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, June 30, 2013

Wrapping up June!

June is a fun filled month for us! July is looking just as good. We hope you enjoy the pictures. I wish I was more consistent, but at least I have many pictures to put up when I do get around to it. 

Since school got out, we have a fun schedule. After we're ready for the day, we each do two cleaning jobs. (Still teaching Rilie to be a part of this, so far he can put his toys in his room!). Once Alvin and Alex have completed their jobs, they usually choose to do 30 minutes of Explode the Code Online (their other options are read 30 pages or complete three workbook pages). After that, they may play one hour of video games. During this, I get some good exploring and play time in with Rilie and Jackson. We read books, build with blocks, sing songs, color, etc. Once Alvin and Alex are done with their "game time", we leave for that day's adventure. We have joined three park-day groups, so we go to the park three times a week! Once a week, we go to the library. They have a presenter for kids each week (magician, comedian, crafts, etc.). Leaving us one day for whatever. Once we get back from whatever adventure beheld us that day, the kids watch a movie until dad gets home. It's a nice break from the busy-ness. Jackson is usually asleep and I can start on whatever project I have set aside for that week. So far, I've organized our bedroom, finished Alex's homeschool binder for the past year, and sorted the paperwork for Alvin's binder. Nick still gets home mid-afternoon. It's a wonderful schedule! We're so blessed to have it. 

Our garden is still coming along. I keep forgetting the camera... keeping track of Rilie, having Alvin and Alex as helpers, seems to keep my hands busy! The potatoes, onions, and carrots are almost ready. I see us harvesting those this week. I better get pictures soon! Corn, squash, beans, and cucumbers are coming on beautifully. We've been snacking on peas every time we go there. Marilyn's lettuce is just picture-perfect! The cool weather the last two weeks was perfect for them! She gave us three heads: romaine, green leaf, and something else... not sure what it's called.  

Late Night with Mom and Dad

Playing Talisman with the older boys. There are many pieces to this game, making it hard to play with little ones around. Rilie and Jackson have been going to bed earlier, allowing us to play it with Alvin and Alex. They love it!

 Birthday Extravaganza!
This week is quite eventful in our home! We wouldn't have it any other way. Nick and I decorated our home late Saturday night with streamers, balloons, and posters about each of our birthday boys. On Sunday, we celebrated all the birthdays with family. The boys were recognized in primary and given a framed picture of the temple. Alex had his baptismal interview, as well. It was Alvin's actual birthday, so we gave him extra hugs!! Monday morning, we let Alvin open the rest of his presents from family far away. 

The kids helping me make cupcakes!

Tuesday, we sang to Alex again, he opened gifts from us and family far away. That night he went to his FIRST cub pack meeting. I even had his uniform badges on! We received a phone call that day, Alex had his first Wolf assignment: draw a picture of our night hike two weeks ago. (The Cub Scouts went on an awesome night hike, I wanted him to come... since I am a leader, driver, etc.)

On our way, I had to take another picture! Can you hear the: "Come on mom!" He gave me, before he smiled.

Alvin is wearing the blue Bear hat, and Alex is wearing the yellow Wolf hat. Even though he played it cool, he has been DYING to sit with the Cub Scouts during pack meetings. 

Receiving birthday segments for their uniform.

Rilie desperately wants to be a part of the group. He quietly laid on the blanket next to them.

Birthday Party
Thursday, we had a whip cream fight... need I say more?

Alvin and Alex received many wonderful gifts: slip n slide, water guns, silly string, candy, Sunny D pops (like otter pops, but with Sunny D inside), Legos, etc. 

Friday, Jackson turned ONE!

Other fun pictures!

Jackson is proficient in stair climbing and descending.

Alvin's bird feeder. Notice the "Yummy" with an arrow written above. Many birds visit it!

Enjoying Star Trek.

Beginning of a farmers tan... 

Jackson wanted to be one with the fried rice, so we put a tarp down in the living room.

Our new deck! It's beautiful, notice our redneck baby gate!

Jackson loves it! He can play on the deck now. 

One of the many Lego kits Alvin and Alex received. 

Rilie and Jackson are starting to play together. They are having lots of fun!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Many more adventures this month... Rilie started preschool, Sunday dinners, road trip to Everett, summer break...

Rilie's first day of school... 
yes, I cried. 

