Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 In Review

I'm participating in Kelli's review of the past year. The Rules? For each month, post the first sentence of your first post. Include photos, if you'd like. Head over to participate, and see what everyone else wrote during 2008.

This family has had soooo many accidents that I have decided I need to start a new label named "owies."


It's snowing yet again here in Eastern Washington!


It's impossible for my children to share the many Thomas the Tank Engine trains.


Manly enough to ride a girlie bike


TJ is not my real name.


Ok so this isn't really a no-money meal, but it's costs next to nothing.


I don't really know why, but our sinks and tubs are always clogged.


This shirt is So True!


Just your average dinner at our place.


This morning Mo came into the kitchen and said he was "foosty."


My favorite month of the year is here!


He looks so innocent doesn't he?

Phew.... That was a fun look back, although not the whole time. 2008 was a good year. 2008 was a difficult year. One thing I'm certain of is I'm looking forward to 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Need a Nap?

There was a lot of napping at our house this weekend.

I only cleaned the room above 4 or 5 times this weekend. Good thing there are kids to undo it!

I hope you had a restful weekend too!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Most Touching Gift

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I received some wonderful gifts, and I will share them with you soon (I can't wait to show a few). But the one gift that touched me most wasn't given to me by family or friends. It was a letter in the mail Christmas Eve, that I didn't read until Christmas Day.

I had a letter from Memorial Hospital, and couldn't figure out why. It was addressed to me, not Dana who has recently had surgery. When I read the letter, tears filled my eyes, and my voice became gravelly as I read it to Dana. Here it is:

Dear Ms. Kihn:

The Women's Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital and The Memorial Foundation have established a special fund called the "Tiny Tim Fund." The purpose of this fund is to assist parents of newborn babies or children whose illness has placed an overwhelming burden on the family's finances.

We are happy to inform you that $250.00 from this fund has been applied to Morgan's account at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. This payment will be reflected on the hospital bill as of December 25, 2008, and leaves a balance of $57.03.

Disbursement of the "Tiny Tim Fund" is made at this time of the year in the true spirit of Christmas. We hope this gift will help to make your Christmas a very merry one and the New Year brighter.

R. W. Linneweh, Jr.

All I can say is, "Thank You." That means we only have 1 payment left on Mo's hospital bill. The kindness of strangers has made this year truly great, and made Christmas yesterday all the more merrier.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Angel?

Have you seen or heard about the video surveillance clip that shows a bright light in the doorway of a girl that had just been removed from life support? She was gravely ill, the support was removed, and then the camera and some staff saw a bright light. The girl who "should have" died, began to recover. Everyone is asking, was the light an angel?

Maybe it's because I've read so much Frank Peretti, and am currently reading "This Present Darkness" for the 2nd or 3rd time, but I believe that God can do anything. That includes sending an angel.

I know that there will be people who say that God cannot do that, or God doesn't do that. (I have heard Christians say this just as much as agnostics) But, every time we as humans try to place a limit on God, we are only attempting to raise ourselves up higher. We think that we can decide God's powers, as if we were on the same level as He.

One of example of this, and I apologize if I offend you, is the belief that birth control interferes with God's plan. Yet, Mary practiced the most effective birth control of all, abstinence, and she gave birth to our Lord Jesus Christ. We take this time of year to stop and remember His birth (even though it was most likely in the spring or summer). His birth that should have been impossible, but wasn't because God has no limits.

Was it an angel or the sunshine? I do not know. I do know that this girl recovering is a miracle, and I know that God can make anything happen.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

5 Things Meme

Danielle tagged me for this meme, and I decided to get right on it, or it would never get done.

The rules are to write 5 things under each of the 5 headings, and then tag 5 other people.

10 years ago...
1. I was living with my parents.
2. I was working at a horrible part time job in service dispatch.
3. I was dating a guy I thought I loved.
4. I was taking night classes at the community college.
5. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up

5 Things on Today's "To-Do" List
1. Pay bills online
2. Apply for my concealed weapons permit
3. Buy bread for our Christmas Eve get together
4. Get cat food.
5. Data Entry, and lots of it

5 Snacks I Enjoy...
1. homemade chips and salsa
2. Brie on french bread
3. Almond Joy
4. Bananas
5. Almonds

5 Things I Would Do if I were a Millionaire!
1. Pay all of our bills
2. Buy a house with 1-2 acres outside of the city limits
3. Buy Dana a race car
4. Make a donation to church and United Way
5. Take a family vacation.

5 Places I Have Lived...
1. Yakima WA
2. Ellensburg WA
3. Malibu CA
4. Selah WA- only part time while I was a nanny
5. Oops, guess I better move some more.

