Friday, November 19, 2010

Yes, you can touch that!

Last week Seth's good friend Ty (and my good friend Kristen) invited us as their guests to the Seattle Children's Museum. Thanks, guys! What a fun place to go on a cold day, have fun and maybe even learn a thing or two. I'm all for exposing kids to other museums as well, but it's nice to not have to worry about them touching things or running around. At this one, it's encouraged!

Checking her blind side to see if she can change lanes:

Filling up Clifford's bowl with bones:

Doing a little grocery shopping:

Cutest little firefighters around:

Seth seems a little too happy to be wearing the hat that says BOSS:

They spent most of the time in this room, where tubes and machines shoot golf ball-looking ping pong balls all around to teach about gravity.

Budding artist:

Buddies Ty and Seth...two sweet catches of the day:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Sweet Halloween

What a fun Halloween we had this year! The Monday before, we carved pumpkins for Family Home Evening. Each year I get pretty excited about this, but after cleaning and carving one, I'm done. So, we carved the one we got from the farm and decorated the other small ones from our garden with stickers. That's my kind of pumpkin "carving"!
Seth grossed out by pumpkin guts:
Lydia, aka Miss Unafraid-Or-Not-Grossed-Out-By-Anything wants to touch and examine the slime:

Lydia's masterpiece:

And Seth with his:
Here's the one and only carved pumpkin, complete with tongue and what looks like a piercing, but I couldn't get the toothpick in all the way! We'll call him the Jack-o, the Rebel Pumpkin.
Halloween night: Seth dressed up as Cat in the Hat (his new favorite PBS show), and Lydia was a ballerina. I made these bags for them out of kitchen towels, but they're a little, um, large and a tripping hazard waiting to happen.
Lydia admiring our last-minute craft made with jam jars, tissue paper, mod podge and black paper:

I'm going to make a bunch more of these for next year!
Getting excited to get some candy, with glow-in-the-dark treat bags made by Grandma:
Hittin' the road with Dad:
After parties at church, preschool and friends' homes, and a record 124 trick-or-treaters at our house, we were Halloweened out! But what better holiday to go all out and have fun!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Notebook Therapy: A Celebration!

We're celebrating our one-year "blogiversary" over at Praiseworthy this week.

Check it out for some giveaways, insights, ideas and inspiration!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin Farms

Seth's preschool took a trip to Kelsey Creek Farm last month to get up close with the animals, and Lydia and I tagged along. Thanks to Cortney and Trisha for the pictures...this mom forgot to bring her camera!

The whole class:

Kids lined up to watch Joy the pig eat her lunch:

Mrs. Richards helping Seth pet Gus the pony:

Farmer Jane put the kids right to work, bringing buckets of sawdust shavings into the animal stalls and spreading them out with brooms and rakes:

A few days later we went with our good friends to Trinity Tree Farm, a Christmas tree farm-turned pumpkin patch in the fall.

Trying to find just the right one:

We had pumpkins at home in the garden, but I figured we'd get one here. This was THE one that Seth is sitting on. Good thing it wasn't too was 55 cents per pound (ripoff)!

Seth and Lydia with their fun friend Addie:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Our Boy is 4!

Seth turned 4 on the 26th of September. We had just returned home from Loa and the quilt retreat two days earlier, and we decided to do have another pancake breakfast party like when he turned two. I had the idea of an airplane theme, and I asked a flight attendant on the way home if they had extra barf bags (unused, of course ;-P) that I could have for goodie bags at the party. She said, "Certainly!" and brought us huge plastic bag filled with those plus games, activity books, cups, napkins, pilots' wings, pretzels and peanuts. I love Southwest!

I underestimated how exhausted I would be after returning home from our trip, so the cool airplane-themed games I had planned kinda went out the window, and instead the kids had fun running around the playground while taking an occasional break to gulp some pancakes, juice, apples, bananas, and hot chocolate. It was a picture-perfect day for our perfect (most of the time *wink*) boy.

Lydia loves parties too! Thanks to our neighbor, Cassandra, seen to the side, for being a good little mother's helper!

After a huge amount of running, the birthday boy taking a break to blow the propellers on his plane to make them spin. And no, he's not red from the sun - he works hard at having fun!

His actual birthday was Sunday, and he felt pretty special when the Primary children sang Happy Birthday to him and he got to pick out his birthday pencil. That day was Family Day at Boeing, where once a year, the company opens up the factory to employees and their families here in Renton where they make 737's. We also got a sneak peak at the new Navy aircraft Poseidon...not much of it, though, as it's pretty top secret. No photography allowed, but we had a fun afternoon together, after which we came home and celebrated with pizza, chocolate milk and birthday cake.

Seth also received a new bike for his birthday. It's a balance bike without pedals so that kids (as young as 2 years old) can learn to ride a 2-wheeler from the get-go without training wheels. The idea of "balance first, pedal second" is a smart one, and he's already starting to get the feel for it. Thanks, Grandma Diane and Grandpa Rex!

