Monday, December 22, 2008

Prayers Please!

Well, the snow is mostly gone here in Corvallis (though more was falling this morning), yet we just talked to friends in the Portland area who have 19 inches on the ground!

So why does this matter to Mugger and Bug? Well, Nonnie and Gramps' flight from Orange County this morning got rerouted -- instead of landing in Portland, they just landed in Yakima, Washington. Given that the major highways around Portland are closed, we're hoping they can get a flight up to Seattle and then down to Eugene.

Please keep their travels in your prayers!

update: After sitting in Yakima on the tarmac for the rest of the morning, they were finally able to land in Portland. With all the snow on the roads, it was almost 7 before they got here tonight, but they're here, safe and sound. You never saw 2 kiddos run so fast out a front door as they did when the car pulled up!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday morning: Snow Day #3!

Well, Mugger had no school Monday or Tuesday due to the snow in the last post, but here's what greeted us this morning!And here's my first attempt at posting a video:

And no, I won't post pictures out our front and back door every time it snows, but for a California girl who never saw it fall from the sky until she went away to college in Nebraska, it's still pretty cool!

PS-- For all of you who read M&B by e-mail or in a reader, I think you'll actually have to visit the live site if you want to see the snow fall in all the pictures...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Day!

Look what we woke up to this morning!Yes, Greg was very happy to see his Jeep this way-- now it just needs a heater...And I thought this palm tree covered in snow was a fitting image for our family of California transplants...Before lunch, we headed out to play in the snow...
And Jewelpup loved it too!
Look at those pink cheeks!
And they say we're in for more this week-- who knows, Nonnie and Gramps, it may be here when you arrive on Monday!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

So we took advantage of living in the Pacific Northwest by stopping at a tree farm last week to select our own Christmas tree. Here's the "before" shot next to Mugger and Bug's "perfect" tree. (Thank goodness I talked Bug out of the Charlie Brown tree!)
And here's the "after" shot:
They decorated it themselves (with help from Papa.) I think they did a fantastic job, don't you?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Anybody home?

Wow, it's not often I write a post (or 3) for Mugger and Bug and don't hear from any of their family or friends. Everybody OK out there?

For those of you who get Mugger and Bug in a reader, just wanted to let you know that I've added a new button to the sidebar. This is the Kiddos' personal blog, so I've never done this before, but I'll leave it up as long as necessary. It's a link to the "Save Handmade" page, in case you're curious. If you missed the earlier post, thanks to the CPSIA (see the Save Handmade page), my fledgling Etsy shop will be closed come February 10. I've even been featured here at Endangered Whimsy, a blog to showcase all the products that will disappear thanks to this legislation. I had a pretty decent local Christmas bazaar season (in spite of the economy), so it'd be a shame to shut down just as I'm getting started...

Leave a comment and let us know how you're doing!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fall Portraits, Part 2

For those of you who subscribe to Mugger and Bug by e-mail or in a reader, click on through if you want to see the slide show of all of their fall portraits if the collage in the previous post isn't enough Mugger and Bug for you.

Yeah, there are more pix, and yeah, the slide show in the left sidebar is tiny. But if you click on it, it will take you to my Picasa web album page and then you can see all 28 shots in their regular-size glory. Enjoy!

Mugger and Bug's Fall Portraits...

Help Save Ladybug Limited...

I'm guessing that most of Mugger and Bug's family and friends don't know that their Mama has been selling hair accessories for over a year now. I even opened my Etsy shop last week.

However, that may soon be coming to a close. Hop on over to this post at my Ladybug Limited hair accessories blog to see what's up...

Once I'm done with my little grass roots campaign, I'll be back to post some new photos of the Kiddos!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Only 25 Days till Christmas!

In case you wanted them and missed this post, here are Mugger and Bug's wishlists for Christmas-- just click on their names for the Amazon link...

Yes, many of Bug's items are off of Etsy-- we're going for more handmade holidays in our house, hence Bug's gift of a flannel board for her birthday. If you need a little sampling of why Etsy is so awesome, check out some of the links in this post from Rocks in My Dryer!

If you're new to Etsy, you'll have to sign up for a user name, but you can check out with Paypal without a Paypal account by just clicking to pay by credit card. One of these days I'll get my Ladybug Limited hair accessories in my empty store there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

We had quite the excitement at our house this morning when we saw that Mugger's kindergarten class made the front page of our newspaper, the Corvallis Gazette-Times (aka, the GT)!

