Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Spec's

Two years ago we took the whole family to the optometrist for some check ups. The silly man told Dan and myself that our children had wonderful eye sight but we could, if we wanted too, purchase them reading glasses. Why would you ever get reading glasses for a child with perfect eyes you ask?? I wondered the same thing but we politely declined and went our merry way.

Spencer in his 9 year-old wisdom heard the optometrist say "Your child needs glasses, especially to read". We have been assuring him for 2 years that his eyes are fine and that he just misunderstood the doctor. Well this school year he has taken it a step further. He asked his teacher if he could sit in the front row because he couldn't see the board and he tells her that he can not see anything. At his 11 year-old check-up he failed the eye exam. I thought FOR SURE that this dang kid was pretending because he just wanted some cool accessories (like one of his best friends). In my mind, there is NO WAY for him to be a successful baseball player if he really can't see.

Reluctantly I decided to take him to a NEW optometrist to check out his eyes. I did a lot of research and found one that used new technology so Spencer couldn't cheat his way into a super cool pair of glasses.

Sure enough he is near-sighted and has an astigmatism.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
Love: the Linn family

Since I failed to send out Christmas cards this year (I'm Sorry!) I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to give a family update for those that are dying to know how 2011 has treated our little family. Here goes:

 Olivia:  Miss Livy turned 4 just a few days ago and is continuing everyday to bless our lives with her odd-ball personality. She is very precocious and a little wild and incredibly amusing. She says the strangest things. She is all girl and loves everything pink, glittery and Justin Bieber. She really loves to dance. I am hoping to get her enrolled in some dance classes in January.

Ethan: "E" turned 9 last August and is in 3rd grade. He loves school and is doing wonderfully. Holding strong to all A's & B's. He is very goal oriented and is usually good on achieving those goals. He is a talented athlete as well. He played a season of flag football this fall and really enjoyed it. Next time we will be putting him in tackle though, he just has a natural aggression that he was not able to use in flag, for fear of penalties. He is also playing Club baseball for the Raptor's 11U team. He is growing tremendously in baseball and he makes me so proud.

Spencer: Spencer turned 11 last October and is in 5th grade. This little man has finally met his match with school. He is highly intelligent and has been able to coast through school without studying and doing much work until this year. This year it has all caught up with him. He has learned the hard way that school is numero UNO in his life for the next 10 years! I think that finally, at the half-way mark, he has discovered that he is a smart kid and with 10% more effort he is a freaking genius. Spencer is also super athletic. He plays baseball for the same club team as Ethan, the Raptor's 11U. He is a huge part of the team and always a starting player. He is a phenomenal second and first baseman as well as a force in the outfield. You wouldn't guess it by looking at this kid either but he can CRUSH a baseball. Not too much longer and he will be putting them over the fence.

Ryleigh: Bug is going to be 14 in February.... she is half-way through her 8th grade year and is anxiously waiting for high school next year. She is SUPER driven. She always strives for straight A's and up until this year has always been successful. She has a couple of teachers this year that she struggles to learn from but she still manages a high 'B' in those classes. She is working hard at earning money to go to Europe with her Spanish teacher in May. So far she has saved $750.00 of the $4500.00 that she needs. We are really proud of her. She is also an athlete. Right now she is playing softball for her junior high school. She rotates between center field and first base. She is a great spirit on the team and a good player. She had spent most of 2011 playing softball for a club team with her cousin Jayda. They had a blast together and both of them improved tremendously!

Dan and I continued to raise our 4 wonderful children and are constantly grateful for their individual little personalities. I really mean that too - I am not just blabbing nonsense here. We talk - on  a regular basis - about how lucky we are and how awesome we think our kids are.  Dan graduated from Nursing school in August and in a freakish swing of amazing luck got hired on almost immediately at Banner Good Sam in Phoenix in their PCU department on the cardiac floor. He is really loving the work, but he is still going to school. He should have his bachelor's by this time next year (at which point he says we can PARTY!) and then he will apply for both NP & CRNA school. I am so grateful for him and the life that he provides for our family. I have just been busy being the mom. I drive kids all over the place and back again. I love every minute of it and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Well until next year.....
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Lou Who

Four Years ago today our family got a little bigger and our lives got a little brighter. 
We sure had no clue that the sweet little red-headed baby would be a wild crazy maniac at four. But I sure am grateful for her spunkiness - she keeps us on our toes for sure. 

