Mommy’s Trip to Denver/Kid Weekend with Daddy

Story told by: Lainey

Mommy got to go see Courtney and Matt in Denver the past few days! And we got a super duper fun weekend with Daddy!

Mommy was thrilled with how easy the flight was. She took one tiny bag onto the plane, got to read a book, drink and eat without kids knocking things over, and didn’t even break a sweat (which is common when we’re with her on flights). She soaked it all up because in just two weeks she’s flying alone with all three of us kids, and that flight is going to look very different!

While Mommy was flying, Daddy took us to the science center.

In the past, when Mommy has taken just Brody to the science center, he wouldn’t go near the human body exhibit. But some sibling peer pressure made him excited to give it a try!

Mommy landed in Denver! And was greeted by Matt, Courtney, and her adorable six-month baby belly (that’s a baby boy in there!)!

Matt and Courtney took Mommy right away to a delicious dinner.

But some pre-picture face/teeth checking needed to happen first.

We got in some good dancing time with Daddy.

On Sunday morning, we went to church, and Daddy demonstrated his great hair styling skills!

Sunday was Palm Sunday, so we got to march into church with palms. Love it!

Mommy and Courtney went on an awesome hike on Sunday morning! You can see Denver in the distance behind them.

Mommy did not stretch her calves well enough after this hike because as of now, they still hurt. A lot. Lesson learned.

After church, we got to go through the car wash. That’s always a blast!

Then we got to get ice cream for lunch. Even better!

After the hike, Mommy and Courtney met up with Matt for coffee and lunch on a beautiful day!

Then they went to a candy store to get treats for us. Mommy was pleasantly surprised to find these Zero bars. Not only are they one of Daddy’s favorite candy bars, but Mommy had looked in at least 20 stores to find them for Ba Ba’s birthday candy board for last weekend, but no luck! Although it’s too late for Ba Ba, it’s nice to know they at least exist!

And Mommy found candy for us that made us laugh.

Mommy had to bring a bigger bag than originally planned because she couldn’t fit everything in the smaller suitcase. Daddy questioned Mommy’s need for these boots, so Courtney made sure to capture that Mommy clearly needed them for an outing to Redbox.

While Mommy watched a movie, Daddy introduced us to Mario Kart. We weren’t very good at it yet, but we LOVED it!

On Monday morning, Daddy got us ready and walked me to school. (He took Monday and Tuesday off of work.) He got to come volunteer in my classroom, and then took the boys to McDonald’s for lunch.

Mommy and Courtney spent Monday morning getting coffee and shopping. (And of course buying clothes for us because that’s what Mommy does when she’s not with us…thinks and talks about us all the time.)

And they had to document that for the first time in their 15 years of friendship, Mommy (the gulper) finished a drink AFTER Courtney! Unheard of!

Courtney and Mommy wrapped up the day with pedicures and manicures.

Before Mommy left, she made sure to get an adorable picture of Courtney and that no-name-yet baby boy.

On Monday, Daddy broke our no-TV-on-a-school-night rule and let us watch a movie while eating dinner. We couldn’t believe it! But definitely didn’t question it either!

On Tuesday morning, Daddy dropped Henry and I off at school, went on a coffee date with Brody, and then Mommy was home shortly after this. Mommy is so grateful to Daddy for watching us for four days! Daddy loved his time with us! And she is also so grateful to Matt and Courtney for a wonderful weekend. She’ll be back in September to snuggle that baby boy!!!

American Girl Store and Ba Ba’s 60th Birthday

Story told by: Lainey

We planned a trip this past weekend to visit Ba Ba for his 60th birthday! But this weekend also involved my belated birthday trip to the American Girl Store!

Daddy and I got to leave work/school a little early on Friday to drive over to Tacoma. Henry traveled like one cool guy.

As soon as we arrived, Na Na gave us ice cream (as any good grandma would do)

We got out the Legos Daddy had when he was a boy, and they were a big hit!

Saturday was the day for the American Girl Store in Seattle! Aunt Tiffany (and Uncle Jaron and Vern) was also here this weekend, and she brought her doll to join us for our girls’ day.

I was so excited that I could barely stand still for this picture!!!!

I brought Gabriela for a much-needed hair salon visit.

