Friday, September 18, 2015


Summer has come to an end. Another baseball season has been put behind us. School has started. There is rain falling more often then I'd like. What does all of this add up to? Another soccer season for Shane!

This is Shane's 2nd year playing soccer through Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association. He plays on a U9 team coached by Kenny! Yep. After many attempts to find a coach for his team, Kenny decided to step up and coach a sport he never played. I assist by sending emails, buying soccer jerseys and making snack schedules. Anything to keep me off the field with 8 goofy boys.

They played their first game last week in beautiful sunshine. They held their own, though in the end did lose. Shane really enjoys playing and is always right in the middle of things on the field.

A HUGE thanks goes out to Kenny for taking on the Juanita Cheetahs team this year. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Baseball Season

Shane completed his 4th year of baseball this past spring. It was his 1st year of "kid pitch". Baseball this year was another place we saw HUGE improvements in his anxiety. Kenny was an assistant coach this year, so he was still around the whole time, but Shane just jumped into each practice or game with no qualms. He struggled with some emotional issues when it came to striking-out, getting out or not pitching well. Those things seemed to fade over the summer as he played on a casual summer ball team.

He took to pitching quickly and really enjoyed playing that position. Most of the year he had a hitting slump during games, but that kid can hit like no other off the game field during practices or in the front yard.

He definetly has baseball in his blood. You'll find him throwing a ball or playing pretend baseball some where in the house on pretty much any given day. Or hitting balls onto the roof in the front yard. In the evenings when he gets a bit of TV time, he picks to watch the Dodgers or Mariners play instead of "kid TV'.

His team finished 2nd in the league. They won several exciting playoff games and then went on to play the other local little league team for 2nd place in the city. That was a super exciting game. Sadly they lost, but not with out a nail biting finish.  I think it is safe to say we have a lot more baseball in our future.

 Attentive at first base.

 Talking to the coach.




Adalyn enjoyed baseball season fully as well. She had many little friends to run around with during games. I generally had to drag her away to take her home to bed. Though at this point she has no interest in playing. She said she'll let us know if she changes her mind.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Where Do I Start? {School Year 2015-16}

It's been a whole long time since I blogged last. I do truly miss blogging regularly and think about the blog often. I love looking back on past posts and we often reference it for details on past events and timeline happenings. The problem is now I just don't know where to start, how to catch up or even if I want to attempt a catch up game of sorts.

I think I'll jump in where we are at now....the beginning of a new school year.

Shane's is in his 3rd week of 2nd grade and lovin' every minute of it. He has a fabulous teacher that is new to our school, but she has been teaching for many years in our school district. From what I can tell so far she is a great fit for him. On the first day of school he told me on 3 different occasions about how she smiled at them all day long. He also has a full time student teacher for the whole school year! What an amazing gift to have in a class. They earn Beagle Bucks for following directions and other good behavior, which is a HUGE motivator for him. He has already spent he $60 earnings on a book and squishy ball. (He is a spender!)

He loves recess and plays soccer or kickball most of the time. He is a rule follower, which is suiting him very well in school. He continues to excel in math and enjoys reading. His least favorite subject is writing, though when he puts his mind to it, he tells great stories.

He biggest upset of the year was not having his best friend, Callum, in his class for the 3rd year in a row. There were tears shed when we found out. He's done really well though since then with adapting and moving on from that.

I look forward to watching him grow and learn this school year!

Adalyn is in her 1st week of Pre-K (her 2nd year of preschool). Besides not wanting to wear shoes that cover her toes, she LOVES preschool. She goes Monday and Wednesday from 9-1pm. Which includes a "lunch buddies" program after her regular preschool is over. She stays and gets to each lunch, plus some extra play time. Then on Friday she goes from 9-11:30. After preschool she heads over to Sarah's house where she plays until I get off of work at 2pm.

On the way home from preschool today she told me she wanted to learn how to read. I foresee a lot of educational growth in this little girl this year.

Next year she'll be off to kindergarten. We had planned on a half day program for her. Unfortunately for us, our school district may be rolling out fully funded full day kindergarten. If this plays out how it looks like it will, she be in full day kindergarten next year.  I'm very sad about this, yet know she will be super successful if we do have to go this route.

