Friday, September 22, 2017

Another Loganism for the Books

Ever since Logan could talk, he has been cracking us up.  In fact, I actually feel bad as there are soooo many funny things that he has said over the past few years that I haven't written down, but today I managed to find a moment to record one of our conversations from earlier this morning!
I was madly rushing around during the last few minutes prior to leaving the house to drive Logan and Lia to school.  This is always the craziest time of the day for me as I am trying to juggle several things at once with a tight deadline.  After I finished making the last item for the kids' lunches (sandwiches), I promptly packed Lia's in her lunch bag and left Logan's sitting on the counter.  I zipped up both lunch bags and walked to the back door where I put Lia's on the floor for her to pick up on the way out and Logan's safely inside his backpack.
Upon returning to the kitchen, I discovered Logan's sandwich still sitting on the counter.  I then announced out loud to both Logan and Ella who were still eating breakfast that I had completely forgotten to pack Logan's sandwich to which he responded, "Do you have a crazy brain?  Is it mixed up?"
After getting my giggles out of the way, kissing Logan on the head, and telling him that he was the cutest boy alive, I told him that my brain is definitely all mixed up.  I couldn't have said it better.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ella's Day at the Fair!

The last time Ella and I went to the Washington State Fair was two years ago when she was just one year old.  After faithfully going to the fair NINE straight years in a row, I decided that I had basically grown to hate it and needed a break until I started liking it again.  I grew to dislike the crowds, the inflated prices, the tacky rides, and the pressure of needing to get home in time for the afternoon nap (and the subsequent tension that it caused between Ron and me).  So after experiencing all of this in 2015, I told Ron that I was done for awhile.  I graciously pulled out and he happily started taking Logan and Lia without me.  However, after talking to my mom about it the other day, she gave me the idea to go on a week day morning with just Ella when the crowds were at a minimum and when there wouldn't be older siblings dragging us off to Sillyville the entire time (the obnoxious area where all of those tacky rides are located).  Since Ron had gotten a second free educator's pass from school and Ella is still free (since she is under the age of 5), I decided to go this morning and even invited my mom to join us.  Besides the fact that it rained almost the entire four hours that we were there, we really had a great time.  Ella was a total trooper and happily stayed bundled in her stroller while holding an umbrella over her head.  It totally protected her from the rain and she was just the cutest thing hidden under her little, blue dome.  We got to do everything we wanted--we saw all of the animals, went on the carousel ride, ate a delicious lunch, and checked out the amazing produce displays.  It was the perfect amount of time to spend at the fair and we managed to leave in good spirits and in time for Ella's nap.  I will definitely be doing this again next fall before I lose my Ella to full-day school forever the following year!  Ugh, perish the thought.

My sweet Ella getting ready to go on the one ride she chose!

Mommy and daughter after finishing up our ride on the carousel.  Ella was so sad when it ended that we had to go find the other carousel ride later that morning.

Ella was the most excited to see the mama pig with her piglets.  She kept on asking to see them over and over again.  

Grandma and Ella inside one of the large barns checking out the massive, Draft horses.

Ella and me with the adorable, Shetland ponies behind us.

Ella was fascinated with all of the birds inside the poultry barn.  I was a second too late taking this picture, but Ella had just been standing there, totally mesmerized, staring at the second rooster from the end who had been pecking at his food in a little cup.  It was the cutest thing!

After lots of animals and and a few rides, we sought solace from the rain under a massive tent and ate our BBQ sandwiches and corn on the cob.  Delish!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ella Starts Preschool!

