December 12, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

Last week the kiddos made gingerbread houses.  Instead of one large gingerbread house, like we usually do, I opted for each kiddo to create their own little gingerbread masterpiece.

I love the determination in each of their faces as they were decorating.  Daniel quickly finished his before I could snap any pics of him, but it was a fun activity enjoyed by all.



December 7, 2011

Thanksgiving in Utah

We travelled to Utah this year for Thanksgiving, to spend time with Dave's parents and siblings. 

We were so lucky to have 18 of the 27 cousins in attendance, and all but one of Dave's brothers (and family) were there.
(We missed you so much Joe & Val!!)

The kiddos spent their days playing with cousins inside (toys, pretend play, and xbox) and outside (on the little jeep, bouncing on the trampoline, or playing at the nearby park).  There was always someone to play with, and something new to do.


For Thanskgiving we had a gigantic delicious feast, and I had so much fun taking pics of the kiddos and cousins digging in.


We headed up north one day to visit Dave's best friend Casey and family, and it was so great seeing and hanging out with them. What a great family they are!!

We finished up our vacation with a drive up to Ephraim canyon so the kiddos could go sledding, and the big boys could take turns taking the 4 wheelers through the mountains covered with snow.


We had such a wonderful week in Utah, and are so grateful for family, and the opportunity to reconnect with everyone.

November 9, 2011

make two challenge

I am curently in the throws of making Christmas gifts for loved ones and friends this year.  I saw this on one of my favorite blogs, and knew I had to take part, and you should too!!

The idea, is to not only make a handmade gift for someone you love, but to make two of that gift, and donate the second to someone in need.

I'm excited to get the kiddos involved with this.  Making gifts for their teachers or friends, and making a second one to donate. 

I'll share later what we made,
what will you make??

November 4, 2011

Seattle's Underground Tour

My parents came to visit a few weeks ago, and their only request was to do the Underground Tour in Seattle.  Having only been here for a year now, I hadn't been, and was eager to check it out for myself.  I love Seattle, there is so much history, and I am kind in love with anything old or nostalgic.  This tour was a perfect blend of all three, because it included a history lesson on how Seattle came to be, tours of some amazing old buildings, and visiting the underground part of Seattle that still exists today. 

To read all about the history of Seattle, and the underground tours, you can go here
below is an exercept from Bill Speidel's Underground Tour website:




November 1, 2011


This year I'm proud to say we only bought one costume.  Natalie wanted to be a girl pirate, so while my Mom was in town a week ago we went fabric shopping, and got all the essentials for her and Josh's costume.  She sewed Natalie's cute little skirt, and vest, and I added all the pink (did I mention that Natalie loves pink!!)

I was on my own for Josh's angry bird costume, and after thinking about it for a week, I just sat down and sewed it.  I wish I would have put the face a little higher, but he was happy with how it turned out, and he loved how warm and fuzzy the fleece was.

Daniel decided to be the Invisible Man, which was great since he already owned everything but the gauze, and bandages.  After rifling through our first aid box, he was good to go.

Caleb chose to be Optimus Prime, and as ambitious as I might be, I wasn't about to tackle that one, so that one came from the store.

We kicked off Halloween with a carnival at church on Saturday.  The carnival was so cute, and the kiddos had a blast.  They threw rubber chickens for treats and toys, pulled slingshots to knock over cans, tricycle races, fishing for treats, threw darts at balloons, had their faces painted, did a cupcake walk, and snacked on pocorn and hot apple cider.  It was perfect for the little ones, as the lines were short and they just hopped from one activity to the next.  They each came home with a bag filled with candy and treats, and it was a great start to our Halloween festivities.

Monday, after parties at school we headed to Daddy's work for some trick o' treat fun.  We hit his building first, and after four floors of candy just set out on chairs down every hallway their candy bags were heavy and up to the top.  After filling our tummies (of real food, not just candy) we decided to pack up and head home. 

Once home we took Josh, Caleb and Natalie through the neighborhood for trick or treating.  Daniel being a little too cool for us went off with a friend, and came home with a bag of full-size candy bars.  After our bags were full, and hands were cold, we decided to call it a night, and came home to hand out candy, and enjoy our treasures.



