Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Number 5 & 6!

Did you think I was pregnant? HAHAHAHA!!! 


I'm talking about Jack's 5th & 6th teeth to come out. It started about two weeks ago. His upper left tooth was pretty wiggly so I asked Daddy to check it out. 

Of course at first he was nervous!

He let Daddy check it out, but as you can see he was pretty apprehensive! Daddy wasn't able to get it out though.

A few morning later and I sat down with Jack and was finally able to yank it out. His teeth really are anchored in there. Even though I could push his tooth back far enough to see the hollow part on top it still took a good amount of pulling to get it out!  

Cute little toothless boy!  

Now he's missing one tooth on top and two on either side of his two bottom teeth.

5th tooth out!

Then just a few days later Jack was leaping around the living room like a lion...he does this quite frequently. All of a sudden I hear him say..."I kicked my tooth out!" He was leaping around and his knee came up and hit him in the mouth. He said it didn't hurt and he didn't even know it had fallen out until he leaped a few more times and tasted the blood in his mouth. Then he leaped back and found his tooth on the carpet! Crazy kid!!!

It was wiggly, but it wasn't as wiggly as the previous tooth so it bled a lot! Time to get a tea bag!!! 

Tooth number 6 is out!

We told him now he can sing..."All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth", but he gets really mad at us for saying that!

He looks so adorable with all those gaps! In fact I told him he looks 'Adorkable' since he's a cute little dork! He thought that was funny!

As with out tradition his tooth goes in a cup of water for a week to see how much money it "grows". He's going to make a lot of money in the month of November!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Homemade Ice Cream!

At the Mill Creek Garage Sales back in October I found an ice cream maker for only $4! It was in really nice shape and actually looked like it had never been used. The lady did say she used it and the ice cream turned out really good she just never used it enough. The only thing she didn't have was the instruction manual, but thankfully the internet has everything and I found the manual online and printed it out for free at the library! 

I made sure that during my November shopping trip that I bought both heavy cream and half and half so we could try out the machine! 

We decided to go with chocolate as our first flavor. First we mixed all the ingredients together and then got the machine set up with the ice and the salt. The nice thing is you don't have to use rock salt you just use table salt. I ended up buying a 25lb bag of salt at Sam's Club for less than $6! We turned on the ice cream maker and set the timer. During the whole process you have to add more ice and salt as you go. Thankfully I was in the process of making dinner so I was already hanging out in the kitchen so I could keep an eye on it. Those holes on each corner were where I would drop in more ice and salt. The manual said it would take between 18 - 25 minutes for normal ice cream to be ready and about a 1 minute shy of 25 minutes I heard a change in the sound of the machine....like it was working harder...and I knew it was done. 

It was still very much soft serve ice cream so I stuck it in the freezer for later. It didn't freeze as fast as I thought so we ended up not getting to eat it until the next day. It was fabulous! The one thing I've learned is I need to take the ice cream out of the tin and put it in a Tupperware container before freezing. It's fine to freeze it in the tin, but then you can't make any more ice cream since there is only one tin. Also when you take it out of the freezer it is so cold that it actually feels like it's burning your hands when you're holding it! 

The next flavor we are going to make is vanilla with broken up chunks of Butterfingers....all that Halloween candy is going to come in handy! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Volunteering At School!

Back in May my mom retired from Safeco Insurance after working there almost 30 years. After she'd been retired for a little while I asked if she'd be willing to come up once a week and watch Zeke so I could volunteer at the kids school. I figured I would just go in for an hour each week alternating between the kids classrooms...Owen's one week and then Jack's the next and then Ella's. Well she thought that it would be silly for her to come all the way up here for me to just volunteer for one hour. So she stays for the whole day!!! I get to volunteer in all the kids classes each week! This last Thursday was my first time and it just happened to be the day of the All School Veteran's Day Assembly. I got to school at 9:30 and spent an hour in Jack's class cutting out laminated math sheets. Then we all filed into the gym where the 5th graders sang The National Anthem. 

All the kids were seated in lines according to who there teacher was. In order to keep the kids quiet the teacher has there hand in the air and the kids also put their hands in the air. It worked beautifully! 

