Sunday, December 10, 2017

Second Grade Struggles

This week has been a challenge for Merrick.  He has been having difficulty with a friend at school and the situation has monopolized a large portion of our week.  I spent this afternoon writing a lengthy blog discussing the situation and my feelings about what has happened.  Prior to publishing I had Jeremy read it over and, because he is always much more level headed then me, he reminded me that at the end of the day this is a public space and I should be cautious of what I posted.  After some thought I decided not to publish the original post.  Instead you are getting a lengthy explanation from me as to why there really is no post for this week.  I will be back next week though and I promise to bring lots of public space appropriate material.

Ok so on second thought I do actually have something to share.  Friday night was our church Christmas party.  We had a Hawaiian luau themed party that our Bishop and his wife put on almost single-handedly.  They did a fantastic job and how could I not share the cuteness that is my children.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

One Last Time

Last year for Christmas, Grandpa and Lollie gave us a membership to OMSI.  We have been countless times over the year and honestly I was starting to feel a little tired of it, so when the topic of this year's Christmas came up, I told them we would rather have a zoo membership this time.  Anyway, all of that to say that our days of being OMSI members are numbered.  I was feeling like before it was official, we should make one last visit so yesterday we made that happen.

There were a couple of new and different things this time than on past visits.  The traveling exhibit was all about optical illusions and there was another temporary exhibit, Gingerbread Adventures.  Both of these were favorites of the day.  Actually, I was surprised by how much fun we all had at each of the exhibits we went to.   I particularly liked going into the fetal development room and seeing just exactly how big baby sister is kicking around in my tummy.  Maybe we weren't as burned out on OMSI as I thought or maybe it was just a little bit nostalgic being the last visit.  I don't know, I just know we had fun and OSMI will be missed in the coming year.






After a long day at the museum, we came home and put the kids in the bath.  I was giving them a few minutes to play before I started to wash them and went to lay down.  Just then the phone rang and Jeremy came to tell me it was someone from church offering his season tickets to that night's Blazers game that started in 5 minutes.  As I laid in bed the prospect of heading back out didn't seem too inviting, but when I heard that the seats were in the 10th row, I decided it was worth it.  I called my parents and, like the angels they are, they agreed and came right over, and Jeremy and I headed to the game.  By the time we drove down there, parked and got to the stadium we missed the first half of the game, but the seats definitely still made it worth it.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving Shenanigans

I think I mentioned last week that the kids and I were off all this week for Thanksgiving break.  My sister, Emily, her boyfriend, Tala, and my nephew, Kai, all came into town on Monday night.  What followed was a week long party.  We cooked, cooked, and cooked for Thanksgiving, painted each other's nails, watched movies, shopped, played games, and Merrick and Kai had sleep over after sleep over.

They say that time flies when you are having fun and that is certainly true for this week.  Jeremy had to work most of the week, but has been off since Thursday and has been able to join in some of the fun.  I didn't get too many pictures from the week because we were too busy playing and I really didn't get any pictures of Merrick because I rarely saw him.  He and Kai spent the week off playing basketball, playing football on the Xbox, and riding bikes.

Emily, Kai, and Tala will be in town until Wednesday afternoon, but the party kinda has to end tonight.  The Cliffords are back to business as usual tomorrow with school and work but we have had a great week of shenanigans.  Oh, and as this week was Thanksgiving, please know how truly grateful I am from my many, many blessings.  We have been so richly blessed this year!

A few notes about the pictures.  The first two are Carrigan in her "nice and shining armor" made out of boxes she found in the recycling bin.  The third picture is the aftermath of "Auntie Minty" giving Carrigan a chocolate covered strawberry right before we got in the car.  The last picture are this kids helping Nana and Papa pick out and cut their Christmas tree.






