Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Camp pictures as promised

Here are a few more camp pictures from Brenna's week at Camp Gilead...as promised ;)

Alyssa and her BFF, Kylie, made this sign for Brenna. It was so cute and they worked so hard!
When Alyssa and I pulled up to camp, we found all of the campers sitting in the parking lot. I quickly realized that there were counselors showing off all of the clothing that had made its way to the lost and found during the week. It was very comical to sit and watch. There were a few pieces of clothing that people were not claiming and the counselors kept repeating, "Somebody wore this during the week. One of you brought this from home." The kids were all just staring with the look of 'who cares, it's just a shirt.' Basically, what it boiled down to, these kids hadn't had breakfast yet and were more concerned about what they were going to eat than any piece of clothing waiting to be claimed.
It was so fun to be able to sit with the girls from church, and their new friend Larissa, during breakfast. Alyssa and I shared a cinnamon roll with one of the girls...they were very BIG cinnamon rolls and Brenna went back for seconds so we could try some of the yummy food. Yes, camp food that was yummy!
Do you think these two missed each other? YES! They were so excited to see each other. Its nice to actually see the love between them. At home, it's the usual sister fights and they share a room so they sometimes get tired of each other. The week apart was great for both of them but they were so ready to be back together again.

We had a great trip home. Alyssa and I just listened to Brenna tell us her camp stories and then by the time we got to Marysville we had no choice but to stop for lunch and a break. Brenna was car sick (no, she didn't eat much for lunch). The fresh air did her some good and having a little something in her stomach again seemed to help her. The poor girl! I think the combination of being warm and being very tired is what did her in.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday already???!!!

Wow, where did this week go? It definitely feels like a weekend but it's hard to believe that the weekend is really here. Monday afternoon and evening we adjusted to being a 4 person family after taking Brenna down to camp. There was very much a different dynamic between the two kiddos here at home. They seemed to play really well and Alyssa didn't really take the "being the oldest child" syndrome to heart until Thursday evening. We quickly reminded her of how it felt to be bossed around.

Alyssa enjoyed her week of VBS. It was nice to have something for her to do while Brenna was away. Ethan was home with me and the of the daycare kids we had throughout the week. Each day there seemed to be someone different for Ethan to play with so that was nice.

Wednesday brought a not so nice surprise. While dropping Alyssa and Dillon off at VBS, the van decided to blow a hose. Thankfully, it waited until I was in the parking lot. And, actually, I was inside the church when it all happened. I walked out thinking, wow there's a lot of steam coming from that vehicle (I couldn't see the actual vehicle itself from where I was) and quickly realized, as I was walking closer to where I had parked, that the vehicle that was steaming was my van. So, I called my friend Misty to meet up with Case, the little boy that I was suppose to be picking up from McDonalds, called my mom to come rescue me from the church parking lot and she watched Ethan and Case while I went back to the church parking lot to meet the tow truck and then followed the tow truck with van in tow to the repair shop. Of course, it wasn't a "simple" hose fix. No, it was a hose that had to be ordered in because of a special fitting it required. GREAT! By Thursday afternoon, we had the van back and were back to a 2-car family.

Friday was spent getting ready for Brenna to come home. Alyssa and her bestest friend/cousin in the whole wide world (her words) spent the afternoon making a welcome home sign for Brenna. It looks great and I will get a picture of it up later. Ethan spent the night with his buddy/cousin Wayne because there is no way he was going to make the early trip down to camp and let the rest of us enjoy ourselves...too long for him.

Now, Alyssa and I are off to get Brenna. Jason had to work this morning so he isn't able to make the trip with us. We are excited to get down to Brenna and to hear all about her week. Hope to have pictures for you all later!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho It's Off To Camp We Go!

