{Summer Fun} Camp Tadmor

HIIII!!  I’m back.  I feel live we’ve been gone all of July!  We’ve been back from 2 different camps for almost a week now, and life is getting back into it’s groove.  Early bedtimes for the boys, clean house, regular story times at the library and other routine things that make life feel a little more normal.

We’ve had a great time the last few weeks, but it’s always good to be home (and back to blogging!).

I’ll start out from the beginning…  Right after the 4th, we headed to Camp Tadmor (where we spent 2 weeks last summer) for Skyler to be the nurse again.  It was really fun going back this 2nd year, already knowing the groove of camp, many of the staff and especially to go visit our friends who live at camp – Adam, Angie, Julia & Kate.  Julia & Kate are the same ages as the boys, so it has been fun to keep in relationship with them over the past year because the kids love playing together!

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The boys enjoyed the water much more this year and got braver with how deep they’d go in (which made mama terrified. ;)).

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Had to throw this picture in of sweet little Kate!

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I love this 3-picture series of Asher experiencing some good splashing, haha.

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Then daddy dropped off Asher at the shoreline and gave Zeek some swim time… which Asher hated.

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“There’s daddy….without me.”

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Asher learned how cool it is to wear your hoods on coats and sweatshirts and shrieks loudly if you remove the hood.

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The giant slip n’ slide!  Which clearly Asher hated.  Haha.  Way to ease him into it, dad.  (Sorry for the blurry picture, I had to zoom way in!)

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Zeek was also terrified of it (but understandably so, since he was standing at the very end of the slip n’ slide at one point and a big guy came sliding down and knocked Zeek off his feet, flipped him over backwards and he hit his head on the ground… so he had a healthy fear of it. hah.  Poor guy.).  This was him trying to carefully crawl off of it after daddy put him on it.  :)

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Camp WIPED the boys out.  A few days in, Asher woke up from his nap (which was an hr and half already), came out to the couch to cuddle and fell asleep for another hour and a half!

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There’s always a carnival-like night for the big kids, so we took our boys over to check out the activity.  They loved the helium balloons and glow sticks that were given to them.

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One of the carnival activities was to hit a lineup of balloons with a sling shot and pebbles.  Which Skyler was awesome at.  He grew up playing with a sling shot and he had a good aim.  :)

 

 

 

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It was so nice being at camp this year with the boys being bigger and able to play a little more independently.  I’d sit outside on the little deck in the morning with the sun streaming in through the trees, drink my coffee, read my book (Shepherding a Child’s Heart) and the boys played with sticks and rocks in the dirt.  Boys are great.  ;)

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Had to get a photo of all of us together, because I know someday down the road, we’ll really enjoy looking at these pics of where we were in life!  This is Angie, Julia (who is exactly a month younger than Zeek), and Kate (who is a day younger than Asher).  Angie is also pregnant with her 3rd right now.  :)  So fun!  We love having them as friends.

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Tadmor’s theme this year was superhero, so we had to get a couple shots of the kids in the photobooth.

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We had such a great time and are looking forward to our trip out there next year too!

{Diary of a Pregnant Girl} I’m still here.

Hi.

I’m still here.

And I promise not all my posts will be Diary of a Pregnant Girl from here on out.  But this one felt necessary since it’s been a while.

I’m currently 11+ weeks pregnant and still sick as a dog.  Been about 6 weeks of this now.  I’ve been awful quiet on this ol’ blog because with too much respect for those who wish they could just experience morning sickness because it means that they conceived, I just can’t sit here and complain about my morning sickness.  Which is probably what would happen if I allowed myself to blog more often recently.

I’ve definitely been more sick with this pregnancy than I have with the other two, and my “morning” sickness always hits between 3-4 pm and doesn’t let up until I go to bed… so I’m generally going to bed fairly early these days.

But instead of complaining about it – I’m going to tell you the good about it.

  • Learning to better manage my time.  I know when I get sick and I’ve got all morning feeling relatively great, so I gotta kick a** in my house and errands in the morning because if it ain’t done by 3 or 4 pm, it ain’t gettin’ done.  :)

 

  • Letting go of control.  I like my house clean.  I really really like my house clean.  But I don’t hardly have the energy for it for the last 6 weeks.  I can hardly stand going into my kitchen because of all the smells.  So the dishes stack up.  Dinner doesn’t get made.  I’ve been working on letting go and not stressing over a messy house (which is fairly inevitable with 2 boys and a daddy, unless I’m constantly walking behind them cleaning up).

