Monthly Archives: May 2011


after wondering if davey would ever want to write his letters (any time i asked, he would emphatically whine the word “noooooooo!” or the phrase “i don’t want to!”). so i decided not to push it.


dave made my mother’s day card. davey signed it himself. dave helped sam sign it. so now, every chance i get, i have davey write his name… because i think it’s so awesome that he knows how to do it!


can you see it? in the top left corner… “D A V E Y” (the “D A V E” is on an upward arc with the “Y” found on the next “line” below the “D A”).


SIDE NOTE: he’s known how to spell his name for months. you know what else he can spell? the word “free.” yep. dave got tired of davey asking if he could add certain apps to the iPad or the iPhone. so he taught him that if the app said “F R E E” than he could have it but if it had a “99″ than no, he could not have it because it cost money.


highs and lows

today was a day of highs and lows. my house was still a mess this morning when i woke up. i had planned to take D&S to visit a friend for lunch and naps. alex and i were going to spend that time at home cleaning, tidying, packing and finishing the final “to dos” to prepare this house for photos at 2:30.


but samantha woke up with a low grade fever. and alex woke up feeling crummy (day #4). while extremely impatient, i also attempted to salvage the morning. i got the kids set up at the table for coloring and drawing to keep them occupied so i could get busy with the house.


fortunately, the coloring worked for awhile. unfortunately, alex did not cooperate by going back to sleep quickly or easily. and as the minutes turned into longer and longer periods of time where i was holding my crabby, sick baby girl, i realized there was NO WAY i would be able to complete my to do list.


so i called dave but he was headed into a meeting. then i called carrilee (she was going to watch D&S for me in the afternoon) to cancel the day (b/c my kids and their germs did not need to be around her and her kids….. she’s 37 weeks pregnant). thankfully for me, carrilee is one of the best friends a girl could have. she let me cry. and vent. and be frustrated. and then she prayed. and not a short or fast prayer. but a heart felt prayer. i felt her love. her concern. and then she tried, really hard, to convince me to drop off D&S at her house anyway. [i refused - her health is more important than clean house photos!]


and then i felt comfortable texting dave and asking him to work from home after his meeting.


and in the middle of all of the above, i called the doctor’s office and got alex scheduled for a noon appointment (our doctor’s office closes at noon on wednesdays).


then i worked my hardest to put things away. tidy. organize. clean. dust. vacuum (many thanks to Robby the Robot – our Roomba for “his” help!). then dave arrived. daddy to the rescue!


i’m thankful i took 90 minutes out of my crazy day to take alex to the doctor. she has a raging ear infection. she is now on amoxicillian. hopefully she’ll return to her happy, chill, sweet self very VERY soon!


in the end, the house was clean. tidy. mostly organized. (but please, please, PLEASE don’t look in my garage!) and ready for photos when Lyle and Cherie arrived promptly at 2:30.


and about 90 minutes later, Karen (our realtor) arrived to pick up our earnest money check. and our paperwork for the bank. and to have us sign the papers necessary to put our house on the market. and now it’s real… we have a lock box on our front door:


so it’s real. we’re actually trying to sell our house. people – strangers – will (hopefully) call to schedule an appointment to see my house. my home. i’m more nostalgic about this process than i thought i would be. dave said he’s less nostalgic than he thought he would be. go figure.


here are some glimpses of my home today:


and now i can sit down, watch tv and not feel guilty. and dave, well, dave went to bed at 8:30. apparently he’s getting sick now.


so there you have it, my friends. now we wait. we wait for a Buyer. and we do a LOT of praying for God to send the right Buyer at the right time and the right price. will you join us in prayer?

on a sunny day & house update

when it’s sunny outside. and not too windy. and you’re hanging out with friends, you don’t want to be inside doing projects. instead, you’d rather be outside painting things. especially if it’s your house and you have a lot of things to paint. i hope i don’t get in trouble for posting any of these photos, but julie was having so much fun last friday….


you start by making sure your cord is long enough and will stretch around your entire work area:


then you stand at sometimes awkward angles to get the right amount of paint on each spot.

finally, since you already have black paint in your spray gun and you’re already making a mess, you bend over and spray a good coat of black on the number “5″ that your friend (aka: me) brought over to spray paint that day!


thanks, julie, for being some good entertainment on friday!


