Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day Of School


First day of school according to Emily:

I was a big example because once I heard the rules I was a good girl. Every time I walked down the hall I was supposed to fold my arms, so I folded my arms. When ever he asked us to do one, two , three eyes on me, I did it. Then some of the morning kindergartners came in and told us we were going to be cooking with them. Mr. Bradshaw told us that we are going to make apple dumplings with them. Mr. Bradshaw is the nicest teacher that I've ever seen. He told us that we can earn stars. If we earn three stars then we can get an extra recess. He is such a nice teacher and he didn't yell at us. There are a bunch of people that I know in my class. Lots of people I know from school. Brieanna and Bryan are friends from church. I sat next to Bryan on my first day (he's my neighbor). When I came home from school I made sure to hang up my backpack. I wanted to be a good girl. This year all my friends have the same recess as me. We played together and did the monkey bars. We also saved a poor frog that everyone was trying to torture. We got to eat lunch together too. I came home as neat as I looked when I left for school. I didn't even mess up my hair!


First day of school according to Chase:

On my first day of school I set my alarm for 6:50. I got ready and caught the bus at 7:40. It took FOREVER to get to school. There were a million stops. We had an assembly first thing about what the expectations for the morning were. Then we went to class. We worked on a spelling and writing project. I wrote about my summer, what I did and what my favorite part was (mine was catching frogs). Next we had PE and talked about the rules and where our spots are. We had another assembly about what the recess rules were. Recess was not that good because it was only like three minutes because the assembly took up most of the time. Lunch rotation isn't as good as it could be because they don't give us enough time, and not all my friends are in my rotation. Then we had another assembly about more morning rules...they must have changed their minds. We wrapped everything up and our homework was to finish our writing about our summer vacation. I had already finished so I didn't have any homework. My teacher's name is Mrs. Steele. I really, really like her. She says we are going to be doing lots of fun things. We will do lots of art and reading projects. When she wants to get out attention she rings her bell and we have to be quiet immediately. If she uses her wind chime we have to be quiet and sitting down by the time it finishes making noise. I like my class. I know about half of the people in it from last year. The bad thing is that none of my friends are in it. I think this year is going to be pretty good. This is my first year without any wild, crazy bad kids in my class.



Eyes







Could you guess whose eye was whose? They are in order form oldest to youngest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

King For The Day

Chase's special day for ruling the family was Tuesday. I think it showed how great his summer was when I looked at his list and it didn't look much different than a regular summer day at our house. I sent him back to add to his list twice in hopes that he would come up with something else. It just felt like such a waste when he could whatever he wanted (within reason). He never did add to the list. Dave commented that maybe that was all he wanted. One more great summer day, with out errands.
So here is Chase's list:

- breakfast bonanza
- play date with Jacob
- computer time
- play date with Hunter
- lunch at KFC
- magi quest at Great Wolf Lodge
- another play date with Jacob (why caught frogs and he managed to get stung twice by wasps)
- open house at Salters
- pizza for dinner
- rent and watch Ant Bully (I do not recommend it)
- stay up late

So now until next year rolls around again, I am back to being queen...

Queen For The Day

Emily was Queen for the day on Monday. Queen and King of the day are one of our favorite family traditions. The kids each get one designated day before schools starts when the are the boss. I have the kids make a list of all the things they want to do during the day. Then it gets approved (by the real Queen of the house) and we try to squeeze in everything they want to do. You only get this special rite once you have started school and each year it has been harder for Kate. She practiced making her own list this year:-) The kids make all the decisions: what we eat, where we go, who we spend time with, when we wake up and go to bed, or just plane who gets to do what in what order.


This was Emily's list this year:
- breakfast bonanza in the morning
- play date with Kaitlyn
- computer time
- lunch at the Olive Garden
- rent a movie (she chose The Black Stallion)
- book club meeting about Ink Heart
- Play date and sleep over with Sophie
- tie-dye t-shirts
- make a cake
- open house at Chloe Clark
- dinner and games at Chuck-E-Cheese
- watch movie
- stay up late

I think this was Emily's best list yet. She really took advantage of all the things she could potentially do and packed her day full of fun stuff.

