Sunday, August 30, 2009

Look what's new!

We have been looking at furniture for about a month now. We had found a set that we really liked at Wiser's "As Is" Furniture on the Birch Bay Lynden Road but told ourselves that we needed to keep looking and not to buy the first set we found. So, after doing some searching, and not a lot because we didn't want to spend a lot of money, we ended back at Wiser's.

While out and about yesterday, I heard a commercial on the radio that Wiser's was having an Anniversary Sale and that many of their 3-piece sets were marked down. Could it be? Could the set that we were really liking be one of those marked down? I immediately called Jason and told him about the commercial. We decided that we would go in after church and lunch on Sunday.

Now, some of you may be wondering why we were looking for new furniture. For those of you who have been to our house and have seen our coach and love seat lately, you know the answer. We have had this set pictured below for 12-years and it wasn't even brand new. It was almost new but not brand new. We purchased it from Alsum & Bode Furniture store that use to be in Lynden. It was a re-po set. It has been the only furniture other than bedroom furniture that we have ever purchased. Our coffee tables were either given to us by family or purchased for $5 from a garage sale and re-painted. Our dining room table and chairs were given to us...both sets that we have had. Our couch in the formal living room was given to us. Don't get me wrong. We totally appreciate everything given to us or even being able to purchase some what used furniture for amazing prices but there comes a time when it needs to be replaced.
This couch set of ours has seen better days! A couple of the cushions have holes in them, one hole being about 4-inches long, and little fingers have been finding their way into the holes and pulling out the stuffing.

Today after getting everyone fed, we headed down to Wiser's and were absolutely thrilled to see the BIG red sale sign on it. YES! It had been marked down and it was a deal we couldn't pass up. In the last week, the current furniture had really started to look bad. To the point where I was embarrassed to have any one in our home to see them.

So, we made the purchase and headed for home to line up help in picking the new furniture up and getting it home...because we were not about to pay the $50 delivery fee when we only live 5 minutes from the store. Mom and Duane came to our rescue! They met Jason at Wiser's and loaded up the sofa brought it HOME and then Duane and Jason went back for the last 2-pieces.

I was so excited and they have totally changed the look of the room. See....
I don't have a picture of the chair. For now, that is in the formal living room and actually looks pretty good in it's corner.

So, now that I have shared with you our exiting news for the day...I am going to go enjoy sitting on our couch. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pickin' Blueberries

Tuesday was Blueberry pickin' day!! Todd and Trisha have the best blueberries right now!! They are big and oh, so yummy!! So, we met mom and Grandma Groen out at the fields to do some picking. The kids even got into it!! Here's Ethan helping Great-Grandma fill her bowl.
Alyssa working on picking berries to eat. I'm not sure where her bowl went but I know she had one.
Brenna filled her first bowl and started on a second. She was the berry picking champ!
Paige was great. She was so tired but was such a trooper. She got tired of her stroller so Trisha ended up holding her for awhile. We thought it would be fun to see what she would do with the blueberries and she immediately went for them. Her daddy would have been so proud of her. Next year will be so fun with her running around the field with Ethan while we pick.
Ethan wasn't really wanting to pose for this picture. We take what we can get from him these days.
Trisha and all of the kids. See...Ethan wasn't really wanting to be a part of this picture either...what a goof!
Eventually, Alyssa and Ethan went to play in the rocks over by the greenhouse. They had been throwing rocks into this tube/pipe that will be used for the addition going on the greenhouse. I didn't think much of it until I couldn't find Ethan. I asked Alyssa where he was and she pointed in the tube. I freaked! I had visions of the boy being stuck. I bent down and looked inside...thankfully he was close enough to the end for me that I could even see him. There he was "slithering" through like a little snake. He couldn't even crawl on his hands and knees. Of course, I thought this was maybe his first time through but NO! I found out later that he had already been through the tube twice.

Ethan was dirt from head to toe and when I gave him a bath as soon as we walked through the door at home, he turned the bath water brown once I poured water over his head. It had been rubbing against the tube the three times he went through. I'm hoping that we have scared him to never do this again. I told him that next time he might get stuck in the tube and that Uncle Todd would have to cut it to get him out. He told me that he wouldn't do it ever again because he didn't want Uncle Todd to cut him. Hey...whatever it takes.

