Monday, July 6, 2015

Janelle's 4th birthday

I think its safe to say that Janelle's 4th birthday was everything she could have ever dreamed it could be this year.  Steiners offered to come play in the pool with her from 3-5 (you can see them throwing her around in a circle above) and then they came to the bbq afterwards.  We had dad and Brenda, Stan and Jane, Jill and her boys, us and Steiners.  We had hamburgers, brats, salads, beans and cake for dessert.  Janelle wanted a pink cake with strawberries which has so far been the easiest cake I've ever made,  Jill and Kandace actually decorated it.  It was a great celebration for Janelle.

At 4 Janelle:
*loves Daniel Tiger and can sing all the songs off of it.."when you need to go potty, stop and go right away, flush and wash and be on your way."  I could listen to her sing that all day long
*sings all day, even with vibrato.  Mom commented on her little vibrato when she was here, saying she's never heard a 3 year old with vibato
*loves to swim at the pool
*is very friendly to everyone, making friends and smile to everyone
*is starting preschool this fall!
*just started saying apple right.  she used to say ah-poo. melts my heart
*love love loves her baby sister
*loves to imagine, be dramatic and role play with Kandace
*loves her dad to the moon.  she cries for him every day when he's gone
*is a tender heart and gets sad easily
Janelle you are a joy and an amazing addition to our family!

3 amigos

This was taken June 28th, the end of my "girls's weekend" with just Janelle and Stahle.  Jan offered to take Stetson and Kandace for 5 days at the end of Michael's Libby rotation which was a total dream come true.  Its amazing how easy it seems to take care of just 2 kids when you're used to 4.  I got some cleaning done, took naps (!?) and spent some much needed quality time with Janelle.  I needed this break so bad.

Janelle's swim lessons

I don't think I ever did post about Stetson n Kandace's lessons, but Janelle had hers a couple weeks ago and she made some huge strides.  Being a "Middle child" and the 3rd, she sort of gets pushed to the back burner in some areas, swimming being one but she has improved her confidence level by leaps and bounds.  She puts her head under and is enjoying the water more and more each time.  She's generally a more timid girl, so I was super proud to see her get better.

summer lovin'

We went to the pool opening day and bought our summer pass for the 3rd year in a row.
Kandace and Stetson are both great swimmers, Kandace even jumps off the diving board now.  Sure made me proud.  Her favorite thing is racing me on the water slides.
Michael came home after 3 weeks and 2 days of his rotation in Libby, MT.  We enjoyed our time together at the Rose Park pool and drove up to Red Lodge, MT the next day and hiked up to the lower basin Lake.  It was beautiful!!  5 miles round trip but worth it.  Some murmuring along the way but in the end a great hike.  We knew Michael was coming home to visit but he'd said he'd be there late Thursday night, so when he surprised us in the middle of spaghetti dinner, it was heaven.  I remember cleaning up dinner with just pure joy knowing he was home.  I'll probably never forget standing in front of our condo on memorial day, watching his little KIA drive away, expecting not to see him again for 6 weeks.

last day of school

I won't go on my rant about how quickly the time has been passing, but really????  It seems just like yesterday that we all walked to Rose Park elementary (even Michael) for the first day of school in the blistering sun with my big belly.  Stetson and Kandace overall had a great year.  They're meeting all their academic milestones and even exceeding some.  Stetson had some behavior issues in the beginning which smoothed out towards the end of the year, while Kandace's sort of escalated as the year went on.  She loves attention and wasn't always truthful, but we hope this was just a phase.

mom comes to visit

As soon as mom knew Michael would be gone so much for rotations she wanted to come help, which meant a lot to us. It was great having a built in babysitter and getting to leave the house for errands on a moment's notice and not worry about hauling 4 kids everywhere.  This was the first time she'd met Stahle and it was a treat watching the 2 of them interact. Stahle is a mommy's girl, but anyone who gives her baths in the sink every day is a friend of hers.  Mom says this is the way she bathed all her babies, she says it just makes sense to wash your dishes and the baby at the same time!  Multi-tasking!!  And its much better on your back.  Unfortunately, Stahle hasn't had a sink bath since she left. :(  While mom was here she did lots of cleaning for me, we went shopping and played with the kids.

On one of her last nights, we took the kids to the reef which is one of their favorite places to go.  It was fun to be able to go down the slides with Kandace since mom could watch the other 2.  Stetson was already in Lovell for the weekend.

visit to the farm

At the end of May we took a quick visit to the farm to work some cows. It was the weekend before Michael left for Libby I think.  It was nice to have Michael around for a little while before his next big departure. Stetson was so very proud of himself for carrying this baby lamb all the way from the corals back to the house to we could keep it warm.  Stetson has recently taken greater interest in farm activities which is exciting to us