Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Adventures

Here's a link to a shutterfly book I've made (for all you grandmas out there)

Click here to view this photo book larger

Create your own custom photo books at

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back to School (for reals)

Mikey didn't have the greatest kindergarten experience. I remember coming home from school and telling Chad that I thought I could do a better job. Not that I was a better teacher, but that I could give Mikey some real one on one attention and avoid a lot of the yucky stuff he was being exposed to. Then I was introduced to a home school co-op run through the public school system. It allowed kids to take whatever classes they wanted "on campus" and then complete the rest of their education at home. It seemed like the perfect hybrid. So, we pulled Mikey out of the public school system and became homeschoolers. I loved it. And Mikey seemed to thrive. All the same, we wanted to be sure the kids were happy, so every year we offered them the option to go public. This last summer Mikey caught us off guard by deciding to go back to "real" school. I have to admit, I was terrified. What would it be like? What would he be exposed to? Had I done an adequate job teaching him? Would he be able to assimilate? Would it stifle his creativity? His personality? His spirit? Mikey, on the other hand, was ready to go. No hesitation, no looking back. Which means that this year, on August 31st, he went back to school (for reals).

He is in Ms. Hayden's fifth grade class. He loves recess. He likes to play four square and a game called "infection" which (as far as I can ascertain) is akin to tag. They sing Justin Bieber songs with their music teacher. At first he was appalled by this, but he has since come to the conclusion that "Never Say Never" really isn't that bad of a song. Their school has the largest collection of xylophones in the school district. The P.E. teacher is strict, but funny. They are reading Mr. Popper's Penguins (which I read with him in 2nd grade, but he doesn't remember so it is new and exciting for him). Ms. Hayden is very nice. She is probably in her eighties (according to Mikey. She is, in my opinion, late twenties at the most. Heaven only knows how old I look in his eyes. Is ancient an actual age? If yes, that is probably where I fall). Starting in October you can buy ice cream for 50 cents at lunch time. Everyone wants to know who likes who (which is appalling to me. Cooties should buy me at least two more years, right?). And while I am still terrified by all the things he may be exposed to, or by his spunky little spirit being crushed by the system, he appears to be terribly happy and safe. And old. Really, really old. It really does go fast. I am afraid that if I blink too long he will be leaving for college when my eyes open.

5th Grade


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Busy, Busy

Every year I look forward to summer as a time to relax and slow down. As a homeschooler, I anticipate it just as much as the kids. I imagine long days full of leisurely walks and catching up on chores and reading that pile of books I've been saving for when there's "more time." But then summer hits and it's somehow busier than the school year. Don't get me wrong, I love it. I love the family visits and summer festivals and time spent with friends. All the same, I've found myself daydreaming about September lately. About falling into a school routine. Days filled with structure and order. Scheduled time to catch up on chores and read that pile of books I've been meaning to crack open. Huh. Perhaps I should invest in a maid and a stack of books on tape?

Anyhoo, here's a quick catch up. Last week we were surprised from a text from Debbie & Lance saying they had a layover at Seatac airport and would be there for a couple of hours. Obviously, we jumped at the chance to spend a little time with them. We hung out at the airport and caught a quick bite at Wendy's. It was so wonderful to get to see them and hug them and talk in person. Yay for layovers!

Monday, I took the kids to a petting zoo in Auburn. It was a groupon a while back and I can't pass up a good deal. Plus, as much as I try to pretend the zoo dates and petting zoos are for the kids, it's really me who can't wait to pet the pig and feed the goat. I can't help it. I like critters. The petting zoo was pretty cool. They had alpaca, horses, rabbits, ferrets, chicken (and tiny baby chicks!), turkey, goats, sheep, ducks, dogs and an adorable 150 lb potbellied pig named Porkchop (of course). They also had a miniature horse (or pony, I don't know. I'm not a scientist). We were kindred spirits. He got me. While chaos swirled around us in the form of squealing children chasing frightened farm animals, he stood next to me with his adorable little pony head pressed against my side. If I stopped petting him, he'd nuzzle against my side harder. Oh, blissful animal companionship! I'm not sure how much fun the kids had (that's not true, I know they liked it), but I was an extremely happy camper.

This morning, (thanks to yet another groupon) I took the kids to Uptown Glassworks to blow their own glass pieces. It was really cool. Mikey made a vase and natty made a goblet. It was amazing to watch the man swirl the glass around like it was no big deal. Just a pinch here and a tap there and he had a beautiful glass piece. I was impressed to say the least. The shop was full of beautiful glass pieces too. I found one I kinda fell in love with. It was only $1200. I'm sure I'll be able to talk Chad into it. NOT! (Yes. I did just say NOT. I'm not proud, but it happened).

