Friday, November 16, 2012

Halloween

We had a Figure Skater, a Pirate, A Crazy Scientist with a Moonstone (Lego Monster Fighter Guy)/Vampire and a Power Rangers Samurai.  It was a cold night.  I was happy to stay at home and hand out candy.

This was before the Ward Halloween Party.  Mason wouldn't wear his costume.  He is standing behind Abby.  If you look close you can see his sleeve.


This was on Halloween night.  We figured out Mason just didn't want to wear the mask.  Once we told him he didn't have to he was happy to wear the rest of the costume.  Madi's face is classic.  Typical Madi. Chase decided the Crazy Scientist wasn't working for him and wanted to be a vampire.  I personally like the Crazy Scientist better, but oh well.


We also had a visiting Hamster.  Hunter the Hamster to be exact.  Chase looks like he thinks the others are crazy.  Aren't kids so fun to photograph!  They never all look good at the same time.  I loved Hunter's expression in this picture.


We also made a Haunted Gingerbread House.  Well, actually, the kids and their babysitter made it.  They love their babysitter, Tori.


We went for a Hike.

I think I make this blog more difficult than it needs to be.  I always think I need a lot of time to explain what we have been doing.  I am going to try a different plan.

On October 7th, 2012 we went for a Hike.  My parents were visiting, the kids had the day off school- so we hiked up to Heublein Tower in Simsbury.  We had a good time.  Gordon couldn't come and Chase had bedhead hair.  And, my sunglasses always seem to be on the top of my head.  Especially when I can't find them in my purse.  Aren't the views pretty?




Friday, July 20, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Remember that show?  Conversations between Bill Cosby and little kids?  Hilarious.  We've had a few "Darndest Things" around here lately.

Wednesday was Mason's 3rd birthday.  We had a small, quick, family celebration in the evening after a day full of activities.  It wasn't really until Mason walked into the house and saw the balloons, presents and cupcakes that he started to catch on to the whole birthday thing.


He was pretty excited about it all, especially a Lego Ninjago book, which he carried around and took to bed with him.

On Thursday morning, Mason was talking to me about how much he likes his birthday and how happy he was that it was his birthday.  I was trying to explain to him that his birthday was over.  He didn't like that very much, but seemed to understand.

A few minutes later he and Chase were walking down the hall talking about his Ninjago book.  Chase was saying how fun it was that he got the book for his birthday.  I was walking a little bit behind them when Mason says,

"Yeah it was fun, but it's not my birthday anymore.  Mommy took it away."

Nice.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Road Trip- Part 1

When spring break arrived this year, I was determined to get out and do some exploring with the kids. 
They were ready for some road trips.  

On the first day of spring break we loaded up an drove to Mystic Seaport.  For some reason I thought there was a beach in Mystic so I kept telling the kids we were going to the beach.  When I realized that there really isn't a beach there, or at least one that I could find, I had to promise a side trip to the beach after we explored the seaport.


The seaport had some cool tall ships and is a living museum of an old fashioned seaport village.  There are many historic buildings- homes, churches, stores, etc... - that you can walk through and explore.  There are two tall ships that you can explore as well.  It was interesting, and the kids enjoyed it.


But, they were anxious to get to the beach.  So we got back in the car and drove about 20 minutes to Ocean Beach in New London, CT.  It was not a really hot day, so the kids ran in and out of the water trying to not freeze.


It was fun to get out and explore and see some more of Connecticut.  There are so many other places I would love to explore, but it is always hard with four little ones in tow.  We are still searching for a favorite beach in the area.  Ocean Beach was nice, but we've heard there are nicer beaches.  We've got to get out and try a few.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cousin Fun

One of the best things about our move to Connecticut is being closer to our east coast cousins (the kids cousins, and mine!)

We are excited to be close to Gordon's sister, Heather, and her family again.  They live about and hour and a half away, which is certainly not as convenient as when we only lived 10 minutes apart in California, but amazing considering we both moved across the country within two years of each other.  We also live relatively close to my cousin, Alyson Yoder, and her family.  They live about two and a half hours away, so we have only seen them once since our move.  But, it is fun to know they are close and we can get together again.  My aunt and uncle, John and Susan, live about 7 hours away, so we haven't seen them, or their son Trevor who is living with them now, yet.  Gordon has a brother, Robert, who lives in Georgia with his family, a 15 hour drive, and we have been lucky enough to see the their whole family around Christmas time, and to have their daughter come stay with us for a few weeks this spring.

Of all of our east coast relatives, we seem to have spent the most time with Hunter.  He's come and stayed with us a few times.  Once we took him to the kids favorite restaurant, the Rainforest Cafe.


