Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Owen is quite the entrepreneur...he's always trying to think of ways to earn some money. He had a lemonade stand at our garage sale earlier this summer and he made over $17...mainly due to my SIL's friend who gave both Camryn my niece (she was selling cookies) and Owen $10 each! He was super cool! 

Owen's latest idea was so give rollercoaster rides in the wagon. It was something he thought up all on his own and the other kids LOVED the idea. They were running up to their piggy banks and coming back down pay for their ride. I love that he used his imagination and that his money making ways actually required him to do physical work...he can be a lazy bum....and that he was providing a service that was fun for his siblings! 

Just the other day I told him that it would be fun if he rode Zeke's monster truck into the garage and got Popsicle for everyone and then rode out and sang some music like the ice cream man. He thought that was great except the singing part. He wanted it to be a surprise so he closed the garage door so no one would see what he was doing. Zeke was crying his eyes out because he wanted to put his scooter away. I had to explain that he was going to ruin the surprise. When Owen finally had the Popsicles he drove out into the street and hollered...."Popsicles....get your Popsicles!" Then the other kids understood what was going on. One thing I didn't explain to Owen was that he was just giving the Popsicles to them and not charging for them. Cute little money maker! He did give the kids their treat and wasn't too upset about it. While eating our Popsicles Jack and I made up a Popsicle song....

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star...I've Got Popsicles In My Car. Come And Get Your Popsicle Now, Or I'll Feed It To A Cow. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star...I've Got Popsicles In My Car!!! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fresh Air!

A few weeks ago we just needed to get out of the house as a family and go do something. Not anything expensive or anything just something so we could spend time together away from the house. We tried to take the kids to this park in Burien that has a staircase that leads to the beach, but the last 100 ft of the staircase had been washed out so that was a no go. So we took the kids to Seahurst instead. I hadn't been there since they made a few changes. The weather was on the cooler side, but that was actually nice since it's been a scorching hot summer! 

Owen was all about building a dam by the creek, but the other kids wanted to explore. Michael stayed with Owen and I went with the other kids. 

He's such a handsome 7 year old!!! 

Zeke is so little, but he actually was able to make it over the drift wood. Of course there were tears about it though! 

We found a piece of sidewalk chalk so the kids had fun making some pretty art on the cement. 

The beach looked so pretty with all these flowers that had popped up. 

Ella trying to cross the log that goes over the little drainage pond. She decided against it once she got closer to the middle. 

And of course you can't go to the beach and not throw rocks!!! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

It's Official...All 4 Of Our Kids Have Had Stitches!!!

On Thursday July 23rd I guess fate was telling us that it had just been too long since we took a trip to the ER. The kids were playing upstairs like usual right before bed and then we heard a thunk. That's not uncommon either. They just from the clubhouse or the bunk bed and sound like they are going to crash right through the floor all the time. This particular thunk was followed by a short, but loud know the cry where you cry at first and then don't cry because you are too busy sucking in all the air in the room before you actually start wailing. Yeah that cry! Michael ran upstairs to get Zeke and then I heard him saying, "Oh dear!". That's when I said..."Is he bleeding?". To which he replied, "Oh yeah!". Great here we go! 

We got towel and a little ice pack. The bleeding stopped almost right away and then I went and got some neosporin and some steri strips. I had the steri strips leftover from Ella's Hydrocephalus surgery when she pulled her steri strips off her tummy and they gave me extra ones to be able to put them on at home. I was trying to put them on, but the position of the cut was just too difficult to get them on and I noticed that it actually was a pretty open cut. I didn't quite think he'd need stitches, but at less butterfly bandaids or something. 

Since it was just a simple procedure I decided to not drive to Tacoma and just go to St. Francis since it's closer. Thankfully they put us on the fast track. We were in triage at 8:45 and then being called back to the room by 9:45...not bad really! 

Of course like all the other times I've taken Zeke to the ER he was happy as a clam! 

He was also running on fumes so keeping him happy in the waiting room and then in the exam room was a bit challenging. He wanted to stand up on the chair or the table and he would just not sit still. I let him look at all the pictures on my camera and then I let him watch a show on Netflix, but once we got back to the exam room my phone wouldn't reception. 

