Thursday, April 30, 2009

tromping through the tulips

We've been trying to make it to the tulip fields for the last two weeks and the stars finally aligned to make it so today.  Can I just say that it was the perfect day for enjoying the tulip fields?  The sun was shining, the wind was slight and it was a Thursday, which means that the crowd was mainly sweet grandparents and preschoolers.  (this vs. every child in the Portland area that has just about every Friday off of school!)  Beautiful.  As a mother, I couldn't have asked for a better day.  We spent a good three hours there just enjoying the scenery, playing on the bumpy slides, riding the traditional cow train (what?  you've never been on the cow train before?) and picnicking in their gardens while the girls attempted a game of badminton.  As a mother, it was 100% successful.  As a mother, I wouldn't change a thing minus giving us a few more hours there instead of rushing back for soccer.  This brings us to the *other* reason that we tromp through the tulips every April.  Pictures, of course!  The photographer in me knows that a slightly overcast day acts as the perfect diffuser for Mr. Sun, although the mother in me knows that that doesn't lend to the hours of unhurried enjoyment that a sunny day provides.  And the mother in me also doesn't allow the photographer in me to tote around a diffuser, knowing that it will only lead to chaos and one more thing to carry around for those hours of unhurried enjoyment.  So.  We had a beautiful day that my children will always remember (or they dang well better, right?) but not such a beautiful day for pictures.  I just thought of the good part of this whole thing.  No matter overcast or sunny, we can still enjoy it, eh? (or at least I can still enjoy it!)

One of the highlights?  Opting for the drive through the country instead of the highway, driving with our windows down while Rachel read us The Brownie and the Princess.  Love the cool air blowing in our car.  Love the rolling hills.  Love hearing Hannah excitely point out *every* single horse that we drove by.  Love my daughter being anxious to share a story that she loved by one of my favorite authors.  I would have been content to turn around as soon as we got there just to enjoy another drive like that through the countryside.
*this is for the folks that might, for some crazy reason, think my kids fight.  Nope.  It always looks just like this.  hugs and kisses and sweet acts of sisterly love.*  (which, I actually do think that for the amount of time they spend together, fighting takes up a very small percentage of the total time spent together but there is definitely fighting.  Oh, yes.)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fooking lor some lood gaughs?

My appreciation for a good spoonerism probably dates back to my dad's renditions of Rindercella, but add in a little bit of humor a la Shel Silverstein and you get a good hour of gilly siggling for the fole whamily.  I think Runny Babbit is going to be the new prescription in the Kang house for grumpy kids. (and parents)  You just can't read this book and stay cranky.  Magic.  We still have two weeks to enjoy our library edition, but I think this is going to have to be purchased to be giggled over for many an hour. 

Side note: I have also found that Chloe doesn't like me "spoonering" in random story books.  It kind of irritates her, yet Hannah begs me to do it.  Elise, on the other hand, is just confused by it. "No bunny foo foo honked on the bed!"  

Side note #2: I am adding a pole as I need input.  The Kang house has been proudly TV free for 5 years, but we have always had our computer to watch movies on.  About 3 months ago, an adventurous 2 year old stuck a mystery object in the DVD ROM and we have since then only been able to watch movies on Chris' laptop. (limiting our movie watching to when he is home and not on his computer)  It has been quite nice as we (including Elise) hardly watch any movies at all, but Costco has a DVD/TV on sell for pretty cheap....and we are debating.  The negative right now is that it is very inconvenient to watch movies and the positive is is very inconvenient to watch movies.  Give me your take on it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our little jaunt up to the Kitsap Peninsula

On Saturday, we hurried up to Port Orchard for Annika's baptism.  As much as I wouldn't miss such a special day for the world, I almost feel bad for going because of the craziness that I feel like we added to the "show".  We minimized it a little by staying in the nearby and ever so classy Days Inn (that apparently hates children under the age of 4) and I guess Lilly was probably the loudest one of the bunch at the actual baptism. Chloe just commented that she didn't hear Lilly, but that would be because I was out in the hallway with her most of the time.  Every time she gets in an area that has good acoustics, she starts talking to everyone around her...even if that place is a church.  Loud kids aside, we had a great time visiting Lia's family and even came home with an incubator for some baby chicks we are planning to hatch.  We should try going a little less often because Elise has related the frequency of our visits to our proximity to Lia's house.  When I asked if she wanted to go to the park yesterday, she told me that she wanted to go on the purple slide at Aunt Lia's house.  Sorry, no more 3 hour drives until June, Elise.  

Saturday, April 25, 2009

rocking it

A few years ago I remember hearing a man on the radio talking about the rocking chair test.  He said that you will never see his car clean because it just doesn't pass his test.  He has decided that when he is old and sitting on his front porch in his rocking chair, he probably won't be spending a large amount of time regretting the time he didn't spend cleaning his car.  I like this.  My car reflects my life style.  There is no way in heck that you will look in my car and not know that its primary job is to tote around six girls to various activities and adventures because cleaning it out every day just hasn't passed the rocking chair test for me.

