Our summer was a fun one!  Of course there was plenty that we didn’t get done and I know if you ask the kids they won’t remember anything they did except video games.

But we did hop right into August and into two weeks of swim lessons.  It’s so amazing to see how much Stevie has progressed and all of the kids loved swimming.  

We celebrated Stevie’s 11th birthday!  How did he get from this sweet baby to this big kid?

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He’s a joy to take pictures of lately.  He just manages such a big smile and such happiness!  What a stinker.  He is a great helper and loves his little brother.  Stevie is still a picky eater but eats great quantities of the food that he does love.  He loves playing goalie and is an early riser.  He spent all of his birthday money on Skylanders video game figures and four different Nerf guns. He also had his first soccer practice on his birthday.  So much for the carefree days of summer.

The week after Stevie’s birthday was our 14th wedding anniversary!  Wow, that seems like a long time!  Steve and I celebrated with an evening in Seattle at the Chihuly Glass Exhibit by the Space Needle.  It was so amazing, all the beautiful glass!  We also decided to finally eat at the famous Dick’s Drive in.  Next year, our plan is to take an Alaskan cruise!

The next week was Kate’s 6th birthday!  She is growing up so fast and is so tall for her age!  I just love all the craziness that she brings to our family (sometimes.)  She needs glitter, attention, matching colors, accessories and her two front teeth.  🙂  I can’t believe that she’s in first grade this year!

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We went to Jetty Island for her birthday with a few friends.  It was a huge pain to take all five kids to the beach without my husband to help and thank goodness my friends were all very helpful!  The kids all had a great time and most of us got good sunburns too.  Kate managed to escape the sunburn, thank goodness.  She also had a soccer practice on her birthday.  She’s a head taller than anyone else on her team!  I can’t believe that she used to be this baby:

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It was just a couple weeks after Kate’s birthday that the kids started school!  It was so hard to send Stevie off on the early morning bus to the middle school.  He, of course, was totally fine with it and even forgot to take his schedule with him.  I didn’t get any pictures of him because it was so early and I totally forgot!  The girls caught the bus an hour later and they were up and ready to go!

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Too bad the rest of the days can’t go so smoothly!  Averly is in 3rd grade and Kate is in 1st.  This is the first time in a while that I’ve had just two kids at home for the whole school day.  It is wonderful!  (Don’t tell my kids!)  I can get so much done and it’s so quiet!  Zoey is in a two day a week gymnastics preschool with her neighbor friend, Dominic.  So actually I get time with just one kid at home.  It feels like a vacation!  We’re also still busy with Matthew’s speech therapy and he’s finally saying a few words.  He is signing and saying “more” along with “no.”  We’ve been working on getting him to say “mama.”  But no luck yet.  He’s also getting so big!  It’s been a little harder than I thought it would be, to realize that he’s my last.  He is getting close to two years old now and I’ve always been expecting another baby by this point in the past.  Then I remember and cheer that I don’t have to be pregnant again!

We’ve been enjoying these last few days of summer and are dreading the return of the rain.  With having soccer games and practices 5 days a week, we are getting in a lot of outside time.  The leaves are just starting to turn and we’ve almost eaten all the popsicles out of the freezer.  I guess it’s officially time to say goodbye to summer!  

Coming up next time:  Steve’s trip to Australia and my trip to crazy-land.  🙂  Our Halloween costumes are coming together and did I mention the soccer?  

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The kids are loving their summer vacation!  Stevie just wishes there were more hours in the day that he could play computer/video games.  It is nice to just have some relaxing time with the kids.  They’ve been playing outside and slip-n-sliding at the neighbors.  Squirt guns and popsicles abound.  All the good summer stuff!