2nd visit to the Fair

Saturday morning was a day to get things done around here and just hang out together as a family and do a few things in Bellingham. We got a surprise visit from our sweet friend Emily and her friend Jerrika. They came by with free tickets to the fair and were wondering if we wanted them to take the kids back. WOW! They had a ticket for all of us. Of course, we accepted the tickets. The kids were so excited.

Brenna was already returning to the fair on Saturday with my sister and her family so their daughter, Brenna, would have someone to do rides with. Alyssa wasn't thrilled that she wouldn't be going back but was being a real trooper. So, when we got the free tickets, we told her that we would pay for her to go on 1 ride with the other two girls. I think we got the "Best Parents Ever" award when we told her this.

So, once Brenna left with my sister and family, the rest of us took off to Bellingham to do the errands that we needed to do and hurried home so we could get to the fair.

We eventually met up with the McPhail family and Brenna. We watched Brenna and Brenna do a few rides together and finally made it to the ride that Alyssa had been waiting all day to go on...The Hang Gliders. Alyssa had wanted to go on this ride the day we were at the fair as a family but Brenna wasn't sure about it. That is, until she talked to her BFF on Friday who told her The Hang Glider was fun and not scary. So, she decided she would do it on Saturday. This made Alyssa sad and this is why we told her we would pay for her to go on it when we went back.

Here they are waiting as patiently as they could. It was so hard for them to contain their excitement.
They started giggling the moment they got on the ride.
And, off they went...flying up and soaring down. They loved the ride so much. I don't think we will be able to keep them off of it next year.
After the rides, we told Ethan we would go back and check on "his" cow. And look what we found! She had had her calf at 11:02 am on Saturday. So it wasn't even 12 hours old when he got to see it. He was so excited. It was the cutest thing.
Before leaving the fair, for the year this time, we went to visit the Agriculture Building. Every year they have "Twister" the cow that the kids can "milk" and the wooden old couple that they put their faces through for a picture. This year, however, they had the John Deere tractor. I thought this was so cute and was so glad we decided to stop in before leaving.

We had a great time at the fair this year with yummy food and lots of fun and we took three very tired kids home on Saturday night. In fact, Alyssa almost fell asleep on the bus...we took the free fair buses to and from the fair this trying to find a parking spot down town and walking several blocks and wearing the kids out before we even get in the fair gates.

The kids are really looking forward to the fair next year. I can only imagine what rides we will be doing then. We will have an 11-year old, an 8-year old and a 5-year old. And, they will all be tall enough for all of the rides in the "Big Kid" Carnival. Aagh!!!

Finally...the FAIR!!

Thursday, August 20th, was our day at the fair. Jason had taken the day off so we could spend all day there.

We started our day by going through all of the hobby barns and finally made our way over to the dairy barn. Ethan was "dying" to see the cows.
The cow was in the Birthing Center waiting to calf. She was due the week of the fair. Ethan took claim to this cow and we had to check back on her several times during our time at the fair to see if she had had her baby. Ethan wanted to see her baby so bad. (Take note, this cow was not even in labor during our visit but whatever makes the little 4-year old boy happy...I think he just wanted to keep visiting the momma.)
Strolling through the fair grounds...
Ethan was so excited to be able to pet this sheep. He had been wanting to pet the animals all day. (Especially "his" cow.) So, when the owner of this sheep told him that he could pet her he was very excited.
Once we made it through the first half of the animal barns, we told the kids they could go do the rides and we would hit the rest of the animal barns later. Here the kids are on the Dizzy Dragons. They look so big in this picture. It felt so weird just putting them all on rides...nobody needing a parent with them.
This was Ethan's first year on the roller coaster and he absolutely loved it. He was laughing so hard. It was fun to watch all of their expressions.We met up at one point with our neighbors. It worked out perfect for some of the rides. They had their friend Kyler with them so the kids all had a partner for a few rides and didn't have to be with their brother or sister. They thought it was a lot of fun. Alyssa was with Ava...Brenna was with Kyler...

And, Ethan did a few rides with Carter. They all had a lot of fun together. It's always kind of nice to "break-it-up" a little and be able to do rides with friends that we find at the fair.

