Ransom Family

Random Ramblings and Happenings

October 2018

Olivia finished up her volleyball season this month.  They played hard and got better with each game they played.  She is a go-getter.
But volleyball, zero hour orchestra, advanced classes, and church activities make this girl kind of exhausted.  One day after practice she came home to start some chores and a few minutes later I found her in her room asleep in a heap.

Andy and I were able to go to my cousin’s daughter’s wedding in Logan, Utah this month.  I dropped the kids off at Grandpa and Grandma Ransom’s and then came home and we drove to Boise one night and then to Ogden the next day.  We visited Andy’s sister for a few minutes before going to Lagoon to ride the fun rides.  We drove past the amusement park in the summer and the kids all said it looked too scary, so we decided to go without them.  I hadn’t ever been and Andy hadn’t been for close to 20 years.  It was so fun!  The wedding was Saturday and it was beautiful.  We had a great trip and it was fun to spend time together.

Vincent and Abby had a jog-a-thon at the elementary school.  They had fun.
Open house/family night/book fair/trick-or-treating was the next week at the elementary school.  Vincent and Abby wore a safety suit that Vincent got at a safety expo a few years ago.  They said they were siamese twins.

Our primary put on a ward carnival.  There were great games and treats and a lot of fun.  (Me-Chef, Olivia-Librarian, Vincent-Bobba Fett, Abby-Queen of Hearts).

Abby lost her second front tooth.  Maybe she’ll get them in for Christmas. lol.
Olivia bought some jewelry making supplies and asked Abby to model them for her and she took pictures.  She’s stamping letters on metal mostly.  Abby’s little side smile here makes me imagine her when she’s about 15 instead of 7….

 

Halloween was fun.  I worked for the first part of the day and wore a CTR super cape.  Then we went to the Uptown Shopping Center for their trick-or-treating.  Olivia-Dolphin, Vincent-Link, Abby-Queen of Hearts.  They have one of the painted pianos there, so Vincent played the theme song for Zelda’s Link.  We came home and had tacos that Elizabeth made and then left Elizabeth and Olivia home to answer our door while we went to visit a few special people in Kennewick.  First stop: Grandma Ellen (who gave handfuls of pennies because they had doctor appointments all day and forgot about candy, so we called the pennies treasure).  Second stop: Sam and Bonnie (Andy used to work for Sam.  Always good to see them!)  Third stop: Pat (who lives next door to the house Andy’s parents used to own.  Vincent and Abby played some piano for her and we got a lot of hugs. She said it made her Halloween that we dropped by.)

On the way home, Andy dropped Vincent, Abby, and I off a few blocks away at a trunk-or-treat a friend asked us to go to.  We voted on which car’s decorations we liked most and they got cotton candy.  Then we trick-or-treated all the way home.

October may have 31 days, but somehow it always feels shorter.  Love being able to spend time together though!

 

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September 2018

We started September off with a visit to Walla Walla Fair.  All of our kids entered a few things in there and received free tickets.

Elizabeth and Olivia’s summer quilts from Grandma Quilt Camp were entered along with their cousin Lydia’s quilt. Elizabeth’s is black, white, green. Olivia’s is red, yellow, white. Lydia’s is the striped one with the yellow flower.  Thanks for helping them learn how to make beautiful quilts Grandma Mary!

We wandered around to find everyone’s entries.

Elizabeth entered the quilt she made at Grandma Quilt Camp earlier this summer and a painting of Vincent she did for the Walla Walla Fair this year.

Olivia entered her Grandma Quilt Camp Quilt, a braided bracelet, and a cross-stitch for the fair.

 

 

Vincent entered a pinewood derby car he made to look like a Bulborb from a Pikmin game and a Lego in the fair.

Abby entered a painting (Neon Butterflies) she did at Art Camp this summer and a string of finger-knitting for the fair.

And then we went on a few rides. This one is my favorite.

Elizabeth and Olivia opted to shop instead of ride rides.  Vincent and Abby rode the kiddie coaster together and Abby rode the other ride with Grandma Mary (who liked rides as a kid, but hasn’t ridden many lately).  They had a great time.

Thanks for helping get the entries and forms where they needed to be MOM!  The kids loved having their things there and spending time with you and dad.

And I enjoyed our fair funnel cake too!

Olivia is loving volleyball season.  She made the 8th grade A team (although honestly only 13 girls from each grade tried out, so they all made the A team. lol).
They are learning and growing and improving each time they play.  Olivia is hard on herself more than she needs to be and is working on her serve and trying to be more confident in her actions on the court.  Her coach says she does better in practice than in the games because she gets nervous.  She enjoys it all whether they win or lose!

Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, people playing sports and basketball court

In this set of pictures Olivia was at the net and even jumped up to block a ball.  She’s getting there!

A few weeks ago we played Farming Game for game night.  It started all empty like this, but ended with my spot full of crops and cows.  I conquered the regulars!

We had our official store Grand Opening mid September.  Some people seemed to think we were closed the whole month… People get confused about things sometimes.  But then again, we also had people who came inside our store when two moving trucks were in front hauling bookshelves out wanting ‘just one thing’…. sorry.

Much more settled after a few weeks.  Boxes are all unpacked and everything has found a home!

Not so fun: Going to get blood drawn and having them try five times and fail five times….
Andy’s work has a wellness program we can sign up for and do a questionnaire about health and habits and it also requires an annual blood screening to compare the levels of all kinds of things in blood.  Sounds annoying and it kind of is, but it saves us $100 per month on our health insurance, so we get to do it every year. Worth it. Anyway, the trouble is, they only allow us to go to a few places where they accept just the test without a doctor reviewing it (ie: paying for the test and a doctor ourselves.)  One of the places listed is in Pasco.  Cool, just a few minutes away; however, the place there doesn’t have a professional phlebotomist, just RN’s and an MD who run the clinic.  And I know it’s always tough for my blood to be drawn, so I drink a ton of water, keep my arms warm with a sweatshirt even when it’s warm outside, and let them know that the butterfly needle is usually what they end up using on me.  We must have been in there at least 40 minutes with the warm water filled glove on my arm, but still, they couldn’t get it done there.  They tried really hard and they were nice, but they just couldn’t.  (Andy’s was taken there and took two tries and his is usually easier to take.)

