Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ryan's Work Station

This was a secret project that we've been looking forward to surprising Ryan with for awhile.  At first Tony was gong to build it and he could go out Christmas morning and see it.  Then we decided that it would be cooler if he could help design it.  So there are drawers for supplies, his Inventor box goes underneath and there is a drone charging station so everything important is out of reach of little people.  And Ryan can build and create to his heart's content either by himself, with Max, with friends and by daddy's side.  LOVE THIS!

Visiting the Schows

Our good friends live too far away.  They bought a home in Chehalis which is so much further than when we were just down the street from each other in Tacoma.  Even Renton to Lacey was too far.  But now it definitely takes more planning to get together.  However they are only 15 minutes from Great Wolf Lodge so we stayed with them and chatted and met their cute puppies.  We played a game we haven't tried yet called, Watch Ya Mouth.  We also went to the church gym to fly drones, play horse and kickball.  We love the Schows and wish we could see them more often!

Great Wolf Lodge

Thank you Grandma Pearl and Grandpa Dan, we had an unbelievable family adventure at Great Wolf Lodge.  The kids loved sleeping in the Kids' Cabin.

They were befuddled when we let them stay up and watch their own TV.  We just set the timer on it and let them be.  

We had to stop playing long enough to take a few pictures.

The phone was tucked away in the cabana safe most of the time but I had to snap a few pics.  I loved it when Ryan finally braved the tube slides and then realized how much fun it was.  He was non-stop up and down those slides after that.  Tony and I got to ride the bigger tube slides with Max, taking turns.  Next time we'll have to do the Howlin' Tornado but we didn't have an extra adult to watch the littles and Max wasn't haven't that one yet. :)

So fun just to giggle and play and chase and slide as a family with no cares in the world!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Family Letter 2016

Christmas has been special this year and I love to take this time to reach out to friends and family.  We always wish everyone were closer and that we could see you more often.  We'd much rather wish you a Merry Christmas in person and thank you for being a part of our lives. Family and friends are truly the fabric of life and we love you!  

So to sum up life for us...

Evelyn is our resident snuggler and sassy pants and cat smotherer.  Seriously she loves to wrap her little arms around your neck and smush her face into our face and the cats' faces. She loves to play with friends and loves her weekly playdates (because of an awesome kid swap I have set up).  We've also started a joyschool class for her with two other friends. She started a dance class but even though we tried repeatedly, we ended up stopping halfway through because she never wanted to go in.  It's a class where the kids dance and the parents wait outside the room.  She loves Minnie Mouse, Star Wars and princesses.  Did I say Star Wars?  Maybe that's a little more hopeful than true at this point but she does love anything her brothers are doing.  

Jase is our light guy.  He is obsessed with lights of all kinds and points them out.  Santa brought him two flashlights for Christmas and he received 3 others.  He loves preschool and does really well.  He also does joyschool once a week still so his joyschool friends can get together.  He has quite the imagination and will tell you all kinds of stories and made up jokes.  He did a sports class this fall and had a blast.  While lights are high on his list of favorites, Jase also gets excited about the kittens, trucks, playing catch and riding his bike.  He has the most infectious laugh.

Ryan played soccer this summer and he is not so different from most boys his age loving bike riding, legos, Minecraft and Star Wars.  He has a knack for creating, crafting, building, etc.  We were really excited to get him a Doodle Crate subscription for Christmas and he is going to to help Tony design a workspace/desk in the garage next to Tony's work bench so he can create while his dad is creating.  I'm looking forward to seeing all that he will come up with.  Ryan has a sensitive heart and we hope to help him to continue to use that gift to help others.  He is loving 2nd grade and doing great!

Max is enjoying fourth grade and piano lessons.  He just started playing with the community basketball league and he's loving that.  He enjoys books so much and is part of a Battle of the Books team at school.   Max has a fun personality and loves to joke around.  He's really fun to be with and helps a lot with his siblings.  He was excited to see Rogue One and may know more about Star Wars than us at this point.  He also loves robotics, scouts, baseball, basketball, airplanes, WWII history and legos.

Tony would love to have more time for flying and bikepacking so hopefully he will get to do even more of this in 2017.  He continues as a lead Airplane Mechanic at Boeing.  

I enjoy being a work-from-home mom so that I can volunteer in the school and do joyschool with the littles.  My job as a part time appointment scheduler is great.  I'm also grateful for the fun little and big adventures with family and friends.  I'm looking forward to more fun in 2017.

One Save-the-date announcement is for Ryan's baptism on July 8th of next year.  All are invited to come!   

We didn't take family photos this year so I had to pull from some recent ones of us with Studio C and at Halloween.  I added one of Jase at the end since you don't get to see his cute mug so well in the other ones.

Happy New Year!

Christmas Day in the Morning!

Today we got to celebrate Christmas on the Sabbath.  So many fun moments when the kids were opening presents during the morning.  Then we went to church.  It was fun to hear the wonderful talks and hear the beautiful music.  My absolute favorite is "O Holy Night".  I sat there feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for my family and my faith.  It was wonderful.

Christmas Eve 2016

We loved going out to eat last year and wanted to do it again.  We had yummy Chinese food again.  I secretly wanted to order roast duck.  

After dinner we got there right at our scheduled time to have the missionaries over to help us with the nativity.  It was fun having more people to help us and I think I will invite the missionaries over every year.  :)

I think the highlight this year was when Tony had the fun idea of being the star and got his headlight.  Jase did not want to be Joseph and when he saw his dad's light, our little flashlight guy wanted to be the star.  Tony begrudgingly became Joseph, haha.

Max, Sister Young and Grandpa were the wise guys.  Ryan was a shepherd and Sister Leavitt was an angel.  Grandma was the photographer and I was the narrator.  I'm hoping to have the wherewithall during the year to put together a few simple costumes this year.

After we said goodbye to the sister missionaries, we opened our Christmas Eve present, a book this year and had some cocoa and peppermint marshmallows that Grandma Kate had sent.

Then we tucked them into bed and Max had a hard time sleeping.  He crawled into bed with me too.  There was not a lot of sleeping that happened but enough happened that Santa was able to come undetected.  And the loss of sleep is always worth it Christmas morning.