Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Harvest Festival...

My sewing machine was busy this afternoon... not sure why I put off making Ethan's costume until last minute... I'm not normally a procrastinator -- I think it was mainly because we were still figuring out what to do!  The instructions for the Awana Harvest Festival were to come as something harvest/farm-ish related.  I came up with the idea of him dressing as a chicken coop and it took a little bit of "talking into"... in the end I think he was pleased!
 Eden was beyond excited to wear Ethan's old Ming-Ming duck costume (Trip down memory lane: to see pics of Ethan wearing the same costume click here)... I tried to talk her into a different costume and then as I heard the words "more work" come out of my mouth -- I quickly took them back and told her it was a WONDERFUL idea!
 On the way to Awanas we stopped at a Harvest Carnival put on by a friend's church... it was a BLAST... we only had 40 minutes but I totally wished we had more time... they even had a cake walk and we ACTUALLY won one!  Eden got to ride a pony! She was thrilled out of her mind... she snuck in an extra ride and would have kept riding all night if she could of! 
 This by far is a new favorite picture! My chicken-coop gladiator!  The first question he asked was, "What do you wear for safety?" And the second questions was "Is this safe for 5-year olds?" 
Costumes are fun... carnivals are special -- *sigh* what a good night!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wandering in the Woods...

We got a break in our cold weather... in fact it was warm and delightful this afternoon.
 After we had lunch with Daddy... we took the long way home.... (aka our new favorite walking trail)
I let the kids explore and take their time...  Not once did I say, "hurry up" or "come'on!" 
 The trail we hiked down has dozens of benches to sit and enjoy... so I did.  The sun felt good on my skin and it was the "break" we (I) needed in our week.  It has been difficult -- to say the least.  It seems we go through seasons that are really difficult -- over a cup of tea I shared with my friend that I was a "bad" mom.  It was freeing just letting the words come off my lips. I find myself mad so often, I spend hours on my knees scrubbing play-dough, juice, food, mud, permanent marker, paint, etc out of my carpet... I find myself frustrated so often with disobedience, defiance, meal-time struggles, whining, talking back, sibling fighting, the tears... oh the tears... sometimes when you are in the midst of days it is easy to lose perspective and just see the piles of unfolded laundry, the continuous sink full of dishes, the water all over the floor during bath time, the muddy tracks across the carpet, the spit-spray all over windows, the toys swimming all over their bedroom floor, the 10th pair of wet pants... I could go on and on... It has been hard to be patient, it has been hard to be kind... it is hard to want to keep going... 
 If it takes a village to raise a child... then I need one! As I cried on the phone with another friend... she reminded me that Eden is only 3 years old... and going through the TERRIFIC THREES... in my mind 3 is way harder than the 2's... I needed to remember this -- I have such obedience issues with her!
 Ethan is at such a more enjoyable stage (still challenging)... and this gives me hope... that Eden will be there one day!  I just have to be consistent, intentional, and remember that this stage won't be forever...
 I find we "hurry" so much... we are always late... and I'm learning to be "okay" with that.  The stress I feel inside of me - as I try to get us out of the house -- is not worth it.  Our unhurried hike was the deep breath we all needed. We stopped often -- as they wandered through the fort like branches... exploring and discovering new hideouts...
 They ran and laughed... collected sticks, leaves, bugs, rocks... and handfuls of dirt!
 I know we can't do this every single day, but we need to take advantage of moments like this more often! Especially before the snow flies and the really cold weather traps us inside!
 It is a beautiful trail, a peaceful place... I'm so glad we found it...
 And as my friend reminded me... I'm not a bad mom... and the areas I fail -- God's grace fills in the gaping gaps and overflows into other areas... I'm glad for that.  I'm glad for the moments like this afternoon -- that allow me to breath -- and jump right back into the mess!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Painting with Cabbage...

