Sunday, May 18, 2008

What a Day, Jonah turns 7!!

O.K., so there are a lot of pictures for just one day. Jonah's seventh birthday was Saturday. It started out with him wanting to go out with just mom and dad, so we went to Monica's bakery in Old Town Silverdale. He wanted attention from mom and dad. We had planned him a special day with the family and it was a surprise, which killed Jonah. He likes to know what is coming at all times. It was a good start to the morning.

Nothing like good coffee and a danish to start the day. We then picked up the rest of the clan; Marna, pappa, Jacob, and Noah and we took the ferry to Seattle. To set the stage, the weather was beautiful, a nice 85-90 degrees today.

The ferry, although expensive now, is always worth it because the kids love it.

Half way through the ferry ride, the announced that there were dolphins out in front of the boat, so everyone ran up there, almost tipping the ship over. It was all for nothing though, because we probably scared them away with all of the cameras. But, a good photo opp none the less.

We first headed to a Gasworks park that overlooks Lake Union. It was beautiful. It is a great park for flying kites, so we had brought all of the kites for the kids. We also brought lunch and let Jonah open some of his gifts for the day, which included a bocci call set. We flew kites and played bocci ball.

Here is the view from the kite flying hill overlooking lake Union. There were also float planes taking off and landing, which stopped the kids dead in their tracks. We have never brought the kids to this park. We were very impressed.

Here is Noah trying his kite flying abilities. All of the kids had such a good time flying those kites there. I know that I also had a good time. I could have stayed there for the rest of the day.

Jacob was also content trying to find four leaf clovers in the grass. He probably would have stayed there all day if I hadn't pulled him back to the car.

Packing up from Gasworks park is always a tough job, but Jacob was a big help with all of the sports equipment. He is a pack horse. He thought that was funny.

Right around the corner from the park, Rebecca had found a new organic ice cream shop that had just opened the week before. It served homemade ice cream. There were a lot of interesting combinations there. It was very good and a nice stop over before we headed to the Ballard Locks.

When we got to the locks, the kids hadn't remembered that we had been there before. We brought them when they were really little. I took a picture of this because you could see fish flying out of the tube. Otherwise, it just looks like a weird shot of something.

Just a picture of all the boats waiting to go through the locks. We had a great time looking at all the boats, but boy was it hot by this time of the day.

I had to pick up one of the stragglers who was hot, tired, and need of a drink.

We did find some shade and all got something to drink.

After the licks, we headed to the Spaghetti Factory for Jonah's birthday dinner. We were ready to get out of the sun and have something to eat. Jonah thought that the day was over until we gave him a Mariners shirt and a card telling him that we were all going to a game that night. He was so surprised and excited, along with all of the boys.

Here is Jonah holding up his shirt in excitement.

The boys at the Mariner's Game. It was still even hot there at 7:00 that night. We were looking for a break, but we had the seats directly in the sun.

The whole gang!

Noah after cotton candy--like he needed anymore sugar. It was Noah's first Mariner's Game.

A picture from the nose bleed section--our seats. they were great though. Noah couldn't believe how high up we were. He thought the wind was going to blow him away.

This was around 7:30. The weather report had said that it was going to be around 80 degrees today..they were wrong. It got up around 90.

All of you who know Jacob know that when he gets something in his head, he wants to complete it. He said he wanted to start the wave so he talked to people in the row in front of us and behind us and actually started the wave which ended up going all around the stadium. We were laughing so hard, because he truly did start this thing. Great things are going to become of this little boy.

A picture of Jacob looking at the rest of the stadium completing the wave. He was so excited and looked at me and said, "I told you I was going to do it."
The Mariner's won, which was a big deal since they aren't doing very good so far this season. Jonah had a complete blast at the game. He was screaming and giving high five's to anyone who would give him the time of day. It was one of best days we have had as a family in a long time. We got home around 11:00 and all fell into bed.

Day of the mother!

