Missoula Children’s Theater

Story told by: Lainey

Last week we had the Missoula Children’s Theater come to our school! They spent all week at our school rehearsing for “Beauty Lou and the Country Beast.” We had auditions on Monday, and I was one of five kindergarteners given a part! After a big week of practice, we had two shows on Friday. Mommy and the boys came to watch my 1:00 performance, and Daddy came to my 7:00 performance.

And the best part….I WAS A SHEEP!!!! My dream role!

The set was great!

Cole and I were sheep together.

I had a few moments throughout the show, but this song was my biggest contribution. And if you watch all the way to the end, you will see where I had a solo! I told Mommy I was a little nervous, but I was mostly excited to sing all by myself!

Daddy brought me a flower to celebrate my performance. Such a fun week!

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My Fourth Birthday

Story told by: Henry

I’m four today!!

I woke up right at 5:00 because I was so excited! I picked out a special cereal a few days ago, and I grabbed it right away for an early breakfast. The first thing I asked was, “Can I please share this cereal with Lainey and Brody?”

I didn’t want to miss an ounce of that sugary goodness.

I spent the rest of the morning building a cage for the new transformer I got at my party yesterday.

Daddy joined me for some play time as well.

Before we left for church, Mommy took me out to get a few four-year-old pictures.

During Sunday School at church, I got to put four pennies in the church bank because it’s my birthday!

And then it was time for my birthday song!

After Sunday School, I got to help Daddy hand out bulletins as people came in for church.

After church, Mommy and Daddy surprised me with ice cream for lunch! The best!

Once we got home, Brody ran around in his room destroying things (a.k.a. not napping) while I requested to watch a race car race on TV.

Then it was time for presents!!

I got an awesome Ninja Turtle house from Gma and Gpa!

A car track from Grandma and Grandpa!

Legos from Mommy and Daddy!

Mommy and Daddy got me some Nike shirts. When my preschool visited the WSU Football Complex a few months ago, I noticed all of the Cougar clothes were Nike. Ever since then, I’ve wanted some Nike clothes so I can be just like the Cougars, and now I get that chance!

Na Na and Ba Ba got me Bumblee!

I now have FIVE transformers! I love them! (The Campbells sent me the one on the far right!)

While I loved all of my presents, my all-time favorite present was a Scotch tape dispenser!! Lainey has her own tape for craft/quiet time, but Mommy said I wasn’t old enough to have my own until I turned four. And now I have my own!!!

I kissed it. (Please also note that my jeans are on backwards. I don’t have time to care about that kind of stuff on my birthday.)

And then I hugged it. I’m thrilled!

While Daddy helped me open presents, Mommy worked on my cake. I requested a strawberry cake with strawberries on top. But frosting this egg-free cake proved quite the challenge.

It wasn’t Mommy’s favorite cake, but because I’m the sweetest boy in the world (and will eat practically anything), I loved it!

We continued playing with new toys for the rest of the afternoon.

Before we brought Brody down from his room, I asked Daddy to help me finish opening all of my toys so I could share them with him.

After playing with toys, my choice for my birthday dinner was Zany Graze in Lewiston!

My reason for choosing this restaurant was the train! The waitress showed us where the button was to get the train moving, and it kept us busy for most of the night!

I chose some delicious spaghetti for my dinner.

We all chose fruit cups for our sides, and they didn’t disappoint!

I devoured my dinner.

Then I was surprised with an ice cream sundae and a song!

My favorite part was the “sour cream” they put on the sundae.

Then we came home for ANOTHER dessert!

I loved my cake! And my day was PERFECT! I went to bed a very happy four-year-old.

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Henry’s TMNT 4th Birthday Party

Story told by: Henry

Today was my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s birthday party!

As you’ll see in this picture, I had an accident one minute before leaving our house. I fell and hit my head on the corner of the piano bench, and it was deep. Mommy rushed me to urgent care, while Daddy came to the Pioneer Center to start setting up for my party. Urgent care wanted Mommy to go to the ER because I was so young, so Mommy called the pediatrician’s office who has Saturday morning hours. They couldn’t get me in until after the party, but they said I would be okay to wait. So Mommy and Daddy did their best to patch me up, and then we got to work on the party!

