First Camping Trip of the Summer!

Story told by: Brody

We’ve been counting down the days until our first camping trip of the summer, and we weren’t disappointed by this weekend! We met Mommy’s WSU education buddies and their families at Wenatchee Confluence State Park.

I was very good at helping Daddy set up the tent.

Yummy tacos for dinner.

I requested only shredded cheese and a tortilla (of which I just ate the tortilla).

Henry said, “Here’s my chip face.”

There was great visibility for the parents, so us kids rode bikes all over the campground this weekend.

Henry is big into skipping bars on the monkey bars, so he was able to demonstrate that this weekend.

Garris and Lainey had fun playing together on Friday night. He just finished first grade as well.

This train track that Claire’s family brought was genius. We loved it!

And this is what I’ve been most looking forward to…a campfire for s’mores!

Garris was a good buddy to me this weekend.

And Henry was a good buddy to Owen.

After a horrible night of sleep (in fact, both nights were horribly bad due to strong winds keeping us awake) we dragged ourselves out of the tent bright and early for breakfast and allllllll the coffee for Mommy and Daddy.

Nothing beats camping breakfast – sugary cereal and a sugary pop-tart. We loved it! (Mommy and Daddy did make us eat some bacon and fruit later on.)

Mommy got in some great baby snuggles this weekend. This is baby Ava.

Lainey was a good buddy to Myla this weekend.

After breakfast I tried my first time on a pedal bike. I am so proud of myself because I’m starting to get it!

We went down to the swimming area for 4 1/2 hours on Saturday. It was awesome. We got to use our new floaties from Grandma and Grandpa!

And we spent lots of time building sand castles.

Mommy’s good friends from college – Jessica, Danielle, and Michelle.

And their eleven kids in order from oldest to youngest!

More baby snuggles! This is baby Hallie.

Claire and Lainey loved that unicorn.

Henry, Garris, and Daddy had some great water fights.

Henry spent a lot of time panning for seashells.

And then he wanted to be buried in the sand (but he needed Mommy’s sunglasses to keep the sun out of his eyes).

Claire Bear (as I quickly began calling her) was my special buddy this weekend.

She received many hugs from me.

After hours at the lake, the drinks came out at the campsite and the adults played a fun game of Kuub.

Daddy and Nick were the champions!

The hammock was one of my favorite activities.

Not everyone managed to stay in the hammock.

Our faces after Gatorade, Red Vines, Cheetos, and Oreos. Camping food is always the best.

Mommy and I played some games.

And finally time for s’mores again. This time I roasted my marshmallow all by myself!

I also enjoyed Myla this weekend. I asked her to marry me, but she said “no.” I see she’s playing hard to get. I’ll give her some time to change her mind.

These girls were three peas in a pod this weekend.

After we went to bed at 10 each night, Mommy and Daddy stayed up too late around the campfire because they love this part of camping!

On the second night, Lainey got so scared from the wind that Daddy slept in her bed (and her small sleeping bag that wouldn’t go over his hips) so Lainey could sleep in the big bed with Mommy.

Henry and I got to enjoy the babies as well this weekend.

Some time at the playground while Daddy loaded the car.

And how every camping trip ends…GIANT coffees for the ride home and crabby kids in the back!

First Weeks of Summer

Story told by: Henry

We’ve had a great first few weeks of summer! Here are some of the highlights.

We started swim with Dede! In order to make Mommy’s life easier, Dede asked if she wanted to see if Brody could move into Henry’s swim class. Mommy said, “Of course!” and Brody did great in my class.

Lainey had her class right after our class.

We had Harper in our class, and Brody decided he wanted to marry her, which he loudly and proudly declared to anyone who would listen.

Evan, Ivy, and Lainey have been in Dede’s class together since they were three.

Here goes Brody!

Here I go!

Both of us!

And Lainey!

Dede doesn’t care if it’s raining or not. Swim is on no matter what. Here’s how Mommy and Christy felt about that.

We get lollipops on our last day of swim with Dede. These two just completed their fifth and final summer with Dede!

We are now some pretty confident swimmers!

I’ve been loving holding Mommy’s hand on our walks.

Lainey did great at her first piano recital! (Lainey’s teacher doesn’t require students to do the recital during their first semester of piano, but Lainey really wanted to do it.)

Park dates are happening often!

Lainey’s good buddy, Stella, just moved back to Spokane from South Carolina. They came down to play at the park and have a picnic.

I was so proud to show off the hammer and nails that I found at the park. I didn’t quite understand why Mommy wouldn’t let me keep them.