I realize we had already posted a Mother's Day tribute, but here are the actual pictures of the Day. The kids, of course, wanted to make breakfast for mom and give her a back rub when they woke her. Jonah helped make the Latte and carried it in. Noah helped with part of the breakfast, and Jacob made the oatmeal. Mom's favorite breakfast is oatmeal with blueberries and strawberries. Then the kids attacked her with homemade gifts and a back rub. She was a bit disoriented when they woke her and they were so filled with Joy to help her relax. I told them that relaxing for mom was letting her sleep in until after 8:00, but 7:00 was the latest they could push it. Don't worry, we let her take a 2 hour nap later on that day to make up for the early wake up call.

Here is Jonah with the Latte, making sure to walk in very slowly. he was so proud because he knows that she loves her latte. He got to pour the milk in with the foam at the end.

After church, Rebecca's family went out to lunch at Anthony's in Bremerton. It was beautiful that day and we had a table overlooking the water. All the kids did a great job at a "fancy" restaurant. We had prepped them before and they did great.

My parents were flying to Hawaii that day, so we didn't get to see my mom on Mother's Day. It was a nice day. For dinner, the I made taco salad and we spent the evening together. I am sure that Rebecca would have loved more sleep time, but she said she had a great day of rest and relaxation with her family. To all of the mom out there, Happy Mother's Day!!!

A day at the beach with grandparents and cousins

It seems like when the weather gets nice, we head to the beach, even though it is much different than the beaches in California or Florida. There is usually so much to do and find on the beach. The big thing during this trip was crabs. Sophia, who is 2, loved finding the crabs with Noah and pappa. Sophia is sure a cutie!

The two of them usually get in some kind of trouble when they are together. This was towards the end of the day when they had both had enough and needed a rest.

The great thing about having boys is that there are built in bathrooms around every tree. Jonah never hesitates to take advantage of peeing in the outdoors. There is something about doing this in the outdoors that is freeing. I can't explain this to Rebecca, so I have stopped trying. Jonah has graduated from dropping his drawers to the ground to peeing like an adult now.

Here is one of the many crabs that Sophia found with Noah during the day. They roped Pappa in and he was the one turning over all of the rocks.

I think pappa's back was done for by the end of the day. He sure had a captive audience though. They could have done this for hours.

We were also able to fit in a game of baseball and soccer with all of the adults. It was fun to see everyone out there making fools of themselves. All of us adults don't think we have aged so we run our hardest and then have to crawl to the cooler for something to drink after ten minutes. We are all wimps compared to the kids.

No one can really squat like kids can. It was a fun day, and like always, they were so tired on the way home.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day Rebecca!!!

Since Rebecca has been a mother now for the past 8 1/2 years, we thought it fitting to throw up some pictures and talk about how great of a mother she really is. As the kids and I talked, they came up with all of the great things mom has done for them, but we also talked about what type of mom she is. She is patient, kind, loving, gentle, attentive, supportive, fair, humble, playful, and works hard everyday to make our home a relaxing place to be. She is our mom.

She doesn't shy away from hard work. One statement you never hear her say is, "I can't do it."

She has been known to mow the lawn, pull weeds, tear down drywall, tile bathrooms, scrape ceilings, hang doors, use a nail gun, carry a couch on her back, shovel poop, organize the garage, make dinner, do the laundry, transport kids, is an advocate for her children, and work on top of all the other daily tasks. The role of mom has really changed over the years, and she has really met the challenge head on. Mom is incredible!!!

We have had incredible times on vacations. Good memories of hauling kids on our shoulders through different cities around the United States.
She always tries to help her children experience life to the fullest. She takes the time to teach them about different cultures, always talking about tolerance. She is their hero.

When I asked the kids what they love about mom most, Noah said, "Her smell and all of her hugs". Jonah said, "I love her hugs and kisses." Jacob said, "I love that she comes in and prays with me in the night when I have a bad dream."

