Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 March Memories

We finally took advantage of the free day at the Museum of Flight. This is WAY better than paying the $98.00 it would have cost us if we didn't go on free day, which is the first Thursday of every month. We drove up and had a casual look around at many of their great airplanes, the favorite of which was the flying car, had some dinner at their cafeteria and then saw some interesting stuff in space building. Like the tube toilet they have to use in space.  We also watched the sad video of the Challenger explosion which confused Jasper. He kept thinking that Christa McAuliffe was my actual teacher.

The next day we learned about oases, so I had the kids go down to the beach, pretend the sand was a desert and make their own.
On March 7th, we said goodbye to all of our chickens. We gave away all of them including our coop and all of our chicken stuff to a family just starting out their chicken adventure. Kivi tried really hard to be sad. But they were a lot of hard work. She had to go out every night and lock them up so they wouldn't get eaten by raccoons.  Eben had let them out every morning and together they were in charge of getting them food, water and mucking out the coop.  So secretly I think she was a little relived Dada said it was time for them to go.
 We also had one of the last movie nights in the MamaDada bed!

This is Pella, sitting on the toilet, holding onto my legs. I had to have one of the kids get a picture of this so I won't forget how she has to go.  She's doing it less and less now (which is why I had to get a picture, because I know it won't last forever and soon I'll forget that she ever had to do this while sitting on the potty.) If I'm not there and she has to go poo, she'll yell, "Mama! Come here! I have to hold onto you!" She digs her little face into my knees, holds on tightly to my legs and then she can do her business.

 This is on the 14th. I want to remember how much these girls love their little brother. Opal and especially Pella love to put baby powder all over Tuffy. His head, tummy, back, neck, toes, arms, legs everything gets all rubbed down with these loving, big sister hands.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Tour of Our Home

Things are changing around here. Our family is getting bigger.  In the words of our 4 year-old son, "Our house is too small." Yes, some might think a two-bedroom house is too small for a family of 9, but honestly, it's been great. We love our home and we've all been content with it, well, except Berg. Our view everyday of the extremely beautiful lake is amazing and we actually have two extra beds! But, we do foresee a time when we will need more space. For one, our pantry is busting at the seems. We keep a lot of food in our mother-in-law apartment. And I have to go out to the garage for many things that we just can't fit in the house. Moving is likely on our horizon. We just need to be patient and see what God has for us. For now, here's our home. Many people have been shocked to find out we live in a two-bedroom home. Actually, it was a three bedroom, we just got rid of the master bedroom about 4 years ago. So here it is, for curious people, forgetful me, and our children. When we do move and this house becomes a fading memory maybe it will stir up fond recollections of raising chicks in the fireplace, squeezing into the breakfast nook for meals, swinging on ropes in the boys room, watching movies on the big screen in Mama and Dada's bed and morning devotions overlooking the lake cuddled in blankets on the living room couches.
Our tour will start where most everyone enters our house, in the kitchen. This is the back door where we come in. Just to the left of this door is the laundry room, which I was not about to cleanup for this house photoshoot. It doubles as the pantry and it's about the size of a closet. 
This is the view that the hanging fruit basket has of our home:
Here is the whole kitchen:
If you go left between the KitchenAid mixer and the red wall there's a hallway, the hallway where Kivi was born! Here's the bathroom in that hallway:
If you keep going down that hallway you'll pass a closet and come to the dining room, but we'll turn around and come back to the breakfast nook:
Turning right we come to the living room. When we first moved, the kitchen was completely walled in so we'd be starting at a wall right now instead of beautiful Lake Louise!
Here is a different angle of the living room including the front door, which we never use, unless we are going out to the deck.
Here's the other side of the living room to the right is the dining room. Behind the red couch is the cupboard where we keep all the toys and behind that are the stairs down to the bedrooms. 
Here is the dining/homeschool room. The cupboards and drawers are all filled with homeschool and craft stuff.
This is how we get more space for schooling and where Dada does the bills. The white door is the closet in the hallway. (The same hallway that leads back to the kitchen.)
This dining room actually used to be the master bedroom, but we took out the wall so we could have a space to all eat together and see the lake too! Here's a view of the dining room from that little, black, fold-up, wall table.
 Through that door is another bathroom
 This is the dining room bathroom, where all the kids take their baths and brush their teeth. 
If you go back through the dinning room and go down the stairs,
you see this, our family room, turned bedroom!
This is the view from our bed. Peter had an amazing idea and put black-out curtains all around our bed. I love it. It's like sleeping in a grown-up fort. The white door is the closet under the stairs, where Peter's keeps his clothes.
To the right of that closet is a hallway:
Which leads to the downstairs bathroom on the left. Peter put in this jetted tub right after Jasper was born in our friend's, the Schocks', jetted tub and Berg, Pella and Tuff have been born in here.
Straight across from the bathroom is the Girls' Room. There are closets to the right and left of the dressers when you first walk in. 
When you round the corner you see the girls' bunks.
If you go back through the MamaDada Room there's a door next to my side of the bed.
That door leads to:
There are usually ropes, hammocks, nets, a swing and ladders hanging from the ceiling so they can play inside on rainy days.

 And that is the end of the Inside Our Home Tour, as of March 6, 2015. It's about to get all changed around!

