Monday, July 7, 2014

Adirondack Chairs Finished!!!

We finished the Adirondack chairs! We finished them by late morning on the 4th of July. We wanted to have them to watch fireworks in. They turned out to be gorgeous! I love how they look and they are quite comfortable. I just need to convince Dan to build me a foot rest now since my legs are too short that they don't touch the ground and they fall asleep after awhile. But I love them and don't have any plans on selling them. I am insisting we keep these ones for ourselves. They'll be perfect by the fire pit with the little table for s'mores and stuff.

Fourth of July Celebrations

This Fourth of July we enjoyed a low key relaxing time with our neighbors. We all gathered in the cul-de-sac for a potluck BBQ under the pop-up canopy's (who asked for the rain anyways?). We love getting together with the neighbors. They are just like family. After some yummy food and some chatting we all sat around and watched the show.

All of us pitched in and went in on the fireworks together this year. It made for a pretty sweet show! We were probably setting stuff off for a good 2.5-3 hours! We also had a bunch of the BIG STUFF. Mortars and rockets and such. It was good times.
Here's Dan helping supervise Tyler (neighbor boy) light a rocket.

Both Ethan and Tyler were in heaven this year and they lit off a bunch of the smaller stuff all by themselves! Definitely boys! It was fun to watch their excitement as they got to light stuff off.

Here is Emma and our neighbor Maddie drawing with sidewalk chalk. It was nice to let the kids run around without any worries. They knew to stay clear of the launching area and we had lots of eyes to keep track of everyone. Emma enjoyed wearing my shooting earmuffs to cancel out the loud booms.
Kiera enjoying spinning around with a sparkler
Here's Tyler and Samantha holding and letting off Roman Candles with their gloves on. It was great fun!

Emma with her sparkler. Still a little unsure but when she was finished she was pretty proud she had done it. I love her face in this shot.

The three musketeers. Maddie, Samantha, and Kiera. These girls are great friends.

Tyler and Ethan. These two had such a great time together especially when they had permission to light matches!

Towards the end we had some of our friends from our ward (The Hansen's) show up and they watched the fireworks with us. It was fun to have more friends come and celebrate with us. This is a family shot I took for them. Notice the furniture they are sitting on? We finished the Adirondack chairs that morning! I'll post about them next.

Starting to wind down a bit. The kids all loaded up in the back of Travis's pick-up truck to watch the rest of the show. The kids had a blast and we all had such a great time. I LOVE our neighborhood!

June A Tough Month With a Bit of Silver Lining

June was kind of a tough month for us. We grieved the loss of Dan's great Aunt and Uncle Lib and Cuz who were in their 90's and died in a nasty car crash. And just a couple days after that, my cousin's grandma Norma Mitchell (who was pretty much my second grandma) passed away as well after a battle with some seziures and coma.

I also stressed about the prospect of having to have a c-section with this pregnancy since my placenta was low lying and was blocking the cervix. Luckily at my most recent ultra sound that they did to check up on everything we found out it had stretched out of the way! Soooo relieved to not have to go through a c-section!

Shortly after the good news of not having to have a c-section we were hit with another blow. Dan was laid off of work unexpectedly. His company failed to land a new contract and so they laid off everyone involved in new product development. Dan said he thinks about 1/3 of the company was laid off. It came as a total surprise.

The unfortunate part of it all was that Dan's boss was out of town on vacation when the lay offs happened. After Dan was laid off he sent his boss a text thanking him for the help and encouragement throughout the years and said his goodbyes. Shortly after, his boss replied confused and asked what was going on. Dan told him he'd been laid off. Come to find out Dan's name wasn't on the list his boss had given. So when corporate came in and gave them a head count of how many people they'd have to let go Dan was cut too. It was a bummer his boss could be there to stop it from happening. But we figure we must have something better in store for us.

It is just frustrating that it happened now when we're about to have a baby. We're just thankful his severance pay and benefits which includes medical coverage will last up until 4 days after our due date.

