August 31, 2015

Junior PA day, Zoo, Taran's Visit, Swimming, Visiting Utah, School Starting, birthdays and more!

I haven't posted since we had our last semester break.  Here we are again just finishing up another semester and I finally am getting around to blogging.  These last few months have been some of the hardest we've gone through.  On top of school, we took got involved with a lot of things extra including church, neighbors in need, our visitor from Utah, and going to Utah, among others.  Brent made it through the semester but as the new semester begins, he feels committed to making school his top priority. Anyway, for journaling purposes I am starting back where I left off and here is what life has had going on these last several months since May:

 Griz and I like to watch Chopped together sometimes.  One day back in May after watching he wanted to make something and this is what he came up with ALL BY HIMSELF.  I only helped him with the knife a little bit but yeah, it was ALL HIM! I love love love it.  We have here for you an apple/orange with a sprig of celery sticking out of it. I like to call it... "What We Had in the Crisper That Day"

 Such cute crazy kids!

I know I've posted a lot of these on Instagram from my phone but here they are for journaling purposes:

 Our apartment has a pool and the kids and I just love going to it!

 Sanna is always dressing in different things.  Above she's wearing one of Griz's smaller shirts and a tie.  Below she's sporting a superman cape/spiderman mask/birthday suit.  Very intimidating.
And below she's sporting a new look we like to call white shirted cape with a tie.

 We went to the Lowe's Build and Grow Avengers thing one Saturday and saw that the new CVS was having hot dogs and a bouncey house slide thing going on.  My friend and her kids went too.  We got drenched in a downpour but still had a lot of fun!

 Were those goggles from Lowe's supposed to be for swimming???

Brent's PA program put together this really awesome event for kids in the city to come and learn about healthcare.  They got to meet Doc McStuffins and bandage up stuffed animals.

Then they got to go outside and see an ambulance, fire truck, and police car. 

Everyone adored our kids, especially our baby girl. Don't let that face fool ya, she loved the attention.

I love the look on Chico's face below, even though the focus is on the police car I just had to keep it. 

 Then the kids got to "scrub in" for "surgery" where they fished through noodles for things people might swallow.

We were cooling off inside the building for a bit when our friend, Kyle, began playing a game with Sanna through the window.  She'd roar at him and hit the glass and he'd go flying back. She loved it.

 She LOVES "Dyow"

I finally got a hold of the camera from Brent (he was photographing the event) and got a picture of him. 

Griz really was excited to check out one of Brent's friend's motorcycles.... until he turned on the engine.
 After PA day we drove down to Memphis and found a minivan we really liked.  It was the weekend so they let us take it home.  On Monday when we were working out the financing the bank told us the van was over-priced.  So long story short,  Brent and Kyle drove back down to Memphis to return it. We found a different van in Missouri on Craigslist. Brent drove 3 hours (one way) to test drive it. We liked it and it was a really good price which is a huge blessing for us. We got the check overnighted to us and then drove back up there 3 hours as a whole family to pick it up. Then drove it home.  It was a PAIN in the butt to buy a van in a rural town. Between Brent and I we spent over 25 hours in the car trying to find one!  I'm so glad it worked out though! And just in time for our friend Taran to arrive from Utah.

We drove down to Memphis (luckily it was now Brent's "summer break") and we went to free zoo day (after 2:00 pm on Tuesdays).  We only saw a small portion of the zoo because it is just so big!
We were SOO excited to see Orangutans! They are awesome apes!!!

It sure was HOT!

We got the kids a camel ride.  It took a LOT of convincing for them to get on without a parent. But finally after watching several kids go before them they did it.  And loved it!
 Well then after the zoo we went to eat some burgers and then walked down to the river and saw that there were a bunch of people there to watch a movie next to the river. It was the movie Independence Day so I sat and watched with Chico and Sanna while Brent and Griz went exploring. Sanna was being so funny distracting everyone around us with her cuteness.  After a while Chico commented on how much swearing there was ( I didn't even realize, I feel bad)  so we left to get back to the van to drive to the airport to wait for Taran to arrive. No problems with the flight. All was well and we took him home.  All of my pics of our time with him are from my phone mostly.

 We tried to do fun things with Taran.  We went bowling and to "the arcade"...

 ...found a cool tree frog, pictured here admiring Taran's bracelet collection...

...playing in a rainstorm...

...and a trip to the fire station. 

