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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Levi the Wonderdog

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We got a dog.

Again.

I know, I know. We’ve tried this twice before, both times coming to sad endings. This time we knew rescue just wasn’t for us. Too many variables when you have three small children and you are looking to bring an animal into your home. We decided to purchase our dog this time around, really research what breed we wanted, and get a puppy instead of an older dog.

We decided on a beagle. Beagles are known to be great dogs for children…a sort of “peanut butter and jelly” relationship. He would be that small/medium height we were looking for, with minimal coat care or shedding. We’d been researching, talking, and discussing for a few months and then decided that it was the right time around the end of January. We found our Levi and brought him home.

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He is SUCH a snuggler. He is a very smart dog, and quickly took to his crate and starting sleeping through the night just after a week! He is mostly black with some white and brown markings, so when he curls up to sleep he looks like a little black ball.

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Jackson is IN LOVE with Levi. Absolutely adores him. And Levi loves him. They will snuggle and play; I think this is the beginning of a very long, tight relationship between a boy and his dog. That’s exactly what we wanted; a dog for our children to grow up with. Beagles live 12-15 years, so we are hoping to have Levi straight through Brooklyn’s graduation. 😉

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We’ve had Levi since the end of January, and I’ll fill you in on a little secret: I haven’t swept the kitchen floor ONE TIME since he arrived. Not once. He hoovers up crumbs like no one’s business and I love him for it.

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Now, beagles are also known for their stubbornness. Luckily, I’m known for mine as well. I always win, little puppy. Thanks to that, he is becoming quite the well trained doggy. He is 18 weeks now and is fully potty trained. He sits on command, and goes to his bed (the crate) on command. He still has his puppy teeth so the nipping is still present, but its getting less fierce day by day. I REALLY need to enroll him in doggy classes, especially for the leash. He’s just a baby and is learning his place in our family. I hear the first year is the hardest with dogs, but then its really great. Every week he gets a little better…progress makes me happy.

Welcome, Levi. You are the cutest puppy ever!

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Happy 5th Birthday London!

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When I took the children to see the movie Frozen way back in November, London passionately declared that THIS.WAS.HER.BIRTHDAY.PARTY.THEME. There was no if, ands, or buts about it. Frozen it was going to be, so I agreed. I’m so glad I did! I had such a hard time finding anything Frozen by the time her birthday rolled around in January; everything everywhere was sold out. You couldn’t get your hands on Frozen party supplies even if your last name was Disney. So I made do with what I had, consulted my party planner (Pinterest), and got to work.

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The only Frozen thing I could find for decoration was this little Frozen book that the girls now insist I read on a daily basis. They’ve memorized so they hardly need me anymore for the written words. Anyway, I went with Frozen colors and found some really cool ideas for the party, like jello “ice cubes” and “snow cap punch”. We decorated “snowmen”, which was a lot of fun! Although it isn’t pictured, I had tissue paper balls, snowflakes, and garland strung from the ceiling, all in her theme colors.

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Decorating the snowmen was quite the hit! Most Frozen parties online seemed to have real access to snow; I would have loved to make snow ice cream or made real snowmen, but hey…you do what you can, lol! We used just some basic craft supplies and make our own little Olafs.

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London was so excited to have Happy Birthday sung to her!

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She has such kind and generous friends!

She had a wonderful party. We ended the day by going and seeing Frozen together as a family in the theater one last time. It was the perfect ending to the perfect Frozen day!

My sweet London girl,

You, my dear, are my sweet and sensitive best friend. You aren’t easily rattled by what most people would consider scary, like doctors appointments. Instead, you are moved to tears by suffering, like when you cry while reading a book about a penguin losing his way and missing his mommy. You don’t like when others are hurt or sad. You don’t like to be alone and love to have others near and close by. You make friends with everyone, and your laughter lights up a room because it is genuine and pure. You are always close to someone; snuggled next to me watching a movie, holding your sister’s hand as you walk down the hall together, sitting in your daddy’s lap while he reads a book. You L-O-V-E one on one time, and going on “dates” are the highlight of your week, even if its as simple as running an errand to the grocery store together. You always hold hands, always give hugs, always kiss goodnight, and are always quick to compliment. “Mommy, you look beautiful today!”. “Jackson, you are so kind for sharing!”. “Brooklyn, you are my best friend!”. When you get really excited, your joy bubbles over and you scream in delight, usually jumping around saying, “Can  you BELIEVE it?!?”. You, my love, are so smart. You learn with ease and get so excited when you accomplish a goal. You are starting to read, and I can’t wait to find you someday soon huddled in your bed reading a book all by yourself. I can already hear your laughter and delight over this new-found accomplishment coming soon. You excel at math and are learning to add. You start kindergarten in the fall and absolutely can’t wait.
All of a sudden, you grew up. You brush your own teeth, get yourself dressed, brush your own hair, and emphatically declare that you can do everything “all by myself”. I love seeing you spread your wings and gain confidence in the little things, but oh, how my heart aches to see you grow so fast. Slow down, best friend. I want to keep you always for myself.
I love you to the moon and back a million times.
Happy Birthday, my London.