I am participating in a preschool co-op this school year with five other moms from church like I did when Logan and Lia were preschool age.  Since I am in charge of it, I offered to host the first week which was last week.  So, technically, Ella began preschool last Tuesday, September 12th, but I think it's a bit anticlimactic to take the first-day-of-school pictures when we are not even leaving our own house.  As a result, I snapped this picture today as I was dropping Ella off at Jace's house who lives up the hill from us.  
Of all of my children, Ella is the clingiest.  She loves me more than anyone else and does not like being separated from me--even when she is being left at home with her dad and siblings.  It is something that I have never dealt with before.  As a result, Ron or I have always had to sit with Ella during her nursery class at church and I have always wondered and worried how she would make the transition to preschool.  We decided a month ago that the time had come for some "tough love" and I dropped Ella off at nursery and told her that I would not be staying.  I bribed her with a piece of candy when I dropped her off and promised her another piece of candy when I picked her up.  As hard as it was to leave a crying Ella behind, I knew that it was necessary for a successful preschool year.  And to my amazement, she only cried for five minutes and then suddenly stopped and started playing with toys.  I simply couldn't believe it when another parent found me in the hallway at church and told me this.  I should have done this months ago!  So, to my absolute relief, Ella has now been successfully dropped off at nursery for four Sundays in a row.  I still have to bribe her with candy, but she does a great job quietly sitting down and playing with a puzzle whenever I leave her there.  So, with all of that said, I had high hopes for today.  
Although Ella started crying every time I told her that preschool would be at someone else's house this week, she was actually in a calm mood this morning.  She chose two pieces of candy from the candy bowl right before it was time to go and willingly put on her shoes and grabbed her "pack pack" as we headed out the door.  I was so happy to see her bravely walk up to Jace's front door with me, calmly walk inside his house, take off her shoes, and run straight upstairs where she knows the toy room was located.  I had asked Jace's mom, Alisa, to host the second week of preschool weeks ago since their house is the only other house in the co-op that Ella has ever played at before.  Luckily, Alisa, agreed.  So, that helped to make this transition to preschool at someone else's home a lot easier.  We will see how Ella does next week when I drop her off at a total stranger's house.  Oh dear. 
Regardless, Ella was so happy and excited when I picked her up two hours later today.  She came running to the door, shouting my name, and gave my legs a big hug!  Alisa said she did a great job and had no problems.  Ella was so excited to tell me all about it and proudly showed off her letter B and number 2 worksheets and her "B" bracelet.  Although it absolutely kills me to see my "baby" growing up, I am so relieved that she had a successful first day of preschool.  Here's to many more!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Calling All Superheroes!

This year, our Stake Primary Presidency decided to host a Stake Activity Day for all of the girls ages 8 to 11 years old in the stake.  Since my calling the last two years has been the ward Activity Day Leader, I was delighted to get one evening "off" this school year and to join in on the fun.  The theme was "Super Heroes" and the Stake Primary Presidency really did a cute job planning out the evening.  There were darling decorations, a fun craft, a delicious dinner, and then four stations for the girls to rotate through for the remainder of the evening that all related to super heroes in one way or another.  After helping out with the craft and eating dinner, I assisted with the "Super Hero Training" station where the girls shot Nerf guns at targets and had to navigate through a "laser" obstacle course (made of strings tied back and forth between several chairs).  Lia had a great time palling around with her friend, Isabel, and I had a great time watching her enjoy all of the activities!  It's always fun to share an evening with one of my kiddos!

Lia and Isabel posing in their super hero capes and head bands that they decorated for their craft.


The entire group of girls after crafting and eating dinner.  Lia is just to the right of the center of the group.

The girls striking their best super hero poses.

Lia and Isabel listening to Stake Primary president talk about super heroes in our lives.  Lia is in the back row with her head turned slightly to the right.

After the girls finished rotating through all four stations, they gathered back in the gym to listen to one of the counselors in the stake president.  Here is Lia making a funny face while the photographer took a picture of her and the girls in her group.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Lia's First Soccer Game

Lia started her soccer practices this season on August 7th after driving home from Priest Lake most of the day.  Since then, she has been practicing every Monday and Wednesday evening in very hot, 80 or 90 degree weather.  She has been a total trooper and has never complained once.  In addition, although we stayed with the same soccer organization again this year, I transferred Lia to a different team that practices only 10 minutes away from our house (in comparison to the the school where she practiced last year that is 25-35 minutes away from our home depending on traffic).  Lia bravely joined this new team where she didn't know anyone and most of the teammates already knew each other from the previous year.  I am so proud of how hard she has worked and for her positive attitude.
Today was Lia's first game.  Although she was a little timid, she did a good job chasing the ball and defending her girl.  Like last year, I am sure that Lia will continue to get more confident and aggressive as the season progresses.  Here is to many more action packed and fun filled games for our soccer player!

