Monday, June 30, 2014

Par-Tay

As you know I do an annual party at my house on the last day of school...this year was lots of fun too!  We added a new member, a buddy for Eli.  He was so excited to be here with us and getting to do big boy stuff!  He did good...just a few bumps and hiccups along the way but that's what happens.
 
Here are a few pictures of happy faces!  Lots of pizza and breadsticks were eaten and probably way too much ice cream and toppings inhaled with cookies on the side!  The next morning Auntie made pancakes from scratch and sausage and hash browns, all washed down with juice.  We watched We watched the new Fairy movie, Pirate Fairy movie (I liked it!) and then we watched the next day the Percy Jackson movie...the second one.  I can't remember the title!  Grrr!
 
Anyway, enjoy the pictures, I think we all had fun and actually slept decently.
 
 

 Our new friend!!  He loved it all I think!




 Buddies!

Not sure what was being plotted here but it was something!  Could have been Lee's hair getting made over by his cousin.









 Auntie needs her group picture!

 
 Quick!  Everyone do a crazy something and take a picture!


The next morning with their bellies full watching Percy Jackson.




Ta-ta for now!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Query or Queries



What to post...what to post...

As the year has worn on and school is now out and I've had my end of the school year party it has been interesting as an observer.

What I watched at my little party was the kids trying to figure out where they fit in with each other.  There is a core group of kids that were all born in the same year, 3 boys and 1 girl.  The last year or two they all got along fantastic.  This year there was something interesting going on.  I don't know if they were more aware of the fact of boy/girl?  Or just figuring out pecking order so to speak.  But I have watched this a lot with Ian and Eli in the group of cousins at family gatherings.  Eli is the youngest by 2 year and in some ways that's a big gap.  As for Ian he's the eldest boy and the next is then his brother Lee.  So I don't expect there to be a lot of playing together when his older girl cousins are around. The tend to gravitate to each other.  However, what is interesting is watching how Ian tries to figure his place with all the boys when the girls aren't there.  There is always a time when age seems to play a huge role in the relationship with people.  I remember it well as a kid...not being so much younger than my oldest cousins but young enough that I didn't quite know how to fit in and  I was young enough to be bothersome also.  For instance, it is not always the joy of a 15 year old to be 'stuck' with a 12 year old...they manage mind you and have fun in the end, but that age I do think the gap has a lot to do with it.  And it's the life of a kid, I expect it.  Then at other times the age doesn't seem to be an issue.

Anyone else have similar experiences?

What I have been wondering upon further reflection though, is does this hold true to say adult siblings and their spouses.  Are there times in the relationships (take out other factors like lifestyle and all that)when the gap is too much, age wise, that everyone tries to figure out where they 'fit', so to speak.  I must tread lightly here...there are times that I wonder why there is a lack of involvement in the relationship because of age, why we are not invited to join in things.  Is it because we are 5-6 years older than the youngest of them?  Because that seems like a lot to me (outside of the fact we are different people, it just seems there should be more of relationship and the last few years it hasn't been there???), maybe for an indefinite time, this age gap is huge...where as at some point it will all level out and age won't be an issue?? 

I don't know...I guess I thought there were some things that would just be kid things and growing into adults you'd grow out of it?

Or maybe I have it all wrong and it's just that we are very, very different people and we just don't have much in common but at the same time enough in common to limp along? 

I don't know.  Just something I've been wondering.  Probably a lot of rambling.  When it comes down to it, we are all people and very different and to expect everyone to get along is silly and to always invite everyone to an event is just as silly.  When it comes right down to it, feeling left out of things makes you feel like a kid all over again, which is silly.

Wondering why as siblings, 2 of them plan things with each other's families and don't at least extend the invite to the other sibling and that family.  That's why I'm wondering if the age is not level...lol we are old and boring...which is why I wonder if lifestyles come into play.  Maybe it's all connected...maybe it's me (I am certainly not the first person they think of when they think FUN! ha! I'm no fun you know...or so I've been told)

This isn't meant to be a pity party but really just pondering life and the way it works.  Family is ever evolving and family certainly doesn't work the way I had ever imagined it to work.  Maybe there isn't a right or wrong way for family to work, but maybe what works best for majority?

Ok I'll quit blathering and go to bed now.  Had to get that off  my chest and see if it made more sense written down. 

In case you were wondering it didn't...LOL!

