Sunday, September 17, 2017

Eight is Great!

A bit late, but it is about time we talked about a super important event that happened in our family early this month, Merrick's birthday.  This wasn't just any birthday, this was the year Merrick turned 8 and decided to get baptized.  I guess because it was such a big birthday we decided to really spread out the celebrating.  We celebrated as a family on his actual birthday, celebrated with our extended family and friends as he was baptized, and celebrated with his friends at a car engineering and racing birthday party.

Merrick was supposed to have soccer practice on the big day but we have had such poor air quality due to forest fires around us that they decided to cancel.  That meant we had a little extra time to celebrate.  We had homemade mac and cheese (the birthday boy's choice), cake and of course presents.

As special as Merrick's birthday was, it was nothing compared to what was coming that weekend.  On September 9th, Merrick was baptized by Jeremy and confirmed as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Grandpa, Lollie, Uncle Jensen, Aunt Emily, Tala, and Kai all came into town and the special day was made even more special by sharing the day with his bestie cousin, Kai, who was also baptized.  My heart swelled and I had a difficult time controlling my emotions as these two boys made this great decision.  I could not be more proud and I hope Merrick knows that.

As icing on the cake, we rounded out the celebrations with a joint birthday party for Merrick and his friend Jacoby.  It must have been because of sheer exhaustion after all the events of the previous weeks, but I neglected to take pictures of most of the party.  You will just have to rely on my description of what was a super fun party.  The idea was for the boys to engineer and create cars out of skewers, toothpicks, straws, tape, and wheels.  Once they created their car they could race it down a ramp track we created and then fine tune and tweak their car to make it better.  The kids got really creative with extra wheels, spoilers, fewer wheels, and sometimes just racing wheels down the track.  I think everyone had a great time and Merrick and Jacoby were definitely spoiled by their friends.

It has been a whirlwind!  We love Merrick and couldn't imaging our family without him and were so excited to get to celebrate him...for a nice long time.  Now I need a nap.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

First Days of School

The last two weeks have been a complete whirlwind.  Both kids started school, I started work, Merrick had a birthday, we took a quick vacation to San Francisco for my cousin's wedding, family came into town, and Merrick got baptized.  WHEW!  I am tired just writing about it.

Today I will try to start covering these many events with a post about our back to school days.  Merrick's first day was August 29th.  We were all lamenting the early August start to school this year, but things went from bad to worse when Merrick got his teacher assignment and didn't get the teacher he was hoping for.

The first day of school came and it was a disaster.  Merrick was beside himself that school was awful, his teacher was the worst, and he wasn't going back.  He came home, fell face first onto the couch and cried.  I told him we were going to get slushees and to get in the car.  On the way there we talked about his experiences and how I really wanted him to have a good year.  We talked about looking for the positive things in his teacher and his day.  I told him that I would pay him $.10/day for any day that he could tell me three positive things about his day (2 things about his teacher and 1 about his day in general).  This has seemed to turn things around for him.  Now that we are looking for the positives our outlook seems to be better overall.

As for Carrigan, her first day was September 5th.  She had a great first day and as of now seems to be doing a much better job this year of following the rules and routine.  It is exciting to see how much she has grown over her years of preschool.

One last note, over the last few weeks my preschool team (Lora, my mom, and I) have worked really hard giving our preschool room a complete make over prior to the start of the school year.  I am really happy with how it turned out.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Last Days of Summer

Summer is very rapidly drawing to a close.  Merrick starts school on Tuesday and Carrigan and I start a week from Tuesday.  I knew going in that it was going to be a short summer, but it truly felt like a blink of an eye. The last few days we have tried to make the most of these final moments with lots of family fun.

Two weeks ago my parents moved. For the next year and a half they will be house sitting for a family we know who is serving a medical mission in Japan.  Their house sits on a very large piece of land with swings, slides, forts, and a pumpkin patch.  To say that the kids are enjoying Nana and Papa's new house is the understatement of the century.  We have spent quite a bit of time over there recently.

Speaking of Nana and Papa's new house, we all enjoyed it this past Monday as the perfect viewing spot for this week's solar eclipse.  We live just outside the totality plane, but got to enjoy pretty spectacular views with 97-98% of totality.  We also got to see "shadow bands" or "shadow snakes" for about 30 seconds.  They say this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it felt like it.  It was awe-inspiring.