Lia looking down the field.

Waiting for the ball.

Walking down the field.

Lia chasing the ball.

Lia assisting her teammate.

Fighting her opponent.

Running after the ball.

A big kick.

Running down the field.

Fighting for the ball.

More chasing after the ball.

High fiving the other team after the game is over.

Friday, September 8, 2017

First Day of School!

After another fun filled and action packed summer, school started this week.  I am always just as sad as the kids are to see all of it come to an end.  We had such a good run this summer with the most amazing weather!  I feel like it didn't rain once the entire 2.5 months that we had off!
Tuesday, September 5th, was Lia's first day of school.  She was a little nervous the night before and had a difficult time falling asleep, but acted as calm as a cucumber the next morning even though she said that she was still a little nervous.  She looked so cute wearing her new clothes from the Pirates of the Caribbean clothing line sold at Kohls this past summer.  We love this movie series and love that her shirt said "Mermaid Spirit" which perfectly sums up this girl of mine!  Lia was put in Ms. Arnett's class with her three closest friends from her 3rd grade class:  Sienna (who we have known since PreK), Allison, and Persephone.  I couldn't believe her luck at the three of them getting another school year together.  Also, Lia gets to be in a brand NEW classroom this year as her school just finished building a 12-classroom addition for the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.  The classrooms are beautiful and so modern and fancy with two flat screen TVs, wi-fi, and a conference room between their class and the neighboring one.  Lia even gets to have her own one-on-one devise (a tablet/lap top) to use on a daily basis.  Her school is the first in the district to get this luxury!  So, it looks like Lia is going to have a great year!

We started off the morning with our traditional, first-day-of-school pictures on the front porch before we headed off to school.

A side profile of our grown-up, 4th grader complete with her emoji backpack and lunch bag that she picked out.

Our traditional sibling picture.  Such silly kids!

Once we got down to the school and hiked what seemed like a mile to the blacktop, we found two of Lia's good friends in line:  Sienna and Allison.

It wasn't long before Persephone showed up which meant I needed to take another picture so that I had the "complete group" together.  The height difference between these four girls just cracks me up.  Lia has always been in the 90th percentile for height and Sienna has always been off the the two of them make the other girls look so tiny!

I think Lia's nerves totally melted when she found her friends in line.  After waiting several minutes, her line finally dismissed and off she went!  She was so excited!  I can't believe how grown-up and independent she has gotten since she started school there four years ago in Kindergarten.

Logan on his first day of school, Friday, September 8th.  You can tell by the less-than-enthusiastic smile on his face that he was not excited about going to school.

