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.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Picking Peaches

I didn't bring my camera, because there are outings you want your hands free to play with your kids.

Yesterday was the beginning of the Peach Festival. It was our first time making it to Green Bluffs for one of their events. At first, we were lost. The drive was beautiful and we kept seeing family farms, but no "festival".  I knew Green Bluffs was a collection of farmers set up in a U-Pick fashion, but I assumed a festival meant there was some sort of gathering place. So, we kept driving. Down the road, we saw a large barn with an event sign and a large arrow. I was a giggling school girl. Nick just grinned, watching me from the corner of his eye, and tried to keep his chuckling to himself.

We had found High Country farm. This was a farm, like the rest, but did more to attract tourist or people who were too nervous to go knock on a random farmer's door (like us). The large barn was a gift shop, bakery, ice cream parlor, a small produce market out front, and two play grounds (one for older children and one for younger). Rilie actually found a slide that was a bit intimating for him... unfortunately, he realized this while he was going down and tried clinging to the side... this did not work as well as planned. A big hug from dad and he moved on to the tire swing. The gift shop was full of kitchen decor, home made goods, rustic or antique farm art, etc. They had two large antique pieces, one was a light blue stove... the other... I'm not sure what it was, but it was big! My mom would have died! They made their own waffle cones (not sure about the ice cream). The waffle cones had just come out and Nick had to have one! We tried huckleberry, peach (everyone's favorite), and Moose Tracks. The pies in the window were picture perfect... not the store bought look, but looked like a grandmother tenderly rolled out the crust, formed it with her aged fingers, and stamped out a simple delicate pattern on top.

I spoke with one of the ladies running the gift shop. She explained how Green Bluffs works: Look online for what is in season, call the farmer about a time to come pick, then show up. The term "festival" is used loosely for the peach & strawberry season. The big "to do" around there was the Cherry Festival (July) and Apple/Pear Festival (September). The peaches hadn't quite ripened in time for the festival, so they haven't been taking people back in the orchard. But, she saw our adorable brood and said she knew where some peaches were and she'd take us back there. We all climbed on her tractor and headed out to the orchard. She showed us which peaches to look for - the big ones with mostly red blush on them. They would need to stay on the counter 2 - 3 days to soften, but would still taste great! When she heard we were from AK and haven't had a peach fresh from the tree, she told us we all needed to try one right then and there! They tasted wonderful! They were hard like an apple, but smelled and tasted like heaven! Rilie follows the toddler code of needing to have one in each hand. It didn't take long to have half a box full. I put them in a rubber container, because Rilie will continue to sample them before they are soft. This morning, I opened the container and was hit with a wall of sweet peach aroma. The boys had to come take a whiff as well. Now, they are sitting on the window sill softening up. We can't wait!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

We are watching Nemo again! I recite this song while walking with Rilie down or up the stairs, but we switch  swimming for walking. When you're hauling a car seat, at a toddler pace, up three flights of stairs... then your toddler wants to turn around, because he missed something... this song helps him move forward and my voice at a pleasant "motherly" tone.

Here are some more pictures!

The markers were out and Rilie decided to be my little girl... then switch gears to appear more manly and apply the ancient tattoos to symbolize his toddler-hood and achievements. Only other toddlers know these signs and symbols and great respect is afforded to those with the most. His cover both forearms, shins, and belly.

Snuggles with Jackson
6 weeks old

Jackson - Mom, your nose is so huge... I just can't look at it anymore.

Proud brothers. 

They asked for a picture with Jackson and posed themselves. I was very impressed. Jackson was crying so Alex popped a binky in. 


Friday, August 3, 2012

Life is good

We are going on week 5 since little Jackson made his debut... and I just have to say that life is good. With our last three kids, I had wicked postpartum depression. (Yes, adoptive moms can have postpartum depression. And yes, dads can get postpartum depression). I was so nervous this time around, because this time I'd have the hormonal factors in the mix. During our pregnancy, Nick reassured me things would be different and we'd get through it together. We talked about the past challenges and what we could do differently.

Here's our list:

1. Admit my concerns.

Whenever it came up, I shared my concerns with family, friends, church leaders, and doctors. If things got as bad as the previous times, I would let my doctor know so we could do something about it (instead of suffering through it). Just by letting people know, I felt like more people checked on me. Most importantly, I had to admit my concerns to myself. I couldn't pretend I would have this baby and life would return to the same pace. It would be slower. I would not be accomplishing "less", I would just have different goals.

2. Different goals.

For the first 2 months - My main objective is to breastfeed Jackson, rest, and snuggle with my children. Everything else is on the back burner or not my responsibility. Whatever schedule changes that were needed, I had to make happen and embrace. I was not running the show.

3. Changed the schedule.

We had no appts scheduled (except post baby appts). My children watched way more television and played way more video games than I will every want to remember. My kids went to bed later, because daddy was home. This made them sleep longer, while I was doing things solo. This allowed me to sleep longer or enjoy some quiet time. We would live in vacation mode, until I was ready to take on my mommy duties, one at a time, as I felt successful with them.

4. Ask for help.

My mom came down for the first two weeks. Nick took off the following week. We had 19 freezer meals ready to use. If someone offers to help, let them! (Still working on that one).

5. Pray like crazy!

I was desperate for comfort before Jackson was born. Rilie was still not sleeping through the night. Nick and I were concerned about two babies needing us through the wee hours. We prayed!! I prayed!! I asked Heavenly Father to either strengthen me or lighten the task. A little of both has happened.

I can't pretend that this list is comprehensive toward another's situation... but I hope you can find some gems to lighten the load.

**Must Add** With this list, Nick and I both agreed I would "get help" via meds or something if said list didn't work. I think knowing I was open to that option really took a load off. Two of my friends shared needing medication for their postpartum depression and shared the night and day difference they felt. This was reassuring for myself. I'm grateful things have gone so well, but I don't want someone reading this thinking they need to just "pray their depression away".