Happy Birthday Olivia Kaye
I love you!
Some information about Olivia:

Favorite Color: Purple & Pink
Favorite Food: Apples & grapes
Favorite TV show: Yo Gabba Gabba!, Dora, Bubble Guppies, Team Oomizoomie
Favorite Movie: Nemo, Monsters Inc, Cinderella
Favorite Toy: Squishy Squishy Squashies, Babies, guitar, piano & babies
Favorite Song: Baby by Justin Bieber
Favorite Store: Target 

Here are a few pictures of her over the past year:
Olivia & Addysen

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Battle Nativity

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is the Nativity scene. In the years past I have tried to collect one a year, so I have a lot of them now. Most of them are up on higher shelves but some are either too big or too small or I just don't have enough space for them. When I set them out I like to have them set all beautifully so that I can see the whole scene, everyone looking out (towards me).

Olivia the other hand thinks it needs to be a more realistic set-up. She goes behind me and sets them all up, surrounding baby Jesus, probably more like it should be. It is definitely a battle of the wills. everyday.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A little Set-up is in order....

Last weekend we set up Christmas. I love doing it, and usually I set it up on Black Friday but this year we had a baseball tournament so it got pushed back a few days but it was not any less exciting.
Olivia has really taken to the excitement of Christmas. She LOVES all the lights and ornaments and things shaped like Santa and she really loves to play with one of my nativity sets.
She asked if she could put the star on the tree this year so Dan helped her. We left the fake tree in the box and opted for a fresh one. 9 feet! It is huge!! It smells so delicious though and so it is worth it.

Our semi-finished product ~ it is in need of some more ornaments so I will probably add a few more in the next few weeks. Really I am just so excited for Christmas this year. I love this holiday!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving - Part 2

On Thanksgiving day we went over to my parents house and celebrated the day. Just them and us. It was a lot of fun, not to mention nice and relaxing to have such a small group. We didn't skimp of the food though. Just because there was only 9 of us was NO REASON not to have TWO {20 lbs each} turkeys! One deep fried and one oven roasted. mmmmm. delicious.

Before dinner my mother got this crazy idea to go burn off a few pre-Thanksgiving calories by playing a family game of kickball at the park. It was a lot of fun but the next day all the adults were a little sore. [blush]

I sure am Thankful for family and the joy that they bring to our lives. Nothing is more important than family and I hope and pray that that will never change.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving - Part 1

On Sunday we hosted Thanksgiving for Dan's family. Yes, it was at our house. Our 1358 sqft home. We had 25 people all smushed it. It was definitely cozy, but thankfully, we like each other - a lot. So it was actually quite nice.
The nicest part was I didn't have to cook everything. We did it potluck style, which worked out nicely since I only have one oven.

 In order to get everyone to fit, we converted our patio into an outside dinning area. Thankfully, we live in Arizona and the weather was beautiful!

It was a bunch of fun having everyone together, which has been a first in SEVERAL years (okay, we were missing Cory, but his wife and kids were here {3 out of 4 ain't bad!})
Since we have had a new addition to the grand kids since our last Linn Family Grand kid picture we needed a new, updated picture of the crew. Twelve and counting.....
[can you believe that this was the best picture of them after the 15 that I took!?]
I love this time of year. It makes me reflect and realize how thankful I really am. I love Dan's family. We have so much fun together and I am grateful for the closeness that he has with all his siblings and the fun that we all have when we are together.

To be continued.....
(Thanksgiving part 2 taking place on Thursday)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Okay - WOW! How did Halloween just sneak up on me this year?? We are usually that family that has costumes planned by the end of August, purchased by the end of September, the house decorated by October and the GOOD candy bought by mid-October (and then hidden in the house). But this year.... I don't know what happened. The house was decorated the first week of October but that was it.
We totally scrambled for costumes the week before. I purchased our bag of lame candy at 2:00 on Halloween afternoon!

We were still finishing dinner when we started getting our first trick or treaters so needless to say, I was rushed! And i didn't get any pictures of my kids.

Thankfully, I took pictures of the kids on my cell for my mom on Saturday before our Ward party. So here they are - the best that I got!

Miss Olivia - Our Southern Belle.
She picked out her own costume this year, she really didn't care what she was as long as she was pink and frilly. She loves this costume, and she is even more excited that it has now made its way to her dress-up box.

Ethan - Zombie.
Every year Ethan wants to be bloody. Since we were super uncreative this year it was the perfect year to allow this. $4.00 for white face paint, black eye paint, fake blood, and brown teeth paint. Some old clothes and we have a costume! It was great. Plus he was in "heaven". Only downside, he couldn't wear a costume with any blood  for the school parade, and since he has blood on all layers of his clothes he couldn't wear his costume to school.