Sunday, November 19, 2017

Jeremy's Birthday

This week we celebrated Jeremy's birthday.  I am lame and have no pictures to share but I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to our favorite guy.  Jeremy and I mostly celebrated the weekend before with a rare date night.  My parents had our kids and Ben and Becca's kids over for a cousin sleep over and Jeremy and I took advantage and went to dinner and stayed out late seeing the new "Thor" movie. 

The movie was great and the dinner was even better.  Jeremy and I have been watching our diet really closely over the last month and a half so that we could ace our health evaluation for our new life insurance policy.  I have continued to gain weight, you know the whole growing a human thing, but Jeremy, as of last weigh in a week ago, has lost 11lbs.  Anyway, we decided to ditch the new lifestyle for one night while celebrating his birthday and went to a place called "The Original Dinerant" which has been featured on Drive-Ins, Diners, and Dives.  The highlight of the meal was the Donut Burger Sliders.  One word, amazing!

Jeremy's actual birthday was a bit more subdued with a much healthier dinner, a few presents and some, very responsibly sized, pieces of cake.

Hopefully, despite the more mild celebrations, Jeremy knows how much we love him.  We are so thankful to have him as the patriarch of our family and couldn't love him anymore. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Veteran's Day at the Children's Museum

This week we celebrated Veteran's Day.  How thankful I am for all those have fought for my freedom, some of whom payed the ultimate price.  I know I am guilty of taking their sacrifice for granted but I really do try not to.  Saturday was actually Veteran's Day but Friday all of the schools observed Veteran's Day which means that the kids and I were all off on Friday.  Carrigan had been asking to go to the Children's Museum for a while now so we decided it was as good of a day as any to make that happen.

I feel like I have posted about the Children's Museum more times than I can count so I am going to spare you the details of the visit.  Instead I will just share some pictures of our time there.





The other thing I wanted to mention was that lately I feel like every time I turn around Carrigan is doing something else that causes me to shake my head.  This girl has more personality than I sometimes even know what to do with.  I thought I would share just a couple pictures from this week of Carrigan being Carrigan.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Halloween 2017

This week was Halloween.  As is tradition, the kids pick their costumes the day after Halloween last year so they were so exited that the day finally came that they got to wear them.  Merrick the Nexo Knight, Aaron, and Carrigan was princess Jasmine.  Carrigan's costume was not super weather appropriate, but thankfully we had a very mild, dry night and she had a sparkly gold sweater that match just perfectly.  Merrick's costume taught us some valuable lessons.  First, we learned that a mask with a perfect smile and eyes that always are looking straight ahead (at the camera) makes for really easy pictures.  The second thing we learned is that Lego hands do not make it easy to grab candy out of a candy bowl.

The night itself started with a Halloween themed dinner of jack-o-lantern pizza and then on to trick or treating.  As usual we went with Ben and Becca's family and followed our usual course through my parent old neighborhood.  After everyone was sufficiently tired and had a ridiculous amount of candy, we headed to my parents' for hot chocolate, cider, and caramel corn.  It all made for a great, long night.

One last thing, I guess that Merrick made his costume look so fun that Carrigan decided she needed to give it a whirl.  Never a dull moment with that girl.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Pre-Halloween

This weekend was a fun-filled, jam-packed ramp up to Halloween.  We started the weekend with Harry Potter Night at our local library.  You may remember this from last year, but in case you don't I will give you the highlights.  Each year for Harry Potter Night the library spares no expense.  Each child gets a custom made and individually named wand.  They get sorted into houses by the sorting hat and then the fun begins.  There are hunts for evil wizards in the Forbidden Forrest,  visits with owls,  searching for mystical creatures, playing "Quidditch" games, and more.  There were a lot more people there this year than last, but the kids still had a great time.






Next up on the docket was the last soccer game of the season.  This season has had its ups and downs but the boys played hard and we were particularly proud of Merrick's development of his defensive skills.  As much fun as the games are, I think the real highlight of the season for the boys was the after season party at the coach's house.


