Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008... Almost Gone...

2008.... What can I say; It was a bad year... for blogging and a few other things.

Well, I have admitted before I was a bad blogger... and I will not make any promises to being any better during 2009. I will make a better effort. I did figure out that one of the root causes that I blog so infrequently is because I don't think we do many exciting things or change very often. However, what I realized is that blogging can help me see those little changes and share them with everyone.

So, what happened in 2008...
  • Deryck turned 10 and entered 4th Grade; he is sooo smart and he really knows it.
  • Ashley turned 5 and is blossoming into a beautiful, intelligent and sassy girl.
  • Jim is happily working for Honeywell as the Team Lead; he spent two weeks in Phoenix training the Phoenix crew and looks forward to new challenges and maybe a promotion in 2009.
  • Michelle is happily working for DaVita as a Quality Assurance Specialist; she was accepted into a year long Leadership Training Program that will start in January.
  • Shadow and Tephra are still enjoying long naps and basking between play sessions with the kids.
  • 2008 brought one home improvement project... Michelle ripped out the wood paneling in the living room. We found a lovely green paint and patch from an old window. We hired out the sheet rock work as Jim and I really didn't have the time or skills to re-sheet the wall. But as soon as the wall was smoothed we got to work painting and glazing the living room. Our goal was to have the room finished before July; we finished the week before Jennifer (Michelle's sister) came to visit.
  • Jennifer (Michelle's Sister) came to visit and we had a ball. We lounged around goofing off, going to the zoo, spending the day shopping in Seattle, a day Wine and Beer tasting at the St. Michelle Winery and Red Hook Brewery, a Movie and Spa Day (even Jim got a pedicure), A Mariners Game (ya they lost), Mt St. Helens, Seattle Underground History Tour, and eating at The Bite of Seattle. We talked, laughed, cried, hugged and just enjoyed each others company. Tried as I might to convince her to move to Seattle she went home to Mikey and the Dogs... Well, there is always the next time.
  • We went on our annual August Camping trip to Yakima. Joshua was Deryck's guest the boys had a great time. The temperature was "cool" in the high 80's low 90's. Michelle started and finished a book, the boys tried fishing but had more fun chasing geese. Ashley tormented the boys and I realized that next year she might need a friend too.
  • Michelle flew down to visit Jim in Phoenix for a weekend... we had a great time! We researched a Tapas Bar called "Lola Tapas" Michelle wanted to try something new and she heard a food review for Tapas... We thought we could try it and if we loved it we could bring it home with us to try in Seattle... Lolas was unbelievable... if you are ever in Phoenix go to Lolas. We also took a leisurely drive thru Sodona and saw the Sodona Hills and Red Rock Canon area, Montezuma's Castle and finished our drive at the Grand Canon. Words cannot describe the beauty of God's creation and the natural gifts He has give to us to enjoy. We spent a few hours driving around looking at houses... no worries; we are not moving we just wanted to get a Phoenix perspective. We spent lots of time just talking and spending quality time together... some thing that we just don't have time to do during the normal hustle of life.
  • We had Snow in Seattle and not the dusting we normally get. Real Snow... more than 8 inches and the snow stayed on the ground thru Christmas which was has not happened in Seattle for many, many years. The kids had a few snow days and even Michelle's office closed because the conditions got so bad. We all enjoyed the snow... but honestly we are all glad to see it gone. Seattle and snow should not mix... the snow can stay in the mountains!

2008 was a year we will all remember... For many things that are beyond our control.

For 2009 The Arnold Family looks forward to new opportunities, improved health and a renewed focus on quality family time. We hope that the close of 2008 finds you safe, healthy and filled with a renewed spirit for 2009.

Monday, September 29, 2008

LOST... Lame Blogger!

Ok... I have to admit something to all of you. I am a lame duck blogger. Even though I log onto my PC every day, and I check other blogs that I read almost daily, and I check email, bank balances and read weird remote financial information... I sometimes struggle with this blog.

Maybe its because admittedly things are a little boring around here... We all go to our perspective jobs... the kids to school and Jim and I to work. We come home, hurry to eat dinner, get homework finished, read to each other and then it seems off to bed for another crazy day. Rinse and Repeat. The kids don't really change on a day to day basis anymore although if I posted a photo of them they would probably look different from the last one, (February 2008.. . ouch!) they aren't reaching spectacular milestones (like first steps or new teeth) and I cant think of anything that you don't already know...

