Long Weekend in Tacoma

Story told by: Henry

We got to miss a couple of days of school for a fun-filled long weekend in Tacoma!

Thursday was Daddy’s 34th birthday, so before we left the house, we gave him presents bright and early!

Daddy has been needing some new ties, so Lainey picked out some nice ones for him.

Brody wanted to get Daddy cereal, so he picked out Daddy’s favorite, Life, and his own favorite, Lucky Charms. Brody was very happy when Daddy asked if he’d like to share Lucky Charms.

Mommy got Daddy a new Kindle.

And I was really excited to give Daddy a big queen-size sleeping bag that zips together! (Mommy really likes to spread out the sleeping bags when camping, but it makes Daddy crazy because they don’t zip together. This big one will be perfect.)

Before leaving town, we went to Zoe’s for a birthday breakfast. Daddy got a free birthday espresso shot.

It was delicious!

We stopped for lunch in Ellensburg on our way to Tacoma. Mommy and Daddy made us share a drink, but that didn’t bother us one bit.

I used my fries to put birthday candles on my hamburger.

Once we got to Na Na and Ba Ba’s house, the games came out right away.

Mommy is sure grateful for the birthday boy.

Time for birthday cake!

I was pretty happy to have two scoops of ice cream on top of my cake!

On Friday morning we got up to go to the Point Defiance Zoo. It rained in the beginning, but then the sun came out to make for a beautiful day.

We brought our allowance to buy some fun things in the gift shop. I got a polar bear and a stretchy turtle, Lainey bought a penguin and an owl necklace, and Brody just wanted a sucker.

After we got home, Mommy and Daddy took off for their fun evening while we stayed with Na Na and Ba Ba. They started off with an early dinner at Cheesecake Factory.

Then they headed to Seattle for the Switchfoot concert (which was Mommy’s Christmas present to Daddy). Unfortunately the concert was in UW territory. There was waaaaayyy too much purple.

The concert was great!

And like the true old people they are, Mommy and Daddy wore earplugs. Smart!

On Saturday we drove to Aunt Janet’s house to see lots of family. We played MANY games with Carly.

Lainey did a puzzle with Boona.

This game of Rhino Hero Super Battle got pretty amazing.

But down it went!

And then I had a plank contest against Carly.

Lainey helped me win this contest. Thanks, Lainey!

The whole crew.

After we said goodbye to family, we went to the Campell’s house to stay the night. They bought a new house a year ago, so it was fun to get to check it out. We got right to work on painting nails.

Addie (5) and Lainey had lots of fun together.

Us boys had pajamas on by 2:00, and then alternated between eating and watching movies for the rest of the day.

The girls put on their fancy clothes for a tea party after dinner.

Then they did hair.

Lainey read a book to Addie.

And then it was time for a sleepover. Unfortunately Addie may have been just a little too excited, so she eventually had to be removed to her parents’ room. And Brody and I were in the same boat, so we had to be split up as well. It was  late night for everyone. We’ll try again next time!

Karl made us an AMAZING breakfast the next morning! He even bought a special pancake mix with no eggs so I could eat it.

Addie and Lainey requested matching hair, so before we left, Mommy made sure to make that happen.

After this picture, we made the relatively uneventful trip home. Thank you to everyone who hosted us in some form this weekend. It was so fun to get to see everyone!

Spring Break, 2019

Story told by: Lainey

We just finished a fantastic stay-at-home Spring Break!

The first weekend of Spring Break had amazing weather, so we went to watch the Cougs play baseball!

We found friends and Butch at the game!

We spent most of our time running around the practice field off to the side of the actual field, so Mommy and Daddy got to watch at least half of the game and only had to drag one screaming kid out of the ballpark. It practically felt like a date.

We took advantage of the beautiful weather on Sunday and put down new mulch after church.

We were all big helpers.

Henry and I helped put all of the weeds Mommy pulled out into the trash, and then once Daddy returned from Home Depot, we helped spread out the mulch. We finished it all in about four hours!

I’ve been wanting to learn how to fry my own eggs, so we took advantage of our slow Spring Break mornings to learn.


We each picked one thing we wanted to do over Spring Break. My goal was to bake something (mostly) on my own. We look through a recipe book and I picked out a cookie pizza. Mommy gave some guidance, but I did all the measuring and mixing on my own.

The finished product! It was delicious!

That afternoon we took our kinetic sand outside, which made all of us happy. We loved it because of the sunshine, and Mommy loved it because that big mess was outside!

