Monday, February 29, 2016

Larkyn 20 months

 Larkyn will be 20 months tomorrow, and while this is not a particularly big milestone, I will take the opportunity to include a few updates.  Larkyn is continuing to grow in obedience and conversation, and she is growing more fun everyday.  She is starting to be able to play more with the big kids instead of just messing up their things.  Paul and I both remark that she has incredibly good tone - and even if we can't understand all of the word she is singing we know what song she is singing based on her melody and rhythm.  She loves to sing!  One of her favorites is singing "Elmo's song" - and Paul and I couldn't help laughing out loud as we listened to her belt it out in the car on the way home from church!  I'll have to catch it on video sometime :).  Below is a video of her singing her ABC's which she sings all the time!  It is especially fun to hear her singing it on the baby monitor when she wakes up in the morning!

Larkyn ABC's video

She is getting quite good at her letters and can always identify L and W, and often many, many more.  She can pretty consistently identify blue, green, yellow, purple and black and is getting better at pink and red.  Anytime the kids and I are counting something, Larkyn will jump right in and count too.  Here is a little video of her counting to 10 (skipping 4). 

Larkyn counts to 10 video

Probably the biggest thing that happened this month, however, was that Larkyn switched from calling herself "Na-Na" (which she has been doing from probably at least 6 months) to a form of "Larkyn".  I couldn't believe it - as we were checking the kids into the kids program at church yesterday, we matched nametags with each kid, asking "Whose nametag is this?" to each kid.  In response, she said "Larkyn" instead of "Na-Na".  I'm not sure what made the switch, but it has been pretty consistent since that moment!  Here is a video of what she now calls herself:

Larkyn is a little girl in ACTION.  She hardly ever sits still unless she is sleepy and is cuddling with her blanket.  She is similar to Colton, where when we work on letters or colors, we place objects on one side of the room and destinations for the object on the other so that she is constantly walking with each item as we discuss it!  She is full of energy and smiles!  She did have her first VERY long (30+ minute) tantrum this week, refusing to clean up her toys before dinner, and thus did not join us for dinner until partway through...however she eventually cleaned them up!  Overall, she is getting much better at following directions.  Today on errands she did a great job of standing by mommy and not touching the things she saw. 

Two of her new "Larkyn-isms" this month are saying "O-kaaaay" to everything in her cute little voice and loving to put on everyone's shoes and walk all over the house in them, including Colton's church shoes, Summer's pink cowgirl boots, Mommy's boots, and Daddy's slippers.

Whenever I am with her, Larkyn always makes me so happy with her smiles, giggles, and silly faces - I am seriously so in love with her. 

Daddy-Daughter Dance

It is so sweet to watch the love between Daddy and Summer!  A week ago, Daddy took Summer out for a date to the restaurant of her choice (IHOP) and to a Daddy-Daughter Dance.  Summer's face was beaming when she got home as she told me about all the fun she had dancing, doing crafts, and eating special treats!


Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, as usual, we had a red themed dinner.  We celebrated on the Friday night before Valentine's Day.  Due to a teacher workshop day, Summer was home all day!  We had a lot of fun being together, shopping for red food, and the kids spent the whole afternoon decorating the kitchen for dinner!

Both Grandma's and Grandpa's loved on our kiddos by sending them special presents that were completely handpicked for our kids' interests!  They know them so well!

I love our family! <3 br="">

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Larkyn 19 months - "Ummmm" and ABC song

Larkyn's little (or should I say BIG) personality is really developing.  She is not shy and enjoys walking around saying hi to people she doesn't know!  She has her "thank you" and her "excuse me" down, but still needs to be prompted to say "please".  We are in the midst of practicing learning how to take turns (she is pretty good at this), how to be obedient (she is medium good at this), how to come when called (she is currently testing this), and various other things toddlers need to learn, but has the most mischievous little grin as she goes about it!  I have a "serious face" I give her when she is debating being disobedient and she, in return, has a mischievous grin with a sparkle in her eye that she can freeze on her face, locking eyes with me for so long that I truly struggle to keep my serious face on without breaking into a smile!  OH Larkyn.  Two recent "Larkyn-isms" of late are her answer "uuuuuuhmmmm" as she thinks about how she is going to answer a question and her random singing of the ABC song as she goes about her day.  I staged the first video as I tried to get her "uuuuuuuhmmm" on camera so I could remember it.  The second video is also me trying to catch on camera her singing - which proved to be quite challenging...she prefers to sing when she wants to sing rather than when I ask her to, haha!  What a little character.  Anyway, here are the videos.  Love you, Larky-Loo :-).

