Thursday, August 27, 2009


Our plan this past weekend was to just hang out and be lazy, but it didn't turn out that way. On saturday we decided to change our back patio. So I helped Ben lift all the slabs of rock and stacked them up on the porch. Then he started digging because we wanted the patio surface to sit lower so it would be even with the cement from the porch. I cut some sheets of plastic to fit under the new patio area. then I went in to get lunch for the girls while Ben stayed outside working. So while I was feeding the girls lunch and recovering from all my heavy lifting, (I didn't remember those stones being so heavy when we originally put them down) Ben got the whole thing finished and moved. I was glad I didn't have to help anymore because of the lifting, and also the bugs. It seemed like there were 30 spiders under every slab, so I was pretty freaked out. We also uncovered earwigs and centipedes, which I have never seen in our backyard before. I guess you just have to know where to look for them. After we all got showered, Ben asked Kara if she wanted to go to the toy store to get a new bike. We have been noticing lately how small her current bike is. Kiersten is about ready to be able to ride it, so we wanted to get Kara a bigger one. So we all headed to toys r us to pick one out. Here she is trying it out in the kitchen! On the way home from the toy store, Ben wanted to stop for KFC, then we headed home. just as we sat down to eat, Ben got a call from our friends, the Bipperts. They were in town and said they would stop by. I was glad to see them, but a little horrified at the state of our house. We had been working in the yard, with the girls shut inside to play with whatever, and make plenty of messes, then we left for toys r us, and I hadn't picked up a single thing. So we did a quick straighten, and made Kara clean up the playroom so she could play in there with Evan. So they got to come to a messed up house, but they didn't seem to mind. It was fun to see them, and it turned out okay afterall. After they left, Ben put together Kara's bike for her, but I thought it was getting too dark for her to try it outside. That's why she had to ride it around the kitchen. I'm just glad we have enough room for that type of sillyness.
Sunday we decided to go to the zoo. It was a pretty nice day, and not too hot. I am really wanting to get up to the woodland park zoo again. Kiersten's never been there, and they have african animals, which pdza doesn't. But being closer, and not having to pay, always ends up taking us to pdza instead. Oh well, we always have fun. Just a couple pictures from there.