The kids finally got out of school at the end of June.  Stevie graduated from 5th grade and will be attending middle school next year.  I’m a little nervous about that.  Okay, a lot nervous.  They had a big celebration and party for the 5th graders the day before school was officially out.  It was scheduled at the exact same as Kate’s kindergarten celebration.  So Zoey, Matthew and I ran from one event to the other. Thankfully they weren’t too far apart.  It actually worked out pretty well because Stevie’s started first but Matthew got bored really fast in the gym, so we took off and managed to get ice cream with Kate’s class.  Then we hurried back in time to catch Stevie actually getting his certificate.  Then back to Kate’s in time to see her get her certificate.  Image

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We spent the next week just decompressing from all the end of school chaos then took off for our family reunion in Idaho.  We had such a great time staying with my sister and seeing my family!  One of the highlights was our trip to Bear World.  It’s a drive through nature park with wildlife and the best part – bears.  They also have some kiddie rides and a petting zoo.  The kids loved seeing all the animals and we paid a little extra to do the curator’s tour this time.  I don’t think we could go again without doing it!  We got to feed the bears and see them all up close.  One bear even clapped for his food!  Of course the battery in our camera died right before we went on the tour so we didn’t get any pictures of that but it was awesome!

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Then after Bear World of course we had to eat at Big Jud’s!  No one got a 1 lb. hamburger this time but our plan was to get the giant bowl of ice cream, 15 scoops.  But we were so full from our lunch that we rolled ourselves out and drove to my husband’s favorite drink place, Sonic.

We even managed a few minutes at the falls.

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Up next was our family reunion!  We always have such a great time and this year the theme was Super heros.  The kids all got capes and we posed with our favorite super heros.

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The kids had a great time with the huge bouncy house and all the water fun they could stand.  Matthew couldn’t get enough of the treat table and would stand by it until some unsuspecting person would hand him some candy or cookies.  The kids all picked a super hero to dress up as and we hit up the thrift store to complete their outfits.  There were so many fun parts that the kids are going to be talking about it for a while!

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Matthew as Batman! He still has two different colored eyes. 🙂

We could only stay in Idaho for a week, then we had to head back home.  Boo.  Thankfully Grandma Warner and cousin, Emilio, came for a visit the next week!  More fun!  We picked raspberries and went to Remlinger farms, a kiddie amusement park in our area.  They rode the pedal cars til their legs were tired. We rode the train and the kids loved the ponies.

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We’ve just been hanging out since then.  We had Steve’s summer company party at the lake.  The kids had a great time squirting each other and dodging the goose poop.  The kids start swim lessons next week and Stevie starts soccer on his birthday.  I can’t believe that Stevie’s going to be 11 and Kate’s going to be 6!  The time is just flying by!

Matthew qualified for speech therapy and he’s getting weekly visits by the speech therapist.  He is already showing good improvement and now says “up” and even an occasional “leese” for please.  Finally some words from our grunter/pointer kid!

I’m sure we still have more fun to come!

Kate with her new glasses and cousin, Jordann, at the gum wall.

 

 

 

Pike Place Market

 

Thanks to Linsey for remembering her camera!!

Whoops.  We’ve had a lot going on and I really thought it hadn’t been this long between updates!

Stevie had his first science fair.  We dutifully spent the night before it was due, actually doing the science project.  And by we, I really tried hard not to do too much.  Which was harder than I thought!  Here’s his finished product:Image

I  was glad that it was over!  While Stevie and I were doing his science project, my husband was busy painting the new wall in our living room – orange!  We have gotten quite a bit of remodeling done recently.    I pulled down a small wall and cabinet in our kitchen that was next to and over the fridge.  We had a really tiny fridge with a freezer, that was shorter than me!  And we outgrew it a long time ago.  But due to the space, we couldn’t get a bigger fridge.  So out came the weird wall and for my birthday, I bought myself a new (used) fridge that’s bigger and all fridge without any freezer space.  It’s so beautiful and big!  I’m not sure how we lived without it!

For Mother’s day, Steve got the floor in the dining room done!  It’s so beautiful!Image

We still have the floor in the kitchen to do, but this was huge!!!  We moved our dining set in and off the carpet in the other room.  Then I had the carpet cleaner out and now the place looks so much better!  It’s just another small step in making this small space work for our family and there will be many more projects to go!  Don’t mention it to my husband.

