Sunday, December 27, 2009


...sounds so much older than I actually feel. I guess that's good, right?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

wonderful advent!

Advent has been great this year! (Amazing what a little planning can do.) Our Sunday evening family devotions with the advent candles have been wonderful. The big kids were very attentive and we loved hearing their input! We're learning a lot together and focusing on the real meaning of this season.

Our daily advent surprises have also been very fun. The kids love pulling out the card that tells our surprise for the day each morning. I remember my mom doing this with us and it was a holiday highlight. Here's a recap of what we've done:
1. Get out all advent calendars/Make a paper chain countdown
2. Make Christmas-decorated rice krispie treats
3. Make paper snowmen for dining room tree
4. Make a list of all the ways we can GIVE this season
5. Gingerbread houses at cruise terminal
6. Aune Brunch
7. Watch new Christmas movie in sleeping bags under the tree
8. Play Christmas tic-tac-toe
9. Have friends over to play
10. Decorate our own gingerbread house
11. Make snowflakes for the windows
12. Meet firetruck santa and give food for food bank
13. Christmas play at church/Drive James Street looking at lights
14. Listen to audio CD of a new Christmas story
15. Pictures with mall santa/Gifts for giving tree/Caroling at convalescent center
16. Play with friends/Make peanut butter cookies
17. Decorate Christmas cards
18. Make haystacks
19. Make sugar cookies
20. Wrap gifts for one another
21. Decorate sugar cookies
22. Deliver cookie plates
23. Uncle Luke up for a visit!
24. Thompson party
25. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

try, try, and try again

Our Christmas cards have finally gone out. I knew it would not be easy getting a picture of three active kids that is Christmas-card-worthy...but I didn't quite think it would be as hard as it was! We literally took over 50 pictures. I thought you'd enjoy some of the ones that didn't make the cut...


Saturday, December 19, 2009

today has been...

...baking up a storm shopping
...mailing Christmas cards
...wrapping presents
...preparing gifts for Sunday School teachers
...sewing a little something for the stockings

But at the end of today I will feel much more prepared for the big day!

Friday, December 18, 2009

television viewing

My children rarely watch television (and never cable - just dvd's). They don't often ask to watch anything but when they do I just tell them that we don't watch tv because it sucks the energy right out of you.

Last night Audrey asked if they could watch a short dvd before bed. I said maybe. She replied, "Well it's the perfect thing to do before bed. It'll suck the energy right out of us and we'll be all ready to go to sleep." Hmmm - can't argue with that!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

6:58 pm. All three kids in bed. All by myself since Dad's still at work. I think that's some kind of record. Yep - it was a long afternoon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009


We had such a fun weekend I hardly know where to start. But first let me say - our prayers for health were answered! We've all been passing around various illnesses over the past few weeks and we'd been praying for health since we had so many fun things planned for the weekend. Patrick still had some lingering sinus pain, but other than that, we're all doing great. AMEN!

Our local fire department has a great program they do each year. They go around in the neighborhoods with sirens blaring and lights flashing and stop at various locations. One of them is dressed as santa and they set up a quick area for kids to meet with him. Firemen are mingling around and handing out hot cider and candy canes. The kids get to climb in the firetrucks and have their pictures taken. And the best part is that it's all for a good cause! The families who come to see them bring bags of food for the food bank which the firefighters collect and deliver. It's something we look forward to each year! (Too cold for Ethan, though!)

Then the kids had their big Christmas program at church on Sunday. Audrey had a speaking part and had all her lines memorized. And Liam was the cutest little lamb you've ever seen! They both did great!

Then while we were in church this morning, it started snowing! We came home to a winter wonderland. Everyone in our house is hoping it continues tomorrow (except Dad!).

And last but not least - Ethan finally got his car seat turned around today. He's no longer riding backward. He seemed a little freaked at first, but then liked it. We drove around looking at Christmas lights tonight for his maiden voyage.

