Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Day

As previously mentioned, we are getting a TON of snow here in Seattle. They don't plow or shovel, so you really cannot go anywhere when it snows and the city shuts down. Church was canceled for us today, so we ventured out into the whirling snow.

We made a snow man in our side yard, and it took about ten minutes to make, literally. The snow was perfect for a snow man, and Hayes was so excited because we have been reading about Frosty, and James and his snow man.

We also tried some snow angels and a little bit of snowball fighting. Hayes decided he wanted to go in after about forty-five minutes, I think that all snow was too much for his little legs to try and maneuver. Hayes and Madison topped off the night with The Grinch, while Joe and I packed for our attempt to flee Seattle tomorrow for the plowed streets of Yakima! Wish us luck!

Early Christmas

We are going to Yakima and Boise for Christmas and did not want to have to haul all of our gifts, so we had an early Christmas celebration. We had Santa stop by Friday morning, and opened presents. We are snowed in (it's not supposed to snow in Seattle) and stuck at home (they don't plow the streets all...because it is not supposed snow in Seattle) so we bumped it up from Saturday to Friday so we could play with our presents.

The kids were pretty excited. Madison got a doctor's kit and has been administering vaccines. Hayes got some Bob the Builder tools, but he liked the orange bow on one of his presents better than anything else. Now we are trying to maintain our Christmas spirit, even though it feels like it is over already for us!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kicking Off Christmas

We are kicking off the holiday season and embracing Joe's recent freedom from school (today)! Madison, Hayes, and I decorated the Christmas tree, and Hayes has only destroyed two ornaments since it has been up!

Last night we went to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens for Holiday D'Light. The gardens were covered with twinkle lights formed into trees, animals, plants, flowers, and insects. It was pretty incredible. We had fun walking around and taking in the lights.

This afternoon we decorated some Christmas cookies. I have done some cooking decorating with the kids before so I knew what to expect (or not to expect) but this was a first for Joe. I think he was stressed at first, but got into it. Madison loved putting a lot frosting on the cookies, and Hayes preferred very little frosting, but heavy on the sprinkles.

More adventures to come as we enjoy a full week of vacation time!

Little Angels

Over the last week or so Madison and Hayes have actually started to play together. It is the miracle I have been waiting for! The other day they occupied themselves for about and hour and a half...playing Library in Hayes' room. No fighting, no whining, no cry for attention. I seriously did not even know what to do with myself! So I took a picture of it to record this memory forever.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Something to Add Some Holiday Cheer to your Day

Joe created this little music video, and if you like it you should be able to create one for yourself! Let me know if you do because they are hilarious.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Happy Thanksgiving Back"

After the treasure hunt some of us went to the shooting range on the ranch to hunt down some clay pigeons. Things are setup so that clay pigeons can fly out from every conceivable angle. I actually was pretty awesome considering I have not fired a gun in a long time. Joe was pretty good too, this was only his second time.

After the shooting we had a good Thanksgiving dinner and then collapsed into a Turkey coma (pictured below). Later that night the cousins, brothers, sisters, and even my grandparents played Apples to Apples which ended up being hilarious.

The Thanksgiving weekend was topped off with Boise State's triumphant win over Fresno State. Here's hoping for a BCS bowl game for the Broncos, my Christmas wish for the year!

Max, Emily, Me, Clare, and Mitch (all my brothers and sisters, with the exception of Alex who is on his mission in Iowa).

Mitch and Cousin Bryan playing Apples to Apples.

Cousins Spencer, Maggie and Jill playing Apples to Apples.

Hayes and Madison enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner.

Over the River and Through the Woods

For Thanksgiving the fam and I traveled to Sandpoint, Idaho to meet assorted family members from my dad's side of the the family at my Aunt Vicki and Uncle Marc's ranch. The ranch is beautiful! I really love that part of Idaho.

Thanksgiving morning we split up into teams and had a treasure hunt. We drove around the extensive trails and roads that cut through the property on John Deere Gators and Suzuki "Scarrys." We had so much fun driving around like maniacs looking for the clues. Pictured left is my team: me, my brother Max, my sister Emily, and my cousin Bryan. We consider ourselves the winners of this challenge!

My brother Mitch in a "Scarry."

Me driving a "Scarry" on the hunt. I think Emily is scared for her life. We opted for the "Scarry over the Gator because it is enclosed and heated!

