Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

While Poppie and Dada went back over to work some more on the rental, Nonnie and the kids finished up their cute acorn candies.

Kivi made us all little name tags for the evening, but she didn't put our names on them, silly girl. She made up nicknames for everyone, like Lightening Flash and Diamond Sparkle, and Poppie VonPoopenstinkle

My crazy family on Auntie Tonya's cute porch.

Pella's been doing this cute thing where she plays with her ear or her hair when she's feeling shy. She did it the whole night on Thanksgiving. 

The big Thanksgiving crowd at cousin's house. The Johnson brothers, their wives families and some wonderful neighbors.

The kid table in the entry.

I needed to get a picture of all my girls in the fall dresses I've made over the years. I didn't have to make them this year because they all fit in a different style.

Berg also wanted his picture taken with Pella. Evil Dr. Bergenstien and his Evil Dr. Munchin Bunchin.Yep, those are the nicknames Kivi made up for them.

Later that night, after the kids went to bed, Peter went to work at Walmart for the Black Friday madness. Shmee, Mimi, Mamacita and I decided to go say "Hi" and check out the crowds for ourselves so we put Buggy's old fancy dresses on over our clothes (it was cold) and headed to Walmart for our own Black Friday Formal event.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I am so thankful for my family. They are so sweet to watch. They are crazy sometimes too, but their kindness is amazing. 
We work really hard with our kids on showing God's love to others. Others includes their siblings. Sometimes that's hard, but they usually do a really good job, especially the bigs ones with the little ones. Every morning we have reading time where the big kids read to the little kids. I am so thankful that they love stories, the time with their big brother or sister, and the time it gives me to clean up breakfast and other odds and ends.

After story time, Kivi does typing while Eben does his morning job and then they switch. They are getting really fast! Eben can type 22 words per minute at level A and Kivi can type 28 words per minute at level B. Since computers are part of everyday life now-a-days, we figure these are good skills to learn and I'm thankful they are picking them up so well.

I am so thankful for homeschooling. We can learn things we wouldn't otherwise spend time on like the Sewing Week we had Nov. 12-16th! Eben and Kivi both learned to crochet (Kivi made the headband she's wearing.), sew a pillow and embroider.

 Kivi made a hedgehog (we also learned all about them, and found a very addicting song about the Boogie Woogie Hedgehog) and Eben made an acorn. Very Fall. I love Fall!

I'm thankful my Mamacita taught me how to sew. It really is a lost art. Not many people know how or have a sewing machine. I am definitely passing on this skill to my children.

I'm thankful for my littles and that they love to take a bath together now. This is the first time we put them both in the bath together and Berg went from crying the whole time, to happy as a clam that he got to take care of Pella in the bath. Opal did a great job supervising and washing them both.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving Poppie and Nonnie came up and on Monday Mimi came to stay with us! We are so thankful for our family and the time we get to spend with them when they come. Our friends loaned us their trailer, so we were able to have Poppie and Nonnie sleep in there while Mimi got the girls' room. Thankfully the trailer also came in handy for all four big kids to sleep in too because the boys' room got moldy from all the rain. I think they would've slept out their with them anyway though. It's a cool, roomy trailer. 

I included Mimi in our homeschool plans for the week and she taught the kids how to make pie crust in preparation for Pella's Pie Party. Nonnie also did a whole day of learning with the kids while she let Mimi and I go to the thrift store and grocery store!

Nonnie found this cute recipe for little peanut butter acorn candies which she helped the kids make. Poppie spent some time with Peter working on the McKinley rental which eased Peter's mind tremendously, we are so thankful that we have such talented and helpful parents!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stuck on the Long Beach

Dada made plans to take us away for a quick trip to Long Beach, WA and stay at the beautiful World Mark hotel on the beach for Veteran's Day. We were happily surprised to be able to get the presidential suite! It was so big and roomy. All the kids had a bed even! Well, almost. The three boys shared a king bed, Kivi and Opal had their own twin beds and Pella slept in the closet in their room. Berg and Pella had so much fun exploring the whole downstairs. Berg crawled around with her to show her everything.

While they explored, the big kids and Dada went in the hot tub right on our porch and watched the waves and the sunset.

We watched a movie while we ate our nutritious dinner of mini pizza bagels and apple slices.

All the kids played with puzzles we brought from home. I think the goal was to put them together before Berg and Pella took them apart. 

Mama and Dada actually had a relaxing time drinking tea (Mama) and wine (Dada) together, eating our dinner and playing a game while the kids entertained themselves.

After we put the littles to bed, we broke out the glow sticks and dessert for our

Glow Stick Pie Party!

The next day, after relaxing, watching PBS, eating breakfast, going in the hot tub again, (We didn't even leave the hotel - which was Peter's plan all along - just to relax.) we packed up our minimal gear and headed out of town. As we pulled out onto the main road, I asked if we could drive on the beach before heading home. Peter said sure and he turned around and drove right onto the sand. I love that about WA. Just as we were within 100 feet of our beach exit spot, we got stuck. Really stuck. Even all these little people couldn't get us out.

