November 5, 2014

Bring on the Rain

After a long, dry, warm, and sunny summer, the rain has finally arrived and is very welcomed.  Before the rain and cold arrived we got out a lot to enjoy the remaining sunshine.

Sage learned how to sail this summer in Puget Sound with one of his best buds.
 
We made a couple trips to the beach and enjoyed Ocean Shores.  Just hanging out...
 
exploring the beach...
 
playing a game of family soccer...
 
flying kites...
 
racing go karts...

playing with old school 25 cent arcade games...
 
and visiting with grand parents.
 
We had a fun family day meeting Auntie Lauren in Seattle to go to the Woodland Park Zoo.  All the kids were able to see various animals for the first time.  Asher was so excited before we went he was singing about it.

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Zebras and giraffes.

Making paper out of elephant poop.
 
 
Back at home...
 Asher learned how to roller skate.

Asher wants to do what the big people around him are doing.  He's helping Paul out with yard work.
 
Haven celebrated her 12th birthday at the end of September.

 She was so excited when Paul drove up with her new bike.

It was a rainy weekend so Haven had a movie marathon with lots of junk food.  She said it was her favorite birthday.
 
Asher enjoyed his first cupcake at the birthday celebration.  He has a good method of eating, frosting first and then don't eat most of the cake.
 
 


October was full of fall festivities.  It was hard to coordinate everything around all the boys soccer games but we somehow managed to do it.
 

A local Cider Mill has some of the best homemade cider around and fun outdoor festivities for kids.
 
 

The family completed a 12 course corn maze.  All the kids loved hiding and trying to scare each other as we found our way through the maze.  The kids went on a tractor pulled ride afterwards.
 
 
 The Tacoma Zoo had an October fest where everyone could dress up and play games.  The kids got to pet sharks and sting rays for the first time.

 
Just before Halloween we went to the pumpkin patch.



The kids tried the pumpkin sling shot.  It was harder than it looks.

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A big hit with the kids was the slide.  After each ride the most common phrase was "again?"
 

Pumpkin carving afterwards.

 
Happy Halloween!!!!!  This year was Asher's first trick or treating event.  The family thought he would just go to a house or two but he wanted to keep going with the big kids all night.
 
 
Xavier came up with a creative way to get rid of a rotting pumpkin!
 
That's the last hectic three months but Paul and I have decided that everyday is pretty crazy.  We think we might have some down time but most nights Paul and I don't sit down until 9pm or later...then wake up and do it all over again!

August 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Yomo! This post is for you.



Easter - April 2014

Asher was totally into it.  His first real egg hunt.  We gave him only a couple chocolate goodies mixed in with healthier treats.  He went for the white chocolate pretty quickly.
Sage was really excited to get a rubber band bracelet loom.  All the kids at school wear these and he continues to try new patterns and make them with his friends.

I celebrated my 35th birthday this May.  Asher made me this adorable sign at daycare.  You know you're a mama bear when you get a sign with plastic bottle caps glued to paper on it and you smile.


 
Asher wanted to make cookies for my birthday but the sun was just starting to come out after a long gray winter so I told him wait for a rainy day.  On the first rainy day that came along we made snicker doodle cookies.  This was Asher's first time making them with me.  He helped measure ingredients, roll the dough and everything else involved.  Xavier is great at baking now.  Better at eating them!

Asher posing in his first set of underwear.  We haven't started potty training yet, just getting him used to the idea.

With the sunshine we started our summer with exploring hiking trails.  This river went for miles until it ended at the base of Wallace Falls.


Asher LOVES hiking with Paul.  The funny thing is that he gets in the pack and becomes a little chatter box.  Paul says he doesn't stop talking unless he falls asleep.  We hike for hours and he just keeps going.

A fabulous lunch stop.


June was filled with track practices and meets.  It turns out Haven is REALLY fast.  She came in first for her school district and was invited to the state finals.  She came in the top 5 girls for her age group for the state.  We're so proud of her.  It's been a long road to get to here.

