Tuesday, December 30, 2008

post-christmas cleaning

I enjoy decorating for Christmas - but I LOVE undecorating. Christmas decorations are beautiful and warm...and cluttery and messy. So I spent this morning putting everything away and cleaning as I went. Plus I'm throwing tons of stuff away - I got the urge to clean out some kitchen drawers (I found the candles, Mom!) and my under-the-stairs closet. Feels great! But is there almost an echo in my house by the absence of Christmas clutter??

Monday, December 29, 2008

nana and papa visit!

What a treat! Nana and Papa came for a visit this weekend. My Mom braved the snowy passes and took the bus over on Saturday - which just happened to be my 35th birthday. I couldn't ask for a better present. I love my Mom's company. It's such a blessing that after all she and I went through during my teen years we are such great friends now. My Dad drove over on Sunday. They stayed at a hotel with an indoor pool so Audrey and Liam got to go swimming with Papa this morning. They left today to go visit Luke and Jee Young. The good-bye part is always a bummer. So grateful for parents who love me and my husband and my kids so much.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful Christmas we had. It was just the five of us, thankful to spend the day together as a family. The kids actually slept in until 7:00 (on my!) and then they opened stockings. We had a nice breakfast together of our favorite sweet rolls, eggs, sausage, and blueberries. Then the kids opened their presents under the tree. It was my idea of perfect present-opening. Nice and slow. They'd open a game and want to play it right away. Then Audrey opened a necklace-making kit and stopped to make one. Liam opened a dinosaur skeleton and wanted Dad to help him put it together right away. Ethan even got in on the action. So it was very nice. Then I took the big kids up to the school to sled. Very fun! They were quite adventurous on the big hill with a jump someone had made in the middle of it. Then we came home and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and ate the cake we'd made the day before (don't laugh at my cake decorating inability!!). Then Patrick took them out back to make a snow fort. We had a nice dinner together and then the kids watched Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer before bed.

We're still getting used to spending Christmas in Bellingham rather than Chelan. It's been fun to form family traditions of our own. I had a couple moments of wishing I was with my "big" family - the noise, the bustle, the laughs with siblings...the food made by Mom!! - but for the most part - I was quite content to be home.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

snow days continue

More snow! This is almost unheard of for Bellingham. But the kids are loving it. They played in the snow and did some sledding on the little hill in our backyard. Then built a snowman (pretty good for all by themselves!). Then came in for hot chocolate and cookies by the fire (as requested by Audrey). Fun morning. Patrick is working today - of course. I'm praying for a shorter day (he's been home at 9:30pm the past several days) so we can go to the 6:00 Christmas Eve service at church. We'll see!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I just started letting Ethan play w/ a bottle of water. He doesn't actually drink it. He just chews on the nipple (I think he's teething!) and lets the water run down his chin. But he's already quite good w/ it. I just set it on his tray, he picks it up with both hands and puts it right in his mouth!

Friday, December 19, 2008

day six

Today is day six - at home with the kids. I'm tempted to complain - but instead I thought I'd do a list of all the GOOD things about being at home for six straight days with two preschoolers and one baby.

1. We're not out there catching any more germs to make us sick.
2. I've had time to exercise every day - either pilates or the elliptical or both.
3. I'm not spending any money.
4. We're becoming experts at the game of Life. Audrey is even our "banker" now - great math practice.
5. The snow is beautiful - when you get to admire it from indoors.
6. I'm mostly caught up on laundry and housework.
7. Audrey and I have had lots of time to do schoolwork.
8. Ethan's on a great nap/bed schedule. No pesky outings to interrupt!
9. I'm actually excited to go to the mall and do grocery shopping tomorrow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ups man

Would you open your door for this guy?? You'd better - he might have a Christmas package you're waiting for!! Patrick is all bundled up for his long days in the snow and wind.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

thanks for the reminder, Liam!

Mom - "Man it's snowing hard out there today."
Liam - "Thank you God for our nice warm house."

few minutes later as he's eating his lunch...

