Saturday, September 22, 2012


A few fun things for September so far...

Ben and I tried our hand at canning for the first time ever.  His camping stove was the perfect way to water bathe the jars.

Being our first time ever, we decided to just do one things this year.  Peaches was an easy decision- the whole family loves them and we got them for a great deal.

Am I lucky or what?  Ben helped with every hour of canning- almost 12 hours to be exact.  I can't imagine doing it by myself.

 In the end, we had nearly 4 dozen quarts of canned peaches.  After all the exhausting work we put in, I almost don't want to ever open them...

On September 8th, Ben and I went to our first Mariner game of the season.  We weren't sure we were going to make it to a game this year, which is a disgrace for a true baseball fan like myself.  

Before the game, we stopped at a Franz Bread Bakery Outlet in downtown Seattle.  They had amazing deals and we walked out with a cartful of bread and bakery products for $9. 

We sat on the 3rd baseline side of the stadium- a first for us here at Safeco field.  I love the looks of a baseball field and diamond.  It's a true work of art- definitely the coolest looking place to play a game in all of sports (my opinion).]

We scored free tickets this night from the Engineer Union that Ben belongs to at Boeing.  Along with being SPEEA night at the game (SPEEA= Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aersospace).  As the Jumbo -Tron above shows, it was also "Latin American Beisbol Night."  That would have been fine and dandy except that for the entire night, every announcement made over the loud speakers was done in English and then Spanish.  Boy that got really annoying.  I would have almost preferred that the entire commentating/announcing be done all in Spanish.  The 2 repeating announcements got old, really fast.  No beuno.

SPEEA was there and had tables set up passing out free red SPEEA shirts, pins, stickers, signs, etc.  Ben and I wore our SPEEA shirts with pride (even though I went swimming in my XL size- all they had left).

SPEEA is getting ready to sign a new contract with Boeing and their favorite logo "No Nerds No Birds" represents SPEEA frustration with Boeing trying to cut benefits in their contracts.  Without the Engineers (nerds), there would be no airplanes (birds).  See?  Nerds can come up with creative logos. :)  SPEEA is ready to reject Boeing's poor offer, with the unfortunate possibility of a strike in the near future if Boeing refuses to be reasonable.  A strike would not be fun.  Or as our Latin friends at the ball game would have said, "No me gusta el strike."

Half way through the game, we decided to go down closer to the field and sit in some of the many, many empty seats in the stadium.  We found some great seats along the first baseline and enjoyed the rest of the game from there.

Mariners lost, pretty badly, but it was still (always) fun to be at a ball game.  I will never complain about that.

We had a great view of the city at the stadium.

On September 10th, we got a new litter of chocolate lab pups.  Having pups is always a fun and exciting time in our house- the kids love it.  They also become super helpful with the dogs (bonus) and want to hold puppies every minute of the day (not always a bonus).  Sure is cute though.

 Chloe, our puppy pro.  She has been alive for all of our litters.

Bed head and a cute pup

2 cute faces!

 All 9 of our new little pups.  Love how they "dog pile" on top of each other.

 September has also had the most amazing weather.  I am dreading when the sun will go away.  We have tried to enjoy every second of good weather this summer, especially this month.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First Days of School

The day after getting back from our weekend wedding trip, Mitch started school on Tuesday, September 4th. Chloe didn't start until the following day, which worked out great. It was nice to have the kids both have their own special "first day," and it was a nice transition for me into getting every back to school.

Mitch's school, which is out of district for where we live, is a good 10-11 minute drive. That's not very far, but having gotten used to Chloe's school which is just a 2 minute drive or a short walk, it will be an adjustment this year. It takes some careful planning getting Mitch to school 10 minutes away, then getting Chloe to school right after that. Their schools start times are just 10 minutes apart. Mitch only goes to school 2-3 times a week (full day Tuesday and Thursday and a partial day every other Friday), so luckily I only have to be super careful about our "leave the house time" a few times a week.

With his new sports themed backpack. He was so thrilled to pick out a big boy backpack. His preschool back pack last year was half this size, and his school required a large bag.

Group shot!

Mitch, outside of his new school- Dieringer Heights Elementary.

Mitch becomes quiet in new situations, but did not hesitate to walk right into his classroom.

His teacher showed him where to put his lunch box, then he placed his folder in the right spot after being shown where it went.

Mrs. Taylor then showed his where to sit and explained to the kids what they were to do for the next few minutes.