Sage competed in various track events.  I think he smiles even when he runs.  Such a jolly kid.

Xavier came in first for the 400m.  I still marvel that he is able to run and compete let alone dominate in this track event.  It's still very overwhelming to see him excel athletically.

With the sunny days has come fun mornings with Asher.  Every Saturday I let Paul and the big kids sleep in by taking the loud toddler out of the house.  Asher and I do something different every time and LOVE being outside together.  I know it's weeks away from the cold arriving again so I cherish these moments.

Sage celebrated is 11th birthday this June.  My baby of the big kids is BIG!


He got a rip stick for his birthday and we still don't know if Sage or Haven likes it more.

There have been plenty of water gun fights this summer...as well as Haven trying to photo bomb pictures.

The whole family got behind the world cup this year.  The kids wore festive shirts for each Ghana game, we made black star cookies and ate yummy food.

Haven and Sage moved on from elementary school to middle school this year.  This was Sage's first grade teacher.  He saved a writing assignment Sage wrote about what he was going to do in 5th grade.

Asher loves playing outside and driving this little car.  I remember my little sister loving her car too and I wouldn't be surprised if she has a similar picture.


Paul had a happy Father's Day at the Pt. Defiance Zoo.   Feeding the birds is such a simple thing and the kids could stay there for hours feeding them.


This little man adores animals and loves animal facts.  He's really started to like beginning reader books too.


Xavier celebrated his 13th birthday in July.  It was very difficult trying to get pictures of 13 year old boys running around at a party.  Asher gave him an adorable present.  He picked raspberries at daycare.  Xavier had a big smile on his face when he got them and everyone quickly devoured the berries.


Happy 4th of July!  Asher wasn't scared a bit so we let him stay up later and he and Sage had fun with fireworks.

Just visiting a local river to escape the heat.  Sage worked very hard on his dam building and had ice cold skin for awhile afterwards. Asher had to help him build build build.


With summer comes smores.  We always try and roast them a few times before the rain comes.  Haven always wants smore and smore.

More hiking.  The little guy started out with the big kids and eventually slowed down and needed to be carried.




We arrived at this hidden lake to eat lunch and everyone was freezing.  We ate as quick as we could and headed back down the mountain.

All the kids have helped Paul get work down around the house.  Xavier has been able to help with much bigger and harder projects this year now that he is so big himself.


What to do with so many kids needing to get out of the house?  Parks...parks...and more parks.




Paul and I realized we had never taken the kids to explore Seattle for a day so we decided to go.

This was a special moment for me.  Asher's first carousal ride but why it's special is because this is the same carousal Xavier went on for his first ride.  It was also where we went before his heart surgery a little over 4 years ago.  Times have changed since then.


Ice cream you scream we all want more ice cream!  We went on the ferris wheel you can see in the back.  It challenged Sage's fear of heights but he did great in the end.







We ended our day in the city with a concert and dinner at the base of the space needle.


This was our BIG summer hike and the hardest one we've ever done with the family. Here we are just starting out not knowing what's ahead.

Hiking through alpine meadows.  This shows how little everyone looked hiking along trail.


Our first snack and water break was a pristine lake.  The view was incredible and the bugs very difficult.

Asher did so well with the bugs.  We thought they just weren't biting him because he was such a happy hiker.  The next day he has bites all over his legs.  My little dude is always such a trooper.  Xavier put on his hoodie so the bugs would leave him alone.


Off we go.

It was at this point the kids started to wonder..."where are you taking us mom and dad?"

We just kept going up.

...and up

...until we reached some snow.  The funny thing is that Asher asked me if we'd get to play in snow and I told him, "no silly it's summer".  We joked about how he knew better.  Everyone was so hot it worked out well that he ran around throwing snow balls at everyone.

Finally, 3000ft later.  We reached our final destination.  The best view of Mt. Rainer I've seen.


We were thrilled we got to take a gondola down the slope instead of turn around and walk back.
 
Happy Birthday Sharon.  I was stumped on what to do for you and thought you would enjoy seeing pictures to some of the stories you've heard.