After dinner we lit our third Advent candle and talked about JOY. What a perfect way to end a wonderful, joyful weekend!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

gingerbread houses

Last weekend we went and looked at some amazing gingerbread houses that other people had created.

And today we decorated our own! Our neighbor makes the gingerbread pieces from scratch each year and gives them to us to put together. So much fun! Thanks Stephanie!

Monday, December 7, 2009

my hero

It is 21 degrees outside right now. Some days I am jealous that my husband gets to work outside. Today is not one of them. Thanks for working so hard for us, honey!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

another great deal!

My mom got Audrey this super cute dress and leggings outfit from Lands End and Audrey loves it. Wants to wear it all the time! But she didn't have any shoes that went with it very well. So she and I went shopping for some boots that would be warm and comfortable, but also cute with a dress. After looking at a couple of other places, we found these gems at Kohl's. With a price tag of $49.99. Who on earth pays that much for kids shoes??? Anyway - as I was about to move on, I saw a sale tag on them for $15.99. Now we're talking. AND I had a $10 off coupon. These adorable boots that she loves were $5.99. I love a good deal! And it was so fun to teach my daughter what a thrill bargain hunting can be!

**The boots are not dirty, by the way - it's not a great picture and that's just how the suede showed up.**

Thursday, December 3, 2009

coffee woes

My dear husband enjoys coffee. A lot. A couple of months ago he bought a french press and has used it daily ever since. And loves it! I found out last night (thanks Jen!) that coffee that is not filtered can raise your cholesterol. What?? I came home and checked it out online and sure enough - it can raise it by as much as 10%. Oh my goodness. How did we not know this?? I passed on the devastating news and broke my hubby's heart. But he took it well. And got out the good old Krups coffee pot. From now on the french press will be an occasional treat - not an every day indulgence.

Today I'm thankful for a husband who takes good care of himself and his heart so he can be around for a LONG time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

math for today

one week of vacation = one week of sick kids

The big kids have sniffles, sore throats and "plugged" ears. Ethan has all the above and two ear infections and his newly-diagnosed asthma has flared up again. Poor guy. He's been to the doctor twice this week and is on lots of meds.

I'm sad that we're missing out on being outdoors and enjoying this beautiful sunshine - but so thankful for the holiday season and Christmas music and our daily advent surprises. Just made Christmas-decorated rice krispie treats for today. Yum!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


So for the first time ever - I finally feel ready for advent. Thanks to my friend and neighbor who got me thinking about it early and shared her great ideas - and my mother who either purchased or creatively prepared most of what I'm using - I am ready.

I have a tendency to become so obsessed with crossing things off my to-do list that I miss the "moments." I'm determined to not let that happen this year. We are going to slow down our school schedule for the month so we have plenty of time to read, relax, enjoy, and reflect on the season. Each morning we'll do a Christmas devotion and open one of our boxes for the day which contains a special activity. Our theme for the month is "giving" and I'm encouraging the kids to think of creative ways we can give. And every Sunday night we get to light an advent candle and do a family devotion focused on Hope, Love, Joy and Peace.

My goal is to be intentional. About our time and our focus. And to celebrate the greatest gift this world has ever been given!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Isn't vacation just a totally different experience once you become a parent?? It's not exactly restful since all the same care has to be provided in an environment that is not quiet as convenient as your own home. Kids don't sleep or eat as well. And we are super busy so everyone is pretty much exhausted.

Yet in spite of all that, we just got back from another wonderful week in Chelan. We were treated to snow on the top of the pass. We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas and Patrick's birthday. We saw a great fireworks show and ate tons of delicious food. We took several family walks around Riverfront. We spent lots of time with our extended families. And we were spoiled rotten by the best hosts in the world.

Oh - and we also had one child vomit on the car ride over, another child wake with a fever in the middle of the night, we had to come home earlier than we planned, we lost one beloved hat in the middle of the lake, and we all came home with varying degrees of the sniffles.

