Sunday, January 30, 2011

I was so touched by this article in our local paper yesterday that I wanted to share it with others, in hopes you may want to help too. There is a young Navy wife in our community that has had over 30 surgeries, including her legs amputated, and has no means of commuting herself, other than her wheelchair. Well that's not very convenient when your husband gets deployed, living in a wet and hilly community, so they are trying to raise funds to buy a van that can transport her and her wheelchair. Please check out her blog to learn more and help support this beautiful young lady!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sunday Surprise...

So Sunday we surprised the kids girls with a trip to Mickey's Magic Show in Everett. Despite seemingly no heat in the Everett Events Center (the Silvertips must have had a game later that night), a good time was had by all. I think I enjoy surprising people more than anyone I know, from gifts to outings. Wonder why that is. But I digress....

As you can see by the smiles, they were thrilled, and our stock went up even higher when we splurged for the cotton candy that was topped by the magician's hat. They don't need to know that at $10, it was the cheapest novelty item for sale! That's only $1 less than each ticket cost. By the looks of some of the families around us, Disney was making a killing off of some of those parents! Our seats weren't too far from the stage, but glad Kaia had her glasses.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just one more league meet until districts begin, so thought I would update on Josh's wrestling. This year he is wrestling in the 152 weight class (last year he was 135), which basically means he doesn't have to watch what he eats:) The team is in second place in league, and Josh's only league loss came from the wrestler from the first place team, Everett. He has had a couple 5th place finishes and one 3rd place at a tournament.

 I took this photo at this week's home match. Actually, I took a whole bunch, but due to poor lighting and the distance to the center of the mat, they always turn out blurry and yellow! This is the only decent one, taken just shortly before Josh pinned the kid.

Last night they won again, but Josh tweeked his shoulder, so he's not sure whether or not he will wrestle today.

In the midst of typing this entry I took a breakfast break and read the newspaper. When I opened up to the sports section, I was pleasantly surprised to find a picture of Josh, but unfortunately for some reason the photo is not on the online version. The printed version has the title "Wrestlers Swamp Terrace," but the online version is titled "Wrestling: Oak Harbor almost perfect in win over Hawks."
Wish you could see that photo, because it is closer up and I"m sure a lot better photo than mine!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday Changes....

The girls experienced a couple of major changes Friday that they wanted me to share.

First of all, we are thankful for the school vision and hearing screenings, as without them we would've had no idea that Kaia was not using her right eye to see at all, instead, totally relying on her left eye (but we already knew that her left ear was going to fail the hearing test). Now we know she has Amblyopia, so she is now sporting glasses. She is pretty proud of the puppy pawprint frames she picked out:)  We should know in a couple months whether or not glasses alone will be able to train her right eye. If not, eye patching is in order. Glasses are cool in her eyes, but I'm not convinced she would feel the same about covering up her good eye with a patch! For now we just pray this does the trick...

Jaelyn has been commenting now that she wants glasses, but since that's not going to happen any time soon, she competed for attention by pulling her tooth out not half an hour after we got home from the vision center! Always the competitors:)

One more celebration, or is it two?

 Back to Portland for the last of our celebrations, and the halfway point to home. First of all, modeling show to entertain Grandma!

Weiner Dog pajamas, YES!
 It was New Year's Eve, so we stayed up to ring in the New Year (well some of us just barely made it). Josh woke Jaelyn up to wish her a Happy Birthday, to which she sat up, grinned, and laid back down. After opening a couple gifts that morning, we hit the rode home. However, we had a surprise in store for Jaelyn, and met up with Uncle Jeff and Auntie Lorrie at the Rainforest Cafe. I can't remember who told me my girls would love that place, but they were right! To quote Jaelyn, "This is the best birthday ever!"
Yes, silly Jaelyn, once again!
The birthday group...(and boy, do I look tired!)

Always grinning!

The following day we celebrated with more bowling and more Zhu Zhu pets:)

This summer in China I bought another sparkling birthday flower candle so that Jaelyn could have the same excitement that Kaia had on her birthday. It didn't disappoint! Check this out....

We're thankful for wonderful family and memories, but it's good to be home and back in our own beds once again:)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas #2...

Monday morning found us heading south to celebrate Christmas #2, but what really made the day special was that it was Gotcha Day #6, the day we honor Kaia joining our family. The first time we saw the most beautiful brown eyes peeking out from this tiny pink fuzzy ball of fur, we knew our lives were changed forever!

Because this day was a day of travel, we were unable to celebrate with our usual dinner out to Chinese, but many hugs and kisses were given, nonetheless.

The next day we celebrated Christmas #2 with Mike's family, and the kids were all happy that the snow showed up upon our arrival! This was the first time that all the cousins were together in two years, and with them all growing up, who knows how many more of these special times together they will all have. We spent an afternoon bowling too, which was a lot of fun!
Just couldn't get Jaelyn to open her eyes in a single shot. Darn her goofiness!
"The boys" and their madre.

Hours of Risk 2010. Notice no girls!

Girl cousins playing card, puzzles, and coloring:)

Boys and their toys! 

We made a trip down into California specifically to see Mike's 97 year old grandma, Mammy. She is an amazing lady who still gets around well and lives on her own.

More holiday ramblings to come later....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Christmas #1...

I have started this post several times since we've been home from the holidays, with hopes of having a Slideshow to attach, but for some reason I have been unable to create one. I have used many times in past posts, so I'm not sure what is going wrong. Every time the photos load to 98%, it goes no further, no matter how long I leave it going. So if anyone has any suggestions or tips, please let me know.

I was originally going to write a different post and make a different slideshow for each event, but now that so much time has gone by, I am just going to post a few pictures and stick with the main events, so here goes....

On Christmas Eve we attended church with my grandpa and parents. Christmas Day was family stockings and dinner with extended family. Kellen had to work on Christmas, so he didn't arrive until Christmas night, after 11:00 pm. Felt a little strange not having him around:(

With Great Grandpa and Grandma, heading to church
Was fun watching my 91 yr. old grandpa get down on the floor and remember how to play marbles!
 The day after Christmas we opened our immediate family gifts, since Kellen was here. Note to myself for next careful to select gifts that travel well. Despite both girls getting the number one item on their Christmas list (Jaelyn a new bicycle, Kaia a Furreal GoGo Walking Pup), there were tears! We were unable to fit Jaelyn's bicycle in either of the vehicles driven down, so we printed off a picture and put it in a gift bag for her to open. What in the world were we thinking???? When she opened it up after Kaia opened her gift (which wasn't even on Jaelyn's list), boy, did the tears flow. Watch the series of photos below. The last is of Joshua trying to console her. He actually did a great job of cheering her up, and shortly afterward she was thanking us for her gift, and back to her normal, always smiling self.
 Evidence of her turnaround shows in this photo. The girls were so over the top excited to give their dad these fake glasses/mustache they picked out at the Dollar Store. The button on the end of the nose even made the mustache move up and down!

Kellen's desperately needed new coat, and personal favorite, nutella!


New coats, and Jaelyn's impersonation of The Grinch!

 I will try and catch up with Christmas #2 later....