The other big highlight of the week was a trip to our local amusement park, Oak's Park.  We went with Becca's family and played hard the whole day until they shut the park down.  This has become somewhat of a family tradition in the last week of summer and one that the kids really enjoy.

And now it is time to get back at it.  This coming year is going to bring exciting changes for our family and hopefully some learning and growth too.   Here is to all that is to come.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tie Breaker

We have some exciting news to share this week!  We are expecting baby number three!  We have been dying to let the cat out of the bag on this one and finally decided it was time.  Right now I am a little over 12 weeks along (that puts my due date at Feb 23rd) and I am really looking forward to wrapping up my first trimester and hopefully starting to feel a little better.

We don't yet know what we are having, though with new genetic testing options we could find out at any time, but we are definitely a house divided on what we are hoping for.  Merrick really wants a brother.  Carrigan really wants a sister.  Jeremy and I are just relieved that it isn't the twins that the kids were really hoping for.  I have been trying to decide if I have been less sick (like with Merrick) or more sick (like with Carrigan) and it seems to be somewhere in between.  Only time will tell...

Boy or Girl, we are so happy to have this little one join our family!  We feel so blessed!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

12 Years, But Who's Counting?

This week's highlight was Jeremy and I celebrating our 12th anniversary.  On Friday, my parents were babysitting Ben and Becca's kids, because they are out town, so they volunteered to take our kids for a slumber party as well.

Since we were suddenly kid free, Jeremy and I decided to go out for a nice long, relaxing dinner and then come home to a very quiet house for a peaceful night in.  The icing on the cake was a full night's sleep with no kids waking us up in the middle night.

The next day we rounded out the celebration with some errands and going to see the Broadway rendition of Newsies (they filmed it live and where playing it at our local theater).

It was the perfect 24 or so hours to rest, recharge, and to enjoy some time together.  I can't believe we have been married 12 years, I tell you it happened in the blink of an eye.  Of course I neglected to get any pictures taken of us on our end so here a a could of picture of Carrigan and Isabel hanging out in the hammock at the sleep over.  It looks like they had as much fun as we did.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Slow News Week

This week has been what you would call a "slow news week" with not much to really report.  We spent the week taking walks, going to parks, swimming and picking berries.  Here are just a few random pictures that I captured this week: Carrigan at one the the parks, Carrigan crashed out in our bed as she is refusing to go to sleep in her own bed lately, and a bunny we saw while picking berries.  That is about it for this week.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Boy's Day/Girl's Day

So this week's blog title is not 100% accurate, but we will cover that in a second.  On Friday Carrigan and I got to spend the day together having a Girl's Day (or "Sister Time" as she likes to call it).  This is because most of the boys in the family (plus Nana) went to Seattle for the day for a Mariners game.

The morning started out with Becca and her littles (Lincoln and Isabel) for some errands and a trip to Ikea, which turned into a whole production because when doesn't it?  By the time we made it outr of Ikea and through the traffic it was 2:30 so we decided to stop at Chick-fil-A for lunch and to let the kids play.  The rest of the day was about fulfilling all the little one's hopes and plans they had made for the day.  We started with the "Little's Party" at Becca's house that Lincoln had planned.  Then at about 7pm, Carrigan and I set out to do her planned events that included Menchies frozen yogurt and watching Pocahontas.  We didn't get wrapped up with the movie until almost 10pm so it was a late night for Carrigan.  Not as late as for the boys though...

The boy's (and Nana's) day started with the drive to Seattle.  From all accounts this was uneventful.  Once they arrived, they headed for a late lunch at our favorite Root Beer place, XXX Root Beer.  After that it was off to the game so they could be there in plenty of time to get their free t-shirts and watch bating practice.  Merrick almost caught a ball that was thrown to the crowd by Aaron Judge, but a teenager stepped in front of him.  The game itself was a blast and while the Mariners lost, they were all excited about getting to see a home run that Aaron Judge nearly hit out of Safeco field.  After all the excitement they still had to drive home and didn't end up making it back until about 1:45am.

Everyone was excited to tell each other about their day the next morning.  It was great day had by all.