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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

ALMOST...Time for School

There is some panic, excitement and nerves all bundled together for this upcoming school year that is quickly approaching our family. 
We've made some pretty big changes that are quite different than any years past and once found, our routine and school schedules should be absolutely perfect for our kids. It has our three Little's in three different schools, but each one with their individual needs being perfectly met. 
It started last Spring when Charlie and I finally decided to make a huge change; time for me to be just Mommy and not teacher. Yes, I cried and he smiled with glee, but in the end it's what's best for him and his needs. We filled out registration forms for Fisher and talked about having to be up and out of PJ's by 7:30am. We stressed the longer days, potential bus rides and homework schedules that come home after the school hours are completed. Still...happiness. I know we made the right choice, but both Tim and I didn't have peace about it quite yet until we had the doors open up to explore Ebenezer Christian School. 
With the nudge of a few neighbors and friends we interviewed Mr. Buss then the roles reversed and we sat in the hot seats followed by Charlie taking an entrance test. Can I just say how terribly nervous I was for this??? If this kid bombs this test it not only reflects his poor learning abilities but MY ABILITY to teach him! Thankfully, Charlie did amazing impressing the principal and reading through the fourth grade sight words with ease. It only proved to me once again that he does so much better for others than myself. 
In two weeks, Charlie will step up on to his first bus ride to school (you bet I'll be taking pictures!) and will start a new journey of education in a "real" school. Tim and I are really excited for the friendships that he has with a few third grade buddies already and those that will bond over the years to come. 
Thank you Ebenezer Family for welcoming us and making this change for this Mommy an easy one!
Addison will be staying put exactly where she flourishes best: at home starting sixth grade. She will be continuing with Mp3 (Meridian Parent Partnership Program) and Teacher Jeff Caraco will be our go-to student coordinator for the sixth year in a row now. She plans to take three campus classes then four here at home. With just one student at home, writing student lesson plans was an easy afternoon task and all but one purchase order has already been made. Many of Addi's friends have started on newer education plans at different schools so she's a little sad that she won't be able to see them twice a week at school. I give it a year and she'll be stepping on the bus with Charlie.
Myriam is super happy to be starting school again at Lynden Middle School in the Intermediate Preschool Program. Just yesterday she told me she was ready to go to school! This year she will be going in the afternoon for a couple of hours four days a week. Her backpack is already to go and school clothes are washed and hanging for her to wear. Thanks for hand-me-downs I didn't have to purchase hardly anything besides shoes to get her ready for the fall. What I love most about Myriam's school program is the hands on, one to one teaching with all the aid, therapy and attention needed for her little mind to grow and learn. Both of us are ready for a routine for her to fall into soon!
So, with a small list of things needed we are almost ready to say...
Here's to the last full week before packed lunches, sharpened number two pencils get busy and first day of school begins!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Drive, A Hike & an Ice Cream Cone

On the heels of our family camping trip came an all day hike up Hannegan Pass with Grandpa Doug and Aiti (Terhi - Finnish word for Mom which all the grandkids call her), M & M and our tribe of six.  The morning started out chilly, but don't worry, it was toasty hot up in the hills. After we made our way through the curvy roads and last mile or two on a dirt, pothole laced road we made it to the trail head. 
Our adventures started out stinky as Miss Bee pooped up her back before even stepping foot on the trail. After a little clean up, we all had potty breaks, checked our shoe laces, applied the sunscreen and marched forward towards the peak. Uncle Ryan and Charlie were out of sight in minutes while the lady crew and Tim slowly made our way three miles in. Myriam made sure all we passed on the trail were greeted with a proper "Hello" or "Have a nice day!"
The sights to see were spectacular with high lines of flowery fields, green pastures, rocky cliffs with trickles of water, snow caps and pesky flies that some weren't too fond of. Yes, they bite. Miss Bee sang and talked most of the way until we stopped in the shade to have some lunch. Recognizing the fatigue on the young ones, some of us chose to turn around before reaching the top four point eight miles in. 
This was Doug's first hike since crushing both his heels a year ago making this an accomplishment towards his recovery. On the way down, Tim showed the girls how to drink from a stream and thankfully, no one got sick from the two sips. Myriam went down about a mile from the car and Uncle Ryan stumbled slicing his knee, but otherwise all were injury free. 
After making our way to the car, I took the little ladies to cool our toes in the refreshing and chilly stream. Miss Bee was not a fun as she's a warm water only baby while Myriam could have dipped her wholeself in if we allowed her too. 
And to sweeten the deal on the drive home, some of us indulged with ice cream at Graham's Store on our way off the mountain. 
It didn't take long to have all but a few of us sleeping from tired legs and exhausted bodies. 
I was shocked from how well all the kids did; the girls a total of six miles and Charlie rounding out at almost ten miles. According to my Fitbit, we climbed 95 flights of stairs making this single track trail an easy one for kids if they don't mind getting sweaty, stopping to fuel and going slow to not tipsy top over the side. Myriam only made me nervous a few times otherwise it was safe for even the youngest ones. 
I can't wait until the next hike!

