January 26, 2012


E: Kacin, you stink.
K: No, Dad.
K: WE stink.

Maybe I liked this conversation just because in my head I can still hear Kacin saying it with that -matter of fact, hate to break it to ya, loving- tone of voice.
Or maybe it's because Eric's term of endearment has always been to call the boys stinky. They know it means "I love you". Which makes Kacin's response perfectly sweet.
Or maybe it's because it was absolutely true. A day at school and forgetting deodorant can do that to you.

The House and How We Came to Buy It

I started this post waaaay back.
I was hoping to get it done before the end of the year
so it would make it into my 2011 blog book.
did. not. happen. then.
Happening. now. though.

When we moved to Washington, Eric and I always said that we would rent until the right house came along. Occasionally, we would check on Zillow or Redfin just to see what was out there. After the first year, we got a little more serious about looking, but it was off and on. One week I wouldn't even think about househunting, but then the next week I'd check Redfin five times a day. Eventually, we talked with a realtor and got pre-approved. Then we abandoned all house hunting for a few months. In July, I got interested again and actually made a short list of possible houses. E called up our realtor, the amazing Buzz, and we went ahead and set up a day to look at them.

He showed us 4 or 5 houses that day. Our house was one of them. It was dirty and dog-haired with backyard weeds past our knees. But the bones of the house met our criteria, and then some. It just felt right. We came back to see it again a few days later. And then we made an offer. (we must have been in some kind of mood that day because we ended up buying a mini-van later that evening!).

It was a short sale so we waited and waited to hear from the bank. Looking back, it went pretty quickly, but at the time it wasn't fun not knowing what would happen. We eventually closed three and half months later. I can not say enough good things about our realtor. Buzz is good!

One of our concerns when we made the offer was that we still had six more months on our lease. We had heard that our landlords had been picky with previous renters about things. However, our landlords kindly released us from the contract, and they found someone else to take our place right away. Everything works out if it's supposed to.

In the closing stages and even right after we bought it, I worried if we had made the right decision. I worried and worried because that's what I do. And because the house was really dirty. And because our bank account had significantly shrunk. I don't really think that any house is "perfect", but now that we are settling down into our home, there are many many things we love about it and that fit our family well.

The Wonderfulness of Our Home: A Short List
gas range
LOVE the cul de sac
good size backyard with plans for Eric's "farm"
office/library downstairs (as soon as I get it cleaned up)
loft area upstairs for my preschool
bigger master closet
3 car garage (of course we are still only fitting one car in it right now)

We are not too far from our old house so the boys can finish out the year at the school they started in. We are in the same ward at church. The boys now share a room, and they are learning to make it work. We are happy here!

January 20, 2012


School cancelled.
Church cancelled.
Hats on.
Coats on.
Sled out.
Friends out.
Snowballs at the ready.

How cool are two little boys
who go out in the snow
without shoes
to show how tough they are.
And get locked out.
The dad's evil laughter echoed through the land.

The snow began on Saturday
and continued coming down until Thursday.
It turned to rain today
and the beginnings of a big slushy mess.
I think the last time we measured it ourselves
it was at eleven and a half inches.

January 16, 2012

The Rest of Our Weekend with Family

What else did we do with family here for Kyler's baptism?
We took turns on the 360 bike and the ripstick.

Played a little basketball and Ladderball.

Made a bowling cake for Kacin
and Eric tried to light the candles with flint and steel.

Held our annual Untalent Show.
There were light sabers, guitars, whistling, kissing, impersonations, and toilet paper origami.
It was an amazing show!

We played lots of board games
and we spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, eating, and cleaning.

We hope everyone (including those who couldn't make it this year) can join us next year when Kacin gets baptized!

Pretty Please

a yesterday conversation . . .

Kacin: Pletty please can we go on a family walk?
Eric: no, too cold and too much snow.
K: pletty please with a cherry on top?
E: no
L: try pRetty please
K: Pretty please with an apple on top?
E: no
K: Pretty please with everything on top? . . . Except drugs! Everything but drugs.

January 15, 2012

Kyler's Baptism

We are so happy for Kyler
and his decision to be baptized.
He has looked forward to this day for so long.
We really appreciate all of the support from family and friends.
Kyler felt loved.

*Kyler was very eager to demonstrate how the baptism would go during the meeting with the stake leader and the other boys being baptized that day
*Kyler was the first to be baptized. When Kacin hurried up close to the font, he started pointing out all the spiders and bugs that were also in the font. But that didn't stop Ky.
*It was an amazing experience watching my son be baptized by his father.
*Kyler's good friend, Drew, was baptized right after Ky. Kyler was glad to share the day with him.

After a lunch at home,
Eric presented Kyler with his own set of scriptures and a hymnal.
Ky had picked them out before Christmas
and he was very anxious to receive them.
Then we all watched a video my sister Jacqui put together
with pictures of Kyler.
Ky felt like a special boy.
And he is.

