Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gardening with Girlies...

We've been having beautiful weather lately, and it's supposed to continue for the foreseeable future! Yesterday the girls and I spent a lot of time outside weeding and planting. I don't have a "garden plot" anymore, as the old garden is on the side of the farm that was sold. So I decided to turn some of our perimeter gardens, currently full of shrubs, into little gardens. I have three varieties of winter squash, 2 of summer squash, lettuce, carrots, and beets all sprinkled into the otherwise unused or underused earth. The weeds are sprouting with a vengeance. I need to get my little garden scoot out there and pull everyday, just to keep on top of it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

"It's so great being a little kid!"

These were Patience's exact words when she saw their completed swing set! Don and Nathan spent many hours this weekend building it...usually an hour here, and hour there, and by this afternoon at 4 or so, the girls were all over it!
Jordyn loves to climb the ladder and go down the slide. I'm thinking this is going to give my poor mother some grey hairs when she's watching them (in two weeks!).

Fort Langley Parade

This morning we spent about 4 hours at the longest parade I've ever seen. The Langley Flipper Swim Club walked in this year I'm thinking we should ride a float, even if it costs a lot of money. We got to Fort Langley about 9:40 and walked at least a mile to our marshalling spot. Did I tell you Patience was with me? So, she walked or I carried her that mile. She's very heavy. And she doesn't hang on too very good.

We then got to wait about 90 minutes with the swim club members and their parents, who slowly but eventually lost their good sense of humor about waiting for the parade to start. The very very very good news is that directly behind our group of walkers was the cutest parade float you ever was the Teddy Bear Picnic float and it was designed to hold a couple of small children on even had seat belts! The grandma and grandpa who drove the float were fresh out of small children, so they asked if Patience wanted to ride on it during the parade. She did great, mostly smiling and waving at the people, but occasionally making "funny faces" which got lots of laughs.

The parade itself was about another 3 or 4 miles. I was beat at the end of it. I could barely walk because my hips hurt so bad. But the bad news was that when we got to the end of the parade, we had to walk another mile or so to get to our car! We were one very tired group of people by the end!

Cloverdale Fair and Rodeo

I am so grateful it's Monday night, at the end of a three-day weekend, with the girls snug in their beds. I finally have a few minutes to post a picture-filled update.

Every year our 4-H club sets up and mans a club display at this 3-day fair. We started this year on Wednesday evening, when Sean, Dylan, and I took their educational displays and set them up for a competition. Sean's display was on how to make great compost; Dylan's was on the Hubble telescope. Lee, do you remember that mail message you sent us many months ago with those awesome Hubble photos? Well, that was in the inspiration behind this display.
For the competition, Sean's placed 3rd, earning him $15. Dylan's got 7th, which didn't come with any prize money, unfortunately.
On Sunday we spent a good part of our day at the fair staffing our booth. Sean worked in the morning, and then got invited over to another member's home for dinner and the Shrek 3 movie. Score! Dylan and Nathan worked the last shift of the evening. These photos are the boys at the booth.

Don had both girls all day Sunday and he was pretty tired when I got home!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Do you know what time the sun comes up in our neck of the woods nowadays? Well, I'm not sure, but I know it's BEFORE 5:30, because that's the time Jordyn opened her little eyes yesterday, saw that it was "morning," and started calling for us!
So last night we nailed up a blanket over their window, and that seemed to help. She woke up at 6:10, but I'm hoping to "train" her to wake up later than that so our poor babysitters don't die of exhaustion in two weeks.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Great Nate Update

This is one of my favorite pictures of Nathan. It captures his easy-going personality, sunny smile, and three of his favorite hobbies/interests: taking a walk in the Christmas trees, his light sabre (you never know who you'll meet out there!) and his San Jose Sharks jersey.
If a professional photographer had wanted to capture Nathan's entire person, and studied Nathan for weeks in order to do that, he would have set up this exact shot. Okay, maybe he would have added Storm in the photo...
Look at all the money we saved not hiring a professional photographer! : )
Okay, more update news on the Nathan front: he IS going back to Quadra for a summer job. Last year he went for 6 weeks as a course cadet in the Shipwright program. This year he was offered a position in the Boat Shed, which means he just might get to put those shipwright skills to use. It wasn't his first choice for positions, but it's not a bad choice for him.
On Tuesday night Nathan was promoted to Petty Officer, which is a senior rank with many privledges. He can now "saunter" on the parade grounds, instead of "double-timing." He can go in the P.O. lounge and have free snacks/drinks. He can boss junior cadets around. And many others.
He has been driving A LOT. Sometimes for his own activities, but mostly to cart his younger brothers around! It has been so nice and convenient. Last night Don and I both had wine with our dinner because, even though Sean had to go somewhere that evening, we knew Nathan would be able to take him there!
School is going okay. Actually his grades have slipped a bit from his great "straight B's" report card of a month or so ago. One grade actually slipped lower than our basketball standard. As in, if any grades are below this line, you don't play any basketball until they're raised. Yesterday Nathan was supposed to have basketball practice after school, but came straight home instead. He was suprisingly positive and pleasant. I made a comment about how much I appreciated his attitude since I knew he was disappointed about not being at practice right now. And do you know what he said, "Well, I am disappointed, but I'm not surprised. It's not like you haven't had these standards for two years." Wow! What maturity!
It's a pleasure to parent him so much of the time. Like 99.5%.

