Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lake Chelan, WA

Marc, the kids and I drove over to Lake Chelan, WA on April 9th (a Saturday). I have been there once, when we first moved here, and Marc had never been. It was a sunny day, so we hopped in the car and made the drive. We drove out I-90, turning off at Cle Elum and driving through Wenatchee (I thought it was faster). It was 214 miles and about 4 hours. By the time we got to Wenatchee, it was time for lunch. We stopped at an Applebee's and ordered food. Another quick stop for some Starbucks (I'm an addict) and we were on our way.

Because it's not summer, Lake Chelan was very quiet. It was a little colder than I would have hoped for, but it was beautiful. There was snow on the mountains and a great view of the Lake from this park in front of the Best Western. I would love to come back out and stay the night here, some day. The kids were thrilled to play at the park and even more excited to put their feet in the oh-so-cold water. 

We finished up at the park and drove through the town of Chelan and to the end of the road in Manson. We had some pizza for dinner. We drove back into Chelan and got some soft serve ice cream. These things were huge. And Miss R learned all about centrifugal force (she spun around and her ice cream went splat!). Luckily, mom is nice and after a few licks, I gave her mine. We left town driving down the other side of Lake Entiat (Hwy 97) into Wenatchee and then followed Hwy 2 home via Leavenworth (which was 184 miles). We got home around 10 pm, exhausted but happy. It was a fun day with the family.

Me and Miss R playing on the swings (I spared you the photo of me swinging)
Marc teaching Miss R how to skip rocks in the water
Mr N thinks tossing the rock is the same as skipping it
Miss M was being my little mermaid of the sea (and tempting the little ones to climb the rocks out to the end)
Miss M and Marc had to put their feet in the snow melt water
So, every one else did it too (except me, are you crazy. It's snow melt water). - Mr. C
Miss R, who claimed it wasn't so bad
Mr. N trying to get back to the rocks quickly
The view from the park at the beginning of the dock. I can't wait to see the difference this summer.

Guest Bath makeover

I started painting our guest (kids) bathroom about a month ago. I was nervous about this makeover. But, I knew the color would be fine over a larger scale (at least I hoped). I'm pretty happy with the results and wanted to share them with you. It's not completely done, but done enough to let friends and family use the bathroom again. (This is the main bathroom at the end of the hall that most guests use. It's also the bathroom the two youngest kids share).

View into the bathroom from the hallway

View of the bathroom from the bathtub (behind the curtain)

Our next step is to replace the vanity and sink. Probably the light bar too (at least fix the burned out bulb).

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A place to hang the towels (whenever they decide to stop using my bath and actually use this bathroom again).

Maybe next year, we can replace the vanity with this: 
and the floor with this: 
obviously, we would need much less tile in the bathroom.

Monday, June 28, 2010

to giveaway or not to giveaway

I have been approached to offer my first ever give-a-way (said in a big announcer voice). I'm a little excited and nervous to do this. So, like life, I am plunging in and just doing it. Ready?

CSN has offered to sponsor a giveaway for my blog!! Not familiar with CSN? Well, they are a huge online group of over 200+ specialized stores that sells a variety of home goods. There is a current article in this months Better Homes and Garden talking about a fabulous home makeover where the wife of the owner of CSN stores was challenged to decorate her home from his websites. She did a great job. 

Maybe you are in need of a sleeper sofa or other large piece of furniture - well CSN has it! Personally, I love the products that are offered and I love Palliser Dane Leather Sleeper. They also have stores for cookware, fitness equipment, baby and pet products, office supplies and more. Basically, anything and everything! And, for one lucky reader of "My travels with 4 kids" a $40 gift certificate to any CSN store could be yours!! Just check out some of these items you could pick for under $40:

  Some prints from The Wall Art Store: 

or bowls from Accent Furniture Direct:

or cute carry on bags for all that travel we do from 

What ever you want/need, CSN stores are going to have it.

So, how can you win this fabulous $40 gift certificate?

