Saturday, December 17, 2011

Coop to the Hoop!

You have to go check out this youtube video. My 10 year old nephew and his buddies filmed themselves making crazy basketball shots, edited it, added music, and uploaded it to youtube all on their own. As if being able to make the stunt shots wasn't enough? Go Coop! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

October Maddness

A lot of things happened in the month of October for the Washburns.

Mom successfully talked Connor out of football this year and into giving soccer another shot. Connor played for the Sea Monsters and was on a team of mostly beginners. (That's not very good when you are signed up for competitive 10U team.) However, I am still undecided as to if that was good, or bad for Connor. Sure, he never got to win a game which was a little discouraging... but he also looked like a super star out there on the field next to his teammates. :) And honestly, I think he felt a bit like one too. But apparently not enough... because he told me once again, that this would be his last year playing. It kills me because of all the sports he plays... he has the most raw talent for soccer. He got very aggressive this year and even started slide tackling. That is still not allowed at this age and even though every time he did it, the other team got a free kick-- I couldn't help but be proud. :)

Eli also played soccer again this year and was on a team with two of his buddies from church. He played for the Transformers. This second season of soccer only confirmed my conclusion of Eli's lack of coordination and no raw talent for the sport. But that's 100% ok... he's a lover, not a fighter! :) He has so much fun out there even if he never touches the ball the whole game. Eli can't be bothered with getting sweaty and hot (and soccer season is VERY hot here) and the thought of trying to fight a crazy mob of 5 yr old boys for a ball... just isn't appealing enough. If it rolls directly into his feet... he will kick it, but otherwise... it's just simply too much work! :)

On a rare free Saturday we had that month... we decided to jump in the car and go see the Sam Houston Statue about an hour away from our home. It is 67 feet tall! The thing was ginormous! Then we went from there to his home town in Huntsville, TX a few more miles down the road where we were able to go to a museum dedicated to him, and saw the home he raised a family in, and the home he died of pneumonia in. It was a fun day.

October was also the month that my niece, Ashley, had to have a surgery to remove a tumor on her brain. She has been recovering well. They had to shave part of her head to perform the all her Uncle's and Poppy (my dad) decided to shave their heads with her. :) Per Ashley's request... they all shaved mohawks and took pictures of it, before it all came off.

Eli thought Seth looked pretty awesome and wanted to do it, too! (Connor thought he was crazy.) But Eli insisted on KEEPING his mohawk. (Although, I wouldn't let him shave it to the skin... we shaved it to a #1 guard.) I couldn't help but think he looked like a white, little 'Mr. T' every time I looked at him. "I pity da fool!" :)

October was also the month we also had our primary program (a first for me since being in the Primary secretary) which seemed to go fairly smoothly and without too many complications. YAY! (Here is where I need a picture of me jumping up and down in my Sunday clothes!) The kids did great and the spirit was strong. There is not a lot more you can ask for. I never realized how much work goes in to those programs before... but they prepare and work towards them ALL YEAR LONG!

This was the month Eli had his second set of tubes put in his ears as well, and once again had his adenoids removed. I guess they grow back... or the scar tissue does? And once again, they were affecting his breathing at night and needed to go. I think it was a little bit scarier for him this time around since he was a little older and more aware of what was going on. When they gave him the "loopy juice" before surgery and IV... it majorly freaked me out. He was funny on it at age 2... but he scared the heck out of me at age 5. I hope I never see that stoned look in his eyes ever again!!!

And of course we did some pumpkin carving, had multiple school, church, and friend Halloween parties, and went trick or treating! I think 3 must be the magic age for trick or treating because Dal took off this year, leaving us all in his dust! Last year we could not get him to be bothered with stepping foot out of the wagon, but this year we had a hard time keeping up!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Our darling boys at the church 'trunk or treat' on Friday night.

(Dallin was a pirate, Connor was a bum, and Eli was a vampire.)

Saturday night our neighbors had a Halloween party. We opted to go as white trash. We figured it wasn't too far of a stretch from the truth! :)

My sexy man. Back off ladies! He's all MINE! ;)

If you have a local walmart near by (for the mu mu) this costume can be yours too! Just add some balloon boobs and dodge ball baby! :) I've never felt so glamorous!

