About Me

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Our adventures started in amazing Alaska, but have since taken us to beautiful Spokane Valley, Washington. Our family consists of Nick (Dad), Becki (Mom), and our four boys: Alvin, Alex, Rilie, and Jackson. I enjoy homeschooling our kids and we're excited for what adventures Spokane has for us.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Being away from family, and the hub-bub that we are used to, was challenging this year. We miss loud parties that happen just because you all decided to crash at each other's homes. We miss cousins running around and grown-ups trying to talk over them. We miss "experimenting" with someone's new recipe and telling the kids how awful it is, so we can eat more. We miss those crazy times! We miss all of you!

Even still, we did enjoy creating new memories. We spent this month doing new activities: viewing Christmas lights, meeting Santa Clause on his North Pole ferry, getting to know Great Grandparents better, learning magic tricks with Alvin, sowing with Alex, reading a Christmas Carol (original version), drinking fresh cider, teaching Rilie songs, and decorating a neighbors door (only to find out they moved the week before, but hey! it was a good effort!).

Here are some fun pictures of the excitement!

Christmas Breakfast with our ward. 

Alvin & Alex were shepherd in the nativity play.

Alex sowing a puppy.

Look at his stitching!

 Alvin has made many snowman and forts.  
The snow is wet and packs well.

Jackson enjoying the rattles Grandma Joel'lene knitted. 

Christmas bows are fun too... they crinkle! 

Soft blocks from Aunt Sam and Aunt Andrea. 

Beautiful bracelet from Joel'lene.

Doesn't this picture make my arm look freakishly long... and broken? 

 Christmas hats!

Santa brought Rilie a 24 inch T-Rex!

We have all sorts of fun with it!

Sweet Alex!

Alvin took this pictures. He's getting better!

Alvin show casing my new stroller, Graco Sit and Stand. 
It has a seat for Rilie to sit or stand on in the back. 

Jackson's car seat clicks into the front. 

Jackson enjoys oranges.

Beautiful quilt Joel'lene made. 
It's missing something...

Eagle Cruise
 Great Grandparents Welsh wanted to take the boys on an eagle cruise. They gave patches to those in Cub Scout uniform. Great Grandpa Welsh has two large blankets hanging with patches all over them!

Great Grandpa Welsh teaching how to play an electronic fishing game, while we wait int he port. 

Great Grandma Welsh, Nick, and Rilie. 

Thumb War!

Future Cub Scout.

Tired daddy... early morning!
Rilie enjoyed running around, but was very upset he couldn't jump into the lake.

Where are the eagles?

Beautiful Coeur D'Alene. Northern Idaho is so pretty!


An eagle!

Two more... there were lots... but this is my favorite picture.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cub Scouts & Holiday Fun

I wish blogger would let me upload pictures! 

Cub Scouts

Cub Scouts is going great. They have a robust program here, and I get overwhelmed keeping up with it. Between the Bears and Wolves, we have 9 cub scouts in our den. They are an awesome group.

So far, Alvin just finished his Bobcat badge and ALMOST his Wolf badge, 
along with a gold and silver arrow point.

Together, we've made an emergency phone lists, paper airplane collection, 
a kite from a paper bag, gone on field trips, and more. 

Alex has enjoyed this as well. Alex really likes the emergency phone list. Whenever I need to call Nick, he runs to the kitchen and reads me his number faster than I can look it up in the phone. 

Holiday Fun

We've enjoyed baking (Joel'lene's brownies, at least weekly); buying and wrapping gifts (this is the first year the boys have made/bought gifts for others); and time with friends and family. 

The boys have been so blessed with so many presents in past years; this year, we've decided to focus our budget toward holiday activities. Don't worry, they still have a tree stuffed with gifts from family (and us)... but instead of adding even more tangible gifts, we thought it would be more fun to do activities that aren't typically in the budget. 

Neighborhood Light Tour - Tonight, we drove around looking at many decorated homes. It was a lot of fun! I'm amazed at how festive our neighborhood is. People have life size cut outs of the Nativity, Santa, reindeer, and blow ups of other characters: Snoopy, Abominable Snowman, Frosty, etc. We even found a home where the lights are choreographed to music broadcasted on a radio channel. That was the boys favorite. 

Ferry to the North Pole - This is something we're really looking forward to. In Coeur D'Alene, they have a ferry ride with festivities, including Mister and Misses Claus. It floats around the beautiful lake, where locals have decorated their homes, businesses, etc. in Christmas splendor. There are estimated 1.5 million Christmas lights. We stop at Santa's workshop, where there are gifts for all the children on the "nice list". 

Down Town Carriage Ride - This is actually FREE! During certain times on certain days rides are free. The horses are decorated in Christmas best and children receive a free candy cane. 

Santa's Workshop - Yes there will be two stops to separate ones. There is a Santa's Workshop for children. All gifts are $0.50 - $8 (only for children 12 years old and younger). An "elf" will help the children pick out that special gift for someone on their list. 