Mitch played with the playdough as I waved to him and slipped out the door. A very successful first day drop off for my big, full day school boy.

Only half of his class came this first day, and the other half would come on Thursday that week. This "staggered start" schedule allows the teacher to make the transition smoother for the kids since she had fewer kids. I love that.

I picked up a happy boy after school- he had a great first day. He told me all about the new friends he had made, about eating in the cafeteria (the highlight of his day) and how he shared his treat with a friend. He was super pumped to tell me they got "3 recesses today, wait, maybe it was 4. No, I think it was 5." He told me that he "made a hoop" at recess on the basketball court.

Although he had a great first day, all day school is a BIG adjustment, especially to a 4 year old. Soon after we got home, he had a big melt down about something he doesn't normally throw a fit about.

A great first day, but exhausting for him. Poor Mitch!

As a special treat for Mitch's first day of school, we made a family favorite- homemade maple bars.

I'm not going to lie- they were good!

Our favorite local Grandma, Cynde, came over that evening. Her birthday was that week, but she was going to be out of town on her actual birthday so we invited her over to give her a plate of her very own maple bars for her special day.

She has a fondness for maple bars, and we have a fondness for her. We love Grandma Cynde!

The kids wanted to do a "crazy eyes" picture too- they are obsessed with crazy eyes lately.

Mitch was sure a sweet boy on his first day. He made every member of the family his signature "ILU" note. ILU= I Love You.

The very next day, September 5th, was Chloe's first day of 2nd grade. I've got one grown up little girl! She was so excited this morning that she was all ready for school (lunch packed and all) with more than an hour to spare.

She loved having a matching backpack and lunch box. World Peace! :)

Group shot!

We walked to school that first morning and found 2 friends from church, who are in her class, waiting by the classroom door.

In she goes! Mrs. Miller greeted each child individually.

Chloe found her seat, which ironically is right next to 3 of her church friends. Her 4th church friend, and carpool buddy, sits a few desks away.

Chloe had a great first day too- she was very tired too after her first day. Going back to school is an adjustment.

For dinner we had a special treat to celebrate Chloe's first day- corn on the cob. Chloe was so excited about this!

I found this "Welcome to 2nd Grade" paper in her backpack that night. Under the section that is titled "This year, I'd like to learn about..." Chloe wrote "my teachers and their family. I also want to learn about cursive." She has been wanting to write in cursive for a long time and has even "self taught" herself.

Last week was my first week where both kids were in school full time (Mitch going all 3 days he's supposed to).

After walking Chloe to school one day, I showed the kids how to play hopscotch. It was hilarious watching them jump and prance around on the board.

One one of Mitch's day home, I found the 3 of them curled up on the couch watching a movie.

The best part about this year and new school schedule is that I have 2 full days a week home with just my babies. I am loving those days. Loving it.

They have been so cute and sweet together, just the two of them. So far, they have been great at entertaining themselves and playing quietly together. And so happy. It must be the big kids that bring out their naughtiness... ha ha. They have loved eating meals and snacks outside.

One day I found them on the couch, snuggled up together. Leah got up a few minutes later and whispered to me, "Shhh, Lexi's asleep."

One of their favorite games to play lately is "house." One of them is the mom and the other is the dad. They call each other by those names faithfully when they are pretending and it is so funny. I got confused once when I heard one of them yelling, "Mom! Mom!" I answered, "What??" I heard one of them call back, "No, not you. The other mom." My bad.

After Lexi woke up from her pretend nap, Leah read her some books.

On another day with just the 3 of us, I started an exercise video after dropping the big kids off at school. The twins sat down on the couch for the first few minutes and watched me, then decided they needed to join me.

They came down on the floor and exercised their little hearts out. I had to do all I could not to laugh out loud, for fear they would stop. But they watched the TV and followed every move as best they could.

The video has moves where hand weights are required and as they watched me and the ladies on the video pick up our weights, they both dropped to the ground and pretended to pick up some invisible hand weights of their own. When I would put down my weights, so would they. So cute and so funny.

Great form, little ladies!

Loved this move- squat thrusts! They were very good at them.

Ahh, the cool down stretching. I was so impressed. Minus the first 2 or 3 minutes, these girls did the entire workout with me.

This day they played a lot in the fort that Chloe made before going to school.

School is off to a great start so far. It has been especially nice so far because we have had the BEST weather. Sunshine makes everything better (well except homework, maybe. No one wants to do homework when the sun is shining and bikes and scooters are calling your name).