Saturday, February 11, 2012

living the American dream... WITH the dog now!

I Forgot to mention... we have welcomed a new member in to our family...

Meet our ADORABLE Labradoodle (not so) puppy Nara!!! She's been a HUGE blessing to us, and for those of you who walked with us through our previous dogs, you know how BIG of a statement this is. She is six months old and has been really great. Hardly barks at all, has only chewed up her own toys... and was practically potty trained by the time we brought her home. She's being kennel trained, and has done amazing. She sleeps in her kennel at nights (in Ethan's room, per his request) and is kenneled when we leave the house. We're so excited to have her! She's been a great addition to our family.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I just am NO good at this Blogging thing! haha

Well... a LOT has happened in about a year since I last updated...

The last time I had posted, Ethan was just going to the fire department with his PRESCHOOL class... Well, since then, Ethan has entered Kindergarten at Emmaus Christian School where he is absolutely THRIVING and becoming the most awesome little dude I have ever met. He is practically reading! I can't believe this day has come. Not that long ago he was my little dude, learning the basics... and now... READING! He has made a Best Friend which BLESSES my heart... His name is Mitchell, and they are like two peas in a pod(a lame expression I know)! Ethan has lost two teeth, and his adult ones are half way there! Everything about what he is going through this year is AMAZING to me. I absolutely love watching the person he is becoming, and the relationships he is making and fostering... it blows my mind. We have been blessed with an amazing opportunity to have him in a private school. His Kindergarten teacher is the MOST amazing teacher, and we are just really blessed with where he's at right now. He's becoming BIG in to Star Wars, loves video games (he's a real boy!) and is just full of spunk and energy. I love it!!!

Little Miss Madelyn is the light of my life, even in her temperamental three stage! haha... She is doing AMAZING. Her talking is so clear, and in sentences. She has started counting, knows her ABCs... and much like her older brother, LOVES music... I have been blessed with two very musical children. Something I always dreamed of being. She's still another year out from starting preschool, where she will probably attend at Emmaus to follow in her brother's footsteps. She has a fantastic personality, even when she's driving me up the wall, I am humbled by how God has taught me so much through her. She's had her FIRST haircut, at the age of three, and it was only to even out the layers that were growing out uneven. She has made many friends, both the daycare kids that I watch, as well as siblings of Ethan's friends, and church friends. I am excited to watch her as she continues to grow in to her super sized personality, that is for sure. She's truly my best friend in the whole wide world. God knew just what I needed when he gave me Maddie!

As a family, we've been through a few changes. We have finally decided to cut our 11 year tie with Evergreen Christian Center, and have moved to a new church, Sonrise, also in Hillsboro. We have been praying over this decision for quite some time, and at the beginning of the year, knew God had a move in store for us, and one day we just listened... and you know what, we've loved the move so far. Ethan's best friend Mitchell goes there, which was great in transitioning Ethan to a new place, and we know many people who attend as well, and have found a place where we belong. It's been really nice so far. Praying we continue to hear God's message toward our lives and the direction we're heading through this transition. It was lot easier than I had expected it to be.

Me, personally, I have had a TREMENDOUSLY blessed year so far. With Ethan starting school, I had decided I was going to be a mom who was active in her children's schooling, and I took a lot of plunges this year. Which for most of you who know me, that's very hard. Feeling very distant from a lot of my close relationships, I sought out some of the mom's from Ethan's class, and you know what, God heard my plea for friendship... He heard my plea for support... and He heard my plea for a place to belong. And these ladies have given that to me. I have been blessed with friendships in people who truly like me for who I am. For ladies I can share with, in good times, in bad... and in goofy times as well. Ladies who have never made me feel judged, or an outcast, or weird, just because of the situations I've been through. It's been SO long since I have felt So accepted by a group of amazing women of God! Probably since my college age years in Fusion. And that's been a LONG time! haha... And I have been blessed by Allan's encouragement in these relationships, and his ability to let me know that he is proud of my steps forward. That in itself is an amazing feeling...

