Grandma and Grandpa Visit!

Story told by: Henry

We got to spend the past ten days with Grandma and Grandpa! It was a great visit.

On their first morning here, my request was to eat bananas in my cereal just like Grandpa.

I went to preschool, and everyone else walked Lainey to school. On their way, Brody found a giant dandelion.

In honor of their first day here, us kids insisted that everyone match in their Cardinals shirts.

We loved playing “Alligator” with Grandpa.

Brody loved having a reading buddy.

And Mommy loved having a puzzle buddy.

On day two, Grandpa took Lainey on a breakfast date to Old European.

And then a Wal-Mart stop to pick out a new toy.

And Grandpa was the Saturday morning hero when he returned with coffee for everyone.

Lainey and her new toy.

We tried Shrinky Dinks for the first time.

They got so small! We loved them!

On Saturday afternoon, we hung out with Taylor while the adults went to cheer on the Cougs as they played Eastern Washington.

The Cougs had a convincing win, so everyone was happy!

On Sunday, Brody convinced Grandpa to come up front for the children’s message. (Brody may have Grandpa wrapped around his finger.)

After church we went to cheer on the Cougar soccer team as they played Cal Poly.

Brody is getting pretty good at the WSU fight song.

Brody’s favorite mascot was there!

Halftime entertainment. The Cougs won!

We are all loving games right now, so Grandma and Grandpa were constantly playing them with us.

While Lainey and I were at school on Monday, Grandpa took Brody on a date. Their first stop was at Wal-Mart, and instead of a toy, Brody wanted a new game.

And next they went to Southfork for lunch.

Grandma and Mommy completed their puzzle on Monday afternoon!

But before it was done, Grandma caused some problems.

After we picked Lainey up from school, we went to Ferdinand’s to see Taylor one last time before she heads off to college.

We are really going to miss her!! But we’re also so excited for her!

Playing Brody’s new game!

While all of us were at school on Tuesday, the adults went thrift store hunting to find this table to make into a LEGO table. They started by sanding it, and then painting it white.

Grandma introduced Lainey to paper fortune tellers.

Mommy didn’t like her results.

On Tuesday night, I got to start wrestling!! I’ve been asking to do this for a year, and I’m finally old enough.

Daddy took me on the first night, and sent Mommy some pictures.

On Wednesday morning, the adults got to go watch Brody at gymnastics.

Grandpa briefly left for a quick coffee run. Hurray for Grandpa!

Then it was finally turn for my date after school!

Pizza for lunch!

Then Wal-Mart for a toy.

I knew right away that I had to have this remote control race car.

On Wednesday night, Grandma and Grandpa got to come check out what we do at AWANA. Here is a video of the song portion of our night.

On Thursday afternoon, the girls all went to get coffee and pedicures.

While the girls were having fun, we were having even more fun at the playground with Grandpa.

That night, Mommy, Grandma, and Grandpa took me to wrestling. I’m the youngest out there, but it doesn’t phase me one bit.

I have a lot to learn about wrestling (so do Mommy and Daddy), but I am so focused and excited about it. Mommy and Daddy are super proud of how hard I’m working.

On Friday morning, Brody got in some games with the adults.

On Friday afternoon, Grandpa and I played tons of games.

Snack on the play structure.

Lainey in her silly fake glasses moments before doing her 20 minutes of daily reading with Grandma.

Grandma helped Lainey figure out her Spirograph.

Mommy and Grandma managed to do two 1,000-piece puzzles in a week. Puzzling champs!

The Cougs had an away game against USC on Friday night. (Lainey got to stay up for the first quarter.) It did not end well (and it may have taken Mommy and Daddy 24 hours to get over it), but we’re ready to watch them win at home this Saturday!

There is a yummy new bakery in Uniontown, so Grandpa went over there on Saturday morning to get some treats.

Grandma’s good friend, Gina, came to visit on Saturday, so we stayed busy with other things. We started by going to Costco with Mommy, and then came home to pick the apples off our trees.

Can you spy the Brody nibbles on the apples?

