Sunday, April 29, 2007

Five Meals in One Day

I love watching, reading, using Rachael Ray's stuff. Her recipes are easy to follow and I haven't made a bad one yet. Yesterday I followed her Five Meals in One Day recipe and although it was a bit of work it was so worth it. If you want to try it yourself go to this link and print out the instructions. From three roasted chickens I made five meals. I would recommend, if possible, that you do as much as possible when kids and/or husbands are out and about. It probably took me a bit longer than normal just because of the typical daily stuff that goes on around here. It also probably didn't help that I decided to do this, last minute, at 1:15 in the afternoon, dashed to the store and then got started. I know that doing most of your cooking on one day to feed you for a week is not uncommon but this is the first one/time that I've done it. I'm excited about not having to cook for the next 4 nights (we ate the first meal last night). If you just need a recipe for something I also recommend going to

Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Mtn. Sonwy"

Yeah, yeah, give the kid a break, he's still learning how to spell so Mtn. Snowy had a couple of letters transposed. Noah saw a picture/plan for a cable car and then made his own. He did a great job. He even found an old white something to drape over the chair to make the chair "snowy." The poor Lego men on board the cable car got a few rides that, I am sure, they will never forget. He had fun building it and I had fun working around it for two and a half days. It finally met it's doom when the chair, I mean mountain, had a huge avalance and lost all of it's snow and in the process of the avalance the cable snapped. It was an incredible sight and I'm just so sorry that Noah, while he was at school, missed the whole experience. I am sure that our budding engineer will soon build something else.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cool Picture and Buddy Update

Joel took this beautiful picture of a wildflower while we were at a local park trying to keep up with the kids. Amazing what you can capture when you stop for just a moment. I also wanted to let everyone know that it appears that Buddy is going to be fine. Not perfect, but definitely well enough to stick with us. His motor skills are making a great comeback and is only exhibiting minor issues. He still stumbles a bit and at times seems like he just can't quite figure out how to get into that sitting position. His appetite is back and he's barking again, both great signs. We're still keeping a close eye on him but we're all a bit more relaxed.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Boy and His Dog

Our dog, Buddy, was very sick over the past couple of days. We really didn't know if he was going to make it or not. Buddy laid in the yard for hours and I took a couple pictures of Noah out talking to him and petting him, doing his best to comfort his furry friend. Luckily, Buddy seems to be pulling out of it and making a recovery. To the best of our vet's knowledge they believe that Buddy had a stroke. Only time will tell if he will regain all of his motor skills. He is doing better today but still somewhat shaky and ragged looking. Noah was pretty emotional throughout the ordeal and did a good job of checking on Buddy and keeping him comfortable. I am very proud of him. I stayed strong for most of the day until Noah told Buddy that he shouldn't be afraid to die because he could play fetch with God and then when Noah got old and died he would see him again. It appears that God will have to wait on that game of fetch and Noah's happy that Buddy wants to stick around for a bit longer. Give your pets an extra treat from us tonight.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A House Full of Family

Our visit with the Montee family is quickly coming to an end. They are leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. Those 6:15 a.m. flights with a couple of kids are nuts I tell ya! We've had a lot of fun visiting and playing with Brian, Su, Bre and Brandon and will miss them. Grandpop Bruce and Grandma Heidi also came down to visit over the weekend which was great! We went to the small fish hatchery a.k.a. the train park yesterday and ran around. We posed the kids on this great tree branch for a couple of shots. We also have tons of pictures of them running around all crazy like! Bre and Noah always do great together. Noah even asked me this morning if they could just wait for the next plane to take them back to Phoenix.

Oliver and Brandon are just three weeks apart. It was fun to watch them interact. At this age they don't really play together yet but they definitely noticed each other. Especially when one of them had something that the other one wanted. I must say they did better than I thought they would. Big brother Noah has taught Oliver, unfortunately, to fight and/or defend his territory or toys. Ollie, much like my sister did when we were little, uses his lungs to scream and let us all know that, in his mind, there is a huge injustice being done. If the high pitched scream doesn't work then he can and has resorted to smacking or tackling. Not such a big deal with a brother who is 30 pounds heavier and much taller but maybe not so good with a cousin who is about the same size and only three weeks older. I was worried. Brandon was more of a silent attacker. He would try to push Oliver away from the toy of choice or occasionally pull Oliver's hair. Ollie didn't seem to mind too much and often didn't even acknowledge the attempt - yet another side effect of having a big brother. I swear the look Oliver would give Brandon during those moments said, "that all ya got? I've dealt with worse just ask Noah!" All and all they did great, I can't wait until they are a bit older and really start to play.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Visitors and a new ball