Mr. Watter's is the schools new music teacher. He just moved back to the US....he's been living outside the US for 11 years. I met with him at the student led conferences that happened a week before and he is just so amazing. The kids are so blessed to have him! 

We sang a few patriotic songs like America The Beautiful and My Country Tis Of Thee. It was so wonderful to be singing those wonderful words with all those kids. In the middle of the performance all the 2nd graders got up and sang The Grand Ol' Flag. It was so adorable and of course I got teary eyed! With all that's going on in the world right now it was nice to sing those touching songs. 

Jack is in the back middle...of course almost out of sight! Typical Jackson!!! :) 

After the assembly I went to Owen's classroom where I graded math timing sheets. For lunch I stayed in Owen's classroom and ate with him. I will alternate between the kids classes each week in regards to eating lunch with them....of course I will go in birth order so I get to eat with Jackson this week. 

After lunch I headed down to Ella's room where Ms. Asselin needed me to go gather leaves for an upcoming art project. Thankfully it wasn't raining outside, but even if it had been I would have been happy to do it. I truly love helping the teachers out. When I got inside I set out all the leaves on paper towels to dry and then helped the kindergartners with their math project and then they went to recess. 

Prior to me coming in on Thursday I had chatted with the kids previous teachers letting them know I'd be at the school the whole day on Thursdays and I would probably have time to help them as well. Once Ella's class went to recess I wandered down the hall and helped Jack's kindergarten teacher...Ms. Richardson out with stuffing folders and making copies. Owen's 1st grade teacher...Mrs. Layman (she got married over the summer she was Ms. McConnell) didn't have anything that she needed help with, but she said she would make sure she has something for me on Thursdays from now on. Then I popped into Jack's 1st grade teacher's class...Mr. Heintz. He didn't really have anything ready right that moment, but I waited until he was able to get something together. I ended up spending almost an hour in the staff workroom making copies of multiplication workbooks. I literally finished up and got back to class right when the kids were lining up to head out to the buses. It was so much fun to help out 5 different teachers in one day! Another fun thing was that the kids didn't have to ride the bus home...they just got to ride with me. 

Thank you so much Mom for sacrificing your Thursday!!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

An Exciting Saturday Morning!

Back in January of 2014 we had our back tree cut down by my cousin Bill. We wanted to have our front tree cut down as well, but it just didn't work out at the time to do so. Fast forward more than a year and we were ready to get it cut down. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for my cousin his business is booming down south so he doesn't travel up north to do work anymore. Enter Facebook where I asked local friends for recommendations and lots of friends responded. We ended up only getting one estimate since the guy was so nice and very reasonable in price. The company is I'm In Tree Services. Plus he showed up to give us the estimate wearing a Seahawks beenie and I'm all about supporting other 12's! 

Here is our tree the morning of it's demise! It was funny the night before we had it cut down I actually had the thought pop in my head....this tree doesn't know that this is it's last night alive! Silly I know! 

Greg had said he'd be out on Saturday morning at 8am and in my mind I was thinking...sure it will probably end up being more like 8:30 or something. Nope....at 7:58 he was knocking on the door. Great work ethic!

The kids were very excited to see all the action and they really did watch for almost the whole time.

The first branches coming down!

Sending it through the chipper...this is my favorite part because it makes the outside smell like Christmas!

Greg starting to climb up...cutting as he goes!

It was fun explaining how he used his gear to help him climb the tree.

Once he got high enough the kids and I moved up to the master bedroom window so we could have a better vantage point.

By this point there has already been a lot of branches put through the chipper. I was amazed that the pile still wasn't high enough to see.

Getting higher!

Not sure how the guys liked having an audience the whole time they were working, but we really enjoyed watching the whole process. It's just another day at the office for them, but it was sure exciting for us!

Four cute kids crowded together sitting on my dresser! 

I wasn't sure how high he was going to go before he just cut the top of the tree off. I actually had my phone plugged in charging when I heard the kids go...."Whoa!". I grabbed my phone just in time to see this giant piece fall to the ground! 

