Friday, October 30, 2015

finally, a garden!!

I have wanted a garden for a long time. I love being outside in the yard and getting my hands dirty. There's also something wonderfully fantastic about cooking and eating the food you've grown yourself. I was very excited to finally see this dream happen as we planted our very first little garden. I have to mention of course that I do have a gardener-in-crime (my mother) who does AT LEAST half the work of planting/maintaining the garden. Very nice, since gardening can kinda be a lot of work.

I was fortunate enough to receive three beautiful garden boxes made by none other than Papa Dueck. With a little nudge from my mom, we managed to get the lovely boxes prepped and planted. 

The kids all helped as well, which I totally loved! Nothing better than working in the yard with my kiddos by my side!!

They got to plant starter plants and tiny little seeds, and of course make stick labels ...

They learned about watering just the right amount ... 

They were wonderful and eager little gardeners.

And then the waiting began:-)!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

big 34;)

Yep, this girl turned 34 in 2014!

Celebrated the way I like ... with my family close by!!

What better way to celebrate??!!

Got totally spoiled as always. 

New iPhone!!!

Glitzy Brighton from K. 
Admittedly I did return the earrings (they were a bit much for me), but it was SUPER thoughtful of him:-):-). 

And for the finale ... a new, lightweight, backpacking air mattress;). Ha! What more could a girl want??!!  It is very comfy. Looks like I could have taken a nap here if it weren't for the kids climbing all over me. 

Thanks, guys!! Up next, 35!

Monday, October 19, 2015

workin' hard or hardly workin'??

Kevin's work has been awesome in past years about providing really great activities for "Bring Your Child to Work Day"!! We decided that Brooks was still a bit young to participate in 2014, but Porter, James, and Mae all got to go, and (as always) had a wonderful time! What a great dad, to take time out of his very very very busy work schedule to have fun with his kiddos at work. 

Here they are checking in and doing a bit of apple stacking.

Participating in a very tasty minute-to-win it competition, and other fun activities.

And having a great time with more games and learning opportunities!! 

What a great opportunity for kids to check out their dad's/mom's workplace and see possible future careers, etc.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

11 and counting

This super amazing kid turned 11 in 2014

It was not actually his year for a friend party; however, he did get to have over a couple of buddies from up the street (they're pretty much family anyway:-)

I really have no idea what was going on here, but it certainly looks like they were having a good time.

This 11-year-old loved to pose!!;)
I guess K is the backdrop.

Oh boys!

Looks like Mae was lucky enough to have cousin G over.
(looks like Janie is there too in the background)

I love that James rarely picks basic old cake for his b-day dessert. This particular year it was cherry and peach pies. Mmmm!!

What? James wants to use the lighter?? No way!!;)

Love you, amazing, smart, strong, resilient, Mr. 11-year-old stud!! You're one fantastic kid!!!

dungeness spit

Warning: there are bits of geography and history worked into this post. I'll try not to make it boring.

The Pacific NW really is an amazing place. There are so many beautiful little gems to explore. The Dungeness Spit seems to be yet another one of those gems. Since I had never heard of it before this trip, I decided I would look into it a bit more. Here's what Wikipedia had to say ... 

First the geography:
"The Dungeness Spit is a 5.5 mile long sand spit jutting out from the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula ... into the Strait of Juan de Fuca ... It is the longest natural sand spit in the United States." 

Next the history:
"The spit was first recorded by Europeans during the Spanish 1790 Quimper expedition. British explorer George Vancouver named the landform in 1792, writing "The low sandy point of land, which from its great resemblance to Dungeness in the British Channel, I called New Dungeness."] 

And now for the pictures:-)!!

I believe this outing started as a Scout activity, but ended up being more of a fathers-and-sons outing.
The group stayed the night at the Dungeness Recreation Area and then headed for the lighthouse in the morning. 




The Dungeness Spit is home to the New Dungeness Lighthouse, which was once run by United States Coast Guard. Apparently in 1976 an automatic light was installed which it sounds like removed the need for any management of the facility. Since 1994, though, the lighthouse has been staffed and maintained by the volunteer "New Dungeness Light Station Association", and is open to the public year round. 

And for a fun fact (again from Wikipedia): 
"In December 2001 a heavy winter storm forced water over the spit. The next morning the spit was split in three places, and vehicles supplying the lighthouse were not able to traverse the spit for about a month."

Fun times boys!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

cousin easter!

My sister and her husband where on a cruise (if I remember correctly) over the Easter 2014 weekend, so I was lucky enough to inherit three extra kiddos for all the festivities of the great Easter Holliday.

This is what Easter baskets look like for 8 children. Fun times:-).

Just out of bed and ready for some fun!

Easter morning excitement! Grandma's even in on the action 
(of course she was around helping all weekend!!)

Dad trying to score some candy from Joseph;). 

Getting a decent shot of 8 kids, dressed for church and staring into the bright sun proved to be impossible. 

We headed back inside for another attempt. Still not exactly perfect, but we'll take it!

Home from church and ready for an Easter Egg Hunt. 

Of course, we had to start youngest to oldest to make sure the little ones actually ended up with some eggs. 
Here goes Joseph!

Brooks is off ...

At this point, I'm thinking we released the rest of the little beasties all at once:).

Miss Mae (having a little too much fun maybe??) ...

James on the prowl ... 

And Porter hustling his bustle to score some highly-concentrated sugar. 

It was definitely even more fun with cousins!!

I had to include these pics, because I think little Janie won the award for the best faces!!

And there you have it, Easter hunt is complete. Time to head back inside and enjoy the bounty.

As I'm finishing off this post, I'm realizing that I didn't even touch on the entire purpose for Easter--the sacrifice, atonement, and of course resurrection of our wonderful and loving Savior Jesus Christ. This particular Easter is all just a blur now, but aside from all the exciting parts of the day/weekend, I really hope we spent enough time reflecting on that amazing event and that gracious friend and brother. Certainly something to improve upon!

Friday, October 2, 2015

88 years young!

Look at this amazing lady! Okay, they're both amazing ladies, but I'm talking about the one on the right (K's lovely g-ma). 

We were privileged to have her in town for her 88th birthday!!

She is vivacious, positive, energetic, pure-hearted, and absolutely beautiful. 

She has loved and cared for many, and we are extremely grateful that she's in our lives setting such a fantastic example for all of the rest of us!!

costco date;)

I am pretty much all about business while at Costco. I put my blinders on and navigate the many rows like a mouse hunting for cheese. No taste-testing (unless it involves dark chocolate) and no wandering the aisles scoping out all the fun and new products. Completely, totally boring; and yet, time and pocket book efficient--which is why it works for me. 

Kevin on the other hand is Mr. Fun. With life in general really, but also specifically as it relates to Costco. He likes to mosey around checking out the latest gadgets, gizmos, toys, and foods. Not boring at all!! Sometimes he likes to put a few of those cool food, toys and gadgets in our cart. Really not boring!! I guess this is why he was able to make a trip to Costco into a fun date with Miss Mae.

They played around with the frisbee golf set ... 

Checked out a great craft/snack table for the backyard ...

And then finished off the date with pie and ice cream across the parking lot at Shari's. Sounds like a fun and tasty date to me!:-)

What will Mr. Fun come up with next:-)??!!