Monday, February 14, 2011

Clean Sweep!

Well, this post is not in chronological order, but I had to put it in. Have you ever seen the TV show "Clean Sweep"? It's where organizers go in to someone's home and help them clean and sort an out of control room. Well, this weekend I was clean swept!! (By friends, not the TV show, in case you were wondering!) There is a large extra room downstairs that we haven't been ready to use yet, so over the 4 years that we've lived in this house, stuff has been accumulating, and I had become so overwhelmed by it, that I couldn't even go in there! Realizing that it's more fun to clean someone else's house, some wonderful friends came up with a great idea. We would all go to each others houses to help with whatever big cleaning project was needing to get done! We are needing an extra bedroom now, so we started with my house, while my mom watched all our kids!
And here is the dreary mess! This room has become known as "the messy room" you can see! Here's the mighty Laura, lifting bags of stuff while carrying her baby! And Kristi and Robin, who helped immensely by sorting the whole room and deciding what to get rid of, which is very hard for me! One of them commented that this was the biggest pile of randomness they had ever seen.I don't yet have a good "after" picture, because I'm still sorting a few things, but I gave away a van load, and took a whole truck load to the dump!

Kristi got so into cleaning, that once we came to a stopping point with the room, she stayed and cleaned out my pantry! As you can see, I am a major stasher...The closet was overrun by plastic bags. I had no idea there were so many in there! She filled a giant garbage bag with them! Fortunately there's a place to recycle here.

Finished! It's so refreshing to open it now! Kristi went on to clean off the top of my fridge, and a messy cabinet full of old magazines. She's going to inspect my pantry every time she comes over to make sure I'm not hoarding plastic bags again! I'm going to start using the re-usable shopping bags now.I now have a better idea of what things I need to make a place for, and what things I just don't need to keep. Hopefully these pile-ups won't happen again!

Monday, February 07, 2011

catch-up time!

Hello blog readers who have probably almost given up on my blog! For some reason I just didn't feel up to updating for a while, but now I will start! I'll do a few posts a day to catch you up on our existence since the last post 4 months ago!

Meadow's 6th Birthday

December 10th was Meadow's 6th birthday! It's rather shocking to think I already have a 6 year old...that happened awfully fast! Her birthday fell on a Friday, which means there is always a Singing Christmas Tree concert that weekend, so we had a family party at Grandma & Grandpa Cooke's house, then went over to the church for the performance. The next day she had a girl party, and went to the Rec. Center to play, then McDonalds for lunch. The girls all had a good time together. It was funny though, at different times during their conversations, I overheard each of them state, "I know everything"! It must be great to be a wise 6 year old!

Genesis, Aurora, Meadow, & Jenna Candle in an ice cream cone

This is the cake I made for the family party. She requested a seahorse!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Decorating for Christmas

The kids are showing off their stockings:

Meadow...with Sluggy the slug peeking out Logan
Brennen...with mom and dad's stockings on his feet Ashlen putting hers on
Then my octopus of children "helped" with decorating the tree. I call them my octopus because there were 8 eager arms reaching and grabbing and throwing things in all directions! It was all rather crazy for a while, but we got the job done, and only broke about 5 glass balls. Trying to settle everyone down, I had them do nice calming waterpaints while I finished cleaning up. A few minutes later I found Meadow putting on "make up" and of course all the others copying her. Then just as I was about to have them all clean up, daddy came home and let them paint his bald head!

And Back to Seattle Again!

In November, Matthew and the worship team for our church went to Seattle for the annual worship conference at Overlake. On the last day, I came down with the kids, left them with Christy, and joined them for the final concert! It was Gungor (pictured singing Beautiful Things) and then New World Son. Gungor is one of our new favorite bands. It was a wonderful concert, and fun to hang out with everyone in a different place.They all enjoyed the conference, but for this year Matthew has decided it would be better for the group to go and serve, so in the fall we are planning a trip to Mexico to purchase and set up a sound system for Katie and William's church in San Marcos, and also to do concert outreach events.

This is the amazing, crazy drummer for New World Son. Matthew showed him a video on his phone of Brennen drumming, then got his autograph. He said Brennen sounded pretty good, and wrote, "to Brennen, keep on drumming" and drew a little picture of a drum. That may be worth something when Brennen is a famous drummer someday. :)
Krista was very excited to have all the New World Son guys sign the back of her phone.
Meanwhile, the kids all had a wonderful time with Auntie Christy! We stayed a few extra days in Seattle for a vacation. We let the kids each choose a toy while we were shopping, and they all wanted snakes! So each night they slept snuggled with their snakes, of all things! Another fun activity was visiting Woodland Park Zoo. Here, Meadow and Logan are trying to cheer up the tapir by talking to it and petting it (there was glass in front of course) because they thought it was crying. As we were leaving the zoo, we let the kids pick a small toy from the gift shop, and guess what they all picked...snakes! It was the trip of snakes I guess.

We sure love our trips to Seattle! It will be sad if we ever loose our flight benefits.