Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Thomas's Day!

Today, we sing the song for Thomas! You know the one. He's seven today.

We love you Thomas! You add joy and laughter to our family and
you are a great blessing from God!

A few priceless pics are below. These are the kind you would
consider running into the house of flames to rescue. I'll add a picture from today, later.

Amanda and Emily loving up my big tummy with you in it!

Daddy introducing the girls to you. You were probably an hour old.

The girls had helped the nurse give you your first bath and now Emily got to hold you.

Amanda held you next.

Dear Thomas, I love being your Mom! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

15 is the limit...

... for clams, that is.

Thomas and his friend

Today, we dug clams, and it was a heap of fun. "Clams?" you might ask. "What type of clams?"

Well, we dug razor clams. You might then ask, "Oh, that sounds like fun. Where do you go to dig razor clams?"

We go to Grays Harbor. The low tide was at 7:30AM, which means we wanted to be on the beach by 6:30. Now, we live about 1.5 hours from the beach, so you do the math. We were up EARLY! Amazingly, everyone was pretty happy about it inspite of the dark hour.

See the happy faces? You would never know it was 5AM. How come they don't get up like this on school days?

After admiring the determination required to catch a few bi-valves, you might then wonder how one goes about digging a razor clam. See the video below for a little lesson by Jack's brother, Todd. The tube thing he uses is actually called a "clam gun". No, you don't shoot the clam.

Here are a few pictures of the great day we had.

Emily and Amanda pulling their catch from the sand

Thomas helping me get a big one!

Get 'em, Jack! Look at that form!

Emily's smile says it all

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On your mark, get set, GROW!

I love love love to dig in the dirt. There is just something great about getting my hands in the soil, putting the seeds in the little holes, and waiting for the harvest. I haven't had a garden in a couple of years, and then the raccoons ate all of my corn! Well, this year will be different! We have a fence and a dog. No raccoons this time!

Jack built and filled three 12x4 beds for me. I adore that man! Last weekend, when the sun was out, I was able to get everything planted: giant pumpkins, zucchini, carrots, beets, butternut squash, corn, a variety of sunflowers, basil, peas, beans, gourds, tomatoes... I think that's it. No lettuce; I like the kind from Costco too much and I hate the bugs it attracts. Now comes the watering and waiting.

I tried my hand at planning a square-foot garden. Hoping for more veggies and less weeds.
Annie is always a lot of help

Happy Birthday House!


Today is the 1-year birthday of our new house! We were feeling many mixed emotions a year ago: sad to leave our old house and neighbors, but very excited about moving into the new place and meeting new people. It was one year ago that we drove to our new home, van and truck busting full with packed boxes, and received our shiny new house keys. We took a quick tour of the place with the builder as he showed us things like where the water main was, then sat down to our first meal: Papa Murphy's pizza, eaten on the floor. We felt like kings and queens eating on that pretty new wood floor! Well, many memories have since been made in this pretty new house and I know there are many more to come!

The old house... 3123 60th Loop SE.
We lived there for 14 years.

Leanne's help in getting us moved was bitter-sweet and very much appreciated. She even painted a wall and cleaned after the movers had taken everything out! Leanne rocks!

Many "firsts" have happened in the new home. Here are just a few...

First Christmas cookie decorating bonanza

First Easter Egg dying

The first birthday celebrated was Thomas turning 6

The first New Year's cake... traditionally chocolate, and eaten just after midnight

First cornet lesson, given by Grandpa Dave

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Opening Day

I know that the Mariners had their opening day a couple of weeks ago, but today was opening day for the South Sound Baseball Pony League. Thomas's team is a gang of first graders, all boys except for one girl. They named themselves "The Sharks".

Well, Thomas was the starting pitcher for the Shark team today. He was up at 6:30 AM and dressed in his uniform before anyone else in the house was awake. We didn't have to be to the field until 11:10. A combination of nerves and excitement filled the morning!

Arriving at the field, we sized up the competition.... THIRD graders! They were like amazons compared to our six-turning-seven crew. Thomas pitched to those kids and struck out a few of them- good going THOMAS! Jack and I were a proud mom and dad as we heard all of the parents cheering Thomas on as he faced the Goliath-like batters from the yellow team. Those big kids beat us horribly, as you could imagine, but Thomas stuck in there, throwing again and again.
Way to go Thomas! You did great today!

First Pitch of the Game

The release...


Complete focus

Great follow-through!

Now, the picture below is my all time favorite picture of Thomas "playing" baseball. This was 2 years ago. He was playing 3rd base, waiting for the play when I snapped this dandy. He's come a long way in just 2 years!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just playing with the camera yesterday. So many buttons. So little knowledge of what to do with them! Maybe I'll take a class one day :-)

Below is a tulip. Funny how it was blue or purple/red, depending on the setting I used. I like how the light seems to glow through the petals in this photo.

Around 7PM yesterday, the clouds parted and this beautiful rainbow arched over the house that is being built next door to us. Perfect for an Easter evening!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The envelope please...

We have a winner!

He is probably completely blown away, but Brad is the winner of the blogging contest.

He correctly answered that the cat is Dot (10 points), and he also knew that number 6 of the multiple choice was not true (another 5 points). Many people had 15 points, but what put Brad above the others is that he wrote the best reason for Amanda's condition: Jack's attempt to keep all boys far away, which gave him an additional 25 points. It's not a long answer, but boy, did it make us laugh!

So congratulations Mr. Brad! I hope you enjoy those seeds and the cute towel! You'll have to lock up the Reese's egg and Peeps to keep Leanne and Alex away from those treats.


