Grow Old With Me, The Best Is Yet To Be...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Summer & Fall Update, Part 2

Continued... September 9th - The big girls had a sleepover at their dance studio. It's the first time they have been away from home overnight, besides my mom's house. Isla stayed there for a couple hours while Kasey and I were able to go on a date (a rare commodity these days). They had a blast, and I was told that they were very well behaved. Always a nice thing to hear :)

September 16 - On our way to Kasey's brother Nate's wedding, we got a ROCKIN' camera - a Canon Rebel T2i! We had been talking about investing in one for a while and I had been looking online, comparing features and reviews for one that would fit our family perfectly. I must say I think we did, this was money well spent! I'm so excited to learn how to use it beyond the full-auto mode!! Here's a few pictures that we took with it right out of the box.
Only edit was putting it in a collage with a frame.
Not too shabby for amateur 'photographers', right? Anyways, we took a ton of pictures as we messed with the settings and took a quick crash course on aperature, shutter speed, etc... from Kasey's other brother Kyle.
More messing around with our new toy... :)

Nate and Charlotte got married September 17, 2011. It meant a lot to Kasey that Nate asked him to be his best man! Their wedding was a lot of fun, and we got to visit with many people we don't see often enough. Plus I love any excuse to get dressed up (and Kasey in his tux, wow-oh-wow!! Haha!). Still have no idea how I got so lucky.
Our girls, us, and Kasey's dad and Linda at the wedding.
After the ceremony, we headed to the reception. Kasey gave a toast that had everyone laughing, Nate looked a little nervous about what might come out of his mouth but in the end was happy that nothing too embarrassing was said, haha! :) We all danced the night away, and Adiee even asked one of the "blue princesses" aka bridesmaid wearing a blue dress to dance! It was so sweet!
The girls dancing with their dad. Priceless!!

We stopped by Kasey's other brother Corey's house to say goodbye to everyone and they had a ton of kittens that needed homes. Between that, big-sad-eyed kids, and my own weakness of wanting to "help" anything and everyone - we ended up taking one home even though we have way too many pets to begin with and I knew Kleo (our only cat at the time) would disapprove.
The really pretty one in the middle is the one we took.
She was so little and sweet, she didn't have a name for a while either. It was hard for everyone to come to an agreement. The girls had SO many ideas like Pearl (which I actually did like), Pizza, Ice Cream, Sundae, Bubbles, etc... But we eventually named her Lucy. When we first got home she didn't drink very much, but would eat her soft kitten food, so I bottle fed her for a couple weeks. She has now quadrupled in size since we first got her.

Isla turned 3 on September 30th!! What a doll!
We had a big trip to Build-a-Bear Workshop in Denver planned, but we had to postpone because conflicting schedules at work.

On October 3, the big girls had field trips. Sometimes I think I may be a bit over-protective, I was extremely uncomfortable and a bit hesitant to let Mikenna go on hers because it was a bus trip to the planetarium... IN CASPER, 2 hours away. To be fair, Kasey was just as apprehensive as I was... Yikes! In the end, we let her go but I didn't like it at all. So, Isla and I went to the Fire Station with Adiee and her class to get my mind off of it (didn't really work that way though. Ha!) I was sure glad to pick her up from school that day and see her safe and sound back at home with me.
Checking out the firetruck...

On facebook, I posted that Kasey was playing catch that evening with Mikenna in a pink fairy dress and black high heels with a pink baseball glove and ball...
Here's the proof! Haha!! What a girl!