(After I put on my rockin dollar store makeup... Eli told me sincerely that I looked beautiful! I hope that is not a hint as to what the future holds for us one day. ;)

After Seth and I figured out what we wanted to be and how we wanted to dress... I had no idea where to even look for a mu mu. Good Will? After striking out at Good Will... Seth suggested Wal mart. Jack pot! We found a whole rack of them. But my favorite part was when a lady stopped Seth and I as we were searching for that perfect one... and told us that there were "some REALLY cute ones for a steal a couple racks over... clearanced for only $5". We both had to bite our tongues and hold back our smiles as we thanked her for the tip. :)

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


A few weeks ago Connor came home with a note asking if he could join an after school math group called the "Math Olympiads". He was one of three kids in his class asked to join and I knew it was a privilege to be asked. But to be honest, my first reaction was hesitation (although I didn't show it!).

You see, I come from a family where I think maybe there was a little more emphasis placed on being a starter for the school soccer team... than there were on academics. (I'm totally going to get a phone call for this entry! :) Don't get me wrong. There were standards. Like if we didn't get a 3.0 (straight B's) or higher, we had driving privileges taken away. So we weren't allowed to be total losers. But, my senior year when my report card came home and said I had 29 absences in my College Comp class in ONE semester... no questions were asked... because I had my B! Striving for excellence? Probably not.

So when Connor was asked to join the Mathletes... I was worried by accepting I would be setting him up for a future filled with Star Trek and pocket protectors. Not to mention it was one more extra curricular activity. The boy already has piano, scouts, golf and soccer at the present time. And I sure as heck wasn't going to drop a sport to join the math club! :)

But after talking to a friend about it, I was assured that Connor would remain untainted. That he is too social and too much of a people person to ever be a complete nerd. :) And not that there is anything wrong with nerds... I love nerds! I really do. I'm probably the biggest nerd of them all! But let's at least keep the kid's options open and let him decide if he wants to go down that dungeon and dragons road, or not. Right?

Seth on the other hand is always telling me we want our kids to be nerds. That nerdom is the key to raising good kids. He may have a point?

And don't worry, I am well aware the McKeehan's have always thought they were far cooler than they actually were/are. But that's OK... because it doesn't seem to phase us much. :) Seth just told me the other day that he thinks Connor got a double dose of the McKeehan genes. I'm not sure, but I'm fairly certain he was not meaning it in a positive way. ;)

So when Connor came home from his first day of Math Club... I asked him how it went. His response? "Uh, it was actually pretty boring."

Ahh, that's my boy! It looks like being a Mathlete is going to work out after all.

But I draw the line at buying him a T-shirt for it!

World's Easiest Party!

For Eli's 5th birthday he wanted to have a pool party. Awesome! I didn't have to fork out hundreds of dollars to rent a place out, or even clean my own house! We headed over to the neighborhood pool... and just out of sheer dumb luck- aside from the lifeguards, we had the entire pool to ourselves!

Per Eli's request... he wanted donuts this year and not cake. Even better... I didn't have to bake! We tied balloons to a table and kept it stocked with watermelon, licorice, donuts, chips, soda, popsicles and sunscreen. What more could a 5 year old possibly want on a sunny Memorial Day morning? :)

They swam and ate... and ate and swam. No one even got cramps! :)

I think we had 8 kids show... plus my three. We asked each child to bring a parent so we didn't feel overwhelmed making sure everyone stayed afloat. But from the looks of these flotation devices... I don't think anyone was going anywhere! :)

After a couple hours at the pool... we took the presents home, got cleaned up, and opened them up in the comfort and peace of our own home.

I think I will be pushin for the pool party every year! :)

We are so grateful we to get to celebrate another year with this little guy! We love his kooky self, his lack of coordination in every aspect, and that smile that could melt any one's heart. XO

Connor's last day of 3rd grade.

Yes, I realize I am a century behind. And I am aware that I am constantly mixing in the old with the new. But whatever. I am trying and that's just going to have to be good enough. :)

Connor had the GREATEST teacher for 3rd grade. Ms. Szoeke stole both our hearts. Probably his best teacher yet! He cried several nights before school got out... and several nights after... because he was positive he would never see her again.

She was a first year teacher and with cut backs they were only holding on to a few. For awhile we didn't know if she would be back (and neither did she)! She was so wonderful, that upon hearing this news I felt the need to march right into that front office and tell them all that if they let her go... they were making a HUGE mistake! Newbie or not... I could think of a few others we could trade her out for! :)

Luckily, this story has a happy ending! And she came back. And Connor was SO happy! Now Connor has another great teacher that he seems to be equally smitten with. But I think after Ms. Szoeke, she has big shoes to fill. We shall see. :)

Connor and some of the boys from his class. Who doesn't love a group of nerdy lookin 8 year old's? :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

The mind of a 5 year old.