I am insanely excited to watch her blossom this year educationally.

We've settled into a nice school year routine. I can feel this year is going to rock!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Time Adventures {Evans Creek Preserve}

It's still a bit drizzly and chilly outside here in the Pacific Northwest. But we've had a taste of blue skies sunshine here and there. And it is making me super antsy to get outside and explore.

This fun list of family friendly hikes was making its round on Facebook last week giving me some inspiration to bundle up a bit and head out. The weather did cooperate for us and we saw glimpses of  sunshine and not a rain drop fell on us. (I'm a fair weather gal for sure!!)

This was our first time to Evans Creek Preserve in Redmond and we all gave it a two thumbs up. Lots of beautiful scenery and tons of fun bridges/boardwalks to walk on.

Shane loved all the stumps and trees to climb on.

Adalyn is doing a lot better with her walking/hiking skills. Though those little legs need some breaks and piggy-back rides now and then. She is powered through most of the walking on her own on this adventure. 

"Take my picture, Mommy!

We've been to 7 out of 10 of the places on the list. We've got our eyes on #6, #8 and #9 as the months get warmer and warmer!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fireplace Remodel

One thing I really really wanted in a house when we were looking to buy 5 years ago, was a mantel. Well, we got a fireplace (actually two), but the mantel area was lacking.

Technically, there was some small bumpy brick area to use for decor, but it wasn't really very functional or what I had in mind when I dreamed of a home with a mantel. On top of that fact, the whole brick area above the fireplace was just plain odd.

After many years of dreaming, wondering and conceptualizing what we could do with the space above the fireplace, a plan was conceived. We got to work

We knew that we wanted a rustic mantel piece. We did a lot of searching and finally discovered the perfect piece at an antique like store in Mount Vernon. It was a part of a 70+ year old telephone pole.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Conversations With Shane

Prior to today, Shane has loudly proclaimed his desire to NEVER get married and to live in a RV with a German Shepard as his dog. We have heard this proclamation over and over again for the past couple years.

After school today:

Shane: Mommy, can you get married and not have kids.

Me: Oh, sure. People do that. Marriage doesn't mean you have to have kids. That is between you and your wife to decide.

Shane: I'm going to marry someone!

Me: Who are you going to marry?

Shane: I'll tell you later...I'm busy making my book store in my room.

Me: Oh, Ok!

A couple hours later in the car:

Shane: I forgot to tell you who I was going to marry.

Me: Oh, yes. Who?!

Shane: Megan. We've got it all planned out.

Me: I thought you were going to live in a RV with your dog and not get married. What about kids?

Shane: I'm still going to have an RV and a dog, but I'm going to marry Megan now. She is okay with the RV and a dog. We have it all planned out. Megan is okay with not having kids.

Me: When are you going to get married?

Shane: In 23 years.

Me: How old will you be then?

Shane: (doing some calculations) 30. I'll be 30.

Me: Yep, you'll be 30. That is a long time away. Do you think you might change your mind over the next 30 years.

Shane: No. It will be hard if we aren't in the same class next year. I really need her to be in the same class as me. But we still can get married even if she isn't. We have a really good start, too, because we were in toddler group together. 

This conversation continued for a good 5 more minutes until we got to our destination. We discussed long distance relationships (in case she isn't in his class next year). We chatted about kissing (and how that doesn't happen until after you are 18...thought I'd throw it in there just for good measure). How he said in high school you can kiss during recess. He then didn't believe me when I said there was no recess in high school. Blew his mind away. We talked about how old Kenny and I were when we got married (28) and that you can't get married until you are 18. 

He continued to tell me that Megan and he had it "planned out". That they need to wear fancy wedding clothes to get married in. That they need to plan out where they are going to live tomorrow.

I listened the whole time with out laughing, with out judging and with out telling him the reality of his "plans". I wanted to remember every word he said. I wanted to laugh at his innocence at it all. I wanted to scream are only 7....stop this nonsense. In the end really it was a very sweet conversation.