It fell perfectly inside our yard...didn't hit the fence and Ella pointed out it didn't hit her slide that was on the right side of the lawn! 

Now it's just a naked tree trunk! 

Greg cut the tree into small pieces as he gradually came down. 

They would just fall into the yard and bounce wherever they wanted to. 

We have a few people lined up to come get all the wood. 

Once the tree was about 8 feet tall he just got down and cut the rest at the base. 

Over it goes! 

The other worker did a lot of work with gathering all the limbs, chipping them and then stacking up the wood next to the fence. They also both did a great job cleaning up the yard and the driveway. 

Now to tackle the 8 foot stump in the backyard. This was from the tree my cousin fell for us. We had asked him to leave the trunk because we had dreams of building a playhouse on top of it. We wanted it to be big enough for Owen to still use for a few years and then of course it would need to be safe enough for the kids. But....after making up a list of the materials we'd need we made a trip to the hardware store and priced it out and it was going to cost over $2,000!!! As you can imagine we can think of a lot of other ways to spend that kind of money so that was scrapped! So we were left with an ugly 8 foot stump in our yard! 

Thankfully Greg took care of that for us! 

This was a big tree...it was almost 40 years old and it definitely took some work getting it cut into smaller pieces. 

There were also still some huge rounds that my cousin had cut from the tree and they were just laying down the hill. People had tried to come cut them, but they were just too giant for a regular chainsaw. Greg cut those into more manageable pieces so now people can get them. I'm so happy that my yard will soon be free of these huge chunks of wood!!! From start to finish the job took around 4 hours. 

Here's the before view! 

And after!!! Our house is so exposed!!! 

Now you might be wondering why on earth we'd want to give up that privacy and shade. Well that lovely tree has ruined our driveway! I actually have to push the gas to get my van out of the driveway because it's pushed up the driveway so much on the left side. It's so uneven we can't possibly think about installing a basketball hoop for the kids because the ball gets bounced all over the place. And to top it off there have been a few people that have fallen in our driveway and we would really like to not have to file a medical claim through our homeowners policy! One thing the kids are really excited about is the fact that there won't be any shade next summer so the pool will always be in the sun! 

The next thing on the to do list is getting the driveway repaved. Of course that's going to cost a pretty penny and since we follow the Dave Ramsey way we have to save for that. I'm hoping that we'll have it done sometime in within the next 2 years. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

My New Normal!

Life has been quite an adjustment over these last couple of months with 3 kids in school. You'd think that sending 3 away during the day would make things easy peasy or at least easier, but nope!!! Now there is 3 little people who need help with homework...and homework isn't just one page. Homework is math and reading and spelling for Jack. 1 or 2 pages of homework, working on letters and numbers both writing and saying them for Ella, 1 math page, writing in his writing journal, reading and typing practice for Owen. Then after dinner while Michael reads to Ella and works on her letters and numbers I'm doing the BSF study with the boys. It definitely makes for some busy nights! 

During the day I haven't been able to get as much accomplished either since there is a certain 3 year old missing his siblings!

He is my constant shadow all day long! We have tried to work out a schedule so he doesn't feel like I'm busy all day, but at the same time I can feel like I can get things done and not feel guilty about it. Usually I read him a couple books and then do the dishes, then we'll play cars for about 10 -15 minutes then I can sort some laundry. He loves to help me with those so that's nice too. 

The funny thing is he has the hardest time entertaining himself when it's just him and I, but when the older kiddos come home he runs off and plays...but not with them! He plays by himself! It's so nuts! He just needs to know that they are an option to play with them if he needs them I guess! 

The hours in the day also seems to scream by so fast. I swear one minute it's 9:30 and then next it's 2:30 and my alarm is about to go off saying it's time to get the kids from the bus. Some days I feel like I've accomplished a lot and other days barely anything. Blogging has obviously taken a back seat, but that's also because the big kids are in school and we aren't doing very many fun things during the day. It's just a lot of the same stuff....church, dishes, Seahawks games, laundry, BSF, grocery shopping, MOPS, laundry, working out, dishes, family night, laundry and soon choir practice will be added to the mix. 

