Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Best Way To Read

With cuddly kitten buddies.

Tooth Shenanigans

Today both Kate and Sara spent the better part of the once home from school in tears because their loose teeth hurt.  I don't remember being bothered by loose teeth.  But Kate, every time she has a loose tooth it brings her to tears.  It is crazy.  Sara has had two loose teeth forever but the adult teeth are growing in behind them and they weren't making any progress.  Today (probably because her sister was having a meltdown) Sara became unable to eat.  Whining kids sure can take a lot out of a mom.  After an hour of being constantly on call and trying to keep the impatient Mom Monster at bay I phoned in the professionals.  

The conversations went something like this:

Me - The girls have been crying all afternoon about their teeth.  Can you bring home your stuff and pull them out?
Dave - Are you serious?
Me - Very...
Dave - Are the girls OK with that?
Me - Girls do you want Dad to pull your teeth out so they don't hurt anymore?  crossing my fingers
Me - Girls say yes.
Dave - OK

Not three minutes went by and the girls were crying about the idea of Dad pulling their teeth.  I bribed them with ice cream.

Pulling teeth went pretty well.  The girls were really upset and nervous, but who wouldn't be.  Then we went out for ice cream and everything magically was forgotten and instantly better.  Year for no more whining about loose teeth.
 Kate wrote a letter asking the tooth fairy to draw a picture of her self.  (which she has done before)  This is what she got.  It is shocking.  Dreams of lovely fairy cuteness - shattered.  I was downstairs when I heard her yell out, "The Tooth Fairy is HIDEOUS!"  I would have to agree.  She followed up with a comment about how it is kind of creepy to think of this hideous but generous creature flying around our house at night.  Again I have to agree.
Then she saw there was a note inside...

 Pretty tricky that tooth fairy!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Chase - 2013

Favorite food - Pork Chops
Favorite show / movie - Psych
Favorite book - Earagon Series
Best part about school -  Math
Coolest person on Earth - Eric (my friend)
I am really good at - Running
Favorite color - Green
A place I would love to visit - Europe
My favorite place - My Home
When I grow up I want to - Be a Dentist
If I could do one thing all day long it would be - Talk to friends
I hate to eat - Potatoes
My best friend is - Eric Nelson
3 words that describe me - Hungry, Flirtatious, Smart
This year I want to - Become and Eagle Scout
What animal would you like to be - Eagle (because they can fly)
If you could make 3 wishes what would they be - 500 more wishes, never ending supply of bacon, never have to pay for anything ever again
If you could meet anyone from history who would it be and why - Ammon, because he was a really cool missionary
Favorite thing to do - Text my friends

What I know about Chase:
Chase tries hard.  He has a lot on his plate, with Seminary, advanced classes at school, church responsibilities, home responsibilities and sports.  He is a teenager burning the candle at both ends.  And he is good at it.  In spite of all of that business he gets it all done and does a good job.

My two favorite qualities about Chase are that he is so responsible and that he works really hard.  Ever since he was born he has taken good care of himself.  I can still remember times when he would put himself to bed, or get himself ready for school before I even woke up.  He knows what needs to be done and he does it.  I can't tell you how grateful I am that he gets up on his own for Seminary!  I can always trust Chase to work hard for me too.  There I things I ask him to do that he doesn't like, and sometimes he will complain but when he gets down to work he does a good job.

My thoughts for this year:
It dawned on me this summer that I only have three years left with Chase before he leaves on a mission.  I had a panic attack.  And I have them frequently now.  I have three years left to teach him all the things I want him to know before he is all on his own.

I want to teach him more about respecting authority.  Even when he doesn't agree.  I want him to know that as his parents we are trying to be righteous and we try really hard to make decisions that are good for him and best for our family.  It would be so nice not to have a collegiate debate about so many of the decisions we make.  A little humility and meekness would go a long way.

I want to teach him more about respecting women and being a man of integrity and virtue.  He will be dating in less than a year.  EEEPP!  I'm hoping that a pleasant side affect of said training will be that he will be kinder to his sisters.

I want to teach him more about being on his own.  This year Chase will start doing his own laundry and he will be responsible for one of our family dinners every week.  There are SO many things.

I just can't imagine life in our home without him.  I want to treasure my last three years.