I had a few "stumps" of napa cabbage left over from the kimchi I made. I thought they were beautiful and would be fun "art"...
 So yesterday morning, while Micah and I were weatherizing windows (it is amazing how HOT our trailer is in the summer and how COLD it is in the winter!) I got the kids set up to paint.
 I found these plastic serving trays at Walmart for a few dollars... and I love how they create a perfect work space.  The paint (for the most part) stays in the tray... we've had a lot of trouble with paint getting on the floor... so after hours of scrubbing paint out of the carpet -- I've learned to put large plastic table clothes under their feet, too! (still dreaming about having an art room with washable floors!)
 I let the kiddos pick two colors to paint on their cabbage stump... Eden chose pink and purple... Ethan chose blue and green. To demonstrate, I picked yellow and red... I have to say it was quite fun trying to get a cabbage "rose" stamped on the paper... I saved a stump from the romaine lettuce head... and that stamped the best... it was a little bit softer than the cabbage...
 They thought it was pretty cool!
 I'm constantly trying to organizing our life... so this weekend I finally finished our art/calendar wall.  I really love it!  Now there is a place for all their art.  We do so many projects -- and I love looking at the finish product, but we have a space issue... and I hate clutter!  This way I can hang their Sunday School/Awana projects, their library lessons, and ALL their other art.  I don't keep a lot of their stuff... just my favorites which I put in a binder.  The calendars have helped me to keep up with all our adventures, Micah's work schedule (he's working evenings at REI, again), and all the other stuff in our little world...
I'm glad to see their art work... instead of it just laying in a pile...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Catching up..

I was going through my pictures and realized... I need to catch up! We've been up to a lot of different little things... our days always seem full!  So here are some picture from our last week or so...
 We now have snow on the ground, but before the temp changed we took an afternoon and walked to the park...  Do you see the little rabbit in Eden's arms?  Before we left the house Ethan and Eden were fighting over who got to carry him to the park. In the midst of their "discussion" Ethan said, "Did you hear that Eden?  It was the rabbit and it said, 'Eden, I want Ethan to carry me!' I know it was probably hard to understand because he spoke in French!"  Eden got to carry the rabbit... Ethan really didn't care that much... he just enjoys frustrating his sister... I had a few brothers just like that!  Eh-hum!
 My kids rarely spend much time on the playground... they are definitely nature-enjoyers! 
 I joined Bible Study Fellowship this year and I was working on my Genesis homework SO I wasn't fully aware of what they were doing at first.... they were pulling up the sod and collecting worms! They must have collected over 100 worms...
 Fabulous... I hadn't brought wipes... or anything... thankfully Micah was on his way home and swung by and picked us up... I used Eden's pants and a Nalgeen full of water to clean off their hands!
Oh the adventures we experience in a day... 
 We still are doing the Thursday switch (Mommy freedom morning) and so I had the kiddos last Thursday... This week was my morning off... spent the whole morning weatherizing our house.. it has been coooooooold... so COLD!
 I've collected a bag full of toilet paper rolls and so we played with them... I wanted to try this painting project... easy... stamping circles with the end of the roll with paint... it didn't take long for them to be rolling the tubes in the paint, smearing the paint with their fingers... It got a little out of control... I wish, I wish, I wish... I had a washable floor or at least a sweet ART ROOM with a washable floor!
 Bethany came over one evening to help me make pear jam.  I usually make about 17 pints of pear jam a year for Micah.  He has toast for breakfast every single morning and pear jam is his favorite... this year... I only did like 7 so far... we'll see if I'm up for making more!  Bethany made a batch all by herself.... she was so proud of herself!
 These pictures were taken while they were carving their pumpkins.  A local business had free pumpkins and a pumpkin carving contest!  Eden loved pulling out the "guts"...
Ethan hated it!  He said it smelled awful!
 On Monday... Ethan had another high fever... Eden and I started to paint rocks to lure him off the couch... it worked...
See how rosy his cheeks are???  He's been sick all week... deep cough.  I'm glad we have a drs check up on Monday!
Eden moved from the rocks to her pumpkin... she painted it for over an hour!  We've been working on potty training again... it goes well for awhile, then she gives up... today is a "give up" on her part.  If she stays dry consistently- she get a pet hamster... she may be the first kid that goes to college -- still in diapers!
Last but not least... I took a fermenting class this past weekend.  It was fascinating!  Fermented food adds important nutrients to a diet... I tried it out for the first time this week... we'll see how it goes. 

