Friday, August 28, 2009

We're back

and life is starting again. School starts in a few days and I'm excited but also not willing to let summer go!

We had an amazing vacation in Southern California. I have the best extended family! We packed so much into our 2 weeks, it's no wonder that I was exhausted when we got back!

We drove down on a Saturday morning. We arrived at my wonderful aunts house around 9 that night. We spent Sunday just trying to recoup from the 16 hour drive.

Monday Mike flew to Costa Rica for work, so I was on my own for a few days with the kids. We spent Tuesday at Huntington Beach. It was amazing! I loved playing in the water. There were so many of my relatives there, that I could leave the little girls on the beach playing and I could go play in the water with my cousins or with the older kids. Such fun! I think that was the first time they had ever been to a beach that they could actually play IN!

We spent a lot of time visiting with family. We were fed well and loved seeing everyone. I also had all of the older kids get their hair cut while we were down there.

We spent 1 night at a Dodgers game. That was a blast! They ended up losing by 1 run, but the experience is on to remember!

We also went to Raging Waters one day. We took Adrie with us but left Caile with my dad. Adrie didn't really enjoy the rides, but she loved the lazy river that they had. I was very proud of Conner. He went on every big ride and even took a spin on the "Drop Out". Good for him!!!

My cousin is one of the "Ariel's" at Disneyland and when we learned that she was working on one of the days we didn't have anything planned, we headed to Disneyland for the day. We just went for the day, but it was a blast. There were a ton of people there and it was warm, but I loved it! To watch the little girls faces as they experienced things for the first time was well worth the tired and cranky kids at the end of the night!

Well, there were a ton of other things that we did, but I need to get dinner going. So that will have to do for now!

Friday, August 14, 2009

It has come to my attention...

That it has been exactly 2 months since I last blogged.  It just seems that facebook is so much quicker and easier to do updates on!  But since I'm here in beautiful sunny California, I don't have any pictures to post.  So, I'll do a quick update on what's going on in our lives...

Conner finished baseball season with Mike coaching him.  We had a great year.  An Awesome team.  And fabulous parents!  I always have a bit of depression when the season is over and I don't get to see my baseball friends for a while.  They finished their season placing 5th in county.  Not too shabby!  We missed the state tournament by 1 game.  Oh well.  Maybe next year!

Ann-Elise finished her softball season and had a great time.  She is turning into quite the player.  However, she is still undecided as to whether or not she'll continue to play.  

Alia and Ann-Elise (well, and I) am gearing up for cheer season which starts in just over a week.  That should be a lot of fun.

Adrie is signed up for fall micro soccer for the young kids.  She is pretty excited about that.  I'm sure it will be quite comical!

Caile and Adrie both will be attending preschool in September.  Adrie will be returning to her same teacher and Caile will be starting with a new one.  They are both VERY excited!

Alia and Ann-Elise are starting school at St. Luke this year.  They are really excited and it's fun to see them work through their anxieties about going to a new school.  I know that they will do great and make some great friends.

Mike just got back from a trip to Costa Rica.  Maybe next time I'll get to go with him!!!

Well, that's us in a nut shell.  I'll post pics when I have them!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tomato plants

Mike has been asking me to post some pics of our hanging, upside down tomato plants for a while now. These have been hanging for about 6 weeks now. They are beautiful (if I do say so myself!) We love tomatoes here at our house and when we saw this idea, we just had to try it out. There is a place down the road from us that sells the white, 5 gallon buckets with the lids for $1.00 each. We bought 5 of those and just some inexpensive soil at Bi-Mart. Each bucket holds about 3/4 of a bag. The soil was 2/$5.00. We hung the buckets with basic closet shelf holder things. They were about $2.50 each. We bought small starts for around $2.00 each. All total, with everything, they were about $7.00 each. And that included the hangers and buckets that we can reuse next year! So far, we are really impressed with how these are doing. I'm looking forward to some awesome tomatoes in a month or so!  I also added a picture of one of my Calla Lily's.  LOVE THEM!


