Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

We were once again blessed to have family come visit us this Christmas. Grandma and Grandpa Schneider, Uncle Chris, and Grandpa Schwark all made our 2010 Christmas a lot of fun.

We made it to Christmas eve service...with three little kids with colds in tow. It was so full they had to add seats for us. I love candlelight service, the part where we all light our candles one by one and when you look up the room is filled with the most beautiful light. I whispered to Aiden "this is my favorite part" then in true rebellious five year old style he turned up his nose and said "I dont want my candle, take it". The kid is perfecting his button pushing. But it was Christmas, and I was filled with an extra measure of grace and only responded with a smile and hug.

By the next evening however my extra grace was used up. Aiden and Nolen take full advantage of house guests to stay up way past their bedtimes. The adults were trying to watch a movie, and to just appease the kids we set them up with a movie in our room upstairs. Half way through our movie there was excessive thumping and bumping coming from upstairs and upon investigation I found wild sleep deprived hellions cutting Nolens hair. Nolen has the cutest blonde hair, but it takes forever to grow out. It was just getting to a nice length from the summer buzz cut I gave him...Steve fixed it by giving him a mohawk which he sported cutely for a week and then I had to shave it all off today.

Thanks for all the cards and gifts, and thank you for making our Christmas Merry.
sorry about the group photo...worst camera angle ever!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy 60th Birthday Dad!

We left last friday to fly to Billings MT, for my dad's surprise party. It has been nerve racking keeping this secret for months. But I did it, and I didnt even mess up the phone call to say happy birthday on his actual birthday from my aunt and uncles the day before the party.

The flight out, no bumps. Security was difficult as is to be expected in this age of flying. Aiden did have a hotwheel in his pocket that sent Steve back and forth three times. But all was well after 10 shoes, 5 jackets, 3 carseats, 2 suitcase, 2 little tents, and my purse made it through.

We had a lovely afternoon with some of my favorite people in the world, aunt and uncle Sande, and cousins Megan and Jeff. Then they were off to a Christmas party and some of my other favorite people in the world aunt and uncle Murray graciously had us over for dinner. (meatless lasagna - so YUM!)

Then back for a night of wrestless sleeping due to small ones being in a new place. The morning brought delicious breakfast caserole and lazily getting ready for the big party.

Twentysome of my dads friends waited quietly as he and my mom made their way down the hall, with Steve a few steps ahead giving us notice.

"SURPRISE!" And he was! My mom did such a great job planning the party and keeping it a secret and you could tell my dad felt really honored. It was fun to see friends and relatives of his that I havent seen in ages.

We spent the rest of the weekend chatting with family and sharing meals. Steve pitched in and hauled some hay, the kids sat on Sassy the horse and jumped in the haystack. Sometimes I forget how blessed I am to have parents that live in the country.

Our flight home was just short of awful. We arrived 12:45 for our flight, and it got cancelled then rescheduled for 6:30pm, and we didnt end up leaving until 7pm. The Billings airport is nice and all, but it doesnt have a starbucks. I can stand almost anything if there is a starbucks. We ate lots of vending machine food, and ate at the restaurant in the airport. The kids were beyond tired, but after the second time through security we just let them run wild. And wild they ran. I stopped caring if we were anyoying to the other flyers. Once on the airplane the combination of vending machine food and some of the worst turbulence made me almost barf. But I didnt throw up, so this still only qualifies as the second worse flight. :)

We made it home! And it was really wonderful to see my family. Thank you to all who housed, fed, and drove us around. We love you!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Aiden's Birthday Party

Thank you everyone who came to the party! You all made Aiden feel so special and he had a blast. I think the bouncy house has met its match! We are going to have to think of something else for next year...

Everything was great, except maybe the food coloring in the cupcakes...As you can see from the pictures...I hope it came out of all the clothes and off all the faces!

Nolen did have a minor melt down when he realized none of the presents were for him. But I am a softie and gave him several after everyone left.

Friends, good. Cupcakes, Good. Wild running and jumping, good.

Happy 5th birthday Aiden!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

It has been a thanksgiving miracle....SNOW! How much fun! We had a couple inches Monday, and of course ran outside to play and take pictures right away in case it didn't stay too long. But thankfully it stayed and snowed more...or it Aiden says. We woke up this morning with a couple more inches and immediately grabbed our sleds, which have been sitting in waiting as last year we didnt really see as much as a flake.

