Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Late last week we visited the local elementary school art show (hosted by the convention center).

It was a total hit for everybody in the family.  We moved fairly quickly through the girls' school exhibit (and saw their art displayed - Julianna's seahorse, Lydia's butterfly) and then headed towards the activity area.

There were all kinds of hands on activities for children to make and see and do.  Even a local potter working with his pottery wheel - very cool!

All five got their faces painted - even Luke!  I wasn't so sure how he would hold to the task of sitting still while a complete stranger painted his face.

He had plenty of support from the big sibs!  And he impressed me with his patience.

This town is small enough that an event like this is so low-stress do-able for the whole family.  The girls roamed a bit on their own and I didn't feel like I had to keep them super close by.  Of course we ran into a number of people that we knew too :)

Just a fun way to spend a late afternoon (although I was running low on steam by the end and ready to get through dinner and bedtime.  ahhh, those late afternoon/evenings can be pretty draining for me!)

I'm getting lots of incredible pictures from Matt who is ending a quick trip up into the mountains.  He'll be back in the big city for two days and then start his trip back to us!  I'll post some of those pics tomorrow.  Prepare to be jealous :)  [I am.]

Sunday, April 13, 2014

the sock situation

We've got a lot of little feet around here.

And a lot of little socks.

Last fall when it was clear the sock-free summer was drawing to a close I decided we needed a new sock strategy.  I eventually settled on a big bin of shared socks for all the kids, conveniently placed beside the front door.

Every child sock in our house is (theoretically) either on a foot, in the laundry pile, or in that bin.  Most every pair in the bin is mated too.... though I don't know why I bother (exhibit A, below).

I figured that I'd streamline my process - anyone old enough to put on their own socks should be capable of picking through the pile to find a pair that suited them.  Anyone who needed help with the socks .... well, I'd be there to make sure we picked something in the right size range.

In the past few months John Paul and Luke began exercising a little more autonomy over sock selection, but I'm happy to report that the sock bin is still working marvelously.  Every now and then we get a very interesting combination (fluffy red heart socks on little boy feet), and often the little two un-mate pairs to pick their favorites, but for the most part, the sock bin serves us well.

A few days ago, in a rush to get out the door in time for speech school, I even grabbed a pair of  kid socks from the bin and stuffed my feet into them.  Twelve hours later I sat down on the sofa to read, girls snuggled in on each side, and put my feet up on the coffee table.  And there were those socks - still on my feet :)  It was one of those days... no shower, no down time, just full-on motherhood .... and I was still wearing those little socks!

Friday, April 11, 2014

birthdays and basketball

Last weekend Andy Kristi Conner Carson and Kaelynn came up for a couple of days of family birthdays and basketball fun.

We celebrated our March birthdays (Isaac, Luke, Kaelynn).

And we watched the boys play some fun basketball!

My boys sure look up to their big cousins.  John Paul looks worried in this pic, but he really thought dressing up in Conner's basketball gear was great fun - trust me!

Isaac is still talking about these basketball games.

We had a pretty impressive little cheering section!

We just so enjoy the time we get to spend together!  thankful for a weekend to celebrate birthdays and basketball together!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

double selfie

Saturday afternoon enjoying some snuggles with my Lydia.

And then we started on silly pictures.

She was trying to pretend she was sleeping.

We agreed she wasn't that great at it.

But it led to some good giggles.  Lydia is a REALLY great giggle-er.

And loves to snuggle with Mom.

Our days are ticking right along.  The snow is vanishing fast.

Today I had an "I'm acting like a local" moment .... the boys were wearing long sleeves and pants.  I opened the door and thought "oh it's so nice out this morning, no need to wear jackets!"  Halfway to the store I noticed that the digital temperature display on the dashboard read 42 degrees.

Yep, 42.  No need for a jacket :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

it's a muddy world out there

Matt left this morning on a 5am flight.

I've talked to him several times already - right now he's working in an airport lounge with huge windows and an impressive view of Mt. Ranier.

But pretty soon he'll be boarding for the big country and I'm so glad I'm not the one getting on that plane!  I'm even MORE glad that the kids aren't getting on!

The girls are at school, the boys are either napping or resting, and I'm enjoying a little down time.

The weather is just beautiful, the snow is melting by the bucketful and my boys can't keep their feet out of the puddles.  It's SO FUN!

I'm ready to put away the snow gear entirely but it might be a bit early for that :(  In the meantime, the mud boots are getting a work out.

good times.  but we miss Matt.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


These two littlest of mine are definitely brother buddies.

And I am so grateful.  Grateful for their friendship.

Grateful that there is more to brotherhood than shared genetic material.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

quick recovery

late Monday evening 

Our blizzard sky Monday turned into a fresh bright blue on Tuesday.  Matt and Dad had the driveway and sidewalks blown by 9.  But the wait for the snow plow got longer than we imagined and it was a good thing our 2 hr delay turned into a no school day because we sure couldn't have gotten the girls to school by 10 am.

There is some appeal to owning a 4 wheel drive vehicle, huh?

Once the road was plowed I ran a few quick errands (my parents leaving on a 5pm flight lit a fire under me to get in a child-less trip to the grocery store!)

Then it was off to the airport.  We'll be seeing Mom and Dad again in not too many weeks (we are south bound at the end of May).

We are back to 'normal' for a few short days and then Matt is off to Asia for 11 days.  I'm doing what any mom in my situation would do.... looking down a long stretch of single parenting and choosing to move in with my in-laws!  I'm so thankful that I won't be pulling all the details of the next two weeks on my own.

So so thankful.  And looking forward to the fun and fellowship too.