The Great Catch Up

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I know, I know. Its been FOREVER since a blog. Honestly, it really has been a time issue. I used to blog during nap time, but when we moved into this house London started napping in my room (where the computer is) so I couldn’t do it in the afternoon. Also, being closer to Greg’s job also means that he is home much earlier at night. I used to blog at night after the kids went to bed and before he got home, but now he is home before they even go to bed, so no time is available in the evening either.
I’ve missed it, though. This blog has been the most amazing collection of memories over the past 8 years. I can’t lose it. I can’t not update it. So, I’m making a weekly goal to at least get up one blog. My office has relocated to the schoolroom, so now I have naptime to put up a blog again.
Its been since August. That’s too many month and events to do a post for each of them, so this post is a collection of photos over the past six months. Sure, some of them deserve their own posts, but that isn’t going to happen, lol. Sorry, Grandmas and Aunties…I’ll be much better from now on!!! 🙂

 

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First up, we started school right after our CA trip. Its been an amazing year…our best yet. I’m way more organized this year, and we’ve stayed on track. Actually, we only have about 10 weeks of school left and we are DONE. I can’t believe it.

IMG_3188 IMG_3297 IMG_3296Jackson played soccer this past fall and LOVED it. In fact, he starts his spring season with the same team at the end of this month. We had so much fun with this team…I can’t wait to see how all the boys are doing and chat with their parents again. Jackson is wicked at defense and was usually around the goal protecting it. We’ve been working on his offense maneuvers over the winter, so who knows where he will be on the field now!

IMG_3366 IMG_3374My father has a prettttty amazing telescope, so in October we went to see the full moon. It was SO BRIGHT. Seriously. The kids had so much fun and it was great to have such a wonderful experience with them.

IMG_3519 IMG_3540 IMG_3538 IMG_3535 IMG_3534Because I’m a sucker for punishment, I AGAIN decided on making the children their desired costumes. Jackson was a Lego Luke Skywalker and the girls wanted to be ghosts. Jackson’s costume was AWESOME. Seriously…still proud of myself over that one. I had to glam up the ghost idea a bit, and the girls looked super adorable. We JUST finished Halloween candy, lol.

IMG_3726 IMG_3725Isn’t my daughter the most PRECIOUS thing?! Seriously. This was one of our Mommy/Daughter dates. She almost always requests to go to Barnes and Noble to read books and get hot cocoa. LOVE. HER.

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My husband built some pretty amazing pieces for our home over the past few months. The most amazing thing has been the build in breakfast nook. Funny I’m posting this now because I’m actually working on the cushions to complete the project. The should be done next week, and then this nook will finally be done. And I LOVE my hall tree bench. It is amazing and really fills out that space in our entryway.

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This past Thanksgiving was my favorite…ever. It was hosted at my house. My first Thanksgiving. My first turkey. Luckily, my lovely mother flew out from PA to be with us for the holiday and she was such a HUGE help. She was here for 10 days and we had such a great time, even though she was terribly sick for most of her visit. My super awesome step-sis Melynda came too! We had 18 people…have I mentioned how glad I was my mom was here, lol?! It was such a great time…we had sack races for the kids and fun games for the adults, and of course, great food. I can’t wait until next year!!!

IMG_3929Just a cute sister picture I couldn’t not share!!!

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In December, we went to Disneyland the week before Christmas. It is our very, very favorite time to go. Have I mentioned how easy it is to take these kids on vacation now? Sometimes I miss have little babies, but not on vacation. So much easier! This was our first trip over to California Adventure as well, and I didn’t like it nearly as much as Disneyland. The kids had a great time, and I think Jackson’s highlight was doing the Jedi Academy! He actually got to fight Darth Vader! We have video of it somewhere…I’ll have to figure out how to upload it. Splash Mountain was also a big hit, as you can tell! We are going to try to go every other year at Christmas if it works out. It really is amazing!

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Christmas was amazing, as always. Such a special holiday. We went to Christmas Eve service at our church, opened presents the next morning and went to Bob and Gayle’s house for Christmas dinner with Greg’s family. The girls got American Girl bitty babies and Jackson a chess set…along with scooters and Star Wars and My Little Ponies and books and a truckload of other things.

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New! Years! Eve! Oh my goodness, so much fun this year! Hitomi and I put together a fabulous evening of food and games for our nearest and dearest! The theme this year was Minute to Win It and it was SO MUCH FUN!!!! The last picture is us enjoying the Japanese tradition of some dish I affectionetly call “Fishy Noodles” at midnight. I’ve spent the past three years with Hitomi on New Years, and this year she finally won me over to Fishy Noodles. It’s probably because I love her so much. Its going to be hard to top this next year!

Phew! Yes…there is more..but next up is my precious London’s birthday, and she gets her very own post!!!! I know I’ve missed photos as well, so I’ll have to pop those in at other times, but it feels good to have this all caught up.
Dear future Becki: please update the blog more regularly so you don’t have to spend three hours in one evening catching it up. Kthanksbye.