Friday, December 31, 2010

New year's eve

Tonight when we told the girls it was time for bed Nick ran in and jumped into Jordyn's bed and laid his little head on the pillow. Jordyn got in beside him, not quite sure if it was a good idea, and we kissed them and told them goodnight, sure that Nick would be bounding out of their room in no time.
Instead, we have this:

And on that note, Happy New Year! May the Lord richly bless you in 2011.

Great Wolf Lodge

On Tuesday we headed south to Centralia, Washington for a short family holiday at Great Wolf Lodge before Nathan headed back to Alaska. This was the kids' major Christmas present from us and Nathan, who contributed a huge amount of money to make this trip a reality.

After many trials, tribulations, and general gong-showness, we made it to the Lodge at 4 p.m.  We had been planning on arriving at 1, but that just wasn't possible : )  We unloaded our 2 vehicles, suited up, and headed to the waterpark. The kids LOVED it. Nathan and Patience hung out (Patience would do any ride that Nathan wanted), Dylan and Sean hung out for awhile and then headed back to the room to hook up to the free wi-fi, and Don and I double-teamed Nick and Jordyn in the little kid area. At first Jordyn wasn't sure about the whole waterslide concept, but by the end of the trip she would willingly go on any ride she was tall enough to go on!

After a few hours of playing, we ordered pizzas from the onsite Pizza Hut and watched as Nick inhaled 2 pieces in about 2 minutes...he was so hungry he didn't even wait for them to cool. Then we headed back to the room and got into jammies. Nathan took the girls to "storytime" and Dylan and Sean took Nick for a car ride to check out the outlet malls which they planned on hitting the next day. That freed up Don and me to go to Walmart to buy some stuff that I forgot to pack and get snack food and drinks. We all got back to the room around 9:00 and the Littles and I went to bed and Don and the boys stayed up and gamed together until the wee morning hours. One thing I have to say about GWL is that while it's a great place for a family holiday, Don and I were constantly on the lookout for the Littles (especially Nick). So while it was fun, it wasn't necessarily relaxing.

Nathan and the girls at storytime.

The next morning we all slept past 8, then went to breakfast buffet, which was really good. Then Dylan and Sean did their shopping, Nathan took the girls on their "magic quest," a kind of real-life video game, I took Nick to the "cub club" where he colored and played with their computer, and Don got some pictures. When Nick took his (short) nap, Don and the boys played a board game that they hadn't all played together since swim club days!

The girls with their wands.

Collecting "runes" and crystals.


The girls and I did some very fun stuff that we planned for them. First, they got pedicures at Scoops, the spa for girls.

I wish the lighting was better : ( But here they are in fluffy robes, tiaras, and the royal toe treatment. They loved it.

Patience chose "glitter."

Jordyn chose purple!

Then, they stuffed their own animals. Patience chose a wolf; Jordyn chose a lamb.

Then, they got to build their own crocs. Patience chose pink with a purple strap, Jordyn chose green with a pink strap, and they each chose a "jibbitz" to decorate their new shoes.

We went to an adjacent restaurant and ordered some gourmet hamburgers for supper and brought them back to the room for dinner. Nathan was watching the Sharks game...unfortunately they lost to the Wild : (

Later that night Don took a very tired Nick to bed and I took the girls to storytime, and then I put them to bed and visited with Nathan while the other boys gamed to their heart's content. Dylan and Sean got some excellent deals at the outlet malls. Both of them spent all their Christmas money and the money that Don and I gave them for the trip.

On Thursday morning we woke up, donned our swimming clothes, ate breakfast at the buffet again, and then went directly to the waterpark for another hour or so of sliding. We all traded off watching the Littles so we were able to do the rides that they couldn't do. Then we went back to the room, showered and dressed, packed the suitcases and started packing the vehicles. When we got to a reasonable point in the packing, the big boys took the girls to the arcade to use the last of the tokens which made getting out of the room much easier.

At that point, Dylan drove the Matrix home with Nick. And the rest of us went and had a blast doing things that we simply couldn't do with Nick along. First we drove to Seattle and saw the movie Tangled. I let Nathan choose the movie and since he had already seen so many "big boy" movies this vacation, he chose Tangled. Of course the girls were thrilled! It was a great movie and we all enjoyed it. Then we went to Rainforest Cafe for lunch, which was excellent as usual.

From there we took Nathan to the hotel by the airport that he had booked (he had an early morning flight today so this was the most logical thing to do) and then we drove home. We got home just after 8:00, in time to put some very tired Littles to bed.

It was a great family time and we're looking forward to doing it again when Nick is a little older...maybe 4. Then it will be fun and relaxing!

Monday, December 27, 2010


My dad and Edith sent the Littles Pillowpets for Christmas and the girls LOVE them! Nick is ambivalent : ) Everytime they saw the commercial for Pillowpets the girls begged and pleaded for one. I knew that they were getting these for Christmas so I always told them, "no." They were so surprised to find them under the tree Christmas morning! Thanks Dad and Edith!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Don Sr's handiwork

The girls have two American Girls dolls (the Bitty Baby twins) and until yesterday all their AG paraphernalia was stored in a big plastic bin under their bed, which was not usable at all. So this Christmas I asked Don Sr. to make them a "doll wardrobe" that would fit between their beds. Waneta and I went out and found the two baskets and he built the wardrobe around them, making sure it fit beautifully, even accommodating the baseboard heater on the wall behind it. I just love it, and now the girls love to play with and dress their dolls!

And then, since I knew he'd be in the wood shop and have the white paint out, I asked him to double my counter space in the "bunker" kitchen with a shelf  that would hold two stories of canisters. I just love it! Thanks, Dad!

By the way, if you have an opportunity to get a father-in-law with fabulous wood-working skills, I highly recommend that you do!

Backpacks from Grandma

My mom has been knitting for years...not sure exactly how many, but I'm thinking 10 or so. She started with dish cloths, and when she had hundreds of them and everyone she knew had dozens, she moved on to scarves : ) Then she started making delicious baby blankets using the softest yarn you can find using guessed it...pattern for a dishcloth (only much larger).  But now she has branched out in a big way! She knitted these amazing backpacks for the Littles and filled them with all sorts of treasures. It was really like opening a stocking on Christmas morning. There were crafts and books and choo choos, even a touque for Nick!

Silly birds

This Christmas tree selling season our four chickens have given up the comfort of their hen house and have chosen to roost on the fence at night. They have surprised a few customers who came after dark! We're pretty sure they've changed their habits because Don had a flood light hanging in a tree right above them, so we think they're just wired to roost near a light. Yesterday Don and Sean disassembled the sales yard, so now the hens will start roosting inside.

Christmas morning 2010

Our Christmas tree before the morning chaos. This year was so much "simpler" than previous years! : )

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Dylan and Sean reading the gift certifcate for our family vacation to the Great Wolf Lodge.

Gifts from Heather! This is the first time I've been the recipient of's fun!

Nathan got a bunch of Sharks treasures from my parents.

Mom and Lee reading their gift certificate for their stay at The Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa.

Don opening Nathan's gift to him: a mounted photo of the Canadian gold medal men's hockey team and tickets to the 12/26 Canucks game!


Nick playing with RC. My parents upgraded all the Toy Story toys and got them the Toy Story 3 DVD!

Patience with her doll from Santa and her stocking.

Jordyn with her doll from Santa and her stocking.

Patience with the 'Mazing Hamster that she really, really wanted! From Dylan and Haley : )

Jordyn with the kids' Wii Fit game.

Don opening his gift from Patience: a framed picture of the two of them from the Pioneer Girlz Father/Daughter rodeo.

The Littles playing with their new train table.