Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas - Letter 2011

Well, I cannot believe another year has passed.  The older I get the faster they go.  It amazes me every single year.  We seemed to have another eventful year for 2011.  Lots of fun stuff to share with you.  We started the year with the decision to send Ethan back to school.  We loved homeschooling and he was doing great with it, but emotionally he started going very down hill.  He missed home so much and I just couldn't get him out of a funk.  When my mom and sister visited last year it seemed to make him feel worse and not better.  So finally one day when he was just so sad I decided it was time to send him back to school.  He was very upset about it and really wanted to stay home but Derek and I decided going back to school would be the best for him.  He took a trip to Washington and when my mom brought him back he started school.  It took a couple of weeks for him to get into the groove of things and to make some friends but before long he was going to school happily every morning.  His teacher was ready to send him to the gifted program within a couple of weeks, but we decided to wait until he could start at the beginning of the next year.  Sending him back to school was a very hard decision for all of us but in the end it was definitely the best decision for him.

In March my sister, Alisha, came to visit us.  We decided to head out to Myrtle Beach and had a blast.  We ate great food, hung out at the aquarium and watched dolphins play in the waves at our hotel.  It was a little chilly but a great time.  We also found out that a possible marriage engagement might be on its way.  That was exciting.  The next week after she left we got the news that she had gotten engaged to Marlo.  We had met him in October before and he is a very sweet guy and love Alisha very much.  They decided on a shorter engagement and made plans to get married in August while me and the kids were already planning on coming out.  So there was a lot to plan in a fairly short amount of time.  Addie went back with Alisha to Washington and a couple of weeks later my mom returned to NC with Addie.  I am so thankful that being so far away from home my family finds ways to visit.  It means so much to us.  While my mom was in town we talked wedding and let Ethan skip a day of school to go to the zoo.  Plus my mom helped me rearrange my kitchen...which was amazing.  Moms are always so good with that type of thing.

Soon after my mom left tragedy struck Fayetteville, NC along with several other areas of NC.  We were hit with tornadoes.  I had heard of tornadoes, of course, but had no idea what it was really like.  They touched down about 5 miles from where we lived and the destruction was unreal.  It really affected me emotionally as it did Derek.  My church made huge efforts to help out, not only the church members who had been affected, but the community as a whole and it was so amazing to see all the humanitarian efforts and good deeds that people did.  Watching people help strangers was just amazing.  The day after the tornado hit we took the kids into the affected areas and joined other people from my church in handing out water and snacks to anyone who needed it.  What amazed me most were people who had only half a house and were still feeling blessed and finding joy in what they had.  It was amazing.  It touched all of us.  Of course after that, every time the wind would blow Addie thought a tornado was coming.

In May Derek's parents came down to visit us.  It was right around Derek's mom's (Darlene) birthday so we had a fight night BBQ since she loves to watch boxing.  It was great having them down and able to see where we lived.  Within a few days of them leaving, Addie and I hopped into the car and headed to Michigan to see my dad.  He was visiting his family (also my family of course) so I thought I would surprise all of them with a visit.  It is always so great to get up there and I have loved being able to visit so frequently over the past couple of years.  We had a great time hanging out with everyone and surprising them.  Along the way I stopped in Flint, MI to visit our friend Emily.  Her and her husband Jeremiah lived in the upstairs apartment of our duplex in Italy.  We became very close with them and while we don't chat much in between every time we see each other it is as if no time has passed although our families keep growing.  When I left Italy Emily had a 6 month old and Ethan was 2 months and now she has 5 amazing kids and we have our two.  Unfortunately her husband was deployed so we didn't get to visit with him, but we filled him and Derek in with photos from our visit.  Our trip to Michigan was definitely a great time.

In June Ethan finished the school year (with lots of A's) and Addie had her very first dance recital.  If you have not yet seen it be sure to check out both of her dance videos on Facebook.  They are the best.  She barely knew the routine but she was following along the best she could and it was just great.  Definitely adorable.

Washington was great.  There was lots of visiting with friends and family, along with lots of wedding stuff.  Most of the wedding stuff was already done but we had to do the fun stuff...bridal showers, bachelorette parties, etc.  My mom and I also decided we needed some time to decompress so we headed out to Ocean Shores for a weekend.

