Saturday, December 16, 2017

Celebration Sunday!

On Sunday November 29th we had Celebration Sunday at our church. It was in honor of the 9 weeks worth of classes we had for Financial Peace University. Michael and I had led a table every Sunday night since the middle of September. It was fun relearning the principles we had learned back in 2013. We had been following them mostly, but there were a few adjustments that we needed to make. It was a big commitment and I was happy we did it, but also happy we were finished. We definitely had something to celebrate! 

Ron the one spearheading this whole class, ordered these fun cakes from Costco. They were made to look like credit cards. He stabbed a pair of scissors into the cakes for fun. I can't remember how many credit cards were cut up during our class, but there were quite a few. I love the names that he had them put on the card cakes...Mr. Slave NoMore. 

And...Mr. I.B. Free!!! 

The sweetest thing happened to me at church that morning. I walk up to sit in the row I always sit in and there was this lovely blanket all folded nicely, wrapped in ribbon and it had my name on it. I was so overjoyed and super surprised!! See there is a lady named Gail at our church that make these wonderful blankets and she made one for me. I had mentioned to her husband in passing how I was sad that last year at our Women's Christmas Dinner they told the hostesses not to get gifts for the ladies sitting at their tables. Gail would always host a table and she always made a blanket for each of the ladies at her table. Well I was sitting at her table that year and because they said no to gifts I didn't get one of her famous blankets. I was so sad! Well she was just so sweet and made a blanket especially for me even though she wasn't even able to make it to the Christmas Dinner this year. I was seriously so surprised I almost started crying. I love my new blanket and I sit with it every night!!! 

While I was sitting there snuggled in my blanket Owen decided that he should try to teach Charlie how to sit. It was so cute and hilarious! 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Charlie Cat's Christmas!

I honestly think Charlie thinks we put the tree up just so he can sit under it! 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Decorating For Christmas!

We usually put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving. In years past we've decorated our church on that Saturday so then we usually put our tree up on Sunday. This year we decorated our church the Sunday before Thanksgiving after church was over. Because of that we decided to decorate our tree on Saturday this year. 

We have honestly gotten decorating down to a science. It's awesome! Michael deals with putting the tree up. 

The kids help with the ornaments. That is after they've already helped me take down all the Fall decorations. I didn't do anything we the tree this year. Michael and the kids handled the whole thing. 

I did put up the other decorations around the house with the kids help as well. I asked the kids to stand next to their favorite decoration. Ella was so happy that she got to set up the Nativity set this year. That awesome JOY sign lights up. I got that after Christmas last year at Safeway on clearance for $7.50! It was originally $29.99! 

Zeke was super proud of the tree. We let the kids put up all the kiddie ornaments this year. We rotate back and forth between having a fancy tree or a kid tree.

Owen loved the tree as well and thought that Charlie needed to be in the picture with him.

Jackson liked the JOY sign the best. 

After decorating the older three wanted to play Phase 10. 

Ella had never played Phase 10 before, but she did good. Of course she needed help, but we did have fun! 

Phase 10 is a little too hard for Zeke so Michael played Life with Zeke instead. 

I think we only made it halfway to Phase 10 so it was really Phase 5!!!

It's funny because it's been over 3 weeks since we decorated and I just now noticed that we never actually hung up the stockings!!! We put the stocking holders up on the mantle, but forgot the stockings. I think they are in a box that Michael didn't actually bring down because we are also missing the other Nativity set that I like to put up as well! 

Here's a new decoration that we have up on the mantle this year. Ellen gave me this right before she moved to Arizona. It's the last year that Santa Al was really able to play Santa. We had a fun special Christmas time with him at Ga-Ga & Pa's house. This is the first year with no Santa Al! We are missing him for sure, but we know he's having the best Christmas EVER!!! Also the kids Santa gifts this year are actually really from Santa. They are the last gifts that Ellen had from Al's stash of Santa gifts. That's going to make this years Santa gifts extra special! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

This Is What Happens When You Take Away Electronics!

The boys both got in trouble the day before Thanksgiving so they had their electronics privileges taken away. So that meant while Ga-Ga & I were out shopping on Black Friday they had to come up with some form of entertainment. 

Enter the game of war. 

It was so nice actually seeing the older boys play together. In fact right around Thanksgiving is when I decided that we were going to be changing the electronics timeframe. Now instead of the kids getting 2 hours they only get 30 minutes. I told them it was becoming too hard to get things done or spend time together as a family because I didn't want to interrupt their electronic time. Now the kids get electronics from 4:30-5pm which is perfect since that's the time I'm usually making dinner anyways. So far they haven't been too upset about it, but I'm sure that also happens to be in part because of the time of year it is. We usually watch a lot of family movies in the winter especially around Christmas so they definitely aren't being deprived of screen time. Heaven forbid! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Thanksgiving In Oregon!

