Before you think our year has just been pet death, I thought I should catch up on posting some of the fun we’ve been having, too! First, birthdays, birthdays, and more birthdays. Way back around New Years, I took Addie and Coen to Addie’s friend Guiliana’s party at the roller rink. Wow, what an experience! Addie started with the walker (roller??) and by the end, was free skating on her own. Coen, on the other hand, was clutching his walker for dear life but loved being pushed around and around and around the rink. He much preferred the video games, though, so we spent the last hour or so playing. By far, pinball was his favorite!


Next came Jimmy’s birthday. Which, once again, he spent in Las Vegas for work. He came home and we had take out of some sort, probably Super Burrito, then ding dongs. Target doesn’t have a bakery and with two boys in tow, that was my only stop of the day 🙂 Next year, we’ll actually do something special. After all, it will be the big 4-0!


The next weekend, Jimmy took the too crazies to another party, this time at a rock climbing gym. I didn’t have high hopes for this one, but both had a great time and actually climbed! I guess Coen had a freak out moment and someone had to climb up and retrieve him from pretty high up on the wall. I think coming down and trusting that someone isn’t going to drop me would make me nervous, too!


We had two birthdays the next weekend, one just for Addie for a friend from school at an arcade. It was so fun! Addie loved the air hockey table and this virtual reality shaky thing. I’m shocked no one lost their cupcakes! The next party was for our buddy, Caleb. He had a train-themed party at this house, but on the way there, Coen spiked a fever and felt pretty miserable. This was the start to weeks of sickies in our house. All but Addie, for some strange reason. Holden had an ear infection and we were sure Beckett had the flu, but surprisingly, he tested negative. Just overall miserable for a few weeks, but we survived!


Jimmy had a trade show at the Peppermill where this arcade is. Jimmy and Coen had a hair cut before the trade show, so Coen got to tag along with him, and as a treat, Jimmy took Coen to this same arcade (as if collecting all the swag at the trade show wasn’t fun enough for a 3-year-old). Coen thought it was the best place on earth, too, so I imagine we’ll be spending some time at the arcade again very soon!


At the last minute, we decided to go to a super bowl party at one of Addie’s friends’ house. We experienced some pre-teen girl drama leaving Addie in tears. Totally minor, the older girls were being mean to Addie’s friend, but her feelings were hurt, none the less. Coen fell in love with the play structure and discovered a nerf shooter. Holden climbed up and slid backwards down a toddler slide over and over again, then ran around playing ball with the big boys. Both ended up getting trampled and crying before it was time to go. Regardless, it was a fun half of football!


Holden had his first unofficial swim session. Usually, swim nights are a trade-off and he doesn’t get to attend. I pick the kids up from school, drop Addie off for dance, take Coen to swim where Jimmy meets us, then I head home with the other two boys and when Jimmy and Coen get home, I pick Addie up from dance. This prevents me from having to bring all 3 boys into swim lessons. This week, however, Jimmy got called in to help move a ton of office furniture at church, so Beckett hung out in my office while Jimmy moved, leaving me to take Coen and Holden to swim. I brought his suit, just in case he wanted to play on the step. He was surprisingly good. Just sat on the edge with his feet in splashing and playing with Maya and Coen. At the very end, Miss Susan took him into the pool with Kaiden. He was pretty OK. Not sure I’m ready to sign him up for lessons yet. I’m using Kaiden as a guide since they’re close to the same age. Once Kaiden starts enjoying it and actually learning something, we’ll put Holden in!


On to Valentine’s Day! I was never a huge Valentine fan, kind of indifferent to the whole holiday. But oddly, with kids, I think it’s awesome! The loot these three littles came home with, I swear, rivals Halloween! Plus, pinterest makes it way too easy to make cute Valentines for all their friends! I somehow managed to send Coen and Beckett off without snapping their pics, but here are two of my Valentine cuties. Jimmy was in Vegas again 😦


OK, all caught up to last weekend! Addie has been asking for months now about ear piercing. We told her we’d take her when she was ready. She kept asking if it would hurt and I could tell she was too nervous to want to do it. A couple weeks ago, she seemed committed to the idea. After dance rehearsal last weekend, I picked her up without any brothers, and decided we’d stop by Claire’s in the mall and check it out. I wasn’t convinced she’d actually go through with it, but we’d see what happened when we got there. She was determined. We picked out birth stone earrings. She was practically jumping up and down with excitement. There were a couple people before her. I thought she’d be super nervous, but nope, just pure excitement! Finally, her turn. She hopped up in the chair, clutching their stuffed bear and beaming! The girl called a second person over to do both at once. Right as they were lining the “guns” up, her faced turned to fear, but no tears. She was so brave! And once it was done, so excited to show them off to everyone. Such a big moment for this little girl! They had a buy three get one free sale, so she stocked up on new earrings to wear once she can take these out (the girl says three weeks, but I told Addie 2 months). She picked ice cream cones, cupcakes, narwhals, butterflies, roses, and crosses. I so appreciate her girly-ness in this house full of boys!


