Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Things are coming along nicely around here - we finally got to put up the lights I bought for the house last year - and they are sooo pretty!

[caption id="attachment_457" align="aligncenter" width="800" caption="Our House In Lights!"]Our House In Lights![/caption]

I also got to finally decorate our stair banister!

[caption id="attachment_458" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Decorated Staircase (with our birthday girl in the shot for good measure!)"]Decorated Staircase (with our birthday girl in the shot for good measure!)[/caption]

And here's some pictures of our Adventures in the Christmas Tree Hunt of 1009:

[gallery link="file" order="DESC" columns="2" orderby="ID"]

I hope you enjoy our photos!  We sure enjoyed doing it this year!  And don't forget, that "Unto Us A Child Is Born" - and little baby laid in a manger made from a tree - "A Savior Which Is Christ The Lord" - a perfect man who gave up his life to pay our penalty for sin, by being nail to a cross made from a tree! Make the most of your Christmas celebrationg by remembering that whenever you see a Christmas Tree!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sorry I've been away!

As you may remember, I don't blog much when Jeremy is home...hence my absence!

Here's a few random photos of the last few weeks:

[gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="ID"]

We had a great time with Jeremy home!  We bowled a lot, did pizza more often than usual, watched some great movies, played some great card games, played the Wii a lot, and just enjoyed seeing him at our dinner table!

What I can't get over, is that he has only been gone for just over a week, and he'll be back for Christmas in just over 2 weeks!  We will be so spoiled!

We have all our Christmas lights up, but no photos yet...soon, I promise.

I've had so much fun decorating our new home for Christmas...we never got to last year as we spent almost all of December in the hospital with Esther!  So even though we've been in our new home nearly two years (can you believe it??), this will be our first Christmas in our new house!  I just loved decorating the stair banister!  But the icicle lights on the house as just sooo cool!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Broken Camera...New Camera...Now Broken Blog!

I'm using the quick editor - Sorry no blogging lately - first my computer's memory card reader stopped reading, then all my transfer cables dissappeared, then my camera died (no surprise, just was hoping it would last longer), and now that I have a "new" camera, my blog editor isn't working properly due to a virus some hacker put on my site!
The virus has been removed and we have now installed a protective service that will prevent that from happening again! My website is working fine, but for some reason, my blog editor is not!
So, be patient and I'll soon be blogging again!
[caption id="attachment_430" align="aligncenter" width="348" caption="We\'re ready and waiting for Thanksgiving!"]We're ready and waiting for Thanksgiving![/caption]
And we are sooo thankful to have Jeremy home with us again:
[caption id="attachment_431" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Jeremy hard at work on his truck lowering project!"]Jeremy hard at work on his truck lowering project![/caption]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Update on Puppies

No, there wasn't a 6th puppy.

[caption id="attachment_423" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Pride and Prejudice Puppies"]Pride and Prejudice Puppies[/caption]

But all is well with mommy and pups - you can see more pics of these adorable puppies on Jessica's website, Shakespeare Schnauzers -  If you are interested in purchasing one of these wonderful puppies, the contact information is on her site as well!  Oh, and best of all, these puppies will be ready for their new homes by Christmas!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rainy Days, Guitar Strings, Full House, Anticipation, and Puppies....

We just enjoyed a couple of nice fall days, but now the rain is back.  It was so nice to have the kids outside again today!  I had a terribly busy day, as usual, yesterday (homeschooling in the morning, Bible Study in the afternoon, run errands, then bowling right after dinner!), so I slept in a little (until 7 am), and got a late start.

To my surprise when I came downstairs, most of the kids were doing their school work and their chores!  And Jessica hadn't been down yet either.  Amazing!  Most of the kids have lessons today (music for 3, art for 1), so they were motivated to get their work done early so their could play their favorite video games before leaving for lessons!

I found rather quickly that I am not really up to doing homeschooling (answering questions, helping them understand their math problems, etc), before and during breakfast!  I soon called a family meeting and made a new policy...the children can't do homeschooling before I've had my cup of coffee, my breakfast, my vitamins, and have fed, changed, dressed Esther, unless they can do it without my help entirely!  AND they have to have their chores done first!  So then they were sent back to finish chores while I got myself settled down!