(Doesn't he look overjoyed?)

Although Brad won the big prize package, there was one other entry that really deserves an honorable mention, and that is Miss Brenna. Her answer for Amanda's appearance included: Amanda's eyes are pretty in the picture. Does it get any sweeter than that? Here's this crazy picture and Brenna says Amanda's eyes are pretty! Brenna, an extra Reese's egg is coming your way!

Honorable Mention goes to Brenna

She has pretty eyes herself!

Now, for those of you who have been patiently waiting for the correct answers on the multiple choice section, here you go:

1. All of the Arend kids have a stuffed pink monkey named Kiki.
Yes, it's true. The girls, AND Thomas have such a monkey. The original Kiki was Amanda's, purchased before she was born as a set of cute crib animalis. Amanda loved her Kiki, so when Emily came along we purchased one for her before she was born. Once pregnant with Thomas, we looked high and low so he wouldn't feel left out. Not knowing if he was a boy or a girl, we tried to buy one blue monkey and one pink monkey so we would be prepared either way. Alas, the company didn't make the blue monkey any more so we purchased a pink one, thinking that Thomas was probably a girl anyhow since that's what we seemed to produce. Lo and behold, Thomas was born a boy, and now he, like his sisters, owns a pink monkey named Kiki.

2. Amanda's favorite color is purple.
False. It's pink.

3. Emily has had braces off and on since 2nd grade.
False. She has had braces since the 1st grade.

4. We have been reprimanded by security at a major league baseball game.
True. At an Angels game in L.A. we were told by security to please not hold up signs as they were a security threat. Shesh. We were only begging for rally fries. They must be pretty up tight in S. Cal.

5. We were once refused service at a restaurant because the children had no shoes on.

True. We were camping in Oregon, when of course, it started raining like crazy in the middle of the night. That's just how it goes when we camp. At 5AM we packed the tent, shoving all the wet and sandy stuff into the back of the van. Amanda and Emily went into the van too, but they were properly put into their car seats (Thomas wasn't even an idea at that point in our family). We drove to Astoria and decided to get breakfast at Pig 'n Pancake. In we went, smelling like campfire smoke and wet beach. The kids had sand on the pajamas and socks on their feet. We were quite a site, to be sure! It was after we were seated that I was told that if the children didn't have proper shoes on, we would not be able to be served! Gosh, I thought I was doing good just to have socks on them! We found the wet, sandy shoes and forced them onto the cold feet, and were then served a great diner type breakfast.

6. When she was a puppy, Annie was once caught in a raccoon live-trap.
False. I think Dixie was once in the trap though.

7. We once lived in a hotel, in our own town, for 3 weeks.
True. This was about 2 years ago when I left a pot of stew meat on high as we left for church for the evening. Came home to a home filled with smoke. The stench of the diagnosed "protein fire" forced us out to live in a hotel for 3 weeks while the cleaning company worked their wonders restoring our home to a livable condition. Moral of the story... triple check the burners before leaving the home.

8. Emily has kissed an alligator.

True. Here's the proof:

She loved that gator. This was in Florida, visiting an alligator farm in 1999. Uncle Brett and Alissa are standing by.

9. Jack was once run up a flag pole by his three older brothers.

Legend is, this is true.

10. Brenda once lived in Idaho.
True. Senior year of WSU, I lived in Post Falls, Idaho for 5 months while I did my public school internship in Coeur d'Alene.

Thanks for playing, everybody! We'll do it again!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


It's the moment you've all been waiting for. No more crazy hair on Kaisha, no more levitating children...

Here's the scoop: There are 3 parts to the contest. 1) photo ID 2) make up an explanation, and 3) multiple choice. Points are given for each item as listed, but you never know when bonus points may be given for especially cute or clever answers. (I'm thinking of Thomas answering on Aunt Kristine's contest that she weighed 45 pounds on her wedding day!)

To be eligible you must live within the continental United States and you must post your answers as a comment to this blog (email me if you need help on this). You must not be one of my own children or be my husband. That's about it.

I will announce a winner on Wednesday, April 8th, 6:00 PM. This will give me time to mail the prize on Thursday and you can receive it by Easter!

PART ONE- Photo ID. (10 points for the right answer)

We have 2 cats that look a lot alike, Dot and Dixie. Which cat is pictured below?

PART 2- Make up an explanation (25 points for the answer we like the best)

Tell a reason or story as to why Amanda looks the way she does in the picture below. (Amanda wishes it to be known that she doesn't usually look like this!)


PART 3- Multiple Choice (5 points for each correct choice)

Which 3 of the following are not true:

1. All of the Arend kids have a stuffed pink monkey named Kiki

2. Amanda's favorite color is purple.

3. Emily has had braces off and on since 2nd grade.

4. We have been reprimanded by security at a major league baseball game.

5. We were once refused service at a restaurant because the children had no shoes on.

6. When she was a puppy, Annie was once caught in a raccoon live-trap.

7. We once lived in a hotel, in our own town, for 3 weeks.

8. Emily has kissed an alligator.

9. Jack was once run up a flag pole by his three older brothers.

10. Brenda once lived in Idaho.

Now, for the prize! Lookie below!

I am starved for spring, so I'm offering up a springy prize! A new brightly colored hand towel, a solid dark chocolate bunny, Peeps, nasturtium seeds and lastly, a Reese's peanut butter egg.

Good luck!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Contest Comes Tomorrow!!

Check back tomorrow (Saturday, April 4) for all of the details.

In the mean while - here are a few pictures of our gravity-defying children...