Finally, I’ll leave you with just some sillies, which is pretty much our every day around here. Holden is finding his words and starting to get such funny personality. Never a dull moment in the Gibson house!IMG_3307IMG_3305IMG_3254


Is it possible for a pet to die from a broken heart? I think it just happened in our house. Our poor Cooper, the last of the original Gibson foursome, has gone on to play in the great beyond with the rest of his crew.


Aside from having a little trouble jumping up on the bed, which has been happening for a long while, Cooper seemed perfectly healthy. After Jett left us, he started acting super depressed. He’d spend a little time out and about with the kids, but mostly, just slept in a hidden-away corner. He seemed to be eating and drinking normally, but in the last week, he just laid lifeless under a table or in the corner. The light from his eyes was gone. He just gave up.

Tuesday, as I was loading the kids into the car, he was laying in front of the coat closet. He wouldn’t move when I tried to open it, so I just scooted him a little to the side. He didn’t even get up. I knew he was on his way. When we got home from school, I went inside first to make sure the kids weren’t going to walk in on a cat carcass. He was no where to be found. We all made it inside and once I started calling for him, he started crying. Addie found him under the piano bench. I picked him up and put him on a blanket on the rug, and he was just too weak to even stand.

Jimmy, as has become his duty when it comes to the pets, took him to the emergency vet where they determined he had kidney failure. The vet said he probably could have lived another year or so before we started to see signs but after losing Jett, Cooper probably just gave up.

So, now, for the first time in over 15 years, we have no furry friends in our house. It’s very weird. Something definitely feels like it’s missing. Addie had a rough time with this one, just in the day he passed. Coen gets sad about once a day and says he misses Cooper. Ugh. The heartbreak of pets.


So long, our handsome, feisty love. We miss you already!

Farewell, Jett


Tonight is a strange night in our house. Though we had four children huddled in the living room playing, somehow it felt empty. This afternoon, we said goodbye to our sweet Jett. In his 14 years, he brought us so much joy. He was playful, fiercely loyal (to Jimmy!), and such a good snuggler. For the past month or two, his hips have been slowly giving out, until recently he could barely find the strength to stand. It was time. We planned for the vet come to our house. The kids had a chance to say goodbye. It was quick and peaceful. And still, so very sad. I know he’s pain-free and I’m sure Marlie was waiting for him when he crossed that rainbow bridge. You’ll forever be in our hearts, until we meet again.


Addie’s Big December

Somehow, we managed to way over-schedule Addie this fall. Back in August, our church started rehearsing for the children’s Christmas play. Practice was once a week, one hour, easy-peasy. At the last minute, someone didn’t end up participating, which left Addie with a pretty big speaking part. She was an over-dramatic news reported, with HUGE hair! It was awesome!

At the same time, I decided to sign Addie up for piano lessons with a brilliantly talented friend of ours. Again, just once a week for less than an hour. Plus, she loved violin at school last year, and with the change of schools, she wasn’t getting that musical exposure, so it just made sense.

About a month later, her school sends out an email that they’ve been invited to audition for the Peanutcracker, a condensed version of the Nutcracker designed for children in our local community. So, of course, she wanted to audition, and she ended up getting cast as a party girl and a soldier. Wow, we suddenly became very busy!

All of these awesome things culminated in December with performance after performance. December 1 (the best day of the year, as you know!) was her first round of Peanutcracker performances, plus her first ever piano recital that evening. She and I spent the morning in Carson City, then rushed home to gather the boys for her recital that evening, where she played Over the River and Through the Woods. Both experiences were completely amazing!