Engrossed in the task of pumping up the tires:

Watch out, world, here I come!

We love our special boy. Here's some randomness about our newest 4-year-old.
  • He's hilarious! I've been writing down funny or insightful things he says, and I find something to write about nearly every day. One day it's, "Mom, even when I get in trouble, I still love you." And another day it's "I like spaghetti, meatballs, sauce, and ingredients." It seems like he's always had a big vocabulary stuffed in that little body.
  • He's very inquisitive (like his dad) and observant (like his mom).
  • He loves preschool and is eager to please his teachers.
  • He's still skittish around loud noises. Fourth of July was spent with him inside the van covering his ears and us just outside the van enjoying the show. And he doesn't like balloons because they scare him when they pop. But he seems unphased when I cut his hair and there are buzzing, moving blades inches from his ears. Go figure.
  • He loves Lydia and is starting to figure out that she likes to be his little shadow. This Monday's Family Home Evening lesson is going to be about being an example.
  • He has the slightest lisp. His dentist said it may be because he used a pacifier at naptime and night time as a baby and should grow out of it by age 6 or 7. By that age, I imagine it kinda stops being cute, but for now it's pretty cute to hear him introduce himself as "Theth."
  • His head is the eighth wonder of the world. Seriously, we should hook that thing up to a generator. He loves to run and run and run until his face is bright red (see photo above) and steam is practically coming off the top of his head. But, his Charlie Brown-like melon is part of what makes him so darn squishably adorable.
  • He is eager to please and slow to take offense. His overall demeanor is so easy-going and even-tempered (he has his moments, like all kids do), and he makes friends easily.
  • Instead of addressing the women at church as "Sister (last name)", he says "Mister."
  • He loves puzzles. Within a couple of days of receiving a 48-piece puzzle, he was putting it together himself without any help.

Happy birthday, little dude! We love you very much!

Monday, November 1, 2010

7th Annual MVQR

This year was an especially fun Mountain Valley Quilt Retreat. I've documented this event before, but I've never shown the backdrop or location of this fun yearly get-away. This old barn across the street from my parents' home was renovated into a lodge, and this is where the quilters stay. And I love that playground right there...that's one of the old-school metal slides that is steep and wicked fast!
The actual retreat is Thursday through Sunday morning, and my sisters and I (and usually my aunt, who we missed this year but was busy being a new grandma for the 10th time!) make and serve the food for the meals, help out where we can, and have just a little time to sew before we have to get back home on Monday morning. This year, we decided to stay a few extra days (I stayed an entire week!), and had a superbly fun time sewing, walking, eating, goofing off, going for drives and talking talking talking! Good thing Seth was there to keep my dad from being the only guy amongst 5 women (counting Lydia).
My mom is the most talented sewer I know, and the most patient teacher I know. She comes up with a pattern, gives out the fabric requirements to everyone, and teaches them how to cut and piece together a beautiful project. They sew at the town's civic center where there's lots of room to work, and they love it!
On Saturday night, there's a show-and-tell where whomever wants to can show a project they've completed. My dad would probably be embarassed that I'm posting this, but he made a quilt last year to keep his hands and mind active while enduring chemotherapy. I loved wrapping up in it because it's so warm and because it reminded me how thankful I am that he's still here and healthy! Love you, Dad!
Last January, my mom had the idea for us girls to do a virtual quilt-along. She chose the pattern for this wall hanging, and we finished them in time to show them at retreat. We're planning another for next year too...helps with the January blahs and post-holiday bummers.
Other random shots from the weekend:
On the car ride down to Loa...already had been a long day with a morning flight from Seattle to Salt Lake:

One of my favorites...Lydia (who's NOT a cuddler) cuddling with Grandma:

The weekend entertainment (playing "train" with the tape measure with Seth as the engine and Lydia as the caboose):

Best buddies...can't remember if they're watching the kitties, looking at the sprinklers, or waiting for Grandpa to come back in from the back yard:


One day we drove the loop around Boulder Mountain to see the Autumn leaves. What a spectacular scene with the bright yellow aspen trees against a clear blue sky. This one area of red is called the aspen heart. Aspens don't usually ever turn red, only yellow, in the fall. Legend says that an American Indian princess died here of a broken heart, causing this cluster to turn red. Kinda hard to see the shape in the photo because we saw it just before the leaves fell.

We had a little early birthday celebration for Seth, complete with a Bob the Builder cake. Can you tell he really turns on the "cheese" when there's a camera around?

Gotta love blue frosting:

Finally, two things I love about small towns, this one in particular:

Endless fields of green alfalfa showered by the chk-chk-chk-ing sprinklers:

And the bike rack at the elementary one bothers to lock up:

I missed my dear husband and home, but was sad to go at the same time, and I'm already getting antsy for next year.