Outside of that, not a lot has been going on... Our big house project for this year is that we're going to build a big shed/shop in the backyard, so that we might be able to clean out the garage and make it soley for the cars to be parked in at this time... and for the fridge and freezer. Hopefully this year we'll be fixing the hot tub as well. It'd be super nice to be able to start using that, considering we've never been able to since we moved in... We have a LOT of plans for this house coming up as well. A big kitchen remodel is in the planning, as well as an addition to the back of the house... I'll fill you in on details as that comes to fruition... and just some other fun things that run through our head. Moving the daycare downstairs has been a blessing on our living space as well, and the kids have LOVED having their own space that is just for them, instead of having to suffer between kid and adult things... In addition to keeping my daycare running, I have started selling Scentsy... I'm excited about this transition in my life. God has given me a tremendous peace about it, and I'm just going to keep working hard at it until I have made something of my business. Truthfully, if I could just make enough to pay the kids tuition at school, that would be enough of a blessing! But we'll see!!!

We had our annual trip to Disneyland this past December, and it was fantastic. The kids had an amazing time, and I've learned how truly brave Ethan is. He loves rides, just like his dad... and it takes a tremendous burden off me that Allan has someone to go on rides with... though there's still some I'm not ready for him to go on yet. I know... I'm crazy!!! haha.... Other than that, we're just really loving life!!! It's been a great year for us... and we pray it's going to continue to get better and better....

Hope 2012 has brought many blessings to you who read this so far. I'm hopeful it won't take me another year to update some information! haha

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ethan goes to the Fire Department

February 16th, Ethan's preschool class went to the Cornelius Fire Department to learn what it is that the Firemen do. Ethan was so very excited for this field trip. Not only did he get to go somewhere fun with his friends, but his dad got to be there to experience it. They had a fun time crawling through the different areas of the fire trucks, learning all about the suits that they wear, and getting their "honorary fire lieutenant stickers" to wear around.
Ethan and his friend Thomas were walking around the front of the fire truck, looking at all the cool gadgets and gizmos that they use to fight fires. Ethan thought this was the coolest thing ever!
Ethan sitting in the driver's seat of the big fire truck. Asking all kinds of questions about what each button does. I really appreciate the fire department for still doing these fun things for the kids to teach them about fire safety!
A front shot of Ethan sitting in the driver's seat.
Gathered around the fireman! They were all so interested and involved. I wasn't there, so I can only imagine how much they all wanted to be a part of what was going on. Kids are so funny and cute!
Learning a valuable lesson in fire safety I'm sure! - - Look at how well they are all paying attention!
Ethan and his buddy Michael. It's a little blurry, but you get the picture! : )

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Guess Who's Potty Trained!?!?!

I wanted to share this moment. One day I had left the bathroom for a minute while Maddie was sitting on the potty, and I returned to find this. She is such a funny little girl some times!

Well, as some may know, we have been working with Maddie on using the "big potty" as we call it around our house, since right before New Year's. We've given her some time to adjust to the idea, since she's a pretty stubborn monster. But we knew this was a task we wanted and needed to start and finish. I'll be honest, I am not good at potty training. I struggle with accidents, and bed wetting, and all those not fun things. With Ethan, we didn't have nearly as hard of a time because he was a lot older, and he just caught on pretty quick. But this little lady, she was a whole other ball game.

So, it started with 12 pairs of underpants (6 Minnie Mouse, 6 Tinkerbell) and a LARGE bag of M&M's, 6 pair of plastic covers, and pull ups for night time. After the first week, she wasn't too promising with our efforts, the second week, we stopped peeing in our pants, but didn't quite have the concept for going "big potty" yet. Yuk! haha... Then the third week, we were having more successes than accidents... in the fourth week, we were accident free, and this week, the fifth week, she is now telling us when she has to go potty. It came out of nowhere. But has been a welcomed change, and my little lady is becoming a big girl! Very exciting time right now!!! I know she'll continue to do well, and soon, it will be as if she has been potty trained her whole life. But it just goes to show you, even the most stubborn of daughter's (and believe me, she is), is no match for strong willed parents who refuse to buy more diapers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mom and Maddie's Saturday Afternoon Stroll

Today, while dad and Ethan went to watch Uncle John place third out of 16 for wrestling, mom and Maddie decided we were going to go for a walk. It was such a BEAUTIFUL day, and mom wanted to take advantage of maybe getting some photography practice in. Well, that didn't work in my favor, but I did get to spend some quality time with my favorite daughter, exploring the outside, teaching her how to stop and look both ways, showing her different aspects of the nature around of, and of course to stop and look at the bears (statues) at the house up the street.