Elaine works the graveyard shift at work so she gets to hear tons of stories about our boys and also see lots of pictures. She is very kind to our boys and is constantly bringing in little gifts for them. This time it was these funky balls. As you can see, Oliver is having a great time with his. I was using or trying to learn how to use a function on our camera that will focus on one color (yellow in this case) then turn all the other colors to black and white. A neat feature that I hope to take advantage of in the future. Anyway, thanks for the new ball Elaine!

The Montee family arrived from Surprise AZ yesterday! They came over for dinner and a bit of play time. This picture is of Oiver helping Brandon get a drink of water. Brandon, who is three weeks older than Oliver, had a truck in each hand and didn't want to give them up. Oliver helped Brandon with his water and both were happy. I'm sure that I will have many more pictures to post as we visit more over the next few days.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Those Elusive Moments

Yes, those elusive moments, you know the ones that I am talking about. The ones you dream about when pregnant with your first kid...quiet, peaceful, zen-like moments when you have that certain touch or perfect eye contact from your child. It doesn't matter what age they are they are incredible when they happen. It's as if God has given you the gift of each other and at that exact moment you can almost understand the love God has for you as one of His children. You don't have to work to love your child you just do - no matter what. Sorry husbands, parents, friends, etc., although you are loved dearly now, it was not love at first sight/meeting. Yes, I grew to love each of you but when I met Noah and Oliver for the first time it was love in it's purest form. With that being said, I just have to say that I am envious of all the moms that have more of those moments or at least I thought I was envious of them. My house, although fun and full of adventure, is in a constant state of motion (some call it chaos and mayhem). We may not always have clean hands, we may enjoy a gregarious round of belching instead or using our manners, we may jump on the furniture from time to time (how else will you get to the moon) and we may camp in front of the TV and have dinner so we don't miss the new episode of our favorite cartoon. And to the horror of some, we may even have and enjoy our dessert before a meal! To slow down and have those elusive moments with my boys is a rare experience. I am in a constant state of "one step behind-ism", catching up is a true test of my resiliency. My, what I call "mommy stamina", is pushed to its limits daily. I try to capture those moments but they seem to elude me and be just out of my reach. Which leads me to this; I realize that I may be the luckiest mom out there. Why? Because when those moments do happen I let nothing get in the way, nothing can stop me from just being there in the moment with my boys. It may only last a few seconds, be a quick stroke of my hair or even a silly little Eskimo kiss but it is ALL mine. So chaos and mayhem will continue to be a large part of our day. I will listen, be silly, teach, mend, feed, clean, in ways that others might find unorthodox but most importantly, I will capture and be a part of those elusive moments. Capture as many as you can, it's a true gift from God.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Grandma Ricki Came to Visit

Grandma Ricki came to visit us all the way from Surprise Arizona. We had a great time visiting with her and enjoyed the time that we had together. Unfortunately, as I was going through all of our picutres from her visit, I realized that none were of Grandma and Noah together. That might have something to do with the fact that Noah NEVER stops moving! Oliver was extra whiny and fussy while Grandma was here and I finally took him to the doctor today and he has an ear infection. Sorry about that Grandma! We didn't go many places during her visit, we just stuck close to home and really took advantage of just being together. It was tough when we took her to the airport this morning. As soon as Grandma said, "bye-bye Ollie" it was all over. The little one cried almost all the way home. We can't wait for her next visit. We love you!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone. Be sure to check out the previous two posts for more Easter pictures. After our little egg hunt this morning we headed off to the early service at our church. Our Pastor does a great job with his sermons and today was no exception. Instead of Sunday school class the kids got to watch an Easter video so Noah was a happy camper. We are headed out to my mom's later today for an early Easter dinner. Easter blessings to all of you! Rejoice, for He has risen! Love, Tiff

Easter Baskets

My favorite part of the plastic egg hunt and Easter Basket surprises was when Noah was showing his little brother how to find the eggs and then how to bust them open to see what toy was inside. Once Oliver got his instructions and saw what big brother was doing they both had a pretty good time finding their goodies. Oliver had a hard time, though, with putting down the ones he had already found. He didn't want to lose what he had but desperately wanted to pick up more. Finally, he started a pile on the couch, just like the pile brother had on the chair and it all worked out. The boys each got a special toy(s) with their baskets. Noah got some new Ben10 items and Oliver got a baby Cabbage Patch doll with a binkie just like his.