The next closest location was in Yakima (1 1/2 hours away), so we looked at schedules for the next week and picked my day off to have a little day date (drove the company car and used company gas and Andy was on the clock still), but that means it used up most of my day off that I usually catch up with things at home, run errands, REST, and help with school things, church things, etc. Anyway, I called the company to see if there was any way to get it done closer and they said that I couldn’t without paying for it and having the doctor verify it (and they didn’t have any appointments for another two months!), so I called the Yakima location to see if we could make an appointment or if we just needed to walk in (walk in) and off we went to Yakima.  I drank even more water over the weekend (I was floating) and traveled in the car with my sweatshirt and blanket (let’s be honest, I always travel with a car blanket).  We got right in there.  The phlebotomist lady looked at my paperwork and my giant bruise (see pic above) and started looking for a good vein option.  She found one and had me go put my hand in warm running water and then took it from the back of my hand.  First try.  Hooray.

I can hardly wait for next year…. ugh.  Actually we decided next year, we will just plan a trip to Yakima for both of us, but it’s silly that we can’t go down the road and have it done there (I took a survey and told them so.)

Our Young Women’s group had a special Mother-Daughter Temple Baptism night in September.  I invited Grandma Mary to come too.  We looked for family names, but have trouble finding any that are legit.  Others found some though and it was a great night.

Everyone participated and it was really special.

We ended up with not quite enough men to help, so I called Andy at the start to come over.

 

We seem to always hit the jackpot with great neighbors. Our next door neighbor, Kelly, texted yesterday to see if Abby would be able to come over and paint birdhouses with her this morning. They bond over rock collections and all kinds of other things too. It’s the best to have so many people involved and excited to be friends with my kids.

One day earlier in September she brought an abandoned bird nest she found in an orchard at work.  (Another day she asked if her son could ride with us to the school Elizabeth goes to and we came home to a giant box of apples).  SO nice!  She really likes Abby’s energy and personality and they have a fun time hanging out.  I get random texts from her that she misses her during the winter, so I send her over.  Abby watered her plants over the summer and weeded her flowerbed too.  Very nice.

We got a baby niece (or two) this summer!  Paige is Andy’s sister’s baby.  Her blessing was the last week in September. She is their third girl and is so cute!

Andy and Elizabeth had to go back to our ward as soon as the blessing was done so Elizabeth’s not in this cousin picture.  Plenty of other cousins aren’t in it either, but I was testing out the spot for the parent/grandparent photos just after this.

My brother and his wife had a baby girl just a few weeks after Paige was born.  She is their seventh baby and her name is Reagan.  We are excited to meet her in a few months (date not determined).  She’s beautiful too and I love seeing pictures of their family.

Andy was out of town several times in September, but it all worked out with my work and all the kid stuff.  Oh, and I think the etiquette night for the youth went well.  I was supposed to be a 20 minute lesson on etiquette before the dinner and talk about dating for the youth in our ward.  I decided no one wanted to listen to me talk for 20 minutes, so I decided to have them do some skits/charades instead.

We did a little ice-breaker first. Table setting challenge: Two Teams of two (one with map on each team and one follows directions without seeing map). I had a team of girls and a team of boys and it was funny to see them react to so much silverware.

Then Handed out skits/charades to groups of two or three and gave a few minutes for them to discuss a plan for a 30 second skit.  I let them choose whether to show the correct way or the wrong way (several groups wanted to show both and did a two-part skit). They told what the manner/etiquette was at the end or had everyone else guess.

  1. Show us how to (or how NOT to) give up your seat in a bus or crowded room to elderly, women, or children.
  2. Show us how to (or how NOT to) behave with cell phones during a meal or during conversations.
  3. Show us how to (or how NOT to) display gratitude and accept gratitude (please and thank you.)
  4. Show us how to (or how NOT to) respect personal space (ie: don’t crowd person ahead of you in line.)
  5. Show us how to (or how NOT to) introduce people in a group.
  6. Show us how to (or how NOT to) put your napkin when you sit down to eat.
  7. Show us how to (or how NOT to) properly cut food and eat politely.
  8. Show us how to (or how NOT to) tell someone they have food in their teeth.
  9. Show us how to (or how NOT to) display table manners (elbows/sitting).
  10. Show us how to (or how NOT to) respond when you have food in your mouth.
  11. Show us how to (or how NOT to) break into conversation (interrupt).
  12. Show us how to (or how NOT to) pass food across/around the table.

    Note: I’m not awesome at plenty of these, but it was fun to watch them take a few minutes and come up with a plan for their skits. Two of the groups were the adult leaders, so that was extra fun.  And I even got to stay for dinner and the dating talk.

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August 2018

Sorry so late… September coming soon.  Life doesn’t slow down even with all four kids in school…

Things to note from August:

Elizabeth finished her driver’s ed drives with the driving school and just needs to practice more and do her written and official driving test between now and when she turns 16 in February. Started her sophomore year of high school!  She was busy babysitting for a friend of a friend the end of summer and drawing and reading and helping me move a bookstore.  She was a huge help with the registers taking them apart and putting them back together (they worked!)  She was our tech girl.
Olivia completed her Young Women’s Personal Progress Recognition in just under a year and received it the Sunday before she turned 13. She worked on it a lot this summer. So proud of her ambition and determination!

Olivia turned 13 just before school started.  I can hardly believe it’s been that long, but also feel like she was a baby just yesterday. Time is funny like that. Love these pictures of her!

She spent the day at the middle school picking up her schedule (and hanging out at the middle school PTA table with me because I’m the PTA president this year and was helping with memberships.) Then we went to lunch with her friend Cambria before I dropped them off at volleyball open gym.
After volleyball our ward youth had a Temple Trip to do Baptisms.  It was a birthday well spent!  We celebrated a few days later with a few friends and some cheesecake.

Vincent took the summer off for piano lessons, but is excited to start again with school starting. He’s spent most of summer reading or playing video games.

Abby shared something interesting in our Fast and Testimony meeting about Samuel the
Lamanite. She said that he was protected from arrows like we can be protected from distractions or sins. She is a deep thinker.

With all the smoke from fires stagnant in the air most of the month, kids were getting a little antsy to be outside.  They went down to a neighbor’s house to invite their friends to a picnic.  Their mom helped them have a picnic inside and sent me a picture while I was working.

Abby and Vincent met their teachers the day before school started and then had a popsicle.  They dropped off the few school supplies they needed to bring this year.  Our school district provided everything for elementary schools in our whole district other than ziplock bags, backpacks, and earbuds/headphones.  It was fantastic!