The trip pretty ended soon after the wedding, which was awesome.  It was a very sweet and personal wedding.  It was officiated by one of Alisha's best friends and my family seemed to provide all of the entertainment.  Addie refused to wear shoes so she was barefoot for the wedding.  Then Ethan had a plan to do a ring magic trick and pull the ring out at the end of some scarves...but of course the ring got caught up in his jacket and so it didn't come out at the end of the scarf.  The timing was perfect but caused some slight panic.  And of course I wore an exploding dress that decided to fall apart moments before the wedding was to begin.  Thank goodness for people wearing shawls.  But aside from all of that the wedding was gorgeous and Alisha and Marlo were the cutest bride and groom.

Once we returned from Washington we had to get our butts in gear to get moved.  We have become very spoiled with the military moving us and moving ourselves was not very much fun...but we managed thanks to lots of help from friends to include borrowing a trailer.  We got moved just in time for Ethan to start school.  The school situation couldn't have been any better.  The school he goes to had just been reformatted and switched from being 5th and 6th grade to 3-5 grade.  So every single student at the school was new to that school.  Not just Ethan.  His teacher is great and was a Department of Defense Teacher of the Year a few years back.  Ethan is really liking her.  He quickly got placed into the Gifted program which he is loving.  Right now they are putting together Lego robots, which is right up his alley.  Unfortunately they are having a hard time getting the robots programmed but Ethan is still loving.  He is always so bummed anytime the class gets cancelled.  He has always joined the History Club which meets one day a week after school where they learn about the history of North Carolina.  He has really enjoyed that.  He is definitely leaning towards a love for school which makes me so happy.  I just hope it sticks.  I have talked to him many times about how kids decide to hate school and he says that even though other kids say they hate school he really likes it.  He just brought home a report card filled with A's and we are so proud of him.

A couple of weeks after he started school Addie started Pre-K.  It took me awhile to warm up to her teacher but now I think she's great.  We had a conference not long ago and she absolutely raved about Addie.  Addie is one of the older kids in her classroom since her birthday is in November and I think it will definitely work in her favor.  While Ethan is one of the smallest kids in his class, Addie is one of the bigger ones.  At least for now.  She has been working very hard at teaching herself how to read an write.  We help her along but she just sees words all over the place.  It has really started making me realize how hard the English language is to teach.  So many strange rules.  She's getting it though and loves to learn, as long as it isn't her mom who is teaching her.  She is far too much like me sometimes.

After school started we had a few visitors.  My mom came out again.  She again helped me with some of those moving odd and ends and we made a fun trip up to Raleigh.  The Natural Science museum was having an event called Bug Fest and so we thought we would check it out.  It was thoroughly disgusting, but was also amazing.  The kids loved it.  They had all sorts of hands on booths outside the museum and then even more inside.  The best part was that everything was free.  The whole day was just amazing.  The kids were good and we ended it with a trip to Trader Joe's (maybe not a big deal to most but when the nearest one is 90 minutes away...it is amazing) and The Melting Pot.  The kids were even good at the Melting Pot.  I was never concerned about them burning themselves or causing any issues.  It was fabulous.  While my mom was visiting, Derek's brother also visited.  He had a fishing trip planned not far from Myrtle Beach and so he invited Derek to join him and some friends and they went off for a weekend fishing trip.  Derek definitely enjoyed going off on a trip with his brother.  It sounds like they had a blast.  About 2 weeks later I also got to see my dad.  He was on a business trip to Florida and got to make a stop in NC.  I got Addie a bike while he was there and he got to help teach her how to ride.  It was great...too short but great.

For Thanksgiving we got to head up to Cleveland to spend the holiday with Derek's family.  Both of his brothers were able to come up for the long weekend also.  Not very often do all three of the brothers get to be in the same place at the same time.  It was really nice.  Ethan and Addie got to spend a lot of time with their cousin Henry which was quite entertaining.  Henry and Ethan live very different lives.  Henry lives a very rustic life in Alaska which doesn't include things like cable TV...so him and Ethan battled it out a couple of times simply because they didn't understand how the other lived.  I found it quite entertaining.  They still had a blast together and definitely shared their love of Legos.

Addie has been continuing dance classes, although we switched to a different studio.  She is really enjoying it.   Ethan is still climbing, although next year he will possibly switching to a team environment.  Unfortunately that means he might have to give up his boy scout troop and switch to another troop since both programs fall on Mondays.  That is sad because the troop he is in, is really great.  He is also continuing with piano lessons...although he's not always so great at practicing.  I think the better he gets the more he likes practicing.