We also had Evan and Kylee join us that day.

Thank goodness for a big car because we’ve been cramming it full of kids!

Water play!

And otter pops!

Lainey is on week two of summer. Before school finished, Colton had their traditional picnic down at Hells Gate State Park. They had a water gun fight after lunch!

Last day as a first grader!

She’s ready for second grade!

Our traditional last-night-of-school sleepover!

Lainey saved up her allowance to buy roller skates. She and Caleb had fun skating together.

I want a skateboard as well, so I’m helping with extra chores around the house to earn money. (When a seven-year-old takes the picture, you might get her finger in the corner of it.)

We’ve wrapped up our last few weeks of baseball. It was Lainey’s first season of coach pitch. She really enjoyed it!

My biggest accomplishment of the season is learning that the entire field isn’t mine. I need to share it with my teammates.

I requested that we make baseball Rice Krispie treats for my last night of t-ball. They were a hit!

We bought a season pass to the water park in Clarkston. And I am now officially tall enough to join Lainey on the water slides!!

On her first day of summer, Lainey decided to have a sale where she gives away toys for free. There was a lot of singing and dancing to promote the sale.

We had some customers!

After awhile, though, Lainey decided that the big toys cost money.

Lemon ice cream from Ferdinand’s with Desmond!

We celebrated our favorite dad on Father’s Day!

We went to Sella’s for lunch after church and Brody wasn’t having it.

So Lainey and I got a nice picture with Daddy.

And then once Brody was a little happier, he got his own special picture.

Pictures to hang on Sella’s wall.

We went to the library to sign up for the summer reading program and to get some books. I can’t decide whether bugs or dinosaurs are my favorite, so I got some of both.

Lainey spent an afternoon crafting her own clothes. This shirt says, “Go girl.”

Here’s to another amazing few weeks of summer!

My Dance Recital – 2019

Story told by: Lainey

I had my sixth dance recital last night!

Mommy was part of the Dance Mom Squad that helped to organize the details of being in a new venue.

First up was my tap dance!

Ivy and I have been dancing together since we were two (as have most of the girls in my class).

Dance one! I’m fourth from the right.

Next up, my lyrical dance.

This is how we save our costumes while eating dinner.

Dance two! I’m fourth from the right again.

Now back to the original costume with jazz shoes this time for our hip hop dance.

Dance three! I’m fourth from the left.

And the closing number…the father-daughter dance! This was optional, but Daddy and I knew we had to participate. We’re in the middle in the front. The BEST way to end the night!!

After all of the dancing, trophies were given out. This was the moment for which I’d been waiting. There were about ten of us given our six-year trophies, which means we’ve been with Ms. Brooke since the program started.

Ivy and I checking out our trophies. I am happy to report that it’s taller than all of my other trophies AND part of this trophy glows in the dark!

Mommy and Daddy brought me flowers.

Our class had flowers for the fantastic Ms. Brooke. We love her!

Niki and Cece both came to support me and had a special flower for me as well! They’re the best!

The boys stayed with a babysitter tonight, so I had Mommy and Daddy all to myself.

My favorite dancing partner of the night.

Kym (Mommy’s former teaching partner) also got to watch me dance!

After the recital, we went to Lumberyard for dinner, which consisted of ice cream and mozzarella sticks for me!

We found Mirabel’s and Daisy’s families there, so we got to eat and play together. A great end to another fantastic recital!

End of Preschool/Closing Ceremony

Story told by: Henry

We had our last days of preschool last week!

Mommy and Sarah helped to plan a Teddy Bear Picnic party for Thursday (Brody’s party) and Friday (my party).

Mommy had some fantastic moms come help with setup on Thursday morning!

When the kids arrived, they found a picnic blanket and first got to hear Mrs. O’Loughlin read the book, “Teddy Bear Picnic.”

Everyone got to bring their bear!

Building a bear bridge.

Brody did a sack race with his teacher, Mrs. King.

Enjoying picnic food!

Mommy with Sarah and Mrs. O’Loughlin

Miss Tietjen helped kids make teddy bear headbands.

Ring toss.

Honeycomb necklaces with Mr. Phil.

Photo booth!

Brody’s last blessing song from Mrs. King and Miss Tietjen.

He had a great year with them!

On Thursday night we had our closing program. We started at the photo booth.

Lainey made sure to wear her “Best Sister” shirt to show her support for us.

Not only was it closing program, but it was my graduation night! I am ready for kindergarten!

Time for the closing program to start!

Brody’s class went first with their song.

Then my class!

