Thursday, December 22, 2011

This. Exactly.

Lily: Mommy, my friend told me that Santa isn't real.

Mommy: Well, what do you think?

Lily: I think he's real.

Mommy: Then that's all that matters. You just have to believe.

They are coming to THAT age. Wondering, questioning just a little. I am a little sad because I love the idea of Santa, believing in Santa and the magic it creates in our children's lives. I've wondered, though, how I will one day explain. Of course Jenny, The Bloggess, put exactly the words I was looking for down on paper ever so eloquently. Here's her explanantion (especially #3)...In support of Santa.

I am Santa- I've "picked up that mantle". And I hope one day they do too.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Proud Mama

I got an email from Lily's teacher last week that she had won an award and would be presented with a certificate on Tuesday at a school assembly. She said it was a surprise to Lily so I had to keep it to myself.

I had no idea what to expect- maybe the whole class had gotten one or maybe it had to do with the food drive we participated in. I didn't know either- but I made sure to take a little time off work Tuesday morning to be there for the assembly.

The principle began the "Panther Pride Awards" by saying that just two students from each class had been chosen by their teacher for various reasons to receive the award. Of course the Kindergartners were up first. Lily was recognized by her teacher for her outstanding growth in reading and for being a responsible, safe and respectful learner (one of the school's "catch phrases").

I was so proud of her...seeing her walk up on stage to accept her certificate, knowing that other people(not just me) see how great she is! My heart swelled and I cheered and clapped for her. My sweet girl...getting so big and learning so much. Sometimes I hardly recognize that girl is the same one I used to hold in my arms and rock to sleep- doesn't seem that long ago at all.

Way to go Lily! Your Mama is very proud of you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A visit with Santa

We got a chance to visit Santa during our trip to the Lights of Christmas. As we waited in line there was a huge "Nice" list on the wall- and we all found our names on it! Can you believe even Martin is on the nice list??? Lily was a little shy and Kendra was a little skeptical (was that beard real???) but they told him what they wanted and that they'd been very good this year. We have such great kids..aren't we the luckiest?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wednesday What's up

Wait, what day is it?

We've had A LOT going on lately. Here are some bits and pieces of what we are up to (at least until I have time to upload some photos)

**We bought an early Christmas Present** A new camera! So now we can take some great pictures Christmas morning. Can't wait!!!

We went to the Warm Beach Lights of Christmas this last weekend. It was FREEZING!!! But, it was so beautiful and we got some awesome pictures with the *new* camera.

Kendra had her winter concert last Tuesday evening and Lily had a Gingerbread House Building Party on Thursday evening. I felt like the whole week went by in a whirlwind.

Our biggest news though...due to a change in circumstances Kendra is coming to live with us full time and will go to Lily's school starting in January. We are all very excited...though it will mean a big change in our daily schedule (I'm sure we'll have some adjusting to do with both girls). So that means we are busy making plans and making some changes in the girls' room to make it work!

Oh...and don't tell Lily but her teacher emailed me to say that she will be presented with some type of award at the Winter Assembly next week. I am going to surprise her and be there for it...but she doesn't know yet so shhh : )

Hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Lessons

We checked out a children's book from the library: "Redheaded Robbie's Christmas Story"

The lesson: Give before you take; Show kindness to someone new; Forgive a person who has hurt you.

It seems so simple.

And yet...these are probably the hardest lessons of all to teach. We can only lead by example.

We'll have opportunities this holiday season to give, show kindness and forgive. I hope they stick, just like in the story.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Tree

One of my favorite traditions is going to get our Christmas Tree. What can I say, we had the usual- a little bickering, a little "plan B" and quite a bit of exhaustion at the end but it is done and we have a beautiful tree all decked out and smelling wonderful in our living room.

Martin Cut's down the tree, the girls "help"

Big smiles from Kendra

She looks so grown up!

How lucky are we to live so close to this!?!?!?

And TA-DA! It's done.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Smarty Pants

Lily: Mom, what does eating your dinner have to do with starving children in China?

Mommy: *****ROFL*****

PS. Can you tell we watched A Christmas Story last night???

PSS. Is she, um, exactly and scarily like me as a child?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pure Joy

Martin's mom Jody is suffering from a form of Alzheimer's with an advanced type of Aphasia. She can't read written language anymore and understands only some spoken language. She can verbalize minimally- usually in halting and broken speech- with many words jumbled or mixed up. She doesn't understand what is happening to her. She has gone from a fully functioning adult to this in about 3 years and she's only 58 years old.

