Monday, September 9, 2013

The FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL pictures!!

This is my favorite part of the first day!  And i LOVE the first day! its a wonderful celebration of the amazing freedom we all experience getting to learn together and spend the days together and bond and all that stuff...  Gosh, i love my kiddos and love being a mom!  

Anyway, this year, I decided to copy everyone else in the blogosphere and use a slate, which we have 3 of, so we took turns writing them.  I wrote the twins and Leif's and mine of course.   Here's the results!  

So, click on the pictures for a closer view, and please excuse the wonky order.  i'm simply DONE wrestling with Blogger and its format. 

Twinnies!!! age 4

Chloe- 12, my beautiful daughter that refuses to smile! 

Alex, 18, 3rd yr of comm. college.  Had to use his own tablet :)

Annabeth- 9 barely smiling.  upset with me for making her brush her teeth. 

Nik-14 his retake after he accidentally wrote "8th grade"  LOL. 

Elliott- 4
Asher- 4

And me! defying my hatred of the camera to capture the moment.  

Ft. Worden

Fort Worden is one of the most beautifully exquisite places on the face of the earth, i'm convinced!  We first went there when i was 9 months pregnant with Annabeth, For one of my husband's friend's wedding.  It was gorgeous, and amazing.  The most stunning wedding we'd been to by far, although i still think it was way wrong to have a song in their service that included the lyrics "I may not always love you"  But that is neither here nor there.  What's important is, it was lovely, and a great memory for us, we were so blessed to be a part of it. And i'd been trying to convince Andrew to go back, but our vehicles are all old and its a long drive.  So when i got the MOST brilliant idea of making a road trip weekend, and further, of taking one day out of each weekend that we have our rental car to take a partial family road trip.  (from the nasty hit and run incident that hit our BRAND new to us van... sigh...  Which, thankfully i'm super anal retentive about having an obscene amount of auto insurance at all times, we get to rent a vehicle for about $3 a day, which i'm certain is less than we'd be spending in gas ALONE, were andy to be driving the suburban to work instead of our new commuter car- the minivan-  LOL.  Anyway, so the first road trip was on Saturday, Mount Rainier, which i might post pictures of later, but i wasn't there so its harder to blog about it, so i'll just skip to Sunday.

So anyway, we went, the lucky attendees being MOI, and Andrew, since he's the safe driver.  Annabeth, Leif, and Elliott.  Leif is OBSESSED with "army" ANYTHING, so visiting a cool abandoned Fort was RIGHT up his alley. Annabeth is very laid back and likes to go anywhere, as does Elliott, so i knew they'd be a good fit for this road trip.    We took some time to recreate pictures from the first trip, almost exactly ONE DECADE ago! (wow!) except with different children entirely.   The first picture occurred when we only had 3 children on the outside and this time we had the NEXT 3 successive children, not counting Asher, but he is the 2nd born twin anyway, so its all good.

Here's some comparisons i posted on facebook earlier.

ok, so i was QUITE preggers with Annabeth in the right side, and the left is she and I.  Bummed that i missed the water bottle though... 

This is the comparison mentioned above.  Striking how similar the children look. 

I was taking time to actively practice mindfulness- something i'm working on, being fully present in the moment, absorbing all the sounds, sights, smells, touches, tastes.. (less of that sense)  And i got some time to sketch which was so nice :)  ok, enough talk, on to pictures.

This is the lighthouse i drew below, from a different angle. 

Ok, so i really really enjoyed the graffiti! i opted not to share my favorites because they were obscene, but i just HAD to get a selfie next to the smiley face! 

I find this picture to be hilarious... its the "please don't take my picture" look :)

Adorable Belly-bean. 

Turkey looking beautiful as always. 

Wow, do I look like my dad!  this is an excercise in taking a good selfie, a rare creature that i'm afraid was not caught today, but i thought this one was cool anyway, captured my freckles and desperate lack of EYES.

I found a pretty rock.  Yes, i get excited very easily!  That is all. 

This is the finished product of my drawing and narration.   i was pleased.  I have to say, having good supplies is over half the battle and using pen without the ability to erase is so freeing. 