We are loving our teachers this year and off to a great start!

Kids started back at school the end of August. Hooray!  Grocery budget can get back to normal now and I won’t have to run the dishwasher daily. =)
I (NaDell) am enjoying this no calling thing. I am still subbing in primary fairly often, but I’m enjoying regular classes anytime I get a chance to go. I get to help with an etiquette night later in September for the youth too.
Biggest thing of the month for me was helping to move the bookstore I work at.  That was a LOT of work!

Started with a mountain of boxes on a Saturday night.  Needed about six times this amount before we finished packing… at least.  We kept running out of boxes and having to send the owner for more.

We packed the statues and big artwork on Saturday night after closing, took Sunday off, packed all day Monday (brought Elizabeth with me), packed the rest and moved on Tuesday (brought BOTH Elizabeth and Olivia with me), and set up all day on Wednesday (Elizabeth and Olivia switched babysitting Vincent and Abby partway through the day so Andy could get work done.) Reopened our store on Thursday!  We didn’t finish unpacking for another few weeks, but all of the important things were shoppable.

New store with empty shelves as we moved in and tried to figure out where to put things.  (I was up high on a ladder hanging pictures on the wall-I call it tetris-ing them because I was trying to fit the most pictures I could on the wall that were all different shapes.) Thank goodness the owner hired a moving company to do all the real lifting and moving of the shelves and boxes.  Three moving trucks showed up that morning and just cleared it all out.

Olivia and I spent a lot of the moving time setting up our new Sweet Salt Clothing store connected to the bookstore.  The company sent a lady to help us go through the 51 boxes of clothes that were sent to get the store ready for Thursday.  Aren’t they cute!?

Meanwhile on the bookstore side… everyone else worked to get the never-ending boxes of books put onto shelves and looking good.

Busy month for sure!  But we LOVE the new location and we were told we won’t be moving again!  =)

 

Andy had a few trips in the last bit for work, but nowhere too far. He still likes his job. He is keeping busy with Elders Quorum and we still do our weekly game night with friends too.

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July 2018

We drove to Utah on the 4th of July so we had a few days to play before Andy’s nephew’s wedding. On the way there we passed the Lagoon amusement park.  I had mentioned to Andy before our trip that it might be fun to take the kids there now that they are bigger, but we decided to go to the zoo instead (both because it’s less expensive and the shade is better.)  As we passed Lagoon, we asked the kids if they wanted to go there instead and all of them said they wouldn’t like the rides there, so Andy and I decided that we’d go by ourselves sometime (actually we are headed back there without kids in October and plan to go alone!)
We stopped by Andy’s sister’s house the day we got there to say hi and visited with her and her family  for a little bit before heading back to the hotel to swim.
The next day we got up and headed to the Hogle Zoo while it was still a little cool.  The kids liked the animals and the ‘monuments’ and Olivia, Vincent, and Abby wanted a picture next to all of them.

We paid a little extra for Vincent and Abby to ride the carousel.  Vincent picked a praying mantis and Abby picked a rooster.
We went to Chick-fil-A for lunch.  SO good! But apparently we didn’t order enough food for our hungry kids, so we had to stop and get something else a little later.
We headed back towards the zoo to go to the This is the Place Monument to the pioneers.  We also did a little drive by to see the Salt Lake Temple, but didn’t stop to visit there.
Our hotel was awesome.  We had the middle room on the top floor and we didn’t have neighbors underneath us, just a housekeeping room and then the lobby.  We had two queens and a pull out hide-a-bed.  The view of the Utah mountains was very nice too!
The next day we visited a friend who lived in Washington in our ward for a summer when Vincent was a baby ten years ago.  It was fun to catch up with her and see her kids.
We stopped for lunch at a sketchy McDonald’s and made a Walmart trip to get snacks for our trip home on Sunday and a few toiletries we needed too.
We drove around a highway that is near where the Saints first saw the Salt Lake Valley and went back to the hotel to rest and swim before heading back out to have dinner with Torrie and her girls and Andy’s parents.
After that we headed to Farr’s Ice Cream to see cousin Jack at work and have some ice cream cones.  They were delicious and so big! Thanks, Jack!
Yummy, yummy ice cream!
The next day was the wedding in Logan.  It was beautiful and such a nice day.  Blake picked a really sweet girl named Megan and they are both awesome.  The luncheon was great and the reception was beautiful in Megan’s backyard.
The only real downer of the wedding day was that Olivia sat in someone’s GUM they left on the concrete surrounding a flowerbed and we had to borrow a skirt from a cousin for the luncheon and reception so we could work on her skirt.  And it was HOT too.
We drove home on Sunday and got home with enough time to get started on laundry so Elizabeth and Olivia could pack up to go to Walla Walla on Monday for Grandma Mary Quilt Camp.  Normally they do it during Spring Break, but there was extra family in town then, so we delayed it until summer instead. It was perfect.  They were joined this time by my brother’s daughter, Lydia and had a really wonderful time doing things with Grandma Mary and all together.  See more details here, here, and here on my mom’s blog.  They each made a quilt top and my mom is working on quilting them and then they will sew on their own binding.
Elizabeth’s and Olivia’s quilts are both basic four-square patterns, but Elizabeth’s are larger blocks and they are set up differently.  I love Lydia’s blocks mixed with the strips and the flower.  Very cute!
Lydia and Olivia did the Jr. Row by Row and won a prize at a local quilt shop for being the first kids to finish.  I really like this rainbow piano block!
While the older girls were at Quilt Camp, Abby had a four-day Art Camp at the community center with a friend.  They made several different paintings using a variety of techniques and styles. They even had a little gallery at the end of the last class.
Also after the last class I took Vincent and Abby for snow cones close by.  They loved that.
MONUMENTAL CHANGE!  I was released after three years serving as our ward’s Primary President.  My first counselor was called as the new President and my second counselor had her fourth baby soon after the release.  I don’t have a new calling yet, but I’ve been helping sub for classes over the last few weeks.  I love the relief of all of the pressure and burden of a president calling being removed.  I loved the three years I served although it was really hard, especially the first year while I was also the PTA President at the elementary school AND working just about evening night 6-11pm AND had Abby home for one last year before kindergarten.  That was a really rough year full of to-do lists and stress.  I’ve enjoyed it a little more over the last few years.  The kids are wonderful and it’s so nice to go back to teaching the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The teachers in our ward are phenomenal and care so much about their classes and the kids and show up the majority of the time and find subs when they aren’t.  I love that especially knowing how many other wards aren’t that way and have such a hard time getting people to serve in primary.
Vincent’s Cub Scout Pack had a pack meeting one night that was dinner and then a hike for mostly the kids and the Cubmaster up a steep, hilly, sandy, HOT hill.  Abby joined the boys and beat them all up to the top.  She said she made it to the top first so she could claim there was no difference between girls and boys and their abilities. Love her spunk and determination. (And the attitude I appreciate most of the time.)
I ordered a personalized pendant from my cousin’s husband who does wire wrapping.  It has all the birthstone colors for each of the six of us in my family on a tree around a bead.  I love it!
My mom watched Mamma Mia with the girls in Walla Walla in preparation for watching it in the theater the following week.  So fun.  I’m always a little worried about taking my kids to PG-13 movies because they always try to squeeze in as much garbage as they can, but this one was pretty well done and fun to watch and didn’t have anything in it that made me wish I hadn’t brought my teenager daughters.