5 Jobs I've had/Still have...
1. Resource Development
2. Program Coordinator at Camp Fire USA
3. Nanny
4. Barista
5. Baker

5 People I'm tagging...
Ahh you know I don't follow the rules. If you want to play along, go for it!

Deep Christmas Thoughts

Ok, not really. I have no deep thoughts to share with you, just some fun. Several versions of this meme have been going around. I sampled some of the question's from Art's blog and a some from Jen's blog.

Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

Real tree or Artificial? Pre-lit artificial for now. With 2 kids and 4 cats, a real one just doesn't make sense.

When do you put up the tree? Whenever I can get the front room picked up and the tree out from the storage under the stairs.

When do you take the tree down? Right around January 1

Do you like eggnog? Yes, I like eggnog, but the real story is eggnog doesn't like me (just like all uncultured milk products)

Favorite gift? Ferrets. It was one of the best Christmases ever.

Do you have a nativity scene? Yes a gorgeous one that June made me.

Mail or email Christmas cards? Hand-deliver mostly, I'm never very organized and quite often they are New Year's cards

Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story

When do you start shopping for Christmas? January at the post-Christmas sales

Do you hang mistletoe? Once or twice at my parents home, but not in ours

Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I can't think of any one thing... It all tastes so good

Colored or white lights on the tree? Depends on the year. Multi-colored now, purple a few years ago, white a few years before that.

Favorite Christmas song? Merry Christmas Darling, Karen Carpenter

Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home, we used to go to our parents homes, but now that we have a family we enjoy spending Christmas just the 4 of us.

Angel on the tree top or a star? Star

Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? In a tradition that goes back years, my mom's side of the family gets together and exchanges gifts on Christmas Eve. We spend Christmas Eve opening those gifts, but the family gifts wait for Christmas morning.

Does Santa wrap his gifts? Nope, he doesn't. That's how you know which gift is from Santa.

Favorite ornament theme or color? I love purples, blues and silvers on the tree.

What do you want for Christmas this year? Smiles on Dana and the kids' faces Christmas morning. Oh and Season One of Swingtown wouldn't be bad either.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

It has arrived

The snow we've been awaiting finally arrived. It made for some tough driving yesterday, but it also makes it look and feel like Christmas!

The view from the front of our house.

Friday, December 19, 2008

School's Out for...

Winter break. And for Kaia's class, that means pajama day. They are all wearing jammies and watching Polar Express (and reading the book too). I'm officially jealous. With a current windchill of negative 13 degrees, I want to wear jammies and watch a movie too.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This is so Not True!

I took the wrapping paper test to determine my personality based on my favorite paper. Ha!

You Are Dependable and Trustworthy

You approach the holidays with drive and determination.

You're usually the one who does all of the organizing and work.

You love being in charge of Christmas dinner, decorating the tree, and picking out presents.

You know that everything will be perfect, as long as you're the one behind the wheel.

Of all the types, you're the most likely to search far and wide to find the best deal on the gifts you give.

You're also the most likely to have a very detailed system for how you wrap and label presents.

I admit to being dependable and trustworthy, and searching for the best deals, but the rest is not me! Apparently, I like the Martha Stewart look, but I don't ever put forth her effort.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside

Not only is that the ringtone of my phone, it is very true! Yesterday we managed a balmy 14 (or was it 16) degrees. I'm not sure what it was with windchill, but yesterday morning when I fed the dogs, it was -7 with windchill.

Speaking of dogs. They will not use the dog house. Instead they are sleeping curled up against the garage, in a hole that Sampson so kindly dug. The Humane Society has been on the news discussing how you should really bring your dogs inside during this cold weather. I have an Alaskan Malamute. Do you really think I should bring him inside? If you saw him, he's the size of an ox right now, with fur at least 4 inches thick. If we brought him inside he'd roast. Now Roxie I'm a little more concerned about, but she is at least smart enough to stay warm. She crawls under the deck to warm up, especially when the dryer is running. I keep thinking that if it gets cold enough, they'll use the dog house. Just not sure how cold that has to be.

Kaia's concert went well last night. Although a little tip for you all: Don't try to videotape with a handheld recorder, while a 2 year old is jumping on you. I think it will qualify as the worst video ever, but I tried.

Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

She Did It!

Last night was Kaia's 7th night in her very own bed! Just in time, as Dana had knee surgery on his left knee yesterday. Although Mo has been off and on about sleeping in his bed, it has been great not to have a wiggly, kicking 5 year old in our bed.

So today amid a board meeting, picking up my gift for tomorrow's office Christmas lunch, and videoing Kaia's holiday musical (since none of our family can attend, including Dana), I will be finding High School Musical for my girl! Dana and I are so proud of her!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Spirit

Today at Fiesta Foods, I was looking for a lane that wasn't too crowded. I noticed an older gentleman, all bundled up in his winter coat and what appeared to be coveralls coming toward me doing the same. I saw that the lane closest to him had no line, but the one next to me wasn't bad, so I began to pull into the lane closest to me. He stopped and told me that his lane was shorter and waited for me to go in front of him.

