Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas with Nana

My mom came for an early visit for Christmas. She held down the fort while we took the kids to see the new Star Wars movie on Ross' birthday. It was awesome! We wrapped up the birthday celebration watching the Cowboys lose another game this season at a great new restaurant in the area. Despite the loss, I think Ross still had a good day.

We celebrated Christmas with Nana the next day. We exchanged gifts and visited Santa at a house down the street from us. There were lots of lights, hot chocolate, cookies, and presents, as well as laughter.

Her last day here we had a great time just hanging out and playing!

The Perfect Tree...for this year

There are quite a few tree farms near us in CA, so we took advantage of the opportunity and cut down our first Christmas tree as a family this year! It was fun to walk through the farm and find just the right tree for us...or so we thought. We found a tree with the perfect shape. We cut it down, took it home, and then remembered we have shorter ceilings than we remembered! After removing a little from the top and a little from the bottom, we had the perfect Dr. Seuss tree. I love it! We also got a smaller tree for the kids. It's a little bigger than we've gotten in the past, but they were still able to carry it, decorate it, and make our house a fun celebration of Christmas!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Thanksgiving in Leakey

We traveled to Texas for the week of Thanksgiving this year. The trip started off with an exciting ride around the ranch...until the Polaris died. Then we had fun attempting to push it back to the house. We eventually gave up, but both kids did their best to help! We ended up walking back and towing it later.

Tuesday was our nephew's birthday. Mitchell turned 6 while we were there, so we got to join him at school for a little celebration with his friends!

We also got to meet our newest nephew, Taylor! He is 4 months old now, and he is so sweet and wonderful! We all loved getting to hold him, play with him, and make him laugh and smile. Both Jackson and Audrey were amazing with him. They really love both of their cousins!

Despite a little chill in the air, the kids decided to play in the river. They got a little wet and had a ton of fun!

It was a wonderful way to spend our Thanksgiving week!

There are more pictures in the album.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fall Soccer Season

Both Jackson and Audrey played soccer this Fall. They had a blast. Audrey was very competitive this season and loved the games her coach played to teach new skills. He involved the parents too, which made it fun for everyone.

Jackson had a great season too. He loves to play defense, and he did a great job watching the field and figuring out where to go and what to do. Of course, he still likes to play around on the field a little too. It's starting to look like real soccer though and was so much fun to watch!

There are more pictures in the album.

Halloween Fun

We had a fun Halloween with friends. The fun began on Friday with a costume parade at school. Audrey was a cheerleader, and Jackson was the transformer, Optimus Prime.

Then each class had a party. I'm the room mom for both classes, which meant I was responsible for organizing the parties. Fortunately, we have a great group of parents to help out since I can't be in two places at once! I stayed in Jackson's class for this celebration and helped the kids make slime and play halloween bingo. They loved it!

After the parties ended, the Monster Mash fall festival began. There were game booths, dancing, face painting, raffles, and food.

On Halloween, Saturday, we joined our life group friends at one of their houses for a fun party and some great trick-or-treating. I didn't get any pics since it gets dark so early, but their costumes were the same. There are a few more pictures from Friday in the album.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Labor Day Weekend

So...I'm still behind on blog posts. Better late than never though! My mom came to visit for Labor Day Weekend. While she was here we spent a day at Half Moon Bay. The weather was perfect! We had lots of fun hiking along and climbing up and down the cliffs.

There was a lot of excitement about getting to the beach.

We loved walking along the water and watching the waves crash into the rocks.

The kids were most interested in playing in the sand. There was lots of digging and castle-building.

As the sun began to set, we made our way to a local restaurant for dinner...a little silliness was involved!

The next day we visited a park down the street and did a little tree climbing.

It was a great weekend! There are more pictures in the album.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Jackson is 7!

Back in June, our amazingly sweet and sensitive, often silly, science and reading-loving, always-wants-to-know-the-right-answer, God-loving son turned 7! It has been a year filled with opportunity for growth and learning. With God's love, grace, and mercy Jackson managed a move halfway across the country leaving behind many life-long friendships, three different 1st grade teachers at a new school, a new soccer team, a new martial arts school, a new baseball team where he was named most-improved player of the season, and a new church and life group where he requested to lead the other kids. We all learned a lot throughout the year as we navigated each step of the journey. Some days were really hard, some days were lots of fun, and more often than not, I found myself a little surprised at how much Jackson has learned and grown physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually this year. He's such a great kid!