One thing I love about Rebecca is her patience with the kids and how calm she is with them. Having three, rambunctious boys is not an easy task to take on and she has done it with grace. I love her tenderness and how that rubs off on the boys. I love how she takes time out of her day to play games with the boys, talk with them, and listen to them. God knew what he was doing when he put these three boys in our family. He knew she was equipped with a big heart. We love you Mom. Happy Mother's Day Mom!!!

***"I love mom because she plays soccer with me in the front yard."-Noah
***"I love to snuggle with mom at bedtime and have "talk time"--Jonah
***"I love to rub mom's cheeks while I sit on her lap"-Noah
***"I love mom's kisses"--Jacob
***"I love how mom makes me feel better when I hurt myself, andit happens a lot"-Jonah
***"I love how mom wraps me up in a blanket like a burrito"-Jonah
***"I love how mom scratches my head when i am falling asleep" ( I slipped that one in-Robb)
***"If I was a girl, I would go with mom to get a pedacure"--Noah
***"I love that she is interested in all of my projects"--Jacob
***"I love how she prays with me at bedtime, cheek to cheek."--Noah
***"I love her back scratches"--Jonah

Thank you mom, we love you. Jacob, Jonah, Noah, and Robb--All of your boys

What would you do?

Most of you know that I work as a social worker with Hospice and have for about 10 years now. Because we come in contact with families who are grieving, confused, and overwhelmed. The nurse and I come into the home and provide support from a week up to 2 years, depending on the case. In this case, we had been involved with the family for a year and a half, so we got to know them very well. Patient passed away and the family had all of us over for a "thank you" lunch last week, which was very nice. They were very thankful and expressed it many times. As we left, they handed us an envelope and told us to open it once we left. I knew what that meant. Once I opened it, there was a nice card with a check in it for a large amount of money. The family said that their mom, the patient, had decided to give each of us money for the gratitude she felt. She wrote these checks out two weeks before her death.

There is a very clear policy on accepting cash or checks from family members in our agency, as I am sure there are in other agencies. It says that we are not allowed to accept any gift more than $50. Well, this check was more than $50. Six of us employees received checks. The patient had also post dated the checks for October of 2008, hoping that we could cash them six months from now and not get caught. Now, we could all keep them, cash them in 6 months, and no one would probably even know. My internal guide said no from the beginning. Some other employees sat with their check for a couple days contemplating the pros and cons. It was an easy decision for me, but is not for everyone. Some people really needed the money. It's not that I didn't need the money, but I knew that it would complicate the relationship between myself and this family. In hospice, we never want to give the impression that we will give a family better care in hopes of them giving us all a gift. We give the same care to each family, whether they have a lot of money or whether they are scraping by. The RN and I ended up going back to the family and giving the check back, which was hard. The family wanted us to have it but understood. The funny thing was that the daughter took the check back, said, "O.k., I have now taken the checks back." She then slid them back to us and didn't say a word as if the room was being bugged. We kindly said that we really couldn't accept them. She understood, but really wanted to do this for us. What would you have done in this situation?

We were given many chances to take the money and the family was willing to keep everything quiet. The family wanted us to have it. I feel I did the right thing, but some would argue otherwise. Life is filled with many decisions, some which are easy to make and are clear and others which become gray in nature. We can always talk ourselves into anything if we do it long enough. Aside from my agency having a clear policy on this issue, I found out that I also have a clear policy of my own, and although it can be hard to execute at times, I know it is the right thing. The right thing is not always the easy thing. We had to tell our employer, which meant that everyone had to turn over the check. So by me making a decision, I also made the decision for 5 other people. We all talked about it, but it was interesting to be in a group where you had people who were on the other side of the fence. I had to stand up and do the right thing, but it wasn't the popular thing in every one's mind. We never stop learning and need to be prepared to always make the right choice, especially when you think of what you would tell your own children. How would I want my children to respond to a situation like this? Kids are always watching how their parents deal with situations, so we need to always be accountable. Rough week. What would you do?