While Elizabeth and Olivia were at Grandma Quilt Camp, we got an email from the public library that Abby won a bike in the bike raffle.  To enter kids write a little book review on a third of a piece of paper and put it in a box with the box with the size and color of bike they need.  Abby filled out two of them and won.  So very cool.  She also got a new helmet and a bike lock.

She worked on learning how to ride it herself for a few weeks and then Vincent WON ONE TOO!!!  He had three turned in when Abby won and then turned three more in.  They had probably 30 bikes donated to the library to give to kids, but that was really cool and the time and effort the reviews took were totally worth it.
After Vincent’s bike was picked up, I took them to the school close by to work on riding them while Andy had a meeting at our house with his Elder’s Quorum Presidency.  Vincent took a few laps around the school while I helped Abby figure out how to start on her own and take off.
She figured it out!  She had some good practice sessions with both Olivia and Andy before I helped, but I’ve never been the one to helps kids learn and it work.  Yea!  She was so excited!
They still don’t get to ride them to school because there’s just too much traffic and I’d rather not worry about the bikes getting stolen or them getting run over by cars or them running over other kids walking, so they can ride at home in our neighborhood.
Big news for my job is that our store is moving about a mile away in August.  It means a lot of work to pack everything up for the movers to move and then set everything back up again at the new location, but the location is SO much better and easier to find and we will have a Sweet Salt Clothing store attached to our store (connected, but with a dividing wall).  We are excited.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  I am scheduling my chiropractor adjustment and massage for the following day.
Vincent had his braces put on the last day of July.  He is SO excited to show them to everyone and to have a smile he can show more and not be so self-conscious about.  He doesn’t have all his permanent teeth yet, but needed braces before they all come in to make room for them.
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June 2018

Our young men invited the young women to a fishing day activity.  Elizabeth was busy, but Olivia went and had a good time. No one caught anything, but they all enjoyed it.
Abby was invited to a friend’s kitty party.  They gave the kids ear headbands and tails.
I helped with Abby’s first grade field trip to the park.  She was playing in the dirt with friends when I got there and liked the games.  We said goodbye to our principal who is moving to another school in the fall.
Vincent’s field day was the same day, so I stopped by there just in time to see the three-legged race he did with a buddy.
Olivia is in orchestra and they went to Silverwood theme park with the band and choir kids to perform and then play.  The dad chaperoning their group sent pictures.
I hosted a book group and hurried to finish painting the last living room wall my favorite gray color because the trim is done on the window now.
Andy had a work trip to Orlando for a week.  The final day they finished early and offered discounted tickets to Disneyworld, so Andy got to go.  He went on Space Mountain a few times.  It was rainy a little bit so some of the rides weren’t running.
On Space Mountain.
I had a birthday and asked a friend to join me for my first ever pedicure!  It was awesome.
My mom made me a cool USA banner to hang at my house (she brought it to me at work.)
Andy and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary.  I made a little collage with pictures from our lives together.
Vincent had Cub Scout Day Camp.  Andy went to help one of the days.
Elizabeth went to Cub Scout Day Camp too, but as a helper with Grandpa Paul in Walla Walla.
She did some quilting with Grandma Mary while she was there.
That same week was our McClellan Reunion (luckily it was local).  Olivia made a jean quilt for our family auction after I told her I wasn’t sure I’d have time.  One night she cut out all the squares and the next day when I was at work, I called to check on the kids and she was already almost done sewing the top.  I brought home some fabric for the back and yarn to tie it and she finished it that night.  I only put one tie of yarn in it and she did all the rest herself. She said it should be worth more because a 12 year old made it.
We started out the reunion with a temple trip.  The kids who were in town and old enough went to the Temple to do baptisms and confirmations.  (Elizabeth was still in Walla Walla). 
The adults went to a temple session and did sealings.
That night we had an ice cream social at Aunt Carol’s house.
The following day was up at the Mountain with George and Shirley.
Lots of hanging out with cousins and trying things out.
Elizabeth and Olivia with cousin Sami.
Vincent with Grandpa George and two of Andy’s cousin’s boys shooting cans with BBguns.
Elizabeth driving the side-by-side with Andy and Vincent.
Abby blowing bubbles with a cousin’s daughter.
Olivia helping a cousin’s son.
Grandma Ellen with four of her five daughters and both sons.
These kids kept busy making a lizard trap.
The Saturday of the reunion we celebrated Grandma Ellen’s 90th birthday!  Her birthday is in April, but we waited to throw a party until the reunion.
Each of Grandma Ellen’s kids took a picture with their kids and grandkids and Grandma Ellen.
Girls Camp was the following week.  Elizabeth went up a day early for the 4th year overnight hike with a group of girls, including two others from our ward.  Camp is always awesome.
Our neighbors went on a trip and the lady asked Abby if she could hire her to water her plants and told her she’d give her a bonus if she weeded.  Abby was diligent and kept chipping away at the weeds.  She was generously compensated.
We had a month that was totally crammed with fun things to do and people to see.  It seems like June is always the busiest time of the year with end of the school year stuff and day camp and girls camp and usually a reunion.
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May 2018

May was a pretty busy month.  I don’t know exactly where time went, but all of the sudden it’s June already! Really, how did the school year go so quickly?!
Some of the kids in Vincent’s Cub Scout Pack went to visit the local police station.  They had a tour and then some police officers showed them their police cars.
Abby’s class had an animal wax museum.  They each chose an animal.  She picked a BLACK WIDOW!  I’m guessing that not many first grade girls who wear dresses nearly every day choose a black widow, but that’s Abby for ya!
She wrote a report, made a poster, and made a black widow mask.  Anytime someone pushed the button on the poster, she’d tell them all about black widows.  All the kids were around the cafeteria and we had a little animal tour.  Super fun.
Elizabeth started driver’s ed this month.  She’s learning and slowly getting more confident in her ability to drive.
 