Sara - 2013

Favorite food - Beef Jerky
Favorite show / movie - Phineas and Ferb
Favorite book - Bob Books 
Best part about school - That I get to see lots of people and music class
Coolest person on Earth - Taylor Swift
I am really good at - making friends
Favorite color - Turquoise and red
A place I would like to visit - Texas (to see Olaia)
My favorite place - Red Robin Restaurant
When I grow up I want to - Have a pet store
If I could do one thing all day long it would be - Snuggling my Mom
I hate to eat - Tomatoes
My best friend - Olaia Del Solar
3 words that describe me - Dancer, Singer, love dolls
This year I want to - To play faeries lots
What animal would you like to be - Horse (I could eat lots of apples and carrots, I could run fast, my mom could ride me)
If I could make three wishes I would wish to - Be a Winter Fairy, Olaia would move back here, to be a famous singer)
If I could meet anyone from history it would be - Taylor Swift, she is cool and she is a nice singer
My favorite thing to do - Go to school

What I know about Sara:
Sara is a spaz.  What would life be like without or little bonus baby.  She makes us all laugh.  She is 100 % about having fun and enjoying the moment.  She is spontaneous and outrageous.

Sara has a fashion sense that cracks me up.  She loves to layer.  Her favorite outfit usually consists of leggings and a skirt.

She still cracks me up with the crazy things she says.  Like the fact that her "bangs are winning" refering to the fact that they are super long because we are growing them out.

Sara is smart as a whip.  She has an amazing memory and learns things quickly and easily.

My thoughts for Sara this year:
I want Sara to love and enjoy school.  I hope that she will just eat it up and love every minute.  Already I have started to read and she has amazed me with how quickly she is learning.

I hope Sara will make a new best friend this year.  She is deeply feeling the move of her best friend Olaia, as evident in many of her survey responses.

I hope Sara will learn to be a better helper at home.  She is definitely old enough to start pitching in more around the house and to be a better helper.  I baby her too much.

Kate -2013

Favorite food - Potatoes
Favorite show / movie - Anastasia
Favorite book - The Candy Shop Wars
Best part about school - Art projects
Coolest person on Earth - My Dad
I am really good at - Art
Favorite color - blue green
A place I would like to visit - Maine
My favorite place - Being on the trampoline 
When I grow up I want to be - Be an artist
If I could do one thing all day long - I would play with Emma
I hate to eat - Onions
My best friend is - Vivian and Margaret
3 words about me - Happy, artistic, and an animal lover
This year I want to - Make my Mom happy
If I could be any animal I would be - A cat (the jump high, they're beautiful and they are mysterious)
If I could make 3 wishes they would be - To visit Papo in Heaven, to make friends with whoever I want, to be able to play with Emma whenever I want to
If I could meet anyone from history it would be - Jesus Christ, so I could feel his love
My favorite thing to do is - Jump on the trampoline

What I know about Kate:
She is the most tender hearted person I have ever met.  She has an ability to love and feel deeply.  She feels everything a thousand fold more deeply than anyone I know.  I want to protect her from ever feel sad or lonely.  Sometime I worry that her bleeding heart will just give up one day.

Kate is my most introverted child.  She is quiet and pensive.  While I love that she is who she is I wish she could be a little more out-going sometimes.  Her more adult personalty makes it hard for her to make friends.  And that makes me sad.  All those giddy girls at school are missing out.  I HATE that my angel feels lonely.  I need to start praying every day for the right girl to come along to be her special friend.

Kate is an artist and she is a perfectionist.  She has so much talent wrapped up in that little body.  I hope that this year her talents will grow and that she will learn to give up on the perfectionist part just enough for her talent and hobby to really make her happy.

My thoughts for this year:
I want to help Kate feel like she is loved enough at home that nothing else matters.  I need to step it up a notch.

I desperately want her to make some friends.  Every girl needs a best friend. I love that Emily is just that for her, but it would be really awesome for her to get close with a girl from school.

I need to right a wrong.  Kate feels like I love her less.  You know how your kids get into a phase that drives you bonkers.  Kate is in that place.  She is so contrary and disagreeable that she makes me crazy.  But somehow I am treating her in a way where she feels like I love her less.  She came up to me the other day asking what it was about when she was a baby that made me love her so.  It made me cry that evening.  I need to fix that ASAP.  We need to find a way to be friends again.  I would like to spend more time with Kate and strengthen our relationship.  Sometimes as a parent we take it for granted that our kids know we love them.  I need to stop assuming that she knows and shower her with enough love that there is no doubt.

