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Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

As it is very apparent we will not get Christmas cards out this year, sorry all. We are going to share our letter and the picture here for all to receive our Christmas wishes.

Dear Friends & Family - Merry Christmas!! December 2012

This has been a very busy and wonderful year for us. We are so thankful, so blessed looking back at the year.

Jeff is still working at T-Mobile in Human Resources. Jeff was able to participate on one of the worship teams at church and he continues to volunteer on a college scholarship program for families who serve as missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship, which he really enjoys. This spring he also committed to serving in Jacob’s new Boy Scout Troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster. They are having a lot of fun together.

Sheri has been very busy as well. She participated in some great bible studies as a Small Group Facilitator and participant when she was able to rejoin this spring. Sheri is still working with Jacob’s previous Cub Scout Pack as the treasurer, secretary and advancement chair. She really enjoys this work and the wonderful people in the Pack Committee. The Pack has 41 boys which keep her pretty busy and it is a wonderful chance to get out of the house each week as well.

Jacob is doing awesome. He turned 11 this year and is in 6th grade now, Middle School! At the end of 5th grade they had a really fun 3 day camp-out with the entire 5th grade to celebrate the end of elementary school. He still plans to become a paleontologist and is enjoying his new classes and having a schedule and locker this year. He has also begun to learn to play the trumpet. He is a tenderfoot scout now in Boy Scouts. This summer he and Jeff attended Scout Camp on the Oregon Coast with his troop. They were able to do so much, including sleeping on the beach. They've had several other local camp-outs, 2 court of honors and many service projects.

Camryn has had a great year as well; she turned 7 and is now in 2nd grade and she is enjoying the new class so much as she has our favorite teacher this year. She would still like to be a marine biologist when she grows up and work with Shamu and the river otters. This spring she played on a soccer team and had such a wonderful time. She also joined Girl Scouts at the beginning of the year as a Daisy and this summer she advanced to a Brownie. It is a fun little group and they get to do so many interesting things.

Bailey has grown so much; it is amazing she is 5 now and began Kindergarten this fall. She loves singing in music class and learning to read the most. She too still wants to work at Sea World, in the Sea Lion show; it is fun for the girls to bond over their common interest. Jacob, Camryn and Bailey have all been in swim lessons quite a bit still and are learning so much. She also joined Girl Scouts this fall and is a Daisy. All the girls have a good time as Sheri also helps as Cookie Mom and treasurer for the Troop. Just days before Kindergarten Bailey also got glasses after her annual eye exam, she has been amazing in adjusting to the new eye wear.

Isaac is doing amazing! He has grown so much this year, it is unbelievable. It took several months, a few more than we expected for him to adjust at church, but by spring this year he loved going to the nursery on Sundays and his class during bible study. He enjoys going so much he asks several times a week if it is bible study day. He is really looking forward to returning after Christmas break. In May he turned 2 and had a fun Mater party. He talks so much and was the fastest potty trainer in the family, whoo hoo! He also loves to sing and dance, play with cars and listen to stories. This spring when the kids’ school had a walk-a-thon he walked 2.5 miles and still talks about doing it next time.

We had a lot of fun trips and visits this year as well. Jeff’s parents were here for several days around Camryn’s birthday and went to the zoo to celebrate with us. Sheri had a weekend in Boise with friends to attend the Beth Moore Conference. In Jun we had a great trip to Denver to see our friends and family for a few days, then to San Antonio and area for a cousin’s wedding and a Trotter family reunion. We had a great time seeing so many loved ones. During the trip we had the opportunity to visit the Colorado National Monument, Capulin Volcano National Monument, Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Place, and Carlsbad Caverns, as well as a night in Roswell NM and Sea World! In Jul while the guys were in Oregon at camp, the girls and Isaac were able to go to South Dakota to visit family for several days; we always have a lot of fun in the Black Hills. At the end of Jul we all made a trip to Lander Wy to see Jeff’s family, it is so relaxing to visit with them. Then in Oct we had Sheri’s dad and stepmom for a visit here while they were taking the last of their things to their new home in Texas.

The kids love Halloween and enjoyed picking costumes; this year it was Jacob as Jango Fett, Camryn as Cleopatra, Bailey as Merida and Isaac as Spiderman. We also had fun going to the corn maze, everyone enjoyed finding our way and picking out pumpkins.

We are really looking forward to Christmas this year and seeing lots of family as we brave the roads and head out for Wyoming and Denver. We wish you all a wonderful Christmas while celebrating our savior Jesus’ birthday.

