Friday, February 28, 2014

Grandma Time!

Wesley got extra Grandma time and worked on a bunch of puzzles. Thanks, Darlene!

2-28 Grandma need and Wesley 1

2-28 Grandma need and Wesley 2

A Hot Day in February

We had a lovely picnic, and the evidence is the blanket up in the tree. 

Silly kids….

2-28 Kids at play


I worked on cleaning up the street and Wesley did his share.  I LOVE that particular smile.

2-28 kids at play 3


Oh, life looks so sweet from this angle…

2-28 kids at play 4

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cousins at the Cabin

We spent  the last day of mid-winter break at the cabin and brought cousin Parker with us. 

This is my favorite shot.

2-22 Parker Piper


It was just me with the four kids, so I wasn’t too surprised to wake up with all five us in my bed.

2-21 Cabin


We got lots of play time and I wrote a fantastic post about the deer and snow and park, but lost it and somehow couldn’t recover it. 

2-21 Castle Park 2

The (new) end.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pacific Science Center--Again

I had promised Kyla for a long time we would make it back to the PSC as soon as we had a free day.  She had earned tons of quarters from chores and had been saving to buy some minerals she saw at the museum store.  Kyla had an appointment this morning, so we were able to go from there.  It was after noon, so we stopped by Trader Joe’s to buy lunch for us all and ran into a good friend, who had recently taken two kids extra into her home, just older than her first two kids. The other kids were visiting family for a few days, so Heidi was down to just two.  I had been wanting to do something for Heidi since she became a foster parent, so I begged her to let me take her kids to the PSC for the afternoon.  Seriously, five kids is not much harder than three, and most kids are easier to take places than my own progeny. 

Our goal was to see Journey to the South Pacific at the IMAX.  It was not as thrilling as the Mammals of the Ice Age, but still amazing.



They talked me into giving them $2 for the tornado machine.  Since all 5 fit in, it was a good deal.  All kids made it out again.


Fortunately, at the end of the day, I made it out, too.  Six exhausted people trudged back to the car.  I gave them lots of extra time to listen to The Frog Princess in the car as I wandered all over Seattle trying to get from the Space Needle to the freeway.  I am a perfect idiot in Seattle traffic…and that’s with a GPS!

In the four months since getting our membership, I’ve used up all our IMAX tickets.  My kids, who refuse to let us take them to see Frozen in a regular theater, will always eagerly watch a IMAX movie.  I think it’s because they all can handle violent nature shows better than fictional stories with happy endings.  Odd, but useful, since I prefer the nonfiction as well.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Our Beach—February Edition

A rare winter day at the beach—dry, not horribly cold, with a low tide. 

All my nincompoops, ahem, children, took off their boots and socks as soon as we got off the rocks and explored their beach barefoot. 

Wesley wore his cape under his winter coat, giving him a duck butt look.



Piper loves to get into the clay and give herself an elephant makeover.



Kyla’s friend has the sense to keep her shoes on the whole time.  I love those red boots!



Kyla really needs nothing more than a stick to entertain herself for hours.  This time, she has a ball of clay to double the excitement.  I’m not sure what it says about her, but I like it!



We love our beach…and happy to be going back for hot baths.DSCN0732

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Why I Like Coupeville

What to do at the cabin with four kids and a really rainy February day?  We drove up to Coupeville!

It’s small, but the museum has wooly mammoth bones, arrowheads, the first car ever on the island, a history of telephones, and old toys and clothes.  We’ve been there once before, but it’s a great place to wander as it rains outside.



A short walk from there is the wharf.  We go there because I like the three skeletons of sea mammals hanging from the ceiling.



Cool, huh?



There’s more to do in Coupeville (I could wander the Victorian-style homes around town for hours).  But taking four kids to a shop and finding food that fits Kyla’s diet?  We drove back to the cabin and invited cabin friends over for a tea party instead!

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Piper models her new clothes and barrette she got for her birthday (thanks, Aunt Janet!) with her favorite accessory, Rosie. 