I helped PTA with the middle school’s teacher/staff appreciation week this month.  I delivered a little gift for the staff four days and the other day PTA delivered lunch for them.  I liked the cute little things I found and the punny notes.
 On Mother’s Day we invited my parents to come to church with us and had dinner at our house afterwards.  It was nice to go to church with them.  (We took a picture with the kids and moms, but the dads were there too.)
The thing I have been looking forward to for MONTHS happened this month!
Fountain Books (where I work) sponsored a DAVID ARCHULETA concert!  A work perk was tickets and a VIP after-party pass to MEET him!  It was awesome!  I’ve been listening to his songs for months and can still hardly switch back to the real radio now without just going back to his fun CD’s.  I watched all of American Idol and even went to a party with friends for the final show his year.  The concert was inspiring and it was fun to sing and dance and be there with people I love.
I actually got two tickets free and bought a third for Olivia (I invited Andy’s sister Torrie as my guest) and then my mom bought tickets for her and my sister and they sat by us.  It was perfect.
Meeting David after the show.  Florals were not prearranged, but he commented on how springy they were.  I could not stop smiling.
Olivia and I before the show.  So excited!
David at the concert.  He sang and talked about his songs for a solid two hours.  Fabulous!
About a week before the show, we opened up the photobooth backdrop in the store so I tested it out before work one day.
Our little section of fun.  My brother’s wife won tickets on facebook and brought my nephew’s girlfriend with her.  There were so many people there I know.  It was at a local high school auditorium and it sold out.
We had a ward primary temple trip this month.  We invited the families to come and learn a little more about the temple and then they walked around the temple together.
Vincent has been finishing up the school year with the required state testing.  His teacher wrote him a nice encouraging note to help him slow down and take his time.  He wrote her back a little (not very nice) note that he did take his time and not to underestimate him.
Then he had a final piano party where his teacher had them write notes to parents.  Nice.
Busy month with work and kids and trips for Andy and three days a week of driver’s ed.  Ready or not, here comes summer!
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April 2018

April 1st already seems like so long ago, but also like yesterday.  The months are flying by!
We had Spring Break the first week in April.  Andy was in California for the week working, so I took a few days off work to hang out with the kids (not the whole week since there aren’t many employees where I work).

Easter was April 1st this year which was also General Conference (which was fantastic!)  I loved every single session of conference and I’m excited about the updates to programs and quorums and the Temple announcements.  The announcement about Elders Quorum and High Priest Group made for a month of limbo not quite knowing what would happen with Andy’s Elders Quorum calling and then having to wait an extra two weeks after we did find out because of our Stake Conference (also fantastic!)  BUT, it was finally announced last week that Andy is our ward’s new Elders Quorum President (again) and yes, I’m still Primary President…for now.  He kept one counselor and got one of the High Priests who was a leader in that group to balance them out.  They will do a great job.

Spring Break Day 1:
Started off the week with a 10am quick visit to the dentist (yea!) so he could see if Abby’s retainer could be placed back in.  It came out on Easter and you’d think it was because of jelly beans or something like that, but no, it came out when she was brushing her teeth.  The dentist was able to bend it back and reglue it in to keep her teeth where they go (fingers crossed!)

We followed that up with a quick stop into Fountain Books to get the next books in a series Olivia started that I bought Vincent for Christmas: Michael Vey.  She is flying through them and needed the next book before I finished work that Thursday.

At noon Andy’s Aunt Tricia and his two cousins who are Elizabeth’s and Olivia’s ages came to see us.  We had lunch and played games. And Abby beat all of the older kids at Uno.
We had an hour break before Uncle Brant and Aunt Tina and their six kids and Grandma Mary came to see us.
We went bowling (Grandma and Elizabeth went shopping) and then went to a park to play.  We decided it was dinnertime and I didn’t want to send them an hour away to Grandma’s to eat, so I called Elizabeth, who was home by then, to make some tacos for dinner and they were ready when we got back from the park. 

Our kitchen sink was backing up and not draining correctly and leaking a bit, so I asked Brant to check it out. I guess that’s payment for the dinner?  Fair warning that when Andy’s out of town, I may have honey-do projects… The fix worked good enough, but it still wasn’t draining quite right, so I just skipped using the dishwasher for most of the week.
We finished up the evening with a haircut for Vincent.  Olivia took care of that and did a good job and then she wanted to go to the store to buy supplies for a friend’s birthday party that she wanted to host for her here.  She came up with some fun crafts and invited friends and made the cake and everything.

Spring Break Day 2:
Andy’s sister came to Andy’s parent’s place in the mountains for their spring break, so we met them there to hang out for the day.  We had lunch and dinner there and the kids played and played.  It’s always good to see them!

Passenger took this picture…Our Hyundai Verscruz is a fantastic car. We got it nearly 11 years ago and haven’t had to fix anything more than regular wear and tear and maintenance things. Too bad they quit making this model or that’s all we’d ever buy. Driven to Nevada, Disneyland, Ohio, Yellowstone, Colorado, Wyoming, camping, and grocery trips.

Spring Break Day 3:
We didn’t have any plans this day, but one of Vincent’s school friends gave him a call and asked if we could meet him at a local park where he was playing.  It was rainy, but fun.  I read a book on my kindle while they ran around and played.  Came home for lunch and had an easy afternoon and then reading before bed.

Spring Break Day 4:
-Back to work for me. And I’ve been working there for just over six months and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Yea! (seriously, best job ever!)
-Rained all day.
-Babysitting for Elizabeth and Olivia. One of them even had a paying babysitting job….
-Playing for Vincent and Abby.
-Pizza for dinner after a phone call request from Abby telling me she didn’t know what to make for dinner (she’s on kitchen this week) and a request for pizza. Sounded great to me too, so I picked up Dominoes on the way home-ordered it from my phone after I clocked out and it was ready when I got to Richland.