Derek is still the NCOIC of Nuc Med (he's in charge).  He gets along pretty well there and the doctors like him there.  Unfortunately the Army has made is very hard for him to get promoted which has been very frustrating.  We just keep hoping to find an answer soon.  He's taking classes to get his Bachelors degree but he still has a year or two of classes left.  He keeps plugging away though so hopefully it will be done before we know it.  He recently put on a Nuclear Medicine conference at Womack.  They had amazing speakers that were pioneers in the field.  I got to attend some of the lectures myself.  For the first year it was amazing and they are already thinking of ways to improve it for next year.

I have been doing pretty well.  I still do that scrapbooking thing and love it.  I have also decided that it is time to get back to work.  With both of the kids in school now it is time...plus I miss it.  I have started volunteering at the hospital to get my skills back on track.  But it is hard to motivate myself to go in when I don't have an actual job.  Unfortunately there are no position available in the area.  I may end up just continuing to volunteer and find a different job doing something random.  We'll see what happens.  I am also looking forward to leading a small group at my church.  The group is for wives of soldiers and I really love the group.  It should be a lot of fun and a great opportunity to learn and grow.

So, that has been our year.  We get to finish it up here in Washington, which is amazing.  There is nothing quite like spending Christmas at home.  It is cold, wet and rainy...but it is home and that is amazing.  I hope that all of you have an amazingly blessed Christmas and don't forget the reason for the season.  As I do every year, I encourage all of you to pray for our deployed soldiers.  We generally always know someone who is deployed and so it is always on our hearts.  They can use all the prayer they can get, especially those not spending the holidays with their loved ones.

Merry Christmas to all of you!!

The Riggle Family

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dave Ramsey Info finally here...

Alrighty, I promised information about Dave Ramsey long ago and here it finally is. A little about Dave Ramsey and why I would want to post about him on my blog. I am by no means perfect with my money and have made many mistakes and Derek and I have had MANY MANY fights about money over the years and have never been on the same page. I suggested to Derek that we do the 13 week Dave Ramsey money management program. He did not want to do it. Really he wanted nothing to do with it. then one day we needed money, not that much, for something for Ethan and we couldn't come up with it. We didn't have any savings for anything, no cash anywhere and were overdrawn completely on our overdraft protection. It was pretty ridiculous. So finally he agreed that we had to do something so we got signed up for the program. Now to do the 13 week program is not free. It is a little investment. They have the belief that if you invest in your future you put more into it. I tend to agree. So we paid our money and started the program online...we are not self starters so the online program was not our best bet and we ended up doing the program in the classroom later also but either way the program is the same series and is phenomenal. It is a Christian based program but is in no way churchy. If you are not Christian or do not go to church do not let that deter you from the program if you want to get out of debt. The program works. the premise of the program is to get out of debt and to control your money instead of letting your money control you. There are 7 baby steps that are to be done in order. The biggest step is to have a baby emergency fund so that you can cut up those credit cards and not worry about that "what if." That is generally most people's first wrong answer. Everyone keeps that one credit card in the back of their wallet for the what if but if you don't save money for the what if's everything becomes a "what if." So, i will provide some websites for a few things so that you can look into this program for yourself and see if it is something you need to think about over the holidays or ask for for Christmas. Or get signed up for in January or get a book or whatever you might need.

First off the steps:

Step 1: $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
Step 2: Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
Step 3: 3 to 6 months of expenses on savings
Step 4: Invest 15% of income into retirement
Step 5: College funding for children
Step 6: Pay off home early
Step 7: Build wealth and give

These steps are very important and cannot be done out of order. You cannot save for your children's college education if you are still paying off credit cards or your own education for that matter. So the steps are very important and are to be done one at a time and in order.

Next the program. First of all you need to see what he is all about so watch his FREE PREVIEW don't take my word for it by any means. You can do it on your own by reading his books. The best, easiest to read and get ahold of book is "Total Money Makeover." You can find this book at Target, Walmart, Amazon or any other book retailer. you can also find it cheapest at his website: Total Money Makeover

Next bit of info is the classes. the class is called Financial Peace University. You can buy the kit HERE but they sell it for a discounted price in the classes. To find a local class near you check out this SITE. If you think you might be interested in the class online check it out HERE.

