Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'll rest....

I wish I could read people's minds.

I've always enjoyed people watching, and the airports are always great foder for people watching. I see them visually take in our family, some of them even get caught starring at me. I wish I knew what they were thinking...

I realize that 4 children is a lot for most families in our day, in our culture. I realize that some people would consider them close in age. And, I realize that not everyone has the appreciation for children, or for my children, that I have come to enjoy.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't really all that bothered by what people might have been thinking about us, I just wonder....

On our second trip to the bathroom with Zak on the 5 hour flight from Portland to Newark, a sweet older women commented on how cute he was. Then she said "you don't get much of a chance to rest, do you?!" I smiled and responded with "Oh, we do OK."

Rest.... I guess I don't get much rest. I don't know that I have a lot of time for rest. Please don't feel sorry for me though, I'll make sure to get the rest I need, but it might be a while. I'll rest when they are grown.

I hope I can stay mentally present for as many precious moments as I am able. For those times are all to fleeting. One of my favorite bloggers posted something similar a while back and it has stayed with me... thanks Liz.

Ok, enough of the metaphors. We had fun today, but in a crazy sort of cross-country traveling sort of way. Thank you for your prayers! We made our connection from Newark to Providance. The Lord allowed for so much room that our flight out of Newark was delayed about 2 1/2 hours! :-). We packed well and no one starved. We even got a whole bunch of compliments on how great the kids were. (I knew they were thinking bad stuff when they first saw us! I'll show them! heheheheee)

Fun pics.

Peas in a pod (or a double bed)

I'm going to get some rest now that it's 3 am local time (I'll get adjusted in just enough time to head home)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Eastsiiiieede Tornato

(that is my attempt to sound ghetto saying eastside.... did it work?)

Here we come!

We leave Portland tomorrow afternoon for a much anticipated trip to the North East. My wonderful husband will be accompanying me, corralling our children, smiling kindly at my family and old friends, who mean so much to me, but not so much to him. I really appreciate him doing this, for me and for my family. It is a challenge to be so far from where I grew up, and to be so far from my family. I treasure these trips. I also realize it's a challenge for my husband to spend our vacations in hot, humid New York in the summer... I think he'd prefer a mid winter jaunt to someplace tropical. Thanks babe!

So, for those voyeurs checking on my blog, this may mean little to you, but for the closer parts of my family, I'm using this medium to communicate our itinerary. You can log off here if you don't care, but I'm including intermittent pictures of my adorable kids from the past few weeks to keep it interesting and totally random!

Departing from PDX on Continental flight #385 to Newark (EWR) at 1:14 PM on 7/30
Arriving 9:27 PM EDT (6:27 PDT)
Departing from EWR on Continental flight #2688 to Providence (PVD) at 9:59 PM
Arriving at PVD at 11:16 PM

Did you see that layover?! Say a prayer that we make the connection, and maybe have a chance to grab some dinner?? Maybe that is too much to ask...

Once in Providence we will be getting our rental car - a minivan, of course! and proceeding to the Comfort Inn Warwick Airport to spend the night.

After a good night's sleep, we will drive North on I-95 to Nashua, NH and the home of my cousin Michelle. We will spend Thursday and Friday morning with Uncle Bob, Aunt Kay and Jennifer. Unfortunately Michelle's family had to leave today for Pittsburgh, as her husband's mother is not in good health and they need to be with her. Say a prayer for the Capone family :-(.

Friday morning we will wind our way west towards I-90 and find my sister Liz in Albany for a picnic lunch with some friends at the park. When the kids have gotten enough fresh air that they'll require a nap, we'll pile back in the van, drag Liz with us and "high-tail on I-90" towards my brother Bob's house in Canandaigua .

I'm especially looking forward to seeing my brother, his wife, Mandy and their son, Jack. Jack turns one this week and this will be our first time meeting him! He is about to learn the joy of cousins!! My Dad and Liz's boyfriend, Chris, will be meeting us at Bob's as well. I'm also looking forward to having our whole family together.... it has been too long.... how sweet it is going to be!

Saturday we will celebrate Jack's special day. Just as the kids are about to pass out from exhaustion we will throw them back into the van and drive the 90 minutes south to the house I grew up in, where my father still resides.