That's when I searched my purse and to my surprise I had 3 chocolate oatmeal granola bars! Score!!! The Dr came and cleaned the wound since it had bled a bit more. He said we had three options....just let it heal on it's own and he'll have a pretty good scar, glue it and hope it stays, or put in two stitches. At first I was leaning towards gluing it, but then I remember when he had come to St Francis around 8 years ago with Owen and they glued his lip and he ripped it off in 20 seconds. The Dr agreed that since he was so active stitches would be the best and most effective route. 

Because of the proximity of the cut being so close to his eye they didn't use the numbing cream prior to the shot. So they wrapped him like a burrito which surprisingly he thought was a super fun game. Once the shot came he wasn't smiling though. There was guy holding his head, a lady holding his arms and I was holding his legs. He was crying pretty good, but not like freak out crying. The guy at his head said that it was normally way louder than this. Once he was out of the burrito and I could hold him he calmed down real quickly. 

The nurse was able to find a cute bandaid and we were on our way. 

The next morning he wanted to take a shower with me so I took off the bandaid and tried to get a picture of the stitches. 

He is such a mover it was really hard though. I was actually surprised that his eye didn't look worse and wasn't swollen more. Later on in the shower I finally got the whole story to what happen. The other kids weren't in the playroom so they hadn't seen it happen and Zeke was too emotional the night before. In the shower he told me he tripped and fell on the table that Owen likes to make his set ups on....AKA the small black IKEA table. He then went on to demonstrate in the shower and bonked his head on one of the shelves in the shower....crazy kid! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Duel At Mustafar!

It's been fun seeing the kids imagination really start to come out with LEGO's. They have been building their own planes and spaceships. Such a great creativity going on. The other day Jack wanted to look at the Duel at Mustafar set online. They don't actually make it anymore so of  course it's crazy over $200 expensive. Plus it doesn't even look all that cool...not enough lava in my opinion! So Jack asked if we could look online for pictures. Of course other LEGO enthusiasts have come up with their own interpretations so there were a few to choose from. We found one that seemed reasonable to be able to put together. I took a picture of it with my phone and then we went upstairs to the LEGO table to get to work. 

Here is our inspiration! 

Jackson didn't really help with the building of it. He helped me find the LEGO's we needed and he told me where he wanted the platforms for Anakin and Obi Wan to be.

I am not a very creative person when it comes to building LEGO. I'm Emmett all the way...give me some instructions and I'm good, but just coming up with something on my own....I am no master builder! 

It was fun working from someone else's and not having instructions and just having to wing it and make what I could with what I had. I will say my favorite part is the fact that Anakin and Obi Wan can swivel around and fight each other. That's super cool! 

Later Jack added the hanging chain thing from Owen's construction set that he got at The LEGO Store recently. He liked the idea that Anakin could swing on it and then flip and land on his platform or the mountain side. 

He was one happy guy...this is probably his favorite scene in the all the Star Wars movies. I'm not sure why since it's pretty sad that Anakin tries to kill his master an all. The dark side takes over him and he become Darth Vader. Maybe Jack is like me and just hopes that the scene will change and he won't choose evil over good. I remember watching Fried Green Tomatoes over and over when I was younger just hoping that the Buddy Threadgood's character would be able to untie his shoe fast enough so he could escape getting hit by the train. Silly I know! I guess I'm an eternal optimist! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Now That's A Bunch Of Berries!!!

Last year I made some blackberry syrup and gave most of it away to friends and Michael's co-workers. Shortly and I do mean shortly afterwards Michael got the containers back from his co-workers and they were asking for more. Too bad blackberry season was over! This year I plan to make as many batches as I can. It's really not hard just a little time consuming and messy, but it tastes so good so it's worth it. 

