Friday, January 28, 2011

"Mom, your making me eat slime!?"

Is what Dylan said to me after I put dinner down in front of him. :)

I know it looks so gross, right! It is a new recipe I tried for making split pea soup from scratch. I have to say that it actually tasted good. And once I could actually get the kids to take 1 bite, they liked it...that is at least the older 2, Isabelle wanted nothing to do with it. :)

We also had homemade wheat bread (thanks to Mark's mom for the breadmaker for Christmas), which the kids love. We eat the whole loaf in one meal usually.
I also tried a new recipe my neighbor gave me frozen lemon creme. It wasn't frozen enough to try last night after dinner...but I sampled it today and it is so delicious.
We've been enjoying making more breads, desserts, meals, etc from scratch lately. I enjoy knowing what exactly is in the food were eating and it really isn't that much more work. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New ways of learning...

For a little while now Dylan has been really hard on himself, he tends to always think the worst or think that someone is thinking poorly of him. I honestly don't know where it comes from and it really makes my heart sad.
Last week things came to a head one evening and this is how the scenerio played out. We were in the kitchen and Dylan just got done using "big" scissors to cut a package open. He was walking around holding one side of the handle in his hand and flicking the scissor blades open and shut. I say to him, "hey, don't do that you can hurt yourself or someone else". He responds with a strong, "fine, I'll just kill myself". I know that he said it just to get a reaction out of me and that he didn't even really understand what he was saying, but I obviously had a strong reaction to it. I didn't say a word but took him by his arm, lead him to the bathroom and said I will come back and talk to you when I have calmed down, don't move. I processed for awhile and was trying to think of a punishment or something fitting for the situation. All of a sudden I realized what I was going to try...what would cost him something. Dylan has very much been really excited about earning his own money and having his own money to buy things with. I knew that he would be very sad to have to use that on something that he didn't want that was the consequence.

He has to pay a quarter (specifically a quarter, not dimes or nickels) every time he is not speaking kindly or not speaking truth (not really lying, he doesn't really do that but when he is in trouble he says, "I know you don't like me anymore" or something of that sort. So saying things that myself or Mark aren't saying about him). He can also earn quarters for communicating in a correct way and expressing his anger/frustration with words in kindness or just saying something kind.
I told him the plan and he was excited about it, he right away made the little signs for the jars where we would keep track of the money. I was excited that he saw it as something good as well. The second day of doing this he had to pay 75 cents (all within a matter of 2 minutes) and had to break a dollar bill to be able to have enough would have thought it was the end of the world! I explained that his actions have consequence and that was part of making poor choices. As our conversation went on he said, "mom, when I have a bad thought I just can't stop my brain from thinking more bad things". I told him that I knew it was really hard but that is why we are having consequence for not speaking kindly, "so you can teach your brain to stop the bad thoughts when they start and believe what the truth is".
He has done really great with it so far. He catches himself and is trying to communicate in a healthy way and most importantly I already see him not being so hard on himself.
I feel such a burden as a parent to raise my kids the best I can to be mentally healthy, secure in who God has made them & know they are loved (I often tell them that the only one who loves them more than I do is God :)). I hope this is one of the first steps for Dylan to learn to take his thoughts captive and believe Truth.

Janae's 5th Birthday

This weekend we celebrated my nieces 5th Birthday.
The kids had so much fun and they even had a clown that made animal balloons.
Cadence was a bit scared...ok, really scared to go near the clown but she really wanted a balloon. So my mom helped her out and held her while she waited for her ladybug to be made. :)

Blowing out the candles of her Strawberry Shortcake cake!

Isabelle of course wanted some cake as well and found that Grandpa was more than willing to share his piece. :)

The kids were gathered around Janae so close while she was opening her gifts she hardly had room to move. This was the part of the day that she had been waiting for,
it was so exciting for her!!
Happy Birthday Janae!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, 50 cents"

Is what could be heard by every car & person that went by our house last weekend. The kids yelled it out all day long...paid off, they made a little over $20 between all of them. :)
It was so fun to see my kids, the neighbors kids and one of their friends playing outside, being creative & really enjoying the day. I had a smile on my face all day!