Emily's driving this times, so not so scary.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Recent Activites

We have tried to continue our exploration of Seattle and its outlying areas, but they weren't kidding about how much it rains here! A little update of recent activities:

  • Joe's parents came out from Yakima for a weekend visit. We had a fun time going out for seafood (my first time trying mussels, clams, and crabs) and visiting a great farmer's market in Ballard.
  • Joe had Veteran's Day off so we visited the outlet mall in Northbend, and Snoqualmie Falls. Joe and I have seen the falls several times, but it was a first for Madison and Hayes. We picked a bad day however, the rain and mist made it almost impossible to see the falls! So, maybe next time (the pictures are from this excursion).
  • My mom came to visit us this last weekend, and we had a great time. Joe's sister Melissa babysat the kids so that we could go to Andalucca, an upscale downtown restaurant that participates in a Seattle even where 30 restaurants charge $30 dollars for their swanky 3 course meals, to drum up business and attract new customers to their fine dining. Dinner was fantastic, but nothing could compare to the dessert! We also took my mom to Ikea, and anyone that has been to Ikea knows that it is a totally unique shopping experience! Apparently visitors are good luck because the weather here was perfect when my mom came, so if you are worried about the rain ruining a potential trip to visit your favorite Seattlites (the Deavers, of course) don't!
  • I have recently started running with some girls from my ward in the mornings. Our goal is a half-marathon in the spring. We run at six or seven a.m. (I know that no one actually believes that I can get up before nine, but it's true, ask Joe).

Monday, November 3, 2008


Madison and Hayes had a fun Halloween this year. Hayes dressed up as a cow and gave a loud "Moo!" when prompted. Madison was a "nice" witch. We did a trunk-or-treat at our church the weekend before, that was pretty fun. The night before Halloween we went to a Halloween party at the med school for families with kids. It was really fun, the kids loved playing with the other kids and med students. Halloween night was great. It was such a nice night, no rain! We went trick or treating around our apartment complex, and the kids got such a kick out of it. They love getting all of that candy. Hayes has been trying in the days following to covertly run up to our neighbors door, and we know that is looking to score some more candy!

Halloween night was also the fifth anniversary of my first date with Joe! Five years later, here we are marching our costumed kids around the block. Who would have thought. For our first date Joe made me a nice home cooked salmon dinner (one of my favorites) and we watched movies at his house and handed out candy to the little trickor treaters in Virginia. So to commemorate the evening this year Joe bought me dinner, we watched a movie at home, and handed out candy to the kids who came by our door. Definitely a fun Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Madison: Four going on Fourteen

Madison's birthday was yesterday and she turned four. I can't believe she is already four! She was born during the last game of the Red Sox's first world series victory and a lunar eclipse, and I think that these events have given her personality some added drama and flair.

Five things about Madison:

1. Madison is socially assertive (a euphemism for bossy). It is so funny to hear her out on the playground yelling "Hey Girl" or "Hey Friend do you want to play with me?"

2. She has a hairstyle named for her. She loves to get her hair cut (this appeals to her girly make-up and dress-up nature) and has a specific style called the "Madison," named for her at a salon in Boise this summer because it totally fits her personality.

3. When she gets in trouble and gets a little LauriAnn Lecture she always asks "Mom, are you mean?" I think that she means to ask if I am mad, but it does earn some sympathy points because I don't want to be the mean mom.

4. She is strictly a carnivore. I can't get her to eat fruit or vegetables, but she will eat any kind of meat.

5. Madison vacillates between the desire to be a cheerleader or a doctor when she grows up. She has attended several sporting events with Joe and loves how fun the cheerleaders are. She also knows that Dad is going to be a doctor and goes to college which also sounds appealing to her. Tough decision! I guess we will just have to see how things turn out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Not My Strong Suit

So it isn't really a secret (I think) that being a good parent doesn't always come naturally, especially true in my case. My brother Mitch who is doing a master's in family and marriage therapy at Utah State recommended this book for me. I sat down and read about 70 pages yesterday, and then put some of the techniques to the test. Hayes hasn't been going to bed very well the last couple of days and will stay up with Joe and I until 11 or midnight. Kind of frustrating. So last night, I looked up bedtime in the index, and followed the instructions explicitly, letting Hayes read in his bed with the light on until I came up stairs later and he was fast asleep. Nice! Rarely do things I read in books work out this well for me! The book endorses letting your kids make choices (based on their different ability levels) and face the consequences of their choices so that they gain self-respect and learn how to make decisions at a young age. If you experiencing power-struggles and tantrums, Love and Logic is worth checking out. I have already avoided two Madison Freak-Outs and one Hayes Melt-Down.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Peninsula

My sister Clare flew up from Utah State for her Fall Break, so we spent the weekend exploring. On Saturday we rode the ferry over to the Olympic Peninsula and checked out Fort Worden and Port Townsend.

The ferry was a big hit with the kids. Hayes loves boats, and they both begged to ride again.

We walked around Port Townsend which has a great downtown lined with Victorian architecture and interesting little shops and restaurants.

At Fort Worden we saw a lighthouse and walked around the beach. It was a little on the cold side, but beautiful. We loved the sand and driftwood; the seaweed was kind of creepy. See? If you come to visit us we do fun stuff, so you should come!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Today we went up to Snohomish to Stocker Farms to enjoy the fall rite of picking out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch. It was such a nice afternoon, a little cold, but sunny! We went with Joe's sister "Aunt Melissa."