The other huge event in my life was being taken to small claims court.  An interesting experience that I hope that I don’t have to do again.  My neighbor asked me if I wanted to be involved in her co-op preschool.  I didn’t know anyone else in the group but I trusted my neighbor and they were really wanting a 4th child, so I sent Zoey and got involved.  The lady who taught the first six weeks did fine but when it was my neighbor’s turn, there were some bad feelings and we decided that it wasn’t going to work.  The lady who had already taught felt like she was owed some money for the preschool that she had already taught.  We didn’t agree so she took us to court.  Thankfully the judge thought her case was as crazy as we did, so he ruled in our favor in record time.  It was still very stressful and not a very happy, fun experience.  So glad it’s over!

Our family has also had quite a few nasty illnesses in May.  At one time I had four kids sick with two different things.  Kate ended up with strep throat and was really, really sick.  We really had to work with her to get her better.  It was a crazy few weeks where I didn’t get out much!  Including running, so I had to postpone my plans for running a 5K.  I’ll get there though!

Stevie went to 5th grade outdoor camp at the end of May.  I really can’t believe how fast he’s growing up!  He had a wonderful time and after 3 nights away, we were really missing him.  Thankfully the camp isn’t too far from here (for my peace of mind) and he was so excited!  He hiked and slept in a cabin and I really don’t think he brushed his teeth the whole time.  He’s been taking a few trips down to the middle school where he is going next year.  That really freaks me out!!

Our cute Kate got some glasses.  I noticed that she was sitting really close to the tv and told me that she couldn’t see small words.  So off to the eye doctor.  She has a pretty small prescription but needs bifocals so that she can see better far away and close up.  I haven’t taken her picture yet, so I’ll get one soon!

Matthew turned 18 months and is loving nursery.  It’s very odd to know that my baby is getting so big but I love it too.  He’s a little character who doesn’t say any words yet (I’m looking into speech therapy) but he really lets us know what he wants.  He throws all the food off his highchair when he’s done and loves to climb all over everything.  I often catch him in mischief of some kind.  He loves markers and drawing on himself and he’s just so dang cute!  Here’s some of his latest photos:

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We got our garden put in.  I’m going for simple this year, so I just planted beans, peas, lettuce, kale and a few tomato plants and a pepper plant.  The slugs ate the sunflower plants that Kate brought home from school to her great disappointment.  The rest look like they might make it!  We finally got our fire pit put in and someday soon we might actually build a fire in it (if it ever stops raining!)

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Steve went to Mississippi for a quick trip last week and when he got back, my sister, Linsey and her family were here!  We were so excited to see her since it’s been almost 2 years!  The cousins had a great time getting to know each other again.  We took them over to Seattle and fought the mobs of people to see the gum wall and Pike Place.  We rode the ferry and took in the sights.  It was just so nice to hang out with them!

Coming up:  Steve’s dad and nephew are coming to visit for father’s day and for a Mariner’s game.  The end of school (yes, the kids are still in school for another two weeks.)  The Crook Reunion!!!  And tons of summer stuff!

Going on and there’s never enough time to post here!  I always have good intentions!

So here’s the scoop about what I haven’t posted about yet:

The kids all got the norovirus (like we were on a cruise or something!) and the house was a fun puke-fest of gross-ness for a week.  That I would like to forget.  Steve got a 5 day trip to Montreal, Canada for work.  I got called to be the assistant Wolf den leader.

Averly had her birthday party the week before her baptism.  It was a movie star birthday.  The girls had pizza and make-up and sunglasses.  They got to walk the red carpet and even treated everyone to some impromptu songs and dances.  I made Averly a star birthday cake with marshmallow fondant.  It was my first time using fondant and that was an interesting experience.  🙂  Over all it was really fun for everyone!  Including Kate who used the lipstick to make herself a vampire.  Then it wouldn’t come off until I got her home and really scrubbed her face with cleanser.