And that is ALL! i'm off to commence the FIRST day of school! and will come back later to blog the pics we took this am which were off the charts hilarious! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bill's Fishin' hole in Orting Wa. (My friend Leiloni's sons' birthday party)

So, we've attempted fishing before...  and it didn't end all that well, other than seeing some cool specimen that other's caught.  So when Leiloni invited us to her sons' Asher and Judah's birthday party at Bill's fishin' hole, we were all SUPER excited to go!  

As always, going anywhere with Ash is a challenge.  Our amount and diversity of outings has decreased greatly since Ash Got older and more difficult to manage.  Right now at over 56 lbs (of pure bones muscles etc!) and not quite 4, he's quite a handful to manage.   Alex had opted to stay home for some peace and quiet and to do some programming, and so it was just Dad, Nik and I that could wrestle him, so we took turns with him.   It went fairly well.  

The drive to Orting was SPECTACULAR.  I've said it before and i'll say it again- we live in PARADISE! i totally want to move down to the rural area around here or buckley, or enumclaw... i do realize we'd be directly in Mt. Rainier's lahar flow, but I don't care.  Its amazing.  Going to the country is like entering a different world.  As we got close to Orting, i started taking pictures... 

We got to the farm and were immediately greeted by a chicken and 2 peacocks.  Leif is obsessed with chickens- he has been since he was a baby. So i got his picture with the chicken. 

Then we found Leiloni and the rest of the party, being fashionably late, as always :)  She had her hands very very full and i was sorry that most of my pictures ended up crappy and backlit, as i'm sure she didn't have a chance to get many... 

After presents and snacks, it was fishing time, so i took ash off, Andy, Elliott and Leif followed and we went to visit the sheep.  Ash kept saying 'sheep'  it was so cute 

Then it was my turn with ash, and we went off to hang out with the peacocks and do some bubbles.  I got a good selfie with me and my boy-mini-me. 

Then I passed off Ash to Nik and got to help with the fishing.  Let me say one thing- I am NOT a fisherman. my efforts were more effective in feeding the fish bait.  But thankfully Andy can pull it off, so all together we got 6 little ones.    

Leif, i made sure was able to catch his own, with both of us holding his rod.  He said to me tearfully, "i just want to catch some fish for my family!" so Leif caught 2 :) 

Chloe had a GREAT time, she's been wanting to go fishing for ages.  

I love this one! it was Andy catching "Anna's" fish... she is doing the happy dance over there on the right side of the picture :)

There's lots more good pictures, but if i ever expect to succeed at getting blogging done, i need to learn to keep it brief.  NOT my forte!  So i'll stop here.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thrive Life food storage

So, i've been contemplating the whole idea of food storage for a long time.   My first thoughts about preparing for disasters, etc. occurred in 2001 when I experienced my first earthquake! It was a 7.0 (the nisqually quake) and while I was in the best possible place for it, since both Seattle, which is built on fill dirt, and Olympia, which was near the epicenter were very badly damaged, our house in a solidly foundationed Seattle suburb was fine.  I was cooking with a MOPS group in an industrial kitchen, and it sounded like an airplane overhead, but everything rattled like crazy.  We came home to discover barely anything as much as knocked over, so other than some structural damage, our area was pretty much unscathed.  However, upon arriving home, i noticed that in my fridge (it was close to shopping day) was NO milk, no water, about 2 cups of juice in a pitcher... Literally, we had about 2 cups of liquid- in the WHOLE house! and not a great supply of food, but for my family of 4 (at the time) and me being 7 mos. pregnant, had our water supply been compromised we'd have had a BIG problem.

 Last year i discovered "Thrive" foods, and was quite impressed with the quality, the taste, the retention of nutrition, and most importantly, the ease of use!  I am not a great cook, nor do I particularly enjoy it... its just one of those things that must be done.  But Thrive offers the opportunity to significantly simplify meal prep.  Seriously, if i could buy almost everything thrive, i'd be all over that.  Some of the items are kind of pricey, so i can't right now, but i plan to work our budget to where we can buy on sale as much as possible, which should help.  As it stands, i'm needing to adapt our whole mindset, to a different way of cooking, our storage, our budget, etc.  So i'm starting slowly using the Q which i just signed up for and which should ship out on friday!  i budgeted $200 a month, to go toward thrive foods, which right now is just all going to our regular meal planning- soon i'll add extra for long term food storage, but for now i just need to get a routine and get used to the added cost, which i'm convinced after a while will be minimal, particularly since i've not been menu planning and waste has been a PROBLEM.