Emily - 2013

Favorite food - My Mom's chocolate pomegranate cake
Favorite show or movie - Beauty and the Beast
Favorite book - The Little Princess
Best part about school - My Social Studies Teacher
Coolest person on Earth - Aunt Liz
I am really good at - Being A Friend
Favorite color - Green
I would really like to visit - Italy
My favorite place - Our Trampoline
When I grow up I want to be - A Photographer
If I could do anything all day - I would hang out with my friends
I hate to eat - Squash
My best friends are - Rachel, Jessy, Fawnie, Eliza and Kaitlyn
3 Words about me - Fun, Happy and Bright
This year I want to - Visit California
If I could be any animal I would be - A cat, (they're fun, do what they want, soft, love to play and get loves)
Favorite thing to do - Spend time with friends and family
If I could make three wishes they would be - The world's best, loaded with cool features tree house, to fly, to have a magic wand that would clean my room
If you could meet anyone from history who would it be and why - Captain Moroni, because he was such a great leader

What I know about Emily:
Emily is the very best big sister a girl could ever hope to have.  She is so tender and sweet with Kate and Sara.  Even with the age gap and the differences in maturity and interests Emily still loves to play with her sisters.  She will play fairies with them and dances around the yard.  She invites them into her tiny room for sleep overs.  They are best buddies and it is all because of her.  I LOVE her for that.

She has a beautiful spirit.  Everyone always notices it.  I hear from people all the time that they absolutely love there.  There is just a lovely spirit about her.  She cares about people and so they love her.  She is always there with a hug and a smile.

Emily is the truest of friends.

Her zest for life is a necessity in our home.

My Thoughts for this year:
I worry that Emily will feel pressure at school to "Grow Up" too quickly.  She is at a hard age and a hard place where girls are all to ready to pack up their childhood and be women.  I hope that she stays true to herself and finds friends that will treasure their youth.

I hope that she will continue to become more responsible and a good helper for me in the home and with her school work.

I hope that she always remembers that we love her.  That she is daughter of God.  That we are proud of her.  And that she continues to work on strengthening her testimony so that when temptations come she can shew them away.

I hope that this year her confidence will continue to blossom.  I know that she can do whatever she wants to do.  I just want her to see that too.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Chase was asked yesterday in one of his school classes what he would do if he had a million dollars.  His reply was that he would buy a house and fill it with cats.  That made me laugh.  But we really are "cat" people.  A few months ago we adopted our third kitty, Sissy, from a family in our ward.  She isn't spayed and so we have been hoping for kittens.  She is finally pregnant.  We are so excited.  End of May, beginning of June we should have little baby kitties!


I went to Pennsylvania for a little photography workshop last week.  We never left the house and so it was hard to find good souvenirs for the kids.  Our hostess made us donuts one of the mornings we were staying with her.  I decided that would be the prize I brought home for the kids.  So far the new donut maker has been a huge hit!  We have made them three times this week.  I need to try finding some more recipes;-)  Olaia, Sara's best friend, was over the other day and we made some donuts.  YUMMY!

One Sport Done and Another Begins

Emily's volleyball season has come to an end.  She is looking forward to being able to attend mutual again, no more practices and being a free agent again.  I am looking forward to less chauffeuring  less monthly bills and free Saturdays!  She really did a lot of improving this year.  Now we need to decide if she should continue to pursue the sport or not.......
Chase's track season has begun.  He comes home utterly exhausted everyday.  The combination of early morning seminary and really working his body hard pays a toll.  Chase is running the 800 and mile events this year.  And finally gets to be on the Varsity team.  He isn't so excited about the short shorts, lol!  Last week Chase placed 2nd in the 800 right behind one of his own team mates.  This meet he took first.  It was the most amazing finish.  He lead the first lap and then was neck and neck with his team mate half of the second lap.  At the last turn his team mate started to pull ahead and lead Chase by two full strides.  As they came up on the final straight away Chase kicked into high gear and passed his friend, taking first place!  It was a super close finish!  I was so proud of him.  He has such an amazing amount of endurance.  I love cheering for my kids;-)


