Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Addink tuition tax credit

Hello friends and family,

If you pay income taxes in Arizona, please please please consider this...

Last year thanks to tax credit donations, ACSTO paid for a significant part of tuition for all three of our kids in school. So thank you very much! This is an incredible blessing to our family. We are asking for your tax credit donations again this year to help reduce the cost of sending our kids to a private school. We will now be up to four kids in school, so the tuition adds up quickly. We love Gilbert Christian School and our kids are doing really well there, and this tax credit program makes a huge difference in making the school affordable.

A couple of quick reminders, and some new information:

  • If you pay Arizona taxes, you can direct those tax dollars specifically to the Addink kids. You donate anonymously through a tuition organization, then receive the money back as a tax credit for the full amount. No net impact to your pocket, other than a short period of time between the donation and the tax refund.
  • IMPORTANT: There is a NEW credit this year that we can take advantage of. Luke will be starting Kindergarten next year, and therefore is eligible for the Overflow/PLUS tax credit. If you donate the maximum of the base credit and still owe more taxes, you can donate up to $1000 more to Luke. But this can only be applied to Luke, and only this year when he starts Kindergarten. So even if you donate regularly to another family, please consider donating to Luke as well if you still owe additional taxes this year.
  • The limits for the regular credit are $1006 for married and $503 for single.
  • The deadline is still April 15 for 2012 donations. This means you can do your taxes to determine exactly how much tax you owe so you don’t overshoot and also reduces the amount of time the money is out of your account.
  • The program is anonymous so we are not told who donated or how much an individual donated. We only find out the total amount per child. So please don’t be offended if you donate and we don’t personally thank you… we just don’t know who you are.
  • I’ve attached a donation card with our info already filled out. You just need to fill out your information and mail it in with a check, or go online and donate.

If you’ve never participated before and don’t understand how it works, please let me know if I can answer any questions. We’ve been donating to other families for years, it really is very easy, you do get your money back, and it makes a huge difference for the families who receive the tax dollars. You can also find out more information at www.acsto.org.

You can donate online here:  http://www.acsto.org/for-donors/donate-now/

If you choose to donate for our kids, please list them all on the form:  Ella, Levi, Noah, and Luke Addink.  The school is Gilbert Christian Schools, Inc.

With much thanks, Jason and Paige Addink

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy birthday baby girl!

It's hard to believe that Ella is closer to driving than she is to being born.  Nine years ago we had our baby girl...

And man is she growing up quickly all of a sudden.
For her birthday we go some free food at Joe's BBQ, Joe's Grill, and Libery Market.  We took Ella and cousins and friend to Build-a-Bear.  Opened a bucket load of presents.  And just celebrated our sweet little girl who is growing up to fast.


Happy 9th Birthday Ella!

Foot fungus! And Science!

Cleaning up my desk area at work, I found an expired bottle of tryptic soy broth.  What on earth is that?  It a liquid used as a growth medium for bacteria.  I'm not sure why exactly we had a bottle at work, but we did.

Hmmmmmm, what to do with a bottle of stuff that will grow any bacteria you put in it?  Where could I find some interesting bacteria in a house full of smelly little boys?

Swab stinky little boy feet, of course.

At first they all ran away screaming, convinced that I was going to use this bottle to grow the fungus ON their feet.  Like I was going to dump this stuff on them and the next morning they would wake up with furry fungus feet.  I finally convinced them that the foot fungus was not going to grow on their feet, but that we were going to grow the fungus that was already on their feet in the bottle.  We dug out some Q tips, swabbed, and dipped.

About a week later, and the broth was distinctively murkier than it had started out. 

I told Noah to open the bottle. I think he was mildly concerned that I was trying to get him to open it, rather than open it myself. With good reason.

The pressure had built and the rubber stopper popped out right in his face.  I think it scared him, plus he got the first blast of what smelled like a rotting carcass.

I tried to get Ella to smell it.  She wouldn't do it.

Levi and Luke cowered on the couch, and refused to get anywhere near me.  Paige told me to get the cap back on, because at this point the whole downstairs was starting to smell like the fridge had been turned off for an entire month.

So I did what any rational person would do... find the kid who doesn't know any better.  Who still trusts her Dad even though he is carrying a little bottle and telling everyone to smell it, while they all flee the other direction. She leaned right over and took a big whiff.

A few days later, I took it to work to show a few people there.  Then I disposed of it in the garbage can, but not before popping in open to see if it had gotten any more potent.  It had.  I accidentally got one drop on my finger.  Not being the brightest bulb in the box, I stuck that finger right under my nose and sniffed.

Oh. My.

I have a pretty strong stomach, and almost no sense of smell... but I about ralphed right there in the back parking lot.

Of course, that finger did prove to be a very useful sneak stink attack when I got home that day. 

"Hey kids, smell my finger!"

Ahhhhhh, science!

We still try to keep them physically active

Now that Levi and Noah earned that Wii, they would like nothing better than to park themselves in front of the TV and not budge for 39 days.  So occassionally we try to get them out for some exercise.  The Freestone Rec Center is a favorite location for keeping their brains and bodies from turning to mush.  For  a few bucks, they get to...