Jason and Ethan hanging out, taking in all of the action around us.

After doing a bunch of rides, we took a break and went to see the smaller animals. This was hilarious. Ethan found this goose that was "squawking" and he started "squawking" back at it. They were going back and forth for several minutes. I only wish I had it on video. This would have been great for Funniest Home Video.

Once we finished the small animal barns, we headed over to the "Big Kid" Carnival, as our kids refer to it. We didn't think Ethan would be tall enough to do any of these rides. But...he proved us wrong. He wanted to do the Wiggly Worm roller coaster so bad with the girls. So, we measured him up, just in case, and sure enough...HE WAS TALL ENOUGH. Where has our baby gone? He had a blast! They all did! This roller coaster is much faster with more ups and downs and turns. Ethan could have stayed on this ride all day if we had let him.

We eventually took a break from the fair and went home for a few hours...that's the one benefit about living so close to the fair. We made our way back to the fair for the evening. It was nice to be able to let everyone rest their feet.

We had a realization this year...This was the first time in 10 years that we have been to the fair without the stroller. We had the "harness" on Ethan for safety reasons and for our peace of mind knowing that he was always with us, unless he was on a ride. And, all three kiddos were able to do rides in the "Big Kid" Carnival. That's what we get for having a tall 4-year old.

Before leaving the fair for the night, we did make one last stop to see "Ethan's" cow. He was so sad that she didn't have her baby. It was the cutest thing. I only wish I had taken a picture of him hanging on the fence rails talking to the cow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

S'MORE fun

Wednesday night we spent time with the Seigman family, our neighbors. They had just completed their fire pit/patio extension project on turned out great!

Ethan and Carter did so good sitting safely in their chairs with their marshmallows hanging over the edge just enough to get slightly tanned. The waited so patiently!
The girls wanted their marshmallows to be nice and tanned and NOT BURNT. That meant not sticking their marshmallows too far into the fire. (Alyssa was waiting so patiently for her turn.)
Weston and Coleson, 1-year old twins, sat great in the wagon eating the graham crackers that Ethan kept handing them. He is so good with the boys and it is fun to watch him interact with them.
Ethan enjoying his s'more...mmmm, YUM!
Thanks Nick and Ashley for a great evening. It is always fun to spend time with your family.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Camping at Beachwood...lots of pics!!

Last week was finally a full vacation week for Jason!! We were all so excited about this because it meant that we could finally plan some camping time. Of course, the weather was suppose to be very yucky the week we would be camping. Normally, we would go camping with our tent but the thought of getting soaked during the week was enough to want to just stay home but some friends of ours let us use their motor home...thank you Wade and Corrine!

Monday, we headed out first thing in the morning. Originally, when I called Beachwood to see if we could get a spot, they told me that we would be in overflow with power hookups and maybe water. When we arrived on Monday morning, they told us we could pick any site we wanted, any where in the park...this included the full hook up spots!! God is so good!! So, we found the "perfect" spot and got camp set up. We ate lunch and then Jason had to head to Bellingham for a dental appointment. The kids and I just hung out in the motor home since it had started to rain. I am so glad that I had decided to pack the portable DVD player and all of the movies. Ethan was glad that I packed it too because that's what entertained him while daddy was gone.
The girls hung out on their bunk playing with Brenna's Nintendo DS.
Monday night we had dinner with Mom and Duane at their place at Birch Bay Leisure Park. They served a fabulous steak dinner. I only wish I would have gotten a picture of all the food.

Ethan thought it was great that he could wear his daddy's Huskies hat. I love this little grin!! The three kids waiting so patiently to eat...they were stealing croutons off of their salads.

It was raining, again, when we left Mom and Duane's. We were so thankful that we were going back to a motor home and not a wet tent. We got everyone tucked in and were able to sleep for a short while before we were awoken by the down pour of rain. It was so loud that it woke the girls up. So, there we were...4 of the 5 of us awake listening to the rain. Ethan slept right through it...didn't move muscle. Alyssa, the poor girl was so tired but couldn't sleep because of the rain, ended up crawling into my sleeping bag with me and crying herself to sleep. I eventually had to get her back to her bed if I was going to attempt to get any sleep. A sleeping bag is not big enough for this mommy and her restless sleeper.

