Friday, September 27, 2013



Emmett and Gage are so happy when Brax and Sis get home from school. They all go outside and I don’t see them until dinner. Braxton is so, so, good about playing with his younger siblings. He is so awesome!

Emmett idolizes his big brother. He always does exactly what Braxton asks him to do. When Braxton is at school Emmett talks about him and how big he is. He colors pictures for him and makes him crafts. Always for Braxton.

Adelle is getting run down. She won’t admit to it, but I can sense it. The past couple days she comes home and cries for no reason. It’s week 3 of school and it’s finally catching up with her. Last time she cried it was because the boys got more apples for snack then she got. She’s been a little emotional. I have used time afterschool for just Adelle. We read, talk, sit on the comfy red chair together while the boys play. She needs quiet time, a rest.

Today when I was dropping off for school all the kids got out and Adelle was last. Instant tears broke loose as she thought everyone had gone in without her. They hadn’t, they were waiting, but she didn’t see them. I got out of my running vehicle to see why she was crying. This caused me to be scolded by the traffic lady, “maam, this is an unloading zone only. You cannot get out of your vehicle. Maam, you are holding up traffic.”  Really! Like I am going to leave my crying child on the side of the road. I didn’t say anything because I was worried that if I opened my mouth there would be regret. So I pretended that I didn’t hear her. I also ignored all the glares from the cars behind me, impatiently waiting to drop off their kids.  Adelle was my only concern so I continued to sooth her, I pointed out where Brax was waiting, and she went on her happy merry way. TGIF.

Note to self. Next time you are in line at drop off or pick up, be patient. You never know what is going on in the car in front of you.

Come on Down...

For my sister's 30th Birthday she wanted to go to The Price Is Right Live in Portland. My mom and I were able to go down and Lesha's wish was granted!
We had a trip planned for a few weeks. My mom and I were going to drive down, with Gage of course. Peter was going to watch Gage while us ladies went to get our game on. The next day we would get pedi's, shop... do whatever we wanted to do. Then Gage and I would drive home and my mom would stay for the weekend with my dad.
Well...that was a good plan but we all know how plans go...
Gage got a runny nose/cold and didn't sleep at night for a good few days before. I battled with what to do and Jeff and I both decided that it could be torturous to leave Peter with a cranky, sick baby so we decided he would stay home with Jeff and the other kids and I would just go with my mom and make it a quick trip.
Well, Wednesday morning, the day we were to leave, I woke up super sick. Sore throat, snot...really! I don't even remember the last time I felt so awful. I decided to go anyway.
Needless to say, I totally faked it the whole time. Looking back on it now I think I was dazed the whole time. The IB Profin I took did little against the screaming and excited crowd at the show. I did manage to get a roll of tissue from the bathroom though so I was able to blow my nose the whole show, turning it a stunning bright red.
The show was a blast. I can only imagine how fun it would have been if I felt well. The host, Todd Newton, was super entertaining and it was really fun being with my mom and sister. We never do anything just the three of us! The joke of the night was if they called me down if I would bring my roll of tissue with me. None of our names were called but there was still that thrill every time they called the names. The show was at 8:30pm that night so we didn't get home until almost midnight!
Needless to say I woke up Thursday morning, packed up my stuff, and left to drive home, kleenex in tow. I drove half way home in the carpool lane before I realized I was all alone. I was seriously so not with it. I listened to my book on CD and put the pedal to the medal making it home in a record time of 4 hours flat. Her door to mine. Without going into details let me just say I was relieved to see Gage, literally, and he was happy to see me too. I was gone exactly 24 hours!

I also learned that Bob Barker is no longer the host of The Price is Right. Old news I guess but new to me. Then when my mom and sister were talking about the new host I assumed it was Jim Carrey. Nope! Wrong again. Apparently I am way out of the loop when it comes to anything Hollywood.
Drew Carey is the Host and holy it wrong of me to think that my sweet boy resembles this man?

