Friday, July 31, 2009

This Adventure Is Near The End ...

...tomorrow I pick Rob up at the airport and a new one begins.

(And thus concludes what is possibly the worlds shortest blog post.)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Prayers for Noah

A little prayer request. My friends Brian and Bethany have a son named Noah who is the same age as Gabe (they also have three other children). Little Noah recently started having seizures. Lots of them. Of many different kinds. My heart has been breaking for them but it only occurred to me today to pass on the prayer request for this lovely family. Bethany has started an online journal here The Strongest Gilpin. Please feel free to visit and read about Noah. You will have to sign up as a member but it's free and it's worth it. So prayers please for little Noah and his family. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sum, Sum, Summertime!

Have you heard? Washington is in a major heat wave right now. (Thank God for AC - seriously, I THANK God for AC!) Mostly we've been staying indoors lately. The kids try to go outside and play but the only one who doesn't turn around within a few minutes and come back in is Gideon. That kid doesn't seem to be bothered by the heat one iota. Blogger is not letting me rearrange my photos tonight so SERIOUSLY in no particular order:

Sunday I slaved away in the heat putting up a tent canopy over some of the kids' toys. Especially the ones that Gideon likes to play with, not that he seems to care one way or the other but I feel better having him in the shade. It looks like there's a ton of stuff under there and no room but things are more spread out than they appear. We made a tunnel and cave with cardboard the other day and Gabe is using their chairs to keep them upright.

We have a little wading pool. After putting up the tent I waded in. Gabe wants to know why the diving duck has a cupcake. I can't think of a valid answer to that question. Why would a duck have a cupcake underwater?

Gideon loves to climb up in a chair and kick back and relax. In the background you'll notice two pairs of little legs climbing and jumping.

I picked up a t-ball set at Target the other day. Gabe took to it right off. He can smack that across the yard and you better not be in the way!

Remember the planter that I had my brother build? It's nice and filled in now. The flowers are beautiful and the Allysium smells fantastic!

Look at that face! That's mischief right there! Like he's daring me to stop him. Since I had watched him put it in and out a few times before he noticed me I was going to do no such thing. I was really hoping that he WOULD do it again so I could get a picture. Good boy, Gideon!

This morning the kids asked to set up the ball pit. I thought it was so they could, you know, play in the ball pit. Apparently it was so they could play with the ball storage bag. Gideon had serious fun getting a ride on it from Zion. Zion is reluctant to believe me when I tell her it is not safe to climb in the plastic bag - no no! (Luckily there are holes for ventilation but still...)

Gideon is very creative when it comes to problem solving. Needing to carry your lovie when your hands are otherwise occupied? No problem. Just use your mouth.

Zion may need a little coaching when it comes to t-ball. Even after I showed her how to use the bat she preferred the wrong end. I guess whatever works, eh?

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Gabriel is the sweetest kid. I think I may have mentioned this once or twice. Lately he's been making all of the kids' beds in the morning. I never asked him too, never even hinted. He just started doing it one day recently. So after they all wake up and I take Gideon and Zion downstairs he stays upstairs and puts all their blankies on straight, sets up their stuffed animals in cute ways, sometimes at the head of the bed sometimes he tucks them in, he makes sure Gideon's paci is in his crib for the next time he goes to bed. I should take pictures. He also tidies the rooms sometimes too. Yesterday he folded one of Zion's extra blankies and put it on her wooden rocker as a cushion. I think Acts of Service may be his Love Language.

Speaking of Love Languages, there are supposedly five (find out yours here). Acts of service (which is mine - mostly), words of encouragement, physical touch, receiving gifts and quality time. I actually think there are five. Gideon has the sixth Love Language I think and that's "causing laughter". He is the funniest kid but not only that but he loves to tickle. Not be tickled but to tickle. He even says "tickle". He reaches out to me, his siblings, sometimes even a toy and flutters his little fingers and says "tika tika tika tika" over and over. I will try to get it on video and post it. It may just be the next YouTube sensation.