I carpool with a friend of mine to preschool everyday. I drive the morning shifts; she drives the afternoon shift. It seems to work out great. I know Eli really looks forward to the car ride with his buddy.

I also look forward to this car ride and the conversations these two little five year old boys are going to have. It's hysterical! I make sure the radio is off so I can hear... and if I have been asked to put in our favorite "rocket ship" song... I make sure it is turned down low. These boys are way more entertaining than even the best children song artists!

Some of my favorite conversations/debates between these two boys have been that of what actually killed off the dinosaurs (actually this seems to be a topic of choice), what the proper name for a mother is (Mom vs Mommy), the geographical location of volcanoes, what the proper age for having a girl friend is, and to compare and contrast what their younger siblings (that are only a couple months apart) can and can't do (both of which refer to their younger sibling as "my baby"). Don't let it fool you though; there are plenty of potty words and horribly bad knock-knock jokes mixed in among it all.

Or, at least I have always enjoyed these conversations until I heard today's. It went something like this...

Eli: You're house is better than mine.

Buddy: Na-uh.

Eli: Uh huh.... You're kitchen is TOTALLY better than mine!

Buddy: Thinks about it. No comment.

WHAT?!? This kid always has an argument! Gosh dangit. It is a sad, sad day when two 5 year old boys can agree that your kitchen is less than par! :)

Monday, September 26, 2011


So, I don't know if it is really possible to genetically pass down a phobia... but I think we might be living proof it is!

Seth has always been way too scared of needles. He covers his eyes, grabs his arm in pain, and shrieks in aggravation every time a movie feels the need to show a needle piercing some one's skin. He can't watch me get shots... he can't watch the kids get them... and don't even think about telling him he needs one! The flu shot? HA! Donate blood? Not gonna happen. The only time in the 11 years we have been married that he has agreed to have a needle put in his arm... was to draw blood for life insurance. That speaks volumes. I know he must REALLY love us! :) (But we don't need to mention I thought he was going to pass out the whole time it was being done.)

Anyway, somehow Connor seems to have developed this same fear. I mean honestly, who likes to have shots? No one. And who likes to watch them while they give it to you? Only weirdos!

But who screams and cries for days knowing they are going to get a shot? Connor. Who passes up bribes of being able to pick out ANY toy they want at the toy store afterwards if they don't act a crazy fool? Connor does. Who ups and chucks a huge ace garbage can (3 x your size and weight when you are only 4 years old) at the Doctor when he says you need to get a shot? My Connor did. Who has to have his mom hold him down along with FOUR other nurses just to get his vaccinations? Yep, you guessed it, CONNOR! He's never even known until recently that his dad has a similar fear of needles... so it's not like this behavior has been learned. I don't get it!

Now don't get me wrong... my other boys don't like getting their vaccinations either. But they also aren't crazy psychos about it. :)

So when it came time for Connor's 9 year well child check up... the first thing he asks me is if he is getting a shot. I have learned the hard way to be completely honest when it comes to needles. I told him I didn't think he needed anymore vaccinations for awhile... but that there is always a possibility. (I also knew with it being the beginning of flu season... that the Doc might want to give him a flu vaccine.)

He stressed all night and hardly got a wink of sleep. When he had to leave school early for the doctor... he couldn't answer his friends where he was going because if he talked about it he was going to cry.

They called our name and first things first... they took height, weight and blood pressure and sent us on our merry way into our room. 30 seconds later the nurse comes back in , in a bit of a panic, and asks if Connor is feeling okay because his blood pressure is through the roof!! HA! Poor kid! I explained to the nurse his situation. And she said the doc wouldn't let us leave until it was checked again AFTER the check up was finished. (This was a first!)

So the kid lucked out... no vaccinations again until he is 12 and he was able to get the flu mist (they put up your nose) instead of the needle. We ALL breathed a sigh of relief! :)

And sure enough... they took his blood pressure afterwards... and he passed with flying colors! Crazy kid!!! :)

But don't let that fool you. The countdown to the 12th birthday has already begun. And it's NOT because he's looking forward to it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

San Antonio Trip

In April we took a little family vacation to San Antonio. It was a fun filled five days and we were so glad my parents could share this time with us!

