It's been a while.  Two children have had birthdays, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary, we've started another school year, hosted thanksgiving, and are waiting the birth of our fourth child.  Whew, all caught up!  I've been tired and doing projects in the spaces between.  Not to mention loving my children.  We are all the happiest we've been perhaps since we were first married.  Some of that is due to a good job fit (for James) having fun with my children every day homeschooling(me) and lots of spiritual growth for both of us.  Our little boy should be here mid January and we're all so excited.  This is the first new addition since we began homeschooling, so I'm a little nervous.  I have planned though, we began schooling in July and the district doesn't start until September; we've got a month we can comfortably take off.  The next big adventure we have planned is relocating sometime next summer, but we won't know where until early-mid spring. We got some great family photos one beautiful day here in Seattle before we leave, one of which is now the header to this blog.  Merry Christmas everyone!


Cobin's 7th Birthday

Cobin's birthday was a lot of fun.  Harry Potter!  He has been reading and rereading since he learned to read chapter books.  

Here are some wands I made for the occasion that each child got to take home.


The sorting hat was my favorite part.  James went in the other room and could see via skype who was ready to be sorted.  He then used a set of walkie talkies, one of them in the top of the hat to 'sort' them into houses.  

Muggle Quidditch

One of my favorite scenes from the movie.

The 'cauldron' had dry ice but this was before the party, so we didn't make it fog yet.

After the party Lucas asked me if we could do the same for his birthday.  I let him know that I have something different in mind: Transformers.  He was quite happy with that. 


Driving through a tree

This trip had been my first to California.  We saw a few neat things, but on the way home we went out of the way to see some of the worlds largest trees in the redwood forests of northern California.  We drove our SUV through this tree.  There was also a gondola we took that would have been a lot cooler had it not been rainy and overcast, but on the positive side the gondola was enclosed.  It was still pretty awesome, but it began to feel a bit like a Jurassic Park movie and we were food dangling in the air.  

Oh yea, Paul Bunyan and his blue ox Babe.  James and the boys are totally dwarfed by them.  We are home and we are so happy to be back in our beds!  We are finishing up the schoolwork for this year and gearing up for swimming lessons and campouts!


Sea World

We also had to visit Sea World.  They let military members enter the park free!  Some of these pictures might actually be from the aquarium at Legoland, but I can't remember which.  

Shamoo! There was a baby orca that was born this past February swimming around learning tricks from the pros.

This was the shark tank.   

Manta Rays
The Sea Lion show was pretty hilarious.  One of them totally wasn't doing what he was supposed to and the other Sea Lion kept barking at his disobedience.  
Totally wiped out!


San Diego: Legoland

On our first family vacation (destination other than family) we went to San Diego.  We stayed with my brother, but he was pretty busy getting ready to move.  The first day we hit up Legoland!  This was such a fun adventure and of course the boys were in heaven.

Micah was so excited to meet Elmo and Grover.  Clearly he believed.  He was sweet and gave hugs and was waving way before we had our turn with them.

Darth Vader made entirely from Legos!  I wonder how much the people who build these things make.  

Lucas and Cobin both received drivers liscences and filled them out promptly.  

Pretty awesome Star Wars battle scene.

There were lots of roller coasters and a water park.  We went back a second day just for the water park, and I highly recommend it.  Legoland was not cheap in creating this place and the water park didn't skimp on lifeguards.  I felt like they really looked out for the customer.  Did I mention there was even a hotel?  One day we'll go back.  


Maritime Festival 2013

Here are a few pictures from the Maritime Festival.  Funny, I didn't take a picture of the bouncy houses, which is the only reason we went.  ( ;  The boys have been asking periodically when we could go back to the bouncy houses.

Pirates shooting off miniature cannons.

On  rescue boat.



The beginning of December we went back to Texas and family for the first time in almost two years.  It was so nice to be home and I got to meet my niece!  It was so nice we wore short sleeves most of the time.

Christmas eve we had some family and friends over for a Jewish Feast.  I got the idea from a friend and it was awesome!  We ate by candlelight and had some great food, and afterwards we acted out the Christmas story.  Here are a few snapshots from Christmas morning:
Enjoying the Thomas train set

Shaking to try to figure out what's inside

Opening joint gifts...

Enjoying bouncy toys from Grandma

After our morning family time, we headed to a dinner put on by our church.  We went for the specific reason that our children were invited to serve.  It was a little crazy with kids serving food, but adults were standing by to help.  Lucas was in charge of handing out plates at the beginning of the line and Cobin gave rolls.  Afterwards we went to hang out with family at their house.  It has been such a great year and we're looking forward to the next!