Sunday, January 22, 2017

Captain's Log, Week 352 - Settling in

This has been a good week of getting even more comfortable in Texas. Jason started his orientation at the hospital, and the girls and I have been exploring the local libraries, going to the gym, and playing with cousins.

Last Friday Alyse brought Jane and Ezra over to our house, and they all stayed for a couple days. (Tanner had interviews in Dallas, so he wasn't home.) It was super fun! The kids all loved playing together and getting to have sleepovers.

Friday at the grocery store:

Saturday at the park:

Eating out later that afternoon:

Playing in the backyard:

They went home on Sunday morning before church, but came back again on Tuesday and then again yesterday (with Tanner this time, for a game night!) for another sleepover. It's been so fun seeing them so much and we're going to be really sad when they go home to Utah this week.

Other things we did this week: went to the gym a couple times. I'll be honest, I liked our gym in North Carolina better, but this one'll do while we're here.

We also went to library storytime at two different libraries. The first library is closer to us, and we went to their storytime on Tuesday. It was packed. I did a headcount, and there were about eighty people there (adults and children) for storytime. It was a bit overwhelming for the girls; it was hard for them to hear the stories and see the pictures, and they were hesitant to dance to the songs. Craft time after the story was nice; we all went into a different room where they had several tables set up and the girls made rainbows out of construction paper and paper plates. But, overall, the storytime was kind of just too crowded.

So, the next day, we drove about fifteen minutes south to go to a different, much smaller branch of the library for their storytime. It was so much better. Including the girls, there was a total of less than ten kids, and like five adults. We were able to easily hear the books and see the pictures, the girls were much more enthusiastic about dancing to the songs and participating, and the craft was fun. I'm so glad that we found a calmer, more intimate storytime for them to go to. We'll still use the close library for getting books and using the kids computers and stuff, but we'll head to the farther one for storytime.

Playing at home:

(Ellie was singing her own alphabet song she was making up:)

Zelda's mustache:

Ellie wanting to get in on the "coloring our faces with markers" action:

And showing me that there was some marker on her thumb, too:

We're still doing the finishing touches around our house, so I don't quite feel like we're officially moved in all the way yet. We're super super close; we just have a couple frames to put up on the walls in various rooms. I got our photo wall up in our kitchen/dining area; I'll have to take a picture of that next week to show you.


In these next couple pictures, Zelda (like a monkey) is grooming the back of Susie's head and picking off some little sticky bits she'd gotten on her hair.

I hope you had a good week too!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A New Year

We're in Texas.

Last year I didn't post on the blog as much as I would have liked, and so one of my New Year's Resolutions is to do at least one blog post a week, with at least one picture.

In the month since I posted last time: we visited Utah for Christmas. We stayed at my dad's house in Provo, got to spend lots of time with Grandpa, got to play with cousins (my brother Banks and his family were there too), got to see my mom and sister up in Highland, got to see my old roommates and their families, and got to play in the snow!

Roommate reunion! (We love you and missed you, Jill and Melissa.)

Some (not even all) of our kids all together:

On Christmas Eve morning we went to the playground at Rock Canyon Park:

The mountains across the lake were illuminated, and the view was really pretty:

Ellie figured out how to slide down these poles, and went down over and over: 

Later that day Jason took Ellie up to Sundance to play in the snow:

Back down in the valley in Provo, when we went to bed on Christmas Eve there was no snow outside at all and it was raining slightly. When we woke up on Christmas morning there were 5-6 inches of snow outside! It really was magical. The girls loved it. They played in the snow, helped Grandpa build a snowman, and went sledding. Ellie actually went sledding twice - once with her cousin Max on Christmas evening, and again the next day at Grandma's house. Ellie's a little sledding daredevil - she started sledding down face first all by herself, and loved it.

Banks and Saya

Grandpa made it "snow" on Ellie and Zelda by shaking off the tree branches on them:

Susie and Aunt Sydney:

Two days after Christmas we flew back to North Carolina, and the next day loaded up a moving truck and over two (and a half) days drove through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to arrive at our new home in Houston, Texas. I think the girls' favorite part of the trip was getting to stay in the same hotel suites as Grandpa each night (in each place we stopped for the night we stayed in two-bedroom hotel suites with sleep sofas, so we all got to stay in the same "room"). My favorite part of the trip was eating beignets for breakfast with my Dad in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and him telling us the story of getting lost and driving over the Huey P Long bridge while looking for toothpaste the night before.

Some ward members from our new church congregation helped us unload our truck once we got to our new house, and my dad helped us settle in over the next couple days. My sister Alyse is in Houston currently (her husband has a rotation here right now) and so she's been helping us settle in, too. Ellie and Zelda have loved being able to play with their cousin Ezra.

Just a few days after we got here, we were able to go to our niece Brynn's birthday party. She was adorable, and the girls had a ton of fun.

Our house in North Carolina closed this week, which is a weight off our shoulders. It's officially all sold, and we don't have to feel torn between two states anymore! I do miss our house, though. It was perfect, and the yard was perfect, and the area was perfect...the new owner is going to love it a lot.

Jason also got the results back from taking his PANCE (PA boards), and he passed (of course) and is now officially a Physician Assistant. So lots of exciting things happening this week.

Happy new year!