Logan's first day of school was today.  Our school district began starting Kindergarten a few days later than the rest of the district when they transitioned to full-day Kindergarten three years ago.  Logan didn't mind getting an extra three days of summer, especially since he is a total homebody and does NOT like change.  In fact, every time I mentioned this week that he would be starting school at "Lia's big school," he would immediately start wining and complaining that he didn't want to go to school there.  When we went down to the school on Wednesday for his Kindergarten assessment, Logan didn't say a word (yes, that means not even his name) to his new teacher during our entire, 30 minute conference.  Afterwards, when we went into a different classroom for his assessment from a teacher's aide, he totally melted.  After going over numbers 1-20, Logan totally lost it.  He started crying, crawled into my lap, and curled up into a little ball.  Oh dear.  Needless to say, we had to throw in the towel on the rest of his assessment which covered things he totally knows (letters, colors, and shapes).  But, this is my boy.  He is the apple of my eye, but he can be very difficult.  He simply will not 'perform' if he is outside of his comfort zone and that is exactly what this assessment was for him.
So, needless to say, I was a little apprehensive about how he would act on his first day of Kindergarten.  After dragging him out bed today, and forcing him to get dressed, he reluctantly ate his breakfast and got into the car.  He was very unsure about the entire thing, but luckily managed to get out of the car and walk into the school without having a breakdown.  Lia accompanied us into the office where I checked in and then into the gym to see where Logan's class line is located (since she will be the one walking Logan to his line every single morning the rest of the school year).  Logan then sat down and didn't say a word.  It was very clear to me that he was very nervous and unhappy about the entire situation; however, I had promised him that I would walk him to his classroom and help him get situated before saying goodbye as this is what I had been allowed to do for Lia's first day of Kindergarten.  Logan sat quietly in his line playing with the new hole in his mouth (from losing his tooth yesterday) until it was time to go.  As the children were standing up to leave, I realized that I should double check with his teacher, Mrs. Kirklie, to see if I was allowed to accompany Logan to the classroom.  To my surprise, she informed me that she would prefer that I stay behind in the gymnasium.  Oh dear.  So, at that point, I had to reluctantly walk over to Logan and bear the bad news.  Upon hearing this, he eyes welled up with tears.  The poor, little guy.  As the tears began streaming down his face, I stroked his hair, kissed his head, and wiped his tears over and over again while offering words of comfort.  And, to my surprise, I felt my tears coming.  I just felt so bad for him.  Plus, I think the reality of "losing" my second child to the public school system finally hit me. I will be the fist to admit that I am NOT ready for my children to grow up and leave me.  I would keep them little forever if I could.  So, while I fought back my own tears, Ella and I waved goodbye to Logan and off he went to his classroom!  Ugh.  I didn't expect this farewell to be so hard, but it was.  Once he left the gym, I picked up Ella and walked back to the car with tears streaming down my face.  This growing up stuff is for the birds!  
It felt very strange the rest of the day to not have Logan at home with Ella and me.  I kept on wondering where he was and then I would remember that he was at school with Lia.  There was a kind of empty and lonely feeling to the house that I am sure will take awhile for Ella and me to get used to.  On a happier note, I am proud to report that Logan came home this afternoon beaming from ear to ear!  He had a great day and loved every minute of it.  He reported on every detail he could remember from who he played with at recess to what it was like to eat lunch in his classroom to what they colored at their desk (a raccoon and school supplies picture).  He easily found Lia after school and gave her a huge hug when she walked up to his teacher to pick him up.  I think that Logan has already found his "new comfort zone" and I hope for a positive and exciting year of learning and growing for him!

Logan showing off his awesome, BB-8 backpack that even lights up and makes noises!

The girls making a "Logan sandwich" for the second, sibling picture of the week.  Logan looks so miserable.

Logan quietly sitting in his class line inside the school gymnasium.

Logan and the rest of the students in his line.  I had to include this picture because it shows the funny face Logan kept on making while his tongue was playing with the new hole in his mouth.

A very scared and crying Logan getting ready to follow his teacher out the door.

And, he's off!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Logan Lost His First Tooth!

Since Lia didn't lose her first tooth until the December of her 1st grade year, it was no where on my radar for Logan to lose his first tooth.  So you can imagine my surprise when he came up to me while we were at Priest Lake for our family reunion during the first week of August to show me a loose tooth.  Apparently, he had been hit in the mouth by a pillow while playing with his older cousin, Riley.  Either the impact of the pillow loosened his tooth OR it just made Logan aware of the fact that his tooth had already started to loosen.  Regardless, I was pretty surprised when I reached down and wiggled it with my finger.  Unlike Lia who was absolutely thrilled to have her first wiggly tooth (due to the fact that she had to wait years after her friends started losing their teeth), Logan was a bit unsure and hesitant.  Since he doesn't like change, he did not welcome this wiggly friend in his mouth.  From that day on, he would normally make his little whiny noises every time he would show me how wiggly it was.  As the weeks wore on, we suddenly discovered that it was hanging on by a thread this week.  Logan was very worried about this and wouldn't let any of us touch it.  In fact, the stress of him starting school and losing his first tooth almost brought him to tears more than once.  On top of it all, I started to worry that Logan would lose his first tooth during his first day of school which would make for a very traumatic experience for him!  Needless to say, I was totally relieved when Logan woke up the day BEFORE his first day of school with his tooth missing!
I went into Logan's room this morning to get him out of bed.  While laying there, he opened up his mouth and showed me the hole where his tooth used to be.  I immediately started screaming out of excitement and then started asking him where it was.  He wouldn't say anything to me (except for his whiny sounds), but got out of bed and walked over to his dresser.  He then proceeded to open up a little box that he keeps there and dump out all of its little contents.  After these little items spilled all over his dresser top, we searched and searched and couldn't find his tooth.  Logan then got upset, ran back to his bed, and hid under his covers.  After trying to get him to talk for a good minute or two, I started to panic that he had swallowed it in his sleep which would be pretty disappointing for his first tooth!  I mean, who wants to put nothing under their pillow for their first visit from the tooth fairy?!  I tried over and over again to get Logan to tell me if he knew what had happened to his tooth, but he jut kept whining under his covers.  After looking through the blankets in his bed and on the floor around his bed, I decided to walk back to the dresser to search again.  After picking up another little toy on top of his dresser, I found the tooth laying under it!  Hooray!  I was so relieved.
At this point, Lia and Ella had come into Logan's room.  The three of us all started celebrating while Logan stayed hidden in his blankets in his bed.  Oh that boy.  He just does the funniest things sometimes.  Lia and I immediately started talking about the visit he was going to get from the tooth fairy tonight and about the money he was going to find under his pillow.  None of this really consoled him.  After several minutes, Logan finally started talking and this was the story he told us:  He woke up in the middle of the night with his tooth laying on his tongue.  He got up out of bed to come and find me, but was too scared to walk down the hallway in the dark.  So, instead he put his tooth inside the little box on top of his dresser, climbed back into his bed, and fell asleep.  How cute is that?  I love how Logan can be so careful and responsible when he wants to and this was no exception.  I am also so amazed that he didn't swallow his tooth!  Regardless, Logan was finally excited to write a note to the tooth fairy tonight and put it under his pillow.  I can't wait to see his reaction tomorrow when he finds his $2 and a note from THREE different boy, tooth fairies named Toby, Tommy, and Terry.

