Thursday, May 24, 2012

Goodnight Moon, Happy Birthday Berg!

In celebration of our little Bergie turning two, we threw him a grandiose, live version of his favorite book, Goodnight Moon

We actually had a lot of things on hand from the story already, so all we had to do was find some little odds and ends, like the phone, brush and mouse and paint the large pictures that were in the story. (Thanks to Eben breaking the gigantic mirror that was in one of them we already had a large empty frame.)  The kids had a fun time helping me paint the cow jumping over the moon and the three little bears sitting in chairs pictures that we hung in the chapel at Lake City. For our thank you/treat bags each kid took home a comb, a packet of mush (oatmeal) and a punchy balloon. Welcoming each family as they arrived was the little table with the comb and brush and bowl of mush and a scavenger hunt for them to find all the things from the story which were hidden all around the chapel.
Preparations for Bergie's Goodnight Moon Party
After our scavenger hunt (which was harder than I had planned, everything was in plain sight, but no one except Grandpa could find the mouse), we prayed for Berg and had some fried chicken and mush which this time was mashed potatoes with gravy. The big kids ate at one of the big tables.

The little kids and the birthday boy ate at the little table.

The church's little house, was a big hit with everyone.

As I read the Goodnight Moon book, different kids were chosen to go get the named item from around the room and put it in the right spot in the great green room. Kivi had decided a long time ago that she would play the part of the quiet old lady whispering, "hush". By the time we were done reading the story it actually looked somewhat like the sweet scene in the book!

It only takes a handful of families to fill up the great green room. 

We sang, "Happy Birthday" to our big boy and let him lick the candles on his moon cake. 
"Moon and Stars" cake and cake balls.
However, he chose to eat a "star" cake ball and ice cream. It's easier to cram it in your mouth without the stick.

He just made it through opening all of his presents and giving hugs to everyone as he opened their gifts. 

Our little family with our birthday boy, Berg, in the great green room.

This is the only picture of the whole room all decorated where you can see the cool, crackling fire Peter found at our new condo for the scene! After the party is when Berg actually got to interact with his whole Goodnight Moon scene. He went around the whole stage talking on the phone, looking at the fire, and playing with the balloon, mouse and bunny all by himself, which is a rare opportunity in our household.
Berg in his great green room.
We love you Berg a Boo! You bring so many smiles to our faces and make us laugh all the time, especially now that you talk up a storm! You are obedient, gentle and have a sweet, loving spirit. You love your baby Pella and following around all your big siblings. You love books, going outside, playing with the "chuckspin" (truck bin) and eating food (preferably snacks). You are a wonderful, precious gift from God. We are so thankful that He blessed our family with you! I can't believe you're already two. Happy second birthday, Berg!

Monday, May 21, 2012

12 Years of Marital Awesomeness

Since we got a Vitamix and a nice drill for our 12th anniversary and we had just gone to Long Beach and a homeschool conference I figured we had celebrated our 12th anniversary already. I even mentioned to Peter that this was a rare year for us not to go alone somewhere together for our anniversary. But little did I know (although I should have, I married the most romantic man in the world), that he'd long since planned a get away for us. As I was gardening on May 7th (It's been sunny and warm, and I can't stay out of the garden!) Peter mowed the lawn while the Berg and Opal had the greatest time chasing him around the lawn, he nonchalantly says, "Well, you better get packed up, we're leaving.". Hee Hee! Surprises! 

Just as I'm going inside to pack up, Marlee comes driving down the driveway to stay with the kids - all of them! Yay for older, responsible, trust-worthy nieces!

First, we got pedicures together. It was fun and different because I talked Peter into having one with me. He said it was totally worth it if just for the massage the chair gives you while your having it done.