After I took my kids to school today I made Emmett stand so I could take close up shots of him. Is it the glasses? The hair color? I don't know but this cracked me up the whole show!! All I could see was Emmett every time they showed Drew Carey on the projector! And no, Drew was not the host of our show. It was Todd Newton and although I had never heard of this man either, he was funny and I liked him. 
If you don't know who he is yet here he is.

Happy Birthday Lesha! Love you!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

old friends

There is something so fun and special about old friends! People who you have known forever and still love!
My friend Shelby, who is getting married next month, came up this past weekend with her fiance' and his 7 year old daughter. Her fiance' is Jeff, and he's so much like my husband Jeff it's unreal. They are getting to be the best of buds. And Madison, the little girl, hit it off great with our kids. It was a weekend full of fun and parties!
They got into town late Friday night and the festivities begun Saturday morning with a bridal shower brunch.

This is Shelby wearing her "naughty or nice" apron designed and constructed by Mindi. I love the expressions in this picture. Shelby looks too excited, Mindi is cracking up (as usual) and Sara looks disgusted. Ha!

Here are some of the ladies who attended the bridal shower brunch. Gage woke up from nap in perfect time to score yummy food!
I should have taken a picture of the tables because they were beautiful. We used my grandma's old lace tablecloths and Mindi's china from her wedding. It looked so pretty.

Here is my mom, Erin's mom, Carol, and Shelby's mom, Jane. These ladies had so much fun catching up with one another. We used to all spend so much time together, back in the day!

Shelby's sister Stephanie who also lives in Oregon came up too and it was so wonderful to see her. The last time I saw her was when Braxton was one year old. She looks the exact same!! This girl was practically my sister growing up ;)

Friends and Babes!
Erin and Harper, Shelby, Mindi and Alice, Tessa and Diego, Sarah, Me and Gage.

Soon to me Mrs. Juhl

The Jeff's, the kids and the dog took off to Birch Bay when they heard there was going to be a bridal shower. Well, that's what we imagined would happen. In reality we basically had to kick them out to make room! They ended up meeting up with my dad and going on an adventure hike and exploration of the beach. 

When they got home though they were starving so good thing we saved them zucchini bread and scones to go with their lunch!

Shelby's Jeff works at a lumber yard in Oregon so he brought up wood, already cut and primed, to help Jeff make the shutters I have been wanting. It was so nice and they look awesome! I can't wait to get them up in case a storm comes! 

The kids played hard all day. Jeff's daughter, Madison, came this time and it was the first time that any of us had met her. Braxton and her have been getting to know each other via letters since February so it was fun for them to meet in person. They were instant besties. They agreed to continue being penpals ;)

While the boys worked and the kids played Shelby and I took Gage for a walk down to Chihuahua's to grab some chips and pico de gallo. The weather was so beautiful which was such a relief given the forecast was rain.

Everyone wanted to visit with Jeff and Shelby so that night we sporadically did dinner at our place. My mom left fresh crab and I did a salmon and potatoes. Erin and Harper came back and so did Mindi with her husband John and baby Alice. We ate and hung out in the backyard until the sun went down. It was so much fun to be with old friends all day!

We couldn't be more happy for Shelby and Jeff!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

let's hear it for the boys!!

Gage hanging out with momma in the kitchen. Emmett called it his boat. I called it Gage Stew!

Emmett and Coton helping me make granola.

Emmett working on an art project. It's an apple tree. I traced and cut his arm and hand out of a paper bag and he glued it to the yellow paper. Then he used corks to paint apples and leaves. Way cute!

Emmett and mommy making meatballs. Emmett is my go to kitchen hand!

We are getting into the groove of things around here with our new schedule and activities. It's really nice having the boys at home. Life is slower without Adelle around. She was always wanting to go somewhere or have someone over and I must say I don't miss that. Emmett and Gage and I are totally happy at home cooking, reading, painting... it's good to be home, especially after such a busy summer!

