Sunday, June 24, 2012

The craziness continues...

We took a couple of weeks off after Kate finished up school.  It was my time to try and organize our lives :)  When all of her 2nd grade stuff came, I was gearing up for starting school again on June 15th, but it just wasn't in the cards.  We've had two insane weeks and now I have to get ready for our vacation that we are leaving for in two days. This last week began with Father's Day.  Breakfast for Joe in the morning (actually he was the one making french toast, because the kids like his better than mine!!!!), and then Kate and I ran off to her Wizard of Oz show and Joe and the boys went to church.  I manned the back stage for 3 1/2 hours and got to watch Kate from the wings of the stage.  Kind of fun!  I've never done that before!  The boys literally picked us up from the stage and we drove straight out to the Berryhill's for a Father's Day celebration.  The weather was wonderful and the company even better.  The kids were catching frogs outside, we all watched Ethan and Hugh's rocket blast off into the sky behind the house and fall into the vineyard... it was a blast :)

We got home that night EXHAUSTED.  Only to fill the next week up with a 2 hour physical therapy appointment for Luke (who still isn't walking but really close); swim practice every day; swim team pictures, piano, kumon, basketball, and ENT appointment for Kate to evaluate getting her tonsils removed; playdates; primary meetings and Joe working late every night and then going on an overnight for work.  Oh, and to top it off, I had to speak at a Youth Conference for church on Friday and Jen was supposed to watch the kiddos for me and she called saying that they were all sick with strep throat!  Poor thing!  Thanks to Terra and Chrissy--they were saints.  They let Kate and Jake tag along to the zoo with their kids and then later, picked Luke up after his nap (Thank you, Kami!!), and kept everyone until I got home.  I feel like the conference went well.  It's always makes you feel good when the kids come up and thank you afterwards.  I haven't done anything like that in a while and I really enjoyed it.  I spoke with them about the importance of having a positive attitude and it was a nice refresher for myself as I taught them :)

After I picked the kids up, we walked to the store to get some stuff for dinner and as we were rounding the corner into our court, Joe was just getting home from work, our neighbor came out to chat and I noticed one of Kate's friends and her mom walking toward us.  Wow!  Suddenly I realized that Kate had been invited to go skating that night and I had completely forgotten to RSVP.  Sigh!  What can I do.  It's been busy.  We hurried in, and I fed her dinner and then while Joe stayed home with the boys, I took Kate to go roller skating with her friend.  I realized she'd never done it before and so this would be a new experience to say the least.  I was so proud of her!  She was so positive and even though she was slower than a snail, she wanted to stay out there and keep practicing.  I made us come home a little after 9pm because we had to get up early for a swim meet the next morning.  As we were driving home, Kate said, "Mom, I want to really learn how to skate.  I was the only one with the "cane" out there and it was a little embarrassing."  (They have these skate helpers that are like walkers that you can hold on to).  Sweet thing.  I guess we need to get to the skating rink a few times this summer!

Swim meet went great on Saturday!  Kate got first place in Freestyle!  Yahoo!!!  We all came home and took a nap.  It was well deserved :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

We Can Really Pack It In!!!

Saturday morning came EARLY!!!!  We were all exhausted and Kate did not want to get up.  I knew she'd be fine once we got to theswim meet, but it was getting there that was causing us issues!  We partied a touch too hard the night before, possibly??  It's ok.  It was worth it ;)

 Kate and Shelby resuming their spots from last year under our tent to play
 A few good friends joined in :) 
 Tyler treats Jake like the little brother he's always wanted.  He brings toys for him to play with and makes sure his friends don't touch them.  It's so cute.  No, Jake is not swimming on the team-- it was 100 degrees out and he wanted his shirt off like the big kids. 
 YAHOO!  Kate's freestyle relay team took 1st place!  All of her times have improved soo much
 this year!  Kate really wanted a 1st place and got it on their very last race.  Way to go!

We came home from the meet, fed Delilah and said our last goodbyes.  It was time to take her home.