We will be in Erin Sunday, Monday and Tuesday morning. We are anticipating some good ole country fun, finding frogs and salamanders, helping in the garden, creek walking, and some visits from old friends. I'm really looking forward to seeing my best friend from high school, Amy. She is bringing her boyfriend, Eric, I can't wait to meet him!

Tuesday morning we will pack back into the van and head East for a change. We'll drop Liz back in Albany and work our way around the metropolitan areas and into Connecticut. We are going to Middletown to stay with Uncle George and Aunt Paula. They are still living in the house that my mom grew up in! I am also looking forward to catching up with the cousins, Corrine and Ryan.

Wednesday around lunch time we'll finish the trip with one last journey, returning to Providence and flying home.

Our total driving will be just under 1000 miles and approximately 17 hours... something like a tornado, don't you think?

Departing PVD on Delta #5273 to JFK at 4:40 PM EDT on 8/6
arriving at 6:00 PM EDT

Departing JFK on Delta #201 to PDX at 7:45 PM EDT
arriving at 11:20 PM PDT

....we'll check ya on the flip side! Oooout!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Business Review - Carriage House Car Wash

The Carriage House

I don't know a whole lot about this place, but I do think it is a God send for busy families.

As a mom with 4 young kids, my car generally appears to be a cross between a garbage dump and one of those modern art splatter paintings.

A few weeks ago I was applying sunscreen to the kids, that aerosol kind, just outside the car. The wind caught the spray and slicked the back window. I had already taken it through a cheap drive through wash and it actually made the spots worse. So between the dust and sunscreen splatter on the outside and the build up of 6 months of crumbs and such since the last time I got out to vaccum the car, my husband graciously suggested that I get the van cleaned.

I paid $27 ($24.99 + $2 for vans / suvs). It is clean, inside and out. Vaccuumed, washed, windows hand cleaned, inside and out, dash dusted, tires cleaned, and it smells good too.

Money well spent.

Bring some snacks and you have a field trip for the kids. :-)

Business Review- Bassit Auto

I've been wanting to add this element to my blog for a while. I have always been a fan of giving credit when credit is due, especially to local businesses who really provide good service.

I think we have been very fortunate in finding a great mechanic, and in the 5 plus years that we have called them "our mechanic" they have only further won our business and admiration.

Bassitt Auto.

Comfortable:They have an adorable waiting room that is decorated like a 1950's diner. They'll even serve you soda or coffee while you wait. They are prepared for kids and coloring books are provided.

Stylish: A limo with driver is provided for transportation to and from the service center if needed. When my van broke down with all 4 of my kids in the car, I was a little panicked. What tow truck is going to be able to transport all of us, and even then, we could have been stuck in a waiting room all day. But since we were able to get the van to drive to the center, we were set for a ride home. I love how the neighbor's peek out their window when you pull up in front of your house in a white stretch!

Respectful: Jamie and Kevin are usually the guys I talk to, I think that their job is to communicate with the customers. I have never once felt like a dumb woman when I talked with them about any of the car problems we have had(which I really am, when it comes to the workings of a car).

Fair: I know that I am paying a decent rate for labor, which is fine for me because I know that they have a good team of mechanics and they deserve a good wage. I don't get ripped off, and if they know that I can get a battery cheaper at Costco, they tell me to get it there and bring it to them.

Flexible: They are generally busy and sometimes can't see us immediately when we have an immediate problem, but it is usually with in a day if we don't have an existing appointment. I have started going to them for oil changes, as it costs about the same as going to one of the drive through places (and I trust Bassitt more), and generally I have my pick of times.

I think our mechanic is great! If you check them out, tell them I sent you!

Bad Boys - the rest of the story

As it turns out, vigilance and three women in a garage with cameras can be an affective tool against criminals :-)

We continued to see a small amount of traffic at the house across the street over the next few days. I was not as scared of standing at the end of my driveway and blatantly taking pictures of the visitors, not anymore. Friday afternoon and evening, we watched the people who were supposedly still living at the house loading up most of their junk and getting out. Unfortunately for the landlords, they left quite a bit of junk and a significant mess, but they are gone.

