Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The new kid in school....

Blake was thrilled with the idea of being the new kid at school! Now is he 2nd grade she's go this schooling thing DOWN!!! Getting to make a load of new friends is pure bliss! So I was quite hesitant in signing her up for schools. I wanted to get some feedback from the locals. And I'm glad I did. Our first Sunday at church we were invited to play games with some members who are neighbors. How fun is that! Well, unfortunately we had plans but hope to make up for it soon! While chatting with the lady I learn that her husband teaches at a charter school where her daughter attends school....kindergarten ALL day! Now you have to know that I am "PRO" all day kindergarten. But public schools in Utah County have kindergarten last ONLY 2 1/2 hours.....seriously? That's barely enough time to take coats off, circle time, rub your fingers in some paint and wash your hands. So I'm thinking...what a waste of time and money! How can I get around this?

Enter Deb, my neighbor/lady from church. She explains that this charter school has ALL DAY kindergarten. WOOHOO!!! But fat chance I'll be able to get my Blake in half way through the school year in hopes that there's some space in a 2nd grade....wrong! She was in within hours. I checked it out, had a tour, filled out some paperwork and DONE...next day she started school! Quail Run Primary School. It's a K-8 school...and they wear "uniforms!" Well, not really but yes. Just the standard khaki, whites, navy blues, greens, and the right plaid....which we hope to find sometime!

So Blake will finish out this year and then in the fall start up in 3rd grade (that was my favorite grade, I have many memories of it...thanks Mr Trudell) then Reese will have priority as a sibling to attend as a kindergartener! Sweet!

So check out the new girl in school!

The Move!!!!

Well here you have it folks. The long awaited update! After being in here for 2 weeks now I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures of our new place in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Let me give you a little background as to why we picked this place. We began our hunt looking in the Lehi area. It's super close to the freeway, great recreation programs, wonderful schools, about a 30 min drive for Dan to make it up to Salt Lake for school, and a quick 10 minute drive for Dan's work. We had our eyes set on a place in Lehi, but we were hesitant to commit. We just didn't want to deal with having someone live over AND under us. Some of you know the troubles we had with out last place...what with having very mobile and happy children living over somewhat empty nesters that had forgotten what kinds of noises children make. Moving on, moving forward! I cam across this place in PG (Pleasant Grove for those that don't know the lingo), but put it aside because it was a little out of our price range. But then it cam up again, at a reduced rate. Instantly I knew it was just the place for us. Only sharing ONE wall of our place was so much more appealing than sharing 3 walls/floors with various neighbors. So I called them up and started the process of background checks, references and the like. I ONLY saw pictures online and never set foot in the place until we had the keys in hand ready to move all our stuff in. Some may think that's a scary approach, but we'd done it before moving from Boston to Canyon Country, and it worked out just fine.

So here's our place....still in a state of disorder and not decorated like our home should be. But I know many of you have been anticipating something from us so here's a little tour!

That's the front door there. When you walk in to your left (right in the picture) there are about 5 steps down to the kids' rooms, a bathroom, a laundry room and under the stairs storage. We bought some hooks for the wall to hang all out winter gear and a place to toss our shoes/boots.

Here is the view down the stairs. That room you see is the Big Girls' room. And there is a door to the left with a full bathroom.

Maybe you can see that there is a crib in that next room. That'll be the "babies" room. Right now just a crib but come summer time when baby BROTHER arrives Layne will be in a cute little toddler bed and share her space with her brother! That dark room is the laundry room. Full size washer and dryer and some storage space. Side note, I found that washer dryer set online for delivery/installation and purchase under $400. Love ksl.com!!!

This is our dining/kitchen area. It's pretty big and has LOTS of cupboard space. Some of them are still empty! And take a look at that table. We sold our set in CA, and I bought Dan a GPS for Christmas! Well, I had been wanting a rectangular table for a change and to save on space. And I had my eye on a set at both Walmart and Ikea that were $250 and $500 respectively (not including tax and delivery). So once again I headed to ksl.com and found this very table. It's about 3' x 5', has 4 chairs, AND a bench....so I can push it against the wall. Well wouldn't you know that a couple just in town was moving and posted this very table online for ONLY $50. It's perfect. Just what I wanted!

Then to the left of the kitchen/dining picture is a short hallway with a nice sized linen closet, a full sized bathroom, and the master bedroom. The closet in the master is really functional. And makes up for the size of the room!

