Saturday, June 27, 2009

Just some pictures

Audrey at swim class...

Brianna checking out the grocery specials for the week with me...

The girls "cleaning up" their room, from under the bed?
Brianna telling us she is all done with dinner, note her standing in her high chair, oy vey!

Catching up...

Between so-so weather, busyness and getting sick I haven't been blogging lately. So here is a catch-up post:

Derek & Melissa: Derek is working overtime, AGAIN! He also has a little bit of a cold but so far not too bad. I seem to have gotten the cold the worst. He is playing softball and they won their last game!! He is really enjoying coaching and will probably do it again next year, at least that's my guess. Only one month of games to go. I have been keeping score for the games. While I am getting the hang of it, it is a little hard to do because I have to pay close attention which means I have little attention left for the girls. So far we have had to find someone to watch one or both of the girls but it has been a bit of a chore. Hopefully the last month of games will find us with someone to watch them. Fourth of July is coming up and Derek has THREE days off. Woo hoo!! We are planning to take Audrey to see the newest Ice Age movie and spend a lot of time as a family. It should be great.

Audrey: Audrey is in swim class still and has two friends to join her this time, Eva and Taylor. That pleases her to no end. I am glad that she has this outlet. Hopefully she will continue to improve in her water skills. She is still wanting to do ballet but we are waiting until fall so that we can do weekend trips during the summer. She also has a bit of a cold but seems to be at the end of it now. She is still a three year old and there are a lot of days that I anxiously await four. She fights with Brianna like sisters should and I know she anxiously awaiting the coming of her own room once we move. She would like some space from a sister who follows her every where and wants to do everything she is doing. She is growing like a weed and fully into 4T sizes at less then three and a half. After being so small for the first year and a half this still blows my mind. She is learning her letters by sight and has 98% of the lowercase ones and 99% of the uppercase ones. She is learning so much lately.

Brianna: My monkey! She is a daredevil and has absolutely NO fear. She is more coordinated at this age then Audrey was so she accomplishes things I don't know she can, like climbing into the bathtub and sitting very quietly while I look for her frantically :/ She gets into EVERYTHING that she shouldn't and ignores most of her toys to do it. She is very loving and stops often to give me what I termed "B snuggles". She is hilarious and starting to sound like she is saying words. "Duck" came out yesterday and Derek and I just looked at each other. She is in a fun stage but it is bittersweet because it emphasizes how big she is getting and how much of a baby she ISN'T. Oh well, Derek keeps saying that's why we need one more.... I don't know about that. :) She has 10 teeth now and two are molars. This should make it easier for her to eat and she sure loves her food. She is fighting the same cold as the rest of us, in fact I think she started it. Stinker.

Well that's what is going on with us. I hopefully, will be able to keep up more now. I am crossing my fingers that soon I will be posting about a new place to live. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Father's Day 2009

Father's Day was a pretty low-key holiday for us. We decided to do our personal celebration on Saturday because Sunday was a family dinner for Derek's grandma's birthday. I made a dinner of grilled pork chops, corn on the cob and baked potatoes. We are really enjoying using the grill. We bought Derek a BBQ tool set, complete with digital thermometer. We also got a grill cover and the last season of Seinfeld that Derek was missing from his collection. Audrey helped me pick out a cute card and even colored in it. It was a nice relaxing evening at home. The next morning Brianna and I ran out and got Derek his favorite coffee drink from Starbucks. Then I made cinnamon rolls. I think he had a good day. He is a great dad and deserved to be spoiled a little, especially since he has been working so hard to provide for us.

Almost Scammed

Derek and I have been looking to move. We have outgrown our duplex and really need more room. Our lease is up at the end of this month but so far we have not found a place that has met all of our requirements and been in our price range. Then last Sunday we were looking on Craigslist and came across a house. It was huge, 2500 sq. feet, and had a fully fenced backyard. The kicker? The rent is only $900 a month. It seemed to good to be true so we emailed the "owner". We went to bed that night anxious but hopeful. The "owner" got back to us in the middle of the night because he is a missionary in West Africa and they are 8 hours ahead of us. We thought it seemed so perfect that the person renting out the house was a Christian too. We exchanged emails for the next two days. He asked to know a little bit more information about us, but nothing to do with numbers (social security or driver's license). We assumed he wanted to feel out who we were and then he was going to refer us to who it was here that was taking care of the house.