October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Patch - The Farm

Last week Natalie's preschool class made a fieldtrip to The Farm in Snohomish just down the road from us.  After a week of beautiful sunny skies, that morning it decided to rain, and the poor little kids were drizzled on the entire time.  They visited the farm animals, ran through a hay maze (that was indoors), and then taken to a special patch filled with small pumpkins just their size.  They had their choice of any of them, and Natalie found the perfect one and picked it off the vine before the tractor ride picked us all up to take us back to the entrance. (picture of her and some of her classmates at the end)

After a few days of rain the skies cleared and the entire family decided to visit The Farm to pick pumpkins.  It was such a beautiful crisp fall day.  The kiddos ran through the pumpkin patches looking for the perfect one.   After pumpkins we walked around and looked at the animals, and saw the brand new baby pigs that were born the day before.  We feasted on caramel apples, and cider doughnuts.  With full tummies we finished up, and headed home.  I love fall here!!




October 14, 2011

Daniel's Bed

I made a desk for Daniel awhile ago, and now it was time to give him a matching bed.  I made the headboard using these plans, however I wanted to have a trundle under his bed, and there were no plans for siderails or a footboard, so Daniel's headboard rested against his wall while I figured out how I wanted to do build them. 

I finally decided to just wing it, and here you have the finished product.


I mimicked the design in the headboard for the footboard, and did simple rails with supports made from 2"x6"'s.  I used Rockler side rail fasteners to attach the side rails to the headboard and footboard.
I stained it using Minwax Honey Oak.

For the trundle (not pictured) I used plywood and casters with 1x3's on the edges, stained to match the bed.

I'm so happy with how it all turned out, and Daniel is happy to have a finished bed (me too!!)

October 12, 2011

Girls Weekend

My best friend Trish flew in last weekend, so we could continue in our annual girls weekend getaway, so I bring you..

Tash 'n Trish's Excellent Adventure #3

After picking up Trish from the airport with little miss, we made our way back to my new neighborhood, and stopped to have a screw taken out of my tire (and no, it wasn't one of mine).  We had lunch, and visited Molbaks (think Canterbury Gardens but better) which has all it's beautiful Christmas trees out on display.

We then made our way back to my house to figure out plans for the weekend.  I had been feverishly trying to finish up a few projects (which I'll share tomorrow) and hadn't even made plans for our weekend.  But for two spontaneous girls that isn't really a problem.  Trish threw out the idea of Forks, and doing some Twilight stuff, and had never rode on a ferry.  So we booked a hotel and off we went.  We took the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, and stopped in Port Gamble at Mike's 4 Star BBQ.  It was delicious!! A fun, casual spot where everyone was so friendly.  From there we made our way to Sequim to spend the night.

After a free breakfast (the very best kind) we packed our bags and got in the car to continue on our journey.  Our first stop was Forks, where we visited local "twilight" spots, and had so much fun taking pics, and again meeting the nicest people. 

We then journeyed to the shore, and La Push.  We visited First Beach sprinkled with driftwood, and extremely large trees that had washed ashore, and then farther down to Rialto Beach.  The views were amazing, and the sun peeked through the clouds to make it a truly beautful day.

After the coast we ventured east to Port Angeles.  They just happened to be having their Dungeness Crab Festival that weekend, we stumble on the greatest things!!  We enjoyed the "crab feast", and it was delish.  With full tummies we wandered around Port Angeles.  As the sun was setting on another fun day we boarded the ferry and made our way back to my house for a good nights sleep.

The next day we decided to be really adventurous and head into Seattle for the first annual Geek Girl Con.  We barely got in as they were completely sold out.  We attended a bunch of different panels, met some fun people, and concluded with a sing along of the movie Labyrinth in the EMP Auditiorium. It was classic!! 

Afterwards we filled our tummies at the Old Spaghetti Factory, and even got to sit in the train car.  What a fun day!!