A few days later, we left for Denver to celebrate Isla's birthday. On the way there, we stopped and had dinner with Polly and Eliana (our old neighbors from when we bought our first house, Eliana is only 3 months older than Mikenna). We had pizza and visited for a little while, they always have a ton of fun when they get together, although it isn't very often anymore with both of us in new towns. When we finally got to the hotel, it was too late to go swimming which was a bummer. Isla was the only one that had any energy at all. We needed the sleep anyway, we had a very full couple days planned! :)
They love hotels! Here they are eating their continental breakfast :)

First up, we went to the Flatiron Crossing mall. While we waited for Brandon, Whitney, and little Harper to get here, we took Isla to get her "ear holes". Haha! She is so stinkin' cute! She has been wanting to get her ears pierced but we have waited until their 3rd birthday for all of them (I couldn't bring myself to do it when they were babies). The big girls got to pick a new pack of earrings, and they kept bringing me things that I didn't approve of so we compromised that they get ones that were age appropriate, then I would let them get 1 pack of the feathers that they originally wanted - for PLAY only.
Isn't that last picture heartbreaking?! She is trying to smile even though it hurt! :( It didn't last long though, she was so happy when it was all said and done.

Next up, Build-a-Bear Workshop!! YAY! :) Let me tell you, that store was complete chaos... and BUSY! The girls were all over the place, 1 is picking out their animal, 1 is already getting clothes and accessories, and 1 is filling their bear. It was so much fun to see them so crazy happy, it was exactly what I was hoping for. I had to eventually put a stop to the madness so I told them to put everything that was in their hands on the counter so I could pay for it while Kasey registered them and got their birth certificates printed.
Finding "The One"! Chaos, I'm telling you!! :)
The girls with their finished product!
It only took 5 hours to get out of there. Maybe I'm being a little sarcastic. Ha!
More shopping, photo strips, and lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen. It was delicious!

Brandon, Whitney, Harper, and our family went to HomeGoods after leaving the mall, then met Kasey's sister Kristy and her family at her house and followed them to Chili's. We stayed the night with them in their beautiful home! It was so good to see everyone again so soon!
She didn't have anymore energy tonight! Haha!

It's Sunday now, but before we go home, we had another exciting day planned. We took the girls to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We bought IMAX tickets to see a 3D film on dinosaurs and Isla tried her hardest to get me kicked out. She was terrified before the movie even started, the opening had 2 dinosaurs playing/fighting then turned to fossils and she just lost it. I gave her to Kasey and he was able to console her. Thank goodness!
 Their main display were the animatronic dinosaurs, but they didn't allow photographing or video taping. Isla did NOT like it. Not one little bit. She was very relieved when we headed over to the "Expedition Health" section. They did all kinds of different activities to learn about their bodies. We also stood in line for a good 20 minutes to do the "What will you look like at age 70" activity and then it compares what you will look like if you take care of yourself to what you will look like if you smoke, have too much UV exposure, etc... All I can say is I should start taking care of my skin the way I do theirs... I am always applying and reapplying sunscreen on them. Yikes! :)
 We ate lunch at the cafe inside the museum and then headed over to the space expo. They really enjoyed it playing in the sand and water and Mikenna got to ask a question to the "astronaut" on the "moon" while she was doing very important work! :)
Last stop before the gift shop, was the mineral and gemstone exhibit. They loved looking at all the different sparkling stones! Mikenna bought a crystal and a geode to display in her bedroom, Adiee picked out a necklace and a pack of play dinosaur fossils, and Isla bought the same necklace (so they can fight over whos is whos, it's really fun. Ha!) and a pack of dinosaurs. After that, I got my long-awaited first IKEA store experience. I think our trip was a SUCCESS!!

October 14 - The girls were in the town's "Outlaw" parade for their dance studio. I made their bows myself!! :)
And afterwards we went to dinner at a friend's house and then the girls went for their second dance sleepover.
Crazy Girls!!

On October 29, we had some friends over, ordered pizza while the kiddos made their own mini pizzas. After dinner, we all carved pumpkins with the little ones. It's so nice to have met another couple with 2 little girls here in town! Every time I see them, I also get my baby fix ;-) since mine are growing up!