Then I got an update on Jessica...her dog, Juliette had started having puppies at 3 am, and there were 5 - 3 boys and 2 girls.  All healthy, but she was pretty sure that there was one more in there.

Yesterday one of my errands was to get new strings on my guitar!  This week we have started singing a few songs together at the beginning of school, a few we know and learning a few as well.  We are all enjoying this and it's giving me a little practice time everyday on the guitar.  Right now we are working on "Dare to Be A Daniel", and what I call the "Happy Song" (Ho Ho Hosanah, Ha Ha lelujah, He He He He saved me!  I've got the Joy of the Lord!), and a few echo songs...those are the kids favorites.  I'm going to have to find more echo songs!

After school,  we had lunch and they left for lessons (still no puppy yet).  I got some work done, spent time on lots of phone calls working out details on having a young friend coming to stay with us for a while.  and caught up on emails, all the time checking in on Juliette every 30 mintues to see if there was any change in the status of that last puppy....nope!

The kids came home and Jessica left to take the momma and puppies to the vet. No news yet.

So, what's the anticipation in my title about????  Underlying every minute of every day lately is the a current of excitement...counting down the days until Jeremy is back home!  We just found out yesterday that he'll be arriving in Bellingham just before midnight a week from Tuesday!  So much for an welcome home party at the airport!  LOL!  We are so excited to have him home after his deployment of 7 months in Iraq.  He'll be home for almost all of November, and, Lord willing, back for Christmas as well!  We have only had Jeremy home for one holiday in over 4 years!  Yeah!!!

So, there you have it, a somewhat typical day for us!  If you want an update on the puppies, look for me on facebook (search for Snap-EZ)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm on Facebook...

You can find me by searching for "Snap-EZ"!!  Please let me know how you know me, as I'm only approving people I can verify, as I have more personal info there!  If you are a customer, just let me know, or if you follow my blog, just say so when you make a request to be my friend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

God is SOOOO Amazing!

We've had a rough couple of years, some of it good, some of it really trying, and everything intense and exhausting.  In the last 2 years we've gone through our van breaking down and not having the funds to replace the engine, building a new home, painting that home, moving into that home, trying to sell the old mobile home, a difficult pregnancy, 4 weeks on bed rest, a life threatening birth, and new baby with a heart defect, adjusting to the idea of having a child with Trisomy 21 (she's really a wonderful, easy baby...but it was an adjustment to us mentally),   5 weeks with Esther in the hospital, 5 weeks at home with a seriously ill, fragile baby, 5 more weeks in the hospital, having our baby go through open heart surgery, my oldest son going to Iraq, our economy tanking and effecting our home business,  landscaping our front lawn, hosting our biggest birthday party ever, camping with bronchitis/sinus infection,  a business trip to Vegas, and homeschooling through it all.

Through it all, God has graciously met our needs or enabled to make due with what we have.  This process has been difficult but good for us all.  We have been learning so much through the process, especially about keeping priorities straight.  We have received so much from His hand this year and always just when we've needed it.  Here's a breif list of some of the many things that God orchestrated in our lives in the past 2 years:

*We decided to change banks for financing our new house with in days of the first bank going bankrupt, yet we were able to get the money back that we gave them for an appraisal that had not been completed

*Getting our station wagon running just a week before the van's engine dying

*We picked the first builder that was recommended to us and he was just what we needed

*Friends who came alongside to help paint our house when I had sprained my knee

*Having all the EMTs already here when Esther was born (they were called for me), so my midwife was able to get the help she needed to keep me and Esther alive and transport Esther so quickly!

*More people than I could ever count praying for Esther and our family last fall/winter, sending emails of encouragement, phone calls when I really needed them, meals for our family, child care just when needed most, money to cover traveling expenses from out of no-where,

*Finding a wonderful truck with exactly what we had left of our tax return - exactly what we needed!

*Our two vehicles continuing to run well in spite of both having over 200,000 miles on them!

