Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Let's Get Caught Up!

Well, as you can see it has been quite some time since I have sat down and updated our blog. A lot has happened in these past few months and I will attempt to fill you in a little bit. Sorry if the format on this post is a bit choppy--I am having trouble getting it to look the way I want it to and I don't want to send more time on it. The information is there, just ignore the format!
We started our Carter homeschool with a very nice teacher-student ratio. I began teaching Isaiah (now 6). He is in Kindergarten. This has been a very exciting experience so far. Lots of learning going on for all of us, including the younger two brothers. Elijah is continuing to go to Sycamore Tree Preschool two days a week.

Hunting/Birthday Season:
We celebrated Elijah's 4th birthday on October 7th with his chosen dinner of cold cereal. He thought it was great and picked out the cereal he wanted from the store. It was a big treat because it was not on sale and I did not have a coupon for it. For those of you who know how I do grocery shopping, you know this was a big treat! We topped this healthy dinner off with Elijah's chosen cake--a blue
Justin went over to Eastern Washington for his annual deer hunting trip. The Lord blessed him with a doe again this year and we are so thankful for the meat in the freezer.
Then we had another birthday--this time it was the combined birthday party for Isaiah and Elijah with their friends. Since their birthdays are only two weeks apart and so many of their friends are siblings, we decided to do one combined party this year. We went together with a bunch of our family to buy the boys a Wii. This has been a very fun present for the whole family. The party was so much fun with a scavengar hunt and marshmallow guns as the treasure at the end of the hunt. We had a great time shooting marshmallows all over the back yard and deck.
We also had one last birthday party to celebrate with just us. Isaiah's actual birthday was October 21st and we once again had a dinner of cold cereal. Hopefully this does not become a birthday tradition, but it does make dinner preparations pretty simple for me. Isaiah chose a Ben 10 cake.
Our annual trip to Hunter Farms this year was a lot of fun. The pumpkins in the patch were all green because of the cold spring/summer we had. They had to truck pumpkins in from Eastern Washington to place in the fields!

We topped off the month with 3 Jedi Warriors for Halloween. Although I am not too keen on a bunch of candy coming into our house, and we don't celebrate ghosts/goblins/etc., my boys love to dress up and pretend. I made three cream colored fleece tunics and we found some materials in their dressup bin to use for belts and pants and there you have my 3 Jedi warriors. We took them to the mall in Silverdale to do a little trick or treating. It was actually a lot of fun.

Soccer season ended. I helped coach Isaiah's team this year which was a lot of fun. It is amazing to see how much 5 and 6 year olds can improve from the beginning of the season to the end.

We headed over to Prosser to celebrate Thanksgiving. For Thanksgiving Day we went up to Justin's mom's in Roosevelt and shared a nice afternoon/evening with that side of the family. My sister, Rachel, and her family were also at my parents' house for the holiday weekend, so it was fun for the cousins to hang out and to spend time all together.

I spent any extra time I could find working on Christmas projects. I set an ambitious agenda of Christmas projects that I wanted to do this year for gifts. I made two quilts, 2 fleece tie blankets, 8 other fleece blankets, 3 hooded capes, and 3 sets of jammies. I actually got it all done and it was so fun to see everyone open their gifts. It had been a while since I had done much sewing and I remembered how much I enjoy it. I am planning on making each of the boys a quilt for their bed this winter/spring so that when Micah is in his big boy bed sharing a room with his brothers they will all have matching quilts on their beds.

We have thoroughly enjoyed all of the snow that we received in the crazy snowstorms of 2008. Lots of sledding and playing in the snow. Justin loves to drive in it and thankfully is a good driver so we were able to get around without much trouble. The biggest trouble we had was getting up or down our steep driveway. It is a bit tricky, but Justin thinks it is great fun. I just close my eyes and hold on! Come to think of it, that seems to be my philosophy for so many parts of my life! :)

We again headed to Prosser for the holiday. Both of my brothers are home for Christmas break from college in California. My sister is the only one missing as she and her family are in Mexico for Christmas.
We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day shuffling all over the place, but it is a lot of fun. We always celebrate our "Carter Christmas" prior to heading over the mountains so we already have some special private time with just our family. Once the actual holiday hits we know that it will be crazy for a few days. After the actual day(s) of Christmas, we enjoy several days of not much to do except to play with all the new toys!


Only God knows what the new year will bring. We have an opportunity to go on a missions trip to Togo in Africa. Please pray for us as we make decisions regarding our participation in this trip. Micah will turn 2 in March. He is such a special blessing to our family and I am so thankful for each day we have with him. It is hard to imagine what our lives would be like without his mischeviousness to keep us on our toes.

I will make a concerted effort to keep this blog updated more often that I have over these past few months. I pray that all your families are healthy and growing. Thanks for loving my family.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Anniversary #9--At the Mariner's Game!

