Saturday, October 29, 2016

Send caffeine. Or chocolate. Or both.

The extreme opposite of sitting in a quiet empty house, would be smack dab in the middle of a kindergarten bus heading on a field trip. It's not for the weak of heart. But I would gladly give up a day of peace and quiet to spend it chaperoning Ryder's class at Schenpf farms. Although I could have done without the 100 degree temps, when I got home I laid motionless under the ceiling fan for a half hour and still couldn't cool off. Besides that, it was such a fun day with Ryder and his friends, riding the rides, petting the animals, picking pumpkins and discussing important topics like Halloween costumes while sitting on hay bales eating our sack lunches. I love being at this stage of life where I get to be more involved in their classrooms, I was never able to chaperone field trips before since I always had a little one at home. I love getting to know their little friends, like this cute girl in the picture below. This week was spirit week and for twin day she asked Ryder if he wanted to be Batman and she could be Batgirl. Pretty much the cutest thing ever.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Going through the motions

It may still feel like summer, but we're going through the motions of Fall. Burning pumpkin spice candles, adding soup to the menu rotation, making pipe cleaner spiders, buying candy corn only for the sake of tradition, mixing cinnamon pine cones into the decor and going to the pumpkin patch ("patch" being used quite loosely, more like "pumpkins piled in cardboard boxes and strategically placed on a few bales of hay"). We love coming here every year, plenty of activities to keep the kids busy and a great way to spend a day together. But each year I forget that October still finds us in the infinite inferno. There was a steady stream of sweat dripping down us, which made for one or two (or 3, or 4, should I keep going?) grumpy moments. The little guys had a great time, Jayden had more fun than he'd like to admit, but Kylie was ready to leave the minute we arrived. Which explains the picture in the cornmaze. The one that looks like it should be a movie poster for Children Of The Corn. But it was nice to get out and enjoy the last day of Fall break, even if all the fighting resulted in me making them sit in the parking lot of Circle K afterwards and say 3 nice things about everyone before they were allowed to get a slushee. I'm sure we'll be back next year, sweat streaked dirt stained faces and all. Just maybe we'll be smart and remember to come in the evening after the sun has gone down.

(reenacting a photo from when he was 2)

These were so much fun, and hilarious when they all started tripping over each other and couldn't get back up

Collecting the clues for the scavenger hunt. We've been coming for years but have still never finished it.

This is the infamous picture, we zoomed in at Kylie's face and she couldn't stop laughing

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

End of an Era

Jason doesn't like change. He has worn the same brand of deodorant for as long as I've known him. Old Spice Fresh (I made the mistake of buying the "sport" version and it didn't go over too well). He has also used the same toothpaste for as long as I've known him. Colgate Fresh, gel not paste. He refuses to update his Iphone to the newest version. He has had only 2 different hair styles in the 19 years I've known him. He has been given multiple new computer bags for work, but has stuck with this original one for the past 10 years. Ten years is a long time. It's a decade. It's 1/4 of his life. And that's how long he has been at PWC, but it's time for a change. This new company has been a client of his for years and they have been recruiting him for quite some time, but this time things just fell into place and it felt like the right time to make the switch. He had a hard time adjusting to work in NZ so I was a little nervous how he would do with this change, but so far it has been such a good experience. It helps that he knows so many of the people there already and the work/life balance is so much better. Plus the commute is about half the time. He just seems so much less stressed and happy, it's good to see him like that. PWC has been such a great company to work with, they've treated us well over the past 10 years but we're looking forward to opportunities that lie ahead. Thank you, Jason for always working so hard for our family, we're proud of you!

(last day at PWC)

(First day at his new job. He's not too thrilled about wearing ties every day.)

Friday, October 21, 2016


We pulled in from Cali at 2 am, just in time to roll out of bed bleary eyed the next morning to hang up the birthday banner and make rainbow pancakes. The rest of the morning was spent building legos, then we went with the family to see Storks, popping open $1 soda while eating a balanced meal of popcorn and Mike&Ikes. I also got a teeny tinge of baby hunger seeing all those cartoon babies with abnormally large eyes. After that we headed to the airport to pick up Grandma. It meant so much that she would come out for the weekend to be here for Maddox's birthday and baptism. We were all pretty excited to have her here. We took Maddox to dinner that night, although just between us, he was bored with all the adult conversation and was itching to go home and play with his legos. But we loved having some one on one time with the birthday boy and I hope he felt special. As a side note, that pumpkin pie milk shake was to die for. 

Then came his big day. He looked so handsome and had a grin spread from ear to ear the whole day. It was a special experience and I was grateful that we could share it with loved ones. So proud of this boy, the choices he is making and the amazing young man he is becoming.

His birthday and baptism buddy, Preston.

The celebrations just kept on coming. Maddox didn't let me forget that I still needed to check him out of school for his birthday lunch and bring in treats for his class since his birthday was during the break. Although, I think I look forward to this just as much if not more than the kids. This boy is something special, he loves with his entire heart. He embraces the small things in life, and appreciates the details. He folds up a napkin and keeps it in his front pocket every Sunday for church to look fancy. He has more self control than anyone I know. He gets a sucker and saves it for months on his dresser before eating it. His drawer is always full of candy, and as a confession I sometimes sneak a starburst or two when I'm cleaning his room. But if the results of that experiment where they put a marshmallow in front of a kid and tell them they can have 2 marshmallows if they wait 5 minutes without eating it is true, then in the long run Maddox is going to be pretty dang successful.  Speaking of the "long run", Maddox can not wait to hit puberty so that he can "get upgraded". Maddox 2.0. He regularly checks the length of his leg hairs, stroking them ever so and willing them to grow faster. He loves to put on his apron and help me cook, his dream is to one day be a chef and own his own restaurant. He said I can always eat there for free, but he might need my help cooking sometimes. He thinks that "mooning" someone means you're waving to them. It's not uncommon to hear him say that he's mooning someone next to us at a stoplight. This boy is a sponge. He loves non-fiction and educational shows. Besides legos, his next favorite gift was a rock collection with a book describing all the different rocks. It kept him up late more than a few nights. Yes, this boy is something special and what a privilege it is to be his mom. Happy birthday, Maddox, we love you!