Where to get Thrive foods?  

I'm going through an AWESOME consultant, Misty Marsh, who you can find here  She's a superstar, in Thrive, and I can't even tell you how helpful she is and how much hand-holding she's done, answering questions, helping me figure out how to budget for it, etc.   She's not local, which is a downside, but I am happy with the trade off.  I'm going to be buying a consultant kit, though i'm not going to be actively selling, just basically getting the discount for us, since we spend a small fortune on food every month!

Also, Costco online sells just a few items, but for a large discount, and they ship super fast, and so i'll get some of our staples there.

The binder:

So this is an adaptation of my original binder, which hasn't gotten use in a looooong time... i think i posted about it here a while ago...  anyway,  I thought i'd post in case anyone else might benefit from my "laid up in bed and bored" hyperactive organization.

Here's the cover, just really simple...

The tabs include

Thrive stuff- including price lists, my Q shipment schedule, etc.
Recipes- Trad
Recipes Q
Recipes Thrive

Ok, so what I did was take my regular recipes and sort them by type of meat (or vegetarian) and write the type on the top left corner on each page,  Then i filed them in the "Recipes- Trad"  file in my binder.  With like meat types grouped together.

IF you notice on the picture above, the left have a Q before the meat type- That's because they are recipes that I included when planning my Q (which is automated when you sign up for a Q, thankfully, or i'd never have the attention span to do it!)   This is important because the Thrive foods i'm ordering are based on those recipes. 

So, you can click on the pictures for a bigger view if you'd like.  On the one above, you can see how I coded the Q recipes.  First, I highlight all the items that I plan to use thrive foods for.  For example, the elbow macaroni, i'm just buying from the store, so i didn't highlight it, so i know to buy it.  The ones that are highlighted in purple, are ones that are coming on the month listed next to it.  So I know that this recipe I can make when my first shipment (June) arrives.  

OH and Misty has an awesome Q special going right now-  Which you can see here  you get 30% of what your Q is set at, in product, plus $40 off a consultant kit if you want one and 50% off one item! 

So anyway, Just thought I'd share.  i'm excited about this! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

eye appointments

Our idea of a "vacation" is hordes of appointments, and this one is no different  This week we focused primarily on eye appointments.  And Elliott WON.  He's the only one that didn't end up with glasses.   The kids see Dr. Baxstrom (or as my autocorrect on my ipod calls him, Dr. Vacation or Dr Backstroke!) Who is renowned all over the country as a developmental optometrist, which means that he doesn't just check their vision but also their tracking and binocularity, and other elements of healthy eye function.   Each one of their needs are different and their glasses reflect that

Alex goes by himself now... sniff..

Nik stayed the same, glasses all the time for nearsightedness.  But he's going back to seeing Judy again for neurological stuff
Little miss Chloe, not surprisingly, will be getting glasses for nearsightedness.  her right eye is SIGNIFICANTLY more nearsighted than the left and she's having pretty significant vision issues that will require visits to Judy, our vision therapist, to remedy.  She'll join Nik and Chloe in that.  Pretty soon Judy's going to have to have a "Kvenvolden kid day" twice a month :) 

Elliott is perfect! like usual :)
Leif is starting to have problems from too much close work, so he'll wear glasses for close work, reading, ipod, etc. 

Ash has a prescription to use to help him block out other stimuli.   Autistic kids can sometimes benefit from glasses to help their focus.  he'll wear glasses when doing close work or when we want him to focus better.

Annabeth needs glasses for reading, but today was a judy appointment, her vision therapist who helps her with a range of neurological issues  Annabeth REALLY needs to have a large trampoline, which is next on our large purchase list.  The difference between her with trampoline activity and without is phenomenal.  She's like tigger.  She just really needs that proprioceptive input.