We prayed and pushed and Dada called AAA to come get us out.

It actually gave us time to take cute pictures on the beach.

But then, just as a kind man came by to see if we needed help, AAA told us they don't tow on the beach so we ended up using his help. Only, we helped him get stuck too and we broke his tow rope.

The cute kids kept writing prayers to God and encouraging notes to Dada in the sand and we all huddled to pray and ask God to help us get unstuck. He provided two more trucks to come to our aid and help the poor man who tried to help us the first time. One man dug the tires out and the other one (who at first didn't know if he could help because he was "too busy" he told Peter as he drove circles around us filming our two stuck vehicles with his camera) pulled with his 4x4.  After about 15 times of the "pulling our van out and going a couple feet and then getting stuck again" routine, we finally made it to the road and onto solid ground. Praise God!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Harvest Carnival Rocks!

Inspired by the recent addition on the garage (it was a stage for a while) and an air guitar gift for Jasper's birthday, the kids chose to be Rock Stars for LC3's Harvest Carnival this year.

Berg was by far the most photographed by total strangers the whole night. He impressed his audience with his duct tape and foil studded jewelry, mohawk and sparkle pants, which I made an hour before the event and kept falling off the whole night.
Rock Star Berg

Drummer Eben was the best sport as he squeezed into his sister's skinny jeans and dawned eyeliner for the night. He prepared us by having us watch Phineas and Ferb's rock star episode. He was going for the Baljeet rock star look.
One Rockin' Drummer Boy
 Opal again wore a wig and transformed her look with big hair.
Darling Diva
 Jasper was so excited to get to show off his guitar and his cool look, including black painted finger nails, to the world, he carried it around all night.
Guitarist Jasper
Pop Star Kivi accompanied us on tambourine.
Rock Star Pea
 Pella and I also had studded neck bands, but you can't tell. She left it on all night, but she wouldn't wear her wig. Baby Rock Stars - what'da ya do? But my other baby totally wore his wig, facial hair and tatoos even! (Yes, that's Peter holding me, not a total stranger.)

The Rock'n Stones

We met up with Grandma and Grandpa, ate corn dogs, played lots of carnival games, did the cupcake walk and then left the building.

Backstage, we tallied how much we were paid for the performance and sampled it in our comfy jammies.

Mmmmm candy. Good pay for a hard night's work!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Corn and Pumpkins

The day we chose to go to the corn maze this year, Oct. 26th, turned out to be a ran stormy day. Once we got there, we made a decision that it would be best not to send the little kids through the very muddy, very wet, very cold corn maze (which could take who knows how long). Peter offered to stay in the bus with the littles while they watched movies and napped, while the big kids and I and our friends, the Kinneys, went through together.  Spooner Farms got rid of their cute cow bench that we've been taking the kids pictures on for years! So sad. So we got a family shot inside the kid barn. They would've gotten soaking wet sitting on the cow even if it was there to sit on.

The reason I love to go to Spooner Farms is because they choose to decorate their maze differently and elaborately every year. This year it was a circus theme. This giant clown head greeted us as we entered through his mouth and we jumped on his bouncy tongue into the corn maze. 

We encountered tigers in cages, scarecrow clowns everywhere - even a car full of them, a freak show, lots of tunnels, bridges, a lion we could tame, and all six of our hidden mailboxes although our maps we were suppose to punch got completely soaked and disintegrated within the first 10 minutes. They still gave us our cotton candy prizes at the end though.

The 27th we went to the Lakewood Fire Station to get our FREE pumpkins! We got there right as it started this year so we would be sure to not miss out like year's past. Each kid got to pick out their own pumpkin. We even stayed and did the fun little carnival type games they offered and of course candy. 

We waited until Oct. 30th to actually carve the pumpkins. I didn't want to smell rotting pumpkin in the house and I like to use them later for cooking, we also waited until Dada was able to help us out. 

I actually think the pumpkins look a lot cuter as they are naturally, without being carved, but it's a tradition the kids love and I make spiritual analogies along the way. Like how we have to let God scoop out the yucky stuff in our lives, the sin, as we scoop our pumpkins,

 and to make sure we have a smile on our faces so others can see God's love in us as we draw our faces on the pumpkins 

 and to remember to let Jesus' light shine through us with our actions and attitude just like the light shines through our pumpkins.

God the Father sometimes has to cut out our hardness in painful ways, represented by Dada, and now the big kids cutting the face out of the pumpkins, so our light can shine. When we grow closer to our Father we know we should cut some things out of our own lives too, and with His help, we can. We begin to look more and more like his Son to others. Here's where my analogy fails, because a carved pumpkin doesn't really look like Jesus to me.

But then, I don't either, I just keep trying to shine my Light and pray it doesn't smell like burnt pumpkin.