Rattlesnake

 
 
Ok, so it's late and I'm being insanely lazy...and I'm tired. 
On that note I want to share with you the hike we took a few weekends ago with Nikki and her boys.  We drug them all up mountain...pretty sure Ian thought I was killing him.  Proud he got to the top and the bottom but the drama from his has got to stop!  It's insane! 
 
 
In no particular order:
 
Here we are at the top of the hike looking down on Rattlesnake Lake.  We are very high up, in my opinion.  But what a view!

 
 Train head.  As you can see we did the ledge but you can go much further than that. Which I think would be fun right up until I see someone hiking down from those with insanely huge backpacks  Then I think...nah! I'm good with our little hike!
 Partner in crime!  We have made plans to do a few new and old hikes this summer.  With kids and with out!  I'm looking forward to some with out the kids...I do not have to listen to them whine and cry and .....take your pick of it all!
 
Another shot from up top! It really was beautiful!
If memory serves me this is the direction of Mt. Si.  Which is also on our list of hikes to do with out kids! 
 This little guy had everyone in a tizzy up there...you'd think we had all seen a chipmunk before!  We were all fawning all over this guy.  Pretty funny!
 Nothing exciting, but at the top you can see I-90.
 Our pictures after lunch, now the hike down.  Which of course is much faster down and more nerve wracking!
 On our hike we came across this.  Pretty sure someone just brought this rose up there and left it but I really thought it was very pretty and a little out of place.  Still beautiful.
Selfies!!!
 Family shot! Everyone is alive...pretty sure they all doubted the outcome.
 Dru
 We literally stumbled on this Woodpecker on our way to the car.  It was fun to watch but Dru scared him away so we didn't' get to hear him peck away at the tree, very sad!
 A quick shot of the boys by Rattlesnake Lake before taking off for the car.  I was proud of them all, mostly Ian though, for doing the hike.  We gotta work on their attitudes but we'll get there!



Alright I have to get myself to bed...how does the time go so fast!  Last I looked it was 10:30 and now it's well after midnight!  Ugh!  I have seven hours of sleep and I must get them!  We will be walking to VBS tomorrow and I may just walk myself home and take a nap and wake up and walk to get the boys...I'm deprived of sleep the last few days...and a quiet nap sounds divine!

Have a good rest of the day !

Monday, June 23, 2014

Minions Assemble!

 
Well it would seem that I am a broken record and forgot all about these pictures that were taken last November!  Sigh...
 
I knew there were more pictures of Eli for his birthday, ok well it felt all wrong when I only came across like 5 of them. 
Anyway, for Eli's birthday I had some wonderful friends come and help me make this cake happen for Eli.  Grandma of course furnished the cake for this endeavor and then my wonderful baker friends came and helped.
 
 
 Although his enthusiasm doesn't quite show here he really was excited for this cake, as we all were in having purple teeth, tongue, and everything in between!  For the record, because it needs to be stated, it has been 7 months since his birthday and he has already changed so much! Wow!
 I know some of it looks blue but I promise it was all purple...gotta love it when the pictures does this.
 Pretty sure Mighty is my dog but there are times even I question where Mighty's loyalty lies...whoever gives him cake is where!
(and look!  Minions everywhere!)
 Presents!!!
 EPIC!  This movie stars his dog Mighty, who plays a Pug with 3 legs...can we say award worthy?
Eli still believes Mighty gets around and does all these things while he's busy, so here in this house Mighty is pretty famous!
 The Bat Signal! 
Our gift to Eli...he loves to play Batman and have Mighty be Robin...he's game as long as there is some treat involved!


I'm glad I came across these, it was good to remember!

 

Cousins??

 
 
 
 
They claim to be related.....
 

 
....I think I have to agree.
 
*This is hysterical!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The "Look'

 
 
I have laughed and laughed over this picture. 
 
We went hiking at Rattlesnake and at the end we went and saw the lake.  We stopped here at this tree and took pictures and let the boys throw rocks in the water.
We also took pictures and so I wanted our picture taken.  So I believe my boys took this picture.
 



Could the look on our faces scream we are moms any louder?
 
Have a good night and a good start to your week! 


Friday, June 20, 2014

Hummingbird

I have lived at my house for almost 8 years this year and last year I finally started seeing Hummingbirds.  In years past I have put feeders out with no luck, it's very sad I know.  I put my new hanging basket up and I get a Hummingbird! 
So exciting!
I am trying to plant lots of plants and flowers that are butterfly and hummingbird friendly, I'm just amazing when I see one because the boys are so loud sometimes.  I will say though that when they see a Hummingbird they have the same awe and will immediately get quiet and watch them for awhile.
 
