Thursday, July 26, 2012

Independance Day 2012

Each Year Emerald Downs does a July third Fireworks show.  Tyler & I had heard nothing but good things so after dinner we decided to pack up & head out.  Lucky or not so lucky for us, both kids fell asleep in the car on the seven mile drive down into the valley.  When we arrived Emerald Downs was crazy packed at only 6pm.  With both kids asleep we decided to go to the store and drive around to look at other viewing options.  As we left Albertson's we noticed people gathering in a large grass area next to the Auburn Airport and Park and Ride.  We joined and as the sky turned dark there was over 100 people gathered around us.  The kids all played well together, with the older children watching out for the younger children.  Then we cuddled up to watch the fireworks.  Both the children LOVED the show as they created sound affects of "oooo's and awe's as well as a few WOW look at that.  It was a great time.
 Watching the Emerald Down's Fireworks

July 4th fell on a Wednesday this year. So because Tyler had to work the next morning at 4am, we decided to stay at home & celebrate locally at the Federal Way Red, White and Blues Festival.  The weather was amazing from the minute we woke up.  In the morning we adventured to the park for some play.  Then we went home for lunch & pool time.  Issac had gotten 2 pools as gifts for his birthday.  The simple pool we set up the day of his party and his "wild waves splash park" pool I had kept in the closet until the 4th of July.  being a new pool, the kids played for hours in it. 
Josie at the park enjoying the swing.
Issac saying Hello on his way to the slide.

Issac splish splashing in his pool from Shobi.
In the afternoon my cousin Erin and her husband Ryan and son Jackson came over for an All American backyard picnic of fried chicken, potato salad, Cesar salad, pasta salad and I attempted to make a red, white & blue cake.  It was low key and casual.  It was perfect.  The kids played and the adults chilled.
 I tried to get a picture of all 3 kids looking, it wasn't happening!
 Above- Issac & Josie are excited for the fireworks.
Bellow- Cousin Jackson gives me a cheese smile.

After dinner we loaded up to attended the Federal Way Red, White and Blues Festival and Fireworks show.  The kids both took a nap in the car so we enjoyed the music and some A/C.  when Josie woke up, I took her to get some Ice Cream.  When Issac woke up, Tyler took them to go play at the playground.  As it turned dark, we had some kettle corn and bundled up to watch the show. 

 Above- Josie is a chip monster!
bellow- Issac & I watch the fireworks.
 Bellow- Tyler & Josie enjoying the fireworks show.

When we got the kid's pictures done we also did some in their Independence day attire.  Although we only got a few good pictures in these outfits, we wanted to share.  So bellow are some of the pictures that well, aren't picture perfect.  But they still capture our children being them crazy selves!!!!  We hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July. 

 Above- The kids kept knocking themselves over giving such great hugs to each other.
Bellow-  a 'sorry' hug between siblings.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Josie at 18 months & Issac's Birthday Pictures

On June 10th, Josie turned 18 months old.  I can't believe how fast the time slips by us.  Issac and Josie are so similar, yet so different.  The kids are different and the same not in just how they play but how they communicate, eat and learn.  When outside, both kids enjoy the water table and the pool.  Josie loves to play in the yard with Issac, sometimes they play together & other times they play individually.  When playing alone, Josie loves to push her baby around the yard in her shopping cart or collect pine cones in a bucket.  Inside, Josie will play with toy food, mixing stuff in a bowl, line up her babies on her bed or play cars with brother. Both kids also enjoy their little people stuff.   Josie enjoys coloring and playdoh with Issac but sometimes she still tries to eat the colors or dough, YUCK!!! Both kids also enjoy playing their elefun game, memory games and with the dulpo legos. 
Josie loves to play pic-a-boo.

When it comes to TV & movies; Josie will ask for what she wants.  She will say, "Blas-toff" and put her hands over her head for little einstiens, "boo clue" and do the little fist flashing motion for Blue's Clues, "umbo" for Dumbo and "pooh" well, for Winnie the Pooh of course!  Everyday Josie's vocabulary is growing.  In addition to naming her favorite shows, she also says many other things including- "move, mine, more, milk, movie, ball, water, socks, shoes, alright, let's go, yaya, you okay, doggie, bell bell, shake(dance), ucky, nummy, Momma, Da-Da, Issac, here, what's that, no-no, please and thank you".  Tyler & I enjoy teaching our children new words and activities.  We try to enforce manners by asking the kids to say please & thank you whenever they want or receive something from us, even  a snack.  When Josie says please she has the cutest lil teeth smile and currently it actually it sounds more like, "eeeeeezzzzzeee".
Our Princess Josephine.

Both are kids are healthy eaters but Josie is just like I was when i was a kid and she needs to eat something first thing to get her going.  Usually when we wake up the kids watch a Disney movie while enjoying chocolate milk and dry cereal.  Issac prefers Kix & Cheerios but Josie also enjoys Chex and Life.  Most of the time Josie eats what we do but she has yet to enjoy PB&J's.  Makes me sad because Issac & I love to have PB&J's in the park but I have to pack something different for Josie because she'll go without.  At dinner, Issac is very picky about his food's temperature and doesn't eat until things are cold.  However, Josie will dive right in to whatever is put in front of her, steaming hot or ice cold!
Josie loves to climb on brother.

Josie can identify the majority of her body parts.  as with Issac, I started with the mouth & nose.  Now Josie can identify where her eyes, nose, ears, mouth, and pretty girl hair are located.  In addition, I have begun to teach her the location of body parts bellow her neck and Josie now can identify where her hands, feet, bootie and belly are.  Currently we are working on knees and elbows.  Josie loves one on one time when Issac is asleep or playing by himself.  She loves to be sang too and enjoys kido rhymes like jack & Jill and humpty dumpty. 

