Saturday, January 14, 2017

We have a TEEN!

Eben researched and found that BrickCon was coming to Seattle Oct. 1st, so he decided that's what he wanted to do for his 13th birthday. He invited a small group of guys and Jasper and Kivi to go with him to look at tons of Lego creations. Since it was all the way in Seattle and started at 10am we fed everyone a donut breakfast first. 


They also got to build their own creations. And really, if there are legos around, how can you not?
They ate a Subway lunch while they watched a robot battle at Seattle Center then and went Ripstiking around Green Lake and at a skate park.

When they came back home we had dinner and sang, "Happy Birthday" to our teen while we ate some cobbler.
We also kissed the man-child, whom we will alway kiss no matter how old he gets.

Happy 13th Birthday, Eben! You are amazing! You're a creative, original, easy-going, friendly, low maintenance, confident, funny, problem solving, baby loving brother. You love computers, Ripstiking, Heelying, Zelda, and hugging. You don't love math or going to the basement by yourself. You go to youth group, help on the tech team at church, and help out at Computer Clubhouse. You love playing with Jasper, cuddling Opal, being with Kivi, carrying Coal, teasing Berg, babying Pella and everything about Tuff. You are one extraordinary big brother to a lot of little people and you are so good at loving them. Once when I got up and saw you holding Coal on the couch early in the morning I said, "Did he wake up?" and you answered, "Yeah, he woke up at two." You didn't even wake me or Dada up! You just loved your baby brother and took care of him. What a man you are becoming! You are treasured and loved and we appreciate all you do for our family and God's kingdom.  Matthew 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sewer, Ships and a Baby Shower

Sept. 23 - 25th  - Dada had found the clean out pipe (after digging almost 5 unnecessary feet down) only 2 inches beneath the grass, but directly under the sprinkler pipes, so we didn't think to dig there. Dada taught Eben some PVC skills so he could fix the sprinkler pipes that they had to cut through in order to get to the sewer clean out. After running many snakes, Dada finally broke through the clog and we were able to use our appliances and sink again!! Yay!

Sept. 28th - The kids made their own versions of the NiƱa, Pinta and Santa Maria and launched them across the "Atlantic Ocean" hoping they would reach the "New World"!
Also, we created some colorful styles for crazy hair night at Awana.

Sept. 30th - Baby Coal's Murder Mystery Baby Shower!
Our great friends the Schocks threw us another amazing murder mystery baby shower making this the fifth one they've given us! The theme was The Spy Who Killed Me, "a civilized evening of espionage, code-breaking, backstabbing and graduating with honors!" Tim was the real villain of the night masquerading around being all nice to everyone.  Carl won "best dressed",  Jefe won "best actor", and Peter won. This is always such a great way to welcome a sweet, little, innocent baby into the world! Thank you, Schocks!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Some September & Silverwood

September will be remembered as the month we thought about how hard pioneer life must have been and we didn't even have it that bad. We couldn't use our kitchen sink, dish washer or washing machine, so the bathtub became our wash tub. Our incoming water still worked but the line out would flood the mud room every time we let something go down the drain. So we could either do dishes in the sink in a big pot and toss the dirty water outside or just do it in the bath. Grandma was super helpful in taking loads of laundry all the way to her house and we used LOTS of paper plates.
After doing the dishes this day, Sept. 12th, Dada surprised Mama with a date to the fair, with only one Coaly kid. We ate tons of bad for you food.

Sept. 13th Coal has his first real food, rice cereal and he loved it! I don't think we've ever had a kid eat the whole bowl that fast!
On Sept. 17th we drove out to Spokane and stayed at a hotel so that we could go to Silverwood the next day and redeem the kids homeschool reading program rewards, free tickets to the park!! Our friends' mother even came to the park and got more of us in with her local pass!

The only rides we all did together was the carousel and the log ride. 

Even the on the log ride we had to go on three separate logs. After that the three bigs went around the park by themselves to do all the big rides!!
Mama, Dada and the five littles went to little kid land and took turns riding with kids and staying with Coal and Tuff (who did not understand why he could not go on most of the rides.) The babies were able to go on one roller coaster, so we did that a bunch.

