Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adele's Birthday

So Adele actually made it to her second birthday. She thought she was so wait, she has always thought she was so special. I guess extra special is the correct way to put it. We had cupcakes with my Mom and the family, and opened girfts. She got this great doll that was big for her to dress with hard plastic clothes. She also got a pretty princess dress. My Mom always picks the best things for her. Here are a couple of pictures of her opening her presents and the dress on her. Pretty cute if I say so myself.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas tree by the Koon kids

This year for Christmas I gave up. I decided that I could mostly control Liam, Evelyn, and MyraJean but there was no way I could control the master of deception otherwise known as Adele. So there are Christmas ornaments from my childhood, and from Clifs and my early Christmas's but no breakable items were going on this tree. Hence, the tree was decorated for the children by the children. Still a very happy occasion by my kids if you ask. I needed a nap after the tree celebration. Here is the cute picture of my kids and their handiwork's.

Christmas pictures

My sister and her husband took some great pictures of my family. She should quit her day job ad just take pictures right! Thank you so much Sumer and Stephen!

I had to post some of them. Enjoy!

MyraJean and Evelyn (in that order)
My sweet son that took such great pictures and posed well
What can I say, her smile says it all!

A cute one of them all.

Thanksgiving and Snow

So this year with all the crazy drama that seems to envelope our house, we decided to have a very private and small Thanksgiving. It was nice though, there was snow the entire week before Thanksgiving so the kids played in the snow and we had a nice time.
I am so glad that I bought the kids new snow coats this year. This is Evelyn in the garden playing with her siblings. She is wearing my thick socks on her hands like the other girls. I didn't really believe that we would get any snow so I just got coats this year. Next year they will get mittens too.
MyraJean in her pretty pink coat. Once again, notice the cute grown up socks on her hands
I had one pair of gloves, Liam got to use them. He played in the snow every day while it was here. I think his highlight of his Thanksgiving was being able to play with Clif on Thanksgiving in the snow.

This is the only other thing my kids wanted to do during the Holiday. We had paint on the kids, walls, floors, paper, ceiling, and any other place in throwing distance. It was so fun for them but really crazy for me.

Here is a good one of Evelyn. At least I had enough foresight to not let them wear their good clothes while painting.

Does he look like a painting Master?

This doesn't show the aftermath but they all had a really good time while they were warming up from being outside.

And I wonder what therapy is going to cost

The picture quality isn't the greatest, but it is so funny. I know that we will never have enough money to fix the damage we have done to this kid. Still, she is so funny.

Funny stories before I forget

This is a collection of stories that I have been trying to remember to blog, life has been busy, so sue me.

Story 1: MyraJean came and told me Liam was getting into stuff he wasn't supposed to get into. I got after him and this is what I heard.
Liam to MyraJean "You have a BIG mouth".
(Funny to anyone knows him, since he has no control of the amount of words that come out of his mouth)

Story 2: Liam came up to Clif and I after church and was talking about some old teachers in Primary class. Now for the background, church would not be complete without Liam asking Clif if he was going home teaching that Sunday. Liam looks forward to the Sunday Clif needs to take Liam with him as a companion.
So Liam gets into the car and asks if Clif is going home teaching. Clif says no. Liam proceeds to tell Clif about these Sunday school teachers that he once visited (One of Clif's families are a couple that teach in the primary). I am trying to listen really closely because he gets hard to understand when he talks fast. But he kept telling Clif that he tried to ask this couple if they were going to be home for home teaching. They didn't understand him and so he told them he would get Clif to call and explain our schedule. Basically my 5 year old was trying to set up his dad's home teaching appointment, since Clif was not doing it quick enough. It was really funny.

Story 3: Liam was in my bedroom last week watching TV when I was trying to get kids down for a nap. It was really quiet and I started to panic. So I hollered at him about what he was doing. He said he was watching someone talking to God on TV. Obviously I was seriously confused and concerned and rushed back to my room. He had changed the channel to 77 and was watching a TV Preacher. I explained that the preacher wasn't really talking to God and we didn't watch those shows. He got confused and I told him the only people that really talked to God on TV was President Monson. He got wise and said "Oh so he just thinks he is talking to God and it is all in his head ?" What else could I say but "Yep". Glad to have cleared that up.

