Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Visit from Cynde

The last Saturday in May we had a very special visitor- Grandma Cynde came up from Auburn to spend the day with us!

We started off the day with Mitch's baseball game at 9:00.  It was gearing up to be a HOT day as it was already 80 degrees before 10:00 a.m.

We sat out in the outfield with our big group and watched Mitch from there.  Ben stood watch on the right field fence.  He makes a good looking baseball spectator.  And he's the best baseball dad!  

Me and my five girls- Mitch's biggest fans!

Olivia and Chloe sharing sunflower seeds- we don't go to a baseball game without them!  (And Livy's awesome hair do was courtesy of Chloe).

This was Mitch's final game of the season and afterwards the team gathered around for the coach to hand out trophies (don't get me started on how much I dislike trophies given out for NO REASON) and for the coach to say a little something about each of the boys.  Livy was so excited about this and sat by Mitch the whole time.

The coach had great things to say about Mitch and his willingness to step up and pitch, even when he was nervous about it.  Mitch is a solid player and a good little athlete.

We ran home afterwards to wait for the main event of the day- Grandma Cynde's arrival!  Her knock on the door sent everyone into excited hysterics.

Jocie has been waiting her whole life to meet Cynde and it did not disappoint.  Anyone who knows Cynde loves her.

Cynde, in typical fashion, showed up with gifts for everyone.  She brought the cutest little summer outfit for Jocie with a matching headband.  For the big kids she brought the card game "Spot It- Camping edition."  Our family fell in love with the game Spot It a few years ago and have enjoyed collecting different versions of the game.  Cynde always seems to keep up on what the kids like and are currently in to.

She also brought the best doughnuts in Auburn- Legendary Doughnuts!  The kids were beyond excited!

Olivia was down for a nap when Cynde first arrived.  When she woke up, she was a bit hesitant around her.  After playing at our house for a bit, we headed off to Cynde's hotel for her to check in and for us to swim.

As Cynde was checking in, the rest of us lounged on the couches in the lobby.  Olivia suddenly ran off and we found her with Cynde at the front desk.  She immediately took to calling her "Nahnah" (her word for Grandma) and was glued to Cynde for the rest of the day.  Olivia knows a good grandma when she sees one.

Swimming in the hotel pool was so much fun.  Olivia liked swimming with Ben and Chloe, but constantly wanted in, then out, then in, then out.  She was quite the handful to keep track of.

When she wasn't in the pool she wanted to be running around outside of it.  Cynde was so sweet to follow her around and try and keep her entertained. 

Jocie slept peacefully in her seat the whole time. 

After a terrifying experience last summer in a pool, Mitch has been deathly afraid of the deep end.  Ben held a mini swim lesson with Mitch in the deep end.  Mitch was absolutely hysterical at first and took lots and lots of convincing to get him to calm down.  Ben was finally able to work with him for a bit in hopes that by the time we do swimming lessons this summer that he will be able to do them, calmly.

Swimming was a success!

Our next stop was Leslie Groves Park in Richland.  They have a great grassy area, BBQ area, playground and a great little swimming area.  The kids enjoyed Cynde's rice cakes while we waited for dinner.  Ben ran and got pizza and breadsticks later that we ate on the grass.

The kids were ready for round two of swimming in the river.  They have a roped off area that is shallow enough to stay safe and deep enough to swim in.

We enjoyed many hours here playing and having fun.  We stayed until bedtime.  We said goodbye to Cynde before we left to go home.  She was one of the reasons we were most sad to leave Auburn, but we are so glad we can keep in touch with her and hopefully see her often.  We love you Cynde!  Thanks for coming to visit us.

Jocie went home and slept her first 10 hour night after this!  Since that night, she has consistently slept at least 6-7 hour stretches and quickly transitioned to 8-10 hours straight.  We love this girl!

Monday, July 27, 2015


May started off a little hairy for Mitch.  He has had chronic nosebleeds for years.  We saw an ENT in Seattle last fall who recommended we get the problem blood vessel cauterized.  That definitely reduced the amount of nosebleeds for awhile, but the frequency of them have picked back up again in the last few months and have switched from one nostril to both of them.  Our new family doctor here (an old friend of Ben's from growing up) suggested we cauterize it again.  He did it in his office.  Unlike the ENT, he did not numb it at all.  It was very, very uncomfortable for Mitch but he handled it like a champ.  If this doesn't work, we will be seeing an ENT again.

Ben and his parents went camping with our 4 big kids early in May to help with our stake's yearly cleanup of a church owned campsite.  Papa is trying to dry off Leah's sneaker over the fire after she got it wet.

I noticed Mitch's leg one morning.  It's been warm enough for shorts since April here and he looks as if he's been severely beaten or in a dog fight. 

Jocie had her first real bath in a tub at 3 weeks of age.  She hated every second of it.