There are so many things God has done for us, that I could spend all day doing this and still find more things to be thankful for.  I'm sure you can too! are probably wondering why I am blogging about this now - it's not Thanksgiving yet (and I'm not Canadian, hehe )!

Well, God has shocked my socks off once again!!!!  Our station wagon has been spewing water and oil the last few weeks, the heater fan stopped working a few months ago and with the weather turning cold, this is beginning to be a problem!  It also has over 240,000 miles on it,  so we were starting to wonder what in the world we would do if it completely broke down (our finances have been tight the last few months to put it mildly).  I tried not to worry about it, praying daily that God would meet our needs (knowing that it wasn't a "need" yet, so I kept reminding myself not to worry about it).

Then, seemingly out of the blue, we now have a 12 passenger van!  FREE!  Yes, FREE!  A family we've known through Bible Quizzing no longer needed theirs as their family is shrinking (children moving out of their home), and they couldn't seem to sell it, so they decided to give it to whomever they found that needed one.  They mentioned this and Jason heard about it, told me about it and now, just 5 days later, we have a white 1994 GMC 12 passenger van in our driveway, just waiting for tabs/licensing!  Completely a gift!!!  Is that amazing or what!!  It may have over 200,000 miles on it, but Daryl says it runs great, starts right away, and the exhaust looks clean!  The only stipulation is that we give it away when we no longer need it!  I'm still in shock!  As soon as I'm well enough to get up and out, I'll get the licensing done and we can all ride together to church on Sunday for the first time in 2 years!

[caption id="attachment_396" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Here's the new van!"]Here's the new van![/caption]

I haven't looked at it closely, or inside (I'm sick with something, just not sure what yet, but going outside sounds like too much work), but Daryl says the inside is blue, in good  condition (well used, but clean) - amazing isn't it!

May the Lord richly bless the Forbes family for blessing us in this way!

Praise The Lord, His mercies are everlasting!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Ever Short Sale, Plus Car Project Photos!!

If you want to know what is on sale for this "Short Sale" - you need to sign up to follow my twitter - go to and find me by searching for @SnapEZLady  (be sure to use the right capital letters).  If you haven't used twitter yet, you'll need to set up your own account, but it's free and very easy!!

If you just can't figure out how to use twitter, you can email me and I'll send you the info!

Hope your week is going better than mine - I had head/chest cold symptoms yesterday afternoon and didn't sleep well last night and this morning I'm so tired, my back is achy, and my stomach didn't like breakfast very much...I'm staying away from Esther as much as possible right now to be on the safe side!

Last night, when I arrived home from an errand, this is what I saw on the way down our driveway -

[caption id="attachment_387" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Daryl and his Daughters at work removing the engine!"]Daryl and his Daughters at work removing the engine![/caption]

When Daryl came home, he asked the kids to help him on a quick, "rip it out, take it apart" project on his Fiero - he got lots of help, and as you can see here, his daughters were all out there ready to get dirty with Dad, isn't that awesome?

And here's our Birthday Boy (Jason was welcomed into our family 21 years ago today!) last month:

[caption id="attachment_388" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Here's our son, Jason, proudly exibiting his car at a local car show - we were so proud to have a son have his car in a car show!"]Here's our son, Jason, proudly exibiting his car at a local car show - we were so proud to have a son have his car in a car show![/caption]

Jason entered his car as a work in progress - he just rebuild the engine in his 1973 Camaro (something Daryl hasn't even done before!!), and put a really cool looking fuel injection system in it as well.  Now that's a fun car!  Good job and Happy Birthday Jason!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Finally, Blog Contest Winner!

And the winner is........drum roll please.....

Kathleen G!  I am not surprised at all as she left a ton of comments!

(I used the Super Cool Random Number Generator to determine the winner!)

Thanks to all of you who left such great comments over the last month!  I have really enjoyed hearing from all of you - please don't stop....and if you ask nicely, I might do another contest!

Oh - and don't forget that I'll be drawing the winner of my twitter contest next week!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Monday Monday

Monday's can be so difficult - we seem  to always get behind on Sunday - we go to church, leaving a hurricane in our wake of getting ready for church, we come home, have lunch, take a nap, have dinner, and then go to church again.