All throughout the emails this American man would have sentences that just didn't make sense. The grammar was way off and some sentences didn't make sense at all. Like something a non-native speaker might write. Multiple times we asked for someone in Washington to talk with. He kept telling us that he had taken the keys with him and there wasn't anyone we could talk to about the house. We told him we didn't need to talk about the house we just wanted to talk to someone who could verify who he was.... we awaited an answer.

Derek and I decided to go and look at the house on Monday night to make sure it was the one in the pictures he had posted and to make sure no one was living there. The house was as he described and matched the photos. It was definitely empty and there was no power going to the house solidifying it's vacancy. There was a sign on the front lawn that said "For Rent By Owner" and had a phone number. I programmed it into my phone.

Tuesday morning is when the "owner" told us that he had no one in the states to talk to. I wondered if that was true why there was an American phone number on the lawn. So I called it. A very American sounding man's voice greeted me on the voice mail. I left a message and waited. In the meantime the "owner" sent us the lease, via email, to sign and send back. Then he would let us know where to send the money order with the deposit and then he would overnight the keys. Again I pressed for a contact in the states... he didn't have anyone. This weirded me out. How can he have a house and know no one? Not even a co-worker? "You're a missionary, you have to have a home church...." He didn't even address that one. We didn't sign the lease.....

About that time I received a couple of phone calls from the "owner" from a definite international number. The connection was so bad that I only heard him once and he was definitely NOT American sounding. This made me cringe. Then I got a phone call from the number on the sign in the front lawn... the actual owner! Not a missionary, not in Africa, never posted his house on Craigslist and this isn't the first time this has happened. Apparently someone in Africa has been conning people out of a couple of thousand dollars at a time in deposit/first month's rent money for about 5 months. He was smart though. He never asked for anything that would make you think of identity theft. In fact, the only information he had on Derek and I was that we lived in Washington and our names and my phone number. Nothing in which he could do any identity theft damage... which is how he has accomplished this so many times.

Needless to say we were devastated but grateful. God protected us from losing money and giving notice at our current place and ending up with no place to live. So we are back to square one. We are trying to find a place and are trusting God to provide. I am being super duper cautious now and making sure about any place we look. It stinks but I am feeling lucky as I sit here. Pray that we can find a place to live that suits all our needs and a good portion of our wants :)

Woodland Park Zoo

Every time Grandma Irene comes to visit we try to make it to the zoo. The last two or three times we have gone to the Point Defiance Zoo so we decided to go to the Woodland Park Zoo this year. So Saturday, the 13th, we headed over there. Unfortunately Derek ended up having to work so he wasn't able to join us. :( We were quite bummed about that. It was a beautiful day and we had a good time. Audrey really enjoyed the map. It had pictures of all the animals and she directed us for most of the day. We weren't able to get everything in but we hit about 2/3rds of the zoo.
Here is a slideshow of our trip, somehow I didn't get any pictures of my grandma at the zoo so I am going to steal some from my mom once I get the chance.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Graduation Time

Lots has happened in the last week and a half. On the ninth my grandma flew in from Illinois to come to Bekah's graduation. She only visits once a year and usually in August so it was nice to have her come early this year. She arrived with no mishaps (last year the airline temporarily lost her luggage) but she was an hour and a half late, which kinda stunk. On Friday, June 12, Bekah graduated. We all gathered at Famous Dave's for dinner beforehand. It was soooo yummy. I got the Sweet Mama's Backyard Punch and man alive, don't have that on an empty stomach. Dinner was delicious as usual and then Derek took the girls home while I proceeded on to the ceremony. It was crowded but considering there were 450ish graduates that was to be expected. The ceremony itself went pretty fast, only about an hour and 15 minutes. Bekah was so excited I don't think she even processed anything all night. Then we went to Coldstone Creamery for dessert, YUM! I had a chocolate devotion and it was scrumptious. It was a long night but it was good to see Bekah graduate, even if it did make me feel a little old. :) Congrats Bekah!!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Cooler temperatures and family visits...

This week has brought much cooler temperatures, thank you Jesus! It has been in the mid-seventies and that is perfect for me. It has also brought my sister's high school graduation and my GRANDMA!!! Grandma Irene flew in from Illinois yesterday. She gets to stay for a whole 9 days. I am so stoked. She usually comes in August but she came out for Bekah's graduation. Friday night is the graduation and then Saturday we are headed to Woodland Park Zoo. I am very excited for this because it is a lot bigger than the zoo we usually go to and it has a lot of animals that Audrey is just going to FLIP over. YAY for June!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Whirlwind weekend...

We had quite an eventful weekend. Friday night we headed over to our friends house to enjoy some Philippino food and to visit their 2 month old granddaughter. It was a good time. Audrey played outside with their dog Jimmy who is now her "best friend".

