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Showing posts from June, 2016

ft. lewis / ocean shores / more car problems

Remember when I said I would never  buy a mini-van? I would like one now, please. We picked up the car Friday night, drove to Washington Saturday morning, drove home today, and went straight back to the car mechanic. Our Subaru is in a state of extreme rebellion. And it's not even that old! Well, it's a 2008 model, but that's new for us! Jon's car is a 1998 model! I do have to congratulate the Subaru on getting us to and from Washington. It did not break down on the side of the road, which I am very grateful for. The kids love our annual trip up to Ocean Shores to see Jon's parents. This year we took a little detour on our way up so that Bennett could experience the Ft. Lewis Military Museum. The museum is on a military base, so we had to be prepared to get on the base, which we talked about and planned for, and still nearly failed at. We needed various forms of documentation to gain access to the military base, but when we placed our vehicle registrati

I have a six-year-old

On the train a week ago a man sat across from me and we began chatting. Ainsleigh was keyed up after our adventure into the city to see Elmo Live so she chattered at him as well. I explained that it was my first time going to see Elmo Live, even though I was not with my first child. "Oh, really?" he said. "How many do you have?" Without thinking I replied, "three." He nodded. "I have four! Your other two must be boys then." I shook my head. "No. I have a four-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl. 2, 4, 6. It's a bit much," I laughed. "But you love it," he said. "Of course," I responded. "Of course." I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT CAME OVER ME! I lied to a complete stranger about my kids and then the conversation took an awkward turn, because I couldn't keep up with my lie. It was the strangest thing. When B was little I would say I had two sometimes because I couldn't bear not to. But most

lucky find: the no-biggie bunch

I was helping B find books on army tanks at the library, and prying random titles out of Ainsleigh's hands as she tried to shove them in her book bag, when I noticed a book out of the corner of my eye on the bottom shelf. I crouched down and pulled it from the stack. It was like finding gold. I don't know why I haven't tried to find books on food allergies before. I guess it hadn't occurred to me .... ? We currently have three no-biggie bunch books checked out from the library. I think we'll eventually own the series. It's so nice for Bennett to read books about kids who have food allergies and need to bring special food with them everywhere. Now in the book each child has one food allergy, and Bennett has many, but he can still relate! The books have provided many jumping off points for conversations about his allergies and how he feels about them.            To buy directly go HERE I'm not being asked to promote these

when repairmen fall asleep on your kitchen floor

We seem to be in a constant state of mechanical failure of one kind or another. The car ... I don't know if I can even talk about the car. We've been having car troubles since last November. That's 8 months! We've been through two mechanics and enough repairs to finance three shops for a while. And guess what we're doing this evening? Dropping the car off at the mechanic for another look over. Last week the dishwasher broke. We've owned it six months. It was expensive. We bought the better brand, the brand I prefer, and it broke. Expensive appliances should not break after six months of use! We have a warranty so we called the appropriate number to learn what to do. Every suggestion they had was met with, "I tried that," by Jon so they gave us the number of the store that handles broken dishwashers with our particular warranty.  I had to go to the store we bought the appliance from to get proof of receipt because we lost it. I'm usually ve

find your brave {book review}

I initially picked Find Your Brave: Courage to Stand Strong When the Waves Crash In  by Holly Wagner from a list of books to review because I saw that it used the story of Paul's shipwreck in Acts 27 to talk about the storms of life and how to handle the trials one faces. Hey, that will be perfect!  I thought. I'm reading through the She Reads Truth Acts study this summer and this book will give me deep insight into one passage . And then life went sideways all around me. As it does. As it always will. And when this book came in the mail today I tried to set it aside, but I felt like I needed to read it so I picked it up after dinner and burned through it in two hours with a pencil tightly gripped in one hand. It's one of my 'send a copy to all the people I love' books. It jumped on the list immediately when I thought of four people I wanted to pass it on to - well buy it for, I want to keep my marked up copy for myself - as I began texting quotes to f

monkey moon and other picture book favorites

When we walk in the library everyone at the front desk cringes. I have to bring the stroller just to get all of our selves and books in the door. I bring two huge bags my mom found on clearance at Target when B was in the NICU and we were desperate for clothes and something to store them in. Blue for me, white for the kids. Then we stuff them full of as many books as they can hold, and sometimes more. I've been known to leave the library with two bags full, the stroller top stacked high, and the kids arms full of precarious stacks. I had to open up a library account for B because we kept maxing out my card. With a 100 book limit we haven't had any problems, but Ainsleigh doesn't have a card yet, so there's the option to stretch our limit to 150 titles if we really get crazy. I'm already trying to figure out how we'll manage when it no longer makes sense to bring a stroller. Everyone brings their own rolling suitcase? Or wagon? Or laundry basket? On our la