This morning Brenna and I left at 7:30 with her good friend EmmaRae and EmmaRae's mom, Janet, and headed to Camp Gilead in Carnation. The girls were so excited and chitter, chatted all the way. It was a long 2 hour car ride for the girls. They just couldn't wait to get to camp. As soon as we turned on to Carnation Farm Road they were squealing with excitement. When we arrived, we went and checked the girls in and got their cabin assignment, Cabin 9, and then headed back to the car for their stuff for the week. When we arrived at their cabin, we found their counselor, Teanna Alsum. Janet and I were absolutely thrilled! Teanna attends our church with her family and is a sweet, sweet girl!! There is another very sweet girl from our church who is a counselor at camp this year as well and we would have been just as thrilled to have her. It was so nice to know that we were leaving the girls with someone that we knew and who we knew would take care of them.
The girls immediately found their bunks.
They met a girl, Larissa, who is in their cabin. Larissa has never attended camp before and is there with no friends...she is alone :( Brenna and EmmaRae immediately invited her to join them. Brenna is sharing her double bed with Larissa and before we left, the three girls had already been to the playground together.
This is what we found the girls doing as we were leaving. I think they are going to have a great week and I think they have made a great new friend!
I'm excited to find out about Brenna's week and to see her on Saturday. Jason will have to work so Ethan will go spend some time with his cousins and Alyssa will join me in going to get Brenna. It's not going to be a quiet ride home...hehehe :)

Family Day at the Bay

Saturday morning was a low tide and a great day for some fun on the beach. So, Mom and Duane invited all of us out to their "beach house". We met at the Birch Bay State Park and Duane and Tyler headed out to dig for some clams. The women stayed with the kiddos while they all played in the sand. It was fun to watch them all dig, build sand castles, and then knock them down. At the end of our beach time, the boys were all getting a little "crabby" themselves and all of the kids were wet and sandy.
Brenna was excited about the sand dollars that she was finding on the beach.
Before leaving the beach, Mom had food for the kids to feed the seagulls.
Once we made it back to the "beach house" the kids hung out inside for a little while with craft projects that Grammy had waiting for them.

Jason had to work in the morning so he missed out on our beach time but he was able to meet up with us back at the "beach house" to enjoy the great food we were having for lunch. It was fun to have everyone together...we missed Todd though because he was at work. It was fun to just take time to hang out and enjoy each others company. It's been awhile since we've been able to spend that much time together as a family.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Our days have been full but I have really been trying to find time each day to sit down and work on Brenna's photo album. Her traditional photo albums/scrapbooks are almost caught up. I think I only have about 6 months or so to do. I could get these pages done quickly but I'm not really up to pulling everything out right now, which is why I'm switching to digital scrapbooks! I've decided though that I really want to at least stay current with her digital photo album. It's been fun to use some new kits that I've picked up from Digi Scrap Depot. Here are a few that I've done. It's always fun to share what gets accomplished!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A long post...lots to catch up on

I just realized that it has been 12 days since I have blogged. Oh my! These days are flying by and have been very busy. Where to start...

Last Thursday evening, June 4th, we attended a high school graduation for Brandon Korthuis. It was such an honor to be there for him. He has been one of my "kids" since he was very little. It is sad to think that he will be leaving for college in the fall but we are excited for what God has planned for his life. We are going to miss him! Ethan is going to miss him at church. He always gets so excited when he sees Brandon in the halls.

Saturday, the 6th, was a busy day at home. We spent time in the yard getting the lawn mowed and the flower beds weeded and so much more. The kids were having fun playing with the neighbor kids. Ethan and Carter, the neighbor boy who is just a month older than Ethan, were on their motorized vehicles.

It was just a matter of time before this was going to happen. WIPE OUT! It wasn't bad but they weren't very happy with each other. But, the fun continued once we got the front wheels separated.

This last week was our final week of school. Of course, it was spirit week. This meant that each day the kids were dressing up...twin day, sports day, tropical day, and crazy hair/hat day. Thursday, the 11th, was field day and of course, I had signed up to volunteer for this event. It was a lot of fun actually. There were 6 or 7 different inflatables for the kids to go on and then our PE teacher had other activities set up for them to do...obstacle course, bean bag launch (using a sling shot type set-up), and other things.
For Brenna's grade, I was assigned to the "Bulldozer" station. Brenna is demonstrating for you how this station works. :) The kids would crawl inside these boxes and move them down the field, a short distance, while racing against a buddy. This was a slow station. With the older kids, it's a free for all. They don't have to do every station. I think I had about 10 groups come through to do this in an hour and 40 minutes. I am so glad there was another mom there with me. We spent a lot of time soaking up the sun and catching up on how the school year had gone and what our summer plans were.

