Staying Busy (and trying to stave off cabin fever) in January

Story told by: Lainey

The snow and cold weather is STILL here. We’re itching to go on a walk without slipping on ice, but until that day comes, we’re doing our best to stay busy.

As Brody is getting a little older, he’s becoming more of a co-conspirator with Henry.

But I still try to get in the mix every once in awhile.

On a recent grocery shopping trip, Mommy bribed us with candy from the bulk bins if we were good for the entire trip. It was a win-win situation for everyone!

I have been doing extra chores all month long to have enough money to buy this pack of markers, and I finally did it! This was such a proud day for me!

This is even a picture I drew of myself handing my money to the cashier (with a thought bubble going up to God thanking him for the chance to buy these markers).

On Fridays, Henry’s gymnastics place has open gym, so while I’m in preschool, it’s been a great way for the boys to get some energy out.

Unfortunately the stomach bug went through our house in the past couple of weeks. It hit Brody first, and then five days later it took me and Henry down. After we recovered, we liked playing “Going to the Hospital for a Throw Up Party” (notice the vomit bowls for our animals).

We do lots of coloring for Daddy. One night we decided to send him on a treasure hunt to find the pictures we colored for him. This was the clue taped to the door when he got home from work.

After six clues, he ended at his treasure!

Mommy and I got to go on a date to Moscow last weekend. In the midst of shopping, we took a break for coffee for Mommy and a giant chocolate muffin for me.

We spent a lot of time talking about how excited I am (and a teeny bit nervous) for kindergarten in the fall.

The last stop of our date was at at the book store to read some fun books together.

Mommy and Daddy introduced us to the Wii for the first time. We had a blast with the boxing. It was fun to get to punch each other without getting in trouble!

After days of being stuck in the house because of the stomach bug, we were really going stir crazy, so Mommy made a laser maze for us.

This lasted for about 25 minutes of fun, and then another 20 minutes of tearing down the lasers and running around with them.

Once we were recovered from the stomach bug, we went to Costco to stock up on some necessities. Our favorite part of Costco is the hot dog lunch we get when we’re finished!

Mommy and the boys have been going to the science center some mornings while I’m at preschool.

The dinosaur lentil pit is easily their favorite part of the science center.

We got to have camping day at preschool last week! We wore our PJs and slippers. My teacher got some great pictures of the day.

Roasting marshmallows for s’mores!

A delicious s’more snack!

We made lanterns to use in the dark.

This was such a fun day. I declared that it was my favorite day of the entire school year so far!

Henry’s love for Brody can be quite intense at times. Brody is starting to stick up for himself, which is helping things a little.

Henry was moved up to the next level of gymnastics. He’s a little too young for it, but since he’s such a monkey, they said he’s ready for the next class. He was so proud of himself to get to be down there without Mommy or Daddy. Good job, Henry!

Mommy and Daddy surprised us with a trip to get ice cream after church on Sunday. Delicious!

After dropping me off at preschool yesterday, Henry asked Mommy, “Can we leave her there forever?” Turns out he might not appreciate my bossiness as much as he should.

Brody has been doing lots of singing lately, but won’t do it if Mommy tries to take a video. She was able to secretly get a little video of Brody singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Enjoy!

Ice Skating with Daddy

Story told by: Henry

Last weekend Daddy and I went on a special date to go ice skating! It was my first time to try it and I was SO excited!

I was a little nervous about falling, but by holding onto this handy dandy helper, I did pretty well.

After a bit, I needed a break. Ice skating is hard work!

Carefully studying everyone’s technique.

After a short break, we went back out on the ice. After about an hour or so, I was wiped out, and we headed home. As soon as I got home, I bounded in the door with so many exciting stories to share with Mommy and Lainey. I can’t wait to go back again!

Freezing Our Way into 2017

Story told by: Lainey

We have had nothing but snow for the past two months! We can’t recall a day where it hasn’t snowed. We’re doing our best to stay warm indoors, and bundling up when we head outside.