This year we decided to head down to Oregon to be with Michael's side of the family for Thanksgiving. After spending time with them at the summer family reunion we really wanted to continue to foster those relationships. We left our house at 7:30am and headed to our first stop...the Country Cousin in Centralia. 

We met up with Papa Martin and Jon, Becky and their girls for breakfast. Ella Grace and Samantha just love their Papa! 

That's a table full of Martins!!! 

After breakfast we began the rest of our journey. Michael wasn't feeling the best so I drove the whole way down to Gervais. I ended up missing the exit and we had to drive another 12 miles to the next exit. Thanksgiving was held at a grange that was over 100 years old. The layout was the kids got the upstairs to run around and play while dinner was served downstairs. As you can imagine it was a bit loud with the kids running around above us. Plus the downstairs was basically a basement made of cinderblocks so it was loud with just us adults in there. There were some other funny things too...there was one toilet for the whole building. Thankfully that didn't seem to matter. Another thing about old buildings is that they aren't really equipped to handle the sort of power needs us modern day folks are used to so they almost started an electrical fire with plugging in all the roasters. Oops! Dinner was great super yummy, but the best part was...

visiting with family of course. We had so much fun with Robin and her two boys Bryson and Ryan. We hung out with them a lot at the summer family reunion and they are so much fun. We all love to play games so they are our gaming buddies. Robin brought along 5 Crowns which we had never played before and it was so much fun to learn. We actually bought it as part of our family gift this year. Michael said he overheard Ryan when they first walked in the room Ryan said, "Yes my favorite cousin Mike is here!" I love that!!! I can't wait until we visit them again this summer. Such good times ahead! 

We ended up being at the Grange from 12:30pm - 6pm and then we started the trek to my parents house. Michael drove the whole way there and we rolled in just before 10pm. It was a crazy long day, but I'm glad we did it! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Bunch Of Random Stuff!

This post just has a bunch of random things that didn't really need there own post. Without further ado! 

Here's our new dishwasher. It's a Whirlpool and it was on sale for just a little over $300. My favorite thing is the silverware holder is in the door. It holds SO many more dishes! 

One morning Owen came downstairs and put pillows on the floor. I'm not sure if Charlie willingly laid on them, but I do know that Owen covered him up with his Seahawks blanket! 

One day after staff meeting we went out for lunch. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings. There were having buy one get one free on wings. We ended buying 2 large orders and getting 2 large orders for free. That was 88 wings!!! It's was awesome!!! 

When Michael was going through the Voters Pamphlet he came across the commissioner position for his district. Michael started reading what it said about Russ and then realized that he wrote that biography for the water districts website. Kind of cool that something he wrote ended up in a voters pamphlet!!!

Every year the kindergarten's decorate a turkey in a disguise. I remember Ella decorated hers as Minnie Mouse. I wish I had a picture. Zeke wanted to make his look like a bumble bee! He was so proud. 

Ella loves it when I play with her hair. One night I sprayed it down pretty good and then French braided it. 

The next day her curls were so pretty! 

Last week was conferences at school. The kids are all doing great. I just had to get a picture of Ms. Davidson with all her Martin kids. We love her!!! 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Happy Halloween 2017 AKA The Year They Finally Learned How To Say "Trick Or Treat" In Unison!!!

First off I really don't like it when Halloween falls on a school night. We always go down to Ga-Ga & Pa's for Halloween. It's tradition and we are not going to mess with that, but it really stunk that we were stuck in traffic for 1.5 hrs to get there! Ugh!! 

It was quite a bit chiller on Halloween night so Ella Bean wore a pretty white sweater. She also kept her leggings on under her dress. 

My cute wizard!!! 

At the Fall Festival it was just fine for Owen to wear his helmet, but on Halloween night it was just too dark! He couldn't see anything. That was something that neither of us thought of...oh well! 

Cute cowboy with his imaginary lasso!

All ready to go! 

The kids did so well this year. After coaching them year after year they finally got it. They finally would say in unison "Trick or Treat" really loud when the person answered the door. They even surprised a few people. I'm actually amazed at how many kids don't even say anything....they just open their bag and want candy. Come on parents teach your kids!!! I was so proud of them. I told them they needed to say three things, Trick or Treat, Thank You and Happy Halloween. They were so good at doing that. 

Jack's loot! 

Zeke's haul! 

Owen already dipping into his! 

Ella Bean with all her candy! 