Anyone have good Monday's???

Our Monday's usually go better once chores are behind us, but getting to that point sometimes can be really tough!!

Esther's doing fine - there's some redness around the "excavation site", but I'm not convinced it's infected...yet!

AND I haven't forgotten about the blog comment contest, it's just that last week definitely did no go as I have planned!

I have put it on my calendar to announce the winner of that contest on Wednesday, as today and tomorrow are insanely busy for me!

See you here Wednesday!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Esther's home and doing well!

They were able to take care of her pyogenic granuloma in the office at Children's (Bellevue) today!   She didn't appreciate the procedure, but it went well, and didn't even take very long!

They will be testing what they removed to see if it is malignant, but they assured me that these are almost always benign.  The post-op instruction seem to be easy enough, but I had to sign a release that stated that I understood that there would be scaring and there is a possibility that they will recur - but that isn't really common.  We also have to watch for infection.

Thanks so much for your prayers!  I really didn't think that they would take care of it there, but I was so relieved that they did as it bled so many times in the last few days that I lost wasn't fun being on full alert all the time as you just never knew when she'd start bleeding profusely!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

She needs to go to Children's for it!

And my Dr talked with the on call dermatologist at Children's and they moved the appointment up to Friday morning.  I forgot to ask if they would be doing the procedure that day, but I have a feeling it's just a look-see to set up a date for the procedure.  I'm thinking about calling today to find that out, and possibly trying to find out the time frame for final resolution!

Thanks for you prayers on this, as it moved up quickly yesterday afternoon - right about the time my Bible Study group was praying for that very thing!   God is so good!

I've got so get so much done today and I really didn't plan on having to head to Seattle this week, and it's a very early appointment so I'm going to head down tomorrow and have some fun with my sister, Lisa, and possibly with both my sisters - Beth and Lisa have been trying to have the three of us go out for lunch together this month, but it just wasn't happening, so if we can pull it off, we are going to get together for lunch on Thursday in Seattle  FUN!  Esther will enjoy  it too!

I'll update once I know anything on Friday.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pyogenic Granuloma

I've never heard these words before!  But that is what Esther has on her face!  It has grown a lot since we took her in to see the Dr when it first start bleeding.  It now bleeds several times a day, but it stops much faster than that first time.

She needs to have it removed, and soon!  I now have an appointment at Children's Hospital with a pediatric dermatoligist there, but the first opening is for October 14.  This "thing" has about tripled in size in the last week and a half - and it's really ugly!  I really don't want to wait another 2 1/2 weeks, as it will be so much larger!  This is smack in the middle of her cheek, and I hate to see her have a large scar there!  Also, they can recur if they are not taken care of properly, and I'm sure the larger it gets, the harder it is to get rid of all of it!

Children's said that we could possible get a sooner appointment if my pediatrician will do a Dr to Dr consult as to the urgency of this, so there is hope!  There's no pediatric dermatologists up here, and the one in Everett won't take Esther's insurance!

Please pray that we can get a sooner appointment and get proper treatments for it!

Here are pic of the progression of this growth:

[caption id="attachment_359" align="aligncenter" width="397" caption="You can see the tiniest little speck here, back at the first of August - that's when I first noticed it."]You can see the tiniest little speck here, back at the first of August - that's when I first noticed it.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_360" align="aligncenter" width="336" caption="You can see it's a little bigger here - this was Sept 12 - just after the first bleeding incidence."]You can see it's a little bigger here - this was Sept 12 - just after the first bleeding incidence.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_361" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Here is what it looked like last Wednesday - not too much bigger, but it sticks out away from her face more."]Here is what it looked like last Wednesday - not too much bigger, but it sticks out away from her face more.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_362" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="It's not only larger, but if it isn't underneath this waterproof covering, it stands out off her face about 3/8 of an inch!"]It's not only larger, but if it isn't underneath this waterproof covering, it stands out off her face about 3/8 of an inch![/caption]

Yesterday, it broke open and bled about 6 times, one time she had about half of the portion where it is attached to her normal skin broken open and it was bleeding very fast!  Her pediatrician tried to cauterize it but it only began to bleed faster.  Needless to say, I am anxious to get this removed!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Excuse You"

We were driving to Bible Study on Tuesday, when Elizabeth (3) burped.  She very politely said, "Excuse You".