On Saturday afternoon, we went to celebrate Ashley (one of our sweet babysitters) and Elias getting married. Ashley looked beautiful!

The Smarts were also there, so we got in lots of fun playground time with them.

We even had our very own kids’ table!

After the wedding, it was a group effort for the adults to get the lego base plates precisely glued on.

After church on Sunday, one last favorite stop before leaving town – Sella’s!

Brody and I had our own special table.

We got up to Spokane with some time to play in River Park Square.

We are so grateful for the time we got to spend with Grandma and Grandpa!!

Their flight was leaving at 6 a.m. today, so after a Red Robin dinner, we had to drop them off at their hotel last night. And we were very, very sad. Brody couldn’t stop crying, which was breaking Mommy’s heart, so she stopped and bought us candy to cheer all of us up. It worked.

And after letting the base plates dry for 24 hours, the LEGO table is complete!

We love it! (Oh, and also note the fun wall hangings Grandma helped to hang in our room!)

Our First Day of Preschool!

Story told by: Brody

After waiting three years for my turn, I got to start preschool today!! And Henry got to start his second year of preschool!

As is our family tradition, we get to pick out any kind of cereal we want for our first day of school. I picked Cocoa Puffs! It must have been our lucky day because the store only had the family size box of that cereal.

And Henry wanted the same kind, so now we have two giant boxes of Coca Puffs!

I was the first one to get to take my picture.

I was feeling very silly and excited.

I’m pretty insistent on being a “not scary robot” in the future. Seems like a reasonable life goal.

Henry has stayed pretty consistent with his life goal of wanting to be a driver of some dangerous/fast vehicle.

Backpacks on!

Ready to go!

Mommy wanted to attempt a picture in front of the preschool sign, but we really weren’t feeling it.

Nope. Not happening.

Henry’s class is upstairs, and starts 15 minutes before mine, so we went to his room first. He got a picture with his teacher (who was also his teacher last year), Mrs. O’Loughlin.

And his assistant teacher, Miss Stahlecker. We love both of these teachers so much!

Henry will be in preschool five mornings a week, so he’ll spend lots of time in this classroom.

After waiting for a few minutes, it was my turn! Here is my teacher, Mrs. King. I get to be in preschool with her two mornings a week.

And here is my assistant teacher, Miss Tietjen. They are both really nice!

I tend to be a little more timid, so Mommy wasn’t sure how I would do with drop off, but she didn’t need to fear because I rocked it. I gave her a big hug and sat down right away to do some work. No hesitation or tears! I’ve got this.

Two hours, fifteen minutes!!! That is how long Mommy gets to herself on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. FIRST. TIME. WITH. NO. CHILDREN. And she soaked it up!! First up, peaceful strolling around the grocery store.

Followed by a snack, coffee, and a book. GLORIOUS!!!!!

While Mommy was basking in the quiet, we were having a blast at preschool. Here are some of Henry’s pictures she received.

Henry was very proud of this fort.

Henry really enjoys getting to be in class with his buddies, Desmond and Elijah.

Here is a snapshot of Henry’s first day.

And here are some pictures from my day.

And a snapshot of my day! I loved it! (But when Mommy arrived, I warmed her heart by giving her a giant hug and saying, “I missed you so much, Mommy!”) Here’s to a great year!

My First Day of First Grade!

Story told by: Lainey

Although I didn’t want summer to end, I was very excited to wake up and head to first grade today!!

We always get to pick out a box of cereal for our first day of school, so I naturally chose the Costco box of unicorn cereal.

Moments after picking out the cereal at Costco, I walked past this outfit and just knew I had to have it for my first day as well. (Mommy even agreed that it was pretty darn cute.)

I recently changed my life goals from being a sheep farmer to being a mom and a barista. (Mommy is not too heartbroken at the thought of not having to raise livestock.)

Ready to go!

I’m in a first/second grade combo class!

I get to have the wonderful Mrs. Nelson as my teacher. Mommy knows Mrs. Nelson from when they both taught in Pullman. This is Mrs. Nelson’s first year in Colton, and we’re thrilled to have her! (She has a son who will be with Henry in kindergarten next year.)