The farm had a gigantic corn maze, a tractor ride, a pumpkin gun, and all kinds of fun things for a kid to do, I actually got a kick out of it too! Madison and Hayes rode the "horses," rode in a wagon, jumped in the giant pumpkin, played in the corn box (a sand box filled with died corn kernels), and trudged through the pumpkin patch to select our pumpkins and load them into our little red wagon. It was the perfect fall outing, and I would love to go again!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Weekend Activities

We had a good weekend. Joe had they day off on Friday so we went out for pizza and checked out Trader Joe's (gourmet grocery store) where we picked up some delicious odds and ends to try.

Later that night he and Madison went to the Mariner's game. Madison must be good luck because they won! She caught a ball (with the help of Joe) during batting practice and won us four free tickets to see a game next summer. They both had a really fun time.

On Saturday, we drove down to Mt. St. Helens. It was the perfect day for the trip, warm and sunny. We got some pretty impressive views of Mt. Rainier as we drove, and now I am yearning to go see it up close. Mt. St. Helens was pretty amazing, there is still not a sign of plant life 28 years later within a five mile radius of the blast zone and you could still see piles of trees just lying on the hillsides. We went and watched a video of the explosion and saw before pictures, which made the reality even more interesting. Madison refers to it as the "mountain that fell down," which is what it looked like with the massive landslide that precipitated the explosion.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Anna Karenina

I finally finished Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I thought that it was really well written and the characters were amazing. Tolstoy's attention to detail concerning the motives, thoughts, and emotions of everyone involved in the story fascinated me. The dynamic between Kitty and Levin during their marriage seemed so true to reality. Of course, Anna and Vronsky were the most captivating in the narrative. I did not like the ending as well. Everything after the train incident just seemed anti-climatic, but it did fit with the story, so I guess I cannot really improve on this classic. I thought that it was definitely worth reading if one is willing to put in the time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Madison's Accident

Yesterday we were sitting down to lunch and Madison was jumping around in the chair next to me, when it keeled over backwards. She smacked her head pretty good on the floor. There was blood everywhere, but I thought it was just because she cut her lip. It started to swell immediately and I looked in her mouth and her front tooth had been shoved up into her gum until it was almost not visible. So I am sitting on the kitchen floor, Madison is screaming, there is a pool of blood, and I am looking through the phone book deciding where to go (we are still so new to the area that I had no clue where to start). Fortunately the Children's Hospital is right near our house. Once they got her into a room and turned on the Lion King she stopped screaming. We ended up going to a dentist who said that her tooth would eventually migrate down, but has no idea when. She is handling it pretty well. She can't really eat anything because the swelling is so bad. Hayes has been giving her lots of hugs. Poor kid!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The End of Summer

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote today that the end of summer in Seattle will probably be this weekend. So here is the wrap-up of our Summer. Bring on the rain!

1. The "Splash-Down Park" (as named by Madison) in Boise. We spent a couple of hot afternoons here.

2. Silver City, ID. We took a final trip before leaving Idaho to this ghost town. I loved it. Nothing has been restored, so they just left everything how it was when it was inhabited. I did not realize that we would be driving 20 miles on a dirt road through the Owyhee Mountains to get there (I think Joe got a little exasperated at the difficulty of getting there). No wonder it is a ghost town.

3. After our stint in Silver City we knocked all of that dust off at the YMCA swimming pool. Joe took Madison and Hayes down the slide about 50 times. This was during the Olympics and Madison told Joe that he could probably swim in the Olympics someday.

4. We took the kids to the Western Idaho Fair a couple of days before the big move. We looked at the animals, and went to a petting zoo which was really fun. Madison did a couple of rides and we enjoyed some nice greasy carnival food. It was over 100 degrees that day, so we could only stand so much!

5. One of our first weekends in Seattle we rode the bus out to Ballard to see the Locks with Grandma Kathy and Aunt Melissa. It was really cool to see the boats all dock in the lock, the water level drop, and then watch them sail out to sea. We also saw a fish ladder where the fish were coming through this time of year. A funny experience: We were standing right outside a five million dollar yacht waiting to head out into the lake and we could see right into the main cabin of the boat. Hayes was screaming and crying, so this nice woman asked from the boat if he wanted ice cream. He nodded. She came back and tossed us a box of fudgesicles. Hayes immediately stopped crying and started doing a victory dance. He is out of control.

Seattle Aquarium

One day we ventured downtown by bus to the Seattle Aquarium, thank heavens Aunt Melissa (Joe's sister) came with us or this trip would have pushed me over the edge. Melissa helped us figure out which buses to take and was indispensable in keeping track of the kids at the aquarium. Madison and Hayes loved the aquarium where we saw all kinds of fish, an octopus, sea otters, and sea lions. They had remodeled it since I had last been, and it really was fascinating. They actually enjoyed riding the bus almost as much as the aquarium so we will have to do that more often.