This was the year for family trips, it seems. In addition to a beachside camping trip down in Carpinteria followed by a half week in Las Vegas, we also spent an exciting week at Yosemite National Park and Bass Lake and we went to Disneyland for three days in the early fall, as well.
David (14 months) is still growing like crazy. He walks a little here and there, but he much prefers to be held by his Dad. He also speaks much clearer words now, though his vocabulary is limited to Ma-ma, Da-da, and Bye. His favorite things to do are to point at family pictures hanging on the walls of our house, playing dentist with any mouths that are within reach, and dancing to all sorts of music. The funniest thing he’s learned to do recently happens when he’s being held by dad while hugging his mom–he grabs mom by the sleeve and pulls her to Dad over and over so they can kiss. He’s lucky he is so cute, because he is not good at being left alone or sleeping by himself at all.
Maeli turned four and a half in July as she likes to tell everyone. She loved going to visit her Grandma, camping on the beach, and traveling through Yosemite. But by far her absolute favorite trip was to Disneyland back in September. She got to meet the real Anna and Elsa, sit in the VIP section for the Toy Story parade, play Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters, and ride the Rocket Ships! Her favorite part of pre-school is snack time, and she loved it when they brought in real-life butterflies to her class. She still attends the same school where her dance class is, and she dances to everything now, especially during the credits of our Friday Family Movie Nights.
Daniel (7) was most excited to see the snow start to fall around home. He loves to play with his neighborhood friends out in the winter and enjoy hot cocoa. It also means he gets to go skiing soon. The bigger boys got their season passes to the humongous Park City resort this season. He’s certainly a speed demon at heart, absolutely loving the time we spent on the wave runner during our Yosemite vacation week. The time spent at Disneyland also scratched that itch, because he got to ride the Space Mountain rollercoaster five times (the other kids gave up their fast passes to accommodate his need for speed)!
Sam’s (9) favorite part of summer was spending the entire day at Bass Lake on a rented pontoon boat. We swam, went tubing, and used the on-board BBQ to cook all our meals. His favorite song that he’s learned on the violin so far is Long, Long Ago. He’s been playing a video game on his 3DS called “Rhythm Thief” that helps him with his technical music skills. He was also really excited to get third place in the Pinewood Derby races this fall. It was unexpected because he waited until the very last minute to put it all together.
Never one to be left without a project for long, Brittny took the lead on getting the basement finished this fall. She was happy to finally have a dedicated guest room and playroom, and Eric was excited to finally get the home theater and virtual reality room he’d wanted for so long. Most days she doesn’t know where the time goes as she spends her time in a blur of homeschooling, housework and babycare. However slowly but surely she’s finding routines that help keep everything running, and she loves the opportunity she has to be a stay-at-home mom and has embraced the chaos that comes with it. In her spare time (if such a thing exists) she participates in a neighborhood book club that she helped to start.
Over the past year Eric has taken the initiative to get a better grasp on his health. Through a combination of intermittent fasting and choosing to eat more ketogenic-friendly lunches, he has lost 30 pounds since last Thanksgiving! Brittny has been very appreciative that he has been the least annoying dieter ever and doesn’t begrudge other people eating differently from him – he just quietly makes good choices for himself and doesn’t require massive changes for the whole family (which is especially helpful with picky kids at home!). The aging appliances at the house called for fixes to the dishwasher, refrigerator, and water heater this year. Thanks to Google, Eric has been able to make many of those fixes himself and learn a lot along the way. With all of those fixes and working on the basement it was a close call, but Eric was able to finish his classes and just started his last term to complete his MBA by May 2019. A couple months ago someone tried to break-in to the house, and that motivated him to finish his licensing and training for a concealed carry permit, which has been reassuring. At work, he’s hired yet another developer to help offload his increasing workload but still manages to find time to do some freelance work afterhours. Eric’s been called as the Emergency Communications coordinator for the Stake. However, as suspected, he and Brittny are going to remain in their scouting roles (cubmaster & cub scout committee chair) until the end of the program.