Monday, March 30, 2009


We got Reed a new umbrella stroller to take on our trip to Seattle tomorrow. He loves it, and loves to push it around. I'm in the kitchen doing something, and I hear "stuck". He's crawled into the basket on the bottom, head-first, and can't figure out how to get himself out.

And it continues...

D, Reed and Haley working on the cake.Look at that handi-work! My husband is so talented!!!

And since we didn't get to have dinner with the kids on my actual birthday, D made a special dinner for me on Sunday night, and even made a cake. We had lots of favorites - steak, homemade potato fries, Asian salad, corn, corned beef hash - I know, kind of a strange mix, but lots of favorties... - and then a cake, with strawberries in it. YUM-MY!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, the real festivities continued. D and Luke were camping, so Macy, Chad, Haley and Reed made me breakfast in bed and cleaned and decorated the house. Love it! Love when they clean without being asked... and they weren't even fighting while they were doing it! When D and Luke got home, D and I were off to see WICKED! Yippee! Followed by dinner at P.F. Changs. Totally good day for me! Loved the play (and the food!) and was totally suprised by the ending! If you get the chance to see it... DO!

Also wonderful were all the Facebook Happy Birthday messages that I got (I got over 40 throughout the day - I get FB on my cell phone so they were constantly there!). I may be 38... and have 5 kids... but I LOVE getting Happy Birthday attention! Thanks for all the love everyone!... it really made my day!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Birthday eve morning.

So tomorrow's my birthday. 38. Can you believe it? I sure can't. Anyways, Derrick and Luke won't be here tomorrow morning because they are going camping tonight, so this morning at about 6:10 I was so pleasantly woken up with a surprise "kidnapping" from my family. After my heart returned to it's almost normal rate, they let me get dressed, but I had to hurry because Chad starts school at 7:45. Somewhat awake, we headed to IHOP for early morning birthday breakfast. I wasn't quite ready to eat that early, but I LOVE the thought that was put in to it! I LOVE you guys! Thanks for making my birthday special!!!

Some cartoon bonding.

I come upstairs at some point, and D and Reed are watching cartoons. Then, later in the day, it's Macy, Haley and Reed. Gotta love all the love!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Additional proof of before-mentioned little person.

So this is what happens with all the lovingly installed chair rails... they become garages for the extensive car collection. D started doing this when he put Reed to bed because it calmed him down to see some of his cars, Indiana Jones, some Star Wars toys, and whatever else they could get up there... but since then, Macy and Haley have been adding to it, and it's almost going around his entire room.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More proof of a little person living in our house.

Reed found this bag of little Star Wars guys and he's really taken to them. I came down to find them lined up on part of the kitchen counter going from one end of the room to the other. Then he took them down and lined them up on my sewing machine. Then on the coffee table. He's really good at lining them up, and they're really keeping him busy.

Chad and Dad.

Just a cute pic of them out snow boarding.

Scout camping.

One of Derrick's favorite things to do is go camping. Except for some reason, not in the snow (go figure). Right after Christmas, Chad's scout troop went snow cave camping. They had to build "igloos" and hang out in them for a while, but then sleep in their tents. Outside. In the snow. D went with them and said that he could never get warm. Coldest he's ever been. So this time they were going snow camping and they were staying in the Boy Scout "Lodge" (I use the word "lodge" very loosely... but it's better than sleeping in the snow!). After talking D into it, they went and had a great time. Much better. The boys got to snow board or ski so that they could pass off their Winter Sports Merit Badge.

Corned Beef love.

This really shows me more of my husband's love. One of my favorite comfort foods is Corned Beef Hash. Don't know why... it slightly resembles and smells like dog food when you open the can, but I still love it. I ate it a lot when I was pregnant. Full of protein and carbs not too terrible.

So we had a bunch of corned beef left over from St. Patrick's Day and D decided to make me home-made Corned Beef Hash. One of the best things I've ever eaten! It was so good, and so easy for him to make. Thanks D! Love you!!!

Reed's new bedroom.

So, for the first 16+ months of Reed's little life, he lived in our walk-in closet. Sad... but true. We were out of bedrooms. We built Chad a bedroom in the basement, and then re-did Chad's room for Reed. I really like his room. It's painted a pretty slate type blue, with tall chair rail around the room. Very Pottery Barn-ish. But this is where he likes to hang out. In a box. Back to his closet roots, I guess.

I'm in mourning...