The mornings are busy getting everyone ready for school. We decided as a family that Friday would be hot lunch day since the kids have been asking. This morning while I was doing Adelle's hair she said, "so, I promised Braxton I would have a chicken burger." Chicken burgers are Braxton's favorite thing to eat for hot lunch. Then she continued, "so the drinks are either orange juice or chocolate milk, and I know orange juice is better for me than chocolate milk." I asked her what she wanted to drink and she said, "chocolate milk!" I told her that sounded delicious!  Then she said, "but it won't be good for me if I have it every Friday, just sometimes on Friday." Those kind of conversations are super rewarding for me.

At 9:10am we leave the house and drive down the road to pick up some friends for school. My friend and I are carpooling so I take to school every day and she picks up from school and brings home. It's working great, although I miss my walking school!

I started watching another friend's little boy, Colton, everyday for a couple hours. His mom brings him here at 10:30am and his bus picks him up at my house at 12:10pm so he is here for a bit to play and eat lunch. It's been good. Today he told me he was in love with Adelle and that he was going to marry her. Emmett wasn't too sure what to do when he said that. He got super defensive of his sister.

After Colton leaves on the bus I put Gage to nap and Emmett and I do some eye therapy. He wears his patch during this time and we do hand eye stuff. Like I say numbers on flash cards and he points to them with the pointer, gluing, painting, puzzles, reading and pointing... 
He doesn't like his patch but he's never complained about it and he's never protested when I tell him to put it on. The reason I know he doesn't like it is he asks me frequently if he can take it off and when it's on I can tell he really struggles to see well. But this boy is solid and his strength is far beyond his years. He is so cooperative and happy to do whatever.

Emmett is thrilled when the kids come home! It's been so nice out that we got the kiddie pool back out and they have all been playing in the water after school, even Gage!

The new school this year has been super positive for us. The principal is amazing. Super hands on and involved. Braxton's teacher is young, 31 (just like me!!) and very organized. He really likes her and Adelle is still loving being a school girl after week 1.

Braxton and Adelle have really buddied up. It's funny how the family dynamics change with time. For the past couple years that Braxton has been in school Adelle and Emmett were really close. Now that Adelle is in school with Braxton they are like inseparable. Even at school and on the playground they play together. I think that's so sweet.

In the evenings we've been sharing one good thing that happened at school and one not so good thing. It's been a good way to hear about the day. They are more than happy to share the good and the bad so I'm hoping this will guarantee that my teenagers tell me everything! lol.

Adelle didn't know I could play, "the song from my class," so she got super excited when she came in the other night from swimming to hear it. I had to get the camera to for a short tid bit of her joy!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kindergarten Girl

Last Friday was Adelle's Kindergarten Orientation. Together her and I got to go into her classroom, meet her teacher, and spend the morning learning about the kindergarten routine. Adelle was excited to go. On the way there she asked me if she had to keep her shoes on during the whole school day? My girl loves to be barefoot!
Mrs. Hunter is Adelle's teacher. I will be referring to her as "hippie hunter" on this blog. I also refer to her as "hippie hunter" to my husband (because I love to make him laugh)  but not in front of my parrot children. Ever! I love hippies so I think Mrs. Hunter is a good fit for Adelle ;)
Mrs. Hunter likes to use sign language instead of words when she can. She taught us all the signs for; using the bathroom, getting a drink, being done with what your working on, yes, no... This should be really interesting for Adelle who likes to talk, a lot. We will see how this goes. Adelle was teaching Braxton the signs today after school so I think she is into it for now.
Mrs. Hunter likes to play music in her class and dance with her kids. This is right up Adelle's alley once she is in her comfort zone. Mrs. Hunter teaches the kids breathing techniques for handling stress and each table has a lavender ball to be squished when needed. I told you she is "hippie hunter!" I want to be in her class!! Ha!

