Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Hike

One of the things on my summer bucket list was a hike. I picked out this great one....not too long...beautiful scenery and got the fam on board. The trail featured a series of three waterfalls. The total hike is around 5 miles round trip. But, you can turn around after the 1st or 2nd waterfall. I figured we would see how far we could go. 

I thought of the hike like a little jaunt in the woods. Cam took it far more seriously. He packed water for each of us, and had the kids get their backpacks ready. The TKD boys packed there Bo Staff....aka ...a stick. Ummmm....I didn't plan to encounter bears or the boogieman but I guess we could error on the side of safety. 

I packed a picnic. Food, my first priority. We ate at a nice picnic table before heading to the trail. 

The weather was hot and we were glad for all the water Cam packed. As soon as the trail entered the woods it got cooler in the shade. The scenery was beautiful. 

The grade of the trail was fine for everyone except that there were large rocks and tree roots in the path. It was VERY VERY hard for Tuba to traverse all of this. He worked hard but his depth perception is really bad and it was tough. We plugged along helping him over the obstacles. 

After about an hour we still had not reached the first of the falls. Tuba was really tired and we were scared that if he fell and hurt himself that we wouldn't be able to get him out. So, Cam took him and turned around with Moses in tow. I took the other kids and pushed on. I was determined to see the falls. After about another 15 minutes my littlest two kids tuckered out. We turned around and headed back. We soon caught up with Tuba.

We had a lovely couple of hours enjoying the view and each other's company. We will try the trail again...maybe just Cam and I. Hiking date!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


One thing I've learned in my life as a mom is that my expectations play a huge role in how a situation turns out.

I put a lot of thought and detail into planning things. Whether it's a vacation, a special meal, or an outing I plan away. Some of the logistics of having a big family demand a lot of planning...especially if we need things to go smoothly. Also, I do like the planning and I get an idea in my head of how things should go. But, sometimes things don't go as I planned and I get frustrated/annoyed/disappointed.

Taking kids to appointments is one of those things that are not easy. I either have to schedule an appointment for the 2.5 hour time slot I have during the school year when EVERYONE is in school.....OR I have to take everyone along. This brings me to summer. I plan a lot of the check-ups for summer and get them all done.

Sometimes all goes smoothly and sometimes not so much. And like I said my expectations can determine whether I roll with it or melt.

Conn had an appointment in the city for a teeth cleaning. He goes to the local Children's Hospital for a specialist dentist. I had to take all the kiddos with me for this appointment. I was feeling frazzled and unsure how the day would go. The kids had been bickering and driving me nuts. On top of it all I had to drive our HUGE 12 passenger van INTO THE CITY.....AND PARK!! Have I told you before that I stink at parking....especially the bus!

Okay, so I rushed around the house getting everyone ready and out the door. Then...Ugh, BAD traffic. I was sweating. I was freaking out. I HATE being late. After getting off the freeway I called the clinic to let them know I might be a few minutes late for check in. The nice receptionist informed me that I wouldn't be late since my appointment wasn't for another hour. Oh!!!

I laughed. I chilled. I decided to relax and just go with it.

We arrived with LOTS of time. So we hit the cafeteria for snacks. There was a beautiful garden alongside the outdoor eating area. We looked at all of the veggies growing. We sat in the sun.

Then it worked out for me to check the other kids into the sibling playroom while I took Conn to his cleaning. Amazing! You can't book the playroom ahead of time so I was lucky and thrilled!

Conn did great at his cleaning, I picked up the kids and we had such a great drive home that I decided on a whim (I don't do whims) to stop at the Nordstrom sale to get the kids new shoes. After trying to park in several too small spots, sweating bullets, crying, and having my 11 year old tell me that I should just go home because I'd never be able to park......I found one spot big enough.....and it was only a couple of miles from the store. Success.