We've been busy... like always.  Little things add up quickly... there is never a dull moment!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carving Pumpkins

I could go on my normal Halloween rant... (if you've followed this blog for long you will note that I strongly dislike that day and all the decor that comes with it... not a fan of spiders, skeletons, witches, graves, weird demon-like things... etc... Yep... not a fan). I mean I can't help but wonder -- typically a Halloween lover spends 11 months a year sweeping AWAY spider webs only to SPREAD them all over their house in a decorative fashion 1 month of the year... makes NO sense to me... any-whooo... not going to rant...
 I gave in a tiny bit this year and let the kiddos carve pumpkins... figured we could redeem pumpkins from that "dark" day and make um a fun festive fall tradition!
Ethan wanted a friendly monster and Eden made a fairy house... 
Last night we lit the pumpkins and played pumpkin hide and seek... if you've never played it... you should... I was giggling so much because I love that game.  My family played it growing up and it is sooooo much fun!  The parents (now Micah and I) hide the pumpkins and then the kiddos find them...  (make sure you hide them in fire-proof places ... somewhere where the candle won't catch your house on fire)  We hid them on the washing machine, in the shower, in the big closet, on Eden's bed... 
SOOO much fun!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Enjoying Fall

 This weekend was PERFECT fall weather... and thankfully we were able to enjoy it!
 Bethany told us about a new trail system we weren't aware of... so we went for 2 hours on Saturday and 2 hours on Sunday... Micah is working at REI on Saturdays now... so we went without him on Saturday and with him on Sunday... I think this is now our new favorite place in Bozeman!
 Everywhere I looked it was beautiful... I felt like I was able to breath in fall and I loved every single moment... the crunch of the leaves, the colors, that great "fall" smell.  My eyes feasted on beauty every single step... it was gorgeous!
 It was a good opportunity to get some new kiddo pics for my walls... When Ethan was a baby, I got his pictures taken (professionally... if you consider Walmart professional???) and I hated the results... I like our (Micah and I's) pics so much better... I think our pictures captures their personalities so much more...
 I felt kinda bad for the people who normally use these trails... we are LOUD (no matter where we go we are wild and LOUD -- God's way of humbling me)!  The kids ran and screamed, collected sticks and leaves ... and took up the whole trail.  I asked a guy if he heard us 5 miles away and he smiled and said, "No... only 4.5 miles."
 I taught Ethan how to explode cattails... Have you ever done that? All you have to do is twist them and they will explode in your hands... we could have exploded the whole field... so fun!
I LOVE, LOVE, looooove the fall... We got a cold spell early this year... and I was afraid fall had passed us by... but I'm glad we got a second chance to enjoy the splendor before our long winter!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our Fall Trip to Yellowstone...

 We only live 1.5 hours away from Yellowstone... and we have a year pass.  So when I mentioned to Micah that we should take a drive there... he jumped on the idea!  I'm soooo glad he did!
It was so refreshing to be out in the sunshine... and Yellowstone is such a beautiful place!
 The last time we were in the park we decided we should come more often... the hard part is DOING IT!  This time we explored different roads and hiked different trails... as well as doing a few we'd done before... our "favorite" ones!
  I love this picture Micah took of Ethan and I!
 And this one of Eden. 
 (I was working on taking picture in manual mode... so most of mine didn't come out... so most of these pics are Micah's)
 Jewel Geyser... 
While we were standing beside this "peaceful" geyser, I asked Ethan, "Do you think it ever erupts?"  He said, "I don't know?"  Seconds later it started spurting out water!!! Made us laugh!
 The one thing I love about Yellowstone is the color... there are so many colors ... doesn't this one look like a stream of spilled paint?
 The fun part about Yellowstone is it is a secret educational trip.  Ethan asks a ton of questions ... we chat about all sorts of things -- and do lots of exploring!  Ethan wondered if the water in the river would be hot because the hot water from the geysers ran into it.  So he carefully dipped his fingers in the water... he was SHOCKED it was freezing cold!
Our family is at a fun "age"... we can do thing and it is relatively easy... A few years back I never dreamed this would be possible, but kids DO grow up... thankfully!
 Old Faithful is our favorite place... it's just way cool!
 We saw very few buffalo this trip... like maybe a dozen, but we saw a TON of elk, 3 moose, 1 squirrel, lots of birds, and a coyote! 

 We hiked quite a bit... and at one point towards the end... Eden laid down and said... "I can't go another step!"  It made us laugh! 
 The promise of ice cream gave her some more energy... now I know why my Dad bribed me with candy bars back in the day!  It works!

 We tried hard to get a family pic... this one was the best, but it is still not great... there was something up with my camera... I was using a different one and some setting was off... I still like it even though it is a bit blurry...  still trying to learn this photography stuff!!!!
 Seconds after we got in the car to head home... the kids were OUT!  You can always tell it was a successful trip by the silence from the back seat!
 We got ice cream to wake them up... it was a GREAT day... good conversation, laughs, and time to be a family -- I love that we live so close to the park...