As I am typing this I am also uploading the last of the license plate photos to send to the police. One of the rooms in the house, which was the bedroom with a sliding glass door, had the most impact. The carpets were pretty abused and there was a definite stench of cigarettes and filth. A padlock was installed on the hall-side of the door, and a set of track lights had been installed in a closet. Amongst the piles of other random garbage was quite a few 5-6 foot sections of garden hose. I don't know a whole lot about drug use, but we are assuming that this means that they were trying to grow something, presumably pot, and hopefully nothing more serious.

As the evening light was starting to dwindle tonight, I noticed Earl (the sweet old gentleman, Carole's husband) was sitting on his front porch. We joked that there isn't much to see anymore and that our neighborhood has become quite boring!

I'll take boring...

I'd rather take on the"bad" boys like this!

(Noah lost his 4th tooth tonight... 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom all missing at once!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bad Boys, Bad Boys... whatcha gonna do, I'm coming for you.

A few years ago I tasked to remember the police dispatch phone number, today it payed off.

3 months ago we got some new neighbors - renters. The landlord lives next door. A sweet old couple that keeps the property as retirement income. The renters seemed nice enough, brought a lot of junk, were a little less than hygienic people, but seemed nice enough.

Well, they weren't.

Within a few weeks, we were seeing an average of a dozen people coming and going every day, at all hours. A conversation with the Neighborhood Watch Officer revealed that the renters had previous drug, assault and child endangerment charges. (The landlord has had 3 renters in 30 years... they didn't realize you should do criminal checks, now they know).

Earlier this week the renters appeared to move out. But the people keep coming... at all hours.

While the landlords are making efforts towards a legal eviction, I am at my whit's end. We have lived here for 6 1/2 years, and I have never felt this uncomfortable or unsafe in my own front yard. Not because we have been threatened, but mostly because of this unknown element.

So today, I made a stand. After talking to one of the 'visitors' and trying to understand when the renters planned on being out. This visitor didn't seem to know who the renters were, or for that matter who he was there to see... or so he said, as his friend practically dragged him into the car as he raced away.

I figure, the legal renters aren't there, any one who is still there is trespassing. If the police can't do anything about the actual illegal activity going on inside, maybe they can go after trespassers.

So I called.

It has been an eventful afternoon. No arrests, but visitors are getting nervous.

(left to right, Carole (the landlord and my new friend), me (emailing license plate numbers to the Neighborhood Watch officer) and Zelta (who is always happy to help with the kids). We spent the afternoon in the garage, taking pictures of anyone who wanted to stop at the house. We are standing united to take back our security.)

I'm finding some wonderful friends in my neighbors, and we are taking a stand for our neighborhood.

So you don't worry, know that the police are actively paroling our neighborhood and a formal eviction should have most of this resolved by Monday. I actually feel more secure (and truly blessed) in knowing that our neighborhood is united against this bad element.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Breaking clay pots

"God doesn't get much glory when powerful people do possible things. Powerless people attempting impossible, ridiculous things displays God's incredible Glory."
From my notes of Paster Paul Fleming's sermon. It may have been a quote, but I didn't get the source.

So did you hear about the MLB All Star Home Run Derby last weekend? This guy, Josh Hamilton, one time first round draft pick, golden boy.... overwhelmed with the affects of fame and fell into the traps of severe addictions,

in a desperate moment came to know Jesus and changed his whole life. He now speaks openly of how God's love can change everything, even the worst of desperate situations. Then, he smashed the Home Run Derby record and slams 28 Home runs in the first round, as well as hitting a 518 foot home run, also a record.

... and now, he gives God all the glory for his success.

So the sermon on Sunday, a part of the Forgotten People Series, was about Gideon.

We often think that if someone's story made it to the Bible, they had to have been a spectacularly holy person. Really though, it is often not the case. Most noteworthy Bible stories tell of hapless and hopeless individuals who are miraculously affected by God's mighty powers... much like Gideon, and not all that different than Josh Hamilton.

Maybe we don't want to consider the possibility that God can use "me" in major ways or that God would care about minute details of our simple lives.

Lesson to learn #1 - Living a life that God honors in faith does not require perfection. Doubting does not necessarily mean that you have no faith. Doubt is natural, and faith naturally comes with its own dose of doubt.