I feel lucky that she has spent enough time with Lily and I in the last two years that she still recognizes us- though she knows Martin and his voice without a doubt.

Since she doesn't understand exactly what is going on with her, we weren't sure what to expect with our visit this last weekend. We didn't want to agitate her too much by coming and then going again, but felt it was very important for us and the girls to visit as soon as we were able and hoped that the visit wouldn't do more harm than good.

We headed over on Saturday to the Memory Care unit of the nursing home - which is basically the "lock down" wing. She didn't see us come in at first and we watched her for a minute finishing her lunch. Finally the nurse told her she had a visitor and she turned toward the door. As soon as she saw us she was on her feet. She ran over to us smiling and saying, "My babies! My babies are here!" She hugged us all together tightly. She picked up Lily to hug her and remembered her name. She tried to pick up Kendra too but she's just too big now.

We talked with her a little, talked with the nurses then she herded us back and forth from the visitor's lounge to her room and back again. It became apparent that she thought we were there to take her home. She kept saying "Let's go" and at one point said "South Bend." I didn't know how to explain. How could we?

It hasn't been easy for any of us. I can't even imagine how she feels. But that moment of recognition when we first saw her- that spark of life and excitement in her eyes-it was all worth it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our (almost) 4 day weekend

I had to work for part of the day on Friday but it still felt like a 4 day weekend. We of course were able to squeeze in all kinds of fun pretty much every day.

Thanksgiving- The morning started off kind of rough- I had a *slight* pumpkin pie disaster- but it ended up just fine. We had a long but fun day seeing everybody, having some really great food and being thankful for all we've got.

 That night both girls built a tent fort and decided they wanted to sleep in it. I couldn't see any reason why not..

Friday- After I got off work we went for a walk on the trails at Scriber Lake in Lynnwood. It was pretty muddy and quite chilly but it felt good to get some fresh air during a break from the rain we've been having.

Saturday- We went on a very long trip to Shelton to see Martin's mom at her new Assisted Living place (more on that visit later). We decided to finish the rest of the loop and drive up to Bremerton to take the Ferry back to Seattle. It was well worth avoiding the I-5 corridor on the way back.
Sunday- We spent the day decorating for Christmas and getting our living room ready for our Christmas tree which we'll get next weekend. We didn't get the outside lights up yet but it was pretty rainy out again today..hopefully sometime this week or next weekend. 
Both girls did so well together all weekend. Every night they slept either in that fort or together in Lily's bed. I just love it when they get along! I'm so thankful for my amazing and wonderful children!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just wondering.

Lately, Lily has become more interested in what she's wearing. We have frequent talks about making weather appropriate as well as activity appropriate choices.The last several days though, she has chosen black stretch pants and a black long sleeve shirt. The image of Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face flashed in my mind and I wondered if she would all of a sudden break out in song and start dancing.

And then I began to wonder...what will she be like in 10 years... or 20? I am so curious and excited to watch her grow into what ever she wants to be. Will I look back at these days and see them as a beginning? I don't know but I can't wait to find out.

Monday, November 21, 2011


The girls' artwork from this last weekend...a very detailed copy of the Operation Game box. They are so silly : )


We are all so excited for Thanksgiving this week. At school Lily's teacher asked her what she was thankful for...she said, "Thanksgiving!"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November Flashback

November 21st, 2005
November 19th, 2006
November 19th, 2007

November 19th, 2008

November 22nd, 2009

November 21st, 2010

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The trouble with Escalators

"Mommy!" Lily yelled, her face blanched and eyes wide with fear.

I turned and immediately realized she hadn't stepped on the escalator with me. At the last second she got scared. My first instinct was to run back up the downward travelling stairs but dismissed it knowing I was already holding Kendra's hand, didn't want to leave her alone and didn't want to hurt myself trying to go the wrong way back up.

"Lily, look at me. Stay there. Don't move. I will come back up for you. Just wait."

I could see the indecision in her face- deciding to listen and stay, even though she was scared. Or look her fear in the eye but also disobey. "Mommy!" She yelled again. I just hoped she stayed.

"Don't worry. I will be right up. Just wait." I rode down the escalator backwards- facing her- making sure my eyes didn't leave her for a second. All I could think was how quickly could I get back up there and still not take my eyes away. All the possible things that could go wrong- every possible scenario- ran through my mind in a flash.

