Tuesday, August 20, 2019

August 2019

Gwen is a kindergartner! She is going to the same school that I started at and she is doing full day kindergarten!We spent the beginning of the month with school shopping: new dresses, lunchbox, backpack, pencils, folder, water bottle...the works!

On the Monday before school started, I took the girls out to Krazy Air, we got lunch, and we got treats! We made sure to have one big, final hoorah before school! 

We went to her Meet the Teacher event and met Mrs. Danielson and Mrs. Smith! They are two sweet women. Mrs. Smith is the aide, and Mrs. Danielson runs the show!

Gwen has told us all about her teachers. She loves Mrs. Holste the most--her music teacher. Mr. Hoover is her PE teacher. Jake and I really thought we'd be opposite, but we are loving packing her lunch for school. We try to hide surprises for her and it's so fun!

She rides the brown bus, and it picks her up near the house! On the first day, she got on the bus, and then Emily and I hustled into the car and followed her to school to make sure she got there well. We saw some other kids that got on the bus with her, but didn't see Gwen. I went to go look, and there Gwennie was, shyly, but proudly, walking towards the class! Emily and I were so proud! After school, she was tired! School is hard! She had homework and she did it and then took a big break before picking her clothes for the next day!

We did the same thing the next day, but tried to hide a bit more to make sure Gwen could get the hang of things. She was much quicker to the playground and knew her way around! She was much more confident that day. She knew some friends prior to school starting, and they aren't in her class, but they play together and recess! It's been great!

Emily was sad about school. When Gwen got on the bus the first day and we got home, she started crying, "Where's Gwen? We need to get her! I miss my best friend!" I scooped that girl up and tickled her and she stopped crying and hasn't since then (solely concerning Gwen at school, obviously. She's the crier in the family, lol!)

Emily is participating in joy school! Esther, Allisa, and I all take turns hosting one Monday per month, and then the 4th Monday we do an excursion! We are only two weeks in, but Emily is very proud to have school to go to. She is smart as a whip. She recognizes letters and can count to 25, which I think it crazy! HA!

I took Emily on a day date and the parameters were clear...I told her we would do whatever she wanted to do. I've never had one on one time with her because she wasn't the first child, and so this has been fun to get some alone time. She told me, "I want to see my friends and the gym, pet a kitty, and go to Target." Done, done, and done! We went to the gym, then off to Petco. We pet the cats there, looked at the lizards, snakes, and fishes, and then ended the morning with popcorn at Target. It was so fun to listen to her stories. She is a great storyteller because of her training from Gwen, the master storyteller.

We all went to the lake to celebrate Morgan's birthday! He called me and told me he wanted to do the lake for his birthday, and he also wanted to smoke some meat. It ended up practically being my birthday because he did ALL of the planning and we just were there for a good time! It was my first time kayaking, and Gwen also was a solo kayaker! She is something else! We ended up going out to this 9-10 foot rock, and Gwen jumped from the top of it into the water! SHE IS SO COOL! Emily got half way up and jumped! WHY ARE OUR KIDS SO AMAZING!? They are fearless adventurers! That experience made me hungry for more! I want to go to the lake every weekend now!

Got a new alarm clock! Both so proud!
Gwen and Ruby! 
Emily’s first day of joy school! 
Love this sweet and salty girl!
My new hobby! Jake and I did these for FHE!
GWEN! She is so cool! Also, I have to give photocredit to Uncle Mergin for that amazing picture!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

June and July 2019

This was our summer of swimming! Gwen had swim team each morning and swim meets on Thursday nights! It was so fun to watch her swim! She developed good technique and I loved watching her learn!

Emily had a birthday!! We celebrated on Sunday with Uncle Josh surprising us all! He was in the area due to work training, and stopped by on his way back to home! We loved seeing him! Emily loved her birthday and being celebrated every second! Her favorite part were the videos sent from family singing "Happy Birthday!" She still asks to watch them! She is such a social butterfly!

I went to a cookie class with Allisa and now I'm hooked on a new hobby. I can't wait to add pictures because this hobby is so much fun and I need proof for my posterity! I decorated the cookies the day before Emily's birthday, so naturally they were all for her, but she very generously shared with us!

A new app filter made its way to popularity in July and it made waves in our home! It allowed for pictures to be aged, and I loved it so much! I can't wait to show those pictures, too!

We spent the weekend in Pinedale for a Denham family reunion and it was such a blast! We stayed in a cabin that we rented with Becky and the girls. On the first night, we had a BBQ and took family pictures. It was so fun to catch up and see family we haven't seen in a while! Cousins are the best things ever and that reunion made me wish we lived closer! Luckily, I'm pretty sure Vonnie and Walt are going to make the reunion an annual get together, so I'm counting my lucky stars! It was a fabulous reunion!

