Thursday, June 14, 2012


 8 ('cause she's 8) facts about gretchen:

1.  she loves to be fancy.  she would for sure ditch me and go live with fancy nancy's family if that was an option.  she is always looking for ways to add some fanciness to her life.  she even added ribbon bows along the sides of her bunkbed to fancy things up a bit.

2.  she is a great friend to pace.  he pretty much waits all day for her to get home from school and then attacks her with his enthusiasm the second she walks in the door.  she is usually a good sport about it.

3.  she is a super good helper with wells.  i am so lucky!

4.  she LOVES reading and is really, really fast and good at it.  she has read all the harry potter books, the percy jackson books, fable haven, etc........

5.  she likes to play with her american girl dolls and gets them all fancy (of course) and set up.  she makes "beds" and "rooms" for them out of cardboard boxes.

6.  she bears her testimony at church almost every month.  she is way braver than i am!

7.  she likes to wear her hair in pigtails.

8.  she made (all by herself and with no prompting from me) a poster about being vegan and took it to school to show her class.  this was not an assignment.  she is very enthusiastic about sharing what she thinks with other people!

love you, gretchy!

Monday, June 4, 2012


(with a bit of loren and the kids thrown in for good measure).  so, here's a rundown of my life since moving to washington:  six children.  whooee!!! doesn't that look like a lot of kids? i'm still waiting to feel grown up enough to have them.  (and, total side note, washington state redeemed itself a bit weather/beauty wise by providing us with this great backdrop for family pictures this weekend--this was taken just outside my backyard.)
between and around and in amongst taking care of children, i had lots of fun setting up our house here. i think i would rearrange my house every two years even if i didn't move.  i just really, really enjoy finding places for everything and making things work in new ways.  and since most of my family and friends have never seen my house, and this is pretty much where i spend all my time and energy (besides in the car and at costco), i'm going to grace you all with some house pictures so you can picture where i be! (it's 'am', i know--it just sounded fun to say 'be').

this is a picture of liesel-and-gwyneth's (yes, they are one word) room.  we started redoing it in florida and then finished it up here.  

 for christmas i got them a chandelier for their walk-in closet and made them a little hang-out spot in there.
 my main push in this house has been to become super organized.  (i've maybe discovered it's a secret passion of mine.)  i actually think i want to become (in a far-off scarcely imagined time years from now) a professional organizer.  it's just too fun to label and sort and throw things away, i tell you!  here's our craft/sewing/piano practice room (the piano's on the other side of the room, not pictured, obviously).  i just got to teach a mini relief society thing about organization and i had way too much fun.
 and here's the "extra food storage" cupboards, which are actually in our laundry room, which is just off the kitchen.  you can't really tell here, but everything's sort of labeled and in its own spot.  liesel and gwyneth gave me a labeler for valentine's day, and nothing in my house is safe now.

this is our front room--view from the door

view from the kitchen  (that balcony up there goes to l-and-g's room)

 this is from the upstairs hall--the front room is open to the 2nd story all the way across
 this is my room--mostly this picture is to show that i finally hung the curtains behind my bed (something i've been talking about doing since we moved here)

so there's pretty much the house.  when it's not raining (ha!) i will go outside and take a picture of the outside and show you that, too.

other than housey/organizing stuff, i've been doing a lot of yoga again.  a studio opened up less than 5 minutes from my house, which has been super fun for me.  i also go running sometimes--mostly in a walk-up-the-hills-run-down-them fashion.  i have not gotten on my bike since my bike crash last year (except once when loren made me and i rode so slowly i was worthless, and even got off the bike to walk down some of the hills).  i am a big chicken now!!!  i FINALLY got my tooth that was knocked loose fixed last week, so maybe now i will start to regain some of my biking skills?  i really want to do another triathlon, but we'll see how it goes........
i also got to go to virginia a couple of weeks ago for the annual cabin retreat with my virginia friends.  it was SO much fun.  i love being with people who've known me for a long time (and still say i can come visit them!).  i fully took advantage of the sun there and came home a bit fried, but i say it was totally worth it!!!! rain, rain, go away.

and here's a bit about loren:  he likes his job here a lot better than he did in florida, so that's super nice.  he (and i) love the commute--it's the shortest commute we've ever had.  he's much better than me at actually running up hills, so he's been doing some races and having fun with that.  saturday he did a mud run and had a lot of fun.  and as always, he's the best husband i could hope for!