Another thing that I am not so great at is cleaning my house.  If I had more time, I would go around and take pictures of my disgustingness just to make you all feel better.  My laundry room looks very....laundryish.  And in general, my house is pretty far from clean.  These both go back to two things.  One is that I hate to spend a lot of time cleaning during the day while all of the kids are running around doing school because it just doesn't stay clean for more than 2 minutes. (consider it a hazard of homeschooling and move on) and the other is that spending a lot of time on straightening up throughout the day just doesn't pass the aforementioned test.   

Don't get me wrong.  There are times (like when guests are coming over) that I run around like a madman straightening up and all, but if any of you decide to stop by randomly, brace yourselves.  And think rocking chair.   And just about any crafting that is done in my house is either done during naptime with a kid on my lap or during the hours of 10pm-2am. (Chloe just read this over my shoulder and said "What?  You really stay up that late?")  My secrets are out.  Uh oh.    

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

chilling it at Hagg Lake

Seven months after moving out to Forest Grove and we finally went to Hagg Lake.  Yesterday was a gorgeous day that was calling us outside so we hopped in the car, threw in our blanket (and the kids) to chill it for the evening.  What I love about our girls?  That I took them somewhere with "nothing to do" and they relaxed, had a great time and put their imaginations to work.  It was a tranquil evening, complete with some very loud singing on the way home. (thus the quote from the lovely Elise: "I hate that song!  I want 2 monkeys!")  If any of you want to visit Hagg Lake, give us a call and we'll meet you there for a impromptu picnic!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh, what a beautiful morning!

What a beautiful day!  It killed me to drag the kids on errands for the first half (during piano) so we made up for it by holding our school outside for a few hours.  We were "interrupted" a few times, observing our backyard friends (our many birds that we entice in with some tasty bird seed/ nectar) and the blossoming trees.  Laying on the blanket with the girls, checking their math, I was overcome with gratitude to all of our friends at Nike that made this possible. (Think PBS: This program was brought to you by Chris' amazing friends at Nike)  No matter how beautiful the day, I can't imagine that it would have been nearly as tranquil if we had our blankets set out in the mud.  Yep.  It just doesn't sound as nice.  Three hours later, I brought the girls in to get a few other subjects done, which upset Elise greatly.  Yes, she could theoretically stay out by herself but where is the fun in that?  She kept pulling Rachel to the door, asking her to jump on the trampoline.  Rachel told her that she couldn't because she was reading.  Elise's response?  She chucked the book to the floor and told Rachel that she DID NOT want to read and that she wanted to jump on the trampoline.  Elise knows best, apparently.   And none of this would have been if our backyard was still a muddy, goopy clay mess. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Orion is my new main squeeze

All of the girlies and I adventured out to our first star party tonight, courtesy of the lovely people at OMSI, at Stub Steward Park.  To say that we enjoyed ourselves is an understatement and I think that we will be working on Astronomy this week.  Yes, it was a little cold and I don't know if we would have made it to the fun part (you know, once the sun went down and all) if it weren't for our friends showing up and giving me an extra dozen hands or so for baby wrangling.   My favorites of the night?  Seeing Saturn, complete with rings and moons and meeting Orion's nebula.   There were many telescopes set up by their owners who were friendly, patient with children and willing to impart their astrological knowledge to anyone willing to listen.  We came knowing about....very few constallations. (I am not willing to confess my small scope of knowledge to all of you out there!)  We left having Orion under our belt :) and having seen Mercury, Saturn, Triton, the winter triangle, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Cassiopeia, Leo, the big dipper and the little dipper.  I say it was a hit with all parties involved and we are already making plans to attend the next star party in two weeks.  (this time: hot cocoa, a tent for little ones to chill and maybe a picnic before sunset?)  Thank you, OMSI and the wonderful Rose City Astronomers for answering all of our questions. (and letting Hannah look in their telescopes over and over because she had an especially hard time seeing things tonight!)  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lilly's bff (whether she likes it or not!)

When I found out that my big sister's due date was the same as Lilly's (but a year later), I told her that she would HAVE to deliver on the 14th too. (since it is Dad and Grandma's birthday and all!)  We laughed about it, knowing that the odds are slim to none, especially because babies tend to come when they are least expected, just to shake things up.  It turns out that Lilly and baby Cozette have been doing a little communicating (or maybe they did it before Lilly made her grand entrance) and decided to be birthday twins, which makes them destined to be best friends.  