And we talked the guy into letting Coal go on the automobile ride, but not Tuff. He did get to ride in a helicopter. It's funny which rides allow certain ages. I'd think a flying helicopter would be more dangerous than an extremely slow car.
The most dangerous ride, for us, was probably the train that circles the whole park and takes about 20 minutes to ride. We boarded the train thinking it was leaving within minutes. So we rushed to park the stroller in the stroller lot. I hurried onto the train with all the littles and Peter went to go refill the popcorn bucket so we could have a snack on the ride. After sitting there for about 2 minutes I started thinking, "Wow just having 3 less kids makes a huge difference. This doesn't look like many kids" Then I count them. "1, 2, 3, 4... Hmmmm. 4 + 3 is only 7 and I have eight kids. Oh no!!! I'm missing a kid. Which one?" And I literally had to go through their names to realize I had left Tuff IN the stroller! So I dash off the train and the train master had Tuff and three men on walkie talkies were all standing around him talking about some child emergency and I go up to him and take Tuff and just say, "Oh, Thanks, maybe I should bring him with us!" And then into his walkie talkie he says, "Cancel that." 
Then Peter joined us, the train left, we ate our popcorn and all was well.
After the train ride we sat outside a cute little coffee shop and had chai tea and coffee while the littles feasted on caramel apples. (We had brought apples and square caramels and they'd take a bite of both together. It was delicious and they think I'm ingenious. Soon they will realize I'm just very cheap.)
Our amazing big kids were so responsible that they all stuck together and remembered our meeting time for lunch at the pizza place while we watched an amazing magic show together. This might have been the highlight of the day. (Obviously me almost leaving Tuff at the train station was the opposite of a highlight, but I feel like the three responsible kids almost makes up for it.)

We went around together for a bit while Dada went on some big rides with the big kids. Even Berg and Pella went on some huge roller coasters. (Poor Mama cannot ride roller coasters any more because she's too old and feels like she's going to puke just looking at them.) Then at 6:00pm we posed like statues, called it a day and packed up because we had a long drive home. Thank you so much for Silverwood, Holmes!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Jasper's Amazing Foam Birthday!

Jasper chose an amazing birthday theme this year, Foam Party! We celebrated this 10 year old's party on the 10th this year and it was a perfect sunny day to slide down our hill into a pile of foam! 

One hundred feet of plastic + a great slope down to the lake + John Schock's magical foam machine + friends = one great 10th birthday party for our Jasper.















Jasper you are so much fun! You alway have a rhythm going in your head, your feet, your hands and your mouth.  You love to dance, build, sing, kayak, Heely and Rip stick. You are happy all the time! You are Mr. Friendly and don't know a stranger. You love your hair and named him Arnold. You don't get in trouble often and if you do, or someone talks sternly to you your throat tightens and you can't breathe. You are a size 7 and growing. You've decided that you can't have milk or strawberries and don't even eat ice cream because it makes you hurt. You make good decisions and stand up for others. You choose the right. You love your big brother and sister and play with Kivi most often. You are helpful and often go the extra mile around the house. You are diligent and get your school done quickly. You are great at math and comprehending what you read. You are a blessing and we love that you are in our family, Jasper. You will do so much to spread God's love to others! Happy 10th Birthday, Bubba! We love you!

Mimi and Family Photo Shoot

Since Mimi was up here in Washington, and now so was all our Tague side family, we decided to have an impromptu photo shoot. Dodie and Bug helped everyone round up some black and white outfits and a friend came and took some pictures. It was last minute, but they turned out great especially with this many people and babies!

Our whole family with Mimi!

Goodbye Summer - Seaside 2016

We continued our tradition of getting away to Seaside, OR at the beginning of summer and now at the end. It's a fun way to say goodbye to our crazy months of no school. Which I never intend to happen. I always want to to homeschool all through the summer, but we get so busy, have so many people visit and this year especially hosted so many parties!! Nine this summer, so Lake Steilacoom and this new house are getting used.

We went to Goodwill of course, bought our toys and activities and Tuffy and Eben both got bikes! We watched lots of movies, ate lots of snacks, rode bikes, played at the beach and ate our ice cream daily.

Berg learned how to ride his two-wheeler on this trip, though he was very timid.  He did it! Then Pella wanted to learn too and she picked it up super fast! I see a resemblance here. Kivi trying to beat the Eben and Pella trying to catch up to the Berg.

Tuffy was either on his new bike or stomping around in the only puddle on the street while the kids zoomed around him.

Kivi and Mama both spun the wheel and won a prize at the Candy Man, our daily ice cream stop!

We spent a lot of time at the beach this trip too. Pella collected every stinky crab shell and Tuff collected sand in his pants.

The kids jumped in the waves and Dada and the boys threw a football around.

We did something new this trip! We went to the community pool! It was great. Everyone swam, even Coal, Berg and Mama. The water was sooo warm. They had life jackets for the kids to wear, floaties, a rock wall, a cool slide, flippers, huge floating mats, and a rope swing! We went there twice!

Right outside the pool there was a skate park on which the bigs were super excited to try out their rip sticks. They gave us a great show!

Our family beach line up, taken with the self timer! Only Tuff's not looking, so you can't beat that.

Dada bought some wood so we could have a sunset, beach bonfire and roast marshymallows. Coal loved it! Well, everyone did. It was a great ending to our Seaside Goodbye Summer Getaway.