Party decorating!

Mommy called her good friends, Sarah and Liz (who is taking this picture), and with the craziness of the morning, they rushed over to help set up.

The finished set up!

Mommy made fun Ninja Turtle cupcakes!

Ready for our friends to arrive!

The main reason I wanted my party here was so we could use the gym to play Ninja Turtle games.

Daddy explained to us that we were training to be Ninja Turtles, so we set out for our training stations.

After the stations, we worked on our strength with the parachute.

And then we ended with my all-time favorite game – Sharks and Minnows!!

After all of that training, we had earned the right to become Ninja Turtles.

I loved playing games with some of my best buddies!

Next up, cupcakes!!

And then presents! I got some great presents, and I’m very grateful to my friends for thinking of fun ideas!

We ended with coloring! Thank you to all of my great friends for coming to celebrate me today!

After the party, Mommy quickly whisked me away to the doctor’s office.

We’re so grateful Dr. Mike was there! He said this cut was borderline on needing stitches, but he thought we could get away with gluing it. Yes!

Good as new! Now I’m excited for my actual birthday tomorrow!

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Valentine’s Week

Story told by: Brody

We have had fun celebrating Valentine’s Day all week long!

On Monday, we had our annual Valentine’s Day dinner. We had to do it early because we have AWANA on the actual night of Valentine’s Day.

Heart-shaped meatloaf and pink mashed potatoes are a must (although there’s obviously no way I’m eating either of those)!

Mommy made Shirley Temples for our drinks, but I didn’t like it because it was “spicy” in my mouth.

Lainey didn’t care for her drink either.

Henry gulped his down, though, and asked if he could have our drinks. He is the least pickiest eater we know! (He also requested chicken nuggets for his dinner since he can’t have the meatloaf due to the eggs in it.)

Time to eat!

Next up, presents! Lainey was thrilled to find a Shopkins toy in her bag.

I love my new slippers! (Henry got a matching pair, too!)

And Henry was in love with his new Ninja Turtle!

Mommy gave Daddy some new books.

Mommy’s yoga mat has been falling apart, so she was excited to get a new one from Daddy!

We finished the night with a raspberry yogurt cake.

So darn good that even Mommy had to have a piece!

Henry and I in our matching slippers!

On Tuesday morning, Mommy and I had to make some Valentine’s cookie bars to send with Lainey for her kindergarten party.

Waiting for the bars to come out of the oven.

They turned out great! (And don’t worry, Mommy let me have one before sending them to school with Lainey.)

On Tuesday afternoon, Lainey got to leave school early to get her cast off!!

Everyone was incredibly impressed with how calm Lainey was about it. The doctor said he wished all his young patients were like this!

The x-ray showed that her bones are healed, so she’s done with the cast! Hurray! She is still pretty sore and stiff, but the doctor said that’s normal for the next couple of weeks. She’ll be able to resume P.E. and dance in two weeks!

On Valentine’s Day, we woke up to find that Mommy was letting us have a Reese’s Peanut Butter Heart with breakfast. We were pretty sure she’d lost her mind.

Before Lainey went to school, Mommy put a couple of hearts in her hair.

Mommy asked for a picture of her outfit, and Lainey showed that she knows exactly how to pose.

And, surprise! We have only had one snow so far this winter, so we were thrilled to wake up to this on Valentine’s Day!

While Lainey was at school, Henry and I requested that we make a snowman.

Henry and Mommy tried to build it, while I tried to push it over (as any good two-year-old would do).

Finished!

We picked Lainey up from school, and she was excited to dig through her bag of Valentines.

There were some fun treats in there!

These are the Valentines that Lainey gave to her friends. She was insistent she wanted to do a mouse, so this is what they ended up with.

Lainey also came home with a special Valentine for Mommy and Daddy.

She wrote this with her left hand, which is not too shabby. (But she is excited to get back to using her right hand!)