Coloring Eggs

I think in this picture Noah is trying to make his egg two-tone. Noah had a great time coloring eggs. To be honest, this is the first time that we have colored eggs. It was a lot of work with Oliver but we had fun.
Oliver would dunk the egg and his entire hand into the dye. By the time we were done his hand was a beautiful shade of brown. He was very upset when he realized that there were no more eggs to dye.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Future Bartenders?

Noah's friend Jackson stayed the night last night and when they got up this morning they asked me for: apple juice, water, ice cubes, milk and soda. I asked why and they said that they wanted to mix and create their own breakfast drink. I made them up a tray of stuff, gave them some mixing tools and let them play and mix. They came up with some interesting concoctions but they were disappointed because I refused to try any of them.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More Beach Pictures Part 2

Top picture is of Noah trading his smaller stick for little brother's bigger stick. Oliver, just happy that Noah is talking to him, has no idea that he got the short end of the stick. Sorry, I just couldn't resist - you're laughing don't deny it! The second picture is on the boardwalk. Oliver found two irresistible holes and had to stick his fingers into them. The third picture is of Noah goading the waves. He had quite the little booty shake to go with it but we didn't have the video going at the time.

More Beach Pictures Part 1

Little brother OHHH so helpful in the digging of a trench and big brother being OHHH so patient with his annoying sibling.

Oliver with two fists of sand in the cocked and ready position.

Noah letting the waves get his shoes wet, even though dad said not to. When I was viewing the pictures later we came across this one and Noah says, "Am I grounded?" I just laughed not knowing that Joel had told him not to do this and said, "only if daddy said you weren't supposed to get your shoes wet." His response, "Great! I'm grounded." So I laughed even harder.

Longbeach WA

It's spring break this week and we decided to take quick overnight trip to Longbeach WA. Oliver decided that napping, in the car, was optional on the way down but held it together really well until about 6:30 that night. This was Oliver's first trip to the beach and he really enjoyed the HUGE sandbox. His favorite was to throw big fistfuls of sand. He finally reached the water and once he got the lower part of his pants wet and his hands all cold and sandy he had decided that beach time was over. Noah and Joel stayed and played for quite a bit longer while Oliver and I headed back to the hotel to warm up and settle down. Joel and Noah got back, ate a quick dinner then headed over to the pool. Needless to say, both boys slept very well that night! Tuesday morning we were all waking up and Noah didn't feel well. We aren't sure what exactly he was dealing with, a mild flu bug maybe, but he just wanted to stay on the couch and watch cartoons. He did perk up a little bit so we took one last walk on the beach and along the boardwalk that they have. Of course we had to stop at the juvenile whale skeleton and try to figure out every possible way that the thing could have died. If you are in Longbeach and need a yummy breakfast place we recommend Laurie's Homestead Breakfast (I think that's what it was called). Anyway, the prices are low and the portions are huge! We had a great time at the beach and can't wait to go back for more than 24 hours. I will post a couple more pictures when I get a chance. Love, Tiff

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Trevor Came to Visit

Trevor came to visit us this weekend. This is just after they woke up so Ollie and Trev are having their cup o' joe (a.k.a. milk) and taking in a few cartoons to get the day started.

This was the first time we saw Trevor since his birthday in February. So after my mom's retirement party last night we took Trevor to Build-A-Bear Workshop. He picked out this cute little doggie, named him Hotrod and dressed him in the camo military outfit. Noah picked Cat in The Hat and put him in a hockey outfit and named him Hockey Cat. Thanks for visiting us Trevor, we've had a ton of fun.

New Hair Gel and Frustration

I make Oliver pear sauce, apple sauce but made with pears, and it's one of his favorites. He also enjoys putting anything that he gets on his hands into his hair. Pear sauce makes great hair gel! His hair stayed styled like this until bath time.

In an attempt to email his daddy, Oliver found himself stuck. He got into this position and couldn't figure his way back down. Of course I let him suffer a bit longer while I grabbed the camera. He was holding on for dear life with those long fingers of his.