I am so glad that Brenna is still into having her picture taken with her mom!! This was the best picture I was able to get of Brenna during field day. I wasn't able to get around and get pictures of her doing other things. :(

Alyssa's grade was after lunch. I was a group leader for half of her class. It was fun because we had our cousin Kylie, Alyssa's best friend in the whole world as she puts it, with us in our group.

They bounced themselves silly in the bouncy house.

Alyssa loved the BIG slide. It was even faster once Mr. VanderYacht when down it with the dusting spray! I bet you didn't know that's what they used on these slides to make them "work".

Thursday night was also Family Fun Night. They had a Hot Dog feed with other yummy food and a carnival set up...and yes, the inflatables from the earlier Field Day were still there for the kids to use.

Ethan was having so much fun with all of the games. He was very proud of himself for figuring them out all by himself. I'm thinking he is going to be needing some golf lessons at some point. This stance just doesn't look right. That, and they really need golf clubs that fit him at these events. He takes his golfing seriously as you can see by the look of determination on his face. He was not accepting any help from Daddy.

Alyssa was so good about sticking with her brother and going on all of the fun inflatables with him. Here they are waiting patiently, NOT, for their turn in the bouncy house. It was all we could to keep Ethan out until it was their turn. He was so excited.

Then it was the BIG slide. This was just after Mr. VanderYacht had taken the dusting spray to it. And, as you can see by Ethan's face, he had no fear of this. Just pure enjoyment. He would get to the bottom and try to take off back up the stairs to the top. He was having such a hard time waiting his turn. Thankfully there weren't a lot of kids at the time so his turns would come quickly. But, the longer we were there, the longer the line would get. He eventually gave up on waiting and moved on to other activities.

Brenna is obviously getting older because she had no interest in hanging out with her family at this event. I did, however, catch up with her and some of her friends to get a a few pictures. Here is the crazy bunch waiting to do the "Bungee Run".
Brenna was going against her friend Hope. They were seeing who could stick their bean bag the furthest. It was fun to watch because when they would lose their footing, the bungee cords would pull them back and they would laugh so hard.
Friday, the 12th, was the last day of school and was just a 1/2 day. I think Brenna spent most of her time at school that day in the halls for year book signing and having snacks all morning.
Saturday morning Jason had to go to work and I took the kids to the fishing derby at the Lynden City Park. We had told the kids we would do this before we knew that Jason was going to have to work. Our friends, Mark and Misty Kok, live right across from the park and serve breakfast every year before the fishing derby for their family and friends. They do an amazing job!! They were so great about helping me with the kids. They had poles and bate for them. (We have none of this type of stuff at our house.) I was so upset with myself when I got there because I realized that I had forgotten my camera. Misty's aunt, however, took pictures of us and will be getting those pictures to me hopefully this week. So, I will try to get pictures up later this week. Once the derby began, I realized that there was no way I could have taken pictures. I was so busy helping Ethan with his pole and reeling in the fish. Each one of the kids caught 2 fish. The girls thought it was fun at first until they watched what happened once the fish were caught. They weren't too excited after that but were willing to go for their second one. (Each child was allowed to catch 2 fish during the derby.) We weren't going for any prizes...other than what they gave each child for participating...we were just there to have some fun. Remind me though to never do that event again without our daddy there. I was just a little overwhelmed.
Once we had our fish, the kids wanted to know what we were going to do with them. I suggested that we call Uncle Tyler and Aunt Tanya to see if they could help us out. With Jason having a fish allergy, I'm afraid to have raw fish around the house. So, my dear brother cleaned the fish for us, my sis-in-law got the brine ready for them to be "marinated" in over night, and from what I'm told, the fish are going in the smoker tonight (or tomorrow, whichever). Once the fish is in a container, I am safe to have it around. The kids are looking forward to having their smoked fish with cream cheese on crackers for snack time later this week. We will have to have this while Daddy is at work because this use to be one of his favorite snacks as well.
This week we will be getting ready to send Brenna off to camp. I will try to be better about posting during the week and will be sure to get pictures from Saturday up as soon as I get them.
Have an amazing week and thanks for being so patient with me in my lack of blogging. I will try to get better!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fun in the pool...

