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.


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!

My Fourth Birthday Party – Santa Claus

Story told by: Brody

I had my fourth birthday party today, and at my request, it was a Santa Claus theme!

We naturally had to pull out the Christmas tree and other Christmas decorations for this party.

We also had yummy snacks!

Hats for each of my friends.

Eliana was my first friend to arrive.

Once everyone arrived, we grabbed some food and went outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather.

Mrs. O’Loughlin organized a fun game while we waited for some friends to finish their snack.

When we went inside, we each got to pick an ornament to color.

After we completed our ornament, we hung it on the tree.

Check out those beautiful ornaments!

We next danced to my favorite Christmas song that I play on repeat, “Santa Baby.”

Next up was the candy cane hunt! We could each find three candy canes.

Our loot!

After the candy cane hunt, we went inside to make a candy cane craft out of beads and pipe cleaners.

This craft got so busy that Mommy didn’t get a picture of anyone’s finished candy cane, but here is my craft in progress.

We next went outside for the red cup candy cane search. Hidden under one of these cups is a hidden candy cane. The first one to find it is the winner. Those of us in the younger group went first, and then the older group went second. Each group went twice.

Shay won for the first group.

Lily won for the second group.

Eliana won the next time.

And Desmond was our final winner.

We went inside for cupcakes, but first I got a picture with Mommy and Daddy.

Four candles on my Santa cupcake!

We took those messy cupcakes outside and gobbled them right up.

I got to open some fantastic presents from my friends.

Thank you to everyone for being so kind with your gifts!

And finally…the best part I didn’t even know was coming…SANTA ARRIVED!! I couldn’t believe it! He said he just came from the beach and wanted to stop by my party. He had a birthday present for me and candy canes for all of my friends.

We each got to take turns sitting in Santa’s lap.

We were so lucky to have Santa Claus come for a visit!

We were all very interested in where Santa was headed as he left.

We waved goodbye to him. After he left, we had a little more play time outside, and then my party was done. What a special day! And now I can’t wait for my real birthday in just a few days!

Easter Weekend

Story told by: Brody

We had a fantastic Easter weekend!

It started with preschool egg hunts on Thursday and Friday.

It was the last preschool egg hunt for Henry, Elijah, and Desmond.

On Saturday we got up bright and early to head to Kruegel Park in Pullman for the city egg hunt. (After this picture I told Mommy, “I saw two eyeballs in the bunny’s mouth. I think someone was in there.”)

Lainey and Henry came down to cheer me on in the three-year-old section since all of the younger kids go first.

Moments before the egg hunt started, Mommy heard me quietly say to myself, “I can do this. No freaking out.” And then I was off!


And of course I found Chloe and stuck to her like glue.

After my egg hunt, Lainey and Henry had their egg hunts. Lainey was in the 7-9 section, and Henry was in the 5-6 section.

They both did great!

Sorting through all of our goodies with our friends!

After the egg hunt we went to our traditional brunch at Mirabel’s house. But Mommy got zero pictures there. After brunch, we went to the Crimson and Gray Spring Game! A friend gave us tickets to sit up in the club seats, which was super awesome!

Beer isn’t sold in most of the stadium, but it is in the club seats, so Daddy loved that part!

And we got to spread out to play Memory. Mommy and Daddy wanted the Gray team, and we wanted the Crimson team. And guess what?! Crimson won!

On Easter morning, we woke up to find that the Easter Bunny had come!!

New books!

Mrs. O’Loughlin passed on to the Easter Bunny that Henry LOVES these little building toys. He saw it in his basket and said, “It’s my dream come true!”

We got some fun new floaties from Grandma and Grandpa.

Gma and Gpa sent us a couple of movies and fun activities!

Lainey got right to work on setting up the dry erase calendar from Gma and Gpa.

Next up, time for church to celebrate the true reason of Easter…Jesus is risen!!

We started with a yummy brunch at church, and I made myself right at home with Phil and Arlene.

Henry and Rowan

The next thing was the egg hunt. While waiting for it to start, Lainey let the twins sit on her lap.

Time to hunt!

I have mostly stopped smiling at the camera, and instead have started giving my mom some super weird looks.

Another weird look.

And another one.

And another one.

And another one (with Miss Kassidy…our amazing Sunday School teacher).

After a great church service, we came home to change clothes and make this delicious dessert.

Mommy found edible grass to put in the dessert!

As soon as Mommy arrived at the O’Loughlin’s house, a mimosa was put in her hand (and they just kept reappearing throughout the afternoon).

Time for yet another egg hunt! (Unfortunately Henry threw up when we got home, so he and Daddy stayed home for the first part of the afternoon. Once he rallied and started running around, he admitted to eating WAY too much candy from his Easter basket. So then they came to join once we knew it wasn’t the stomach bug. Hopefully that was a lesson learned.)

Time to hunt!

And sort through the goodies!

Papa Phil wanted our peppermint patty eggs, so we got $1 for every one we gave him.

Henry got there in time to join us in the hot tub. We were in there for a loooong time!

We would only get out for one thing…delicious food!!

Next up, the beer hunt for the guys!

The mommies hid the beer all around the yard. Mommy was extra sneaky by just holding one of the beers.

They were looking all around, and Mommy still had that beer! (They eventually found it, but it took a hint from the mommies.)

Next up, the daddies hid wine for the mommies. This is the only picture Mommy has of the wine hunt, but it’s a good one!

Success for the adults!

We are so grateful for the chance to spend Easter with this fantastic group of people. Happy Easter!

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!)