We all laughed a little and told her that when you burp, you say "Excuse ME", and that you say "You're Excused" when someone else says "Excuse me".  Then Reuben said, "She shouldn't say that until she's like 19 or a mom".  We were a little confused as to what he meant, so I said that she should be polite even though she's young and all of them should be as polite as adults (Elizabeth is very polite and some of her first words were "please", "thank you", "I'm sorry" and "excuse me")!

Then Reuben replied, "But only moms can excuse kids from the table"!  LOL!  I think we needed to confirm that we were talking about the same thing!

[caption id="attachment_355" align="aligncenter" width="308" caption="Here's our darling Elizabeth in curlers! Jessica put them in, and we had high hopes of curls for Sunday morning, but she wanted them out after about 30 minutes!"]Here's our darling Elizabeth in curlers!  Jessica put them in, and we had high hopes of curls for Sunday morning, but she wanted them out after about 30 minutes![/caption]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"This would be boring!"

While the kids were building dams, re-structuring a river, digging a lake, building levies, watching dams break, creating a flood plateau and then doing it all over again with different variables at the beach today (there was a little area where a tiny creek was flowing onto the sandy/rocky beach), my oldest daughter was taking photos of the process while I was video taping, and she commented:

"This would be boring if we only had two kids!"

I think she was very right!

[gallery order="DESC" columns="2"]

Friday, September 18, 2009

This time I had a good excuse!

I know I have been committed to blogging regularly, but it was nigh unto impossible since last weekend...I was in Las Vegas and internet service in the room as "Only $15.99/day" or something stupid like that - I have a blackberry with internet access so I just did that, but I hate doing a lot of typing , so that meant no blogging (that and I really didn't want the whole world to know we weren't at home!  And, by the way, the children did not come with us (I will NEVER take a child to Vegas!!!), and we used the business trip to also celebrate our cominb 25th wedding anniversary (in March, but who can afford to take two vacations in a year - not us that's for sure!).

I'm not the Vegas type, if you know what I mean!  Everytime I told someone I was going to Vegas that knows me even a little, basically reacted with "what?" "Why?", etc.  So at least I have a good reputation!  I went to Vegas for the ABC Expo - "All Baby and Child".  This weas the biggest exposition of baby and children's products in the US every year, and probably the biggest  in the world.  There were 2 stories of exibition booths and each level was so large you couldn't see the end of the ceiling from one end of to the other and it had around a 30 foot ceiling - my guess is that is would be like putting around 8 football fields together side by side - on each level!  I've never been in such a large building!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="ABC Expo ceiling into oblivion"]ABC Expo[/caption]

During the Expo, the RDIA (Real Diaper Industry Association) had it's annual get together and meetings.  I got to meet in person nearly all the people behind the other big names in the cloth diaper industry - as well as many of my own retailers, as well as a few future retailers!

Anyway, I've got so much to do (right now I'm calling the shots on morning chores), and I'm sooooo tired!  I'll post more later about stuff that happened just before I left, as well as a few posts about my trip!

Here's a few hightlights you can look forward to reading about :

We stayed in the New York, New York:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="The New York, New York Hotel"]The New York, New York Hotel[/caption]

The Shelby Musem and manufacturing plant (as in Carroll Shelby...Shelby Mustangs, racing cars etc),

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Shelby Race Cars"]Shelby Race Cars[/caption]

The Hoover Dam,

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="The grave of the Hoover Dam Mascot"]The grave of the Hoover Dam Mascot[/caption]

I'll also tell you about The Chris Angel "Believe" show, a 20 million dollar, 70 lane bowling alley,  a weird take on shop lifting, The 4 story M & M Store, Ethyl M Chocolate Factory, riding a roller coaster past the age of 40, and why you don't go to Vegas if you are a Christian unless you absolutely have to, and what we'll do different if we ever go again!

