Thursday, January 31, 2013


So I haven't posted a lot about moving because it is still a sensitive topic for me.  So I'll just start from the beginning... There are lots of reasons that we decided to move and I feel like Heavenly Father was aware of our needs and wants and HIS hand helped us all along the way. After Connor's kindergarten year was not a good experience, I started to really research schools on our area. I grew up moving a lot and my parents always based the house they bought on the best schools in the area. Test scores certainly are not everything, and I KNOW that very smart and successful people come from many different educational experiences ( I don't want to sound snobby to my friends who have amazing kids in all sorts of schools), but I guess in the back of my head, the way I was raised comes back to me and I wanted the best schools possible for my kids. I had no idea we would stay in Olympia for this many years and figured I'd like to get us settled where we wanted to be while the kids were fairly young. Our lovely Countryside neighborhood was slowly having more and more foreclosures, short sales, renters, and people walking away from their houses. All of these factors are not so good for home values.  We also found out that we were expecting #4 at the end of the summer which meant we really needed one more bedroom at least. 
So... after much prayer, thought, and research, we slowly began to look for houses starting back in March. Since the move was not a must, we were quite casual about looking. We had a very specific area and school we were open too, and there was not a lot available, so we just took our time. In July we found a house that we thought about offering on, but because we had not sold our house a real offer was not  a possibility. I don't regret not getting that house, but it was a good experience to finally get us to get our house on the market. We only had a handful of people come and look. I frankly, was not very hopeful. Ryan said that we should leave it on the market through September and then pull it off, and I agreed.  
We started the kids in school and a few days later got a pretty good offer that we felt like we should accept. An interesting side note is that the Sunday before we received that offer Ryan was going to teach a lesson on tithing in church.  We always pay our tithing in full, but are kind of sporadic about when we pay. Before we left for church he insisted I look at our bank account, figure out how much we owed and then pay. I argued and said, "I'll do it later-let's just get to church." He insisted again, so I did and we paid it. A day later we got an offer. A testimony builder of paying tithing for sure!  I cried as we signed our papers because I LOVED our house, neighborhood, and ward, AND we had NO WHERE to go yet. I envisioned us selling my home of 9 years where I had raised our babies and being homeless. (Yes...I was pregnant and hormonal!) 
So to backtrack...way back in March-I was at a playgroup in a neighborhood of a friends house. A girlfriend there is a realtor and she offered to show me a vacant house in the neighborhood. I went and liked it enough to make another appointment to bring Ryan back to see it. It was the very first house we had ever looked at. After seeing that it was 15 years old, needed some updating, and was overpriced, he thought we should pass on it. I thought he was right.  A while later it wasn't on the market anymore, and I never thought twice about it. Well, the day we signed our mutual agreement on our old house, that same house went back on the market, but for $50,000 less. We knew right away that this was the house for us. Ryan had really come around after house hunting for 5 months and seeing what was available, and realized this was a great opportunity. We were able to get an offer accepted the first day it was on the market again, with 5 or 6 offers that came in hours after ours.  Phew! I came to love the house even more. It has everything we need, our first choice school,  4 bedrooms plus an office that could be a bedroom, 3 full baths, and a back yard big enough for our growing family to play in. It has a 3 car garage that we hope to build a bonus room over someday too.  After 2 weeks in school for Connor and 1 week for Sadie, we switched them to their new school. It was a lot of driving for the month, but worth it to get the kids settled. They both got great teachers and even had friends that they already knew in their classes.  Another tender mercy for sure!
 We were so blessed to have Ryan's parents come and stay with us for most of the week that we were moving. We were able to close on Wednesday and move in officially Saturday so we had time to move the small stuff over slowly. Connor needed a lot of care that week because we was recovering from surgery. I feel like Anette and I took care of kids, while Mark and Ryan moved stuff. It worked well. We could not have survived the move or surgery with our Mark and Anette. Ryan was able to gather some friends and a moving truck Friday night to move the big stuff over to the new house.  Saturday we finished up at the old house and the kids and I went to hand over the keys. It was AWFUL. I cried sooo hard driving away. Who knew how attached I was??  Eliza kept asking to go "home" the first few days we were in the new house. So sad! (Did I mention I HATE moving?) :) 
I am happy to say that we are getting settled, making new friends (and keeping the old since we are only 10 minutes away), and feel very blessed to be where we are.  The kids are liking their school and ward. I am liking our new routine. A few weeks after we moved in, Ryan's work announced major lay offs to come. I was stressed about a possible pay off, but never felt like the move was a mistake. If we did have to move, I feel like we could easily sell. We even had a realtor come by and say that he had clients that would like to buy our house if we would be willing to sell! It is a good feeling to know we did the right thing for our family. It doesn't make the change less difficult, but it does make me feel at peace.  

A sad goodbye...

Lots of Happy Times at this House!!

Here is our new home!