A bit of history on this marriage stuff...last week his 1st grade teacher announced her engagement to Mr. Frost. Shane came home to tell me all the details about her ring and all the "jewels and crystals" in it and how shiny it was. How her name would change to Mrs. Frost. He was insanely excited about this announcement. More then I could ever imagine he would be. He told me they saw Mr. Frost today at school. His eyes just light up. He was in the parking lot during lunch recess talking to his teacher.

Ah, the life of a 1st grader.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween {2014}

The kids had a pretty awesome Halloween week!

Adalyn had a fall party at preschool on Thursday were she practiced her trick or treating and ate some yummy food. I had fun seeing her in her preschool world. She also got to spend Halloween day at Sarah's house were they got some afternoon trick or treating in at Park Place in Kirkland, did some art projects and made cookies.

Shane had a Halloween party on Friday. I was able to organize it, but I wasn't able to be there. Which was a bummer for both of us. I did mange to arrive in time for the school costume parade and surprised him with that.

Per our Halloween tradition, we started out trick or treating in downtown Kirkland. Visiting the stores and restaurants in the daylight is so much fun. They get lots of attention and really enjoy it.

Shane was a knight/gladiator. He picked this costume over the big fuzzy bear one that he was considering as well. This was a big costume transition year for him from cute animal to mean warrior.

Adalyn went as a pumpkin. That was what she requested in September and that is what she stuck to all along. The funniest part was she had to have a headband with her pumpkin costume, but then of course wore it a whole 5 minutes.

Mr. Knight was struggling to have fun at first. Big event days like this make him a bit more up and down with his moods. He warmed up after 5 minutes or so of trick or treating.

I worked on Halloween and decided last minute that I needed to participate in the costume arena for my little toddlers and my own kiddos. I grabbed my cat tail, some eye liner and made myself some cat ears and voila...a black cat I was. Adalyn was impressed. Shane wasn't.

Look Mommy, I got candy!!

Ah, he is happy now!

The famous Kirkland cow and coyote all dressed up.

Shane lost his first tooth last year while eating a sandwich from Jimmy Johns. He was determined to have it happen again this year. But to no avail, it didn't...even with 4 loose teeth.

After all of our fun in Kirkland, we came home to do some neighborhood trick or treating.

Our pumpkins: the top one is Kenny's, middle is Shane's and the bottom is mine and Adalyn's. Shane won for his 3rd year in a row for best tradition pumpkin at the pumpkin carvin' party at Dahlia's house this year. He is the big champion and he does NOT take that title lightly at all!!

Kenny's Halloween project. This pair of legs has been scaring me for weeks!

We came home to put Adalyn to bed and Shane instantly started in on sorting his candy. He was going to go back out with Kenny, but decided not to so he could just sort it.

The next morning they were back at the sorting again. 

Finally, by Saturday they were ready to buy it back from them. They got to pick 10 pieces and then I give them $5 each for the rest of it. Then Shane takes it to school and may just win a pizza party if his class has the most candy brought in! After that the candy makes its way overseas to soldiers.

The best part is they didn't even ask for a piece of candy all day today!

39 Acts of Kindness

At the beginning of this year, a friend of mine asked people to join her in completing 39 acts of kindness for her final year of being in her 30's.

My first 10 are here.

I don't want this post to be boastful. That isn't my intent at all. I've really enjoyed breaking out of my box and finding ways, which are often very small, to be kind.

11. I got gas for Kenny in his car. Getting gas is one of my least favorite "chores", making this act of kindness even more of a big deal.

12. I loaned our dog crate to a family that we don't know that was looking for an extra dog crate for their dog that had hip surgery. They had our crate for 3 months. It was a total leap of faith since I had no outside connections to this family. The crate was returned with out any issues.

13. I loaned our small/extra tent out to another couple that I didn't know. They were looking to go camping for the weekend, but didn't have a tent and normally sleep in their car. I loved that our tent was getting out and being used. They ended up repaying my kindness with a 6 pack of hard cider and chocolate! That was totally unexpected.

14., 15. and 16. I helped along with other friends preparing a meal at Ronald McDonald's house for families that have kiddos in Children's Hospital. Serving up food to these families was really humbling and you find yourself so grateful for healthy kiddos.