Spring Break Day 5:
-Kids hung out at home while I worked. Vincent built a pretty scary looking train track, but there were guardrails on that steep corner, so all is well.
-My lilacs are starting to bloom! They are my favorite.
-Abby made french toast for dinner.
-Went to an amazing meeting to learn how to teach more like the Savior with about a thousand other people and Devin Durrant who is the First Counselor in the General Sunday School Presidency.  The meeting was for eight area stakes and included all Sunday School teachers and a member of each auxiliary presidency.
-Andy flew home from his work trip to San Francisco and met me at the meeting and we had dinner afterwards.

We had a Family Home Evening Risk activity.  We played until Andy and I wiped out all of the kids (technically Elizabeth forfeit after we beat out Abby, Vincent, and Olivia so she could go to bed and be rested for school the next day).  Andy played a few more times with them the following days to help them with the way some of them react to losing…but it was fun to play together!

 

I came home Saturday night after closing at work and then two back-to-back wedding receptions with Andy to find Olivia had put Abby’s hair in curlers.  Took a picture on our way in to church the next day.  Elizabeth went early with Andy so he could practice with the choir for the number they were singing at church.

I had a day off and met Vincent’s Destination Imagination team at the Safety Expo in Pasco.  They spent the whole school day there going to all of the fun booths with their coach and other DI teams and other school groups from our area.  They had an instant challenge and I was able to watch it this time since I worked during the competition.

Later that night was the CLOT TROT!  This was the 11th annual event to raise awareness about blood disorders that Andy’s former boss’s son started for an Eagle project.  We (me and the three older kids) have been to ALL of them! Andy was traveling for work for some of them and Abby wasn’t born yet for a few of them.  We met some friends there and walked the mile with them.

I put Abby to work doing her chore after school when she wanted to play outside.  A little encouragement never hurts!  Work before play.

After getting some leftover food out for a few kids for dinner, Andy checked the mail and found Elizabeth and Olivia’s report cards.  They both did a great job, but Olivia had straight A’s and that was all the extra reason we needed to take her out to dinner to celebrate.  (I took Elizabeth out for DQ when we got home to celebrate her A’s and B’s.)  Vincent and Abby both had a good report at parent-teacher conferences too.

Our elementary school PTA does a Morning with Mom and Donuts with Dad each year.  So much fun to go with these kids!

After the donuts, they still wanted the breakfast, so we went over to the cafeteria for them to eat there too.  (Our school is one of the schools in our area with a lot of low-income kids, so they started having free breakfast and lunch to anyone who wants it and we take advantage of that.) When Abby finishes, I guess she likes to help clean up, so she asks the lady in charge if she can help and dons gloves to clean up trays and help other kids with trash.  Nice.

My dad asked Elizabeth and Olivia if they could babysit some kids from Walla Walla while their siblings and parents went to the Temple on a Friday evening.  I decided to go with them so they wouldn’t be alone in the stake center (and was glad I was there with all of the people coming in and out to decorate for the next day and do other things there).  They babysat 15 kids and a lot of Walla Walla families were able to go to the temple.

They had the kids all circle up and they played a name game and some other games before heading to the gym for more games and fun.  They did really great, especially for not even knowing these kids ahead of time.

Olivia was part of the district showcase.  I texted grandparents about two hours before it started to tell them about it (I forgot to give advance warning) and my parents decided to drive over to support Olivia.  She did a wonderful job and even had two solos in their piece.  Video HERE.
We had the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.  Vincent cut his car in March with Grandpa George and Grandma Shirley.  Olivia helped him paint/color it.  Andy and Vincent put on the wheels and weights and he was ready.  Still didn’t win, but he had fun!
April 30th is the 65th Wedding Anniversary of grandparents.  I love and miss them so much!  They were and still are great examples of thriftiness, humor, love, kindness, patience, faith, and so much more!
Aprils done and Mays begun!  Countdown to SUMMER!
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March 2018

 Olivia had her braces put on early in March.  She is one of the most excited people to get braces ever.  She said they didn’t hurt until the second day, but even by then they seemed to be closing some gaps she had already!
Andy and I dropped the kids off at Andy’s parent’s place to stay for a night on Andy’s birthday so we could go to Portland.  They had a wonderful time with their grandparents.  They even cut out Vincent’s pinewood derby car.
Friday night we went to the Portland Temple where we were married nearly 17 years ago.  It’s so big and beautiful inside and it was great to go there.  (Also, our temple was closed for updates for three weeks and I have a goal to go to the temple every month this year.)
We went to Mod Pizza for dinner and sat at a large family table since there wasn’t any other seating.  There were families on either side of us.  We chatted with a lady and her two kids part of the time.  They were nice and fun.
Saturday we drove through town and parked and then rode the lightrail and bus back to downtown.  We walked around a park a little and across a bridge and tried to take a selfie and then a man came through and offered to take our picture for us (he said he’s a professional, and he did a good job, so that’s cool!)
 
Then we visited Powell’s bookstore, which is one of the largest bookstores.  It’s a whole city block and several buildings all connected to each other and about four stories high.  New and used books and novelty items.  Andy’s mom used to take him to storytime when they lived there when he was little.  Andy picked out a vintage print for his parents and one for him along with a set of Star Wars books.  I picked out a book I’ve been wanting to read (not that I need any more to read) and a magnet for the fridge and a tshirt.
We had some lunch and headed back to pick up the kids.  We stopped at Multnomah Falls on the way to see how it was recovering from the massive fire last summer.  Luckily, much of the main areas weren’t burned, but all around it was burned and trails are still closed.

Andy’s birthday/tax refund/work bonus gift he bought himself came in the mail.  He ordered a new Star Wars Lego Millennium Falcon that he’s been checking on and trying to buy for months. That box is deceiving from this angle.  It’s actually nearly cube shaped!  It took him a lot of nights to put together.

