Monday, June 29, 2009

Life is Just Better at the Beach!

We have all been under the pressure of bar review (though admittedly, Dakota more so but we are all feeling the strain and are ready for it to be done) so Dakota and I hatched a plan to flee our regular life for a day and head to the Oregon Coast because well...we all know that life is just better at the beach.

We woke up early on Sunday (which is our "family day" - a day free from studying) and hit the road at 8:00am which made our Cannon Beach arrival time 9:50am. Perfect for breakfast at one of our favorite places, Pig'n Pancake. After a tasty breakfast, we headed down the road and in and out a few shops. Since we were just there 6 weeks ago the shops held little interest for us so before too long we were loaded down with sand toys and headed for the beach.

Make no mistake: June, even on such a sunny day as yesterday was, is NOT warm on the Oregon Coast and with the wind that was blowing it was even less so. Still - it was fun and, as you can see, did little to deter the kids from staying out of the freezing water (their moms though? No way! We stayed dry though ready to jump in if we had to).

After we were all chilled but good, we cleaned up and made the 10 minute drive into Seaside where we amused ourselves by going to the arcade, riding the train and peddle cars and, of course, riding the carousel.

It wasn't long before we headed back into Cannon Beach. We went to the park and let the kids play for a while and then headed to Bill's Tavern for dinner. After dinner we went to The Picnic Basket where I loaded up an some Divinity Fudge (YUMMY!) and we all picked out something for dessert. Before we knew it we were back in the car and headed home.

What a great day! We are so lucky to live close enough to be able to take day trips to the coast. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Little Story Told in Facebook Snip-its

As you can tell from the below listed Facebook updates, I've had my hands full the past few days. Well....more full because goodness knows my two keep them full enough right now.

Ready? Here we go!

Posted beginning at 7:15am yesterday morning:

Casey: is waiting for her 8 year old niece to arrive to spend the day. Wonder what the day will look like - I was counting on sun and well...according to the weather reports...not so much. :(

Casey: It's amazing what happens when you take 3 seemingly normal children and mix them together. The result? Utter chaos. Utter.

Casey: God bless the DVD industry. The kids are happily snuggled on the couch watching a movie. YES YES YES!

My niece was picked up at 2pm by her mom and then I raced out to pick up a babysitter for my two so I could go to a 3pm PTO planning meeting. I raced back from that at 6pm, took the babysitter home, raced home to be here in time for my niece coming back for a sleep over...and walked into a wall of stench.

Casey: Nothing screams welcome home more than a dog who has left a greeting card for you in the living room. I'm just saying. *GAG*

Casey: Ahhhhh! Blissful silence. Kaylen is sleeping and Kelton and his cousin are in bed reading books. I just poured myself an OJ and Malibu Rum...any guesses as to the day I've had?

This morning:

Casey: Up for fun today is my two kids plus TWO of their cousins! I'm hoping it will actually make it less crazy since both kids have someone their own age to play with. So far - I haven't lost my mind yet so I consider this a win-win. That said - it's still early in the morning. Plenty of time left for going crazy. :)

Casey: So far we're off to a great start. Three kids are happily painting pictures while seated at the patio table and one child is singing happy songs while she swings.

Casey: More is definitely less when it comes to these kids. With 4 instead of 3 I have less chaos, less unhappy screaming, less of almost everything except food. Not to say it's drama-free cuz it is sooooo not but definitely better than yesterday.

My nieces will be leaving in the next hour and then I have a few hours to chill, get to the store to pick up some stuff including birthday flowers, balloons and a card for Dakota's sister. Then it will be off to a family gathering (sans the "head in her books" Dakota) for a bit before coming home and getting kids bathed and in bed. I'm sure between now and then there will be more updates to post. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Seven Years Ago

Seven years ago today we packed up the U-Haul and our 10 week old baby boy and moved from the Seattle area to where we are today. Seven years ago tonight we spent the first night in this house.

Seven years. It's gone by unbelievably fast at times and painfully slow at others. Our lives have gone through transformations galore in the time that we have lived under this roof. We went from being brand new moms without a clue to being the well seasoned veterans of sleepless nights that we are. I have walked the hallway countless times trying to soothe crying babies or lull overtired babies to sleep.

We've had seven Christmas mornings filled with the happy squeals of children. The calendar has gone full circle seven times. Seven summers, seven springs, seven falls and seven winters.

And I've used the word "seven" so many times in this post that it has lost all meaning. I guess that is appropriate in some weird way because really? Does it so much matter that it's been seven years? Yes and no, I guess. I suppose I am just in awe at how quickly it has gone and yet when I look back over time I realize just how very much has happened in our lives in what is really just a short snip-it of time.