So, I after a good lashing from a east coast family member... I promise to get better about my postings. One minimum a week with at least one photo... and a brief update of the last 6 months because surely something exciting happened during that time.

So here goes...

Ok... second promise.... shorter blogs that wont feel like a chore because I am so long winded... not like I haven't heard that before.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Always on the move...

We have had quite the exciting week... some great moments and some terrifying.

I took the kids shopping for new clothes, tax software and we poked around alittle at Frye's. While there are got a chance to meet a wonderful Parrot (I forget the name). The kids each got to feed and hold the Parrot but not pet, I guess she bites if you pet her... ouch! In the end the kids have grown 2 inches each; they both needed jeans and other clothing and I picked up a few movies along with Turbo Tax.

Deryck and Ashley started their new schools on Monday.

Deryck was a little worried he might not make any friends at Lowell; but to our surprise he was placed in Mrs. Shiogi's class... his friend Garren is in that class. Deryck came home so happy Monday and told us all the cool and neat things that are come up. He was so happy that all the kids are nice and very friendly. The third grade classes are in the care of salmon eggs... as Lowell is an official fish hatchery (on a very small scale) each fall a local State hatchery partners with the third graders at Lowell to collect and care for a small amount of wild salmon eggs (a few hundred). The children watch the eggs develop and change into salmon and then journal the changes that they go through on a weekly basis. After the eggs have hatched and the salmon are ready to be released the students will take the fish back to the site when the eggs where to collected and release them to help preserve the wild salmon population. So many things happened this week that it shocks me that their is such a difference within the same district. Deryck is having a small struggle with the amount of homework that is sent home each night... the work in more challenging and there is quite a bit more of it each night. He doesn't understand why he has more and why the work is harder as he is still in the third grade... I wish I could explain to him but it might be better not to for now.

Ashley also started her new school on Monday. I explained to the staff at New Adventures that she can be reserved and might just take a few months to open up with them. Boy, was I wrong and she made a lair out of me. Ashley was having so much fun each day that I had to carry her out of the school each day. She has made friends with Taylor and Abby, and her teacher says the three cannot be separated. The teachers tell me every day what a delight she is and that if this is reserved they can't wait to see her "open" up to them. Ashley has always been a little cleaner and I guess she is "mothering" the other kids to help clean up after themselves after lunch and nap time . The teacher said she is always soft and kind about it but she encourages the children to clean up so they can move to the next task throughout the day. This made me laugh because she is so helpful around the house and is always asking to help after dinner or get things tidied up in the evening.

I am so glad that both children seem to be doing well with these changes and that they are both happy with the moves. I often worry if we are making the right choices for our family and seeing how happy the kids are reassures me that this change was the right change for each of them.

I won't go into the terrifying details but Ashley has started sleep walking. She has always had vivid dreams and for a while has suffered from night terrors. The "terrors" have become a nightly occurrence and I have adapted to wakeful nights. I have spoken with Dr. Rurik several times about the night terrors...unfortunately these are a very normal part of growing up and there is very little we can do. Sadly, this was the what he told us Friday when we called about the sleep walking situation that occurred Thursday evening. Dr. Rurik gave me a few pointers on how to help Ashley but in the end recommended a security system so we know if she leaves the house again during the night. Until that time he recommends cow bells on doors and obstructions between her path and the doors so we will be alerted that she is up and on her way out. I thank God that Ashley was unharmed on Thursday night... that He was watching and guiding her in a huge way back to us. Jim and I are hoping that a security system can be installed at the house quickly and pray that God continues to protect our little Ashley during this normal (but scary) part of childhood.

I leave for Dallas in the morning. I am tired... feel like I have forgotten something already and last night dreamed that I did something horrible during the meetings I am about to go on. Which, I think just means that I am worrying too much and need to be confident in my abilities and that in the end I will do fine. I trust our numbers, I have triple and quadruple checked them and I finished my presentation Thursday and ran through it with my team on Friday. They loved it and thought it was concise, to the point and that that I was prepared for the barge of questions they threw at me for further discussion. I confirmed Dallas received my packages Friday before I left the office and made sure I have two back ups of my presentation and my supporting documentation in case there is a PC failure.

I can't think of anything else I need to do but enjoy the day with my kids, finish packing after the laundry dries and then get a good nights sleep (whatever that is).

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Prediction... Another Long Winter!

I can't believe February is here! Where does the time go!

The snow just seems to enjoy falling on the PNW so I am also predicting a nice long winter. I just hope the snow stays in the mountains and out of our metro area. Seattle drivers get very scary when it does anything other than rain.