On Tuesday morning we got up early to ride our bikes at the skate park. This is one of our favorite things to do!

After we rode bikes, we met our friends at the park for another day of gorgeous weather.

And after seven years of chasing kids around the playground, Mommy and Christy enjoyed sitting in the sun and (mostly) just watching us play. They seemed pretty darn happy about this.

After the park, we went to DQ to try their new dreamsicle dipped cones. So yummy!

On Wednesday morning, we watched Brody at gymnastics, and then went to the candy store. Brody’s goal for Spring Break was to “eat lots of candy,” so the obvious stop was the candy store.

We found the first flower in our flower beds!

The weather started to get bad on Wednesday, but we still got in a bike ride with our neighbor, Ellie.

She stayed for dinner with us that evening, and we wanted to make sure she had a fun dinner, so we came up with rainbow pancakes. And we had to make sure we had whipped cream and sprinkles on top!

On Thursday we were out the door bright and early to head to Spokane. Our first stop was at Target to get some spring/summer clothes for me, but while we were there, Henry found a gnome. He’s been searching high and low for a gnome for the flower beds, so as soon as we walked past this one, we knew we had to have it!

The real point of our trip to Spokane, though, was to see Mommy’s friend, Jessica, and her new baby (her third child), Ava.

We played outside for a couple of hours, had pizza for lunch, and the mommies got to catch up. It was a great visit!

As soon as we got home, Henry found a home for his gnome. He named him Noney. Henry also knew that Noney was 57 years old because of his white beard.

On Friday morning, we met the Barners at Planet 3 to get out lots of energy. Then we all went out to Wendy’s for a yummy lunch.

We painted some spring pictures that afternoon.

And then because we could, we made octopus pizzas for dinner!

Over the past three weekends in between various events, Daddy has been hard at work on our guest room. He put up dry wall to cover up holes, repainted walls and baseboards (and added missing baseboards), painted closet doors, and then helped Mommy hang up a few new decorations. He did great!

While the boys played Wii, Mommy and I made a beautiful new bracelet.

After church on Sunday, the boys went to the WSU Entomology Insect Expo. (I was sick, so I had to stay home with Mommy.) Henry’s goal for Spring Break was to “be an entomologist,” so this bug exhibit was absolutely perfect!

Brody wouldn’t go near the bugs, but Henry loved them!

Henry’s favorite part was that they each got to bring home a mealworm that turns into a beetle. They even brought home a third mealworm for me, so we get to watch our bugs transform!

The boys ended the day with face painting.

I’m still not feeling 100%, but once I woke up from my nap, Mommy and I took on a giant perler bead creation. (Mommy has declared that she’s ironed one too many perler bead creations over Spring Break and now needs a looooong break from them.)

Ready for school to start tomorrow! The boys have seven weeks of school until summer, and I have eight and a half weeks left! We’re coming for you summer!

Mommy is 34!

Story told by: Henry

Mommy turned 34 on March 14th! We had a great day celebrating!

Brody woke up extra early to spend every second with the birthday girl.

Grandma and Grandpa were rock stars. They took all of us to school while Mommy got to cozy up under a blanket and read a book at home. Then they returned with a birthday coffee for Mommy!

After we were done with preschool, we went to Lumberyard for a yummy lunch for Mommy.

I was especially excited to play the Lumberyard video game. I beat Grandma and Brody.

I was also convinced I’d beat Mommy. I won the first two rounds, but then Mommy beat me the third time. I guess the birthday girl should win at least one round.

Daddy is going to work on painting the guest room in the next few weeks, so we went to pick out a few paint samples.

While the ladies shopped, we ate the free popcorn and hung out on lawn mowers with Grandpa.

When we got home, Grandpa started shoveling out the driveway so he could get the grill out for dinner.

And then Grandpa grilled some delicious steaks and asparagus in the snow!

While the adults cleaned up dinner, Lainey created a surprise for Mommy.

A delicious chocolate chip cream cheese cake. Soooo good that Mommy had two pieces!

Then it was time for presents. I could barely wait for Mommy to open my present. I told her the day before her birthday, “Mom, you’re going to love my present because you won’t have to worry about scratching your back ever again.” Mommy must have been so relieved when she opened my back scratcher. (Because of my excitement, this was Mommy’s favorite present.)

For most of present-opening, I sat there and scratched Mommy’s back.