Me, with my cart of groceries, and him with his two items. I said thank you, but pointed out that he should go ahead as he had far less. He insisted that he was in no hurry and I should get in line. Rather than argue, I thanked him and pulled in. He came in behind me and began to help me unload my cart. I thanked him again for his help. While the checker rang up my items, he then chatted with me about the snow that is coming, and if I was ready.

I paid for my items and moved to my bag lane to begin bagging my groceries. He paid for his items and bagged his. Then he began helping me finish bagging my groceries and loaded them into my cart. Again, I thanked him profusely.

As we walked out of the store, I began to turn right to go to my car, and he to the left. He told me to have a Merry Christmas, and I told him to do the same. With all the people in stores now, pushing and shoving, vying to get ahead of everyone else, it was nice to meet up with someone full of Christmas spirit.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We're going to the library tonight...

Because Baby Jesus said to. Really! Just ask Mo, he'll tell you all about it.

At least he told Grammy and Me. "Baby Jesus told me to go to the library. " He also mentioned that Baby Jesus wanted him to check out the Mud Monsters video. Who am I to argue?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Star of Bethlehem

Have you seen this great interactive article about the Star of Bethlehem? I love when science can explain phenomenon in the Bible, because I believe it shows that the Bible isn't just a work of fiction as some may believe. God is the mastermind, and He does some amazing things!

O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shining far through shadows dim
Giving the light for those who long have gone
Guiding the wise men on their way
Unto the place where Jesus lay
O beautiful star of BethlehemShine on
O beautiful star the hope of life
Guiding the pilgrims through the night
Over the mountains 'til the break of dawn
Into the land of perfect day
It will give out a lovely ray
O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine on
O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine upon us until the glory dawns
Give us a lamp to light the way
Unto the land of perfect day
O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine on
O beautiful star the hope of grace
For the redeemed, the good and the blessed
Yonder in glory when the crown is won
Jesus is now the star divine
Brighter and brighter He will shine
O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine on
Robert Fisher Boyce

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Leaps and Bounds

Mo is a growing boy. Everyday he comes home with new words and new phrases. Here are a few of his latest utterings:
  • I don't believe that.
  • That's appropriate.
  • It's almost Christmas!
  • Nutcracker
  • Radiator
  • Exagrader (excavator)
  • I put it where it belongs, in my nose . (This was after he had showed me a boogie on his finger.)

Kaia isn't necessarily learning new words, but she is learning to read. She reads her little books that come home from school. She reads signs on the street, signs at the store, and reads what she can on her computer games. I can't wait for her to be able to sit and read on her own.

One thing I know is parenting is fun. The kids cannot wait for snow, which may come this weekend. Hopefully we'll get the tree up by then also. Because as Mo says, "It's almost Christmas!"

Are you still looking for a great Christmas gift? Jenn at Frugal Upstate is giving away a kid tough DVD player. Click here to enter! I'm thinking how nice this would make our trip to the beach.

Monday, December 8, 2008

2 Year Anniversary: Poopy pants, stripping, and a cranky teether

In honor of my 2 year blog anniversary, I present you with my very first post ever.

I used to think that working a full-time job, being a wife, and raising kids would be boring. But nights like last night make me laugh long and hard at how insane life can be.

Last night was a typical night, home with the kids right around 6 p.m. Kaia has to play with daddy in the garage, and she's always a huge help, while Mo and I went in to start dinner. So the plan was to start dinner, but first Mo had to be pacified. I put him in his high-chair and got some veggie and fruit puffs out for him to eat. Then I went to the cupboard in search of inspiration for dinner. It was then that I heard Kaia crying, the door from the garage open and slam shut, and the door to her room slammed shut. The door to her room was the key sound. That meant poop.

She's fully trained to pee on the potty, but I swear I'll have to home-school the girl because she refuses to poop on the potty. I called out, "Kaia what are you doing?" and got the response of "nothing." Not a good sign. As I'm running downstairs to get her to the potty, Mo begins screaming because he is all by himself. I go to open the door, and she's pushing it shut from the other side, and a terrible odor is coming from her room. Too late.

I won't go into the disgusting details of getting poopy pants off of a 3 year old. But she ended up in the bath tub. After her bath though she was running around naked and wearing my high heeled boots. A new fashion maybe?

I stepped outside to help Dana with our ATV rack. All of a sudden I hear the door, and out she came. It's maybe 20 degrees and she looks like she's working a strip joint in our front yard. I almost died laughing, Dana however held it together while he ordered her back into the house. Afterward she went inside and helped me by feeding Mo about half of his jar of babyfood. (only a third of that went on his shirt so not too bad) She started out in the buff, but soon asked for help in putting some jammies on. There may be some modesty in her after all... Nah.

