Friday, November 17, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Popped in on Brianna πŸ’―πŸ”’πŸ”£☑

I was actually just at school for Courtney and Bennett's art class,  but when I went to put away supplies in the art room,  I walked in on Brianna's math class! Because she's in a combo,  they separate for the main subjects.  I love this. I think it's such an advantage.  They get a specialist teacher,  and a 10-1 ratio! 
It's so fun seeing my kids in their school environment,  so I can picture exactly where they are and ask better questions in the evening when we chat about their days.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

SuperPoser

Well this is a new one...

Cousin Duet!

I love their enthusiasm for music & piano!

18th Bday gifts for my girls

By "my girls" I mean the girls in my YW group at church of course :) But I sure hope I get to make these for my own girls when they turn 18 someday! And I hope they are making the awesome choices in life that Hannah is!
It was so fun going over to the Fullmer's home tonight and presenting the video slideshow. Got them bawling.  Mission accomplished.  Video link: https://youtu.be/eGZzyQkC2Zk
This is my 4th I've done - first Camryn, then Calli,  Jinna,  next month is Liliana! 
This is a screenshot of Hannah's text to me.  But NO,  she did not write that over and over... My phone does this all the time! Randomly with different people! spazzy phone,  ugh.  SO WEIRD.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My big girl is still my little doll....




Brianna's Christmas dreams coming true involve getting an American Girl "Truly Me" doll! 

Tot Shots

Crafting queen πŸ‘‘

TaDa!

I made this for Meg's Bunco hosting night!
It was our 2nd Bunco night with the neighborhood ladies. We were both hesitant to join, since it's on Monday nights. But just once/month, and only 2 hours, so it's worth it for the chance to get to know our neighbors better.
I have to host in March! Good motivation to get my house and hostess skills fine tuned :)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Can never get enough of her 😍

A great day to be born!

Sammy is 38 today! 
We had a good little chat.  I told her how grateful I am to celebrate another birthday with her.  She told me I'm her favorite sister,  and actually favorite human ever. 
Well that's what she was saying with her beautiful amber brown eyes anyway.  
I love that my little Charity Samantha shares this day with her super special aunt! 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Brianna's bump

She learned the hard way that she shouldn't climb countertops.  Ouch. 
I'm so so grateful it wasn't worse!! 

Sweetest snugglebuddies

Last night with my 3yr old

She'll be 4 tomorrow!
WaaaaahπŸ™πŸ˜°πŸ˜©πŸ˜¨πŸ˜§πŸ˜¦πŸ˜₯πŸ˜ŸπŸ˜±πŸ˜²πŸ˜žπŸ˜’πŸ˜­πŸ˜–πŸ˜”πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜“
My heart hurts if I think about it too much.  I'll never hold my 3yr old baby again.  She's 4 in a few hours. That's like basically official BigGirl status.  Ugh.  And she barely knows her letters! πŸ”€ 
We're not ready !!! Time,  slow down! 
But I really can't complain too much.  I've gotten to spend pretty much every minute with her,  every day. Including most nights,  ha! There will never be any regrets looking back on this girl's baby and toddlerhood.  We've soaked up all the moments. 
Looking forward to many more with this big girl,  who will alwaysalways be my baby πŸ’•πŸ‘Ά 

Obsessed

I don't think it's normal to love your children's school pictures as much as I love mine. Just crazy about them!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bunny watching

It's so fun letting the bunnies roam the yard! We put veggie scraps out for them regularly,  near the door so the kids can watch them munch.  

Monday, October 30, 2017

Pretty leaves!

Such a unique fun time of year where we have gorgeous autumn colors everywhere! 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Straightening things out...

Lily, Lily, Brianna, Lily

I wish my girls were here all day to play with the Abrams kids I babysit weekly!! It'd make it so much easier. I'm happy to provide this service for my friend...but the kids are happier when there are more of them :)

So cute it's scary

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

BOOing πŸ‘» πŸ‘» πŸ‘»

The kids had SO much fun tonight BOOing 6 neighbors! It's such a rush going out at night and ding dong ditching.  They absolutely loved it! 

Kitchen Schooling

I'm not super into cooking/baking. Eat to live,  not live to eat.  But of course it's still an important skill,  and I'm realizing it's my responsibility to make sure my kids know the basics. Like the names of the tools.
So we emptied out the entire drawer and put them back in only after she learned what it's name and function is!

Bennett's playdate

Boys need boy time! No school thanks to parent teacher conferences,  so they all got to have friends over for a few hours. 
I was really glad Bennett wanted to have Gabe come.  His parents recently adopted him from India.  I don't think he's had a lot of playdates.  Bennett is really sweet to him. Bonus: Gabe's dad is one of Brian's customers,  so it's good to keep a good relationship :) 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Couples who donate blood together....

Brian doesn't love giving blood. I wouldn't say he HATES it...but he definitely wouldn't be there if I didn't sign him up. And remind him. Several times. But he goes without complaining too much...especially since they give out treats at the end. 
When he says, "I don't enjoy this." I just sweetly respond, "neither do I. But I bet the people in the hospital don't enjoy having to GET blood donations."
So every 8 weeks, up to 5x/yr, we hang out with needles in our arms :)

Leaves!

Nappers!