When we got up to the end of the street, Maddie pointed toward Highway 47 and kept asking for grandma and grandpa. I love that my kids are so directional that they know which way it is to get to places. So I asked if she wanted to walk to grandpa's house (which wasn't the best idea, since all we had was a water bottle, a camera and a backpack and leash) and she said yes. So off we went! We walked past Ace Hardware, and up to the sidewalk to safely cross the major roads. Of course at this time, Maddie was complaining because she had to be held, instead of being able to walk. We made it safely on to Quince St, and made our way to grandma and grandpa's house, which was just under a three mile walk ahead of us.
As we passed McMenamins, I realized that it probably wasn't the best idea to walk all the way there, since we didn't have a stroller for when her little legs couldn't carry her anymore. But we pressed on. We heard a dog barking across the street, to which my lovely and amazing child decided she was going to yell at and tell to be quiet the entire time. Then we passed by a wonderful older gentlemen and stopped to say hello, and wish a good afternoon to, upon carrying on.
We kept walking, and all of the sudden, my little lady's little legs were just not going to hold out anymore. And me, not having the best of backs, wasn't able to carry her the rest of the way, either way that we went. So we kept pressing on. Now mind you, I've done this walk quite a few times, but every time I've been prepared with a stroller, or a wagon, or even a bike trailer. But today, since my so lovely daughter wanted to wear her Minnie Mouse backpack, I was completely unprepared. And then, it donned on me. I was smart enough to leave our extra carseat in my parents car MONTHS ago. And since we were already half way there, I was sure grandma or grandpa would be willing to come save us from our not so smart decision. Sure enough, grandpa Doug came to the rescue. We loaded up the little lady in Ethan's carseat, which was able to be adjusted to keep her safe, and made our way to visit with grandma and grandpa for the afternoon. They were so kind, they fed us lunch, let us snack on whatever junk food we could find, and watch Prince and the Frog and Mickey Mouse for the afternoon. It couldn't have turned out more perfect.

And even though I didn't get to do any photography today, I wouldn't have changed to time I got to spend with my sweetest daughter, the fresh air and nice walk that we did get and the wonderful afternoon we spend hanging out with the grandparents. A great Saturday afternoon exploration!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ethan and Nolan Sleepover Palooza!

We're at this really fun age with Ethan where we're seeing him just coming out of his shell, and seeing him want to develop strong friendships and relationships. For months now he's been talking about Nolan, and wanting to have him come over, and hang out with him. So finally, an opportunity arose where we were able to invite him over for a sleepover. Last Friday, all Ethan could talk about was how "Nolan is coming over, and we're going to have special dinner, and play games, and watch movies". It was so fun to see his excitement as he awaited for the day and time that his friend would be coming to hang out with him. Nolan's parents were so nice to let him come over and stay the night, and we're hopeful that soon, Ethan will be able to return the favor and go spend the night at Nolan's house. Here are some photos of the evening!
Getting ready to play the "Five Little Monkeys" game - - it actually is really fun for a kids game. The boys did SO great at playing it and following the rules. And of course they loved when the Monkeys fell off the bed!

Here's the boys and their best acting skills. Nolan is pretending to take a bath, to earn his bath time token. And Ethan is pretending to zip up his PJs to get his Pajama token. They were a lot of fun to watch!

The boys getting ready to see if the Monkeys are going to fall off the bed or not.

Playing Wall E on the V-Smile. Ethan got this game machine when he was 2 years old, and recently just got back in to playing it. They were GLUED to the TV for the rest of the evening, which was really only 45 minutes, since it was close to bed time.

We had so much fun having Nolan over. We got to watch "How To Train Your Dragon" and "Toy Story 3" and play games. And the boys got to play some video games too. They had fun having a "Pajama Jam" and Nolan loved getting to sleep on the top bunk of Ethan's bunk beds. Allan got to read them a story, and say prayers with them. And he told Ethan that when the lights were out, they could whisper and talk to each other, because that's what you do during sleepovers. And as soon as he got the light off and was just outside the door, her heard Ethan whisper, "Hey Nolan, what are you doing?" and the two of them talked for about 10 minutes before they fell asleep. It really was a fun night!

Maddie is excited for when she'll finally be able to have her own sleepovers!