{ A hiking we must go. }

{ Sandwiches, cheese and meat sticks and fuel bars to keep the feet moving. }

{ Grandpa Doug's coffee bean. }

{ Hot and thirsty. }

{ Tim assisted all the ladies with holding back hair for a sip. }

{ Mickey's face flinging flies is how some felt the entire time. }

{ Snow capped peak to cool off in at the top. }

{ Charlie and Uncle Ryan conquering the trail with confidence and speed. }

{ Getting ready to dip our toes. }

A Little Family Fun

Every Christmas my parents gift us a family trip somewhere local or out of state. This years trip was camping at the Birch Bay State park for a few nights. 
What I loved most was in case we forgot something, our home was all but thirty minutes away. Such little stress went into packing this year even with little feet supplying baby food, diapers and bottles to keep things pleasant. 
The kids loved exploring on the beach for crabs and shells and up at camp riding through the bike jumps. Charlie and Talan were curious burning sticks and creating smoke trails. Addison was all about beating the unlucky one at a game of Rummy while Myriam and Ashlyn chilled in the popular hammock reading books and telling stories.
Thankfully, all six of us slept great even with a couple midnight bottle calls. Myriam learned a few lessons about consequences and lost her opportunity to go to the water slides and the C Shop. Hard times for little minds, but there must be follow through regardless of the fun to be had.
Uncle Jason and Aunt Lindsay took off in the morning to the water slides with Charlie while the rest of us trickled in once the sun popped through the clouds. The water was still quite cold which I quickly found out on my double ride down the river with Charlie. Brrr.
Nana kept Miss Bee cozy after splashing in the pool and loving it. Back at camp, Tim took Myriam for a walk through the forest and enjoyed some down time. Melissa and Michaela joined us for the day and later Mickey smiled her way into staying overnight. Yep. We piled all seven of us into the Lazy Daze 
and slept surprisingly peacefully. 
The most entertainment came after we stopped on our way out to pump the tanks of our bodies natural goodness. Everything was fine until we went to start the Lazy Daze back up and found nothing to be cranking. A quick call to Dad and an hour later of trying to fix something turned into the two little ladies and Mommy catching a ride home while the rest of the team stayed behind. It wasn't until I left that I thought about the locked up house and left behind house keys. Thankfully, not all windows were locked and no alarms went off. The other half of the team managed just fine walking to grab burgers for lunch and eventually making it back home. 
A team effort in unpacking and getting laundry going left all showered, smelling fresh and happy beds to rest in. 
Thank you Papa and Nana for another great trip and many memories for the books!

{ Charlie & Talan exploring for critters. }

{ Hundreds of pinching friends. }

{ Myriam & Ashlyn smashing shells. }

{ A sensory playground: sand, shells, rocks & water. }

{ Camp Life: hammock win. }

{ Addison & Auntie Traci getting competitive. }

{ Nap time...these two paused for almost two hours. }

{ Splish Splash it's a campers bath...}

{ Miss Bee loved splashing in the shallow pool.}

{ C Shop evening sugar highs. }

{ Our attempt to contain our mobile one. }

{ Addison was all about the win. }

{ From kites to fire the kids kept busy. }

{ That's not right. }

{ Still smiles after waiting for the mechanic & busting into my own home. }

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Camping She Must Go

From conducting and singing on the drive down to Deception Pass to the animated, show-stopping campfire stories, Myriam entertained Papa, Nana & Auntie Traci the first weekend in June. Morning snuggles at 5am while searching for cavities and insects with the Olaf flashlight, giggles by the bay, entertainment by the outdoor theater, plenty of secrets, kisses and splashes on the beach... Myriam had a fabulous time and we are beyond grateful for family that asks to spend such quality time with one of our kiddos. 
Here's a picture glimpse into the weekend...

{ Walking on her own journey determined, full of passion and plenty of zest. }

{ This crack issue runs down many generations in the family. }

{ Jellies on the bay. }

{ Unconditional love from Auntie. }

{ The animated campfire stories by Myriam. }

{ I love you across the ocean. }

{ Always picking flowers whether were allowed too or not. }

{Nature's sensory playground. }

{ Papa has become a best friend. Nana keeps them out of trouble. }

{ She walked the beach barefoot almost the entire time. }

{ Peek-a-boo I see you. }

{ Chilly toes & conversation with Auntie. }

Monday, July 18, 2016

Let Freedom Ring & Apples Pop Into Pieces

{ Happy Fourth of July }

This year was quite low key as we celebrated the Fourth of July. 
We had a lazy morning around the house, then made our way to my parents for dinner and some experiments. I clearly remember as a young girl having my Dad put gun powder in a hole in the center of our cul-de-sac and making a ball of fire go up into the sky. I'm sure now it would appear like a small after thought, but as a young child it was HUGE. Dad was always into blowing stuff up and seeing what type of reaction he could get from me and my siblings. 
So, when our kids asked if Papa would help them blow some apples up he was quick to dart outside, socks and all, and assist in the fun. 
After dinner and some black cats as well as cleaning up the apple mess, we headed home to put the littles to bed on time and attempt to sleep through the boom and bangs of the celebratory community. 
Here's a little slice of the fourth adventures...

{ Apples Pre-Papa Experiment }

{ Preparing the apples for the black cats. }

 { The experiment. The victim. The lone apple. }

{ Get ready to run...}

{ Let Freedom be celebrated and go BOOM! }

 { The end result. }

 { The kids taking cover from more of Papa's loud fireworks. }

{ Papa in his socks teaching Myriam to light poppers. }