Patience Funnies

Disclaimer: this will probably only be funny to those who are familiar with the Max & Ruby cartoon.
This morning I was getting ready to sew Sean's and Nathan's new emblems on their Sea Cadet uniforms. They both got promotions on Tuesday night, which was GREAT news. The flip side is that now I have to sew these annoying emblems on to their tunics and gun shirts in precise locations, etc.
Anyway, I had the sewing machine all out and turned on. I was pinning the emblems on when Patience came up and asked me what I was doing.
"I'm sewing these patches on for Nathan and Sean."
"For Bunny Scouts?"

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day 2007

I think I've finally gotten the hang of uploading pictures in reverse order so you can see them chronologically correct! We've had quite the whirlwind weekend, starting with a quick trip to the doctor's office Friday evening at 5:00 for three stitches in Patience's forehead. She fell while jumping on the trampoline and hit her head on the big steel frame. It was very sad but I still can't believe what a good girl she was while she was getting stitched up. She cried, but was very still. I was so proud of her.
Dylan was at a band trip since Thursday, so he missed that bit of excitement, and he just got home today at 1:00.
On Saturday a.m., Sean and I went to a swim meet while Nathan and Don went to a guided tour of Burns Bog. They both had a good time and said it was a very interesting tour. The girls stayed home with a babysitter and Waneta was on-hand in case Stephanie needed her. Teamwork!
After the swim meet, Don and Sean worked with Grandpa on the west side of the shop roof. Nathan went to cadets for a work bee and then to go with friends to Spiderman 3. Rave reviews about that movie...
Today we went to church and then came home and started preparing for our Mother's Day barbeque with the Richeys. They came over around 4:00 and we had fillet mignon, asparagus, Caesar salad, garlic bread, sauteed mushrooms, beans Waikiki...I think that was it for the dinner. But for dessert we had delicious birthday cake made by Waneta, pudding (compliments of the Richey clan), and a fruit salad (also Waneta). Can you say stuffed? Of course we haven't learned to prepare less food or at least eat less of it! After dinner the men-folk played basketball (ask Nathan how he and Dylan did against Don and Dave) while the girls took a nice stroll out back with Jordyn in the backpack. We all felt a little better after the exercise.
Babadee brought Patience some Dora treasures for her birthday: a little doll, a coloring book with crayons, and the wonderful little patio table pictured above. Patience calls it her "table picnic."
It was a wonderful day, a wonderful weekend. And now a new week begins...
More later.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Happy Birthday, Patience!

Good morning! Today is Patience's third birthday! Three years ago, I was still laying in that hospital bed, going through a labor that I'm SOOOOO grateful I had an epidural for. Miss Patience emerged with the umbilical cord not only wrapped around her little neck three times, but also with a knot in it. The stuff some very sad births are made of. What a miracle, and what a blessing she has been to our family.
So why, on Patience's birthday, am I posting so many pictures of Jordyn? Well, yesterday she had her first "professional" haircut. Bangs only, but she sat very still. Also yesterday, I left the girlies out in the yard alone for what, 3 minutes? Only to find Miss Jojo had managed to climb into the sand table! Now, I got the sand table instead of a sand box explicitly so I wouldn't have little girls sitting in the sand, getting sand in their diaper, etc. Blech! What do they say about the best-laid plans? I suppose I should just used to the girls foiling my plans...
I feel like I've been liberated! Nathan's ability to drive and chauffeur is every bit as wonderful as I had imagined it would be. I got home from the pool at 9:22 last night with Dylan, and, in the olden days, I would have dropped him off and then gone to pick up Sean and Nate from cadets. And then gotten to the base and waited around until they were finally dismissed. And then not gotten home until 10. Last night, I got home, took out my contacts, caught up on some email, put Patience to bed, and was relaxing in my jammies when the van pulled in. Ahhhhhh. The sweet smell of independence (mine and Nathan's).
It's a beautiful day here, and we're expecting good weather for the forseable future. I've been hanging clothes out to dry on my new clothesline (thanks, Don Sr!), taking walks with the girls in the stroller, and trying to remember my sunscreen each day.
More later....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tuesday, May 8

Here are some updates and recent pictures. First and foremost: Nathan passed his driving test yesterday and is now licensed to drive without a "supervisor." We celebrated yesterday by letting him drive himself to band practice. It was a very happy day for all of us! Tonight he'll drive Sean and himself to cadets, and then tomorrow he'll pick up his brothers from the pool in the a.m., drop everyone off at school, and then bring Dylan and himself home from school after their after-school activities! Did I mention we're excited?
The weather has turned beautiful again and we celebrated by taking a nice walk in the double stroller yesterday. My little bundle of kinetic activity, Jordyn, is able to sit back and relax for a long time in that stroller!
I'm sure there is more to write, and maybe I'll get back on later today with more tidbits, but for now I'm off to get the morning rolling.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007