Andy had several work trips in March and during a few of them I worked on updating our bedroom a bit.  We moved into our house 12 years ago and hadn’t painted this room, so it was time.  I picked out several green paint chips and Andy picked this one.  I love it.  After I painted and the blackout curtains I ordered from Amazon came (that were $20 total for four panels!), I was at BigLots looking for some inexpensive frames to put up Andy’s new print he bought in Portland and along with the frames found this amazing 10 piece bedset that matched the curtains and walls perfectly and was only $60 for two blankets/comforters, four pillow cases, and four decorative pillows.  My friend Ally came over one day and helped me arrange the pictures on the walls in a new way.  The square pictures and the drawing of the Portland Temple hang above our headboard.  The rose picture came from flowers grown in our yard and the other is my wedding bouquet and the drawing is one a high school best friend made for me in her art class after asking me what my favorite temple was, so it’s super special to me.

Up close of the new frames and pictures I put up on Andy’s side of the curtain.  My side has pictures of temples I already had up. The top picture is of Andy’s grandpa Lorin Ransom who worked for the US Corps of Engineers working at the Bonneville Dam and helping to build parks all along the Columbia River in the Gorge.  The second is the picture Andy picked at Powell’s of workers in 1957 on the St. Paul bridge in Portland.  The third picture is of Andy’s dad, George when he was a teenager.
Our Young Women’s group decided to have “Missionary March” and had lessons and activities all month that went along with it culminating in a Sunday evening with people in our ward who hosted the companionships in their homes for dinner and for the girls to teach them the first missionary lesson.  They went to different houses, but I needed a picture of them before they left. Olivia went to the house of a friend of mine who sent me some pictures of their French Chateau set up at their house (her husband made the set years ago and they use it over and over).
I have been working at Fountain Books for six months and I don’t think that there’s a more perfect job for me anywhere!  I have an amazing schedule-sent out a month at a time and I can request days off when I’m busy with other things, work with two other ladies who I really enjoy-and who seem to like me and the owners are fantastic, we are not open on Sundays and only 10-6 on the other days of the week-so it really fits into our family life, get amazing perks like books to read pre-release and tickets to concerts, plus I’m surrounded by beautiful artwork and music and nice people who come in to shop who I can help find gifts for people or suggest books they might like. And I also get to organize books and displays sometimes which helps my creative side too. I’m just loving it!
Olivia had another orchestra concert.  Andy was in town for this one.  We were lucky and she sat on an edge for it.  Their orchestra sound so great! They are improving quickly and Olivia likes the teacher this year a lot.
 Our ward had a Chili-Chowder Cook-Off on St. Patrick’s Day so they had a photo booth and games that were Irish themed.  Nathan joined a picture with some of our kids (he’s in our ward).  The picture of Vincent is him rolling a purple cabbage along the floor with his head in a relay.
Vincent and Abby love to help me cook dinners anytime they get a chance and they almost always get out their Star Wars aprons I bought them and the chef hats that Aunt Sara made them.  They are both learning a lot about how to cook in the kitchen.

The quilts Elizabeth and Olivia made over Spring Break last year with Grandma Mary were entered in the Tri-City Quilt Show.  They went with my mom to the show one of the days and admired all of the quilts displayed, especially their own.

There was a fundraiser in one area that let them pick out scraps to fit into a lunch bag for $1 that they liked.
Olivia has been crafting and quilting and sewing ever since.  Elizabeth designed her quilt for this summer’s quilt camp on my mom’s laptop while she was here for a night using her program.
Our Primary was in charge of the Ward Primary Easter Egg Hunt this year, so Andy and I went and picked out the candy and invited people over to fill the eggs at our house the day before the hunt and asked people to come a little early to hide the eggs the Saturday before Easter between General Conference sessions.  It turned out great (and now my event for the year is done, unlike last year’s Christmas party assignment.)

We really enjoyed conference and I just felt like it gets so much better every year.  I’m not sure if that’s because I’m growing and maturing every year or because the kids are (but probably both contribute to the result).  We really liked sustaining our new prophet, Russell M. Nelson as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and are excited about the other changes announced during conference as well.

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February 2018

Vincent had a fun 10th birthday.  He had two friends come over and they just played video games, had some cupcakes, opened gifts, and went back to playing video games.  It was the most low-key party ever, but he LOVED it!
His class did a Wax Museum book report project and the Biography book he chose to read was Martin Luther King, Jr.  He wrote out notecards and made a poster about it and dressed up a little.

Vincent got a fancy book for his birthday from grandparents and the next day asked me if he could take it to school.  I made sure he put his name in it and told him he could, assuming he would just read it in class after finishing work.  Instead he came home that day and said he left it outside under the pavilion (on a rainy day) because he got distracted and was doing something else when it was time to come in.  He said he checked there after school and it wasn’t there.  About a week later with him not getting results and assuming that it was gone because it’s a cool book, I went in and dug through the lost and found bin myself.  It was just under the first layer of coats (spring is hard because it’s cold in the mornings here and warm after school, but way better than snow…)  Anyway, I decided he owed me for digging through the lost and found and not taking care of his things, so I made him a chore list with points assigned so he can earn it back.  It might look mean, but I just want him to pay more attention to what he’s doing.

Elizabeth turned 15!  I made a bigger collage of her life since she’s older.  I love having her in our family.  She’s responsible and stubborn (sometimes that’s a very good thing!)  She isn’t afraid to share her opinion or be herself, even if it’s not like all of the other girls at school.  And she’s so cute!
Andy was out of town on her birthday and I worked until closing, but I preordered some pizza and picked it up on the way home and even stopped in to get an ice cream cake so we could sing to her.
We found a Star Wars Family Feud game for Elizabeth’s gift.
Abby painted a lion for her too.

I took Elizabeth and Vincent for a little MyFroYo treat to celebrate their birthdays.

Elizabeth’s party this year she arranged via email and text with some friends at school and from trek.  She just requested some snacks from us and a few kids came over and played games and ate food.  She didn’t even tell them it was her birthday intentionally because she didn’t want gifts.

The Young Women had their New Beginnings annual kick off with the theme of Dr. Suess “Oh the Places You Will Go.”  It was awesome and so applicable.  Many of the girls had an official part that night and everyone participated in the game that was played.

Vincent and Abby helped me cook waffles for dinner one night. They are big helpers!

Olivia had an orchestra concert (actually more of a rehearsal for the solo and ensemble they did a few days later).  Both sets of grandparents and our friend Nathan came.  The time I heard was apparently the time for Olivia to be there instead of the start time, but it all worked out.  Grateful to have supportive family!

I like that this one shows Olivia’s violin better.  So musical!