Now if you don't think Dave Ramsey is so great please don't take my word for it. Dave Ramsey will tell you his ideas are not new. He made a lot of mistakes before he got it right but when he decided to get it right he decided he was going to get it really right and then once he did he decided to share what he did with the rest of the world. He took the ideas of our grandparents and business men of times past and put them together and came up with a plan that works. There is a little bit of wiggle room in his plan but some things are not changeable...such as accruing new debt with things like credit cards or purchasing new cars that leave you with a car payment. I sold my car. It was huge decision but I sold my brand new car. Since Derek and started this we have for the first time been on the same page as far as money goes. Before this we had very different ideas of how our money should be spent and we fought often. We started this about 1.5 years ago and I can probably count on one hand how many fights about money we have had since then. Life is much better. When we have an issue with money we can talk about it and figure it out together. It is amazing. Here are some amazing success stories about people getting out of debt: We are debt free!!!

Good luck and remember you have to Live like no one else so that later you can Live like no one else!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dave Ramsey to come...

So, I've had a lot of people ask me about Dave ramsey...so I am going to post this weekend about it with links and even a fun little excel spreadsheet that has helped us with budgeting. She keep your eyes open and watch for it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Our New Life

So, right now I should be sleeping but I can't. Tomorrow is a big day. Enough of the traveling from place to place and finally we head to the place that will be our new home. We are planning on taking two days to get there, not because it will take us that long toget there but because we will be pulling a trailer behind us that may be a bit heavier than we should probably be carrying behind us, so we'll be going a bit slow...probably about 50 the whole way. So a 9 hour trip will probably take at least 12 if not more with all the stops that 2 kids and a husband with a pea sized bladder need to take.

So, life is about to get interesting. Housing is a little bit touchy. We decided that we were going to live on post because the housing lists weren't too bad and we could get more for our money that way, the only problem being that there would be a little bit of a gap between getting there and actually having a house. Looks like that gap may be a little longer than we hoped but hopefully not too long so until then we will be living in a camper trailer until then. Glamorous life, I know. But it will sure beat moving twice. So, like I said, I am quite anxious tonight and unable to sleep. Go figure.

Tomorrow we won't be heading out bright and early but instead will be headed out at about noon after we get some new tires on the camper and then we head out for this place called North Carolina. Wish us luck, pray for us, or whatever you do, because we'll need it. I know I'll be doing a lot of praying. Thankfully our kids are young and will love it all and think it is a grand adventure. Tonight Addie was beside herself and wanted to leave tonight. She is ready to go. I'm just ready to get settled. I don't know what N. Carolina will bring us, I know I wanted change and change is what we are getting so I am ready to head on this path to see what it brings and do my best to have open arms...although often times I wonder "What was I thinking?" But I know that with the support of my kids and husband with me and the support of my family from far away everything will be fine and God has led me to where we are supposed to be and is challenging us in so many ways and so many good things can come from this...I just wish it weren't the hottest part of the hottest season to be doing it in, of course. Thankfully we have AC!!

So, this ends my middle of the night ramblings and hopefully I can get some sleep. Goodnight!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hanging with the Genzel kidlets

This is our last sitting around time with the genzel's and Ethan in true over-done fashion had to dress up in a 3 year old Pooh outfit and looked like a Winnie the Pooh that hadn't eaten in 4 winters. And here is Gabriel with his new birthday present Nerf gun from Ethan. Just had to make sure Aleta didn't miss us too much.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Mama's girls...Alisha, Clara and a pseudo-daughter Katie

If ever we were to have had another sister Katie would have been it. I'm the uptight, bossy, mama type. Alisha is the business minded, focused on her future all the time type and Katie is the Silly, Push the rules a little only because it would kinda be fun, you know it would be, but don't push them too much, let's go on an adventure type. Makes for a nice rounded 3-girl set. Don't mess with us cuz we'll kick your butt and if you give us a little time we can plan you the perfect tattoo I'm sure. :)

Katie and my Mama

Katie and my Mama, originally uploaded by clara.riggle.

These two may no longer work at Surface Art together but they still love and adore each other and my mom has always treated her in a daughterish way. So much so that when she gets frustrated with her She yell Kathryn Marie...(her middle name is actually Elizabeth, but my mom throws in my middle name for emphasis). Hopefully miss Katie will visit my Mama often and be super silly so that on those days she misses me lots Katie will make her laugh and not feel so sad.

Addie Loves her Uncle Jack

Addie Loves her Uncle Jack, originally uploaded by clara.riggle.