Then she accessorizes Rosie.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Trying to Love Valentine’s Day


I think I was more of the “every cloud has a silver lining” type until motherhood drained me out of that optimism.  Now, I’m more of “every rainbow has black clouds above it” pessimist, which is why I’ve found the downside of having my kids in so much school—Valentine’s Day.  Wes and Piper are both in two classes (morning and afternoon), so that meant 5 sets of Valentines to wrangle out of my children.  Getting Wesley to write a “W” on 24 + 19 store-bought cards just about did us both in.  And with Piper’s birthday thrown in, there were 7 parties in 3 days between the kids.  I only hosted 2.5 of them, but I was mostly done by Friday night.


Dwayne has a sweet tradition of bringing home balloons and flowers for everyone on Valentine’s.  This year, Wesley was standing on a kitchen chair trying to reach the ribbon to his heart balloon.  It was just out of his grasp, so he jumped, clearly oblivious to the fact he was on a chair, that the table’s edge was next to him, another chair’s back in his way, and the hard floor below him.  Sheer luck made him hit only two of those three in his attempt to get his balloon.  As I commented to Dwayne later after hours of cleaning up blood and reducing the swelling on his face, Wesley may not be our brightest child. 

DSCN0651Having an inconsolable, injured child  (with a temporarily deformed face) put a bit of damper on Valentine’s dinner, Valentine’s treats, and Piper’s birthday gifts.  I had completely forgotten about the bouquet Dwayne had brought me until I found him putting the flowers in a vase much later that evening.

But my beautiful six-year daughter loved her horse stable and her special day.  But that paled to how much we love her.DSCN0655

Our Lil’ Valentine is Six Today


My kids really want Valentine’s to be a special day (I give credit--blame?-- to Dwayne for always making this a great day for the kids).   We start off the day with pink heart pancakes with sprinkles. 

We all left for our regular days—party in Wesley’s preschool class, volunteering for me in Kyla’s class before going next door for the Kindergarten party, to celebrate with Piper. 

After that party, we invited the entire Kindergarten class over for pizza and cake to celebrate Piper’s 6th birthday.  Fifteen kindergartners came, along with a a few siblings and some preschool friends, making 22 guests plus some moms.  Crazy, but my goal was to not drag Piper’s birthday out too long.



Because Kyla was still in school, I didn’t to worry about serving all this wheat.



Yep, give me a knife and take a picture.  This is safe, I promise.


The weather was dry enough that we gave each kid a large slice of cake and sent them outside.  They didn’t come back until moms came to pick up their kids.  That’s when the party got fun—ignoring 22 kids outside while my friends hung around the table and gabbed, while eating our kids leftover food.  

Those kids ran around like street gangs.  It was fun seeing the kindergartners just being kids together.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

True Love

Mama: Love the Superman valentines, Wes.

Wesley: Yeah.  Is this Wonder Women?

Mama: No, but that might be Lois Lane. Do you think she is Superman’s true love?

Wesley: No.  Superman flies.

Mama:  Can people who fly have a true love?

Wesley: No, they don’t need one. They can fly.

Mama:  Good point.   Can I have a true love?

Wesley: You can’t fly.

Mama: So true.  Why do people who fly not need true loves?

Wesley:  Because they can fly.

Mama: Are you my true love? 

Wesley:  No.  You have Daddy. And Nathan.  [Nathan?! Really—the one kid who doesn’t like me?]

Mama: What is a true love? 

Wesley:  A good friend.  Like Alexis, Xander, and Corban are my true loves. 

Mama:  Yeah, well, you might actually be my true love, too.  Because I can’t fly.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mixing Errands and Good Deeds

Piper wants a stable for her toy horses and we found one in the store at the Children’s Museum.  I wanted a chance to find a cheaper one on craigslist and buy one when she wasn’t with me—trying to keep some element of surprise for her birthday.  Craigslist seemed to fail me, so off we went one morning when the girls were at school, grabbing our neighbors kids to give their very pregnant mom a break.  The three kids got good play time while I read some homework.  As we left and I went to buy the expensive toy…they were out.  Doh!  Good thing the few hours were not totally wasted as the kids had a fantastic time. 





