Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Steppin' Out

Danee has been walking around furniture for months. We have been waiting...and waiting for her to attempt letting go, even if to just stand there.

She started pushing her toys around the floor several weeks ago using everything that wasn't bolted down as a walker, laundry baskets and garbage cans not excluded.

Then Friday night as we were getting ready to head out and watch Tyler's play I put on her new Sketchers "Twinkle Toes" shoes and off she went... 5 steps as if she had been doing it all along! I was so surprised all I could muster up was "Mike come see what your daughter is doing!". He missed it but the room full of people did not. Since then she has tried out her new skill a little each day. More and more finding herself strolling across the room before she realizes what she's done and sits down. Oh yes folks we are close!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Easter Week Activities

(By Mike Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs) - click on over!

Where last night we shared a story that did a good job of translating The Atonement into something we can understand with our feeble 2010 minds, tonight we went hardcore with the real thing.

Reasoning that the kids are all old enough now, we rented 2004's The Passion Of The Christ and watched it tonight. Cindy and I had seen it in the theater when it first came out, but not since then. It was amazing how clearly we both still remembered it now... It's powerful like that.

It was really good after the movie to ask the kids what they got out of it.

Ellysa was touched by the human-ness of our Savior, which was illustrated through the relationship he had with his mother, Mary. One scene in particular - the same scene that had a huge impact on Cindy six years ago was the one that got her. Jesus was carrying his cross up the hill, when he makes eye contact with Mary, standing off to the side. She flashes back to a time when he was younger, and was running and fell, and she dropped everything to go comfort him. When it flashes back to the current events, he falls under the weight of the cross, but she is unable to help him. It's heart wrenching.

Andy said that watching the whole last half of the movie was the most painful experience he's ever had in his life. It's true - it is NOT an "enjoyable" movie. It's ludicrous to think that taking on the sins of the world - past, present and future - would be enjoyable... But even still, those feeble 2010 minds I mentioned have a really hard time wrapping themselves around something bigger and deeper than "ooh, I need to check facebook!"

Kaylee was just sobbing quietly when it ended. She, out of all of our kids, is the empathetic one. The one who is so in tune with, and concerned for everyone else's feelings, that she will often sacrifice her own. Even though our whole family participated in the Jesus of Nazareth outdoor Passion Play in Puyallup for several years, Kaylee was too young to remember much about it. Plus, she was usually facing the audience, not watching the action, so she was very taken aback by how horrifying the treatment of this sinless man was.

Cindy and I both zoomed in on a line we hadn't remembered from our previous viewing. It was during a flashback to Jesus' teaching days, when he was preaching the importance of loving one another. And not just the people who love you back, but your enemies as well. "If you only love those who love you, what reward is there in that?" Brought home to me that only showing love to those you love, like, and are comfortable with, is like doing a child's 8-piece jigsaw puzzle over and over, well into adulthood. It's shallow, and there is no chance for the satisfaction of knowing you've grown. There's our principle to work on...

Now it's way past bedtime, and the kids are tucked in for the night. Time for the parents to do the same.

Tomorrow night's activities have been promised to be of a lighter hue!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Donuts and Easter!

At this time of year we as a family always make time to remember "why?" we celebrate Easter.

We love the Easter Bunny, coloring eggs and when the kids were younger the BIG Easter egg hunts. I especially love the family dinner with ham and cheesy potatoes. (My brother Charlie makes a mean Coke a' Cola ham but I will share that at a later time)

I decided this year that I really wanted to do something each evening as a family to remember our savior and the great sacrifice that he made for us. And so I have something planned for each night as we study what the scriptures describe as Christ's last days on earth.

Tonight we read the Parable of the Donuts and as a treat we had... you guessed it!

Donuts! I love how the kids each took something different from the story and how no matter how many times or different ways we hear it there is always something to learn.