We drove to Walla Walla one evening to celebrate my dad’s 64th birthday.  It was fun to visit.  He’s such a nice guy and never likes attention, so my mom planned a surprise.

Because Andy was gone most of the month, we asked our friend Nathan to fill in for him at the Donuts with Dad at school with Vincent and Abby.  He didn’t get any pictures of them eating the donuts, but took a picture of them eating school breakfast afterwards and went with them to their rooms to check it all out.

Abby finished a fourth dentist appointment and was good for all of them, so she earned her requested trip to Texas Roadhouse with Andy and I.
Our elementary PTA planned a Family Sweetheart Dance.  Decorations, food, and plenty of dancing!  So fun!
Vincent and Abby love school skate nights.  A friend of mine took this picture of them with her daughter last month.  I love it!

 

Olivia gave her first talk in Sacrament in February.  She prepared well and had it ready early.  She did a great job. The topic was how to treat your body like a temple.
Vincent is now a Webelos and earned his Bear badge.  He had great leaders who helped him earn nearly all of his requirements at regular weekly meetings.  So awesome!
We ended the month watching a few local plays and Andy heading on another trip for work.  Still working at Fountain Books and loving it!  Kids are doing great.
Since this is so late, I’ll see you in a few weeks with a March update. =)
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January 2018

I really kind of like that since I just blog monthly now I don’t have to try and pretend I’m clever with a catchy title of the blog…

I didn’t post my goals for 2018 yet, so I thought I’d start with those:

NaDell GOALS 2018

Self -Read Old Testament and New Testament (Reading with a Lutheran group with a friend. Link with schedule here.)

Couple -Attend Temple Once a Month (January-done)

Family -FHE Weekly and Regular Scripture Study

Home -Paint Kitchen, Master Bedroom, and Girl Room (and finish painting living room)

Church Calling -Four Primary Presidency Meetings (currently have about 2 a year and do
the rest of things via email or in short spurts.)

Oh, and I decided that I’m going to try and read more REAL books rather than so many digital books this year too since my to-read stack of books is ridiculously large (like over 80 books… and half of those just came home with me as a perk for working at a bookstore and it being the beginning of a new year.)  Seriously making a dent in the pile or possibly reading all of them this year.  Doing pretty well so far with 20 books read this year already (but not all from my stash. Some were library books and a few were digital books).

January 1st we had our annual Crowther party at our ward building.  I decided to put up the primary bulletin boards then too.  I printed a free downloadable file for the things and had them printed and bought some yellow fabric and edging for it and stapled everything up (with Andy’s help).  And once that was done, we ate lunch with everyone played games.

Abby likes her new bunny she got for Christmas and cuddles it.  She gave Andy the Thumper bunny so they could both cuddle bunnies.

Started out the month being DOWN for a week with some kind of nasty, achy, coughing, headache flu. I didn’t go and get diagnosed or anything, but taking cold/flu medicine and drinking a lot of water and apple cider and sleeping seemed to do the trick.  All of the kids got sick the following week.  Luckily, it wasn’t the puking kind of sick, so all is well.

Abby reading her favorite book on a day off of school due to sickness.

After coming out of the illness, everything tasted strange because of the medicine I took to knock it out of me.  The only thing that sounded good one night was oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
My mom and dad have birthdays close together and I wanted a visual for the new Primary Temple and Priesthood Preparation Meeting, so I combined the two and made a family tree for my parents.  They are the hearts in the middle with leaves for posterity and rocks for ancestors.  I came up with the idea and then let Elizabeth and Olivia and even Andy help me to put it all together.
My mom came to visit on her birthday and I took her out to lunch for bagel sandwiches.
Abby keeps asking how she can earn some money, so I told her if she weeds all of the lilac flowerbed, I’ll give her $20.  The grass that grows in there is SO hard to get rid of.
Prepare yourself for even more about Abby.  She turned SEVEN this month!  I put together a collection of favorite pictures of her that show a little of her personality too.
Finally, now that she’s seven she had the option to get her ears pierced.  (I offered ear piercing to Elizabeth at six and at seven and she didn’t want to because it would hurt, so at seven, I told her that if Olivia decided to get her ears pierced then, she could, so seven is our ear piercing birthday.)  We went to the mall and had them done and then went to Mod Pizza for dinner.  They gave her a strawberry milkshake for her birthday and sang to her.  She said that was the best part of the day.
She invited some friends over for an Art Party the following Saturday.  They played Twister while we waited for everyone to arrive and then we put tape across some canvases and they painted them however they wanted to (wearing aprons).  She blew out her candles (three or four tries) and then opened presents and the time was up.  It was pretty fun!  And then I went to work for 6 1/2 hours.
After work I met Andy over at the Americans Hockey game where Olivia’s middle school choir was singing the National Anthem.  They did a great job!  Abby made friends with the guy ahead of us and they made up a special high five handshake they did after each goal and he helped her hollar for the mascot Winger to come over to meet her too.  She danced in the aisles when the music came on between plays and really liked it.  Vincent kind of hated it.  Nathan came too!  And the Americans WON in overtime after being down 1-4 going into the 3rd period.  This is my first hockey game other than a friend’s hockey game I went to in high school.

Abby had several trips to the dentist after her last check up.  She had cavities on one side and the other side had decay so bad, the dentist recommended pulling two molars out (we go every six months and there wasn’t any sign of this then and she brushes too, but I guess not good enough.  And the challenge of having genetically bad teeth isn’t helping her either.  She was brave though and did her best to be good so she could earn the Texas Roadhouse trip Andy promised her if she was good.

The kids had a day off and so did I, so I scheduled haircuts for the girls with a friend and then went and had my own haircut and highlights done by my cousin.
Elizabeth’s hair is getting SO long!
She begged for bangs and I tried to talk her out of them, but she insisted she wanted them.  They look cute like this I guess (but mostly they just hang in front of one eye.)
After my appointment with my cousin, I stopped in to see my childhood best friend, Desi.  I’m glad I went when I did because she planned on leaving just a few days later to join the circus.  She will be helping to feed and groom and clean up for the horses who do tricks in the circus for New York New York Circus.   And then when it’s done, she’s going to go travel the world some more.
Vincent had a Washington State history report and made his map out of salt clay and then painted it.  Andy went to the afternoon showcase while I worked.
AND Vincent had a birthday too!  He’s now TEN years old!
We had a fun month, even though we were sick for a chunk of it.  Onto the rest of the year!

 

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