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The next week before Averly’s baptism we had quite an experience getting our bumpy driveway re-gravelled.  The dump truck got stuck when it slid off the driveway.  It was in mud up to the bumper.  I really wanted to get a picture but the poor driver was so embarrassed that I didn’t get too close with my camera.  They had to call in a wrecker to hoist it out.  What was supposed to be an hour or so of work turned into an all day job.  They did get it out but it was pretty touch and go there for a while.  They ended up not charging us for our second load of gravel, but they wouldn’t even try to turn the corner of our driveway, so only half got totally graveled.  It was a nice day and Matthew was being so cute.

The kids (including the neighbor kids) thought it was so cool to climb on all the gravel and the whole thing was too fun!

We were so grateful everyone could come to Averly’s baptism!  Averly looked so cute and we were so proud of her!

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I was so happy that my mom and step-dad got to spend a few extra days with us!  They ended up being so helpful!  Grandma kept the kids busy.

Grandpa Bill kept busy getting some things done around the house.  He helped me buy a new dishwasher and most of all . . . got my pantry built in!!!!  It’s so beautiful!  My food has been in the living room since our floor was ruined and I was so happy to have a place to put it away!  My husband finished it off by getting the panelling put up so that we don’t have a window in our living room (it used to be a wet bar.)

Kate lost her bottom two teeth.  Finally!

The next big thing was Zoey’s 4th birthday!  She was so cute and I wanted to plan her a friend birthday party but we ended up being very busy.  We went to Red Robin the night before her birthday to celebrate and had a small cake on her actual birthday.  A few days later we left on our spring vacation to California and got to have a family birthday with the Warner’s!  She was so excited to get new clothes.  I guess I just don’t think about the fact that she gets all her sisters’ hand-me-downs and never anything new.  I did have to stop Kate from trying on all of Zoey’s new things.

We did have a fun spring break with our California family.  We didn’t do much but relax, hang out and go to Sonic happy hour.  The best kind of vacation!  The kids hunted Easter eggs and ate a lot of candy.  Stevie played a lot of Wii and DSi.  Matthew played in the dryer.  Those pictures should be loaded up on the left because there are too many cute ones to choose from!

We drove it and it wasn’t our worst trip down.  🙂 Kate did manage to throw up the whole way home.  And it still wasn’t our worst drive.

The kids have been sick but thankfully Stevie was the first to get better and managed to get to the pinewood derby.  He took 5th place which was awesome since he only started it the day before!  We got our van paid off this week, just in time for an uninsured driver to back into our other car.  Steve does get to drive a rental Nissan Leaf which is an all electric car.  So that’s pretty cool.

Stevie has been playing indoor soccer at the Y and Zoey took ballet lessons.  Kate and Averly took a card making class at the school and now everyone is back in another round of swim lessons.  Whew!  There’s more!  Scouts and activity day girls add to the fun.  Matthew got his first real haircut.  It was so sad to see his curls go but now he looks so grown up!

Coming up:  5th grade science fair and camp.  Birthdays for Steve and I. And I’ve been doing a couch to 5K program and I hope to do a 5K on Memorial day.  Such fun!

We are so excited that Averly got baptized this Saturday!  My mom made her dress and it turned out soooo cute!  Especially since I called her like two weeks before complaining that I couldn’t find a white dress that fit Averly that had sleeves.  Image

I’ll post more about the fun another time!  🙂

Well, I think the aftermath of a huge snow storm, followed by an ice storm, compounded by falling trees and no power for four and a half days is not fun!  After a few weeks I can almost claim that things are back to the normal craziness.