A few years ago Dave asked me what I thought about getting chickens.  I thought he had lost his mind.  Seriously!  Why would we want chickens.  I could only image they would be loud and dirty.  And I really wasn't into one more animal to take care of.  Last year I broke down.  Dave came home with 6 of the cutest little chicks I have ever seen as an Easter surprise for the kids.  A year later we are down to four (Daisy the rooster has a new home - no more crowing ALL DAY LONG, and Tweet died a tragic death at the claws of another animal).  Never in a million years did I think I would come to love these silly birds.  Seeing them in the yard makes me happy.  I love their egg songs that they sing every morning.  When I go outside I can call them and then will come jubilantly running for me.  I talk sweetly to my lady birds.  I buy them snacks at the grocery store and I love to take their pictures.  This is Red (Chase's bird), who unfortunately lost most of her back feathers due to an incident with the heat lamp in the chicken coup.  Everyone should have a chicken!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Volleyball Season

Emily is on the U13 Regionals volleyball team for the Puyallup Juniors Volleyball Club this year.  A few of her team mates from last year are on the team with her, but mostly she has gotten to know a lot of new girls. Dave and I were both talking about how much we think she has improved this year.  I love watching her play.  I love cheering for her.  I love that it is an indoor sport!!!!

 I love this picture because it shows how high Emily is jumping.  Look how much higher she got up than her team mate who is several inches taller than her.


 I took the kids up to the Science Center in Seattle this last week as a grand finale to their Spring Break.  We haven't been since last summer.  I always regret not using my pass more.  We love going.  Our favorite thing to do is to visit the butterfly green house.  It was so crowded this time though.  But we were rewarded for braving the crowds with this beauty.  We have never seen anything like this green one before.  It was still drying out it was so new.  I had to photograph it from far away over lots of shoulders   I HATE crowds.
 I was super happy with this shot too.  These little guys are the busiest of them all and hardly ever hold still for more than a second.
 As I was trying to get my friend Afsi's little one to give butterflies a chance (she was terrified) Emily came up to me like this.  The butterfly landed right there on her face.  I love her eyes.  It was too funny.  In the background there you can see Jennifer Thompson.  She is the mom of one of Emily's very best friends.  It was such a crazy coincidence meeting there family there on such a busy day.
Emily had me cracking up.  She was making the funniest faces.  She might not have a boyfriend yet, or anywhere in the near future, but this little guy was totally in love.  And who wouldn't be.  Look at the cute girl!  (you can see her red "jello" ends on her hair - left overs from crazy hair day)

Double Rainbow...What Does It Mean......?

What it means is that frequent views like this are still in our future.

We are not moving this summer as we had hoped.

We had a real estate agent come to the house on Thursday.  The news wasn't what we were hoping for.  With Dave's purchase of the dental practice out in Gig Harbor we had hoped to move there this summer.  But it looks like those plans will have to wait.

We don't have enough equity in on house to cover moving expenses   Who would have know that it would cost so much to sell a home.  With taxed and real estate fees we are well short of the amount of equity we would need to even walk away empty handed from our home.

So we are staying for another year and then reevaluating the state of the market.

So while it is sad to be placing life on hold for a bit (it is never fun to have to wait for changes that you know are inevitable   It would be much nicer to just move on with life's new direction) it is also nice to know that we will be seeing lots more of our beautiful views!

I am glad to have a bit longer in the house I love.

Great Wolf Lodge

The Easter Story

One of our Easter traditions is making Easter cookies and telling the Easter story.  Next year I will have to take pictures of each step.  I love this tradition because sometimes it is hard to help our kids understand the true meaning behind the holidays that we celebrate because they have become so commercialized.     

We make our cookies before heading off to church.
  • 1cup whole pecans
  • 1tsp vinegar
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zipper baggie
  • wooden spoon
  • tape
  • Bible
Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important, don't wait till you're half done with the recipe!)

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was Beaten by the Roman soldiers.  Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1tsp vinegar into mixing bowl.  Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.  Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.  Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.  Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.  He wants us to know and belong to Him.  Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.  Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.  Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.  Read Matthew 27:57-60.

 Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.  Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.  Read Matthew 27:65-66.  This year Dave added some Ken Barbie dolls placed by the oven to act as centries.

GO TO CHURCH!  Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven.  Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.  Read John 16:20 and 22.

When you return home, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.  Read Matthew 28:1-9.

 Making cookies.
Ken doll guards!