Saturday, September 26, 2009

What have we been up to??

Wow...time really has a way of getting away from me. I'm sure some of you have been wondering where in the world we have been and what we've been up to. So, I thought I would take a moment tonight to share what's been going on! :)

First, I have to share the new wall decor in our main bathroom. My mom found these for me at Goodwill. They look so good that I had to share. So, here is a close up...
And, here is a picture taken a little bit further back. I can't get the whole bathroom in the picture, sorry!
Ethan has been loving Preschool. We had a few days that he wasn't excited about me leaving him there and actually had tears one of those days but always had a great time and couldn't wait to tell me all about his afternoon once I picked him up. This past Thursday and Friday were his best days and didn't even have me walk him all the way in. He's growing up so fast. Any way, Friday, when we got home, he was sitting on my lap telling me all about what he and his buddy had done together at Preschool and one of the stations he was at was the computer. I asked him if his teacher helped him with the game and he informed me, quickly, that no she did not help him because he could do it all by himself now. I almost cried. You see, here at home, when Ethan is on the computer there is always a sister at his side running the mouse and he just tells them what to do on the game or site. Jason and I have tried to encourage him to do it himself but he always tells us to just do the mouse and he will tell us where to point it. So, this was a huge accomplishment. I told him he needed to have some special time on the computer at home so that he could show Daddy what he had learned. So, here he is folks...Ethan, on the computer, all by himself!!!
He was having so much fun with!
And then today, we had volleyball and soccer. I'm still really bummed that I didn't get good pictures of the volleyball player but at least in these ones you can see her. So, they are brighter just grainy. :( I'm sure my camera expert will have a solution for me soon and I will have better pictures to share in a few weeks. (So, camera expert...and you know who you are...HELP!!) Side note...this was the first Saturday that Jason and I were able to watch full games for both of the girls. Finally, the schedules worked in our favor!!

Brenna has improved so much over the past couple of weeks. She was really moving around to get the ball and looked so natural out there. She was even able to serve the ball over the net once today. This is such a hard thing for these girls to do. It's so fun to watch all of them get excited when they serve the ball over. It is a huge accomplishment for them! Here she is watching the first serve of the game, ready to play!
And, here, she is taking her turn at serving. Unfortunately, this was not the one that went over but she was so did hit the net, just not over.
Action shot!! Not a good one, but at least you can see that she really does go for it! It is so fun to watch Brenna play a sport that she actually enjoys and one that she chose! If you know of any volleyball camps out there, please let us know! We want to keep her involved as much as possible. We have been looking at the LHS volleyball schedule to find a game or two to take her to. I think she would have a great time watching the high school girls play.
Once Brenna's game was over, we headed over to Bender Field for Alyssa's soccer game. It was fun to see her play. It had been 3 weeks for me because I have been with Brenna at volleyball. She looked so cute out there.
For those of you wondering...yes, she actually runs up and down the field when she isn't playing defense. Here is a picture for proof! :)
And, another one!! :)
The girls were exhausted when they got home today so they had a little break before we got to our weekend chores. We got the house cleaned and then headed outside to help with yard work. Let me tell you...we had a lot to do out there! Jason got the lawn mowed and edged and then he pulled out most of our least the stuff that was no longer producing any veggies. The girls helped us keep track of Ethan, for the most part...ha! And me, well, I was the one with the electric trimmer in my hands. I actually had Jason tell me that I overwhelmed him with the amount of trimmings we have to pick up. (It had been awhile since we had pruned and there were some things that were out of control!!) We were so exhausted when finished that we just raked everything up into piles and will finish picking the piles up tomorrow afternoon.

Tonight, we loaded the kids up in the van, stopped at the McDonald's drive-thru for dinner and headed to Costco. We were hoping for no slow traffic because it was almost 5:10 when leaving McD's and Costco closed at 6:00. We made it there and were loading the van by 6:00. From there, we stopped at WalMart for a few things and then home to unload it all.

Once we got everything unloaded, I started in with the meat that we purchased. I was so excited because I was ready to get 8 meals in our freezer. This means that I have at least 16 meals that I don't have to plan for our family...we get at least 2 nights out of each meal!! This leaves me more time in my day to spend with my family!

