Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Off to a Great Start...

School is off and running, and so are we! Three of us are back to middle school, and one can't seem to get out of high school!  Mike is the only one making a big change this year, switching it up from math to science. He is teaching sophomore biology and AP physics this year.

What happens when a 12 yr. old gets a hold of your phone.

Gymnastics practice has begun for Kaia, but her season does not start until January. Her foot was x-rayed in August, and is fully recovered. Jaelyn has begun regular season play for club soccer, but is also playing volleyball on the 7th school team. She made the varsity squad and won their season opener last week. Guess who the referee was? Yep, me! Only one official ref showed up, which left the 7th grade game in need, which I happily filled. I also am score keeper yet again for the high school team, so despite being "retired," I'm getting my volleyball fill.

Jaelyn decided she wanted to be more involved at school this year, so ran for ASB Treasurer.
She spent almost all weekend making her posters (they were the nicest ones at school, and I'm not biased!), and she wrote a fun speech that even included a Hillary/Donald joke that got a laugh. Well it must have worked, because she won her race.

This weekend Jaelyn decided that she was tired of her long hair, so wanted a change. I flippantly suggested she donate her hair, to which she was intrigued. We did some research and found that Children With Hair Loss nonprofit only needs 8" of hair, compared to most other organizations 10" requirement, to make a wig, because it is specifically for kids. So that's just what she did! Tomorrow we mail off the 9" that she got cut off. And her new, spunky hair cut is adorable on her.
Her thick braided hair looks more like a horse tail!
Her hair has even more body to it now that it's short.
Kaia's turn to shine last week, was for her piano recital. In addition to playing, her teacher asked if she would emcee. She took it serious, and practiced saying all the names and pieces loudly and correctly. She did a great job as both emcee and performer. She played Lavender's Blue from Cinderella and Harp Song for her pieces, the first of which is shown below. She's been playing for about 1.5 years now and still enjoying it. We're really proud of how self-disciplined she has been regarding practicing...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

So Long Summer...

As fall is now upon us, I realized I never closed out summer. Typically American's think of Labor Day Weekend as being the last weekend of summer. However, teachers have an entirely different viewpoint. That being Labor Day is one last day to work before school begins the next day. So let me back up to our last weekend of summer.

I've mentioned my niece Hayden before, as she has been battling cancer since last summer. If you haven't' seen it yet, she keeps a blog of her journey titled The Merkel Miracle that is very inspiring. Check it out if you haven't already. Anyhow, we spent our last weekend of summer at her wedding! It was such a joyous occasion. The girls were so excited to be in it. And both of the boys were able to come, so it was a great, yet quick family reunion.


Please excuse the bright sunshine, but it was beautiful.
And after...

The morning we were leaving for home, we went out for breakfast with most of the family to celebrate Kellen's birthday. Can't believe he turned 25 already!
So the birthday boy was still sleeping; it was 7 am afterall!
We also gave Joshua his birthday present 10 days early. Last year he had shown me some artwork he really liked at a local arts & crafts show. When I saw the artist again this year, I decided to get him a piece for his birthday. It's definitely a different taste;  post-apocalyptic scenes of famous Seattle landmarks. Got him one of the Space Needle going down and had it framed...

Backing up, the girls and I drove down ahead of the rest of the family, who had school and work commitments. We were able to spend a few days with my family. While there the girls and I met their cousin Teagan for the first time. She was a premie but doing quite well now.
 We also got to hang out with my Grandpa. Always a delight.
We stopped at the beautiful Salt Creek Falls on our way down to the wedding. Such a beautiful place to stretch our legs.

Came across another summer photo I thought I would throw in here. Jaelyn and Kaia were to take nine weeks or so of tennis camp, two times a week. Well if you remember, Kaia broke her foot the first week school was out, so tennis was not going to happen. Jaelyn was nervous about going by herself, but was pleasantly surprised a friend from her old soccer team was in the same class. Jaelyn missed nearly half the classes due to our trip to China, but came home in time for the last two, with the last one being the final tournament. Jaelyn did great for missing so much, and even ended up in the championship against her friend.
By the end of summer the entire family was able to make it out to the court a few times. Finally felt good for me to get out and do something physical. Jaelyn taught me how to serve one-handed, and my shoulder even felt good enough for me to start doing some low tosses. Looking forward to more family tennis next summer...