HOUSE UPDATE: our counter to the counter offer was accepted. we found out at 6pm yesterday. we have 2 days to get a letter from a lender. we have 5 (business) days to get our house on the market. we have 60 days to sell it (starting today). and interior photos of my not yet fully de-cluttered home will happen this week wednesday or thursday.


please pray for our house to sell in God’s perfect timing. we have 60 days to sell it, and we’ll be gone for 21 of those days (hooray for a family vacation)! God is in control…


wednesday: we submitted an offer on a house. seller’s response due by 9 pm on friday.

thursday: i started de-cluttering my craft space. i got totally overwhelmed several times.

friday evening: dave and i began doing small projects around the house. de-cluttering shelves and closets. packing boxes. looking at things to “repair.” we enjoyed dinner with the kids at home and then we took a walk. still no response. so i headed to the grocery store. still no offer. i got home at 8:55 p.m. turns out the seller’s response came in at 8:30 but the e-mail on my phone wasn’t working for awhile. we put the kids to bed, talked about the seller’s counter offer and made a game plan. we e-mailed our realtor and kept packing.


saturday morning: sam and i ran some errands (getting locks for storage units and picking up cardboard/packing boxes at the local paper depot) before heading to a baby shower. dave had the other two kids at home and once alex was napping, he started to pressure wash the deck and the plastic outside toys. when sam and i got home, i jumped right into packing, packing and more packing. lots of de-cluttering. and, unfortunately, most (meaning 98%) of what i was packing was stuff to simply STORE rather than sell at the garage sale. but it’s okay. we fed the kids, took a small load to the storage units and then put the kids down for a nap while dave took a LARGE load to the storage units and while i continued to pack, pack and pack some more.


by the end of saturday, the house was a MESS, 3.5 loads had been delivered to the storage units (the 1/2 load was that first load when all 5 of us drove over there – we removed the car seats after that to make bigger loads) and i felt like ZERO progress had been made.


on sunday, we woke up with TWO feverish kids (alex and davey) so we had to alternate love, hugs and cuddles with packing, cleaning and more. i finished a paint job in D&S’s room (took three coats to “repair” something i should’ve done when i first painted that room back when i was preggo with Sam!). i packed a lot more boxes. dave took one full load to storage. dave did some more exterior cleaning.


we signed counter-offer papers with our agent. we made a VERY FAIR counter offer and we’re hoping we can re-negotiate a few items after the inspection report comes back. i packed while dave made dinner (it was SOOOOOO YUMMY!). we put the kids to bed, packed some more. moved some furniture. cleared some shelves. and at 10:30 we sat down to eat a bowl of ice cream (one bowl each, not one shared bowl) and breathe.


our house is ready to put on the market. but we’re not quite ready for photos. but we’re getting closer. we need some more boxes (especially some larger ones) so we can continue to de-clutter. and that will continue to happen throughout this week. if the seller rejects our counter offer, then we will move forward anyway, hoping to sell our house before she sells hers… and then we can make an offer that’s not contingent on the sale of our house.


through all this, we know that God is in control. while the doors are still open, we will continue to walk through them.




from time to time, as a parent, it’s good to confirm that your child is “normal.” ‘cuz sometimes we wonder. what do i mean by “normal?”

- whining children are typically tired or hot or hungry or sick

- crabby children are typically tired or hot or hungry or sick

- children prefer the boxes over the toys contained inside. but really any box will do:

- the littler kids always want to “be like” and “do” the things the bigger kids are doing

- kids often want what they can’t have… especially if it is something that was offered to them first and they turned it down but another kid has/gets it and now the first kid wants it!