Mugger spent last week doing extra chores to earn money for yesterday morning's field trip to the grocery store-- he spent his $6 on oranges. As for extra chores, I paid him $4 for folding and putting away 2 loads of laundry (his and his sister's) and $2 more for unloading the dishwasher twice all by himself (with some help from the kitchen stool.) He was excited that Papa got to drive for the field trip and help him with his purchases.

The second part of the field trip was the newsworthy part, though. Rather than having the kindergarteners walk all their groceries the 3 blocks to the soup kitchen, they loaded them up on llamas! Mugger even got to lead one of the llamas for a bit and was so excited to learn about how to pack them.

For all the details, according to the GT, click here. We're saving our paper copy-- the online edition doesn't have the photo that was on the inside where you can see Mugger's back as he learns about llama packing.

UPDATE: Found the inside pic in the GT's online gallery! Mugger is in the red coat:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Back to Corvallis

We made it home at 10:15 last night-- and no, I don't regret the decision to drive all the way to OC and back! Mugger and Bug are great travelers! So great that we drove almost 9 hours yesterday with only 1 stop. (And yes, Papa got to drive all the way home from the Bay Area since I had done the other 3 legs solo.) Of course, it helped that Bug fell asleep for the last 3 hours of the trip...

We'll post pix of our great California adventure soon, but I know the kiddos are happy to be home and have the whole family together again. Bug is currently dancing around the living room for her Papa!

And Corvallis must be growing on Mugger. As I drove him to school this morning, he gazed wondrously at all the fall colors and said, "Corvallis sure is prettier than where we used to live," and then asked me, "Does Oregon have more trees than anywhere?"

Sure is good to be back in our "tree house" (named because about all we see out any window is trees!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bug's Birthday at Disneyland

Yes, I'm backdating posts now as I'm finally getting pix loaded...

Monday, October 20, 2008

California, Here We Come!

In case we hadn't told you...

Next week, Mugger only has a 3-day school week, due to Parent-Teacher Conferences, so I'm doing the unthinkable (at least in my former-life-as-a-teacher mindset): I'm pulling Mugger out of school for the week so that we can squeeze in a road trip to our former home. It's the only time before Christmas that Nonnie and Gramps' schedule and ours could meet, so off we go.

Of course, it also helped that our godson is being baptized in the Bay area on November 2nd (the day on which I can technically start referring to him as my godson!), so it's actually a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone trip. Papa gets to meet us at the Maschke's, and I'm sure that I will be more than happy to let him drive all the way home!

Ask me in 2 weeks if I was totally insane to think that I could drive 2 kids by myself to CA and halfway back to Corvallis...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bug's Birthday...

... will be here in 3 weeks! And since Grandma asked for it, here is her wishlist. (Just click on the word "here.") I used the universal wishlist from Amazon for the first time, so it has things from Etsy (my new favorite site-- it's the handmade version of eBay, more or less) as well as some gear from Lands' End. I'll keep updating it for Christmas, too, so this will be her all-occasion list. (I'll get Mugger's updated and posted soon for you early shoppers...) Let me know if you need help with Etsy-- if you have a PayPal account, you only need to register your e-mail to create an ID.

If you get her something that is similar to something on the list, you could leave a comment on this post so she doesn't get duplicate items. I don't know if the list will show purchases from Etsy or Lands' End-- I think it will if you click through from the list.

And in other news, today is her first day in Big Girl underwear-- hooray!

UPDATE: I haven't added the winter gear Mugger needs yet, but here is his list, too...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bug the "Big One"

For as long as we can remember, Bug's definition of a "big girl" has been one who is potty-trained. She's said, more than once, "I don't go in the potty, so I'm not a big one." Well, almost overnight it seems, she's a big one! On Tuesday morning when she got up, Papa told her that there were no more diapers, and for once, she agreed. (This isn't the first time we've tried potty training...)

She had a few accidents on Tuesday, but since then, she's made it to the potty every time. Hopefully next week, we'll be reporting that she's in her big girl underwear as she knows that she can have it as soon as she goes a week without accidents. And yes, her big girl underwear has ladybugs on it!

By the way, being a "big one" has its perks as Bug now uses markers and scissors (with supervision, of course!) Apparently being a "big one" also brings other changes as Bug has told us that now that she's a big one she likes butter on her bread and whipped cream on her waffles!

And doesn't she look old with those ponytails? Her hair is long enough that she asks for them all the time now. How is it that she'll be 3 next month already?