Tuesday was a nicer day so that afternoon we headed out to Birch Bay for a little while. The kids roamed the beach looking for "treasures".
Jason helped Alyssa and Ethan find baby crabs under the rocks.
Brenna had fun walking in the water.
It was fun to see the kids working together to find "treasures".
After the beach, the kids were begging to go swimming. Personally, I didn't think it was that warm to want to hit the pool. So, we put the kids in their suits and we sat on the side of the pool and watched.

They loved to walk on this berm each time we headed to the pool or playground. Ethan has become quite the little fishy and wore the goggles on his forehead more than he did on his face. I think he just wants the goggles because his sisters wear them.
The girls having fun together and watching this little girl swim right in their path of play. (The little girl was completely oblivious to all of the other kids in the pool.)
It was great to watch the kids jump off of the side of the pool and not be afraid of the water. All of those swimming lessons are really paying off! We decided that we have hit a new stage in life...all three of our kids can be in the kids pool without us. No worries folks...we were watching them constantly. They were never left unattended...I promise!
Ethan decided that if the girls could do it, so could he!
After swimming, we took time to play volleyball. We had driven out to Beachwood the weekend before and scope things out and noticed that they had put a new volleyball net up so we were sure to pack our volleyball. Brenna is going to play volleyball this fall with the Lynden Youth Sports so it was fun to get some practice time in with her. She is built perfectly for volleyball and looks like a little natural at it. (Yes, the ball went over the net here...she was so proud of herself!)
We played a little 2 on 2...Mommy and Brenna against Daddy and Alyssa. Poor Ethan got a little bored during this time. He didn't really understand but was so patient and knew that as soon as we were finished we would take him to the playground. Unfortunately, it wasn't close enough for him to go play on while we played v-ball.
Once we did make it to the playground, this is what he did..the goof ball! He laid here for quite awhile before finally deciding to head for the slide and swings.
Jason and the girls on the was all the girls could do to get Jason up in the air. It was funny to watch them struggle and try.
After the playground, we headed for the Kids Clubhouse where they have video games, ping pong, air hockey, tv room with toys, and a craft area.Tuesday night was hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner.
We did have some time by the fire and were able to get a marshmallow for each of the kids roasted but it started to rain, not hard but hard enough that the kids didn't really enjoy their time by the fire.
I thought this was pretty special...Ethan and Daddy eating lunch together on Wednesday. It was so fun to sit and watch them interact and talk about our week up to that point. Wednesday had been another fun filled day and just when I was beginning to think that we were going to get through this camping trip with no injuries, Ethan took a BIG tumble. The sad thing, he wasn't playing or goofing around. Jason had taken him for a walk to take the garbage to the dumpster and on their way back...not far from our campsite thankfully...Ethan just fell face down. Yep, tripped over his own toes. It wasn't until this injury happened that I realized that I didn't pack the ice packs. I had nothing frozen in the freezer because we had pulled that food out and eaten it. What to do? I decided that the water bottles that had been sitting in the back of the refrigerator were cold enough to be used as a cold pack on his little head. He was such a trooper. It did get a little bump but nothing serious. We watched him throughout the evening and decided by bedtime that we didn't need to worry about a concussion.
Once we got Ethan cleaned up and the dinner dishes finished, Mom and Duane came to visit us for awhile. It was fun to sit and chat and to enjoy some time by the fire! We tried something new...we made s'mores but instead of using Hershey bars we used Reese's Peanut Butter Cups...thank you Uncle Tyler and Aunt Tanya for sharing this secret with us. I realize that some of you may have already known about this but this was a first for us and wow, were they good! I usually will just have one s'more...not this time...two please!

It was great to get away but it was nice to get home and get everything unpacked and the motor home cleaned out before the rain came Thursday afternoon. We had talked about sticking around camp for awhile on Thursday but once we heard rain showers were on their way again, we packed up after breakfast and headed for home.

The trip home was a whole 'nother adventure and some of you know the story. As for the rest of you, I will spare you the details and just end with...the van should be back with us tomorrow (Tuesday afternoon) got a little "sick" on the way home from Beachwood.