17 March 2014

Still Here

Yesterday was one of those glorious winter/ spring days that we have here in Phoenix where the temperature was warm in the sun and perfect in the shade with a light breeze. After a scheduled-by-the minute Saturday it felt good to be lazy Sunday morning with the kids while JP went for a ride. The whole family attended a birthday party which was at a really neat park that afforded us views of the surrounding mountains instead of busy streets and power lines. It was an enjoyable party where the kids ran free and the adults visited and it was early enough in the day that we got to spend the rest of the afternoon having family backyard time. The kids played and rode their bikes through the tall grass. New Kid even enjoyed lying in the dense clover patches which I can remember doing as a kid because they are so soft.

It has been a busy winter for us with soccer games, baseball practice, and bike races. Soccer is finishing up as baseball games start and we will soon have weekend ballet rehearsal for her Spring Recital. Life is full and it has been difficult to keep up with basic chores like laundry, weeding and mowing the yard. We had way too many other fun things to do. 

Next week is Spring Break and I hope to use some of my vacation to catch up on blogging and updating pictures. In the meantime enjoy this photo below. This tough little buddy who is soon to be TEN will be the starting pitcher in his game tonight and we are all excited and nervous (at least Mom is).

04 January 2014

So Long 2013

I know many of my friends suffered trials and tribulations in 2013 but I have to say for me it was a pretty good year. There were no major mishaps, I didn't spend time with a loved one in the ICU, and we didn't have to attend a funeral. I would say overall that makes it a pretty decent year for me. Other than avoiding major issues, we also experienced many highs that made it a great year.

We took the kids skiing again!
This one graduated kindergarten:
All three kids are in school everyday now:
Unfortunately we only took one camping trip but it was a fun one as usual!
We played baseball AND soccer . . .
 And kept up with ballet:
I believe (almost) everyone would agree that the highlight of our 2013 was getting to spend so much quality time in Louisiana visiting friends and family. It is truly a luxury that I have the ability to work from home (anyone's home) and be able to go on the road and work from alternate locations so we could spend that much time in Louisiana. We were spoiled rotten by our families and had a blast.

Thanks for the memories 2013!

24 December 2013

19 December 2013

Then There's This

Not sure any commentary is needed . . . .

17 December 2013

Tis the Season

It has been a busy couple of weeks from Thanksgiving till now as we count down the days of December. The weekend after Turkey Day we went to Tucson for a night to get away and go to one of JP’s Cyclocross races. It was a fun jaunt and I’ll share some pictures of the quick trip when I get a chance. The rest of our days have been filled with wrapping up soccer and shuttling Pickle to rehearsal for her Nutcracker performance which finally culminated this past weekend. She had a run through on Friday night, dress rehearsal Saturday morning, a performance Saturday night and then finally the matinee on Sunday. I think she had a lot of fun and did a great job as a Mouse battling the toy soldiers.

I volunteered to help on Saturday night backstage which meant I spent over 3 hours in a tiny room with 25 ballerinas aged 4 to 8 helping get them dressed – undressed – and redressed. We also had to keep them quiet and entertained when they were not on stage.

Luckily my friend Cathy joined me and she brought her magic box of crafts. The girls made cards which definitely kept them entertained but also made a huge mess. As stressful and exhausting as it was, I was excited to be a part of that night for Pickle. The family attended her performance on Sunday afternoon and it was a very well done production and the mice were fantastic! She was not able to come back out in costume at the end of the show Sunday, but I did snap this quick one before she went on stage Saturday night.

Also this month Pickle participated in a Holiday Concert at school. We got to attend and listen to a short program of holiday themed songs. She was really, really excited about it but I think had a bit of stage fright as she looked scared and quiet up there. Unfortunately I did not get great pictures during the presentation but we did get some cute ones at the end. These are her buddies from Kindergarten.

We found time to decorate our tree this past Sunday night. We put out a fun snack dinner to eat while we decorated and I had everyone put on Christmas pajamas from last year so they would look cute in pictures. However, we failed to take pictures. Oh well, the tree looks great and I finally have somewhere to put the presents that have been piling up already!

And finally we worked in a trip to see Santa this afternoon after school. Most of the holiday cards are in the mail, almost all presents have been shipped to Louisiana, and we just have a few presents left to buy (I like saving some shopping to do with my mother-in-law in the festive days before Christmas). We are in good shape and getting to enjoy most evenings snuggled up to drink eggnog and watch Christmas specials on TV.

08 December 2013

Otis Arrived

Otis made a very timely appearance this year arriving for December 1st while we were out of town. We had taken a short one-night trip to Tucson for a bike race and when we got home on Sunday morning Otis was waiting and watching. He brought along several new Christmas books and an empty box with a nice note to the kids instructing them to gather some of their toys to donate to other children.

The girls were excited about this task and wasted no time in filling the box with items, but the Boy was not as generous. I think he may have some hoarding tendencies passed down from his Dad or just too sentimental about things. We will have to work on him.

23 November 2013

Six Years Ago

Six Years ago (nearly to the minute) I pushed out an almost 10 pound Pickle. I have written about her birth 
on the blog before so you can click back to refresh your memory if the story should interest you. Going back to read what I wrote last year on her birthday or the year before I think that should I choose to sit down tonight to pour out my heart once again, I would be repeating myself. What this tells me is her personality has been with her since day one and we are just along for the ride.
I stand by what I said last year and will keep repeating to myself even in her most trying moments, her strong-willed demeanor will be an asset as she progresses in life. I think it will benefit us when she starts dating and goes off to college and even in her future career. When she sets her mind to something she is going to do it and nobody is going to stand in her way! 

This past year has been a busy one for her particularly since starting first grade in August. Pickle has acclimated exceptionally well to her new school and has really blossomed in her class and excels with her schoolwork. She is playing soccer, taking ballet, and will be performing as a Mouse in a production of the Nutcracker next month. Between all of these activities she is busy playing with (bossing around) her sister and drawing and writing stories.