I'll leave you with this - the highlight of our vacation - we upgraded our rental car from a compact to a Dodge Challenger -

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Now That's a Classy Car!"]Now Thats a Classy Car![/caption]

That was my gift to Daryl for our anniversary!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Busy, Busy Week + Comment Contest going Well!

Sorry I haven't been posting this week - Monday I spent goofing off since it was a holiday!

Tuesday I think I was still in vacation mode, but got a few things done around the house, and did great bowling! Last week was my first week bowling, and I didn't do very well, but I was OK with that. I had an average of around 110. This week, my average was closer to 130! Yeah! I'm getting better, so there's hope!

Now, I'll give you the story behind our joining a bowling league! My son, Jason, bowled for the first time in his life last spring, and did so well, he decided to join a summer league with a friend and his friend's father. They did so well they ended up taking second place for the season! In practice Jason was even getting over 200 occassionally!

But his team mates couldn't do the winter season, so Daryl and I decided to bowl on Jason's team to encourage him to continue - he has the makings or a pro-bowler in our humble opinion as well as being able spend some time with him. He's 21 yo now and it's hard to get time with your children when they work full time and are busy doing outside activities (Jason also plays ultimate frisbey, volleyball, and softball regularly when they are in season!). Over the last couple months of the summer we went bowling with Jason a couple of times and he showed us how to throw a curve ball, and we started working at it.

This led to getting our own bowling balls and shoes, and a lot of fun! My curve is quite severe, but Daryl is still struggling to get the kind of curve he wants - he's getting closer all the time. Daryl has always been the athletic one, so it's driving him nuts that I learned the curve throw faster then he did! So for this "season" our date night is bowling with Jason, and we're just fine with that!

So that brings me to Wednesday - that day started with Esther little strawberry birthmark on her cheek breaking open and bleeding...for 1 1/2 hours! Creepy! Then in the afternoon, it did it again and it took 1 hour to stop. So I took her to the Drs (first time she's had to go to the Drs for a non-well-child check-up in over 2 months! Yeah!), and he said that they just do that and to keep it covered as it heals. Esther doesn't tolerate band aids well, so I just kept it covered that night and most of far, so good.

Thursday was planning an event I'm attending next week, making our menu and shopping lists, taking Dayton and Esther to Therapy and getting all the shopping done. Dinner at 7 (we usually eat at 5:30), then a movie and off to bed! Today, I'm still busy getting ready for the event next week, and we are working up to moving Esther out of our bedroom and into the girl's bedroom (right next door to our bedroom) so when I get up at 5 am, I won't wake her up and I can work in my room first thing (like having my quiet time, make my bed, tidy the bedroom), as now if I did any of that I'd wake her up, so I'm having my quiet time in the living roon and just not getting my bedroom stuff done most days!

That's all for now - except to say that the comments contest is going well - I've probably had more comments left in the last two days, than I have this whole year!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Blog Comment Contest!

It was been way to long since anyone has posted a comment!  And I've been trying so hard to post more regularly!  I know lots of people check my blog, both from comment in person/via email and from stats of visitors on the pages.  So, I'm going to start a contest!

For every comment left on a post that was posted after 7/1/09 (I'm even giving you the opportunity to leave a comment on old posts!), your name will be entered to win your choice of a $15.00 gift certificate to either of my stores, or a $10.00 gift certificate to Starbucks Coffee!  I decided to include starbucks for those of you that read my blog, but don't have a need for our products!  I might even have a runner up for whoever posts the most comments!  The contest will end at the end of September, so post away!

So make my day, and hopefully I'll make yours!