Palm Springs, CA

A week ago today we returned from a week long vacation in Palm Springs, CA.  We had so much fun!  My parents rented an awesome 4 bedroom condo that housed my sister and her husband, Grandma and Grandpa K, as well as our family.  Our favorite part was that it had its own, heated pool!  We spent so many hours swimming despite the cooler CA temps the week we were there.  One particular morning it was 39 degrees, and we swam anyway!  It was absolutely gorgeous with the desert plants and gorgeous mountains only a few miles from us.  My mom is great about taking pictures everywhere and nice enough to share them with me (Thanks mom!)!!  Here are some pictures of our trip...

We arrived at the airport around 5:20am on Sunday!
Paul with three carseats and various other luggage ;)


When we arrived we got settled, took naps, and went swimming!

My three blondies!

On Monday, we got delicious burgers and shakes before heading off to our first tourist site.
We chose an indoor museum, as it was extremely windy (wind advisories) and quite chilly.
Colton was in heaven with all the airplanes!

Summer is curious to learn about everything and was a little sponge, soaking up learning all about the soldiers and the wars that took place surrounding the planes we saw.

Colton with an old car at the museum


Pilot Colton

They had even more planes outside the hangers
Summer will find a book to read this case, the museum's library :)

Uncle Eric landed a simulated airplane with the help of the museum staff

On Monday afternoon, we played games at the condo.

My favorite memory of this game of chutes and ladders was Larkyn's exhuberant "NaNa" (what she calls herself) every few seconds asking if it was her turn.  She actually did a really great job - she knew after Colton came "Larkyn's turn", and loved to spin the spinner, and then hand it to Grandpa for "Grandpa's turn".
On Tuesday we headed up the mountain on a tram.  It was sooo cool!  Inside the tram turned 360 degrees twice as we rode up the mountain.

Selfie at the top - brrr - 23 degrees!
We had lunch at a restaurant at the top and learned a bit about the tram before heading back down.

The tram

The view down

At the bottom of the mountain

Here is a shot of us in the van we all rode around in!  Grandma and Grandpa K were in the front.  Paul had the two littles in the second seat.  The rest of us were in the back two rows.

On Wednesday, we headed to LA for the day.

Our first stop was Santa Monica Peir

We walked down to the beach to get a view of the ocean

My girl and i :)

Auntie Kristin and Uncle Eric with their baby due in April

It was cold, but we touched the ocean!

We met up with my cousin Laura for lunch who is working as a nurse in LA for 3 months.

It was fun to catch up with her and hear about her wedding planning, job, life in Europe the past year, etc!

Then some of us (including Laura) went on a SO INTERESTING tour of Paramount studios and got to learn some of their tricks when they make movies/sitcoms/commercials and see stages/props/sets etc.

It was so fun!
Grandma and Grandpa kept the littles and took them to ride the rides on the Pier.

I love this pic of Colton!

Bumper cars

Sweet Summer!

This day was Summer's half birthday, so they got icecream!

Grandpa and Larkyn

On Thursday, we went hiking at the Coachella Valley Canyon

Amazing huge Palm trees that made a sort of "cave" to climb in

Even though Larkyn was quite fussy on this hike (her sleep schedule was completely off all week, beginning with the early flight + 2 hour time change, along with her waking up a lot at night), I love this picture of her eyes!

Finally asleep! :)

The views were surreal

I felt like I was in another country viewing these natural springs in the desert

My boys :)


On Friday we went to the "Living Desert", a zoo.  Here is Summer with a dinosaur at one of the shows at the zoo.

Colton and the dinosaur

The older two kids fed a giraffe!  See below for an awesome video!

S and C rode a camel!

Colton loved the train display at the zoo

I could not believe it - Larkyn walked the entire time!  Her little legs have so much energy!

Combing the goats

This little girl had SO much personality this trip...oh my goodness!

The two big kids traveled SO well!  Traveling with them is becoming so much more fun as they can roll with the punches, including less sleep.  Each morning they would wake up, jump into each others' bed, and read together until others were awake.  I just love them!
Before we headed to the airport on Saturday, the older kids got in a round of mini golf (I attempted a nap for Larkyn before the flight home!)

We also went swimming again for the last time!

The Family!  The shirts say St. Maartin as that was the original planned trip, but two weeks before departure we switched due to the Zika outbreak that is so harmful for unborn babies (and my sister is pregnant).  Despite the last minute changes, it was a wonderful trip!

How fun that they had a park at the airport to get out some wiggles before the late night flight home!

Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa K!!  We loved the amazing family time, new sights and experiences, and had so much fun!!  We love you all!