Monday, May 28, 2007

Lazy Memorial Day

The young ones (and a few older ones) have made good use of the new Play Station converter and controllers that allow four players at one time. We only do Play Station once a week - often less - so this is big for them.
Josiah and I ran to Sam's club. We needed milk and batteries.....and ended up buying birthday gifts for the girls too.

We went geocaching. We only found two. Wow - it was HOT out there today. We were the FIRST find on one of them. Yippee! That's a first for us. It was hilarious....we approached from the wrong side of the river. We thought we'd simply walk across but the other side of the river is FULL of gorgeous we couldn't get DOWN to the river.....The young ones, Mike, Jamin, and I continued to walk around the ritzy neighborhoods. We sent Jamin and Josiah back to bring the van over. We walked and walked....and finally found it in a spot we'd been to before when we had been looking for a freecyle pick up. It was right next to a STUPENDOUS mansion. After all that walking we found it by ACCIDENT. Jamin was hiking down a narrow path. He noticed a wasp nest and reached over and flicked it.....and it was glued to the top of the cache. ::snort::
Do you spot it?
THIS must be our most unsual cache yet. YOU try not to let on what you are doing while the sales reps swarm around you. ::snort::
Mike had wanted me to go with him to a memorial day event. He was doing the invocation. We were going out afterwards. However, it became apparent that I overdid today with the hiking and such. I laid down and took a nap.....and now I'm drinking water and planning to lay down some more.

Josiah and Jamin tried to go see Pirates but it was sold out until 8:00 p.m.

Our Fabulous Week - or WHY we are all tired! ::snort::

This week we:

Welcomed home our oldest two
Josiah graduated
Josiah worked overtime
Mike preached two services
Mike worked a full work week
Had a girls' day out with Debbie
Celebrated 6 birthdays
Made 2 ice cream cakes
Jamin started a new job
Jamin continued school and finished Culinary Arts
Jared mowed lawns
We lost our precious baby
Josiah bought his first car
Baked yummy chocolate cookies
Bought a kiddie pool
Girls worked on MC course work
Girls worked on memory work (they put us to shame)
Had water fights
Visited parks
Got 3 hair cuts
Several walks and Bike rides (all but me)
Saw Spiderman (older set)
Made a 1:30 a.m. trip to the ER
Found a 24 hour pharmacy
Had Nolan's ARD apt
Had Nolan's last speech for this year
Conducted Shop Natural Co-op
Watched various movies
Read and recuperated
Updated blog
Read for MM discussion
Baked and cooked
Dealt with schzio washer
Dealt with Sear's repairmen
Some got updated military ID's
Arielle got her FIRST military ID
Shopped and shopped some more (birthdays)
Mailed out curriculum
Received lots of books PBS and Curriculum
Worked on Human Video
Preformed Human Video
Conducted a Family Memorial Service
Visited Ducks
Went Bowling
Played Games

In other words - we experienced quite a full range of family life this week. We are truly blessed. I think I've got things caught up here. I have had several requests for more info on our Family Service....I'm thinking about that. I know that we are transparent on here...but I need to figure out how much to say without infringing on the privacy of our grief.

Thank you so much for all your prayers, concerns, gifts, precious words and support as we race through the path we call "life". ::snort::

Hair Cut For Zander

Our busy day began with a much needed haircut for Zander. He HATES people touching him. I've always buzzed him. He has been informing me that the doesn't want me to buzz him because the razor will eat his head. We've tried to go to a salon but there you have it...he freaks out when "strangers" touch him..... and it takes a while to get a cut done because he has those (can we all say it together?) Sensory Integration Issues. ::snort::

I told him yesterday I HAD to cut his hair. We began. It took us about 35 minutes, and I'll have to find minutes through the rest of this week to finish it up - but we succeeded. I think it's "ok" and certainly better. Can't really see - but here's a photo.

Birthdays Galore

FIVE BIRTHDAYS! These were all the boy's birthdays which had been missed during Mike's deployment. The celebration was well worth the wait and it was an added bonus to have the girls home too!!! I think Mike and I will forego our birthday celebrations from this time period.