Wednesday dinner before AWANA is always crazy, but Mommy pulled together a quick heart-shaped pancake dinner.

A festive, easy dinner, and then we ran out the door to AWANA where we enjoyed even more fun treats!

Today we woke up and went to the Heart Cafe at Henry’s Preschool. This is one of Mommy’s favorite preschool traditions.

Mrs. O’Loughlin was our waitress. We ordered from a menu, and she delivered our delicious food.

We got to sit with Mac and his family!

Henry worked hard to cut up his sausage. (Side note…the preschool is amazing and made sure to have egg-free waffles for Henry!)

Henry’s first Heart Cafe! I can’t wait until I get to have my first Heart Cafe next year!

After the cafe, Henry went to preschool to exchange Valentines with his class. Henry didn’t hesitate when he told Mommy he wanted to make Ninja Turtle Valentines.

He also had fun gifts for his teachers.

Henry’s birthday is in three days! So after his Valentines exchange, Mommy and I came back for his birthday celebration with his class.

Mommy offered to bake something or buy doughnuts, but he was positive he wanted to bring gummy candy hearts for his friends. So that’s exactly what he got! (And that’s why Mrs. O’Loughlin had to hold the candle in the above video.)

Henry was most excited to pick something from the birthday box!

He picked a snake (and then broke it as soon as he got home).

Oh, boy! At the end of the week, we have now restocked our dwindling candy cupboard. We’ll be good to go for quite some time!

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Adventures, Field Trips, and Dates

Story told by: Henry

We’ve had an incredibly mild winter, so we’ve been getting outside whenever we can!

Brody and I are getting in lots of bike riding.

I’m doing well on riding my bike, but I’m still working on learning how to start by myself.

Lainey had a half day of school last week, so we requested to go on a stick hunt around town.

This stick/tree branch was the clear winner. Mommy wouldn’t let us bring it home, though. She’s no fun.

On another day, Brody, Mommy, and I went on a walk on the Chipman Trail in Pullman.

We watched the water under the bridge for quite awhile.

“Look, a rocket!”

Mommy stopped by McDonald’s to get us lunch. Here is our conversation:

Me: Mommy, is there a toy with this?

Mommy: No, I didn’t get you a Happy Meal.

Me: So, this is just a Sad Meal?

Mommy laughed for quite awhile over that comment.

While we’re on the topic of funny things kids say…. Daddy recently hurt himself playing soccer. Doctors think he may have torn his ACL, but we’re waiting on MRI results. Here is a conversation between Lainey and Daddy:

Lainey: Daddy, those crutches don’t make you look very handsome.

Daddy: What do they make me look like?

Lainey: Like a boss who’s about to die.

Mommy and Daddy got quite a chuckle over this as well.

On one of our recent walks, I modeled how Daddy walks.

We found out Brody has an ear infection, but after a sticker from the doctor and some antibiotics, he’s good to go!

We’ve had some epic castle building lately. Brody loves knocking it down, so most days he ends up locked in his room while we finish building.

We like describing our castle work.

I’ve always loved gymnastics, but over the last two weeks, Brody decided he really wants to get in to it. Here he lowered himself down the ladder by using only his hands.

Brody and Mac get to have class together, and it’s fun when we all get to warm up together (before I head to my own class).

Lainey hasn’t been able to dance, but she did go to class one day to watch. Her friends got to sign her cast!

Preschool is great as always! The last two weeks have been all about the ocean. We had a beach day, and this is the outfit I picked out (notice I’m wearing my shark bathing suit)!

Fish face!

We finished our ocean unit with a field trip to the pet store. Mommy and Brody got to join us!

Fish face!

Brody was a little nervous seeing some of the animals, so I made sure to hold his hand.

I touched a snake!

The ferret was cool!

My favorite was the bearded dragon.

Brody was obviously not impressed.

Such a fun field trip!

We’ve had lots of special time with Mommy and Daddy lately. Mommy and I love spending afternoons making Perler Bead crafts.

Mommy and Lainey went on a breakfast date last weekend. Lainey suggested they bring a game to play, and it was a blast!