(Full disclosure notice: Our house is not usually this clean.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tuff's Murder Mystery Baby Shower!

We have some wonderfully fun friends! Our beloved friends the Schocks have now thrown us four murder mystery baby showers. (They've thrown one for Opal, Berg and Pella too!) They are the best. 

We don't really need any baby stuff, so having our friends all come dressed up as their character and act out their part is a perfect substitute to gifts. John and Shari really went full out on this party! Besides their new fabulous house which was a perfect setting for the Baroness's estate, they made invitations, wills, birth certificates, auction flags and props, money and even had fake heroine and jewels to smuggle and authentic looking auction items.
Our church friends all dressed up:

Everyone came as their character and tried to stay in character the whole night.

We ate some delicious dinner prepared by Jeeves, aka Chris, and mingled around while we waited for the auction of the dead Baroness to start. 
While we mingled we all had different tasks to perform like buying and selling heroine, purchasing jewels, disclosing or selling information, trying to make the most money and trying to figure out who killed the Baroness. Tuff apparently succeeded in drug dealing. What kind of horrible parents are we??

The auction got underway and we all bid on the items we wanted. I could not bid because right before the auction all of my money was stolen! All that pretend sinning for nothing!
Then we separated into groups and guessed who we thought the murderer was. Don't these guys all look suspicious?
 The real murderer was.... Rebecca! An illegitimate daughter of the Baroness who was sent away to an orphanage at birth she dealt heroine and set up the home security system for the Baroness.

The winners of the evening were Peter, Tyler, Jon and Tung!

It was such a fun, memorable night! I thank God for our little Tuff, unconventional baby showers and exciting and willing friends.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

February Fun

Mama Dada date on Feb. 19th. If I remember where we went I would write about it, but I don't to much time has passed. I just know my man looked super good. This is why I should blog sooner. (Peter reminded me that we went to see, in his words, "the depressing musical, Carousel" in Seattle. He actually was in this musical as a boy as one of the Snow children and had no idea what it was about. We also saw my sister's new condo.)
 On the 21st we woke up to sweet sisters, Opal and Kivi, presenting us with breakfast in bed! It was so yummy, omelets (Dada's had a sunny side up egg, too), bacon, a bran muffin and an english muffin and tea!
 The 23rd was Tuff's picture day! His three month picture to match his brothers and sisters is ready to go up on the wall. Still. I haven't put it up yet.
 The 26th we painted frescos because we were learning about how the monks decorated their caves with them in Medieval India. We made edible frescos by painting with food coloring on pudding because that's what it's like to paint on wet plaster. It's a lot harder than it looks!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Rest of Our CA Adventure!

We stayed at Poppie and Nonnie's house for almost 2 weeks during our February CA Disneyland vacation. Buggy and Uncle Kookie live with them too, so were able to hang out together, go to Sno2Go, In and Out and have other California treats. Nonnie made Opal a birthday cake on her actual birthday which was just the next day, after Disney. 

The kids had fun watching movies, playing in the empty pool in the backyard, slack-lineing, going on walks, visiting Buggy's work, and playing with the funny photo feature on the iPad:
Uncle Kookie found a kid friendly climbing gym where the kids all had a great time climbing and repelling from fun walls while attached to an auto belay.

While everyone was climbing, I stayed with Tuffy and had a photo shoot. I took all of these pictures while Tuff was sitting on my lap.
Then I finally made his birth announcement! Not that I actually printed them or mailed any out. But hey, he's the seventh kid and I actually made him an announcement. That's something! Ok. Fine. He was already 2 months old and everyone already knew he was born, but it's the principle of the thing. He'll know, now, that he indeed had a birth announcement. (If you're reading this in the future, Tuff, I love you, see I made you this birth announcement. Don't try looking for your baby book though. You won't find one.)

The kid's also loved playing with the fake snowballs Nonnie made, and her Fisher Price dollhouse was a big hit with Kivi. She played it everyday and sweet Buggy usually joined her when she got home from work. We had a great time going to my Aunt Sherri's house - she wasn't there, which was the sad part, but we still had fun in her hot tub, swimming in her community pool and hanging out in her media room and eating her candy. Actually, when we got home the kids had to write about our CA trip and Eben's whole paper was about Aunt Sherri's media room - not Disneyland!
We decided to take the scenic route back home and drive the 101. We found Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Factory on the internet on the way there and called for a tour appointment. Before our tour started we stopped at a Starbucks so I could feed Tuffy and the kids walked with Dada on a scenic trail along a creek. He helped them build a dam, which they were even more excited about that than the stickers. It was a very interesting tour seeing how the stickers were designed, and watching all the machines necessary to make them. At each different machine our tour guide would hand us each a bunch of stickers. At the end of the tour, the kids got to make a sticker craft.
We drove through the Avenue of the Giants, not through a tree, our van was too huge. But we got to walk through some! On our way home we stopped for the night at my Aunt Jan's new, beautiful home in OR. She had the hugest meal ready for us when we got there, around 9:30pm - enchiladas, beans, rice, tacos - it was good! And in the morning she made us every type of breakfast food imaginable. The kids loved it. I make one thing and everyone has to eat it. But she whipped up delicious eggs, yogurt, french toast, bacon, sausage and cereals.  I'm sure we ate through a months worth of their food! It was a great ending to fantastic vacation.