Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The List

Everywhere I go, whatever I am doing, there is a constant list running through my head. I am weighed down with "...mop the kitchen floor, vacuum, make the bathrooms not-gross, scrub the smudges off the wall, I hope our house sells soon, laundry needs folded, we're out of laundry soap, grocery shopping, prepare Sunday school lesson for my primary class, please somebody buy our house, call about that duplex listed on Craigslist, find someone to watch my kids while I'm at the doctor, when's the last time I fed the baby? what's for dinner tonight? start packing, clear space in the garage for packed boxes . . . "
As much as I would like to ignore all of these things and just play board games with the kids, the fact remains that we are moving far, far away, and time is running out. I feel a little stressed about it.
On the other hand, look at how cute they are:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy Sunday

Sundays can be hard, because we leave for church at around 10:30, and often don't get home until after 2:30. This makes it pretty impossible for Sebastian to get a nap. When this kid doesn't nap he can get pretty ornery. This week he was running around, being a little stinker, and earned himself a timeout. His timeouts are only two minutes long, but by the time it was over, he was fast asleep. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Big Brother

Every night we have the same routine. The kids get into their pajamas and brush their teeth, and then we meet on the couch to read a story together, read some scripture, and say a prayer as a family. Then we give hugs, take one last drink of water, one last potty break, and it's off to bed. Some nights bedtime seems to last for hours. This is particularly true when Sebastian chooses to yell during the scripture reading, dance around during the prayer, and run screaming when Lizzy tries to hug him. So basically every night.
Last Saturday, Isaac wasn't home for bedtime, and I had already had a long day. I told Sebastian, "We're going to pray now, and if you don't kneel down with us right now, you're going to miss it. We're not waiting for you this time." He laughed and ran away, so we prayed without him. We had barely said the amen, when Sebastian came running back, crying, "Me too! I pray too!" He was extremely upset that we prayed without him, but I just shrugged and said, "Sorry, Buddy. You missed it." I walked away as he threw himself sobbing to the ground, and I honestly didn't feel that bad for him. Like I said, I'd had a long day. Luckily for him, he has a big brother with much more compassion.
Barak ran over to Sebastian and knelt down. "I'll pray with you," he said. He then very gently helped his little brother say a prayer. This made Sebastian completely happy, and he gave his brother a big hug.
Witnessing such a tender moment between my children brought me more joy than I can express. I am so grateful that my children have each other. I am a big believer in the importance of siblings.
Barak has proven many times over that he is a great big brother. Henry was not more than two weeks old when I heard Barak teach him this very important lesson. "Watch this, Henry," he said, snuggled up close to us on the couch. "Here's my finger. Here's my nose. Here's a booger. There it goes!" The little poem comes with hand motions, but I'll leave those to your imagination.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Normal stuff

Last Sunday after church I suddenly woke up nose to nose with my two-year-old. "Moooooooommy. What mommy doin'? Mooooooommy." Somehow both my husband and I had fallen asleep on the couch, leaving the four children loose in the house. I stumbled into the kitchen to get Sebastian a drink of water and discovered half a pint of blueberries rolling around on the floor. "Why are there berries all over the floor?" I asked the two older children.
 Lizzy shrugged and said, "Oh, We were trying to juggle them."
"Yeah," Barak added. "We kept dropping them." No kidding. I instructed them to clean up their mess, and was met with a stream of complaints. 
"I don't want to sweep them up!"
"It's not fair!"
"Why do WE have to do this?!"
As I strove to remain calm and loving in the face of such absurd questions and supervised their clean up, I overheard Sebastian making a lot of noise in the living room. "What are you doing, Sebastian?" I called to him.
"I playing baseball!" he answered proudly. I was a bit distracted at the time, but I could tell his version of baseball was strictly an outside game. "Knock it off," I said. 
"Okay, Mommy," he said and ran off to his room to make a different mess. 
Twenty minutes later, when Isaac woke up, I thought I had things pretty well under control. The blueberries were off the kitchen floor, the kids weren't trying to kill each other and I had almost figured out what to have for dinner. That's when Isaac discovered the broken window. I guess if you throw a baseball against it  enough times a window will break, even if it doesn't give you your mom's undivided attention. 
Later, I told this story to my mom, and I could hear her smile over the phone. "Aw, your first broken window!" she said. It was in that moment, that I realized two things:
  • I have four kids. THREE of them are boys.
  • When people with grown-up kids say things like, "Enjoy them while they're little; kids grow up so fast!" they are LYING.

Monday, July 22, 2013


On Friday, July 12, Henry Roland Washburn was born. He made his appearance at 3:34 pm, and he weighed 9 lbs 10 oz. We've been home for over a week now, and he has been a very sweet baby. 

 We are all very happy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 4th

I am very grateful to live in the United States. Whatever flaws we may have, I think it's a pretty darn good country. This year we celebrated in the usual way. We camped out in my parents' backyard, swam in the pool, barbecued, and set off some fireworks. 

The parade is a highlight every year, and this year was no disappointment. These pictures do not do show how very crowded it was along the parade route. We were lucky that my sisters had staked out a spot the night before, and then went out and guarded it starting at 6 am. 

They throw massive amounts of candy at this parade, as well as a few other things. Isaac's one goal for the parade is always to catch a pepperoni stick from the Reser's guys. My sisters have learned to be less embarrassed by his antics. (He kind of has a loud voice and can be very persistent...)