I walked around the store just taking it all in.

I took a picture by this Airstream to show to Gma and Gpa. It’s just like your camper!

I had money from Mommy, Gma, and Aunt Tiffany to spend, and I pooled it all to buy a new Hawaiian doll, Nanea.

After making my purchase, I had fun being silly in the store.

Then it was time for Gabriela’s hair appointment.

They recurled her hair.

Aunt Janet and Carly met us at the store! It was fun to have them there!

I picked this hair style for Gabriela, and it turned out perfectly!

And they also pierced her ears!

This was such a perfect trip!!!

Thank you to everyone who made this possible!

I also got to pick our lunch spot. I wanted pizza, so we went to MOD pizza. Yum!

Aunt Janet got me a fun book about Nanea, and Na Na got me a cool astronaut suit for Nanea. Thank you!! (And Carly is the only one in this picture who managed to keep her eyes open.)

I had enough extra money to also buy her this adorable pineapple outfit. The cutest!

Saturday evening was our birthday celebration for Mommy and Ba Ba!

We gave Ba Ba a fun birthday candy message!

We also did birthday presents for all of us kids (Henry’s birthday is February, mine is March, Vern’s is April, and Brody’s is May).

On Sunday, Grandma Jackie came to church with us, and then came back to Na Na and Ba Ba’s house for lunch.

You can see how excited Brody was to be part of this picture.

On Sunday afternoon, Na Na watched us while the adults got to go to Ba Ba’s Choral Union concert at Pacific Lutheran University.

It was absolutely incredible!

After the adults got home, we burned some energy off in the yard.

Vern (and Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Jaron) had to leave on Sunday afternoon, but we first had some outside fun with Vern!

Today was Ba Ba’s actual birthday, so we woke up early and went to breakfast with him before he went to work (and before we drove home)!

Happy Birthday, Ba Ba! We had such a fun time celebrating you!

And before we left the west side of the state, we visited Victoria for a couple hours. Such a fun weekend!!!

My Sixth Birthday Party – Sheep!

Story told by: Lainey

For the past three years, I’ve wanted to be a sheep farmer! This year I decided that my love for sheep was enough to warrant it being the theme for my sixth birthday party.

We went for a theme of mostly white snacks.

We had grazing sheep as the centerpiece of the table.

The other food was yogurt-covered pretzels, white doughnuts, white cheddar popcorn, white cheddar crackers, and yogurt-covered raisins. Yum!

Mommy made sheep decorations to hang around the room. (If you’ll believe it, there aren’t a lot of pre-made sheep decorations out there.)

Let’s party!

My first friend to arrive was Ani, so we got right to work on the first craft. (This was a girls-only party, but I decided to let Henry join in on the fun while Brody napped.)

Sheep masks done!

As my other friends arrived, they made their sheep masks.

After that craft, we played Pin the Tail on the Sheep.

Mommy spun us around two times.

And then we had to find the board. I was a little off at first, but ended up pretty close to the actual tail.

Next we worked on another fun sheep craft that involved paint and our fingerprints.

The adults that stayed at the party were great helpers! They manned different stations to help with the various parts of the sheep craft.

My finished sheep!

Lainey pile!

Next up was the sheep hunt game. We had to hunt through wool to find eight tiny sheep. The first team to find all eight had to shout, “Baaaa!” Pictured here is team one!

And team two!

And team three!

And then it was go time!

Once we found our sheep, things got really fun!

The final event was a sheep race! We had to use our shepherd’s crook (a pink candy cane) to race our sheep (a cotton ball) around the track. Dez and I went first!

After our race, we cheered my friends on. Henry got to race against Paige.

Next up, presents!

When Brody was done napping (a.k.a. destroying his room), Priscilla was amazing and took him on a walk. He came back to watch the opening of presents, but was very happy to stick by her side.

I got some great presents, and I’m very grateful to all of my friends for thinking of me!

Finally, time for dessert! I told Mommy that instead of cupcakes I wanted vanilla ice cream with white toppings. Yum!

My friends all sang “Happy Birthday” to me!

Then my friends all got their ice cream.

Before everyone left, we got a picture with our sheep masks!

And our sheep art!

On their way out, everyone got some delicious sheep poop (chocolate-covered raisins) as a party favor.