Ella Bean after we took out all the candy with dye in it and after her brother's traded chocolate for her dye candy.'s the pile of candy with dye in it that Ella can not eat. So sad!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Riverview Community Church - Fall Festival!

This year our churches Fall Festival was on a Saturday. We usually have it on a Sunday, but we have a Financial Peace Class that meets on Sunday nights so the church didn't want to mess that up by having the festival at the same time. 

All 3 of the boys got new costumes this year. I found Zeke's & Jack's at the Mill Creek garage sales.  Zeke's Woody costume was only $2 and Jack's Harry Potter costume was only $3. Owen had worn the same Army costume for the last 2 or 3 years so I decided it was time for him to have a brand new one. He had seen this Halo guy at Wal-Mart earlier in the month and he was so happy that I got it for him.  

Logan was here for a visit during that weekend. She was at our house from Friday night to Sunday morning. It was so wonderful. She just fits right in and Ella and her were in heaven! In August when we were visiting Logan she actually gave Ella the Elena dress that she's wearing in this picture. Logan had brought another outfit...I think a Sanderson witch costume, but she decided on Elena instead. Ella was going to wear Elena at first, but then when I went shopping I found this Elsa dress on clearance at Sam's Club. It was missing the headpiece, but I didn't care. Ella had just showed me a book the day before with Elsa in it and she specifically said she wanted that dress. Seeing her face when I gave it to her was just priceless!!!  

That's one strong Halo dude!!! 

Expecto Patronum!!!!

There's a snake in my boot!!! 

It was crazy that it was actually nice enough out that Logan didn't even need to wear a jacket! 

My beautiful princess!!! Ella and Logan did not want to use tradition candy bags instead they opted to use these puzzle bags that I got Ella years ago. 

This entire weekend ended up being so crazy! 

Michael came home early from work. I tried to do the dishes and noticed that the dishwasher did drain. Michael ends up spending the time he took off work early to try to fix the dishwasher. Michael realizes that our dishwasher is so old (we got in 2001 from a friend and it was used then) that he can't find anything online for that model. He tries his hardest, but can not get the part off that he needs to...we think it was corroded. He decides we need a new dishwasher. Logan comes to our house for the weekend. I leave to go out with my girlfriends for a night out on the town. I get home around 11:30pm. 

I wake up with my neck all out of whack. I have no time for this since our weekend is so busy. I call around to at least 5 chiropractors because mine isn't open on the weekend. Michael orders a new dishwasher online that's at Lowe's. I finally get ahold of a chiropractor that will take me. I shower quickly and head to my appointment. Michael takes 5 children up to Lowe's to pick up the new dishwasher. I get my neck fixed and come home. I sit down and ice my neck and watch Ant Man with the kids while Michael installs the new dishwasher. Michael gets a call asking him to come help set up the big tent for the Fall Festival that night. While he's gone I noticed that the kitchen looks like the clouds have parted and the light from heaven is shining down. I turn off the kitchen lights only to find out that our kitchen lights are able to be controlled by 3 light switches. Michael gets home I tell him the issue and he gets to work figuring it out. An hour or so later and it's time to go to the Fall Festival. Michael is supposed to man a game out of our trunk while I'm supposed to help out at registration. On the way to the church Michael expresses that he's honestly worried our house might burn down and it makes him nervous that Charlie is in the house. He drops me and the kids off and goes back home to work on the electrical issues some more. I end up running the game for Michael and thankfully Micah and Kim came to the Fall Festival with their kids and they take my 4 kids plus Logan around to all the trunks and games. Michael comes and picks us up. We stop at MCD's for this time I had only eaten a bowl of Rice Krispy's and 1 pancake and I'm so light-headed I just need food!!! We eat dinner and finish watching Ant Man. Michael gets back to work on the electrical. I stay up until 11:30pm with him. Michael ends up staying up until 3:30am!!!

Michael gets up when I do and runs to the hardware store. I get all ready for church. Richard comes to pick up Logan. I take the kids to church while Michael stays home to continue working on the electrical. I usher for him at both services. During the second service I get a text saying he finally fixed the issue and he was going to take a nap and he'd meet us at church later. Michael gets to church prior to the second service ending. After church we leave Michael's car at the church and drive together to a friend's house for a farewell party for Brandon and Elaine....they were leaving our church and going into ministry at another one in the area. After that party we head back to church for our FPU class. I taught the K-6th graders class while Michael led our table at the adult class. Once class was over we went home and that was the end of our crazy, crazy weekend. 

If you read all that you are amazing! It's definitely one of those things in life where you look back on it and in the world did we get through that? the only answer to that question!