so, i guess that's it!  life as i know it.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

my little super hero

i guess the pictures are insisting on coming before the post, even though that's not what i said i wanted. also, it took me five tries to type 'insisting'.  i should have just picked a new word.  anyway, this post is about my pace boy.  

 this is pace dressed up as joseph for our family christmas nativity.  most of the pictures of joseph/pace show him doing ninja moves.  in fact, mary (gretchen) and baby jesus (wells) had to stay far away from joseph during most of the nativity.
 pace loved the snow days.  he loved them so much that i tried hard to (tolerate) love them,  too.  this picture is of him during a snow ball fight with loren.

 pace loves to wink, which i happen to think is super cute and funny.
 one of the other moms at preschool took this picture of pace winking as he handed out cookies to everyone.
 pace and gretchen make their own superhero gear quite often.

 pace is 5!!!! holy cow, where did the years go?  and, it was actually sunny (sunny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) on his birthday, so he got to play with his new iron man and captain america guys outside.

other things about him:

so, pace is totally convinced that he's a super hero.  (he's also fully believes that wells has super powers, also--if something strange happens in our house, he says that wells used his super powers to make it happen.  i could ask why he isn't using his powers to make himself walk.....) but anyway, back to pace's super hero-ness.  he's not just one super hero, either--he can harness whichever power he might need at the moment:  if he's putting away the silverware, he's wolverine, with knives between each finger; when he wants to ride his bike outside alone, and i say "no", he says "but mom, i will just use my ninja powers and knock the bad guys down"; the other day we were outside working in the yard and the handle of a shovel slid down the wall and tapped him lightly on his chest, and he looked up in amazement and said "whoa, my chest totally blocked that hit".  i LOVE how he is so impressed with the things he does that he is convinced he has super powers.

it's just so much fun having this boy around.  so totally different from my girls, and i love it all!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

well, hello

has it really been since december that i posted?!  what the heck-of-a-doodle.  (to quote pace).  so, i've decided there is going to be no back-blogging here.  just a clean fresh start.  i will leave you all wondering  what in the world we were up to from december through may.  and you (and i) will just have to deal with it.

my friend in virginia (hi--you know who you are) had a great idea to play catch-up on the blog without technically back-blogging.  i am going to copy her idea and write a post about each of the kids (and possibly myself, too and loren(?) if i ever make it that far).  so, today we will start with the bub of all bubs.


he decided to turn out rather high maintenance (sort of/maybe/probably the reason for the lack of posts lately) and is needing physical and occupational therapy for a whole host of issues (low muscle tone, poor muscle memory, poor motor planning, speech delays, and eating problems).  the GOOD news, though, is that he improves pretty much every week, learning something new or strengthening a skill he already had.  he can finally crawl, cruise around on furniture, and has recently started being able to walk behind a push toy.  his therapists are hopeful that he will be walking by the time he turns two.  he is also learning some WORDS (hooray, hooray, hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and has actually held onto about 6 words for two weeks now: up, bye, orange, shoe, school, night-night,'s kind of a random list, i know.  oh, he can also say banana when he wants to.

he is a super cute baby, though, and i love him to death in spite of himself.  here's a little more info on the bubness:  he has just decided he likes being sung to, and singing to him in the car and while i'm changing his diaper is the only thing that keeps him happy.  he also LOVES to go outside (it REALLY makes me miss florida, i just gotta say.)  when it does stop raining he is so happy to go out on the swing or sit on the trampoline.  he also really, really likes oranges.  and he turns my kitchen into a total sticky disaster when he eats them.  he likes swimming, too (we go once a week to an indoor pool).  he's so funny in his swim tube--he can mostly keep himself upright, but when he does start to fall forward and he knows his face is going under, he just closes his eyes and blows bubbles and waits for me to rescue him.  which reminds me, sometimes he can say "bubbles" also.  bath time is also a favorite of his.  so is getting into mischief of all kinds.  at least now he shakes his head when he knows he's getting into trouble.........too bad knowing he's not supposed to do it doesn't make him not do it.

so, there you have it.  one post down, 7 more to go.  easy-peasy, right?