My Super Family

Every year my family spends a weekend up at Silver Falls. I think we all look forward to a couple of days of solid fun. This year, we were sitting around the campground, when something extraordinary happened. All of a sudden, my sister's cell phone rang and she announced, "It's headquarters guys! We have a mission!" My parents and sisters scattered, running into their cabins and leaving the rest of us sitting in bewilderment. When they returned, they confirmed one of my long-held suspicions. I come from a family of super heroes.

Let me introduce them to you. This is my dad, aka ColaMan.
Here is my mom, leading the super cheer. You might also know her as the Gingham Granny. 
My brother, Tactical Man. 
I didn't get a good picture of Tactical Man's wife, the Cajun Crusher, but here she is snapping a picture of her husband. They make a great pair.

My sister: Phosphorus. 
My sister: Methane
My sister: Sulphur.

You really don't want to mess the three of them when they get together.The PhosphorusMethaneSulphur combination is dangerous one.

Also dangerous, my sister Super Caffeinated Girl. She'll definitely give you the jitters.
My sister: Psychic Girl. She may be PG, but watch out bad guys! 
Due to the serious nature of the mission, Isaac, the kids and I were recruited to join the family business. We were provided capes and quickly assigned names. I think Barak decided Isaac should be Speed to the Flight. 
Lizzy is Bug Girl. 
Barak went with the classic title of Batman. 
And here is Super Junior. He may look small, but he is very capable of getting what he wants.
The call from headquarters was in regards to some kidnapped gnomes. Once we were organized, we quickly set out on the trail to find and rescue them.

Bug girl had to consult some of her allies (ants) and ask for directions. 
Silver Falls was pretty crowded that weekend, and we had many people stop and ask us about our quest. We had little time to spare for these conversations, but a certain park ranger confiscated  ColaMan's water gun and asked us a series of question. Bug Girl stepped forward to speak on our behalf and was able to confirm that we are in fact, Beaver fans. That solved the problem, and we were back on our way! (It's a good thing he didn't ask Methane or Psychic Girl. Things might not have been smoothed over so quickly.)
After much searching, we found the first baby gnome!
A little farther up the trail we rescued the second gnome!
At last, all three baby gnomes were located, and our mission was a success!

Rejoicing ensued.

All in all, it was a good day's work. 

Can you tell we had a good time? 

More evidence that Isaac is an awesome dad

We were all in the backyard, when Sebastian started digging around in a big patch of dirt. Isaac noticed, turned on the hose, and proceeded to spend an hour playing in the mud with his kids. I love that man.

Monday, May 27, 2013


In April, Isaac had a conference in Seattle, and the kids and I decided to come along. We were all very excited about our mini vacation, and it wasn't until the day before we left that I realized I probably could have left the kids with my parents and really lived it up in the city. I imagined sleeping in, lounging around in the hotel room, reading or watching whatever garbage on TV that I felt like, and wandering the city at will while Isaac was in his meetings all day. Once he was done, we could have gone to dinner together and enjoyed conversation without interruption. By that point, however, it was too late to change our plans. Oh well. The kids had a great time, and I would have missed them. Here are somethings we did. 

Of course, we had to jump on the beds, first thing.  
and admire the view from our 17th floor room. (Isaac's work paid for the hotel, so we were right in the middle of downtown, only a couple of blocks from Pike's Public Market.)
We had to check out the Space Needle. Barak took one look at it, and said, "I'm not going up there." So we  admired it from the ground.

I told the kids they could pick one thing to do while we were there: The children's museum, the zoo, or the aquarium. The vote for the children's museum was unanimous. I have now been to a children's museum in Seattle, Portland, Salem, Baltimore, and Lafayette, CO. They have all been different, but they've all been a lot of fun.
There was a lot of dressing up and running around. I lost Sebastian about seven times while we there there, but in the end I left with all the kids I came with.

Instead of walking back to the hotel, we decided to take the monorail. It was too bad that Sebastian fell asleep before he could even see it; he would have loved it. Maybe if he had done less running away from me throughout the day, he would have had some energy left . . .
The next day we spent walking around in the rain We spent a couple of hours at the downtown library, which was awesome. We might have been able to spend all day there, but it was lunchtime, so we set off to find a park I had read about that had a waterfall in it. Despite the map which I consulted repeatedly, I managed to walk past the park and continue in the opposite direction for 15 or 20 minutes. The kids were really starting to get annoyed, hungry, tired, and miserable, when we finally found it.
I'm honestly not sure it was worth it, but it made a fun adventure, and we met a couple of cool firemen along the way.
Friday night has become Movie Night at our house, and Barak insisted we do it in Seattle, too. Ice cream and a Winnie the Pooh movie. Life is good.
Walking along the waterfront with these three (Sebastian was stuck in the stroller, and a little annoyed) was a great deal of fun. 

On one of our walks, Barak suddenly demanded the camera. He wanted to take a picture of this building, for some reason. 

Not to be outdone, Lizzy had to take a picture, too. She decided on some flowers and her brother. 
One thing I did not take pictures of was the afternoon we spent at the beach. It rained on us, but the kids were so happy to dig in the sand and Isaac and I enjoyed watching all the sailboats. Sebastian has been asking to go to the beach nearly every day since then. 
On our last day, we were lucky enough to spend time with some of Isaac's best friends from college days. Our kids made instant friends, and we had a very pleasant time laughing at old stories and pictures and eating weird college food. (You don't want to know.) All in all, it was a very wonderful trip. I'd be happy to do it all again next year. With or without the kids!