Our last day together was short and sweet, as Trish was catching her plane out that afternoon.  We had a delicious ginormous breakfast at the Maltby Cafe, just around the corner from me.  Then it was time for the airport and to say goodbye to my Trish.  I love our friendship so much, that we can pick up at anytime, and it's exactly how we left it.  What a fun weekend with the bestest friend ever!!

September 23, 2011

spills, fresh produce, and inside projects..

What a crazy week it's been (is it ever not crazy?)

Last Friday I got a call from the health office that Caleb had took a spill at school, and had some awesome road rash on his face and hands.
..Monday another call from the health office but this time Josh had fallen on his back and got the wind knocked out of him.
..Later that same day while watching Josh at soccer practice Natalie slid down the slide only to collide with a little girl sitting on the end.  She used her eye to stop her, and within seconds had a big puffy purple and blue eye.
..not twently minutes later another spill and a big goose egg on her forehead..there were very few tears from either incident, such a toughie!!
I'm hoping we've filled our quota for injuries for awhile (thank goodness they were all minor)

On a happier note, my neighbor does group buys, and I was fortunate enough to be added to the list.  We currently have over 50 lbs of pears waiting to be canned next week, fresh peaches, pears, and apples that we are feasting on daily, and farm fresh eggs.


I currently have five unfinished projects, that I'm hoping to wrap up this weekend.

Here's a little sneak peek...


I've also finished a project!! Woo hoo, yay me right!!

In the den/playroom/computer room/toy room the boys were in desperate need of a desk.  I built these for our last house, but this room was set up differently, and little miss is nipping at their heels to have computer space of her own.  So I decided on a long desk built into the wall.  The plans made a few changes along the way as Dave brought up a need to house components (xbox, kinect, and two computer systems).  So this is the final product..(sorry the pictures aren't that great)


I decided to stain it to match the baseboard, and trim.  It's simple and very functional, and yes there is room for little miss (when daddy gets around to building her a computer too) 

The room is super bare, and I'd love to stay around and decorate it, but remember those other five unfinished projects? Well, they are a little higher on the list right now.  I've put the bookcases that I built in to house the toys, and some seating for movie watching or play, so for now, it's functional..

We've got a busy weekend filled with soccer games, and finishing projects..hope you all have a great weekend.

September 15, 2011

natalie's first day

My little girl turned four last week, and now this week she started preschool, where has the time gone?


This is our first time being away from each other during the days.  Usually she's my little sidekick while the boys are at school.  But, starting this week she spends three days a week at preschool for a few hours each day, and I get a few hours of mommy time (OK so far I have just run errands alone).

Natalie walked into her class, hung up her backpack, and got straight to playing.  She didn't turn around to check to see if I was there, in fact I had to walk up to her and said goodbye. 

I walked to the car with my head held high, and was so proud.  Proud of her independence.  Knowing that the last four years had prepared her for this moment, to let go, and to know that she would shine all on her own.

When we got home after her first day, she said she needed extra cuddle time cause she had been gone for so long, she crawled in my lap and just hugged me forever. (I think I needed it too, and I'm glad she's still little enough to want to cuddle.)

Outside Projects

After much vacationing and playing it was time to work, specifically to work on the house.  We have lists a mile long both inside and out, and Dave was eager to start tackling the outside ones before we head into fall, and start getting some rain.

His first project..tree stump grinding.
The goal was 15 tree stumps in one long weekend (Saturday & Monday)

He rented "stumpy", and a chainsaw, and got too work.

He cleared eight stumps the first day, and another eight the last day (yes, you read that right) he found another stump towards the end of day two bringing the total count to 16 stumps ground down. 



It was hard, hard work, and he did it all by himself (I was inside painting, and keeping the kiddos out of his hair). 

Now that the stumps are clear, we just need to shovel away the trimmings, clear the ever-growing brush, get top-soil delivered, roto-till, and plant grass biggie..

September 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Miss


I can't believe my baby girl is four years old!! (Even though she has been saying she's four for the last six months) it's finally official. 

She's such a cutie, and were so blessed to have her in our family.  She brightens the room with her happy personality, and has brought out a tenderness in the boys that makes my heart smile.  I love her stubborness and independence, because they remind me of me, and her softness and lovingness because they remind me of her daddy.  Her favorite phrase is an exaggerated "I love it!!" which she says to pretty much anything pink, soft, or strawberry. 

