Sunday, August 26, 2012

One week down

Well we made it through our first official week of law school and kindergarten! Jake had a whole week of orientation/classes before the first real day of school but he and Cooper shared their first day. We made pancakes and took pictures (which I can't post because the card doesn't fit in the mac :/ ). Jake left shortly after me and the kids. It's nice that we have him in the morning to have breakfast with and read scriptures and pray together. Me and the kids walked Cooper to school every morning. It's about 2mi roundtrip. Can I just tell you that it is SO NICE being able to count on walking out your front door every morning into the sunshine!!! I love walking to school in the morning. Luckily Cooper got AM kindergarten and goes from 8am-1130am. Once Jack, Adele and I make it home we have a snack, work on stuff, play, Adele takes a nap and then we hop in the car to go pick Coop up. It's still too blazing hot to take the kids on a 2 mi walk right around noon. We probably walk both ways come fall. I love getting the workout and I think the kids enjoy being outside in the morning.

Every day that Cooper came home from school he was a little grumpier than the previous day. By Wednesday I had to force him to take a nap. Cooper has never been a napper but he NEEDED it. He came home everyday with stickers on his hands from being a good boy, so I think he's fine at school but by the time he gets home he just emotional and whining about everything!! We also spent a few afternoons swimming at our new friends pool with them. Another reason I love Cali. (You'll read that line a lot... just a warning.) Cooper never seems to be able to remember any kid's names or what he did at school but he is saying that he's having a lot of fun and there haven't been any tears about having to go to school. He's been excited every morning!

Jake has had quite the load so far. But considering all the horror stories we've heard I'm surprised how much time we've actually had with him. We were able to spend some of Tuesday evening with him. Also a good chunk of Saturday. I'm sure it won't be like that every week but he's been super great at working really hard every day and getting the most out of every hour he spends studying so that when he is home, he's HOME. He treats this like a full-time (and then some) job where he decides on a daily basis how long he needs to be at school so he's ready for the next few days.

Although I miss seeing him, I understand he has to be gone a lot. I feel very blessed with how smoothly me and the kids' transition has been into life without him around as much. Me especially. It was a big change going from working a lot and having him around a lot of the time and being able to run errands without kids where we're at now. I know it's a huge blessing living with our friends too. They help me so much every single day. Megan goes running with me in the evening and it's some awesome end of the day therapy! We have some good talks during that hour. Brandon comes home from 12-14 hour days and plays with the kids. They are some awesome friends. We had a nice weekend to gear up for the next week and I am ready for it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Boonshoft Membership

Last week we went to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles courtesy of a membership we bought at a museum in Ohio the night before online. My friend from back home tipped me off to this a few months ago. Here's the deal:

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton, OH has a membership for families that is $85/year. That includes 2 adults and up to 6 children in one home. "But I don't live in Ohio," you say. Here's the awesome part--the membership has reciprocal benefits to over 300 other locations in the US including zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, etc. What that means is that because I bought the membership at Boonshoft, I can take that membership card to listed locations at just walk through the door! We live next to my sister, Paige, and there is an option to boost your membership and add on a few extra people. We added her and her hubby so the membership cost us $125 for the whole year. Here is a link to the reciprocal list for each state in the US. It's important that I note that different locations may have different rules. For example when we went to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles they allowed 2 adults and 4 children listed on the account. Any additional people would have to pay the full admission. This particular museum also required that we showed ID to prove we lived more than 90 miles away from the location. For this we showed our WA drivers licenses. Not all locations require ID for proof of residence. If you look closely at the list it will specify (IDs) after the name of the place.

I had to share because I feel like it's such a great deal!!!! The first time we used it at the Museum in LA we saved ourselves (or put toward the $125 membership already paid for) $34. And that was one place. There's a great huge list in our area and I hope you can find some in your area too.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This is my life now

Sad story. My camera is broken :(

A week ago we went to the alpine slide up at Big Bear Lake. I had my camera for that and forgot it on the table on the way out the door. We took some pictures on our phones but they just aren't the same. We had a minor accident on the slide...Jack and I slid off the sled on the slide (say that 5 times fast) and he got a small burn on his cheek and ear and I got a massive burn on my upper inner left arm along with a few other spots on my arm and one on my knee. It's been a rough week healing from it. Really rough: infection, tears, peeling off bad parts and stuck gauze... Tub full of blood one afternoon....I'll spare you.

This last Saturday was when the camera broke. We took the kids to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles for the day after I bought an amazing membership that I'm going to have to post about. EVERY FAMILY NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT IT! More on that later....

We got there, I took two pictures then it wouldn't zoom in or out or focus. What the heck!? So we took more pictures on our phones...But the museum was totally awesome. Just like the movie Night at the Museum. The boys loved the dinosaurs. Adele was terrorized by the stuffed polar bear. We hit up Red Robin on the way home and vegged out that night. All in all it was a great day as a family.

Jake started school yesterday. It was one of the first days in a LONG time of me by myself with the kids, ALL DAY. It went just like any other day pretty much. We did some chores, we played, we went to the grocery store, we cooked dinner, had FHE. But it was all without Jake. That will take some getting used to. There were actually a few moments during the day that I thought to myself, "This is my life now." A little daunting, a little stressful...but also a serene feeling. It's kind of hard to explain. It's like I have been given the blessing of being able to enjoy my children and slow down for a bit. Something I'm not used to and something that I'm going to have to work at. I really look forward to this time in my life though. I enjoyed the last bit but there are so many things I look forward too about being home all day and playing. All I can say is thank goodness for pinterest. I'm going to need creative ideas for things to keep us busy at home, and on a budget. If I find anything extraordinary, I'll letcha know!! Like this museum membership....tomorrow. My hubby just got home and it's my 30 minutes in his schedule for the day :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Holding back tears

This picture.....ohhhh how it tugs at my heartstrings. 

