Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seven Years...

While in Portland we celebrated seven years since bringing Kaia into our family. Since we are usually traveling this time of year, part of the annual celebration usually has us eating at Essence of China, where Kaia was honing her chopstick skills this time.
Notice two new lost teeth in the past week!

Was a lot of work to get those last noodles picked up!
This year we may have inadvertently started a new tradition. Following dinner, Josh talked me into taking him to Voodoo Doughnuts, which is well known around the country, and we have seen on the Travel Channel's "No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain."  Once there we selected unique donuts to take back to the celebration, such as the Bacon Maple Bar, No Name (doughnut with chocolate frosting, rice krispies and peanut butter), and Miami Vice Berry, to name a few. Guess which one of those the girls ate???  I have a feeling this wasn't our last trip to Voodoo!


1,000 miles....

 That's how many miles we put drove in the past week, but it was time well spent. The trip was broken up into three Christmas celebrations. First, stockings and a few gift exchanges with my family in Portland...
Josh and Grandma making her famous peanut butter balls

China Dolls:)

Piggy socks:)
Next stop, actual Christmas in Klamath Falls with all Mike's brothers and their families. The girls got to take part in Uncle Rob and Aunt Alisha's annual Dollar Store shopping trip where they purchased and wrapped the following gifts...
Jaelyn bought Mike a blue oven mitt

Jaelyn picked out a coffee cup for me (how did she know?) and the festive hat for Josh. Kaia got each brother a cap gun and matching mardi gras necklaces for the whole family!
Here are the kids opening their gifts (There was only one for each under the tree) from us; matching Mickey Mouse water bottles! They were so pleased with the gift that we could've gotten away with just spending $4 for each. Well, maybe not Josh.

But little did they know that it was about to get even better, as there was a note in each bottle.
Yeah, we're getting pretty good with surprises this year (okay, Josh already knew). It may be hard to out-do in 2012!

Here are some other fun and crazy photos from our time with the Crebbin family...
Mame's surprise from all the kids, a new kitchen table.
Which cousin has the better hair and retro tshirt?

Sorry Mame, but had to post the fun silly photo!

THE boys!
We then hit the road again, back to Portland for some more family and friends Christmas celebrations...
Josh with Great Grandpa Inks

Girls singing and signing "Our God is an Awesome God" with Grandma accompanying (which was then followed by "Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer," no kidding)

Girls opening gifts from Uncle Jeff and Aunt Lorrie, who are watching on the video phone in the background.
The only thing that could've made this Christmas any better would've been having Kellen with us (and maybe some snow)! I will post Kaia's Gotcha Day celebration separately.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Think She's Excited???

This is what I found when I went in to check on the girls tonight...

Yep, we leave tomorrow, so they are super excited! Here's how we spent today...

Josh had three wins and a forfeit today. The kid pictured above beat Josh for the district championship last season, and Josh beat him today 11-2!

Christmas Silliness...

Christmas silliness began in our house last night, as we celebrated early with Kellen. Due to his work schedule, he is unable to travel to Oregon with us. Instead, he will be house sitting for us (and making time and a half!).  So we had a Christmas breakfast for dinner, then spent the evening playing games.

Of course, put the two brothers together and they torture their sisters (in an oh so loving way, of course). We started out by playing Disney Charades again.

Team Dad (Kellen, Kaia, Dad)...

vs. Team Mom (Joshua, Jaelyn, and I)...

As you can see, there were some pretty intense and competitive moments....

Next up, River Rush for the X-Box Kinect. The girls were getting so frustrated with the boys, as the boys' goal was to do everything wrong, scoring the lowest score ever! My very competitive girls did not like this plan:(  The more upset the girls would get, the sillier the boys were. Then the boys decided that instead of playing against one another, they would play the active game as conjoined twins, sharing the same pair of pajama bottoms. Oh how I wish I could post photos, but Josh did not want me posting photos of him with the exposed side just covered by undies! Trust me on this one, they were funny.
I know this photo is fuzzy, but it shows the enthusiasm of the evening. Sometimes I get frustrated with the loudness of my family, but deep down I know it is just a reflection of all the love in our home!
Notice Kellen is being uncooperative and trying to sabotage the group effort yet one more time...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Santa came early...

Guess we were extra nice this year, because look what Santa brought early:

Just look at the smiles on those faces! Shhhh.....they don't even realize they are exercising!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Tradition....