Up close of a couple of the tomatoes already growing.


One of the buckets


A BIG bucket.  It will be interesting to see how the different types do.


Another bucket

My pretty Calla's

Another bucket

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ann-Elise's school paper

Ann-Elise wrote this paper back in the beginning of April. I wanted to post it when I read it, but it had to stay at school until the end of the year. Just remember that she had just turned 8 when she wrote this. And, other than a few spelling helps, she did this on her own. I'll type it the way she wrote it, just so you can get the full effect of a second graders writing!

On the day of the Husky Pup Fun Run I threw of my covers and quickly climbed down the later of my top bunk. Throwing out my black bourder different colerd skull shert and my comfortable jeans I sprinted down the stars and heated up a cup of water. Pord ots in my bowl. I walfed down my otemeal. I shuved my foot in my convers high tops, grabed my cote, snached my backpack off the couch and sprinted to the bus stop. Finily the Fun Run began. I stuck with Pascal most of the time. We started out jogging slow. We pased the blue and yellow stashon all most back agin, meeting Aidan and taking realy made time fly. Then a parent make our green card and our first lap was down. We doged kindergardeners and first graders. Finily we made it to the green tent agin. Then Pascal's mom said good job and marked my green card. A side ake apeard in our stumic, so we streched. Then we were at the bleachers and we saw Mr. Mangan. He gave us a comlament. he said that we were jogging at a nice steady pace. I said thanks. That made me feel more confident in running ten laps. Then he paced us. We tried to keap up but we just couldn't. We make it back. We had 3 laps done. Pascal and I were aching in pain. Jogging tridly around the track, more marks on my card. Looking at it I hade 8 laps done. Finily the horn blew. We were kind of confused at first but we looked around and mostly everyobody was still jogging I know it was the last lap so I jogged quickly. I made it. I passed Pascal and another parent marked my green card. 9 laps were done. Every one stumbled back to the primary school. I could hardly feel my legs. After we were inside, there were apples and carrots. There was also an anounsment rewarding everyone who jogged and extra lap. I drank a lot of wother. Mr. Mangan caled tabels to grab snaks. I enjoye my appels, carrots, and the rest of the day.


How amazing is that? I love that little girl!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday Adrie!

Yesterday was Adrie's 4th birthday. I can't believe it!!! Where does the time go? At some moments it seems like it was yesterday, but then at others, it seems like it was WAY more than 4 years! She is an amazing little girls with an awesome personality. She's smart as a whip and gorgeous. She's the total package deal! We are a very blessed family to have her.

Last night we had most of her preschool class and a few kids from church over for a "pretend sleep over". She was so excited (as were her friends, from what their parents told me) to have a party. The kids were adorable! Everyone arrived in their pj's and with a sleeping bag or blanket. We read a few stories and then played "musical sleeping bags". After that we sang the popcorn song and then pretended that we were popcorn and jumped around. Next came cake and ice cream followed by gifts. We had just enough time to get it all in before parents came back to pick everyone up. Each child left with a goody bag that contained a ring pop, a little book and a toothbrush. We had a great time (me included) and now I'm actually looking forward to Caile's party in August!


Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Adrie's birthday party
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yes, I'm still alive!

It has just been a crazy month!  Baseball is in full swing, therefor, we are gone 4-5 night a week with that alone.  Add in church and school activities and I just can barely keep my head on straight! 

I'll post some more stuff later, just wanted you all to know that I'm still here!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another beach trip

We spent the weekend at Seaside. The kids LOVE Seaside. There is so much for them to do. Now that they are getting older, it makes it more fun to walk the promenade and visit stores and arcades. Here are a few pics from the weekend. Although kite flying and beach walking was involved, I didn't have my camera when we did those things. Oh well!






Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pinewood Derby

Tonight was Conner's last pinewood derby race. He has been racing cars for 3 years. It's always a last minute car. We forget when the derby is or we just have so much other stuff going on, that it gets put off until the last minute. So, again, we knew that the derby was coming up. In fact we've even had the "block" for at least a month! However, it wasn't until Sunday that we decided to OPEN the box! We found a design on the internet that looked pretty easy to cut and Conner liked the design. Going off the pictures on the internet, the boys designed the car. They had picture graphs and lines drawn on the wood block. On Monday night, they went over to a friends shop and made the cuts. Then they spent some more time sanding and working out the final details on the design. Conner started painting it last night too. He wanted to paint it orange and black (shocking, I know). I told him that if he got it all painted that I would paint the Beavers logo on it for him. However, the space was WAY to small to paint it, so we just printed one out and glued it on the car (about 2 hours before the race!). Mike came home from work with the weights for the car. They melted them down and had the car ready to go, oh, only about 45 minutes before it was time to leave! Talk about cutting it close!

I had a meeting for Conner's school tonight, so I wasn't able to make the derby. Mike took the kids and they headed off. I got a call from Conner when he was on the way home saying that he had fun and that one of the other boys had a "Duck's" car and he beat it. He was pretty excited about that.

When I got home from my meeting, there was a note on the front door telling me that I needed to go to Conner's room. I headed up there and the first thing I did was look for his certificate. Every boy gets a certificate with some crazy award. They give places for the first 3 cars and then the rest get goofy awards. Because Conner had an OSU car, I was looking for something having to do with that. When I found the certificate I saw that he had FIRST PLACE!!! Yeah. I guess he won every race but one! I'm so sorry that I missed his big night, but it was so fun to sit with him for a while while he replayed the evening. It was nice to see him so exited about something. Now, you have to understand that he usually doesn't fair very well! So, this being his very last pinewood derby before he leave cub scouts, this was awesome! Way to go Conner!

Mike and Conner working out some kinks.

Conner working on his car.

Goofy pic of Conner at the derby.
And no, Mike took pictures and didn't get any of Conner actually holding the finished car!  The video shows it a little at the end.  I'll try to take a pic of Conner with his car tomorrow.

video

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pom Cheers




At cheerleading sign ups the other night, they had some small poms from the local Dollar Tree.  As we were tearing down the stuff, I was asked if I wanted to keep them for my little girls.  Knowing that they'd jump on this, I took them home.

Adrie wanted to bring them last night at baseball practice.  She insists that they are called "pom cheers".  Not only did she bring them to practice, but she actively cheered for her brother while we were there.  Now, if this isn't a sign of a cheerleader in training, I don't know what is, but this is the cheer that she made up (all by herself) and used to root her brother on as he was batting:

Come on Conner,
You can do it
We love you
Cause you're the cutest

How stinkin' cute is that?  I suppose with 2 older cheerleading sisters there was no hope for her!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Trauma", life at the Laders...

Last month St. Luke School held their annual auction. Now, I don't own a business or have any real skills, so I decided that I would donated 1 dessert a month to the highest bidder. It wasn't until AFTER I had committed myself that I found out that the person who had done this for the past few years is an actual trained chef. Great.

The first item needed to be ready to go the night of the auction. I worked for about 3 weeks to come up with a yummy key lime cream torte. I, of course, forgot the cake at home the night of the auction and Mike had to run home and get it after we got there. Such is my life, right?

So, my friend Laura informs me that my item is in the Oral auction. Oh, and it's first on the block. GREAT! It went for $450.00. OUCH. Guess brownies and rice crispy squares are out of the question, huh.

I have spent the past month trying to come up with a new dessert for April that tastes great and looks nice. The first thing I tried DID NOT work well, so I scratched that one. Next I came across the recipe for a fresh apple cake with home made caramel topping. I have made this cake about 7 times in the past month. I LOVED the taste of the cake, but you cook it in a bundt pan and how do you make that look nice? Plus you have to poke holes in the cake for the caramel sauce to soak into the cake. I took one to my friend Lisa's house and she showed me how I could make it look "pretty". I was hooked. This was the one to do!