Well, I've kept you reading long enough. Thanks for sticking with me. I realize that sometimes, when it's been awhile between postings, that things can get long. For now, it's time to get ready for bed so we can be up on time to get to church tomorrow. I'm excited to hear what Pastor Craig has to share with us! His messages have been absolutely great!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The silence... you hear that? What? You can't? That's because there is no noise! The t.v. is off, the stereo is off, the kiddos are all at school, Jason is at work, and me...I'm hear in the silence! I'm loving it! This is the first day since school, and Preschool (Ethan won't let us call it school), started that I have been home in the afternoon to enjoy this thing called SILENCE! This morning Ethan was home with the t.v. on and all of his animals out (so he was making animal noises) and I had my niece. I was busy caring for Paige, until she went down for her 2-1/2 hour nap, and freezing blueberries and beans.

I just got home a few minutes ago from taking Ethan to Preschool and Paige went to spend the afternoon with Grammy. I walked in and this feeling of calmness came over me. Don't get me wrong. There is plenty to do around here and I will be getting to that list of to-do's shortly. But for now, I am just enjoying the silence and the noise of the keyboard as my fingers are typing. This is the life! I love my kids and I love having them with me but this time to be alone and do the things that I need to do is great! I don't remember the last time that I was home, during the day, alone. Alone to do whatever it is that I need to do or even want to do. I can choose to do my chores that are waiting for me OR I can choose to just sit here on the computer...catching up on the outside world or digi-scrappin'.

What will it be like when Ethan is in school full days? Imagine all that I will be able to with friends, get my chores finished without a child interrupting me, enjoy the quiet of the home before everyone gets home and the evening rush begins. Wow...things around here are really starting to change.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The weekend re-cap...

Saturday morning started out with me working at 6:00 am :( and then getting home in time to get the girls ready for their morning of sporting events. Alyssa had to be at the soccer field at 9:00 for pictures so of course, I had to make sure she was looking cute, and then her game was at 10:00. So, she and Jason headed out the door by 8:45. Then, it was my job, with Ethan in tow, to get Brenna to the middle school in time for volleyball practice before her 10:00 game. Needless to say, this was a morning of "divide and conquer". When we got home, we each had to re-cap the games for the other parent. This is going to be so hard...not being able to see every game for each of the girls.

Anyway, Alyssa had a great soccer game...even though her team lost this week. From what I hear, she ran most of the game and kicked the ball 3 or 4 times!! This is such great progress and I can't wait to watch her play. Brenna had her first game this week and was very nervous about not being able to serve the ball over the net. I reminded her of what her coach had said, "I don't care if we win or lose, I just want us all to have fun." She felt a little better. And then, during the game, she realized that most of the girls couldn't get the ball over the net. And, guess what! She did it! She served the ball and it went over and her team scored a point from the serve! She was so excited and the whole team had a lot of fun! I only wish I had some good pictures to share with you. The lighting in the Lynden Middle School gym is awful for taking pictures with. They are all turning out dark...doesn't seem to matter if I have the flash on or off :(

We spent the rest of the day getting things done in the yard...mowing, edging, pruning, harvesting from the garden, etc.

Then, last night, Paige came and spent the night because Todd had to work today and Trisha had to go do a Farmer's Market down in Seattle and was leaving very early. She was such a good little girl. She slept all night for auntie and so happy when she woke up this morning. We headed off to church, had a great time at the Hot Dog BBQ after church, and then came home for a relaxing afternoon.

Tonight, we had our first official start-up of Christ Group. We took the summer off from meeting and it seemed like forever since we have seen each other. It was great to get back together and get things figured out for meeting on a regular basis again. We have been with most of the families in our group for 5 years (others have joined later on) and absolutely love everyone in it! It's just another family for us!! The kids were all so excited to see each other. They were completely wound up and it didn't help that we had brownies and ice cream for dessert tonight.

Now, we gear up for another week. In fact, it's the first full week of school for the girls and it will be Ethan's first 4-day week of Preschool. There are lots of things on the calendar this week to keep us busy. I'm just hoping for no meltdowns along the way!

Friday, September 11, 2009

"I see the cloud maker!"

