Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Fall Day

A chilly, rainy, fabulous fall day here in Oregon.
Movies were watched.
Muffins were baked.

More chicken stock was boiled and preserved.

My winter herb garden was planted.

And I harvested a few Pie Pumpkins to start my year's supply of pumpkin purée.

Which by the way- home made pumpkin purée is so so much better than canned. And so easy!
Just cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and guts, throw in the oven @350 for around an hour (flesh face down).

Let it cool a bit.
Pull the skin from the flesh (this is sounding a little creepy...but rest assure I'm still talking about a pumpkin).
And mush mush mush!
Pumpkin Purée!
Always had a love affair with fall- the obsession continues.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Winter Garden

This year, will be my first year trying a winter garden.
At my in laws, there are a few wonderful green houses to chose from- to keep crops growing through the heavy rain and cloud cover.
We started planting our seeds and starts this past week- for our first winter garden adventure, we'll be trying:
Garlic (3 varieties)
Onions (2 varieties)
Spaghetti Squash

Green house gardening and winter rules is a whole new ball game- but Mom-in-Law Claudia, my farming babies and myself are ready for it!

Three Kid's Bedroom {10x10}

Lou, Roo and Crew's bedroom is nearly complete.

We have: three beds, an armour, wee chair, clothes for three kids, extra bedding, extra towels, toy storage, coats, hats, gloves, bins for on-going consignment turn ins, and mama's scarves- all has a home in a 10x10 space.

Crew still sleeps in a mini crib, in our room- but once he joins the ladies, the bottom bunk will be his office.

Until then- we have a few decorative projects to complete and a few more shelves in the closet to cut.

Really digging their sweet, gentle room-
Perfect for imagination, creativity, calmness and cozy snuggles.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Birthday Gifts- all 3 of them.

The girls wanted to give Crew an actual gift for his birthday.

So we headed to Goodwill, where they got to spend time finding the perfect gift for brother.
Quinny got him a teddy bear that she named "Daddy" (jake was borderline offended).
And Carter picked out a pink bunny with an Easter basket in its hands. 

When we got home, I had them pick wrapping paper, and they wrapped their gift themselves.
(Jake and I splurged and got him his first SIGG sippy cup.)

We raise our babes with the values of receiving less and giving more- and now that the girls are older, the "giving" aspect of a birthday has become a really big deal- it was so joyful to watch the girls find the "perfect" gift for Crew- and the excitement of wrapping it.

Going to make this kid something soon (being #3 he has been jipped a bit)- once we're settled and my sewing machine is out and I stay awake past 9p, and..........

Crew is Turning {ONE} !!!

Our Stud is turning 1.
Crew Cotton Snell was one of the biggest surprises of my life.

I was scared for most of my pregnancy with him:
How am I going to DO this?

He has been here a year and without a doubt- one of the COOLEST babies I have ever known, and the absolute perfect ending to our family's creation.

He was born an old soul.
An understanding of life- a patience and calmness that I haven't even mastered.

He started walking at nine months.
Running at 11 months.
He says 7 words and signs four more.
He dances and laughs at jokes- plays chase and endless rounds of hide mommy's keys.
He hugs and kisses his sisters.
Pets and pulls on Molly.

Hates getting his diaper changed.
Loves being snuggled and smooched.

Still wakes up three times a night
But rarely cries during the day.

Eats more food than Carter.
Is stronger than Quinn.

Our sweet boy, Crew.

As tradition in our family, we ask for those who want to celebrate his first year of life, to give an hour of community service.

With Quinny we collected a little more than 500 pounds of canned food for the Oregon Food Bank.
For Carter, we raised $200 for the Perry Center in Portland.
And now for Crew, we ask for hours of time and love for those who love our Crew.

For those of you who wish to celebrate Crew's first year of life in giving love back, PLEASE send me a picture- I would love for him to see the difference the world saw because he turned ONE.

You bring so much joy and laughter to your sisters, Daddy and me.
Thank you for coming to us.
Thank you for choosing us as your family.
You're the perfect flank to our crazy and the perfect fit for our souls.
You'll be adored and loved for eternity.
Happiest of Birthdays to you always.

Kindergarten- WE did it!

A little while ago, I got a pep talk from a friend of mine.
Amongst her words, the ones I will always remember are these:

"You need to trust your parenting more."

Last spring when Jake and I sat through Quinny's IEP (individualized education plan/ ie. a group of six-ish professionals sit around a table, talking about your child's special needs and how their school can and will accommodate such) we left almost in tears.

Yamhill Carlton school district was and is not able to accommodate Quinny's needs- she is too high functioning, but too "disabled".
The main stream classroom was not going to work.
The special education classroom was not going to work.
The "plan" they had set out for Quinny was (in our opinion) detrimental to her self worth and ability set.
It was horrible.

After a lot of talking to Q's therapists, doctors, Patty, mom's I trust, Lou's teacher...Jake and I decided that Home Schooling Lou was going to be the best option.
We would FIND social scenarios to enhance and practice social skills and develop more friendships, but we will have her learn in a calm, quiet, SAFE environment.

And then Carter's body started to mal-function and the thought of balancing doctors, therapies, working, home stuff AND home schooling was just TOO damn much for this scallywhompis brain of mine.
Not to mention Quinny started to ask us to go to "normal school" once the back to school commercials came on in august.

Deciding to move back to Forest Grove is turning out to be one of the best decisions we have ever made.

We listened to our friend's advice (trust in our parenting) and we listened to our Quinny's wishes:

Quinn's first IEP meeting at her new elementary school (Harvey Clarke) was incredible.
Jake said:
"It feels like we're getting hugged!"

-Quinny needs occupational therapy, but the transition to special ed for such services would defeat the whole damn purpose of such- NO PROBLEM THEY SAY! We'll have a skilled aid in her classroom so she can do her OT throughout the typical day, in a typical classroom!
What? No problem?
-Quinny needs a touch screen computer, as her cross coordination brain activity is a huge deficit- NO PROBLEM...and they hooked it up WHILE WE WERE THERE!
-Quinny needs special adaptations with her fine motor skill work
-Quinny needs visuals to help her transition from activity to activity
-Quinny needs a special seat to sit in and a special heavy lap pillow for circle time
-Quinny needs sensory breaks, numerous times throughout her day (ie. playing with playdough, lining up small objects, joint compressions)
-Quinny needs visual reminders throughout her classroom to combat her constant anxiety
-Quinny needs someone SKILLED in social skills to help her navigate her peers
-Quinny needs someone SKILLED to help her get "un-stuck" when something doesn't go as planned
-Quinny needs a heads up when a fire drill will be happening, and a safe place to flee during an assembly
-Quinny needs extra time on activities...


Quinnlyn Julia Snell, is in a MAINSTREAM classroom, ALL class time- with an incredible (and according to Lou, "Calming") SKILLED aid to help her navigate over all of her barriers.

Grateful doesn't begin to describe mine and Jake's feelings right now.

It is still early in the game, but we see a team of teachers and therapists who are looking out for our Lou, with the resources to match their belief in her.