Lesson to learn #2 - Faith does not require power.... it actually has NOTHING to do with our own power.

so now we realize that we don't have what it takes....

1 - Get used to reliance
2- Go into the battle
3 - Give God the glory

(Breaking clay pots reference - if you are unfamiliar with the story of Gideon in Judges 6 - basically God tells Gideon to go to battle against this huge army with a VERY small crew of inexperienced soldiers (ratio over 400:1). They move in on the enemy, in the middle of the night. They are armed with candles and clay pots. They simultaneously break their clay pots, startling the enemy army out of their sleep. There is mass chaos and confusion, most of the enemy is killed with out the Israelites involvement. It took an enormous amount of faith for Gideon to lead this tiny, weak army to battled this massive enemy, not knowing what would happen, but still trusting God's calling. )
*******************end of sermon notes***************

So it's good to do hard things... this will continue to be a mantra I practice, but I think I will view it differently now. Rarely does God move our hearts to do things that are simple and mundane, those rarely require faith. But obedience to the call of the Lord to do those hard things... brings incredible victory.

A friend recently removed herself from an unhealthy social environment, as God was leading her to do it. The world wants us to accept their standards, we long for God's standards.

I think that these old testament figures (Gideon, Ruth, Job) have very poignant stories that we can learn from. They came from a time where there was no order, everyone did what they thought was right... so few even knew God, or followed Him...oh how familiar that is to us.

I think God expects us to sometimes question his plans, but he still wants us to follow his leadings. He is so patient with us. He lets us doubt. He continues to call.

Do I have what it takes to answer that call?

No, and I never will.

But He is big enough, He is strong enough, He provides the clay pots.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Proud to be 31 - Old is a state of Mind

My Dad has been caught saying "Old is a state of Mind." I think my father to be a wise man!

Yesterday I turned 31. More than one sweet soul tried to accuse me of being 29 (because anything over 30 is presumptuous, even if it's true, or something like that). I may reserve the right to return to the ripe old age of 29 at a future date, but for now, I'm pretty content with being 31. I figure I've accomplished a good bit in these past three decades or so. Some days I feel old, and others I think I could still be a teenager... it's a state of mind.

So Happy Birthday to me.

My facebook status (which is now outdated) reads "Sarah sings 'It's my birthday and I'll stay in my PJs till noon if I want to'"

... and I did.

Did I have a good birthday?

It was nice. Shane left at 5:30 AM to golf with his Dad (which never happens and makes me happy that they are making efforts at their relationship). I got up to make him a bagel sandwich and went back to bed... then.... the kids all slept until 8:30!!!! SCORE!

Then I wasted the next several hours and lounged in my PJS until afternoon. Finally took a shower and grabbed a book and read in my garden for a while.

then we went to a Portland Beaver's game with Shane's company.

We were able to hang in the "left field lounge" the whole game versus being confinded to bleachers or seats, so the game didn't drag on and was actually fun. The first two batters hit home runs on their first two pitches, for the home team!! It was a good game. We even stayed to see the fireworks.

Got the kids to bed barely before 11.... then slept in again this morning.

Yea, it was good.

Simple. Good.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My God

My God - I Love my God. (he's yours too if you want Him, there is more than enough to share)

Ya know, he's the one who did all this, created everything around us, the known and the unseen.

Sometimes we don't understand the workings of His creation, but as I pursue Him...

as I draw nearer to His heart...

I see His purposes and character.

I find greater peace in the daily life experience...

I find grace for the challenges..

I find joy

Malachi 4:2-3,6
"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing on his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet," says the Lord Almighty.... His preaching will turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents. "

Isaiah 11:1-10
"Out of the stump of David's family will grow a shoot - yes, a new Brand bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him - the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will never judge by appearance, false evidence or hearsay. He will defend the poor and the exploited. He will rule against the wicked and destroy them with the breath of his mouth. He will be clothed with fairness and truth. In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard and the goat will be at peace. Calves and yearlings will be safe among lions, and a little child will lead them all. The cattle will graze among bears. Cubs and calves will lie down together. And lions will eat grass as the livestock do. Babies will crawl safely among poisonous snakes. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes and pull it out unharmed. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain. And as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.

