Wednesday, August 27, 2008

School has officially started!

This morning at 7:00 am the alarm clock went off and the girls were up and going. Beds made, clothes on, hair done, breakfast, teeth brushed, Mommy got the pictures she needed and we were out the door by 8:30! We took Ethan to spend time with Grammy so that I could just focus on the girls and get them settled in their classrooms...thank you Grammy!! We got Brenna to her classroom and she was able to sit next to her very sweet friend Kyanna. We unloaded her backpack with all of her "back to school" supplies and filled her desk. She is ready to go. Next, Alyssa and I headed down to her classroom and we got her settled. She was so happy to see that her cousin (and best friend) Kylie Silves was already there. They weren't at the same table but just being in the same classroom was comfort enough. The girls are going to have a great year! It's always nice to leave them the first day feeling good about their teachers and classmates.

Ethan and I have had a great day together. Once I returned from getting the girls to school, he and I went to pick blueberries at Uncle Todd and Aunt Trisha's with Grammy and Great-Grandma Groen. It was very windy, cold and wet from the rain last night and I didn't have his boots so I thought with some snacks we might be able to keep him in the van for a little while. He shocked us! He stayed in the van for the entire time...almost 2 hours. He didn't complain once. He slowly ate his snacks and listened to his music. We were picking berries right along the driveway so he was able to see and talk to us the entire time. What a good little boy! When we got home, I thanked him for being such a good boy while mommy picked berries. He looked at me with his sweet little face and responded, "You're welcome Mommy." Melt mommy's heart! We have been home all afternoon and he is playing so nicely. I'm going to love this time at home with him!

The girls ready to go!

Brenna with her friend Kyanna

Brenna's teacher this year is Mrs. Crane.

Alyssa and Kylie ready to start 1st grade.

Alyssa's teacher this year is Mrs. Coburn.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just hours away now...

Tomorrow is the first day of school for the 2008-2009 school year. It is hard to believe that summer vacation is over. The girls are geared up and ready to go. The backpacks are filled, outfits are layed out and they have informed me that they are both taking hot's pizza, who wouldn't want hot lunch? They also informed me that they wanted to take the bus to school until Brenna realized that she wouldn't get to school early enough to pick a good seat in class. So then, they both informed me that I could take them to school but they were taking the bus home. GREAT! It will be weird having just Ethan home tomorrow. What will we do? I'm looking forward to just being able to spend some one on one time with him. However, I think he is going to be lost without his sisters around. I suppose I better be thinking about getting to bed. It's going to be an early morning!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Photo shoot of the kiddos...

On Thursday, my dear sister-in-law, Tanya, helped us out with a photo shoot of the kids. These were for Ethan's 3 year pics and school pictures for the girls. I have included just a few of the pictures for your viewing. There were so many good ones that I'm having a very difficult time choosing pictures to order. I ordered "proofs" from Costco and when I picked them up, they wanted a copyright release for the "professional" photographer. I had to convince them that my s-i-l took the's her new camera (or toy!)!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

FamilyLife Weekend to Remember

You may have noticed the new banner at the top of this page. Once again, we are putting together a group to go to the FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage conference held at the Semiahmoo Resort. This year's conference is actually available 2 weekends in November (14th-16th or 21st-23rd). We attended the conference last year and loved it! This weekend conference renews and restores marriages by clearly comunicating God's plan and purpose for marriage. Maybe you are thinking, "Great, but our marriage is top notch right now." Well, this weekend is also designed to heighten even the best of marriages. The speakers are absolutely amazing! If you would be interested in getting more information about the conference or would like registration information, you can do one of two on the banner at the top or contact us personally. Also, feel free to share this with your friends and family.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Day at the Fair

We spent a full day at the fair yesterday (Thursday). It was a scorcher but we all made it with lots of water and a mid-afternoon break to go home to eat and get a little rest. Ethan was so excited to see all the animals. His reactions were fun to watch. He was a little sad that we left last night without telling the cows goodnight. All of the kids had a blast on the rides. We spent time with our friends Mark and Misty Kok and their kids Elisha and Maddison. The kids did the rides with Eli and they all had a blast! Brenna was a real trooper going on the smaller rides with her brother...we were so proud of her! No worries she got to go on a few of the rides in the "big kid" carnival. We were able to enjoy the Horse Grandstand show in the afternoon and then watched Sterling Dietz the magician in the evening. Sterling is a 17-year old from Lynden High School who performs magical illusion shows. In fact, he has even been to Las Vegas for a world wide competition and won. He is absolutely amazing. We all really enjoyed our time watching him.

Ethan and Mommy...yeah, I'm actually in a picture!

The kiddos enjoying the cow barn.

Daddy and Ethan with the sheep.

"Look Mom...I found the pigs!"

Enjoying the rides...

Fun with Elisha...

Brenna was a real trooper! Ethan thought is was great that he was "driving" his sister.

The one and only ride that Brenna was actually too tall for...that was a sad moment for Brenna (disappointment) and Mommy (is my baby really too big to ride?). Brenna knew that the bigger rides were coming...that was a sad moment for Mommy too!

On the carousel with Misty and Elisha Kok

The guy operating the bumber cars was very nice and allowed Alyssa to ride with Brenna. Technically Alyssa was suppose to be with an adult but really wanted to go with her sister. I couldn't believe that they were on the "big kid" rides. They even went on the caterpillar roller coaster...which involved the up, down and around motion and not just the around and around with a few little dips Dragon Roller Coaster in the "kiddy carnival".

We took a break in the afternoon to watch the horse events. Ethan kept telling these horses to watch out...I think he thought they were really going to run into each other.

"Look Dad and Mom...I'm "milking" the cow!"

Silly picture...

...and another silly picture!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Family Reunion at the bay

This past weekend was spent with family...some in which we have not seen for quite some time. It was the Groen family reunion. It was nice having the reunion so close this year. The last reunion was in Leavenworth...beautiful place but too far for the kids, especially for Brenna since she gets car sick. This year Uncle Dick and Aunt Mar had everyone to their place. They have a beautiful home on the bay. The tide was perfect for getting in some clam digging and just having some fun in the sand. Although, shockingly, Ethan could not stand being wet and having sand on him. After an hour of playing he was in tears and ready to go get clean. The kids had a blast on the beach. They found a huge rock that had several star fish on it. They were each able to find one that they could pull off and hold. Of course, they all thought they could bring the star fish home. They were pretty upset when we told them the star fish had to stay with their friends.

After the clam digging was finished, we had to dig before eating to beat the tide, we ate a lot of great food. The women in this family know how to cook! There were so many great appetizers, salads and desserts and Uncle Dick and Aunt Mar really know how to cook up some great salmon! Due to fish allergies...Jason and a few others had burgers...poor people!

We also celebrated my Great-Aunt Liz's 89th birthday. We got a picture of her with some of the great-great-nieces and nephews.

It was a great day! We all had a lot of fun just catching up and relaxing in the sun.

The kiddos and their star fish friends

Digging for clams

The girls trying all the good appetizers.

Mom even made it out!! Her first big outing! Everyone was so happy to see her.

Jason, Duane and Todd...relaxing in the sun...talking berries and tomatoes?

Todd, Trisha, Kara and Aunt Cathy

Alyssa and Kara hanging out...Kara is so good taking time with all the kids. Kind of reminds me of what I use to do before having my own.

Great-Aunt Liz with just a small handful of the great-great nieces and nephews.

And our entertainment...Uncle Ron and Uncle Dick. They've always got something up their sleeves to share with the rest of us. This time was the harmonica. They had us all laughing.