For her birthday we had a simple family party at home, with a rainbow theme.  I made a rainbow six layer cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, rainbow balloons, and we had to have a pinata.  She spent about twenty minutes hitting hit it back and forth (yes, that's just a stick from our backyard) before the boys stepped in, and got the job done.

Happy Birthday Little Miss, we're so happy you're ours!!

September 7, 2011

first day of school


Today was the boys first day of school!!

Daniel was up bright and early on his own (he has his own alarm clock now!!), and was dressed and ready by 6:30am.  We had a short little power outage, but he was able to get his lunch made, and have breakfast with time to spare before he caught the bus a little after 7am.  He is super excited to be starting middle school.  He is getting so grown-up (tear).

Josh & Caleb woke after Daniel had left which gave me time to focus on them.  The power was now out completely, but the sun was shining, and thankfully we get a lot of natural light in this house.  They scurried around getting last minute items in their backpacks, and are also super excited to head off to a new school, new teacher, and new friends to be made.  They caught the bus together and away they went. 

There wasn't a nerve in sight this morning, just excitement for a new school year..I can't wait to hear all about all their "first day" when they come home today!!

September 5, 2011

summer vacation in cali - week two

After Half Moon Bay we found our way to Lake Tahoe and our campsites.  We were also informed that we were staying in bear country.  All food and pretty much anything that smelled nice to us that might attract a bear had to be stored in a metal container.  I was glad to have Bailey (dog) with us, but every growl in the pitch dark seemed to make me a little nervous. 

The next day we headed to Gordon & Marcia's condo and spent the day swimming with everyone in the nearby pool.  After dinner and movies we headed back to camp for another nights (restful?) sleep.

Tuesday morning we woke early, and went into town to drop off Bailey (spending time with doggie friends) and have breakfast at IHOP.  Afterwards we met up with everyone at the lake, and decided to rent something for even more fun.  We settled on a sixteen seat pontoon boat with a tube.  After some playing on the beach and lunch in our tummies we boarded the boat, and headed out to the west part of the lake where it was calmer, and not so windy.  The kiddos all took turns riding in the tube, and then the grown-ups got it on the fun.  It was such a beautiful sunny day on the lake, and we all had so much fun.





After saying our goodbyes late Tuesday night, we woke at the crack of dawn, threw the kiddos (still in their jammies) in the truck, and begin our crazy long trip to Escondido.  To avoid traffic we took the 395, and we deemed it the hottest, driest, longest highway ever.  Our stops were short (as they usually are) because it was crazy hot, 110 degrees, yikes!! We arrived safely at Dan & Cindy's and were happy to to be out of the truck.

did you miss week one?? here

September 4, 2011

summer vacation in cali - week one

Over a month ago, we left for our summer vacation in California.  We packed up the kiddos, the tent trailer, and even threw in the dog for good measure. 

We left Tuesday late afternoon and made it to Grants Pass, OR where we spent the night in the oh so glamorous Wal-Mart parking lot with the tent trailer (hey, can't beat free!!)  The next morning we travelled through northern Cali to our destination of Half Moon Bay State Beach.  We set up camp, and were soon joined by Dave's brother Andy, his wife and four kiddos.  We were also met with fog, and some pretty cool temps. 

The next morning we ventured out on the beach for some fun, but the cooler water and air temperatures made it quite short.  We then cleaned up and made a day trip into San Francisco. We had lunch on the wharf, explored the piers, and I took the whole family on a wild goose chase to find the Lucas Arts yoda fountain (I'm sure they were thanking me when we finally found it).  Back to camp for some dinner and s'mores over the campfire.


Friday we ventured south to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.  We walked around, played in the arcade, and got some yummy mexican food for lunch.  On our way back up Highway 1 we stopped at a roadside place to pick strawberries.  A big favorite with little miss, since these are her favorite.  After our tummies were full with sweet berries, we stopped a little further up at Bean Hollow Beach where we jumped on rocks, explored the tide pools, and then played on the beach for awhile longer before heading back to camp.