Anyone else affected by this whole digital cable thing? For weeks, there was this little note running across the bottom of the screen telling me that on March 18th the cable would no longer be there without the adapter box (I promptly chose to ignore this message - we had all the adapter boxes, but really... what would happen?). So, I wake up on the morning of the 18th to turn on my beloved HGTV, and find that it doesn't work. This is all I get. A yucky screen with more "love notes". So I run around, spend a few hours, and a few phone calls, trying to plug in the adapter boxes to the two tv's that aren't hooked up to cable boxes. Great. All is well again... except, what? You say an adapter box won't work with our Tivo???? Now what? To Tivo or not to Tivo... that is the question. So now we are back to no adapter box in our bedroom, so that we could keep our Tivo, and no more cable channels for me. Have to watch TV somewhere else. Totally in mourning. Maybe I like TV a bit too much. Gee... ya think?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top of the Morning to You!

Unfortunately for Chad, he's already gone for school. We'll tell him about it when he gets home.

One of my favorites! Totally brings out the Irish in me - my name is Shannon after all!!! The Leprechaun trap was set. We didn't have any Lucky Charms, always a Leprechaun favorite, but we left out some Trix, because they're all rainbow-y and you know how much Leprechauns like rainbows, and some clovers, and this time, we almost caught it (him, they... not too sure. Gotta be politically correct after all)! Still managed to evade us, but left us quite the prize for all our efforts.

Secretly though, I still think that Reed is part Leprechaun. Would totally make sense. Red hair, pointy ears, mischievousness (not sure that's a word... but you get the point.).

Now I gotta go get the Corned Beef and Cabbage cooking. Don't forget to wear your green today... don't want to get pinched!

Call in the Army.

So, he may be almost 13, but our first born will NEVER outgrow his Star Wars guys. No matter what he says. He just takes after his dad WAY too much... not that that's a bad thing... but he's almost 39 and he still revolves around Star Wars. So this is what I find on Chad's desk. An army of Storm Troopers... or maybe Clone Troopers... truly, I don't know... and that's ok by me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where's the fishy?

Around all the Amazing Race stuff, we also got a fish tank - make that two. D got one for the media room, and Luke and Macy chipped in some of their money to get one for their bathroom. We were all gung ho to get them up and running (we who know NOTHING about fish!) until we found out that we had to fill them with water and let them sit for at least two days before we can add any fish. We got very conflicting information on this though. We went to PetSmart this morning, and the first girl told us we didn't have to wait at all. To get our fish, go home, fill the tank, float the fishes' bag in the water for about 15 minutes, and then pour the fish in. So, we go and finish running our errands, then go back to PetSmart to get our fish when we get new helpers. They tell us we have to wait at least 24-48 hours before adding fish... so we have to go back again in a couple of days, and then we can only add 2 fish at a time. 2 fish every 3 days. Crazy. Lucky for us, our tanks are small, so we only want 3-4 fish anyway, but still. Kind of burst our bubbles a bit. So here's Reed, staring into R2-D2, trying to figure out where the fish are. It was really bugging one of the cats too. She sat in front of the one in the bathroom for a while looking for the fish.

Luke's Amazing Birthday Race 2009

Some of the props.
Most of the kids, with some siblings thrown in.
The green team with one of their nice strangers.

We did an Amazing Race. It was pretty awesome! We had 15 kids, with about 9 adult and 3 teenage helpers. It started with the kids getting "Route Info"s for the invitation. They said "Make your way to Luke's house to get your next clue..."

Once the kids got to our house, we split them into 3 teams and then gave them their 1st clues. They had to run up to the park near our house to find the clue box. Inside was a Detour. Shoot or Hunt. Each member of their team had to sink a basket from the free throw line, or go on a scavenger hunt. From there they had to run back down the hill and down the street to our friend, Paula's, house to get their next clue. It said to find their driver (who was 7 houses north - some of the kids went the wrong way), and then head to the middle school to get their next clue. At the middle school, they got a clue which told them that the entire team had to run one lap (1/4 of a mile. Not too easy considering one of the teams parked in the completely wrong area and already had to run about 1/4 of a mile just to get to the clue box.)

From there they headed to WalMart where they had to go on a price scavenger hunt, and not get kicked out (I was so NERVOUS!!!). They all succeeded (YIPPEE!!!), and then headed to our church baseball field. There they got another Detour, which had ADD or COUNT on it. In ADD, they had to do a crazy math word problem that Derrick made up, and in COUNT they had to count up a jar of buttons. Whichever one they picked, they had to do the answer in jumping jacks. Surprisingly to me, they all picked the math problem, and they all got it right! (Good thing too... because the answer to the math problem was only 11... the buttons had 98!)

They then headed to our friend's orthodontia office where they got their next clue and a funny hat. The clue had them go into downtown and have their picture taken with 5 strangers, who had to be wearing the funny hat. I really thought this would take a long time, but they all had a great time with it, and all the strangers were really willing to play along, so that was great.