I inadvertently began a new tradition on Mike's 45th birthday. The balloon bouqet tradition. Each birthday celebrant gets a helium bouqet with a balloon for each year of their life. SO....we had lots of balloons on Sunday.
The boys chose to eat at a local pizza spot - Double Dave's....Yummm.
Then we zipped home and began the gift giving extravaganza. We do spend twice as much on our budget for birthdays as we do for Christmas...and having five of them to do - well it really did look bigger than our Christmas' and was a bit overwhelming. Not sure quite how to handle the photos - the girls were here and the only others who would want to see ALL the photos are grandmothers. ::snort:: Here's a few. Each boy sat in the recliner, surrounded by his ballons and presents. He HAD to wear ye ole pig hat and was seranaded by one of our various versions of Happy Birthday (which always sounds nicer when Bre is home ::snort::).

Zander loved his rocket man....
Zander received two remote controllers and then a converter that will allow 4 to play at once on play station. We were SHOCKED when he opened the converter...he look puzzled for about 3 seconds and then said "Oh - so more controllers can work!" ::snort::
Nolan with a flying frisby from Bre
Jared was SHOCKED by a 2 gig ipod. He kept saying "whoa". He'd asked for a walkman he could run with and use while mowing yards. He also got the sport band and we welcomed him to the 21st century.
Jamin got a movie and lots of heavier hand held weights. Mike and Krista made a scavenger hunt for him to find the weights.
Josiah's main gift from us went together with his Christmas gift and was his ipod Nano. BUT the kids all went together and got him this FM thingy for the ipod for his NEW CAR...and he likes it.
Then we moved to the kitchen for Mike's terrific ice cream cake. This is the first time we'd tried it with homemade icecream and it worked well. We had one layer but lots of goodies on top and Mike had gotten some mint chocolate pieces in the midst of the ice cream layer too. Yumm!
Sticking Candles on with hardshell
What's So intimidating about THIS man? He's a softie, I tell you!
While eating cake we all realized that Krista's birthday is NEXT Sunday and Bre's is the Saturday after THAT....we should have done them too. Ah well.....

FREE - Steven Curtis Chapman

Bre and Krista have been teaching the younger ones a human video to this song. They preformed it for us Sunday afternoon. It was AWESOME. I wish the girls were here one more Sunday - it would have been great to do in a couple of the chapel services.

Nolan as Christ - others nailed chains etc to him - true freedom only through Him


As the afternoon drew to a close we all knew it was nearing time to say goodbye to the girls. They were packed. We'd had a full day.

The olders and Mike played a rousing game with cards, spoons, and much hitting.

The youngers and I explored new toys and such. This was a CRAZY buy on my part- but that is what happens when you shop with very little energy! ::snort:: These are LOUD. I don't buy toys that make noise because we have plenty of real noise makers around here and don't need to add artificial noisemakers. Ah well...he loves them.
The buzzer went off. The girls had 15 minutes before needing to be at the airport - we live 7 minutes from the airport. The hunt for shoes began. Krista ended up leaving with a pair of my sandals instead of her flip flops. We made it in plenty of time. We always laugh at this tiny airport. They want everyone through security so EARLY and it takes all of 3 minutes to get through...but we cooperated....
We had a wonderful week with the girls home. Now it's time for them to continue on the path that God has placed them on.....and we simply rejoice when our paths allow us to be together in real life....until then....there's always blogs, my space, and phones!

After the Airport....

Mike asked, "Why do you have a loaf of bread in the van?" I explained that we'd been trying to find ducks to feed all week. He is so great. He knew that I'd want to do something besides going home right then to my "emptier nest". We went in search of ducks. The ones down on the river walk were NOT interested in our bread. We went out to another park on the north side of town and found lots of friendly geese and ducks.

Ah - Stacia still likes the sling. I find she is heavy after a bit but there were HUGE/GIGANTIC ANT MOUNTAINS all around and lots of aggressive we did the sling thing.
This duck got agitated when the boys were trying to feed it and tried to fly away. The tree hampered his flight pattern and he ended up flying around and around the kids.  Perhaps it was caught between wanting to fly away and wanting more bread. 

As the evening drew on Stacia discovered the sling worked well for extra warmth....and I discovered the tail made a great leash to keep her nearby. ::snort::
Back at home the olders watched one of Jamin's gifts - Eragon. The youngers, Mike and I watched two of Nolan's Gifts - Veggie Tales. The girls winged their way back to Washington State.