This is by far, the most unprepared I've been for preschool. We're heading out the door and I can't find his shoes! I found one shoe outside and soaking wet from rain. I threw it in the dryer for 15 minutes. It helped... a little. Missed-matched shoes and we were off to school! 

First stop, reading corner. 

Teacher shows him their picture chart for choices, while two kids are playing with puppets.
(He's in a class of 8 kids) 

His favorite place: Play ground!

The next week, he started riding the bus. Even though this was the second week, I still felt a sucker punch to the gut watching him leave. Of course, he loved it. His first ride on a yellow bus (or really any bus). He was mad when I picked him up at the end of the day.  

Still working on getting up early. Rilie has always been a night owl. No matter how many times I rotated it, it still posts this way. 

  Other fun pictures:

Jackson's bear-hiny...hehehe 

Sunday dinners,
Nick and I have enjoyed having friends over for dinner on Sundays. We've only missed hosting a few.

Rebecca and Kahlan
This friend is my life saver!! 
She and her husband offer to watch our kids all the time, and they enjoy it! She was with me the first week of my surgery: cleaning, watching kids, listening to my drugged-induced philosophies, etc. Even on HER birthday!! I tried to make that day about her, but I passed out for three hours... in my living room... and babbled in my sleep. Not many newly weds with their first baby want to join the royal rumpus of our family. 
I keep telling her I'm bringing her to AK with me, we just need to convince her husband. 

More great people: Rebecca, Kahlan, Andrea, and Kael. 

More great people... I'm sure you recognize them!

Kael is rocking the mad-scientist look.

Another Anderson family over for FHE.
(our ward is full of Andersons and they are ALL related to each other). 
Hot dogs, watermelon, FHE lesson, and a small version Frisbee Golf. 
They brought over cannery lids. They worked great for our small course (AKA front and backyard)

Enjoying the summer sun!

Baking yummy treats:

Dad was out of town, so I made MY chocolate chip cookies. 
We like them!

Whip Cream Fight!

Jackson is coming up with some Zany faces!


I went to an amazing homeschool conference in April. It really changed the way we homeschool. They talked about being a mom first and the rest will come easier. They talked about what we might feel are "distractions" really are valuable life lessons... just in a different category from academics. They talked about home-centered education and the balance required. 

This led to some soul searching for our family, which led to some dramatic changes. Nick and I attended an orientation for a private co-op that follows the Classical Method. We both fell in love with it, but I kept coming up with reasons why I could continue with our current co-op. I've been following the classical method on my own, as best I can. But, it is intense. This co-op provides weekly training for me (during their class time), motivation for the kids (they play games based on previous week's work), as well as an outline that brings the balance we've been looking for. I'm so grateful for Nick and his encouragement to join this new group! 

Wrapping up the school year, we learned about the discovery of America.

Aztec and Conquistador masks

Sleeping baby: 

Our Garden:

Our Alaska Peas, we've definitely learned a lot this time around. Alex has learned not to jump over fences supporting the peas (we lost 6 stalks). He felt awful, so I didn't need to add to that lesson. He tried burying the roots, but it didn't help. I've learned metal wires are better than this flimsy netting! And, don't water in the late afternoon/early evening, mold will grow on the ground around your plants. Only water in the morning or early afternoon at the latest!

My Mother's Day flowers!

I need to take pictures of our garden at our friend's home. The corn, zucchini, and cucumbers have sprouted. The onions, potatoes, and carrots are even bigger! We weed them about once a week. 

Road Trip to Everett!

This is Great Grandma Judy. We enjoyed visiting her! She is a wonderful gardener and loves children. She was very happy to have babies running around her home. 

Moses Lake! Our favorite stop when heading west. 

Shooting each other with rockets!

Grandma's House!

Her garden is full of gnomes and other hidden statues. 
The kids loved finding these!

Her neighborhood was full of CATS! Rilie was excited and frustrated all at the same time. The cats wouldn't let him near them. This was the only cat that would let him pet them. Currently, there is nothing that makes him happier than a kitty cat.

Watching airplanes:

Playing at the park in Everett.

Jackson does this bear-crawl when he doesn't want certain textures on his legs. 

Best Buddies

Rilie trying to figure out the see-saw.

Great Grandma Judy pushing us on the swing.

Rainbow slide: 

Handsome boy!

More handsome boys!