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Hello, 2019!

We spent 4 days in EDH ringing in the new year and I did not take one single picture. This is all I have and was sent to me by Larry 🙂 We spent time with cousins, played with the boy across the street, visited with family, then woke up New Year’s Day and headed to Santa Rosa to stay with Nana’s cousin Marte.

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Beckett attended Boost, an intensive therapy conductive education clinic for 5 days while I searched out all of Santa Rosa and the surrounding cities for things to do to entertain three little monkeys for 4 hours each morning. Not that I’m complaining. We had a great time and Santa Rosa is a pretty awesome place ti kill 5 days. Our first morning, we headed to the Children’s Museum. And for what I lacked in photos in EDH, I more than made up for here. This place is seriously the coolest! I took Addie and a barely 1-year-old Coen here with Beckett did his first Boost in 2015. I lost Coen for most of the day. He was so busy running from one activity to the next and I was busy chasing Holden around. Addie was my amazing helper as usual balancing her own enjoyment with keeping tabs on the brothers.

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Day 2, we went to the outlet mall in Petaluma to this play place filled with candy land-looking climbing structures, bounce houses, and slides. I want this entire place in my next house. It was amazing and again, the kids ran around basically unattended for nearly 3 hours. I didn’t even have to worry about Holden getting lost of trampled. It was perfect. I wish I had brought a book or something because facebooking for 3 hours was pretty unproductive!

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Day 3, back to the outlet mall, this time to check out a gymnastics place. I think it was called Adventure Recreation Center or something, but basically it was a huge warehouse space with gymnastics equipment. Trampolines, bars, a ninja course, tightrope. There was a tots area, but Holden quickly lost interest and followed his sibs around the big floor for 3 hours. This day, I brought my computer and got  little work done.

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Day 4 was a little more of a struggle. Beckett’s camp started at 9 every day but most places didn’t open until 10. I could usually kill that hour at Starbucks or Target (I somehow needed to go 3 times in the 5 days we were there??) but by day 4, I was out of reasons. We ended up strolling through Petsmart before popping in to a giant toy store with a small play area where we spent about 45 minutes before heading over to a party place holding an open play session that started at 11. It was pretty small but the kids played for a solid 2 hours before it was time to pick Beckett & Jimmy up. They had a giant inflatable slide, a bounce house, an inflatable obstacle course, and a climbing structure. All were a little too much for Holden, but he was happy in the under 3 area with a tiny slide and ball pit. I think the best part about all our excursions was that Addie found friends at every single place who she bounced around and played with the entire time we were there. She’s such an awesome kid!

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Beckett (and Jimmy!) worked super hard at Boost. Beckett did lots of stretching, ladder walking, and playing games. He was beat every day! We would get back to Marte’s around 3, I binge read Michelle Obama’s book while the kids taught Marte to play Uno and destroyed her house with forts, and Beckett napped. It was pretty wonderful! Marte made us delicious food every night and we slept in comfy beds. Not a bad way to spend the first few days of the year!

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On the last day of Boost, we picked Beckett and Jimmy up right at the same time CHP closed I-80 due to the storm. So, back to EDH for another night. Luckily, the snow reached Reno and the first day back to school was cancelled. We took our time getting back to Reno Monday and were able to get a little prepped for the week ahead before the boys started back to swim lessons. Coen’s a little fish but Holden refuses to get in the water anymore. We switched teachers and now have to go super late on Mondays, but at least he got in the pool. Wouldn’t leave the step yet, but still, progress. Addie and Beckett started back to school Tuesday while the other two came with me to work. Our usual routine is just far to much for Holden to handle as he’s been falling asleep in random places, then last night, went down for a nap at 5 pm and didn’t wake up until 6:30 in the morning! Plus, he ate a piece of pizza and 3 pb&j’s last week!!! That’s huge for the boy who lives off of cereal bars and pouches. Oh, just one more funny from my office. That last picture is Coen & Caleb snuggled together watching Caleb’s tablet in the tiniest corner of my office under a desk. So random but so adorable!

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Tuesday night, Addie had her girl scout cookie kick off meeting. She set a goal to sell 25 boxes. As of today, she’s at almost 50! Yay! If you’d like to buy, here’s her link https://digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/scout/adelyn743568, or you can let me know that you’d like to order and I’ll have her contact you. She’s pretty fired up about it, but doesn’t have that competitive spirit to set huge goals and sell like crazy. I like that about her 🙂

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Thursday, Jimmy turned 40. Yep, you read that right. 40! The birthday fairy decorated our house in the middle of the night. We had a random dinner of Mexican food and opened presents before devouring Nothing Bundt Cake. Yum! Friday night, we took Addie and Coen to PF Changs for a proper birthday celebration followed by a movie. We clearly don’t take these kids out enough. They were trying to light a fire with their chopsticks. We saw Mary Poppins Returns

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Addie had a friend’s birthday party Saturday and we had a small church event this morning, but aside from that, finally a fairly quiet weekend to relax and play at home. We’ve been talking up the potty to Holden but so far, he’s not interested. He even got Mickey Mouse big boy underwear for Christmas but he’s still not into it. Finally Saturday, he agreed to try them on and even sat on the toilet. No luck and his underwear were a little wet, so over all, wildly unsuccessful, but we’re trying!  Looking forward to an exciting new year with big changes to come!