Mugger our Sports Maniac

Mugger started AYSO soccer this fall and LOVES it! He's already had 2 games and 1 goal! (The Flyers haven't had any wins yet, but that doesn't seem to bother him.) As you can see, 5 year olds take their soccer very seriously:
Elsewhere in the wide world of sports... last night was the big OSU vs. USC game and we just had to let the little sports nut stay up when the Beavers were ahead 21 - 0 at the half. He was ecstatic when the Beavers held on to win it and had to talk football with his kindergarten teacher first thing this morning, since he knew she had been lucky enough to attend. Don't worry-- he's had his Beaver fix as he got to go to the Hawaii game the week before!

We're now convinced there must be a sports nut gene, as this thirst for sports certainly isn't anything he learned from us. It extends to school, too, by the way-- every day he comes home and talks about nothing other than what sports he played at each recess!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mugger's First Day of Kindergarten (*sniff-sniff*)

OK, first a little note... yes, I know I've basically missed the entire summer-- I was downloading pictures from MAY tonight! BUT... I promise to catch up soon, so brace yourself for a bunch of back-dated posts when I do. Now back to the topic of this post...

Yesterday was Mugger's first day as a "Zion Lion" and he LOVED kindergarten. Of course, being the outdoor kiddo that he is, when I asked him how his day went, the first thing he said was, "We had THREE recesses!" Trying to get further details out of him didn't get me much more, as the next thing he had to tell me was that he went across the playground rings 6 times!

Anyways, here's some Day One pix, the first two taken before school and the last one after with his teacher and the beloved rings:It sure was hard to leave him that morning as our good-bye felt like I was putting him on a bus to summer camp: at the end of the opening chapel, they called the kids up to their classes, one by one. No hug, no wave good-bye, just a scamper up the aisle to join the other kindergarteners. With as crazy as our life has been in OC the last couple years, it was hard to see him go-- part of me wishes I could keep him home, yet I also know he's more than ready and will have a ball. Now if we can just get them to let him into the 5th to 8th grade Chess Club... (Yeah, our little Mugger has become a bit of a chess fiend over the summer, but that's a whole post of its own!)

So what did Bug do with Mama all to herself all day? Well, once we walked home, we decided to bike to the post office to mail Gramps his cookies-of-the-month. Bug loves her bike seat!After the post office, we stopped by Riverfront Park for a picnic lunch (thanks for the lunchbox, Nonnie!) since Bug had decided we should go to a park while we were out.
She definitely loved being out and about: she told me she wants to ride the bike to a park and walk to school (a mile away!) everyday! The morning walk and bike ride wore her out-- luckily Papa was home so she could keep sleeping when it was time for me to walk Mugger home.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame...

Well, Mugger and Bug went to their first baseball game this weekend to see the hometown Corvallis Knights defeat the Kitsap Bluejackets 6 to 0. Mugger's favorite part was either the score (since he loves it when "his" team wins) or the border collies that ran out in between innings to catch frisbees. Bug's favorite part was the metal bleachers: she was able to jump up and down and make all the noise she wanted! They both liked getting to run the bases at the end, too, so I'd say a good time was had by all.
Update: We saw one more Knights game this summer, one of the Knights last regular season games while Nonnie and Gramps were here in August. They again won in a landslide, so we weren't actually all that surprised when they ended up as the post-season champs!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Move-In Mayhem

Here's a little update for all who are curious:
-- The bedrooms have all been painted and have their new hardwood floors-- yay! (No more ugly purple carpet!) There's a bit of trim to finish, but then we can move into the bedrooms, hopefully tomorrow.
-- The floors will be done once the stairs are done, either today or tomorrow.
-- Projects that remain: replacing the roof and some of the siding and figuring out this battle over having no natural gas!

Hopefully my next update will have pix of all the hard work so many have contributed! (Gotta find that camera cable...)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Moving Day...

... is here at last! The truck has arrived in Corvallis and will start unloading any second now!

Sorry there have been virtually no updates from us in this process, but yes, we did finally get our dream home that we had found back in May and it's been officially ours for one week now. There's the little matter of no gas line to get settled, but other than that, we are looking forward to all the projects. Thanks to lots of help from Shepherd members, we've already laid the vinyl flooring in the basement and the whole interior of the house has been repainted! One of these days we'll get pix up...

Thanks for all your prayers-- please keep them coming as we deal with things like a new roof and siding!

We're also looking forward to Greg's installation this Sunday afternoon and the visiting friends and family that occasion will bring!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Mugger!

Today our Mugger is 5-- how can it have been 5 years already? I asked Mugger tonight as I tucked him in (after his big day playing at Disneyland and California Adventure) if his first day of being 5 felt any different than his last day of being 4 and he said...

"Well, now that I'm 5, I think my bed feels smaller."