On Taran's last Friday here, Taran went with Brent to school for the day. Brent was reluctant to request permission to take Taran to school. So, you can imagine his surprise to not only receive their permission, but to witness the overwhelming kindness of the entire faculty and student body. Professors and students took time to have thoughtful conversations at eye-level with Taran. Mrs. Dyal, even presented Taran with a certificate of appreciation, shirts, balls, and other Bethel PA program schwag. Brent has become increasingly grateful for his decision to attend at Bethel as he has watched his peers treat his loved ones with such kindness. 

The emergency staff was remarkable. They treated Taran like royalty, and even gave him a present...a paracord bracelet with the station insignia! How perfect was that? Brent was touched by their kindness as well. 

Kyle and Karen accompanied Taran and Brent. Taran can be seen here having an absolute blast.

But the culminating moment for Taran was the driver's seat. Taran has been dreaming for years of becoming an ambulance driver. This was his first opportunity to sit behind the wheel of an ambulance. Taran enjoyed himself, so much so, that he threw a fit when they had to leave the station. Brent thought Taran was possibly having a seizure until later on, when Taran revealed that he had just been secretly expressing his anger over leaving the station before Taran was ready to go. 

Kids found this TINY frog. Incidentally, Brent and Kyle found another the same size in the kitchen while studying.

 They were so excited about it. Until Griz accidentally killed it. Then he was heartbroken.
What a sweet smile!

This terribly awful looking spider was hanging out in our front entryway.  Ugh, I HATE say nothing of the four brown recluses that we have found over the past month.

The glorious day arrived. Chico finally had his 7th birthday! He got an awesome lego set from us.

 I helped him put it together.  By the end of the day it kept falling apart.  It was really frustrating. 

We've not been into throwing parties much since we've gotten out here to Tennessee.  We kind of like that we can keep it simple with just our family.  So we made Chico an Angel Food cake and had a fun time at the pool that day.

Griz getting his game face on.

This child...

Brent taking down Chico.  Oh wait, or is that Chico walking on water?

Griz and Sanna love having rides on my back.  I remember my dad doing that for me as a kid.

Taran loved it in our pool.

Huddled around the kindle one afternoon. Sanna was the one in charge, she looks pretty smug about it.

Taran's visit was soon over and I packed up him and the kids and we headed to Memphis to start our 2 week visit to Utah. 

In the airport after a nerve wracking time through security wherein I couldn't find my license.

Recovering from some jet lag...

 Seeing her old bouncy chair. My how she has grown!

 Playing in Grandma Ellen's pool!
 The cousins joined us later. Oh my, did they have fun or what!!!!! Cousin time is the best!
 Before Grandma Ellen left on her trip she took us to McDonalds and the kids had fun there.
 Grandma and Grandpa Davis got home from their trip and the kids and I stayed with them the rest of our visit. The kids loved playing with old costumes. Cute Sanna is an adorable giraffe.

 Think this might be the last time he can squeeze into his costume from when he was barely 1 years old as a dragon!

 Family party time. While everyone else played with water guns, the babies played in bins of water.

Then Sanna had some much needed cuddle time with Great Grandma who has missed her terribly.  She even fell asleep in her arms. These two used to be together almost every day before we moved.

After church on Sunday we had another family party and celebrated all of my kids' birthdays at the same time while we were with family.

Another water party... I was pretty proud of this hair do.

Some alone time at the Temple and Zupas and then my early birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse

The Aquarium!

Arctic Circle!
 Not pictured was two different girl's nights with my sisters and sister in laws.

Museum of natural curiosity was fun!

Even though I didn't have much camera space, I couldn't resist these ones after I had finished a little photo shoot of my nephew...

We had a blast in Utah. So much fun family and friend time. I loved every minute of it.  We missed Brent though so we were excited to head back home to be with him.  Here we are at the airport waiting to board what we thought would be a quick flight home.

The day after we got home Chico started his first day of 2nd grade! He was pretty nervous but excited!

Sanna's Birthday!  

I forgot to take pictures of her minion cupcakes. I have some video of it though and I got these screenshots of them.  This cute girl was singing happy birthday to herself all throughout the day.

Griz was a complete goofball on his first day of Pre-K pics.  I didn't get any normal ones out of him. This silly guy. I love it though... 

Getting in some more pool time before the season ends...
Oh hey this pic reminds me. I took the kids to the dentist and got Chico's front two teeth pulled because they were already growing in from behind. It's hard for him to eat certain foods and he hasn't been able to bite his nails (bonus!) but other than that he's been fine with it.

He's getting good at floating on his back... 

 She's such a stinker sometimes! Trying to push her brother off, and not looking at all guilty about it!