Jun 30, 2008

Boon Docks

My little sister Boonie came to see us. She lives in Colorado, and if you've been following my blog she is the one who is getting married in September. It was so wonderful to have her here, and to play with the kiddo's. Somehow I need to convince her to start her own blog. Any advice for convincing family members to start blogging? I have one out of five sisters who blog. Boonie needs to blog because she has an extremely exciting life. On our way home from one of my doctors visits, she was nonchalantly telling us (me and my mom) about her stunt plane experience. The girl went up in a stunt plane with an 80 year old pilot and did flips in a plane. She mentioned how the only thing holding her in the plane, as she went upside down, was her seat belt. I didn't know people still flew in planes like that. Now, if she had a blog then we could all watch the video.... no pressure Boo. I was so happy to have her, she was super helpful! Now my kids keep asking where she went. It's always sad when my family members leave because we don't know how long it will be until we get to see them again.

Paintball Overnighter


On June 13th we had the second annual Paintball overnighter. This idea was dreamed up when several friends and I were reminiscing about how fun it was when we played capture the flag at night time as scouts. We determined that the only thing that could have made that more fun is if we had guns...So, we made it happen. Last year we found the most perfect field just outside of Eatonville with grass that grows taller than 6' in places. It was more like 2 to 4 feet high this year, as it is early in the season. About 20 people come out each year. It is a mixture of church friends, youth from our church ward, friends and family. We plan it for a weekend when there is a full moon so it is nice and bright. We play until about 2 a.m. and then wake up and finish around noon. Even though the moon lights up the field, it is difficult to spot an enemy in the shadows, so we all wear glow-sticks in the back of our helmets so as to make it more feasible to find an opponent. The result is pure guy fun. Miraculously no one has sustained any serious injury while crashing around in the dark! Each time we have had an immense amount of fun. I had to write about this so that if anyone out there hasn't gotten the invite, next year you will have to make it. It just might be the most fun you will have all year, crawling and sneaking through the grass hunting your buddies, anticipating shooting them in the buttocks, all the while waiting for the possible ambush...Exhilarating.

Jun 25, 2008

Dance Festival

I don't think I have ever blogged about the dance festival, but I remembered my camera tonight- Whoo hoo! I know, I know- I have a problem. For all of you I told I would go straight home from the hospital and take it easy... I LIED ;-) No, I did have every intention of staying in bed but I felt great, and this was our last practice before the preview. For the last six months John and I have been teaching the 14-18 year old's in our stake how to Charleston. We started off with the Charleston, which led to the varsity drag which basically is an intro into the Charleston and quite complicated for non dancers. We also taught all of the youth in our stake (12-18 yrs) a couple other dances they will perform at the festival. One of the dances is a Beach Boys dance to "fun fun fun"- it was really fun to choreograph too. The theme for the dance festival is "we're all in this together." You guessed it, from HS musical... you know you watched it! There are, I believe 11 stakes participating which is a TON of youth! They will be performing all different types of dances at the Tacoma Dome in mid July. Yep, right after I'm due. I knew going into this it would be a lot of work and I wouldn't get to be there, but I have loved it. This picture is just of the older kids, and about half are at EFY (especially for youth). Not having everyone there was a challenge four days before the preview, but just the thought of EFY brings happiness to my heart. Hopefully I can get some good pic's at the preview.

Jun 24, 2008

Sweet Elvis

As I dropped my kids off at my friends house to get to an apt last week we were able to snap some pictures that we have been talking about taking for months. Here are some cute shots of my little girl. It is so nice to have someone else taking the pictures- Thanks Rebecca!! She also took some adorable pictures of the kids with my gigantic belly. I will spare you all from the close-ups! My kids are so into the belly that I have to document it because I find it unusual how much belly time they both need. If you do need some maternity pictures, she is fabulous!

We did have a family photo-shoot recently done by someone in my photography class. I don't have all the pictures yet, but he did send some over- the bonus about taking a photography class is there are a lot of people willing to take lot of free pictures to get more experience. This pic is from his shoot.

Pneumonia

As if we didn't have enough drama, Mimi is in the hospital over night. She hasn't been feeling good and during a scheduled non-stress test, she was diagnosed with Pneumonia. Good thing she had that appointment today so that she can be treated quickly. Mimi's white blood cell count was really high, indicating possible infection. Her heart rate was high as well at 116. Also, Mia's heart was high at 160 and dipped down several times to 70. They have her on antibiotics and she is doing ok other than being very uncomfortable. She actually insisted on me staying home and not coming to the hospital so that the hardwood floors could get done. I didn't realize just how badly she was hating the OSB floor. Most flooring is down now and should be completed tomorrow. Thanks again to all our helpers far and wide.