 

  • Newfound appreciation for my family and friends. My mother-in-law has come over to clean up the dishes and kitchen a few times – without a word about it, just walked in and started cleaning up for me.  My parents have babysat the boys several times in the last 6 weeks so that Skyler and I can get out of the house together.  The boys’ “Auntie” Angela has come over and helped me fold laundry and taken the boys out for a walk so that I could just lay on the couch and rest.  My other mama Lois bought me a care package with Mac & Cheese and coconut chips – some of my comfort foods.  My BFF Jacki is always texting and calling me to see how I’m doing and she makes me feel so cared for and special.  I love these people and am so grateful for their care of me and my family.

 

  • Marveling in the kindhearted boy that is my oldest son.  I love that Zeek is 3 1/2 years old during this pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with Asher, he was how old Asher is now and didn’t understand much other than he could point to my belly if you asked where the baby was.  He loves his mama dearly and is always looking out for how I feel.  I can tell him that I’m feeling sick and need to just lay down for a while and he’ll say “ok mama.  Ash, let’s go play in the playroom for a while.”  Or in the car, the sweet boy of a million questions is very understanding when I have to tell him, “ok, mama’s feeling nauseous, I just need to be quiet and not talk for a while now.”  If I’m laying on the couch, he’ll grab me a blanket and ask if he can bring me any medicine to make me feel better.  But my most favorite are times when he curls up on the couch beside me and kisses my belly gently, following suit of what he’s seen daddy do by telling the baby, “I love you baby!  I can’t wait to see you!”  Usually following that is, “Mom, when the baby comes out, will it know the sound of my voice?”  I love my kindhearted monkey-man and how involved and understanding he is this pregnancy.  Though patience is something we’re working on.  “Mom, can you go buy another pool so you can push the baby out today?!”  This is asked almost on a daily basis… Oh, boy.  I’m afraid it’s still a long wait for that!

So that’s me.  And what I’ve been up to for the last few weeks.

Still very sick, but surviving.  And crossing my fingers that this nausea flees quickly!

I’ll be back with real posts soon.  :) 

P.S. This photo is completely unrelated, but it was too cute not to share. 
Zeek was having a grand phone conversation with his Bopa!

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{Diary of a Pregnant Girl} Quesadilla Quest, 3 AM

This was originally written on June 9, before I announced we were pregnant…

I woke up, per usual, at 3:15 am to use the restroom.  I noticed the the fan in our bedroom that we usually have running all night was not and that it was stuffy in the room.  I stooped to plug it in and turn it on.  Then I noticed there was a light in the living room left on.  I went out to turn it off.

Upon returning to my bed, I was already getting hungry from being awake for 5 minutes and started thinking about a Quesadilla.

4:45 AM.  Still laying awake in bed.  Thinking of a Quesadilla.

Muchas Gracias is open 24 hours, I thought.  At the very least, Taco Bell should probably be open too.

I grabbed some yoga pants and a coat, snatched up my purse and keys and headed out the door. 

Neither the Keizer Taco Bell nor Muchas Gracias were open.  Shucks.  Probably just because it’s Keizer and Keizer is small.  I headed into Salem.

FOUR Muchas Gracias’ and THREE Taco Bell’s later – NOTHING WAS OPEN.

I was beginning to get to the point of wanting to pass out, I was so hungry.  And beginning to get a little bit angry.

Hey Muchas!  DON’T ADVERTISE FOR BEING OPEN 24 HOURS WHEN YOU’RE NOT!

I was starting to turn a little Gap Girls

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Do you see the sign?  Open 24 hours!  And do they look open?  NO.

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I pulled up to the last shot at a Quesadilla.  The FIFTH Muchas.

The angels were singing:

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Drive Thru, Open.  Drive Thru, Open.  Praise Jesus, I’m gonna get me a Quesadilla!!

I sat in the order line for about 5 minutes pondering, Just a Quesadilla or a Quesadilla AND a Fish Burrito too?  Then I realized it’d been 5 minutes and no one had greeted me.  I crept forward.  Forward… Nothing.  There was someone inside – I could see them working in the kitchen.  I drove to the Drive Thru window to see if maybe they just didn’t see me or expect me that early.