I am grateful for my savior Jesus Christ, and hope that you will take time this Easter season to ponder his life on this earth.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beauty and the Beast, But Most Of All, Gaston!!

It's finally here!!

Officially, opening night was last night... but Tyler's cast had their big debut tonight!

One more show with Tyler's cast: Friday night at 7!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Be Our Guest!

Next Week is Tyler's last play of Elementary School... They always do an amazing job, and this year he's landed his biggest role yet!

In their production of Beauty and the Beast Jr, Tyler takes on the part of Gaston - complete with vocal solo and tough thuggery!!

We would love to invite all of our local friends and family to join us next Wednesday and Friday - the nights when his cast is performing - for what will undoubtedly be a memorable night!

Last year, Tyler played Charlie's dad in Willy Wonka Jr, and it was completely enjoyable. Can't wait to see his turn as Gaston!!

Way to Go, Tyler!! We're SO Proud of you!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

O' Malley the Leprechaun was here again!

(By Cindy Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs) - click on over!

Every year my daycare is paid a visit from a special visitor. This year I thought for sure we would catch him. Several of the girls made a Leprechaun trap from an old Oat meal box. It is a good one too!

Not only did he get away but he made a HUGE mess of the daycare! The plus side is that he did leave a trail of delicious golden treats. The kids look forward to this year after year. One of my parents informed me that her daughter had been counting down the days since March 1st.
I love how the excitement builds for this day. And try as I may that silly little Leprechaun finds a way to thrill the kids.

Ready. Set. Go!

We have to let them go in stages. The BIG boys run over the little ones!

By the time the PJ's found all the treasures the play room was back to normal.

This year I made a paper mache Leprechaun. We used him to play Hide N' Seek. He was stuffed with golden coins. Nicholas found him first and then hid him again. The kids played many rounds in the back yard this afternoon. Then it was time for Shamrock Pizza (cheese pizza on a bagel with a Bell pepper slice on top) and mini green cup cakes! Yum!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Makin' up

(By Cindy Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs) - click on over!

Make up has become a frequent topic of conversation around here lately. The girls have decided that they love the stuff and I mean l.o.v.e. it, the brighter, the thicker the better. Now don't get me wrong I love my make up too, but I tend to think of it as more of an enhancer then over all change my face sorta thing. And I have no qualms about going out in public with out it.

I think that there is a place for make up and certainly there are people who should wear it and choose not to, just as there are those that should find a scrub brush and lighten up a bit. There is daytime make up, evening make up and my daughters favorite Theatre' make up. My favorite is the mask... do these peoples mirrors not show that dark line?

Anyway, I was thinking yesterday about my first make up experience and had to laugh. I think that my teen make-up was most definitely a outward showing of what was going on inside. This was true especially during my butt rock days. Can you say eyeliner??? oh yeah I was all about the stuff "here comes eyeliner and her ahem... Cindy".

I remember the first summer I began to play with make-up. I was going into the 9th grade and had spent a couple months in Rosamond California (smack dab in the middle of the Mojave dessert) with the Muzzy's. The Muzzy's had an older teen daughter named Brenda. Brenda taught me how to apply Make-up . I wore bright purple eyeshadow with blue eyeliner and lots of blush. I also used peroxide on my hair that summer, which resulted in a horrible shade of orange. Come to think of it, I must of come home looking more like a clown than anything else. At least I was tan.

My point is I remember the joys of make -up. I also remember my Dad telling me I looked like a hooker and to go take it off! I remember DOING it. No Fuss. I just did it. My girls seem to think I am old fashioned, "times have changed'. "this is how people wear their make-up"... Am I old fashioned. Have I stopped being fun and daring? Or do I just want my babies to look their age?

My question to you our lovely readers.

How old were you when you were allowed to wear make-up?
Did your parents put up parameters about it?
Did you start slow or go for it?
Do you allow your teen daughters to wear the stuff?

We would love to hear your opinions on the matter and of course fun tips for applying would be great too!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hell Week Is Over!

