Happy 2nd Birthday Kyler

July 6th was Kyler’s birthday and it turned out to be a great day.  The weather was sunny and clear which made the planned day at the beach especially enjoyable.  We headed up to Edmonds to the ferry dock for some beach combing fun.  Karissa had discovered that this year was having some reccord low tides so we figured it would be a good time for discovering sea life.  So after lunch, the tide was going out so we went discovering.  Between our rock turning over expert Auntie Stephie and our adventurous neighbors we found some pretty amazing things.  Whether it was giant costco cupcakes, gladiator crabs, anenomies, starfish, or just hanging out with our dear friends, there was much fun to be had.  Here is a sampling of the day:

Kyler had a great time, especially with the cupcakes.  At the end of the day I looked over at Karissa and said, it feels like Kyler has been two for a long time.  He is such a joy to have around, he lights up the room bringing laughter and smiles wherever he goes.  We love you Kyler!

-Chris

The food of summer

Since the year I was born, nearly every year I’ve picked berries at Harvold’s Berry Farm in Carnation. This year the strawberries were super late with all our cold weather, but summer is finally here. We had a wonderful time plucking berries and filling our baskets with 22 pounds of bright red berries. The only thing better than this is picking raspberries, we can’t wait!

Our garden, also slow to grow this year with the cold (almost all our seedlings died in late April just after they were planted because they were covered with SNOW-it was tragic), is finally helping fill our table with yummy things.

Kyler is becoming quite adept at eating cherries, taking care to smash them first to remove the pit all by himself.

-Karissa

Totally TWO!

I am feeling quite fragmented tonight, having Caleb and Christopher gone camping since Sunday and Rylee at my mom’s for a sleepover this evening. It is strange how simple life with only two kids seems when once I thought two kids was surely going to send me to the crazy house…..I suppose now the only difference is that this IS the crazy house and I’ve learned to adore it.

Kyler turns 2 on Sunday. Here is our conversation that took place on the deck tonight:

(Kyler holding a football)
Me: “Kyler, what kind of ball is that?”
Kyler: “Mine, mine ball.”

(Kyler kicks the ball and gets his new green ball)
Me: “Kyler, is that a green ball?”
Kyler: “No, mine…mine.”

(He loses the green ball and picks up Maggie’s fetch ball)
Me: “Who’s ball is that? Is it Maggie’s?” (knowing he’s just mastered saying our dog’s name)
Kyler: “No-mine, no Maggie, mine.”

(I’m getting quite amused and he finds a bright pink ball)
Me: “Is that Rylee’s ball?”
Kyler: “No, mine.”

I thought I’d get him on the last one since every pink or purple thing he sees he quickly deems as belonging to “Lylee”-his name for his sister-but not tonight. Tonight Kyler enjoyed life alone where he did not need to defend his domain or try to keep up with anyone, everything belonged to him. It was fun for a couple hours but my heart aches for us to all be together again, soon.

Karissa

On target?

Have you ever sat together with your spouse to dream/envision what your home would be like?  I can recall many conversations that Karissa and I have had over the years about what type of home we want to have.  One of the consistent desires of ours would be having the home that our kids like to hang out in with their friends.  Usually when thinking about this, it involved thoughts of teenagers, movie nights, and coming to our place after prom, etc.  [On a side note, I just about died when I thought about either of my sweet little

Our two beautiful princesses!

girls going to prom.  Yikes.]  With the completion of our sideyard, we are beginning to see this desire of ours become a reality.  Everyday since it has been completed, our yard has been full of neighborhood kids either roasting marshmallows, running around with noodles, or playing in the pool, big toy, sandbox, or the grass.  I guess we have about 6 years to budget for the big screen TV…Enjoy the Rylee and Audrey picture taken this morning!  By the way, the only way they’re going to prom is if I am their date.

-Chris

Ice cream bars, squirrels and edible? tires

There is never a moment around here when nothing is going on. Last week we took some food outside to our garage freezer and left the door wide open, thank goodness it wasn’t a super hot day-we went about our play and work on projects inside and outside. We had dinner and I had one more thing to put in the freezer. I went outside and walked around the corner to find the freezer door wide open and a squirrel sitting inside the freezer. He had found himself an ice cream sandwich and had the entire, wrapped bar clenched in his teeth. He saw me and quickly split-ice cream and all-I screamed a little and then went about my business putting food away. This time I closed the door. Later on we found the wrapper in the front yard, the kids were so amused that squirrels love ice cream and that one had been sitting inside our open freezer.

If you live around here and have been to the mall with children (something we rarely do anymore and don’t really enjoy at all usually), you have probably seen the display by the play area of bendable tracks with cars that zip around on the tracks. We were delightfully given one last Christmas. The cars lasted a few days then quit working even with fresh batteries. They weren’t too exciting anymore which meant they disappeared for a few months.

One surfaced a few days ago, but still not working it was quickly given to Kyler, who always seems to get the less desirable cars from his brother. He thought it was great, drove it around and took all the tires off the wheels. What two year old doesn’t put everything in their mouth? Yours you say? Oh how nice for you, our Kyler still puts all sorts of ridiculous things in his mouth. I found him chewing on a tire later, no big deal, I asked him to spit it out and he did, always does. But only one tire. I took the car away and looked for the other tires to no avail.

