Some snow and an impromptu hair cut

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In case you aren’t from around the Seattle area, we are experiencing an atypical cold snap. It’s no where near what many parts of the country deal with for about three months, but for us Seattleites, 18 degrees is downright chilly. Normally when we get about 4 inches of the white stuff like we did on Sunday, it is gone before the Monday morning commute. However, since it is still below freezing, we still have all of the original accumulation. To top it off, it is supposed to dump up to another 6 inches or so today. We will see if that actually happens.

On the home front, Caleb managed to get a hold of Daddy’s electric razor and gave himself a bit of a trim. We found him in our room where he had been surreptitiously hiding out pretending to be a barber. I am not sure trim is the right word actually, if he would have continued on his whole head he would have been ready for the Marines. Instead, he has a about a 1/2 inch by 2 inch line taken off the front of his head. In hopes to keep him from feeling any worse than he does already, we have not taken any pictures. With his longer hair, it is covered up for the most part, but we do here the occasional “Daddy, my hair feels funny” in a sad tone. Poor guy.

-Chris

Christmas fun

I’m back from my blogging break. It’s been a long week. But here are some highlights for the fam:

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Reade Christmas Tree Farm in Snohomish provided us a great tree for cheap, rolling hills covered with trees, a tractor ride and free cocoa. This may have been the first year we had no major meltdown or marital “disagreement” on the day we got our tree, hooray for that!

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Ever wonder what 2 1/2 batches of chex mix looks like? Here you go. See the nice sharing taking place with my three little cooks? Those are my favorite moments. They measured all the ingredients for me and shook it all up and have done their fair share of eating it too 🙂

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We were planning on 16 children this morning at our house for our Christmas Craft morning, but we only had 11 due to colds and such. It was fun, the kids decorated wrapping paper, made ornaments and iced sugar cookies (or rice cakes!).

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In other unrelated news, I am excited to be back to cloth diapering for Audrey, now having enough to go 2 full days before washing, which is my bare minimum for my own sanity. The above are my new (bad photo sorry!) darling dipes for little Audie girl. When diapers are this cute, who wouldn’t want to cloth diaper? Thanks Amanda for the great diapers and the custom capes for our boys for Christmas. I can hardly stand to keep them hidden for 15 more days!

The day after

Thanksgiving was especially sweet yesterday for us. No big reason, just a nice morning at home with our little family then dinner at my parents with a total of 21 (I think) at the table. A random smattering of interesting people, my cousin Katie who is attending Baylor University in Texas, my parents’ friend from Nigeria, a family from Belarus and their new baby, in laws, an old friend of our family who always has a place at our table for holidays and just over a handful of kidlets too (most of which I take full responsibility for). We shared an incredible amount of good food and an array of 7, yes seven, dessert selections to choose from along with sharing our ‘thankful lists’ around the table as we ate.

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Two thankful cutie’s who look SO much like each other!

Today we headed out to the aquarium downtown then wrapped it up with some fish’n’chips on the Pier. Rainy, windy and cold but it was great fun anyway. Our kids are totally enamored with their super cool 19 year old second cousin, it is fairly darling to watch them clamor for her attention.

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My favorite aquarium creature-the sea otter

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Shivering in the windy cold on the Pier

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Before the aquarium adventure I discovered a new world, the fabric store. After having received my Christmas present early, a sewing machine-my first one, I headed to Joann Fabrics for their sale today to get some supplies for my new hobby. On the way there I had to stop by the mall, at 6:30 AM to get one small, quick purchase. Craziness. 50% of the people were teenagers and the other 50% seemed to be women in their 30’s or up who had showered, put make up on and dressed up nice-to shop-before the sun had even risen. They were hurried and rude and driven. I so do not fit in with that crowd. Not to mention people eating giant cheeseburgers from Kidd Valley. At 6:00 in the morning. Seriously?

After trekking to Joann’s (with Audrey in tow for all of this mind you) I discovered that I fit in much better there. Few people had dressed up for the occasion. Few had showered or put on makeup. Some were even still in pajama pants, how refreshing. Best of all, every time I had a question I didn’t even feel the need to ask a clerk, I just found ladies (usually 20 years or so older than me) who looked like crafting veterans. They would answer, chat with me, walk me to where I should go, picked out items for me…asked what I was making. It was slow, there were 30 people ahead of me to get fabric cut and as many to check out in the front, but surely time well spent. Now I have what I need to start making Christmas things and learning how to sew, how fun!

-Karissa

Naked trees and hummus

Here is the scoop on the last few days here:

Rylee read her first book by herself-so exciting! Here she is sounding out a BOB first reader book.

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Rylee and Audrey took their first bath together

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We did patterns today with foam shapes, I love that with the instructions “see what kind of pattern you can make with your shapes” they both did totally different things….and Caleb’s more turned out to be a collage

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I am attempting a dairy free day, we made hummus together for lunch it was so fun. The kids never will eat store bought hummus. So imagine my shock when they devoured it at the park today when we drove to meet Daddy for a walk. We ran out of crackers to dip in it, Caleb suggested a spoon, if only we’d had one.

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A sweet nose kiss from my second born…who informed us that though the trees were nearly naked “they aren’t quite naked, that one has on a hat and underwear”

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Rylee enjoying her favorite thing in the world-Audrey (who is, by the way, wearing a size 6 diaper because I forgot the diaper bag, had to use an old washcloth in the car for a baby wipe and could only scrounge up a Kyler-sized diaper in the parking lot while everyone waited for us)

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Christmas card photo? Maybe, if I hadn’t changed the exposure level on the camera earlier today for indoor photos and forgot to change it, leaving this one a tad overexposed, bummer.

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Try this for fun!

Try leaving at 9 AM and heading out with four kids in the van to the emissions testing station. No line, answered prayer, we pass (good thing, tabs are about expired).