We hopped in the big truck and drove to the nearest park with hills and proceed to sled until we were tired and soaked (we have yet to invest in "snow" clothes).

We came home had our fiftieth round of hot chocolate and started preparing the big turkey dinner. we kinda copped out as we didn't have any company and the little people just don't appreciate the hard work that can go into a real thanksgiving dinner. The turkey came halved and prepared from Costco as did the sweet potatoes. The kids had several helpings of whip cream fruit salad and dinner rolls.

We then sat upstairs in our room and watched ample amounts of movies. Why upstairs you ask? Because our old friends are back in town...the rats. One made its appearance at dinner last night. Boo. Steve spent several hours cutting out drywall, patching the only tiny hole it could have come through...that a year of ORKIN was supposed to fix, and rewiring (as long as he was back there) tv stuff. So needless to say the downstairs TV is yet to be reinstalled due to Lowes being closed on thanksgiving...but tomorrow it opens at 5 and Steve is psyched to get up that early.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mrs. Megan Jones

Aiden and I were honored to be apart of my beautiful cousin, Megans wedding the end of October. Aiden was the ring bearer, and I know I am biased, but he was the cutest ring bearer in the history of ring bearers. Seriously.

He did a great job. I never know if he is going to cooperate or throw a fit, and this time he choose to be very responsible, listened to the coordinator and did a great job. During the ceremony he sat in the front row next to the father of the bride. I could hear him squirming and wiggling and looked down to give him the "YOU HAD BETTER SHAPE UP" mommy glare. Then I quickly decided I better not be caught on film making that face and decided not to look in his direction again. Apparently the person sitting behind him said at one point he looked to find Aiden's feet sticking up where his head should have been. Good thing I didn't see that or who knows what kind of face I would make. Anyhow, no major catastrophes.

Megan was beautiful, her brides maids were all so cute and nice. I gave a toast which nearly killed me.

All in all it was a fabulous wedding!

Love you Mrs. Jones.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge

A couple weekends ago our friends from Portland met us half way at Great Wolf Lodge. It was AWESOME. The hotel has thought of pretty much everything to make it a great place to stay with noisy dirty wild kids. And they thought of me too and conveniently added an in lodge Starbucks.

The water park was pretty cool. You can walk from your room right into the park. Our kids were a little small to let them just go wild, but with constant head counting and rescuing we hit all the major attractions. Both Aiden and Nolen went down slides by themselves. And Aiden went on some big double slides with Steve and I.

"Did you like that"
"Do you want to go again?"

Nolen added that "tummy like that!"

The best part was when our friends watched the boys for the last half hour the park was open and Steve and I went back by ourselves. We went down the "big" slides, and I screamed, a lot. I would have gone more but I was so exhausted from running up all the steps each time I was starting to get leg cramps.

Anyway, it was a hit with everyone. And it was so nice to get a few moments to chat with my friend.

Four stars.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Grandpa Sandes Visit

My dad drove all the way out from Billings MT, to spend a couple of days with us last month. We had so much fun with him! The boys and I took him to the park, we went on walks and we even made it to the Museum of Flight. So much fun!

Halloween 2010

So I am on the hunt for better ways to not celebrate Halloween, and celebrate something with a focus on Christ, and not death and goblins. But I started thinking about this too late this year and we already hyped up the costume thing. And I just couldn't disappoint two spidermen and a cute little duck. At least they still bought the idea that Halloween is just about handing out candy, and not collecting it.

Nolen ended up handing out most of the candy as Aiden ran around and got too sweaty and had to take his costume off. Coen did help out and waved at everyone.

They were cute. And it was fun. And I will try to do better next year!

The Zoo with Grandma

The Schneider's came for a weekend visit. And the boys, Grandma, and I went to the zoo. The zoo is always great, but this time we got to watch the Komodo Dragon eat giant white rats! Gulp! It was gross and the boys loved the slobber and gore of it. Now how come I cant get them to scoop the guts out of a pumpkin??

Pumpkin Picking

Hunting for pumpkins is fun. And each year our group is bigger and cuter. They hunted and hunted for just the right pumpkins. They got their faces painted, they looked at the farm animals and they ate junk food. And from the looks of it Steve got a work out hauling everyone around!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dress Design for Shabby Apple Dresses

Check out my mom, Linda Schneider's, cute dress designs for the Shabby Apple dresses design contest! I love spending time wistfully dreaming of buying all their cute dresses.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Life Right Now

We are settling into school for Aiden and the new routines that brings. I have a love/hate relationship with morning deadlines. There has been one close call of desitin (diaper rash cream) being mistaken for toothpaste, due to me being overly tired, and WHO?? would put them in the same drawer??