What started out as a bunch of fun snow and missed school for the kids turned out to be a long week!  We started getting snow off and on the weekend of January 21st and 22nd.  The kids were out of school for Martin Luther King day that Monday and I was glad because the roads were iffy.  My husband went to work on Tuesday and the kids were supposed to be heading back to school.  The district called a 2 hour delay and the morning was pretty clear.  The forecast called for more snow and I was getting anxious about sending the kids when about 15 minutes before they were supposed to get on the bus, it really started to snow.  That settled it.  I kept the kids home and I’m so glad!  They ended up canceling school early and having a rough time with the buses.  One ended up in a ditch and one got stuck at the top of a hill with all the kids on board.  Just miserable!  I was so glad that I kept them home!  We saw the bus come by to drop the other kids off, with it’s chains on.  Steve stopped for pizza and milk (you know, the necessities!) on his way home early from work.

The kids were sledding their hearts out and having such a fun time hanging out at home on Wednesday when the power went out around 12:30 in the afternoon.  At first we weren’t too concerned but we called the power company to report our outage.  They gave us an estimated repair time of 2pm, then 4pm, then 5pm.  We resigned ourselves to being without power for the rest of the day and sure enough it wasn’t on in the morning either.  Steve and I called the power company so many times in the next few days that we both have the number memorized!

Thank goodness we were mostly prepared.  We had our fireplace inspected just a few months before and everything was good.  We had plenty of wood to keep us warm and chains for both cars.  Our fridge was stocked but not too full and the freezer was pretty empty.  I had just finished the laundry and everyone had just had a bath.  Plus we had quite a few candles and although we didn’t have enough flashlights for each person, we did okay.

By the second day without power I packed up the fridge into two coolers and put everything outside on the porch in the snow.  Unlike the last time we were without power for a long time (5 years ago) it was cold enough to keep our stuff cool outside!  The umbrella was to keep the snow out of the cooler since I couldn’t close it.

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On Thursday we invited the neighbors over to share in our heat since they were without running water (because they are on a well and the pump requires electricity) and heat.  Steve thought it was so manly to get the fire roaring hot, so it was 80 degrees in our house at times.  Whew!

We ate food out of the “outside fridge” and generally kept it low-key.  We were so excited when the power came back on around 5 pm on Thursday!  The kids were so excited and ran around blowing out all the candles.  Then we all groaned when less than an hour later it went back out again, leaving us in the pitch black, fumbling around for matches and flashlights.  Urg!  We were snowed in and without power but we were still hanging in there.

The kids were pretty good about keeping themselves busy but Stevie had a really hard time when his DSi ran out of power and he had nothing left to do.  He just about drove us to distraction with his whining and telling us about all the things he was going to do when the power came back on.  All the kids loved going sledding and would have spend hours outside running up and sledding down the hill near our house.

Because we are right on the county line, the neighbors just down the road had power at their house.  We took our rechargeable things down to their house to charge back up on Thursday afternoon and Stevie ended up spending the night at their house – just to play their electronic games and have another boy to play with.

On Friday, I was rinsing some dishes and actually got some hot water.  I was so excited!  Steve and I both were able to shower with hot water and I had just enough to wash a load of dishes.  Apparently even though the power was only on for an hour it was enough to heat the water!  Yay!

Steve helped dig the neighbor’s car out of his driveway and they escaped and brought home pizza and donuts for everyone.  Saturday things were starting to melt so the men worked together to get our van out of our long driveway – using chains.  They managed it and we all drove up north to the “Y” to swim and get everyone a shower.  Our neighbors with power let us drop of a load of kid laundry and recharge everything again.  We went out to eat and hit Fred Meyer for some more flashlights. It was nice to just get out of the house!  We drove south of our house to see all the trees over the road.  We counted nine trees across the road in the two miles from our house to the main road.  Two were on the power lines but it was a huge mess everywhere!