Surprisingly, the kids were pretty good about it.  Probably because they know we can always rent her again. 

After we dropped Delilah off, we went over to San Francisco, where Joe's work was having a big family day at the Giant's Stadium.  Bruno Mars ended up coming and there were huge slides for the kids to go down and endless cotton candy and all types of food at every concession stand...and the best part was that it was all free!  So fun!  We raced around and saw and did what we could and then ran back to the car and headed home because Joe and I had a wedding to be at that night.  It reminded us of our own wedding and we danced until the bride and groom said their goodbyes.  I can't remember the last time Joe and I danced outside of our house!  It was a blast.  CRAZY, BUSY, FUN DAY! 

Wizard of OZ--June 15, 2012

The rest of that week can be summed up in a couple of words.  Dance, Swim, Dance, Swim and Joe working late.  Swim practice every day and dress rehearsals for Kate's dance recital--throw in a Pasta Feed for swim team to kick off our first swim meet, and we had a busy week! 

 Friday night, Grandma, Grandpa, Cousin Ethan (what a fun surprise!!!!), Joe, Jake, Luke and I all went to the Bankhead theater in Livermore to see Kate perform in the Wizard of Oz.  She had us in hysterics.  I love to watch the expression on her face because she just LOVES to dance.  She was in the line between two of her best friends, Elise and Reagan, and when she saw that Elise didn't have her hands up like she was supposed to, she reached over and helped her put them up.  The entire audience burst out laughing.  It was hilarious.  The show was great and she was feeling good.  We stayed up until midnight eating ice cream and having a blast with our family.  Thank you sooo much for coming!  I know it made her feel like a star! 

June 11, 2012

I haven't had a second to sit down and record anything that's happened these last two weeks because we've been too busy!  All good stuff, but CRAZY!!! We have literally been going going going.  I guess, almost all good.  The day after we got to see our friends the Merrills, I took Kate and Jake in to see the dentist (AKA Uncle Matt).  I had cleaned their teeth the week before and found a cavity in Jake (What!!!!! I know.  I just pray one of my kids takes after Joe's teeth and not mine).  Kate had a little soft spot on her incoming molar and I wanted Matt to strengthen it so it wouldn't turn into a cavity.  She was freaking out about it, saying how she didn't want to cry in front of her Uncle...etc... Meanwhile, I went ahead and told Jake to hop in the chair.  He would go first.  He sat there with a big grin, opened his mouth and did everything Matt said, just perfectly.  No anesthesia.  YOU ROCK, JAKE.  Thanks for being a good example for your sister. 
When she saw how easy it was for him, she sat down and did the exact same thing.  Love it. 

Our friend, Ryan Metheny, came over for dinner (whenever he's in town for business) that night and I fed everyone and then rushed off to a homeschool meeting.  When I came home, the dishes were done, the house was clean, the kids were bathed and Jake and Luke were asleep and Joe was tucking Kate in.  I told Ryan he needed to come over more often and I need to leave more often :) 
Joe came out laughing from Kate's room and said, "You'll never believe what just happened."  Kate was asking Joe something and he told her she needed to go to bed.  She looked at him and got all teary eyed and said, "But Dad!  I have 150 questions and I want to know the answers!"  So he gave her a piece of paper and told her to write the questions down and we'd answer them one by one.
She came out later with the beginning of her list.  Here were a few:

1.  How is outer space made?
2.  How is the moon made?
3.  How does a drain work?
4.  Why do you get boogers?
5.  What are all of the sicknesses?
6.  How is an egg made?
7.  How tall is Heavenly Father?
8.  Why does your heart beat?
9.  How is a house made?
10.  How do your muscles move? (went over that this year in school...maybe need to review ;)
11. Who is Heavenly Father's father and what did He rule?

