Monday, April 30, 2012

Typical April Weekend!

 It was a pretty typical April weekend for us! This means....crammed full of stuff to do and fun things too!

Ellie's best friend was baptized this weekend. It was a very sweet ceremony and we are really happy for Karma on such an important day to her. I'm happy we went to show our love for her! The girls both looked so beautiful.

Then it was Ellie's party after that (with a birthday party in between the baptism and Ellie's party). She decided to have it at the ice rink she takes skating lessons at. It was such a fun party! We had an instructor there for the first 20 minutes to hep the kids get on their feet and be safe. They all did great actually. 8 is a good age to have a party like this.

I ordered blue iced cupcakes and added some cute touches: marshmallow clouds and xtreme rainbows! They turned out cute and the kids loved them.

More action shots:

Then we had an outdoor photo session for the kids. I picked the river trail where I spend a lot of time because I love it there and it's so green and pretty right now. The kids did so well and looked so cute. Funny story: as we were just finishing up with pictures, we saw a mommy duck with her 3 tiny babies. We were all awwww'ing over them when Ellie piped up "we should go over there, get them and have a little snack"! This girl has a little evil streak :) I think the photographer's eyes bugged out of his head!

We also had playdates and sleepovers all mixed in, as well as a couple of baseball games. Thank you Mum for helping me navigate all the craziness and to my friends who helped me this weekend!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Craft Club April 2012

 Craft Club for April was at my place last night. We had a great turn out: 13! (14 if you count me!)

We learned how to make a variety of felt flowers to embellish a wreath.

This is how mine turned out. I especially love the dahlias and the little bunting in the middle. The hardest part was the burlap ruffle. Burlap + hot glue= ouch! But a little pain was worth the end result.

The dahlias are really easy but a little time consuming as you have to cut all the petals out individually. I made a little template which made things a lot quicker.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Life List: progress?

Revisited my life list today and managed to mark off some more things in green (and take one off the list in orange). Need to look at my list more often and make progress!

1) Get a Master's degree (probably in Social Work)
2) Own a dog
3) Learn to play the harmonica really well
4) Travel to Italy
5) Take a photography class: I am signed up for one in April
6) Set up a table at a craft fair
7) Have my own business: Check!
8) Create my own website on my own domain: Done!
9) Be a Big Sister
10) Get published in a scrapbooking magazine
11) Travel to China
12) Take a pottery class
13) Have a psychic reading done by John Edwards
14) Eat a piece of fruit every day for the rest of my life: I am doing a lot better on this
15) Build a composite backyard deck of my dreams (well, HAVE it built, not build it myself!)
16) Plant a vegetable garden
17) Learn operate a sewing machine and then to sew clothing
18) Run a marathon (did I really just type that??): I am on my way, I have a 5 k race in April
19) Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans
20) Go on a cruise
21) Volunteer at a soup kitchen
22) Go away with 4 best friends for an entire week
23) Recycle everything I possibly can
24) Re-finish an old chest of drawers
25) Keep my recipe book up to date so I can pass it on to Ellie one day
26) Take a hip hop dance class with Lucas
27) Be an advocate for people in need
28) Make sure my friends and family know how much I love and appreciate them: I am trying harder to do this and I believe I have been a lot more open about my feelings especially when it comes to my friends.
29) Take my Mum on a trip, just her and I, to the place of her choice
30) Drive across the USA
31) Have a consistent family game night every week
32) Take a yoga class
33) Take an anger management class
34) Go to Iceland
35) Sponsor a child in a foreign country: More news on this soon but it requires a whole new blog post :)
36) Do the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk <----off the list, never will support any Komen events, would switch to any other agency benefiting cancer care and research that respects women.
37) Have a flower garden that I can make beautiful bouquets from (dahlias, small sunflowers, daisies)
38) Learn how to use Photoshop
39) Make a quilt
40) Get a tattoo with a friend
41) Go to an event/evening where I have to wear a ball gown
42) Make sure I never tell people I love that I didn't call or keep in touch because "I have been Sooooooo busy": This one is easy
43) To get to know my brother better
44) Have a "summer home" or cabin
45) Go to the Oprah Show
46) Take graphic art/design classes

The Tooth Fairy

This morning, Dama was up early. Lucas came in the room and climbed into bed next to me. He said to me "I caught Daddy putting money under my pillow. I was awake and I thught it was you coming in to cover me up so I just lay there with my eyes closed. I saw Daddy putting the money under my pillow". Through his tears, he asked me if we were really the tooth fairy all along.

He was so....sad! I wrapped him up in my arms and let him talk about all that was on his mind. I felt tears welling up in my eyes too. I knew if I told him at this point, he'd be heartbroken. And to be honest, it was breaking my heart too. I asked him "if it really was us, would you want to know"? He said he did. So I held him close and we lay there silently. He cried and I cried too.

After a couple of minutes of silence, he said "can you go talk to Daddy about why he did that? Maybe he has a reason". So I left and talked to Dama. We decided to go with one more "explanation" that he had found it under HIS pillow and was simply putting it where it belonged. Dama and I came back in the room and told him that. He processed for a while and mentioned he had been up to the bathroom during the night, so maybe she was confused as to where he was.