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mugger's Quote of the Day-- Sunday, June 8

Mugger's question in Sunday school this morning...

"If God has the whole world in His hands, how does He keep all the people on the bottom from getting squished?"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dear Mugger...

Tonight was your preschool graduation. I don't think you wanted preschool to end. That's OK, we didn't either! You and Jackson and Allen and Colleen were the only graduates in your mixed-ages class since John had already moved. The 4 of you walked in as a proud little line between Mrs. Howard and Ms. Clements. We wondered if you were going to sing any of the 4 songs with the other kids and realized you couldn't concentrate on singing until you saw where we were sitting. Once you found all of us (Papa, Mama, Bug, Nonnie, Gramps, Great-Grandma, and Aunt Susie), you finally smiled and relaxed and enjoyed the singing.
You got to be part of Papa's message by holding up the first S in JESUS up front and you came up again when Mrs. Bradley wanted to thank Papa and bid us farewell. However, the most precious moment for me was when I saw you sitting on Mrs. Howard's lap-- you told me that you had told her that you didn't have enough room in the pew. I know she was pretty glad to hold you though. I think she's going to miss you lots-- and miss being Bug's teacher, too. I was so glad to hear that she'll be coming to your birthday party in the park.

You were pretty excited afterwards when Jackson told you that he'd be coming to your birthday party, too-- it was all you could talk about all the way home, at least until you remembered that strawberry shortcake was waiting for you for dessert. (You and Bug ran into the house chanting "Strawberry shortcake! Strawberry shortcake!)
Jackson sure has been a good friend to you these 2 years of preschool. I got some great pictures of the 2 of you hugging after the service because there were so many hugs.

We're proud of you, Mugger. You're a big kindergartener now, and as Coach K told me on Monday after your last Amazing Athletes, God has big things in store for you!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Moving Update...

Hello all! I promise that sometime soon I will update all of Mugger and Bug's doings for the month of May. It's been a busy one and I've got pix to upload! Mugger's birthday is coming soon, so I've put the Amazon wishlist button up for those who wanted it!

Anyways, the latest with the move... our condo here in Rancho is peachy! The buyers had very few repair requests after last Sunday's inspection and we've pretty much taken care of them already. Things look on track to close escrow on June 20th, although we'll have to see if we have any movers to move us on that date! We requested estimates from 3 companies last Tuesday, and so far only have an appointment with 1 tomorrow for a physical estimate. And the move is in less than 3 weeks! Can you tell that this is stressing us out right now?

Our other source of stress would be the inspection report that came back on our new house in Corvallis. We've learned that the sellers weren't big on home maintenance! Not only are there "little" things like a non-functioning toilet, a non-functioning garage door and a garbage disposal on its last legs, there are a couple of big things like roof and siding issues! Our realtor is arranging for an estimate to see if this can be dealt with by closing...

Anyways, here's a pic of the place since I haven't posted one yet...
We're just trying to keep trusting that all is in God's hands, so please pray that all goes according to His will!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Prayer Requests... ANSWERED! (updates in all caps!)

Here's the big three:
  1. Please pray for our stamina as we finish work (this weekend, hopefully) to get our condo ready to list this next week. WE LISTED OUR HOME ON FRIDAY...
  2. Please pray that God sends a buyer quickly in this awful housing market. 3 BUYERS MADE OFFERS OVER THE WEEKEND AND, AFTER COUNTERS, WE ACCEPTED ONE & WENT INTO ESCROW, WITH THE CLOSING SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 20TH...
  3. Please pray for safe travel for all 4 of us as we fly up to Corvallis next week to find Mugger and Bug's new home! FOUND ONE! OUR OFFER WAS ACCEPTED AND OUR NEW HOME WILL CLOSE ON JUNE 25TH.
We'll keep you posted... GOD IS AMAZING!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Half-Birthday to Bug!

Bug is now officially 30 months old! To mark the occasion, I cut her hair! No, actually, she needed a trim as her fine hair gets into scraggly knots rather easily, so she's back to a bob. We also measured her today and she's now passed the 3-foot mark. (We measured Mugger, too, and he's just past 43 inches.)

She's quite the independent two-and-a-half year old-- of course. She always wants to do EVERYTHING on her timetable and if you start to count to 3 to hurry her along, she'll scream that she doesn't want you to count! So for now, what seems to work best is me asking her if I have to count. Usually she'll say no and take that bite of dinner or finally put down her toys to get in the van or whatever is requested.

