June 23, 2008

catch up

Playing a little catch up. Last tuesday was Jenna's 8th birthday. EIGHT! It's crazy. I was actually thinking the other day about how Laura was only 9 when Jenna was born and now she's 17 and out of HS and it made me sad to realize that it's going to go so fast!

We have a lot going on in other areas of our lives as well. We are planning to move at the end of July. This is something that we are struggling with. I feel as though it's the right thing to do, my issue now is trust. I'm scared to trust completely and believe that the Lord will take care of everything. But I have felt this in my heart for about a month now and I do believe that it's what He wants for us. I'm excited about it, but also scared and sad. While I don't love it here in Grand Forks, I do love being near some of the people here. It will break my heart to move away. Just thinking about it gets me crying. It's mainly because of the girls. I mean, I'll be sad, but my girls have my heart and these big decisions always upset me.

I was upset last year when we moved to Grand Forks because I didn't want to move Jenna. She was doing well at school, she had a team that knew her strengths and weaknesses... how was I supposed to make her start all over? It was so hard. I worried... for NO reason! She LOVED her new school! I loved her new school! Her teacher was amazing, her special ed. team was awesome! She thrived and learned so much more than I expected. I was amazed! The school has an awesome art program that really built her skills and confidence, they just did so many neat things and I was very happy with the change. So I try to remember, that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't taken the chance and moved here.

Next year I was planning to hold her back in second grade again. She is one of the youngest in her grade level, with a mid-june birthday and the cut off age here being August 30, there are very few kids older than her anyway, so I think now is a great time to do it. She is already socially younger than her peers due to the language issues and social problems that come with being on the Autism spectrum, and I just worry that she will always be behind. So I'm going to try it. However, I think with the move I'm also going to try my hand at homeschooling. I've been feeling the "pressure" for lack of a better word in my sleepy head, by God for awhile. I have wanted to do it but felt inadequate. I do believe it's what He wants though, and I want to do what He wants me to do. So I'm gathering info and ideas on what to try for next year and I'm excited! I've really always loved teaching and being a teacher has always been high on my list of "what I want to be when I grow up" so why not? I know teaching my own kid will come with it's own set of challenges so I am prepared for that. I just know that there are so many times when I see things on tv or online and I think "I want Jenna to learn about that!" so this is my plan for the coming year.

Okay, anyway, I got sidetracked. I was going to tell you about Jenna's birthday! She had a very nice day. Tera and Fred, gems that they are, let us have her party at their place. I just figured we'd ask if we could do that since they live close enough and our A/C will not support enough people to have a party, even a small family one, as we learned last year. So they agreed. I was expecting to do everything... well, really not much LOL just make the cake and the food and just hang out. I hadn't planned anything special cause it was just going to be immediate family and I didn't want to stress about it. Tera and Fred had other plans though, and they put together a cute scavenger hunt for Jenna! I was really surprised when Tera told me this and I figured we'd be putting the presents at the end of the hunt... nope! They had the idea to put together a little "treasure" at the end! So they gathered some fun little things (frisbee, water guns, glowing stars, whoopie cushions, lip gloss, ring pops, etc.) and put it all in a big bag for her to find.

Did I mention how much I love those two? They are the best :)

So they put this together with a Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (cause Jenna loves the video game) theme. They wrote up all the little clues as if it were Lara herself setting up this treasure hunt for Jenna!It was the coolest thing and Jenna really loved it! So again, thank you Tera and Fred. :) We really do appreciate you more than you know.