In that day the heir to David's throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him for the land where he lives will be a glorified place."
(I think that is a description of Heaven... much like earth, but no sin.... ponder this)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If you want your neighbors to think you are Mormon...

So many passers-by slowed as they passed... some I even saw scratching their heads. Isn't this normal??

(Back story - Sam came to spend the night because his half brother came home with a contagious rash. I asked our new pastors, Shane and Aimee Fookes, if I could help them by watching their kids while they are on staff retreat. I missed my friend Julie and was anxious to get hugs on her new daughters, and she is my original berry picking buddy, so if we are going to get any kind of berry, she is the first I call. So my 4 + 1 (Sam) + 4 Fookes + 3 Penns = 12 kids!)

After potty breaks, full water bottles, sunscreen slathering, and bucket distribution, we walked the two blocks to a boysenberry patch just down the road, all 15 of us. Julie brought her husband along to take pictures and video.

I have always loved to push the boundaries... If I'm going to have a dozen kids at my house, why not make it interesting!

Yolanta's first experience with a boysenberry... she was picking away so well, filling up her pink, lacy easter basket. I suggested she eat one... the look was, really?! hmm... and pop...eww (they are kind of fuzzy sometimes) and then smiles.
Hannah Elizabeth Fookes (she and my Hannah Elizabeth paired up as buddies for the day... easier to get their attention)

Jonathan Fookes, a serious berry picker.

Sam and Benjamin... when we said buddy up for the walk down the road, they took us seriously ALL DAY LONG. They are buddies!

Noah "loves" berry picking. (notice the heart shaped bush he's found)

Mrs. Penn and Katie (velcro baby... sticking to mama's side) and the beautiful Ms. Amy

Rebekah, buddied up with Zak... she is the perfect helper for a mom with hands full.

And what happened to all the berries we picked? Well... the evidence in all over Maggy's face, hands and she's even leaving an evidence trail behind her!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Never perfect, but always fun

We went camping last week! It seems every time I come home from camping, I have a running list in my mind of what we'd do better or different next time. This time was no different, but it was, never the less, alot of fun!

There was a group from Westport that spent three days at Fisherman's Bend camp ground on the Santiam River, about 30 miles east of Salem Oregon.

Camping is such an unusual experience in that we are balancing between trying to "rough it" and yet still trying to enjoy some of the luxuries of our normal everyday lives.

Before we had kids, all we needed with a tent, sleeping bags, a pack of hotdogs (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and some matches to start a fire. Since our kids came along we have had several camping trips that were anything but roughing it. One year we had a mini fridge plugged into the outlets (which were made available for people with RVs).

And when we only had one child, it was all about the battle to stay clean. Now there is no battle... just stay happy!

And we are moving down a path of convenience. We recently found a deal on an older pop-up tent trailer on craigslist (gotta love Craigslist!)

This was our maiden voyage for the trailer. We all slept comfortably in the trailer, but it was a wee bit crowded. Upon coming home, we listed it for sale and are figuring on finding something larger that will allow for our growing family.

On the up side, the trailer allowed us to bring our bikes, including a 2-seater bike trailer for the littles.

We were able to explore the camp ground as a family on bikes!

I don't know that I have really even ridden a bike in at least 6 years... I was sore!

We took an afternoon and traveled 15 miles up river to Detroit Lake for some splash time. Just what the kids needed to wear themselves out!

A campfire certainly allows for the cultivation of new friendships.

It was a very nice time, and as always, camp ended too soon.

Here are my top ten lessons learned this year at camp:

10. Strap the firewood to the roof of your car (protected by a tarp, of course), preventing debris from getting into your food, clothes or bedding. In my case, I need a Macgyver like husband to help, because when I strapped down the tarp, it was flapping in the wind 5 miles from home. How would I know how those tie-down, ratchy things are supposed to work?! I love my man.

9. Smile pretty and ask your father in law for some free firewood, vs buying at the camp site. We were blessed with some large pieces of Oak and Maple that Ken had and would have been too big for their stove. The logs burned nicely into the wee hours.

8. Rubbermaid bins! Since we were cooking in a covered picnic area about 50 yards from our trailer, having everything in one central box (or two) would have been very convenient. (we tried to use all the "handy" little compartments in the trailer, but it all eventually ended up coming out.)