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Christmas 2018

Our Christmas fun started on Christmas Eve Eve. Our church had our second annual Sip ‘n Sing where we eat chili and carol around the neighborhood inviting people to join us for Christmas Eve services. Since we were hanging out at church anyway, Addie got snagged to acolyte for the 11 am service. She lit the candles on the altar and helped with the offering. After service, we filled bags of cookies and set off to sing to our neighbors. We had a pretty big group of kids this year, which made for even more fun! By the end, all were cold and exhausted!

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On Christmas Eve, Addie sung in the Modern Worship choir before participating in the live nativity drama. We both got to wave flags and stand in as angels. Good times, but we didn’t get to enjoy the service, so we went back to church after steak and lobster to the 9pm service. Addie and Coen said goodbye to our elf friend Jolly, then snuggled up in their beds in anticipation of a tree full of presents.

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Since Addie taught herself to ride a bike over the summer, Santa knew just what to get this year. Addie and Coen got new bikes, Holden got a scooter. His favorite present though was his Mickey Mouse helmet! He wore it all morning! We had a delicious breakfast, then Addie and Jimmy practiced casting spells with Addie’s new Harry Potter wand. How cute are they casting spells in their Harry Potter pjs? Am I the only one who thinks this is funny? My parents and Alyssa came back for a yummy dinner. We played Uno, which Coen got in his stocking, before drifting off with happy hearts and fun bellies (Addie fell asleep in her new unicorn hooded blanket!).

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We spent the rest of the week exhausting ourselves outside riding bikes. What a perfect Christmas with these adorable little people! Now, off to close out the year in EDH!

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Decembers in this house have turned into “All About Addie” month. This was her second year for Sierra Nevada Ballet’s Peanutcracker. She had her second Christmas piano recital. And, of course, her birthday mixed in to all the fun.

We’ll start with Peanutcracker rehearsal. We’ve spent all our Saturdays since September leading up to this month’s performances. We rushed home from Thanksgiving to make it to dress rehearsal on the last Saturday in November. Addie was super nervous, to the point of tears. Can you tell by her face…

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The next day, we spent way too much time at church. The kids helped inventory and move all the food from our month-long food drive in order to get the church ready for Advent. They were all a huge help and I think they had a good time doing it!

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Friday, Nov. 30, Addie had her first Peanutcracker performance. This year, she was a soldier and party girl again. She had even more anxiety this year than last. The costume change had he freaking out for every single performance. But, as usual, she had a blast on stage and did amazing every time. This year, there were 7 kids from her school performing, two of them, some of her best friends from last year, which made it so much fun! Plus, their moms are awesome, so I enjoyed myself much more backstage this year.

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That evening, we had the opening of our new Artist Showcase at church. Addie submitted two pieces for the Christmas gallery. How cool that she gets to show artwork in a public space alongside other brilliant artists?!

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Now, on to December. On the 1st, she had two more Peanutcracker performances. We went out for dessert with our friends after as a quick birthday treat for me. No better way to spend my day than watching this girl on stage!

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The next day, we got to celebrate the 8th birthday of our friend for life, Priya. She had her party at a gymnastics studio. Addie and Coen had a great time running, climbing, swinging, and jumping into the giant foam pit. Wow, busy weekend! And just two days into the month 🙂

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On to the second week in December. Hold on to your hats, it’s even crazier than the first! Addie threw up at school first thing Monday morning, so got sent home. She ended up feeling fine as soon as she left, but stayed home Tuesday just in case. She went to girl scouts Tuesday night because she reeeaaaalllyyyy wanted to make a snow globe!

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That Friday, she had her Christmas piano recital. This year, she played The First Noel as a duet with Brittany. It was amazing! She did so well!

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Bright and early Saturday morning, we headed to Urban Air with the kids’ youth performance group at church. They worked super hard most Saturdays from October on to get ready for their Christmas program. More on that in a minute, but for now, they got use up some energy climbing rock walls, bouncing on trampolines, tackling the obstacle course, flying through the air on the sky coaster and navigating the ropes course (slightly terrifying with my fear of heights, but Addie made me do it with her!!!). It’s such a fun place. Coen’s set on having his birthday here.