Saturday found us with much nicer weather.  Before heading to the beach we decide to head into town and visit a few local spots, including the farmers market. We visited Lemos Farm where the kiddos fed baby goats, posed for pictures, and climbed on all the fun stuff.  We then headed to Spanish Town to check out the gigantic steel dinosaurs.  We finished of at the local farmers market where I stocked up on (more) strawberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, and fresh corn for dinner that night.  I love me some fresh produce.



After another full day of exploring and playing on the beach, and it was time to pack up, and make our way to our next destination a few hours away in Lake Tahoe, CA..

August 21, 2011

we're back

Over 3100 miles..
twenty four days..
one family beach camping trip..
two day trips to San Francisco, and Santa Cruz..
more camping in Lake Tahoe..
fun with family, and tubing on Lake Tahoe..
driving down to Southern Cali..
visiting with family, and meeting a new cousin..
spending my 35th birthday with my bestie in San Diego..
five glorious beach trips..
seven crazy days at the pool..
Wild Animal Park..
pot luck with old friends..
dinners with old friends..
extending our stay another week..
realizing how truly blessed we are having such great people in our lives!!
and finally returning home to our new house, and starting projects!!

The pictures (and more details) are on their way, but as we have started our first project on the new house (the playroom) we're furiously working to get it finished as soon as possible..

but so happy to be back!!

July 26, 2011

we're off..

We're on our way for summer vacations...

first...beach camping at half moon bay

followed by...lake tahoe

then... friends and family in san diego

...and orange county.


see ya later alligator..

July 25, 2011

queen bee market

I am so excited that while we are down in Cali visiting our old stomping grounds, friends, and family that the queen bee market will also be in town...and on my birthday. 

What a great birthday present, a day of fun with my bestie!! Especially all the fun birthday presents I will find there!!

So if you're in the San Diego area...

Saturday, August 6th
9:00am - 6:00pm

Bayfront Hilton Hotel
1 Park Boulevard
San Diego, CA
Free Admission!!

July 20, 2011

Chocolate Factory

Tuesday morning we joined some friends for a tour of our local Chocolate Factory at Boehm's Candy.

We donned fancy baker hats, and learned how chocolate goes from tree to tasty treats.  We then listened to how chocolate is melted, mixed, and tempered, and watched as oreos were enrobed in milk chocolate.  We saw chocolates hand rolled and dipped to create the amazing Edelweiss chocolates, and then viewed all the molded chocolates (the microsoft mouse was the kiddos fav). 
We finished with tasty truffle samples, and went on to view the rest of the area where the owner/creator lived and created a chapel, fountains, and refuge...amazing.

Of course we made one last visit to the store to take home some yummy treats to share with daddy.


July 19, 2011

Ensign Ranch

Friday evening we joined some other families from our ward (church) at Ensign Ranch located in Cle Elum, Washington.  We set up camp, and joined everyone for a bonfire and s'mores. 

The next morning we awoke to the sound of rain on our tent.  Thank goodness we put up the rain fly (which has pretty much been un-used up until this point).  After breakfast the kiddos took turns giving/taking rides in the handcarts, and then Dave took the kiddos on a hike while I chatted with friends.

We then packed everyone up and drove towards the entrance (this place is huge..325 acres) and the kiddos all took turns riding the horses, a first experience for all of them.


Then we changed into swimsuits (except Natalie who is always prepared) and went tubing.  The kiddos had so much fun, and I love all these great expressions!!


After tubing, we took out two canoes (you can guess who did all the work..mommy and daddy), and finished up our wonderful weekend at the ranch.

The kiddos can't wait to go back, and we look forward to an even longer camping adventure there next time.

July 14, 2011

Daniel's Desk

Well, now that you've heard our exciting news (our new house) you may understand what has kept me away. 

I've also been super busy with projects to fill the new house.  First up was to build a desk for Daniel, now that he would have his very own room.  I chose the Brookstone Desk and Hutch, and found the plans on the ever talented ana white website.  Plans can be found here.

