Friday, May 22, 2009

May Memories

Washing Daddy's motorcycle

Ben thought he'd be helpful and wash Aaron's motorcycle. I saw him outside with the hose and a bucket of soapy water spraying it down and lathering up the sponge. When I went outside to snap a picture of him he was at the height of his cuteness with his rubber boots and wet blue jeans smiling from ear to ear. A few days later Aaron was in the garage and tried to start up the bike. After wondering why it was running so sluggish, he revved it up and about a gallons worth of water sprayed out from the exhaust pipes. After questioning Ben he reluctantly admitted to spraying the hose water directly into the exhaust pipes.

"Mommy, will you marry me?"

Over Memorial Day weekend I was in the office trying to catch up on my blogging while the kids were outside playing. Later on that afternoon all three boys came in the house and marched into the office with their hands behind their backs. Then all at the same time they held out their hand picked bouquets and shouted in chorus,...."Mommy, will you marry me!?" I love my sweet little boys.

Father/ Son Canoe trip to Blake Island

Aaron had a fun outing with the boys on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. He borrowed a friends canoe and put it in just down the road by the Southworth ferry. He paddled across the water over to Blake Island where they camped for the night and stayed the next day hiking and exploring the island. Their campsite right on the water had an amazing view of Mt. Rainier. Lauren and I stayed behind and had a girls night at home. I'm so glad that he takes the boys out on these outings. Any chance he gets he takes them on little overnighter trips. I really do feel so blessed that my children have such a wonderful Father that genuinely enjoys spending time with his kids. I told him that next time though he was going to have to find another canoe because I want to come too!
Their campsite on the island. (Yes he paddled that canoe across the strait all by himself)

(The view of Mt. Rainier at sunset from their campsite)

Jacob's Diabetes Walk/Run

Jacob was very excited to participate in his school's Diabetes walk/Run. I happened to be volunteering that day at the school so I got to see this little guy running his heart out. They had the upper field coned off and all the kids ran or walked laps around the field. Every time they completed a lap they got a punch on their card. 40 laps around the field equaled 10 miles. Jacob ran every lap and over the course of the two days had his whole card punched equaling a total of 10 miles. He was very proud of himself for being the only First grader to have his entire card punched. The next day when he came downstairs for breakfast he was walking a little funny. "Mommy, my legs are kind of sore this morning," he said. I wonder why you silly boy!

Baby Chicks

Joseph's Kindergarten class hatched some baby chicks. It took several weeks of waiting but after finally hatching they were old enough to take home. Jospeh got to bring home 2 of them. We were already planning on getting some laying hens this spring (I've wanted to have fresh eggs for a couple of years now) so getting these first two kind of pushed us into getting the chicken coop built. We bought 8 other baby chicks and the kids have been enjoying them immensely. Joseph named the two from his class "Big Heart" and "White Charm." He announced their names to us one day right out of the blue. Lauren has cracked me up with her bravery when holding the chicks. Sometimes they will try to get out of her grasp and they'll start frantically flapping their wings in her face. Without even flinching she just holds on for dear life as she says soothingly: "It's okay birdie, it's okay." Here is a picture and a video clip of them holding the chicks.

Sticker Lauren

One night while I was making dinner Lauren was sitting up on the island playing with a sheet of stickers. After a while I looked over at her to find that she had completely covered herself with the stickers. All over her shirt and hair. It cracked me up to think of her carefully placing each one evidently she thought she was making her hair pretty. She didn't think it was such a great idea later though when I had to pull them out of her hair. Ouch! This month Lauren also did something else for the first time. She grabbed a pink little marker and drew nail polish on her fingernails and toenails. It was done very carefully and she was so pleased with herself as she declared, "Look Mommy, I make it pretty!" It was funny because the color she picked was almost dead on to the shade of polish I had on my toenails.

Playing Catch

Baseball season ends in June and our life won't be so crazy. Any spare moment Aaron has he'll usually be found out in the yard playing catch with the boys. I snapped this picture one day from the kitchen window while I was washing dishes. I love these simple little moments that mean so much. Aaron is so great about always taking a few minutes away from his laptop (when he works from home) to just go out and play catch. He teaches me so much about taking time out to spend time playing with the kids. I love that about him.

Mother's Day

When we were planning our Disneyland trip we didn't look at the calendar very well because it would not have been a part of my plans to get home at 10:30pm on a Saturday night with Mother's day being the next day. We were both exhausted from our flight and the hours of driving. I think we were up until at least midnight unpacking and minimally putting the house back together before we finally hit the sack. Aaron still woke up early though to make me my favorite breakfast (crepes with strawberries and yogurt) and got to stay home from his usual morning meetings to help with getting the kids ready for church. That night he barbecued some salmon (also my favorite) and we enjoyed a great dinner with me not doing a thing but enjoying my break for the day. I love Mother's day.

The boys made me some little gifts (beaded necklaces and a potted flower from school). But mostly what I treasured from them was their sweet pictures and home made cards. Now that they're getting older it has been so wonderful to hear them express themselves in words. I think every mother would agree that the best gift from your children is to hear them lovingly express how they feel about you. Their words warmed my heart and made it a very special Mothers Day.

