Sunday, December 30, 2012

Big Moment for Little Miss

Up until December 7th, Natalie was dead set against getting her ears pierced.  Then we bought her some clip-on earrings and the possibility of ALL THOSE EARRINGS swayed her decision.  She made the decision that she wanted pierced ears.  But boy-oh-boy was there quite the scene at home after she made this decision.  LOTS of crying and carrying on, but she wasn't changing her mind.
 
The next day we were at the outlet mall, and discovered that there was a Claire's there.  She said she was ready, so we went in and made her earring choice selection.  Then reality set in, and the tears and worry resurfaced.  But she still didn't waver on her decision.  She pulled through like a champ, and I'm so proud of her she's been very diligent in cleaning and caring for them.  Plus she looks so stinkin' cute with her new sparkle!  P.S.  "Free piercing" with purchase of earrings = $50+!!! 
 
 
 





Thursday, December 27, 2012

Santa's Surprise

video

We flew home from Las Vegas on Christmas day, picked up all the kids on the way home, and came home to a surprise from Santa! 
Great Wolf Lodge here we come! 


We also got several surprises from Pickles, who has severe separation anxiety, destroyed an entire box of Kleenex in Michael and my bedroom along with a basket and a pile of Mike's pants.  There was several various household items that he hoarded by his food dish, and just general disarray of the house.  All from a little orange cat.















Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Cookies

Of all the Christmas goodies to choose from, sugar cookies are my Achilles heel.  In fact, I make them for any holiday I can. 

Before I reunited with Michael, I didn't know that there were mixes for sugar cookies, I've always made them with the only recipe I've ever known, and on the only recipe card I've ever recognized written in my mothers handwriting. 
Last weekend, I made a triple (yes, triple!) batch of cookies.  I have another (triple) batch of dough chilling in the refrigerator this morning because we made short work of all those cookies! 
I don't have a magical go-to icing recipe, I'm always searching for the icing recipe that hardens, yet tastes good; and I have always wanted to have perfectly piped and color-saturated cookies.  But I'll settle for delicious over beautiful every time. 
 
Last night, I decided I wanted to make some chocolate-walnut fudge.  I meticulously followed Grandma Alice's handwritten recipe for "Fail-Safe Fudge" in her beautiful cursive handwriting.  Mike and I snuck 3 pieces each after the kids went to bed last night. 
 
I love to cook and bake.  It's good therapy for me (much like blogging is), which have both been in increasingly less-frequency now that I'm working full time.  I love my job, but I'm also very conscious of what has been sacrificed for it.  Christmastime is a good time to remember the joys of blogging (we have so much fun stuff going on in our lives!) as well as baking for family and friends, and remembering those who instilled the joy of baking in me. 
 
 
"Myrita Henry's Sugar Cookies"  I'm not positive who Myrita was, I believe she was my Grandmothers neighbor in Bakersfield... I'll have to ask my mom to remind me.
 

 
Makenzie's cookie decorating skills are the finest in the family.  Seriously.



Everyone has their own work-stations... decorating the cookies is a family affair, nobody can ice that many cookies alone!  And the payoff is that everyone gets to choose which cookie they're going to eat first!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

end of summer blues

I love September.  It's the month of mine and Brady's birthdays, the weather is almost the best of the year, school is back in session, it's just a feel-good month. 
 
That's not to say we didn't have a good time in August:
 
The girls and I had lunch at PF Chang's on our epic school-clothes shopping expedition.


 We celebrated Carly and Jim's 5 year anniversary at their cool mid-century home.
 We went to an Everett Aquasox game courtesy of my employer (and the girls got to sing 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' during the 7th inning stretch out on the field).
 We took the ferry to the island to visit family and go to the island county fair.
 Makenzie was the only kid brave enough to go on the zipper, so dad had to buck up and chaperon. 
 
Georgia Gerber is one of Whidbey's most notorious residents (pike place pig, anyone?) and her bronze art also stands in front of the pig barn at the fair.  They cover it with a canopy so kids don't burn their hiney's sitting on it. 
 
 
We also spent a paycheck at the Evergreen state fair.  The girls got their money's worth out of their all-day ride wristbands.  Brady however "didn't want to go in the air" which made his wristband essentially worthless.
 We shelled out some dough so the kids could chase each other around like hamsters.

 The girls showed off their acrobat skills:
 
And Brady found his calling when he got to mow his Aunt Jacquie's property. 
 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Deception Pass in July





 


On one of our many trips to Whidbey this summer, we stopped by Deception Pass to burn off some "sitting in the car too long" energy.  The kids climbed everything they could find, we vandalized a fence rail, and the mandatory photo with the plaque (I had to go find the picture of me at the same spot in the spring of 1979)
 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

While the kids are away...

The kids have been gone a week today.  We've honestly been so busy, time is speeding by.  Last year we redecorated Brady's room and did a mini-makeover for the girls.  This year the girls decided they want to share a bedroom, and turn the other bedroom into their playroom.  So we've (read:Mike) have been busy painting and moving furniture and scrambling to get it finished before they return.  




One of Brady's friends thought it would be funny to fling of of Brady's shoes onto the neighbors roof. 

The girls (and a neighbor-friend) hanging in the cherry tree.


After mike had primered over the P-I-N-K walls. 

The pink strip is the lighter of the two pinks that were once in this room, and were now the marker to where we put a chair rail.

Prepping for polka dots.

And after! 

My sweetie. 

My good friend Tracy and her husband are on the Paleo diet and doing very well.  We had dinner together Friday night so I was searching online for a Paleo-friendly dessert and came across a recipe for banana ice cream treat.  And the recipe raved about this ice cream made from a plain ole frozen banana with the help of this machine: Yonanas  I picked it up on my lunch break and Tracy mocked me and told me that's what my food processor was for, and proceeded to endure endless teasing about buying a "gadget".  Well, shut the front door because this thing makes delicious banana ice cream!  And guess who bought one the very next day?!  Seriously:  in goes a frozen banana (and other frozen fruit if you wish) and out comes ice cream!  It's a Paleo dream come true for the ice cream lover who is jonsen for a cold, creamy treat! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Spring.

Finding balance between life and work is proving difficult for me.  I've been so lousy at blogging, haven't scrapbooked in years... even my running has taken a backseat.  And it's my own fault, my family actually complains that I'm not doing these things.  I'm slipping into the old "put myself last" habit that is so true in so many mothers and wives.  We do it happily and without thought.  But... it's just a few things that make me happy and as the saying goes "happy wife, happy life" I think I need to get back in my old "good" habits to make sure I keep my kids and husband happy too! 


We spent several weekends this year over on "the island" helping build an apartment on Mike's parent's property for his ailing Grandmother.  Well, Mike helped build, I ate peanuts and drank beer while the kids played and got filthy.
 Natalie and I with fresh haircuts.
 Our girls at Woodland Park Zoo... we became season pass holders this year
 Brady hand-feeding a cockatiel.
 Natalie and her little bird...
and Makenzie fed a stunt bird :)
 Heading to the island... Brady's favorite place to be.
 The girls celebrated their birthdays together with a party at the Lynnwood Parks and Rec pool.
 6 years and 1 day, Boo lost her first tooth!
 Celebrating Erin's upcoming wedding with some dear (and gorgeous!) friends.
 The newest member of our household:  Our nanny's little girl "Bugs".  She just turned one, and she has the most delicious chubby rolls.