We were able to make it to church the first Sunday of 2011 and meet the Bishop as well as many other people. There is even a girl that Dan hung out with from HIGH SCHOOL, her family lives right around the corner!!! We really like our place. It suits us great! And we know it'll last us for our stay here in Utah! We're not sure how long our stay will be here, or where we will head next...but we know we have been so blessed to come too the point that we are at now!

Thanks to all who have given us love and support through friendships, thoughts and prayers! We are grateful to you all!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Last Christmas in California

Our first Christmas spent as a married couple was spent in Michigan, 2nd in Michigan (because Thanksgiving was spent in CA w/ my family), 3rd in CA with our 6 month old Blake...but then surprised Dan's family with a New Years visit (we found the drive from Boston to Michigan to be a breeze and did it often). Our 4th Christmas was in Michigan. 5th I was pregnant with Reese and we drove to Utah to Dan's sister new house to celebrate with his side of the family. Our 6th (this is 2006) in PA and MI. Our 7th we spent Christmas Day at our place in CA with my brother and sister-in-law. Then our 8th I think was another split one between our place in CA with my brothers and their families, my cousin Rachel, cousin Geoffery and Joni (they were to be married days after Christmas). I remember "boxing day" was on Christmas that year and we left directly after the wedding and lunch. 2009 Christmas was spent in flying to MI to meet up with Dan and go to the last show and a leg of touring with 30 seconds to Mars. We spent a few days before Christmas with his parents then borrowed their car while they spent a week in UT. We drove to PA to spend a long week with EVERYONE on my side including 3 grandkids born that year (that was a first, we're usually all all over)! But that year we spent time with both sides PA & MI drive is only about 7 hours. No biggie!

Which brings us to the Christmas of 2010. As many of you know I LOVE hosting parties and get-togethers in my home! I love the cleaning, preparations, cooking, planning, all of it! So I was more than THRILLED to get to host Christmas at my home! There would be 11 total, that's including the 4 kids. That's nothing, I've had 12 people LIVING with me for months at a time! So this would a dream! And it was! We picked up Dan's parents from LAX on the wettest night of the year. It was pouring, and reports were joking about CA dropping off into the ocean because of all the rainfall. We went straight to a hotel in Anaheim. We had planned to go to Disneyland with everyone the very next day...and wouldn't you know it, but the clouds all cleared and the sun crept out. It was a gorgeous day to spend at Disneyland with the family. We used fast passes, plans, and timed our day and we were able to ride plenty of rides, see some characters ans eat good food. It was a great day! The next day was Christmas Eve and spent rather oddly but together. Dan had been wanting to go to H&M for some jeans before we moved but our time was limited. So everyone were good sports about driving to a mall on Christmas Eve, eat some mall food, and wait for others to shop. We then drove directly to see the most amazing display of Christmas lights in the SCV. Then right home to serve up dinner that was just the tastiest dinner in some time! Ham, funeral potatoes, salad, rolls, and orange jell-o. SOOOOOO good! We opened up jammies, read from the scriptures and finally got off to bed around 10pm. Christmas morning is a blur. But we had such a nice time together opening presents. We have a tradition of having a breakfast cassarole on Christmas morning with fruit parfaits. It cooks while we unwrap gifts and is usually timed our perfectly...just like this year! Again...a hit with the food! Yum! After cleaning up and getting dressed we saw Tangled as a family and ate dinner out. Sunday was a WONDERFUL day at church. Saying goodbye was hard. I'll not dwell on that at this time (if ever). And ever so kindly all my guests helped to pack up boxes, disassemble beds and cribs, and take stuff down to the garage. I'd be lucky if they want to be my guests again! They really did amazing work...I will forever be grateful to them all!

The next morning I purchased 4 dozen donuts for the team of 15 people to unload and load up the trailer. Yes 4 dozen. I think my kids and the Barlow boys, and the Lyche boys enjoyed at least a dozen to themselves. The place was empty by 10am, in-laws were on the road, my brother with the trailer already driving to Utah. We had to tie up some lose ends and say a few goodbyes. Again, goodbyes are hard, tears were shed. We were on the road headed for our night stay in St George, Ut, by 2pm. Tuesday morning we hit the road by 10:30am headed for Pleasant Grove...where we will be calling our home!

We made it! We're here and we've settled in and loving it!

Just a few pictures of our Christmas Time festivities!
Shillig Famiyl $3 gift exhcnage

At Disneyland
Tram ride home from Disneyland w/ Grandma & Grandpa

Christmas Eve Jammies....oh the happiness!