Adiee was a monarch butterfly, Isla was a 'bat'erina, and Mikenna was a vampire if you couldn't tell. Kasey is responsible for that monstrosity! Here I am painting a beautiful butterfly, an adorable bat, and I look over at what Kasey is doing to our oldest. She seriously will give me nightmares for the rest of the year. Is it bad that I almost didn't post this picture because it's so scary? I didn't realize we were going for 'frightening' this year, I'm going to miss the cute-sy days if this is what I get to look forward to for the rest of our costume days.

And lastly, our friends came over to test out our Wii to see if it would be a good gift for their almost 4 year old. I got the kids together for a small Thanksgiving craft. Adorable!
We wrote a few 'thankful thoughts' on the turkey's wings. Some were obvious - "My Family", "My Sisters", "My Home", "My Toys", etc... And some were not so obvious, like - "Turtles" (?? Haha!), "Prince Charming", "The Color Pink", etc... Those kids are hilarious. Never a dull moment in my house!

Phew!! So that is what our family has been up to over the last 5 months or so. Now that I'm caught up, I will be back to blogging more frequently as I used to since there is less going on in these long winter days.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Summer & Fall Update, Part 1

The last post I shared was in June... I'm ashamed I haven't shown my blog the love it deserves in quite some time. I have not forgotten, nor given up, but there are plenty of unfinished posts in the edit mode with incomplete thoughts and things we have done, but I think it would be best to just start fresh. Let's see, in the time that has passed:

I have completely purged my household of no longer wanted/needed items. All those random things that were just taking up space I don't have, creating clutter, and eating away at my sanity are a thing of the past (although, I really feel like I could go through and do it again!).

Mikenna's birthday at Elitches was a blast! We did almost all of the rides, and the favorites would be the extreme rides that you pay extra to go on (Adiee and I went on the 'Catapult'; and Mikenna and Kasey went on the huge swing!), the 'Tilt-a-Whirl' (the girls and I only, Kasey doesn't do spinny rides very well), the bumper cars, and of course the swinging ship. We left early in the morning and headed home when they were closing. The girls were asleep before we had even pulled out of the parking lot and Kasey and I must be getting "old" because we were SO tired after 30 minutes of driving. We pulled over "just to shut our eyes for a minute" and ended up sleeping for a few hours!! Oops! The worst part was the fact that when we woke up, we were still exhausted and still had 3 hours of driving. Ugh!! It was a long night, to say the least.
A few highlights... 
Living on the wild side!! What a rush! :)

On the 4th of July weekend, we spent a few days out at the lake house with my family - visiting, kayaking, watching fireworks, etc... Kasey, the girls, and I participated in the annual parade; we smothered the kayak in flags and banners plus the most important decoration - our gorgeous girls dressed in their USA hoodies and toted them around the "neighborhood" along with tons of other people. We won 1st prize and $50 which we split up between the three of them. Everyone got a picture except me (since I was in it too), so I'm still waiting for someone to send me one. Anyone? Ha! :-)

Mid July, we went to Worland to show our support and do the cancer walk-a-thon in honor of Kasey's stepmom, Linda. I met Nate's (then) fiance, a childhood friend of Kasey's, had a barbeque with some slip'n'slide and waterfight action, and a night time bicycle ride in Kasey's hometown just the two of us.
Linda with the grandkids, minus 2 that couldn't make it.

The girls and I went to Casper for school shopping towards the end of July because I learned from last years bare shelves and prepared for Adiee's kindergarten year (and Mikenna's in 2nd grade now)! I made such an effort to make sure that I got just as many exciting pictures of her shopping as I did Mikenna but gave up when I realized that she was just not as enthusiastic and I was basically telling her to "pretend" like she didn't hate it just for a dumb picture... Ugh, after I had a mini meltdown myself, I just decided that it was best to just let it be. I also think she probably would have had a lot more fun if it was one on one like it was for Mikenna, but it just wasn't possible this time since Kasey had to stay behind due to his being on-call. Oh well though, what can one do?
Bet ya can't tell which one was a fake... Ha!