PS. I supposed the lack of comments might be due to some problem with leaving comments, if that is the case (if you are unable to leave a comment), please email me at and let me know what error you are encountering so it can be remedied!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Esther's "So Big"

We have been teaching Esther to do "So Big" since last spring. At first she just thought it was funny and enjoyed the attention. Then she would do it, but only if you were holding her hands...she didn't realize we were trying to teach her to do it by herself!
Now she has it down pat, and does it randomly all day long!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="499" caption="How big is Esther???  "So Big""]How big is Esther???[/caption]

Oh - and I have two new hobbies this year...guitar and bowling.  I played in a bowlin league for the first time yesterday and did OK?  It was quite intimidating, but I had fun.  More on why guitar and bowling to come later!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Phew! That was scary!

I thought I had lost my blog!  I don't know if anyone else had even noticed, but my blog was not around for the last day or so!  I was going to blog yesterday, but decided it was finally time to upgrade my version of WordPress.  Only it didn't go so well!  The upload error-ed out halfway through, several times.  At that point some files were missing, others were not update yet, and so forth.

I decided to bag it to create a forum for another purpose and get back to the upgrade later yesterday, or today (I was assuming that the update did not effect the ability to read my blog, of course).  Well, the other application took all day yesterday (HUGE upload) - it just kept my computer busy, not me - so I never got back to the blog update and didn't even think to check to see if it was still available!

This morning I get on, and there is no blog, I can't post or anything! So for the last 6 hours I've been painstakingly going through every file/image that supports my blog (there were so many incomplete and non-updated files it was crazy!), and still errors!  Ack!  So I called the support line, and within minutes they had fixed the problem!  Somehow an access code had been changed that didn't allow me to access my own files!

So, I'm back now, and I'll start a day late on my new resolution to blog nearly every day!

So what's been happening around here lately?  Recovery, mostly.  I was really sick and it took a long time before I felt human again.  I'm doing great now, and am starting fresh this week by getting up with Daryl every morning at 5 am to get a head-start on the day!  I did this for years, but starting a couple of years ago, I just couldn't do it.  Then with my pregnancy, the new house, the move, bed rest, Esther's first wild and wooly months, etc...I just couldn't get to bed earlier enough to get up at 5 am again!

Now that Esther is (still) sleeping through the night, and we are quite settled in our "new" (we've been in the house for 18 months as of next weekend) home, summer/late sunsets is winding down, my health is good is time to start getting up early again!

The best part of getting up early is getting time to read the Bible and pray with Daryl while he eats his breakfast and puts his lunch together!  and then the quiet house with no interruptions to have my quiet time/make my bed/tidy my bedroom/do some laundry or other household project, and maybe check emails or blog!

I've succeeded 2 days in a row now! Well, at least at the getting up early.  Last night Esther took a late nap and was not interested in sleeping until after 10 pm, so after my time with Daryl, and my quiet time, I slipped back into bed and slept in until 8 am!  That sleep felt ooh soo good!

So, speaking of things happening around here, we got some great bath-time photos of Esther last week:

[caption id="attachment_300" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Esther Loves to Splash"]Esther Loves to Splash[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Esther loved to play with mommy's scrubby"]Esther loved to play with mommys scrubby[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Is that a Happy Girl or what???"]Is that a Happy Girl or what???[/caption]

Esther no longer looks like a little heart baby!  She looks like a sumo wrestler!  I just weighed her, and with her clothes on, she is 1 oz shy of 24 pounds!  That's double her weight since her surgery!

Here's a photo of her a couple of days after her open heart surgery for comparison:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="She's was wearing 3 - 6 mos outfit and it was a little too big!"]Shes was wearing 3 - 6 mos outfit and it was a little too big![/caption]

And here she is bursting out of a 12 mo size shirt after the a fore mentioned bath:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Isn't she a happy baby!"]Isnt she a happy baby![/caption]

Oh, and by-the-way,  can you see her scar in this photo - nice and tiny and light! Yeah!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Birthday Bash, Part2

First of all, I found out that I posted the same baby twice instead of one of each of my friend, Ruth's, twins! So I've fixed it now - one of each!