We went to a Mariner's game this year as a combination Anniversary/Justin's 30th Birthday. I got tickets in the Diamond Club section, which is the first 8 rows behind home plate. Included in the tickets was dinner before the game as well as snacks and drinks during the game. It was a once in a lifetime experience to be so close to the field that you could actually recognize the players by there faces, not just by the big screen in center field announcing who is up to bat. And, to top it all off, the Mariner's won!

On the ferry over to Seattle.

Beautiful Mt. Ranier in the distance. It was a gorgeous day.

Before the game view from our seats.

Looking into the Mariner's dugout.

Self-Portrait of us in our seats.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Crow Butte Vacation 2008

This is the third year that we have taken our vacation at Crow Butte Park on the Columbia River in Central Washington. We spent two wonderful weeks there with the Hill Family. Elijah went in the tube by himself for the first time on this vacation, Micah took a ride with me on the tube (he saw everyone else going and made it very clear that he wanted a turn also), and Isaiah tried skiing! We explained to Isaiah that the skis were longer than he is tall and that they were a bit too big for him, but he was determined to give it a shot. I was so proud of him for trying.

Here is Isaiah hanging out on the beach looking so cool with the goggles on!

Playing in the sand. Micah looks like a little beach bum.

I love this picture of Elijah digging in the sand.

This was Elijah's first time on the tube by himself. He was willing to go because he had the goggles on to keep the water from spraying in his eyes. I think he looks like a little aviator!
Micah's first time on the tube. He almost fell asleep during the ride.

Justin was able to get up on the wakeboard and had a lot of fun on it. You can see that the water was pretty nice on this day. We had a few days of bad wind, but we also got a few days of beautiful water and sun.

Isaiah's Skiing Sequence
1. Paul helping Isaiah with the skis.
2. Isaiah just starting to be pulled in the water.
3. Look at the deterimination. His tips are still up...
4. ...and now he's a torpedo.
When I asked him what happened, he told me that he was trying to turn like Mr. Paul did (on a slalom ski) and when he tried to turn his feet came out of the skis. I told him that maybe he should just work on going straight for now and we can work on the turns later!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chase Morris

My intention today had been to post an update to our adventures this summer, but with limited time I wanted to post this picture of the boys and I with Chase. As many of you know Chase, Justin's brother Chris' only child, has been battling cancer off and on for four years now. Last summer he was given a prognosis of 2 months to 1 year to live. Last night at 10:30 we got a phone call letting us know that Chase had passed away. Please continue to pray for the family as most are not believers. It is very hard to know what to say and how to best show Christ's love.

I will post an update on our summer adventures in the near future.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More Fun at Grandma's

We are continuing to have a great time here at my parent's house. My sister Rachel is in Asia for business until Thursday, so her boys are here as well. Gabe really wanted to take some pictures of the baby birds around here for her to look at. There is a nest on a gutter where the eggs have hatched and there are a couple of fuzzy little birds peeking out. Also, at the bottom of the road up to my parent's house a Killdeer bird has made a nest in the ground. Her eggs kind of look like rocks. Everytime we stop to check it out she gets really vocal and puffs up her feathers to make herself look bigger. The daddy bird will fly in and try to distract you by laying on the ground and faking an injury. It is pretty neat to watch.

We took all the boys to my Aunt Dinah's to go swimming in her pool. They all enjoyed themselves. Elijah got brave and was jumping off of the diving board, but as soon as I wanted to take a picture of him doing it he decided he would just rather lower himself into the water. The lifejacket got in the way a little bit as you can see in the picture.

Last night Jonah and Grandpa checked out the skating rink in Prosser before they came home. They found out that if you ate dinner there between 5-8 you could skate for free. So we took all the boys down there and burned up some energy. Jonah is doing great on the roller blades and Isaiah and Gabe worked hard to make it around on their skates. Elijah got out there in the mix as well but was not quite as determined as the bigger boys were. We had the place all to ourself, which made it really fun.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

...To Grandma's House We Go!

The boys and I packed up and headed over the mountains for some time at Grandma and Grandpa's house. After packing up a bunch of shorts and flip flops in preparation for some sun, that we have not seen much of yet this year, we packed in to our car and took off. I stopped off at the Tacoma Mall to have some fun with the boys at Build-a-Bear (they were having a special). Elijah chose to build a dinosaur that is now named Jayko and Isaiah chose to build a Turtle which he named Karzon. Both have become very attached to their new friends. After using some coupons to get free pretzels at Auntie Anne's, we were back on the road.

We passed the time in the car with snacks, naps, and Adventures in Odyssey. After what, I am sure, seemed like days for the boys we made it to my parent's house in Prosser. My nephews Jonah and Gabe are here for the week as well, so the boys get to have some cousin time in addition to their Grandma and Grandpa time.

My parents recently paved their driveway and parking area so there is lots of room for the boys to ride scooters, which they have been doing a lot of. On Saturday afternoon/evening we sat outside while they played around out there. While they were playing a storm rolled in with thunder and lightning, wind, and huge raindrops. You can see the dark clouds and the wind in the pictures. Elijah is not in any of those pictures because he was taking a much needed afternoon nap.