A little sign on the Drive Thru window…

CLOSED UNTIL 6?!?!  It was only 5:30.  Again, WHY SAY YOU’RE OPEN WHEN YOU’RE NOT?!?!?!

A very very irritated and hungry pregnant lady was sitting in my car by this point. 

And then, I decided to do what any other rational and wise pregnant lady would do:

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I pulled up to DayNight Donuts.  Helped myself to two bars.

With a side of biscuit and gravy.

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Can’t say I was disappointed.

And that, my dear friends, is how you get over a craving that you just can’t satisfy: donuts.  Donuts always win.

{Diary of a Pregnant Girl} On Finding Out

Hi!  Did ya miss me??  Sorry I’ve been so quiet and MIA lately.  I have been SO sick the last 3ish weeks.  But I’m feeling better-ish so I’m gonna get back to writing...

I’m starting a series for this pregnancy.  Diary of a Pregnant Girl.  I wish I would’ve done this more for my pregnancies with the boys because people always ask when things happened or how I felt at certain stages, and I just can’t remember.  So I thought I’d just start this for this pregnancy and let my inner-pregnant-girl feelings and stories out!  (Be warned, you’ll probably see a lot of 4 am blog posts.  Apparently that’s my most awake hour when I’m pregnant.  Fun, huh?)

So.  Starting out right. 

Finding out we were pregnant with #3.  I am currently 9 weeks pregnant, as of Sunday.

Let me just go ahead and throw any TMI reserve out the window and let you know that I haven’t even had a period since birthing Asher so pregnancy was not even on my radar.  Not even a little bit.

It really started about 7 weeks ago now, when I went out and bought a bunch of new shorts of summer.  Only 2-3 weeks after that, I started noticing that my shorts I bought (especially the cute high-waisted ones) were already getting too snug.  I was getting SO annoyed at myself.

“AGH!  I just bought these!! HOW am I all the sudden getting so fat that I can’t wear them!?  WHAT is going on!?” 

I suspected I was just bloated and would be starting my period soon.

Then I started weaning Asher.  It was rough and he slept like a newborn at night, waking every hour to two, wanting to nurse, and then screaming for a while when I said no. 

I was getting exhausted and was taking consistent naps with the boys.

I thought I was just tired from Asher not sleeping well for about 2 weeks.

We had a garage sale.  I did it mostly all by myself since Skyler was working – hauling out the 4 pop up tents, setting them up, setting up tables, hauling all the junk out and setting it all up, tearing it all back down after the garage sale, etc.

My back was killing me.  I could hardly walk and was hobbling all around.  (This commonly happens around 8 weeks pregnant for me).

I thought I was just sore from all the hard work.

Then, a few days later, we went to Bend and rented a vacation house.  I went to Safeway to get some groceries for us for a couple days, and upon returning to the house with ice cream and Oreos (this never happens in our house), Skyler was adamant that I finally take a test… which he had been suspecting for more than a week at that point, but I kept brushing him off with my excuses of why I was tired and sore and fat.

So we went and picked up a pregnancy test that night.  I did it to get him off my back, but was certain it would be negative.  We didn’t even wait until morning to take it.  It was the fasted a pregnancy test has ever turned positive for me and I, wide-eyed, exclaimed, “WOAH!  SKYLER!  It’s actually positive!  No way!  Can you believe it?!”

Yes.  He could.

Something about mood changes every time I get pregnant… I don’t know.  ;)

He has now officially known before I have for all three pregnancies.  He was the one to tell me to take a test.  I guess he knows me better than I know myself!

So much for ever doing one of those “hey husband, guess what, we’re pregnant!” gags that look so fun.  Ha.

Probably 3 days after that, I started having the worst nausea ever.  Ever.  I was laying on the couch for up to 9 hours a day, almost for 2 weeks.  Poor boys have been oh so slightly neglected, but they’re surviving.  :)

I’m on the nausea-mends (though still having a hard time with certain foods), and my energy level is back up.  We went and got an ultrasound to find out when we might be due, since we had nothing to go by and no idea how far along I was.   We heard the precious little heartbeat (132) and the boys loved seeing the baby lump and hearing the heartbeat. 

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I wrote a couple diary entries before I had announced that I was pregnant, so I can finally post them now – whoo hoo! haha.

There’s just something about January…

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Yep!  Family of FIVE, here we come!