We had a small family celebration on Jackson's birthday. Star Wars was the birthday theme this year, but NO ONE had a cake topper! Instead, we found some great Star Wars figures to balance on top of the cake, so they doubled as one of his gifts. He loved them!

The following weekend was the big party. Friends from school, soccer, martial arts, baseball, and church were all there! I loved seeing how many great friendships he's formed over the course of the year. We had the party at Sunnyvale Martial Arts Academy where he now takes Tae Kwon Do. Since it was a Star Wars theme, light sabers were a must!

The instructors did an incredible job with all of the kids. They did an obstacle course, Jedi training, and an awesome demonstration for the kids. It was a blast!

After snacks, singing "Happy Birthday," and having cupcakes, Jackson ended the party by breaking a board. It was a really fun way to celebrate Jackson and everything he brings to our lives!

I took quite a few pictures, so if you're looking for more, they are in the album!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Back to School

I know I'm long overdue for an update. I'll fill in more details in some future posts, but since the last update, we've celebrated Jackson's 7th birthday, both kids have lost a few teeth, we've moved to a new house, I've changed jobs at NASA again, and Ross and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. All good things, but we're ready for things to settle down for a while!

School is officially in session, which has been another big change for both kids. With the move, they are now both at a new school. We'll be wrapping up the first week tomorrow, and I'm happy to report the kids have had a great week!

Audrey started Kindergarten twice this week...long story short, she was #1 on the wait list to get into our districted school, which meant she started at one school on Monday and moved to her planned school on Tuesday. She's so happy to be at the same school as her big brother now! When we asked her what she wants to be when she grows up the night before school started, she said a "gymnast, swimmer, and doctor!"

Jackson started 2nd grade this week! The transition to another new school has gone well so far. He likes his teacher and is beginning to make new friends. When we asked Jackson what he wants to be when he grows up, he said a "flavor maker because I love science and a doctor because I'm really good at taking care of people."

When I've come to pick them up each afternoon, I've found them playing together every day. I love what great friends they are and hope it is something that will last throughout their lives! They are both silly and sweet, and it's so much fun to see them together.

I had fun taking pics of the kids that morning, so there are a few more in the album!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Spring Soccer for Audrey

Audrey played soccer again this spring. She made lots of great new friends and had a wonderful coach. She went through several phases this season of wanting to play and not wanting to play, but she always wanted to be there. I think she mostly wanted to socialize and be silly!

Several of the girls on her team will be at her new school next year. Unfortunately, they are almost all a little older, so they will be moving up a level without her in soccer. If Audrey decides to continue though, she'll be back with them the following season!

There are more pics of Audrey's awesome team in the album.

Spring Break

Spring break was so much fun this year! Susan, Leslie, and Mitchell came to CA for a visit. Mitchell saw the ocean for the first time, we rode rides at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, went wine tasting, and visited Fisherman's Wharf and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. All of that was done between the simple joys of playing with your cousins.

Ross and I were able to trade days off so we could both get a little time in with everyone, which means I don't have pictures of everything. I had fun trying to capture the joy of their discoveries at the Exploratorium though.

They all learned a lot, but more importantly, they had fun! Audrey got a little wind in her face and had fun mastering the slinky. Jackson showed off some of his dance moves, and Mitchell led the pack around from one exhibit to the next soaking it all in and enjoying the hands-on activities.

We were so glad they were able to come see where we live and what life in CA is like. Of course, there are more pictures in the album. It was a great way to spend their Spring Break!

Audrey's Easter Baptism

Yes, I know it's a little late for a post about Easter, but this Easter was especially memorable for our family. Audrey got baptized! She's been asking us to let her get baptized for almost a year now, but she wasn't able to tell us why until early this year. We wanted to make sure she really understood what she was doing before saying yes. When we finally said yes and put in a request at church, our pastor decided he wanted to talk with her as well, so we set up a meeting. It was SO adorable and sometimes just funny to hear her describe her faith and what she understood baptism to be about. In the end though, we all agreed she really did get it!