7. Simple foods, there is nothing wrong with hot dogs for 3 days. You can get a balanced meal when you get home. (try to find some snacks with nutritious value, a little fruit is a good thing)

6.Variations on the S'more: Cinnamon Graham Crackers, Reeces PB Cups, Strawberry marshmallow, the Choc Rock (toast your cracker and melt the choc on a rock close to the fire).

AND Variations on toasting over the fire: Of course there are the standard hotdogs and marshmallows, a little less common, the dough boys (pop buscuits toasted, dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar). Or Dan's last morning breakfast... toasted left over hot dog buns... add some jelly. (Next year I'm doing my hot dog buns French Toast style!)

5. Make a list when you get home, things not to forget! (I have a running list that I update from year to year, email me if you'd like it) It sounds a little over the top, but makes a lot more sense than trying to sleep with out a pillow, or having to stop at the store to buy a cigarette lighter because you don't have any matches.

4.Glow sticks for all the kids are a must. (I grabbed a couple of packs for my kids, but didn't think to get enough for everyone, thankfully, some one else did!)

3. Rough it as much as you can, but if electricity is available... bring a coffee maker. (Personally I'm not much of a fan of the perc coffee). It is also a great way to befriend Eric!

2. Invest in a good first aid kit. We had pulled ours together, bits and pieces, just the important stuff (so I thought), and it seemed to be sufficient for the bums and scrapes the kids found themselves in running through the woods or falling off their bikes. Unfortunately, it just didn't cut it when I took a graceful leap sideways into the ground and planted concrete into my right palm and left knee cap. Between Nurse Dan and Kurt and Laura's "Official Red Cross" first aid kit, I was in tears (benzocaine REALLY STINGS!) and cleaned up.

1. Travel cosmetic bottles for your condiments. PIPER YOU ARE A GENIUS! Because of a limit on space, Piper and Dan packed their condiments (ketup, syrup, etc) in travel cosmetic bottles. Just the perfect amount for 3 days. LOVE IT! Favorite camping idea of the century! You rock!

Do you have a favorite idea for camping preparations? What is the most outrageous thing you've toasted on a stick over the fire?

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Family Fourth

With our 4th of July holiday, for the first time since we have had kids, we made memories at home.

I'm hoping we aren't starting a holiday trend....

One of the most common memories of holidays in my family was the Christmas in NY when the whole house filled with smoke because the cheese on Mom's home-made pizza drizzled off the pan and burnt on the bottom of the oven. It was freezing and snowing and we had all the doors and windows open.

I don't know why when there are unplanned turns in events, it seems to make the events more memorable.

Like last Thanksgiving for example. Zak managed to lock himself in Grandpa Ken's office and we had to call a locksmith to get him out, it took about 90 minutes!

So, our plan for today was going to start out at the Hillsboro parade.

I said "WAS"

While looking for a toy under Noah's bed, Hannah managed to cut a large gash into her forehead. I am certain, that as a mother, I could be completely happy if I never have to see my children bleeding like that again. My wonderful husband took his sweet daughter onto his lap (while he still had a half a cheek full of shaving cream and unshaved beard), gently encouraged her to a calm state, continued to apply pressure, and when the bleeding had stopped, he had a bandage and gauze ready.

We made our way over to the urgent care, with the hopes that we would still be able to catch some of the parade.

She was so brave.

I took the boys over to get a strawberry creme at starbucks while we waited.

They don't do stitches anymore. Apparently the stuff they use now is basically super glue. It should dissolve on its own in about 10 days. A little too early to tell if there will be a scar, but it's pretty much at her hairline anyway.

We did manage to catch most of the parade. What kid doesn't love a parade....

... especially if there are people throwing candy!?

A family trip to goodwill, followed by lunch at Fred Meyer's deli. The kids were pretty worn out.

(video of Zak falling asleep on his corn dog)

We did get home for some naps.

Cheeseburgers on the grill.


Dad loves setting off fireworks!

We invited some neighbors to join in too.
Zelta and her sons, Robbie and Andy came over for a bit. My kids love those boys!

I hope the kids sleep in, as bed time was about 11 pm!