Oh yes she does, as does Ethan, along with so many other people they are going to miss. It still hasn't really hit me that we are leaving and that we will not me just a few minutes away from everyone. My parents moving closer to us for our last few months here has been truly amazing and I am so blessed on the timing of that. I am so thankful that we have so many people to love and to love us back.

Addie & Rick Arguing about Pedals

I'm trying to figure out how to blog from Flickr...unfortunately, I think I can only blog one pic at a time. Very sad. This is a picture of Addie and Rick where I told Addie to run over his toes because he was making fun of me and Derek because she has a really cool bike that has no pedals so she can learn balance. We think it is cool but Rick thinks it is lame. Well Rick... :P

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pickles & Ice Cream Blog Hop

Welcome to the Pickles & Ice Cream Blog hop. You have arrived at my page where you can get yourself a frame cluster I created for all of you. I hope you guys like it because I had a great time making it. Daybreak Scraps and Girl Boy Girl Designs made an awesome pregnancy kit and it was amazingly easy to play with. So, click on the images to get linked up to the kit and to get your free download.

Pickles & Ice Cream Collab
by Daybreak Scraps and Girl Boy Girl Designs

This layout was fun to make. I also used Emily Powers' Expecting template...because, well.. how could I not??

Here is your freebie. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to leave a comment if you love it!!

There are many stops on this blog hop so check out some of the other girls on the team and see what they created for you. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Times they are a changin'

Well, we got some big news last week. The news we have been waitinf for but hoping not to get. I guess that is only half trus. I have been hoping for some type of change for awhile this just wasn't quite the way it played out in my head, but I guess it will do. So, last Wednesday I got a call from Derek with the news that we had orders to Ft. Bragg, NC. No offense to anybody from N. Carolina but that is not where we had hoped to live. My first thoughts were of panic and desperation, but I quickly started getting used to the idea and checked out some maps. Here's a map of where it is located on the East Coast. I checked on mapquest and found that it is a 10 hour drive from Cleveland, so we will be able to visit Derek's family much more often. It is 9 hours from Orlando, so we can plan on at least 1 family vacation down there. And if a friend of mine's daughter goes to Florida, like she's considering, for college she'd be pretty darn close to people she knows if she ever misses home and a quick fix will do. We will be 2-3 hours from the beach and are already considering joining a friend of mine on their already planned vacation to Myrtle Beach. I know a lot of people who have been there, are already there, or are going there so we have a wealth of information about the area. that makes me feel much better. So here are a couple of maps:So, on this map you can see where Ft. Bragg is in N. Carolina. If you look South of Raleigh you'll see fayetteville. Ft. Bragg is the brown area next to it. We've been told to live on the west side of the base. We've been thinking about sending Derek off ahead of time to scope things out. We'll see how that works out. Right now we are still waiting for some of the shock to wear off. the shock has affected him more than it has me.
My family has been awesome. They have all vowed to visit often even if we were to find nothing to do there. Ethan is not very happy about leaving his friends but we've been talking about it and me and him have voted that we should live in an apartment so that we can have a pool. I thought that was a pretty groovy idea myself. We'll see what we can find. I think right now the most stressful thing is finding someone to rent our house and make sure that we will be okay financially. there is a lower cost of living there which also mean a lower rate of pay. Fortunately I can file for unemployment. That will be a huge help for us.

Another issue we have had is figuring out what to do as far as schools go. I have not yet heard anything great about schools and have been seriously considering homeschooling. This will be a HUGE change for us, but one I think we can handle as long as we can figure out everything else. So, our report date is July 11. Not far off. I have so many emotions about this I never know which one to feel. So, I've been trying to stay positive and find the good aspects of moving. It has been hard since I hear about Ethan being sad and Derek has been fighting it so hard. It has put me in the position to be our family uplifter. My family has been amazing. They are not even a little bit thrilled but they have been amazingly supportive through all of this, especially Alisha. The poor girl found out when she was all doped up on pain killers the day after major foot surgery. Not a good combination. But she's been awesome.

So, if any of you have any great info about Ft. Bragg, please share it with us. I would appreciate it. Oh, and for my family who noticed that the date will throw some plans off...don't worry. We are going to do everything we cann to make the family reunion still. In my head it is still working out. Ih ope it stays that way.

Here are some pics of the kids that are kinda fun. Love you all!!