See what I mean? It's just different. But with the highs and the lows - it was still a wonderful week. We are so thankful for our families and the blessing of being able to vacation in a great place. And...we are glad to be home.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

have i mentioned lately... much I love my Mom? She came over last weekend to visit us. She drove over a very snowy pass to get here. She loved on my family all weekend. Her presence in our home is both exciting and calming. She helps out in so many ways. She encourages me in my mothering. I wish more than anything that she lived closer. We're so blessed to be able to call her "ours". Thanks Mom! We love you!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

birthday fun

To celebrate Liam's fifth birthday, we picked up a couple of his best friends and headed to Jump Around Fun Zone and then to Red Robin. It was a fun afternoon with some fun, crazy boys!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Liam!

Liam Merlie Oscarson 11/7/04

You were coming soon. That much we knew. We just didn't know when. On Saturday, Nov. 6 I was feeling pretty good. Nana called in the morning and said she was going to head on over, just in case. I told her I didn't think that was necessary - I was really feeling fine. She insisted. Later in the afternoon I started feeling a bit uncomfortable. Nana and Dad knew what was happening. I, however, was in denial. I really wanted to be there to put Audrey to bed before we went to the hospital. But as things progressed, I finally agreed it was time to go. I checked in at the front desk, stepped inside the main door, and my water broke. Everywhere. I was mortified and started crying. The nurses got me cleaned up and into a room. I was elated to find out that I was already 6cm! Woo-hoo. I requested an epidural immediately.

Around 11pm that night, things started getting a bit weird. I was not dilating anymore. I was having some bleeding. And your heartbeat was doing some strange things. They got me on some Pitocin to get things going again. After many long hours it worked and I was at 10cm. But when I started pushing - your heart rate plummeted. Nurses would run into the room. They'd have me get up on my hands and knees and your heart rate would look better. We tried pushing just a couple times but at around 5:30am the decision was made that I needed a c-section. Things started happening very quickly all around me. Then out of the room we ran. I cried all the way to the operating room. I was scared for both of us and this was not at all what I had planned (and you and I both know how much I like a good plan!).

But at 5:57am - you were born. How I loved hearing those first cries. I could tell you were strong and healthy. Daddy got to hold you right away - I had to wait a little while. But you were so worth the wait. My precious son. And once you were in my arms, you didn't want to leave again. You pretty much stayed in bed with me the whole time we were in the hospital. We tried putting you in the nursery once so I could get some rest. But just as I was nodding off - a nurse brought you back - screaming - and told me they couldn't get you to calm down. They placed you down next to me and you fell asleep.

I love telling the story of how you were named. During the whole time I was in labor, several nurses were in and out. The first one asked if we knew what we were having. We said a boy. She asked what we would name you. We said we weren't sure. Our list included Jacob, Caleb, Lucas and Liam. "Oh, I love the name Liam. It's my husband's name." Hmmm. Ok. Next nurse comes in. Same questions from her. Same responses from us. "Oh, I love the name Liam", she says. "When I had my baby 20 years ago they told me it was a boy and we were going to name him Liam. We were surprised when out came a girl. But I've always loved that name." Hmmmm. Ok. THIRD nurse comes in. Same conversation. "Oh, I love the name Liam. I have a nephew named Liam. It's a great name" Hmmm. Ok. So when I was in the recovery room after the c-section, Daddy carried you in and suggested we name you. I said, "Ok, what do you want to name him?" Daddy said, "Well I think his name is Liam." "I think you're right." We felt like God had been whispering to us throughout that very long night, "His name is Liam. His name is Liam."

So there you go my big five-year-old boy. Your birth was crazy, exciting, scary, and so very worth it all. We love you so much. You add life and spunk and joyful noise to this home of ours and we wouldn't trade you for the world. We love watching you grow. But if you could slow down that growing up just a little, that would be great! Love you, my dear!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

fall soccer

Audrey has her last soccer game this Saturday. It's been a cold, rainy season but she has had a ball nonetheless. Her soccer pizza party was last night and one of the mothers made necklaces for each of the girls. So thoughtful. We've really been blessed with a neat group of families this season.