Gideon loves laundry. He loves to wrap it all over himself and hug it and cuddle with it. The only bad thing is that I had just folded it.

He also loves putting things on his head. This is appropriate when it is things like Zion's kitty hat but once Jamie was with us and went to get Gideon out of his carseat and he had a book balanced on his head. With no hands. He's quite talented actually.

Gabe made Play Doh pizza. He's got mad skillz.

Zion is smelling "Gi'eon's stinky feet". I'm sure this sort of thing goes on in other households. Couldn't just be ours.

Allie I think is full grown now and is a funny bunny. She loves to jump and play and is pretty much just a sweet little thing. We have "bunny time" at the end of each day still where she gets to run around Zion's room and be free of her cage for a while. She has only a few "small" faults like chewing on the wall by Zion's closet and digging in her laundry basket. On occasion she has been observed actually nibbling on the clothes. Naughty bunny! I may have to invest in a laundry basket with a lid so that Allie can start having extra free time when we can't be with her.

We have been enjoying a slower schedule than normal. Our last swim session ended and the next one doesn't start until August. I have signed all three of the kids up hoping that they will all get the same time slot. Both Gideon and Zion require a parent in their class and I thought it would be lots of fun for us all to be together for a session since Rob will be home.

This coming week will be my "home preparation" week getting things ready for Rob to come home. Mostly just making sure that I'm caught up on errands, cleaning and chores so I don't have to welcome him home with a honey-do list. As it stands we hope that he'll be home sometime between the 3rd and 7th. We all got to talk to him on the phone this morning. Zion's first question of him was "Daddy, you wanna come home?" to which of course he said yes. Zion's face immediately lit up and she shouted to me "He said YES!" Needless to say we are ALL excited for his homecoming.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jameson!

It's hard to believe that a year has passed since we last celebrated my sweet nephew's birthday, this his third heavenly birthday would have been his eighth earthly birthday. Blogger is apparently having issues still and not allowing me to rearrange photos so, again, in no particular order, some photos from this celebration of a wonderful life.

Zion on a brief break from the water table takes a moment to paint.

I left Gideon for a good while to play by himself. He loved this bus which had activities all the way around and on the inside too.

Gideon enjoying a ride on this little bike. He didn't figure out how to go anywhere but didn't seem to mind.

My nieces and friends dancin' on the porch.

Jamae attempting the hula hoop. I believe she won a hula hoop contest in elementary school. What happened, I wonder? ;)

For a little while Gideon joined Zion at the water table. I think we may need to get one of these.

Gideon and my dad (who is doing really well since my mom passed in May).

Gabe hit the water toy first thing.

This was the first thing I saw when I got there. Bob manning the barbecue. I think he needs bigger coconuts.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yummy Summer Days

Oh man was today a good day. This morning I thought our heat wave had come to an end but it ended up getting pretty warm, just later in the day. Really, it was darn near perfect weather. We ended up spending a good portion of the day outside starting after lunch. We set up a tunnel and house out of cardboard and the huge Thomas the Tank tent that my mom got Gabe last year and the little playhouse with the slide. Gideon is perfectly happy to hang out and play wherever the bigger kids are so I sat on the porch swing and read for a while.

The boys ended up in the pool at some point. Just try to keep Gideon out of it. He is nearly to the point where he will be able to climb in on his own. Lord, knows he tries. Gideon just cracks me up in the water, he just seems so at home just sitting there and playing. The older kids splash around him and get all crazy and he doesn't care at all. Today he was trying to climb up the teeny little slide and kept sliding down and even being face to the water (but not in the water, just to reassure you) he was totally comfortable. Gideon also got to enjoy his very first Otter Pop. We shared an orange one, Gabe red (naturally) and Zion had green. What flavor is green anyway? They played until Zion and Gideon went down for a long nap all tuckered out from play and then went right back out to play. Zion was so eager to go back outside she didn't even bother to bring down her blanky and lovies. I cannot remember the last time she got out of bed with her menagerie. Made hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner.