So tonight, we were downtown Bellingham running some errands. As we were driving down Cornwall towards Holly Street (and the water), Ethan gets all excited and says, "Mommy, I see the cloud maker." At first, Jason and I were puzzled. "Did he just say what I think he said?" We immediately start looking around us and there on the water front was a bunch of steam coming from the GP area. We asked him if that's what he was seeing and he said, "Yes! The cloud maker." We got such a good laugh from this. Oh these little creative minds. I guess in his mind, something needs to make the clouds and send them up in the air.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

1st day of Preschool

Today was Ethan's 1st day of Preschool. He was so excited! We were at McDonald's this morning with some friends and he was telling everyone that he was 4 and going to Preschool. He couldn't wait to get there. I was able to get a quick picture of him before getting in the van. I told him I needed a picture of him before school just like the girls did on their first day of school.
We got to the school and he hit the ground running. He couldn't wait to get in the door.
He immediately found his cubby and got things put if he had been doing this forever.
Here he is handing in his very 1st book order...we received it on registration day so that's why he had something to turn in already. He can't wait for his books to arrive. Hate to tell him this, but it's going to be a couple of weeks.
He sat down and got right to playing. He was so in to these "new" blocks that I couldn't even get him to look up at me for a picture. I guess this is a good thing!
He had a great day at school today and is very excited to go back again tomorrow to see all of his new friends. He has Preschool Tue-Fri from 12:15-2:45 this year. It's weird to think that I will be childless 4 afternoons a week. It was hard leaving him today but I was so happy that he didn't have any problems with me leaving. Last week for registration day, he was glued to me and not wanting to leave my side so today was a bit of a relief. I had visions of him holding on to me and not wanting me to leave. You just never know with him.

Exciting Weekend

This past weekend was busy but fun! Friday was my cousin's wedding. I am our church wedding coordinator so I was involved because of that but because Kara is my cousin, I told her she was getting the "royalty" treatment! I love weddings and I love doing whatever I can for the bride.

While Kara and I were meeting one night to go over wedding details, it came up that she didn't have transportation to their picture site. She was trying to figure out what would be best to ride in because of her dress. I told her that the problem was solved. I would just take out the center row of seats in the van and there would be plenty of room. So, that's exactly what we did. The week of the wedding, I decided that I wanted the van to look a little extra special for her. So, I went to the Dollar Tree in Bellingham and found this garland. I thought it looked great and it looked even better once we got Kara in the van. It was a very fun day and I was so honored to be as involved as I was. Kara is a very special girl and I am so happy for her!
Saturday morning was early...especially since Friday night had been a late one with the wedding. It was our first weekend of sports. Brenna had 8:00am volleyball turn out. She was so excited and she did so good! I think we have finally found a sport that she enjoys!! YAY!!!!! I am really looking forward to watching her games this fall. She is one the same team as two of her really good friends so that makes it even better. She can't wait for her first game this next weekend.
And then, we had Alyssa's soccer game, which started at 9:00. So, I actually missed most of it because of volleyball but that's the way things are going to be this fall for us. Both girls are playing through Lynden Youth Sports so both will have games on Saturdays. It will be hard to conquer and divide but we will make it.

Alyssa is actually doing really well with soccer. Two years ago when she "played", she just stood on the field and pretty much watched her team play around her. It was so frustrating. This year, is so different. I think taking a year off was a good thing and she told us that she wanted to try it again. I couldn't believe it when I got to the game and saw her running. And then, Jason informed me that she had been running the entire game, at least during the times when she was in the game, which was most of the time. I am looking forward to watching her play this year. She really enjoyed herself and that was fun to see!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

School Pictures

Our family photographer did yet another amazing job. She is off of maternity leave and back at it. I wanted to share just a few of my favorites. I have had such a hard time deciding which pictures to order. They were all so least of the girls.