The video is a dance routine they made up. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sweet gift from far away friend

Yesterday Cadence received a envelope in the mail from Korea. You might think it was family but nope it was from my friend Jill who is living in Korea teaching English! She was so sweet and sent Cadence a bunch of pairs of earrings. Cadence loves them and has been carrying them around in a huge paper bag with handles since yesterday...even this morning the first thing she did was find the bag and have it with her at all times. :)

Thank you Jill for making Cadences' day!!
This was her favorite hearts. :)

By the way if anyone is interested, check out Jill's blog. .

It is full of her fun adventures and she blogs all the time! When she travels I am seriously envious!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Trip to the Snow!

The kids have been asking to go to the snow since it started getting cold. We kept telling them that we would for sure go, but never made any plans. The beginning of this last week we decided to go over the long holiday weekend. Mark had plans already to go snowboarding with friends on Tuesday, so we planned our trip from a Sunday to Tuesday.
As soon as we pulled up to the hotel, Dylan was out of the car and playing in the ice/hard packed
snow near the front door. He would have been content to just play in that stuff the whole trip! It's fun to see the kids be excited & experiencing something they don't get to do very often.
I was laughing on our trip because we probably spent more time in the heated pool than in actual snow!! :) The kids loved to be able to swim. Cadence was so cute in her swimsuit and boots!

We went sleding one of the days, the snow was pretty bad. Melted and hard...but the kids still had fun. Dylan went on some of the bigger hills and Cadence rode with me. Last year when we came up, Isabelle was just a baby and I didn't sled so it was fun for me to be the one playing with the kids this time.
Mark unfortunatly got the flu the first night we had gotten to town. In this picture below he is putting on a happy face...but he really wasn't feeling well. It was hard for him to stand for too long and as the days went by he wasn't even able to get out of bed. What a bummer!

Mark and Isabelle headed back to the car for a nap. Dylan, Cadence and I stayed and played some more. There was a very small hill (video makes it seem larger than it is :)) that Cadence felt good going down by herself. It was fun for me to see her independence...she tends to be on the timid side of life.

One of the things Dylan really wanted to do was build a snowman. The snow was so hard so we
weren't able to build one from scratch by we ended up using some snow balls that other people had made and were laying around. It turned out to be really great!

Tuesday was our day planned at Snowbowl. We probably wouldn't have stayed (because of Mark feeling so terrible) except we had already signed up and paid for Dylan to have ski lessons. So, all of us except Mark headed up the mountain. Dylan was excited to learn to ski and when we got to the top of the mountain he saw the ski lift and said, "ok, now I'm a little nervous". :)
The girls and I hung out near the lodge area where we could see Dylan's lesson.

Dylan did so great! He really enjoyed himself and said he wants to do it again.
This is a video of him during the lesson.
He's further along in life experience than me...I've never skied yet!!

It was a great trip and we can't wait to do it all again next year...but with Mark being able to enjoy the time as well!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This weekend Dylan had a friend over from school to play.
They ended up wearing these dress up outfits for most of the day. :)

They also made a little area where they sold grapefruit from our tree. They would yell at all the cars that passed by "grapefruit for $1". They made a few dollars...I think mostly from the amusement of people enjoying what the kids were wearing!

Cadence has really been into dress up and this day she was into Dylan's dress up stuff. I walked into the room to find her like this. :)

And of course, some sisterly love big wheel riding!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trying to be a helper

If you read my blog a few weeks ago you would have seen that Mark had his work Christmas party at our house. Mark and Israel made all the food for it and had done all the grocery shopping the night before. On the list to make were these amazing cream cheese oreo balls that were dipped in chocolate. Mark had been talking about them for a few weeks...someone at work had made them and he couldn't stop about how amazing they were.
I helped him unload the car when he got home from the shopping trip and remembered seeing the cream cheese boxes but we couldn't find them anywhere when it came time to make the cookie balls. Cadence had helped bring stuff in, so we asked her if she remembered where she put the boxes...which of course she didn't. We couldn't find them anywhere!!