Addie had this ball and somehow it broke. But between the two of them and Uncle Jack they came up with a new use for it!!
Addie is watching a UFC fight. I couldn't get over how into it she was. She couldn't take her eyes off the TV!!
Here are the kids making some mashed potatoes and in picture 2 you just know Ethan has to cheese it up!!
Thanks for looking guys!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Monday - baby butt pic warning!!! :)

So, today was a good day. I woke up, even though I didn't get a lot of sleep, due to a big fat nap yesterday, and it was sunny out and I was just happy. I got a new computer at work and a giant monitor. That is awesome. I'm loving that. The scrapbook site I spend a lot of time at is having a birthday party this week, which means lots of free stuff and lots of sales. Yay!! That rocks. Then to top it off I have the greatest pics ever for posting on the blog today. I am going to do my bestest to blog at least on Mondays. So if I don't harass me about it.

This is going to be a short week. Ethan has conferences this week so he only has school for 3 days so my sister scheduled her foot surgery for Tuesday so that I could possibly help out if I could while she is not moving around real well. turns out I could, so Ethan and I will be headed up to her house on Wednesday night and he'll be hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa and I'll be chilling with my sissy poo getting her pain meds and food for a couple of days, and I'm sure watching lots and lots of chick flicks. Good times!! I love it!!

Well, I won't put off the greatest pics ever. Addie has taken to traveling down the hall on the bouncy ball with the handle lately upstairs. Well, last night she was traveling from our room to her room to get ready for bed and for whatever reason she had no clothes on so she was bouncing naked. You can't beat that. So, I had to photograph her little butt bouncing down the hall. Oh, and get this...I have an amazing child. I went into her room earlier that day and she randomly decided she should clean her room. No real reason and nobody told her too. She just decided it should be cleaned. Along with the bathroom. Wow!! Amazing child. So, here are the pics...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

So, I have no exciting pics to share with you this week. I thought I would. Ethan was so excited this weekend to go and help his school plant a garden, but when Derek took out the camera there was no SD card. Now I do think there is a card in the bag, but I haven't looked and so there are no pictures nonetheless.

But I do have something for you that I think is pretty good. I have a story that Ethan wrote at school. When Derek saw the title he got very upset with Ethan and said it was very inappropriate but after reading the story changed his mind. It is actually very cute and funny. Ethan's assignment was to write a funny story. Ethan's teacher wrote this about his story "What a silly story! It is full of great voice, personality + fun words." I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I am copying everything just as he wrote it without any corrections, except maybe some capital letters.

How My Sister Peed Her Pants
by Ethan Riggle 2/18/2010

Ssssssss! That is the sound of my sister peeing her pants. One day me and my sister were haveing a tickle fight and I got to start tickling her. Then I won and seriously I won like a race car champion and she lost like a really bad singer and I yelled Addie peed her pants like a valcano eruppted but my friend Tristan was over there so it was worse because Tristan saw it. That is how my sister peed her itty bitty underware.
The End

Also, I have some pictures up of our cruise. If you would like to see the pictures i have some links on Facebook. You don't need facebook to see these pics supposedly, so check these links out.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day Events

So, as promised, here is my Monday blogpost. I will be trying very hard to post something every Monday from now on. Hold me to it. If you don't see something from me on Monday send me e-mails saying...where's our blogpost????

So, we had some fun Valentine's Dayheppenings around my house. I am not a Hallmark Valentine's Day type. I am also not a couple's Valentine's Day type. I hate that it is supposed to be a day to do to an over booked restaurant, get overpriced flowers and go to an overcrowded movie theater. Just not my thing. So, since I had kids I decided to start focusing Valentine's Day on them and making it a family event. Now to go with the whole non-Hallmark holiday, you'll never believe this, but I don't buy Valentine's cards either. Big shocker, right? LOL!! So, last year we made little treat bags and so when Ethan asked if we were making treat bags again I got online to see what we were going to do. I can't remember who, but somebody posted a website for these awesome little "Treat Transmitters" aka robot valentines online. As soon as I saw them I knew they were the thing this year. When I got home I showed them to Ethan and he agreed that they were the thing to do this year. So, I bought everything and got all the prep work done so that the night before we could get them all put together so that Ethan could take them to school for his Valentine party. It went flawlessly. Addie even got to help and we had an assembly line set up at our table to put them together and Derek and I weren't even up all night long putting them together. We got to bed on time that night and even watched some TV before bed. It was awesome. I did got to bed with dried glue all over my fingers, but that's the price you pay to send your kid to school with robot Valentine's I guess. They came out really cute though and I got a call from one Ethan's classmate's parents a couple of days later that Ethan's robots were the hit of the party and Ethan said he got at least 15 comments about them. he was pretty excited about it. So here are the pictures of us making them and our Robot Army in the kitchen.To make them we used Cardstock for the bodies, sticks of gum for the arms, life savers for the eyes and starbursts for the feet. The Ethan wrote Happy Valentine's Day! From: Ethan, on the back while I wrote things like Hug Me, U-R-A-*, B-MINE, etc on the fronts.
Our Robot Army