If you know me well, you know I love my family traditions! For about 18 Christmas seasons now, since Kellen was little, one of our favorite traditions has been to go as a family to cut down our Christmas tree at Woodbee Tree farm. You can see my annual holiday posts since I began in 2007, then 2008, 2009, and last year's hail trip (trip down memory lane...check out how much the kids have grown!). The only year I think we missed was 2004, since we were spending Christmas in China adopting Kaia we did not put up a tree that year. We always enjoyed some hot cider around the fire, Christmas music playing, petting Randolph, and of course, seeing Santa.

Which brings me to today. Not even an hour before heading out for this season's trip with the entire family, I noticed a friends' facebook post that Woodbee's had closed. What? Darn that recession! Doesn't anyone know you can't mess with tradition? So we reluctantly packed in the van and head off to explore another local u-cut farm. Below you can see Mike and I lovingly leading the pack...

The kids were having a great time playing tag amongst the trees as Mike and I searched for just the right tree (We never worry about losing our kids in public, as we can always hear them a mile away).

Josh never put down the saw the entire time. Guess he doesn't know that "Don't run with scissors and knives!" applies to blades also.

Notice anything missing from the photo below?

This was us leaving, and the only thing Josh didn't use his saw on was our tree. After spending nearly an hour looking at every tree on this big tree farm, we didn't pick any! Each one we stopped to look at either had a "sold" sign on it, was too yellow in color, or had such an awkward trunk that there was no way we could squeeze it into our stand. Not to mention the girls were completely disappointed that there was no Santa. So we piled back into the van, drove back into town, and pulled over at the first lot we came to. We happened to see one at Skagit Farmers Supply, so we pulled over and saw the most beautiful Oregon trees that I had been missing since my childhood! We quickly picked out a beautiful six foot Grand Fir and bungeed it to the top of our van. What made it even sweeter, was that the trees were being sold to raise funds for an orphanage in Thailand. Turns out there is an organization here on the island called Displaced Orphans International that was selling the trees.
Don't they look tired from cutting down this tree? At least we spent the afternoon together, and I was truly happy to give up our family tradition to support a worthy cause. In fact, I hope that they become a part of our new family tradition!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rest for the Weary....

You think with staying home over the holiday, I would have had time to post to my blog, but I guess I was just plain lazy needing rest! We are always on the go over Christmas, so it is nice to have a slowed-down pace for Thanksgiving, especially since I had three days of conferences preceding the break. We had a lot of family time, enjoyed some competitive games of Disney Charades, ate lots of food, and did a little shopping. I do feel guilty that I didn't snap any photos though, so you'll just have to take my word for it. The only other news to post is that Jaelyn lost another tooth, and had a visit from the parent fairy (her words, not ours)!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Hero!

Josh had quite the scare today when he got called down to the office to see the dean. On the long walk down, he was trying to rack his brain as to what he had done wrong. It didn't help that when he walked in he was greeted by a man who introduced himself as "Detective (fill in the blank). "  When he mentioned the fire investigator in the other room, Josh sighed with relief, as he then knew what he was called down for.

The story starts back on Saturday night when Josh headed out to take the girls to see Puss n' Boots while Mike and I were at an auction. Turns out that Josh's timing was impeccable, as he saved a house from burning to the ground! As he was looking to the left, turning right off our street, he noticed smoke aglow under the street light. When he looked to see the source, he saw flames shooting out of his friends bedroom, so he pulled over, jumped out of the car, and dialed 911. The girls were a bit frightened (but later just more upset they missed the movie). The aide cars arrived very quickly, and were able to contain the fire to Keifer's room. Josh got a hold of him, but found he was off island for the weekend. I truly believe that Josh's timing was ultimately God's perfect timing!

Turns out the investigators still are unsure as to what happened that night, as no one was home, and it seemed to start in the center of a bedroom that was not being used. Josh had to give a statement today as to what happened, and they were asking questions such as "Did you see anyone else around?" or "Did you hear anyone in the bushes?"  So we will be watching the local paper for more information (for now it has only made the police blotter), and I will update if I hear more.

Way to go Josh, you are my hero! To quote Josh's friend, "Dude, Thanks! I'm going to say that a million times."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

D-blog Day!

I know, I know, you are wondering what the heck D-blog Day is, right? Well in a nutshell, D-blog day was started on November 9th 2005 during Diabetes Awareness Month, to help unite diabetes bloggers and create awareness about diabetes. Why is that important you ask? Living with a lifelong invisible illness can be lonely at times, and the many diabetes blogs and interactive community sites that can now be found online, have helped unite those in that community.