I guess we have to hit the books a little harder because it's going to take us a while to answer some of these!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Far Away Friends

We were so excited when we walked into church on Sunday and sat right in front of our good friends, Ann and Jeff Merrill, who moved to Oahu last summer.  Kate had just been asking when we were going to see them again, and here they were, visiting their family and our good friends, Carol and Justin Wilcock.  Catching up at church didn't give us our fill, so they came over last night for dessert and a little more catching up.  
 Nate, Jake, Kate, Delilah and Ben
 Sam (Luke's buddy)
 Claire and Woody
Carol, Me and Ann

I'm so glad we had a chance to get together last night!  Joe, Justin and Jeff played with the kiddos outside so the girls could catch up (You guys are the best).  It was so fun!  Thanks for taking the time to come over.  We LOVED it. 

Hangin With the Big Kids

I heard Luke laughing out in the backyard and found him like this.  He had figured out how to get in and drive the car.  He was pumped.  Finally doing stuff his brother and sister do.

Later that night, I was putting clothes away and found Luke joining in on the hysteria of the sword fight.  Not the best picture, but it's the best I could capture quickly-- all three of kids were raising their swords, ganging up on Joe.  I love seeing Luke finally trying to join in on all of the fun. 


Kate was invited to a birthday party at a nature reserve in Fairfield on Saturday.  It was right up Kate's alley.  They had a naturalist bring out a chinchilla, mouse, bunny and guinea pig.  The kids learned all about them and then got to hold and pet each one of them.  It was so fun!  At the end, the naturalist told us about the reserves pet library.  Pet library you say?  Yes!  the greatest idea on earth for parents who have a child who has been begging for a pet for the last 2, maybe 3 years.  It's basically a rent-a-pet service :)  You pay $20 and you get to bring one of their smaller animals home for a week.  They provide you with everything!  When the guinea pig was brought out and I saw Kate's reaction, I knew we had to "check out" a guinea pig.
 After the party, we signed the papers and I texted Joe that we would be home in about 20 minutes...and we were bringing Delilah, our new guinea pig.  "Oh no..." was all I got in response :)  He didn't know it'd just be for a week. 
Kate's already taken her for a swing on our play set.  We've all taken to Delilah.  She is so cute and just likes to snuggle on your lap or in your arms.  Kate has taken total responsibility for her and carries her around like her own little baby.  Love it, Love her, Love Delilah's name. 
She poops and sheds and that's why Joe (ok, and me) is happy she's only here for a week.  But isn't it great to know that we can rent her later on down the road, if we want to?!!  Brilliant. 

Kids Pix 2012

Let's see, I didn't make it into get Luke's pictures at one.  In fact, I think I've only brought him in one other time for "professional" pictures.  My poor third child.  I told myself I'd never do that!  Haha!  I'm still blaming our winter for that one.  So, I took the kids in on Friday.  It's getting close to Father's Day, and I knew Joe would want an updated picture tie of the kiddos (shhh, he doesn't know).  He has two and loves them, but Luke hasn't made his debut on them yet.  So, here we go:  Luke's 1 year picture (18 month), Jake's 4 year picture, and Kate's 7 year picture (she doesn't turn 7 until August, but who knows if we'll get in then!):  

No Go

Last Tuesday I talked with Coach Krista about Jake's progress on the swim team.  "Umm, I'm a little worried about Jake."  I knew it.  I already knew it.  "He pushes off and swims just fine, but as soon as he takes a breath, his hips sink and they never come back up." 
Wednesday, he had to pee 5 minutes into practice and said he didn't want to go back in.  I looked at him and said, "Do you want to do swim team this year?  We need to practice for tomorrow when you swim across the pool, if you want to be on the team."
"I'll do it next year, Mom." 
That was that.  It was a cold week and he didn't want to be in the pool.  I'm proud of him for giving it a try.  We didn't even go to practice on Thursday.  Kate was exhausted and it was cold and windy.  We took the day off :)
Now that's it's 95 degrees out, Jake will probably be begging to get in the water.  Maybe I'll have to bring a squirt gun every day to practice to cool him off.  It's all he's gonna get ;)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Mama B!!!

Yesterday after church we went out to Maryanne and Dave's home in Hughson
to celebrate Fran's 65th!
What a great reason for all of us to get together.