GO Lady Viks!!

Curtis High School girls water polo season has started. Ellysa has been up, out the door and in the pool by 5:00 am all week! Once in the pool it is an hour and a half of extreme training. Do you know these girls are treading water while holding five gallon jugs full of water above their heads in the water! She amazes me every year with her determination. Ellysa made Varsity again this year and we are so proud of her. This has to be the most exciting game to watch ever, especially when your child is in the water. Those girls are brutal!

In other news Ellysa also landed a job this week. She is the newest swim instructor for our local YMCA! She has had a good week for sure. This weekend, she sleeps!

I love you Scooter, keep up the good work!

Monday, March 08, 2010

When the Parents Are Away the Kiddos will Play...

(By Cindy Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs) - click on over!

Kaylee and Tyler decided to go Gothic in our absence. Should we be concerned? Nah...

They look good, just sayin'

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Could it be, we're coming home?

(By Cindy Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs) - click on over!

Good News! After this mornings breathing treatment the RT deemed Danee's lungs clear! She went all but one hour last night with out supplemental oxygen and has had plenty of wet diapers in the past 12 hours! (thanks to the IV) The word on the 7th floor is that we should be coming home soon. :)

We just need to get this girl to drink and keep herself hydrated. As of this morning it was a NO GO! She just isn't interested. But she did eat a pancake and some chocolate pudding.
Any tips any one?

Today they brought in a play mat and I am bringing some of her favorite toys from home for her to play with. I can't wait to see her award winning smile again.

Thank you SO much Sister Garlock, and Sister Van Valkenburg for feeding the big kids in our absence and Sister Farnes for the sleep over with Kaylee. We are very grateful for ALL the support we have been given. We truly are a blessed family.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Comic Relief

(By Mike Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs) - click on over!

Last week, Cindy pre-ordered tickets for the whole family to go see the new Alice in Wonderland movie today.

Obviously, with the events of the past couple days, things got tricky... And with the amount of sleep Cindy and I got last night, there was no way we would stay awake through a movie...

So my sister Linda and her husband Eric (honestly two of my favorite people in the world) came to the hospital to watch Danee. Cindy dropped off the kids at the theater, and now we're going to get a much needed nap...

But on the way to the theater, Andy dropped a line of pure gold:
You know, you bought all these tickets, and now you can't even go... We're on the brink of bankruptcy... All I can say is that Tim Burton better have made a VERY GOOD MOVIE!
This was followed by a rant about how if the movie isn't as good as it needs to be, Andy will sue Mr. Burton, who will in turn pay for Danee's medical bills.

Pretty brilliant plan, actually!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Scenes From The 7th Floor

(By Mike Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs) - if you don't see the pics, just click on over!

Last night was a little rough. It started out positively enough...

That's Danee actually drinking a bottle. She hadn't done that since breakfast time Thursday. The problem is, about an hour after polishing off that bottle, she got a breathing treatment and screamed so hard she puked up the entire bottle. All over both of us. And only she had clean clothes...

The good news is that not too long after that, she settled in for a good night's sleep.

Well, actually it was a PRETTY GOOD night's sleep. She kept waking up to make sure Mommy was still there. I was there too until midnight when I admitted defeat and acknowledged there was only room for one parent to sleep in the room.

But this morning brought a slightly closer to well Daneekins... Here are a few highlights from her second day at the hospital.

First, she woke up and refused to eat. No bottles, no apple sauce, no nothing. I asked the nurse to bring in some Cheerios, since she'll almost always eat them. They didn't have any Cheerios (Too Healthy?) but she brought some Froot Loops, which were even better!

Oh wait... Let me check this out..


Nope. We'll likely be paying this little visit off until Danee graduates college, but the fine folks at Mary Bridge are pawning off GENERIC CEREAL to their unsuspecting guests.

Luckily, Danee didn't care. She ate a few handfuls of cereal, then finally agreed to drink a bottle. And then another.