Connor's Broken Arm

I was on my way to pick Connor up from school when I got a call from the office saying that I better hurry and that paramedics were on their way to come see Connor for an obviously broken arm.  Luckily I was literally seconds away ( a blessing because I was commuting from our old house still and it is a 15 minute drive-I just happened to be out and about so I was going to be early to school to pick up.)  I ran to see him laying on the his back on the playground below the monkey bars with his arm in a contorted position that you would NEVER want to see. He had apparently fallen off of the monkey bars. The paramedics arrived soon after me to cut his sweatshirt off and put his arm in a splint. There were many caring adults surrounding him including the principal, teachers, and office staff. They all said they had never seen such a calm kiddo in this sort of situation. He was not crying (I was) , he answered questions, and cooperated in everyway they asked. The front office secretary took the girls, called one of my friends and soon to be neighbors to come get them. This friends husband also happened to be a Dr. working in the ER and she called him to let them know we were coming. Instead of the ambulance, I was able to transport him. The first thing he said when he got in the van was, "I'm sorry mom." Of course I told him it was okay and it wasn't his fault, but I thought it was so sweet that he was trying to apologize. 
We headed to the ER and he continued to be a trooper. Ryan was able to meet us there from work. They took great care of him. Both bones in his arm were broken. We were told to follow up in a week with an orthopedic. That night I posted this picture of his x-ray on facebook just for fun. My friend's husband is an orthopedic surgeon and saw the picture and had us come in the next day. He looked at the x-rays and thought Connor needed surgery. He referred us to another Dr. in the practice who does pediatric and arms and he agreed to do surgery the next day on a Saturday. 
Ryan's parents and Lance came to stay with the girls. They placed 2 titanium rods in his arm to help it straighten out. After surgery the Dr. said it was a really good thing that we went ahead with the procedure because it was worse than what he expected. Four casts later and one more surgery to get the rods out and I am happy to report his arm is repaired and healthy again. 

Conference Weekend 2012

As I was just looking back on photos from my phone, these stuck out at me not because anything significant happened, but just because I remember the weekend as the last relaxing, beautiful weather weekends we had at our old house. I always love General Conference weekend because we get a break from our regular church going, yet still are spiritually uplifted from the talks given from the apostles and prophet. I admit that we don't often listen live, but we do be sure to stream the talks on the internet when the little people are not interrupting. We make them watch a couple token speakers like President Monson at some point during the weekend as well.  That Saturday, Connor played an amazing flag football game scoring a couple of touchdowns and an extra point. Sunday we spent the day in our sunny backyard and also went to Tumwater Falls to see the Salmon run.  It was the calm before the got a little chaotic for the next little while!

Tumwater Falls

Catching some air!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

October 2012 Family Pictures

Kristina with Poppi Photography once again did a beautiful job with our family pictures this fall. She called a couple of days before we had them taken to move our appointment up a week since the weather was supposed to be gorgeous. That stressed me out a little because I hadn't planned any outfits yet, but I managed to pull them together mostly with what we had already. Eliza was a NIGHTMARE the entire time. It started with refusing to wear the sweater and boots I had planned, then she refused to sit with the kids, and then she fell on her hand and was bleeding all over! This is all in a mini session only lasting 25 minutes! It's sure a good thing Kristina is SUPER talented and we managed to get a few keepers.  P.S. Not only was Kristina correct about the weather, but Connor was in surgery for a broken arm the next Saturday when we were scheduled for pictures. A tender mercy I believe!

Don't be fooled by that angelic face!

Christmas card...DONE!

September 2012 Happenings...

We had a busy month. Here are just a few things we did...

Emmie, Lauren, and Sadie's first day of ballet and tap. Sadie was particularly excited about tap!

Connor is so good to read the SAME books over and over to Eliza. She especially loves Blues's clues books right now-as well as being on Connor's top bunk!

A few more pool days in September! It was such nice weather this month. The girls and I got to go to the pool after Sadie got home from school and practically had the whole pool to ourselves with all of the big kids in school.

Eliza loves her nightgowns.

Donuts before school!

Lattin's Cider mill

So big!!

Flag football

Eliza in her happy place-on the couch with the ipad watching Thomas the Train.

We sold our house!!!

First Day of School 2012

Sadie and Connor happily started school In September at Michael T. Simmons Elementary. Little did they (or we) know it would just be for a few days...My Sadie is Miss independent in some ways and was not sad at all to be dropped off or to ride the kindergarten bus home. She is in half day so that helps  a bit. I worry about her a little academically. She is so much younger than Connor was when he began school and the light bulb has not quite turned on as far as math and reading goes. We will see how she does! Connor was a little disappointed to not have any close friends in his class, but happy with his teacher. He is not one to complain much ever, so he made the best of the situation.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

When Grandpa Comes to Town...

We were so happy when Grandpa called a few weeks before the baptism to tell us that he was wanting to come! I talked him into flying rather than taking a road trip as he thought he wanted to.  He and Jean were going to stay a few days at our house and then go down the Oregon coast for a few days, like they had wanted to do for a long time. We had a great visit including the baptism, an adult night out to a restaurant on the sound, card playing, visiting the farmers market, and apple fritters from Lattin's.  Sunday after church we headed over to the neighborhood park.  The guys went for a game of horse and grandpa took a bad fall.  I was sooo devastated! He was able to get up and walk home, but we quickly realized that he needed to go in to the Emergency Room. He came home with a broken pelvis. We were able to get him on a flight home the next morning. I felt so sad for him and the pain he was in. He was very disappointed in not going on their trip down the coast as well. Luckily, I can report now that he his mostly healed and doing well. Thank goodness. I will cherish my times with my sweet grandpa forever. He is such a sweet, generous, funny, gentle, man who has always been so good to me. I am thankful that my kids are able to see and get to know him.

Ice cream at the market.

Ryan, Jean, Sadie, Grandpa

Playing Canasta

Throwing rocks never gets old!

The infamous Basketball game!

Connor showing off his newest lego creation to his grandpas.