After a fantastic first day, Mommy and the boys were so excited to see me! I’m tired, but I loved every bit of it.

Here are my thoughts on my first day. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow!

Summer Highlights – Part Two

Story told by: Lainey

The rest of our summer highlights that haven’t made it on the blog!

Brody is very proud to announce that he can now climb to the top of the spider web. He’s enjoying keeping up with Henry.

Lounging by the side of the pool.

I lost my sixth tooth!

Mommy’s favorite summer spot – the Foundry patio with good friends.

I got to do a week of cheerleading camp!

Showing off my moves with Nora and Lucy.

When Alaska meets a Disney princess.

Mommy had made an appointment for me to get a hair trim. But I decided that I wanted to go short!

I love it!!

And I requested a picture with Mommy because now we’re twins.

Concert in the Park and ice cream with Nora and Lucy.

Henry mastered the monkey bars!!

And a special Spokane back-to-school girls’ shopping date. We started with yummy drinks at Daily Grind.

A busy afternoon!!

I brought my money to buy a new doll at Target.

School supplies!

A jacket in Target that I just had to have. I PROMISED Mommy that I would actually wear it.

And a yummy dinner before heading home!

The boys’ bed makes for perfect forts.

We know the summer is nearing an end when one of our favorite events arrives…The Lentil Festival!

Checking out the fire truck.

A picture with one of our favorite firefighters (and old neighbors), Tony.

Ice cream after Lentil Festival.

Saturday morning, ready for the Lentil Festival Parade!

We found Slinky at the parade, and he has some awesome new Coug clothes.

The O’Loughlins bought a new house, and it came with a hot tub! We got to enjoy it at their housewarming party.

Mommy with Liz and Sarah.

The Mangolds live in Houston now, but while visiting family in Seattle, they made a special trip to Pullman to visit us!!

Kate and I were best buddies for the first couple years of our lives, and we quickly picked up right where we left off.

Mommy and Jennisa.

Check out my high dive action at the pool. My first time!

Daddy had to go to Boise on a work trip. Since we only had a few nights left of being able to stay up late, Mommy put the boys to bed, and we had special girls’ night watching “The Greatest Showman.”

Brody did some decorating. And then some cleaning.

The Grunenfelders live near Seattle, and also came to visit for a night. Pictures from our hike up Kamiak Butte.

Crafting with Emma.

Painting rocks we collected on our hike.

Emma and I got to have a sleepover!

At the beginning of the summer I created a podcast on animals as my summer project. (It’s called “Learning with Lainey,” and you can find it on your favorite podcast app.) My last episode was about cougars, and since we’re HUGE WSU Cougar fans, I had to include a little about our favorite team. I got to interview Coug legend, Jason Gesser, for my last episode. It was so much fun!!

We had a yummy breakfast at the Co-Op.

When the afternoon activity is left up to me, this is what I choose.

For the second to last day of summer, we requested a lazy day. We didn’t change out of our pajamas all day.

And we watched three movies. We kept telling Mommy that it was the best day ever.

And for today, our final day of summer, we first requested Planet 3 Trampoline Park.

After working up quite the appetite at Planet 3, we went to Wendy’s for lunch.

Mommy wasn’t planning on eating lunch out, but when a friend told her about 50-cent Frosties, she knew we had to do it.

Brody especially loved his Frosty.

This afternoon we watched a movie, and then went outside to enjoy the perfect fort-building weather!

Tonight was back-to-school night (and Mommy failed to take any pictures). I got to bring in my supplies, see my classroom, meet my teacher (who I actually already met when we ran into her at a park a couple of weeks ago), check out my locker, and get some cookies. I am ready for first grade!! Bring on a great school year! (The boys have their preschool orientations the next couple of days, and they both start right after Labor Day!)

Summer Highlights – Part One

Story told by: Lainey

In honor of school starting in two days, I’m posting some of the highlights of our summer that never made it onto the blog. (We have packed so much fun into this summer, that we haven’t always been able to find the time to post about it.)

