And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Preschool

We discussed Parker's attending preschool at length this last winter. I knew he was ready, would absolutely love it, and could use a social activity outside of mom's supervision. However, preschools are so dang expensive. We are really trying to save up for a house this year, and spending $200+ on a two day a week preschool didn't seem to fit into the budget. But I still wanted to do something with him. This is why when the opportunity to do a co-op preschool presented itself, I jumped on it! Three other ladies in my ward have similar aged kids (2 boys, 1 girl) and they were in the same boat we were. Wanting to save money and still offer their child a preschool opportunity. We decided on two days a week; one day would be all together with a story-time, music, craft, and snack...and then the other day would be a social playdate with a reinforced learning from the previous preschool day. Everyone seemed excited but no one was as excited as Parker!
He has watched big brother go to school the last three years and he seriously could not wait for his turn. He had to have the first day of preschool picture with answering the questions...just like big brother. Now that we are a few months in, Parker is still really enjoying it. Most preschool days when his friends just want to play with toys, he will ask when he can do school. We are really trying to work on letters, colors, and numbers at home...and things are finally starting to sink in. We go to library story time twice a week and then random playdates throughout the week as well. Parker is learning and growing...and yellow is finally yellow and not banana (red is also red and not fire). I sure love this little boy and I'm so grateful and blessed by the opportunity I have to be a co-teacher and see his little mind expand. He has a hearty appetite for learning and I love watching him do so!!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fall into the NorthWest

There's just something about falls in the NorthWest that are just amazing. I'm not sure if it's the smells, the cooler temperatures, the pumpkin treats, or the changing colors of the leaves; but fall is seriously the best time of year!! Spending fall with my family in the NorthWest is what I imagine heaven to be. This year we decided to take advantage of the sunny Saturday and head to Liapold Farms, which is a family farm in Sandy with lots of fun activities for the kids. While it isn't my favorite farm around here, it still has all the necessities and lots of photo ops...which, let's face it, is my favorite part of the pumpkin patch!! My kids happily/grudgingly oblige so all is well (and I'm so not above bribery...so they milk it for all it's worth). While the weather was fantastic, the recent burn ban was lifted that morning, so all the farms surrounding neighbors were burning all they could before the ban was reinstated. This caused lots of smoke and haze that made for a quicker trip than we originally wanted.
The first stop was the pumpkins. Parker took his mission of filling the wheelbarrow very seriously. He carried pumpkins that were bigger than his head and we kept putting them back. He wasn't deterred in the slightest and just kept bringing them. I couldn't believe the size of pumpkin he handled like it was made of foam. Mom got all the pictures she wanted and then we quickly moved onto the fun stuff.
Liapold Farms does a nice job of catering to the kids stuff. There is a corn box, a hay maze, a dark maze, a merry-go-round, corn hole, and a few other activities. The boys ran around, made friends, and got incredibly dirty...all the things boys love. Grandpa bought caramel corn which he of course fed to Maylee and she was a big fan...as if there was any doubt. The smoke made us all want to leave a bit early and the boys were a bit bummed...but again, back to the bribery, we took them to see the Emoji movie at the Mt. Hood Theater. What a great day with family it was!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Chance of a Lifetime

