Tuesday, December 30, 2014

blue climbing Ezra

I was making dinner last week when it grew ominously quiet and I wondered where Ezra was. But being busy in the kitchen, I didn't want to stop and go look for him. My mistake! He came upstairs shortly thereafter looking like this.

Turns out he had climbed on the school table, plucked a blue crayon from the turntable and went to town devouring it. Or at least he chewed it up until it was mush and made a mess with it on the wall and carpet. A Norwex cloth took it all out in a jiffy so no harm was done and he went back to demolishing the book shelf (grrrr). But why will he eat crayons but not his dinner? Little punk.

And just two nights ago he pulled this little stunt: Climbing up onto the play kitchen. I don't know how he could even do that! He was trying to make baskets into the basketball hoop with play kitchen toys. Until he pulled the hoop over on himself... He also climbs into his high chair and the kitchen table where he's not supposed to be. And of course he's all over the top of our furniture. We've never had such a monkey climber before. Such mischief he gets into!

bowling for snowmen

 The Monday before Christmas, the church staff had their Christmas party.
top row L to R: Alyssa and Andrew (friends who just ended up sitting with almost all the staff at a wedding last summer), Dave, me, Terry.
bottom row: Carol, Paul, Jana, Russ, Denise (Lauralee is missing)

Paul and Jana graciously organized a bowling party complete with prizes for us all. We had the most people present and therefore won the most prizes. That, and we're the best bowlers... :P

Jana prepared a "just add snow snow-man kit" for every family. Evie put it to use the very next day with the small amount of snow that fell. She had a real hard time with that nose, but got it in place eventually. However, I'm pretty sure it fell out and she put it back in the small pointy end first and it's still out there covered by a couple inches more snow. 
"Do you wanna build a snowman?"

Well, turns out that joke about us being the best bowlers was partly true. I randomly made 4 strikes in a row and Terry got the high score of the evening with 218! When we were dating and engaged we used to do quite a bit of bowling in Sturgis since there wasn't much else to do. He even bought his own shoes (I have some too from a garage sale), a custom ball to fit his own fingers and a bag to put it all in. He swears that's the secret to his success. But, as Jim Gaffigan says, it also means he has no friends. Who cares with a score like that. ;)

Sunday, December 28, 2014


In November Noah and Evie started attending a 4H group of homeschoolers. They had to decide on a kind of group project to do and also some individual projects. Someone brought up the idea of geocaching as "treasure hunting" and Evie was captivated and kept arguing for the group to do it. Unfortunately for her, the group decided on something else (building a Lego city) but she still had the freedom to do it on her own. 

So Terry did some researching and we went out for our first geocache on a beautiful Friday morning. Geocaching is exactly like treasure hunting but instead of a pirate map, you follow GPS coordinates on your phone through an app. Once you are close enough to the cache, you have to search that immediate area to discover a small container/geocache. When you do there's usually a pad of paper or scroll to sign in and see who last found the cache. But the kids' favorite type of cache is one that's big enough to exchange "treasures"/junk. We had some little bears from a garage sale that seemed appropriate to give away since we are The Six Bears.

Our very first find was not far from our house and was supposed to be a quick grab and go, but it took us a good ten minutes since we'd never done it before. We did finally succeed though, of course.

It was an egg in a tree!

Our second cache was again, not far from our house and required a bit of hiking, which was great! Noah found this one and they were all super excited since they could exchange treasures. 

We tried to find one on the bike path but it had been moved due to the construction.  

So I took the littles over to the park while Terry took the olders to find another cache nearby. It was itty bitty! 

Ezra has been our baby that climbs the most. He's all over the house and tables where he is not supposed to be. At the park he climbed up this curved ladder he was much too small for. I was going to try to take his photo before he got too high but he was too fast for me. I accidentally took this funny photo as he slipped through the ladder and I caught him.

From there we thought we'd do one more before lunch but it took us forever! Daddy finally found it and we were darn ready for lunch at McDonalds with a giftcard. 

A couple weeks later we went out again, starting near our house by the creek. It was super easy to find and such a pretty location. 

We saw another one on the map very near, just on the other side of the bridge. So we walked under it and hiked a bit but found the cache was on the other side of the creek. So we had to walk all the way back and drive there, but Evie did end up finding it. 

I was really curious about this house for sale in the country that was not far from some friends so we took a drive. We looked at the house and afterwards stopped by Paul and Jana's. Terry and the kids had visited before but I hadn't. They have such a beautiful spot on the creek and it was great! That's Noah and Jack in his tree house.

We found one more easy cache on our way home. More treasures! 

my funny Evie

When Christmas vacation began last week I was replacing old photos in frames with newly ordered ones, Evie and Samuel were playing dress up, and Noah was taking pictures. He captured a couple classic Evie faces. She is such a goof. Such a goose. She's always making us laugh. 

For instance, on Terry's first day off, the kids were begging Terry to shave off his beard that's hung around since No-Shave-November since we both like it. The kids hate it though. And Evie yelled out in all seriousness, "Your beard is going to ruin Christmas!"

Here she is photo-bombing Noah's attempt to take a photo of the advent stockings.

Then at the Youth Group Christmas party last weekend she made the whole group laugh twice. Terry was giving a short lesson  where he showed a quick Frozen clip. He asked, "Did Elsa deserve to have Ana sacrifice herself for her?" Evie yelled out, "NO! She froze her heart!" 