We walked down by the River Walk and took a boat ride along the river as we "oohed and ahhed" at all the shops and hotels. It is absolutely beautiful and I would love to go back for a romantic date with Seth sometime. (hint, hint!) But mostly I was just focused on trying to make sure my boys didn't fall in the river as the path runs right along it and there is no rail along the entire thing! :)

Our next stop was the Alamo! We first went to the mall and watched the educational, IMAX movie about it. After trying to answer 507 questions for Connor... we walked across the street and toured the real deal! It was very interesting. Much smaller than I expected. But you could not help but catch the spirit of "Remembering the Alamo". Connor (in all seriousness) wanted to ask everyone he saw "Are you for the Mexicans, or the Texans?" :) He was very pleased to know that even though the Texans had lost the Alamo... Sam Houston later formed an army and beat Santa Anna and his men gaining Texas' independence from Mexico. And now understanding the connection, he thinks living in Houston is even cooler!

Then came two fun filled days of rides, water slides, and shows at Sea World!

The Sea Lion/Otter show was very fun. The little ones loved it and it had a great set and a very cute "mystery" to solve.

I went into the Orca show hating these large mammals. I have seen one too many "Killer Whale" documentaries on the Discovery Channel for me to understand why they are called this. But these magnificent creatures demand respect and you cannot help but be amazed by their beauty. I caught the "BELIEVE" spirit (the name of the show) and felt amazed by all God's creations. A must see, when you are at Sea World!

Destiny and I had a great time off on our own. We got a "behind the scenes" experience with the dolphins. We were able to feed them, pet them, teach them commands and play with them, as well as learn more about them, how they are cared for and what it takes to become a dolphin trainer. I bet you didn't know the first thing they look for is a major in Psychology! (Paired with a minor in just about any science.)

Destiny was in pure heaven and very smitten with a certain dolphin. I personally think she would make a great dolphin trainer and should follow her dreams. BELIEVE Desty! :)

We also got to go see a good friend of mine (Regan!) that lives in San Antonio and spent some much needed catch up time with her and her family. I had not seen her for several years and it was so much fun! Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures being the dummy I am.

We had a great time and are already trying to plan our next trip back! :) Next time we want to try tubing down the Guadalupe River for sure!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Don't Hate Me...

Cuz I'm classy!

Today I was in a hurry to pick up Connor and his friend from Nature Camp. I was running late (what's new?) and I rushed the little boys into the car, got them seated and buckled, and jumped in my own seat. I backed up all of three feet before Eli suddenly claimed to need the potty.

Seriously? Why don't they tell me these things BEFORE we are out the door and in the car?? So instead of turning off the car, unlocking the front door, turning off the house alarm, letting Eli use the restroom, resetting the alarm and re-locking the front door... I simply open the van and tell Eli to have at it and pick his favorite spot on the front lawn to christen.

Sometimes I wonder, if given the opportunity... if I would be friends with me!?? :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Over a four day weekend in April we decided to go camping at Sommerville Lake with some friends. It was hot and humid, but we didn't know it because we had torrential winds blowing non stop! It made camping life a bit hard, but we learned to like dirt in our food and the feeling of sand whipping against our skin. The wind flattened a few tents in camp as it snapped the poles left and right. 3 of our poles were included in that. But it couldn't keep us down! Good thing I am married to an Engineer who never leaves the house without a roll of twine! (Seriously, he keeps a roll in our car... I guess for just such a situation! :)

But the company more than made up for the high speed winds! We fished, swam, played in the sand, took bike rides, had cook outs, played in the fields, explored, enjoyed campfires (minus the fire part), and just enjoyed nature and all the play time!

And everyday when it was the hottest... or the wind was the strongest... (yes, that could mean multiple times in one day)... we would all head to the Blue Bell Factory (a short drive away) and enjoy the A/C, windlessness of it all and fill up on dollar scoops of the best ice cream money can buy! Pretty sure my kids ate at least 4 scoops each day! And when our tummies could hold no more... we just sat... and talked... for hours. You couldn't make us leave! Pretty sure they loved our dirty, smelly bunch!