Neighborhood Breakfast Bonanza

I was reading my Family Fun magazine a few weeks ago and read about an idea that I thought sounded fantastic. A neighborhood, from I can't remember where, held breakfast outside early in the morning the week before school started for the children. I decided it was something we should do. On my street there are only two families with school age children. Well three but one family is very reclusive. So I headed one street over to Shaw (where all the families are with kids) to find Moms who were interested. It wasn't hard. I got 5 Mom's together to split the three days before school starts. Who knows why we start on Thursday? But any way it was fantastic. The kids put fliers on everyones door letting them know when and where the free food would be available. Every morning this week we have headed over to Shaw to have breakfast at 7:00 with the other neighborhood children. The kids have loved it and have been very easy to roost from their beds. They have gotten a little bit used to waking up early, met some of their new classmates and bus buddies and had a really fun finally summer fling.

Checking out Vancouver

Last weekend the family headed down to Vancouver, WA to finally see for ourselves what many of our friends have said would be an excellent place for us to settle. Why Vancouver?

- schools that are ranked 10 out of 10 according to greatschools.com
- strong, large wards
- a high school that has release time seminary
- still get beautiful views of mountains (Adams, Helen and Hood)
- Still have lots of water (lakes, rivers, and the Columbia river)
-20 minutes form the Portland Airport
- across the bridge from Portland (no sales tax when you shop but still no state tax while in Washington)
- new developments in Camas a suburb of Vancouver
- homes with land!!!!!

So we went to check it out. It was a little frustrating to go without much of a plan. I think we need to contact a real estate agent who can help us know where to look to find what we want. But we did find several neighborhoods that looked good. We visited the Lacamas Creek Ward on Sunday and were really impressed. The youth in that ward made me want to move there. Every young man was wearing a suit and they were so clean cut. Chase had the wildest hair in the ward. We were helped in the hall by two very nice young women while trying to find the primary room. Such great looking youth. I know it's a total judgement on appearance but at least that was awesome. Their youth were liking missionaries in training and there were a lot of them. On top of that we had a handful of people come up and introduce themselves. One offered to send emails and phone numbers of local dentists to contact and another actually had us follow his family home to show us his neighborhood. So we are off to a good start in our search for a neighborhood. The kids mostly enjoyed the pool at the hotel and are begging to move into one home that we checked out on a three acre lot. It was beautiful land too. Only problem was that my would be neighbors are working on quite a junk yard on their own land. Can't do.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Twighlight

I don't know why it took me so long to crack open these books. They seemed at least partially right up my ally. I almost exclusively read children's literature and these were teen literature...close. I guess it was the vampires and werewolves that kept me at bay. Not really my thing. But after every (no exaggeration) friend of mine both near and far had read them and loved them, I started feeling like a stubborn anti-reader. So I borrowed the first book this last Saturday and finished the last book yesterday. A tribute to a good plot. I enjoyed them very much. I think Bella's character could have been developed a little bit better but they were very enjoyable. I was very interested in Meyers created Vampire and Werewolf culture. But really the strength of her books is her plot, typical for non-adult books. The love story I think is beautiful and the reason I burned through them. Now I can try to rectify all the issues I have created by putting the poor Wilcox household on standby. My poor family. The last week before school starts and I abandon them.

Emily has been recycling her clothes for two days ( I won't let her wear her new school clothes) and the rest of them are here...

We seriously starved yesterday. No cereal, milk (emergency staples) stuff for lunch and we didn't go out to eat dinner until 7:30 when I finally finished book four. This was what our poor fridge looked like...

I didn't get any good pictures of the status of my disaster zone of a home. Poor Dave beat me home from the grocery store and had already started cleaning up. But some of you who unfortunately visited during the last few days have had the misfortune of the hideousness and can bear witness.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Life

20 Years ago

1. I was 11 and almost the age of my oldest child. Man I was so young when I had him. (No Mom that is not an acquiescence to your plea for me to wait....)