Brenna's pictures really show how much she has grown up and changed this past year. She has become such a beautiful, young lady....and, I don't think I'm being bias just because I am her mommy. Oops, I mean, mom. She's not really liking it these days when I refer to myself as mommy. :( See, she is growing up.
And then, there is our Miss Alyssa. We only get smiles like this for pictures from her when her auntie is the one behind the camera. I think they have a little secret between the two of them on how to get these smiles. ha! Alyssa has also changed a lot over the past year. I love how in her close ups you can see her freckles. She likes to refer to them as lots of beauty marks. That's our Alyssa!
I absolutely love the "sister" pictures. Yes, I ordered this first one in black and white and in a 5x7 to hang on their bedroom wall. I also ordered the next one and one other to put in their "sister" frames that they have.
I realize that we already did Ethan's 4 year pics but he didn't want to be left out of the action so we snapped a few of him while we were at it to add to our 4-year picture collection. He did a much better job smiling for Ashley back in July when we did his pictures than he did for auntie...goof! Here are the few good ones that we were able to get.
These little eyes just melt mommy's heart!
Being his silly self!
This was after several silly faces and looking away from the camera...I think auntie was getting very tired at this point. Ethan was quite the handful.
The day we did pictures, I was babysitting our little friend Dillon. We threw him in on the action as well and got some amazing pictures. If you want to see more of Dillon and his amazing pictures, click here. We quick grabbed a "Buddy" picture of the boys.
I can't wait to do our family pictures for our Christmas cards. Yes, I'm already thinking about Christmas card pictures and what I'm going to do for Christmas cards. If I don't, they may not happen this year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

1st day of school

Well, today is the 1st day of the 2009-2010 school year. It is hard to believe that Brenna has started 5th grade and that this is her last year at the elementary school.

Yesterday was meet and greet and the girls were able to take their school supplies and get them in their desks without the commotion of the first day of school going on. It was nice to be able to take our time and unload everything and get things put away.

We visited Alyssa's teacher, Mrs. VanDiest, first. We are thrilled to have Mrs. VanDiest as a teacher again!! She was Brenna's 2nd grade teacher also so we already have that teacher/parent relationship. Alyssa remembers going to Mrs. VanDiest's classroom for Brenna's class parties so it was a nice transition for won't be totally new to her.

Alyssa got busy unloading her backpack and putting things in just the right spot.
When we were finished in Alyssa's classroom, we headed down to the opposite end of the school for Brenna's classroom. Brenna's teacher this year is Mrs. Keller and she is going to have an amazing year. Mrs. Keller was sharing with the kids there what kind of things they would be doing...I'm not sure if Brenna was excited or freaked out when she heard that they would be disecting chicken hearts and chicken wings later on in the year. I just know the face she made was pretty funny.

Once she met her teacher and got the "low down" on what they would be doing in 5th grade, she and a friend that was there at the same time selected their desks...of course, they wanted to sit next to each other so it's a good thing there were lots of seats to choose from. (Brenna has 29 students in her least that's what they are starting with. I wonder how many more will be joining them or if anyone will be moving during the year? That's a lot of 5th graders in one room.) Once she decided on a seat/desk, she quickly got busy unloading her supplies...I'm really bummed that this picture is blurry...that's what happens when we have a busy 4-year old dancing around my legs while trying to take pictures.
This morning was a little busy, trying to get everyone ready and looking their best. We did it with time to spare for a few quick pictures. It didn't surprise me at all that Alyssa had decided on a skirt for the first day.
We got Brenna to her classroom first this morning and she took her seat for a quick picture before putting her backpack on the hooks. Her friend Kristen is on her left...Kristen is so funny...always gets silly when having her picture taken. I think the drop off for Brenna was the fastest drop off yet. Guess she really is getting older and is needing her mom less and less. :( That makes me sad but at the same time happy. She is really growing up so quickly.
Alyssa was next. She marked that she was taking hot lunch's pizza, what kid isn't taking hot lunch?! Then, hung her backpack up in the closet and took her seat. There was a picture waiting for her to color when she sat down.
And, her best friend, who is sitting right across from her, was waiting for her as well. The first day of 2nd grade could not have started out any better for Alyssa. Having Kylie there made her day!
Once Ethan and I got the girls settled, we were off. Ethan got to go spend a couple of hours with T-T (Aunt Trisha) this morning while I went to work at the bakery. And, now that we are home, I have plenty to do between now and when the girls get home. They were so excited to ride the school bus again and were very happy to hear that I was not picking them up...we only live a minute from school and their bus ride is 15 minutes. I guess that's 15 minutes longer with their friends that ride their bus. Hey, I aim to please! Can't wait to hear about their day!!!