Sunday, December 21, 2008

Brrr, it's cold outside!

It has been unseasonably cold here for the last two weeks. We haven't been above freezing and in fact, it has been in the low 20's and teens. It is just cold. The river by us, the Nooksack, is frozen! This is the first time I have seen it like this. It was just too cool (no pun intended) to not stop and take a picture. We have been parking our van outside of the garage the last 2 days and last night Amanda couldn't get her cup out of her cup holder (which had a bit of water in it) because it froze solid!

Power Toe

Many babies will crawl and wear out the knees on thier pants. Darren is still sporting the army crawl and he pushes with his left arm and right toe. That is one strong toe. The other day I put this outfit on him--which happens to be my favorite--and he had worn a hole through the toe! Of my 5 children, that is a first.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crazy Hair Day

Today is crazy hair day at school. The kids have really been anticipating it and this is what we came up with.

"the phohawk"

The "anit-phohawk"

no name, just fun

crazy hair, crazy kids

sometimes it is interesting how their hair styles fit their personalities!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fuse Bead Mania!

The kids have done fuse beads a number of times at friends houses. I had told Amanda I would buy some after she was so brave during her skin test at the allergist. I finally did and holy cow! That bucket of beads provided a weekend of entertainment for the WHOLE family (even Darren who liked to eat the finished products).

Seriously...when I say the WHOLE family, I mean it...including Daddy. My kids just really like to create things.

Here are the finished products. Can you tell which ones are Aaron's?
Bye Bye, EM's

We found out Amanda is allergic to cats, dogs, molds, dust mites, some trees and weeds, oats, barley and milk. Needless to say we have had to make some serious changes over here. She is learning to enjoy tofu soy smoothies and she tried cheese from soy tonight. She is being a great sport and has amazing willpower. We decided it would be best to get rid of our cat so all the kids took a picture with her to remember her always. I am not use to her being gone yet but know she is getting more love and attention with her new family.

Morning at the park

November has flown by and we have been staying pretty busy. Not too much to post but here are some fun highlights. Last weekend we attended a geocaching event at a nearby lake. It was a beautiful day so it was nice to get outside. We forgot the camera in the car but have a few pictures from others.

We were able to get a FTF on one of the new caches. Justin is showing the prize.

I asked the kids if they had a good time. All responded affirmative...except Alex. He said, "It was fun except for the geocaching." Oh well. I think he would rather run around, climb rocks and hills, throw things into the water, feed the ducks and get dirty. He just hasn't made the connection between the two things yet.

Darren slept for most of the hike and I was so glad to have the backpack, no wind or rain. Great day with the family.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Some Halloween highlights...

Better late than never, I always say. Halloween was a blast this year for the kids. The weather wasn't too cold and both Justin and Brittany were able to trick or treat with friends.

Darren didn't dress up this year but got to wear his "trick or treat" outfit. he looked cute and got comments on his festive outfit. Thanks Grandma McCain for the outfit 6 years ago for AJ!

Here are our costumes....Mad Scientist
Pig farmer

Fire fighter


Justin and his friends. They really loaded up with goodies.

Hey, Swiper no swiping!

Sorting and trading

I am not posting pumpkin pictures but want to note that Alex carved his own pumpking, Amanda designed her own, Justin's was rotten from the inside (gross!) so carved Aaron's this year and so yes, Aaron did not carve a pumpkin! It has been a quick October and I hope that November doesn't go by quite as quickly. It was a great day

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Amanda, my big helper

This video is short but cute. It really isn't about Darren but I couldn't help capturing Amanda while she was feeding him. Sorry for the shakiness but watch Amanda's tongue. All the kids love to feed him and she does a great job. I love how she mimics him with her mouth. Hopefully you will get a chuckle out of it.

P.S. Hayden, Darren loves his applesauce!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In all it's glory

When the sky is clear and the air is crisp, Mt. Baker really seems to come alive. Aaron and Justin went on a backpack trip a few weeks ago and came home with this shot. We love it and are going to frame it. I never get tired of this view.

Ditsy Mom of the week Award

I thought I was getting my brain back but yesterday I realized it was still gone. I had been running a few errands and was watching the time so I could pick up the papers for Justin's paper route, and pick up my kids from school. We were cutting it close. I was at the grocery store picking up a prescription and a few groceries. We hustled out to the car and I dutifully buckled my kids in their car seats. We got the papers and made it to the school with a few minutes to spare. While visiting with a friend, it suddenly dawned on me that I never put the prescription or groceries in the car! I gathered the kids and hurried back to the store. The cart was gone and guest services didn't have anything. When I mentioned the prescription, the gal said that someone did bring that in but no groceries were to be found. I told her that was fine, I was more worried about the prescription. She asked what groceries I had bought and then told me that they would replace them! "Really!?" I thought that was so nice especially since it was my own dumb fault! Thank you to Haggen to your great customer service and I gladly accept the ditsy mom award. (Although it doesn't top when I made lemon bars and forgot to put the lemon filling in. They turned out to be scrambled egg bars. Ewwww!)

Pickin' a Pumpkin

Amanda went to the pumpkin patch with her preschool class yesterday. I did not accompany her but a friend took some pictures. I need to take the kids to get pumpkins still. We usually get them from Grandpa and Grandma McCain but didn't get to see them this month. My kids are trying to convince me to just go there so we can get pumpkins but like I have said before, my favorite word is "No!" Oh well...maybe next year.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How do I fill my days?

My kids often ask me what Amanda and I do during school. Well, sometimes we go to lunch, and I often find reasons to buy treats. We also play with nature. One may not think that this picture of a snail is a big deal but out here in the pacific northwest, we don't have many snails. Slugs, yes. Snails, no. This is the 2nd snail I have seen since moving here 9 years ago.