Rules (there are always rules, but I'll keep them simple):
This giveaway is for U.S. and Canadian residents only (though I don't know why). Please be aware that there may be shipping charges (though most everything has free shipping) or in the case of Canadian residents, international fees, for certain products.  This gift certificate is only for $40. You are free to spend more, but that will be on your dime (not mine).

How to enter this great giveaway:
1. Mandatory entry: You must be a follower and/or subscriber of my blog to enter this giveaway. See all those cool people on the upper right hand side under the title "followers"? You want to be one of them. So click the little follow button, leave a comment telling me that you follow my blog, and you're automatically entered!  

2. Want to increase your chances of winning? Here are two more ways to get an entry:
- Blog about this giveaway. Leave a comment indicating that you've done so and post the link in a comment for me to see!
 - Tell me which sleeper sofa you would love in your own home.

That's it!! So simple. Follow me and blog about this giveaway with a link back or tell me which one you love. That's three (3) possible entries to win this gift certificate.  I will use to generate the winning comment number. Good luck and I hope you enjoy this giveaway!

Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. You have until Wednesday, July 7, by midnight Pacific Standard Time to enter. I will announce the winner of Thursday, July 8th.

Be sure to tell a friend!


Howdy...or Hola! Did you have a great weekend? I wouldn't say mine was the best, but it made me happy. Actually, all of summer vacation has made me very happy (granted we are only 7 days into our summer vacation).

School got out June 21st (a Monday and it was a half day). I took the kids to Build-A-Bear (as it is our tradition). I used all my coupons and discounts and saved $42!! My Dad and Betts were with us and got to experience the BAB magic. They treated us to lunch before at Ruby's diner. Can't beat such a great deal!! Thank you Dad!!

Afterwards, my Dad dropped me off at my friends house (how old do I sound there) and took the younger two home. My friend has kids the same age as my older two, so they stayed with me to play. I called Marc and had him stop by after work. This friend was hosting our annual "last day of school margarita party". Good times and yummy drinks were had by all. Marc got to know the husbands and we all went out to dinner Thursday night. We called it an early night Monday to go home and have dinner with my Dad, Betts and my brothers family.

Tuesday, we (the kids, my Dad, Betts and I) went to Whidbey Island and ran around (very close to having a heart attack) at Fort Casey (a World War I base). I have photos and will post and blog about this "travel" soon.

Wednesday, we (see above) went to downtown Seattle (again I will blog soon) where we had a great time until I took Dad and Betts to the airport to fly home (so sad).

Thursday, the kids and I went to Saint Edwards State Park where we met up with some friends for lunch, a hike and playing on the playground. Despite the overcast start to summer, we have been out and having a great time. We followed up our playdate with a real date out with friends.

Friday is already a blur. Marc came home early (always a great treat) then I picked up my sister-in-law, Jamie and we went to Blue C Sushi for dinner. Go me.. I'm out and about and having a great summer. After we went to see "Sex and the City 2". I'm not sure what all the bad reviews were about, but I really enjoyed it. Sure, it was cheesy, but I really enjoyed some of the campy dialogue.

Have I written too much yet. Here comes the iHappy part of my actual weekend. We cleaned! Woo Hoo! Sounds dull and boring, but we will be out of town for 4 out of the next 5 weekends and it had to be done. Marc mowed the lawn and uncovered the flagstone walkway we put it. We are making plans to improve the front with meadow grasses and stones. It's so tiny, there is no point to have grass (and it doesn't grow very well anyway). Sunday, we watched a movie and then motivated the kids to clean their rooms and the main play area (threats of "whatever is left on the floor, goes in this trash bag" works really well). Mr C got his room clean enough for us to move the furniture like he's been asking. It finally looks like his room and not the room that we send all the leftover furniture too. I was so happy to get the house picked up and the laundry done (for one day). It made my weekend.

