November 6, 2011

Falling into Fall

When the kids hopped on the bus to start the first day of school I remember thinking we have so much time before the baby comes.  Now it's already November and we've fallen into fall so quickly.  I love the fall in Washington.  This fall in particular has been so delightful.  We've had amazing weather with little rainfall and lots of sunshine.  The cool crisp air has been refreshing and the changing leaves have stayed on the trees for so much longer because big storms haven't blown them off.

Haven celebrated her 9th birthday in September.  We did something a little different this year...her candles were on her pizza.
One of Haven's favorite cards was a mad lib type card.  Haven LOVES to write and especially likes writing stories.  In order to read the card she had to fill in all the blanks first and then read it like a story.  She got a big kick out of this.  Thanks Yomo.
Haven helped me stain one of her birthday presents.  She got a desk for her bedroom because she writes and draws so much.  She loves writing short stories, books and now even writes in a diary everyday.  We stained the desk the same color as all the other furniture in her room and she uses it almost everyday....for fun!  Not homework.
Thanks to my wonderful husband I was able to take a girl trip with a friend of mine.  We went to Sisters, Oregon and hiked everyday.  It was WONDERFUL.  The fall leaves were just starting to show and we hit some amazingly warm summer weather even though it was almost October.
So far this is my favorite picture of me pregnant.  I was around 6 1/2 or 7 months along here.  My friend and I did a peak hike.  We were staying in the valley and hiked to the top of this peak.  It was a gorgeous clear day and we could see multiple mountain peaks once we reached the top.  My calves hurt pretty bad the next day but I was so thrilled to be able to get out and explore.  The baby started moving a ton when I got to the top.
Here are some of the beautiful fall leaves at our house this fall.  Haven wanted a picture with them and if you look closely you can see she now has braces.
A lot of people have told me that so far I'm all belly for my pregnancy.  The kids say it looks like I swallowed a ball or ate a pumpkin.  Here I am at 8 months and looking at the picture, I think the kids are right.
This year carving pumpkins with the kids was vastly different than last year.  Last year they didn't have the motor skills, focus or understanding to do it and Paul and I ended up doing most of the work and were exhausted in the end.  This year they were all extremely focused and independent to the point where they did almost all of the work.  I marveled at how much different a year made.

None of the kids wanted to make a traditional jack-o-lantern face.  They all wanted to pick something harder.

Xavier picked a cemetery, Haven picked a ghost, and Sage picked a moon with a bat.
We tried to make our Halloween dinner festive.  Paul made homemade cheese fondue for the kids for the first time thinking it would be like eating out of a cauldron.  They LOVED it!
We made a Halloween candy factory.  Can you guess what we made?
What do you call it when you melt peanut butter chips, dip pretzel sticks in them and add colorful sprinkles?   Magic Wands
We melted white chocolate chips, added nuts and food coloring.  The green clusters were monster vomit, the orange were pumpkin guts and the dark chocolate with red sprinkles were vampire bites.
The marshmallow sticks were dipped in different types of chocolate as well.  We called them ghost poop.  They were all a huge hit and now Haven wants to open up a candy store called the Barnes Candy Shop.
Time to dress up.  Why does Sage look so happy?
He's painting his baby brother!  We laughed a lot when we did this.  How can you not?  I look pretty ridiculous.
I think the boys could have taken pictures with me all night.  They were bummed when they woke up in the morning and my belly still wasn't painted.

Haven looked ADORABLE as a police officer.
The boys dressed up as ninjas from GI Joe.  They are brothers who battle each other.  Sage Snake Eyes and Xavier was Storm Shadow.

September 17, 2011

In a Nutshell

In a nutshell our summer was busy, productive and fun.  Although it was our second summer with the kids we feel like it was our first.  Last summer Xavier was recovering from surgery and was pretty limited and the kids had only been home a couple months and were no where near adjusted yet.  This summer was totally different.  Their world is so much bigger now and they aren't scared of that but are able to explore the adventures and surprises in it.  Here are some random pictures of our summer happenings.