Lainey was really excited to give Mommy new slippers.

An electric wine opener from Grandma and Grandpa.

A new tray for the top of the ottoman.

And Mommy was very surprised to open new couch pillow covers that Grandma had made for her. This was after Mommy had been talking all week about wanting to get out to buy new pillows for the couches. Grandma was trying to prevent Mommy from going shopping because Grandma knew what was coming.

So cute!!

That night I had wrestling, so Grandpa came to watch me while Mommy and Grandma met friends for quick drinks and dessert. Carrot cake was Mommy’s choice!

Mrs. O’Loughlin’s birthday is the day after Mommy’s, so they both got free dessert!

This laughter was the perfect end to a great day for Mommy. Mommy feels very blessed by great family and great friends.

My Seventh Birthday

Story told by: Lainey

I was so excited to turn seven! Unfortunately I was hit with a stomach bug a couple of days before my birthday and it lasted for five days.

On the morning of my birthday, I requested this birthday song, but as you can see, I just wasn’t feeling great after almost 48 hours of vomiting.

My morning was spent at the doctor’s office. They had some big concerns about dehydration, so they gave me Zofran to allow me to hydrate and to keep me out of the hospital.

Zofran was a lifesaver!! Within 20 minutes, I perked up, stopped vomiting, and asked for a few sips of water. I was able to do a craft with Grandma.

And read a book.

I didn’t want to even look at food, but I did want to open presents. Henry was really excited to give me this Rubik’s Cube that I’d requested.

Gma and Gpa gave me this new American Girl doll. Thank you!

A Baby Alive doll from Grandma and Grandpa!

I have no idea who sent this shirt (there wasn’t a note in the package), but I love it!

Books from the Campbells! I’m loving mysteries right now.

And boots from Na Na and Ba Ba. My favorite part about these boots is that they have a little heel. My first reaction when I opened them, “I’ve been wanting heels!!”

Mommy thinks I look SO OLD in this picture!

A great blanket-making kit from the Spotanskis!

And new dance pants! After this, everyone ate a quick dinner and rushed off for the boys’ art show. I rested and started to feel much worse again as the medicine began to wear off. So I got a new dose and went to bed!

After yet another dose of medicine the next morning, I had enough pep in my step to play a new game I got for my birthday.

I asked Mommy to take this picture and label it, “Cowgirl Mama.” I’ve barely taken off these new cowgirl boots. I had some just like them when I was younger and I wore them until my toes were scrunched up inside. Mommy suspected I might like new ones, and I LOVE them!

Grandma and I started working on my blanket. I love it!

And finally, five days after the stomach bug started (and three days after my birthday), I woke up feeling better and hungry!!! We decided that it wouldn’t officially be March 8th until I was better, so on Monday, we officially celebrated me being seven!

I lost seven pounds from not eating and vomiting (and weighed as much as Henry), so Mommy let me eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

Brody and I got to watch a movie together while Henry was at preschool.

And I was proud to show how many fingers I can now put up.

Coming along on the blanket.

I finally got my requested birthday dinner of tacos.

I really, really like tacos.

And I also got my yummy chocolate peanut butter cake.

So happy to finally be seven!! (And also not to be sick anymore!)

Preschool Art Show, 2019

Story told by: Brody

Henry and I had our preschool art show last night! Grandma and Grandpa came into town the night before, so they got to join us. (Lainey has been really sick, so Daddy stayed home with her.)

The theme of this art show was shapes.

Our art was hung up all over the church, so we got to walk around to find it and show our adults.

Henry’s self-portrait.

My self-portrait.

After showing off all of our art, we went downstairs for some delicious snacks and to play with friends.

I found my Chloe.

Chocolate-covered face.

And Mommy found a couple of her friends.

One last picture before we started melting down and had to get out of there. Another successful art show!!

My Seventh Birthday Party!

Story told by: Lainey

I turn seven on March 8th, so today I got to have my birthday party with friends a little early!

For the first time ever, I wanted to have my birthday party out of the house!

I love art a lot, so my request was to go to Wild at Art in Moscow to paint pottery.

Since there are tons of breakable things in the studio, we got a babysitter for the boys and I got all of Mommy’s and Daddy’s attention!

We arrived a few minutes early to decorate the space.

And then my friends arrived! Since the pottery pieces were a little more expensive, Mommy told me I could only pick four friends. That was tough for me to do, but I narrowed it down to some great girls. (From left to right…Cece, Ivy, Ani, and Niki.)

