Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I know, I know, it's Christmastime now and I'm way behind. But I had to document how wonderful our Thanksgiving was! We spent Thanksgiving in Oregon with Darren's family and had such a great time. Check out the kids table full of cute boys!Here's the Jolley clan that was in attendance. Love you guys! The food was soooo good and I ate soooo much pie!The next day, Grandma and Grandpa took us to a great little gym and the boys had a blast. Here's Caleb and Justin hanging around.They played in the foam pit forever. Justin called it the pool and kept pulling me back and back and back to it. So funny. And yes, I saw New Moon, and my dear sweet husband took me to it. Isn't he a good sport? There was much that I loved about it, but overall it didn't live up to my high expectations. I fell deeply in love with Jacob in the book, but Jacob just didn't do it for me in the movie! Too many bad lines and the acting just wasn't up to snuff. Sorry Taylor Lautner.What a beautiful break from real life this holiday was for me. I'm was so thankful to spend a relaxing weekend away and be so well taken care of. It doesn't get better than this: Thanksgiving dinner cooked for you, came close to beating Darren in Scrabble, boys play hard with their cousins, free babysitting to go on a date with my hubby, and talking and laughing with great family. Life is good and I am definitely thankful!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Little Sunbeam

This is Justin's favorite song. It must be sung before every nap and bedtime. Usually twice. Here is his performance.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween Fun

A great Halloween was had this year! This is us at the ward Halloween party. Darren and I threw together our costumes literally an hour before. Too bad the picture doesn't show Darren's knee high golf socks or my cowgirl boots. They really made the outfits. There were cute carnival games, good food and trick or treating.Spiderman and Batman teamed up to save Seattle from evil villains. Here they are before their trick or treating in our neighborhood. Can you tell Justin isn't quite up to it? Poor baby was still recovering from the flu.Spooky Dinner is back! We haven't had Spooky Dinner at our house in several years. It was so fun to share it with friends. We ate buzzard brains, zombie saliva and my favorite, kitty cat eyeballs.Look at our cute kids!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Welcome, Fall!

I always pout during the time of year when fall takes summer away. I don't like the gray skies and rain replacing the blue skies and sun or the socks and shoes replacing my flip flops. But when the trees start changing colors and Halloween is on its way, I can't help but give in and love it. Not to mention all the great things that come with fall. Like football! This is the time of year when we cheer hard for the Oregon Ducks and the Tigard Tigers. Darren's bro, Marc is a high school football coach and we love to make a weekend visit out of rooting for his team in Portland. Darren's parents came up for the game and we came down. The bad part was, we got stuck in nasty traffic and nasty weather and didn't even make it to the game on Friday night. But we made up for it with a Saturday full of fun at the pumpkin patch. Here's our hay ride on the tractor,the perfect pumpkins,the adorable farm animalsand the corn maze.Joseph and Justin loved raking and jumping in leaf piles in the yard last weekend. It was very cute to watch Joseph teach Justin how to really mess up the pile. Justin was an attentive student.And finally, the jack-o-lantern debut on the front porch! Joseph was really into it this year, designing and cleaning out his own pumpkin. (His is in the middle.)I am so thankful for family, football, pumpkin patches, leaf jumping and jack-o-lanterns to help me embrace the fall.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What the kiddos have been up to...

Update time. We're finally feeling settled into our new school schedule and Joseph is still really enjoying Kindergarten. He always wants to go and he loves his teacher. I'm so happy about that. His favorite thing to do at school is P.E. He's learned to skip and jump rope and he loves to exercise. If you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he'll tell you he wants to be a guy that makes exercise videos. He wants to do an exercise video everyday, either one of mine or one for kids from the library.

This is also a common sight at our house. Joseph's favorite books to read are the kids non-fiction books. His favorite subjects are the body and how it works and the solar system. A new book makes him really excited, but then he reads his favorites over and over again until he can practically quote them. Smarty pants.His reading inspired this body of artwork on our wall. If you ask Joseph about Pluto, he'll tell you he's sad it's not a planet anymore. He's hip to the whole debate. My favorite piece is his interpretation of earth. It's the multi-colored planet towards the bottom.He's also been loving soccer again this year. I'll post some pictures soon.