My mom was able to join us for Easter Sunday, which is when our church does baptisms this time of year. There were quite a few people getting baptized, and Audrey made sure she was first in line! There was no fear or hesitation. She was ready!

She was so excited to have finally done this, and it being Easter made it extra special. The day before Easter the kids dyed eggs with my mom. Then they woke up to some fun goodies in their Easter baskets and an egg hunt all around the house. It was beautiful a beautiful day in so many ways!

We are so thankful for all of the people who pour into our lives and show all of us God's grace and mercy. We are especially thankful both Jackson and Audrey are filled with God's Spirit and believe in Jesus!

There are a few more pictures from the weekend in this album.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Audrey's 5th Birthday

I can't believe it's the end of May, and I'm just now making time to post pictures from Audrey's birthday! I've been working WAY too much lately, which has interfered with my picture taking and blogging. I'll make up for it with a long post with lots of pics! ;-)

We had a family party the day of her birthday, and she celebrated with her friends at school by bringing cupcakes. At the time of her birthday both Jackson and Audrey were big into Pokemon, and Audrey really wanted a Pokemon cake. Fortunately, one of our nearby bakeries had a light-up, Pokemon cake topper that Jackson was SO excited to get for her. It was a fun surprise for her, and she really loved it!

We gave Audrey a choice of having a party or going to Disneyland for her birthday, and she chose Disneyland. We were all pretty excited! We spent 3 days enjoying the magical world of Disney...

After a few warm-up rides, we made our way to the Bibbity-Bobbity Botique where Audrey became Princess Audrey. She chose her hairstyle, nail polish, makeup, and a rhinestone tattoo.

Then her Fairy Godmother-in-training sprinkled her with fairy dust and presented her to the world as Princess Audrey!

Jackson got to participate too, of course! He picked out his hair style and was presented to the world as Knight Jackson.

We spent the first day at Disneyland riding rides and watching parades until our legs were ready to give out!

We started our second day with breakfast at Ariel's Grotto in Disney's California Adventure. Audrey was greeted by Ariel herself! She had so much fun posing for a picture with her. Then several princess stopped by our table to say hello. Snow White was by far the silliest. She had Jackson and Audrey both giggling when she stuck apple stickers on their noses (see the album for that picture!).

We rode as many rides as possible, stopped to enjoy the parades, and made lots of great memories. Jackson's favorite was the Star Tours ride. He was the Rebel Spy the first time we did it, and he thought that was the coolest! Audrey's favorite was Goofy's Sky School roller coaster. I was so excited they both enjoyed the roller coasters since those are my favorite!

It was a perfect way to celebrate our little princess turning 5! There are a lot more pictures in the album.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ringing in the New Year with the Tims Family!

Better late than never...right! The Tims Family came to CA to visit us around New Years!!! It was so wonderful to get to spend some time with them and to share our lives here in CA with them a little.

While they were here we checked out the Exploratorium, which is an amazing, hands-on science museum. We all had fun playing despite the large crowd.

When we finished at the museum we walked to Fisherman's Wharf for some cookies and hot chocolate and to see the sealions. Then we continued on to Ghirardelli Square. It made for a long, fun-filled day!

The next day was New Years' Eve, and we headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods to see the Redwood trees. We had a picnic in the car at the park before going on a hike. The trees were big and beautiful, and it was a gorgeous day! Unfortunately, we discovered Jackson still gets car sick on this trip...

We were all exhausted from our adventures so we ordered some delicious food and spent the evening relaxing. We did an online countdown for the kids so they didn't go to bed too terribly late. I'm pretty sure Barbara and Heath didn't make it until midnight either. I took a nap and woke up in time to ring in the new year with Ross and then headed off to bed.

Our next adventure was back in San Francisco at another science museum on New Years' Day. This time we went to the California Academy of Sciences. Since it was close to Christmas, they still had some reindeer on display. I think Barbara made the best reindeer!

The kids had all kinds of fun checking out the aquarium, the rainforest layers, learning about earthquakes and more.

After we'd seen all we could take in at the museum, we took our scooters out of the car and explored the paths and park in front of the museum.

The next day we took it a little easier. We let the kids play at the park behind our house and with all of their new toys. Then we went to eat at a nice restaurant that evening. Sadly, the Tims headed home the following day. We wish we could have stayed longer!!!

There are more pictures of our adventures in the album.