So, after the pancake toss, the great Cotton Ball Race was next. In this game, you hold a spoon in your mouth, and there's a cotton ball on the spoon. You go as fast as you can with out dropping the cotton ball off the spoon, and once you make it around the bucket and back to your team, the next member goes until each person on the team has finished. Here's some great photos the race:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Everyone is ready!"]Everyone is ready![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="The Race is On"]The Race is On - Kalina get's some help from Adelia[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Jessica Helps Malia"]Jessica Helps Malia[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Oops - that silly cotton ball jumped off the spoon!"]Jessica Helps Malia[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Almost halfway!"]Jessica Helps Malia[/caption]

The next event was the Jump Rope Contest!  We divided the kids up by size/gender so there was room to jump - here's some of the action:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Zoe's levitating!"]Jump Rope[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="That girl's got some serious air!"]Jump Rope[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Can you tell who missed?"]Jump Rope[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Who says white boys can't jump!"]Jump Rope[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="These girls can jump too!"]Jump Rope[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="The boys got some serious air too!"]Jump Rope[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="The "big" boys outdid everyone though - these three just kept going and going - we even went really fast and they kept going!  For some reason, Wes won - I'm sure his firefighter training helped out on this one!"]Jump Rope[/caption]

The next event was the "triathalon" - not a three part event, but you had to have either three feet or three heads!  This meant either you had two people with the legs tied together to make three feet, or one big person carrying two little people, making three heads - here's some of the triathalon competitors:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="This group is going to be 3-headed"]Three[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Three heads again - Jonathan holding Zoe and Mordecai is on the back!"]Three[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Three legs here - you go girls!"]Three[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Jonathan is in there somewhere!  See, I told you it was Mordecai in the back!"]Three[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Three legs here too!  I think Boaz is enjoying himself!"]Three[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Three heads this time - but I'm not sure whose legs those are!  Christian is carrying Tucker, I think?!"]Three[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="I believe there's a fireman under those cute girls!"]Three[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Adelia is giving some helpful instruction to these newbies to the art of the three legged race!"]Three[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Perfect Synchronization here!"]Three[/caption]

The hoola hoop race came next,  (it was on the driveway to get the kids out of sight while the treasure hunt riddles were hidden), and the treasure hunt was kids just running everywhere and massive confusion when the wrong riddles where in the wrong place...I still have no idea how I messed up so badly on that one! Then it was the invention game - each team found a bin of "stuff" at the end of the treasure hunt and had to create an invention that they had to "sell" to a group of judges.  This was really fun and each team did a great job - here's a few pics of that one:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Can you hear the cogs turning - this is serious brain activity here!"]The Big Sell[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="This was a funny invention - an arrow shooter, plus a potato head target (off screen, but that's what they are laughing about!"]The Big Sell[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Here's the old potato launcher!"]The Big Sell[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="And this one was last, but best - a blow gun that actually worked!"]The Big Sell[/caption]

And then while the BBQ was BBQing,  Jeff led the kids in some really fun round of musical chair with his AWESOME guitar playing - he even had the kids count the beat to start (1, 2, 3, 4...)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Round and Round we go...When we'll stop, nobody Knows!"]Musical Chairs[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Who's out of a chair??"]Musical Chairs[/caption]

After that, it was time to eat.  Then after everyone had gotten a belly full - we had burgers, hot dogs, salads, chips, watermelon, vegies, juice, and of course Birthday Cake from Costco...Yum!!!

Lastly, we pulled out all the stops and had a great carnival, complete with a prize booth!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="The ducks even matched the ducky pool - "]Ducks[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="This was a very popular game as you always won something!"]Ducks[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Jessica was dishing out the Snow Cones "]Ducks[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="We also had a balloon Pop game! "]Ducks[/caption]

Then everyone went home with their goodies, we spent a while cleaning up (thanks to the VanderPols for helping so much with that).  Also I want to thanks the moms who helped in the kitchen, the dad's who played with babies, the moms who watched over Esther, and all the kids for being such great kids all day!

Phew!  I think it took almost as long to post about this party as it did to host it!  Not really, but there were soooo many great photos, that I just had to use lots of them!

Until next year!

PS - I've decided that next year, and subsequent years, will not be as elaborate and will definitely NOT be held on the day before we leave for camping!  I do plan to have a theme for each party though - only 11 months to figure out what next years theme will be!