Friday, December 31, 2010

Hello & Goodbye

New Year's was pretty fun this year for us. Dan's little brother, Cory and his family, are visiting from out of town (the Air Force has them stationed in Italy) so it was a real treat to be able to spend time with their little family. PLUS!! Fireworks are legal in Arizona this year!! So of course all the men were so excited to put on a little show for the kids. They couldn't wait until midnight to light them off, they ended up doing it at about 10pm (they said it was because they didn't want to disrupt the neighbors at midnight! I think they just couldn't wait any longer. The kids loved the show. Except - it was FREEZING. It was 26 degrees outside when we were doing this.

Olivia LOVED the sparklers! She probably went through 20 all by herself! I am super disappointed in them though because when I was a kid they were bigger and the lasted ten times longer! These ones are not even big enough to write your whole name in the air with. Lame.

So 2010 was tough. I don't know many people that had a particularly profitable 2010. Most of our family and friends are working hard and doing the best they can to stay afloat and we are right there with them.

        Dan worked hard all year long to get good grades so that he can graduate in 2011 with his Nursing degree.  He really enjoys the field and really is thriving. I am so proud of him. In December he became eligible to take his LPN exam and start working as a LPN while he is finishing school if he wants too. The jury is still out on if he wants to do that or not. I might be better to just keep pushing forward on school. School is taking so much of his life, I have a hard time imagining him trying to fit a job in there too. 
         I graduated in June (at the top of my class) from PMI with a certificate to be a Medical Assistant. I enjoy the field immensely, I was frustrated with the work and disgusted by the pay. After all that school and hard work we discovered it would end up costing us money for me to work as an MA (as long as Olivia was needing Daycare) Unfortunately, MA's are a dime a dozen these days and so they are often paid very little. So in August, I started back to school at Chandler-Gilbert. I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. I have always wanted to be a Certified Nurse Midwife. Why do I keep waiting and putting it off? No more. I could be done already if I would have just done it long ago.
         Ryleigh, of course, had an amazing year. She started Junior High in 2010 and turned 12 and joined Young Women's, and managed to pull off all A's and B's in school. She consistently chooses amazing friends and is a constant light in our life. In the Fall she made the Girls Softball team for her Junior High and we are currently enjoying those games.
        Spencer, started 4th grade and turned 10 this year. He is hilarious and has such a great attitude. He continued to amaze us with his baseball abilities and how smart he is.... that sounded bad - because I know that he is smart but he is really really really smart. One day this year he started talking to me about the different layers of the Earth and I was blow away that he can retain that kind of information.
         Ethan started 3rd grade this year and it was tough. We actually had a meeting with his teacher about possibly sending him back down to 2nd grade. He is very very young for his grade and so we thought that it was just too much for him right now but after our little meeting with his teacher and a discussion with him about what it expected in third grade he turned it right around. He has been a phenomenal student ever since, with all A's and one B at the end of the semester. He also turned 8 in August and Dan was able to baptize him. It was a special day.
      Olivia turned 3 right at the end of the year.  She is absolutely hysterical. She says the most random and off the wall things and has us rolling on the floor at least twice a day. She has a little "potty" mouth (she says sentences like "What the crap?" and "what the freaking heck?". Its funny how it doesn't seem so bad coming out of an adult mouth but them it sounds terrible coming from a toddlers mouth.

Hopefully 2011 will bring new beginnings! Daniel will graduate in August and hopefully be able to be find a job with the VA (thank you for being a disabled Vet!) and in June we are hoping to move into a bigger house! I will be able to apply for the Maricopa Nursing program in May (there is a 2 year wait list! :( ) and the kids will continue on their little happy lives!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

 I love Christmas Eve. It is full of traditions - one of my favorites is new jammies! My kids were all pretty excited for them this year, I love how they have all caught on that they  will be getting PJ's on Christmas Eve so they are are pumped for it! No let down that it is just clothes....

We went with a Monkey theme this year, and it all started because of Ryleigh. She requested feetie Pajamas, and we found these awesome red ones that have sock moneys on the feet and then we found the same theme in all the other kids sizes. I love that they all match - it is so cute! 

 Merry Christmas from our little Monkeys!

...oh, and I couldn't help putting this one in here, she is waiting for me to get the camera ready.


Our family, and about 4 million other Arizonians, went to Zoolights last night. This was a first for me and my kids, but the rest of our family were seasoned pros.
I was surprised at how neat it was. I loved it!
Apparently Christmas Eve Eve was the night to go to Zoolights. We had to walk almost a whole mile ( said it was .89 miles from where we parked to the Zoo front gates) just to get inside - plus we had to wait in line to buy our tickets for over an hour... then we perused the zoo
  for the next hour and then we walked the mile back to our cars! We left my Grandparents home at 6:30 (and grandpa was hoping to be home to get to watch the Suns game at 8:30) and we didn't get back to their place for Hot Chocolate and Doughnuts until 10:30!!
Overall I think it was totally awesome and my kids had a great time, and I am totally in awe of what they can do with Christmas Lights. It is beautiful!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Three Years Old Already!

I can't believe that our little Lula ( I don't quite remember how she came about that nick-name) is
 3 years old
 today. It seems like just yesterday but yet so long ago that she was born on a dreary Corvallis, Oregon day, back when the Beavers had a good Baseball & Football team!
There was a time that we thought we would only have three children and we were quite content with them but now I could not even imagine a life without her. She is a light in our family and I love her to pieces. Plus, she is absolutely hilarious.
I love you Lou Lou!