Xavier loves helping with anything that allows him to build.  Here he is helping Paul put our garage storage shelves together.

On a number of hot days the kids would bust out water guns, the slip and slide and other fun water toys.  Out of all of them, jumping over this rocket or trying to karate chop it without it falling was their favorite and occupied them the longest.

Fireworks on the fourth of July really scared the kids last year.  This year they were finally comfortable enough to tell us so we stuck to smaller fireworks and they really liked it.  They loved running, jumping, dancing...anything really through the smoke bombs.  Their clothes were pretty smelly afterward.

The kids helped Paul a lot this summer.  Here's X-man having fun and helping his dad at the same time.  That's our recycle bin.

I still marvel at how the kids can play with something so simple for so long.  One summer day they played with old sheets for hours completely content.  Here's Sage pretending to be Batman.

This day was beautiful.  We drove up north to visit my sister and it was a great summer day.  Haven was extra sweet making sure to hug her baby brother while taking the picture.

There just happened to be some old cars in a downtown area we were visiting.  The kids LOVE cool cars like this and always point them out on the road.  They really liked being able to see them up close and get pictures with them.

The kids LOVE Auntie Lolo.  Here we are getting a cool drink and a break from the heat.

I LOVE this picture!!!!  Partly because I love my kids brown bottoms.  I was not prepared for the heat while taking the kids hiking one day.  We arrived at a lake and I let the kids swim in their clothes.  Here they are afterward at my sisters while their clothes dry in the dryer.

The kids set up a few stores at the bottom of our driveway this summer.  They came up with the idea all on their own and ran with it.  On this day they collected blackberries from the yard, put them in zip lock baggies and put them on ice so they were cold like at the grocery store.

Haven built with wood for almost an entire summer day.  She made furniture for her little ponies.

My mom and dad were able to visit from California and had fun playing with the kids.  Here is the classic game of Uno.

Haven wearing Grandpa's glasses.

Grandma gave the kids an art class.  They still practice some of the things she taught them.

Now that my sister lives close it is fun to have her with us when my parents visit.

BLUEBERRY PICKING!!!!!  The kids ate so much while picking their lips turned purple.

My Sage and my Paul.  This picking area was pretty big.

Here is another store the kids set up.  They painted rocks and sold them as garden rocks.

Can you say "summer wrestling"?  The kids made up a wresting game with rules and everything.  They didn't even get hurt.  They would just pretend to be hurt to have a break or try and cheat.  They were pretty funny to watch.

This picture is totally for you mom.  I'm just over 6 months pregnant here.

Here is Xavier learning how to use an electric sander to help his dad sand and stain the deck in our backyard.  Sage and Haven had NO desire to do this.

Here he is helping Paul screw in all the supporting rails.

Before the kids went back to school and Paul went back to work we headed to Long Beach for the day.  It was a long drive but it was worth it.  We had a great last summer weekend.

After two hours of driving we got to the coast and our kids decided to play king of the hill.

Just me enjoying the beach with Haven.

We took a bike ride and the kids saw this and had to rock climb.

This bike ride was pretty awesome.   It went 9 miles one way along the beach.

Here we are.  My fleece is looking a little small.  I'm just over 6 months prego here.  I'm still feeling great.  The best part so far is how much my little guy moves.  I feel him doing whatever it is he's doing throughout the day.  Sometimes so much it's distracting.  That is a big surprise to me.  I didn't realize a baby would move so much!!!  

 This is what a good part of the trail looked like.  Beach grass on both sides.  It felt like we were in a story.  I had never been on a trail like this before.

The kids played basketball a lot this summer.  It's a sport they used to know nothing about and weren't interested in and slowly but surely they now will play on our court for hours together.

Here are the kids on the first day of school.  Haven and Sage started third grade and Xavier started fourth.  They have so much confidence now that they didn't have before.  They love school and come back with so much healthy energy.  I really love that about them.