Look at this little boy! He is going into Kindergarten this year and we got him registered today. The lady in the office asked, "Are you excited to start school?" Cooper replied very matter-of-factually, "Yeah. I've been waiting for this my whole life." I'm so excited FOR him. The kid has just wanted to be in school for so long now....but as I look at his tiny little body in front of this big sign my "inner mom" weeps. I know every mother goes through this at some point, watching her little bird stand at the edge of the nest with their tiny little wings and puffed up chests thinking they could fly around the world without any worry that they're leaving their momma. It's just really hard to put into words the realization I'm having about him going to school and knowing he will NEVER again be at home all day with me. Oh how I should have savored the little things!!! Oh how I could have done less complaining about his non-stop inquiries and stories!!!  Cooper is such a funny boy who loves to make people laugh. He is a total crowd pleaser and thrives around people, both familiar and not. He does so well including others and making sure people are happy. When someone is hurting or sad his tender little heart can't help but sympathize.  He is so mindful of spiritual things and I can tell that he recognizes the holy spirit in his life. He is wise for his age when it comes to compassion, right and wrong, responsibility and the reality of a loving Heavenly Father above.

We have our children all to ourselves for such a short period of time when considering the time frame of our lives. Thank goodness for half day kindergarten. I get one more year with Cooper (mostly) to myself. Not to mention how much Jack will miss him for a few hours everyday. We'll have to make that our special time together while we wait for Cooper to be done for the day.

I sure love this sweet boy and his giant heart. What a great fall we'll have around here with a new kindergartner and a first year law student. I'm so proud of my boys!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Swami's Beach

Jake starts law school in 1 week. Needless to say we're cramming in the fun before we lose him for a semester. We met my sister Paige, her husband Danny and his son Boston along with my friend Joni and her 4 kiddies at Swami's beach in Encinitas yesterday. The weather was perfect, the water was nice, the kids had a lot of fun with each other. We met Boston for the first time and it looked like he and the kids got along well and look forward to seeing each other again. It'd been a while since I'd been to a REAL BEACH! I grew up in the military and it seemed like the beach was never too far away. It's nice to be so close, I feel like we're a beach kinda family :) I also absolutely love living close to Paige and her family. There are going to be some good memories made. I'm also really thankful to have Joni so close for a couple of months, I hope we have many more opportunities to capitalize on being so close in proximity. Our kids adore each other and play really well together.

Joni and her kids plus my boys

Isn't her baby belly SO YUMMY?!

We are still cleaning sand off of this girl 24 hours later.

Always has and always will be a bathing beauty.

So much fun!! After the beach we stopped at a little taco shop where I ate cow tongue (unknowingly) for the first time ever. Not a fan of seeing all the tastebuds but it basically tasted like any other meat I guess. Then after that we went to downtown SD to see Joni's place for a bit. LONG DAY but we sucked every second out of it!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Move

Well we've been here just about a week. There are still boxes to organize in the garage so that we can park cars in there again but we've gotten a lot done this week. My last day of work was two weeks ago. That weekend we packed and packed and packed into the following week. We were able to pick up the truck on Wednesday and Jake was so dang excited he started to pack the truck and I finished packing inside. Our neighbors were really sweet and let the boys play next door in those days leading up to the move. My mom also came and took the kids for an afternoon to the splash park. On Thursday Jake finished loading the truck and we were able to clean that night with the help of the Elders in our ward and some of my co-workers/friends.

The truck that Jake loaded (all by himself---stud).

 Friday we tied everything up and finished cleaning and helping Jake's Grandpa set up his new rugs and couch. We headed over to Jake's parents (where we'd been sleeping since the beginning of the week) and I thought It'd be smart to stop by Cooper's Doc office to get his shot record and it turned out he needed 4 shots. He was a total champ and only shrieked a little. We had dinner with my parents ward that night, then spent some time at their house and said our goodbyes.   

The kiddos, we might need to re-create this in 15 years :)

The truck that towed the Civic and our squeaky clean mini-van.

The next morning we got loaded into the car and Jake got a head start in the truck while I went to the pharmacy at Albertsons and waited for twenty minutes for them to open. We made our way down to Portland and picked up Megan and Brandon to road-trip it with us down to our new home. Brandon road with Jake in the truck, Meg with me and the kids in the van. We made multiple pit stops along the way. Had dinner and saw some of Megs family in Grants Pass, OR where there also happened to be a "50's night" where there was a huge parade of cool old cars. We left there at about 8pm and watched the sun go down........and then come back up.

Toys, Snacks, Movies.
Meg and I pulled in at 7:30 am and the guys at about 10:30. We got crackin' on unloading the truck and finally took some short naps later that afternoon. Paige and Danny arrived to spend a couple of days with us.  Overall the drive was super great; the kids were awesome!!! Adele threw some fits being stuck in her carseat but other than that it was smooth sailing for them.

This is what made it good for the kids (and us):
Battery operated toys-Alfie, leap frogs, leapsters all with fresh batteries
Lunchboxes full of snacks
A laptop hooked into the car speakers for endless movies
Fun car games from Kathleen (THANKS!!!)
Driving through the night---This part wouldn't have been possible without Meg and Brandon.
We all just talked the entire time and caught up on our lives. Jake drove for 19 hours straight before he gave Brandon a turn, with NO CAFFEINE! The kids were able to fall asleep between 10 and 11 and woke up at about 6 or 7 the next morning.

Such a great move, longest day of my life (literally...I've never been awake for that long), so glad that we're more settled every day. We've done lots of fun things this week and have more good news everyday. We are so blessed and feel the Lord's hand in our lives on a daily basis.