A Green Bluff Christmas - My favorite farmer's market. Different farms have Christmas tree "orchards", hot cider, hay rides, fresh pies, roasted chestnuts... I could go on... 

While I am excited for these new adventures, it will be a different Christmas away from family... I miss the regular get-together with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Making Cookies and Cowboy

Blogger is being buggy for me... these were the only pictures I could get up.

Making cookies together. 
He thought it was great to blow into the cup and have it puff the flour everywhere. 

He loves Toy Story and is excited to dress up as Woody. 
My mom hand sowed the vest. 

Hopefully, I can get more pictures up of our other children. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our four boys, Samba Night, and Jackson Laughing

 Our four boys
It is quite difficult to get them to look at the same time.

Mystery smudge on the lens.

Trying green beans!


Sleeping Rilie

Saturday Night = Samba Night
We were quoting the movie Rio to each other, when we decided to have a Samba Night.

Jackson Laughing
He has the best laugh! Even though, he stops whenever a camera comes out. 
This is the best we could get. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Good Eats!

Welcome to Good Eats! 

Where we explore the delicious world of baby food. I'll be your host: Jackson Anderson!

 Early this week, we tried RICE CEREAL by Gerber. 

While my mother knows it's marketing, 
she can't resist buying the canister that claims to have 
all the brain building support no one else has.

Here's to being smarter!

A few days later, we decided to add banana.

This was MUCH better! 
I had accepted the rice cereal, but now that my palate has been 
introduce to such wonders, we will never go back. 

Num num, I think there is more on my thumb.

Oh and the back of my hand.

And a little bit over here.

These are those wipes she keeps cleaning me with.

My brothers were intrigued for a bit, but returned to their movie. 

This is my actual first feeding with the rice cereal. 

Mom's point of view:

This was a challenging week! Friday, Jackson went to his 4 month appointment (10 days late, because I forgot his original appointment). When they weighed him, I knew something wasn't right. He only gained 1.5 pounds. Our new physician, Cindy - an Advanced Nurse Practioner, was slightly concerned. Jackson had dropped from the 45% to 15%. We talked about possible reasons. She asked me to pump after feedings, offer nursing every 2 - 3 hours (even if he didn't show signs of hunger), begin solids, and 
come back in two weeks for another weight check. 

Over the weekend, things got more challenging. He didn't want to eat, and when he did want to eat he wouldn't stay latched. 

Monday, he only ate four times. Twice really, but he did try two other times. I called the clinic and they put me in touch with the Lactation Clinic. The Lactation Clinic was closed, so I left a message.

Tuesday, the LC told me to stop nursing and only pump. Jackson was to take bottles for the day. Needless to say, he did not accept the bottle. Home alone with a screaming baby is not good for anyone. I called my RS president and told her I needed a friend. She came over for two and half hours. She sent me to bed and tried to feed him over the next 45 minutes. The break was nice, but I couldn't sleep. She wasn't able to get him to feed either. She noticed that he was very happy and alert. He only cried when we tried to make him eat. This was true. He was happy unless, we offered or forced the tip of the bottle in his mouth. 

At 3:30pm, I called the clinic. Jackson hadn't eaten since 7am, the last time I breast fed him. They took a look at him at 4:30pm. He was happy, good color, no signs of dehydration, etc. The doctor that saw him said he looked great, low weight, but nothing that warranted starving him over a bottle vs. breast. He said the LC could extrapolate my ounces from the pumping I had done and to give him food however he would take it. I started taking Reglan, a prescription anti-nausea medication that happens to promote lactating. Reglan is known to cause depression and exhaustion. (I am feeling both sides effects from this drug).

Wednesday, I met with the LC. They weighed him, watched me feed, weighed him again. After 25 minutes of nursing, he took in 2.5 ounces! Yet, still a happy active baby. She said his stomach probably shrunk with my supply or vice versa.  They told me he is a "highly distractable" baby, so I have to feed him away from distractions... anyone want 3 kids for the next 2 - 4 weeks? He needs to feed 10 - 12 times a day, plus pump for 10 minutes on each side after each feeding. After an hour of feeding and pumping, I get an hour break and start over. 

I know I'm complaining. In the end, it's more important we get my supply back and Jackson nursing well. School is taking a back burner. We are working on it, but it's not the priority. We work on school during the hour breaks, then the boys have an hour break. They are not complaining. When dad gets home, whatever needs to be done he helps me with. Either he holds Jackson and teaches, while I make dinner or vice versa. 

Friday, Nick stayed home to help out. Overall, we're doing well. A few bursts of crying and thin skin, but I am practicing walking away, reminding the kids it's not their fault, and listening to ocean music in my room. I should only be on the drugs for a month. I should be back to "normal" by Christmas. 

Loves and Prayers Appreciated!