And that was our week in a nutshell. My house is a stinking mess and my pile of books is only growing taller, but we had several adventures and spent a ton of time together. I'll clean my house next summer...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our Oregon Holiday

So, last week Chad worked as producer on this film being shot (partially, at least) in Oregon. Natty was cast in a small role as well, so the whole family tagged along. It was a super fun trip. A little tricky working around all the family allergies, but we managed to eat out and avoid being sick, so that was a victory.

(Lizzie avoided her allergies by living off of straight ketchup)

Our hotel was directly across the street from a huge factory outlet mall (which I would have happily spent more time at, had I the chance). We hit up the Converse store and got the kids new shoes for school. I love Converse on kids. Something about the way the shoes are shaped really exaggerate the length of one's foot. Which makes kids look like puppies who haven't grown into their paws yet. I love it!

Our second day in, we stopped in the sleepy town of Mt. Angel to watch their world famous glockenspiel in action. Lizzie was the most impressed. When the little kids swung out at the end, Lizzie thew up both her hands and shouted, "LOOK OUT!" I don't know if she was impressed or concerned or a little bit of both, but it was dang cute.

Most of our trip was spent on set, hanging out with the cast and crew. The kids all got along super well. Two out of the three lead actors were home schooled, which automatically gave them a ton in common to talk about. Their moms were amazing too. I felt guilty for having so much fun while Chad was working so hard. Well, a little. Okay, not really. But I felt guilty for not feeling guilty. I mean, he was working really, really hard. And I was eating fast food, shopping, sleeping, watching movies, playing at parks, making friends and spending multiple nights at super rad nickle arcades.

Saturday was Chad's birthday. He chose to spend it at a Family Fun Center with the cast of The Dangerous Adventures of Leroy Thomas. He got tater tots and birthday cake ice cream. The moms of the actors tried to get the Family Fun Center crew to have Bullwinkle sing happy birthday to "poop cop" (a name Chad earned by playing cop #2), but they didn't find the humor in that. Whatev's. Chuck E. Cheese totally would've played along...

It was a really fun trip. I loved spending so much time with Chad & the kids. And I loved meeting all the amazing people working on the set of the film. All the same, I missed my house and Seattle. There truly is no place like home!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Blue Day

So, Mikey and Natty have both been begging to have their hair colored for quite some time now. I have been too cheap to take them in to have it done and too scared to try doing it myself, but last Sunday Aunt Honey and Uncle Mac brought by some blue dye and explained the process. Which meant that today was hair coloring day. May I be the first to introduce you to the new & improved Mikey and Natty Perkins!

While my hands were busy, sweet little Lizzie managed to dump out an entire bag of freeze dried fruit and mash it into the carpet, shred an entire box of kleenex, clear a bookshelf of all its contents and cause all kinds of havoc. Somehow she knew I couldn't stop her with dye on my hands. She's pretty smart like that. Speaking of how smart she is, this morning she added "shoe," "on," and "ball" to her vocabulary. While I don't advocate allowing your toddlers to give you stern commands, it is really darn cute watching her stomp over (footwear in hand) and insist, "Shoe. On."

(Ha, Ha, mom. I think it's funny when you pretend that you can keep me and/or the house clean. Silly, delusional lady. Now fetch me my shoe!!!)

In return for coloring his hair, Mikey allowed me to practice FX makeup on him. I think he is such an amazing actor. Look at him get into it!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Saturday!!

This last Saturday was such a fun day! We had unexpected visits from a bunch of our favorite people. It was the best!!!

First, Aunt Honey came over to skate with the kids. Mikey and Natty were so impressed by how good she was. She could ride down and the driveway without falling and do twirls. And she didn't fall once. Now Natty calls me "the old lady" when I go out skating with her. (Thanks for showing me up, Aunt Honey!!)

Then, we were surprised by a quick visit from Chad's cousin and her adorable family, who made a pit stop at our house on their multi-state road trip. It was a blast catching up. The kids hadn't seen each other since '09, but they acted like old buddies. Mikey and Natty have been trying to talk Chad into a trip to Idaho since they left! (Okay, I have been too).

It was a great day. Yay for amazing family that we love to be around and surprise visits that cheer up a regular, routine day!!!