Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


picture taken by Delayna Schneider

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Out with 2009...in with 2010....

As 2009 comes to a close I have been doing a lot of reflection. We've had a good year for the most part. We got to move to a bigger place and have all been relatively healthy. We haven't had any car accidents or major injuries. We are working on three and a half months of this year with no job but we are making it through. As 2010 approaches I am thinking about things I would like to start with the new year. I don't ever keep resolutions so I am making goals this year. Here they are:

~Be more self-disciplined
~Be more patient
~Keep up with my laundry and housework better
~Spend more time immersed in the Bible
~Be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend
~Finish the blanket I started crocheting myself when I was pregnant with Brianna
~Return all library books on time :)

I am sure there is plenty more that I could work on this year, I am sure, but this is a pretty big goal already. So I am going to start here. Hopefully I will be able to come on next year at this time and will have done at least some of this. What are your goals/resolutions for this year? Here's wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Lights, lights and more lights

We love Christmas lights. Every year we try to see as many of them as we can and the kids are now getting to where they really enjoy it too. We took a drive around Poulsbo earlier this month so that we could see the lights up on the local houses. Then yesterday, the 28th, we headed to Zoolights at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (thanks to a Christmas gift of a zoo membership). It was chilly but we had a good time. It only takes about an hour to an hour and a half to walk around and see all the lights. Perfect amount of time for the kids. They got to ride the carousel and we even got to see the goats and camels. Great way to end the Christmas Season.

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Christmas 2009

Christmas is always a hectic time for us. With both sides of our family wanting to see us, and close enough to do so, and with divorced parents there is lots to do between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Christmas Eve we went over to Derek's mom's house for dinner and presents for that side of the family. It was so delicious. We had prime rib, turkey AND ham along with all the trimmings. We ate too much and the girls got spoiled. Grandma Lynnette bought all the kids Christmas jammies and read them 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. We got home late but had a great time.

Christmas morning we had breakfast at Grandpa Dave's house per tradition. We had yummy homemade hashbrowns, pancakes, eggs and coffee. Grandpa shops for us like a typical bachelor... we all got cash :) Works for us. Then we headed home for naps before the last and final round of Christmas celebrations.

Nana and Papa, my mom and step-dad, came to our house this year for Christmas along with Auntie Guk Guk (Bekah). I made Christmas dinner of pork, potatoes, candied yams, rolls, vegetables, fruit salad (brought by my mom), cranberries, pumpkin pie and Christmas brownies (per Audrey's request). We had a good time and the girls got spoiled some more. They both got new bikes. Audrey got a big girl bike with training wheels and a helmet to match. Brianna got her first tricycle and gets very upset if Audrey sits on it. They were both very happy. Below is another slideshow of all our Christmas fun:

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Audrey's first performance

On the eighteenth of this month Audrey had her first recital. Her class got to do a dance in the show that her dance school put on. Unfortunately I lost the recording of it that I did :*( Hopefully I will be able to get it from someone else soon. They all wore Christmas dresses and did a wonderful job. When we first got there Audrey was very nervous and I was afraid she might not go on stage and perform but she was fine once she saw her teacher and other kids in her class. She looked for us while on stage but did her whole dance and smiled away the whole time. She made me tear up a little, not that it is hard to do that. Here are a few pictures from afterwards with her flowers that we bought her:

Standing in line backstage before the show started

Afterwards with her flowers

Audrey & Daddy

Audrey & Auntie Nicole who came over with cupcakes when we got home

Cookie Making

We decided to make cut out sugar cookies with the girls and then the next day we frosted a few of them with Audrey's friend Eva. Then the week of Christmas we had a cookie making day at Grandma Bonnie's house. Below is a slideshow of all of our December cookie making adventures. Enjoy! :)

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Point No Point and Foulweather Bluff

After a lot of rain we got some sunny weather at the beginning of December. It was cold but dry. On December first we were trying to think of something to do with the beautiful weather we were blessed with and decided to head up to Hansville. We went to Point No Point first and had a look at the lighthouse. It was really cold and windy there so we didn't stay too long but I got some great shots of the scenery.
Lighthouse(beach side):

Lighthouse (other side):

The girls walking on the beach


After that we headed to Foulweather Bluff. It is a nature conservatory in Hansville that is sheltered and has an excellent view of the Olympic Mountains. It was really nice there. No wind and the sun kept the chill off. We played for about an hour. The girls loved throwing rocks into the water and I got some more great shots.
The Beach

Audrey and a victorious shot into the water with a rock

Brianna copying her big sister

Derek admiring the view

Olympic Mountain Range

Why didn't I think of that...

Well, I have been looking for a job since Derek got laid off last time. Unfortunately there hasn't been much available to me in my areas of experience and in the hours I need/want. I have applied for a couple dozen jobs in the last few months and unfortunately I am either not available when they need someone or, more so, am over-educated for the position. So the job hunt has been a bust so far. I came *this close* to a barista position but it didn't work out.