Lia and I both have 6 kids and they all match up age wise (or fairly close) and I must say that they all get along surprisingly well.  There is little to no fighting when we get together and when our 12 are in the same house, it doesn't sound like there are 12 of them!  With all of this talk of bff matchmaking, I can just see Lilly and Cozette not hitting it off now.  Dang it.  Well, we are already off to a good start because Lilly loves Cozette.  She giggled and smiled and just wanted to look at her the whole time.  And when she touched her, it was actually soft little strokes.  See?  Friends at first sight.  Told ya.   

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lilly, I said no more growing up!

I don't know what she is thinking.  I mean how dare she turn the big one?  The birthday that Rachel has been teasing me with for the last year because she knows it marks the beginning of a whole new and different babyness. (no, she isn't a toddler yet. Nope. )  Sigh.  Luckily, I can live through others since Lia had her daughter today!  Who needs more babies when others will have them for you?  Right? 

I will post later about Lilly's very happening birthday party (complete with cake, a candle, a few modest gifts that were bought in a mad dash this afternoon and 7 people that think she is the coolest thing since sliced bread.)  Here are some of the uber adorable things that Lilly is doing that I am sure my other kids did, but I can't remember them.   

  • While nursing today, I was making some phone calls.  When I hung up, Lilly wanted to join in on the chatting.  She grabbed the phone, put it up to her ear and started chatting away. (while nursing, may I add) Lilly!  No talking with your mouth full.  I would have taken a picture, but....yeah.
  • I took a few pictures of her in the few moments before Rach's soccer practice started.  The whole time, Lilly was talking to a neighboring soccer team.  Since they were the rude sort that doesn't respond to a baby a field away, she got progressively louder.  Maybe they just didn't hear her the first time, right?  
  • Lilly rode in the baby carrier while we were working on our garden beds.  She spent the whole time playing peek a boo with Autumn, even when Autumn wasn't playing back.  From one side of mom to the other, yelling "Ah-na!" (which we are pretty sure is Autumn!)
And tomorrow we are off to get this newest baby on camera.  Can you believe that she now has the same birthday as Lilly, my dad AND my grandma?  What are the odds?  Lilly has a birthday twin. (kind of.)  I can't wait to hold her and smell her.  and smell her some more.  Why did Lilly grow up again?  

Monday, April 13, 2009


Sorry about the extended blocation, everyone.  It has been a busy week, although I am still not completely sure what it was busy with.  We always try to keep our spiritual holidays more simple (thanks to a very stubborn husband who, 12 Easters ago, insisted that we only celebrate Easter in ways that were related to the resurrection and that didn't have to do with a certain little animal hopping around and leaving gifts-a-plenty) so our day consisted of attending church, looking for some eggs around the house and a nice family dinner.   Rachel accompanied our day with some loverly piano hymns and  besides the constant rain that moved our egg hunt inside, all was well. (that is what we get!  Normally we do it on Saturday....shame on us!)

Rachel decided that she didn't really want to look for eggs as much as she
 wanted to hide them so we made a compromise.  She  hid all of the eggs minus her own, which were left for Chris  to have fun with.  As Chris was hiding them, I reminded him that Rachel was a little bit to up on her egg finding game to be fooled by an egg in PLAIN SIGHT on the microwave.  He laughed and left it there.  Rachel impressed me with her mad hiding skillz when I came across these yellow eggs, camouflaged in my daffodils (aka: smooshing my daffodils).  Hannah was the first one to find her 8 eggs, Autumn found the egg on the microwave after Rachel had been looking in the kitchen for a good 5 minutes, Han
nah found the daffodil eggs and I immediately confiscated them all for some delicious deviled eggs.  Yum.   

And last, but not least, my latest yudu fun.   (and a silly eleven year old, to boot.)  I think I am officially hooked to this screen printing fun!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Slight miscommunication

Over the years, Chris and I have had our share of communication blunders. He tends to conveniently forget half of what I tell him and since I am *always* right, he also forgets to tell me things, claiming that I have forgotten them. The worst instance of this, up until yesterday, started when I was trying to be nice and went to pick up some sushi for dinner. Chris loves Toshi's sushi, a hole in the wall sushi bar with big pieces of the freshest dead fish you can get. (so they say. I don't touch the stuff, personally.) As I was leaving for some errands I told Chris to call in his order to Toshi's and that I would pick it up. We went back and forth with who was going to call because he had some stuff to do and what not. Finally, right before I leave, I agree to just go and place the order myself. Fast forward to an hour later: I come home proudly delivering the fish that I caught and prepared myself when Chris points out that the order is wrong. No it isn't, silly Chris. I placed the order and it is perfect down to the two orders of octopus. No it isn't, silly Sarah. Chris called in his order while you were gone and decided to shake up his "usual" this time. What? There is another order of sushi waiting at Toshi's under Chris' name? Yep. And my husband hopped in the car to pick it up, forcing himself to eat two orders of sushi that night.