Story 4: Liam was at his friends house the other day. His friend didn't want to wear his shoes with socks. They were going outside to play with snow and my friend Kathy heard Liam say to his friend "Well if you get cold and you won't wear socks, then don't come to me whining and crying when your feet get cold." Wonder where he got that?

Story 5: Last night I was taking what I felt was a very much needed hot bath. My bathtub is really old (like 70 years) and has no insulation around it. So I fill it a little bit, like less than an inch in the bottom, with the hottest water, let it cool down and then let it out. I then redo the process. I know it sounds crazy but I need a hot bath occasionally, like 3 times a week.
I was irritating Clif and so as a joke, Clif went down to the basement and turned off the hot water. I yelled that he wasn't funny and you could hear him laughing all the way upstairs. Well Liam had come into the bathroom to see what the fuss was about. I told him that his Dad was not funny and played a joke by turning off the hot water. Liam very serious said " What do you mean it isn't funny, Dad is laughing". Touche.

I am sure there are more, but I can't remember. I am lucky that I could remember these.

Pumpkin patch

The pumpkins in our garden was being mauled by the squirrels so we headed to the local pumpkin patch with the kids for them to pick out their pumpkins.

I know this didn't come out well, but it is one of the only ones with all of them holding their pumpkins and as you can see they were thrilled to get their own.

The cute twins trying to figure out where to go first to pick out the perfect pumpkin for our front porch.

So this one is my favorite since their personalities shine through the picture. Happy Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Halloween Pictures and stories

No, I did not forget Halloween this year. But it has been a rough couple of months. The day that we were supposed to get the kids all dressed up, happened to be the same day that Clif had his appendix out.

This is how is all went down. Imagine a day with me, my Mom, and my sister all going clothes shopping for my birthday. It was like any other Friday that Clif had off, except that for two days Clif kept saying that his stomach really hurt and he wasn't hungry. I know that would mean nothing for the lay person, but in Clifton speak, it meant he was dying. The first and second day I just kept at him saying he needed to go to the Dr. since I thought he might have an ulcer. He had had these pains before but never this severely and not this long. By Friday he was hardly moving around on the couch, and I left him with the kids while I went to shop for my birthday.
It was a great day and I really had fun. I enjoyed my family and getting a ton of very much needed clothes for my birthday. I called and checked in with Clif a couple of times and he was just sitting around. By the time I got home at 4 to take Liam to soccer practice, Clif really looked bad. Still he just said he was ok and he was feeling better than he had in the last 2 days. So the whole family got in the car and went to the park, while we were there Clif thought about looking up the symptoms of appendicitis. He had all the classic signs and decided to call his Dr about what to do. The Dr. recommended him to get to the Dr's. in the next 24 hours, and Clif didn't tell me any of this until we got home, close to 6 that night. So I started to panic and started calling friends to see who would watch the kids while I took him to the ER. Finally I got smart, called my Mom who agreed to watch them and headed to the hospital at 8 pm.

Once there Clif said, "I am fine, I just want to go home". I did not believe him, he would turn completely white when people touched his belly. A couple of hours later and some tests revealed that not only did he have appendicitis but it had started to rupture which is why it didn't hurt as bad as it had in the first couple of days. So Clif spent the entire weekend in the hospital and I took the kids to the Halloween party without him. It was to be a relatively easy procedure, the Surgeon would go and pump him up with CO 2 gas. Then laporscopically go through his belly button and two other places with a camera and pull the infected appendix out. It went longer than they thought since the infection had started to move outside his appendix. But we were also blessed since Clif was in good shape, the infection was kept in a small enough place that the surgeon did not have to open him up completely.

I got home to my kids at 2 in the morning. Liam did not get to go to his soccer game and I was tempted to not do anything else either. My mom convinced me to take the kids to the yearly Twin Halloween party. Needless to say, the kids wore whatever costumes that I could scrounge from my sister and Mom. Clif did recover well and was back at work by Wednesday but I was pretty traumatised and so Halloween was not a large deal this year. Hence the one picture of the kids.