Saturday I went to the Ladies Garden Tour at church. It is the first time I have gone and I am really glad I did. It was 5 hours without kids and with a bunch of fun women and good food. We went to three different gardens and it was amazing to see what people who have the gift for gardening can do with plants and trees and flowers. I am not a gardener so I didn't know most of what I was looking at but it was gorgeous and peaceful. Then we went back to the church for some appetizers and artwork done by ladies in the church. Then we went downstairs for a buffet lunch with build-your-own croissant sandwiches and salad and fruit, yum. Then we listened to Oasis (a women's singing group at our church) sing us a couple of cute songs and watched a wreath making demonstration. Lastly we had a devotional by a great lady in our church about seeds and seasons. While we listened we got to partake in gourmet cupcakes made especially for us, SO GOOD! Overall it was a very nice relaxing time. The women's ministry team worked really hard and it payed off!
That evening we went to Derek's brother's birthday dinner at Kitsap Memorial State Park. I love parks that have ample room for my kids to run. They were so pooped they crashed hard that night. Plus, we had a yummy dinner and cake that I didn't have to cook.

Sunday was the same old with the exception that my radiator hose got a hole in it... :p That kinda stunk but at least it is an easy fix. My grandma is coming on Tuesday and it would have stunk to be without a car or to have a costly fix that inhibited us from doing anything fun while she is here. Praise God for small favors.

The only other thing going on here is that our lease is up in 22 days. Luckily it rolls over into a month to month lease after that. We are staying put until we find the perfect place. Pray for us because I would love to move to a place with a yard before summer is over but also want the place God has for us and will wait if necessary.

Here are some pictures of the beautiful flowers we saw. I forgot my camera, of course, and so these were taken with my phone:



These were the cupcakes that were our centerpieces at lunch, they were gorgeous & delicious.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kids Museum & Fay Bainbridge State Park

Thursday we decided to head to the kids museum on Bainbridge Island for the free Thursday. Delayna and kids came with us. It was pretty empty so the kids had a good time. After exploring for about an hour and a half we decided to head to a park for lunch. Since we aren't on Bainbridge very often we decided to head out to Fay Bainbridge State Park. There is a playground and a beach! It was SO hot. While there was a school group there it was still not overly crowded and the girls enjoyed cooling off in the ocean, well not Brianna. Unfortunately I forgot my camera but Delayna took pictures. I will post some as soon as I can steal them from her :) Last night Derek had another softball game. It was a good game. Unfortunately we lost, but barely. It was SO hot. Luckily around 8:30 a big wind kicked up and rolled in some clouds!! We are looking at a day that is going to be about 10 degrees cooler than the last couple. WOO HOO! It is only going to be about 75 degrees today and for me that is perfect. After a busy week we are looking at a low-key day and dinner with friends tonight! What a great week and looking forward to a great weekend.

Friends galore!

Wednesday we beat the heat by spending a lot of time with friends. In the morning we went over to Suzanne's house and let the kids play while we chatted. Delayna and the kids came along. It was a good time. Then we headed to Audrey's swim class. After Derek got home we headed to Grandpa Mike & Grandma Jeannie's house (adopted grandparents) for a cool off time and BBQ. The kids ran through the sprinkler and we enjoyed the massive amounts of shade their property has to offer.
Beth showing Audrey how to run through the sprinkler. My poor deprived child who has no yard had no idea what a sprinkler was!







Baby Zachary getting a cool down

Keira watching from the sidelines

Brianna informing Keira that the sprinkler wasn't all it's cracked up to be.

This is how Brianna preferred to spend her outdoors time:

Harbor Fountain Park

How we beat the heat on Tuesday:

We headed to Harbor Fountain Park where you can play in the 6" deep fountains and periodically they "erupt" in a burst of water! What a great way to keep cool!

Brianna in the fountain:

Playing in the fountain with Eva:

The sun was in her face but she was having a good time!

Delayna & Zachary having a good time:

There is also a rock sculpture area that you can play on:

My attempt at getting a picture of the girls together.

Heat wave

So starting Memorial Day weekend it just got hotter and hotter culminating in 90 degree weather for the last two days. While it is nice to have summer here already we have had to come up with ways to beat the heat. Monday we went to Illahee State Park with friends for a BBQ:

The men BBQing

Eating dinner

Brianna & Zachary chillin'

Eva giving Audrey kisses

Brianna showing off her new tooth

Friends

We pooped out Brianna