Ever since changing the back patio, Ben started feeling really itchy and stiff. It was alarming, because a few years back he had a similar episode that just kept getting worse until he couldn't bend certain joints at all, and had to have fluid removed from his knee. None of the doctors he saw could figure out the cause, but some theories were a bad form of strep, or arthritis. He was worried that it might be the same thing again, but the soreness and stiffness started getting better, so we thought it was just from working in the yard. But the itching kept getting worse. He called me from work on monday to say he wanted to cut his arm open with a knife to scratch the bone, so that was a bit disturbing, and I thought maybe he should go to the doctor. But he remembered how they couldn't do anything for him the last time, or tell us what the cause was, so he didn't want to. He started getting little red spots, but it didn't look too bad. Tuesday after work, he was covered in a rash, and we decided he better go to the dr. in the morning. When he woke up yesterday, the rash was even worse. the splotches were about 3 inches wide, and all over his back and arms. The doctor said it looked like it could be an allergy, and gave him a prescription. He said if it doesn't go away in a few days, it might be something worse, so to go back. So far, the pills have not helped or made any difference, but we'll give it a few days to see what happens. He told me he wanted to take an oatmeal and chocolate milk bath, gross!
These pictures are from tuesday before we went grocery shopping, the girls were hanging out on the stairs while I was making lists. Kiersten had her first pigtails that day. It was really hard to get them to be pigtails because all of the long hair is right on top, and it was hard to get the side hairs into the elastic. So she will probably be sticking with pony tails for a while. Kara asked me why I did Kiersten's hair like an alien. It's hard to see in this picture, because they blend in with the stairs.
here's a closer picture of my little devilish girl with her piggy tails. Yesterday after the gym, the girls and I came home and made sandwiches to take to the park. Kara was really excited to take her new bike. I had to stop at the post office, and then we got to the park. I always push the lock button as soon as I have Kiersten's door open, so I can drop the keys in my purse and have one less thing to hold in my hands. For some reason, I was having a hard time getting Kiersten out, so I set my purse down on the floor. I didn't remember to pick it back up when I slammed the door shut! I realized as I heard the door lock, what I had done. I was so angry with myself, but I was glad that I had thrown my phone in the diaper bag. Ben had mentioned that he might leave work early, because he was still feeling miserable, and he'd already missed most of the morning anyway, while he was at the doctor. So I called him to see if he had left. He hadn't, but he said he would just make a few phone calls, and then come over. I wasn't too worried, because we had just gotten there, and I knew the kids would want to play for a while. Also, I had the sandwiches with me in the diaper bag, so that was good. Kiersten slept for the first 40 minutes while Kara played. Then she woke up and they ate their lunch. I talked to Jackie for quite a while, and that helped the time pass quickly. After we had been there for an hour and a half, I called Ben to see where he was. He said he was still at work! I got so mad because I thought a few phone calls would mean half an hour at most. I knew it would take him a minimum of an hour to get home and then come back up to the park. So he said he would come straight to the park and I could take his car to go home and get the spare key for my car. I said he had to leave work immediately. I was worried that the girls were getting tired, and I knew Kiersten was thirsty, because she was trying to steal every kid's drink. Luckily, they both did okay until he got there. We had said I would take Kiersten with me, since he does have a carseat for her in his car, but she seemed to be having fun playing, so I said just to keep both girls at the park, and I would hurry home for the key. I guess Kiersten got upset that I was leaving, so Ben sent her to catch up to me. I heard him yell that she was coming, and as I turned around, I saw her running happily toward me. I headed back to get her, but not in time to stop her from tripping on the sidewalk, and faceplanting into the pavement. She had a bloody nose and a scratched up face. poor baby! She looks horrible!
but at least she can still be happy, even all banged up, the poor thing! We had dinner, and then watched Pineapple Express. It was an okay movie, not really my thing, but Ben liked it. Today I get to stay home and catch up on housework, since I was at the park all day yesterday, and didn't get anything done around here.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Last friday I had a headache all day, so when Ben got home, he fed the girls dinner so I could take a nap. I felt much better after, but the problem was, I couldn't fall asleep later that night. Ben and the girls were asleep, and I just wasn't tired, so I went downstairs for some cleaning time. A few weeks ago, glidden was giving away free paint, so I had ordered some paint that I thought would be good for our master bathroom. When I got it, I thought it might actually be better for the kitchen, but I hadn't quite decided. So as I was cleaning, I came across the can of paint. I decided to tape off the kitchen, just to see how much work it would be. It didn't take long at all, so I decided to go ahead and paint. I'm glad I used it for the kitchen and not the bathroom. There is a lot less wall space than I realized because of cupboards and appliances. I stayed up til 3:00 painting, then decided to take a break, but I fell asleep on the couch. Ben woke up at 7:30, and started looking for me. He was surprised to find me downstairs on the couch with the tv on and the kitchen painted green! I admit it was kinda random, but I like how it turned out. I hadn't finished above the cabinets, but it was mostly done. We had to hurry and start getting ourselves and the girls ready for Ben's fidelity softball game in Samammish. It was supposed to start at 10, but due to traffic, and a detour, we arrived at 11. Surprisingly, we were some of the first people there. By noon, most everyone had arrived and the game started. It was a combo softball game/barbeque with the Tukwila, Seattle, and Bellevue branches. It was fun to see everyone from Seattle again. I haven't seen some of those people in a really long time. It was also fun to see everyone else too. I didn't watch much of the game, but I still had fun playing with all the little kids that were there! Of course Kara made friends with all of them. As soon as that was finished, we headed over to a birthday party for Nathan and Sara's son, Ethan, who was turning 7. It was also at a park, so that was a pretty long day for us, and a fun day for the girls. We stopped at costco first for some stuff, and I waited in the car because Kiersten was sleeping. Ben and Kara came out with a new book for Kiersten, and flowers for me. Ben said Kara had insisted on getting them for me. Here is a picture of her smelling them. The birthday party was really fun. The kids all shot nerf guns at each other, and then they had a treasure hunt. They went all over the park until they finally found the treasure. Kiersten even had a goodie bag in the treasure, even though she didn't participate with the hunt. After the party, we came home and just crashed. I guess we are getting pretty old.
The next day, I decided to do as much cleaning as possible, and asked Ben if he could take the girls somewhere fun for 2 or 3 hours. He decided it would be a good day to visit his brother, Jason. He didn't want to drive all the way to Portland, so I think they met up about half and hour north of there. Here are a couple pictures.