2. I was in 5th Grade and so happy. We were living in Ft. Mead Maryland. I loved my school and my teacher. Almost all of my good PTA ideas come from great experiences I had at this school. We had the coolest Librarian, Principle and Art teacher. I definitely started to love reading this year thanks to my awesome teacher Mr. Micklos. He gave us an animal poster for ever so many book reports we wrote. I had a huge collection by the end of the year which my Mom never let me hang in my room. I had awesome friends and just always so much fun!

3. I loved the dance studio I was enrolled in. That was the best part. I attended Central Maryland School of Ballet several times a week. I was just starting point which I had looked forward to since second grade. I was Clara in the Nutcracker that year and then a Sylph in La Sylphides later on in the year (that was my favorite. I got to be a fairy!) I loved dancing, it ran in my blood.

10 Years ago

1. I had just had my first baby. It was totally terrifying to be a stay at home Mom all of a sudden. He was a screamer (later an angel after inguinal hernia surgery). With the combination of my little one screaming all day long and the unfortunate side effects of post partum depression I took a semester off of school.

2. We were soooo struggling for money! Dave was selling his blood and plasma as often as they would let him. Mine wasn't acceptable (too thin, can you believe that). So I started working on Saturdays and evenings as a telecommunicator (hideously annoying phone salesperson) for ATT. After two weeks of training I walked out after my second week. I was near tears. It is still very vivid in my memory. I had just gotten off the phone with someone very rude in New York, I thought, "why am I doing something I really hate!" The ear piece was placed on my desk, I shut down my computer, grabbed my stuff and walked out the door never looking back or saying a word to anyone. I was so ashamed to come home and tell Dave. But he is always so sweet. We started looking for other ways to make things work.

3. Dave tried to get lucky and applied for Dental school as a sophomore (it was our first of two tries at applying). The next school year he was accepted and I graduated form the University of Arizona with a degree in Elementary Education.

5 years ago

1. Dave was a Junior at Loma Linda School of Dentistry. We loved it. We had so many wonderful experiences there.

2. I had finally made great friends. It takes me about two years. I am so slow! Kathryn, Aileen and Sarah were my best friends. We did so many wonderful things together. I miss them all so much.

3. I was taking the kids down to Disneyland all the time. Several times a month. Gotta love So Cal Passes!!!! We went when no one was there. No lines, the characters to ourselves. It was like Disneyland was ours... just ours!

3 years ago

1. This still brings tears to my eyes. Three years ago I was driving my better half to the airport. He was on his way to Egypt to be the Dentist for our American troops in the Sinai. I was weak with grief. I didn't know them how I was going to make it through a year without him. I will be forever indebted to his family for really pulling me through and being there for me in so so many ways. Sob Sob....

2. Katie, the only one of my children to be given a nickname by family, was nicknamed Rosie by Grandpa Wilcox. It's funny how tender a nickname could be. I still wish he would call her it more often. She loves him!

3. We started building our very first house!!

1 year ago

1. I was pregnant with Sara. Our little surprise. So miserably sick. I totally dropped out of the lives of my family. Somehow everyone lived through it!!!

2. We were still struggling constantly with trying to decide where to live So Cal or here in Washington. I think we were and still are the laughing stock of all of our friends and neighbors!

3. I started craving peanut M and M's which I have not overcome to this day.

This year so far

1. We have really enjoyed every moment of our sweet little Sara's existence. She is a constant joy!!!!!

2. Dave is no longer in the Military and working as a dentist in the civilian world. We are still trying to decide how to move on to the next phase of our lives.

3. My kids and I have had a wonderful summer. I was dreading the end of school. But everything ha worked out so well. Thanks to great weather, great friends and and infinite amount of things we can do and places to see!!!!

Today

1. I am going to the cannery today to finish up our year supply. I will have kept my New Years Resolution for the first time ever, and it's only August. I am so proud of myself!!!