When we were camping in the Redwoods we got a call from Curtis saying that his best buddy is the assistant manager for the Imagine Dragons and wanted to know if we wanted free tickets to their show in Seattle. Of course we jumped on the opportunity because Imagine Dragons is a killer band and we all love little trips to Seattle so this opportunity sounded like a win-win! It wouldn't be until October though so it seemed very far off. Well low and behold, the trip came hard and fast and before we knew it we were off to Seattle. We were so fortunate that Courtney's sister Kristy lives near Seattle and was finding a sitter for her son during the concert. She was kind enough to let us bandwagon on with her sitter and let our kids play at her house during the concert. We dropped the kids off around 6:45 and then headed out. TJ and I had a quick bite to eat at Chipotle and then went straight to the concert. We don't often go out without the kids so even a quick dinner at Chipotle is such a treat! The concert was at the Key Arena in downtown Seattle and really near to the Space Needle. Seeing the Needle at night all lit up was such a beautiful sight! We arrived at the concert during the last of the opening acts and I'm so glad we did because the band GroupLove was AWFUL and I'm told that they were way better than the first opening act. We were able to visit with family though, so all was well...and our seats were in the 4th row on the floor!! You could see the singers like they were singing to you...I have never been to a concert and sat this close before!!
Imagine Dragons came on around 9:30 and from start to finish the concert was amazing. Their songs were energetic and great, the lead singer Dan was engaging, optimistic, and a fantastic singer. There were different elements to their songs that kept the whole audience entertained, including, smoke bubbles, HUGE balloons, confetti cannons, and so much more. There was even a Tom Petty (RIP) tribute that the whole crowd sang along to. I'm not professing to be a die hard Imagine Dragons fan, but the concert was seriously amazing, and definitely the chance of a lifetime! I mean you could literally see the sweat on Dan Reynolds face!
After the concert we were so so sad to leave. But alas, the kids weren't going to drive themselves back to the hotel. We picked them up around 12:30 only to find that Maylee had been crying for an hour prior to our arrival. I felt awful! As soon as I picked her up she was soothed and silent and then didn't cry the rest of the night. I'm not going to lie, that made this mama feel good! TJ and I talked about the concert the whole way home and how much fun we had! We were however, still so glad to pick up our babies and enjoy the rest of the weekend with them in Seattle!!

Friday, October 6, 2017

7 Months

Happy 7 Months baby girl!! Getting bigger, stronger, and faster, too!! She loves exploring the world around her and I love seeing her lock in on something and then trying to figure out how to get over to it. Can't wait to see what this month has in store!

Give a Little; Get a Little

Every year our stake does a day of service, and every year we have a conflict that pulls us away from participating. So this year when we didn't have another conflict, we jumped on the opportunity to get out into the community with our kids and do some service. Our stake was meeting on a Saturday morning at the Lone Fir Cemetery and cleaning gravestones for people and families who have been dead hundreds of years. When we arrived at the cemetery, we got some gloves, some buckets, and some scrub brushes and we set to work. There were thousands of gravestones and no possible way that our stake could clean all of them...but we gave it our best shot! The boys worked so hard and really got into it; okay so maybe they really got into spraying the water...but it was helpful none-the-less! I love how much they love to serve. Dominik ate his body weight in the free snacks, but he was out there and did his best. Parker would do anything and everything to be helpful. I honestly think he worked harder than I did. We ended up cleaning several plots of headstones that were illegible prior to our work. They became these beautiful monuments that paid respect and tribute to the life that lived. It was such a great way to honor those who were someone's mother/father, brother/sister, aunt/uncle, and friend. I really enjoyed this service project and am so glad that I could be a part of it!
After the service project we headed over to Grandpa's family day of fun at Oaks Park. Since we are not technically immediate family, but living under the same roof, they let us slide in. There was food, face painting, and all around fun. The kids got ride bracelets and seriously were as excited as every time we went to Disneyland. Who would have thought?! TJ got a ride bracelet so he could ride the bigger rides with Parker, and lucky for our kids, TJ doesn't seem to get motion sick on rides like I do from merely looking at rides. I was able to go down the fun slides, but that's about all this little stomach could handle! Kids ruined me I tell ya! The kids got their faces painted which is something they ALWAYS want to do. Parker got a zombie (much to his mother's dismay), and Dominik was a cyborg. They were on cloud nine pretty much the whole day.
I loved the principle all day. Serve and ye are blessed. Give a little; get a little. Work hard and be rewarded. All messages that I want my kids to understand. Maybe not so much on the receiving end, but I love giving my kids opportunities to serve; to think outside themselves and help other people (whether dead or living). Overall this was the best Saturday ever!!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

First Day of 2nd

Dominik has started 3 schools in 2 different states and 1 different country.  This kid is resilient and courageous and ready to take on the world!  His ability to make new friends, adapt to new situations, and handle anything we throw at him with an optimistic attitude, is just astounding!

This year he started off at Spring Mountain Elemenatary School with Mrs. Giddings as his teacher. He had his father's blessing (this year grandpa joined in on the fun) and was ready to go about 10 minutes early.  I was still able to hold his hand on the way into school and he even said it was okay to give him a hug and a kiss (on the cheek) before I left him in his classroom.  I love this kid so so much and am so proud of the young man he is becoming!!