(And no, we don’t actually plan on January every time.  But it sure makes birthday parties easier! ;))

10 Years? Kinda a lot has happened since then…

It’s been quiet around here, I know.  I’ve been really busy prepping for two things this weekend: a paintball tournament in Seattle (and the FIRST one that neither Skyler and I will be attending since starting this crazy business 5 years ago) and the reason why neither of us is attending – my 10 year high school reunion!  Say WHAT?! 

I seriously have no idea how 10 years have gone by.  I still feel like a baby at times (especially when a lot of my friends are closer to 40).  But when I really buckle down and think about it… kinda a lot has happened in 10 years.

+ I moved out of my parents house when I was 18 to a house of FIVE other girls.  (Mistake.  I don’t recommend this. haha)

+ I went to college for 2 years and never finished. 

+ I got married at age 19 instead and started working at a financial company.

+ I bought a house with my then-husband.

+ I had a job that I loved as a Project Coordinator for a construction company (and also built and ran their website) where I helped customers with their cabinet, counter, paint etc. decisions and coordinated them with the contractors.  Incredibly fun job with some incredibly fun people.  However, highly underpaid.

+ I got divorced and moved back in with my parents.  It was during this time that we transitioned from a parent-daughter relationship to a friend-relationship.

+ 1 year later, I met Skyler Anderson.

+ 1 more year later, I became Mrs. Anderson, 3 weeks after we started out paintball business together.

+ 13 months later, I officially became a Stay-at-Home-Mom when I stopped working as a bookkeeper, which was a job I never thought I’d do but was one of the most fun jobs I held.

+ 4 months later, I had my first baby.

+ 2 years later, I had my second baby.

+ And now, another 18 months later, and I’ve arrived at my 10 year high school reunion.  I may still feel like a baby, but I’ve now got 2 of my own, a husband, a lovely home to live in, a wonderful set of friends who only knew me post-high school, and I’ve been through a number of my own challenges.

Amazing how 10 years can go by in the blink of an eye, yet be so jam packed with life changing events.  I’m thankful for these past 10 years post-high school and how they have shaped me into who I am.  But I’m also thankful to be seeing all my old friends and those who I didn’t really talk with in high school but now keep up with and consider my friends thanks to social media.  :) 

I’ve been in charge of putting together the slideshow for this reunion and pulling out my high school photos have been some of the most fun things to look at!

Allow me to show you awkward, chubby, friend circle floater Kayla.  Circa 2000-2004.

Some of my besties: Andrew & Kristen.  Everyone always joked that Andrew and I would get married.  Shocker – we didn’t.

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Some of my newspaper class – the best people/class ever!

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Junior (?) Year Homecoming:

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Cross country trip to CA:

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Senior Prom:

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All graduated and stuff:

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Senior all night party:

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Oh, you school kids!  Can’t wait to see you this weekend!

Ebates: Cash Back for Online Shopping

This is going to totally sound like an infomercial – but I promise I’m not trying to!  Just trying to pass on some fun money-saving tips.

 

Have you guys heard of Ebates?  I had heard of it a few years ago and sort of checked it out, but never really understood it or how you could get money back.  Earlier this year, I heard about it again and decided to really look into it.

So far, just from doing regular online shopping that I do, I have made $100 back since March.  Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?  I thought, “how in the world is Ebates making money and how are they giving money back?”  I still don’t really know the answer to that question (other than they must be getting some sort of cut from “referring” customers to stores’ websites) but regardless, the fact is that it works!

You just go to Ebates and sign up for an account.  Then you can scroll through their list of deals and find stores that you were wanting to purchase something at and not only get a percentage back (usually 3-6%) but also find coupon codes that you can use for the store.

The couple weeks around every holiday (President’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, etc) they offer Double Cash Back on many stores.  Right now they have their Father’s Day Double Cash Back program going.

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When you find a store that you are wanting to shop at, you click the “shop now” button and it redirects you to the stores site while giving you a tracking number for your cash back.  Then you just do your normal shopping and upon check out, you’ve received a portion of your money spent to be on your next “Big Fat Payment” check (which are sent out quarterly).

It looks like this when it redirects you:

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This was easy enough to just do it this way, but I found that sometimes I’d buy something online and have forgotten to go through Ebates first and was missing out on free money back. 