And even though Blue Bell was only like a 15 min drive away... our kids would pass out each day on the way to and from. Camping is hard work! :)

And let's not forget our dear friend, the snake. He was spotted the last night in our camp and heading straight for our OPEN tent! I almost had a heart attack. Thanks to an axe and some one's wilderness skills... we were able to take care of business. (Thank goodness! There was some debate about whether to kill the snake, or not. I mean really? It was like midnight, pitch black, we did not know what kind of snake it was, and it was headed toward MY tent! Kill the sucka! :)

One could say I am not a fan of snakes. In fact, I have nightmares about snakes pretty regularly. Does that make it a phobia? Anyway, after all the drama I was pretty worked up (to say the least) and demanded Seth take us all home right then. Don't worry, he flat out ignored me and went right back to sleep... along with every other normal person in our camp site. Which means I had a very uncomfty, sleepless night ahead of me in the van. Good thing I have one of the best friends ever... and she slept in the van with me to keep me company, take my mind off of it all, and help me feel safe. (Wait, isn't that my husband's job?? Good for nothin... ;)

Dallin's 2 yr old pics

I finally updated Dallin's pictures. So lil' Dal had his two year old pics taken in April (yes, three months away from turning three... and yes, the last time he had professional pics taken he was 3 months old) so you all can stop judging me now! :)

He's one cute kid! Pretty sure I could turn some of these into a modeling agency and be making millions! ;) But we'll just stick with running around in our undies all day long, catching frogs, and ramming trucks into Mom's walls.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mother of the Year

If after reading this post you don't want your kid to come over to our house to play anymore... I understand. But only if it's because you don't want your child around me. If it is because you don't want your child around Connor-- it's your loss. I'd go down swinging before I'd let his name be dragged through the mud. Connor has a heart of gold and is a good kid. He just has a troubled mother is all! :)

Let's establish this first. Connor is a big believer in abiding by rules... following them... keeping the commandments... and all that jazz. That's not a bad thing. But so much so, that if he weren't Mormon, I might think he would grow up to be some traveling Evangelical Preacher standing on roof tops and crying everyone to repentance if they don't change their ways. Okay, he still might? He doesn't like to mess up... and I can promise you that when he knows he made a mistake... NO ONE can punish him more than he does himself. It's quite worrisome for us at times, actually.

So, let's start at the beginning. All year there has been a particular child in Connor's class who has persistently teased and tormented Connor. He tells Connor he has a big head, he looks weird, he has too many freckles, he doesn't like his red hair, makes fun of his stuttering, the list goes on. He tackles him at recess during soccer or football games when Connor does not even have the ball. He teases him for playing with other kids. He throws things at Connor in the class room. He tears up his homework into a million pieces on the bus. If you ask me, he just wants Connor's attention and to be Connor's friend... and doesn't know how to go about it. But that does not give him the right to treat my son the way he does. I thought about going to the school about it... but I did not think it was bad enough to be considered "bullying". I'm still not sure it is? One second it seems like they were friends... the next Connor is crying his eyes out over something this kid did to him.

Connor has come to me many times over the year with these issues. To which often lead to the following conversation: (Here's where my fabulous parenting skills kick in!)

Me: "So then tell the teacher!"

Connor: "I do! But the teachers always just say, "Are you bleeding? Then don't tattle."

Me: (Sympathetically understanding this concept because my three kids tattle non stop on each other and it drives me crazy... I couldn't imagine having 20 kids tattling on each other all day, every day.) "Well, then turn around and punch him!!"

Connor: "But you always say I am not supposed to fight! I'll get in trouble."

Me: "Sometimes a kid like that needs to be hit. Better make sure it is hard the first time. You hit him once and he probably won't ever bug you again."

Yes, I truly had this conversation with my son... and here's where it gets better... not just once, but I probably had this talk at least three times over the course of this last school year.

Well, it looks like he may have taken me up on my advice!

I get a phone call from the Assistant Principle saying he has Connor in In-School-Suspension for fighting. And he will be in there for three days. I was in shock. MY Connor? He did not tell me the name of the other kid... but he did not need to. I immediately knew who it was.

Here's how it reportedly went down:

The kids were playing a game of "Cops and Robbers" on recess. This "kid" (to protect the guilty, I won't say his name) wanted to play. The other kids and Connor did not want said kid to play because he "doesn't play by the rules" (according to the teacher) "cheats" according to Connor. But Kid jumped into the game and started to play anyway. Connor told him to leave. Kid kept playing. Connor got mad... and pushed Kid. Kid pushed Connor back, jumped on his back and bit him on the shoulder. While Kid was still on Connor's back... Connor elbowed him in the stomach. That is when the fight got broken up.

According to Connor, this was Kid's THIRD ISS for fighting at school. Obviously, this is Connor's first. They both got the same punishment. Turns out the school has some lame "Zero Tolerance" rule for fighting. Okay, I AM joking! :) But I don't think they should have gotten the same punishment. Personally, I think Connor's biggest mistake was thinking that he could boss this kid around and decide who could and could not play the game.