Monday, November 8, 2010

So it is like I fell off the planet- yet I aged again.

You know those people that write a long blogs and then take 2 month hiatus's. Well you can now count me with those crowds. I have had quite the last 2 months.

I turned 31 this past October and Clif got my wedding ring fixed, and a new band with sparkly diamonds. Clif and I went to dinner at a little Italian restaurant with friends and had a great time. My Mom and Sis, took me clothes shopping all day and then out to lunch. I had such a great time and it was so nice to get things that I have been needing like fixing my wedding band and some new clothes that we bought because they fit me.

I don't have any pictures but I do love my family. They treated me so well and I had such a great time.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Little bits of everything

Liam had a circus at school. He was a trick pony rider (or cowboy). He was able to borrow the chaps and horse from his friend Mathoe. He was so cute and I had to take pictures. He says he was also a farmer and so do the girls. It was truly funny and he had such a good time. The circus had a parade around the school and ate popcorn while they watched the other kids perform. It was a good experience for him. I loved it too.

So Adele was at my mom's house while Clif was mowing this past weekend. I had run out of things to keep her occupied with, so I bribed her with chocolate. Have I ever told you that she doesn't eat food but will consume her weight in chocolate. I wonder where she gets that from....
Cute picture of Evelyn. She is pretty funny and just a smile to be around.
Couple of pictures of the type of produce we are getting out of our garden this year. It has been really rainy and not very conducive so I am pleased we are getting what we have gotten. I didn't think we would get anything but the carrots did well, the Brussels sprouts are doing fine, and my squash and cucumbers did OK. Really can't say it was horrible but not great either.

Liams new bed- I am not cheap but an opportunist

We have been needing a new bed for a while now. The cute house that we live in is not big enough for all six of us without some serious storage capabilities. So I have wanted bunk beds for all the kids with the built in shelving. You know the ones I mean, the drawers and cubbies, maybe some places to put books. Those kind of bunk beds. They never seem to get cheap enough for us to afford so when the twins bunk beds came up I jumped on it. They love their new bed and I loved having them in beds where they don't kick each other. But Liam wanted a new bed too, and I kept telling him that I would look for him. And guess what?.....

It has happened again, I found a loft bed. It has enormous storage capabilities and it is in pretty good condition. Since it isn't solid wood, there are some scratches and dings. But I paid way too little to care about the scratches. Liam loves his new bed and I am very pleased, really really pleased. It makes the room so much easier for me since there is more space for me too move Adele around in and it has a place for almost all of his toys that are in his room.
These are the drawers on the left side. Clif has to replace one drawer bottom and I need to replace all the handles. It was missing quite a few, but other than that, not a lot of stuff to do to the bed.
This is the desk. You can see the places for his leap frog computer, his puzzles and games, and his books.

These are the cubbies for all of his toys. It really looks neat and tidy and I feel much better about toys in his room. Lets just say, my kids will probably be the most organized due to genetic disposition.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Who kidnapped Liam?

Liam started school today. Half day Kindergarten, that is. I am so not ready for this. We have been working for this day for so long and it came way too soon. So we have been explaining what was going to happen at school. But I have been so worried, especially since we decided that he should ride the bus. I was so expecting for him to bawl and cry and to at least make a little scene. He was so good about getting on the bus, just waved and smiled at me. Then I met him at the school and we walked to his class room together. He didn't even cry, he was a little nervous but that was all. I was the one that was getting all choked up (even now). When did he get so big? Who kidnapped my little boy and gave me this beautiful brave kid setting out to conqueror the world?

Here he is after riding the bus all by himself to school. So far he looks happy? Crazy!
Here he is all ready to go with his jacket and backpack.

Don't focus on me, just on Liam and his cute smile!

Here he is with Clif, I don't know who was more goofy! Here he is after school. Take a guess on how it went? He hasn't stopped talking about it since he got off the bus. He was tickled with school. He ate ginger bread cookies for a snack (he even brought me a bit home), drew a couple of pictures, and made some new friends. The best part is he (according to him) is bringing show and tell on Friday and he has already started to stuff his paper bag with items. I am just amazed on how much he has grown.