Jun 21, 2008

Crazy tired


This is what happens when a three year old goes to sleep at 12:30 a.m. and wakes up at 5:00 am, then plays hard in the sun for 12 hours straight.

Treehouse




As a kid my bros and I loved building treehouses. Grandma/Grandpa Hallmeyer lived next door and their 10 acres were peppered with forts. We had a tree house that actually spanned the width of my moms 5 acre parcel. We have recently been building a new Treehouse for all the cousins to play in. I have always loved pounding nails and it is fun to see my little ones hammering away beside me. This fort is not only gonna be awesome, but it will be a great distraction/babysitter while the adults are trying to socialize at familiy events. With the baby scenario keeping us in limbo we have been very noncommital to any summer plans, but it has been fun to attend some things with Mia stablized. We did a campout at Grandma Conway's house this weekend and the kids had an absolute blast. The dads all built onto the treehouse. Kids fanned out all over, and I heard Jensen several times as he uttered to himself, "This is the best campout ever." He was cute as he asked grandma to sit with him at the fire and tell him scarey stories. Mimi said he learned about this tradition from Max and Ruby. Oh, and as I put Ellie down to sleep I was trying to be really still so she would doze off, waiting for the right moment to exit the tent. I thought for sure she was out cold when she turns to me and says, "Get out Dad!" Wasn't expecting that. She followed with, "Zip up the door!" Fun summer days. Love it.

"I mailed it"




I have noticed Ellie hanging out at the mailbox quite a bit over the last couple of weeks. Monday I saw her over there and noticed her inserting something into the outgoing mail slot. I shouted, "Ellie stop!" and she went ahead and slipped it in. I asked what it was and she said, "I mailed it." I asked, What did you mail?" "I mailed it!" It turns out she really likes mailing things. Maybe "likes" isn't the correct word. It is like a hobby for her. Basically she makes her daily chores mailing any envelope she can get her hands on. Any credit card application we get in the mail is promptly opened, then the enclosed envelope is returned into the "outgoing mail" slot. I have since caught her mailing other things, though not quick enough to actually stop her. So, we still don't know what she actually mails. The only thing we know she mailed for sure that we needed was an envelope full of tickets to Mimi's dance recital. I have this fear of going delinquent on paying some bill due to "I mailed it." I approached the mailman and told him our predicament and to put any odd items into our mailbox. He said he had seen several items with kids scribblings on them, but would pay more attention.

Jun 20, 2008

Update

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. Ever since we started this remodel it has been all I have had time for besides work. It has been impressive as we have had anywhere from 2 to 8 people in our house every day after work since we began destroying things a few weeks back. We are closer than ever to completing our upgrades. So far, we have painted the kitchen cabinets, installed crown molding, installed 14 can lights, run wiring for new switches and outlets, completed most of the sheetrock, tile bathroom, installed wall hanging TV. Most of the sheetrock is installed. We will be able to finish hardwood install next week, as well as hopefully getting our new doors. I attended a workshop on concrete countertops and am ready to do ours in the kitchen. We have been fortunate in that all labor has been free of charge, and much of the materials have been gifted to us as well including, about 400.00 worth of wire, 9 doors including installation, trim for actual wholesale price, our new kitchen island, & I am forgetting other things, but it is late...The new place is looking so great. A special thanks to those friends and family of ours that have made it their personal mission to see this through. The planning, the daily workparties etc. We have been touched by everyone's willingness to help get our house in shape before the baby comes. On that note, we had a really really encouraging visit to the doctor today. He says that Mia's heart is doing just as well as it has the last couple of weeks and says that Mimi should be able to carry the baby full term without induction. This is great news. For a while there it was looking like it would have to be C-section and pre-term birth. We have continued to feel uplifted by all your prayers and offers of help. For me a little home remodel has been a welcome distraction from reality. We will continue to update as things progress.