Love, Jeff, Sheri, Jacob, Camryn, Bailey & Isaac

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1st Day of School

Wow, what a day. Yesterday was the first day back to school, there was a lot of changes. First they changed the start time, and dismissal, for the schools. We had to adjust our usual routine to be sure we were on time.

Ready to start the day

Second, Jacob began middle school this year, 6th grade. It is insane that we now have a middle schooler; kids in 2 schools. He has his first locker and schedule to follow. He is in all the regular 6th grade classes; math, science, social studies, language arts, and as well as homeroom and beginning band. Jacob decided this summer that he wants to learn to play the trumpet so he has had a couple days now of learning something very new. We live so close to the elementary school but not so much to the middle school, so Jacob is also riding the bus home for the first time. He was excited to have some friends on the bus with him. It drops them near the elementary right before it lets out so he met us there to catch a ride home. He had a great first day and really enjoyed the new school. Today he had another change when they switched his schedule a little but he rolled with it, he will do great in middle school.

Jacob off to a new school

Camryn is in 2nd grade this year and she is so excited! She has a super great teacher. She is the teacher Jacob had for Kindergarten and 1st grade and we love her. She has some friends from the last 2 years with her and she feels pretty good knowing the ropes already. Camryn practically jumps to school she is so excited for class.

Camryn so ready for 2nd grade

And the next big change, Bailey started Kindergarten yesterday! We now have 3 kids in school. She was not nervous at all and was excited to be in the same room that both Jacob and Camryn had Kindergarten. She has the same teacher Camryn had for Kindergarten, another of our faves. She has school every other day so she gets to eat lunch at school as well. Today was an off day for her so she has only had 1 day of school, but that is great because she was tiiiirrrrreeeeeddddd this morning to get up and going. She had a lot of fun yesterday and said she just didn't want anything to end but she also did want to go home at the end of the day. I am so glad for her excitement and hope that tomorrow she will be able to get up and going. It is very early for us night owls.

Bailey is eager for Kindergarten

Camryn showing Bailey the ropes of the playground

Isaac has the big change of being the only kid at home for the first time. It will be interesting tomorrow. Jeff was off yesterday to take the kids for their first day and to enjoy the fun of it all. Bailey was off today and home with us. So, tomorrow will be the first time all of them go and leave him and I home all day. Hopefully he will enjoy being the helper and not miss them too much. I will probably have a lot of "Cars" and superhero play time in my day :)

After we picked everyone up yesterday we got to sit at home and listen to them all tell us about their day and ask each other questions. It was so fun and relaxed. Then we went to DQ for Ice Cream for Dinner-plus some chicken strips for some real food.

Ice Cream time, a first day tradition

It was a really great first day of school! Today went well too and we are off to a good start for the year.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer Is Over?!!

Wow, where has the time gone? I can't believe that today is our last day of summer break and last I wrote it was the last day of school!

We have kept so busy, but it was so much fun!

A little recap of our summer before school starts tomorrow:

The day after school ended we headed out for vacation-First to Denver, CO

Colorado National Monument

We were so excited to see the Stengels again! One year home with Isaac and Addy was so long to be apart. Isaac ran to give Addy hugs and kisses as soon as we got to their home, he just loves his friend so much. We understand, we were all thrilled for some time together (though we sorely missed Caleb who was feeling ill that week-next time will be sooner!).

As it was for our first dinner with Isaac & Addy, we had pizza together

Sorry for the blur, but these 2 were having too much fun to sit still

Jacob wanted a stop at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

With the Denver cousins at White Fence Farm

A trip to the Denver Zoo


Next, we drove to New Mexico and stopped at the Capulin Volcano

It was very cool, we "hiked" down into the center

Then into Texas to the Lyndon B Johnson "Texas White House"

Finally we arrived in Wimberley TX at my dad and stepmom's house. We spent the week with them and the Indiana cousins, my brother Scott and family made the trip as well.

6 out of the 7 cousins slept here (and they did so great!)

While in TX we attended my cousin's wedding and enjoyed a Trotter family reunion. The kids loved dancing at the reception and spending time with all the 3rd cousins. Here is the chicken dance:

More dancing

The beautiful couple

A fun day at Sea World, for our girls especially

After all the fun with family it was time to start heading home. We had a stop at Carlsbad Caverns

Then spent the night in crazy Roswell, NM

Back home we celebrated Jacob's 11 birthday

And the 4th of July

Then Jeff & Jacob headed out with the Boy Scout Troop for camp on the Oregon Coast, what a great time they had. Jacob worked on 4 merit badges, they visited a falls and museum on the road, they slept on the beach one night and so much more.