Aiden was so excited his first day of preschool. He was bouncing around me all morning, "I AM SO EXCITED FOR SCHOOL!" I twirled around in a half panic and quietly thanked the Lord I had two other kids who need my attention and distracted me from all the unknowns of leaving your precious first born in the hands of someone else.

Little did I know Nolen would be the one who needed extra coddling on Aidens first day of school. We all three accompanied him to his class. I felt it was a bit much having the whole family out of the van, but we were in minority as many kids had both parents and sibling and cameras flashing as they made their way into academia. Aiden went right in, introduced his brother to his teacher and as we turned to leave, Nolen started screaming, "NOLEN SCHOOL NOLEN SCHOOL NOLEN SCHOOL!" I had to drag him out literally kicking and screaming. Once in the van he whimpered, "miss aiden miss aiden". Aiden was pleased to hear that Nolen had missed him to tears, and now asks everyday, "Did Nolen cry because he missed me?"

I didn't realize how much Aiden did around here as far as entertaining the masses. Nolen drags me out to play legos and wants me to paint with him and go play outside. So far it is not the two and half hours of productivity (or lazily laying around reading) that I had envisioned.

But as this is just the beginning we will solider on and I am sure just as I get the hang of things, they will change.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Whew! We have been traveling. We drove to Molt MT, last Wednesday night, and arrived at 7am. Night driving has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side the kids fall asleep and there is peace and quiet, and the negative side is I think every bush is an elk waiting to jump out in front of me. I was a little edgy, but we made it in one piece. My dad, his dog Gus, five horses, nine chickens, and many many cotton tail bunnies greeted us upon our arrival. The kids were in heaven. They would have been happy with just field after field of dirt and grass. But no, even better, rabbits to chase! Round and round they went. I think we need to get a rabbit for our back yard! Aiden bravely road sassy by himself and with me. Nolen was a little hesitant, Coen had no fear and made a special connection with my dad's 30 year old horse minute. Aiden loved collecting eggs with grandma and she even took him on a 4 wheeler ride. Aiden and Nolen both got to drive the tractor with grandpa.

Next we were off to the Leeming Family Reunion in Roscoe MT. 29 of us made it and it was so much fun. Nine little cousins got to play together, and all of them were well mannered fun little kids. They got along great. We went to Grandpa Leemings church up at Rosebud Lake, and it was the cutest church I have ever been too. The people were lovely, grandpa gave a wonderful sermon from John, and of course the setting has to be the closest thing to heaven.

We roasted marshmallows, which was wild with sticks flying and marshmallows bursting into flame. It was a little tricky being the first time for the boys. Nolen being so engrossed in his smore tipped over in his chair and gave himself some nice bruises on the face.

We had a lovely dinner at the Grizzly Bar, and watched fire works at the Lake. A downpour in true Montana style cut the show a little early.

The ride home was yucky. Aiden got car sick and barfed about 4 hours into the trip. But we arrived Mill Creek 2am, all safe and very happy to be home.

I am so glad we went. We had such a great time and added wonderful memories for the boys.

Thank you to all who hosted us!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Coen is ONE!

Coen got to start his celebration early yesterday with his best friend Dylan who shares the same birthday. They partied with a cupcake celebration.

Today we celebrated by getting Aiden and Nolens haircut, followed by a train ride, playing in the park and a trip to the new toy store. When dad got home we had take out Thai and a birthday muffin. I thought two days of cupcakes might put him in a sugar coma.

Then we unwrapped gifts from grandmas and grandpas, and tried out the new donkeys. Coen was excited to receive his own donkey and quickly figured it out.

The birthday boy got to take a bath sans pushing, yelling, older brothers and is sleeping soundly dreaming of his second birthday.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Tulip Fields

It has taken me awhile to post these pictures, I think mainly because I was trying to block the whole experience out. On a whim, I thought lets take the fam up to the tulip fields. The three hour jaunt I had planned turned into almost six. Everyone else was on their way to check out the tulips too, it being the actual festival day and all.

Stuck in traffic, blindly following our gps to the very epicenter of the tulip festival, and not the actual fields, we went with two cheese sticks and nothing else. After we finally located the only field, out of dozens left, we and the rest of the Puget sound masses waited our turn to park in the most convenient lot only to realize they only take cash and all we had was half a cheese stick left.