The only way it could have been more perfect was if Rob was home. On that note, his coming home date has been pushed out by a few. :( We won't know for sure until he gets stateside and is being "processed" because it totally depends on how long that ends up taking. My irritation is that he pretty much could be back in the US and starting that process if the Army would just arrange for it. Right now they just have him sitting on some base in the desert waiting transport to the next base in the desert and then to another one. Then to the East coast, then the West for "processing" and then, only then, does he get to come home. Grrrr. Annoyed.

Can't end it on a bitter note though. The other night on the knitter's forum where I like to hang out online (and crocheters too, shouldn't leave them out) I won a skein of hand-dyed laceweight yarn in the color of my choice. How cool is that?! One of the groups that I'm involved in there is particularly for one of the projects that I'm working on (which shall remain otherwise in the dark - stop asking me to spill the beans!) and when you post a picture of your progress you get entered in the drawing. I'm just so excited that I won! When I get my prize I'll post a picture. Then I'll have to figure out what to make with it. Eeeee!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Know what's great?

If I went out tomorrow and checked out a library book (which is actually pretty likely), there's a very strong possibility that Rob will be home before it is due.

Yeah. I thought it was pretty great, too.

Oh Give Me A Home...

..where the buffalo roam... even though there really are no buffalo in the US, only bison but that's beside the point. Friday was a great day. Jamie had driven down the night before and that morning Jamae and Jessa joined us and we all headed off to NW Trek. The last time I took Gabe and Zion was the day before I went into labor with Gideon. To say I was more comfortable with walking this time around is an understatement. :) I think Gideon enjoyed it more too. Less cramped. Actually getting to SEE the animals. Getting to hitch a ride on "Tantie" most of the day.

Aw, cute sleepy little fisher.
Checking out the river otters (or so I thought, Miss Can't Stand To Not Text For Five Minutes!)

Gideon really got into pointing out the animals.

Mountain Lion. Or cougar if you prefer.

At NW Trek they have about 400 acres that are open area for a number of animals and trams that take people through. According to our guide the only time the staff get involved with these animals is to provide extra food so that they don't overgraze the area and when the animals need medical attention. Otherwise they are left on their own. We are on the tram and ready to go.


"You can't see me!"

Moose taking a drink.

Zion sporting braids thanks to Jamae. SO cute!

Gideon started to run low on fuel, we took our tram tour a little too close to lunch.

Herd of big horn sheep including new babies.

They have a large herd of bison as well.

Cue diabolical laughter.
"Hm, I wonder what this stuff tastes like."
"Ew, I think I got a hair in my mouth."

One of the last animals we see is the Grey Wolf. Then we head to the discovery center where the kids get to color and make a couple of crafts then off to take my sleepy heads home.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Soapbox

Before you go groanin' about me gettin' up on my soapbox again I'll have you know that this is only a partial lecture. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you may have already guessed that my soapbox rantings usually involve horses (and Octomom). This little tidbit is for those of you who think a horse is old at twenty, who think "skinny" is a reasonable state for an old horse and that old horses should just be put out to pasture. But instead of going off with words, words, words, I'll just point out a few articles written about Elmer Bandit. Elmer is a 38 year old half-Arab who is, at his age, still participating in competitive trail riding. Last year, at age 37, he set a new national mileage record at a little over 20,000 competitive miles. Go read about Elmer:

Elmer celebrates his 38th

Elmer breaks trail-riding record

Just to list a couple. If you follow them they lead to more articles. It's nice to read about someone who goes to extra lengths to care for her older horse when so many right now are dumping their horses, old AND young, at auction where many of them inevitably end up on someone's dinner plate in France.

The following is my soapbox piece so if you want to end on the happy note above stop reading now.