They’ve now added an Ebates Navigation button to pop up everytime you go to a website where you can get money back from.  On the home page, you’ll see a little tab on the right hand side that looks like this:

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When you click on it, it will take you to a screen like this, where you can install the Ebates Navigation Button.  I did this a few weeks ago and it has proven to be so helpful so far!  Places where you wouldn’t think of getting cash back, like GoDaddy.com (to purchase website domains) or even places you know you’ll get money back, but forgot to go through Ebates.  For example, I purchased our new rug through Overstock.com for $280.  I completely spaced checking Ebates first, and sure enough they were offering 6% cash back, which means I missed out on $17 back for that purchase!  I cried a little. ;) Ok, I didn’t, but THAT is when I went and installed this Nav Button.

 

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Now when I visit websites, I don’t even have to go through Ebates first, because if I go to a site that is offering cash back, a little bar pops up on the top of the screen like this:

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How helpful is that?!  Then all you do is select the “Activate Cash Back” button and keep on shopping.  Pretty convenient and now I won’t miss out on cash back again.  I can sleep better.  ;)

You can get your cash back 2 ways – they can either mail you a check or you can have it direct deposited into your Paypal account.  I’ve done both ways now and both are great!  Obviously, you have to wait a little longer for your paper check, where as the Paypal deposit is that day.  They give your your money back every quarter. 

This is what your account summary will look like, so you can keep track of your purchases and cash back.  It tells you the date your Next Big Fat Payment will be mailed, which is nice to keep in mind. 

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Also, if one of your Cash Back rewards didn’t get put into your account, as long as there is a ticket number that shows you’ve visited that website, they’ll give you the cash back if you can show your receipt to them.  This happened with a Groupon purchase of mine before and they just added the cash back, no problem.

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ALSO, you’ll notice at the bottom of this that you get cash back rewards for their Tell-A-Friend program, and their rewards are pretty awesome!  $20 for telling my sister about it?!  Ok, great!  Haha. 

Anyway, this is a great little program and while I have no idea how they make money, I suppose I don’t really care because either way, I get my money back.  ;)  It’s been a nice bonus to get some chump change back.  It all adds up and you don’t realize how often you purchase things online until you use a program like this!  hah.  I find Skyler and I tend to do most of our shopping online.  It’s just so much easier that way, especially when so many places offer free shipping now. 

Especially a place like Target is really awesome to do online shopping from – you get free shipping plus 5% back for using their Red Card, but then another 2.5% back for shopping through Ebates.  Convenient AND saves even more money.  Perfecto.

Hope this program makes sense in the way I’ve described it!  Let me know if you have any questions.  It’s really so simple and easy to use that everyone who shops online should be using it because, hey, free money!  Why not?!

So hop on over to Ebates and sign up for your free account!!

I’ve got a few other money saving tips/programs that I’ll be sharing with you in the upcoming weeks!

Impromptu Family Vacation: Bend, Oregon

Skyler has a little bucketlist of things that he wants to do this summer as a family.  A trip to Bend was one of them.  I have only ever been once before (a year ago) and we had only spent the afternoon there.  I couldn’t say I was overly impressed with it but Skyler wanted to move there.  So his goal has been to make me fall in love with it too.  I will admit that I have a little more of a fonder heart towards it now.  :)

Tuesday morning last week, Skyler had 3 days off and told me to look up a cabin in Bend and book it.

I booked The Sunrise Cottage and we packed up and headed East for the next 2 nights.

When we arrived, we went out for a late afternoon stroll to the park that we went to last year, which ended up being only a few blocks from this rental home.   We played on the playground for a while before heading home.

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Back at the house, we realized we didn’t pack many toys for the boys… Mama’s gotta think on their feet!  I found the Game of Life and made a lil car road mat!  They loved driving the little cars around!  *whew* Was so glad for that game.  haha.

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The next morning I woke up and this happened:

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Husband made eggs and bacon for breakfast.  Not shabby.  We enjoyed it in the gazebo outside:

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Then we packed up and left for the majority of the day.  We headed to the High Desert Museum!  I’d never been before and it was way cooler than I thought it would be.  The boys just ate it up.

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After the boys had some late naps, we took another walk to the park and the Farmers Market.

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This is how our boys like to swing:

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The next day we packed up from the little house and left for home.  We took a pit stop to the Lava Butte Caves first:

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My little Mini-Daddy!  He is such a good “cheeser”, especially when you ask Big B to smile and he furrows his brows and turns his eyes away! haha

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Lets see if I can get all these mountains right…

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Mt Bachelor

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Mt Jefferson

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Mt Hood

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The Three Sisters… and something else? 3 Fingered Jack?