Play raquetball

Climb the rock wall
Play another set of twins in foosball

They finally earned it

Levi and Noah worked for months and months to earn 100 popsicle sticks with good behavior. Over the course of earning 100, I would bet they actually earned 200, since they also lost sticks for bad behavior. The second they hit 100 sticks, I got a phone call at work.

"Dad. We got to 100 sticks today. Can we get one now?"

We had a plan to buy it off a guy at work who had one he didn't use much.

"Dad. Can Andrew bring it over?"

I told them Andrew and I still had to do work.

"Oh.... ok. Tonight then?"

I asked Andrew. He didn't plan to get home until late.

"We can stay up. We will be good. We promise."

I headed home, with a plan to wait for a phone call from Andrew when he got home. Bedtime rolled around, and the desperation in Levi and Noah's voices was palpable.

"Dad. Is Andrew home yet? Did he call? Why not? Can you text him and see when he will be home? Why isn't he home yet? What could he possibly be doing this late at night!?!?"

I met up with Andrew after they were in bed, and when they woke in the morning this was waiting for them...

Yes, we actually own a Wii now. Levi and Noah have been dreaming of the day this might happen. They are obsessed with video games. When they can't play electronic ones, they play weird little finger video games with each other is some bizzarre twin language of squeaks and beeps. And now they have their very own Wii. They done surprisingly well with it so far. We've previously had some pretty spectacular meltdowns when leaving the homes of friend who own Wiis. Quitting video games has not historically been an event we look forward to around here, so I was questioning our sanity a bit by even letting this thing near them. But they have impressed me with their ability to play and then quit when they are told. Not perfect, but there certainly hasn't been a meltdown every time they need to stop.
Congratulations Levi and Noah on reaching 7 year old video game Nirvana!  You earned it!

Please don't do this to me!

A week ago I was putting Luke to bed, and he was wailing his most recent complaint...
"Pwease don't do dis to me!  Pwease oh pweeeeeease don't do dis to me!"
You would think I was getting ready to string the kid up on falsified charges of horse thievery, not go tuck him safely into a warm bed.
Even funnier though, was getting the picture.  I tried to snap one while he was wailing, but he spotted the camer and smiled for it like a little ghostly Cheshire Cat.  I told him to make the super sad face he had just been making.  More smiles.
I said "What if I told you to go to bed again?  Then would you make that sad face?"
"No, becaws you awre just teasing me."
"Ok, but you just made the sad face when I told you to go to bed a minute ago."
"Yeah, but now you awre teasing me."
"Nope.  Go to bed."
He immediately burst into tears again.  I got the picture.  Paige called me a mean ol' Dad.  And Luke survived the torture of bed without any long lasting damage.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Addink kids get groooovy!

I can't embed the video, so you will have to click the link here.  The kids thought they were pretty funny in this...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I pray a hedge of protection

So we sent Luke to a different preschool than all our other kids, at the Methodist church down the street.  And this came home from preschool on Luke's backpack today...

Hmmmmmm.  What exactly does that... do?  Paige told me about it at dinner, and our kids got wind of it and started asking all kinds of questions...

"What does a blessing mean?  Why did they pray to a backpack?  Why does Luke go to a school where they don't believe in God?"

I was just dying laughing because it made me think of these classic Tim Hawkins clips...

So seriously all my Methodist blog readers... what's with blessing a backpack? Growing up in the CRC bubble, I don't get it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Horton Creek

After our friends stood us up this weekend for a Saturday afternoon visit (Ahem!  You know who you are!) Paige had the great last minute idea to take the kids up north for a hike.  So we all loaded up in the van and headed for the high country.

The first stop was the fish hatchery outside of Payson.  The kids were impressed by the hundreds of trout swimming around in tanks.

And by the fish pumper.  It sucks them up into a big hopper, separates them from the water, and shoots the fish out a tube (usually into a waiting truck.)

Then it was down the road a bit to the Horton Creek trail.  There was much discussion over whether we would see a bear, since there were warning signs about every mile along the road.  Then discussion of what to do if we saw a bear, and if a bear would eat kids, and if Dad had his gun, and if he would shoot the bear, and if he might have to use two bullets for a really big bear, and, and, and...

We didn't see any bears on the trail.

We only made it about 1/2 a mile before the kids all started wondering where on earth we were taking them, and if we were there yet, and what there would be to do when we got wherever we were going.

Luckily that was right about where we could hear water flowing, which is music to a desert dweller's ears.
Even if it is just a muddly little stream.  They had tons of fun playing in it, and it wasn't long before they were all down to the Addink standard dress.

Sophie didn't get to play in the stream much, having the unfortunate combination of no swimming ability and no fear of water.  So she and Paige sat on the bank.

And made funny faces in the phone.

After a good long time getting numb in the cold stream it was time to head home. The kids all agreed it was a great day, and we might have to come back here again some day.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Superheros squared

They were both wearing Superman shirts underneath, just for extra superhero powers...