March 27, 2015


Bedtime has become one of my favorite times of the day. I used to rush this time because I was so exhausted at the end of the day and I just wanted everyone in bed so I could go collapse on the couch. With Perry, I have learned to savor the bedtime ritual.

After song, prayer, and (when we remember!) scriptures, everyone climbs into their own bed. Eric and I go around to each of our kids reading books, saying goodnight, giving hugs and kisses, reminding about prayers, removing glasses, or tucking them into their blankets.

What Perry has given me is this one time of day that I can look in his eyes and I know he will look back. He is calmer. He stays on the bed, he listens to a story and asks for me to stay. He will listen to what I say and he will talk to me better than he does during the distractions of the day.

Typically, I read a book to him first while E reads with Layla. Then we switch. After I say my last good night to L, Perry has called for me again. I snuggle with him in bed. He wraps his arms tight around my neck and tells me not to leave ("you stay?"). We sing songs. He tells me about monkeys under his bed or asks about scary shadows in his room. I try to tell him what to expect the next day--if he will get on the bus to see his friends and teachers or if it's Pat's day to come watch him in the evening or if he has ABA or not.

He says his prayers. Tonight it included something about breaking sticks in the backyard and throwing balls, both parts of our happy day spent outside.

The last few days I have been telling him short made up stories. Last night it was about a boy who got mad and tonight it was about a boy who climbed a mountain and reached for the clouds because he wanted to eat them. After my tale tonight, I told him it was his turn to tell me a story. And he did.

Perry's first made up story went like this (from what I understood): "Once upon a time, there was a boy. The boy climbed up the cookie. He eat the cookie. yum, yum, umm, umm." It was at this point he grabbed my face and pretended to eat my nose and cheeks and continued to pretend to eat my hand, and then he took a real bite.

I felt like this was a brilliant way to help me connect and understand the perspective of the cookie in the story. His stories sure do grab the audience's attention. :)

And then after the bedtime ritual comes the part of the day that makes me think I could have ten children--peacefully sleeping little ones (or in Kyler's case, peacefully reading).

 Don't worry, I come to my senses as soon as I walk downstairs and see the remnants of our day. :)

March 25, 2015

he brought me a quote

Once I realized what it was, this momma couldn't have been happier when Kyler slipped me this little slip of torn paper.

My boy read something in a book, liked it, wrote it down to share with me, and wanted to display it on our quote board. This small gesture brought a big smile to my heart.

This will be a good one for us to talk about over the next few weeks. Thanks, Kyler!

March 23, 2015

Grammie Time

We selfishly brought my mom here as her birthday present. It was a present to us to have Grammie here to share a week of our lives and be here for the science fair, the school play, and to have some special one on one time. 

We spent a morning in downtown Snohomish, which of course means eating at the Snohomish Pie Co.

We waited in the bright sun while my mom finished looking around an antique shop. My washington girl doesn't know what to do in the sun.

We drove to Edmonds beach all together.

 We played at the Children's museum.

Layla and Perry were thrilled about the new pajamas Grammie gave them--Mickey and Princess.

My mom was a part of Kacin's surprise for his 10 year old trip (more on that later).

She also made sure she took each child on a date. This is such a highlight for them--they love this time. I even got to go eat and shop with her, too.

On her last day here, we stopped at Kerry Park in Seattle to take in the view and to play before heading to the airport. I was happy to see my kids take care of each other as they played.

I was disappointed that Kyler pushed my mom on the spinning toy and I missed it! :) I heard it was quite fun and dizzying.

Thanks for a fun week, Grammie!

March 21, 2015

These days

Eric brought this home from work one day. Just what we needed--a 5 lb gummy bear. We chopped part of it up and the kids ate some for our family home evening treat one night. 

Eric started a new thing. It's called play a song from the 90's, 80's or 70's before we go to sleep. He surprises me with the song every night. He says he might let me request songs, but there is no guarantee that he will use my suggestions in this nightly ritual. These lullaby's, of sorts, have been a variety of classics. One night, it was a george strait song. Who knew that Eric knew every word to "Heartland"?

Kacin refers to the dishwasher soap as "George". It all began when Perry was watching Curious George while Kyler was loading the dishwasher. Ky gets sucked in to the tv no matter what is on. He distractedly asked me to hand him the George so he could start the dishwasher. Kacin couldn't stop laughing and here we are a couple of months later and the name has stuck.

Layla loves gymnastics and going to Sundi's house. She asks every single day if she can go to those places.

I came to the resolution that it is not very likely that I will go back and teach elementary school again. I've been going through more pocket charts, bulletin board borders, big books, and posters getting rid of things. It's taken me a while to let go of that part of my life. I loved teaching 1st grade. I'm glad I had that chapter of my life. But I'm even more glad to have this role as a mother of four.

We decided to tackle some big house projects. We are painting our kitchen cabinets. Today we go pick out new countertops. Our flooring guy gave us an estimate and we are waiting on samples to make a decision. I think it's all exciting. E is glad we are doing it, but I'm getting the feeling he doesn't enjoy the process quite as much as I do.

Layla loves being the helper at preschool. I think she has brought my Grandma Neff's singing frog at least twice for her show and tell. This time Polo (Kacin's polar bear) got to be shown off, too.

Here is Layla's group and their Leprechaun trap.

Once upon a time I wanted Kacin to go play, even if that meant making a mess. Layla has taught me all about mischief. Locking doors, clogging toilets, bowls of water spilling over her room, scissors and crayons in her bed and on her sheets, and toys placed in all sorts of random places and bags. It's never to be naughty, it's always to help or because of her imagination--she has big plans this girl. She keeps me happy and busy.

To renew our foster care license, half of our family had to go get shots. E, Kyler, and I were the lucky ones to get vaccinated. I still don't do well around needles, but if I don't look at all (even while the nurse is preparing the needle  or cleaning my arm) than I don't get light headed anymore. That' a good thing. Kyler is a champ. He doesn't even think twice about it. He even took on the role of Perry's entertainer while we waited. Well, he held Perry's entertainer in his hand and cuddled Perry.

March 18, 2015

Seussical, Jr.

The Hunter, the Who, the Jungle Creature . . .

Kacin was looking good up on that stage.
(I'm sad I never got a picture of him in his big Who coat and bow tie.)

Nearly every time I tried to run Kacin's lines with him at home he rolled his eyes, complained, whispered them, or recited them in a bored voice. But then at the performance I was thrilled to hear him loud and clear, with expression and hand gestures. I guess he just wanted to surprise me. It was so great watching him up there. Seriously, it is the best watching your child shine.

I came with him to the dress rehearsal. They had a professional there taking pictures for the program.

He only performed in the Friday show. We got a babysitter for Perry. I was at the YCL retreat, but I left in the middle of it and met E, Kyler, Layla, and my mom at the auditorium. I have so much fun watching Kacin perform! And I know he had a lot of fun being a part of this production. There are a lot of talented kids at his school. He made some great friends.

This was his bio in the program.

Great job, Kacin!