Aaron found a little tree frog out at the soccer fields. We decided to take him home, found a few more at church the next day and kept them for pets. They didn't last too long because Alex decided it was time to let them go. But, 'hoppy' had a good home while we had him.

Amanda really loves animals so it was nice to have one she could play with. Emms runs away from her all the time.
More to come. It got late fast tonight and I really need a night in bed before midnight.

Monday, October 6, 2008

"This is the BEST day of my life..."

For some it may be Christmas, and others perhaps a birthday. Maybe something really cool happened like you won a new car or found a stash of money. Perhaps it is your wedding day or the day your children were born. Or, could it be the day you had homemade caramel apples with chocolate? Ah yes, if you are Alex and your awesome mom branched out of her chocolate chip cookie dessert to make caramel and chocolate apples (well, it wouldn't be dessert without chocolate involved) then yes, it must be the BEST day of your 6 year life.

If only life was always so simple. I will admit that they were pretty dang good apples and I might even have to make them again. Alex is already planning on having them when he is in charge of treats for Family Home Evening in a few weeks. Could life get any better?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happiness is...

I thought that I would post a few pictures about things that make me smile. Unfortunately I didn't keep the camera with me much but I do smile a lot with my kids. They are so fun and constantly amaze me.

For the first time ever, Alex has declared, "it is fun to read!" He has been reading since before Kindergarten and hasn't been too interested but is finding joy in reading to his sister. I love it.

Last Sunday, Brittany dumped out all our gems and made creations. It brought hours of entertainment (literally) and for multiple days. This is one of her creations.

Of course, happy babies always make mommies smile...and isn't he such a cutie?

Aaron has been working so hard to finish the shelves in the garage. Every time he was in the garage I was so happy for the potential of getting organized. I even bought a label machine! I will have to post a pic when everything is put away and labeled so nicely.

Side note: My garage is finished and the car even got parked in it last night for the first time since July. I still have some organizing to do but am so happy to have that project completed! We have also been canning and looking forward to finishing that next week.

Side note #2: Aaron wants to add that for him happiness today is the afternoon nap he was able to take. It was long and much needed. We had friends over for ice cream sundaes tonight and had fun with them and their 9 children.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I may be late but....

I know I slacked on posting the first day of school stuff but it's not like I have been watching soaps and eating bon bons. I have been working in the garden, canning peaches (25 quarts by myself with a 4 month old is no small feat), mowing lawns, paying bills, doing my primary calling, waiting for my garage shelves to be built, going to Bellingham every day (3 times on Thursday), wondering how Laurel can have an empty shelf in her fridge door, and trying to get to bed before midnight with usually only minutes to spare. Life is good and keeps getting better. Here are a few cute pics of my four month old who is at the top of the charts at 17 lbs and 27 inches long. He loves going on walks in the morning and afternoon to walk kids to and from school. This week his morning nap was in the stroller and seems to work out pretty well.

Darren loves to "drink" out of my water bottle. I know this pic isn't that great but whenever I take a drink he reaches for it and gets frustrated if I don't let him have some.

He has started rolling over to get things and only fallen off the couch twice this week! Guess we can't put him on it anymore (once Amanda was right by him and turned away. I was close by but not close enough apparently).

My favorite pic. I love his foot in his hands. He is just trying to show off his flexibility.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

First day of school!!!!

Okay, I am a week and a half late posting this, but thought I would upload some pics from the first day of school (which was Sept. 3rd).

Alex started 1st grade and is a total dude. Amanda is in preschool this year and is loving it!

Brittany starts 4th grade and got her braces off on the 9th. I will post a pic later. She looks cute and is being good about wearing her retainer. In a few years we will do the braces thing for real but her major problem has been corrected.

Justin started 6th grade and I am really glad that it's not in Jr. High yet. He is loving school so far and seems pretty happy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Traditions....

Last year we went with our friends (the Pringles) on a few hikes for Labor Day. The weather wasn't great but we had fun. This year we went again with the Pringles on a geocaching adventure for Labor Day. Again, the weather wasn't great (a theme this summer) and had a great time...that is until the bee stings. Alex and Nathan were off the trail cache hunting when he started screaming. We thought he touched some stinging nettle. When he got to me, I realized there were bees on him. They were under his shirt and in his coat. It took a few minutes and he walked away with 4 stings! He was stung on his thumb, which swelled pretty good, his back and twice on his tummy. Nathan ended up with 5 or 6, his Dad got one and so did his mom. I got one on my finger and it hurt! Today it itches like crazy. Needless to say, those boys were ready to call it quits and NEVER return to that park again!

After a bribe of ice cream and watching "Annie" in the car (that is the only video we had with us), all was allright. All in all, it was a fun day and we're glad that no one is allergic to bees!

Here is my handsome 4 month old. It is hard to believe that he is already that old--well tomorrow is the official day. Anyway, he is growing quickly and gets mad at us if we are eating a meal and he doesn't get to partake. Today I offered him some little bites of bananas and he loved it. I guess I should get the high chair out and give him some rice cereal. They grow so quickly.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

AJ the photographer

Alex got a hold of the camera. Thank goodness for digital! When I looked through the pictures I laughed so hard I had to share. What do you think....does he have a future in photography?

OK, I took this picture but the rest are AJ's. Aren't my rhyming guys handsome?

One more thing...On Sunday Amanda's primary teacher let me know my daughter's true feelings about me. She told her that when she grows up she wants to be a "yes" mom because her mom is a "no" mom and she doesn't like that. I like to tell my kids that "No" is my favorite word! Apparently it isn't the most popular. My kids are funny!