Connor did tell me that his teacher (who was not on recess duty that day) did go to the office and try to claim in Connor's behalf it was "self defense" even though she did not see it. Which makes me feel better that without seeing it she felt she could claim this. It makes me feel that she was probably aware of the situation between the two boys and knows how both of them act for better or worse.

So as soon as I got that phone call... the guilt set in. I felt like I should be serving that ISS! Connor was hysterical and uncontrollably sobbing... for about three days straight saying that he was a horrible person and all sorts of personal torment.

I talked to Connor and told him it was wrong to try to tell other people what to do. That he doesn't get to decide things like that and should have found another way to control his temper... that in spite of my best advice, it is in fact wrong to get physical when things don't go our way. He understands this. I then told him I was to blame too because I should have gone to the school a long time ago and made others aware of what was going on... so that it was at least "reported". The next day I did go in and have a one on one with Assistant Principle and explained the same to him, that there have been issues between the two boys all year, but that I supported Connor's punishment and asked that the two boys NOT be in the same classroom next year.

Side note: Connor told me later that in ISS they told him that if they fought in Middle School... they wouldn't go to ISS, but that they would go to jail! They were asked if that was were they wanted to go and showed them pictures. I found this a bit funny. I guess their scare tactics worked... he's totally freaked over it! :)

As part of Connor's ISS he had to write a Speech about fighting and present it to the Kindergartners. He was mortified!!! He did not want to do this. But he wrote a honest and sincere speech during his lunch and recess time and presented it to those kids. He did such a good job he was asked to give it to the first graders too (if he wanted to). To which Connor kindly bowed out. :) (He has a buddy in first grade and was terrified he'd find out!)

I fully plan on posting the speech when I get a chance. It is pretty cute. :)

Overall, I would say this was a good learning experience for the both of us! Take my advice... Don't tell your kids to punch other kids. It just may come back to bite you in the butt!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day! ( a wee late)

Our St. Patrick's Day party was a big success this year. It fell over Spring Break and we invited a few new families into the green chaos. We had a green potluck breakfast. (We provided green pancakes and rainbow shaped platters of fruit and let everyone else bring a green side. We had green donuts, and green shamrock shaped banana muffins, and well... I can't remember what else people came up with because it was over two months ago! :) We all feasted like fat leprechauns and then played some fun games of hot potato (to Irish music), tied green balloons to the kids feet and made them dance an Irish jig as they tried to pop each other's balloons, and the hunt for the leprechaun's pot of gold as the grand finale!

Eli and his BFF, Rani.

(His shirt that HE picked out says, "Irish girls love me!" :)

The goal for this year's "treasure hunt" was to help the kids learn a little more about St. Patrick's Day (other than to just wear green. :) Here were my awesome clues:

1. Me name's a Danny O'Brian

and I'm a leprechaun ya see.

I'm small and clever

and you'll never want to take yer eyes off me.

(I then explained what leprechauns were (not all the kids knew!) and that according to Irish folklore if you keep your eyes on them they can't escape... but as soon as you do... they disappear.)

Us Leprechauns like to hide our treasure.

To find it...

You'll have to prove yourself beyond measure!

Me travels have been long

and me bladder is wee

I skipped to the loo my darlin'

and took meself a green pee.

(This clue is a kid favorite and I use it in my treasure hunt each year. They have to find the bathroom with the green food coloring in the toilet water to find the next clue.)

2. Thee flag of me land is beautiful

and brings me much pride.

Yell yer mum the colors

and you'll find yer next hide.

(They had to figure out where leprechauns are from: Ireland. And then had to figure out what are the colors of their flag: orange, white and green... once they got it right, I pulled the next clue out of my pocket)

3. I'm a prankster by night,

and a shoemaker by day.

But if ye want me to fix yer stanky shoes

you'll have to triple the pay!

(more folklore that leprechauns are shoemakers. clue hidden in one of Seth's stinky shoes:)

4. St. Patrick was a saintly man,

one of the best I knew.

Tell yer Dad the day he died

and you'll earn yer next clue.

(March 17th- believe it or not, this was one of the hardest clues for the kids to solve! We then talked a little bit about who St. Patrick really was. The next clue was on Seth)

5. If you got this far

ye must think yer pretty smart

I hid the next clue

on an Irish piece of Art.

(Hidden behind a framed piece of Celtic Art that my mom gave me when I got married)

6. Look for the symbol of Ireland.

It represents divinity...

The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost,

and is a symbol for the trinity.