Skip to dinner time the next evening. Uncle Buzz informs me of a diaper full of sand that needed cleaning, I head outside to take care of that. Planning to just pull the sandy diaper off, I sat Kyler down-quickly figuring out there was much more than sand in there. Leaking out all the sides, I hollered for Rylee to bring some wipes, lots of wipes, actually bring the whole box. The sand-poop mixture was awful. Now I knew where at least one missing tire was. Upon opening the diaper, a fully intact and fully digested tire was sitting inside.

Disgusting indeed, but the real problem? Two tires are still missing.

Karissa

Fires and other firsts

Tonight we had our first fire in our side yard to celebrate the fact that we finally have completed the project (well almost…we’re still missing the top of the arbor).  We added the new fence, finished the fort/slide, added a climbing wall, brought in 6 yards of pea gravel, and built a small outdoor fireplace.  So, Karissa headed off to the store to grab some necessities (marshmallows and roasting sticks) and we roasted the night away.  I was completely impressed with the roasting skills.  Both Rylee and Caleb were doing a tremendous job making mouthwatering nicely browned mallows.  Kyler would put the marshmallow near the flames for about 1 second and bring it back to his mouth, take a bite and repeat step 1.  The big projects are over for now…we are looking forward to many summer nights spent outside with the fire pit.  Any takers?

In other news, Audrey is smiling now.  For the last five days or so she has been responding to her mama and daddy, and I think Dee Dee with the cutest little Audie smiles.  Another first for Audie is that she slept for 6 hours straight, ate, and then went right back to sleep for another 3 (two days in a row now).  I had forgotten what a good night’s rest looks like.  Also, Rylee now puts Audrey to sleep by holding her and gently bouncing up an down on one of our inflatible balls.  It is quite handy having a sweet little girl who adores her little sister.

In the “I’m thirty now” news, it appears that although I am still capable of running a quick 4.5 miles on a whim, my legs hate me for the next three days straight.  Add that to the list.

-Chris

Binkie laughs

We recently traded in our old Mam (Sassy) brand binkies for Gerber Nuk ones that are made without BPA as we’ve read too many reports and stories and articles about it’s questionable safety lately.  I explained to the kids what BPA was and why it was bad.  I gave one old BPA-laden binkie to Rylee for her baby.  Today this is what I heard on that note:

Caleb – “Yay! I found the BPA binkie”

Rylee – “Mama, Kyler took my baby’s binkie earlier and it has BPP in it, he might be sick.” (I assured her he would be just fine, thinking it will take much more than BPA binkie to bring that boy down)

My mother (slightly confused and not in-the-know about our recent binkie change) – “Rylee said Kyler can’t have this binkie (he’s sucking on it as she talks), something about it having BPP?”

So we are doing our best to raise earth-aware, eco-friendly, green children, even if they are a little foggy still on all the details and acronyms.

Karissa

 

A Big Thank You!

I owe my beautiful bride a HUGE thank you for a wonderful Father’s Day. She gave me a wonderful day from the beginning to the end. I woke up and soon found a new pair of jeans and a couple nice short sleeve shirts waiting for me. It was sunny, we went to church for worship, we fed the whole family at Ivar’s for only $18, and spent the rest of the day playing outside with our family (and toss in a little Tiger Woods every now and then).  All in all I could not have asked for a better Father’s Day.  Here are some attempts at a family picture, some seriously fun ring around the posey, and Audrey’s gift to her Daddy…falling asleep on his chest at the end of a beautiful day.  Thank you Jesus.

-Chris

A Season of New

A new decade of life, a new year of marriage and a new member of our family-all in 6 days. No wonder I’ve been just a tad emotional these past 3 weeks. The day Audrey was born, we all sat down to dinner and quiet tears started streaming down my face. I looked at Christopher holding Audrey and the rest of our brood and he said, “Here we are, our first night with a table for six”. I cried some more, then as always one of the kids asked “What kind of tears are those mama?”. I replied, “Happy ones, very happy ones.” I went on to explain to them that I was overwhelmed, in the best way, with the treasures around my dinner table.

There has been this inexplicable sense of expectation and anticipation for me as I approached my 30th birthday, Audrey’s birth and our wedding anniversary. The past year or so has been a challenging one for sure and we’ve had a lot to work on. As we have persevered and struggled our way through, we are emerging into a beautiful place together that we’ve never known before. Not a perfect place, but a place where I think twice before I criticize or tear down with my words, a place where I don’t complain about things around the house that aren’t done, a place where we make an effort to show tenderness even when we’re exhausted-a place where we are stepping forward holding hands instead of holding back.

From the moment we found out we were expecting another little person, I had such a strong sense that her coming would be part of our re-birth and renewal. God impressed on my heart dozens of times that her entrance into our family was symbolic of the new work He was doing in our life together. As He breathed new life into ‘us’, He gave a new life that would become a part of us.

For some people turning 30 or any year older for that matter, is the beginning of the downhill slide to old age. To me, it feels like the beginning of a new era, a fresh start. A chance to enjoy the journey more and to worry less about the small things that don’t really matter. A new season where each day, each moment is a gift.

Karissa

(The photos are new blooms in our yard-isn’t springtime wonderful?)