Cub Scout Update:

Deryck's Pine Box Derby car was painted a hot shade of Red... it was so hot that flames of Orange and Yellow were also on it. The car was light and weighed 3.1 ounces. As we were new to the pine box derby scene, we hace no idea you were supposed to weight the car for speed. There was tough crowd of experienced racers who knew the course but in the end our rookie pulled out all the stops and he finished 1st in his Den... I expect next year we will test out weighing the car for additional speed. Here are a few pictures of the finished car and our champion.

Deryck's approval to Lowell Ele. was complete and he will begin school at Lowell on the 4th. We took Deryck to met the principal last week, he was very kind and told us how excited he was to have Deryck attend his school. "Mr. Bob" (as he likes to be called by his students) took the time to give us a tour, answer all of Deryck's questions and introduce us to a few of the teachers and staff. He signed all the papers and now we have to just wait for the transfer to be complete. Deryck is a little worried about the kids but he thinks this will be a good move. He is mostly excited to hear that he will no longer have to wear a uniform and I know that one of the boys from his Cub Scout Den attends this school. I am keeping it a secret because I don't want him to be dissappointed if he isn't place in Garren's class. I plan to take the kids shopping as they are both growing out of the current clothes they have.

Ashley will also start a new school, New Adventure's. The school is close to Lowell and Deryck will be bused there after school until I can pick them up. Deryck was able to tour the school with us and he has put his stamp of approval on it. The school's are located in the Ruston "Old Tacoma" area, which isn't to far from my office in downtown. There are lots of girls that Ashley should get along with and the many fun things to do.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow Happens... even in Tacoma!

The weather man has been very busy here in the Puget Sound this week. I don't know enough about weather reporting but I assume that this is the place "they" would send you if you made your boss angry. The weather is normally one of two things.... Raining (aka: Seattle Spit) or about to rain. This week however we have had wind, a little hail, icy rain and my very favorite snow. Some parts of the Interstate (I-90) are still closed due to the mass amount of snow that is dumping in the mountains, but here in T-Town the snow is gone. I awoke Monday to a nice gentle snow and as I left for work that morning I snapped these snowy shots. Most of the school districts had a delay of two hours... all because of 1 to 2 inches of snow! I am sure school was never delayed for that amount of snow when I was a kid... but then I did grow up in up state NY, where lake effect reigns king. This little amount of snow made me think a funny thought... we all have a family member that we love to hate. You know the one that you look forward to seeing that you see only one or twice a year... but then they over stay their visit and begin to really annoy you... well, I decieded this week that snow is that exact situation. We all love snow; can't wait to play in it, reminisce days of the past, or snuggle and watch it fall. But then, we have to worry about driving in the snow with many other lunatic drivers, wiping off the car after work with your bare hands because you don't own a scrapper due to you live in Seattle where it rains every day, or my favorite (and one thing I would never have considered if I live back east) the general messy snow residue leaves on everything. Well, as I look forward to the snow melting away I am starting to dream of warmer weather that I might encounter while in Dallas next week. Of course, with my luck the snow will move east and shut down the Midwest during my short yet busy trip.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's always something new...

Life this week amongst the Arnold's is another story of busy days and busier nights. I am starting to get pretty nervous about an upcoming business trip to Dallas that I will be taking in mid February...shhhh don't tell my boss that I am nervous! I have been pulling lots of early mornings and leaving late from the office again this last week. The worst thing is I am starting to dream about work... ugh... anyone know how to clear a restless mind. Good news is I am starting to reform. My boss offered me a laptop to take home with authorization to work from home (so I could be home with the kids in the afternoons)... you will all be happy to know I said thanks, but no I don't think I want to do that; but I will keep it in mind for when I am ready to tele-commute... Someone must have been praying for me hard that day... Thanks!!!

Jim and I tackled a few household projects this last week ie. repairing the screen door that Shadow managed to rip off the house (it's way better now then when we bought the house), re-glued the counter edge that my hip and Deryck seem to snag every time we walk in the kitchen and the Pine box car managed to get a few layers of paint on it. It is really coming along I will post the final project. The kids cleaned their rooms (under a few threats of death and giving everything away) and we had to return / replace the electric room heater that suddenly stopped working for the upstairs. Jim and I have started talking about window replacement for the house but we want to wait until we have been here at least a year and know we will be sticking around for a few more... its gonna be pricey to replace every window in this house.

