Tuesday, June 30, 2015

1st grade baby

I would like to say that we were cool, calm and collected, ready to start the school year with a bang.  We were pretty far from it though.  We had just arrived home from our vacation to Idaho that morning at around 2:00.  Chad had to jump right back into work that morning as well.  Luckily, we had live-in back up!  Aunt Saundra (who had picked us up at the airport that morning) jumped right in to help out.  She helped mad the crew while I helped Aimee get ready, who I had let sleep as long as I thought I could get away with.  Knowing that this would be the case before we left for our trip, we had packed all of her school supplies and tried to have what we could ready.  It was a crazy morning.

Aunt Saundra also kept all of the other kids home with her so that I could take Aimee to school without little helpers.  We arrived a few minutes early so that we could go formally meet Aimee's teacher.  Her principal, also knowing that we would be out of town until school started, and would miss "meet the teacher night," had personally called me to let me know Aimee would be in Mrs. Lotspaih's class that year.  She told me that she was new to the school this year, but of course how wonderful she was.  We took a quick picture and shook hands.  That was about all we had time for before she had to rush off to see her own first grader off.  She invited us to take our time and scope out the classroom before meeting in the gym.  Aimee had been a little apprehensive about everything all morning, but it was about this time that things got very real for her.  As a mom, I wanted to break down and hold my baby girl and enjoy that she wanted to stay home with me!  But I knew that as a mom, I had to keep a stiff upper lip.  So we walked around the room and I tried to make a big deal about how great everything looked.  When it wasn't working for either of us, I knew it was time to go.
We walked hand in hand down the hall to the gym.  With tears on both our faces, we hugged and I promised her I would be waiting anxiously for her to come home.  4:00 is so far away!  She dutifully took her place with her new class, and my heart broke as I stood in the hall and watched her cry about being gone all day long from her brothers, sister and me!
When 4:00 rolled around and the bus came around the corner that day, and almost every other school day until the weather turned cold, we were all there waiting for our Aimee to tell us how great 1st grade was.
By the time Porter started school the following week, Aimee was in the groove, and ready to show her little brother how school is done!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

kindergarten diaper

Porter wasn't quite as excited about gong to kindergarten as Aimee was, but this kid had heard so much about it that he was ready!  He already knew all of his favorite parts of school before he even got there.  Porter was excited that his first day was just a "taste of school."  Pratt and May got to go with me to take him to meet his teacher and go visit his new classroom while the principal did a Q&A with the parents.

When we arrived, Porter was excited to learn that Mrs. DeDario would be his teacher!  Now all of the tales he had been indoctrinated by Aimee with would surely come to pass!
Everything went smoothly as we listened to all of the same things we had heard the year before.  Porter came out feeling pretty good about his kindergarten prospects and was suddenly looking forward to the school year.
(He was easily the smallest kid in the class, and also the entire school)
The one thing that Porter had been looking forward to, was riding the bus.  He didn't need Aimee to tell him that was awesome.  He had been watching her get on and off the bus for an entire year, and it was finally his turn!

When he got home that first full day, the bus had not been met with disappointment, as it was the highlight of his day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Idahome 2014

