Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wow... busy weekend!

This weekend we packed in Atty's party {seizure free for one year on his magic diet!} on Saturday, the Seattle Aquarium on Sunday, and a really great walk in a local bird sanctuary on Monday. A fun filled, beautiful, memory building weekend, just my kind of thing. :) I took over three hundred pictures in one long weekend, so in comparison these pictures here are just the tip of the iceberg so to speak. Didn't think you all would want to wade through that many pictures, ha ha! Atty's Seizure Free party was amazing. Wonderful friends, great Atty friendly food, lots of laughs, a few tears {mostly me...} it was food for my soul.

Atty's face was lit up with happiness the whole time. Being able to share his food, and have other people enjoying it meant the world to him.

I got trophies for all the kids and had them engrave a special message on each one, they loved them. I had to have my dearest friend stand with me and talk for me at first as I was so choked up with emotion that it just overwhelmed me, but by the time Atty's turn came around I was able to talk and give him his trophy. It was a really special moment. I also took a moment to thank all the people there who have been there for me and supported me and I made a super ugly cry face as I tried to get out the words I needed to express myself. I didn't quite say what I wanted to say, but they understood, tears were shed all around and we all hugged. It was beautiful.

Then my mom surprised Ryder and I with trophies of our own. So sweet and totally unexpected. Go Team Rivers.

We finished with almond flour cupcakes, they ended up being super yummy and not a single one was wasted. Yay!

This little red head {he would say orange head if you asked him} is my Champion! He has now been seizure free for one whole year, and as of Saturday is off his medicine. All of it! Wowsers.

The next day we were off to the Seattle Aquarium. Everyone was super excited!

The under water dome ended up being one of the favorite for everyone. The boys visited it twice, and spend quite a lot of time looking around at all the amazing fish. On our second trip in {yes we went around the whole aquarium twice!} we saw a scuba diver cleaning the windows and the boys thought that was really cool.

One of my favorite pictures of the day. :)

Looking in the tide pools, a touch and feel area. Another favorite.

A lady asked me how I kept track of my kids as she was having a hard time keeping track of her two {her words, not mine} I told her bright shirts. That's the ticket. Well that and teaching your kids to mind you and stick by you in crowds, but I didn't go there with her. I do always dress my kids in really bright clothes when we go to crowded places and find that it really, really helps. In fact I was just thinking while we were there that I want to have a tie dye party this summer and make some more brightly colored shirts, they are the best for spotting in a crowd. :)

Are they truly all mine!?! I am a lucky girl. :)

On Monday we went to a bird sanctuary for an amazing walk. I was looking through our Atlas and happened to see that there was a bird sanctuary on a close by island that we never knew of before. It took us all of about 15 minutes to get there. That's my kind of outing.

It was truly beautiful and the calls of all the birds was music to the ears. We saw so many, and the kids were all really excited. The walk was a super easy maybe two miles round trip. A big bonus was an eagle nest with two clearly visible bald eagles. We were told that there were babies in the nest and the kids thought that was really neat. We all spied on them with our binoculars.

There were also lots of cranes. The kids got a good giggle over one that wouldn't stop squawking. They are really loud!

We tried to get a family photo, but it didn't work out so well. :)

My hubby and I took turns for a group shot instead. This was the end of the trail. It emptied out into reedy marsh lands right next to the river and close to the bay. Beautiful.

We were all super proud to make it to the end of the trail. And everyone was a trooper on the way back. I love that my kids like to hike, because I am a big explorer! I can't wait to go on more explorations with this team. Slowly we will go farther and farther, pretty soon maybe I can talk the hubby into a hiking/camping trip... he's not as into the exploring as I am. But he lets himself be dragged along {and I think he secretly likes it}.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One whole year!

Check out my post on Atty's blog. Today = 1 whole year of being seizure free on the MAS diet!!!

So proud of my kids! Every one of them helped to make this year successful for Atty and his magic diet. We are having a party this Saturday with close friends and family. I got the kids real trophies with a special message on them for each kid. I am so excited to give each one their trophy and see their proud little faces. I might have to have someone else read what the trophy's say, because I'll probably be to teary eyed. I also made a video to show at the party and I am hoping to be able to figure out how to post it on Atty's blog to share his beautiful story. I will also post some pictures of the party on his blog as well. One whole year down, one more to go. Actually he will always have some sort of difference in his diet, but hopefully just not as strict as it is now.