Has this weather just been great or what? We set the pool up on Memorial Day and had it ready to go for this great weather! The neighbor kids have been over swimming with the kids and they have all had such a blast. It is so weird to not be in the pool with Ethan this year. No worries...we are right at the edge of the pool and he has on a floatation device. He can also touch the bottom with no problems. Last year, the water was up to his chin so we were still in the pool with him keeping him comfortable. This year, the water is "down" to his mid-chest. That little guy has grown a bunch in the last year. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy.
Alyssa...our little fish! This girl is crazy in the water.
Ethan and Carter are pretty proud of themselves. They don't need the mommies in the water with them.
Taking a pool break and going down the slip-n-slide.
Everyone ready for a break from the cold water. Of course, they all thought they needed Otter Pops...go figure. It's just more cold to their bodies...kids. They were back in the pool shortly after this though.
What a goof! Ethan thought he needed to try out a pair of goggles. And, why not? His sisters won't go in the pool with out their face masks.

This beautiful weather with high temps has really helped warm up the water. The kids were in the pool tonight after dinner and not once did I hear from anyone that they were cold.

Tomorrow is suppose to be another scorcher...watch out pool, here we come!

Ski to Sea Race...finally!

Okay, okay...I realize that I am really behind on my blogging. I have had all the pictures ready to go but things around here have been a little crazy. So, as my dear sis-in-law likes to call it...here goes the "blogging bonanza".

Sunday, May 24th was Ski to Sea Race day! It has been an annual tradition for us to follow the race with our friends Randy and Janice. Randy has always participated in the final leg...kayaking. Last year, however, the team took a sabbatical due to health issues with one of the team members. We had most everyone back this year with a few new faces.

We start the day off at Riverside Park, which is where the road bike leg ends and the canoe leg begins. For us, it's the perfect hand-off spot, because my brother and his wife life right there and Janice and I can call in our coffee orders to go...Thanks Tanya!

Here is a hand-off in action. Sadly, I didn't get our team's hand-off but that all happened so fast nobody could get their camera up fast enough. (See the garage doors across the street? That's where my brother and family lives.)
Randy with Dennis, our biker, after he crossed the finish line. They are checking out the stop watch on Dennis' bike. Dennis always times himself coming down from the mountain.
Randy holding up not only the bike, but Dennis too. Dennis was the one out with health issues last year and he was able to return this year...PRAISE GOD!
Once we leave the park, we grab lunch and get Randy ready for his part of the race. We load up and head off to Squalicum Harbor. Janice and I drop Randy and Jason off up close so they can get the kayak to where it needs to go and then we venture off in hopes of finding a "close" parking space. I think this year beat all other years with how close we got.

We usually have about 90 minutes at the harbor before Randy is ready to go. This year, there were a lot of sound system issues. So, Randy and Janice ended up going and waiting at the hand off point so they could hear the 5-minute out calls. Jason and I stayed with the kayak and waited for Janice to call my cell phone so we could have the kayak in position ready to head down the ramp.
Dan and Marla Raske met us down at the harbor so Dan was able to help Jason get the kayak out on the path way so Randy could just run up and grab the handle of the boat and go.
Jason helps Randy get the kayak down the ramp and in the water. The goal at this point, for Jason, is to not let the kayak tip once it's in the water. Jason is always so relieved once Randy is off and going and still dry! At this point, we all start yelling "Go Randy!"
We watch him just until he paddles around the bend and then we do a very fast walk (we are building up to a run!) back to the van and fight the traffic all the way down into Fairhaven to Marine Park. We are always so thankful for our kayak pass to get us as close as possible. We then take off "walking" at another fast pace to get down to the water, in hopes to not miss Randy coming in. There has only been one year that we almost missed him. Randy paddles 5 miles...his legs are numb by the time he hits shore again.
We had gorgeous weather this year for the race. It was a great day for all of the racers. I don't think our team had any major injuries, which is always a huge blessing! We all enjoyed a wonderful meal together back at Randy and Janice's with the team.