Pizza night is always a great way to stay warm and cozy.

Daddy and I went on a date to the women’s basketball game last weekend. One of our friend’s caught our multiple appearances on the big screen. Daddy and I also competed in the halftime contest down on the court against two other daddies and their daughters. The biggest news of the night, though, is that while I was on the court, I gave Butch a high five!! When Mommy asked me about it, I said, “I saw him coming toward me, and I said to myself, ‘I can do this.’ Then I gave him a high five.”

Go Cougs! The women had a great game, and beat the #9 UCLA team!

Mommy and Daddy also got a date night. Mommy is working SUPER hard to potty train Henry, and it’s been a slow process (nowhere near as quickly as me), so Mommy needed a night out (complete with flowers from Daddy, and wine).

I’ve been trying to earn some extra money to buy a special set of markers. Mommy is having me do some extra tasks around the house (more than my normal chores) to earn this money. While helping peel carrots for dinner one night, I said, “Making dinner is hard work. But you know what’s even more work than that? Having brothers.” Mommy definitely agreed with this statement.

We do lots of dancing in our house, but lately I’ve been requesting a formal audience for it. I didn’t want music for this dance as I wanted to make my own music. (Please take note of my stage decorations in the background.)

The boys wanted to follow with their own performances.

We have over three feet of snow, so playing outside in it is a must.

While Henry and I played, Brody was a good shoveling helper for Mommy.

 

The plows have created some awesome snow piles around our house!

We got the sled out to try sledding down the snow piles.

Now that we’re back from our trip, Taylor (our favorite babysitter!!!!) met up with us at dance class to give us our Christmas presents. She’s the sweetest! (Brody’s leg is pictured as he is running away to throw a temper tantrum.) Thank you, Taylor!!

Coloring is very popular in our house (especially since our outside time is limited right now).

We did our first Valentine’s Day craft today!

Brody insisted on getting his picture taken with his craft, but then refused to show it to Mommy.

There we go….got a sneak peek! (This has Brody’s name on it, but it really should say “Brody’s craft as done by Mommy while Brody licked the paint off his fingers.”)

Our Last Few Days in Illinois

Story told by: Brody

We had a great end of our trip in Illinois!

We went bowling one morning with Grandma and Grandpa! The bowling alley had the coolest dragons for rolling the bowls down the lanes!

Lainey was all smiles with Grandpa.

And Henry was all smiles with Grandma.

And I was all smiles when it was my turn to bowl. But for every other moment, I, well, wasn’t all smiles. Not in the slightest.

The bowling crew! (This was one of the only pictures where I wasn’t full-on smacking Mommy in the face.)

When we got home we bundled up to get some energy out with Grandpa outside.

After naps it was time to cheer on the Cougs in the Holiday Bowl!

Go Cougs! Unfortunately the game didn’t end as we had hoped. But we still love our Cougs and look forward to the start of next season!

We got up early the next day to make the three-hour drive down to St. Louis. We met Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Steck at Culver’s for lunch.

I finished my lunch, and loved my ice cream dessert!

Henry can’t have ice cream, but he enjoyed a bowl full of M&Ms with Uncle Jar Jar.

After lunch we went to The Magic House. This was the coolest place! Mommy grew up going to this place, so she was excited to show it to us.

Henry immediately made it to the top of this structure. Lainey spent the next ten minutes trying to figure out how to get up there, but never made it. She doesn’t have Henry’s monkey gene.

Since school wasn’t in session, The Magic House was SO crowded. This is how Mommy and Uncle Jar Jar felt about the crowds.

These snowmen moved. I made sure to keep my eyes on them.

Checking out in the market with Grandma.

Waiting to make a deposit in the bank.

The goal here is to pull the bubble up as far as you can. You had to do it verrrrry slowly.

After The Magic House, we met up with everyone at Great Uncle Dave’s house. Great Grandma and Great Grandpa brought some Christmas present for us!