After the party we finally (after weeks of hoping to) made it to a pumpkin patch.  We tried a new patch this year and, while it didn't have quite as many things to do as our usual patch, was perfect for the amount of time we had to spend.  Some of the highlights that were different from our usual patch were pumpkin paintball shooting, tether-ball, and badminton.  The kids also enjoyed the usual hay rides, slides, cow train, and hazelnut house and we were all sufficiently dirty when it was time to go
 







As if that wasn't enough for one day, we wrapped up the day with a trunk-or-treat at our old church.  It was good to see some old, familiar faces and the kids got a haul of candy that should effectively up their sugar tolerance before the big day on Tuesday.

Whew, it was a busy weekend with lots of parties, a field trip and, of course, Halloween still to come this week.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sarah's Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday.  It was one of those rare occasions when your birthday falls on a weekend and it feels like you can actually celebrate it more than you typically do.  I had been wanting and planning to spend the day at the pumpkin regatta (people carve out GIANT pumpkins, climb inside, and use them as boats to race across a lake) but unfortunately the weather had other plans.  We had probably the wettest day of the year yesterday and after spending an hour out in it for Merrick's soccer game, I just couldn't do more of it.

Plan B, after the regatta was a bust, was bowling.  I don't think we have been bowling since Carrigan was just barely walking so this was the first time for her to really get to experience it.  We ended up renting a lane for two hours, putting the bumpers up, and just having a blast.  Carrigan still wasn't able to get the ball down all on her own so Jeremy, Merrick, and I took turns helping her.  It was a fun way to spend the afternoon and I was pleased to be able to stay dry.

After bowling, Jeremy and I went out to dinner.  We ended up cutting our date night short because my parents' (who had the kids) power went out, but it was still nice to get to have a little time alone together.

While I am not overly thrilled to be a year older, it was a great birthday.  I am so grateful for my family, friends, and those I love who made me feel special yesterday and who support me year round.






Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall Break

This week the school district held parent/teacher conferences.  That meant that the kids and I had Wednesday-Friday off of school/work.  While it feels like school just barely got going for the year, it was nice to have a couple extra days to spend with the kids and we spent it with the prefect combination of relaxing and doing fun activities.

One of the high points of the week for me was going to art lab at the Oregon City library.  The library planned an activity that involved painting on foil (and paper too if the mood struck).  Carrigan is naturally more free creatively than Merrick and immediately got to work.  She didn't stop creating until it was time to go and ended up painting her very first flower.  Merrick, who is much more analytical, took his time with his paintings and always questioned whether his paintings were turning out well or not.  I think it is good for him to be involved in these type of projects where there are no rules or structure other than just to create.




Another highlight was going to OMSI with cousins on Friday.  We arrived about noon and Jeremy was able to join us for about half an hour.  We have had our membership there for about 10 months and it is so surprising to me that after all that time I still have to pry the kids away after more than 4 hours of playing.  I think it is especially fun for them to be there with their cousins.  I had fun this time going into the fetal development room and seeing an actual fetus the same age and size as the one I feel rocking and rolling around in my tummy.  You can read that your baby is the size of a carrot all you want, but it is different to see an actual baby that size.

Finally, yesterday, Jeremy got to be home with us to enjoy the last little bits of "fall break".  We had the best intentions of going to a pumpkin patch, but after a soccer game and getting sucked down the rabbit hole of finding the perfect new basketball for the basketball season, which starts tomorrow, the day was quickly getting sucked away from us.  We decided that rather than spending the money for an all-day wrist band that we would only get to use for about 1.5 hours, we would take the time to break in our new fishing poles (you may remember that Merrick got one for his birthday and I scored a cheap Barbie one for Carrigan from a friend).  I am not sure how many fish are even around at this point in the year and we certainly didn't catch anything but we had fun hanging out at the river as a family, listening to "Let It Go" Radio on Pandora.  It was kind of the perfect end to the week.