Then again Terry asked, "How do you know someone loves you?" and Evie blurted out, "They kiss you on the cheek!!" HA HA! I love that little girl. She is such a bright little light in our family.
silly faced girl playing with Daddy's drill

Saturday, December 27, 2014

decorating the grandparent's tree

My parents were really behind getting a Christmas tree so when they did finally get one the week before Christmas, I offered our "help" decorating it.

There was plenty of Samuel/Ezra fighting but Noah, Evie and I got them all up. There was a pretty thick band right in the middle at the kids eye level which mom had to move around after we left. I think she was still thankful for the help though. 

Ana and baby Theo walked over for a brief visit. The little bear cub was being a punk and not wanting to nap so the wrap and walk put him under. Noah loves that baby boy :) 

Such a pretty mommy and baby! 

running Snap

Terry and I have been working out so I thought it would be nice if all the rest of the family got in on that as well. Poor Snap is getting older and fatter. Plus, some outdoor exercise would do the kids good. And the weather that week was so nice! So I had them jog up and down our street twice while I followed with Ezra in the stroller. 

It came out to about a mile but we only did it for like a week before quitting. Of course. Terry and I at least continued working out until I got sick Christmas week. I'll hit it again though. 

decorating Christmas cookies

A couple weeks ago Terry had a meeting at the house and wanted Christmas cookies to share. The kids and I got busy cranking them out. I was going to make more since this batch went so fast, but we already had so many sweets around the house that we didn't need them. I didn't make many other kinds of Christmas sweets either. We've been working out Shaun T style and didn't want to ruin our hard work.

Noah preferred the traditional manly green and silver sprinkles. 

And Evie liked the leftover red and pink Valentines sprinkles. Ha!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Storybook Island 2014

So perhaps this will become a yearly post since it's so fun going to Storybook Island to view all their Christmas lights. That and I learned to take better photos, sort of. Although, the price did go up this year. It was $12 for all of us to get in, but since that supports Storybook Island, it's worth it. 

I made everyone stop before they ran off so I could get a shot. It was a gorgeous evening for this - not too cold.

I was pretty outraged when I heard on the news that some idiots broke into Storybook Island not long before they were set to open and cut or destroyed a ton of their lights. Ding dongs. Glad they were able to fix everything in time. 

Here's the Three Little Pigs House. The kids kept pointing out how the big bad wolf on top of the chimney was dressed up as Santa.

We had the littles all snuggled up in the double stroller - which is a bear to push with the bigger boy in front. But he wants in and out so it worked. 

They're all headed to Pooh's tunnel. This is my favorite part of the park, lit or unlit. We spent a lot of time playing here as kids and it still seems magical. 

Cheese in the tunnel! 

Pretty tree house. 

I climbed over a line of Christmas lights and onto a bench  to get a better view of the park.

Pretty sure it was a full moon that night too. Perfect!

I love this one.

 And one more.

At this point we were nearing the exit. Santa was on the deck of that building with the icicle lights. Long line! 

This was near Smokey Bear's house. Is that right? Maybe that's just what I call it.

Here's the end of the line in the baby area. 

Rock on for having a nativity Storybook Island! 

Since our first walk through was so fast we decided to go again. We took our photo with the Santa who had no line. 

The tree house again because I love it. 

The kids would have loved to go on the new train but our cash was gone. I was glad for that.  

Ready to go home and go to bed. Fun night! 

Samuel's finger - a 2nd injury

Back in October while Terry and I were purchasing our new mattress, Samuel sliced his left ring finger in the store's door (as far as we can tell since he couldn't describe it very well). And now, only about a month later, he injured that exact same finger again.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we went out to the ranch to hang out for the afternoon and Samuel put his left ring finger in some part of the tractor door shortly after this photo was taken. It swelled up immediately and he wouldn't calm down so we took him to urgent care.

They did an x-ray and found a very small fracture in the bottom-most bone of that finger. It wasn't on a growth place or the knuckle so they splinted it and said to come back in a couple days. At that time the doctor looked at the x-ray and said he wasn't even completely sure if it was a fracture, re-set the finger in a better splint and we were done. We took the splint off a few days later, after about a week total, and he's been just fine. In fact, when he's complained about his finger still hurting, he shows me the wrong finger! Clearly it's not bothering him anymore. We just had to be sure though. Hopefully he can avoid hurting that finger any further in the future. What can he do next? Get it torn off completely? Silly boy.
you can't tell very well but that ring finger was pretty swollen and discolored. my cell camera is pretty awful.

mom's advent stocking garland

My mom is crafty. I don't like crafts at all! She is a rock star crocheter, if that's even a word. I tried learning in college and didn't have the patience for. She also weaves fair award winning baskets and even had a business selling them when we were little (those craft fairs were no fun for any of us though I think), sewed tons of clothes for Steph and I when we were little and can always get the knots out of necklace chains. I can't do any of that stuff. My sister inherited her skill.

I told her I liked this crocheted advent stocking garland thing off pinterest a couple years ago, and after she completed our Christmas stockings with yarn to spare last year, I guess she just decided she'd make that advent garland too. And it's awesome! Terry found an advent reading schedule here but we've steadily gotten behind. Oh well. It still looks great.
always a little dicey getting everyone to sit still for 3 minutes of reading...

Here's what the original looked like. She bought some holiday leaves to weave on but I didn't like it. I'm a plain jane like that and I think it's great all by itself. Thanks mom!