Fast forward to today. Today's the day I said that I'd make it. Of course, I'm super busy and I'm just going to have to fit it in! I get the cake made and the topping on before I pick up the St. Luke carpool kids. I run home and whip up the cream cheese frosting and quickly frost the cake. It's all set to go. Of course, the base that I used was too big to fit into my cake carrier, so I ask Conner to hold the cake in the car while we pick up the other kids from school and then deliver the cake.


The finished product.  Isn't it pretty?

He had a travel pillow that he wanted to bring with him. OK, whatever. Apparently, as we were driving, it wasn't at the right position, so he pulls on it and the velcro breaks loose and the momentum drives it right into the cake. Yep. The cake that we're on the way to deliver!!!


Smashed cake.

OK, I can deal with this.  I didn't even yell at him.  Nor did I cry (yet).  I had to go get the girls from school, so we couldn't just go home.  As I was driving I was trying to come up with ways to fix the cake.  The first thing I needed to do was put the cake on a smaller tray so it would fit in my cake carrier.  Then I figured I could try to scrape off the frosting and refrost it.  Great idea in theory!  However, the caramel sauce had hardened enough that it was stuck to the original plate and in the process of trying to pry it off the cake broke in half.  Now I was crying!  I had no idea how to fix this.  I called Bob (the guy who bought it, nicest guy in the world, btw!) and I asked if I could bring one on Monday because this one was destroyed.  He insisted that I just bring it the way it was.  That it wasn't a big deal.  So, I loaded it up and took it out to him.  When I got there he asked if I wanted my cake carrier back and I just told him that I couldn't even look at the cake, so he'd better just keep the carrier! 

My hideous cake (I still can't believe that I actually gave this to someone!)

And that's the story of "Trauma, life at the Laders"!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Boys will be Boys

Conner's school is out for Good Friday today, so yesterday he invited a couple of his good friends to spend the night. When Mike got home they decided to wrestle. Now seeing as how I only have 1 boy, I really enjoy these kinds of interactions. I really take for granted all of the "sisterly" things that my girls do, but I thrive for the normal boy stuff. I know it's totally unfair, but that's just life in my world! Here a couple shots of the boys...





Saturday, April 4, 2009

She may really be a rock star!

North Marion School District had their annual student talent show last night.  Alia decided that she wanted to sing.  She picked the song and we helped her download a karaoke version and Mike even edited to fit the time frame of 1:45.  She practiced for a month and we even picked up some new clothes for her to wear the night of the performance.

So last night was the big night.  She did amazingly well.  She was the 3rd performance of the night.  She was awesome!  I'm so proud of her!!!


video

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday.  No joke!

I just want to wish her a wonderful day.  She works so hard for everyone else that I hope she can take a few minutes for herself.  We love you mom.  Thanks for all that you do for me and my family!

Love you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Life's a beach!

So, with all the rain around here for spring break, we haven't had a ton of things to do.  Today was the first nice day all week and so I loaded up the kids (all by myself, I might add) and we headed to Lincoln City.

The girls were pretty excited about it, but Conner wanted to stay at home with friends.  I didn't give him the choice.  Because, well, quite frankly, I really didn't want to go either!  I don't like sand.  I don't like wind.  And I don't like cold.  ALL of those are at the Oregon Coast!

However, it turned out to be a really great day.  The drive was fairly quick (about 90 minutes each way) and we spent about 2 hours in Lincoln City before coming home.  Just enough for the kids to have fun, get cold and cranky, and then sugared up before heading out.

And, get this, I even remembered to bring my CAMERA.  So I have PROOF!!!


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Lincoln City 3/09
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I've been found!

