Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter (Not So) Fun

Yesterday wasn't the best of days around these parts. I went to bed at about midnight and woke up at 1:30am because our power had gone out and someone's house alarm was going off. I also realized that I was freezing. I came downstairs to check the thermostat and it read 61 degrees. I started a fire and tried to see if there was something I could do but wasn't able to figure anything out. Matt got up, tried a few things and went back to bed. I planted myself in front of the fireplace to keep it going all night. Once daylight finally came and with some help from my brother Matt, we decided it was the ignitor thinger. My Matt (not brother Matt) decided it was an easy enough fix and he could do it. (I keep having to remind Matt about his dryer fixing experience.) That's when I decided to call the heating people. They made it here pretty quickly and it ends up the part we thought was broken was. Problem is that the part to fix it was in Everett in his van that was currently stuck in snow in his driveway. He could go pick one up but then we would be charged for travel time. He told Matt where to find the part and how to put it in. So one heater part and $180.00 (for 1/2 hour) later, we finally have heat!
We haven't gotten mail (or UPS) in a week due to road conditions. Some friends have been able to get to the post office and pick their mail up there. Once we got the heat issue taken care of, Matt decides it is time to get to work. First he is going to stop by the post office. After a while, I call him on his cell to see if he was able to make it there. Nope. He is in a ditch. Someone tried to help him out but his tow rope broke. A couple of guys in a big 4x4 see whats going on so try to help. It puts the car further in the ditch and gets them stuck. Luckily they were able to get themselves out. Others came by to see what they could do but the car was too far in and the roads were way to slippery. We were finally able to get ahold of a tow truck driver who thought he might be able to help. $192.00 later, we got our car back. It needs the alignment checked but all considered, thats not bad.
So today I am so grateful. Grateful for heat and tow trucks.

Christmas candy trees

I made these cute candy Christmas trees for teachers last year and made them again this year for some friends. So cute and yet edible!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Decor

Maddy decided our house was not sufficiently decorated for Christmas so she has so kindly fixed that. Here are some of her holiday decorations. The three round balls are Cade's contribution. They are kissing balls. Whichever ball you touch determines how many kisses you get. One is a 3 kisser, one a 2 kisser and the other is the 4 kisser.

Winter Freeze

We are busy trying to prepare ourselves for the big storm that is supposed to hit later today. More snow and winds of up to 90 mph! I can handle the snow but ever since our storm 2 years ago when we were without power for one full week, I hate the wind that sometimes comes along with it. True Value got a shipment of de-icer this morning and it was all gone by 9:00am. I am so thankful we have friends with generators and a wonderful next door neighbor who works at Safeway. I have called her more than once to bring something home for me! Here are some more pictures of our winter scene.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Monday and Tuesday Cade didn't go to school because it was late start due to icy conditions. Wednesday school was cancelled completely due to snow. Funny thing is, we didn't get more than a trace of snow and it actually ended up being quite warm. So it was more like the thought that is might possibly, just maybe snow that cancelled school. That or someone had some Christmas shopping to catch up on. Anyway, this morning we woke up to a few inches of snow so of course, school was cancelled yet again. It has continued to snow all day and we now have about 12 inches! That is huge for us. It is still coming down but it looks like it is slowing down. Here are a few pictures of our winter wonderland. The first picture is of the kids picnic table out back. The second is our cars. The kids couldn't tell they were our cars. The third is of the ruler we have been using to measure the snow. It is at about 11 1/2 inches in this picture.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

I had wanted Ryan to pull his 2nd top tooth before I sent out Christmas cards but no such luck. On our way home from the ward party he finally got it out. Just a few days late.

Christmas Party

Night before last, Ryan came into our bedroom at midnight and said his stomach hurt. I talked with him for a few minutes and got him back to bed. At 1:30 someones car alarm went off. At 3:30am Ryan came back in and was running a fever. I got up to get him some medicine and when I came back, he had made himself pretty comfortable in my spot. He patted the bed and said, "Come on, mom, there is still room for you." Sweet. Sweet except he is the worst person to share a bed with. I stayed there for a while and finally decided everyone would be a little more comfortable if I slept on the couch. I actually didn't have much of a choice. Matt never woke up during this whole time and Ryan had finally gotten back to sleep.
I was really hoping Ryan would wake in the morning and feel fine. Sometimes my kids do this thing where they run fevers because they are just worn out. No such luck. The fever was still there. When I told him he would be staying home from school, the poor boy cried. We were finally able to make him feel somewhat better by rotating Motrin and Tylenol and he finally took a nap around 4:00.
I finally decided that he was feeling well enough that I would be able to go to Matt's work party with him. It was going to be at Little Maggianos in Bellevue. I have never been there and I love Italian food.
Ryan wakes up an hour before we are leaving with a temperature of almost 103 degrees. Dang! At least he wasn't throwing up. Oops, shouldn't have said that because guess what happened next. Anyway, my decision was made. Maddy was going instead of me. Spoiled.
They ended up having a ball. Matt said Maddy was a little quiet at first but did a fine job visiting with everyone. Someone happened to mention that she was the guest of honor. She took it literally. She felt like quite the little adult. She loved the food (except the manicotti) and the desert. The waiter brought out a slab of cheesecake for desert. Not a whole one, but enough for the whole table. As soon as it was placed on the table, Maddy takes the cake, cuts it in half and puts it on her plate! I'm feeling I need to get etticate for her for Christmas. Someone apparently shouted, "You go girl!" so she did. She ate almost the whole piece on her plate.
She came home on cloud 9. She said she met a lot of nice people and even someone who works at Cherry Valley. She couldn't believe she went to this fancy party and met someone from home. I'm glad that if I couldn't go and have a good time, she could.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh dear...

