Monday, August 19, 2013


Just as it invariably does, the day I thought would never arrive is here. Kindergarten. Sending my little boy, my oldest child off to school. Jacob is absolutely ready for this. He loved everything about preschool and I know that he will thrive on the things he's learning, the friends he'll make, the FUN he'll have every day of the week. The pictures tell his side of the story: absolute excitement. I asked him at the end of the day if he'd been sad at all. His answer, "Nope. I was excited!"
Mama, on the other hand, had her heart caught in her throat. I surprised myself with that one. The Friday before school started I took him to a Kindergarten open house at the school where he got to meet his teacher and explore the classroom, and as we were walking up the steps to the school I got all choked up. Same thing Monday morning on our way to school. Little sister misses her best friend during the day as well. She bawled as we left the school that first morning, and asked for him constantly throughout the day. "JayJay home!" "Pick up JayJay RIGHT NOW!" (insert sad face)

 Mom! Take a picture of my backpack!
 He was disappointed not to ride a school bus. But when the school is a couple of blocks down the street, well...
And he's off! We love you, son.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

UB Visits UT

Brian's best childhood friend lives in Utah with his family, and Brian has always been like an uncle to Larry's four kids. They lovingly call him UB (in reference to the movie "Uncle Buck"--but Uncle Brian). We started our family a bit later, as our oldest child is five and Larry's oldest daughter has been married for the same amount of time!
Brian took the opportunity to fly to Utah by himself for the weekend to visit with the Solomon family. He was glad to participate in welcoming home his niece Jackie, who had just retuned from Argentina as a missionary, and bidding farewell to nephew Matthew, who was leaving to do the same in Mexico.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer Fun

 Summer heat is hot! And what a difference splashing in a pool makes! It wouldn't fit in either of our vehicles (it's a 5 foot diameter pool), so one afternoon Brian pulled the kids in the wagon to the grocery store (about a mile away) and then carried it home on his head while pulling Jake and Kenna. A silly sight, to be sure, but it worked! They had so much fun over the summer playing in their little pool.

 Jacob took swimming lessons again this summer, though in a much smaller pool with one-on-one instruction. What a difference a year of maturity and the change in environment made for him in learning to swim! Last year he was in tears every time we went to swimming lessons. This year he learned to float all by himself on his back, to jump in and turn himself over to his back (water safety), to dive for rings on the bottom of the pool, and to make some major progress in swimming strokes. And he loved it! We will definitely go back to Little Fins Swim School next year with both kids!
 Swimming with his teacher, Miss Natalie
Ahoy, Matey!! Pirate hats are lots of fun!
 General Silliness :)
 I sent Jake upstairs to get dressed one morning, and Makenna tagged along with him. When they came back downstairs (after much giggling in his bedroom) I found the little munchkin dressed just like her brother. With the baggy clothes and the long blonde hair, this picture reminds me of  the little twin boys on the cast of Full House (Uncle Jesse's kids--do you remember?)
 We love the zoo! Its even more fun when somebody besides Mommy gets to come (this particular trip we were joined by Daddy, Grandpa & Grandma Miller, and Uncle Gordon.)
 The chipmunks are a little too friendly, and not at all afraid of us.
 Kenna loves horses! She had been talking about riding a real horse (not just the carousel kind) for weeks. She has a picture book with photographs of real animals, and when the page is of the horse, she will sit on top of the picture, and say "riding horsie." Lucky for Makenna, the zoo has a pony ride for kids even her size. This was her first ride and she was thrilled!

 Jake continues to become an expert tree climber. Thank goodness he hasn't ventured too high yet!
 A visit to our local ancient cliff dwellings.
Build and Grow at Lowe's has become a favorite over the last couple of years for Jacob. Now little sister is big enough to get in on some of the action as well. I think the time will soon come when building one project will not be enough! And don't they just look cute?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Busy Summer

When Jake finished preschool the last week in May, I wondered how we were going to make it through the summer. Would there be enough to do to keep the kids occupied and happy? Would I have enough down-time to keep my sanity in check? Looking back, I'm amused that I was worried. We stayed busy, right up until school started. In fact, August may have been the crazy-busiest time of all. We had three sets of visitors come stay with us, one right after the other. There was just enough time to strip the bed, wash the sheets, and put it all back together before the next guests arrived. Despite being a little crazy, we loved having family come play with us.
Jake and Grandpa Miller right before swimming lessons. 
Grandma & Grandpa Miller with Kenna & Jake.
Three generations of Millers
Making puppets with Nana

Building a fort (and then tearing it down!) is fun to do!
Feeding  the giraffes at the zoo...a new experience for Nana
Playing on a life-size elephant

You can buy popsicle sticks with bird seed on them in the bird house at the zoo. Nana bought a couple and I managed to entice this little green parakeet to hop on. The kids thought it was fantastic (just look at the expression on Makenna's face)!
It honestly was so much fun having so many family members come visit us this summer. We loved the visits and we love you!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Auntie Came for a Visit!

My baby sister Kristen is nine years younger than I am. She was only 9 when I left for college, but over the years (18 of them, to be exact!) we have cultivated a strong friendship. The girls gotta stick together, I guess! Now if we didn't live so darn far apart. :)
Kristen came for a short visit this summer. She finished her nursing degree earlier in June, and has since started a full time job, so I'm glad that she came to play with us in the interim.
We spent a morning at Garden of the Gods, hiking & climbing on the rocks. It was hot, but its always an enjoyable outing.
 Jake and Kenna being silly, as usual.

 Me with my kiddos.
 Makenna had her toenails painted for the first time. She was so excited for "pink toes!" and sat still through the whole thing!
 One, two, three, four pairs of painted toenails...yep, that means Jake painted his too. :)
 We Love You Auntie Kristen! Thanks for coming to visit us!