I figured if I was going to make a batch I might as well double it so in order to do that I needed 12 cups of berries. I grabbed a big bowl and figured if I filled it to the brim it should be good. First off I was totally shocked there was actually that many berries to be picked around this time. I don't think we've ever picked blackberries this early in the season. It usually seems like we are picking them towards the end of August! Anyways after probably a good half and hour, a few scraps in my legs and some purple colored fingers later I had a full bowl of berries! I washed them and measured them and I actually had more than I needed. I had enough for syrup and a big cereal bowl full for the kids to eat. 

After cooking the berries with sugar, corn syrup and vanilla I blended it in the blender, strained it and got a ton of syrup. Look at how close to the top that syrup's almost as full as it was when it was just berries. Crazy! 

I was able to fill 6 containers with my yummy syrup! I need to make a trip to IKEA to get these fun containers they have that would be perfect for syrup...they are only $3.99. Of course I will be giving away 4 of these...two to Michael's co-workers, one to my neighbor and one to my brother. I'm definitely going to see if I can make a double batch again since it's a long time between seasons! 

A few days later I made waffles for the kids and I and it was so delicious!

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Dream To Run!

I have always wanted to run. Not sure why, but for some reason I would admire runners and I just wanted to do that. So what held me knees! See I'm knock kneed and I have knee caps that think popping out of the socket makes for a really good time. My knee caps started popping out of the socket at 12 years old. The first time being in a Nordstroms dressing room with my friend and her family. I was in so much pain I had no idea what had happened, but since I wasn't home and didn't have my mom I just sucked it up and then about crumpled into my mom's arms when I did finally get home. My mom of course knew exactly what had happened since she had the same problem in the past. Growing up my knee caps would pop out all the time. Sometimes worse than others. I remember once at youth group I used a bag of peas that were in the church freezer to ice my knee after it popped out. Once at school I stepped half on and half off one of those wrestling mats and my knee popped out so bad my Dad had to come get me and take me to the doctor. That time was so bad I ended up in physical therapy and I had to wear a stiff braces from my hip to my ankle for weeks. I got called gimpy and grandma for a while after that! As I've gotten older they've popped out less and less. I attribute it to the fact that I know my triggers. I can tell if I'm going to hurt myself and I can correct my footing and stop it from happening. I believe the last time I actually popped them out was at Michael's parents house before kids. I was sliding into his mom's car, but I had on a long jean skirt so I had to kind of twist and it popped right out and I ended up falling to the ground since my legs gave out. At some point though my body actually got used to it so much so I could just keep on going and the swelling wouldn't be that bad. 

All that to body sucked! 

My personal goals for the last few years have been to get my mental and physical body into better shape. Earlier this year I had about had it with my body. I woke up one morning turned over and stretched and that's all it took...I completely threw out my back and my neck. I was crying because it hurt so bad and I was just angry at my body for betraying me. Having 4 kids had really taken a toll and even though I wasn't overweight I was no where near being in good shape. My muscle mass was almost nonexistent. I knew the first thing I needed to do was work on strengthening my muscles. While I was laying in bed I texted my neighbor Rachael who is a personal trainer. She had trained me at the beginning of 2014 for a month or two, but then she had a baby. By the time she was ready to start working with me again we were leaving for Disneyland and one thing led to another and here it was 2015 and I hadn't gotten around to scheduling anything with her. I told her my sob story and she said we would definitely schedule me for regular workouts once my back and neck healed up a bit. 

I believe I started training with her in March. At first it was absolutely hilarious. Rachael would ask me to do an exercise and I honestly would have no idea how to move the muscle she was asking me to move. I really was that out of shape! Slowly but surely I started to see some differences. Rachael has been mainly working on my major muscle groups and I've seen so many differences in how I feel and how I can move. I can do things that I know without a doubt I would have ended up hurting myself doing before I started working with her. I have had a couple back and neck issues since starting with her, but that was mainly due to the pillow I was sleeping on. Now I have a special pillow that supports my neck and it's amazing. I really love working out with her and I know that I wouldn't be where I am today if I had been trying to do this on my own. She is truly an answer to prayer! 

