Sunday, October 02, 2016

Happy Fall

A friend on the street is having a new baby girl, so we took the opportunity to get together to celebrate her! The ladies on my street are so fun - I'm lucky to have them closeby!

Fall may be coming. It has peeked into our lives this week with wonderfully cool mornings and evenings, so the boys and I have taken some bike rides on days we don't go to the gym. Trust me, it's a good workout. These boys are solid.

Graham didn't seem to be getting enough to drink at night, so I started giving him a bottle. He loves it. I love it.

I also enjoyed going to a ward book club this week. Lots of new families have moved in recently and it's been great to beef up our numbers and get to know some new faces. The girls went to a Daddy/Daughter hoedown at the church pavilion where they had a blast, and Charlotte and I went to the women's General Relief Society Meeting. 

Elliott had a soccer game, and scored a goal! In the wrong team's net, but no matter. They are so cute.

The girls have started up the Silverton street choir in preparation for the holiday season.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Upstairs makeover

The clock came this week, so the room is officially done!

Before pictures:

 After pictures:

The beanbag was not exactly part of the design; someone was just getting rid of it in the neighborhood, so it landed in front of our TV.  The room is much more inviting and fun to hang out in for the whole family now.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Season opener

I joined the local YMCA to get Graham used to being babysat. It is close to Elliott's preschool and the girl's elementary school. The nursery workers there said he enjoyed himself. Elliott went with us on Friday and had a blast.

He also enjoyed himself sitting on the patio while I was vacuuming the couch, but was eaten alive by mosquitoes. His hair is reaching new heights and always attracts attention wherever we go.

Hoping for some cooler weather this week, I made soup for when the missionaries came to dinner. I bought an Instant Pot and used its slow cooker function, as well as my normal crockpot for a double batch. It was still pretty warm out but the soup was good. I also made a delicious cheesecake in the Instant Pot. I am a fan. The missionaries helped me re-position the upstairs rug, so it is almost ready for the reveal.

It is also consignment sale week, so I brought a bunch of items over there to empty out the guest room closet and let those mostly baby clothes and toys continue their journey with another family. I also have a few dresses that Olivia wanted to give to Abby and Alyssa.

Charlotte had her first swim meet on Friday night. She participated in the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle. She did great, taking second place in the backstroke (2 swimmers in her heat) and first in the freestyle (8 swimmers in that heat). She really enjoyed herself, though it went a little long for the boys and me, who had to go home halfway through to get to bed.

The next day was stake temple day, where babysitting is provided for people going to sessions. We headed out at 6:45 am and arrived at the chapel at close to 9am where ours and another family were the only ones. Out of the whole stake! Due to the rains the previous night, the normal route from Midland had an area that was completely flooded and impassable. We had taken another route because Google said it was 6 minutes faster. However, after dropping off the kids, we went out to drive the rest of the way to the temple and the van battery had died. Some people were there cleaning the building and someone quickly gave us a jump.

We picked the kids up afterward and went to get something to eat... and the battery died again. This time it was not a quick jump. It took a while to get back up and running. But, we finally made it home in a peaceful manner, as all the kids fell asleep.

That night we were invited to a dinner welcoming a new hand surgeon to town. We had met them when they came to interview a year ago. The hospital recruiter held it at her home in Odessa, and the kids were excited to go in her pool with a diving board and the bounce house she had there. However, a tornado hit, literally, and made those activities out of the question. When the weather forecaster started advising us to hide under a mattress, we headed for home amidst an impressive lightning show. The tornado did touch down in Odessa, but then made its way south.

In other news, Graham was moved into Elliott's room. Elliott loves this development, and came in with tears in his eyes this morning to my room when he had awoken and discovered Graham already gone, as he had awoken much earlier and been taken out. So cute.

The girls making use of Elliott's soccer training nets

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Summer Update Part 3: Lake Brownwood

To wrap up summer for a last getaway, we headed to Lake Brownwood in May, Texas, an hour southeast of Abilene. One of the doctors at Helaman's practice was nice enough to let us use their home there for a few days. Even though it rained, that didn't stop the kids from enjoying the pool and hot tub all day, and each evening was perfect. We also got out on a boat and jet skis, though Elliott's favorite part was riding an electric truck found in the garage.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Summer Update 2016 Part 2: Dallas/Possum Kingdom

After leaving Galveston, the girls stayed in Houston for a week to play with Grandma, so the following weekend we met up in Dallas to get them back. We also attended the annual Parkland OMS graduation, and marveled at how large Dallas looked compared to our small town. We don't miss the traffic, but do miss the temple closeby.

Tower Club, Dallas
Dallas Temple
Dallas World Aquarium
In July, we were invited to Possum Kingdom lake (an hour north of Abilene) to check out some property in a lakefront community called The Harbor. We rented a boat and spent many hours on the lake exploring, fishing, tubing, and waterskiing.

The Grille in the Harbor was delicious and had a great patio

At Hell's Gate. Cliff diving competitions are held here.
Reelin' em in!


Summer Update 2016 Part 1: Galveston

Summertime with 4 kids is a lot! I regularly alternated between loving the lack of schedule/driving around and wishing for just a chance to get to the store alone. First up we hit Galveston Beach's Pleasure Pier and only got slightly ill from the all the spinny rides (am I old?) At the beach, unlike the previous year, there was no seaweed and the kids had a blast, staying in the sun from dawn to dusk. Even better when the cousins arrived! The condo had great views and was clean and comfortable. Especially appreciated was the pool and hot tub, kid craft hour and a decent restaurant in the complex.