Monday, January 12, 2009

Ashley's First Day of Kindergarten

At the beginning of September, the long anticipated first day of school arrived! Ashley had been counting down to this day for months and could hardly stand it when her first day of kindergarten finally came. She was so excited for school that she was all ready to go before breakfast, with backpack on and everything. The only problem was that she goes to the afternoon kindergarten which made for a torturously long wait!

Here is Ash all ready to go eating a little breakfast.

About a half hour before the bus was supposed to arrive I finally said we could go outside to wait for the bus. Here we are waiting...

and waiting (still so excited - there were lots of little squeals, jumps, and "Oh Mommy, I can't wait anymore! I'm soooo excited!")...

and waiting...

and waiting some more...
The bus ended up being really late - it finally showed up about 4 minutes after school started. We were on our way back home to get in the car so I could drive Ashley to school when the bus finally arrived.

The bus was the thing Ashley was most excited for.

Ella thought she was going to get to ride the bus too, so when Ash got on and she had to stay behind, she was a little sad.

Ella and I raced to the school to meet the bus and Ash. Here is Ashley sitting in her seat, still so giddy excited.

Ashley meeting her teacher.

Like a psycho first time parent should, I came back to the school when it was time for Ashley to get back on the bus, just to make sure she got on the right bus and that everything was okay. Sure enough, Ash was just fine and was still smiling from ear to ear. Kindergarten has been a huge adventure for Ash and thankfully she is still loving it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Some more summer fun...

This summer we really had a great time. Derek is in his forth year of medical school which means his schedule is really light in comparison to all the other years and we've been taking full advantage of it! Over the summer we did a lot of relaxing and little day trips here and there. The last three years have been pretty crazy, so I feel like our family deserves this year of playing. We've been loving it - life is good!!!

One day we decided to go strawberry picking. Way fun, but it was hard to pick the berries fast enough. Ashley and Ella decided it was way easier to just eat the berries right our of our buckets instead of picking their own berries to eat from the bushes.

We ended up doing okay though.

Ella and I enjoying our yummy strawberries!

This summer the girls also had fun riding around in their car. Ella has finally graduated to driving and is oh so proud of herself - Ashley is a little bummed though about now having complete control over the wheel anymore.

We all got to go swimming a few times too which is always fun.

We played at the park...

played with the slip n slide in the backyard...

and did some more swimming.

And yes, Derek was there with us on all our crazy adventures. I love vacation! I don't know what I'm going to do next year when Derek has to really start working again!

We also went miniature golfing...

Isn't it great when your kids are this age and everything is still fun?

Ella's 2nd Birthday

Ella turned 2 years old on July 12th. She has been such a source of joy and happiness in our family. When Ella turned 1 I was convinced she was going to be a tough child since she was such a hard baby, but fortunately I was completely wrong. Ella has turned into an angel child! She still has her stubborn streak and definitely has an opinion about things, but is such a wonderfully fun and sweet child. We just love her more than we could ever say!

We had a great time on her birthday. We headed up to Lake Speelyai for a barbeque and went swimming and boating. It was tons of fun and Ella seemed to really have a great time. She even went in the water which was amazing for her. She isn't one who likes colder water, but she had no problem diving right in that day.

Ella and me on the boat.
Family shot with the birthday girl.

Both of the girls loved the tube!

Ella playing in one of her new presents.

Ella wanted a pink butterfly cake for her birthday so here she is with it showing everyone how old she is.

Of course Ashley loved the water.

Ella opening her presents.

Derek tubing with the girls.

The sisters just loving life!

Overall, I think Ella had a great birthday!

Fourth of July

We had a really fun 4th of July! We started out the day by going to a parade and then headed off to the St. Paul Rodeo and carnival. Well, we actually didn't go to the rodeo this year. Instead we decided to head back after a long day of carnival rides and head over to Fort Vancouver to watch fireworks. BIG MISTAKE!! Derek and I decided that in years past we have been firework wimps so we were going to prove how hardcore we were by braving the billions of people at the Fort to see the best fireworks ever. WRONG! By the time we fought through all the traffic, found a parking space 20 blocks away, and hiked to the designated watching spot, the fireworks were about ready to start. The girls were already really tired from the long day at the carnival and weren't in the best of moods, but we finally got settled. The fireworks started and all of a sudden we realized there was a small forest of trees in the middle of this huge field that we hadn't seen since it was pitch black out. Derek and I grabbed the girls and started running through the crowd to find a place we could actually see the fireworks so the girls could have the complete experience. After missing the first part of the show we finally found a little spot in the crowd to wedge ourselves into. It's at this point that we realize the girls don't really care because they aren't even looking at the fireworks, but watching other people and trying to go to sleep. In case anyone out there is planning on going to the Fort next year to see the wonderful firework display...don't. Hey, at least we made a memory!

We started out happy. Here is Derek with the girls anxiously awaiting someone from the parade to throw them some candy.
Ella and Boppa (Grandpa) at the parade.

Ashley and Nanna (Grandma) at the parade.

I even had the chance to wedge my fully grown adult body into the tiny little kiddie roller coaster carts so Ella could go on the ride.

Ella thought it was great fun for the first part, but then decided she didn't like it anymore. Then when the ride stopped she started crying again because the ride was over. Our girls emotions are often a lot like this roller coaster!

Can you believe they let Ashley on this ride? Actually, can you believe I let her go on this ride? She was dying to go on it so I told her if the carnival people let her go on then she could. I knew she was way too short so I wasn't too worried, but the crazy carnival worker waved her through and then I felt too bad to back out! So here are Ashley and I on the free fall ride. She LOVED it!

Ashley had soooo much fun on these rides. Her cousins came too which just made everything that much more exciting.

Some more random pictures of the girls at the parade.

So we don't have any pictures of us watching fireworks because there wasn't any time to take any as we were running through the crowds. But here is the happy family at the beginning of the day at the parade.

And We're Back!!!

Alright, I haven't posted anything since the middle of last year - where did the last half of 2008 go? Yes, we are all still alive and well, but time just seems to be moving along a lot more quickly than before. Anyway, since last June a few things have happened in our lives. Here is a brief recap of the first half of July:
My sweet Grandma passed away a few weeks after my last post. We were all so sad to see her go, but felt so blessed to have had her in our lives. Our family had a nice service for her and it was good to see everyone in the extended family again. Although it was very sad and hard, there were still a few good laughs. After the services were over, my mom put a few of the flowers in her trunk and my brother Chris decided it was a perfect photo opportunity. We all had a good laugh at it!

PS - My grandma really liked bright colors.
Derek and I had also planned our first ever family camping trip for the beginning of July. My grandma ended up passing away at the same time so while I was in California for my grandma's funeral, Derek and the girls ventured out into the unknown on the first "family" camping trip.
Ashley was a little tired, but supposedly both girls did really well with sleeping in tents.

We managed to sucker Derek's poor side of the family into going on the trip too. Sorry!

Ashley loved playing in the sand at the beach on the camping trip but...

Ella wasn't too fond of it. Ella must have a little Derek in her because she couldn't stand the feel of the sand on her feet. Too dirty, too ucky!

Overall though, they made some good memories and came home with a whole new appreciation for the comforts of modern living.