Logan showing off his newly formed hole and tooth.

A close-up of his hole.

And a close-up of his tooth.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Blake Island 2017

Our Hungry Book Worm

Lia has had a love of books since she was a baby.  I clearly remember watching her "knee walk" (what she would do sometimes instead of crawling) to the basket of books I used to keep in our old family room.  She would then sit there and look through book after book for many minutes at a time which was pretty impressive for a little girl who had just turned one.  Over the years, Lia's love of reading has only continue to grow.  She has evolved from a little girl who loved to sit in our laps and listen to story after story be read to her to a confident reader who now devours novels in a matter of days.
Although reading really clicked for Lia by the end of first grade, she still preferred to read her bedtime stories/books with either Ron or me.  However, this past December while she was in the third grade, Lia started going back to her room at night and reading silently on her own after she had finished reading her book with Ron in our bedroom.  She started doing this while reading through the American Girl Doll Felicity series and continued after Christmas with the American Girl Doll Caroline mystery books that she had recieved as a gift.  From that point on, she was hooked.  Lia will now read for a good 30 minutes every night after she goes back to her bedroom if I allow her.  It has been amazing to watch her read through several American Girl Doll series (Molly, Addy, Samantha, Kit, and several of the AGD mystery books) and all of the Harry Potter books.  Since I have loved Harry Potter since I read the first book back in 1999, I introduced this series to Lia in Kindergarten when I read to her the first two books.  Lia immediately loved it and has enjoyed watching the various movies over the years.  As a result, she decided to start all over again this winter and read through the series on her own.  I must admit, I was a little skeptical as these books are a lot longer and much more complicated than the American Girl Doll books.  However, I am proud to say that Lia totally proved me wrong.  She began reading these books and was immediately hooked.  She couldn't put them down and could be found reading them whenever she had a few minutes to spare.  When school got out and her schedule really freed up, Lia went crazy reading over 100 pages per day--especially on days when we were travelling.  She would spend hours in the car reading!  I just loved it.  So I am proud to report that Lia has officially completed all EIGHT books in the Harry Potter series (including the newest one that was written as a play) just as summer is ending!  She has literally read thousands of pages in the past few months and I am so proud of her!  Here is to many, many more years of having a book worm living in our house.

Lia surrounded by all eight of my Harry Potter books that she has read in the past few months.

An adorable picture of my girl and her favorite series!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Summer time is...

eating popsicles in the backyard,

messy faces,

and older siblings doing the same.

Oh, how we love summer!
(As you can guess, Ella's messy face was totally done by accident while Logan's was done on purpose!)