First came the hard part of deciding what to paint.

After a quick tutorial, we got to work on our items!

I chose a princess for my project.

While we waited for paint to dry before doing another coat, Mommy had some fun coloring pages and an “All About Lainey” word search to do.

Easiest birthday party EVER for Mommy and Daddy. They did have to help quite a bit, but also enjoyed some time for coffee.

My present from Wild at Art is an awesome birthday plate. My friends and I got to put our fingerprints on it, and the Wild at Art employees will write our names by the fingerprints. Then they’ll put it in the kiln and I’ll get an awesome plate! I love it so much!

After finishing our painting, it was time for cupcakes!

Present time!

Our finished products! They’ll fire these in the kiln, and then we’ll pick them up in about a week. Thank you so much to my sweet friends for coming to celebrate with me. I’m so lucky to have you girls as good friends.

Big Cat Battle, 2019

Story told by: Henry

I had my first wrestling tournament of the season at Mead High School in Spokane this past Saturday! I miss the age cutoff for most of the Washington wrestling tournaments by 17 days, but both this tournament and one in April are considered “open” tournaments, so I can do both of those. By doing this, it means I’m one of the youngest kids out there, but it doesn’t phase me one bit!

Because of snow and ice on the roads, we went up on Friday afternoon as opposed to driving up at 5 a.m. on Saturday. We tried to eat at Red Robin or Olive Garden since we don’t have those in Pullman, but the wait times there were over 30 minutes, so….Applebee’s it was.

We were being pretty silly.

The girls’ response to “those crazy boys.”

Caleb was doing the tournament as well, so the Knights stayed in the hotel with us. And the O’Loughlins wanted to come watch us and join in on the fun, so they also joined. We all dumped our bags in our rooms, quickly changed, and met in the pool!

After an hour in the pool, we watched the ending of a movie, and then went straight to bed because I had an early weigh-in the next morning!

Up and ready to leave at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday.

With all of our friends at the hotel, we were able to tag team it. Daddy and I went with Caleb, Sean, and Sarah to save seats and weigh in at 7.

Since wrestling wouldn’t start until 9:30, everyone else stayed behind to eat breakfast and watch cartoons before being confined to the gym all day.

Brody had a giant waffle and fruit loops for breakfast. (He was obviously living the hotel dream life.)

Once the rest of the crew did a coffee run for everyone, they arrived ready for some wrestling!

Me and my six-year-old buddies.

Mrs. O’Loughlin made sure to sneak in lots of pictures with us on our devices. She’s so silly.

There were 630 wrestlers at this tournament, which makes it the biggest tournament I’ve ever been in.

Getting my game face on.

Almost go time!

With my buddies Pierce, Sonny, and Truman back in the pairing room, which is where we go to wait to be matched up with whoever we’ll be wrestling.

I was the first wrestler of the whole tournament to be called out! I got to go right away, and I won this match! I didn’t pin him, but I instead won by points.

I was wrestling all six-year-olds, and this kid was only three pounds heavier than me, but quite a bit taller. I fought hard, but lost this match. (This kid ended up taking second place.)

In between matches, we mostly ate, watched shows, and did pipe cleaner crafts.

Lainey playing UNO with Caleb.

Brody’s buddy from preschool, Eliana, has a big brother wrestling, so they had lots of fun together.

I fought hard again, but also lost match three. (This kid ended up taking first place.)

I won match four by pinning this guy!!

While we were waiting for awards, Lainey found her buddy, Damien. They were born one day apart at Pullman Regional Hospital. He used to live in Pullman and our families all went to church together, but now his family lives in Spokane. It was fun to see them!

I had a bye for the last match, and after waiting for results, it was determined I got a bronze medal!

Mommy and Daddy are SO proud of me for not giving up! I just did my best and kept trying!

In the Idaho tournaments last fall, I got all gold medals and one silver medal. But of all my medals, this bronze medal is the medal I had to fight for the most. I earned every bit of this medal!

We left the tournament around 5, grabbed dinner to go, and hit the road to head home. Brody was the first one out (note the sucker still in hand).

I wasn’t far behind Brody.

Lainey didn’t fall asleep, but she also didn’t want to be left out of picture taking.

I’ll continue to attend practices for the next couple of months, and then I’ll be put to the test again in the April tournament. I can’t wait! (And special thanks to the O’Loughlins and Knights for being such a fantastic cheering team!!)