I chose to stain it using Minwax Honey Oak, and I love the look and feel of it.  I'd like to put cork board on the back of the hutch, but that will have to be a project for another day.  Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the matching Brookstone Bed.


July 13, 2011

Our house


Our dream is finally a reality!!

On July 5th it became official, and we are the proud owners of our very first home.

I guess good things come to those who wait (13 1/2 years!!) Because it is beautiful and brand spanking new.

We've spent the last 12 days moving everything our of our rental in Bellevue to our new home in Snohomish, just the two of us.  We weren't planning to move in so quickly, but our builder gave us permission, and so we quickly rented a small trailer, and began moving over 4th of July weekend.  It was so last minute, and a holiday weekend, that we just busted it out ourselves, and were pretty impressed with how much we got done in just a few short days.

Our bodies are tired, but our hearts are full.  We are so blessed, and  so excited for this next adventure, and to make our new house a home.

(sorry the pic isn't that great, I took it with my camera phone!!)

July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday America

Wishing everyone a wonderful 4th of July.  Filled with fun, family, and fireworks!!

June 17, 2011

Final Day of School

As I mentioned in previous posts, these last few weeks have been filled with so many fun activities highliting the boy's accomplishments over the last year. 

On their final day of school they had an all school assembly.  The room was packed, with standing room only.  The fifth graders were at the back room facing front (sitting on chairs, cause they are special), then were the 4th graders, followed by each grade in front of them, with the kindergartners at the front of the room.  

Each grade did a special musical number ranging from singing, to line dancing, to a tagolic drum number, and they were all really good!!

The principal gave a wonderful address to the kids, and then special tributes were made to teachers retiring or leaving.

Then each grade from 4th grade on, stood up and was formally graduated to the next class.  It was so fun to watch them cheer each other on. 

Finally they made a path in the middle of the room, and the teachers came together.  All the 5th graders walked through and graduated on to middle school, while all the other students sang to them.  It ended with applause.

We have had an amazing experience at this school, and feel so blessed for the opportunity to be here.  They've had some great teachers which have made a great impact on my boys.  What a terrific school year we had!!

**Below is a video of the 5th graders, if you want to fast forward to see Daniel, he is right after the 2 minute mark.  He's officially in middle school now!!

June 16, 2011

Long Beach

On Saturday morning we woke up, had breakfast, threw the kiddos and Bailey (the dog) and any other needed items in to the truck and started off our journey to Long Beach, WA. 

For lunch we had yummy fish 'n chips, and then we drove into town.  The downtown streets were crowded with tourists, so we drove a little north to the next "beach access" sign.  We made a left, turned on the 4 wheel drive, and drove onto the beach to find the perfect spot.  We passed a few groups and then we saw lots of empty space.  Perfect!!

It was a beautiful warm sunny day, with plenty of wind, perfect for kite flying.  Two kites immediately flew into the air, and because there was so much wind, even the little ones got in on the action.  Then came frisbies, soccer balls, and volleyballs.  Daddy and the kiddos built forts, and then we dug a hole in the sand and started a fire.  Hot dogs and s'mores were on the menu.  With full tummies, worn out kiddos, and a worn out puppy dog, we packed up and drove home.

It was a beautiful fun family day at the beach.



The drive home was great!!  Dave and I spent almost the entire time talking to our almost middle schooler about what was ahead of him this next year.  It was such an open conversation, and we discussed especially how important it was to be "in the world, but not of the world".  I know that he is ready for the challenges ahead of him, and I am so proud of the young man he is becoming.

June 15, 2011

Caleb's Father's Day Performance

Last Friday all the Dad''s were invited in for a special Father's Day Performance.  They were first sung to by Caleb's Kindergarten class, then the were given handmade treats, and finally tasty treats to snack on.  They finished with recess with the Dad's.  Dave loved hanging out with his little guy, and Caleb was absolutely beaming when he told me all about it.


June 14, 2011

Lunch Money

These last few weeks of school have been filled with art shows, class performances, parties at nearby parks, and awards presentations.


Below is a clip from Josh's 2nd grade Poetry performance.  The title is Lunch Money (you may have to crank the volume a bit).  They each had to memorize, and recite a poem that had to do with school.

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