I will post more pictures as our week progresses. The boys are looking forward to spending time with Adia (another cousin), going swimming at Aunt Dinah's, going for a hike, and just the usual of watching movies and playing video games.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father's Day 2008

We spent Father's Day telling Justin what an awesome Daddy he is. I made an extra effort to be prepared for church the night before by having the boys lay out clothes for the next day, that way Justin would not have to help get them all ready to go. I had put together a breakfast dish that you let sit in the fridge overnight so I was able to pop that in the oven on Sunday morning and we enjoyed a hot breakfast together before we headed out for church.

The Lord blessed with one of the best days we have had all spring, so of course we took advantage of it and barbequed lunch and played outside all afternoon. Isaiah had picked out a yummy dessert from http://www.pillsbury.com/ to make for Justin. It was so good and so easy. You just mix up a brownie mix and spoon it into muffin cups and then top each brownie muffin with a miniature reeses peanut butter cup and bake it in the oven. They are sooooo good. Reeses are Justin's favorite candy, so it was a great choice of dessert.

Happy Father's Day, Justin! We love you!!!

America's Favorite Pastime--Tee Ball

Isaiah completed his first season of Tee Ball on Saturday. What fun to watch thirteen 5 & 6 year olds play baseball. And by "play baseball" I mean spin in circles while waiting for the batter to hit, dig holes in the dirt in the infield, lay on the ground and make dirt angels, race your fellow teammates to be first to the ball at which time you all throw down on the ground and try to be the first to come up with the ball, wear a batting helmet that is so big you have to push it up in order to see where you are running. Isaiah enjoyed playing, but he especially enjoyed the snack that always came after the game. He would even get disappointed when we would say we were just going to practice because there was no snack after practice. It was a great learning experience for him and he improved a lot from game 1 to game 19. Yes, they did have 19 games on their schedule. Justin and I thought that was a little crazy, but we did have fun and really enjoyed the games when the sun peeked through our ever present clouds. Last night was the end of the year party where every player received a trophy with their name on it. Isaiah is very proud of his. I just don't know what I am going to do with all the trophies that we will end up with when every kid gets one for every season of every sport played. I don't know if I like the trend, but I know my kids do. Good Times!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Prince Carlos and Princess Henna

We finally broke down and decided that our family needed to have a pet again. Our original plan was to get one kitten from a friend whose cat was with child. When we went to pick ONE out, we ended up with two. It has been fun, though, to see the two of them play together. Isaiah and Elijah picked out their names: Prince Carlos (the orange one) and Princess Henna (the gray one).

Friday, June 13, 2008

Here I Go...

I have been enjoying keeping tabs on some friends and family via their great blogs. I decided to give it a whirl myself as a great way to show what we are doing as a family. Even with the best of intentions, I just can't find the time I would like to make phone calls and send photos the way I should. Our family is growning so fast and we are having so much fun. Here is a little info about each of the boys:

Isaiah: He is 5 1/2 and will be Kindergarten age next year. We will be homeschooling him and are really looking forward to it. He finished his last year at Sycamore Tree Preschool at the end of May. That was really the end of an era for him since I first brought him there when he was about 18 months and I was pregnant with Elijah. Isaiah is full of energy and always has a song/noise/air guitar in him that just begs to get out. His mind is always working and questions never escape him. He seems to have an endless capacity for information, which is both exciting and exhausting at the same time! He is almost done with his first season of T-ball and he learned how to ride a two-wheeler over Memorial Day Weekend.

Elijah: He is 3 1/2 and is full of laughter. Right now as I look at him he has a leather biker vest on and a pirate patch over one eye. Elijah definitely has his own style that we just smile at. His smile is so infectious and I love to make him laugh just to hear his giggle. He definitely is a second child and enjoys following after his older brother and taking part in his activities. He is strong both in physical terms and in his ability to dig his heels in. Although generally easy going, when he believes strongly about something, it requires Divine Intervention to get him to budge.

Micah: 14 months and our miracle baby. Everytime we look at him and see him smile we are reminded about how close we came to losing him, twice. The doctors really thought that I would deliver at around 25 weeks when we had complications. With the Lord's help he went to 36 weeks. A miracle. Then the next challenge came two months later when he went into Septic Shock. After two weeks at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma, he came home. We spent the summer recovering and seeing doctors, but by the fall it was smooth sailing. Another miracle. He is such a happy baby who loves to give kisses and hugs. He follows his brothers around and tries to "play" with them, and by "play" I mean destroy anything they are working on!

I suppose I should give some info about Justin and I as well. We both turned 30 this year and decided that we must now be officially adults, although it does not feel like it at times. Justin is now in his 9th year working at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. He no longer works on the nuclear submarines, instead he is working in the crane department. Although it may not sound as prestigious, it is much more satisfying of a job. I am continuing to enjoy staying home with the boys. Everyday is a blessing with them. Next fall we will start a new chapter in our lives with homeschooling. I am looking forward to the challenge and opportunity to be a teacher again, although any mom is a teacher everyday!