At the beginning of the summer, Brody and Henry got to take lessons with Dede. Brody was in the first year class, and Henry was in the second year class.

Brody got to be in class with Kylee and Mac. After watching their older siblings swim for the past three years, it was finally their turn!

And the moms all enjoyed being together as well.

Brody cried a lot during the first couple of days, but by day three, he was done crying and ready to swim! Here are a few highlights of his week.

And, as always, Henry was ready to go! Even though all of the other kids in Henry’s class were five, four-year-old Henry fit right in.

Brody’s favorite part of the lessons was definitely the suckers given at the end of the two weeks. You did it, buddy!!

My lessons were the following two weeks. I had rain on my first day, and it didn’t even phase me.

During my lessons, the boys and their friend, Levi, all piled into the changing room to stay dry and watch their shows.

The end of my fourth year of lessons with Dede. Crazy to think that I only have one summer left with her!

We got to celebrate Mommy’s first group of third graders graduating from high school. Rosie and Amy have been some great babysitters for us.

Mommy and her former student, Lydia.

Mommy and her former student, Billy.

Mommy and her former student, Jed.

And Taylor! Who is so incredibly special to us that we’re in denial that she’s going to leave us.

Mommy is still trying to convince her to skip college and come live in our basement instead.

Mommy and Daddy had to say goodbye to their faithful Keurig machine. It lasted a good six years, so they buried it in the backyard and gave it a proper memorial. (Just kidding. They threw it away, and are back to a regular ol’ coffee pot. And turns out they really like the coffee pot!)

Mommy and Daddy went out to dinner on their ten-year wedding anniversary.

This was a common sight this summer as Brody worked hard on potty training.

We got to spend lots of time with the Davis family this summer.

We went to Spokane to meet our newest cousin, Matthew (and to see his big brother, Vern).

Cousin picture!

Park date with the O’Loughlins!

Using recycling to build a rocket.

When you have small friends, this is the result of the teeter totter. (Please note that three-year-old Brody is matched up with six-year-old Riley.)

Mommy is thrilled the Greene family moved here from Olympia!

Mommy walked in to find us dressed like this. Our explanation: “We’re arctic ninjas, so we needs lots of layers.”

We had a girls’ lunch to celebrate Miss Brooke’s birthday.

Nora and Lucy convinced me to try a Shirley Temple. My face shows how much I enjoyed it. It was “spicy.”

We had lots of pool time this summer. Hanging out with Desmond at the pool.

One morning Mommy told us she was going to work out. She came downstairs a couple of minutes later to find us all set up ready to go with her.

Treats on a Saturday morning farmer’s market.

I brought my money to buy fairy dolls at the farmer’s market.

Face/arm painting at the market.

My new desk! I helped Mommy and Daddy with the painting of it.

We got some great cherries from our cherry tree. (Once again, potty-training Brody means lots of bare buns this summer.)

We spent a Sunday afternoon washing scooters. Henry said, “Our scooters are so clean. Peoples are going to be shouting, ‘Scooters! Scooters!'”

Fun with Cleopatra and Ivy at the park.

Henry and Brody got to play on the same t-ball team this summer! (Brody’s first year, Henry’s second year.)

They got to be on the same team as their buddies, Desmond and Elijah.

One of the best parts of t-ball for Mommy and Daddy….for the first time ever, they are not chasing any toddlers during the games/practice. They just get to enjoy the game!!

We went on a hike at Klemgard Park with Cleopatra and Anastasia.

Park time with Niki and Cece.

Mommy and Daddy got to go to a special SEL dinner to celebrate Daddy’s first two patents!

Our neighbors let us come over to pick raspberries. Most of Brody’s raspberries didn’t make it home.

My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Kinzer, was nice enough to invite me out to ride one of her horses.

One of my favorite parts was brushing the horse because he loved it.

Mrs. Kinzer’s daughter, Addison, was nice enough to help me ride.

There was lots of ice cream at Ferdinand’s this summer.

My good friend, Stella, lives in South Carolina now, but came to Pullman for the day while she was close by visiting her family in Spokane. I loved seeing her!