Check out Justin's new skills! I just love his tongue in this picture.
See him in action and listen for his cute "twysicoh" for "tricycle."
Justin cracks me up everyday. He picks up hilarious things from his brother like, "What the heck?" and "Sweet!" He often tells me something and follows it with, "That be awesome, Mom?" But my favorite is his fascination with the word "cool." He thinks everything he does is "cool." Our conversations often go like this:

Justin: Look, Mom!
Me: That's so silly, Justin.
Justin: It's not silly, it's cool.

After catching on, I think I'm doing him a favor by telling him he's cool, only to hear him respond like this:

Justin: Look, Mom!
Me: That's cool, Justin.
Justin: It's not cool, it's way cool.

Apparently Mom is just always wrong.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our After-Busy-Season Retreat

It's so good to get away after busy season is over! We made a camping trip work on the last good weather weekend of the year. It was perfect. Just a couple of days and nights, but it was so fun to just get away and hang out in the mountains together. The boys are in heaven out there (my husband included). Here they are setting up the tent.
The boys enjoying the fire.
Family canoe ride on the lake.
And this is what our evenings looked like: Darren fly fishing, Joseph practicing casting with his pole, Justin throwing rocks and me reading a book.Can't wait for next year!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Bathroom: Remodeled

BEFORE (crappy floor, ugly old window, and cracking, mildewing shower tile
DURING (really gross water damage)
AFTER! Still work to be done, you can see, but what an improvement!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Bishop Jolley" is no longer just my Father-in-law's name

On Sunday my husband was sustained as the Bishop of our ward. Isn't that crazy!? Aren't we too young to be doing this? Although, I do feel like I've aged 3 years in the past 3 months. Too many grown up things happening: Getting a mortgage, sending a kid to school and becoming the Bishop's wife. I still think of myself as a young mother fresh out of college, but I'm really not so fresh anymore!

I am humbled, overwhelmed and excited to support my husband in this calling. I know he'll do an incredible job. We love the people in our ward; they have truly been our Seattle family. We felt their support on Sunday and it meant so much. What a beautiful church we belong to where we get to serve and help one another.

We also enjoyed a quick 24 hour visit with Grandma and Grandpa Jolley who came to share the day with us. It was so wonderful to have them here. Thank you so much for your love and support!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Joseph's First Day of Kindergarten

We had something exciting happen the week before school started. My first choice school that we didn't get into called and offered us a spot! We took it right in time for orientation and Kindergarten assessments. The bad part was that Joseph was NOT happy about the switch. We'd already visited the original school and learned his teacher's name and he was not very happy with me. Even the fact that he was in his best friend's class wasn't helping. After a couple of playground visits, a couple of visits to his new classroom and meeting his new teacher, he was finally converted and excited about the new school. Phew! Right in time for school to start.

There were lots of reasons for wanting to be at this school. It has great, tenured teachers, great student test scores and great parent involvement. But my #1 reason was that I could opt to go half day at this school. Of course, the principal and the teacher were less than excited about this decision. There isn't a half day class, I just come pick him up at lunch time. So the teacher has to mess with her schedule and the principal doesn't get my $200 a month. Yep, that's how much it costs to send your child full day. But going half day has been working great and Joseph is loving it!

I had spent quite a bit of time crying about sending him to Kindergarten the week before, so I did surprisingly great when the actual day came. Joseph did great too, he just waved good-bye to us and went on his big boy way. It's going to be a great year.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

8 Years

Our anniversary was weeks ago now but I just wanted to give a little shout out to my main man. Love you, babe. You are everything I want and need and I'm so glad you're mine.

I'm always missing him this time of year. He's working his little butt off doing tax returns and passing the CPA exam, so I can't blame him. Kinda reminds me of our engagement we spent apart. Eight years ago I was more excited for the day he would finish his job in Vegas and get back to me than the day we were getting married. Now I look forward to his 9/15 deadline more than our anniversary. We'll just have to celebrate it this month instead. We did give each other a gift, though! It's a remodeled bathroom and I'll show you pictures soon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wedding Trip!