Sherman and Judy prepared for a surprise trip to Kansas to visit Judy's sister, Genine. Sarah started have labor pains on Wednesday causing Sherman, Judy, Doug and Sandy to rush to Bellingham...but it was pre-labor so Sherm and Judy headed out to Kansas hoping the baby would wait for their return. And we were all a little surprised by the early but safe arrival of Sarah and Andy's newest bundle of joy... Penelope May.

Penny had a different idea and decided that Friday was going to be her day of entrance into this busy family. The kids were very upset when I told them that "Sarah had her baby today" when I picked them up after I finished work Friday evening (they hoped to be in town when the birth happened again... but we never planned for that due to our busy schedules) and that when we got home we could "see" her and the new baby. They somehow thought that Sarah and Penny were at our house...oops. They wanted me to drive to Bellingham the very moment they realized Sarah and the baby were not at our house. I used my best "No, because I said so" mommy voice and told them we would maybe visit later that weekend; depending on how everyone was feeling and schedules. Jim and I took the kids up on Sunday afternoon for a short visit...the kids were glad to see everyone...even though the pictures that we managed to get don't reflect that. Ashley was her normal self of "I'll take my time to warm up to someone new"... Later on she was holding Penny's hand and really looking at this newest addition to the family; I think Doug (Andy's Dad) got a few photos of them together. After we got home later that evening she told me that Penny was a nice, quiet, and pretty baby and hoped Theo would be good big brother like Deryck was. I smiled and told her I had no doubt that Theo would be nice and good to her.

We retired to bed early, around 7:30 last night but sleep didn't come easily to me; my thoughts turned to my children... the challenges and blessings I have faced and those that are yet to come. I prayed myself to sleep with thoughts turned towards Sarah, Andy, Theo and little Penny...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Busy, Busy Arnold Clan...I need a cup of Joe!

I really wanted to start today's post "I want to go to bed!" but then who doesn't... I am starting to think I have Seattle Winter Blahs. Or maybe these kids of mine keep me running too much...who knows. All I know is one "Quad Venti Sugar Free Vanilla Breve" just doesn't cut it anymore... I might need a caffeine addiction intervention...Naaa... I am fine just give me so more Joe!

I have been getting to work around 6am and on most days still in the office around 4:30pm... It's hard to leave with so much work to do, but if I leave much past 4:30 I hardly get "fun" time with the kids before our bedtime routine starts. On a few occasions, I have dozed during dinner...sweet Deryck has gently shook my arm asking if I am OK. We finish dinner quickly, leaving meal and dishes on the table, skipped most of the bedtime stuff and all piled into my bed together. The kids have been so understanding of my sleepiness that they both snuggle with me until we are all fast asleep (before 8:00pm). Jim is such a love...he puts everything away when he gets home at 9:30 (well, whatever is salvageable in his opinion) cleans the kitchen up, cares for the animals if I forgot and then gently moves both kids into their own beds before snuggling with me for the night. He is so loving; he has forgiven me for sleep really late on Saturday mornings while tending the kids and cleaning the house (which I neglect most of the week). He never complains and but gently reminds me that I need to find that work / family balance. Jim has been so supportive and loving all these years...his bountiful love amazes me.

Since my last posting I had ten (yes 10!) 9 and 10 year old Cub Scouts here at the house for the first cub scout meeting of the year. The boys finished the tool boxes they were making and began to sculpt their Pine Box Derby Cars. Deryck is hopeful that his design will win seeing he was so successful a the pumpkin races. He loves to think about cars...just like another man in this house. After the car was prepared and ready for paint we headed out to pick up some. We took Deryck to Home Depot to buy spray paint... After selecting the paint and a few other needed project things we checked out; in order to buy three cans of spray paint we were "carded", yes full ID "carded" I was shocked...Who would have thought that would happen! We still don't know why but then we live in T-Town anything is possible. The boys have designed a "hot" paint job of red, orange and yellow flames. Jim and Deryck will continue to work together on the Pine Box car and next week all the boys will be back at my house...still not sure what new adventure that Mr. Jeff has in store for the boys.

I have started placing calls to move Deryck to a different school... this is hard for me as I hate to admit that parts of South Tacoma are "hard". Deryck has been the victim of bullying at his school. I have had a few meetings with his teacher and recently the principal. I have been told that the kids in the third grade are "tough" this year and that the bullying is a population issue. All of this is rather difficult to choke down because I think a good teacher classroom management class might in need; as Deryck has been punched daily in the back while she (the teacher) is in the classroom. The student ( boy) was suspended for 2 days; but when he returned the bullying also returned with him. I love our "neighborhood" but unfortunately the community as a whole doesn't reflect the same values we are raising the kids with. I will let you all know what we decide to do and were the kids will move to.