Mommy and I went on a date yesterday. I have been asking and asking to get a second transformer for Daddy so we can play transformers together. So that was the first thing we did on our date! (Although Daddy let me have the transformer and said he can just borrow it when we play.)

And then we went to get ice cream!

Last night Lainey and Daddy got to go to a special daddy-daughter dance in Moscow.

In the midst of trying to get Lainey ready, she lost her third tooth!

Daddy and Lainey had a special night together!

There was delicious cake!

And lots of dancing (mostly by Lainey because Daddy can’t move very well)!

Lainey found a train of girls to dance with, and stayed there for the rest of the night! She had a blast!

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Monster Jam

Story told by: Henry

We drove up to Spokane yesterday for a fun day at Monster Jam! Mommy and Daddy didn’t initially tell us what we were doing, though. We just knew we were headed up for a fun surprise.

We stopped by Whiz Kids to get some fun new educational games.

Next we went to Red Robin for a delicious lunch. This place is always a hit!

Brody managed to purchase a game to play while waiting at the table. Sneaky boy. (Fortunately our server took it off our bill.)

And then the big surprise! Monster Jam! I couldn’t believe it!!!

I barely moved from my seat the entire show because I was so entranced.

Brody enjoyed the show for awhile.

Lainey was initially a little nervous, so she wanted to hold Mommy’s hand.

But she soon perked right up!

It wasn’t long before Brody got antsy and started moving all around.

Then he spent quite some time sucking on a water bottle. (Whatever floats your boat, Brody. Just don’t ruin this show for us.)

We were surprised to see several trucks flip over (but the drivers were okay).

We don’t know a single thing about Monster Jam, so we were surprised by the amazing freestyle tricks at the end of the show.

By this point in the show, Brody was sick of sitting still, he REALLY wanted to kick the guys in front of us, and he was done with his headphones. Rough life.

This was such a blast! And a really fun family day!

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Fractured Arm

Story told by: Lainey

As Henry mentioned in the last post, I fractured my right arm while on an ice skating date with Daddy a few days ago.

Mommy took me to the ER that evening, which is where we got confirmation of the fracture.

The ER doctor told me that I would eventually need a cast, but that I would need to be in a splint until the swelling goes down.

So Mommy and I were very surprised when the orthopedic doctor’s office called us and wanted to see me right away. We were even more surprised when we found out the cast would be going on at that appointment. I have a supracondylar fracture. When Dr. Pennington saw that come across his desk, he wanted to see me right away because this kind of fracture needs to be taken care of immediately. About 80% of kids with this fracture need surgery, but I had no bone displacement, so I’m in the lucky 20% who don’t need surgery. Dr. Pennington said that they could put the cast on, and as the swelling goes down, the cast will get a little loose, but since my bones aren’t displaced, he’s okay with a little wiggle room.

It was pretty easy to get my cast on. And I OBVIOUSLY picked bright pink for my cast color! This cast is waterproof, which means there’s no restrictions on swimming or bathing.

I most likely only have to have this on for three weeks! As Dr. Pennington was making my cast, he built in a loop to which he attached a sling. The sling helps to support the weight of the cast, but most importantly keeps me from moving my arm in the wrong direction.

Mommy and I went out for a giant ice cream after my appointment!

When we got home, Mommy was the first one to sign my cast.

We’ve had to get creative with getting dressed. I can’t do it by myself, and even if I could, none of my shirts fit over my cast. Mommy bought a few inexpensive shirts in a bigger size, and then cut the arm so it would work.

My doctor said I could go out to recess as long as I’m not climbing or going down the slide (but I can’t do P.E. or dance for the next few weeks). However, we couldn’t get my coat to zip up over my arm/sling, so Mommy and I picked out a coat in a bigger size from Goodwill. I love the pattern, and Mommy loves that it was $10. Everyone was happy!

I was proud to come home today sporting the signatures of my classmates. I love this part of having a cast! But I am still getting used to writing with my left hand, bathroom care, and many other things. But I’m grateful that it should only be three weeks!!

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January Hodgepodge

Story told by: Henry

It’s been a good January so far!