Then it was time for each of the graduates to be called up to receive our certificate and receive our words from our teachers.

The four words they picked that perfectly describe me are: adventurous, athletic, resourceful, and courageous.

All of the kids in Concordia Lutheran Preschool. We love this school!

After the ceremony, we went downstairs for lots of yummy treats.

And more photo booth fun with Emily and Kassidy, two college girls who we adore.

And a picture of the group of preschool graduates from Concordia Lutheran Church!

On Friday morning, it was time for my party and last day of preschool! Sarah and Sean were part of the setup crew that day.

We all brought our bears!

It was a rainy, drizzly day so we had the canopy set up for the reading of “Teddy Bear Picnic.”

Picnic food!

Watermelon with Weston.

Sack race with Miss Stahlecker.

Honeycomb necklaces.

Photo booth!

But moments before the photo booth, someone caught Mommy using mom spit to clean cupcake off from all over my face. So gross, Mom!

We had some activities inside for my party due to the cold, rainy day.

And time for my final blessing song ever, which made everyone cry a lot.

I love these two teachers.

Kindergarten, ready or not, here we come!

And here I am on my very first day of preschool when I was three years old, to my very last day when I am five years old. I’m looking so much older!

To end my extra special day, Mommy and I went on a date to Taco Bell. I’ve been asking to go to Taco Bell since I could speak, and today was my first day ever. I loved it! Now, on to summer!!

Mother’s Day, 2019

Story told by: Brody

We celebrated Mommy yesterday!

It started with breakfast in bed! This was then followed by lots of screaming from Henry because he was given the wrong cereal. (We wouldn’t want to give her too relaxing of a day, right?)

After the screaming mostly ended, we gave her gifts.

Here is my preschool gift for Mommy.

And my paper for Mommy.

Henry’s gift for Mommy.

And Henry’s paper for her.

Lainey’s gift from school.

We all went with Daddy over the last couple of weeks to make new coasters for Mommy at Wild at Art. I made the rainbow one on top, Daddy made the music note, Lainey made the one with Mommy’s initials, and Henry made the tree with an owl in it.

After church, we got some pictures together.

Mommy sure loves us.

After church, we changed clothes and headed to Southfork for lunch.

And then got the second Daily Grind coffees of the day! (Hey, it’s Mother’s Day…Mommy can do what she wants!)

Mommy had the great idea of hiking Kamiak Butte with us. She loves hiking. So does Daddy. And Lainey. And Henry. But NOT ME!

I required frequent breaks.

And would not stop whining. (I mean, why would she do this to me?!)

We made it to the top, but this wasn’t even halfway through the four-mile loop.

Beautiful!

I kept coming up with new complaints. “My tummy is hurting. I should probably stop and eat something.”

“I’m so tired that I’m probably going to fall asleep right now.”

“I can’t feel my legs. I can’t move.”

All of this whining really contributed to a positive two-hour hike.

Everyone else loved the long hike, though! (I don’t understand how I’m part of this hike-loving family.)

After our joyous family time together, Mommy needed a bit of a break, so she changed the evening plans. We got to eat cereal for dinner and watch a movie…

…while Mommy and Daddy got to sit outside in peace and quiet and enjoy a delicious Moscow Mule.

And Daddy grilled delicious steaks and asparagus for dinner. A perfect end to the day!

I’m Four!

Story told by: Brody

It’s my birthday! I woke up as a big four-year-old today!

I got to start my day by opening presents at 6:15 in the morning.

But first, silly faces.

My presents reflected my love for games, movies, and puzzles.

I’ve been asking for Greedy Granny and Doggie Doo since January. Mommy mostly bought them for me so she wouldn’t have to listen to me ask for them every single day.

After presents, I got to have my breakfast cereal that I picked out at the store a few days ago.

Before we left for school, we started on my new 100-piece puzzle.

Time for a fun day at school.

When I got to school, I got my very own birthday crown.

Towards the end of my school morning, Mommy brought in orange dream ice cream treats to celebrate my birthday. I helped pass them out.

Delicious!

After preschool we came home to play Greedy Granny.

And then we watched one of my new movies, “Toy Story 3.” We loved it!

For dinner I requested chocolate chip pancakes. Mommy did not disappoint!

Then we went to play on the playground and ride scooters while Lainey had baseball practice.

After we got home, we had cake. I asked for a lemonade cake, so Mommy found a yummy recipe for it.

I made a wish and blew out my candle.

I was so excited to try my cake. And then I hated it. But the rest of my family loved it, so it will definitely get eaten. I had such a special day, and I love telling everyone that I’m four!