Idahome really sums it up.  In fact I love it when people ask me where I am from, because I am a proud Idahoan (even though I have an Ohio drivers licence).  Sadly, our visits are few and far between. Right now we make it home only once every other year.  It takes that long to build up enough sky miles to pay most of one way home, then we have to come up with the cash for the reverse trip.  It is something that we cherish though, because it is a rarity. 
On our last trip home we hit a few Utah highlights as well.  Chad didn't get to come until the last of the three weeks that we visited.  He missed spending a few days with some of our dearest and best friends from our time in Omaha, and Village Green.  It was so much fun to see how in only two years, so much had changed.  New babies, new jobs, new houses, and still as comfortable as ever!
Minus the double stroller with May and Asher, the little line up of kiddos all lived within feet of each other, and spend hours playing with each other!
I even got a surprise visit from my friend Ashley who lives in Phoenix, but was passing through at just the right time to have a quick dinner and catch up!  So awesome to see these awesome ladies!
Once we got to Idaho we started our visit in Preston to meet a new member of the family.  Aunt Deez!  She also spoiled us during our visit with some fun girl time and pretty nails!
I admit that I was excited that our visit would fall during That Famous Preston Night Rodeo weekend.  That might seem silly to care so much about a small town tradition (just ask Chad), but I was thrilled!  I loved taking my kiddos to the parade to pick up candy, and seeing how much they loved going to the rodeo.  I shared a favorite piece of my childhood with them.
My dad was so fun during our visit.  He wanted to capitalize on his grandpa time.  He was able to be home during most of our stay.  One activity he had on his list of to do's with the kiddos was to go fishing.  They were as excited as he was!  Sadly, they were having absolutely no success.  So, determined to make fishing a lasting memory, he packed us all up and drove to the other end of the county to try another favorite spot.  This time we hit the jackpot!  They were reeling them in one after another!
Grandpa Darrell made sure they each got to hook and bring in at least a couple each.
At one point during the our trip, Porter caught a trout.  Grandpa told them how that was one of the best ones to catch because they are so tasty.  Aimee folded her arms and closed her eyes and started praying right there on the bank that she would catch a trout.  We tried to explain that Heavenly Father doesn't always give us what we want.  It wasn't 4 minutes later that she brought in a nice trout!  That was followed by hooking one of the biggest fish Grandpa had ever hooked up the Narrows.  It was big enough that it ran the line and eventually got away.  Aimee loved telling the story!

Once we made our way up to Pocatello, it was Grandpa Williams turn to be the hero.  He had all sorts of things for us to do with him.  One day we went down to the county fair to see the animals.  It turns out it was pretty small, but to my city kids it was an event!

It had been over six years since we had seen Chad's brother Scott and his family.  It was a lot of fun for these cousins to get acquainted and have so much fun together.  Aimee and Kate especially hit it off.  There aren't very many girl cousins on this side of the family, and being only six months apart they had a great time together!
No trip to Grandpa Williams house would be complete without a visit to the farm, and a ride on Poco.  All the kids love this, but Aimee drinks it in!  I recently found several journal entries Aimee wrote at school about riding horses with Grandpa.  It melted me heart.
Grandpa even made sure they got to pick and shuck their own ears of corn right out of the field.
Once Chad was with us, we made the rounds to all of the Grandmas.  And we couldn't visit without stopping at the cemetery to make sure they know what a great Grandma they won't get to meet until we all meet in Heaven.
Not everyone would think to have Preston and Pocatello Idaho be a vacation destination, but for us, there is no place we would rather visit!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

partners in crime

It all started out so innocently.  These two little girl cousins played together for the first time during the Ohio scope out visit.  At 11 months old it was really about which one could out-crawl the other to the most alluring toy, or hoping they didn't notice each others bows and try to pull them out.  It was adorable!  It was harmless.  And, it was fun to watch.

Once Mike and Saundra moved in with us, things began to change.  A couple of months older and a couple of months wiser, or at least more competitive.  Being around each other on a daily basis they began to treat each others as twin sisters.  Still adorable, but in constant competition for attention and resources (food, toys, lap space, etc.). 

And when they weren't trying to outdo each other, they were accomplices.  Partners in crime really.  For all of the sweet pictures in this post, there are an equal or greater number of occasions when instead of snapping a picture, we were rushing to halt catastrophe.  There are no pictures of them pushing chairs or stacking items in the basement to gain access to gnaw through bags of chocolate chips, brown sugar or marshmallows.  None of the occasions (with an s) when entire containers of laundry product were emptied onto the carpet.  Toilet papers rolls emptied or cold cereal trails giving away their location.  I could go on and on.  These two frienemies bring out the best and worst in each other.  And for as much aggravation as it has caused this mama, it has still been pretty fun to watch (and when it wasn't as least it made for a good story)!