I've had some brutal shoe shopping experiences with the kids. Mostly because I had a plan (everyone find a shoe that I like/can afford/and you will wear...and we aren't going home until it's accomplished. Not this day. I figured we could look around and just see if they could find something. Amazingly they each found a pair and we were in and out in less than an hour.

Yeah! I was so thrilled!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dog Days of Summer

We had SO much fun this summer. Not a dull moment....EVER!! I decided one hot sunny day to get out the water color paints...and let the kids paint themselves.

It was fun! We sat in the yard near our little pool of water so we could rinse off easily.

The kids had a ball. The boys painted some underarm hair and chest hair for themselves. Ha!! And a mustache too!

Sis loved this activity! She did a beautiful job with her make-up. more thing. It doesn't wash off....completely. Stained skin, lesson learned!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cam's Birthday!

Summer has sped by a warp speed and now we are a week into our new school year. Whoa! I'm so behind that I'm not sure where to begin. I'll be playing catch up for a while!

I'll start with Big Daddy's birthday. Cam turned 46....about a month ago.

We spent a fun day going on a ferry ride and then to the beach at Cam's favorite Fort. The day was gorgeous!!

Cam and the kids LOVE the local forts. Me? I love the beach and the view.

Cam loves to give the kids a history lesson along the way.

We packed a fabulous picnic for the beach. Big deli style sandwiches, fruit, chips, and ice tea. 
This pic cracks me up. Cam is all covered up and me...sorry but I do love the sun and a bit of a tan. 
Cam's had melanoma so he is extra careful in the sun.

The kids played in the water.

The fav part of our lunch. Ice tea. These cans are big enough for a few of us to share but we bought each kid their own can! I must have been in a really good mood....or distracted....or overruled. 

Cam and the kids love to go explore the underground tunnels and bunkers. Me? I love the beach.

After a great day we headed home and out to dinner. We didn't have time to go home and change so we just went in our sandy, sunblock, swimsuit attire.

We love this place and we had SO much fun!! We laughed and snuggled. We had such a good meal and everyone was in such a great mood. Sunshine + family time.

We had a ball! Perhaps letting the kids have Roy Rogers/Shirley Temples on top of the giant ice teas was a bit reckless. But hey, it was Cam's birthday and he said it was okay. 

Happy Birthday Cam!! You are a wonderful husband and dad! You make things so fun and are always up for an adventure. You work so hard but you play hard too! You are truly my better half. You calm me when I need to be soothed. You inspire me when I need to be fired up. always say yes to giant ice tea! You're the best! We love you. XO

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tuba is 18!

I've been a Mama for 18 years. Our sweet Tuba had his birthday recently. 

He's now an adult and Cam and I have loads of official paperwork to do. We have to apply to the court for guardianship. This means that we will have decision making power over finances and medical decisions. It's A LOT. We are trying to save the $2,000.00 an attorney costs and do the process ourselves. We also applied for SSI for Tuba. This was also a ton of work but will be really nice when he is approved. 

Well, that's all the boring stuff that happened around his birthday. We did also have loads of fun.

The kids and I started the day with his favorite breakfast of eggs and bacon. 

After Cam got off work we took the family out for dinner....burgers and fries! Tuba's favorite!

Then we went swimming. Tuba's favorite thing EVER!! We tried a local outdoor pool but it was in the shade and really windy out. Instead we went to an indoor pool. It was tons of fun! The kids LOVED it....and it cost a total of $13 for our family. Bargain!

After the pool we had dessert at home. Raspberry shortcake with whip cream. 

Happy Birthday to my precious boy! Tuba, you see the light shining in the world. That light shines from you and your innocent soul. You delight in the little things in life. You notice the sunset every night and alert us to look too. You are fine tuned to the emotions of other. That is a beautiful gift. You love campfires, pools, chips, beads and babies! We love you Tuba!

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Slice

Outside My Window - Every night....a beautiful sunset.

Right now it's daytime so....It's summertime and I'm outside the window sitting on our new deck! The kids are playing in the yard on their new slip-n-slide. I tell ya...that is some good entertainment. It's hilarious watching them.