Clif's 31st Bday

Yes, it is true! Clif is finally an adult and has the "gray hair experiences" to testify to it. They may not be truly gray yet but this last year has had some character defining moments that would turn any one's hair gray.

This past year Clif has lost 40 lbs, ran in the Hood to coast relay, retained his job in a horrible economy, laughed and played with his 4 wild kids, and cared for his crazy wife. He tackled the unknown and took us all camping at the SFOM camp out. He survived a very wet and weirdly dreary summer, and most of all... triumphed in Liam's first day of school. If those crazy events don't create gray hair, I don't know what would!

The kids and Clif wouldn't sit still long enough to get a good picture. So this is what I could come up with. This is a fancy schmancy shirt with cuff links. He loves these shirts so I guess it is a good thing that he looks so good in them.

Getting help from everyone to open his presents.

New cuff links. Clif is giving me the evil eye because he didn't want me to take any more pictures. I also don't have the picture of the beautiful tie my Mom also got him. She has such impeccable taste in clothes.

Here is the new ensemble. How hot is he?

He wanted carrot cake, so that is what he got. He loved it. In case you are wondering he got 3 candles to represent 30 and then 1 candle to represent the 1. I am not wasting 31 candles when symbolically 4 can represent 31. Nice logic, huh!

Silly grin and still breathing

The "Hood to Coast" relay is lauded as "The Mother of all Relays". Though there are others as long, like the "Ragnar" relay series, the Hood to Coast relay is said to be the largest in the world.
The entire course is a distance of 197 miles. This is not a race for the faint-hearted. The race starts at the Timberline Lodge on the slopes of Mount Hood in Oregon through the city of Portland and along the Oregon coast to the beach town of Seaside. It consists of 1000 teams of 12 people, plus 3000 volunteers and additional official staff. It sounds like a lot to fill, but when you consider that all slots are filled within the opening day of registration, and that our team applied three years in a row before we got in, it could be much, much, larger. It really is an amazing race and is put on primarily as an American Cancer Society fundraiser.

Anyway, we had an amazing time. Each team splits up between two vans and take turns running. We would drop one runner off, race ahead to the next exchange point and pick up the previous runner and drop off the new. Of course we would spend time at each exchange point for a bit and had fun on the way to each. Our rental van, the one I was in, gave us a bit of problems during the race. The transmition started going out. We traveled most of the 197 miles in second gear. Good thing we weren't traveling much faster than the runners. Also, it gave us an excellent opportunity to "steal" a car. We borrowed the PB Portland (most of us work for Parsons Brinkerhoff) company Ford Escape, after hours and without letting anyone know, at first. So here is how it went:

First van exchange. I don't believe there was a single space for regular customers at this Fred Meyer.

Our team at the Fred Meyer (minus Kevin Sakai, a friend who consults with PB but not a PB employee taking the picture, and Eric Forsyth from the Portland Oregon office) John McMillan, Melissa Stowe (friend from Microsoft), Laura Wojcicki, me, Kelly Kozdras, Mike Colyn, Mari Dougherty (Murry, Utah office) Eric Kelley, and Sunny Rose.

A few of us before the runner before my first run. My first run was at about 9:00 at night and dark, so no pics.

Just after my second run at 6:30 in the morning. It was about 40 degrees. Not my first choice in running temperature.
A simply decorated van at the race. There really were some extravagantly decorated vans, one team put wings, missiles, and jet engines on theirs, as their name was Top Gun.

The exchange points were often a little small, so the lines to get in were a bit long. I think we waited for 2 miles here, the runners were a lot faster than the vans.
We got a little bored.
This is the end of my last run. My legs were as follows, #1, 4.39 miles, #2, 4.18 miles, #3, 7.28 miles uphill. Aside from the distance and being uphill, the last leg was by far the hardest. We had been going since the previous morning without any sleep. We tried once while the other van was running, but with all the excitment and runners coming in and out, it was just impossible. This was the second to last leg of the race.
The finish line and finish line party. It was an amazing time.