Today was the official first full day. She was so ready. She wore her cute new corduroy dress that her friend, Gabby, gave her. It was darling on her but the morning was foggy so the sweatshirt is hiding it a bit. 
I made Apple Pancakes for breakfast in school spirit and read the kids "The Kissing Hand," by Audrey Penn. We were kissing hands all morning. Adelle requested I put her hair in pigtails with her barrette on the side. Too cute. 

This morning when we got to the school she started to just get out of the car. I was like, "Adelle, I am going to walk you to class," and she was like, "why? I know where my class is." Funny girl. Never would have known that less than a month ago she didn't even want to go! Hippie Hunter was excited to see us and Adelle found her name and checked herself in. She found her seat at her table and got busy making designs out of the colored wooden shapes. I asked her if it was okay if I left and she stayed at school and she said yes. That's when I kissed her goodbye and got all choked up. I held it together well but it was just that initail, "yeah, I'm fine without you," that always throws me off.... in a good way, though.

Braxton was very sneaky and wrote a note for Adelle this morning to stick in her lunchbox. I thought it was so sweet especially the part about telling him how she feels. 

When I picked up Braxton and Adelle they were basically hand in hand. Braxton said it was his best day of school he's ever had and when I asked why he said, "because Adelle was there!" It was the cutest thing. 
Adelle had a fun day. She's a natural. She liked recess the best and kept her shoes on all day (did you notice her socks in the picture). Adelle said she ate lunch with people she didn't know but she said it was fine. She came home singing the songs she learned in class today and she was excited to tell us that she saw the principal two times and she gave him his secret wave and he waved back. 
The principal of this school is incredible. Like super hands on, happy, fun, enthusiastic. He has this secret wave that he showed all the kids and Braxton taught it to Adelle before the Kindergartners even started school so she was all excited to use it today and for him to respond. 

There is something else really special about Adelle's class. Mrs. Hunter was good friends with Tom Hunter. Tom Hunter was a local musician who wrote and performed songs for kids and also a personal friend.
When I was in Kindergarten Tom Hunter came into my class and helped us write our own song. Our song was about banana slugs and I still remember writing and singing that song. I later became friends with his daughter and he continued to be a positive influence in our community. He passed away too young a few years ago and it was sad to me that my kids wouldn't get to see him sing and play his guitar. When I heard Mrs. Hunter play his music during Adelle's class it made me so happy.
When it is time to go to carpet this song comes on.  Listen to it if you have two minutes. It's just the nicest song ever and I love that Adelle was singing it all afternoon today after school.  I love that when I was in Kindergarten I was blessed with good music by such a good man and now Adelle is, in a way, getting that same experience. Music is so important.

I asked Adelle if she was going back to school tomorrow and she said yes so we are in good shape.

Friday, September 6, 2013

like a boss

I guess that's a song, "like a boss?" Probably not a very appropriate one but I have never actually heard it. I just think it's funny when some of the youth say it and so the title of this post is a bit of a mockery. 
It has been explained to me that "like a boss," means; "the man" or something to that affect and I thought the pictures of Braxton depicted that well. 

So...onto this post!

Braxton had a great day of school. He is so awesome and has been so excited for this day to be upon him. He woke up early, showered, got dressed in his old warm ups with holes in the knees.
I was like, "Braxton, you are not wearing those pants to school on the first day!" Crazy boy. They are his favorite pants but for my own reputation I had him put on something less old/used. 
The boy was all excited for new school clothes and then goes and pulls that one ;)

Braxton requested my homemade biscuits for breakfast and raisin bran, his favorite cereal. So that's what we did. Adelle said the breakfast prayer and prayed that Brax would have a good first day all on her own. It was really sweet.
My mom came over in the morning, by inspiration I think, so I could take Braxton to school and Gage could continue in his needed nap!
He walked into school like a champ. Found his seat and his friend Charlie (Charlie was our neighbor when the boys were babies but this is the first class they have ever had together). Gave me a kiss and that was it.

I sent this note in Braxton's lunch box. Lots of inside jokes contained in here that only he would really get but for posterity's sake, there it is.