We took the kids in for pictures again. These are Issac's 3rd birthday pictures & Josie's 18 month pictures.  To be honest, even though they turned out good, in the past we got more shots of both kids and more of Josie.  I think that in the future I will be sure to ask for a female photographer because Josie didn't seem to fond of the guy we had this time.  The guy also didn't try to change the backdrops, I had to ask him to do it each time.  Then although there was a flip chart at the entrance showcasing some new picture editing techniques and backdrops, during my session, we were offered not one new backdrop or any of those new editing options on the pictures.  In fact,   not a single one of my pictures was edited into anything other than color and in the past at this very same Sears Portrait Studio at South Center we have gotten both black & white & sepia prints.  The majority of editing I did when I took our photo DVD home & used my own picture editing software.  So for Christmas pictures, we will be trying somewhere new.  This new Manager, who was completely unprofessional and kept talking about how his sales are best in the district just lost a valuable customer.  But none-the-less, when you have SUPER ADORABLE CHILDREN it can be hard not to get a few good pictures. =D
 I love it when the kids give each other loves, hugs and kisses.
It shows how precious their relationship is to each of them.

Bellow are Issac's pictures.  he had a nice nap & a snack before the pictures and he was truly enjoying himself during the session. We got about 12 great pictures of Issac alone compared to just 4 pictures of Josie alone.  I sure hope by her 2nd birthday pictures she is more cooperative!!!!  We also got some pictures of the kids in their 4th of July outfits, but I will share those in our Independence Day post. 

Well, I hope everyone likes the pictures as much as we do.  i enjoy picking out unique outfit for our children's pictures.  These outfits were made by Casanee's.  You can find her on facebook or etsy.  This is my third order of handmade goods from her & each item is beautifully made and looks fabulous.  This was a built on to her spring love bird brother-sister set.  She had it showcased as the dress & tie set.  i asked her if hats, suspenders and purse were possible and she replied yes.  I'm so thankful for these unique outfits because I think they really make the pictures. 

Until next time- Hugs & kisses from us to you.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The American Dream

Year after year, millions of people around the globe dream of the American Dream. They dream of a quality education, a career and a big house with their children playing in the yard, safely protected by their very own white picket fence.  While immigrants flee their home nations of poverty, war and dictatorships to come to the United States, many millions of American children share the same dream.  When you grow up wearing hand-me-downs and shopping at yard sales, Kmart and discount stores you long for a better life at a young age. You go to a University, achieve a degree, and then you get a great career and live happily ever after.  
But for some people that dream is almost impossible.  It can truly seem as if everyone and everything around you are working against you.  I know there were times during my 2 years at UW Tacoma that I felt like a tadpole trying to swim up-stream.  Shit, I felt like I was swimming up a vertical waterfall.  You lose sleep and spend less time with your friends or doing the activities you love and push through or you simply don’t.  The challenges of being a returning student go beyond less personal time or less sleep or even leaving a comfortable work environment to pursue your dreams.  Achieving your dreams and a quality education can be an emotional journey as well.  It can be easy but an extremely stressful process to move past less grant money than expected and take out student loans. It can even become simple to let comments roll off your shoulder, most are made out of complete ignorance anyway.  But it can be very difficult to have those around you; your close friends and family continually question your commitment to your education or worse not even offer an acknowledgement of your accomplishments.  You really don’t know how it feels until it is you. 
So, when it came time to go to my brother-in law’s Eastern Washington University Graduation I wanted to make sure he knew how proud we were.  I wanted Jayson to have all the bells & whistles.  I pre-ordered him a nut lei instead of flowers and made him a few signs to hold up from the stands.   With our children being young I also bought a few new toys & activities to keep them busy during the two hour long ceremony.
Above-Jayson before the ceremony.
 Above- The Jayson Sipress cheer section.
Bellow- Laura & Mark cheer Jayson on from the crowd.

After the ceremony was finished we drove over to a nearby park so the kids could blow off some energy and enjoy the sunshine.  Tyler’s Dad, had to catch a flight home so we snapped a few group pictures and headed to dinner.  For dinner we went to a Spokane restaurant called Twiggs.  We had a relaxing seating location on the deck near the water and a beautiful water fountain.  The food did take a little bit to arrive to our table but when it did it tasted great.  Tyler & I split a tasty spring greens salad & a unique pizza.  After dinner we headed back to Jayson & Andalyn’s house for some delicious pies and daiquiris’. 
 Above- Issac & Grandpa Brad look at the firetrucks.
Bellow- Josie's loving the park.

 Above & Bellow- We try to get a family shoot with the new Graduate!!!

 Above- the boys with their Mom.
Bellow- the boys with their Dad.

On Sunday morning Andalyn made everyone breakfast. Jayson read Issac some books and everyone relaxed with coffee.  Then Laura & Mark headed home before we enjoyed lunch and the rest of us took a trip to a nearby park.  Both Tyler & I are very grateful for the attention Jayson gives the kids.  Issac has such a great time with his Uncle Jayson each and every time we see him.  Jayson always takes the time to play cars, read books, go for walks and even trips to the park or children’s museum each and every time we get to spend time together.  It is because of this that Issac always asks about Uncle Jayson & points to his pictures on the wall.

At the end of the summer, Jayson and his wife, Andalyn are moving to the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area.  Jayson has been accepted into Chiropractor school.  He will attend twelve quarters straight over the next three years.  The time commitment will be even greater then at EWU but the reward will be fabulous when he completes his education  We wish Jayson nothing but good luck and internal strength as he continues to chase his dreams and turn them into reality.  I know he will have to continue to defend his commitment to his education and defend his choices of how he spends his time to people who will never understand but I also know Jayson will continue to refuel his mind, body and soul to get the job done and achieve his goals.