As for my running...a few months after I started working out I started noticing all these friends of mine competing in 5K's or posting on FB about their running. Like I said before I've always admired runners and in my head I felt like I could be a runner, but I was afraid my body would betray me. After talking with a couple people I decide to give it a try. I downloaded the C25K app and told Michael we were heading to the track. I knew that I would probably not be able to run on concrete or asphalt, but I figured that a track was made of cushy stuff so that might set me up for a little bit of success. Plus we have 4 kids so I knew that going to the track would give them some space to play while I ran. May 16th was the first night I ran...the first day of C25K had me walking for 5 minutes then running for 60 seconds then walking for 90 seconds. I did 8 intervals of running/walking for a total of 8 minutes of running and then another 5 minutes of walking at the end. I thought I was going to die!!! Seriously I had never ran before in my life. I went to Christian school we didn't have track and field! This was so hard! The first time I ran was by myself...Michael played with the kids. Then the second time I ran he decided to join me. He was an amazing source of encouragement. One time he even ran backwards and cheered me on! As I moved on with C25K I went from running 60 second intervals to 90 seconds, then 3 minutes and then up to 5 minutes. I honestly remember thinking there was NO WAY I was going to be able to run for 5 minutes straight. I remember putting that on FB and some of my running friends were so encouraging! I think it was around this time that I started running in the mornings since the kids were out of school. That means I haven't run with Michael in over a month now. He was a great source of strength for me, but now that my confidence has improved so much and I know I can do it I'm able to go by myself. After 5 minute intervals came 8 minutes and then 10 minutes. On the 4th of July I ran for 20 minutes straight. The most I had ran at one time before that was 3/4 of a mile. On the 4th of July I ran 1.65 miles without stopping! I'm not saying this to toot my own horn. I'm seriously amazed at what my body can actually do!!! If someone would have told me 4 months ago that by the 4th of July I would be running over a mile at one time I would have laughed in their face! 

I'm not saying there haven't been set backs. Towards the beginning I actually wasn't sure if I was going to be able to run anymore. I got runners knee really bad. I could barely lift my leg without being in pain. I ended up doing some research and I got a brace that I wore for a week and a half and that helped. The biggest change I made was I started taking liquid Glucosamine. My Dad has sweared by it for years since he has hip and knee trouble too. It has helped so knees actually feel like they have cushions in them now. Earlier in July I actually tried to save money and got Glucosamine in pill form at Costco since it was on coupon. After taking those for 2 weeks I almost felt crippled! I took the pills right back to Costco and got the liquid again instead. It's not worth the saving in money if the stuff doesn't work! 

I also started seeing a Naturopath Dr during this time. I just hated how MD's like to throw pills at you and when something else comes up from the pill they prescribed you they throw another pill at you. It was just maddening to me. I wanted to feel more in control of my healthcare and I wanted to know the whys as well. My new Dr is amazing!!! I love her! First off I get to have a 45 minute appointment with her every. single. time!!!! I never feel rushed. She walks in with her Apple laptop and her cup of coffee and sits down and we talk! I've never even sat down on the exam table....I just sit next to her and we talk over my equals. Her office has actually called me to schedule appointments since she wanted to run some bloodwork. I don't think my MD's office has ever called me to make an appointment. The best part of all of this is our insurance covers her just like a normal Dr. and Michael's health saving account reimburses us for any herbs she it actually is covered more than a normal MD's office. The funny thing is I'm actually taking more pills now than when I was going to my MD's office. Only two of them are actually Rx's though...the rest are herbs. My favorite part is I feel like I'm part of the solution to my bodies problems. I know and understand what's going on with my body because she wants educated me. She's also helped me with my running. During the research for my runners knee I found a video of a guy teaching you how to breath while you run. The first suggestion really helped....look up when you run! I am the kind of person that gets discouraged when I see how far I have to go so I was running looking down. No wonder I felt like I was suffocating. Just lifting your head up increases your lung capacity so much. It's amazing what a little change can do. The second thing he talked about was how you breath. In through your nose and out through your mouth and to breath using your diaphragm. Well the next time I ran I tried it and I felt like I couldn't catch my breath the whole time. My Dr said she tried that too and then figured...breathing is something that our body just knows how to do, we don't have to tell it to just breathe! I took her advise and now I just let my body do what it does and I breathe in through my mouth and out through my mouth and I'm doing just fine! 