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Then, that night, Addie’s birthday sleep over! How is it possible that this girl is 8 already? She had 7 friends spend the night. The plan was pizza, gingerbread houses, and slime. How did I not remember how much I hate putting together gingerbread houses? We never did get two of them standing. But the candy decorations were delicious and my dining room was covered in frosting. Good times! After they tore through Addie’s presents, the entire front of the house was a disaster! I sent the girls into the living room for a quick clean up where they proceeded to talk about boys. Then they came back to the table to make slime, which ended up with the dining room covered in glitter. What a night! Addie and her friend Avry were the first ones asleep around 10:30. The rest fell asleep around midnight. I was up every hour making sure there were still 7 sleeping heads as this was the first sleep over for most of them. All survived and we had celebratory birthday donuts for breakfast before they all left. And just like that, this beautiful girl was 8!!!! We rushed off to another youth ensemble rehearsal then birthday dinner at Gram and Gramps’ house to end the day.

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Monday morning, she was back on stage for her last two Peanutcracker performances. Her school had a voluntary field trip this time, so it was fun to see some friends after the show. I love that she chooses to do this. What an amazing experience and opportunity to have at just 8 years old.

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The following weekend, she celebrated her friend Kelsey’s birthday at a pottery studio, then it was time for their youth ensemble performance at church. They led the Modern Worship service Sunday with choreographed dances to four different songs. Addie even had a solo for one of them. Coen hung in there and was the cutest thing ever. Surprisingly, he remembered most of the moves. They had a sweet little nativity in the middle of the service where Addie got to be Mary. Precious, right?!

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Last week of school…all kids had pajama day. Coen got two days in a row of popcorn, pizza, and pjs since most of his friends are every-other day kids. On the last day, his school had their Christmas performance where Coen got to be Joseph in their nativity. Overall, a great wrap up to the first half of the school year!

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More Disney Pictures

I just downloaded our Photo Pass pics, so bonus post 🙂 Plus, Coen’s face on Splash Mountain is awesome!8869801488697835886981698869814926E67omCSHe+etM2zWW+GA8875702988846012

We’ve been trying to plan a Disney trip for two years now. Over the summer, I found an awesome house right by the park and we decided to make it happen! A couple weeks ago, Addie got invited to her classmate’s sleepover birthday party. She was super excited about it, and though it was Friday night before we planned to leave on our trip, we made it happen! I dropped her off after school on Friday and spent the whole night packing while she spent the whole night at Build-A-Bear, stuffing her face with pizza and pizookies at BJ’s, and having pillow fights with her friends.

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My parents and Alyssa flew to LA Saturday morning while our party of 6 crammed everything we could into our car, swung by Addie’s friend’s house to grab her, and drove to Anaheim. After a detour through Tahoe thanks to the freeway between Reno and Carson being closed, and an hour stop in Bishop to play at a park, we finally made it by 7 pm. Sunday morning, bright and early, we made our way to Disneyland! Let me just say, Disney at Christmas is beyond magical! Listening to Christmas music while strolling through the park is pretty much the best thing ever. It just happened to be Mickey’s 90th birthday, so was pretty dang crowded, but thanks to disability access and fast passes, we hardly waited in any lines all day.

Our first ride was Pirates. Not sure it was the best decision as it was Holden’s first ride ever. He did pretty great despite shaking during the scary and fast parts. Coen was all fired up for fast rides and roller coasters, but backed out of most of that the first day. His first go on the tea cups, he wouldn’t even let Auntie and Addie spin. The second day, he went on the Goofy roller coaster at California Adventure and the swinging car on the ferris wheel. We ended the night with the Cars ride. By the second Disney day, he did Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. Every time he’d get off a ride, he’d jump up and down and yell “that was awesome!”. He was the best to sit with!!

Holden’s favorite thing was this tiny slide in Toon Town. Between that and the random bubbles throughout the park, he was perfectly content. He liked going “up and down” on Dumbo with Gramps and I think he had a good time on the carousel. Donald Duck terrified him but he eventually warmed to the characters and actually took a picture with Pluto and gave Mickey a hug. Despite hardly any naps, he did amazingly well.

We stayed at the most awesome house, just a short walk away from Downtown Disney. It had 4 themed bedrooms with giant Disney murals on the walls, a huge spa in the backyard, a giant sunroom plus garage converted into a bonus room with a big TV and pool table. It was perfect for 9 people. Lots of space for everyone, even my insanely loud children!

Speaking of insanely loud children, we spent a couple hours visiting my friend Gina. Three of my kids with two of hers (sweet Khloey went to bed, she takes no blame for the craziness!) were possibly the loudest things I’ve ever heard! And they loved every second of playing with each other. If only LA weren’t so far away!

We had a nice little Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday before packing up and heading to EDH Thursday morning.