So, that was the first weekend in December. Weekend #2, church play, 7th birthday, a party, then the last round of Peanutcracker. Friday, the day before her birthday, was holiday free dress day, plus cupcakes for her birthday. We started her actual birthday with a donut in bed, followed by a balloon fight and presents. Then, she had a three hour dress rehearsal for the church play. Followed promptly by one final peanutcracker rehearsal, then our church group, where we had cake, yum! Busy day, to say the least! Sunday morning, she performed twice, then rushed off to her party, and more cake. She wanted to have this big, elaborate, crafting party at our house. I did not want to clean (or prep for crafting), plus, our clubhouse was booked, so plan B, she wanted to go to this pottery place and paint. Perfect! Except, I kind of planned it at the same time as this huge budget meeting at church, which I didn’t realize until the week before the party. Oh well, my parents helped get things started and Addie had a great time! I’d say turning 7 was a success!


And, while we’re talking about this awesome girl, right after all this December fun, she decided she wanted to donate her long, beautiful curls to make wigs for children, so off we went to our amazing hair stylist for family haircuts (the boys were all pretty shaggy!). So, 8 inches later and she’s practically a whole new child!


Christmas 2017

And finally, my favorite part of the entire year. Christmas day! We opened presents, ate yummy breakfast, relaxed, cooked, ate more, then fell fast asleep with full bellies and grateful hearts. Amazing.


We wrapped up the year with a brilliant friends brunch followed by a trip to EDH to spend time with more family! Cheers to 2018!


Christmas! My favorite time of year! While the beginning of the month was insane this year, once we got in a Christmas grove, it was as magical as always.


We went caroling with church, my first caroling experience EVER! It was so much fun, even though two of our monkey were acting like monsters. Coen had a birthday party for a friend from school, so was off with Jimmy having fun of his own!


The kids all had fun last week of school. Coen had Disney dress-up day. Addie and Beckett had first-responders day where a fire truck, helicopter, snow plow, and sheriff truck all came to their school. Then both had holiday pajama parties in their classrooms. Addie had another project with a presentation in front of a panel of judges. This time, it was an invention based on a plant or animal. She made a plant root sucker upper. For those times when you’re super thirsty. It’s a bunch of straws that model the roots of a plant, that help you drink more water quickly. IMG_2924IMG_2923IMG_2922IMG_2903IMG_2905fullsizeoutput_2e1afullsizeoutput_2e18fullsizeoutput_2e17fullsizeoutput_2e19


After all the school fun, it was AUNTIE TIME!! She came in Saturday and we did our annual Christmas light tour that evening. Sunday, we woke up and had the most amazing Christmas church service ever, followed by a cookies and cocoa party at church. And our dear elf Jolly brought the kids Polar Express tickets, so that evening, we set off to Carson to board the Polar Express! Coen was skeptical until he saw the North Pole, then perked right up. Beckett even seemed to enjoy it. And Holden was acting like he ate way too much sugar all day. Follow that with steak and lobster, and it was in the running for best. day. ever. Addie said a tearful goodbye to Jolly, then we were off to bed so Santa could come.

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Peanutcracker by day, hospital stay by night. Immediately after Addie’s last Peanutcracker performance, Coen had enough of sis getting all the attention and decided to create some drama of his own! Sunday night, he crashed hard after a long day of Addie’s birthday and playing with Haylee. He woke up in the middle of the night breathing funny and a slight fever. He had a random rash for a few days prior, but the dr. said it looked like eczema and wasn’t anything contagious. After Addie’s final show, I dropped her off at my mom’s and picked Coen up to head to the dr. to figure out this terrible day he’d been having. He was a mess, quick, short breaths, and just not well. The dr. gave him a breathing treatment which seemed to help, but then after a second treatment, he sounded much worse. Bring in the oxygen! She decided she wanted him to stay in the hospital overnight for observation. Oh, and by the way, he had to go by ambulance since he was on oxygen. Oh, and did I mention Beckett had botox scheduled at Shriners in Sacramento the following day, so we were planning to head out of town right at that time? I’m a planner by nature, so strategizing what to do with 2 kids and a dog, while trying to dictate to Jimmy what to pack for me to stay at the hospital in Reno with Coen while trying to get him to Sac with Beckett, all while sitting, stuck in the dr.’s office, while waiting for the ambulance to arrive was all a bit too dramatic for my liking. There was no way I could be at the hospital without a car while Jimmy’s in another state, so instead of riding in the ambulance with Coen, I drove behind an looked at his calm little face through the window. Insanity, right?! Everyone was situated, Coen and I hung out at Renown, and by 8pm, he sounded and felt 100 times better. He was negative for flu and RSV, so still no idea what was going on, just some virus of some sort that caused his bronchial passageways to swell. I was sending Jimmy pictures of Coen in his hospital bed while Jimmy was sending me pics of Beckett prepping for botox. That was fun. Let’s not do that again, OK?!