To top it off. I wanted to go for a walk, but Marc wanted to go to the new high school and use the facilities. We ended up at the high school and played for 90 minutes. Much better and longer than my walk. We were teaching the kids to play tennis and then headed over to the track so that I could walk laps while the rest played soccer and kicked goals.

That's my iHappy weekend (with a long quick update of our summer break). What's your iHappy moment? (And I will have to find the beautiful meme for iHappy and set up the linking, next time).


Friday, June 25, 2010

Couples Night Out

The end of school is here and summer (or what is supposed to be summer if the sun would come out and play) is here. It's been a crazy, busy 2 weeks with the end of school, the end of year parties, 2 kids birthday parties and my Dad in town for a weekend. I have many, many things and a few trips to blog about, but right's about my surprise Couples Night Out!!

Do you ever get those? A night to go out with other adults and try your hardest to not talk about the kids. Have you ever moved to a new area and tried to make new friends? We have lived in Washington for 7 years now and I have finally made friends. Marc and I have made friends, but they are separate. He has his friends from work, I have my mommy friends from school. We go out with these friends, alone, rarely together. We realize we need to make some friends together.

So, on Monday, the last day of school, my friend hosted a margarita party. My Dad graciously took my kids home so that I could hang out with the Moms and their husbands who showed up later. I called my husband and asked him to stop by too. He did and we both had a great time. We got along well with 3 of the couples and were sad to head home (though happy to go home to a cooked dinner courtesy of my Dad, Betts, and my brother who were all at my house).

Marc and I talked about needing to do that again and it was fun to meet people that we both were comfortable with. Three days later (Thursday afternoon), one of the Moms called me and said they were free that night if we could get out. I quickly emailed my free babysitters (thank you family) and secured Marcs mom to come to our house to watch the kids for the evening.

We went to Vivendo in Bothell, WA. On Thursday nights at 8pm, the piano bar starts. Although it was hard to continue talking, we had a great time. There was lots of wine and great food. The 3 couples from Monday were there with us. The guys sat at one end and us ladies on the other. I came home very happy that we have taken our friendships to the next level and hope this makes life in a new city that much better.

Here's to the next BBQ (at our house) and maybe some fun dancing on the table photos to share with you!! 

(Don't forget to link up to Brenda's Flog your Blog Friday - see the link at the top of my page or in the sidebar. She has some rules, but they are awesome. Just like she is)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

South Africa has enticed me

Have you been watching the World Cup? I have never watched so much soccer (futbol) in my life. I love the game. I started my kids playing when they were 3 years old. That's 7 years as a soccer Mom (recently we have played Fall and Spring Soccer).

Sunday, we watched the Germany vs. Australia game. I gotta admit, I was rooting for Australia. Especially after the terrible calls and finally the red card. I wanted them to come back and win. In the end, Germany blew them out of the water, but it has been the game I've enjoyed the most.

So, the games are being held in South Africa. There are a few shots of the local area, but mostly it's just the stadiums. The host country is looking very enticing to me though. I have fantasies of buying an around the world ticket and doing some traveling with the kids in a few years. I've been doing my research and reading blogs about families that are currently traveling or planning to travel around the world. I have never considered Africa to be a place I wanted to stop. It's mostly fear of the unknown, the unfamiliar. I don't want to do the typical tourist stop of Africa and take a safari. I'm terrified of the snakes and they climb the trees. I am interested in the villages and the local life. I am educated enough that there are differences with each country and they are all changing constantly. I know that there is more to the continent and the people than the bad things to media portrays.

That being said, the World Cup and this blog post by Life is what you make it has enticed me to consider adding Africa to my list of must sees. I want to see Victoria Falls, I want to see South Africa, I want to visit Egypt (I often forget it's part of Africa) and I really want to spend a weekend here in the Castle in Clarens. I'll have to wait 7 more years to take the kids, but maybe it will just be the husband and I and our own little adventure out in the world.