Harsh economic times make it a scary world for a horse. More and more owners are irresponsibly letting their horses parish by starvation or taking them to auction and letting the meatbuyers pick them up cheap. Seriously folks, if you can't afford to feed your horse and can't sell it for some reason buck up and have it humanely euthanized. It is obviously better than dying slowly by starvation but because of the conditions in which horses going to the meat packers are shipped, it is a far better fate for them as well. Don't think for a second if you sell your horse at auction and it goes for cheap that some nice little 4-H girl just picked it up (just a tip, set a minimum bid just above what meat is going for so that the butcher won't get it). Be an adult, don't lie to yourself and do the right thing.

That said, if you have a nice little mare you're thinking about breeding how 'bout putting it off for a year or two. The market is already inundated with too many horses and young horses go to the packers too. No sense in making more where there aren't enough homes for them now and the prices stink anyway.

OK, off my soapbox now. My next post will be a fun one. Promise.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


If you are a guy or a particularly modest lady you probably don't want to read the first paragraph. Just to warn you. Otherwise scroll on down...

OK, so we are at the YMCA this afternoon for swim classes, Gideon is in the nursery and Gabe is going potty and I have to go and that means Zion has to come in the stall with me. Well, it's that time of the month (see why the warning, you can stop reading still if you want) so I pull out a tampon which was in my pocket as I already checked my purse at the desk.

"What's that, Mommy."

"It's for Mommy."

"A special treat?" At this point I snort with laughter. In my own head of course.

"No sweety." (Definitely NOT a special treat.)

Gabe's turn and if you skipped you can start reading again.

On the way home from the Y we drive by a pasture that has two gorgeous bay horses. The traffic in front of me slows. Aw, too bad for mommy - yeah, right! Surprisingly I hear Gabe say in a dreamy voice "I wish I had a real horse." I sigh and say "Yeah, me too." Then he says "Well, not really. But I do wish I had a penguin."

Can't leave Gideon out. He drank using a straw today.

I suppose you want more than that. AND he's hilarious. He just is. Most of the time in fact. He has figured out how to climb up on Zion's toddler bed and has been having a blast practising getting up and down the last two nights. Tonight I had to leave the room for something and came back to find all three of them in Zion's bed. Oh, that's just too tempting for a mommy, all three in one place like that. So I stalked them across the room with my fingers all arched and ready to tickled saying "I-I-I-I'm gonna get you!" Gideon was so frantic to get away but was stuck in the corner so he eventually just flopped on his belly with his face buried in the mattress giggling hysterically and wriggling uncontrollably in a vain attempt to avoid the tickles. Too much fun. I left the room just so I could do it again.

Allie is not getting left out of the fun. We made her a "nest" box that is just a cardboard box cut low on one end. We filled it with shredded paper and every day or night we hide treats or veggies in the paper. We also found little treat boxes that are tiny cardboard boxes with holes cut in them and a special treat inside. She has to work at the holes to get to the treat. When these are used up we'll make our own using a paper towel tube, cut holes in it and stuff it with hay and treats. Lots of fun things to keep her busy and keep boredom at bay. No bored bunnies in our house!

Oh and I'm having fun too. I finished my keyhole scarf. The one that I started a long time ago that was supposed to be for Zion but turned out too wide. It's done but I don't have a picture yet. And I've cast on Zion's keyhole scarf and when I'm done with it we will have matchy matchy scarves. I have three projects on the needles right now and somehow they are all scarves. I don't make that many scarves either. Just weird. But I do have one project that I have ordered yarn for and am searching for the perfect pattern and I can't wait to start it. It is a surprise for someone. Not a gift exactly but I hope that it will be a wonderful surprise anyway and well, I'll just have to share more when I can and that's not now.

Rob and I talked again this morning. Now he is close enough to coming home that I have started asking him every call "Do you know when you're coming home yet?" I hope I won't make him nuts but he could get his travel plan any day really. Soon and very soon. It will still likely be about three weeks or so yet I can't believe it is that close. This last year has gone by SO fast. Many unfortunate things have happened. I'll have to do a "year in review" post and revisit some of them as well as the good things too. I am calling this past twelve months "Refiner's Fire", I must be pure as gold now (or pretty close to it) as I feel like I have definitely been refined. Over and over again.