Jim has been a busy at work. There are still shortages in staffing...the guys from India have come here for additional training. Jim is heading up the "new" International Flight side of things, facilitating some training and at some point this year they still have to move out of their building. The rumors are still flying about relocating to Phoenix but for now we aren't worried about a move.

We are enjoying the blessings that God has given to us knowing that "HIS" plan is always the path we try to stay matter where it might take us.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Posting Miracle!!!

Sorry, I have been a bit of a Blogging "Scrooge" these past few months...I can make many excuses but I am sure you know them all. I will promise to squeeze some time out of every week to post something even if its a few words to let you all know we are alive and doing fine. With the apology made... how about a little Holiday Update!
This year we branched out on our own...We decided to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home this year or should I say honestly I wanted to stay home this year... As many of you know we "The younger Arnold's" have invaded The Arnold home every year for Christmas Days. This was a tradition that Jim grew up with; spending Christmas Eve, Day and the Next Day at his grandparent's home. He so loved this tradition and the memories he had so much that he wanted to share this experience with his children. Judy and Sherman have been wonderful to indulge Jim these last 7 years with the fond memories of this tradition with our children. After many discussions over the 2007 I finally convinced Jim that even though I loved this traditional event it was time (and my desire) to spend Christmas at our new house in Tacoma and that we could still spend Arnold Family time together but just a little later in the day. Once this decision was agreed to we had one more to explain to the rest of the family that we wanted to spend the eve and morning at home. The news was well received with the added bonus that we would also like to host Christmas Day Dinner at our house. The holidays were wonderful...we had traditional Clam Chowder for Christmas Eve Dinner at The Arnold's, went to the 7:00pm Service at church and then headed back home. We made sure to leave milk and cookies just in case "Santa" dropped in and tucked the kids into bed. Jim and I set the dinner table for Christmas dinner, checked our Christmas dinner list twice, made Monkey Bread together, listened for sleigh bells and then dozed to sleep. We awoke around 7:00am to the sounds of Ashley coming down the stairs and then running back up to tell Deryck "Santa" had in fact been there during the night. We watched the kids play with the "Santa" gifts while making coffee and cooking the Monkey Bread. "Santa" brought Deryck a small digital camcorder and Ashley "Buttercup" the pony. After we were all fed and the Ham was started we relaxed together and shared our family gifts. We had a very relaxed morning hanging out in our PJ's and enjoyed watching the kids play with their gifts while Jim and I made the last few preparations before everyone else arrived. To our complete surprise we received an extra gift "Christmas Snow in Seattle" Deryck is sure that God brought me a little Snow from home to make the day just right for me. It was a perfect Christmas Morning. Sherm, Judy, Sarah, Andy and Theo arrived around 1:00pm. We enjoyed a 2nd round of gift exchanges with the Arnold's and was able to visit with the Lewis's. Before we knew it the Lewis's had to leave for more Christmas'ing with the Lewis side of the family in Olalla. We were so delighted when the Meserve Clan and the Kramer' s agreed to share Christmas Dinner with us. The Meserve's are like extended family to us and I was so happy to share in this special day with them. The Kramer's are great family friends to all the Arnold's and it made the day even better to share it with so many people we love. I felt so blessed to have our home full of loved ones on this very Special Day. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas feast, and then spent the evening playing games and relaxing. Later in the evening, Don's parents from California arrived and after a brief visit all of the Meserve's headed home. After everyone had departed for their journey home and the kids were tucked soundly asleep into their beds, Jim and I snuggled together and watched the Christmas tree glisten. A Perfect Christmas!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Jack Update...

Photo is courtesy of Tephra...she rarely poses so well for cameras and I already posted Jack pics (she was quite jealous and demanded her place on the blog) Well, for all you Jack lovers..myself included here is a quick update. I placed Jack in a loving home last Saturday in the Kent - Maple Valley area. He has a beautiful 7 acre spread that is fully fence and gated. He has 2 teenagers with retired parents (Is that possible?), 4 or 5 kitties to play with and another border collie to call brother. So far the placement is perfect for all those involved and it looks like this is a home forever. Which, kinda makes me sad and want a puppy or baby...Jim says I can't have either...he ruins all my fun ideas. he he. Now...all of you go out and enjoy this beautiful Fall weather we are having (and for everyone outside of the Seattle area it's RAINING)...Well, maybe not, but it will soon. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Help Wanted: Jack needs a Home!