So, like I said on Valentine's Day I like to do something with my family, not just do something with Derek. So this year with Valentine's Day being on Sunday, I thought that sounded like a great day for a brunch. So, after sending out an initial text message invitation to a list of people that Ethan gave me, we started planning. It was awesome. The food was great, the company was awesome. My sister came the day before to help me get everything set up (and do a little cruise shopping). We stayed up waaaaaaaaay to late and came up with some really bad ideas like fake gangster tattoos. We failed miserably at looking gangster and really just look lame, but I thought I'd share the pics with you anyway...don't judge us...it was very late at night. We were a bit delirius.The next morning Alisha did put this gorgeous unhealthy looking cake together. Don't let her fool you. She has some tricks to make it much less fattening. Isn't it yummy looking??
Alisha decided that everybody must have a tattoo and put herself in charge and so Jack decided for a day he could have his very own tramp stamp. Isn't it cute?? Can you believe we got proof? Niki is the best sport when it comes to playing with Addie. More than anybody she gets down on her hands and knees to play with Addie. Not that nobody else plays with Addie, but I've never seen this before. Addie has an imaginary baby she plays with and likes to pretend that she's the mommy and she is taking care of her baby. Well, here instead Niki got to be the baby and when Addie turned around Niki got up and hid. So Addie decided Niki was in big trouble and put her in time out and was scolding her about staying in bed when it was her bedtime. Then Addie told her that she still loved her and she could get out of the corner. Oh dear!! What have we gotten ourselves into with this little girl?? Jack on the other hand thought it was a good idea to stay put and not move with the other babies in bed. So, that was our Valentine's Day. Thank you everyone who celebrated Valentine's Day with us and took time out of your day to hang out with us. I know there were 4-5 of you who I said would get an invitation to in the mail and they didn't come...well, I thought I sent them last week, but I came in to work today and guess what...they are still sitting my desk. Oooops!! I did have them for you. They are addressed and ready to go. :) Let me know if you still want them. Ethan decorated them and has a little hand written poem in them that he came up with himself. I was going to mail all of them but ended up seeing some a large portion of the people who came at our "cruise dinner" or just didn't think to give you your invitation because we see you everyday.

Well, I hope everyone has a fantastic President's Day. I had to work today, but Derek has it off and is spending the day with Addie and Ethan has it off along with Tuesday and is spending it with his grandparents in Snohomish. Enjoy your week. Ciao!!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Yes, I know!! My poor blog has been highly neglected. So, I need to fix that. So I am going to start changing that and post every Monday with a weekly post of what has gone for the past week. Great way to start the week, right? So that is my newest plan. Hold me to it. If I fail to post kick me in the rear and let me know I have failed miserably. I will also try and load pics. I have been a horrible picture taker. I have a beautiful camera with no pictures on it. I am going on a vacation in 14 days so I'll have lots of picture to upload from that very soon. Yay!! Okay, see you all Monday!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween

So, for halloween Addie was dead set on being a rock star and Ethan wanted to something scary, so he chose an alien. I had some ideas for Addie's costume running through my head but nothing major. Nothing in her costume except the hair color had to be bought in the Halloween section so I wasn't in a hurry...until I got sick last week. I didn't leave my house until Saturday morning, although I had planned to go last week during lunch. So Saturday morning Addie and I headed off to Target to come up with an outfit for her "Rockstar" costume. Ethan had his several weeks in advance, so that was easy and he had a mask and everything. easy breazy. I was sick as a dog and was counting down the minutes to make a doctors appt. I didn't really think I needed one but my mom was worried and I knew some better cough syrup with a little codeine to calm my cough so I could get some sleep wouldn't hurt. So we went to Target got a mish mash of stuff then headed off to the doctor. The doctor told me I wasn't allowed to go trick'o'treating. Whah!! I love taking the kids out. I was pretty bummed. So we went home and took a nap, well I took a nap while Derek chased Addie around the house not taking a nap. When I woke up I got Addie ready with the help of my friend Paige, my parents and Derek. Ethan's costume was pretty simple although needed a little bit of work to sit the way it was supposed to. After the little bit of work i had to do I thought my head was going to start spinning so I threw the kids out along with Derek and they went to a friends house up north about 10 miles for a kid Halloween party and some t'o't-ing and I had a quiet house. You would think it would be restful but feeling as crappy as I did and missing the kids get to be so cute and fun it wasn't as restful as i'd have liked. Plus I was hungry and having had been sick for the past several days all the easy food was gone so i had to actually think about what food to eat. Lame. I am ready to be healthy. But it sounds like the kids had a great time...although the candy givers were a little chincey with their reese's this year...not that I would know...it's not like I went and got candy or anything. LOL. Here's the pics of the kids getting ready and in their costumes.

