Saturday, July 28, 2012

Avila Valley Barn

Things have slowly been getting back to normal (or, the new normal) around here. For us, that pretty much means busy. But today we got to hang out with our awesome friends and that makes us all feel more normal.

It was such a beautiful day.

The boys hung out. Maybe Andy was giving him tips on being a big brother since he will be in February!! Woohoo!!
And all the kids hung out. I love this picture. They look like little old people.

Julie and Everett also spent some quality time feeding the animals. These donkeys are my favorite.
Then we did a little berry picking. Julie was cold apparently. It really wasn't cold.
Everett and Andy did a little more eating than they did gathering. But they definitely got their fruit servings in for the day!
The hay ride is always the best part. Time that the kids are contained. We can talk. Be silly. Almost wish it was a little longer ride out to the fields.
We love going to Avila Valley Barn with Christina, Brian and Everett. 

After a little rest time, we went down to visit Heather, Joe, Lina, Audrey and Gus at their new house. John helped move some stuff around and I helped unpack the kitchen a bit. But mostly we ate their pizza and let the kids play.  Sadie did not understand why she didn't get a piece of pizza!

A day with great friends is just what this family needed.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Clap on, Clap off, The Clapper

She can clap! It's so cute!!! She has been doing it all day. She just sits there and claps and claps. So funny!  She was just sitting in John's lap clapping and crying. Not sure about that, but it was still adorable.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Grandpa Mel

I don't really know where to start on this post, but I know I have to start somewhere.

We lost our dear Grandpa (or Pappa) Mel, John's Dad, to cancer on July 8, 2012.

We had found out he had stomach cancer on March 12, 2012. It was the week I had to go back to work after having Sadie.  We thought it was hard, getting the news that he was full of cancer.

But the Doctors said he could try some Chemo, and that's what Mel did. He fought the cancer.  He took the first few rounds like a champ, barely getting sick. He even made it to one of Julie's t-ball games. But then, he got sicker, and sicker.

The last round of Chemo was cancelled because he was just too sick.

Then he had a scan and it confirmed our fears. The cancer was spreading.  After that, time flew.

The last 4 days of his life, John and I lived down in Shell Beach. Colleen, Bess and Matt, Wes and Shelly and Chris were all there. And Elliot, Andie and Veda. And two of the days, Julie, Andy and Sadie.

He took his last breath with all of us (minus the kids) surrounding him, telling him how much we love him.  We thought it was hard finding out he had cancer, but that was nothing compared to loosing him to cancer.

Now it is our job to relay the stories, the memories, the happy times we had with Mel, so that his grandchildren can remember, know him. So they will know what a great man he was and how much he loved them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

8 Months

Our big girl is 8 months today!
She, as usual, was ready to party! Or go to Gilroy Gardens. But more on that later.

She is still trying so hard to crawl in the conventional way, on her hands and knees.  But that doesn't mean she is immobile. She gets up on all 4s, then pushes with her feet to fling herself forward.  She dives onto whatever, or whoever, she wants.

Here she is going after Julie's art supplies.
She does a bear type crawl too, straight onto her toes. She will also pull herself up to a standing position if she has something to give her leverage. Like a big toy, the foot stool, me or one of her siblings. She is way too big for her britches.
She has been eating more solids this month, and she is now VERY good at picking up food with her thumb and first finger and feeding herself! So she is getting a lot more when she sits at the table with us. Still mostly veggies and a few fruits, but it makes her very proud of herself.
She is making a lot of new sounds too. The D, M, and R sounds are common.  She will also make her voices very soft and "talk" where it almost sounds like she's singing. So, so sweet!

***EDITED***  Sadie started crawling on July 18th, the day after this blog was written.  She also now easily pulls herself up on everything!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oh, Andy

Andy is hysterical. He says funny things and does funny things.  He is a people pleaser, so a lot of times he will say something just to make someone laugh or giggle.

He loves to make his sisters happy.  But sometimes he just has to put his foot down.

Today, Sadie was sitting on the floor and he laid down next to her to talk to her.  She immediately started slapping his face with excitement.  He quickly said, "Gentle hands Sadie!  Brother likes loving hands, not whacking hands!!"

She stopped and he promptly forgave her...and took her for a ride in the laundry basket.
After John got home, we did a little yard work before headin to the grocery store.  We were taking 2 cars so John could continue down to his dad's while I took the kids and groceries home.  We were loading the kids up and John asked Andy if he was riding with Mommy or Daddy.  He responded, "You Daddy! We are having boy time, remember?!?!?"

Oh, Andy, I love you so.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


There are a million reasons I am grateful for the "village" (or caregivers, loved ones, family, etc) that we have. One of the big reasons I am grateful is because all these awesome people teach our kids things that we can't. Or won't. Or just would never think of.

 Horses are a great example.

Julie, Andy and Sadie are so lucky that their Grammy and Pop-pop are genuine cowpoke who teach them how to ride, be safe, and care for a horse.

Julie and Andy have come such a long way in their riding. When I came to get them last week, Julie was so excited to tell me she had rode Lady all by herself. And even directed her using the reigns!
And Grammy even got a few pictures!
Andy was way too busy to look at the camera. But he was doing it!
I am so proud of them and so thankful for Grammy and Pop-pop for showing them the ropes when it comes to horses...and many, many other things.