Then a nap, another breathing treatment, another bottle, and she was feeling pretty darned good!!

I finally came home for a shower, and to update the blog, but am now heading back to the hospital.

MAJOR THANKS to our wonderful friends from church who are driving our big kids all over creation, feeding them, and helping us out at the hospital. You guys are the best the Earth has to offer! :)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Back To The Hospital

(By Mike Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs) - if you don't see the pics, just click on over!

Danee came down with a cold on Monday - and yesterday it was sounding pretty bad...

This morning at about 1am, she woke up crying, and had very shallow, very quick breathing. At 11:30 this morning, Cindy decided enough was enough and took her to the doctor. The doctor didn't take long before forwarding them on to the ER at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.

Danee has been diagnosed with Viral Pneumonia and/or Viral Bronchitis.

She HATES having anything put on her, HATES anyone poking at her with needles, and HATES being held still against her will.

Needless to say, our baby girl is a very unhappy camper today.

The one bright spot was a total surprise... An old friend who we haven't seen for a couple years was a doctor at Madigan. We didn't know, but he's now a doctor at Mary Bridge, and when he popped into our room we were surprised and instantly comforted by the familiar face. He even got Danee to (mostly) agree to having her heart and lungs listened to...

Thanks Dr. Tim!!


I'm off... gotta get back in with my baby...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

It's All Fun and Games...

It takes a special kind of guy to not only allow a child care to run his home, but to participate in it! Mike is a very loved guy around here, always ready to be pounced on by menacing Puddle Jumpers. Ya know everyone thinks it is me that the kids will remember, but I'm pretty sure this guy will bring back smiles as well.

Thanks honey for always making time for these kids of ours :)

Oh and timing is everything, this was going on a couple mornings ago while trying to clean up and get ready for school!

Monday, March 01, 2010

A Dozen Years of Tyler!

(By Mike Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs) - if you don't see the pics, just click on over!

Last weekend, we celebrated Tyler's Twelfth Birthday!

To honor the occasion, here are a dozen random pictures of Tyler being Tyler.

And finally, here are a dozen things we love about Tyler:

  1. He is a very funny kid - quick on the snappy comeback, and he can get Cindy into a giggle fit that just won't quit.
  2. He has earned his nickname of "Favor Boy." When something needs to be done around here, Tyler will eagerly volunteer to do it... with most things, at least!!
  3. He's always up for doing something! Whether it's going out to play frisbee or going to the store to run errands, if you shout out "Who wants to go with me..." Tyler will almost always be first to answer.
  4. He and Kaylee have one of the best sibling relationships I've ever seen. LOVE watching them together.
  5. He's not (t00) easily embarrassed. His school puts on very high quality plays every year, and Tyler has been involved in them for as long as he's been able to. Last year he played Charlie's dad in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and this year he's landed the part of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast!
  6. He's very polite - often the first in the room to say thank you for a good dinner.
  7. He loves helping in the kitchen. Favor Boy makes another appearance in the list... Even though his eagerness to help has backfired on him a few times...
  8. He's so delightfully gullible! From trying Smoked Salmon on a Saltine Cracker with Chocolate Frosting, to trying home made Play-Doh, Cindy has had hours of fun tricking Tyler into doing and/or trying things that his common sense SHOULD tell him to avoid...and...
  9. He's a VERY good sport! With all the times he discovers that he's been flim-flammed again around here, he typically laughs, shrugs it off, and starts plotting his comeback on whoever administered the flim-flammery.
  10. When I took him to the Space Needle for his tenth birthday, he came up with an interpretive dance to a song we were listening to. Believe me, this kid can interpretive dance!
  11. He is the epitome of a pre-teen boy... Four day weekend at dad's house with no shower?? Sure, if we don't gently remind him that he stinks!!
  12. We just love the young man Tyler is growing into, and couldn't imagine life without him!