Before school started again for me and Lainey, we got together with friends for gym time to get our energy out.

Then we went with Mac and Ivy to get their FIRST-EVER happy meal. (How is that even possible?! Mommy’s mind was blown.)

Once school started again, Mommy got to go on a coffee date with Brody (in the midst of running errands).

Daddy has been working late on Friday nights, so we took advantage of one of those nights to go swimming with Mommy.

Our family went to watch a Cougar basketball game against the Huskies. Lainey’s face perfectly sums up how we feel about the Huskies.

Mommy and Daddy got to sneak away for a date to see “The Greatest Showman” and to have dinner. We had a blast with Ashley as our babysitter!

We’ve had an unusually warm (and not snowy) January, so we’ve taken advantage of it by getting outside whenever we can!

When we have rainy days, though, Lainey makes some pretty good obstacles courses for us.

Brody and I also get our energy out with gymnastics while Lainey is in school.

Lainey had Spirit Week at school. One day was “Character Day,” and she chose to go as Fancy Nancy (from one of her favorite book series).

For those of you who don’t know Fancy Nancy, here’s her picture.

Another day was “-ER Day” where you went as something ending in “-er.” Lainey went as a dancer.

Another day was “Dynamic Duo” day, so Lainey and her friend, Dez, dressed as twins.

Our sweet neighbor, Sandy, gave us Dairy Queen gift cards for Christmas, so we asked her to join us for ice cream one day after school. It was fun to spend time with her!

Lainey’s reading is quickly progressing. It’s fun for both Mommy and Lainey!

Mommy recently went to a baby shower for her friend, Amy. While there, she also got to see her friend, Jenny (in the black pants). They were all friends in the marching band from college, and lived on the same floor for their freshman and sophomore years. She had a blast catching up!

Brody and I wore matching shirts to church last weekend. When Mommy asked me if she could take a picture, I said, “Yes, but I’m going to squeeze hug Brody tight like this.”

We aren’t getting along very well lately, but thank goodness for moments like this to give Mommy’s sanity a break.

One afternoon Mommy and Lainey worked on the 100-piece puzzle she got for Christmas.

While they were puzzling, Daddy and I went on an ice skating date.

I started with the ice skating trainer.

But then I decided I could do it on my own! It was a blast!

Later that evening we played Kids Charades that Uncle Jar Jar gave us for Christmas.

But I couldn’t seem to remember that you can’t say the clue. It made for some good laughs.

Lainey didn’t have school on Monday, so we made some banana muffins. Lainey really wanted her sheep involved in the baking.

Brody has been sick off and on all week with a stomach bug.

He won’t sit still for many shows except for “Despicable Me 3.” He LOVES the minions and will watch at least an hour of this movie. So this has been on repeat all week long so he can get some rest.

Mommy has really enjoyed watching Lainey’s writing come to life!

Mommy especially loved Lainey’s drawing about loving Gob (God).

Mommy had some great friends over for a fantastic night of bunco. There was so much laughing (and wine). What a great night!

We had a break from the rain, so Brody and I got out for a bike ride while Lainey was in school.

And then when Mommy asked me to put away my bike and helmet, I obviously got a little distracted.

We went bowling as a family yesterday. The bowling alley employees were going to have a lot of dents to get out of our lane.

Our bowling neighbors also had lots of fun cheering us on!

Bowling was mostly fun. This picture sums up how much fun Brody has at any event (and you can imagine how much Mommy and Daddy are enjoying this stage of his life).

On Sunday it was Lainey’s turn for an ice skating date with Daddy!

Unfortunately with about five minutes left in their skating time, Lainey fell and hurt her right arm. She came home to ice it, but after Mommy saw the amount of swelling in her arm, they headed to the ER. Lainey was pretty happy as long as she didn’t have to move her arm.

Mommy and Lainey had quite a wait, so they entertained themselves with recreating the pain scale chart. After an x-ray, they found out that Lainey has a fracture above her elbow.

Mommy’s friend, Rachel, was their ER nurse, so it was nice to have a familiar face. Lainey got a stuffed animal horse for being such a brave girl!