Here is my little nephew with the new tie he made for church. At least if he spills the sacrament water on himself, he is super absorbent!

Conversations with Cade

Conversation that took place with Cade on the way home from school.

Cade: "I hate Rudolph!"

Mom: "Why?"

Cade: "I don't know. He's not even real!"

Mom: "That's okay that he's not real. He's still a fun character to sing and read and talk about."

Cade: "Well, he's naked!"

Mom: "So is Nigel."

Cade: "Well Nigel has fur."

Mom: "Deer have a kind of fur."

Cade: "Well, I still don't like him."

I didn't have the heart to tell him Superman isn't real either.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

No Help From Mom

I love Christmas. I love the decorations. I love the smells. I don't like decorating a tree. A fake tree to be more precise. Lucky for me, Maddy and Ryan volunteered to do it this year. Cade was too busy watching 'Elf' on TV. Beautiful job, kiddos!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


One of the traditions our family has had for the last several years is the annual England Family Turkey Bowl. Some years it is snowy. Some it is muddy. This year was dry but cold. It was in the 20's. This year Matt and the kids joined in. I decided I would be photographer. There was a good turn out and people seemed to be having a good time. There were even a few big hits...Rissa getting Chris, Mason getting Whitni, Kevin getting Mason. I think the kids would even do it again even if they didn't get shirts!
**The picture of Nick, Joel and Matt is not a sweet family bonding moment. They are watching Mason rolling around in pain after he got taken down by his own dad!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Parent Teacher Conferences

Last Friday and the first three days of this week are all half days at school. Lucky Cade doesn't have school at all because of parent-teacher conferences.
Our conference with Maddy's teacher was last Friday. Maddy is one who always likes to be good so we didn't expect to hear anything too terrible from Mrs K. Maddy is doing really well with reading and writing and is where she should be with math. Mrs K would like to see Maddy take on more of a leadership role in class.
Ryan's conference was this morning. Ryan is a very smart boy but he likes to be first at everything so he tends to rush his work a bit. He gets things right the majority of the time but can be a touch on the sloppy side. When he finishes his work, Miss C lets him help the other kids (especially Bailee who says Ryan is her boyfriend) with their work. He is very good at math and at reading. Writing is definitely not his favorite subject. He is a class rep for ASB and is a Tech Kid which means he gets to help the kindergarteners in computer lab. He loves being busy!
To be honest, Matt and I were a little worried about Cade's conference. He is often in his own world...Cade's world. He used to tell his friends about how I owed people lots of money and how he had another mother but she was in jail. Get the idea? He is also such a 'go-with-the-flow' kind of person. Doesn't have a care in the world. He is also one of the younger kids in his class. Anyway, we sit down with Ms C and she tells us how well Cade is doing. She says she really is a bit surprised because he is so laid back, you can't tell if he has really grasped what is being taught. They do little 'tests' to make sure kids are getting the concepts and Cade is getting it! Ms C says Cade is a really good learner and is further along than they expect the kiddos to be at this point.
Way to go, young scholars!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Halloween

The first Halloween we celebrated in Duvall was cold. The second Halloween we celebrated in Duvall was cold. This year we were prepared. Maddy was ketchup so could easily fit a jacket under her outfit. Ryan not too bad. A bit of a tight fit for the Knight costume but it worked. Cade looked like a swollen Superman with his coat under his superhero leotard. The back couldn't close or else it would choke him. Luckily his cape covered the giant hole on his backside.
We went to our usual Halloween hotspot and the kids got their fill of treats. Someone even turned their garage into a little haunted house. On our way home we stopped by some friends house who serve hot apple cider and homemade donuts to trick-or-treaters they know. Thank you, Powells! Very yummy!

Turning 10

Maddy turned 10 in October. I was really ready for a birthday without her getting a bunch of stuff. Stuff that I knew would get pushed under her bed never to see the light of day until the next time I went up to clean her room. This year, we decided to do something a little bit different. Instead of her friends bringing Maddy a present, we had each girl drop some fleece off at the house the week before the party. I washed the material and cut strips along the edges. Party day came and as the girls showed up, we put a strip of sticky paper on their foreheads with something or someone written on it...Batman, Frankenstein, black cat, etc. They couldn't see what was on the paper. The girls sat on the floor around the fleece squares and had to ask questions about who/what they were while they tied the fleece strips in knots. Maddy donated these blankets to Project Linus. Project Linus gathers quilts for kids who are going thru some kind of trauma. She also was able to give one to a friend's son who just had hand surgery.
This past week, Maddy received a thank you note in the mail with her official blanketeer patch.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Getting Started

When when of my kiddos does or says something funny, I always think that I should write it down. For some reason, I never do. I think that I will do it later and then I forget. Now when I try to remember that funny something or what kid did what when, I regret not writing it down then. I guess this is my attempt to write a journal. Not just for me but for my kids. I read in another blog that you can actually have your posts put into books. I think the kids would like having an actual book all about them. I don't know how often I will keep this up to date but I will try my best. My grandpa would be proud!