Then go to the Jiffy lube (after realizing the car is 5,000 miles overdue for an oil change, a headlight is burnt out and the wipers don’t work) to inquire “How long will this take? Can I wait in the car? I have four kids in here.” He quickly replies “It will take six hour and seven minutes and yes you can all wait in the car”. I smile at his attempt at humor and say “Really, I need to know-(my baby just blew out her diaper) we’re on borrowed time”. He promises 10 minutes, I start counting and proceed to change a diaper in the front seat of my car while listening to the banter under my hood.

“No wonder there is a light that doesn’t work, there’s peanut butter in here.”

“Can you turn the lights on/off (while changing a diaper)?” (6 times in 5 minutes)

“How many kids are in there?”

“You do the wipers…no you do it…no you do it” (I’m thinking ‘do it quick or I’ll come do it myself mister!’)

My kids giggled at these boys/men working the whole time, we were very entertained.

(Earlier today) Me calling my sister: “Is there any way I can drop off a kid or two (she suggests three) for a little while so I can run some errands? The to-do list is piling up and I feel like a nag every time I ask Christopher for help-he’s busy too!”

She graciously takes the older two and Audrey after our emissions and oil change adventure.

Kyler and I set out to conquer the list. He yells at me every time I buckle him in, “ME DO IT!” only he never does it, he just sticks his face in the seat and his bottom in my face. Nice.

We go to QFC to return rotten cantalope.

We go to Albertson’s to return a gallon of soybean oil, don’t ask.

We go to the post office to return something we ordered but was broken. Kyler pushes all the buttons on the machine I’m trying to use to get a stamp and it gets all goofed up.

We go to Central Market to get some fresh flour (I get flour all over my shirt and pants while grinding it-Kyler laughs and thinks it is hilarious).

We go to the printing store to make one copy for 11 cents to complete the application that I’ve been trying to mail for two weeks.

We mail the complete application.

I go online to renew the almost expired tabs now that we passed emissions.

Back to Danielle’s for lunch. Good times!

My favorite part? When people observe my energetic two year old darting around the store and marvel “Wow you’ve got your hands full!” And I get to reply “Yes, and I have three more at home!”.

Our fall family pumpkin adventure

  • Gearing up for our annual family pumpkin adventure with Dee Dee and Buzz and this year Isaac too!

    Kyler was serious in his anticipation of the tractor ride to the pumpkin field…

    But once we got there, he warmed up and had some lovin’ for his mama…

    Watching Caleb run free in the tall weeds, I told Christopher “If that boy had land and tasks every day, he’d probably never have another tantrum”. He is SO happy being free to roam and having a job to do-can you find him in this picture?

    His job? Finding tiny pumpkins hidden under huge leaves!

    Rylee loved the tire swing and wore out Dee Dee asking to be pushed…

    Puckering up for a fly-by kiss for Mama

    That’s about it-good fun had by all…what about number four? Not to be forgotten, Audrey enjoyed the day snuggled up with her Daddy in the frontpack!

    Baseball and no-bake cookies

    I’m not sure if chocolate no bake cookies (3 of them) can count for a good breakfast…they are made with mostly oatmeal (and butter, sugar, peanut butter and chocolate and more sugar). But that’s how my day began. Emotional eating is a big struggle for me and today I lost the battle before it even started. In case you’ve never indulged in this great delicacy, here is the recipe-you won’t be disappointed (and this coming from one who truly doesn’t even like chocolate):

    Chocolate No Bake Cookies

    * 2 cups white sugar
    * 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    * 1/2 cup milk
    * 1/2 cup butter
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    * 3 cups oats

    In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cocoa, milk and margarine. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, peanut butter and oats. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow cookies to cool for at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container.

    Our morning improved with my off the cuff large scale grocery list project. I have started shopping almost exclusively from the weekly sale ads, only buying things on sale and planning my meals around the bargains. So I thought I would have the kids look at the circulars, covered the table with butcher paper, gave them lots of pens and asked them to draw me a grocery list. My only requirement was that they choose nourishing things, no junk. They had no trouble sticking to it and had loads of fun, they drew the first letter of their items next to it, in case I had trouble deciphering what the item was. This occupied them for almost an hour and a half and spurned all kinds of great conversation about food, letters, money/budget, etc. Here are my little list makers:

    Not sure what Kyler listed but he was eager to “cut cut” as he told me and quickly chopped his section of the list into pieces. The older two carefully cut out each item and made me a nice pile so I could carry it easily to the store…and you better believe I will. Rylee told someone later in the day “I ordered dog treats for Maggie on Mama’s list today”. After all they went through to make it, I won’t disappoint when Friday shopping rolls around.

    As if the zoo weren’t enough yesterday, we were invited to attend a Mariner’s game with dinner included for free tonight. We decided to make a go of it although both a tad anxious with all the kids in tow. It went off without a hitch and we even won a big prize from the event’s organizer, pretty fun. Caleb asked around the 4th inning, “Mama, is Daddy ever gonna get out there and play tonight?”. I laughed and said no but one inning later he asked again “Is Daddy really not gonna play at all?”.  (note the huge crowd at the game)

    Round 2-out with four

    It took a couple weeks to gear myself up for trekking out again with my brood of four. But we handled to zoo today very well. More open spaces to run is what made it so much easier.

    Berries? I have no idea what these berries below are but before I knew it Rylee was eating one-she won’t do that again-they stained the whole sleeve of her shirt as she quickly spit it out.

    Group hug with Caleb and Rylee and our friends Thomas and Aidan-no one cried, amazing!

    Are you tired of this face yet? I’m not-this is trademark Kyler…

    Mental note for next time-don’t let Rylee wear light khaki pants to the zoo to climb trees in-they will never be the same…