Yard Sales, and Rivers, and Zoos and Sunburns

That’s been pretty much our life the past two weeks ūüôā

Kiddos and I spent a whole day in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. ¬†We have a membership to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, and since we’re leaving soon, wanted to use it as much as we can. ¬†Seattle is always a special day for us, as we go to our favorite burger place (Dick’s), our favorite store (Archie McPhee) and explore! ¬†This time I took it a bit further as I knew we may not get to come back before we leave. ¬†First we went to the zoo for a few hours, and then we went to Dick’s Drive Through, and then we went to Archie McPhee because Andrew insisted I buy myself a mask as well.

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Yeah. ¬†A unicorn Mask. ¬†We all have one and we plan to get a silly family photo taken in July sometime with all of us wearing ours. ¬†We have my Unicorn, Andrew’s Horse, and then the kids have a Giraffe, Cardinal, Rat and a Squirrel. ¬†They’re quite amusing actually.

So anyway, kids and I went to Archie McPhee, but THEN…then we went to this wonderful little Gelato place called “The Fainting Goat”. ¬†A gem of a place in Wallingford, and it’s all made with Goat’s milk. ¬†Say What? Yes, Goat’s milk. ¬†It’s amazing. ¬†I had Green Tea, Roasted Almond and Lemon Grisbi (all amazing) and the kids tried various flavors like Pink Grapefruit, Chocolate, Strawberry, lemon meringue, and a couple of others I can’t remember. They have small scoops in small bowls, so you are able to try several flavors out. ¬†I took home a pint for Andrew that is Mango Habanero…WOW! it has a bit of a kick, ¬†but it’s so tasty! ¬†And one for myself that was Blueberry Pomegranate.

After that we headed to the Fremont Troll. ¬†We’ve lived in WA for years, but have never been there, so I figured it was high time we visited the troll under the bridge.

iPhone backupJune2013 949Ok it’s an absolute awful photo…took a pic of the computer screen with my iPhone. ¬†But this is the Fremont Troll. ¬†The kids loved climbing around on it. ¬†We stayed for about 15 minutes and then moved onto Gasworks Park (we were really making the rounds). Gasworks park is pretty amazing, right on the water, lots of hills and kites and people and trails. ¬†Then we went home, tired and exhausted, but filled to the brim with fun.

The last two weekends we have gone to my friend Janelle’s house, and spent hours in the River. ¬†I hope we can go back maybe one more time before the big move. ¬†The kids love to swim there, and it’s hard to tear them away. ¬†It’s hard to tear me away for that matter, as when I am near the water, I feel more at peace than I ever do. ¬†Water is calming to me, relaxing…I just love it. I’ve almost always lived no more than an hour from the coast, so moving to KS will be a huge change being landlocked. ¬†Yesterday we even took one of our dogs, Athena, who is a total water dog and LOVES to go swimming and play fetch in the water. ¬†The current was a bit strong for her at times, so we had a few good laughs watching her paddle in one spot for a few minutes till she finally figured out how to go at an angle. ¬†She’s still exhausted today, as she played in and out of the water yesterday for¬†almost four hours! ¬†She is overly possessive of her tennis balls, so I got some HILARIOUS photos of her barking at us to give them back. ¬†She looks pretty scary here, but she was just barking impatiently for her tennis ball.

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We all got horribly sun burnt, even though we did apply SPF50 sunblock. ¬†My fault, we forgot to reapply after being in and out of the water. My lower shins and calves are angrily red and really sore right now, and the kids got red spots all over. ¬†Let me tell you, the weird burn shapes show how adept they are at applying sunblock ;). After we got back from Janelle’s house, I picked up some pizza at Papa Murphy’s, let the kids eat till they were stuffed, and bribed them to help me set up for our yard sale. ¬†That took another two hours. We moved furniture around, priced items, borrowed a table or two from the neighbors, went through more goodies to sell, and then came the bribe.

I’d post a picture of it, but I’m not too big on posting my kids pics publicly…so you shall have to imagine it. ¬†I had five with me yesterday, including my oldest’s bff, so it was really like having five of my own. ¬†Out we went to McDonalds, barefoot, dirty, sun burnt and half of them in their pajamas, just for an ice cream cone. ¬†Kids are happy with the smallest things, and this pleased them. ¬†They all crashed shortly after.