I found them in the bathroom cabinet this last week. Next to the extra soap, shampoo, etc. Of course that is where she put them, because they look like bar soap boxes. I had a good laugh to myself that afternoon. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011


This weekend we continued to work outside this time building a raised bed garden. I have always wanted a "real" garden. I've planted things here and there but they never really did well, so I am so excited to have a real garden bed!
I have been so blessed to have been able to talk to a lady named Jill (great name :)) on the phone and by email (her amazing house was on the garden tour we went on a few weeks ago and she has a great blog called She was so helpful to us with the chickens and also garden advice. She and her husband have lots of raised beds and use a layering method that allows you to not have to prepare the soil underneath where you are planning on putting your bed. It is soooo simple and there is no back breaking work involved!
Mark (and Dylan) built the structure for me. You can't really tell in the picture but there is just grass growning where we put the box.

Then you lay down a bunch of layers of newspaper and get it wet. The kids liked helping out. :)

I found organic manure & compost from someones farm on Craigslist for 1/4 of the price it would have been from HomeDepot. We put down a good layer of manure...the kids thought this part was disguisting and were questioning why we were putting poop in the garden. :)
The manure will make it so that the grass will die out because it will be too hot for it to grow.

And then compost to fill the rest of the box up.
I am also planning to use hanging planters and other pots.

This is my completed little garden area. All ready for some veggies & seeds to be planted.

Can't wait to post some pictures when things are starting to grow!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

another missing tooth

Last night Dylan lost his 4th tooth!

This is a hilarious video of his tooth coming out. He wanted Mark to pull it out. Ughhh!!
(sorry for the lack of clothing...Dylan just got out of the shower)

He woke up at 5:15 this morning so excited because of what the tooth fairy brought him. He didn't go back to sleep because of the excitement. :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chickens have arrived!!

I have had a smile on my face all day today! This morning I decided to go to the feed store to pick up some chickens. We got 3 barred rock and 3 dominique (sp?). They are 3 1/2 month we have to wait a few months before we get any eggs. I wanted this breed because I was told by a few people they are the most mild tempered. I originally was going to get full grown hens because I was impatient and wanted eggs right away but when I thought about it some more I decided to get younger (but not newborns) chicks because that way they would be use to us handling them and hopefully have a sweet personality. :)

I was so excited when by this evening they were ready to be close by us and would let us pick them up with ease!

This is our finished coop/run.

Isabelle was having so much fun. Not afraid at all...she was petting and everything.

Dylan right away was down on his hands and knees trying to handfeed them. He was excited when they came close right away. I told him they must like him a lot! :)

Cadence is our timid one and she has been pretty hesitant about being around the chickens. She will go in but as soon as a chicken comes near her she starts to cry. Hopefully soon she will feel more comfortable.

This is a video of me releasing them.

I am beyond excited about having chickens. It has been so fun to have the kids outside creating projects as we were building the coop and now playing with our new addition to the family. Stay tuned for when they start laying eggs! I can't wait!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chickens will soon be here!!

We've started on building the chicken coop! I have been so excited and can't wait for the arrival of our hens...or possibly chicks. :) We are planning on buying 4 to start with. We corned off part of our side yard, so they have lots of space to move around.

Mark has been a amazing craftsman. He has built everything so great!

This last picture is of Dylan inspecting the roost. He gave it the thumbs up. He is very excited and knows that it is his responsibility to get the eggs and make sure they have food and water. It will be a great way for us to be able to introduce chores. :)

Stay tuned. We are hoping to have the chickens by this weekend!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pierced Ears

I had been thinking about getting Cadence's ears pierced for a little while now and yesterday we made it the big day! Our friend and neighbor Anna invited us to come along with her since she wanted to get her ears pierced also.
We made the trip to the mall and the girls were so excited. They both picked out the pair of earrings they wanted and Cadence was up first...she said she was ready.
Here she is before. :)
Getting ready.
This was Anna's before picture. She obviously is older and aware of what was actually going to be happening. It took her a little bit but in the end she was able to get them done!

This is the after picture. Unfortunatly they didn't have two people in the store to be able to do both ears at once. So needless to say the second ear took a long time to get done due to a lot of crying (not because her ear hurt any longer but because now she knew what was coming). In the end I had to hold her tight and the other ear got pierced. :)

This is her with them done and showing them off to me saying, "see, they don't hurt anymore".

Both girls are excited to have them done...and they survived!