The girls head outside for the hunt

The whole family starts down toward the mailbox to retrieve the first clue

Jenna found her first clue in the mailbox in an envelope addressed to her from Lara Croft

Another clue on the lawnmower

Marah, being cute and trying to be patient

The treasure was in the chapel (yes, they have a chapel that was built for Fred's mom by his dad a long time ago)

Jenna got a new Webkinz pet that she named Henry (a black horse)

Jenna also got the scooter she has been wanting for so long

This is the castle cake I made... I learned I was not cut out for cake decorating (well, I really already knew that LOL)

Jenna did love it though, and I got lots of compliments on it

The birthday girl

8 years old

This past weekend we spent all day Saturday together as a family. This is kinda a big deal. We usually don't go out the whole day altogether. It's something I really want to work on. So on Saturday morning when Eric woke up I announced that we were going out. At first he wasn't thrilled... but I think we all enjoyed the day (until he got sick). We hit the Farmer's Market first. I have been wanting to check it out for years but we're not big on going out on Saturday mornings so this was really the first time we have made it over. It was alright. I was disappointed. I thought Farmer's Markets were supposed to have produce! It was mostly baked goods and handmade crafts. There were some really neat things there though, and I enjoyed seeing the recycled crafts and the all natural products they were selling. I was hoping to find some non-chemical sunscreen... no luck :( I even tried Amazing Grains with no success. So I think I'm going to order online from California Baby. They are the only sunscreen manufacturers listed on the cosmetics database that received a 0 which is the best score you can get. Yes, I'm changing what my family uses one product at a time.

Anyway, it was hot, but not too bad. It was pretty much noon when we got there so the sun was at it's worst, but the clouds came through every once in awhile and gave some relief. I also scoped out around downtown, mentally noting some cool places where I can take Jenna for some pictures. I found a few spots that I'm excited about!

After the market, we went to lunch with my father-in-law who was visiting alone since my mother-in-law was working. We ate a nice lunch and then headed to the "animal museum" (which is really a sporting store, think hunting and fishing and camping, not football, baseball and soccer) as Jenna calls it. It's this store called Cabela's and they have a huge animal display at the back of the store. It's really cool. A bunch of stuffed wild animals and the display is set up to look like a mountain so there are mountain goats way up at the top of the wall, pretty impressive. Marah loved it!

After this we went to the park so the kids could enjoy the summer day. They had a great time playing there and I managed to get a couple decent shots


On the tire swing (so much fun!)

After the park we drove out to Fred and Tera's to enjoy the pool and some dinner. Jenna was doing a great job with swimming! I was really excited to see that. And Marah could touch the bottom and walk around which she thought was so cool! It was fun. Poor Eric was not feeling well so he laid down for a nap.

When we drove home Marah passed out in the back! I think that was the sleepiest I've ever seen her. She really was so good all day though, I was glad for that. No nap can sometimes be really bad, but she did great! So when we got home she went straight to bed which was a much needed relief, no bedtime struggle after a long day! Jenna stayed up an did some drawing for about an hour then went to bed herself.

Yesterday we just stayed home. It was hot and uncomfortable. Today I don't have any plans except to do some cleaning and maybe go out to the garage to sort through some baby clothes for an ebay sale. So I'm gonna take off. I hope this long blog post made up for a week of no posting :)

Love to all


  1. wow! so, where will you be moving to? Jenna is so old!! wow. she just looks so grown up. your girls are beautiful! looks like you guys had fun all around. loved looking at all the pics!

  2. this was a news-filled post! I read it twice to try to learn where you are moving, but couldn't find it. Could it be San Diego? : )
    Thanks for the pictures. Those girls are so beautiful. I'm totally going to do a scavenger hunt for the girls' summer pool party.

  3. moving to mongolia? i'm more likely to see you if you do.

    dude jenna looks so OLD! decide where you are moving soon so i can buy a ticket.

  4. nice blog. i cant believe i was 9 when jenna was born. and that was 8 years ago. way to make me feel all old!!



    Miss you all very much.


    P.S. That was an awesome looking castle cake.

  6. Ok, so I didn't read the blog posting very carefully. But now, seeing everyone talk about your moving, I'll have to go back and read it. I just look at the pictures! It's all I have time for anymore!

    I think I just realized how much Jenna looks like you Ashley! How lucky! And I love the picture of Marah "being cute"!


Thanks for leaving a comment! I am always grateful when you take the time to let me know what you thought of my posts. If something in a post inspires you to blog, please link me up!