After we fulfilled our school supply lists, we checked out the hot air balloons before going back home to be with daddy. The girls were pretty impressed with them and had front row seats!
A shared blanket can put a stop to the chilly morning air.

The last weekend in July, we went camping with my mom at Louis Lake in South Pass. We went on 4-wheeler rides, played in the sand and dirt, got some more use out of the kayak. Kasey took each of the girls out brookie fishing, quality one on one time with their dad. They cleaned them and fried them up right after catching them, the girls thoroughly enjoyed it!! Oh, and ate some Colorado canteloupe that could have very easily been one of the melons contaminated with listeria... No worries though, we're all fine. Thank goodness! ;-). It happens that I got about 4 shots with my camera before the dreaded "BEEP" **Battery Empty**... And they weren't even that great, but it was still a fun trip nonetheless.

So now we are in the first weekend in August. Kasey and I had been talking about getting a new car so we shopped around for financing and browsed a few online inventories. We found "the one" at Halladay Motors in Cheyenne. A white, fully-loaded, GMC Yukon XL Denali. We left the lot to keep shopping even though we both had found what we wanted. We were on our way to another lot closer to Denver when the salesman called us with an offer we couldn't refuse. I was a little sad trading in my Tahoe, but I'm so excited that this is parked in MY driveway! :)
LOVE it!!!

They do things differently in this town that I'm used to so it's still wierd to me that they go meet their teacher and put away supplies before school even officially begins...
 The girls with all their "loot."
Adiee and Ms. Worman, Kindergarten.
Mikenna and Mrs. Bares, 2nd Grade
Back 2 School Carnival

School for Mikenna started on August 22nd, and Adiee it started on August 24th. Yet another "wierd" thing they do here. The idea behind it is that they want to get to know the kindergarteners in smaller groups at first and get them acclamated before they bring all of them together... Hmmm, ok? Plus I think they did evaluations on them individually to see where they are academically. But I dressed them all up for their "First Day of School 2011" picture anyways. Adiee and Isla just got to sport the look 2 times in a row since nobody saw them the first time... ;-)
Aren't they just lovely?!?
Mikenna lost all 4 front teeth this month plus another one on bottom! Look at that gap! She was hilarious when they were first coming out, she said it was hard to say words that begin with "s", or should I say "eths-es"! Haha :) Hopefully she will give the toothfairy time to recover now, but we are glad that all 4 of those teeth can stop moving her entire front half of her mouth... Seriously, it was gross. Ha!
First day of 2nd Grade!
Adiee did not like waiting until Wednesday to start her school, she was so ready when her day rolled around! She was so excited that I couldn't get her to look at me for a single snapshot that morning, so I have a bunch of pictures with the back of her head...
First day of Kindergarten!
Isla with her lunchbox
It's just the baby and me now... I was sad to leave Adiee, but at least I still have one to keep me company.
When Isla and I got there, Adiee was in line for a hot lunch even though I had packed her a delicious lunch from home in a super cool frog lunchbag... So she had 2 lunches that day, haha! Oh, Adiee.

Labor Day weekend, we went camping again at Louis Lake with my mom again. What a fun and relaxing way to spend a long weekend, especially after all the chaos that the beginning of a school year can bring on!
Our Amazing Family
Random pictures... My life is full of beautiful people. :)
Look at her go!! Impressive!!!
Kasey put Mikenna on the boat, and to be honest, I thought he was crazy. I didn't think that she was ready to take it out on her own, but I couldn't have been more wrong. She was a natural, she had total control over it and was able to take directions like a pro! This was a creek behind our campsite and it was a perfect place to let her try because it didn't lead anywhere, there were beaver dams on both ends.

Now back to real life again... With school in full swing, now their activities are starting up. Kasey is taking them to swim lessons again, I take Isla to story time at the library, and I enrolled each of my girlies in dance and an extra tumbling class for Isla.

With that, I think I will call it a night. I guess that would make this post, "Summer & Fall Update, Part 1" Haha! :-)