Tonight after dinner we ate almond flour muffins to celebrate and then spent some time shouting "No More Seizures!" at the top of our lungs. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In retrospect...

This was our pond. Yes I said was. This winter the pond pump went out, and along with the fact that I was already falling out of love with this pond, was the fact that I didn't want to spend a penny more keeping it running. Lets face it the pond was not a selling factor for me when we bought this house. Yes it was pretty and sounded beautiful. But I run a daycare, and I have four kids, one of my children has gone through a serious health scare as many of you know. Four months of non-stop seizures, and a very intense diet has been followed since then to stop them. Which takes a lot of extra cooking, prep and planning. I don't have time for extras, and fishing algae out of this pond every other day was just getting to be a little too much {we are talking copious amounts, no matter what we tried}. I'm a gardener, I'd rather spend any extra time I can scrounge up daydreaming in the garden. Plus I've been dreaming of the extra yard space. Our backyard is fun, but it's not very big. So anyways I finally talked my husband into ripping it out. And what a mess it's been.

It was really pretty at first, so I was a little sad to see it go. To bad it was so much work to keep it looking good. We really couldn't enjoy it much as it had to be behind an 5 foot {ugly} fence to keep the kids safe. Some day I'd like to live on property with a little creek running though it... that's my sort of water feature. :)

My husband rented a little tractor thingy and we got serious. Sort of scary to jump into a big project like this, because if you change your mind... well there just isn't any going back. Not that I was going to change my mind, but I know my husband hasn't been as keen on the idea as me. Probably because he has to do most of the work. Around here I churn out the ideas and he gets them done. ;)

So thankful for this hardworking man who trusts in me so much that he will make my ideas happen, even if he doesn't "see it" like I do. Makes me want to work extra hard to make it super cool so that he will feel like it was all worthwhile.

One little snag in our plans is the fact that this soil, if you can call it that, is practically pure clay. And doesn't drain. Which is probably why the previous owners turned it into a gorgeous pond, because it was pooling up regardless. Soooooooo, um, yeah. In retrospect, maybe the pond was a great idea. Shesh.

Scrambling for a better plan.

...and I think I've got one. I will make this work. I will. And when it's done I will show you the results, they will be stunning. {Not really, you can't really top a beautiful pond, it will be more kid friendly and fun... but that's what we are all about around here!}

Monday, May 16, 2011

New best friend.

Don't worry, she is not eating it... just giving it a kiss. No big deal. {Ack!}

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Mother's Day adventure!

What a wonderful day! We went on an amazing hike on Mother's Day. We walked along a bluff over looking the bay and then down to the beach. Then we followed the beach back. Not a drop of rain, which was a real treat considering we went hiking even though there was a threat of rain coming. Instead of rain we got some perfect hiking weather. My sister and mom came with us which was perfect because there was one adult for every kid, and considering the drop offs along the side of the bluff section of the trail I think I would have had a panic attack if there wasn't a hand for every child. The trail was to skinny for more then a pair of people to walk on, even pairing up was hard. But it didn't take the fun out of it. We saw so many cool birds, the air was fresh and sweet and the combination of sun and breeze felt so good.The walk started off on a steep up hill climb. The boys just trekked right up. Little troopers!
Love these wonderful boys of mine. Atty did really well on this hike, I was impressed. Last year he had to take quite a few breaks in the stroller on a hike that we went on... this year he hiked right along side his brothers, which was super impressive considering the hike was almost 4 miles {my husband swears it was more like 6, but my book listed it as closer to 4...} and the elevation high point was 250 feet! That's no small feat for a boy who was seizing non-stop a little over a year ago!!!

Love these tough old trees.

Looking way, way, way down... and back to see how far we had come.

Yikes, hold on tight to your children! The boys thought it was super cool. The views were amazing! My camera just couldn't do them justice.