2. The kids are out playing with friends.

3. Dave is having dinner with Greg Dent whose partner has a practice that Dave could take over in Tacoma. Wow...I wish we liked Tacoma more!

Tomorrow

1. I'm hoping to find someone to lend me book four in the Twilight series. Once I started it I have to finish. Help anyone???????

2. We get paid and so I will probably go shopping. Dave will need and want to give me my new budget first!

3. Haircuts maybe...

Next Year

1. Hopefully we will be moving into our new home somewhere in Camas, Washugal or Vancouver.

2. Hopefully we will find a great practice for Dave to work at.

3. We will be desperately missing all of our Dupont and Ft. Lewis friends and likely spending way too much on gas coming up to visit as frequently as possible.

Sweet Sisters With Tan Lines

The other night I was headed up the stairs after trying to simultaneously watch the Olympics and read my Twilight series, Dave told me to bring the camera up. As I walked into the girls room I laughed seeing Emily and Kate sharing a bed. Definitely a picture worthy moment. It's not too often anymore that they are really sweet to each other. Kate as learned how to pester Emily and Emily is mostly angry these days. (Maybe I'm lucky and she is getting all the angst out of her self at an early age and will be a perfect teenager) Anyway...it's so sweet to see them together happy, even if they are sleeping in order to do it. But check out those tan lines! My children are Bronzata with a capital B (that means tan:-)! Who says the sun never shines in Washington?????

Boys, Dogs and Soccer...

Chase really enjoyed his week of soccer camp last week. He was out playing and learning from 9:00am to 3:00pm everyday. As you can imagine he came home exhausted everyday which was nice for me. Boys are like dogs. A breeder once told us that a tired dog is a good dog. Same with boys. Tired boys stay out of trouble and don't bother their sisters.


Chase loved his coaches. They were really well trained to work with children. I was really impressed. Even I enjoyed their senses of humor. They taught the kids skills, fun soccer games, told funny stories, sang silly songs, tricked the kids a few times and were just so great...Chase is really proud of some of his new moves. Especially his scissor kick. He told me half way through the week that he likes soccer way more than Baseball. It made me a little sad. Baseball is his ancestral family sport (at least two generations back are really into baseball). I am just starting to learn the rules so that I know when I can cheer and shouldn't. But then in my opinion they are both hard to watch. Baseball is sooooooooo slow with glorious moments in between. And then soccer is soooooo fast with many glorious moments that you miss though as you struggle desperately to keep your eye on the ball:-)


Anyway...just a Mother's blabbering. Here are some pictures from Chase's week at camp. Dress up the coach day at the end of the week was definitely a highlight. Mike was a great sport about wearing Emily's dress up skirt and even did a little dance around the field after I bribed him with a wipe to clean the lipstick off his face.




Learning to do headers

Practicing dribbling skills

Dressing up the coaches

World Cup (Chase's team is Australia)

Chase was the goalie the second match

He didn't let anything get by him

So Australia beat England in the World Cup Tounrnament!

Much to coach Mike's dismay, but he was all smiles when it came to picture time!

This game (Hey Johnny, Johnny, Johnny) kept the kids busy all week trying to figure out the secret!

Tubing Anyone?


The Crawford's took us out in their boat last week. We went out for a little bit before it started raining. And you never know what's going to happen once it does start to rain. No one wants to be stuck on the lake in a down poor right. So we head in, but not before my kids all got to try boat sports for the first time. Marissa asked Chase if he wanted to try tubing and he wasn't even interested in getting on the boat. Scavenging for "stuff" on the shore is more is style. Or was. We talked him into coming and trying the tube and he is totally converted. It was so funny to watch them. They all had a great time. On the way in Marrissa talked Kate into trying it out. Speaking of Kate we have had unbelievable break throughs with Kate's water issues! As you can see she tried tubing with the security of Tori holding on to her. None of that would have ever happened a month ago. Now she is taking baths and even asking for them (no tears). We even went to Wild Waves (no tears) where she played in the wave pool, went down a few tot slides and soaked in the hot tub. She is almost completed healed of what ever water ailment she had. Anyway we had a really great afternoon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Death By Olympics!