Then he took me to a vegan restaurant in Tacoma called Hilltop Quickie because he knew I've been wanting to try good tasting, "good for you" food. The best thing we had was the mac and yease, which our cook/waitress told us was the vegan substitute for mac and cheese made with nutritional yeast. It sounded gross but it was better than any regular mac and cheese I've had and I've had some really good mac and cheese. We were so full we couldn't even finish our meal. 
After that we went to a cute little boutique and Peter bought me a blouse, a flowery one, because I want to wear more fun colorful prints and patterns and I'm trying to not match. It's my new fashion thing I'm doing which I call "Shine of Rainbows" I love it. It feels so free and fun and different!
We got some cupcakes and then headed to our destination…Puyallup! As part of our effort to try all the bed and breakfasts in our part of the woods and spend more time actually vacationing rather than driving to our vacation, this was perfect! Peter had booked a charming, perfectly decorated B& B with gorgeous landscaping called Hedman House. This was our room!
 Our innkeeper, Normajean, was a sweet Christian woman who made us feel so welcome, had excellent attention to detail and was a wonderful cook!

We went to a garden store called Watson's where we found a hedgehog boot scraper, something we have both been wanting. 

Then we went thrift store shopping -my favorite thing ever! I love finding "treasures" for so cheap! Here are all our finds. I had to stop so we could have dinner. We dined at the Hungry Goose for dinner,  and then went back and had a soak in the hot tub.

The next morning we woke up (early because I missed some pumping sessions the day before), pumped lots of milk, did our devotions in the hot tub and put on my new "Shine of Rainbows" outfit, my blouse from the boutique and my skirt Peter bought me during our trip to the homeschool conference.

We had a yummy breakfast of baby Dutch Babies filled with fruit, sausage and a parfait.

 Then we came back home! It was a relaxing, fun surprise. I love spending time with my hubby! I can't believe we've been married for twelve years!
I love you Peter Johnson!

Friday, May 18, 2012

April 17th - May 1st Happenings

April 17th: Kivi cashed in 20 special helper rockets to go on a date with Dada. He bought her new boots, not thrift store boots, brand spankin' new ones! They went out to The Great Cuisine of India for dinner too!

April 20th: A trip to the hospital to meet the Norquist's new baby, Nicholas, with Shari before heading off to Lake City's Women's Retreat for the weekend!

April 23rd: Babies and blankies

Jasper cashes in his 20 special helper rockets to go on a date with Dada to get his hair cut and styled. He also got some blue gel and had dinner at Red Robin and mud pie!

April 24th: Experiment Day for Science Week!

April 24th and almost everyday after that: Gardening!!! I'm in love with our garden beds, and it finally got warm enough to plant some vegetables in them.

Opie helped me make a pathway through the flower garden below the vegetable garden.

April 25th: List of things Eben has broken in the last couple of months grows: Dishwasher (by falling over it backward), shower curtain rod (by hanging on it), two glasses, his door (by rolling off of a huge ball. His knee went through it.), the dishwasher (by falling over it while walking backward- again!!), a gravy boat, two plates, and this; Peter's huge glass container with coins he started collecting in 1999 for our "honeymoon fund".

Pella gets added to the family tree!

April 26th-28th: Peter and I went to our first homeschool conference. The kids stayed with Auntie Tonya and Uncle Chris and Grandma and Grandpa while we went alone! It was quite a learning experience and very encouraging.
 April Art Wall in the dining/homeschool room:

May 1st: Eben cashes in 11 special helper rockets because Dada wanted him to get a haircut. He got red gel and an ice cream sundae with Mama.

Dada's Anniversary present: a new drill, which he promptly used to hang the guitars in the dining/homeschool room.

Fragrant lilac flowers Dada picked for Mama, which she put all over the house. These ones are in the kitchen.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bee Batch # Two

I don't know what happened to our poor little bees. They didn't make it through the winter. The mysterious thing is that they didn't all die in the hive. Only a handful were left and there was still a ton of honey for them.  Either they swarmed and then died because of our harsh winter, or they were the sad result of the confusing colony collapse disorder.  Either way, we got new bees. On April 14th, we went to Trees and Bees and picked up our new Italians.

It's actually funny how calm our kids are around bees now. There were so many bees flying around and they didn't even bat an eye.
Berg and Opal were so cute eating their lunch together there.

The next day, Peter had to work so I asked Miss Kim if she would come help me put the new bees in and she said, "Yes!". Good thing too, cause it really is a two person job. She had to cover the hole on the bee box while I got the queen out and put her in first and then we dumped the other bees in on top of her and put the frames back in.