"Yes, Liam?"
"I love today."
"Me too, Liam."

snowed in

The kids and I are on Day 4 at home - so I'd say we're officially snowed in...and going a little crazy. They're predicting it will snow more today and tomorrow so this will likely continue through the rest of the week. We live on an icy hill with just one 4-wheel-drive car which Patrick needs to take to work, so here we are. Oh, and did I mention that the kids all have colds so we can't even play in the snow? Liam has had croup the last few nights. He's handling it well but I'm still wide awake every time I hear that barking cough. Ethan is experiencing his first cold and is not comfortable, as evidenced by his SIX night wakings the last two nights. I feel like I have a newborn, just with no adult help during the day and no chance of a nap in sight. Oh, and last night I started feeling that familiar tickle in my throat. Guess I've been coughed on one too many times.
Yes, I'm complaining. I'm tired and grumpy and getting a cold. What I wouldn't give for a sick day. It's been almost 6 years since I've had one but I remember it well. Snuggled up on the couch in front of the TV drifting in and out of sleep all day. Ahhhh.

UPDATE - 30 minutes later....what am I complaining about? The kids were thrilled when I told them preschool was cancelled and we get another day at home. They're up in Liam's room right now playing checkers and listening to Christmas music. Ethan just woke up with a big smile on his face, in spite of the dried snot under his nose. So if they're all so happy, what am I complaining about? God has promised to give me strength for each day - so I'll rest on that promise and take on another day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

pretty in pink

Cannot imagine my world without this precious girl.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas #2 and a great snow day

We celebrated our second Christmas on Saturday w/ Gramdma and Grandpa (Oscarson). They came over here and we had a great time. Then on Sunday it finally snowed - and was so cold and windy that they actually cancelled church. Audrey's Sunday School teacher called with the news so we stayed in our PJ's and had a snow day. Gingerbread house, Chex mix, football, playing in the snow, sugar cookies, another family game of Life and lots of Christmas music! Can't think of a better way to spend the day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's amazing how my fantasies have been altered by age and motherhood. My fantasy today? Ten uninterrupted hours to clean and organize my house. Cleaning in bits and pieces takes twice as long and is not nearly as satisfying. I just got the bathrooms done while Ethan napped, and the playroom has been destroyed by the big kids. On the other hand, I'm sure someday down the road when I have a clean, quiet home and more interesting fantasies - I'll miss these days of noise and chaos. So perhaps I'll just choose to enjoy today. I won't stop cleaning (my in-laws arrive tomorrow!) but I'll not get so bothered by the mess.

Monday, December 8, 2008

visit to santa

This morning we made our annual visit to Santa. Big kids had a ball. Ethan's scream was heard all the way to the food court. But it'll be a memorable picture. After I removed Ethan, the kids had fun sharing their letters with Santa.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

fun christmas weekend

We're getting the season off to a great start with a fun, busy family weekend. Saturday morning we each went on "dates" with the kids - something we try to do as often as possible. Patrick and Liam went to the Rocket, their favorite bakery and then did some Christmas shopping. Audrey and I then went to a craft fair and to the Grace Cafe for a yummy treat. Then all off to Haggen where they had an area set up for making gingerbread houses. I was a little sicked out by the germ factor, but the kids were quite content to make the houses and not eat them! Then we decorated our tree in the afternoon which was very fun. It's in the playroom this year since the big kids are old enough to not hurt it and Ethan is not yet moving that much! Next year will be a different story, I'm sure. After dinner and bath we piled into the car - kids in jammies - and looked at Christmas lights. This morning we had church and Audrey had play practice for the Christmas recital next weekend. She's VERY excited. We're even thinking we need to break down and buy a camcorder for the occassion. We'll see. Wrong time of year to be spending money...so we'll see. Patrick put up more outside lights and did some household stuff this afternoon and we played a family game of Life. Busy, fun, productive. Restful - no - but we can sleep in January!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

that's my guy

My wonderful husband, Patrick, just celebrated his birthday this past week. He is now 38 years old. He's the backbone of our family and I realized I haven't written very much about him. I'm amazed at the fact that such an amazing man chose me to be his wife. I'm not the easiest person to live with (as my siblings know!) but he patiently just accepts me. He works extremely hard so I can stay at home with our kids. He supports me 100% in my job as wife, mom and homeschooling teacher. He is the most faithful, selfless man I've ever met. He sacrifices daily for his family and hardly ever complains. He is the spiritual leader of this family and leads us to church and in prayer and in teaching our children about their Creator. He loves us unconditionally and we are so blessed to have him. So happy birthday honey! May God grant us many more years together!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

'tis the season!

The "official" Christmas season is finally here! We've been playing Christmas music around the house for several weeks now so we feel like everyone else has finally caught up. Patrick got our outside lights up yesterday. Yippee!! Next weekend - the tree. And my favorite radio station is already playing Christmas music 24 hours a day! What could be better??