Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another day of Spring Break fun

When we woke up this morning (much later than the past few days, thank goodness), Jonah was quick to go find the envelope Daddy left us for the day because I told him yesterday that it was just for the boys. So, he tore into it and we read the note. It said that Mommy probably needs some help around the house with some chores. So, after they completed a list Mommy would make, they could have the cards that were in the envelope--a gift card to Walmart for each of them! They were so excited, I've never seen so much work get done in such a short amount of time. All the laundry was put away, garbages emptied, bathrooms scrubbed, and carpets vacuumed! I was truly impressed. I had a little meeting I had to go to for an hour, so my mom came and played more Mario Kart with the kids while I was gone. It was torture for them to wait, but when I got back, we went to Walmart, and they procured their treasures.

Jonah changing the sheets

Noah vacuuming

Jacob scrubbing the bathroom floor

Noah loves the big balls they have at Walmart. He asks for one every time we see them there or at Target. It was perfect for him to choose. Unfortunately, his ended up with a hole in it today, so we're back to Walmart tomorrow to get another.

Decisions, decisions...

Ah, yes...Muhawhawhawhaw

Jacob demonstrating

Noah demonstrating

Posing with aforementioned treasures

Monday, March 30, 2009

Our Exciting Sunday

Here are some pictures of our Sunday. We had a complicated church morning with me and my mom going with Jonah to 2 different services. My dad gracefully agreed to bringing the other 2 boys. We enjoyed a good lunch with family at Olive Garden after church. After lunch, I took the kids mini golfing (courtesy of a gift certificate Robb left for us), but I forgot the camera (sorry!). We had a great time, and it was the perfect day for it--a little chilly, but sunny.

When we got home, Jonah and Noah were playing outside with a neighbor, came in wet, and asked if they could put on bathing suits for a water fight. WHY NOT.

By the time they came inside, it was dinner time. It was a very pleasant way to spend the day. Now, the weekend is over, so it's on to week days. We'll see if or how they differ.

And, this is what we've been up to so far this morning. Hopefully, clothes will make it onto our bodies at some point before noon. Until then, we plan to vegetate for awhile. The kids are loving Spring Break. They are only missing Daddy up to a healthy point. Jacob said he is a little sad he will only be able to be with him for one day before he goes back to school.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chillin' with my homeboys

Yesterday, we spent all morning at home hanging out. Jacob played some Wii and watched a little TV before pulling out the projects. Jonah went and hung with Marna a Papa for awhile, and then he and Noah played at home and trashed the place. All in a typical Saturday.

Then, we went to the grocery store. We used our tried and true strategy--Divide and Conquer. My parents took Jacob and Jonah with promises of new Webkinz as bait. Noah came with me, which was not the most enticing plan for him as he is my errand boy on a regular basis. But, he did great.

After that, we had Costco pizza for dinner at home. My parents had picked up strawberries, so we had a great dessert.

Then, on to the party. The kids had been promised a fun night, but they figured it was a movie. But, my parents had searched long and hard for a copy of Mario Kart Wii. They had been saving it for a good time. This was it! The kids were so excited when they gave it to them. And, we all had a great time playing. At one point, Papa got frustrated and said "What IS that little fairy up there????" It was telling him he was going in the wrong direction. Hysterical. Noah, as it turns out, is the best driver of all. He easily beat everyone each time.

So, now we are all up early. Jonah's wakeup time has gotten progressively a little better, starting with 5:30 on Friday, 5:45 yesterday, and today, 6:15. I'm hoping it will be better tomorrow.
Today, the plan is church, Olive Garden (thanks, honey for the gift card!) and maybe mini golf as this looks to be the only day not promising rain until Friday. The kids will love it! They already opened the card Robb left us for today.
Until tomorrow...

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Long Day and A Bon Voyage

Today we had an adventure. We took all three kids to participate in a study at the University of Washington. The study hopes to find a difference between typically developing kids and kids with Autism and how they express empathy and imitation both with people they know and those they don't.

Our day began early. We were up and out by 6:30. The first picture is of the kids in the car on the way to the ferry. It's pretty indicative of their respective moods at the time. Noah had been out of bed for approximately 12 minutes at this point.

But, on to the ferry, bellies filled with Egg McMuffins, they were much more cheerful. We all sat relatively quietly (you're welcome, commuters, it was nothing short of a miracle). Noah goofing, Jacob playing, and Jonah listening to his Ipod (teenager in training).

Once we arrived at the University, we were appreciatively greeted by all the researchers (ours were 3 of only 40 subjects in the study, so we were a big find for them). Then, there was lots and lots of waiting. In total, we were there for about 4 hours. So, there was lots of this...

And this...

And this...Until they each got to...

Do this. This is an EEG (Electroencephaologram-impressed?). It basically measures all kinds of brain waves and activity. It's the measuring tool used in this study. Each of the kids got to wear the 'hat' while they watched a variety of videos with facial expressions, hand gestures (no naughty ones), and neutral images. It was very interesting. They had all kinds of other fun stuff to do, too.

But, in the end, it was the fun balls they got to take home that was the funnest of all. They were so cooperative, patient, polite, kind children. I'm so glad they enjoyed it.

Exhausted, we went across the street to the Medical Center's cafeteria. Fancy. But, we ate, and felt better. I'm sure we were a sight, packing a cooler, a big bag o'activities, my knitting, Robb's jacket, our cameras, and the backpack full of video games, etc.

Not to be outdone by a medical study, the parents had to throw in their own fun, too. So, we took the kids to one of their favorite places in Seattle. Coincidentally, a donut joint. They were so excited, and each picked out his own kind.

Noah's reaction to his first bite of donut. Enough said.

We had a little time before dinner (between eating gigs), so we headed out to one of Robb's favorite places ever--The Airport. With security measures much tighter these days, it's harder to get a close-up view of these GFOs (giant flying objects) than it used to be. But, Robb knows all the best places to watch. The kids got out of the car, as Robb described to them where the engines are on each plane, and where each plane was coming from as it landed (am I the only one who thinks that makes him a savant?).

And, because we didn't pack enough fun stuff into one day, we took the kids to the second happiest place on earth (that you can find in a mall), the Rainforest Cafe! It still does it for them. We sat under the stars part of the sky, which was a little less overwhelming and noisy than in other places we've sat before. The kids were great. My sister, Hannah joined us for dinner.

Then, we said goodbye to daddy. Robb's leaving for Mazatlan, MX tomorrow with the builder's team from our church. The plan is to build two houses, and possibly a basketball court. He's so excited. But, he is also hesitant to leave us behind. On Spring Break. So, he put together a series of envelopes for us to open each day. Each with it's own little gift. So, we look forward to each message we get from his as he's far away.
Everyone went to sleep well tonight, totally exhausted from the day. But, not all went to sleep happy. Our toughest guy, Jonah was just too sad to hold it in. It was a pretty heart-wrenching sight to see him break down about missing daddy. Even Lego, the dog had a hard time knowing what to do with himself tonight. He whimpered and paced, waiting for Robb to get home.

Here's how we ended the day. With a bang. Goodbye, Robb. Have a great trip! We will pray for you and wish you and the team all the best success for your mission!

We will miss you, Robb. But, we know this will be a great experience. Check back here for a daily update on our Spring Break!