Clone Trooper Helmet

Jacob worked so hard on this Star Wars Clone Trooper helmet. He came downstairs after being up in the playroom for over an hour working tirelessly cutting, coloring, taping and stapling. The end result was quite impressive. I couldn't help but smile when I thought of all the work and detail he put into making this. I love his creativity and his little imagination. So cute.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blast from the Past.....Summer 2006

Summer of 2006.....

Jacob was 4, Joseph was 3 and Ben had just turned 2. I was pregnant with Lauren and she was due in September. This picture was taken in July on our big Laws Family camping trip to Cape Disappointment. After 3 years in a row of bad weather we finally gave up and tried a different location. Aaron used to camp here as a boy with his cousin so it was fun to go back and have a big camping trip with Papa, Grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins each year.

Taken at Cape Disappointment, one of our all time favorite pictures of Jacob and Joseph. Aaron was lucky enough to zoom in on this unopposed, candid moment between brothers.

The boys at Uncle Keith's house sitting in the back of his pick-up.

Back in the "Clifford the Dog sprinkler" days. Many summer afternoons were spent watching the boys (and the neighbor kids) run through the sprinkler in the front yard.

JoJo getting the pep talk from Daddy just before his maiden flight without training wheels. Like Jacob he was 3 when they came off (one of the advantages of living on a quiet cul-de-sac). Ben is almost 5 and since living in our new home (on a gravel driveway) he still needs his training wheels on.

Pregnant with Lauren
(In my last trimester) I spent most of my summer redecorating the spare bedroom in anticipation for the arrival of my little girl. My theme was "A swallows Nest." The round crib took months of stripping, sanding and staining to a rich walnut brown (it was previously lacquer white). I painted a soft sky with clouds on the ceiling and muraled Lauren's name with hand painted birds. I sewed her bedding, put up the chair railing (well Aaron did). Sanded, stained and attached a mirror to the closet door. Made a cornice box, covered it with my inspiration fabric and searched for months on e-bay and in antique stores looking for the perfect details to complete her room. My heart and soul went into her nursery and so did all my spare time that summer. Too bad that 1 year later we would move to a different home, and my daughter would only remember this room from the pictures we took.

This was the summer that we discovered Lake Cresent on the Olympic Peninsula. 2 weeks before Lauren was due we spent 3 days enjoying this magnificent place. It has since become one of our favorite camping destinations. The lake is gorgeous as is the view surrounding the lakeside campsites.

Many bike rides and evening walks with the Big Red Wagon were taken down our street. I miss those walks.

Summer sleepovers for the big boys. Jacob and JoJo eating ice-cream and sleeping under their "tent" that Daddy set up for them in the family room. I don't know why but they would get SO excited about having these little indoor campouts.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Our Trip to Disneyland

I took a ton of pictures from our week in Disneyland/San Diego. Way too many to post. Most of you have probably seen some of these pictures on Aaron's facebook page but for those of you haven't here are a few for your viewing pleasure.

It may seem silly but one of the highlights of the trip was taking the kids on their first ride on an airplane. Landings and take-offs were so much fun! I loved watching their faces when the engine was revving and we were zooming down the runway. It still puts a smile on my face thinking about it.

Day 1 at Disneyland, the kids fresh off the plane and ready to hit the park.

At the end of day 1 the kids were all crashed out.

Watching the steamboat and taking a churros break.

Waiting in line for the Finding Nemo Submarine Adventure. (One of my favorite rides)

Taking a break on day 2 we hit Huntington Beach half way through the day. Needless to say the boys LOVED it!

Jacob and JoJo helping Ben (who was a little scared) jump the waves.

What family vacation would be compete without the unexpected fun of changing a flat tire on the rental car.

We got lucky when we found Mickey Mouse in a back alley.....

The Jedi Training Academy was a HIT for my boys. They were instructed in the ways of the force by real Jedi Knights. Then they got to try out their skills on the bad guys...

Joseph got to fight Darth Vader with his light saber....

Jacob got to fight Darth Maal, (my camera was on the fritz during his fight) I'll try to get Aaron to post the clip from our camcorder.

My sister and her family joined us on our 4th day.

Taking a stroll with Goofy down Main Street.

The kids and their cousins posing with Goofy.

Lauren showing off her blue tongue. (Never underestimate the power of lollipops when your kids are wating in lines).

Aaron with the boys at Disney's California Adventure Park.

Waiting in yet another line with the boys...

Exploring the caves on Tom Sawyers Island.

Day 5..... Last time down Main Street just before leaving the park.

Eating Dinner at Goofy's Kitchen on our last night.

The kids with some of their cousins just before leaving my sisters house. I sure wished they lived closer. ):

Saying our goodbyes to my sister and her family just before leaving for San Diego. She was such a great hostess!!!

THE Jack in the Box where I worked as the Drive-thru Queen for almost 2 years in high school. Believe it or not I LOVED working there and have nothing but happy memories from those days.

Just for fun we stopped my my old high school where I graduated. While there they were taping the clip from American Idol for Adam Lambert (a fellow MCHS alumni).

The kids at Del Mar beach. It was so weird going back to this beach after all these years. The last time I was here I was 18 years old. Coming back with my husband and seeing my children play on the same sands was a little nostalgic.

My little Surfer Ben at La Jolla Shores.

At La Jolla Shores on our last day, just before leaving to catch our flight.