Just like that though, another Mom walked up behind her and asked if she could help. I, of course, said yes. Lily took the lady's hand, rode down quietly and we reunited at the bottom only seconds later. The whole incident was over in less than a minute. And minutes later she seemed only minorly traumatized. I, on the other hand, won't forget the look on her face- or forget to grab her hand the next time we decide to brave the escalator.

Martin caught us being silly getting ready for bed over the weekend (I'm the one giving the bunny ears!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday What's Up (Late, as usual)

This week we are looking forward to a three day weekend- all of us together! We honestly don't have any major plans in the works but I am thinking about a craft project or two the girls and I could come up with to give as Christmas presents. I'm going to have to be a bit creative (financially and well, creatively too) for Christmas this year. I'd like the girls to get in the habit of creating gifts as well. So...hoping we'll be able to come up with something affordable and fun.

I am finally getting into seeing a Rehabilitation Specialist this Friday for my neck and shoulder which have been causing me a lot of pain lately. After 12 sessions of physical therapy this summer I was feeling much better- and stronger- but, long story short, my doctor told me I wasn't strong enough to be exercising the way I was and advised me to stop and only do stretches. That was the biggest mistake ever! Since then I have been in more pain than I was before and pain that I thought was gone has come back. I hate being in pain and feeling so lazy. Here's hoping this rehab specialist knows what she's doing (more so than my doctor!)

My camera is gathering a lot of dust lately. I haven't taken hardly any pictures for weeks- except the few at Halloween. I wish I had more to show what we've been up to but it really just hasn't been that exciting. Work, school and chillin' on the weekends pretty much sums it up.

Couple of things I am thinking about this week....

       >I really do need to take those pictures of my scrapbook pages. I'm a slacker.
       >Deven's 1st birthday is next week. I can't even believe it.
       >Warm 106.9 isn't playing Christmas music yet. Why the heck not?
       >What am I going to do for our Christmas Cards this year...needs to be pretty close to "free"- any ideas?
       > When did I become an old lady?  I practically had to close my eyes during the, uh, more "risque" scenes in the Rocky Horror stage production last weekend.
I'll try to bust out my camera at least once this weekend to prove we're all still here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

What a day! Lily had a Walk-a-thon at school today. The kids got to wear their Halloween costumes and run walk or dance as many laps as they could to raise money for the school. Afterwards they had a class party with treats and games. They got to decorate sugar cookies with frosting and all kinds of toppings.

Martin took today off work so he picked Lily up from school and was in charge of getting her face paint ready. He did an amazing job! So cute! Then they got started Trick-or-Treating and I met up with them after I got off work. We didn't get home until almost 9 o'clock- after many stops and way more candy than we really need in our house. I can't believe she was even still standing after all that.

Last night we were finally able to carve the pumpkins. Of course the girls both wanted the same design- a scary looking werewolf thing- so I guess the copier/printer Martin got the other day for $15 actually has come in handy. I would have loved to have spent more time on mine but I had to bake several dozen cookies for the class party and after my long weekend away scrapbooking I just didn't have it in me to be much more creative. Still fun though.
It wasn't our year to have Kendra on Halloween- and it being a school night totally understandable. Lily said it was the best day ever and I agreed- but then she said it was only almost the best day because we were missing somebody... I can't wait to see the pictures of Kendra's pretty princess costume she picked out though and I hope she had lots of fun with her mom. We'll see her again this weekend for the 3rd Story Drama class which both girls are absolutely loving so far.

Sometime this week I hope to load some pictures of the scrapbook pages I worked so hard on over the weekend. I had fun getting away and it was nice being on the beach- but it was a pretty intense two days of crafting. I was very glad to get home and with Halloween over I hope to get a little rest. That's probably wishful thinking though.

Monday, October 24, 2011

6 months later

Last April about mid month, Lily went to her dentist for her normal check up. On the x-rays that day they found some surface level cavities. Since then it has been a 6 month ordeal to get those cavities taken care of. I've been dealing with appointments, consultations and rescheduling all while attempting to work around Lily's extreme anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist at all.