Lainey has a hard splint on for now. The swelling in her arm needs to go down so they can get a better x-ray. Fortunately it’s not looking like anything is displaced, so hopefully surgery can be avoided and they can simply put a cast on next week.

Lainey had just a half day of kindergarten today. She was very proud to show the x-ray to her class, but also glad to get to come home to rest. She’s doing great and is very brave!

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The Fog Between Christmas and New Year’s Day

Story told by: Lainey

We’ve been living in the fog that is the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day. It’s been a great time where we’re still in vacation mode (even though Daddy had to work a few days), there are new Christmas toys, and still tons of sugar in the house.

The day after Christmas we found out we needed to buy a new dishwasher, so Daddy spent a few hours installing it. Way to go, Daddy!

While Daddy worked on the dishwasher, we worked with Mommy on putting together our new Lego sets (while Brody slept because that kid is a nightmare when it comes to working patiently on anything).

I’m getting to the age where I can follow Lego directions on my own!

I needed very little help from Mommy for this castle.

I’ve enjoyed having lazy mornings with the boys.

We got out of the house one day to meet Mac and Ivy at Planet 3 (the trampoline place).

Mommy and Christy even got in on the action!

Our fantastic babysitter, Taylor, asked to take me on a special date. Of course!!!

She took me out to lunch, and then to get my first-ever pedicure!

After pedicures, she took me back to her house to watch a movie and eat lots of delicious treats. Thank you so much, Taylor! We love you!

We cheered on the Cougs in the Holiday Bowl against Michigan State. It didn’t go well. At all. But we still love our Cougs! See you guys in September!

Na Na and Ba Ba gave us these awesome activities for Christmas. We spent two full days coloring!

After the coloring was complete, we put them together!

The boys shared this rocket.

And here’s my gingerbread house!

Mommy took Henry and I to see “Coco.” We really liked it! (And Henry and I devoured that giant tub of popcorn.)

Mommy learned how to use her new Instant Pot. She made loaded cauliflower soup. It was delicious! (And she even used her new immersion blender for this recipe as well!)

On New Year’s Eve, we had yummy 2018 pancakes for dinner!

Brody also helped Mommy make cupcakes for New Year’s Eve. (Only the best sous chefs can pull off sunglasses and no pants.)

Our favorite tradition on New Year’s Eve is to stay home and play games all night. We love it! We started with this fun game from Uncle Jeff!

Next up was Zingo!

Then Hungry, Hungry Hippos!

And finally Zimbbos!

Next we pulled out hats and blowers for our 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve celebration! (We can’t quite make it to midnight. Nor do Mommy and Daddy want to attempt it with us.)

Netflix has countdowns on it, so we used one of those to count down to our celebration.

Mommy made special treats to toast to the New Year.

Cheers!

The treats were a hit!

And messy! We enjoyed our treats, and then were all in bed by 8:30! Happy New Year!

Mommy and Daddy stayed up until midnight playing Ticket to Ride and drinking wine. They laughed and danced and had so much fun! Favorite tradition!

Today we’ve had a great lazy morning watching the Rose Bowl parade.

Perfect way to start 2018! Happy New Year!

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Top Ten of 2017

It’s been a fantastic 2017! Here are some highlights from our year….

10. We had some sweet friends invite us to experience wheat harvest on a combine.

9. We had an epic summer of camping. We couldn’t pick just one trip, so here is one picture from each excursion.

8. Lainey continues to love dance, and performed in her recital in June.

Lainey R WEB-1

7. Henry and Lainey both got to swim with Dede (and Brody gets to join in 2018).

6. Henry started preschool and Lainey started kindergarten.

5. After waiting for what felt like forever, Henry was finally old enough to play t-ball.

4. Brody is loving his class for gymnastics.

3. Lainey lost her first tooth (which was followed shortly by her second tooth).

2. We remained as dedicated of Cougar football fans as ever.

1. In fact, we took our Cougar fandom to a new level with our Halloween costumes. Go Cougs!

Can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for us! Happy New Year!

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