Poor, poor baby.

After she was dry and warm, she fell right to sleep.  It's hard to be little.

Mitchell and Chloe love playing tetherball at their school's playground at recess.  One day this Spring, Mitch came home and asked Ben if we could get a tetherball.  After looking around online and in stores at the prices of tether balls, Ben decided to make one.  On one of his Friday's off he started and finished the product, all for an extremely reasonable price.

The kids were so excited with the finished product and have spent many hours playing with it.

Their favorite is to play against Ben!  None of the kids have beat him yet.

Mother's Day started with breakfast in bed from the kids.  I don't normally eat breakfast on Sunday mornings with church at 9:00- there just isn't time with a newborn and 5 other kids (and myself) to get ready.

After church I got a picture with my 6 beautiful kids.  I get to be a mom because of them.  All day, the song "The Family is of God" ran through my head, especially the verse on mothers: "A mother's purpose is to care, prepare, to nurture and to strengthen all her children.  She teaches children to obey, to pray, to love and serve in the family." 

Chloe took her Sunday rest with Jocie that day- so sweet!

Mitch brought home this sweet card from school for me for Mother's Day.

I love that I am "as pretty as this heart and roses." :)

There are lots of hard moments and days as a mom and it can seem overwhelming at times, but the sweet, wonderful moments totally override the hard stuff.

Like this- I love seeing my kids wanting to be with another sibling and taking care of each other.  Jocie even held Livy's hand.

And some days I couldn't do my job without my big helpers!  This day Jocie needed some extra attention while I was making dinner.  Lexi was more than happy to walk her around until I could take a break.

Sleeping babies are my kryptonite! 

May was a full month of baseball for Mitch.  I wasn't able to attend very many of his games this year, but the few that I made it to were so fun.  I love watching this kid play.

He played kid pitch baseball this year.  His coach asked if he would like to pitch and at first he said no.  After a game or two, he worked up the courage and did it.  And he was great!

He would get a little nervous during the games and not throw quite as hard as he would when practicing with his coach or with Ben at home, but we were just glad he did something that stretched him a bit.  He's a great player and we love watching him learn new things.

Olivia went through a 2 or 3 month stage where she was obsessed with giving "bones" (fists, knuckles, etc) to everyone.  Everyone included Jocie.  I caught a picture one day of Olivia giving her bones while she slept.

If only I could sit and hold a sleeping baby all day- my life would be perfect.

We spent a Friday morning at the Toyota dealership getting both our van and truck serviced.  The free "all you can eat/drink cookies and juice" were too temping for these girls and Ben took them back about 3 times to partake.  The treats and the kid play room held their attention during the 2 hour wait for our vehicles.  

Jocie wearing tights for the first time on a Sunday.  They were big enough to be an entire outfit!  Newborn tube top, anyone?

May 16th was one whole month with this sweetie.

We can't get enough of her.  Seriously.

We have had the best weather this spring and the twins and Olivia have spent hours and hours outside playing together.  The twins taught Livy how to swing on a big swing without me even knowing it. 

Baseball pictures for our favorite All Star!

One 1 year old for every twin- we love playing with cousins (and are very grateful for family that will watch kids during doctor appointments and other meetings).

We registered for Kindergarten in April and had Kindergarten Roundup in May.  The girls got to tour the classrooms, see the playground and computer lab and sit on a bus.  They were sent home with some fancy packets full of projects, succors, crayons and markers.  TWO kindergarteners next year- wow!

The entire first grade put on a musical for the school and later their parents.  Mitch was chosen to play the Letter R.  He had a few speaking parts that he took very seriously and memorized weeks in advance.  He also loved to sing the songs for us at home.  

"A-Z Does it" was an adorable play and it's always so fun to see our kids excited about something that they've worked hard at.

The baby zits hit baby J pretty hard by the middle/end of May.  This picture doesn't quite do justice how bad it looked on some days.  She looked like she had a contagious disease.  Luckily, her mama still thought she was adorable.

These sweet girls of mine are so much fun.  They are my happiest helpers and have had so much bonding time since our move.  I have loved having them at home with me (although sad that they left such a great pre-kinder program back in Auburn) and will miss them so much when they go to school in the Fall.

Cousin William got baptized over Memorial Day weekend.  We were so glad we could be there with him on his special day.  Mitch is the next Andros grandchild to be baptized and we can't wait!

The 3 Andros brothers

All of the family at William's baptism. 

Lexi lost her first tooth that same weekend- our youngest child to lose a tooth!  She was like her older siblings in that getting that tooth out was not without some good tugging and quite a few tears.

Ben had to pull so hard to get it out that the tooth flew into the air and was never seen again.  We searched high and low for that tooth but it was no where to be found.  Luckily, the tooth fairy was kind and still brought Lexi a dollar AND 2 suckers for her misfortune and bravery.