Another time we went bowling and to the Jump Zone.  We practically had the place to ourselves.  It was awesome.

The last time Hunter was here, we spent a lot of time in the car taking kids to camp etc...  but we did have fun playing and being together.  All of my kids were sad to see Hunter go, and want to know when he can come again.

We also had Alyssa come stay with us for a few weeks.  She came to work as a nanny for us and was a wonderful help to me.  Because the three big kids were still in school she spent a lot of time with Mason.  They bonded.

But we all enjoyed having her here.  She was great to go ice skating with the girls.

I wish I had docuemented more of her trip, but here is a picture of a puzzle she put together.  A few thing we learned that Alyssa loves are puzzles and Cabela's fudge!  We also learned that she is an expert pizza maker, she can be indecisive at the McDonald's drive through :), that she is incredibly sweet and loving, and that we miss her.


We loved having her here and were all sad to see her go!  We hope she comes back again.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Hello.....

We are still here, still alive, and still as busy and crazy as ever.  We moved into our new house the last day of March and life has not slowed down one bit.  We love our home.  I need to go around and take pictures of the finished product, but first I have to clean it.  And, with 4 kids home all summer, keeping the house clean is literally impossible.  So, it might have to wait until school starts again.

But, in the meantime here are some updates on the kids.

Abby finished 3rd grade this year.  She has graduated from Cherry Brook Primary School and will be entering Canton Intermediate School next year for 4th grade.  She has been ice skating since January and it is her passion!  She skates 1-2 times a week and is getting so much stronger.  She isn't doing jumps yet, but she has almost passed off all of her basic skills.  She performed in a skating show in the spring.  It was "Broadway on Ice" and she skated to a Grease medley.  It was very cute.

She is doing some fun camps this summer including a writing camp and an art camp.  She is an excellent writer and is so excited to be working on a newspaper theme for her camp.


Madison had a great year in 2nd grade.  This was her first time in a mainstream class since Kindergarten.  We were very worried about her, but she has been able to keep up in class (with support) and perform at grade level in everything, except Math.  She also "graduated" from Occupational Therapy, which was great to hear.

The move to CT has been hard for Madison, but now she has some cute friends who call her for play dates and she is in heaven when that happens.    One of the great things about living in a small town is seeing friends when you are out and about.  I took the kids the the town pool the other day and Madison spent the whole time playing with kids from her class at school who just happened to be there at the same time.  She is so social.

Madison played on a U-10 traveling soccer team this spring.   Most of the girls were in 4th grade.  We were so proud of her and excited for her when she tried out and made the team, even being two years younger than most of the team.   This summer Madi is in a Horseback Riding Summer camp.  It's been a great experience for her, but not without it's drama.  On Wednesday she fell off a horse because she kicked it too hard and it started up to fast.  She lost her balance and landed on her rear.  On Thursday she was helping bathe a horse and she wasn't paying attention and got stepped on by the horse.  She was ready to quit, but we told her how proud we were of her and encouraged her to keep going (and also told her she didn't have a choice- sometimes you have to get tough :)) She is there now for her last morning.  I'm just waiting to see what drama happened today when I go to pick her up!



video

Chase had a great year in Kindergarten.  He received the "Super Reader" award in his Kindergarten class.  He is doing really well with his reading.  He is currently reading the Mercy Watson books, which he finds hilarious.  I am so grateful that reading is coming easily for him.  It's a relief after the struggle the girls continue to have with reading.

 Chase is a Lego master and has successfully indoctrinated Mason into the Lego Ninjago world.  They talk continually about ninjas and spinjitzu.  It's pretty funny to hear Mason talk about Ninjas and such, but cute.  Chase went to the Father's and Son's campout with Gordon this year.  We felt like Mason was still too young.  He had a great time, but was so worn out by the end of the night he fell asleep on the picnic table!


Mason is my little buddy.  He hangs out happily at home.  He is almost three, talks non stop, and is super cute.  He has no interest in potty training.  He also goes back and forth between his crib and big boy bed depending on his mood at bedtime.  He thinks he is in charge of everything and can get most people to do his bidding.  I've had a girl from the ward babysitting for me quite a bit this summer, and mostly she watches Mason.  Mason thinks Tori is his best friend and she is the only person he wants to invite to his birthday.  I've decided to put off preschool until January so that I can try and potty train him in the fall.  He really needs the social interaction, he has a tendency to growl at people and give dirty looks if he doesn't know them.  It takes him a while to warm up so we hope preschool will help him learn to be a little nicer.