I gave up and said lets go home. Aiden wailed "But I WANT TO SEE THE TULIPS!" Steve calmly found a suitable spot on the side of the road and we hoofed it over to the field.

After sorting the pictures I remembered why we love making the trek. The natural light and rows and rows of flowers make for really cute pictures. Oh yeah, I think the kids are cute too. Especially those cute bare coco toes.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

And He's off to the Races

Wow, things just got a little bit more wild around here. There are three of them all going in different directions or attacking one another. Its shaping up to be a fun summer!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Catching Up

We have been busy. We joined the YMCA, went faithfully for a couple of weeks until colds sidelined all three boys. Nolen got in two swim lessons and we all went swimming as a family a couple of times. The pool was super busy, and there is nothing I love more than standing dripping wet on the side lines chubbiness and all waiting for a lap lane to open up. All in all we love it there and hopefully we can stay well and continue to go regularly.

We bought a giant bean bag, it is super comfy and is great for running circles around.

Aiden and Nolen have started to learn how to ride their bikes, we got spiffy new helmets.

Coen is starting to walk. He has taken five steps, but when he needs to cruise somewhere fast he crawls.

Steve put in new bamboo floors on the first floor of our house and took out a bar/island thing to open up the kitchen. He did an awesome job as usual. Ellie immediately started destroying the new floors and consequently has to wear pink rubber toenail tips. She secretly likes them, but pretends she is embarrassed.

The boys and I joined Bible Study Fellowship and it is so cool. Even in Coen's class they are learning about Jesus and how much they are loved. God is so good to me. He pulls me closer and closer everyday.

What else?? Everyday swishes by and I try to remember to kiss them all enough and tell them how much I love them, I know I fail alot, but I'll get up and try again tomorrow.

We are loving the promise of summer and sunshine and looking forward to all the blue skies!
I hope you had a wonderful Easter.

He is risen. He is risen indeed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No Phone Zone

When Washington State passed the no talking on phones while driving law it was really difficult for me to give up talking while driving. I used my commute time to catch up with family and friends. But the new law forced the issue and I have become accustomed to not talking while driving. Now I have this fancy new phone with wifi, giving me the option of looking at my email facebook gmail, whatever I want, pretty much anywhere. Not to mention the really easy texting.

So, while I don't do this while driving per se, I do it at the stop light, or waiting in line for the Starbucks drive through. After watching the Oprah special on the accidents that happen and the people killed by others talking on their phones and texting, I have decided to take the no phone zone pledge.

I will not pick up my phone while I am in drive. I will pull over and park the car if it is that important.

I cant imagine losing someone important to me to such a thoughtless and totally avoidable accident. And I certainly dont want to be the cause of someone elses loss.

There are a lot of things I cant control, but this is one I can.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Up Up and Away

Here he goes folks. Caught by the camera he relinquished his attempt to pull the bag of markers down. I have to be quick once he spots the camera he drops to his knees and crawls as quick as he can towards the photographer. Go baby go.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Good Stuff

After watching Food Inc. I have been investigating better places to buy our food from. Here is one that is local and the owner was handing out samples at our local market. He could not have been nicer, so consequently we had to buy some of their milk. Things I really liked about their product:

Acknowledgment of God and desire to glorify Him
Treat their animals with respect
Animals eat grass
No chemicals or over processing
Glass containers
Family Owned

We picked up a jug of chocolate milk - YUM.
Thanks Twin Brook Creamery, we will be purchasing your products when we see them!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Uncle Mike and Cousin Lilly

We have been blessed to have Uncle Mike over and as you can see from the pictures he is a favorite, as is Lilly.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Woo Hoo! Nolen is TWO!

Nolen continues to amaze us with his wildness and sense of adventure. I decided it would be great to be like Nolen. When he walks into a room he seems to be thinking, "These people want to know ME." and "What does this place have to offer ME." He really loves life. And we love him.

He is starting to say some recognizeable words, such as BITE and HELP PLEASE and POOP. You know, the basics.

I am pleased with what a wonderful big brother he is becoming. He loves his "baby" and calls him coco. He likes to wrestle with him and coco cant get enough of it.

We had a fun party today. Nolen and his four friends joined him in eating icecream and jumping in the bouncy house.

We love you Nolen, you big TWO year old!