So while looking at a local community online that I belong to I noticed that someone was asking for recommendations for a good housekeeper. I thought to myself, "I could clean her house". So I emailed her and we set up an appointment to meet. After talking to her I realized that if I could get a couple of clients that I might be able to help us through Derek's lay-off. So, long story short, I now have two regular clients and a possible third. I was also able to do a few one-time jobs for Christmas preparations. It has been such a blessing and I just wish I had thought of it sooner. Now if I could only get my house as clean as I get other people's houses........... maybe next year :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Merry Christmas and a promise kept

So I finally did it.... my blog is caught up. I promised this almost a month ago and finally followed through. Hopefully I can keep up now. For some reason my pictures are uploading poorly (quality wise) but you will get the gist of it all. Enjoy and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Twenty-seven!

So the 28th of November was my birthday. I am officially in my late twenties... boo hoo :) It hit me kinda hard but I am getting over it. I just don't feel 27. Heck, most days I don't even feel like an adult with two kids and a husband. We had some friends over for pizza and dessert and it was a nice relaxing evening. I got three giftcards to the movies, a pair of L.L. Bean slippers, and a copy of Sense and Sensibility. It was a good birthday and I am thankful for all that I have in my life.

Especially this:

Brianna brought me the camera and said "cheeeesssee" and then Audrey hopped in and it is one of the best non-professional pictures of them. I say it was my birthday present from them.

Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving and it was nice to have a day to focus on all we do have to be thankful for, even during this time of unemployment. My wonderful mother-in-law invited my parents and sister up and we all had a great big dinner at her house. It was really fun. There were about 30 people and it was quite busy. The kids had a great time playing with cousins and we ate a lot of good food. Thanks Lynnette for a great day. I hope everyone else was able to have a great holiday. (No pics because I forgot my camera :*( )

Off to see the... Arnolds!

Since Derek currently has a lot of free time ....... :) We decided to put some of it to good use and go and visit friend's of ours who live in Oregon. We were able to go down for three days and a great time. We didn't really do anything special just hung out. We got there Saturday night and Jodi made us a delicious dinner of chicken enchiladas. We watched Land of the Lost once Joel was home from work and the kids were in bed.

Sunday we went to church and the girls did really well. Wasn't sure how Brianna would do since she had never been there before but she was great. I even got a free venti peppermint mocha because I was a first-time visitor. :) We even went over to the mall and hit up the Disney Store for some Christmas presents for the girls.

Monday I was able to go with Jodi to help out at Grace's elementary school for a little while. It was really fun to be back in an elementary school again and Grace is in my favorite grade - 2nd. We just hung around the house the rest of the day. Grace and I played Disney Sing It and I got to sing a bunch of fun songs from Miley Cyrus and Aly & AJ ;) Then we enjoyed an early Thanksgiving dinner that Joel made for us. It was delicious!

We had a great time with the Arnolds and can't wait till the next time we are able to see them. Thanks for the hospitality guys!

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*Not sure why some of the pictures are coming out grainy and fuzzy :(

Kids Museum

The Kid's Museum on Bainbridge Island has a free day the first Thursday of every month. We decided to head over there the first Thursday of November. The museum is small and does quarterly themes that are used throughout the whole museum. The theme was Greece and mythology for this quarter. The Martins came with us and the kids had a blast. The played dress-up (in togas), did puppet theater, built castles with giant foam blocks and even did some coloring. Can't wait to see what the museum does next.

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Lay off - Take Two!

So October 22 Derek came home from work and had been laid off... again. After only being back to work for a little over two months. AND... we were moving in less than 48 hours. Great! So we are back to the unemployment game and praying that I can either find a job or that somehow Derek can get some side work to make it through this second round of unemployment. Pray Pray Pray!

Halloween

Halloween was just a few days after we moved into our new place. We were crazy and decided to hold a get together after trick-or-treating for our friends. First we went down to Front Street in Poulsbo and trick-or-treated. Then we went to Central Market for pizza and headed back to our place. It was so nice to have friends over and have room for them all. The kids had a blast playing and we had fun hanging out.

Derek-wan Kenobi and Yoda (Brianna)

Audrey as Alexa from Barbie Diamond Castle

Pumpkin Patch

We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch in October. The fall/holiday season wouldn't be the same with out it. Here are some pictures of our trip to Pheasant Fields Farm:
Brianna picking out her pumpkin

Audrey picking out her pumpkin:

My girls:

Brianna in the pumpkin patch

Audrey in the pumpkin patch

Moving surprise :)

We have been wanting to move since Brianna hit about 9 months old. We had two mobile children and had just gone through a Christmas with two children and another birthday for Audrey. Our children are so blessed with generous grandparents and friends that we have toys ALL over the place. In March of this year I started looking around at how much a three bedroom place would cost. It was really surprising to me how much more it would cost to add one bedroom. Even places that were the same square footage as what we were in were a few hundred dollars more a month just because it was three bedrooms instead of two. Our lease was up the end of June and we continued to look but were unable to find anything. Fortunately the place we were in rolled over to a month-to-month lease once your lease is up. That was great because Derek got laid off on June 30th. We decided to stay where we were for a while.