Sunday morning Kate woke up with a fever and a super sore throat – so I ran her to the doctor’s office to make sure it wasn’t strep. (It wasn’t!)  But that meant we all missed church again.  The good news was that on the way we noticed that all the trees had been cleaned up and off the power lines!  Progress!!  Sunday night some friends brought over a lantern we could use indoors along with some cookies and hot chocolate.  It was nice to chat with someone other than each other and the neighbors.  🙂

We made a bunch of plans to get everyone where they needed to be on Monday morning but at 3 am the power finally came back on for good!  It was so quiet without all the noise of the fridge and freezer and all those little noises that it seemed so loud when they came on!  We were so happy!  The kids ran around the next morning yelling that the power was back on!

Things that are a bummer when the power is out:

No air purifier for Zoey = a girl who spends one whole night gagging and throwing up due to allergies.  Thankfully in a bowl but ugh.

No vacuuming.  Even when they bring in wood and drop it all over.  Plus kids are messy.

No night lights for kids who are afraid of the dark except flashlights

No checking the internet – for anything!!!!  No weather, no phone numbers, no google map directions to a doctors office I haven’t been to before, no news.  Ahhhhhhh!

No TV to keep bored, housebound kids occupied.

Everything in the freezer thawed out.  Thankfully it was mostly veggies and fruit but still.

Things that are fun when the power is out:

Figuring out how to cook on a flat top fireplace.

Pizza is awesome reheated on fireplace.  All crunchy and yummy.

Watching just how creative my kids can be to keep themselves entertained.  Including a beauty pageant and an awesome contest.  (BTW, Stevie is the awesomest in our house.)

Laughing at the kids while they try to watch a movie on a tiny screen.

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Now we’re just looking forward to Averly’s baptism!  Maybe I’ll get more written another time!

The kids are so excited at our house – the parents, not so much.  It started snowing yesterday and it’s not supposed to be done until Wednesday night or Thursday.  They are having a blast watching the snow and playing outside.  It is so beautiful here when it snows.  I just hope it doesn’t last too long!  I’ve already done a whole load of wet clothes, coat and gloves yesterday and they haven’t even gone sledding yet.  We’re almost out of hot chocolate and we had to skip church today (too many hills!) but the kids are having a great time!

More fun to come!

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We had a wonderful Christmas this year.  The kids had two weeks off and I’m pretty sure that Stevie spent most of it playing one electronic game or another.  We did do all the fun traditions that the kids love.  We drove around to see the Christmas lights and made cookies by the dozens.  We ate tons of candy and the kids got to open their Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve and all sleep in the same room.  This year we also started a few new traditions that went well.  I wrapped up 24 Christmas books and the kids got to unwrap one each night before bed and we’d read it as a family.  They really loved this and it was a good way to actually read all the books we have.  We did our first doorbell ditch this year too.  We left cookies and cookie decorating stuff on a friend’s doorstep.  Stevie thought it was pretty fun!  We also started a gift exchange among the kids.  Using the money that Grandpa Nelson and Grandma Julie sent, the kids got to pick a name and buy a gift for their brother or sister.  It was fun to shop with each kid and see what they wanted to buy for each other!

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Steve had the pager for work over the week of Christmas so he ended up working from home quite a bit which was a bummer.  But we did get quite a bit of family time since he couldn’t get too far from home in case he got paged.

Steve made this awesome cookie for Zoey.

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We got a new camera for Christmas and although we still have a lot to learn about how to take better pictures, here’s a few cute ones of Matthew.

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Our family gift this year from Grandma Leanna and Grandpa Bill was a trip to . . .  Great Wolf Lodge! It was so fun!  When my mom called to say that she was sending some money I was so excited because the kids didn’t need any more toys but I knew they would love a trip to the indoor water park that is a an hour or two away from the house.  So we made our reservations for the beginning of the year!

We stopped at Cabela’s on the way down and saw all the animals.  They had a free shooting gallery that the kids all loved too.

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We also had to get Krispie Kreme on the way.  Yum!  We got there in the afternoon and spent a few hours swimming in the wave pool and riding a few of the slides.  The kids played Magiquest after dinner and Zoey, Matthew and I went to storytime where they had snow inside.