Jun 17, 2008

Father's Day


I couldn't very well not give up some love on Father's Day! This is our daddy John. He pretty much is the best daddy ever! My kids adore him, and run to the door every day when he gets home from work. They love to be by his side doing everything he is doing, and I mean everything. My favorite daddy quality of John's is that he sings to our kids everynight. I often hear them singing along, and it makes my heart melt! He likes to sing sweet sentimental songs, then he will also make up songs with funny words and wait for their responses. Thanks daddy-o , Happy day to you! This is my daddy "papa." He is the hardest working man I have ever known. He survived six daughters which is a huge indicator of his character. I don't know any other farmer that was blessed will all daughters and never once complained about it ;-) If you live in my home town watch for him out walking. He takes a walk every night, and you will know it is him because he will wave at you. I am truly grateful for this man. Love you dad, thanks for everything!

Jun 11, 2008

Dance Recital 2008

My little Cheesy Mouse! Ellie was a mouse this year, I just wanted to eat her up in this costume. I will definitely post a video of her cuteness when I get it. This girl loved being on stage. I was trying not to laugh while I was out there with them because she kept waving frantically at her dad and grandma's.

This is my ballet tap class. They did a dance to "happy little working song" from Enchanted. They danced with pink feather dusters and it was darling to say the least!!

My Hip Hop class was one of my favorites! These girls are hysterical.. we laughed a lot! The dance was an 80's exercise theme with bocu balls. Half way through the song, the music changed into a funky hip hop dance. They did great, I was so proud of them!

My other ballet tap class did a tap dance to "Hairspray". All of the dances were supposed to have a room in the house theme. This one was the bathroom.... hairspray... bathroom... maybe a stretch but the dance was super cute!

I need a medal for this class. I taught 12 three year -old's ballet ALL YEAR LONG! How? I don't know! With a three year old at home, no one should be required to spend an hour every week with 12 of them ;-) I actually really enjoyed this class- they were a lot of work, but very darling. My friend Rachel's daughter was in the class... it's always fun to teach my friends kiddo's.


I don't know where all of my dancers are in this picture, but the class was much bigger. This was my ballet class. All very sweet girls- it will be sad not to see them every week. This was my class that always had news for me! I could be wrong but I think someone lost a tooth every week in this class!!

This day started perfectly and ended perfectly. My mom called me at six in the morning telling me she was at my front door! I was so excited because she was able to see Ellie dance, and all of my classes as well. I knew she was coming up to take care of us, but I didn't know she was coming so soon... it was the best surprise I have had in a long time! THANKS MOM.

After the recital, John gave Ellie some jewelry. It was really sweet to see her excited about her ballerina necklace and bracelet from her daddy. Her above pose says it all! She also made sure everyone knew about her new "pretty necklace." Jensen also gave her some flowers, I think he really enjoyed watching all of the dances. Even though I was dancing on stage with her, I was such a proud momma- she was darling.

I also received a lot of love from all of my little dancers!! Many of my students are really into this pregnancy, so I left the recital with cute baby gifts, and plenty of gift cards. One of the gifts was a hefty gift card to Starbucks... a true sign of the Pacific Northwest culture. I guess it is time to start drinking hot chocolate!

I am sad I won't be seeing these girls everyweek, but it really couldn't have ended at a better time. I will miss it for sure!

Echo Results

Well... The right side of her heart is about the same as it was last week. That is great! No baby this week at least. Hopefully next week her heart will perform just as well as it did this week. The pediatric cardiologist even said that her heart, in general, looked "better". Woo hoo! Thank you for all of your prayers!

Jun 6, 2008

Mia's Heart

This is little Mia's heart. Isn't is so sweet? As you can see the left ventricle is very dilated. I should have put little arrows to show you where the aortic and mitral valve should be. You can't see them really, because they didn't form. On Tuesday we received some more sad news. It looks like the right side of her heart is also going down hill. It just isn't contracting enough, and the tissue between chambers is bowing. They are going to see how much worse it is on Tuesday, but my cardiologist is pretty sure I will be delivering ( 5 weeks) early. Mia sure is a fighter, and I feel her moving around all the time. She definitely wants me to know that she is there. With so many echo's and ultrasounds, I have been able to see her little face frequently. As far as I can tell she has really big lips, and tons of hair. She is darling, I love this little girl so much. During my last echo, she punched the probe out really far. The technician and I were both laughing, she said she has never had a baby punch out that much. Maybe baby Mia is getting tired of the constant monitoring :-)

I am overwhelmed with the love and support from everyone in my life! THANK YOU!!
I will let you know what they decide on Tuesday.