We halfheartedly continued to look but were planning to stay where we were until Spring of 2010. On October first my sister, Bekah, called me from youth group. The youth pastor at our church knew of a house, right behind his, that was for rent. It was 1800 square feet and about $950 a month. That was a little more then I wanted to pay in rent only because I had the fact that Derek could get laid off again in the back of my brain. However for almost double the square footage from where we were we decided to go and see.

On Friday, October 2, we went to look at it. Unfortunately someone beat us there. Luckily the landlord had another rental, right next door, that he was also renting. It was smaller (1400 sq. ft) but also cheaper. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was PERFECT! We decided right there to move. So it was set. We were moving!!! YAY! The girls would have there own room and I would have plenty of space and a laundry room! We were stoked and had three weeks until moving day. After the whirlwind of packing and moving we were in and everything by the end of October. We feel blessed and are enormously happy with our new place.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Can't believe it...

My title for this post has a two-fold meaning. I can't believe that I haven't blogged in over a month. I have been so neglectful. I blame moving! There is a lot to catch up on and I will do it over the next couple of days...I promise. :)

I also can't believe that my baby is now 18 months old!! Time has FLOWN! She went in for her 18 month appointment on October 21st. She is now 22 pounds 5 ounces (15th percentile) and 32 inches tall (50th percentile). She passed all her developmental milestones with flying colors. When talking about speech her pediatrician said that the average 18 month old has a vocabulary of 8-10 words. I told her that I wrote down all Brianna could say and it was up to over 40 words. She was severely impressed and said that the number one indicator of high intelligence was early expressive speech. So, she's a genius...which I already knew :)

Stay tuned for the rest of what has been happening in our lives recently...............

Thursday, October 8, 2009

More Words.....

Brianna is a talking fool lately. Here is an addition to the rapidly growing list of words she can say.

Apple
Na-na = naked
Boots
Shoe
Dora
Eye
Okay
Stuck
Book
Up

She started trying to sing the ABC's this week too. So cute.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Playing at the mall









All set for ballet

Showing off her outfit, complete with new ballet slippers

Showing us how a ballerina twirls



She danced until she fell down and then informed us that this is how ballerinas sit... :)

Eating a Chocolate Donut from Sluy's - The Brianna Way

"What? I have something on my face?"

"Just Kidding, I know there is chocolate all over my face, and hands, and clothes...."

Yuuummm

What other logical solution is there when your hands are covered in chocolate but to play peek-a-boo


Yes that is chocolate on the wall behind her.

Cheese... I mean chocolate :)

The final product

Can't figure it out

I cannot seem to keep up with my blog and I am not sure why... ugh. So here is an update on all of us:

Derek - working 10 hour days and commuting 3 hours a day four times a week... long days. Fridays Derek is in school for the first half of his last "year" of training for his apprenticeship program. He is doing really well and studying hard so that he can pass his licensing exam next June.


Audrey - busy busy busy girl. She has swim class twice a week, AWANA on Wednesday nights and is starting ballet this Saturday. She is growing up so fast and often cracks us up with the things she says. She is turning into such a big girl. Right now we are working on learning to write. It is looking like she might end up left handed and that has presented some roadblocks in learning to hold the pencil correctly for writing. She loves to play dress-up and barbies and princesses. She also loves to fight with her sister *sigh*. She had a mild UTI earlier this month but that has cleared up and we are back on track. She is quickly sailing towards four and already planning her birthday party and putting oodles and oodles of toys on her birthday list.


Brianna - she is now 17 months old and literally growing up SO fast. She is talking so much and has a vocabulary of about 25-30 words now. She can say "Oh Toodles" (from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), she knows what the elephant says, grandma, cookie, hello, night-night, amen, teeth.... I am sure there are more. She mimics everything and does a good job of it too. She is running now and still climbing, although not too badly anymore. She has started tugging at her diaper so we are thinking it is time to pull the little potty out and get her used to the idea of potty training within the next year. She still wishes she could do everything her big sister does and fights with her all the time. She is no wilting violet and will fight dirty if she feels the need. She is so funny and makes such faces sometimes. She loves the baths and her stuffed animals. She is a fun kid.

Me - busy busy and always behind. That's about it. I am just trying to keep up with the kids, the house and the schedule... and I am always behind. Oh well, I will have plenty of time to catch up when they move out :)