The Olympics are killing me. I'm going to bed at 1:00am after just watching the American girls clinch gold and silver in the Gymnastics all around. But now I have six hours of sleep. That is not enough beauty rest. I prefer 10 hours!!!!! When do the Olympics end? How much longer before I get a decent nights sleep?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays



One of the perks of Dave's job is that he is constantly being wooed / thanked by the specialists that he refers his patients out to. Dr. Molen (who happens strangely enough to be the father of a friend from dental school...small world) sent Dave and Chase to the ballgame this Thursday. Dave and Chase got to watch the game from the all star suite, complete with great parking and a scrumptious buffet. The boys had a great time and surprisingly the Mariners won with a come from behind walk-off home run in the 9th inning!

Chase got Dave a book about all the ball fields in the US for Father's Day a few years back. Now they have their first ticket to put in the pages. Check on off...lots to go. Their goal is someday to have maybe visited them all.

The Molens have invited us to go to a Ballgame party in a few weeks. I have told Dave only if our friends (the Molens) are going. Are you reading this Melody???????

Blueberry Jackpot!

On our way home from Pioneer farms we passed by a sign advertising u-pick blueberries. I turned to Judy (who likes blueberries as much as I love chocolate) and said, "what do you think?" I must admit I already knew the answer and was soon turning around to find the berry farm. It was just a little place off the side of the rode. We stopped for maybe 30 minutes until Sara woke up screaming. That was our cue to go. I think she and I were the only ones really ready to head home though. The rest of the crew were totally lost in berry bushes. We picked 8 pound between the 6 of us. Kate and I hardly count though. It was only $10 dollars. that's right, read it and weep all you berry less state dwellers. You should totally move to Washington. It is the coolest of the cool! We had homemade blueberry muffins for breakfast yesterday. Judy brought over blueberry smoothies and the kids are bothering me to try blueberry jam. What a wonderful world!

Pioneer Farms

Pioneer Farms has been on my list of places to visit since our first stay in Washington. My friend Judy invited us to go this week and I was so excited to finally make it there! We were certainly not disappointed! It was like stepping back in time. First we visited the barn. We met the livestock, milked the Jersey cow and got to jump in the hay bales. The kids picked up the whole milking the cow thing a lot easier than I thought. They didn't have any problems. Did you know that a milk cow can keep her milk for up to a year after having a calf? I love cows. What would the world be like without milk?!

Then we headed to the Smithy shop. I was pretty surprised that the kids were invited to participate in these events. Chase was jumping at the bit to try things out. Anytime fire is involved I can count on Chase to be interested! The kids heated up the forge, pulled out the horse shoe, pounded it a few times and then quenched it in a bucket of water.

Next we went to the Wood Shop and sawed, hammered and drilled to our hearts content.

The school was fun. The kids learned about all the rules that if broken would result in lashings. I told Chase that his bottom would be so raw he would never be able to sit since most of the severe offenses involved teasing the girls.

We went on a short ride in a horse drawn wagon.

Then we headed over to the Residence Cabin to see how Pioneer families would have lived. I couldn't stop thinking about how much there cast iron pots and pans would be worth today. The cabin was lovely, I am so grateful for my little house that is for sure!

Our last stop was the Chore cabin were the kids tried their hands at all sorts of Pioneer children chores:
-hair curing
-beard shaving
-butter churning
-dough kneading
-corn mill grinding
-wheat grinding
-vegetable chopping
-wool combing
-washing
-ironing
-coffee grinding
-cinnamon grating
-playing with pioneer toys
-trying on pioneer clothes

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The kids had so much fun and are already asking to go back again soon. Next time we will make sure to bring our pioneer hats so we can fit in with the crowd a little better:-) No one wants to look like a tourist...