Amazing Race

With some family in town for Kyler's baptism,
we wanted to come up with a fun way to get out
and see a few of the sights Seattle has to offer.
And because I've always wanted to go on the real Amazing Race.
(However, actually this didn't satisfy that desire
because I helped plan the whole thing
so I didn't exactly get to participate to the full extent.
so what I want now is for someone else to plan one and invite me.
you know you want to.
especially if you live in Hawaii and want to have your race sometime in the next month.
I've never been to Hawaii you know.
and I'm assuming it's not as cold there as it is here right now.
so I would go without one complaint.
and I would win the race. because that's what I do.
win. win. win.)
uh, back to what I was saying somewhere at the beginning of this.
We had our own Amazing Race!
claps cheers ooohs and ahhhs

The Logistics:
Two teams divided by the luck of the draw (well, kind of there was a little bit of predeterminedness because e and I needed to be on seperate teams, and the boys too, and Jacqui and her baby needed my van, etc.). 5 on each team. Each person chipped in $10 to cover parking and all other activities for the day. There were rules like teams must all be together to open each clue, each person had to do one roadblock, no cell phones/internet usage, GPS was ok if the address was given on the clue, you must decide who does the roadblock before opening the clue, document each task using a camera, and there may be penalties for not completing a task correctly. E and I were the keepers of the clues. There were two legs of the race. The team that arrived at the first Pit Stop last was given a Speed Bump (an extra task) to complete during the 2nd leg of the race.

The race began at 9am sharp. After going over the rules, each team was give their first clue. It was a picture of the Fremont Troll cut up into puzzle pieces. Teams raced to finish the puzzle, jumped in the car, and headed to a gas station for directions (and beverages). At the Troll under the bridge, teams received their 2nd clue. Each person had to chew a piece of gum until they found the Gum Wall at Pike Place and placed their gum on it.

*my camera was not the one taking all the pictures so I only have a few I took randomly

The next clue was a Roadblock (a task that only two people from each team must do. you must decide who would do the task before opening and seeing what it was). This roadblock was to buy specific items found at Pike Place market (fruit, chocolate pasta, Pig Candies, etc.).

The next clue directed teams to five half of what they collected to someone in need.

The following clue was a Detour (a choice between two tasks)--City Center or Waterfront? One team did City Center. They had to drive and take pictures in front of 6 places (Space Needle, EMP, etc.). The other team chose Water front. They walked to take pictures in front of the Aquarium, Carousel, Ferry Terminal, etc.

The final clue in this leg told you where to meet for lunch--the Crab Pot.

The second leg of the race began after everyone ate lunch. The first clue told you to drive to the Seattle Central Library and find the highest viewpoint without taking the elevator. Once each team found the way to the top, they received a Detour--Scribe or Orator?
No one chose the Orator task. It was to find 3 specific poetry books and each person would have to memorize and recite a poem of their choice.

In Scribe, from a specific list of books given, each person had to find a book and neatly copy the first paragraph or page of the book.

The clue teams received next told them to drive over the Rossellini bridge (the 520)--the longest floating bridge in the world. Once they had driven over it and correctly guessed how long it was (to the nearest hundred) and who Rossellini was they would receive their next clue. (if you have to know, he was the governor and the bridge is 7, 497 feet long).

There was a Roadblock next. After deciding who would do the task, we all drove to Trophy Cupcakes. Two people from each team had to eat a cupcake in two bites or less. This was a favorite of the challenges!

When cupcakes were eaten, teams had to sort through a list of company names and identify the companies that were founded in Washington. After correctly identifying and then placing them in ABC order, they received their next clue.

The team that came in 2nd place, had to do a Speed Bump at this point. They drove to the Seattle Temple and took a picture in front of it.

We met up at Grass Lawn park for the final task--another Roadblock. This park is one of my favorites. It has a lot of ropes and spiderweb things to climb on. The two people from each team had to do three challenges here. They had to stay on the spinning spiderweb  as someone spun them for 1 minute. They had to make it to the top of a tall section in less than 20 seconds. And finally they had to climb across the entire structure without touching the ground.

We raced to the Final Pit Stop--Panera Bread--for dinner.

On my team was Jacqui, Macie (the baby), Kacin, Wade, and Josh. We won!!

On Eric's team was Kyler, Nancy, Barb, and Jenny.

I think the favorites of the day were the Market, the cupcakes, and the Park. And some people were pretty competitive, if that can be imagined, which added an element of fun.

(we missed all our family who couldn't make it and we hope that next year when Kacin gets baptized we can do it again!)

January 13, 2012

The Year 2012

Family Theme: I am a Child of God
Questions at each FHE: What did I notice this week that let me know I am child of God? And How did I act because I know I am a child of God?

Family Goals:
1. Read 4 books together
2. Pray sincerely
3. Learn how to take care of bunnies and chickens
4. Participate in a family activity at least once a month, such as basketball, swimming, biking, baseball, hiking etc.

Kacin's Goals:
1. swim the length of the pool without stopping
2. read the Book of Mormon
3. do a woodwork project
4. read 15 min. each day without being reminded

Kyler"s Goals:
1. read books about 2 different sports and practice what it teaches
2. get all the badges as a Wolf in Cub Scouts and work on Faith in God
3. Fast two meals each fast Sunday
4. write in journal twice a week

Laura's Goals:
1. read scriptures each day
2. improve time on a sprint triathlon
3. make something actually grow in a garden
4. read at least two books on brain development and learning

Eric's Goals:
1. attend the temple once a month
2. {exercise goal}
3. read scriptures daily
4. keep an animal record when we get our bunnies and chickens (like a scientist)