Paige was a super duper rockstar hair stylist. 2 gold stars for sure!!
Gotta have the rock star crimping going on!!
She's got diva primping under control
Ethan is putting the Earth under his spell
Let's roll and be as difficult as possible for mommy to get pics of us
Ready to rock and roll
She's got down that diva pout, dang it...I had hoped she would miss that part
Addie had to do some practicing to get those little fingers to move right
Addie LOVED her rockin costume
Rock on dudes from outerspace!!
Rock on Nanoo
The silly rocker aliens
Addie has got her bag and is almost ready to go...now she just needs to find some shoes.
Ethan and Gabriel getting ready to do some trick'o'treatin'
Ethan is leading the way
Apparently addie needed some makeup. I wasn't there so I am guessing sunglasses.
Not sure why...but this picture just freaks me out. A little too rocker gone, I don't know what...just not right.
As long as she can still rock I guess we're doing okay.

The Pumpkin Patch

Every year I try and plan a trip to th epumpkin patch. Some years we go to a pumpkin patch by my parents house and other years we go by our house. There is a nice pumpkin patch about 5 minutes from our house. this year we thought we would try someplace different and went about 20 minutes from home to a place I had heard about the maze a little further south. Alisha decided to join us on our adventures and showed up in the middle of the night the night before. A fun little last minute addition to our plans. We got down Rutledge Farms and no one was there. It was awesome. It was the weekend before Halloween so we expected it to be packed. I always have to come up with a million reasons why we can't go until the last minute so that Derek doesn't carve the pumpkins to early. Otherwise we end up with moldy Jack-o-Lanterns.

The maze was awesome. The ground was packed down perfectly. No big mud holes or pits in the ground. The maze was pretty easy to follow and although Addie started on Derek's shoulders she quickly joined in and was running through the maze with everyone else. We had a blast.

After the maze we had to catch a ride on a horse drawn hay ride to the pumpkin patch. Now the pumpkin patch was definately lacking as was the entire rest of the field aside from the maze, but we were still able to find some good pumpkins and Addie thought the chickens were cook even if they had no feathers on their butts. They were mean chickens that seemed to pick on each other and pull out each others feathers. So although we will never go back to that pumpkin patch again, we had a great time and while complaining about what it lacked got some ideas of some new ones to check out next year. So here are the pics...

Getting started
Here began Ethan's obsession with the corn
Alisha posing on the bridge
A family pic on the bridge
These 3 were hiding in the corn waiting to jump out and scare us. Don't tell them...but we knew we were there.
Always looking adorable
Ethan captured his sis
Punching out a marker at a checkpoint in the maze.
Ethan talking to Addie while walking through the maze
The boys on the bridge
All the corn
Addie hanging out on a bridge looking at all the corn
Ethan was obsessed with the corn through the entire maze. What is it with kids and caring about the least important thing in an event.
No Ethan...Mommy takes the pictures and you stand and look cute!!
Ethan is always so sweet to his sister (well, almost always)

Being silly waiting to head over to the pumpkin patch
A family pic while we are waiting for the hay ride to the pumpkin patch
We had to take a hayride to the pumpkin patch from the maze area
Derek and Ethan are working together to find the coolest pumpkins
Ethan is on a mission to find the best pumpkin EVER!!!
This one looks waaay toooooo big!!
It looks like it could be a nice pumpkin
Uh oh...it might be too heavy
Addie's last test to see if she could lift it up
Addie made her decision
Ethan was checking out all sorts of pumpkins but this was the one he was pretty sure was the one
Ethan's final pumpkin choice
Ethan decided to hitch a ride to weigh in the pumpkins