They then headed to another park where they had to find three numbers (that I hid a little too well), to unlock a combination lock on an envelope which had their final clue. A few phone calls later, they were all able to find the numbers and get their locks opened to reveal their final clue - come back to the house. The blue team and the green team got here at about the same time, but the blue team actually read the clue which said to go to the backyard, so they got the finish line. The green team tried to come in the front door, and I wouldn't let them, so they lost by just a second.

The red team finally made it in, and then it was pizza, cake and prizes for all! On the actual Amazing Race, the prize is $1 million dollars. Well, that's a bit out of our budget, but we found $100 GRAND chocolate bars, so gave each team a bag of 10, thereby totalling $1 million dollars. Pretty smart, huh! Derrick also made some "trophies" for the winning team. He got some "Indiana Jones" type action figures at Big Lots, spray painted them gold, and attached them to a wooden base painted black with a plaque on it that said "Luke's Amazing Birthday Race 2009" (total cost - about $2.50 each!). Pretty cool. Unfortunately, Luke's team didn't win, so he didn't get a trophy. Now D is going to have to make him an extra one!

Special thanks to Ernie, Brian (and D) who were our drivers; Daelin, Charles (and Chad) who were the videographers/cameramen; Julie, Liz, Paula, Sherry (Macy and I) who were the "clue boxes"; Aunt Heidi who hung out with Reed and Haley while this was all going on; and Patti for the birthday candles. We definately couldn't have done it without all of your help!

Now I think we can get jobs on the actual Amazing Race. Anyone know if they're hiring?????

Amazing Cake.

This week has been very busy for us. Not with lots of busy things, but with planning a crazy Amazing Race birthday party for Luke. It is finally over, and I am very relieved. No one got kicked out of WalMart (which I was REALLY nervous about!), and except for one kind of lost driver, all the teams did really well. It was a lot of fun, but a lot of work! There were route markers, road blocks, and detours, and we tried to make everything look like the actual Amazing Race. Just the kind of crazy things that Derrick and I do. We even ordered a white sheet cake from Costco and tried to decorate it ourselves. Not too bad. Really helps when you have a diecut machine that will cut out any font on your computer, so we could cut out letters to look just like our invitations. Black Spray Mist stuff for the cake isn't great though, and we didn't realize that the "Z" in "Amazing" was backwards until all was said and done, but that way we don't have any copyright infringements (that's our story and we're sticking to it!).

More make-up.

So, after getting most of Reed and the carpet cleaned, this is what I find. It's also all over the white banister. Truly, I left it there for a few days because I wanted to take a picture of it and I kept forgetting about it. Every time I passed it, I was like, "oh yeah", but then I would get distracted and forget again. So, I finally headed up with my camera and some cleaning stuff, and it came off much easier than the banister than Reed. Note to self, next time there is that much foundation make-up on Reed, use the Windex to get it off. Works wonders. (gee... ya think...)

What make-up?

This is what happens when Reed is too quiet. He finds the make-up, which really, I don't have that much of. Especially base types of make-up. The only reason it was out was because I wrote "Happy Birthday Luke" on his bathroom mirror with it the other day. So Reed finds it, puts it all over his face, his pajamas, the carpet, etc. Stick him in the bathtub, and let me tell you, it's not very easy to get it off of the little boy. Makes me really wonder about putting it on my face.

Nursery 101.

These are the tags hanging outside the nursery for all the kids. When it is time for one of them to leave, you put their name tag under the door, and we send them out another door. That way there aren't all these mommies and daddies coming in and out really upsetting all the little ones.

After Derrick and I both being Scout leaders for 2+ years, we were released in church and given new callings. Now know that we both really enjoyed Scouts. I was kind of ready to be released, considering that Luke just turned 11, and I would not have another Cub Scout for 6 1/2 years, but we were very surprised when D got released! He was the 11-year-old Scout leader, Luke would now be his scout, but oh well. So, they released us from Scouts, and called us where? To be the Nursery leaders! Can you believe that???? I think they're trying to kill us or something. We go out of the frying pan, into the fire! Watching 18 month to 3 years-olds every Sunday while we are at church. Glorified babysitters. Now really, I'm not trying to sound bitter or anything... this is just what I do every day. Sunday was kind of the break from being with little people. Oh well. God has his reasons, and we will definately do what we are asked. We just have to readjust our way of thinking a bit. Every calling is for a purpose, and we know that.


I love that there's a sense of "sharing" in our house. At least between Reed and Cooper. Reed's pretty good sharing with me too... sharing with Haley is still being worked on. Here's Reed, eating some cereal. Pour it on the floor. One for me, one for you. Cooper may not definately enjoy Reed stepping on him, but he definately knows where to sit when there is food involved. He's not completely dumb!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

We can scrap that!