This is Jack a beautiful Border Collie/Aussie Mix and he needs someone to love him. We have offered Jack a place to stay while he is looking for a new home...We all know good housing is hard to find here in Seattle. He is a smart 6 month old male and gets along great with all of our little people and furry friends (dogs and cats). He is from a local Tacoma home that includes: children, another dog and indoor cats; that unfortunately had a hard time keeping Jack contained. We have been hosts to Jack for about a week now and he does great in the house when we are around. He is being crate trained and house broken (no accidents so far) and is beginning to learn leash manners. Jack loves to snuggle close with all our family members but whines a little when left alone. This breed is very energetic, bores easily when left alone (his previous family said he can get abit mischievous; but he's been great here) and needs plenty of outdoor play time with his new family. Jack is non-aggressive and is very food / tennis ball motivated. If you know anyone looking for a dog, please let them know about Jack it could be a match for life. He's such a sweetie.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Spooner Farm ~~ Pumpkins

Well, we normally are the crazy family looking for pumpkins the weekend before Halloween. I panic every year because the perfect pumpkin is already at someones house being carved, due to my own fault of poor planning and scheduling. So I have a tendency to take forever picking the right pumpkin for me. Halloween is one of the holiday's that always sneaks up on me and catches me off guard. Well, Deryck problem solved this year for a fantastic solution...going early with his new Cub Scout Pack. We invited Papa and Memaw for what was the most beautiful fall afternoon, and we were able to avoid all the rain and enjoy alittle sunshine too. Spooner Farm offered a great corn maze that Jim lead us through, "horsey and cow" rides to little kids, and huge spiders that guarded the Great pumpkins. We also enjoyed launching a few gourds towards a bullseye. As we left the weather started to turn and our drive home was covered in typical Seattle Fall Rain.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Going Strong...12 years and Counting!

Jim and I celebrated our 12th Anniversary today and we are still going Strong. Its funny how our lives and the meaning of words can change. When I hear Strong I automatically think about Lance Armstrong and beating the odds. In a way, I would like to compare us to Lance...He beat the odds and took life by the horns...never willing to accept defeat. Jim and I have faced many challenges (even when others doubted our choices), heartbreaks, and immense joy together by living everyday for our family and God. I gladly give all the credit to God, He alone has helped us in so many ways to become the couple and family we are today. Jim surprised me on our special day; treating me to beautiful Peruvian Lilies (he remembered I don't care much for Roses) and special loose leaf tea that I love to drink, which is challenging to get. We have both had busy work schedules lately but we have promised to try and sneak away for a weekend; just the two of us. I still feel my heart quicken when he is close to me and I still love the sound of his voice. My heart has never been closer to another person and I never want it to be. Jim is not only my husband but he is my closest friend...I would be lost without him. I look forward to continuing our adventure together and the many years we will spend together discovering, laughing and mostly growing closer to each other.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Good, the Beautiful, and the Ugly!!!

Well, this week has been nutty for us here in Tacoma. I could hardly contain myself during last weekend because I was excited to begin my new job with DaVita on Monday. I love this company and love working for the corporate offices in Tacoma. I had a few days of intensive orientation and then a meeting all day Wednesday. I have just started "learning" the ropes of my new position but so far love the people that I am working with and will be leading in the months to come. Many of the staff take walking lunches at DaVita, where they walk during the lunch hour in downtown Tacoma, and then eat a brief lunch at their desks sometime during the afternoon. I have joined a few ladies from my department in a brisk afternoon walk and have enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. Today's photo was snapped during my lunch walk, it was a real blessing to enjoy!

Jim was offered a Team Lead promotion within Honeywell yesterday; he applied and interviewed for this new position over the summer. For one reason or another the offer had been delayed but he happily accepted the offer. This new role will bring new challenges and new opportunity for Jim, I know he will be very successful in this new adventure. Some additional good news from Honeywell is that after much discussion and negotiations, Jim's office will remain in the Redmond facility. There had been some concern that his office might relocate out of the region due to the lose of the building lease with Microsoft. Honeywell was able to find space within the buildings that they own on the Microsoft campus for the entire department to be housed. The plan is that over the next 6 months building 4 will be remodeled and sometime mid 2008 the relocation will happen. We were so pleased that this all worked out for everyone in the Global Data Center to stay here in the Seattle Metro area.