We did however manage to have some good and fun things happen this month. We got tickets to a Mariner's baseball game and the kids got to try the amazing garlic fries and had cotton candy and ice cream too. And we WON! Go Mariners!

I decided I wanted to makeover our ugly card table. I always hate getting it out and having to cover it with a table cloth when we have BBQ's and such so I bought some cute vinyl tablecloth fabric to give it a facelift. 
Here's the Before
And the AFTER! Much better!

Here's Dan putting the final sanding touches on the dual bench order we got before setting up the spray booth so he could spray on the sealant. I just love this hard working husband of mine!

June Strawberries! We have been enjoying our little berry patch lately. The kids have probably eaten more of them than I have since they seem to snack on them whenever they play outside but mmm they sure make some yummy toppings for ice cream or smoothies!

Here's a little table Dan made to go with a pair of Adirondack chairs that we have in the works. Isn't it cute!

One night I decided to get my craft on and made some festive greeting cards for the upcoming 4th of July Holiday and my mom's birthday. I think they turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself.

For one of our family night activities we decided to try our hand at Tie Dying. I bought a kit from JoAnne's the day just before Dan's layoff and was so glad that I did. The kids had a lot of fun and even with all the mess the shirts turned out pretty fantastic. 

Tie Dye Success!

May #2 Fun Times and Kayla Comes to Visit

Still Cranking out the Benches. Here's a bunch of the cut wood for an order of 2 benches we got set out to dry since it was still wet from the mill.
 While Dan and I were on our vacation in Kelowna, BC, Dan's cub scouts made bottle rockets out of 2 liter bottles and pvc pipe. So when we got home there were some left over materials and we decided to make some of our own for Family Night. The kids loved it and we set the rockets off for a good hour or so before having to head in for bed. I loved watching Emma try blowing up her pop bottle again for relaunch.

Isn't she adorable! Lungs aren't quite big enough but she sure did try.

Here I am at 29 weeks pregnant
For Memorial Day we hosted a BBQ at our house. We invited over a bunch of friends and had a good time. I saw this recipe for strawberry shortcake on a stick online somewhere and decided to give it a try. They were yummy and they disappeared fast!
We love the Oriental Trading Company at our house. Every once in awhile I will put in an order for a few different craft projects to have on hand for a rainy day or for Family night. Our last order came in and the kids had fun painting the little wooden lizards we bought. They wiggle back and forth too.

While Dan and I were away, my sister Kayla stayed at our place and watched the kids for us. Isn't she the greatest! I didn't even have to ask. I just told her we were planning a getaway trip and she offered to come up! FABULOUS!!! I was so glad she booked her trip to stay a few extra days after we got back so we could have some sister time. 
Alexis is the cutest little chunk! It was so fun to see her crawling around while she was here. The last time I saw her she was doing an army crawl/caterpillar scoot thing. She is getting so big!

You can't visit the Seattle area and not pay a visit to Ivar's so I treated Kayla to lunch there on her last day here.
I sooo wish Kayla lived by me rather than all the way in Colorado. It was fun to go shopping with her even when it was a simple run to the grocery store. Maybe one day I'll have my shopping buddy close. Just have to convince her husband Benji to find work up here once he's finished with med school.

No house guest of mine escapes without at least one evening of Zumba. Was fun to dance and sweat with my sister for the night! Yes I am still doing Zumba with my big belly.

May Trip to Lake Okanagan in British Columbia

Dan and I like to plan a getaway trip once a year. We usually plan it around my birthday. It sure beats any present that I could open. It gives me something to look forward to and gives Dan and I a chance to reconnect with more than just a night out for dinner and a movie. We went and my sister Kayla came to our house and watched the kids while we were gone.

We went to Kelowna, BC. It was my second time being able to use my passport! We ended up staying in a 1 bedroom studio apartment at The Lake Okanagan Resort. It had a great view and it was nice to have our own full kitchen so we could save quite a bit of money on food by having our own groceries. The only complaints I would have are that since we did go during their off season everything was closed and we weren't able to rent kayaks to go out on the water and there were 2 nights that we found ticks on our bathroom floor. They probably came from our shoes since we went hiking every day we were there. Seeing those buggers put me on edge and made me paranoid of every itch and tickle I felt while we were there.