So sweet!

And moments later he started SNORING...so naturally I took a video.   The kids like watching it over and over :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cousins in gray!

   Lindsay texted this picture to me from their Portland trip for Lucy's baptism!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Halloween prep time!

We busted out the bins of Halloween STUFF! It's the highlight of the holidays when those bins come upstairs!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Good to be home!.... almost.

Just landed in LA.  Phone blew up with texts finally coming thru.  Pandora works again! Bleary eyed.  Hard to believe just this morning I was at a gorgeous Costa Rican beach watching huge iguanas sun bathe. 
2 more flights and 9.5 hours til we're actually home! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Noteworthy, from the airport

Top photo : About time someone started up Chelsea's Food Services!  I've been having to feed myself, plus all these other people,  for so many years.
Now there's a company dedicated to the job!

Middle left: spotted this scent at a duty-free shop.  A couple sprays and suddenly I was totally back in 9th grade. Scary.

Middle right : sent this to bro Steve and dad Steve.  Funny. 

Bottom left : for for Spokane airport's newest contribution to supporting mamas! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Bottom right: 
It was sparkly.
It said Spurs.
Brian couldn't control himself.  

Chicago Trip Recap

Well, I say "Chicago" trip - but we actually spent just as much time in Michigan, and a bit in Indiana. So maybe we'll call it.... The Great Lakes trip! Or Lake Michigan Trip!
Or...escaping the children for the weekend! 
Really though, I'm not even sure how exactly we decided to do this...
I mean, it was pretty simple I guess... one evening in July-ish, Brian was reading the blog  of our friend Jeremy Van Tress, talking about his battle with 
 ALS.
It was super sad, yet inspiring. 
Brian said, "let's go visit him!" and I said, "um. ok...I'll go see how much flights are. Maybe we can use my Southwest reward miles." And I looked it up, found a good deal, and booked it! Well, after checking with Jeremy's wife Courtney. She was all for it.
We decided to keep it a surprise for Jeremy. Here's Jeremy's blog post about our visit: https://jeremyvantress.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/surprise/  It's such an incredible feeling to know I made a difference in someone's life. Someone who likely doesn't have much life left on this earth. 
But boy, you wouldn't know it by the way he lives!! He's all positive, humble, grateful, and just - HAPPY! Praying for miracles for that faithful family. It just breaks my heart to know his sweet kids won't get to know him like I did - so physically strong and capable. Life is so unfair and hard sometimes. But I'm glad this poster gave Jeremy the message I wanted him to have from me.

On to the rest of our trip.
Well, starting with Day 1, hanging out in Downtown Chicago! Mostly at Navy Pier. It was SO great! We rented bikes and cruised around Lake Michigan area. Brian loved seeing the sports stadiums.  Lots of interesting art and architecture everywhere. TONS of diversity... we'd walk down a street and hear 10 languages going on! We were going to stay downtown but accidentally cancelled our reservation (long funny story on that one...it was Brian's fault!! :)  So we ended up staying at a cheap scary place a bit outside of downtown. It was half hilarious, half horrifying. 







After our visit with Jeremy we drove through Gary Indiana because I had a weird fascination with and intense desire to check out this place that is supposed to be one of the most dangerous cities in the US and most economically depressed.  Well it lived up to my expectations! It was crazy! Boarded and busted up businesses, no signs of a healthy economy, no diversity (100% black - we drove thru several neighborhoods), dogs roaming around, women in super inaprop clothing walking around lotsa smoking and drinking.... wow.
It was like another world.
Made me so grateful for the relative "bubble" I get to live and raise my babies in.
Then ON TO MICHIGAN! (after a bazillion toll booths - what gives?! So glad we don't deal with those on our side of the country!)
I got to cross 3 states off my bucket list! This was the major motivation for us to take the trip to Michigan at first...but man, I had NO idea what we were in for! This little beach town of New Buffalo is just fantastic!! Awesome beaches - totally felt like I was at the ocean. And we had the WHOLE place to ourselves!
Brian made that comment to a hotel staff and she was like, "Um, yeah. Most people are working and in school right now. It's September. Plus it's usually cold by now. You got lucky with this weather."
It was seriously magical. We just roamed the huge beaches, cool wooden walkways,  lifeguard tower, lighthouses, and of course I had to journey far out onto the wall of big slippery rocks. To feed my need for rebellion. Going beyond the "stop" sign does that for me too.  Well it's not that I need to rebel...I'm just pretty certain that's where all the adventures are to be had!
And I was right!  Such a perfect Michigan introduction.  Better than visiting Detroit I'm guessing  ;)
Our hotel was so great. We could've stayed in a Hampton/Hilton/Best Western for slightly cheaper, but I love NOT staying at chains. They're all the same. Local inns are so much more interesting.
My favorite part was riding our beach cruiser bikes around the town. The hotel provided them, so cool! Loved it. So free-ing. In a perfect world, I'd never drive. I'd get to ride my bike everywhere.
Brian was jazzed to find a super legit little Italian restaurant. And a drink called "DANG!" I picked up a bunch of great take-home gifts for Mom, Mere, Meg, and a little magnet for us :)
Finishing up with some cool panoramic shots from Brian's phone. Still getting the hang of how to do those right.