Okay, the ugly thing of this week is that I was in a fender bender on the way home from work Friday night (yes just today). Luckily, I did not have the kids as I had just left the office in downtown Tacoma and no one was hurt. My Pacifica has medium bumber damage in the front end and the other car is similarly damaged in the backend. Yes, the front end...which means I hit the car in front of me. I wish I could blame it on something but unfortunately I can't I honestly thought he started moving and I just went forward...right into his back end. Thankfully the cop was nice and didn't issue me a ticket. So, my car is parked for the weekend until Jim can meet with the insurance adjuster on Monday to assess the damage. Jim is alittle miffed at me and I am disappointed too but I guess if it had to happen I am just thankful that no one was injured.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's Your Birthday, Ashley!!!

Happy Birthday, my sweet princess! Ashley turned 4 today. She is such a beautiful, loving and spunky child. Just as it should be... I had a hard time today because I guess it really hit me hard that she is no longer a baby. But a little girl reaching and growing towards the young woman she is becoming. She had a great day being our princess as normal! Memaw and Papa came down for lunch at that great Mexican restaurant we all love, then we dined on chocolate cake, opened presents and had some outdoor fun! Ashley was pretty easy going on us adults this year; she asked for a gameboy of her own and chocolate...How could any of us resist her. Memaw and Papa found a pink gameboy, two games and a few outfits for Ashley, Deryck gave her a few girly games, and Jim and I thought it was time for a "big girl" bike. She loved everything and after a little coaching she was able to scoot around on her new bike. Memaw got a great video clip for you all to enjoy!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

September is Fair time...

I always loved going the fair when I was younger...the food, the rides, the games, animals, shopping, and haggling with vendors for the best price. Those were the days... Well, Jim and I took the kids to the fair this weekend. We went early before the crowds got heavy and spent all day walking and enjoying the day. The kids had a great time looking at all the animals, eating yummy (once a year) fair food, and rode a few rides each. Deryck caught his first fish at the fishing pond, shot a pellet gun and hit a few bulls-eyes with a bow and arrow...he loved it and asked about archery and marksmanship lessons again. Gotta love little boys excited about the outdoors. Ashley rode on her first roller coaster and asked to bring a baby pig home. Three days piglets can melt everyones heart. By the end of the day we were all well fed and had enjoyed the sights, sounds and people of the fair. The kids had a wonderful time and I remembered why we only went to the fair once a year when I was a feet hurt from all the walking and my back hurt from carrying the kids and all of the fair stuff. Hehe...I can't wait for next year already!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Back to School means Big Changes...

Week One of Back to School completed and we survived. Deryck's new teacher, Ms. Seeley, is very nice and is excited about getting back in the school groove. This is Ms. Seeley's second year teaching ~ at Edison and the third grade. She and Deryck hit it off right away, he really likes her and is excited about returning to school. Hopefully this excitement will continue throughout the school year and lots of learning can take place. Ashley has been having a great time at her new Pre-School and she has transitioned nicely there. I think it has been easier on her so far because Deryck joins her in the mornings before school and then again after school is out until I pick them both. The kids have been great about going to bed on time, however we are still struggling with our morning routine.
I start working for Comcast this coming week, but honestly I am still holding out for a position with another company I have interviewed with three times now. I should know a final answer from the other company mid to late next week but in the mean time I will start with Comcast... just in case.

Jim is still waiting for a formal approval of the promotion that he is expecting within Honeywell. He is excited about this new position as it means another set into management with increasingly more responsibilities within Flight Sentinel and International Trip Services.

Hopefully life will settle into a nice routine and the changes will slow down for all of us. Well... maybe just a nice routine is enough to ask for.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Treasure's Found...

Well, we unpacked a few more boxes and Ashley found the "Dress Up" Clothes I made her last Christmas. She never really played with everything I made before and I was super excited to see that she loved the "new" Princess clothes. She was happy to dance and twirl around all afternoon and evening. She loves running around in the skirts, feather boa's, and jewelery. Deryck even got into the game and dressed up as a Knight and ran around with her for a while. It was hard to get the skirts off at bed time, but with the promise of more time to play the tomorrow she reluctantly got ready for bed. Enjoy the photos... Deryck was being camera shy so no shots of him. I think we doesn't want anyone to see that he actually "plays" with his sister. I'll get him, I just have to be quicker.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Birthday Boy...Grandpa!