When I started running I didn't really have a particular goal in mind. Even though I was using the C25K app I wasn't aiming for a particular 5K race. I'm still not even sure if I can run on concrete. I have tried since I started and that's when I ended up with runners knee. I guess my goal was just to make it past the next day on my app. Recently though with my increased confidence I decided to actually set a real goal. 4 months to the day after I started running is my 35th birthday so my goal is to be able to run for 35 minutes straight by my 35th birthday. Right now the most I've run is 26 minutes and 50 seconds straight and the furthest I've run is 2.25 miles. I still have more than a month to reach my goal and I'm confident that I will. This is one thing that I've done for myself...I've worked hard...harder than I ever thought I could and I've achieved my goals. A couple weeks ago I said something to Jack since he still struggles with his dexterity. I told him he needs to tell his brain to do it and then he can. After I said that it hit me that that goes for running too. My body can go so much further than I ever thought it could, but my brain doesn't think so. Once I tell my brain I'm going to do it then I do it! It really is mind over matter! 

Even though I have done this for me I know that it reaches into other areas of my life. With me being in better shape I'm able to do more with my kids and be more active. I feel like I can contribute more to our family since I feel confident that I won't hurt myself doing certain tasks. It's also great for my kids to see me taking care of myself and staying in good shape. I want to be a good role model for them so they see that hard work really does pays off. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Last year we had made plans to go floating with our friends Alisha and Rich, but unfortunately the weather turned bad so we weren't able to go. Alisha and I made plans for us to go this year and I was so happy to see it was going to be super hot! I didn't tell the kids what we were doing I just told them we were hanging out with Mr. Rich and Ms. Alisha and they had some big toys we were going to play with. On our drive up to Fall City the river came into view and I started asking the kids if they saw the river and did they see the people in the river and the boats. That's when I asked them if they knew what we were going to do. Jack spoke right up and said we were going on a boat in the river! They seemed excited and bit nervous at the same time. 

The first thing that needed to be done was inflating the boats. While Rich and Michael were handling that I sprayed all the kids down with sunscreen....REALLY WELL!!! Of course I coated myself as well and I sprayed myself two more times during our trip! No more sunburn for me thank you very much!!! Zeke was a bit grumpy since we were in full on sun and he wanted a snack. I got him some fruit snacks and he stood in the van for a bit. He's so cute wearing his 12 month swim trucks and shirt! 

We started out with 5 boats, but about halfway through our trip we went down a little bit of rapids....using that term very lightly...and since the river was so low the boat that was carrying the cooler hit an expose tree branch and popped! Thankfully the bottom of the boat didn't pop so we had time to find a place to pull over and then move everything from the popped boat into the other boats. 

Rich was working hard getting the boats all pumped up! After the boats were all pumped up Michael and Rich drove 3 miles down river to leave our van so we'd have a vehicle at the end of our journey. The kids and I waited in the shade across the street. This was probably the hardest part of the trip for the kids. They hate waiting! 

It's quite a production getting all the boats down to the river...there is only one trail and you have to deal with everyone else bringing their boats down so it can get a little congested. Michael said that he and Rich would take a couple boats down and then have to wait for a few parties to bring their boats down and then jump on the trail as quick as they could before another group would start making their way down. 

Alisha is so cute...she went to Party City and got the boys cute pirate attire! They even had inflatable swords!!! She also got Ella some Minnie Mouse ears, glasses and a bucket! 

My Ella girl doesn't really like anything obstructing her beautiful locks though...she likes her hair to flow freely! She was so cute at the front of the boat with Daddy. Zeke is also in Daddy's boat, but he is plastered to Michael so you can't even see him. Later on he loosened up though and started sitting on his own. 

I didn't bring any sort of hat, but Alisha gave me this hat that she and Rich got for participating in a run. It worked great keeping the sun out of my eyes. 

