Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Great to be Eight

Wow! Our daughter Reina celebrated her golden birthday (turned eight on the 8th of January). This is a special year not only because it is her "golden" birthday but because she is now an official member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! We had a joint baptism with one of her good friends at church, Violet. Somehow it made the evening extra special with double the guests. My sister Sanni was the pianist, her son Riley played a special musical number while the girls were changing, Mummi gave a talk on baptism, and Violet's speaker gave both girls a bag of special baptism things including a blanket! It symbolized the Holy Ghost as a Comforter. The weather was sunny and clear with snow still laid on the ground. It was a perfect symbol for sins being as white a snow. It was a good day. Afterwards we had family and a few friends come to our house for snacks and homemade birthday cake. Reina requested a chocolate oreo cake. I wasn't too sure how it would turn out since I don't follow any one specific recipe so I also made a carrot cake. I don't know why I always over-do it. There was plenty of cake and ice-cream to go around! Grandma Guinn always gives each grandkid a Grandma Guinn Signature scripture case and a set of scriptures. Reina was sooo excited to get her very own special scriptures WITH her name inscribed.
Reina is also super-excited to be in Activity Days! I am excited because I am one of the leaders! I was in charge of January's lessons. We focused on goal-making and new year's resolutions. One of mine is to stretch more. I seem to have such little time now days that stretching has become almost non-existent, so I included some yoga with the girls. They always love when I do something active with them such as Zumba or hiking. It's tricky going anywhere or cost of things because our group of girls is currently seventeen! I enjoy my calling tremendously.
As one of her gifts she gets some ice-skating lessons. Reina loves to roller-skate and ice-skate. She has only gone a couple of times ice-skating and I found a great deal on Living Social for a group of sessions for just 30 minutes a week on Saturdays. I can do that! She gets practice time after class too. It's been a bit challenging watching the boys while getting her all laced up since the arena is huge and both boys are running in opposite directions often and I'm trying to keep my eye through the crowds on them. I wish I had the option of taking just one kid at a time to things, although I'm happy to have my three cute kiddos so I really can't complain. They are so fun! Hopefully I can skate with her a couple of times before her session ends without the boys.

Like I said, we've had lots of snow days that have really lasted! We've taken advantage of them and got some good sledding in and even teaching Reina a little cross-country skiing- even if they were adult size skis!
Reina's Valentines' cards were cute. I actually have a different idea next year...hoping I remember! Strangely, Baelor will be doing them too as he will be a kindergartener. One of my favorite Valentine's this year because as I was teaching my driver education class (correcting tests), my family surprised me carrying 3 roses each and gave them to me right in front of my class. There was lots of "awwwws" from my students. I'm not a "flowers" kind of girl but this was really worth it. This year we also have a "love mailbox" with little notes we have been writing to each other. The kids got some super special ones from grandpa Guinn. So sweet.
We've kept ourselves very busy. Since buying our home in November, we've started doing some updates. Yes, we have already updated some knowing that we would be buying it soon such as the playhouse, fire pit and front lawn, but we've also started some painting and renovations in the bathrooms. I'll get to all the home renos post soon! Lots of expenses including a new fridge! On top of that, Paul has started at the new chiro office in Brush Prarie. Dr. Dan and Paul have expanded and are now in two locations. His schedule has changed a little which means more time gone, but we are hoping that the practice continues to grow. If it grows, I'll get to substitute less and be home a bit more. I look forward to this. On the plus size, his commute is shorter which means we get an extra 20 minutes with him at night!
When I'm not working, I really try to use my time wisely. My days always seem like a puzzle that I'm piecing together...now add in a timer with each puzzle piece. It can be daunting knowing that almost each hour is perfectly timed to meet the expectations for the next hour with no time between for miscalculations. I need an outlet! I'm lucky that after tucking the kids in bed I can go dance a couple of nights a week. It's my passion, my outlet, my communication. I have a husband that supports me in this too. I look forward to him joining me *sometimes* when the kids can watch themselves. I'm also excited to bring Reina with me as she gets older and can stay out later. She's gone just twice and continues to ask when she can go. Can't wait!
Did I already mention that this year we've had more snow days than normal? Did I also mention that we've had more rainy days than normal? Yeah, it's been pretty dreary this year. Even though I don't get seasonal depression, even I am so done with the cold. I chaperoned Reina's class to the zoo. It. Rained. The. Whole. Day....Hard. Thank goodness the Pacific Northwest knows our weather and most of the exhibits were undercover, but not all the animals were out. We'll have to go back again as a family. Baelor is very much into animals these days and would love to see the variety! We've really seen Baelor grow up in his character lately. Although he still is in his own "Baelor's World", we've seen him grow with his formation of sentences and vocabulary. He struggles still with certain pronunciations of letters but he does not lack in understanding. We hope that he can really grasp those motor-skills and direction-skills that they are looking for in Kindergarten these next six months.
Rowen is growing up too fast! He is our little smarty-pants! For just barely turning 18 months he is already singing songs and understands so well. His current songs are the Happy Birthday song, the Lullaby song, and Twinkle Little Star. He reminds us of Reina at this age...quick as a wick and full of personality. If I say "guys, we need to go!" He is already finding his shoes and sitting on the stairs for me to put them on. He'll grab our hands or tap us to direct us to something he wants. It's so cute to hear him say "cheese" when I open the fridge and he point to the cheese drawer. He naps and sleeps really well, as long as he doesn't have a cold. He adores his siblings with hugs and laughter and continues to call his favorite brother's name "Bay-yuh". He loves to chase and be chased around the house and has those "special hiding spots" where he should know by now that it's just a trap to get tickled. Actually, I just realized that he knows he'll get tickled in these spots and eats it up! What a sneak. And now when he is mad he likes to stamp his foot with furrowed eyebrows and a perfect pout. It's seriously the cutest thing ever.

No comments: