Saturday, September 20, 2014



This weekend Tony and I got to attend (at different times) a Little Philmont training that is to help train leaders on scouting and how it can help prepare boys to be contributing citizens and serve missions, etc.  Imagine my surprise when one of the speakers who was from out of town, Brad Harris, asks if Sister Epperson is here.  Tony met him last night because Brother Harris used to be his bishop when he lived in Concord, CA.  So Brother Harris asked me to say the closing prayer and then gave me a copy of his book, Trails to Testimony.  That was pretty cool.  Then, I ran into a friend that I was in the same ward with at BYU my junior year.  She lives in North Seattle now.  And above all that, the training was really helpful.  I'm excited to help kids be a part of the scouting program and help my own boys have fun and learn when their time comes.

You Win Some, You Lose Some...

We lost the auction on our house.  We were going to bid when there were 20 seconds left.  When the countdown still had 30 seconds on the clock, the auction notification came on the screen that it was over.  We actually had it within our grasp and lost it because of a technical error.  We called and the listing agent.  If we're meant to get this house through all the fighting and waiting we've done, it will truly be a miracle.  But there are a few other houses we want to look at this next week.  House hunting is not for the faint of heart. ; )

Them Babies

I love my babies.  Life is so different now with Max and Ryan both in all day school.  The babies and I have lots of little adventures.  We go on walks, I try to go grocery shopping with their help, we paint, they get into things while I try to work, we bake, we build, etc.  Life is good.

This is the view of Evelyn's head that I often see as she scrambles to get up and snuggle with me.  What a cuddle bug.

 I think my shoe is as big as she is.

She loves the laughing monkey that Uncle Alan got her and Jase.

She's starting to climb.  And she walks around with me one-handed!

Jase is doing so many animal sounds now.  It's really cute.  He does chicken, cow, dog, cat, sheep, goat, wolf, lizard, bee, lion, bear, elephant.  I need to get them on video.

Missionary Reflections

I had to say good-bye to another missionary friend.  The sister missionaries came over and did some service and I fed them a lunch typical french lunch with soup, bread and cheese, yogurt and fruit.  We had such a good discussion about missionary work.  I love these girls.  It also got me thinking more about my mission and there's talk of a missionary reunion in France to coincide with the dedication of the Paris France temple.  I started scanning more mission photos into the computer.  There is nothing like sharing happiness with others.  Even though there are some who don't accept what I know to be true, there is still that opportunity to serve and grow.  Missions are life changing and I'm so glad I got to go on one and I'm so glad I get to work with these wonderful sisters.

Renton Day of Service

To honor those whose lives were lost or affected personally by 9/11, we celebrate the National Day of Service.  We got to make goodie bags for Birthday Dreams which is an organization which provides birthday parties for kids in homeless shelters.  Tony and I took turns watching the babies and it was fun to participate as a family.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Daybook 9/16/14

Outside My Window...
My lavender and honeysuckle are freshly cut and ready for the winter and the flower beds are weeded.

I am Thankful...
for miracles and tender mercies that are given by a loving Father in Heaven.

I am Thinking About...
an auction.  The short sale we have been waiting for is up for auction and it closes tomorrow.  Is this the house we're going to be in?  We'll see.  I've checked the online bids no less than 10 times today.

Notes About School...
Max and Ryan love school.  They are flourishing.  I have happy boys everyday after school who talk over each other to tell me about what they did.

From the Kitchen...
I tried cooking sweet potatoes in the crock pot which I liked.  I have to find some recipes that will get my boys to like sweet potatoes.  Who am I kidding, even Evelyn wouldn't eat it.  Hmmm

I am Creating...
memories with my babies every morning when it's just us.  Today I finger painted with Jason and then enjoyed a relaxing play date in the sun with a neighbor.  Bliss.  

I am Working On...
House hunting, scheduling for therapists and NOT property management. :)  Even though the way we ended our property management was different than we expected, I can't say that I miss it. Good while we did it, not sad we don't have to do it.

I am Reading...
I must stick to one book. I've started 3 and haven't gotten far in any of them.

I am Praying...
that we find the house for us and that we have a painless closing process.

I am Struggling...
with focus

I am Hearing...
All is quiet on the western front.

Around the House...
I've finshed my nightly clean up (I prefer waking up to an empty sink, clean dishes in the dishwasher for the boys to put away and the house already picked up and the floor swept. That is my nightly routine.  It's 9:50 and I really should get o bed like everyone else.

One of my Favorite Things...
Jason's building vocabulary and how he says, "Ry-uh" for Ryan but doesn't say Max, just giggles.  And I love how excited he gets around "Bah bahs (babies).  I also love that his hugs.

A Few Plans for the Next Week...
Daily learning activities with the babies. :)

What else is on my mind...this past week had a bit of a roller coaster ride in the middle of it, and I want to document it because I like to look back and see the tender mercies that have been given us.  Last week we were asked to sign a security deposit on the home we've lived in for four years.  We'll be on a month-to-month lease while we find and close on our home. They had us fill out a walk through inspection of the home and because I want our deposit back (and these new owners have never inspected the house themselves), I was very detailed and erred on the side of negative when it came to describing the condition of things.  We've had ants and some mold in the master bathroom.  The morning after I turn this in, I get a call from one of the new owners (one I've barely met and who has not worked with us) who says that because of the deplorable condition of the house, we have to be out in 30 days so they can get a crew in to fix it up and get it ready for sale.  It's not possible for them to do the work during the winter months so it has to be done now.  He also felt that he had been deceived by the previous owners on the condition of the house (you could have come and looked at it and had it inspected at any time).  I let him know that we have never had to inspect a home and if he would come and see it, then he might have a different evaluation.  Maybe my fair-poor indication was really good-fair, etc.  He said he trusted our evaluation and so we needed to go.  "It's just business"  I let him know that I wished he would have inspected it or would at least come now and inspect it.  Later that day after panic had set in and I had sobbed, Tony who was much calmer about this, talked to the owner and worked it out that we could stay.  We have until the end of January of next year (which we hope to be out as soon as possible), but at least it's not open-ended this time, because they had given us 30 days when they took over ownership of the park.  So we had to write an email stating what had been done about the mold and ants and include a statement that we feel comfortable with our family living here.  So voila!  We are not homeless, we have breathing room.  And the kicker is that over the summer Tony became a lead (supervisor) at work.  When he was able to move to dayshift, (after a 3 year wait) we had to decide whether or not to keep the promotion or move to day shift.  We value family time and for many reasons felt that it was better for him to move to day shift.  We had the impression he wouldn't be able to be lead on days because he would be low on the seniority totem pole.  However, miraculously, he was able to interview for a position and found out he got the job the day after the emotional roller coaster of getting 30 days notice.  Oh, and the evening of the emotional roller coaster, the sister missionaries, who I adore, stopped by with some treats because they'd been thinking of us.  I told them they were inspired.  It was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father.  He let us know that even though things had been scary for a bit, that He is there, we are loved.  We knew this of course, but we had been momentarily concerned with how we would handle the trial of having to move in 30 days, uncertain of where we would go.  We know that our lives are in His hands and He showed us love through the sister missionaries and through helping us work out the situation and helping us to have the blessing of more income to help.  Now I'm really tired and rambling, but I know that God loves us as he does everyone and He and our Savior helps us through the hard times.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

First Day of School!

Max has Mrs. Pang Ching

Ryan has Mrs. Twiss who we love already.  Max had her as well.

I have a love for these carts.  Where they used to be a nuisance (I would hope the kids wouldn't see them because they're beasts to steer around), now they are a life saver. 

Ryan's only had one day of kindergarten so far, but this is what he said, "I don't like it mom, I LOVE it!"

Labor Day Weekend 2014

We had a fun weekend with Seth, Lauren, Eli, Nora and Riff.  The guys biked, the kids biked and played, Lauren and I got some run/walking in and even a girl's night.  Good times.

Our Evelyn Kate is 1 Year Old!

Our sweet Evelyn Kate is such a joy.  This is how she looked on her actual birthday at the doctor's office.  Poor thing.  

Even though she was a sickie, here are her stats:

28 1/2 inches (50th percentile)
16 lbs. 6.5 oz. (5th percentile)

Evelyn is a fast crawler and she is standing up all of the time and scooting along furniture.  She loves to practice walking when she's holding someone's hands.  She has such a fun smile and laugh.  She says, "bah bah bah" and "Bah bee" (sounds like baby).  She does the cutest little bobble head dance, she claps, waves,high fives and even folds her arms (clasps her hands together) for prayer, even though you can't see it in the video below.  She loves to cuddle.  She also loves to play with her brothers, especially Jase.  We are in love with our sweetheart.

Summer Wrap Up

After our Neah Bay Adventure we all got sick in turn.  One after the other, we were dropping like flies.  It was not fun.  The cutest Evelyn was even sick on her birthday.  The boys went with their dad and a few other families on a campout that ended early due to sickness (not ours this time).  I was home with the slowly recovering babies.

The kids and their bows and arrows

We still were able to end the summer with lots of blackberry picking

trips to the park and lake

trips to the river

leaf catching by the cutest 2 year old

and Tony and I got to try wind surfing