After we got a little bit down river we got all tied together. Owen and Jack were together in a boat, I was with Alisha in the double tube with the built in cooler. Michael was with Ella and Zeke and Rich was in a boat by himself. 

After being on the boat for just a little while Zeke asked for his sandwich so we all decided to eat. 

After floating/paddling down the's low so there really isn't much of a current we saw a little bit of a sandy beach area so we pulled over for the kids to swim and play. 

Owen had been dying to swim! 

Zeke stayed in the boat for a while playing with water in Ella's Minnie Mouse bucket! 

Where we stopped there was a little stream flowing into the river so of course Owen and Jack had to try to make a dam! 

While we let the kids play Rich got to work readjusting our set up. The way we were tied together just wasn't working very well so he rearranged it and then it was great! 

Time to set off! 

The river was really busy, but Alisha said they've seen it much busier. It's crazy!!! The nice thing was even though people were drinking we didn't encounter anything bad happening. There was a group that we floated past and a lady was swearing and a guy in her group said..."Hey there's kids!" and she said she didn't "blanking care" and then a bunch of people in her group got on her case so she stopped! The only thing that was gross was all the people smoking pot! It stinks! It smells like skunk spray and it's disgusting. We smelled it numerous times during the day. Darn Washington State! 

After floating for a little while longer we pulled over at a shady wasn't really a good place to get out and walk around...too many rocks, but it was nice to just rest in the cooler shade. 

The kids also had fun playing musical boats. When we finally set off again all the boys ended up with Daddy in the front while Ella decided to be all by herself in the boat in the back. 

We had some snacks while we were enjoying our shade. Alisha had brought some Doritoes that were buffalo wings with ranch flavored. They were yummy! They were a little spicy so Zeke wasn't too sure about them at first. 

He's thinking they might not be too bad! 

We were talking about him and this is what he does whenever anyone looks at him. He is such a cheeser! He ate about half the chip and then tossed it in the water! 

Hanging out in Mommy and Alisha's tubes! 

We floated for a while more and then got to an area where they have a "diving board"'s really a tree that's fallen over and people walk out on it and jump in. There were tons of people just lining the shore watching people jump in. Even kids maybe a little older than Owen were jumping in. The nice thing was people would clap for everyone! 

Of course Owen was having the best time going out into the deeper water. 

Zeke was being so silly here. Walking around making silly noises and laughing up a storm. He was definitely running on fumes! 

He never ones had a meltdown though! Miracles do happen! 

A picture of me and my man....rare! When Alisha and I were planning the trip I asked her what she wore on the river and she said she wears surf shorts. I didn't even know they had such a thing. I didn't want to just hang out in my swimsuit all day, but I knew that I didn't want normal shorts getting all wet. She let me have a pair of her shorts and they were perfect. Just a little something to cover my legs and make me feel a bit more modest. Not that anyone on the river would have get to see all different types of bodies and all different types of swim attire!

Alisha said the diving board area is where everyone usually downs their last beers...there were quite a few groups just hanging out. 

Such a handsome dude! 

After this area we still floated for another 30 minutes or so. In all we were on the river for 5 hours! It did not seem like it was that long at all. It was such a blast. No meltdowns, no sunburns and hours of fun! Of course after getting out you have to carry all the boats up from the shore and start deflating them. While the guys did that Alisha and I took my van and drove the 3 miles up river to get Rich's truck. It was crazy how many more cars were there then when we got in the river. Alisha was actually worried she wouldn't be able to get the truck out because they had packed so tightly into the parking lot. 

When we got back to the guys I helped the kids get changed and then we loaded up all our stuff and headed out. We stopped at this cute burger place, but the wait for food was 25 - 30 minutes. It smelled great so it was no wonder there was a wait. We decided to drive home and we stopped at Red Robin and got food to go. We let the kids watch Despicable Me 2 in the van so when we got home we brought it inside so they could finish watching and we ate our dinner. It was around 7:00pm...we usually eat dinner at 5pm so the fact that there was no meltdowns from this alone is crazy awesome! 

Rich and Alisha were so amazing...a lot of work goes into floating on the river and we were so thankful they let us tag along. We can not wait to do it again!