I just don't know what the right thing to do is. I want to be honest with him but he so much wants to still believe. And I think I'm going to help him with that for a little longer.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Lighter Load

A couple of days ago, I received a text asking if Lucas would try out for Minors baseball. We had registered him for farm (which has no tryouts and the same level he was at last year: kid pitch to coach pitch after 4 balls). I had never really considered minors as last year was his first year and I figured (in my totally inexpert opinion) that he needed more work on basic skills before moving to minors. I talked to his coach about it and he said to go ahead and try out for minors.

When I talked to Lucas about it, he was excited. He pitched last year and chances are he will not pitch at all in minors for a couple years. He ok'd that (pitching is the cool job for this age)! We (me and Daddy) are going into this assuming he probably won't make it but great experience and a good skills assessment. Lucas is going into it excited but lacking a little confidence, nervous and I think he is expecting to not make it too. We have told him to just go have fun and either way he will play with a great team.

Let me back up to something that seems unrelated, but it will all come together. A few weeks ago, a mom at school who I am friends with mentioned that her son "Jack" and Lucas were having issues at recess. It sounded really uncharacteristic of Lucas but after asking him about it, I realized he wasn't being the greatest friend/teammate on the soccer field. Lucas and I talked at length about it and it seemed to come from him taking soccer way too seriously at recess time and it seemed like a trap he was caught in and couldn't find his way out. He had been critical towards his friend and his friend was hurt. Jack's mom and I had talked before about the myriad of issues on the lunch soccer field (involving all the boys). You put 20 very athletic, competitive boys on a field together without a referee and there will be fireworks!

Lucas and I talked it all out and came to some strategies on how to help the situation. We talked every day after school. We talked about taking it less seriously and having fun. He is the co-captain of his team (as appointed by recess teacher in hopes of controlling the chaos they sometimes had previously) and we talked about what makes a good captain.

Things were going well but there were still a couple of instances where Lucas was unkind to this boy. It had been really bothering me a lot, this was not the kid I know. On his rec and indoor soccer team, he is so encouraging. does this all come together? Yesterday, with the tryouts looming, he came to me and said "Can you text Jack's mom and see if he will bring his mitt to school and help me get ready for tryouts"? My heart became lighter. When I texted her, I could tell that hers did too. With all that had been going on, I needed to see that he was hearing me. That he realized that he doesn't need to be the best at everything. That part of being a good friend and leader is to rely on your friends and counterparts too. Letting others help YOU is a precious gift you give to yourself and to others.

Amazing how he mended so much with such a small idea.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I think there's definitely some truth in this. But also think you have to put in the effort until you realize it's not being returned. That moment can be a hard realization but letting go can also be very freeing.

Thank you to my friends who, even though they are tens of miles or thousands of miles away, still make the effort to connect with me.

I love you!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas Holidays 2011

We had a really fun and busy holiday season this year! We decided to stay local and not hit the Mexican beaches, which I missed a lot. But we enjoyed a traditional Christmas and I cooked all day long. It was really nice and great food! We kept busy over the holidays with lots of fun stuff.

Probably our most exciting day was when we went to Mt Baker National Forest and went for a hike. We had some info that there is a natural hot spring in the forest so we decided to go for it. With "kind of" directions in hand, we set off and found a "parking area" off the road. This road is not your typical road, it was fairly deep in the forest, gravel, full of potholes. Once we parked, the directions said to take the obvious trailhead. Well, there are no signs so we found one entry to the forest that followed along an abandoned road. We figured this was it. 45 minutes down the road, we figured we had taken the wrong way. So we set back and investigated a little closer back by the car.

We found a small entry to the forest that we had to kind of duck into and saw a small trail. Followed that for a little while and finally came upon the springs. It was one of the neatest things I have seen! I had no idea such a place existed so closeby. There was snow around but the springs were hot. I made it up to my ankles but Dama and the kids went all the way in. We were the only ones in the springs, pretty spoiled!

Even Baxter took a little dip! It was so fun to have him on this adventure. He loved hiking along with us and he was rolling around in the snow.

December 28th brought Maile's 12th birthday! We celebrated as usual with a cake. She was suitably un-impressed as always. But deep down inside, I am sure she can see how loved she is with such a fuss made over her :)

January 1st brought the Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach Park in Seattle. This was a really fun event (probably because I didn't have to go in!!). Dama and Lucas went in, the brave souls that they are. Hardy people!! Lucas loved it and declared it an annual event.

With their "Courage Patches":

The whole family spent a lot of time playing hockey this holiday too. If you know Lucas, he is really good at recruiting folks to play sports with him. He got a bunch of street hockey gear for Christmas so he was using it up!

January 2nd we went to the Tsubaki Shrine in Granite Falls for our annual New Years rituals. We pray for good health and good fortune, walk the beautiful grounds by the Stillaguamish River, and pick an Omikuji (yearly fortune). We came up with "Good Fortune" so hopefully this year will be a great one for us.

Beautiful Ellie preparing to enter the shrine grounds. You wash your hands in this water using the scoops.

Happy New Years to all of you!

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