Last night she was prancing around in her brother's superhero cape, her unicorn slippers, and her pop beads proclaiming, "I'm a princess!" Not sure where she got that one, so I told her that she could dress up and still be Bug. I was awfully proud of Mugger for adding, "Yeah, 'cuz God made you special." Of course, he then had to add, "And He loves you very much. Bye-bye!" Can't tell they're Veggie Tales fans, can you?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A First for Mugger and Bug

Yesterday, the kiddos and I went to their first concert. It was only 30 minutes long and they spent most of it playing with Aunt Jen who met us there, but fun was had by all. So yes, it was worth the 3.5 hour total drive time!

So who did they see? Only their favorite "kindie" (kiddie + indie) artist, Justin Roberts. Mugger was a little disappointed that Justin and the band only did one song off of "Meltdown", the only Justin Roberts CD that we have, but it was great to hear some of his new songs off of "Pop Fly" and some others to see what we've been missing.

Aunt Jen, if you need a birthday idea for Mugger, there you go! I'm pretty sure he'll be getting this from us since "Imaginary Rhino" is his favorite song (as witnessed by the fact that he and Bug kept yelling for Justin to play it in between songs. OK, Mama was yelling, too...)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Big News!

In case we haven't told you yet, Mugger and Bug (along with their Papa and Mama) are moving to Corvallis, Oregon! We weren't looking to move at all (being that Nonnie and Gramps are here and not there), but when we visited the church there last weekend, we knew it was God telling us it was time to move. So... sometime this summer, late June perhaps, Mugger and Bug will be residents of the Pacific Northwest.

I don't think Bug has any idea what's going on, but when we told Mugger that we'd be moving, he was quite excited. We had told him that we were visiting Corvallis last weekend in hopes that God would give us the answer as to whether we should move, so when he saw us Monday morning, he asked, "Did you get the answer?" When we told him, he said, "Yes! That's the answer I was praying for!"

Anyway, here's a sample of the record-breaking weather during our visit to Corvallis:
Yes, that's snow and Papa went mountain biking in it immediately after this pic. We could have taken our picture in hail as well since Corvallis was experiencing some very unusual April weather. There was sleet, rain, and sunshine, too, so it was a bit of everything.

Mugger and Bug did not join us for this trip, though hopefully they will for the house-hunting one. They stayed with Nonnie and Gramps and insisted sleeping on the floor together the night we returned-- Bug thought she should get to sleep on the floor, too, if Mugger got a sleeping bag. Such precious kiddos!

And not nearly so earth-shattering, but their Spring Portraits are in the slideshow now! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mugger's Quote of the Day

"I'm so happy I bet I'm gonna fall on my head!"

said by our Mugger when I told him, yes, he could give Gramps the whole batch of Oatmeal Raisin cookies we made this morning. I guess his reaction was because they're Gramps' favorite...

Or perhaps he was just anticipating his afternoon bike ride-- he and Papa have been pedaling home on their tandem every Tuesday after preschool. If you missed that pic, click here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Busy Boys *updated*

I wasn't home today to catch it on camera, but Mugger is now a proficient painter as well-- he and Papa decided to tackle the bathroom and should have it finished up tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get pix then and post them here!

Updated 4/23: OK, so I finally got the pic off the camera-- here's our busy painter:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mugger our Busy Boy

For being sick twice in the past 2 weeks (a strep throat diagnosis on Good Friday and a Fifths disease diagnosis on Sunday), Mugger sure was a busy boy over his Easter break!First on his project list was inventing a game! Here he is playing "Tossbox" with Nonnie and Gramps on Easter. He came up with very elaborate rules, which he had me type up to paste in the lid of the box. Basically you get to toss a bead into the little boxes (the smaller boxes are worth more points), but how many tosses you get is determined by which card you draw-- he even came up with a "lose a toss" card!
Because the kiddos got a bucket of bulbs from Grandma and Grandpa for Easter, we spent Easter Monday weeding and planting most of the bulbs (all we had room for, at least.) Project #2 took the entire morning, but he was quite pleased with the results and is looking forward to seeing the growth that will come.
Project #3 was an alphabet book-- above is the cover shot which we almost used for the "x" page (for Xtra Goofy Kiddos.) My personal favorite was the "p" page for Papa since we got such a good picture of him.
Mugger's final project of Easter Break is an ongoing one. He's become quite the puzzle master! Now that he's almost 5, we've decided that he can have an hour of Quiet Time every afternoon instead of a nap, and the option he almost always picks for that hour is puzzles. Thanks to Nonnie's eBay sleuthing, he now has 2 drawers full of puzzles in his room to choose from. So far he's up to doing 100-piece puzzles by himself.
Such a happy, busy boy our Mugger is!

Easter Monday at the Beach