The rest of the kids and I went to South Dakota while they were gone and visited my grandparents, uncle & aunt and other family. We visited Flintstones Park, Story Book Island, shopped in Keystone and of course had ice cream at Mt Rushmore.

At home again the girls attended VBS which gave us time for doing things with just the boys, however that meant we weren't there to get any pictures.

Then we celebrated Bailey's 5th birthday at Chuck-E-Cheese's then cheesecake at home

For our last trip of the summer we headed to Lander, WY to visit Jeff's parents. We had a very relaxing time and so much fun on the lake.

There were so many fun things we did this summer; Jeff took Jacob and Camyn to Roaring Springs for the day, they earned a free entrance for reading at school.

Camryn & Bailey had a friend over for their first sleepover, it was so fun and they all had a great time, where was my camera?

Bailey got glasses last week

And we went to the Discovery Center in Boise for our last summer activity.

So, now the backpacks and lunchboxes are ready for tomorrow. School supplies purchased. All the kids are registered for school. We've been to the open houses and met the teachers they will have. One last afternoon and evening relaxing. Tomorrow we begin the new fall schedule, new teachers, homework and earlier start time for school. Soon all the activities will be starting up, but... We sure had a great summer!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crazy Spring Almost Over

We have 1 more day of school and I can't wait! This has been the busiest time we've ever had, these last 2 months. It was crazy and hectic when we got ready and went to Africa last year, with just 2 weeks notice, but this spring was much more busy. We have had so much going on. I've tried to take pictures of everything but sometimes it has taken weeks to get a few photos from an activity as we've been running around. Today will be the last day for any activities and we are ready for the break after enjoying all of them so much. Here was our schedule after school and work (for Jeff) each day.

We had Boy Scouts on Monday nights, Jeff as an Assistant Scoutmaster and Jacob has recently joined after earning his arrow of light in Cub Scouts and has earned his Scout Rank.

On Tuesdays we had to be especially organized and we didn't always remember some things we needed :)
First we had swim lessons, Jacob in the first session then Camryn and Bailey. They love swimming and are learning so much, it is so nice to know they are safe in the water and having fun!

Once Jacob had finished his lessons I would take him home to shower, then I had to go to Cub Scouts where I still help with Advancement. Isaac and Jacob would eat their dinner once at Cub Scouts or home.

When the girls had finished their swim lessons Jeff would take the 2 of them to the park for Camryn's soccer practice. The girls would eat their dinner in the car on the way. When they had finished they would swing by Cub Scouts to get Isaac so all the kids could go home and get ready for bed and finish showers.

Jeff and I would finally eat dinner once I was home about 9pm.

Wednesdays were a lot calmer, though busy in the mornings since the little kids and I would head to bible study once the big kids were at school.

Jeff would usually walk in the door to eat dinner with the straggler (Isaac) while the girls and I headed out for Girl Scouts. Camryn is a Daisy Scout and one of the other families had a girl Bailey's age so they would play together. We have the last meeting tonight. Camryn will be bridging to Brownie Scouts and Bailey is getting registered as a Daisy Scout. They have really enjoyed all the fun activities, learning so much and the fun field trips we had. I helped as the Cookie mom for the Troop.

We enjoyed a break most Thursdays. Once a month I had a Cub Scout meeting to attend and once a month Jeff had a practice for worship service at church. But usually we had nothing after 4:30 and we really enjoyed time at home together.

Friday we had one more soccer practice for Camryn. Half the time Jeff was still at work, but no matter who was there we would sit and watch her practice a little and the little kids would run and play in the open grass.

Saturdays were very different for us, this was the first time we had a scheduled event week after week. Camryn had 8 soccer games and we tried to support her as much as possbile. Jeff or I would go and sometimes we both got to go. But it was cold the first few weeks and the little kids whined too much to even let us watch the game so sometimes they stayed home with one of us. The last games were beautiful. She learned so much at soccer, this was her first time on a team. She played defense, they don't have a goalie at her age, most of the time and showed so much improvement; she also scored a goal in one game. They don't really keep score, but I think they ended up 3-3-2, all the losses were at the beginning of the season so we were so excited for the girls to get better and better. It was a fun new activity.

We all enjoyed all these activities so much but we will now enjoy the break and look forward to the next time we enjoy them :)