Here's the view from our balcony.

It was very pleasant weather while we were there and we enjoyed eating breakfast and dinner out on the patio furniture overlooking the lake.

Like I mentioned earlier, we went hiking/walking on the trails every day we were there. It was gorgeous country! This shot was taken on a trail pretty close to our resort that we just happened to pass and decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find out there was a big waterfall further in. That alone made the huffing and puffing and my tired legs worth it.

Aren't you impressed that I climbed all those steps at 30 weeks pregnant? The view of the guy in front of me wasn't bad though so I couldn't complain too much.

The waterfall in the background looks pretty blurry in this picture but it was huge. We couldn't get to a vantage point where we could fit it all in one picture. Absolutely beautiful!

This was a unique trip too in that Dan and I actually took pottery classes for 3 days of our trip. We got private lessons and ended up making 10 different bowls and platters to bring home. Now we just need to take them down to our local pottery nook and put some pretty glaze on them. We both really enjoyed it and it made me happy that Dan enjoyed something that I love too. He even mentioned that he'd like having our own pottery wheel. hahaha.

Gotta love that tongue sticking out. Such concentration.

These are two of the bowls I made. Dan's hands were too dirty to pick up the camera and I finished before he did so I had a chance to clean up a bit. But at least I got some pictures of him at work. We later got a couple shots of me on another day.

One of the days after playing with clay we found The Kettle Valley Rail trail that had been recommended by our pottery teacher. My legs didn't feel up to a huge hike so we broke out the scooter we borrowed from a lady in our ward. It worked great!

This picture was me just being silly on the way back to our resort. Say cheese!

Another day we hit the local famers market in the morning (also recommended by our pottery teacher). It was pretty impressive and we ended up buying some amazing pretzel buns and some homemade mango salsa that we had with dinner that night.

After the market we ended up at the Misson Creek Regional Park that had a trail along the river. It was so pretty and peaceful. I rode the scooter again and only wished the trail was paved. The rocks made for a bumpy ride.  But I still loved the time with Dan and the river rolling next to us made for some awesome ambiance.
We took an evening stroll one night. This is a view of the lake on the beach front trail by the resort.

This was a bit of humor we found in the parking lot at the resort. They must have TINY cars in Canada :)

Night time views from the Resort. The moon was amazing one of the nights so much that I had to get a shot. The camera does NOT do it justice. I couldn't get the settings right before the lighting changed.

The dock was pretty at night all lit up

This was the building our apartment was in. You can't see our balcony but it is just behind that big tree.

This was the building at the resort where the restaurant and pool was.

Just some random shots Dan took of me while hanging out in our room.

Yea! Some shots of me at the pottery studio. This was the day we made things off the wheel. In this picture I am making a scallop edged platter/plate.We also made some hand formed salsa bowls.

Here I am trimming my bowls and adding detail to the bases now that the clay had a chance to dry out a bit.

Dan trimming one of his bowls

We went miniature putt putt golfing too. It was a pretty warm day and I lost one of my golf balls in the tall grass. Luckily we found someone else's lost ball of a different color. Dan prides himself on his "perfect form/stance" in this picture. But to be honest I like my awkward pregnant belly hunched over stance better.

This is where we found the nut farm. They turned the historical nut farm into a memorial park. It was pretty cool to see and each of the trees still have these metal makers on the trunks and the types of nuts that they grow labeled on them.

This was the original cabin of the nut farmers back in the day.

It was so nice to get away for an entire week! We had lots of fun and did things on this trip that were out of the ordinary for us. Some of the other highlights of our trip that I don't have pictures of were the dinner cruise where we went out on the Okanagan Lake and ate a yummy steak dinner, and the pulled pork tacos we had TWICE because they were sooo good. We ended up making them when we got home and plan on making them when we go to the beach this summer. Oh and don't forget the frequented hot tub! mmmm Heaven!