LOTS of paper! What's not to love? Really heavy on your back though!!!

So after my tour of the new school building yesterday, I headed to Portland for the Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Convention. My heart just gets happy when I go to these things. It's a scrapbook euphoria. Total scrapbook aura. Just makes me happy! So I shopped for a few hours, ate lunch, and then volunteered in one of the classes. All in all, a good day for me! Check out all my loot!

Under Construction.

We got to wear hard hats and everything! Pretty cool... except boy what a headache they cause!

Currently our town is building two new elementary schools. One to replace our school, and one to replace another. Good thing about ours... the school that our kids currently attend is about 3 miles away... not too bad... but really too far to walk. Our new school will be right down the street, about 1/4 a mile. We are really excited about it! I got to tour it yesterday with the principal and some of the other PTA moms, and it's pretty impressive. It's going to be so exciting next year to be in a brand new building. They've been working on it all school year, and it's supposed to be finished by August 1, with the teachers moving all their belongings in from the old school, opening September 3rd (or whenever). Pretty cool!

Happy Birthday Luke!!!

So our second born turned 11 the other day! Can you believe it!!! Next year he will be in middle school. We will have two in middle school, two in elementary school (one of which will be in Kindergarten) and one in preschool. Crazy! But anyways, this is supposed to be about Luke. Luke is a great kid! He's smart and loves people. He loves games, puzzles, competitions, anything he can beat people at... and he usually does... but watch out if he doesn't because he's got quite the temper! He's a super kid, a great helper with a HUGE heart and always lots of fun! We love you Lukie, tons and tons, and are so very thankful that you chose us to be your parents!!! Happy Birthday!

For the love of purple crinoline.

A couple of months ago, I needed to dress up as Madonna. Remember that? The 80's roller skating party? So anyways, I sent an email around to all my crazy friends, looking for a crinoline skirt. And you know what I get back? "What the heck is a crinoline skirt?" Doesn't everybody know what crinoline is? Crazy! So, when all my friends failed me, I headed to the next best thing, one of my crazy sister-in-laws, Heidi, who is a square dancer, and happens to have a few square dancing outfits, which happen to have crinoline skirts underneath them. Voila! A purple crinoline skirt. And, I love it! And I'm not the only one. I wore it as Madonna to the party, and then for Halloween. My friend, Heather, wore it to the Prom a few weeks ago to be a rebel high schooler... and then my friend, Joy, wore it for her daughter's Fancy Nancy party. Look at the love. Sorry Heidi... you're never getting your crinoline skirt back! And the next time it's needed, everyone knows where to look!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!

We took the picture ourselves, so this was as good as it was going to get!

So who doesn't celebrate Dr. Suess's birthday? Green eggs and ham... crazy hats... a fun time had by all. Dinner even finished off with a reading of "Green Eggs and Ham" and some green tinted ice cream. Again, my theory, any reason to have a party!

To SkipBo... or not to SkipBo... that is the question.

A constant question in our house is "want to play SkipBo?" For some reason, SkipBo has become our family game. Everyone will play it, even D (whose not that big on games - unless they're "video" related), and he usually whips our butts! Either D or Luke (who is very competitive and very good at games) almost always wins. But the rest of us still have a good time.

Helping hands.

With as many people as there are in our household, you can almost always find some helping hands. Here is Reed, trying to help D hang the door that he finally finished painting. Thanks D!

He's also getting big.

Luke will be turning 11 on March 4th. Turning 11 means that he will no longer be a Cub Scout. Him and I have been in Cub Scouts together almost his whole time, and it's going to be strange not having a Cub Scout any longer. No more Pinewood Derbies, Blue & Gold Dinners, scout sledding trips... well... not for another 6 years at least. So, this was Luke's last pack meeting. He got his Arrow of Light Award, which is the highest award a Cub Scout can earn, and was able to "bridge over" to Boy Scouts, with his dad welcoming him on the other end - because he's the 11-year-old Scout leader. It was pretty cool.

We got a visitor.

Look who came for the weekend. Grandma Paula. She wasn't able to come at Christmas time due to the snow, so she reschedule it for this weekend. We had a great time with her, and Macy really enjoyed learning how to knit a hat. We love you Grandma!

Haley's world.

Every so often, I let Haley take some pictures - "let" being the key word. She's already dropped and broken my camera once, forcing it to be sent away to the camera doctor to be fixed - and I don't think it's been the same ever since - so only on carpeted surfaces. When I get the camera back, it's always exciting to see a little bit of Haley's world. 52 pictures of our basement stairs, a bunch of a toy bucket, the entertainment center, a bracelet on the floor, one of the cats... so this is her self portrait of her and I. Not the best angle for me, but wanted to fully represent.