the backyard. So we headed to Mt. Saint Helens. We found a great campsite for tenters only called Beaver something. And almost every campsite was on the lake. It was beautiful! Just us and nature. Opal crawled all over the dirt, the kids found bugs, moss and logs to play with. We all got filthy! Thank goodness for warm showers! About 10 minutes after getting there as we were setting up the tent the kids started screaming. We had given them one rule, "Don't go in the lake" But, one old child tossed another girl child's little log into the lake and a third small boy child freaked out that the "little boat" would be gone forever and tried to go in after it to retrieve it. Somehow, they ALL ended up with wet feet. Hmmm? So after a very strict talking to and extra long time outs for everyone, barefoot camping started while we tried to dry shoes by the fire.

Opal LOVED the dirt! Her favorite game was picking up a handful and putting it on my leg. I'd brush it off and she'd do it again. A fun game for all. We also figured out on this trip, that Opal does not sleep well in a tent. We tried to have her nap in it and somehow she escaped and we found her about 5 feet from the tent. She never slept. At night time, she didn't want anything to do with laying down. She was so excited that she just crawled all over everyone. After about 20 attempts to put her back in her little spot, we realized we better clear out the back of the van because there was no way she was going to settle down in the tent. She went right to sleep.

Dada had a brilliant idea to make homemade ice cream. Everyone took turns shaking the freezing cold bag of cream and sugar until it hardened. Then we gave everyone their own little baggie, cut a hole in the corner and dined on our delicious treat. Opal and Jasper thought it was too cold to hold, so I froze my hands off and squeezed it into their mouths for them, not to mention onto their shirts and on their legs. I couldn't feel my hands, it was hard to aim. Plus the ice creamy mixture melted way faster that it had hardened. It added to the messiness which was camping, but it was really fun.

On our campsite, by the lake, on a large cool log.

Eben and Kivi worked hard on this project for most of the night. They got all the logs from the beach and dragged them up near our tent. They called it "The Baby Trap" and it's purpose was to stop little babies from going down to the lake.

Jasper did this for about 2 hours. He's jet skiing. Can't you tell?

The next day we headed out to the Ape Caves! The kids had a great time each with their own head light. It was cold in there so although it was really warm outside, we were all glad we brought our sweatshirts. Jasper actually wore his headlight around his belly the whole time. I wish we had gotten a picture. It was so cute! We learned about stalactites and stalagmites, how lava forms caves and Mt. Saint Helens, at which we drove up to after the cave and had a hot dog lunch.

There was one other night time incident that happened that I don't want to forget, because while it was a pain and dreadful in the moment, it is hilarious now. Kivi has night terrors. The night we were camping, she had one. She doesn't fully wake up, but she screams her head off and we never know why, but sometimes, taking her to the bathroom helps. So at about 2 am, as everyone in the campsite is being woken by our screaming daughter, (remember only tents) we try to take off her one piece jammies and help her go potty outside the tent. Well, it's pitch black and I have to hold her, cause she's not awake enough to walk, and she kicks like a mad man. Yeah, not a good picture. I was scared to death someone was going to walk upon this scenario. What would they have thought? So, as soon as I get her outside the tent, I tell her to go pee pee. She does, but since I can't see anything, and she's kicking, and screaming, pee goes all over the tent. I try to shift her and I feel warm going all over my legs! Her screaming lasted 40 minutes! In a tent park! In the morning we asked her if she remembered anything about the night, or her dreams. She said, "No, but it was so much fun sleeping in a tent!" Ha! We had to apologize to the neighbors. Oh yes, they had heard her.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Cutest Flower Girl Ever! and Gleaning of the Land Week!

Friday, August 21st was Kivi's (well, actually Brian and Carly's) big day! We had been talking about this day for so long and finally it was here! She looked so cute in her dress which matched Carly's bridal gown and did such a great job smiling and walking down the isle. Dodie had taught her to grab huge handfuls of flowers and throw them onto the isle, so after about 2 steps she ran out of flowers. She went back down the isle, the opposite way, and I almost freaked out thinking was she too nervous and wasn't going to do it. But she had just gone back to Carly and told her she needed more flowers for the rest of her journey down the isle. Carly, so sweetly, told her it was ok and to just let everyone see her pretty dress. She did it!

Kivi with Carly in the background.

Kivi and cousin Brian.

Big smile going down the isle.

Playing in a huge tree after the wedding.

The wedding was so beautiful, and the reception was full of great things to eat and tons of treats for all the little kids. We felt bad that we didn't bring the rest of the kids, but when Kivi started melting down around 9, we knew we had made the right decision. So Peter the Great took her home and let me dance the rest of the night away with my sisters!

The rest of my family's visit was filled with daily blackberry picking trips. The week was given to "Gleaning of the Land". Pioneer farms really has an effect on me. We picked plums and lavender and Peter made tons of fresh homemade bread.

Peter and Jasper kneeding the dough. So far Peter has perfected his white bread, made some wheat bread, raisin bread, and cinnamon rolls which taste just like Cinnabon (as long as they get baked right after they rise).

On Saturday, we all took a journey up to Snoqualmie and saw the falls so Dodie could go to her second wedding of the weekend.

On Sunday, we went to the coolest thing in Olympia called Sand in the City. It was put on by the Olympia Children's Museum so there was tons of crafts and hands-on stuff for kids.

They loved the moon sand the most, but there was also giant bubbles, ponies, water table, face painting, and belly dancing. The crafts they chose were splatter paint and bead necklaces, but they had about 30 others to do.

A sampling of our "Gleaning of the Land" week.