Jun 4, 2008

Momacita


This is my mom! I know this is way late but... HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOM! Besides being beautiful, she is the best mom on the planet! If you know me, you know that my one sadness in life is not living close to my mom. There is so much I could say about my mom, but here are some things I want her to know that I LOVE about her:

- Her laugh. She has the best laugh- my favorite memories are of her laughing.
- Her Cooking. She can make anything taste good. (John will confirm this)
- Her Talents. She is master seamstress, floor tiler, gardener, and farm fixer.
- Her Reading skills. I swear she can read an entire book in an hour
- Her knowledge. Ask her anything, she'll know the answer!
- Her confidence. I don't think there is anything I wouldn't trust her to do. Somehow things just work out for her. Whether it is getting out a stain, or getting a certin plant to grow- She can do it!
- Her humility. She is is very gentle and kind. Don't be confused by the above quality. She would be the last to admit that she great at everything, and is probably embarrased that I wrote that :-)

Mom you are such a wonderful mom- I couldn't have asked for a better mom. It is all the little things that you did, that are so special to me. John thinks I'm crazy that I make him get me a drink of water before I go to bed. Love you mom!!

Jun 3, 2008

Take me out the Ball Game

John brought home some tickets to the Rainier's game, the kids were pumped! As we approached the field, I was getting them all excited about the game. A panic looked game across Jensen's face and he said, "Mom, mom... I'm not ready!!" I had no idea what he could possibly need to watch a baseball game. After talking it through, I realized he was thinking he was going to be playing in a baseball game. Poor kiddo! He wanted his batting helmet, uniform, and cleats. He is so excited for T-ball season to start!

Every time the ball was hit I was nervous that it was going to hit us. We were right behind the fence on third base. It didn't help that I had people tell me "watch out for foul balls with that baby." Luckily we made it out of there with no foul ball injuries. The hi-light of our night was when our neighbor came out onto the diamond and handed Ellie a Frisbee. We didn't know he was over promotions, but he did recognize us- and Ellie got a fun giveaway.

Pajama Party



The Dance department held their annual Mother's Day celebration. This year we did a pajama party. It was darling to say the least! Here is Ellie helping me teach "Pearly Shells" and a little Hula dance to the mom's and daughters. Ellie is at such a fun age where she can anticipate an upcoming event- then reminisce about it days and weeks later. We have been singing "pearly shells" non- stop at our house. I am REALLY behind in blogging... hence the Mother's Day post.

Hardwood turning into remodel

Since baby Mia will have her immune system supressed, we decided to install hardwood floors so that we can get all the germs out and have a more easily maintainable surface. To do hardwood, we have to remove trim, so now we are getting new trim. We decided to tear out the center wall in our kitchen in order to create more space. The plan is to put an island in its place for more counterspace and room for stools. Tearing down the walls was a blast. I had a couple high school buddies over to help as well as Jeff and his son. Between Ellie, Jensen and Logan it could have been their full time job. They were hammering long after all traces of sheetrock were gone. They even hammered on a couple walls that were to stay. Oops. It was funny, and we are going to have the puddy out soon, so no harm.

The Good:

Mimi and I are not extremely passionate about interior decorating and things like that, so it has been extremely helpful that two of our friends have stepped in and are making decisions for us. They come plan, measure, suggest, sheme, shop, come to Home Depot with us, and even take home project to complete! It is like we have our own interior decorators. I also have a couple real close freinds that do pipe and framing. This has proven to be priceless. On top of this I have a couple friends drop by and jump right into whatever I am working on. No pricetag for this. Thank you!!!

The Challenging:

Total wall length that we have torn down is only 11' but we have had some challenges, mainly the fact that all possible utilites are in this small section of wall. It's just downright unfair. Here's the list of setbacks: Three power outlets, two light switches, a phone line,Three air ducts, two water pipes, a sewer pipe and a partridge in a pair tree. Also, the wall is a load bearing wall. Here is what we have done so far to solve problems. We set a post and beam to carry the weight from the ceiling. Water pipes have been rerouted, Power and lights will have to be figured out as well as phone line. Sewer pipe will need to be moved over a bit, but the real kicker is the air ducts. I just haven't figure out how to get around that one. Oh, and the hardwood flooring material was purchased today and we are ready to roll. the wood is supposed to "acclamate" for a week and then we will install. We chose Brazilian Redwood for downstairs, purpleheart for the small rectangle in front of the fireplace, and Santos Mahogany for the upstairs landing. We are going to do the stairs as well, but I have some more measuring to do.

Here is our first Youtube video of the demo-