It worked out well for me that they ended up being gone for more than 5 hours. I was really able to get a lot done. I got to a lot of those things, that don't need to be done too often, but still need to be done. Things like windows, washing walls, disinfecting lightswitches and doorknobs, that usually get sent to the bottom of my to-do list. They got to come home to an especially clean house, and then Ben helped me finish up the painting, and we all went to bed exhausted.
This week, Ben has had a lot going on at work. Tuesday their big boss came to town, and that was a late night, I think that was the night they did an event with clients until after 9:00. So the girls were in bed asleep by the time he got home. Then wednesday was his gym night after work, so he got home a bit late. Last night, the branch had a bowling get-together, which he ended up leaving early, but still didn't get home in time to have dinner with us. We have all felt like this has been a very long week. As for the girls and I, we have been up to the usual; going to they gym, grocery shopping, trips to the dry cleaner, doing laundry, and housework. And of course plenty of play time, and just goofing around. Yesterday, Kara woke up from a nap, convinced that Daddy had, "gone away in a balloon". she was really upset, and I tried to let her call him to see that he was okay, but we couldn't get him, so that was a few hours worth of drama for her. She was glad when he finally arrived home, and was okay. This weekend, we plan on going nowhere, and just relaxing around here all together.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

visit with the Howards!

We flew out to Salt lake late friday night to see Ben's grandparents. It was a fun weekend for all of us. The only bad part was when Grandpa Howard started shaking uncontrollably. We were all really worried, and he seemed scared, so Ben and Grandma took him to the hospital. It turned out that he had pneumonia. Luckily he recovered even faster than they thought he would, and he is home safe now. it was just a nerve wracking few hours waiting to hear if he was okay. I'm glad we were there to help Grandma make the decision that he needed to go, and for Ben to be able to take them there, and help her get around.
Before we left, the girls were helping me pack for the weekend. Kara wanted pictures of her funny faces she likes to do. So here are a couple of them. The dirty face makes them even sillier.

Then the girls decided to start trying on all of my shoes.

They both think it is so much fun. But Kara didn't think it was too fun we we got home and I made her clean up all the shoes.
Kara loves helping drag the suitcase. that's the main reason I always pack her own little bag with treats and games and toys. we could fit all that in our carry-on bag, but I want her to have something to carry around the airport.
More silly faces at the Howard's!
Kara spent a lot of time following Grandpa around and asking questions. Of course, I had to do a bit of interpreting for him. She was very concerned while he was in the hospital over night, and very excited to see him arrive home okay.
Grandma was thrilled that Kara wanted to put together this states puzzle she found. She said she likes to keep these types of learning toys around, but they don't get used too often.
Of course the girls got spoiled with snacks and drinks while we were there. Here is Kiersten enjoying a juice box.
It was really nice to just hang out, play games, and relax with them. It was just like old times when we lived in SLC, and would go over there every week. It was fun to have the girls interact with their great-grandpa more than they usually get to.
We wanted a picture of all of us together before we left for the airport. I wish we could visit more often!
(I know that shirt is way baggy on me, but I was just grabbing something comfy for traveling, and I forgot this had been a nursing shirt, so it got way stretched out. I had to be careful bending forward at the airport, he he he)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

stewart heights pool!

We took the girls swimming on sunday at Stewart Heights pool. It was a pretty fun pool, especially if you have kids. We all had a super fun day. Here are a few pictures. Kara with her way too big water wings. You can also see Ben playing with Kiersten in the background.
getting sprayed.

Kiersten drying off with Kara's princess towel.
floating in the lazy river.
Ben going down the water slide. He said it wasn't very fun though. I'm sure Kara would have liked it though, if she were old enough to be allowed on it.
worn out Kara.
the girls were looking pretty tired by the end of the day.
Kiersten and me. The girls love their Disney swim suit covers.

not even the same day, but just a cute pic to go out on...

Monday, August 3, 2009

If we ever really need somewhere to live in a hurry...

the girls and I could make us a house out of nothing but a cardboard box! Here is a picture of Karalee and Kiersten decorating the little house I duct taped together. These are the boxes their Disney stuff came in. I thought this one was funny of both girls working on the inside.
Kara peeking out the side window.
Another shot of them coloring and stickering. In this pic, you can see Kara's mattress. It was so hot upstairs, so we brought down her bed and the mattress from our guest bed to sleep in front of the a/c.
Kara pretending to nap in the finished house.
I told Kiersten to say "hi dad", and she did.
cute girls at lunch. Kiersten was so excited to sit at the bar with Kara.
this is one of the contenders to be enlarged for a wall photo. I can't decide if I want to do it b&w or leave the color. I really like how blue her eyes are.
this is the one I probably like best for Kiersten. I might want to do more photos, and have them sit in front of a solid background, so we have less photoshopping to do.
Here they are just being silly getting ready for the gym. We've seen so much of the sun lately, and my girls freak out if we go anywhere in the car without their sunglasses. they're just not used to so much brightness.