Today was the completion of all that hard work and frustration. She finally got the cavities filled but unfortunately after six months they turned into much more work than originally anticipated. It is so incredibly frustrating. I understand we had some unique situations but my six year old had a ROOT CANAL and cap put on a tooth that six months ago could have been easily filled. I can't completely blame the dentists or anything. Really, Lily's anxiety put the whole thing in motion which no one but her can control.

Based on some of the x-rays from today though- this is really only the beginning of the road. They found some issues with her first permanent molars coming in improperly (I can't think of the term right now) that are butting against her baby teeth and ruining them. Essentially they could "self correct" but the baby teeth are doomed to a decay we just can't prevent. It also means that braces are very likely in her future to make sure all of her teeth come in properly.

So I was hoping to today was it...but it looks more like the beginning of a long road.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Fragments

Concept idea from Scientific Nature of the Whammy.

Friday Fragments are all the things that happen in between the blog posts...that don't quite add up to a blog post in and of themselves...or basically What's up Wednesday? except on Friday.


This weekend both girls are signed up to start a 4 week Story Drama Class on Saturdays. The class will feature (from their flier) "a different book every time, where we will explore the world of the story, meet some of its characters, and work together to help them solve their problems." Three of my friends are putting it on together so we're super excited. PLUS! Martin and I are going to have a coffee date while the girls participate...lucky us!


We are keeping Martin's mom Jody in our thoughts right now. She is now in need of more care than her sister can provide at her home in South Bend. We're hoping to spend a little time down there before she has to be moved into a facility. The upside is that she may be placed much closer to us to allow us to visit more often. Down side is it will be a major adjustment for all of us and more than likely a difficult transition for her. 


I am going away for a scrapbook get-together next weekend. I will be gone for 2 nights...and I'm leaving Martin in charge of both girls! I am looking forward to the time away and the chance to get crafty but I will be missing out on some Halloween fun. He's taking the girls to a Harvest Carnival and they will be carving their pumpkins. It will be good for all of them to keep busy though. Lily keeps asking if they have to have popcorn for dinner again like they had last time when I was gone. Trying not to worry too much.


My brother John and his lovely girlfriend Gillian are cooking us dinner on Saturday at their house- which we haven't seen yet. Yay! I don't have to cook.


Lily is scheduled to have her cavities filled this coming Monday- this time she will be under general anesthesia. A little scary but I will be more than happy to put this whole experience behind us. I can't believe it has taken more than 6 months to get this all done- for a tiny cavity on a baby tooth.

Well, that's all I can think of right now...gotta get back to work!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Its not always easy to see

Bob's Pumpkin Farm had a cute little country store in their barn filled with yummy treats. Most of it was canned items Anything that would fit in a mason jar, they had it. From garlic to grape jelly, pickled beets to beans, salsas and sauces for any type of meal.

I don't know what came over me but the first thing I said when I walked in the store was, "Do they have pickled asparagus?" After a quick look, "Yes, they do!!" Then I looked at the price tag and decided I could live without them.

(PS No, I am not pregnant, thank you very much.)

At the end of the day the girls and I stood guard over the pumpkins while Martin braved the complete chaos of the Country Store to find something fun for the girls to snack on during the drive home.

But what else did he pull out of his jacket when we got back to the car?

Pickled Asparagus of course.

This is how I know. Love that guy : )

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The most annoying sound in the world

Do you know how incredibly talented my children are? They have the capability to take any simple sound (let's just say for the sake of example the sound of the letter "I") and turn it into the most annoying sound in the world.

One of them begins by saying it on repeat over and over and over again in varying pitches and tones , 'I...i...I...i...I...i..." Usually at first I tune her out because I am distracted- I may be driving or on the phone- but then the other one notices the new game and they both start in- harmoniously(ish) making the same sound over and over until my head explodes. All I can do is give them the evil eye and say, "You have got to be kidding me!!!!"

Then they just laugh. And this is how I end up getting through the evening...

PS What "special" talents do your children have???

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bob's Pumpkin Farm

Here's the first half of the pictures from'll never believe it but my camera battery died halfway through the afternoon. Luckily Martin's phone takes good pictures too so we weren't completely out of luck. He hasn't gotten them from the phone to me yet so yeah.  


Cow train ride- Kendra brings up the rear

Why am I doing the hard work??

I won a book giveaway from Sara's Organized Chaos yesterday- she pulled my name out of a hat on her vlog entry! The book is about bonding with your daughter during the tween years. Wahoo I'm a winner...go check her out she's hilarious and awesome.