 Ethan, Hugh, Kate, Jake, Luke and Kaylynn all gave Grandma lots of birthday hugs and kisses. 

We even got to celebrate with Nana and Papa which is always a special treat!

Luke was stoked to be spoiled by his aunts...hugs and chocolate doesn't get better than that!

Kaylynn was so cute.  I grabbed my camera to take a picture of her and she struck a pose for me.  Definitely not camera shy.  I LOVE her cheeks.  Could kiss them all day long.

Luke, in his favorite spot, snuggled with Grandma.  I'm catching him on his way out in this one.  Who wouldn't feel like going to sleep in Grandma's arms!  I'm so grateful to have Fran in my life.  She is an example to me in so many ways and I love having her as my mom-in-law.  We (the kids) gave her a surprise trip to Carmel this week with Mike.  They leave on Tuesday and get to spend a couple of nights at one of their favorite spots.  We hope it is just perfect.  She deserves nothing less!

We Are Growing!

Our Duke MBA group that is.  We had a huge treat on Saturday morning.  We found out that our friends, Tyler and Rachael Rushton from Duke, were down in Merced visiting their parents, so we and the Metheny's met them out there to spend some time together.  And especially to have our kids see and meet one another! 
It seems that every time we meet there is another cute little person to add to our bunch.
 The kids LOVED the tire swing in the yard

 Rachael, Me, Jeri
Ryan, Tyler, Joe

Luke feeling like one of the big kids

We had a WONDERFUL time.  We caught up on kids, jobs, church, and those funny moments that keep us going! We love our Duke friends so much.  They are like family to us and we pick up right where we left off every time we get together.  So special.

We raced off to Kate's dress rehearsal for ballet in Livermore, and then continued on to Jen and Matt's home to celebrate Matt and Kalei's birthdays.  No pictures, but we had a blast.  Happy birthday, you two!  So glad you are a part of our family.  From there, we headed over to help a friend move some furniture.  10:45pm, we rolled into our driveway.  Tired but happy.


Need I say more? 
 (Joe collected them from Swiss Air on his flight and apparently the kids love 'em)

It's That Time of Year Again...

Kate's first swim team practice for Fast Dolphins was this last Tuesday.  This is her third year on the team and she is still in "6 and unders" because of when her birthday falls.  We put her on the team when she was 4--almost 5.  A few months ago, when it was time to sign her up, I realized that Jake would be 4 (just barely).  So, I signed him up, knowing that I could get a full refund if it didn't work out so well :) So, when last week came, Joe and I debated on whether we should let him try.  I didn't really think he was ready, but Joe and I decided we would put him in the pool for the first practice to see how he would do.  It would be so nice to have BOTH of them in the pool this summer!
 There were way more little ones this year trying out for the team. 
I think coach Krista was a little overwhelmed!!
 Here's Jake with his amazing freestyle form-- don't you just love that little hand?  He's so cute. 
Gotta get those feet and buns up a little higher!
He was feeling great and so was I!  Kate was doing so well that Coach Krista moved her over to practice with the 7-8 year olds.  Then, with about 8 minutes left in the 30 minute practice, Jake started to get cold.  His lip quivered and he looked at me and started to cry.  "I'm all done.  I wanna get out."  I told him he had to stay in the pool for just a few more minutes and he started to cry a little more.  I moved away from him so he couldn't just sit there and talk to me, and instead of turning back to listen to his coach, I heard with gusto, "MOM!  I HAVE TO GO PEE!!!!"  All the parents turned to me.  Yes, I will get my son out of the pool, don't worry!  Smarty pants.  By the time we got back from the bathroom, practice as over.  Nice.  The next few days went much better.  They turned on the solar so the pool was much warmer :)  I asked the coach if I could go ahead and order Jake some jammers and she hesitated and said, "Welllll, not yet."  I guess he has to prove by this Thursday that he can make it across without any assistance and then he'll be on the team.  Then I can order him a suit.  I'll let you know...