- want love, hugs and reassurance after getting in trouble for their naughty behavior

- will test the boundaries you have established to ensure that you are watching & that you mean what you say

- don’t like bedtime (or nap time or rest time or quiet time or whatever you call it), ESPECIALLY when they REALLY need it!



yep. it’s good to know that some of my daily and not-so-daily battles with my children are normal.


on friday night, i finally (and i do mean FINALLY) found and hung some shelves in our living room for a new look on our decor. i’ve had this crate decorated and ready to hang since January:

and i finally hung it about a month ago. but it was lonely on the wall. so on friday night i added these:

and my wall now looks like this:

i love how it turned out. see that old brownie camera (lower shelf, left side)? that belonged to Dave’s Grandpa Dunkin. we have built a camera collection and that was our first piece.


but even though my new wall decor looks clean and uncluttered, many of you know that it is official… and it has been for awhile now… we have outgrown our house because we have too much stuff. yes. lots of stuff. and too much of it. far too much. i’ve spent the past few months regularly checking and for something just a bit bigger here in lynden. i think i’ve looked at about 10-20 houses in person and countless others on line (lots and lots and lots and lots of houses on line). i kept joking that by the end of this search, i would’ve seen half of the houses in Lynden!


on saturday, while doing several other things, i ran by an Open House. dave was home with napping kiddos (he was prepping for a BIG “dinner of awesomeness” for some of his team from work). as soon as i got home, dave took a turn heading out to the same open house. and it was decided: let’s take a closer look. so that happened last night (wednesday). we walked through the house together, with the kids and with our realtor. we looked closely at everything. and then we went home to have dinner and discuss the house.


and less than 30 minutes later we called our realtor and told her we were ready to make an offer. she was prepared for that and was at our house after a quick dinner of her own. we have signed papers and submitted an offer. and we will know by 9 pm on friday (at the latest). so now we wait.


and we prepare. the offer is contingent on us selling our home. if they accept our offer, we have 5 days to list our home. (if they don’t accept our offer because it’s contingent, then we list our home anyway, try to sell it and THEN put another offer on the house). and knowing we were pretty sure we were going to put an offer on this house, today i spent 2 hours packing up a small portion of my craft space. and then i spent 2 hours prepping the twins’ room for touch-up painting. (i had to remove the rest of the border that they hadn’t already ripped off the wall. AND the glue that was used to “patch” it back to the wall after some initial removal attempts by the kids). ugh. i have a pretty blister on the side of the pad of my right index finger.


and this weekend we will DE-CLUTTER our home: bonus room, our bedroom, upstairs bathroom, nursery, office, living room, closets, garage…. we have a lot of work to do, but we pray it will be worth it! in preparation for this, i took a few “before” photos the other day to document how much work we will have accomplished when we’re ready to put our house on the market – likely early next week.


so here’s a look around the downstairs:


so keep us in your prayers. and the sellers. and pray that we can come to an agreement. and that we’ll be able to sell our house.

at two and a half…

at two and a half, this girl

- is doing AMAZING with potty training. she “gets” it. whew!

- recently experienced her first nebulizer treatment (5.11.11):

- and her first x-ray (a chest x-ray) (also on 5.11.11):

- is turning into a bike riding PRO (hooray for Strider’s pedal-less glider bikes)!

- enjoys choosing her own wardrobe ensembles

(Hello Kitty shirt and jean jacket; plaid shorts; birdie legwarmers; purple flower socks; pink shoes)

- is still difficult at bed time (comes out of bed/her room even more now that she’s potty trained… “but i haf ta go potty!”)

- still needs a bottle to fall asleep (though we’ve progressed from milk to water only) for naptime AND bedtime

- says “I wuv u”

- is ridiculously smart

- weighs about 2 pounds more than davey and may be 1/4 to 1/2 an inch taller

- is EXTREMELY stubborn

- DEFINITELY tests our parenting skills (especially when it comes to “follow through”)

- is the sweetest and most loving 2 and 1/2 year old i’ve ever known!

it’s all worth it

it was just over a year ago that i went to the OB’s office for my 24 week appointment. and they did a repeat ultrasound. and the doctor gave me scary news. and i cried. and i called dave at work and he came right over. and together we were heart broken. our sweet baby girl had some serious issues. they didn’t know how she was alive. things were missing. spots were appearing. it wasn’t good. and we were supposed to leave for a road trip to Montana in just 3 days. my OB cancelled our trip and sent us to Swedish Hospital in Seattle, instead.