I wasn't going to post about D-blog day today, as I don't find my life with diabetes very exciting or interesting to read. However, as I was awoken last night by an obnoxious "beeeeppp," I knew that today was not getting off to a good start (which equals something interesting to write about). You see my continuous glucose monitor receiver, whom I lovingly refer to as Louise (my insulin pump is Thelma), died last night.  The amazingly bright side to that story? I had three days left on my warranty, so they shipped me a new one today!

If you want to view other dblog posts for dblog day, you can find 186 other posts here (or maybe even more now. You may know someone who could benefit from knowing there is a supportive diabetes community out there!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cheap Payoff

Are we terrible parents? We enticed Kellen to take his sisters Trunk or Treating for the mere payoff of this. Wish everything was this easy!

It wasn't like we were trying to get out of being in the cold though, as we wanted to watch Josh's final JV football game (he gets a lot of playing time at the JV level; not so much for varsity). I did get the girls ready though, and snapped some photos before my princess and cowgirl headed out. Note, one of my girls is still very much into horses!

They had fun bonding with their oldest brother, and yes, Josh's team won. From the candy, to the eggnong, to the win, I say it was a good night for us all!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Festivities...

The entire family (well, those of us that live under the same roof) was home on Friday night, so we decided to make it a family night by carving pumpkins. Jaelyn chose a cat, while Kaia went with a dolphin. What says Halloween better than a marine mammal??? Oh well, I never liked scary growing up either.  I was never very creative when carving pumpkins as a kid either. That's why I love the convenience of printing pumpkin stencils off the computer! We googled what each girl wanted, printed them off, and taped the pictures onto the pumpkins so they could use a pushpin to poke holes as guidelines to cut along. Mike helped with the cutting part, and walaaa, wonderful jack-o-lanterns!

Joshua has always been creative with his pumpkins, so he went with an original on his albino pumpkin. Unfortunately we didn't get his on camera, but he said it was a self-portrait, with pumpkin guts trailing out the mouth. Nice touch Josh!

To finish it all off, that's where I come in. I love baked pumpkin seeds! Although Kaia selected a gigantic pumpkin to carve, I didn't harvest as many seeds as I hoped. Jaelyn's pumpkin was completely rotten inside. Strange, because it looked great on the outside. The seeds I did bake turned out delicious though.
Photo courtesy of Kaia:)

On Saturday my volleyball season came to an end after a hard fight to the end. We had 3 matches for a total of 12 games, and lost the final one by just two points to stop us from moving on to tri-districts. As always, the silver lining is I now get two weeks with my family before wrestling begins! Our girls also had their final game on Saturday, and this week Josh's football team begins their playoffs. Now let's hope this miserable weather dies down for tomorrow's trunk or treat...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Clock Struck Midnight...

The girls got to play Cinderella the past couple of days, as they were on the homecoming royalty court for Oak Harbor High School. They practiced their princess waves from the back of a convertible in Thursday's parade...
Takes after his dad...
escorted the king and queen at an assembly, where they had to speak in front of a packed gymnasium ("Kaia, what's your favorite TV Show?"...."iCarly."  "Jaelyn, what's your favorite Disney princess?"...."Cinderella.")...
and escorted the royalty again at halftime...
Josh's date was sophomore princess

Love this photo. Doesn't Jaelyn look like Shirley Temple?

I would've never thought that Kaia could sit still for nearly an hour to get her hair done, nor did I think my two Chinese girls could have such curly hair. But then the clock struck midnight, and it was back to regular ole' Cinderella. Actually it was the 9:00 am soccer game in the rain that washed the last remnants of curls away!

The events of the last two days over shadowed my birthday on Thursday. Actually, the whole experience was a delightful birthday to me, as their enthusiasm brought many smiles to my face. I took Friday, the day after my birthday, off, to go along with them to their hair appt., photo shoot, etc., as did Mike, so family time was a great gift. Kellen came to my game Thursday night (we won), and Josh's game Friday night (they won 69-0), so it truly was quality family time.

Josh is at homecoming as I am typing. Unfortunately his date had a volleyball tournament all day, so he didn't have extra time for me to get photos of the two of them together. Her mom was supposed to take some when he picked her up, so hopefully I will be able to post some at a later date. In the meantime, here's my handsome boy (we thought the orange and black was in honor of today's OSU game vs. WSU, but he says his date's wearing orange).