September 30, 2010


It's October, and I officially have permission to pull out the Halloween decorations.  I look forward to silly witch crafts, scary monster cupcakes, pipe cleaner spiders, and baking lots of pumpkin muffins, cookies, pies, and bread.

31 days of spooktacular fun at our house...

Check back and see what we do today, on this first day of October!!

September 29, 2010

Banana Bread

One thing  I've learned since living in the Pacific Northwest is that fruit seems to ripen very quickly.  Bananas especially!! I've been busy keeping the kiddos filled with potassium, but those bananas just go too fast.  So with the lovely cooler weather, I've been baking, baking, baking.

This is one of my favorite recipes for banana if you've got extra bananas, give it a try!!

Classic Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. (recipe from Our Best Bites)


September 28, 2010

Natalie in gymanastics


Since It's just me and Natalie while the boys are at school, I thought it would be fun for her to have something of her own to do.

Since she is a crazy little monkey at the playground, it seemed only logical to try gymnastics first. It's a fun little class with three other 3 year old little girls. They do obstacle courses, trampoline, bar and beam work, rope swing, and lots of exercises in paying attention, and following directions. Natalie's still working on the last part, she is a free spirit (imp) after all!!

She has so much fun, and after each class she runs to me exclaiming, "I won, I won", and it's always great to hear, "I love my 'nastics mommy"

Table & Benches


She's Finished!! I only say she because she was quilt difficult.  She required many many coats of paint, followed by much sanding, mostly because every time I brought her out to finish her it would start to drizzle, or rain, and that was when we were living in California, in the summer!!

I bought the table from a friend two years ago, and it was stained a pretty honey color.  I loved the rustic feel, and the sheer size amazed me (it's actually missing a leaf in the above pic).  But some wood beetles had left their mark, and lots of kids crafts had shown their love.  I decided to paint her a pretty white, and sand it to be more of a farmhouse table. I only had a few chairs, so I decided to build benches.  I found the instructions here, and I love how they add to the rustic appeal.  I still need to add another coat of paint, and some sanding to the chairs which will go on either end, but I'm so pleased with the results. 



September 27, 2010

Granparents Visit and the Fair

We've been busy visiting with the in-laws (aka Gordon & Marcia) this last week. They flew in last Saturday, and got quickly to work.  We accomplished so much!!  Lots of boxes unpacked, racks assembled, things moved around, and an almost empty and completely usable garage.

Wednesday afternoon, we took a break from all the busyness and headed to the Puyallup (pew-allup) Fair.  I was expecting a small county fair, but this was huge!! It far surpassed the Del M@r Fair in size (or SD County F@ir to be correct), there were so many people, and so many many rides.  We visited the exhibition booths, ate yummy food, ate too many nummy desserts, and Natalie was able to snap a pic with one of her favorite guys..Diego, from Nickel0deon Show, Go Diego Go. 

It was so fun to have Grandpa & Grandpa walk the kiddos out to the bus stop, and talk about their days at school.  We had a great visit with them, and are so so grateful for all their help.

grandpa & caleb walking to the fair entrance

josh checking out the award winning 500lb pumpkin

caleb practicing his milking skills

the whole fam

natalie and diego (she was so excited!!)

September 15, 2010

children's museum

When checking out the area online I found this amazing children's museum only 10 minutes away from us.  I knew we had to check it out once we got here.  Turns out that membership for a year is really practical, and Dave even gets a discount through work.  So I can take the kiddos anytime, plus we get two extra guests with each visit.

Last Saturday we took all the kiddos, and even though it was quite busy, there was something for everyone.

The boys had fun in the waterways area, where you can play with water in different ways.  Natalie loved the treehouse and backyard areas which are more suited for younger ages.  They all loved the garage area filled with fun air suction tubes, gears, garage band instruments, and a giant semi truck that you can sit in.

And I love that it is so close, and so much to do, so that each visit is different..

IMG_3311 IMG_3308 IMG_3302 IMG_3326 IMG_3342 IMG_3340

September 10, 2010

My Baby Girl is 3!!