We saw so many cool birds, we are definitely a bird watching family now. {Thank you Atticus!} We brought along a laminated field guide on local birds and we spotted quite a few different types. My sister taught us a bird call for the red winged black bird that sounds like "pumpkin eater, pumpkin eater", the boys loved this, especially when they heard that very bird and it did sound remarkable similar! This giant of a bird pictured above made the bald eagle flying near by look miniature. We were in awe! This bird wasn't on our list, but my husband guessed it as a golden eagle? I have no idea...

Everyone has a buddy... This is about the spot on the trail where my husband started doubting that it was a loop trail and though perhaps I was taking us on a wild goose chase and started suggesting we might want to turn around. But it was Mother's Day so he let me have my fun, and sure enough eventually the trail wound back down to the water {I myself was starting to doubt, but didn't say a word of course...}

Stopping for a break and to take in the view. My strong sister carried baby girl on her back for the whole bluff walk! I would not have survived that I do believe, definitely not a strong as I use to be...

Once we got to the beach we had a picnic packed by my husband. Best sandwich I have ever had! Then we went beach combing. I love finding unique rocks for my outdoor rock collection. My favorite is hard shaped rocks, I have quite a few. On this walk I found some really nice green and bright round white rocks. Lala loved the sand, and this was the first time she was at the ocean, she was in awe.

Bubu was so excited to find this heart shape for me, he was bubbling over with his excitement when he gave it to me, so sweet!

My little beach explorers.

I love this picture of my husband and Lala. Sharing in her joy of the powerful sea. She held her daddy's hand as she watched the waves rolling up the beach towards her. Her brothers had fun chasing waves. {Until Ira fell and got all wet... then he had to wear mismatched clothes for the rest of the trip, at least I had some or he would have been one cold sad little boy.}

Hearts in the sand just for me... Love.

{Bubu's little hearts are so adorable!}

One happy Mommy, one great team. One wonderful day of many! I'm a lucky lady.

{Don't laugh to hard at my sporty head band... my ears get so cold with any sort of wind and then I get an ear ache. I don't mess around with that, style goes right out the window when it comes to pain.}

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chasing Chickens

So I've been trying not to swam this blog with chicken pictures... but we sure do love our chickens! :) Especially this girl. She loves them so much she just has to squeeze one! She is determined to get her hands on one. And since they are bigger and faster now I have let her loose on them. They don't like it very much, but it sure is funny to watch...

We let them out in the yard occasionally on the weekend before we mow and she follows them around the whole time. She says "Here Chicks, here chicks" over and over again, it's super cute. They don't listen though, they may be dumb, but there not that dumb. When I say it on the other hand they come running... because that means food and these girls love to eat!

Lala will even try to trick them into coming to her by grabbing handfuls of grass for them. The few times that one of them has come close enough to nibble a piece she will say "Bite" with a big smile on her face. But then she tries to grab it and the chase is on. Our girls {the chickens} have a tendency to nibble fingers, because we are always feeding them by hand. The only problem being that they can peck kinda hard now and when they actually get your fingers, well it hurts a bit... doesn't stop the boys from feeding them worms, slugs and bug though! The boys think that is the coolest part. :)

Chasing chickens could keep this girl entertained for hours I do believe.

The chicken seem to think it's worth it for a moment of relative freedom and a chance to scratch in some grass for yummy treats.

Not that they don't have an awesome chicken coop... cause this thing is super cool. My hubby did a great job as usually and our girls are happy! It's been fun working on it with him. Chickens for us is a bit of a hobby and we are treating them more as pets, so they are a tad spoiled and we have spent more money on them then we probably should have. But the kids have no other pets right now and we have all been enjoying them so much {Atty and Lala in particular}. We sanded the inside this weekend to make it easier to clean and keep the stink down. I also planted hops on the outside to grow up and over the chicken coop. I will be hanging some good smelling herbs from containers off the top of the coop {on the sidewalk side where the boards hang over}, hopefully. That's the plan anyways. I've also talked my husband into more of a reddish color for the chicken house {as I'm not very keen on the dark brown almost black that he painted it}. We are also going to be adding a window soon. I never thought I'd like having chickens so much. Now wait tell summer {when the pen gets a bit more stinky} and I might change my mind!