 It went super smooth and fast except for the fact that I put the queen in upside down which meant she was blocked and couldn't get out!  I had to go back the next day and free her from her cage by myself. But she was cooperative and crawled right out onto my finger and into the hive. They're all still there so hopefully that means they like their queen, but we haven't checked them yet so we'll have to do that soon.
Thanks for being such a good sport future bee keeper Kim and great pictures, Eben!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Long Beach Surprise

On April 9th, the day after Easter, Dada surprised us with a fun, 3 day trip to Long Beach! Peter is so romantic, a fun dad, and a great friend. He's really the whole package! As we were getting ready for our day he said,"Okay, now everyone pack a bag for an overnight trip!"  Hee hee hee! He knows I love surprises! So we hurriedly packed our bags and got in our big 'ole van and got on our way!
I love our new to us 12 passenger van! We've had it for about 10 months now and while we tried not to get the "homeschool van" it's really the only option out there for a family with 6 car seats. (We got the bus for that reason too and because it was so different, but it's just not economical for around town commuting.) I was afraid of it at first because it's so big, but once I got used to it I loved driving it around. 

Once we got to Long Beach, which was a beautiful drive, we stopped for some sweet treats at a bakery. There were so many yummy things to choose from and the kids all got to pick their own item! They were very excited. We usually have them share. 

Opal still shared her huge cupcake with Berg. There's no way she could finish it. The cute girl even let him lick her fingers.

The kids loved running around and checking out the hotel room/condo (whatever it was) especially Berg, now that he can run. It was beautiful and right on the ocean. We had a ground floor room with a living room that opened to the sand, grasses and ocean. Yay for friends with WorldMark! 

In the kids room, Kivi let Jasper have the other twin bed and he was very grateful. Then Eben discovered a Murphy bed so everyone had a bed, well except Berg and Pella, but they were happy in their closets.  

Of course our time included swimming in the outdoor pool. Even though it wasn't what I'd call "warm", it wasn't raining. In Washington that means you get to swim! I even went swimming with the Bigs and Middles while Dada took a nap with the Littles. It was nice and heated, but once you got out - it was freezing!

For lunch, we went to this cute little caboose that had dollar bills stapled all over the walls and a train running around the ceiling. Berg was in awe! We actually had the place all to ourselves. It makes for a very fun and peaceful lunch when you don't have to worry about being too loud for the other customers.

Opie and I with our hats in the caboose.

That evening, we drove out onto the beach, ran around on the sand and tried to not let the water get us. We tried to get some cool pictures of our whole family on the beach, but it was really hard. I love this one though of me and all my babies with the sunset on the water in back. Way better than the posed ones we tried to take.

They kept going into the van to get warm and back out to run around. Our hotel is in the background.

The next day we had backwards day which is something we first did in Leavenworth and it's carried over to spontaneous vacations. So first thing in the morning was ice cream for dessert! After a mac and cheese morning dinner Peter let me go antiquing and thrift store shopping all by myself (which normally I don't like, the by myself part, but it was pretty fun)!

After naptime, we took all the kids to the crazy, cool Marsh's Museum where they all got to pick random, old timey penny arcade/musical/execution show/slot machines. 

When Berg picked his he just plopped himself right down on the floor to see what his machine would do and everyone else followed along. The famous "Jake the alligator man" is in the background, however the kids were more impressed with the key to the city that was given to him than the plaster reptile-man himself.

They also chose this passion test - I think because it was a vibrating throne with hearts on it? The throne of passion decided they were "wild". I think it's right.

After our omelets that evening, we walked to the beach, hot cocoas in hand and just as we were doubting our decision (there was a lot of whining about the cold going on) we found this whale skeleton and the whining ceased. Praise God for huge ancient mammal bones!

My best thrift store find ever! I found two handmade skirts with trees and quilts on them that I love! So I wore one on our walk I couldn't even wait until we got home and they were washed.

They kids played in the sand with the cocoa cups and sticks until their hands froze.

Berg loved the freedom to run, the water, the sticks and saying the word "beach" over and over in his cute little voice.

Thanks Dada for a fun surprise to beautiful Long Beach! You are a great man! Thank you for putting your family above so many other things in life even when you have a ton on your plate. We love you!

I love you.