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Jimmy’s brother Fred and his family were in EDH for Thanksgiving. They live in Mass. so the kids have never met their cousins, DJ and Halle. The had a great time playing together, even if it was only for a few hours. They flew back early this morning. My kids got to have a sleepover with Haylee though, so were pretty excited about that. Tomorrow we head home just in time for Addie’s dress rehearsal for Peanutcracker. Her first show is Friday! So much fun spending time with our families and so ready for the excitement of the Christmas season ahead!

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A Little Randomness

Huge Thanksgiving vacation update coming, but before we go there, a little randomness from November.

When my Grom passed away (10 days after Addie was born), my Aunt Lysse found an unfinished quilt while cleaning out Grom’s condo. She assumed Grom was making it for Addie but didn’t have the chance to finish it. She shipped it up to me and I’ve been storing the bag in Addie’s closet from move to move for the past 7.5 years. Over the summer, I finally opened the bag to see what I was dealing with. It was nearly complete and I felt like a big dummy for not looking at it sooner. So, I brought it to our awesome quilting ladies at church and they stuffed it, sewed it up, and hand-tied it for me. Isn’t it beautiful? Addie loves it!!

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A couple weekends back, Coen went to a birthday party for a friend at his new school. I really only know a couple parents at this new place, so it was nice to meet some people and learn kids names, finally. I’m terrible with this poor middle child. It was at a new place in Reno called Urban Air and it was awesome! He spent the first 10 minutes throwing himself halfway up a giant mountain then rolling down. He soon learned how to climb up the rope and slide down from the top. Then, he had the confidence to move on to bigger trampolines, foam pits, and barely tested out the obstacle course/ball pit. I can’t wait to go play there myself! This party was for his “best friend” Hunter. Well, now he says Hunter is his old friend and he now has new best friends. Not sure what to say about that, but it sure was a great party! 9pI3lVB6TEqAR8D7vzixIQCGDNW7UURvq4zvWt942eeg

We had conferences from Addie and Beckett. Both have awesome teachers this year. Holden got to sit in Addie’s chair while we learned about her class. Jimmy went to Beckett’s class since it was all at the same time. Addie wrote us a note and drew a picture. Beckett’s aide McKenna made the cut, too! Then she critiqued herself! Such a perfectionist. ouNej%vQRDuef5CafSAr3gcoVFbGimR5Ks4I26JkFutQXp1xoGFAQx2dvbYg+WGIVgGg3FZlEFTAOB1Pamb2n09w

I feel like I may have already posted this but Coen finished out fall ball at the end of October. He had such a good time and dang, he’s such a cutie in his little uniform!ht+v+irWR9u3TRsyUGKMuwYebzUXyuRye41FMRFjtXgQ7Bp6t0XmSGOojv0ARV7ZWg

Holden, Coen, and I spent a day at the park after early voting and checking some books out at the library. It’s right down the street from Addie and Beckett’s school. By the time I drive home or to my office, I have to leave an hour later, so library and park dates are just easier sometimes! Coen made friends with every kid there and Holden finally likes swinging.

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Nearly every night, Coen ends up in our bed. He usually claims to have a nightmare. However, he’s admitted to pretending to have a nightmare just to snuggle in our bed. So, there’s that. Since the time change, Holden thinks he can wake up at 5. If the sun’s not up, our kids are not allowed to be up, so with a little convincing, we tell him it’s still night time and go back to sleep. When that doesn’t work, he gets to snuggle in our bed, too. And, if we’re really lucky, this happens!

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And then there’s this. Holden LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He watches it on the iPad at my office every day. When he’s the only kid at home, he even gets to watch it on the big TV and recline in Beckett’s chair.

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OK, I think that does it for the random photos. I promise the next post will be more complete thoughts 🙂

Monster Party of 6

Gibson monsters were in full force this year for Halloween. Addie decided she wanted to be “something scary”. Mavis’ black hair and lipstick were enough to convince her that Hotel Transylvania was a good choice. Coen was going to be Johnny, but somehow we switched at the last minute to Dracula, so Beckett went as Johnny instead. Holden was the cutest little Dennis though out of context, he was mistaken for Carrot Top. Jimmy was Frankenstein and I was Eunice. We “decorated” a trunk this year for our church’s Trunk or Treat. I had to make a box a few weeks prior for candy donations, so just decided to snag it for our trunk once we separated out all the candy bins. Addie and Josie cut out all the bats and stuck them to my car. It was by far the least effort put in to any of the trunks, but it was really nice to have a “home base” for the kids for the event. And when the sun went down, they just hung out inside the car eating candy. Perfection! On Halloween night, we drove to the community across the street and met up with Coen’s baseball buddy. Two hours, four overflowing buckets of candy, four exhausted children, very minimal planning. All in all, a great way to spend another Halloween!

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