So here are my shots, nothing spectacular but definitely fun and pretty cool!
 
 
 





Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Water-logged

 
Ok, so I will try and explain this as best I can in my limited knowledge and memory. 
 
Back in late February and March if ya'll remember we had record rain in the PNW.  Let me show you where all 10+ record falling rain went!
Folks it went right under my house...kid you not!  I can't remember the gallons that were under there or pumped out, but it was a lot.  Basically 3+ feet of water (if I remember correctly).
 
Anyway, this all started  in February, our heat quit working and that was weird, we've never had that happen.  Well lucky for us we had a scheduled maintenance on our heat pump  coming  and of course before that appointment  the heat started working again.  Out of nowhere. *Like taking your car into see the mechanic because of a noise, then of course they never hear it* So the maintenance guy comes and we tell him what we experienced and he said he would look at everything.  And look he did, to the tune of several hundred dollars. 
Flash forward to end of February and our heat quit working again.  So I call our heat place and tell them what's going on and what happened last time. So a manager from the place  said he'd stop by and take a look see. 
 
He comes to the house and we get to talking and he asks to go under the house. So I take him around back .  I know the picture below doesn't show it but we normally have a board that blocks getting under the house.  So just remember that. 
So we get back there and there is some water in there in front of the board that blocks the crawl space.  Every so politely the guy asks me, "is there normally this much water under there?".  To which my reply is a very uneducated, "Uh...I don't know?"
 
So I take the board away and low and behold this what we found all under the house.  The fella was so impressed that he asked if he could take a picture.  Because you know you just don't see stuff like this EVERYday (infuse Bill Engval here)! I can't tell you how happy I was to be that person...thrilled!  He then informs me he won't be going under the house.  To which I respond with the fact that I just don't understand why! 
Honestly! Some people are just no fun at all!
 
It also crossed my mind several times that I was done being a home owner...I didn't want to be responsible anymore and I was good with that.  Now call the Landlord!
 
                        
BUT we did find out why our heat quit working...water was getting into the heat vents or hindering it by being soaking wet.  Those black things are the heat vents...yeah they quit working and for awhile we used our emergency heat, which is the equivalent to baseboard heaters.  Woohoo!  (I was thankful we still had a way to keep warm, don't get me wrong), but can we say Ka-CHING?
 
$$$$

                          



 The picture below is the middle of my house. That's a whole lot of water under my house.  Flash forward to May-ish.  I have been in contact with the city and such trying to figure stuff out.  I get a piece of paper showing me where the city drains are and where the drains are on my property.  Very interesting.
 If you look closely on the beam, I think it shows just how high the water got under the house, we were shocked! 
As it turns out, what we learned from that nice paper was that on our property is a really long drain, underground.  That drain not only takes on water from our property, but also the 4 other properties BEHIND us. 
So, to recap, the month of March had record rainfall to the tune of 10+ extra inches of rain that fell pretty much the first week or so of March.  Everything was water-logged and what wasn't being soaked up and drained down our drain was going underneath our house. 
Clearly we are unimpressed.

Back to when we first had to deal with this, we had two sump pumps going and draining into the city drain in a parking next to us.  We managed that for a day or two until the business said we couldn't use the city drain in their parking lot.  Uhhh ok, eye rolling, we then moved the hoses.  Moved them so the water drained down our driveway and down the road to another city drain. 
 Note to self, don't use city drain in a parking lot.It bothers so many people.
 
 Water has gone down as you can tell from this picture.
 Things are starting to emerge from the water.  One day while I was down there cleaning and getting a ton, and I do mean a ton of insulation out from under there.  I came across a knife, a spoon, and a wrench. I almost had a whole set of silverware! Goodness sakes.

 
It is now June and for the last month I would say it looks pretty dry down there, finally.  I think since March that might be the driest I have seen it.  I haven't actually gone down under to look...yet! 
 
I do know we have some trench digging to do and laying of drainage stuff to do and quickly.  Otherwise it could be a long summer (outside of the boys).  I am leery of using our AC during the summer if they strongly advised us to not use our heat pump during the winter/spring time while we were dealing with the water. 
 
 
Here's to digging up my yard! And putting up a side gate/fence ASAP!
*we are ok with putting this March behind us and never seeing it again!*