A lot of kids piled in the pool!

Paige and I got to do Mega Sports Camp together! It’s a sports camp that also teaches you about God. The best!

Sprinkler under the trampoline with the Evanoffs.

Water balloon fight with one of my best friends, Dez.

These two moved into a bunk bed!

And Brody is (mostly, kind of) potty trained, so he got to pick out big boy underwear!

We met our friends, the Cook family, up at Lake Coeur d’Alene for a fun afternoon of swimming.

They have baby number three on the way!

Ice cream after a fun day of swimming.

T-ball with good buddies.

Team picture!

While I was at Mega Sports Camp, the boys helped Mommy make treats for t-ball.

Mr. Competitive here was constantly diving for balls, rolling across the field, and running as fast as he could. He did it all so he could win a trophy and beat the other team. Mommy had to break the news to him that there were no trophies and no winners in t-ball. He took it pretty well, but was THRILLED when his coach was amazing and surprised them with trophies for the last night.

Summer highlights will be continued with part two tomorrow….

Boots and Pearls – Lutherhaven

**Since Mommy and Daddy keep gallivanting around on adventures of their own, we’re letting Mommy write yet another blog post.**

When we camped with our church at Camp Lutherhaven earlier this summer, we heard about a fundraising event at camp called Boots and Pearls. This event has dancing, good food, and a great atmosphere, but most importantly includes a time to raise money to help send kids to camp.

It was especially fun to go with a bunch of friends! We met at the Coeur d’Alene Resort to take a cruise over to camp.

After getting off the boat, I had to take a moment to show my gunslinging skills.

Kylan and I found some great clothes at Goodwill for this event.

Easily my favorite cowboy.

The best thing about Kylan’s outfit is the bedazzled heart bolo tie. I love it so much.

We were thrilled to open up our goody bags and find amazing Lutherhaven mugs.

We’re convinced they make our eyes look amazing.

Kylan found his fellow American patriots.

After listening to Pastor Matt give a speech about his time at camp as a counselor, the guests of Boots and Pearls raised over $100,000 to send kids to camp!!! Amazing!

The girls of the group.

The guys of the group.

And the whole group!

After these pictures, we ate a delicious dutch oven dinner, and then danced all night to live music. So. Much. Fun. We are blessed with some great people in our lives!

August Bucket List

Story told by: Brody

School is just around the corner! (Lainey starts in five days, and Henry and I start in 11 days.) We each got to pick three things to add to our bucket list of things to do before school starts.

1. Ice Cream at Ferdinand’s

We went with the Evanoffs to get some of the most delicious ice cream ever.

2. Movie (Originally Clarkston Water Park)

We were so excited to go to the water park a few days ago (August 21st), but then we found out they closed for the summer on August 18th. Bummer!! So, instead, we enjoyed a movie!

We watched “Hotel Transylvania 3.” It was fun! And I wasn’t even scared of it like I’ve been with most movies recently.

3. McDonald’s

The Grunefelders came to visit us for a night, so they got to join us for lunch.

4. Bowling (originally Moscow Water Park)

We were so excited to attempt another water park, but as the smoke rolled in from the wildfires, the water park closed for the afternoon. So after a pep talk from Mom, we decided that bowling would be fun. And it really was!

Mom asked us to make sure our bowling balls were down so she could see our face. Henry obviously tried really hard.

We even got pizza for dinner!

5. Picnic at a Park

We met the Grahams at a park for a fun lunch together.

6. Lions Club Park (in Moscow)

One of our favorite parks!

7. Go on a Hike

The Grunenfelders also got to hike Kamiak Butte with us.

Can you tell how much I love hiking? (I whined the ENTIRE way. Why would my mom do this to me?!)

8. Kruegel Park

I’ve mastered climbing to the top of the spider web this summer!

Lainey with Niki and Cece at the park.

9. Hot Dogs for Dinner

I was thrilled to find that my third bucket list item of hot dogs for dinner was fulfilled at the O’Loughlin’s housewarming party last weekend.

There you have it! All items done! What a FANTASTIC summer!!