While we were at the reunion, we spent Saturday morning at the Snowflake parade like we have done a few years in a row now. I lost Gwen. It was awful. We were at the church and she and I were both being stubborn. There were more people flocked together than usual because the races held at the church had been cancelled, so groups were trying to figure out what to do. Gwen wanted to be in the action, and I wanted to go sit with GramE over at the table she was saving for lunch. I saw Gwen, and then I looked to Emily and GramE, I looked back to Gwen, and she was gone. I wasn't nervous at first. I knew what she was wearing and where she was, so I went there first. No sign of her. Then I went closer to the road where the crowd was really large, no sign. I went back to GramE, left her with Emily, and began again to look for Gwen. I made our family noise "Doo doo" and no one responded. I started freaking out maybe 5-7 minutes after my search began. The crowd seemed to get bigger and bigger, and I'd look to my mom who would shake her head  "No" as in, "No, I don't have her yet". Finally I run back to my mom, call Jake, and the first thing he says is, "She's with me." I started yelling at Jake like any frantic/relieved/scared woman would and said "you should've called me! I was looking everywhere! I was so scared!" He handled the situation like a champ by not saying anything to make me angrier. Don't poke an angry bear, right?! I found him and Gwen, immediately took her arm and pulled her behind a building where I started yell-crying at her about how scared I was that she was lost! She started crying, too, and we ended up just crying and hugging and saying  "Sorry" over and over. It. Was. AWFUL. But everyone is safe and happy! Phew!

Also, I don't think I mentioned that we found a new childcare for Gwen and Emily! Her name is Chris and she was recommended by Allisa! She lives so close to us, and she has been an angel! My girls love her, and they love the friends they have from her place! She had a small party for Emily's birthday, and she felt so special! Miss Chris is so good at eliminating the hardest transitions of the day:drop off and pick up! She has a small drawer full of suckers and when I come pick up, the girls grab a sucker and it completely negates the pick up time of tired and hungry, but wanting to see mom! She has been such a blessing, and I like her so much!

Hahahah!!!! Look at us old!
Shameless selfie

May 2019

Blayne, GramE (my mom), and I went to a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Tempe Arts Center. It was right on Tempe Town Lake, and it was so fun! This was the second play I've seen with my mom (since adulthood) and it's easily one of my favorite dates to do with her! Blayne is cute and was a great third wheel! :)

Gwen and Emily had their spring dance recital! Emily was in two numbers, "Give a Flower to Someone Today," and "Uni the Unicorn." She did great! She was on the outside for the unicorn dance and she knew every move! Gwen danced to three songs; "You Can't Stop the Beat," "Good Ship Lollipop," and a hip hop number called "Firecracker." She practiced and practiced and it paid off! She was easily one of the youngest in the class and if other girls forgot the moves, they'd look to Gwen. One really great trait of Gwen's is that she isn't put off when people look at her. She doesn't get embarrassed or act any different! She knew the moves, and the other girls stopping to look at her didn't deter her confidence or rhythm at all! What a skill to have!

Gwen did have a hard time in dance in the second half of the year, and got into trouble a few times. It started with her losing her attention and wanting to sit down during class, and came to a peak when she locked the teachers out of the studio! Oops! There is a drinking fountain outside the studio at the Dance Barn, and all the kids and teachers went to get a drink. From my understanding, Gwen ran back after  her drink and locked the door! The teachers were not pleased, and neither were we! They called me and said they knew she didn't mean to be naughty, but Gwen couldn't finish the day, and that they wanted to see her next week at dance. We had a big conversation all week long about how we respect other's bodies and time, and Gwen realized she loved dance and didn't want to stop. She finished the year out perfectly. The bump in the middle was quite a learning step for all of us! HA! Gwen really loved her dance teachers!

We have been going to Home Depot's first Saturday of the month event! They host a craft for children, and they get to build and paint whatever is the monthly treat! We've done frames, trucks, and a golfing set so far! We love it.

Gwen "graduated" preschool! We had the best preschool experience with Mrs. Julie. I met her through my previous dental office, and I'm convinced the purpose of working there was finding Julie! She is such a positive and real woman. I was able to get to know her on a friend level, and I think she is so inspired. She listens to promptings, and she has so much grace with herself and her family! I love learning from her, and Gwen misses her! I can't wait for Emily to go there!

Gwen started swim team!!!!! The first week was so hard, but Gwen persevered and the ribbons were worth it! More on that next months since that's when all the meets were! She and Farris were the cutest swimmer girls that pool has ever seen, and they both did so well! Fishes forever!


April 2019

My oldest nephew, Ben, came down with his school from Yuma to run an event in the Hohokam invitational track meet. He made Gwen and Emily feel like celebrities because he came right to them from the field where events were happening! He even had us cross the track with him to get to our parking area (instead of walking all the way around like we normally would have had to do) and it was so awesome! We were all thrilled! Ben is the best! We just really like heckling him. We see him often and just holler his name until he giggles! 

Jake spent a week in Chicago for work. He had a blast. He still talks about the food and ball game he went to, and he visited a few popular landmarks!

I took Gwen and Emily to a park I LOVED to go to growing up. It's called the Park of the Canals, and it is right by my childhood home. It was so windy and I took pictures of them and Fred, and they still make me crack up!

We went to the same park to celebrate Gideon's birthday!

Gwen and Emily participated in a program called Sound Beginnings this last January. I would take them every Tuesday to see Miss Jenny and we would learn simple concepts of music theory. At the end of the month, we had a recital. It was so sweet! The girls were so proud of the songs they learned, and Gwen wanted to do it next year, so I think that's a measurable sign that she is interested!

We went with Morgan, Kate, Megan, and Jeremy to the Desert Botanical Garden! We got to see a lot of butterflies and my girls were terrified! It was hysterical! If any butterflies touched them, they'd scream! The other park goers were not amused but I couldn't help to laugh! We spent the morning there and had a fun time exploring the outdoor games they had. We made it to 11:30 ish and then decided the heat was too much and we got out of there!