and that started the crazy roller coaster of far too many doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, non-stress tests, bed rest, tears, tears and more tears…


and yet, after 15 weeks of EXTRA prayers by God’s faithful followers across the country and around the world, sweet Baby Daisy  - Alexandra Daisy Sue Dunkin – was born. HEALTHY. BEAUTIFUL. PERFECT.

and on Mother’s Day, almost exactly one year after it all began, we dedicated Alex at church. Which basically means we made a public declaration in front of God, our family, our friends and our church body that we are going to to do our best to raise Alex in a Godly home, teaching her the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ… raising her in the fear and admonition of the Lord.


and on Mother’s Day Sunday, we learned something new about our youngest daughter. we learned that her story of LIFE has already been shared with someone who didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Someone who didn’t know if God was real. Someone who didn’t know if God still worked miracles today. and after hearing Alex’s story, this person made the most important decision of their life…. they made the decision to ask Jesus into their heart. To become a believer in and follower of God.


and that, my friends, makes it all worth it. all the heart ache. all the tears. all the fears. all the unknown. the Kingdom of Heaven has a new member. the angels rejoiced. and my sweet, baby girl played a role in that decision.




yes, my friends, the time has FINALLY arrived. after battling for month, our son has FINALLY decided it’s WAY BETTER to go poo on the potty (rather than in his underwear or pull ups)!


two weeks ago he was on a roll and every day he added a sticker to his chart. [our deal was this: one poo on the potty = one sticker. a full chart (21 stickers) = a toy of Davey's choice.] one of those days, he wanted to call nana to tell her the good news. and she was so proud of davey that she wanted to send him something special. he asked for Woody the Cowboy from Toy Story 3. [you may recall he previously wanted Buzz Light Year and then he lost interest in the potty chart....]. Nana agreed to send Woody right away and i debated if davey should earn two big prizes for filling up his sticker chart.


on sunday, he added the 2nd to last sticker, leaving only ONE to go:


so on monday, when he spent about 75 minutes in our bed at naptime NOT sleeping, i wasn’t surprised to finally hear him say “mommy! i went poo on the potty!” we got him cleaned up, put on a new pull up and he was out like a light.


and after his nap, he got to put the last sticker on his chart:


and i gave him a high five:


and he started saying he wanted a Buzz Light Year (despite telling nana, just a week earlier, that he wanted Woody the Cowboy). so in the end, i gave him a choice: “you can have Woody today or Buzz Light Year this weekend.” in the end, he chose Woody. who had just arrived that same day DURING nap time!


davey is currently working on another chart so he can get a Buzz Light Year. we’ll see if that’s what he still wants when he fills up the chart!



really and truly

i am really and truly a northwesterner now, i believe.


growing up, a number of my friends had “rules” revolving around the wearing of shorts. when you’re a kid, and the weather is changing in the spring from “enh” to WARM and HOT and SUNNY, you WANT to put on shorts. you feel this itch that can’t be stopped until your pasty white legs are exp0sed for all to see (do we need to talk about the GLARE that shines off said pasty white legs?). Many of my friends’ parents laid down the law. 70*. it had to be at least 70 degrees before they could put on shorts. I remember watching thermometers rise, just HOPING, PRAYING, ENCOURAGING that last degree to spike the thermometer into the “acceptable shorts weather” category.


but now, after almost 12 years (yes, TWELVE YEARS!) of living here, i think i’ve acclimated to our weather. (one is never fully acclimated to the rain and dreariness we get throughout the winter, but i digress).


yesterday, when it was only 54 degrees outside (BUT the sun was shining bright and beautiful!), i walked out of the house in shorts and a t-shirt and a jean jacket. in my defense, i did wear socks and sneakers instead of flip flops. and i was not cold. i was not chilly. i even allowed (nay, encouraged) the kids to wear shorts.


i should say that when it’s not windy, the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day (like yesterday), 54* feels a whole lot more like 70* than like 54*.