(Answer: Shamrock. Then they had to find a shamrock that was hidden in the house to get the next clue)

7. As I walked on by

I saw a lovely lass with eyes of blue

she stole me heart

and yer next clue!

(I have an Irish doll with red hair and blue eyes my mom also gave me... under her hat was the next clue. It took them awhile to figure out it was a doll and not an actual person this time. :)

8. I've got this on me side,

but you'll need it more.

It comes from four leaf clovers...

if you believe in this Irish folklore.

(Answer: Luck. Then they had to figure out to look behind my cute letters that spell LUCK to find the next clue.)

9. Ahhh, ye kids are clever

and me gold is hidden nearby.

It's hidden in a place warm and dark

and keeps me britches dry.

Answer: In the dryer! :) (It has to be hidden somewhere the kids won't see it while playing and eating and hunting!) Yes, it was my best treasure hunt yet. Pretty sure I should stop this year while I am on top. :)

The kids waiting patiently to divvy up the pot o gold!

The gold here is butterscotch candy, Rollos, Hershey Secret Treasures (gold bricks), and Chocolate gold coins. Basically anything wrapped in gold foil works great! Also I put individual packages of Skittles at the bottom this year (for the non-chocolate lover kids) to "taste the rainbow". Yes, I am a genius. :)

Till next year... may you have Love and Luck at your side always!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Good Reminder to Wash Your Hands!

Ever wondered how dirty your kids hands really are??

Check out this clean, white sock I put on Dallin's hand at the beginning of the day.

This is what it looked like come dinner time.


I am trying to break Dallin of the habit of thumb sucking. So I painted his thumbnail with that nasty nail polish stuff. Well, every now and again he forgets it's on there... and will start sucking his thumb. After doing so, he cries and refuses to swallow and/or shut his mouth for the next 10 minutes after he sucks it and lets all his saliva just overflow out. It really is a lovely sight... not to mention fun to clean up after. So this morning I decided to stick a sock over that hand so when he tried to suck it... he would get the sock, instead of the nasty taste. And if he took it off... well, he'd suffer the consequences! Well, to my surprise he did not resist it at all. In fact, I think he was quite relieved. He kept that sock on ALL day! But after a day of eating three meals, playing outside, coloring, and shopping at two different stores with mom... it is now quite disgustingly dirty!



Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Three small experiences that have brought happiness into my life this week:

1) My Church Calling!

Last Sunday in Junior Primary the Primary chorister began to put up pictures on the chalk board to help teach the children the words to "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus". While she was setting up, the Primary pianist started playing the prelude. As she did so the children one by one just started singing the words until they were all full blown singing "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus." I was amazed and impressed how well all these little ones already knew the song. Listening to their sweet voices and their simple words... spoke straight to my heart. As I stood in the back I was unable to do anything but well up with tears of gratitude. I knew at that moment I was exactly where I wanted to be. Exactly where I needed to be. I am grateful for each one of those marvelous children, for their fun personalities, their sweet spirits, their abundance of love and knowledge of the Gospel. I feel privileged and honored to get to spend this precious time with them each Sunday! I love my new calling! It makes me so happy! :)

2.) Random little flowers!

I noticed a few days back that somehow this little flower randomly popped up on the side of our house, among rocks, and in the ugliest place it possibly could have (next to the obnoxious blue, dirty garbage can). We had Marigolds just like this in our flower beds at the front of our house last spring. But they were annuals. They should have all died with the frost/freeze this last winter brought. And on top of that.... how did it walk 30 feet, turn the corner and seed here and thrive of all places? Every time I go to empty the trash I see my little orange friend and it reminds me there is beauty in everything. It just makes me happy! :)

3) My Husband!

The man of the house has been away the last six nights. I think I texted him almost every night around 3 am with some problem: Kids having bad dreams, I'm spooked, I'm getting no sleep, I fell and rehurt my injured knee, etc.

I've had a busy and tiresome full schedule between the three boys on my own. After running over to Eli's preschool one morning for a parent teacher conference I came home and found a box on the doorstep. In it held a dozen beautiful spring colored roses: red, orange, yellow and pink with a note that said,

"Just wanted to let you know that I love, I'm thinking of you, and I appreciate all you do as a mother and wife!"