Prodigy...



Could it be? Will there be beautiful minuets resonating in my home soon? Probably not from this little munchkin...though she was totally in love with this little pianoforte! But maybe from Emily who will be starting lessons soon!

Rocker Chicks!

I think it is a fact that most girls love clothes. I know there are some...but as a whole our sex is all about fashion. My daughter is developing her own since of style these days. I love our new games (Guitar Hero and Rock Band) but better than the music or the sudo musicianship is the opportunity to fill my closet with virtual clothes and create my own cool character! Emily and her friend Kaitlyn have taken it even one step further. Dressing up virtually isn't enough. The other day I turned the corner from the kitchen to see the girls playing Rock Band in these outfits. They had their guitars strapped to them and were standing on our coffee table (tree stumps) dancing and singing! It was hilarious. Their outfits are pretty snazzy I think. I think they are going for a pump look. What do you say...would you go to their concert?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dreams Do Come True!

At least they do for our Emily! I picked Emily up from horse camp on Saturday afternoon and she talked a million miles a minute all the way home about all the fun things she got to do and how much she loved it. We had a fun time sending her emails (which were never delivered), a really cool care package (I can't wait to have college students and missionaries) and writing her letters (which were probably delivered the afternoon after we picked her up)! Kate and I went out to visit Emily on Friday to take some pictures and I can honestly say I have never seen her so happy. And I was happy that all of the staff loved her and told me what a good little horse girl she was being. So everyone is happy. Especially Kate now that her favorite playmate is home.



So here is a short recap from Emily about her favorite camp memories:
I really liked riding Dusty bareback and trotting. Trotting was fun because it was so bouncy. I fell off because he was so bouncy and I think he tripped. (Mom says it was more because it was hard to keep my balance bareback). No, I didn't get hurt! My favorite horse was Dino, he was 17.5 hands tall. All of my friends called him Dino the dinosaur! Kaitlyn, my best friend, was there and it was really fun. She slept on the middle bunk. The bunks were three beds high and I slept on the top! One night my camera fell off. Someone told me they could fix it so she looked at it and thought it was out of batteries. I thought that would be kind of weird. But It was on the top bunk and the floor was concrete. Mom was really mad, but then Dad got it to work with batteries. So I couldn't take any pictures.

Mom sent me a care package with a bunch of stuff in it. It felt really good because I missed my family and they were missing me. I liked getting a letter in the package. We had fun painting our nails, eating the treats and playing with the plastic ponies, and other fun stuff.

One afternoon there was about to be a storm and we wanted to do all of our activities before the storm came. We painted some of the ponies. I painted Moe. I did her hooves and put some hand prints on her. Some of my friends did hearts and explanation marks. She looked really pretty when we were done!

We did really big campfires! We got to eat as many smores as we wanted. It was soooooo yummy. We sang lots of songs. Our camp leader could walk in the fire!!!! This is my favorite song that we made:

video

Chorus
Oh I don't want to go to horsey camp
Gee Mom I want to go
back where the toilets flow
Gee Mom I want to go ho-o-ome
Horsey camp Horsey camp


The toilets that they give us
they say are mighty fine
but when you get inside them
they leave a big surprise

The showers that the give us
they say are mighty fine
but when you walk inside them
you drown in yucky slime

The lifeguards that they give us
they say are mighty fine
but when they take their make-up off
they look like Frankenstein!

The light bulbs that they give us
they say are mighty fine
but when they burn out quickly
you fall and break your spine!

The horses that they give us
they say are mighty fine
but when you pull their reigns too hard
you go for a nice fly.

The koolaide that they give us
they say is mighty fine
but when they don't put sugar in it
it taste like I would die!

The biscuits that they give us
they say are mighty fine
but one rolled off the table
and killed a friend of mine!

The carrots that they give
they say are mighty fine
but when you feed the horses
they die by the next night!

There were lots of other songs and they were funny! I LOVE that place and I want to go back there next year for the whole year!!!!