Some days Zeke just has had a bit too much and he ends up having a meltdown and he needs a nap. On this particular day he started throwing a fit because I wouldn't read him another book....this is of course after I've already entertained him quite a bit of the day, by reading to him, playing cars and pushing him on the swings. I told him he should go to his room and he didn't argue one bit....he went right up the stairs and this is how I found him. Cute kid just needed permission to take a nap I guess. 

It's so ironic how once you get used to your schedule something shifts and then you have to get used to a new schedule all over again. Life is always moving and changing!  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015

As always we spent Halloween at Ga-Ga & Pa's house in Orting. It was POURING down rain all day on Halloween and then a few hours before it finally stopped raining. It really was quite pleasant when we were out walking around. 

One thing I was so sad about was that I forgot the kids personalized Halloween bags that my mom bought them. They got to use them at Trunk or Treat, but then I put them back and I forgot to stuff them into the bag with all the costumes. I felt so bad! Of course Michael being funny said..."Oh man...now you can't go trick or treating!" Thankfully Owen has caught on to his Daddy's humor so he immediately said, "Your teasing!" 

Owen decided to not wear his helmet this time. Uncle Ry and Aunt Stephie gave the kids these glow sticks at our last family night and I thought it would be perfect to use them on Halloween. 

Jackson makes a great Steve Rogers AKA Captain America. His costume didn't come with a shield so I ended up making one from cardboard and then he colored it in. 

 Sweet pretty princess...she ended up not wanting her crown halfway through so I got to wear it the rest of the night! 

Buzz Lightyear to the rescue! When we packed up to come to my parents house I just shoved the costumes in a bag and I think poor Buzz's wing got a little mushed...that right wing is looking a little sad! 

Funny store about Zeke...I tried and tried to get him to say "Trick or Treat" or "Thank you" at each house, but he just was too shy. After going down my parents side of the street and then back down the other side we were right across the street from their house. At that house I did the same thing...I asked Zeke to say "Trick or Treat" and that's when he looked into his bag and said, "I have enough candy!" He was done! Perfect timing! I was just able to run him across the street and then head back out to catch up to Michael and the older kids! 

Dressed and ready to go....and irritated that I was making them sit for pictures. Also my camera was set to a funny setting so the pictures didn't turn out all that good anyway! 

We took the kids to probably thirty house and then the last stop is always Ga-Ga & Pa's. 

This year was a great year in regards to the number of trick or treaters. Ga-Ga & Pa had 194 of them!

When we got back Zeke had already dove into his bounty! 

Owen had a good amount! When I added it to the candy he got at Trunk or Treat he has 2 full gallon size freezer bags of candy! 

Look at all those cavities...I mean candies! 

Jackson also has 2 full gallon size freezer bags of candy! We aren't going to be in need of any sugary sweets for quite sometime! 

When we stay at Ga-Ga & Pa's house Michael and I sleep in the Lighthouse room...that's what it's decorated with, Owen and Ella sleep in the Wedding room...it's where all the wedding pictures are. Owen sleeps in the bed and Ella sleeps on the floor. Jack and Zeke sleep in the upstairs playroom. There is a hide a bed that Jack sleeps on and then Zeke sleeps on the floor. This time around Zeke decided he wanted to sleep with Jack. I figured it would only last so long before he got annoyed with Jack or Jack got annoyed with him. An hour or so after bedtime I went up to check on them.

They were conked out! They actually ended up sleeping together the whole night. Also Michael and I have decided it is totally a genetics thing when it comes to our kids sleeping with their one arm over their head...Michael sleeps like that all the time! 

Another funny story....around 6 in the morning I woke up because I could smell my Dad's coffee...the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup....anyways about a minute after I woke up Jack comes into our room and tells me that Zeke pooped his pants. Jackson has a very sensitive nose so I figured it was the strong smell of coffee, but I got up to go check on Zeke anyways. Zeke was sound asleep and his pants were clean as can be. I have no idea why Jackson thought the smell of freshly brewed coffee would be poop, but who knows!