Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Natalie's Birthday and Baptism

Every year the kids follow a "treat trail" of their favorite candies to find their birthday presents. Nate was extra creative with Natalie's this year, and part of her trail went along the wall...

...and up into the attic. I don't think she actually climbed all the way up. Dad had to retrieve the gifts.

Natalie hadn't had a birthday party in a few years, and only one ever, so we decided to let her invite a few friends to Chuck E. Cheese (her choice). It just so happened that August 29 fell on a Saturday this year, so it was fun to have her party on her actual birthday. Nate stayed at home with everyone else, and I took a car load of 8 year old girls to Chuck E. Cheese. I loved listening to their conversation in the car.

It always makes me smile when Natalie does or says or chooses things just like I did when I was her age. I always LOVED skeeball the best, and she spent a lot of time there.

I loved watching Natalie's expression as she got ready for the ticket blaster.

She tried to catch and gather as many tickets as she could as they swirled and blew around her.

In the afternoon, we went to the nearby middle school for Natalie to try out her new rollerblades. 

Jansen's favorite sport right now is baseball. He loves playing catch and hitting balls with Nate.

Leah just loved having open SPACE to run and wander to her heart's content.

All while sucking on crushed ice...

Natalie requested a mint ice cream cake, and we looked at pictures online to make sure I understood what she was envisioning. Thankfully it was just a matter of slapping down round cakes and then ice cream and piling on the Cool Whip and mints. 

No better way to spend a Sunday evening than sitting and reading with dad in the playset.

Natalie's baptism was the following weekend. An 8 year old boy that lives just around the corner from us was also being baptized that day. None of us had any family in town, but we were sure surprised and humbled by all the ward family members that came. I know how hard it is to wrangle and get kids in church clothes (and on a Saturday morning nonetheless). It was very kind of them and so supportive.  

Some things to remember about Natalie at 8: 

-She works very hard at school and is excelling there.

-I still haven't signed her up for any lessons, but she got a sewing machine from her Grandma Kim for her birthday and she loves to create things with it and plan projects.

-She really likes reading and has read all of Roald Dahl's books (he's her favorite) except one I believe.

-She's a huge help with Leah and other young children.

-Her dream of dreams is to have a dog. Hopefully someday that dream will come true. 

-She is very emotional which is a wonderful blessing in so many ways, but also keeps me on my toes as I figure out how to motivate, discipline, etc in different situations.

-She loves to be comfortable and often takes her shorts/pants off as soon as she is home from school haha. She also pretty much only likes her hair down. Pony tails and other styles hurt too much apparently.

-She is really into stuffed animals. 

-She has a great (and quirky) sense of humor that I love.

-Her favorite sport is soccer. 

Friday, September 4, 2015


Out of order and all over the place, but I'm still playing catch up with my blog. I snapped this picture one Saturday when Jansen and I went to find him a backpack for school. He had brought some scriptures to read during the drive - just because!

Leah recently went from two naps to one, and it's still a little rough on her.

She loves to help empty the dishwasher, but we usually prefer that she stay away from the glass plates.

I know I talk about it a lot, but Jansen adores Leah. He has so much love in his heart for her.

Natalie got contacts. We had to make probably 5 visits to the optometrist (which is normal) so she could practice taking them in and out. They let us take them home, and she is a champ at taking them out, but she still struggles getting them in.

Emmy is my stylist extraordinaire. She loves to "do" hair.

This girl makes a beeline for the fridge any times she hears or sees it open. She usually goes for the prunes which I then find all over the kitchen floor.

Jansen and Natalie started piano lessons recently. They are enjoying it, but practicing is a battle.

 We hit our one year mark of our time in San Antonio. We weren't necessarily celebrating the milestone, but we happened to go on a date that night.  

Natalie finally got to go to a rollerskating rink with Nate. She has been begging to do it for many months.

Oddly enough, this picture was taken at the San Antonio aquarium. It's such a weird little place. It used to be a car dealership, but they have turned it into a children's museum, aquarium, dinosaur exhibit, and small petting zoo all in one.

This was also at the "aquarium"

As was this slightly depressing picture of Natalie. 

Leah also loves to play in this sink. 

 We tried out a San Antonio Missions game for one of our last summer outings.

 And this was just one of those days...when I didn't even care if she ripped up the book as long as she was quiet and stayed in one place.

First day of school:

Jansen has Mrs. Martinez (5th grade), and we have been very impressed with her so far. He loves playing four square at recess.

Natalie is in 3rd grade and has Ms. Espinoza. She is in the GT program this year.

 Emmy went to a couple days of PreK at the elementary school, but then I decided to pull her out. She didn't love it, and it was making life harder instead of easier. We are working on things at home and going on adventures together instead.

This had to have been either black beans or blueberries.