Gordon and I are doing well.  Gordon's job has been really busy, but he hasn't had to travel at all.  What a huge change for us.  He enjoys his work and is learning a lot.  We have really enjoyed Connecticut so far.  The winter was mild.  The ward is awesome.  We are doing well, but we do still miss our friends and ward in CA.  Come visit!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More House Pictures

These pictures are outdated, but I thought I would post them anyway. I stopped by the house about an hour ago and the appliances are there and a few of them are already installed. We are getting really close. Only 2 and a half weeks left. We are so excited! This is the play room on the third floor. There is also a guest room and bathroom up there.
This is the girls bathroom. Chase is standing in the doorway that goes to Madi's room.
This is the landing on the second floor and the stairway to the third floor.
This is the master bathroom. I can't even tell you how excited I am for the tub. I miss the tub in our Master bathroom in California. I just hope the hot water heater is big enough to fill it regularly!
This is the other side of the master bath.
This is the tile cutting workshop, aka the Master Bedroom.
The above view of the kitchen is looking from the dining room.
This is the entry way. We do not have a front hall closet, so the trim carpenter is creating a large wall plaque to go on this wall with large hooks to hang coats when guests come.

Mason is excited and loves checking out his room every time we visit. He is especially excited about his closet. I have no idea why.

This is the living room. The french doors go into the family room. They are going to sand and finish the floors at the end of next week.
This is a view of the kitchen from the family room. Our dream kitchen!!
Looking the opposite way now. Madi and Mason are standing in front of the fireplace. There are so many windows in the house. I love it.
This is a closer view of the fireplace. The mantle is in now. You can see the coffered ceilings in the picture. We decided against putting the t.v. over the fireplace. It will go on the wall to the left between the windows.

That's all for now. I'll take more pictures next week when the countertops are installed in the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mason

This is Mason. He is two years old and he completely runs this house. He has his dad wrapped around his finger, as well as his Nana and the next door neighbor, Olivia. He loves chocolate milk, and chocolate covered cherries. He likes to repeat lines from TV shows like Jake and the Never Land Pirates. "Let's grab them and gooooooooooooo." He is afraid of the dogs and says they are going to eat him. He is driving me crazy because he is in the "I do it myself" stage. Getting out the door and into the car seat takes 6 times longer than it needs to because of his independence. When we ask him to do something (like help clean up....) he says, "No, I can't. I super super tired." He likes the word super. A lot. "I super tired, I super cold, That's super scary." He doesn't like most food, but will usually try almost anything that a grown up is eating. He has a little stuffed bear that he call is "doll" and he is frequently looking for it. He misses the big kids when they are at school and so he follows me around and makes commentary on what I am doing. It's pretty cute. We love him and are glad he is ours!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pictures of the House

Welcome to our house! I love driving by the house, and I do it frequently. I rarely get out and walk around, but today I decided to go in and take some pictures. I was so excited because no one was there working on the house so Mason and I got to explore without feeling like we were getting in the way. I must have come during a lunch break because there was a radio blaring in the basement. The house is all sheet rocked and primed, and there are piles of wood for the floors all around, but at least you can see some progress.

This is the entry way. My camera does not have a very wide lens, so it looks a little cramped, but it doesn't feel that way. The permanent stairs should be going in this week. Which is great because Abby refuses to go up the temporary stairs anymore because they scare her. She doesn't like going in the house because of her self imposed confinement to the first floor.
This is the view from the deck, which is right off the kitchen. It's beautiful. We have conservation land behind us so it will never be developed. It might not be developed, but it is inhabited by Bears and apparently Rattlesnakes. (Bears- true and verified by all the neighbors, Rattlesnakes, something Abby heard from a friend?)

This is the view looking from the family room into the kitchen. The sliding doors go out to the deck. The small area of dropped ceiling will be above our (massive) island.

The opposite view. Now you are looking into the family room from the kitchen. Mason is jumping for joy about our new house!!!
Since there really isn't much to see without floors etc.. I decided to include some of the more interesting rooms. This room above is Madison's room. It has two dormers, which give the room a lot of character. She has a closet and then a the other door is to the jack and jill bathroom she and Abby will share.

We are not finishing the basement yet, but as you can see we have these full length windows and two sliding glass doors. It's a great space and will be amazing when it is finished. The cement bricks are where the fireplace will go.

This is the back view of the house. You can see the sliding doors here. The backyard is mostly flat, with a hill coming down from the driveway area. Then at the back of the property there is a drop off (maybe 4 feet) to the conservation area. We wanted a flat yard so they had to do a lot of grading to get is as flat as possible. We are pretty happy with the results.

So that's it for now. It's been fun, but I am so anxious to get it finished. I'll get some more pictures when the floors go in and some of the trim work.