Sunday, December 7, 2014

Most of August

August started out on a special note for us.  Ellie had been asking periodically for months if we would take her to see the Temple.  Now understand, if we are in the area of our local Columbia River Temple and have time, we always drive the girls by the temple and sing the children's Primary song "I Love to See the Temple."  However, Ellie wanted to walk around and go inside the Temple.  Unfortunately it seemed like she would always ask when we were in street clothes, in a rush to go somewhere, with bad weather.  The Temple is a sacred place.  It is a House of God.  We do not go there in jeans and t-shirts with dirty faces and rush through the experience.  So, Steve and I finally got our act together and on August 2nd we took the three girls to the Columbia River Temple to walk the grounds, take some pictures, and go inside - just inside our entryway before the doors to the inside of the actual Temple - and talk to Ellie more about Temples and when she can go all the way inside someday.
 These pictures pretty well illustrate the hot/cold nature of Ellie at the time (and still) and how happy-go-lucky MG is most of the time.  And I LOVE this picture of Mckayla.  After Ellie kept holding out her skirt (above) MG did this, trying to be like big sis, only Mckayla always does things with a goofy look/attitude.  This girl WANTS to be funny, and most of the time she is successful.
 Kassidy slept peacefully most of the time, of course.
 Daddy and MG at the fountain, where the girls spent a lot of their time going up one side of the stairs on the side and down the other, basically making laps around the fountain.
 This picture makes my heart happy.  Our three girls together at the Temple of God, one of the very places where the Sealing powers make it possible for families to be together forever.
 Proof I was there, and that Kassidy was awake for some of the time, even if she was making grumpy faces.

Just a few days after our trip to the temple we had some fun developments.  One was that Kassidy would "laugh" if you tickled her bottom lip and chin.  It's so funny that she would laugh if you tickled her bottom lip, but try and tickle her anywhere else and she made uncomfortable grunting noises and couldn't decide if she was upset or not.  Funny baby.

We also found out that 72% of Steve's kids had passed the end of course exam that Washington State requires all sophomores to take in Biology.  Yeah, if you know anything about the demographics of the kids Steve teaches - he's pretty much a rock star.  He also had 8 students pass the AP Biology exam, which happens to be stinking hard to pass and is more than any other year at Steve's school by a few.  Like I said, married to a rock star.

The next big even in August was our anniversary on the 10th.  It was Sunday, so we didn't do much.  We went to church where Steve made jokes about having a second wife in front of a large group of people while I wasn't in the room (happy anniversary to you too!) and then hung out with the girls.  We did buy a pie the day before and celebrated 7 years of marriage with delicious Kalua Cream Pie.  I actually spent much of that night making a birthday cake.

That's because August 11th was Ellie's fourth birthday party.  She really loves all things rainbow, and wanted a rainbow cake, so I decided instead of a shape cake we'd do a rainbow cake this year.  I did decide to go a little nuts and still made it an ice cream cake, which was fun.  Rainbow sherbet and some gel colors for cake later, we had a rainbow cake.  I planned on different outside decorations, buy my whipped cream based frosting wouldn't hold my licorice, so we went with the cake I'd originally seen online that gave me the licorice idea and I thought it turned out pretty darn well all things considered.

My other big project had not been mine alone.  We had talked to my Dad about making a dollhouse for Ellie's birthday present.  We had seen pictures of an open frame type house, which with three girls, seemed brilliant for down the road and having as much play space and access as possible.  Boy did my Dad deliver!  This was made all from scraps he had around his shop.
 So, they sneakily delivered this to our house a few weeks before Ellie's birthday and it was my job to use a few books of wall paper samples Kerry had brought me (as well as some scrapbooking paper I had) to wallpaper the house in preparation for its big reveal.  I wanted to keep the backgrounds house-like, but neutral enough the girls could make any room into whatever they wanted.  I really liked how it turned out, even if it took hours of Steve laughing at me holding papers in rooms to get the job done.
 I love that our girls get such personal gifts every so often.  We have handmade toys, heirloom toys from Steve's Mom, handmade dolls and stuffed animals, and even quilts.  It is a wonderful gift to have so many precious things that Grandparents have put themselves into making for our children.

With everything ready to go, on Monday the 11th Grandma Sun, Papa Rose, Aunt Julie, Aunt Jennifer, and cousins Wyatt, Aubrey, and Enzo all made the trek down on for Ellie's party.   We barbecued for lunch and made sure Ellie got to choose part of her lunch and dinner.  Her contributions were of course salad and fresh fruit.  That girl LOVES salad, and fruits and veggies.
 After lunch we opened gifts and the kids all played.
Ellie's dollhouse was, of course, a big hit.  My parents had even made a bunch of dollhouse furniture for Ellie's Polly pocket and princess dolls.  It's amazing.
 Ellie blew out all her candles and didn't even cry when we sang to her - both are big firsts for her and birthdays.
 And of course we enjoyed lots of family time.

 Yeah, Ellie made out like a bandit of course, and we had a blast spending the day with so much family.  Later in the evening people started heading out as Dad and Kerry were headed off to vacation for a couple of weeks and Julie and Jennifer had to get kids back to Spokane.

That night was busy for us as well as we headed out the next morning for our own family vacation.  It may sound bad that we spent most of Ellie's actual birthday in a car and didn't go out or anything.  In fact the morning was so frantic we were fueling up at a gas station flustered and glad to be on the road when I suddenly realized and wished Ellie happy birthday.  However, we spent that night on the Oregon Coast, and I think she felt just fine about how we spent her birthday.  More of that trip in the next post though.

Other festivities in the month.  On the 18th Ellie had her four year check-up and her dentist appointment.  She was cavity free and was now 43.25" tall and weighed exactly 40 lbs.  Yeah, she is our tall, lean girl for sure.
This girl can sure push my buttons, but man is she getting big.  Her vocabulary blows me away at times, as does her smarts.  She is an emotional girl, which can be wonderful, heartbreaking, and frustrating.  She is so smart, and so matter-of-fact about things.  She loves her Dad and wants to be just like him, and is quite a bit like him.  And although her and Mckayla may have yelling matches at times, they really get along quite well for their ages and can play together so well.  One thing is for sure, I'm not sure there's a person in the family Kassidy loves more, or who wants to take care of Kassidy more.  Ellie is so good with her baby sister and shows her so much love.  It's wonderful to watch.

Other than that, the end of our month kind of disappeared as Steve started meetings and then went back to school on the 27th.  Here he was, laying out his clothes the night before just like he was a little kid again.  Only I'm not sure his outfit as a kid included a 12 pack of Mountain Dew...

There was one other stand-out moment to include here, as the "ALS ice bucket challenge" was going around about this time, and of course Steve was nominated.  Here was his video from the 23rd, which the girls have asked to watch I don't know how many times since.

We did have one more fun trip to end the month, camping with Grandma Sun and Papa Rose at Little Diamond for Labor Day weekend, but that will be its own post too, I think.  Anyway, August is always full of fun trips and last gasps of summer, but it goes by too quickly and then the school year is upon us and so is Fall.  But, each month seems to bring with it adventures full of fun and trials, so stay tuned because I'm sure that won't ever change.

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