schooling {a few thoughts on the well-trained mind}

I think every parent struggles with where to send their child to school. Public school might seem like an easy option because it's what most people do, but just because it's the most common doesn't mean parents don't worry about the curriculum, the teachers, or the school district. Choosing a school for your child is hard . I've spent the last few years trying to figure out what to do for my kids, and I still can't fully commit to what we've planned! This weekend I set up a binder and began collecting all of my notes on curriculum and schooling styles. I like the book  The Well-Trained Mind  by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, but it's a little intense . Like if you watch more than 30 minutes of Mister Rogers a day they will find you and tell you to turn off that TV, pick up a book, and read to your child! I like the overall structure they suggest, but I think we'll have to make a few adjustments so it fits our needs and style.

adventures with ainsleigh: sesame street live

Ainsleigh girl LOVES Sesame Street. When we went to the library this week she couldn't find any Elmo books so she walked up to the desk and said, Elmo?" to a librarian, who quickly stood up to help her. And she's already planning an ElmoAbbyZoe birthday party. I assumed our family would all go to Sesame Street Live together, but B refused to participate so I took Ainsleigh by myself. I was not looking forward to going to Portland by myself on a Friday evening, but I knew Ainsleigh would love the show so I bought the tickets. Getting to the show was a bit of a disaster, but we made it! I feel so bad for Jon when he has to deal with the completely confused, slightly hysterical wife who isn't exactly sure where she is and calls in a panic to make sure she is in the right place. Maybe I should've called my dad instead. He's used to the hysterical daughter's lost in Portland phone calls; he's been receiving them for years from my sisters and I. The

that's not hay in my hair {book review}

I didn't realize That's Not Hay in My Hair  by Juliette Turner was a middle grade novel until I started it. When I worked at the bookstore a few years ago I read a lot of middle reader and young adult novels, but I haven't read as much in that category lately.  Often the content is too mature for me to find middle reader books appropriate for the intended audience, but That's Not Hay in My Hair  is perfect for girls ages 9-12. That's Not Hay in My Hair  is a funny fast-paced novel about Juliette, her mother, Emily and their big move from New York City to a 300 acre ranch in Texas. (Yes it's semi-autobiographical though it is billed as a novel). While the plot was shaky at times the characters were well thought out and fully developed. There were a lot of humorous passages about ranch life, as well as beautiful descriptive passages, and a well thought out thread about loss that runs throughout the book. As Juliette and her mom struggle to run a

what does a 1,000 piece puzzle have to do with the library?

I signed up for the adult summer reading program at our library because I thought it would be interesting and fun. I also figured with the number of books I read I would easily be able to complete the assigned tasks. I did not anticipate so much of the program involving non-reading assignments. Why can't I just read a certain number of hours like the kids?! I was given two Exercise Your Mind  bingo sheets. Every row completed nets me one raffle ticket. I've had the sheets for a week and I have accomplished exactly zero tasks. Shortly after signing up for the program I was in a thrift store buying puzzles, games and books for the kids. When I saw an adult puzzle that hadn't been opened I tossed it in my cart because I remembered it being one of the bingo tasks, and I love doing puzzles. I did not think about it being 1,000 pieces. I did not think about how many years it's been since I've done anything harder than a Melissa & Doug puzzle. The day after buyi

so your toddler is obsessed with construction vehicles

While Bennett has moved from construction vehicle love to army tanks and war weapons love (seriously) I remember those days well. I was reading one of our books on construction to Ainsleigh the other night before bed. Shortly after settling her in for the night I saw an advertisement for our city's public works day. And I immediately wanted to tell all moms of toddlers to check if their city has a public works day because it's a great hands on learning experience for kids. Back when Bennett was obsessed with construction trucks I took him to the public works day. He hated it and refused to go on any of the trucks and was generally miserable, but the rest of the kids looked like they were having a good time! Perhaps we'll attempt it again this year. If going to a local public works day, sitting in the vehicles, and honking the horn isn't enough for your kiddo here's a list of our favorite construction books. I scoured the library for books on the subject wh