We made the trip to Oregon to see Darren's sister, Jenni get married and it was such a great weekend filled with fun and family! Darren's siblings live all over the country, so the wedding brought family together we hadn't seen in a couple of years.

The trip started out with picking up my way cute niece and nephew, Megan and Kevin, at the airport, who flew in from Missouri. They got to hang out with us and play with my kids on the trip, which was great for me! We spent Friday night in Portland with my cousin Melinda and her family since Jenni and Michael were getting married at 9 AM in the Portland temple the next morning. It was great to catch up with them and see their new place. Thanks for taking care of us, Melinda!Here are our cute kids together at the breakfast table early on Saturday morning.Then we made it to the temple nice and early in Darren style and had time for a family photo shoot while we were waiting for everyone to show up.Here's the beautiful bride and groom as they're coming out of the temple. Don't they look so happy? I love how Michael is looking at her like "Yeah, she's mine for eternity now and I'm really happy about it!"Here's all the nieces and nephews that were at the wedding. We were missing a few, darn it. The wedding was so beautiful. I'm mad at myself for not taking more pictures at the reception because it was gorgeous. I was just too busy having a great time chatting, eating, dancing and cutting and serving the wedding cake with my SIL, Connie. We were horrible at it, and were giggling about it the whole time!Joseph and Kellen, best cousin friends.I also got to meet my newest niece, Carly. Isn't she precious? I was loving on her every chance I got.Look at all these cute kids!Megan, Kevin and me and the kids stayed a couple of extra days after the wedding to hang out with Grandma and Grandpa. We decided to spend Monday at the Oregon coast in Florence. Unfortunately, my kids didn't last long at the water. They didn't even make it to the water. The wind was blowing so hard that the sand stung your legs. Needless to say, Joseph and Justin were not happy about that. They're so short that it kept getting in their eyes too. We tried to play in the sand for a few minutes, but the boys were just miserable and bawling. It was pretty funny, actually. I wish I had a picture of it. So we settled for some souvenir shopping and ice cream eating.On Tuesday, we drove Megan and Kevin to the airport and tears were shed when we had to say good-bye. Justin called them his "friends" all weekend and was sad to see them go. Joseph told me at the airport, "I'll miss them when they're gone." We're so glad you could come and spend time with us, guys. And congrats to the newlyweds! We love you so much and loved spending your big day with you.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Pacific Science Center

I was just mentioning that I've lived in Seattle for 4 years now, and I confess, I haven't visited the Pacific Science Center since the first week we lived here! My oldest was just a baby. So we had much to experience here. My boys loved it. I must get a membership now because this place is so huge, you just can't get close to doing it all in one visit. There is so much to see and do and something for all ages. And the best part is, you're learning while your playing.

We hit the IMAX theater first and saw "Animalopolis" which was adorable. Both my kids thought it was funny and it completely held their interest. It's a series of funny nature clips of animals that are narrated in clever rhymes. Then on our way to the Butterfly House, Joseph couldn't resist the water cannon, what little boy can? The butterflies were my favorite part. So many different and beautiful ones just fluttering all around you! I really wanted one to land on me, but my boys wouldn't let me stand still enough for long enough, darn it. They kind of freak you out about how fragile they are and to watch your step, so my cautious little Joseph was uncomfortable in there and didn't want to stay near as long as I wanted to. Or maybe butterflies just aren't as cool to boys as they are to girls, I don't know. Anyway, enjoy my butterfly pictures and I'll stop blabbing about them.Joseph is obsessed with the solar system right now, so he was so excited to see this part of the science center. Look at the look of wonder on his face. I love it!Really cool dinosaurs!I didn't get any good pictures of the great play area they have for babies and toddlers, but my 2 year old didn't want to leave after going in there! And it was huge. He didn't even get to see all of it, he was having so much fun and they had to kick us out of there at closing time. It was a great afternoon!