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Is this not the cutest thing ever?! :

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And then from the tippy top to the bottom of the caves:

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Zeek has been asking to be worn in the carrier lately.  So, just to prove that he CAN still fit comfortable in it at 3.5 years old:

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Skyler hasn’t convinced me to move to Bend quite yet, but I will admit that I like it a little better now.  :)

We had a great little family mini-vacay and one thing crossed off of our summer bucketlist already. 

Love my adventurous fam!

{House Tour} Toddler Boys’ Room Update

Ok, I showed you the boys’ room as of last August.  It was changed shortly after because of transitioning our office into a playroom.  Almost ALL of their toys (with the exception of a few special toys that we keep in the toy cabinet in their room) were moved into the playroom and at this time, I had anticipated putting Zeek’s bed back into a crib for Asher and buying Zeek a toddler bed.  Fast forward 9 more months and Asher is still not sleeping on his own, so we have left the bed situation alone for now.

Anyway – even though you’re probably getting tired of seeing it, here’s the most recent version of their room: (even though Asher doesn’t sleep in there, it’s still his room with his stuff. :))

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I found the little blue and green wooden picture frame from Jo-Ann Fabrics a while back at a massive (90%) discount because the back stand had fallen off.  Knew I wanted to hang it on the wall anyway, so it was a major score!

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I found the Rhino head at Ross and LOVED it!  Had to put it in their room.  :)  The fan is still used for white noise and I love the way it looks.  The color is my favorite shade of blue (light aqua) and I found the fan for only $4 at Goodwill a few years ago.  The globe used to be in our living room.  The old trunk was my mom’s and after I borrowed it for Zeek & Asher’s Planes, Trains & Automobiles birthday, I told her I was going to just borrow it indefinitely. ;)  My sister made the Anderson scrabble tile name plate.

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The white elephant also came from Ross.  The little beta fish in that bowl is a pet that has overstayed his welcome.  I won’t be sad when the little guy passes on, and I’d bet Zeek won’t even notice.  I mean, he’s our beloved family pet……..

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The Rhino is also from Ross (they have the best stuff at the Salem Center one!); the orange watch clock was from Real Deals in Salem.  I love it, because it keeps me on track during bedtime story reading.  :)

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The map above Zeek’s bed is one from Amazon.com that we ordered a couple years ago (for only about $4!) and had hanging in the office.  Once we switched the office to a playroom, we took the map down and put it in here, in replacement of the Joyful string art that I just sold to my bloggie friend.

The old wooden crates have worked awesome at being bookshelves.  We have SKADS of books.  My boys love books (which is great, no complaints) but I’m running out of places to put them!  I finally had to pair them down and purge some at our garage sale this past weekend.  I mean, look – we’ve got books all along this wall too:

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The pallet bookshelves and the ABC wall art

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I bought this little IKEA kitchen cart to work as a bookshelf (mostly the smaller and cardboard books are on this one for Asher and the older books for Zeek are in the wooden crates.  It’s a good system for us and they both know where their favorite books are).

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This Z and A, as well as the chevron light switch plate below, are all from Hobby Lobby from my visit to Austin, TX in December.  I love the rustic look of them!

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The personalized towel hooks I made for the boys.

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And, my littlest monkey jumping on his brother’s bed.  :)

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The growth ruler chart – which the boys love being measured against!  We just will say, “how tall are you Ash?” and he’ll run over and back up to it.  So cute!

There ya go!  The lastest and greatest of the boys’ room!  Hopefully next time I show it to you, we have a bed in there for Asher too!  ;)  Cross your fingers.

Up next, the master bedroom!

I can DO changes. Yes I can.

People can often become comfortable with the familiar things, feel secure with the familiar things and resist change… yes?   I may be one of the weird ones that really like and embrace change (most often).  This week, (and past) my family has been in for many changes.  Some little and minute, some big and grand.  I have been waiting and longing for this week for a WHILE.

Allow me to run through the changes with ya, huh?

First up – the small & minute changes:

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This is a change that needs to be changed again!  Haha.
This one is just silly.  I have spent the last few mornings grinding my coffee outside on my front porch because I keep forgetting to refill my mason jar with more ground coffee.  Ain’t no way I’m risking doing it in the kitchen at 5:30 am.