PS  Craiglist came through for me—I found a better, used stable for just $20, here in my own town, later that day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Future Olympian Goofball

Wesley discovered my snowboarding helmet and goggles and you thought he had found buried treasure.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snow Day!

DSCN0566We joined friends at a camp outside of Leavenworth for a weekend of  snow and fellowship. Since we stayed overnight, we shared a small cabin with the kids and just about sold Wesley again about 2 in the morning.  Horrible night aside, we loved our time out in the fluffy snow. 



The Old Gravel Pit makes a great sled run for those willing to hike out a mile (while pulling children in sleds).  So fun! The following photos tell the story.






Kyla will try it again!







Ironically, we came back to snow in our own backyard.  Dwayne left me a message,  slightly mixed since it was on our garbage can….

Love ya, Babe!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014


True story.

I had been talking (okay, whining) to some mom friends from school about my wild children.  Yes, yes, I like to blame Dwayne’s genetic contribution, but I am the primary caretaker, so I’m not without blood on my hands.  Usually Wesley’s blood. 

Anyway, I was describing how all three of the kids are just tree-climbing adventurers.  “That’s great!  They are so athletic!” the other moms chimed in.  No, no, I disagreed. I mean that they tree-climb on the bookshelves, the TV, the refrigerator….

[Susanne came up with the perfect word to describe my children in beast-mode: Feral.  I love it.]

I brought Piper and Wesley home after this play date, and they beat me inside while I gathered up all my stuff.  As I came upstairs, I swear to you, Piper was shimmying up this pole:136

She saw me, jumped off, rubbed her hands together and calmly asked if she could fix herself a snack. I think I actually sputtered.  But she did fix her own snack, so it’s not all bad.


And here is Piper using sticker-tape to make herself into a vampire.  Don’t suck Wesley’s blood—he probably doesn’t have enough to spare.  Try Kyla—just clean her off first.  She was playing outside down by the stream and she’s wet and filthy.148

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Thirteenth Woman!

Sigh of happiness.  I took Wesley and Piper to the Children’s Museum this afternoon.  It was empty.  (And I adore the new camping exhibit they have!  I would have played if I hadn’t brought 3 articles to read for my homework.)



Piper’s hair is an easy way for me to find her, no matter the disguise.



The ride home at 5—the roads have never been so untraveled.  Thanks, Seahawks, for a wonderful, quiet afternoon!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Groundfrog Day!

Super Bowl inconveniently interrupted Groundhog day this year, but Seattle persevered, first by exchanging the hog with a more local frog, and celebrating on Saturday. 

Brian and Sandi were in town for a wedding, so the kids got to some “uncle-ing” in while Sandi was doing bridesmaid duties.


You can tell by the Victorian house in the background that downtown Snohomish was our Groundfrog Destination.


I’m having a little fun with the settings on my new camera.  Mostly, I’m just ecstatic to have one again!



We’ll have to meet you in Snohomish in exactly a year.  It was just a tiny street fair with the “Macarena” playing on the loud speakers near the gazebo, but loads of energy, smiles, and green.  It may have been the happiest place on earth at the moment. (Though not for Wes.)  The local booster club had hula hoops out and were offering free frog face painting.  Buckets of sidewalk chalk were being used by kids of all ages (yes, even age 39!)




The Frog Princess (also the name of one of Kyla’s favorite books) wandered around meeting all her subjects.



Giant Frog probably has a name, but I never learned it.065


Putting the princess and the frog together.  I believe the frog is quite bejeweled for the occasion!



Wesley was a stick-in-the-mud about a frogs.  And fun.  But at least he got a balloon.



He warmed up a little towards the end.



Bubbles helped.




Brian tried to get a few family shots for us. I figure if we start in February, we might have a good photo by next Christmas.  Sigh.



And I think that winter is going to last 6 more weeks, followed by a spring that often looks suspiciously like winter.