This brings us to our most recent miscommunication. A friend of Chris' from work just had a new baby boy and I *swear* that Chris told me it was a girl. I could very well be wrong, but it doesn't change the fact that the adorable (and very girly) baby quilt that I made them just will not do. It was with great sadness (and a big dose of reality-I just can't whip up quilts as fast as crazymomquilts and would like for them to get their present before 2010) that I ran to the store to buy a baby present with a little less pink last night and with a lot less thought put into it. Here is our conversation from yesterday:

Sarah: Did they have their baby yet?
Chris: I haven't heard back. Assuming he was born last night.
Sarah: Him? You mean her, right?
Chris: No, I'm pretty sure it is a boy
Sarah: WHAT? You realize I made a pink quilt for them, right? What should I do? (Looking for an answer to making a new one or buying a different gift)
Chris:I guess he will go around with a pink blanket. You can put Thomas stickers on it?

*disclaimer: reading back on this, it sounds like I am actually yelling at Chris, but if you are around us much, you know that we have a friendly banter thing going most of the time.  More mad at myself than at him since I really don't know which one of us goofed.  Sigh.  Anyone out there having a baby girl that I don't know about?

Monday, April 6, 2009

weekend in review

In a small exercise of letting go, not everything got done but the most important things did get done. Yesterday was Elise's 3rd birthday and with her being the queen bee of the Kang house, we were all buzzing around her making sure everything went her way. (within limits, of course) Elise helped me decorate her cupcakes which, in the name of simplicity, included blue sprinkles with Thomas rings stuck in the middle. She named each ring as she deliberated over which cupcake they would end up in. Our friends crafted some amazing wooden train and boat toys for her, we Yudu-ed some girly Thomas shirts for her and added a new Skippy Jon Jones book to her collection. (which is why she has been singing "Gitchy, Gitchy Gumba. Dinoes do the rumba!", complete with some very cute 3 year old shakin') In the midst of the birthday chaos, I was...too lazy (gosh, I really didn't want to type that) to get my camera out. In a true act of letting go, I let Autumn take pictures with her point and shoot of the whole thing. I will take some pictures of her in her Thomas shirt tomorrow for my little piece in it all, but Autumn's documentation will have to suffice.
Elise's most recent cuteness? When I lectured Autumn about hurrying to get ready on Sunday morning, Elise turned to me and said "Be nice to Autumn, mom!" Sometimes, I need a three year old to tell me like it is. To cap off the day, we sat down with Elise and looked through her scrapbook. Ah...I was *this* close to crying. Not that she isn't sweet now, but to see her so tiny just made me get all teary eyed. How dare they grow up on us??? What was funny was looking at her expressions, even as a newborn. They really haven't changed much. Her thinking face has always (and still does) look like a very mean glare. Elise, I love you!

Friday, April 3, 2009

unrealistic plans for weekend

I am starting to think that some things on my ever growing to do list are just going to have to go.
Here it is, in all of its glory:
plant blueberry bushes (yes, they still are in their pots!)
plant raspberry plants
watch 4 sessions of general conference
take Autumn to her soccer game
take Chloe and Hannah to their soccer game
sew Elise's birthday present
catch up on laundry
make my house look presentable
make cupcakes for Elise's birthday
wrap Elise's presents (hey, if I don't sew her present, I have less presents to wrap!)
finish planting our pansies
transplant some seedlings 
screen print some girly train shirts for said birthday girl

So....what is going to go?  Conference stays.  Very important and definitely a keeper.  I just got Chris to take Autumn to her game, so that one if taken care of.  Hmmm....what else will make it to the done list?  Only time will tell, but for now I am off to start on my list.  I think the blueberries will have to wait until morning, so lets start with screen printing.  (which sounds like way more fun anyway, right?)

update: despite some serious ucky sickiness, I was able to carry on. We watched the first session of conference today and were impressed with Rachel's correct guess on our newest apostle. She is one smart cookie, eh? I got Elise's shirts done a la Yudu and can't wait to post them for you all. We planted 3/5 of our blueberries and all 8 of our raspberries. (I don't have an extremely good track record with plants, so pray for my little babies that they will be able to raise above their adoptive mommy's black thumb.) We also transplanted our seedlings, decided that Elise's Thomas skirt will have to wait a while and managed the house into some form of order. Chris save me from a day of soccer games (not that I don't love them...just not today) and PLEASE don't come over and peak in my laundry room. It could give you nightmares. Big scary ones.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tunnell Chics gone wild

Ok, not so wild. But wild for us. We went to MAC and got fun little makeovers with the theory that we would then go and do a mini photo shoot of all of us girls. Instead, we ended up with some very tired kids by the time the makeovers were done. We had to settle for a potty break at McMenimen's and a few pictures on their lawn. Hey, you take what you can get, right? Maybe when our kids are a little older we will be able to pull this off. Until then, here are our made up selves.