17., 18., 19., 20., and 21. I sent 5 cards to 5 special people in my life.

22. I baked some muffins and gave a couple to a friend.

23. I delivered a cupcake to a friend for Mother's Day.

24. I delivered a cupcake to Adalyn's speech teacher for Teacher Appreciation Day.

25. I delivered a cupcake to my new co-worker that I had never meet on Teacher Appreciation Day.

26. Our family participated in helping to make hundreds of "blessing bags" at our church.

27. - 35. We purchased 10 of these blessing bags and have been handing them out to people we see on the corner in need. We handed out 8 out of 10 of them so far. It feels really good to know when you pull up to someone in need you have a way to help them.

36. I loaned someone, that I don't know, my two ceramic tea pots for a tea party they were attending.

37. I made a necklace and gifted it to a friend, just to show her how special she is.

38. I wrote a card to our Pastor to express my gratitude in his dedication and commitment to our church.

39. I passed on clothes that Adalyn had outgrown to a friend.

40. I picked up a free pair a jeans that I saw that I thought a friend of mine's daughter would like to have.

41. I paid for someones order at Starbucks.

42. I shut the door of a car for a little girl who has having problems closing it behind her in the car line at school.

43. I took some banana bread to Shane's teacher at the end of the 1st day of school.

44. Shane and I volunteered at Food Lifeline and bagged up granola and coffee beans to be given out to families in need.

45. We delivered cookies to our new neighbors when they moved in.

46.+ I joined a Facebook group called "Buy Nothing Kirkland". The Buy Nothing Project started on Bainbridge Island over a year ago as a way to gift your neighbors items that you don't need or want any more. This group has been amazing. I've gifted over 20+ quality items to my neighbors. Things that we don't need any more, but others do. It goes directly to someone living in my community and saves these items from the landfill or moving out of our community. In turn, I've been gifted amazing things as well. This summer all of us were able to bike ride together because we were gifted a bike for Kenny, a new helmet for myself and Adalyn. That just is the tip of the iceberg in the BNK world. There are over 150 Buy Nothing Projects. There may just be one in your neighborhood!

It takes a bit of time to list and gift these items, but that extra step and time truly is the point of acts of kindness.

It may just take an extra second or two to complete an act of kindness. Sometimes it takes longer. But in the end that act of kindness blossoms and blooms and becomes this wonderful thing floating and shifting in the world. The lines are blurred on really how much or how far an act of kindness can go. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back To School {September 2014}

I'm a month or so behind, but the kids are back to school! We've settled in nicely to our new school routine and schedule. I must say the schedule this year is fabulous and it is only going to get better from here on out!

Shane has transitioned into full day 1st grade. He jumped back to school loving it, but then realized that he didn't have as much time to play any more. Weeks 2 and 3 were quite a bit harder. He reverted back to crying before school and not wanting to go. By week 4 he was back to loving school and no tears, which makes my life so much easier! We just had conferences last week and he is doing great. Math comes pretty naturally and easy for him. He is working on his reading and writing, but right where he is suppose to be. We are doing a lot around here to make reading fun and something he'll enjoy doing. Writing is his least favorite thing to do, but he has great ideas, it is just getting him to get them down on paper.

Adalyn has started her 1st year of preschool and is loving it! She goes two days a week for just a little over 2 hours each time. Days that she doesn't go she is upset and wants to go more. She is 100% the opposite of her brother at this stage in life. It is so refreshing to drop her off at school when she has a big smile on her face and can't wait to go.

I work on Fridays from 9-2pm as a Parenting Educator at Lake Washington Toddler Group. Moving my work schedule from Saturday to Friday has been really awesome. I didn't expect the day change to effect me so much, but it really has.

Between having Shane in school full time, Adalyn in school a tiny tiny bit and my work schedule things seem to be flowing nicely. On Friday's, while I work, Adalyn goes to a friends house just minutes from where we leave. She gets to spend the day with an awesome Mommy and her daughter who is roughly the same age as Adalyn. I feel super duper blessed to have had this childcare fall into my lap.

Here's to an awesome school year!