After several nights of less than 4 hours of sleep... and days filled with a constant go, go, go... I was tired, used and abused! :) This act of kindness was just the pick me up that I needed to make me feel loved and appreciated. Sure, Seth gives me flowers on Valentine's Day and our Anniversaries... but I don't think he has given me flowers "just because", ever, in the last ten years. It tugged on my heart strings. Seth's simple and thoughtful act made me a very happy lady!! :)

Yay for little children, the power of the Spirit, God's beauty all around, and loving husbands!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Missing In Action

I've been neglecting the blog the last couple months. There are a few reasons for this:

1) The baseball season is upon us. You're looking at the new 8U Humble Indians First Baseman! Seth is the 3rd base coach again this year and I am the Team Mom. This includes, but is not limited to: one practice and two games a week. So far our Indians are 2-0!

2)Eli started T-ball! He is making his Poppy proud by playing for the Oakland A's! Eli is a on a 3 and 4 year old team provided through the local YMCA. He loves having his own separate thing from Connor! He has one practice and one game a week.

(Although this pic hides Eli's face a bit, I like it because of the big smile... and because it shows what an awesome coach this man is. He is all about getting on the kids level, having fun and teaching life lessons in the game of baseball!)

3) I recently received a new calling at church! I am the secretary for the Primary presidency. I absolutely LOVE it! I work with great people and think the kids are hilarious! It certainly keeps me busy.

4) Dallin is a very active, well practiced, tantrum throwing, busy-bodied little 2 year old! He's counting and learning colors (and frankly I am a little afraid he is going to soon surpass Eli in that department who seems to be lagging a bit).

5) Did I say Connor started baseball season???

So although I have not been blogging there has been a lot going on in the Washburn home! Some big, and some not so big.

Like the fact that Dallin falls out of his bed a lot...

You'd think we could buy the poor kid a bed rail... but he doesn't really seem to mind too much. :)

Eli had a Rodeo Parade at school that included line dancing with the occasional "Praise Jesus" thrown in there. In my mind a good representation of what Texas loves most: Cowboys and Jesus... and probably in that order.

Connor had his first Pinewood Derby Race. He picked out his design and built most of it himself(with occasional help from Seth). Come race day, Seth was out of town. So I got to go and do weigh-ins, and grease his wheels in between races with graphite powder, and give him the lecture that "win or lose... we need to be a good sport", and most importantly to NOT cry... I specifically remember saying that! Guess what, I was also there to hug him and hide his face when he cried on the FIRST race.

Connor and the "Holy Rider"

Good thing it was just the first race of many. I think there were 16 kids in his wolf den. (4 races with 4 cars in each one.) Connor took last the first race (thus the crying), and then took first in the next three races. He made it to the final four round! We were so excited! They raced one final time and it was very close, but he got last. There were only trophies for the first three kids that placed. It was so sad to see him be the only one to walk away without a trophy. But surprisingly, the kid took it like a champ. I was proud.

Final four race. I love this pic. Connor's face is priceless, as well as many of the leaders!

And these two were two of the cutest little cheer leaders around! They were pleased as punch to get their own little "twinkie derbys'!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No Sleep

You know you're messed up when...

you can't sleep a wink because there is a storm outside. You are POSITIVE that among the howling winds, every crack of thunder is actually a crack of a falling tree... that is about to land smack dab on your house... and come crashing through your roof... on top of you and your husband... of even worse on top of your babies.

Thanks to Hurricane Ike over 2 years ago when we heard those high speed winds and cracking trees... three trees DID fall on our house. Now this is just how I get when it storms.

(One of the uprooted trees that fell on our house.)

(Luckily for us it was just the very tips of the trees that fell on our house and only the branches that actually punctured our roof.)

(Our neighbors were not quite so lucky. A tree came through their house and crushed EVERYTHING in their master bedroom. Thankfully, they slept with the baby in the nursery that night.)

But now do you understand my pain? I thought seriously about camping out in the hallway half way through the night. But I ultimately decided that if my family was going to die from falling trees... I didn't want to be the lone survivor. Instead, I kept waking up Seth to reassure me trees weren't going to, in fact, fall on us. His annoyance with me was more apparent than his willingness to provide me with comfort. Great, now we are going to die mad at each other! So I laid there all night in the dark with the blinds open... staring down the trees and getting ready to grab Seth with my superhuman strength and run upstairs and grab the kids with my lightening speed, all in a moments notice... if I saw a falling tree.

Yeah, that is about how my thought process worked.

So when I woke up dead tired this morning... Seth laughed at me.

I'm so not grabbing him next time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rodeo Carnival

Friends from Louisiana came out for a fun filled Rodeo Carnival visit!

Nothing like bumper cars for some good ol' fashioned family fun!

The kids rode carnival rides until the were blue in the face!