As usual, I woke up this morning and checked my email.  Of my 17 messages, 15 of them were junk.  BUT there was 1 from facebook.

Someone was wanted to be my friend.  I was a little unsure of the name, but I had an idea.  Could it really be?  Really?

Guess what. It was my very very very bestest friend ever growing up!  She lived across the street from me from the time I was 12 until I moved away.  She was the kind of friend that let me pretty much live with her.  I have SOOO many memories that there is just no way I can narrow down a couple favorites.  Although, there are quite a few that bring a smile to my face trying to go over them all!  She was the friend that I loved to live life through.  She was always off on some mission or another and always had the best stories to tell!  I probably spent more nights in her big bed having sleepovers than I did in my own!  WOW.  She was my teen years!  I remember her as being an amazing writer and super creative.  She made me want to do better and be better.  Well, most times.  We did enough not being so good, too!  She was on of the bridesmaids in my wedding and then we pretty much lost touch.  I missed her.

I have spend a lot of time trying to find her again.  Well, this morning, there she was!  And she's close!  She still lives fairly local.  I'm so excited to get the chance to connect with her as an adult.  She is amazing and I can't wait to rekindle our friendship.

Thanks Tara, for taking the time to look for ME!  And thanks to facebook for making it happen!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My birthday gift

Before we left on Friday afternoon, Mike planted my new birthday tree.  It's a weeping cherry tree.  The plan is for it to "grow up" and kind of cover the beautiful utility boxes that we have in the front of our house (wonderful planning on someone's part... to put them there!).  This is also where the kids LOVE to play, so the thought was that the tree would also be a "fort" for them when it gets bigger.  I love the shape and can't wait until it has some blooms on it!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday... to me!

Yesterday was my birthday and Mike and I went out of town for the weekend. We went over to central Oregon to stay at Eagle Crest Resort. It's a fun and close getaway. My sister lives about 30 minutes from the resort, so we took Conner with us and dropped him off her house for the weekend. On friday night, after we dropped him off, we went out to dinner with her and her husband. I don't know if we had ever done that before. We went to a little (very little) mexican restaurant in Tumalo. Then we headed back to the resort KID FREE!!! Yeah. We had a good time on Saturday playing tennis and hot tubbing, watching movies and just relaxing! Sunday we slept in!!! That's nice! Anyway, it was a fun weekend and here are some pics from our drive back.

Oh, did I forget to mention that there was a snow storm over the pass on the way back?? Yep. There was!

Mike putting chains on the Honda.


The view of the side of the road.  Very pretty.

Still working on chains.

Conner just HAD to get into the action!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More pics of my yard

So, as we should all know by now...

I get completely obsessed with something for a couple weeks, then I lose it and start something new...

Well, lately it's been my yard.

I have really enjoyed finding new plants and shrubs for my new yard. Here are the latest pictures that I took yesterday.







There Rebecca.  Are you happy now???  Thrilling isn't it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Daytime pics of my new yard

So, I'm learning that this is a work in progress. I have been down to the local plant shop everyday this week. Luckily it's pretty close by. But I think I've spent a small fortune buying bulbs and perennials and annuals flowers. But I've totally been enjoying myself and it's fun to see something new everyday. The grass definitely needs some work. A lot of work. But that will be fun to work on too!

Anyway, here are some pics that I took today.

Notice the backpack and uniform.  Conner hadn't even walked in the door yet, and he was planting some new ground cover.

Corner of the yard.  I LOVE this tree.  I have no idea what it is, but it is all red.  It looks like it's glowing in the morning.

More of the side of the yard

And still more of the side of the yard.

Side yard and the fence.

Front window and porch thingie

Front walk from the house looking down to the street.

Cute little planter box that I picked up yesterday.

There really are cute flowers in there, just hard to see 'em!

Another of the walkway.  From the driveway this time.

Standing back view of the front yard from the driveway.

Conner, hard at work.

Front yard from the road.