From The Kitchen - Fresh popcorn and iced coffee. I cook popcorn in a bit of olive oil and then sprinkle on some coarse sea salt. Delicious! The ice coffee is so good too. I don't drink coffee in the a.m. but I occasionally enjoy one in the afternoon. Today's drink is coffee, a bit of chocolate syrup and milk stirred together and poured over ice.

I Am Wearing - Teal shorts, a white embroidered t-shirt and black flip flops. I love flip flops! Hair in a ponytail.

I Am Creating - Order out of chaos....getting closets sorted and back to school clothes ready. Getting school supplies bought and sorted for each kid. That doesn't seem very creative...but it's all I got. 

I Am Going - To the salon tomorrow! Woot! Hair day and relaxation time. Love! 

I Am Reading - For book club we are going to read The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World. I haven't started it yet. For now I'm catching up on all my magazines. I get Martha Stewart Living, Sunset, and Real Simple. 

I'm also reading an issue of Christian Parenting (issue from 1996) and Thriving Family, A Focus on the Family magazine. My new neighbor left them in my mailbox yesterday. 

Hmmm.....I wasn't sure what to think about this..... 

A. She thinks I could use some parenting help.
B. She is trying to evangelize me.
C. Both A & C. 

Ha!! I got a good laugh out of it. I'm choosing to believe that D. She just wanted to give me some magazines she thought I'd like. :) And actually the Thriving Family issue has some good info in it. 

I Am Planning - A few more trips to the beach before school is back in session. And a few more S'more roasts in the backyard. Mmmmmm.

Around The House - We have a new deck.....almost complete!!! It's amazing and I'll be posting pics soon.

One Of My Favorite Things - My flower pots. These are my Mother's Day pots the kids and I planted. I love how lush they get by mid-summer. I have five of them and now with my new HUGE deck I could use a few more.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week - Sit on the deck, go to the beach, get school supplies for last two kids, ride bikes, soak up the sun....

A Picture Thought I'm Sharing -

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Monday Monday

Oh Monday.....lovely Monday. I have a sitter for the kids on Mondays this summer. Four glorious hours to myself. A much needed respite.

The first week I eagerly awaited (faced pressed up against the window) for the sitter to arrive. I hadn't been out alone in a solid month. Not pretty. 

I had errands to run so I quickly got them out of the way. Then off to my favorite coffee shop with a new book. I found a cozy chair and settled in with a cup of black tea and a almond croissant. 

It may have been the book...the melancholy music playing....or PMS....or the fact that I was bone tired but I burst into tears sitting there reading. 

I really need to get out of the house more....which is why this Monday date with myself gig is so great!

After my cry and finishing my treats I went off to a pedicure. So relaxing! A good hour in the massage chair while getting my feet scrubbed and rubbed. Bliss. 

I returned home a much calmer and happier mommy....and eagerly awaiting the next Monday. 

The next Monday I had a dental cleaning first thing on my list. I decided to wear my exercise clothes and get a good power walk in after the cleaning. I walked to the same coffee shop...ordered my fav and plopped into my cozy seat.

No tears this time. I spent some time reading and then walked back to my car. The rest of my time I spent running errands. That doesn't sound very exciting but driving in a car alone is really relaxing. 

My 3rd week of Monday Time I took Mr. P with me. We ran errands to the bank, and then the courthouse and another office in town. He then sat patiently (playing the iPad) while I got a pedicure. Then we went out to lunch. 

It was really nice to get some one-on-one time with Mr. P. He is the perfect age to run errands with....and a nice lunch date too. 

My 4th week was spent at physical therapy and then at the hospital. My MIL just had surgery and I was so happy to have a sitter so I could be at the hospital with Cam. Everything went great with her surgery too! 

I'm looking forward to next Monday. Sis and I are going shopping! Some back to school clothes for her! Fun!

Oh...and the book....Tell The Wolves I'm Home. Very, very good!! I highly recommend it.


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