Papa turned 60 on Sept. 1...we had a small family get together at a great little restaurant one of Jim's co-workers recommended, Vuelvea la Vida. If you love authentic Mexican food this is the place to go, I have learned to not judge a book by its cover or surroundings; you won't find chips and salsa instead you will find great food and a desire to come back for more. Sarah and Andy drove down from Bellingham for the weekend spending time with the Lewis's and the Arnold's. We all enjoyed spending a few hours together at our house and at the restaurant. Here are all the grandkids with their Papa: Theo, Deryck, Ashley and their Papa.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Sunshine in Seattle...

The kids and I have been hoping for some nice warm weather before school started up and presto... beautiful days. We played in the sprinkler at home to cool off. Then I took the kids to the Tacoma Zoo for a short few hours and went looking for the still elusive "Arnold Brick". Judy said she has seen it but we must have missed it again. Oh Well, it will give us something to look forward to next time. Here are Deryck and Ashley playing around on the carousel.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Happy 1st Birthday Theo!

We went to Sarah and Andy' place for Theo's 1st Birthday Party. The kids had a great time visiting with the little guy. And seeing that he learned to walk since the ocean trip, Deryck seemed to think he wasn't a baby anymore...little does he understand we mom's always think of our kids as our baby. Deryck helped Papa assemble a new rocket riding toy for Theo; and then the kids helped Theo test out a few of his new toys. We had a great day visiting with the family here are a few of my favorite pictures of the day. Enjoy!!

What...One Week Left!

Everyday, this is a reoccurring shocked statement from the lips of my babe. Today, was again shocked that he in fact only had one week left until school starts. We have finished all of the school shopping for Deryck (minus 1 winter jacket). Ashley is all signed up for pre-school and conveniently Deryck will as join her at the same place for before/after school care. We stopped by his school and learned the name of his new teacher, Ms. Seeley; and found out that his classroom will be upstairs (eek, that means he is really getting big) in room 206. We started working on math, reading and spelling for a few hours everyday to get tin the groove of things and going to bed around 8:30pm every night. Even Ashley has started this routine and she has been passing out before Deryck (I am shocked by this) and sleeping through the night. She spent one night in her bed but is back in our bed because she is scared of the dark. She's sleeping a full night so happiness and baby steps...right! We are struggling with one part of the back to school routine...getting up in the morning. We have all grown very accustom to sleeping in alittle late in the mornings, and we are all struggling with getting out of bed, having breakfast eaten and being dressed ready to leave the house by 7:15. In fact, struggling is not a strong enough word; we are failing horribly. So, we have few more mornings to learn this new habit and we should be good for a strong school year. For now, I hope we get a few more days of sunshine and warm weather to play in and fine tune our routine before next Wednesday and that dreaded....first day of school.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Multi-Frontal Attack...Was it Successful?

Today, WAR was declared on a few Arnold project's. Jim and I set out to take on the task of finishing school shopping, helping to remove and install new lights on the garage, and install the Basketball goal that we gave to Deryck for his Birthday last week. This was alot to accomplish in one day but it had to be finished today; Jim's schedule is not very helpful in getting projects done and today was the only day I could see a remote possibility to work in these items together. While Jim and Deryck assembled the goal and hoop without much difficulty, Ashley and I finished (most) shopping. I forgot I needed Deryck for the shoes and coat, so he and I will get those items this week when we have time. Doug Owens, our neighbor, helped by running new electrical wiring for the lights we bought for the garage to replace the Mercury Vapor Light that was being removed at the peak of the garage to make room for the goal. When I returned from shopping and the new lights were installed Jim and I turned to the task of installing the hoop and setting up the motion sensors for the lights. Doug was a life saver today, Jim and I couldn't have finished putting the goal up without him because the darn thing is so heavy. While Doug and I lifted the goal into place Jim was able to attach it to the garage. SUCCESS!!! All the kids on the block were here playing at one point; things were crazy with all the kids running squealing in delight and balls flying through the air. Poor Ashley was hit in the head by a ball on accident...twice. After things settled down, we through some hoops together just the four of us...well Shadow too. Shadow loves to chase down the stray balls!! Deryck can easily make shoots with the rim at 7 1/2ft. and as we raised the rim he was able to hit 10 ft. after a few tries. Deryck, Jim, and I played around of HORSE and when we realized that we still hadn't eaten dinner we retired for the evening.

It was a busy day and we got many things accomplished the best part was that of the entire day... seeing the our little family spending time with each other; working hard and then playing hard. Once in a lifetime memories created today!!!