For Natalie's birthday (which just happened to be Labor Day as well) we enoyed a wonderful hike with the family, followed by a nummy lunch at Red Robin (the kid's choice).  Natalie was most delighted when they brought out the sundae, and not one but two balloons in her favorite colors, pink and purple.

bday lunch collage

After lunch we mosied our way back home after making a few birthday pit stops (ice cream cake, favors) and played at home with one of Natalie's new toys, her scooter (which is really really pink), and yes she's riding it in the house :)

bday scooter collage

Then came ice cream cake for dessert, do you like how we had to change into our pretty fairy costume for cake?!

bday cake

September 7, 2010

Labor Day Hike

Labor Day morning we ventured out to a nearby park about ten minutes from our home.  Hoping to get some fresh air, some exercise, and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us in this new place. 








September 4, 2010

First Day of School

Tuesday morning was the first day of school for Daniel & Josh.  They were up bright and early, dressed and ready to go hours ahead of time (it could be that they were used to leaving the house at 7:30am, and now the bus picks up at 8:35am)

Daniel, my big 5th grader

Joshua, my adorable 2nd grader

They had a great first day of school, and a bunch of firsts for both of them..
- first time riding the bus to and from school (that wasn't for a fieldtrip)
- first time having an all indoor school (the gym is inside and has a climbing rock wall, very cool)
- first time having a classroom upstairs (guess, that's part of the indoor school thing)
- first time not knowing anyone in their classes (but they've already made some friends!)

Caleb's first official day of Kindergarten was on Thursday.  They have a smaller bus, that picks up the kindergarteners, but he comes home on the big bus with his brothers.

Caleb, my cute kindergartener.

Did I mention that the bus stop is right across from our house.  I guess in the past it has been down a few streets, but since I was adding three boys to the count they moved up to our street, and I can look out my front window, and see when the bus comes.

As we waiting for the kindergarten bus to come (oh, he has afternoon kindergarten) he met a friend, and his little sister that is Natalie's age.  They were both so cute, and decided to be buddies for the day.


Caleb getting on the bus!!

The bus driving away with my little guy..(this is our street, isn't it beautiful?)

After the bus left, I drove to the school to see them get off the bus, and meet the teacher for the first time.  Caleb took one look at me, and was so annoyed that I was there.  Kind of like "I already said goodbye, why are you back?" I have to say it was kind of comforting.  Out of all my boys I was most worried about him, but he did great, and was so so ready for this.

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School has started, let the fun begin!!

September 1, 2010

We're here!!

We're here, we made it!!

  • To summarize, we had the most amazing guys from our ward show up Saturday morning to load the truck.  I spent sleepless night agonizing over if everything would fit, and worrying because my expert packer (Dave) was off the job.  They spent almost three hours, and used every nook and cranny, and we even packed in our trampoline, play structure, and motorcycle, and there was still room!! I seriously start to tear up thinking of their generosity.  We are so blessed by their service, and promise promise to pay it forward!!
  • Dave's best friend, and my childhood friend Casey flew in that morning to help us on our drive to WA. He is so awesome to do this!!
  • That afternoon my best friend Trish came over to say goodbye.  We talked, and laughed, picked up lunch at my favorite mexican place, and then said our goodbyes.  I love her so much, she is seriously the best!!
  • We blew up the air mattresses and said our goodnights, just the final push that morning to get all the "little" stuff packed.
  • Woke up around 2am with serious nausea and stomach cramps.  After my stomach was emptied several times, I think it was determined to be the guacamole, from that favorite little mexican place.  Food poisoning sucks!!
  • Sunday was awful.  Between Dave being weak and tired, and me running into the bathroom every five minutes, what should have taken 2 hours took 6!! We got off around 2pm, much later than planned, but left the house empty, and our cars full.
  • Awesome Casey bounced back and forth between the two cars, and by that night I was feeling much better. We did 7 hours of driving.
  • Monday morning we were up bright and early, the last leg.  As we entered Oregon it started raining, and it was our welcome to the Pacfic Northwest
  • We arrived at our new home around 7:30pm, after 10 hours of drving, a few potty breaks, and some driver switches.
  •  We spent a chilly night on our air mattresses (our oil heater was out of oil) and the boys were up bright and early for their first day of school (will post about that later)
  • Success!! Now we just wait for the moving truck to arrive and spend this next week unpacking..
I can't belive how beautiful it is here, and the kids absolutely love it!! The pine trees that surround the house are so old, and tower almost three times above the height of the house.  And when it rains, it smells so divine!!

(more on first day of school later..)
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