I’m so grateful for a special day celebrating with my best friends!

I’m Six!!

Story told by: Lainey

I’m six! I’m six! I’m six! I’ve been so excited for my birthday to arrive!

We typically do presents after dinner, but right when I woke up this morning, Mommy let me open just one present.

An Ariel sweatshirt! Mommy wanted me to open it so I could wear it today. I love it!

This is the cereal I picked out for my birthday breakfast, so I couldn’t wait to give it a try!

I took a few bites, and even though I thought it was good, I told Mommy it was too sweet for me and asked for Rice Chex instead. (Mommy suspects I was switched at birth and that I’m actually not her child.)

I asked to share with my brothers, and they devoured the cereal! (They are definitely related to Mommy.)

While everyone got ready, I sat down next to the speaker and had Alexa play my new favorite podcast for kids, “Story Pirates.” I love listening to these funny stories!

Before school, Mommy got some fun six-year-old pictures.

Then it was time for school! Mommy asked if she could bake cupcakes or something else for my treats at school, and I insisted that I just wanted to bring in lemon-lime jello cups! (Mommy definitely didn’t complain about the ease of this.)

I had a fun morning making tie-dye eggs at school with Holly, the Colton librarian.

Then just as I was sitting down for lunch, I was shocked to see Mommy and Brody walk in with Happy Meals!

Such a fun surprise to have them eat lunch with me! (Henry was spending the afternoon with the Smarts. They couldn’t make it to his birthday party, so they wanted to take him out to ice cream. We were all having a fun afternoon.)

At the end of lunch, the whole elementary school sang “Happy Birthday” to me. I loved this part!

At the end of the day, I got to wear the class birthday hat and share my treats with my friends!

When Mommy picked me up from school, she offered to take me to Ferdinand’s to get ice cream. I told her that I had just had jello, and that much sugar didn’t sound good. (Okay, that’s it. Mommy knows I’m definitely not her child.) So instead we went home, and Mommy let me open another early present…this time from Grandma and Grandpa.

A new movie!

It was a perfect afternoon spent cuddled up on the couch watching “Aladdin.”

For dinner tonight, Mommy gave me the choice of going out to eat or making something I wanted at home. I didn’t hesitate to say that I wanted homemade Egg McMuffins. (Again, I’m making this day super easy on Mommy.)

Then it was present time!! I’ve been waiting all day for this!

I was very surprised by my first present.

Lincoln Logs! I’ve been asking for these since the start of kindergarten.

Grandma and Grandpa got me some awesome Think It Through Learning Tiles from Discovery Toys (and multiple accompanying sets). I can’t wait to use these!

I got some cute slippers from Na Na and Ba Ba!

The Campbells sent me a perfect outfit for my Bitty Baby!

And my big present from Mommy, Daddy, Gma, and Gpa is a trip to the American Girl Store! The note informed me that we’re headed to Tacoma next weekend (yay!), and while we’re there, we get a girls’ day at the Seattle American Girl Store to get my doll’s hair done, buy some fun things, and have lunch. I can’t wait!

And the finale…cake! I asked Mommy to make a lemon cake, so she made this lemon buttermilk cake with cream cheese frosting. I loved it!

After a quick shower, I made sure to put on my cozy slippers. I love them!

We ended the night with a quick recap of my day. (Be sure to pay attention to the parts where I use what I call my “cowboy voice.”) I had such a great sixth birthday!

Preschool Art Show

Story told by: Henry

Tonight was my first preschool art show!

I was very excited to show off my art to Mommy and Daddy!

I got to pick my own titles for my masterpieces.

I’ve come to this art show for the past two years to support Lainey, so it was fun to have tonight’s art show be all about me.

Our art this year was based around different books.

My self-portrait.

I named one of my pieces of art after my best friend, Weston.

After I showed Mommy and Daddy all of my art, we went downstairs for some delicious snacks. Mrs. O’Loughlin is THE. BEST. TEACHER. EVER. because she baked egg-free cookies for me to eat. I love her!

Mommy and Daddy wanted to get a picture with just me, and Mr. Levi managed to capture the difficulty of making that happen.

We finally got a good one! I was very proud of my art, and I had a great night showing off my talents!