Yes, this needs to change again.

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This here is an actual picture of how dark Zeek’s room was at 7:30 this morning.  (Though it was a tiny bit lighter than this picture shows…but quite black, oh yes.)  We’ve always had black out curtains, but last week I picked up some new brown ones to change out for his white ones for his room from Target and, as you can see, they are stellar.

THIS my friends, is the answer to the age old question that I always get:
“How do you get your kids to sleep in past 7 am?!”

This was a FAB change.  Even darker = even longer sleep.

Win.
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This is the ugly (I mean, really awesome and useful) canoe (which Skyler talked me into letting him get a couple weeks ago as his year-old nursing graduation gift) that will be changing it’s storage location from this eye-sore-spot to the garage, thanks to a garage sale this weekend.  Boo-yah.

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This is the pressure washer that I bought for Skyler like 3 years ago that will very soon be changing its status of “brand new” to “used at least once”.   That deck is crying out for some help – I think I could just get a knife in between all those boards and pry up enough “nackie” crumbs to be able to form an entire other bowl full of revived snacks for my kids.

But I promise I won’t do that.

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This, is probably the silliest and most ridiculous change.  I know that my friends are probably laughing.
Yes.  Yes, dear friends.  I finally updated my calendar hanging in my kitchen.  It no longer is from March.  Go me.

Oh, and the family picture.  I finally changed out the one that used to be in there – which excluded our 4th family member.  Now that this photo is exactly a year old, I thought it was time to switch…. Can I get another “go me”?

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This little sign that I made when Zeek was a baby is finally changing locations: from my house in Oregon to my bloggie bestie Amanda’s house in Kentucky.  She is my DIY hero and I can only dream that we lived closer so that I could shadow her and learn a thing or two, so I was quite shocked that she would want to pay me to ship something to her that she could very easily make herself.  But I’m honored that she would want it hanging in her house.  (Or maybe she’s just trying to make me feel good about myself, in which, I wouldn’t complain because THANKS for taking pity on my artwork, Amanda! ;))

BIGGER & BETTER changes:

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Skyler hated my park bench.  Hated it.  I asked if he would take it apart and re-do it and he boldly said “no”. 
So I respected his wishes and put it out in the garage sale and gleefully ordered myself a new patio set from World Market (which should be here this week).

Change is good.

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Then I decided that since so many other things were changing currently, that I should go ahead and swap out one more thing on my list.  Especially since I had been eyeing it for nearly $600 at Home Depot and then spotted it for $280 on Overstock! 

My living room area rug.

While I loved the rug and had so many compliments on it, the truth is that it was thin, short pile and not very plush and as much as my men are on the area rug wrestling, I wanted to get something a little bigger, softer and more plush.  (If not for them, for me.  Because I got sore laying on the rug after a short while without having a pad underneath.  Go ahead, call me old.)

So I am changing the old 8×10 area rug out for a big 9×12 area rug, which will hopefully also be here this week.

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This change is going to be off the hook.  See that empty space next to our Prius?  We have been a one car family for going on 2 years now.  That vacant space will soon be filled.

We’re going to go check out some vans this week.  Yes, I said “van” and yes, I’m pumped about it.

The BEST Change:

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This, my friends, is the most sweet and wonderful change ever.  This is the breakfast that I made for Skyler and myself at 5:30 this morning as I sent him off on his first day working day shift instead of night shift at the hospital.  *deep breath*  We’re gonna be a normal family.  (As much as Anderson’s can be. ha)  Skyler was hired on last summer as a night shift employee and after plugging away at it, he was able to transfer to a day shift position, starting today.  No more changing his schedule back and forth.  No more keeping the boys quiet while he slept.  No more sleeping by myself on high alert.  No more having to be home by 5:30 pm to prepare his dinner and lunch, wake him up for work and send him off in our one and only car.  I know I’m excited, but Skyler is even more so (understandably).  So happy for my guy for putting in a hard year and plugging along anyway! 

AND this all happens the week after he’s out of school (with only one more semester left to graduate with his BSN!  Whoop!).  I *think* we may be in for a semi-normal summer.  I’m ecstatic.

Yep, today’s a good Monday.  Lots of changes this week.

Change is good.  I can embrace this, for sure.

Happy Monday to you too, friends.  :)