Friday, June 11, 2010

tales of the 8 year old sleepover

Mr C has a friend named Mr A. Mr A is a funny little guy. He's 8 and in 2nd grade. His parents seem like great people and they are friends with their kids. They have to be, otherwise why would an 8 year old think it's OK to come into MY bedroom, lay on the end of MY bed, while I'm reading a book, to ask me what I'm doing and how am I. I found it very odd to have an 8 year old boy sit or talk with me more than my son.

When I was 8, parents were feared. I don't know why when I look back. They were all nice people, but they were adults and I was a child. I was also very shy. I didn't talk to parents unless I had to. It was mostly, "Is so-and-so home?" and then we would run to her bedroom or outside to play.

So, my tale. It involves Mr A and his first sleepover. I emphasis the "sleep" because there was none for him or me...

First he asked that Miss R go to bed early because she's a little flirty 5 year old and was excited to watch "Where the Wild Things Are" with the boys. I finally get her to bed (after the movie was over) and get Mr C and Mr A all snuggled in on the couch. One at each end. Mr A sleeps with no shirt and he says no pants, but we said Yes pants. The boys fall asleep around midnight. I lay down and was woken up 30 minutes later with a scream and "dude that's gross". Mr C managed to crawl to the other end of the couch and throw up all over Mr A's blanket. I admit, it's pretty gross. Mr A ran to the bathroom and said he wasn't coming out until it was all clean.

I got Mr C cleaned up and settled back onto his end of the couch. I scrubbed that nasty stuff out of the couch and then took all the blankets and towels to the washer for a spin on sanitary cycle. I finally got Mr A out of the bathroom and he said he wanted to sleep with Mr N, my 4 year old. We made a space for him, I asked if he was OK and then went back to bed. 

10 minutes later, I hear "Heather?" Deep sigh and I get up. "Can you spray something? It still smells like puke". I search around and find some vanilla spray and spray the couch, the hallway and the bedroom he's sleeping in. I ask if he's OK and go back to bed.

30 minutes later, I hear sobbing. I jump out of bed thinking that Mr C is throwing up again and it's Mr A crying. He's telling me, "First Miss R wouldn't go to bed and then Mr C threw up on me. I'm having nightmares now". We talk for a little while and then he says he's ready to go to sleep. I think it's about 2am now.

30-45 minutes later, I wake up with Mr A standing next to my bed. He wants to go home. I'm trying to figure out how to do this. I know his Mom gets up in an hour to go to work. I send her a text message asking if she's awake. I tell Mr A I need to get some sleep before I start crying. I so need some straight hours of sleep. I don't get a reply and tell him, "it's almost morning. Marc will make pancakes and everything will be better". He agrees to go back to bed.

Whew. I fall back asleep only to get a reply text (my phone is in the other room and will beep every 10 minutes until I check it). I ignore it at first, then finally get back up to check it. I tell his Mom that he's finally asleep (it's 4:30am) now and I think we are fine.

I sleep peacefully until 8:30 and Mr A wakes up a few minutes later. Since we all "slept" in, Marc was already at work and now it's up to me to make breakfast. I'm a cereal kind of Mom, so it was an "Ugh" morning after and "ARRGGH" night. But, we survived and I even allowed this boy to stay the night another time. But, when he woke me up at 2am to go home, I told him to get dressed, I got dressed and we got in the car. I called the parents on my way there and dropped that boy off. I went home and slept through the rest of the night. 8 must be too young to be away from Mom and Dad (for some kids. Mine, they are more than happy to get out of here. We've never had to do a pick up).

Well, that's my flogging story that links up with the brilliant Brenda at Mummy-Time. Feel free to go read her blog, link up and find some other great blogs to read. I have all the old "Flog your Blog" links at the top of this page if you want to look through. Or click on the "Flog your Blog" meme in my side bar.

I just found a new blog from her list to stalk follow. It's Seven Kids and Counting. She is wonderful and seems so much like me (with a wider range of kids though). I've been having a great time reading through her old posts and getting to know her.

Happy Friday!!