Time is fluid. And I am totally rambling. :) I just thought it was cool that today is the seven year anniversary of the move.....and I find myself a little thrown by how "new in town" I still feel.

Like I said - just rambling. Pay no attention to the overly tired person at the keyboard. :) Maybe the next time I post I'll make a little more sense....but then...maybe not. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yellow Belt in the House!

Last night Kelton took part in his first Martial Arts graduation ceremony which took him from being a white belt to being a yellow belt. I was so very proud of him! He was up in the stage with the other kids from his class and the instructor put them through their paces - he did an amazing job!

The pictures I took during the ceremony aren't all that great but here are some I took on our way out of the building.

Doesn't he look proud? My boy!

(the funny thing about these pictures is they are sort of like a flip book. If you flip through them quickly it's the whole routine that he has with the nunchucks. I know it doesn't translate here but trust me - it's pretty funny! :) )

Thursday, June 18, 2009


My boy is home!!!!!!

Kaylen and I went over to the school at 11am to be there for the closing of school (he had wanted me to drive him home). When we walked into the main office it was complete chaos with kids running here and there with their autograph books. The excitement was sky high!

I checked all my PTO stuff and then we headed out to a bench to wait. The computer lab teacher, who I've gotten to know pretty well this year, sat with me and we chatted a bit. The conversation focused a bit on how the district has changed the start time for Kelton's school so it will be an early start which means he will go an hour earlier in the morning and be home an hour earlier at night. I actually like that a lot though I will miss the extra time in the morning. The trade off though is having him home at 3 instead of 4. Nice! Until Monday our school was still slated as a "late start" so this news caught everyone by surprise.

Soon Kelton appeared in front of us and kids started streaming from everywhere! Kelton decided to see if Kaylen could ride the bus home with him. I was pretty sure the answer would be no but he went off to ask his driver anyway. To my surprise, she let Kaylen ride the bus home! (I see this as another plus to getting to know the school stuff and bus driver over the year. It's nice to be known around the school.) She sat them in the front seat so she could watch her and soon they were on their way. I drove home to meet them and two happier kids you have not likely seen. As the bus drove away Kelton screamed "I'M A SECOND GRADER!"

His report card is excellent (the actual letter formation in writing still isn't on the excellent side but we're going to work on legibility this summer)! He was placed in the advanced placement class for next year (his teacher and I talked with we waited for the buses to load) and he is thrilled to know he will be with the teacher he most wanted. Yay Kelton - I am SO SO proud of you!!!! He is actually being recommended for the special math program they have for advanced students. Wow.

So - all in all, the year ended on a very high note. And just for fun, here are a few photos of the bus ride home.

Last Day of First Grade

Yes indeed - today is the last day of school for Kelton! In one hour and 24 minutes I will have a second grader living in the house. I am so proud of my little guy - he has done such a great job in school this year. The things he has learned have amazed me and, looking back, he has grown by leaps and bounds in both the physical AND academic manner. The first grade of today is not at all like the first grade of my time (you know - back when dinosaurs roamed free). The things they know coming out of first grade is truly something.

The year has gone by so quickly - it seems like not that long ago that we were putting him on the bus for his first full day at school. Well - for that matter it seems like not that long ago we were leaving a tearful little guy in his kindergarten room.....and now? Now we have this fantastic kid poised to step into second grade.

Like last year, Kelton opted to wear the exact same clothes for the last day as he wore on the first. I went through the photos yesterday to refresh my memory and then I went through his closet to find the shirt. Sadly though I didn't look closely enough at the photos to realize he was wearing his light brown cords and not jeans. I completely spaced on the fact that he refused to wear jeans back then because of the snap/button issue. Since he lost so much weigh over the year, he can now shimmy them on and off without needing to unsnap or botton. See? Who said losing all that weight didn't have an upside?) I find it odd in some ways that he hasn't really outgrown his clothes since kindergarten because yes, he can still wear the shirt he wore to his first and last day of kindergarten. A few random things here and there have been outgrown but mostly, it's all the same stuff. I see it good in this way: I have very little back to school clothes shopping to do for him since I still have the bin of stuff in the garage that I had bought for him to wear this year that he hasn't yet grown into. :)

And now for the compare and contrast part of the fun......take a look at how much my guy has changed in the past 9 months. I am stunned because, to me, he looks exactly the same and always has. But clearly the photos tell another story. Such a big kid he is now.