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That night was a rough one and we’ve all agreed that we won’t be spending another night in a hotel room until Matthew can sleep through the night in his own bed.  I ended up the in the hotel lobby at 3 am with a child who was wide awake.  There’s more but . . . I’m sure I don’t want to relive it again.

The next day we all slept in.  (see above story)  We got all our stuff packed up then let the kids play Magiquest again.  Then we spent the rest of the day in the pool.  We ate pizza for lunch at the pool and by the time 3pm came around we were exhausted.  We got everyone all dressed and the kids finished up their Magiquest game while Matthew and I hung out in the lobby.  We did manage to get a few pictures before we left.

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We are now back in the swing of things and it seems so sad that the holidays are over.  Coming up: Averly’s birthday and baptism!  So exciting!

Well, I had good intentions on keeping this up to date, but I also have 5 kids.  They win.  🙂

The kids made it off to school just fine.  Stevie is making me feel old by being in 5th grade this year.  Averly is in 2nd grade and is an excellent reader.  Kate started in afternoon kindergarten and Zoey started a little co-op preschool.

First day!

Finally! A Kinder Kate!

They all have great teachers and are enjoying school.

We had to hit our local farmer’s market one last time for the ultimate donut before summer was over.

uhhhh donut . . .

The rest of our fall has been pretty busy!  Stevie had soccer 3 times a week and finally finished up the weekend before Thanksgiving.  All I can say is brrrrr . . .  I don’t have any pictures of him but he was a really great goalie and his team won all but 2 of their games.  We really hoped that he’d be able to score a goal this year (when you play goalie almost all the time, you have less chance) but although he had quite a few close calls, he just didn’t get one.  Maybe next year.

I kept busy with playing church volleyball, PTA, and even took a girls’ weekend trip to Salt Lake City.   It was so fun to see all my girl cousins and aunts and to hang out with my mom and sister.  I took Matthew with me and although he was pretty good, I’m looking forward to going next year without him!

Halloween was a fun one this year!

Halloween!!

Averly was a dark fairy, Stevie was Mario, Kate was a ballerina and Zoey and Matthew were both dragons.  We did a trunk or treat the Saturday before and on Halloween we took the kids up to a neighborhood in our area to trick or treat.  The big news is that Steve won an award for his chili at the Trunk or treat/chili cook-off.  He is so proud of his “Eating fire would be less painful” award.  We’ve had quite a few people ask us for his recipe but Steve’s just a throw-it-all-in-then-add-a-few-more-things kind of cook.  I’m sure it tasted good but I wouldn’t even try it – too spicy!

I just can’t get enough of Matthew in his dragon costume!  It’s too dang cute!

Awww!

We signed the kids up for swim lessons at the Y.  They are finally getting the chance to swim and learn more!  We can’t wait for them to be good swimmers!

The kids were so excited when Steve’s parents came up the weekend before Thanksgiving.  They love getting some grandparent-love!  They got to go to Stevie’s last soccer game and help us do some rearranging.  Everyone was so sad to see them go the day before Thanksgiving.  😦  We did have a good Thanksgiving dinner and invited the missionaries over.  We needed someone to help us eat all the food!

The latest news is that Matthew turned one!  His is such a cutie and we are really enjoying him!  We just got him a cake from Costco but he did a great job of getting messy.

Yum!

He just started taking is first steps last week.  He can only do one or two at a time.  It’s a big change for us because all our girls were walking at or around 10 months.  Stevie was our latest at 13 months and Matthew is going to be right there with him.  Matthew loves to play with all the kids but he loves Stevie the most!  It’s so cute to see them together!  Matthew also still has one brown eye and one blue although the blue one now has some brown streaks.  They are taking forever to settle into a color.  He has the sweetest snuggle and has started to get into everything.  He loves the x-box and any remote – to the chagrin of his dad.  We just love seeing him grow up and can’t wait to see his little personality emerge!

Christmas is upon us and hopefully we’ll get some fun pictures up of all the fun things we’ll be doing this holiday season!

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