The kids couldn't wait to pick Braxton up from school. He had a great day. He was so excited to tell me that his teacher's favorite book is Harry Potter. Score. Also, the 3rd graders were out at recess too so that was fun because he has 3rd grade friends. He said he didn't learn anything but that's because it was the first day. Also he was excited because the parents got homework, but not the kids. He loved the note I sent and told me he read it two times because he liked it so much. happy sigh! Berkely (special female friend from last year) got a note from her mom too.
At recess he played with Charlie for a while, then he found Ty and he played with him and then he found Berkely and played with her. Mr. Congeniality I guess.
All and all it was an excellent first day!

I on the other hand felt like I was running a marathon all day yesterday! I got up at 6:30am and all day was non-stop! When my mom came over at 9:00am I was still in my robe.
Gage, my super baby, had decided to cry most the night Tuesday which was totally out of the blue and left me tired on Wednesday morning. I laid him down for his morning nap an hour early at 8:00am so when my mom called at 8:45 and said she could come over it was a huge answer to prayer.
I left the three kids and drove Braxton up to school.
When I got home I got Adelle ready for her Kindergarten Assesment, nursed Gage who had woken up, and then left again to go back to the school for Adelle's appointment.
Adelle did awesome. The teacher said she was so funny how she would do her letters, sounds... and then sporadically comment on how much she liked the teachers outfit/shoes. Funny girl.
When I got home I realized that I hadn't eaten. My mom left and I got the kids lunch (in their lunch boxes because they wanted packed lunches since they saw me pack Braxton's) and then I poached myself an egg and made myself a piece of toast.

Well, here's what happened next. Walking Sprinting to my seat to sit down for my brunch and my egg slides off my toast and lands splat on the ground. I wanted to cry... but instead I got down on my hands and knees and licked it up like a crazy mom/wolverine. Just kidding, instead I took a picture and then cleaned it up.

So that's it I guess. Moral of the story...don't waste your time making yourself something to eat because... splat!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

summer bucket list

I set myself up for success this summer by only putting one item on our bucket list.... to take my kids on a city bus ride!!

Mission accomplished!!

I knew our summer would be busy with camping, the beach, Bryce and Chelsey's wedding, adjusting to Emmett’s glasses, getting Gage on a schedule… so the only other thing I really insisted we do is ride the city bus into Bellingham for a picnic.

I remember riding the city bus as a kid and I always really enjoyed it. Plus, I think there are a lot of teaching opportunities that present themselves when you step out of your box and do something a little different.

So my friend Jama and her crew joined us a couple weeks ago for the big excursion. 

It was awesome!!
The kids were stoked.

The ride was not too long, not too short (thanks to Jama's husbands kind advice).

The people on the bus were nice and friendly.

The bathrooms at the bus station were super nice and easily accessible (much appreciated!!)


I must say though, those bus drivers drive like maniacs. The kids were all excited to not wear a seatbelt and I was holding on for dear life!!

I love how grown up Brax looks in all these pictures. My big 2nd grader looking all old!!

The only bummer part was walking back up to Jama’s after the ride home. Braxton said he didn’t feel so hot and sure enough, he threw up in Jama’s bathroom as soon as we got to her house. Poor guy!! Like I said, the bus drivers were crazy! The back of the bus didn’t agree much with his stomach!!

Ok, school, you can start now. We’ve had a full, full, full of fun, summer!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

the backyard gang


the backyard gang has friends over often and even more often snacks on apples from the neighbors apple tree, yum yum!



the backyard gang gives each other rides in the wagon, around and around and around, fun fun!


the backyard gang hang out together on the hammock reading books or just chilling out, sun sun!

and sometimes napping


(note: this day we were all so tired after vacation and Braxton insisted he didn’t need a nap. Well look where we found him!!)


the backyard gang loves, loves, loves the fresh tomatoes off the vine and knows where to find them, love love!!