I finished feeding Mo, as he continued to fuss at me. I offered him a biter biscuit to help work his top teeth through, but only got more screaming so I gave him a few teething tablets and put him on the floor to play. I went back to work at making dinner, while Kaia went back out to help dad in the garage, and eventually 7:30 p.m. we ate dinner.

Kaia was out by 8:20, Dad was in bed by 9, and Mo fell asleep while I attempted to watch CSI but failed miserably and woke at 11 to put myself to bed.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Boredom at the Kihn's

It has been suggested that I take this post down, for fear someone may feel we are mis-treating our cats. I'm going to leave it up because: No spoiled housecats were harmed in the making of this post. None were hit by the foam, and all are still happy and healthy at the Kihn's. However if you are concerned for their welfare, the cats would like to suggest you make a complaint about the big, black sucky thingy that I use on a semi-regular basis. It makes a loud, scary noise, and I drag it from room to room forcing them to run and hide from it's unkown sucking powers.
What happens when we get bored?

These next two photos are blurry. Dana had me try the "action" setting on the camera. Wasn't what we wanted.

Callie is sleeping peacefully, when she hears the click...

Callie was gone. The orange streak is the foam "bullet"

Boomer watched it happen, yet didn't realize he was next.

He jumped onto his chair down on the main floor.

Cinnamon was peacefully sleeping in Kaia's room.

But not for long! The loud noises and orange streaks coming towards here were too much.

After the second shot, she left.

Old man, Hemi had no idea what had been going on.

He leapt away from the first shot.

Then hid behind the chair to watch the second shot. Notice it's going in between the chair legs.

With all the photos, you have probably realized that instead of being bored, we should have been cleaning. We did, later that day. Shooting the nerf gun toward the cats and attempting to catch it all on camera was much more fun!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Nurse

Dana had another eye surgery on Tuesday. This one was very painful, and isn't healing as well. Lucky for us, we have Nurse Cinnamon! I'm not sure what she does for the eyes, but she makes a great heating pad.

Please pray that he heals quickly! Also please pray for the daughter of my minister and his wife (who is my very good friend), she is in the hospital with a UTI at just 3 months old.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Remembering Why She's Great

Kaia helping Mo with a puzzle

Sometimes Kaia can be difficult. Especially the last 2 days of a 5 day break from school. Kaia was bounding with energy, and getting herself into trouble. No matter what Dana or I said, she didn't listen. I was so thankful for Monday to come and to send her off to school again.

It is times like that, I need to remember why our little girl is so great. There have been 2 things this month that really made me say, "I'm so proud she's our girl!"

First, was at Kaia's school conference. Her teacher has told us many times what a good and sweet girl Kaia is. At her conference she told us a great story. There is a little boy in class that is struggling. He is having trouble with many of the concepts. I've also gathered from my own experience in the class, that he is quite the handful. Kaia's teacher has her paired up with this boy when they are doing partner work. She said that Kaia is so kind and so patient with him, even when the teacher can tell she's exasperated by him, she doesn't show it to him.

I wish I could say the same of myself when dealing with Kaia. Maybe she can teach me?

Then the other day, just before Thanksgiving, she told Mo to stay out of her change pocket in her little pocketbook. She said that money was for people that needed food. I asked her if she was planning to put it in the Salvation Army kettle, and after some discussion that the round ball thing was really a kettle, she told me "Yes." I thought that it was very compassionate of her to want to give her pennies for others.

Then the next night, she grabbed her pocketbook as we were headed into ShopKo. I didn't prompt her at all, and was surprised that she had remembered. I was overwhelmed though when we got up to the kettle. Inside her pocketbook wasn't just pennies. She had several (2 or 3) one dollar bills that she had saved up and some silver change. I didn't say anything, but watched as she put every last bit into the kettle. The few pennies she dropped, Mo picked up and put into the kettle for her.

Even when we haven't had extra money, I've always given the kids money to put into the kettle. Apparently, Kaia has learned to give.

We are so lucky to have a girl that is kind and compassionate. She's a ball of energy with a big heart.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Newest Kihn

Our friends brought her by on Sunday, so she could have a yard to play in and Sampson could have a friend. They had played together before, back when she had a yard, so we thought she'd be the perfect addition.

Her name is what really makes her fit in here. Rocks. As in "dumber than a box of rocks." Perfect fit with Big Dumb Dog. She also goes by Roxie and seems to be adjusting quite well.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Always Thinking

He looks so innocent doesn't he? Ok, it really is more one of those, "Who Me?" looks. This was just after I caught him doing this:

Pretty good thinking, although he never did make it out the door. Good thing we have a top lock to keep him in, if he ever does figure it out.