Today dawned bright and early, and we were outside by 8AM getting our yard sale set up. I sold pretty much everythng we set out, and only took a couple bins full of items, an old vacuum and a couple small toy bins to goodwill afterwards. ¬†I’m happy with that, as I have less clutter in my house, and am $250 richer. Woohoo! That money will be coming to NYC with Andrew and I, and will pay for a nice dinner for us on our honeymoon. ¬†I am pretty stoked ūüôā

The sad part of today was saying goodbye to some of our favorite neighbors, another military family, who moved in three and a half years ago the same time as we did. ¬†They’re moving to Hawaii this week, and we probably won’t ever see each other again, but such is Military life. ¬†We can still keep in touch on Facebook. ¬†It’s hard to leave a life you have built and never expected to leave, but at least the world is smaller now and we can easily keep in touch. ¬†Actually, most of my cul-de-sac is military…there are two retired couples, and five active duty families…four of us active duty families are all in a row, one after the other. ūüôā

This ends June for us…nothing much happening tomorrow. July is our month of big changes…My husband comes home in 6 Days!!!

 

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A Graduation

Last week my oldest two children graduated from Grade 6.

I’m not usually a sappy emotional person when it comes to stuff like that, but I could ¬†NOT hold back the tears as I watched them up on that stage. ¬†It first started when my daughter’s best friend said her speech for everyone, mentioning how much she would miss my girl. ¬†Then when they walked across the stage, I felt tears dripping down my cheeks. ¬†I managed to pull myself together, but it was not an easy task.

Every parent gets sad when their children hit certain milestones, as it’s a painful reminder that they are no longer babies, but growing children moving onto bigger and better things. ¬†It’s harder for me though, because it is a painful reminder that Barry is no longer with us. ¬†It’s hard to stomach that he is missing every.single.major.event in their lives. ¬† I cry for them, because they can’t look into the audience and see their daddy watching them, because he won’t be walking the girls down the aisle, because he wont see them graduate high school, college, hold our grandbabies.

It makes my heart hurt that they have to experience all of this without him by their side.

Keep Your Kids Quiet, Yo!

This SHOULD be a wordless wednesday post, but I don’t seem to know how to do those apparently. I’ll try to do better next time, and the time after that etc etc. ¬†I’m working on it! I just wasn’t sure how to post this as a wordless wednesday post when it¬†is after all,¬†a bag of snacks.

Today is kind of boring, so I will show you a pic of something I whipped up here at the house a little bit ago.

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I’ve been home sick for the last three days, and am getting restless, so I dug through my pantry to get the kids’ snack bags ready for our trip to Kansas in two weeks.

The bag on your left is a quart size bag full of asian rice crackers/snack mix that I buy at Costco. ¬†Being the good mommy that I am, I eat all my favorite pieces out of the bag, and then let the kids eat the rest. ¬†I’m generous like that. That is to be shared amongst all four of the kiddos.

The bag on your right is filled with all sorts of goodies. ¬†That would be a 1/3 cup of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (the ONLY kind we buy!) bought at Costco, three individual twizzlers, 3 dum dum pops (twizzlers and dumdums left over from the last birthday party), a tootsie pop, a fiber plus granola bar (also bought at Costco), an organic fruit bar (yes, I know, counter productive considering the amount of candy in there, but I digress…), and a cup of Costco animal crackers. ¬†My “healthy” contribution will be to fill up a quart bag with some baby carrots, and provide each child with a non organic Fuji apple, both of which I will buy at Costco. ¬†I like Costco, if you haven’t been able to figure that out yet.

My pet peeve is parents who can’t shut their kids up during flights. ¬†I hate it. If you have to shove a sucker in your kids’ mouth and it’s only a year old, then DO IT. No one wants to hear your spawn whining and crying on the flight, especially when we can’t escape it. ¬†So these snack bags are my service to my fellow travelers, I do whatever it takes to keep the kids quiet. ¬†The suckers/lollipops, are for take off/landing, as we all get super sore ears when we fly.

I am quite proud to say, that on my last flight with the kids, I had some people compliment me on how well behaved my children were. ¬†I really appreciated that comment, I felt like a great mom for not bothering other people ūüôā ¬†Plus, we will all have electronics. An iPod touch, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Fire HD, and a DSI. Plus the three older kids all have iPods. ¬†I wish we had my husband’s tablet, but that’s in Kansas. ¬†And don’t forget books, I will probably make them take a book too. ¬†Reading is good for your brain and/or soul, and all the kids are champion readers.

Junk food and electronics, can’t do much better than that! In my defense though, ¬†this has to keep the kids quiet/entertained from about 6AM when we leave for the airport, till about 8.5 hours later when we land.

How do you keep your kids entertained and happy during a trip like this?