Lainey was thrilled to get a troll!

Doing the troll’s hair with Great Uncle Dave.

I had fun with Mommy’s cousin, Jennifer.

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We had some delicious pizza, and then got a group picture. Thanks for hosting the crazy get together, Uncle Dave and Aunt Kaye!

Back at Grandma and Grandpa’s house the next day, we had a morning to hang out for a bit. Being from a small town, we were amazed to see a mail truck delivering the mail TO YOUR HOUSE!

No PO Boxes here!

I got cold, so while Lainey and Henry ran around outside, I hung out with Uncle Jar Jar.

Mommy, Lainey, and Grandma went out for a girls’ day, so Lainey had to bring her new purse (that she commandeered from Mommy’s joke Christmas gift).

Girls-only lunch!

Lainey was getting worn out, so Mommy and Grandma dropped her off back at home. Since the boys were still asleep, Grandpa took Lainey to the animal shelter to check out the kitties.

Mommy and Grandma had success at the mall getting some new purses! (Thanks to Daddy for such a fun gift Christmas gift for Mommy.)

Then they went to get pedicures.

It’s always a treat to get to take a bath in Grandma and Grandpa’s huge tub.

Lainey really wanted her nails painted, so Grandma did that right before bedtime.

On the morning we left, Grandpa went out for one last yummy Midwest treat of Dunkin’ Donuts. Yum!

Then we snuggled up with Grandma to watch part of the movie “Prancer.”

Uncle Jar Jar is a good snuggle buddy, too.

After driving to the airport in Chicago, it was time to say goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa. That made all of us really sad. (I’m not in this picture because I was already strapped to Daddy’s back in the Ergo.) We will miss them, and can’t wait to see them in May (for my birthday!!!)!

We got through security very quickly, so we had lots of time to kill before our flight. After running around for 30 minutes, Mommy helped to pass more time by giving us candy.

And then we colored.

And played cars with new friends. After this, it was time to get on our flight. I didn’t scream quite as much on this flight home, but I did throw up all over Mommy (well, I did get a little in the vomit bag after Mommy realized what was happening). I did this last year as well, so Mommy and Daddy think I must suffer from air sickness. Next time they will know to come equipped with Dramamine and ponchos.

Once we landed, after not napping all day, we were passed out in the car within 30 seconds. We got to Na Na and Ba Ba’s house in Tacoma about 11 p.m. and promptly went to sleep.

The next morning we went to visit Daddy’s Uncle Charlie in his care home. We loved playing in his wheelchair with Ba Ba. This is the only picture Mommy got of the visit. After this, we started our long trip back across the state to get home. We got home on Saturday night around 9 p.m. We had such a fun trip seeing SO much family! And now we’re happy to sleep in our own beds again!

Top Ten of 2016

We had a wonderful 2016! Here are some of our favorite moments….

10. We went on a family adventure to check out the petroglyphs in Clarkston. It was a fun day filled with no timeline and great weather!

9. We have had nothing but snow, snow, and more snow lately! We love our time sledding together.

8. We enjoy taking hikes together, and as the kids are getting older, it’s getting easier to do that. We loved hiking at Klemgard last summer!

7. We hosted Home Group Olympics for our church with three other home groups. It was filled with ridiculous, zany events!

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6. Lainey had her dance recital in June. She continues to love dance, and practices at every moment she can.

5. Henry started gymnastics, which allows him to climb, jump, and dive to his heart’s desire.

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4. Brody turned one! As much as we enjoy the baby years, we’re all able to breathe a bit easier now that we don’t have a newborn in the house.

3. Mommy and Daddy went WITHOUT KIDS to a wedding in Cancun. Amazing!

2. We went camping in Oregon with Grandma and Grandpa.

1. We went camping at Ocean Shores with the entire Robinson clan.

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We had a wonderful year, and we look forward to what 2017 has in store for us!