Spencer - Nerd.
This was totally put together on Saturday about 1 hour before our party. Spencer really didn't know what he wanted to be, he really just wanted to wear the Harry Potter glasses from last year. So we talked him into wearing some of Ethan's clothes and pulling them up to his waist, Dan made him a pocket protector to match his pink tie and then we combed his hair. He looked great. Only downside, he apparently is too cool to dress as a nerd for the parade at school. So he also went costume-less to school.

Ryleigh- Dice.
Ryleigh is the only one that planned ahead. I knew that she wanted to go as a dice for the last month. That of course didn't stop me from making it last Saturday. She originally wanted to be a fuzzy dice, but when I went to purchase the fur it was like $40.00, and that was on sale! So she had to go as a regular shiny dice. She seemed happy enough. She and Jayda trick or treated the neighborhood together with some friends and I think they had a great time.

Happy Halloween 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Young Love

Spencer doesn't know this but something fell out of his backpack this morning....
and I was nosy, and I read it, and it was hilarious!
It was so funny, in fact, that I had to post it to our blog so that I could remember this day forever.

Spencer told me a couple of days ago, before I found this, that he had broke up with Savannah because she was getting "really annoying" and because "she always follows me around, and wants me to do stuff with her. Plus, her friends are annoying."
ha! Boys....

Monday, October 17, 2011

I am so proud

In August Daniel graduated from Nursing School, and at the end of that month he took his state board test and passed! Making him a Registered Nurse. YAY!

I don't think it is even possible to adequately express how excited we are about this. Shortly after graduation he started up classes at Grand Canyon University for his Bachelors degree, which he should have in about a year (at which point, he said, we can have a party!)

So not only is it super exciting that he is done with the first part of his education..


He also got a job!!!

Not just any job either....

He got hired on at Banner Good Sam in Phoenix!
In their PCU department - and he is working days!

I don't think people realize this but this is a big deal! A hospital like this doesn't generally hire new graduates! Not to mention giving him a day shift and in a department like that! I am just so proud of my husband and so excited for our future! 
 Today is his first day of work - so send him good vibes!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Super Huge Thank You!

I am so thankful for every one's support of Ryleigh! I just have to express my gratitude.

At the beginning of the school year she found out that she is eligible to go on a Europe trip with her classmates at the end of May. They will be travelling through France, Spain & Italy for two weeks. The only catch is - it's not free.

Obviously, with our limited funds we told Ryleigh that we would love for her to be able to go but unfortunately with our very limited funds we just could not cover the $4,000.00 tab... :(

She was not phased by this. All she heard was that she could go! Only a minor detail that she needed to save more money than she has ever seen in her life.

Ryleigh went to work. She has been diligently babysitting and saving every penny. Even when friends want to go do something that requires money she just says that she has none, even though she does have some stashed away. I am so proud of how hard she is willing to work.  The unfortunate reality is, when we crunched the numbers, she just couldn't babysit enough to reach her goal.

That is when the letter was decided upon.

She took her time and wrote our closest friends and family with a sweet letter asking for any monetary donations they would be willing to send her way.

This is where I am thankful!: I KNOW how stressful times are for everyone! I do not know a single person that has not downsized or struggled recently but so many of our loved ones have set aside money to send to her. For some people I know that it doesn't come easy and I can not even begin to express my gratitude. I know that Ryleigh is incredibly grateful and whenever she gets a little letter in the mail or an email she is beyond excited. It is like a surprise Christmas!

So I just want to say thank you.

Thank you

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Family Picnic

Fall Break is not the most genius invention in this day and age. I don't know about anyones kids but my kids are not tired of school yet. In fact, we are just starting to get in the groove of things when BAM! we get a whole week off of school. Just because it is changing seasons. - somewhere in the world it is changing seasons... because here in Gilbert, Arizona it is still blazin hot!

We decided to have a little family picnic at the park with Dan's family towards the end of the fall break. I bought a bunch of blocks of ice and we all packed a picnic lunch and we met up for lots of fun! I only got pictures of the kids Ice blocking before my battery died.

On your marks...get set....go!

Hayley was kind enough to march all the way up to the top of the hill and help Olivia out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baby Brother - all growed up

I have been watching my little brother Chad play baseball since he was 5.
He's 18 now.
The fields are a little bigger.
The boys are a little bigger.
But he is still my little baby brother and I still LOVE watching him play.
 He has been red shirted for Phoenix College this year so we went out to a scrimmage fall ball game. It was pretty fun to watch. Kinda... actually is was kinda boring. They are all so good that nothing was going on. There were no errors, no in the park home runs. Well hit balls were caught in the outfield. Pretty different from 11 year old baseball.
 The kids came along of course, and with her little baggie of snacks - Olivia was an angel. The boys, just enjoyed the game.

 Chad - still number 34!

And still catching!